March 30, 2017

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By Louis Ng

MR LOUIS Ng, an MP for Nee Soon GRC, received some flak for suggesting that the public service had lost its heart when he spoke up in Parliament on Wednesday (Mar 1). TMG asked him to respond to various comments.

 

I’m not sure how, but my speech in Parliament about having a system without a heart became about having a civil servant without a heart. My exact words were: “In our pursuit to automate most things, we now have a system without a heart.”

But I’m glad it’s started a debate about this. That is the first step towards change.

This speech has generated response about how public servants actually do serve with a heart. And I completely agree. In fact, in my speech, I stated that “I have worked with many outstanding public servants in the last 16 years of my life as a civil society activist and the last year and a half as an MP. These are a rare breed who devote their lives towards serving Singapore…”

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Beyond the headlines, here is the gist of the points I made in my speech. You can view my full speech here.

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1. A system without a heart.
In the example I shared, the HDB officer had a heart and agreed to help the resident but his actions were overridden by a computer, which generated a letter demanding payment. That is the problem we need to urgently tackle.

 

2. Ensuring we can think out of the box
In another example I shared, the AVA officer knew the solution used to address the human-monkey conflict didn’t work. However, the officer’s hands were tied as the instruction to use this method came from the director.

 

3. We need to listen rather than explain
This is not a new point and one raised by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam back in 2015. The question is, have we done what DPM suggested?

DPM said, “We also have to stay open to ideas from others, and co-develop solutions with the community, the private sector and civil society and people from all walks of life… We must be close to the ground, listening to feedback, sensing the deeper concerns that often underlie that feedback, and spotting the gaps in policy delivery that should not be there… Developing and coordinating solutions together… must be second nature to public servants.”

 

4. I made suggestions on how we can improve
I made eight suggestions, starting with this one about helping our frontline public servants: “For a start, we need to cut some slack for our ground officers, our frontline staff members who will be the first to detect people who have fallen through the cracks, who can alert us.

Many I’ve spoken to feel that when they bring such cases to their superiors, they are scolded for not following the books. We need to develop a culture where they are not penalised for being different and where they are giving some flexibility when processing cases.”

 

I have received many comments about my speech. Here’s a sampling.

“Well said Mr Ng, thank you for speaking the mind of many in SG.”

“It is sad that people have not truly understood the message behind your speech, and that you’ve gotten flak when you had nothing but good intentions. Nevertheless, thanks for speaking out, and for this very timely reminder!”

“Public servants serve their best under trying conditions. We serve the ppl under the directions of the Government of the day. It pains me to be “lacquered in honey and staked out to an ant farm” by the very ppl we work for.”

There have also been different views published by The Middle Ground and by Lucian Teo, which I’ve shared on my Facebook page. Some have asked me why I shared those posts and my reply is simple. Everyone has a different view and we should embrace this diversity of views. And so people who are following my page should not only read my views but the opposing views too.

Again, I’m glad our speeches have sparked this much-needed debate. I’m glad it has sparked a wave of appreciation for our public servants, which is also needed and lacking.

But what worries me about this whole debate thus far is that we have not debated nor discussed the solutions offered. Not in the public arena nor in Parliament.

This speech isn’t about pointing fingers. It is about how we can make things better. Isn’t this what PM wished for? In his National Day Rally 2016, he said: “But what I would like to have is that we be blessed with a ‘divine discontent’ – always not quite satisfied with what we have, always driven to do better.”

There is always room to improve and the examples I have highlighted point to a systemic issue and not isolated cases. We need to address this and I hope the next chapter of this debate is about that. About discussing how we can improve the system, the bureaucracy, how we can develop and coordinate solutions together, how we can improve our system so that public servants can work in an environment where they can speak up and can question.

And we need to address this comment from a public servant which was shared with me:

“You think I don’t want to go the extra mile for my countrymen? I got heart, but I got time boh? MOF every year cut budget, we always kena headcount freeze or worse headcount cut. Work is ever-increasing, manpower is decreasing. Sustainable? My foot lah. Keep telling me to exercise compassion and empathy, you think I don’t know? Legislate more support for public officers first then we talk”

I read this out in Parliament (I took out three words “My foot lah”) and I urged DPM Teo Chee Hean to consider this feedback and hope that as we cut budgets, we can also consider the impact this has on individual public servants.

There is one last group of comments I’ve received which is about how I’m going to get into trouble for speaking up. I’d better “take care”. This worries me the most.

At a recent dialogue session, panellist and behavioural scientist David Chan jokingly addressed civil servants in the audience, saying: “You talk so much to me but when the minister is present, in front of him, you’re absolutely silent.” This habit stems partly from a fear of looking bad in front of others and of failing.

We need to make sure we don’t develop this culture of fear. Did I take some flak for speaking up? I don’t think so. I got to hear the views from fellow Singaporeans who might not have otherwise shared their views. And to answer many people, nope, PM didn’t call me after the speech and tell me to keep quiet.

I started my journey as an MP saying that I’m here to speak up, to speak my mind and to help shape policies. I have done so and will continue to do so. But most of all I’m here to listen. As I’ve said in my maiden speech in Parliament “we are not just there just to explain policies to people, to throw them facts and figures but we are there to truly listen and understand.”

Everyone needs to speak up if we care about Singapore. Remember this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your thoughts, your frustrations, and your suggestions with me over the past few days. Thank you to our public servants for serving Singapore and Singaporeans. Much appreciated too!

 

Featured image by Pixabay user Alexas_Fotos. (CC0 1.0)

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by The Middle Ground

HOW time flies – it feels as if 2017 just started, yet we’re already done with February! The start of March also marks an important Christian tradition, the observance of Lent.

During Lent, Christians commit to greater spiritual devotion to God and abstain from luxuries (such as avoiding profligate spending). Most adherents, notably the Roman Catholics, also observe Lent by giving up the consumption of meat. The period of Lent traditionally lasts forty days. It begins on Ash Wednesday (Mar 1) and includes the holy week that immediately precedes Easter (Apr 16).

The holy week comprises Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Palm Sunday is widely observed in Singapore where Catholics receive new palm leaves blessed by the priest to bring home. Similarly, on Maundy Thursday, churches are crowded for Maundy Thursday service and the ritual feet washing ceremony, where the priest or Archbishop will wash the feet of some of the parishioners. This particular rite was only limited to men and boys until Pope Francis issued a new rule that women should be able to participate as well.

While the purpose of Lent – to draw oneself closer to God through religious penance and resisting the temptations of the flesh – is shared by many Christian denominations, the means through which Lent is observed differ greatly.

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1. Manilla, Philippines – Dedicated devotees carry heavy crosses, self-flagellate

Image from Wikipedia Commons
Image from Wikipedia Commons

Some Catholic devotees in the Philippines mark the last week of Lent by whipping themselves in public or carrying heavy crosses barefoot through the streets of Manilla. A small fraction even engages in gory displays of crucifixion, nailing themselves to wooden crosses. This practice is known in the region as pamagparaya (self-flagellation) and is meant for the adherent to experience a fraction of the suffering that Christ went through.

Devotees often go through pamagparaya to petition for good health, either for themselves or an ailing relative. Some devotees also put themselves through pain as penance for their sins, as an act of religious cleansing.

The Catholic Church has criticised this tradition, claiming that it goes against Catholic teachings that the body is sacred. Other religious critics have further expressed discomfort that particular villages and communities have taken advantage of the public spectacle to attract tourists, monetising this practice.

 

2. Moscow, Russia – Two per cent of Russians intend to fully abide by dietary restrictions throughout Lent

Image by falco, from Pixabay
Image by falco, from Pixabay

Russia is home to the Russian Orthodox Church, and nearly half the Russian population identifies as Christian (various denominations, including Protestant, Catholic, and Russian Orthodox). A poll conducted by the Levada Center reported that two per cent of the Russian population, or three million Russians, intend to fully observe the strict Lenten dietary restrictions from Mar 1 to Apr 16.

According to the Russian Orthodox Church, the strict observance of Lent requires giving up all animal food – meat, eggs, fish, seafood and all dairy products. On the first and last day of Lent, complete fasting is recommended. On the second day, only bread and water are allowed. Throughout this period, believers should refrain from alcohol, with the exception of a little wine on weekends, smoking, sex, swearing, and bad thoughts.

Also reported by the Levada Center: 18 per cent of those polled said they intend to observe Lent partially, for instance by giving up meat. 30 per cent of respondents are prepared to reduce their alcohol consumption during Lent, and 15 per cent will restrict their sex lives.

 

3. Antigua, Guatemala – A grand religious procession to mark the end of Lent

Image by , on Flickr
Image by Arian Zwegers, on Flickr

The Christian faith in Guatemala has its roots in the Spanish conquistadors who spread their faith after invading the territory in the early 1500s. Today, Antiguans mark the end of Lent in distinctive local fashion, by arranging elaborate religious processions which last from dawn to dusk.

During this period, Antigua is well-known for the dozens of large floats which are paraded through the city streets by hundreds of men clad in purple robes. These floats are called “andas”, and either features a statue of Jesus with a cross or a Saint. Andas featuring the Virgin Mary are carried by women dressed in black, and are a rare sight. Before the procession winds its way through the city, the streets are lined with colourful “alfombras” (carpets) that are made from coloured sawdust, grass, fruits, vegetables, flowers and other materials.

 

4. Mompox, Colombia – A night in the cemetery 

Image from Wikipedia Commons
Image from Wikipedia Commons

At around 6pm on Holy Wednesday, Mompox residents dress in their finest clothing and gather in the town cemetery to commence a ceremony known as the Serenade to the Deceased – a fusion of Catholic traditions with magic and paganism.

Residents light candles to illuminate the cemetery and stay there overnight, sitting in front of graves of deceased loved ones. They place flowers on the graves and serenade the dead. This lasts till the early hours of the morning, when funeral music is played to bring an end to the ceremony.

 

5. Washington, United States – St. Patrick’s Day to coincide with Lent period
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Image from Wikipedia Commons
Image from Wikipedia Commons

This year, St. Patrick’s Day – a celebratory holiday where corned beef and cabbage is traditionally eaten – falls on a Friday (Mar 17), clashing with the commonly-held Lenten rule of requiring Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays.

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday once every seven years, and this coincidence has not gone unnoticed by some American bishops. Many had already issued dispensations for Catholics in their dioceses allowing them to eat meat on St. Patrick’s Day. However, they also advised Catholics to do an additional act of charity or penance in exchange for eating meat.

 

Featured image Earth by Flickr user Kevin GillCC BY-SA 2.0

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by Eugene Tay

IT WAS 5.30pm when I arrived at the Changi Exhibition Centre and made my way to the back of the queue for Pen A (for $300 ticket holders) at the Guns N’ Roses concert on Saturday (Feb 26). GnR would take the stage at 8pm. It took about 30 minutes to get to the first checkpoint and a couple of minutes more to get our tickets scanned and RFID wristbands synced.

The three pairs of gatekeepers were doing a good job keeping the momentum going but they were impeded by the speed at which their devices could process. By the time I cleared through, the line snaked back twice as long as when I first joined. Bag check was next, and went smoothly.

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It was less than two hours to show time. I’ve worked organising concerts and festivals before, and I was beginning to sense things were about to get massively ugly.

How things were laid out at the concert. Enter from the bottom.
How things were laid out at the concert. Enter from the bottom.

The venue was big enough to accommodate the record 50,000 turnout but wasn’t set up for it. Whoever was in charge of the front of house had probably expected a gradual flow of traffic from 1pm to 8pm and did not account for a sudden influx an hour before show time.

It was an obvious miscalculation. Middle-aged concertgoers aren’t as free as when they were younger, when it was normal for fans to camp overnight for concerts.

About those RFID bands. They’re supposed to ease the hassle of payment: you top up a non-refundable amount at one station and then go spend it at the stalls. There were three counters for cash top-ups and just one for credit cards. I queued for an hour to load my RFID tag.

Now that I was e-cash loaded, I started my first queue for drinks. It was 7.30pm by the time I got my first two pints of beer and the queue situation had reached worrying levels. I felt sorry for those in queue behind me but was more relieved that I wasn’t one of them, so I sipped on my beer and made my way to the outdoor area of Pen A.

Wolfmother, the pre-show band, ended their set just as I finished my two pints, clearing the stage for the main act slated to start in about 15 minutes, at exactly 8pm. I “excuse-me”-d my way towards one of the only two drink stations in Pen A and – by golly-mother-of-god – the drink queue was all the way to the back of Pen A and threatening to spill over into Pen B.

“Screw this,” I thought to myself, remembering that there were F&B stalls back in the Exhibition Hall. “I’m going to try my luck with the queue in the Hall”. So I made a quick dash for it.

The Hall was a scene out of a zombie apocalypse movie.

There were more people in the hall than there were in the Pen. The queues for food, drinks and merchandise had exploded out of control, forming a human bulwark against the kancheong latecomers who needed to get from bag check station to the outdoor Pen in the shortest possible time. All around, people were losing their tempers. One guy was yelling at his friend, apparently still in a shuttle bus, over the phone.

I had two options. Screw the drinks and forget my remaining $160 in credits, or run back into my Pen and join the other queue. I decided I needed a head-start away from this chaos in the Hall before it reached the Pen.

That’s when GNR started playing, people started running, and pandemonium ensued. There was no way the gatekeeper could hold the frenzied human horde back to check the validity of our tags. More hell broke lose than you’d see at a death metal concert. By the time I got back to the Pen, there was only a semblance of a queue. It was just a mob of people standing at the back that differentiated themselves from non-queuers by the pissed off looks on their faces.

I waited in the drink line for two hours while the band played. Now I guess I could have gotten pissed off at this point, seeing that I had spent about 80 per cent of the concert in the drink queue. I’m sure some people were. But that’s not my style. What good does it do? Spoil my own fun and waste the $300 I spent because I chose to let the situation dictate how I feel? Being pissed off doesn’t change anything. I ended up singing along with others in the queue and making new friends.

The performance was excellent in the way that only an old-school fan can appreciate. The few seconds of sound glitch during one of Slash’s solos was not an issue as most of us already had the riffs in our head and were happy to fill in the gaps. The boys were pudgy and more subdued than their younger selves, but so were we – the concertgoers.

If you were there purely for the music, you would have enjoyed the show and probably walked away not knowing that there were thousands of angry fans behind you who spent the entire show queuing up for food and drinks that they probably never got.

When it finally came to my turn, the crowd was chanting ‘encore’. I couldn’t really see what was going on and hadn’t been able to for the past half hour, because my view was blocked by the drink tent.

The poor sod in front of me almost broke down because he had just realised that his RFID tag did not come pre-loaded with credits, which he felt a $300 ticket would have entitled him to.

I’m glad they had a 30 minutes encore set. I made it a point to down one pint for every song, to catch up on lost time. By the time the band got to Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, I was singing my lungs out and in a largely forgiving mood.

Eugene at the concert
Eugene at the concert.

To me, organiser LAMC Productions made a business decision to slash (no pun intended) costs so that the concert could happen at the given ticket price. As a business, they guarded their bottom line and delivered what they could. They cut manpower, access points, facilities, amenities and probably hired less experienced temps on the ground.

Being a concert promoter has got to be the most thankless job in the world. They get into tough negotiations to bring in the acts, cough up the money, take the risks (GnR’s performance fees are rumoured to be US$3 million, excluding travel and entourage expenses) bend over backwards to accede to everyone’s requests, but when things don’t go right, it will be their fault. It doesn’t matter if you ran ten great shows prior; people only remember the screw-ups.

I don’t doubt for one second that the people who worked there that night had put in their very best. It’s tough work with long hours and shitty pay. Whoever you guys are, thank you.

The show ended, my beer was almost done, and I needed to pee, but discovered that the toilet queue would probably be another two hour wait. I looked at the empty plastic cups lying by my feet… whence it came, thence it shall return…

 

Eugene Tay is a Singaporean author, entrepreneur and a mindset coach. He runs the Get Naked with Eugene Tay talk show where he interviews interesting people and puts himself through life changing challenges. He eventually decided not to pee into a cup.

 

Featured image by Eugene Tay.

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Green alarm clock showing 8.30.

A CABBY who lied about being attacked by his Norwegian passenger was sentenced to 19 weeks jail yesterday.

Here’s what his victim, Mr Arne Corneliussen, said about the case: “In the greater scheme of things, he is going through what I went through as well. But I still lost my job, I lost money to him and I also spent a lot on legal fees, so I can’t say I feel like justice was done. He has yet to reach out to me to offer compensation of any sort.”

Cabby Chan Chuan Heng had pinned the blame on Mr Corneliussen, who was jailed 10 weeks and had to pay him $30,000. Later, Mr Corneliussen was re-tried and fined $2,000 for causing hurt. The former DHL director had already served more than half his 10-week sentence.

Mr Corneliussen has a point. How is he going to get his money back? Sue the cabby?

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What was also interesting is how this was missed out earlier in the investigations. According to ST, Chan also deliberately did not submit the in-car camera footage that would have captured the sound of his earlier altercation with Mr Corneliussen, and would have cast the entire incident in a different light.

We move from Singapore and Norway to Singapore and China now…

Nothing was said about the retention of Terrexes in Hong Kong when Singapore’s high-powered team went to Beijing to meet their counterparts for the delayed meeting of the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation. Instead Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean emphasised the need to be “forward-looking”. So we don’t know if the Terrexes were discussed or not, although Mr Teo did make clear that Singapore was sticking to its One China policy and that biltateral relations were deep and broad enough to weather disturbances.

Much was made of the composition of his team members, younger ministers whom he brought along to build ties with their generational counterparts in China. In the old fold were Ministers Lim Hng Kiang and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. Cabinet ministers in the young set were Ms Grace Fu, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Mr Lawrence Wong, Mr Ng Chee Meng and Mr Ong Ye Kung. The second liners or junior ministers were Dr Amy Khor (although she can be considered as part of the old fold), Mrs Josephine Teo, Ms Sim Ann and Dr Koh Poh Koon.

Perhaps, he should have brought along a young non-Chinese as well, to make the point that Singapore is multi-racial society that won’t dance to the Chinese tune, now as well as in the future.

 

Featured image from TMG file.

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Black clock showing 8.30

PM LEE Hsien Loong has joined a handful of senior civil servants to say that he wants to work with people with whom he can have a “productive disagreement”, and who have their own views. He also said that leaders have to be able to take criticism and acknowledge mistakes.

PM Lee spoke at a closed-door dialogue with around 100 leaders from the global tech sector, organised by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India. He also spoke about how Singapore has to leverage technology to move forward while managing change.

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Recent complaints by local bike rental firms (the kiosks at parks like East Coast Park) highlight both the uses of tech and the disruptive changes it brings. Bike rental firms, which rent out rides at $7-8 an hour are crying foul over Chinese bike sharing company ofo’s business practices.

The new entrant into the bike rental market parks bikes illegally (ST ran a photo of ofo bikes parked in carpark lots), pay no rent (since they don’t have to tender for kiosks), and charge a market-breaking price of $0.50 a ride with no time limit. Kiosk owners also complain about how public facilities like bike stands are being used for profit without the company having to pay a cent.

Ofo and local outfit Obike (that charges $1 and has deployed bikes mostly around MRT stations) have developed systems that allow customers to unlock bikes using their mobile phones and simply park them wherever they end their journey instead of having to bring them back to a kiosk.

Nparks and LTA are monitoring the situation, but are most concerned with illegal parking and safety. Is this the start of the Uber-isation of bicycles? Will outdated business models simply fall by the wayside?

The complaints are also piling up after the Guns N’ Roses concert on Saturday night (Feb 25). Concertgoers lambasted LAMC Productions, the organiser, for poor planning and a poor experience, with issues arising from food and drink shortages, hour-long queues, leftover credits from an RFID payment system, and transport woes to and from the remote Changi Exhibition Centre.

LAMC Productions chief Mr Rob Knudson took full responsibility for the situation, saying that the company would formulate a refund process for unspent credits, and that the company would take the criticism and plan better for future events.

Well, at least the band played on.

 

Featured image from TMG file.

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by Azimin Saini (Michelin Guide Singapore)
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ON RUE de La Roquette in the outskirts of Paris, Alain Ducasse, the illustrious chef behind the many Michelin-starred restaurants from Paris to London is hunched over a mound of cocoa beans spread on a metal counter. “I had the dream of making my own chocolate, making it the traditional way from bean to bar,” he says in French. The counter is in a factory that specialises in bean-to-bar chocolates supplied to his restaurants and sold online. Many of them are single origin products made with beans sourced from the likes of Peru, Java and Vietnam.

Half a world away in the Malaysian state of Pahang, a member of the Temuan community – an orang asli (indigenous) ethnic group harvests a cocoa pod, to be sold to a local chocolatier. These are foraged from the wild and grow as solo trees rather than in organised plantations. Their way of life has been unchanged for generations and many depend on rubber tapping and forest foraging for an income.

From Paris to Pahang: the two locations are distinct but connected threads that make up the auburn fabric of the chocolate world. For centuries, the relationship between cocoa production and chocolate consumption has been a portrait depicting the haves and the have-nots.

One sees it as an affordable but luxurious indulgence, the other to merely eke out a living.

Countries home to cocoa bean farms are often developing or middle-income countries which supply raw materials to Western production centres thousands of kilometres away. Most chocolates produced by these origin growing countries are often seen as inferior, made by constituting low-quality cocoa powder with vegetable fat – not cocoa butter as is the case of quality chocolates.

“It’s ironic,” says Toby Garritt, CEO and founder of Pod Chocolate. “When you ask people about their favourite chocolate, they’re invariably going to mention chocolates from France, Switzerland or Belgium. None of these countries are cocoa-growing countries.”

“I’m from Australia and my family had a vineyard in South Australia,” Garritt continues. “And where you have the vineyard, you have the winery. No one would imagine taking Australian grapes to France and calling that a French wine. And yet, it’s perfectly normal for cocoa to travel thousands of kilometres and somehow it becomes French or Swiss. Why is that?”

 

The Big Change
But a tectonic shift is happening. Garritt is part of a growing crop of Southeast Asia-based fine chocolate makers who operate a short distance away from cocoa tree farms. The CEO lives in Bali and uses Balinese cocoa beans for his range of chocolate bars.
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It’s a niche playing field and these makers are scattered across the South East Asian region. In Malaysia, there’s Chocolate Concierge whose products includes bars made from cocoa pods foraged by the Temuan community. Over in Vietnam, there’s Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat created by Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou. Further east in The Philippines, there’s Hiraya Chocolates – the brainchild of Arvin Peralta who sources his cocoa beans from Davao. Indonesia, the world’s third largest exporter of cocoa, is emerging as the biggest player in the bean-to-bar scene as it’s home to a handful of makers ranging from Pipiltin Cocoa to Pod Chocolate.

These makers are only a few years old, and the scene is at its infancy. But already, domestic and international coverage is picking up, along with export offers promising to take these bars to the global stage. What unites them is a sense of irony – that cocoa producing countries are not also home to premium chocolate makers.

 

Cocoa’s History in South East Asia
In part, it’s because of the global development of the chocolate economy. For all its sweetness and associations with luxury and romance today, chocolate has a dark history. That French, Swiss and Belgian chocolates are seen as the pinnacle of quality is a direct result of history – one that has seen the dawn of colonisation and heard the rallying cries for national independence.
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Here’s a brief but vital history: cocoa itself is native to Central America and grows in a narrow girdle stretching 20 degrees north and south of the equator. The Spanish conquest of the region introduced this exotic tropical product to Europe where it was first enjoyed as a drink, and then in confectionery. It wasn’t long before colonial powers sought to increase its production, and began planting the trees in other colonies – including Southeast Asia.
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The first cocoa beans to reach the region was in 1660s on the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade – a route that connected the Spanish colonies of The Philippines and Mexico across the Pacific Ocean.

Not to be outdone, other European powers began experimenting in their South East Asian colonies. The trees flourished but they found better commercial success with other cash crops. Spices are of greater value in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia), rubber easily outweighed cocoa beans in Malaya while the French similarly found greater commercial imperative with growing coffee in Vietnam.

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https://robert-parker-michelin-sg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/media/image/2017/02/12/6625df9f33354e34bdb2e3d435109f93_chocolate+roasting.jpg

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Despite its introduction as a crop in this region, Arvin Peralta of Hiraya notes that Asians were not exposed to the chocolate making traditions of Europe. “The Spanish just used chocolate for chocolate drinks. That’s the product that developed here in The Philippines,” he says referring to tableya – a Filipino chocolate drink introduced during the Spanish colonial era.

Instead, it is the fledgling chocolate companies in the European metropoles that would emerge as leviathans in today’s chocolate world. Van Houten was one such – the Dutch firm invented the cocoa press in 1828 – the hydraulic machine that separates cocoa solids from cocoa powder that made mass chocolate manufacturing a reality. British maker Fry’s was another, for inventing the chocolate bar in 1847 by mixing sugar with cocoa powder and cocoa butter.

Over the course of a hundred years, many of the original chocolate makers have merged into massive multinationals. Fry’s was gobbled up by rival British chocolate company Cadbury in 1919 which was in turn acquired by Kraft Foods in 2010. Belgian chocolate maker Callebaut and French Firm Cacao Barry merged in 1996 to form Barry Callebaut which today produces 1.7 million tonnes of cocoa per year.

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By the 2010s, change was in the air. Consumers started growing conscious of the source of their food and support for small producers took off. Craft beers boomed, as did the third wave coffee joints that swept much of the world’s cities. With it rose the bean-to-bar chocolatier that was the antithesis of everything a multinational offers: terroir sensitivity, fair trade and to some, exclusivity.

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The fleshy white insides of a cocoa pod.
The fleshy white insides of a cocoa pod.
The Importance of Staying Local

This new wave of chocolate makers do everything from purchasing their own cocoa beans, grinding them down on site, moulding, packaging and marketing them.There was just one problem: few are based in the origin growing countries. This distance and lack of direct access to farmers have led to criticism of bean-to-bar makers for using inferior beans even if the products are single origin.

One such critic is Frederic Loraschi, a pastry chef and consultant for juggernauts like Hershey who believes that bigger buyers get better beans. “These guys get the best beans because they buy big volumes and can afford it,” he tells trade website Confectionerynews.com. “The others buy leftovers that nobody wants.”

Small chocolatiers are not able to afford travelling regularly to form strong relationships or control the fermentation process, he says.

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https://robert-parker-michelin-sg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/media/image/2017/02/12/676c186c5b4e464e88d723b78f5fb422_Tonny+Garritt+profile.jpg
“You need to be on the field selecting beans yourself but they [the plantation or seller] have probably already sold their best beans to Barry Callebaut,” he adds.
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And that’s exactly where Southeast Asia’s chocolate makers have an edge. Living a short day trip away from the farms means they are, “[not only] able to be on site to inspect the beans,” says Ning of Chocolate Concierge, “but are able to take it one step further, which is to start from the tree itself.”

Agreeing, Garritt (pictured left) says: “How do you know if you’ve got a high quality raw material? The first thing you have to do is go into the farm and ask yourself, is this a healthy and happy looking farm? If it isn’t why is that?”

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Empowering the Powerless
Part of the appeal of these bean-to-bar chocolate makers is their social mission which has an impact on communities as much as on the quality of the cocoa beans that they get. They are closer economically and emotionally to these farms: their multiple sojourns into the cocoa growing depths of their countries often come with the intention of helping farmers to maximise yields, better cocoa quality and hence increase their earnings.
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The week before we spoke to Arvin Peralta of Hiraya, he was visiting cocoa farmers east of Manila in an old port city where the Spanish first introduced cocoa to the region. Unlike in the south where there are established plantations and where he primarily already sources his beans, the cocoa trees here are much older and the farmers are not clued in on post processing techniques.

“The production is small and they don’t know how to ferment the beans which is required in making fine chocolates,” he says referring to the crucial step in which microorganisms work to develop chocolate’s flavour and colour.

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Arvin Peralta (in blue) inspects the cocoa beans with a farmer.
Arvin Peralta (in blue) inspects the cocoa beans with a farmer.

“Doing so can double or triple the selling price. When I spoke to them, they’re interested to learn how and we’ll connect them with the Cocoa Foundation of The Philippines to teach them about post processing. So by the time it’s the May harvest season, they can apply what they’ve learnt.”

The root of the issue is because the farmers themselves have never seen the end product.

“Being at the bottom of the global food chain, farmers typically sell their beans to a middle man and then lose sight of them,” wrote Tissa Aunilla, co-founder of Pipiltin Cocoa on her alma mater’s website. “As a result, some of our suppliers in Tabanan, Bali had never tasted chocolate in their life, even though they had been cocoa bean farmers for 30 years.”
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This makes a massive difference. Garritt says: “Coffee farmers drink their own coffee, so they will know whether his coffee this year was good. He can ask himself, ‘hey this is good, what happened this year?’ With cocoa, the farmers have absolutely no idea. They don’t know the difference between fermented and non-fermented beans, or if it works well.”

One way his company gets around this is to receive beans from co-operatives and turn it into chocolate for them to sample. “So we provide feedback and input on their process even though we’re not the ones ultimately buying the beans,” he says.

Their efforts to help farmers don’t end there. Instead, they also typically pay the farmers higher prices. Pipiltin Cocoa, for instance, pays its suppliers 40-50% more than market price – the same figure that Pod Chocolate reports.

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Vincent Mourou and Samuel Maruta. Photo credit: marouchocolate.com
Vincent Mourou and Samuel Maruta. Photo credit: marouchocolate.com
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“In Vietnam we are fortunately working in good conditions, meaning that the normal market price farmers will get for fermented cacao beans is very close to the price of cacao delivered in London or New York, that’s already more than double what a West African farmer would typically earn,” wrote the duo behind Marou Chocolates on their website.

“At Marou we pay a significant premium over this local market price […] we pay more than the other buyers to have access to higher quality cacao before the other buyers.”

The Rise of The Affluent Class?
Naturally, this means fine chocolates costs more, rendering it almost an accidental luxury product. In The Philippines, a low-quality chocolate bar could is priced as little as 20 to 40 Pesos while a bar of Hiraya chocolates rings up 180 pesos at the cash tills.
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Even so, all the chocolatiers we spoke to report that their sales are on an upward swing. To support this boom, Pod Chocolate just opened a new factory to quadruple production capacity with ample space to expand in future. This is also the factory from which they would start looking for export partners. Pipiltin Cocoa has just made its bars available in Tokyo along with an expanded digital Japanese footprint to serve that market.
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Hiraya Chocolates is looking to double their production this year and Chocolate Concierge purchased an entire farm to have complete control over its products from tree to bar.

The clincher? The bulk of their customer base is local. It’s a sure sign that the taste buds of at least a certain affluent segment of the South East Asian population are becoming not just more discerning but are developing a sensitivity to terroir and ethical consumption.

“There’s an emerging market for this similar to the third wave coffee trend,” says Peralta whose bars are often sold out at retail locations. “It’s mostly millennials and hipsters or the older generation who are looking for healthier options.”

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A staff member from Pod Chocolate in Bali.
A staff member from Pod Chocolate in Bali.

Still, Ning of Chocolate Concierge strikes a cautious note and believes that Asia still has some way to go at least when it comes to terroir and origin. “Japan has the longest history of regional awareness but this sensitivity is not as developed elsewhere in Asia. Yes, we can tell the difference between durians like a D24 from a Musang King but that has not extended to other types of food.”

“We are still in the infancy, but the trend is only moving one way and people are becoming more aware and asking the right questions. For me, the person who picks up the bar and doesn’t know the Malaysian bean-to-bar chocolate story goes, “wow, I want to know how the bar is made,” then that to me, is success.”

But beyond Asia, the common goal of these indie makers is for the world to pivot to these cocoa-growing regions as fine chocolate producing countries too, and for farmers to have a fair shot at a better life.

These are valiant efforts, even if it’s at its nascence. It may not quite narrow the gap between Paris and Pahang or the haves and have-nots just yet, but it does at least take it that much closer.

 

This article first appeared on Michelin Guide Singapore. Visit Michelin Guide Singapore on Facebook.

Featured image by Pixabay user AlexanderStein. (CC0 1.0)

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Obaku watch on a wrist with clock faces pointing at 8:30.

MORE graduates are taking on freelance and part-time jobs, as a result of changing workplace demands and of the mindsets of employees. Of the 89.7 per cent of local graduates who found work within six months of completing their examinations – according to the 2016 Graduate Employment Survey (GES), released last week – 80.2 per cent secured full-time employment. This is 2.9 percentage points lower than the figure in the 2015 GES. On the one hand, given the advent of technology and the emergence of the “gig” economy, these alternative work arrangements allow the companies to respond quickly to changing economic needs, while on the other, freelancers and part-timers may enjoy the flexibility.

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In parliament earlier this month, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that about eight per cent of Singapore’s working residents are freelancers. And because they fall outside the employment protection and social safety net framework, the need for regulation has also been mooted. This same protection could, moreover, be extended to internships, which are become more popular among young Singaporeans. In the private universities, for instance, students use internships to gain work experience. Internships allow to-be graduates to ascertain their work interest, to interact with industry professionals, and to even secure a full-time role upon their graduation.

From the workplace to the classroom: More Singaporeans are choosing to do degree programmes overseas. And in at least four of these countries – Austria, France, Germany, and Norway – tuition is free or marked down.

Public universities in these four countries have been attracting Singaporeans for some years, who are drawn by affordable higher education as well as the opportunity to stay and study abroad. In Norway, for example, the number of Singaporeans enrolled in full-time programmes increased from just 17 in 2007 to 150 in 2014. But before students pack their bags for enrollment, they must have mastered the foreign language, and hope that regular tuition fees – given a potential climate of protectionism in Europe, and the high taxes paid by the locals to subsidise the cost of education – will not be introduced in the near future.

And finally, back in Singapore, three of the four autonomous universities – the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) – and searching around the world for new deans. In the next phase of growth for NUS, NTU, and SUTD, the hope is that the new deans will be able to revamp curricula and to better prepare graduates through work-study programmes and other innovative policies.

 

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earth by Kevin Gill

THINK that murder mysteries and assassinations are confined to the pages of an Agatha Christie novel? Think again, as fact is stranger than fiction. From alleged Kremlin death plot and attempt on the Libyan Prime Minister’s life to North Korean agents attempting to recover Kim Jong Nam’s body by sneaking into the Kuala Lumpur morgue, this week’s news is thick with blood and political intrigue.

 

1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Attempted break-in at morgue holding Kim Jong Nam’s body

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Image from Facebook user Johan Manus.

On Tuesday (Feb 21), merely days after Kim Jong Nam was assassinated by two mysterious women, Malaysian police detected an attempt to break into the morgue where Mr Kim’s body was being kept. Police presence at the morgue has been stepped up. Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar claimed that authorities knew the identity of the break-in suspects, but refused to go into detail as to whether they were North Korean.  He said, “We know who they are. No need to tell you (the press).”

The break-ins, however, have intensified speculation that North Korea is behind the assassination. North Korea has repeatedly tried to foil Malaysian attempts to investigate the murder, calling for the immediate release of the two “innocent women” who were arrested in connection with Kim’s death. The isolated nation has refused to even acknowledge that the dead man was Kim Jong Nam, and has accused Malaysia of conducting a politically-motivated investigation to gain favour with the United States and South Korea.

North Korea-Malaysia relations have soured in light of this diplomatic spat. On February 20, the North Korean ambassador was summoned by the Malaysian government, while the Malaysian ambassador to North Korea was also recalled. This story is still developing.

 

2. Moscow, Russia – Kremlin has denied allegations of Montenegro assassination plot

Image from Wikipedia Commons
Image from Wikipedia Commons

Montenegrin Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnic accused Russia on Sunday (Feb 19) of involvement in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate the Montenegrin prime minister, Milo Dukanovic, in October last year. Russia has strenuously denied any such claims.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in response: “These (are) absurd accusations … We do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, including Montenegro.”

These allegations come as Sergei Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, criticised NATO for being a “Cold War institution”. Russia has pointed to the expansion of NATO membership as a key reason why relations have soured with the West and even annexed the former Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014 in response to the toppling of Russia’s ally and then-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

The planned Montenegro coup, scheduled for Oct 16 last year and foiled only hours before its execution, was a blatant attempt by Serbian and Russian nationalists to deny the pro-NATO and pro-EU Montenegrin Prime Minister from retaining power.

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3. Tripoli, Libya – Libyan PM survived attack on convoy

Image from Facebook user ALGERIA PRESS SERVICE.
Image from Facebook user ALGERIA PRESS SERVICE.

On Monday (Feb 20), a convoy carrying the Prime Minister of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, fell under gunfire as it was passing through the Abu Salim district of Tripoli, the capital. Also among the convoy were Supreme State Council head, Abdel Rahman al Swehli, as well as the commander of Presidential Guard, Najmi al Nakou. They were travelling in armour-plated cars and were unharmed.

However, statements regarding casualties do not tally. The Times of Islamabad reported on February 20 that Mohamed Salem, a spokesman for the Supreme State Council, said two guards were wounded. At the same time, Ashraf al Thulthi, a spokesperson for Mr Fayez’s administration, was reported as saying that “there were no injuries”.

The assassination attempt was a sign of how fragile Mr Fayez’s reign is. Libya has been existing in political turmoil since 2011, with the armed uprising against and death of its dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Subsequently, the Libyan government developed into two rival divisions, one with its seat of power in Tobruk and the other, in Tripoli. In late 2015, the United Nation backed an agreement to form a Government of National Accord, with Mr Fayez at its helm.

Investigations into the identity and backer of the assailants are ongoing.

 

4. Mugla, Turkey – 47 people accused of plotting to kill President Erdogan have gone on trial

Image from Facebook user Movie Box Office Colection & Celebrity News
Image from Facebook user Movie Box Office Colection & Celebrity News.

In Mugla, a province of Turkey, the trial of 47 assassin-suspects has begun on Monday (Feb 20) in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s conference hall. These 47 have been accused of targeting the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.

That night, a section of the Turkish military took to the streets of several major cities with tanks and air bombardments in a coordinated attack. The president was staying in a hotel at the port town of Marmaris then. Fifteen minutes after he left the premises, the hotel was bombed. Meanwhile, loyalist soldiers, police forces and thousands of ordinary citizens resisted the coup after news spread via social media. After a few hours, the government was able to declare victory.  However, at least 248 people died and around 2,200 were wounded.

According to the Turkish government, the mastermind of the coup attempt was Mr Fethullah Gulen, a businessman and influential Turkish preacher on self-imposed exile in the United States (US) since 1999. Mr Gulen has denied any involvement and remained in the US.

Al Jazeera reported that the chief prosecutor of the trial, Mr Necip Topuz, has described the case as “historically important” since it is the only coup-related case where the president is the plaintiff. The trial is expected to last through the year.

 

5. Manila, Philippines – Duterte accused of ordering journalist Jun Pala’s death

Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A former police officer from Davao City in the Philippines has accused President Rodrigo Duterte as the mastermind behind the killing of a journalist, Jun Pala. Mr Duterte, who was then the chief executive of Davao City, allegedly founded the “Davao Death Squad” in 1988 and ordered the killing of criminals and troublesome political enemies.

On September 6, 2003, Mr Pala was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle while walking home from work. Mr Duterte denied involvement in the killing, but he also claimed to know who was behind Mr Pala’s death. Mr Pala had clashed with Duterte on many occasions – one of which involved Mr Duterte’s positive relationship with the New People’s Army (a communist insurgency), while Mr Pala was reportedly part of the Alsa Masa, an anti-communist group accused of human rights abuses in the 1980s.

As president, Mr Duterte has endorsed the killing of corrupt journalists and stands accused of waging a bloody war against drug gangs and peddlers in the Philippines.

 

Featured image Earth by Flickr user Kevin Gill. (CC BY-SA 2.0) 

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by Bertha Henson and Lee Chin Wee

HIS left eye was twitching. He didn’t like it; something bad was going to happen. Maybe the two women in Macau were at each other’s throats. It was tough keeping a second wife and a mistress, not to mention wife Number 1 in Beijing. Throats… why was he thinking about throats? He touched his jowly chin. His left eye twitched again. Maybe it was the Malaysian dust. Or the haze.

Finally, he reached KLIA Terminal 2. He swung his legs out of the cab, careful to make sure that nothing had dropped out of his shoulder bag. He had been in KL since Feb 6, which made it a week-long trip. He was really slumming it, compared to his growing up days as a scion of the Kim dynasty. He wasn’t even boarding a premier airline for home; he was flying AirAsia.

Pampered.

Little General.

Nice schools in Switzerland.

Generous allowance.

It was great being a grandson of a strongman, donning a military uniform bearing the rank of a marshall at the age of seven. If only he wasn’t a bastard. Not that Ma didn’t try to convince Pa to make her a decent woman. She just gave up after six years of trying. Pa, after all, was worried that Grandpa wouldn’t make him his heir. He needn’t have worried at all…

He pulled his cap close to his face. He was worried about being recognised at the airport by the Japanese media which have been extremely good at tracking down his movements. He supposed it was because he spoke Japanese. He walked into the airport and looked around. So far so good. No one’s accosted him. So why was his eye still twitching? He rubbed it vigorously. When his vision cleared, he caught sight of someone familiar standing near the departure hall doors.

Could he be…? No, he can’t be. He was, as usual, being paranoid. He wasn’t in North Korea or some dangerous place. This was KL. It wasn’t as safe as Singapore, but safe enough.

He checked his North Korean passport which had his name as Kim Chol. Fake passports had always helped him except that one time in 2001 when he was caught trying to enter Japan so that he could be in Disneyland. He shook his head at the memory.

He was then 30. Now, he’s a pudgy 46-year-old with two wives, a mistress and six children, keeping a low profile and, hopefully, off the radar of the rest of his family.

What time was his flight? He looked up at the airport departure board.  Oh. Two more hours to kill.

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It seemed like time had stood still since Pa died. From managing accounts for Pa and the family and enjoying a huge allowance, he suddenly became a poor black sheep intended for the slaughterhouse.  It was good thinking on his part not to return for Pa’s funeral in December 2011. He had an inkling that his family wouldn’t want him around when Jong Un took over the torch. He was an embarrassment, and technically, as the eldest son, he could be seen as a contender for the throne.

It would have helped Jong Un, who had been anointed Crown Prince the year before, if he was out of the way – for good. He wished he hadn’t told Japan’s TV Asahi that he opposed having his family hold power for another generation. He had also said he had no objections to Jong Un taking over, but people only remembered one phrase and not the other. They didn’t even remember him saying that he didn’t have the aptitude to run the country because he was a “capitalist kid”.

With a shudder, he recalled the death of his cousin in February 1997.

Ri Il Nam was shot dead in front of his apartment lift in Seoul. It was that damned memoir he wrote the year before.

His eye twitched again when he recalled how he himself had been friendly with journalists in the past. A Japanese journalist had published a book of their correspondence even though he had pleaded with him to wait at least three years after Pa’s death. Instead, the book surfaced while Pa’s mourning period of 100 days wasn’t even over!

It wasn’t just Il Nam who had been gunned down. There was what happened to Uncle Jang Sang Thaek as well. You would have thought Jong Un would appreciate having such an experienced loyalist by his side. But no, he had him executed in late 2013 for treason!

Sigh. He had liked Uncle Jang and Aunty Kim Kyung Hee. He also liked their son, Yong Chol, who was the country’s ambassador to Malaysia. Until 2013. His half-brother really knew how to conduct a purge…

The time was 8 am. He made sure his cap was tilted down to shield his face, before starting toward the check-in counter. He glanced briefly over his shoulder – nothing. One could never be too careful. He remembered how, back in 2010, a North Korean agent had tried to kill him by staging a “hit-and-run accident” in China.

Thankfully, his time in Malaysia had gone by without incident. He was in front of an automated check-in terminal, only a few steps from the relative safety of Macau. All he needed to do now was to scan his passport, retrieve his plane tickets and board his flight.

He reached into his jacket pocket.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a young woman- she looked Malaysian, or Indonesian – reach toward him.

Probably someone who doesn’t know how to use the automated check-in terminals. He turned to help.

Her hands did not stop moving. Suddenly, he felt her fingers clamp firmly around his neck, forcing his face upwards. He gasped for breath.

The click-clack of heels slapping against the tiled floor could be heard. Must be someone running over to help me, he thought, as he struggled with his assailant. The sound of running grew louder.

Another woman dressed in a white shirt with some words on it and slim-fitting blue skirt, appeared by his side. A blur of white filled his vision, as he felt her hands grope his face. This time, the hands were oily – slick fingers worked their way over his eyes, nose, mouth. And just as fast as the attackers had struck, they melted back into the crowd without a trace.

This time, both eyes started twitching uncontrollably.

Something had been smeared on his face. And whatever it was, it wasn’t good. He could feel his heart palpitating; slamming against his rib cage.

He stumbled. His eyes stung, almost as if they were blistering. Information counter, he thought. I must get help.

He struggled towards the information counter, gesticulating at the counter staff. He felt himself being led somewhere. The airport clinic maybe? Gasping for air, he could barely make out anything that was going on around him. There was noise; lots of it. A siren.

“Hospital! Membawanya ke hospital!”

He felt himself being lifted up, then placed on an armchair. He felt his heart hammering, erratic but violent. He felt his chest crush down on itself.

His eyes stopped twitching.

 

Featured image by Pixabay user ronymichaud. (CC0 1.0)

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Black strap watch with gold face showing 8.30.

WHENEVER there’s money to be given out, you can bet somebody will find a way to get hold of it via dubious means. Remember how companies took advantage of Productivity and Innovation Credit schemes to get cash? Now, that $500 SkillsFuture credit dangling in front of each adult Singaporeans is too tempting for some.

Some people – about 4,400 people – decided to pluck such tempting fruit by submitting false claims for a SkillsFuture course they didn’t attend. It’s intriguing because they all went to the same course by the same service provider – which remains un-named. MSM reported how the scam was uncovered because of data analytics which flagged a sudden spike in claims. The total amount claimed: $2.2 million.

Now the question is whether the system worked before – or after – the claims have been processed and money given out. Well, some 4,400 people are richer by $500 each, more than a GST voucher for most. The G has sent the people letters to return the money in 30 days, but it didn’t say what will happen to those who don’t.

SkillsFuture Singapore said its course directory and claims process were designed to be simple, inclusive and user-friendly, to encourage usage. “It is regrettable that some individuals have abused the system and submitted false claims,” the agency said.

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Investigations are still going on but it’s a wonder how 4,400 people can somehow be making claims for the same course. Was there a mastermind or did they somehow get wind of money to be made this way? If so, how did they get the supporting documents, like receipts for the course fees, to make the claims?

The other theory of course is that they have been unwitting accomplices who had their names used without their consent. If so, no one came forward to say so. Cash in hand is not to be sniffed at?

According to TODAY, SkillsFuture Singapore was asked if there is a risk of the claims system. Its reply: “The SkillsFuture Credit System has never been compromised … SSG’s enforcement system involves data analytics to detect anomalies, regular audits of training providers, and manual audits of individual claims. These measures have allowed SSG to uncover false SkillsFuture Credit claims. We will continue to strengthen the sensitivity of our data analytics system in flagging out anomalies.”

What a thing to say! If giving out $2.2m is not a compromise of the claims system, then what is it?

Still on training – but something that doesn’t look like it can be abused: two universities here are offering work-study degree programmes for its students. The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and SIM University have 65 such places which integrate work and training.

Did your eyes glaze over because you’ve heard about such programmes before? The difference is that the students will be spending a lot more time in a hands-on job, like up to four days a week, than in class. Free labour for companies? Nope. They will be contract staff and it will be for employers to decide if they should be given permanent positions after their graduation.

Minister for Higher Education Ong Ye Kung who announced this yesterday noted that with more people getting into universities, “employers need to ensure a good match between talents and skills of the graduates they hire and organisational needs.”

In other words, when the Singapore graduate cohort hits 40 per cent, employers need to be able to tell one grad from another and this scheme will give some students a cutting edge. The universities are beginning to look like polytechnics, aren’t they? It will be more so when the other universities add this scheme to their current internship and exchange programmes.

What sorts of courses are being offered? They include information security, software engineering, hospitality business, electrical power engineering, civil engineering and finance and business analytics.

Now why would anyone want an arts and social science degree?

 

Featured image from TMG file.

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