On 27 November 2008 I posted Some people shouldn’t have maids! where I said ‘Unfortunately some Malaysians cannot handle hired domestic help in a civilised manner.’ I also mentioned my unfortunate personal experience.
Yesterday my matey Dean Johns penned Refugees from reality for Malaysiakini.
Now, tell me why I wasn’t surprised or shocked when he revealed that in a recent survey conducted by the Star, 75% of Malaysians (in a sampling of 769 respondents) ‘expressed the opinion that maids should not be given a day off every week.’
Of course I wasn’t surprised or shocked because I was reminded of an a$$-h*le relative of mine who uttered 'Chee harng ay larng – ee larng ay yau chuoi chnea' – and if you want to know what those really nasty words mean, please refer to my last year’s post Some people shouldn’t have maids!
My cousin and his family weren’t uniquely nasty – they belong to the c^&t!$h 75% of Malaysians.
On 15 August 2007 I posted Are some Malaysian employers mongrels?, where I lamented the terrible way we Malaysians treated foreign maids.
Then I wrote: Irene Fernandez, director of Tenaganita, a migrant workers rights group based in Malaysia, said such incidents were ‘happening too often’. She accused the Malaysian and Indonesian governments of being indifferent to the plight of Indonesian maids who were getting a raw deal compared with Filipino domestic helpers.
Today Malaysiakini published Abuse of maids threatens to harm bilateral ties where it reported that a ‘senior Indonesian diplomat warned that such incidents could hurt bilateral ties unless Malaysia protects Indonesian workers.’
Can it be that, following Irene Fernandez’ contemptuous remarks, the Indonesian government has finally woken up to the plight of its citizens working as maids here?
Or, is it merely the current Indonesian presidential political campaign, which makes it obligatory for politicians south of the equator to brandish the Sang Merah Putih while threatening Malaysia over the maid abuse issue, but with the pretend-anger to be forgotten once its presidential election is over …
… thus justifying Irene Fernandez’s contempt some 2 years ago.
And it’s not just Indon maids who received our worst – in 2006 I posted a case of a 15-year old Cambodian sweetie who was physically abused – see Maid Abuse Again!
Hey, brothers and sisters - People become maids because they have no choice – they need to earn a living, even if the Malaysian job is menial, mean and bloody mafulat.
Of course some have taken the plunge to become prostitutes (or sex workers, as Australians seek to dignify the prostitutes’ circumstances), but not everyone (say, a wife of a poor farmer in Bali and the mother of 3 kids left at home) would want to be a sex worker ... though one wonders, after seeing and hearing of the draconian abuse they received from Malaysian employers, whether they would be better off as sex workers.
In Are some Malaysian employers mongrels? I wrote that we need to ask ourselves: what sort of abuses would have driven some of these maids, working in a strange land for pittance, to such desperate measures to escape their employers?
But equally important, we need to ask ourselves: what sort of people are we Malaysians to treat our servants so cruelly as if we are some medieval feudal lords with sway of death or life over our 'slaves'?
Which section of our Constitution is on chattel?
Are we no better than plain mongrels - pariah dogs - to ill-treat a maid in such a draconian way because she so happened to be a foreigner who is financially at our mercy?
Related: 1st World but with Z-th World mentality! where Singaporeans are equally a$$h*les like us.