Justice for my 87 year-old father who is forced to stay at KTPH before it is too late!

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I want to urgently highlight my father's situation. He is 87 years old and he is hospitalised at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) in Singapore since 23rd March. I am not able to fly back to Singapore to be with him as I am undergoing chemotherapy in Germany. My father's domestic worker ran away on 4th March, leaving him alone, well knowing his health and medical condition.

After she was found based on the missing report she made, she made a police report that my father molested her and did not pay her salary.

In total, I made four police reports on my father’s behalf. Till now, no one from the police service has contacted him regarding the police reports he had filed.

BUT the police seem to be only investigating the domestic worker's complaint, which she made only after she was located by the police based on the information we provided.

If she was telling the truth, why not go to the police or Ministry of Manpower (MOM) directly on 4th March itself? (This is not the first time she has made such claims. She has made similar claims from her ex-Singapore employer and her ex Saudi employer whom she referred to as "dogs who didn't pay her salary". I have this as audio recording and the police and MOM have been sent a copy.)

Instead she ran away to a shelter and is having a comfortable life while my father is suffering all alone. She informed another domestic worker whom we know that her meals are bring served with a gong bell at the shelter and that she can stay there forever. (I have this as an audio recording. The police and MOM have been sent a copy.) My father was all alone from 4th March to 23rd March, not even being able to buy meals although he has money. He became ill from 16th March and was hospitalised on 23rd March.

Ms Christina Quek from MOM convinced us to pay $100 (that the runaway domestic worker claimed we didn't pay) saying that if we paid the $100, the application can be processed faster even if the police case was pending. After my father had agreed to this under protest, based on the assurances given by Ms Quek that my father's work permit application will be expedited even if the police case was pending if my father agreed to pay the $100, she informed us that he is banned from hiring any helper until the investigation is over. So what was the point of paying the $100 that the helper claimed although there was no outstanding payment due?

MOM officer Mr James Ng wrote in his email, "at no time did our officer advise you that the settlement of the $100 claim by Ms Valarmathi will allow your father’s application of an FDW to be processed.” But that is exactly what was conveyed to me. My father was also told by MOM officers Ms Fathimah and Mr Karikalan on 21st March and 22nd March that he was paying the $100 so that the work permit application for the new helper will be granted, even if the police case was ongoing.

The list of claims and accusations made by the domestic worker against my father has increased to date. Now, she even claims that my father is keeping her passport and lying that he does not have it. She also claims that my father is lying that he is unwell. She owes my father money and not the other way round. She owes my father $400 and when asked about this money, MOM officer Ms Quek told us to settle it on our own by a civil suit. It hurts to the core that our pleas for help are unheard by the police and MOM.

I am trying my best to stay alive and fighting every day for my life as I need to be around as long as my father is there. He has no one else besides me. I was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer in June 2013 and underwent 25 operations in total. I was lying in ICU for months with my stomach open due to complications from the emergency operations I underwent. It is the very thought of my father being alone that keeps me alive to this very minute. I last saw my father in 2012. I have not been able to travel back to Singapore as I am undergoing chemotherapy since November 2013.

It breaks my heart to see my father in this condition and suffering so much. He has helped the runaway domestic worker so much and treated her like a daughter. She is also aware of my medical condition. And yet she ran away abandoning my father to be on his own, being fully aware that he will not be able to manage on his own. And now she is accusing my father of so many things which is simply not true and totally unfair to him.

My mother passed away on 9th Feb 1980. To this date my father is living in her memory and is the only woman he loves and will love till his last breath. Many people have asked him to remarry after my mother passed away including myself when I was 15 years old. But he has not budged till this day and lives in her memory. To accuse my father of misbehaving with her whom she calls "Appa" (father in Tamil) leaves me speechless. My father is no such person!!! The aduacity this worker has to accuse my father of such a thing makes my blood boil!

It is ridiculous and cruel of the runaway domestic worker to accuse an 87-year-old man, who is frail and ill, of molesting her. It is even more downright ridiculous and grotesque that the police officers seem to be believing only her words.

KTPH’s doctor has given a memo dated 2nd April 2018 that my father is ready to be discharged and that “he is in need of a definitive full time carer in terms of a domestic helper.” But he is unable to go home as he doesn't have a helper to care for him. I have already applied for a new helper on 5th March 2018 for my father. The work permit application is still pending approval to date. The new helper is ready to come to Singapore ASAP. The new helper is a reliable and responsible person with a good work record. And she has waited long enough. I won't be able to find another helper like her. MOM is refusing to assist and have turned down our appeal. They insist that my father will not be allowed to hire a new domestic helper as long as the police case is pending.

MOM officer Mr James Ng has informed me on 6th April 2018 that I should contact the police directly and that "We will no longer respond to any further appeals from you pertaining to this matter if there are no new grounds for consideration."

In the meantime, the runaway domestic worker is threatening another domestic helper who is willing to care for my father and sending her audio recording abusing this domestic helper in vulgarity and threatening to send her family to beat her up. I have also emailed the police officers Joyce Lua and Jabbar regarding this but still there is no reply from them.

I am no longer sure who the I/O in charge is as I am given different names every time and I have written to all of them BUT no one from them has replied to any of my emails to date.

MOM officer Mr James Ng wrote to me on 10th April 2018 that my father could be cared at Yishun community hospital or stay at a nursing home. My father does not want to be transferred to Yishun community hospital or stay at a nursing home. I have already explained this to Mr James Ng in a telephone conversation on 9th April 2018. So I do not understand why Mr Ng wrote to me on 10th April 2018 telling me that my father should be cared at Yishun community hospital or stay at a nursing home. He also wrote that my father will not be allowed to hire a new helper and that “We will no longer respond to any further appeals from you pertaining to this matter if there are no new grounds for consideration.”

My father just wants to go home. BUT he is unable to as there is no helper to care for him. My father is forced to stay in hospital incurring unnecessary medical expenses when he is medically fit to be discharged.

Are the MOM trying to drive him to his grave? My father and I have nothing personal against anybody. We are only requesting for my father's work permit to be approved as it was assured to us. The new helper is a reliable and responsible person with a good work record. And she has waited long enough. I won't be able to find another helper like her. We just want MOM to approve my father's work permit application so that I can make the necessary arrangements for the new helper to come to Singapore to care for my father.

My father has suffered and been penalized enough by the accusations of the domestic worker. MOM’s refusal to grant him approval for a new helper is treating him like a criminal. A psychiatrist from KTPH is attending to him and he is being counselled by the MSW at KTPH as he is depressed and is in mental and emotional agony on top of his existing and current medical condition.

Please do not penalize him or prolong his agony any further. Please kindly grant my father the approval for his work permit application as the helper is ready to come to Singapore. Thank you.



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