Blog Posts by Rahimah Rashith

  • McDonald's apologises for "PSI" print ad

    Fast-food giant McDonald's Singapore apologized on Thursday for its recent "PSI" print advertisement, which took a cheeky bite out of the worsening haze condition in Singapore.

    The “PSI” advertisement, which spelt out "Today's Peak Sauce Index is looking deliciously high", was published in local newspapers on Thursday when Singapore experienced one of its worst days of haze in history.

    The advertisement drew flak from some who thought it was tasteless. Nasser Mohammad posted on McDonalds’s Singapore page saying it was “not funny, McDonald's.”

    Others however, thought Singaporeans need to lighten up. 

    Cheng Chee Siong posted on Facebook prompting Singaporeans to “have sense of humour as well as being positive in spite of the hazy times we are now in.”

    A spokesman for the fast-food chain said that the advertisement was "not intended to trivialise the current haze situation". She added that the “one-time advertisement” was designed and placed when the haze situation was not as severe.

    Given the

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  • Haze in Singapore hits PSI all-time record high of 371

    [UPDATED 20 June, 10pm: 3-hour PSI reading back at 231, within the "very unhealthy" range, at 10pm Thursday, after hitting a new all-time high of 371 at 1pm]

    The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit a new record high of 371 at 1pm on Thursday, again climbing into the "hazardous" range of above 300, according to data from the National Environment Agency (NEA).

    At 9pm Wednesday, the PSI had soared to 290, higher than the previous peak of 226 in 1997, and entering the "very unhealthy" range of 201-300. It was a leap of 100 points from the PSI reading just an hour earlier, making some wonder if the updated reading was a typo on the NEA website.

    "I thought it was actually worse in the day, though -- seems pretty impossible that there would be a hundred-point jump within an hour, coupled with the fact that it isn't that windy in the first place," said systems analyst Frederick Tang, 36.

    "I thought it was a mistake at first," added communications undergraduate Gina Foo, 21, who said she had been Read More »from Haze in Singapore hits PSI all-time record high of 371
  • Former president Nathan urges more Singaporeans to volunteer

    “People need to feel compassion,” says former president of Singapore, SR Nathan.

    “Problems will always be there. You can always throw money but that will not be the solution," he said as he urged more Singaporeans to give of their time and effort as volunteers to help those in need.

    Speaking  at a dialogue for the National Council of Social Service on Thursday at Biopolis, the 89-year-old former head-of-state said those involved in social services -- professionals and volunteers alike-- need to be involved for the right reasons.

    “We are not in this business to get to be known, whether people know us or people do not know us, our mission is to save lives,” said the former president who's had a lifelong passion for social welfare.

    Volunteers should not be driven by recognition but instead have the genuine willingness to help, he explained. 

    “Faith in what we do is very important. Sometimes you feel hopeless, you feel no hope at all,” he says. “In the things that we do, we carry our

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  • What do Singapore women really want?

    You heard before, you’ll probably hear it again -- women are complicated.

    A recent regional survey conducted by Singapore-based dating agency, Lunch Actually revealed that character and confidence are the factors that instantly attract women to men.

    “In fact, there has been no change of this instant appeal of character and confidence in the past four years”, said Violet Lim, chief executive of Lunch Actually, at a media conference on Thursday.

    A total of 1,900 people in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia were asked a series of dating questions in the biennial survey. Of those questioned, 788 were in Singapore. 

    Men in Singapore were brutally honest. For 28 per cent of them, a pretty face first attracts their attention, mostly. Being gentle and non-aggressive was appealing to 17 per cent of men surveyed.

    For women, however, character and confidence was their instant magnet at 27 per cent, though other survey questions reveal that some men may be struck off the list if they don’t meet other

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  • Keep Singapore a land of opportunity, inclusiveness: PM Lee in May Day message

    Singapore must continue to create opportunities even when the increasingly mature economy faces slower growth, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Tuesday night.

    “Our economy is maturing, and we are reducing the inflow of foreign workers. But we must continue to create opportunities for ourselves, develop new capabilities and improve the lives of Singaporeans,” Lee said in his May Day message.

    The economy, he noted, is entering a new phase and not expanding rapidly as before. Singapore posted economic growth of 1.3 per cent last year and this year government expects growth to range between 1 per cent and 3 per cent this year.

    Lee cited measures that have been put in place to help make the economic transition more smooth, one of which is the $5.3 billion Transition Support Package to help businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), raise productivity and rely less on foreign workers.

    The improved Wage Credit Scheme will help businesses manage rising wage costs in a

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  • S'pore war memorial vandal suspect arrested by police

    A 32-year-old Singaporean man believed to have been behind the vandalism of the Cenotaph war memorial at the Esplanade Park earlier this week has been arrested, according to police.

    The suspect was nabbed by Central Police Division officers in a Handy Road building on Saturday morning, reported The Straits Times. He will be charged in court for vandalism and may be fined up to $2,000 or jailed up to 3 years, as well as received between 3 to 8 strokes of cane.

    The war monument was discovered to be sprayed with graffiti on Wednesday morning by a member of public. The vandal had defaced the war memorial by spraying the word "Democracy" and an "X" across the base of the monument. It has since been cleaned up.

    Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong called the defacement of the monument "unacceptable".

    The Cenotaph was erected in 1920 in memory of fallen soldiers during World War I. A dedication to those who died in World War II was added later and in 2010 it was gazetted

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  • Cosmetic brand tests positive for prohibited ingredients: HSA

    A health alert has been issued to the public after a woman developed rashes on her face and neck from using illegal cosmetics.

    Toxic ingredients have been found in three cosmetic products carried by the brand “Tabita”, according to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a statement released on Thursday.

    Specifically, they are Tabita Skincare Smooth Lotion, Tabita Skincare Daily Cream and Tabita Skincare Nightly Cream. The products are not sold in retail stores in Singapore but can be bought over the Internet from overseas.

    They contain potent undeclared ingredients, namely hydroquinone, tretinoin, salicyclic acid and mercury, said HSA.  Hydroquinone and tretinoin are potent ingredients which are prohibited for use in skincare cosmetic products. The use of mercury is banned in cosmetic products as it can lead to skin numbness where as high high levels of salicylic acid could lead to dry, irritated and red skin.

    Members of the public are advised to stop using and throw these items away.

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  • Foreigners not allowed to participate in Labour Day protest?

    The organiser of the next week's Labour Day protests says foreign nationals may be barred from the event due to a technicality.

    Gilbert Goh of said on Tuesday at a press conference at Bras Basah Complex that he has not applied for a police permit to hold the follow-up protest to the "No to 6.9 million" mass protest held earlier this year.

    The move comes after a request by the National Parks Board (NParks) for Goh to apply for a police permit that would allow the participation of foreigners in the protest.

    Under the terms and conditions for use of the Speakers’ Corner, a police permit "must be obtained if permanent residents of Singapore are speaking or organising a demonstration, performance or exhibition, and/or if foreigners are speaking or participating in or organising activities at Speakers’ Corner.

    Out of fear his protest slot may be revoked altogether if he does apply for the police permit, he said he decided against applying for it.

     “I have done 6 protests,

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  • SingTel completes nationwide LTE coverage

    SingTel announced on Tuesday that it has completed nationwide LTE (Long Term Evolution) coverage to support the high speed 4G mobile network.

    In a statement to media, it said it had spent S$150 million to provide nationwide 4G coverage. LTE is the next evolution of mobile networks which is expected to offer higher speeds and lower latencies. Commonly referred as the fourth generation (4G) mobile network, the LTE network delivers theoretical download speeds of up to 75Mbps.

    SingTel subscribers can now access nationwide street-level coverage of about 95 per cent. This includes indoor coverage in over 550 buildings, including shopping malls, hotels and other commercial properties but does not yet cover national parks, reservoirs and MRT tunnels.

    Singtel's 3G network has also been upgraded from 21Mbps to 42Mbps. The telco added that it is the first to offer dual-band street-level coverage nationwide in Singapore. This dual-band capability doubles the data-handling capacity of the network, andRead More »from SingTel completes nationwide LTE coverage
  • Sex-for-grades trial adjourned after law professor suffers panic attack

    [UPDATED 4.07pm 22 April: The counsel representing Tey Tsun Hang confirmed Monday his trial will be adjourned to 6 May or until his forensic psychiatrist's report is out, whichever comes sooner.]

    The hearing for National University of Singapore (NUS) law professor Tey Tsun Hang’s sex-for-grades corruption case was postponed on Thursday after his ability to stand on trial came into question.

    Psychiatrists have diagnosed Tey with an "acute hyperventilation episode" and referred him to the Institute of Mental Health for a forensic psychiatric evaluation, which will establish if Tey can continue to stand trial, according to local media.

    Tey, 41, broke down on Wednesday during a cross-examination by the prosecution. While being assisted out of the Subordinate Courts, he was seen crying and breathing heavily.

    Tey was subsequently treated at the National University Hospital (NUH) where he went through an exhausting series of medical and physical examinations. The tests were carried out through

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