Cambodia to Sign Accord on Maids to Malaysia
By | November 2, 2013

The Cambodian and Malaysian governments will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) within three months that will restart the business of sending Cambodian domestic workers to the country after a two-year moratorium, a Labor Ministry official said Friday.

After meeting with representatives from the Malaysian Home Ministry earlier this week, Othsman Hassan, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labor, said there will be no limit on the number of maids sent to Malaysia once the agreement is signed.

“Within three months, both governments will sign the MoU,” Mr. Hassan said Friday. “If there is no problems with the maids, we estimate that about 1,000 women per month will be sent to Malaysia.”

In October 2011, Prime Minister Hun Sen banned the sending of maids to Malaysia after recurring reports of serious abuse and exploitation of Cambodian workers at the hands of their employers and recruitment agencies that sent them.

Mr. Hassan said that when signed, the agreement would be in the best interests of Cambodian domestic workers.

“We received the draft agreement at the end of October and we will meet to discuss the draft agreement to decide which points we do and don’t agree with,” he said. “There are many points of the draft agreement that we have agreed on so far.”

Fadzlette Othman Merican, the press secretary for Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said that the Malaysian government was waiting for Cambodia to submit the memorandum.

“We are just waiting for the Cambodian government to have the proposal ready in three months time, then we will sit down and some kind of MoU will be agreed upon,” she said.

Ny Chakrya, head of monitoring for human rights at local NGO Adhoc, said that the Cambodian government must be sure that maids will be safe in Malaysia before it rescinds the moratorium.

“The government should put deep consideration into the issue before Cambodia signs the MoU because there have been a lot of issues with Cambodian maids in Malaysia,” more than for migrant workers in other countries, he said. “The government has the duty to negotiate to make it safe for workers to go to other countries.”

(Additional reporting by Janelle Kohnert)

© 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

LATEST

Mu Sochua, a lawmaker-elect for the opposition CNRP, announced Thursday that she will on Sunday morning resume her campaign to enter Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park.

There were 185 reported traffic accidents nationwide over the Khmer New Year holiday this year, resulting in 48 fatalities and 406 injuries, an increase in accidents and injuries but a nearly 30 percent decrease in deaths compared to the holiday period last year, an official said.

Most garment factories did not open for business Thursday, choosing to extend the Khmer New Year holidays—which officially ended Wednesday—rather than face industrial action in the form of a planned nationwide stay-at-home strike.

A man was chopped to death with an ax Wednesday after he confronted a group of three men who allegedly beat his 12-year-old daughter on the dance floor of a Khmer New Year party, police said Thursday.

Villagers from an ethnic minority community in Koh Kong province’s Areng Valley continued their blockade over the Khmer New Year holiday of an access road leading to the site of a proposed dam they say would destroy their way of life.

The Cambodia Daily | All the News Without Fear or Favor | The Daily Newspaper of Record Since 1993