1 Big Happy Family

Cambodian Maid


We sent our Indonesian maid back to her agent few months back. Her work ethics were not bad actually though grandma and mom beg to differ. What I found uneasy is her ability to listen to our conversation because this ex-maid of ours understands Hokkien!

What actually prompted my mom to sent her back was she keeps telling grandma about wanting to quit this job (grandma did gave her some hard time; old lady ma).

Okay, so you want to quit your job? We’ll help you realize that. So after 3 years plus working as my grandma’s aid we bade her tata late last year.

Just recently my uncle hired a new maid. She’s a Cambodian and she understands very little English. So grandma has to speak in English (broken). Sometimes she will include some Malay words in it which I doubt the maid understands. Haha

What I can tell you about this Cambodian maid is that she’s quite lazy. She only sweeps some parts of the floor, scrub some parts of the toilet and wipe some parts of the windows. As a result grandma has to ‘babysit’ her all the time. And she keeps forgetting how to do certain things. She can’t cook (our kind of food), can’t iron (teaching her), barely speak English, eats a lot AND cost more than an Indonesian maid. OUCH!

Hopefully she’ll learn fast and help my grandma and not the other way around.



There is one thing good about her. SHE DOESN’T NAP!!!

Instead she will stare at YOU!!! Hahaha

p/s: Her English pronunciation is very blurry. I guess this is related to her Khmer ‘accent’.

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29 Comments

  • Reply tekkaus May 19, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Stare at you? Huh? :p

  • Reply foongpc May 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    So Cambodian maids are worse than Indonesian maids? OMG! And I thought Indon maids are the worst of the lot!

    She doesn’t nap but stares at you? Yikes! Sounds scary!!!

  • Reply Dawn May 20, 2010 at 2:12 am

    If she has the time to stare at you means she has too much free time….pile more on her plate to get her busy!

  • Reply xin May 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

    omg make sure u lock yr room door at night when u sleep! imagine one day u wakeup in the middle of the night and she is sitting on yr bed side staring at u……. I WILL BE WATCHING U. *cue horror flick music

  • Reply keeyit May 20, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    My mum also hire one to help hourly. She is also very rajin. We like her too.

  • Reply Che-Cheh May 21, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Tekkaus & Foongpc, not only me. She’ll stare at anyone.

    Dawn, sometimes she really has nothing to do. We don’t pass her all the housework.

    Xin, problem is I sleep with her! Hahaha

    Keeyit, good that your mom found a rajin one. Ours not that rajin lo.

  • Reply Irenelim May 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    She is lazy? Nevermind, you help her a bit lor… and share share her gaji la. Haha

  • Reply jam May 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Is it a coincidence? After coming back from Cambodia, you got a Cambodian maid, haha!

  • Reply lina May 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

    My friend got a Cambodian maid oso, she said the maid is gentler and more willing to listen than her ex-Indon maid.
    Some good, some lazy… guess it’s luck to hv good maid. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Irenelim May 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I have sent you an email, did you get it?

  • Reply Che-Cheh May 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Irenelim, haha then what’s the point of hiring her. πŸ˜›
    Just replied your email.

    Jam, yeah I was think about the coincidence thingy too.

    Lina, ohhh good for your friend. πŸ™‚ I think young maids are more rebellious. Hehe

  • Reply celine October 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    hi, Che-Cheh… i found ur blog while searching for cambodian maid. I jus hired a cambodian maid recently and tat cambodian maid is not educated and dun even know english. I have some difficulties to communicate with her. Just wanna ask, when my maid greet with me, she will say ‘morning, lum.’ or ‘morning, dum’ sometimes ‘morning, num’. Che-Cheh, does your maid will add ‘lum’ ‘dum’ and ‘num’ in the conversation too? I am very curious, and it sounds funny when she said ‘goodnight, dum’, you will think that she is saying ‘goodnight, dumb’

  • Reply Che-Cheh October 25, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Celine, my maid doesn’t even greet us good morning. LOL. Even thank you need to be taught. Kek sei or not? Perhaps you can ask the agency. Surely someone must know Cambodian language. You can tell your maid to greet ‘Good morning’ instead of ‘Good morning num’. Maybe she’s saying Good morning ma’am but unable to twist her tongue. Coz I found out my maid’s English is quite ‘blurry’. She’s unable to pronounce English words correctly.

  • Reply jean December 28, 2010 at 2:38 am

    haha..your combodian maid problem is exractly same like my home one.!!! Lazy,dun understand english (but at the end i found that she understand but pretending not understand then can eat snake!)EAT a lot (give many many food to her , she never feel full) Stare at YOU ! SAME my home one… this is i mostly hate when she stare at me !!! i asked her wanna fighting with me , if not stare for what!!! really angry …i think she not die , i will die 1st.!!!Cambodian maid is really bad to do house keeping and they dirty oso..BUT give you advise dun always think they dun know or even not understand english ,, some time they are pretend all dun know BUT eat they know say to you thank you and when go to bed say to you gd nite.OMG!!!

    • Reply Betty July 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Jean, you are right. Most of the time they pretend don’t understand or don’t know how to do so they don’t have to do. My CAM maid still have this problem eventhough she has worked for me 3 years.

  • Reply Che-Cheh December 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Jean, Surprisingly my uncle’s Cambodian maid is behaving better now. She can speak more English words now and funny my grandma understand her well. She still needs to be watched over. Quality wise is getting better.

  • Reply chin@chin February 12, 2011 at 1:55 am

    hi readers,
    just wanna share with u guys i have a cambodian maid for nearly 6 mths, she 20 and is getting more and more stubborn. she doesnt like to listen advise, dirty, snakey, and worst, talks bad on my family members to neigbours; 20 yrs old influencing the older maids and talking bad!!! initially eat AloT..then rice cut, bread cut, vege cut; eat lots of meat esp fish!!!some times cook ‘sek pan’ and expensive fishes and big prawns and complains on cheap foods, and at times she threw them away.
    i wonder if cambodian maids are like this, thought that they are from poor families. She likes to argue back, bang doors, etc. bad attitude. yes, stare at me most of the time, as if i am a Television!!!!!! she doesnt like to bath and if she bath, she use 2 or 3 mins to do so. Watch out, never complain her!!! she’s like higher status thaN employers!!!!!!or else she showing very bad moods and idi0t face, beh tahan.
    my mum is not frequently at home, and she likes her cause the maid knows how to pretend good, and mum always gave her chance becos she only 20. hah, i have 3 days work and 3 days rest; and i cant tahan when my 3 days off seeing her when i rest as my hse is small and i really need rest.
    anyone have any idea? she is not scared of agency. i feel like speechless, instead shes like the king and mess us around.
    chin chin

    • Reply Che-Cheh February 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      For my uncle’s case, he sent the maid back to the agency twice if I’m not mistaken. After that she came back really good. Her English surprisingly is quite good now. I’ve a feeling that she just pretended she doesn’t know English. Still stare at me but I’m used to it now.

      Why don’t you record her behavior in a video and show it to your mom?

  • Reply James Tay February 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    From what I read over the article in your column, that was all the true experiences of getting a Cambodia maids, they are like this, even Malaysia Agency hard to teach them, language barrier. In the end agency receive a black mark from their origin agency saying we are over calculative, hard to please and ask for too much. Their origin say, Malaysia Agency never do job properly.

  • Reply Chloe November 2, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Yes, I have one, and she’s below par, NOT like what the agency said. Very very angry, with the maid , and more with the agency, no means no, not ‘a little’, pls! Honesty is the best policy. My ex-Indonesian maid, had afternoon nap for 2 hrs daily, slept at around 10pm, only domestic house work, kids with babysitter, not with her, also kerja susah (?), this one… kononnya everything is trained and knows simple English, BUT, she doesn’t understand what is a ‘spoon, big, small, take, put…’? She wakes up whatever time she likes coz she doesn’t know how to read time and uses an alarm clock! I set for her, she goes fiddling with it… it rings odd time (3am, 5am, etc).. depending on how she ‘accidentally’ turns it here & there. Believe it or not, no clock at home, no cupboard, no water taps, etc… Fine… the training? Useless. If all these plus those in the article do not matter to you, go ahead and get one, who knows you might be really lucky and get a good one.

  • Reply Chloe November 2, 2011 at 7:19 am

    How I found out she didn’t know simple things… I asked her to put something, she held it, not knowing what to do…. I asked her to take a spoon, she stood there… I walked, showed her, guided her hand, etc… Then, I said get a spoon, she stood there… I did the action (i was cooking), she got me a fork… I said NO, big (wth the hand gesture), BIG spoon! She came again, with a tea spoon… She really didn’t know. Now, she knows ‘put, take, give, spoon, …like teaching my son of 3 yrs old. And sadly, all my kids don’t like her, coz instead of plying with them, she likes to disturb them (pull their ears, touch their buttocks, imitate them when they cry, say things back to my boy, like ‘you da bian'(you shit)…)… My kids all complain about her coz she doesn’t understand what they say.

    • Reply Che-Cheh November 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

      Hi Chloe, ouch that hurts ya. Have you tried sending her back to the agency and complain? My uncle did that and now the maid very ‘kwai’. But we still need to watch her or she’ll skip some cleaning.

  • Reply nobody December 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    my friend Cambodian Maid also lazy, don’t understand english but can online, idiot. how to returned this kind of maid to center? haiz…

    • Reply Che-Cheh December 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

      Wah can online? Eh don’t let her online la. She’s suppose to do work not surf net. πŸ˜›

  • Reply nobody December 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    my friend have aldy tried send her back to center, but it useless, argent got no take action at all.

    • Reply Che-Cheh December 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      The Cambodian maid now knows how to curse at my poor grandma. Sigh. Thankfully she’ll be out of our sight in few months time. Her contract is expiring. Fheww

  • Reply Mrs. Raj November 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

    hi.. just to share.. ya.. the one thing i can agree with all is that the Cambodian maids are stubborn to the bone. i’ve got mine a year ago and my god the hell i had to go thru is terrible. We understand that they are foreigners and are here to work from their poor home. As a employer.. we do our part by 1st. teaching them to understand and talk. 2. guide on the housework. 3. teach them our custom and basic respect. 4. share our meals , home and leisures. 5. take them out together with family on outings and visits. 6. tolerate their temper. 7. let them sleep more . 8. when they repeatedly make mistakes we advise .. not SHOUT.. but advise them 9. when they break out things we dont shout or deduct from salary. 10. we handle all of their finances.

    we do all these.. what they do.. Shout as us when they can;t hear.. scold and beat kids when they want to show anger.. ignore instruction ..cleaning.. sweeping floors is bad.. i had to sweep after her.. and find more dirt.. enjoy watching TV.. interrupt family conversations.. interfere in family issues.. poke fight among family members.. eat kids food.. bad at work..

    we tolerated all these.. cuz.. we know its hard to get replacements and its expensive.. we have informed the agency.. but their advise is to tolerate and advise them.. but for how long.. Now.. she found her way.. and left the house at the middle of the night.. lucky she didn’t take my kids .. who ended up at the embassy.. they as alwiz.. will defend the maids.. but we as owners.. also have our rights.. So many things she did.. she told us not to inform the agency.. cus.. she scared.. we kesian.. her.. and now.. she put a case against us saying we abuse her..and demanding a full salary and settlement. Imagine.. they are so young.. and we take them.. in.. .. honestly.. they are not here to work in our homes.. but to find an easy way out of their country.. and find opportunities here.. my maid.. is a divorce.. with 2 kids.. son and husband .. she and her daughter.. this is how i feel.. We can never find a good maids like before.. its like every 2 years.. we spend.. 15k.. just on admin fees.. we as Malaysian.. have our rights.. and our embassy.. must see that not always.. we are to be blamed..

    • Reply Che-Cheh November 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      I think it’s best to let the agency know.

  • Reply Helen August 25, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Hi , i want to share about Cambodia maid hygiene.i found my maid was
    pee in a container in her bedroom at night during sleep hour.
    I ask did you pee in the container at night when you in the room.
    She lie and say : no mem. She have her own private toilet,why she is
    So dirty. She think this is her cambodia house.really very Keik Sri ngor.
    the cambodia maid like to take things without your permission.
    although you have told her 1 time before,she is still continue doing it.

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