Bandung (Indonesia): Ending a two-year freeze on Indonesian maids working in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Indonesia stopped sending maids to Malaysia from June 2009 following reports of cases of abuse by employers, and a lack of benefits like a minimum monthly salary and a day off
for maids.

The signing of the MoU will supercede the one signed in 2006 between the two countries.

Under the revised MOU, the roles of the Indonesian maid, employer and agent would be clearly spelled out together with guidelines and responsibilities of those concerned.

Maid agencies in Indonesia would be required to send only trained maids and provide replacements if the ones they send do not meet employers' requirements and agents providing assurance for maids under their care.

The maids will be allowed to hold their passports, get a day off in a week while a Joint Task Force would be set up encompassing representatives from both countries, to monitor the situation.

Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam signed on behalf of Malaysia while Indonesian Labour and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar inked on behalf of his country.