Saturday, 7 July 2012

Watz Online - 7 Jul 2012

Storm in a cupcake

The celebrity owner of a boutique cupcake bakery took to Facebook to air his grievances after he was asked to pay Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) nearly S$3,000 after he reproduced articles featuring his business on his company's website.

TODAY contacted SPH for comment at 3pm today, but had not received a response at 6pm.

In a series of Twitter and Facebook posts, Mr Daniel Ong - a former DJ for radio stations in both MediaCorp and SPH's stables - said he was asked to pay a sum of S$535 for each of the articles featuring his business Twelve Cupcakes or his wife and co-owner Jamie Ong that he had put up on the Twelve Cupcakes website and shared via social media.

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IMF pledge 'did not violate Constitution'

Article 144 noted by Reform Party chief does not apply to Govt lending, says MAS

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday rebuked claims by Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam that the Government's US$4-billion (S$5 billion) pledge to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had violated the Constitution.

Over the past few weeks, Mr Jeyaretnam has been arguing on his blog that the commitment to the IMF - which was announced by the MAS on April 20 - contravened the provisions of Article 144 of the Constitution because it had not been approved by Parliament or the President. Yesterday, he also filed an originating summons in the High Court for a hearing to, among other things, hear an application for a court order to quash the Government's pledge to the IMF.

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Government to tighten casino regime

Wide-ranging proposals, which will be up for public consultation, include panel to assess IRs' performance

Two years after the integrated resorts (IRs) opened to much fanfare, the authorities are ready to institute a more "disciplined, systematic" process to assess their performance and beef up punitive measures when the operators fall short.

Among new regulations that could be put in place by the end of the year: A financial penalty of up to 10 per cent of the casinos' gross gaming revenue, the power to cap the commission that the casino operators pay to junket operators or International Market Agents that bring in high rollers, and the appointment of an evaluation panel that could influence the outcome of casino licence renewals. Social safeguards will also be enhanced, targeting financially vulnerable Singaporeans who visit the casinos frequently.

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In Singapore, Global Buyers Fall Off

The developers of Reflections at Keppel Bay, the project designed by Daniel Libeskind on the Singapore waterfront, are among the local real estate companies offering to pay at least part of a stamp duty recently imposed on their foreign customers.

Sales to non-Singapore residents have fallen more than 75 percent since the tax went into effect in December, according to Knight Frank, the real estate agency. The duty adds as much as 10 percent to the cost of a home in Singapore for foreign buyers.

"Developers who are willing to partially absorb the duty will be able to continue sales," said Albert Foo, general manager of marketing for Keppel Land, developer of the Reflections project

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Singapore to give full bank licence to 2 Chinese banks

(Reuters) - Singapore will grant full banking licenses to two Chinese banks currently operating in the city-state, of which one will act as a clearing bank for yuan transactions, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday.

It said the decision formed part of an agreement to enhance banking services cooperation with Beijing under the existing China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Beijing will, in turn, "expeditiously process" all applications made by selected Singapore banks for the establishment of branches and sub-branches in China, the ministry said in a statement.

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Ex-SCDF chief Peter Lim claims trial over corruption charges

Former commissioner of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Peter Lim Sin Pang will claim trial to charges of corruption.

He faces 10 counts of obtaining sexual gratification from three women between May 2010 and November 2011.

Lim's lawyers, Mr Bala Chandran and Mr Hamidul Haq, took issue with the charges, saying that they were "very general in nature" and there was a "lack of clarity".

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Singapore fund Temasek says investment growth slows as global slump buffets Asian companies

Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings said growth in the value of its investments slowed in the last financial year as a weakening global economy undermined the value of Asian companies.

The value of the fund’s investments rose 2.6 percent to 198 billion Singapore dollars ($157 billion) in the fiscal year ended March 31, Temasek said in its annual report Thursday. The portfolio rose 3.8 percent in the previous year.

Temasek has more than doubled from a SG$77 billion fund 10 years ago by placing big bets on Asian and financial services companies, though both of those sectors shrank as a percentage of the fund’s overall investments in the past year due to a drop in the valuations of such companies.

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Temasek ignores downgrades, is optimistic on India story

Fund has invested $6 billion in Indian companies till date.

Temasek, the investment arm of the Singapore government, on Thursday said it was “very optimistic” on India’s long-term potential, dispelling fears expressed by rating agencies which downgraded the country’s outlook recently.

The Singapore sovereign fund, which reported 16 per cent fall in its annual net profit for the year ended March 31, said it would continue to bet on Indian companies, which are proxies for the country’s economic growth. India accounts for 5 per cent of Temasek’s 42 per cent exposure in Asia.

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Most S’poreans against Internet censorship: survey

A survey on online commenting behaviour in Singapore has found that a majority of Singaporeans disagree with internet censorship.

Some 48 per cent of Singaporeans feel that alternative news sites such as The Online Citizen and Temasek Review Emeritus should be allowed to say what they like, despite being critical of the government, a study conducted by independent research firm Blackbox Research found.

A third of survey respondents felt such sites should be properly regulated alongside other news providers, while just one per cent said these sites should be banned.

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Yale to Ensure Students in Singapore Have Freedom of Expression

Yale University will ensure its liberal arts campus in Singapore won’t impose censorship amid criticism the city-state’s laws will stifle academic freedom.

Students at the new Yale-NUS College will be able to express themselves freely on campus and skepticism of the venture should fade as people see the “successful education experiment,” Pericles Lewis, president of the Singapore campus, told reporters yesterday.

The college is the first overseas undergraduate campus by the New Haven, Connecticut-based Yale University and is funded by the National University of Singapore, the city’s government and private donors. The venture has been criticized by Yale professors who say they were not consulted in the planning and that they have concerns about civil rights in Singapore, where the government has said restrictions on public assembly and speeches are necessary to maintain social and religious harmony.

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Unacceptable nearly 40% of population is made up of foreigners’

Xenophobia in Singapore has raised concern among government ministers and members of the public. (AFP photo)

Since the release of the first part of the video recording on the forum on xenophobia, some have questioned why the bloggers involved did not outright condemn xenophobic expression online and offline. The forum, called "Online|Offline", is an initiative by several bloggers to discuss the hot issues of the day. Xenophobia was the topic chosen for the inaugural forum.

First, there is a misunderstanding that the forum is some sort of "movement" against xenophobia. It was never intended to be. The purpose of the dialogue was to kickstart discussion on the matter, especially online, on the issues related to the topic. Also, the bloggers each have their own views on the matter, and they do not — whether individually or collectively — represent other bloggers or the blogging community as a whole.

But what about the topic itself, which has raised concern among government ministers and members of the public? I do not believe we are at the stage where xenophobia — the irrational fear or hatred for foreigners or things foreign — is a serious matter for the moment. I do, however, believe that we are headed in that direction, if we do nothing to look into it and fix the root cause or causes.

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Malaysia Christians want to support Singapore over church scandal
City Harvest Church facing corruption, misuse of funds charges.

KUALA LUMPUR and SINGAPORE: The ongoing Singapore City Harvest Church scandal is spreading to Malaysia, with the country’s small Christian minority hopeful that they can give moral support to the city-state’s Christian population.

George Patak, a Kuala Lumpur Christian, told that he and his friends are organizing a troupe to go to Singapore over the weekend to show solidarity for worshipers at the City Harvest Church.

“We might not have a lot of people to go with us, but we believe that all good Christians must support one another through this difficult time,” he said.

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Singapore female students lament objectification of women
And the shortest girl was victorious.survival

SINGAPORE: Sitting around a group of newspapers and magazines, these Singapore female university students are angry at the depiction of women in their society. For them, it is part of the ongoing problem that has seen sex scandal after another appear in the headlines.

“Look at the pictures,” began Susan Chen, a 20-year-old political science student at the National University of Singapore. “Do you think men will think that women should be empowered when they just see basically naked women all over,” she told

For these students, the most recent battle for “Race Queen” at the CATS Classified Car-nival 2012 is the last “straw,” as they said.

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