JAKARTA, Jan 24 — Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to implement a pilot project on the recruitment of 10,000 domestic helpers from the neighbouring country as early as next month, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

The pilot project is expected to start a week after the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the recruitment and placement of Indonesian domestic helpers is signed on Feb 7 and 8 in Bali.

“At today’s meeting, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel where the Indonesian and Malaysian governments share the same aspiration to champion the plight of immigrant workers and protect their rights.

“Malaysia in principle has agreed to introduce various measures to champion the plight of immigrant workers, especially from Indonesia,” he told reporters after the meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Ida Fauziyah, here.

Saravanan explained that the pilot project was significant to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the MoU, which will be monitored by a special committee comprising of representatives from both countries, and further improve any weaknesses that arise.

During the second meeting with Ida Fauziyah within a period of two months, Saravanan said Indonesia had also agreed to allow the entry of 10,000 Indonesian workers for the plantation sector.

According to a press statement issued after the meeting, the ministry explained that the permission marked the beginning of the recruitment of 32,000 foreign workers in the plantation sector through special exemption as decided by the Cabinet meeting on April 7, 2021.

Meanwhile, the main MoU on domestic helpers to be signed next month has been agreed upon by the two countries including key issues such as the One Maid One House policy, One Channel System and salary.

The One Maid One House policy will replace the proposed One Maid One Task concept where one maid can be employed to work in a household with not more than six people, while the One Channel System will be the sole channel for the entry of Indonesian domestic helpers into Malaysia, the statement read.

It added that issues regarding the cost structure of recruitment will be reviewed every six months to ensure that it is in line with current developments, taking into account, among others, airfares and quarantine costs.

Malaysia and Indonesia signed the MoU for the first time on May 13, 2006 in Bali and, following that, the Protocol to Amend the MoU was inked on May 31, 2011 in Bandung which expired on May 30, 2016. — Bernama