RM800 for an Indonesian Maid?

My maid’s salary is RM570 which is a bit higher than the norm because she has had 2 years experience, explained the agent. That amount plus the agency fees and various agency expenses makes the amount we have to foot out every month about RM750 effectively.

That does not include her personal expenses, food, shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, sanitary pads, etc etc. We also give her angpows and gifts etc during festive occassions and on her birthday. However, I think the biggest amount we spend on her is food because we take her out wherever we go and that includes eating out and vacations. Eating out is really expensive so our food and grocery expenses has shot up after we have a maid.

I do not disagree that maid’s salaries should be higher but I do think that like any other job, salaries must match experience, performance and quality of work. At the moment the quality just isn’t there, most of the time. Most of the maids which come with “training” have to be trained from scratch by an employer. Some of them do not even know how to use a rice cooker, iron or washing machine. Some of them are really young and inexperienced.

Perhaps a tiered salary structure would be more appropriate but more importantly, I think the agency fees should be relooked. There are a lot of hidden costs. When someone says they pay their maid RM450 for example, that is not what they are actually paying each month. Effectively, they are paying much more. The process of replacement when it comes to runaway or poor quality maids should also be looked into. Quite often employers lose a lot of money in replacement fees for runaways or poor quality maids.

For example, my sister had a poor quality maid who would go and lie down for siestas in my niece’s room hugging her pillow and dreaming. My sister had to return the maid, but she could not refund her money and had to fork out a lot more money to get a replacement who turned out to be almost as bad. In the meantime she had to pay for temp maids from the agent at a monthly rate. We teased her about her house being a training center for maids but its no joke actually. It almost is like a training center. She has to train each new maid from scratch. On top of that, she has lost quite a lot of clothing and jewellery after the maids left.


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10 thoughts on “RM800 for an Indonesian Maid?

  1. Actually, I think the maid’s salary in m’sia is still pretty low and affordable. Most of my expat friends here have Thai maids, with close to RM800 and can’s speak much English. English speaking maids are all above RM1000. For Filipino, it’s more than RM1300. For RM500, only illegal maids from Burma and others. 😛

    Yes, the pay here is probably the lowest in the region. Singapore and HongKong also pays higher too. The Filipinos are paid higher than 1K here and who knows, maybe thats why there are less problems with them. It remains to be seen though.

  2. there is no clear fine line on maids….
    and yes, they r like us too..those working…Salesman A and Salesman B…all hv different salary scheme right…

    Anyway I hope the govt will reconsider this thought of raising to RM800 or abolish the agency fees like Sg..thus its more economical la…

    I am sure most employers do not mind paying the agency fees to the maid instead.

  3. Hai, I am currently paying Rm650 thinking that with 6 years experience, it’s going to be a lot better than a fresh maid. I am so dissapointed. Given a choice, I think I will take a fresh maid and pay less! My current maid, not only getting higher salary, she eats so much it kinda scare us! She is so petite and yet can consume min 4 pieces of bread for breakfast with coffee and then lunch, then tea time and then dinner. I am not complaining… it’s just that.. I am paying a premium here and yet the quality is lousy… I am thinking of sending her back really…. headache…

    My agent had advised us not to take experienced maids because they will have more of an attitude and be harder to “control”

  4. actually it is the high start up agent fee that is killing us. 6 months salary taken by the agent is not really fair too. they shud consider that as to increase the burden on our side.

    Yes, the 6 months advance is not fair.

  5. wow, so expensive…and now, they get one day off too?

    However, Filipino maids are more expensive and they get one day off too but there are less problems that I have heard of so far with Filipino maids.

  6. I think the one day off thing is worse than any pay hike!!!

    Gosh..all this current issues with the maid thing is really affecting alot of people!

    Yes, I think there will be more problems with the day off.

  7. I am lucky I don’t have maid… they are really a pain in the ass. Not only they ruin everyone relationships and wellbeing in the house, they even go out and lie lie lie.. pilipino, indonesia… all the same.. I dare to say that 90% of maids who come to work in malaysia are all of poor quality… Malaysia is sort of training base for them to get an experience to work in HK n Singapore…

    If one day i have to get a maid.. i think i’ll consider part time ones who only comes in 2 days per week… i’m sure there is still a lot of local poor people who need extra income…

    Part time ones have its own problems. Previously I made the mistake of giving my part timer paid days off if she could produce an MC. After that I received a lot of MCs. Plus she always had to reschedule and take time off for one errand or another making it hard for me to plan. However my current full time maid is not too bad and does make life easier for me so they’re not all bad. 🙂

  8. I agree that the major is issue is not the salary, it’s the quality. If they can produce good quality maids, RM1000 per month oso many are will to pay.
    But now the chances with a lousy maid is getting higher, and yet still have to increase their salary…and day off….THAT makes people jump.

    Yes, you are right.

  9. maids are getting smart.they let us m’sians pay for their trip and they scoot off to join their own contacts as soon as possible as they can

    Unlucky for us, if we have those who came with that intention.

  10. It’s not easy getting a good maid these days – expensive and lots of demands from the agency.

    Experienced – difficult to control, inexperienced – will ‘vomit blood’ having to train the ‘bananas’, like mine who first came tried to wash my rice cooker and electric airpot but luckily after working for some time, I was satisfied with her.

    Nowadays, inexperienced maids are very smart as they are ‘taught’ by their friends who had worked here. So, I guess it depends on our ‘luck’ whether she’s a good or and undependable one.

    The smart agents advise us to take the very young ones because apparently they are the easier to “control” however, these are the ones who are really inexperienced and require training from scratch.

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