A 50-year-old Singaporean man expressed worries to a local newspaper that his Indonesian domestic worker had borrowed excessively and the fact that his family was still harassed by loan sharks even after he had paid off the debts.
The man renewed his 38-year-old Indonesian worker’s contract last December because of her good performance helping him to raise a family of four children, with the youngest aged four, the Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.
However, by June, the employer learned that the divorced worker had taken out a total of 10 loan applications, half from legal moneylenders and the rest from loan sharks, to help her new boyfriend build a house back home in Indonesia.
The worker confessed only after she found she was unable to pay off S$6,000 (US$4,350), which was the principal and interest accumulated from the initial S$1,800 borrowed from illegal moneylenders.
Though her boss thought the sum was exorbitant, he paid it off. However, he continued to receive threatening phone calls from time to time.
Worse, he said his worker began behaving badly and was impolite. To ensure the safety of his youngest son, he decided not to let her take him to school or pick him up after class.
He was said to be considering canceling the woman’s contract.
The chairman of Adullam Life Counselling, Wong Kee Soon, said foreign domestic workers in Singapore who have financial difficulties should seek help from proper channels instead of burying themselves under even more debt.
The organization says it has volunteers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and India and is ready to give counseling and advice to needy workers on handling their personal finances.