Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Are you a good neighbour?

Today I saw and talked to my new neighbour for the first time. She has just received her keys to her place. Although it was just a short talk, I think she is a nice lady. She hopes to move in before Chinese New Year next year.

Speaking of neighbours, I found an interesting article on how to be a good neighbour. It states that:
"...taking the time to establish good terms with your neighbours has numerous benefits. The community will be friendlier, the neighbourhood safer, and the area a nicer and more comfortable place to live."
So are your neighbours your friends?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

10 years ago...

...we celebrated your 29th birthday with a simple meal.

Now it's that time of year again.
Here's wishing you a very happy 39th birthday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A workaholic nation?

The sentence below is a requirement that often appears in local job advertisements:

"Applicants must be willing to work extended hours and under tight deadlines"

What about Work-Life Balance?

Is it possible to have a well balanced life when local employers expect employees to work extended hours?

An article entitled "Spotlight on working time" published by The International Labour Organization (ILO) and issued in 2007 states that:
"Attempts to reduce hours in developing countries have been unsuccessful for various reasons, including the need of workers to work long hours simply to make ends meet, and the widespread use of overtime by employers in an effort to increase their enterprises’ output under conditions of low productivity."
It further states that:
"Among those countries with the highest incidence of long working hours for 2004–05 (defined as more than 48 hours per week), Peru topped the list at 50.9 per cent of workers, the Republic of Korea at 49.5 per cent, Thailand at 46.7 per cent (in the year 2000), and Pakistan at 44.4 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, developed countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and France, as well as transition economies such as Hungary and Estonia, reported the lowest incidence of long hours."
It also mentions the proposal that decent working time arrangements need to fulfill five inter-connected criteria:

1. they should preserve health and safety;
2. be “family friendly”;
3. promote gender equality;
4. enhance productivity; and
5. facilitate worker choice and influence over working hours.

Well, Malaysia has its own Labour Law but how many of us are well versed with the Employment Act 1955 and what the regulation states about hours of work, overtime and work on rest day? Even if we are familiar with the Act, we will still obediently work long hours when our employers expect us to do so because .... well, I honestly do not know why ....