AFTER having two maids with medical problems within two months, Jason thought he would be third-time lucky.
Instead, the help turned out to be a nuisance. Her unreasonable attitude and actions led him to suspect that she was mentally unstable.
"It was the last straw for me, especially so soon after having one maid who had hepatitis C and another who had a lung infection," said the 32-year-old businessman from Puchong, Kuala Lumpur
Jason's problems began when, in anticipation of the arrival of their third child, he and his wife applied for a new domestic maid early this year to replace the one who was leaving.
"When the first maid arrived on March 4, we were happy with her until we received a call from the agency five days later saying that she had failed her medical test because she had hepatitis C."
The agency offered to replace the maid with another and Jason picked up the second maid on March 10.
"We had her for about three weeks when we noticed that she tired easily. She would turn pale after doing heavy chores and even her breathing was laboured."
He took the maid for a second medical test, although she had been given a clean bill of health by the authorities.
The X-ray revealed that she had a lung infection and half her lungs were badly scarred.
"The doctor told me that there was an old and new infection. How could this have gone undetected, considering the maid had supposedly had an X-ray taken in Indonesia and another one here?"
Jason's woes got worse when the third maid began to act up, causing much distress to his wife who was eight months pregnant.
"We are now without a maid and I feel so cheated because we have been given one problematic maid after another despite paying so much for these maids."
Ong, also of Puchong, was just as unlucky. His two maids tested positive for herpes.
The first maid arrived in October, after being certified medically fit by the Indonesian authorities and Fomema.
To be doubly sure, Ong sent her for an independent blood test and X-ray. The results showed she had herpes types 1 and 2.
"I informed the maid agency and wrote to Fomema in November highlighting the discrepancy in the medical report.
"Fomema said she was medically unfit and the agency agreed to give me a replacement maid."
When the second maid arrived in February, Ong sent her for a medical test.
She also tested positive for herpes type 1. Ong sent her for a second test, this time at a private hospital. This time, the result for herpes type 1 was negative.
Ong sent the maid for a third test at a private lab and the result was again positive.
"But what was frustrating was that the maid agency initially said it could not replace the maid or ensure that any future maid I got would be free of herpes."
The Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies could not give Ong an assurance about the medical condition of foreign maids who come to Malaysia.
"I do not understand why the authorities cannot include all classification of herpes and other medical problems in the health screening."
Ong has now opted to hire a baby sitter for his children.