Saturday, November 11, 2017

#Malaysian hotel industry in the spotlight over no-headscarf uniform policy

This combination of photographs shows Muslim girls wearing the "hijab" dressed as popular cosplay characters during the "Hijab Cosplay" event in Subang Jaya, outside of Kuala Lumpur.
 The hotel industry here is under the spotlight over complaints that some female employees are not allowed to wear headscarves while at work.

The Union Network International-Malaysia Labour Centre (UNI-MLC) said in a statement on Monday (Nov 6) that it has received numerous complaints from female hotel employees saying that their management does not allow them to wear a headscarf at work. 

UNI-MLC said students in hospitality and tourism courses have also been instructed to remove their headscarves before going on internships or the company would not hire them.

As a result, some employees have no choice but to remove their headscarf during work before putting it back on after work.

“This policy is practiced in international hotel chains that use the same standard operating procedure on uniforms in all the hotels in their chain globally,” its chairman Samuel Cheah Swee Hee said.

He added that there are many other employment opportunities for Muslim employees including working in the backhouse or choosing to work with one of the many hotels that incorporate the headscarf in its uniform.

"The problem is everyone wants to join the 5-star global hotel brand, but they do not want to follow the uniform policy that is their worldwide standard," he said.

However, the International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education (Wafiq) sees the ban as discriminatory and unnecessary, questioning the need for such restrictions in Muslim-majority Malaysia.


Wafiq secretary Hazlin Chong said the local owners of these international hotel chains have a responsibility to raise the issue to its headquarters and ask for flexibility that allows staff to fulfill both religious and work requirements.

“Wafiq does not see wearing the hijab as a deterrence to any Muslim woman to perform her best at work any more than a person who does not wear the headscarf,” Chong said in a statement, calling the move “religious discrimination”.

UNI-MLC has urged the Human Resources Ministry to address this issue and come up with a guideline to avoid any form of discrimination amongst women in the hotel industry.

"By not allowing female Muslim staff to wear headscarves to work, not only does this deny them of their rights to practice their religion freely but also limit them from pursuing a career of their choice," said UNI-MLC president Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal.
Source - TheJakartaPost

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hong Kong named world's most-visited city once again

Although its top position was nearly usurped by Bangkok, Hong Kong remained on top, but it still has to face the growing number of tourists in the Thai capital and London, the United Kingdom. 
When people think about Hong Kong, they probably think of high-class shopping and spectacular cityscapes that can be viewed from high-up gondolas. It's not surprising then that the city is the most-visited city on earth.

According to South China Morning Post, Euromonitor International’s latest Top 100 City Destinations Ranking has put Hong Kong at the top of the list for the eighth time in a row.

Although its position was nearly usurped by Bangkok, Hong Kong remained on top, but in the years to come, it still has to compete with the growing number of tourists in the Thai capital and London in the United Kingdom.  


But even as Hong Kong’s relations with China worsen, which caused a slight decline in 2017, there is still tourist growth expected in the coming years for Hong Kong.

As reported by CNN, below are the top 10 most-visited cities (number in 2016/expected number in 2017):

1. Hong Kong: 26.55 million/25.7 million
2. Bangkok: 21.25 million/23.27 million
3. London: 19.19 million/19.8 million
4. Singapore: 16.6 million/17.6 million
5. Macau: 15.39 million/16.3 million
6. Dubai: 14.9 million/16.57 million
7. Paris: 14.39 million/14.26 million
8. New York City: 12.65 million/13.1 million
9. Shenzhen, China: 12.57 million/12.96 million
10. Kuala Lumpur: 12.29 million/12.8 million

Source - TheJakartaPost

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Holiday trends for the coming year

A research conducted by reveals the biggest travel predictions for 2018.

Looking for inspiration for 2018 travel? Facilitating reservations for more than 1.5 million room nights each day, the experts at the leading travel website have combined customer insights from over 128 million real guest reviews with research from 19,000 travellers across 26 countries around the world to reveal the biggest travel predictions for 2018. 
Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months surveyed 18,509 respondents from the UK, US, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, India, Singapore and Russia plus smaller numbers from Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand and Taiwan. Respondents completed an online survey last August. 
Here are eight travel predictions for the year 2018;

 Immersive experiences will reach the next level in 2018, with travellers looking to technology to help better understand a destination or accommodation before they book. Artificial intelligence and digital technology are helping consumers turn the corner when it comes to smart destination intuition, reshaping the way we research, book and experience travel. Almost a third (29 per cent) of global travellers say they are comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history. 

Over six in 10 (64 per cent) of travellers say they would like to “try before they buy” with a virtual reality preview. Taking all the hard work and stress out of decision making, in 2018 technology will continue to guide us seamlessly to find the best stays and experiences for us.
From dream to reality The year 2018 is the year to dream big as 45 per cent of travellers have a travel bucket list in mind and the majority of those (82 per cent) will aim to tick one or more destinations off their list in the coming year. The yearning for experiences over material possessions continues and drives our desire for more incredible and memorable trips. 

Most likely to feature on a bucket list is seeing one of the wonders of the world, as almost half of travellers (47 per cent) will look to tick this off in 2018. Over a third (35 per cent) yearn to tantalise their taste buds by trying a local delicacy, 34 per cent want to head to an island paradise and 34 per cent are thrill seekers wanting to visit a world-famous theme park. 

Retro reboot

As well as new experiences, travellers will be revisiting their favorite childhood memories as part of their trips in 2018. Blending the future with the past, next year’s travellers will be inspired to return to previously loved destinations and explore them in a whole new way. 

A third of travellers (34 per cent) will consider a holiday they experienced as a child for 2018.
These popularity of these vintage vacations stems from the feelings of nostalgia and happiness the destinations evoke. Travellers say that former family holidays recall the fondest memories, even more so than childhood sweethearts or family pets. 

Pop culture pilgrimage

In 2018, television shows, films, sport and social media in particular look set to have an increasingly significant sway over booking decisions, as travellers turn to pop culture for their travel inspiration. Reading blogs or watching YouTuber recommendations will spark ideas for four in ten (39 per cent) travellers and on screen locations from television, film or music videos will win over 36 per cent of travellers in the coming year. 

The top television programme locations travellers most want to visit in 2018 are Croatia, Spain and Iceland inspired by “Game of Thrones” (29 per cent), London as seen in “Sherlock” and “The Crown” (21 per cent and 13 per cent), New York and Manhattan from “Billions” (13 per cent) and Los Angeles viewed in “Entourage” (10 per cent). 

Walk your way to wellness 

The trend for wellness getaways isn’t slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of people planning to take health and well-being trips in 2018 compared to 2017 (from one in 10 in 2017 to nearly one in five in 2018). 

Health and wellness inspired activities high on the travel agenda in 2018 include visiting a spa or receiving beauty treatments (33 per cent), cycling (24 per cent), water sport activities (22 per cent), taking a full body detox holiday (17 per cent), going on a yoga retreat (16 per cent), running (16 per cent) and undertaking meditation/mindfulness (15 per cent). Embracing such experiences is popular with travellers, with 59 per cent saying they prioritize experiences over material items when on holiday. 

Economic intuition

Every year, travellers are becoming savvier, especially when it comes to getting the most for their money. With significant numbers basing their travelling decisions on finance-related matters, 2018 will see travellers looking to be even more economically intuitive. Nearly half (47 per cent) will take currency exchange rates into consideration when planning their travels for the year, and almost the same amount (48 per cent) will think about the economic climate of a destination before making the decision to travel. 

More confident to follow their own intuition, travellers are less obliged to follow the herd, with over half (57 per cent) wanting to do more independent travel in 2018, placing growing value on personalised endeavours, looking for the best deals and putting together their own packages – all with the help of apps and technology. 

The great mate escape

The year 2018 is gearing up to be all about the group getaway. When asked who their 2018 travelling companions were likely to be, the segment with the biggest increase when compared to 2017, was travelling with a group of friends, increasing from 21 per cent to 25 per cent. 

Mate’s escapes are the ultimate social time away from our everyday pressures, reducing stress and building connections with your friends. With the world only a click away it’s never been easier to find the perfect place to stay and explore with a large group of friends looking for adventure across every corner of the globe. 

Friend-based getaways also have financial advantages as four in 10 (42 per cent) said that joint holidays with friends will allow them to stay in accommodation they wouldn't be able to afford on their own. 

Live like a local, not with one
In 2018, rental homes are going to be particularly popular – not just for travellers looking to stay in one, but also home owners who are thinking of inviting others to stay in their own abode. One in three travellers (33 per cent) say they’d prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel and one in five (21 per cent) would consider listing their home on a travel accommodation site.

When it comes to playing the role of a host, travellers reveal that it isn’t about having them there all the time. Travellers are keen to have a local experience and will look to hosts for their expertise, as a quarter of travellers say it will be important that their host has strong local knowledge about local food and places to visit (25 per cent), but travellers will want the flexibility to interact with hosts on their own terms.

Source - TheNation

Sunday, November 5, 2017


#DashBurst is one of alternatives for sinking Facebook
We go use other Social Media to become more Views and Likes
We go bypass Facebook, and let them share it. (see under)
Take also a try.
More alternative examples follow.
Be focused. 

Other alternatives are -






Thursday, November 2, 2017

#Thailand - ‘Inappropriate behaviour’ leads to ban on visitors entering Royal Crematorium

THE CULTURE Ministry announced |yesterday morning a ban on entering the Royal Crematorium of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej after visitors reportedly touched exhibits and displayed other inappropriate behaviour during a trial run on Wednesday spread on social media.

After HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening of the Royal Crematorium exhibition yesterday morning, the ministry announced a new rule restricting photography to the area outside the Royal Crematorium in an effort to protect the sacred structure.

 The Culture Ministry hosted “trial run” tours for 16,500 invitees on Wednesday, including governmental officials, monks, students, physically disabled people and other citizens. Three separate hour-long tours of the complex took place.
The exhibition organising committee, led by Deputy Prime Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn, permitted the select audience a close-up look of the Royal Crematorium, including visiting the interior second level.

But photos posted on social media showed visitors with their heads leaning together and posing with the Crematorium in the background. Additionally, people were seen touching the sculptures decorating the masterpiece, while others took items from the exhibition. 

“In order to run the tour smoothly with appropriate manners, the ministry announced that from November 2 [yesterday] onward, the general public can visit only the surroundings of the Royal Crematorium,” Anan Choochote, director-general of the Fine Arts Department, told Kom Chad Luek.

He added that the committee was also concerned for the safety of visitors.
In the afternoon, Deputy Prime Ministry Wissanu Krea-ngam met with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House to discuss Princess Sirindhorn’s advice regarding related problems.

“The government will take action immediately on HRH Princess Sirindhorn’s advice to solve problems related to visitors crowding the area at the Royal Crematorium Exhibition, where items could be broken before the exhibition closes at the end of this month. However, there is no discussion on the extension of timetable,” Wissanu said.

Officials were seen yesterday equipping sensors on some items, which were said to be a preventive measure to detect if people came in too close a proximity.

Wassachon Thiangtae, a second-year student at Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin Poh Chang, said that it was a pity that people cannot enter the second floor of thcrematorium after the prohibition was issued. “Because of them [people displaying inappropriate behaviour], people today missed an opportunity to get closer and to have an experience to visit the Royal Crematorium. 

“Those people are selfish and did not think about others,” said Wassachon.
She added that she and her friends would return to the site since one hour was not enough. 
“We waited at the screening point only a short time. Officials there have very good management,” Wassachon said.
Sanchai Premsiri, 53, from Bangkok, said at first he planned to just look around, but after an official told him the queue was not long, he waited only 20 minutes to take the tour. 

He agreed with the prohibition preventing people from entering the second floor, saying items could be damaged if 100,000 of people went there each day for one month.

“This place is not a tourist attraction, it is a sacred site,” Sanchai said. He said he wanted the Royal Crematorium to be kept intact for the next generation. 

A Cultural Ministry official said the tours were running smoothly, with people dressing properly, behaving well and following the rules. 

As many as 100,000 people are expected to visit the exhibition daily, with the eight roads adjacent to Sanam Luang remaining closed. In total, more than 3 million visitors are projected to visit the Royal Crematorium exhibition, which is open to the public until the end of November from 7am until 10pm.

Source - TheNation

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#Thailand - Royal Crematorium exhibition open on 2 November

IN A MUCH-ANTICIPATED move, the Royal Crematorium ceremonial grounds at Sanam Luang will open to the public tomorrow at 8am after Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn officiates at the opening of an exhibition in honour of her father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, at 7am.

Eight roads linked to Sanam Luang will be closed from tomorrow as 100,000 people are expected to visit the exhibition each day. The security will be as strict as that during the Royal Cremation. 

Visitors must bring ID cards or passports, and will have to go through one of five screening points. There are four screening points for ordinary people at the Territorial Defence Command, Tha Chang, the Earth Goddess Statue and Thammasat University, which will also provide for the disabled, while monks and foreign visitors are invited to check in at the Defence Ministry screening point. 
At Saman Luang, tents will be provided for people to wait before entering at one of two entrances. One is near the Earth Goddess statue and another is close to Thammasat University, where wheelchairs will be provided. 

Visitors will be provided pamphlets there about the Royal Crematorium and, before leaving the exhibition, postcards, which will come in nine versions. Three million each of the pamphlets and postcards will be available. There will be English-language pamphlets for foreign|visitors.

The one-way tour will take about an hour to complete, with 5,000 visitors at a time being able to view its three zones. In the first zone, visitors will see exhibits related to Royal projects such as demonstration rice fields, “Monkey Cheek” water-retention systems and Chaipattana water mills. Visitors will be able to stay 15 minutes and take photographs.
Guides will then lead visitors to see the grand architecture of the Royal Crematorium, featuring the centrepiece Principal Pavilion (Busabok) with the fire screen surround by the Monks’ Pavilions and Dismantling Halls. Visitors will be restricted to the first level of the Royal Crematorium.

The tour will end at the Songtham Pavilion, where three murals depict the late monarch during his 70-year-reign. The exhibition will also highlight his biography in five sections. 

Special guides will be set up for the disabled, including an audio commentary and touchable exhibits. At Tab Kaset Hall, next to the Dismantling Hall, blind people will be able to imagine the grandeur of the Royal Crematorium by touching a replica and listening to audio.

From 8am to 5pm, a pipat – traditional Thai ensemble – from the Culture Ministry’s Musical Department will perform and, in the evening until 10pm closing time, there will be public performances by some of the thousands of artists who performed at the Royal Cremation. Khon masked dance will be performed on the weekend.

The Culture Ministry expects 3 million visitors to view the exhibition, which will end on November 30.

The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority will provide 60 free buses a day on six routes from 4am to 11pm. The routes to Saman Luang will depart Victory Monument, Hua Lampong Station, Mo Chit, Ekkamai, Southern Bus Station and Rattanakosin Island in Dusit district. Free ferries will be provided daily from 6am to 10.30pm from Rachanavik Sapha Pier at Thonburi’s Royal Navy Auditorium to Nivej Woradit Pier in Dusit near the Grand Palace. 

Source - TheNation

Friday, October 27, 2017

19.1 million Thais offered sandalwood flowers in homage

More than 19.1 million people across Thailand offered sandalwood flowers in homage to their late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the day of his Royal Cremation on Thursday.

The offerings were made at 878 officially prepared venues across the country.
The Interior Ministry’s command overseeing sandalwood flower centres disclosed the figures on Friday. At up to 2.9 million people laying sandalwood flowers, Bangkok had the highest number of mourners doing so.

Every venue for sandalwood-flower placing was overcrowded on Thursday, said the Ministry.

Source - TheNation