Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ban on maids to Malaysia officially lifted, government directive shows



Ban on maids to Malaysia officially lifted, government directive shows

Migrant workers hide their faces at Phnom Penh International Airport in 2012 after being repatriated from Malaysia
Migrant workers hide their faces at Phnom Penh International Airport in 2012 after being repatriated from Malaysia Pha Lina

Ban on maids to Malaysia officially lifted, government directive shows

After months of uncertainty, a newly obtained document shows that Cambodia’s six-year-old ban on sending maids to Malaysia – enacted following numerous reports of abuse there – has been officially lifted.

According to the directive, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 29 and obtained yesterday, the “recruitment of . . . maids to work in Malaysia is open as of January 1, 2017”.

Cambodia first imposed the ban on sending domestic workers to the country in 2011, but in December 2015 signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia to lift this ban, though final approval was still needed.

Even so, no maids have been sent so far, and measures to protect workers from the severe abuses that necessitated the ban are still not in place, according to Tiev Tithiakomol, director of the Labour Ministry’s Career and Occupation Department. “We are assessing how to control and manage workers to ensure they are safe.”

Norjufri Nizar Edrus, a counsellor at the Malaysian Embassy in Cambodia who provided a copy of the directive, said that although sending maids was technically legal now, it would take time until the plan was fully implemented.

“We need to see how we can send maids safely,” he said, adding that a Cambodian-Malaysian meeting was envisaged for “perhaps next month”.

San Samol, an administrative chief of the recruitment agency International Investment Service, said that he had received the directive, but had not started sending maids due to a lack of procedural clarity. “As soon as the ministry is ready, we are able to send them,” he said.

He said that when his company sent maids prior to the 2011 ban, it had only seen minor problems – such as language barriers – not severe abuses.

But Kok Socheat, CEO of recruitment agency Fastup, said that he had never sent any workers to Malaysia and that he would not do so anytime soon, “because I heard from others that there’s always trouble there”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from