By From Amy Chew in Jakarta
A LEADING Indonesian migrant workers rights group wants the Malaysian cabinet's proposed benefits for domestic workers to be enshrined in the Indonesia-Malaysia memorandum of understanding on migrant workers to give Jakarta the right to monitor its enforcement. "We would like the proposed benefits like a day off and others to be put into the Indonesia-Malaysia MoU on domestic workers," Migrant Care policy analyst Wahyu Susilo said.
Migrant Care is a leading non-government organisation for Indonesian migrant workers.
"Including the benefits into the MoU will give Indonesia the right to monitor whether or not those benefits have been properly enforced," Wahyu said.
The cabinet had, earlier this week, given its approval for domestic workers to be given a day off every week, Socso benefits and the security of a contract signed with the employer.
Migrant Care also called upon the Malaysian government to allow domestic workers to have the right to hold on to their passports. At present, a domestic worker's passport is held by her employer.
"Giving a domestic worker a day off has no meaning if she is not allowed to hold her own passport," said Wahyu.
The government's proposed benefits for domestic workers comes at a critical time.
There is a huge public outcry in Indonesia over the latest incident of abuse inflicted on Indonesian domestic worker Siti Hajar by her Malaysian employer with angry comments filling local newspapers and websites.