Maids are no less human than us

New maids attending a Settling-In Programme at Grace Management and Consultancy Services on May 22, 2018.
New maids attending a Settling-In Programme at Grace Management and Consultancy Services on May 22, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

The report (Does boss' son have the right to scold the maid?; Dec 20) made for interesting reading.

The hurtful and heart-wrenching words that were used by the six-year-old toddler - "Aunty stupid, aunty bad, aunty die" - were probably not understood by him.

Those words were clearly uttered by some adults in the house regularly enough for the child to pick up and use them.

The blame for his behaviour should fall on the mother and other adult family members in the household.

Maids who work in Singapore often come from poorer countries. Most of them leave their families back home, to work here for a few hundred dollars each month so that those back in their home countries may have a better life.

They don't deserve to be treated this way.

My family has had a maid for the past two decades. On the maid's birthday and on Hari Raya, we give her hongbao.

She also receives hongbao from us and other relatives during Chinese New Year.

For us, that is just one way of showing our appreciation to her.

A maid may come from a poorer country and be less educated than us, but that does not make her any less of a human being.

Neo Poh Goon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2019, with the headline 'Maids are no less human than us'. Print Edition | Subscribe