KLANG: Reading the newspaper yesterday, Pastor Wong Chee Meng, 38, was surprised when he discovered that the maid agency he used had been raided by the Immigration for housing 105 maids in cramped quarters.
"I was shocked as I had just paid RM6,000 to the agency recently to get a Filipino maid. Now I fear that my deposit will be lost now that there is a problem with the agency," he said when met at the maid agency with his wife Ang Ying Chee, 38, here, yesterday.
Wong said he had used the agency before to get his first Filipino maid to help take care of his three children aged between 18 months to 10 years old.
He said he has no problems with his maid who had been with his family for three years.
"She is going back to Philippines as her contract has ended and we really a need a replacement soon as both of us are working.
"However, when we went to the agency to get a refund of our deposit, we were told that we would not be getting back our money as the agency believed that they would be able to get us a replacement.
"We thought of getting back our money and finding another agency as we no longer trust this agency," he said, adding that he was considering of reporting the agency to the Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) and Consumer's Tribunal if he did not get his deposit.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Maid Employers' Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein said the exploitation of foreign maids would be greatly reduced if the government frees up the maid supply market.
He said international syndicates took advantage of the dire need for maids in the country and resorted to all means including human trafficking to supply maids.
"This happens because it is so difficult and expensive to get foreign maids in Malaysia. Many people have to resort on getting the services of part time maids. "If the maid industry is treated like other manpower supply for factories, plantations and other industries, it would not be like this.
"Employers should be given the freedom to source for maids themselves or the supply could be tendered out like what is done for other industries.
"Then, foreigners can come to the country legally to work and they will not become victims of international syndicates and unscrupulous maid agencies which tarnished the reputation of reputable agencies and the country," he said when contacted.
Earlier, Papa president Jeffrey called on strict action to be taken against those found misusing the system. Indonesian maids have been coming into the country in small numbers because of unresolved cost-related issues after the country resumed sending maids to Malaysia in June, three years after a ban was enforced due to several high profile abuse cases.
The Cambodian Government also imposed a ban last October while last month, the Philippines embassy here stopped giving accreditation to new maid agencies to bring in domestic workers in line with its government's plan to phase out the sending of its citizens abroad to work as maids over the next five years, further increasing the shortage of maids in the country.