By Elaine Yeo
HER maid stole $4,200 from her, but Mrs Lee Khek Hwee forgave the maid.
After the maid was sent back home - the maid had paid for her own airfare home - Mrs Lee got an SMS message from Indonesia that read: 'U rly stpd employer ha ha ha.'2013-05-19
Her indonesian maid stole $4,200 from her, but Mrs Lee Khek Hwee forgave the maid nevertheless.
However after the maid was sent back home – while paying for her own airfare home - Mrs Lee got an SMS message from Indonesia that read: 'U rly stpd employer ha ha ha.'2013-05-19
That left Mrs Lee Khek Hwee, 29, an administrative officer, fuming mad. Yet graciously she replied the indonesian maid stating that God has eyes and wished her all the best.
Mrs Lee's troubles with her former maid began on 10 Nov when she withdrew $10,000 in cash - of which $6,000 was to pay for renovation to their three-room Telok Blangah flat several weeks ago where the contractor was supposed go to their home to collect the money.
At 7pm, Mrs Lee left the money on the dressing table in her bedroom and went to shower while her husband, 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter were watching TV in the living room.
After her shower, she told her husband, a 35-year-old manager, to pay the maid back for groceries she had bought in the morning after which he went to the bedroom to get his wallet that was also on the dressing table as well in which he found $200 missing from his wallet.
Mrs Lee said her husband - she did not want to reveal his name - could not recall exactly how much money he had in his wallet, but the $200 was slotted in a partition separated from the rest of the cash.
Another shock awaited the couple when Mrs Lee found $4,000 missing from the stack of cash she had left on the dressing table.
According to Mrs Lee, 'I folded the notes and put it under something heavy, so it could not have flown away’, reported The New paper.
However the couple did not suspect their indonesian maid as they trusted her and as the maid had been working with them for more than two years, and had just renewed her two-year contract in June.
Even after discovering the loss, Mrs Lee gave the maid the remaining $6,000 to pay the contractor who was waiting downstairs.
After that, the couple searched their home for the missing $4,200.
When they could not find the money, they suspected that the maid must have taken it.
Mrs Lee said: 'But she said she did not do it, and even told me to do a body check if I didn't believe her.'
Mrs Lee did not search the maid, but she did search her luggage and go through her wallet as well.
There was $800 in her wallet, but the notes were not in denominations of $100 - the money the couple lost were in $100 bills.
Two days later, Mrs Lee checked her maid's recent transactions with a Western Union agent in Bukit Merah that her maid usually goes to.
As it turned out, the agent told her that at 9am that very faithful day, two Indonesian maids had asked to remit $4,200 to Indonesia.
'But as the Indonesian address they gave didn't match with the one the agent had on record, he did not remit the money,' Mrs Lee said.
Mrs Lee thought that it was too much of a coincidence - she lost $4,200 and two maids had tried to remit the same amount at the same agent her maid went to.
So she made a police report.
That was when her maid finally confessed to stealing the money.
Mrs Lee said: 'She said she had taken the money while we were not paying attention, and passed it to one of our neighbour's maids who lived on the seventh storey while getting sent to pay the contractor.
The maid who received the money told The New Paper: 'When I asked (Mrs Lee's indonesian maid) where she got so much money, she said she struck lottery and didn't want her employers to know. I believed her. She then asked me to help her remit the money to Indonesia.'
But the Indonesian maid, who declined to be named, did not know how to remit money, so she passed the money to two maids who work on the sixth storey.
The money was returned and Mrs Lee decided to drop the matter.
She terminated the maid's contract and she was sent back to Indonesia on 14 Nov.
Three days later, she received the SMS message and did not wish to ever hear from the maid again.
This stealing incident has put Mrs Lee off and made her stand on her guard against the thought of wanting to hire any maids as of now.
This article was first published in The New Paper on Dec 15, 2008.