Treat maids with respect, compassion

A domestic helper assisting an elderly lady.
A domestic helper assisting an elderly lady.PHOTO: ST FILE

The report, When Family Members Abuse A Maid Together (Sept 9), is thought-provoking and a must-read for all who plan to employ maids.

Maids are usually less educated and come from a poorer country. But does being poor and less educated make a maid a lesser human than a Singaporean?

My previous maid, an Indonesian, lived with us for 14 years and she went back only because her only son had completed his education and was gainfully employed.

While with us, she had her own set of crockery and whenever my family hosted a big function where pork meals took centre stage, we would, without fail, get her a packet of nasi biryani from the nearby Indian Muslim restaurant.

We ensured that she had three proper meals a day, adequate rest and was never overworked. On her birthday and on Hari Raya, my wife would buy a piece of new clothing for her and give her a red packet.

In the first three months after she left us, she frequently called to ask about our well-being and also how her replacement was performing.

Maids should be treated with respect, empathy and compassion.

Employers should not abuse maids verbally or physically, nor overwork and underfeed them nor delay their salary.

Neo Poh Goon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2019, with the headline 'Treat maids with respect, compassion'. Print Edition | Subscribe