Singapore Unemployment on the Rise, Hits 2.1 Percent
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Singapore Unemployment on the Rise, Hits 2.1 Percent


Some Tuesday ASEAN links:

Singapore’s aptly-named Manpower Ministry (MOM) reported a rise in overall unemployment for June, with the current figure at 2.1 percent. This represents an increase from 1.8 percent in December of 2012, according to Channel News Asia. MOM attributed the increasing number of unemployed to layoffs, initiated by business restructuring and consolidation.

“We're creating jobs, and unemployment is going up at the same time,” Associate Professor Shandre Thangvelu, from the economics department of the National University of Singapore, told Channel News Asia. “If unemployment still starts going up with job creation, it basically means that we will have a set of workers who might not have the right skills as we create new jobs. That becomes an important issue.”.

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Meanwhile, the BBC reported that more than 30 Indonesians are missing after their boat sank in treacherous seas off the coast of Malaysia. Four survivors were rescued by fishermen after clinging to plastic drums thrown from the capsized boat. The men, thought to be illegal workers attempting to bypass border controls, spent 15 hours in the water. “Malaysia is a hot spot for thousands of illegal workers from poorer neighboring countries,” said the BBC.

To the north in Manila, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is initiating a “three-level” defense system in response to worldwide travel warnings issues by the U.S. The warnings follow intelligence reports that indicate an increased global terror threat as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close.

The three-pronged system includes intelligence, increased security, and incident management. “We take the recent worldwide travel warning issued by the US with serious attention and great concern, more so because there are domestic threat groups with links to international terrorist organizations that are operating in the Philippines,” Reuben Theodore Sindac, a PNP spokesperson, told The Inquirer.

Over in Thailand, Central Retail Corp, one of the kingdom’s largest retailers, plans to open the country’s first luxury shopping mall in Bangkok. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Central Retail executive Chart Chirathivat, who said that his company is interested in the domestic market after two high-profile shopping center acquisitions in Italy and Denmark.

J.T. Quigley is assistant editor of The Diplomat.

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