Yogyakarta (Asia News Network) – Malaysia and Indonesia will review the cost of hiring domestic Indonesian workers at a more reasonable rate, said Malaysian Minister of Human Resources V. Sivakumar.
The Human Resources Minister said the reduction in the cost of recruitment would be discussed at the two-day Joint Working Group Meeting in Yogyakarta beginning Wednesday.
"At the moment, we feel that the fees (cost) involved borne by employers are quite high compared to other countries that set prices at a minimum level. We want to see if we can find an amicable solution and if the cost could be reduced," he said.
Sivakumar said he hoped the cost could be brought down to under RM9,000 compared to the RM12,000 decided in the last meeting in November 2022, inclusive of the quarantine cost of RM3,000.
"To have zero cost is impossible because there are costs involved including in Malaysia, but we look at what is the best mechanism to reduce the cost," he told the Malaysian media after holding a meeting with Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah on Monday.
Sivakumar is in Indonesia for a one-day working visit following Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's visit on Jan 8.
He and Ida also discussed efforts to realise the implementation of the "Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Recruitment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Malaysia" that was signed on April 1, 2022.
Sivakumar said the Joint Working Group Meeting later would also discuss the role of private employment agencies in both countries involving the recruitment process, accommodation for workers, as well as the digitalisation of the ecruitment process through the One Channel System (OCS).
As of Jan 22, 2023, there are 399,827 Indonesian foreign workers in Malaysia in the manufacturing, construction, services, agriculture, domestic workers, mining and quarrying sectors.
Of the total, 63,323 work as domestic workers, and Indonesians represent the largest number in the sector in Malaysia