One of the biggest and most talked about corruption trials in recent years, the City Harvest Church trial has attracted lots of drama and attention.
In late June 2012, state prosecutors charged City Harvest Church's (CHC) senior pastor and founder Kong Hee, 48, as well as five other church leaders -- pastor Tan Ye Peng, who also serves as vice-chairman of the church board, its chairman Lam Leng Hung, executive members Sharon Tan Shao Yuen, former church member Chew Eng Han and ex-finance manager Serina Wee Gek Yin — with varying degrees of involvement in a scheme to siphon off S$24 million from the church's building fund to finance the singing career of Kong's wife Ho Yeow Sun, better known as Sun Ho.
In addition, more than S$26.6 million in church monies was allegedly misappropriated to cover up the original diversion.
While it's Sun Ho's music career -- complete with superstar friends and a fittingly glamourous lifestyle -- that the group sought to promote and upkeep, the heavily
Blog Posts by Jeanette Tan
- Jeanette Tan | Year in Review – 3 minutes 13 seconds ago
One of the biggest and most talked about corruption trials in recent years, the City Harvest Church trial has attracted lots of drama and attention.Read More »from Year in Review 2013: Serina Wee steals limelight in City Harvest trial
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo Newsroom – Fri, Dec 6, 2013
Two brothers on Friday were charged in Singapore's courts for separate cyber crimes, one involving the defacement of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) website and the other for hacking into a local actor's email and social media accounts.Read More »from Two brothers charged separately for hacking PMO website, local star’s accounts
Mohammad Azhar Bin Tahir, 27, was slapped with 10 charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act — the first for running a script on the PMO site's search function on 7 November at about 4pm.
He was also accused of two counts of hacking into and changing the password of a wireless Internet network belonging to one Nadia Binte Ali Khan on 5 and 7 November, also changing its password sometime that month, according to court documents.
In relation to "Ah Boys To Men" star Ridhwan Azman's email and social media accounts, Mohammad Azhar was allegedly responsible for changing passwords on the former's Facebook fan page, as well as his Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, YouTube and Instagram accounts on 5 and 7 November.
His younger brother, Mohammad Asyiq
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo Newsroom – Tue, Dec 3, 2013
In the first 10 months of this year, 378 Singapore residents were reported to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).Read More »from 'Every night I go to sleep and pray God will take me away peacefully': HIV sufferer
This figure, according to the Ministry of Health, is likely to be consistent with the number reported from 2012 — 469 cases. This was the highest of a steady but gradual growth in the number of people reported to be diagnosed with HIV between 2007 and last year, with a fall in 2010.
In response to these figures, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor has said that a key challenge continues to be in the early detection of HIV, encouraging at-risk individuals to go for regular HIV testing. Action for Aids has recently made it easier by bringing anonymous, mobile testing to certain nightspots in Singapore.
She also stressed in a blog post on World AIDS day that Singapore must actively destigmatise HIV in the public space, debunk myths and misconceptions about it, and reduce discrimination against people living with HIV — something HIV-positive persons
Over the five weekdays of the last week of November (25th to 30th), I took on the $5 challenge.
Friends, colleagues and loved ones taunted me when I announced my decision to do this, with most saying, "Yeah, of course it'll be easy for you -- you've got free food at the office!" or "It's of course possible when you can claim cab rides from work!"
They've got a point. As a Yahoo, life is pretty good. Breakfast and lunch are free, as are snacks and drinks.
For the $5 challenge, however, I was determined not to "cheat" by indulging in the free food at the office -- after all, our friends who live on $5 for food and transport may not necessarily work at offices with pantries that are as well-stocked as mine.
And it helped that I was on afternoon shift last week -- starting at 3pm meant I would go without both breakfast and lunch at the office, and I wouldn't be tempted to indulge in any of the free food, snacks or drinks available. Since I was not starting earlier in the morning, it also meantRead More »from Lessons from taking the $5 Challenge
- Jeanette Tan | Year in Review – Fri, Nov 29, 2013
In end-May, Singapore's media development authority (MDA) introduced a new licensing framework for news sites here. It raised the ire of Singaporeans online and ignited concern among Internet giants operating here. It also triggered a full-scale online movement against it and an organised protest.
The framework requires a list of 10 news sites — except for one under Yahoo Singapore, all were from the country's two main media organisations Singapore Press Holdings and MediaCorp — to apply for an individual licence.Read More »from Year In Review 2013: MDA licensing framework for online news sites triggers mass opposition
Under the scheme, online news sites will need to obtain individual licences if they report at least once a week on Singapore’s news and current affairs over a period of two months, and are visited by at least 50,000 unique IP addresses from Singapore each month. They must then put up a performance bond of $50,000 and comply within 24 hours with should the regulator order a take down of objectionable content.
Many found the terms of the new framework broad, leaving a lot of
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo Newsroom – Thu, Nov 28, 2013
Singapore's government plans to ban remote gambling, said Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran on Thursday.Read More »from Singapore set to block online gambling sites
Speaking at a symposium on casino regulation and crime, the minister in the Prime Minister's office said remote gambling, which basically is any form of gambling that takes place over the Internet or communication device, has been gaining popularity in Singapore, alongside its associated risks.
In extending its laws on gambling that are currently in place, the government plans to block access to gambling websites, prevent payments to remote gambling operators and outlaw advertisements promoting remote gambling. Iswaran said.
"While such measures may not be foolproof, they will impede access to remote gambling platforms and send a clear signal of the regulatory stance in Singapore," he pointed out.
In the National Council for Problem Gambling's 2011 survey of gambling participation among the country's general population, just one per cent of respondents said they gambled
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo Newsroom – Thu, Nov 28, 2013
Swiss restaurant La Fondue on Dempsey Road is one of a third round of local companies that had their knuckles rapped by the Ministry of Manpower for discriminatory job advertisements, bringing the total number of censured firms this year up to 27.Read More »from Swiss restaurant La Fondue among 15 firms censured for discriminatory job ads
According to the ministry, an employee of La Fondue had advertised for a chef's position, writing in the ad's headline "High salary for Filipino chefs only", and noting a requirement for either employment pass, permanent residency or dependent pass holders.
"We are currently an all-Filipino team at the service and kitchen department," the employee wrote in an ad posted on local classifieds site Gumtree.
In a written apology published on the restaurant's Facebook page, La Fondue CEO Ravinder Pal said the ad was posted "without the management's knowledge and indeed approval", and that its official job ads posted on its website and job portals like JobsDB are "a far cry" from the way the offending ads were written.
"This person did not have any
- Jeanette Tan | Year in Review – Wed, Nov 27, 2013
The voters of Singapore's largest single member constituency, Punggol East, dealt the ruling People's Action Party a heavy blow at its by-election held on 27 January this year.Read More »from Year in Review 2013: Workers' Party's Lee Li Lian takes Punggol East
The PAP's colorectal surgeon candidate Koh Poh Koon was rejected in favour of the Workers' Party's Lee Li Lian, a sales trainer. She sailed into Parliament with a clear 10 per cent vote margin over Koh, who garnered just over 43 per cent of the valid vote.
In what many viewed as a historically-significant poll, all eyes were on the usually-quiet Punggol East. There the concerns of young families were mainly lack of amenities and childcare, and the issue of stalled improvement works at a market had become a point of national interest.
This after former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer, their previous elected MP, resigned from the PAP and Parliament after revelations of an affair with a grassroots director.
Analysts called the by-election defeat a "devastating loss" for the PAP, while WP chief Low Thia Khiang
- Jeanette Tan | Year in Review – Wed, Nov 27, 2013
The unveiling of a government Population White paper that mapped out its preparation for Singapore's population growth to 6.9 million (of which citizens would only form 55 per cent) by 2030 sent shockwaves across the country. It sparked a major protest involving 4,000 people at Hong Lim Park in February.Read More »from Year in Review 2013: Population White Paper triggers nationwide debate
"The people want a referendum. The people want their rights back. They don’t want to give the government a free passport," said one of the attendees of the protest. This would unfold into two further outings later in the year, which faced significantly smaller turn-outs.
The paper detailed plans the government was making to prepare itself for a significantly larger population size, in terms of housing, transport and other infrastructure. Coming in the midst of the year-long National Conversation, in which citizens’ views were sought on national issues, the timing of the White Paper turned out to be a major public relations gaffe.
It triggered a passionate and lively week-long debate in
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo Newsroom – Sun, Nov 24, 2013
Opposition politician Nicole Seah opened up on Saturday, revealing for the first time on Facebook that she suffered a meltdown over a series of events that unfolded this year in her life.Read More »from Nicole Seah reveals depression, meltdown and how she 'felt like a fraud'
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Seah, now 27, wrote a lengthy status on her personal Facebook page recounting her experience in the time since the 2011 general election — a time where she says she was "derailed" from her larger purpose, taking on opportunities with being elected in 2016 in mind.
"Needless to say, when you start thinking about your life in 5 year blocks, you start to get equally myopic about the way you do things," she wrote, adding she was getting exhausted by her daily routine of work, house visits and walkabouts.
She referred to a "terrible, irreversible mistake" she made during the presidential election two years ago as well, but did not mention it in specifics, only saying she "completely underestimated what (her) lobbying could do". She had thrown her weight behind