More can be done to help new maids coming to Singapore

Misuse of maids in Singapore is not uncommon, as mentioned by Mr N. Nagesh ("Stem misuse of maids"; Nov 26) .

When new domestic helpers are hired, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and maid agencies should brief them on the dos and don'ts, and also on the helpline that is open to them.

Maids are terrified of losing their jobs because of the money they would have borrowed to pay their agents back home.

They should be assured that they would not get into trouble or be sent back home for reporting their employer for any abuse or wrongdoing.

They should also be given a print-out of these rules.

Holding an orientation programme is useful. This way, the maids can exchange telephone numbers and have someone they can turn to for help.

Getting some older and more experienced maids to be their mentors would be very helpful.

The MOM should also look into the ridiculously high agency fees that are charged. It is little wonder that so many agencies have sprung up in Singapore.

Is it so easy to get a maid agency licence?

Shamim Moledina (Ms)