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Safeguards Against Abusive Maids Exist

The Straits Times (31 October 2009) : Safeguards Against Abusive Maids Exist


The Straits Times (24 October 2009) : Where's The Safeguard Against Cleverly Abusive Maids?


Safeguards Against Abusive Maids Exist
- The Straits Times, 31 October 2009

    We refer to Mrs Mohd Yusof Ibrahim's letter, "Where's the safeguard against cleverly abusive maids?" (ST, 24 October).

2.   Mrs Mohd Yusof has made a police report and officially lodged a complaint to MOM against her FDW. Her feedback will be taken into consideration for the FDW's future work permit applications.

3.   All FDWs working in Singapore are subject to Singapore's laws. If employers find out that their FDWs have physically abused any members of their family, or committed a criminal offence, they should report to the Police immediately. Any FDW convicted will be banned permanently from working in Singapore, in addition to the penalties imposed by the court.

4.   Employers can also provide feedback on their FDWs directly to MOM. MOM will review the feedback and take appropriate action based on the facts and circumstances of the case. Employers who wish to provide feedback on their FDWs can write to MOM at


Where's The Safeguard Against Cleverly Abusive Maids?
The Straits Times, 24 October 2009

I am a working mother with children aged three to 14 years. While my husband and I are at work, our two foreign maids care for the children. The senior maid worked for us for slightly more than two years, but on Oct 16, I had to send her back to the employment agency immediately.

My 12-year-old daughter called me, close to tears, to recount how this senior maid hit my six-year-old son on the head with a toy, twice, for refusing to take a nap. It was 1.30pm, and he had returned from school half an hour earlier.The maid found him playing with his toy on the bed, and not sleeping as she had instructed. Did she have the right to hit my son?

It made me angrier when, after repatriating her to Indonesia, my son revealed to me that she would often hit him for the slightest mistakes. She used to push his head and pinch him on the chest whenever he misbehaved. She called him stupid for not putting on his socks correctly. My son was terrified and opened up to me only after the maid left. She was crafty, showing exemplary behaviour in my presence and abusing him while I was not at home. I feel guilty, not only because I did not protect my son, but also because I trusted the maid with my children.

I am sure she will easily gain employment with another agency. What can I do to prevent this maid from caring for children again? Is there a channel for employers to give feedback, so that such maids can be barred from working in Singapore? Who safeguards the employers' interests? Surely not the agents. I had to pay for the maid's airline ticket home, or agree to transfer her to another unfortunate employer. And I am sure, if I had lost my temper and hit the maid, it would have been reported as maid abuse.