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Amah or domestic worker

October 23, 2007

I over-heard in the radio on a chat between a Radio DJ and a caller (sound like a teenager) as follows:

DJ: Hi. Who is this?

Caller: XXXX

DJ: So where are you calling from?

Caller: XXXX

DJ: What’s the weather like over there?

Caller: It’s fine

DJ: So what have you been up to since this morning? I know it’s almost lunch time now.

Caller: Nothing much, since it’s non-school day today. Had my brunch at 10ish and now listening to your station.

DJ: Thanks for tuning to our station. So you have been basically hanging around your house and nothing much else to do, is it?

Caller: Yup.

DJ: If I may ask, what did you have for your brunch?

Caller: The usual Bruneian stuff I guess, like noodle and Nasi Goreng with fried chicken.

DJ: That’s sound full-filling to me. Do you prepare your own or you have your mom doing it for you and the family?

Caller: Yup, my mom is doing all the cooking, I just eat. (Laugh)

DJ: Luck you. I have to cook on my own and for my cat. So I assume you help out with the dishes?

Caller…(More laughing)…Nope. That’s the maid, like every Bruneian teenagers, I don’t do any housework.

By this time I was appalled. Now what make you think that caller would make such statement? Is she assuming that everyone in Brunei owns a maid? I don’t. My brothers don’t. Others in the family who don’t have small children don’t. Some of my neighbours don’t. Not everyone in Brunei have maid as claimed and yet this is the kind of thinking coming from a teenager?

Lets talk about having a maid or ‘amah’ as we Bruneians called them. Why do we need one in the first place? For one obvious reason, its for those who have young children need some one to look after their children.

Of interest, I stumbled across an online news from Jakarta Post on an Indon amah who celebrated Hari Raya with her family after ending her two-year contract. I couldn’t help but think that there are people in the world who are not that lucky like us here in Brunei. Btw, the salary stated should be Brunei Dollars and not ringgit, isn’t it?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Deb permalink
    October 24, 2007 1:31 am

    I agree! Why on earth do we need an amah for? I couldn’t help myself as my family have at least one, sometimes two amah everysince I was young. I love doing the house chores but mom wouldn’t let me.

    Anyway, interesting blog!

  2. November 21, 2007 6:42 pm

    I also blog about this a few days ago. I know! Bruneians are too dependent on amahs. As a result, look at our youths! Pemalas. I’ve seen kids at the age 10-12 are still being fed by their amahs. Anyway, good to know there are like-minded people around.

  3. dr pia permalink
    December 12, 2007 11:45 am

    I regularly go to Brunei for consultancy work, and as a mother of four children, often take my children. This time I found a wonderful live-out amah who worked weekdays and weekends for me.

    I was lucky to find her. I know that it is difficult to find part-time amahs and there are no real agencies that deal with that kind of service.

    If anyone needs an amah who focuses on the child development and who is incredibly warm and responsible, I am happy to recommend her.

    You can contact me on

  4. Lij permalink
    May 4, 2009 7:13 pm

    Do still have her no? If you do pls emil me asap. Thanx

  5. Alice permalink
    May 18, 2010 11:25 pm

    I am looking for a philippino maid to work at Kg. Jangsak.
    I preferable below 40 yrs old age. Pls help me to find one maid to take good care of my family. THANK YOU VERY MUCH


  6. lina permalink
    June 22, 2010 10:29 pm

    I am looking for part time maid a indonesian to work @ tutong..
    Age range of 40 yrs old. Pls do let me know and email it to me on the above email address given. Thank a lot

  7. lizza permalink
    September 18, 2010 9:47 am

    Hi we can send indonesian maid to brunei,we from indonesian maid please contact

  8. Misya permalink
    October 1, 2010 3:13 pm

    I am looking for part time maid either Filipino or Indonesia pls. contact +673-89-22-374 or email me. Thanks

  9. Meme permalink
    August 3, 2011 11:09 am

    Amahs are a big problem in Brunei .you guess need to create some other means of getting things done without having to rely on a certain group of people . They are more trouble than they help.

  10. Anonymous permalink
    June 21, 2014 9:19 am

    Pls see AMAH BRUNEI facebook for details of amah transfer


  1. Day care vs Amah « Brunei Lifestyle

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