Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Watz Online - 11 Jul 2012

Update - Blogger removes post on Woffles Wu case

In its letter to Mr Au, the AGC said it would not commence proceedings for contempt of court if he withdrew his post within five days and published the AGC's letter and an enclosed apology. In a press release yesterday, it reiterated that Mr Au's "serious allegations" scandalised the courts.

The AGC confirmed that the post was taken down by Tuesday and the apology put up in its place.

But it added: "Mr Au did not however post the letter from AGC as he was asked to. A reminder was sent to him on (Tuesday) of the requirement to post the letter as well; he was asked to do so within two days of the date of the reminder."

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Blogger apologises for post on Woffles Wu case



Sociopolitical blogger Alex Au has apologised for a post he wrote late last June about the Woffles Wu case.

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) had written to Mr Au on Friday, saying that his post was contemptuous of the courts

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8 debarment cases due to corruption involving public officers, contracts

8 debarment cases due to corruption involving public officers, contracts
8 debarment cases due to corruption...

SINGAPORE: There have been eight debarment cases on grounds of corruption involving public officers and government contracts since 2004.

Revealing the figures in a written reply to Parliament on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in all these cases, the individuals involved, including the public officers were convicted.

The companies and businesses involved were also debarred for a period of five years.

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Naval officer is latest accused planning to plead guilty

Naval officer is latest accused planning to plead guilty
(Photo / Wikimedia)

In the latest development of the online vice ring case that has so far implicated 48 men, a naval officer charged with having paid sex with an underage girl is planning to plead guilty.

Chan Wei Kiat, 27, allegedly committed the offence between 2.02pm and 3.03pm on Nov 6, 2010. He was charged with paying $600 to the underage girl for sex at Hotel 81 Lavender, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

He indicated his intention to plead guilty through his lawyer, Defence Counsel Josephus Tan, and would know his court date on 13 August. He has been suspended from duty since investigation started.

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Ex-SPH Senior VP 'to plead guilty'

Ex-SPH Senior VP 'to plead guilty'
Ex-SPH Senior VP 'to plead guilty'

SINGAPORE: Former Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Senior Vice-President Peter Khoo Chong Meng, who was charged with 10 counts of corruption and criminal breach of trust last month, is expected to plead guilty.

According to Chinese evening dailies, Khoo's lawyer, Mr Alfonso Ang, told the court on Tuesday that his client would plead guilty and that he had always intended to do so.

Mr Ang also asked for the hearing to be adjourned for four weeks as he needed to work out details of the charge with the prosecution.

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Singapore urged to end all executions - Saudi Gazette

SINGAPORE — Rights groups Tuesday hailed Singapore’s decision to ease mandatory death sentences for homicide and drug trafficking but urged the government to go further and totally abolish capital punishment.

Singapore, which carries out executions by hanging, Monday unveiled legal reforms that would enable judges to impose life imprisonment on low-level drug couriers and people who commit murder with “no outright intention to kill”.

Judges currently have no choice but to impose the death penalty on anyone convicted of murder or trafficking in illegal drugs above specific volumes.

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Foreigners involved in brawl managed to skip bail due to officer's lapse

The Investigation Officer who handled the case involving foreigners participating in a brawl at Suntec City has been charged with neglect of duty.

Two of the accused had absconded after posting bail, prompting the police to conduct an internal inquiry to establish if there were any lapses or negligence in how the case was handled.

Giving the update on the case in Parliament, Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran said the lapse was due to an individual error rather than to any systemic shortcomings.

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Singapore Restricts Foreigners

Facing citizen discontent over the growing number of non-Singaporean residents, Singapore's government is raising the barriers that control the inflow of foreigners.

Starting Sept. 1, foreign workers seeking to sponsor their spouses and children to accompany them while they live and work in Singapore will need a minimum monthly income of 4,000 Singapore dollars (US$3,150), up from the current S$2,800, the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement. The average wage of Singapore residents, including noncitizen permanent residents, is S$3,249, according to government statistics.

Certain categories of foreign workers will also no longer be permitted to bring parents and in-laws into Singapore on long-term visit passes.

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Singapore Tightens Rules for Foreign Workers’ Families

Singapore is imposing stricter rules for families of foreigners working in the city-state and tightening its immigration policies after public disquiet over the influx of workers from overseas.

From Sept. 1, foreign workers must earn at least S$4,000 ($3,150) a month compared with the current S$2,800 to sponsor their spouses and children for their stay in Singapore, according to a notice on the manpower ministry’s website. Some workers will also no longer be able to bring their parents and in-laws on long-term visit passes.

Singapore’s companies added 27,200 jobs, fewer than initially estimated, in the three months through March amid stricter labor regulations and weaker global demand. Public anger over immigration policies and the rising wealth gap contributed to the ruling party’s worst performance since independence in last year’s general election.

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Body of woman in water tank case: suspect to go free

 Body of woman in water tank case: suspect to go free
(Photo / Screen grab from www.OMY.sg)

The alleged killer of an Indonesian domestic helper, whose body was found in a rooftop water tank last year, may walk free due to lack of evidence.

Md Repon Mostafa, 29, a maintenance worker from Bangladesh, was accused of causing the death of Ruliyawati, 30, on 16 May 2011. He was arrested, charged and has been imprisoned for 420 days.

His lawyer, Ram Goswami, told The Straits Times that following pre-trial conferences, the case has been taken off the High Court, where capital cases are heard. The suspect may now be released a free man, after the prosecution has given notice that it would apply for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

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MPs question Transport Minister on LTA’s new regulatory approach

MPs question Transport Minister on LTA’s new regulatory approach

SINGAPORE: Following Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew’s statement that the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) regulatory approach would change, several MPs asked how this would be carried out without LTA facing a conflict of interest.

Mr Lui had said earlier that while LTA’s regulatory approach in the past was outcome—based, going forward, the regulatory framework would be enhanced to be more prescriptive and to exercise greater oversight on areas that affect reliability and commuter comfort.

The minister was delivering a statement in Parliament on Tuesday in response to the Committee of Inquiry’s (COI) report on the massive MRT breakdowns last December that affected 200,000 commuters.

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Casino entry fees collected hit $288 million in 18 months

Net tax revenues from casino resorts surge (Getty Images)
Net tax revenues from casino resorts surge

Casino entry level fees collected by the government in the past 18 months reached S$288 million, Minister of State for Finance Josephine Teo said on Tuesday.

Used to fund social and charitable causes, the levies amounted to $93 million in the first six months of this year and $195 million over the whole of last year.

A daily entry levy of $100 and annual entry levy of $2,000 is imposed on Singaporeans and permanent residents seeking to enter the casinos.

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IRs should do more for problem gamblers: MP

Should more of the receipts from the integrated resorts (IRs) be diverted towards curbing problem gambling or helping low-income families, Member of Parliament (Jurong GRC) Ang Wei Neng asked yesterday.

He noted that Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa had reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of around S$3.3 billion each from the first quarter of 2010 until March.

Given their profitability, Mr Ang asked if the Government would persuade the IRs to "do more corporate social responsibility" by helping lower-income families - especially those who have problem gamblers - or channel penalties collected from the IRs into a separate fund for these purposes.

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Second student dies in fall from flat

Second student dies in fall from flat
(Photo / Screen grab from www.OMY.sg)

A 17-year-old girl fell to her death from her 10th-floor home on Sunday (8 July).

This makes it the second case in two days that a student has died from a fatal fall. On the morning of 7 July, Wang Jian Kai, a student from Nanyang Technological University, fell to his death from the ninth floor of block 553, Choa Chu Kang North 6.

In the latest case, the girl’s death appears to be accidental, as she was unwell and was feeling disoriented, Shin Min Daily News reported.

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The City Harvest Church scandal has split Singapore into two

The City Harvest Church scandal has split Singapore into two
(Photo / CHC.org.sg)

Two weeks have passed since Pastor Kong Hee and his associates were arrested for allegedly misusing church funds and breaching laws that cover the Charities Act.

This has split Singaporeans into two separate camps – one revolted by the purported actions of their church leaders and the other, staying true to their faith in the pastor.

Such fragmentation is unusual – compare this to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) saga in July 2005 when donated funds were used for the CEO’s personal gain, or the Ren Ci Hospital incident in 2007 when its CEO gave unauthorized loans. NKF’s T.T. Durai and Ren Ci’s Ming Yi received almost no sympathy from the public.

Get the full details on the City Harvest scandal here.

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Singapore Pastor Kong Hee Seeks God's Strength After Fraud Charges

Since being charged last month for allegedly misusing millions of dollars to support his wife's pop music career, Singapore megachurch pastor Kong Hee has been tweeting Bible verses, seeking strength and comfort from above.

"Show me Ur ways, O Lord, teach me Ur paths; guide me in Ur truth ... for U r my God & my hope is in U all day long ~ Ps 25:4-5," he tweeted last week.

"Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed,for I am your God ~ Is. 41:10."

On the day he and four other executives at City Harvest Church – one of Singapore's largest churches – were charged for criminal breach of trust, the popular pastor recalled the hymn "trust and obey" and also cited Psalm, "But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One who holds my head high."

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NUS student—led Christian group suspended over insensitive posters

NUS student—led Christian group suspended over insensitive posters

SINGAPORE: A student—led Christian religious group at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has been suspended following investigations over posters that were deemed "insensitive and disrespectful".

In a written reply to Parliament, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said police investigations into the NUS Campus Crusade for Christ are ongoing.

He said the students involved in putting up the posters around campus and on the group’s website, have been counselled.

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10 high-crime places in Johor to avoid

10 high-crime places in Johor to avoid
(Photo / Wikimedia)

There has been a slate of crimes in Johor recently, with the latest being two kidnappings in the space of just one week, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Singaporeans visiting Johor should avoid these 10 crime spots.

From last year, the Malaysia police have set up 25 sentry points at these crime focal points. Through 24 hours surveillance, they hope to instill a sense of confidence in the public and stop criminal activities.

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