Which country should you hire your maid from?
Read about the stereotypes associated with maids from different countries.
Hiring a maid is a big decision that one should contemplate carefully before coming to a decision. One of the fundamental factors that one must consider is which country to hire your maid from.
Bear in mind that you can only hire your maid from countries which are approved by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). These approved countries are Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and Bangladesh.
However, Filipino, Indonesian and Myanmar maids seem to be the most popular choices among Singaporeans and it seems that certain stereotypes have developed over the years. While these stereotypes may not be accurate at all, they do somewhat help employers to come to a decision on which country to hire your maid from.
Here are the stereotypes which have evolved over the years regarding maids from the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar.
“I have hired Filipino, Indonesia, Sri Lankan and Indian maids in the past. I have generally been the happiest with Filipinos,” Shared Pooja Mahtani, a stay-at-home mum. Her primary reason, like many others, for choosing to hire a maid from the Philippines is that they are generally thought to be more fluent in English.
Fluency in English was also the reason that Regina Lim hired her Filipino helper, “I wanted someone who is fluent in English and I heard many people tell me they are better with babies,” shared the new mum. “So far she is good, I trust her to care for my baby (which is my top priority). She is able to understand my instructions clearly and carry them out efficiently. She also takes initiative and knows what I expect,” she added.
Filipino maids are also perceived to be able to handle more difficult tasks compared to maids from other countries. Furthermore, some people feel that Filipino maids have a better understanding of their employers’ needs and thus, do not require as much training.
However the drawback is that Filipino maids generally cost more. Filipino maids are also known to be more demanding and know how to get away with stuff and, thus they are very difficult to handle. “The one thing I don’t really like is she is always checking her HP in the day even though I reminded her many times that the hp should only be used at night. I tend to close one eye because ultimately she cares for my baby well,” shared Regina.
Indonesian maids are a popular choice in Singapore for a variety of reasons. Mum reader Siti Akhbar, shares, “As a Muslim, I decided to hire a maid from Indonesia. This is because we have similar religious and dietary practices.”
Another reason for their popularity amongst employers is the perception of them being hardworking. “My former help came from Indonesia. She was very hardworking. The only drawback was her lack of familiarity with city living. I had to be very patient to teach her the ropes. Over time I groomed her into a valuable helper who was grateful for the opportunity to earn a dignified living,” shared the editor of Motherhood magazine, Shenielle Aloysious.
Other drawbacks cited by some of our mums include the fact that Indonesian maids may not be as fluent in English and are not as effective as their Filipino counterparts. “My family maids are normally Indonesian maids because my parents feel they are more “well behaved” and easy going. I personally find them more forgetful and blur. But they are hardworking & good with household chores,” said Regina.
Also according to a report published on the Straits Times website, Indonesian maids will start to cost more (at least $450/month) from November 2013 onwards.
If you decide to hire your maid from Myanmar, the greatest benefit to you is likely the fact that they cost the least among the 3 countries. They are supposedly also less demanding. Asher Tan, Client Relationship Manager shared that she likes maids from Myanmar due to the sweet nature and temperament. “I have found maids from Myanmar very easy to work with. They have a desire to work hard and make a better life for themselves here in Singapore.”
However, according to a report published on the Straits Times website, cases of Myanmar maids running away are rising.
This is largely due to the fact that Myanmar maids find it difficult to work in Singapore as they barely get any pay. Myanmar maids are also often underage and speak little to no English and do not receive any training prior to arriving in Singapore.
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No matter where you decide to hire your maid from, just bear in mind that the above section is based on stereotypes that have evolved over the years and may not be accurate at all.
Ultimately, it depends on your own preferences and expectations. Furthermore, apart from the country where the maid is from, it is important to consider other factors such as education level, age, marital status and any past work experience before deciding on which maid to hire.
Did these descriptions help you? If so, how? We’d love to hear feedback from you! Watch this video on how Filipino maids are discriminated: