4 myths about the Progressive Wage Model

  One favorite grouse is Singapore has no minimum wage to help low wage workers. That’s wrong. The Progressive Wage has an element of Minimum Wage to it, and more – it enforces the progressive increase of a worker’s wage over the years.   Myth 1: Minimum wage beats progressive wage Progressive wage has levels […]

Attempted rape at Marina Bay Sands

A man carrying a plastic bag with condoms, a vibrator and sex toys, wandering around Marina Bay Sands during Christmas day last year was sentenced to mandatory treatment. Zainal Ariffin Selamat, 38, a jobless man, suffered from schizophrenia and had relapsed into an unsound mental condition on the day. He had seen the 28 year […]

Q&A: Growing unemployment, or growing inflation? Which is worse?

  Ever since reports of Singapore being the most expensive city (for travellers) came about, my Facebook alerts have been popping up with friends and comments concerned about the inflation/unemployment conundrum. Is a strong Singapore dollar still a good thing if it leads to things being expensive? One question I found most interesting came in this form, […]

Local publisher killed in freak dawn accident

  Jamie Ho, 33, the publisher of Epicure, Pets and Hooked magazine was killed in a horrific car accident after it slammed into a tree near Marine Vista condo, the Marine Parade exit of the ECP. The driver and a woman in the passenger seat were pronounced dead at the scene. Forumers speculated the crash […]

协助中小型企业使其小而强

  备注:文章不一定代表编辑团队和/或编辑的观点或立场。 工运议员杨木光在日前国会预算辩论中,生动而精准地描述与刻画出我国中小型企业当今所面临的两大挑战: 一是人力资源的短缺, 二是企业成本的高涨。 目前, 本地有16万家中小企业, 对国内生产总值的贡献超过50%, 提供70%工作给全国劳动队伍。议员所提供的数据清楚指出, 中小型企业是我国的经济支柱之一,他们所面对的困境与挑战值得大家关心。 经过杨木光的分析, 我们不难看出, 这些困难与挑战其实是隐藏着许多商机的, 值得我们进一步以正面的心态来探讨。 政府在过去两年宣布紧缩外国劳工增长的政策后,人力资源短缺的问题冲击本地企业, 但是个别中小型企业总聘请人数少, 按比例相对来说, 能够请到外籍员工人数也比较少,如果不能及时通过自动化、改善流程来提高生产力的话, 竞争力很快的便会流失, 可能生存都受威胁。 外来人才也好、外来劳工也好,这都不是解决中小型企业人力短缺的长久之计,其实我国有经验、有能力的PMET(专业人士、经理、执行人员和技师)为数不少, 他们当中有的面临外资裁员、公司转型、退休等问题而苦于英雄无用武之地, 如果把这些人的专业技能和经验汇集成一股力量, 为不同的中小型企业提供专案式(project based)的咨询服务(consultancy services) , 将有助于中小型企业提高技能、改善流程、提高生产力。 政府或民间机构是否能够联手成立一个机构, 借用这些PMET(专业人士、经理、执行人员和技师)的技能和经验, 为不同的中小型企业提供改进的方案。 这个服务的性质可以参考管理顾问公司(Management Consultancy Firms)的模式来经营, 但是收费却是中小型企业负担的起的。 至于那些面临财务困境, 生存受威胁的公司,也许可以先由政府负担一部分的管理改善咨询费用, 等企业体质改善、获利了之后再缴交咨询管理费用。这总比眼睁睁的看着中小企业孤军作战、困坐愁城, 最终关门收山好多了。 这样不但可以解决中小型企业的问题, 也可以帮助受到经济重组影响的专业人士、经理、执行人员和技师展开事业的第二春,继续把他们的专业技能和累积的经验与智慧贡献给社会。 在改善中小型企业对本地毕业生的吸引力方面, 拟议中的机构也可以针对有需要的中小型企业拟定人才发展计划框架, 为受雇于中小型企业的理工学院或大学毕业生提供良好的职业发展前景,增加中小型企业的吸引力。就如议员所说,“给本地毕业生同等机会在中小企业的工作中成长进步,实现个人价值和人生的意义。”这才是留住人才的关键。 除了帮助我国中小型企业提高生产力之外,这个拟议中的机构还可以挑出有潜力发展至海外的中小型企业, 协助他们发挥优势, 分析海外的潜在市场, 谁知道这当中有多少有潜力成为明日之星就如今天家喻户晓的面包物语、诗肯柚木(Scanteak)、傲胜(OSIM)等海外知名新加坡企业呢? 许多小而强的中小型企业汇集起来, 其实力可能超过本土大公司也说不定!      

An ode to Nelson Mandela

While most of Singapore was busy battling the haze in June 2013, Nelson Mandela was struggling for his life. Mandela, 94, hasn’t made a public appearance since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010. President Barack Obama was hoping to see him during his recent visit to South Africa, but the plans were dropped as […]

The sky is the limit

“We are not at the limits. The sky is the limit…” Borrowing from Cervantes’s Don Quixote, the Prime Minister very optimistically presented the government’s plans for Singapore’s urban development in his recent National Day Rally 2013 speech. “We are creating possibilities for the future. We are opening up opportunities for our children, for their children […]

102nd International Labour Conference: what’s in it for Singapore?

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently held the 102nd session of its International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva. Among the many topics discussed by the delegates and the representatives of labour movements from most ILO member countries were the pressing issues of labour standards and social protection for growing and ageing populations. Singapore representatives attended […]

Is Singapore too conservative?

If you asked me a dozen years ago if Singapore society was at all liberal, I would have said “No” without batting an eyelid. But today a certain number of areas have been opening up to more progressive ideas and values, which goes to show we are taking giant steps towards becoming a more open […]

10 good ideas that aren’t so good after all

Saw this picture? It looks like it will make his work easier. It looks like he had a smart idea. But no way is this safe. When we go about finding a clever way of turning a complicated task into an easier or faster one doesn’t mean all common sense should be pushed aside. And […]