Saturday, April 28, 2012

8th maid falls to death in less than 4 months: Action needed now!

Dear Friends,

Another Indonesian maid has  fallen to her death whilst cleaning her employer’s dirty windows! (click here)

This is the eighth death this year!

When I wrote the previous blog post ( here)  which was printed ( albeit with some amendments at the ST Forum) (here),  I thought silently to myself that I was perhaps overdramatic and had over-exaggerated the scale of the problem.

But apparently not. Those 7 deaths had not been dramatic enough and more will die needlessly.

If  our dear authorities will just continue to sit on its hands, tweedle its thumbs and do nothing , I am going to suggest that maids’ home embassies ie Embassies of the Republic of Indonesia and The Phillippines  should insist that their nationals not be put in harm’s way and die for a speck of dirt on the window!

MOM, HDB and MND- do more than just talk!

Your talk about educating the maids and their employers is not effective as the maids are unable to reject pressures from employers who hold the purse strings. Furthermore, the news about these deaths are not passed down to the people that matters i.e the maids and the elderly folks, the people who are at home when the maids are doing the cleaning. The maids and elderly folks do NOT read the Straits Times or the LianHeZaoBao!

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan


Anonymous said...

Yup, the authorities must institute immediate measures to prevent another maid from falling out of the window. All the talk about training means nothing when employers who have the upper hand order and pressure the maids to do hazardous work.

Employers must be taken to task qnd punished severely when maids die while acting under their nstructions. Am surprised that so far, none of the employers have been hauled up and punished for the past 7 deaths.

The Pariah said...

Window/building design is the source of this risk of human lives being lost from cleaning windows.

Human lives are precious - whether of a maid, a home owner or a professional window cleaner. Wait till a young Singaporean falls off when cleaning windows and maybe Dr Huang will get the point.

MND/URA/BCA have failed as Regulators as per my comment posting Dr Huang's blog posting in Apr 2012:

Within next two decades, there won't be cheap enough foreign labour even for gondola-housed or harness-strapped prof window cleaners (expect to pay $1-$2k for monthly mgmt fee). Die lah, cannot even retire in Singapore, must go to JB or Batam as per Minister Khaw's idea even though we don't need a Nursing Home.

Below is a story of SHORT TERM GAIN for Govt and Biz and LONG TERM PAIN for People.

All new condos have all-glass curtain wall facade in our equatorial climate. Why are we living in 3-sided aquarium?

REASON: Because URA allow developers to charge for Net Saleable Area (NSA) from the inner surface of the glass panel. Whereas under Strata Title Area (STA), developers can only charge from the mid-point of the thickness of the external wall on which the window frame sits.

So when you multiply that 3" by the 3-sided perimeter of each condo unit and further multiplied by the number of units on each floor over 36 or 42 floors - now you know why we have aquarium condos!

BTW, all-glass panels improve productivity for the Construction Industry because it hastens the Buildability Rate. So the Govt also give out grants to these developers/contractors using our public $$$. Of course, Time is Money to developers too.

- Never mind that glass traps heat most efficiently during the day.

- Never mind that with ageing population, flexi-work hours and soho set-up, apartments are occupied during the day (read: air con at full blast to counter efficient heat retention).

- Never mind that Asians typically are more private, turning their condos into cinemas with ceiling-to-floor drapes fully drawn 24x7 except for a sliver.

- Never mind about frequency of drapes laundry versus external wall repainting in terms of electricity and water usage.

- Never mind that water seepage is more likely than wall cracks when the slightest glass panel seepage is more problematic than wall cracks that must be wide enough to cause problems.