Migrant Care – NGO who deals with Migrant workers – found a leaflet that says “Indonesian Maids on Sale” in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This kind of news always stir emotions among Indonesian. Many people offended by such advertisment . For the last few years there always problems with our neighouring country Malaysia. Despite the fact that a part of our country has the same root, i.e. Malay.
So many stories about migrant workers, about their suffering during employment but still so many people want to go overseas for the job.
I believe that the maids who is advertised is the one that go overseas illegally, often time they sold their properties or take a loan in order to go overseas for a job. If they are lucky, they would get the job, but sometime they end up become a prostitute. Being an illegal they can be employed with under minimum wage. Sound like a human trafficking , is not it?
When financial crises broke in 1997, there are so many factories closed down and the unemployment was soar. Malaysia ,who has better financial condition at that time, took advantage for this cheap labor from Indonesia. Many Indonesian recruited to become labor in Malaysian factories, plantation and also in houses as maids.
I was thought that Indonesian workers in Malaysia are only working in factories, plantations and houses, in fact the are so many Indonesians overthere, in the malls as waitress in restaurants, janitors , gardeners even in the canteen at universities. I was so depressed.
One day, I went to the embassy of Indonesia and there are so many migrant workers who has problem and wants to go back to Indonesia.
When I sat in the Canteen at the Embassy, I was approached by a young women, she told me why she was there at the embassy. She said that she runaway from her employer because she treated badly. She was lucky enough that her employer does not hurt her. One of her friend get her tongue hurt so that she could not tell the police what was happening to her. Poor Indonesian. I hope the Government of Indonesia do something about this.