Regular monitoring of maid welfare needed

It was unnerving to read about two cases involving maids in one day ("Probation for retiree guilty of maid abuse" and "Workers' group sees first case of maid fleeing via rubbish chute"; both published on Feb 11).

It is time that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) took more positive and strict action to stop the abuse of maids, who leave their countries and loved ones to come here to toil in our homes.

They come to earn an honest living and not to be abused or deprived of sustenance. It seems that in some employers' homes, they are virtual prisoners.

MOM should make it compulsory for maids to be given their agencies' addresses and telephone numbers, as well as other helplines, before they are sent to their new employers.

They should also be made aware of what they should tolerate and what they should not, and to call for help without fear if they encounter abuse.

MOM and agencies should make employers agree to give maids three full meals a day.

It should also be made mandatory for agencies to call or visit the maids at their places of employment at least once, to make sure they are settled in. Phone contact must be kept throughout.

These maids are vulnerable and need to be given protection before, and not after, they hurt themselves.

Sakina Yusuf Kagda (Mrs)