‘Maids get stressed living and working 24 hours a day’

‘Maids get stressed living and working 24 hours a day’
Saturday, March 22, 2014 – 06:00
Zul Othman
The New Paper
The elderly woman spat at her regularly and in a fit of anger, the Myanmar maid retaliated and hit her.
The family found out about the assault on the elderly woman and reported it to the police.
The maid was jailed for four weeks as a result, said Ms Valli Pillai, a representative from foreign worker help group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home).Ms Valli, who has been a Home case management worker for five years, related the case which happened last year.
While such incidents are regrettable, observers said the case underscores the need for domestic maids to have more avenues to air their grievances.
Home’s executive director Jolovan Wham told The New Paper: “Domestic workers get stressed out living and working together with Singaporean families 24 hours a day. Some also don’t get salaries until they have finished paying back the loans to their agents back home.
“Others are also stressed because they are not getting enough days off,” he added.
Psychologist Daniel Koh of Insights Mind Centre said a “combination of factors like different environment and cultures, and the stress from change” could trigger a breakdown.
He added: “We don’t know if these maids already have any underlying issues. They usually don’t have anybody to talk to at work and as with all things, there is only so much one person can take.”
Ms Joanne Lee, director of maid agency JL Employment Services, said maid agencies here do their best to work with their foreign counterparts to screen the best available maids for work here.
However, she added that employers should also be “very patient” when dealing with their domestic workers because not many of them have a good grasp of English, for example.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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