Friday, 26 June 2009

Indonesia to suspend sending domestic helpers to Malaysia

Agence France-Presse - 6/25/2009 12:44 PM GMT
Indonesia to suspend sending domestic helpers to Malaysia
Indonesia will temporarily suspend sending domestic helpers to Malaysia amid outrage over the abuse of its nationals by their employers, the labour minister said Thursday.

"We will temporarily stop sending domestic helpers to Malaysia as we wait for the completion of a review on (the current) Memorandum of Understanding," Erman Suparno told reporters, adding the suspension was effective from Friday.

It will last at least until meetings between Indonesian and Malaysian officials in Kuala Lumpur in mid-July to discuss a new agreement on migrant workers, Suparno said.

Indonesia has proposed that domestic helpers be protected from non-payment of wages and poor conditions and be ensured of the right to days off and holidays, Suparno said.

"Domestic workers should also be able to hold on to their passports," he said.

"If our demands are not fulfilled and not guaranteed in the MoU, we will not continue (sending workers)," Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Da'i Bachtiar said.

Malaysia has no laws governing conditions for domestic workers but the government has promised to draft legislation to protect them from sexual harassment, non-payment of wages and poor conditions.

Malaysia is home to some 1.2 million documented Indonesian workers, as well as about 800,000 Indonesians working there illegally.

Cases of abuse of maids at the hands of Malaysian bosses are a frequent source of outrage in Indonesia, contributing to often prickly relations between the two countries.

A 43-year-old Malaysian woman was charged last week with causing grievous bodily harm to a 33-year-old Indonesian domestic helper by allegedly beating her with a cane and dousing her with boiling water.

A Malaysian former flight attendant was also sentenced in November to 18 years in jail for using an iron and scalding water to inflict horrific wounds on her maid.
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

Source: MSN news

Michael Jackson, 50, Is Dead

Michael Joseph Jackson died at age 50 in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009. He spent a lifetime surprising people, in recent years largely because of a surreal personal life, lurid legal scandals, serial plastic surgeries and erratic public behavior that have turned him -- on his very best days -- into the butt of late-night talk-show jokes and tabloid headlines. But when his career began to take off nearly four decades ago as a member of the pop group the Jackson 5, fans and entertainment industry veterans recognized something else about the pint-size musical dynamo that was unusual: He was in possession of an outsize, mesmerizing talent.

The introduction to his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame entry seemed apt as a global audience followed reports of his hospitalization and then death:
"Michael Jackson is a singer, songwriter, dancer and celebrity icon with a vast catalog of hit records and countless awards to his credit. Beyond that, he has transfixed the world like few entertainers before or since. As a solo performer, he has enjoyed a level of superstardom previously known only to Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Frank Sinatra."

John Rockwell, the music critic of The Times, cited Mr. Jackson's musical and cultural influence in a 1982 review of the album "Thriller," calling it "a wonderful pop record, the latest statement by one of the great singers in popular music today." But it was more than that, he contended: "It is as hopeful a sign as we have had yet that the destructive barriers that spring up regularly between white and black music -- and between whites and blacks -- in this culture may be breached once again. Most important of all, it is another signpost on the road to Michael Jackson's own artistic fulfillment."

Mr. Jackson was born in Gary, Ind., on Aug. 29, 1958 and began performing professionally at age 5, joining his three older brothers in a group that their father, Joe, a steelworker, had organized the previous year. In 1968 the group, now five strong and known as the Jackson 5, was signed by Motown Records.

Source: The New York Times Friday June 26, 2009

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