MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Ti Lian Ker has reminded newly-minted Immigration Department Director-General Mustafar Ali that rules should not be made or enforced at his “whims” and “fancies”.
In commenting on the ruling that Muslim families could only hire Muslim maids, Ti told FMT that rules and regulations must be weighed carefully.
“There must be consistency and clear intent and purpose for the good of the state and welfare of all.”
Ti said rules based on sentiments could cause additional cost, hardship and inconvenience to the people.
“This should be avoided, especially if it is made on the basis of race or religion that may be deemed to be discriminatory,” he said, adding that Malaysians were already overly divided along racial and religious lines.
He also questioned why the ruling had been reinforced now and urged Mustafar to quickly clear the air on the ruling as it had created uncertainty and confusion among the public.
“It is already difficult for families to get maids and this ruling will greatly affect families, especially Muslim families, if there are not enough Muslim maids available for hire.”
He said some employers preferred to hire Filipino maids – many of whom are Christian – as they were considered more capable and reliable.
“I hope this ruling will be reviewed and its enforcement put on hold until all the views of all stakeholders have been taken into account.”
Ti said the fact that the rule had not been fully enforced for some time showed that it was a “bad rule” deemed to be impractical and would cause hardship to the people.
“If this is the case, the government should be courageous and brave enough to abolish the rule once and for all.”
Earlier today, The Star Online reported that the Immigration Department had enforced the ruling that had been in existence for some time.
An unnamed maid agency owner quoted in the report said she was told by immigration officers at a department counter that the policy was a directive from the new director-general.