The Straits Times
Published on Dec 17, 2012

Majority of maids focused on helping their families


I DISAGREE with Dr Anne Chong's suggestion ("Levy revenue: Use it for maid provident fund"; last Thursday) that the levy on maids should be paid into a fund to be managed by the Central Provident Fund board, and made available to them only if they complete a two-year contract.

The improved salary levels that domestic workers need and that might be supplied by a combination of ending the levy and introducing a minimum wage for them should be made available to them unconditionally, the same as for other workers.

Dr Chong also said: "Instead of succumbing to the temptation of squandering their higher salaries, maids can use such a fund for their children's education or their retirement."

The vast majority of maids are dedicated to supporting their families using their earnings and many are already supporting their children or younger brothers and sisters in obtaining a good education.

They send as much of their money home as possible, to the extent that it can be hard to persuade a worker to keep some for her own needs.

The issue of "squandering" hardly arises among women so focused on providing for their loved ones.

John Gee