Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Watz Buzzing - 2 Apr 2013

6.9m squeeze - Is this for real?

Is this a hoax? Think it was posted yesterday, 1 April. What the poster is saying is that 6.9m is real. What it is also saying is that the squeeze is real. What it is also saying is that they did not know how to prevent the squeeze. What it is also saying is that the super talents got no answers. What it is also saying is that maybe the lay people may have the answer. What it is also saying is that you are paying millions to super talents who's forte is to ask the people for answers.

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Can space in Singapore be more equitably distributed?

A recent Wall Street Journal article ranks Singapore as the richest city in the world. That ranking did not happen by chance. In recent years, Singapore has thrown open its doors to high net worth individuals, making it easy for them to establish residency in our country.  The migration of these high profile wealthy individuals to the country, has contributed to Singapore being listed as the country with the most number of millionaires in the world, and ranked at only second as the country with high net worth household.

Did the accommodation of such high net worth individuals come at the expense of middle-class citizens? There is a huge imbalance between the benefits available to these uber-rich and to the rest of the citizens of Singapore. And one such imbalance is the imbalance of space in Singapore.

You have a privileged group conveniently located in the heart of the city, where 1000 sq ft, 99-year leasehold public housing, can cost over $800,000; and the rest of an increasing mass of Singaporeans pushed to the corners of Singapore in rapidly expanding outlying housing estates like Woodlands, Punggol and Jurong. While one group can whizz at the convenience with their fast cars between Sentosa Cove, Shenton Way and Orchard Road, the rest of the population finds itself having to take more time in commuting longer distances between their HDB flats in outlying areas and their places of work.

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True-blue leaders hard to find

Paying high salaries to top professionals to entice them to serve as PAP leaders has long been a government strategy. In the past it worked but in today’s changed environment, less so.

Singapore’s continued well-being is dependent on an ability to attract more capable people with an attentive ear and a caring heart into politics

This need to inject passion into governance will apply particularly over the next three years for the People’s Action Party (PAP).

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Singapore's hunger for (some) babies

"The Golden Goose was prized for her eggs
That shone in brilliant gold
But there soon came a time she could make them no more
For her egg-making device was rusty and old

Such is the advice from the Golden Goose, informing women that they will have more and more difficulty conceiving a child as they get older.

The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz has something to say too - the moral of his story is that men are "biologically wired to like big butts because it indicates fertility".

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222 families join HOPE scheme this year

222 families have joined the Home Ownership Plus Education or HOPE scheme this year, said Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.

Introduced in 2004, HOPE is a voluntary scheme for young low—income families who choose to keep their families small.

Beneficiaries are given cash grants, as well as funding in housing, training and children’s education.
They also receive mentoring support.
Currently, the scheme is only open to families where the wife or mother is 35 years old or below and have only one or two children.

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US sees further military cooperation with Singapore

The United States said Monday that it anticipated further military cooperation with Singapore as Washington presses forward its strategy of putting a greater focus on dispute-ridden Asia.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, kicking off a visit to Washington, spoke to Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel about his views on resolving territorial issues in the South and East China Seas, the Pentagon said.

Mr Hagel "made clear the United States and the Department of Defense remain committed to the rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region," Pentagon spokesman George Little said after the meeting.

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Finding S'poreans to join hawker trade a key challenge, says Balakrishnan

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said Monday that one of his ministry's key challenges is finding enough Singaporeans to join the hawker trade.

This is despite the government announcing recently that it would build 10 new hawker centres, which would be progressively completed by 2017.

Dr Balakrishnan was responding to concerns raised by some participants at the first Partners Forum organised by his ministry.

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An atheist 'sent by God'

I have a patient, R, who has been under my care since 2006. In 2008, she ran into a serious non- medical problem.

She worked for someone who ran tuition centres, and her duties included taking children from one tuition centre to another and calling the pupils' parents.

She was paid only $750 a month, but had to spend her own money to ferry the children by taxi, and she was not reimbursed for the telephone calls made on her own cellphone. She was naive, and her boss exploited her.

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Socialite Jamie Chua wears $3,000 'dudou' to fashion event

A traditional piece of undergarment known as the dudou has been re-styled into a modern and popular piece of clothing worn by celebrities and famous personalities. The garment is so much in demand that the price of one can go as high as $3,000.

The popularity of this apron-shaped undergarment was also thrust in the spotlight recently when former SCDF chief Peter Lim revealed in trial that Pang Chor Mui had tried to seduce him by wearing a dudou with nothing underneath it.

Shop owners in Chinatown told Shin Min Daily News that there were only three types of customers who would purchase the said piece of clothing - celebrities, tourists and night club entertainers. It is said to be called 'dudou' as it covers the belly.

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Coming home to a 'messier' Singapore

After almost a decade abroad as foreign correspondents for this paper, my husband and I returned home earlier this month.

In our first weeks back, we wandered around the neighbourhoods we had grown up in, revisited our old hangouts and ventured into less familiar localities.

On the whole, we found the general lay of the land not too different from our memories of it.

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Man's head found hanging from a tree in East Coast

The decomposed head of a man was found hanging from a tree in a forested area near Fort Road in the East Coast area last Saturday afternoon.

According to Shin Min Daily News, the grisly find came almost 10 days after the man was reported missing on March 21.

The deceased is said to be an Indian worker in his 20s employed by a local construction firm. 

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Alert for H7N9 virus after deaths in China

The Public Health Department has set up nationwide surveillance for H7N9 bird-flu virus after three people in China were infected and two died.

The system includes a lab test for confirmation, Surveillance Rapid Response Teams (SRRTs) and a check at hospitals across the country for patients with symptoms similar to severe pneumonia and flu, Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawana-rong said yesterday.

So far, no patients have been found and there have been no reports of H5N1 bird-flu cases for the past five years. The Bureau of Epidemiology will also work with local and foreign agencies on this alert.

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