Friday, 7 July 2017

Forum: Employers cannot push their burden of care onto maids

In the latest case of maid misdemeanour, it was reported that the maid "claims her employers and their family members ill-treated her, so she killed them" (Fugitive maid says she hid in Batam ferry's engine room; July 2).

While some may cheer that the alleged culprit has been arrested and will be punished, others are asking if this will happen again.

We have seen video clips of maids hitting the old and sick, manhandling young children or subjecting babies to life-threatening risks.

The "bad-hearted" maid is usually charged and convicted, and people sympathise with the victims and their family members.

But in any case - whether it be criminal or a minor traffic offence - there is a contributory factor involved.

In a home tragedy involving the maid, why is it that only the maid is prosecuted?

Where were the family members? Why did they "aid and abet" and allow the criminal offence to happen in their own home?

It is cruel to install cameras to monitor maids and push them to the limit of human endurance and exhaustion.

Something unpleasant is likely to happen.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development ought to ascertain that employers do not hire a domestic helper to saddle her with all the obligations and responsibilities that should be shouldered by the employer.

When a case of abuse or death arises, employers should be made legally liable too for being negligent in looking after the old, sick and vulnerable in their family.

Daniel Chan Wai Piew


Making sense of mindfulness

Mindfulness seems to be everywhere nowadays as more companies like Apple, Sony and Ikea joined Google to have mindfulness or meditation in their employees' benefit packages. The aim is to have happier, healthier and more productive workforce.

Even some hospitals offer mindfulness meditation sessions to patients and employees, and some elementary or primary schools assign rowdy children mindful “time-outs”.

There is a scientific basis for mindfulness, but the basis is breathing.

Located deep within the brainstem is a tiny cluster of neurons, the pre-Botzinger complex, that links respiration to feelings of relaxation, attention, excitement, and anxiety. Called the “pacemaker for breathing”, it communicates the activity in the brain’s respiratory control centre to the structure responsible for generating arousal throughout the brain. Thanks to this region of the brain, slow, smooth, rhythmic breathing can induce a state of calm.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.


Advertisement: The Missing Type campaign runs from 4-9 July 2017

Blood donation campaign by Singapore Red Cross.

Acupressure points to treat heel pain (2) - in Chinese

Acupressure points to treat shoulder (3) - in Chinese (updated)

My 2 cents:
I like to sleep with my hands behind my head for 5 - 10 minutes. This will expand and stretch the shoulder blades, loosening the tightness of the shoulder muscles.