July 21, 2010 (AFP) - A devoted Filipina maid inherited six million Singapore dollars (more than four million US) from her late employer after more than 20 years of service, a newspaper report said Wednesday.
"I am the luckiest maid in Singapore, with or without the money," the 47-year-old single woman -- identified only by the pseudonym "Christine" -- told the Straits Times in an interview.
The maid refused to be named in public for fear of possible threats to her life in the impoverished Philippines, where wealthy people have been kidnapped for ransom and some killed by their abductors.
The windfall, including cash and a luxury apartment near the Orchard Road shopping belt, came from the estate of her employer Quek Kai Miew, a medical doctor and philanthropist who died last year at 66.
The maid had also taken care of the doctor's late mother, and was told that she would be a beneficiary of her employer's will when it was drawn up in 2008.
"There were no secrets between us. I was not surprised at all when she told me how much I was going to get," the maid recalled.
"Christine" was devastated when Quek died a year ago, as the two were inseparable, and temporarily moved in with the doctor's nephew for solace.
"It was heartbreaking for me as I saw more years with Doctor Quek than with my own mother. I would break down every time I thought about her. I could not be by myself," she said.
"I was always beside her. Wherever she went, I was with her."
The maid, who is now applying for permanent residency in Singapore, said her newfound wealth had not changed her lifestyle.
"I do not really think much about the money I got. I just live my life as I did before, and not as a rich person," the maid, dressed simply in a blouse and slacks with short-cropped hair, was quoted as saying.
"I am still who I was before. I cannot behave differently because I have money now. Even my Filipino maid friends here still treat me the same."
Nearly 200,000 foreign maids, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, work in affluent Singapore, which has a population of five million.
Arab Times Online
No fresh entry ban after the first one expires
22 July 2010, 6:24 AM
The Federal Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that companies cannot slap a fresh ban on former workers after their old ban expires.
The law allows workers to re-enter the country using a new visa after the end of the first ban, the court said. The ruling came following a case filed by an Indian foreman, 29, against a contracting company where he worked for seven years.
According to the employee, his employer terminated his service because he demanded an increase in salary. The employer then cancelled his residency and imposed a one-year ban on him from the Department of Naturalization and Residency. He was later deported to his country.
After the expiry of the ban, a maintenance firm issued an employment permit for him through which he entered the country and passed the iris scan test.
His new employer stamped his passport with a residency visa, but his former employer filed a malicious lawsuit demanding imposition of a new one-year ban on him.
The old company also sought his arrest and deportation despite his legal status.
The worker asked the court to intervene and stop his former employer from harassing him at his new work site. He also demanded suitable compensation for the financial and psychological damage the situation had caused him.
The Federal Court of First Instance in Abu Dhabi threw out the case, but the worker contested before the Federal Court of Appeal which quashed the primary verdict, saying the worker had the right to stay on and work in the country. It also exempted him from payment of fees.
The ex-employer challenged the judgment before the Federal Supreme Court which turned down its petition and confirmed the legal status of the worker.
“Companies which impose a ban on workers cannot do that again after the expiry of that sanction because it has nothing to do with them,’’ the apex court ruled.