“I got a call last week from a maid who works in Little India named Josie. She approached me in my capacity as a writer for TWC2 as she wanted to share her story.

Josie, who is from Abra province in the Philippines and heralds from a family of seven, has worked in Singapore since 2009 for two families. She stayed with her first employer until February 2011, returned home and came back to Singapore in March 2012 to work again.

But the second job ended last week when she ran away following a series of beatings by her employer of just one month.

According to Josie, she was subjected to several physical attacks – it is by no means uncommon to find employers who scold and abuse foreign workers, but it is rare to have a girl willing to stand up for herself. Most girls tend to suffer in silence. … … … …”
You will be able to read the full story from TWC2

 

 

This is just one of the many stories in Singapore of foreign workers from other countries being ill-treated and badly abused by their employers. Many years back, when Singapore decided to go ahead bringing in foreigners from the Philippines, Indonesia and some other countries, such policies were only implemented to ease the burden of the working women who have to work while, at the same time, take care of the family at home.

At that point of time, there are many problems;

  1. The relationship between domestic workers & employers,
  2. Work place safety issue,
  3. The difference in expectations between domestic workers & employers
  4. Physically/emotionally/sexually abusive behaviours from employers
  5. The domestic workers’ benefits, rights and protection.

 

 

Over the years, the Singapore government have worked their way out step by step in forming a flawless policy to please every single person on both sides of the issues. Although there are some cases of abuse and unfair treatment, overall it can be considered as a great achievement for the government.
To look at the bright side, the cases of domestic workers being abused is getting lower year after year. The benefits of the domestic workers are getting better and better. I have observed employers who are treating their domestic workers as part of the family, such as eating proper dinner with them on the same table out in the public places such as restaurants. Employers talk in a more polite tone with words such as “Please” & “Thank you”. This shows that our people are learning well, either by their own mistakes or from others.

 

 

 

However, there is two sides of a coin. The “black sheep” Singaporeans – either employers or non-employers – have a slight chance of defaming Singaporean’s reputation and even tarnish the good relationship that most of us managed to cultivate over the years.

  • Discrimination towards foreigners regardless of professional occupations (Foreign Talents)
  • Work safety in high-rise buildings (11 cases of domestic workers passed away so far)
  • Abusive behavior (tend to be emotionally abusive)

Over the social media network such as Facebook, new media such as YouTube and Stomp and blogs such as The Temasek Times, there are reports and other sources touching on Foreign Domestic Workers. Most of them seem to be putting them down; in fact slaying them under negative light with our rightful flag of local citizenship.

 

 

 

The younger generation may not understand the importance of respect, understanding and tolerance since they do not walk along our forefathers’ footsteps. The time when Singapore is not yet independent, the time when all our forefathers are considered foreigners, low in status, poor in finance and not as well off as the British. Many years after, our children have forgotten the ill-treatments, the humiliation and the poor benefits our forefathers had once been in, and are doing the same thing towards the foreigners now.

I am not siding with the foreigners. In some cases which I have observed over a period of time, there are foreign talents that do not exercise respect and understanding towards the locals as well, which somehow rubs into the open wound, and increases the tension between the two groups. Some examples I am highlighting:

  1. A Singaporean’s observation of Filipino,
  2. Pinoy “FT” scolds Singaporeans lazy,
  3. Pinoy “FT” told to delete facebook account by company.

 

 

Overall, I hope both locals and foreigners can come into a mutual understanding.
Mutual Respect + Mutual Understanding = A Positive Singapore

 

“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.” ― Chief Seattle, The Chief Seattle’s Speech

 

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.” ― Confucius, Sayings of Confucius

 

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” ― Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This blog site does not represent any organization or business. It serves its purpose to motivate and bring light to Overseas Foreign Workers the world over.

ASKI Global Limited is a non-profit organization, striving to educate and train Overseas Foreign Workers’ (OFWs) in Singapore. Hopefully it will pull them out from the poverty cycle and help them achieve their dream futures as soon as they can.

ASKI Global Limited has a Facebook Page. Please Like it if you would like to show your support to the OFWs around you.

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