Saturday, January 25, 2020

Commentary: Wuhan virus compounds challenges facing China

The Year of the Rat looks set to get off on a rocky start, says the Financial Times' James Kynge.
By James Kynge 

23 Jan 2020

HONG KONG: The “year of the pig” has gone from bad to worse for the Chinese Communist party and China’s President Xi Jinping.

Months of vituperative protests in Hong Kong and a landslide election in Taiwan have been followed by the scourge of a deadly SARS-like virus.

So far, there is little cause to expect the year of the rat, which starts on Saturday (Jan 25), will turn out any better.

The outbreak of viral pneumonia, which has spread from mainland China to Japan, Macau, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the US, might seem like mere bad luck.

But allegations of official incompetence and cover-ups are threatening to besmirch the Communist party’s image.

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.