03 Dec '11, 12am

70 cleaners from China on government-sponsored trip to check out sanitation in Singapore, Malaysia

YIBIN, China - Seventy cleaners from a south-west Chinese city are on a government-sponsored trip to Malaysia and Singapore to learn about the two countries' experiences in the field of sanitation - a move which has triggered debate in China over whether such a study tour can improve cleaning standards. 'This is the second time the local government is financing such a tour for model cleaners outside the Chinese mainland,' said Mr Yuan Xianyin, an information officer in the city of Yibin, in Sichuan province, referring to the four group visits scheduled for different times between Nov18 and Dec14. Last year, 61 model cleaners were sent to Hong Kong and Macao on a similar tour, said Mr Yuan. Background story WHY THE GUISE? 'It is actually about rewarding model cleaners, but with the guise of a study tour. Showing respect to ordinary manual workers is good, but is it necessar...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/...

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