Domestic helpers deserve more respect

The article, "Let maids have a say too" (March 14), struck a chord with me.

It is not uncommon to come across people who think that domestic helpers can be treated with little respect.

Once, a man came to repair a refrigerator in my home. When he was done with the repair, I noticed that he had left behind puddles of water on the kitchen floor. I asked him to clean up the mess but he turned to me and said my domestic helper could do the job.

Singapore has prospered over the last 50 years but, in some ways, Singaporeans can be backward and narrow-minded, judging people by their jobs.

Any job, no matter how menial, can be done with dignity and professionalism, and we should respect the people who do them.

That also means we have no right to expect these workers to be at our beck and call simply because we are paying for their services. Lording over others because one has more money, or a better education or social status does not make a person great.

I am heartened that the Ministry of Manpower is taking steps to improve the services of maid agencies ("Maid agencies to be graded by Case and MOM"; March 10).

It is my wish that as a people, we will learn to see how much we ought to be grateful to the countless people who serve us.

This renewed mindset is the true progress we should strive for in our journey as a nation.

Carmen Tan Kah Min (Miss)