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Thread: Singapore Also Can
05-16-2009, 10:42 AM #69
I love Singapore Day.. i love to attend this kind of event. Even there is Indonesia Day or Malaysia Day.. best time to meet people.
05-16-2009, 11:26 AM #70
Singapore suffered two major setbacks recently, both economic. Its flagship carrier SIA saw its 4Q profit dived 92%. Its state investment body Temasek incurred terrible losses from its Merrilli Lynch/Bank of America purchase and ultimate disposal.
Air Asia, a Malaysian budget airline operator, is expanding when others are down-sizing. I understand they have suddenly become Singapore's largest airline operator with many new international routes. Is this true? Are there other budget airline operators in Singapore?
05-16-2009, 12:22 PM #71
JetStar and TigerAir. Both is not doing well.
05-17-2009, 08:46 PM #72
Some airlines have already folded, some being merged and even our national carrier, SIA is cutting back on routes and personnel to prevent from going down. Cost cutting measures seem to be the order of the day, quite unlike AirAsia which is expanding. Well it seems AirAsia is well supported by the financial institutions.
05-17-2009, 10:08 PM #73
1. Your maid's experience could also be the experience of an abused Indonesian maid running away from her Hong Kong employer to work for a much better employer in Singapore. Please don't believe in all that maids talk about. Some maids are the greatest liars.
2. Please don't think all maid employers in Singapore are bad. Good and bad employers are everywhere even in Hong Kong and Malaysia. Whether they are highly educated earning very high incomes and staying in beautiful bungalows in a first world country. But I would like to think that bad employers are a minority, because there are laws to handle the errant employers and also the errant maids.
3. In Singapore, I have read of an employer who allows her Filipino maid to attend computer class and learn to drive so that she could ferry the children around. And yes, I have also read of some employers who abused their maids too.
4. I have also read of reports of maids who abuse their charges who are weaker than they are. There was an old lady on wheelchair who was murdered by her maid because the maid wanted to steal her money, I think .
I have seen on YouTube of how a maid abused a baby by kicking and slapping him/her to keep it from crying. I have also seen on video how a maid kept shaking a poor helpless baby in the air until her neck seems to break! Shaking a baby violently can cause permanent brain damage. How would the parents feel? And this was caught on CCTV because the parents are suspicious that the maid has been torturing their baby!
Oh there are many such stories, some even worse, and they happen all over the world where foreign maids are employed, not just in Singapore.
5. Let's put it this way. Maids have to work overseas because they need to support or supplement the family income and they could not find suitable jobs at home or the pay is too low and conditions are not ideal, etc.
Since work is available in the more prosperous countries overseas, they have a chance to work there and they may be able to choose which country they wish to work in, depending on their circumstances. If Singapore is not ideal for them, the bosses are no good, the pay is too low, there is no protection or security for them, they can choose to work elsewhere where they think the terms and conditions are much better. But the fact the Singapore continues to attract foreign maids must mean that Singapore is not that bad.
6. The laws in Singapore has been quite strict on both errant employers who abuse their maids and also on maids who abuse their positions. These have been reported from time to time. So if any case can be brought against abusive employers, the law will followup and ensure justice is done. Similarly, abusive maids can also be brought to justice.
7. So please don't just highlight Singapore. Remember when pointing your finger at someone, more fingers are pointing at yourself, even though Dato is using somebody's finger to do it. Perhaps Singapore has been much quicker in bringing the errant parties to justice than many so-called "maid haven" countries.
Last edited by Loh; 05-17-2009 at 10:10 PM.
05-17-2009, 10:21 PM #74
05-18-2009, 12:22 AM #75
In fact, all NSAs were encouraged to apply to partake in the AYG. However, only some sports took up the challenge. It is an opportunity for smaller NSAs to test their organisational and logistical capabilities in preparations for YOG next year.
I believe SBA is more or less equipped to ensure everything runs smoothly for YOG.
However, I am also disappointed that SBA decided not to host badminton for AYG.
05-18-2009, 02:28 AM #76
Of course there are both good and bad employers and domestic helpers. After all they are human, just like all of us.
However, if you get feedback from domestic helpers about their ranking of countries, from preferred to bad, Singapore comes out better than Malaysia. This is solely due to better pay.
But when you compare Singapore with say Hong Kong, then Singapore comes out very poorly. In Hong Kong it is mandatory to give a domestic helper a day off every week, although some bad employers abuse this by giving them a day off once every two-weeks. In Singapore there is not a single day off for the helper. Also I think government levy on the employers is effectively a cut in the pay of the domestic helper-it is an abuse of power and it extracts a pound of flesh from the helper. Hong Kong is no different from Singapore in this shamless exploitation of the helpers, but Singapore is a bit too mean on this.
I have had many domestic helpers and they all get a day off every week. If they want to earn more money instead of taking their free day off, I always pay them. All the helpers I have had always end up being paid their long service gratuity. There are some bad employers who terminate their helpers before they are legally entitled to long service gratuity. But such employers get a very bad name among the domestic helpers. You will be surprised how fast the news of good and bad employers get passed around quickly.
Almost all helpers are short of money most of the time. That is why you can find many financial institutions trying to lend them money at very high interest rates. As the interest rates are so high the helpers never get out of debt. Employers should find out such needs of their helpers and advance them the money without any interest instead of seeing them being perpectually indebted to the financial companies.
Domestic helpers come from impoverished background. They leave behind a family with high expectations. Employers should make them feel at home. Things like introducing them to other helpers from the same country, bringing them to a mosque, encourage them to form a group of friends from like minded helpers. This make them feel more like being treated like a human being. Bad employers always give the excuse that when you introduce other helpers to their helpers, they will learn all sorts of bad things. This is nonsense.
My current helper is an Indonesian who has worked in Singapore, and she feels that she was treated like a slave there with not a single day off. Apparently, this is not illegal in Singapore, which is rather surprising.
She has been with me 3 years 5 months. She has from her earnings bought land, built a house, supports her unemployed husband, son, parents, sends her earnings home, bought cows and goats and her husband gives his village a feast twice a year as a form of thanks giving. I take great pride in seeing how her work has benefited her family and in a small way her country. I have also treated her to Hong Kong's Disneyland. You will be surprised that if you treat your helper like a human being you get a very good helper. But it is best for the State to be more fair-minded. If the State sets a good example, others will follow. How about passing a labour law that makes it mandatory to give a helper one day off every week? If her employer gets a day or even two days off in a week, why not the helpers?
05-18-2009, 02:43 AM #77
Aviva World’s Largest Rally
"Do you have the speed, agility, and precision to make history?
Join the Aviva World’s Largest Rally at Raffles City this 23 May 2009.
To be part of this historic event, take on 3 Aviva badminton challenges that will test your Speed, Agility, and Precision. Only 1000* will qualify, and go on to make history!
A total of 1000 qualifiers from Bishan, Bedok, Hougang, and Jurong East will participate in the Aviva World’s Largest Rally, creating a historic chapter in world records.
Qualifiers from the 4 different locations will be assigned a particular time belt, and take turns to rally with each other to set the Aviva World’s Largest Rally record.
All qualifiers will congregate at Raffles City, Level 3 Atrium on 23 May 2009 based on the assigned time belts. Bring your racquets!
Mark your attendance at our registration counters, and receive your bib number and an “I Made History” T-shirt.
Our rally coordinators will then guide you on what you’ll need to do, and explain and demonstrate the workings of the rally."
Yes, that's what the Aviva website shows:
Singapore badminton players will make history if they can achieve what is required to be included in the Guiness World Records.
So last Saturday found me at the Jurong East Sports and Cultural Centre at around 3.30 pm to find out what it was all about.
After registration, the participant is tested in three simple routines:
1. Complete the "M" run on half the court in about 8 seconds. The letter "M" is marked by five yellow plastic stations on the boundary lines of the half court.
2. Then, if he passes, he has to rally with two players on the opposite side of the court for at least 10 rallies without the shuttle dropping on the floor.
3. And if he succeeds, his last test is on precision, ie he has to place his shuttle on a yellow circular "Precision Zone" on the opposite side of the court in at least three attempts, with 3 shuttles in each attempt, I think.
The two participants that I witnessed passed all the three tests quite easily. They will join about 1,000 others on 23rd May and don their proud Aviva World Largest (Badminton) Rally T-shirts. I can imagine it will be a sea of yellow (Aviva's colour) on that day, but I will be away and miss that historic occasion.
Let's hope on the appointed date at Raffles City, badminton history will once again be made in Singapore, away from the now defunct ex-Singapore Badminton Hall in Guillemard Road.
05-18-2009, 03:12 AM #78
maid to be able save and be considered "well-off" in her home country and this is a wonderful thought.
Although I don't have a maid, I have heard from friends that maids here get a day's leave every month, some get two days off. So your information may be incorrect. You may wish to verify this with our relevant authorities.
As you will agree, humans are imperfect. Some are good employers, some are bad. There are also good maids and bad maids. Some maids, despite how well you treat them, they still abuse their position.
05-18-2009, 03:44 AM #79
Loh, Singapore has no written law allowing domestic helpers any day off in any two-year contract. Some helpers who have more bargaining power like those from the Philippines demand to have a day off once a month or once in two weeks if they are really indispensable. It is all up to the employers. In Hong Kong some tycoons pay a King's ransom to their helpers, but stories like this are too few to count. In Singapore helpers are also not entitled to any statutory public holidays. In Hong Kong helpers get the day off during a statutory public holiday. You have to pay them if they choose not to take a day off. You will be surprised how much more helpers can earn if you pay them in lieu of their once/week off day plus all the statutory public holidays.
I used to stay with one of my brothers when I visited Singapore but have stopped that. I now stay over in JB, whenever I visit Singapore, where I have another brother and a niece and either hop over to Singapore or my brother in Singapore comes over to JB to see me. We just felt uncomfortable about how their helper was being treated-a very formal master and slave relationship as he is very much like 'Chairman of the Board" type even in retirement.
05-18-2009, 04:05 AM #80
I have had Chinese, Philippina, and Indonesian domestic helpers over the last 32 years in HK and I have not found a single one that is bad. I have been conned into signing two contracts with Philippina who had no interest to work for me, only to stay legally in HK. But I don't blame them as they had a desparate need to stay in HK for a short while. I suffered no losses.
One of my longest serving helpers is now a Canadian citizen, working as a nurse there. I helped her with her migration to Canada. I have also employed her two sisters one time or another over the years. All three sisters were invited to my son's wedding reception/dinner at the HK Island Shangrila some years back, and believe me they were very appreciative, because the costs involved were not insubstantial. They never fail to call me or my wife every year during our birthday.
I think bad helpers has more to do with how we treat them. Indonesians are very religious. If you disallow them to pray five times a day and/or fast during the Ramadan, do you expect them to be nice to you? If you have a large serving of assorted fruits after dinner and you do not give them an equal share, do you expect them to behave? My helper even gets an equal share of my very expensive dishes like abalone, top grade sea cucumbers, etc. I allow her to pray five times a day and to fast two days in every week in addition to the one month Ramadan fasting month. This in fact has made her more productive and more trustworthy. But many employers think otherwise, saying that they will be too weak, and will have less time, to work.
05-18-2009, 04:20 AM #81
Eepak, I have heard you and I just hope more maid employers will follow your footsteps.
05-18-2009, 08:44 AM #82
Loh, for a start I never call them maids. It is always helper. To some it may not mean anything, but it does break the invisible line.
05-18-2009, 06:28 PM #83
Once when my wife visited her brothers in Spore, our nanny's previous Spore employer asked my wife to bring a gold bracelet to our nanny and that was years since she worked for them...for this gesture, our nanny must be very good to them for them to be so appreciative of her.
One good turn deserves another, you treat others the way you want others to treat you with respect, two-way street. If you treat others with disrespect and abusive, you deserve a good kick in the butt, simple as that. In this lifetime, one may be the boss, how about a change in the next lifetime, you never know?
Last edited by OneToughBirdie; 05-18-2009 at 06:35 PM.
05-18-2009, 09:32 PM #84
Singapore has come a long way from its early depths of despair to what it is now. For this it earns the respect of the world.
However, there is one area that Singapore is insensitive and even considered mean. You will notice that all of Singapore's closest neighbours, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand have testy relations with Singapore. Many educated Singaporeans know this but they dare not say it publicly. Of the 3 neighbours, Indonesia feels the most aggrieved. According to a Merrill Lynch research on Singapore, one third of Singapore's millionaires are Indonesians. Indonesia is highly corrupt with many of its corrupt bankers, businessmen, politicians taking their ill-gotten wealth out of Indonesia and Singapore is where they park their money.
Maybe Singapore needs a re-examination of prioritizing its relationships with its closest neighbours as no. 1 and then followed by the US and Australia and China.
The health care system in Singapore may be very efficient but if you are down with a major sickness, you can say goodbye to all your wealth because of its extremely high costs. In Hong Kong there is at least a safety net in which you can take advantage of the public health care system.
05-18-2009, 10:47 PM #85
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