Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Watz Online - 22 May 2012

Kin of OFW who died in Singapore seek new probe

DAVAO CITY -- The family of the 23-year-old overseas Filipino worker (OFW), who allegedly committed suicide in Singapore, urged the government to conduct further investigation on the woman’s death.

"Dako ug posibilidad nga giabuso ang among igsuon. Sakit ni para sa amoa (There is a possibility that our sister was abused. It hurts)," Rey Gamale, brother of the victim Apple Gamale, told reporters in a press conference held at the Center for Overseas Workers office Monday.

He said they saw bruises on the left eye and groin of Apple. The body of the victim was turned over to her family last week.

Apple reportedly jumped off the balcony of her employer's condominium unit at the 6th floor of the building. She was found dead at the fourth floor's balcony, according to investigations conducted by Singaporean police.

"Imposible kayo nga niambak gyud siya kay nganong hangtod sa maselan nga part sa iyang lawas muabot ang mga bun-og? (It's impossible that she jumped off because even her private parts have bruises)," Rey said.

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Maid charged for mixing menstrual blood into employer’s drink

A maid was charged in court Tuesday for adding menstrual blood to her employer's coffee. (Getty Images)

Call it a crime in bad taste, literally.

An Indonesian maid working in Singapore was charged in court on Tuesday for adding menstrual blood to her employer’s coffee.

The 24-year-old who goes by the name of Jumiah is set to plead guilty to the crime of mischief which was committed at her employer’s flat in Choa Chu Kang flat last August.

It's not clear whose blood was mixed into the drink.

The maid had been working for her employer, Phang Nyit Sin, 38, for about a year.

Her case will be mentioned in court next week. A bail of S$5,000 has been set.

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Deepwater port near Batam set to rival Singapore

Work on a new deepwater port for container ships on an island between Batam and Bintan is set to begin next year, creating a potential rival to Singapore's port.

The port, on Tanjung Sauh, aims to be a major transshipment center for Indonesia, and is part of the country's overhaul of its transport infrastructure to cope with growing domestic demand.

It also looks set to be a direct competitor to Singapore's port, as it aims to capture shipping to and from East Asia.

'They should not just be a centre for transshipment cargo to Indonesia but to other regions, and it will be good if they can keep costs low,' said Wijaya Surya, managing director of Hong Kong-based shipping advisory and consultancy company Aptus Maritime.

As an alternative to Singapore, Wijaya said, 'turnaround time will be a key factor'.

Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC) chief executive Richard J. Lino said the Tanjung Sauh port will more likely 'complement' Singapore.

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Singapore, others to sell their stakes in Gwadar port to China

KARACHI: The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), Aqeel Kareem Dedhi (AKD) Group and the National Logistic Cell (NCL) have decided to sell their shareholding in the Gwadar Port to China, sources said.

A senior port official said that the government of China has agreed to take charge of the Gwadar Port and it is expected that the deal will be finalised by the end of this month.

A Chinese delegation is expected to arrive soon to visit the Gwadar Port Authority and signed the deal. Since last year negotiations were going on between the shareholders and the Chinese officials, sources said.

PSA holds 60 percent shares in the Gwadar port while AKD Group and NLC hold 20 percent shares each.

The Gwadar Port is envisioned to become a major trans-shipment port and a shipping hub for the landlocked Central Asian States (CAS), Afghanistan and Western China.

The Gwadar deep seaport is strategically located at the crossroads of the increasing important regions of the world that is the oil rich Middle East, resource-rich Central Asian Republics and populated South Asia.

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OPINION: The value of a fine — Conrad Raj

The Malaysian Insider, 21 May 2012
I would have thought all our consumer boards and providers of services like transport, broadcasting and telephony would be working to provide for maximum loads, like our power supply system does.
If mioTV had catered for only a proportion of its 368,000 subscribers, in the belief that not everyone would be switching channels, how were individual subscribers going to know that their switching from one channel to another would result in system failure?

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OPINION: The Mandatory Death Penalty: A Blinkered Policy - Kirsten Han
Huffington Post
Singapore has often been identified as "one of the most prominent defenders of capital punishment." But what many people -- including Singaporeans -- may not yet realize is that Singapore does not just have the death penalty, but also the mandatory death penalty.

The mandatory death penalty is applied to various crimes such as murder and firearms smuggling, but is most often used in relation to drug trafficking, as part of Singapore's tough drug policy and the Misuse of Drugs Act. The mandatory aspect of the punishment removes the discretionary powers of the judiciary when it comes to sentencing, effectively prohibiting them from taking mitigating circumstances into account

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Singapore syndicate offers gigolos for hire

GIGOLOS men who escort women for sexual favours are being offered for hire by a sex syndicate in Singapore via phone messages, Sin Chew Daily reported.

The promotion is accompanied by images of naked men, claimed to be from China, Vietnam and Thailand, and prospective clients are given the option of getting a “massage” from them.

However, the message that is supposed to reach only women and said to be sent out at random has also reached men.

One receiver, known only as Yen, complained to the media that he and his male friends had also received the message that is believed to have started circulating two weeks ago.

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Alibaba Said to Near Buying $7 Billion Stake From Yahoo

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is near an agreement to buy back a 20 percent stake in itself from Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) for about $7 billion and may announce a deal as soon as today, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

The purchase may pave the way for Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce provider, to pursue an initial public offering in the next 18 months, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Alibaba, helped by shareholders Temasek Holdings Pte., Digital Sky Technologies, Silver Lake, plans to finance the deal with cash and debt, the person said.
Alibaba Said Near Buying Stake From Yahoo for $7 Billion
Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has been trying to buy back the stake in itself for more than a year. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg
Alibaba has been trying to buy back the stake for more than a year and stepped up efforts in September, when the U.S. company fired then-Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz.

Reducing the stake reduces Yahoo’s presence in China, the world’s largest Internet market, and makes a takeover of the U.S. company more likely, said Jordan Rohan, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co.

“For Yahoo shareholders, the sale and subsequent march towards an IPO is a clear positive, as many questioned whether Yahoo would be able to monetize its China assets at all,” Rohan said in a research report. “The capital required to take Yahoo private is reduced with each Alibaba monetization event.”

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Stamford American The Most Advanced International School Ever Built – Coming To Singapore

It is the largest K-12 education construction project in the Asia Pacific region. The new $300 million permanent campus for Stamford American International School (Stamford) will be the only one of its kind when it opens its doors in August 2012.

Stamford today revealed its plans for the new school which will be the most advanced learning environment ever built. The new facility will feature state of the art technology and facilities that will establish it as the new benchmark for international schools around the world.

The school is being built by Cognita – one of the world’s largest K-12 education providers, with 58 schools across the UK, Europe and Asia. At a cost of $300 million, it represents the largest investment in a K-12 education facility anywhere in the region, and a major economic injection into the Singapore economy.

Brian Rogove, Cognita’s Chief Executive Officer Asia Pacific, said Stamford will be the perfect environment for preparing children for entry into the world’s most prestigious universities.

“The new Singapore school will be a flagship in Cognita’s portfolio of schools. When completed, Stamford will be the most advanced international school ever built. Its features and facilities will be second to none.”

“Stamford will be the school the rest of the world visits, to see the future of education today.”

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Worker Disengagement Continues to Cost Singapore

While the number of disengaged employees grew only slightly last year, their disenchantment still adds up to billions of dollars in lost productivity for the country

The percentage of disenchanted employees in Singapore increased somewhat last year, and the trend should be a cause of continuing concern for the country's business and government leaders.

Each year since 2001, Gallup has surveyed workers in Singapore to gauge their perceptions about their workplace and their lives in general.

Results from the most recent survey show that the percentage of "actively disengaged" employees increased from 9% in 2004 to 12% in 2005, while the percentage of "engaged" employees declined slightly (9% in 2004 to 6% in 2005). (See graphics "The Three Types of Employees" and "Employee Engagement in Singapore.")

During the past four years, the percentage of engaged employees has remained consistently low, ranging from 4% in 2002 to 9% in 2004. The percentage of actively disengaged employees has been relatively high, ranging from a low of 9% in 2004 to a high of 17% in 2001 and 2003.

These findings suggest a serious problem, given that in today's competitive world, companies and countries are very dependent on an engaged workforce for their success. Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the Singapore economy about $6 billion in lost productivity.

Engaged employees, on the other hand, are not just more productive, they are also much more positive. The recent study found that employees who are more engaged take greater pride in the companies they work for, are more likely to build their careers within their companies, are happier with their compensation, and have more fun at work.
CHART: Employee Engagement in Singapore
What makes engaged employees tick?

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Decent wage growth not a given in future: Tan Chuan Jin

Businesses investing in Singapore are attracted to its stability and access to a well-skilled workforce, leading to good jobs for polytechnic and university graduates.

Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said this at the graduation ceremony at Temasek Polytechnic on Monday.

The Republic may now enjoy decent wage growth and good employment, but this is not a given in the future, he added.

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