3rd January 1999
Editorial/Opinion| Plus | Sports |
Munshif Hussain, Certified Trainer , JC International, who spoke on 'Discover the Leader in you ' at last Monday's Sunday Times/Celltel Business Club meeting, dismissed the belief that 'leaders are born' as a myth .
He stressed on the importance of having an objective in life . He noted that a recent survey conducted on a group of Sri Lankan university students had shown that 60 per cent of them had no clear-cut objective in life, which was a very distressing situation .
Hussain noted that in personality perception there are three aspects that are generally considered: The person you think you are: the person others think you are; and the person you are
Of these it is the third aspect that reflects the real you as the others are subjective aspects influenced by personal biases and prejudices .
He observed that in order to comprehend one's personality there were four aspects that had to be considered.
First, that part of you known to self but unknown to others(The Private Sector), second, that part of you known to self and known to others (The Public Sector), third, that part of you unknown to self but known to others ( The Blind Sector) and, fourth that part of you unknown to self and unknown to others
He noted that the individual in whom the first aspect (Private Sector) is very pronounced is an extremely reserved person and according to psychologists is in a very unhealthy situation .
Directly opposed to this type the individual in whom the second aspect (Public Sector) is pronounced , the outgoing, unreserved type ,who again is in a dangerous situation as there was a tendency for others to take advantage of your weaknesses .
In order to understand your Blind Sector , it is necessary that you consult others . In doing so it is important that you weed out the destructive , from the constructive criticism, which again will depend on your friendship or association with the person concerned .
As for the Dark Sector, this is an extremely obscure sector as one cannot have any ready infomation with regard to it .
Nevertheless, it is also a very vital sector .
This sector can be identified through creativity.
Hussain stressed the importance of creativity in today's world and cited the words of the famous Management Guru Peter Drucker who said 'The Manager in the year 2000 has to be a creative Manager'.Creativity will lead to innovation,and innovation to progress .However, in being innovative one must be willing to take calculated risks as well be prepared to be laughed at, since on the long run innovative thinking is bound to pay dividends .
He observed that being laughed at need not be a discouragement since the most important inventions - the light bulb, the gramophone and the microwave oven were all ridiculed when they made their first appearence .
He also cited the famous words of President Abraham Lincoln who is reported to have said: "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."
President Lincoln was certainly justified in making this statement as he had endured many failures in his career before making it to the White House. Hussain also stressed on the need to develop the art of effective speaking in getting your ideas across. Many individuals have bright ideas but cannot effectively communicate them due to want of this ability , he noted. The first step in this exercise is to develop your self-confidence and courage , he stressed .
In aspiring towards one's goals, a study of body language, that is the ability to read another's thoughts by his gestures and actions , might prove helpful . He noted that this area of study known as Kinesis has been given more emphasis in recent times as it has been found to be vital in the communication process.He noted that although human communication is 70 per cent verbal and 30 per cent body movement, it is basically the latter that takes priority .
Body language however has its own culture and varies from country to country . For instance, whereas it is usual for a Sri Lankan subordinate to scratch behind his ear before thinking of asking for a favour from a superior, this practice is not found in other countries.
Hussain also pointed out that all humans have distinct 'zones' that determine one's social distance from other individuals,viz.the intimate zone, personal zone, social zone and public zone .
For instance, the public zone is used to maintain distance from total strangers while the intimate zone is that within which loved ones such as spouse and children move.
By Ayesha R. RafiqThere is an urgent need for Sri Lanka's gem market to adjust itself to the changing world gem market and the demands of the 21st Century, Sheriff Abdul Rahman, Secretary of the Gemologists Association of Sri Lanka said.
At the Lustre Trade Seminar held recently at the BMICH, Mr. Abdul Rahman said that the prevailing attitude in Sri Lanka towards the marketing of gem stones, was entirely wrong. He said it needed a face change if Sri Lanka was to be competitive in the world gem market.
'We are already losing our competitive edge, because of our lackadaisical sales attitude'. he continned adding that instead of using the age-old techniques of cutting the stones, which is common to the entire world, we must explore new avenues and techniques.
Right now what Sri Lanka is doing is producing the stones that the buyer wants. But if this happens, there will be a huge backlog of stones, consisting of those the consumer may not want, becuase of the beautiful and innovative cuts that other countries are now using, Mr. Abdul Rahman further said.
'Instead of producing what the buyer wants, we must make the buyer want what we produce, and this can only be done if we produce stones that have a quality cut', he pointed out.
Gem dealers must also see the need to have a ready supply of stones in their possession. Right now, a buyer in Europe can order a stone in any part of Europe and have it delivered to him within two days.
Therefore, if one does not have a ready supply of stones, by the time the stone the buyer wants is found, the sale may be lost to another dealer. There is also a very important need for gem traders in Sri Lanka to be scrupulously fair, so as to gain a good reputation, and ensure customers' confidence in him he concluded.
Also present at the lecture were P.G. R. Dharmaratne, Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority, Senarath Basnayake, Chairman of the Central Province Gem Association and M.H.M. Shuhaib, a lecturer in gemology.
The quarterly GDP statistics released by the Central Bank earlier indicated growth rates of 5.8 per cent for the first quarter and 4.4 per cent for the second quarter of 1998.
In the third quarter of 1998 the production levels increased in manufacturing (by 7.1 pc), construction (by 9.4 pc) and services (by 4.6 pc). The services sector contributed 59 pc to the overall growth. The contribution of manufacturing and construction sectors to GDP growth were 30 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively.
European UnionThe introduction of a single European currency is a momentous task, creating enormous problems for those attempting to unite Europe's disparate economies.
It all kicks off in January, although December 31, 1998 will play a pivotal role.
That's the day that currency rates against the new euro will be finalised, using that day's spot rates.
Jan 1-3, 1999This is "Conversion Weekend", when exchange rates will be "irrevocably fixed" against the euro and therefore against one another.
The euro will come into formal existence, and all new public debt among participating countries will be denominated in euros.The European Central Bank takes control of monetary policy in the EMU zone.
The private sector can use either national currencies or euros in credit card, checks, bank transfers and other electronic payments.
NOTE: there will be no euro notes and coins in circulation until 2002. Germany assumes the six-month presidency of the European Union
Jan. 4, 1999Financial markets will open to a brave new world.
Jan. 7, 1999The ECB Governing Council meets for the first time with responsibility for the single currency. The Council will meet every other Thursday from now on.
July 1, 1999Finland assumes the EU Presidency.
Jan. 1, 2000Portugal assumes the EU Presidency.
July 1, 2000France assumes the EU Presidency.
Jan. 1, 2001Sweden assumes the EU Presidency.
July 1, 2001Belgium assumes the EU Presidency.
Jan. 1, 2002By this date euro notes and coins will come into circulation alongside national currencies.
Spain assumes the EU Presidency.
July 1, 2002National currencies are no longer legal tender, and the changeover is complete in participating countries.
NOTE: Some countries plan to introduce euro notes and coins sooner than six months in order to cut down on confusion.
Denmark assumes the EU Presidency
Conversion weekend - January 1-3, 1999. When the whole shebang kicks off. This is likely to be a couple of days of intense activity for players in the financial markets.
Thousands of staff will be working, attempting to adjust systems and procedures to the new single currency. Experts say this is the period of the greatest risk, when catastrophes are the most likely.
The euroEurope's new unit of currency. It was named in December 1995 and comes into existence on Jan. 1, 1999. However, it will exist side by side with national currencies until 2002.
Euro notes and coins will not come into general circulation until January 2002, and it will become the only currency of the EMU zone from July 1, 2002.
At this stage other currencies, such as the Dutch guilder, German mark and French franc will cease to be legal tender.
The European Central Bank (ECB) -The arbiter of monetary policy in the EMU-zone from January 1999.
The ECB is controlled by a Governing Council, and in many ways is modelled on its German predecessor, the Bundesbank. It even meets every other Thursday, just like the Bundesbank currently does.
In May 1998 the governments of the eleven participating Member States appointed the President, the Vice-President and the four other members of the executive board of the ECB.
Their appointment on June 1 marked the establishment of the ECB.
The ECB's Governing Council, which will set interest rates in Europe, consists of the six members of the executive board - presided over by Wim Duisenberg - and the heads of the central banks in the 11 participating countries.
The ECB is to be independent of political ties.
Euroland or EurozoneThe 11 countries which will introduce the euro on Jan 1, 1998. They have a combined population of almost 300 million, and gross domestic product of around $6,500 billion.
Euroland countries are: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
There are four European Union countries not participating in EMU, and therefore outside Euroland. These are Britain and Denmark, which chose not to join EMU at the first opportunity. They can join at a later date - if they satisfy the economic criteria.
The other two non-Euroland countries are Greece and Sweden. Greece failed all the criteria for EMU entry, and Sweden failed entry requirements due to its volatile currency.
Sweden and Greece are committed to joining EMU when conditions allow, and their economies meet the economic criteria.
European Union -The group of 15 countries which came together to form a common economic area.
This includes the 4 non-EMU countries: Denmark, Greece, Sweden and Britain.
EMU countries (eurozone) are: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Several countries are bidding to join the EU, such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
Largest noteBanks and companies are dealing in euros from day one, but consumers have three years to get used to the new currency. Meanwhile across Europe the printing machines are rolling and the mints are pressing, churning out billions of euros. In fact, to supply the 291 million people living in the eurozone with enough cash for shopping, central banks have to print around 12.5 billion banknotes and 76 billion coins.
The 500 euros note (around $570) is the biggest bank note. Banknotes as large as this make the euro very portable, and that could make it the currency of choice for the world's tax cheats and money launderers.
One million dollars might not buy what it used to, but the banknotes are still the same size and in $100 bills they would fill a large suitcase. One million euros, in 500 euro bills, would fit into a largish handbag.
The Financial Action Task Force, the anti money laundering authority which represents most members of the OECD, has suggested rationing these large denomination notes, although the final decision rests with the European Central Bank.
The idea to print such a valuable bank note comes from Germany, where banknotes worth 500 and 1,000 Deutschmarks are in wide use.
DesignIn December 1996 the European Monetary Institute unveiled the winning designs for the new euro banknotes. They were to represent the ages and styles of Europe, while avoiding potentially contentious subjects like national heroes and achievements.
The winning artist was an Austrian, Robert Kalina, whose banknotes showed on one side bridges from the seven ages of European development.
The bridge designs appeared to have been borrowed wholesale from a standard manual on the subject, 'Bridges - 300 Years of Defying Nature'. The 50 euro note, for example, showed the Rialto bridge in Venice, the 100 euro note the Pont de Neuilly in Paris and the 500 euro note depicted the Pont de Normandie. Furthermore, the five euro note showed the picture of an ancient pontoon bridge in India - not a particularly European motif. The design has now been revised. On one side the euro notes show windows and architraves, while the back of every euro note depicts different, less identifiable bridges.
CounterfeitsWherever and whenever there is a currency reform, there is fraud. Tricksters swindled innocuous people out of their money when the United Kingdom switched to decimalization, and the same happened when Germany introduced new banknotes in the 1980s.
To combat fraud and counterfeiting, EU governments have set up Europol. Europol is expected to keep tabs on 12.5 billion banknotes and 76 billion coins, and any other fraud connected with the introduction of the euro.
Obviously criminals will be keen to hit the public with their forgeries before people have got used to the real thing, and the European Commission is worried that any such activity could undermine the acceptance of the new currency.
For a while EU officials were considering making euro banknotes out of plastic rather than paper, to make it more difficult to counterfeit them. However, the experience in Australia showed that plastic notes have a tendency to fade or bleach. A new cross border body has been set up to co-ordinate action against organised crime.
DistributionFrom January 2002, millions of people across Europe will queue at their banks and post offices to get hold of the new money - because cash points and teller machines have to be converted to handle the euro.
Introducing the new money is a logistical nightmare. Germany's Deutsche Bank, for example, estimates that their cashiers will spend 2,000 months-worth of work to swap the cash holdings of their private customers - if each customer visits only once.
Another problem is how to get all that money to the banks and shops in the first place. Soldiers all across Europe could be in action on 1 January 2002 - collecting the old notes and coins and guarding and distributing the enormous quantities of new money that are due to be released.
Notes and coinsThere are 100 cents to the euro. But minting all the Euros and cents was the problem. In several countries minting had to be halted after the discovery of design faults.
The first official euro coin was minted in May 1998 in Bordeaux. The French wanted to have a head start to begin production of their 7.5 billion share of the new coins. However, they jumped the gun a little as the original design was abandoned. In the end the French mint had to melt down the first nine million 10 cent coins, at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars.
Germany ran into trouble too. The points of the twelve stars around the edge of the euro coins pointed in the wrong direction, and following an 'artistic evaluation' production was stopped.
The winning design was eventually unveiled in June 1997, and the successful artist was the Belgian Luc Luycx.
One problem was the question which metals should go into the coins. Sweden pointed to studies that up to 20% of women may suffer from nickel allergies and insisted on a replacement alloy called Nordic gold. But in February 1998 it turned out that Europe's 7 million vending machines and the countless payphones and parking meters could not distinguish between the new 20 and 50 cent coins containing Nordic gold.
Another trouble spot was the size and shape of the coins. The European Blind Union complained that all eight euro coins varied only slightly in size and weight - and were altogether too confusing.
EU ministers nonetheless decided to stick with the original designs, but then discovered that they had been sent the wrong design samples and finally decided to go for change after all.
After further and more forceful protests from the European Blind Union, a new and probably final design was introduced in July 1998.
The London meeting follows a gathering of European exchange presidents in Paris on 27 November that set up an Exchange Alliance Committee to begin work on creating a common stock exchange.
The meeting will be attended by the heads of the bourses in Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris, and Zurich.
Paris bourse head Jean-Francoise Theodore said in an interview published on Tuesday that the bourses would continue to hold technical meetings in coming weeks.
But it would take at least a year for the pan-European Exchange to become a reality, he said.
Even so, the start of the talks was seen as a breakthrough.
It showed the exchanges had laid to rest long-standing rivalries and had begun working on the inevitable consolidation of Europe's financial markets forced by the launch of a single currency.
Many analysts have said it was only a matter of time before the euro and stiffer competition in Europe's financial sector forced other exchanges to join an alliance forged in July by Europe's two largest bourses, London and Frankfurt.
Among the issues that the eight exchanges have yet to resolve is the size of stakes each will hold in the pan-European exchange and what trading system it will use.
Industry official have said the development of an entirely new system might be needed to link the bourses, keen to maintain their separate technical expertise
2.Suppose an employees request for leave for an urgent private matter such as for a job interview in another firm, the employer refuses to approve leave telling that the work is urgent but the employee wants to take leave despite this. Could this be done and how?
3.Why do some employers say that the executive officers are not entitled to overtime.? Is this stipulated in the Shop and Office Act or in any other act, If so where? Can an executive officer refuse to work overtime, as there is no payment for such work?
4.Can an employee working in a company where the government owns the majority of shares,( functions under Shop & Office Act) go before the Supreme Court for violation of fundamental rights in case of injustice perpetrated on him. (Such as giving a lesser increment than what is given to others)
5.What are the things a non-share holding employee can do against mismanagement in a company where the major shareholding is by the Government, when the Board of Directors convinces at such deeds?
6.Is unavailed annual leave encashable?
1.Disciplinary action can be taken by the employer or anybody who is delegated with authority to act on behalf of the employer.
2.Leave means, the permission obtained by an employee from the employer relieving him from the duty of attending to work. That means prior approval should be obtained for leave. However, according to shop & office employees act, there is a provision for 7 days casual leave which can be utilised for private business, sickness or other reasonable, where the employer can be informed over the phone, the employees inability to report for work. However, other leave normally annual leave should always to be taken with prior arrangement with mutual agreement and that means prior approval is necessary.
3.Executives are paid normally for the full day (24 hours) and therefore they are not entitled for overtime (although there is no special reference to executives in shop and office employees act). Accordingly they cannot refuse reasonable after hours work.
4.The employee can go before the Supreme Court for violation of fundamental rights by the state and you have to establish that the state was responsible. All employees have the right for equal treatment. Further comments cannot be made as we are not aware of the other issues involved.
5.The only remedy available to you is to during the instance of mismanagement to bring it to the notice of the government, who is the owner of the company.
6.Unavailed casual leave cannot be encased as it in compulsory for the employee to use them.
Q2: We are a company manufacturing Mosquito Coils and would like to know the following?
1.Under what wages board act is this Industry categorised?
2.What are the minimum wages payable to factory employees (Labour Grade)?
3. How should be their overtime payment calculated? That is whether the monthly rate should be divided by 200 or 240?
4.What is the leave entitlement per annum of a factory employee? And the office employee? Under the same wages board act?
5.Have the employees males or females got to be provided with meals when they are employed during night shift, overtime, Sundays, or on statutory holidays?
6.Should EPF/ETF be contributed for their earned wages when working on Sundays, statutory and from the additional 50% of the wage that females earn by working the night shift?
1.So far there is no wages board directives regarding mosquito coils industry.
2.Therefore no minimum wages have been fixed.
3.O/T rate to be divided by the wages board. Normally it is monthly salary divided by 200 in most of the other wages boards.
4.If factory employees are covered by the wages boards, leave is only 14 day annual leave per year and other covered by the shop/office employees act it is 14 days annual leave and 7 days casual leave
5.There is no legal requirement to provide meals for the employees
6.EPF/ETF contributed have to be made for any payment made for holidays. (i.e. if employee is paid for Sunday without giving him a holiday it entitles EPF). However no contribution should be made for overtime payments.
Q3: We are permanent employees of a private (Not a BOI) company. We work on a 24 hour shift ( eight hour shift at a stretch) begins from 8. 00 a.m tonext day 8. 00 a.m. ,followed by a two-day (48 hours) break. To be precise we work every day including statutory holidays of the month.
In this particular instance can you explain the method of calculating overtime. And also any other benefits we are entitled to such as leave, lieu leave, time allocation for tea & meal breaks if permitted a resting time during 24 hours its duration and whether we can be forced to work beyond 24 hours under special circumstances?.
You have not stated the trade in which you are employed or the category of employment. Generally, the employees are required to work a maximum of 45 hours (some case 45 _ hours) per week and any work done over that number of hours OT should be paid. If the employee is employed on his off day he is entitled for OT and in most trades for an additional holiday. Employing a person over 24 hours cannot be conferred as reasonable as employee will not be fit a work continuously.
Q4: Who are the employees covered by wages board for security service?
There are two classes of employees covered by the wages board for security trade normally.
a) Operational personal such as security officers, security guards, watchers and patrolmen
b) Employees in charge of operational personal such as officers-in-charge and supervisors.
Regina Maersk is the first in a new generation of K-type container vessels, operated by the global Danish shipping operator Maersk Line.
The vessel was built at the A.P. Moller Group's Odense Steel shipyard in 1996.
The vessel is capable of handling 6,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent units) and with a length of 318 M. It will be occupying JCT4 and a bit of JCT3 as well. Equipped with one of the most powerful engines in the world generating more than 74,640 hp the vessel can reach speeds upto 25 knots. The Knud Maersk is one of the 16 vessels currently deployed on Maersk Line's Suez Express service. The service starts from the US West Coast goes through Asia, to Colombo catering for imports to Sri Lanka. After Colombo the vessels go through the Suez canal through the Mediterranean to Algeciras in Southern Spain for connection to Maersk Line's services to Northern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean and West Africa. Thereafter it ventures across the Atlantic offering direct service for shippers to US East Coast with calls at Halifax in Canada, Newark, Norfolk and Charleston, the vessel goes back to the US West Coast.
Maersk Line is represented in Sri Lanka by Maersk Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., catering to customers global transport requirements, the press release said.
Headed by an entrepreneur, Kiran Atapattu, this company offers a comprehensive package to ships in distress off Sri Lanka, which include ship repair work, diving and salvage operations; a fleet of high-speed crafts for any weather; fully equipped with VHF communication and back-up to proceed off Port; delivery of stores, ships spares off-Port and disembarking passengers and sick or injured ship's personnel off-Port.
Sri Lankan waters now offer a truly sophisticated marine maintenance and repair service.
State-of-the-art equipment and highly trained technicians coupled with speedy service make Colombo Engineering Enterprises a reliable marine company in Sri Lanka.
The Firm specialises in repair and maintenance work which is carried out when the vessel is afloat while handling cargo or bunker operations or while it is anchored outside the Port.
No dry docking or any special berthing is required and this has proved a success and the global industry is beginning to recognise Colombo as a Port with world class handling facilities, repairing and diving services for ships.
"Our reputation is based on our efficiency and speedy services and in shipping, Time is money! A ship load of containers cannot be kept waiting for overnight decision making and our decisions are made on line," Kiran Atapattu said.
During 1998 Colombo Engineering handled over 100 ships and its services are recognized by the following world renowned classification societies: Lloyd's Register of Shipping; American Bureau of Shipping; Det Norske Veritas; Bureau Veritas; Germanischer Lloyd; Nippon Kaiji Kyoki and Indian Register of Shipping.
As of October last ECU-Line has increased the departures to both destinations to bi-weekly instead of weekly.
The departures to Jeddah are based on CMA and UASC (United Arab Shipping Line) with a transit time of 11 days. The sailings to Dubai are also based on UASC with a transit time of 18-19 days.
In Jeddah the groupages containers are unloaded by the port authorities whereas in Jebel Ali, they are unloaded in private warehouses under own management.
The cover story of LMD's January 1999 issue profiles a man who has led his group of diversified companies to the pinnacle of business success.
LMD says: "Deshamanya Ken Balendra, at 58, is a pre-eminent businessman: Experienced, skilled and influential; and charming, as anyone who has met him at a social function would agree. But, he can be firm and decisive, as befits the numerous high-ranking positions he holds in the business world today".
The award comes from Inflight Research Services (IRC) of the United Kingdom after an analysis of First Class and Economy Class Service of 67 airlines involving 3,500 respondents.
Tan Sri Tajudin was full of praise for the staff saying the inherent nature of Malaysians of being warm, friendly and sincere is once again portrayed to the world.
"The award reinforces our belief that regardless of whether one travels in first or economy class, our passengers are extended professional, excellent and superior standard of care," he said at a recognition ceremony for our cabin crew at the Malaysia Airlines Academy in Kelana Jaya in conjunction with the winning of the award.
In the survey, our crew members were assessed among other things on friendliness of service, efficiency during meal service, grace and style of service, sincerity, attitude and depth of service, total efficiency of service delivery and service quality consistency.