Monday, January 20, 2020

DPM Heng fields questions on GST, foreigners and Pofma from public, opposition members at IPS conference


20 January, 2020

SINGAPORE — Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday (Jan 20) took on about 20 questions from a packed audience of policy researchers, public servants, students and civil society, with topics spanning immigration, the impending goods and services tax (GST) increases, the new fake-news law as well as the Singapore Together movement.

The question-and-answer session — lasting more than an hour — saw Mr Heng responding to three questions from invited opposition party members at the Singapore Perspectives 2020: Politics event, at Marina Bay Sands, which was organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).

In November last year, Mr Heng had a highly scrutinised parliamentary exchange with Workers’ Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim on the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council saga. WP members were also invited to the annual conference but decided against attending it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

5 firms punished under harsher regime against discriminatory hiring practices

By Justin Ong

Of the five companies that have been taken to task under the enhanced penalties for discriminatory hiring practices, one of them, Ti2 Logistics Pte Ltd, has been charged.

15 January, 2020

SINGAPORE — One company put up a job application specifically hiring males, another falsely declared that it had interviewed Singaporean job applicants when it had already selected a foreign candidate.

In total, five companies have faced stiffer penalties for discriminatory hiring practices under the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM’s) updated Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) unveiled on Tuesday (Jan 14).

Welcoming the “more robust and resolute” measures, the National Trades Union Congress' assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay said in a Facebook post that the enhanced framework serves to level the playing field for Singaporean professionals, managers and executives.

“The harsher penalties will send a deterrent effect to would-be and recalcitrant employers and businesses,” he wrote.

“The blacklisting and highlighting of specific companies is a positive move to send a strong signal to the errant company, the sector/industry and to the labour market as a whole.”

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Why Mahathir is antagonistic towards S’pore

Residual issues from his first stint as Malaysia prime minister from 1981 to 2003.
Belmont Lay

February 10, 2019

Nikkei Asian Review, a venerable weekly business journal in Japan, on Feb. 6 attempted to explain Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s antagonism towards Singapore.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happily married for 60 years. Then Alzheimer’s. And a gun.

01 January, 2020

NEW YORK — It began almost playfully, like tiny hiccups in her mind. She would forget she had already changed the sheets and change them again, or repeat a thought in the same breath.

Then the illness amplified.

She grew confused by everyday tasks. Later, she became convinced her parents were still alive and insisted upon a visit. At social gatherings, she was anxious and fearful. She forgot how to sew and cross-stitch. She forgot the faces of her children.

She did remember her name. Alma Shaver. But not her age. Eighty.

And sometimes, she did not know her husband.

He was Mr Richard Shaver, a man whose wife of 60 years had been found by dementia, that thief that robs the minds of 50 million people worldwide. So common, yet so personally cruel — it comes with no road map for those tending to the afflicted.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Chinese Restaurants Are Closing. That’s a Good Thing, the Owners Say.

The share of Chinese restaurants has fallen in metro areas across the country in the last five years. Many owners are glad their children won’t be taking over.
New York Times

By Amelia Nierenberg and Quoctrung Bui

Dec. 24, 2019

KINGSTON, N.Y. — More than 40 years after buying Eng’s, a Chinese-American restaurant in the Hudson Valley, Tom Sit is reluctantly considering retirement.

For much of his life, Mr. Sit has worked here seven days a week, 12 hours a day. He cooks in the same kitchen where he worked as a young immigrant from China. He parks in the same lot where he’d take breaks and read his wife’s letters, sent from Montreal while they courted by post in the late 1970s. He seats his regulars at the same tables where his three daughters did homework.

Two years ago, at the insistence of his wife, Faye Lee Sit, he started taking off one day a week. Still, it’s not sustainable. He’s 76, and they’re going to be grandparents soon. Working 80 hours a week is just too hard. But his grown daughters, who have college degrees and well-paying jobs, don’t intend to take over.

Bamboo rats – eco-friendly answer to growing appetites for meat?

Two vloggers may have found the perfect solution to China’s rising meat consumption – a critter some consider pests, the programme China’s Growing Appetite discovers.

China bamboo rats main

Bamboo rats are considered pests by farmers because they eat root crops. But now the rodents are being farmed for their meat.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

A decade to remember: 10 news events that shaped Singapore from 2010 to 2019

By Kenneth Cheng

29 December, 2019

For Singapore, the past decade has been by turns turbulent, mournful and jubilant.

The 2010s bore witness to a brazen show of public disorder when a riot erupted in Little India. To a nation grieving the death of its founding prime minister. To an awe-inspiring 50th birthday bash. To Singapore’s first Olympic gold. The list runs on.

Summing up the decade, sociologist Tan Ern Ser of the National University of Singapore said a watershed General Election in 2011 — which saw the country’s ruling party record its lowest share of the vote since independence — was the first major event of the decade that underlined Singaporeans’ unhappiness with an influx of foreigners, among other things.

The cost of living and widening social inequality were also uppermost on people’s minds over the decade. Digital disruption has also gathered speed, with the attendant challenges making it more urgent for Singaporeans to sharpen their skills to ride out the industrial transformation taking root here and globally, said Associate Professor Tan.