Saturday, 21 April 2012

Watz Online - 21 Apr 2012

What lures women to become social escorts

Money a big draw but counsellers warn of emotional damage

Swiss national Juerg Buergin was on Friday freed on bail of $15,000 after he found a Singaporean guarantor. He is among 48 men recently charged with having paid sex with a minor. -- ST PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN

By Leonard Lim , Tham Yuen-C and Bryna Sim
From undergraduates and working professionals to air stewardesses and full-time models, social escort agencies are seeing a bigger supply of Singaporeans willing to join the trade.

Counsellors and agency bosses say money is the biggest lure, but gifts from clients such as designer handbags, meals at swanky restaurants and sometimes even paid holidays are other attractions.
The rates range from $200 an hour to more than $10,000 for an overnight stay, as listed on some online websites.

Singapore’s Newest Challenge: Social Discontent

April 19, 2012, 7:08 PM SGT

Singapore has historically been seen as a canary in the coal mine of the world economy, given its extreme vulnerability to the swings of global trade.

But now, analysts at one bank have raised concern about a data point not usually seen as a threat: social and political discontent.

“Singapore has found enviable economic success since 2007,” Malaysian bank CIMB said in a note published Thursday. “But the fruits of its success have not filtered down to everyone. The masses complain that if wealth is measured by happiness, Singapore is far from being El Dorado.”

Singapore Wage Debate Heats Up

Singapore needs a “wage revolution” to narrow a widening gap between rich and poor and put its economy on a more sustainable track, says one of the city-state’s leading economists, whose proposals have sparked vigorous debate on the viability of Singapore’s long-lauded growth model.

To lift stagnant low-end wages and curb an overreliance on cheap foreign labor, Singapore should consider freezing salaries for three years for those earning 15,000 Singapore dollars (about US$12,000) or more a month, and raising pay for workers drawing monthly wages below S$1,500 by 50% or more over the same period, among other measures, says Nanyang Technological University economics professor Lim Chong Yah.

Job bias against Singaporeans the top complaint

By Samantha Boh
CONCERN over unequal job opportunities for Singaporeans was the top complaint received by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (Tafep) last year.

The top complaints related to discrimination are usually linked to nationality, language, race and age.
In its 2011 Annual Review, Tafep said the total number of complaints rose to 277 last year, from 115 in 2010.

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Rationale behind Lim Chong Yah's wage shock therapy
By Teh Shi Ning
PROFESSOR Lim Chong Yah's radical proposal on Monday - for a wage revolution not unlike the 1979 one he was central to - drew criticism from disbelieving economists and businesses who saw it as impractical - 'economic suicide'.
It is not hard to see why. His bold three-year plan includes a wage freeze for top earners while incomes for the poorest are raised by huge quantums - 15 per cent in each of the first two years and 20 per cent in the last year.

Those earning the most are the very same globally sought talent Singapore cannot afford to drive away with such a move, critics said. And small and medium enterprises (SMEs) unable to bear wage cost hikes could put low-wage workers out of work, or channel costs to their prices, driving inflation up, others added.

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Job bias against Singaporeans the top complaint
By Samantha Boh
CONCERN over unequal job opportunities for Singaporeans was the top complaint received by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (Tafep) last year.

The top complaints related to discrimination are usually linked to nationality, language, race and age.
In its 2011 Annual Review, Tafep said the total number of complaints rose to 277 last year, from 115 in 2010.

read more

Passengers At Circle Line Stations Left Scrambling
Jose Hong, Straits Times:
Unlike the stations from Bishan to one-north where shuttle buses were available to help affected passengers, commuters at other stations along the Circle Line were left scrambling for other ways to get to their destinations.
No thanks to the route-planning folks at LTA who had, over the years, limited public transportation between any two points in Singapore to just a single path.

No. 1 employment gripe: Bosses prefer foreigners

A self-employed man was fined a total of $15,000 on Thursday for molesting his Indonesian maid.

Ahmad Basiron, 43, had originally claimed trial to molesting the 24-year-old domestic maid on two occasions at his Langsat Road home in March 2010.

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Paid sex with minor: Green activist, ex-scholar among more men charged

SINGAPORE - Four more men - including an environmental activist, and an ex-grassroots leader who was also a former Government teaching scholar - were charged in court yesterday for having paid sex with a minor who was touted on an online prostitution ring.

They are the second group to be charged in the high-profile case, after 44 other alleged clients of the girl were charged on Monday.

The girl was identified in court documents yesterday. However, she cannot be named after the court allowed a prosecution application to impose a gag order to protect her identity.

The gag order, which prohibits the publication of any details that could lead to the identification of the girl, also applies to members of the public.

Among the group that was charged yesterday was former Singapore Environment Council executive director Howard Shaw Chai Li, 41.

Shaw, who is a third-generation descendent of the Shaw movie moguls, is said to have paid the girl, who was below the legal prostitution age of 18 then, S$500 for sex on Oct 30, 2010.

Another person charged was former River Valley High School teacher Chua Ren Cheng, 31. Responding to media queries, the Ministry of Education said Chua resigned from the teaching service "with effect from Feb 1". According to MOE, Chua was a recipient of a Government teaching scholarship.

Chua, who used to chair the youth executive committee of Taman Jurong Community Club, is said to have spent S$750 to have sex with the girl at a budget hotel on Dec 22, 2010. He was the only one among the group yesterday who said he intended to plead guilty. Chua, who was unrepresented, was given one week to decide if he intends to engage a lawyer.

Juerg Buergin, a 40-year-old Swiss national, was also charged. Buergin was formerly UBS Investment Bank's country head of operations here. He quit abruptly earlier this year. He is accused of paying the girl a total of S$1,250 for two alleged trysts at the Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental hotels.

The fourth man charged was Edward Whistler Goh Ngian Meng, 49, who runs a business consultancy and management training firm.

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Swiss in Singapore callgirl scandal out on bail: lawyer

2012-04-20 16:31
Singapore, April 20, 2012 (AFP) - A Swiss expatriate accused of having paid sex with a woman under the age of 18 was freed on bail Friday and plans to plead not guilty, his lawyer said.

Juerg Buergin, 40, had been placed in remand on Wednesday after being charged in a district court, along with 47 other men, for allegedly paying a 17-year-old Singaporean callgirl for sex in late 2010 and early 2011.

Buergin quit Swiss banking giant UBS earlier this year as a mid-level executive before the scandal erupted, banking industry sources said.

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Woman arrested for spiking drinks of elderly men

SINGAPORE: Police have arrested a woman believed to be responsible for several cases of stealing valuables from her male victims after spiking their drinks.

The 52-year-old suspect was nabbed at about 7.30pm on Friday.

Police said in a statement that since January, they have been receiving reports of theft from persons using the ruse of spiking drinks, mainly targeting elderly male victims.

The suspect would approach and befriend the victims before inviting them for a chat at nearby coffee shops, hawker centres or food courts.

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Man jailed 5 years for running prostitution ring

SINGAPORE : For nearly three years, a husband-wife duo ran a ring of Vietnamese prostitutes, many of whom were underage, and lived off their earnings.

For that, 42-year-old Seng Swee Meng was jailed five years on Wednesday after pleading guilty to 15 counts of violating the Women's Charter Act.

His wife, Ngo Tien, a Vietnamese national, is still at large after she left Singapore with their their3-year-old daughter last July.

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Man jailed for having sex with underage prostitute

SINGAPORE: A former security consultant was jailed four months on Tuesday for having sex with an underaged Vietnamese prostitute.

49-year-old Winson Chan Swee Teck was found guilty of paying the girl S$100 for her sexual services.

The girl, who is now 17 years old, cannot be named to protect her identity.

Chan is one of three men who were earlier charged for having commerical sex with the same girl.

Chan, who is divorced, had sex with her at a hotel at Lorong 28 Geylang in July 2011. This was after the girl lied that she was 20 years old and refused to show him her passport.

The first of the trio to be sentenced for the offence was a former land and estate executive with the Singapore Land Authority.

57-year-old Kum Chin Tiong, was sentenced to nine months jail in January after he pleaded guilty to paying S$100 for sex with the girl.

A third man, 55-year-old Yeo Joo Meng, a store personnel, also allegedly paid the girl between S$100 and S$130 for her sexual services.

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Ex-teacher jailed for texting obscene messages to student

SINGAPORE: A former relief teacher was jailed 10 months on Tuesday for sending lewd text messages to his 13-year-old student.

The 48-year-old father of three pleaded guilty to the indecent act, which took place in December 2010.

Both the man and the girl, who is now 15 years old, cannot be named to protect their identities.

At the time of the offence, the man was teaching Mathematics at the secondary school.

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