While it is a laudable act for the government to make it compulsory for the employers to give their maid one day off in a week, I am more worried about the implementation and the impact of it.
There are a total of 300, 000 foreign maids in Malaysia. If all of them are given a day off on Sunday, imagine what will happen to popular places like tourist spots, shopping malls and parks. A good example will be the crowd in Puduraya. If you go to Puduraya on Sunday, you will think that you’re in Indonesia or in Bangladesh because all foreign construction workers are given the day off on that day and they crowded near Puduraya area, making the place not only very congested but also very unMalaysian in its crowd.
Apart from that, how is the government going to enforce this new ruling? Does the government have sufficient officers to carry out checks from door-to door on families who have maids at home? If only random checks are conducted, how would the government know whether the employers adhere to the ruling? Therefore, there must be a proper system and guideline given to both employers and maids in ensuring that they follow the rules, or else this will be another piece of legislation looking good on paper.
We recognize the importance of the role of maids in a family where without them, a lot of women are unable to work since they have to stay home to take care of the children and do house chores. The government also has to ensure that the maids will not abuse the day off given to them. There are many maids who have gone missing after their day off because they befriended other foreign men and ran away. Some even conspired with their boyfriends to steal valuable items from the employer’s home and causing possible endangerment to the employer's life. We have heard of this many times already, but do we have a system to monitor this issue?
With more than 300, 000 foreign maids in this country, the government should seriously consider and review the plan before implementing it. The Ministry of Human resource should follow the example of Tan Sri Muhyiddin and obtain feedback from the public before implementing the ruling.
As I will be travelling to Kelantan, Johor and Melaka from today onwards till next week, I will not have time to blog. Sorry, my dear readers.