Don’t be coy, tell all, please

Good! The Ministry of Health has at last named the two private assisted reproduction (AR) centres that have been flouting the rules: O&G Partners Fertility Centre and Gleneagles IVF Centre.

Both failed to have a second person to counter-check each step of the transfer of semen specimens.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan told Parliament that a check on nine AR centres in Singapore found that two had failed to adhere to ministry guidelines. MOH declined to name them.

There are 12 AR centres in Singapore, with 10 of them privately run. Since Thomson Medical Centre had already copped it, it means the remaining seven are fully compliant.

So it seemed unfair to say the least for the Minister to reveal that two privately run centres had flouted guidelines and then for MOH to decline to reveal their names.

By withholding their names, MOH had needlessly encouraged speculation and perhaps caused the innocent to be tainted by the same brush.

It would have been far better had the Minister provided the names of the culprits at the same time as he revealed that two others besides TMC had been sloppy with their procedures.

Which brings me to something that should be revealed too: the agencies which brought in the foreign domestic workers who get into trouble with the law.

It has always seemed strange to me that while we get information about the accused and the alleged victim, not a word is said about the agent who brought in the maid.

You might say the agent has nothing to do with the crime perpetrated.

I disagree.

When something bad happens between an employer and her maid, it could partly be due to mismatching by agents who are more interested in pushing the FDW into the market to recover the loan she owes and also to earn the introduction fee from the employer. 

Besides mismatching, just what exactly have the agents done to train the maids they bring into Singapore? Have they done enough?

Take my own recent case, for example.

I’ve just heard today that the maid has found a seventh employer! All within 9 months. I wish her the best of luck but I suspect the fact that she’s been bouncing around can’t all be because all her employers are fussy and fastidious like me.

I don’t know what led to the tragedy relating the the child with special needs who fell to her death yesterday and the 24-year-old Indonesian maid accused of causing her death. I also don’t know what led to another Indonesian maid being charged with  19 counts of ill-treating her employer’s infant daughter a year ago.

But what I would dearly love to know is who are the agents who brought them to Singapore!

It would be interesting to know which agent in Singapore has the dubious honour of bringing in the most number of maids accused of violence in their employers’ home. And which agent has maids with multiple transfers in the shortest length of time?

Since employers are barred from changing maids too often within one year, maybe the Ministry of Manpower should similarly prevent agents from re-offering maids on their books to potential employers once they have exceeded their annual quota of switching employers!

At the very least, MOM should have a central registry of maids who transfer too often! And of cos the name of their agents.


2 thoughts on “Don’t be coy, tell all, please

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 26 Nov 2010 « The Singapore Daily

  2. Pingback: Weekly Roundup: Week 48 « The Singapore Daily

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