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    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 09:03
    Japan's Lumine to open first overseas store in Singapore in Nov

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    Frantic parents who were trying to send their sick daughter to the hospital on July 4 found help in the form of awesome police officer Koh Wei Jie.

    The incident took place on the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) before the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) at around 6.45pm.

    As there was heavy traffic on the road, Koh quickened the family's journey to Mount Elizabeth Hospital by getting the family to follow behind his patrol car until they reached their destination.

    Joan Lim, the mother of the child, took to Facebook to commend the police officer and express her gratitude.

    She said in her post:

    "I would like to compliment officer Koh Wei Jie who's driving QX842J on July 7, 6.45pm along PIE before BKE exit.

    "He noticed my hubby was driving on the road shoulder with hazard lights on during peak hours and stopped us.

    "We explained that our daughter, Stephanie, was having high fever at 39.2deg; immediately he asked us to follow behind his patrol car. He escorted us all the way to Mount Elizabeth.

    "Without his help, we wouldn't have been able to send my daughter to the hospital within such a short timing.

    "Once again, thank you!"

    Great job to the Singapore Police Force for once again going out of their way to help those in need!

    on Facebook

    I would like to compliment on officer Koh Wei Jie who's driving QX842J on 04/07/2017 6.45pm along PIE before BKE exit....

    Posted by Joan Lim on Tuesday, 4 July 2017
    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 09:40

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    Over 10 licensed moneylender outlets island-wide were hit by vandals overnight, who threw paint, urine and even faeces at the shops.

    Many of the shops were also spray-painted with the word, 'O$P$' and police reports have been lodged, reports Lianhe Wanbao via Lianhe Zaobao.

    It is understood that more than 10 shops were affected, including one stall each on French Road, Bishan Street 13, Cross Street, Toa Payoh Central, and another two at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8.

    When reporters visited the affected stall on French Road, paint residues were still visible at the front of the shop.

    Paint, urine and faeces: More than 10 moneylenders island-wide hit by vandals overnight

    The owner, who did not wish to disclose his name, told reporters that he had been in the line for 10 years, and it was the first time his shop had been targeted.

    He discovered that someone had spray-painted and pasted paper all over his shop on Tuesday (Jul 4), at around 9am.

    There were also the private details of a customer who had borrowed from his shop.

    He suspected that said customer had borrowed money from loansharks or other illegal moneylenders, who in turn, targeted his shop.

    The owner also emphasised that he did not have any connections with the loansharks, and that the case has been handed over to the police.

    A 34-year-old employee said that the vandals had spray-painted and pasted notices containing the details of the alleged lender at his shop on Bishan Street 13.

    Another owner said that the incident had shaken the industry, and there were also rumours that some shops had been vandalised with faeces and urine.

    He added that the consensus was that illegal moneylenders were behind the acts of vandalism, who were upset that their business was being 'stolen' by their legal counterparts.

    In response to media query, a police spokesman said that the case is under investigation.

    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 09:47

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    Bike-sharing is the buzzword of the moment among Singaporeans.

    Now, you can never go a day without seeing someone on the yellow or orange bikes from the three major bike sharing companies.

    One of the companies, Mobike, just celebrated their 100th day in their first-ever foreign market since starting operations in Singapore on March 21.

    100 Days Of Mobike In Singapore

    Photo: Vulcan Post

    After ofo, Mobike has now officially joined the 100 days club.

    From a mere 100 of their bright orange bikes back in March, they now have more than 10,000 in circulation around Singapore.

    Working closely with the relevant authorities, Mobike was the first bike-sharing company to get their own lots in public spaces. Called the MPL (Mobike Preferred Locations), they can be found around MRT stations, schools, housing estates, and outside of malls and offices.

    Its introduction has vastly helped to transform the last mile mode of transportation landscape in the country, and Mobike counts itself lucky to not have made the headlines for the wrong reasons.

    Also announced was a newly-minted partnership with Mastercard.

    Florian Bohnert, Head of International Expansion of Mobike and Benjamin Gilbey, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard signed a memorandum of understanding to bring the two companies together.

    The first clear sign of this agreement will come with Masterpass integration into the Mobike app to enable riders to have a seamless transaction whenever they unlock a bike.

    Outside of just a secure means for in-app payments, both companies will also share insights into the way urban residents travel, and enable local city planners to examine Singapore's transportation systems and how they can be made smarter and more flexible.

    We're Getting A New (Mo)bike

    As part of the celebrations, Mobike also launched a new and improved bike that riders can look forward to.

    The familiar orange bikes will still be in designated parking lots ready to welcome you, but they've received a much needed upgrade.

    Photo: Vulcan Post

    The first major upgrade that we can see is the inclusion of a Shimano gear system that lets you shift between 3 gears for a better ride.

    The lack of a gear system was a major gripe with hardcore riders.

    Photo: Vulcan Post

    Next, Mobike also addressed another of their rider's major complaints - the lack of a height adjustable seat.

    Version two will get precisely that, and with this new seat, will let riders of all heights have a more comfortable ride.

    Photo: Vulcan Post

    Lastly, we will be getting a better brighter front lamp.

    Mobike Is A "Technology Company"

    Photo: Vulcan Post

    Much like how Grab and Uber position themselves as a technology company first, Mobike sees themselves in the same light.

    That's because at the heart of the Mobike operations is their in-house Artificial Intelligence platform named "Magic Cube". The AI has a presence in everything from the app that riders use to unlock a bike, to the bicycles themselves.

    As you know, Mobike boasts the first GPS-enabled bikes among its competitors.

    Mobike has the world's largest mobile-enabled IOT network in the transportation industry, and the bikes are a major part of it. With it, they are able to track each and every bike in real time, with a high degree of accuracy thanks to geo-fencing.

    They are also able to monitor the health and location of the bike at all times to better anticipate and address user demands, and solve common

    transportation challenges.

    Riding Globally

    Mobike views Singapore as the perfect bridge between the east and the west, so much so that whatever was learnt by the company here would be used in future expansions.

    This can be seen in their recent market entry in Manchester, England just last week. This is the first time that Mobike has entered a market outside of Asia, and this is just the first step of bringing it across Europe.

    Earlier in June, the bike-sharing company established Mobike Japan, bringing their services to the city of Fukuoka and Sapporo.

    Right now, Mobike has 5 million bikes in circulation across 130 cities globally and 100 million users. Up until today, riders have made 700 million trips on Mobike.

    Improved Rewards And Free Rides In July

    Mobike has always had a merit and demerit system in place since inception (unlike their rivals) and in doing so, they have a wealth of experience on how to reward (or punish riders).

    The 'bad behaviour' by riders are pretty much well-documented by now, and Mobike has a demerit system that ranges from lenient charges such as increased fares, up until the maximum punishment of an account ban.

    Good behaviours are rewarded with coupons that riders can redeem, but Mobike is taking it a step further. Along with the new bikes, Mobike will be rolling out a new red packet and treasure box feature.

    One condition to get these rewards is if you return the bike you rode to an MPL. The company has not yet revealed what kind of rewards would be able, and possible partnerships with retailers have been mooted among other things.

    Lastly, as part of the 100-day celebrations, Mobike will also be giving away free rides for the month of July.

    Bike-sharing has definitely grabbed the spotlight in the last few months, and Mobike has so far been getting positive reviews minus the bad press, and it has been to their advantage as they seek to expand worldwide.

    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 11:13

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    SINGAPORE - Bieber fans in Singapore, 2017 is about to get a whole lot better.

    Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber will be performing on Oct 7 at the National Stadium as part of his newly announced Asia Purpose World Tour, where he will tour countries such as Japan and the Philippines.

    The concert will include highlights of Bieber's album Purpose, which includes hit singles such as What Do You Mean, Sorry and Love Yourself.

    The 23-year-old last performed in Singapore at the Formula 1 Grand Prix closing concert in 2013, where 12,000 fans turned up at the Padang for his three-hour long concert.

    Ticket sales to Purpose World Tour starts on July 22, 10am and are priced from $148 to $298. VIP packages are priced at $708, $958 and $1,898.

    Priority sales for American Express card members opens on July 19 to 20. Bieber fan members on digital hub BKSTG can purchase tickets for the show on July 17, 10am, before the general public.

    Tickets are sold at www.sportshubtix.sg, Singapore Indoor Stadium Box Office and all SingPost outlets islandwide.


    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 11:27

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    AMAN founder Adrian Zecha is back in the spotlight with his newest hotel brand Azerai. Find out what the legendary hotelier has been up to since his acrimonious split with the luxury group he founded.

    Also, meet two independent hoteliers who are breaking the cookie cutter mould set by international hotel chains.

    Find out what's new on the design front with a spotlight on this year's Red Dot award winners.

    Ask what people look for in an ideal corporate leader, and physical fitness is probably the last thing on anyone's mind. Cubicle Files explores the link between peak performance and being in top form.

    Physics, unfortunately, was not in the picture in the design of grab handles on the MRT train, our Offbeat columnist bemoans.

    Can women have it all? And how? In this week's Brunch feature, we talk to the real-life Wonder Women who juggle work and family.

    And don't miss our all-new BT Motoring section which debuts this Saturday.

    Learn how to get your hands on a nearly-new car on the cheap, check out the new Honda Civic Type R, and see why SUVs and crossover cars are stealing sales from sedans.

    To subscribe, visit btsub.sg/weekend

    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 11:56

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    Fashionistas may be excited to hear that Japanese fashion mall Lumine will be opening in Singapore this November, just in time for the Christmas shopping season.

    It is the first international store for the mall, but will be on a smaller scale as compared to its domestic retail spaces.

    Lumine Singapore will occupy 10,000 sq ft of space (about 3.5 times the size of a tennis court) on the second floor of Clarke Quay Central at Eu Tong Sen St, which will be accessible via a linkway to the pedestrian bridge from the outside of the mall.

    Psst... we also hear that there may be a cafe located within the store. But details will be released at a later date.

    Here are other things you should know about the major Japan mall:

    1. It is a mall owned by a railway company

    The store was set up as a "premium urban lifestyle destination" in 1966, but in 1991, was consolidated as a subsidiary of Japan's major railway company, JR East. That probably explains why Lumine stores are typically found directly connected to JR's major hub stations.

    Lumine's concept mall targeted at mature women.Photo: Lumine

    Lumine is one of the pioneers of the 'Ekibru', a type of mall in Japan named as such because it combines a station(eki) with a building (bru).

    It currently has 16 branches around Japan, with five locations in the major shopping districts in Tokyo. 

    2. It has an online website

    Photo: https://i.lumine.jp/

    Lumine added an online store called i-LUMINE in March 2008. But sorry, international shoppers, the site is only in Japanese and appears to be just for the domestic market.

    3. Your shopping will be delivered to the airport, but only in Japan

    According to its website, shoppers who make total purchases of at least 30,000 yen (S$365) can get their shopping delivered to the airport free of charge. However, this is only available at the Japanese stores.

    No word on whether this service will be available here, though. 

    4. Its target consumers are 'highly ambitious and curious' local women

    According to its statement, the Singapore store will replicate the "first-class" shopping experience that is offered by Lumine's 16 branches in Japan, pomising a "wide range of fashion and lifestyle products" imported from Japan.

    The mall will be geared towards young working women looking for trendy apparel at an affordable price. According to a spokesperson, their customer is "discerning, professional lady who is curious, creative and possesses a zest for life and her own point of view".

    It added that Lumine will specially curate items that are sold at the store, instead of hosting individual tenants like their retail concepts in Japan.

    The exterior of Lumine Shinjuku.Photo: Lumine




    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:16

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    SINGAPORE - You've heard of coffeeshops selling kopi gao (strong coffee) and teh siew dai (tea with less sugar), but have you heard of instant Milo Gao Siew Dai?

    Yes, it exists. The popular beverage is now available in a 'thick and less sweet' variation, thanks to its parent company Nestle.

    This new made-in Singapore product is said to have 50 per cent less table sugar and 30 per cent more protein.

    Its head of Milo research and development Olivier Aprikian said that it wasn't just about reducing sugar, they had to be able to balance the cocoa and milk to ensure the taste was not compromised.

    "There were several rounds of extensive taste tests before allowing the product to go to market," said Mr Aprikian.

    The friendly AsiaOne team will now put the Milo Gao Siew Dai to our own taste test.

    Here's what we think about it:

    Tastes exactly the same as normal Milo. And it's still sweet for me.

    - Karen Lim

    It's not as gao as I'd hoped, but it's definitely siew dai.

    - Candice Cai

    It tastes more or less the same as the regular Milo, could this be a marketing gimmick?

    - Alvin Kosasi

    Tastes just like my usual Milo, except now I'll have lesser miles to run with less sugar in it.

    - May Ong

    Tastes just like the regular Milo.

    - Lam Min Lee

    It still has the iconic Milo taste but doesn't taste like it's diluted. I also like the texture which isn't as thick as the other Milo formulas.

    - Joey Lee

    Nestle says this new product is targeted at adults and 'catered for Singaporeans' palates'. I believe this will be much appreciated by those who prefer less sugary drinks, like myself.

    Although Milo Gao Siew Dai wasn't what we thought it'd be, but at least they managed to get Singaporean Olympic champion Joseph Schooling as its ambassador (is Milo cheating on Nathan Hartono?) - some of us are already fantasizing about Schooling swimming in a chocolatey pool of Milo Gao Siew Dai. Yum.

    Olympic champion Joseph Schooling and his mum, May Schooling, in a Skype session from Texas. Schooling is the ambassador for Milo Gao Siew Dai.

    If you're just as curious as us about Milo Gao Siew Dai, it is now available at all leading supermarkets aind retails for $6.50 per packet of 15 sachets.


    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 15:55
    Because it's Milo. And everyone loves Milo.

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    A male stranger allegedly tried to break into a flat at Block 774 Woodlands Crescent at around midnight today (July 7), when only the homeowner's wife and three-year-old daughter were at home.

    The Stomp contributor, Amos Ong, said he and his mother had been out at a funeral when the incident occurred at about 12.24am.

    According to Amos, whose wife managed to take a picture of the man, he has never seen the guy around before.

    The family subsequently lodged a police report but are still worried that the man might return.

    Amos recounted what happened: "My wife and daughter were resting in our room. While my wife was in a phone call with her friend, both of them heard loud banging of the main door. She went out to open the door, thinking that it was my mum who was having difficulty opening it.

    "To her shock, it was an unfamiliar man in a red shirt, trying to push his way through and enter our house. He stood in the front area of our house, asked my wife to keep quiet and intended to proceed further in.

    "At that moment, my wife was only thinking about the safety of our three-year-old daughter. She shouted and asked my daughter to go into the room, then managed to push this red shirt man out the door and locked the metal gate.

    "This man then stood outside and asked my wife for evidence that he did the damage to our door. After some confrontation, he walked away to the stairway and disappeared from sight.

    "A neighbour came out after this (he had heard loud banging noises) and my wife managed to ask him to come over to help.

    "While she was explaining the situation, this red shirt man returned and told my neighbour that my wife was 'gila orang' and ran off.

    "That's when she manage to took a short clip of his appearance. He was sweaty, bare-footed and kept scratching his leg using the other leg."

    Amos also shared a photo of the damaged inflicted on his door and said it was caused by the man "using a lot of force".

    He added: "The police are currently investigating this, but what we don't understand is his intention of doing this. Why did he come back? Why our house when there were people still in there?

    "We understand that there is some neglect on my wife's part (for opening the door without checking, and she can't remember if she did lock the metal gate) but I believe he will eventually force his way in; it is just a matter of time.

    "I can't imagine what would have happened to the two girls if my wife had not overpowered him at that moment."

    In response to queries by Stomp, a Police spokesman said they were alerted to a case of House Trespass at Block 774 Woodlands Crescent at 12.28am.

    Investigations are ongoing.

    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 15:14

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    Man tries to break into Woodlands home when only woman and daughter are in

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    InstaScram girl powers through this episode as we feature some truly incredible ladies and their motorcycles. Lady riders of all ages and professions, riding all sorts of bikes, come together on InstaScram to offer a unique perspective on the beauty of Singapore. And it's not just the bikes we are talking about.

    About a decade ago, the sight of a lady rider on local roads was fairly uncommon. In a mode of transport that's heavily saturated with testosterone and generally seen as a man's hobby, more and more women are picking up riding, not just as a reaction to increasing car prices or an more open-minded society, but just because they love the ride.

    Now, as more ladies take on the handlebars, women have the role models they deserve for responsible riding. Instead of the scantily clad poster girls of motorcycling culture that pepper advertisements and event road shows.

    From Juvena Huang, who set off to travel the world on her Vespa scooter in May 2015 and is still travelling, to Vaune Phan, who rode her DR250 from home in Singapore to the Mount Everest Base Camp in 2015, to raise awareness for the Singapore Disability Sports Council. Female riders are slowly but surely putting Singapore on the map.

    Photo: Instascram

    Decked out in classy yet durable Dainese riding jackets, these women range from 21 to 36 years of age. Their occupations vary, from a senior staff nurse to an architect, civil service officer to a creative consultant.

    There is also a certain rugged quality that comes with a lady who rides. Syam, 28, consistently goes on touring trips to Malaysia and Thailand. Zyla, 27, has trekked to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Both Zakiah and Tetiey, who are 28 and 29 respectively, are avid and serious rock climbers.

    And Cherie, 32, has ridden more than 30,000 km across 33 countries, in an epic riding trip that took half a year to complete. On her trusty DR650 bike, she crossed over the borders of Norway, Sarajevo, Turkmenistan, Iran and even been arrested at the border of Krygyzstan.

    Today, they join InstaScram on a ride through Singapore to explore the undulating roads of Alexandra Park and the ever-popular eatery enclave, Dempsey Hill. Dempsey Hill is definitely a place that warrants an outing, not just because of its fabulous range of food, but also its historical significance. Prior to 1890s, it was a nutmeg plantation, before being converted into army barracks for British troops, and later on, the Central Manpower Base for the training grounds of national servicemen.

    It is a bit inaccessible by public transport, but the ambience of the various cafes and shops that still retain its old military vibe, set against the backdrop of spacious fields of green, make up for it. You can find not only diners and patrons, but also sporadic joggers and cyclists who take advantage of the great view while getting their daily exercise. We ride to visit one of its better-kept secrets, along Loewen Road.

    Contemporary art all around the world is a constant trending topic, with the number of museums established to showcase such works. Not many people know that Singapore has our very own Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA for short. A delightfully evolving showcase of alternative local and Asian artwork, with its pristine, whitewashed walls both inside and out make for exceptional pictures. And this private museum established in mid 2009, is free for all.

    After a bout of riding under the hot sun, the MOCA cafe is an air-conditioned haven that's not too crowded. Spacious and with al fresco seating as well, it boasts many things. The experienced chef constantly whips up dishes made from ingredients like basil, mint and even tomatoes grown just outside in their garden. In addition to the exhibitions and sculptures that adorn the grounds, MOCA cafe also features an open space that is perfect for events. The cafe has hosted gatherings for dog owners, birthday celebrations and now, it can officially add a lady riders' joyride to its list.

    Follow @instascram_sg on Instagram for more of the best photogenic places in Singapore, and Facebook for more updates!


    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 16:35

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    It's a known fact that the Singapore society is notorious for their love to complain about anything under the sun.

    They gripe a great deal online too. And this tendency extends to their online shopping behaviour.

    In an analysis of 30,000 consumer reviews on e-commerce in Singapore and Southeast Asia, we emerged number one for churning out the most number of complaints, according to iPrice group, an e-commerce affiliate network, which studied the data with Trusted Company.

    Here are 6 of their more interesting findings on the traits of Singaporeans making online purchases.


    Photo: iPrice

    Online shoppers from Singapore provide the most number of complaints. Of all the complaints from Southeast Asia, more than a third or 34.7 per cent came from Singapore. Whining at second spot are people in Philippines (30.2 per cent), followed by Thailand at 28.67 per cent.

    So, why do we complain so much? Our answer: We probably have superior knowledge about products and services because of our wide experiences and we are better informed. No apologies for that.


    Photo: iPrice

    When it comes to making a complaint, we want to make sure that it gets the necessary attention immediately. So chances are many of us (25 per cent) pen our feedback in capital letters, which suggests we are venting our frustration by 'yelling out loud' about what displeases us.

    Malaysians are the next group likely to bang out their dissatisfaction in caps.


    Photo: iPrice

    On their overall satisfaction wth e-commerce, Singaporeans rate their experiences 2.9 out of 5 stars, while Indonesians seem quite easy to please as they would award 4 out of 5 stars on the average.

    Are Singaporeans really such a difficult lot? Maybe...maybe not. On the fllip side, e-commerce companies could do their part by improving their systems, product quality and accuracy of product description, among other things.


    Photo: iPrice

    Almost a third or 29 per cent of Singaporean reviewers had demanded a refund. The next group pressing for that are Malaysians, but their figures are relatively low at 8.3 per cent.

    The result on Singaporean buyers doesn't surprise since more than a third of Singapore shoppers had complained about their experiences.


    Photo: iPrice

    Now, one trait that e-commerce owners should like about us.

    With the most disposable income in Southeast Asia, Singaporeans are unlikely to complain about online prices. Only 8.69 per cent or 1 in 10 probably thought they didn't get their money's worth or were overcharged.

    People in the Philippines complain the most about prices (20.05 per cent) followed by Malaysians (9.73 per cent).


    Photo: iPrice

    E-stores should give us hugs and loyalty points for taking the trouble to share information about our favoured products with others.

    Although Singaporeans are the most finicky, they are more likely to share their joy publicly if their shopping experience meets or exceeds their expectations.

    They are twice more passionate than Indonesians in this aspect.


    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 18:33

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    SINGAPORE - "A mother's love is like nothing else in the world. It knows no limit and makes everything possible." A mother's love is what fueled 38-year-old housewife Joy Shuo to go from being a mother of four to a mother of six.

    "Have you gone out of your mind?" That was Joy's mother reaction when she brought back her first foster child. "You already have four kids, and now you want to raise another?"

    It all goes back to that fateful night in 2011, when Joy had an epiphany. She thought to herself, "My children are happy, growing up healthily, and are fortunate enough to enjoy the warmth of a loving family. Who will be there to help care for children who are less fortunate? Wouldn't it be great if I could bring this happiness to them?"

    Joy eventually signed up for the MSF Fostering Scheme, and went on to foster not one, but four children in total, with the support of her husband Daniel, who is also the sole breadwinner. Daniel has no complaint about the additional financial burden, and helps to take care of the younger children.

    Sibling rivalry is common, but not in the Chua family. Joy's four biological children, aged 7 to 15, often take the initiative to help their mother out when she finds it hard to cope.

    Children under MSF Fostering Scheme will temporarily live with the foster family until they are reunited with their biological parents or adopted by others. Unfortunately, among the four children Joy has fostered, two will never be able to reunite with their biological family. After much consideration, Joy decided to adopt them and try her very best to shower them with the love they need.

    However, as a foster parent, Joy's wish to adopt her foster children is uncommon. After filling up countless forms and trying for over two years, Joy finally gained custody of two children - Catelyn (6) and Jed (1).

    The Challenge

    Being a family of eight is no small matter. On occasions where the Chuas head out for a nice dinner or to take a walk around the city, they will have to plan ahead and split into teams to travel to their destination. Usually, their eldest son Titus (15) will bring the older siblings to take the public transport, whereas their parents will travel by car or taxi with the younger children.

    The Dream

    Now that Catelyn and Jed have been officially adopted, Joy hopes to organise something special as a celebration. She wants them to understand that being a part of the family means that no one will ever get left behind.

    Memories made together last a lifetime. What else can better strengthen the family bond other than an overseas vacation?

    Yet the question remains. Where will host Ken Low bring them to? Where is that one special place that can turn fantasies and dreams into reality? 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.

    Friday, July 7, 2017 - 19:23

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    Recently, the startup world was once again hit with another instance of sexual harassment.

    500 Startups' co-founder Dave McClure was recently in the spotlight after a New York Times article revealed how a previous job applicant, Sarah Kunst, received unwanted advances from him after her interview.

    "I was getting confused figuring out whether to hire you or hit on you," said McClure in a Facebook message to Kunst.

    Kunst later found that she wasn't the only one who had been harassed by McClure.

    He has since issued an apology and resigned from his position.

    This incident also spurred on Cheryl Yeoh, founder and ex-chairman of MaGIC (a startup and entrepreneurship programme run by the Malaysian government) to shed light on her very unpleasant encounter with McClure 3 years ago in her home.

    In her recount, he not just followed her into her bedroom and propositioned her after the other guests left - he even pushed himself onto her, and attempted to kiss her.

    It was only after she had said 'no' multiple times that he finally left.

    But these encounters don't just happen in isolation.

    Workplace sexual harassment, while not openly discussed, is something that persists- with 54 per cent of respondents in an AWARE survey revealing that they've experienced it at their workplaces.

    We spoke to several Singaporean working women who shared with us their personal experiences with such inappropriate encounters.

    *All names have been changed to maintain anonymity

    Ashley, 21

    When I was around 18, I used to work in a photography company - a very small company. The main team just consisted of 4 people, myself included.

    I worked the closest with my boss because we did the same job so I spent a lot of time with him.

    But he started being weirdly physical. Like if I'm using the computer, he'd come over to look at my screen and he'd be smelling my hair and complimenting my smell.

    This eventually progressed to waist holding and thigh touching. He would come REALLY close and kiss my cheeks too.

    I was super confused, and I didn't know what to do. "Should I quit my job? But I need money to pay for school? Then what?"

    So I tahan-ed for a few months…many months in fact…until I eventually quit.

    Lucy, 22

    I was working at a startup, and the male co-founder would say stuff like 'chio bu' and 'nice dress' to female employees, which is a bit inappropriate in my opinion.

    It was to the point that if you go to him to discuss stuff, you'd have to make sure you are firm with not being comfortable with it so that he cannot 'sexually harass' you.

    For example, he wanted to send me overseas, but said that he and I would have to share a room.


    I was also getting weird messages from him at one point of time, so I had to tell him "Let's keep our conversations and messages work-related".

    He was very agreeable on that, thankfully.

    Honestly, I feel like the management could be more supportive in dealing with such cases.

    Jasmine, 27

    This happened at my old company.

    There was a new male colleague who would always drop by my desk and like chat with me. And it's not like those 5 minute chats…he'd literally grab a chair and sit with me until the end of work!

    Then, I used to go for yoga after work, and he insisted on following me there. It's a long story, but he ended up joining my yoga class as well.

    He didn't even have proper attire for yoga, so he stripped down to his undershirt and shorts…I felt uncomfortable throughout the class, because you know, yoga poses can be quite…yeah.

    And then he'll wait for me after class (I actually went for yoga with my friend, so both of us hid in the shower room for damn long.)

    Then a few months later, his girlfriend actually Whatsapp-ed me about this. I don't know why, and if he had been cheating or what, but yeah.

    Alexis, 25

    So I was an intern at a high security area when I was an undergrad.

    I had to walk through the gates every day, so I ended up encountering the guards…and whenever I walked by, the entire group will just keep staring. I felt very uncomfortable.

    And even those higher ranking people working there, they'll stare or point at me when I walked pass, which is really very rude.

    Not specific to the workplace per se, but this other incident happened at the office's gym, where all its staff worked out at.

    There was this middle-aged (don't know what rank) guy that will always be there when I gym after work. So once, he talked to me to ask for help and whatever bullsh** but even after I said no, he'll lurk around ALL THE TIME.

    And it wasn't just on the day he tried to talk to me, it was like every other day that he'll be non-stop eyeing. There was once he tried doing small talk again, asking me where I worked, and which level I was at and so on.

    Obviously I didn't give much info because he was such a creep!

    Maureen, 27

    There was this particular male colleague (who I wasn't close to at all) who kept making lewd comments and introducing me to his rich friends, because I had just undergone a breakup.

    Like "Aiyah, just go on a date with him and ask him to buy you everything you want. After shopping go hotel and 'sleep'."

    He'd also look at my outfit and say stuff like: "You should wear this skirt, they like this type of clothes."

    It was my first job, so I was just shocked and didn't know what to do.

    Thinking back on it though, it wasn't just lewd, it was also insulting to the education my parents used their hard-earned money to pay for.

    Ann, 26

    So basically I had to meet a client out of working hours to talk about some content partnership with his company.

    We got acquainted via LinkedIn, and he decided that we meet at Ann Siang for drinks, which at first I was a little sceptical of because I don't even know him personally.

    But seeing that he was from a big corporation I thought it should be ok (taking my chance here), plus drinking with clients can't be that bad…right?

    So I went to the bar (6-ish) and when I got there, I realised it wasn't just him alone, it was with his friends.

    I'm like HOLD UP WHAT IS GOING ON. But his friends were all from respectable firms and were friendly.

    So anyway as the night was going along, I was pitching to him about what my then-company was doing, he was asking questions and I was answering…this went on for awhile until he started getting touchy.

    He would casually put his hands on my waist and thighs and pretend that it was ok.

    I had to pull myself out slowly and make it seem like I was adjusting my seat but it just went back and forth till I had to tell him I'll follow up with him again via email.

    It got too uncomfortable and I felt like I was losing self-respect for letting this happened. But I'm glad I got away quickly.

    But guess what… he moved to another company and asked for Biz Dev again at the same bar. Haha.

    Janice, 30s

    There was once when I was in a digital agency, and my boss tried to "pimp me out" by trying to get me to go out with one of our clients to a show so we could hopefully get more business from him.

    It wasn't explicitly said, but the guy was my boss' friend and he saw me before and liked me. So my boss asked if I wanted to go to a show…and I thought he was just giving me the tickets or something!

    You know, that client was gonna send me a dress and a limo for the show too?

    Other times, when I was working the guest lists for events, these rich guys will want to take pictures with my female colleagues and myself...and they'll stand too close or like put their arms around our shoulders like we were close buddies (which we were not).

    Rebecca, 24

    I was 22 or 23 then, and was working at an SME with 3 bosses.

    Two had terrible tempers, and only one was more relatable so we'd smoke together and chat outside of work.

    He'd give me lifts home as it was on the way, then once after a company dinner he claimed I was drunk and wanted to send me to hotel.

    I declined, but after he said that he'll send me home, he started touching my thighs and it got more inappropriate after that.

    I said 'Please stop' and he didn't push it, but texted me after saying he doesn't understand what was wrong with his actions, and 'Isn't it good to have someone take care of me so I don't have to worry about money while I worked and studied'.

    Anyway my other bosses found out after I confided in an ex-colleague, but I continued working, ignored him and maintained a professional relationship after till I left the company for other reasons.

    Sexual Harassment Doesn't Just Refer To 'Inappropriate Touching'

    As seen in the examples, sexual harassment isn't simply defined as 'inappropriate touching'.

    Unwelcome sexual advancements, lewd comments, stalking, and suggestive gestures also constitute harassment.

    Some of our respondents also revealed that they felt "confused" when the incidents happened, and most kept the incidents to themselves.

    Their silence is understandable, though.

    The fear of potentially losing their jobs if they ratted on their colleagues (sometimes, bosses) is one that unfortunately persists, especially if the management doesn't do enough to ensure that such cases of harassment are dealt with harshly.

    Said one of the respondents to me, "It sucks that sometimes the harassment is more insidious because of the company culture. Those are harder to pin down because there might not be clear actions by others to constitute harassment."

    Workplace sexual harassment (of both males and females) is a topic we need to stop pushing under the rug.

    Hopefully, with more honest conversations and discussions about it, we will see fewer and fewer instances of this at the workplace.

    If you're a woman experiencing workplace sexual harassment, reach out to AWARE's hotline at 1800 774 5935 (Mon-Fri, 3pm-9.30pm) or email them at helpline@aware.org.sg. If you simply wish to find out more, visit the Ministry of Manpower's website on harassment: http://www.mom.gov.sg/faq/workplace-harassment.

    Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 08:30

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    A 30-year-old man has been arrested for his suspected involvement in a series of cheating cases involving house rental and renovation scams.

    The Police said in a news release that between May 2017 and July 2017, they received multiple reports of rental scams from victims who had placed advertisement online for rental of a unit.

    The suspect responded to the advertisement and pretended to be a housing agent. After collecting the rental fees from the victims, the suspect became uncontactable.

    Through extensive ground enquiries, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division and Clementi Police Division arrested the suspect at Block 194 Pandan Loop on July 6.

    Paraphernalia such as SIM cards, ATM cards, credit cards, bank transaction slips, two handphones and notebooks were seized from the suspect.

    Preliminary investigations revealed the suspect is also believed to be involved in renovation scams.

    The suspect was charged in court on July 8 with an offence of Cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

    If found guilty, he is liable to a fine and an imprisonment term that may extend up to 10 years

    Monday, July 10, 2017 - 09:31

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