I AGREE with Ms Agnes Kwok Sook Yee ("Placement fee should be tied to maids' training"; last Monday).
Maids, even the inexperienced ones, are paid $496 a month, or $19 a day. Comparatively, I once met a skilled construction worker who gets only $27 a day, without food and lodging.
I understand that a maid working here for 1.5 months can earn the equivalent of a year's wages in the Philippines.
Are maids so underpaid that they cannot bear part of the placement fee?
My previous maid told me that while she was at the agent's training centre in Manila awaiting clearance to come to Singapore, she studied Chinese every day and was shown how to do domestic chores and cooking only once.
It is not hard to understand why some employers and maids get frustrated with each other, resulting in employers frequently replacing maids. I have learnt that maids are told they can ask for a transfer if they are not happy.
Furthermore, I once hired a maid who was more interested in painting her nails than doing chores. She also made dozens of calls to her home town when she was left alone in the house. I terminated her contract after two months despite the agent in Manila rating her as "very good".
In the light of all this, it is unfair to charge employers such a high placement fee.
Lynette Chan (Mrs)