Cold snap set to ease
The nation was in the grip of a cold front yesterday as the mercury plunged to 9.9°C in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Tamsui District (淡水) in the early morning, with 10°C recorded in Hsinchu and 10.1°C in Greater Taichung’s Wuchi (梧棲), the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. In Chiayi, where the temperatures dipped on Saturday to 6.2°C — a record low for an area on the plains this year — the mercury stood at 10.9°C in the morning. Since the cold front is not expected to ease until today, forecasters predicted temperatures between 14°C and 15°C for northern Taiwan and 18°C to 20°C for the rest of the nation, adding that lower temperatures are possible on the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu. Occasional rain was forecast for the northern, eastern and mountainous areas.
Caregivers earn higher wages
Indonesian caregivers and housemaids earn higher wages in Taiwan than in Singapore and Hong Kong, according to data released by the Malaysia National Association of Employment Agencies (PIKAP). Indonesian caregivers and housemaids receive monthly wages of 2,200 Malaysian ringgit (US$667) in Taiwan, compared with 1,700 ringgit in Hong Kong and 1,200 ringgit in Singapore, according to PIKAP. Meanwhile, Singapore charges the workers 6,500 ringgit in broker fees, while the cost is between 6,500 and 7,000 ringgit in Taiwan and Hong Kong, according to the data. There are currently more than 208,000 foreign “social welfare” workers, such as caregivers and housemaids, in Taiwan, with Indonesian nationals accounting for about 78 percent of those workers, according to statistics from the Council of Labor Affairs.
Work starts in science park
The first enterprise to move into the Yilan division of the Hsinchu Science Park, nicknamed Taiwan’s Silicon Valley, started work on Saturday to build an operations center at the new science park in the nation’s northeast. OMNI Calibration Laboratory held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning to construction of a “mobile laboratory” at the science park. Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) expressed his hope that OMNI’s move would attract more local and foreign companies in related industry sectors to move into the Yilan division. In 2004, the administration of the government-run Hsinchu Science Park selected an old airport in Yilan City as the construction site for its planned Yilan division. The 71 hectare site is to be developed into the nation’s first communications technology services-oriented industrial park.
Film festival in two cities
Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung are to jointly host next year’s Revenge Film Festival set to begin on Friday, showcasing a series of films that discuss the topic of revenge. The festival is to screen the Japanese detective films Phone Call to the Bar and The Detective Is in the Bar, as well as South Korean crime drama New World and thriller Montage. Phone Call to the Bar, directed by Hajime Hashimoto, garnered seven nominations at last year’s Japan Academy Prize. Meanwhile, New World, directed by Park Hoon-jung, has received praise from Film Business Asia as the “best played and most gripping Korean gangster movie since Yu Ha’s A Dirty Carnival. The festival is to run until Jan. 16 at the Hsin Hsin Showtime Cinemas in Taipei, the Banciao Showtime Cinemas in New Taipei City (新北市) and the Kaohsiung Film Archive.