I would like to highlight a problem that has plagued quite a number of us since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Borders have been shut for over a year, and during this period, a lot of domestic helpers have opted to return to their native countries due to uncertainty about the future.
Thankfully, the situation in the country has largely been under control, with no local transmissions for well over a year. Even popular food items that suffered shortages are slowly returning to supermarket shelves.
However, one aspect of the pandemic that has continued to impact the locals is the lack of replacement domestic helpers. Due to the scarcity of these foreign nationals, recruitment agencies are now charging an exorbitant amount of money when it was previously dear but fair.
As a result, a lot of parents, especially those with full-time jobs, are now burdened with the lack of help in manning their homes, unless they decide to bite the bullet and fork out more money than they can afford to secure a maid.
Before last week, my solution would be to free up the flow of foreign domestic helpers into the country. However, judging from the past few days of new imported cases, I am less inclined to make that call. Nevertheless, there is a need to go back to the drawing board and come up with strategies to tackle the issues. And I certainly hope that the authorities would do that soon.