New Straits Times

DIRECT BANK-IN OF SALARIES?

Registered employers may have to use same method of payment, says Zahid

- HIDIR REDUAN

THE government is considerin­g making employers pay the salary of foreign maids directly into their bank accounts, instead of the convention­al cash payment.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Home and Human Resources Ministries had discussed the matter with the foreign missions concerned.

“We discussed the need for registered employers to use the same method of payment.

“We have to migrate from the convention­al methods as we progress to a developed nation.

“We should never allow anything bad to befall (migrant) workers,” he said in Dewan Rakyat.

Zahid, who is also home minister, was replying to a question by M. Kulasegara­n (DAP-Ipoh Barat), who wanted to know if the government would introduce a mechanism to ensure that the salary and allowances of domestic maids were paid monthly.

Earlier, Zahid said employers must treat foreign maids humanely and with respect as it reflected Malaysia’s image.

He said any inhumane act by employers against foreign maids would not only be morally unacceptab­le, but also give a bad image of the country.

Referring to last month’s Penang court case involving the alleged murder of Indonesian maid Adelina Lisao, Zahid said the court action should serve as a lesson to members of the public.

“What was allegedly done to the victim is regrettabl­e and most hateful,” he said.

“Every foreign worker in Malaysia has human rights. What happened to Adelina cannot be defended.

“The accused has been charged and this has elicited a positive reaction from the Indonesian human resources minister,” he said, adding that it was hoped the Indonesian government would understand Malaysia’s stance.

He was replying to a question by Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (BN-Tanah Merah), who had asked about steps taken by the government to safeguard maids in Malaysia.

He reminded employers to abide by the law when bringing maids into Malaysia.

He said this was especially so when the government had taken steps to make the hiring easier and cheaper online.

“The government has provided the assistance, so please use it rather than resorting to other means (such as smuggling the maids in),” he said.

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