Caring maid a millionaire (Hong Kong Standard)



Thursday, July 22, 2010

A devoted Filipina maid has had a S$6 million (HK$33.9 million) windfall from her late employer in Singapore after more than 20 years of service.

"I am the luckiest maid in Singapore, with or without the money," the 47-year-old single woman, Christine, told The Straits Times yesterday, while asking that her full name be kept secret.

She was left cash and a luxury apartment near the Orchard Road shopping belt by Quek Kai Miew, a doctor and philanthropist who died last year at 66.

The maid, who also took care of Quek's late mother, was told she would be a beneficiary when her employer drew up her will in 2008.

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"There were no secrets between us," Christine said. "I was not surprised at all when she told me how much I was going to get."

But she was devastated when Quek died as the two had been inseparable, and she moved in temporarily with the doctor's nephew for solace.

"It was heartbreaking as I saw more years with Dr Quek than with my own mother," she said.

"I would break down every time I thought about her. I could not be by myself. I was always beside her."

Christine, who is applying for permanent residency in Singapore, said wealth has not changed her. "I am still who I was before," she said. "I cannot behave differently because I have money now.

"Even my Filipino maid friends here still treat me the same."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE