Malaysia politely rejected Indonesian request to fix minimum wage for its maid at RM800 monthly.

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (File photo: Suzanor Ali)

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (File photo: Suzanor Ali)

In explaining the rejection – Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said “as a country with an open economy, wages in an industry are determined by existing market forces.

“Malaysia cannot have a minimum wage for only one employment sector, which is maids. If this is implemented, it will lead to implications in other sectors.

“Based on what the ministry has received from the public, the proposal to raise the minimum wage to RM800 a month for maids is too high to be borne by employers,” she said in a statement here Saturday, adding that the Government should look properly into the matter.

Indonesian maids in the country currently being paid an average of between RM450 and RM600 monthly – on par with average wage of Malaysians working in the manufacturing sectors.

Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Da’i Bachtiar yesterday said Indonesian government will demand a monthly salary of at least Rp 2.3 million (RM 800) for its domestic helpers in a bilateral meeting to be held in Jakarta on September 5, 2009.