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Singapore: Minister criticized for insulting migrant workers on the eve of International Migrants Day

Singapore’s Minister of Manpower Teo Ser Luck visited a migrant workers’ dormitory and posted a photo on the ministry’s official Facebook page before the coming International Migrants Day on December 28.The photo was accompanied by a caption reading, “I learned that some workers prefer to sleep without a mattress as they are used to doing so back home." This statement has drawn criticism.

Netizens replied to the photo saying that Teo is insensitive and has been “living in an ivory tower, being out of touch with reality."

Migrant workers have countered Teo, saying that they sleep on mattresses back home, but they stopped doing so because the weather is too hot in Singapore and the twelve-people dormitory only allows them to have two fans.

Teo denied making the comment, and in a later statement the ministry said it was an administrator who wrote the caption." We regret the unintended implications, and any misunderstanding that the post has caused," reads the statement.

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Malaysia: The “Second Home Program" has drawn about six thousand Chinese people to immigrate to Malaysia

According to the 2015 Global Retirement Index, Malaysia is the best location for post-retirement life in Asia, ranking fourth after Ecuador, Panama and Mexico in’s ranking of the best places to live after retirement.

Malaysia’s Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Junaida Lee Abdullah says, currently Malaysia has approved a total of more than twenty thousand foreigners from 123 countries to participate in the “Malaysia My Second Home" program, and China tops the rank with 6,785 people applying for the program.

The “Malaysia My Second Home" program is a policy encouraging foreign citizens to become long-stay visitors. Once approved, the applicants will receive a ten-year multiple entry visa.

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Indonesia: Indonesia and Australia strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation as IS tries to build a Caliphate state in Indonesia

Australian authorities warned that the terrorist organization IS is seeking for expansion in Indonesia with the ultimate goal of establishing a “Caliphate State" in the Islamic country that has the most Muslims in the world.

Australian Attorney George Brandis said IS intends to establish a caliphate state outside of the Middle East, and Indonesia is one of the potential locations. Brandis believes that this would be a major threat to Australia and the West.

Indonesian police points out that the recent arrest of nine suspected terrorists were conspiring to launch bomb attacks during the Christmas and New Year period. The targets include police headquarters and churches.

Australia and Indonesia have agreed to boost intelligence sharing in the fight against terrorism. To prevent any potential terrorist attacks, the Indonesian police, military and intelligence units have been on the highest alert level, mobilizing nearly 150 thousand police and soldiers to garrison each strongpoint during December 24 to January 2.

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Translated and compiled by Vic Chiang and Eric Wong
Edited by Olivia Yang