THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Archive for May, 2012

Traffic Police defends foreign drivers: Only 0.1 per cent of them contributed to traffic accident

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

Despite calls from the public to impose more stringent criteria on foreigners holding foreign driving lessons before they can drive in Singapore, the Singapore Traffic Police insists that there is no need to review the present system as the ‘majority’ of foreigners are safe drivers.

The Traffic Police reiterated that foreign drivers only need to convert their licences by passing the basic theory test if they stay in Singapore beyond 12 months.

As of end 2011, out of 369 637 foreign drivers with converted licences, “only” 0.1 per cent of them contributed to traffic accidents.

Speaking to queries from the media, Commanding Officer of the Traffic Police Patrolling Unit Choy Chan Hoe said:

“The feedback that we have been getting is that the public will like to Traffic Police to step up enforcement, to be tough on the errant drivers. I must emphasise that Traffic Police has not let up on the enforcement effort, we are still maintaining a very tough stance against irresponsible drivers, especially those who commit serious moving violations, because all these accidents can potential cause fatal injury.”

He added that under an international treaty signed by Singapore, Singaporeans are accorded the same ‘privileges’ in other countries as well – that they need only pass a theory test to convert their Singapore driving licence.

 

Posted in News | 31 Comments »

General Practitioner Dr Ho Thong Chew charged with illegal sale of cough mixture

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

A General Practitioner from Focus Medical Group in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 Dr Ho Thong Chew has been charged today for illegally selling cough mixture containing an addictive drug codeine.

Dr Ho allegedly sold 846 canisters of the codeine-laced cough syrup to three patients without a wholesale dealer’s licence over five months from January 2011.

Three of his patients were charged together with him. They are Yap Beng Keong, 37; Ng Yong Yi, 30; and Ng Jin Jie, 28 who were alleged to have sold the cough mixture which they bought from Dr Ho.

Dr Ho faced 35 charges under the Medicines Act, for which he can be jailed up to two years and fined a maximum of S$5,000.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

PRC Communist Party officials arrested for rape and prostitution of young girls

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

Two PRC Communist Party officials have been arrested for the rape and prostitution of girls as young as 13 years old in two separate cases which sparked a massive outcry in China.

The first case took place in the city of Yongkang in eastern China’s Zhejiang province and involved a deputy of the People’s Congress of Yongkang by the name of Hu.

Hu allegedly ran a child prostitution ring which forced more than 20 junior middle school students from three schools to provide sexual services to local men.

Junior middle school students in China are typically between 13 and 15 years old. The suspects will be charged with the crime of child prostitution under Chinese law if any of the victims are under the age of 14.

In a separate case, Li Xingong, the party’s former deputy head of Yongcheng city in Henan province, was arrested on Friday for having allegedly raped numerous young girls.

The official Xinhua news agency has reported the number to be more than 10, while some other Chinese media said there were at least 40 victims and perhaps as many as 100.

According to the Chinese media, Li used social media to groom victims and order others to lure and threaten young girls at local schools for sex.

Most of the rapes allegedly took place in an unlicensed black Chevrolet. SMS evidence allegedly revealed that Li only wanted girls who were virgins, while computer files showed there were at least 40 victims.

 

Posted in World | 8 Comments »

Relatives of Lexus driver Kelvin Seah scolds media for kicking up a fuss over a ‘trivial accident’

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

Instead of showing remorse for causing a near fatal accident, the driver of the Lexus Kelvin Seah Koon Yong posted the news of the accident on his Facebook and even ‘liked’ it!

Last Saturday morning, a Lexus beat the red light at a Bugis junction between Rochor Road and Victoria Street ramming into the rear of Sonata taxi.

The 30 year old driver Kelvin Seah was charged yesterday for drink-driving and dangerous driving. He was accompanied by his family members who hurled expletives at journalists who tried to interview them.

“Why are you kicking up a big fuss over a trivial accident?” one elderly man reported shouted at them outside the court.

According to court documents, Kelvin Seah came from a rich family and graduated from Curtin University in Australia.

If convicted, he is likely to be jailed and fined.

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Posted in News | Tagged: | 50 Comments »

PHOTO: Bedok resident shocked to see bill of nearly $2,000 for lift upgrading

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

A resident living in Bedok North was shocked to see a bill of nearly $2,000 inclusive of GST to upgrade the lift in his block.

[Source: Hardwarezone forum]

Posted in Photos | 54 Comments »

The rise of the Workers Party spells possible demise for the other smaller parties

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

Despite the odds stacked against them – from the Yaw Shin Leong sex scandal, reports of party disunity and relentless attacks on the integrity of its candidate Png Eng Huat, the Workers Party romped home to a convincing victory in Hougang with 62.09% of the votes.

Though Hougang is considered a impregnable ‘fortress’ of the Workers Party which has held the ward for over twenty years, many had expected a vote swing to the PAP in view of the circumstances under which the by-election was called following the sacking of ex-MP Yaw Shin Leong over alleged personal indiscretions.

The Workers Party seems unprepared during the election campaign either with numerous mis-steps which could prove fatal to other parties. Even WP Chairman Sylvia Lim admitted that the party did not expect to win more than 60 percent of the votes.

The margin of victory for WP boils down to two key factors – its brand name and the prevailing sentiments on the ground that Singapore needs more opposition voices in parliament to check on the government which are likely to propel the WP to further electoral gains in the next election regardless of the candidates they field.

The Workers Party is likely to continue growing for the following reasons:

1. For the last twenty years, the opposition was kept weak and divided with only two MPs in parliament – former Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong and Hougang MP Low Thia Kiang. With Mr Chiam entering the twilight of his political career and his party not running any constituency, Mr Low naturally becomes the de facto opposition leader and the nexus of support for all opposition supporters.

2. With six MPs and two NCMPs in Parliament, the Workers Party is now the largest opposition party in Singapore with the increased media exposure likely to attract more supporters and potential candidates into its ranks.

3. The Workers Party’s slogan of ‘Towards a First World Parliament’ resonates deeply with Singaporeans despite an underwhelming performance in parliament and so long its MPs continue to portray themselves as a ‘constructive’ force to check on the ruling party, it will continue to draw support from Singaporeans even if they are ineffective.

4. Unlike other parties, the Workers Party have years of experience in running Hougang and doing well in Aljunied will inspire confidence and trust in Singaporeans.

5. The Workers Party have a mix of experienced politicians like Low Thia Kiang and Sylvia Lim as well as young leaders such as Gerald Giam and Pritam Singh to take the party forward into the future. No other opposition parties boast of so many talented and credible individuals within its ranks like WP.

Given the limited resources and support available from the public, Singaporeans are likely to throw their support behind the Workers Party which has a base to build on, rather than other smaller parties which have little chance of winning against the PAP.

The statistics in the last General Election speaks for themselves: The Workers Party scores 47% against the PAP’s 53% in straight contests overall. Even its worst-faring GRC team managed to garner 42% of the votes which was higher than most other parties.

In a three-corner fight in Sengkang West SMC during the 2011 General Election, the Workers Party candidate Lee Lilian managed to obtain 43% of the votes causing another opposition candidate Desmond Lim to lose his deposit.

The result of the contest is clear: The Workers Party is the ‘number one’ choice for opposition supporters who will unite behind it rather than split the votes with a weaker opposition party.

As the Workers Party continues to grow and attract better candidates into its ranks, it will be able to field more candidates in future elections making the prospects of multi-cornered fights inevitable and with its strong branding, the candidates from the smaller parties will risk losing their election deposits like Desmond Lim.

With the Singapore People’s Party in disarray, the National Solidarity Party having the same centrist position as the Workers Party and the Singapore Democratic Party still in a process of rebuilding and rebranding itself, it is hard to see how they will be able to compete with the Workers Party for the same pool of voters.

The Workers Party is likely to make further inroads in 2016 by winning Joo Chiat and East Coast GRC which it narrowly lost in 2011 while the other parties are unlikely to win any seats, thereby paving the way for a two-party system to emerge in Singapore.

Unless the Workers Party self-implode and suffer a split like the PAP in the 1962, it is hard to see how the PAP is going to stop it from winning more seats in the next General Election.

As for the other parties, they should seriously consider merging with the Workers Party like what the Barisan Sosialist did in 1988 to stand a better chance of winning a seat in elections or risk remaining on the fringes of Singapore politics forever.

Posted in Commentary, Opinion | 31 Comments »

Young Singaporeans urged to step forward to ‘contribute’ to society

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

Singapore youth should take a step forward to play a proactive role in contributing to society, said Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Halimah Yacob.

Speaking during a convention for student leaders on Wednesday morning, Madam Halimah said student leaders should lead by example and help pave the way for their peers to bring about ‘change’ in their schools and communities, one avenue being the Community Involvement Project (CIP), which allows students to help welfare institutions and spearhead community projects.

“The CIP, in my view, is a useful programme, but how you operationalise it in your schools is important. Provided you approach it with the right attitude, and also, with the right motivation, and you understand the purpose. It’s not just a question of chalking up the required points, but it has an underlying objective,” said Madam Halimah.

She reiterated that volunteer work is important for students to get a view of the real world outside:

“In our schools, once you go to university, you can be very divorced, isolated from reality. You must be able to step out of that security, that comfort, to connect with the real world outside. And the best way is for you to volunteer.”

Posted in News | 11 Comments »

Granny regretted aborting her third child due to ‘Stop at 2′ policy in the 1970s

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

I wish to share something told to me firsthand. I am in the service industry and have to serve customers and so today I was just talking to an old lady, who seemed to be in her 70s or 80s, and before long, it became a chat that she was pouring out part of her younger days life story.

We initially talked about how children were very smart nowadays to be able to use all the technological gadget and eventually she asked casually where I stay, to which I replied her and she said that she thought I stay in Hougang, (I am working near Hougang despite staying far away) where there was recently so much excitement over the by-election.

She then said these exact words:

“The opposition party had won, again, no surprise, but I do feel that it is good to have an opposition voice, otherwise to have only a single ruling party will mean that party will be able to do everything and anything it likes”

At this point, she did not mention where she lived or whether if she had voted in that By-Election but if she did, it will be easy to guess which party she actually voted for.

After a short while of praising the winning party, she went on to ask me if I am a Singaporean, to which I replied that I am a pure Singaporean. She said she asked because she thought I looked like a PRC (unfortunately, many have thought so before).

And then she went on to lament that there were so many PRCs and Pinoys working here now and if it was true that it was the sliding birth rate that we had to hire so many foreigners, then there should not have been the “Stop at 2” policy during her time when she was young.

And she followed with these exact words:

“You know everybody was so fearful of the impact of that policy. We were so worried about the future of our 3rd children onwards. In fact, I was with a 3rd child at that time, but because of that “Stop at 2” policy, I was very concerned about my child’s welfare and education and whether if that child would have a good future, that I aborted my 3rd child. I really regretted that decision, and now they say we need to have more children because of our declining birth rate, and even encouraged us by giving us rewards for having more children. And when that did not work, foreigners are hired in, which in turned compete with Singaporeans for jobs. So why have that policy in the first place?”

I could tell from her expression that she was filled with sorrow and pain when she said those words but I just remained silent and listened on as she poured out her woes to me. She eventually started talking about experience through World War 2 but I had to excuse myself halfway as another customer needed my help.

But it did leave me to wonder, did that policy really leave such a fearful impact on our parents and grandparents back then, so strong the message the policy brought across the whole of Singapore that this grandmother told me she actually had to abort her 3rd child?

Did that policy have any role in our current birth rate dropping so drastically that our government is screaming out the necessity and justification to open the floodgates to all those foreigners?

Last but not least, in this recent Hougang By-Election saga, how did my own mother, who used to be a staunch supporter of our ruling party and who had even once scolded my late father for supporting the opposition long time back, suddenly come to be cheering for WP when she saw from TV that they had won?

I leave the readers to ponder over the above and once again, I was just relating the exact conversation I had today with an old lady shopping together with her grandchildren.

DANIEL ONG

Posted in Letters | 50 Comments »

Singaporeans urged to express their love for Singapore during National Day celebrations

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

Singaporeans, old and new citizens are urged to express their ‘love’ for Singapore during this year’s National Day celebrations through road shows, exhibitions and photo competitions.

The country celebrates its 47 year of independence on 9 August.

Singaporeans can take part in activities such as the “LovingSG: One Heart, One Voice” virtual choir project, the LovingSG trails and the “Building A LovingSG” charity initiative.

The project, “LovingSG: One Heart, One Voice” enables Singaporeans to produce a video of themselves singing the national anthem ‘Majulah Singapura’ and upload it on the official NDP website.

 

Posted in News | 28 Comments »

EXPOSED: SMRT PRC bus driver under investigation for hitting Malay motorcyclist along PIE causing his limb to be severed

Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012

The SMRT PRC bus captain who knocked into a motorcyclist when swerving right into another lane is currently under police investigation for speeding and not keeping a lookout for oncoming traffic.

The accident happened on Monday evening at around 5.55pm along the Pan Island Expressway towards Tuas before the Jalan Anak Bukit exit.

According to our informant who claimed to be a friend of the motorcyclist, he is currently twenty one years old and is a full-time National Serviceman.

Contrary to the version of events given by SMRT, the bus was speeding at 100 km/hour along the expressway and switched lanes without giving signals causing the motorcyclist to knock into the bus bumper and severing his leg.

He is still in critical condition in the hospital.

The particulars of the bus captain and the motorcyclist were not published in the press as the state media attempts to cover up another accident involving a PRC driver, barely two months after a PRC driver knocked over an elderly woman crossing the road in Sengkang.

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Posted in News | 84 Comments »

 
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