Saturday, 11 August 2012

Watz Online - 11 Aug 2012

"Enormous" problems if Singaporeans don't procreate: Lee Kuan Yew

Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has expressed concerns over Singapore's low fertility rate.

He was speaking in Mandarin and English at the Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru National Day celebration dinner on Saturday.

Mr Lee said Singapore's birth rates have been steadily declining.

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Singapore overtakes Hong Kong as the business traveller’s top destination: Accor

HONG KONG – In the third annual Accor Asia-Pacific Business Traveller Research, Singapore has emerged as the region’s most popular business travel destination, beating Hong Kong, which shared the top spot last year.

Singapore was also listed among the top three destinations visited in the first half of 2012 by business travellers from all countries surveyed, whereas Hong Kong only made the cut among travellers from Mainland China (45 per cent), Thailand (26 per cent) and Australia (16 per cent).

This year more travellers are going to Singapore, indicating the strength of the Southeast Asian economies and perhaps, the slowing in North Asian economies,” commented Evan Lewis, vice-president communications, Accor Asia-Pacific, during a presentation of the report in Hong Kong yesterday.

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Singapore's economy shrinks 0.7 percent in 2Q

Singapore's economy shrank in the second quarter as weakening global economic growth hurt demand for the city-state's exports, the Trade and Industry Ministry said Friday.

Gross domestic product contracted at a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 0.7 percent in the April to June period from the previous quarter, when it expanded 9.5 percent, the ministry said.

The economy expanded 2 percent in the second quarter from the same period a year earlier, up from 1.5 percent growth in the first quarter, it said.

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MOH Holdings director quits after conflict of interest uncovered 

The director of corporate communications for the holding company for Singapore's public healthcare institutions reportedly resigned last week after failing to declare a conflict of interest.

Adelaide Chang resigned from the Ministry of Health Holdings (MOHH), where she was also part of a three-member tender committee, after the company found out that Chang has a cousin working as a senior executive of a vendor company, The Straits Times (ST) reported. 

The tender committee included two people from other divisions and was responsible for awarding tenders for a project from Chang’s department.

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Should tender system be reviewed?

With as much as S$10 billion in public contracts awarded each year, a question has been cropping up often of late: Is the process as robust and as fair as it can be?

Such increased scrutiny of the Government's procurement process has been stirred most recently by the National Parks Board's (NPark) purchase of 26 foldable Brompton bicycles via online tender. But concerns have also been fleetingly raised in other scandals, involving fraud and sex-for-contracts over the last two years.

While they feel the current policies are generally sound, civil servants, businesses and academics pointed out to TODAY some areas that need tweaks.

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Lee Kuan Yew Speculation Stirs Singapore
The crowd cheers as Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew arrives Thursday at the Marina Bay Floating Platform for the annual National Day Parade celebrations in Singapore.
Singapore’s annual National Day Parade–celebrated Aug. 9th to mark the country’s independence–was unusually newsworthy this year.
It wasn’t the fireworks, military flyovers or marching parades that riveted the nation, but rather former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s arrival at the event, following speculation throughout the week that he was in poor health and had died.
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Tan Kin Lian Slammed for insensitive Facebook post

Former presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian has drawn sharp criticism for a Facebook post that seemed to liken false rumours of the death of a well-known Singapore personality to the sporadic reports during World

Former presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian has drawn the ire of netizens for an insensitive Facebook post.

In a post on Wednesday and without mentioning any names, the former NTUC chief made reference to the "false rumours of the death of a well-known Singapore personality".

He went on to recount a bizarre World War II story told to him by a Swedish friend 20 years ago before ending off the post with a "Ha,ha! Happy 47th National Day".

S'pore Navy officer to face trial for alleged indecent acts on fellow cadet

SINGAPORE - A 21-year-old Singapore navy officer charged with committing indecent acts on a fellow female cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy will face trial later this month.

Benedict Ang Yong Chuean is accused of entering the cadet's room at the military school on May 6 and committing indecent acts on her, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

According to The Canberra Times, Ang lay down on her bed and started rubbing her back, shoulder, neck and sides. The cadet then requested Ang to leave but he held her jaw in a "pistol grip" and attempted to kiss her.

Ferrari driver's $8m estate to go to family

The Ferrari driver who died in a traffic accident almost three months ago left behind an estate worth more than $8 million.

As Mr Ma Chi, 31, did not leave a will, the money will go to his family, reported Lianhe Zaobao on Tuesday

Court documents indicated that Mr Ma's fortune was close to $8.1 million.

Another man involved in online vice ring case plans to plead guilty

A man accused of paying for sex with an underage girl in the online vice ring scandal is expected to plead guilty next month.

Ban Yinh Jheow, 42, allegedly had paid sex with a 17-year-old three times between September 2010 and October 2010.

His defence lawyer Chia Boon Teck asked for a four-week adjournment for his client to make some preparations.

Brompton bikes, new immigrants among issues for Parliament debate

Parliament will debate a host of issues, ranging from bikes to childcare centre places and integration of new immigrants, when it sits on Monday.
MPs have tabled 104 questions for debate. Another 36 questions have been tabled for written reply.

NParks' purchase of the Brompton bicycles will come under scrutiny, with six MPs enquiring whether there are any lapses in the government's procurement and tender evaluation processes.

Lorry driver charged with raping 13-year-old girl

Picture for illustration purposes only. (Photo / Internet)
She went for a joyride with her ex-boyfriend and his older neighbour in a lorry and allegedly ended up being raped by both.

On Monday, the 40-year-old neighbour, Hang Tuah Jumaat, was charged in the High Court with raping the girl, then 13, in 2010. She is now 15, a minor, and cannot be named.

His semen was found on the girl’s skirt and shorts. At the time of the incident, she was wearing her school uniform.