Fu Lu Shou Complex, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

Retailers at a shopping mall in Singapore called police and security guards as more than a hundred foreign domestic workers queued up at a moneylender’s branch to take out small loans for the upcoming Christmas holiday, with vendors complaining the crowd of maids was blocking customer traffic.

The maids began queuing for loans at 9am, and by 10:30am, about 100 of them were chatting among themselves while waiting to visit the moneylender branch inside Fu Lu Shou Complex on Rochor Road, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Some of the retailers in the mall were not amused as the women were blocking their doors, preventing customers from entering, and so they called for assistance from the police and security guards.

It was learned that the crowds of maids did not dissipate until 6pm, the time at which that particular lender closes on Sundays, since each applicant would take at least 30 minutes for an interview and cross-checking of their documents.

Some of the maids said they needed money to pay for their children’s tuition or to send extra money home to their families for the peak spending season, and they told a reporter that they had to use the moneylender’s services even if the interest rate was high.

An Indonesian maid explained that the mother of a friend had fallen ill and her high medical expenses could not be settled unless a loan were secured.