A Dose of Alternative Media

Daily SG: 30 Oct 2013

Life is Short, Have an Affair?
– Inspiration: Let’s Stop Ashley Madison From Contaminating Our Beautiful Country
– A Sporean In Melbourne: Ashley Madison in Singapore – whats wrong with a little fun?

Daily Disclosure
– TR Emeritus: Defending Transitioning’s call to boycott La Fondue
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Alison McElwee: 3 bites = Tammy’s death?

A Vote for Change
– Anyhow Hantam: Can the PAP be Ousted in the Next Elections?
– Chinaporean: The PAP has shown that it is not capable of engaging with its citizens!
– [FB] Jolovan Wham: Tan Chuan Jin: The Minister of Motherhood Statements

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Straits Times distorts Anonymous’ message, tempting fate

The Straits Times has distorted the original message by Anonymous, the hacker collective

In the original YouTube video, Anonymous specifically addressed their threat to the Singapore government.

However, in the ST report that came out after the Anonymous video went viral, the headline was distorted to be “YouTube video by “Anonymous” hacker group threatens to attack Singapore”. Attacking Singapore government and attacking Singapore are very different things.

ST is tempting fate.

S’poreans cry out for Yaacob Ibrahim to protect them from Anonymous

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Razer CEO tells students it’s okay to waste time, get an ‘F’ grade
Techinasia.com, 30 Oct 2013
Tan Min-Liang, the Singapore-born CEO and creative director of gaming hardware Razer, is like a mini Steve Jobs.

Besides emulating the Apple visionary’s dress of black top, blue jeans and sneakers — except that he replaces Job’s turtleneck with a V-neck and doesn’t tuck in his shirt — Tan also shares the same obsession for product design and cutting-edge, premium gadgets.

Tan observes that people can be too caught up with results and artificial metrics. In schools, students are told that they have to pass examinations, and failing will destroy their lives.
But in the greater scheme of things, nobody cares, especially when you get an ‘F’ in something that’s not reflected in the work you want to do. Full story

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In his latest book “One Man’s View of the World”, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew lamented the low Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in Singapore. He admitted giving up trying to solve the problem because despite several incentive programs married couples seemed reluctant to procreate or to have more than two children.

Providing incentives to married couples to have children is fine in itself, as child rearing is a costly long-term venture. With the parents having to support the children for twenty years or more, any measure that can help reduce the burden on the parents is most welcome. Unfortunately, such measures are only open to married couples, not to single mothers.

This flawed ruling appears to make sense since the Singapore government wants to deter women from having children out of wedlock. However, this is only a superficial appearance; in reality, this unfairly discriminates not only against the single mothers whatever the circumstances that made them single mothers but also their entirely innocent children. Moreover, far from encouraging women to get married and have children, it may deter more cautious women from doing so for obvious reasons.

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SDP: Afternoon of skill and passion

Then there were two. And it was last year’s finalists that beat 11 other teams and made it all the way again to this year’s SDP Futsal Competition finals. UC Boyz and Team Unknowns (the 2012 champions) battled it out for the championship and the latter exacted sweet revenge by beating their rivals 2-0.

The venue was packed with 17 teams, 150 players, and scores of supporters who had congregated at the Golazo futsal complex at Jurong West to participate in the third annual tournament.

The competition, which went on for five hours, comprised the round robin stage followed by a knock-out format in the quarter- and semi-finals.
As in the past two events, Saturday’s competition was no less passionate with teams going at it hard and fast. The players, many in their late teens and early 20s, lit up the pitches with their lightning speed and skillful ball control.

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Yet another pledge to increase low-wage workers’ pay


In the accompanying Jobs and income growth table, it shows that Singapore’s Cumulative growth, real median household income (2007-2012) was 17.7%, the highest among the 8 developed countries in the table.

Income per household member grew only 13% in 5 years? However, according to the Department of Statistics’ (DOS) Key Household income trends 2012, “Cumulatively between 2007 and 2012, the median monthly household income from work of resident employed households rose by 16 per cent in real terms (Table 3). Taking into consideration changes in household size, the median monthly household income from work per household member rose by 13 per cent in real terms over the same period”.

So, how is it possible that the DOS says that real household income growth for the same 5 year period was 16 per cent, against the 17.5 per cent cited now at the 3-day NTUC conference?

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YOUR VIEW: 'Is Singapore my home, daddy?'

Universal Studios Singapore is one of Singapore's favourite playground for tourists.
Yahoo Newsroom/Yahoo photo - Universal Studios Singapore is one of Singapore's favourite playground for tourists 

"Is Singapore my home, daddy?" A seemingly innocent question asked by my 4-year-old son.

Early Saturday morning, I brought him to Universal Studios Singapore at Sentosa. There was a performance by street dancers at the Sesame Street area.

It was a performance my son enjoyed. During a part of the performance, the dancers asked the audience which part of the world they came from. The dancer would announce the country followed by the audience response. Of the countries announced, there was a big response from the mainland Chinese, Philippines and Indians around.

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If the Americans had bugged PM’s phone…

If the Americans had bugged the Singapore Prime Minister’s handphone, what do you think they would have overheard yesterday? We gather that they could hear only the PM’s side of the conversation as his cell network was disrupted after a fire somewhere knocked out some cables… He is in France by the way.

PM: Charles, what do you think you’re up to telling everyone that Joo Chiat is fully private property? Build some flats there for goodness’ sake. You think you can retain those 300 votes which got you your seat? …

Charles Chong: But… indistinct… crackle crackle… when will you… GE…

PM: I haven’t decided. Really. If I have, I’m not telling you.

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PUB steps up efforts to prepare for monsoon season

National water agency PUB has stepped up efforts to prepare for the upcoming Northeast Monsoon season.

According to the Meteorological Services Singapore (MSS), the rainfall this season is expected to be slightly above average compared to previous years.

Singapore is in the midst of the inter-monsoon season which is why heavy rain warnings and flash floods have been a common sight in various parts of the island over the past few weeks

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The Independent Singapore News


Wild Durians From East Malaysia - Sabah & Sarawak‏

Wild durians of Borneo

THE common edible durian, Durio zibithinus, or 'durian puteh', which we talked about last week, is not the only durian to be found in Borneo.

It may come as a surprise to learn that there are about 20 wild species, with about 12 being found in Sabah. Several of these also have edible fruits, some being cultivated on a small scale.

Though they are not often seen in the main markets, rural 'tamus' and roadside stalls can be rewarding, so look out for these over the next couple of months!

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Durio Graveolens (Durian Merah or Durian Dalit)
Durio graveolens is one of the most popular durian species, sold widely in markets throughout Borneo

Durio graveolens, sometimes called the red-fleshed durian, orange-fleshed durian, or yellow durian, is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae. It is one of six species of durian named by Italian naturalist Odoardo Beccari. The specific epithet graveolens ('strong smelling' or 'rank') is due to the odor. Although most species of Durio (most notably Durio dulcis) have a strong scent, the red-fleshed type of D. graveolens has a mild scent. It is native to Southeast Asia.

Durio graveolens is an edible durian, perhaps the most popular 'wild' species of durian, and it is sold commercially regionally. However, its congener Durio zibethinus is the typical species eaten and dominates sales worldwide. This species should not be confused with the popular durian clones from Malaysia known as 'Red Flesh' (D164) and 'Red Prawn' (D175), as both of those belong to Durio zibethinus.

However, Durio graveolens does have one registered variety, 'DQ2 nyekak (DK8)'. The color of the fruit's flesh denotes other varieties–an orange-fleshed, a red-fleshed one, and yellow-fleshed. These varieties may be different species, but currently there is no consensus. The yellow-fleshed kind is sometimes called durian simpor.

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Durio Oxleyanus (Durian Sukang)

Durio oxleyanus is a petite, pretty durian with long green spines. It’s powdered sugar sweetness is encased in a creamy, mildly fruity flesh that is totally lacking in durian aroma.  It’s a wonder this little-known durian is not the belle of durian markets across Southeast Asia. Rob and I didn’t start looking for Durio oxleyanus until we got to Borneo. Like most people, we thought mainland Malaysia held only treasures of the zibethinus kind. If we’d known better, we could have been enjoying this little sugar-bomb all along. In fact, Durio oxleyanus was first collected and described in Penang, an island off the east coast of Malaysia.

Durio oxleyanus is a beautiful, spring-green durian with long, sometimes curly spikes. The spikes are broader and blunter than most durians, curving away from the fruit body like stocky tentacles. Rarely growing larger than a one pound (500 grams), and never more than two (1 kilogram), it’s a durian you can easily hold in the palm of one hand.  It’s small size and appearance invites comparisons to a green sea urchin.

Inside, the flesh is a creamy white or grey tinged with yellow. Each section cradles only one or two seeds. Even when very ripe, it is nearly odorless with a saccharine sweetness that makes it extremely popular among even those who normally dislike durian. The most distinguishing characteristic is that, unlike every other durian, it has only four seeded-sections. All other durians have five.

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Durio Kutejensis (Durian Lai)

Durio Kutejensis, commonly known as durian pulu, durian merah, nyekak, Pakan, Kuluk, or lai, is a primary rainforest substorey fruit tree from Borneo. It is a very attractive small-to medium-sized tree up to 30 m tall. It has large, glossy leaves, numerous large, red flowers that emit a strong carrion smell at anthesis.

This species is reportedly pollinated by giant honey bees and birds, as well as bats. The large durian fruit it bears has thick, yellow flesh with a mild, sweet taste and creamy texture similar to that of Durio zibethinus. It bears fruit late in the season. It is cultivated in East Kalimantan and has been introduced to Queensland.

In Brunei, the fruit of Durio Kutejensis is preferred by local consumers over that of Durio Zibethinus, though the latter is the only durian species available in the international market. The fruit is also said to have fewer of the unpleasant flavors that Durio Zibethinus has.

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Durio Kinabaluensis (Durian Tapuloh or Durian Kinabalu)

On the steep hillsides of the Crocker Mountain Range grows a unique durian species that thrives at high elevations. Although uncultivated and generally neglected by botanists and agronomists, it’s a local favorite for its simple sweet flavor. It’s still one of the least well known of the edible jungle durians, although it is easy to find if you know where to look.

Durio Kinabaluensis grows throughout the Crocker Mountain range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Rob and I found trees growing near the Kipandi Butterfly Park, but the fruits were immature. We were told they had been selling mature fruits at the Donggongon Market earlier that day, but they were sold out by the time we arrived in the afternoon. I have also heard that this durian is frequently for sale in Nobutan Village and around Ranau.

Durio Kinabaluensis comes into season about a month later than other durian species. Last year (2012) it’s peak was at the end of December and beginning of January.

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Durio Testudinarium (Durian Kura-Kura or Tortoise Durian)

Rob and I were lucky to find Durio Testudinarum twice in Borneo, as it is one of the rarest edible durian species. Many people don’t consider it edible because of the strong, musky odor it has when ripe. Yet the flavor is sweet and juicy, a contrast to the usually heavy durian. That’s reason enough to appreciate this jungle durian. Where it get its fame is that instead of growing on the branches, these durians sprout from the trunk and roots of the tree.

Durio Testudinarum grows throughout the jungles of Borneo. It is never cultivated, although in a few areas people keep them in backyards as a curiosity.  According to sources, it is most commonly found in Ulu Dusun, near Sandakan, and Kampung Lingkungan in Brunei.  Very occasionally it is found in markets, such as the Thursday morning fruit market in Tutong, Brunei.

It’s relative obscurity means that the season for Durio Testudinarum is unknown and varies from region to region. When Rob and I found a tree in the Upper Kapuas of West Kalimantan, the fruits were tiny and immature. Only two weeks later we managed to taste the very last fruit from a tree at the Tenom Agricultural Park.

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Durio Dulcis (Durian Tahis)

Everything about Durio Dulcis is just a little bit magical. The tree is one of the more rare durians, residing deep in the jungles of Borneo. When in season, the red orbs dot the leafy forest floor like fallen Christmas ornaments, that sensational red leaping out of the green foliage like a natural stop light. It’s the strongest smelling durian, and its odor is said to waft as much as a kilometer through the jungle.

Durio Dulcis has a bright red exterior with long, extremely sharp thorns that are sometimes yellow or black on the tips. It is extremely difficult to open because it lacks the weakened seams running stem to tip that every other durian opens along. Getting into a Durio Dulcis requires a machete. Generally, the fruit is simply whacked in half and the gooey flesh is scraped out with the fingers.

It grows wild throughout Borneo, but is not generally cultivated. Rob and I found it twice; at the Agricultural Park in Tenom, Sabah, and near a longhouse in the Upper Kapuas region of West Kalimantan.

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Durio Grandiflorus (Durian Hantu or Ghost Durian)

Of all the durian species on Borneo, I was the most excited about Durio Grandiflorus, known locally as the ghost durian. I didn’t believe that finding it would be hard, as it apparently grows all over Borneo. I was much more concerned about finding the admittedly rare Durio Testudinarum and Durio Dulcis. But this is the most elusive of durians. Although we searched Sabah, Sarawak, and Kalimantan, Durio Grandiflorus evaded us. Not even my botany contacts have a picture. Ghost durian indeed.

Durio Grandiflorus  is a medium durian with long, stiff spines. Supposedly it’s greyish-blue exterior adds to the myth of ghostliness. The flesh is yellow and purportedly edible, although one botanist I interviewed barely remembered it. He said the flavor was not strong, and the flesh was pretty thin. He kept comparing it infavorably to Durio Graveolens, which apparently he likes very much. Although it’s not very relevant to the gustatory pleasure of the fruit, one interesting thing about Durio Grandiflorus is its relationship with Spiderhunters. Unlike most durians, which are pollinated at night by bats, this durian depends on these spunky little birds to reproduce.

Although we didn’t manage to find it, Durio Grandiflorus occurs throughout the island of Borneo, especially near Sandakan and Miri. It can occasionally be found at markets in Brunei.

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Durio Zibethinus (Durian puteh)

Durio zibethinus is the most common tree species in the genus Durio that are known as durian and have edible fruit also known as durian.

As with most other durian species, the edible flesh emits a distinctive odour that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.

There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. There are hundreds of cultivars of Durio zibethinus; many consumers express preferences for specific cultivars, which fetch higher prices in the market.

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Durianon - Wild Durians
Known as Dulcis or Lahong, Not Rambutan. Wild durian with yellow meat

Wild Durio Oxleynus Green Outer Skin

Wild Durio Dulcis Red Outer Skin

Wild Durio Oxleynus (Sukan) Green Outer Skin (Yellow meat)

Wild Durio Acutifolius Red Outer Skin

Wild Graveolen (Nyekak)

Wild Red Durian Tree (Sabah)

Kura Kura (Testudinarium)

Fruits grown on tree trunk

Where to buy them in Sarawak? According to Simon Longman, he suggested going to Kuching Sunday Market in Jalan Satok, Kuching, Sarawak in December or January. One such wild durian may cost you RM 15 - 20. It cost RM30 for 4 in the whole tamu’ (Sunday market).

According to Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjum, in interior Ranau sukang (Durio gravolens) are plentiful. Wild durian known as sukang or tabelak, the fruit is also called 'durian hutan', is mainly found growing wild in the jungles of Sabah. The sukang's main attraction is its red-coloured flesh. 'That's the main thing that makes it stand out,' he said, adding that this type of durian also fetched a lower price than the more common fruit.

The small-sized fruits, some about the size of a sepak takraw ball, are sold for as little as RM2 to RM3 when they are in season. It is more pungent and has a carrot-like flavour.

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Durio Graveolens
Despite it’s notoriety (or maybe because of it), Durio graveolens is the most confusing of all the durian species we’ve found

That lipstick red durian flesh is the image that most people associate with Durio graveolens

It’s possible that Durio graveolens is actually two species lumped under one name

Red-fleshed durian opening on the tree

Durio graveolens fruits at the beginning of the season for durio zibethinus

Graveolens-zibethinus hybrid

Durian of the year

Durio graveolens is the poster child of the jungle durians.  That ravishingly red interior is so shockingly bright many people question the use of food coloring. It’s also one of the most popular durian species, sold widely in markets throughout Borneo. Many people actually prefer it to regular durian, and with good reason.

A Complete List of Durian Species
Durian Porn | Dalit
The Inedible Durians
A Complete List of Durian Species

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Red and Orange Durians of Sabah
Durio graveolens is a typical size for durian trees, about 50 meters tall

Durian Sukang (Red-flesh Durian), Species: Durio graveolens. When ripe, the husk of Durian Sukang turns yellow, with short and sharp spines

Durian Dalit (Orange-flesh Durian), Species: Durio oxleyanus. The husk of Durian Dalit is green color, with long and thick thorns outside

A local daily reported that the small durians, about the size of a sepak takraw ball, are sold for RM2 to RM3 when they are in season

That lipstick red durian flesh is the image that most people associate with Durio graveolens. It's small and the exterior is a bright yellow sometimes tinged brown. It has a mild odor, and a thick cheesy flesh with barely any flavor. Many people compare it to eating avocado

But there's another side to Durio graveolens. An addicting smooth, nutty, cheesy side that's so thick it's hard to swallow.  So savory,sweet and fatty that it led to Rob and me to argue over whether it could fairly be compared to pimento cheese (vegans and our memories!). This version of Durio graveolens is neon orange or bright yellow packaged in a spiky green or yellow exterior. It can be as large as a small Durio zibethinus

So what's the deal?

Red and orange durian fruits are very small and can be held by one palm. Both are considered as Wild Durians

Red-fleshed durian opening on the tree

It's possible that Durio graveolens is actually two species lumped under one name.  It seems even more probable given the difference in the way the two fruits mature. Like most durians, the orange-fleshed durian falls to the forest floor when ripe. The red-fleshed one doesn't. The durian remains attached to the tree as the fruit opens and drops the flesh and seeds onto the ground. Botanist Anthony Lamb has suggested that the orange-fleshed one, known locally as Dalit, is a different species

When compared to a common durian seed, the seeds of both wild durians look so small

The commercially-planted durian fruit has thick layer of yellow flesh. In contrast, though creamy as well, the flesh of red and orange durians is thin, and the taste is slightly bland. However, their scent is strong and distinctive, like fermented wine. The taste and flavor of red durian is twice as strong as orange durian. That’s why red durian is sold more (and fast) than the cheaper orange durian. Some says you would get a bit “drunken” if you eat too many red durian.

Orange flesh durian for sale in market in Kuala Penyu town. A bundle of 6 or 7 was sold for RM17. Red and Orange flesh durians are not being cultivated on a large scale, so you won’t see them often in city market. You have to look for them in  local market of rural or suburban areas of Sabah.

What makes Sabah people so happy in year end? Xmas? New Year?
Durian Sukang (Red Durian) and Durian Dalit (Orange Durian)

Durian Sukang (Red-flesh Durian), Species: Durio graveolens When ripe, the husk of Durian Sukang turns yellow, with short and sharp spines

Red and orange durian fruits are very small and can be held by one palm. Both are considered as Wild Durians

Durian flesh in red, orange and yellow colors. Which one you like huh?

Orange flesh durian for sale in market in Kuala Penyu town. A bundle of 6 or 7 was sold for RM17 (≈USD5.70)

The harvest this year is very good, so durian lovers are excited about the cheap durians

A bundle of 4 was sold for RM20 (≈USD6.70)

The red durian was sold out in Kuala Penyu last week. Luckily we found a roadside stall selling red durian around Membakut

Don’t be sad if you can’t find wild durian. There are many other cultivated durians for sale at roadside
Oh ya, a King was born on Christmas

Guess what ..... The “King of Fruits” is born too, as it’s fruiting season now in Sabah, and durian is everywhere! Besides the ordinary durians, someone is more interested in two special breeds of Sabah durians, theDurian Sukang (Red Durian) and Durian Dalit (Orange Durian) of Borneo.

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Wild Durians from Sarawak Rainforest
Durian ukak/ Durian pantan/Durian nyekak/buah pakan

Durian isu with long spikes

Durian isu

Durian Ukak and Durian Isu

Durian ukak with whiskers at the base of its peduncle

Tropical forest fruits found in Sarawak like durians,dabai (jungle olives) and wild mangoes were so abundant that price for durian went down to RM 1 per durian and RM 8 per kg of dabai.There are a lot of information about cultivated durians but little is known about wild durians from the rainforest of Borneo.They are truly food of the nature which grow wild in the tropical forests of Sarawak.

Basically there are 5 varieties of jungle durians in Sarawak,namely durian ukak(durio kutejensis),durian isu(durio oxleyanus),durian isi merah(durio graveolens),durian kura-kura(durio testudinaran) and durian kulit merah(durio dulcis).

The more common ones are durian isu and durian ukak/Buah pakan.The other three are quite rare nowadays.Shown in the picture above is Durian Ukak aka Durian Nyekek aka Buah Pakan.Look at its fruitlet.How vivid is the orange color of the flesh! It is firm like custard,almost free of durian worms all the time.Taste sweet and almost odorless.Durian ukak is said to be less ‘heaty’ than the regular durians which means it won’t cause much congestion of any kind in the body system.Its creamy  and  odorless aril is unique to taste.  Another type of jungle durian is durian isu aka durian isau .Durian Isu is a tiny and round shape durian,full of long thorns of length up to 2 cm.

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10 Best Malaysian Durians

Indonesian Thornless Durian

Hail the King of Fruits
The King of Fruits in Space
A Rotting Durian Fruit Smelled So Bad
Wild Durians From East Malaysia - Sabah & Sarawak‏