Hindus have welcomed Singapore’s reported decision to grant its maids a weekly day-off.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although long overdue, it was a “step in the right direction”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that weekly day-off was a basic human and labor right and it would bring Singapore a step closer to world labor standards. Instead of its announced effective date of January one next, it should start immediately. Maids were also human beings like all of us who took weekly rest day for granted, Zed added.
Rajan Zed urged all countries of the world to mandate a weekly day-off for the maids and asked United Nations to oversee its implementation.
According to an estimate, about one in five Singapore households keeps a maid and over 200,000 foreign maids work in Singapore; mostly coming from Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India. The reports suggest that these maids are overworked, their wages are low and there are frequent reports of accidents, maltreatment, violence and suicides. About one third of Singapore’s population is made up of foreigners.
Highly urbanized, disciplinarian, hi-tech and powerhouse industrial city-state of Singapore is one of the world’s wealthiest places. Tony Tan Keng Yam and Lee Hsien Loong are President and Prime Minister respectively.