It was a quiet weekend at home when everybody left for Melaka as a closing to the school holiday. I called a few friends to recommend some maid agencies to replace my existing maids that has been stealing from my house. I am deliberating recruiting maids from Philippines.
Thusfar, I had only employed maids from Indonesia and most of them have their own unique flaws. True that nobody is perfect but there must be a benchmark of the lowest grade. I could tolerate stupidity as I do not expect maids to be educated but maids that began stealing had crossed the line. Maids too have significant influence on the children (if the maid is meant to baby-sit). It is a major turn-off to see children grew up to speak Bahasa Malaysia in Indonesian dialect.
Filipino maids on the other hand were better preferred because of their fluency in English. Being farther away than Indonesia and lesser Filipino population in Malaysia, there is also less risk of them running away. I spoke to three friends whom had employed both Filipino and Indonesia maids. All three of them employed Filipino maids for the English speaking language. The quality of work and job performed are subjective.
While researching for Filipino maids, I discovered an embarrasing truth. There is a huge disparity in wages between the Indonesia and Filipino maid. The best marketing tool used by maid agencies to recommend for Filipino maids is the English speaking. The wages for Indonesia maids ranges between RM400 to RM500 per month but Filipino maid is at least RM1,000 per month.
This is the simplest illustration of the importance of English. The Filipino maids have been reaping the benefits of English while Indonesians are paid substantially lesser and Malaysians are still debating and deliberating learning English as a compulsory pass subject and even in math and science. There is no doubt that English determines the future wages and is important in our daily life... (from a normal work as maid to all other career).
However, it is sceptical that the majority of our students can easily pass English in SPM examination when the percentage of SPM exam failure for Bahasa Malaysia is still alarming although Bahasa Malaysia is our main language that we converse and speak daily.
It is not easy to command any languages especially for passing an examination but we have to start now or otherwise, crudely, soon the Filipino maids will be a part of our middle class population and earn better income than majority of our fellow Malaysians.