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Social control can only go so far. Even in Singapore, the nanny city-state, where spitting chewing gum on to the pavement merits a three-month prison sentence. So what lies in store for the arsonists who attempted to torch a Motorola PCB plant on the day it was sold to WUS Printed Circuits of Taiwan? Motorola, which flogged off two plants in a manufacturing outsourcing deal to WUS a few weeks back, will receive compensation – as it has not yet completed the handover of the facilities to WUS But only if arson is not the cause. As two fires broke out the same day on the same site, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to detect a little helping hand going on here. Disgruntled employees are suspected, according to WUS, which is pointing the finger at the ranks of staffers who did not receive severance pay – unlike 500 co-workers who got pay-offs from Motorola when they were laid off last year. A second bone of contention, according to WUS, with the more recently laid-off staff, is the company’s statement that it may rehire workers from the first group of lay-offs. WUS is to swap production to factories in Taiwan and China, until repairs of the fire-damaged plant are completed. The company said it would continue to manufacture PCBs in Singapore for Motorola. ®

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