The following is an extract from a journal written by a foreign domestic worker in Singapore. This is the third in a series.

For their privacy, TWC2 has replaced names and removed references to dates and places. Only major spelling mistakes have been corrected; otherwise the text is what was written by them.

In this extract, the writer is being held on suspicion of illegal deployment, a term that means a doing work outside of the terms of the Work Permit. Pending investigations, which can take a very long time, the worker is confined to a government dormitory, a kind of existential twilight zone with no pay even as their families desperately depend on them.

My name is Mia.  I just tell story about happen to me.  Before I am come in at dorm I am very happy working at my employer.  They family very good and very close with me.  Special Mum.  She’s very happy with me.  After I am finish do my work, Mum also do her work at 10 something at night.  Mum always asking go inside her room than Mum always open her heart with me.  Mum always gave advice to me, sometime I also give advice to Mum.  I and Mum always discussion about her family.  We each other like family.  Mum so happy with me.

One thing to her I can’t leave her alone cos she sick.  She have high blood, tansan (tension) n diabetes.  Every morning I must check blood, gave injection n medicen every morning..afternoon..evening.  Can’t forget with injection if one time forget injection – Mum can’t working so I must be careful.

Before MOM take me then bring me to dorm, I am already since contract to continue my work but suddenly, this happen.  Ready on this time my situation, my family very dependent and make me very sad cos of this time my family really need me some more money about study my daughter, really need a lot money.  Mum very understand about my family so Mum also ask me to continue working with Mum.  She always help me my problem.  She very good employer.  She treat me like family so because her condition so some time I help her to do her work, only if I am free, I help Mum.  The thing is, cos I help Mum pick up maid at airport so this problem happen. Cos some maid complain about me if I always help Mum to do this.  After that MOM give letter to me to go to Kim Seng then MOM interview me about my job but this time I tell everything to MOM.

Now I am already at dorm.  At this place, I always thinking about my family cos I am do want take care my family, my daughter study but now I am not working, my family waiting for my money, at here I have tell my family if I happen ready about my job.  3 time ready I ask my MOM officer to give me temporary job but he always answer “ask he boss first” then until now my MOM officer have not gave me information.  3 months already stay here but nothing information so how to do I always try to ask – found job but nothing.

I am very sad stay here and my family always asking money, so how to settle my family if my condition at here like this and how about my daughter some more 1 years study but now I am here can’t do anything.  I am really very sad, how to found money to continue my daughter study.

I am really can’t taking really.  I just waiting here for nothing.  Than I just pray to God faster finishing my case.