PETALING JAYA: Malaysians will not be able to hire new Indonesian domestic workers from next year as Jakarta will put a complete stop to maid export by then. Minister Counsellor for Information, Social and Culture at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Trigustono Supriyanto, told Sin Chew Daily in an interview published today that the new policy takes effect in 2017, affecting not only Malaysia, but also Hong Kong, West Asian and Asia-Pacific countries. He said domestic workers currently in Malaysia can stay on if their contracts are extended by their employers. Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) vice-president Bayen Lok said Indonesian government's decision to stop sending maids abroad will have a great impact on Malaysian families as not only rich Malaysians hire domestic workers, many middle-income households and families with both parents working. Trigustono told the daily that they still allow Indonesian citizens to work overseas but limit them to be hired as skilled workers such as nurses, or as skilled factory hands as the government wanted to raise the income of its citizens. He disclosed that about 250,000 Indonesians are currently employed as domestic workers in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein said although 65% of the maids in Malaysia come from Indonesia, its decision to ban the export of maids will not have a great impact in Malaysia given the high cost of employing Indonesian maids, only the more well-to-do families can afford them. In the short term, Mama hoped the government will allow employers to bring in maids from more countries such as, Cambodia, Nepal, Vietnam and East Timor apart from the Philippines. In the long term, he said Malaysians should change their lifestyles and be less dependent on domestic helpers. He said the government should also provide more crèches at workplaces to cater to working mothers with young children.