PETALING JAYA, 17 June 2009: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today called on the government to set up affordable childcare centres throughout the country as a long-term measure to reduce the dependence of Malaysian families on foreign maids.
MTUC women’s section chief Noorlaila Aslah told Bernama that such childcare centres could be set up in each housing estate and run by trained local staff.
She said a similar proposal had been made by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry a few years ago, but this was not implemented.
She hoped that the government would seriously look at the proposal again as it would help to reduce worry for families and allow women the peace of mind to pursue their own career.
“Since the government is encouraging more women to work, these centres could assist in achieving its objective,” she added.
Noorlaila welcomed the government’s proposal to allow Indonesian maids to have a day off each week.
“This was long overdue because the Filipino maids were already enjoying such off-days for many years. So it was just unfair for us to discriminate [against] the Indonesian maids,” she said.
Noorlaila said Indonesian maids should be given proper orientation and training before being allowed to work here.
“The orientation would greatly help the maids to adjust to their new role here and also ease the burden on the employee,” she said.
The one off-day was among the several measures announced by Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Subramaniam yesterday to ensure that Indonesian maids were not abused. — Bernama