Less red tape please, MOM

I recently decided to get a maid without going through a maid agency.

I bought comprehensive insurance for the maid and successfully applied for Giro to pay the maid levy.

Not being familiar with the entire process, my family thought that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) would issue the work permit upon receiving the monthly levy and when the insurer premium was paid.

However, I later received a stern letter from the MOM stating that it had cancelled the maid's stay and that she should be sent home immediately.

I was very worried and cried. Almost 90 years old, I did not want to go to a nursing home, which is what would happen if I did not have a maid.

Couldn't MOM just send a reminder e-mail or text message two weeks before the deadline?

In this computer age, where the Government is pro-IT, manpower is not needed to do this simple task, which will benefit people from the pioneer generation.

I had to pay a fine before MOM would reinstate the licence. An MOM officer said: "That's why we always advise people to use an agent."

An agent's fee can come up to about $4,000 and I would prefer to save that money. Senior citizens like me have many rainy days.

Government processes should be streamlined to be more responsive and citizen-centric.

Lum Soo Peng (Madam)