(Notes: I got the press release from UNIFIL. Sometimes I feel sorry that with so many Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong, we know so little about their lives...)
Filipino domestic helpers today warned the Philippine government that it will face “massive resistance” if the recent proposal of the Social Security System (SSS) to make Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) contribution to the said agency mandatory is implemented.
Lam Heng Chi, the Hong Kong famous columnist, said that Chief Executive Donald Tsang learned the wrong lesson from Singapore. Instead of the experience of training political talents, Singapore's management system of foreign currency reserve is something we should learn. According to his calculation, the investment company that handles Singaporean government's foreign currency reserve achieves an annual gain rate as high as 9.5%. Since 1997, Hong Kong's foriegn currency reserve has increased only at 3.65% each year, from 90 billion to 120 billion.
Yesterday I came across some striking statistics concerning China from a blogger, kai:
"According to the official figure, the total area of land that our government has approved (for developmental projects) annually was 1600 square kilometers, equal to 240 mu. The price of the land various from 4-5 millions yuan in Beijing and Zhejiang area to 0.1-0.2 millions yuan in northwestern region. When we average-off the land price, our governments (from different levels) earned up to 2,000 billions of yuan annually by giving land out! The amount is equal to 50% of our nation's total annual tax income, and 10% of our GDP."
"You may go to toilet whenever you want. You may drink water whenever you want."
Once you enter Just Garments, you will find it different from other factories. In Just Garments, with about 100 workers, there is no high wall and repressive labor management; instead the working environment is clean and safe. A good ventilation system is installed and chairs designed according to body mechanics are available. This factory is worker-managed. Workers have cooperation and mutual trust in production line. They see the factory as their homeland.
13/8/2006 Ipoh, MALAYSIA
During the Perak’s Workers Solidarity Night held on 12 August, Coalition of Factory Workers and Unions (GPKK) launched its call for mobilization on 27 September 2006.
On 14 December 2003, in a gathering of factory workers organized by GPKK, a campaign of 6 demands was launched. The campaign since then received tremendous response from people especially the working class in Malaysia. These 6 demands are:
Yahoo! auction site is a very popular portal in Taiwan. With 3.7 million items and the annual transaction value of NT$22 billion (2005), it owns most of the local market. It recently announced that all users will be charged 3% of transaction fees on most of the items. It aroused users' severe complaints and they accused Yahoo! of violating the Fair Trade Act.
IBT betrayed its earlier promise and merged the company with SinoPac Holding.It would probably result in the layoff of workers.
A Hundred of IBT Union members requested the Financial Supervisory Commission(FSC), i.e.the national finance managment authority, to receive the trade union's petition.
The term "NGO" becomes popular in Hong Kong. While more attention is paid to it, more different voices about it are heard. Recently, Greenpeace China was criticized by mainland media as exaggerating the problems of "polluted vegetable" and "genetically modified food". The corporates and governments released research findings and information to refute Greenpeace's accusation. A member of Greenpeace said it was defeated in the media battle. A critic, Tang Hao, said in his article published in Southern City Daily, "Greenpeace is following a radical tradition, showing the style of extravagance and calculating cost and effect. I find them questionable." Fang Zhouzhi criticized Greenpeace China as "anti-scientific" repeatedly. Some Greenpeace supporters argued that this wave of criticism is the collaborative strategy of governments and corporate groups. Indeed, an engaged NGO is usually controversial. It is inevitable. But I really expect responses to these criticism from Greenpeace.
On chinese "ghost month" (lunar calendar of July), residents of the Lo-Sheng sanatorium (Happy Life Leprosy Sanitarium), a leprosarium built by the Japanese colonial government at 1930s, were burning paper money to the ghost, wishing the sanatorium could be preserved from the construction of metro station.
In the past, patients in the sanatorium were treated like life-time prisoners, and they could not leave the place even after their death. Thousands of the dead peaple were cremated and collected in the pagoda.
The figure of GDP is rather arbitrary in China. Besides, there is much talks about hard landing and soft landing in economic development. And thus, the issue becomes more political.
Below is a partial translation of a blog post in bullog. The post is originally published in a column in Southern Metro Weekly (南都周刊).