Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Watz Buzzing - 18 Sep 2012

Do you believe Minister Heng Swee Keat or CNA poll?

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The Temasek Times, 16 Sep 2012
When Education Minister Heng Swee Keat asked the audience of some 20 people during the first session of the ‘Singapore Conversation’ aired on Friday if they believe the next generation will have a better future, about 70 percent agree which prompted him to describe it as an ‘encouraging’ sign:

“I’m actually quite optimistic when I hear from all of you. When you talk about values, many of you have expressed aspirations about the Singapore that you want,” he said.

However, an online poll conducted by Channel News Asia at the same time reveals the opposite:

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Channel News Asia is the fairest channel in the universe

In the television forum Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had with a bunch of people yesterday, he asked for a straw poll: Should non-married couples have children?

The vote was split: 46 per cent “yes” and 54 per cent “no”.

They employed the best person to draw the most accurate graph in the universe too.

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Nothing But Cowpeh Cowbu

Why do PAP politicians/leaders want us to talk to them about the future (20 years from now?) when Singaporeans really need them to urgently solve the current problems of today?

The National Conversation is nothing but a 'wayang' to divert our attention from the current challenges and frustration that we Singaporeans (not necessarily applicable to the rich, famous and elites) are facing:

The charmed offensive from the PAP politicians and the MSM ain't working. They can screw some Singaporeans all the time. They can screw all Singaporeans sometime. The cannot screw all Singaporeans all the time!

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Shocking phrase used by our lady politician and scholar

There are some words, that a lady shall never utter. KKJ, LJ, CB, KNNB are some of them… unfortunately Cow-Peh Cow-Bu is also one of them.

Please do not tell me this is Singlish, or colloquial Chinese.  It is not… you know that, considering the fact that you come from a Chinese school.

You SHOCK me. It is uncouth, to say the least that you are one of the scholars. One don’t even write that word (it is considered mei jia jiao 没家教, and you come from a chinese school, i hope you know what i mean).

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$3,000 salary for dishwasher taken out of context: Sakae Sushi Communication Team

Sakae Sushi Facebook


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What is and what not about washing dishes at Sakae Sushi

The debate about wages took a very interesting turn last week when Sakae Sushi, a chain of conveyer belt sushi restaurants announced to the press that they were offering “dishwashers” the grand total of $3,000 a month. They started by announcing that nobody was applying for the job and the very next day they announced that they had some 300 applications for ten positions.

The issue of wages for blue collar workers is closely intertwined with that “hot topic” of the number of foreigners in Singapore – namely the ‘darkies’ from the poor parts of Asia. In a paper titled Singapore Perspectives 2012 Singapore Inclusive: Bridging Divides, it was found that Singapore’s “excessively liberal” immigration policies had a role to play in growing wage inequality.

There is the drive to attract ‘high income’ global talent, which raises incomes at the top existing concurrently to with the drive to attract ‘cheap’ labour, which brings down wages at the lower end of the market. In terms of wages, we’re a first and third world country squeezed onto 600 plus square kilometres. Working professionals compare their salaries with their counterparts in New York and London while the labourers compare their wages with Manila and Dhaka.

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PhD holders applying to be Sakae Sushi dishwasher

One of the potential candidates for the Sakae Sushi job, Mei Gong Zhuo, a PhD holder, said: “After spending a decade in higher education and completing my post-doctorate overseas, I come back to Singapore to find that most of the positions in local research fields have been taken over by foreigners.”

“And then I read about PhD holders becoming MOE teachers. And then Cai Mingjie the Singapore taxi driver with a PhD, and I knew that my calling will be in blue collar work.” Overcrowding notwithstanding, he also said that the experience required in both fields is related. And $3,000 is enough to pay for a one-room rental flat.

Mei said: “Washing dishes and washing test tubes is pretty much the same thing, no?”

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The future according to sushi

Sakae Sushi’s $3,000 cleaner-and-dishwasher job has many of the characteristics of poor human resources design so prevalent in Singapore. Even if they manage to fill the ten positions that the company has, I suspect it is not a sustainable solution. Employees will not stay long or will call in sick with little notice, causing disruption to operations. Singapore bosses often pin blame on employees’ poor work attitude but few bosses interrogate their own attitudes towards their staff and their own limitations when it comes to designing jobs.

From various press reports, Sakae Sushi’s job — which apparently has received 300 enquiries since it was headlined in a Chinese newspaper story — is like this:

Yesterday, the company gave more details while urging only “serious” applicants to contact it. “We would like to emphasise that this position includes other cleaning responsibilities, not just dishwashing, and is very physically demanding,” it said in a Facebook post.

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More that meets the eye for Sakae Sushi?

Sakae Sushi has been in the media a lot recently with its claimed $3k a month salary for its dishwasher position. It seems that Sakae sushi is doing very well for itself if it could be paying such high salaries.

Well, Sakae Sushi must be doing well as the boss told interviewers that he is planning to expand to North Korea!

However, all this ‘success’ also comes with a fair amount of criticism with many Netizens criticizing Sakae Sushi on its recent job ad. After a bit of reading about Sakae Sushi, It seems that the complaints don’t stop there.

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Too Good To Be True

Even Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam was surprised, he commented on Facebook: "Sakae Sushi boss says they are offering $3,000 per month for dishwashers but can't find people?" The exaggerated incredulity was apparently directed at picky Singaporeans who supposedly refuse take on jobs that had to be done by foreigners.

Zainudin Nordin, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower, was more gullible.  He lauded Sakae Sushi for paying its dishwashers a salary comparable to its managers and supervisors, "If one company can do it, it just shows it's not impossible." But then, in the aftermath of the Woffles Wu waffle, the IQ level of the MIW has always been in suspect.

When some 300 enquiries and applications poured in, brand and communications manager Gregg Lewis back peddled and qualified the original offer by saying the dishwashers will need to slave/work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week - from 10.30am to 10.30pm - with breaks to come up for oxygen. This differed significantly from the 9 hours that Sakae Sushi chief Douglas Foo told UFM 100.3 radio on Friday, and subsequently confirmed with Chinese paper Lianhe Wanbao, when he claimed that he had trouble filling 10 cleaning positions at $3,000 per month. Foo said the earlier description of the job had been amended after the management found that a 9-hour workday was not feasible due to crowd volumes the restaurant faced. What he did not say was what his present crew of cleaners are actually paid. Fooled you again!

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The apple doesn't fall far from the tree: The rise of the Singaporean Elite

In the decade just past and in years to come, more scions of society elites will join the workforce.

Their career of choice and - more to the point - how they got that job will put to test Singapore's meritocratic system.

At stake is our reputation as a country that believes in, supports wholeheartedly and goes to great lengths to protect the practice where people are assessed based on merit rather than their bloodline. 

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Deleterious Competition

The most successful in school and in life are increasingly like this. Only a few exceptional ones have the confidence to go beyond themselves and help others.

We have taken competition to the extreme. We are not becoming better by competing this way. Beware of the Tragedy of the Commons down the road.

I am glad Heng Swee Keat recognized this. We have been complaining about this for many years.

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How much public fund were spent on 16,800 lanterns in Chinatown for Mid-Autumn Festival?

Xinhua, 16 Sep 2012

SINGAPORE, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Singapore residents decorated the streets in its Chinatown and nearby districts with as many as 16,800 lanterns over the weekend to kick off the celebrations for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

In Chinatown, a heritage district, community organizations held the official light-up and opening ceremony on a stage on the main street to kick off the month-long celebrations, with President Tony Tan and the ambassadors from several countries among the guests.

The president lit up all the 16,800 lanterns that were put on threads above the main street and some of the smaller streets. Lawmaker Lily Neo said this is a Singapore record as it is the largest number of lanterns put up at once. Full story 

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