SINGAPORE: An employer took to social media enquiring about how much it would cost her helper to build a house in her village.

The employer posted her question in an online support group for domestic helpers and employers. She wrote: “I can’t remember if I’ve posted this question here before. You see, I’m trying to help my helper from Palembang estimate how much it would cost her to build a house in her village in Palembang”. The woman added that after her helper completed a 2-year contract working for her, the maid managed to buy a piece of land back home with her savings. “She is aiming to be able to earn enough to build a house on that piece of land. Do we have friends from Palembang in this group? Any one of you have any idea how much she would have to save to fulfil her dream?” the employer wrote.

Other helpers who commented on the post advised on the types of houses they built and how much it cost them. One helper who built her house 11km from Palembang said: “I just built my home last year in Cirebon. It cost me around $45k-50k for buying materials and paying the contractors till finished (1 level house with planning to expand to level 2 in future).No furniture except kitchen. It consists; 1 bedroom, 2 toilets (one outside, one in the bedroom), 1 washing machine area, 1 big hall with an open kitchen. It took me 15 years to save up. It was really hard to save, but I am very happy to finally have something that call “home” for my own and that was my biggest dream”. Another helper commented: “Depends (on the) house she want to build. One level house with all the cement, the cost is around 20,000$.. can be with 3 rooms,If she makes more than one level, it will be more expensive than double Bec need Iron for concrete pillars and second floor foundations…and the price of iron is quite expensive”.

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In 2021, a Filipino woman on TikTok came back with a sassy response to netizens who called her out for being a maid. A netizen commented on the woman’s TikTok channel: “no lah she’s a maid”. In response, the woman, @shery2291, said: “I may be a maid but I have car in the Philippines, then I got three houses in Cavite, two land in Samal and one of them is near the beach”. The helper added: “Singapore is good enough to make me earn money and invest in the future. So if I’m maid here in Singapore, it’s okay”. She added as an aside: “as long as I’m just thinking about the future and not just (posting) hating comments in other people’s videos”. The woman retorted: “Just saying”. /TISG

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