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    Police have arrested a 14-year-old suspect who is believed to be involved in a recent case of rash act.

    A video of a youth throwing down an ofo bicycle from an HDB block went viral on Thursday (June 15).

    The police said in a statement that they had received several reports regarding the incident, which took place at Blk 116B Jalan Tenteram.

    Officers from Ang Mo Kio and Tanglin Police Division conducted extensive ground enquiries and the suspect was subsequently arrested on the same day.

    Investigations are currently ongoing.      

    If convicted, the suspect may be punished with an imprisonment term of up to 6 months, fined up to $2,500, or both.

    The police added that they "take a serious view of such dangerous acts that endanger the lives of others and will take swift action against the perpetrators".

    ssandrea@sph.com.sg

    Friday, June 16, 2017 - 10:58
    Revised

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    Remember Priyageetha Dia? The student artist was the one who created the memorable gold foil staircase on the 20th floor of a HDB staircase in Block 103, Jalan Rajah.

    While her work earned praise from netizens, it was called an “unauthorised” deed by the town council.

    It was eventually removed on March 12, but as a reminder of her work, she left a small square of gold foil on the bottom step.

    Dia's small memento at the right side of the bottom step of the staircase.Photo: The Straits Times

    Now, a published book will reveal a glimpse into the creation of the gold foil staircase, the ensuing response by both the public and authorities, and what these reveal about the nature of public art and public space in Singapore.

    Titled A Public Square, 50 limited edition gold-foiled copies of the book will be distributed across different locations in the city by The Substation, Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre founded in 1990 by the late Kuo Pao Kun.

    Photo: Facebook/The Substation

    According to Substation's events page, A Public Square will be the first in a series of six publication launched in conjunction with The Substation's Discipline the City programming for 2017. 

    The book is authored by Adeline Chia, Associate Editor of Art Review Asia, and former writer from ST Life.

    Adeline Chia.Photo: The Straits Times

    These limited edition copies of the book have been wrapped in gold foil by Dia herself, including a sticker of a gold square - a reference to the final reminder of her gold foil staircase.

    Photo: Facebook/The Substation

    In a statement found on the page, they wrote that "It's our hope that the placing of these golden packages in mundane and unassuming locations can serve as a reminder of the possibility of beauty in amplifying everyday life. 

    "Just like the ephemereal gold foil staircase."

    Photo: Facebook/The Substation

    The schedule and locations of the book distribution will be revealed before June 21, 2017. 

    akosasi@sph.com.sg

    Friday, June 16, 2017 - 16:30

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    Many Singaporeans have something to say about the recent public feud involving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang.

    While some netizens have posted words of encouragement and support on PM Lee's Facebook page, there has also been a fair share of detractors. But what is the overall sentiment of Singaporeans in the wake of this family matter that has been made very public recently?

    A computer science and business student has attempted to gauge public response based on the comments left on PM Lee's Facebook post, which mentions that he was 'very disappointed' with his siblings.

    Yi Jiayu, a third-year undergraduate of the Singapore University of Technology and Design-Singapore Management University dual-degree programme, carried out a sentiment analysis on the comments using Python 3 (programming language), Facebook Graph API and Google Cloud Natural Language API.

    The 24-year-old posted the findings, instructions and source code on a blog post on Medium.com.

    After extracting all 781 comments from the Facebook post on Wednesday (June 14), Yi's main project was accomplished using a script from the Google Cloud platform to categorise the comments into "positive", "neutral" or "negative".

    Photo: Screengrab of Yi's blog post

    A total of 530 (67.86%) comments were positive, 109 (13.96%) comments were negative and 142 (18.18%) comments were neutral.

    However, Yi did note that Facebook is "by no means a source of objective views". Comments are most likely to contain a certain degree of bias and there could be moderation too, which further reduces the objectivity of his findings.

    "This blog post should be taken as purely an exercise in using the Facebook Graph API and Google Cloud Natural Language API, and not to draw any conclusions about Singapore’s political situation," wrote Yi.

    Of course, having almost 70% of the comments being positive reveals the presence of strong public support for PM Lee. However, Yi did caution that visitors to a Facebook page may be biased towards that page.

    Do you think the overall positivity in the comments is justified and fair? Let us know in the comments below.

    ongymm@sph.com.sg

    Friday, June 16, 2017 - 11:26
    Others
    Some Singaporeans have expressed their views on social media about the recent saga between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang. But what are most people saying and how can we accurately review the sentiments? Here's one guy who managed to do so.

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    It's not uncommon knowledge that banquets and weddings in Singapore costs a bomb. You'd think with all our issues with ageing populations and a decreasing birthrate, someone would care enough to start lowering prices.

    But nope, apart from the perfect world I've formed in my dreams every night, everything costs money. In fact, did you know some traditions cost money too? Most Chinese couples tend to underestimate the costs involved in a gatecrash.

    Here's the breakdown so you don't need to kan cheong spider when your time comes:

    The Betrothal ("Guo da li")

    The "guo da li" is usually done on an auspicious date between 3 to 30 days before your actual wedding. The groom, together with an elderly relative (usually either just his mom or dad), will bring a host of gifts to the bride's side to symbolise his sincerity towards marrying and providing her a good life.

    Different dialects need different items, but they revolve around a variant of the below:

    • A betrothal basket
    • A pair of dragon candles
    • A pair of phoenix candles
    • Red packet(s) with the bride's price ("ping jin")
    • Double happiness stickers
    • Pairs of 9.9ft. red cloths
    • Seeds of some sort

    If you're thinking DIYing these would be cheaper, you're probably right. Especially with the help of Taobao these days. However, because of the need for guidance on Chinese customs, most couples would usually opt for the shorter route and just purchase them in a set anyway.

    These sets can be purchased at specialised "guo da li" shops in Singapore along the Chinatown stretch. Ranging anywhere between $150 to $250. Besides the above sets, you'll also have to purchase some F&B products, jewellery, and fork out the "bride price".

    The pig, the booze, and the oranges…

    Most betrothal traditions would require some form of pork, alcohol and oranges. For my sister's wedding last year, we had a roasted pig ordered in from a hawker selling roasted meats for $188.

    You can also utilise those saved up bottles of unopened Martell from your overseas trips, or buy some from your nearest FairPrice at $100 per bottle. Oranges no need to say, few dollars only lah.

    The "bride price"

    Of course, the betrothal packages do not include the money that parents of the groom would have to give the bride's side (the bride price/"ping jin").

    These are usually given in variants of the Chinese auspicious number 8 and can be anywhere between $188, $288, $1,888, $8,888… Depending on how rich the groom's side is lah. Or to be harsh, depending on how much the bride is worth (hahahaha, okay I'm totally kidding!).

    Dowry Jewellery

    There's also the 4 or 5-piece gold ("si/wu dian jin") and/or the dragon phoenix bangles that the groom's side will have to buy. And regardless of what both sets of in-laws agree on… that'll be another $5,000 gone. MINIMUM.

    Returning of Gifts ("Hui Li")

    After receiving the betrothal gifts, the bride's parents would usually "show" their acceptance of the marriage and return a portion of the gifts received, together with other additional items.

    Like the betrothal set, you can either buy these extra items individually, or get them in a package at the same shops along Chinatown. The packages I've seen online range anywhere between $60 for a simple set, to $190 for the full package.

    In addition, you'll also need to buy the following:

    • Bottles of orange juice (to replace the alcohol bottles)
    • A watch/wallet/belt for the groom with red packet
    • A duvet/bed sheet set (used to make the bridal bed)
    • New clothing and accessories for the bride

    A quick check online shows we can get a bottle of orange juice for $2.75. So allotting a budget of $8 for this would be more than sufficient.

    $200 would also get you a decent men's wallet on Lazada. Coupled with an $188 angbao, that's $388.

    We're fortunate enough these days to have affordable bedsheets in softer materials; Ikea offers decent queen-size sets at $199 each. It's the same with clothes and accessories, $150 set aside would be more than enough…Just be sure not to get anything black.

    For this, expect the bride or her parents to be set back by a total of $745.

    Bridesmaids & brothers

    When you see couples with so many bridesmaids and brothers, you'd think "Wah! Very shiok hor. So many people help them with their wedding."

    In reality, the more bridesmaids and brothers you have, the more expenses you incur.

    Bridesmaids and brothers are usually appointed in the same numbers since you'd need your wedding party to have some sort of symmetry for photographic purposes. So if the bride wants 6 bridesmaids, 6 brothers should be appointed too.

    The good side to this is that there's no hard rule to how many "sisters" or "brothers" you should have. Even if you have just 2 for each party, it's still sufficient.

    Bridesmaid dresses & brothers' suits

    Usually these bridal parties have allotted dress codes. With Taobao and blogshops and most (yes, most) men having almost identical wardrobes, we can now thank the heavens for cheaper bridal party clothes.

    But even if you were just buying dresses for bridesmaids, they can set you back up to $50 per girl. Depending on the standard of quality you're willing to settle for.

    Angpows for bridal party

    Of course, with all the help you're getting, it's only nice to give them a red packet as a form of appreciation to their contributions.

    These days, couples usually prepare a standard $88-$288 for each person… Unless the bridesmaids manage to get their way during the games section and weasel more "angbao" out of the groom's party.

    Which brings us to the next point…

    The (Hunger) Games

    I like to call it that at least, 'cause the games will "tempt" your tastebuds (hurhur).

    But okay, there's no sure way to give you a digit here. But here's a sample of how much expenses can be incurred during the gatecrashing games.

    Food ingredients for the 4 tastings:

    Photo: Moneysmart

    Factoring in the above plus the amount needed for the props during the additional tekan sessions such as your tutu skirts, bras, fairy wands, card board decorations, etc. It's safe to say the games and tasting sessions will cost you a rough estimate of $100.

    So… How much do I need to prepare?

    If you were to add up the sections that I've presented earlier, it'll amount up to a $6,941 for a basic gatecrash with 2 bridesmaids, and up to $28,361 if you choose to have everything.

    Photo: Moneysmart

    But before your run off in a panic, you should remember that this amount is often shared between both the couple and their in-laws. And the amount is calculated on the assumption that all traditional components are included.

    You can always choose to do away with some of them. Whatever floats your boat.

    Friday, June 16, 2017 - 14:14
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    A dead otter was found in a cage along the Marina Promenade in the Kallang Basin on Wednesday (June 14).

    A Public Utilities Board (PUB) cleaning contractor found the dead animal at about 11.40am that day, according to a statement by the agency on Friday.

    PUB immediately informed the Otter Working Group of its finding. The dead otter has since been handed over to Wildlife Reserves Singapore for a post-mortem.

    Investigations are ongoing.

    Later that same day at about 5.30pm, PUB reservoir staff who were on their patrols caught a man setting up traps in the reservoir along Marina Promenade.

    PUB said it will be taking enforcement action against the man under the Public Utilities (Reservoirs, Catchment Areas and Waterway) Regulations 2006.

    It is an offence to trap any animal or carry out any act that might cause injury to the fauna in any reservoir in Singapore.

    Anyone caught doing so may be fined up to $3,000.

    Members of the public who spot any illegal acts at the reservoirs can call the PUB hotline at 1800-2255-782 and provide necessary details.

    ssandrea@sph.com.sg

    Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:39
    Revised

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    SINGAPORE - Leading mixed martial arts promoter UFC is planning to hold three-four events a year in Asia and is scouring the region for fighters, a senior executive told AFP.

    Las Vegas-based UFC, which made stars of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, is making a concerted bid to establish a presence in the region, starting with an event in Singapore on Saturday.

    UFC will also hold an event in Tokyo in September and is planning a third Asian fight night in November, said Joe Carr, head of international and content.

    But he said unearthing home-grown fighters was "the most important piece of our business".

    "You look around the world, any market we've had tremendous amounts of success is because we've had local talent emerge," Carr said.

    "We've been fortunate that we've been successful in Korea, Japan and some of the North Asian countries, we've been successful there.

    "Our challenge is more in Southeast Asia in finding talent from this market."

    Li Jingliang is the sole Chinese fighter on Saturday's card - compatriot Wang Guan pulled out due to an injury - which is topped by Holly Holm's fight against Bethe Correia of Brazil.

    Carr said it was harder to find top-quality fighters in Southeast Asia, although the Philippines' Rolando Dy is also on the Singapore card.

    "The challenge in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore is that there's not any fighters that can compete at the highest levels of the UFC," he said.

    "But we're actively searching for those guys and when we find promising young prospects, we focus on bringing them to the US and fighter development programme and have them train at the best gyms have them hone their skills.

    "Particularly if we feel we're going to make (Singapore) an annual event, we're gonna be very focused on finding more talent in this region."

    Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 13:22
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    Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 19:21
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    If you have received a message or seen on social media recently that your CPF savings will be transferred to your nominee's Medisave account by default when you die - it's not true.

    Gov.sg, the official online communication platform and repository of the Singapore Government, said "there is absolutely no basis to this rumour" in a post on their website today.

    The message has been making its rounds on WhatsApp, SMS and social media. 

    This is what it looks like.

    Photo: Gov.sg

    Gov.sg explains that "by default, your nominees will receive your CPF savings in cash when you pass away. This is unless you have opted for a different type of CPF nomination."

    Apparently, this rumour is a recycled one that first surfaced in 2012, and was also debunked back then.

    Gov.sg points out a few thing you need to know about your CPF nomination.

    What exactly is a CPF nomination?

    "A CPF nomination provides CPF members with the option to specify who will receive their CPF savings, and how much each nominee should receive, upon their demise.

    "If a CPF nomination is not made, the deceased member's CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee's Office (PTO) for distribution to his or her family members under the Intestate Succession Act, or the Inheritance Certificate (for Muslims)," the post explained.

    Photo: Gov.sg

    Be careful what you read online, folks, and spread it around as true.

    spanaech@sph.com.sg

    Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 21:23

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    SINGAPORE - American MMA fighter Holly Holm broke her three-fight losing streak in Singapore, knocking out Brazilian Bethe Correia with a kick to the head.

    The bantamweight fight was the headliner fight card, Ultimate Fighting Championship's return to Asia after a 19-month absence.

    The pair got off to a slow start with barely any contact in the first two rounds, prompting boos from the Singapore Indoor Stadium crowd.

    Responding to a taunt in Round 3, Holm delivered a head kick that sent Correia crashing to the canvas and finished her opponent off with a punch.

    "I picked the shot I wanted and got the finish... We figured she would get frustrated and that's what opened up the opportunity for the head kick," Holm said.

    Holm ended top star Rhonda Rousey's unbeaten run in 2015 with a similar move, a defeat she never bounced back from.

    Sunday, June 18, 2017 - 17:16
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