Make maids get consent before leaving S'pore

In the recent double murder of an elderly couple in Bedok, the maid, who is a suspect, is said to have left Singapore (Suspect believed to have fled on ferry to Indonesia; June 23).

Her passport and work permit were in her possession - as required by Singapore law.

I have raised concerns about this ruling with the Manpower Ministry but have not made much headway.

Employers in Singapore know that many maids travel to Johor Baru when they are off on weekends.

These employers worry about whether their maids are moonlighting there.

Another problem with the maids having their documents with them is that they can just pack up and disappear without even alerting their employer.

I know of an Indonesian maid who had been working for an employer for 12 years but decided one day to leave Singapore and went to Johor with the employer's money and valuables.

It cost the employer not only the money and valuables but also much time and inconvenience.

I urge the MOM to give the employers some form of security where this is concerned - make it a requirement for maids to have some form of consent from employers before they can leave Singapore.

Low Sock Heng (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2017, with the headline 'Make maids get consent before leaving S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe