Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Watz Buzzing - 4 Jul 2012

China to Build a Space Station in the MILKY WAY!

(Source of Chinese Space Woman: Straits Times, 30 June 12)

China sent her first female Astronaut or Taikonaut to space and performed complex space docking their space module with the Tiangong Module manually.

The Chinese space program should had taken off in the 60s if not for the culture revolution and close door policy by the commies. Our main stream media The Straits Times was quick to carry the balls of China (and also the China men and women living in Singapore) by having a front page of the amazing feat performed by the Chinese.

The amazing thing about the Straits Times Editors is that they did not even read such amazing front page news.

The China Correspondent Ho Ai Li mentioned that the Chinese will be building their own Space Station in the MILKY WAY. Amazing! Really!

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Bertha Henson: That $50 raise

There are two stories worth reading and thinking about today and they are not about the PM (the newspapers are still paralysed by him…) nor City Harvest. It has to do with poor people and money. Both are in The New Paper. Go buy.

The first is about a cleaner who said no to a pay rise. That’s because that much lauded $50 raise advocated by the National Wages Council would put her in a higher-tier bracket for a HDB rental home. That new bracket starts at $801 a month.

It was an insightful piece highlighting how one policy change can all be for nothing if other policies do not change as well. So you get $50 more, and you lose more because you are suddenly “richer”.

I use the term richer deliberately. Getting $800 a month does not definitely make you rich.

In fact TNP quoted an economics professor pointing out that Workfare Income Supplement cut-off is $1,700 a month, an implicit acknowledgement that anything less is hard to live on.

The HDB’s response was to talk about flexibility and looking at things case-by-case. Not good enough methinks. Better, as the economist suggested, to base rent as a proportion of income.

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SAF MO scolds sick NSman: You can only report sick if you collapse!

An NSman reported sick after feeling giddy during a Remedial Training (RT) session only to be told by the SAF Medical Officer (MO) on duty that he could only see him if he collapse!

The shocking incident took place yesterday evening at around 4pm at Maju Camp along Clementi Road. All combat-fit NSmen have to go for regular IPPT tests failing which they will have to go for compulsory RT sessions till they pass.

According to a lengthy email we received from NSman Mr Yang which was also forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office, he felt giddy and was about to faint during the training and was told to fall out by his Physical Training Instructor:

“During and after the initial exercises, I felt giddy and was about to faint. Before I collapse, I decided to inform the PTI (Physical Training Instructor – Army personnel) about my status. I informed the PTI that I am unable to contiinue. I requested to ”report sick”. The PTI advised me to fall out and to see the MO (Medical Officer) just to be ‘safe’.”

When he was sitting at the Medical Center, the MO saw him and shouted at him rudely:

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"There's a lot of pink between the red and white"

Amidst the panoply of pink paraphernalia - t-shirts proclaiming the “Freedom to Love”, squeaky sneakers of children emitting pink lights, pink tank-tops on puppies, and even a Pink Power Ranger suit - the sequins on a tudung shimmered as dusk fell in Hong Lim Park.

The woman with the Muslim  head scarf was attending Pink Dot for the first time, to lend her support to Latiff (not his real name), a younger brother. He had come out three years ago, attended his first Pink Dot, and found a spring of support from Young Out Here, an organisation striving to provide a safe and secular space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBTQ) youths to talk about their identities.

“My parents aren’t aware,” Latiff shared with an enigmatic smile - a smile animated by his lively surroundings but also tempered by his unfulfilled desire to come out to his whole family. His sister’s brilliantly pink tudung has not completely stripped away his veil of silence. Yet, Latiff was hardly despondent as he uttered his simple request: “We just want acceptance.”

When interviewed, another middle-aged participant had a simple request, “I would rather remain anonymous.” He was a teacher at a prestigious institution. These words harked back to an open letter composed by a teacher at Raffles Institution in 2007, who removed his blog post at the behest of the headmaster.

The thistles of reality - Section 377A of our penal code, the otherisation of people belonging to a different sexual orientation - still prick and hurt outside of Hong Lim Park.

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Foreign doc charged with molesting nurse during an operation

A SRI Lankan doctor working at the Changi General Hospital (CGH) was charged in Court yesterday (2 Jul) with three counts of touching the buttocks of a nurse in the operating theatre.

Senaka Liyanage, a University of Colombo graduate, is accused of touching the 26-year-old’s buttocks between 11am and noon on April 5 while an operation was going on. He was part of a team of doctors performing the operation on a patient that day.

The alleged victim reported the doctor to a senior nurse who then brought the matter to the nursing director.

Liyanage is believed to have joined the hospital in 2010 and is a specialist with the anaesthesia and surgical intensive care. In response to media queries, CGH said Liyanage is still employed by the hospital. He is currently working in clinical research, which is a “non-patient care role”, said CGH. 

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Losing candidate Desmond Choo involves in Hougang’s LUP

Residents of Hougang SMC living in 20 blocks in Hougang Avenue 5 and 7 will be voting over the next two weeks for Lift Upgrading Program (LUP) to be implemented on their blocks.

Those living in Blocks 320 to 328 started to cast their votes on 29 Jun, while residents living in Blocks 332 to 337, 339 to 341 and Blocks 359 and 361 will begin voting next Friday (6 Jul). The program involves new lifts added to these blocks, and existing lifts upgraded to serve every floor.

PAP Desmond Choo, adviser to Hougang’s Grassroots organisation, said the assessment of the blocks and handing out tenders to suitable contractors “takes time”. The process, however, could be “faster as there was a higher percentage of senior citizens living in the ward who would benefit from the LUP”, he added. 

Hougang’s Member of Parliament, WP Png Eng Huat said he was “happy for the residents living in those blocks” and was “sure most of them will welcome the overdue LUP”. 

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Singapore Employers Are Spoiled

That’s right! They truly are! Why do I say that? I say it because even when 1 in 3 people in Singapore is a foreigner; employers in Singapore are still whining about not able to get workers.

That is total nonsense. There are more than enough foreign workers in Singapore. 1 in 3 people in Singapore is a foreigner and you can’t get workers? As they say in the finance sector; it’s not a matter of whether you can buy or sell, it’s a matter of whether you can buy or sell at the price you want!

Singapore employers don’t want just foreign workers; they want cheap foreign workers! They want foreign workers who are willing to work for long hours and low wages. I can understand that because that’s what foreign workers are here for; to suppress wages. It’s not unusual for foreign workers to earn just $4-$5 an hour but times are changing.

Things have been pushed too far. Foreign workers now no longer want to come to Singapore and almost all of them would rather go to Taiwan, Hongkong or even Malaysia! A few weeks ago, the Strait Times newspaper even ran a story on a Chinese national named Zhang Mingpu.

The 23 year-old is returning to China after working for a stint in Singapore and he said that he will not be returning. Mr. Zhang said that he could get a pay similar to what he is getting in Singapore when working in China so he would be working in China from now on. 

Negative Multiplier Effects of Social Inequality

The above letter [Link] written bay Aloysius Chia explains how income inequality hinders social mobility. I have shown a number of examples of this. There is a big gap in the quality of pre-school education [Link] and at the university level the govt restricts the numbers -richer families can send their children overseas to get degrees and poor families cannot afford this.

In every developed country, there is always a path for the highly talented 10-20% of the population but when you have a large income gap, the rest will have to be distributed to the unequal wage structure. Social mobility is necessary but insufficient to address the income inequality.

One lesson we have learnt or should have learnt is not to trade off income distribution for economic growth. There are numerous examples of economies that have slowed down temporary even going into recession then resuming growth after restructuring and finding new engines of growth.

But there are few examples of developed economies being able to narrow the income gap after it has expanded in recent history [OECD Paper:Reducing income inequality while boosting economic growth: Can it be done?]. 

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19-year-old Filipino gave up scholarship to be an entrepreneur

I graduated last year. Then I worked as an intern in a company in our school. They provided me with a scholarship for my graduate studies in which I pursued immediately after my university education. They also provided me an allowance that is greater than most entry level jobs, no tax.

I quit after six months. No allowance, no scholarship.

I was almost at the end of my graduate studies. I was working my thesis proposal. Luckily, my father funded my enrollment for me.

So why did I quit? Simple. I think I’m wasting my time. It’s not what I like to do.

What I like is startups. Creating one. Founding one. Yeah, my last goal before ending my last teenage year is to be an entrepreneur.

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Fast food intake increases risk of diabetes and heart disease in Singapore

The dangers of fast food are well documented; the portions are often larger and the food is generally high in calories and low in nutrients.

Now, University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers have examined the eating habits of residents in Singapore and found new evidence that a diet heavy in fast food increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The latest research, published online today by the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that people who consume fast food even once a week increase their risk of dying from by 20 percent in comparison to people who avoid fast food.

For people eating fast food two-three times each week, the risk increases by 50 percent, and the risk climbs to nearly 80 percent for people who consume fast food items four or more times each week.

Eating fast food two or more times a week was also found to increase the risk of developing by 27 percent.

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Sun Ho – The Controversial Pastor’s Wife

Excerpt Taken From: HE YAO SUN BIO

Sun is the only Asian singer to top the US Billboard Dance Chart and the UK MusicWeek Chart. She is the first Chinese pop singer to be invited to the 46th Annual Grammy Awards 2004 and to present at the American Dancestar Music Awards 2004.

She is also the first Asian pop singer to be invited to the Hollywood Film Festival 2003. It all started when her debut American single “Where Did Love Go” reached #1 on the Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play “Breakout” Chart for the week ending December 22, 2003.

Subsequently, three of her singles, “One With You,” “Without Love” and “Gone” have reached #1 positions on the Billboard Dance Chart and four of her singles, “One With You,” “Without Love,” “Ends Of The Earth” and “Gone” have reached #1 positions on the UK MusicWeek Chart.

Sun holds an M.A. degree in Counseling, and worked as a counselor for troubled teens from 1996 to 2001. Since establishing her career as a pop artist in April 2002, she has been involved in raising funds for various charitable organisations.

Her humanitarian team had been involved in the Tsunami Disaster Relief Operations (2005), the building of schools, and medical clinics in Indonesia and China. Sun was awarded the “TOYP of Singapore 2002″ Award and “TOYP of the World 2003″ organized by the the Junior Chamber International1 for her social and community work.

In July 2005, Sun opened a streetwear boutique, SKIN Couture, at The Marina Square (Singapore), which carries trendy apparels and accessories from American labels such as True Religion, Antik Denim, Bejeweled, etc. She opened her second store on October 2006 at The Heeren Shops (Singapore) carrying Japanese labels like Queen Of A Luxury Lover, Double Standard, Chelseagarb, etc.

Sun and her SKIN partners acquired exclusive distribution for Ed Hardy in Singapore, and opened its first flagship store in Asia at The Heeren Shops (Singapore) on October 29, 2005.

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TOC Exclusive interview with CHC members

TOC sat down with 4 members of City Harvest Church after Sunday service to hear their side of the story about what they think about the recent arrests, the media coverage of the case, and the Church’s Crossover Project.

Christopher Pang and Ben Cheng are Executive Members of the Church, Lennard is a Ministry Member, and Clarence is an Ordinary Member. Christopher wrote an open letter to MCYS which TOC broke here.
The Church members were speaking on their personal capacities and not representing the views of the Church.

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A Christian speaks out against the defensive behavior of Kong Hee and City Harvest Church

On the recent CHC saga, I would like to offer my humble two cents worth, as a Christian – not to judge the people involved in the saga – but to correct any erroneous views about Christianity to the public that may have arose through this saga, for the sake of the God I worship.

Firstly, I was surprised that people found this saga surprising. CHC has been known in Christian circles as being a prosperity sideline church for many years now. I know of several people who have dropped out of CHC for that reasons. They went there to seek Jesus but instead received a different gospel from the one they know. Having visited the church a couple of times, I was uncomfortable with the fact that they kept emphasizing giving money.

Tithing to God is definitely important, but what they claim – tithe, and you will get much more financial blessings back in return – is an erroneous way to appeal to the lustful greed in people’s hearts (sort of like gambling and 4D), but not at all biblical. They also constantly back this strange philosophy with many testimonies for people who have prospered financially after giving to the church.

The Bible never teaches getting more money as the motivation of tithing. The Bible does say that we will be blessed if we give, but we give to help God’s work, not to expect money in return. Also, the blessings in return may not necessarily be monentary.

In China, there are churches where poor believers still tithe every cent from their pocket to fund their church missionaries (who truly need and money and literally risk life limb and jail to preach the gospel). However, they do so, rejoicing in the fact that God’s work can continue, not that they expect to get back money in return!

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