Received this in an email; it does make some sense.
There are several simple reasons why many Singaporean employers are reluctant to give their maids day off.
You see, if the maid runs away, the government will fine the employer $5,000. If the maid commits a crime such as shoplifting, the government will fine the employer $5,000. If the maid is caught having sex with someone the government will fine the employer $5,000. If the maid gets pregnant, the government will also fine the employer $5,000.
If you didn't know any of the above, then either you do not employ a maid, or you didn't read the small print of the Manpower Ministry's work permit conditions.
Many employers are afraid that if their maid has a day off and gets into trouble, the employer will not only have to solve the trouble, but also have to fork out $5,000 as a free gift to the government.
Intuitively, this smacks of gross unfairness.
The employer gets punished not for something he did, but for something that somebody else (the maid) did. Furthermore, once the maid leaves the employer's residence, the employer has no way of monitoring where the maid goes and what she does there.
We may draw a curious parallel with Mas Selamat's escape, and PM Lee's determined, if muddled, defence of Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng in Parliament.
Mas Selamat ran away. But PM Lee said that Wong Kan Seng was not at fault and should not be punished in any way. The reason being that Wong Kan Seng personally did not do anything which allowed Mas Selamat to escape.
Strangely, if your maid runs away, it IS your fault and you SHOULD be punished. Even if you did not personally do anything to let her run away (apart from giving her a day off).
Similarly, if your maid becomes pregnant, it IS your fault and you SHOULD be punished. Even if you did not personally do anything to make her pregnant.
Oh well. What can I say? Maids are not terrorists. But then you are not Wong Kan Seng. So the rules remain stacked against you. Wong Kan Seng gets off lightly, but you won't. Even if his lapse has far greater, and graver, implications than yours. Your runaway maid wouldn't blow up Changi Airport, would she?