25 Mar 2015

Activist - fighters for migrant workers

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Include maids in Employment Act, TODAY, 19 Mar 2015
From Jolovan Wham, Humanitarian Organisaiton for Migration Economics
Our study was conducted based on a sample of respondents stratified to reflect the major populations of migrant domestic workers here as indicated by published numbers. Statistical differences were tested using parametric and non-parametric techniques.

HOME acknowledges that in the 10 years we have been campaigning for migrant domestic workers, there have been improvements in their welfare and rights. Still, we have a long way to go in ensuring equal rights and adequate protections for them.

For example, our respondents worked an average of 13 hours a day, with 10 per cent found to sleep in the kitchen, living room or bomb shelter. More than half did not even have a copy of their contracts on them.

Positive mental health can happen only when employers respect their employees’ privacy and give them regular time off and rest days. However, domestic workers should not have to depend on the goodwill of employers to enjoy basic rights.

The Manpower Ministry should include them in the Employment Act so benefits such as sick leave, public holidays and limits on working hours are not left to employers to decide.
Facebook comments:
Biddy Low - How much does a maid in Singapore earn on average? $600?  Most work for nothing in the initial months as the salary goes into paying the agencies.
Can any of the Singaporeans complaining here survive with such an income and job scope?
Seriously, if u can't afford to properly put up an extra person in your home.  Bite the bullet and do your own chores.

Nikki Er - I'm not sure if you read all the threads. But we can afford to put up an extra person in our home. We (most of us) treat them well. But for some reason some are just not contented. How well do you think we shld treat them? Before coming here, they know their job scope. If you think you can't take the job why apply for it?

We pay them alot better then what they are paid back home. Here in Manila the helpers are paid $120 per month As a helper. They do the same household chores.

My point here is tt we would love to give them most of what they request if they can do their job well. E.g. instead of chit chatting, watch the kids more closely. Instead of texting all day, maybe they can do the chores better? That's all we are saying. We don't tell them work from 6 to 11pm and no stop. Find chores to do! Clean the entire house from the ceiling to the floor and every single corner daily!

Biddy Low - Oh, you are speaking on behalf of all the employers in Singapore? That's bold.
Most of the replies to this letter are irrelevant in content as a response.

As an employer of a domestic worker, we also have a responsibility to train and assimilate the worker into the job, specially if they are new to it. Most employers expect WAY too much considering how much we are paying in the first place. They expect a lean mean cleaning machine, when in fact, most of us are getting girls who left their home to work as domestic workers because they have no choice. Because their own country is unable to provide them with decent jobs. That does not mean we are in comparison providing them a fair deal and that is what this letter by Jolovan Wham is suggesting.

Another common complaint is the inexperience of workers who cause inconvenience - perhaps, just PERHAPS the skilled and good workers have been employed with higher pay in other countries? This is not something made up.

Food should be provided. At $450 - $600 a month, groceries alone will kill them. This means many girls who buy their own meals either eat unhealthily or overspend and have no savings. Unless you expect them to teleport back to their own hometown where things are a fraction of the prices here.

Nikki Er - I am not speaking on behalf of ALL employers. I agree that they deserve basic human rights. While considering their mental wellbeing, the employer's well being should also be taken care of.

Biddy Low - Of course. No one is saying errant employees get away scot free. But in any line of work, there are good and bad workers. We cannot expect all the girls who come here to be ready for your household or will fit. It's the same in any company.

Maybe Singaporeans should also reflect on why we have such hectic lives that we place such unrealistic standards on people we don't even know.

Cherie Chew - Pardon me Biddy, but your this sentence is uncalled of: "if you cant afford to properly put up an extra person in your home. Bite the bullet and do your own chores." No one would want to keep complaining of getting a helper who in fact a stranger and yet still have to bite your so-called bullet to hire them if we have a choice. It is obvious that you do not have such problem, do you have a elderly at home that you need someone to take care while you need to work? Do you have children that you found no childcare centres available and you have to work? How about me and my hubby who is working on shift work and retail and having 2 kids when no one can fetch my kids even they are in childcare? If you think that one of us should just quit our job and look after our kids, do you think we can sustain it? For your info, i'm blessed to have a good helper now and I faced many problems before I finally found her. Not that I'm a bad employer but it's the mentally of the helpers that brought us or rather me to this state. Anyway, we all have our own family problems to attend to, to take into consideration before getting a helper, not like what you think as if we can't afford then just don't hire them that easy.

I agree that there are very good helpers who suffered unfair treatment, but did anyone look from good employer's point of view? Are they well treated by the policies or in fact is there any welfare for the suffering employers?

Biddy Low - Sorry, I'm gonna sound very harsh here, but I mean it - DON'T get a helper if you cannot provide a decent environment for her to work in but still expect her to work with the precision and consistency of a machine.

To quote you - "Breaking of contract, one shall pay all the documentation fees and 1 month salary on top of that. Pay for own free food and lodging fees, toiletries etc. "

I completely disagree with you on them paying for their own food. See above comment. If they break contract, they get sent back to their country, and have to pay the agency months of their salary again to get back here. So if a girl really decides to break contract, it's severe enough. I don't think the law is too lax at all! Maybe you should be challenging the agencies and MOM for the heavy costs/levees that benefit neither the employer nor the employee. But I guess it's easier to bully the little guy right?

We all have difficulties in our lives to overcome, but surely it should not come at the price of squeezing a person who is poorer than us till she is bone dry? Maids don't have families, elderly and children back home?

Cherie Chew - That's why I say, I'm ok with giving what they deserved, but what about those rights that Employers deserved? Of cos it's taxing enough for them if they break contract and have to go back their hometown paying off their debts, but nowadays it is not the case. Most of the helpers now are smart enough to keep changing their employers like washing clothes. Once they feel it's too much work, they asked to leave. They just tried 3 days or 1 week, which apparently their contract is 2 years with us. So they keep hopping employers till they found someone they like. Cases like that, we employers need to take the 'punishments' by paying off the 'debts' they created. Who can help us? It's not our fault either, we didn't abuse them, we told them before they arrive what is expected. We provide all the things we could, but ended up with a 'bomb'.
You are right that gov and maid agencies should be under review, that's why I bring up that they cannot keep reviewing helpers welfare, how about employers? We have bad and good helpers, not forgetting there are bad and good employers too, why are we always being neglected in terms of welfare as an empolyer?

Agnes Sin - Biddy Low
There are always 2 sides of the story
but whatever it is, IMHO if maid is not happy working, she is free to go but then why the employer have to absorb the cost?
Maid nowadays are quite smart, they know their rights Some run to embassy some run to police post, yes I agreed BAD employers need to be BLACKlisted n BAN from getting any maid then in that case bad maid with bad employer record too should be blacklisted and ban from returning to work here again
But then, they can always change their name right? The rest is history
To each its own
I am not speaking on behalf of ALL employers but then I know as an employer u can treat them like a queen or princess but if they have a bad working attitude problem u have lost your bet just like gambling
As am employer I would much love my maid to work more than the 2 years contract, but then seemed like the trend is after their loan is fully paid, u get all the problems coming

Fyi, I m speaking of maid asking for higher pay claiming to be ex sin ex taiwan etc but u know u have been short changed the day u bring them home
Then with their experience, they don't like to be told what to do too
Sometimes, I do wonder who is the boss u know ???
But at the end of the day, I tell myself, as long as ah gong happy, close one eye but if she push her luck too far and climb over my head
Please pack your bag and go home!

Biddy Low - Cherie: As an employer, don't you have the right to refuse to sign transfer papers? Then it becomes a dispute and she gets sent home if she chooses not to continue. I was hoping to get a helper to transfer to help my friend, because she is reliable and has worked with us before. Her current employers refused to sign the transfer papers out of spite, and she is going to be sent back tomorrow.  Like Agnes Sin says, there are two sides of every story.

Cherie Chew - Biddy, let me share with you my 3 past stories if you don't find it boring.
1st maid - came 3 days, ask to go back agent. Agent talked to her, she promised to wait for my replacement before leaving cos I can't afford not to have a helper. She stayed whole day in her room doing nothing. Refuse to look after my kids. *I'm forced to transfer her.

2nd maid - transferred maid cos I don't have time to wait for new helpers. Came in, found out she's having health issue, made a fuss with agency why can she even passed her health check. *Failed again*

3rd helper - transferred maid. She apparently transferred for 5 times, i'm her 6th employer in 5 months. No choice.. In desperate mode. Came 1 month.. good! We so appreciate her till one day.. pretend sick. Can't walk.. wanted to bring her to doc, she refused. Want to rest. We allowed. For 2 whole days we let her 'bedridden'. Even she go toilet, she has to stick her body by the wall to move to the toilet. Called agent, agent talked to her and brought her back. Amazing thing is, she can walk and carry that bulky bag of hers properly! Miracles do happen huh? * failed again*
Total damage of all these cases which apparently not my fault is $2k+. And I'm left with nothing but depression. And to make things worse, I have to re - take my 'orientation' in order to apply for my 4th helper. Pay another amt, go for classes out of desperation and finally! Found a good one who is continuing her contract with me. So what's wrong with me? I'm considering lucky.. Some employers face 7-8 changes of helpers... where is our welfare?

Biddy Low - Providing quality helpers is the agency's job. Making sure they are trained and healthy is also more the agency's responsibility than the individual maid's.

I say change agency till you find a good one! U do realise that they are the ones who don't lose a single cent when all this happens right? in fact with each transfer or new job, they get money.

Going back to the original point of the letter. I think covering the FDWs under the Employment Act will only strengthen the system. It will make sure that the maid is not overworked ( easily one of the biggest problems encountered here) and is paid on time ( so that employers cannot hold them hostage at home with no money.)

It might even attract the more experienced workers to come back to Singapore instead of bypassing us for better opportunities in Korea, Hongkong and Dubai ( so I hear, not that it's perfect over there).

Cherie Chew - If only it will really attract better quality helpers and not giving those unhelpful, taking things for granted's helpers more chances to 'bully' the good employers. For your info as well, keep changing agency meaning more money lost and I changed 3 during that bad experience. That's why my damages is as much as $2k+. We were totally drained... I really hope if gov or authorities wanted to boost up the welfare of helpers, we should be taken in consideration too for our welfare, that's is my main purpose since the 1st posting I've posted.

Agnes Sin - Cherie,
Quite similar experience with u
Your question to me have been answered by Cherie the extra cost incurred due to maid replacement and sending them back
Even when u change agency some agency actually take maids from each other and transfer them to other agencies n what we get may be some of the rejected maids by other employers when the employers are kind enough not to send them back They just go round and round till someone pick them up.

Cardetian Villanueva  - Nikki Er ….. I'm sure u have a boss also , do you want your boss treat you like you treat your maid? Respect the person the way you would want to be treated with respect, in other words, RESPECT BEGETS RESPECT,

Cherie Chew - As an employer myself, I don't mind having Employment Act PROVIDED we have our employers' rights too! Breaking of contract, one shall pay all the documentation fees and 1 month salary on top of that. Pay for own free food and lodging fees, toiletries etc. Employers will pay a certain cap on medical, dental fees but not hospitalisation or stuffs. Probation for 6 months at a lower pay till employers decide how much the helper 'worth' after that 6 months of performance. Break/spoilt anything in the house, the helper have to pay for it cos it's 'company's' assets. Are all of you ready for this? I am ready!

Agnes Sin - It seemed like a trend now
After 6 mths all the problems starts ...

Cherie Chew - Agnes, we cannot control their characteristics by nature. Some of us encountered colleagues who really can't work, that's our luck. But at least we won't have problem having helpers claiming they don't want to work after a few days or even run away if such ACT implemented. If I'm a helper now, I would just shut up and pray it's not going to happen, be contented. Always remember a sentence: "When you ask for more, you lose even more."

Muhammad Azri Sabari - Maids should not be included in the act. They are given the luxury of staying at their owner homes and have the luxury of free food, why cnt we focus more on the elder workers? Also i gt 1 qns if your maid applies mc or leave will you be able to apply leave and cover her duties especially on your busy days?


Vhic Enciso - Sir...Please don't be rude...I seen your comments to Miss Rina Estela Rid Mondarte..your such a rude,if you can't able to answer her reason from her side...could you act as a good employer. ..hope you will understand what maids feelings in their employers..
just calm sir....Allah will make you comport...good night

Muhammad Azri Sabari · Owner at Trendsetter
Vhic enciso ,Singaporean will not be rude as we are now if you those foreigners who work in Singapore knows their manners and knw thier root. Just look around , how many of you are making a fool of your self "picnic" in open space, talk loudly in train,snatching away our fathers,steal our belonging and causes other problems that we does not face in the past. MAY ALLAH BLESS YOU WITH THE TRUTH AND ONLY TRUTH

Ai Li - Maid have to follow the roll and employer also need to follow up, so nothing to comment. But every people is got they different way so very difficult to say.

Raymond Ng - Subjecting foreign domestic helpers to be protected under the existing Employment Acts means more protection for FDWs as well as more accountability on their part - in a legal sense. It is an extremely touchy issue as we find bad employer, good maid and good employer - bad maid. Also, ethical agents versus unethical agents and etc. The current legal framework is not comprehensive enough to protect employers. Public policies are still quite bias and protect FDWs more. MOM seems to think that such scenario is sustainable. Well,it may not and no maid is to be blamed. What the government of both sides should be crafting is a better system to export this domestic care service before one is deployed to work. Our dual income family model had also caused such problems to aggravate. If one is luckier and reasonable in their expectations, he should have lesser employer -maid conflict. Adjustments on both ends are needed.

Today, we planned recreational facilities like paying for clubhouse for FDWs. It is a good gesture as well as a cost to our taxpayers. Which country out there is willing to do that? Again, which nation out there would happily accomodate foreign workers to flood their Orchard Road, Shopping Malls, Public Parks and MRT stations and surrounding greeneries. Which country would allows FDWs to breach contract of specific performance and still foot the bill for airfares and other related costs? Which country would tolerate maids working here and accidentally got pregnant and employers has to bear responsibility to replace and reappoint? It is a no small issue! I wonder, if Singaporeans are all contented to live happily in a 3 or 4 room HDB flat and we only need one income to survive and wives or husbands could live without maids, would we solve this maids' issues? In the name of perpetual economic growths, we all will need to bite the bullets that comes along

It is a package deal unfortunately and this is the price we are paying to achieve the so called progress, prosperity and happiness - which many ordinary folks may not yield! In sum, government must step in to engineer an equitable and sustainable FDWs framework. Those aspiring to come here to work as domestic helper should come in with full understanding of their legal responsibilities and duties. Governments should also help them to take away the middle man effect - thus, reducing their debt burden. Employers should also be protected fairly. A new model of employment is thus needed. The Employment Act could be a double edged sword. It allows FDWs to form Trade Unions and launching legal strikes are also possible with many negatives for employers that are caught with Elderly and school bearing children. Would we like such rights to be awarded for people we put in our homes? Think hard and God Bless!

Cardetian Villanueva - Dearest Employers,,,i think in the beginning we both need to adjust because of the culture and tradition, but let me tell you something whither to take it or leave it,,,, both parties can sit and talk, talk about the solution don't always nag and nag to your helper, helper is a human too, its not because you pay her you need to ask her work like a Carabao, machine may get tired too how much more your helper , ur maid is a human my dearest, the more you nag and give her attitude or even stress the more their HAIR drop in the floor then you more get angry, you madam/sir need to adjust a little pls and have patient talk to her, not talk to your neighbor about her, maid can talk to their friends too about you in vice versa and put comparison , your friends can't help my dear employer,, pls lah be considerate, and put God in between, i believe in Good and Bad Karma,

Rina Estela Rid Mondarte - For you sir Muhammad Azri Sabari, not that we are free for foods and we have luxury home then we don't have the right to have MC? Maids are also humans too, you s we live in luxury home you called it but you never knew how some of us OFW suffers on how our employers treat us....remember we are not ROBOTS....we still not d time to rest....And how about others OFW that only once a month off day? It's very hard for us because we cannot stress out ourselves. ...hopefully it can never offend you Mr. Muhammad Azri Sabari

Lynn - Rina, is not about the day off and MC. Yes, we work in the company there are certain benefits for us. But our company does not pay for our house / accommodation, foods, medical check-up, and etc. if the maid on MC then who will cover the job if the maid is hire to look after elderly or infants? So the employment must take MC and annual leave to cover her? Then where is the productivity on work which affected country economy?! MOM thinks about it. This is no joke. Unless, MOM willing to subsidy the MC and annual leave!

Cardetian Villanueva - correct, no one want to be sick,, but sometimes we can't avoid, heres my Question Sir, do you love your kids, if so. its ur obligation to take care your helper too, because they are the one who take care of them, if its happen that the helper fall sick and can't look after your kid well, or her sickness transfer to your kid how,,,,,,? My Gush,,,, i can't imagine

Lynn Jolynn - Hello? Did anyone here say when the helper is sick we don't let her rest?! I doubt your understanding.

Lynn Jolynn - Off day?! What is the thing that maid does during the off day? Getting pregnant with Bangladesh, hang around in budget hotel area? Or influence by friend, want to terminated the contract with no good reason and employer must buy maid the ticket and send you back to your hometown?! Then who going to protect those employers which having a big headache with problematic maid?! Who going to cover the employer's lost if the maid run away or get pregnant even the employer treats her nicely?! Hey man, use your brain to think!
Reply ·  · 4 · Edited · March 18 at 8:56pm

Agnes Sin - I feel u Lynn
Only those who had bad experience with bad maids understand the frustration and agony
Actually I feel that the maids of last 2 decades are better and hardworking too and it's cheaper too But nowadays though their pay have up so much u still get problematic ones

Lynn Jolynn - This man suggested Employment Act to MOM, must well, I suggest MOM to let employer to issue warning letter to maid who have discipline problem. After 3 warning terminate her or change maid from agent with NO charge! As agent, don't ignore this problem. Initial interview done by agent, agent has the to bear responsibility too. If the agent hard sells their maid, hide everything under the carpet. Then who's fault now? We hire maid coz we have no choice, we needs to work to boost up the country economy and have to boost the birth rate as we love our land, Singapore and we cant leave our elderly behind too as we love them. But these nonsense people keeps demanding.

Agnes Sin - To be fair some maids do have bad employers n I will give the benefit of doubts but then why employers always at the losing end?
If that is the case, then govt better build more nursing home as we face a aging population as family need maids to help take care of elderly too as they had their own family to take care
Getting a maid to help take care a elderly parent is not a luxury for some but a desperate need if not where the $ come from if they don't work?

Lynn Jolynn - Agnes, precisely! Like my case, I want to put my baby into infant care but no vacancy for her. I have been tried to look all the infant care center in my area. My PILs cant help coz they need to work. When my baby turns 6 months, I pre register her for childcare but childcare center told me that, they have a long list. I may not have the place for my girl when she turns 18 months. This is reason to hire maid. I really have no choice. Will government understand us? Will our government stands for us? They just look at the people who hire maid is a rich person but we are not. We just simply need someone to help on behalf of us. Then why must government left out the protection on us, as an employer of FDW?

Agnes Sin - Fm the comments here, I can see 2 types of people
1 Maid with bad employers
2 Employers with bad maid
I think the agencies fm both sides is oso responsible for the maid too
It is not as simple as just maid n employer living happily after kind of fairy tale in real life when u bring a maid home fm the maid agency It could be the worse nightmare one may have

Cham Ai Hui - Sure go ahead include domestic helpers into the Employment Act. Just make sure they contribute 20% to cpf and pay income tax too. And I won't mind paying employers' part of their cpf.

Nikki Er - Have any FDW thought of how employers feel when we treat our helpers really well and they turn around and create problems for us?
Bringing man into your employer's home, stealing, getting pregnant, posting our children's photo on Facebook, lying to the embassy and obliterated how we treat them just to get a transfer, taking photos of our house and posting it on fb and complaining to your friends about your employers, always texting instead of watching the child, allow the child to run (not caring for their safety) while chit chatting with friends?
*Lying to the embassy about how we treat them*

Ai Li - Few is a human but we also a human if she don't know how to respect the employer then how also we feel very sad every month she take salary but work not properly always delay and lazy what we have to do?
If change the new we also have to loose money again but if never change we not happy. Morning wake late and noon take also sleep.at the night also sleep early then employer we need to complain to who?

Vhic Enciso - To Mrs Chew, you have a lot of reason/complain maids..maybe just take your parents thought. .and they will look after your kids...if you dnt have trust on your maids just you should kick it out and give her freedom outside your home..
Everyone on us were not totally perfect. ..so we can't give a hundred % on our job our employers. ..

Agnes Sin - May I know how many of u employee work and sleep and eat at your boss house 24/7?
The maid may be paid $500 monthly but food n accomodation are being provided for them too
When they fall sick, employer paid for their visit to doc too How abt visit to dentist etc Birthday presents n even bring them out to eat at restaurant and the freedom to choose from the menu?
Have to compare apple to apple pear to pear
Does your new employer pay your salary 6mths in advance without even knowing your performance at all?

Rina Estela Rid Mondarte - Agnes Sin, before you take a maid in an agency, I think you surely read what are the contract stated, right? So now why you blaming us helpers? Just blame the MOM for their laws about us MAIDS....and about that BIRTHDAY PRESENTS? I think it's all about you and your helper mam....if you generous enough then give ...it's not compulsory to give gifts I think. ....

Biddy Low - Lynn Jolyn
I think what I have been saying is pretty good compared to what your friends are trying to imply.

While I sympathise with employers here who have had trouble finding a good helper. I don't think it's a reason at all to say all FDWs are like that and accuse a whole group of people based on the actions of a few.
It is shocking that people here actually think being a maid is a luxurious experience and that paying for food to keep them alive is such a sacrifice.
That every shred of human decency handed to them is such a high grace on your part that you cannot handle it when they turn their backs on you.

Agnes Sin - In such cases, MOM should deal with the employer who broke the contract and not penalised every employer with maid and adding on the cost and burden to other employers .
Deal with the black sheep instead of killing all sheeps

Signorina Su - Great! Please add the 3 months probational period for them too! Cannot work, cannot perform, sorry you have to go!

Agnes Sin - On top of that, no need to pay their loan for them in advance too! Just pay their salary at the end of the month Fair deal?

Emmeriza Elep Verano - So sorry Singaporeans but most of us have families back home.were not taking your country.just a bit of your respect.please.thanks

Zinta Pinky - I hope mom check all employer..including my own employer...i was in a stress ..i have no offday no phone ..no salary even i cannot go infront of the gate..please mom to check. My contrak was so rued

Fiona Pea - But u can post this comment?

Zinta Pinky - I borrow my frn phone..and hide..if they know they will send me back..but i dont care i stress already

Fiona Pea - What a timely reply to this post.  Able to surf and find this article. Not bad that you can still borrow a phone from a friend.  And hide for more than 20 minutes since you are able to reply this comment.  Just a pity you can't go in front of the gate.

If this is how your employer treats you, you should call MOM now since you have a phone and not waste time surfing.  Just my two cents worth.

Zinta Pinky - I dont have a simcard...i use wifi...i dont want to put my bos in problem ..i just wait they not busy then i can talk...i care for them but they dont look at me at all...

Joann Toh - Wow.. they don allow u to go to the gate but u managed to "borrow" a HP fr ur friend? And ur employer provides u with wifi? Interesting! I wldnt want an employee who is being dishonest here. If you don like the conditions tt your employer provides in e first place, y accept the job n come over?

Zinta Pinky - Yes can my frn put the phone on the floor thatsway...and the wifi is open so i can use..i can accept it bcoz my agent in indonesia force me..if i dont take this job i get to pay so much money then they will make me flight...i still accept this employer coz i understand they are need helper but like this way make me stres..with 16 camera in the house too

Cherie Chew - Zinta, just for your info, taking 'free' wifi from 'open' is illegal. And there no such thing as 'open' wifi except from Starbucks, macdonald etc places. Every owners have own password, and shouldn't you be working right now? But here talking about privileges? Set a good example by doing your duties right before pleading for help.

Karen Karen - Sorry but ur story quite unbelievable.
1) big house n friend put Hp on floor?
2) free wifi? I want also!
3) are u paid for off day? If so it means u agreed to it.
4) u ask mom to check but say dun wan get ur enployer in trouble?

Zinta Pinky - On the floor mean in front the gate side...yes wifi is open...i just want mom check and give this notice to all employer by letter so they can understand .how u fell mum if u are far away from family and never call them in almost 1 year. i know iam just a maid but i have felling also same other

Joann Toh - Strange. U can use the phone for Internet n surfing purposes but yet u can't call home? And pls, with such a big hse, of course there is a need for 16 cameras. U think your employer is so free to use e cameras to check if you're working?

Karen Karen - If I m your enployer, I am not sure if I shd b happy or not. On 1 hand u care so much for your employer. On the other u seem very free during working hours. Isn't there a lot to do in a huge house?

Signorina Su - Dats why we hate helper who lie.. you are one good example we have here..and very sneaky too. You mentioned that you are not allowed to even go infront of the gate, but you got the phone from your friend in front of the gate at the side? Unbelieveable!

If you're not happy that u dont have an off day, speak to your employer. If you dont wish to work I'm sure your employer, who has a 3 storey house and 16 cameras in it can afford to employ other helpers who are willing to work for them.

Read:  Maid's mental health
Winter:  Why maids facing mental health received better care and attention in Spore, at the expense of FDW employer cum full-time employee of a company??  
Why maids can be excusable/unable to cope with work stress? 
Aren't FDWs too pampered by MOM and activists?  
Whose job (1st point of contact) to screen FDWs and ensure they come with proper working mind and mental health?  Not agency and MOM?
Who should be penalised when FDW claims can't cope with work stress or miss her family, thus resulting in shabby work or self-created misery?  Not FDW herself?

Maids in mental distress a risk, 19 Mar 2015, ST Forum
If the study conducted by the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home) is anything to go by, there are roughly 44,000 maids out of about a total of 220,000 who show signs of psychological problems ("Call to give maids more privacy, time with loved ones"; March 9).

This is an alarming figure, which should not be taken lightly, or else there will be dire consequences.

A maid in mental distress may pose a danger to herself as well as to her charges, especially the elderly and infants.

While I agree with Mr Jolovan Wham, Home's executive director, that maids should be allowed to set up a strong support network to ensure that they are respected and get the help they need, I doubt many workers would dare to give negative feedback about their employers, for fear of repercussions.

Hence, they have to endure hardship and cannot antagonise their bosses, lest they be sent back to their country.

The situation is worse for those who have been working for only a few months, after having incurred huge expenses to come to Singapore.

And what about employers themselves? Some of them may have signs of psychological distress too.

Although most bosses are familiar with the law and know that harsh punishments will be meted out upon those found guilty of abusing their maids, the number of abuse cases is still high.

Such employers need to undergo counselling, as maid abuse stems from psychological problems on their part.

All these problems need to be addressed, and it might be equally beneficial to form an agency through which employers could voice their grievances or offer suggestions.

9 Mar 2015
Winter: Activists being played by an Indonesian maid who used them to terminate contract.  No picture to show how 'skinny' the maid was when activist decided to post her story.  Claimed she was starved and abused.  

I have posted somewhere in my blog that my sister's ex-Filipino fresh maid did the same to her.  She jumped off a HDB level 2, hopped on to a cab and was driven for free to her agency then taken to HOME.  Her intention was to terminate contract but used activists to cover her.  She played along by attending interviews arranged by HOME till finally she let the cat out .... she merely wanted to go home at my sister's expense.  There was still outstanding maid loan .... the headaches, money and inconveniences caused were immeasurable.  That FDW was not punished.  My sister stopped employing FDW.

Was she locked in her employer's home, made to work long hours and starved as she had claimed?
Or did she make all that up to get out of her employment contract?

The story of Indonesian maid Wahyuni and her dramatic rescue was first told by non-governmental organisation Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) on its website.  But in a subsequent interview with Ministry of Manpower (MOM) officials, Miss Wahyuni changed her story (see other report).

TWC2 insists that its version of events is accurate. It promotes equitable treatment for migrant workers in Singapore.  TWC2 executive committee member Shelley Thio, 54, said its volunteers, including herself, always tell the maids to tell the truth when making statements to the authorities.

An MOM spokesman said: "In accordance with our protocol, a statement was properly recorded with the assistance of an interpreter in Malay, a language understood by the worker.  "Before finalising, the interpreter read back the statement to Miss Wahyuni and she confirmed the information recorded."

So why did Miss Wahyuni lie?
Ms Thio said it was the maid's first time working overseas.  "She was scared, alone and not empowered by her employers. Not having had any day off, she had no friends, no contacts and no access to information," she said.

The tip-off about Miss Wahyuni came in late November through an e-mail message from the blogsite TR Emeritus.  Ms Thio and Ms Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, another committee member, went to the house in the Thomson area to investigate.  Both TWC2 and MOM declined to give the exact location of the house or the name of Miss Wahyuni's former employer.

According to the story posted on TWC2's website, the two rescuers had to crouch outside the gate, near a ditch and trash bins, to whisper to the maid as she was being watched.  Through conversations pieced together over several visits, they believed that Miss Wahyuni had not had a day off in over two years, did not get enough food and did not really want to continue working there.

This, Ms Thio said, was corroborated with the whistle-blower and other witnesses' accounts.  She also said a large padlock on the gate attested to the fact that the maid was not allowed out of the house.  "We found out later that everyone in the family has a key to the padlock except Miss Wahyuni," Ms Thio said.

However, MOM is disputing the version of events that Miss Wahyuni, who returned to Indonesia on Dec 19, had told TWC2.  "In handling cases, it is important to remain dispassionate and objective, neither favouring the employer nor the employee," an MOM spokesman told The New Paper on Sunday.

"It is regrettable that TWC2 was so eager to believe a story of alleged abuse and to publish a grossly untruthful account on its website.  "At no time did Miss Wahyuni indicate that she was confined by her employer against her will in the house."  She said that from interviews done with the maid, MOM ascertained that "no offence has been alleged by Miss Wahyuni to be committed by her employer".

"She was neither mistreated, abused, nor did she allege that she was confined against her will. Miss Wahyuni merely wanted to terminate her employment contract to return to Indonesia," added the spokesman.  "This could have been done lawfully by invoking the termination clause and serving out her notice period as in her employment contract - without TWC2 needing to whisk her away."

Straits Times Facebook comments:
Yati Porter - If you think working away from home is better without any academic qualification, well you are wrong. No matter how hard homeland can be at the end of the day you are far more better off there.

Connie Yu - Thanks to these TWC2 who might felt proud of themselves for having "RESCUED" this maid by just listening to their one sided ""STORY"".
Yet causing unnecessary trouble to the employer.
And this Maid can just go home happily.

Jasmine Koh - Why want to lie if nt hapi just pack and go la why want to gv yrself trouble and employer don't understand

OnJin San - Too many of them are brought into singapore...please deport and jail those agencies that keep bringing them here illegally...indirectly...many are not helping them but cheating them as well as helping fund the terrorist via money laundering...so many are brought here and displayed like slaves for hire and no skill at katong shopping centre...and the entire east coast area...why mom not check them first...mentally not even screen them too...so dangerous to those employers...

Those from surabaya...a lot of them fake their particulars and details like what mas selamat did...lie about age..lie about experience...come to home steal...kill...etc...

Gloria Tan - I have my share of good and badly behaved maids. It's getting difficult to be a reasonable employer these days as they demand for more and more. There is no fair stand here as employers are made to pay and be liable for all losses for their maid's change of mind if they decide not want to continue working here. These days, the maids I came across are not as resilient and obedient as those 10-20 years back. Generation behavior changes. Now the law must change as well to help protect employers without penalizing states' relations.

Vanz DulAnesr - not all Philippine maids are bad as you thought.... Ms Gloria Tan I agree to what you have said, but for me I think it's because some of the employers doesn't follow what exactly rules or agreement they had sign bet.helper and the employers like long ours work without extra pay, not enough food, not enough rest, not having off days atleast once a week even though it was approved by the law.... that's why helpers have the right to demand as long they are in the right, helpers can demand but make sure they'll follow the rules/law and they will do their job well....

Peter Tan - Never believe a side of any story always people tell lies for reason/s.If everyone is pure and never lie there will only be nine commandments to follow instead of ten.

Venus Matthew - They are clever to tell lie and pretend,they can act stupid in front of their employer,when they are out on their own they become Party Girls ,so many at Paya Lebar MRT,,

Serene Tan - Idiot to just trust one side. Self created joke for publicity.

Adeq Rosza - Experience this kind of maid before and now 2 years pass but still I can't forget it...
I don't take any new maid since then...it's a trauma to me...

Ah Pi Tumb - Come here to work as a maid but ask to iron clothes dun know,cook dun know sweep mop not even done properly thanks to MOM to approve them a pass this kind of bitch to work in spore..MOM can u please wake up ur fuk ing idea dont just chop n pass them blindly all just think about money n fined here n there ...

Gillian Quek-Yeong - Most of them are drama queens. I once had a maid who always pretends to faint when she is asked to do household chores. she will complain that the fan is too high and she cannot reach.. and faint.. very drama to think of it now..

SiewMei Tee Huetinck - Guess, she is trying to follow the Hong Kong case, where the Psycho got 6 years imprisonment and the employee (NOT maid!) get a chance to sue the Sicko.

Ruth Soh - Trust MOM more... Cause they have helped those who are truly mistreated before so they would know who is telling the truth and who is not...

Thomas De Vigilante - Thats the trouble with our gov. They dont care a damn. They also expect you to give your maid off days so that this maids can go out and entertain the male fts. Anything goes wrong they forfeit your bonds. How clever. Off days shd not be compulsory. If they insist then they shd pack up and leave for good. Not all employers wish to give off days to their maids for various resons such as being afraid that their maids may be influenced by other maids into prostitution or drugs etc. The MOM is not interested in what happens until they recieve complains which in most cases are the faults of the employer. This agencies are always shunning responsibilities just like their leaders who blame everyone but themself. This is a norm in our gov agencies.

Yue Sern Mok - They are made to look like they are regularly bullied and under stress. And they point their fingers at their employers. In reality, is it always like that? Are they really that pitiful? I think I sympathised more with the hookers that prowl the streets of Geylang. These are the people that are really forced into the trade. If they don't do it, their families back home get harmed. At least we now have an Anti Human Trafficking Law.

Alison Har - I don't understand the mentality of most Singaporean here, we are rich enough to get a maid to help...Yes, at time, maids are difficult to deal with. If u hv a sense of compassion, u won't say anything bad about them. We are lucky enough never will there be a chance for us to be maid in a foreign land. Whoever, said bad about your maid, pls reflect upon your own snobbish behaviour lst.

Mike Siew Hello. This issue here is, the maid lies. I think it's you dun understand la. Pls reflect yours first Ya. Lol

Zoya Lina - everyone need to enjoy their life we dont know the exact story anyway not only Indonesia all Maid here is doing the same .no one is perfect except God.

Rosemary Ong - Maid can lie. Say she has no food to eat. Friends ask her, why is she getting fatter n fatter. ...???

Winter:  The best privacy is MOM to have a new policy - FDW to live out in the nights and all her living expenses to be paid by her, including her insurance.  All existing work permit/security bond T&C tied to employer should be removed for live-out maids.  FDW wants privacy, she has to pay for it and bear full responsibilities as an adult.  This will also stop activists saying FDWs are overworked or caged as slaves.  Probably, future FDW can leave my house with her mobile phone at 7 pm and report to work at 6 am sharp the next day.  As a live-out maid, FDW bears her own living expenses, insurance, loan, boarding house, etc!  Future employer only responsible to pay FDW a monthly salary ... better isn't it?  FDW is happy to be out of my sight, I'm happy to remove the MOM string tied on my neck and purse. 

Don't make employers be FDWs' babysitters.

Call to give maids more privacy, time with loved ones, Straits Times, 9 Mar 2015
Migrant workers study finds one in 5 shows signs of psychological distress
A migrant workers group has urged employers to give their maids more privacy and allow them to communicate regularly with friends and family.

These factors are crucial in keeping maids happy, said the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), whose study found that about one in five maids here showed signs of psychological problems.

Released yesterday, the study had asked around 670 maids about their living and employment conditions, as well as their mental well-being.  About 27 per cent of respondents said their employers have entered and searched their rooms or checked their phones, while 73 per cent were restricted from communicating with their friends and family members.

Winter: Employers fully responsible for maids mental health?  Read

The maids were selected randomly and completed a questionnaire administered by Home volunteers. The study was led by psychologist Anja Wessels.  Mr Jolovan Wham, executive director of Home, said: "Employers should be mindful of their domestic workers' privacy and allow them to form a strong support network. This will ensure that the workers are respected and get the support they need."

The study also included questions from the Brief Symptom Inventory, a test which ascertains mental health issues.  The results showed that about 24 per cent showed signs of psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and hostility.

However, these problems can be eased if maids in distress are encouraged to reach out to friends and family members and migrant workers groups, said the report.  The study also found that the maids tend to work long hours, on average 13 hours, and four in 10 did not have a weekly day off.
Most maid employers kept the workers' passports (67 per cent) and employment contracts (60 per cent).

Employers interviewed said treating domestic workers like family members will help them adjust to life in Singapore better.  "My maid goes out with my family on weekends. I also check in on her regularly to find out how she is doing," said human resource director Patricia Yeo, 38.

Domestic workers said they appreciate employers who show concern for them.  "Some domestic workers may be afraid to share their problems," said Indonesian maid Sri Wahyuni, 33. "It helps if employers ask us how we are doing."

Straits Times Facebook comments:
Marco Gomez Correa - Obviously being forced to live in with the employers and never allowed to go out causes lots of distress. Live in rules are inhuman and must be scraped

Francis Minion - But maids getting conned is real if they go out all the time most will be lead astray not all but most then you have social issues like maid getting pregnant by some foreign workers

Anna Lim - "Live in rules are inhuman and must be scraped"? Excuse me, even my children have to obseve live-in rules, so what exactly are you talking about? My helper has been with me for ages. Are there live-in rules? But of course there are. Basic rule, she is by no means bring any person into the house without my approval. Be sane please, don't make it sound as if following rules is such a ridiculous thing, it's part and parcel of life.

Cookie Tan - Anna Lim, well said! This one-sided story sounded as if it's a living hell! But who put on the border to all employers and caring for the person living within to go into unscrupulous hand is wrong and stressful? Excuse me!

Nafeesa Docura  - so.. you want these helpers to live on their own, renting from the open market? Rental is very expensive and helper's salaries would have to triple if they were to pay for their own rooms (in other people's homes - I doubt they will be able to afford rent for a one bedder since I can't) and their own board. This is not an ideal situation but unless we purpose build hostels for the low income foreign workers they won't be able to live on their current pay and most employers won't be able to afford to pay a helper $1800as most of the employers earn around triple that (from an average income of 3k per singaporean and assuming a dual income household). I support part time housekeeping and caregiving and a shorter work week across the board as a more sustainable solution but these housekeepers/caregivers will have to be very efficient and will have to have a number of different clients to be able to make a sustainable pay. I doubt many of the people who are currently here as live in helpers would be willing to take the risks involved with having so many different employers and working so fast. (I knew a number of helpers who were from rural villages and the culture shock of having so many appliances to use, such a high standard of work and the speed work was expected to be completed in, made for adjustment problems. I do not mean in any way to insult anyone - I'm just stating what I know).

Kevin Webster - Living in is not the problem. Singaporeans need to learn to be reasonable. They treat their maids as if they just purchased a slave. Also the authorities need to check on maids from time to time to make sure they are not being abused, mentally or physically and not being taken advantage of by being made to work unreasonable hours. I have had a maid for five years now and not once has anyone come to my house to see if she is ok. She was friends with a maid next door and that poor girl was made to work twenty hours a day and was only allowed to eat a handful of rice a day. My maid used to sneak food to her. No surprise she eventually ran away as did three other maids that work for the tyrants next door. That's 4 maids running away within five years. Should that not raise a red flag with authorities that maybe these people were torturing their maids? Maids are human beings and it's damn time Singaporeans realize that and start seeing them as equal human being and not lesser.

Nafeesa Docura - Kevin, MANY employers work under the same conditions from their own bosses. No overtime or restriction on working hours, on call at all times. I don't like the situation but some of them really just impose the same expectations that they labour under. the case of your neighour's helper - That sounds like a clear case of abuse, if you ever see that happening, you can assist by calling their embassy and letting them know one of their nationals is in difficulty, or by calling HOME or TWC2. A lot of people are trying to help. From what I know, MOM does put employers on black lists once an allegation is made but one of the maids would have to report it, and often they just want to go home and move past the ordeal. Pity. Such people should NOT be allowed to employ anyone.

Karen Koh - Francis that's not all, what about in cahoots with external sources to plane and rob the employers?

Marco Gomez Correa - Anna, it is not about following rules or not. Would you like to be forced to live in your workplace all the time, be forced to wake up at 5 and work nonstop until 11 pm... and not be allowed to leave the place even if you already finished whatever you needed to do? Domestic helpers are persons too, who have the same right as everyone else to have a private life, to have leisure time, to rest. It has nothing to do with following rules or not. Of course everyone must follow rules (at work, in the society, at school, anywhere)... this is much more than that

Nafeesa Docura - I think that there have been far too many cases of theft by domestic help to pretend that this isn't an issue. Again, it's because they are live in helpers that the whole problem arises. But they would not have a job at all if they insisted on living on their own, because they would command salaries more than most employers could pay alone. So what's the solution you suggest?

Marco Gomez Correa - Nafeesa, there are boarding houses with very affordable fees. The employer could either pay for the housing in full or share the cost with the lady. That could be a solution.

Nafeesa Docura - are there? please let me know where. (I'm serious, I did not know singapore had boarding houses open to foreign workers, only dormitories). Again, why would an employer pay for the housing of a helper, rather than just a salary? The salary of an average local cleaner is around $1,000.00 (8 hours a day 6 days a week). most of the helpers earn around $400 to $700 depending on nationality, without rent or food or utilities to pay for. Would a helper be willing to take a live-out arrangement with $1,000.00 as a pay, and pay for her own food and lodging and transport? That's the big question for me. I don't think they would want that. Even assuming they can find rent at $400 per month, sharing a room, they would have to travel to their employer's homes (and it would not be a short journey, cheap rents are in far flung areas) and they would have to cover their agency fees and food. They may end up spending the same amount of time on work related activity including traveling as they do actually working, and they may not actually earn more.

Marco Gomez Correa - They should at least have a choice. Many of them would be willing to sacrifice some money in exchange for fair working hours and free time. (wouldn´t we all?).

Anastacia Capinpin - Aiyah so many employer put cctv camera even the maids room to monitor the moves of their maid....i have so many friends dealing with that such kind of inhuman treatment they just bear that kind of situation because they need money to send for their children...one of my friend also monitor even if she is sleeping. some of them didnt survive and went home

Jimmy Ng - my friend's maid, hid a bangala in the wardrobe once & was caught when she unexpectedly returns home to puck up something en route to next appointment.

Anne Reyes - Let's assume that we are in their shoes. We work whole day inside the house and didn't see anything, talk to nothing, and working 12hrs some others more than that. Do you think you can't feel distress with that kind of situation. ?

Joey Ng Zi Lin - Yeap, In my own opinion placing cctvs is a bit too much
3 hrs

Marian Fletcher - I think its sad that we, as human beings, need to reminded to treat other human beings as human beings..

Corrina Foxx Supaya - Treat others the way you want to be treated... They are here to work for their family bck home as like we are working for ppl here... How we treat them it's the way we want our bosses to treat us it make no difference so be kind & understanding toward the helper...

Yeo Boon Teck - We allowed our indo maid to text and chat with her husband every night b4 she turns in. My sister top up her calling card. In return, the maid treated my ill stricken mom very well.

Mi Ka - Workers should be surveyed every month or so about employers treatment. Employers should be banned after 3 times out if they can't treat other human with all due respect

Karen Tan - Employers have to treat them with basic respect, plus no ill-treating. Respect has to be mutual. Same for privacy and the agreements between both. Domestic helpers have to learn too. They have to be mentally prepared, they are here to work not for holidays.

Jimmy Ng - They stressed, we know & (maybe) our problems.
We stress, then who cares & whose problems to fix ?

Joy Larsen - Exactly. If they needs privacy and respect, we employers does too.  Don't bring the story of their employers life outside.

Jimmy Ng - They have their bangala boyfriends to chat with, shower them with gifts & treats. Plus their kakis chit chats on the void decks, when their bosses are @ work.
So, they're not in a sorry caged stage as reported.

Dimzon Richell - Don't do unto others if you don't want others do unto to you! Treat your helper well and they happily praise you in front of their friends.

Indang Esa - We need a network for employers of FDWs so pple will know our side of the issue.

Jimmy Ng - see. now, the bosses are @ work. they started FBing & chatting away, until 12 - 1 pm to pick or send the kids. If no kids, it will be until 6-8pm when the bosses returns home. What other task they do, that occupies their time all day ? this is the rest or slow down time, that they can relax. How bad can this be ?

Eileen Chua - I don't care what my helper doing at hm.. as long she do her job. But she do nothing and cook nothing for my kids.. when I go work she still sleeping when I'm sleeping she on the phone.

Jenni Chua - There r both sides to every story. The newer helpers, perhaps, do not hv the 'privilege/resources' yet, to social contacts or what nots but give them time, I assure u, that somehow, they r able to get 'access' to all these privileges/resources. My helper, knows everything, every news, every gossips, first hand n that's really amazing!

Rynnier Lim - The maid i share paid with my bro to take care my old dad always seen on the phone. I kept quiet where's my mum always complain the maid lazy because need to be reminded
Its cause me stress because i screamed at my mum once due to this issue. Its both side of story la. Not all maid behaves professionally, if they do, i will give big ang pow when Chinese NY comes. This year i bought her $15 phone card only.

Rynnier Lim - Sometimes not so easy replace bcause of her critical job. Eg tube feeding my sick bed ridden dad on intervals. But when my dad passed away due to pneumonia recently, we terminate her service.

Sarah Priya Somarajan - For every terrible helper story, there is a horrid, unreasonable employer story. Thats just how it is. Similarly, for every good helper, theres a considerate employer story.

Jim Leow - If my boss stress, then it is our job to support him to clear that backlog / workload or whatever. We are paid to do a job, not passing time till next pay day. If company fails, there goes the bonus or even the job.
Of course, I am grateful that he is divorced, hence dun have the "boss's wife poking at things in the office causing unnecessary tension or duress to everyone else"

Sumarti Cpricorn - Im helper from Ndonesia,has been work here in Singapore since March 2001..as im Muslim i should say Alhamdulillah that i have very good chinese employer,so i work with thm for 9 years,,after 9yrs they dont need helper so i transfer to other employer tht i got expat employer. Here now i aredy work wth them for 5yrs,again i should say Alhamdulillah because my both employer are treat me like familly. In this expat familly they give me iphone3,iphone4 and just las week they give me samsung galaxi Tab3,they connect for me the wi-fi,, Alhamdulillah..

Noralyn Ramos - I've been working in SG for 13 years. I'm still single. Since I come to work here as a helper, I never had a boyfriend. Not all maids are the same.

Kevin Webster - I have said this a billion times. When you get a maid you are hiring an EMPLOYEE. You are not BUYING a slave. This is some many Singaporeans do not seem to understand. As far as I am concerned a maid and an other worker in Singapore should be given the same employment benefits as any other employee in Singapore.

Loh Wai Poon - I agree the employer should respect his domestic workers' privacy but it is too much to expect from the employer to help the maid form strong support network. Maid is afterall only an employee and our employers are never expected by the government to get their maid friends and union membership. it is up to the maids to do this themselves. We should not stop it or forbid it but to help them do it is too much to ask. Let not complicate life, the maid are here on contract to work, the employer hire her according to contract term. Anything not in the contract is up to the individual employer discretion to offer or not. Not public movement should compel the employers to do more as it is a delicate situation and is balanced about right now. Any tempering may topple the balance and cause the society dearly.

Loh Wai Poon - I am just stating a fact, no disrespect meant. In the law, our maids are employees and are subject to contract law protection. I never doubt the maid roles in helping our families functioning as normal as possible. However to get distracted from this fact and expect employers to take on extra roles is not productive for both parties.

HuiLin Heng - We are all employees if we are not our own boss. Nothing derogatory about that
2 hrs

Josh Arturovich Borden - I'm not sure what you're responding to, Mr Loh, I re-read the article and guess it is this quote from Jolovan Wham: "Employers should be mindful of their domestic workers' privacy and allow them to form a strong support network." If so, I believe Mr Wham was only remarking that employers allow the domestic workers to form *their own* support network by not "restricting [them] from communicating with their friends and family members."

In other words, just be humane. No other action needed. Probably this doesn't apply to your case, but some people seem to be unaware that an employer's *moral* duty is to provide decent treatment in a a good environment, on top of legal rights. Have a nice day, everyone. Be good to each other.

Nieva Terrano - The reason why more maid looking for western boss while working in singaporean better salary every sunday and holyday off once a yr.you got holyday and treat you like family even eat the same time in the same table free internet connection which is not easy to adapt in singapore

Sharon Lin - The whole idea of live-in maids is flawed... It doesn't exist in any other 1st world country, for good reason.

Jaeyoung Park - It does, actually. Just that they are paid much more than maids in Singapore.

Anna Lim - Live-in-maids exist in many lst world countries. They are known as aux pairs and are hired by the very wealthy.

Sharon Lin - Precisely not in the same working conditions & remuneration... What is currently in Singapore is perhaps just slightly better than slavery.

Anna Lim - If that's the case Sharon, then the maids here undeniably choose to be "slaves" over being penniless & going hungry back home. We can go on and on about this. At the end of the day, the fact remains, many are worse off back in their countries. Look, my helper has worked for me for a long time. We treat her with absolute respect. I have never short changed her & I appreciate the fact that she relieves me of the many household details I would otherwise have to overlook without a helper. It is sometimes a win-win situation for everyone.

Jerome Huu - just because someone agrees does not mean you should do it, that's mentality is flawed.

Nafeesa Docura -  ... slavery. Really. Don't equate a poor employment contract with being property to be bought and sold and used and abused as the owner wishes. This is NOT slavery.

Sharon Lin Having employment is obviously better than "being penniless & going hungry" - but does it make the situation right? To me, it's just sheer exploitation of foreigners from poorer backgrounds & living standards... That's just my opinion, you're entitled to have yours.

Nafeesa Docura - It's not exploitation if these people actively choose to come here. I honestly blame the agents. They do not give helpers a good idea of what to expect and charge far too much in agency fees. I think it is a bad situation but trying to say all or most helpers here are like slaves trivialises the real horrors of slavery - I can tell you if these helpers were being used sexually by their employers the way masters used their slaves the employers would be thrown in jail to rot for sure, and if they were flogged, or sold, again, the employer would be in jail. It's a pity they don't have better employment options and we can certainly improve them but calling them slaves is just misguided.

Keong Ng - i think its good move ..i always give my maid daily a certain period they can communicate back home with their kids , communicate with their parents. Although the agency allow them to call once a month. i think thats too evil. they are also human

Wendy Lim - They are human beings also should give them freedom.Like mine 6 yrs with me.Now going to renew her work permit,she want to stay another 2 yrs.Imagine she stayed with me 8 yrs.I have few friends 3 to 6 months change one maid.What is the problem im also dont know.They installed cctv at home also.

Shalynn Marc Lee-  Everybody think we employers like to invade our maid's privacy. Then, what about them (maids) invading my own privacy upon entering my home?

There are many reasons y I didn't allow my maid to own a hp. Y need to use hp when she can use my home phone? I pay for her IDD calling cards ok...Never even dig her own pocket money...
I don't allow my maid to talk to my neighbours maid's. What's there to talk about when I place my TRUST on her to do my housework??? I paid her to WORK, not to chit chat or dating with Banglah...!!

Now my maid has been working with me for 4 yrs. I've renew her contract. This week I'm sending her home for 1 month. I've paid everything for her ticket, baggage and even post directly her extra things home.

So who is going to protect me or help me in case if anything happen to the maid?? I report to Indonesian Embassy, is it?? They sure laugh me ah...

龙泡泡 - I do allow them to make phone calls at night . To talk to their family cos I oso hv family . But not allowing them to call back it's too much . Of cos if during work time they have urgent calls I would allow . But not like my current maid . Playing with her phone whole day . Selfie in the morning .. afternoon lying on the sofa looking at the phone laughing n not doing my house chore

Dylan Tang - I like to say that if you pay the maid $500 every month and you expect them to have a mentality of a salaried workers of $5000. I would suggest employers take a harder and closer look at themselves.

Francis Chong - Treat others with courtesy,
consideration and respect like the way you want to be treated by others like your superiors.

Camillus Yap - A lot of sinkies think they pay their maid a few hundreds then they are king la. At work they kena stressed by employers at home they vent it on their maid. Don't give bullshit reason such as they get conned or what la. End of the day, even a dog get cooped up all day also will go crazy let alone a human. You may as well say don't eat fish cuz you may choke on the bones right?

Nicki Dhaliwal - Actually it depends on individual perspective as well as the attitude and behaviour of the domestic helpers.

I'm sure employers do hv guidelines or rather rules that these gals should abide by. They on the other hand should not violate those rules which many of times do happen. It's sometimes just luck that you hv a good helper who is sincerely out here to earn a living. My perspective. ...See More

JJ-Clara Lim - This has to work both way. How about employer stress??? Maid does not cause our stress? They choose to come here work, no one force them. Mutual respect.

André Nurman - Where in other First World countries, helpers do 100 different things, 16 hours a day, barely any days off, little benefits, no Union protection for $500 per month? Not to mention the dodgy fees they have to pay

Shirley Seah - Let maid be employed by indo embassy ... employer engage them for hsehold work .. come in the morning, go back after 8 hrs lah ..

Andy Wong - Oh yes, pls also get them a boyfriend to destress

Sarojini JayaPal - My helper aft 10pm always on the phone i told her its her business.. Some time go to internet shop during working hours to skype to her family.. I offered my home laptop she dont want need privacy so okay with me.. But even though given her freedom n priority she is lazy n forgets alot of things many times. My mum can clean better than her...she 69 year old n has better memory leh...So pls head of Migrants urge them to do their part also..not only employers!

Yue Sern Mok - I still feel, if as an employer, I am not bounded by any $5000/- bond and I am not liable for her disappearance and pregnancy, I will definitely give her more freedom. This is to say if she accidentally got pregnant by her bf and I do not need to spend my own money to send her home or if she disappears tomorrow and I do not need to waste my time and effort to find her, I will definitely give her more freedom. In fact, full freedom.

Anthony Dullah - Accidentally get pregnant? U mean she was raped?

Yue Sern Mok - Some maids are meek and naive and will fall madly in love with their bfs. So if their bfs encourage them to do it, more often than not, they will find it hard to resist. Well, they can do it but why should I, as an employer, be responsible for her action? I don't think you can say she is raped. More often than not, they will be persuaded to have the one night stand. It is just like many of our local girls that go out with their bfs. How many of them ended up having that one night stand with their bfs. You can't say they are raped, can you?

Well, like what I have said, the maid can do all she likes, but why should I, as her employer, shoulder her responsibility?

Nafeesa Docura - anthony, these helpers (generally female) and foreign construction/landscaping/manufacturing workers (generally male) are unable to bring their families here on their passes (because their pay is really really low and they don't have accomodation that would allow for a family). there have been cases of romantic attachments between these two groups, and this sometimes means physical relations. Employers here have paid a bond to cover the medical expenses of their helpers, and to ensure that these people don't attempt to live in singapore illegally (their passes are only valid for one or two years) and would have to pay for the medical costs of a helper's pregnancy and/or if she runs off. this is partly why emplyers are really strict about off days and handphones. They have been placed under a duty to watch the helper, in that sense, and they'd lose out if the helper did get pregnant.

Encious Jie'er - Too good to them they take advantage, control them become abuse...so best dont get a maid if u cant trust a stranger...used to have a maid too good to her and than...bring man home, lost of heart to take care my grandpa..so send her back and no more maid..

Cheng Pei Hsia - I think if you chose to leave your country to work as a helper or any other work in a different country, you must have a mindset that you are not coming out to go on a holiday. Every household have their own rules and regulations. Trust and respect needs to be earn. Helpers must learn to adapt to different household and try to fit in. It would be good that each household could also understand that all helpers comes from different background and upbringing. We are must give them some time for them to bland in with our lifestyle. It is more tiring to train a new helper when things dont workout.

龙泡泡 - As a employer - we shall treat them like our own family member n hoping they will treat us n our kids the same .what ever we are eating definitely she will hv a share . I do hv camera at hm . But in my room to look at my kids n my safe box .. not in her sleeping area . I do allow them to hv phone or borrow my phone to call back . But only at night time or when they hv finish their work . Or they hv urgent call to make I'm fine .. getting a maid is lucky or unlucky . My maid in the morning she will take Selfie in the house n keep laughing . Afternoon she will lie on my sofa n keep chatting legs keep shaking . At night if I'm not hm . She will sleep on my bed with my kids n chit chat talk to loud on the phone . Is all these too much ???

Susan Chan - Of course maids will feel distracted ... their employers always spot check/keep close to them where ever they go or make trunk calls to overseas.They also must have their own privacy ... if not they will feel stressful and do something foolish or harm your members people at home especially those got babies/small kids at home rely on maids.Like we employees also got the same feeling ... Please think twice!!!

Reena Kris - My own personal experience to share...give more personal n privacy to domestic worker...they will start to b greedy. For e.g..snatch away husband, money n everything but in the eye if govt...act as innocent. Worse still hve baby with employer n on the pretext of visiting homwtown...give birth. I no longer trust maids...cos i hve gone tru alot becos of them. They wreak my marriage life..

Samuel Tan S B - Both sides of the coin must be looked after. A foreigner conned by maid agency ended up doing stupid things just to get their employer to send them back. Who bears all the cost? Employers.
1 · 4 hrs

Nur Dianty - Stop complaining and do your job,or just pack and go home.Enough is enough.Go to other country to get a better treatment if you thing Singapore not giving you a better hospitality.

The only things they never forget is to have all the freedom and privacy.But they always forgotten about why they are here and their responsibilities!Majority are useless.Give them an inch,they want a yard!Ungrateful creatures!And read carefully what i wrote here,"Majority".

Arlyn Sarabia Salarzon - I have been counted myself as one of the luckiest helper here in Singapore coz my employer for 8yrs Mr&Mrs.Francis (Lai Hee Aw and their whole family treated me very very well since I came her for the very first time, being a stranger I never ever felt that I am one coz they loves me like their family member, I'm so thankful to God that He brought me to you Madam and Sir ,,,I am so Blessed to have you all....the word "thank you" it's not enough to pay you back but God will pay you back double the joy,double the victory...GOD BLESS YOU

Analiz Medado - Why most employers following the agencies rules?They should bear in mind that once they hired a housemaid ,they responsible for taking care of them and giving them all the benifits as well as the right to be happy while working with them..

Cookie Tan - How about talks time to survey the employers on what causes them to make lot of restrictions to the domestic helpers? One-sided story!

Charlene Mah - Some maids are ungrateful, you give them freedom and privacy but they will take you for granted.

Jasmine Koh - Employers put cctv of why we put,because of u all poisoning to bb,bring man back etc la,u think employer like to put huh ,all tis incurr money.............

Penny Anthony - Its pitiful how some maids are treated. There are so much publicity about how badly maids are treated, there's two sides to a coin and more than often we too as employers get cheated. Honestly a gd bulk of income frm a middle income household goes to these helpers to HELP us with household chores and minding our kids while we too early our income. Don't even begin with privacy cos wen u hv a maid at home u hv to be prepare to FORGET yr privacy. CMNN( cable maid news network starts wen our kids play at d playground at daily gatherings. Personal happenings are shared. Not only that its their time to trade Tips and pointers on how to better themselves at getting More frm us employers. Please for goodness sake. It all comes down to Choices and these are choices they make. So I think those who are treated well, sometimes want more its also very difficult to find maid who are appreciative for given a chance to work and to value their good employers instead of wanting more and more.

Nur Dianty - And do you think all employer go to work to be treated 1st class?And do you think,those non Singaporean treated we Singaporean at work with manners?Lol...

Gena Yeo - It take 2 hands 2 clap!  There r nasty employers as well as nasty maids too!

8 Mar 2015
Activists/MOM, please don't use human rights as an excuse and ruin our lives or place our jobs at stake.  Most Sg employers are nice and reasonable people but in return, get bullied/played on by FDWs, source countries and agencies.  It doesn't pay to be a nice and generous employer.  We need new policies to show that being a nice and generous employer will be fairly rewarded, as well as appreciated.  

EmployerFDW is no longer a help to Spore families. They are a problem.

Activist: we have to accept all the social issues that come along with a maid. Maids are humans and we need to respect them as humans. 

Today, we cannot find any such cruel advertisement “Domestic Help Available- No Off Day, No Hand phone, No Problems” – Because it is cruel, it is against human rights and it must be banned! 

Working in an environment without freedom to communicate via hand phone is no different from being a prison without freedom.  FDW is not a worker anymore but a slave or a prisoner.  Every maid wants to have a hand phone. This trend is irreversible, just like MOM's off day policy, like it or not, this is the right way. 

Employer:  In real life, once FDW has hp, she will spend more and more time - chatting to don't know who, I mean in the sense of wonderment that there are people with whom they can chat with, like no need to work or going online posting nonsense, finding boyfriends, etc.  If the FDW can self-control, I don't think employer will complain nor stop the usage. Trust has to be earned but unfortunately, FDWs like to demand the trust before they can earn it.  

Once a privilege is given, it becomes a right. Employers are now at the mercy of ill-disciplined & irresponsible maids, as well as unscrupulous maid agencies. 

This was posted in my blog, topic: "House Rules".  

Maid activist posted on 4 March, 2015
What is wrong with you?? Maids are there to help that does not mean you own them. They're helpers not slaves. I know that the Chinese tend to treat maids (anyone lower class than them) as low class citizens and deprive them of basic rights... Thanks for confirming this stereotype. 

And all that rubbish about not allowing maids to use the washing machine- technology exists for a reason. If you don't like clothes being mixed then she can wash her stuff separately no?

I'm Indian american, I have family in India which manage several maids, not just one and Ive never heard of such nonsense. Please get it together and drop this employer-Nazi attitude.

FDW's passport
MOM is definitely pro-maid.  If your FDW request to keep her own passport, ponder before you employ her.  Employers are keeping FDWs' passport as a form of security.  MOM may come after you for withholding your FDW's without her consent so if you want to safeguard yourself from errant maid or fighters (MOM/activists) for migrant workers, get the prospective maid to agree in writing BEFORE you hire her, in the presence of agent.  State some sort of compensation just to prevent maid from playing games or a compulsive liar.  When a maid runs away, you're fully responsible for her till her name is removed in MOM's record.  Any maid loan, fees and time spent on her could be gone - unrecoverable.  If FDW gets hurt, you are liable to pay the bill.  Note that at least 50% of your security bond will be eaten by MOM if you can't find her.  

Do you want to get into such a shit?  Prevention is better than to be sorry.
The reason why employers should keep FDWs' passport is to prevent maids from running away.  Runaway maids are not those who were abused but are those who can't accept a FDW's job scope, poor working mentality - wanted a job that has plenty of free time and little chores.  Maid ran away simply because she was too pampered and misused her 'rights'.  A FDW who threatens to go back home/agency or intentionally left your in the lurch is defined as a bad and irresponsible maid.  MOM/activists side bad migrant workers, they have a truly soft heart for them.  Nobody will protect employers' interest except you (yourself).

I don't see a reason why FDWs should hold on to their passports.  If maid insists on keeping her passport, that smells a rat!  Why does she need her passport?  She plans to moonlight in Malaysia/Batam during her off days?  She has lots of money to go overseas for sightseeing on her only off day each week?  Take note, if agent insists that you shouldn't keep FDW's passport .... leave, such an agency will not offer good after sales service.  Agent cares for her pocket, not you!  She could be in cahoots with FDW and planning her next transfer as runaway maid.  Don't bother to explain or highlight your fears, such agency obviously doesn't care about what may happen to you.  Same case for FDW who demand for freedom to use her mobile phone.  Any agent who insists FDW should use her mobile phone freely should be avoided.  We need a domestic worker, not receptionist or 'customer service hotline person'.  Maid can use her mobile in the night but not during the day - distraction.  If FDW appears unhappy or bargaining her usage and you want to avoid a potential bad worker, leave, find another agency.  I am sure you have plenty of choices.... click to search for an agency near you.   Any agency advocating human rights ought to reflect on themselves... start treating FDWs like human beings, not commodities or their money making tools.  Secondly, don't earn so much heartless money (maid loan) from FDWs.  Preach is easy... doing right is another thing.

One of the interview questions to ask prospective FDW, "Does or Can employer keep your passport?"  
Listen to what she says.  Her uneasiness is a sign that she shouldn't be employed.  A maid who ask for too much 'rights' is very hard to manage or work with.  Yes, she's a human but that is not an excuse to deliver shabby work or be a liar.

Maid is employed to help you.  She is not somebody deserving 100% of your trust.  Trust is built over months of work, not the moment you decide to employ her.  There should not be any issue for employer to keep maid's passport if FDW really wants to work for you.  Only those unsure or planning something will say she wants to keep her passport or claim that's part of human rights.  To me, these are excuses.  Seriously, would a maid need her passport while working for you?  If she has to take home leave, she'll certainly get her passport back.  If she need to renew her passport, I don't see a reason why employer should refuse and then cause her work permit to be revoked.  Nobody will be nice and help you when you faced a runaway or lousy maid.  MOM will continue to shake legs, although you've paid levy promptly.

Always remember, in Spore, the fighters - MOM, Ministers (eg Halimah Yacob) and activists are bringing us miseries.  If you don't try to protect yourself, don't cry over spilled milk.  Yes, you should give people the benefit of doubt .... if you can afford the losses and inconveniences.  Once maid's work permit has been approved, you're the legal guardian cum maid's babysitter.  It is your duty to ensure maid is well-fed and cared for till the day her name is removed from MOM's record.  

MOM’s “Guide to Employing a domestic worker”: 
You [Employers] must not retain your FDW’s Work Permit. She [Domestic Worker] should carry her original Work Permit with her at all times for inspection on demand by any public officer.

You [Employers] must not retain your FDW’s passport without her consent. If prior consent was given for you to safe keep the passport, you must return the passport to your FDW upon her request.

Bringing home boyfriends a key gripe about maids, 16 Jun 2014, Straits Times
Bringing boyfriends home, stealing, and hitting the children are the top three complaints employers make about their maids, major agencies here told The Straits Times.

These complaints are lodged with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which receives an average of about 200 complaints a month, a spokesman said yesterday, in response to queries.

The figure represents less than 0.1 per cent of the 214,500 maids here as of December, MOM said.  The ministry has been collecting feedback on maids since 2010 to help employers make more informed hiring decisions.

Complaints against a maid may be flagged to prospective employers when they apply for a work pass for a maid on the MOM online work permit system.  They have to sign a letter to confirm that they know of the complaint if they decide to hire the maid.  Prospective employers will not be told the nature of the complaint, but can call the maid's previous boss for details. About half of them leave phone numbers.  

Agents say most maids with a complaint against them are not hired here again. Orange Employment agency owner Shirley Ng said: "They won't get a second chance to work in Singapore."

Best Home Employment agency owner Tay Khoon Beng added: "Most employers won't even call the previous employer to find out more. They just say no."  Foreign worker activist Jolovan Wham of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics said the feedback system is "unfair".  "Some of the complaints, such as having a boyfriend, are unreasonable as they have no bearing on the ability of the worker to perform her tasks," he said.

But some said they welcome feedback on their maid, and added that it was up to them to make a call.  Businesswoman Fiona Lee, 47, decided to hire her Filipino maid though she was accused by her previous employer of pinching her child.  "She explained that it was not true, and I decided to take the risk. In the end, she met my expectation, which is to take care of my daughter well," she said.

Mr Karl Tan, owner of maid agency Inter-Mares Management Services, said it is only fair that employers speak to the maids to find out their side of the story.  Nation Employment managing director Gary Chin said a poor track record does not mean a maid will stay a bad worker.  "It may be because she needs more time to adapt. We have seen many maids who were transferred a few times but do well later," he said.

Roman Franta: Maids are set to lowest level in Singaporean society and parents teach children to do not respect them. This create another, new generation of arrogant Singaporeans and as they even less respect the Maids, the connection to the children and employers from imprisoned and socially lowered poor girl getting colder. It's actually miracle that those Maids still love the kids. 

Singaporean woman should remember their past when majority of Singaporean woman were employed as maid for British soldiers based in Singapore in the near past time. Many or those Singaporean Maids are still here, almost every old woman in Singapore was maid when young. I don't believe the British treated them so badly. Looks like they using the me do to prove themself that they raised up in the social statement but real civilised culture is measured differently. And most funny is that today maids are asked to address the employer Sir and Madam. It's funniest Sir and Madam I ever seen

Dimple Anne:  your absolutely right..only 10% Singaporian employer are good and treat their helper as a part of the family,,the rest are so called arrogant.

Marivic D. Chan:  Roman Franta ur right..it depend inly how they treat thier helper but mostly employer treat their helper as a slave,no enough sleep,rest not following MOM rules and regulations salary dont pay the right amount.Some also they dont allow to take off dont pay the remaining sunday off that they dont go out.correct me if im wrong.alot of employers violation right? Now tell me if you treat ur helper good you follow as what we ask.simply i dont think helper will dis obey you..any way helper always say yes mam yes sir.dating during off day is not your business already .they have the right to do what they want outside employers house.but bringing inside the house is not good u should send her home.so problem is solve.but mostly try also to do ur obligation us an employer coz mostly we are always down by singaporeans.DONT HIRE HELPER ,STAY AT HOME AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN IS BETTER.....

Reynald Ganancial: If you don't trust your helper so you don't have to employe.just stay at home and do what the helper need to do..

Ravichandran Sahngitha: Wat's the point? The Employer are the one whom loses their money at end. They should bring a new rules refund should apply to all agencies if this sort problem is with proof coz if we return the maid we still need to pay for the next replacement. Which is a lost to all employers only. Coz maids will be transferred, agency will get us replacement with a fee. This should change then, there will be a stop to it. As then agencies will filter their maids before distributing out to employers.

Jambu Ang:  The sole winner in these cases is the Maid Agencies.... making money out of the maids and the employers....

Activists said this during the International Domestic Workers' Day, 15 June 2014, held in Spore.

"All too many employers and employment agents subject domestic workers to verbal and psychological abuse to instill fear in them and to make them subservient. They also do so because of prejudices," said TWC2 president Russell Heng. "We all have a responsibility to help realise domestic workers' rights." 

Over 150 Filipino and Indonesian local domestic workers took part in the celebration of the International Domestic Workers’ Day (IDWD) organized by local non-government organisation (NGO) , Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) yesterday.

The International Domestic Workers’ Day is celebrated each year on 16th June  after the International Labour Organisation ‘s Convention on Domestic Workers also known as C189 was passed in the International Labour Conference on 16th June 2011.

Russell Heng:  Why is C189 important? It seeks to extend basic labour rights to domestic workers round the globe and lays down the principles of employment. This convention reminds us that domestic workers are also employees, should be accorded fair wages, a weekly rest day, safe work environment, prospects for personal development and social integration and freedom to express their concerns. These are principles that have been so easily neglected.

C189 provides a comprehensive set of employment standards for domestic workers and ensures that like all workers they should be employed in conditions of freedom and dignity. Only 14 countries have so far ratified the convention.

Unfortunately though not surprisingly, Singapore is not among them. Among countries that are significant source countries for migrant domestic workers in Singapore, only the Philippines has ratified the convention.   (Winter:  Philippines has so many demands from Spore, of course they will endorse so that they can make more money from its own citizens and us.  Philippines is a source country, not a country that hires domestic maids ... ridiculous!)

Domestic worker from the Filipino Family Network (FFN),  Angie Jerez said that apart from providing an event where they are able to mingle with their fellow domestic workers, it is very beneficial and informative for the domestic workers they were educated about the labour laws stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower and what to do when confronted with situations such as pregnancy.  (Winter:  FDW Pregnant is a violation of work permit conditions yet wants to know what to do.... at employers' expense?  Two things I can confirm, you'll get a free ticket home and your Employer will be made to absorb your irresponsible actions. Maid should compensate employer for breaking contract and purposely doing what you are not suppose to do as per MOM employment terms. You want a FDW job, this is one of the working conditions.  Accept it wholeheartedly or Don't come!  Don't tell me you don't know the terms ... liars and loafers!  Activists/FDWs just want to find more ways to take advantage of FDW's employers.  You knew FDW can't carry out a good job as a pregnant maid. You expect employer to let go of her/his job, sit at home/hire somebody to take good care of FDW and then allow maid to enjoy maternity leave as well as give the child citizenship?  Aren't you too much?  It is not a right and ethical way for you to use human rights/treated as human being as an excuse to be bad.  Seemed like encouraging FDWs to be bad legally at employers' expense, no need to bear any losses or consequences, you felt this is fair to another human being?  Aren't you selfish and disgusting?)

Although Singapore has legislated a mandatory weekly day off for domestic workers in 2013, a survey by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reveals that only one third of newly arrived domestic workers receive a weekly day off. There are some domestic workers who choose to work in exchange for cash. However, many are coerced by employers to work on their rest days and are not given a choice to take a day off.   (Winter:  Are you sure no choice? FDW can say she doesn't want the job and stay in her country, don't fly to Spore.  Once FDW agreed to the terms, stepped foot into Spore, you owe Employer - she/he paid for your services and fees.  You cannot lie, purposely break the contract or claim you were not given off days after she/he paid for your services.  No employer is able to force FDW board the plane to Spore.  You made the choice when you were in home country so don't be a wolf in disguise, cheating is not a virtue.  If maid agencies misinterpreted or mislead you, bite them, leave employers alone)

Ummairoh, representative from The Indonesia Family Network (IFN): Since 2013 1st Jan, saying that all domestic workers in Singapore, we have to (be given) day off every week. But unfortunately, some of them, employers give alternately… Most of them are fine… most of them not giving day off, they prefer giving a lump sum (of) money to the domestic worker not a day off. And I am really disappointed with that because its a human being… as a domestic worker. We need a rest. We need a day off from the six days working in the house. We need rest, we need to freshen up, we need to meet fellow friends, say hello.. Its not about having fun but to release our stress. 

Despite a law to control fees paid by domestic workers to secure employment, many employment agencies still get away with charging workers more than the terms allowed under the law through underhand methods. Domestic workers who are still servicing their loan are coerced to continue to work even though employers mistreat them so that employment agencies do not lose out on their profits.   (Winter: Agree for both Employers and FDWs.  Maid agencies are the middlemen and should ensure we didn't pay fees to get into a wrong relationship.  If maid must have off days and 24/7 mobile phone usage, find her employer who is willing to take in a person like her.  If she can't find any employer to employ her, let her rot in her home country.  Spore doesn't owe source country and its citizens a good life.  Don't think you have the rights to bully or fleece us!)


The woman is said to have forced one of her two maids to eat her own vomit, and taken photos of the maid naked after making her strip.  The woman's husband apparently hit both domestic workers repeatedly and tried to shove an incense bottle down the throat of one.

Yesterday, the couple - IT manager and sales manager were hauled to court to face 32 charges, mainly of maid abuse.  Man faces 21 charges, allegedly hit Indonesian maid Fitriyah and Myanmar maid Moe Moe Than with canes, a metal clothing hook and a bamboo stick at his flat in Yishun Avenue 6 in 2012.

Woman faced 11 charges, allegedly slapped both maids and caned one of them. Her most serious charge was for allegedly using a funnel to force sugar into Than's mouth and making her swallow her own vomit.

I've removed the names of above abusers.
There have been many cases of bad employers, all in big fonts and pictures 图文并茂,how come these bad employers still 'don't learn' 不怕死 不怕被制裁?These employers must be very rich, can afford to have 2 FDWs and not afraid of being fined or legal actions taken against them. Because of all these bad employers, activists are almost everywhere.  Pick 20 strangers from the road, ask them do they have a maid.  Then ask them to made a stand, will they back the FDW's employers or fight for the maids?  I believe ... if I'm not a FDW's employer, I would back the FDWs without hesitation because maids have been protrayed as vulnerable by MOM and media.

If I get to see news of such employers, I will certainly pity the maids, in limelight, how can I miss it? Employers punished the maids and made them fight/cane/slap each other.   Just one abuser such as above will lead to a tidal wave of supporters 同情 for FDWs.  Ironically, if the maid is the abuser/murderer, employers and victims didn't get sympathy.   Activists/Law makers tend to think FDW was forced to take revenge, retaliate for her own protection, nothing wrong because Employers "were at fault"!  Above abusers are crazy, spoilt the market, no wonder I tried so hard but not many people believe, sympathize and stop being so harsh on me... the MOM law is not in our favour for so many years!  It will continue because we are wearing the "Employer" hat, very hard to get activists/law makers to understand and help us.

Treat maids with dignity, April 2014, TODAY
Maids are part of many families here, especially young working adults with needs such as eldercare and childcare for family members. Without helpers, these families would have to cope with attending to household chores and their family members’ needs.

By filling these roles, maids have been crucial to building up fully functioning families. That a maid’s job is a noble one must be recognised, and they must be treated with dignity.

Foreign maids have to make the effort to adapt to our culture, languages, food and system on top of doing their job. (Winter:  How many modern FDWs making effort to adapt to us?  If they have good working mentality, we won't be having so much headaches and losses)  As their employers, we have a responsibility to observe and comply with fair and agreed employment terms. Late payment of salary, long working hours with no rest day and non-domestic work demands would be deplorable and should be deterred by law.

The more serious cases of mistreatment are often a combination of causing hurt and degrading verbal abuse. Often, these maids are made to suffer in silence.

We should always send a clear signal that we, as a society, do not condone such behaviour and that the full force of the law would be applied without ambiguity.

What are you teaching child by the way you treat maid? The Straits Times, 20 Mar 2014

The ongoing discussion on the rights of foreign maids to days off and leisure spaces is not just about how the Singapore state should treat its foreign workers who contribute to the economy.  Nor is it only about relations between domestic workers and employers.  Ultimately, it reveals who we are as a society, and what kind of culture and values we hold dear.

Most intimately of all, the way we treat a domestic worker sends strong signals to our children regarding the ethics we live by.  (Winter:  if maid is a mother and chose to sleep around with men, Employer should cheer them ... good ethics, good mother & wife?  More and more FDWs are sex/men deprived 不自爱 淫乱 滥交 不责任  what signals are they sending to employers?  Fright, Financial Losses, Reluctance to give Off days and more Bad Attitude!) The values and beliefs that make up a culture are not passed on through textbooks or formal education alone. Culture is produced through everyday practice. Values are learnt through micro interactions and everyday observations.  This is demonstrated embarrassingly to parents when children parrot kid-inappropriate words, or mimic the anti-social behaviour they observe in adults.

When people resist efforts to improve the dignity of workers, they embody values of injustice. When we protest every little "inconvenience" whenever the maid is on annual leave, or when we are obliged to share space with people from different classes or ethnic backgrounds, we put into practice attitudes of superiority and intolerance.  Sociologist Raka Ray and anthropologist Seemin Qayum argue in their book Cultures Of Servitude that children growing up with servants learn much about inequality, class, gender and ethno-racial differences from experiencing the employer-servant relationship every day.

Too often, children learn that some humans - their needs, opinions and aspirations - are less valued and valuable than others.  In Singapore, some children learn that their caregivers are different from them when they see their "aunties" sleep in spaces with little privacy.  (Winter:  Want privacy?  Give FDW a room?  You thought all Employers live in landed property or have plenty of rooms?  Luckily MOM didn't legislate FDW must be given a room because many Employers cannot offer a room.  You expect Employers or children to sleep in the living room so that the VIP live-in maid can have a room?)  They see this person attend social gatherings only to help with menial tasks.  Most kids also learn that this is the only person in the household doing chores before others are up and long after others have finished work.  (Winter:  Mine gets enough sleep so don't accuse all Employers are slave drivers, denied FDWs with adequate rest.  Yes, I know there are really bad employers and I also know there are extremely bad/abuser/murderer FDWs.  All are humans, aren't they?)

The maid is the only person working every day - often with only one or two days off a month  (Winter:  Some employers worked longer and harder than FDWs, no off days!  You thought everybody have good life like you?), sometimes with none at all.  Many children also hear adults flippantly discussing their "maid problems".  Despite this, many such children love their caregivers and listen when given instructions.

But a fair number can also be heard discussing caregivers among themselves with language like "my maid" and "your maid"; or barking orders and making loud demands.  Many even rely on domestic worker caregivers to do things that non-disabled human beings their age should be able to do themselves.  It is true that the needs of some families cannot be met by family members alone. Many Singaporeans also treat domestic workers decently. The employer-domestic worker relationship can be a positive and fair one.  (Winter:  Agree but just one bad sheep is enough to ruin the rest 老鼠屎)

But it is time to set higher standards. Days off, living wages, access to leisure and public space are basic requirements for human well-being. Last year, when a law to give maids one rest day a week or pay in lieu came into effect, gender equality advocacy group Aware pointed out that this was an important step towards upholding human rights (Winter:  Many demanding FDWs are using this as an excuse or weapon to fight.  This is incorrect and unfair to nice employers, we are affected by activists/pro-maid MOM's harshness and inconsiderate advocates/laws)  that are meaningful only insofar as all people have them.

Two years on, we continue to see resistance to the introduction of this basic human right.

As a society, it is time to set higher standards for ourselves. Singaporeans should stand up for domestic workers' rights because our culture and values are at stake.  (Winter:  Please find an ocean and get drown) Who are we? Who do we want our children to be?  Do we hope our kids will treat people with respect and not take their privileges for granted? Do we want our children to learn that being human is not just about doing well in exams but about performing basic tasks to take care of themselves? Do we want them to see the home as a place of equality and respect rather than injustice and exploitation?

If so, we have to start here.

These relationships with domestic workers shape many of our homes, and increasingly influence our social ties and interactions beyond the home. As society ages, there will also be a greater need for caregivers in various forms.  All Singaporeans, regardless of whether or not they employ domestic workers, are responsible.

We all live in a society that is cultivating new norms about gender practices, as well as racial and class inequalities. All of us, like it or not, produce "cultures" around domestic labour and the people who perform them.  The attitudes we take and behaviours we model for the children will shape our present and future.

The writer is assistant professor of sociology at the Nanyang Technological University and board member at the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware).

Educate prospective maid employers, Straits Times Forum, 25 Mar 2014

Problems related to domestic maids have been continually surfacing. A possible way to ameliorate this is to match employers' expectations with what the maids can deliver.

We must understand that when maids come here, especially for the first time, it could be intimidating and a culture shock for them - more so if they hail from villages, where they were never exposed to the trappings and demands of a fast-paced modern city.

For the maid, she has to cope with leaving behind her family, friends and even her children. This, coupled with the daily household chores of cleaning, washing, cooking and tending to children or elderly folk, could subject her to tremendous stress.

Many employers expect their maids to learn fast and to perform tasks up to their expectations. This is often not possible within a short period.

Very few employers are patient. Some resort to verbal or even physical abuse, which only serves to confuse and anger the maids. In order for the employer-maid relationship to flourish, the employer needs to understand the maid's cultural background and emotional state.

The maid has to be treated with dignity. She needs time to learn; she needs to be sufficiently fed and be given adequate rest; and she needs time off to recharge.

Maids undergo training to prepare them for the tasks ahead, and to facilitate their assimilation into their employers' households.

Isn't it time for prospective employers to undergo a course to make them aware of what to expect - to moderate their expectations, if necessary - and their role in forging a good employer-maid relationship?

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

Winter:  Sigh, another person talking creep "understand the maid's cultural background and emotional state"
Why no activist or maid try to understand employer's cultural background and emotional state +the reasons/dilemma ... forced to employ a costly live-in stranger aka maid?  
Think I have money nowhere to spend?  Thought it is a joy to have somebody calling 'mam/sir'?  

Thought giving in (again and again) to meet maid's expectation or so call her needs will result in a better relationship?  Not all maids are appreciative.

All these 'better welfare' will only let maids be more demanding, stop/not keen to improve their performance and think we cannot live without them.  Maid will think she deserves to be treated well regardless how bad her job performance is.  Maid will assume employers will tolerate her due to her 'not too good background' ... including unsound mind or come to work with the intention to cheat ... become playgirls, work little but enjoy life to her fullest.  

All these are facts - treating a FDW nice, too accommdating to her needs will only get more brats!!  You give an inch, she wants more.  Take the case of mandatory off day.  What did employers get in return for giving weekly Sundays off?  Additional headaches and more responsibilities (tied by MOM)!!  You felt all these are fair to employers?  Why we paid more yet getting FDWs with lower quality and working mentality? Why training is = to untrained or not trained to Spore context?  Why MOM allows such bad business practice to happen for so many years?

Just because of the hat 'Employer', we deserve such treatment from our own countryman or govt?  I am a very transparent employer who not only say (during interviews) and recap why I need a FDW,  I even typed out the job requirements (agencies were the ones who got shocked and felt I don't have to be so clear) +showed prospective maids a video of my special needs child walking around the house and house rules but what did I get?  Maid lied to get a job because nobody else wants her.  She felt she is capable of bullying/managing me.  My current filipino maid is thinking of going for home leave again (went back last Dec) but on the other hand told me she has no money!  
Tell me, who is being unrealistic and demanding?

Who has been the one to be understanding and trying to match FDW ... trying to keep her as well as avoid spending money to recruit again?  Told JA about mobile phone restriction but on Day one, she wanted 24/7 usage.  Told me she wants to stay connected to her family but how much time did she really spend with them, certainly not daily!  I can't understand Tagalog but I know whether she has dialled local calls or overseas.

她觉得我很苯,蠢好欺负?太多无聊人士 自以为自己做得对,假仁假义 自以为行侠仗义 对我公平吗?希望这些假仁假义之人会招天遣 ....让你偿偿 无奈与不平的滋味。

Taking advantage of employer
One of the writers for maid's Facebook posted this:
As I was writing this post Eileen Chong kept asking why I sugar coating the truth. Why don't I just take a stand instead of caring about how the truth might shock people. Because maybe, just maybe, the truth can shock people into giving a damn.

No one in their right mind would want to be a maid all their life. At some point, they would want to move on. And as decent human beings, we should support them in that journey. This is how I really feel. I don't think the conversation should be "why help" domestic workers, but how. Because by helping people at the bottom we are helping address what's really wrong in the world.

By empowering people with more sustainable choices in life we are helping future generations, we are helping communities. It is possible for every single one of us to use our affluence and influence to not only live comfortably, but to make a difference while doing so. So. we can make a difference by giving the gift of education.

Winter: Maids, your work permit showed FDW. You can upgrade at your own cost and time (eg off days).

Don't assume employers owe you a living, should give you opportunity or chance to become somebody else. In most companies, employee don't get paid training. Employee learn with hands-on or study using their own time and money. Some companies sponsored courses by having bonds. Would those 'keen to upgrade' maids be able to perform a good FDW job and stay till the 'bond' ends, means do not terminate contract or play games to infuriate employers ... get transferred out or repatriation?  

WE PROVIDED MAIDS WITH IN-HOUSE FREE TRAINING AND PAID FOR YOUR LIVE-IN EXPENSES.  Those training your agency charged you at high fee are mostly irrelevant.  We've to train you so that you can do a good job as FDW.  It is not our duty to provide you with irrelevant training or upgrading opportunity.  

Don't assume we are stupid and don't know what you're up to. Come here to work in the name of FDW but wants something else at employer's expense.

Singaporeans have 'duty to be kind to foreign workers', Straits Times, 24 Nov

Singapore has laws to protect foreign workers' rights but citizens also have a responsibility to be kind and humane towards them, said Professor Chan Heng Chee yesterday.

Most people here already have a sense of decency, she said in opening remarks at a migrant workers' group event, and would help strangers in need and not begrudge the Government helping the poor and elderly.

This attribute should be cultivated and extended to how migrant workers are treated, according to Prof Chan, who is Singapore's Representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.  "It should not be the law that forces us to do so. We should treat them well, feed them adequately, allow rest time, and abuse of workers should be ruled out," she said in an opening speech at an event organised by the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, or Home.

Winter: Fight harder, do more for FDWs, make them be more pampered, unappreciative and become ungrateful human beings.

Make FDW's employers be frightened of maids and don't dare to dish out extra juicy benefits .... which is to go beyond her entitlement as FDW in Spore.
HOME is a place that takes in bad maid, ill-treated or princess-attitude maids.  My sister's ex-princess Filipino maid was an example.  That maid runaway to seek 'refuge at HOME' and claimed she wasn't treated well.  HOME arranged interviews for her to find better employers and got a shock to find out that she was trying to fly home, 'abandon ship' - make her employer bear her maid loan, repatriation, etc.  She has no intention to remain in Spore and be 'exploited' or treated like a real maid.  She was a mummy's darling in her country but took a job in Spore to run away from family problem 发小姐脾气.  She has land and considered well-off. 

Transient Workers Count 
To many foreign domestic workers’ welfare groups, maids getting into relationships should be accepted, for the very fact that they are human too and have their needs.
Social activists like Mr John Gee, the immediate past president of Transient Workers Count Too, said employers shouldn’t stop their maids from having relationships, but educate their maids on love and sex, and set boundaries for them to abide by.
One maid, Miss Rajbeer Kaur, 26, counts herself lucky that her employers accept her relationship with her fiance, a construction worker here.

“I guess they trust me and I follow their rules and never try to disobey them,” said Miss Kaur.

Winter: When employer's trust is abused, maids ended up with love affairs (read) or become pregnant (read) and tried to 'destroy evidence' of motherhood.

Such 'killer' or persons who violated MOM's work permit T&C should be encouraged?
Maids, you chose a job, nobody forced you to step into local maid agency and pay overseas recruitment fee (maid loan).  You were interviewed and accepted the terms & conditions with open eyes, to work in Spore.  Unhappy, felt your source country treats your better, be a flirt, stay there, don't fly to Spore and take advantage of employers.  Don't blame us for your own decisions!

Don't give excuse for being bad in Spore.  Don't come here to enjoy life like you've just been 性解放 爱的自由 不必承担后果 坐享其人之福

May 2014
This Facebook claimed it is employers' obligation to let them recoup their investment so we are not suppose to send them home without their agreement - repatriation.  

Copied from Maid's Facebook.  Sorry no hyperlink.  Google search yourself and you'll find this 'popular maid' - the Facebook page owner slamming employers, making herself and her 'sisters' looked like weaklings and bullied.

FB Maid: The Employer have so much power, the maid have to stay in their house and face pressure, anger, shouting and screaming. AND the employer can anytime send the maid back to their country without need reasons - so.... you are stupid if you think the contract have any meaning.

Just like everything else in Singapore, government of Singapore, you hide behind contracts and pretend that everything is OK. That's lie. You think contract work perfect? Why don't you think of what happens if the contract not respected, if the people who sign the contract is like in prison (Winter: In the first place, you shouldn't have itchy backside, stepped into your home country agency to offer money.  If you haven't been greedy and daydreaming, you won't be here 'suffering and whinning'), cannot even complain or don't know how to complain if the contract is not respected? Can't even understand the contract?

The employer can force the maid to do anything. They have power to beat, scold, scream, cause the maid money loss, and send back the maid to her country and get free replacement maid. (Winter: Really?  Tell me who I can employ and feel the POWER (Master of the Universe) instead of now bullied by FDWs, giving in and giving in to feed her ego)

Time to look at the real humanity, and have some compassion for the weakest members of your country - the maids. Please I beg you, because lives are at stake.  (Winter: at stake?  What's MOM doing?  It has all the while been very pro-maid, how could there be FDWs living/suffering cruelty?)

Frances: If Singapore is such a bad place to come to work, please spread to all your friends and families " Dont come SG to work." Look for a greener pasture.

FB Maid:  Frances, What you say seems logical but I assure you it's not. How do you feel if people tell you - if you don't like your country get a few million foreigners into Singapore, why don't you pack your bags and move to another country like Myanmar or Malaysia or Australia?

You won't right? Not because you are citizen, but because you have invest your money, time or effort in this country.  The maids in Singapore, have invested their money, time and effort to come to Singapore. If they have not invested anything, of course, no problem to move to Hong Kong if they don't like it here.

So frances, next time put on thinking cap and say something more justifiable, that will greatly add value to this discussion. What you say now is the same green stuff which comes out of a baby.

Sharon:  No employer had forced FDW to leave home and fly to SG to work. FDWs came after weighing the pros and cons. If maids felt they are pitiful, worked like slaves, don't stay in SG, go home!! Get your own govt to provide you a good life. There is no need to bad mouthed employer as if Sg own u a living!!

If Sg employer is abusing the FDW, FDW can report to MOM and get her employer severely punished. Those not really abused or ill-treated, can choose to shed some crocodile tears to get their employers into trouble.  The truth is never offensive or too harsh to accept, unless to those that can't face it and wanted excuses to justify their self-righteous, prefer to live in an unrealistic world.

FB Maid:  Sharon, It's hard to reason with people spouting hysterics. Just keep in mind that contracts only work among people with people who have the resources to uphold the contract, and a contract with one who does not have these resources, is an unfair contract. In my country, unfair contracts are dealt with as they should - reasonably and oppressive sentences cannot be upheld.

For those who voice out when they are ill treated, we don't worry too much for them. Who we worry for, are those who keep quiet and suffer, and abused until they have to go to hospital. And as mentioned, those who made an investment to come into Singapore, cannot simply leave without fairly recouping their investment or having compensation for investing in a raw deal. And do some research - the policy of government to put all the power into the hands of employers - especially the power to send maids back without reason required (thus, forcing the maid to forfeit all the investment she has had put into coming to Singapore) - is an extremely lopsided power which should be questioned and reformed.

Vhogz Villarico: Its really true...Very well said...I hope nd pray that one of this day i can take my money back coz my agent deducted me 8 &1/2 months..then i wish my last employer banned so cannot take another helper.coz they send me backhome without my knowledge.we agreed that they send me to my agency but they send me to changi airport..very unfair nd selfish human...!!!

Leah Mallari: Very well said.. Sometimes, those written in the contract are not implemented..helpers were put in the situation that seems they are under at their employers mercy..they cant complain or else theu will be send back to agency or worst repatriated.. Helpers should know their rights.

Jovinz Espiritu: I hope goverment in singapore will do the right action....many fdw really suffer from their employer and agent and its true that our standard contract is never follow...and I wonder why until now the gov. Still blind about this.

Loise Madrid: First thing.. maids are just any other employee around singapore, they've legal contracts to follow throughout their stay with their employers. dear FDw lesson here is before you sign a contract please read it carefully, if you dont fully understand Do clarify, if you need to have translated in your own dialect, please do (coz that what i did, i literally translated it im tagalog, although I am filipino so as not to.let her feel cheated) youre just being cateful cause its for your sake.. i think it's a practice by most agency to deduct 6-8 mos of your salary, if FDW isnt agreeable then don't sign but in most cases because of the need FDW has no choice but to sign that is the 1st challenge, who wants to work without being paid ?!

The 2nd challenge whether u'll end up with a.reasonable employer.. if you're not lucky an FDW will be abused by their boss.. no day off, a sleeping quarters which is very uncomfortable, salary not on time & )lot more. It takes 2 to tango , FDw is good then employer is satisfied HARMONY.. maybe the 2.  locals who vented their frustration here experienced the con maid thats why their like that but my comment to them is don't generalized all FDW there are better ones too.

if employer is putting cctv in their houses to watch what your doing then itll be wise to do the same thru a logbook cause FDW is not high tech.. Youre in a foreign land and you have to.be wise too on how you can protect your self..Bring the matter to MOM if employer break any part of the.contract.

Winter: Activists have spolit FDWs.  Modern FDWs just know how to blame Employers for not getting the 'sweets' they desired.  They are at fault but refused to point fingers on themselves.

These Facebook maids still didn't understand what employers are trying to emphasize.  Claimed they cannot leave Spore because they have invested.  Our fault?  In the first place, who forced FDWs to fly over?  They had itchy backsides, stepped into their home country agencies to offer money ... of course no agent will turn them away so they became merchandises, meat on the chopping board.  Once in Spore, FDWs pretend cheated, underpaid, treated like slaves, act clueless or can't accept the local contract terms ....turned the table and claimed employers no good, terror, sent them home without allowing them to 'recoup' (repatriation), didn't give them human rights, etc.  If Spore is so bad, the thought of coming to Spore shouldn't have exist.  If you didn't come, you would have saved your investment and need not take up unglam FDW jobs .... complaining, shredding crocodile tears and pushing the blame to your ill-fated employers, aren't you despicable?   If you had been a good worker, who would want to make you leave?  It is not free nor cheap to employ FDW!  We are not expatriates who can easily earn S$10,000 each month.  My salary is only about 2% of Prime Minister Lee.  

Life is harsh, the truth is there but you people (haven't gone thru harsh life/born with golden spoon) like to think I've exaggerated, don't believe what I'm going thru.  Why not you come to my house and replace my role for 6 months?  Pretend you're the mother (no need to be wife lah) of a special needs child, no maid, just housework, the house, special school education, caring the child, facing uncaring or lip service grassroots/ministers/social workers ... bring you to those days when I was a full-time homemaker with tight budget (the 'working hours' will be longer than my FDW, no off day, no spare spending money), then tell me how many days you can survive, am I telling the truth, have you been blinded/cheated by wolves in disguise .... etc.

Most ridiculous is FB maid saying Citizens should leave our country so that foreigners can come over and dig gold - recover their losses/investment.  Make way, get lost, let FDWs' 'investment' be multiplied easily, give FDWs an easy path so as to make quick bucks and vacate (foreigners will leave Spore after earning enough)... return to enjoy good life in home country.... did I get your message correct?  Spore is a safe haven and gives good money so foreigners want to rob our lives, our jobs, our country ... our birth place!  It is not about investment.  We were born here, educated and grew up here, our parents, family, friends and relatives are here in this tiny red dot.  Those rich or cream of crop (able to get overseas appointment) can leave Spore.  There's nowhere people like me can migrate... we're stuck here!  

You think I don't want to live in a country like yours, low costs of living, plenty of cheap land, kampong lifestyle (carefree life) ...even if you don't work for 1 or 2 months, you won't die!  In Spore, you can't survive.  Everything needs money.  You leave the house you need to spend.  You stay in your own HDB unit (house) not working  for 1 or 2 months, who is going to provide/pay your food, electricity, water, housing loan, insurance, education, children/your transport & others, medical, toiletries, etc?  Can you Grow your own crops or Rear your own chicken, pigs and cows in a HDB flat?  Crazy, posting nonsense, mislead people and still think you are right!

Reader, if you are really a Sporean, can you accept such remarks?  If you had all the while been a FDW's activist, if maid says this (leave your country) to you, do you smile and encourage more FDWs to be like her?  

Foreigners, the so-call vulnerable/submissive/pathetic/poor FDWs are suggesting citizens to get lost!  You're protecting and finding excuses for them to fleece employers.  Such human deserves your unconditional protection and compassion?  FDWs want everything (be it an entitlement as per MOM or rewards for being our FDWs), still think not enough, underpaid... we owe them a good living? They blame Employers for their plights.  They like to accuse Employers for not giving them good lives (high pay, little work, plenty pleasure time, constant attention on their mobile phones) at our expense.... fair, makes sense?  MOM said FDWs can sponge on us? Agencies painted such juicy pictures to FDWs? 

This is how an activist thinks .... "Only when domestic workers are treated with fairness, respect and decency by agents and employers should we ask that they be properly selected and trained.  Domestic workers are employees, yet have virtually no rights in Singapore."

After reading my blog throughly or you, as an "ill-fated" FDW's employer, do you feel like crying?

Do you feel like punching this activist?  

Maid agency made fast money and has no risks nor liabilities to bear, even if a bad maid or maid with poor working mentality was recruited, maid agencies are still smiling and keeping the sweet money they easily took from employers.  
Our fault to hire FDW?  Blame our bad luck?  Employers didn't try their best to please the maids and make FDWs feel 'human', have lots of privacy, feel well reward with only 30-50% work done, etc?  If maids are really of good quality, how much of bad luck would there be in the market?  There won't be so many transfer maids if all the three parties (agency, FDW, employer) are clear and honest - transparent about MOM contract terms, FDW's job scope, maid's expectation, off day needed, mobile phone restriction (house rules), etc.

If agencies insisted maids and employers must pay at least S$800 to $3000 to establish a relationship, why the middlemen (agencies) have no assurance to offer us?  MOM has been allowing maid agencies to earn heartless money from us.  We are at the losing ends, have you spared a thought for us?  We merely wanted a good helping hand.  For people who hired maids due to real neccessity, we would want the maid to be happy so that she can stay long and be able delighted to lighten my loads, take good care of my girl so that we could work peacefully.  Is it really too much to get maid agencies to do quality control and ensure good job matching?  

Is it right for activists to keep pinning down the employers?
Note:  This writer's name doesn't look local.


I agree with the comments in the letters “Maid agencies must ensure maids are fit to work here” (April 15) and “Employment agencies must do more to improve quality of maids, training” (April 16).  However, the letters were a little one-sided.

While employers are right in worrying about their workers, let us pay a little more consideration to the quality of employers too.  Domestic workers are employees, yet have virtually no rights in Singapore.

They are brought here by agencies whose objective is to make quick money. The workers must pay hefty placement fees; in most other jobs, the employers pay such fees.  If employers want to ensure agencies work for them, they should be required to pay these placement fees.

Is it fair to ask someone making barely S$500 a month to pay S$3,000 for finding the job? 

Let us continue by informing workers properly about the duties they will need to perform and ensuring they agree in writing.  Agencies must be careful in selecting employers, as many in Singapore are not fit to employ domestic workers.

These agencies, which are well rewarded, should be fully responsible for ensuring both employers and employees respect the terms of the contract in writing and for providing avenues of redress in cases where either party is unsatisfied.  Only when domestic workers are treated with fairness, respect and decency by agents and employers should we ask that they be properly selected and trained.

Somebody posted this and he/she felt we (or ME??) is a disgrace.
How true, if you're not blinded and stubbornly sided the FDWs, you should know!

I believe it your rights to overpay the maid but most local employers felt FDWs DON'T deserve a salary of S$950 and we have not short-changed our FDWs. We are law abiding citizens and all FDWs are well protected by the Ministry of Manpower, at Employers' expenses.

I wonder whether you have looked at the mirror and see how hideous you look. Yes, you've paid your FDW very well, about 2 times more than the usual FDWs. You are making the market to be unbalanced and bringing unnecessary problems to the employers. We've a standard contract to follow, no FDWs were cheated or short-changed. If you have plenty of money to offer your FDW, go ahead but you shouldn't say we're in the wrong or a disgrace.

You've disgraced yourself by not looking at our costs of living, our salary and sparing a thought for others. You didn't compare apples to apples. I believe you're educated to do proper comparison ... just a matter of whether you want or not.

Every country has different culture and LIVING COSTS. You or spouse's monthly salary could be 10 times of mine, you think this is normal? You felt it is right to make remarks that doesn't fit into our context. Your maid could be eating only 1 to 5% of your salary. It really isn't much if you look in the form of percentage. But if using my salary, it is a a lot of difference! Be an asshole somewhere else. Don't pollute Spore.

You're a devil so don't make yourself look like an angel and cause pain to others. We're already suffering in the hands of bad maids and facing lots of unfairness ie MOM's pro-maid policies.

When you're bitten by your highly paid maid, Iet me know so that I can be joyful or be less jealous... let me know God is fair in some way.
Let me know I'm also a human deserving equal protection and rights.  Currently, we're like ATM machines

Another activist ... appeared like posting in my blog for fun.

You posted here for what? Is it a joy to land your feet on others? What you commented showed you didn't read well. I posted with facts and not hearsay.

You didn't live here nor know the locals' living costs and salary. Don't show your wilful and obstinate ignorance ... stop acting like you are a nice person or life saviour. As I always say, only those who have been bullied by bad maids (both mentally and financially) will know the taste. No activist will understand without going thru the ordeal.

We are law abiding citizens and all foreign domestic maids are well protected by the Ministry of Manpower, at Employers' expenses.... even if the maid is a bad worker. If maids are ill-treated and not well taken care of, MOM won't hesitate to fine or punish the employers SEVERELY. Maids don't get punished severely for being bad, including killing somebody vulnerable.... did you open your eyes to read the real facts that took place?