The maids say they have faced questions about the groups they belong to The government was accused last night of hampering attempts by foreign maids to challenge its decision to cut their minimum pay, after three out of 10 workers won legal aid to pursue the case. Seven maids, one employer and two representatives of migrant groups were granted leave in April to apply for a judicial review of the decisions to impose a $400 monthly levy on employers of foreign maids and reduce the maids' minimum wages by the same amount. The plaintiffs are seeking a court order to quash and declare illegal and unconstitutional the two decisions by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa on February 25. They also argue that the levy on employers is actually a tax on foreign maids. Irma Geolamin, 49, one of the successful applicants, said the Legal Aid Department repeatedly asked her about her membership of a Filipino organisation. It asked for bank documents and for details of the group's constitution to support her application. 'I filed my case as an individual, but they kept on asking me about my association. Eventually I resigned my position as chairman of the Guimbal Association,' she said. The Guimbal Association comprises domestic maids who come from a village in the central Philippine province of Iloilo. Eni Lestari, a failed claimant who is also chairwoman of the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong, said: 'I told them this is my personal application. Then they were asking whether I held any position in an organisation.' Soledad Pellas, who was asked to file a fresh application, said: 'It surprised me when they asked for my association's book of accounts for the past three years. They also asked me for its constitution and bylaws. They were obviously asking where we are getting our money.' She is vice-chairwoman of the Association of Concerned Filipinos, which has 20 members. She accused the department of stonewalling tactics. The minimum wage for foreign helpers was cut to $3,270 a month from April 1 for new contracts.