“It is not often that employers treat their maids like family, so we need to give this employer a second chance. Instead of a penalty, the Ministry of Manpower could counsel him and connect him with the relevant agencies to ensure that the surrounding areas are mosquito-free.
- Raymond Anthony Fernando -
And the full text of my submission to this newspaper appears here on my blog. It would help if the Government agencies are proactive instead of being reactive when dealing with the residents, especially the elderly and those who are marginalised.
Separately, it is interesting to read the message of his holiness Pope Francis in this week’s Catholic News about those who abandon the elderly. Pope Francis says that "Abandoning the elderly is a sin. We have a moral duty to take care of our parents as they gave us life.”
Sadly, there are many who neglect the care of their parents when they are old and sickly. I hope the Singapore Government will take to task those who neglect the care of their parents who gave life to them.
MOM can help assist the elderly employers with supporting agencies
Given that there are concerns that maids are being asked to carry out tasks outside their job scope, I am not at all surprised that there has been an uproar over the maid being told to clean the canal as reported in “Ministry probe on employer for allegedly ordering maid to clean canal (The New Paper, March 12).
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has done the right thing by investigating the complaint as the safety of all foreign domestic workers who come to work here must be number 1 priority.
The maid in question has said that she cleaned the canal because she wanted to do it as her employer was too old and she was concerned that mosquitoes could breed if the drains were clogged up with stagnant water. She has also made it abundantly clear that her elderly employer has always treated her well, bringing her to eat at restaurants and given her the freedom to enjoy the simple luxuries of life, like watching television.
It is not often that employers treat their maids like their own family, so we need to give second chances to this employer who may have unknowingly overstepped his boundaries. Instead of penalising the employer, MOM could counsel him and then go the extra mile by linking up the employer up with the National Environment Agency, Housing Development Board and the town council to ensure that the surrounding areas are mosquito free.
A caring and supportive community can make life better for all who live here, bearing in mind what the late Mother Teresa once said: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO