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Yet another sit-in silent protest is set to be held in Hong Lim Park on 4 November (Saturday) in light of the recent major service disruption in the train system at North South Line on 7 October (Saturday) and breakdown at Downtown Line on last Sunday.

The planned two-hour sit-in-protest that is being organised by Gilbert Goh and his volunteers, seeks to  allow Singaporeans to show their displeasure at the frequent train break down and the latest mishap which was badly managed by the leadership of the transport company.

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The banner atop the Google Careers portal caught my eye back when I  was one of three million hungry applicants: "Do Cool Things That  Matter."

It speaks at once of the tech industry's casual hipness and its passionate purpose. It spoke to me.
But while it probably describes some jobs at Google, it hardly captures my experience these past two years in the company's human resources department. And so I'm handing in my resignation this week.
There is nothing cool about my job as a "talent channels specialist", a type of recruiter charged with soliciting new applications from qualified people who haven't thought to apply or who might need  persuading.
I scour LinkedIn, a factory farm of fluff, for engineers with a specific skill set and then send hundreds of canned messages to unsuspecting professionals each week.
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The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is calling for Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan to accept full responsibility for the ongoing  fiasco with the failures of SMRT by stepping down and states that unless  there is demonstration of real leadership at the very top, there will be little motivation for the rank-and-file at SMRT to change its work culture, and the problems that beset its train system will continue, even worsen.

In the party's statement issued on Thursday (19 Oct), it notes that as the minister-in-charge of the "shambolic" system, Mr Khaw remains in his post and continues to enjoy the enormous salary that he clearly does not deserve. Given that SMRT CEO Mr Desmond Kuek had blamed the woes that have plagued the system on “deep-seated cultural issues” within the company. This indicates that the problems extend well beyond  employees of SMRT which falls on the lap of the minister whose  responsibility it is to change the organisation's culture if it is found wanting.

The party emphasised that as the Transport Minister has failed to tend to the problem all these years, signals Mr Khaw's incompetence and  lack of leadership. As Minister for Transport, the buck stops with him.

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LONDON — Two fund management firms have joined an investor revolt against the planned 1.8 billion pound (S$3.23 billion) takeover of Britain's Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) by City Developments Limited (CDL) , its majority shareholder.

International Value Advisers (IVA) and MSD Partners, which own 7 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively of London-listed M&C, have sent a  letter to the hotel company's independent directors to criticise them  for supporting the 552.5 pence per share takeover proposal from Singapore's CDL, which is part of billionaire Kwek Leng Beng's Hong Leong Group.
They join Aberdeen Standard Investments and Fidelity International, two other minority shareholders reportedly unhappy with the terms of the deal.

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A 37-year-old man has been arrested for causing public alarm after he had left a bag unattended at Farrer Park and Outram Park MRT stations, said the Singapore Police Force on Wednesday (18 October).

On Monday (16 October) at 12.25pm, the police were alerted to a case of an unattended bag at one of the exits of Farrer Park MRT station. The man later collected the bag and left the station before officers arrived.

Later that day at about 2.10pm, the police were alerted to another case of an unattended bag, this time at Outram Park MRT Station. Items found in the bag include a laptop, mobile phones and computer-related paraphernalia.

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Rental growth from 2017 to 2021 is expected to hit 0.7% in prime spots.

The bleak rentals for Singapore's retail sector are expected to remain weak until 2021, Deutsche Asset Management revealed.

According to its mid-year Asia Pacific Real Estate Strategic Outlook, retail rents have declined in Singapore, and retailers face margin pressures from the combined challenges of weaker retail spending and labour costs.

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China reported third-quarter growth data Thursday that met expectations.

The country's National Bureau of Statistics said its third-quarter GDP growth was 6.8 percent compared to the same period last year, a day after President Xi Jinping made big promises for the country's economic future during a pivotal leadership meeting.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast China to post a modest drop from the second quarter, with GDP to have grown 6.8 percent in the July-September period due to the government's efforts to cool the property market and cut debt risks. This is a tad lower than the second quarter's 6.9 percent expansion.

A statement from the statistics bureau painted steady but positive economic development in the first three quarters. It also highlighted challenges in a complex international environment amid structural changes domestically.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. –  A 325-pound (150-kilogram) Florida woman is charged with killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as punishment.

Veronica Green Posey, 64, was arrested and charged with homicide and cruelty toward a child, The Pensacola News Journal reported. The Escambia County Sheriff's Office report identified Posey as the girl's cousin.
Paramedics and deputies responded to the family's Pensacola home following a 911 call Saturday. Posey told deputies she sat on Dericka Lindsay as discipline "for being out of control."

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Suspect, who was sitting in public gallery during hearing, took out weapon and shouted ‘lawless’

More than 50 police officers with shields were sweeping the High Court in Admiralty in search of a mainland Chinese man who flashed a knife in court on Tuesday morning.
The man, who was sitting in the public gallery when judge Wilson Chan was hearing a contempt of court case in Court No 13 soon after 10am, suddenly took out a knife and yelled in Mandarin: “Lawless!”

The judge did not answer the man and left the courtroom immediately.

The man then fled. A police insider said he was not related to the case the judge was hearing.

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SINGAPORE — Mr Raymond Tan sleeps at the 24-hour outlets of fast-food chain McDonald’s, joining the people dubbed “McRefugees” or “McSleepers” who seek shelter at these places for the night.

But Mr Tan, who is in his early 50s, is not jobless. He earns S$1,000 a month as a security guard.

He also collects S$1,000 monthly from the tenant in his two-room rental flat.

Mr Tan told TODAY that he does not mind the “dirty looks” and “finger-pointing” from members of the public when he is sleeping over at McDonald’s. He just wants to support his wife and daughter, who live in the Philippines.

Findings released this month from a survey done by volunteer group SW101 and volunteer welfare organisation Montfort Care showed that among 180 people found sleeping on the streets on one night, almost two-thirds of those interviewed had a job, and more than a quarter had a flat to their name. One in four are married.

While it may appear that their basic material needs are being met, they face invisible “hardship” when it comes to their family or social lives, and health.

When Mr Tan spoke to TODAY, it was his first night out from hospital. He was admitted for a day due to hypertension, when his mouth started bleeding without reason.

His hospital bill came to S$6,000, an amount he paid through his Medisave savings account under the Government’s Central Provident Fund. He added that his latest blood pressure reading was in the “dangerously high range” of 215/150 mmHg.

Mr Tan’s five siblings know of his arrangements to sleep on the streets. He is the second youngest among them.

Still awake close to midnight, Mr Tan blended in with the crowd at McDonald’s in Raffles City like a late-night diner, except he was not eating or drinking. He was listening to music as he fiddled with his iPhone.

Keeping a neat appearance with his hair combed back, his “companions” are his possessions. There is a grocery bag holding the day’s Chinese and English newspapers, a large backpack, and his water bottle.

His nightly routine after work involves washing up “at his office” in the Kallang area before roaming the streets till he heads to a selected McDonald’s outlet for bedtime.

Before he was a security guard, Mr Tan worked as a production operator, data entry personnel and a deliveryman.

In the 1980s, when he was still in school, he worked at McDonald’s.

Finding it ironic that he now spends every night at the fast-food restaurant, he lamented: “Singapore is a ‘suffocating’ country. We can die, but we cannot be sick.”

News, Current Affairs Discussions / SPH and MRT: Two sinking ships?
« on: October 16, 2017, 03:25:50 pm »
Two very troubled Singapore institutions have been hogging the news the last week. Both have a direct impact on the lives of Singaporeans. One –  Singapore Press Holdings and its jurassic Pyongyang Times-era  newspapers  – we can live without in the age of social media – but the other –  MRT – we can’t.
Let’s look at SPH. It just went through another round of staff spring-cleaning.  The 10 per cent trimming exercise was already  anticipated way back last year when the media conglomerate announced a  review of its operations across various media platforms. This was the  then CEO Alan Chan’s farewell “gift” (or slap) to loyal workers before  he made way for Ng Yat Chung. What the new CEO, the wunderkind former  captain of the sunken NOL, has just announced as his nice-to-know-you hello present – the laying off of 230 people – was practically non-news.
SPH goes through such exercises periodically. As a big company with a staff strength of 4,000-5,000 at any one time, these self-renewal acts are necessary and many large corporations do the same thing.

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Hi Gilbert

Firstly with great respect putting yourself on the line for providing volunteer support to the uninitiated employed.

As I read about the articles, a lot of the unemployment cases are related to ageism which is common in most parts of developed world eg USA, Britain where skills will also often mismatch.

I myself is also prepared for joblessness when I reach 40, that’s why I enrolled as a Taxi vocational license holder 5 years ago of which I’m glad I’ve done. I can use that as an emergency like I am doing now.

I’m single and unemployed for 6 months.

I treat it as a rough patch and that unemployment comes and goes and can never be forever.

Timing is especially key.

If plenty of people are applying for one type of job, it is peak period, which is never good when you are looking for jobs.

I’m now looking for any part time job that is available, but these jobs do not pay the $3.3k I was previously drawing, even though I’m willing to have a lesser pay.

Question is why do these part time jobs unwilling to take in candidates who are willing to be paid lesser than their previous pay?

PS: I also realise after being unemployed the 1st time, the 2nd and 3rd time you’re more well prepared, for example, housing can be rented out to buffer cash flow until a job is found, meantime, getting part time work is also a good temp measure.



When North Korean hackers tried to steal $1 billion from the New York Federal Reserve last year, only a spelling error stopped them. They were digitally looting an account of the Bangladesh Central Bank, when bankers grew suspicious about a withdrawal request that had misspelled “foundation” as “fandation.”

Even so, Kim Jong-un’s minions still got away with $81 million in that heist.

Then only sheer luck enabled a 22-year-old British hacker to defuse the biggest North Korean cyberattack to date, a ransomware attack last May that failed to generate much cash but brought down hundreds of thousands of computers across dozens of countries — and briefly crippled Britain’s National Health Service.

Their track record is mixed, but North Korea’s army of more than 6,000 hackers is undeniably persistent, and undeniably improving, according to American and British security officials who have traced these attacks and others back to the North.

Amid all the attention on Pyongyang’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the continental United States, the North Koreans have also quietly developed a cyberprogram that is stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and proving capable of unleashing global havoc.

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SINGAPORE: A total of 19,000 units in three upcoming neighbourhoods - Kampong Bugis, Holland Plain and Bayshore - are in the pipeline over the next decade.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong made this announcement on Monday (Oct 16) at the launch of an exhibition showcasing the proposals for the new districts.
“We want to make sure future residential precincts continue to meet the aspirations and needs of Singaporeans,” Mr Wong said.


With the rise of shared transport and less need for car ownership, roads and car parks will become less necessary, allowing more space to be set aside for community and green spaces in the future, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said.

In line with this, the precincts will be designed around the vision of a car-lite, inclusive and green future.

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