'Criminal intentions' of Filipina maids in Kuwait

7:01 PM

Published Date: February 25, 2007
By Nancy Oteifa - Kuwait Times

KUWAIT: "Although Filipina housemaids are considered the best maids in Kuwait because they are clean and are mostly educated; I wouldn't ever trust them or leave my kids alone with them, after the recent spate of crimes committed by them," vowed Shaikha Ali working at the Ministry of Education, while speaking to this Kuwait Times reporter. In recent years some Filipina maids have indeed set bad examples by resorting to violent acts of crimes, causing a lot of problems in the Kuwaiti society by committing crimes ranging from killings, abuses and several others. Most of these crimes became sensational topics of public opinion and debates in the society, like the case of the Filipina maid who murdered her sponsor two years ago and has finally been sentenced to death.

Another recent crime committed a month ago was by a maid who frantically ran after her sponsor's children brandishing a knife, where some escaped her wrath, but left a small innocent victim dead. All these issues instilled fear in people's minds in leaving their children alone with the maids; while others fear, just having a Filipina maid at home, leave aside leaving her alone with their precious children.

"Most Filipina maids are educated and are fluent in English, this makes it easer to communicate with them, plus the fact that they are smart and quickly understand their duties, and adapt to the family situation," said Alyaa who employs two Filipina maids at her house. On asking one of the employees who works at a domestic labour office in Salmiya, he said, "To be honest, people always opt for Filipina maids, as most of them are educated and are intelligent, they are even among the most expensive domestic labour hired in Kuwait, but after the recent crime of the Filipina maid who killed a small boy a month ago people started having second thoughts in hiring them, and this had temporarily affected our business."

Another lady shopping at Marina Mall with her children, when asked about her opinion said, "I had an Indonesian maid, then an Indian, but now I have a Filipina, who came to Kuwait to work as a nurse but due to circumstances had to work as a domestic maid. Actually she is the best maid I ever had as she is very clean and never forgets anything, she also teaches my younger son when I am busy. I never saw anything negative about her, but honestly I temporarily start having apprehensions leaving her alone with the kids after reading any bad news in the newspapers." Ahmed an Egyptian employee working at another office in Hawally said, "The fact that Kuwaiti sponsors are afraid in hiring Filipina maids are only rumours as they are still in high demand by them."

Some employers, especially Kuwaiti families are stiff-scared on the issue of hiring them and tend to change them frequently with maids of other nationalities. While others are more realistic and believe that nationalities have nothing to do with the fact that maids can turn into criminals. "I believe that when maids turn insane or commit crimes, then it's the sponsors who must be blamed. It's the way these maids are treated that affects their mental state which alters their characters or attitudes for the worse," said Maryam, an Egyptian expatriate in Kuwait. Supporting this view, another expatriate who preferred to remain anonymous said, "If the maid is well treated and not abused then she will never be provoked to murder or even hurt anyone she works for. But if she is overloaded with work or abused, then in some cases revenge could be the only option they are left with."

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