Oct 5, 2009

In short, I would like to emphasize on the importance of moral values in human. Every human in this world is equal; every living creature deserves a proper respect from others. We evade animal abuse in this society and same goes to human being.

A maid has no difference with us, they too have their own family. They came all the way from their home country to Malaysia mainly (is to work and to earn money to raise their own family.) Indeed they should be treated as part of our family as well rather than treating them as a slave.They reduce our burden by helping up with our house chores.Human sometimes do make mistakes, so is our maid. Will you violate your family members when they did something wrongful?

Do remember that maids too have their own dignity and human rights. So treat them as they are part of our family members. Violence will not solve the problem but it will only worsen the matter. By practicing good communication skill is the root of building the trust and good relationship between the master and the maid.

Where is the sympathy in us? Aren’t we were taught to be kind and respect each other during our school days? We need to realize that maids are human too, so please stop violating and abusing our housemaids as indeed they are part of our family members.

Sep 13, 2009

4. What are the solutions to this problem? (by Tan Lik Xian)

(Article from internet)
As the government may not be able to crack down on all cases of maid abuse due to the nature of domestic work (i.e. maids work in households and whatever happens is behind closed doors), we have proposed some measures to better help condone the problem of maid abuse. Our solutions have been backed up by the maids we have interviewed.

One possible solution is through the campaigning for maids’ rights. As found out from our interviewees, they wish that their employers will understand their importance in the society and that they are also normal human beings that need to be treated normally. As so correctly stated by Emily, ‘yes they are rich they are clever, all of them are rich men, so who will do the household? Who will be the domestic worker, you must think, because you have a domestic worker, that’s why you can put aside your house cleaning…’ Indeed, the importance of domestic workers in the society is to be recognized and respected. Our maids have expressed their wish to be treated equally as normal human beings. ‘We are human being so treat us like, treat like really normal. No need to be so special, just normal, we know how is our life’. Hence, through campaigning, we can get people nowadays to understand that and thus improve the treatment of maids.

Another solution is the education of the younger generation. The situation of maid abuse cannot be changed overnight as peoples’ mindsets will not change easily. The mindsets of the older generation may be difficult to change, but the government can start with the education of our young generation. By educating them more on mutual respect, rights and equality, the future leaders of our country will be able to improve the situation of maid abuse in Singapore more effectively. Many of these youngsters will become future employers of maids, and education from young will influence them to treat their domestic workers with much more respect, understanding and compassion than the generation today.

(5 OCT 2009)
Beside the solution mention lately, I refer to maid abuse cases in other country such as Singapore. An article from this web site- http://domesticworkerabuse.pbworks.com/ .I found that maid abuse cases happen everywhere and goverment and personal organizations are trying hard to solve the problem.

The article stated like this -
In order to make a change, the root of the problem must be attended to—the public’s attitude toward domestic workers. To meet our goal of stopping domestic worker abuse, we think that it is necessary to first make the public aware of these abuses. In order to create awareness, we will make car bumper stickers and sell them for SGD3.50. The proceeds will be donated to an established organization, H.O.M.E. (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics) which provides a shelter for runaway, abused maids in Singapore. These bumper stickers will have phrases such as "My maid is happy" or "Honk once if your maid is happy." We will sell them in our campus during Food Fest and also around Singapore during a weekend when there is a high volume of the public in Orchard Road, or we will find a store to aid us in our sale. By reaching out to the public and getting others to buy these bumper stickers, the issue will continue to be advertised around the country.
Some problems might occur, such as the lack of willingness of the public to buy, since, as students, we are not working directly under an accredited organization and do not have much publicity for our project. This is the reason why we will individually sell it face to face because we could help explaining the purpose of the bumper sticker. This project will definitely create awareness because we are selling it not only around Singapore American School, but also Singapore itself. These stickers will act as a vehicle for us to keep spreading awareness beyond our own capacities. Hopefully, they will be able to spark interest and change in others’ treatment of domestic workers. (For more information please refer to the link)

From my owe point of view, I believe to create
awareness to public is important as will totatlly solve the problem but it will be very slow in other words effective but not efficiency. It may took 10-20 years to solve the problem, by that time Indoneasia might probably stop sending us workers anymore and cause us economic problem. For instant, the stop smoking campaign been held in Malaysia for several years but somehow my male friends around me are still smoking. I believe if we can't settle a problem in a SOFT way then we might need to use a HARD WAY. Malaysia Goverment body should enforce the law and strengthen penalty for those who caught maid abuse. Heavy penalty such as 3 years in jail plus corporal punishment. In that case, we can obtain immediate results.

3. What are the repercussions on Malaysians of maid abuse? (by Syuriany Bt Syaiful Gusmenta)

Indonesia has decided to stop sending its citizens to work as maids in Malaysia due to reported abuse by some Malaysian employers. For example,we can see the cases that happened to Nirmala Bonat which has been abused by her employers named Yim Pek Ha.She was accused of poured boiling water, beating, and pressing a hot iron on Nirmala breasts and back as punishment for mistakes in ironing clothes cause a bad reputation to Malaysia.Other Asian countries that are sending maids to work in Malaysia have reported abuses by some Malaysian employers as documented by the victims themselves. The reported abuses committed range from physical abuse, attempted rapes, long working hours and non-payment of wages.according to some information from yahoo, More than 300,000 Indonesian women work as maids in Malaysia. Around 3,000 new maids head for Malaysia every month, most of them placed through specialized employment agencies.

According to reliable sources,maids file up to 150 complaints every month with authorities in Indonesia, alleging ill treatment, overwork, unpaid salaries and physical abuse in Malaysia. Malaysia has some 320,000 foreign maids legally working in the country. Almost 85 per cent are from Indonesia, followed by the Philippines and other South-East Asian countries.Indonesian maids prefer to work in Malaysia is because it is the nearest to theirs and there is no language problem.

This will cause problem to Malaysia if the Indonesian maid stop sending maids to Malaysia because Indonesians make up 90 per cent of the number, Cambodians eight per cent, and Filipinos make up two per cent.

Ministry also take an action which is make mandatory for all domestic helpers to sign a contract containing of how much the salary was,the name of the employers,workplace and it was compulsory for employers to give their maid one day off in a week for their maids to rest.It is because Malaysia received the most complaints for being terrible to their maids compare to the other countries such as Taiwan,Hong Kong and Singapore.

2. What kind of abuse do employers inflict on their maids? (by Amirah Bt Abdul Raffar)

There are many kind of abuses made by the employers on their maid. Some of them have been beaten, raped, tortured with scalding water and nearly all have been treated like slaves and not paid for months or years of exhausting work, beaten, raped, tortured with scalding water and nearly all have been treated like slaves and not paid for months or years of exhausting work .Many still bear the scars, scalds and wounds inflicted on them for example like the former case of Nirmala Bonat which can be refer to The Star Online http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/4/16/nation/20960801&sec=nation that stated; “In this case, the injuries (sustained by Indonesian maid Nirmala) did not fit lesser expectations of self-infliction but fitted self-infliction (by those with) psychological abnormality and personality disorder,”. Furthermore, there many others who suffer in silence, their stories untold and many more who continue to suffer because they were unable to escape. The issue is one of the growing concerns in Malaysia. The abuse occurs in different levels which involved the psychological, physical, as well as economic. Foreign domestic maids have been subjected to slapping, beating, and pinching. Besides, they are often overworked maids, where they have to wake up early in the morning as early as five and working till night. In addition, they were given poor quality food in small quantities. Apart from that, it has a case of an Indonesian Muslim maid named Siti Hajar who have been fed with pork by their employers. This case can be refer to http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/3423369-another-nirmala-bonat-now-siti-hajar-tortured-in-malaysia. In addition, according to news in Malay Mail - http://www.mmail.com.my/content/maid-abuse-malaysia-shelter-full-horrorstories; Susapto said Malaysia received the most complaints for being terrible employers compared with countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore. “In other countries, domestic workers get better wages and are treated better.”On the other hand, mental torture is also one of the abuses on the maid. They were denied to contact with family and friends; the salaries also have been withheld and some of them were not given their pay at all. News taken from The Star Online-http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/6/26/nation/4201903&sec=nation stated that ‘Maids have filed up to 150 complaints every month with the authorities in Indonesia, alleging ill-treatment, overwork, unpaid salaries and physical abuse in Malaysia.’ The various tortures and abuses over maids were really a serious matter and need to be solved immediately. Animals being treat nicely; but why not human beings like them deserves the same?

1. What laws are there for employers and for household help? (by Sivaneswary Raman)

There is a very little of no protection for domestic workers in Malaysia’s employment laws at the moment.In short, there is no protection for domestic workers under the Malaysian Employment laws.In Malaysia, with over 320,000 domestic workers, it is time for some legislation to protect the rights of these domestic workers.Although, the Malaysia Immigiration Department “policy” or guidelines of employment do stipulate that a domestic worker is entitled to one day off-but in practice save for the Filiphino worker, none of the other domestic workers seems to be getting any day off, let alone anytime off.They are treated more like “property” than human beings.
Maids also covered under the Workmen’s Compensation Act and as a standard contract signed by employers and workers, stipulating the terms of employment and soon.Workmens’s compensation is a compensation for injury to an employee or worker arising out of and in the course of employment that is paid to the worker or dependants.The employer will have to purchase a workmen’s compensation insurance for workmen’s compensation claims by injured employees.Only foreign workers are covered under this act in respect of compensation for employment injury as well as non-employment injury vide workmen’s compensation (Foreign Workers Scheme) (insurance) order 1993.
What requirements to employ a foreign workers
An employer is not allowed to utilize the services of any private employment agency or individual agent I handling matters concerning employment of a foreign workers.An employer shall meet the worker at the arrival gate of the specified entry point and help them settle in and find their way o the work place.An employer must provide appropriate accommodation to the worker.Department of labour will conduct checking to confirm the compliance with this.It is responsibility of employer to ensure the validity of the work pass of the foreign workers at all the time.Where a foreign worker fled, the employer shall make a report to the Immigration Department.It shall protect the foreign workers under the workmen’s compensation scheme.
When should wages be paid to employees
Wages less any lawful deduction are payable not later than the 7th day after the end of wage period.When a wages period is not specified in the contract of service, the wage period shall deemed to be one month.A wage period shall not exceed one month.
The head of the country’s immigration department says that blacklisted employers will face regular searchers of their homes to check that they employing with the ban.The immigration director says he wants to uphold the country’s image as a nation of caring employers.In addition to lifetime blacklisting for anyone physically attacking their staff, those who verbally or emotionally abuse them could face a three year ban and those who fail to pay their wages , a two year ban on hiring help.Immigration officers will regularly search th homes at convicted employers to make sure that maids have not been killed on in the name of other family members.
Employers committing any offences under laws would be liable to a maximum fine o between RM20000 for every employees involved.The workmen’s compensation act 1952 also allows for a jail term of between one or two years.