Kuala Lumpur



It is common practice in Malaysia to have support from a domestic helper. These helpers are locally referred to as amahs, maids or nannies and they are typically Indians, Filipinos or locals. Depending on your needs, you can hire them on a full-time or part-time basis. Usually full-time maids are paid on a monthly basis and are "live in". They live with you and your family, which means you provide their food and sometimes toiletries. You also have to make sure that the house you find has an adequate maid's room with bathroom. Part-time maids are paid on an hourly basis and live elsewhere. A maid's salary depends on their skills, work experience and their familiarity with KL. Those who can speak English well and have been in the country for a long time are paid more. Muslim maids do not eat/handle pork (something you need to be aware of if you want them to cook for you) and may not be able to take care of or be in the house with a dog.

There are various ways to find a maid:

  • Agencies will arrange all of the necessary papers and pre-screening of applicants. This is quite costly and takes around 3-4 months but it is the safest way to get a foreign maid.
  • Notice boards found in supermarkets, expat organizations and school websites have many postings.
  • Recommendations from friends and neighbors.

Whatever source you use to find a maid, always verify their work permit and ask for referrals from their previous or current employer. Be aware that it is forbidden to hire foreign maids without work permits. If you are caught doing so you will be heavily fined, possibly lose your dependent permit and the employee’s working spouse's work permit may also be revoked.

For more information about hiring domestic help in Kuala Lumpur, please check out our Guide for Hiring Domestic Help in Kuala Lumpur in the publications section (requires log-in), or request a copy through e-mail.


You may choose to hire a driver but you will be expected to provide the car and insurance. There are agencies that can find a driver for you, however they appear to be rarely used by expats. The best way to find a driver in KL is by recommendation. Alternatively, you may make arrangements with a taxi driver for daily transport to work or schools.

Gardeners and Pool Maintenance Men

If you are living in a house try to have the landlord include a gardener and pool maintenance man as part of the lease agreement. The landlord will usually have someone they know who has been looking after the property between tenants. If this fails, ask the estate agent if they can recommend anyone. If all else fails, ask a neighbor with a well-kept garden and pool.