I remind myself of my strength often. There were times when I have had to hold on for dear life while working as a domestic worker in Singapore. But honestly, the true test has always been deciding if I should still stay with an employer or leave.
As a domestic worker, I only asked for a clear record. My patience wore thin when I realized that my working situation was against the law.
I was working in two houses and I was the eighth member of the household. Carrying this heavy workload was tough. The living room was where I laid my tired body each night. During the wee hours, I would hear footsteps to the toilet as they passed by me. Sometimes, they will turn on the television and ask me to turn my body against it. The CCTV in the house never turns off, causing me to feel uneasy during my rest.
I knew for sure from the very first day that I should only be working at the address listed in my Work Permit, but I did not dare to report it. I was bothered by the thought of waiting out a case if I complained, so I remained quiet for almost four years. But there came a time when I could no longer tolerate the situation. I needed to leave. Soon, it was the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. I had to choose between repatriation or renewing my contract.
But God is amazing. He works in ways we cannot see. I asked a lot of people for advice. They were concerned for me. It was a while ago when I met one of HOME’s help desk volunteers. When I approached her, she told me to stand firm and fight for my rights. I finally found the courage to lodge a complaint, though the process was not easy.
I am very thankful for the sympathy shown to me, and the fair judgement made in my case. For now, I am finally free from my illegal deployment and found a new employer. I feel much better because I am valued as a domestic worker, and a human being. I now have a private space to rest.
It is not easy working as a migrant domestic worker. We face many difficulties but a piece of advice I have for my fellow workers is, be strong and courageous. Remember, you are not alone. There are a lot of people who care, who are willing to listen and offer helpful advice. Never lose hope and above all else, have faith in God for He has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us.
Photo is taken from CNA and used for illustration purposes only.