Well if it’s not about my Bibik, who’s Bibik is it then? Errr..confusing as it may be, this story is about my other Bibik. Yes, as at 12.00pm today, I have TWO bibiks, both are registered under ABE’s name. Say what?? Four persons in a household and they need like two maids, you gotta be kidding me!! Correction, it’s three adults (Mom, my youngest sister and hubby), two kids and a baby who need two maids. Ahhh…that sounds more like it, yes??
In the past few months, Mom has been expressing her concern that the maid in our Seremban house is unable to cope with the abundance of house chores. Two kids, aged between 4 and 6 and a new born – 5 months, have pretty much been draining the maid’s energy and time. She is obviously struggling to get her work done. It is not fair to let her shoulder the blame, as the house in Seremban could be quite a challenge to manage. I know how it is coz’ I still remember how long it took me to mop and then vacuum the whole house that time when I was laying idle during my wait for SPM results. And there is still the laundry, the dishes, the cooking, the ironing to do, definitely not a place for the not so cekal hearted domestic help!!! And I think because of that too, we have lost a few maids in the last one year alone. Two ran away, I think, and another two were sent back as they didn’t quite fit in. Suffice to say, last year was really a bad maid year for Mom’s household.
Since each of my siblings has one or two maids to his or her names, I was the only one whose is still in the singular, I told Mom that I’d help out. But first, I’d like to go check with the Immigrations Department if the maid could be under my name and not ABE’s. There's a blanket ruling at Immigrations that only the head of the house (husband, in my case here) will be named as the employer of the maid. I strongly felt that this ruling could not be applied to my situation. After all, the maid was for my Mom, it just defies logic for a SIL to take a maid for his MIL. Lainlah if I wasn’t working and I didn’t have the source of income to justify for my maid application. Doesn't hurt to ask, perhaps there is an exception to this ruling.
So, there I was, all armed with my reasoning and logic matrix, deliberating with the officer in charge at the Immigrations office. Explained to him the situation of my Mom, elderly and in dire straits of a another help in her house. And moi, as the daughter, would like to provide her with the domestic assistance. Just before I could relate to him the whole story, he said to me, “Kena guna nama suami Puan.”
“Kenapa pulak, ni untuk Mak saya?”
“Ohh..tak boleh, itu peraturan kami.”
“But the maid is for my mother, tanggung jawap saya, bukan tanggung jawap husband saya.”
“Ohh…memang tak boleh, kalau nak ambil maid kedua, ketiga, mesti jugak atas nama suami puan.”
Then I gave him a situation that would require him to use his reasoning (read: slow brains).
“Ok..kata lah, lepas ni suami saya nak ambil maid untuk mak dia pulak, so how?” He replied, “Tak de masalah, boleh ambil sampai 3 maid.”
Obviously this guy felt the question coming, he was prepared with the answer. My next question was, “Kalau kakak husband, siapa punya responsibility, katalah dia tak mampu nak ambil maid atas nama dia.”
His response, “Suami puan punya tanggung jawap lah.”
My question, “So how, quota 3 maid dah penuh??”
He just gave me a blank stare and replied, “Macam tu, kena mintak tolong orang lain lah Puan.”
I was fuming with irritation by then. I asked him the rationale to the rigid ruling. His relpy was, “Ada urusan dalaman yang saya tak boleh bagitau pada Puan.”
Isshhh…budak ni, nak kena ni!! The tone of my voice was not polite anymore. “Urusan dalaman yang macamana?? Saya berhak nak tau sebab saya tergolong dalam kategori yang nak mohon lebih dari satu maid!!”
He then shyly said, “Tak de Puan, dengan cara ni kita tau lah samada suami tu ada satu isteri ker, dua isteri ker dari permohonan maid dia.”
Huh???? Am I hearing his response right? Is this the Immigrations Department or Pejabat Kadi, that you make it a business to know who's who with more than one wives???
When the officer replied in such a manner, I knew I had to give him a piece of my mind. I told him that wouldn’t it make more sense if the logic to this was, one household, one referral point and in this case, the husband. And if anything happens to the maid, the authorities would know who to look for.
His last one liner was, “Ha ah, system kita memang macam tu.”
I rest my case after wasting a good 15 minutes trying to get that answer out. Instead, in the end, I was the one who furnished the pathetic guy with the parting shot. Thanked him for his assistance and made my way out of the Immigrations office.
As I walked to my car, I thought to myself, “Who is the smart aleck who designed the system at the Immigrations Dept?”
Ohh.....please let it not be anyone of the BIG boys in system design!!