Saturday, 1 March 2014

From Stray Dogs to Illegal Barbers to Riot

Stray dogs in Pasir Ris Camp growing 'increasingly aggressive': Army

Four of the dogs allegedly abused at Pasir Ris camp are pictured on Feb 24, 2014. The Army has said its Pasir Ris camp has suffered a series of attacks by "increasingly aggressive" stray dogs, after punishing a full-time National Serviceman who filmed one strung up in a camp bathroom so it could not move. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The Army has said its Pasir Ris camp has suffered a series of attacks by "increasingly aggressive" stray dogs, after punishing a full-time National Serviceman who filmed one strung up in a camp bathroom so it could not move.

Its Facebook post at midnight on Tuesday said there were six such attacks in December alone - four involving injuries to personnel.

The previous day it had confirmed that the NSF who filmed the video then sent it to Animal Lovers League's founder Cathy Strong had been given 21 days suspension of leave and ordered to check in regularly with military police.

MINDEF insists Pasir Ris camp stray dogs were 'unpredictable' and a 'persistent danger'
Yahoo Newsroom - An image of the dog bites sustained by a female staff working at the Pasir Ris camp. (Photo: The Singapore Army Facebook page)

In the latest development in an unfolding dog abuse controversy, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Tuesday evening insisted that the dogs at Pasir Ris camp were "aggressive", "unpredictable" and a "persistent danger" to staff there.

MINDEF shared these comments in a post on its Facebook page, seemingly in response to an earlier Facebook post by the father of a full-time national serviceman at the camp. The NSF had recorded and shared a video of a dog that was hung from ropes in a toilet cubicle.

The NSF, who has not been named, was on Tuesday charged with unauthorised videography and unauthorised disclosure of information to a third party — in this case, the Animal Lovers League(ALL), who in turn posted the 21-second clip on its Facebook page.

Our men in uniform: Brave ASP, Stupid LTC

The COI chairman feels that ASP Jonathan Tang deserves a medal. Coming from a highly respected retired high court judge, I haven't read of anyone disagreeing. ASP Tang displayed calm and courage under fire in a situation he and his men were never trained for.

While netizens are decrying animal abuse by the LTC and WO in Pasir Ris camp and the NSF soldier meted with punishment for whistle-blowing (they use a more legitimate reason to punish him), we are shockingly blind to the real issue here which I am sure TNI in Indonesia must surely have noticed. They must be laughing at this stupid LTC. What has tying up a dog this way have to do with permanently stopping dog bites? Mindef is equally idiotic to follow up with a picture of a dog bitten leg and missed the incompetence of their LTC.

Do you for a moment imagine an Indonesian army camp will have such biting dogs problem? This is completely absurd. They would have dealt with it. To me that LTC is unfit for command.

You can't solve a dog problem how can you even competently engage rifle toting enemies? Unless they come to you as per the exercises you were trained before? That is not going to happen stupid.

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The dogs Mindef claimed to have bitten their workers since December of last year are not strays. Two of them were left behind by their owner who moved out of the neighbouring farms. One of them was the black dog in the video. AVA had that dog's microchip number registered to the guy who occupied the fish farm opposite the camp. AVA also registered that dog as a sterilised dog. The army boys named her "Girl Girl". She has a son that they named "Xiao Hei".

Next we have "Butter" and "Clover" and "Browny". A guy saw our post on ALL facebook and called to say they belonged to a friend whose parents would not allow her to keep them. They were only a few months old then. Rather than sending them to SPCA, she decided to leave them in the care of the boys at the camp as she has some friends there.

As "Butter" and "Clover" grew to adulthood, one of the personnel at the camp took them to the Vet to have them sterilised as they are both females. It is interesting to know that these dogs had been living at the camp for close to 6 years without any complaints of dog bites until December of last year.

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No honour in SAF’s handling of dog abuse case, says NSF’s father

The father of the full-time National Serviceman (NSF) who took a video of a an abandoned dog in a military bathroom has spoken out in defence of his son. The NSF had filmed the dog, reportedly tied-up in a shower stall and “with a taut white rope tied around its neck – preventing it from moving or lying down”, according to media reports.

It is alleged that it was a lieutenant-colonel who tied up the dog at the Pasir Ris camp. The NSF is being charged on two counts – unauthorised videography and unauthorised disclosure of information to a third party. He had allegedly sent the video he made to Animal Lovers League founder Cathy Strong, who then posted the clip online.

The Ministry of Defence said that it had conducted an investigation into the matter and found that there was no abuse of the dog. Here is Mr Spencer’s Facebook post in full

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NSF whistleblower deserves a medal for taking video of animal cruelty in camp

This video was shot by a full-time national serviceman (NSF) and sent to Cathy Strong, the Animal Lovers League founder

The dog was hoisted in a manner to prevent it from moving or lying down

The NSF has since been charged with unauthorised videography and unauthorised disclosure of information to a third-party.

As part of his punishment, the NSF has been given 21 days of suspension of leave. During this time, he is required to report to the military police every two hours. His punishment started yesterday.

Full-time national serviceman punished for video post on abandoned dog

Four of five dogs taken from the camp that are now under the care of Animal Lovers League. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

A FULL-TIME national serviceman (NSF) who filmed a video of an abandoned dog tied up in a military bathroom before sending it to an animal activist has been punished by the army.

On Jan 14, welfare group Animal Lovers League posted a 21-second clip on Facebook showing a black dog cowering in what appears to be a shower stall and with a taut white rope tied around its neck - preventing it from moving or lying down.

The Straits Times understands that the NSF was charged with unauthorised videography and unauthorised disclosure of information to a third-party.

The NSF who took the video of a black dog tied up with a tight white string in an SAF shower has been punished for taking unauthorised video inside an army camp while the abusers of the dog have been let off much more lightly.

In fact, the SAF denies that the dog was abused and instead suggested that the stray dogs around the camp are aggressive. Allegations of the abuse came about earlier last month, when a video showing the dog supposedly tied to a toilet stall in the camp surfaced online.

It was claimed that the dog was being tugged from one end of the rope like a pulley. See the original video here.


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Father of NSF punished for dog video lashes out at MINDEF

The father of a full-time National Serviceman (NSF), who was punished for filming an unauthorised video of an abandoned dog tied up in Pasir Ris camp, has lashed out at the Ministry of Defence’s (MINDEF) handling of the case, accusing it of not honouring its word to a member of an animal welfare group.

Mr Simon Spencer also wrote in a Facebook post yesterday that his son and eight other NSFs were threatened into keeping mum about the alleged abuse of a stray dog by a senior officer.

Responding on its Facebook page, the Army dismissed the allegations against these commanders as “untrue and unfounded” and reiterated that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) does not condone any acts of cruelty to animals. In an earlier post at midnight on Tuesday, it said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore agreed with its investigation findings that no dog abuse had been committed.

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Singapore Army, SAF, MINDEF, and the dog abuser lieutenant colonel military personnel involved

The dog was hoisted in a manner to prevent it from moving or lying down, in Pasir Ris Camp in Singapore.

Lastly, a petition has been launched to punish the LTC SAF military personnel involved, amidst allegations of corruption, cover-ups, and being not transparent about the whole process.

All in all, it proved how stupid and over-bearing the National Service in Singapore could be for the young men involved, and how much abuse and cover-up there was when involving the conscripts.

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Mindef officer in Pasir Ris Camp: Same dog bit me twice in a month

She was walking into Pasir Ris Camp one morning last December when a familiar sight of dogs lying on the road right outside the camp greeted her.

Miss Yang Yaxiu, 24, a defence executive officer with the Ministry of Defence, made sure to give the dogs a wide berth as one of the dogs in the pack had bitten her in the right calf earlier in the month.

That morning, the same dog crept up behind her once again and bit her. Miss Yang is one of the victims of a spate of dog attacks in the camp late last year.

Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan on recent stray dog attacks: Humans create the problem
No dog problem is too big for celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan

The self-taught 44-year-old trainer even has his own take on the local dog attacks at Pasir Ris Camp last December. The New Paper reported on Friday that several people fell victim to a pack of aggressive dogs which roamed the area. The dogs have since been taken away by animal activist groups and shelters.

“When you see dogs in the street, you can’t expect them to not be territorial," Millan told TNP over the phone from Los Angeles.

“The problem behind stray dogs is one that was created by humans.

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Animal cruelty in army camp case starting to attract the attention of international news media

1. Singapore soldier who leaked video of army camp ‘dog abuse’ punished - SCMP
2. Dog video lands Singapore’s army in hot water -
3. Alleged Singapore military camp dog abuse sparks row - The Malay Mail Online
4. Alleged Singapore military camp dog abuse sparks row - Zee News
5. Alleged Singapore military camp dog abuse sparks row- GlobalPost

NSF whistleblower deserves a medal for taking video of animal cruelty in camp

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Is this a Raid on an Al-Qaeda Hideout?

Yesterday’s Straits Times showed a picture of foreign workers who moonlighted as street barbers dropping their tools and fleeing for their lives as the authorities moved in. (These moonlighters were charging a measly four dollars for a haircut and their customers were also mostly foreign laborers as well.)

Like Navy SEALS going after Osama bin Laden, as many as 15 officers from the Ministry of Manpower and the National Environment Agency swooped in on the moonlighting barbers around noon on Sunday.

Three of the barbers – two Indians and one Bangladeshi – who were actually off-duty construction workers were arrested for contravening work permit and environmental health regulations. They may face a fine of up to $20,000 and up to two years in jail for contravening work permit regulations.

Moonlighting 'barbers' get caught

Foreign workers have set up illegal barber stalls at Tuas South Avenue 1, cutting hair for other foreign workers along the road

Foreign workers who were moonlighting as barbers dropped their tools and fled when officers from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and National Environment Agency (NEA) raided the Tuas area yesterday.

Three illegal barbers - two Indians and one Bangladeshi - were arrested for contravening work permit and environmental health regulations.

The barbers, who are actually construction workers, usually turned to their sideline on Sundays when they are free.

Illegal barbers at Old Woodlands Rd charge customers $2 to $4

STOMPer RayRay has been seeing these illegal barbers setting up shop on a walkway near a bus stop along Woodlands Road on several nights.

He saw them again at about 9pm yesterday while he was on his way to Johor Bahru.

"From what my friends told me, these illegal barbers charge their customers about $2 to $4. "All of the customers are foreigners." 

Two Indians arrested in Singapore for moonlighting as barbers

Two Indian nationals and a Bangladeshi have been arrested here for moonlighting as barbers while on permit to work in the construction sector, according to a media report today.

The three accused had set up make-shift stalls on a pavement in the industrial estate of Tuas, earning four Singaporean dollars per haircut compared to the average hair cut cost of 10 Singaporean dollars in a local barber shop.

Officers from both the Manpower Ministry and the National Environment Agency raided the area and arrested the three yesterday, while others at the scene fled

4 foreign workers nabbed for moonlighting as barbers

Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) officers raided an open space under the Bartley Road East viaduct, along Kaki Bukit Avenue 3, where some foreign workers had set up illegal barber stalls.

One reader who called the TNP hotline said the makeshift stalls were stealing business from legitimate barbers nearby and were also leaving a mess.

These barber stalls were well equipped with battery-operated shavers, mirrors, spray bottles, bottles of shaving foam and hair gel. Four workers - Two Bangladeshi and two Indian nationals - were arrested and brought back for questioning.

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Resign, Please Resign Mr Police Commissioner

It doesn't look like hundreds of rioters were attacking this patrol car (one of the first attacked), yet the officers at the scene made no attempt to stop them.
Watching the show of the year. Despite the injuries to police and SCDF officers, and the large destruction of property, these officers were happy to stay put and let the rioters have 'their fun'.
Although eventually found not at fault for the fatal accident, bus driver Lee Kim Huat and his coordinator, should have been arrested and removed from the scene by the initial officers. This would show the potential rioters that some form of justice was taking place.

Define Run Away

When it comes to communication with Singaporeans, Singlish is often blamed for a lot of misunderstanding. It's not the same problem other countries face. For instance, George Bernard Shaw is attributed to have said, "England and America are two countries divided by a common language." Here, even Singaporeans sometimes fail to understand what other Singaporeans are saying.

When bus drivers stop work, it's an industrial action, not a strike. When roads are immersed under water, it's due to ponding, not a flood. When a track circuit failure occurred on the south bound line between Yew Tee and Kranji MRT stations on Monday, SMRT insisted the incident did not amount to a service disruption as the trains did not stop, "although trains ran at a slower speed." So when SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek says he will continue to make "improvements" to the system, you have to wonder whether he's referring to the language manipulation or efficient train operations.

Committee of Inquiry (COI) Chairman G Pannir Selvam must have wished he had a dictionary in hand when he had to ask pointedly whether the police at Little India "were cowardly or displayed signs of cowardice". Mr Selvam was referring to the impression conveyed by Youtube videos that the policemen were frightened and ran away from the scene - in full panic mode, abandoning expensive cars in the middle of the road. State Counsel Joshua Lim was more blunt with the choice of words for Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Edwin Yong: "Were you cowardly getting into the ambulance?"



As the Little India Riot COI continues, police officers were questioned on whether they had been cowardly to flee from the thickest part of the riot.

The questions came as video footage shows that some of the officers in the middle of the riot had retreated into an ambulance and fled the scene.

One of the officers testifying at the COI explained that this was a ‘tactical retreat’ so that the forces could re-group and plan the next course of action. However, another officer who also testified admitted to ‘running away’ from the scene.

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Committee asks cop who ran from ambulance in Little India riot: How can the law run away?

He was among a group of uniformed officers caught on video running out of an ambulance during the Little India riot.

In front of the ambulance was a burning vehicle and rioters were surrounding the vehicles, some seemingly cheering. When Station Inspector Muhammad Adil Lawi, of the Traffic Police, appeared before the Committee of Inquiry (COI) on Thursday, its members grilled him on his actions.

COI member John De Payva asked: "How can the law run away?”

Little India COI: We DO have a hero. Yay!

He was asked by ex-Commissioner Tee Tua Ba if things would have improved if more officers acted with him. His reply: “I don’t know Sir. You just need maybe one officer or 10 officers to disperse the crowd.’’

Said Mr Tee: “I agree’’

Said COI chairman Pannir Selvam: “A few good men, as they say.’’


In the Commission of Inquiry into the Little India Riot, Senior Staff Sergeant Mydeen Sahul Hameed, indicated that many of the rioters were emotional because they felt discriminated and felt that no one respected them.

Mydeen, has been working at the Kampong Java NPC for over 10 years and he was one of the first officers at the scene during the Little India Riot last December. He told the COI that he had tried to calm down the workers who had been gathered around the accident site but many were shouting that the driver had killed their friend and were calling for the police to bring the driver to justice.

He also gave evidence to say that most of the men gathered there had been intoxicated as they slurred their speech while exasperatedly trying to explain that they had been discriminated against in Singapore and that the driver should be arrested.

Policemen in Little India riot COI say "not trained for full-scale riot"

Three police officers who were among the first responders at the scene of the Little India riot told the Committee Of Inquiry (COI) on Wednesday that they were not trained for a full-scale riot.

The three officers -- Special Constable Sergeant Abdul Aziz, Assistant Superintendent of Police Edwin Yong and Special Constable Corporal Arshard Abdul Murad -- said they had only been prepared for "peace time" crowd control. The three police officers were testifying on day six of the COI hearing into the December 8 riot.

Special Constable Sergeant Abdul Aziz said that warning shots were not fired because doing so could have riled up the already aggressive crowd.

No arrests as police were "grossly outnumbered", says ASP Tang

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Top cop asked: Why were no warning shots fired?

Deputy Commissioner of Police T. Raja Kumar was grilled by committee members at yesterday's (Feb 21) inquiry into the Little India riot.

Some of the questions raised were: Why did the Special Operations Command (SOC) take almost an hour to arrive after the first call by the first police responders to the riot?

Why did the police officers on the ground take action to stop the rioters instead of waiting for the SOC to arrive? Why were guns not used and why were no warning shots fired to disperse the crowd?

Cop angry when he saw burning police car

He was part of a group of 10 police officers manning a line near Hampshire Road when he saw some rioters flip a police car onto its side.

One of the men threw a piece of cloth into the car, along with something else. The car soon started burning.

"I saw (the burning car) and I got angry," Staff Sergeant Azmi Mohammed Hamzah told the Committee of Inquiry on day six of the Little India riot hearings.

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During the Little India Riot, there were many factors which prevented police from being able to contain the situation properly. While the influence of alcohol has been widely discussed, another major issue that has surfaced was the language barrier present on the night.

Police Officers on scene had ordered the crowd to disperse and go home in English, but many of the foreign workers did not seem to understand as they continued to loiter and walk around the area.

This was explained by Corporal Arshad Abdul Murad at the COI today and was also supported by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Edwin Yong Wen Wei who said that the initial communication to the foreign workers, just after the fatal accident, could have been improved.