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Creating Safe Spaces for Indonesian Maids

Indonesia maid holding a bunch of essential cleaning tools

In this era of globalization, it is not uncommon for both parents to join the working force. This goes without saying that more and more families in Malaysia hire domestic helpers to help around the house. The hustle and bustle of life has increased the demand of domestic helpers, specifically Indonesian maids in Malaysia. With working parents, elderly people may need taking care of, and families will need a helping hand for other miscellaneous chores. 

Indonesian maids are extremely well-liked among Malaysian families. One of the reasons why they may be sought after is because of cultural similarities. In one way or another, they can speak the Malaysian language and are acknowledged to be hardworking and trustworthy. Even as we speak, many households are still heavily relying on them. We can see that their presence has become irreplaceable and have successfully made a difference for families. 

Role of Domestic Helper Agency in Recruitment Process

Employment Specialists

To put it in simple terms, a domestic helper agency acts as matchmakers. They help families find the perfect person for the job. However, this may not be as simple as it sounds. They usually have to filter out many people according to the requirements and standards set by the families. Also, these agencies also have connections so they will eventually find someone who fits the role in the description. Some of the most simple requirements of an ideal maid is to be equipped with the right skills and good personality. It would help them get along and feel good about working together with their respective families. 

Guide Through the Hiring Process

There is usually a whole bunch of paperwork and legal stuff to deal with when families are looking to hire a domestic helper. Sometimes all you want is for someone to explain the important details and leave out the lengthy ones so that you can be done with the process. Now, that’s what domestic helper agencies excel at. They help families through this process so that it is less stressful. They assist in the process of visa applications, contracts, and explaining rules and regulations about hiring domestic helpers. With their competence, you can expect the process is a lot less overwhelming that one might believe to be. 

Training and Support

Setting aside the matchmaking and guidance, domestic helper agencies also offer training and support to both families and domestic helpers (just in case there is a communication barrier). It is not a requirement for domestic helpers to be fluent in the Malaysian language. However, we hope that they understand the Malaysian culture and customs. The agency also provides training on elderly care, childcare, along with ongoing support during their time working together. With good intention, they hope to release some tension in both parties. 

3 Key Reasons for the Popularity of Indonesian Maids in Malaysia

Shared Cultural Values

Easily enough, Indonesian maids can get along well with their assigned Malaysian families because they share similar values and cultural backgrounds. Both groups believe in being hospitable, respecting elders, and preserving family ties. On top of that, Malaysia and Indonesia are close neighbors with interlaced histories. So this goes without saying that Indonesian maids will naturally understand the Malaysian way of life. Since there is a striking similarity in both languages (Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia), it allows for smooth conversations. In the end, it leads to good communication and relationship between both parties. 

Reliability and Diligence

Indonesian maids are Malaysia’s top choice for domestic helpers. They are known for being trustworthy and hardworking when it comes to their delegated household chores. Therefore, it is safe to say that Malaysian families are appreciative and grateful for the services they offer. Their constant dedication and reliability in getting things done in terms of cleaning, taking care of the kids, cooking, or looking after the elderly, are well received. We can see that they do their jobs with care and commitment with mine. They also have a strong work ethic. While there are a few rotten apples down there, we do not believe it should affect the entire tree. 

Availability and Accessibility

Furthermore, they are also easier to recruit for Malaysian families. For example, there are a lot of ways to hire them such as through agencies or other recruitment channels. Agencies like GlobalAce make the process of hiring helpers so much more smoother. There is also less waiting time involved because they are usually available when families need them. As compared to other options, they are more affordable to hire for middle-income families. Their affordability and accessibility, along with the simplicity of hiring process, make Indonesian maids a popular choice for Malaysian families. 

Challenges of Indonesia Maids Working in Malaysia

As such, Indonesian maids working in Malaysia will eventually come to face many challenges. This may affect how they feel and work.

Language Barrier

We can’t expect everyone to have the same language proficiency. This is why communication may be difficult for Indonesian maids working in Malaysia, especially when they are not able to speak Bahasa Malaysia or English fluently. This could also happen to you as well but it doesn’t necessarily have to be languages. For instance, you could be trying to get your thoughts across during a meeting, but no matter how to phrase it, it just doesn’t come out the way you want it to. This may affect how well your audience understands you. This could lead to a lot of pent up frustration and confusion. Back to this, simple tasks like asking for time off or explaining how to do something can be difficult with language barriers. 

Cultural Adjustment

Though we can argue that the Indonesian and Malaysian culture share similarities, it could have been a tough decision for them to consent to working here. This could be even more difficult for those coming from small communities or rural areas. The traditions, customs, and social norms they were used to would be different from cities in Malaysia. Even simple things like what they eat, how they spend time, or how to greet another person can take some time getting used to. It will take some time to adjust to the unfamiliarity. In other words, it is both challenging and stressful when they feel as though they do not belong in a country where they have signed a contract for work. 

Working Conditions

Working conditions for Indonesian maids in Malaysia can be severe. Some families can be brutal to their domestic helpers. There have been instances where they have to work all day without breaks, not having proper and habitable places to sleep in, limited access to healthcare, and mistreatment from employers. These types of employers tend to make things more difficult for their domestic helpers. It makes them feel vulnerable and unprotected. Most of the time, it’s not the physical demands of the job that makes them tired, but it’s more of the fact that they are being mistreated. All they need is to feel safe and respected at work. 

A little note to employers

Remember that Indonesian maids are not obligated to work for you. They have human rights and deserve to be treated with fairness and kindness. Their well-being should always come first. They deserve to work in an environment where they feel safe and respected, just like every other employee.

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