Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Watz Online - 31 Jul 2012

Singapore socialite sentenced in teen sex scandal

Trouble times ahead ... Howard Shaw and his wife leave the courthouse.
Trouble times ahead ... Howard Shaw and his wife leave the courthouse. Photo: AFP

A prominent Singaporean businessman was sentenced to three months in jail yesterday for having paid sex with a minor, as dozens of other accused men await their fate in a prostitution scandal.

Howard Shaw, 41, a grandson of Asian movie mogul Runme Shaw and a former environmental activist, was charged in April after being found to have engaged the services of a 17-year-old Singaporean in October 2010.

Shaw, a married father of two, is appealing the sentence and posted bail pending the appeal hearing.

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Singaporean to serve four years jail for smuggling boy

PUTRAJAYA: A Singaporean taxi driver will serve a four-year term after he lost his appeal for smuggling an 11-year-old boy of a Chinese national to Germany.

Describing human trafficking as a grave offence, Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Raus Md Shariff, chairing a three-man bench, unanimously dismissed Ng Gim Teck's final appeal to set aside a decision of the Shah Alam High Court which enchanced his jail term from six months to four years.

The other two judges were Datuk K. N. Segara and Datuk Azhar Ma'ah.

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City Harvest youths record song in support of Pastor Kong Hee

23 youths from City Harvest Church have recorded a music video to express support for their congregation and its embattled leadership.

Titled "The Greatest Place -- City Harvest Church" , the 4-and-a-half-minute video begins with an opening sequence of several youths proclaiming their love for "this place".

The video, which was recorded earlier this month on 15th July, also describes how the music video came to be. 

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Singapore reshuffles Cabinet

Singapore reshuffles Cabinet

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make several changes to his Cabinet and other appointments, effective from August 1, 2012 and further changes effective from November 1, 2012.

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) will be restructured to form three new ministries.

They are the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), and the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI). All three ministries will be established on November 1. 

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University or business? Yale’s Singapore partnership violates human rights

Universities such as Yale need to respect the human rights of their staff and students

Yale university’s decision to set up a liberal arts college at the National University of Singapore (NUS) while accepting Singapore’s restrictions on students’ rights to free speech and freedom of association is outrageous.

Human rights organisations are rightly concerned. One group said in a statement that Yale is “betraying the spirit of the university as a centre of open debate and protest by giving away the rights of its students at its new Singapore campus.”

The partnership is another reminder that universities are now primarily profit-run, often multi-national businesses that will fully exploit the opportunities offered by globalisation with less thought for the needs of their students. 

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Yale-Peking University Program Canceled 

A program that allowed Yale University undergraduates to study at Peking University for credit has been canceled, The Yale Daily News reported last week.

The student newspaper called the move “an abrupt end” to a partnership that began in 2006 and was reaffirmed as recently as December. Yale said in a statement that the reason was “lower than anticipated enrollments,” with only four students scheduled to participate in the program this autumn, although expenses were covered in the students’ regular tuition.

The program was not without controversy. In 2007, a Yale biology professor teaching at the Beijing campus sent a widely circulated e-mail blaming Chinese faculty and administrators for tolerating widespread plagiarism 

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Female teacher's sex romp with pupil: Prestigious school imposes gag order on students

According to an email we received from a RI student, the Head Prefect of RI sent a mass email out to its students last night asking them not to comment on the incident:

The female teacher has since left RI and she was described by those who know her as ‘demure, easy-going and approachable’ and was ‘well-maintained’ such that she appeared younger than her age.

The student who had sex with her is currently studying in Secondary Four and is reportedly the ‘envy’ of his classmates for having ‘shagged’ his teacher who is more than 10 years older than him. 

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Singapore Christians want quick City Harvest Church trial

SINGAPORE: The group meets every Saturday evening at one of their homes. They read prayers, talk about their struggles with faith and catch up on their friends’ happenings for the past week.

On Saturday, this Christian prayer group in Singapore had the City Harvest Church scandal on their minds, and they were frustrated that the financial scandal at the mega-church was dragging on this long.

“I kind of feel as though the government is trying to drag it out to try and tell us that religion is bad,” said Thomas, a Singaporean citizen of British origin. He told Bikyamasr.com that “this scandal has really affected all Christians in Singapore and we just want it to be over so Jesus Christ is not defamed.” 

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Miss Singapore Universe 2012 finalists debate transgender issue

A marine fuels trader, an art director and a social entrepreneur are among the 14 finalists vying for the title of Singapore’s Miss Universe 2012.

Facing the media for the first time on Sunday afternoon at the Shangri-La hotel, the 14 took to the stage to introduce themselves and why they are taking part in the competition.

Whittled down from a field of 100 applicants, this year’s finalists are between 18 to 24 years old. 

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When Internet providers try to control content 

In Singapore generally the relevant regulators would have to review the circumstances of each case in order to determine if a company operating in multiple sectors has breached any competition rules said an Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore IDA spokesperson.

On the specific issue of provision of access to Internet content ISPs are subject to IDA's Net Neutrality policy.

Broadly it seeks to facilitate a competitive Internet access market via IDA's Telecom Competition Code to reduce incentives for ISPs to engage in blocking or discriminatory conduct that restricts consumer choice improve information transparency for consumers to better understand Internet broadband service offerings and ISP's traffic management practices and protect consumer interests as well as ensure consumers enjoy a reasonable quality of Internet access via Quality of Service QoS requirements and a prohibition against ISPs blocking access to legitimate content on the Internet.

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Singapore to Meet Water Target Before Deadline: Southeast Asia

Singapore will be able to meet its water requirements independently ahead of the 2061 expiration of a century-long supply agreement with Malaysia “if need be,”the head of the city-state’s water utility said.

Desalination and recycling plants produce 40 percent of the 380 million British gallons (456 million U.S. gallons) of water companies in Singapore and its 5.2 million population use daily, Chew Men Leong, chief executive of PUB, said in an interview on July 27. A downtown dam adds a further 10 percent, with the remaining coming from its reservoirs and imports from Malaysia.

“We have made progress to the point that we are now much more confident in terms of water security and sustainability,”said Chew, 44, a former naval chief who joined the utility about a year ago. “If you’re asking me this question about when will we ever get self-sufficiency, I will put it this way that we can be self-sufficient if need be.” 

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Singapore fears rising food costs

With Singapore’s economy already teetering on the edge of slowdown and possible recession, residents of the island country are facing a new challenge: rising food prices and an increase in cost of living.

In recent months, the country has seen raw food prices move steadily upward, leaving residents to pay the price at the cashier.

“We have bought the same things almost every week and it is right now a lot more than it had been earlier this year,” said small business owner Tang, who told Bikyamasr.com that “if it continues to go up like this it could be a very frustrating situation and some people won’t be able to deal with it.” 

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Singapore inflation expectations edge higher, says survey 

Inflation expectations of Singapore households edged higher in June from March according to a university survey published today signalling authorities may find it harder to put a lid on future price increases.

Households expect prices to rise by 4 45 per cent over the next year up from 4 13 per cent in March according to the Singapore Management University-MasterCard survey on inflation.

The five-year outlook was for headline inflation of 5 37 per cent up from 5 20 per cent in the March survey. 

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Cash is still king for some retailers 

As card issuers Visa and MasterCard gave in to a settlement with merchants in the United States following an anti-trust lawsuit – allowing them to charge customers more when they pay with credit cards – retailers here are also feeling the squeeze as consumers increasingly go cashless even with purchases for everyday items.

Previously Visa and MasterCard prohibited merchants around the world from passing on credit card transaction fees to customers – the rule was even written into law in some American states Merchants are also not allowed to impose minimum purchase requirements for credit card payments.

In Singapore TODAY understands that these rules are stated in the contract that merchants sign with the acquiring banks which process the credit 

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'Gifted' private tutor told by MOE to stop lying

Mr Kelvin Ong Wee Loong, the founder of AristoCare centre, charges a whopping $250 per lesson for parents of primary school students looking to clinch a place in the coveted Gifted Education Programme (GEP).

GEP is a highly selective academic programme in Singapore, designed to identify the top 1 per cent of students from each academic year.

On his website, the 36-year-old claimed he was previously from Clementi Town Primary before being admitted to Anglo-Chinese School's (Primary) GEP in Primary 4. 

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Parent pays nearly $6,000 a month in tuition fees

Her son is a straight A student in a top boys' school here yet this mother spends $5,800 a month on his tuition.

Her son, who is in Secondary 3, attends classes for English and mathematics at a premier tuition centre in Thomson once a week - two hours per session.

He also takes a 21/2 hour weekly Chinese class in a popular language school. 

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Loanshark syndicate recruited runners overseas

Police investigations have revealed that a loan-shark syndicate that was busted on Thursday had recruited people from neighbouring countries such as Malaysia to carry out its harassment acts.

The syndicate had recruited its runners by placing advertisements in overseas media looking for "financial assistants", the police said.

The authorities arrested 11 men, aged between 29 and 36, in the island-wide operation. Among the items seized were about $50,000 cash, mobile phones, laptops, ATM cards and records of illegal loans. 

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Lawyer delivers complaint letters against Law Society

Lawyer M. Ravi personally delivered letters of complaint against the Law Society of Singapore.

The first is against Law Society president Wong Meng Meng for issuing two contradictory press releases, which Ravi said, showed “recklessness and gross negligence”.

The second complaint is at the conduct of Law Society member Wong Siew Hong, which Ravi alleges has resulted in damage to his reputation. 

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Dealing with the dead in S’pore: a gravedigger’s story

Alex Wong, a professional gravedigger, shares real and personal stories of his encounters with the supernatural

Ghosts hover near him when he works, but that doesn’t bother him one bit.

They’re friends by now and he’s not afraid, shared professional gravedigger Alex Wong.

Affectionately known to his friends as “Tua Ya Pek”, a Taoist god of the spiritual underworld, Wong has been exhuming graves for the past 30 years. Often, his services are needed when the government decides to make way for development. One such project is the eight-lane highway that will cut through Bukit Brown early next year.

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Diaoyu Islands ad stirs tensions between Japan and China

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government fueled tensions between Japan and China as it took out an advertisement in Friday's Wall Street Journal seeking US support for its so-called purchase plan of the Diaoyu Islands.

Observers said the provocation suggests Japan is anxious to get the United States involved in a dispute with its neighbor.

According to Kyodo News, the advertisement took up two-thirds of a single page in the newspaper.

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