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    Low-cost carrier Scoot has found no trace of bed bugs after investigating a passenger's claim of getting bitten by bed bugs on their flights.

    The airline wrote in a Facebook post to confirm that there is no evidence of bed bug infestation but as a preemptive measure, they will be carrying out a disinfection of the seats where the alleged incidents took place, and the seats around it.

    They will also be replacing the seat cushion covers.

    on Facebook

    Dear Scoot Community We refer to the recent reports of a guest claiming to have been bitten by bed bugs on our flights....

    Posted by FlyScoot on Monday, 14 August 2017

    Their investigation included thoroughly examining all the crevices around the seats, such as below the seat cushion, lifting the seat pan flap, and punching the life vest to check for evidence of bed bugs.

    Facebook user Jiamin Han had shared how she was left with "a cluster of bed bug bites" after going on a day trip to Hong Kong on Scoot on Aug 8.

    She had flown flights TR2062 and TR2069 and noticed the bites on her arms after she had returned to Singapore.

    Scoot added in their post that bed bugs can spread in areas where there is a frequent turnover of people which is why they have a "rigorous cleaning and maintenance schedule to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene" of their fleet.

    They carry out monthly pest treatment as well as aircraft cabin deep cleaning and residual disinfection every seven to eight weeks.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 09:47

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    Airlines - Budget
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    A neighbour of a man who was found dead at the void deck of Block 165A, Teck Whye Crescent yesterday morning (Aug 16) said that the occupants of the deceased's unit were 'always partying and creating a ruckus'.

    The victim, Mr Mohammad Roslan Zaini, 35, had been stabbed in his chest and chased down the block, leaving a trail of blood that stretched all the way to the pavement.

    A 48-year-old male suspect has been arrested in connection with the case.

    The suspect and the deceased were flatmates, reports Shin Min Daily News via Lianhe Zaobao.

     
    A resident on the fourth floor reported hearing a woman shouting "Kau jangan gila!" in Malay which translates to "You don't be crazy!" at 4am.

    Another resident living on the same floor as the deceased said that police officers often visited the unit, while a neighbour a few doors away said that the occupants in the unit were constantly partying and creating a ruckus.

    According to The Straits Times, Mr Frankie Tan, 49, who lives next door to the deceased, said that the suspect had slept on the staircase landing for about two years, before getting invited by the victim to stay with him in his flat six months ago.

    Said Mr Tan: "The victim said he pitied him, that's why he invited him to stay together."

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 12:37

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    Murder/Manslaughter
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    Are we a nation of insensitive and socially tone-deaf individuals, or do we just need to lighten up and not be so easily triggered?

    That seems to be the rift when it comes to reactions to mobile operator Circles.Life's controversial advertisments.

    The ad campaign emulates the heart-tugging, tear-jerking UNICEF-type visuals which highlight the plight of the poverty-stricken. 

    But do Singaporeans think data-deprivation equates to starvation? It appears not. The provocative posters were judged to be 'horrible' and in poor taste, at least by Facebook user Hazirah Mohamad.

    Hazirah posted a lengthy rant on Facebook about the ads last Sunday (Aug 13), after her feedback to the company was met with a generic customer service reply.

    Her post has since received more than 160 comments from all corners, with several Facebook users, including Singaporean playwright Alfian Sa'at, agreeing that the ads were insensitive and the equivalent of "poverty porn".

    However, others saw the lighter side of the campaign and its creative stance, with many expressing the view that the issue has been blown out of proportion. 

    .

    As the debate got heated, the argument degenerated into a tirade of insults, but some managed to keep their cool.

    And then there was this person who saw an opportunity and took it.

    In the midst of the controversy, Circles.Life has since responded - albeit rather blandly, to the backlash.

    According to a Marketing Interactive article published on Wednesday (Aug 16), the telco thanked netizens for bringing its ad to attention, and said it would take note of its feedback, and "include it to the next round of process updates".

    The spokesperson declined to comment further on the controversy, adding that the campaign was also to highlight how data-deprived Singaporeans are.

    "Our data deprivation movement aims to bring awareness to the fact that Singapore has been deprived in mobile data offerings. Our users consume on average 8GB of data each month, twice the claimed national average," said the spokesperson.

    Marketing Interactive added that this is not the first time the company has engaged in bold marketing campaigns.

    "In March this year, the online telco pulled a marketing stunt which saw the vandalising of "competitor" out of home assets. The "competitor" in question was SGMobile, a fake company it created claiming to be Singapore's 'fourth telco'", said Marketing Interactive.

    Even among professionals in the creative industry, opinions were divided.

    Speaking to the marketing website, creative director Farrokh Madon supported the view that the ad was distasteful in equating data deprivation with starvation - which unnnecessarily "trivialises a serious issue".

    Patrick Low, founder and creative partner at Goodfellas consultancy, however, had this to say: "We need to lighten up as a nation or risk becoming third world in our thinking."

    The Clan Creative chief Casey Loh, echoed the view that the ad wasn't offensive, as "they used images of sad-looking Singaporeans , and not actual poverty-stricken children or old folks".

    But he added that it may be wiser for agencies to stay away from sensitive issues such as this, if audiences aren't able to handle it.

    As the saying goes - any publicity is good publicity, and if Circles.Life campaign's objective was to grab people's attention, well it certainly got it.

    candicec@sph.com.sg

     

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 14:43

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    Two Singaporean sisters and their two Indian employees have been convicted in Singapore's State Courts for making false statements in Work Pass applications.

    The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) charged sisters, Leong Chew Peng (Peng, 45) and Leong Chau Yee (Yee, 47) for their false statements to the Controller of Work Passes in September 2014 and in August 2016.

    The duo declared in the applications that the foreign employees would be employed as foreign domestic worker (FDW), when there was no such intention, with the plan to make them work as beauticians instead.

    The two Indian nationals, Lepcha Ritu (aged 33) and Arti (aged 33), were also charged for making false statements to the Controller of Work Passes, and for working without valid work passes.

    All four accused persons faced a varying number of charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) - and have been convicted and sentenced in Court yesterday.

    Peng was fined S$15,500, in default six weeks' imprisonment, while Yee was fined S$16,000, in default six weeks' imprisonment.

    Ritu was fined S$11,500, in default four weeks' imprisonment and Arti was fined S$8,000, in default three weeks' imprisonment.

    In a statement, MOM reiterated the need for all applicants to make accurate, complete and truthful declarations to the Controller of Work Passes in their work pass applications.

    False declarations can cause employers can be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for up to two years or to both per charge under the EFMA.

    MOM will also ban the employers from hiring FDWs in future.

    Employers remain responsible for ensuring that their workers are issued with valid work passes.

    Upon conviction, offenders can be fined up between S$5,000 and S$30,000, or jailed for up to 12 months, or to both per charge.

    Repeat offenders will face harsher punishment, with a mandatory imprisonment term imposed.

    Foreigners caught working in Singapore without a valid work pass face a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to two years, or to both per charge.

    This article was first published in HumanResources.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 13:52

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    They might not be serving the nation anymore but members of the public are still keen on showing their support for Singapore's military veterans.

    A new campaign to support military veterans from the Singapore Armed Forces Veterans' League (SAFVL) who are suffering from hearing loss was launched about three months ago on crowdfunding initiative platform GiveAsia.

    These veterans are ex-regulars who are above 40 years old and have served in the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) or SAF for at least six consecutive years and are currently members of the SAFVL.

    The initiative was started by nessa Asia, a subscription-based hearing aid provider in Singapore.

    Photo: Give.Asia

    The health-tech company provided free hearing tests to 150 SAF veterans back in July 2016. They then found out that over 10 veterans suffer from hearing loss and would benefit from hearing aids, according to a note on the campaign page.

    Their aim is to be able to test all 500 mebers of SAFVL and provide everyone with free hearing aids.

    Photo: Give.Asia

    The goal is to reach $40,000 with a crowdfunding target of $20,000 through GiveAsia. Nessa said it will match every dollar for dollar to purchase hearing aids for the veterans. In addition, nessa also said it will provide three years of free support to the veterans.

    Said retired lieutenant colonel Bob Cheah, 72, "(The hearing aid) gives me the assurance of knowing exactly what other people are saying and to hear correct information from people."

    Olivier Carnohan, co-founder and CEO, nessa Asia, told Marketing Interactive: "At nessa Asia, we are committed to dispelling the stigma of wearing hearing aids, by providing users with accessibility to a suite of add-ons that are not usually available with conventional hearing aids.

    "We aim to empower veterans and those suffering from hearing loss by providing them with small, stylish hearing aids, to support them in their day-to-day interactions with friends and family."

    Once this project is completed, nessa's next goal is to reach out to more individuals that may suffer from hearing loss, such as construction workers, Marketing Interactive reported.

    The campaign will reportedly run until the end of September. To show your support, visit their page here.

    ssandrea@sph.com.sg

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 14:54
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    Have you ever thought about how your life will turn out after 10 years? Will it be busy and fulfilling, or chill and relaxing? 

    Young people are critical to the future development of our society and they can have a leading role to play on the global stage. Faced with rapid changes, both the public and private sector, as well as academics, have been trying to understand what young people think about the future and the aspirations they have. 

    This survey is conducted by Lianhe Zaobao, in collaboration with Global Views Research. Please spend a few minute, share your valuable feedback with us, and stand a chance to win $20 NTUC voucher.

    Click here for the survey.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 15:48
    Others

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    A 30-year-old Singaporean woman, Li Jun, has been slapped with 13 charges for failing to pay her foreign domestic worker's (FDW) salary for close to a year. 

    The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement today (Aug 17) that the Myanmar national was not paid any salary between March 7, 2016 and Feb 21, 2017.

    A total of $5,700 was owed to her.

    Li has been charged for breaching the Work Permit Conditions under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. 

    MOM also barred Li from hiring a foreign domestic worker. 

    Li's case will be heard again in court on Sept 12, 2017. If convicted, she can be fined up to $10,000, or face imprisonment of up to 12
    months, or both, per charge.

    MOM reminds employers that they must pay their domestic worker's salaries on time. In accordance to the Work Permit conditions, an FDW must be paid no later than seven days after the last day of the salary period. Each salary period cannot exceed one month.

    Employers must also maintain a monthly salary record paid to their FDWs, and to obtain written acknowledgement from their FDWs.

    In addition, employers should not keep the FDW’s salaries on her behalf, and/or make this arrangement as a condition for her employment. Employers should decline any request from their FDWs to help them save their salaries.

    If an FDW has not received her salary, she should immediately raise the matter to the employer. If the problem persists and the employer does not settle the salary arrears as promised, the FDW should report the matter to MOM or seek assistance from her employment agency. 

    maryanns@sph.com.sg

    Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 16:49
    Others

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    There is no shortage of art and culture in Singapore, with exhibitions celebrating all kinds of art throughout the year. And an outing to these places usually warrants an outfit-of-the-day photo. We visit two stalwarts of the Singapore art scene, which will give you the perfect #ootd photo you need to commemorate your day out.

    We ride to the National Museum, where Singaporeans and Permanent Residents can enter for free. Everyone from all ages, races and nationalities will definitely find something to love about this museum, from the decor, the informative and at times, heart-wrenching galleries, to the interactive displays.

    Photo: InstaScram

    This oldest museum in Singapore was at one time, called the Raffles Library and Museum, during its inception on October 12,1887. It has kept its presentation of Singapore history and culture current, and has festivals and curated events alongside its permanent galleries all year round.

    If you are looking for a dose of history from the experts, there are tours that you can join every weekday from 11am to 3pm. You will find that the beautiful white walls of the building amaze tourists and locals alike, and many couples find their inspiration for their wedding photo shoots here too. And family trips have never seen better days with the National Museum's 'Children's Season', when every year, they dedicate the school holidays for activities and learning journeys for the whole family. This year, the season ran during the school holidays in June 2017, so keep a lookout for next year's session!

    Our second location is much newer, established in November 2015. The National Gallery Singapore seems like one of those places that has been around for a long time. And it has. It is actually made up of two national monuments, connected by a rooftop linkway, with immense history surrounding them: The Old Supreme Court building, and City Hall.

    Take a walk with us through these halls, which have witnessed numerous historical events. In August 1939, the Old Supreme Court was the last colonial-style building to be built in Singapore. A few years earlier in 1937, a time capsule containing newspapers dated March 31, 1937, along with some currency from the Straits Settlements were buried, as the foundation stone was laid by Sir Shenton Thomas. The time capsule is slated to be opened in the year 3000, so we will have to wait until then before we can view its contents again.

    It was gazetted as a national monument in 1992, before being vacated in 2005 when the new Supreme Court building opened.

    Standing adjacent to it is City Hall, which is also steeped in history. It was built in the late 1920s and was called the Municipal Building until 1951. Since then, it has borne witness to many key political moments in Singapore history. It was where the Japanese formally surrendered to the British on September 12, 1945, to Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, in the City Hall Chamber, which has been meticulously preserved. After Singapore was granted its city-state status, the Municipal Building was renamed City Hall.

    Photo: InstaScram

    The same City Hall Chamber has also seen the rise of Singapore as we know it. It was also the place where our first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, and his cabinet were sworn in on June 5, 1959, and where Yusof bin Ishak, our first president, was inaugurated just six months later. On the same day, it witnessed the unveiling of the national anthem, national flag, and national crest. Given the number of historic moments that have taken place within its magnificent structure, it is certainly no surprise that City Hall was gazetted as a national monument on February 14, 1992.

    With over 64,000 square metres of floor area, the National Gallery is Singapore's largest museum, and one of the biggest in the region. It exhibits mostly artwork and historical pieces from Singapore's National Collection. Apart from the artwork, it is worth a trip to marvel at this architectural gem of a national monument, and how the past and the present is merged together in this ingeniously transformed museum.

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

     

    Friday, August 18, 2017 - 09:00
    Others

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    An Uber driver and his passenger came to blows when the latter refused to pay a $6 cancellation fee incurred from terminating an earlier trip.

    The incident happened last Saturday (Aug 12) at around 5pm.

    The 42-year-old passenger spoke to Lianhe Wanbao at Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he was receiving treatment, recounting how he had bought a new phone for his wife on the day of the incident and called for an Uber ride to Balestier.

    Said the passenger:

    "Although the app told me that the driver had already reached, I waited for over 20 minutes and he (the driver) still didn't show up.

    "I cancelled the trip."

    As he did not register a credit card to his Uber account, the passenger was unaware that he had incurred a $6 cancellation fee.

    He promptly booked another Uber ride and got on.

    Upon reaching his destination, he planned to pay his fare in cash, but was told by the Uber driver that he had to clear his outstanding cancellation fees as well.

    He felt that it was unreasonable, and refused to pay.

    The two got into a heated argument, alighted the vehicle and started shoving each other.

    During the ensuing scuffle, the passenger sustained a punch to his head, which left him dizzy.

    He added: "I couldn't even sit up straight after that, and had to be conveyed to a hospital in an ambulance for a check-up."

    The incident has been confirmed by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

    A police spokesman said that the case is currently under investigation.

    Friday, August 18, 2017 - 09:06

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    Uberassault
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    Friday, August 18, 2017 - 09:46
    North-South MRT Line hit by 2 disruptions in 12 hours, both during peak-hour commute
    Others

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    The next time you receive a call from someone who claims to be from your telecommunications company, you might want to listen attentively to avoid being scammed.

    According to the police, members of the public have been receiving phone calls from callers claiming to be staff from telcos based in either China or Singapore.

    THIS IS HOW IT WORKS

    The recipients of such calls would first hear an automated Mandarin voice message telling them that their phone lines would be terminated and that they had to enter '1' to get further instructions from either the Chinese police or telecommunications company staff.

    Recipients were then told that a mobile phone number registered under their names had been used for illicit activities such as operating an online gambling website and access to illegal websites, and so on.

    The Mandarin-speaking operator would then go on to ask for personal information such as name, identification card number, nationality and contact number in order to 'assist' in resolving the matter.

    PHONE CALL WITH LOCAL NUMBER MAY NOT BE MADE HERE

    Police say such scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. 

    What this means is that calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore.

    Police advised the public to hang up the call if you receive a suspicious call from a local number. It is also best to wait five minutes before calling back to check the validity of the nuimber.

    Police also said to not follow the caller's instructions and do not give out personal information and bank details, whether on the website or to calls over the phone.

    Personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.

    WHEN DO TELCOS CALL?

    According to StarHub, the telco typically reaches out to customers if the customer calls in first to engage their services. StarHub normally calls a customer back to answer requests put in by them. 

    A StarHub spokesperson added that they conduct cross-verifications with the customers during the calls to establish their identity accurately and to inform the customers that it is a legitimate call from StarHub.

    He also told AsiaOne that customers who receive calls from suspicious numbers claiming to be from the company should immediately ignore and disregard the call. Personal details should not be given out at all, said the spokesperson.

    To seek scam-related advice, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722- 6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.

    klim@sph.com.sg
     

    Friday, August 18, 2017 - 12:27
    Revised
    Scammers in Singapore these days are coming up with various tactics to obtain personal information, from parcel phone scams to authority impersonation scams. Here's a new one - impersonating telco staff.

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    Months of brainstorming and ideation paid off as AsiaOne picked up two awards at the 2017 Spark Awards on Friday night (Aug 18), held at the InterContinental Hotel Singapore.

    The social news site was picked up the silver award for Best Website by a Media Owner and a bronze for Best Corporate Branding.

    AsiaOne, which is a digital content site by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), was up against other media companies and agencies from Singapore, as well as the region.

    Organised by Marketing Interactive, this year's event marks the fourth edition of the regional awards programme. 

    AsiaOne unveiled its brand new look in May after going through a revamp. In a bold move, the website ditched its traditional red and blue colours for a fresh burst of yellow.

    Previously a go-to news and lifestyle site for Singaporeans, it has now evolved into a platform for trending social news and popular content within Asia.

    Snagging this new win at the Spark Awards is tantamount to the team's efforts in its drive to constantly improve the website and its content offerings.

    AsiaOne editor Karen Lim said: "Winning the two awards is a nod to the hard work over the past few months to deliver a brand new site with engaging content to our readers. We are honoured and humbled by this recognition, and the team will continue to do its best in creating and curating trending topics within Asia."

    The awards drew entries from all over, including media companies such as BBC Global News and Malaysia's broadcasting channel Astro.

    There were 30 contestable categories placed into three groups: 'Strategy' that recognises the media owner's efforts to improve its media offerings, 'Solutions' that examines the efficacy of its spaces, tools or medium in providing its clients the results intended, and 'People' that recognises the outstanding individuals behind it.

    Other portals and websites form SPH also clinched a number of accolades.

    SPHMBO, SPH’s outdoor advertising arm, won a gold award for Best Media Solution - Experiential, and silver award for Best Media Solution - Out of Home for its "SK-II Dream Again - Digital Dream Wall" campaign.

    SPH’s FastJobs app, a mobile platform for job seekers to search for temporary, contract, non-executive and part-time jobs, clinched a bronze in the Best App by a Media Owner category.

    SPH also won a bronze in the Best Media Solution – Print category for its "Singapore Airlines to Stockholm" print ad, which appeared in The Straits Times.

    Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of SPH’s English/Malay/Tamil Media group and editor of The Straits Times, said: "We are delighted to be honoured with these awards, which are recognition of our relentless efforts to keep improving our products to serve our readers needs in a multimedia world.  Our readers are the real winners ultimately."

    ssandrea@sph.com.sg

    Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 00:30

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    Awards and prizes
    Assignment

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