Retailers at Singapore’s Orchard Road have accused foreign domestic workers of hawking on the district’s streets on Sundays, although maids asked by reporters say they simply congregate to gather and prepare shipments for home.
From 8am-1pm every Sunday, large crowds of domestic workers can be seen along the pavements outside Lucky Plaza, a 50-year-old household goods seller at the mall surnamed Chia told Shin Min Daily News.
The female seller said the maids were suspected of selling of clothes, handbags, and even providing beauty services such as nail-polishing and hair-styling, at dirt cheap prices.
She and 10 other shop owners previously filed a complaint with the mall’s management, as they believed their sales were being hit by the maids’ activities. However, the company said its hands were tied as the area on which the alleged activities took place is a public space.
The newspaper spoke to some of the maids in the pedestrian areas, including a 45-year-old foreign domestic helper who has been working in Singapore for over 20 years.
She explained that they were not engaging in any form of commercial business, but simply gathering with friends, and packing items into boxes for sending home.