Get leaner to stay ahead, says Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say

To mark his first month as Manpower Minister, former labour chief Lim Swee Say speaks to the media on Singapore's manpower crunch, and what can be done

KEEP IT LEAN: Mr Lim Swee Say emphasising the need for a lean workforce, at his first month into the job as Manpower Minister.

Smaller menus, smaller venues and multi-tasking staff.

This is one of the ways the food and beverage industry can help fight the labour crunch, said Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say yesterday.

He said that when you reduce the menu, the staff also is reduced and can focus better.

Mr John Chan, owner of Italian fusion family restaurant Pasta J, told The New Paper that while he keeps his menu small, it is inadequate to solve the problem of manpower shortage.

He added that it can take up to two to three months to find service or kitchen staff.

For Mr Bjorn Shen, who owns Middle-Eastern restaurant Artichoke, talent retention is the way to go.

Among other incentives, he organises annual overseas retreats for his staff.

Read the full report in our print edition on June 3.

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He extends national service in police to nab baddies

During his extended national service, he helps arrest drunk with broken bottle

DUTY: Full-time national service inspector Muhammad Azhar demonstrating how he handled a man carrying a dangerous weapon at Arab Street in March.

National service inspector (NSI) Muhammad Azhar helped to arrest a man at Arab Street who had a dangerous weapon.

The man had confronted him and his partner after they gone there to check out reports of a fight.

The incident happened during the tail end of his three-month voluntary extension. He had completed national service in December last year.

He also volunteered to do patrols at Little India after the riot in 2013.

Today, he will be presented with the SPF NSF of the Year award at the Annual Police Dinner at the Istana.

Asked why he chose to extend his service, he said he was given opportunities and wanted to serve the nation without having to sign on.

Read the full report in our print edition on June 3.

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Annual Police Dinner tonight

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Striking gold on 'home ground' is sweet for Gao and Li

Gao Ning (left) and Li Hu.

World No. 15 Gao Ning has won many titles around the globe, including the 2012 Asian Table Tennis Championships men's doubles gold with Yang Zi, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold with Li Hu.

But after partnering Li to win their first South-east Asia (SEA) Games gold yesterday, the 32-year-old said: "This feels special. I have played in many competitions round the world and many SEA Games finals since 2007, but I have never done it in front of a home crowd.

"So to be able to win in front of my fellow countrymen is something I will cherish."

The Singapore No. 1 pair beat Thai Chanakarn Udomsilp and Padasak Tanviriyavechakul 11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4 in the men's doubles final last night, making it two gold out of two so far for the Republic in table tennis.

After the Thais had created the first upset of this SEA Games by beating Singapore's Chen Feng and Clarence Chew 4-3 (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4), it was left to Gao and Li to maintain the Republic's quest of sweeping all seven table tennis golds on offer.

World No. 72 Li said after the 38-minute win: "The pressure was there because we really wanted to deliver for the home fans, and we overcame all the nerves and delivered."

While the Thais threatened occasionally, the Singaporeans were always in control and sealed the deal without much fuss.

"We played a good match all-round," said Gao. "We appreciate all the support from the fans, and with the singles and team events coming up over the next few days, we want to win more golds for Singapore."

Surprise silver for Thailand's men's doubles pair

Chanakarn and Padasak stun Singapore's No. 2 pair to earn second place

THAILAND'S DYNAMIC DUO: Chanakarn Udomsilp (right) and Padasak Tanviriyavechakul celebrate as they beat the Republic's No. 2 pair, Chen Feng and Clarence Chew in the semis. 

It was a silver medal that felt like gold.

The unheralded Thai table tennis pair of Chanakarn Udomsilp and Padasak Tanviriyavechakul had come together only at the start of the year, and arrived in Singapore "not expecting anything".

But, showing some tactical brilliance and a wonderful dose of fearlessness, the duo produced the first major upset at the 28th South-east Asia (SEA) Games when they beat the Republic's No. 2 pair, Chen Feng and Clarence Chew, 4-3 (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4) in the semi-finals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Even though they were ultimately outclassed in the final by Singapore's top men's pair of Gao Ning and Li Hu, who won 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4), the Thais made a strong impression by preventing an all-Singaporean final in a sport which the Republic dominate in the region.

They will also be remembered as much for their exuberant celebrations as their smashing forehands and well-disguised flicks against world No. 127 Chen and world No. 193 Chew.


SEA Games debutant Chanakarn, a 25-year-old who is not world-ranked, told The New Paper: "Singapore are the favourites and we did not expect to beat either pair in the semi-final or the final.

"So we were already very happy to make the final.

"We took it step by step, tried not to rush and fought hard for every point."

World No. 222 Padasak, on the other hand, has already attracted attention by topping the ITTF World Junior Circuit standings at one stage last year.

The 19-year-old, who won a team silver in his first SEA Games appearance at the 2013 Myanmar Games, added: "In the semi-final, we played with confidence, and we played our short game well. Even in the last game, we had no fear going for flicks or forehand shots.

"Our opponents felt the pressure and were a little scared whenever we attacked."

"Our opponents in the final were just too strong for us.

"We tried our best, and pushed them to deuce in the third game, but just couldn't get the breakthrough.

"This has been a great experience and we hope to go further in our table tennis careers."

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Bank boss spends $1,500 to fizz up meeting

She buys 1,200 Coca-Cola drinks to get 150 personalised cans for staff

PERSONALISED: Ms Cheong got personalised cans of Coca-Cola instead of name cards to indicate where each employee was to be seated at the meeting.

She wanted to fizz up her department's internal meeting.

So DBS Bank's Consumer Banking Group (Singapore) chief operating officer Susan Cheong got personalised cans of Coca-Cola instead of name cards to indicate where each employee was to be seated at the meeting.

Ms Cheong spent over $1,500 on 1,200 trademark Coca-Cola drinks to get the 150 customised cans in return.

The drink's Share A Coke campaign offers the public an opportunity to have their names printed on a Coca-Cola can for every $10 they spend on Coke, Coke Light and Coke Zero.

Read the full report in our print edition on June 3.

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A gift of gratitude

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