Monday, April 18, 2011

The Maid - When Society Stood By Them

Parents Spoiling Children With Chaperon ‘Services’  

JEDDAH: Parents and teachers have criticized the treatment of maids forced to accompany children to school and act as their personal assistants or chaperons.
They told Arab News it is a disturbing trend and demeaning to the maids.
Samah Bukhary, a teacher at an international school in Jeddah, feels maids are abused and disrespected when they are made to do everyday chores children can do themselves.
“As soon as students leave their classes, maids are usually seen waiting outside to carry children’s bags to the cars and often they even carry their drinks. It would be an understatement to say this is a little too supercilious.”
Most upper and middle class families in Saudi Arabia keep maids. Most parents argue they provide maids to escort their children to schools on safety grounds.
“Since I cannot drop my child off to school every morning, she has to go with a driver who I cannot trust completely, So I send my maid along. If my maid has to wait, then she does and that is that,” said Ghada Amdar, 34.
Others feel this is only an excuse for the way parents spoil their children.
“It is impractical. What about other countries or even children in the same school who do not have chaperons? It is lame to believe this safety theory. Children can hold their own belongings and look after themselves. That is exactly what they are supposed to be learning,” Ali Nadeem, 35, told Arab News.
Maids usually assemble before school ends to pick up children and help escort them home.
Sana Mahmoud, 25, thinks it is a chance for maids to get together and enjoy time off work.
“They enjoy the gatherings. I usually send my maid an hour before it is home time for the kids so she can hang out with her friends. She does not mind the wait.”
Private tutors say the idea of using maids is bizarre. “The girls always bring along maids who sit for three hours doing nothing. I have witnessed outrageous incidents where the student uses the washroom and the maid goes in to flush it and clean up after her because her majesty could not be bothered to do so. That is just shameful,” said one of them.
Mahira Awais, a 34-year-old parent, believes maids can hinder a child’s development.
“If this is the way then how would we instill a sense of responsibility in children? They leave trash lying around after break time but this is not their home and the maids should not clean up their mess. Except, with their personal maids at schools too, parents ignore the bigger picture.”
Maher Atallah, a 46-year-old father, believes it is a trend that happens at local schools only. “International schools do not tolerate bad behavior, it is against their ethos. Children need to develop independent traits and look after themselves as that helps build confidence.”

Source: Arab News - April 15, 2011

The article above reminded Me of one in Stomp - March 27, 2011, picked up by other papers, foreign too, bloggers, became topic for days, and turned into hot issue.
It's here.

NSmen Trained To Be Fit, Strong Soldiers -- Yet This One Makes Maid Carry Backpack

STOMPer Zhivago was shocked to find this photo on Facebook, apparently showing a national serviceman making his maid carry his backpack.

Said the STOMPer:

"This photo is taken off Facebook with the caption 'Why we need foreign talents in Singapore!'

"It was taken near Tanah Merah MRT."

STOMPer totallyshocked who also received this picture said:

"Our new generation of NSmen.

"I received this photo from a friend.

"As you can see, he was busy SMSing away while his helper carried his field pack.

"Ah boy, might as well bring her to war next time too."

STOMPer iffin said:

"Is army discipline getting worse nowadays?

"Here is an army boy asking his maid to carry his field pack for him.

"Maybe he is not manly enough to carry in his own?"


Three days later, those with artistic talent came up with these...

Sedia! Here Comes The SAF Maid Platoon

The story on the NSman who made his maid carry his field pack has sparked a series of parodies by netizens, proving that Singaporeans do have a quirky sense of humour.

One person with an obvious artistic talent even drew a spoof of the incident.

The original photo was first sent in by STOMPer Zhivago, who said that it was taken near Tanah Merah MRT station.

STOMPer Platoon Leader, who sent in pictures of these parodies, said:

"I had a great laugh when I saw these parodies!

"It's good to know that Singaporeans look at the lighter side of things, and laugh at ourselves.

"My favourite picture has to be the one showing the 'maid platoon' marching out of the parade square."



Recruit Who Made Maid Carry Field Pack Owns Up: Mindef

The SAF serviceman who was photographed with his maid carrying his field pack has identified himself to his Commander and has been counselled, says Mindef.

The photographed was posted in STOMP on Mar 27 and had ignited an uproar among netizens, who questioned if youths today are too 'spoilt' and 'pampered'.

In a letter to The Straits Times Forum Page, Colonel Desmond Tan, Director of Mindef Public Affairs, said:

"The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has completed its investigation into the recent case of a serviceman who was photographed with his domestic helper carrying his field pack (“Deafening silence in army backpack saga’’ by Mr Patrick Tan; Saturday).

"The serviceman concerned has identified himself to his Commander.

"He was a recruit undergoing the Physical Training Preparatory phase prior to the Basic Military Training phase.

"The recruit is remorseful for his actions and realises that it was wrong for him to have allowed this.

"He has been counselled and continues his training. The SAF has reminded all servicemen to be mindful of their conduct in public."

Source: Singapore Seen. Stomp - April 4, 2011


Uncle Lee said...

Hi Ummie, love this posting. I feel sad to see, read also in our press, local and foreign about maids being treated as such. More like slaves.
Real funny the attached pics. Bet someone going to get in hot water, ha ha.

I just cannot imagine how some people can treat another human being like a slave.
During my working days in the '70s, '80s....I did personally witness some home owners mistreating their maids, and it was sickening.
And these were VIPs too.

Here there is a the laws protecting maids, and upon completing their 3 year work permit stay, and during which time they did some studies, or course, which every home owner has by law to give time off....they can apply for PR here. And bring their families.

And lots of maids who came many years ago today hold good office jobs and doing well.
Have a nice day, Ummie.

Ummie said...

Canada stories are all too good for maids too.
No wonder Suri* intended to go there, should she become a maid all over again.

But no play-play, Mr Lee.
She said, only degree holders are accepted to work there.
Now, she is working hard on getting one.
I pray for her success.