10 Apr 2016

Pitiful maid vs Bad employer

How do we, the employers show that we really paid a lot for FDWs but not fairly protected by law?  How do we get MOM and activists to recognise the fact that foreign domestic workers (FDW) are a necessity in some households?  How do we feedback to MOM we are victimised by maid agencies, maids and embassies? Also, MOM may tweak its policy if more voices are received from employers.   Employers in Spore, I suggest you
email MOM to : mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg or write in to
Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, Singapore 059764
with your real name and ID. 


Content page - All topics
Maid Agency


It is time to have a FDW employer association to empower employers and to offer collective inputs to other stakeholders. Furthermore, a non-profit organisation can be a vehicle for dealing with and seeking redress from, employment agents and FDWs. Unity is strength! It is time to act - Malaysian employers have their association since 2011! In fact, employers the world over need to unite - the problems we face in Singapore are being experienced elsewhere. The association can even the single stop for sourcing and managing FDWs for employer members thereby bypassing the employment agents. The association can also help members in other allied areas such as childcare, elder care, etc. all of which are hot-button issues in our daily lives. Let's have the resolve to not just rant about the problems but to unite so that other stakeholders would take us seriously and give us a seat at the table in formulating policies and making decisions. Let's help ourselves rather than hoping others would look after us. Let's not take it any longer lying down but stand up for ourselves to build a fair system for all stakeholders. 

All those interested in launching the association, please email dweas.enquiry@gmail.com to indicate whether you are interested in actively contributing to the development of the association.

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Extracted - Warning signs to let you maid go

Sometimes, helpers possess certain traits that are unacceptable, or commit acts that are just unforgivable...


1. Repeated ignoring or abusing of house rules
Laying down some ground rules when you hire a helper for the first time is a must.  Being transparent about your house rules in this manner right from the start means she knows exactly what you will and won’t allow in your house. And this prevents unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding.However, if your helper repeatedly ignores or abuses your house rules then it’s time to bid her farewell, as this shows a blatant disregard and disrespect for what you consider important in your house.

2. Negligence or abuse of a child under her care
There is no excuse at all for the abuse of a child by anyone, especially so by the person you trust to look after him while you are away.If your child displays genuine distress when you need to leave him with your helper (even after allowing for a substantial ‘getting used to her’ period) or you notice obvious signs of physical abuse such as bruises, then it’s time to show your helper the door.If she’s also repeatedly forgetting to follow basic procedures to ensure your child’s safety – such as locking doors and closing windows while you are away – this too shows that your little one’s safety is not her priority.  Some employers opt to install video cameras so they can monitor their helpers while they are away from home, but of course, this should be done at the individual’s discretion.

3. No interest in learning her duties
Like any other employee, a newly employed helper will need to learn duties set out by you, as well as understand her responsibilities and show you that you can trust her with your home and kids. However, if after repeated attempts on your part to communicate these duties and repeated failure on her side to carry out these duties and responsibilities to your levels of expectation, then it’s time to let her go.

4. Theft
No explanation needed here… and no excuses can be given either for stealing from you. You will need to show her the door, pronto.

5. Repeated lying
It’s human nature to lie when you are scared of the consequences.To prevent your helper from lying to you for fear of being reprimanded, make it very clear at the beginning that she should tell you immediately if something goes wrong, that you will not pull her up for it if it is a genuine mistake.For example, your child falling and knocking his head while in your helper’s care is one instance when she should tell you immediately, rather than lying about it because she is scared you will scold her.However, if you catch her lying repeatedly about things – especially with regard to your child’s safety – then you’ll probably need to let her go.

6. Outright defiance/rebellious behaviour/rudeness
Mutual respect is a must in any job, and this rule should apply to the working relationship between you and your helper.But if your helper shows signs of outright defiance when you request something, or a complete disregard of your house rules or other instructions, it shows that she has absolutely no regard for you as an employer or an individual.

Showing off long face if you encounter missed/non appropriate work done or argue on the same saying that she has already done it but you still see marks on the door/ glass/any other furniture.  Putting pressure to finish off/wrap up dinner soon so that she can go and sleep even its still just 9 pm on daily basis or when u have guests over.  

7. Physically unable to handle her job
Whether your helper’s main duties involve looking after your kids or keeping your house clean (or both, or more), if she cannot physically keep up with the work you set out for her within reasonable working hours, then it may be time to ask her to leave.This is because if she finds working for you a physical strain, it’s not good for her health, neither are your needs being met. And this is unfair by both parties.

8. You just have a bad feeling about her
Sometimes, your helper may not show direct signs that warrant you asking her to leave. But over time, if, for example, you suspect her stories just don’t add up, or you have a hunch that she is ill-treating your child, lying or stealing, then you should trust your gut instinct, and show her the door.In some of the instances listed in this gallery, such as theft or the abuse of a child or an elderly family member, it’s best you inform the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) so they can take appropriate action. In all other instances, do inform the agency through which you recruited the helper about why you are letting her go. 


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Winter:  FDWs were cheated by recruiters to come to Spore.  Not our fault, employers didn't force any poor or ambitious dream women to step into recruiters' office based in respective source country.  Since we're hiring FDWs based on agency's bio data and paying all the inflated costs, painstakingly gave in-house training, why are we taking the blame for FDWs' plight?  Aren't Employers pitiful and wrongly squeezed?  Why FDWs are not required to be fully responsible for their actions?

If activists are so kind, shouldn't they counsel and educate women in source countries.  Why agencies need not breakdown fees before these women fly out of their countries?  I assume source country sees this 'cheating game' like a lubricate trade, turn a blind eyes to unscrupulous recruiters, continue to deceive poor women who merely want a good income, a salary that their country can't promise or offer .... to be marketed as maids.  Maid loan is something these women had to bear, not just in Spore, happens in Malaysia and Hong Kong, how come these women are unaware and kept assuming they were tricked into slavery by Sg employers?  Source countries are fully aware of placement.  Instead of restricting the recruiters, they kept pressing employers to pay more salaries.  Obviously the source countries played a great part in the scam.  You gave these women chances to play the role of victims and put your weight on this tiny Red Dot.  You, sickening humans know PAP/MOM is afraid of saying NO to big countries.  You people pretend to be blind and deaf.... find every ways to eat us, milk us and claimed slavery exist!

Below post is biased.  Can you deny the common sight of foreign maids partying, having gatherings on Sundays or seen with their boyfriends?  If FDWs are slaves, can such freedom/relaxing life be witnessed commonly? 

You reap what you sow, don't complain and point fingers at Employers whom may be at your mercy or mentally abused by you ... the 'vulnerable wolf skin FDW'.

Foreign domestic worker exploited
The promise of a salary five times what she makes at home prompted Nabila to leave Indonesia and her family for a job as a domestic worker in Singapore. What she did not realise was that it would be eight months before she earned a cent because of deductions made by the employment agency that brought her to Singapore.

With 17-hour working days that start at 5am, a “very demanding” employer and dinners that consist of leftovers, the 30-year-old says she was eventually driven to despair. “I was desperate when I realised that I wouldn’t get paid for such a long time,” says Nabila, whose monthly salary was S$560.  “I came to Singapore because I need money for my two children so that they can go to school. I need every cent.”

Employment agencies are part of a complex web spun across Southeast Asia by brokers and agents that allow the domestic workers virtually no say about their working conditions. Reports of domestic workers being burned, beaten and raped have sparked outrage in Asia, which has the largest share of the world’s domestic workers at more than 21 million.

The Philippines is the only Asian nation to have ratified the International Labour Organisation’s convention on domestic workers, which bans recruiters from taking money from workers’ wages to recoup placement fees, among other measures.

The ILO says recruitment fees should not be charged to any worker. “Despite this, charging and overcharging of recruitment fees is prevalent across the region and governments need to do more to ensure that recruitment agencies are punished when they overcharge and workers reimbursed,” says Max Tunon, a senior ILO project officer.

In the wealthy city state of Singapore, charging for recruitment services is not illegal but the government has put a cap on the amount local agencies can deduct at two months’ salary.  Many agencies get around the law by saying they need to charge more to cover fees with agencies in Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar where most of Singapore’s estimated 220,000 foreign domestic workers come from.  “It’s a practice that traps women with a lot of debt and makes them endure all sorts of abuses to eventually get their salary, from emotional to physical and sometimes even sexual abuse,” says Jolovan Wham of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), a charity supporting domestic workers with legal assistance, training and basic medical care.

HOME says employers withholding payment is the second most common complaint they deal with after emotional abuse.  The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) says foreign domestic workers are fully protected by the law in the country of 5.4 million people, and errant employers and agencies are subject to scrutiny, fines and imprisonment.

“Singapore has numerous measures in place to ensure the welfare and protection of foreign domestic workers here, including legal protection, education, safeguards and dedicated avenues for redress,” says a spokesman in emailed comments.

Foreign maids sit in the shop window of a Singapore maid agency in August 2003, part of a gimmick to sell “domestic helpers” in agency shop windows. The gimmick prompted a local women’s activist group to describe the practice as “appalling.” 

Employers withholding payment is the second most common complaint after emotional abuse: HOME.
Cambodian women learn how to look after babies at Philimore Cambodia training centre on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November 2013, in hopes of being chosen for a pilot project to get 400 maids on two-year-long contracts with Singaporean families.

At Singapore’s Katong Shopping Centre, domestic workers push each other in wheelchairs, while others change nappies on dummy babies, displaying their skills in public view at one of the many “maid agencies” in the building. “It’s a degrading way to put them on display, like they’re a commodity,” says Wham, HOME’s executive director.

Activists say another example of discrimination against foreign domestic workers is their exemption from Singapore’s Employment Act, which regulates working conditions for locals. Instead they are covered by a law for foreign workers that puts the onus on employers and agencies to make sure they are not exploited.

“It’s a 24/7 job – always on standby, no guaranteed resting hours and often no privacy,” says Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, president of the Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) charity. Many domestic workers still work seven days a week even though the government introduced a compulsory weekly day off for them in 2013. Employers can opt out of this by offering to pay.  Often, workers dare not say ‘no’ even if they only get paid an average of S$17 if they work on their day off, says Ummai Ummairoh, president of the Indonesian Family Network (IFN). “What we really want is better protection by the law.”

Singapore’s maids are forbidden to live away from their place of work, which for many means being on call all the time.  Some say they have to share rooms with their employer’s children or elderly relatives and sleep in the hall or the living room, unable to sleep until the employer goes to bed.

At HOME’s shelter for domestic workers, a Filipina says she was dismissed without notice by her American employer after four months because she did not know how to cook Western food.  Still owing money to the employment agency, she now faces having her work permit cancelled and being forced to return to Mindanao, a particularly poor region of the Philippines.  “I can’t make enough money at home to support my kids, so I will have to go abroad again, pay all the fees again,” says the 29-year-old, who declines to be named, fighting back tears.

Unlike in Hong Kong, another top Asian destination for domestic workers, those in Singapore are not allowed to form a union and must rely on informal networks and charities for help.  Ummairoh is proud that the IFN and its counterpart, the Filipino Family Network, provide classes in English, computer studies, hairdressing and make-up skills. “We hope this will help to give them some useful skills for getting better jobs, especially when they return home,” she says.

A plan by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to stop domestic workers from working abroad is unlikely to succeed unless there are better jobs available at home, says Ummairoh.  “It will just lead to more women leaving illegally, which will make them even more vulnerable because they won’t be documented with the authorities and have no redress if things go wrong,” says Ummairoh.

Your maid is not your slave
Somewhere in the midst of your existence here on earth, you are bound to have encountered one of these three scenarios: knowing an abused maid, knowing someone close or who lives close to you who is abusing a maid, or read about abused maids.

Then there’s the question: “How would I treat a domestic helper?” Wrong. The question should be: “How SHOULD I treat my domestic helper?”  It’s an extremely racking reflection every soon-to-be employer (or even current employers) should meditate hard upon before even thinking about employing someone to work in their home, or already has someone working for the family.

Everyone has been an employee at some point in their lives, maybe even all of their lives. Have you enjoyed the way your bosses treated you?  Did you think you were treated justly? Were you compensated on time? Did your workplace reward you for a job well done?

Were you subject to corporate bullying? Was your working environment passably comfortable and inspiring?  Did your superiors constantly undermine your efforts and disregard your need to be appreciated for a job well done?

Did your company care for your health requirements? Were you sexually harassed at the office?  Has your boss, on many occasions, promised you a raise only to devour the offer at the eleventh hour although you deserved it based on your statistically vertical progress?

Ask yourself these analytical and imperative questions.
We’ve all been there, done that. Hated it, cursed our bosses, wished a train would smash them into smithereens and at the end of the day, cry hours on end for the “abuse” to be over. Why?

> Because you want to be happy doing your job? Yes.

> Because you want and need to keep your job to pay the rent or put bread on the table for your family of four? Yes.

> Because you want to be treated fairly? Yes.

> Because you’re not a slave? Yes.

Get the picture?

This applies to any working person whether blue collared, white collared or pink collared. A housemaid cleans, cooks and babysits, just like your mother did in her child-nurturing days. The difference is a housemaid gets paid for services rendered.  So how should you treat your housemaid? Like a human being.  You do not have the right to abuse her. You do not have the right to physically harm her. You do not have the right to starve her.

You do not have the right to hurl vulgarities at or insult her. You do not have the right to throw stuff at her. You do not have the right to molest, grope or rape her. You do not have the right to enslave her. You do not have the right.

A housemaid is employed by you the same way you are employed by a company. There’s a vacancy, a job that needs to be done, a salary to be paid, healthcare, a reward system and, don’t you forget, appreciation.

You are the company and the boss. You are also the Human Resources head should she encounter a dilemma in her “workplace”.  I’ve heard one too many stories of housemaids being brutally ill-treated, starved of food and rest, raped, physically abused, etc.

The worst that I’ve heard are of housemaids who chose suicide over their jobs and the ones who literally went mental.
Here are your exclusive rights:
> You have the right to discipline your housemaid if she’s not doing her job responsibly.

> You have the right to reprimand your maid if she’s stealing, lying or playing truant with the neighbourhood watch.

> You have the right to feed her three decent meals a day (not leftovers or expired food).

> You have the right to pay her salary in full and on time every month.

> You have the right to give her rest (or a rest day).

> You have the right to seek medical attention for her if she’s unwell.

> You have the right to allow her an annual two-week holiday to return home.

If you’re a neighbour, friend or just some stranger who happens to know an abused housemaid, do the right thing and report it to the authorities.

Imagine if you were being held against your will on home ground or in foreign territory, wouldn’t you wish for someone to give you back your freedom? Be that someone.  Yes, some of you may have known housemaids from hell. Send them back to hell – and what I mean by this is to send them back home to where they belong.

They’ve come here for greener pastures, to get hired and paid, simply because their home countries aren’t capable of feeding them.

If they aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing, do the Trump: “You’re Fired!”  Slavery was never meant to exist. But it did, and then it died.

ANGELINE ROSE


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March 2015 This was posted in my blog "Maid agency" on 11 March 2015.
I have changed 6 maids in 2 yrs and have never bought the run away bond. This is extremely costly for us Singapore citizens. 2 maids brought men to my house, 1 maid sneaks out day and night, 1 insist to move my sofa to a hidden corner so she can lie down while chatting to her friends, 1 maid's standard reply when i ask her to do something is 'tomorrow', 3 maids stole my clothes to wear, 1 wont even let me ask what work she did that day - the reply was 'I go back agent', 1 had problem getting up before 8.30am in the morning, despite sleeping at 10pm at night. It is so stressful to deal with these supposedly hard working maids. I tried looking for an emergency number at the MOM website to discuss a difficult maid only to find that this service is only provided for our foreign maids and not for any local employers. I think the case of employer abuse may be more prevalent than maid abuse.

Are we stranded?
Did MOM/PAP care about us?
I mentioned somewhere in my blog recently I renewed my FDW's work permit.  I received sms notification on when the new WP will be delivered.  I tried to ring MOM hotline, tried pressing different buttons, tried ringing a few times but failed to speak to any customer service person.  Once I press to speak to a customer service person, the line went dead.  Why MOM showing we don't need assistance?  Why employers in distress have nowhere to get help?  The MOM email is not attended daily, you'll only be answered days later.

MOM and activists cared too much for FDWs.  They rushed in to offer assistance even though that maid could be a liar, framed her employer, etc.  In activists' eyes, we are just payers/ATM machines.  Since we're employers, they felt we ought to know how to protect ourselves or WILL NOT BE AT LOSING END... no activist will believe employers can be bullied by maids.  They lead MOM by the nose ... using excuse of human rights!  They are humans, what are we?  Spore KPI machines?

The policies showed MOM is siding FDWs, source countries and maid agencies.  
Policies also showed nice employers are not appreciated.... we are taken advantage by our own country!


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July 2014
MOM's message is that Employers are super rich... maids, go ahead and 'help' your employers spend their hard earned money ??!!??  

If FDWs spoilt our things such as electrical appliances, laminated flooring, expensive clothes or lose our things, we are the cost center.  We are not suppose to make maids pay for her mistakes ... regardless she did on purpose or 'forgot to take good care' because she's poorer than us.  MOM/PAP deliberately forget our low income citizens are receiving take home pay very much lesser than FDWs but are required to foot their owns costs as well as living expenses.  Which employee need to eat and drink?  All employee have to pay for their own food, accommodation, transport, insurance .... except the good life FDWs!

When FDWs terminated contract, Employers are the cost center/ATM machines.
When FDWs violated work permit conditions such as moonlighted or get herself pregnant Employers are the cost center/ATM machines.
Fair?  Am I right to say MOM didn't not treated us like humans earning a salary and some worked longer hours than FDWs?  Am I right to say MOM/PAP protects and care about foreigners more than its citizens?


This maid, Grace can certainly tell her employer NO because MOM and activists will side her for giving such a reply!  Maids know their rights/privilege, read ...

Grace Dumo Rosales:  My employer want me to pay the expences for the repairing of that wooden floor...who i accidentally scratch..for 300$ ..i make some remedy to make it not obvious..but she insisting to repair it..she want to deduct it to my salary every month..can u give me some advices what should i do? Im afraid that she will send me back to the agency..coz i havent yet paid my loan ..if i didnt pay her


Jovelyn Dominguez Mirambel:   "The employer shall not deduct any amount from the regular salary or the household service worker other than compulsory contributions prescribed by law. Such legal deductions must be issued with corresponding reciept." that was written in our standard contract sis from our embassy let your boss knows it i know u never mean to spoil their floor.


Alexa Mae Bustamante:  Just give your sincere apology sis,just till your boss it won't happen again next time and do ur best to take more cre,$300 is to much that's terrible...Some employer's are like that so we just need to be more careful if u know ur boss, a ltl bit things spoilt ask you to pay!!


Eng Kaw Kurikutasanda:   Charging any cost of damage in the employer house to the helper is not allowed. But if your employer insist to deduct it in your salary make sure you have to write it down in your payroll record write if how much they deduct every month. And later you can ask mom to help you claim your money back.
And Home also can help you to assist for complain. Just make sure you have all the record of said charges.


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My FDW pushes my girl to school in a stroller, everything is on the pushchair/stroller so she is not heavily loaded.  Many people like to ask me why I need to use a pushchair when my girl could walk (don't expect the kind of good walking skill). Why don't I let the maid and my girl walk to school. Stroller is a 'mobile chair' for my girl to rest (seizure is triggered when she's tired).  It is a form of restraint so that my girl can't be too naughty ... she gets excited when outside and would want to take her time to explore.  A pushchair to wheel my girl would mean lesser time needed to walk.... just brisk walk with the 'passenger'.  Pushchair acts like a trolley so my FDW doesn't need to carry any backpack (contains essentials such as diapers, spare clothing, umbrella/rain coat, food, water bottle, etc).  

I do get annoyed when FDW doesn't take care of my expensive buggy/pushchair.  I have a special pushchair that costs about S$3000.  A Maclaren Major (the cheapest special needs buggy) costs about S$600, nothing is cheap for special needs person.

When we visit the market, FDW pushes a shopping trolley while I hold and manage my girl.  If FDW forgets, she has to carry the things home all by herself, not my duty to keep reminding her.  If she wants an easy life, she has to bring the trolley. 

If any activist can't stand FDW helping schooling kids carry their extremely heavy school bag (you know how heavy is a primary school kid's bag?), you mean it is better to 'break the child's back'?  The girl has already carried her own bag in school, why can't she take a break and happily be 'bag free'?  Why torture the employer's child when you've an adult, a FDW to tap on?  Who would be so crazy to torture their own children and make them look like 驼背小老人?  FDW is not a minor but that girl is obviously younger, a minor!  This is my point of view as a mother.  This is not about training the child to be independent, less reliance on FDW, it is about making good use of your paid resources. If FDW felt she deserves to be pampered more than our children, can't carry a child's bag or a bag of groceries, walk a short distance, get a trolley or resign, find a 'considerate, kind and compassionate' activist/minister as employer! I guess they have cars to ferry you so all you need to do is take over the school bag or groceries and dump everything into the car.

Minister said maid was trying to catch up... she doesn't know the way home?  What you saw may not be a daily event.  A huge bag looks big but could be light stuff.  Who is showing compassion to a minor... maid is obviously older (at least 23 years old) so why can't she take care of the younger ones by relieving her? What's wrong in getting maid to do?  Why make a big fuss? Pay maid but out of 'respect and silly compassion', employers must give her light and easy chores... ridiculous!  If you are referring to earlier case of maid carrying NS man's backpack, I would think it is a bit too much.

Activists said maids cannot wash cars, then MOM passed out a law - maids cannot clean windows so the next law would be cannot ask maid carry heavy stuff, employers must share the load and take the heaviest? Shanmugam, I have seen grandparents carry the grandchildren's school bags and groceries...  why you didn't say anything negative?  In your mind, this is okay, it's a grandparent's love, not a chore! Or their/employers' lives are more 贱 inferior than maids?  When activists try to highlight something, please think whether you're over protecting the domestic maids in Spore.  What if the FDW pretends to train the child to be independent, made the little ones do her chores, are you going to say the FDW is training the child to be independent, for the child's own good, FDW is not definitely not abusing the child? BTW, Shanmugam, have you and your team shown compassion to me and other special needs parents?  Don't just impress the investors/foreigners and criticise parents for not bring up good children, think and do more for the citizens who are not trying to sustain life in Spore and earning lower than live-in FDWs.... I believe this is where your compassion and moral values should go to.  

In my ex-company, I noticed the admin has to carry bags of heavy magazines (daily) from the mail room and some times, the admin has to buy Perrier mineral water (glass bottles) so out of goodwill, I helped her requested a cloth type trolley.  Thought it would be a sweet gesture ...you know what she said?  So ugly, looks like an auntie and refused to use!  你会不会觉得被雷劈?


Extracted from here
I refer to the article: "Minister Shanmugam: The Values of our Children" 

Mr Shanmugam claims that Singaporeans are lucky many of us have domestic help. But are we luckier than Westerners who earn twice as much as us and who can afford to have the wife stay at home to look after the children full time?

Would be good if we can conduct a survey or even a referendum about whether Singaporeans would like their salaries doubled while keeping cost of living the same so that the wife can afford to stay at home to look after the children full time.

Our 2013 median resident employed household income was $7,870 (Singstats) while our 2013 median gross monthly income (including CPF) from work for full time employed residents is $3,705 (MOM website). The ratio of median household income to median income from work is slightly more than two. This means that on average, most households comprise both husband and wife working to support the family.

If our median income from work can be doubled without affecting cost of living, Singaporeans can maintain their household income while allowing the wife stay at home to look after the children full time. Our dependence on maids will significantly reduce and the so-called compassion, kindness, consideration and the right values Mr Shanmugam wrote about can be passed on from generation to generation.

Were we happier and luckier growing up with our mothers around or are children today happier and luckier growing up with their maids around?

Thank you
Ng Kok Lim


Anna Marie Doe - I think many of us preferred to take care of the children ourselves. Who wants stranger in their home. But it is a matter of "no choice". Sometime, i feel sorry that with such an expensive country, we can't give our domestic helper some luxury after doing all for our family (now I'm refering to those good n humble one).
In this drama series, starring K Shanmugam Sc and the middle in come Singaporean. The director make Mr. Shanmugam the hero while Singapoean played the bad role. In reality, the hero and the director are the one that is the criminal
If Singaporean had good job and good pay, we would not have needed a domestic helper in our daily life. Maybe the rich do. Children would not have become problematic in their life as they received alot of family love at home. 

And due to expensive living we are being put into and the hardship of getting a good job, we become stress and calculating in everything just to survival. Thus, we cannot afford to give our domestic help what they should be enjoying. People had forgotten that domestic helper are human like them because they had to count every little cents or wanting to get more then what is being given. Surviving is the caused of some being inhuman to some domestic helper. And we are the one seem to be the cruel one but in real, the becoming of this was caused by the government themselves.


Yuslinda Yusope - Ask any child .. I guarantee they will choose to be with their mother genuine loving care! I guess you never will know or understand how every mums heartbreaks when they hear their children's needs & plight.


Ronald Tan - We will not need maids if we could afford stay at home moms. The living expenses is so high that both parties need to work. I feel like slapping the minister so that he can wake up from his dream and see the reality of it all.


EnDchic MimPee - Rich man thinking always like dat, forgotten how it feels like to be a commoner citizens like all of us


Ace Dean - Mr Minister; You are lucky because you are highly paid compared to US... If you said this in 60's... ppl will clap and said you are e best!!!

Sorry now it's 2014... everyone is intelligent and not stupid


Joanna Ong - I rather spent time with my kids and family! But how to survive in this kind of competitive country?? Eat grass? Grass also ex!


Richard Ong - We need maids to look after our child because we cannot afford 1 of the parent to not work and care for their child personally. If they call that lucky, then its really great family planing from our govt.


جذيه كمال - I should say Kids with mom, they're the lucky one. I am able to see most Fts wives enjoying these privilege. Wife stay home with kids and maid. Enjoying their life living in sg. Whereas we a local (wife) a singaporean trying very hard to survive in our own country with these high standard living. Even has to go out to work leaving our kids at home.


Kelvin Siquan - To me.. of coz I will feel more lucky n happy if I m able to ask my wife to stay at home to help rather den domestic helper. But look into the reality.. Our expenses, housing, cars education, medical plus the salary we earn. . 20% have gone into cpf where we can even withdraw out.. how to have a life like westerner? So I think the question should change to " do u feel luckier to born in sg n not in westerner country? "


Fashirah Parvin - Lucky to have domestic maids?? Most developed countries have them. I dun think any gives as much privilege as Sg to these group- give them room, weekly off, own hp, etc. Want easy money all these but so lazy to do housework! Dunno wat is the big hoo haa in a helper carrying a schoolbag! They r employed to help, not shake leg, sleep and find bangla boyfriend!


Megumi Alifysyia - Some ppl not able to migrate for a reason too, bcos those esp have kids, the grandparents not willing to see us far away, n like mine situation i have awesome inlaws n cousins relatives therefore they told me not to leave them yet to migrate cos they loved their grandchildren.. N of cos every mother incld me wud wana b stay at home caring for the kids. I dun just f$&k to make babies, i wan to b there to watch my kids grow up, care for them, nurture them n so on. Because the pain of giving birth is already bad, y wud we wana let maid takeover so easy.. Who doesnt wana b at home cuddling & spending time with their lil ones? Must be some selfish idiot then.


Norman Chew - Let's take a serious look, kids with full-time mum's attention tend to be more disciplined and better behaved than those with maids. Maids are maids, there are seldom dedication. Many are entertaining their Weekend boyfriends when their employer are at work.


Robert Ong - If not for the high cost of living caused by the government's policies, all our wives could just stay at home and be great mothers. Right now they have to be breadwinners first. Don't we pity our kids for having to be brought up by much lesser women from Philippines and Indonesia? Rise up people, kick them out! 


Jimmy Chia - Who wants to employ maid,is not cheap have to spend abt $1000 plus for ex permit, sick leave, lunch, dinner, staying water bill, agents fee, medical, salary will be useing my half of the salary? But no choice nobody take care the elderly or children in SG LIVING HIGH couple have to worry to work, even some old people also have to force to work; what's else we can do? If without any saving! ...


Mohd Al-ansar - Help the mums to hav more time with their children.not thanks the maids.it bcoz of govern that the parents need to take maid.


Suhana Tambang - Yah lucky for those whose wife dont have to work and be with the kids but still can afford a maid! What to do.. Singapore is meant for elites lor.. The rest of us needs to slog our whole life lor..


Wong Kar Leong - I'm not sure will those families which family member are murder by the maid will agree with what he said?






Mr Shanmugam sparked a discussion on the treatment of domestic workers with his Facebook post.  
Have helper, so dump it on her, 19 May 2014
Slinging a schoolbag over one shoulder and carrying a big bag of groceries in another hand, a domestic helper tried to keep up with her employer's daughter, who was holding an umbrella.  It had just stopped raining and soon that umbrella too was passed on to the helper, who now carried three items as the girl walked on with her hands free.

This sight along Cavenagh Road caught the attention of Law Minister K. Shanmugam who took to Facebook, asking parents to give some thought to the role they play in ensuring that their children treat others with compassion and kindness.

"In Singapore we are lucky that so many of our households have been able to employ domestic help. But do we teach our children to treat our helpers with respect, compassion?" he asked.   Many pointed the finger at parents for their lack of guidance, resulting in a generation of spoilt children who feel entitled.  

President of human rights group Maruah, Braema Mathi, said the fundamental value that needs to be passed on is respect for the domestic helper.  "We are very close to seeing domestic workers as was back in the yesteryear, as servants. But they aren't anymore, they are offering a service," she said.

Ms Mathi said that parents have to pass on proper values early, adding that "it is sad some parents are not conscious of their own role as transmitters of the value system".

The principal of Ang Mo Kio Secondary School, Abdul Mannan, urged parents to work with schools to make their children more independent. He also noted that the changing expectations of parents could be fuelling such behaviour.  "They are more focused on their children achieving results rather than on the softer skills," he said.

Carol Balhetchet, senior director of youth services at the Singapore Children's Society, said many youth have the mindset that "I pay you for something and you owe me", and expect their helpers to be at their beck and call just because they are being paid a wage.

But often, this is not a case of a lack of compassion or empathy that is causing such behaviour among the youth, but of taking things for granted, she said. One young person thought nothing of making her domestic helper carry her things until it was pointed out that she was treating her employee like a slave. "They just don't think about it until someone brings it up," said Dr Balhetchet.

She also noted that the current generation of youth are not a group to be nagged at, but rather one to influence by example.  "If you as a parent are a kind and compassionate person, it becomes a way of life and so it will be, too, for your children," said Dr Balhetchet.


Facebook comments:
Garie Sim - The Government must set examples in compassion and kindness, so that the citizen can look up to them and if we have a good government leaders, then the education system will be good. I was laughing and I find that it is ridiculous for MOE keep on changing text books by only a few pages and make the parent buy the new text books every years. Gone are the days when we can get cheaper text books, from the second hand book store, or getting the books, passed on by brother or sister, not forgetting that there are many poor families in Singapore. The parent is very important to guide the kid at home, the school is also just as important to the children's education in setting mannerism and civic mindedness. The MOE in Singapore is always changing the system, just look back at the education in Sg and their changes in the past few years. The influx of FT teachers need to be scrutinized hard, otherwise, there will be criminal, molester, rapist, etc., disguised as teacher with a fake eduction to ruin our children lives forever, sadly, it's already happening. I remember my old school days, the rules of the school must be strict, set good directions for the student well-being. The children are complaining that there are too many homework, which I find it unnecessary, space must be given to them to play, interact and research project that help them to gain knowledge in many things....sadly with this PAP Government, it will never happen


Garie Sim - I hope you're not serious about what you commented, because the way I see it, most of the things you said is just ridiculous.
The problem lies in the PAP system, compassion and kindness must be cultivated and practice in the government, at home, in school, which play a very important role in guiding the young to be magnanimous, stop all the education on how great LKY, LHL in the PAP and from the fishing village into a first world country. If the Government have these two basic words in their mind with sincerity, the history will praise and sing for PAP, we will published the good book for you. What you question is just not sincere as kindness, compassion and magnanimous is not in the PAP dictionary, too many mistakes going on and on without conscience


Eddie Yong - We should treat our maid with respect. So if she is a household maid we should not ask her to clean the car. Our young will grow up with different sets of values with no hands on every household tasks.
Same as army training....not sure it is the same as in the 70s....where they made a man out of you.


Johnathan Li - '...not sure it is the same as in the 70s....where they made a man out of you'
It is NEVER the same anymore. NS is now nothing more than to support the PAPER GENERALS and PAPER COMMISSIONERS and nothing else.
Maid or No Maid, family cultivation is about leadership by example and empowerment, domestic helpers included. If the Maid has to wash their car, the parents (employers) also help out as well, and children who see this also want to join in and help too. Having come from an uncommon family who does not have any history of hiring domestic helpers at all, I managed to learn on my own to take ownership of my own life in ways I can do, but with parents making Maids out of their own children (maybe this is why they didn't need any domestic helpers in the first place). It becomes a massive disaster, much much worse than a real domestic helper would have to face.


Mohsin Selamat - It is not the children fault, it is the parents. Children will almost tend to immitate their parents and if parents dont teach them the right values then they will grow up a spoil brat and this vicious cycle continues


James Tan - I feel that the bedrock of succession is built upon imparting values to the next generation. We are victims of our own success.
We achieved comfort in the hard way yet we freely extend the comfort to our children out of love without compensation in values. The end result is a generation built on unhealthy expectation - the society owes them a successful career and a quick fix to corporate leadership and wealth without hard work. Thus, we must start inculcating good values based on respect, compassion and hard work from their formative years. It is never too late.

Johnathan Li - I'm very sad to reply that it has been ALREADY TOO LITTLE TOO LATE to change that, not just because we have a government doing exactly that to their problems (expecting cheaper, easier, faster fixes to solve national issues), and it is NEVER ALONE in such problems as well.


Moon Lee - Same... made me think a lot PM Lee Hsien Loong, spoilt brat! Police harassment over protecting him, somebody sacked from his job! 
12hrs, 6 or more days working Security Officers especially in hot & dirty smelly places & crazy animals, not easy!

PAP ran away from ‘Negatives’ as far as they could! Hope my ‘History’ Erased! Nobody knows the existence of the truth! Bad In Everything | Facebook


Joann Quek - Isnt it the same logic in the working industries? Being paid 1.8k a mth but employer expect u to do 2.5k a mth kind of job scope. Then naturally when you yourself hire a helper, I paid her this, I expect to use her 110% and no less than that. Human!


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=699705813409285&set=a.699705796742620.1073742052.203314719715066&type=1

Jane Gomez - I see school children in my void deck sitting and smoking like nobody's business and when they see an elderly person like me passing by, they are not bothered and worse still,show off their smoking skills. What kind of generation are we are going to have in a decade or too? Ruthless, uncaring, irresponsible, people with no values in life. I feel sad.


Cheong Alvin - I agree with you. Parents have forgotten how teach their children to Respect others.
Some Parents do tell their kids we pay for their salary so have to make good you of her to the last cent.
Same as we are also pay by our company and our boss have to use us to last cent.  If we have more company boss that Respect and Care for their staff.
Thing may change .
This is life cycle.


Ghram Gazalle Mok Shahul Hameed - More than 20 years ago when I was a kid, both my parents worked. But there was not much traffic jam or OT then. We as kids were not as stressed with school work. We had time to share the housework! I didn't recall cramping my every waking hour on tuitions n extra lessons... Even tho my parents were working, we could spend quality time together. Now I have kids of my own, I find myself being stressed with their school work, having to attend tuition lessons so I can help them. Most of the time spent is on their school work. It's crap when I hear pple criticise parents for pushing their kids too far. With the streaming at every level, if u dun push ur kid, he will lag behind n as parents we r just trying to help them cope with the fast paced unforgiving society for the better of their future. Not even talking about being a rocket scientist. Just helping them to be able to survive financially in the future. We have limited time per day.. Tell me you will spend the time to teach morals etc when ur kid is already struggling n stressed in school. Dun get me wrong, learning the right values from parents are important.. I wish the system will allow some breathing space for parents n kids to catch up with the moral and ethical part of life.. Now the system seems so dysfunctional, it is very easy to see why Singaporeans are choosing not to have kids..


Vhergie Ballesteros - I am working here as a helper for almost 3 years... I can say that if you really love your children you must teach them what is right and what is wrong... Parents should discipline their child while they are young...we, came here to work, to earn a living so that we can support our loved ones and to help and do our job properly... Please teach your child how to respect other people coz we, helper also teaching them but they are not following or listening to us coz we are just a helper.. Even little things or mistake we must correct the children.. Like my experience,,,i really feel bad coz even if the my employer heard that their children talking back to me, they even call me crazy and stupid they just let them say that.. Even if we are just a helper we are also a human so please show us some respect also coz we also get hurt.. Not only me experiencing like this but lots of worker here... Thanks... GOD BLESS


Roslinda Roslan -These are just a normal scenario with spoiled kids being raised in Singapore and left in the maid's care. What i saw was worse.. A middle aged man, the wife and their young kids were all walking with nothing to carry. While the maid was left with the big bag and plastics of groceries! Is the man blind? He must hv forgotten about the poor lady. She is a helper who help everyone in the house! She is a woman mind u! Not a robot! Respect her. And she will do her chores happily and willingly.


May Khoo - Not only do they treat domestic helpers this way. They don't even show consideration, respect n kindness to our elderly especially in trains where seats are reserved for elderly, pregnant women, etc. I have been deprived many times on the trains and many times I hv been given a seat by a foreigner! How strange that foreigners like construction workers who are not as educated hv more respect, courtesy n kindness for us elderly.


Ritchel Sabijon - Some employers think that it is the job of domestic worker and they are paying for. So we domestic worker never complain when we are treated by some employers and their children like that. But now i am so proud to say that my employer told me don't teach my son to be lazy. Ask him to keep his toys after he play. Teach him to be responsible. And even our household chores my madam ask me not to do if things i cant handle by myself wait for them when they are free... my employer is super good.


Shereen Long - Dear Sir, very strongly agree that values are important... very important! Values will b learnt best if PARENTS themselves can guide their children thru' it. But it's sad to say that most children in SG nowadays barely get to see their parents during the weekdays. With the long working hours that many parents r holding. ..children are often left in the care of domestic helper or in full day childcare. Parents often do not even know how the children spent their everyday life...the most impt part of their child's journey. ..their childhood...their life molding stage. Domestic helper, Grandparents n Childcare can see to our children's basic needs (I.e. food, cleanliness, safety etc) but when it comes to value teaching, PARENTS have to b the teacher.

Sir, it will b good if our govt can help us strike a balance in this busy SG lifestyle... where we do not hv to compromise our family time while still being able to put in our best effort for the company that we r serving. My mum is a SAHM. I greatly benefited from it. But nowadays women r mostly working...some by choice but also many without a choice. Do hope my beloved country, SINGAPORE, will not have the most impt element lost in its people...VALUE. A country without people who treasure "value" will not b a happy country to b in.


Nelson Tan - we parents have to be firm and conscious about the kids growing out of this dependency syndrome . If not we as a nation will in no times be in the gutters. Been training my special kid to be independent of the maid through doing simple task like tidying own bed daily .


Ghram Gazalle Mok Shahul Hamid - I do not dispute the fact that once married couples decide to have kids they r primarily responsible for imparting moral values. This is ideal. But what parents did not expect and cannot expect is the level of stress and the time needed to prepare the kids to cope with school work. Why? Because with the current school system, sad to say we now also have the primary task of teaching them from home or send them for tuition. The school education is no longer enough to equip them with the readiness to take any exams. During out time, we hardly hear about tuitions. We did not need it. Watever was taught in class was sufficient to allow us to pass well in exams. Now, u always hear about bankers not able to solve primary 6 math tuition. Chinese exams is based on 80% out of syllabus and 20% school syllabus. Wat are we to do about the limited time we have??? Sit and discuss about confusionism?


El Chan New generation education is all about scoring, grading, paper chase cos everyone wants to be No. 1 academically thus stressing out parents who not only need to work to give better lives for their kids but guide them in their studies when they return from work. Turning back the clock to 40 years ago, raising kids were much easier, no tuition no maids no streaming and no top schools to compare and kids grew up so independently and much well behaved. It's not just the younger generation who doesn't know how to behave, even middle-aged educated men can cut queue to rush for empty seats in MRT. Fully uniformed NS able-bodied men occupying reserved seats are daily common eyesores. When comparing to kids, these men are worst behaved. Most Asian kids are small built but the schoolbags they carry can be as heavy as 5 to 10 kg as they are forced to bring all their textbooks to avoid punishment by teachers. For safety reasons, maids should accompany kids to school and it doesn't hurt if maids also help to carry their school bags, it's not like they are carrying heavy luggage or NS haversacks. We have to strike a balance and accept some flaws as part and parcel of our short lives - nobody can be perfect in this world hence to each his own if ppl can bear some sufferings regardless of who they are because kids also suffer mentally and adults suffer physically. Every human being has to suffer all their lives to bring up their kids and parents as well, no point complaining and whining, doesn't get us anywhere except going mentally unstable.


Soek-ying Koh - The painful truth is that in striving for excellence and being 1st, our education system has in a way instill some unfavorable values in the young. Case in point, children with special needs are generally channeled to SPED schools. Our mainstream kids by and large will not have opportunities to interact with a lot of them. How then can we instill that spirit of compassion, kindness & consideration for others like the disadvantaged or disabled? Generally, most kids would shunt them rather approach them with help.


Anita Thulasidas - It's true that moral education starts with parents, but when parents are always busy working rather than at home with their children, how are they expected to teach their children? I'm not saying that the school girl wasn't in the wrong. Personally, I feel that the school girl should have tried to help the domestic help at least. But then again, domestic help is employed to help their employers. Hence, if the child wants (and the parents do not see any wrong in it) the domestic help's job is to carry the child's school bag.


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Winter: I like this poster cool_hi so I've copied her post from a forum. That forum is pro-maid and banned my account, deleted some of my posts so I shall not post any hyperlink 
(why should I help to increase readership) or screenshot.  

If readers had fully read my blog, you'll know I had been a full-time homemaker, basically a mummy, maid-housekeeper and wife for five years.  There is no such thing as I have made my FDW do unreasonable work or overloaded her.  If I, a human being, same like FDW and any of you, can do a 5-year homemaker job, all by myself (not forgetting those painful initial months whereby my girl 'plays or cries in the night', prefers to sleep in the day, totally my opposite - a total drain of energy and test of endurance), what reason do you have to cry or complain about hardship?   I wasn't paid.  I had to terminate my insurance policy to save, no branded or expensive expenditure.  The money hubby gave has no extra (not enough), was trying to save and spend as little as possible during those 5 hard years. If I have 'free' money coming from the sky or funded by govt or that irresponsible KK Hospital (ie compensation), I don't need to fight with hubby to work and 'forcefully' hired a maid to care for my special needs child.  Today, hubby agreed my tough fight was worth it.  We cannot rely on others for help.  Leaving the house to work doesn't mean I don't care nor love my child.  For her needs and unknown future, as well as ours, both hubby and I  have to work.... till our last breathe.  There's no such thing as retirement.  It is a luxury for people who are able to plan a good retirement, not meant for me. 


Nick name Pirate commented: If housework and taking care of old folks and children full time were so easy, there would be more stay at home moms or dads than dual income families where at least one spouse only earns enough for a net gain of less than $500 per month after factoring in the expenses of employing a FDW, childcare, transport to and from work and lunch money.

In my opinion, one FDW is not enough manpower to do all the housework, and take care of old folks and/or young children full time. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to take 6 months no pay leave from work and do it himself or herself for half a year.

FDWs deserve no less respect than anybody else.


cool_hi: Kindly do spare a thought for such families+mummies, who are working very hard for that net gain of less than $500, their net gain may be just $500 now..but by hanging on to that job and at same time managing kids, their studies, household & problematic maid, they can try to work hard for a promotion with pay rise?? for a year end bonus??

IT MAY NOT be because they don't want to face and handle their own kids...seriously, I find it insulting to these mummies, to say something like this..also, they may have to hang on to their jobs, hoping that when kids are older, and can look after themselves, they can stop relying on domestic helpers and still have a job to support their families??by then, the NET gain will not be just $500 per month!! but if they were quit their jobs now and be SAHM for say 5years, they most likely will have a lot of problems finding a job, plus suffer lots of pay cut, due to long periods of not working!!!?

Also for some families, the daddy's job may also not be stable & may lose job ANY time? thus is 'dangerous' for the mummy to just quit her job?

Like my case, hubby was out of job for> 6 months, SUDDENLY, few years back (when 2nd child was only 1 year old)..though finances was tough, we felt RESPONSIBLE towards our helper, & felt that if we simply fire her to cut cost, it is not fair to her, as she took up loan and would not have earned enough to justify the loan amount paid to come here to work..It is NOT fair, thus we tried to cut cost at many other areas, in order to keep her till contract ends..

& for NOW, with my helper's abrupt disappearance, my eldest child is only p3, but I have no choice but to 'force' her to grow up and stay at home ALONE for a number of hours, before I rush home..if she is younger,like p1, this option is not possible at all! 

As for respect, I believe majority employers do have for their helpers..
But respect also has to be earned..
For e.g., I respect all colleagues at workplace..but comparatively, I will respect a coffee auntie more, whose job may be simple but she does her role and responsibilities diligently, keep pantry clean, provide nice coffee for everyone..compared to a fellow colleague who laze on her job, does not follow up on her job and leave loads of shit for other colleagues to clear..
I would respect the coffee auntie more.

I let my helper go back for 1 week,3rd time in 15mths! This time, her reason is, she wants to attend her church's 100th year anniversary celebration:) Many friends were surprised that I acceded to her request as they found her reasons lame..I just smiled at their reactions.

I RESPECTED my helper, I RESPECTED her reason as a SISTER in CHRIST..
I did not question her further, just choose to trust her..
But she did not come back as promised..
I still RESPECT her decision..though it led us to weeks of urgent problems, till now..

As for work load, ever since years ago(10years? 20 years?), hasn't it been more or less the same? why now complain??
& for now,it's much easier for some of them, coz some parents like my cousin(couple both in US banks), who has the means, also send both young kids to infantcare, helper only does housework..minimal/no cooking...have off days, high pay..good life enough?? yet, been changing maids every 6mths,coz the 'free' /'easy' life is not appreciated, end up, have bgr problems!! invite men to employers house when no one at home in day time..
sigh..many many other real life examples, will not go into them...

some like to compare their welfare to normal work condition huh?
ok, when we get a job offer to go overseas, if the pay is lower than working in s'pore, we won't accept right??
then if we do accept and go over, leaving our family behind, after 1-3 days, can we shed some tears and tell our company, 'sorry, I miss my kids so much that I have to quit this job..but thanks for your kind offer..pls book and pay for my air ticket home tomorrow!! oh ya!! no ..I don't owe your company any monetary compensation..& I don't owe u any words of apology..'
Can any company accept this??

If have, please tell me..I 1st one to apply, since can get higher pay,but just anyhow try try with no real cost/responsibility..
MY point is: no matter who the person is, what job he/she does, even a cleaning lady at foodcourt, I also respect and thank them and also remind my kids to thank them, as their job allow us to have a clean table to enjoy our meals..thus, even if is just a manual job, the key criteria is responsibility..
U know what are your job responsibilities, u accept the job, u do it with responsibility, u earn respect..no matter what job u hold..

No boss promised a bed of roses..
It is not right to come with a mentality, just to try your luck to see whether u strike jackpot, and land in a family with little or no work to do & get paid..

I took a long time to think whether to post this..but thought I need to speak up for some mummies here..& bring out certain point of views which some mummies whom actually NOT employing any domestic helper AT ALL, and yet keep siding them  :? not prick by same needle, u don't know the pain!!



cool_hi: Well!! if majority normal Singaporean employers are getting CEO pay or close to expatriates pay, ya sure!! they can also afford to pay high to helpers..BUT how many percentage are earning that kind of pay???Many are struggling with forever-increasing high living cost, maybe asset rich(owing bank $) but cash poor..many are not able to save!!

Oh!! ya!! don't worry!! I am sure many out there are reflecting la..especially after facing unending problems..like Me, after just being played out by my 3+yr helper, whom I acceded to her SPECIAL request to go home leave(3rd time within 15mths!!!), but did not come back as promised and landed us into loads of trouble with young kids, disrupting our daily routines, need find urgent help(which we don't have and have to take turns to take leave!!) in looking after kids while still having to work and answer to our bosses!! so u think this is super fun huh?? for being kind, understanding and trusting towards our helper..
If one haven't been having problems with helper,or one do not need a helper, haven't been pricked by the same needle, I think one won't understand how we feel..

Anyway, are u sure pay peanuts get monkeys?? the problem is ,pay sky high also no guarantee don't get monkeys ok??
if any agency can guarantee don't get monkeys, business will be super good..even Malaysians also cross over to employ from that agency la..

SO,after some REFLECTIONS(don't need a lot,actually), I have to admit, and face it-
I cannot afford to pay sky high like expatriates, and worse, if I squeeze my family finances to the very drop, to pay skyhigh and still get monkeys,
I think I won't be able to take it!!

SO to avoid frustrations, we are trying to manage without a full-time helper..
paying a local part-time helper once per week, seeing her work diligently without giving any nonsensical problems, like BGR etc,despite paying her high rate, but we feel that we made the right choice!!
Eventually, when the need comes, if my job cannot afford to be flexible anymore, I will have to stop working..Good enough REFLECTIONS and decisions huh??

BUT I know not all families can manage with a part-time helper/single income..my heart goes out to them!!
& though we are not filthy rich, I count myself lucky that we can still make some choices, amongst no choice..for this, I feel contented!


When mum's a tyrant with the maid, Her World/AsiaOne, 18 Oct 2013
Is your mother or mother-in-law unreasonably harsh with your helper? Experts tell Lisa Twang how to restore peace at home.

The study interviewed 151 women seeking refuge at the HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics) shelter.  Is the Helper being abused?

According to the 2012 Foreign Domestic Worker Trafficking Research Report by HOME, these are some of the most common forms of abuse reported by domestic workers.
Excessive working hours 96 per cent (14-20 hours a day)
Never permitted to leave the house 52.3 per cent
Restrictions on phone usage 45.7 per cent Withholding salary 33.1 per cent

When Lilin*, 36, noticed that her elderly mother was growing frail, she hired a domestic helper to help with the household chores. To Lilin's surprise, her mother became hostile to the maid, often yelling at her and complaining about her work.

Lilin found the helper hardworking and polite, and could not understand why her mum was treating her unfairly. Her husband and two sons would hide in the bedroom whenever her mother was shouting at the helper, as they didn't dare to interfere.

Natalia*, 25, also noticed that her mother was unreasonable to their helpers, and would pick on them when she was in a bad mood. "She would scold them for little things like not serving water to the family at meal times, even though she was the only one who wanted it," recalls Natalia.  "She restricted them from leaving the house, with only the occasional Sunday off. Because of this, we changed maids many times, to the point where my mother was blacklisted by the agency."

If you have a good relationship with your helper, but your mother or mother-in-law is negative towards her, don't fret. Darren Wong, owner of part-time domestic helper agency Homebreeze, says it's common.  "A lot of customers specifically request that their helper must be able to appease their difficult mum or mum-in-law," says Darren. "The older generation is used to 'tough love' - scolding rather than explaining things in a gentler way.

Our mothers are used to running a household their whole lives. When a maid comes into the picture, they feel threatened and insecure, as if they are being replaced as caretaker of the family."  Lilin found this true in her case, as she realised her mother felt she had lost her role in the family when the maid took over her household duties. "I never realised how much pride my mum took in her work; simple acts like washing the toilets and sweeping the floor were her way of showing that she cared for us," says Lilin.

"One day, she confided that she felt helpless and bored when there was nothing for her to do. This was why she vented her frustration on our helper."

Another reason our mothers may treat domestic helpers without respect is that they lack empathy for the helpers. "My mum felt that because she was paying our maid, she could behave however she wanted towards her," says Natalia.  "The maids couldn't speak English well, so she looked down on them and treated them as if they were ignorant."

You can change your mum's attitude by helping her to see things from your maid's point of view. Natalia says she helped put the situation in context. "I reminded Mum that they had families back home they were working to support.  I asked her how she would feel if she was stuck at work all day with her boss acting the way she did towards them. It made her more conscious of her behaviour."

Siti*, 35, found that her mother softened her behaviour towards their maid after watching the two of them interact. "I get along well with our helper because I talk to her with respect, even when I'm telling her off," says Siti.  "My mum realised that our helper was more inclined to listen to me because of our good relationship, and she stopped nagging her and following her around the house all the time."

Establishing clear rules at home will also minimise misunderstandings between your mum and helper, so both of them know exactly what the helper is supposed to do.  Bridget Tan, president and chief executive officer of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), advises: "Lay down your helper's obligations and areas of duty. Trust them to help manage your household."

Finally, raise issues in a non-confrontational way. "If your mum or mother-in-law feels that you're attacking her or telling her what to do, she'll either get defensive, or will carry on as before whenever you're not around," says John Gee, immediate past president for migrant workers' rights agency Transient Workers Count Too.

"Don't adopt the attitude that you have to win an argument - give your mum time and space to reflect. Sometimes, you might need to step in to resolve an issue, but try to enlist your husband in this, so you don't feel that you're carrying all the responsibility," he adds.

Dementia can cause her to be more hot-tempered with those around them, including your domestic helper.  "My mother-in-law grew more senile in her 80s, and her most common target of abuse was our Indonesian maid," says Irene*, 47.  "She would curse at her and grab her arm roughly when she wanted help. My mum-in-law also accused our maid of stealing her jewellery and personal items whenever she misplaced them.

"She was eventually diagnosed with dementia, which explained her paranoia and violent outbursts. Medication helped to calm her moods, and we made sure that a family member was always around her and the maid, to soothe her if she became agitated."

As most maids are trained as workers for general household purpose, and not for elder care, consider hiring a nurse or a caretaker who specialises in the care of the elderly, if Mum becomes difficult to manage because she is unwell.


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This article talks about maids suffering/ill-treated in Spore.  
How much newspaper space was used to talk about bad maids, see for yourself...


Many people still believe maids are vulnerable and needed lots of protection.  Helping foreigners, especially the FDWs make people feel the limelight/glamour.  Helping low to middle class income citizens who employed maids due to neccessity (no better option) will not make them score any points in their lives!  

Is it a disgrace to help employers who are really living with bad maids or purposely underperformed FDWs?
Is it a sin to help us .... just to be fair to us is so hard to ask for? 良心宁愿被狗吃?

FDWs have helpline, activists and organsations to back them up but what do we the employers have?  Nothing! Nobody!  MOM is playing the role of pro-maid and pro-agency.


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29 Oct 2013
Copied from my blog.
Anonymous: Your replies are full of sweeping generalisations and not backed up by any provided solid evidence. I feel sorry for you that you live with such hatred and vitriol in your hearts, you must truly be very, very unhappy people to feel the need to be so awful toward someone you have never even met and to pass judgement on someone you don't know. Do you have valid reasons to dislike foreigners, I don't know because you haven't posted any but you seem to want to blame someone/anyone else for your own misery.

Do you know anything about my life, my circumstances, who I am as a person? No. Then who are you to judge and make such statements.

Winter:  Didn't I provide valid reasons? You mean you can't see the solid evidence available in my posts and on the news? 
I certainly don't know you but you appeared as a person who didn't suffer in a maid's hand nor willing to open your eyes. The purpose of this blog is to highlight about bad maids and what the maids did, what agencies and MOM made us go through. It is not a platform to praise maids or send cheers to over generous employers who are keen to offer superb pay packages.

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29 Sep - More clarity needed on stern warnings
, Today, 28 Sep
If a stern warning is issued for alleged maid abuse, would this information be shared with the Manpower Ministry and would it affect one’s ability to employ another maid? Would a record of such warnings be considered when someone applies for employment in the public sector?

These were some questions raised by a lawyer, who is calling for clear guidelines given the existing ambiguities surrounding the issuance and effects of stern warnings. Stern warnings are generally issued by the police for first-time, low-level criminal offences and can come with conditions attached such as the accused person remaining crime-free for a period of time.

Writing in the latest issue of the Law Gazette published by the Law Society, lawyer Tan Hee Joek said the uncertain effects of stern warnings are mainly due to lack of published literature on how they are administered. For instance, it is unclear if the record of a stern warning is considered spent after a specified period of time — as is the practice with a conviction record for a less serious crime.

In court proceedings, Mr Tan noted that the courts have, in some cases, considered stern warnings to the extent of treating them as criminal antecedents not unlike a criminal conviction.

“This is worrying, especially when there appears to be no close examination by the Courts on how the stern warnings came to be issued for these cases,” he wrote. He felt it would be “incorrect in principle” to accord weight to a stern warning if the accused person had not accepted it. Even if the accused had consented, it may be relevant to know if he had given informed consent and had legal advice before doing so.

Mr Tan suggested a system of issuing stern warnings only after a suspect has admitted to the crime or accepted the warning. Clear statutory rules govern the composition of offences which, together with stern warnings, serve as alternatives to prosecution. There is “no good reason” stern warnings should remain shrouded in ambiguity, he argued.


Winter: Employers get warned, fined heavily, reputation ruined, 'dirty linen washed in public' by media and activists or even barred from hiring. How come bad maids runaway easily? Why maids are not treated like a criminal and be openly condemned? Even if fined or jailed, their terms are very light. When they murdered or abused our loved ones, activists dashed out to help them or employers can't really do much to get justice (due to maid load, blackmailed by maid agency). Furthermore, FDWs get free legal service. Some of these bad maids' name and pictures were withheld so that they can come back to Spore again. Is this fair to another human being? Just because FDW looked vulnerable, poorer so FDW's employer must face harsher terms? It is wrong to abuse or kill somebody, be it a FDW or employer, regardless you are extremely angry, lost your mind or just venting.


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22 Aug - Do you believe this story? Maid able to use Facebook, has a 'room' but no aircon and mobile phone yet so submissive and allowed herself to be bullied for 8.5 years?

A man who have a maid as his wife-to-be sent a mail to the FB page administrator (a maid by profession). Claims that his Fiancee, Esther has worked with the same Indian family for 8.5 years but was being treated like slave, worse than a dog, not well fed or give a decent life... has off day.







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21 Aug - I have extracted this, in orange means I disagree - Either it is nonsense or this person is living in stone age. In red means Winter agrees.

Extracted from somebody named Mr. Juerg: Even MOM and legislation is in place here in Singapore, conditions for maids are poor. The setup already is against the maid, in-house, at the mercy of the employer and sold by the agency.
Yes she has the rights, she has support, she can run away, she can ...., she has ..., she .... still, she will swallow and continue, as so many maids but also wives and daughters do it.

It is a different case but a similar situation. Leslie is a strong educated woman within her own country and her own friends and family, A maid has a complete different fear factor. To complain is very important, but more important is how to improve the situation? We need to tackle it from all sites, but first of all the employer maid situation must become transparent and public, as long as it is hidden then it wont improve.

The maid need a better education and better language skills. The schools at home need to teach proper english, the MOM shall set up a limit of xxx points TOEFL in order to become maid. It helps the maid to defend her and it defends the status quo of the maid and it pressures the schools at home to teach english. Further the maid need a regular external contact and support and a feed back to the agency and to the MOM, it can be easily done with www.MAGPI.com, reporting once a month how much salary has been paid to her bank account and what are the living conditions for her. The maid takes care, in many cases, about the children of the employer. The children are the most valuable assets in the family, the children today are the pillars of the economy in 25 years. The most valuable assets are in the hands of the last paid and the least educated in the household, does this make any sense? Would you give your Rolls Royce to somebody who does not know how to drive? A Rolls Royce can easily be fixed with money, try to correct a mislead child! Though I agree that maids are most of the time better mothers.

The agency need to follow up on a regular base the conditions of the maid. The maid is their cash cow so the agency must be interested to have good maids and a good relationship to the employer. The agency should be the employer and send the maid to the family to work. This would define the maid as an employee of a company, an asset which must be taken care of. This setup would reduce the pressure on the maid and improve her standards without any costs. The agency need to take care and take on responsibility for the maid. This is a normal setup in the industry, why can we not do it for FDW?

MOM: The future generation of managers, leaders, doctors, politicians, the pillars of the economy grows up in the hands of nannies and maids, typically the least paid, the least treated, the least educated but the closest to the children. What picture and what values are implanted in the brain of the sons and daughters of the todays employers. Keeping a maid at work sometimes for 12-15 or more hours, many of them sexually harassed and abused, usually at the mercy of the employer shows the upspring a wrong picture of society. An economy only can be successful if all people are equal, human rights are respected and can lead a free and decent life. Only then people perform best, create value and purchase products and services. We need qualified and supervised maids, if they are not qualified then we have them to qualify. Open a school, train them and make sure that only qualified and well treated people are handling the kids. It definitely pays off, Singapore can be an example in the region for the living of the values of the french revolution for all.

The employer needs to be taught that a maid is neither a robot nor a sub-human nor a pet or a domestic animal. It is simply a human being, with needs and deeds, certainly no angel but also no devil. The clash of cultures could be reduced by a one day training how to treat a maid, her rights and her duties. For everything you need a license, except for raising children and employing people at home you dont need it. Westerners and Asians have all of a sudden to live together 24hrs in the same household. The one powerful, the other one full of fear. What do you imagine how it is working out? Who prevents abuse of power? I am not talking about severe abuse, more this subtle daily threatening, this constant fear to be expulsed and to come home often considered then back home as failure.

The governments in maids home country: if they are not capable to create a sound economy with the abundant resources given to them by nature, then they shall at least make sure that their citizens are trained and knowledgeable in the field they are going to work. English is a must and to know their rights as well. A decent government takes care of their citizen abroad and value them, it doesn't rip off the own people coming home seeing mom and dad. A decent service and support should be self-evident, this people here suffer all year long and on the way home they are literally robbed by parcel services and government, we write 2013. This are stories like they are written in the bible. What did we do in the last 2000years?



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29 Jun - Filipinos working in Spore .... they are not poorly paid.  In simple words, filipino FDWs are not pitiful.  They reap what the sow, despite holding low qualification and no Sg experience (compared to HK or Taiwan).  Nothing wrong with being a maid in Singapore.  It's far better than being in the streets or stay in source country and no/lower income.  It's a job that is much better paid than Sporean cleaners or low income earners.  Maids are not required to work under the sun but some of our low income locals have to in order to earn a pathetic salary (not higher than FDWs take home pay - after deducting meals, transport, accommodation, etc).  FDWs didn't lose their dignity or worth by becoming a maid.

Singapore has no policy that neither encourages nor discourages its citizens from working abroad.  The Philippines, despite what many view as having a flourishing economy, is likely to remain a vacation country for millions of so-called overseas Filipino workers.   They come to Spore on work permits, filling up positions as domestic maid, manager, engineer, front line service staff, nurse, waitress/waiter, office workers, etc.

"If I have no other alternative, then, maybe, I'll work here forever," Jeff, a 34-year-old Filipino who has been working in the information technology industry in Singapore since 2009, said in a recent interview with Kyodo News, requesting to be identified by his nickname.  "My main motivation is the pay. For my first job here in 2009, I earned 2.5 times more than what I had received in Manila," Jeff said.

"I plan to stay here for two more years," echoed Belle, a 33-year-old Filipino maid in Singapore who also requested to be identified by her nickname.  Just like most of the more than 10 million Filipino migrants working in nearly 200 countries and territories, Jeff and Belle said they were willing to leave behind their families in exchange for the "much higher" salaries they get in Singapore.

"Of course, I miss my husband and daughter. But I decided to come here because, with the salary that I'm getting, I can support my family and even my relatives," Belle said, adding that she comes from the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte where she used to work as a domestic worker.

Belle currently earns S$550 per month, with a guaranteed additional payment of S$50 if she also works on Sundays. She has been working in Singapore since 2008.  Domestic workers back home, particularly those employed in the capital Manila, earn $60 per month, with those employed elsewhere in the country receiving between $35 and $48.

Jeff shared how analysts have called the Philippines a "hotspot," "Asia's rising tiger" and "the brightest spark in Southeast Asia."  While Jeff and Belle welcome the positive news, they admit they have yet to see it transform their home country into an environment that will directly offer them the same opportunity and benefits they are enjoying now in a foreign land.  "Do the people there really feel the flourishing economy? I think it's still difficult to find a good job there," Belle said.

"If I can really find a job in the Philippines, I would be happy to go back. If I can find a job that will offer at least 70 percent of what I am currently receiving here, for sure, I'll take it," said Jeff. 

Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant and Workers Affairs Jesus Yabes said many of those who leave the Philippines are in a similar situation to Jeff of failing to find their preferred opportunities in the country.

Looking forward to be personally taking care of her daughter two years from now instead of her employers' children, Belle said she is saving now as much as she can from her salary so she can start a business when she finally returns home for good.

"Of course, nothing beats having your own family around. So, definitely, I will go home in the future," Belle said.  Jeff, for his part, admits that having a stable job already is a hurdle in itself to heading back home.

Luther Calderon of the nongovernmental organization Allies of Filipino Migrants: "The challenge for the government and other concerned sectors is to shift to a jobs-creating economy, foster entrepreneurship among the dependents of the overseas Filipino workers and teach them how to save money, and, focus on family reunification"

 
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Winter: To prevent maid abuse, Malaysia is exploring live-out maid option.  I like such an option which will let FDWs know we, employers have forked out how much as 'invisible costs' and stop people from accusing employers of making maids work long hours by paying a cheapskate salary.  Maids have to grow up overnight by being a live-out maid, be sensible and act responsibly, otherwise, she FULLY BEARS her own brainless or inmatured decision.

Malaysian Maid Employers Association to look into 'live-out' maids possibility, The Star/Asia News Network, 28 May 2013
Several issues need to be looked into before the proposal to have "live-out" Indonesian maids can be implemented, said Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein.

He said the proposal could be a solution to the current maid shortage, adding that the association "likes the idea".  "It seems like an automatic solution but a few things should be considered. It must be within the legal process. For example, if a maid gets abused at the second house or after she leaves a house, we must ensure that innocent employers are protected.

"Similarly, what happens if a maid leaves a house, goes somewhere else and contracts an illness? Who will be responsible? Employers and their families must also be protected, especially healthwise," he said when contacted here yesterday.  Under the proposal, maid agencies would provide accommodation for the maids, who could also choose to stay on their own on days off.

They would also be required to only work eight hours daily, six days a week and be paid a minimum of RM600 a month as well as overtime.  Engku Ahmad said the RM600 salary was a "little high", noting that live-in Indonesian maids were currently paid RM700, including lodging and meals.

Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) president Jeffrey Foo said that although it was open to the idea, it would wait for the Malaysian authorities to comment on the matter.  Meanwhile, many Malaysians have questioned the implementation of such a proposal, with Kee Kai Ming writing on Facebook: "How will they send the maid to work? Who is going to open the door for the maid every day and who will be responsible if anything's wrong or something goes missing?"

Fuad Azizi said such a proposal would mean that the agencies would be the maids' employers and should bear the expenses for "permits and medical check-ups".  Jasmin Mohd Saad, whose mother had a "live-out" maid, said she would prefer such a solution herself.  "But it needs more consideration and should be a fair deal for both sides in terms of money, convenience, working hours and privacy."

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羊毛出在谁身上? 谁的利益被抹煞? 谁被逼吃哑巴亏?  
谁才是真正的弱者被强人逼迫, 戴上紧箍咒?
哪个机构或部长站出来为我们主持公道?

Our Govt/MOM is not blinded (so many highly paid officers and ministers working for PAP, not ten or twenty persons), their job is not to care for a maid's Employers or locally born Citizens by putting in some fairer terms/help because they are not the ones paying, can't feel the pain and problems ....  got it? Read this and this


Maids are human. Human, not angels. They can misbehave and this may not be the fault of the employer. Just because the maids are poor and there are many bastard employers around does not justify your strong words.


None owes a maid a living. It is an employment contract of mutual benefit and just because there is a poorer side to it doesn't mean that they deserve to be 'carried' beyond those terms.

I wouldn't expect any sympathy if my employer cut their ties to me if I turned up to work in the same way as this maid has.
 


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Have you spent sleepless nights asking yourself why NGOs, Activits and MOM so horrible?  Why foreign country dictating how we employ domestic maids? One possible reason is because Singapore is an easy target to bully. Why do we have to pay more when we are not getting the quality we need? Why maid salary can increase by 50% to 100% in less than 2 years? All these are just making us to pay more fees.... so, as employers we must be united.


If including concession FDW levy, $500 + $170 + off days = S$756,  each fresh filipino maid (completely no Singapore/Hong Kong/Taiwan experience) cost more than Hong Kong experienced maid, how come our MOM allows this?  Paid so much, I and many other 奉公守法 Employers gave FDWs at least 8 hours continuous rest each day, gave off days, etc but FDWs claimed they are lowly paid slaves, what kind of theory is this?  Didn't we pay them promptly?  Slaves have no salary and cannot demand for human rights. 公道在哪里?

Why use our names and make us responsible for FDWs? 
Why MOM let others think we own a maid .... another human being? 
Having a maid with my name printed on her work permit and insurance policy is not plainly an employer and employee relationship because employers unable to enforce their house rules (which means a company's policies). Employers are being forced to abide by MOM's rules, AEAS/CASE standard contract, source countries likings and Agencies' goals to earn as much heartless money... what rights have we been given?  Where's our human rights to say No to our advantage, no need to be afraid of MOM and agency's harsh terms (all due to AEAS/CASE pro-agency standard employment contract)? 


The society has been overly sympathetic towards maid, resulting in maids not putting their hearts in and carry out their duties satisfactorily, as per Sg contract.  I just need a performance with 70% rating.  I believe many employers like me are not perfectionist, our expectations of maids are not that high, example requiring 110% passing rate ... we are reasonable.  Some altruistic people felt by upholding human rights, your live-in FDWs are not required to seek permission before stepping out of employer's house, during working hours ... what has Sg employers became?  MOM made us responsible for our FDWs, kept us binded by its unfair polices yet our selfish FDWs wanted human rights in such manner... you felt they are not doing the wrong thing?  Is this what you mean by showing basic respect to a maid .... don't ask where she goes during working days and don't interfere with her personal needs or what she does on off days?  Is this fair to us?  Why MOM doesn't remove our liabilities - put an end to guardianship (babysitting an adult FDW)?

I can do the chores and take care of my girl but I need a job to cope with Spore high living standard so I had to acknowledge my enemy, 'Money' is very powerful, I cannot afford to stay home with a single income.  If I can multi-task to do the chores and take care of my girl, why can't FDW?  The problems with modern FDWs are that they have been brainwashed to deliberately deliver poor quality work and trying ways to get lesser duties so that they can play/enjoy life to the fullest.  If not deliberately, why can't they do a proper job?  You mean that's their usual standard, we are too demanding?  How come olden days FDWs can be more hardworking, less demanding and really needed a salary?  FDWs too lousy and lowly educated, that's why their own countries pushed them out, do not want to offer them jobs that pay S$500 a month (excluding live-in costs that Sg employers are forced to foot)?


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12 Apr - FDWs are really not underpaid nor pitiful.  Their employers bear their cost of living by providing them all the basic necessities such as food and accommodation.  Each FDW has a good take home pay (after deduction of daily living expenses) of S$450 to $700 each month.  If FDWs insist on weekly off days to spend outside, they can still have a savings of S$300.  I really can't imagine any FDW can spend more than $200 on her 4 off days, each month.  If she can spend money so freely, it means this maid doesn't need to send money home, come to Spore just to enjoy or flirt around.


Our citizen, earning less than S$1000 each month (3 jobs), has to foot all the living expenses - food, transport, meals, housing, etc, based on Spore actual cost of living, not Indonesia or Philippines ... low cost of living.  FDWs are fully taken care of by employers, what they are getting are flat savings/take home pay!!  Who is there to voice for low income earners and say some words of kindness, claimed they are underpaid, living in a more disadvantaged life compared to the good life FDWs, fight for more 'human rights', etc? 



Have you been kind to the low income people?  Did you compare apple to apple and stop being a self righteous person? 

No employer had forced FDW to leave home and fly to a foreign country to work.  FDWs came after weighing the pros and cons.  She knew she is the richest person in the family if able to dig S$ in Spore.  If maids felt they are pitiful, worked like slaves, don't stay in Spore, go home!!  Get your own govt to provide you a good life and live with your family!  You're not welcome to pollute our air and spread untrue facts!


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11 Apr 
Differences of a FDW and Slave

1.      FDWs can choose whether or not to become a helper/maid/FDW.  The choices of FDWs were made based on their given situation.  Many chose to move away from their families with a great deal of thought about the best realistic options available.
Slaves had no choice, no say. They were kidnapped or sold and forced into slavery.

2.      FDWs stepped into their home country agencies willingly and chose to believe beautiful pictures of working aboard.  Nobody tied their hands and dragged them into the agency or board a plane.
Slaves were sold or kidnapped.  Not given any option.  No human rights.

3.      FDW are not chained.  They can doll up and make themselves presentable to attract men’s attention.
In TV, slaves are chained, wear shabby clothes and looked dirty.

4.      FDWs can choose employers as much as their employers can choose them.
Slaves have no such choice, they were bought and sold like commodities.  All the earnings/benefits ended up in somebody else pocket.

5.      FDWs are guaranteed a minimum wage as per embassies and agencies’ marketing tactic, paid a wage in Spore.  FDWs are provided with medical insurance, 3 normal meals, reasonable accommodation, weekly rest days, home leave upon completion of 2-year contract, etc.
Slaves are not guaranteed a minimum wage nor given lovely welfare and employment terms.

6.      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. 
Slaves have no such prerogative. Slaves are owned, the same as you own your car, tv, sofa, etc.  You were free to do/treat the slave as per your wish/mood.  You can treat slaves like machines, work long hours, no break or even whip them to work faster, don’t pretend can’t work.  No repercussions at all, who would come after you for things that you owned and tell you how to handle it? 

I would like to say that those who equate having a FDW to slavery is doing us a disservice.  It doesn't further your argument or open up room for discussions.  Your logic is wrong!  You paint an "us vs them" picture. "We" are holier than those who never had a maid vs those of us who needed a helper/maid in order for both (husband & wife employer) to work and make ends meet.  You are simply too lucky and fortunate as a human being.  Don't use your good luck to belittle us.

If anyone who is still dulling the senses by believing we, Sg employers are not the best option for FDWs, who may be abusive, exploiting maids, slave-drivers, underpaid the FDWs but we, are the best choice for FDWs to live a dignified life, enjoy weekly off days, good salary, provided live-in expenses, etc…. a much better catch then to continue stay in their own countries, drawing zero (unemployed) or a much lower salary.

Some forums slammed their doors by imposing restriction to post bad maids' particulars claiming employers have no rights to post and simply based on one-sided story.  Whether or not to employ, is solely up to the next employer to decide.  There should be a plateform or govt link (testimonial) that could at least give current employer a chance to alert others why their FDWs were sent back to agency or released prematurely.  Employers deserved to be given satisfactory service delivered by their FDWs.  We should not encourage more poor quality FDWs to remain or come to Spore. 

Year 2010, fresh/inexperienced Filipino starting salary was S$340 per month, with one off day each month.  2011, it jumped to $360.  2012, increased to $400.
Year 2013, jerked up to $500 with weekly off days.  This is a tremendously increment, means employer of filipino paid: $500 + 4.5 off days $86 = $586/month.   How many percent salary increment is S$340 to S$586? 

If including $170 concession FDW levy = $756, each fresh filipino maid cost more than Hong Kong experience maid, how come our MOM allows this?  We paid more yet the quality of FDWs deteriorated.  Paid so much but FDWs claimed they are lowly paid slaves, what kind of theory is this? 

Minimum wage (Salary) of Hong Kong experienced Domestic Helper is S$630, whereas our FDW, we paid $670/month .... $170 pocketed by MOM in the form of maid levyA FDW’s salary maybe pittance to you (you are likely to be earning a salary higher than me) but she is certainly the most well off person in her family. Take into consideration the cost of living, her education level ...compare apple to apple!   The cost of living is not the same everywhere.  The salary of a FDW is higher than an Engineer in Philippines.

Activists can’t wait to knock you down…. just because you are labelled as an ‘Employer’.  Those self-righteous people are disgusting and unfair to us!

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, a really 可悲 mindset.... well, they can afford to do so if luck is on their sides.

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Indonesian maids who were reported on the news, killed their employers .... these are some comments:
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8 Jan - When an employer shouted at her domestic maid in public, how do you view this employer? 
Showed no respect to the FDW?  Didn’t treat her like a human?  Employer is obviously in the wrong, she should be stoned? 

When you see an employer reprimanded her domestic maid in public, do you feel employer didn’t try to control her temper and give FDW some face/dignity?

Yesterday morning, M was pushing my girl in her stroller and the traffic light turned green before she could reach the crossing point.  My instruction was not to start crossing when green light starts to flash.  I was leisurely following behind, thinking she should remember my safety instruction BUT NO, she ran with her flip-flops and pushed my girl across.  I shouted loudly to get her attention…. many people looked at me in an unfriendly way.  Screamed out loud that she has to back track.  When M came back to the pavement, I yelled at her, asked her why she didn’t listen to instruction.  She said other people were crossing.  I said I have already told you not to follow others blindly.  Once green man starts to flash, she has to wait for the next green man and then start to cross the road.

Many FDWs... including M really knows how to portray a pitiful maid, humiliated by her employer in public!  It is so dangerous to start crossing the road.  Imagine if her flip flop breaks, flies out or M falls and accidently let go of my girl’s stroller, what’s going to happen?  Cry over spilled milk?  A tragic accident occured, will M be held responsible?  Who will bear the costs and damages --> employers, nobody else!  When a 'poor FDW' is in light, MOM and activists will be very helpful to find reasons for FDW to get away free!  Yes, many don't believe, thinking we, the employers are so powerful and invincible!!  The mindset is wrong.  In Spore, the MOM rules made it prefectly alright for FDWs to err, no need to bear responsibilities, you call this fair to employers?

There are many incidents of how M forced me to shout in public (I'm made of flesh and blood, not a person who can be provoked by FDW many times but able to show no expression/feelings), making me looked like a big bully or mad woman!  I don’t think anybody would be interested to know what sort of tough life M is making me go thru.  Yes, I am very worried the next replacement will be worse than M, judging from the quality of FDWs recruited nowadays.  FDW has to be out of my life if she thinks she can continue her ways.  I am not going to give her a free ticket home (repatriation) and absorb her outstanding loan.  

I may have to resign ….. so hard to find a good helper…. sigh!  Why make me paid FDW to suffer?  Many FDWs claimed they worked very hard, abused, not given enough food, not treated like a human being, slogged long hours, etc.... how come 'good and hardworking FDWs' were not in my pathway? 

If a FDW can go online to post on Facebook, owns a mobile or have off day, can you believe she is really in a bad employer's house, slogged like slave, can't runaway and/or not given help?  If her friend heard her 'sad' encounter', has a 24/7 mobile and/or so IT savvy, why nobody offered her timely help?  You believe modern FDWs will be bullied or abused by employers?  How to cage FDWs in a cell, completely stop their freedom, is this legal?  I wish for a FDW who can help me diligently, work with minimal supervison, like my girl and very willing to be my capable caregiver cum housekeeper for at least 2 years, possible?  I am fine to let my FDW live-out if MOM allows and removes all liabilities on me for a FDW who is not physcially working in my house (after working hours and off days).  This way, nobody can accuse employer of making FDW overwork, no freedom and lack of friends/sex mates.

A helper who needs me to remind her everyday, even for the simplest task like getting warm water, trying her ways to make me looked like a monster while she’s a pitiful maid…. No, M has to go before I go insane …. I want to end my miseries…. Praying hard that I’ll have a better way out very very soon.  Really don’t know how to entrust my girl in such a person’s hands.  Makes no sense for me to hire a babysitter to take care of my FDW!

People like to say Singapore is a first world not third world country.  There shouldn't be any slavary, must give FDW off days, uphold human rights, encourage FDWs to have sex because they are humans with sexual needs, allow FDWs use handphone ..... blah blah blah.... at employer's expenses, who will pity or hear us?

Believe there are many people who will feel sorry for my helper, wonder how come M ends up with an employer that is of so 'low tolerance', rude and unkind.  Don't be surprised some people felt M should fire her employer instantly and find a better one.  The trend is, not happy, go back to agent!

FDWs' employer have a lot of chest thumping and still get people pointing fingers like we are solely at fault.  All I can say to those fortunate human beings, pray hard you don't end up in my plight... you can continue having such a mindset .... maybe you are really so blessed and have better luck throughout your whole life.... Of course, you won't bleed or suffer any losses just by trying to be in my shoes.  When your FDW purposely does annoying things (daily) to you or disappears/runaway while you're out to work and/or gets caught with wrong company during off days or on her self-created time off, how are you going to save yourself from MOM's harsh policies?  How would you feel to be stranded and be shot as long as you remain as a FDW's employer?  

Yes, there are bad employers but there are also many not-too-bad/good employers who had to literally bleed their heart out when the FDW did something insensible or irresponsible...  we're legal guardians, made liable for their actions even though we were not the cause of it!  Nowadays, your life hooked to FDW is merely spending money with low returns and no appreciation.

17 comments:

  1. 10 Annoying Things About My ex-Saudi Diva Maid

    1. Gave my daughters (1.5 and 4 year olds) meals with fishbones ( 2cm long), and when I pointed them out, she laughed it off. She will laugh when she gets one stuck in her throat.

    2. Forcefully handles my 1.5 year old, even when she is wailing hard. Would just talk to my young kids in firm voice. Shows no love for the small kids. My daughters still dislike her up till now. Always looked at my children as if they are a burden to her.

    3. Did not clean my baby properly, sweeps the baby wipes from faeces soiled parts to the front. I advised her, that this can cause urine infection. My baby's shirts and pants will also smell of faeces after the diaper change (due to her slip shod cleaning method, I suppose her hands are not properly washed with soap, and still have faeces remaining which transferred to my baby, when she carried her.) but she won't bother to change them.

    4. Eats chilli padi with almost all her meals but ironically, she washes off all the spices of the McDonald's prosperity burger I had bought for her and threw away a big portion. And made a big fuss about the sauce burning her throat to her lungs.

    5. Would read my magazines ( I offered to lend her as she claimed that she loves to read) and returned them in very bad condition.

    6. Would just sit and observe other people when she was supposed to observe my curious young kids who often wander about and she did not realise their disappearance until I raise the alarm.

    7. Always leaves the light on when no one is using, even when I told her to try save electricity. She even slept with the lights on.

    8. Spins the laundry and carelessly also dumped my daughter's shoe in it.

    9. Almost burnt my kitchen by always using strong flame although I have taught her to use small flame....

    And lastly, but most strongly!

    10. Tried to suck up to my husband, scolded me for asking my husband to help me run some errands. Even asked my husband to back her up when I was pointing out one of her mistakes. She said I complained too much and she didn't see anything wrong with her work. My husband asked me to apologise to her and reprimanded me for causing my maid to be upset.

    See how the innocent looks of this "religious and well-mannered" FDW eventually brings nothing but trouble to my family. A family who is trying to keep up with the nation's fast pace, trying to make ends meet while trying to be good parents to our young children...who then had to encounter people who are not honest to fulfill their duties and to honour their 2-year contract. And this family had to lose money, time, and gain lots of unnecessary mental and emotional exhaustion from dealing with such unexpected FDW / helper behaviour.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Annoying things:
    Mine complained to others my food is bland. At home, she'll add chilli or more seasoning. Chilli sauce that I felt spicy, she said it tasted sweet! There were a few times she bought Rojak from the same stall as dinner and kept making 'sisi' sound, told me very spicy! I didn't even want to look at her acting, just walked away.

    Being a good actress, she was able to win my hubby's sympathy, making him think I was being too demanding and didn't give her chances to breathe or slack a bit. 'To eat snake' once a while is alright. Who dare to swear he/she has never eaten 'snake'?

    To waste water is alright, hubby told her, it is OK, don't worry! Faint! Don't like hubby to interfere and become a 'refugee centre' but he felt he's the master of the household so wants to poke his nose in, be a nice man to all my FDWs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You can keep changing maid and the result will still be the same. Some times got to close one eye. Cannot close eyess, dont hire maid.
    Complain too much she can ask her friend to wait at the lift, any how say you touch her naenaepok and your future will be ruin.
    Mentality of maid nowadays is that you ask them to help you and they are kind to do so. Not that they need a job and you are kind to offer them a bowl of rice. Calling you Sir/Madam is just a wayang to make you happy and pay her salary promptly. Dun be a daft and think you are really the towkay. Got it

    ReplyDelete
  4. Most of the times I felt I'm more pathetic than maids. I woke up earlier than her, slept later than her and didn't get as much rest as her. Maid is here with all her live-in costs foot by employers. She only need to spend money to buy things that she likes or simply send home.
    Ask her do working properly, she unhappy.
    Remind her what to do, she purposely forget or do wrong.
    Tell her don't enter my room without permission, she hack care.
    Said must cover mouth when cough and wash hands but she continue spread her virus. Very unhygienic and selfish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. So I fired the maid and do myself. Of course I'm exhuasted but better than paying someone who makes me angry with her negligent work by looking at her tired listless face.

      A word of advice, if you think the maid is giving you bad work, it is better to let her go sooner. when I was considerng firing the maid after months of trying and being patient, it took me a long time because I was so used to her and someone who is with you for long you will feel something, makes it harder to fire her. Then I suffer all the time, financially, mentally and eventually affected my health and relationships in the family.

      I can honestly said I cried when I sent the maid off.
      Then when I started doing all the chores etc myself, I realise there was so many hidden damages, messiness, bad work she did that I felt silly I cried when she was all along doing everything I told her not to. She obviously took me for a ride and used my symapthy to get me to buy stuff for her while suffering under her.

      Delete
  5. In case anybody think employers like to send maids back to agency for small issues, our definition of bad maids refers to any FDW who cannot deliver a proper FDW job (based on interview or job description). Gave many chances and Counseling didn't work so Employer has no choice but to part with her/his money and find replacement for that bad maid.

    A bad maid is a person who is lazy, chit-chat on her mobile & didn't do her daily chores/duties, stubborn, behaved too princess (pampered), uncooperative, poor attitude, drama queen, abusive/bullied person in her care, dishonest, steals, slept with man/men, violated her work permit conditions, moonlighted, indecent (doesn't wear bra or underwear, wore low cut/revealing clothes to seduce her male employer), untrainable (do not listen to work instructions and carry out duties as per employer's training), unhygienic, played forgetful games, doesn't remember safety rules (eg jaywalking), bad temper, rude/impolite, showed no basic respect to her employer(s), having mental problem, runaway, bad mouthing her employer(s) and/or irresponsible.

    A bad employer in most people's eyes is obviously those publicised in the news. Another group of bad employers are those who are strict (eg FDW cannot use her mobile 24/7) and do not want to pamper their FDWs. They only provide the basics and prefer to throw in rewards based on maid's work performance. Those employers who have compensated their maids for no off day, are also part of the bad employer category.

    ReplyDelete
  6. All I can say is that is a vicious cycle.

    Employer started by trying to treat FDW as fairly as they can.
    The FDW start to have bad behaviours then got replaced.
    Then employer start to be more strict with next maid thinking that they are being too lenient.
    The next maid is an experienced maid whom had been treated somewhat unfairly in the last household.
    So she decide no need to work so hard, since no matter what she do, its not good enough.
    Thats where conflicts starts, and will never end.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Unfortunately the maids are merely pawns; more often than not agencies in their homeland exploit them and agencies in the countries to which they are sent also take their pound of flesh. In many countries their governments also get into the act and charge for all manner of services, certificates and exit visas.

    None of these predicate the suitability or skills of the maids who, increasingly, are fresh from remote areas.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm calling agencies up today to see what they have... definitely not going back to this current maid's agent as all she tells me is to get a replacement. The previous time I called her to talk abt maid's behaviour, she wanted me to get 1 transfer maid who was rude to agent herself when I was on the phone! No way am i going to get such a maid right? So, I concluded that my agent isn't really looking to find the right one for me and i shdnt get into more trouble by using her.

    With another change of maid, it will be my 4th maid for the year... Sigh.. after my maid of 2 years left, the first one had bad attitude, but we stuck on for abt 2-3mths.. but alas, she had a fall.. and cldn't work anymore.. sent her to hospital, the A&E doc says nothing wrong with her scan etc.. as she cldnt work anymore, we sent her off.. 2nd we took a transfer maid.. said she is ok w the occassional help out with our kid.. but didnt interact w him or helped out at all.. she wanted to go w/in a week. and this current 3rd one.. been tahan-ing her laziness and white lies... but seeing the state of the housework and her constant disregard of instructions.. i think i can no longer live with the fact tt im paying her w/o getting things i wanted done correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Winter copied this from forum:
    by mfo222
    Most of the Agencies are only interested in making money. Sometimes the staff they hire are not able to comprehend what you are really looking for..I have called a few places and ask for biodatas, they email me so many biodatas, in almost all biodatas, its the same thing, can clean,can look after kids, can cook steam fish.. best of all this Agencies just rely on biodatas from abroad..they dont call and talk to the maids..

    ReplyDelete
  10. by twinnybabes
    My maid runaway. She has been with us for 3 months and you can count with your five fingers the things that she does at home daily. Most of the time it's just washing the dishes and mopping the floor for 10 minutes in the morning. She can't cook, can't be trusted to go the market as she doesn't know how to buy fresh, she doesn't send and pick up my kids. She stained the clothes of my kids, she broke plates & glasses..

    I was just waiting for a replacement from the agency and she was the one who requested to be transferred as she said she can't handle kids. What she's so good at is using her handphone, goes to the toilet almost every 15 minutes, eating (a big eater actually). She can't prepare meals but when my mom cooks, she will devour the food, even eating before us!.. She is lazy, always complaining & even answers back even if she's the wrong one.

    She ran away because she want to have a ticket back home, and doesn't want to pay her existing loans with the agency.. in short, that is her "easy way out". Truly a very irresponsible person! Gave me and my mother a headache for that 3 months she was with us...

    For those whose maid ran away, did you buy her a ticket? did u include a check in baggage allowance? How about if she left some things? Would you deliver it to the airport.. I would want to burn her stuff, if you may ask me.

    I am really pissed with the attitude. She wasn't maltreated at all, she was having the time of her life eating any food she can eat, using the phone anytime she wants even if we had an agreement, and lastly, most of her duties were done by my mom!! And she has the nerve to ran away?

    The fact that we are from same country also, so I don't think there would be any communication problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. by sankan
      You are lucky she ran away beacuse she wants to go home. Mine ran away because she doesnt want to go home. We had told her the previous night that we are sending her back as her work attitude had deteriorated to alteast 300% ( i dont know wht else to say, horrible horrible is all i can say. Gave me night mares, i was so stressed i had irritable bowel syndrome, headaches). Next day she runs away to HOME and then complained to MOM.

      We had 2 many things going in our favor cos we had already cancelled work permit and got a flight ticket before she ran away ( we lost the flight ticket money) also we had written a detailed letter to MOM telling her all the trouble that she is giving her incld bringing strangers inside the house and MOM had told us we can send her off.

      Her complaints against us were very silly cant post here since it is still going on. We were able to show proof against her complaints but for her it is a win win situation. she will be on a special pass and will work till the case is over (may take couple of mths) and after that she can continue on a 2 yr contract if she wants to ..

      Now we are trying to fight against this. We want her to go back..She wanted to continue in singapore and just to get that she does false complaint against us and she gets what she wants. That is not fair to any employer in singapore. We have written a very detailed complaint against her and we are waiting to hear from MOM on this. Max they will do is black list her i think cos unless she has done a criminal issue they wont ban her is what i understand from other friends. Will have to wait n see. But i will fight. .The mental torture she gave me in the last 4 mths was unbearable with me developing physical sympts cos of that and she goes scot free..

      But all said and done all rules n laws are favorable to them and mine being a filipino knows that way too well. She had told me on the face you cant do a thing against me I have not broken a law and she knew exactly what to do to stay on in singapore. (bringing strangers inside is not considered breaking the law?) I didnt know there was a place called HOME (which supports them 100% and does everything for them) till the day she ran.

      In ur case loan amount is there. All you can do is try and fight like i am doing. How successful, only time will tell..
      Its not fair to us.. I asked the MOM guy where to harassed employers go..He said u can complain but if for all the effort she is only black listed what is the point. My friends maid was blacklisted but came back to singapore in a mths time..

      BTW, even after all this drama ( we lost one flight ticket already) if at any point of time they send her back we have to fork out flight ticket money. That is the rule it seems... So u will have no option to pay for her ticket unless u transfer her out.. We didnt want to do that cos she will make any other employers life hell.. She is a night mare i tell you..

      Angry bees- I was also so angry i wanted to destroy all her stuff (She went with her 3 mobile phones n money only) but i didnt dare. I had to surrender the passport to MOM and then she came one day with HOME people to get her stuff. I had packed it up and my hus took it out but she checked each n every piece even turning the pockets inside out so if we do anything to her stuff we will get into even more trouble. We are the ignorant and gullible ones and always at the receiving end..

      IN short, we cant do much.. Rules are all favorable to them cos accord to govt the are the underprivileged.. Dont know when the govt will realise what the actual situation is..

      Wish i had never renewed her.. Wish i had never employed her. BUt i strongly believe in Karma. she will get her due..

      Delete
  11. by Hotbun
    Reading so many forums and stories, I wonder why MOM is doing nothing about it. As the employers, we are always at the losing end. The maids just irresponsibly ran away dumping us to face everything. I totally agree it is a mental torture.

    My maid ran away in Dec and made false allegation on us. She is happily in the shelter now leaving us suffering. MOM refused my appeal for another maid despite I have kids at home. It is so ironical that govt actually wants us to have more children. We really needed help to have someone at home to look after the kids yet because of the false allegation we are stranded.

    We lost the security bond, having to make so much adjustment to our daily life just because of one person. This maid always talk about God and how much she loves God, now recalling it, I feel like puking. She is so fake. When situation like these happened, the agency hide from us like we have diseases. MOM doesn't want to help because they are more concern about the bilateral relationship than us. I really wonder why HOME has such an authority to keep the maid away from the agency and us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. by pumpkeen
    We had 3 helpers in the past 6 months, 2 of which did not finish their loan repayment. I sent one back yesterday, she was giving me attitude problem, refused to talk, refused to respond. The agent just called and informed me that her attitude did not improve any bit. I think nowadays maids are very demanding, they want their job to be easy, they want more rest, more freedom, yet they can't take simple reprimand, etc. Plus, they know their rights, which I find it absurd sometimes. Me and my hubby are very stern and strict, who cannot tolerate anyone who cuts corners, hence most helpers find it challenging to work for us. As long as we do not ill-treat them, we will continue to demand and search for the one that we deem is most suitable, of course there is a price to pay :p

    In short, if you want to have helpers and keep them for long, you might have to "close one eye", treat them with much tolerant and if possible, as part of your family...

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  13. How pitiful can maids be with off days given and demanding to use handphones sukasuka. There's no policy to stop maids from terminating contracts with lies. There's no compensation clause for maid and agency to compensate employer who were obviously cheated.

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  14. I am an very open-minded employer as I add my maid's friends and all their mutual friends in my facebook too. Not all employers are good including maids. It is true that maids are humans too and they need to have a break too. This is why off days are given to them but have you seen what are some of the maids doing outside during the off day? They sell their bodies to earn extra cash or to get more gifts or benefits, go to karaoke and dance like nobody cares, forgotten about their family, husbands and children in their hometown and some even sleeps with their male employers when the female employers are working etc..... These will not only cause the breakup of their own families as well as those families in Singapore. So, please do not just apply your misery to all other maids which I do not really agree as some of them are really having a good life here. You should add all the maids in your facebook and take a look at what they post and will know what I mean. It is true that employer needs to take good care of their poor maid who works for them at their best but maid should not take advantages of the employer too right? Some of the maids job-hopped to a better salary regardless of the relationship with their boss but never thought that they might not be able to work long with that kind of salary and some of them just slice their boss by asking a very high salary when their bosses asked them to renew due to they think that they boss need them. Never did they think that when their boss might not want or cannot take them back when they realised that their boss is still the best after they get out of the house.

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  15. It's very hard to blacklist a bad maid. I have tried, useless. Bad (meaning evil, not lousy in housework) maid is now with new employer.
    The laws protect the maids, and they all know to run to HOME should they have problems with employers.
    Maids should have penalty for not completing contracts, like in some other countries. You can only blacklist a maid if she commits a serious crime, mine stole items of little value from me, sorry no case.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is not meant for screw-lose activists or loans. My blog aims to gather all FDWs' news scattered everywhere, become a one-stop site for mentally & financially bullied FDWs' employer to beware and learn. Don't pollute this blog with your pro-maid, insensible and selfish comments! Activists posting here are BLIND IDIOTS, IRRITATING freaks and deliberately showing no RESPECT for others... robbing our only breathing space.