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    The coach driver who allegedly left a group of Singaporean travellers stranded at the Second Link, and drove off with their possessions, has been suspended.

    News of the incident was first reported in an earlier Stomp article, after one of the travellers, Stomp contributor Shajahan, alerted us to it.

    According to Shajahan, he was part of the tour group which had boarded the bus with licence plate number JQV6633 operated by KKKL Travels & Tours from Kuala Lumpur at 5.15pm on Jun 26.

    When the group reached the Johor checkpoint at 12.15am on Jun 27, they alighted to pass through immigration, leaving their luggage on the bus.

    However, when the group came out, the bus had left -- along with their possessions.

    Shajahan, who is estimated to have lost around S$3,000 to S$3,500 worth of personal belongings, subsequently made police reports.

    A spokesman for KKKL told Stomp yesterday (Jul 3) that the company was conducting an internal investigation and reaching out to customers to resolve the issue.

    In response to a Stomp query, KKKL's lawyer Michael Wong told us today:

    "The company is completing its internal investigations and the bus driver has been suspended.

    "The company will meet up with the affected parties today (Jul 4) to sort out the issues.

    "My client also deny all allegations that KKKL has been unresponsive in the follow up to the case.

    "KKKL will work with the affected passengers to find the best solution."

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 10:43

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    CEO of local bar Stickies, Mr Norman Then, has opened up about the online furore surrounding the infamous one-star review from an upset customer -- and his response to her that went even more viral.

    Background info: Unhappy about being "chased away" by staff even before Stickies' closing time at midnight, customer Fawn Chia had taken to Facebook to voice her displeasure in a negative review.

    The incident blew up further when Stickies and Mr Norman Then replied Ms Chia, calling her "a special breed of b****" and suggesting that she "check into the pet clinic nearby" instead.

    Stomp reached out to Norman for his perspective regarding the saga and to find out the motivation behind his online behaviour.

    Emphasising that his staff are very precious to him, Norman also said that the purpose of him speaking up is to "create awareness" and "not to bring the customer down".

    In addition, we received a CCTV footage showing Ms Chia engaged in an argument with Stickies' bouncer.

    She can also be seen backhanding a stack of Uno Stacko tiles off the table (which she subsequently admitted to and apologised for), though the view from the camera is slightly obscured by Ms Chia's head.

    You can watch the video at the end of the article.

    Stomp has produced the interview in its entirety here to maintain the essence of Norman's story.

    1. How long have you been the CEO of Stickies? Are you its founder?

    I am the owner together with two of my very close friends. We started this company slightly more than two years ago and we established that I would be the CEO of the company sometime late last year.

    2. When you first saw Fawn's review, how did you feel?

    I was quite obviously furious. I started out as a waiter in this line and I've been in the industry for more than 10 years. I sympathised with how they would feel having to deal with this kind of customers.

    It's just that when I was only a waiter, I had no power to educate the customers on how they should behave when it comes to operation procedures, but now I can and I did.

    3. Do you regret how you reacted?

    I regret nothing in this life. I've made mistakes, we all have, but we learn from them. That's what's most important.

    4. How do you think you should have responded instead?

    If given the opportunity again, I would probably react similarly, just with a lot more tact. I stand by my decision to support my staff, and I won't back down on it. Perhaps in the future, I would craft my words a lot better.

    5. What made you send Fawn a PM besides the public response?

    Pure rage I guess. On hindsight, it probably wasn't the wisest move.

    6. How have your friends and customers been reacting to the incident?

    My friends have shown support and given me advice on the situation to which I am very grateful for.

    The customers whom I've spent years building the relationships with still stick with me, pun intended, they've shown tremendous support which is extremely encouraging.

    7. Did you get any angry messages from strangers?

    Yes. I've received many strange messages from people I don't know at all. Also, a lot of people have been 'flaming' me online, which I find strange considering that they are doing exactly what they are criticising me for.

    Also, there has been quite a few people starting 'fake accounts' just to hurl insults at me, which I find even more perplexing because during this entire saga, I used my name and my profile, so I wonder why they'd do such things.

    I'm not complaining though, if you can dish it out, you can take it right? So that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm taking it.

    I would like to ask the same people to not attack my family members or friends. That is highly unnecessary.

    8. If you could, would you apologise or do you stand by your actions?

    I would like to apologise to anyone who has been affected inadvertently because of this saga. The quarrel was not with anyone else so they really don't deserve any kind of abuse.

    I stand by my actions and I accept whatever it is may come. I won't apologise for believing in my staff and for standing up for their rights and to give them a voice.

    I won't apologise for being passionate for this industry, this industry which I've spent more than 10 years in.

    People don't understand that some of us actually stay in this industry because the passion for serving others, the satisfaction of seeing the smiling faces of my customers when I interact or serve them, the years we've put in to hone this particular skill of entertaining customers while providing good service.

    It's a constant struggle and the job has enough difficulties of its own. However, all it takes is to have just one person like Ms. Fawn to behave the way she behaved, and to treat the staff the way she did, it can easily ruin anyone's day.

    I've seen the industry lose a lot of very talented service staff because of customers such as these. I've seen hardworking, passionate service people getting fired because they handled difficult customers wrongly and them not getting the support from their bosses and eventually losing their jobs.

    I feel like it's time to put an end to all this, people have to learn to respect the service staff. As much as the industry should strive to improve service standards, the people should also improve on their etiquette when dealing with the staff as well.

    I know I am probably one of the first to do this and to publicly defend my staff in this fashion, but perhaps this would give voice to other owners and management people in this industry to stand up for their staff and what they believe in.

    9. Has anything like this happened before? What made this time so different?

    Customers have been rude before. And we have banned people from the bar just as we have with Ms. Fawn.

    We really mean what we say when we don't want her kind here. I'd rather lose a customer like her than to create an unpleasant experience for my more regular patrons.

    This time was different because she chose to take the incident on social media. We felt the need to respond.

    It's also because she was being particularly rude and condescending to my staff that day. She slapped a tower of UNO Stacko tiles on the table and it fell to the ground. Her friend tried to pick it up for her, to which she responded, 'Don't do it for them, it's their job'.

    She was then very condescending to my security staff and even challenged him to 'drag her out'. He politely ask her to leave so there needn't be an incident, and then she kept asking him if he was going to drag her out.

    Fortunately for me, my bouncer has more of a cool head than I do. Something which I probably need to learn from him.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 10:46

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    A couple stole top-grade ginseng worth S$1,100 after purchasing some bird's nest, while an employee was busy retrieving complimentary gifts for another customer.

    The incident happened on April 20, 2017, in Thye Shan Medical Hall, a traditional Chinese medicine shop at Chinatown, and the owner has since lodged a police report, reports Shin Min Daily News via Lianhe Zaobao.

    The incident was captured on CCTV.

    A 38-year-old manager of Thye Shan Medical Hall told reporters: "A customer had purchased the ginseng worth S$1,100.

    "The ginseng was placed at cashier while one of our staff went to retrieve complimentary gifts for the customer."

    CCTV footage revealed that the woman in a yellow top, along with a male accomplice, had entered the shop and purchased some bird's nest at the same time.

    After the man paid for the bird's nest at around 5.20pm, the two left the shop independently.

    The woman grabbed the box of ginseng which had been purchased by the other customer and placed it into a white bag that she was carrying, before leaving the shop.

    The manager continued: "No one knew that the ginseng had been stolen.

    "It was only after the customer who bought the ginseng told us that it was missing, did we realise. Our employees searched high and low but could not find it.

    "We have lodged a police report and printed out posters of the suspects' faces which we pasted in the store. We also hope to find witnesses."

    The police have confirmed that a report was lodged and that the case is currently under investigation.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 10:46

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    While you may not be super thrilled about taking a flight aboard United Airlines for fear of getting violently bumped off the flight like an unfortunate passenger experienced back in April, know that United has made changes to its policy and is working to improve customer experience for all its flyers.

    United will be launching its new history-making nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Singapore on October 27. Why is this significant for the airline? Here, we at GET.com will show you why.

    With a total flight distance of over 14,000km, United's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner route is the longest scheduled direct flight between the United States and any country in the world.

    From sunny Southern California to buzzing Singapore, the westbound journey will take almost 18 hours. If you are looking to be amongst the first few travellers to travel from Singapore to Los Angeles, the eastbound flight will take about 15 hours. Travellers in Singapore can hop aboard United's flight beginning October 29.

    United will offer daily direct flights between Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

    Subject to government approval, UA37 will depart LAX daily at 20:55, arriving in SIN at 06:50 two days later due to time zone differences. As mentioned, the flight time for this route is about 18 hours.

    Also subject to government approval, UA38 will depart SIN daily at 11:00, arriving in LAX at 10:15 on the same day. The flight from Singapore to Los Angeles will take slightly over 15 hours.

    This flight schedule should appeal to business travellers and leisure travellers alike since United offers over 130 flights from its LAX hub to more than 40 airports across the United States, including destinations the likes of Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Houston and more.

    As the service will be using United's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, travellers will have access to 48 United Polaris Business Class seats, 88 Economy Plus seats, and 204 United Economy Class seats. United Polaris is the airline's reinvented Business Class cabin that promises a premium experience for those travelling on United's international routes.

    United is a member airline of Star Alliance, just like Singapore Airlines. If you aren't too sure about flying with United but still want to get to Los Angeles on our national carrier, you can do that as well.

    Loyal customers of Singapore Airlines can get to Los Angeles via Singapore Airlines, although there are no direct flights between Singapore and Los Angeles at the moment.

    You have 3 options: (i) connect via Tokyo Narita; (ii) connect via Seoul Incheon; (iii) take a direct SQ flight to San Francisco then a connecting flight operated by Virgin America.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 14:23

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    SINGAPORE - Singapore has repatriated two Indonesian maids it said were radicalised online, one of whom wanted to travel to Syria with her foreign boyfriend to join the Islamic State (IS) group.

    Second Home Affairs Minister Desmond Lee told parliament the discovery of the two brought to nine the number of radicalised foreign domestic workers uncovered by the city-state since 2015. All have been repatriated.

    The affluent island-republic's leaders have warned it is a prime target for a terror attack because of its strong stand against terrorism and reputation as a regional financial centre.

    The city-state is also supporting the US-led international coalition against IS with non-combat assistance like air-to-air refuelling.

    Lee said in response to a question in parliament that the two  Indonesian maids were IS supporters who were "radicalised through social media".

    "One of them intended to travel to Syria with her foreign boyfriend to join ISIS," he said Tuesday, using another name for IS.

    No details were given for the seven other maids repatriated earlier.

    While none of the nine maids intended to carry out attacks in Singapore, "we cannot condone support for any radical ideologies... whether by locals or foreigners," Lee said.

    Hundreds of thousands of foreign maids and construction workers are based in Singapore, one of Asia's wealthiest economies.

    Singapore in 2015 and 2016 arrested 40 "radicalised" Bangladeshi workers who it said were plotting violence in their homeland. All but six - currently serving jail terms for terrorism and terrorist financing - have been repatriated.

    The convicted ringleader, Rahman Mizanur, was jailed for five years last year. He had tried several times to join IS in Syria but could not get visas to Turkey or Algeria, court documents showed.

    He and a group of other Bangladeshis working in Singapore had planned to violently overthrow the Bangladeshi government and establish a caliphate there, according to the documents. They also collected funds to support their cause.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 17:47

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    SINGAPORE - "We are not makers of history, we are made by history." Yet, how many of us are aware of our ancestry? 52-year-old Raymond Goh's dream is to help everyone trace back their lineage.

    Raymond loves getting his hands dirty. The director of a pharmaceutical company's favourite pastime is none other than digging graves.

    Raymond, together with his brother Charles (50), founded the Asia Paranormal Investigators (API) back in 2005. Their main goal is to locate and identify graves, and from there, take a deeper look into Singapore's history.

    Throughout the years, the brothers have rediscovered many graves of Singapore's pioneers whose names adorn our roads and buildings, such as Joo Chiat and Boon Lay. They also offer to help families locate the resting places of their ancestors, completely free of charge. Their meticulous work have since earned them the title of "Tomb Hunters".

    Recognised for his heritage work, Raymond was even shortlisted as an Outlook Inspiration by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and eventually made it to the top 15 among 50 inspiring people from around the globe.

    "Every stone tells a story," is what motivates the brothers' quest in leaving no grave undiscovered.

    The Dream

    For four years, Raymond dedicated his free time to finding the tomb of one of the first Chinese pioneers in Singapore back in the 19th century - the tomb of Mr Neo Chan Guan.

    Mr Neo Chan Guan was the main contractor behind the national monument Chong Wen Ge. The pavilion in Telok Ayer, believed to be built between 1849 and 1852, was gazetted as a national monument, along with the Chinese Temple, Thian Hock Keng .

    After four years of effort, Raymond finally discovered the 164-year-old tomb in Bukit Brown. He hopes to find the descendants of Neo Chan Guan and bring them to their ancestor's grave.

    The Question

    It is known that Neo Chan Guan was one of the founding members of Keng Teck Whay. Unfortunately, Keng Teck Whay does not hold any information regarding his direct descendants.

    Host Ken Low even resorted to publishing the story in the newspaper to broaden the search.

    Can Ken beat the time and solve the century-old puzzle? Watch the video to find out.

    "No dream is too big and no dreamer too small." If you have a dream waiting to be fulfiled, email "Live Your Dream" team at zbevents@sph.com.sg.

    For more stories on "Live Your Dream", please visit: www.zaobao.com/zvideos/live-your-dream

    About "Live Your Dream"

    "Live Your Dream"(完成一个梦) is one of 10 SPH-produced short-form digital video series as part of a pilot Public Service Broadcast initiative. In this 13 episode series, host Ken Low Yong Kian (Digital Content Producer, Chinese Media Group Digital) will try his best to fulfil people's dreams no matter how challenging it may be. All episodes come with English subtitles. This series is also available on zaobao.sg website, as well as the mobile app.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 19:36

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    Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 08:35
    Hour Glass co-founder Jannie Chan hauled to court again by ex-husband over e-mails

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    Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 08:47
    Oxley Road saga: PM Lee releases documents, e-mails distributed during parliamentary debate

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    A total of eight people were arrested for drug-related offences on July 4, during operations conducted by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) at multiple locations.

    Videos that have been circulating online, which Stomp contributor NoorWhirlzWindz shared with Stomp, show an arrest that was made by CNB officers along Bukit Panjang Ring Road yesterday.

    In the clips, several officers can be seen leading at least two men away into separate cars.

    The CNB said in a press release on July 5 that its officers had been deployed early yesterday evening to observe three suspected drug offenders in the vicinity of Senja Road.

    The first suspect, a 32-year-old male Singaporean, headed towards a multi-storey carpark. He was arrested in the carpark and about 17g of 'Ice' were recovered him.

    The other two male Singaporean suspects, a 30-year-old and a 33-year-old, headed towards a car in the vicinity.

    They were arrested by another party of officers at the junction of Bukit Panjang Ring Road and Senja Road.

    This arrest is believed to be the one that was caught on video.

    CNB arrests 7 men and 1 woman for drug offences in Yishun and Bukit Panjang

    A separate group of CNB officers were deployed to conduct observation on a 29-year-old suspected drug trafficker whose hideout was in the vicinity of Yishun Avenue 11.

    Officers raided the unit and arrested the 29-year-old within. Around 138g of 'Ice' were recovered from him.

    According to the CNB, swift investigations led officers to another unit in the same vicinity.

    The unit was raided and four suspected drug abusers -- a 23-year-old female, a 22-year-old male, a 26-year-old male and a 49-year-old male -- were arrested within. All are Singaporeans.

    on Facebook

    CNB arrests 7 men and 1 woman for drug offences in Yishun and Bukit Panjang http://bit.ly/2tLjBua

    Posted by Stomp on Wednesday, 5 July 2017

    About 60g of 'Ice', a small amount of cannabis and two 'Ecstasy' tablets were recovered from within the unit.

    Investigations into the drug activities of all the arrested suspects are ongoing.

    The Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) provides for the death penalty if more than 250g of methamphetamine, enough to feed the addiction of about 185 abusers for a week, is trafficked.

    Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 09:27

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    A 37-year-old man was found lying on the ground outside a food court at Holland Village, with $3,000 on him, and a knife lodged in his stomach.

    The incident happened at a food court along Lorong Liput, in Holland Village yesterday (Jul 4) at around 6.15am.

    A female passer-by who made the startling discovery called the police, and the victim was conveyed to National University Hospital (NUH) for emergency surgery, reports Lianhe Wanbao via Lianhe Zaobao.

    The 58-year-old owner of the food court told reporters that the victim was a Chinese national and had been working in Singapore for more than a year.

    The 62-year-old owner of an economical rice stall in the food court said:

    "This morning, a young couple found the victim, with a knife lodged in his stomach, lying on the ground outside the food court."

    The stall owner added that the victim also suffered injuries on his neck, and was drifting in and out of consciousness while he was transported into an ambulance.

    It is understood that half of the blade length had penetrated the man's stomach.

    There were also two other knives placed on a table next to the victim.

    Upon reaching NUH, the victim underwent an emergency operation, and his condition has since stabilised.

    However, he is currently under sedation and has yet to regain consciousness.

    Asked whether the knives could have been from the food court, the owner said that no knives from the food court were missing.

    The wife of the food court owner also revealed that she had met the victim the night before (Jul 3) and told him to return home early, as he didn't look well, but was unsure why he had returned after operating hours.

    Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 09:39

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    A 40-year-old man, Ong Soon Heng, has been found guilty of abducting and raping a drunk 22-year-old restaurant intern, whom he had driven back to his house and had sex with, while she was unconscious.

    The incident happened on Jul 24, 2014 between 4am and 6.30am, at a private apartment at Hume Heights, along Bukit Timah Road, reports Shin Min Daily News via Lianhe Zaobao.

    The accused faced one charge of abduction and rape each but had pleaded not guilty, citing that he was in a relationship with the victim.

    The High Court rejected Ong's account that the victim had given consent to having sex with him on the day of the incident, with the judicial commissioner stating, "the existence of any such relationship could not overcome the overwhelming evidence of the condition of the complainant, which ruled out consent."

    This was backed up by test results which showed that the victim's blood alcohol content was between 210.50mg and 254.50mg per 100ml of blood, during the time of incident, and was highly unlikely to have given consent to the accused.

    The case has even adjourned to September 13, to allow both plaintiff and defence to prepare their sentencing arguments.

    Ong is currently out on $60,000 bail.

    Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 09:42

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    Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 11:23
    Hsien Yang, Wei Ling accept offer to settle dispute with PM Lee in private, will stop posting evidence on social media

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    In April 2017, one of Singapore's train operators, SMRT Corporation, started rolling out a brand-new fleet of trains.

    These shiny new trains have LCD displays inside them-displays that will dynamically update their content to help commuters find their way around the train network.

    Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it?

    But the actual execution of the display was so bad it makes for a perfect case study of how bad design can destroy a great idea. So, buckle up and get ready for a ride (sorry) that is equal parts entertaining, exasperating, and educational.

    Staris 1.0: The original design

    Before the new LCD displays, SMRT trains used the SMRT Active Route Map Information System or STARiS. Since I don't approve of the quirky capitalisation used, I'll refer to it as Staris instead.

    Staris 1.0. PHOTO: SGTrains

    Staris displays the train route map (well, it's technically a diagram, not a map-more about that below) of the North-South and East-West train lines. Green LED lights indicate the rest of the journey, and a blinking red light tells you the next stop. Pretty straightforward and elegant.

    A major drawback of the original Staris is that, being a physical display, it needs to be changed every time new stations or train lines are added to the network. Unfortunately, that happens regularly enough to be a real pain. (On the photo above, notice the sticker near the left edge of the display, which covers a future line extension.)

    SMRT needed a new display-a digital one-so that the train map can be dynamically updated whenever new stations are added.

    Staris 2.0: Oh, no. They did not

    Staris 2.0, an all-digital iteration of the previous display, makes perfect sense if it weren't so horribly designed.

    Read the full article here


    Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 12:15

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    MRTArt and Design

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