January 18, 2009
By day, a third-year economics major who wants to be known only as Lynn attends classes at the National University of Singapore, usually clad in a simple getup of jeans and a tank top.
But at night, while most other undergraduates are asleep, Lynn trades her casual wear for a wardrobe of resplendent dresses and works as a social escort, a job scorned and labeled distasteful by most. From 8 p.m. to about 4 a.m. she entertains male clients by attending functions with them, indulging them in a drink and chat, or by providing what she called “discreet services.”
“It’s not exactly the most glamorous of jobs,” Lynn said. “I’m keeping it from my parents and most friends. But what to do? I have to eat my meals and pay my bills.”
Recommended by at82: "The signs of time..."
November 23, 2008
October 13, 2008
March 06, 2008
I feel tired and worn out. Every single bloody day. On the way to school, I take out my handphone. There is still ample time to call in sick. I open up my handphone and pull out my school's number. All that separates me from making that call is just a press of a button that requires a force of around 1 Newton. And I surprise myself by being able to resist that temptation, even though I know that at least three colleagues who will make that morning call.
Recommended by tinkertailor: "Teaching is a fulfilling career in Singapore."
January 01, 2008
For the benefit of those who did not manage to make it and those who had purportedly shunned the event to avoid crowd, we recorded the entire fireworks display to share with everyone.
Recommended by alvinism: "Happy new year everyone! Just thought it will be nice to share the fireworks video with those who weren't there to experience LIVE. :)"
December 24, 2007
Reason Magazine said:
Singapore’s first casino, a $5 billion project on some of the most expensive property in the world, has been billed as a microcosm of the city itself. Ambitious, futuristic, pristine, and not especially humble, it is the ideal urban physiognomy of a country straining to stand out among its much larger neighbors. “People know Singapore,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong assured his countrymen in a 2006 address to the nation. “They no longer think that Singapore is somewhere in China. They know Singapore is special.”
Three miles from Marina Bay, in Singapore’s Little India, many thousands of young Bangladeshi and Malay men gather every Sunday—their one day off—to eat, drink, and spend. Weaving through piles of coconuts and stacks of steaming naan, men shout to one another across streets packed tight with bodies. Here the air grows sweaty, the streets smell of garlic, and incense fumes waft from vendor to buyer. This is not the aseptic, polished Singapore of Marina Bay. It is the muscled hodgepodge that will take the Bay blueprints, unload ships full of steel, and build a casino.
As the world gradually learns to locate Singapore on a map (it’s on the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula), Little India is expanding. The Ministry of Manpower says the construction industry will need between 40,000 and 50,000 more foreign workers if projects like the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort are to rise from the page. When the visas are granted, these workers will add to a non-resident workforce of 670,000. That may not sound like much by the standards of the United States, where 670,000 doesn’t even capture the number of undocumented workers who cross the border in a single year. But Singapore is a city-state little larger, and far more densely populated, than the city of Chicago. Its growing foreign population is party to a radical experiment in labor mobility.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Interesting read about guest workers in Singapore and the US.. "
November 27, 2007
Siew Kum Hong said:
Another major regret was not spending more time with him. In a way, that continues today, because I still don't spend enough time with my mum.
But I know I could certainly be a better son to her and from time to time I resolve to do better.
Some of that is attributable to the demands of today's working world. I was in private practice back then and I frequently treated home like a hotel, leaving for work in the morning and returning late at night. I could go days without seeing another family member.
I don't think that's uncommon for young people. But I wonder about my peers, who are getting to the age when parents are beginning to fall sick and die.
Are they aware that they have only so much time with their parents? Do they understand the compromises represented by long hours in the office?
And do they understand that by the time they do, it might be too late — as it was with me?
Recommended by at82: "Are you spending enough time with your parents? Don't wait till it is too late."
May 03, 2007
My mom is working at the Tuas South Incineration Plant as a cleaner under the contract of a private cleaning company. The company pays her S$700 a month for a 5-days work week. The pay is not high, but at least reasonable.
Now, the cleaning contract has ended for this cleaning company and the contract has been given to another new cleaning company. And so my mom's new boss had a meet-the-people session to tell the cleaners his rules:
1. The pay is reduced to S$500 2. Now it has to be a 5.5 days working week 3. There will be a cut in manpower as there should not be more than 3 people working at an area, regardless how large the area space 4. No annual leave and sick leave for the first year
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Such is the exploitation of our workers, tacitly supported by the can-do-no-wrong-tripartite-partnership labour unions. Happy Labour Day everyone."
May 03, 2007
Stressed Teacher said:
If I was your boss, I would never in my life share such thoughts with you. That last thing I want is a worker who is sufficiently wealthy enough to retire. Who on earth is better to work hard for me, than a fearful guy who needs that salary to feed his kids and aged parents? It is great to have a tight grip on his balls, and I sleep even more soundly at night, knowing that in spite of having his balls squeezed by me, the worker comes back for more.
All because he needs that pay check, and he is probably living from pay-check to pay-check.
How far away are you from filing for bankruptcy, if you suddenly lose your source of income or see it slashed by half? If you answer lies within a period six months to one year, you really need to reassess what the hell is your aim in working.
Recommended by at82: "It is Labour Day again. How much longer do you have to labour on?"
April 19, 2007
As for me, getting the job done right feels like I’m saving the world. That is why I do the things I do - sleep as late as I do and plough endlessly to learn and incorporate the best into stuff I create.
It’s like a slap in the face when Lee Kwan Yew, who like me serves the people of Singapore, proclaims loud and clear that expecting the leaders of our nation to sacrifice their own personal wealth is “an admirable sentiment, but we live in the real world”.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "some civil servants remember that they are servants."
March 31, 2007
The sixth annual Global Information Technology Report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva compares 122 countries on dozens of criteria, from Internet penetration to educational attainment to availability of venture capital. Of the top 10 countries in the 2006 survey, eight are in Northern Europe and half are Nordic. Singapore and the U.S. round out the list...
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Singapore was ranked 3 last year, and 2 in 2005."
March 22, 2007
Anant Shiva said:
Screenplayer has been set up as a gathering ground for Singaporean indie filmmakers and screenwriters to come together and share their works and ideas.
It's pretty much an experiment at this point and we don't know if it'll work or take off, but we've set it up and it's up to you guys to decide how you wanna use it! Share your videos, talk about techniques, post jobs, review scripts, the possibilities are endless!
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Go forth and play!"
February 21, 2007
Culture Shiok! said:
A couple of weeks back, a centerfold article on foreign workers came out in the newspaper. Bangladeshis, Filipinos and mainland Chinese were in the honor and horror rolls. What do locals like about foreign workers? They're hardworking, honest, and intelligent. What they don't like? They're lazy, dishonest and not so intelligent (in short, dumb).
So what do Singaporeans think about foreign workers, specifically Filipinos?
Recommended by Culture Shiok: "What is a Filipino to a Singaporean?"
November 11, 2006
Oh no! Disaster! But does that mean I can start lodging complains others who use my network? With the advent of SG@Wireless, will people still piggyback on open networks? Hmmm…
Recommended by angelajean: "This is because piggybacking has been so common since the start of wifi-networking that everyone thinks that it is ok to piggyback - even from the bus stop while waiting for the bus! Now that prosecution has started, what constitutes "trespassing"? What kind of proof is needed then?"
October 18, 2006
This is a classic story of a hot young thing that skyrocketed to fame, got blinded by the dazzling lights of scrutiny and thudded back to Earth to peter out of sight with a whimper. Thats the story of Friendster, the first-ever "MySpace-to-be" touted to be the next billion-dollar empire but became a spectacular failure millions of dollars later. John Doerr, Ram Shriram, Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal) , Tom Koogle (chief executive of Yahoo through the second half of the 1990’s). It was an All-Star Team. No one could touch them. Google tried buying them in 2003 for $30M but was rebuffed. Friendster thought it could be much bigger, maybe something bigger than what Google is today.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "For some of us, Friendster has been part of our lives in secondary school, JC and then uni. We grew up with it, thinking it was cool to connect and "kapo" on our friends there. But its a real dud in America. Why MySpace became so hot and Friendster sucks (with thos slow loading of their pages) should be commuicated to Singaporeans. "
August 10, 2006
Singapore is enlisting teachers to encourage the country's students to consider careers in industry, not just in services like banking. The government will spend $4.7 billion over five years to foster research and high-end production in industries such as biomedical sciences and precision engineer. It's aiming to replace assembly lines that are moving to low-cost countries such as China and Malaysia. It may need 15,000 workers a year from the 2.3 million-strong labor force, it says.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Where else to start brainwashing?"
July 30, 2005
Kwok Siong let us know what jobs NS men can do after they ORD.
NSFs should have no worries of not being able to find a job after they complete their National Service. This is because the SAF has done a great job in training the soldiers to be versatile, to do many things.
It is always good to know that there is a backup plan in case you can't land a decent job..
July 20, 2005
cour marly said:
Some time ago, a well-meaning colleague took it upon himself to let me know that his boss was getting crackberries for everyone in his department. Because this colleague of mine is much junior to me, he was letting me know in case I got huffy about it. I think my reaction rather surprised him, as I really didn't care who got a crackberry. I don't want one. I don't care to be tethered to corporate email 24 hours a day. Short of a management decree, I was not going to accept a crackberry. Ever.
The politics of Blackberries.
May 21, 2005
TPL describes working at the Night Safari
Food preparation for the carnivores in the safari includes cutting HUGE portions of horse meat into small chucks. What happens is that the dead horses from the turf club will arrive at the zoo, where the folks there will chop the dead horses into many pieces, each piece can be the horse's thigh, abdomen etc. Some of these are delivered to the safari. And yesterday, poor me had to cut them into smaller chucks, each chunk the size of my palm.
April 20, 2005
AcidFlask said "many bloggers and blogreaders (bloggees?) may have not realized this, but a quiet moment in the history of the singaporean blogosphere was marked last week. as far as i know, convexset is the first person who has retracted a statement made by him about one of his superiors at work. in the wake of calls to dooce the unfortunate cz, this event marks a watershed in singapore blog history."