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    Singapore, closely followed by South Korea, remains the best country in which to run a business, according to the World Bank.

    While Brunei, Thailand and India have registered the most notable improvement in the ease of doing business, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh are the region's lowest-ranked economies.

    In the World Bank's "Ease of doing business" list, Singapore has been ranked as the second-best country in the world, and consequently also considered to be the best country in Asia.

    It is followed by South Korea as the second best economy to do business in Asia. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand are the other Asian countries ranked high by the report for ease of doing business.

    While Hong Kong has scored fifth, Taiwan and Malaysia have been ranked 15th and 24th respectively. Thailand has been ranked 26th overall and has registered strong improvement in the ease of doing business.

    Graphic: Asia News Network

    The World Bank report, covering the period from June 2 last year to June 1 this year, tracks indicator areas such as the ease of starting a business, connecting to power grids, contract enforcement, taxes and bankruptcy proceedings.

    The third largest economy in the world, Japan, has been ranked 34th, while Brunei and Mongolia have both been ranked 56th and 62nd. Importantly Brunei has been named the most improved economy in the world for the third year in a row.

    China trails countries like Bhutan, Indonesia and Vietnam. The country has been placed at the 78th position in the report, same as last year.

    South Asian neighbours India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have grabbed the 100th, 105th and 111th spot in the rankings. India moved up 30 positions in the report as compared to last year, mostly driven by reforms in access to credit, power supplies and protection of minority investors.

    However, the World Bank report noted that India lags in areas such as "starting a business", "enforcing contracts" and "dealing with construction permits".

    Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar are the lowest ranked Asian countries in the ease of doing business report. Bangladesh has been ranked the lowest at 177, while Pakistan has been ranked 147th. Myanmar, which recently opened up its economy to the world, has been ranked 171th overall.

    Friday, November 10, 2017 - 10:47

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    World BankBusiness

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    A video clip of a man feigning injuries after deliberately running into an oncoming vehicle has left netizens in stitches.

    The dashcam footage posted by Facebook user Jacky Ang showed a vehicle as it was traversing down the middle lane of road on Sunday (Nov 5) at 5.48am.

    The driver was seen slowing his vehicle down to a stop when he noticed a man running towards him along with an accomplice in the leftmost lane.

    The man then threw himself onto the windscreen of the vehicle and landed on the road. He held his stomach as if he was in excruciating pain.

    Meanwhile, his accomplice ran up to him and chastised him.

    According to a netizen, the incident happened near Golden Mile Complex.

    Another netizen said that this was not the first time such a thing had happened in Singapore, while others took the chance to highlight the importance of having a dashboard camera in their vehicles.

    Also read: Epic fail: Scammer in China throws himself before police car

    Friday, November 10, 2017 - 11:16

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    Accidents - Traffic

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    SINGAPORE is the second most expensive city in Asia for fine dining after Hong Kong, according to the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index 2017.

    What does that mean for Singaporean gourmets?

    Restaurateurs, chefs and foodies weigh in on the subject.

    Elsewhere in the magazine, smartphones may be connecting you to the rest of the world, but it’s also sucking you into a darker, sinister reality. So get off the phone while you still can. At least long enough to check out the upcoming sneaker convention Sole Superior, and snap up some limited edition kicks. 

    In Brunch in the main paper, we take a peek into the off-grid world of ethical hacking – who’s hiring these white hat hackers, what it takes to do the job, and what it pays.

    Disrupted sniffs out a new startup in town called Waft, which lets you customise your own perfume online, and delivers it to you in under a week.

    Meanwhile, Offbeat tells a tale of a break-up, and why it might be better to go with the new kid on the (telco) block.

    The million-dollar Mercedes-AMG GT R is the fastest road car to wear a three-pointed star. Our BT Motoring columnist gets in the fast lane. Also in the section, reviews of the Audi SQ5 and BMW’s plug-in hybrid 330e.

    To subscribe, visit

    Friday, November 10, 2017 - 14:53

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    A former KTV hostess who kicked her colleague's face with her 14.5cm-long stiletto heel, causing her left eyeball to pop out, was sentenced to 16 months' jail today (Nov 10).

    Siti Zahara Afifi Abdul Karim, 28, was also ordered to compensate the victim, Nur Lena Rahmat, 30, with $5,923 for her medical bills, reported The Straits Times.

    Siti Zahara admitted to causing grievous hurt to her former colleague through a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others.

    The incident happened at around 3am on Oct 8, 2015 at Club One KTV Boutique at Jalan Sultan.

    Siti Zahara and Nur Lena had gotten into an argument that led to a scuffle, causing both of them to fall to the floor.

    Siti Zahara continuously kicked Nur Lena in the face with her stiletto heels.

    Nur Lena felt the heel hit her eyelid twice before it entered her eye and dislodged her eyeball.

    She was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for treatment where her left eye was removed and an orbital implant was done.

    The argument had been over a set of braces that Siti Zahara had gotten that were paid for by her ex-boyfriend who is Nur Lena's friend.

    After the relationship ended, Nur Lena's friend wanted to continue paying for the braces despite Nur Lena urging him not to.

    Siti Zahar, represented by Mr Wilbur Lim from the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, was allowed to start her sentence on Nov 23.

    Bail of $10,000 was allowed.

    Friday, November 10, 2017 - 15:17

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    1. Reviews are often little more than paid advertorials

    Most people tend to be cynical about how genuine "influencer" reviews are. Thanks to "exposes" and "wars" between rivals, it's become very clear that these "influential" people are profiting off their popularity to promote just about anything. Now, to be sure, this wouldn't be a bad thing if influencers spent a bit more time thinking about how the product is part of their lifestyle. But in general, most product placements are unintentionally hilarious. Like in this case:

    2. Fake reviews by fake people

    If followers, Likes and shares and even China game show audiences can be bought, you can be sure that some reviews online are by hordes of anonymous reviews paid to write them. The industry is so big there are even websites that openly sell fake review services.

    And then, on the other hand, you have joke reviews like the following, which we found on an Amazon list of funniest reviews. While hilarious, these are still obviously fake reviews and they end up burying genuine reviews and misrepresenting your product.

    Photo: Amazon

    3. Inaccurate reviews due to misuse of a product

    If you're unhappy with a product, you should give them feedback by writing a review. However, check to make sure that your unhappiness is justified. A skincare product meant to treat dry skin may be incorrectly used by someone with oily skin. The result? They end up reviewing the product formula as "being too rich". Similarly, product results from the 1st week of usage will vary from those in the 5th. And who can forget this video of people in the US reacting to eating durian - except they're unripe and cut across the seeds!

    I could go on, but you get the gist. Unfortunately, there is often no way of knowing if the person giving the review used the product or service correctly.

    on Facebook

    😳 Have you ever had durian? What's your take on it? Check out 100 People Eat Durian and tell us what you think in the comments below! #newvideoalert

    Posted by WatchCut on Monday, 16 October 2017

    4. The bandwagon effect

    In the same way the media we consume often shapes the bulk of our mindset, people unknowingly rely on an "echo chamber" of people who share our opinions.

    So if persons A and B say they're happy with a variety of wine from a certain vineyard, and person C has agreed with A and B in the past, you can expect person C to also agree that that variety of wine is great. And it shouldn't come as a surprise that same conclusion is often shared by everyone else in their social circle.

    Amazingly, these opinions are often formed whether persons A, B and C are wine connoisseurs or not. If 3 people have said it's good, the tendency is to discount any flaws you find with the wine and jump on that bandwagon if you didn't have any prior training in wine tasting.

    5. Trolls and internet vigilantism

    There are real customers. And then there are the plain internet trolls and other internet vigilantes.

    These are the people who aren't actually reviewing the product or service, but are actually passing judgement on a (usually) unrelated situation.

    Take this case from last year where a girl gave a 1-star rating to a pet grooming shop that was closed for lunch before she could even buy their products or try their services. I'm sure she felt justified in giving that 1-star, but

    Or in one case of internet vigilantism, where hordes of people descended on a restaurant's Facebook page, giving 1-star reviews online because they disagreed with the words of the owner, forcing the removal of the reviews section altogether. In this situation, I'm definitely not defending the actions of the restaurant, of course. But no one should be forced to remove all reviews because of a sudden influx of bad reviews by people who were responding to something unrelated.


    With all that said, it's hard to ignore product reviews altogether, since they're usually the only source of independent information for us to gauge a product's effectiveness and quality. And despite all we've said above, it's true that there are genuine reviews out there that are objective enough to rely on. So here's what you should look out for:

    1. Look for exchange / return policies

    Make sure that either the online marketplaces and the individual merchants offer some kind of exchange or return policy. That way, you'll have some recourse if the product doesn't work. Local websites like Qoo10 have return policies for up to 7 days while global marketplaces like Amazon offers returns for up to 30 days.

    2. Read multiple reviews before making a decision

    One review can be biased and unreliable. Ten reviews? That's a bit harder. Don't rely on the reviews from just one or two sites to decide which is best for you. But if you don't have the time to read more than one, go with the site that is biased for you. Go with a site that has a proven track record with putting you, the consumer, first whenever they review a product.

    Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 09:30

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    Two new radio stations will soon be available on the airwaves: Chinese music infotainment station 96.3 Hao FM and English business station MONEY FM 89.3.

    Both stations are operated by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Radio, after being awarded the tender to operate the new stations by the Infocomm Media Development Authority in March.

    96.3 Hao FM aims to take listeners a trip down memory lane with familiar Mandarin pop tunes from the 80s and 90s. With a tagline of "Great Songs, Hao FM", listeners can expect to hear classic hits from Wan Fang, Winnie Hsin, Wakin Chau, Faye Wong, Jacky Cheung and local xinyao music too.

    The current 96.3 Hao FM lineup includes familiar radio personalities such as Jackie Liu, Tan Li Yi, Hong Wei Wen, and Wen Guo Xian. Joining them is veteran radio personality Anna Lim.

    MONEY FM 89.3 is Singapore's first and only business and personal finance radio station in English.

    The talk-format station will focus on business and money-related topics, as well as general news and discussion of wider social topics such as health, education, music and more.

    With the tagline 'Stay Ahead', the station aims to provide relevant and on-the-go information to help its audience to always be on top of the happenings in Singapore and around the world.

    Ms Loretta Lopez, assistant programme director of MONEY FM 89.3, said: "Safe to say, it is a rare experience for one to see a station up from ground zero. The team is working hard on their shows with the approach that every minute on-air matters.

    "Expect industry veterans such as Claressa Monteiro, Yasmin Jonkers and Elliott Danker to name a few, on the airwaves very soon."

    The new stations will be launched in January 2018.

    Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 18:58

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    Police have arrested five men and a woman, aged between 18 and 36, in four separate cases of using abusive language and voluntarily causing hurt to police officers.

    In the first case on Nov 11 at 5.20pm, officers from Ang Mo Kio Division received a call for assistance at Blk 462 Sembawang Drive.

    Upon seeing the officers, a 36-year-old man shouted and hurled vulgarities at them. The man was subsequently arrested for using abusive language against a public servant.

    In the second case on the same day at about 8.40pm, an 18-year- old man was seen hitting himself on his head during a dispute at Blk 211B Compassvale Lane. When officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division tried to stop him from hurting himself, the man turned violent and assaulted a female officer. He was subsequently arrested for voluntarily causing hurt against a public servant.

    In the third incident at about 4.30am on Nov 12, an officer from Clementi Police Division who was performing a routine patrol at a public entertainment outlet along Sentosa Gateway was assaulted by two 23-year-old men as he tried to stop a dispute. A 23-year-old woman also grabbed the officer and punched him. They were arrested for voluntarily causing hurt against a public servant.

    On the same day at about 10.20am, police received a report that a drunk man was causing a nuisance at a coffee shop along Lorong 10 Geylang.

    When officers from Bedok Police Division approached the man and tried to stop him from throwing things around, he kicked one of the officers. The 44-year-old man was arrested for voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant.

    Police said the 36-year-old man involved in the incident at Sembawang Drive will be charged with the offence of using abusive language against a public servant. If convicted, he could be jailed for up to 12 months and fined up to $5,000.

    The other suspects will be charged with the offence of voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant in the discharge of his duty. If found guilty, they may face a jail term of up to seven years, and may be fined or caned.

    Monday, November 13, 2017 - 10:30

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    Single mother Stomp contributor XYW, who is from Malaysia, struggles to make ends meet and has to take up multiple jobs in Singapore to support her two young children after her husband walked out on her.

    "I came to Singapore 10 years ago and am currently a Permanent Resident. My kids are aged five and six. My ex-husband, a Singaporean, left me for a girl from China," said XYW, who declined to be identified over fears of losing her job at a restaurant in Katong.

    The 37-year-old also does other odd jobs such as house-cleaning, but despite her hard work, she hit a bump in the road as her kids' childcare fess were due.

    However, a customer's recent kind act moved her to tears.

    XYW recounted the touching incident to Stomp: "Earlier this week, a couple who are regulars in the place that I work in, came in and ordered their usual soup and food, and one coke.

    "I was clearing their table after they finished their meal, when the guy casually asked why I looked rather sad as usually I'm very cheerful.

    "Previously, we had casually chatted a few times and he noticed that I am holding down many odd jobs and am working very hard as a single mother."

    That was when XYW revealed that she had gone to clean three houses that day and had just began her night shift at the restaurant, leading the customer to ask if everything was all right.

    The Stomp contributor said: "I told him that my kids' childcare fees was due and I was having issues, but I just had to work harder.

    "He then smiled and asked for the bill. The total bill was $66.

    "After I went to the counter to swipe his Visa card, I realised he had placed his Visa card and two $1,000 notes into the bill folder.

    "Feeling puzzled, I thought he had made a mistake and accidentally left the two pieces of $1000 notes inside. When I passed the receipt for him to sign, I returned it to him.

    "That's when he told me something I will never forget. He said, "No it's not a mistake, we have two hands, one is to work hard and the other is to help others."

    "I cried after they left. I wanted to thank him and I saw the name on his credit card. I would like to say my deepest thanks to him as it helped to tide me over for my kids' school fees."

    Monday, November 13, 2017 - 14:39

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