My Local Maid offers needy women a chance for decent living
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — It was during this year’s holy fasting month of Ramadan — when Muslims are encouraged to do good — that Wan Roslan Wan Othman decided he wanted to contribute to his community.
He was distributing donations for impoverished villagers in his east coast home state Terengganu, when he realised that many women there were struggling to make their ends meet.
Speaking to some of them, Wan Roslan was told they earn less than a few ringgit a day from doing odd jobs, just enough to buy them a meal. For the rest of the day, they would just drink water.
“Upon seeing this, I just had to do something… I needed to create a job so they could sustain a life because it is really sad to see how some of them live.
“So I discussed this further with my friends and we came up with the idea of offering them a job as maids,” the 43-year-old told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview.
But unlike other jobs, they would be paid a minimum wage of RM1,000 a month.
How to be a Local Maid
Later in May, Wan Roslan kicked off the programme called My Local Maid (MLM) which scouts for healthy but jobless women nationwide, including but not limited to single parents, widows, spinsters, the homeless, and even disabled women.
Even graduates can apply, as long as the applicants are able to perform the stipulated duties as a maid.
The programme sets between RM1,000 and RM1,500 for monthly wage, depending on the job scope and responsibilities for each domestic helper.
“For instance, if a maid has to look after more than two children or a sick child or a sick parent, the fee is higher,” he said.
Once a woman agrees to take up the offer, Wan Roslan would personally drive them over to Terengganu, first for a thorough medical check-up which includes pregnancy, drugs and HIV tests.
The maids would then stay over for a couple of days at Wan Roslan’s family home for basic training to make them desirable employees, based on the family’s experience hiring domestic help.
“We need to teach these ladies how to operate household appliance as some of them do not know to operate the washing machine and rice cooker, and other basic household cleaning,” he said.
After a maid is matched with a potential employer, Wan Roslan would again drive them and introduce both parties.
“These employers are mostly from my circle of friends and these ladies, so far, are coming from Terengganu and Kelantan.
“But there are also ladies from Kajang and other parts interested in our programme after coming across our advertisement,” he said.
Protection for Local Maids
Wan Roslan, who is a lawyer by day, said three legal documents would be prepared between the maid and MLM; maid and employer; and employer and MLM that would last for a year.
The contracts are renewable depending on the agreement of all three parties, and serve as a way to protect all parties involved from any untoward circumstances.
Under the contract, employers are required to provide a 60-day paid leave and 14 days sick leave for a maid.
Should a maid run away during the term of the contract, the employer can then lodge a police report and initiate a criminal case against the maid.
MLM claims no responsibility in such incidents, unless an employer is not happy with their maid in the first one month.
“If the employer is not happy in the first 30 days, then we will replace the maid with no charge. After that period, it is between the maid and employer, even salaries are paid directly to the maid,” he said.
Wan Roslan said MLM is different from conventional maid service agencies as it does not charge any deposit upon receiving a request.
However, the employers would be charged an undisclosed fee once all parties have agreed to the maid and terms involved. A check by Malay Mail Online found that the fee is at least half of what other maid agencies charge.
Earning as a Local Maid
Wan Roslan said prospective women were interested in the job after finding out about the opportunity to save up to RM10,000 and RM18,000 in a year, since employers are responsible for providing full accommodation and food.
“If they are prudent, I don’t see why they cannot save that amount … so many are interested,” he said.
So far, MLM has sourced and placed 16 maids nationwide with satisfied employers with more to come, with more than 100 inquiries about the programme from across the country.
“So the waiting period to get a maid has increased from two weeks to a month now,” he said, adding that there are 10 applicants keen on the job at the time of writing.
Asked about the long run, Wan Roslan said he expects to set up a training centre for applicants. But for now, he still relies on posters in low cost housing areas and bus stations to recruit potential “Local Maids”.
Wan Roslan and My Local Maid can be reached at 019-993 3868 or by visiting the Instagram account @mylocalmaid for more information.