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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, May 08, 2015

Links - 8th May 2015

The Malaysian Bar - Lina Joy v Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan & 2 Ors 2005 [CA] - "The learned judge heard the originating summons and dismissed it. Among his reasons were the following. The appellant being originally a Malay, by reason of the definition of "Malay" in Clause (2) of Article 160 of the Federal Constitution, with its requirement of professing the religion of Islam, the appellant will remain a Malay to her dying day and cannot renounce Islam. The freedom to profess and practise the religion of one's choice guaranteed by Clause (1) of Article 11 does not include freedom of choice of religion. Only the Syariah Court is competent to determine the question of renunciation of Islam by a Muslim. With the dismissal of the originating summons, the judge found the defendants' striking-out applications to be academic and struck them out. "

Chinese hackers target Southeast Asia, India, researchers say

Parents hire tutors to do kids' school and tuition assignments - "Madam Irene Tan's son, a Secondary 3 student in a top boys' school says: "It gets so crazy some days that I just want to give up school. I don't mind the lessons but I hate doing all the stupid homework." So what does Madam Tan do?
A. Cut down on tuition?
B. Help him with his assignments herself?
C. Hire people to do his school and tuition assignments when he is too tired to do them?
Yes, it's option C... She pays the specialised tutors $200 per hour if they have to swing by before midnight and $250 an hour when it's later. She found out about the tutors through word-of-mouth as they do not advertise... Madam Tan says: "They will finish whatever homework (that is) left while he goes to bed." The tutors do what he can't finish so he can get some sleep. And, they don't have to explain the workings or formulas. She says: "It's not like my son doesn't know how to do it. He just does not have the time." Madam Tan insists it's fine because it has not affected her son's grades... The New Paper on Sunday polled 80 parents outside some elite tuition centres and found that nearly half had hired or will hire such tutors... her tutors are hired to help with her children's assignments from the elite tuition centre. Given that the centre demands students get consistently good results, Mrs Soh, 40, a civil servant, says it can get tough for her daughters to cope with "mounting school assignments plus the extra homework"... Most school days, he returns home only after 5pm and deals with lots of homework. He usually manages to finish the work and hop into bed before midnight. Until this week. And this mum's heart broke. He had so much homework that he went to bed at nearly 1am. Five hours later, he was expected to be up and ready for the school bus to pick him up for another 10 hours in school."
Hiring tutors to do other tutors' homework just might be Uniquely Singapore

Tutors tackling kids' homework for $250 an hour - "Some tutors are even hired to complete primary school-level homework set by elite tuition centres... Housewife Wendy Zeng, 40, feels that her 15-year-old daughter's assignments "serve no purpose". When quizzed, she names project-based work that has no direct relevance to the subjects her daughter is studying, for instance a project on volunteerism, where the students had to dissect the pros and cons of being a volunteer. "But they still have to hand in their homework. I prefer to get her to focus on what is more important. It is not like her grades have dropped or anything." Madam Zeng spends about $800 a month on such services by tutors."

China to blacklist tourists behaving badly abroad - "In Thailand in February, Chinese tourists outraged Thais by drying underwear in an airport, defecating in public and kicking a temple bell. In December, a group of Chinese tourists abused Thai staff on a flight from Bangkok... "Uncivilized behavior when traveling overseas has to some extent already affected the image of Chinese people," the China National Tourism Administration, a government agency, said on its website Tuesday. Such incidents "make Chinese people blush with shame," it said. To save Chinese face, the CNTA announced new rules Monday to establish a "blacklist" of offenders who demonstrate illegal or inappropriate behavior abroad. The six types of banned behavior include causing disturbances on public transport, damaging cultural relics, ignoring social customs and engaging in gambling or prostitution... being blacklisted could affect a person's ability to travel abroad again or secure a bank loan, as an offender's information may be passed to law enforcement, customs, transport and banking authorities."

Singapore to toughen laws against unruly air travellers - "Mr Tim Colehan, assistant director for member and external relations at the International Air Transport Association, said there has been a rise in unruly behaviour on aircraft in recent years... "It is possible that the worsening situation simply reflects societal changes where antisocial behaviour is increasingly prevalent. However, what is deemed acceptable on the ground takes on a completely different complexion in the confined environment of an aircraft cabin at 35,000 feet.""

The Free-Speech Crisis - "It was our responsibility as believers to kill him. So we killed him”... The deaths of Rahman and Roy would hardly be worth noting, except for the idea that got them killed—one that is indispensable but increasingly endangered around the world... Even in this country, the loathsomeness of an incident in which University of Oklahoma students were caught on video singing a racist song made it seem churlish to argue that their expulsion from a public institution might be unconstitutional. Creating a “hostile environment” is what the Bangladeshi bloggers stood accused of. Hate-speech regulations put actual feelings, often honorable ones, ahead of abstract rights—which seems like common sense. It takes an active effort to resist the impulse to silence the jerks who have wounded you. In a blog post, Rahman, using gently withering irony, addressed the notion that people like him are the problem, and that if only he would show some restraint things could settle down: “No, I will not write about war crimes, Islamic extremism, the country, or politics anymore. Writing does not change anything anyway; it serves only to appease the rage in my heart. Even then, writing is said to hurt people’s feelings, ruin the ‘peace,’ and impede progress. Therefore I should write only about topics that nobody would take any offense at.” So he set out to write about plants, education, movies, love, and himself—except that each of these inevitably led him into controversies that, he said, would bring down the wrath of the majority... In India, books are frequently withdrawn after publication because of dubious legal cases brought on behalf of supposedly aggrieved groups. Last year, to settle a lawsuit, Penguin Books India—part of the world’s largest trade publisher—agreed to recall and pulp the critically acclaimed work “The Hindus: An Alternative History,” by Wendy Doniger. As part of the settlement, Penguin had to affirm that “it respects all religions worldwide”—a nice sentiment that has nothing to do with intellectual freedom. The problem with free speech is that it’s hard, and self-censorship is the path of least resistance. But, once you learn to keep yourself from voicing unwelcome thoughts, you forget how to think them—how to think freely at all—and ideas perish at conception. Washiqur Rahman and Avijit Roy had more to fear than most of us, but they lived and died as free men"

Why I left Singapore for Malaysia
Followup: Singaporean In Malaysia - My Response To The Naysayers | Just An Ordinary Girl: "The personal income tax rate in Singapore may be one of the lowest in world, but Singaporeans actually pay 3.5 times more into indirect tax than direct tax... in Malaysia, basic necessities such as rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, vegetables, poultry, water and utilities usage are categorized as zero-rated items. Private healthcare, education services and public transportation are also categorized as exempted items in Malaysia... After reading through all the comments, I can further confirm one thing - that Singaporeans are arrogant who love to brag and put others down. Why are Singaporeans always trying to put their neighbour down? Does it make them feel much better about themselves? No matter how many times I have stressed upon the importance of work-life balance, some people just remain too blinded to see. Between money and a balanced life, I have chosen the latter. For those who said that I have no right to rant, then what gives you the right to judge my decision."

Here's Google's Secret to Hiring the Best People - "“YOU NEVER GET a second chance to make a first impression” was the tagline for a Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign in the 1980s. It unfortunately encapsulates how most interviews work. There have been volumes written about how “the first five minutes” of an interview are what really matter, describing how interviewers make initial assessments and spend the rest of the interview working to confirm those assessments. If they like you, they look for reasons to like you more. If they don’t like your handshake or the awkward introduction, then the interview is essentially over because they spend the rest of the meeting looking for reasons to reject you."

Outsourcing Is Not (Always) Evil - NYTimes.com - "“We’re focusing on the lowest rung of outsourcing work that even the big Indian companies don’t want any more because it’s priced too low for them,” explained Leila Janah, the founder of Samasource, a nonprofit organization that currently channels “microwork” ― small tasks like entering, cleaning or verifying data ― to 1,600 people in Haiti, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Uganda and South Africa. “At higher prices, it simply wouldn’t make sense for many businesses to offer most of this work,” she said, because they wouldn’t be able to make a profit on the output. Now that such microwork can be distributed and managed affordably around the world, it’s possible to create jobs that would otherwise have been handled poorly by machines or not handled at all. “To our knowledge, none of the assignments we’ve taken were for work previously done in the U.S.,” explained Jeremy Hockenstein, the founder of Digital Divide Data, which employs 900 people in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya. He offered an example. “The Harvard Crimson would never have paid $5 million to digitize its archives — but they could afford to pay a few hundred thousand dollars to do it”... Although Samasource highlights the marquee companies it has worked with, most of the requests for its services actually come from small businesses, start-ups, nonprofits and educational institutions. “For resource-strapped organizations like these, outsourcing labor is the only option,” adds Janah. “They cannot afford to innovate with American labor, both because of the high costs, and because it’s extremely complicated to hire someone in America”... According to the World Bank, in 2010 per capita income was $780 per year in Kenya and $760 per year in Cambodia. Even the minimum salary of $5 a day represents more than a 65 percent increase over these averages (assuming five days of work per week for the full year). But many workers earn more... it’s not just Americans who need jobs; people around the world are suffering in poverty. And an earnings increase that would be barely significant in the U.S. context ― say, $3 a day ― can, in a country like India or Kenya, mean the difference between families eating well, having decent clothing, and being able to send their children, especially daughters, to school."

What is the Singaporean equivalent of a "basic bitch"? : singapore - "GCPs are Singapore's basic bitches.
Claims to be wanderlust after visiting one other continent, quotes "not all who wander are lost".
Calls herself a foodie, when all she eats are Eggs Benedicts. /s"
"Describes herself as very 'weird' and 'not like other girls'
"Wears hoodies/ jackets but tiny shorts
Waves to friends with head tilted laterally and hand outstretched in full extension
Bakes mediocre shit but can't cook"
"Wears those shorts that go really high halfway up their waist."
"omg yes I can never walk around town without seeing cotton on crop tops at least 5x"
"screaming when they see each other is a typical girl reaction actually. most girls do it."
"Don't forget the normal-sized cardi that is longer than their dresses"
"Takes some random photo and post some inspirational quotes from some famous person u admire on Instagram. Quit ur bullshit! I know u googled that shit 20 seconds ago and copy pasted that."
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