Oct 2, 2012, a Tuesday. I took time off and went to Khin Khin Employment Agency at Peninsula Plaza to teach her manager more about the management of the business. The Government had increased increased the foreign worker quota and clamped down on phantom workers.
Now, a company must employ 5 Singaporeans before it can employ 1 foreign worker instead of 4 to 1. In addition, many companies have been fined for using "phantom workers" who are mainly retirees and others not gainfully employed by the company to make up the 4 Singaporeans to get approval for 1 foreign worker.
After the elections in which foreign workers were said to depress wages of Singaporeans, the foreign worker quota is raised and the foreign worker levy on employer is increased. "Many of the retirees are now out of CPF contributions since they were phantom workers," I observed.
The euro crisis and economic recession reduced the demand for foreign workers. Some have to be sent home due to the increased quota and loss of phantom workers. So Khin Khin and other employment agencies find that they have little demand for their services from the small businesses looking for waitresses and drivers. No quota at all. Close shop or do other services.
As Khin Khin is in Yangon, I dropped in to check on her manager Ni Ni. He had been working 6 months on the S Pass and is supporting his wife and son in Yangon.
Suddenly a young lady in her late 20s and wearing greyish dental braces appeared at the door. Khin Khin's office door does not shut unlike other offices. She came closer and said to me: "Have I seen you somewhere before?" I was astonished. I could not recall. I did see her somewhere. "Are you Dr Sing?" she asked. "Yes," I said.
"Do you remember my dog Brandy?"
"Yes," I said. "The 13-year-old cross bred with three bladder stones.
What a coincidence. I phoned her earlier to tell enquire about her dog's urination situation. The dog was OK but not eating the S/D.
I did advise neutering to reduce the enlarged and inflammed prostate to be done on Monday. But it is Wednesday today. The dog was no longer painful in the prostate when I discharged it 3 days ago but it was very painful when I took over the case. An enlarged painful prostate with bacteria in the bladder can cause painful and difficult urination, other than the 3 bladder stones. But it is hard to explain to the 3 sisters. After all, the dog is peeing normally. Owner compliance is much more difficult.
I did not remove the bladder stones because this dog was so skinny and might die under anaesthesia. Neutering is a short surgery and so I advised it to prevent prostate enlargement and inflammation. But it is extremely difficult to convince the owner to do it and this is a common situation in all medical practices.