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    The police are looking for a man to assist with investigations into a case of Voluntarily Causing Hurt which occurred at Block 1 Changi Village Road last Thursday night (Feb 15).

    The man had allegedly attacked a 7-Eleven employee at about 10.37pm after failing to buy alcohol from the store.

    Stomp contributor Firdaus witnessed the incident and shared with Stomp a photo of the injured employee, whose face was bleeding. There was also blood on his shirt and on the wall.

    Responding to queries by Stomp, the police said they were alerted to the case at 10.29pm while the Singapore Civil Defence Force said it was alerted at 10.40pm.

    The 43-year-old employee was conscious when conveyed to Changi General Hospital, where he received outpatient treatment. 

    A 7-Eleven spokesman told Stomp in a Feb 19 statement that the altercation occurred at about 10.37pm and that the male customer had gotten "angry and upset that he was unable to purchase beer at the store."

    Under the law, drinking is banned in all public places from 10.30pm to 7am. Retail shops are also not allowed to sell takeaway alcohol from 10.30pm to 7am.

    "We are also cooperating fully with the police in their investigations into this incident," added the spokesman.

    The police released a photo of the suspect involved in the case in a news release today (Feb 22).

    Anyone with information is requested to call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

    All information will be kept strictly confidential.

    Friday, February 23, 2018 - 12:13
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    Travel agency Konsortium Express and Tours has closed down leaving an estimated 1000 customers in the lurch.

    Based in Golden Mile Tower, the agency which specialises in coach trips to Malaysia, cited a 'financial crisis' as the reason for its sudden closure on Thursday (Feb 22).

    The news came as a shock for many of the travel agencies located in the area.

    An employee from one of the establishments told Shin Min Daily News that Konsortium's office was lit at around 10pm on Wednesday (Feb 21).

    Everything seemed normal, he said.

    However, on Thursday morning (Feb 22), the office was suddenly closed.

    A security guard also revealed that a colleague had seen Konsortium's employees moving out many cardboard boxes out from the office late in the night, and told him about the closure.

    A spokesman for Grassland Express, Mr Chen Wenfa, told reporters that he found out at 7am that Konsortium's office was closed, and realised that there was a notice of closure placed on its door.

    Said Mr Chen:

    "Our two companies have been working together for many years. Sometimes, when we are overbooked, we will direct our customers to them.

    "We did not know they were going to shut down."

    Another spokesman from WTS travel, Mr Xie Zhaocong, said that he was shocked to learn of the news.

    Mr Xie said that more than 20 customers were originally scheduled to set off on the day itself.

    According to Shin Min Daily News, other than coach trips, Konsortium also sells travel packages for cruises, guided tours, and tickets to local attractions.

    It is believed that almost 1000 customers were affected by the sudden closure.

    In an official statement by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), it said that those who had purchased travel insurance prior to the closure should approach their insurance providers for assistance.

    Those who have not purchased insurance can seek the help of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) for help in seeking compensation.

    In addition, the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore's (NATA) Surface Transport Committee is rallying local transport operators to take over the affected bookings should the need arises.

    STB also took the opportunity to remind consumers to take measures to safeguard their own interests, such as paying by instalments and purchasing travel insurance which provides coverage for unforeseen events, such as when a travel agent turns insolvent.

    Friday, February 23, 2018 - 14:32
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    After seeing a video of himself on Stomp, the Uber Eats deliveryman who stole a condo resident's parcel has contacted the website to express his remorse and apologise for his actions.

    He has also paid Stomp contributor Binary0018 a compensation of $350, which is more than the full value of the parcel's contents, as well as written a heartfelt apology addressed to her.

    The incident, which occurred at Dunearn Suites on Feb 19, was first reported by Stomp, after Binary0018 contributed CCTV footage showing the deliveryman loitering along her corridor.

    The video also showed him taking the Stomp contributor's parcel, which a FedEx courier had delivered and left on her doorstep, and then leaving with it tucked under his arm.

    Binary0018 told Stomp that the parcel contained $343.31 worth of beauty products such as perfume and toiletries.

    Shortly after an article and a video of the incident was published yesterday (Feb 22), the Uber Eats deliveryman contacted Stomp to identify himself.

    He admitted that he was the man in the video and asked to contact Stomp contributor Binary0018 personally so that he could make amends.

    "I would like to sincerely apologise and return back the things. I really feel remorseful and I hope we can settle this privately, If possible, I would not want this to escalate to the authorities," he told Stomp.

    Asked if he saw the CCTV camera when he committed the act, the deliveryman confessed that he did.

    He said in a phone interview with Stomp: "I don't know what I was thinking.

    "I saw the parcel and I just took it.

    "I have never done this before."

    However, when contacted by Stomp, Binary0018 said she did not want the contents of the parcel back due to the nature of the items.

    She said: "I'm afraid is not possible for me to accept back the items. Obviously, the box would have already been opened and the contents inside handled (perhaps even tested/used).

    "Some of these items were actually meant to be given as presents. And these are ladies' personal care/grooming items. Given their nature, you can understand why it's not nice to take them back.

    "I may consider withdrawing the police report if restitution of the full value of these items is made."

    The Uber Eats deliveryman and Binary0018 both agreed that he would pay her the full amount of $343.31 via bank transfer.

    Stomp, who received screenshots of the transaction, understands that the deliveryman transferred a sum of $350 to Binary0018, almost $7 more than the agreed amount.

    Binary0018, who will be going down to the police station to withdraw her report, added: "I'm grateful for the Stomp Team's help. Thank you very much!"

    The Uber Eats deliveryman told Stomp that his account on the platform has been "temporarily banned".

    He also wrote an apology letter which he shared with Stomp and asked that we helped pass it on to Binary0018.

    Here in the letter in full:

    Dear Mdm,

    I, (name withheld by Stomp), sincerely apologise for my foolish actions. I have no excuse for what I did which caused you and your family unnecessary trouble, anger and frustration.

    I have definitely learnt my lesson. I feel terrible about what I have done. I have caused hurt, not only you and your family, but mine as well. I promise to turn over a new leaf.

    I humbly seek for your forgiveness and I hope you'll forgive me for the trouble I have caused. I humbly seek your mercy in withdrawing both the police report and the Stomp article. Please accept the compensation as a sincere offering and apology.

    Sincerely,

    (name withheld by Stomp)

    Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 10:00
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    To truly kiasu parents, the most important factors when choosing a primary school for their kids are the PSLE cut-off point and the school's level of prestige. A kid who gets into a school with a cut-off point of 260 deserves a Nintendo 3DS for his efforts. Yay.

    But for parents who refuse to be that kiasu, there are many other factors you might want to consider when picking a school where your child will spend the next years of his life, such as the following.

    DISTANCE FROM HOME

    Elite schools tend to have students who live all over the island, some waking up as early as 4am to get to school, which is pretty insane. Some students even travel all the way from Johor Bahru on the yellow Bas Sekolah even though their schools are nowhere near the Causeway.

    Well, Singaporeans are some of the world's most sleep deprived people, with 4 in 5 teens from top schools not getting enough sleep. Studying is only partly to blame for this if your kid has to face a long commute to and from home every day. Just as you wouldn't want to take up a job in Tuas if you lived in Simei, spare your kid the pain by opting for a school that's reasonably near home.

    CCAs OFFERED

    While your main concern might be that your kid does well for the PSLE or O levels, his own school experience isn't going to be all about burying his head in textbooks. Your kid's CCAs can be a major part of his life if he's actively involved.

    The range of CCAs on offer varies from school to school, and could be a factor in deciding which one to attend.

    For instance, Greendale Secondary School offers sailing, canoeing and fencing as CCAs, all of which are rather rare and not offered by many schools.

    SPECIAL PROGRAMMES

    Students who have an interest or aptitude in a particular area, such as art or music, might want to go to a school where special programmes like the Music Elective Programme or Art Elective Programme are offered.

    The list of schools offering MEP can be found here, while schools offering AEP are here. (Students do not necessarily have to go to schools that offer MEP to be enrolled in the programme. But it certainly makes life easier as they will not have to commute to another school for lessons.)

    CULTURE / RELIGION

    Just as some workplaces are laid back and others toxic, schools can have very different cultures. Some schools are definitely more "pai kia" than others, while even amongst relatively "guai" elite schools, there are subtle cultural differences that will have an impact on the person your child grows up to become.

    There is also a religious element that can influence parents' decision to send their kids to a particular school. Christian or Catholic schools set up by missionaries such as ACS, Catholic High and the CHIJ schools have a religious programme in place that might include morning devotion or weekly chapel sessions.

    FACILITIES FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

    If your child is dyslexic, on the autism spectrum or has ADHD, you'll make life a lot easier for him by enrolling him in a school with facilities that can cater to his needs. All primary schools and certain secondary schools have educators on hand to help children in need of learning and behavioural assistance.

    Some schools are also equipped with facilities to support students with hearing loss, visual impairment or physical impairment. Here's a list of schools with such facilities.

    This article was first published in MoneySmart.

    Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 14:00
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    The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) have responded to 'false allegations' made by a woman who is currently staying at Changi Airport with her 74-year-old mother and 13-year-old son.

    In a joint statement on Monday (Feb 26), MSF and HDB stated that the woman, Jolene Phea Hui Eng, has "continued to misrepresent her circumstances, and made false allegations against colleagues from various agencies and voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs)".

    In an earlier article by Lianhe Wanbao, Phea said the family had been moving between two-room rental flats since the sale of her flat in 2016.

    She said that in December 2017, the authorities arranged for her family to move to a transitional shelter, but they decided to 'move' to Changi Airport after six days, as they were unhappy wth the living conditions.

    Phea also posted lengthy posts on her personal Facebook page, describing the sequence of events that led to her present circumstances.

    The statement by MSF and HDB addresses and rebuts Phea's claims.

    It clarified that while Phea and her family are facing housing challenges, the family has been receiving monthly monetary assistance of $650 and continued help from social workers.

    Addressing the allegation that the shelter was unclean with faulty windows and washing machine, the spokesperson said the shelter had been found to be in a clean and hygienic state on multiple occasions during inspections. The faulty windows had been repaired and the washing machine was also found to be in working order. 

    It was also revealed that Phea has "not been forthcoming" in providing the basic documentation needed to process her application for a 2-room rental flat in Punggol which the family is seeking, even though they have been found to be ineligible.

    Phea has also been emailing "public figures including Members of Parliament, sometimes on a daily or even hourly basis," regarding her case, the statement added.

    Below is the statement by MSF and HDB in full:

    "We refer to your report on Ms Phea Hui Eng. Regrettably, despite the help rendered to her, Ms Phea has continued to misrepresent her circumstances and make false allegations against colleagues from various agencies and VWOs. We are therefore setting out the facts to correct these inaccuracies."

    "While Ms Phea and her family are indeed facing housing challenges they have been assisted by Punggol Family Service Centre, which referred them to the transitional shelter in December 2017.

    "We understand that they are still residents in the shelter run by New Hope Community Services, contrary to the impression Ms Phea has given that they have no choice but to stay at the airport.

    "The social workers from the transitional shelter have also been working with Ms Phea and her family on their housing and employment issues.

    "The family has also been assisted by the Social Service Office at Punggol and is receiving ComCare assistance of $650 in cash per month from January to March 2018.

    "Ms Phea had alleged in a series of Facebook posts and to the media that the transitional shelter was unclean and unsafe and that the windows and washing machine in her unit were faulty.

    "Before she had made these allegations, New Hope Community Services that runs the transitional shelter had inspected the unit which Ms Phea and her family are living in on multiple occasions. The unit they were provided with was found to be in a clean and hygienic state.

    "The windows of the unit which were previously faulty have been repaired and the other household items such as the washing machine are in working order.

    "When her social worker from New Hope Community Services met Ms Phea last week, she acknowledged that the window and washing machine were in working condition and she had no further issues with the cleanliness of her unit.

    "This is a different account from what she has conveyed publicly in her Facebook posts. The transitional shelter service provider conducts shelter inspections and works closely with the families living there to ensure a clean environment in the shelter, as well as to manage any safety concerns raised by them.

    "Any suspected criminal activity is also reported to the police by the service provider. We would also like to provide more details on Ms Phea's housing history, to give your readers a complete picture of her case.

    "From Jan 2011 to Jul 2016, Ms Phea owned a 2-room flat in Punggol. She bought it in 2011 for about $88,000. She sold it in July 2016 soon after the Minimum Occupation Period of 5 years was met, at$216,000.

    "Just a few months later in November 2016, she approached HDB to request for a public rental flat.

    "Given the considerable sales proceeds she received from her flat and her monthly income of $2,100, Ms Phea did not meet the eligibility criteria for a public rental flat.

    "Her estimated housing budget at that point was sufficient to buy another 2-room flat.

    "Nonetheless, we had explained to her that, in view of the family's circumstances, HDB would be prepared to consider her request for a public rental flat if she could provide documentary proof of how her cash proceeds of $158,000 had been used between July 2016 and November 2016.

    "However, between November 2016 and August 2017, Ms Phea did not submit the relevant documents for HDB to assess her application, despite repeated reminders.

    " In August 2017, Ms Phea applied to buy a flat from HDB under the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise.

    "However, just before she was due to select her flat in January 2018, she informed HDB that she was unemployed and was thus unable to obtain a housing loan to buy the flat.

    "Together with her social worker, HDB staff spoke to her on the same day of her ROF flat selection to assess what assistance she would require.

    "We encouraged her to provide the relevant documents so that we could consider her earlier request for a rental flat.

    "It was only then that Ms Phea started providing some documents to us, but in a piecemeal manner via multiple emails.

    "We are currently in touch with Ms Phea and will continue to work with her social worker who has been assisting her with her family's needs, including employment for Ms Phea.

    "It is regrettable that Ms Phea has chosen to exploit the media to pressurise VWOs and agencies to give in to her requests, as stated explicitly to be her intent in her Facebook post.

    "In recent weeks, she has also emailed public figures including Members of Parliament, sometimes on a daily or even hourly basis, even though she had not been forthcoming in providing the basic documentation needed to process her application.

    "The Government and community groups remain prepared to do our best to assist her, if she is prepared to do her part to act responsibly, for the sake of her own wellbeing and that of her family."

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 00:00
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    SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday (Feb 27) he will reshuffle his cabinet in coming months to give more responsibility to the next generation of leaders.

    He said last year that he would step down in the next couple of years, and Singapore has to hold a general election by early 2021. Lee has said his successor is likely to be a member of the cabinet.

    "I will reshuffle the Cabinet after Parliament prorogues, to give the younger members more exposure and responsibility. This way, my successor will be supported by a stronger and more experienced team, committed to leading Singapore to a better and brighter future," he said in a Facebook post.

    Parliament will re-open in May after a prorogue, or recess.

    on Facebook

    Celebrated an early Chap Goh Mei dinner with MPs, community leaders, and guests at the Istana last night. The actual day...

    Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, 26 February 2018
    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 11:07
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    SINGAPORE - Two Singaporeans on trial for unauthorized short-term rentals posted on Airbnb pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday (Feb 27) in the first such cases under the city-state's rules on short-term property letting introduced last year.

    Terence Tan En Wei, 35, and Yao Song Liang, 34, pleaded guilty in court to four charges of illegally renting out four apartments in a luxury private condominium in central Singapore.

    Prosecutors said the pair, who were property agents, had listed the apartments on Airbnb, which allows homeowners to share their homes for a fee by marketing them online, and other vacation rental sites.

    The duo made $19,000 from renting the apartments between May 15 and June 21 last year, prosecutors said.

    The men face a fine of up to $200,000 per offence. Prosecutors however requested fines of $20,000 per charge for a total of $80,000 for each of the two defendants. Defence lawyers sought fines of $5,000 per charge.

    The two men were charged for letting four units at D'Leedon condominium without permissionPhoto: The Straits Times

    The government has pledged to seek public feedback on a regulatory framework covering such rentals after the cases of the two hosts prompted a plea from Airbnb that the existing framework was "untenable".

    Airbnb, founded in 2008 in San Francisco, matches people wishing to rent out all or part of their homes to temporary guests.

    The firm has clashed with hoteliers and authorities in cities including New York, Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, which are limiting short-term rentals in some cases.

    Critics blame Airbnb for exacerbating housing shortages and driving out lower-income residents.

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 11:22

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    A Malaysian man who was arrested for his involvement in abetting Chew Eng Han's attempt to leave Singapore illegally last week, was taken back to the Marine Parade carpark today (Feb 27) where he allegedly accepted money from Chew.

    The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement on Feb 26 that Mr Khoo Kea Leang was arrested in Malaysia with the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Police, pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by the Singapore State Courts.

    He was handed over to SPF's custody yesterday.

    He is believed to have accepted money from Chew and made arrangements for him to leave Singapore.

    They are understood to have met in Singapore, at the carpark between Blocks 74 and 75 Marine Drive.

    Earlier today, he was brought back to the scene in Marine Parade.

    Stomp took a video of Mr Khoo being escorted by police officers and being asked questions.

    Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SAC) Hsu Sin Yun, Commander of the Police Coast Guard, said, “I would like to thank the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) for their swift efforts in locating and arresting the suspect. 

    "The arrest would not have been possible without the close collaboration and strong relationship between the SPF and RMP. 

    "The SPF will spare no efforts to hunt down criminals who commit crimes in Singapore. 

    "We will work with our foreign law enforcement partners to bring these criminals to justice."


    Photo: Stomp

    The Former City Harvest Church fund manager, who was convicted of misusing church funds, was nabbed at sea on Feb 21 after attempting to leave Singapore.

    Chew, 57, was due to begin his jail term of three years and four months on Feb 22.

    He was arrested along with a 53-year-old man, Tan Poh Teck, at 8.47am on board a motorised sampan.

    He was found with about $5,000 in cash and fishing equipment.

    Ex-CHC leader Chew Eng Han tried to flee Singapore: Other criminals who did the same

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 12:12
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    SINGAPORE - Singapore on Tuesday (Feb 27) proposed a new law to deal with terror attacks by preventing people in the area from taking photos or videos of the incident and communicating about police operations.

    Ranked as one of the safest countries in the world, Singapore has been stepping up efforts to deter terrorism in recent years.

    The proposals, which the Straits Times said would apply to journalists and carry punishments such as fines or prison, were part of a Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Bill 2018 introduced in parliament.

    The measure would allow police to issue a "communications stop order", following approval from the home affairs minister, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

    That would "require all persons in the incident area to stop making or communicating films or pictures of the incident area, and stop communicating text or audio messages about the ongoing security operations in the incident area," it added.

    The MHA said information leaks to terrorists could endanger the lives of security officers and people caught up in the attack.

    As examples, it cited media coverage of a 2015 attack on a Jewish deli in Paris in which four hostages were killed, and a 2008 attack in India's financial capital of Mumbai in which 100 people were killed.

    The terrorist threat facing Southeast Asia is growing as foreign fighters return to the region, regional defence ministers said this month in a joint statement, pledging to boost co-operation to tackle militancy.

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 14:31

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    A man was taken to hospital after allegedly jumping from an overhead bridge on the East Coast Parkway (ECP) today (Feb 27).

    Stomp contributor Eddie and Adrian alerted Stomp to the incident after receiving photos from the scene that were circulating on WhatsApp.

    The incident happened near the Marine Terrace exit.

    A police spokesman told Stomp that they were alerted to a case of attempted suicide along the ECP near Block 6 Marine Terrace at 2.30pm today.

    "A 46-year-old man was conscious when conveyed to Changi General Hospital," he said.

    In response to a Stomp media query, a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said that they received a call for ambulance assistance at about 2.35pm.

    "A man was conveyed to Changi General Hospital (CGH) by an SCDF ambulance," he said.

    "The hospital was alerted to be on standby to receive him."

    Police investigations are ongoing.

    HELPLINES
    • Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
    • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
    • Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
    • Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800
    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 10:51

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