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    SINGAPORE - Singapore said on Monday it was seeking to extradite a Canadian man suspected of a rare bank robbery in the city-state, after he was detained by authorities in Britain last week.

    The suspect, David James Roach, allegedly stole $30,000 from a Standard Chartered bank branch in July 2016, before fleeing to Thailand where he was arrested.

    After serving a prison sentence for criminal offences in Thailand, Roach was deported and arrived in London on Jan. 11, where he was detained by British authorities, Singapore's Attorney General's Chambers and the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

    "We sought the assistance of the UK authorities to arrest Roach, with a view to his eventual extradition to Singapore," they said.

    "We are working with the UK authorities to commence the extradition proceedings." The rare bank robbery in Singapore sparked a flurry of debate about whether the country has grown too complacent about security.

    A senior official in Thailand's Immigration Bureau, Major General Choochat Thareechat, said Roach had been deported last week, but to Canada, not to Britain.

    He declined to comment when asked about Roach's travel arrangements after leaving Thailand.

    Monday, January 15, 2018 - 17:13
    StanChart robbery: Singapore seeking to extradite Canadian suspect detained in Britain

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    A divorced father of four started having sex with a 15-year-old girl after moving in with her mother.

    The sexual relationship continued even after he married her mother and the relationship lasted until the girl was in her 20s, reports The Straits Times.

    In 2004, the girl's parents had filed for divorce because of her mother's romantic relationship with the man.

    A year later, the accused moved in with her family and married the woman in May 2010.

    Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu said on Monday (Jan 15) that both before and after marriage, the girl called the accused "uncle" while he referred to her as his stepdaughter.

    On Dec 31, 2005, the couple, together with the girl, her younger brother and a cousin, went to the Esplanade to watch the fireworks and celebrate the New Year. The accused and the girl had a few alcoholic drinks but were not drunk.

    Later, when everyone else had gone to bed, he entered the room that the girl occupied with her brother and cousin. She was awake.

    The accused, then 40 years old, touched and kissed her. When she did not stop him, he committed an indecent act and had sex with her.

    "The affair between the accused and the victim started after this first instance of sexual intercourse,'' said DPP Asoka.

    Later in January 2016, the girl became unhappy with her mother and refused to see her grandfather.

    The man then said he would pacify the girl and went into her room, locked the door and had sex with her. About a month later, they had sex again.

    Their sexual activities also included having unnatural sex, the court was told.

    The victim had regular consensual sex with the victim until she was 24. The victim also had to undergo an abortion.

    Their relationship was exposed only in early August 2015 when her boyfriend found lewd messages on her mobile phone.

    She said the accused sent her such messages whenever he wanted to have sex.

    Her biological father made a police report on Aug 11 that year, saying he believed his daughter had been sexually assaulted.

    The accused, now 52, was sentenced to 3 and a half years' jail after admitting to three counts of carnal connection. Three other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

    He could have been jailed up to five years and fined up to $10,000 on each count.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 09:45

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    You see people walking their dogs all the time, but how often do you see a bird on a leash?

    Stomp contributor JL was outraged when she saw a woman 'walking' her pet bird at Costa Ris, an estate located in Pasir Ris, yesterday afternoon (Jan 14) at around 4.30pm.

    A video filmed by JL shows the yellow bird attached to a leash that the woman was holding and being dragged along the ground when it did not walk by itself.

    The woman's female companion also appeared to give the creature a nudge with her foot.

    JL told Stomp: "I felt bad when I saw the woman treating a bird like this.

    "Is this a new way of walking birds?

    "The woman had tied a string to the bird's leg and kept pulling it.

    "The bird kept making noise. Both women kept smiling."

    While walking your pet bird is not altogether uncommon, most people simply use a harness to secure the bird to their own bodies and let the bird perch on somewhere comfortable, such as their shoulders or hands.

    Meanwhile, placing your bird on a leash and letting it walk freely should look like this:

    The animal should not be forced to move or handled roughly.

    What do you think of the two women's actions? Let us know in the comments below.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 09:55

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    A man was seen arguing with SBS Transit staff at a bus stop in Pasir Ris Central on Jan 12.

    Stomp contributor CC, a crowd control officer who was deployed at the bus stop, recorded a video of the incident and sent it to Stomp.

    According to the Stomp contributor, the dispute is believed to have been started when the man had missed a shuttle bus.

    At around 1.15am, the man was waiting for Bus 7 when he missed the last bus as by the time the bus had arrived at the bus stop, it was already off service.

    "There is no MRT due to early closure. The bus comes from Aljunied. By the time it reached Pasir Ris, it was already too late," said the Stomp contributor.

    In a video he sent to Stomp, the man is seen arguing with SBS Transit staff at the bus stop.

    "You walk back with me... We take cab we have to pay (for) ourselves you know," said the man.

    The Stomp contributor said that the man wanted the SBS staff to pay his taxi fare.

    He told Stomp, "We were very worried as he looked a little drunk. So, we had backup at the bus stop just in case."

    According to the Stomp contributor, the staff then offered to call for a taxi and the man brought them to a road divider nearby despite the fact that it was raining.

    A man in a black shirt said to be from Certis CISCO also came in to try to help resolve the matter.

    "The SBS staff even offered to pay for his taxi fare just to end the argument there," said Stomp contributor CC.

    However, the man continued arguing with them in the rain.

    It is unclear what happened after that.

    "Even though SBS is taking the blame, the early closure of the MRT is not their fault," added the Stomp contributor.

    Stomp has reached out to SBS Transit for a statement regarding this incident.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 10:01

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    SINGAPORE - Two Airbnb hosts charged in Singapore with unauthorised short-term letting of four apartments are expected to plead guilty next month, their lawyer said on Tuesday.

    The two men face four charges under the city-state's Planning Act for renting out four units in a condominium for less than six months without permission from Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority, according to court documents last month.

    They are liable to a fine of up to $200,000 per offence if found guilty.

    Their lawyer, Wong Soo Chih, said they are expected to be sentenced on Feb. 27.

    Singapore passed new rules last year giving officials the right to force their way into homes to check whether residents were renting them out illegally.

    Airbnb says it has 8,700 listings in Singapore, where high population density and limited land area mean a majority of the 5.6 million people live in apartments.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 13:20

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    SINGAPORE - UK-based quality assurance firm Intertek said on Tuesday that one of its employees had been arrested by Singapore police in connection with an investigation into oil theft at Shell's biggest refinery.

    Muhammad Ali bin Muhammad Nor faces two charges of conspiring with Shell employees as part of a scheme to steal oil from Shell's Palau Bukom industrial site, court documents show.

    "We understand Muhammad Ali who worked for Intertek in Singapore is one of the suspects who has been arrested by the Singapore police as part of the criminal investigation," a spokesman for the company said.

    "As the investigation is ongoing, we will not be able to provide further comments."

    The company, which is listed on Britain's main stock exchange, specialises in offering quality and quantity assurances, including for fuel products.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 16:47

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    PETALING JAYA - The days of spending hours in a crawl along the Johor-Singapore Causeway and long queues at Customs and Immigration counters to get into Singapore are numbered.

    A new 4.2km Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) will see easy movement of people from one city to another.

    The link will have co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) and provide seamless connectivity between Bukit Chagar station in Johor Baru and the Woodlands North station Singapore.

    Malaysia and Singapore yesterday signed the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System agreement, the second cross-border rail agreement between the two countries in two years.

    on Facebook

    FB Live: PM Lee held a joint press conference with Malaysian PM Najib Razak at the Istana today. Mr Najib was in Singapore for the annual Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat. 🇸🇬🇲🇾

    Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, 15 January 2018

    The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong after the eighth leaders' retreat here.

    Malaysia was represented by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan and Singapore by its Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan.

    "We have looked at how Customs and Immigration clearing is done for rail services between Britain and France," Land Public Transport Commission's chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Shah said during a briefing on the proposed project.

    He said the RTS Link was necessary to ease congestion along the present 1.056m causeway.

    "The causeway is heavily congested with the number of vehicles rising.

    "The matter is compounded as KTMB rail service can only ferry about 320 passengers an hour or 6,000 passengers a day to Singapore," he said.

    The RTS Link will be able to transport some 10,000 passengers an hour or 72,000 passengers a day in four coaches travelling at 70kph.

    Lee said the link, when completed in 2024, will benefit thousands of daily commuters and reduce Causeway congestion.

    Najib took note that congestion at the Causeway peaked especially during festivities and school holidays.

    The RTS Link stations will also be well integrated with the local public transport networks in each country.

    Mohd Azharuddin noted that the RTS Link would run above ground while in Johor and on a 25m-high bridge track across the straits before travelling underground to Woodlands North in Singapore.

    "Commuters will spend about 30 minutes to travel and clear customs and immigration," he said.

    "This will save a lot of time compared to currently spending one or two hours stuck along the Causeway and Immigration," he added.

    Based on a study done by SPAD in 2016, an average of 4,000 buses, 52,000 cars and 72,000 motorcycles spend at least an hour to get across the causeway.

    He said the KTMB rail service will be discontinued six months after the RTS Link becomes operational in Dec 2024.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 10:23

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    A food deliveryman rode a bicycle without functional brakes, ran a red light and hit an elderly pedestrian who later died of serious injuries.

    Khairul Hairuman, 19, admitted on Tuesday (Jan 16) for causing the death of Mr Tong Cheng Poh, 73, by doing a rash act around 5.15pm on April 13 last year.

    According to The Straits Times, Khairul, who had no lawyer, told the court that had the victim been in his 40s, he would have survived the accident.

    He added that he did call for assistance, helped to carry the victim to the side of the road and waited for the ambulance.

    Khairul was cycling along the two-lane Lorong Ah Soo road towards Upper Paya Lebar Road that evening when he noticed that the traffic light was red.

    Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said in court on Tuesday (Jan 16) that Khairul's view was blocked by a bus on the left lane of Lorong Ah Soo just before the pedestrian crossing.

    There were many cars on both lanes and an SBS Transit bus had stopped on the left. Khairul decided to ride between the vehicles on both lanes.

    As he neared the signalised pedestrian crossing, he mistakenly thought that the traffic light had turned green in his favour, though his view was blocked by the bus on his left.

    He sped up to cycle across the pedestrian crossing and hit Mr Tong, who was crossing on a "green man" signal.

    Mr Tong died from a head injury the next day.

    Inspections showed that the bicycle had no front and rear end brakes, but it was fixed with "coaster brakes", a rear brake that works by turning the pedals backwards.

    This allowed the bicycle to brake at only very slow speeds, said DPP Lee.

    Khairul knew that the bicycle had never had rear brakes fixed. About a week before the accident, he had removed the faulty front brakes, which were not replaced.

    "Without either front or rear brakes, the accused would normally use his right foot to step on the rear tyre of the said bicycle to slow down, and it would take at least four to five seconds to stop completely,'' the DPP said.

    DPP Lee is asking for four months' jail to be imposed. He said Khairul ran the red light, knew that his bicycle had no brakes and continued to use it on a public road.

    In the court papers, Khairul was described as a Deliveroo rider and was riding his bicycle to Hougang One mall to meet his colleague before they rode together to Tanjong Pagar MRT to report to work.

    However, a spokesman for the food delivery firm said Khairul never worked with Deliveroo and was not carrying out a delivery when the incident occurred.

    "Safety is a priority for Deliveroo. Before working with us, all riders complete a programme of road safety guidance and must obey road traffic laws.

    "We have a zero-tolerance policy for anyone found to have broken the law or to have put the safety of themselves or others at risk.

    "We will work with the authorities however we can to assist them in this matter. This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with Mr Tong's family at this very difficult time," the spokesman told The Straits Times.

    Community Court Judge Eddy Tham postponed sentencing to Feb 6 for the prosecution to make further submissions.

    For causing death by a rash act, the maximum penalty is five years' jail and a $5,000 fine.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 12:17

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    A man was injured after getting attacked by a group of men at Golden Mile Tower on Jan 9 at around 12.20am.

    Stomp contributor Mike, a friend of the victim, shared footage of the incident with Stomp that was taken from a security camera.

    In the video, three men are seen taking turns to hit and kick the victim as bystanders try to break up the fight.

    Stomp spoke to the victim, Jonathan, in a phone interview.

    He said that the men started attacking him for no reason.

    "I've seen them before as they have come down to Golden Mile Tower around three times previously," said Jonathan. "They often get drunk and start creating a nuisance by throwing glasses and mics around."

    "Usually, they calm down when more bottles of liquor are opened."

    On the night he was attacked, Jonathan said that the men were drunk.

    "They had opened three bottles of liquor among themselves," he added.

    The fight was eventually broken up as more people came out to stop the men from beating Jonathan.

    Following the attack, Jonathan was brought home by his friends at around 1 to 2am.

    He later went to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) at 7 to 8am to have his injuries treated.

    "There were bruises on my head and face and my eyes were swollen," he said.

    "I also had pain in my stomach from when they kicked me in the ribs."

    He added that he had also experienced giddiness and vomiting.

    He informed Stomp that he made a police report yesterday (Jan 16).

    "How can people beat up someone this way?" he asked.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 15:30

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    A woman wielding a toy samurai sword not only harassed patrons at a coffee shop but resisted arrest, kicking and head-butting a female police officer during the process.

    She was sentenced to three months' jail and fined $400 on Tuesday (Jan 16).

    Chen Yuhong, 31, faced charges of being a public nuisance and the obstructing the duties of a civil servant.

    The court heard that on Aug 31, 2017, at around 7pm, Chen and a male friend were in a coffee shop at Block 418, Yishun Avenue 11.

    The two wanted to share a table with a female customer.

    At the time, Chen was holding onto some documents which she threw onto the table.

    The customer was upset by the action and the two got into a heated argument.

    The customer then left.

    About 15 minutes later, Chen was on the phone when she suddenly started slamming the table and making a scene.

    Chen resisted her friend's attempt to lead her away from the coffee shop and shouted:

    "I'm not going anywhere!"

    She also warned her friend not to touch her.

    During the outburst, a male customer noticed that she was carrying a 'samurai sword' and called the police.

    The 'samurai sword' was actually a toy sword adorned with LED lights, reports Shin Min Daily News.

    Officers were dispatched to the scene and brought Chen to the void deck where they questioned her.

    When they attempted to arrest her, she became agitated and struggled.

    She had to be forcefully subdued by officers.

    As she was transported onto the patrol vehicle, she kept resisting and hurled vulgarities at the officers.

    She even taunted the officers, saying that 'unless they break her legs, she was not getting onto the patrol car'.

    A female officer was about to move Chen's feet into the car when she was kicked on her left hand.

    Her hand became numb for a moment.

    Chen also headbutted the female officer on her forehead.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 15:37

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    A 25-year-old woman was arrested at Changi Airport on Jan 12 for not declaring branded handbags and accessories she had purchased overseas for Goods and Services Tax (GST) payment.

    In a Facebook post by Singapore Customs, the woman had arrived in Singapore from Paris.

    Her luggage was checked after she attempted to exit the Customs Green Channel without declaring the handbags and accessories for GST payment.

    The total value of the items is more than $11,000.

    Among the items were bags and accessories from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

    Investigations are ongoing.

    Singapore Customs said:

    "It is the responsibility of travellers to make an accurate and complete declaration of the taxable and dutiable items in their possession."

    Those found guilty of fraudulent evasion of GST may face a fine of up to 20 times the amount of tax evaded and/or a jail term of up to two years.

    Those with information on evasion of Customs duty or GST can contact Singapore Customs on 1800-233-0000, or e-mail customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg

    The public can also use the Customs@SG mobile app to report these activities.

    on SPH Brightcove

    Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 09:51

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    Singapore's government is hiring social media users to promote its 2018 budget, local newspaper The Straits Times reported on Wednesday.

    Hoping to generate youth interest in state finances, the island nation's Ministry of Finance paid more than 50 Instagram users - most of whom boast over 1,000 followers - to post on the annual economic blueprint, according to the report.

    The ministry didn't specify how much it's spending on the campaign, but noted that it was in accordance with market rates, the Straits Times said.

    The budget, due next month, could increase the goods and services tax as well as e-commerce levies in the city-state, according to experts.

    Read the Straits Times story for details on the government's media strategy.

    Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 10:48
    Ministry of Finance pays over 50 Instagram users to promote Budget 2018

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    An ill man attended weekly sessions with an unlicensed traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner operating from his Marsiling flat but died from a critical kidney failure 15 months into treatment.

    The unlicensed practitioner has been charged with the illegal practice and advertising of his services.

    Wong Choo Kum, 69, had pleaded not guilty to the charges during the trial on Monday (Jan 15).

    In the second round of trials on Wednesday morning (Jan 16), Wong did not have a lawyer.

    According to the charges read out, Wong had operated his makeshift clinic in his flat at Block 16, Marsiling Lane, between November 2013 and January 2015.

    He checked the deceased's pulse and tongue during each session and told him that he was susceptible to a stroke or major illness.

    He then prescribed him medicine to prevent and treat diabetes and other illness.

    The court understands that Wong's girlfriend and daughter also stayed in the same flat in which Wong practised TCM.

    Wong is also accused of distributing illegal flyers promoting his services to residents at Block 19, Marsiling Lane in September 2013.

    It was revealed in court that the deceased, who cannot be named due to a gag order, had suffered from a myriad of ailments, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

    He was already on western medication, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

    However, his widow said that after Wong promised to 'cure her husband completely' in 13 sessions, he decided to forgo the medication and 'focus' on getting treated by Wong.

    Wong has denied the charges, citing that he is not a TCM practitioner and does not use TCM methods to treat patients.

    However, the deceased's wife said:

    "My late husband told me that the accused (Wong) promised to cure him in 13 sessions.

    "The accused also told him even if he continued with his western medical procedures, he would still eventually go blind."

    She added that in the initial stages, her husband seemed more energetic after taking the medication and herbs prescribed by Wong.

    However, as the sessions continued, he started becoming dizzy.

    Medicines and herbs retrieved from Wong's inventory were revealed to contain sildenafil, a substance used to treat erectile dysfunction, and improve male potency.

    By February 2015, Wong claimed that he had already 'cured' the deceased, but the latter's condition continued to deteriorate.

    He lost sight in his left eye, while both his legs became swollen.

    He later sought treatment at a clinic and had an operation for his eye at a hospital.

    The widow added that when during the sessions when she accompanied her husband, she witnessed Wong providing chiropractic massage.

    As her hands were aching at that time, she accepted Wong's offer to treat her.

    After the massage, Wong gave her a few medical patches, similar to the ones he had pasted on her husband's back.

    He then told her it would cost her $1,200 if she wanted to continue her treatments.

    She said: "It was just my hands hurting, but he wanted to charge me so much.

    "At that time, I was so shocked… I never returned to his house again after that."

    Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 15:32

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    An elderly cabby suffered injuries on his ankle and shoulder after he was thrown off his feet when the lift he was on descended three stories within a second.

    The incident happened at Block 122, Sengkang East Way on Tuesday (Jan 16) at around 6pm.

    This comes after a separate incident at around 5pm on Monday (Jan 15), in which the cabby tripped due to a misalignment between the lift floor and the lobby, reported Shin Min Daily News.

    The cabby, Mr Chen Tianfu, 63, told the paper that he was about to step into the lift when he noticed that the floor of the lift was not aligned with the pavement of the lobby floor.

    According to Mr Chen, there was about a 15cm height difference between the lobby and the lift floor.

    He was not paying attention and tripped.

    Said Mr Chen: "Lucky I held onto railings.

    "The next day I boarded the lift on the 7th floor but ran into problems again.

    "After the lift doors shut, within a second or sooner, the lift suddenly went from the 7th floor to somewhere between the 4th and 5th floor.

    "I lost my balance and fell on the floor.

    "I didn't have time to regain balance before the lift started jerking up violently twice.

    "I fell again.

    "After a while, the lift returned to normal again."

    After alighting from the lift, Mr Chen felt pain on his right shoulder and suffered a swollen right ankle.

    Passersby at the void deck realised that something was amiss and wanted to call an ambulance, but Mr Chen said he was badly hurt and chose to go back home to recuperate instead.

    He added: "This lift often malfunctions and the doors can't close properly.

    "Not long ago, it underwent maintenance for almost two weeks, and only resumed operations on Jan 14. I never thought it'll malfunction again after being repaired.

    "This time, it seems even worse than before."

    Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 16:36

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