Sunday, December 10, 2023

China’s Difficult Challenge to Reach the Middle (Or why China won't surpass US GDP)

Growth dreams deferred. 

China’s per capita income of $21,400 places it just above the 60th percentile of the global income distribution.

By Enda Curran

October 23, 2023

An unlikely geopolitical subplot of 2023 is the emerging view that China’s economy isn’t going to overtake the US after all.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Worker praised for im-peck-able gesture towards chicken crossing the road


10 Nov 2023

SINGAPORE – An act of kindness by a worker who helped a lost, panicking mother hen and her chicks to safety has catapulted him into the limelight.

Swift Justice in Singapore (A.K.A. "History is written by winners"... in exile... on Douyin...)

China "Karen"

'History is written by winners': Woman, 29, who verbally abused SGH nurse & deported to China

She was deported after spending 29 days behind bars.

Winnie Li

November 09, 2023

The woman who verbally abused a Singapore General Hospital staff and was jailed and deported for it, has taken to social media to write: "History is written by winners." 

Her latest update online came in the form of a Douyin video posted at around 1:20am on Nov. 9, 2023.

[Right! Losers tiktok & Douyin... Or blog. Like me. :-( ]

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Man offered S$2 to sex worker instead of agreed fee in repeat offence, gets jail

The Australian woman, who was in Singapore for a holiday, charged S$700 per hour.

[Note that she is described as an "Australian Woman". Not "Australian Prostitute", or "illegal foreign sex worker." No judgement here.]

Lydia Lam

31 Oct 2023

SINGAPORE: A repeat offender on remission for refusing to pay sex workers after obtaining their services struck again, this time targeting an Australian woman who was in Singapore for a holiday.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Musk undue influence over US policy and the Russo-Ukraine war.

 Elon Musk’s Shadow Rule

How the U.S. government came to rely on the tech billionaire—and is now struggling to rein him in.

By Ronan Farrow

Last October, Colin Kahl, then the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon, sat in a hotel in Paris and prepared to make a call to avert disaster in Ukraine. A staffer handed him an iPhone—in part to avoid inviting an onslaught of late-night texts and colorful emojis on Kahl’s own phone. Kahl had returned to his room, with its heavy drapery and distant view of the Eiffel Tower, after a day of meetings with officials from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. A senior defense official told me that Kahl was surprised by whom he was about to contact: “He was, like, ‘Why am I calling Elon Musk?’ ”

The reason soon became apparent. “Even though Musk is not technically a diplomat or statesman, I felt it was important to treat him as such, given the influence he had on this issue,” Kahl told me. SpaceX, Musk’s space-exploration company, had for months been providing Internet access across Ukraine, allowing the country’s forces to plan attacks and to defend themselves. But, in recent days, the forces had found their connectivity severed as they entered territory contested by Russia. More alarmingly, SpaceX had recently given the Pentagon an ultimatum: if it didn’t assume the cost of providing service in Ukraine, which the company calculated at some four hundred million dollars annually, it would cut off access. “We started to get a little panicked,” the senior defense official, one of four who described the standoff to me, recalled. Musk “could turn it off at any given moment. And that would have real operational impact for the Ukrainians.”

Full of beans: scientists use processed coffee grounds to make stronger concrete

Australian engineers say they can make concrete nearly 30% stronger by incorporating processed grounds into the material

Donna Lu

Tue 22 Aug 2023

In an idea that fittingly arose over a cup of coffee, researchers have devised a technique to recycle used coffee grounds to make stronger concrete.

Engineers at RMIT University say they have developed a way to make concrete nearly 30% stronger by incorporating processed coffee grounds into the material.

Samples of unroasted coffee beans, roasted coffee beans, spent ground coffee and the team’s coffee biochar.
Photograph: Carelle Mulawa-Richards, RMIT University

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Salt Lake City, UT

August 10, 2023

Private Residence
Salt Lake City, Utah

THE PRESIDENT: Please, please sit down. Thank you. Well, first of all, you know, I had forgotten about that incident. It was the time when there was a lot of discussion going on in the administration: would we recognize same-sex marriage.

And I was rai- — I was a lucky man. I was raised by a father who was a — thought everyone was entitled to be treated with dignity. I remember when I was — I hadn’t thought about this a long time. I remember when I was a kid, I — I was a lifeguard at a country club, but I wanted to — I was — got deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement. And so, I wanted to work in what they called “The Bucket,” which was a public housing complex — a large complex on the east side of Wilmington — and — which was all African American.

And they had the — like all big cities, they had three major swimming pools. One on the east side, which is where they — a thousand African American kids a day would come and swim in this big pool. And I wanted to be a lifeguard there. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Commentary: Singapore’s the 25th happiest country in the world — here are some ways to make it a happier place

Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY

Despite being consistently ranked as Asia’s happiest nation, Singapore has not seen a dramatic improvement in either its ranking or the average life evaluation score over the last decade, said the author.


April 18, 2023

Almost every year since 2012, the World Happiness Report (WHR) has been documenting the rankings of national happiness for hundreds of countries worldwide.

In the WHR’s first and landmark report, Denmark was named the happiest country in the world, followed closely by two other Scandinavian countries: Finland and Norway.

Recently, however, Finland has overtaken Denmark as the happiest nation six years in a row.

What about Singapore? Perhaps to many Singaporeans’ surprise, Singapore has not been performing too badly at all as a nation when it comes to being satisfied with one’s life.

Out of over 150 countries in the Gallup World Poll, which is the dataset used to generate the happiness league table in the WHR since its inception in 2012, Singapore ranked 25th globally in 2023. 

Friday, July 28, 2023

In Singapore, loud echoes of Beijing’s positions generate anxiety

President Xi Jinping wants to build influence among ethnic-Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, raising concerns that the Chinese Communist Party is stoking divided loyalties

Waterloo Street, one of the oldest streets in multiracial Singapore, is host to Chinese temples, food centers and
newspaper vendors, alongside a Hindu temple and a synagogue.

By Shibani Mahtani 
Amrita Chandradas

July 24 at 5:00 p.m.

SINGAPORE — As China accelerates efforts to build its global power, President Xi Jinping has laid out an extravagant vision for overseas ethnic-Chinese communities that he hopes will “give shape to a powerful joint force for advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Monday, July 3, 2023

The Big Read: With more seniors needing care, is assisted living the answer for S'pore's 'missing middle' and their caregivers?

Experts interviewed by TODAY said that the issue of caregiving options has become even more pronounced in light of
Singapore's rapidly ageing population. 
Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY
  • With Singapore society ageing rapidly, one particular eldercare option has sprung up in recent years — community or assisted living to help seniors with basic daily activities 
  • It is touted as a possible solution for the “missing middle” — seniors who cannot live independently but are not too ill to be cared for in nursing homes
  • But experts, industry players and caregivers pointed to various factors on why assisted living services has not taken off faster, including costs, regulatory ambiguities and manpower shortages
  • At the same time, there are different challenges in expanding other caregiving services such as foreign domestic helpers and day care centres 
  • Experts believe that the right way forward is a shift in approach from reactive to preventive measures in eldercare, and more sustainable public-private partnerships

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

It’s crunch time for the debt ceiling

The main sticking point: government spending.

President Biden and Speaker McCarthy
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

By Neal Freyman

May 22, 2023

It’s understandable if you haven’t been following negotiations around the debt ceiling—it is “negotiations around the debt ceiling,” after all.

But it might be time to start paying attention, considering that the clock for the US defaulting on its debts is getting dangerously close to midnight. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated yesterday that the US likely wouldn’t be able to pay all of its bills beginning next Thursday, June 1, if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling from its current $31.4 trillion level by then.

Monday, May 8, 2023

China's aircraft carriers play 'theatrical' role but pose little threat yet: Analysts

A helicopter takes off from China's Shandong aircraft carrier, over Pacific Ocean waters, south of Okinawa
prefecture, Japan, in this handout photo taken Apr 15, 2023, and released by the Joint Staff Office of the
Defense Ministry of

05 May 2023 

HONG KONG: When China sailed one of its two active aircraft carriers, the Shandong, east of Taiwan last month as part of military drills surrounding the island, it was showcasing a capability that it has yet to master and could take years to perfect.

As Beijing modernises its military, its formidable missile forces and other naval vessels, such as cutting-edge cruisers, are posing a concern for the US and its allies. But it could be more than a decade before China can mount a credible carrier threat far from its shores, according to four military attaches and six defence analysts familiar with regional naval deployments.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Commentary: How to stop a war between America and China

In the militarised rivalry between China and the US, one side’s deterrence is another side’s escalation, says the Financial Times' Gideon Rachman.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) conducts a routine Taiwan Strait transit on
Sunday, April 16, 2023. (U.S. Navy via AP)

Gideon Rachman

26 Apr 2023

LONDON: Visiting Washington last week, it was striking how commonplace talk of war between the United States and China has become. That discussion has been fed by loose-lipped statements from American generals musing about potential dates for the opening of hostilities.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Singapore, China hold joint naval exercise, amid routine port call by US submarine

Personnel from the Republic of Singapore Navy and People’s Liberation Army (Navy) conducted joint training at the
Damage Control Training Centre in Changi Naval Base. Ministry of Defence
  • Singapore and China are holding a joint naval exercise between April 28 and May 1
  • This comes after a US submarine made a routine port call in Singapore this week
  • The Sino-Singapore drills will consist of a shore and sea phase at Changi Naval Base and the southern reaches of the South China Sea respectively


April 28, 2023

SINGAPORE — The Singapore and China navies are holding a joint maritime exercise from April 28 to May 1, which consists of a shore and sea phase, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a press statement on Friday (April 28).

This year’s drills will be the second in the bilateral series, called Exercise Maritime Cooperation, between the two countries, with the first taking place in 2015.

This comes as a United States submarine — the USS Columbia — made a routine port call at the Changi Naval Base this week.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Preparations for Singapore's leadership transition going 'as well as they can': Shanmugam

The fourth-generation leadership is "doing well", Mr K Shanmugam said when asked for his assessment on how the
new team is making their mark. 
TODAY file photo

  • In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Law and Home Affairs Minister Shanmugam spoke about the training that Singapore's leaders go through as they rise up the ranks
  • He noted, for example, how Singapore's fourth generation of political leaders have gained valuable experience through the Covid-19 crisis and current housing issues
  • This is different from the process in many other countries, he said, where people do not need training before becoming prime minister
  • Mr Shanmugam also touched on geopolitics, including the tensions between the United States and China, and the Russia-Ukraine war
April 8, 2023

Thursday, April 20, 2023

PM Lee outlines 3 geopolitical storms Singapore faces

Jean Iau
19 April 2023

SINGAPORE - While Singapore’s relations with its immediate neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia are stable and encouraging, the situation further afield has become troubling and even dangerous.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this in Parliament on Wednesday as he outlined three major geopolitical tensions that make the current global situation graver than what Singapore has faced in a long time.

Singaporeans need to realise the gravity of the situation, he said. “We are facing not just one storm, but several.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

‘I’ll take cabs but eat hawker food most days’: Millennials’ spending choices spark debate

One millennial could spend up to S$800 monthly on Grab rides; another buys make-up using ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes. Talking Point finds out why younger Singaporeans may be more at risk of getting into more debt than previous generations.

Neo Chai Chin
Chan Luo Er

09 Apr 2023 

Friday, March 31, 2023

China’s cities are buried in debt, but they keep shoveling it on

March 28, 2023

NEW YORK — In 2015, when Shangqiu, a municipality in central China about the size of Kentucky, laid out a plan for the next two decades, it positioned itself as a transportation hub with a sprawling network of railways, highways and river shipping routes.

By the end of 2020, Shangqiu had built 114 miles (183km) of high-speed rail, and today several national railways make stops in the city.

By 2025, Shangqiu expects the coverage of its highway network to have increased by 87 per cent. The city is building its first two airports, three new highways and enough parking space for 20,000 additional slots.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Ties with federal government improved under PM Anwar, says Johor Sultan

Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Feb 8, 2023.
(Photo: Facebook/Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar)

23 Mar 2023 

JOHOR BAHRU: Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar said the state government’s relationship with the federal government has improved under Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Sultan Ibrahim said that he has been getting along well with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, who leads the unity government.

“We have worked very well together. I would say it’s better than any other previous prime ministers,” Sultan Ibrahim was quoted as saying by The Star on Thursday (Mar 23). 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Commentary: Anti-corruption sweep exposes a disturbing truth in Malaysia

With former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and others caught in the widening anti-corruption net, Anwar Ibrahim might have the momentum to push through political funding law reform, says CNA’s Leslie Lopez.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has made battling corruption the central plank of his reform government.
But there are gripes over delays on pushing ahead with law to regulate political funding. (Photo: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim)

Leslie Lopez

21 Mar 2023 

KUALA LUMPUR: Before taking over as Malaysian Prime Minister in November last year, Anwar Ibrahim often told his closest advisors that reforms to regulate political funding would be a priority. But it appears taming widespread corruption in government and politics must take precedence.

Recent charges brought against former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and several leaders of his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) party over governance breaches in a COVID-19 stimulus programme that was introduced in November 2020 to jumpstart the economy show that state capture remains a huge problem and little has been learnt from the debacle surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Muhyiddin has been slapped with seven separate charges that involved the abuse of power, mounting to RM237.5 million (US$53 million), and money laundering, totalling RM195 million. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Commentary: Call by China foreign minister for ASEAN to stay clear of power rivalry highlights tricky balancing act for region

Some Southeast Asian leaders have said they will not take sides in the US-China conflict - but if pushed, it is not unlikely they will do so according to national interests, says Oh Ei Sun.

Marines at the opening ceremony of an annual US-Philippine joint military exercise at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city,
Philippines, Oct 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Oh Ei Sun

08 Mar 2023 

SHANGHAI: At a press conference on the sidelines of China’s annual “two sessions”, a question posed to Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang seemed to channel Southeast Asian regional sentiments.

The question postulated that as China’s economy faces growing downward pressure, regional countries are finding it difficult to rely on the US for security guarantees, and on China for economic development.

And according to media reports, Qin was equally blunt in answering, advising that Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should stay clear of any power rivalry between big countries. He noted that leaders of regional countries have stated that ASEAN should not be a proxy for any party.

Monday, March 6, 2023

China has some doubt on ability to invade Taiwan: CIA chief

Taiwanese Mirage 2000 fighter jets taxi along a runway during a drill at an airbase in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on Jan 11, 2023.
(Photo: AP/Johnson Lai)

27 Feb 2023

WASHINGTON: US intelligence shows that China's President Xi Jinping has instructed his country's military to “be ready by 2027" to invade Taiwan though he may be currently harbouring doubts about his ability to do so given Russia's experience in its war with Ukraine, CIA Director William Burns said.

Burns, in a television interview that aired on Sunday (Feb 26), stressed that the United States must take “very seriously” Xi's desire to ultimately control Taiwan even if military conflict is not inevitable.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Commentary: Why taking a long view on Singapore’s defence spending will reap security dividends over time

Defence Minister Ng Eng Heng viewing an F35 aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona in December 2015.  
Raj Nadarajan/TODAY


February 28, 2023

Defence planning, expenditure, and acquisition are necessary tasks that require exercising “the art of the long view”, to use the term by famous futurist and scenario-planner Peter Schwartz.

This year’s debate on the Ministry of Defence’s (Mindef) budget serves to reinforce once again that our defence spending remains prudent and balanced, and is based on “the long view”, to ensure that Singaporeans can continue to enjoy adequate security from external threats, as they have in the past.

This is a dividend which, unfortunately, cannot be consistently derived in many countries, particularly those across Europe.

One need not look further than the current situation in Ukraine, which marked the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion on Feb 24.

Against this backdrop, it’s important that Mindef and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) remain committed to the course of transformation to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Fat, Sugar, Salt … You’ve Been Thinking About Food All Wrong

Scientists are asking tough questions about the health effects of ultra-processed diets. The answers are complicated—and surprising.

IN THE LATE 2000s, Carlos Monteiro noticed something strange about the food that Brazilian people were eating. The nutritionist had been poring over three decades’ worth of data from surveys that asked grocery shoppers to note down every item they bought. In more recent surveys, Monteiro noticed, Brazilians were buying way less oil, sugar, and salt than they had in the past. Despite this, people were piling on the pounds. Between 1975 and 2009 the proportion of Brazilian adults who were overweight or obese more than doubled.

This contradiction troubled Monteiro. If people were buying less fat and sugar, why were they getting bigger? The answer was right there in the data. Brazilians hadn’t really cut down on fat, salt, and sugar—they were just consuming these nutrients in an entirely new form. People were swapping traditional foods—rice, beans, and vegetables—for prepackaged bread, sweets, sausages, and other snacks. The share of biscuits and soft drinks in Brazilians’ shopping baskets had tripled and quintupled, respectively, since the first household survey in 1974. The change was noticeable everywhere. When Monteiro first qualified as a doctor in 1972, he’d worried that Brazilians weren’t getting enough to eat. By the late 2000s, his country was suffering with the exact opposite problem.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Thai cave rescue: Duangpetch Promthep's death shatters happiest of endings

16 Feb 2023

Thailand cave rescue

Duangpetch Promthep turned 13 when he was trapped inside the Thai cave. Reuters

By Jonathan Head
South East Asia correspondent

We still do not know what caused the sudden death of Duangpetch 'Dom' Promthep at the football academy in Britain to which he had been so proud to win a scholarship last year.

It casts, for the first time, a sad shadow over a story which until now had not lost its power to inspire, to lift the spirits.

'We are not in a comfortable place': Singapore defence minister warns of 'disastrous' consequences of war in Asia

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaking at the Maritime Security Roundtable during the 59th Munich Security Conference on Feb 17, 2023.

18 Feb 2023 

Singapore's defence minister on Friday (Feb 17) warned that war in Asia would be devastating not just for the continent, but for the rest of the world.

Speaking at the Maritime Security Roundtable at the 59th Munich Security Conference, Dr Ng highlighted that world powers have been increasing their military presence in Asia, concluding that "pre-positioning for deterrence is alive and well".

He cited the formations of strategic groupings like the Quad (United States, India, Australia, Japan) and AUKUS (US, Australia, United Kingdom), the US gaining more access to bases in the Philippines, as well as missile defence drills in South Korea as examples of what China would construe as "preparatory moves".

Similarly, Beijing has also increased its military presence in the region, said Dr Ng - from patrols in the disputed South China Sea to Chinese jets regularly crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait.

Singapore digs deep to unleash geothermal energy potential

17 Aug 2022

But the volumetric extent of hot rock where geothermal can be sourced is unknown.

First published online at Asian Power

Unlike Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan, Singapore has no known shallow heat source. That is why the country exerted more efforts to unearth its geothermal potential to diversify its energy sources. It turned out that its geothermal potential could cover a sizable portion of Singapore’s energy mix, an expert said.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) in April [2022] issued a request for information to conduct a geophysical investigation project to assess the country’s geothermal energy potential. The EMA said that progress in technologies such as the Advanced Geothermal Systems enabled the extraction of heat from hot dry rock and at greater depths, opening the potential for geothermal applications locally as the country is within a region of high subsurface heat flow.

“If found to have substantial geothermal resource potential, Singapore could consider the technology options available to deploy geothermal energy locally,” it said.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Snap Insight: Raising CPF monthly salary ceiling will reduce take-home pay for some, but there are payoffs

The increase of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) monthly salary ceiling is part of a slew of initiatives to address retirement adequacy in Singapore, says Christopher Gee of the Institute of Policy Studies.

Christopher Gee

14 Feb 2023

SINGAPORE: The announcement of a staggered increase in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) monthly salary ceiling, from S$6,000 per month now to S$8,000 by 2026, in this year’s Budget is hugely significant.

It will have major long-term effects on Singaporean workers’ retirement savings contributions and therefore accumulation. More will be able to reach their Full or Enhanced Retirement Sums by the time they retire.

The increase in salary ceiling will also mean that CPF savings will keep pace with wage inflation, so that the system continues to cater for the needs of workers up to the 80th percentile of the monthly income distribution. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

'Generosity' of VERS scheme will give flat owners remaining value of lease: Sim Ann

Chew Hui Min

07 Feb 2023 

SINGAPORE: Members of Parliament debated how expiring leases on Housing Board (HDB) flats will be dealt with on Tuesday (Feb 7), with Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann rebutting the proposals and concerns raised by opposition members in the House.

During the debate on public housing policies, Assoc Prof Jamus Lim (WP - Sengkang) asked: “But notice that once we actually reach the 60 years or so, the only way to end up extracting the value is to sell (the flat) on to someone else so that we can actually retire comfortably by extracting that value.

“Now the question is: We are selling on a rapidly depreciating asset … What is the Government’s plan, at least at the macro level, to prevent creating a generation of home purchasers who have bought at the tail end just before the music stops?”

Sun Cable Project update (Feb 2023)

In Jan 2023, Sun Cable went into voluntary Administration.

Is this the end of the project, or just a hiccup? Would someone/some other entity step in and drive this project? Is Singapore out of luck?

How "out of luck" is Singapore? Did we lose any money?

Monday, February 6, 2023

Can Malaysia’s ruling coalition work together? PM Anwar squares up to new political realities

The alliance between Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional is a tenuous one, so holding it together is a daunting task. But are there bigger challenges in store for Malaysia’s new leader? 

After being an also-ran for years, Mr Anwar Ibrahim has taken the top job in Malaysia’s government. Can he deliver?

Derrick A Paulo
Zainudin Afandi

04 Feb 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: After Malaysia’s recent general election produced a hung parliament, artist Faye Lim was thrilled when Pakatan Harapan (PH) got the chance to form the government again.

The 32-year-old was among those who opposed the internal coup in 2020 that had brought down the previous PH government.

So in December, when Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, chairman of PH, won a vote of confidence in the Malaysian parliament to emerge as the undisputed leader of the new unity government, it was what Lim wanted.

“Give people a chance to finish what they start,” she said. “If (politicians) are always going to keep repeating … ‘I’ll never work with’ (or) ‘I don’t want’, then … (they) aren’t thinking about us as a whole nation holistically.”

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Senior counsel questions handling of Keppel bribery case as other lawyers weigh in; Indranee to address matter in Parliament

A view of the Brani, Keppel and Tanjong Pagar container terminals in Singapore on Aug 19, 2022. Reuters

February 2, 2023

SINGAPORE — A senior counsel has questioned the decision by Singapore authorities not to prosecute six former senior management staff members of Keppel Offshore & Marine for a US$55 million (S$73 million) bribery case involving Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.

However, other lawyers who weighed in on the subject, while acknowledging the lack of clarity and how it might appear questionable to the public, suggested that the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) might have reason not to divulge certain legally protected information.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Singapore ranked 5th least corrupt country in 2022

While Singapore was ranked fifth on the Corruption Perceptions Index, this was its lowest ranking in five years
File photo of skyline buildings of the Central Business District in Singapore on Nov 16, 2022.
(Photo: CNA/Hanidah Amin)

31 Jan 2023 

SINGAPORE: Singapore was ranked as the fifth least corrupt country in the world in 2022, according to anti-corruption body Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

However, it was also the lowest ranking in five years for Singapore, which placed third in 2018 and 2020, and fourth in 2019 and 2021. It remains the only Asian country to be in the top 10.

The index ranks 180 countries and territories around the world by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, , scoring on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). [Singapore scored 83 pts.]

Monday, January 30, 2023

Malaysia to export 100MW of electricity to Singapore after joint agreement

A view of HDB flats at night. (File photo: Xabryna Kek)

Lee Chong Ming

30 Jan 2023 

SINGAPORE: A two-year trial that will see Singapore import 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Peninsular Malaysia began on Monday (Jan 30), after a joint agreement between YTL PowerSeraya and TNB Genco.

This marks the first time that electricity from Malaysia will be supplied to Singapore on a commercial basis. 

US four-star general warns of war with China in 2025

29 Jan 2023 

Crew members signal to a F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet preparing to take off for a routine flight on board the
USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during a routine deployment to the South China Sea, Mid-Sea, Jan 27, 2023.
(Photo: REUTERS/Joseph

WASHINGTON: A four-star US Air Force general said in a memo that his gut told him the United States would fight China in the next two years, comments that Pentagon officials said were not consistent with American military assessments.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Chinese turn to traditional remedies to fight Covid-19

An employee working at a traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy in Beijing. AFP

January 24, 2023

BEIJING — As Covid-19 rips through China's vast population, making millions sick and fuelling a shortage of drugs, many are turning to old-school traditional medicines to battle the aches and pains of the virus.

President Xi Jinping has promoted traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) since the start of the pandemic, while health officials have hailed its "important role" in fighting the coronavirus.

Encompassing a range of treatments from herbal remedies and massages to acupuncture and diets, TCM has been used for thousands of years to treat all manner of ailments.

Critics say it is pseudoscientific and ineffective in treating actual illness, and there is little peer-reviewed data to back claims of its efficacy.

But millions in China use it, often in conjunction with modern medicine to alleviate symptoms

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

After being used as a test bed, Ngee Ann Polytechnic gets free driverless bus service

An autonomous minibus now ferries passengers around campus and from King Albert Park MRT station, as part of a partnership between the polytechnic and homegrown company MooVita.

Passengers queueing up outside King Albert Park MRT station for the autonomous minibus to Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
(Photo: Liew Zhi Xin/CNA)

Foo Yueh Peng
Eileen Chew

24 Jan 2023

SINGAPORE: It is one of the latest driverless vehicles allowed on public roads.

Called the MooBus, it has recently been deployed by homegrown company MooVita in its first commercial operation.

And this bus service is free for a year for students and staff of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, where MooVita has used the campus roads as a test bed over the past few years, culminating in this autonomous shuttle.

The 13-seater, measuring seven metres long, ferries passengers from King Albert Park MRT station to 10 stops on campus from 7:30 to about 9:30 a.m. on weekdays (excluding public holidays), while a lunchtime service goes round only on campus.

The electric vehicle is self-driving, capped at 20 kilometres per hour, for much of the 3-km route within campus. A safety operator, however, is required on board by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Thursday, January 19, 2023

IMDA investigating virtual telco Gorilla for halting mobile services without seeking its approval

Users of Gorilla's mobile services in Singapore were advised to move to another provider to maintain uninterrupted service
as its mobile plans had to be suspended due to technical upgrades.
  • The Infocomm Media Development Authority is investigating Gorilla Mobile for not seeking the necessary approval before halting their mobile services
  • Doing so before ending of services is required under the Service-Based Operations License, which allows an operator to provide services-based telecommunications services here
  • The authorities' response came after the virtual telco earlier announced an abrupt cessation of its mobile services in Singapore

January 19, 2023

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

What China's shrinking population means for its future

China’s population fell last year for the first time in six decades, a historic turn that some believe is likely to bring big implications for the world’s second largest economy.

China ended its strict one-child policy, imposed due to fears of overpopulation, in 2016. It began allowing couples to have
three children in 2021. (Photo: AFP/File/STR)

Calvin Yang

17 Jan 2023 

SINGAPORE: China’s population is shrinking sooner than expected, but the demographic shift - while a big issue psychologically - is unlikely to affect its economic growth in the short term, said observers on Tuesday (Jan 17).

China’s population fell last year for the first time in six decades, a historic turn that is likely to mark the start of a long period of decline in its citizen numbers.

The drop is the worst since 1961, and gives weight to predictions that India will overtake China this year to become the world's most populous country.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

MH370 Passenger Manifest

[From Mar 2014, held in draft all this while.]

Manifest for Flight MH370 (summary)

153 Chinese
38 Malaysians
7 Indonesians
6 Australians
5 Indians
4 French
3 Americans
2 each from New Zealand, Ukraine and Canada
One each from Russia, Taiwan, Netherlands
Two men - one confirmed as Iranian - travelling under stolen Italian and Austrian passports

Why Indonesia remains one of the world’s worst places to fly

DECEMBER 8, 2015
[Note. Old new report.]

SINGAPORE — A faulty component, a poor maintenance regime, bad weather, a critical mistake, a communication failure, 162 people dead.

The loss of AirAsia Flight 8501 on a stormy December morning a year ago, from an airline that previously had an excellent safety record, came as a shock, even in a country with one of the world’s worst aviation records.

This was a relatively new plane, captained by a pilot with a decade of experience in the air force and more than 9,000 hours flying commercial jets. Yet interviews with pilots, air traffic controllers, flight trainers and regulators show that the combination of mistakes and failures that doomed those on board show why Indonesia still has more than three times the global average rate of fatal air crashes.

In the past few years, Indonesia has redoubled efforts to improve that record, but the challenges are enormous. The country has a shortage of skilled pilots, ground crew and air traffic controllers. Equipment and planes are often outdated or not working. Many of its 296 airports are under par or have runways that are too short. And the terrain of 17,000 islands, dotted with volcanoes, makes for some of the most treacherous flying conditions in the world.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Sun Cable Update (Jan 2023)

Singapore-based Sun Cable collapses, stalling Australia-to-Asia solar power project

A 4,200km undersea cable promises to deliver vast amounts of clean energy to Singapore.
(Image: Sun Cable)

11 Jan 2023

Singapore-based Sun Cable is going into voluntary administration, the clean energy firm said on Wednesday (Jan 11), months after billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes took on the role of chairman.

The company is aiming to develop a A$30 billion-plus (S$27.6 billion) project to supply solar power from Australia to Singapore, with the backing of tech billionaire and climate activist Cannon-Brookes and the richest man Down Under Andrew Forrest...

Michelle Yeoh Tells Off Golden Globes Producers For Trying To Cut Short Her Speech: “I Can Beat You Up”

January 12, 2023

Don’t mess with Michelle Yeoh while she’s giving a speech.

The Malaysian actress jokingly told the producers of the 80th Golden Globe Awards to “shut up” when they tried to cut short her acceptance speech by playing music over her remarks.

Yeoh took home the Best Actress In a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy Category for Everything Everywhere All at Once.