PETALING JAYA: It has been quite the struggle for families, especially those with young children, trying to keep their lives in order throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many are now relieved as Indonesian domestic helpers are back for hire following the easing of Covid-19 rules and reopening of borders.
Civil servant Nur Muhammad Nasurddin said during the height of the pandemic, he and his wife did not have the option to work from home and were forced to send their eldest child, then two years old, to a daycare centre.
“We were worried about her safety during this time, but all we could do was hope for the best and practise precautions.
“Because we did not have a maid, we had to send her to daycare, which was only accepting the children of frontliners,” said the 30-year-old.
The Batu Pahat resident said he successfully applied for an Indonesian maid via an online application to help care for his children.
“Now that we have a newborn who is three months old, it is more important that there is someone at home to look after my children when my wife and I go to work,” he said.
Nur Muhammad added that they are also grateful to have help with the household chores.
Businessman Mustakim Ismail said he and his wife have odd working hours and faced challenges keeping their house in order.
“We both have our own businesses to manage and our time at work is not fixed. Sometimes we’d be so busy that we couldn’t handle the housework at all,” he said.
The 31-year-old, who lives in Shah Alam, said they also require extra help as his wife is pregnant.
“At least with a helper around, the house is maintained and organised. My wife can relax and need not worry too much about housework.
“When we return home after a long day at work, everything is neat and prepared, so we spend less time on housework,” he added.
A 50-year-old doctor from Rembau, Negri Sembilan, who requested anonymity, said he was forced to travel back and forth between work and home several times a day to prepare food for his children.
“I really needed a maid since my workplace is not near home and my children go to school. I needed someone who could at least help heat up the food for them,” he said.
He said they were able to manage during the height of the pandemic as the children attended online classes.
“It got tough when they had to go back to school and were often very tired from lessons and extracurricular activities.
“Imagine my joy when we could finally hire a maid to make sure things at home are in order.
“The house is now clean and my children have healthier home-cooked meals.
“It’s also easier for me to concentrate on my work and my children to focus on their schoolwork and tuition classes,” he added.
There was a temporary freeze on Indonesian migrant workers following an alleged breach of the memorandum of understanding arising from the use of Sistem Maid Online that was claimed to be associated with human trafficking.
On Aug 5, it was reported that about 23,000 Indonesian domestic workers have been approved and processed for matching with employers in Malaysia.