Indonesia hopes to lift
ban on maids for Malaysia

Indonesia may soon lift a ban on supplying maids to Malaysia after receiving promises of tougher steps to curb the mistreatment of domestic workers, an Indonesian minister said Monday.

The Indonesian government announced last month it would stop sending maids to its neighbor until stronger protection is implemented to safeguard them. More than 300,000 Indonesian women work as maids in more prosperous Malaysia, more than from any other country.

Indonesian Manpower Minister Erman Suparno said after meeting Malaysian officials Monday that both sides will discuss stronger measures over the next few weeks to punish employers who physically abuse their maids and to increase their wages and days off.

"We are very confident and very happy because (the Malaysian side) is very responsive to improve the quality and protection for the domestic workers," Erman told reporters.

Malaysia recruited about 4,000 Indonesian maids each month before the ban. Hundreds of maids file complaints every year alleging ill treatment, overwork and unpaid salaries.

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