Saturday, 23 November 2013

Watz Buzzing - 23 Nov 2013

Why Singapore has lost the war against dengue

The Malaysian Insider, 20 Nov 2013

It is disturbing to read that dengue cases in Orchard Road continue to rise. For this year (the first 45 weeks), the average number of cases reported each day was around 62 for the whole country.

While Singapore has weathered many challenges, we seem powerless against dengue fever.

The reasons we have not won the war against dengue fever are obvious. First, if one complains about mosquito infestation in one’s neighbourhood, there would be a one-off response. Without a permanent solution, the problem would recur in no time. Second, there is a lack of coordination in dealing with certain mosquito breeding sites.
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Ex-Philippine President advise Filipinos in Singapore to stay put, save up income for business investment in home country
OFW Pinoy Star Online, 9 Nov 2013
THE economic figures paint a rosy picture for the Philippines. The country is rated as the best performer in the region by various financial analysts. Filipinos swell with pride as they hear their leaders talk about how the Philippines is no longer the sick man of Asia, but the country with the best growth prospects.

So, should home-sick Filipinos be rushing back home, where a job in the Philippines can mean for many, a reunion with families and the comforts of a familiar environment? Former President Fidel Ramos, who was in Singapore recently, is more down-to-earth. The truth, he told Filipino community leaders at a talk at the Philippine Ambassador’s residence, is that while GDP growth in the Philippines has been remarkable, this has not translated into a increase in per capita income.

So, his advice to the 200,000-strong Filipino community in Singapore: better to stay put in Singapore which is the place to be, at the moment.

He said: “Yes, you are needed back home, but the action is in Singapore. The income is here. Save your earnings, and when you put aside enough of a nest-egg to invest in a sustainable business in the Philippines, that would be the time to think about heading back to the Philippines.” Full story

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What can $4.3b buy?

Last few days we were all marvelling at the new $4.3b wonders in Marina South. There were some comparisons as to what $4.3b could buy other than a 5km stretch of roads albeit underground and under the sea. This kind of thing is something daft Sinkies have heard of for the first time. It was touted as a great engineering feat, maybe can rival the pyramids. The tourists will soon be landing on this city to ogle at this 8th Wonders of the World.

$4.3b can buy something like 43,000 of the latest buses for public transport, or 10,000 units of 5 rm HDB flats. This morning I was enlightened by a better idea on what $4.3b can buy. India has taken delivery of its latest aircraft carrier, an old Russian refit, at a cost of $2.9b. This ship can carry 30 fighter aircraft on board and a crew of 2,000. With a bit more we can have the whole complements of aircraft as well. And if we buy a few junk banks or junk stocks less, we could easily buy 3 or 4 or these aircraft carriers. Then we need not spend so much money stationing our fly boys and their families and aircraft overseas.

Someone in Mindef may want to do a bit of paper shuffling to evaluate the cost of buying a few of these aircraft carriers versus stationing our hardware and soldiers in the other half of the globe. The aircraft carrier group can be floating nearby in the South China Seas. Think it would be cheap and more effective, closer to home and can take up its combat duties immediately when needed, just a few minutes away.

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Voice of a normal Singaporean

For the past two weeks when I was driving to work, I always got annoyed when I listened to UFM 100.3's incessant announcements that the government is subsidising Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) to upgrade their skills. While I fully support Ministry of Manpower's aim to upgrade Singaporeans' skills, I question the wisdom to sponsor PRs as well. After all, these PRs are so called "foreign talents" already, so why should we use public funds to upgrade them?

PRs and foreign migrants have the best of both worlds as most of them rent out their homes in their native countries, thereby earning passive incomes while working in Singapore. In addition, they are also expected to possess good qualifications and relevant skills which locals do not have, that is why Singapore welcome them with open arms. Given this, they should be earning higher incomes already. So why should we constantly look out for their welfare? It is so strange that our Prime Minister always said that the government is building a strong Singapore core but then persistently dish out the same welfare schemes to include PRs. Are they shooting themselves in the foot?

Indeed, I am not happy that PRs enjoy almost the same benefits as local citizens. Look, if you are going to tell local born and bred Singaporeans that they have a stake in this country, you cannot them that "you will treat PRs and foreigners good, but treat Singaporeans even better". Our resources are so limited, so naturally Singaporeans have to be given priority when it comes to any social welfare like job upgrading. Also, I got absolutely turned off that PRs also enjoy hospital subsidies, albeit lower than Singaporeans. To me, medical treatment subsidies should not be granted to PRs or foreigners and local Singaporeans (born and bred) should have priority. Otherwise, what is the difference between citizens and PRs/foreigners? The distinction has to be clear, otherwise we will lose our national identity.

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The Emperor’s new clothes

Two days ago the ST published a picture of Lee Kuan Yew hosting a dinner for former US Secretary of State Dr George Shultz and wife Charlotte

LKY was in this ridiculous out-of-fashion and out-of-date mandarin outfit. These days we often see him outfitted like this. Was that a mandarin robe?

The Old Boy must either be role-playing as he enters his second childhood or suffering from mental delusion thinking he is indeed the Emperor of Singapore in a Forbidden Istana. His wayward dressing is so comical.

Why hasn’t anyone told him to stop dressing like this? Perhaps no one has the balls or gall to tell him so. The Emperor’s New Clothes?

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Singaporean bar owner arrested in Cebu for recruiting Filipino women to work as prostitutes in Singapore
Inquirer News, 19 Nov 2013
A Singaporean businessman and two Filipinas face human trafficking charges after they allegedly recruited a Cebu-based model to work as a prostitute abroad.

Robin James Chua, his girlfriend Fraulline May Soria, and her aunt Lurlie are accused of violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1996. In her affidavit, the victim said Fraulline and Chua recruited her to travel to Singapore and work as an entertainer in a bar owned by Chua.

“Fraulline May Soria and Robin James Chua assured me that I will earn a weekly commission of P20,000,” the victim said. When she asked if part of her job is to be taken out by customers, the victim was told that she “may choose to have sex with customers who will become her boyfriend.”

On Oct. 12, 2013, Lurlie, Fraulline’s aunt gave her a plane ticket, pocket money and travel instructions She was also informed that she will travel on a tourist passport to Singapore. Full story

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Two Singaporean companies in Batam Island suspected to use illegal software

Organisations with overseas businesses should practise good software housekeeping across all their premises, urged the BSA| The Software Alliance.

This advice comes after the recent raid of two Singapore joint venture companies and one Indonesian shipping company in Batam Island for suspected use of illegal software. The crackdown, which took place last Wednesday (13 November 2013), saw the Indonesian police seizing 35 computers and suspected pirated copies of Adobe, Autodesk, McAfee and Microsoft worth US$68,218 in total.

If found guilty under Indonesia's copyright law, the three companies will each face a fine of US$43,000, or a five-year jail term, or both. The infringers might also face civil actions from the copyright owners if the latter chooses to pursue it.

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'Johor does not rely on Singapore for treated water'

JOHOR does not depend on Singapore for its treated water as its 44 water treatment plants can churn out a total of 426 million gallons of treated water daily.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohamad said Johor required about 330 million gallons per day and the current production indicated a surplus of 24.3 per cent in supply compared with the current demand.

"This clearly shows that the government is not dependent on the supply of treated water from its neighbour across the Causeway," Hasni said in reply to a question by Jimmy Puah ( PKR- Bukit Batu) in the state assembly yesterday.

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Wrapping up the Purple Light fiasco

Last week, it was reported that the women’s advocacy group AWARE complained to MINDEF about sexist and offensive lyrics in a popular army song, Purple Light. It was initially reported that MINDEF subsequently banned the song, but it was later clarified that MINDEF had not axed the song entirely, but merely ordered that the offending lyrics be removed that the original verses be restored, which are not offensive or misogynistic.

This created a furore in cyberspace, and netizens fell quickly into two dividing camps. One camp claimed that AWARE had done the right thing, and that sexism and misogyny should not be tolerated in this day and age. The other camp claimed that AWARE had no right to interfere in men’s affairs — in effect, perpetuating the very same sexism that AWARE has been trying to root out all these years.

It is highly ironical that while many male netizens regularly bitch about how NS sucks and how the government has reserved “Jobs For Foreigners, and NS for Singaporeans”, these same netizens now turn around and claim to be proud and passionate about National Service, and express dismay that a women’s rights group has chosen to “nitpick on them” when “the women themselves do not serve NS” and therefore have no right to comment on what they sing.

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Aware of the Purple Light

Credit: Nini and Polah Cartoon

– Yahoo!: SAF stopping the singing of ‘misogynist’ lyrics from marching song: AWARE
– Words of the Cze: Game Time
– DKSG: Purple Light song banned in the army
– Musings From the Lion City: Is The SAF For Real?
– Loh and Behold: MINDEF-modified and AWARE-approved
– Natalie-Kay-Es-El: 8 Reasons Why It’s Ok For NS Men To Sing About Rape
– Typical, Really: Purple Light: Myths, Misinformation & Misogyny
– Wise Mental King: With my rifle and my buddy and me
– I on Singapore: Army Song “Purple Light” Banned: The importance of shaping culture
– Sam’s thoughts: AWARE and Purple Light’s “rape”
– Mr Miyagi: Purple Light
– Yamizi: Purple Light….?
– Chinaporean: Banning of “Purple Light” reflects how screwed-up MINDEF & SAF is
– New Nation: SAF halts all training, deems war misogynistic, offensive

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