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SO WHO is responsible for the maid in a situation such as Mrs Ng's?

Since Sept 26, Miss Fitriyani has been under the supervision of the maid agency.

Yet, Mrs Ng is still paying for her daily expenses - $10 a day.

As of Oct 11, she paid the agency $160 for the 16 days that the maid was there. And Mrs Ng faces maintenance bills because Miss Fitriyani is still in Singapore.

In addition, if the maid runs away, the employer may forfeit the $5,000 security bond, depending on how much effort has been put in to locate the maid.

 

The employer and her daughter
confront the maid at the agency.

If the employer has an insurance policy to cover the bond, which Mrs Ng does, the amount the employer forfeits would be less. In Mrs Ng's case, she will lose only $250 if Miss Fitriyani runs away.

Frustrated

Mrs Ng said she is frustrated that the maid is still her responsibility even though she does not work for her any more.

Technically, the maid remains under Mrs Ng's employment during her stay here, said the maid's agent, Mr Ricki Kang Kok Hwa.

Mr Kang, 49, who runs Amorie Employment Services, is arranging for a maid to replace Miss Fitriyani.

Mrs Ng doesn't want to send Miss Fitriyani back to Indonesia.

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She said on Monday: "Police investigations are ongoing, and I want to see justice done."

Responding to queries from The New Paper, the police would only confirm that a report had been lodged against Miss Fitriyani and investigations are ongoing.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said Miss Fitriyani's work permit was cancelled and a Special Pass was issued on Wednesday.

The MOM spokesman added that in general, foreign workers who are required to assist with investigations into offences are issued with a Special Pass for as long as their presence is required.

But even after cancellation of the work permit, an employer is still responsible for and has to bear the cost of the worker's upkeep and maintenance until she is repatriated.

For cases such as Mrs Ng's, if the worker goes missing during investigation, MOM will decide, on a case-by-case basis, the appropriate amount of security bond to be forfeited.

Victims

Such an arrangement doesn't pacify Mrs Ng, who feels that it does not protect the employer's welfare.

"My family and I are the victims. Why do I need to pay for the food of the (alleged) offender?" said Mrs Ng.

Is there a better way to manage cases like this?

Unfortunately, no, said Mr Edmund Pooh, in his 20s, the manager of Universal Employment Agency.

He said he understood Mrs Ng's rationale for keeping the maid here. But she will have to continue supporting

the maid because she is still the employer's responsibility.

After all, he added, "the maid is innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law".

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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