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    SINGAPORE - Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp reported a 12 per cent increase in quarterly net profit, boosted by growth in its insurance and wealth management businesses, but highlighted continued stress in the oil and gas support services.

    Kicking off the results season for Singapore banks on Thursday, the city state's No. 2 lender said its total non-performing assets rose 15 per cent in the quarter from a year earlier, hit by downgrades at its oil and gas clients.

    OCBC's net profit came in at $1.06 billion in the three months ended September, versus S$943 million a year earlier.

    Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 09:35

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    My First Skool has issued an apology in response to a Stomp media query after a boy with autism went missing from one of their pre-schools at Block 140 Serangoon North Avenue 2 on Tuesday (Oct 24).

    Stomp contributors Pinky and Kris alerted Stomp to a post by Facebook user Ms Ong recounting how stressed she was when she found out her son was missing.

    She received a call from a school teacher at around 10.48am telling her what had happened.

    Thankfully, at 10.53am, she received a call from a Yishun MRT Station staff member that her son was there.

    Ms Ong rushed down to the station immediately and was overcome with relief to find him there, safe and sound.

    She then went back to the school to find out what happened but said that what they told her drove her "crazy".

    She wrote that the teacher said she had brought seven of her students, or half of the class, outside to water and clear some plants at 10.15am.

    She then said at 10.30am all students returned back to the classroom.

    She discovered that Ms Ong's son was missing at 10.31am.

    Ms Ong was confused and felt that the timing did not make sense.

    She said: "Yishun MRT [station] called us at 10.53am and told us my son is there so [it] is impossible that he took bus service 73 to go to Ang Mo Kio MRT [station] then to Yishun MRT [station]."

    She then said that the principal told the teacher to "think carefully" and that the teacher replied that she might have remembered the time of events wrong.

    Ms Ong was furious and told them off.

    She wrote in her post that some may think that her son is old enough to know better but she put out a reminder that he is autistic and that he has been with My First Skool since he was a toddler.

    She said that the school and its staff should have been aware of his situation.

    She added that she told her son to apologise to the teachers as it is "wrong to run away from school".

    She also asked readers to share her post.

    General Manager for My First Skool, Mrs Adeline Tan gave Stomp the following response:

    "We apologise unreservedly for this incident which has caused great stress and worry to the family of a child under our care. The boy has been with us since he was a toddler and our teachers have always conscientiously looked out for him.

    Upon discovering that the child was not with his classmates yesterday morning during a gardening activity, the teachers at the centre did their best to search for the child in the vicinity of the centre, before the teacher in charge of the gardening activity contacted the parent.

    The teacher-in-charge is deeply apologetic and badly shaken by this incident. She is being counselled and understands that appropriate disciplinary action will have to be taken. We are doing our utmost to engage with the parent on this incident."

    Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 10:53

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    A day after the Singapore passport gained an upgrade on the Passport Index to nab the top spot in the world - yet another upgrade is underway, this time in its passport design.

    The new Singapore biometric passport design will feature new visa page designs as well as additional security features, said the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a statement on Thursday (Oct 26).

    The elevated security features will make the passport harder to be tampered with or forged.

    Photo: ICA

    Similar to the existing passport, the brand new design complies with recommendations and requirements laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICA added.

    Photo: ICA

    There's also no need for Singapore citizens with existing valid passports to replace their passports as the current ones remain valid for travel.

    Those whose passport applications are received by the ICA from Oct 21 onwards will be issued with passports with the new design. These passports are available for collection from Oct 30 onwards.

    Members of the public can collect their passports from the ICA building between Oct 30 and Nov 15, and at selected post offices from Nov 16.

    For more details on the passport with the new design, visit ICA's website here.

    Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 10:56

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    Singapore passport

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    A viral Facebook post showing a dead dog with its head stuck in a pipe at Jalan Lam Sam, near the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) building, has enraged many netizens.

    Stomp contributor Anne alerted Stomp to the post by Ananthi Naidu, a volunteer at local dog shelter SOSD Singapore.

    In the photos, a dog can be seen with its head stuck in a pipe. She wrote, "This photo (was) taken by an old feeder seeking justice for his stray he had been feeding. This is (an) inhumane act of a beastly human. What did the poor dog do to you?"

    on Facebook

    #Update Thanks everyone for your sharing . The authorities had been alerted and AVA investigating the case. Let's...

    Posted by Ananthi Naidu on Tuesday, 24 October 2017

    We reached out to Ananthi Naidu who gave us the number of 68-year-old retiree Han Hee Siew, an avid dog lover who took the photos.

    In a telephone interview with Stomp, Mr Han said that he found the dead dog near a canal at Jalan Lam Sam on Oct 19. The area where the dead dog was found was also close to the SPCA building.

    Mr Han had been feeding the stray dog every day for the past four to five years.

    He told Stomp: "I was shocked and angry. Someone clearly forced the dog's head into the pipe."

    Mr Han later shared the photos with Ananthi Naidu, who posted the photos on Facebook to help spread the word.

    "I hope more people can be aware of this. Many dogs have disappeared from the area over the years."

    Many netizens were also quick to condemn the act of cruelty.

    The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) told Stomp that they are currently investigating the incident.

    Stomp has also reached out to SPCA for comment.

    Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 14:20

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    PETALING JAYA - Malaysian diver Wendy Ng Yan Yee will have to return the gold medals she won at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August after she failed a doping test.

    Wendy's B sample also tested positive for sibutramine, a stimulant commonly found in slimming products but is on the banned list of substances by the World Anti Doping Agency.

    The 24-year-old Wendy, who represented the country and made the 3m springboard individual final at the Rio Olympics last year, was in New Delhi, India two weeks ago to observe her B sample being opened and tested.

    Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia secretary Mae Chen confirmed that it was notified of the B sample results on Thursday (Oct 26) morning but will reserve comments until association president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim is notified.

    Malaysia will still keep the gold medal in the 3m springboard individual event as Nur Dhabitah Sabri will be promoted to first place now.

    Dhabitah originally finished behind Wendy in the 3m springboard individual event.

    However, Malaysia will lose the gold medal won by Wendy-Dhabitah in the 3m springboard synchro event.

    Singapore's Ashlee Tan-Fong Kay Yian will get the gold medal instead.

    Wendy can expect to be banned for a maximum of up to two years and not four years as the use of sibutramine is not viewed as serious an offence as performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids or erythropoietin (EPO).

    Sibutramine is listed in the S6 (specified stimulants) category under the WADA code released in January this year.

    Asum, it is learnt, wants to appeal for a lighter sentence for Wendy.

    Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 16:37

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    Health is wealth in more ways than one, with more health-conscious individuals turning wellness into sustainable businesses. Meanwhile, landlords are bypassing retail and industrial tenants to offer co-working spaces to designers and other creative people who bring new life to their buildings.

    And also in the magazine, we make a stopover in Latvia where you'll find the ultimate smart holiday home.

    Grief is a powerful emotion that can have a profound effect on behaviour and performance. In Brunch in the main paper, we explore how it affects us, and why we should perhaps embrace grief, so that we can live and work with it.

    Disrupted discovers technologies at the WTA Finals Singapore 2017 that are revolutionising coaching and journalism in women's tennis.

    'Tis the season for giving. Cult Status makes a list of the cool and unusual that will make worthy presents. Finally, The Steering Column heads to the Tokyo Motor Show, where Japan's leading carmakers are presenting their vision of tomorrow's mobility. Toyota is displaying cars with artificial intelligence designed to make them love you - in the hope that you will love them back.

    To subscribe, visit

    Friday, October 27, 2017 - 16:59

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    When Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim was involved in a war of words with Law Minister K Shanmugam five years ago, it probably never occurred to her that her future boyfriend was watching - and falling in love.

    In a new book launched recently by local theatre director and creative executive Dr Loretta Chen, Lim gives an honest and candid account of her budding romance in 2013 with football hero Quah Kim Song.

    During a Parliament session in 2012, Lim had posed a question about prominent plastic surgeon Woffles Wu, who was fined $1,000 for getting an elderly employee to take the rap for two speeding offences.

    The opposition party member was concerned over the public reaction to the verdict, which resulted in a heated exchange between her and the law minister.

    But little did she know, Quah was so impressed with her then that he started asking one of his friends about her. Romance blossomed between the two when they met in January 2013 at a Workers' Party variety show and the couple have been together since.

    In Chen's new book, titled Madonnas and Mavericks: Power Women in Singapore, Lim gives a candid account of going through hormonal changes in her 40s, how her parents have impacted her, her sacrifices on privacy and handling the press, and the lowest point in her life - the auditing issues of her town council.

    Lim is but one of the 17 women profiled in Chen's latest book, a collection of stories from Singaporean women who have scaled the peaks and thrived in unexpected places.

    The personalities in her book cut across diverse backgrounds, race, religion and sexuality, ranging from President Halimah Yacob to dessert chef Janice Wong, "Singapore's Grande Dame" Jennie Chua, and actress Xiang Yun, among others.

    All these women, although different, have one thing in common: They have redefined what it means to be a 21st century woman.

    And their stories needed to be told, said Chen, who is now based in Hawaii and teaching at two universities there.

    For someone like Chen, interviewing these 17 successful women seems like a walk in the park. Having been a television presenter, radio personality, international consultant, and author, the 40-year-old has her own success story to tell.

    But the multi-hyphenate admitted that it wasn't the case.

    "Truth be told, there were times when I was afraid that I wouldn't sound smart or knowledgeable enough to interview these women, but I knew that it was all in my head and knew better than to listen to my inner critic," said Chen.

    Dr Loretta Chen recently released her new book titled Madonna and Mavericks: Power Women in Singapore.Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua

    She revealed that when she met them, all her fears swiftly dissipated, as all the women were supportive and keen to share their stories.

    What struck Chen the most were seeing the vulnerable sides of them, their dilemmas, experiences with discrimination and personal admissions.

    "All these stories are so refreshing to hear, as they are not the standard fare one would expect in the newspapers or magazines," said Chen.

    Madonnas and Mavericks is Chen's third book. Her first book in 2014, Woman on Top, is a biography of her life as a sibling of local actor Edmund Chen, dealing with her partner's suicide, and parents' illnesses. She launched her second book, a biography of entrepreneur Elim Chew, in 2016.

    Photo: Marshall Cavendish

    As for why she chose to name her book Madonnas and Mavericks, Chen explains in her introduction: "Madonna as a steadfast and virtuous woman.. She is a disciplined professional with specialised mastery… This contrasts with the Maverick… a game-changer and a dynamic individual, who revels in taking the bull by its horns and seeking new adventures."

    Chen herself is pretty much a maverick too.

    Ripping both her knees while surfing in Hawaii left her homebound, which propelled her to embark on the book - a project that took two years to complete.

    "I decided that writing was a great way for me to connect with Singapore while I was in the process of moving countries," said Chen, who was shuttling in between Hawaii, Singapore and Bhutan from 2012.

    In 2014, she decided Hawaii was home and left with just her suitcase. She met her Korean husband there in 2015 and the two tied the knot after six months.

    "I knew I was going to marry him the minute we met. He knew the following day - men are always slower," said Chen jokingly.

    Chen is currently working on her fourth book Mana Wahine: Power Women in Hawaii, which will be launched next year. She also plans to work on another book for 2019.

    "Perhaps I am on my way to being the Woody Allen of books, with one offering every year."

    Madonnas and Mavericks: Power Women in Singapore ($32) is available at all major bookstores in Singapore.

    Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 12:00
    Sylvia Lim talks about romance with boyfriend in new book

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    A businessman went on the run for about 10 hours after allegedly stabbing his 44-year-old wife to death and was later arrested.

    The purported incident took place at a condominium in Jalan Loyang Besar yesterday (Oct 27) at around 12am.

    It is understood that the deceased, Raithena Vaithena Samy, 44, was discovered in the bedroom unit of the condominium.

    The suspect, her 50-year-old husband, Krishnan Raju, runs a private bus business.

    The couple has a daughter and the family has stayed in the condominium for around two to three years.

    A neighbour recalled hearing sounds of a quarrel, as well as a girl crying at about 11pm on Oct 26.

    However, she was uncertain as to where the noises came from.

    Another resident revealed that the couple had been loving but about a year back, their relationship seemed to have soured.

    She said: "Although I never saw them quarrel, I haven't seen them out together for about two to three months.

    "They would head out by themselves."

    Shin Min Daily News understands that the two were quarrelling during the time of the incident.

    The suspect, enraged, allegedly grabbed a knife and lunged at the victim, stabbing her multiple times. The victim bore a deep wound on her chest.

    The suspect fled subsequently. He is understood to have entered Malaysia via the Causeway.

    Around 10 hours after the incident, he returned to Singapore and surrendered himself at Woodlands Checkpoint, where he was then arrested.

    In response to media queries, a police spokesman said that they received a call for assistance at Loyang Gardens at 12.12am, and the victim was pronounced dead on site yesterday (Oct 27) at 12.25am.

    Police investigations are ongoing.

    Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 15:01

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