Thursday, 22 November 2012

Watz Online - 22 Nov 2012

Pinoys most emotional, Singaporeans emotionless

The Philippines topped the list of most emotional societies in the world, revealing the Filipinos’ expressive nature and how they feel about their lives.

A Bloomberg BusinessWeek report said US pollster Gallup surveyed more than 140 countries. The Philippines garnered a 60 percent rating, followed by El Salvador with 57 percent and Bahrain with 56 percent, for second and third place, respectively.

Oman and Colombia were tied in fourth spot with 55 percent while Chile, Costa Rica, Canada, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua and the United States all received 54 percent and ranked fifth on the list.

Meanwhile, Singapore was named “the world’s most emotionless society” with 36 percent, closely followed by Georgia and Lithuania at 37 percent. Russia, Madagascar, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Nepal were all tied at 38 percent. 

read more

Singapore Ranks as Least Emotional Country in the World

Singaporeans are the least likely in the world to report experiencing emotions of any kind on a daily basis. The 36% who report feeling either positive or negative emotions is the lowest in the world. Filipinos, on the other hand, are the most emotional, with six in 10 saying they experience a lot of these feelings daily.

Gallup measures daily emotions in more than 150 countries and areas by asking residents whether they experienced five positive and five negative emotions a lot the previous day. Negative experiences include anger, stress, sadness, physical pain, and worry. Positive emotions include feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot, and learning or doing something interesting.

read more

Survey: S’pore workers find it hard to take break from work

About 10 per cent of Singapore workers surveyed said “My work is my life and it’s hard to get away” (Photo: iStock) 

Some 300 Singaporeans who took part in a global survey gave a glimpse to the work-life balance and holiday habits of the working population here.

If you feel like people around you are on holiday or going on holiday, you are not too far off, as the majority of the respondents (31 per cent) from Singapore said that if they could take only one vacation a year, they would prefer to take it during the “winter” year-end months.

The 22-country survey, titled the Vacation Deprivation Study, polled a total of 8,500 workers from around the world, including Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK and US. It was done in September and October by Expedia, a global online travel company. 

read more

Singapore: Becoming the world’s richest but at what cost? — Dinesh Dayani

I recently read an article on CNBC stating that Singapore will be the world’s richest country by 2050 Of course this study was based on some valid economic values such as per capita GDP and purchasing power parity and taking into consideration exchange rates…and some not so valid ones like why yacht sales are coming down 

But what struck a chord with me was the underlying perception are we really rich Because according to the research we already rank among the top in the world if you exclude countries like Qatar which leaks oil and Luxembourg which exists for the sole purpose of being a tax haven to the wealthy 

Beneath the superficial curiosity I began connecting the dots on what I’ve come across recently in the media and what my friends and I have been talking about over Cheese Onion Prata yes we’ve got a good per capita GDP so no more kosongs plain the ministers’ wage packets the growing inequality of Singaporean wages and real wages decreasing even when the actual drawn income seems like it is on an upward crawl These are worrying facts given I’m just about to start my working life in Singapore And even if you’re not an economics student you can see that the rich in Singapore are getting richer and your pay is getting higher but the bills have increased at a higher percentage than your pay.

read more

Singapore reducing exam pressure on students

Singapore will no longer publish the names of top scorers in national student examinations to reduce academic pressure on children but the move has drawn mixed reactions, press reports said on Wednesday.

On Thursday, when the results of the Primary School Leaving Examination

(PSLE) are released, the annual ritual of hailing the top scorers in the media will no longer take place.
An education ministry spokesman told the Straits Times that the move was aimed at showing pupils and parents that academic performance was "just one aspect of a student's overall development and progress."

read more

Singapore firm ordered to pay tax for Star Tower
A court delivered its final ruling Monday that the acquisition tax imposed on a Singaporean firm for its purchase of a Seoul office building was justifiable.

Singapore’s GIC Real Estate purchased the 45-story Star Tower building in Gangnam, southern Seoul, from U.S. private equity firm Lone Star in December 2004 through two paper companies it set up just days ahead of the deal.

Gangnam District Office levied 16.9 billion won ($15.5 million) in acquisition tax on GIC Real Estate, claiming it used the two paper firms to evade taxes. The Singaporean firm refused to pay and took the case to court.

read more

Olam to file lawsuit against Muddy Waters in Singapore

Mr Verghese has alleged that Muddy Waters was looking to profit from shorting Olam's stock 

Agricultural commodities trader Olam International has started legal action against US short-seller Muddy Waters Research and its founder, Carson Block.

Olam has filed its petition with the High Court of Singapore after Mr Block made allegations about the company's debt levels and accounting practices.

Muddy Waters stepped up its attack on Olam on Wednesday, claiming in a letter that the firm "will collapse".

read more

Website told to apologise for allegations against Defence Minister 

The Real Singapore website has been asked to apologise twice over a defamatory post concerning Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen that it published on its website last week.

The website had reposted a letter published on TR Emeritus (TRE) - which asked for the National Service disruption list that Dr Ng last year said would be made public - and added a defamatory headline.

On Tuesday, The Real Singapore published an apology, admitting it made a "false" allegation. 

read more

Ex-CNB chief reveals details of affair with Cecilia Sue

File photo of ex-CNB chief Ng Boon Gay with his wife. He told the court today that he had an affair with Cecilia Sue, during which she was a willing party to sex acts, contrary to what she had told the court before that he forced her to have oral sex with him (Photo: inSing) 

Former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) chief Ng Boon Gay, 46, confessed today in court that he had a three-year extra-marital affair with former IT sale manager Cecilia Sue, 36.

They are both married. Ng’s wife was in court with him, as she has always been, in the 10th sitting of the trial.

Channel NewsAsia reported that Ng told the court he and Sue did not break up their relationship throughout the three years as said by the prosecution, adding that they continued to meet even after she gave birth to her daughter in 2010. Sue was the prosecution's key witness.

read more

Singapore opposition leader has bankruptcy annulled in possible government election strategy

The development means Chee, 50, will be able to travel outside the country freely and also contest the next elections, which are due in 2016.

Some commentators saw the concession by Lee and Goh as a political maneuver because allowing Chee to contest the elections could split the fragmented opposition’s votes further at a time the ruling People Action Party has lost much popular support because of rising prices and an influx of foreigners.

“It could be that Lee Kuan Yew has mellowed, but it’s hard to believe that he has changed because it doesn’t fit his character,” said respected political commentator and former newspaper editor P.N. Balji.

read more

Iranian man charged for plotting to export US military antennas to Singapore, Hong Kong

An Iranian national has been charged with a plot to export military antennas from the U.S. to Singapore and Hong Kong. 

An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Washington charged Amin Ravan and his Iran-based company of conspiracy to defraud the US, smuggling, and violating the export act.

The Justice Department said that Ravan was arrested by authorities in Malaysia on October 10, and the U.S. is seeking to extradite him to face trial in Washington, Fox News reports. 

read more

Singapore defends stance on drugs

The Parliament House compound in Singapore. Singapore on Wednesday hit back at critics of its limited easing of the death penalty for drug trafficking, saying some rights campaigners give more importance to prisoners than their victims.

Singapore on Wednesday hit back at critics of its limited easing of the death penalty for drug trafficking, saying some rights campaigners give more importance to prisoners than their victims.

"Unfortunately, there has been little emphasis on the fact that thousands of lives are destroyed as a result of the drug problem," the Ministry of Law said in a statement sent to AFP.

"Singaporeans value the right to live in a safe, secure and drug-free environment. The system we have chosen is a careful calibration of the risks that society faces and the punishment that can be imposed." 

read more