Sunday, 22 April 2012

Watz Buzzing - 22 Apr 2012

Fcuk and Run!

He was just one of the 48 men in Singapore charged recently for engaging the services of the same teenager belonging to an online prostitution ring. He faced two charges. The other 47 charged included some prominent people, including the type you read about in gossip rags like Tatler, Prestige, Peak, etc sipping free cocktails and trying to look important mingling with other freeloaders.

If convicted, each man can be jailed for up to seven years and/or fined for having commercial sex with a girl under 18. 

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The Train System Falling Apart!
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From iTODAY: We’re not trained to deal with emergency situations, train operators say Sumita Sreedharan | 19 Apr, 2012 12:19

SINGAPORE – Both SMRT train operators that took the stand on the fourth day of the Committe of Inquiry said that they had not received training on how to deal with passengers in emergency situations.

Mr Mohamad Alwi Bin Sirat, whose train stalled between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut, and Mr Hardy Bin Afandie, whose train stalled before Orchard station, took the stand this morning.



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Circle Line breaks down and COE hits $92K

I was on a Circle Line train when it broke down. My train which was very crowded stopped at one of the stations and there was an announcement saying that the train was delayed. 20-30 minutes later we were told the Circle Line was down and everyone scrambled out. I took a bus (not the emergency one but normal service) to a satellite town where I tried to get a cab at a taxi stand. Waited more than half an hour before I was able to get one. The train failed and the effects cascaded into the taxi system because everyone would be trying to dial for a cab and the availability falls to zero- I tried calling Comfort-Delgro but the system wasn't able to allocate a taxi after 20 minutes. Got to work about 1 hour 15 minutes late.

With a public transport that is so crowded and uncomfortable during rush hour, there is little wonder why people want a car. The problem in Singapore is we have a quota system that guarantees the majority of people cannot own a car and have to use the public transport system. 

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Brecknell Willis is part of the Fanstan Electric Group, a private-owned operation with sister companies in Germany, Australia and America, and offices in Taiwan and China. It's first major rail electrification project was for the Bristol Tramway in 1895. Among its electrification/traction product range is the design, supply and maintenance of Conductor Rail Systems and ancillary products.

Its rail conductor reference list states 5,519 km installed since 1990, in places like Taipei, Milan, Copenhagen, Sao Paulo, London, Oslo, Naples, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Tianjin, Beijing, Berlin, Chicago, Prague, Vancouver, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

An extract of the Singapore record shows that Brecknell Willis conductor rails have been used for our train system since 1998, first applied in the 13.5 km Changi Airport Line. The 63 km of the Singapore-Downtown Line also uses their "No.6 Under running" conductor rails. The latest application is for the Downtown Line 3, a 57 km contract awarded to C.T.C.I. in 2011.


Curiously, the collector shoe from Brecknell Willis is used only in the Circle Line, supplied during 2004-2005. It would seem non-Brecknell shoes are working with Brecknell conductor rails.

This is what the Brecknell shoe gear looks like:

The C.O.I. was told on the first day of the hearing that Brecknell Willis, hired to design the third rail system for Phase 1 of the MRT, had in 1987 suggested using a modified claw, with a split pin locking system (instead of the flimsy spring clip) that could withstand severe vibrations, to hold the third rail. "MRTC rejected the 1987 claw and wanted to use the older claw system," sniggered SMRT's lawyer Cavinder Bull. Today LTA has taken over MRTC's functions since 1995, and by implication, responsibility for the 1980s infrastructure decisions. Enough of the bull already, why can't someone just order the right product for the right application now. Otherwise the whole transportation system will have to revert the old all bus affair, which doesn't break down three times in a week.

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What Happen to brains?

The image of the US Secret Service, immortalised by Hollywood as sharp suited dudes with dark glasses and earpieces ready to take a bullet for the president, is being dragged through the mud after an agent offered a prostitute US$30 for sex despite agreeing to pay US$750 earlier. 
Unlike the local lot caught in a honey trap, those guys do not have the deep pockets of a lieutenant colonel, Swiss banker, or scion of a movie theatre conglomerate. That last one must be real stupid; he married a former model taking part in a Miss Earth pageant, not some ugly broad with a mug face that only a mother could love.

But the top prize for idiocy has to go to Teo Ser Luck, who spoke up in defence for the hard core prostitute, “No matter what she did, she is still young. Exposing her identity in the media will not do anybody any good.” Oh yeah, what about protecting the innocent young men yet to be exposed to the duplicity of the world? What happens when she joins the IT industry and sells storage solutions to top uniformed officers like the Chief of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the Director of Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) ? 

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A Bad Hangover

The ongoing saga of the underage prostitute and the 80+ high flyers of our society is top news for the day. Every evening the chase was reported in prime time news with those charged being hounded down by camera crews in their pathetic pursuits. It looked like great fun, great event, better than playing computer games. Who decides that this is great news to be fully covered in all details, with photographs splashing everywhere? Are they the witches or wizards of modern times, fit for the burning stakes?

After a few days, this thing has become bad taste. Yes, it is not a good thing for everyone. The customers of the prostitute are to be blamed for their plight and indiscretion, and infidelity. Have they not paid enough a price for their wrongdoings? Their lives have been ruined for a statutory crime that is an unacceptable social norm. Many innocents have been hurt just as bad, their families and friends and their institutions. They will carry this stigma for the rest of their lives and will be adversely affected in many ways. 

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Underage prostitution scandal - offenders should admit guilt, plead leniency

A few days ago, I posted an article pertaining to the men who were charged for having sex with an under age prostitute - 44 men felled by one young woman - that's what Islam has warned us all.

I have noticed that there's so many comments on the internet about how the law is being overzealous. We have some who say we shouldn't take the moral path and the offenders shouldn't be prosecuted or shamed. Some argue that these offenders' lives and their families are being affected. Some even say that the young girl who lied about her age should be the one prosecuted and shamed. I think we all need to sit down and think properly without getting emotional.

The damage has been done. No use crying over spilled milk. Under the law, these men have committed a crime. We can't turn back the clock. The best thing for these offenders to do is to now is to admit guilt and plead for leniency - and that they truly mistook that the girl was at least 18 years old. 

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Singapore: Trains Breakdowns becoming a part of life
Once a symbol of pride and development, Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains now come with a warning: ride at your own risk. Four breakdowns and assorted delays over the past week have left many commuters stranded, late for work and exams.

Lucky Tan describes getting stuck in the Circle Line breakdown:
I was on a Circle Line train when it broke down. My train which was very crowded stopped at one of the stations and there was an announcement saying that the train was delayed. 20-30 minutes later we were told the Circle Line was down and everyone scrambled out. I took a bus (not the emergency one but normal service) to a satellite town where I tried to get a cab at a taxi stand. Waited more than half an hour before I was able to get one. The train failed and the effects cascaded into the taxi system because everyone would be trying to dial for a cab and the availability falls to zero- I tried calling Comfort-Delgro but the system wasn't able to allocate a taxi after 20 minutes. Got to work about 1 hour 15 minutes late.

Overcrowding in a train station. Picture by Kirsten Han from The Online Citizen website
So many people have been affected by delays that SMRT has begun to issue train delay chits:
@sochris: LOL #SMRT issues timeslips for commuters caught in train disruptions! where else in the world will you find this?

@FakeSMRTCEO, a satirical Twitter account, compared riding the trains to current blockbuster The Hunger Games:

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Dirty Little Tactics By SMRT

Ethan Wong, The Online Citizen:
We tried calling SMRT feedback hotline and my brother was asked to go down to claim his 8 cents back. I am thinking, waste an hour or two, a few dollars on transport fare, just to claim 8 cents. Seriously, what is SMRT thinking? Singaporeans aren't daft to know that this must be the worst deal of the century.
SMRT should have refunded 80 cents, if one-cent coins and five-cent coins is a problem. Are there any adults running the show in SMRT?

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Nationalizing MRT services via a new National Transport Board is the only way to stop all MRT breakdown, poor MRT services nonsense! 

As the Committee of Inquiry entered into its fourth day of proceedings today; over the past 3 days, there have been several MRT breakdowns which affected thousands. Though I was not one of the affected passengers, nevertheless I experience inconvenience on a daily basis when using the MRT trains. The trains were too crowded to be boarded; the train was moving at such a low speed and halted several times during the destination or it takes such a long time to wait for the next MRT train. All these MRT episodes have really caused so much unhappiness among many Singaporeans –at the very least that’s how I think so- and that includes me.

One of the General Election 2011 issues which caused much unhappiness is the state of our MRT train services which have deteriorated in terms of quality to passengers: now even the most basic traits of a train service seems coveted traits: fast, comfortable and timely. This MRT issue seems not to be settled and even, in my opinion, becomes worse! I accept this fact now as one of the “new normal” post GE2011. 

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Singapore Start-Up Cashes In on Saving Emails

DropMyEmail started with a simple idea: to back up the internet. A start-up launched in March that few outside Singapore’s tech world may have heard of, it has already achieved enviable success, with 525,000 users signed up in just 50 days.

DropMyEmail’s product is self-explanatory. With just two clicks, users can store all their email data in the start-up’s cloud, regardless of email host. The website then backs up users’ email data at customizable time intervals on a “freemium” model; users can back up as much as 500 megabytes of data at no cost, or up to 5 gigabytes for US$9.99.

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