The Liberal Party has waded into a row about foreign domestic helpers using air-conditioning, saying maids need to be given clear instructions on when they can and cannot turn the air-con on in their rooms.
An online debate on the rights of maids to stay cool was sparked when a woman recently took to social media to complain that her helper did not ask for her permission before turning the air-conditioning on in her resting room.
On a Facebook group for people to discuss matters relating to the employment of maids, the woman said she had threatened to disconnect the power to the air-conditioning unit.
Her comments attracted a range of responses before the post was eventually deleted.
While some agreed the woman was right to complain, because she has to pay the electricity bill, others accused her of being unfair and inhumane.
Michael Lee, from Liberal Party's "Taskforce on Foreign Helper’s Problems" said on Thursday that the woman’s complaint shows that employers need to set out specific rules for helpers as soon as they start their contracts.
“The most concern in this matter is she did not ask her boss to tell her that she wants to switch on the air-conditioner. There should be some house rules to let her know what she can do or what she cannot do,” Lee said.
Lee said some employers of maids think they have done more than enough by providing helpers with a window or a fan in their room.
“They come from the hot, hot countries. I don’t know whether they used to sleep with the air-conditioning on,” he said.