Should eateries refuse to top up soup when asked?

A woman expressed disappointment after the server at the eatery where she purchased fish bee hoon soup refused to add more soup when asked.

In a post on the COMPLAINT SINGAPORE Facebook page on Friday (Apr 12), a Ms Jentry Chua wrote, “Actually I don’t want to make a post but I am utterly disappointed with this shop. We went to HK Street at Balestier, opposite the famous chicken rice shop. We went there because we like the sliced fish bee hoon soup, this time we ordered a medium size to share so that we can order more dishes.”

Hong Kong Street Food Chun Tat Kee has several outlets and is quite well known for its XO fish slice bee hoon soup, a dish that has gotten good reviews online. Ms Chua’s experience was not so pleasant, however. She wrote that after the server had dished out two portions of the soup, there wasn’t much soup left, only noodles and fish. She then asked the server to top up the soup, something that’s allowed in other eateries.


Peranakan Baba & Nyonya

A Brief History of Singapore's Peranakan Culture
Peranakan Shophouses in Joo Chiat | © JUJUlianar/Flickr

The history of Singapore’s Peranakan culture goes as far back as the 15th century, when Chinese immigrants were settling in Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore) in increasing numbers. Today, the Straits-born Chinese, also known as Peranakan Chinese, are the descendants of those immigrants. Historically, they were often traders and embraced culture from both the local Malaysian culture as well as the colonial British.

The first wave of Chinese immigrants to Malaya and Indonesia arrived in the 10th century, however, the practice became much more common in the 15th century, when trade embargoes were lifted and further exacerbated by China’s failing economy. At the outset, it was common for Chinese men to take on Batak and Balinese slave wives. After the original settlements, the descended Peranakans moved in greater numbers between different countries in the region, maintaining separate colonies from the locals.

Many aspects of Peranakan culture can still be found in Singapore and Malaysia, such as the traditional food and architecture. The traditional Peranakan food is referred to as nonya food, meaning women. The flavors of Peranakan cuisine take inspiration from Malay and Indonesia, however, one of the biggest differences is that Peranakan dishes often involve pork, such as babi pongteh, a dish of braised pork with salted bean paste. One of the most popular Peranakan dishes is beef rendang, where beef is stewed in coconut milk and spices.

Peranakan culture and style #Singapore #Malaysia

Colour and pattern are the things which come to mind when I remember living in Singapore in the 1960s and although it is now a very modern city state those two aspects are still vibrantly present in the style and culture of the Peranakan community.

Peranakans are people of mixed Chinese and Malay heritage. Many Peranakans trace their origins to 15th-century Malacca where their ancestors, Chinese traders, married local women. Peranakan men are known as babas while the ladies are known as nonyas (or nyonyas) from the old Portuguese word for lady, donha . The word Peranakan is derived from anak "child" and means descendant, locally born of ancestors from afar. The Peranakans were also known as Straits Chinese as they were usually born in the British-controlled Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca. 

Peranakan fashion is stunning, in sizzling colours, with beautiful embroidery on gorgeous fabrics; always worn with grace. In the past, Peranakan girls were expected to be skilful in embroidery and beadwork, the two distinctive features of Peranakan fashion. The traditional costume for Peranakan women is the kebaya.  Originally from Indonesia, the kebaya was adopted by both Malay and Peranakan women but with important differences. The Malay kebaya is a loose-fitting long blouse made of opaque cotton or silk with little or no lace embroidery, but the nonya kebaya is a shorter, tighter-fitting sheer fabric blouse that is often decorated with embroidered motifs (known as sulam) such as roses, peonies, orchids, daisies, butterflies, bees, fish and chickens. Being semi-transparent, the kebaya is usually worn over a camisole and secured with a kerosang, which is a set of three interlinked brooches.Beneath the sarong kebaya intricately hand-beaded slippers known as kasut manek are worn.

Peranakan (Straits Chinese) community

Singapore today, the term “Peranakan” generally refers to a person of mixed Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage. Many Singapore Peranakans trace their origins to 15th-century Malacca, where their ancestors were thought to be Chinese traders who married local women. Peranakan men are known as baba, while the women are known as nonya (or nyonya). From the second half of the 19th century to the mid-20th century, Peranakans were also known as the Straits Chinese, as they were born in the Straits Settlements. While some Peranakans have retained their cultural practices, many have assimilated into the larger Chinese community today.

Historical background - Peranakan in Indonesian and Malay means the uterus or womb, or someone from a mixed marriage between a local and a foreigner. Not all Peranakans are of Chinese ancestry. Non-Chinese Peranakans in the early 20th century include the Bugis Peranakans, Arab Peranakans and Java Peranakans. In the Straits Settlements, there was also a small but significant community of Peranakan Indians known as Chitty Melaka. The origins of the Peranakan Indians were said to have traced to around the same time as the Peranakan Chinese, when Tamil merchants began marrying local women. The Jawi Peranakan community was another notable Peranakan group of non-Chinese descent, comprising Straits-born Muslims of mixed Indian (especially Tamil) and Malay parentage.

While the origins of Singapore’s Chinese Peranakans are hard to pin down, some scholars and writers believe them to be descendants of Chinese immigrant traders who married local Malay women or Bataks from Sumatra. But it has been pointed out that such intermarriages took place up to only the mid-19th century, when women in China did not migrate overseas. These Peranakans were known as Straits Chinese, as they were usually born in the British-controlled Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca. During colonial times, they were also known as the King’s Chinese in reference to their status as British subjects after the Straits Settlements became a Crown colony in 1867,

The Peranakan traditional dress for women known as the Nonya Kebaya features beautifully embroidered details

The Peranakan Chinese, or Straits Chinese, in Singapore can trace their origins to 15th-century Malacca, where their ancestors were Chinese traders who married local Malay women. The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage. There are also Chitty Melaka, or Peranakan Indians, descendants of marriages between South Indian Hindu merchants and local women, and Jawi Peranakans, who trace their ancestry to intermarriage between South Indian-Muslim traders and women of the local community. Many of the early Peranakans were traders and shopkeepers, while others were involved in the real estate, shipping and banking sectors. While many of the Straits Chinese have assimilated into the broader Chinese community, they still retain distinctive cultural traits – most notably in their food and traditional dress. Nonya food, named after the ladies who cook it, features strong Malay and Indonesian influences with its uses of spices and coconut milk.

At formal events, Peranakan women are also likely to be seen in their traditional dress known as the Nonya Kebaya, which is influenced by the Malay Sarong Kebaya. This intricate outfit features a sheer fabric blouse that is often decorated with embroidered motifs such as roses, orchids or butterflies.

The Peranakan traditional dress for women known as the Nonya Kebaya features beautifully embroidered details. The spicy Malay influenced taste of Peranakan food is probably the most commonly encountered aspect of this ethnic group. The Peranakans, are a fascinating blend of cultures from the region. The term Peranakan refers to people descended from marriages between Chinese or Indian men and local Malay or Indonesian women who can be found throughout Southeast Asia.

read more

The Peranakans
A photograph of Peranakan wedding couple from a museum in Singapore

The Peranakans (/pəˈrɑːnəˌkɑːn, -kən/) are an ethnic group defined by their genealogical descent from the first waves of Southern Chinese settlers to maritime Southeast Asia, known as Nanyang (Chinese: 南洋; pinyin: nán yáng; lit. 'Southern Ocean'), namely the British Colonial ruled ports in the Malay Peninsula, the Indonesian Archipelago as well as Singapore. Peranakan culture, especially in the dominant Peranakan centres of Malacca, Singapore, Penang and Medan, is characterized by its unique hybridization of ancient Chinese culture with the local cultures of the Nusantara region, the result of a centuries-long history of transculturation and interracial marriage.

Immigrants from the southern provinces of China arrived in significant numbers in the region between the 14th and 17th centuries, taking abode in the Malay Peninsula (where their descendants in Malacca, Singapore and Penang are referred to as Baba–Nyonya); the Indonesian Archipelago (where their descendants are referred to as Kiau–Seng); and Southern Thailand, primarily in Phuket, Trang, Phang Nga, Takaupa and Ranong. Intermarriage between these Chinese settlers and their Malay, Thai, Javanese or other predecessors in the region contributed to the emergence of a distinctive hybrid culture and ostensible phenotypic differences.

The Peranakans are considered a multiracial community, with the caveat that individual family histories vary widely and likewise self-identification with multiracialism as opposed to Chineseness varies widely. The Malay/Indonesian phrase "orang Cina bukan Cina" ("a not-Chinese Chinese person") encapsulates the complex relationship between Peranakan identity and Chinese identity. The particularities of genealogy and the unique syncretic culture are the main features that distinguish the Peranakan from descendants of later waves of Chinese immigrants to the region.

Explore Peranakan cuisine in Singapore

Peranakan is Malay for “born here”, which refers to the Straits-born people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage. The Straits Chinese lead vibrant lives that comprise of many Chinese and Austronesian facets. Male Peranakans are addressed as “Baba”, while females and the culture in general of this matriarchal community are referred to as “Nonya”.

Peranakan architecture is known for its ornate fixtures and adornments, and can be experienced at establishments like Candlenut, PeraMakan and National Kitchen by Violet Oon. These establishments boast Peranakan dishes adapted from Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian tables.

“In the old days, young Peranakan girls had plenty of opportunities to learn the Peranakan crafts like beading and cooking from their mothers,” explains Kathryn Ho, who owns the popular restaurant chain PeraMakan. “In Peranakan households, there are always guests to feed, so matriarchs have lots of opportunities to cook, bake and create elaborate dishes that are not only delicious but colourful, artistic and creative.”

The Peranakan Museum
The building’s beautiful layout is based on the interiors of Straits Settlements bungalows

Get to know Singapore’s vibrant Peranakan community and history at this top-notch museum, filled with fine artefacts and fun exhibits. It’s safe to say that the Peranakan Museum is the go-to destination for Peranakan heritage and culture. It houses what is reputedly the world’s finest collection of Peranakan artefacts—such as jewellery, furniture and textiles—in ten permanent galleries over three floors.

Various aspects of this hybrid Southeast Asian culture—made up of Chinese, Malay and Indian elements—are brought to life here, through interactive and multimedia exhibits. Highlights include an elaborate 12-day Peranakan wedding, the stories of prominent Peranakans in Singapore's history and how today’s Peranakans have evolved with their culture.

Peranakan heritage is a tale of adaptation. The term ‘Peranakan’ means ‘locally born’ in Malay, and refers to the descendants of foreign traders who married local women in Southeast Asia centuries ago. Singapore’s Peranakan community is mostly Peranakan Chinese, descendants of Chinese traders who settled in the busy ports of Penang and Singapore in the 19th century.

A tour of Joo Chiat & Katong
Unique Peranakan architecture & built environment

Just five years ago, the neighbourhood looks vastly different from how it does today. Apart from the new MRT stations and some of the older buildings being taken down (the iconic Marine Parade CC will always have a spot in my heart), I now see a surge in the expatriate community and cafe scene. The usage of these traditional spaces is changing too, especially the Peranakan-style architecture that Joo Chiat is probably most known for.

Characterised by brightly-coloured facades and intricate tiles, these spaces offer a glimpse into the life of the Perankans living in yesteryear Singapore. For any foreigners reading this, Peranakan is colloquially referred to as someone who has a blend of Malay and Chinese heritage. While the Peranakan men are known as ‘baba’, the women are known as ‘nonya’. They are distinguished by their love for deep vibrant colours, patterns and drama. This can be observed through their colourful beading, and elaborate clothes and transcends even to the bounds of their wonderful homes.

Combining Chinese, Malay and European elements, the shophouses found in the Joo Chiat and Katong neighbourhood lean towards the:
  • Late Shophouse Style, 
  • Transitional Shophouse Style 
  • Art Deco Shophouse Style

Peranakan Dressings


World’s Tallest Buildings 2023

Tallest Buildings in the World 2023
Burj Khalifa (Dubai) 828m
Merdeka 118 (Kuala Lumpur) 678.9m
Shanghai Tower (Shanghai) 632m
Abraj Al Bait (Mecca) 601m
Ping An International Finance Center (Shenzhen) 599m
Goldin Finance 117 (Tianjin)  597m
Lotte World Tower (Seoul) 555m
One World Trade Center (New York City) 541m
Chow Tai Fook Finance Center (Guangzhou) 530m
Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Center (Tianjin) 530m

Above is a list of tallest skyscrapers in the world.

The buildings are ranked by standard height (architectural height), with other heights like roof height and total height listed for reference.

Buildings that are under construction but have already topped out or close to top out are also included. Sightseeing towers and buildings under construction that are still far from topping out are not counted.

10 Tallest Buildings Under Development or Proposed in the World
Hyundai Global Business Center (Seoul) 569m
Entisar Tower (Dubai) 570m
Signature Tower (Jakarta) 638m
Tower M (Kuala Lumpur) 700m
Dubai One (Dubai) 711m
Uptown Dubai Tower 1 (Dubai) 711m
Tradewinds Square (Kuala Lumpur) 775m
Tradewinds Square (Cairo) 1000m
Jeddah Tower (Jeddah) above 1000m
Dubai Creek Tower (Dubai) 1345m

Aside from so many tall buildings built in the world, there are also plenty of supertall towers or megatall and hypermall towers under construction or proposed in a lot of cities.

The list, in order of shortest to tallest, are the top 10 tallest skyscrapers under development or proposed in the world.

World’s Tallest Buildings 2022
The top 10 tallest buildings in the world that are indeed a great work of architecture

Skyscrapers touching the sky is the symbol of urban style and might. Drastic improvement in engineering capabilities over the years combined with technology is making countries build higher and higher buildings pushing the boundaries.

As a kid, I was very fascinated by looking at these buildings and I’m sure you were too as these structures are one of the great inventions of mankind. Even though the concept of Skyscrapers started more than a century ago in the United States, the global skyscraper construction boom has been slowly shifting towards the Middle East and China in the last couple of decades and China is leaving no stone unturned to make its presence felt. Five out of ten world’s tallest buildings are in China.

List of the top 10 tallest buildings in the world as of 2022, ranked in descending order from the tallest to the shortest:
  • Burj Khalifa (Height: 828 Metres) is the world’s tallest building and also the tallest building in Dubai for more than a decade now. Burj Khalifa is 828 Metres in height and has 163 floors that can accommodate 30,000 people.
  • Merdeka 118 (Height: 678.9 Metres) takes the second spot on the list of the world’s tallest buildings. The skyscraper reached its full heights as the pointed spire of it has been completed. With this, Merdeka 118 dethroned China’s Shanghai Tower to become the world’s second-tallest building.
  • Shanghai Tower (Height: 632 Metres) is the world’s third tallest building. It was inaugurated in the year 2014 that took more than 8 years to complete. The construction cost of this twisted building is a whopping 4.2 billion dollars.
  • Abraj Al-Bait (Height: 601 Metres) Mecca based – Abraj Al-Bait is a complex of seven skyscrapers owned by the government of Saudi Arabia. These towers were constructed to develop tourism and cater to the pilgrims visiting the city as part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project.
  • Ping An Finance Tower (Height: 599 Metres) is the world’s fifth tallest and the second tallest building in China. It is located in the city of Shenzhen and is 599 Metres tall. It is built exclusively for Ping An Insurance company. Even though the building was inaugurated in 2015 but extended construction went on for a couple of years more till 2017.
  • Lotte World Tower (Height: 555 Metres) is South Korea’s tallest building that took 13 years to complete. It was inaugurated 4 years back in 2017 that is located alongside the banks of the Han River.
  • One World Trade Center (Height: 541 Metres) is the seventh tallest building in the world and the tallest building in the US located in the city of New york. The skyscraper has the same name as the original World Trade Center’s north tower that was wrecked in the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
  • Guangzhou Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre (Height: 530 Metres) also known as Guangzhou CTF Tower is located in the suburban area of Guangzhou, China. There are 111 floors in this building with 5 underground floors. It was inaugurated in 2016. CTF tower has 95 elevators that move at a rate of 44 miles per hour.
  • Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre (Height: 530 Metres) is China’s fourth-tallest building and the world’s ninth tallest building. It is almost the same height as Guangzhou CTF Tower however it was constructed after the Guangzhou Tower which is why it is ranked lower. The construction of this building was completed in 2018.
  • China Zun (Height: 527.7 Metres) also known as CITIC Plaza is the world’s tenth tallest building It is named after an ancient vessel. This 108 floors building was constructed in two phases first in 2017 and then again in 2018. China Zun, the tallest building of Beijing was inaugurated in March 2019.

The World’s Tallest Buildings 2018

The competition between the world countries to hold on their grounds the world’s tallest buildings has been on the rise in the recent years. New technologies and developed materials have deemed the extraordinary heights possible.

With the world’s tallest building now, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, rising 828 meters above ground, almost double the height of the Petronas towers, in Kuala Lumpur, which used to be the world’s tallest, no more than 20 years ago, you can quite tell the difference.

So, now let’s take a look at the top 10 towers from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s list of the 100 Tallest Under-Construction Buildings in the World, available on its Global Tall Building Database. Here starts the countdown:


Cuckolding: Wife-sharing Fantasies

Wife Sharing: Why Does My Husband Want To Share Me Sexually?

Dental surgeon Melanie Chan (name changed), 32, has been married to her college sweetheart for over nine years. Although she describes her relationship as ‘wonderful,’ she says there is one problem: the idea of wife sharing. “My husband wants to share me sexually,” she wrote, looking for answers.

In her letter, Chan says that after one whole year of persuasion, she finally caved. “I decided to have sex with our common college friend. It wasn’t special at all, but my husband was turned on by it. I try to understand this, but I fail to,” Chan writes. “Weirdly enough, this didn’t stop there. We even had a swapping episode with another couple. I thought this would be the end. But he asked to persuade another friend of ours just months after this. I reluctantly did,” says Chan who has two kids with her husband. She says that she is unable to understand why her husband wants to share her sexually. “If it wasn’t for my kids, I would’ve left. I don’t see how my husband’s desire to share me sexually is ‘normal.’ I want him to stop. What should I do?” she writes.

In recent years, the term “wife sharing” has gained attention and sparked controversy within many social circles. This practice, also known as “cuckolding,” involves consensually sharing one’s spouse with another person for sexual pleasure. While this may seem like a taboo subject, it has become a popular topic of discussion and debate. Some view it as a form of open-mindedness and exploration, while others see it as a betrayal of traditional monogamous values. With the rise of the internet and social media, the concept of wife sharing has become more accessible and prevalent, leading many to question its morality and impact on relationships. So then why do couples indulge in wife sharing? The answer could very well lie in how a woman is coerced into this practice, her husband’s motivation to watch his wife with another man, and the factors that drive this motivation.

What is wife sharing?

In recent years, the term “wife sharing” has gained attention and sparked controversy within many social circles. This practice, also known as “cuckolding,” involves consensually sharing one’s spouse with another person for sexual pleasure.

While this may seem like a taboo subject, it has become a popular topic of discussion and debate. Some view it as a form of open-mindedness and exploration, while others see it as a betrayal of traditional monogamous values. With the rise of the internet and social media, the concept of wife sharing has become more accessible and prevalent, leading many to question its morality and impact on relationships.

Why a man would want to convince his wife to participate in this act:
  • To Fulfil Voyeuristic Desires - Many men use pornography to satisfy their voyeuristic desires. So if they use this as a way to spice up their sexual lives, it is possible that they also consider wife-sharing as normal. Furthermore, this wife-sharing article aims to highlight the hidden desires that most couples share.
  • To Prove Manhood - Like your typical wife-sharing article, we need to discuss a man’s tendency to prove their manhood. Watching their wives sleep with other men can also arouse some men.
  • To Try the Thrill of a Taboo - Many husbands persuade their wives to engage in this activity just to experience the thrill. Society often stigmatises an unfaithful husband or wife.
  • To Engage in Bisexual Desires - In many cases, male bisexuality is the reason behind wife-sharing. He might not be able to come clean about it, but he might want to enjoy it both ways. Most of this stems from insecurity.
  • To Hide Shortcomings in Bed - In some cases, the husband convinces his wife to sleep with somebody else because he cannot satisfy her. This could be because of an underlying health issue, impotence, age or other health complications.
  • To Enjoy Masochism - In the early 19th century, Austrian writer and journalist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch became famous for his books on sexual flagellation. He wrote extensively about female dominance in the bedroom.
  • To Make Some Cash - All over the world, men enjoy the luxuries that are bought by their partner’s sexual exploits. On some occasions, people relate this to becoming a swinger or a gigolo.
  • To Enjoy Misogyny - One of the reasons why your husband may be keen on sharing you is because he wants to belittle you. It usually follows the scenario, “My husband wants me to flirt with other guys so he can use it against me.

What Is Cuckolding, and Why Are People So Turned On By It?

Cuckolding, while it doesn't seem very well-known or talked about, is in fact a very common fantasy among couples. In researching for his book Tell Me What You Want, Justin J. Lehmiller, Ph.D., surveyed 4,175 Americans and found that 26 percent of heterosexual women, 52 percent of heterosexual men, 42 percent of non-heterosexual women, and 66 percent of non-heterosexual men had fantasized about cuckolding. There are even entire subreddits on Reddit devoted to the r/cuckoldcommunity, r/cuckholdstories, and even r/cuckoldpsychology each with tens of thousands of members.

But what does cuckolding mean, exactly? The history of cuckolding can be a bit complicated — but that's exactly why, as a sex educator and relationship therapist, I'm so passionate about educating, breaking stigmas, and empowering people to embrace who they are. (Even the parts of you that you don't even know about yet!) TBH, I'm not a fan of the internet's official definition of cuckold. But, for the sake of history and continuing to break down heteronormitve stereotypes in our society, let's talk about it. According to Merriam-Webster, a cuckold is a man whose wife is unfaithful. The wife of an adulterous husband is a cuckquean. For example: In Hamilton, after it's discovered that Alexander Hamilton himself has been sleeping with another woman, her husband writes to Hamilton saying "uh oh, you made the wrong sucker a cuckold."

Over the years (thank goodness), the term cuckolding has evolved to mean something more along the lines of a fetish or kink in which a person (often called "the cuck") gets turned on by their partner (often called "the cuckoldress") having sex with someone else (often called "the bull"). In many scenarios, the cuck is turned on specifically by watching their partner have sex with someone else. Of course, like many other words in the realm of sexuality, the exact definition can be up to each couple's interpretation and what each person is happily consenting to (probably after having lengthy discussions about comfort levels). Nowadays, you could interview several couples who all participate in cuckolding and they could each have different ideas of what cuckolding means to them — that's the magic of communication, experimenting, and the ever-evolving world of sexuality!

The Complex Psychology of Cuckolding

Cuckolding essentially is a sexual interest where somebody is turned on, or they derive arousal from watching their partner have sex with somebody else. Cuckolding could involve any number of gender and sexual orientation combinations.

In a threesome, three partners are all sexually interacting. In a cuckolding scenario, there are three people, but they are not all mutually involved participants in the sexual activity. The cuckold is the person who is watching.

For some people, it may be. For example, when I ask people, "Where did your favorite sexual fantasy come from?" A couple of people said, "My partner cheated on me, and ever since then, I've been turned on by the idea of my partner doing that." For some people, I can see eroticized cheating as being the source. But for other people, they may get aroused when seeing their partner sexually pleased and satisfied. There also are those who take great pleasure in knowing other people find their partner attractive, but their partner is still going to come home with them.

What Is Cuckolding? The Meaning of the Fetish Sex Term Some Couples Are Embracing

You've probably heard the word used on podcasts, in articles about sex or even alluded to in popular songs, but what is "cuckolding"? Turns out the word originally derives from the cuckoo bird, which has a tendency of laying its eggs in other birds' nests.

When a human is involved in the act of cuckolding, however, the eggs haven't yet been made. Instead, the term alludes to when a man or woman has sex with a partner who is already married to someone else. Sometimes, it's out of wedlock, and the experience is essentially just cheating with a fancy term. Other times, it's a fetish in which some married partners enjoy watching their spouse have sex with other partners. As the BBC reported in 2009, the female bird's disloyalty to her mate is why we use the term with sometimes negative connotations.

"With that whiff of unfaithfulness, the carefree bird gave us the word 'cuckold,' which came in the Middle Ages to mean a husband with an errant wife," the BBC's Janet Williams wrote. "But there are more subtleties in that rude gesture. The word 'cuckold' also implies that the husband is unaware of his wife's infidelities. And he might only find out on the arrival of a baby — palpably not his. Which takes us back to the cuckoo." However, it's not necessarily always a bad thing — in fact, sometimes it's what gets spouses off, creating healthy, happy marriages.

1815 French satire on cuckoldry, which shows both men and women wearing horns

A cuckold is the husband of an adulterous wife; the wife of an adulterous husband is a cuckquean. In biology, a cuckold is a male who unwittingly invests parental effort in juveniles who are not genetically his offspring. A husband who is aware of and tolerates his wife's infidelity is sometimes called a wittol or wittold.

The word cuckold derives from the cuckoo bird, alluding to its habit of laying its eggs in other birds' nests. The association is common in medieval folklore, literature, and iconography. English usage first appears about 1250 in the medieval debate poem The Owl and the Nightingale. It was characterized as an overtly blunt term in John Lydgate's The Fall of Princes, c. 1440. Shakespeare's writing often referred to cuckolds, with several of his characters suspecting they had become one. The word often implies that the husband is deceived; that he is unaware of his wife's unfaithfulness and may not know until the arrival or growth of a child plainly not his (as with cuckoo birds).

The female equivalent cuckquean first appears in English literature in 1562, adding a female suffix to the cuck. A related word, first appearing in 1520, is wittol, which substitutes wit (in the sense of knowing) for the first part of the word, referring to a man aware of and reconciled to his wife's infidelity.

Unprecedented wife-sharing fantasies
Over a span of 8 years, a group of 7 men conspired with each other to rape each other's wives. (Illustration:Rafa Estrada)

The last suspect in several "wife-sharing" rape cases, which were carried out by men who met online, went on trial at the High Court on Tuesday (Aug 15). The 44-year-old man, named only as "O" in court documents, claimed trial to a charge of conspiracy to commit rape on an occasion between 2010 and 2011.

He also faces eight charges of circulating obscene images on the Sammyboy forum, and possessing 118 obscene videos. These have been stood down during the trial. O is the last of the seven men in the "wife-sharing" network to be dealt with in court, and the only one to claim trial. Five other men have been convicted of rape, and one man of attempted rape.

The main culprit in the case, a 42-year-old man known as "J", was sentenced in May to 29 years' imprisonment and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane. J conspired with five other men to have his wife drugged and raped over a period of eight years. He also conspired with two men to rape their wife or ex-wife. O's alleged victim is J's wife. All parties in the case cannot be named due to gag orders imposed by the court.



What Is Alzheimer's Disease?


Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease — those with the late-onset type symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.

The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles).

These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered some of the main features of Alzheimer’s disease. Another feature is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body. Many other complex brain changes are thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s, too.

Alzheimer's disease
Diagram of a normal brain compared to the brain of a person with Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, self-neglect, and behavioral issues.[ As a person's condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.

The cause of Alzheimer's disease is poorly understood. There are many environmental and genetic risk factors associated with its development. The strongest genetic risk factor is from an allele of APOE. Other risk factors include a history of head injury, clinical depression, and high blood pressure. The disease process is largely associated with amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and loss of neuronal connections in the brain. A probable diagnosis is based on the history of the illness and cognitive testing with medical imaging and blood tests to rule out other possible causes.[5] Initial symptoms are often mistaken for normal aging. Examination of brain tissue is needed for a definite diagnosis, but this can only take place after death. Good nutrition, physical activity, and engaging socially are known to be of benefit generally in aging, and these may help in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's; in 2019 clinical trials were underway to look at these possibilities. There are no medications or supplements that have been shown to decrease risk.

No treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms. Affected people increasingly rely on others for assistance, often placing a burden on the caregiver. The pressures can include social, psychological, physical, and economic elements. Exercise programs may be beneficial with respect to activities of daily living and can potentially improve outcomes. Behavioral problems or psychosis due to dementia are often treated with antipsychotics, but this is not usually recommended, as there is little benefit and an increased risk of early death.


Raffles Hotel since 1887

Raffles Hotel Singapore 1887

Situated in the heart of the business and civic district, Raffles Singapore is a veritable oasis in the city. The hotel was built by Armenian hoteliers, the Sarkies Brothers and it opened its doors in 1887. The Raffles Hotel was named after British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. Today, it is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world, and the flagship property of Raffles Hotels & Resorts.

A century after its opening, the hotel was declared a National Monument by the Singapore Government. Its colonial architecture stand out from the contemporary style of its surrounding neighbours in the business and civic district. Through the decades, liveried Sikh doormen have welcomed some of the most famous personalities, from writers to celebrities, politicians and members of royalty. Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling and Michael Jackson are among those who have succumbed to the charms of the Raffles.

Today, nothing much has changed with esteemed guests such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, George Bush, Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin still choosing to put up at the hotel. No visit to Singapore is complete without a stay at this iconic all-suite luxury Singapore hotel. Each suite features period furnishings, lofty 14-foot ceilings and modern conveniences expected of a 21st-century hotel. Raffles butlers, legendary for their charming and graceful service are available to fulfil requests both ordinary and extraordinary. 14 restaurants and bars offers a unique menu prepared using only the freshest of ingredients. Among the most well-loved include the fine dining establishment Raffles Grill; Long Bar, where the famous Singapore Sling was created; and Writers Bar, a tribute to the novelists and travel writers, who have become part of the hotel’s legend.

Raffles Singapore among Southeast Asia’s most distinguished holiday destinations since the 1880s
Historical image of Raffles Hotel

The storied history of the Raffles Singapore begins with a charming beach house that Dr. Charles Emerson leased in 1878. An enterprising hotelier, Emerson converted the quaint estate into a seaside hotel. But his dreams were short-lived as he died five years later. As such, the hotel closed shortly thereafter. It was not until the arrival of the famous Sarkies Brothers that the little hotel would see life again. Proprietors of the wildly successful Eastern & Oriental hotel in Penang, the Sarkies had long sought to open a luxurious hotel in Singapore. Thus, in September of 1887, the brothers settled on the old Emerson Hotel as the site of their new establishment. After an extensive renovation, the Sarkies reopened the building as the “Raffles Hotel,” which they named in honor of Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles.

It did not take long for the Raffles Hotel to rise in popularity. Within the first decade of opening, the Sarkies added three new buildings onto the existing structure in an attempt to meet the demand for more accommodations. The number of available rooms exploded from 10 to 75 in a matter of years. Soon, the Raffles Hotels boasted a veranda, a ballroom, and a billiards hall. The Sarkies also outfitted each guestroom with the finest amenities for the era, including electric-powered lights and ceiling fans. By the late 1890s, the desire among travelers to stay at the Raffles Hotel grew to such an extent that the brothers realized they had to expand upon the original building once more. They hired the talented architect Regent Alfred John Bidwell to rebuild the space in 1899. What Bidwell achieved was nothing short of a masterpiece. When the hotel debuted after the construction, it’s new, brilliant Neo-Renaissance-style architecture met with thunderous applause. By the turn of the century, the Raffles Hotel had emerged as one of Southeast Asia’s most preeminent destinations. As it grew in importance, a number of famous luminaries began to spend considerable amounts of time at the Raffles Hotel. Among its earliest visitors was Joseph Conrad, who would later write the novel Heart of Darkness. Not long thereafter, Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book, resided at the hotel. Kipling would use his time at the Raffles Hotel as the inspiration for his story, “Feed at Raffles.” Other wealthy clients quickly followed in their footsteps, driven by the hotel’s high-quality hospitality, lavish accommodations, and proximity to the beach. Individuals like W. Somerset Maugham began to regularly visit the hotel. Rumor has it that many of the conversations that Maugham overheard while staying at the Raffles Hotel spawned many of his fascinating stories.

Yet, storm clouds were brewing on the horizon for the Raffles Hotel. When the Great Depression hit at the end of the 1920s, the hotel endured extreme financial hardships. The last surviving Sarkies brother eventually had to file for bankruptcy, as the business left him several million dollars in debt. Under new ownership, the Raffles Hotel recovered somewhat until the outbreak of the Second World War. Trouble rematerialized with the Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation of Singapore. As the Japanese Imperial Army descended upon the city, the hotel’s staff desperately set about saving as many of its assets as they could protect. They even buried the business’s supply of silver within its famous Palm Court. Legend has it that the Raffles Hotel held one last waltz to distract the Japanese soldiers while the silver was hidden in their midst. Fortunately, the Raffles Hotel became prosperous once more with the end of the war. Reverting to private ownership, the building quickly resumed its place as Singapore’s primer luxury hotel. Many international celebrities returned to the Raffles Hotel, including Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ava Gardner. Its magnificence reached new heights in 1967 when Guy Green filmed much of Pretty Polly inside the building. For its historical significance, the government of Singapore declared the Raffles Hotel a National Monument in the 1980s. Celebrated today as the Raffles Singapore, the Raffles Hotel is now a cherished member of AccorHotels. Now a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide, the Raffles Hotel Singapore is among the most prestigious hotels throughout the entire world.

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel is a British colonial-style luxury hotel in Singapore. It was established by Armenian hoteliers, the Sarkies Brothers, in 1887. The hotel was named after British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore. It is the flagship property of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, and is managed by AccorHotels after Accor acquired FRHI Hotels & Resorts. The hotel is owned by Qatar-based, government-owned Katara Hospitality.

Raffles Hotel Singapore started as a privately owned beach house built in the early 1830s. It first became Emerson's Hotel when Dr. Charles Emerson leased the building in 1878. Upon his death in 1883, the hotel closed, and the Raffles Institution stepped in to use the building as a boarding house until Dr. Emerson's lease expired in September 1887. Almost immediately after the first lease expired, the Sarkies Brothers leased the property from Syed Mohamed Alsagoff, its owner, with the intention of turning it into a high-end hotel. A few months later, on 1 December 1887, the ten-room Raffles Hotel opened. Its proximity to the beach and its reputation for high standards in services and accommodations made the hotel popular with wealthy clientele. Within the hotel's first decade, three new buildings were added on to the original beach house. First, a pair of two-story wings were completed in 1890, each containing 22 guest suites. Soon afterward, the Sarkies Brothers leased a neighboring building at No. 3 Beach Road, renovated it, and in 1894, the Palm Court Wing was completed. The new additions brought the hotel's total guest rooms to 75.

A few years later, a new main building was constructed on the site of the original beach house. Designed by architect Regent Alfred John Bidwell of Swan and Maclaren, it was completed in 1899. The new main building offered numerous state-of-the-art (for the time) features, including powered ceiling fans and electric lights. In fact, the Raffles Hotel was the first hotel in the region to have electric lights. The hotel continued to expand over the years with the addition of wings, a veranda, a ballroom, a bar and billiards room, as well as other buildings and rooms. In 1902, a tiger that had escaped from a nearby circus was shot in a storage place under the Bar & Billiards room, which was originally constructed at an elevation. The Great Depression spelled trouble for Raffles Hotel and, in 1931, the Sarkies Brothers declared bankruptcy. In 1933, the financial troubles were resolved, and a public company called Raffles Hotel Ltd. was established, taking over from the Sarkies.

Raffles History

Raffles has begun writing a new chapter as an extensive restoration, sensitive to the heritage buildings’ striking façades and features, breathes new life into the storied hotel. Immerse yourself in its one-of-a-kind ambience. Savour the carefully restored splendour and enhanced comforts. Experience Raffles’ legendary service as you enjoy newly opened bars, restaurants and boutiques. Explore graceful courtyards and relax in cosy social spaces.

No stay in the Lion City would be complete without a visit to this iconic hotel. Shortly following its opening in 1887, Raffles was seen as a beacon and haven for world travellers, arriving from all shores to experience its exquisite combination of grandeur and charm. Staying here became a rite of passage among adventurers, with “See you at Raffles” their signature parting shot.
Today, the hotel continues to embody regal elegance and Old World appeal. In a city where modern buildings compete to touch the sky, this beautifully preserved colonial-style treasure – declared a National Monument in 1987– takes pride of place in the vibrant civic and business district.

Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, the hotel has welcomed countless legendary names throughout its history. Writers, movie stars, dignitaries, journalists… They all found inspiration and conviviality here. Among the many luminaries were Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Taylor, Somerset Maugham, Ava Gardner and Noel Coward. At a time when global travel was a luxury available to only a select few, the stories these personalities shared – both facts and fables – contributed to Raffles’ renown. Thanks to them and myriad other guests over the decades, the Long Bar’s Singapore Sling gained international fame, along with exciting tales – such as the one involving a tiger in the Bar & Billiard Room. Intricately woven into the hotel are lush tropical gardens. Occupying more than a quarter of the entire estate, they provide soothing contrast to the urban hustle and bustle. It is not uncommon to hear the delightful melodies of singing birds beyond the verandahs and the rustle of palm leaves in the breeze. You are in an oasis of exquisite tranquillity. Welcome to Raffles Singapore.

10 Surprising Facts About Raffles Singapore
The famous Raffles facade

The history of Raffles has been subject to a procession of literary work, and even a cartoon or two, that attempt to capture the venue’s beauty.

However, there’s a lot more than meets the eye to this luxurious hotel. Here are 10 facts you might not know about Raffles:
  • It’s about to get a face lift - In a bid to retain the historical beauty of the hotel, Raffles will be undergoing a careful restoration program that will be conducted in three phases.
  • Speaking of facelifts - The last restoration began in 1989 and took two and a half years to complete. It cost (SGD) 160 million ($116 million) and was conducted by a South Korean construction firm, Ssangyong Engineering and Construction.
  • Raffles entices many a guest...including tigers - History buffs may have heard of the time a tiger came to tea in the luxurious Bar & Billiard Room at Raffles.
  • It wasn’t the last tiger to be seen at Raffles, though - A live tiger was photographed on top of a Raffles billiard table as part of the hotel’s centennial celebrations.
  • One of the first guests - Was, according to the hotel, author Joseph Conrad, who was a seaman at the time.
  • Much like any historical beauty, it has a song made in its honor - Composers and chansonniers have often looked to beauty for inspiration for their next tune. Therefore, it was only a matter of time that the pearly white halls of Raffles would also be epitomized in song.
  • The origins of the Singapore Sling, to this day, remains under contention - The official story is as follows: Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created the Million Dollar Cocktail and Singapore Sling at the now famous Long Bar.
  • It was the back drop to the ultimate age of innocence film - Pretty Polly, Guy Green’s rendition of the short story, Pretty Polly Barlow by Noël Coward, was shot at Raffles.
  • Rudyard Kipling had a thing or two to say about it - Raffles was immortalized in the work of nobel prize winner, Rudyard Kipling. In his 1889 book, From Sea To Sea, Kipling describes the hotel as “a place called Raffles Hotel, where the food is excellent and the rooms are bad.”
  • They mean it when they say it is a national treasure - Raffles Hotel was given the honor of being designated as a national monument by the Singapore Government in 1987,


In its heyday in the late 1800s to early 1900s, Raffles Hotel was a high society nexus of the British and the well-heeled. But today, after being closed for more than two years for a major restoration, everyone is invited to schmooze, linger and savour a slice of Singapore's living heritage. From the get-go, you will feel as if you have stepped out of your taxi into a time warp: granite gravel instead of asphalt is retained at the driveway to the lobby entrance to hark back to the days when horse-drawn carriages formed the main mode of transportation.

When you look up at the imposing facade, you are overwhelmed by a sense of history that seems to come alive before your very eyes. All the pomp and pageantry of this British outpost was a guiding rubric in the architecture of this more than 132-year-old building, which was leased in 1887 by a group of Armenian brothers called the Sarkies. Your first point of contact with all things luxe and escapist is when the towering, turbaned Narajan Singh opens the door of your Comfort taxi. "Welcome to the Raffles, Madam," he intones in a deep baritone. He has been with the hotel since early 1992 and is today its brand ambassador.

Only Sikhs with a mandatory height requirement of 1.9m have been employed as Raffles doormen since the establishment of the hotel and so ubiquitous is Mr Singh's image that it is even to be found in the Raffles Boutique, emblazoned on souvenir plushies, keychains and umbrellas. When you think about how Mr Singh has greeted, with the same benevolence, the likes of royalty such as Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, you feel nothing short of special. His thick beard, piercing eyes and military-inspired uniform with epaulettes and full regalia set the tone for your dalliance with Singapore history. Apart from majestic ficus trees with burgeoning girths that could have been growing here even before 1887, when the building was re-imagined as a grand hotel, and myriad palm trees and flowering shrubs of every tropical stripe, you will also see the grand dame's distinctively British architectural features such as its pilasters, Corinthian capitals and fluted columns in the cavernous lobby space and throughout the building's palisades.

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel is a Singapore landmark located at No.1 Beach Road. Established in 1887, the award-winning colonial-era hotel with a rich history is well known for its period architecture and decor, luxurious accommodation and fine cuisine. The hotel is particularly known for its popular Tiffin Room buffet2 and for the Singapore Sling cocktail created in 1915. Raffles Hotel was first gazetted as a natioal monument in 1987 and again in 1995. Raffles Hotel began as Beach House, a private home built in the 1830s by Robert Scott. In 1878, Charles Emmerson leased the building and opened Emmerson’s Hotel. After his sudden death in 1883, the hotel closed.4 On 1 January 1884, it reopened as Hotel Des Indes, owned by a “W. F. Van Erp”. Later on, Raffles Boarding School took up tenancy until its expiry in September 1887.

The Armenian Sarkies brothers Martin, Tigran, Aviet and Arshak (who joined later), already established hoteliers at the time, then leased the building from its owner, the wealthy Arab merchant Syed Mohamed Alsagoff, and announced their intention to turn it into a hotel offering fine accommodation and cuisine. On 1 December 1887, Raffles Hotel commenced operations as a 10-room hotel. While the facilities in its early years were still under development, its prime seafront location near town made it very popular with European residents and travellers. Under the Sarkies brothers, Raffles Hotel grew as a commercial enterprise and became known as a first-class establishment that attracted guests of stature. Tigran Sarkies, in particular, was closely involved in the hotel’s development. He established the popular Raffles Tiffin Rooms at Commercial Square (today’s Raffles Place) and undertook major building projects, adding three buildings to the original Beach House in the hotel’s first decade. A pair of two-storey wings containing 22 new suites was completed in 1890, followed by a new Billiard Room located at the junction of Beach Road and Bras Basah Road. In 1892, the brothers leased the site at No. 3 Beach Road and built the Palm Court Wing, which was completed in 1894.

The main building of the hotel was designed by Regent Alfred John Bidwell of the architecture firm Swan & Maclaren and built on the site of the original Beach House. Completed in 1899, it was considered a state-of-the-art building at the time. It was designed with tropical architectural features such as high ceilings and extensive verandahs, and also included modern conveniences like powered ceiling fans and electric lights. The Dining Room, which featured pillars and a white Carrara marble floor, could seat up to 500 people.15 In 1904, the Bras Basah Wing was added16 and the ballroom opened in 1920. The Grill Room, which joined the main dining room, was opened in 1923. Unfortunately, with the onset of the Great Depression, the Sarkies brothers accumulated debts of $3.5 million and by 1931 were declared bankrupt. However, the hotel survived and was incorporated in 1933 as Raffles Hotel Limited.

Raffles Singapore celebrates 100 years of the Singapore Sling
Singapore Sling 100 years and still going strong

A century is a long time by any standards, which makes the Singapore Sling’s enduring popularity — first concocted at the Long Bar in Raffles Singapore in 1915 — that much more impressive.

Widely regarded as the national drink of the country, it was the brainchild of bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. Primarily a gin-based cocktail, the Singapore Sling also contains pineapple juice as the main ingredient, along with grenadine, lime juice and Dom Benedictine. Giving it the pretty pink hue are cherry brandy and Cointreau, which Ngiam deliberately chose.

The reason was less apparent. Following the turn of the century in colonial Singapore, Raffles Singapore was the gathering place for the community and Long Bar was the watering hole. Unfortunately for the ladies, etiquette dictated they could not consume alcohol in public, and for the sake of public modesty, fruit juices and teas were their preferred beverage. This didn’t stop the drink from gaining international acclaim, and a century later it is enjoyed across the globe, from New York to London, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai. So it’s no surprise that Raffles Singapore is celebrating the Singapore Sling Centennial Anniversary with a series of promotions and educational initiatives starting in June.