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    Many Singaporeans may no longer be consuming shark's fin soup nowadays, but large amounts of this expensive and rare product is still making its through our borders.

    In a report released by wildlife trade monitoring group, TRAFFIC, it has been revealed that Singapore is now the second largest trader of shark fin.

    Hong Kong tops the list in terms of revenue, according to findings done in 2012-2013.

    The same report also noted that an in-depth, accurate analysis has not been available due to the lack of transparency in Singapore's trade information regarding shark fin.

    The statistics

    According to the report published together by TRAFFIC as well as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Singapore's trade valued at $50.4 million and $65 million for exports and imports of shark fin respectively.

    It was also found that some of the species traded include the porbeagle (Lamna nasus), the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), the scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), and the great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). 

    These five species of sharks have all been classified under threatened categories on the IUCN Red List.

    The hunting and selling of shark fin has long been a highly controversial topic, with more than 70 million sharks killed worlwide yearly according to TRAFFIC and WWF. 

    The fact that Singapore is a significant trader means that the solution to the global shark crisis lies right here on our shores. 

    Elaine Tan, CEO of WWF-Singapore

    Lack of transparency

    In response to the lack of transparency, the report has urged the Singapore government to implement Harmonised System Codes (HS Codes), which aids in distinguishing different species of sharks, allowing Singapore Customs to monitor the trading of endengered species.

    "Any country that dominates a particular trade has an extra responsibility to ensure it is transparent and traceable," said Ms Kanitha Krishnasamy, senior programme manager for Traffic in Southeast Asia.

    "Key to any effort aimed at enabling legal and sustainable sourcing, and long-term viability of shark populations, is the open availability of product-specific trade data."

    Ms Elaine Tan, the CEO of WWF-Singapore said: "The fact that Singapore is a significant trader means that the solution to the global shark crisis lies right here on our shores."

    One good thing here is "support to reduce the consumption of shark fin has grown as more people and businesses now believe in keeping sharks off our plates and in the oceans," pointed out Ms Tan. 

    nicchew@sph.com.sg

    Monday, May 29, 2017 - 14:55

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    A video showing customers thrashing a porridge restaurant along Upper Serangoon Rd has emerged online.

    In an earlier Stomp article, it was reported that four customers wreaked havoc in Heng Long Teochew Porridge after a dispute over the cost of their meal on May 27 at around 3.30am.

    The customers were upset over their $28 bill, reported Shin Min Daily News, after ordering porridge, pomfret and several side dishes.

    on Facebook

    WATCH: They were unhappy with their final bill, so they flipped their table and wrecked the restaurant. http://str.sg/4uKF

    Posted by The Straits Times on Sunday, 28 May 2017

    They got into a heated argument with staff on duty and started wreaking havoc in the restaurant's interior thereafter.

    A video of the incident posted on The Straits Times' Facebook page shows what happened.

    In the video, the customers can be seen tossing dishes into the ground and flipping a table.

    They then picked up the restaurant's wooden chairs and started smashing the glass surface in the serving area multiple times.

    At one point, a man can be seen throwing a huge pot of porridge onto the floor.

    The police were called in thereafter but the customers left before they arrived.

    No one was hurt during the rampage.

    Police investigations are ongoing.

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 12:34
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    A concerned mother posted a warning about bringing your children to Bishan Park where several anglers go fishing.

    She shared photos of her daughter whose right cheek had been pierced by a fishing hook and needed emergency surgery to have it removed.

    The incident happened on May 28 at around 7.30pm.

    The girl told her mother that before the fishing hook got caught in her cheek, she saw three boys aged between 12 and 13 playing with a fishing rod with a hook, line and sinker at the bridge near the McDonald's in the park.

    She had paused at the bridge to wait for her other family members to catch up when it happened.

    Her parents were understandably shocked and tried to help their daughter by biting off the nylon line.

    After a great struggle and with the assistance of passers-by, they managed to do so before rushing to Mount Alvernia Hospital.

    A doctor at the hospital informed the girl's parents that he was unable to perform the surgery to remove the hook under sedation as the hospital did not have an available operation theatre.

    He added that performing the surgery under local anaesthesia would traumatise their daughter.

    The nurse advised the family to go to KK Women's and Children's Hospital instead.

    In her post, the mother wanted to appeal for any information regarding the three boys to advise them on the dangers of playing with a fishing rod with several people nearby.

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 12:51
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    You see them at dragon boat races and during the Dumpling Festival too - long, sleek water vessels with a painted dragon head helming the front of the boat.

    These dragon boats, which can seat up to 22 people, are ubiquitous to the Chinese culture of dragon boat racing. Today, dragon boat racing is a sport that is taken up by many teams and companies too.

    But who are the ones behind the making of these boats that have become a fixture in our waterways today?

    Meet Uncle Meng, the only dragon boat builder from Singapore, who works at a boat-building company called Seagull. The company, which is under Kim Tuck Huat Boat Builder, builds speedboats, kayaks and also dragon boats.

    Meng has been making dragon boats for more than 30 years. Working from a factory based in Johor, Meng puts his talent at drawing to good use, by breathing life into his dragon boats.

    "I used to be a jack of all trades. Construction, car repairs and what else? I can't remember. I used to do many things. In the end, I came here to make dragon boats and small speed boats.

    "I did quite well in art while schooling and was talented at drawing," laughed Meng.

    Singapore's only dragon boat builder spent 30 years making boats

    He added that he would go through various magazines and photographs to draw inspirations for his colour schemes. Sometimes, he would recreate them. Other times, he would come up with his own.

    Making a dragon boat is not all about drawing and colouring though. Meng will think about the boat's design, how well it can carry people and how much weight it can hold.

    "I have to know all these things. It takes a week to make a dragon boat from scratch. This takes patience, without patience you wouldn't be able to accomplish anything.

    "When people find my dragon boats flawless, that's when I feel the greatest sense of accomplishment. I've made a successful product," said Meng.

    The boats made by Meng will be used for the upcoming DBS Marina Regatta held from 1-4 June at Marina Bay Sands.

    akosasi@sph.com.sg

    on SPH Brightcove

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 21:26

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    https://studio.brightcove.com/products/videocloud/media/videos/5452788873001

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    22 unlicensed food handlers working illegally at the Geylang Serai Bazaar were caught during an inspection today (May 30).

    Stomp contributor Sravan sent Stomp photos showing two men getting handcuffed in front of some stalls at the annual event.

    The inspection was a joint operation between the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the police.

    Said an MOM spokesperson in response to a Stomp query: "Earlier today, a joint operations was conducted by NEA, SPF and MOM."

    Photo: Stomp

    "During the inspection, we found 22 unregistered food handlers who were also working illegally. They were arrested.

    "Investigations are on-going."

    Member of Parliament Zainal Sapari also addressed the incident in a comment posted on a Facebook group in response to a netizen's query.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 09:11

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    Nurses and doctors from Farrer Park Hospital (FPH) have won the praise of netizens after a story was posted on Facebook of how they rescued a driver who had suffered a stroke on May 23.

    Staff Nurse (SN) Steve Mocsoy had noticed the car had hit the railings along the road near the hospital after he ended his shift and saw a lady trying to revive the driver.

    He instinctively knew that the man needed medical assistance and called back to FPH to activate Code Pink.

    According to the hospital, Code Pink is a Standard Operating Protocol to activate hospital personnel to assist in such medical emergencies.

    Within five minutes, emergency staff rushed down to the scene with their equipment.

    "I knew that the SCDF ambulance would take some time to arrive, but the man needed immediate medical attention," said SN Steve.

    "Activating Code Pink would allow the driver to receive immediate medical care as we were just beside FPH, and time is of the essence."

    The post described what happened in quick succession after the Code Pink was activated:

    "Having run several Code Pink exercise a year, everyone worked in seamless co-ordination.

    "ICU Head Nurse Badli checked the patient's status.

    "There was no trauma or bleeding but he was pale and his breathing was unsteady.

    "As Badli started to attend to the patient, he instructed SN Steve to call SCDF.

    "The patient was stuck in the driver's seat as the door on that side was sealed shut against the railing.

    "Gently they lowered the patient's seat to put him in a more comfortable position.

    "'I would have preferred to raise his legs but we did not want to move him as we have yet to determine what injuries he may have sustained.' Badli said.

    "Dr Wong Ju Ming and Dr Clarence Liang were also on the scene, and together with Senior Staff Nurse (SSN) Wong Hui Ling, SN Carla Molina and SN Kwan Xiu Xian, ensured the patient airway was clear, a branula was set and an ECG was hooked up to monitor his heart rate.

    "Dr Wong added, "Our thoughts were solely on stabilizing the driver until the SCDF arrive. As he was foaming and vomiting, we had to ensure that his airway is clear so that he could breathe.""

    "While they were attending to the patient, SCDF had arrived.

    "Seeing that there were medical experts on hand attending to the patient, they focused their attention on extracting the patient from his car.

    "Once the patient was extracted and secured, our team did a handover to ensure all relevant information regarding the incident as well as the treatment process was well documented.

    "Through a courtesy call, we understand that the patient had suffered a stroke while driving.

    "It was fortunate that he was already slowing down at the junction and thus a major collision was avoided.

    "Nevertheless, our thoughts and well wishes are with the gentleman and his family, and may he recover well."

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 10:20

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    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 11:55
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    From Thursday (June 1), users of SingTel, M1 and StarHub lines will see the number '995' displayed on their phones' caller ID should they be called by the SCDF.

    Currently, when SCDF staff try to contact callers after emergency personnel have been dispatched to an incident, the number '995' is not reflected on mobile phones and landlines with caller ID.

    "Some callers may not respond to telephone calls when there is no recognisable number," said the SCDF in a press release. "As the number "995" is distinct to the SCDF, callers would more likely respond to such calls."

    Upon receiving a call from '995', the SCDF advises that members of the public immediately answer the call or return it as soon as possible if they miss it.

    However, international numbers used in Singapore will not receive the caller ID on their phones. The SCDF also emphasised that numbers with the prefix '+995' are not from the SCDF.

    pariel@sph.com.sg

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 18:31
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