Blog Posts by Chiu Peace

  • Singapore International School popular among Asian celebs, Hong Kongers

    In recent years, many Asian celebrities have relocated to Singapore, citing its lack of paparazzi culture and social stability.

    For some of these stars who are also parents, Singapore’s world-class education system was also an important factor in making the move.

    For example, Chinese action star Jet Li, who is also a Singapore citizen, has once said that he moved here for his children to get a good bilingual education with equal emphasis on English and Chinese.

    While Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung, who relocated to Singapore last year, has sent her two sons to an international school in Singapore, she also sang praises of the country’s education system.

    Rumour has it that Hong Kong actor Francis Ng, who has a Singaporean wife, also intends to send his son to a local school in Singapore.

    But not all celebrities are able to relocate to Singapore for their children’s education.

    So to get the best of both worlds, a number of Asian celebrities based in Hong Kong have opted to send their

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  • Ukraine crisis a reminder small countries must defend themselves: PM Lee

    The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is a reminder that small countries must defend themselves and cannot rely solely on international treaties or the promises of others, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his first comments on the escalating crisis.
     
    That’s why Singapore must always maintain a strong Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team, as well as a capable Foreign Affairs Ministry to strengthen the country's ties with friends and allies, he added in his Facebook post on Thursday.
     
    “Only then can Singapore be safe and secure,” the Singaporean leader said.
     
    "Ukraine is bigger than Singapore, but much smaller than its neighbour, Russia. For the last few months, the country has been in turmoil. Two weeks ago, President Yanukovich fled, and his pro-Russian government collapsed. Russian troops then intervened in the Crimea, a part of Ukraine that used to belong to Russia, and where Russia still has a naval base," he wrote.

    PM Lee also warned that if war breaks out in Ukraine, the global economy

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  • Little India riot COI: Driver did not switch on monitor for CCTVs

    The driver of the bus that ran over an Indian foreign worker and triggered a riot in Little India has revealed that he did not switch on the monitor linked to the CCTVs on the night of the accident.

    Speaking on the second day of a Committee of Inquiry (COI) hearing into December's Little India riot, Lee Kim Huat, 55, said he typically did not turn on the monitor as it would create a glare.

    Instead, he relies on the mirrors on the bus.

    Lee, who has been driving workers to and from Little India on Sundays for the past 12 years, was taking the stand for the first time on Thursday.

    A translator was engaged as the driver testified in Hokkien. Despite that, the witness often appeared to be confused and required questions to be repeated several times during the hearing.

    Lee also told the committee that he did not see the deceased, Sakthivel Kumaravelu, 33, during the time the bus was making a turn.

    Lee said that after Sakthivel, who was drunk, was told to get off the bus by the bus’ timekeeper,

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  • Little India riot COI: Videos show accident victim’s final moments, start of riot

    A public hearing into what happened during Singapore’s first riot in more than 40 years began at the Subordinate Courts on Wednesday morning.

    The riot, involving over 300 people, took place in Little India on the night of 8 December 2013.

    So far, a four-man Committee of Inquiry (COI), chaired by former Supreme Court judge G. Pannir Selvam, has heard and seen video evidence that the Indian worker whose death sparked off the riot, Sakthivelu Kumaravelu, was not "manhandled or thrust off" a bus he was on. This was theorised by some foreign media, said senior state counsel David Khoo in his opening statement.

    He also revealed details on how the riot unfolded.

    Khoo said that shortly before the bus was due to depart Little India, a worker informed the bus’ timekeeper, Wong Geck Woon, that 33-year-old Sakthivelu appeared to be drunk and that he had pulled down his bermudas.

    A pathologist and toxicologist later revealed during the hearing that they found the presence of 217mg/100ml of ethanol

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  • Guide is to support Section 377A, it’s not against people: Singapore pastor Lawrence Khong

    A guide to promote support for the retention of a law which criminalises sex between men is not against “people who practise alternative sex”, said the chairman of the network of Christian churches backing the move.

    Lawrence Khong, who is the senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) and chairman of LoveSingapore Network, said that the guide was created to help the church give feedback in a civil manner.

    “We are not against people. Not even people who practise alternative sex. We are against any attempt to take down a good moral law of the land which our government upholds and which the silent majority wants to keep,” said Khong in a statement issued on Tuesday in response to queries from Yahoo Singapore.

    The guide, which has been making its rounds on social media, gives readers specific instructions on how to express support for the Section 377A of Singapore's Penal Code. For instance, it provides examples of how to write to a minister or the government feedback unit REACH.

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  • MDA orders removal of cannabis website in Singapore

    The Media Development Authority (MDA) has asked the owners of a local cannabis awareness website to remove its contents in their entirety by Wednesday.

    According to a Facebook page linked to the website, the group’s mission is to “raise awareness of the productive uses of cannabis” and other soft drugs in Singapore, where possession or consumption of cannabis is illegal.

    It also aims to “educate the public on responsible drug use and to advocate for a recalibration of drug policy and a legal framework in which cannabis and other soft drugs have suppliers, distributors and consumers licensed, regulated and taxed for production, consumption and sale”.

    In a statement released on Tuesday, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said it “had assessed the Singapore Cannabis Awareness website to be objectionable”.

    It added that MDA has “directed the site owners to remove the website contents in their entirety by 19 February 2014”.

    The bureau noted the website contained material that “promotes or tends

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  • Train disruptions will happen from time to time: Lui Tuck Yew

    As Singapore’s rail network further expands and ages and as it runs more and more train trips, “service disruptions will happen from time to time”, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew in Parliament on Monday.

    Responding to questions from Members of Parliament following a spate of train disruptions last month, the transport minister, however, acknowledged that transport operator SMRT “could have done much better in service recovery”, particularly in providing timely information to commuters.

    He said as part of its investigations, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will highlight gaps in SMRT's communication with affected commuters and work closely with transport operators to share learning experiences and improve incident management.

    Lui noted SMRT’s management has already committed to review its contingency plans on a station-by-station basis and refine its command and control structure in times of disruption to better support ground staff.

    He added that joint teams that LTA has set up

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  • Singapore church publishes pro-377A guide

    [UPDATED 10:31pm 18 February 2014. Adds in the seventh paragraph the clarification of pastor Lawrence Khong about the guide. His full statement can be read here.]

    "I am young and single. I am writing because I shudder at the way society is going today."

    "I have homosexual friends. I do not discriminate against them. I care about them. But I do not support their alternative lifestyles.

    "I wish to register my point of view that gay and lesbian behaviour is unnatural. Same sex marriage is wrong. It must not become the norm in Singapore."

    These excerpts are just some of the ways readers of a guide on how to support Section 377A of Singapore's Penal Code are taught to write to a minister or the government feedback unit REACH.

    A leaked copy of the guide, which is believed to be written by senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) Lawrence Khong, has been circulating online.

    The contact email addresses provided in the guide are to persons working in LoveSingapore, a movement chaired by

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  • Fire at Kent Ridge Hall in NUS put out

    A fire took place Friday at the Kent Ridge Campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

    The fire occurred in a dumpster at Kent Ridge Hall and was put out by 1:30pm. No one was injured, said an NUS spokesperson.

    The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they received a call about the incident at 12:55pm.

    The SCDF has declared the affected area to be safe and regular activities have since resumed.

    “The safety of students and staff remains our top priority. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation,” said the NUS spokesperson.



    Related stories:
    Fire at Toh Guan carpark put out
    Vehicle hits pillar at Changi Airport T2, part of transit hall temporarily closed
    Smuggling of contraband surges in Singapore

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  • A day in the life of a bird matchmaker

    On Valentine’s Day, many people will be hoping to spend time with a soulmate.

    And Richelle Tamayo Avila is someone who can make love happen for lonely souls – just that we’re not talking about humans here, but birds.

    Avila, who is from the Philippines and in her thirties, works for the Breeding and Research Centre (BRC) at the Jurong Bird Park as a bird matchmaker.

    Finding the right match

    In an interview with Yahoo Singapore, Avila said her job scope includes pairing compatible birds up and breeding them.

    There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to selecting birds for breeding, such as the birds’ age, blood lines and body condition, Avila said.

    “You cannot pair two old birds as the fertily rate will be low,” she said.

    Their age gap also shouldn’t be too large, said Avila, adding it shouldn't be anything more than 20 years.

    She also has to check whether the birds are related to each other as they want to prevent inbreeding.

    In terms of their body condition, they should be physically

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