Saturday, 9 June 2012

Watz Online - 9 Jun 2012

25-Year-Old Alex Ong Pushes Elderly Lady Off A Bus

Netizens' reactions to Alex Ong goes viral

We pay $200,000 bonus to lure foreign soldiers


Recruits are coming from America, Britain, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Singapore, Poland, Greece and Germany. Picture: LS Paul Berry Source

AUSTRALIA is boosting its ranks with foreign soldiers by offering cash bonuses of up to $200,000 and fast-tracked citizenship.

Veterans have hit out at hiring "mercenaries" from countries such as America, Germany and Singapore instead of recruiting more Australians.

Defence, meanwhile, has scrapped payments of $680 to single Aussie soldiers to fly home for Christmas.

Figures obtained by the Herald Sun show 726 international military personnel have come to Australia since 2006.

It is believed to have cost about $100 million to help them move.

The Victorian RSL says the force should be hiring Australians and training them.

War graves advocate John Saddington questioned the loyalties of foreign recruits.

"It's an absolute disgrace," he said. "We are hiring mercenaries."
Recruits are coming from America, Britain, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Singapore, Poland, Greece and Germany.

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Woman in S'pore sex corruption case was 'naive and simple', says husband

Woman in S'pore sex corruption case was 'naive and simple', says husband
Much speculation has been brewing over the backgrounds of the three women embroiled in the sex corruption case involving former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) chief Peter Lim Sin Pang.

However, other than their names and companies, little else is know about them. It is known that two of them are in their 40s and married, and all three held senior positions in their companies.

Checks by the media reveal scanty information as all three have gone into hiding. Ms Pang Chor Mui, a general manager at Nimrod Engineering, and Ms Lee Wei Hoon, a director at Singapore Radiation Centre are still working at their respective companies.

However, Ms Pang has been on leave for about a month so far till an unknown date, while Ms Lee has not been spotted at SRC's office premises.

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Who are the 3 women linked to ex-SCDF chief Peter Lim?

[UPDATED on 7 June: added details on women alleged to be involved]

Ex-SCDF chief Peter Lim allegedly had sexual intercourse with Esther Goh, director of business development of NCS in a carpark near Marina Bay Golf Course. (Yahoo! photo)
Ex-SCDF chief Peter Lim allegedly had sexual intercourse with Esther Goh, director of business development of NCS in a carpark near Marina Bay Golf Course

The woman most prominently cited in the sex-related corruption charges against a former top civil servant in Singapore held a senior post at a large IT solutions company.

Esther Goh Tok Mui was director of business development at NCS Pte Ltd when she allegedly had sex with former Singapore Civil Defence Force commissioner (SCDF) Peter Lim seven times between April and November last year.

Lim was charged in court on Wednesday morning with 10 counts of corruption by “advancing the business interests” of Goh and two other women for sex, court documents showed.

Goh is believed to be the only single woman out of the three named.

NCS, according to its website, counts among its clients various Singapore ministries and agencies, including the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Sing$ set to weaken against greenback over euro fears: Analysts

It is likely to depreciate further if coming Greek polls deal another blow to Europe

Concerns over the euro zone debt crisis and the upcoming Greek elections will weaken the Singapore dollar significantly against the greenback, according to economists.

The dollar traded at around $1.2745 to the United States dollar late on Thursday, and is tipped to depreciate to $1.35 in the near future and be at around $1.30 by the end of the year.

'The Singdollar is again feeling the heat from the turmoil engulfing the euro zone,' said UOB Economic-Treasury Research in a note on Wednesday, pointing to renewed risk aversion and nervy investors seeking safety in the US dollar.

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S’pore taxi driver beaten unconscious by passenger

Knocked out cold.

That’s what happened to a taxi driver after picking up a passenger from a hotel in Pasir Panjang, according to news reports.

Police arrested a 30-year-old man on Wednesday morning after he allegedly beat up the taxi driver until the latter was unconscious, reported Asiaone.

According to Chinese daily Shin Min Daily News, the 48-year-old taxi driver said he had picked up his passenger from a hotel in Pasir Panjang through a telephone booking.

Trouble began when the passenger, reportedly a Korean male, vented his anger on the cabby for driving a "lousy car". Speaking fluent English, he proceeded to raise his voice at the taxi driver while ordering him to head to the airport after throwing his luggage into the boot.

Despite repeated efforts by the driver to calm the passenger down, he refused, even breaking a door handle while trying to force the door open.

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Ex-Pei Chun principal out of prison

The  former principal of Pei Chun Public School, Lee Lip Hong, was released from Changi Prison on Friday.

He was sentenced to nine weeks' jail in April for having paid sex with an underage girl.

The 39-year-old served six weeks' jail and was released early for good behaviour.

Mr Lee is the first among 48 men to be sentenced in the online vice ring case.

Sporting a crew cut and looking relaxed, he said he will focus on his family and work on getting their forgiveness.

He added that he is determined to continue giving back to society.

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MHA suspends tenders linked to Peter Lim case

The Ministry of Home Affairs suspended all of the outstanding tenders involving former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) commissioner Peter Lim, as soon as it found out he was being investigated for corruption.

Lim was on Wednesday charged by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) with 10 counts of sex-related corruption.

In addition, the ministry said that the three women cited in the charges — Esther Goh Tok Mui, Pang Chor Mui and Lee Wei Hoon — are no longer servicing the SCDF’s accounts. Outstanding tenders involving the three women have also been suspended.

The women’s respective companies — NCS Pte Ltd and Nimrod Engineering — are still vendors, however. Lee’s company, Singapore Radiation Centre Pte Ltd, has not signed contracts with the SCDF.

The ministry said it is also reviewing two contracts that SCDF signed with NCS and Nimrod when Lim was directly involved in the tender process, as he sat on their approval committees.

It also said it is reorganising its procurement processes as part of a review to strengthen their integrity.

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MHA to consider greater centralisation of procurement functions

The Home Affairs Ministry said it is reviewing its procurement and tender process.

Among other things, it will look into whether there is a need for greater centralisation of procurement and project management functions.

This could mean that the ministry may oversee the procurement process of its agencies.

The move comes as part of the ministry's effort to reorganise procurement functions, and the roles of officers involved in the process.

It set up a Procurement & Logistics division this month to look into procurement governance issues.

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Four top chefs charged with corruption

Four top chefs from luxury hotels in S’pore were charged with corruption on Friday close to a S$1 million kickback case involving the former boss of a seafood supplier.

Tan Ah Teng from Goodwood Park Hotel's Min Jiang restaurant, Chik Ka Chung from MarriottHotel's Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Yang Lai Fatt from Meritus Mandarin Hotel and Goh Wooi Cheat from Regent Hotel's Summer Palace were charged for accepting money from Tay Ee Tiong, the former boss of Wealthy Seafood Product and Enterprise, reported local media.

The four are among 19 chefs alleged to have accepted bribes from the 57-year-old Tay to ensure their restaurants would continue buying seafood products from his company.

Tay  was sentenced to 18 months' jail in September last year after pleading guilty to giving nearly S$1 million in bribes to various chefs from top hotels across Singapore. It was revealed in court last year that he had approached the chefs and promised them commissions based on 5 to 10 per cent of the total value of seafood products purchased. He would then hand the money in cash to the chefs every few months.

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Let's not be obsessed with economic growth, competitiveness

Mr Chan Wing Kin's arguments that "Foreign workers help to strengthen the S'pore team" (June 1) have long been extolled by our Government.

Singapore does need foreign workers. The issue is with their arrival rate and the wage depression for low-income Singaporeans.

Jobs come and go as our economy evolves. If low-cost industries move out, then we should not or cannot compete in these areas. To depress wages just to keep companies afloat is to risk exploiting low-wage workers.

To say that productivity must rise before wages can is to rub salt in the wound of those already working long hours for barely sustainable wages.

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Incomes can only rise if economy grows as a whole: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said incomes can only rise if the Singapore economy is growing as a whole.

Mr Lee was speaking at the Economic Society of Singapore's annual dinner on Friday evening.

Responding to a question about the challenges facing Singapore in the future, Mr Lee said there is no country in the world where the population gets smaller and incomes rise at the same time.

Therefore, Singapore needs to have an inflow of talent and people for continued growth.

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Visas for entrepreneurs

Where creators are welcome - Australia, Canada and even Chile are more open than America

MOST governments say they want to encourage entrepreneurs. Yet when foreigners with ideas come knocking, they slam doors in their faces. America, surprisingly, is one of the worst offenders. It has no specific visa for foreigners who wish to create new companies.

It does offer a visa for investors, but the requirements are so stiff — usually an initial investment of $1m, or half that if the firm is in a depressed neighbourhood — that the annual quota of 10,000 visas is seldom filled.

Other countries are more open (see table). Singapore offers visas to people who invest $40,000; for some, the government provides additional investment.

Britain gives visas to entrepreneurs who meet certain conditions and attract £50,000 ($77,000) of venture funding.

New Zealand has no specific capital requirement but offers residency to entrepreneurs whose firms are deemed to benefit the country.

Chile is wildly generous: its government gives selected start-ups $40,000 without taking any equity in return.

All these schemes have been introduced or expanded since 2008.

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LinkedIn works with FBI on password theft

(Reuters) - LinkedIn Corp is working with the FBI as the social network for job seekers and professionals investigates the theft of 6.4 million member passwords, the company said on Thursday.

The company does not know of any accounts that were taken over as a result of the security violations, according to LinkedIn spokesman Hani Durzy.

A spokeswoman with the FBI declined to comment.

LinkedIn is still in the early stages of the investigation. Durzy said it was not yet determined whether the email addresses that corresponded to the hacked passwords were also stolen.

On Wednesday, LinkedIn confirmed that millions of passwords were stolen.

The company said on Thursday it would disable passwords that had been compromised and force customers to reset them. The company sent affected members emails explaining how to change their passwords.

Several security experts said that LinkedIn's stolen passwords had not been adequately secured and that the company did not employ best practices utilized by the world's largest websites.

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Aviation in China - Soaring ambition

Big plans to dominate the skies of the 21st century

Over the next few years, China plans to spend a quarter of a trillion dollars building the aerospace industries of the future. The country hosts more than two-thirds of the airports now under construction around the world.

It will be the biggest growth market for Boeing and Airbus, though China is investing heavily in developing home-grown rivals in the hope of dominating the aviation markets of the 21st century.

The sheer scale and audacity of China’s ambitions and investments in this field are eye-opening. James Fallows, a senior correspondent at the Atlantic (and a critic of this paper), is well suited to chronicle this effort, which has parallels with America’s expansion westward during its age of Manifest Destiny.

Not only does the book benefit from his keen observations as a journalist in China, but also it is enriched by his technical knowledge as a passionate aviator. The result is informative and lively, with hardly a trace of needless jargon.

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'Dead' boy wakes up and asks for water at funeral in Brazil

A TWO-YEAR-OLD boy sat up in his coffin and asked for water before laying back down again lifeless, according to a Brazilian news website.

Website ORM claimed that Kelvin Santos stopped breathing during treatment for pneumonia at a hospital in Belem, northern Brazil.

He was declared dead at 7.40pm on Friday and his body was handed over to his family in a plastic bag.

The child's devastated family took him home where grieving relatives held a wake throughout the night, with the boy's body laid in an open coffin.

But an hour before his funeral was due to take place on Saturday the boy apparently sat up in his coffin and said: "Daddy, can I have some water?".

The boy's father, Antonio Santos, said: "Everybody started to scream, we couldn't believe our eyes. Then we thought a miracle had taken place and our boy had come back to life.

"Then Kelvin just laid back down, the way he was. We couldn't wake him. He was dead again."

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India’s slowdown - Farewell to Incredible India

Bereft of leaders, an Asian giant is destined for a period of lower growth. The human cost will be immense

In a world economy as troubled as today’s, news that India’s growth rate has fallen to 5.3% may not seem important. But the rate is the lowest in seven years, and the sputtering of India’s economic miracle carries social costs that could surpass the pain in the euro zone.

The near double-digit pace of growth that India enjoyed in 2004-08, if sustained, promised to lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty—and quickly. Jobs would be created for all the young people who will reach working age in the coming decades, one of the biggest, and potentially scariest, demographic bulges the world has seen.

But now, after a slump in the currency, a drying up of private investment and those GDP figures, the miracle feels like a mirage. Whether India can return to a path of high growth depends on its politicians—and, in the end, its voters. The omens, frankly, are not good.

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Singapore's growth expected to slow in next decade

Singapore's economy will experience growth slower than in the last 10 years.

This, against the backdrop of a more developed economy, internal resources constraints and fierce competition from the region.

But Singapore needs to strive for growth to improve the collective well-being of its people.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this at the Economic Society of Singapore's annual dinner on Friday evening.

Since 2003, Singapore's economy grew an average 6.3 per cent per year.

Mr Lee said: "Singapore cannot avoid slower growth in the next decade and beyond. This is natural because we are now more developed and we are also running up against land and labour constraints, especially as we reduce the inflow of foreign workers.

"Plus competition is fiercer, not only from hundreds of millions of hungry workers in the emerging economies, but also from new technologies that will transform industries all over the world."

Mr Lee noted that some Singaporeans may desire slower growth, but deliberately slowing growth beyond Singapore's economic potential could have irreversible consequences.

"For Singa­pore, slow growth will mean fewer new investments. Good jobs will be scarcer, and unemployment will be higher," he said.

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"Safe-haven" investments may no longer be valid, say experts

Investors should rethink how they should invest in current volatile markets.

Experts said traditional "safe-haven" investments may no longer be valid as risk levels may change.

They added that investors should pursue high-yield investments and divest instruments that focus on capital gains.

Buying corporate bonds, gold, high-yielding bonds or stocks that pay high dividend is the way to go now.

These are among the favoured investment picks of private bank Coutts which it shared at a roundtable discussion on Thursday.

With the market volatility due to the uncertainties in the eurozone, the bank recommends that its clients stick to income-oriented investments to grow their wealth.

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Probation for undergrad who punched, bit, head-butted cop 

Natasha Wan Xue Wen

She had too much to drink at the nightspot Zouk last October and ended up punching, biting and head-butting police officers. On Thursday, Natasha Wan Xue Wen, 24, was placed on probation for 15 months and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service by a district court.

The undergraduate had pleaded guilty last month to using abusive words and criminal force on public servants who were doing their job and to behaving in a disorderly manner.

Wan has also to remain at home between 11pm and 6am during the probation period and her parents signed a $5,000 bond to ensure her good behaviour. 

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