The United Nations will launch "Day Off" campaign in Singapore on Thursday to drive home the point that a day off every week for foreign maids working in the city state should be made mandatory.
The gleaming city state of Singapore has one of the highest per capita income in Asia and considered a highly developed nation. Unfortunately, this squeaky clean city has one of the worse working conditions for foreign maids and a government who doesn't care at all for the foreign domestic workers dreadful terms of employment.
Not only are they poorly paid, many are not given a day off for the whole duration of their contracts.Salaries are paid on discriminatory basis based on country of origin and colour of the skin.
Indonesia and Sri Lankan maids are paid up to S$280 a month and Filipinas up to $350.In comparison, Hong Kong and Taiwan employers pay US$500 and US$550 respectively.
There are close to 170,000 foreign maids in Singapore and half of this number are believed not to have a rest day at all according to a United Nation's report and some have to work almost round the clock. The Singapore government has done nothing at all to stop this abuse of human rights.Domestic workers are not included in the country's employment act and are, therefore, left at the mercy of their employers.
How could such a modern and highly developed society behaved in such inhuman, uncivilised and appalling manner.This is nothing less than modern day slavery, getting maximum output on a meagre payment and horrendous working conditions.
There were a few cases of maid abuse before which seemed to have ceased after government harsh punishment on the perpetrators. For fear of losing their only source of income there may be significant number of unreported cases of abuse.
It is obvious most Singaporeans can only be disciplined by force of law, just like littering and breaking of the highway codes.They don't do it out of their sense of civic pride.They don't do it in their country because of the very strict laws.
The moment they come to Malaysia, they treat it like one big trash can and the Malaysian highways as race tracks and for some no need to pay traffic summonses.