Thursday, 18 September 2008

Slipshod police investigation

Prior to the complaint, I went to look for the foreman Nelson who was in charge of the workers and the construction company Link 2000 Construction Pte Ltd to find out about the foreign worker but they were not co-operative.

I wanted to know where was the worker then. Was he an illegal immigrant? My maid had been seeing him for more than a year. Why did he run? And he left the maid to face the consequences. What a 'great' man!

I gave the contact number of the foreman and construction company to the police. See, a simple task which officer Bala could do but he didn't. He was patronizing me when he told me he would look into the matter.

Policeman Bala finally got back to me after more than 2 weeks. He came with a colleague one night and tried to repair damages.

He called the foreman after receiving my fax. The foreman told him the worker had been transferred to another construction site. I asked officer Bala if he had checked that out. He didn't. He just took Nelson's word for it. He didn't even have the worker's name.

I was worried the foreign worker would come back to create trouble. Officer Bala said I could always call the police. Yeah, great! We would have been dead if he came with an axe.

This is the consequence the residents would have if they complain about foreign workers. The workers know who complain against them, the residents would only have themselves to blame if they get hurt. Those who are fearful would keep quiet while those who speak up would be labelled as 'racist', 'snobs', 'intolerant'.

I tolerated the foreign workers living around me for years. They bring their bad habits with them everywhere they go. They have the numbers. There are good ones and bad. As long as they don't bother my maid, I'm fine.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan is worried about this national debate on social tolerance and class, "Some of the debate has been framed as between one group against another. It will polarise the ground if we carry on and cause harm to social cohesion."

All this time, citizens have been tolerating and putting up with the inconvenience of having foreign workers live among us. It is futile to complain. Now that more citizens are speaking up, the Government realises that striking a balance between both Singaporeans and foreigners is not as rosy as they wanted it to be.

Power to the Singapore people! Speak up for your rights.


Twentyfour_sucks said...

"...In addition, maids interviewed by Human Rights Watch have experienced forced confinement and restricted communication..."

"..Singaporeans may be enjoying sufficient wealth to employ maids, yet, they do not understand that maids have basic needs too. Singaporean society, as a whole, has yet to achieve the necessary maturity, freedom and platform to fully conceptualize the notion of human rights..."

"..Singapore may have a less tarnished human rights record when compared to some of its South East Asian counterparts such as Cambodia, Thailand and East Timor. But it is important to note some behavior of employers in Singapore brink on slavery, which is a crime against humanity.."

"..Similar cases have surfaced in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well. However, in a country in which an individual’s rights and freedom of speech and assembly are respected, the maids have a louder voice than their counterparts in Singapore. Maids in Hong Kong have recently taken to the streets to march in protest against unfair changes in labor policies, a luxury which even Singapore citizens themselves are unable to enjoy..."

EastCoastLife said...

Precisely, maids are human beings too.

I treated my maids well and I'm pissed off by what they did to repay me.

Their main responsibility is to look after my kids; make sure they have clean uniform and clothes to wear, prepare their meals. My kids clean their own rooms, wash their own toilets and school shoes.

My maids don't have to wash the windows nor my car. They can choose to clean my house only when it's dirty, no need to sweep and mop everyday.

Every maid finished cooking dinner at 6.30 pm and every evening, they sit down to watch the 7pm Chinese TV drama with my kids until 10pm. No work done during these hours.

One maid have so much time, she read (my kids and I taught our maids to read and write English)every novel in my library. She added prawns, squids and chicken to her noodles and fried rice while my kids' noodles and fried rice have only chicken and egg. She cooked herself fried Cod fish or Salmon for her lunch whenever my kids couldn't come home for lunch due to CCA. She loves watching TV and singing karaoke. She got to enjoy my home threater and 52" TV.

Another maid stole my food and cooked it for her fellow maids during their weekly parties. She stole my son's MRT card, my watch, money and food. She wore my clothes, put on my make-up and took pictures of herself in my bedroom with her handphone. She had numerous boyfriends. When my hubby and I were overseas, my kids said her boyfriends or herself would call one another and yakked until midnight. She even secretly went out to meet her friends when I was abroad. She would chat for hours on the phone with other maids in the morning.

Third Sri Lanka maid often made my 5yr-old son walked a kilometre in the hot noon sun to make phone calls to her boyfriend. She picked him up after his kindergarten class and walked that distance so neighbours wouldn't see her and tell me. My young son was bribed with ice-creams. She has her Sundays off and would scoot off very early before 7 am before I woke up and return at 7pm. She gave my phone number to Bangladeshi workers and I found myself becoming her receptionist when I was on sick leave for 3 days.

4th maid stole S$3000 from my elderly mother-in-law who had wrapped it in newspapers and hid it behind her mirror for years. The maid did the cleaning weekly and one day stole it. She remitted it home, we found the receipt. We didn't send her to the police after she begged us not to.

The 5th maid was a Christian, after a year of working with us, she requested to attend church on Sunday afternoons. We found a church where Indonesian service was conducted and sent her weekly until she said she could go on her own. She was supposed to come home after church before 6pm so we could have dinner with my in-laws but then each Sunday, her coming home got later and later. She was the one I caught with the foreigner worker. She didn't attend church, she went to have fun at motels with her lover.

When I go out for outings to places of interest or dinner with my kids, I brought them along. They get to eat what we ate. Japanese sashimi, sharks fin soup, burgers, steaks...

I changed 7 maids... the longest worked 4 years, shortest 9 months.

Is it so much to ask that they be responsible and look after my kids while I work my ass off to pay bills and her salary!? I don't get to enjoy my house and luxury items. The maids did.

There are employers who abuse their maids, there are employers who are abused by their maids. There are two sides to a coin.

Educated people like you and those who think they are so righteous and holy fighting for the foreign workers, you don't use your brains do you? You only see one side of the story.

People like you are dangerous and do nothing good to society. And it's no wonder, you are a foreign worker in Singapore .....

The Oriental Express said...

While googling for Senior Citizens in Singapore, I came across your blog. Great blog! You are unique and interesting.!

Keep it up!

Choo Choo

Lionel said...

Wow, when did this happen? I had some horrendous experiences with unruly civil servants as well last year, especially ICA officers.