• Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    In his latest “Big Idea”, Singapore’s Thinking Asian Kishore Mahbubani suggested three narratives that we should tell ourselves to “strengthen the Singapore spirit”. By perpetuating narratives of Singapore’s economic success, racial harmony and social equality (or “caring”), Mahbubani believes that we will come together to squeeze out a Singaporean spirit that will be the envy of the world.

    The piece is stunningly superficial, glossing over a host of issues without acknowledging even the possibility of different experiences. His claim that immigrants to America have shed “deep national identities” in favour of being American seems bafflingly out-of-touch. Anyone who has followed the case of George Zimmerman and his shooting of black

    Read More »from COMMENT: Why Singaporeans don't need to be told another 'success' story
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    COE quota jumps to 12,060 for May to July of this year

    There will be 12,060 Certificate of Entitlements (COEs) available between May and July of this year, according to the Land Transport Authority on Friday. (Getty Images)There will be 12,060 Certificate of Entitlements (COEs) available between May and July of this year, according to the Land Transport Authority on Friday. (Getty Images)

    There will be 12,060 Certificate of Entitlements (COEs) available between May and July of this year, according to the Land Transport Authority on Friday.

    This is a big leap of 32 per cent from the COE quota for the previous three months (February to April), which was 9,127. Bidding under the new quota will start with the first bidding exercise next month.

    COE quotas across all categories, except for motorcycles, have increased by at least 37 per cent.
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/coe-quota-jumps-to-12-060-for-may-to-july-of-this-year-061256701.html

    Google Glass available in US as of April 15

    Google will make its controversial Internet-linked Glass eyewear available for purchase for a limited time in the United States beginning April 15. (AFP Photo)Google will make its controversial Internet-linked Glass eyewear available for purchase for a limited time in the United States beginning April 15. (AFP Photo)

    Google will make its controversial Internet-linked Glass eyewear available for purchase for a limited time in the United States beginning April 15.

    Anyone in the United States with about S$1,900 to spend on Glass will be able to join the ranks of "explorers" who have been testing out

    Read More »from Friday #sgroundup: COE quota jumps to 12,060 for May to July 2014
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    Kidnappers demand S$14m for Chinese tourist: Malaysia

    Kidnappers based in the southern Philippines have demanded S$14.04 million in ransom for a Chinese tourist abducted from a Malaysian dive resort, a senior minister said Thursday. (AP Photo)Kidnappers based in the southern Philippines have demanded S$14.04 million in ransom for a Chinese tourist abducted from a Malaysian dive resort, a senior minister said Thursday. (AP Photo)

    Kidnappers based in the southern Philippines have demanded S$14.04 million in ransom for a Chinese tourist abducted from a Malaysian dive resort, a senior minister said Thursday.

    Malaysian Home Minister Zahid Hamidi told AFP the family of Gao Huayun, who was kidnapped by gunmen on 2 April along with a Filipino resort worker, are negotiating with her abductors through an intermediary.
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/kidnappers-demand-11-mln-chinese-tourist-malaysia-080005115.html

    Indonesia opposition party leads in early results

    An unconvincing election win by Indonesia's main opposition party means it will likely have to seek allies to nominate its candidate for a July presidential vote, increasing the prospect of political uncertainty in Southeast Asia's biggest economy. (Reuters photo)An unconvincing election win by Indonesia's main opposition party means it will likely have to seek allies to nominate its candidate for a July presidential vote, increasing the prospect of political uncertainty in Southeast Asia's biggest economy. (Reuters photo)

    An unconvincing election win by Indonesia's main opposition party means it will likely have to seek allies to nominate its candidate for a July presidential vote, increasing the prospect of political uncertainty in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

    Investor disquiet at the likelihood of lengthy jockeying and a much tougher race to the presidency for

    Read More »from Thursday #sgroundup: Kidnappers demand S$14M for Chinese tourist: Malaysia
  • SingTel’s marketing video promoting an overseas remittance service for money transfers to the Philippines has been slammed after local news and lifestyle site Mothership.sg posted it on Wednesday.

    The video titled “The Bare Facts of SingTel mRemit” has garnered over 16,000 views since being posted on the telco’s YouTube channel on 25 March, with many viewers slamming it for its poor quality since being shared by the news site.

    The video showed two topless salesmen, with bodies covered in body paint, pitching the mobile service to a Filipino woman. Many viewers were particularly bothered by a close-up shot of a chest seen in the video at the 58-second mark. The zoomed in shot illustrated how the service was available to users for 24 hours.

    “This is so B-grade. Talents are so fake, script is cheesy. What’s with the focus on the guy’s nipple at 0:58?” said Ben Koh.

    “Wonder which advertising company handles this…How can the idea even pass the pitching stage?” said Michael Ambious Tan.

    Read More »from SingTel’s ‘mRemit’ marketing video slammed, telco aware of comments
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    One dead in five-vehicle accident in Ang Mo Kio

    An accident involving five vehicles in Ang Mo Kio on Wednesday morning has claimed one life. (Google Street View screengrab)An accident involving five vehicles in Ang Mo Kio on Wednesday morning has claimed one life. (Google Street View screengrab)

    An accident involving five vehicles in Ang Mo Kio on Wednesday morning has claimed one life.

    Yahoo Singapore understands that an Indian man in his 20s was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Two cars, a lorry, a minibus and a motorbike were involved in the accident.
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/one-dead-in-five-vehicle-accident-in-ang-mo-kio-060104472.html

    COE prices end mixed in first April 2014 exercise

    COE prices end mixed in first April 2014 exercise. (Getty Images file photo)COE prices end mixed in first April 2014 exercise. (Getty Images file photo)

    Prices of Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) rose in three categories in the bidding exercise ended Wednesday, with motorcycle prices hitting a new record high yet again.

    Despite promises of a larger supply of COEs to be made available from next month, the price for motorcycle COEs hit a new record high of $4,489, up from $4,289 from the previous exercise concluded in end-March.

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/coe-prices-end-mixed-in-first-april-2014-exercise-095944032.html

    Fire put out at

    Read More »from Wednesday #sgroundup: One dead in five-vehicle accident in Ang Mo Kio
  • Flat foot is very common in Asians with estimates suggesting that it affects approximately 1 in 5 individuals. (Thinkstock photo)Flat foot is very common in Asians with estimates suggesting that it affects approximately 1 in 5 individuals. (Thinkstock photo

    “Do I have flat feet?” is a common question asked by patients I see at SGH.

    You’ve probably come across or heard about the terms “flat feet” or “pes planus” (to apply the correct medical terminology). These terms are often used by patients, shop assistants and health care professionals, but what do they mean?

    Typically, in a non “flat-footed” individual, the arch of the foot is usually raised off the ground when the person is standing. If the foot arch is low or nonexistent, the person is said to have “flat feet” or sometimes, “fallen arches”.

    Pes planus tends to be a very common condition in the Asian population with estimates suggesting that it occurs in around 1 in 5 individuals.

    How do I know I have flat feet?

    Flat feet can only be truly identified while the individual is standing or walking. When someone with flat feet stands or walks, their inner foot or arch flattens. In addition the foot may roll over to the inner side (this is known as excessive subtalar pronation).

    Read More »from 1 in 5 Asians has flat feet issues
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    11 foreign workers charged with rioting at Choa Chu Kang construction site

    In the second case to occur here in two weeks, 11 workers were charged on Tuesday with rioting, this time at a construction site in Choa Chu Kang. (Getty Images)In the second case to occur here in two weeks, 11 workers were charged on Tuesday with rioting, this time at a construction site in Choa Chu Kang. (Getty Images)

    In the second case to occur here in two weeks, 11 workers were charged on Tuesday with rioting, this time at a construction site in Choa Chu Kang.

    According to local media, the workers – four Chinese and seven Bangladeshi nationals – are alleged to have been involved in a fight on Sunday afternoon at the construction site for Rainforest Condominium off Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3.

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/11-foreign-workers-charged-with-rioting-at-choa-chu-kang-construction-site-101115452.html
    MOM releases list of Singapore public holidays for 2015, shows bounty of long weekends

    MOM releases list of Singapore public holidays for 2015, shows bounty of long weekends (AP Photo)MOM releases list of Singapore public holidays for 2015, shows bounty of long weekends (AP Photo)

    There will be 7 three-day weekends next year. That’s based on the list of 11 public holidays for 2015 released by the Ministry of Manpower on Tuesday.

    Next year, the Chinese New Year public holidays will fall on 19 and 20 February, which is a Thursday and Friday, respectively.

    Read More »from Tuesday #sgroundup: 11 foreign workers charged with rioting at Choa Chu Kang construction site
  • Singapore writer Felix Cheong and his new book Singapore Siu Dai: The SG Conversation in a Cup.

    Singapore writer Felix Cheong wants to know where and why the country has lost its soul.

    He said, “We have become this glamour city, full of chrome and glass, tall iconic buildings, but no soul.”

    Cheong, author of short stories collection “Vanishing Point”, takes on this issue in his new book, along with hot-button topics like transport, education and economic growth.

    Called “Singapore Siu Dai”, which translates to “less sugar” in Hokkien, it is a collection of 50 short stories that satirize life in Singapore.

    Having previously written poetry collections and fiction novels, this is Cheong’s ninth book and his first foray into humorous fiction.

    The 49-year-old writer feels strongly about the political themes he tackles in his book. Civil servants are satirized in the book, depicted as characters who form the government’s elite but who do not see people as people.

    He said, “We have been in this same status quo for far too long. After 50 years, I think it’s time something changes.”

    He

    Read More »from Singapore writer laments that Singapore has lost its soul


  • [UPDATE 9 April 2014, 5:40pm. Added statement from Singapore Tourism Board]

    The Singapore Tourism Board acknowledged that a promotional video that has drawn flak online for low production quality and a cheesy storyline "could have been done better".

    In a statement, Oliver Chong, STB executive director for communications and industry marketing, said the video was produced for the Philippines by Philippine network ABS-CBN "in an effort to customise content for this audience".

    They said that when the video had been shared on STB's Facebook page for the Philippines, it attracted over 3,400 likes in the first week and garnered some 900 comments, largely positive.

    Chong said that it often shared its marketing videos on its YouTube channel. He said that the video was subsequently removed  "as it was not resonating well with audiences".

    Chong added, "In the meantime, we have found some of the responses and spoofs that have been shared online to be creative and clever."

    "Nevertheless, we thank

    Read More »from Singapore Tourism Board video taken down after it draws ridicule
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    Singapore Medical Council suspends surgeon Dr Woffles Wu for four months

    Singapore plastic surgeon Dr Woffles Wu has been suspended from practice for four months. (Getty Images)
    Singapore plastic surgeon Dr Woffles Wu has been suspended from practice for four months, according to a statement released by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) on Monday.

    The SMC, which regulates the professional conduct and ethics of medical practitioners here, imposed the suspension penalty after Wu was found guilty in 2012 for getting an employee to take the rap for him for two speeding tickets.

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-medical-council-suspends-surgeon-dr-woffles-wu-for-four-months-072632348.html


    COMMENT: MDA registration — censorship or making legitimate?

    Singapore news site Mothership.sg is the latest news site asked to register for a broadcasting license by the MDA. (Facebook photo)
    The Media Development Authority (MDA) did what any other governing body would do: tick the checklist and invite the Mothership team to register under the same class license that The Independent Singapore did and Breakfast Network did not.

    After a trying year in which skeptics

    Read More »from Monday #sgroundup: Singapore Medical Council suspends surgeon Dr Woffles Wu for four months

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