‘Comments about maids by employers in Singapore‘ is a blog where employers post entries about the domestic helpers (a.k.a. maids) they have dismissed. It is one of the most disturbing and sickening blogs I have read in a long time, and I’m saying this as a person who recently got linked to this site (NSFW) by a friend who thought it would be funny for those images to be burned on to my retinas.
In the blog, the full names, nationalities, addresses, descriptions and Work Pass numbers of the domestic helpers are listed. Some of the posts even have photographs attached to them, so that it will be easier for prospective employers to track the “defective” maid and stay away from her.
In other words, it’s like CNET, only not for electronics and machines, but for human beings. It’s like a human meat market, where people are bought and returned and complained about, as if they are just there to serve, and have no individual qualities or personalities or emotions in themselves.
As one anonymous commenter on the blog says,
i’d put my money on them japanese research on robots. The minute those ‘domestic bots’ are out on sale, i’d be the first in line to get myself one!
Which, I think, gives you a rough idea of how domestic helpers are perceived.
While there are valid issues raised in certain posts (although they too are raised with overtones of master/servant dynamics, and the term “stupid maid” is used far too often) such as stealing, some of the reasons given for dismissing helpers include a helper taking a day off and owning birth control pills:
She had no off for 6 mths but after working 4 mths she went out and i caught her red handed then she pleaded with us and we forgave her. But she never change and even accuse my daughter of stealing her $10.But i know my daughter won’t do that. No one knows your children better than you do.She did a lot of mistakes but we still forgave her.Last mth we send her back because that day nobody at home so I checked her clothes drawer and found birth control pills and checked that her hand phone got love smses.
“Faking” a seizure, sowing discord between the mother and daughter-in-law and apparently causing the mother-in-law to be almost knocked down by a bus (even though she wasn’t actually there):
She feigned seizure on me just right before bb’s dinner time!…and why? all because I ask her to explain to me why she put a pail soaked full of her dirty laundry on the stool for her to sit on when doing laundry. …
Then a few mins later, she did her show for me. I nearly fell with bb in sling trying to catch her in case she knocked her head on the kitchen sink and cabinets. V furious with her cos at that pt when i came in contact with her she was perfectly warm, face and lips were not pale and her pulse was at 70/min!!! PERFECTLY normal!!
I nearly called for ambulance. on hindsight i’m glad i din cos it would have cost me a lot of $$. in the end i called the agent and told her what happened and sent the maid straight back to the agent within 1 hr!
As a result of this episode, my mum nearly got knocked down by a bus on her way to my plc upon hearing that something had happened. …
I have left her with the agent and let the agent handle her for now. I really do not want to see this ungrateful person in my home at all!! In fact i have told the agent that she cannot go home without paying back all the outstanding loan. if she wants to go home, all the more I will not let her. i want her to be responsible for the shit she had created.
Because of her my relationship with my MiL turned quite sour, as a result, i had to quit my job to stay home. not only that, recently i got told off by a self righteous expat to “F**king learn my manners” in NTUC for telling my stupid maid to be careful with the trolley…and she NEVER EVEN apologised to me. She took my MiL’s Hp w/o permission, left the hse to throw rubbish w/o informing us, walked in and out of our rooms w/o knocking, go throw our CD collections and took them out while we were not at home, argued with my husband over the way she washed the rice, and best of all, NEVER EVER answer us or speak to us properly and NEVER EVER apologies for the things she did wrongly.
And, shockingly, using black magic to curse a baby?
…baby has unknown tumour and despite operated for almost 2 months, lab test in 2 hospital, the biospy result is still unknown histo. Went to church and even a Malay taxi driver who claimed he has healing power, told me baby is under a curse. Infact, The malay taxi driver told me it is done by the maid half year ago, which match the time frame. So it is very likely she place black magic on the baby too!
I understand that it is not easy to have a stranger in your home. I understand that there are concerns, and that there are employees who steal, cheat or lie. And yes, if a helper steals, then they have to face the consequences, just like every other person who commits such a crime.
But then again, there are plenty of agencies and employers who steal, cheat and lie (and much more besides). Yet they don’t face the same generalisations, scorn and discrimination as helpers do.
The postings on this blog are all a reflection of a section of Singaporean employers. (I always hope that it is a small section, although I have seen enough comments and heard enough stories to not be very hopeful about that.) It’s a mindset that is simultaneously disgusting, depressing and worrying; a sense that Singaporeans really do see domestic helpers as less-than-human, or at least humans-who-are-not-as-equal.
As if $300 a month with no days off (rule #27 in this scary list) is all it takes for us to own a person, and begin to dictate her life. (And don’t tell me about that $5000 security bond – it is not true that employers forfeit their bond should the helper fall pregnant during her time in Singapore, just read this very comprehensive piece by Stephanie Chok.)
Just read through these posts I have quoted and the messages on the blog. Is this the right attitude to have towards another human being, even if they are under our employ?
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