KUALA LUMPUR: Crowded classes, limited training tools and no English lessons these are what most Indonesian maids bound for Malaysia have to bear with, unlike their counterparts headed for countries that pay higher wages.
“Maids for Malaysian employers undergo training crammed into a class that has a ratio of 20 recruits to 1 trainer, sometimes even 40 to 1,” said a maid agency owner who declined to be named.
He said this was unlike those sent to countries such as Hong Kong and Arab countries where the ratio was only four to one.
The agency owner said he had witnessed how the training sessions were conducted.
For example, he said the number of electrical appliances used in the training of maids for Malaysia was “pathetic”.
“A single iron is shared by 20 to 30 trainees. However, their counterparts headed for Hong Kong homes get to try out every electrical item.”
The agency owner said: “Malaysian homes are the real training ground for the Indonesian maids.
“Those who head for Singapore are also made to learn English nine hours a day so that they can pass the entry test.”
Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein said some of the maids did not even know how to operate a washing machine.
The Indonesian Embassy here concurred with Engku Ahmad.
“There is a possibility that some Indonesian agencies do not meet the training requirements,” said its head of information, social and cultural affairs Suryana Sastradiredja.
Suryana said he was aware of allegations of discrimination in training provided for maids intended for Malaysian employers compared with those sent to countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“The training provided by the agencies should be the same. Why are local agencies here accepting the maids if they are not competent?
“The Indonesian agencies are their partners. They should communicate with them about the lack of training,” he added.
Suryana also questioned the “competency” of Malaysian employers.
“In other countries, the employers abide by the contract,” he said, adding “in Malaysia, they order the maid to clean up not only their homes, but also loan their maid to relatives.” - theStarOnline