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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jobs, but no locals

Foreign construction workers at Little India.Image via Wikipedia

Is this due to the locals' closed-mindedness, and to the extent of viewing some jobs as 'indecent', 'dishonorable', and 'degrading'?


Businesses in Little India find it tough to hire Singaporeans

Leong Wee Keat

BESIDES overseas training and a $1,500 monthly salary, he even threw in a guarantee that the job would be for five years. Yet the owner of a restaurant in Little India is still looking for a Singaporean to hire as a cook.

Speaking at a tripartism forum yesterday, he appealed to Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong "not to kill the golden goose" when reviewing the foreign worker quota - the subject of some speculation that it may be further tightened.

For while there may be waves of jobs retrenchment, businesses in Little India are finding it hard to hire locals. Because of that, it is tough to expand, said Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association chairman Rajamkumar Chandra.

"When Singaporeans come, they are interviewing us, 'Can we work Monday to Fridays? We don't want Saturdays and Sundays'," he said.

Replying, Mr Gan said that while he would consider their views, it is important for employers, unions and the Government to work together to achieve a "win-win outcome". His ministry would work with unions to train the manpower for the food and beverage and hospitality sectors.

But employers should also think of a way to enhance job worth in the service sector, said Labour chief Lim Swee Say.

An example: The security and cleaning industries where job redesigns have led to higher salaries.

"If foreign workers become the only solution and at the expense of job upgrading, job redesign and skill redevelopment ...we will be on the unsustainable track," said the secretary general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

Both Ministers were speaking at a dialogue session with 180 business leaders from the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience (Spur) also came up for discussion. If firms are not able to send workers for retraining, perhaps the Government could transfer the subsidies to them in the form of Jobs Credits asked an employer.

To this, Mr Lim said the NTUC would object. Jobs Credits help employers cut costs, while Spur is to upgrade workers' capabilities. Mr Gan also said - ahead of official numbers - that retrenchment numbers in the second quarter would be "better than the first quarter".

From TODAY, Home – Wednesday, 29-Jul-2009

If you are interested, read the comments from readers on this news article.

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How to rip off students


Another one of those 'fake' or 'bogus' agencies… and also again involving Australia?


TV show exposes exploitation of Indian students

MELBOURNE - Australia yesterday vowed to crack down on migration scams targeting Indian students and condemned a "cowardly" attack on a female reporter who blew the lid on the shady practices.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia was tightening regulations on migration agents after a television current affairs show exposed rip-offs exploiting students who have fuelled the country's booming international education sector.

The revelations are the latest to damage the US$12.7 billion ($18.3 billion) a year industry - Australia's third-largest export earner - after a series of violent attacks on Indian students living in Melbourne and Sydney.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard slammed the attack on the female Indian journalist, who was physically assaulted in a Sydney street over the weekend while working undercover for the ABC programme.

"Any attack like that which has been reported is cowardly and completely abhorrent," Ms Gillard said. "The Australian government is absolutely committed to providing quality education for all students, and we have taken steps to improve the experience for overseas students," she added.

The expose, screened on Monday, reported that some Indian families had been left broke after sending children to Australia for courses that failed to deliver any educational value.

It said hundreds of private colleges offering courses such as hairdressing, cooking and accounting had sprung up that lured students with false promises of gaining permanent residency in Australia.

The TV programme said migration agents told its undercover reporter she could pay between A$3,000 and A$5,000 ($3,590 and $5,980) for a fake English-language certificate needed to gain residency.

"Australia's education exports face much deeper problems than safety issues. There's now a rising clamour over dodgy courses, student rip-offs and an education system that's turned into a visa factory," the report said.

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training has said it plans to launch a register of education agents to help students find honest providers.

Indian students protested in Melbourne and Sydney last month, following a series of attacks and muggings which strained diplomatic ties and prompted negative headlines in their home country.

Some 95,000 Indians are studying in Australia following a publicity blitz targeting the huge country's growing middle class. AFP

From TODAY, World – Wednesday, 29-Jul-2009

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China bans violent online games

Territories currently administered by two stat...Image via Wikipedia

For one, this I agree with what China is doing…


BEIJING - China has banned websites from advertising or linking to games that glamorise violence, as part of a campaign to ensure social stability ahead of the 60th anniversary of communist rule on Oct 1.

The Culture Ministry said games that promote drug use, obscenities, gambling, or crimes such as rape, vandalism and theft are "against public morality and the nation's fine cultural traditions".

"Such online games promote the glorification of mafia life ... and are a serious threat to the moral standards of society causing vulnerable young people to be adversely affected," the ministry said.

The ban on the websites starts immediately. No details were given on how the law would be implemented.

Some companies have already started internal investigations and removed some games from their websites. Oak Pacific Interactive, which runs popular websites such as and, told AFP it had scrapped several games, including "All corners of the country" which features black market deals, vendettas and street fights. AGENCIES

From TODAY, World – Thursday, 30-Jul-2009

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Singaporeans are saving more and investing less after economic crisis

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

And this is a very commendable character…

I was really looking for some news of this type, and sadly, this is my opinion, that it happens only 'during the rainy seasons'.

Why not make it a way of life, like the ant's benevolence, saving in the summer, that it may have something in store during the winter? Even if winter doesn't come?

I do believe that you have to enjoy yourself while young and while you have the time and resources, but when everything is all spent while just at the start or your life, midlife, isn't that something to be worried about?

While Singaporeans are saving, they still splurge on luxuries… like iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS… more than the necessary material… more than the basic…

Well, for the news story, read it here.

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Singapore to experience minimal effects of upcoming solar eclipse

{{Potd/2006-10-27 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps to allay the fears, if not to completely rebut the supposedly 'evil effects' of the solar eclipse, Singapore says that there is not much effect, no impact, nothing to fear, not to worry, about the upcoming solar eclipse.

See that news story here.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Solar eclipse… good or bad?

A Total eclipse in the umbra.  B Annular eclip...Image via Wikipedia

Science against superstition, what is spoken is simply based on what these people believe in.

As it is defined, superstition is 'fear of the devil or demon', and as it is even more so based on mythology, it would be even more historically rooted in the deep faith and religion of the Indian folks.

So they say that the upcoming solar eclipse, when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, the total darkness will create chaos, wars, etc., etc. Bad, bad omen, then say.

I wouldn't want to tell the whole story, so go and read it here.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Outright fines for commuters caught eating & drinking in MRT trains, stations

Time's mortal aspect is personified in this br...Image via Wikipedia

Is this latest principle over-the-board?

If you ask me, I think it is not. There are people who simply just ignore the signs.

Worse, when they are politely asked by concerned citizens, they have the knack to be self-righteous, and become angry.

I agree with this – it is high time.

Read that news story here.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Opportunities exist despite downturn, say Singaporean designers

Circuit CityImage by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

In this time of recession, some are badly hit, while some are benefitting from it.

Still others say that we are able to survive, and some profess that opportunities abound.

For one of such story, read it here.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Guam expected to hire Filipino medical workers by 2012

The New De La Rue Design for the Recess Printe...Image via Wikipedia

As for the answer to Filipinos hit even worse by the recession, here is one news that may bring some good promise.

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