Basic salary rate is a good start, but does not go far enough

tan chuan-jin

The causes of the Little India riot are of course many and I do not want to over simplify the problem. That being said, I sincerely believe that chronic frustration over their working conditions are a significant part of the equation. It is therefore crucial to address the needs of our construction workers too. In the words of labour activist, Jolovan Wham: “I think it’s a good first step, but this should pave the way for legislation to be enacted eventually… Such a basic wage should apply to sectors like construction, marine and services, for instance, and also apply to workers of all nationalities.”

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Hard truth about Little India riot

How do we end up with such a disproportionately large number of foreign workers of one nationality and ethnicity? There is no good reason which can justify such a skewed proportion of Indians in our labor force. For the sake of diversity and inclusiveness? In that case, we should not only have a wide variety of nationalities and ethnicity but more importantly, a fair and even distribution of the number of workers from different nationalities. For the sake of meritocracy? Indians are not well known for their building and construction skills. They come from a country notorious for its under-developed infrastructures and decrepit buildings. If I’m not mistaken, a couple of years ago, a newly constructed bridge for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi collapsed just on the eve of the opening of Commonwealth Games.

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Malaysians in Singapore don’t want to become Singaporeans

The survey polled 100 Malaysians in Singapore. 21 of them said that they love their country, Malaysia. Hence, they have no intention of migrating to Singapore. Others cited the high cost of living in Singapore, the accompanying pressure and difficult housing policies. Last August, for example, HDB changed its housing policy so that new permanent residents have to wait three years before they can buy a resale HDB flat.

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Kidnap victim trying to move on, says family

The 79-year-old grandmother who became Singapore’s first kidnap victim in more than a decade stayed away from the limelight yesterday, as Madam Ng Lye Poh broke away from a decade-long routine of going to the market nearby and having breakfast near her home. Instead, she stayed in her Jalan Arif home. Her son, Sheng Siong boss Lim Hock Chee, said the family is helping her to move on. “She didn’t say much this morning. She’s watching TV now. We’re trying to help her move on,” he said yesterday. Mdm Ng, who was described as the matriarch of the family, had not slept for close to 24 hours after she was kidnapped on Wednesday, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

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Pilot becomes 31st man jailed for sex with minor

A commercial pilot yesterday became the 31st man to be jailed in connection with an online vice ring case involving a 17-year-old girl. Joseph Ong Chee Wah, 33, was jailed 12 weeks for having paid sex with the underage escort. Ong — who is married with one young child and whose wife is pregnant — is one of 51 men who were charged in 2012 over the case involving the underage girl.

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Here is why there should be no fare increase

The commuters did not benefit from this increased revenue as the formula for fare increase then only took into account increases in the operating costs, not revenues. At the very least, we could have expected that when the commuters suffered overcrowding, they could have enjoyed the comfort of no fare increases. Since the operators now have to catch up with their maintenance costs, why should commuters have to pay for it again through the proposed fare increase? Operators should be accountable for their past mistakes and should not again be allowed a fare increase until they have sort out their current problems

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Residents Remember Chiam See Tong

It was supposed to be a Christmas walkabout for the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) in Potong Pasir and Bishan last Sunday (Dec 22) morning. Within hours, however, when SPP’s secretary-general Chiam See Tong and Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Lina Chiam showed up, the trip had become a mini Meet-the-People’s session on the go. In Potong Pasir, residents immediately came up to give the Chiams their well-wishes before they started complaining about their current Member of Parliament (MP), Sitoh Yih Pin. Some even took the chance to share with the Chiams issues they faced ever since Sitoh took over the reins.

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Tan Chuan-Jin: Help build a Singapore you can be proud of

"No society is perfect, including ours. However, I see a lot of heart and soul in our people. In all of you here," he said in a National Day Observance speech to fellow colleagues, friends and family at the MOM Services Centre on Monday afternoon. "We shouldn't short-change ourselves. I know many are not happy with things as they are, but many step forward to do something about it and not just run things down," he added.

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YOUR VIEW: Promote pink NRIC as benefit for Singaporeans

With the celebrations of National Day 2013 having come and gone, it is fitting to ask what can be done to further encourage Singapore citizenry and nation building during other times of the year. One suggestion that may help galvanise Singaporeans is by promoting the pink NRIC (National Registration Identity Card) as an icon of citizenry through the media and the arts. The pink NRIC is after all a key document that readily identifies a person as being Singaporean. However, this icon should not be relegated to mere imagery.

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YOUR VIEW: 'Is Singapore my home, daddy?'

For every Singaporean worker that leaves, three foreigners come in to take his place. PMET positions, mind you. Not low-level positions.The whole mix in my company is around 30% local and 70% foreigner. Many Singaporeans I see are becoming desperate now. The only job they can do is to drive taxis, be hawkers, small-time push cart business owners. What about the jobs that are related to our education we spent almost17-20 years to get? They're all being snapped up by the so-called foreign "talents". "Talents" because they are not talents at all! They have totally unrelated educational background or working experience -- they do not know the terms and lingo in related fields. Some of them even have fake certificates.

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