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    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 07:20

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    Three people were injured in a chain collision involving three motorcycles, a car and two taxis along the Tampines Expressway (TPE) on Oct 26 at 8.48am.

    In a video of what happened posted on ROADS.sg, a cabby can be seen pressing on his brakes after the 20-second mark in response to traffic hold-up.

    The driver of a Honda, who was behind, was unable to do the same in time and hit the rear of the taxi.

    Moments later, a motorcyclist brushed against the side of the Honda and lost his balance.

    Two other bikers then crashed into the rear of the Honda, causing debris to be strewn all over the road.

    The accident left three people injured.

    Said a police spokesman in response to a Stomp query: "On Oct 28, 2017, at 8.50am, the police were alerted to an accident involving three motorcycles, a car and two taxis along the TPE towards the Pan Island Expressway.

    "Three persons were conscious when conveyed to Changi General Hospital.

    "Police investigations are ongoing."

    on Facebook

    3 motorcyclist were hurt in this pile up when 2 could not stop in time and 1 lost his balance. An off duty paramedic was...

    Posted by ROADS.sg on Saturday, 28 October 2017
    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 12:36

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    Accidents - Traffic

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    A man was arrested for allegedly used his phone to secretly record videos of students from three girls' schools in Bukit Timah.

    The incident happened last Friday morning (Oct 27) when the man was spotted lurking outside Singapore Chinese Girls' School.

    Parents from three schools in the area, namely Raffles Girls' School, Methodist Girls' School and Singapore Chinese Girl's School were warned of a suspicious man lurking outside the schools via various chat groups.

    A parent, Ms Xiao, told Shin Min Daily News that she was sending her daughter to school when she noticed the man walking around with a phone in his hand, behaving suspiciously.

    Ms Xiao said that many parents have observed this man wandering around the girl schools in the area.

    She said: "At about 7.20am, I saw him going through the gates to enter the school.

    "Later I was notified by my chat group that he was arrested. "

    Another mother, Ms Yang , 43, told reporters that her daughter was a student at Raffles Girls' School, and she became worried when she first heard of the man.

    She added: "Fortunately, he has been arrested, but I will still remind my daughter to be careful."

    A Lianhe Wanbao reporter, Ms Chen, 23, revealed that she had been harassed by the same man while she was a student seven years ago.

    The man had approached Ms Chen for a survey, but started messaging her to chat after a few days, reports Lianhe Wanbao.

    Said Ms Chen: "Even his methods remain unchanged.

    "When I heard from my colleague that there was a man arrested for harassing female students, I thought it could be him even without looking at the photos.

    "When I saw the photos, I recognised him right away.

    "I never expected him to resume his activities after getting arrested last year.

    "I can still remember the weird way he would stare at you."

    It is understood that a wary parent called the police, and the man had faced similar charges in the past year, including the harassment of students, stalking a girl near a junior college nearby, and recording a video of the student crossing the road.

    In addition, he was also charged with using a pinhole camera to take an upskirt video in April 2016.

    In response to media queries, a police spokesman said that a 41-year-old man was arrested on Friday (Oct 27) for causing public nuisance.

    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 12:45

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    Sexual Harassment

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    An double decker SBS Transit bus crashed into a shelter of a walkway opposite VivoCity yesterday (Oct 29) at around 7pm , shattering the windshield of the vehicle's upper deck.

    Stomp contributor Carol was on the second level of the vehicle when the accident happened.

    In a telephone interview, she said that she felt strong vibrations as the bus hit the shelter.

    The Stomp contributor estimates that there were around 10 passengers on the upper deck when the accident took place and the crash left them shocked.

    Photo: Stomp

    The bus captain subsequently told everyone to alight before making a call on his mobile phone.

    Photo: Stomp

    No one was injured.

    Photo: Stomp

    Said a spokesman for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in response to a Stomp query: "SCDF received a call for assistance at approximately 7.10pm.

    "SCDF immediately dispatched one ambulance to Telok Blangah Road towards the city."

    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 12:53

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    A netizen has taken to Facebook to share how her flat at Yishun Street 124 was almost broken into two times yesterday (Oct 26) at around 5.20am by a 29-year-old man who was believed to be drunk.

    In the post, the netizen, Mollly Molina, said that she was first woken up by a loud bang and "the sound of the window mesh grating against metal".

    Initially, she thought that it was her cat trying to squeeze itself out of the window.

    Upon investigation, she saw a figure "fumbling" outside her unit.

    As she was still groggy at that point, she did not suspect anything was amiss and said "hi" to the man, who ran off subsequently.

    "He got stunned and ran away to the staircase. I went closer to the window and realised that holy s***, a man just broke 2 bars of the window grilles! So I ran to wake my husband up and called the cops."

    The man, however, returned moments later and apparently tried to enter the house a second time.

    Molly continued: "Right after the call, we heard footsteps approaching our door. So I went to the peephole and saw the man (fair skinned, tall and wearing dark coloured long sleeves and pants) trying to push on the common room's window this time.

    "So my husband opened the main door. The man got shocked and ran away again. By this time, I have armed myself with a long kitchen knife, and my husband with a hammer."

    Things did not end there for the couple, as the man came back once again. This time, he did not try to enter the house but loitered outside the House Development Board unit, said the netizen.

    Police officers then arrived and arrested the man.

    Said a police spokesman in response to a Stomp query: "On Oct 26, 2017, at 5.25am, police were alerted to a case of attempted housebreaking by night at Block 124 Yishun Street 11.

    "A 29-year-old man was arrested in relation to the case.

    "Police investigations are ongoing."

    Molly said that the man broke a small shoe shelf the family kept outside, possibly when he was trying to climb in through the window.

    She, however, was thankful that her child was not affected by what had happened.

    "The whole ordeal lasted about 2.5 hours. It really shook me and I was still shaking (in fear and anger) hours after that. I couldn't imagine what would have happened had he managed to get in. Luckily, my 2-year-old boy slept peacefully throughout," the netizen wrote.

    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 13:12

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    HONG KONG - Razer Inc, a gaming hardware maker backed by Intel Corp and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, plans to launch on Monday an up to $550 million (S$750 million) Hong Kong initial public offering, IFR reported on Friday, citing people close to the deal.

    The company, which is based in Singapore and the United States, will offer shares in an indicative range of HK$2.93 to HK$4.00 each, added IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

    Razer has secured $150 million in commitments from cornerstone investors, including a $20 million investment from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, IFR said.

    Razer declined to comment, while GIC did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

    The company was founded in 2005 by Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff and has grown from producing a gaming mouse as its initial product to manufacturing laptops worth almost $4,000.

    In 2016 it bought assets from a company previously known as THX Ltd, which was founded by George Lucas, and this year it acquired certain assets and intellectual property from mobile phone manufacturer Nextbit Systems.

    The acquisitions are expected to help the company launch new products in coming years, including a mobile gaming device, a person familiar with Razer's plans previously told Reuters.

    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 13:31

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    SINGAPORE - Singapore unveiled a roadmap for strengthening its status as a financial hub in Asia, with the aim of growing the sector more than 4 per cent a year and creating thousands of jobs.

    "With technology transforming the way financial services are produced, delivered, and consumed, it is critical that Singapore's financial sector also transforms, to stay relevant and competitive," the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Monday.

    The central bank said Singapore aims to be a leading international wealth management hub, as well as an Asian hub for fund management. It also wants to be a centre for foreign exchange price discovery and liquidity in the Asian time zone.

    "Singapore is currently the third largest FX centre globally. With Asia expected to attract a larger share of global investment flows, MAS will encourage key FX players to anchor their matching and pricing engines here, to enable market participants to benefit from better liquidity and greater efficiency in executing FX transactions," the central bank said.

    The MAS said it is working with the financial industry to develop Singapore as an Asian centre for capital raising and enterprise financing, as well as an infrastructure financing hub.

    It also seeks to develop Singapore as a leading centre for Asian fixed income, and a global capital for Asian insurance and risk transfer.

    A focus of the roadmap is encouraging the adoption of technology to increase efficiency, the central bank said.

    To this end, the MAS said it will take steps such as collaborating with financial institutions to create common utilities for services including electronic payments, as well as investing in research and development to develop solutions such as "distributed ledger technology" for inter-bank payments and trade finance.

    The MAS will also expand cross-border co-operation agreements with other fintech centres to help grow Singapore as a base for foreign fintech start-ups, and will harness technology to simplify financial institutions' regulatory compliance.

    The industry transformation map aims to achieve growth in financial sector real value-added of 4.3 per cent annually, and to create 3,000 net jobs in financial services, and 1,000 net jobs in the fintech sector annually, the central bank said.

    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 15:23

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    Union Gas Holdings's founder Mr Teo Kiang Ang arranged for a grand convoy consisting 50 taxis and 37 lorries to send his late mother off during her funeral procession last Saturday afternoon (Oct 28).

    Mr Teo's mother, Ms Chen, died last Sunday (Oct 22) at age 87, reports Lianhe Wanbao.

    Mr Teo told reporters that his mother would often bring homecooked food to the office for his employees.

    She was known and respected by many.

    87-vehicle procession for Union Gas Holdings founder mother's funeral send-off

    As a result, many cabbies and lorry drivers who were recipients of her kindness decided to form the convoy on their own as a special way to send Ms Chen off in her final stretch.

    Many other businessmen and representatives from various associations, numbering about 300 people, came down to send Ms Chen off too.

    In addition, members of the Zhang Clan Association and Hwa Siah Musical Association also took part in the procession, forming a snaking line about 500m long.

    Mr Teo's son, Dr Alexis Teo, revealed that Union Gas Holdings started at Defu Lane 11, and his grandmother often went back to the place to offer her prayers, hence the family decided for the escort convoy to circle the place once before heading to the Mandai Crematorium.

    Throughout Mr Teo's career, his mother played an important part.

    Although they came from a humble background, Mr Teo's mother worked hard and saved so that her son could start his own business one day.

    Mr Teo said that he was deeply affected and saddened by his mother's passing.

    He said: "I have thought it through this past few days.

    "Death is an inevitable part of life.

    "I feel a little better now."

    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 15:47

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    SINGAPORE - Singapore has banned two Muslim foreign preachers from entering the city-state because their views bred intolerance and were a risk to its social harmony, the government said on Monday.

    The decision to block Ismail Menk, identified by local media as a Zimbabwean and Haslin bin Baharim as a Malaysian, is the latest move by the Singaporean authorities to put a curb on individuals from spreading divisive views.

    Menk has preached Muslims are not allowed to greet people of other faiths on their religious festivals, Singapore's home affairs ministry said in a statement.

    It accused Baharim of holding views that promote discord between Muslims and non-Muslims, whom he described as 'deviant.'"(Their views) are unacceptable in the context of Singapore's multi-racial and multi-religious society," the ministry said.

    Reuters was not in a position to reach out to the pair.

    Singapore is predominantly Chinese, many of whom follow Buddhism and Taoism but 14 per cent of the population is Muslim and nearly 19 per cent Christian.

    Authorities in the city-state, an outpost of stability in a region where religious tension is not uncommon, are sensitive to public remarks they deem might adversely affect religious and social harmony.

    Over the past few years, Singapore increased its level of surveillance for Islamist radicalism as concern grew about the spread of Islamic State in the region.

    Menk and Baharim planned to conduct religious sessions on a ship departing from Singapore next month after their applications for short-term work passes to preach in Singapore were turned down, the government said.

    "They will not be allowed to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore," the home ministry said.

    Last month, authorities said they rejected applications for two foreign Christian preachers to speak in Singapore as they had made "denigrating and inflammatory comments of other religions."

    Monday, October 30, 2017 - 19:39

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    Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Singapore Monday to kick off an Asian tour aimed at cementing relations ahead of a meeting of Commonwealth states next year.

    The heir to the British throne and Camilla are undertaking an 11-day trip that will also include stops in Malaysia and India.

    British media had said the Foreign Office was originally considering including Myanmar on the tour, despite a military crackdown against the Muslim Rohingya minority, but in the end it was omitted from the couple's itinerary.

    After arriving, Charles, wearing a suit in the tropical heat, and Camilla met Singapore athletes who were taking part in the Queen's Baton Relay, which travels around the world ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

    On Tuesday Charles and Camilla will receive a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace, and meet President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    They will lay a wreath at the city's Cenotaph, which honours soldiers who died during World War I and II, and will have an orchid named after them - an honour typically bestowed on dignitaries visiting the city-state.

    In the evening the couple will be honoured with a state banquet.

    Singapore's foreign ministry said the visit "reaffirms the historic and long-standing relationship between Singapore and the United Kingdom" - the city-state was a British colonial trading post for over a century and formed part of the Straits Settlements with Malacca and Penang.

    It won full independence in 1965.

    After ending their trip to Singapore on Thursday, the couple will kick off a week-long trip to Malaysia. They will visit Kuala Lumpur, meet with tribespeople on Borneo island before heading to historic George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Charles and Camilla will end their tour with a visit to India, where they will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    The Commonwealth Summit will take place in Britain in April, with leaders from more than 50 countries expected to attend.

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 07:37

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    SINGAPORE - One of the contenders to be Singapore's next leader on Monday said he had an obligation to be ready to take on the job.

    In rare comments about succession by a public official, cabinet member Chan Chun Sing said whoever took over was unlikely to drastically change the government's policy direction.

    "All of us have to be prepared to do the job when called upon," Chan, a former army chief, told journalists at a Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore briefing, when asked if he would like the job of prime minister.

    "In Singapore, leadership is a responsibility to be borne, not a position to be sought."

    Chan, 47, who holds the title of minister in the prime minister's office, is one of a handful of men mentioned as potential successors to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who has said he is ready to step down in a couple of years.

    Singapore news media have cited Chan as one of a number of contenders to succeed Lee.

    Lee, who is the eldest son of Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew, has said the new leader is probably already in the cabinet, but a clear choice has yet to emerge.

    Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, also mentioned as a potential successor, has repeatedly said he does not want the job. The Singapore media and political analysts say Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung are also in contention.

    Questions about succession in the wealthy Southeast Asian city state - which has been governed by the People's Action Party since independence in 1965 - came into focus when Lee, who has twice survived cancer, took ill during a televised speech last year and stumbled at a podium.

    Doctors subsequently said there were no serious concerns.

    Lee Kuan Yew's successor, Goh Chok Tong, was identified at least five years in advance while the current leader, who first entered politics in 1984, was also groomed for the position long before he took office in 2004.

    Chan entered politics in 2011 after serving more than two decades in the Singapore Army, retiring as a major-general.

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 08:56

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    Singapore's Changi Airport opened a cutting-edge terminal Tuesday with a fully automated check-in system including facial scanning and computerised baggage drop points, but some passengers struggled with the new technology.

    Terminal 4, built at a cost of S$985 million, will have an annual capacity of 16 million people and is aimed at coping with an expected increase in passenger numbers through one of Asia's top travel hubs.

    It is packed with new technology, meaning passengers should in theory be able to check in and board without having to talk to airport staff.

    On its first day of operations, more than 100 passengers arrived in the morning to take the inaugural service out, a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong.

    But not everyone managed to get to grips with the self check-in machines, forcing travellers to use counters manned by airport staff instead.

    "I think it'll take a while for people and systems to get used to it," Loh K Ling, who tried to use two self-service machines before giving up and going to a manned counter, told AFP.

    At the boarding gate, several travellers also had trouble getting used to the facial scanning technology and were redirected to manned counters.

    Changi, often voted the world's best airport, is among hubs worldwide rolling out new technology as the fight intensifies for long-haul travellers.

    Along with hubs such as Hong Kong and Dubai, Singapore is scrambling to attract the growing army of travellers - on trips such as Australia to Europe - who can choose the routing of their journeys.

    A growing number of mainland Chinese are also visiting Southeast Asia, and there is competition between Singapore and other local hubs, such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, to attract the new passengers.

    on SPH Brightcove

    on SPH Brightcove

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 12:08
    Changi T4 opens for business

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    For many Singaporeans, buying a home is a key life event, and probably the biggest purchase they will make in their lives. For some Singaporeans, property agents play a key role in facilitating the buying, selling, and rental process.

    Problems may arise when people are not clear about what a property agent is supposed to do. Many people also assume that the commission that is payable to their agent is fixed.

    The combination of these two factors can lead to unhappiness. In fact, many don't realise you can actually negotiate the commissions payable, which can be a significant chunk of money.

    Here's what you need to know about an agent's role and how you can negotiate commission fees:

    Before you even hire property agents, check that they're registered

    Don't just assume that the property agent you're considering is legitimate. Even if they have a swanky business suit and a professional name card, it doesn't mean that they're registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).

    CEA maintains a Public Register that you should check with before you take the next step with your property agent.

    What are property agents supposed to do for buyers and sellers/landlords and tenants?

    Whether they're helping you to buy/sell or rent a property, all registered property agents have to do these 4 major tasks for you:

    • Represent you in negotiations
    • Advise you on your eligibility to buy, sell or rent property
    • Provide professional advice to you including any restrictions regarding obtaining a home loan, as well as all the various fees payable
    • Promptly inform you about all offers or expressions of interest from interested parties or their property agents

    What other value-added services do they provide? Are these necessary? Who are they good for?

    Property agents who represent buyers help source for properties based on the buyers' requirements and preferences. This means searching on various online and offline platforms, as well as tapping on other resources to find suitable listings.

    When assisting a seller, property agents are responsible for putting up advertisements for the property on various channels like online platforms, newspapers, and even flyers. They also handle all the enquiries from potential buyers, as well as arrange for property viewings.

    If you trust your agent enough, you may even allow them to conduct the open house in your absence, saving you the trouble of making time for a potential buyer.

    There are many miscellaneous duties that some property agents may also do, like coordinating appointments with lawyers and bankers to handle the legal paperwork and financing issues. They will usually help you prepare all the necessary documents like the Option to Purchase form, resale application form (for HDB property), inventory list, letter of intent, and tenancy agreement.

    Some will go so far as to conduct a comparative market analysis, or CMA, to determine the value of a property so that you can negotiate the price better.

    That's a lot of services. Is there anything a property agent shouldn't do?

    Property agents cannot handle most money related to the property transaction on your behalf. In purchase and sale transactions for all properties in Singapore, agents are only allowed to handle the valuation fees and their own commission.

    For HDB transactions, fees like your down payment, conveyancing fees, and monthly rental should be handled by you, not the agent. This is the case even if it was the agent who introduced the lawyers and bankers to you.

    There are also some things that your agent shouldn't do e.g. refer you to a moneylender and advertise your property without your consent.

    While a property agent can provide many services, it doesn't mean that you can sit back and let them do all the work. You should still be involved throughout the transaction process.

    So why should I engage an agent if they can't handle everything for me? Aren't I already paying property agents a commission?

    Yes, with the convenience provided by the Internet, some of you may consider consider Doing It Yourself - do your own research, and put up your own property advertisement.

    Consider this - if the agreed sale price of a HDB flat is $500,000, and the market commission rate is 2 per cent, you may find yourself paying $10,000 in commission.

    That might seem like a lot!

    If you're thinking of handling the transaction yourself but need help with some of the processes such as handling the paperwork, you can also engage a property agent who is prepared to provide such a service to help you with that.

    Negotiate with your agent on the commission payable since you're doing some of the work yourself.

    I didn't know I can negotiate the commission rate!

    It's up to you to decide what is a fair price for their services.

    You should negotiate and agree on the commission rate before the agent starts work.

    Do note that you should only pay commission to your property agent's agency, not your agent, after the transaction is complete.

    Ultimately, the best gauge to determine how much commission to pay is how much of your precious time your property agent is saving you or how much value he can add when facilitating your transaction.

    Buying and selling a property can be a tedious and complicated process. If you are unclear of what to do or don't have the time for it, then it's worth paying property agents for the good work they do.

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 20:30

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