Goreng pisang

Goreng pisang or pisang goreng? The answer is pisang goreng, which means fried banana. Grammatically, goreng pisang means to cook a banana.

But the question that most of us are more concerned with is: Where can we find truly outstanding goreng pisang in Singapore? There are numerous stalls that sell this beloved local snack, but not all have mastered the secret of the perfect banana fritter. We know that a good goreng pisang must start with ripe pisang raja (it’s a local banana variety which means banana king in Malay), but the perfect batter is incredibly tricky to master.

At the risk of trans fat overdose, we scoured the island and taste-tested five highly-acclaimed goreng pisang stalls. Here are our findings.

Boon’s Pisang Goreng
Lee Kee
Lim Kee (Orchard) Banana Fritters
Sow Mount
Toa Payoh Lucky Pisang Raja

read more


Top 5 Mistakes made with Travel Insurance

Planning on travelling overseas? To make sure that you get the best experience out of your holidays, here are some tips and pointers about the most common mistakes travelers tend to make regarding travel insurance in Singapore.

1 Not paying attention to what you’re signing up for
We can’t stress this enough, read the fine print, and then reread it again afterwards. Your policy’s terms and conditions document holds all the information relevant to your coverage, such as the payout limits, the situations you’re actually covered for (and their requirements), the policy’s exclusion list, as well as the procedures you’ll have to follow in order to make a successful claim.

2 Skipping out on travel insurance altogether
Possibly one of the worst mistakes of all, skipping on travel insurance is a great way to set yourself up for a disaster. With the chances of needing travel or medical related assistance while overseas averaging at about 20-25%, not having travel insurance to back you up is a risk you simply can’t afford to take.

3 Going overboard on the risks
A common mistake made by travelers when getting travel insurance is to take on extra risks they normally wouldn’t even think of taking if they weren’t covered by a policy. As usual, travel insurance companies in Singapore expect travelers to behave responsibly by taking the least amount of risk possible and following the policy guidelines to the letter.

4 Buying your insurance when it’s too late
Some travelers make the mistake of waiting for the last second to get their insurance, often times when they’re already at the airport or, in the worst case scenario, at their holiday destination. Although getting travel insurance at the airport may not be very complicated, the same doesn’t apply to getting insurance once your already abroad.

5 Not taking the necessary precautions
Just like with the risk factor, travel insurance companies in Singapore expect travelers to take all the necessary precautions to make sure that nothing will get in the way of their trip or put them jeopardy. This includes situations such as declaring any pre-existing medical conditions, keeping a close eye on your personal belongings and documents, getting all the necessary vaccination when travelling to exotic countries, and also following the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel notices and warnings.

read more


Teens in Trouble

Singapore Arrests 2 Teens Radicalized By ISIS

Two Singaporean teenagers radicalized by the Islamic State group were arrested by local authorities on terrorism-related charges, officials said Wednesday.

One of them, 19-year-old student M. Arifil Azim Putra Norja'i, had made plans to join ISIS abroad, the Straits Times reported, citing Singapore's ministry of home affairs (MHA). Authorities reportedly said that he had planned to conduct terror attacks in Singapore if he failed in his pursuit to travel to Syria to fight alongside the militant group. He was arrested in April.

The second was an unnamed 17-year-old who was arrested earlier this month.

Two Singapore teens held over links to ISIS

A multinational anti-terror squad is shown during training. Governments in Southeast Asia and beyond are increasingly worried about the radicalization of young people by ISIS. Photo: Internet
Singaporean authorities have arrested two teenage students for suspected links to Islamic extremists.
M Arifil Azim Putra Norja’i, 19, and an unnamed 17-year-old were held under national security laws for alleged activities related to ISIS, the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Straits Times reported Thursday, citing the home affairs ministry.
Arifil had made plans to join ISIS and, if unsuccessful, to carry out terrorist attacks in Singapore, authorities said. 
19-year-old detained for planning to join ISIS had planned to kill President and PM Lee
Mr Lee was speaking at the opening of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security summit. The terrorism threat simmering in Southeast Asia was a topic he touched on in his wide-ranging speech. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The 19-year-old student detained last month for planning to join terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) intended to kill President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong if he could not leave Singapore for Syria, Mr Lee disclosed on Friday.

His comments, in a speech at the opening of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security summit, come two days after the Ministry of Home Affairs announced it had detained M Arifil Azim Putra Norja’i, and arrested another 17-year-old student who had been radicalised for further investigations.

The ministry had said Arifil gave considerable thought to how he would attack key facilities and assassinate government leaders, but did not go into details. 
Be alert to radicalisation threat: Ministers and MPs
Second Minister for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli
A day after it was announced that a 19-year-old student planning to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and carry out attacks here had been detained, several ministers and MPs called on the public to be vigilant to the threat of radicalisation.
It was important to alert the authorities early if they suspect someone they know may be radicalised, before he does harm to himself or to others, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post. "That's the best way to save them," he added.
Mr Masagos later told The Straits Times the first course of action is not necessarily to detain a person who has been brought to the authorities' attention.
19-year-old detained for planning to join ISIS had planned to kill President and PM Lee

 This was a story that was waiting to appear in our news except that we do not know when. We would like to think it was our Home Team that have tracked and nabbed them but no. We were saved by dumb luck once more. This is well and good but also make us nervous.

Don't we prefer stories where our security teams monitor and disrupt potential activities?

On the other hand the story has made us even more vigilant. Look at the number of likes in 2 hours.


A Singaporean youth has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for terrorism-related activities since April this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday (May 27).

Additionally, another youth was arrested in May under the ISA for further investigations into the extent of his radicalisation.

The youth detained since April, M Arifil Azim Putra Norja'i, a 19-year-old post-secondary student, is the first known self-radicalised Singaporean to harbour the intention to carry out violent attacks in Singapore, said MHA.

Singapore teen in trouble again for re-posting anti-Lee video
© Provided by AFP Singaporean teenager Amos Yee leaves the state courthouse on bail after he was convicted of two criminal charges on May 12, 2015

Singapore prosecutors on Wednesday demanded that a rebellious teenager be sent to a reformatory after he re-posted a controversial video attacking the late independence leader Lee Kuan Yew.

Amos Yee, 16, currently on bail after being convicted of two criminal charges, had been expected to avoid confinement after agreeing to take the video off YouTube, where it has generated more than one million views.

Prosecutors initially recommended probation but hardened their position in a closed-door hearing Wednesday.

Teen blogger remanded for 3 weeks
Teenage blogger Amos Yee Pang Sang was remanded for three weeks on Tuesday (Jun 2), as a report is made to assess whether he is suitable to serve reformative training.
There is no bail option offered during this remand period. The case is adjourned till Jun 23.
The judge's decision came after Yee rejected the option of probation and a term in the Reformative Training Centre (RTC) as a sentence, sticking to his original plea for a jail term.
read more

Yee may get harsher penalty

IN COURT: Amos Yee and his parents arriving at the State Courts
Teenage blogger Amos Yee Pang Sang has shown a blatant disregard for the law again and may find himself with a tougher punishment after an urgent hearing convened by the State Courts yesterday.
This comes after Yee, 16, once again published on his blog two offensive online material, for which he had been convicted on May 12.
He had earlier taken down the offensive video and image in accordance with court orders during his conviction.
read more



7 Quick Steps to Pick the Best Dividend Stocks

As investors, we all love dividends. Other than the thrill of seeing a stock you own rise higher and higher in the stock market, receiving passive dividend income from your investments every year is something we all look forward to.

So if you’re more of an income investor and looking to invest for dividends, your stock portfolio will be markedly different from someone who’s investing for high growth and capital gain. The stocks that will give good, consistent dividends may not necessarily be the kind that will grow by 20-50% a year and vice versa.

So if you investing for dividends, you have to invest accordingly and only pick the best stocks that will give the passive dividend income you want. The question is: How?
  1. Look for Mid-Large Cap Stocks
  2. Dividend Payout Ratio is 50% or More
  3. Track Record of Paying Consistent Dividends
  4. Company’s Fundamentals Must Be Sustainable
  5. Company has Low CAPEX
  6. Company has Stable Free Cash Flow
  7. Yield Must Beat Risk-Free Rate
read more


Better Zzzzs, Less Delirium For Young Patients

Detecting delirium among small patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is tricky, since children are often heavily sedated and may not be able to articulate their visions or fears

“Any child who is exposed to the chaotic ICU environment, with constant light, noise, sedative medications, and resultant sleep disturbances, is at major risk for delirium,” says Johns Hopkins’ Sapna Kudchadkar, an assistant professor of pediatric anesthesiology and critical care. “We’re developing tools for identifying it. It brings in a whole new set of challenges,” she says, noting a recent survey she conducted involving PICUs around the world. Less than 2 percent of 341 pediatricians surveyed regularly screen children for delirium.

Kudchadkar is particularly interested in how sleep can affect outcomes—including delirium—in critically ill children. “Sleep plays a key role in regulation of multiple organ systems, including the immune system.

Therefore sleep disturbances may be detrimental to a child trying to recover from a major illness,” she says. She is currently conducting a study using EEG to characterize the sleep experience of critically ill children in the PICU, and actigraphy to demonstrate the sleep-wake cycles of children after critical illness or major surgery. Better understanding of the sleep dynamic, Kudchadkar believes, will enable PICU physicians to design more effective interventions to optimize sleep—and reduce delirium.

read more


Natural home remedies: Fatigue

People complain of feeling drained and exhausted so often that doctors call fatigue the number one health complaint. Find out how to feel better, naturally

Feeling bone-tired, as so many people do, is disheartening, demoralizing, and frustrating. You want to race like a thoroughbred, but you feel stuck in the mud. Half the time you’re struggling just to stay awake. Life is passing by, and you can’t keep up with it. Willpower doesn’t work, so what does?

Sometimes your best bet is a total energy makeover—changes in the way you eat, drink, and exercise. Certain supplements can also help. Or maybe your solution is simple: sleep, beautiful sleep. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to have your doctor test your blood for hypothyroidism, anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, and other conditions that can cause fatigue.

Often fatigue is accompanied by lack of motivation and low sex drive. A long list of medical conditions and lifestyle issues can contribute to fatigue, including lack of sleep, inadequate nutrition, flu, obesity, allergies, infections, anemia, alcohol abuse, hypothyroidism, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and AIDS.

read more


How to do a healthy detox

A detox diet is a plan that aims to improve your body’s natural processes by changing the food you eat. According to the Mayo Clinic, these diets aren’t scientifically proven to be effective. But they are recommended by natural healthcare practitioners to treat a number of symptoms from fatigue to headaches. In the context of a detox diet, toxins refer to substances that we’ve over consumed, says Vancouver-based naturopath Thara Vayali. "Anything can become toxic if we have it in excess in our bodies."

Detox diets and weight loss
If you intend to use a detox to shed pounds, think again. "A detox diet isn’t indicated for weight loss," Vayali advises. In fact, drastically cutting calories can be extremely harmful. "When you’re not giving yourself a natural amount of calories, fats, carbohydrates and protein, your body’s metabolism takes that as a sign that it might not get those things naturally," she warns. "It starts to store those things instead of releasing them, so you might find yourself in a worse condition later on." Be wary of any plan that recommends you stop eating in order to cleanse your system.

Starting a healthy detox
The best way to begin a detox is by visiting your healthcare practitioner to discuss your plan and any symptoms you’re experiencing. "You might think that you have toxins but you may have something that’s more severe. It’s important to have someone assess that," Vayali advises. Your doctor or naturopath can also recommend foods and lifestyle changes that are healthiest for you. When you’re ready to start your healthy detox, consider making these diet and lifestyle changes:

Replace processed foods with whole ones
Vayali generally recommends that her patients cut out processed foods from their diets. These include things like store-bought pastries, microwave dinners, candies — many of the pre-prepared products you find in the middle aisles of your grocery store. Instead of relying on these convenience items, fill up on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and fish.

Boost your fibre
"Fibre is really important to help the motility in your colon to make sure you’re eliminating. If you’re detoxing but not eliminating, you’re actually creating more problems [in your system]," Vayali says. There are two kinds of fibre that help promote regularity. Insoluble fibre, found in leafy greens like spinach and kale, helps keep things moving through your intestines. Soluble fibre, which comes from foods such as apples, pears and beans, helps bulk up the contents of the bowels. Check out our recipes for ideas on how to include fibre-rich food in your diet.

Drink water
Increasing your fibre intake means you’ll need also need to stay hydrated to keep your bowels moving regularly. Don’t go overboard, though — drinking too much water isn’t healthy, Vayali warns. To determine how much water you need each day, she recommends dividing your body weight in half and converting that number to ounces. For example, a woman weighing 140 pounds should aim to drink 70 ounces (2 litres) of water each day.

Cut back on sugar
Sugar itself shouldn’t be considered toxic, Vayali says. "Every carbohydrate we eat breaks down into a simple sugar — that’s how we digest it." She goes on to explain, however, that she recommends eliminating processed sugars during a detox because it’s a substance we tend to over consume. It may seem tough to cut back on the sweet stuff, but she says that the increased amount of whole grains, fruits and vegetables you’ll be consuming should help curb your sweet tooth.

Get your sweat on
"The skin is the biggest organ we have, but it’s one that often gets forgotten in detoxes," Vayali says, adding that sweating promotes overall health. Add exercise to your detox plan, but take it slow. If you’re not used to working out, try incorporating one day of physical activity a week into your schedule. If you’re a fitness buff, consider switching up your routine to include an exercise that will really get you perspiring.

Stick with it
The length of a detox varies according to a person’s individual needs and mindset, says Vayali. However, you should try to maintain the changes to your diet and lifestyle for at least two weeks. "You might get side effects from your detox in the first few days, such as headaches irritability, aches and fatigue," she explains. Keeping up your healthy detox plan for at least two weeks gives your body a chance to adjust.

read more


5 Top Porridges

To make the perfect Cantonese-style porridge, all you need are three simple ingredients: rice, water (or broth), and time.

The secret to silky-smooth, creamy porridge is to gently simmer it for at least three hours till the rice grains are almost completely dissolved. The porridge has to be constantly stirred so that it won’t burn. There’s absolutely no shortcut!

In Singapore, the best Canto-style porridge can be found in and around the Chinatown area, which is a traditional Cantonese enclave. Which ones should you head to for your fix of comforting congee?

Zhen Zhen Porridge

Jiu Ji

Joe Pork Porridge Raw Fish

Ah Chiang’s Porridge

Tian Tian Pork Porridge

read more


City Harvest Trial

Church co-founder Sun Ho takes the stand

City Harvest Church (CHC) co-founder Sun Ho never asked how much sales her music albums had chalked up, but was “under the impression” they sold well, with platinum awards to boot, she testified this morning.

It was the first time the 42-year-old was taking the stand in the trial involving six of the church’s leaders, including her husband and co-founder Kong Hee.

The question of the “wild fluctuations” in her sales figures reported by different sources had been put to her by CHC’s former investment manager Chew Eng Han, who called Ho as a witness.

read more

CHC Pastor Kong Hee's Popstar Wife Sun Ho Claims Multi-Million 'Crossover' Project Was Meant to Serve the Church and Not Herself
Singer Sun Ho attending the Grammy Awards in this undated photo

Sun Ho, the co-founder of Singapore's City Harvest Church and wife of lead pastor Kong Hee, took the stand for the first time on Tuesday in the long-standing case against Kong and five other CHC leaders accused of misusing millions of church funds for Ho's career. The singer claimed that the Crossover project was meant to serve the mission of the church, and not her own career. 

The Straits Times reported on Tuesday that Ho, who has not been charged herself, said that the Crossover project was "always about the church."

The six CHC members are being accused of funneling money into Ho's career through sham bond investing in the management company called Xtron, which the prosecution says was operated by CHC's leadership. The six accused face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of having misused the $19.2 million in church funds in question.

Colleague of Kong Hee Claims Congregants Don't Feel Deceived in Misuse Funds Case 
Kong Hee & CHC Leaders Had Control Over Alleged Sham Company, Prosecutors Say 
Pastor Kong Hee & CHC Members Raised Church's Budget Deficit, Prosecution Alleges 
CHC Deputy Senior Pastor Accused of 'Lying & Deception' by Prosecution

read more

Church efforts 'not for ambition, personal gain'
Serina Wee disagreed she knew the bonds were a sham and that she had knowingly conspired with the others to misappropriate church funds

The Crossover Project at the centre of the City Harvest Church trial was "always about the church" and not about herself, said pop singer Sun Ho on Tuesday.

Testifying in court, where she is on the stand for the first time since the City Harvest trial started in May 2013, Ms Ho also said she believed the project was a success.

City Harvest Church's (CHC) former finance manager Serina Wee yesterday said she would never break the law.

Kong Hee 'lacked full faith in wife's music'
City Harvest trial: 'Suntec tender was rigged'
City Harvest trial: No victims, so there can't be any CBT case

read more

Full Coverage:
AsiaOne: Crossover Project 'impacted' Jay Chou, says Sun Ho
Straits Times: City Harvest Trial: Sun Ho 'didn't know number of Mandarin albums sold'
TODAYonline: CHC co-founder Sun Ho thought album would be a hit in US
Malay Mail: City Harvest Church co-founder was 'under the impression' her music
Christian Post: Kong Hee's Popstar Wife Sun Ho Claims Multi-Million 'Crossover
AsiaOne: City Harvest Church trial: Crossover Project was not about herself, says pop
Channel News Asia: City Harvest Church co-founder Sun Ho takes the stand
AsiaOne: City Harvest trial: Church efforts 'not for ambition, personal gain'
Straits Times: City Harvest Trial: Sun Ho 'didn't know number of Mandarin albums sold'
TODAYonline: CHC co-founder Sun Ho thought album would be a hit in US

read more


Coca Cola Secrets

7 Things You Never Knew About Coke's Recipe

Bottles of Coca-Cola Co.'s Coke brand soda sit on a shelf behind the bar at Smith & Wollensky in New York, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. Coca-Cola Co., the world's biggest soda maker, agreed to buy the North American operations of bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., more than six months after PepsiCo Inc. moved to bring its bottlers in-house to cut costs. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images | Bloomberg via Getty Images

No matter who you are, you probably remember begging your parents for a glass of Coca-Cola as a child and still crave the fizzy sweetness of it as an adult.

Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most famous drinks, is turning 128 on March 29. The drink was originally created in Atlanta, Georgia by a pharmacist named John Pemberton in 1886 on approximately this date (though its birthday is celebrated on May 8, the date it was first served in a restaurant). In an effort to gain success, Pemberton created several concoctions before coming up with Coca-Cola’s legendary recipe.

Since then, the drink has grown in popularity and is now sold in more than 200 countries. What started as an experiment is now one of the largest corporations in the world, worth an estimated $173 billion, according to Forbes.

The company’s success, however, hasn’t come without controversy, largely surrounding their top secret recipe. While we all know it’s not the healthiest drink in the world, rumours allege that the recipe itself contains harmful acids and extracts from meats.

Here is the truth about some of the craziest rumours surrounding the soft drink’s recipe.

Coke Contains Alcohol

SOMEWHAT TRUE: Coca-Cola is officially a non-alcoholic beverage. In fact, it was created specifically to be a soft drink during the temperance movement, a political campaign advocating abstinence from alcohol. However, research by the National Institute of Consumption in Paris revealed that there is 0.001 per cent per litre in many popular soda brands, including Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola website maintains that traces of alcohol can occur naturally in many beverages and such low levels are considered acceptable by governments.

Coke Contains Pork

FALSE: There have been several rumours that Coke contains ‘pork extract.’ The company’s website debunks this by saying the drink doesn’t have any animal derivatives and is vegan-friendly. It's possible this rumour started as a result of another myth, that pouring Coke on pork can make "worms" come out of it, later debunked by Snopes.

Coke + MSG = Aphrodisiac

FALSE: There are rumours that Coke added MSG to their secret recipe because it creates an aphrodisiac. Coca-Cola holds firm that the flavour enhancer is not in the drink, and also that Coke is in no way an aphrodisiac. Smell expert Dr. Alan Hirsch, however, has postulated that thanks to Coke's role at certain points in our lives, the scent and smell might evoke feelings of comfort, or alternatively, alertness, according to YourTango.

Coke Contains Bug Dye

FALSE: It’s widely believed that Coke contains a red food dye made from cochineal beetles. This isn’t true, according to the company. However, bug dye is commonly used in foods such as meat, jam and baked goods in general, often referred to as Cochineal, Cochineal Extract, so look out for that.

Coca-Cola’s Name Is Derived From Its Use Of Cocaine

TRUE: Coke no longer has any cocaine. It’s uncertain how much, but there was a significant amount in the drink until 1903, reports Live Science, and the drink contained some of the illegal drug in its recipe until 1929.

Coke Has Acids That Will Dissolve Your Teeth

SOMEWHAT TRUE: Coke does contain citric and phosphoric acid, which can wear on teeth's enamel in the long term. These acids are common in many food and drinks, like orange juice, but in low levels so that they don’t put a strain on our digestive systems.

Coke Can Help You Clean Your House

SOMEWHAT TRUE: It’s also said that these acids make the drink a useful household cleaning product. While it contains carbonic acid, which can help in removing stains, according to Snopes, it’s a weak solution. Water is generally better since it doesn’t leave behind a sticky sugary residue.


From Rags To Riches:12 Homegrown Self-Made Millionaires

Life was not a bed of roses for them but they’ve managed to rise to the top

You know what they say – when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. These inspiring individuals probably had less than a lemon to start with. They weren’t born with a silver spoon – in fact, all of them started from humble beginnings.

Here are 12 of our favourite real-life Horatio Alger tales:

1. Goh Cheng Liang, founder of Nippon Paint (Singapore)

2. Anastasia Liew, CEO of Bengawan Solo

3. Mohamed Abdul Jaleel, Founder and CEO of The MES (Mini Environment Service) Group

4. Olivia Lum, founder of Hyflux

5. Lim Hock Chee, founder of Sheng Siong Supermarket

6. Chong Phit Lian, CEO of Singbridge Holdings

7. Neo Kah Kiat, founder and chairman of Neo Group

8. Jennie Chua, CEO and President of Ascott Group

9. Eldwin Chua, CEO of Paradise Group

10. Merry Riana, founder of Merry Riana Organization

11. Patrick Liew, CEO and Chairman of HSR International Realtors (HSR)

12. Annie Gan, Founder and Managing Director of Jian Huang Group of Companies

read more