Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Daily Lessons from Life 13-18 June 2013 - Various ...
Being unable or too tired to write the blog on a daily basis since 12 June 2013 due to amount of traveling across time zones! Suffice to say a lot have happened and interesting observations continued to be made during this period. 1. Norway is a very expensive country to travel to though things are pleasant and peaceful by and large. It seems that the tax is very high and the social security and social welfare benefits are very generous. At least the taxes are put to goo use as some would concede. Buses are in great conditions and the bus drivers seemed to be very calm and steady and in no rush and yet being able to keep on time! I wonder if this can be replicated in Singapore and many of the 'rush rush rush' mega cities in Asia? 2. being asked to help with mentoring some handicapped persons studying for accounting qualification and am happy to be able to oblige as the beneficiaries do not mind my ad hoc attendance to their needs in June and July before they sit for their examination. One more chance to volunteer and do good and I thank my friends for that!; 3. Dengue fever patients surpassed the 10k mark and with 2 deaths so far really challenge Singapore and Singaporeans to fight this outbreak with great community spirit. The disease is range bound, within 150m flying distance of the mosquitoes that carry this virus, and that means EVERYONE within the 150m of each other has to do his or her part of keeping his or her area dengue free! Be mindful of creating breeding pool of water. Consciously clearing any possible stagnant water, etc. A test where everyone's action or inaction may mean getting the dengue fever and fight for one's life. Hopefully we will triumph over the Andes mosquitoes that carry this virus. Soon!; 4. Haze. The return of the HAZE!! Yet again. I am sure many Singapore government officials and neighboring countries of the source of the almost permanent annual haze, Indonesia, are exasperated. Many KNOW they need to stop this mindless self-destructive behaviors. And YET, nothing concrete has come out of this perennial challenge. Read today's AsiaOne.com news that Singapore government is urging the Indonesian government to take quick actions while the response was: Yes. We will. We want this resolved on a permanent basis too! Well, let's see how things go. When the rain come or when the haze clear due to there is no more forest or plantation ground to burn to prepare the land for the next planting and harvesting session, everyone will be happy and life goes back to normal. UNTIL, next season?? 5. Some critics put a BIG question mark on the NTUC's push to help 'Singaporean PMEs to upgrade and become 'more' employable'. Singapore supposedly has a world class education system. Singapore has been host to MNCs and Global Companies for more than 20 years. Many Singaporeans were even put in charge of Asia, Asia Pacific, Greater China, etc regional roles in the past with great successes. YET, NTUC seems to think that the 40+-50+' ex-PMEs need skills upgrading to be 'employable' again EVEN when some of them openly said they are willing to take a lower pay! Some critics believe that the NTUC's initiative is barking up the wrong tree as the root cause of the older PMEs from being gainfully employed is the uncontrolled influx of 'fake foreign talent' who are willing to take a low pay, 'coerced' to put in long unpaid overtime due to inefficiency or just 'there is no one to go home to' syndrome as many worked here alone while their family, if married, are left behind in their home country. If NTUC disputes this assertion, perhaps it can produce the facts and figures to show that older ex-Singaporean PMEs are indeed having mis-matched knowledge, skills and experiences instead of being displaced due to asking for low but still higher than fake foreign talent's compensation packages! Stay tune. Stay well.