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harrassment

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daytripper65
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harrassment

Postby daytripper65 » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 8:45 am

We have lived in our current condo for 3 years. There has always been a good camarederie among the neighbors but also the maids. They are a pretty close group and whenever one goes away or needs a favor, another one jumps right in to help. At night two to three of them sometimes get together at the poolside to eat (which the residents do during the day) or just hang out for a little while. They work long days and I don't think it's unreasonable for them to socialize a little. Nobody wants them "out running around" at night so the poolside seems the best place. They are very quiet, but their presence disturbs some of the local families who cannot tolerate seeing the help congregating. The night guards shoo them away like cockroaches, which settled down after I complained (in fact the management seemed quite reasonable) but these locals have now organized themselves into a committee from hell and are pressuring the management to stop it. Now they have been told they are not be at the poolside unless they have their employers children with them. Furthermore, after 3 years we have suddenly received complaints about our 2 cats, and are being told if they are outside again they will be assumed strays and taken away. I'm pretty sure it's related to our position about the maids and that our own is like part of our family. Is there an agency here that deals with discriminatory issues? Anybody have problems of this sort?

Many thanks.
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daytripper65
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Postby daytripper65 » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 8:52 am

Incidentally, it's not this single issue, it's a chronic problem. This is just the straw that's breaking our back.
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Postby offshoreoildude » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 9:53 am

There is no discrimination in this case. That's the wrong foot to start on.

What I would do is;

1. Read the by laws and see if there is a specific by law that allows the condo committee to do this (pretty certain there isn't).
2. Join the condo committee if you're an owner and protest.
3. Pressure your owner if not
4. Issue your maid a letter stating that she is allowed to be on her own at the pool side between X and Y and cc the management committee.

Believe me - as a member of a management committee I can tell you we don't want to be dragged into these squabbles.
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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 10:07 am

You allow cats to walk outside on their own? Thst is odd. If they "socialize" with stray cats, there may be reason to worry about health of your animals and people around.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 12:06 pm

They are very quiet, but their presence disturbs some of the local families who cannot tolerate seeing the help congregating.


This disgusts me but does not surprise me one bit sadly. I think OSOD's advice is the best. Issue that letter to your helper. Maybe stand ready to intercept security if they try to shoo them away; go on the offensive and tell them your helper is there at your instruction.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 12:14 pm

OP -FYI it's very common that Sinkies try to limit the maids using "their" common facilities.... (gym, pool etc). However - as you pay rent or own a unit - you have access to the common areas for all your family / occupants in the unit including your maid - provided said use of the common area is not in violation of any MCST by laws.

What you can do is request that the MCST call an EOGM if they believe this is an issue and table a by law to allow or restrict maids - it will most likely fail in which case the status quo applies - i.e. anyone resident can use the common facilities.
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Postby beppi » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 4:46 pm

OSOD: It is not just "Sinkies" who treat helpers as sub-human creatures!
When I visited the British Club several years ago, I was told that members are no more allowed to bring their maids to the club, as those who needed them there (e.g. to take care of the kids) were outnumbered by those who were disturbed by their presence (and allegedly "enjoying" the facilities).
I, however, was allowed as guest, although non-member, presumably because I'm white.
I decided never to visit that place again.

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Postby Mi Amigo » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 5:07 pm

You've just reaffirmed my determination never to set foot in that place. 8+ years and counting and I have absolutely no desire to make a visit.
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Postby daytripper65 » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 6:09 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I will start by giving my helper a letter. Unfortunately we rent our unit. Perhaps that weakens our voice here, but it should not weaken our rights, so I will dig out the handbook.

We have been tolerant. Once we were hauled into the office with all the bells and whistles of a formal interrogation, because our helper’s friend, who she had walked in with shortly before, was caught on the surveillance camera “stealing”
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Postby beppi » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 6:41 pm

Although I agree that such behaviour towards helpers is morally suspect, it is definitely legal and seen as normal here. And there is another important difference to slavery: The helpers come and stay willingly (if only because the conditions are even worse in their home countries).
The system serves the majority of locals (and many expats, see above!) well, so there's probably no scope for change.
At least I will not have a maid. My Singaporean wife (surprizingly) feels even stronger about this than me - despite both of us working full time and having a child.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 7:42 pm

[quote="daytripper65"]Thanks for the suggestions. I will start by giving my helper a letter. Unfortunately we rent our unit. Perhaps that weakens our voice here, but it should not weaken our rights, so I will dig out the handbook.

We have been tolerant. Once we were hauled into the office with all the bells and whistles of a formal interrogation, because our helper’s friend, who she had walked in with shortly before, was caught on the surveillance camera “stealing”
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Postby offshoreoildude » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 7:49 pm

PS MA = management authority - the property managers appointed yearly (and paid for) by the MC. The MA normally is the company who hires the guards etc....

Some MA's are ok but the best way to deal with bad ones is to work through the committee - the MC can cancel / vary / order the MA to do or not do various things. The MA can't really do a lot on their own initiative.
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Re: harrassment

Postby JR8 » Wed, 09 Jan 2013 11:09 pm

daytripper65 wrote:We have lived in our current condo for 3 years. There has always been a good camarederie among the neighbors but also the maids. They are a pretty close group and whenever one goes away or needs a favor, another one jumps right in to help. At night two to three of them sometimes get together at the poolside to eat (which the residents do during the day) or just hang out for a little while. They work long days and I don't think it's unreasonable for them to socialize a little. Nobody wants them "out running around" at night so the poolside seems the best place. They are very quiet, but their presence disturbs some of the local families who cannot tolerate seeing the help congregating. The night guards shoo them away like cockroaches, which settled down after I complained (in fact the management seemed quite reasonable) but these locals have now organized themselves into a committee from hell and are pressuring the management to stop it. Now they have been told they are not be at the poolside unless they have their employers children with them. Furthermore, after 3 years we have suddenly received complaints about our 2 cats, and are being told if they are outside again they will be assumed strays and taken away. I'm pretty sure it's related to our position about the maids and that our own is like part of our family. Is there an agency here that deals with discriminatory issues? Anybody have problems of this sort?

Many thanks.




I think I can see what the issue might be (a few locals not being happy seeing the 'servants' enjoying downtime). I would ask why a permitted resident is allowed by the pool with an employers child, but not on their own or with friends?

What is the basis for this rule? Where is it the condo rules? Are their two ranks of residency in the condo? It smacks of 'black kids having to sit at the back of the bus'.

Try and avoid making it personal though :). Instead base everything on the published rules. Let them make their case, if they can.

Q1. Why is it ok if they are there with children, but not on their own? Where is this stated in the condo rules?

Good luck!

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Re: harrassment

Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 10 Jan 2013 9:27 am

JR8 wrote:
daytripper65 wrote:We have lived in our current condo for 3 years. There has always been a good camarederie among the neighbors but also the maids. They are a pretty close group and whenever one goes away or needs a favor, another one jumps right in to help. At night two to three of them sometimes get together at the poolside to eat (which the residents do during the day) or just hang out for a little while. They work long days and I don't think it's unreasonable for them to socialize a little. Nobody wants them "out running around" at night so the poolside seems the best place. They are very quiet, but their presence disturbs some of the local families who cannot tolerate seeing the help congregating. The night guards shoo them away like cockroaches, which settled down after I complained (in fact the management seemed quite reasonable) but these locals have now organized themselves into a committee from hell and are pressuring the management to stop it. Now they have been told they are not be at the poolside unless they have their employers children with them. Furthermore, after 3 years we have suddenly received complaints about our 2 cats, and are being told if they are outside again they will be assumed strays and taken away. I'm pretty sure it's related to our position about the maids and that our own is like part of our family. Is there an agency here that deals with discriminatory issues? Anybody have problems of this sort?

Many thanks.




I think I can see what the issue might be (a few locals not being happy seeing the 'servants' enjoying downtime). I would ask why a permitted resident is allowed by the pool with an employers child, but not on their own or with friends?

What is the basis for this rule? Where is it the condo rules? Are their two ranks of residency in the condo? It smacks of 'black kids having to sit at the back of the bus'.

Try and avoid making it personal though :). Instead base everything on the published rules. Let them make their case, if they can.

Q1. Why is it ok if they are there with children, but not on their own? Where is this stated in the condo rules?

Good luck!


I hate to say it but there are two ranks of residency in some condos....owners and tenants - this is something I've been fighting in our own MC (our MC wants to penalize tenants $100 for losing access cards but won't penalize owners the same amount).
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Re: harrassment

Postby nakatago » Thu, 10 Jan 2013 10:34 am

offshoreoildude wrote:I hate to say it but there are two ranks of residency in some condos....owners and tenants - this is something I've been fighting in our own MC (our MC wants to penalize tenants $100 for losing access cards but won't penalize owners the same amount).


Our condo has 200 SGD fees for the cards! And the access cards have expiry dates tied to pass expiry dates (lease periods are disregarded) for which they will charge 50 bucks for renewal. And nothing is stopping them from adding arbitrary expiries and fees to earn a quick buck. Hell; when we started, the agent emphasized that when condo security charges us with anything, we should tell her first so that the owner can sort it out with condo management.
Last edited by nakatago on Thu, 10 Jan 2013 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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