Saturday, 8 November 2014

Paying & Being Paid in Coins


A video of CCTV footage that had been sped up for Channel News Asia showed that the customer walked into the car showroom on Tuesday with a trolley that contained a box. He then tipped the contents over and left

Update 17 Nov 2015: 3 years' jail sought for Sim Lim cheat Jover Chew
INFAMY: Jover Chew shot to international notoriety after allegations of his shop fleecing

PROSECUTORS called for the boss of a now-defunct electronics firm to be given a three-year jail sentence yesterday after he admitted to conning his customers.

Jover Chew Chiew Loon, 33, the "brains and architect" behind Mobile Air, pleaded guilty to 12 of 28 charges against him - including abetment by conspiracy to cheat and criminal intimidation.

On one occasion, when ordered by a Small Claims Tribunal to reimburse a customer $1,010, he gave her a bag containing $547 of the sum in coins - then dropped them on the floor of his Sim Lim Square shop and filmed her aunt picking them up.

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Car dealer paid S$19,000 in coins: Case is civil, not criminal

Mr S. T. Tang made a police report after Mr Lester Ong Boon Lin dumped S$19,000 worth of coins on his car showroom’s floor, but said the police told him it was not a criminal case. He lodged a report anyway, in consideration of possible legal action.

S. T. Tang, owner of Exotic Motor, told Channel NewsAsia on Thursday (Nov 6) that he made a police report after Lester Ong Boon Lin had the coins dumped on the car showroom’s floor.

Mr Ong had reportedly been ordered by the court several months ago to pay Exotic Motor the amount for legal fees and other costs, which include road tax and insurance for a car that he had wanted Exotic Motor to help him sell.

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Singapore car dealer smells something 'fishy' about payment

"He did this deliberately because he was unhappy," Tang told AFP.

"The coins were soaked in market juices, and smelled of fish. It stank up the whole place and I had to hire professionals to get rid of it. But the smell is still there," he said.

"I am keeping the coins in 10 separate bags... My lawyers are arranging to have it returned, I am definitely not going to accept it," he added.

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Man pays car dealer $19,000 in smelly coins
It is a case of deja vu but on a much larger scale

The son of a nasi lemak chain's owner was ordered by a court to pay his car dealer friend $19,000 over a car dispute. But on Tuesday, he ended up paying the amount in 350kg worth of coins with a fishy smell, recalling an incident last week in which a Sim Lim Square mobile phone store gave a customer a refund of more than $1,000 in coins.

The man, 34, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ong, told Shin Min Daily News yesterday that he paid in coins because he wanted to make a strong statement to express his unhappiness.

Mr Ong said he was unhappy with the court verdict and the actions of the car dealer, Sylvester Tang. He said he believed that paying in coins was not against the law.

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Singapore car dealer paid in coins stinking of fish

Tang said the coins included those of 5-, 10-, 20- and 50-cent denominations. There were also Malaysian and Thai coins.

Ong, the customer, told local tabloid The New Paper he decided to settle the amount in coins because he was upset with Tang. “Was I too much? I was really unhappy with his business practice and I paid the amount in full. So, no,” he said.

Under Singapore’s Currency Act, small coins can’t be used for payments over a certain amount.

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Dispute over Aston Martin car deal: Businessman pays $19,000

He had been ordered by the court to pay about $19,000 to a car dealer over a soured sales deal involving his Aston Martin V8 Vantage. But, unhappy with how he had been treated by the car dealer, the customer turned up at the Exotic Motors showroom on Tuesday with a trolley carrying the $19,000 - in coins.

Businessman Ong Boon Lin told The New Paper he did it because the car dealer had "made me look like a fool for the past 1.5 years".

Exotic Motor's owner Tang Siu Tong refuted the claims and shot back, saying Mr Ong had been a bad customer.

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Man who paid $19,000 in coins says he was overcharged


Mr Lester Ong, the man who dumped $19,000 worth of coins at a car showroom said the dealership was "toying" with him. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

The man who dumped $19,000 worth of coins at a car showroom said the dealership was "toying" with him.

Mr Lester Ong, said to be the son of a nasi lemak franchise owner, was ordered by the court to pay Exotic Motors $11,000 owed to them, and $8,000 in lawyer fees. The payment came in the form of coins, poured from a styrofoam box that had been used to store fish.

Mr Ong reportedly owed Exotic Motors the money for repairs to an Aston Martin that the car dealer was to resell for him, and road tax that they paid for the sports car.


Fishy revenge coins stink up showroom

A luxury car dealer in Singapore complained Thursday that his showroom smells like a market after an “unhappy” customer paid him Sg$19,000 (R167 200) in coins smelling of fish. Tang Siu Tong, 44, owner of Exotic Motor that sells Ferraris and Bentleys, said the customer dumped nearly 100kg worth of coins in his showroom on Tuesday after being ordered by a court to pay the dealer the amount.

The customer, 34-year-old businessman Ong Boon Lin, had lost a lawsuit over the costs associated with consigning his Aston Martin V8 Vantage to the showroom in order to sell it. “He did this deliberately because he was unhappy,” Tang told AFP.

“The coins were soaked in market juices, and smelled of fish. It stank up the whole place and I had to hire professionals to get rid of it. But the smell is still there,” he said.

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What you need to know about making large payments in coins
In yet another case of paying large sums in coins, a customer left $19,000 of coins in a car dealer's showroom on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Mr Lester Ong Boon Lin, said to be the son of a famous nasi lemak franchise owner, had been ordered by the court a few months ago to pay Exotic Motors the amount.

He did so - in coins estimated to weigh at least 100kg and reeking of fish, reported the Chinese evening papers on Wednesday.

Mr Ong, 34, had owed Exotic Motors more than $11,000. He was ordered to pay the debt and another $8,000 for lawyer's fees.

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Here's what the Act says about payments in coins:
  1. Any sum can be paid in coins with a denomination exceeding 50 cents; in other words, $1 coins.
  2. 50-cent coins can be used for the payment of a sum not more than $10.
  3. Coins of a denomination lower than 50 cents, in other words, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents and 1 cent, can be used for the payment of a sum not more than $2.
related: Customer leaves $19,000 of coins at car dealer's showroom

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Angry customer pays car dealer $19,000... in coins
The $19,000 worth of coins was transported in a styrofoam box. Photo: Courtesy of Mr Ong
By: RONALD LOH

He had been ordered by the court to pay about $19,000 to a car dealer. But unhappy at how he had been treated by the car dealer, the customer stormed to the Exotic Motors showroom with the money on Tuesday (Nov 4).

The surprise: It was all in coins.

The man, who only wanted to be known as Mr Ong, said he did it because the car dealer had "made me look like a fool for the past 1.5 years".

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Singapore car dealer smells something ‘fishy’ about payment

A luxury car dealer in Singapore complained Thursday that his showroom smells like a market after an “unhappy” customer paid him Sg$19,000 ($15,200) in coins smelling of fish.

Tang Siu Tong, 44, owner of Exotic Motor that sells Ferraris and Bentleys, said the customer dumped nearly 100 kilograms (220 pounds) worth of coins in his showroom on Tuesday after being ordered by a court to pay the dealer the amount. The customer, 34-year-old businessman Ong Boon Lin, had lost a lawsuit over the costs associated with consigning his Aston Martin V8 Vantage to the showroom in order to sell it.

“He did this deliberately because he was unhappy,” Tang told AFP.

read more

Full Coverage:
Independent Online: Fishy revenge coins stink up showroom
GlobalPost: Singapore car dealer smells something 'fishy' about payment
The Japan Times: Singapore car dealer paid in coins stinking of fish
TODAYonline: Car dealer paid S$19000 in coins: Case is civil, not criminal
Straits Times: Man pays $19000 in coins: What you need to know about making large
AsiaOne: Man pays car dealer $19000 in smelly coins
The Straits Times: Man pays $19000 in coins
The Straits Times: Customer leaves $19000 of coins at car dealer's showroom
The New Paper: Dispute over luxury car deal: Businessman pays $19000 - in coins
The New Paper: Angry customer pays car dealer $19000... in coins

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Sim Lim Square shop pays $1,010 refund in coins
Miss Zhou said the staff threw the bag of coins on the floor and told her to count them on the floor

She went to the mobile phone shop in Sim Lim Square to get a refund. After all, the Small Claims Tribunal had ruled in her favour. The shop gave her the money.

The only problem was that all $1,010 of it was in coins. The consumer, who wanted to be known only as Miss Zhou, said the shop's action angered and shocked her.

She also claimed that the shop employees verbally abused and taunted her after forcing her to count the money on the floor. Some even took pictures and videos of her with the coins. She said her ordeal on Tuesday afternoon lasted about three hours.

related:
Vietnamese tourist kneels down tearfully begs for iPhone 6 refund at Sim Lim Sq shop
Sim Lim Square shop owner can't explain why he paid in coins
Sim Lim scams: Student reduced to tears after being charged $1k for iPhone warranty
Sim Lim Square retailers speak up against bad reputation
Sim Lim shop in coin case faces probe

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Sim Lim Square shop refunds $1,010 to woman who bought iPhone 6 Plus - in 5 and 10 cent coins
Police were called in over a dispute at Sim Lim Square on Oct 28, after a woman tried to get a refund for the $3,000 iPhone 6 Plus she had purchased earlier

Miss Zhou returned to Singapore on Oct 23 and went back to the shop for her refund with her aunt on Oct 28. There, they were presented with a huge bag of coins -- including one-cents and five-cents.

According to The New Paper, Miss Zhou said that the shop assistants threw the bag of coins on the floor and told her to count them. The five men also taunted and made fun of her, she said.

She apparently spent four hours counting the money after calling the police. A spokesperson confirmed that a dispute had broken out but no further assistance was required.

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Sim Lim Square mobile shop owner can't explain why he paid customer in coins, CASE to probe incident
Mr Chew evaded the question of why he had paid in coins and showed The New Paper a video of Ms Liu throwing the bag of coins on the floor outside the shop. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER, LIANHE WANBAO

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) is investigating Sim Lim Square mobile phone shop Mobile Air for possible violations of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

The shop has allegedly been involved in several cases of improper marketing practices recently, by forcing customers buying the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to fork out an additional sum for an insurance policy for the phone, report Lianhe Zaobao and AsiaOne.

Between July and September this year, CASE has received a total of 14 complaints against the shop. CASE executive director Seah Seng Choon said that it was re-investigating all complains it has received against Mobile Air, and plans to invite the store to sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA).

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CASE to probe Sim Lim mobile shop after coin incident
Miss Zhou said the staff threw the bag of coins on the floor and told her to count them on the floor

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) is investigating Sim Lim Square mobile phone shop Mobile Air for possible violations of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

The shop has allegedly been involved in several cases of improper marketing practices recently, by forcing customers buying the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to fork out an additional sum for an insurance policy for the phone, reports Lianhe Zaobao.

Between July and September this year, CASE has received a total of 14 complaints against the shop. CASE executive director Seah Seng Choon said that it was re-investigating all complains it has received against Mobile Air, and plans to invite the store to sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA).

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Case investigates Sim Lim mobile shop which paid in coins
A mobile shop in Sim Lim Square, which made headlines recently when its staff tried to refund a customer in coins, is being investigated by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case)

A Lianhe Zaobao report said the industry watchdog is checking on whether Mobile Air has violated the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

The shop has been involved in several cases of improper marketing practices in the past, the report said, where customers were told to fork out an additional sum for an insurance policy on the mobile phones they bought.

Case has received a total of 14 complaints against the shop between July and September this year.

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Payment of a large amount in coins.

The owner of a mobile phone store was lambasted online by Singaporeans last week after he refunded a Chinese tourist more than Sg$1,000 in coins after a claims tribunal ruled against his shop.

Under Singapore's Currency Act, small denomination coins can't be used for payments over a certain amount.

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Vietnamese tourist kowtows and begs for refund at Sim Lim Square shop
A Stomper sent in video footage showing the Vietnamese tourist kneeling down and begging for his refund at the Sim Lim Square shop making headlines recently, Mobile Air

The tourist, who earns $200 a month as a factory worker in Vietnam, was asked to pay an additional $1,500 for a warranty package on top of a payment of $950 which he had already made for an iPhone 6.


He had intended to purchase the mobile phone for his girlfriend as her birthday present.


In the video, a man, presumably the shopkeeper, is heard asking the tourist how he is "going to settle (his) money".


related: Vietnamese tourist kneels down tearfully begs for iPhone 6 refund at Sim Lim Sq


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5 recent infamous incidents at Sim Lim Square
A man standing at the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) complaints kiosk for shoppers at Sim Lim Square Information Counter Level 1

Malaysian diver blamed iPhone dispute for poor performance (Date reported: Oct 2014)
Mr Ooi Tze Liang, a 20-year-old Commonwealth Games gold medallist from Malaysia, was overcharged by more than $2,000 for two iPhone 6s at Sim Lim Square. His coaches had expected him to perform well at the Singapore Fina Diving Grand Prix 2014 finals last month, but he came in fifth in the men's 3m springboard. They said the iPhone dispute had led to his poor showing.

Shopping trip led to injury (Date reported: July 2014)
A customer claimed that a salesman had pushed him roughly after he had asked to exchange a product, resulting in a hand injury. The salesman denied this and said that the customer had lost his balance and fell.

Shop theft led to violent brawl (Date reported: June 2014)
A man turned violent when he was confronted by a store assistant for theft. He took off his T-shirt and attacked an onlooker before others joined into the fight. When the police arrived, they arrested the man for theft and three others for rioting.

Retailers swiped extra charges on credit cards (Date reported: May 2013)
Extra amounts were charged to customers' credit cards under the guise of transaction fees or taxes.

Shops tampered signboards & names to hide bad reputation (Date reported: April 2013)
Sim Lim Square's management had put up lists of recalcitrant shops in the mall to warn shoppers about them, but these stores either shrunk their names on their signboards or removed them completely. Other dubious tactics included changing their name, renovating the shopfront or moving away.

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Police conduct raid at Mobile Air in Sim Lim Square, documents seized
Plainclothes police investigators leaving Mobile Air at Sim Lim Square with boxes and equipment. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Police raided the errant Sim Lim Square retailer, Mobile Air, on Sunday and seized documents and products from the shop.

According to Shin Min Daily News, eight plainclothes officers were at the shop for more than two hours. They left with four large boxes of documents and products. They also took with them three computer monitors, said the report.

The mobile phone shop has been under fire for the last few weeks over its unethical sales tactics. It re-opened for business on Friday, but apparently under a new owner.

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Govt looking into enhanced laws, stronger enforcement against errant retailers

The Government is looking into "enhancing our laws, strengthening the enforcement process and continuing with our engagement efforts" with regards to errant retail practices, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck on Monday (Nov 17), after meeting with Sim Lim Square's Management Council.

His meeting with 10 members of the Management Council came after they had sent a letter to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), requesting that authorities look into the problem of a handful of errant retailers at Sim Lim Square.

A press release from MTI said that during the meeting, the Management Council shared challenges they faced and reiterated their hopes that the laws could be strengthened to give such retailers harsher penalties.

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Only the signboard is different: Sim Lim Square spokesman

Mobile Air, the Sim Lim Square shop notorious for its unfair trade practices, is apparently no more.

In its place is a new mobile phone shop, which will be called HJ Mobile, said a man who identified himself as a partner in the new business.

When The New Paper visited the shop yesterday, Mobile Air's name had been removed from the space next to the shop's signboard where it used to be.

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Remembering Sim Lim Square 森林商业中心

From a wood business to an electronics hub
Sim Lim Square, now an electronics hub, first started as a timber business - ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Mr Soon Peng Yam in 1998. - ST FILE PHOTO
Sim Lim 50 years published by Sim Lim Investments Limited, The Straits Times

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Errant Retailers and Rogue Traders
The heat has been turned up on the Sim Lim Square shop formerly known as Mobile Air after the police raided it on Sunday

The shop and its owner, Mr Jover Chew, had become notorious for unfair trade practices, including coercing mobile phone customers to buy in-house warranties at inflated prices.

Mr Chew had apparently sold his business, which reopened last Friday supposedly under the name HJ Mobile, under new management.

But that did not stop police officers from spending several hours there going through documents before carting away four large boxes.

read more

related:
TODAY: Police raid former Mobile Air
AsiaOne: Police raid Sim Lim Square's Mobile Air
AsiaOne: Teo Ser Luck meets with SLS management council on errant retailers
TODAY: Teo Ser Luck, management council discuss errant retailers at SLS
CNA: Gov looking into enhanced laws, stronger enforcement against errant retailers
Straits Times: Police conduct raid at Mobile Air in SLS, documents seized
AsiaOne: Blacklisted phone shop in People's Park Complex to close
AsiaOne: Only the signboard is different: Sim Lim Square spokesman
AsiaOne: Blacklisted Sim Lim Square mobile phone shop reopens
AsiaOne: Memories of Sim Lim

tnp: Sim Lim Square shop refunds woman $1,010 in coins
mothership: Coin-giving Sim Lim shop has tourist begging on his knees
straitstimes.com: Case investigates Sim Lim mobile shop which paid in coins
yahoo: CASE investigates Sim Lim shop which refunded customer
stomp: Watch how Mobile Air shopkeepers in Sim Lim made
singaporeseen: Sim Lim Square mobile shop owner can't
asiaone; Tourist kneels and begs tearfully for refund at Sim Lim
Channel News Asia: Sim Lim Square store's practices draw furious response
AsiaOne: MPs call for stiffer laws to tackle errant retailers
TODAYonline: Are phone warranties that shops sell allowed, valid?
TODAYonline: Place warning signs in front of Sim Lim's errant shops
AsiaOne: Errant retailers' tactics equivalent to daylight robbery
Online Citizen: Sim Lim Management says less than 2% of shops are black sheeps
Straits Times: Sim Lim managers say current laws do not give enough control
CNA: Errant retailers' tactic: Pile on costs after payment made, says CASE
TODAYonline: Only 10 black sheep out of 500 retailers: Sim Lim management
CNA: Only 10 black sheep out of almost 500 retailers: Sim Lim management
CNA: Still keen on shopping at Sim Lim? 1 retailer offers consumers tips
inSing: Chinese embassy issues warning about Singapore to shoppers
Straits Times: Exercise your rights against errant shops, shoppers told by Case
AsiaOne: Sales assistants working for errant shops can earn '$10000 to $20000'
Channel News Asia: Sim Lim case: Citizen action may be against the law
Asia1: Buyers should be savvy too, says Case
Asia1: Sales assistants working for Sim Lim's errant shops can earn up to $20000
AsiaOne: Mall gets 2 to 3 complaints daily
Tech in Asia: Don't get scammed: best places to buy mobile, gadgets & computers
TODAYonline: Place large signs near lifts, escalators to warn consumers
TODAYonline: STB 'ready to help' Vietnam tourist
TODAYonline: Help other victims of Sim Lim Square cons
Straits Times: Mobile Air boss Jover Chew gets chewed online for bullying tourist
Straits Times: Too easy for errant retailers to do business
Straits Times: Why is Sim Lim shop still in business?
Straits Times: Get tough on rogue Sim Lim retailers
Straits Times: MOM Minister says laws may be reviewed to better protect consumers
Daily Mail: Singaporeans aid Vietnam tourist victim of phone scam
ChannelNewsAsia: Crowdfunding organiser wants to get in touch with Vietnam tourist
Straits Times: Indiegogo fundraiser wants to sponsor trip for Vietnam tourist bullied
TODAYonline: Sim Lim: Manpower minister Tan Chuan-Jin shocked by behaviour
ChannelNewsAsia: STB reach out to Vietnam tourist who lost hundreds to Mobile Air
AsiaOne: Vietnam tourist scammed in Sim Lim Sq may receive all-expenses paid
Straits Times: The Straits Times' News In A Minute: Nov 6, 2014
AsiaOne: Things to know about Singapore's Consumer Protection Act
Straits Times: Remembering Sim Lim Square
AsiaOne: China warns citizens beware fraud when shopping electronics in S'pore
AsiaOne: Ex-employee reveals dubious tactics used at Sim Lim Square shop
Straits Times: China & Vietnam tourists warned to be careful when buying electronics
TODAYonline: Chinese Foreign Ministry posts advisory on buying electronic in Spore
AsiaOne: Sim Lim Square shop owner's particulars used to order pizza in prank
The Online Citizen: Recalcitrant retailers – spotlight falls on CASE
ChannelNewsAsia: Chinese embassy urges caution when buying electronic in Spore
Straits Times: Netizens expose details of Sim Lim Sq mobile shop owner who bullied
Straits Times: Over $12000 raised for Vietnam tourist allegedly scammed in Sim Lim
Straits Times: Vietnam tourist in Sim Lim Sq incident says he's not accepting any more
AsiaOne: Sim Lim store owner laughs as tourist begs for iPhone refund
The Online Citizen: The economics behind Sim Lim scams
Tuoitrenews: Breaking news
AsiaOne: Thousands raised to aid tourist in iPhone scam
AsiaOne: More needed to police black sheep
AsiaOne: Over $12700 raised for Vietnamese tourist scammed in Sim Lim Square
ChannelNewsAsia: Sim Lim store's practices draw furious response from the public
Yahoo: Sim Lim Sq Scammed Vietnamese Tourist Says: “I Will Not Accept Anymore
Malaysia Chronicle: SHAME HSIEN LOONG! China warns citizens beware of fraud
Malaysia Chronicle: Ex-employee leaks video of staff SCAMMING another tourist
Malaysia Chronicle: Bully shop owner's DISGUSTING habits exposed to shame him
Yahoo: China warns tourists to be careful when buying electronics in Singapore
Malay Mail: Sporeans raise thousands to help Vietnam tourist victim of phone scam
Thanh Nien: Spore targets scam shops after humiliation of Vietnam factory worker
inSing: Online drive to buy iPhone for tourist in Sim Lim Square saga
TODAY: Netizens expose personal data of Sim Lim Square mobile shop owner
TODAY: Outraged Singaporeans rally against Sim Lim retailer Mobile Air
malaysiandigest: Well Done, Kind Souls Come Forward To Help Vietnamese
ChannelNewsAsia: Should reputation count in granting renewal of a lease? Sim Lim
malaysiandigest: Vietnam Tourist Tearfully Begs For iPhone Refund @ Mobile Shop
Malaysia Chronicle: Student weeps after being charged $ 1K for iPhone warranty
Channel News Asia: Mobile Air attracts more complaints, sparks online campaigns
Straits Times: Donation drive raises >$3000 for Vietnam tourist who kneels & begs
AsiaOne: Video shows Vietnamese man kneeling and begging in Sim Lim shop
Straits Times: Man who took part in fight at Sim Lim Square fined $5000
Straits Times: Another incident: Student reduced to tears being charged $1000
GlobalPost: Netizens donate funds to help scammed Vietnamese tourist in Spore
Financialbuzz: Sim Lim Square Scams and Social Media Vengeance
AsiaOne: Sim Lim Square retailers speak up against bad reputation
Straits Times: Vietnam tourist kneels and begs for refund of iPhone 6 at Sim Lim
Straits Times: Sim Lim Square gets 2 to 3 complaints daily: Management
Tuoitrenews: Sporean raises fund to support Vietnam victim cheated by local store
New Paper: Sporean raises >$7500 through crowdfunding to help Vietnam tourist
Yahoo: Sporeans Show They Give A Damn About Unjust Sim Lim Square Scam
inSing: Sim Lim Square's Mobile Air slapped with warning
Techgoondu: Commentary: black sheep give Sim Lim Square a bad name
New Paper: Man fined $5000 after he & 4 others hurt alleged shoplifter at Sim Lim
Yahoo: Vietnamese tourist left in tears after begging for refund at Sim Lim shop

related:
Remembering Sim Lim Square 森林商业中心
Errant Retailers and Rogue Traders
Paying & Being Paid in Coins