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    By Getty Goh

    In early Feb 2013, iProperty.com came out with a Consumer Sentiment Survey. In the survey, one of the questions asked was whether the Singapore government should take more active steps to cool the property market. Out of the 2,000 plus respondents, about 67% felt that the government should do more in the year ahead (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Should the government take more active steps to cool Singapore’s property market in 2013

    Figure A

    Source: iProperty.com

    Since 2007, there were more than seven rounds of direct and indirect measures to control the property market. Even the Singapore Budget 2013 saw the government introduce yet another measure to douse interest in the property market by raising property tax to as much as 20% for properties that have high assessed value (AV). It is interesting to note that even after so many rounds of measures, the URA Property Price Index (URA PPPI) is still at an all time high and many feel that more could be done. Naturally this begs

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  • The parody has garnered over 40,000 views since it was first uploaded. (Youtube screengrab)

    A creepy but wonderfully creative parody of Derrick Hoh’s “Forever” is going viral online.

    The 4-minute story-within-a-music video entitled “Dead Girl Seeks Meaningful Relationships” is based on the dance-pop debut number by the Mandopop star, who shot to fame in the talent competition Project Superstar.

    Last month, his first English single “Forever” climbed onto the Singapore iTunes chart for five consecutive days. And now this wildly popular parody, which has already been viewed 40,000 times since it was first uploaded last week, is sure to revive the hit song.

    The creepy spoof echoes his lyrics of eternal love but puts a wicked twist to the idea of “till death do us part”. It begins with a morbid suicide crime scene where a ghost-like lady dressed in white lies lifeless next to a river.

    The tale soon unravels into a comical chase for eternal love where the coroner at the crime scene falls in love with the dead body while the misunderstood dead girl looks for companionship

    Read More »from Creepy spoof of local singer’s hit song goes viral
  • Ray Pang's short film 'Closer to Me' will be playing on the Cannes screen in May. (Youtube screengrab)

    Singaporean Ray Pang’s short film “Closer to Me” has been selected to be part of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2013 in May.

    The local film – which was also shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award and Jury Award for the Louis Vuitton Journey Award – is about the fragility of life and was inspired by Pang’s cancer-stricken friend. It will be screened under the Short Film Corner category to an audience of potential film distributors.

    Pang, who’s been a filmmaker for six years, told Yahoo! Singapore that being part of the festival is nothing short of surreal.

    “It’s a dream for a filmmaker to be at Cannes. I didn’t expect it to get selected,” said the 28-year-old Pang, who hopes the nomination will help open doors as he hopes to “rub shoulders with big names in the industry”.

    A second entry from Singapore to be featured on the Cannes screen this year is from 34-year-old Christina Choo who teaches at Glasgow School of Art - Singapore Institute of Technology.

    She wrote and directed

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  • You can get a healthy meal at food centres. (Yahoo! photo)acYou can get a healthy meal at food centres. (Yahoo! photo)ac

    Without a doubt, the healthiest people tend to prepare their own foods at home. You have total control over ingredient quality, and you get to make sure that food is clean, and no unwanted preservatives or hidden flavorings are added.

    Also, you can make sure that you use good forms of oils in your cooking. Butter, coconut oil and olive oil (on cold salads only) are great choices. Re-used vegetable oils are very damaging.

    This is what we encourage most of our clients at Genesis Gym to do for the best results.

    However, I do understand that in fast paced Singapore food preparation time may not always be available. Also, landlords (or kitchen controlling moms) may not want us messing up their cooking spaces, further limiting our choices.

    So, what do I suggest that our clients and anyone interested in health eat? What can they find at one of the usual food courts in a shopping mall or a heartland centers?

    Here are my top four suggestions.

    As you read through them, remember that there are

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  • Can diet soda help you lose weight? (Thinkstock photo)Can diet soda help you lose weight? (Thinkstock photo)

    Is late night eating a surefire way to gain weight? Is diet soda really useful for weight loss? Can drinking water, bathing or walking after a meal impair your digestion?

    Dr Shanker Pasupathy, Senior Consultant and Director of the LIFE Centre, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) answers these and other food- and mealtime-related questions, debunking popular nutrition myths and presenting the facts.

    Myth 1: Diet soda can help you lose weight

    Fact: Drinking diet sodas have fewer calories, but they can’t help you lose weight if you are otherwise overeating on high calorie foods, and not burning the excess calories through exercise. There is also some evidence that having artificial sweeteners can promote a preference for sweet-tasting foods.

    Related article: Artificial sweeteners – What you need to know

    Myth 2: Snacking causes weight gain

    Fact: Having snacks in between meals may help you avoid the urge to overeat or binge later. The benefit is in eating healthy snacks, not unhealthy ones.

    Read More »from Will eating supper make you fat?
  • While everyone was harping on the high Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices, another spanner was thrown into the works with the recent announcements regarding cars.

    First, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has restricted financing for motor vehicles. Buying a car now requires a down payment of 40 to 50 per cent of the car purchase price in cash, including relevant taxes and the COE. In addition, the tenure of the loan has been changed to five years instead of 10. These revisions apply to both new and used cars, but not to motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

    During the budget speech, it was also announced that there will now be a tiered tax rate for passenger cars. Instead of all cars paying the same main vehicle tax (or known as additional registration fee or ARF) at a flat rate of 100 per cent of the car’s open market value (OMV), more A tire For example, a Mercedes-Benz E250 which has an OMV of above $50,000 will need to pay 180 per cent of incremental OMV.

    These cooling

    Read More »from Cars in Singapore to become a greater luxury
  • Many parents in Singapore sign up their kids for tuition classes. (Getty Images)Many parents in Singapore sign up their kids for tuition classes. (Getty Images)

    If you’re a parent who has school-going children, I’m sure you’ve thought about sending them for tuition classes. Maybe you already do.

    Through my work in empowering students to find meaning and motivation in their academics, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with thousands of students and parents.

    “I don’t want to send my child for tuition classes, but I still do!”

    Interestingly, many parents tell me that they send their children for tuition classes, even though they would really prefer not to!

    So why do these parents end up enrolling their children in tuition classes anyway?

    One word: fear.

    Deadly fears that parents have

    Fear that their children will lose out.

    Fear that their children will fall behind.

    Fear that they aren’t doing the best they can as parents.

    Fear that they’ll be labeled as “lousy parents”.

    It’s easy to succumb to these fears, especially given how common it is for students to attend tuition classes.

    Are tuition classes robbing children of their childhood?

    At the

    Read More »from Is it a terrible mistake to send your children for tuition classes?
  • No special talent or previous experience in art making is required for art therapy to be effective (Thinkstock photo)No special talent or previous experience in art making is required for art therapy to be effective (Thinkstock photo)

    Eating disorders are illnesses originating from a combination of issues such as long-standing behavioural and emotional struggles, physical concerns, interpersonal relationship issues and social factors.

    There are different types of eating disorders. Besides anorexia and bulimia, there are also variants of the illness such as binge eating disorder. People struggling with eating disorders often use food as a coping strategy to deal with difficulties. Behaviours can include restricting food intake, strict dieting, binge eating and purging. These behaviours are physically harmful and can damage emotional well-being and reduce self-esteem even further.

    In treating eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, a multi-disciplinary team can enhance the chances of recovery. Treatments include a careful combination of medical treatment, nutrition management, psychotherapy, art therapy, family-based therapy, as well as physical and occupational therapy.

    Related article: What are eating

    Read More »from How art therapy can help those with eating disorders
  • Should you exercise less?

    People under stress may want to consider cutting down on exercise. (AFP photo)People under stress may want to consider cutting down on exercise. (AFP photo)

    While lack of exercise is a big problem for most people, there are times when my team and I have to make the decision to "dial down" the amount of exercise a person should be doing for various reasons. While this might sound a bit "weird" coming from a person who believes in the multiple benefits of physical activity, here are some situations where cutting down on exercise can give you more benefits in the bigger picture.

    1. When you are under a heavy stress burden

    High levels of chronic stress are quite a problem in Singapore. Sometimes we see a client who is under a high stress load for a period of time e.g. lots of international travel, high exposure to pollutants/toxins, family/emotional/relational crisis, chronic illness, or a combination of factors like these.

    In this case we actually want to cut down on the amount of training he or she is given.

    Exercise is an additional stress on the body. Even though it is usually a good stress or "eustress" as the Greeks put it, under this

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  • Uber offers an alternative to taking the taxi. (Photo provided byUber)

    A new kind of private driver service was officially launched in Singapore Thursday, offering commuters an alternative form of transport.

    Called an on-demand limousine service, Uber is basically an application which will provide luxury transportation for you at your convenience.

    All you need to do is download the Uber app, register, key in your location and the nearest driver will be dispatched to you with an estimated arrival time. It functions similar to a taxi booking service, but the difference is that the cars used are of premium brands such as Mercedes-Benz, hence putting it a class above the regular taxis.

    At the end of your ride, the fare is charged to your credit card on file, and you receive a detailed receipt in-app and via email.

    Unlike a car sharing or car rental company, Uber does not own a fleet of cars. They work with limousine companies and the cars come complete with professional drivers dressed in suits and ties.

    At the moment, you won't be able to choose the type of

    Read More »from App opens up new private car service in Singapore

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