Fight against radicalisation begins at home

There is much that employers can do to ensure that their maids are not being radicalised ("Push to educate maids on social media use"; Dec 22).

One way is to change how they relate to their maids.

Too many employers and their families fail to interact with their maids, apart from giving orders for work to be done.

When maids are treated as mere labourers, and deprived of healthy engagement, social media can easily become their only source of interaction with others.

Banning maids' usage of smartphones or denying them days off are not solutions; it is also inhumane to do so.

Surely the best approach is to stop making them feel like they are outsiders.

Banning maids' usage of smartphones or denying them days off are not solutions; it is also inhumane to do so. Surely the best approach  is to stop making them  feel like they are outsiders.

Studies show that people who get radicalised feel there is something missing from their lives.

Those who become radicalised feel despair, humiliation and outrage over perceived injustice. Many are lonely.

When employers make deliberate efforts to eliminate such feelings in their maids, they will contribute in a significant way to their maids' well-being and prevent them from falling prey to terrorists online.

Michael Loh Toon Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2016, with the headline 'Fight against radicalisation begins at home'. Print Edition | Subscribe