A push by a local maid agency to bring in more male helpers to Singapore has hit a snag because it has been found to be "not practical".
Homekeeper, which last year announced plans to bring in up to 100 male "maids", has decided there is not enough interest after bringing in 10 from Myanmar.
Issues include the longer time it takes for a male helper's work permit to be approved, the fact that he cannot be transferred to another family and families' reservations regarding living arrangements. "If there are women living in the house, families are not comfortable with a male helper also staying under the same roof," said Homekeeper general manager Mark Chin.
The role of live-in male helpers is to take care of elderly men, who might be too heavy for female maids to lift. They are paid around $600 a month, compared with around $2,000 for a male nurse.
A Manpower Ministry (MOM) spokesman said there are around 30 male helpers here, and applications to bring them in are "very rare" and allowed only in "exceptional situations". There are more than 200,000 female maids here.
Last year, Homekeeper decided to bring in more male helpers after saying there was a strong demand for them to take care of elderly men who may be bedridden, given the ageing population. But it found that getting approval for a helper would take one to three months.
Families who wanted a male helper were willing to wait in the beginning, but as their needs grew more urgent, they became more impatient, Mr Chin said. Sometimes, prospective employers had to seek the help of their Members of Parliament to try to get the applications approved, he added. But this is only part of the problem.
One 32-year-old male helper from Myanmar decided to return home after four months because the job was not what he had expected. He thought he would only be taking care of the elderly man he was attached to but he was asked to do housework as well. He could not be transferred to another family because MOM approves work permits for male helpers only on a case-by-case basis.
Homekeeper chose to bear the return expenses for the male helpers who wanted or needed to be repatriated. Out of the 10 male helpers the firm brought in, six have left.
The owner of employment agency JRS Business Express, who did not want to be named, said she has brought in one or two male helpers, adding that the application process is "quite tough".
As for families who hope to hire male helpers, Mr Chin said his firm will still bring them in, but on an ad-hoc basis.
Winter: My needs, an affordable special needs daycare centre that is located nearby (half day rate shouldn't cost about/more than a FDW's salary) or with transport provided to ferry her if Center is not within walking distance. Grassroots and social workers tend to find Centres that do not want my girl (she is not independent, unable to understand and obey instructions - to be simple, not well-behaved and easy to take care) and failed to consider the fact I don't own a car, I need school transport to ferry her .... otherwise, how do I hold a full-time job?
If I'm gone, I hope a daycare centre is available so that proper attention is given to my girl instead of hiring a live-in domestic maid. Quality is not there. What Employers paid and trained FDW isn't worth because of modern FDW's working mentality and attitude... they come here to play hard and not to work according to what they have agreed during interview.
Phenomenon of the squeezed middle-class, Straits Times, 21 Apr 2014
When asked to rate how well the Government has handled issues like health care and transport since 2011, again this group consistently gave the lowest scores. The survey sought to find out how Singaporeans view the progress made since the 2011 General Election, when many issues were aired and voters sent a strong signal by electing six opposition members into the House, the most since 1966.
Singaporeans have the most confidence in the Government's ability to handle issues related to the elderly, the poor, health care and housing, although there appears to be growing frustration over train breakdowns, and the foreign worker issue remains divisive. But another picture that emerged was of a U-shape curve in satisfaction.
Young Singaporeans are generally happy and optimistic. Those in their mid-30s, 40s and early-50s are stressed and critical. And then those aged 55 to 64 become more carefree and happier again. When told these results from the survey, Mr Koh agreed: "These (aged 35 to 44) are the people with the most burdens, the most worries. We're in a midlife crisis of sorts. We have schoolgoing children, so the commitment is very high, and we're also afraid of a sudden career change. "If you're committed to the car, house and children, the burden is huge. We're the sandwich group. The costs are tremendous."
The phenomenon of the middle-class squeeze is not a new one. And neither are the stresses of the middle-aged. But when age and income intersect, the survey suggest a bloc of voters in the middle who are feeling increasingly squeezed and in need of more help. Scholars on well-being have posited just this relation between age and happiness - with the lowest point usually coinciding with middle age.
That does not surprise Nominated Member of Parliament Laurence Lien: "The middle-income may have higher expectations that are unmet, and they do not get as much government support as the lower-income. "The 35- to 44-year-olds are often having to juggle multiple responsibilities. Apart from work and parental responsibilities, they may also have to provide caregiving help to their parents."
The survey also found that the overriding perception is that the Government helps the poor the most.
Over three-quarters of respondents said the low-income group have benefited most from government policies in the last three years. In contrast, only 3 per cent said the middle-income group had been helped the most, less than the 10 per cent who said the richest were being helped the most. This despite more measures recently to support the middle-income group, including GST vouchers to offset cost of living rises, and also hikes in the income ceiling so middle-income households can buy four-room HDB flats with subsidies.
The findings suggest that while the Government has increased support to the middle-income groups, it is either not felt, or not sufficient. This traditional PAP-voting base may have wavered due to concerns over the rising cost of living and lack of retirement savings.
Overall, the survey findings suggest that even as the Government has moved to address many of the issues that had caused anxiety and insecurity among voters, there are still groups that remain sceptical, especially among the middle-aged and middle class. The Government has to pay attention to their needs and aspirations, so as to make sure their dissatisfaction does not deepen further.
Lack of care, The New Paper, Monday, 24 Mar 2014
Last week, the Ministry of Social and Family Development announced a pilot programme in Parliament where multiple agencies would work together to give specific help to vulnerable families. For sole breadwinner Lai Peng Nan, however, being able to get food and medicine may not be enough to ease his worries. Mr Lai gets help, such as monthly food packages, from various welfare groups. His family also gets public assistance.
But finances are not his only worry. He can afford to live, he told The New Paper, but not to die. His wife, 75, daughter, 55 and son, 52 are mentally disabled.
Mr Lai has another son who works as a labourer, but he has a family to feed in Batam. His two other daughters committed suicide 10 years ago. He said: "Luckily, I'm still healthy for my age, but who'll look after them (his family members) when I die?"
Taking care of them is not easy.
When TNP caught up with him recently, he was heading home with a spring in his step. The plastic bag the 82-year-old was holding was bursting with the spoils of the day - five discarded aluminium pot lids. Mere trash in other people's eyes, but they were worth far more to Mr Lai. He said in a mixture of Mandarin and Teochew: "Do you know how expensive aluminium is?" When sold to the karung guni man, the lids would fetch $2 or $3, he estimated.
That meant a boost to a monthly income ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars.
Madam Tay, Mr Lai's wife, scuttles into the bedroom whenever visitors arrive. Mr Lai said: "She doesn't like people seeing her in this state. She used to be okay, but now she stays at home and doesn't like to go out." It was only when The New Paper left the three-room flat in Serangoon that she re-appeared.
Neighbours said the younger Mr Lai would urinate at the corridor and staircase landing. He also sleeps at the corridor. Knowing the family's situation, many neighbours take the inconvenience in their stride.Grassroots volunteers said the younger Mr Lai had been arrested previously for stripping and urinating in public. On several occasions, the police had to bring him home. He was not always like this. Mr Lai said his son grew up normal, but "lost his job, got dumped, couldn't take it and ended up like this".
TNP understands that Family Service Centre staff have been helping the son since 2000. The younger Mr Lai visits the centre regularly for counselling and support. Mr Lai declined to talk about his daughter, except to say that she hides in her room. Aside from worrying about what will happen to them after he is gone, Mr Lai also frets about whether his family will be able to continue living together.
A counsellor with 15 years' experience said the state is likely to intervene only if there is no living next-of-kin. If that is the case, "the family members would likely be sent to homes". The Ministry of Social and Family Development said that social workers "will work with (the) dependents and various agencies to provide alternative care arrangements". Institutionalisation is a last resort.
The suicides of Mr Lai's daughters more than 10 years ago still haunt him. A neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Madam Ang, 80, saw one daughter's body at the void deck. She recalled: "There was a canvas sheet covering her. The parents were standing there silently. There were no tears, no sound, no reaction." Madam Ang's relative, who declined to be named, said: "Maybe they have no more tears left."
Winter: Who will care for my special needs girl when I'm gone?
Nothing is free in Spore. PAP and activists won't care to look at you, even if you're really vulnerable. Even if help is given, how long? How much?
24 Sep 2013 - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has confirmed in his recent speech (link) that Singaporeans are often “very preoccupied with our own problems”. PM Lee encouraged them to know what's happening in the world around them. PM Lee also discussed the concept of work-life balance which he said has become a “tag-phrase” and “meme” among Singaporeans. PM Lee said Singaporeans don’t quite understand the trade-offs of work-life balance. He explained that Singaporeans might want to "have a bit more free time" and "a bit less stress and pressure in life".
However, there are countries like China, Vietnam and India which are “hungry” and “anxious” to “steal” the lunch from Singapore, he added. PM Lee also said he wants Singaporeans to not depend on the government to solve all problems. While he agreed that the government has to be on top of the game, think ahead and solve problems, when issues come up, he wants Singaporeans to think of what they can do. PM Lee also encouraged Singaporeans to look after themselves and not to be just reliant on handouts.
枪口对外，内部腐烂也不比外患重要？政府不能同时兼顾, 人民应该自己解决政策引起的问题？耍太极？PM still perceive the citizens as inept and a bunch of complainers is appalling. Are we not good enough to hold the best positions? Are we inferior compared to imported foreigners? Have we not been one of the most hardworking (worked long hours) and resilient workers whether it's white or blue collar? It means internal problem, such as coping with special needs and how to help us should not be chanelled to him or his ministers? Really sad and shows how well PAP knows your own people. Our govt should not CREATE problems or implement unfriendly policies for Singaporeans to solve ourselves, am I right? Why asking PAP to reflect and show more care to the low income or sandwitched citizens is viewed as troublemakers?
May I ask who brought in cheaper people from China, Philippines, India and other countries to "steal" our lunch? Monopolies and oligarchies running the economy dictating prices in property, retail sector, telecommunication, transport etc. causing high inflation. Foreigners escalated prices of properties that are out of reach to the average citizens. An influx of foreigners with alien culture that add pressure to the infrastructure. Robbed us of everything, including our livelihood... you thought the roots of all these problems are the citizens, not you? Are we one of the policy makers?
Made lives of Singaporean miserable yet sounded we asked for it and caused it! Singaporeans are working longer hours but earned lesser income than our wealthier counterparts so that Spore remains on the top. Be fair and stop treating us like some uneducated people from poorer countries! Do note that your salary is 10 times of a manager. Your one month salary is so many times higher than my YEARLY income! In year 2012, PM Lee took a 36% pay reduction to S$2.2 million basic pay (link). The highest salary of any elected head of government in the world - more than four times as much as Barack Obama who earns US$400,000 a year as President of the United States. I didn't cast aspersions.
We feel the pain (problems) the greatest but you can't feel any because you made the policies, thinking they are perfect or workable since they suit you and the highly paid ministers. You don't seem to empathise and help those in pain by coming up with solutions to lessen the pain... you lost touch with the grounds! How to remain silence when we're facing the impact of the problems created by PAP? 在你成为人上人之后，不要把我们这些底层人忘了. 我们不至于过着水深火热但日子确实不好过!
23 Sep - Some people are PAP supporters or pro-maid, no matter what infuriating things FDWs did to employers, so when I made some true comments, they get defensive/frighten - either deleted my comments/the whole thread and my account was banned. Can you hide the truth forever? I may be a minority in Spore but if one day, more people like me decide to stand out, refused to suffer in silence and be deceived to think tomorrow will be better …. can you handle a massive group of angry netizens? Put an iron fist eg ridiculous law to stop people from voicing? 阻止人民言论自由?
Just realised one parenting forum, did this to me. 清者自清 做人何必假惺惺 Since people trying to cover up and stopping me from telling the truth, the only option available is to voice in my own blog, be the administrator. I became an owner of a blog so nobody can delete my comments or thread. If you want to be pro-maid, this blog is not for you. Don't bother to fight for maids in a blog that is managed by a miserable FDW's employer. Why should I be a hypocite to make you happy?
There are many people who refused to try to understand my situation, they felt what happened to me is no big deal so I must keep this blog active to make people realise, not everybody is so fortunate. There are really citizens who are suffering and a lot chose to keep quiet. A lot of government policies or subsidies were just for show, it didn't benefit or help us improve our lives... somebody has to come out to tell the truth with proof ... which I did, some of my posts contained email to MOM or what my FDW did. I'm thinking of whether I should dig out the letter from KK Hospital which claimed they are not responsible, they were merely acting according to Spore Medical Council's guidelines (endorsed by PAP) and refused my request to have detailed tests during my first trimester.
22 Sep - Somebody posted this in my blog: "And since you have so much to say about your maid, why do you hire a maid in the first place? And why are you blaming your government in the predicament you are in? Why did you start a family if you are not ready to tacle your future problems? What you are facing right now is part of the parcel of a married life. You chose to get married and chose to gave birth and now you encounter some problems, you are blaming your government and your maid and the people who are not so nice to you. You are facing all this problems because of your choices. Instead of washing your dirty lenin in public, why not just kept quiet and pray?"
Did I plan to have an abnormal child? You mean you'll do family planning to have an abnormal baby? Do I look like I'm crazy to plan and conceive an abnormal child? Was I mentally prepared to have a special needs child in my family? Who has offered me a chance to say I don't want to have an abnormal child? Do I like to be hated when I tried to voice what I have been made to go thru? I delivered a special needs child even though I was under the 'good care' of KK Hospital. Played out by those professionals and a reputable hospital, what can I do? I'm just a commoner with no impressive background, not rich and no minister/govt office keen to help. Swallow everything that happened due to KK and pick up the 'burden of love' for life. What happened to me, don't I have the rights to tell the truth via a blog and share with others who may be in the same predicament? Why I am forced to employ a maid, why I am keeping JA, I strongly believe those who have read my blog know the answers. Posting in my blog for fun just show what kind of person you are! Being a FDW's employer is not my preferred choice. Just because I am a FDW's employer, I deserve nasty remarks? You want to comment something, get the facts right! If FDWs are really good helpers and can stay for 2 years, why there are woes from employers - maids getting easy transfer, wasting our time and money to train them?
There are too many people who can't be bothered to understand what others are suffering, 不知人间疾苦 had been too blessed, having smooth sailing life 好命, thus, no matter how much I tried to explain, they refused to use a bit of good heart to understand and be fair to me. Simple thing like read before shooting at me, they can't even do it.
I hope inconsiderate and insensitive people will land in my shoes to have a taste of what is means by trying to stay employable in order to survive in a cruel country, as a special needs parent.
I must keep this blog active so that 'dirty linen' can be shown to the public and hopefully, one fine day cleaned by MOM/PAP. By keeping quiet will mean more people will take advantage of FDW's employers. Most ministers are in their comfort zones and have not shown adequate care to the special needs families cum FDWs' employer. If I have been a special needs mum for 10 years, I have been enduring 10 years and hopes to be 'treated' were tarnished year after year.
This blog was created around Nov 2012, how many 10 years do I have? Imagine a person is sick for 10 years, denied treatment, what will happen to this person? This person will continue to be in pain till the day he/she dies painfully. If 'medical treatment' is given, he/she may recover or die a less painful way. Also, the family will not suffer so long, maybe spared from agony. How many 10 years do I have to wait for PAP/MOM? Kept quiet for 10 years .... not enough? One year 365 days .... you able to live in my kind of life?
By praying .... if it helps then in this world, nobody need to work, just pray for money to rain on you. If praying is so great, pray for good health so that we need not pay to see doctors and get medication. There are quite a number of people selling me the idea of healing (sounded like miracle) thru religion... to me, it is just a gathering but won't heal my 'wound' or my child... everything depends on myself. Don't pin hopes somewhere and realise they will never come thru. Maybe will come thru but I'm already dead!
21 Sep - How do you feel when somebody says
"I believe that these Pinoy maids are educated enough because as posted at the MOM website, an applicant should have a secondary school diploma. Comparing to the capacity to communicate, among all the foreign maids here, Filipino maids has no problem with english communication unlike other nationalities. But most of the time, problem also lies on employers like us, or maybe from our own family. If not educated enough or even those who did not finish school, still has problem with communication. Anyway, we should be thankful enough because if not of these maids then we can not find a living for our family and our kids might end up to be maids or gardener in the end."
My view (link):
Yes, getting a FDW let me stays employable but giving me headaches, unnecessary stress and financial drainage will just push me and other full-time mummies to resign and stay home. By staying home to nurture own kids, our kids won't end up as gardener or maids. By employing FDWs, your kids won't become ministers or somebody of substance. Maids are helpers, not suppose to replace parents. You employed maid to take over your role? Are you really an employer? Can't believe there's an employer who empowered the FDW to mould their children's future.
Filipino maids are educated but are they more educated than the employers? Their English is better than other FDWs but good enough to make you think they are superb people for your household or kids? Being able to communicate in English made Filipino maids felt superior and tend not to cooperate with employers in order to deliver a good job. If their English is good or qualified to tutor or guide your children to the right track, they shouldn't be FDWs, there are so many other jobs for educated filipinos.
If I must kick my current filipino out, have the courage to employ another FDW, I will find a FDW from other source country and adjust my life having poor communication. By being able to communicate in English, filipinos should understand my house rules and work instructions but they chose to pretend or purposely do opposite ways. Filipino maid quality sucks!
What for hire egoistic filipinos who are not prepared to do their best to help me in the capacity as FDW? What for pay filipinos higher salary than other nationalities and ended up with more unreasonable demands from them?
7 Sep - In July, the Association of Employment Agencies Singapore (AEAS) made an appeal to lower the minimum age requirement and to scrap the educational requirement for maids. It believes these changes are needed to boost the supply of maids in Singapore.
AEAS says a maid's education should be left to the employer's specification. MOM currently sets the requirement of all FDWs must receive at least 8 years of education. By having 8 years of education, it does not mean maid can speak simple English. It could be just fluent in their mother tongue. Who cares about their age or qualification? What employers need is a good helper, a person who is trainable and willing to follow work instructions.
We do not need FDWs who can afford to attend school, which means their families are not that poor, thus, do not really need to work hard in a foreign country and earn a decent salary. I hope to find a FDW who is the sole source of income. Others may want to buy land, build a home, etc. We do not need FDWs coming here to enjoy life or get a free holiday with live-in FDW's benefits. We do not need FDWs who are too highly educated and chose to spend time fighting for more benefits. They focused on self and are reluctant to lighten employers' load. I am sure most are aware what kind of salary Spore is offering yet they come in and claimed underpaid. Don't pollute our country. Stop whining.
If FDW is not a job chosen by you, I can't believe it. You're a human, not a slave, you can choose a job, you decide whether the salary is acceptable so all the while, working as FDW ie maid is YOUR choice ... you placed your ass in the plane, not Employers! You know you can't get such good terms and salary in your own country. Point your fingers towards yourself, admit your own greed caused you to be a commodity and allowed agencies to earn big bucks.
For maid, to be separated from parents, children and/or husbands, to work in a strange place and be at the beck and call of strangers, could be quite a frightening experience. Worse, they often have to pay large sums to maid agencies to secure employment. Most of the time, the contract in source countries and Spore is different. When maids found out, they point their fingers to the employers. Are we suppose to give in to FDWs, feel sorry for them so do all we could to please them? Employers didn't set the policies or created the contract, they felt cheated, what can we do? We, employers also paid a lot to your agencies. Not our fault, if you have used your eyes to see and brains to think! By having a minimum age, 23 to work as FDW, such a simple logic, a matured person like you, don't know? Are you still a child?
By enforcing every maid must be at least 23 years old, does it means she has matured thinking? No, my past maids and current maid are examples of maturity is not present in them. Life experience makes a person grow and then be matured. Modern FDWs looked more like big babies, waiting to be nursed and taken good care at employers' expense. They are childish and irresponsible. They can afford to do so and remain childish, refused to think well because the circumstances didn't force them to grow up and behave like an adult.... too pampered! A real adult should be fully responsible for their actions. FDWs have off days but employers are made responsible for what they did. FDWs have to take half yearly medical test …. what's the purpose? To find out whether they have misbehaved! Who faced the consequences of what maids did eg pregnant or has HIV? Not totally maid herself, somebody else.
The solution is actually quite simple. If government is prepared to act in a decisive way, we may be able to get ourselves out of this shit. Even with a central agency in charge, dictate the terms of employment for maids in the host countries, including salaries, the people at the bottom will still suffer, whereas, those on top continue to find ways to reap huge profits. The best is MOM setup recruitment agencies and training centers in the source countries to get things right. Don't you know what is the meaning of corruption? Haven't you seen high ranking officials pocketing money – embezzlement?
Governments need to take direct control of the recruitment process... time to tighten the grips of your kites. The poor shouldn't be made poorer and become money making machines. This applies to both FDWs and Employers.
All we need is a good pair of helping hands, not rebellious troublemaker. Some maids claimed the chores assigned are not fit for human. Eg, if you ask maid to hand wash her own clothes, she felt she should be given a washing machine. See this comment by a maid.
Of course, there are also good maids but it is really very difficult to find in Spore. By lowering the FDWs age to 20 and remove the 8 years educational requirement, I believe we will have more maids who come to Spore, really in need of a FDW job and will be delighted to be paid S$420 to $600 per month. I hope maids who felt they are superior and do not deserve a low class FDW job (a job not fit for high class human), can reflect on yourselves. If you're worth more, can easily get a better job in your own country, by all means stay there, don't fly to Spore or Hong Kong and whine. Don't expect employers to please you and give in to your demands. Everything .... your entitlement and salary are in black and white. You cheated yourself by thinking you are good! You believe your agencies thinking you're fantastic and deserve more. Employers didn't cheat you!
Filipinos maids tend to be favoured by expats because of their command of English is significantly better. However, some employers said the Indonesian girls are better around the home, taking care of children and are very loyal. Recently, I saw one Taiwanese show, filmed that Indonesians learnt how to take care of children and elderly in their training centres. I didn't get an Indonesian FDW who could take good care of my girl. Similarly, some said Myanmese are hardworking and trainable, can learn another language easily, but is it true? There's no guarantee which nationality is better. It could be due to the quality of FDWs have deteriorated, some agencies didn't send their maids to attend beneficial training or I/we are unlucky. I guess it is the mindset. How much maids are prepared to do a FDW job, their willingness to co-operate and level of understanding towards her employer and family.
Filipinos will confront employers over their obligations and will make use of their agencies, Facebook, circle of friends and MOM to resolve any grievances. They have a much better command in English but this has become something scary to me. I can no longer live with a Filipino. It makes me feel lousy because they are not manageable and are time-bombs. As mentioned, the next time I have to employ a FDW, it will not be a Filipino. Thinking she is better than me, all the requests are justifiable and I must make her happy .... sorry, you've over-estimated my tolerance and the depth of my pocket. Of course, if there's a special needs daycare centre, I will be freed from FDWs and maid agencies!!
Tan Chuan-Jin commented in his Facebook: ‘We may be too dependent on maids’
TCJ said “I didn't grow up having maids at home. When we got married, we didn't have maids. When we had kids, we did have one. But I think we just didn't really like the idea of having someone else in the house. And basically after that we just stopped.
I actually think that as a society, we are a bit too dependent on maids. Obviously, for childcare and eldercare, it's useful. And every family has different needs, to be fair. But I think there's some merit also in managing your own household. Your children grow up not assuming that things automatically get cleaned. If you don't tidy up your room, it just remains untidy. And they help out with household chores.”
Well, TCJ has choice but do I?
He doesn't need maid. Maid is not a necessity in a normal family like his. Give me a special needs daycare centre, suitable for my girl (prefer affordable fee and located nearby) so that I do not need to depend on FDW.
2 Aug - Domestic helpers enable family caregivers to continue to work and earn income to support themselves and their families .... Yahoo news
In the midst of an ever-increasing number of complaints against domestic helpers -- from the usual complaints of incompetency to alleged abuse of children and elderly cases-- Misi is a rare find, her employer Alice Quek said.
“We couldn’t have done without Misi. She provided Ma with a high level of care and she was always there when we couldn’t be,” Alice added.
The increasing importance of domestic helpers when it comes to caregiving is something that the Asian Women's Welfare Association's (AWWA)’s caregiving arm, Centre for Caregivers, wants to highlight. The centre was established in 2006 to look after the well-being of the local caregiving community. The centre also conducts workshops and training sessions for caregivers.
Instead of just doing household chores such as cleaning, cooking and taking care of young children, more domestic helpers are being hired to take care of a family member who is elderly or with disabilities, Anita Ho, CFC’s assistant director said. With this in mind, the centre launched the foreign domestic helper category as part of their Model Caregiver awards last year.
As of December last year, there were 209, 600 foreign domestic workers in Singapore, a 14 per cent increase from 2007, according to the Ministry of Manpower.
Ho also referred to two surveys commissioned by Ministry Social and Family development (the former Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports) conducted three years apart.
A 2009 survey reported that 17 per cent of the households interviewed hired domestic helpers mainly to care for an elderly. This jumped to 49 per cent in the second survey, conducted last year.
“Domestic helpers enable family caregivers to continue to work and earn income to support themselves and their families,” Anita said. “The limited availability of day care facilities and respite options also increases our reliance on domestic helpers”.
Sian Long • It is nice to know they value foreign maids and workers. What about our local low skilled staff, maids and workers? Singaporeans are getting more and more insignificant and ignored in their own country. Tsk tsk tsk. Charity begins at home.
Deaf Mute • They came to Singapore to work because they could not find works in their own countries and not because they have a special love for Singapore. They would have left Singapore as soon as they could find slightly high pay jobs elsewhere. Why should they be singled out for honour?
We should honour our old grandfathers and fathers, old grandmothers and mothers who are still slogging to keep themselves alive.
We should appreciate their contributions to what we are today, not just the handful of MIW's claims of their sacrifices.
Jenny Y • Most maids agency will teach the maid to say that they can fly, climb the tree and many more when someone want to employ them. When they reach the employer house, if not happy. Just act blur blur, say here pain, there pain and will get a transfer.
Now the maid agencies already earn our hard earned money. But we will go through this troublesome procedure again. The maid agency is like a crocodile. And the maid had also become one of them. Both of them are carnivorous. Earn our hard earned money without blinking their eyes and doing much. Give them a CARNIVOROUS AWARD.
A Yahoo! User • Sounds like a joke when the quality of maids that arrive here is getting worse by the day. The better ones have gone to HK or Taiwan where there's no maid levy, while others have taken up sales position here. MOM is on different frequency.
Zorro007 • I am not against this but, please award your original people before others, eg: those NS boys earned nothing serving our country, your peanuts paid ah pek, ah soo, makcik, pak cik, ama, aneh cleaners, rubbish collectors, what lah you gahmen!.
David • 209,600 FDWs at monthly levy of $265 = $55.544 Million / month = $666.52 Million / year. What else can I say! Singaporeans are sooooooo rich! or stupid?
Tuna Seng • This article featured on ISOLATED case. Install a spycam and you be surprise what your maid do to your aged parent.
Zack • From my experience, helpers have very poor mentality & some even think they are on holiday here...
Paige • maid are boss..boss are their slave.
Experts have stressed the need for more practical and emotional support for families to deal with caregiving (read article below).
26 May - Caregivers in Singapore reported symptoms of Depression, Channel News Asia, 25 May
SINGAPORE: According to a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, about 20 per cent of caregivers in Singapore reported symptoms of depression. These findings were shared in the Tsao Foundation's Caregiving Conference, which discussed the problems faced by caregivers here.
The survey polled 1,190 pairs of elderly persons and their caregivers over a one-year period from 2009 to 2010.
Over the last 12 months ending March 2013, the foreign domestic grant benefited only about 3,000 families while about 7,000 caregivers underwent training with the caregiver training grant.
Experts have stressed the need for more practical and emotional support for families to deal with caregiving.
22 May - FDW grant, effective somewhere Sep 2012. read
I qualify for FDWG (based on my household income) but to get the funds is not easy. I have to find a suitable course centre and a course that will really enrich my FDW so that she can understand and handle my girl. How can I sign her up for a course that is meant for an elderly.... ridiculous, right? I can't simply dump my maid for any course.
For M, I waited 3 months for a suitable course but only managed to get cash back of one month .... because I kicked M out! JA, she's with me for 2 months but to get a relevant course, I must wait till Jun. No FDW grant for me, no back dated reimbursement. From M to JA, I am eligible to get 6 months reimbursement, ie $120 per month x 6. Not forgetting my previous filipino maid who wanted to job hop after her home leave so I didn't sign her for any course .... kissed good-bye to 3 months grant. Total FDW grant not entitled to was 8 months ($960).
Course dates are fixed by the training centres, very inconvenient but AIC/CEL/MOM won't be keen to make this Grant hassle-free to us... it means more money will be taken from the govt... too easily. Our govt doesn't want to disburse easy money so there are many terms and conditions to meet. Also, the application is not one-time. Once you change a FDW, you have to re-do everything again. Thus, I was only given one month of grant instead of 8 months..... so disappointed.
Homekeeper managing director Carene Chin said many of her customers point out that their maids struggle to carry their wheelchair-bound or bed- ridden fathers.
By Amelia Tan, The Straits Times, 28 Jan 2013
Getting in male as FDW is good but how come only Myanmese? They are easier to managed? MOM realised Filipinos are full of ego or males tend to be more highly educated? When I was a new FDW's employer, I thought the choices were wide. Then after visiting a few maid agencies, I was shocked to find out nobody holding passports from Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand wants to be domestic maid. MOM is trying deceive us.
The actual source countries are India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Most FDWs come from Philippines and Indonesia, these nationalities are maid agencies preferred money making tools. There are FDWs from India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Cambodia but due to language, they are not the preferred choices.
We need more source countries so as not to be blackmailed by Philippines and Indonesia.
India may catch up because we've a lot of Indian foreign talents who flew over to 淘金. My colleague needed a strong pair of hands to take care of his aged dad and brother with special needs so I sent him above articles. He said he tried to get helpers in India but they didn't work long and also report to work infrequently. He thought of bringing his male family members here and hire caregivers.
17 Dec 2012 - What Singapore government, ministers and activists did to protect employers who hired FDWs to look after persons with special needs? When FDW is at fault, employer and family suffered the most - mentally and financially. Is this fair? We paid for her services and didn't treat her like slave or robot working 24/7.
Should Singapore government and activists help employers such as me urge for affordable daycare centres to be built so that we need not be forced to hire FDWs? It is a risk to hire FDWs and leave persons with special needs alone with FDWs. It is not easy to survive in Spore with single income. Hubby and I are merely 'O' level holder and don't earn much.
Have you seen this news? Did you feel justice was given to the deceased and her family?
Maid who allegedly caused death of disabled girl only 16 - Sat, Dec 25, 2010, AsiaOne
The Straits Times, 09 Oct 2012
Within two weeks of starting work, a 16-year-old Indonesian maid harboured thoughts of poisoning her male employer, whom she resented for reprimanding her. Nurhayati, who goes by only one name, later ditched the plan.
Two weeks later, she decided to kill Mr Lee Kai Yam’s 12-year-old physically and mentally disabled daughter – his only child – so he would feel her suffering. On the morning of Nov 24, 2010, after he had left for work and while his wife was sleeping, Nurhayati carried Linda Lee Yee Lin to the 16th floor of their block of flats in Hougang and pushed her over the parapet wall.
Yesterday, Nurhayati, now 18, was jailed for 20 years after she pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of culpable homicide.
Since birth, Linda had been stricken with scoliosis, a curving of the spine that caused her to suffer poor mobility, an inability to talk properly and other deficiencies. Before Linda, Mr Lee and his wife Tan Pey Shya had had another child who died of an illness.
The court heard that Nurhayati started working for the family on Oct 27, 2010. At the time, she was thought to be 24 as she had lied about her age to work here. She found it difficult to work for Mr Lee, who was particular about cleanliness and had scolded her about work. One or two weeks into her job, Nurhayati hit on the idea of mixing his coffee with insecticide. She got the poison from another Indonesian maid and added it to his coffee. But she later abandoned her plan.
On the fateful day, barely a month into her job, Nurhayati woke up late. She apologised to Mr Lee for oversleeping. He did not scold her and left for work. As she was doing the laundry, she thought of killing Linda to avenge her suffering. She carried the girl out of the flat and took the lift to the ground floor, but did not know how to kill her, so she went up to the 16th floor. As the maid stood at a secluded spot, wondering how to kill Linda, the girl held onto the railing above the parapet wall. Nurhayati extended Linda’s body over the wall and gave her a shove.
Back at the flat, the maid worked out a plan – Linda had been kidnapped by two men – to deflect blame from herself. To make her story more believable, she lay naked on her mattress. Her story would be that the abductors had rendered her unconscious before taking Linda.
Madam Tan found her when she came in to check on Linda. She rushed out to look for her daughter and found the main gate ajar. Earlier, a taxi driver who saw a body at the foot of the block had called the police.
Questioned by the police, Nurhayati told the story about the two kidnappers. When she was advised to tell the truth, she gave a second version, of how a woman had thrown Linda down and told her to concoct the story.
The maid eventually confessed to killing Linda. The police later recovered her notebook, in which she wrote in Bahasa Indonesia about her situation. She said in one note: “I have no family and relatives here to whom I can seek help... I wanted to run, I could not even stand, how to run?”
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jean Chan asked for Nurhayati to be jailed for close to 20 years, for venting her anger on an innocent and helpless child out of spite, and then covering up her crime with no hint of remorse.
Nurhayati’s lawyer, Mr Mohamed Muzammil Mohamed, argued that she was not given training to care for a child with special needs. He said Nurhayati’s mother, Madam Darmen Kapil, who was in court, wanted to seek forgiveness from Linda’s parents. Madam Darmen later told reporters that her daughter had asked her to do so when she previously visited her in prison.
Also in court was lawyer Chia Boon Teck, who said he was retained by Mr Lee to look into the possibility of starting legal action against the maid agency.
Maid agencies here said that it is not unusual for maids to lie about their ages, with the average lying by three to five years.
In the case of Indonesian maids, the agencies also said that it is harder to verify their actual ages, as many do not have birth certificates.
Agencies will net a three-point demerit from MOM when a maid is found to have falsely declared her age. Twelve demerit points will merit a warning and a spot on the surveillance list, while further offences may cause its licence to be revoked.
My FDW looked underaged (my 3rd filipino maid told me M said she's only 21), I am worried. I am also very particular about cleanliness and food hygiene. I did scold M for not doing her job well. M 'hates' me for making her write down what she has forgotten and her mistakes. Why can't she just remember or refer to her notes and don't make the same mistakes? I don't want to spend time checking and reminding M everyday... stressful.
Why M must purposely provoke me? I'm also made of flesh and blood. Must I contain my anger and kick her out of the house when threshold is reached? Why I must feed agency so much money to get a replacement? I didn't know she's underaged (insisted she's 26 but she behaved and looked like small girl) nor did I force M to work in my house. She read my requirements. She knew her job scope, visited my house to see my girl and agreed to work in my house.
Why can't I have a trustworthy FDW to help me? FDW made mistake, why employers can't scold her? Don't want to be scolded, why cannot remember things/instructions related to work? How much patience and EQ must we have?