KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) has proposed to create a mechanism to protect the welfare of domestic workers following Cambodia’s abrupt decision to stop its citizens from working as domestic helpers here.

“We are willing to help set up a framework to prevent, monitor and respond to abuse of migrant domestic workers, including establishing shelter homes for those who are abused by their employers.

“Papa has also requested for a meeting with Cambodian officials to identify solutions to solve the problems,” acting president Jeffrey Foo told a press conference called by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong.

He also expressed concerned over the ban as Cambodia was among the top three countries that supplied maids to Malaysia.

“We depend on the supply of maids mainly from the Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia.

“Philippines has defined its policies on standard employment contract and recruitment fees at US$400 (RM1,280), which is far beyond the means of most employers here while Indonesia has not lifted its ban,” he added.

He said due to the acute shortage of domestic workers, agencies from both countries would suffer from the decision.

“Our agents put a lot of deposit to secure maids from Cambodia.

“Prolonging the situation would make the agencies lose their deposits worth millions of ringgit,” he said.

Chong had described the ruling as “too drastic”, saying the numbers did not reflect the real situation in Malaysia.

“As of September, there were three cases of abuse of Cambodian domestic helpers this year.

“I hope this is only temporary.”