Applicants and agencies are equally stunned by a “new” directive by Malaysia’s Immigration Department barring the hiring of non-Muslim maids.
According to a report by Inquirer, employers have joined the conversation asking what’s the rationale behind such policy, which officials claim was not new, as they worry they may fail to hire any maids at all.
Malaysian Maid Employers Association (MAMA) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi said the policy would limit the supply of maids for Muslims.
“Religion should not be an obstacle. When you work in an office, you don’t base it on religion and likewise, this should not be the case for the maid in the home,” he said.
An agency owner in Selangor was rejected soon as she applied for non-Muslim maids for Muslim employers who wanted them through the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System.
“When I called, I was told to go to the counter to submit the application. But at the counter, the officers said that the policy was a directive from the director-general,” she said.
The officers said the policy had always existed and if she still wanted to put in the application, they would reject it, she said, adding that the rejection has been ongoing for the past two weeks.
She said that if Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar could hire non-Muslims, why not Malaysia?
One employer, business owner Zubir Rahman, 46, and a father of three from Shah Alam said he was concerned about the policy because he preferred Filipino maids as they were more reliable.
He said he had three Indonesian maids before and two ran away but all four Filipino maids fulfilled their contracts.
“It would pose a problem for me because to get a good maid these days is very difficult,” said Zubir, whose current maid’s contract would expire in December.