Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Maids Day Off

It riles me up how in Singapore not many maids are given a day off. (A straw poll shows 38% don't give their maids a day off.)

I find it appalling that this basic human right is denied to a member of your own household (or are they even considered a machine rather than a human being?)

The following links from the BBC, and International Herald Tribune. highlight the foreign reaction to such a practice in Singapore (not given much press coverage in Singapore of course.)

The excuse given is that if you give them a day off, they may go off on their own and fool around and get pregnant.

If that's the case, how about we lock up our children at homes, since if they go off on their own, they may fool around get injured, mix around with the wrong crowd, become gangsters, or get banged themselves.

What about employees? We shouldn't give our office workers 5 day work week. My what could they be doing on their day offs? Actually enjoying themselves?

The bullshit answer that the government gives is that of using a convenient example of some families having someone needing constant care and attention, like an invalid parent. I think that that is wrong. (What about making it mandatory for a day off in households without invalid members of the household then?)

It implies that out of 7 days a week, the family members can't take a single day off to take care of their invalid parent/child etc. How convenient, to wipe their hands of responsibility and pass it to someone else. Maids are domestic help, to help a household, not to take over what is a persons rightful responsibility. I find this a reflection of the ugly Singaporean attitude, everything must be done for my convenience, everything must be done to my liking, my needs, whims and desires come first. The ugly Singaporean is like a pampered brat who wants someone to do everything for him or her.

I was reading Deuteronomy 5:7-12, (the 10 commandments) and the verse that stood out was verse 14 which said that the sabbath also applies to your servants "that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do."

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