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Old 01-12-2013, 06:07 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,502,552 times
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There was a documentary on Australia TV a number of years ago which condemned the treatment of domestic workers in Singapore from poorer countries like Indonesia, the Philippines (and now Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China). I'm not sure if it's improved, but it seemed that conditions for these maids were pretty bad, low pay, being overworked, basically imprisoned and restricted from doing anything/having a personal life, no days off, verbal/physical/sexual abuse.etc. Of course I couldn't say the percentage, but I'm sure any such system could easily be abused. Of course many of the employers were good people who treated them well, but it seemed that Singapore had few rights in place for these poor women. In some ways it makes me think the workplace laws are pretty backwards in the country.

I was in Singapore not long ago and I notice some of the old shopping centres have been completely taken over by agencies that hire maids. It's probably bigger business than ever, with a large majority of Singaporeans having the disposable income to hire help. The pay still seems really low (Singapore doesn't have a minimum wage).

Singapore to Increase Indonesian Maid Salaries After November | The Jakarta Globe

Of course better than they'd earn in their own country. I'm not against the whole situation, I'm sure it can be beneficial for both parties (interesting as a child when we'd visit friends who had maids I felt bad for them and thought they were kind of slaves or something lmao), but I hope that conditions will improve for their and employers are held more accountable for their treatment of their workers.

On a related note, do you think a lot of Singaporeans look down on people from these countries because they are poor? For a developed nation Singaporeans can be surprisingly racist. There was a segment in the documentary where one of the women training the maids advised them against getting into a relationship with an Indian/Bangladeshi labourer because he was ugly, poor and had dark skin. I hope this kind of attitude is an exception rather than the rule. Despite having roots in Singapore and spending time there there are probably a lot of things i don't know. My family members are the more English speaking Singaporeans and they are pretty open-minded, well travelled etc. They're not that wealthy or anything, but comfortably middle class. My mother came from a large and poor family and my grandmother did housecleaning work for richer families back then. Now it seems all the maids/servants are from other countries.

 
Old 01-12-2013, 08:29 AM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,064,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
On a related note, do you think a lot of Singaporeans look down on people from these countries because they are poor? For a developed nation Singaporeans can be surprisingly racist.
You don't have to look far. Even a relatively well-off country like Malaysia is being discriminated against by many Singaporean employers and citizens. I guess part of the contributing factors is politics (the two countries have had brawls and arguments over issues like water supply, territorial integrity, as well as historical grudges). Some Singaporeans think highly of themselves and are so arrogant and rude that they even despise the whole Asian race, and think the only people worth befriending and dating are Westerners (and yes, there's this sick obsession with White men among urban Singaporean girls). Some have even come to shun their own heritage and culture for being 'inferior' to Western civilization, and thus feel shameful to be associated with Asian culture.

Last edited by kyh; 01-12-2013 at 08:48 AM..
 
Old 01-12-2013, 04:04 PM
 
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a relative ended her contract abruptly because of her employer not giving her the agreed days off. and when the whole family was out, they would lock the house, with her inside.
 
Old 01-12-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
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I remember a few years back when visiting my family the people in the house behind us, were always screaming and shouting at there maid, not saying it's the norm but a few do seem to be overworked, or outlets of their 'masters' frustrations.

Quote:
Some Singaporeans think highly of themselves and are so arrogant and rude that they even despise the whole Asian race, and think the only people worth befriending and dating are Westerners (and yes, there's this sick obsession with White men among urban Singaporean girls). Some have even come to shun their own heritage and culture for being 'inferior' to Western civilization, and thus feel shameful to be associated with Asian culture.
I've heard stories from my Mum back in the 1970's/80's that there was one particular person she knew who would tell you straight to there face that they supposedly didn't speak or understand a word of Chinese , as if that would be something to be proud of. You had people who were the opposite as well who would constantly go on about how great China was and how it would rise to it's past glory - basically I think both extremes are the result of an inferiority complex or colonial mentality that you talk of, this 'West is Best' is not just confined to Singapore though, it's common throughout East Asia.

Last edited by sulkiercupid; 01-12-2013 at 07:39 PM..
 
Old 01-17-2013, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
802 posts, read 1,951,871 times
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From my limited perspective, I see how certain Asian groups treat domestic workers akin to historically how Whites in the USA treated their domestic black workers (after slavery). Unfortunately, a reflection on humanity in general.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 03:28 PM
 
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I found it funny how their government classifies race - Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, etc. If that doesn't invite discrimination I don't know what does.
 
Old 02-18-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Work in NYC - Live in Philly - Transplant from Miami
2,304 posts, read 2,202,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compSciGuy View Post
From my limited perspective, I see how certain Asian groups treat domestic workers akin to historically how Whites in the USA treated their domestic black workers (after slavery). Unfortunately, a reflection on humanity in general.
WOW!
I never really thought about it; but this is dead on TRUE!

And unfortunately, I think there is no law to regulate human rights in most of these southeast asia countries. I am talking out of experience as I was raised in Indonesia.
My family had 3 - 4 maids back then, and it is very common for Chinese ethnics in Indonesia to employ several of them. While I believe my family treated our maids respectfully (try to teach them to read and write, etc.); some other families don't. In fact my grandma treated our maids as slaves anytime she came to visit!

But again compSciGuy is totally right! This is scary because I am into human rights and despise certain people down south (or anywhere else) who still believe in certain beliefs. I always look at them in disgust.
I never realize that some of my childhood friends and their families are exactly like these nutjobs!

I remember how I went to my friend's house. My friend and I started playing video games. The maid's son was sheepishly looking at us from afar. I called him to come along and join us. When he joined us, my friend's mom came and scolded him out of the room. On the top of that, my friend's mom told me that I should not relate myself to him because if I keep doing that, one day he will forget who he is and treat us as friends. "He has to know his place," she said.
WOW! If I think about it now....I am so disgusted at my friend's mom. WOW!
 
Old 02-18-2013, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Charlotte North Carolina
1,527 posts, read 2,332,779 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiandudeyo View Post
WOW!
I never really thought about it; but this is dead on TRUE!

And unfortunately, I think there is no law to regulate human rights in most of these southeast asia countries. I am talking out of experience as I was raised in Indonesia.
My family had 3 - 4 maids back then, and it is very common for Chinese ethnics in Indonesia to employ several of them. While I believe my family treated our maids respectfully (try to teach them to read and write, etc.); some other families don't. In fact my grandma treated our maids as slaves anytime she came to visit!

But again compSciGuy is totally right! This is scary because I am into human rights and despise certain people down south (or anywhere else) who still believe in certain beliefs. I always look at them in disgust.
I never realize that some of my childhood friends and their families are exactly like these nutjobs!

I remember how I went to my friend's house. My friend and I started playing video games. The maid's son was sheepishly looking at us from afar. I called him to come along and join us. When he joined us, my friend's mom came and scolded him out of the room. On the top of that, my friend's mom told me that I should not relate myself to him because if I keep doing that, one day he will forget who he is and treat us as friends. "He has to know his place," she said.
WOW! If I think about it now....I am so disgusted at my friend's mom. WOW!

they cant read or write??? wtf
 
Old 02-18-2013, 07:30 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,502,552 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiandudeyo View Post
WOW!
I never really thought about it; but this is dead on TRUE!

And unfortunately, I think there is no law to regulate human rights in most of these southeast asia countries. I am talking out of experience as I was raised in Indonesia.
My family had 3 - 4 maids back then, and it is very common for Chinese ethnics in Indonesia to employ several of them. While I believe my family treated our maids respectfully (try to teach them to read and write, etc.); some other families don't. In fact my grandma treated our maids as slaves anytime she came to visit!

But again compSciGuy is totally right! This is scary because I am into human rights and despise certain people down south (or anywhere else) who still believe in certain beliefs. I always look at them in disgust.
I never realize that some of my childhood friends and their families are exactly like these nutjobs!

I remember how I went to my friend's house. My friend and I started playing video games. The maid's son was sheepishly looking at us from afar. I called him to come along and join us. When he joined us, my friend's mom came and scolded him out of the room. On the top of that, my friend's mom told me that I should not relate myself to him because if I keep doing that, one day he will forget who he is and treat us as friends. "He has to know his place," she said.
WOW! If I think about it now....I am so disgusted at my friend's mom. WOW!
That doesn't sound too far off the mark. Some Singaporeans are like those Indonesians. Asia is still kind of backward in some ways, it's still a pretty unequal society. I abhor people who think they're better than others based on class or skin colour, or caste or something. Even at a young age I didn't like the idea of maids, or when children would boss around their maids. It's like show a little respect will ya! It does remind me of how whites treated their slaves/servants in the South. I treat them according to their character, not their status.
 
Old 02-18-2013, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Charlotte North Carolina
1,527 posts, read 2,332,779 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
That doesn't sound too far off the mark. Some Singaporeans are like those Indonesians. Asia is still kind of backward in some ways, it's still a pretty unequal society. I abhor people who think they're better than others based on class or skin colour, or caste or something. Even at a young age I didn't like the idea of maids, or when children would boss around their maids. It's like show a little respect will ya! It does remind me of how whites treated their slaves/servants in the South. I treat them according to their character, not their status.
I have family in Manila who employs several maids....they treat them almost like extended family though
I heard stories that chinese treat their maids poorly
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