PUTRAJAYA: A solution to the problem of the shortage of Indonesian servants is in sight.

Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to recruit 10,000 Indonesian domestic workers from next month.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the recruitment, a pilot project, would start a week after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Recruitment and Placement of Indonesian Domestic Workers (MOU PDI).

The MOU will be signed on February 7 and 8 in Bali, Indonesia.

“At today’s meeting, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel where the Indonesian and Malaysian governments share the same aspiration to champion the cause of migrant workers and protect their rights.

“Malaysia has in principle agreed to introduce various measures to uphold the cause of migrant workers, especially from Indonesia,” he said, quoted by Bernama, after the meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Ida Fauziyah, in Jakarta.

In a statement, Saravanan explained that the pilot project is important to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the MoU, which will be monitored by a special committee made up of representatives from both countries and will address any weaknesses that may arise. .

Saravanan said Indonesia has also agreed to allow entry of 10,000 Indonesian workers for the plantation sector.

The recruitment of the PDI was among the issues the two countries agreed on during a meeting between Saravanan and Ida Fauziyah to iron out and finalize issues regarding the memorandum of understanding.

The minister said it had also been agreed that the “one maid-one house” system would be implemented to replace the previously proposed “one maid-one task” system.

The policy that the Indonesian domestic worker can be employed to work in a household of up to six people remains under the new system.

Saravanan said the meeting also agreed that the cost structure of recruiting Indonesian workers would be reviewed every six months.

“This is to ensure that costs are in line with the current situation, taking into account, among other things, flight fares and quarantine costs,” he said.

Malaysia and Indonesia also agreed on two other points; the establishment of a single-track system which will be the single passage for the entry of Indonesian domestic workers into Malaysia.

The other issue on which the meeting had reached agreement was that of salaries for IDPs, but no details were provided on this.

Indonesia has been pushing for a new memorandum of understanding to replace the one between the two countries that expired in 2016.

Malaysia and Indonesia first signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the recruitment and placement of Indonesian domestic workers in 2006, which was amended in 2011 to last until 2016.

The agreement, among other things, affirmed the right of workers to hold their passports, to communicate with their families, to enjoy a weekly rest day and to have their monthly salary paid into a bank account.

A standard employment contract was also provided, outlining the responsibilities of the employer, worker and recruitment agency.

Malaysia relies heavily on Indonesian labor, from domestic helpers to construction workers.