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    SINGAPORE - If you've tendered your resignation before, you might have encountered a situation where your boss offers either an increment or promotion in a bid to keep you within the company.

    Such counteroffers, however, are ineffective in retaining staff, according to a recent survey conducted by recruiter Robert Half, where 100 chief financial officers and finance directors in Singapore were surveyed.

    Counteroffers are common practice in Singaporean companies, with an overwhelming majority of 96 per cent of Singaporean employers extending it and about one in three doing so often.

    However, this is not stopping employees from eventually leaving the company - almost six in 10 business leaders who have made a counteroffer indicated that the employee ended up leaving the company anyway. Around 20 per cent say the staff member stayed less than a year.

    Offering a financial incentive may be the immediate reaction to a top employee resigning but according to managing director at Robert Half Singapore, Mr Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, making such an offer is just delaying the inevitable.

    Oftentimes the reason why they want to leave the company goes beyond purely financial reasons. Even if the counteroffer is accepted, a higher salary does not always equal better performance and stronger loyalty.

    - Mr Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director at Robert Half Singapore

    "Oftentimes the reason why they want to leave the company goes beyond purely financial reasons. Even if the counteroffer is accepted, a higher salary does not always equal better performance and stronger loyalty," said Mr Imbert-Bouchard.

    He added that employers would be better off withholding the counteroffer and immediately start the hiring process to replace them.

    But what is the reason behind employers offering incentives for an employee who has expressed interest in resigning?

    Cultural fit, or being able to fit into the company and team, seems to be the main driver for 60 per cent of employers who have made a counteroffer. More than half cited the desire to retain knowledge within the company and team, and 57 per cent point to the additional costs related to the hiring, onboarding and the professional development process.

    Mr Imbert-Bouchard also added that counteroffers are ineffective in the long-term as they can set a negative precedent for employers, giving an indication to staff that threatening to resign is a successful way to receive a pay rise.

    "A better approach is to have a blanket policy to not extend counteroffers to resigning employees as it's not an effective, nor a cost-saving staff retention measure.

    "Instead of reacting when an employee decides to resign, Singaporean employers need to take a proactive approach to their staff retention initiatives to avoid staff turnover," said Mr Imbert-Bouchard.

    He also advised employers to know what drives staff members and to regularly review salaries.

    klim@sph.com.sg

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 18:06

    More about

    Employers/Employees
    Is your staff resigning? Don't extend a counteroffer - here's why
    Others
    Counteroffers are common practice in Singaporean companies, with an overwhelming majority of 96 per cent of Singaporean employers extending it and about one in three doing so often.

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    The Australian parents of a toddler who had a severe allergic reaction due to the opening of too many peanut packets on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight are urging all airlines to stop serving peanuts onboard.

    Marcus Daley, 3, was travelling home to Melbourne from Singapore after a holiday in Thailand with his parents, Chris and Hong Daley, when he began suffering from symptoms of anaphylaxis which is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction.

    "He started vomiting, his eyes were starting to swell and he couldn't speak properly," Dr Daley, a doctor specialising in respiratory issues, said in a Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) report.

    Although Marcus's parents had asked for a nut-free meal for him, they did not expect that the simultaneous opening of hundreds of other passengers' peanut packets would trigger his allergy.

    While the young boy didn't actually consumed any peanuts, the mist and smell of peanuts in the cabin was reportedly strong enough to cause a reaction.

    The toddler said "I don't feel good" before quickly becoming severely ill, according to the ABC report.

    Luckily, the family was carrying four pens of adrenaline and other anti-allergy medication, which quickly brought the situation under control.

    It was also the first time Marcus had been given adrenaline to treat his peanut allergy.

    Once the danger had passed, Dr Daley decided it was safe for his son to continue on to Melbourne. It had been only less than an hour into the seven-hour flight.

    Dr Daley said in the ABC report that he fears that next time, the condition may prove deadly for other airline passengers.

    SIA to review serving of nuts on flights

    In a statement to AsiaOne, SIA said "following the incident, we are reviewing the serving of nuts on board our flights."

    The spokesperson confirmed that the incident occurred on board SQ217, operating from Singapore to Melbourne on July 12, 2017.

    "As soon as our crew were made aware of the situation they immediately removed all packets of peanuts from the area around the affected passenger and his family."

    "Our crew suspended the service of peanuts in the Economy class cabin for the remainder of the flight," said SIA.

    Currently, SIA customers with nut allergies can request for a nut-free meal at the point of booking or at least 48 hours before their flight, says an advisory on their website.

    A few airlines such as Qantas and Air New Zealand have banned peanuts from all flights, while some European companies are completely nut-free.

    British Airways serves nuts, but not peanuts, and the staff can stop serving nuts in the cabin once passengers inform them of relevant allergies, which is also possible on SIA flights (we've heard).

    A comment on SIA's Facebook page also pointed out a helpful experience.

    Photo: Screengrab from Singapore Airlines's Facebook page.

    Swiss Airlines goes a step further by asking passengers not to bring peanuts on board. Although they are unable to guarantee a nut-free meal, the airline does not serve peanuts.

    On the flip side, some major airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways do not offer nut-free flights.

    Since the incident, there have been urgent calls for all airlines to consider not serving peanuts on flights, and internet opinions are divided:

    Photo: Screengrab from the comments section of ABC News's Facebook article on the incident.
    Photo: Screengrab from the comments section of ABC News's Facebook article on the incident.
    Photo: Screengrab from the comments section of ABC News's Facebook article on the incident.
    Photo: Screengrab from the comments section of ABC News's Facebook article on the incident.

    thanhb@sph.com.sg

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 15:30
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    The family of 29-year-old Mario Low Ke Wei, who died after a tandem skydive went wrong in Sydney last Saturday (July 15), is demanding an explanation for the cause of the accident from Sydney Skydivers, the company which organised the dive.

    Although there were speculations on the ailing health of the instructor, 60-year-old Adrian Lloyd, who did the dive with Mario, and whether the parachutes were faulty, no official evidence has been issued thus far.

    It was previously reported that the pair had crashed onto a driveway in Sydney, about 1km from their intended landing spot, and are believed to have died on impact.

    However, previous footage of the bodies showed that the parachutes were partially or fully deployed.

    The owner of Sydney Skydivers, Phil Onis told local media that the pair were equipped with two parachutes, one main and another backup parachute.

    He also commented on the stellar records of Lloyd, who had done over 10,000 dives over his 30-year-long career.

    Local media reported that the two could have failed to deploy their parachutes in time, and crashed.

    Another theory was that Adrian could have been unwell and was not able to deploy the parachutes in time.

    A 39-year-old local skydiving enthusiast told Shin Min Daily News that during a skydiving session, the instructor would usually deploy his backup parachute if there was something wrong with the main, unless he was tangled in the ropes, and was unable to act.

    Mario's father said that he hoped Syndey Skydivers can give a proper explanation for the cause of the accident.

    Mario's sister, on the other hand, is pinning her hopes on the Sydney Police to find the cause of the accident, to give the family the closure they needed.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 14:56

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    Accidents
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    Now, what if that toy that you bought for your child could actually start a fire or seriously hurt your kid?

    Thanks to mankind's creativity, we now have lighters disguised as as many things - one of them being an Apple 'iPhone'.

    Singaporean Aifah Karsani shared a video on her Facebook page showing a toy smartphone belonging to her niece that had a dangerous trick up its sleeve.

    "My niece was playing with it till she realised that she could actually pull open the top right button and to her surprise, it was not just a flash light toy phone but a lighter," she wrote on her post.

    on Facebook

    ATTENTION! If you came across any children particularly young children holding these type of toy phone, please check...

    Posted by Aifah Karsani on Monday, 17 July 2017

    In the video, Aifah showed that when she flipped a switch on the upper right corner of the 'iPhone', a blue flame immediately shot out from the 'headphone jack'.

    Even more shocking is the fact that this 'iPhone' was found in the toy section of a store, she added.

    She urged parents to verify whether similar 'toys' that their children are playing with are just harmless replicas or dangerous lighters-in-disguise.

    Aifah told theAsianparent: "My sister said she bought the toy phone last month in Johor Bahru, but could not remember the name of the shop, as it was bought in a hurry."

    "Thankfully my niece is fine… lucky enough, she informed me straight away when she realised that there was fire in the toy."

    Parents, do take note. Unless you want your children to play with fire, literally.

    akosasi@sph.com.sg

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 17:09
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    The National Parks Board (NParks) said yesterday (July18) that it has counselled an employee who used "inappropriate language" towards a jogger who had provided feedback to them via email.

    The jogger, Mr Dixon Liw, said he had discovered damaged drain covers in his area of residence, Ubi Avenue 1, and believed that they were caused by tree pruning works.

    He wrote on Facebook, "It affects me coz (sic) it happened on my regular jogging route."

    According to Mr Liw, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) "fixed issues" but "a week later, tree pruning happened again and damage was done again. Reported issue to NParks directly and this happened..."

    Photo: Stomp

    He was referring to an email from an NParks manager, which had apparently been sent to him by mistake.

    Mr Liw's Facebook post was also accompanied by a screenshot of the email in question.

    It read: "I believe this guy is out to find trouble with NParks", apparently referring to Mr Liw.

    According to The Straits Times, NParks' deputy chief executive Leong Chee Chiew responded to the incident and said:

    "The National Parks Board (NParks) is aware of this incident, and has contacted Mr Dixon Liw to apologise for our staff's inappropriate language. We have also counselled the staff involved regarding his attitude towards the feedback provider.

    "NParks recognises that feedback from the public helps us to manage our green spaces better, and we appreciate the effort Mr Liw took to alert us to the damaged drain gratings."

    He added that NParks will be repairing the drain gratings by today (July 19).

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 17:44
    Others

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    Despite using them every day, few people are actually aware of the dangers posed by the seemingly innocuous lift.

    A circulating Facebook video of a girl whose hands got caught in the lift doors, and getting seriously injured, brought attention to the safety of our lifts again.

    Apparently, the girl had hit and leaned against the closed lift doors, which suddenly opened, causing her hands to slip through right into the side gap at the doors, reports World of Buzz.

    A surgeon who apparently attended to the girl, said on Facebook:

    "The parents told me her (the girl's) little hands started gushing blood on the spot and they blamed themselves so much that I (the doctor) didn't have the heart to chastise them further.

    "The girl's hands had sustained serious injuries and her tendons were broken,

    "She went into surgery where I tried to repair them, but the damage had already been done.

    "Her condition has stabilised, but there is a big possibility that the functions of her hands would be affected."

    The surgeon ended his post with a warning to parents:

    "Please be aware of the tragedy, so that no such accidents happen in the future.

    "Keep your child by your side and never let them go near the doors!"

    It is unclear where and when the incident took place.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 18:04
    Others

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    Heard of the saying "don't assume because it makes an ass out of 'u' and 'me'"? This man sure feels like one after he falsely accused a woman of being a kidnapper.

    Last Saturday (July 15), a Facebook user named David Voo had posted a photo of a woman, who was later identified as Mdm Zhou, warning others to "beware of this lady".

    Photo: Facebook/ Mdm Zhou
    Photo: Facebook/ Mdm Zhou

    The incident happened at around 1pm that day in front of an iStudio store in Compass One, a shopping mall in Sengkang.

    Inferring from the Facebook post, Mr Voo had thought that Mdm Zhou was attempting to bring a toddler away from her parent, who was shouting the child's name anxiously.

    However, it was revealed that Mr Voo's story was based on his own assumptions, as Mdm Zhou, who found out about the Facebook post later that afternoon, made a police report on July 17 stating that it was a false accusation.

    Mdm Zhou made a police report on July 17, explaining what had actually happened.
    Photo: Facebook/ Mdm Zhou

    In the report, Mdm Zhou clarified that she had found the Chinese toddler, who appears to be about three or four years' old, alone and crying.

    While passersby suggested that she take the toddler to the mall's information counter, a woman emerged from the iStudio store, shouting at the child by her name. 

    Revealing that she only had good intentions to help the toddler find her parents, Mdm Zhou was "deeply hurt" by the false accusation made by Mr Voo and demanded an apology.

    Photo: Facebook/ Mdm Zhou

    As of July 19, Mr Voo had deleted his Facebook post with the false accusation, and apologised to Mdm Zhou in a private message, according to his comment on Mdm Zhou's post.

    Netizens who have viewed Mdm Zhou's post were mostly supportive with some hoping that she would forgive Mr Voo's mistake, and others suggesting her to pursue the case in court for defamation.

    Now that's a lesson learnt - you shouldn't assume things based on your sole perspective.

    ongymm@sph.com.sg

    Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 14:30
    Others

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    A three-year-old toddler was hurt after a gantry gates at Hougang MRT Station closed on him, causing him pain in his shoulders, chest and abdomen,

    The incident happened on Sunday (July 16) at around 8pm, reports Shin Min Daily News.

    According to a Shin Min Daily News report, the mother of the child, Mrs Lim, told Shin Min Daily News:

    "After my son tapped his EZ-link card, the gantry suddenly closed on him.

    "It hit his chest and abdomen, and he took two steps back.

    "I quickly pried open the gates myself to check for his injuries.

    "He told me that his stomach, chest and shoulders were in pain.

    "I told two employees but they didn't offer assistance."

    She also alleged that one employee had approached her later to tell her that she shouldn't have pried open the gates herself.

    Photo: Stomp

    A SCDF spokesman said that one ambulance was dispatched and the boy was conveyed to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

    In response to media queries, a spokesman for SBS Transit said that Mrs Lim should have approached SBS Transit staff for assistance in getting her son through the fare gate instead of opening the side door manually for him.

    The spokesman added that the staff at the passenger service centre were unaware of the incident, until Mrs Lim approached them about two minutes later after she had attended to her son.

    She, however, acknowledged that the staff should have come out from their office to see if the child was hurt and needed medical attention, and confirmed that SBS Transit had contacted the family and apologise for the matter.

    She said:

    "We could have handled this better and we apologise for any distress caused.

    "We will take the necessary actions to improve ... We wish Mr Lim's son a speedy recovery."

    Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 15:06

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    MRTlocal
    Others

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    Architecture is not just merely about space, it tell us volumes about the time in which it was built. This episode, InstaScram travels from contemporary 2017 to the past, in the form of architectural exploration, where we visit two vastly different buildings, in terms of style, scale and history.

    You may have noticed a two-towered, honeycombed structure along the Bugis district. These high-rise, metallic-looking buildings first garnered the interest of social media before it even officially opened, due to its unique hive-like design, that brings to mind puzzle pieces joined together.

    This is DUO, a mixed-development along the Ophir-Rochor area that was only completed this year. You can expect to see the buildings filling up with people in the near future, as Duo's plans include offices, residences, shopping outlets and even a hotel.

    The architecture of the structure is by no means coincidental. A partnership between two countries, Singapore and Malaysia, highlights the historical friendship between them that extends into this millennium. The area that Duo was chosen to be built is also purposeful, as Bugis is an area full of heritage, highlighting the roots of the Malay-Arab community, and true Singaporean modernity.

    Duo's dedication to structural symbolism also extends into its decor. Within its compound are 5 structural works of art that are free for public viewing. They are crafted by 5 Malaysian and

    Singaporean artists, including notable Malaysian artist Latiff Mohidin. All the sculptures were deeply inspired by ties between the two countries, as well as the relationship between heritage and modernity within the Bugis area. When you explore this "live, work, play" environment, you're not just greeted with the future, but also enlightened by the culture that surrounds you. Experience all five sculptural artworks titled 'Poetics of Convergence', by Latiff Mohidin, Sun Yu-Li, Lim Leong Seng, Grace Tan and Baet Yeok Kuan.

    And before we fully appreciate the futuristic quality of Duo in encapsulating a holistic experience in our daily lives, we look back to our colonial history once again, to explore the era of mansions and bungalows.

    Built around the 1910s, the name Beaulieu literally means 'beautiful place' in French. Stroll along a paved path which leads you from Beaulieu House to a picturesque jetty, where you can marvel at the expanse of the Straits of Johor.

    The proximity to the sea is no coincidence. In 1923, the British bought over the house and the surrounding land from its Jewish owner to develop the strategically-located Sembawang Naval Base. Beaulieu House was then occupied by several British Royal Navy officers, most prominently, Vice-Admiral Geoffrey Layton, the most senior naval officer in Singapore and the Far East. It is speculated that the house was given its name after acquisition by the British, who most likely named it after the historic Beaulieu River in Hampshire, England, or after one of their Royal Navy officers.

    In 1978, the National Parks Board (then called the Parks and Recreation Department) drafted plans for a park, overlooking the Straits of Johor, and encompassing Beaulieu House. The park, Sembawang Park, a 15-hectare space, opened a year later. Beaulieu House was opened as a restaurant since 1981, serving up Chinese and Western cuisine, and is a popular spot for weddings and celebrations of all kinds. It is currently managed by Mr Lim Hock Lye, who himself, grew up in Sembawang.

    Beaulieu House was gazetted for conservation in 2005, by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Given the large number of conserved buildings in Singapore, there is a determined urgency to properly preserve our older architecture, right alongside our newer ones, before our culture and legacy are but a distant memory.

    Follow @instascram_sg on Instagram for more of the best photogenic places in Singapore, and Facebook for more updates!

     

    Friday, July 21, 2017 - 09:00

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    Architecture
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