Malaysian companies are likely to recruit more housemaids from Cambodia, Thailand and Sri Lanka because of a shortage caused by Indonesian maids going to countries offering better pay, a local labor recruitment agency said.
No exact figures were available regarding the possible increase of Cambodians going to work in Malaysia. But Malaysia, which usually brings in some 50,000 Indonesian maids annually, was only able to attract 12,000 in the past six months, The Associated Press said.
With average monthly salaries for housemaids in Malaysia at $120, Indonesian maids are heading for Singapore and Saudi Arabia where they can earn as much as $263 per month.
Neas Saneth, who works with a company that trains Cambodian women to be maids, said that a request for more migrant workers has been sent from Malaysia.
Megat Tajudin, Malaysian Embassy first secretary, said that there was no quota limits on the recruitment of Cambodian maids. “If companies recruiting feel there is a big demand in Malaysia …then it’s up to them,” he said.
The Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center recently found that some Cambodian women who enter Malaysia illegally were trafficked to work in prostitution and garment factories.
Megat Tajudin said there are only a few cases of maids being abused. He added: “If you come illegally, people come to exploit you. That’s true anywhere in the world.”
(Additional reporting by Lor Chandara)