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    Stomp contributor Minh was travelling down an escalator at The Centrepoint with his maid at around 2.05pm on Thursday (Sep 7) when the escalator suddenly broke down.

    According to Minh, he heard the sound of "crunching metal" right after he got off the escalator and quickly turned to shout at his maid to jump.

    "Luckily she did (jump), if not, her leg would have been injured or crushed," he said.

    Despite her quick reaction, Minh's maid still suffered minor scratches on her leg and was shaken by the incident.

    "A security guard told me that the escalator is relatively new and is in a part of the mall that has just been renovated," the Stomp contributor said.

    In photos shared by Minh, the metal steps of the escalator appear crushed.

    Photo: Stomp

    Minh told Stomp that he has reported the incident to the mall's management.

    "If you hear sounds that don't seem right on an escalator, my only advice is to get off it quickly. Better to be safe than sorry."

    In response to Stomp media queries, a spokesman for The Centrepoint issued the following response:

    "An escalator located at Basement 1 of The Centrepoint broke down at 2.10pm yesterday (Sep 7).

    "Two shoppers with a stroller were using the escalator when the incident happened. One of the shoppers suffered a scratch on her leg. We are in touch with the shoppers.

    "We have notified the Building and Construction Authority and are working with escalator vendor OTIS to investigate the incident. We regret any inconvenience caused and continue to encourage all shoppers with luggage, prams or trolleys to use the lifts instead.

    "The escalator is currently closed for maintenance until further notice."

    A BCA spokesman informed Stomp that they would be carrying out their own investigations into the incident:

    "BCA was notified of an escalator incident involving a pram, at The Centrepoint and our engineers inspected the escalator yesterday.

    "BCA will be issuing a Notice to Suspend the escalator and the escalator owner is required to engage an Authorised Examiner (AE) to investigate into the incident, recommend rectification works and submit a report to BCA. BCA will also be conducting an independent investigation into the incident.

    "The escalator will only be allowed to resume operation after rectification works are completed, to the satisfaction of BCA."

    Friday, September 8, 2017 - 11:16

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    Stomp contributor Wind is puzzled at how some of his neighbours at Block 413 Pasir Ris Drive 6 have sectioned off plots of land from a new neighbourhood park for their own private use.

    According to Wind, Time Park had just reopened yesterday (Sep 7) after going through a revamp but he was dismayed at how there were still a few areas that he described as an "eyesore".

    "These private gardens just look very unsightly and poorly maintained," said the Stomp contributor.

    "They put all their plants, pots and pans in these 'plots'. Some even use these areas as their own storage yard.

    "They also put up mini-fences to make it more exclusive.

    "I just don't think it is fair for other residents that they can get away with this.

    "Does this mean that I can also barricade an area of this beautiful park for my own private functions?"

    Friday, September 8, 2017 - 11:41

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    September is fashion month and BTWeekend brings you its inaugural Fall/Winter fashion report, spotlighting the must-buys to add to your wardrobe this season. 

    And speaking of shopping, is the death knell really ringing for brick-and-mortar shops? Not quite. Luxury retailing isn't dead but evolving, and malls savvy enough to re-invent the shopping experience are the ones with the most staying power. Also, take a walk in the past through Beijing’s fast disappearing hutongs, and make a booking at one of the latest Mod-Asian restaurants in town.

    Women in tech seem to be an elusive bunch. In the main paper, Brunch explores why the sector is riddled with  such inequalities.

    Cubicle Files looks at how monitoring employees’ email is a minefield for companies, while The Finish Line features the top players headed for BNP Paribas Women’s Tennis Association  Finals. Music To My Ears reiews the European Audio Team B-Sharp Turntable and Christian Scott’s Ruler Rebel.

    And in our BT Motoring section, we peek into the wacky world of Mercedes' high-performance AMG label and test drive the latest model. Check out the latest SUV to hit town, the new Volvo XC60. And Porsche chairman Oliver Blume shares what defines the Cayenne, known as the Porsche that saved the company.

    To subscribe, visit btsub.sg/weekend


    Friday, September 8, 2017 - 11:43

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    A 49-year-old woman was arrested for attempted suicide and a drug related offence at Block 645 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 yesterday (Sep 6).

    Stomp contributor Yanni alerted Stomp to what happened and sent us a video of the scene that she filmed at around 7.30pm. She had been in the area since 5pm, when rescue efforts were already going on.

    Before she was arrested, the woman had locked herself inside a HDB unit on the seventh floor of Block 645. According to the Stomp contributor, there was also a male companion in the flat.

    In the video Yanni sent, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel can be seen deploying a safety net from the eighth floor.

    Shortly after, two rescuers rappelled down from the ninth storey to the kitchen windows of the flat the couple were in.

    In a telephone interview, the Stomp contributor said that the duo was preventing rescuers from opening the windows.

    She reported hearing the man shouting "go go, don't open".

    SCDF eventually managed to break the brief deadlock and can be seen entering the unit at around the four-minute mark of the video.

    A spokesman from the SCDF told Stomp that two fire engines, four support vehicles and one ambulance had earlier been deployed to the scene in response to the incident.

    Upon arrival, they set up two life packs on the ground floor as a precautionary measure.

    Among the SCDF personnel sent to the scene were officers from the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team.

    Alongside rescue personnel and equipment at the foot of the block were a crowd of onlookers. The Stomp contributor estimates that there might have been more than 50 people who gathered to see what happened.

    SCDF personnel eventually conducted forcible entry into the unit using a hydraulic tool, and the woman was apprehended by police.

    In response to a media query, a police spokesman told Stomp:

    "On Sep 6, 2017, at 4.33pm, police were alerted to a call for assistance at Block 645 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6.

    "A 49-year-old woman was subsequently arrested for attempted suicide and suspected drug related offence.

    "Police investigations are ongoing."


    • Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
    • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
    • Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
    • Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800
    Friday, September 8, 2017 - 12:03

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    SINGAPORE - 15-year-old Wesley Mok may seem like any other ordinary student, but his dream is not like any other's. While many of his peers aspire to become lawyers or doctors, Wesley dreams of becoming a circus performer.

    Juggling is a love at first sight affair for Wesley, who became hooked when his mother bought him a set of juggling balls as Christmas present in 2012.

    Since then, he has gone on to learn diabolo, acrobatics and even unicycling. After he chanced upon a busker juggling, he decided to do the same and apply for a permit. That was how he became Singapore's youngest busking juggler.


    Understandably, Wesley's parents worry for his future. While the arts scene in Singapore is increasingly vibrant, few will consider circus-performing as a serious career option. "Sometimes it is a dilemma between supporting him to pursue his dream, and discouraging him for practical reasons," said Mrs Mok.

    Wesley knows this all too well. "When it comes to circus art, Singapore simply does not have any facilities or professional coaches that provide training in this area. It is hard for me to improve my skills." That is why he insists on taking his performance to the streets three times a week despite his hectic schedules in school, in a bid to accumulate experience and hone his skills.

    His grades suffer. "Well, you can't say I spend most of my time on juggling, but you can say spending more time on my studies will definitely help," he says sheepishly.


    Over the years, Wesley's dream remains unwavered. He hopes to enroll in a circus school overseas and eventually perform in a circus when he grows up.

    Coincidentally, world-renowned circus troupe, Cirque du Soleil happens to be in town for a tour. Host Ken Low decides to approach the circus to see if they are willing to teach Wesley a trick or two.

    How will Wesley fare in the eyes of the professionals? Will the world famous circus performance change his parents' mind regarding circus art? Watch to find out.

    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, September 8, 2017 - 15:34

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    A drunk man allegedly tried to attack another food court patron who asked him to keep his volume down.

    The incident happened in a food court at People's Park Complex on Tuesday (Sept 5) at around 2pm.

    The 79-year-old patron who was almost assaulted told Shin Min Daily News that the belligerent man had downed four bottles of beer prior to the altercation and was talking loudly.

    He said: "He started sprouting nonsense loudly after drinking four bottles of beer.

    "I couldn't put up with it anymore so I asked him to lower his voice.

    "I didn't expect him to flare up.

    "He started shouting at me, before going back to his table.

    "He suddenly grabbed a beer bottle and charged towards me.

    "I took about five to six steps back.

    "He struck the table with the bottle.

    "Some passers-by stepped in to intervene."

    The septuagenarian revealed that he had grabbed a chair to defend himself, while bystanders intervened.

    The manager of the food court also attempted to mediate the situation.

    A video of the incident was posted on Sure Boh Singapore's Facebook page.

    In the video, the drunk man, in a striped shirt could be heard shouting at a group of men, while bystanders crowded around to observe the debacle.

    A voice could be heard saying in Mandarin:

    "So what if you're Singaporean?"

    The drunk man retorted by accusing another man of hitting him.

    An individual within the group then suggested calling the police.

    His suggestion was met with strong objection by the drunk man before he walked off.

    It is unclear what happened after.

    Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:21

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    Help is always welcomed around the house, especially with the arrival of a newborn.

    Just last month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong encouraged more Singaporeans to have children when he attended a community event in Teck Ghee

    The hope for Singaporeans to have more kids has long been part of a national conversation about the nation's ageing population.

    And it seems like furniture giant IKEA Singapore is showing strong support for this narrative as it was recently reported that the company is offering four weeks of paid paternity leave to all its employees.

    Previously, all new dads from the company were granted one week of paid paternity leave.

    HR director for IKEA Southeast Asia Lydia Song told AsiaOne in an e-mail interview: "We decided it was time we align our paternity leave benefits in all markets where we operate, so that we provide fair terms to every co-worker within Ikea Southeast Asia.

    "As always, we look at our co-worker needs and benefits and adjust step by step, year by year. This offer of four weeks paid leave is a big step, and it's part of a reward package that sets us apart from other retailers in the region."

    Not only does this benefit - which has been in effect since Jan 1 this year - extend to all employees of IKEA Singapore, contract staff as well as part-timers are included too, Song added.

    Dingson Presbitero Balahadia, 36, welcomed his first child last month and said the four-week paid paternity leave was "really great" - not just for him, but for his wife as well.

    "The first few weeks were quite difficult for us in terms of adjusting. I was very glad that I got to be there for my wife in terms of physical and emotional support, and I think she really felt the difference," Balahadia said in an e-mail interview.

    The visual merchandiser at the IKEA Alexandra outlet said the extra two weeks away from work gave him a "great chance to spend time with his child and create a special bond".

    "I know that my wife is very grateful that I had the flexibility to be able to be there for her as well," the new dad shared.

    According to Song, IKEA Southeast Asia has seen 27 co-workers in the region claim this benefit, with 14 coming from Singapore.

    She said: "Our co-workers have been very enthusiastic about their time at home. Some employees have taken two weeks in succession, and then saved the rest to be claimed over the following weeks.

    "They're happy that this has allowed them more time to be at home, but also the flexibility in which they can take it."

    The company is firmly behind the notion that fathers should be given the opportunity to stay at home during the critical first month of a baby. It has even teamed up with the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore to organise a photo contest and an exhibit to raise awareness of the role dads can play at home with their young ones.

    "We are focused on families - both in our business and in our workplaces. We embrace our Swedish roots and values - and that includes gender equality," Song shared.

    "So we are really pleased to be able to take this step and enable dads to do their part at home."

    As for Balahadia, he plans to expand his brood with at least one more child.

    And he said the longer paternity leave offered by IKEA Singapore has definitely made it easier for him and his wife to cope, even though they had already planned to have more kids before the company's paternity leave offer.

    He believes in the importance of "sharing equal responsibility" in raising his child together with his wife.


    Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:19

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    So everything's going to plan. One of you successfully pulled off a tearjerking engagement, and you've found the perfect home…

    …except that your home is now a construction site and will be completed only in three years' time.

    Buying uncompleted property is very common in Singapore, whether it means buying a BTO flat or a unit in a condo development.

    And obviously, unless you were born to a tycoon, you need to take out a home loan to finance your property.

    Here are six things you need to know about your home loan when your home hasn't been built yet:


    It is certainly more convenient to get an HDB loan if you're buying a BTO flat. No need to source for your own lawyer or bank loan, and legal fees are lower.

    But you pay for this by incurring higher interest rates. That's right, HDB loans are more expensive than bank loans with an interest rate of 2.6 per cent.

    At the moment, floating rate bank loans are the cheapest option. But even fixed rate loans offer better interest rates than HDB loans.


    You may not even have a choice between an HDB loan and bank loan if you fall short of HDB's regulations.

    HDB loans are only open to couples consisting of at least one Singapore citizen, who've taken no more than two other housing loans from the HDB and with a gross monthly household income of not more than $12,000.

    You are also not eligible for an HDB loan if you're buying an EC or sold your private property 30 months ago or less.


    If you're buying a BTO flat, you can get away with paying a smaller downpayment than your friend who's buying a unit in an unfinished condo development. The downpayment for a BTO flat can be as low as 10 per cent of the purchase price, as opposed to 20 per cent for condo developments.

    That means you can borrow up to 90 per cent of the purchase price, but only if you take an HDB loan. You still need to front 20 per cent of the purchase price if you take a bank loan.

    What's more, couples buying BTO flats who are first-time applicants, at least one of whom is under 30, might be eligible for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme which enables them to pay this 10 per cent or 20 per cent downpayment in two installments.

    Do note however that how much you're allowed to borrow will also be limited by the TDSR. Your monthly total loan repayments (that includes student loans, car loans, credit card debt, etc) cannot exceed more than 60 per cent of your gross monthly income.


    The maximum loan tenure for HDB loans is generally 25 years, or till you are 65 years old, so don't overstretch yourself. You don't exactly have your whole life to repay it.

    For bank loans, on the other hand, you can have a loan tenure of up to 30 years.


    When you take out an HDB loan, your CPF Ordinary Account will be drained to pay for the property, and HDB will then lend you the balance.

    If you don't want that to happen and prefer to keep your OA money for your retirement, you should either transfer it into your Special Account (note that that means you can't touch the money at all until retirement) or opt for a bank loan instead.

    With a bank loan, it's up to you how much CPF money you want to use for the downpayment and loan installments.


    When you start repaying your loan has nothing to do with whether you're taking an HDB loan or a bank loan. Rather, it is linked to what type of property you have bought.

    For HDB property, you only have to start repaying your loan when you pick up your keys. In other words, there is no need to pay until you can move in.

    If the builders take three years to reach that stage, you've got three years before having to start repaying the loan (and, uh, get married as well if you haven't already done so).

    Are you taking out an HDB loan or bank loan to finance your first home? Tell us in the comments!

    Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 14:00

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    A Singaporean female doctor died after diving at the island of Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday morning (Sept 6).

    Dr Wong Yu Yi, 48, was reportedly diving with a group of divers at the Blue Lagoon, located in Bali's eastern port town of Padangbai during the time of the incident, reports Indonesian local media.

    The group was diving at a depth of about 20m at 9.12am when she suddenly gestured for help.

    The dive leader quickly led her to the surface, but she had already lost conscious by then.

    She was rushed to a hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

    The local police have declined to comment on the cause of death when inquired.

    The diver leader told Lianhe Wanbao that he noticed Dr Wong had been constantly looking at her dive computer, which records the depth of the water, during the incident.

    He said:

    "I don't know if her dive computer had malfunctioned, but there was definitely insufficient oxygen in her oxygen tank."

    According to her colleague Alicia Lau, Dr Wong worked as an aesthetic doctor in a clinic at Novena Medical Centre.

    Ms Lau said that Dr Wong had been working there for about five years, and came to know about her death only after being informed by her boss.

    A spokesman for ClearSK Healthcare Group, which runs the clinic, told The Straits Times that Dr Wong was one of its senior doctors, and was highly qualified with a Master in Medicine, but had chosen to focus on aesthetic medicine five years ago.

    According to the spokesman, Dr Wong is survived by three children and a husband who works as a surgeon.

    A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that MFA and the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta rendered consular assistance to the deceased's next-of-kin.

    The spokesman added:

    "We extend our condolences to the bereaved family."

    Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 09:45
    Senior Singaporean doctor dies in Bali diving accident

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    Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 11:09
    Man used a knife and a chopper to slash his wife to 'make sure she die'

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    Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 11:32
    He had 10 traffic violations and the next one led to a biker's death

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    Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 19:54
    Bt Panjang LRT disrupted for 6 hours: 2 trains stalled and passengers walked to next stop

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    Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 09:46
    $5.2 million lost to fare cheats on public transport in 2016 - how did they do it?

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    Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 09:54
    Florida authorities are urging people to flee from Hurricane Irma, but this brave Singaporean is staying put

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    Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 10:02
    Singapore faces more weather extremes as world warms - but will we be hit by a hurricane?

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