Singapore Expats Forum

A day off per week for Domestic Helpers.

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

earthfriendly
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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:13 am

TS, there are many people around the world who toil all day, all year for a mere pittance, making just enough for survival. So it is not just Singaporeans. However they have to be grateful that they at least have the option to hire a maid. Not available here in USA where I live. They just have to learn to make do. There are people here who can't afford the dentists and live with rotting teeths for years, elderly eating dog food ..... you get the idea.

Singaporeans can have their cake and eat it too. But not at the expense of another human. They can hire local part time help a day out of the week. Maid gets a day to rest and so does the employers. Win win. It is a good biz opportunity right there, part time maid for hire. Relatives/support group pooling their efforts, rotating and taking turns to care for the young, sickly and elderly. It is not possible to do it alone. It takes a village. There are many ways to skin a cat. There is no need to always go for the easiest, most expedient way, the LCD (lowest common denominator).

I do not see myself tolling year round for my family without a break. Hence I will not impose it on someone else. I won't be a good mother and wife if my mind and body do not get the rest it deserves.

TS, what kind of society do you envision SG to be? One that aspires for higher good or one that looks for the easiest way out? It is not always about moral. It is about the kind of atmosphere you want to build for yourself and the community you live in.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:19 am

I actually don't have a maid, never have had and hopefully will never need one.

I never said the maid worked 12x7 but that the son does overnight while both the maid and dad sleep. There is no cctv (I'd have thought you would have caught the drift that this is not an affluent situation).

Unfortunately the son needs to sleep at some point so yes the maid is obligated to do her duties through the day like most of us.

As for only calling home and going out those are again some assumptions which neither you or I are privy to.

You make it sound like there is a thriving opportunities for jobs that cover expenses out there for anyone that needs them. Again i am surprised I get called rose tinted because frankly if you are employed you should consider yourself lucky in the current climate... More so if you happen not to hold the correct certificates and experience....

If you think I am a troll for daring to disagree with consensus on this board then thats a bit sad... As for you, every time you have made sweeping one line statements and assumptions and I call you out you magically disappear until other people post for you to respond to.

Frankly I find you to be quick on the draw with your comments. You are clearly keen to jump to conclusions on people you know nothing about.

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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:24 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I suggest 12/7 for 6 months and see how long you last but you have to stay at your employers place of business and can only use the phone and go out with friends IF your employer feels like letting you. Then maybe you might have a better handle of the problem. Your simplistic views are why they finally break down and either jump off the roofs or slice their wrists or p*ss in your soup and spit in your food when you aren't looking. And you know something? You probably deserve it if that's actually how you treat your maid. Personally? I think it's all a wind-up and you are our latest troll. :wink:


SMS, would you resort to such methods if your employers do not treat you right? I think there are more constructive ways for the maids to resolve their differencs, even with meanny employers. Many maids come from backgrounds that do not empower the individuals and it does not take a lot for them to break. And having an abusive employer does not help in the situation.

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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:34 am

Tigerslayer wrote:
You make it sound like there is a thriving opportunities for jobs that cover expenses out there for anyone that needs them. Again i am surprised I get called rose tinted because frankly if you are employed you should consider yourself lucky in the current climate... More so if you happen not to hold the correct certificates and experience....


I have never implied that! Unless you are in the top 5 % of the population, most people have to really watch their budget. And many Americans carry large debts. It is not always about money! No money, no problem. Like I said the community/family can pool their time and resources together, without dishing out a single cent, taking turns to take care of those who need help. Or wait a minute, it is much easier and quicker to make the maid do their dirty work for them and no day off for the maids. At the end of the day, this is your life. You actually have more control over it than you think. And you get to decide what priorities are important to you in your lives.
Last edited by earthfriendly on Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:37 am

TS, there are many people around the world who toil all day, all year for a mere pittance, making just enough for survival. So it is not just Singaporeans. However they have to be grateful that they at least have the option to hire a maid.


I fully agree and believe in most instances where a maid is needed rather than a luxury that they are grateful for the option.

Not available here in USA where I live. They just have to learn to make do. There are people here who can't afford the dentists and live with rotting teeths for years, elderly eating dog food ..... you get the idea.


Agreed and even worse still I am sure...


Singaporeans can have their cake and eat it too. But not at the expense of another human. They can hire local part time help a day out of the week. Maid gets a day to rest and so does the employers. Win win. It is a good biz opportunity right there, part time maid for hire. Relatives/support group pooling their efforts, rotating and taking turns to care for the young, sickly and elderly. It is not possible to do it alone. It takes a village. There are many ways to skin a cat. There is no need to always go for the easiest, most expedient way, the LCD (lowest common denominator).


Unfortunately like I have said previously there are countless commodities that come at the expense of another human being that we all use day in and day out. If you looked below the surface of your daily goods Maids and their days off should be the least of your concerns.

Part time maid is at an extremely higher cost and is not an option for a lot of people. If you cut off the live in maid industry today you would basically be sending back home thousands or people to poverty with no money coming back from a relatively affluent nation which will pay for the service.

If the maid industry was so evil do you not think there wouldn't be such an influx of people opting to do it to send money home to their families.

If people really wanted to sort this out they would focus on deploring the host nation's policies which drive these people's need to perform such work.

I do not see myself tolling year round for my family without a break. Hence I will not impose it on someone else. I won't be a good mother and wife if my mind and body do not get the rest it deserves.


Who said anything about no breaks? We are just talking about legally enforced days off here....

TS, what kind of society do you envision SG to be? One that aspires for higher good or one that looks for the easiest way out? It is not always about moral. It is about the kind of atmosphere you want to build for yourself and the community you live in.


I see it how it is... A society with a thriving maid industry. A human society which inevitably will only strive for self beneficial good like the rest of the western world.

I may be a cynic but the biggest problem I have is how people pick and choose their causes yet are so hypocritical in their daily lives. Humanity will always be based on a system of rich exploiting poor and while we all look down our noses at the elements which are 'too obvious to ignore' we happily consume every drip of exploitation available.

So long as its not in your face its fine right?

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Postby Tigerslayer » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:39 am

earthfriendly wrote:
Tigerslayer wrote:
You make it sound like there is a thriving opportunities for jobs that cover expenses out there for anyone that needs them. Again i am surprised I get called rose tinted because frankly if you are employed you should consider yourself lucky in the current climate... More so if you happen not to hold the correct certificates and experience....


I have never implied that! Unless you are in the top 5 % of the population, most people have to really watch their budget. And many Americans carry large debts. It is not always about money! No money, no problem. Like I said the community/family can pool their time and resources together, without dishing out a single cent, taking turns to take care of those who need help. Or wait a minute, it is much easier and quicker to make the maid do their dirty work for them and no day off for the maids. At the end of the day, this is your life. You actually have more control over it than you think. And you get to decide what priorities are important to you in your lives.


I think we have our wires crossed... my post was directed purely at SMS.

Yours is the one above sorry should have used quotes for that one :oops:

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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:44 am

Tigerslayer wrote: Humanity will always be based on a system of rich exploiting poor and while we all look down our noses at the elements which are 'too obvious to ignore' we happily consume every drip of exploitation available.



There are many people around me who do not exploit and will strive to do the right thing, friends and family. Time to change out the friends/relatives if their value crash too much with yours. You actually have more control than you ever know, you do not have to accept unacceptable behaviours. You can let people know what you will and will not stand for. The ball is in your court.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:55 am

Since the entire developed world is based on exploiting the poor I really cannot believe you manage to avoid directly or indirectly exploiting people with every item you buy. Even 'Fair Trade' has become a brand rather than an ideal.

If there is to be any sort of change it has to be from the top. I guarantee this will never significantly happen because whatever is said by all the people on this thread seemingly in shock at my comments noone that counts is willing to truly follow through to make change happen.

This maid discussion is being exaggerated and distorted by so many people purely because they feel they are on some moral high ground. To me that high ground looks mighty weak and contradictory.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 1:01 am

EF, they are that way here in Singapore purely by choice. That's one of the reasons why the Courtesy Campaigns of the past 33 years have been such an abject failure. They have absolutely no care about others, only themselves and then try to justify it with BS that doesn't carry any weight at all, just hot air.

EF, I worked 12/7 for 2 months at a time for the better part of 20 years. I couldn't leave my place of employment, nor could I call home to talk with friends or family. The job was not easy and not all can do that. In fact it's doubtful that one out of 10,000 can handle that. The biggest difference was I was paid well to do it. Oh, where did I work? I work on offshore drilling rigs. I eventually left the industry as I was missing watching my children grow up (I saw them only 4 weeks out of every three months for their first 8 years. (almost sounds like a maids story there doesn't it?) They were a half inch taller each time I saw them! It's rough, and having a bad employer makes it even rougher. Of course in those days, there weren't any mobile communications like today's mobile phones, all we had were prohibitively expensive Immarsat phones when we couldn't use nor afford. Even then, the isolation would weed out all but the hardiest of us. Most would drag up after their first hitch offshore. Some would flip out at sea and have to be medi-vaced off the drilling rig either via crew boat or helicopter. So you could say, I have an inkling of what a maid goes through, except you didn't get hit, punched, or have your hair pulled. Nor were you scaled with hot water or oil or had a hot iron put on your arm. Nor were you made to do jobs that were not in the job discription, like getting up at 4:30 just to wash the car for sir, or being sent to Sister in law's house to clean and cook and wash up for that family as well. So many documented cases here that it's pathetic. I have to wonder why anyone would take up an untenable position like our friend has. And now, because he shoveled himself into a corner, he's starting to, like most trolls do, take it down to a personal level. Guess it can't be helped....comes with the territory.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 1:09 am

*sigh* personal like calling me a mistake on behalf of my parents in the other thread.

Or diagnosing me as part of the mememe population.

Your are ridiculous hypocritical its not even funny how personal can you get talking about my parents?? And after less than 10 posts.

You continually make out I support ABUSE which I clearly do not if you cared to read any of my posts.

And now you are painting me as a troll purely because i have a different opinion.

You know what it is getting to me and it is frustrating because you keep going in circles on this abuse thing even though I have addressed it time and again.

So who's the troll? The moderator? laughable...

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Postby Tigerslayer » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 1:19 am

Just to further clarify The last two posts are the only ones where I actually attack your character and frankly I feel it is entirely provoked and justified by your repeated attempts to either pigeon hole me or take a personal jibe from the moment I became an active participant in this forum... :(

I think I have shown time and again that I am willing to discuss any points raised in my direction that are objective. But you just go way too far.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 7:12 am

This is where you started out on the wrong foot in this thread, and why it won't die.......

Tigerslayer wrote:I think most people assume a picture of a healthy happy family with a take it or leave it maid which they become dependent on for pure laziness.... While I am sure this occurs more often than it should there is another side to this discussion.

There are also families with heavily disabled family members where a maid is critical to ensure full time care is provided. Providing additional days off can be catastrophic for their living. Especially in families which to afford the maid in the first place need to work 6-7 days a week themselves and have their own commitments.

From this point on, it would seem to me and everybody else who has responded thus far, that your thought processes stem from the fact that you think there is a way that it is "Okay" to treat another human like a slave. You seem to project that it is okay to subject another human to the hirers same brand of misery just because they are employed by that person. It's NOT okay and this is what we all are railing about.


Maids generally know the basic terms of their agreement before entering into their contract including limited off days. I despise the stories of ill treated maids but this is different and forcing a change on families in situations where they truly are dependent on their helper would be in my opinion very much misguided and potentially unwanted on both sides.

Maids RARELY know the basic terms of their agreements. In fact, most cannot even read English let alone understand it. They are also normally told that, according to the Philippines POEA and the equivalent Indonesian Authority, they DO have one day off per week. It's only AFTER the arrive in Singapore, and having already signed the bond and "loan" which keeps them a prisoner for 6 to 9 months, further indebting both them and their families, that they realize that they have been duped by unscrupulous agents working hand in hand with their Singaporean agent counterparts. Once they are here, they are pretty much stuck and only pray they are treated that they are treated like humans. It's pretty well known that if they end up with local owners/bosses that there is a very good chance they will be treated like cur dogs and made to do 18 hrs of work a day 7 days a week and be lucky to get one day off a month.

You give far too much credit to the abilities of some of the maids here. They aren't trained nor advised how it's going to be, or they don't believe that it's going to be exactly as they've heard about. That is why Singapore is the last choice destination for most of them. The pay sucks and the treatment, worst. It's pretty common knowledge, but not too surprising you are still in a state of denial. Not all employers are like this but a significant percentage of them are, hence the tar tends to stick when the percentages are higher than other countries - much the same as kiasuism - Then all get tarred with the same brush.



Oh, you can sigh all you want. Maybe, you should go back and not just read my replies, but reread your statements more carefully, as they are what provoke the replies, aren't they? Of course, if this thread is anything go by, you wont see the forest cause of the big trees in your way. I'm not trying to pigeon-hole you. You are doing it to yourself. ](*,)

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 06 Aug 2011 5:12 pm

Tigerslayer wrote:Since the entire developed world is based on exploiting the poor

:lol: Define 'poor'? People who start poor and work up*, or people who are perpetually poor? Anyway, I believe you can lead a life that exploits nobody if you have the means and/or will to do so.

Even 'Fair Trade' has become a brand rather than an ideal.

Agreed, but one for a new topic maybe. Fairtrade is in several ways really quite evil. Not least that farmers have to have the assets to form a recognised collective, from which the 'real poor' are excluded.

* The US for example has a lot of people categorised at any point in time as 'poor'. However their opportunity and route to rise from that is probably unprecedented.




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Postby morenangpinay » Tue, 09 Aug 2011 2:07 pm

what i observe recently in orchard are there are maids even on their day off have the kids with them. At one instance, i was in mcdonald's and a helper was ordering for the child. i asked her if the kid was her child, she said no. her employer asked her to bring the child along with her and she sighed that the child was ordering in mcdonalds' but the parents didn't giver her any money to spend for him.


and another time in mcdonald's again the helper was telling me that she was okay at work but she missed her family. she also told me that she didn't want to go with some of her friends who have boyfriends because she was married. She talked about her friend in the building who has not been out for a day off because she was employed by a poor family. she said there were times when she gave food to her friend because she wasn't given any food...


why am i telling this? they need to be humanized. they have problems, they miss their families, they have friends they want to see, they are capable of deciding from right and wrong, they have emotions, they have morals. they are people.

And it is sad that some people are insensitive to place themselves first when obviously someone else are in worse situations.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 09 Aug 2011 10:30 pm

^^^^^ +1


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