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    Indonesian art may not be as well known to international collectors as, say, Chinese art, but that is set to change. With big events such as Jakarta Biennale and the opening of swanky new museums, the Indonesian art scene is revving up.

    Enjoyed Ed Sheeran's concert in Singapore last weekend? Find out more about the pop superstar in Weekend Interview. And also in the magazine, hang out in Hiroshima, which has risen from the ashes of World War II to become one of Japan's most scenic cities.

    Put away your phone. Sit down and crack open that boardgame. You'd be in good company, with the boardgame business enjoying a massive revival today. Our Brunch feature in the main paper chronicles the renaissance of tabletop gaming.

    Cubicle Files, meanwhile, looks at how to deal with a boss who's an insecure leader, and how to spot the signs.

    What do Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Marina Abramovic have in common? Sass & The City gives the lowdown on the high art of performance.

    In The Finish Line, we line up the non-performing teams that are stuck in the World Cup wilderness.

    And will a new 2.0-litre gasoline engine help Jaguar's sleek sport utility vehicle (SUV) sink its claws into a wider audience? Find out in The Steering Column.

    To subscribe, visit btsub.sg/weekend

    Friday, November 17, 2017 - 09:00
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    Transport operator SMRT has refuted claims that its group chief executive, Desmond Quek, fired half of the employees in a rail department after taking over the reins in 2012.

    SMRT's response comes after allegations that former CEO, Mdm Saw Phaik Hwa, "fired 25 per cent of the night staff", which was "not so bad", until "Desmond stepped in and fired 50 per cent of the night crew".

    "So the original [workforce] is down to 35 per cent", it was alleged.

    It is unclear where these allegations originated from, though a screenshot was shared by SMRT on Facebook yesterday (Nov 16).

    on Facebook

    Some of you may have seen this online report on SMRT (extract in the image). This is obviously fake! How would SMRT...

    Posted by SMRT on Thursday, 16 November 2017

    Refuting the claims, SMRT wrote: "This is obviously fake! How would SMRT have been able to complete the change out of all the power rails and 188,000 sleepers if staff count had indeed been cut so drastically?"

    The company also clarified that "the Permanent Way (PWAY) team that looks after our track and track-side infrastructure almost DOUBLED" under Mr Quek's tenure.

    "It grew from 206 staff to 395 staff from 31 December 2010 till 30 September this year," said SMRT, adding that "the number of night shift workers also increased by 65 per cent."

    Unfortunately, SMRT's statement seems to have gotten netizens even more riled up.

    Many took issue with the tone of the statement, which they deemed "unprofessional":

    Some felt that SMRT could have better spent the time refuting "fake news" on resolving more pressing issues:

     

     

     

    This comes after train disruptions occurred on the East-West Line, Circle Line and North-South Line -- all of which are operated by SMRT -- on the same day (Nov 15).

    A collision at Joo Koon MRT Station on the EWL that day left 36 people injured.

    SMRT train hits stationary train near Joo Koon MRT station; 28 injured

    Friday, November 17, 2017 - 11:57
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    An interesting thread went up on Reddit Singapore yesterday.

    Titled "I am an SMRT staff and here is what is wrong", the thread begins with the writer introducing themselves as a Station Manager.

    A little disappointingly, the thread is not about the breakdowns. However, it does portray SMRT as "basically a swamp filled with leeches".

    In all honesty, the thread reads a bit like a rant, and we encourage you to take it with a pinch of salt.

    The main thread has been summarised here, but here's the original thread[Edit: The post has since been deleted]

    The Darker Side Of SMRT

    The writer begins their diatribe with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

    SMRT problems have been worsening since the "cable tie" problem, the writer say.

    But the main problem is that station staff are lazy.

    "They always say "we are working on it". […] If only the people here aren't that all lazy and complacent."

    Complacency from behind an "old bird" (long-term employee) sets in and so, many choose to slack off.

    And while the writer does admit to work boredom, they can't tolerate that many colleagues "sleep, play games or even just lepak (loaf around)".

    At one station the aircon went out [and] the Station Master did not deploy fans because [they] wanted to sleep.

    One recent change at MRT stations was the stopping of EZ-link top-ups at passenger service counters (PSC).

    Initially considered a move towards a cashless future, the writer reveals a darker side to the truth.

    "Station staff always "borrow" money from the drawer to buy lunch/dinner/groceries [and] lie on the cash report or blame other staff."

    "There was this incident where the Tanah Merah Station Master stole $20k."

    SMRT Is "A Swamp Of Leeches"

    Staff are not worried about punishment as it's always the "CEO and top management who get the blame."

    After all, they are the ones attending conferences and whatnot.

    "We are the ones who did it but we only cut bonus or [receive] "strongly worded" emails. […] Most of the time, our uncle Desmond and Khaw take the blame."

    [It's] ironic because the passengers give gifts to staff who I know are lazy.

    Neither do they need to worry about being fired as there is collusion with supervisors.

    Even if there's proof, they will threaten to post on social media, shaming SMRT for firing a hardworking person, "even though he always cuts corners and slacks off."

    "Singaporeans will accept [it] because the blue collar worker kena fired by men in white."

    The SMRT is just basically a swamp filled with leeches. Top to bottom, all of them like your NSmen: lazy, chao keng, siam and arrow people.

    Solution = Foreign Talent?

    "Actually, I also don't know [how to fix]," the writer concludes.

    Colleagues suggest hiring a Japanese CEO because they "always take the blame and [we] can still enjoy our bonus."

    You need to remove this people, they already got the mindset of not doing work.

    "I support the idea [of hiring foreign talent], because they are at least hard working and if they don't do work, they have to leave Singapore."

    "My colleagues [get] jealous when they get awards by SMRT, but […] at least they do their work and don't go against everyone."

    "I'm not saying I want foreign talent to work, but it's actually better for the train system."

    What about you, do you agree with what has been shared?

    This article was first published in Vulcan Post.

    Friday, November 17, 2017 - 15:15

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    A domestic helper from Myanmar who had worked in Singapore for just 40 days felt unappreciated and in a moment of misguided rage, strangled her employer's 19-year-old daughter with a pillowcase.

    The incident happened in a Trellis Tower condominium unit on Feb 18, 2017, at around 9.30am, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

    During the scuffle, both the accused, Su Hlaning Hnin and the victim, Ms Li fell onto the floor of the living room.

    The process lasted for about five minutes, and Ms Li sustained multiple injuries on various parts of her body.

    At one point, she managed to escape and quickly ran into her room but was so afraid that she forgot to lock the door.

    Su followed and after calming herself down warned Ms Li not to tell her parents about the incident.

    Ms Li hid in the toilet and sent a distress message to her parents, asking for help.

    Su denied harming the girl and claimed that the injuries on Ms Li were self-inflicted

    After a seven-day trial, the judge found Su's account to be unconvincing, sentencing her to 22 weeks' jail.

    Su subsequently filed an appeal in the High Court.

    The court heard that Su had started working for the family on Jan 10, 2017.

    Ms Li and her parents claimed that they had never quarrelled with the maid, and found her work satisfactory.

    On the day of the incident, Ms Li's mother had brought her grandmother for a medical checkup and grocery shopping.

    Ms Li's brother was gone to a gym, leaving her and Su alone in the house.

    She was using her computer at the dining table when the maid suddenly sneaked up from her left and wrapped a pillowcase around her neck.

    Su told her: "See, see."

    Ms Li could not comprehend the situation and looked up, but as she lifted her head, the grip on her neck tightened.

    Instinctively, Ms Li attempted to push Su away and struggled as she stood up from her chair.

    Ms Li said she was so focused on escaping, she did not notice whether they had fallen onto the floor first or hit the wall.

    A medical examination revealed that Ms Li had suffered many bruises on her head, neck, abdomen, shoulders and various parts on the left side of her body.

    Friday, November 17, 2017 - 17:21

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    PETALING JAYA - Malaysians work an average of 15 hours more than their contracted hours each week, surpassing Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, but has one of the highest percentage of productivity loss.

    A newly released workplace survey of the four countries conducted by AIA Vitality found that Malaysian employees are overworked, stressed, lead unhealthy lifestyles, and as a result, are at high risk of health problems and productivity loss.

    The survey also found that Malaysia has the highest percentage of employees who slept less than seven hours a night at 56 per cent.

    Malaysian employees also reported the highest percentage of physical inactivity with 64 per cent doing less than 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

    Due to the high stress and sedentary lifestyle, the survey found that 84 per cent of employees reported at least one type of musculoskeletal condition while 53 per cent are at risk of mental health issues.

    The survey linked poor employee health and well-being to a major loss in organisation productivity.

    It said in Malaysia, the average yearly cost of health-related absenteeism and presenteeism per organisation is estimated at RM2.7 million (S$880,000).

    Presenteeism is when an employee is physically present for work despite being sick or not being productive.

    Among the four countries surveyed, Malaysian employees recorded the second-highest number of absenteeism and presenteeism at 67 days a year, after Hong Kong.

    The Malaysia's Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality Survey 2017 involved a total of 5,369 employees from 47 organisations.

    The wider Healthiest Workplace survey, encompassing Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, surveyed 214 organisations and 10,001 employees in total.

    The 1,162 employees from Singapore were found to have long working hours but respondents reported less stress than those in the other three countries surveyed.

    The survey noted that Singapore has a culture of working long hours, with "a significant proportion of employees" reporting that they "did not eat a balanced diet or take sufficient physical exercise".

    Taking a break is much harder for Singapore workers, with 14.3 per cent of Singaporeans reporting difficulty in this area.

    The survey also stated that there are "some concerns about levels of stress in the Singapore workplace and poor sleep patterns among employees", with 51 per cent of respondents saying they sleep less than seven hours a night.

    Friday, November 17, 2017 - 17:42
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