The Sunday Times did a full page feature (22 Sept 2013) on Cambodian maids joining the Singapore work force. The first few have arrived and an estimated 400 is expected to be here by the end of the 2013.
The story indicated that they can expect a monthly salary of $450, and should be able to pay off their placement fee of $2,400 in six months. This suggests that they will be working for only $50 cash in hand per month for the first half year.
The news article featured a few workers, mentioning that they had worked in Malaysia previously. After a series of abuses against maids came to light in 2011, the Cambodian government banned the supply of domestic workers to Malaysia in 2011.
Language is expected to be a problem, said the report. “(L)abour activists in Cambodia worry that the women will have problems adjusting to life in Singapore, and that Singapore employers will be frustrated by the women’s weak command of English.”
According to Mom Sokchar, which the Sunday Times said had been helping maids in distress, communication breakdown was the “key problem” in Malaysian abuse cases.
The newspaper had a sidebar listing ten Do’s and Don’ts said to be given out by agents to incoming workers. It is shown at left.