Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Maid Gina's fairy tale dashed by MOM's rigid bureaucracy

Hi Friends,

The Straits Times published my letter of appeal for Jourgina (Gina) Dagoplo to be allowed to come back to Singapore.

I know the social climate has become increasingly anti-immigration as a reaction to what many perceived as overly porous government policies, but I think Gina's case deserves a relook.

The original story can be found in the link here.

When I "Google(d)" Gina's name, I was surprised that in 2005, she was a "cause celebre"and was sort of a showcase of what a land of opportunity Singapore was and everyone in the official and alternative media was head over heals about her "rags to riches" story then.


Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan

The published letter to the ST Forum (2nd Nov 2010):

I WAS shocked to read about a former maid whose dreams were dashed on the rocks of a rigid bureaucracy ('Ex-maid with new job runs out of time'; last Saturday). It is like a fairy tale with an unhappy ending.

Miss Jourgina Dagoplo arrived on our shores as a maid in 1992. She studied hard on her days off (Sundays) and graduated in 2005 from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) with a certificate in electronics, and that landed her a job at IT giant IBM, where she was promoted to senior technician and earned $1,200 a month when she left.

Five years into her job, she was asked to go home by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), all because of a rule which stipulates that a skilled worker on a work permit pass can work here only for a maximum of 18 years - not a day longer, no matter what. Now she is back in the Philippines working as a maid for $5 a day.

IBM had found her to be a 'good performer' and after failing to renew her work permit, had appealed twice to MOM but to no avail.

The irony is that Miss Dagoplo was already doing a part-time diploma course which would have helped her case for staying on here.

Miss Dagoplo is the type of worker that we need more of in our economy - someone who is hungry, ready to take on challenges and not prepared to accept as fate what life dished out to her.

Instead of asking her to leave, the authorities should have offered her a citizenship to reward her for her tenacity and to signal to others that we are a meritocratic society that looks beyond your background and so long as you can contribute to Singapore, you are in. The authorities should review her case and welcome her back to Singapore.

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan


Anonymous said...

Hi, I saw the same article and have a different view.
I'm not against pple picking skills and upgrading to better prospects.

I want to highlight that it's the LOW 3rd world Salary!
Imagine a Global MNC pays a Good performer Senior Technician at only 1,200 SGD (without CPF) since this FT is not a PR/Citizen.

I'm very much concerned at the level of exploitation of Big MNCs.

MOM sending this FT back because of red tape is stupid indeed but question is should a Senior Tech be paid only @ $1200 without CPF?

Then should this job even be taken up by an FT?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with this post totally. I think the article mentioned IBM can apply to employ her on 'S' pass if they increase her pay to $1800. Obviously they don't think she's worth $1800 per month. This is no fault of MOM.

Anonymous said...

Dear Doctor Huang;

me is not in favour of having Gina back in Sin.

There has to be many many Gina liked people in as many countries. Me prefers that these people help in developing their own motherlands than to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Really have to question their sense of loyalty.

The more important issue is that with liberal acceptance of foreigners, good or otherwise, the impact on the locals is very damaging as You can read and see for your good self.

Singapore is not in desperate need of talents as propounded rhetorically by our talented and elitist leaders. On the contrary, this society should have emulate the cultivation of happiness like Bhutan. Though sad to say, it is too late.