SINGAPORE: A helper took to social media to share that her employer scolded her “because she accepted ang bao from their neighbor.”
“Is it even my fault? she never give angpao i also ok. even i have to pay for my medical check up and other thing( toileteries),” the helper wrote on the Facebook Group ‘Complaint Singapore’ on Monday (Feb 12).
She has also asked to be transferred to other employers, but her employer have refused. “I know my sir is joined this group. Hope you read this and let me transfer,” the helper pleaded.
“You have your rights to complain to MOM about the medical checkup”
In the comments section, a handful of social media users urged her to report her case to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
One user said, “U have ur rights to complain to MOM about the medical check up. Employer should pay for it, not you! Hope ur employer read this comment. Pls do not be stingy and be more responsible!”
Another user commented, “Angbao is just a well wishes nothing wrong to accept. You can always check with MOM with regards to your transfer as well as check with MOM is employer responsible for your medical checkup etc…. as you are a stay-in helper.”
Also, some users speculated that perhaps her employers were simply jealous because she received ang bao from their neighbours.
One user said, “Aiya ur employer no get ang pow la. They jealous.”
Another user who seemed to be an employer herself, commented, “Ang bao is a blessing, she should be happy that you receive a blessing. I don’t mind if my helper can get lots of Ang bao because she is happy equal to I am happy too.”
Giving out ang baos is an important Chinese New Year tradition. These small envelopes are usually red, which signifies good fortune, and contain cash.
Although ang baos are usually given out among immediate family members (from the older to the younger generation), it is now common practice for employers to distribute them to their employees as a token of appreciation for their hard work.
Some foreigners in Singapore have also chosen to participate in this custom. Just last week, one foreign student asked if it would be appropriate for him to give his favourite hawker couple ang baos.