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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Not sex and politics

Let’s get away from sex and politics and get down to the stuff that really matter…

Hawkers hit out at hike in cleaning fees in yesterday’s ST
Seems nine hawker centres have had their cleaning fees raised, even doubled. NEA sent them a note to this effect, arguing that this was because of higher wages and training costs of accredited cleaning agencies. The NEA said that this was “fair and representative of market rates for such services’’. No elaboration. Seems the hawkers were not consulted. They’re unhappy of course and I am sure cleaners Let’s get away from sex and politics and look at some stuff that we really really should be concerned would be happy. I wonder what will happen next week when the new fees kick in… Hawkers say the cost will be passed on. So what’s a bowl of wanton mee going to cost next week? I hope some people are keeping track of prices. Will customers swallow the new prices? It’s an example of the knock on effects when a policy is changed. Most people are more or less agreed that we should pay the low wage workers more like the NWC says. But somebody has to pay for this. That would be you and me. I wish though that the NEA would give more than just vague comments about the fees (from $240 to $614 a month for Holland V market!! And from $268 to $480 at Tanglin Halt). So what will the cleaners who will benefit get paid then? And what kind of improved trained service can hawkers/customers expect. Seems a bit high-handed just to give hawkers a fait accompli.
No taxis? Some offer extra cash to get a ride in today’s ST
Some enterprising people have set up a radio service involving 1,000 cabbies or so to get people a cab quick(er) for a higher price. You can pay up to $20 more if you do so. LTA said the practice is against the rules. But frankly, isn’t this a willing buyer/willing seller situation? Why not let people pay more if they are willing to? In the hawker centre story, the hawkers (and customers) don’t have a choice – especially if the fee hike extends to more than just nine hawker centres. Here, we have people willing to pay and the G says no can do? So we all have to wait for the next transport fare hike that the G blesses to get a faster ride? An MP says this is in the interest of “transparency’’, I think it’s just another case of levelling down. Equal misery. You can’t afford to pay higher, so no one else should.
FB users rant over late deal in today’s TNP
Expletives peppered SingTel’s FB page after it announced that it had secured the screening rights to Uefa Champion’s League. Seems some people didn’t like the “late’’ notice, coming hours before the first match. They flamed the poor fellows who were managing the page and got pretty personal. The comments stayed on the page, undeleted, and probably fuelled further attacks. I applaud SingTel for coming out to defend its staff even as it allowed the comments to stay on the page. Customer service shouldn’t mean bending over backwards and condoning uncivilised behaviour by anonymous people. I don’t know who these people are but some are probably people with families. Shame on them. I wonder what they will say if their own FB pages got attacked – and they find out that the trolls are people they know, like their own children.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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