Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Forum: What financial model is 'social enterprise' hawker centre following?


When I read that social enterprises were running hawker centres, I wondered if someone had confused them with quangos, or Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisations.

According to Britain's national body for social enterprises, a social enterprise makes its money from selling goods and services, covers its own costs in the long-term, puts at least half of any profits back into making a difference and pays reasonable salaries to its staff.

Quangos, on the other hand, are organisations that are funded by taxpayers but not controlled directly by the central government, as defined by the BBC.

There is, thus, no accountability to the taxpayers, because quangos are not controlled by a government body. If things go wrong, it is not the fault of the government.

Thus, I was mystified when I read of hawker centres being run by social enterprises.

Which model of financial governance are they following?

Are at least half the profits ploughed back to the hawkers and associated staff, or directed to other social causes? Or are the profits solely to feed the well-heeled and well-placed owners?

Unlike charities, social enterprises are not required to run annual general meetings, where their finances can be publicly scrutinised.

I have stopped supporting charities whose chief executives are paid salaries several times that of the British Prime Minister. But at least their salaries are published and I can make that choice.

Social enterprises, on their other hand, as privately run companies, are not required to disclose these details.

Will the real social enterprises please stand up?

Lee Siew Peng (Dr)

Ref: http://str.sg/ohE3

You may want to read the reply from NEA regarding some concerns raised by Singaporeans.

Singapore suspends frozen pork imports from Japan's Gifu prefecture: AVA

Image for illustration only

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Saturday (Oct 27) that it suspended the import of frozen pork from Japan in September, after the country saw its first outbreak of swine fever in 26 years.

In the month since the initial suspension, AVA has worked with Japan to adjust the import restriction to the affected prefecture, the authority said in response to questions from Channel NewsAsia.

Currently, only frozen pork imports from Gifu prefecture in central Japan are suspended; those from unaffected prefectures are now allowed into Singapore, AVA said.

The disease found in central Japan's Gifu prefecture is called classical swine fever (CSF), also known as hog cholera, and is a different strain from the deadly African swine fever that has broken out in China.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-suspends-frozen-pork-imports-japan-gifu-swine-fever-10870108

Few smokers know about added sugar in cigarettes


Very few smokers know there is sugar added to cigarettes, a new survey suggests.

Cigarettes contain natural and added sugars to reduce the harshness of smoke, making it easier to inhale. This also increases the amount of harmful chemicals in smoke and the addictive potential of smoking, lead researcher Seidenberg said.

The researchers found that 5.5% of survey takers knew sugar was added to cigarettes. The proportion who knew this was never higher than 10% when respondents were grouped by characteristics like gender, age, income, education level, race and ethnicity.

And only 3.8% of survey respondents knew added sugar increases toxins in smoke.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/few-smokers-know-about-added-sugar-in-cigarettes-10869538

Video: Dancing in LED costumes