Friday, August 05, 2016

The evil in societies

FMT - ‘Maids get abused because laws are weak’

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians tend to abuse domestic maids because current labour laws do not give them enough protection, according to Klang MP Charles Santiago.

In an interview with FMT, Santiago spoke of a need for laws to ensure that maids are not made to work long hours, that they are given medical care and that they are given at least one day off every week.

“We treat them like slaves by making them work 24 hours a day instead of thinking of them as employees,” he said.

“Ensuring that labour laws cover the rights of housekeepers is something that we should really push the government to look into.”

He said another cause of abuse was the frustration of employers over their maids’ lack of training.

“Part of the problem is that the maids are ill-prepared,” he said. “You don’t expect a maid from Cambodia to know how to cook Malaysian food without training.”

Santiago noted that the issue of maid abuse had not been given much attention lately although there had been a rise in the number of cases, including deaths.

“Maids from Cambodia in particular have faced the brunt,” he said. “Lots of them have returned to their country in body bags.”

The Borneo Post reported yesterday that maid abuse was rampant in Sarawak and that some maids were treated like slaves.

The paper quoted a spokesperson for the Indonesian consulate in the state as saying that the consulate had to shelter 666 Indonesian workers between 2012 and 2015. He said there were probably more cases of abuse that were not reported.

It's not just the law, or lack of, that has been responsible for cruel treatment of foreign servants. It has been the humanity (or lack of) of Malaysians, their gross deficiency in decency, compassion and fairness towards servants and employees.

I don't know about Malays, Indians and Eurasians, but I know some Chinese should NOT be ever allowed to have foreign maids. I have blogged on this before.

Also, it's not just some Chinese Malaysians but some employers in the Gulf have an even uglier and far more notorious wickedness in their treatment of Filipino and Indian maids/servants, including sexual abuses. Additionally, the laws in those Gulf countries discriminate against foreigners especially if they are not Sunni Muslims. A few of these servants had been executed for flimsy excuses, without appropriate legal representation.


  1. Americans abuse their Mexican maids
    Arabs abuse their Malaysian employees
    Malaysians abuse their Illegals...

    Actually foreigner working conditions in Malaysia are relatively not That bad...its not great, of course.

    Why do you think there are in excess of 2 Million illegals here, and hundreds of thousands more still coming in ?
    Is it because it is Hell in Malaysia ?

    1. 2 million illegals are not all maids - the maids have been the ones abused

  2. Malaysia's Employment Act 1955 and subsequent amendments, actually provides stronger protection for employee rights than a great many other countries including 1st world nations US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong etc.

    To the extent potential 1st time foreign investors reading the law on paper often find it a turn-off, requiring a lot of explanation that the law in practice is applied judiciously.
    Singapore , for example , exempts domestic servants from Employment Act protections.

    The problem is more on practice. Foreign Domestic maids, living with their employer, are in a very vulnerable position to abuse and disregard of their basic rights. They may not even be aware of their rights.

    BTW , most Filipino maids are Very Aware of their rights, including off days. You will see them all over KL town on Sundays.