One Singaporean ah ma waited for nearly 2 and a half months for her maid to arrive, but her maid never came. According to Zaobao, the ah ma had hired a maid through a maid agency, and she even paid $5,500 to them for the maid.
The ah ma alleged that the agency tried to smoke her with a lot of excuses. So, she buay tahan and decided to call the police.
In an interview, the 62-year-old ah ma who works as a cleaner told the reporter that she has 2 grandchildren, age two years old and five years old respectively. She had no choice but to hire a maid to help to take care of them since she and her other family members need to work.
“I currently have a maid, but she asked to go back to Indonesia many times. I tried to make her stay by increasing her salary, but she refused. She wants to go back to her hometown before Hari Raya, and there isn’t much time left,” she said.
She told the reporter that between 2017 to 2019, she had a maid who was forced to go back to Indonesia for medical treatment due to pulmonary effusion. She has since recovered, so she hopes to hire her again.
“The maid offered to come back and found an Indonesian agency to help with the paperwork and procedures. After the Indonesian agency got in touch with the local agency, the local agency contacted me on 25 November last year and told me to make a payment of $5,580 so that I can have the maid,” she added.
She said that the agency told her that the payment of $5,580 fee included everything such as air ticket and levy.
“I was curious as to why can’t I pay a portion of the amount as deposit, but the agency told me that because the maid had been ill, which was a special case and hence I had to make the payment in full. Unexpectedly, by mid-January this year, the maid still hadn’t arrived in Singapore. The agency then told me that the Indonesian agency have not bought her the air ticket yet. When I asked the Indonesian agency, they told me that they have not received the money.”
“The two agencies are just pushing the responsibility to each other,” she continued.
After contacting the agency who not only did not respond to her calls many times and couldn’t give her a satisfactory explanation after find lots of excuses, the ah ma decided to report the case to the police.
Ah ma said she is a cleaner with an income of about $2,000, and in addition to her daily expenses, she had to borrow money from friends for the payment.
Cleaners’ wages will increase every year from 2023, thanks to Progressive Wage Model
“I promised to pay the money I borrowed back in installments slowly, but the maid didn’t come, it made me very anxious,” she added.
Agency said they will refund the money
The agency, who did not want to be named, said that they had never refused to contact the ah ma before and had been following up on the matter.
“The maid was originally scheduled to arrive on the 17th. Because of the Lunar New Year, all medical examination institutions were closed, which led to delays,” the agency explained.
The spokesperson of the agency also told the reporter that the ah ma repeatedly emphasized that she wants the maid to arrive before January. So, the agency ask the ah ma if she wants to continue to wait or prefers to change to a new maid, the ma was still unable to make a decision.
“I also told her clearly that if she prefers not to continue to hire a maid, we will refund her the money. Originally, the refund procedure was slated to be completed on the 17th. Now we have expedited the refund, and she will receive the refund today,” said the spokesperson.
Donated $5,000 to maid
Reportedly, the ah ma has ever donated $5,000 to the maid as medical expenses and living expenses.
Ah ma shared that the maid’s medical expenses were more than $200 per month, and then it gradually decreased. She recovered fully after about a year. In all, her medical expenses add up to about $2,000.
“I also subsidized the maid’s living expenses and her children’s tuition fee. They were about $3,000.”
She said that the maid was very grateful and promised that if she had the opportunity to continue working in the future, she would pay back the money. The two have maintained a good relationship so far.
What a kind-hearted ah ma! So nice to hear that they have such a great relationship with one another.