A Maid vs the bottom 20% Singaproeans. Interesting Read.


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Silence Sky

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#1
Hi: Saw the below article in my inbox recently.


Let's take a moment to think about the earning power of (1) Singapore's poorer citizens and (2) Singapore's foreign maids.

Let's say Madam Jin Pai Mia is a 55-year-old spinster belonging to the Low-Income Singaporean category. She works as a cleaner in a commercial office building and earns S$900 a month.

Madam Jin takes the MRT to and from work every day. That's about S$1.50 x 2 x 24 days = S$72 a month. She pays about $$60 for her water and electricity bills at home. She eats three meals a day, each costing an average of $$3.00. That's $$3.00 x 3 meals x 30 days = $$270 a month on food. Let's say Madam Jin falls sick once in a while and needs to see the doctor. We'll put it at $$20 a month. She rents a flat from the HDB. Let's say it's $$250 a month ( I don't know how much it costs - it's just my guesstimate ).

That's $$672 on basic stuff like transportation, water, electricity, food, medical care and accommodation. After deducting $$672 from Madam Jin's monthly salary of $$900, she's left with $$228.

Now, a foreign domestic maid gets about $$300 a month. However, the maid does not need to spend money on public transport to get to work each day. Her employer pays the electricity and water bills and provides three meals a day. The maid's accommodation is essentially free. If the maid falls ill, the employer is, by law, responsible for her medical expenses.

So when the maid gets $$300 a month, the maid really earns $$300 a month.

However, when Madam Jin gets $$900, she's really earning just $$228 a month.



The basic idea is quite simple. Although foreign maids get low salaries in Singapore, their employer covers almost all their necessary expenses - food, accommodation, utilities, medical care etc. When you factor all that in, you will see that the average foreign maid's earnings are quite comparable to the earnings of the average Singaporean in the bottom 20% .


Thus, we can say that one in five Singaporeans is no better off than a foreign maid.
 

Shu22

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Jul 27, 2005
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#3




The basic idea is quite simple. Although foreign maids get low salaries in Singapore, their employer covers almost all their necessary expenses - food, accommodation, utilities, medical care etc. When you factor all that in, you will see that the average foreign maid's earnings are quite comparable to the earnings of the average Singaporean in the bottom 20% .


[/I]



Although this should be the case but is there any check enforced? If it is not enforced, do we think the maid know where to complain? :think:
 

Silence Sky

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I think we should really think about the minium wage system to protect the old and the weak.

Why should a man doing the dirtiest jobs for us be paid below the average?;(
The stress level for a man cleaning the dirty toilet stained with sheet is so much higher than those air conditioned Civil servants.;(
When the bar for the Civil Serants is raised, shouldn't those toilet attentdants, bus captains, refuse man be taken care as well?

In singapore, we seems to like skinning the poor and the disavantaged.
 

tony_teo

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Feb 10, 2005
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#5
Hi: Saw the below article in my inbox recently.
Thus, we can say that one in five Singaporeans is no better off than a foreign maid.


You forgot to add that maids work more than 8 hours a day and more than 5 days a week. Not to mention having to leave their family behind to come to Singapore.

Also, Madam Jin Pai Mia will get CPF contribution.

So, is one in five Singaporeans really no better off than a foreign maid?
 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#6
Hmm, doesn't Mdm Jin need to make CPF contributions as well? So her take home pay will be even less. A minimum wage would be good but strangely enough, the NTUC and gahmen is silent on this. :think: Sadly this is the silent tragedy here, many old folks needing to eke out a subsistence, living out their golden year working...
 

night86mare

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Creampuff - below a certain salary range you don't have to make CPF contributions, if the rules haven't been changed.

Sigh, yet another thread in the same breath; foreign maid doesn't enjoy citizen priveleges, end of story. And it's the same everywhere. In UK you have people from Singapore on the UK university scholarship eating in Mc's with the UK people's money.. And then they see bums walking in and digging out trash from the bin to eat.. Same old, same old. Find me one country where the maids will earn the least amount of wages. Don't be ridiculous lah. Yet another boh liao thread.
 

Nisa

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Aug 13, 2004
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Creampuff - below a certain salary range you don't have to make CPF contributions, if the rules haven't been changed.

Sigh, yet another thread in the same breath; foreign maid doesn't enjoy citizen priveleges, end of story. And it's the same everywhere. In UK you have people from Singapore on the UK university scholarship eating in Mc's with the UK people's money.. And then they see bums walking in and digging out trash from the bin to eat.. Same old, same old. Find me one country where the maids will earn the least amount of wages. Don't be ridiculous lah. Yet another boh liao thread.
850 need to make CPF contributions.

and you think who is paying for the maid benefits?
do tell me what benefits are there for the citizen that a maid might not enjoy?
 

night86mare

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#11
850 need to make CPF contributions.

and you think who is paying for the maid benefits?
do tell me what benefits are there for the citizen that a maid might not enjoy?
:confused: You mean, I have to tell you the benefits that citizenship bears?

You gotta be kidding me, are you a citizen of Singapore, or are you just playing daft?

Or wait, there's option 3 - you're part of that crowd which picks fault at everything in life, including how their 5th toe grows longer than their 4th. That crowd seems to be growing larger and larger each day. Now - pardon me, don't reply because I'm not going to bother reading this thread any longer. I have better things to do like look at good Flickr shots and actually think of things related to photography, instead of whining about how our life sucks when there are beautiful sunsets out there to shoot.

It seems a bitter irony to me that all the people sitting behind their posh new computers have time to "fight" for the less priveleged on the Internet when they could actually DO something about it by volunteering, and other stuff. It's so much easier to be an armchair critic and mudslinging the administration and everything else, isn't it? I'd wager that NO ONE here falls into that group where they earn less than a maid, so if you'd forgive me for thinking that debating this whole issue is pretty redundant, since whoever posts here would be ridiculously aloof, unless they don't own a digital camera but like to post in Clubsnap.

Out of here!
 

Nisa

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Aug 13, 2004
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:confused: You mean, I have to tell you the benefits that citizenship bears?

You gotta be kidding me, are you a citizen of Singapore, or are you just playing daft?

Or wait, there's option 3 - you're part of that crowd which picks fault at everything in life, including how their 5th toe grows longer than their 4th. That crowd seems to be growing larger and larger each day. Now - pardon me, don't reply because I'm not going to bother reading this thread any longer. I have better things to do like look at good Flickr shots and actually think of things related to photography, instead of whining about how our life sucks when there are beautiful sunsets out there to shoot.

It seems a bitter irony to me that all the people sitting behind their posh new computers have time to "fight" for the less priveleged on the Internet when they could actually DO something about it by volunteering, and other stuff. It's so much easier to be an armchair critic and mudslinging the administration and everything else, isn't it? I'd wager that NO ONE here falls into that group where they earn less than a maid, so if you'd forgive me for thinking that debating this whole issue is pretty redundant, since whoever posts here would be ridiculously aloof, unless they don't own a digital camera but like to post in Clubsnap.

Out of here!
yeah i am Singaporean. So do tell me what benefits a Singaporean is enjoying that a maid is not?

of course most of us would not earn less than a maid, but then the TS did not say that most of us, he/she just said bottom 20% Singaporeans.

you have your own opinions and points of view! so let me have mine too.
 

mattlock

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Feb 28, 2004
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#13
maids get treated like slaves in a household. how much is your freedom worth?
I don't think this is an apples to apples comparison.
Also, the article makes the presumption that being a maid is of a terribly low standing.
I take some offense at that.
 

sORe-EyEz

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Jun 28, 2005
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#14
its too general 2 hav a meaningful comparison. there r gd maids, gd workers & gd bosses. & there's d other end of d spectrum. but i think d TS is trying 2 raise d awareness of d plight of d less well of locally. as d living costs continue 2 rise there is a cause 4 concern of those who may not earn enough 2 break even.

b4 tis debate goes out of hand due 2 its nature mayb its best 2 view it in such light? d plight of d bottom 20% of S'pore's population.
 

mattlock

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#15
actually I do find it kind of interesting how everyone is so interested in the plight of lower income people?
actually about $300 a month leftover from salary is still manageable.
and I don't see it as a plight
and if that's a plight then let's help our maids also.
 

Pinoy

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#17
maids get treated like slaves in a household. how much is your freedom worth?
I don't think this is an apples to apples comparison.
Also, the article makes the presumption that being a maid is of a terribly low standing.
I take some offense at that.
Agree.

Obviously, the author was not being objective at the comparison. Otherwise, he would have easily figured out why maids don't have to pay for their transport daily. In case he needs help on that, that's because maids are one call away by their employer (to do various tasks), practically anytime of the day, 7 days a week (to some). Some may not be getting a good, full meal that's worth $3. Heck, probably not even 3 times a day. Let's not even talk about other difficulties those maids go through.

So it is totally ridiculous to say "the average foreign maid's earnings are quite comparable to the earnings of the average Singaporean in the bottom 20%". One's a making a fool out of himself if he thinks that way.

:Later,
 

azul123

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Dec 4, 2004
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#18
:confused: You mean, I have to tell you the benefits that citizenship bears?

You gotta be kidding me, are you a citizen of Singapore, or are you just playing daft?

Or wait, there's option 3 - you're part of that crowd which picks fault at everything in life, including how their 5th toe grows longer than their 4th. That crowd seems to be growing larger and larger each day. Now - pardon me, don't reply because I'm not going to bother reading this thread any longer. I have better things to do like look at good Flickr shots and actually think of things related to photography, instead of whining about how our life sucks when there are beautiful sunsets out there to shoot.

It seems a bitter irony to me that all the people sitting behind their posh new computers have time to "fight" for the less priveleged on the Internet when they could actually DO something about it by volunteering, and other stuff. It's so much easier to be an armchair critic and mudslinging the administration and everything else, isn't it? I'd wager that NO ONE here falls into that group where they earn less than a maid, so if you'd forgive me for thinking that debating this whole issue is pretty redundant, since whoever posts here would be ridiculously aloof, unless they don't own a digital camera but like to post in Clubsnap.

Out of here!
I didn't see any mudslinging in TS first post, must you defend the administration everytime anyone critics a policy or raise an issue that 'might' seem to put them in bad light?

If you don't like this thread don't read it lah, everybody else can form our own decisions. I am sure the Moderator will close the thread if it is out of line. From what I've read it is just comparing the low wage worker salary against wages of maids.

../azul123
 

Deceased

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Oct 20, 2004
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#19
I didn't see any mudslinging in TS first post, must you defend the administration everytime anyone critics a policy or raise an issue that 'might' seem to put them in bad light?

Forget about him.
He is Dr. Knows-Everything and Mr Right-Everytime.

Whenever anybody/somebody comments about the adminstration, he will make a defend for it. Although he claims he don't have time for all this... it is funny that he spend most of his time defending for it.

As if he is in the adminstration body. probably he is.
And thatz explains his behaviour.

He would be a good employee in the civil service.
For any legisation being passed down, he would just say "YES".

:p :lovegrin: :p
 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#20
The reality is that foreign maids work overseas to try to earn enough to take care of their families back home. That alone is a sacrifice as they have to be separated from their family but it is something many have had to do, either because there are little by way of work in their home countries.

The plight of older workers in Singapore is somewhat similar. Many continue to work just to sustain a daily existence. This is a country where everything costs money and I feel there are not enough by way of social safety nets for the aged. Whether one group is better or worse off is irrelevant. Both groups need to work to eke out a living.

Yes this thread may be an intellectual discussion but nonetheless I think we all should be mindful and show consideration towards them. Isn't it the decent thing to do?
 

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