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tuesday november 22, 2011 www.todayonline.com we set you thinking
Expect a subdued year ahead: MTI
economy will grow by 1% to 3% in 2012: government forecast
Loh Chee Kong
news editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Real economic growth (%) 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 -2 Year
¢ gdp growth over the LaSt deCade
+14.5% Highest on record, broad-based expansion +8.8% +9.2% +7.4% +4.6% Growth despite SarS outbreak +1.5% -1.2% Post dotcom global electronics slump -0.8% Global recession after Lehman +8.7% +5.0% (estimated)
SINGAPORE — There was no end-of-year cheer for workers yesterday, as Singapore’s economy was forecast to grow next year at a relatively lacklustre pace of between 1 and 3 per cent. The news would mean a more modest wage growth and bonus package next year for workers, economists told Today. Companies will also be more cautious with hiring, they noted. The news also saw the Straits Times Index dropping 1.2 per cent yesterday to 2,697.98, its lowest close since Oct 20. Still, UOB senior economist Alvin Liew said: “Given that (the labour) market remains fairly tight, there will be some kind of wage growth involved if the current situation continues.” Yesterday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said it expects the economy to grow by around 5 per cent this year, as it provided its forecast for next year. “Global economic conditions are expected to remain subdued in 2012, with the outlook clouded by increased uncertainty and financial volatility,” the MTI said in a statement. It added that its economic growth forecast for next year “does not factor in downside risks to growth, such as a worsening debt situation or a full-blown financial crisis in the advanced economies”. Should these risks come to pass,
SourCe: departMent of StatiStiCS, MiniStry of trade & induStry
growth could come in lower than expected, the MTI said. The Singapore economy grew by 6.1 per cent between July and September, compared to the same period last year, added MTI. The ministry expects softer growth in the fourth quarter, given the deteriorating external conditions, in particular in the electronics and biomedical manufacturing sector and financial services sector. Singapore’s open economy has felt the brunt of a global slowdown. In a separate statement, IE Singapore said that Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) contracted by 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year. Electronic domestic exports fell by 17 per cent. For next year, Singapore’s NODX “may expand 3 per cent to 5 per cent”, IE Singapore added.
At a press briefing yesterday, Monetary Authority of Singapore deputy managing director Ong Chong Tee said inflation will be 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent next year and the monetary policy stance remains appropriate. Mr Liew noted that the tightening of imported labour would mitigate any potential job losses. He noted that the slowdown might not have a uniform impact. Said Mr Liew: “In the depths of the last recession, some sectors — such as pharmaceuticals — were still performing well. While growth is expected to be rather weak next year, pharmaceutical is expected to be still providing some support.” However, should the slowdown “translate into a spillover effect” into the financial sector, the banking sector “may not be getting that kind of remuneration package than they did when there was a sharp
recovery”, Mr Liew noted. Credit Suisse economist Wu Kun Lung said that wage growth will “definitely slow” to less than 5 per cent in general. “If there is a financial crisis, wage will even be flat or turn negative,” he said. He added: “Bonus will also be lower, by how much is hard to say. Companies make bonus decisions depending on this year’s performance as well as next year’s outlook.” Still, Mr Liew reiterated that there are certain growth sectors which could be immune — or at least buffered — from the slowdown. “For example, private wealth management is still looking fairly strong ... from a structural development perspective, you do see that income levels are picking up within Asia — one of the key thrusts for private wealth activities itself,” he said.
additionaL reporting by Cheow Xinyi
today tuesday November 22, 2011
not enough trains to run at a&e subsidies for foreigners 2-minute intervals during peak hours are here to stay: Gan Kim Yong
SINGAPORE — There are simply not enough MRT trains to run at two-minute intervals throughout the morning and evening peak periods. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Minister of State (Transport) Josephine Teo said that, given the existing fleet, trains are only able to operate at a two-minute interval for 45 minutes during morning peak hours — between 7am and 9.30am — along the Yishun to Marina Bay stretch of the North South Line. Intervals at other parts of the network are still slightly longer than two minutes during the morning peak hours. Mrs Teo was responding to a question from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Gerald Giam on “whether there are any constraints that prevent MRT trains from running at two-minute intervals throughout the periods of 7am to 9.30am and 5pm to 8pm on weekdays”. Mrs Teo noted that the interval is affected by the number of trains and the size of the depots. Pointing out that the passenger load is uneven during the peak periods, Mrs Teo added that, during the morning peak period, there are between 1,350 and 1,420 passengers per train along the North South and East West lines and the stretches with the heaviest passenger loads were between Bishan and Novena stations, as well as between Jurong East and Dover stations. These stretches are most busy between 7.45am and 8.45am. In contrast, the average passenger load at these stretches is about 1,000 to 1,200 passengers per train for the half hour before and after this period. A total of 35 trains will be added to the fleet in the next four years. This will increase capacity along the North South and East West lines by 25 per cent. New trains are also being bought for the North East Line (NEL) and the Circle Line (CCL) and will be delivered in about four to five years, Mrs Teo added. This is expected to increase the NEL’s capacity by up to 50 per cent and the CCL’s capacity by about 40 per cent. Depot building work is ongoing. Mrs Teo said that, despite the challenge of land scarcity, “we are fully committed to expanding the train fleet in order to improve frequencies of train arrivals”. Responding to Mr Giam’s question on whether the authorities plan ahead of time, Mrs Teo said that “there is advance planning but projecting demand and ridership is tricky business and hard to get 100-percent right.” sumita sreedharaN SINGAPORE — Subsidies for foreigners needing emergency care are here to stay, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told Parliament yesterday. He also provided statistics to show that this contributed minimally to the Government’s healthcare spending. He was responding to Member of Parliament Baey Yam Keng (Tampines Group Representation Constituency), who had asked if the Government would remove subsidies for foreigners receiving Accident and Emergency (A&E) care or impose means testing — where the patient’s ability to pay determines the size of the bill. This is because foreigners here would probably be covered by workplace insurance or travel insurance, he said. Currently, a 50-per-cent subsidy is given to all A&E patients regardless of their nationality. Mr Gan said that, over the last five years, foreigners made up 18 per cent of the yearly patient load at A&E departments — amounting to government subsidies of S$14 million every year. This is less than 1 per cent of the Health Ministry’s total spending on subsidised patient services at public hospitals, which amounted to S$2.2 billion. “For A&E services, because they affect life and death, we want to make sure administrative processes in the A&E departments are kept as simple as possible,” he said. He pointed out that not all foreigners here have workplace insurance as they are on long-term visit passes. And as A&E departments provide critical attention for a short period of time, getting hospital staff to verify the patient’s nationality or doing means testing will only add to their administrative burden, he said. “We still like to keep our A&E departments streamlined (and) focus on treating the patients, ensuring that everyone who comes to A&E receives the emergency treatment that they need,” added Mr Gan. As for Singaporeans who need further help even after the 50-per-cent subsidy, Mr Gan cited the existing Medifund scheme and said the Government would continue to look at ways to help the needy.
Ng JiNg yNg
Bedok reservoir deaths reflect copycat behaviour: Balakrishnan
SINGAPORE — The recent spate of deaths at Bedok Reservoir illustrates the phenomenon of copycat suicides, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan told Parliament yesterday, as he sought to put into perspective the incidents that occurred in the last few months. “People who are depressed, that is the root to the problem ... We do not have the highest suicide rate, in fact, given our ethnic composition and our location as a nation, we are doing quite well,” said Dr Balakrishnan, who did not provide figures. Dr Balakrishnan was previously Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports. Dr Balakrishnan, who is the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, was responding to a question from NonConstituency Member of Parliament Lina Chiam on what additional measures — apart from beefing up security and putting up warning signs — were being taken by national water agency PUB in the light of the recent spate of deaths in Bedok Reservoir. According to Dr Balakrishnan, the PUB will put up signs in the area providing information on helplines for those who are depressed. “We certainly intensified all our measures to prevent these sort of untoward accidents — we reviewed the safety parameters, we increased patrols, we increased lights, we put up more signs,” he said. Noting that investigations into some of the deaths are still in progress, Dr Balakrishnan reiterated that a multipronged approach is needed to tackle the
We do not have the highest suicide rate, in fact, given our ethnic composition and our location as a nation, we are doing quite well.
minister for the environment and Water resources vivian balakrishnan
issue and it would involve society, including family members and the community. He said: “This is a problem that goes beyond our reservoirs. In fact, it illustrates that there is this phenomenon called copycat suicides and, since I came from MCYS in the past, we know that there are other preferred modes of suicide which have been influenced by media coverage and the way it is portrayed to the public.” Dr Balakrishnan added that he felt the media has been “responsible” in their reporting of the recent deaths and the coverage has been “toned down” after the first few cases. Responding to Mrs Chiam’s concerns on the water quality, Dr Balakrishnan said the standard operating procedure to treat water did not need to be changed after the incidents. Before the water from the reservoirs reaches public taps, it is filtered and chemically disinfected to a standard well within the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, Dr Balakrishnan said. He added that the treatment process rids the water of bacteria, such as those from decaying organic matter found naturally in the reservoirs’ ecosystems. The treated water is also tested daily and is safe to drink, he said.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
a more flexible CPF
New savings scheme for special needs children among other changes
¢ ChaNges to the CPF aCt
SINGAPORE — A raft of changes to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Act was passed in Parliament yesterday which seek to encourage voluntary top-ups to CPF accounts and allow for greater flexibility to reverse inter-account transfers where deserving. Under the changes, a new Special Needs Savings Scheme (SNSS) — which will allow parents to better provide for their special needs children after they die — will also be created by next year. Minister of State (Manpower) Tan Chuan-Jin said yesterday the changes “represent yet another step forward in ensuring that our CPF system remains relevant and effective for our people”. During the debate on the Bill yesterday, the SNSS drew the most comments and suggestions from Members of Parliament. The scheme will allow parents to nominate their special needs child to receive their CPF monies as a stream of income, rather than just a lump sum payment upon their deaths, without having to set up a trust.
(The scheme) will be particularly useful for parents who do not have substantial savings outside of the CPF, and for whom avoiding administrative costs is an important consideration.
There will be no minimum balance to sign up and no administrative charge. Also, the savings can continue to enjoy CPF interest rates even after the parent’s death. Said Mr Tan: “(The scheme) will be particularly useful for parents who do not have substantial savings outside of the CPF, and for whom avoiding administrative costs is an important consideration.” The SNSS originated from a parents workgroup led by MP Denise Phua in 2006. Ms Phua, however, took issue with the eligibility criteria of the scheme yesterday. Under the scheme, the nominee must have attended or is attending a special education (SPED) school, or require assistance in at least one activity of daily living (ADL), such as dressing and feeding. Ms Phua said the “restrictive” criteria should be expanded, as many special needs children do not attend SPED schools.
There are also those who are able to perform the ADLs and are able academically, but require help with money management and long-term planning such as housing, Ms Phua noted. Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng pointed out that while about 2,500 children are diagnosed with special needs each year, only 300 enter SPED schools. Mr Tan stressed the need to be “mindful” of whom the scheme was designed for: Persons with disabilities who cannot support themselves. There will also be an appeals channel to allow a more flexible application of the scheme for those who not meet the criteria, he added. Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Zainudin Nordin asked if better interest rates could be extended for the nominees, while Sembawang GRC MP Ellen Lee queried as to how nominees can “grow” their money to meet their high monthly costs. Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam felt that the SNSS would not benefit those whose parents did not have much CPF savings, while fellow Opposition MP Yaw Shin Leong also expressed concerns that the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and the CPF Board would have too much discretionary power over
• a new Special needs Savings Scheme under which parents of a special needs child can nominate the child to receive their CPF monies as a stream of income upon their deaths, instead of a lump sum payment • Voluntary contributions for CPF members can be made by any other person or party, not just by family members and employers • transfers between CPF accounts can be reversed in special circumstances, such as if a member falls into financial hardship and needs the transferred savings to service housing instalments • Good health requirement under the Home Protection Scheme for CPF members can be waived, when they buy a new home, in return for lower coverage
the approval of nominees. Mr Tan reiterated that the SNSS allowed the transferred funds to continue to earn CPF interest rates, and other family members can make use of top-up schemes to ensure sufficient funds for the nominee’s needs. He also assured Mr Yaw that parents determine the amount of monthly payout for the nominees at the point of application. When Ms Phua pressed for a review of the scheme in 18 months’ time, Mr Tan replied: “Let us allow the scheme to unfold first.”
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today tuesday November 22, 2011
Should company productivity gains help decide allocation of foreign workers?
mPs concerned by changes to compensation claims
SINGAPORE — A one-year time limit on compensation claims and restrictions on claims involving workplace fights under the amended Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) — which was passed yesterday — drew concern from some Members of Parliament. Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Yeo Guat Kwang and Nee Soon GRC MP Patrick Tay questioned the fairness of the new law requiring an injured worker to choose between a civil claim in court and a claim under the amended legislation, arguing it may not be a sufficient period for him to know whether he stands a good chance of winning in court. Claimants are now not limited in when they re-file their claims with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) should they decide to drop their civil suit against their employers. Minister of State for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin replied that one year is a “reasonable period of time” for workers to make a “considered decision” on how they wish to seek work injury compensation. WICA cannot afford “unlimited flexibility to allow injured workers to switch between WICA and common law at any time”, he said. Adding that some injured workers re-file their claims as late as six years after their accidents, Mr Tan also noted injured workers who are unsuccessful at common law are “not without recourse”. They can request that the court assesses the WICA compensation due to him — minus costs — and direct the employer to pay compensation. Mr Tay and Workers’ Party MP Yaw Shin Leong (Hougang) also questioned the new restrictions to compensation in cases involving fights at the workplace. The MOM receives about 20 such cases a year, of which three-quarters are work-related. Under the new law effective from June next year, employers are not liable to compensate for injuries sustained in fights unless the injured worker was a victim and did not participate in the fight; or when the worker was injured while defending himself, others, or property; or was trying to break up a fight. But Mr Tay felt: “It can be very difficult to tell who was at fault and culpable.” Mr Yaw added that the onus should be on the authorities to prove that an injured worker should not be compensated. In response, Mr Tan noted that WICA, being a no-fault system, has to “ensure that the burden of compensation is fair and reasonable”. Other amendments to the legislation include higher compensation limits for death and permanent incapacity cases and higher coverage for medical expenses. teo XuaNwei
SINGAPORE — Given the national drive to raise productivity, should the success of employers’ productivity initiatives become part of the criteria for allocation of foreign labour in future, labour MP Ang Hin Kee (Ang Mo Kio GRC) asked yesterday. Tightened access to foreign workers amid a tight labour market has been a long-standing conundrum employers, especially in labour-intensive sectors such as manufacturing and construction, have faced. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also Manpower Minister, said the problem with this approach is in deciding the “baseline” for productivity gains, thereby inevitably resulting in some form of discrimination. “Would you discriminate in favour of a company which was previously inefficient and then did something to become efficient against a company which had already did something to become efficient?” said Mr Tharman. “It’s extremely difficult to get into an act of discriminating companies that have done a good job of investing all along and raising productivity and reducing their manpower requirements.” Updating the House on the take-up rate of the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme —
some 900 construction companies have received help to train their employees.
today File Photo
tax benefits for employers who implemented productivity initiatives such as acquisition of equipment or worker training — Mr Tharman said 9,800, or one-fifth of companies that have filed their tax returns so far, have claimed reliefs. He said it is too early to say how many would tap on the scheme because corporate tax filing is ongoing but stressed that outreach efforts are ongoing. The PIC was introduced last year and significantly enhanced in this year’s Budget allowing total tax deductions of up to S$3.2 million for Years of Assessment 2011 and 2012. Companies may alternatively opt for cash payout options for these initiatives. Mr Tharman also said roadmaps for the initial 12 sectors identified for initiatives to boost productivity under the S$600 mil-
lion committed under the National Productivity Fund have largely been endorsed by the National Productivity and Continuing Education Council. In construction, for instance, about 900 companies have received help to adopt new technologies raising their capabilities or train their employees. Productivity is expected to improve by at least 20 per cent when the projects are completed, he said. As for the Inclusive Growth Programme, targeted at improving the skills and wages of some 25,000 low-wage workers, S$26 million has been pumped into 450 projects involving some 21,000 workers, said Mr Tharman. Two-thirds of these workers are expected to receive at least 10 per cent more pay, over and above their normal raises, he added.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Sarawak tycoon’s daughter sues stepdaughter over s$28.8m trust
SINGAPORE — The daughter of a Sarawak tycoon, who said she had supported her former husband financially when they were married, is now suing her stepdaughter for part of a S$28.8 million trust, claiming that it is part of matrimonial assets. In her High Court suit, businesswoman Anna Wee, who is also the niece of United Overseas Bank founder Wee Cho Yaw, is claiming that her Singaporean ex-husband, Mr Ng Hock Seng, had fraudulently misrepresented to her that he did not have money to support their family during their 10-year marriage. In fact, Madam Wee alleged, he had earned US$20 million (S$26.1 million) in 1998 from a wafer fabrication contract. Mr Ng, who died in 2004 from tongue cancer, had willed the money in the trust to his daughter from his first marriage, Ms Genevieve Ng Li-Ann, and his son and daughter with Mdm Wee. Ms Ng is the sole executrix of her father’s estate. The couple had married in 1988, each with one child from their previous marriages. They lived in an apartment in Cairnhill belonging to Mdm Wee’s father, Sarawak tycoon Anuar Wee Hood Teck, for nearly two years before moving to Kuching after Mr Ng’s business ventures failed here. Mdm Wee, who is in her 50s, claimed that she became the family’s sole breadwinner after they moved to Kuching. Yesterday, the court heard that shortly after the birth of their first daughter, Mdm Wee started a company with her friend. She also issued Mr Ng with a supplementary credit card and paid for his travel and holiday expenses. According to Mdm Wee, she introduced many of her own business contacts to Mr Ng, including the managing director of a wafer fabrication company. In 1998, the company gave Mr Ng a US$20 million contract to supply services to its plant. Mdm Wee, who is represented by Senior Counsel Indranee Rajah, said she did not claim maintenance from Mr Ng because she believed his claim that he was broke. He had claimed in an affidavit in January 2000 that he was being financially supported by his family and friends. However, court documents revealed that Mr Ng bought an apartment in Ocean Park in Singapore and another in Four Seasons in Jakarta in 1999. The trust at the centre of the suit is managed by BNP Paribas Trust Corporation, which is incorporated in Jersey, the Channel Islands. Mdm Wee is also claiming for costs against the trust which she alleged had “unreasonably” incurred unnecessary costs “by failing to take a neutral stand” in her claim against Mr Ng’s estate. Ms Ng, who is represented by Senior Counsel Deborah Barker, and BNP Paribas Trust Corporation, represented by Mr Edwin Tong, disagree with Mdm Wee’s claim that Mr Ng’s estate is part of matrimonial assets. Lawyers for the trust will also argue, among other things, that Mdm Wee is not entitled to the money as she has recourse to them through her two children with Mr Ng. According to court documents filed by the defence, Ms Ng said the marriage between her father and stepmother broke down because of Mdm Wee’s alleged extramarital affair. The hearing before Justice Lai Siu Chiu continues today.
Photo by erNest Chua
Mdm Anna Wee (picture) claims that the S$28.8 million trust is part of matrimonial assets, and that her late ex-husband had fraudulently misrepresented to her that he did not have money to support their family during their 10-year marriage.
2,460 internal security arrests until 1990
SINGAPORE — A total of 2,460 arrests were made under internal security laws from 1959 to 1990, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean yesterday. Of these arrests, 1,045 people were detained under the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance (1959-1963) and the Internal Security Act (1963-1990), Mr Teo
said in a written answer to Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Lina Chiam, who had asked for a breakdown of arrests and detentions made under the ISA during those years. Mr Teo said those arrested and/or detained were for a variety of reasons, including involvement in communist-related activities to overthrow the Government; racial and religious extremism; Indonesian Confrontation; foreign subversion and espionage; and terrorism. “Many of these individuals and their families have put the past behind them and carried on with their lives over the past several decades,” he added.
MediShield payouts rise and more premiums are collected
SINGAPORE — The total amount of MediShield claims paid out to the public has risen by 4.4 times over the past decade, along with an increase in the total sum of premiums collected over the same period. In a written parliamentary reply to Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Gerald Giam, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that in tandem with enhancements to MediShield, a Government-initiated health insurance scheme, premiums received by the Government had risen by four times. The enhancements include an extension of maximum age coverage and daily claimable limits. The number of claims increased from 91,000 in 2001 to 236,000 last year, while the amount of claims paid rose from S$58.8 million to S$248.6 million, Mr Gan said. Premiums collected also increased by more than four-fold to S$385.6 million. “MediShield operates on a not-for-profit basis and premiums are actuarially calculated to cover all liabilities for current and future years,” he said. Mr Gan gave the assurance that premiums will be kept affordable even as improvements are made to MediShield to meet Singaporeans’ healthcare needs. Responding to a separate question on the disbursement of Medifund, a scheme to help needy Singaporeans pay for their medical expenses, Mr Gan said S$64.3 million was given out in 2009, compared to S$17.6 million in 2000. Over the same period, the number of Medifund applications increased by 3.8 times to 393,980. The approval rate of applications during this period had also remained consistently high, at over 98 per cent, said Mr Gan.
NG JiNG yNG
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia will relax laws to allow peaceful public gatherings to be held without a police permit, part of a move to allow more freedom of expression as Prime Minister Najib Razak accelerates reforms ahead of a possible general election next year. The Peaceful Assembly Bill will be tabled in Parliament on Thursday, and stipulates where such gatherings can be held to ensure they do not disturb public order, the New Straits Times said. It quoted Mr Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law and parliamentary affairs, as saying the Cabinet had approved the tabling of the Bill on Friday. Malaysian reports said the law was comparable to international practices and would allow the police to disperse the crowd if there were complaints from a third party, such as a house owner near the site of the gathering. “We studied several templates of other countries’ freedom of assembly laws. This shows that we are serious about protecting Malaysians’ rights,” Mr Nazri told The Star. The proposed change would follow Mr Najib’s earlier announcements of legislative amendments to allow greater freedom of expression, including the repeal of two controversial security laws.
M’sia to relax public assembly laws Unbalanced recovery better than balanced recession: China
sPeedING uP reForms Mr Najib has pushed a government and economic reform agenda since taking office in April 2009, including easing regulations in capital markets, divesting state-owned companies and allowing foreign investors to hold a 100-per-cent stake in businesses in selected industries. But the government needs to make good on pledges to overhaul the economy to allow it to better weather global financial turmoil and secure long-term growth, the World Bank said yesterday in its Malaysia Economic Monitor report. “The continued weakness and volatility in the external environment adds to the urgency of accelerating the pace of reform implementation,” World Bank economists Frederico Gil Sander and Mathew Verghis said. The country’s economy expanded 7.2 per cent last year but growth may slow to 4.3 per cent this year and 4.9 per cent in 2012, mainly due to deteriorating outlook for external demand, the report said. aGeNcIes CHENGDU — The global economy is in a “grim” state, Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan warned yesterday as China confirmed plans to invest an eye-popping 10 trillion yuan (S$2 trillion) on strategic sectors in the next five years to maintain growth. Mr Wang said an “unbalanced recovery” might be the best option to deal with what he had described on Saturday as a certain chronic global recession, suggesting Beijing would bolster its own economy before it worries about global imbalances at the heart of trade tensions with Washington. In other words, a strong Chinese economy that brings a continued trade surplus with the United States could be better for the world economy than a slowdown in China itself. The United States trade deficit with China swelled to a record US$273.1 billion (S$355.4 billion) last year from US$226.9 billion in 2009. “An unbalanced recovery would be better than a balanced recession,” he said at the annual US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Chengdu. The comments, echoed by Vice-Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, stopped short of suggesting China would try to boost exports as it had done during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis when it pegged the yuan to the US dollar. Instead, visiting US Commerce Secretary John Bryson said that China confirmed to US officials that it planned to spend 10 trillion yuan on strategic sectors, or two-and-a-half times the 4 trillion yuan stimulus package launched during the global financial crisis. Beijing has previously said the strategic sectors include alternative energy, biotechnology and advanced equipment manufacturing, underlining its aim to shift the growth engine of the world’s No 2 economy to cleaner and high-tech sectors. The spending plans were first reported by Reuters a year ago. “Global economic conditions remain
Global economic conditions remain grim, and ensuring economic recovery is the overriding priority.
chinese vice-Premier Wang Qishan (picture)
grim, and ensuring economic recovery is the overriding priority,” said Mr Wang, the top official steering China’s financial and trade policy, at the second day of the JCCT talks. “As major world economies, China and the US would make a positive contribution to the world through their own steady development,” he added. Huachuang Securities economist Hua Zhongwei said: “It’s clear now that Beijing is ready for policy fine-tuning (to support growth) at a time when the overall domestic and foreign economic situation is not optimistic.” China’s growth slowed to 9.1 per cent in the third quarter from 9.5 per cent in the second quarter and 9.7 per cent in the first quarter, but the rate remains in Beijing’s comfort zone. reuters
Moody’s warning on France credit rating gives markets the chills
PARIS — A rise in interest rates on French government debt and weaker growth prospects could be negative for the outlook on France’s credit rating, Moody’s warned yesterday, adding pressure on already nervous markets. Sentiment was also undermined by Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan warning that the world economy was in a grim state and by United States congressional sources saying that Republicans and Democrats on a deficitreduction panel were expected to announce they had been unable to reach a deal. Late afternoon in Europe yesterday, France’s CAC slumped 2.7 per cent, Germany’s DAX lost 2.6 per cent, while London’s FTSE fell 2.1 per cent. In the US, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were trading 1.4 per cent lower. Asian markets ended flat to lower. “Elevated borrowing costs persisting for an extended period would amplify the fiscal challenges the French government faces amid a deteriorating growth outlook, with negative credit implications,” Moody’s said in its Weekly Credit Outlook. “The deterioration in debt metrics and the potential for further liabilities to emerge are exerting pressure on France’s creditworthiness and the stable outlook (though not at this stage the level) of the government’s Aaa debt rating,” Moody’s said of the euro zone’s second-largest economy. The yield differential between French and German 10-year government bonds hit a euro-era record high of 202 basis points last week. Moody’s said that at that spread level, France pays nearly twice as much as Germany for long-term funding, adding that a 100 basis point increase in yields roughly equates to an additional £3 billion (S$5 billion) in yearly funding costs. reuters
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Central bankers, stop dithering, do something
oth the American economy and the global economy are facing a familiar foe: Policy defeatism. Throughout modern economic history, whether in Western Europe in the 1920s, in the United States in the 1930s or in Japan in the 1990s, every major financial crisis has been followed by premature abandonment — if not reversal — of the stimulus policies that are necessary for sustained recovery. Sadly, the world appears to be repeating this mistake. The right thing to do right now is for the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) to engage in further monetary stimulus. Having lowered short-term interest rates, they should buy (or in the case of the Fed, resume buying) significant quantities of government securities to help push down long-term interest rates and encourage investment. It is past time for the Fed and its European counterpart to act. The economic outlook has turned out to be as grim as forecasts based on historical evidence predicted it would be. Sustained high inflation is not a threat in this environment. We need to rebalance the economy from imports to exports, from private consumption to savings, from tax breaks to infrastructure rebuilding and from the financial sector to everything else. The process of rebalancing will require movement of capital from older industries and activities to newer ones — that is, investment. But investment has been held back because of uncertainty over the economy’s future prospects. And the ability to attract investors is being limited by the giant burden of private-sector debt. In other words, a financing problem is inhibiting the restructuring of our economy. Alleviating generalised financing problems and low investor confidence is precisely what monetary stimulus does. Some claim that monetary easing will impede restructuring. But this makes no sense. For all the talk that monetary austerity promotes the “creative destruction” necessary for the economy to recover, it does not work that way. In Japan in the 1990s, a period of insufficiently aggressive monetary
stimulus fed lending to “zombie companies” — unproductive borrowers on whose loans the banks could not afford to take losses. It was only when macroeconomic policy led a recovery in Japan in the first decade of this century that capital flowed out of the places it had been trapped and into new and growing businesses. Another source of policy defeatism is the widespread but false belief that our previous “unconventional” efforts to stimulate the economy either were not terribly effective or are unlikely to be effective if extended today. The fact that the American economy has not fully recovered after previous rounds of stimulus is not evidence that those failed to work at all. We know that infusions of central bank money to the economy have been closely associated with falling long-term interest rates. We know that the relative price of riskier assets has gone up, indicating greater demand for them, when stimulus has been undertaken. And we know that banks have received increased deposits and that investors and households have expressed increased confidence, after prior rounds of quantitative easing. That combination has had a stimulative impact, just as a cut in the interest rate would have in ordinary times. Scientific research tells us that high blood pressure and cholesterol are associated with a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, and that certain prescription medication reduces cholesterol and blood pressure. Yes, it is difficult to prove directly that taking the medicine prevents heart disease and stroke, and taking them is no guarantee of health. But still we should take them. This is the same situation we are in now, with our economy’s financial circulation at risk and quantitative easing the indicated medicine. In my opinion, we can go further. Central banks and governments can engage in forms of coordinated action that will target the burden of past debts that is hanging over the global economy. In the US, that means resolving the distressed mortgage debt that is weakening our financial system and reducing labour mobility, thereby constraining our ability to grow. It is time for the Federal Reserve and elected officials to explore ways to jointly tackle that housing debt. Independent central bankers tend to become very squeamish
about expressing support for any particular government proposal, especially when it involves agreeing to buy government bonds. Tragedies have occurred, however, when independent central banks let worries about the perception that they were too close to the government prevent them from doing something constructive in times of crisis. Such passivity led to the prolonged recession in Japan in the 1990s. It was only when the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Finance abandoned their mutual distrust and worked together publicly in 2002-3 that Japan had a sustained recovery. The same distrust between monetary and fiscal officials, and concerns about being perceived as too close to each other, is bringing the euro area to the brink of disaster today. Central bank independence is not primarily a matter of reputation but of reality. What matters is what central banks do, not whether they maintain an appearance of disdain towards the messy realities of economic and political life. The inflation-fighting credibility of central banks is not vulnerable to voluntary purchases of bonds, public or private, made with reference to clear and long-held economic goals. Therefore, if the Federal Reserve and the ECB respond to the crisis with available tools, including largescale bond purchases (as the Bank of England has already begun to do), they will enhance their credibility and independence for the future. Almost certainly, even if we were to do everything right on monetary policy, some economic suffering will continue. But it is the responsibility and duty of central bankers to make things better if we can. Central bank officials have wasted too much time over the last year worrying about how their institutions would appear to markets, to politicians and to the public, were they to undertake more stimulus. Sometimes you have to do the right thing even if the benefits take time to become evident. If we do not undertake the monetary stimulus that the grim outlook calls for, then our economies and our people will suffer avoidable and potentially lasting damage. ¢ THE NEW YORK TIMES Adam Posen, an American economist, is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
And to save the world economy, we must topple these dangerous romantics from their pedestals. Let us start with the creation of the euro. If you think that this was a project driven by careful calculation of costs and benefits, you have been misinformed. The truth is that Europe’s march towards a common currency was, from the beginning, a dubious project on any objective economic analysis. The continent’s economies were too disparate to function smoothly with one-size-fits-all monetary policy, too likely to experience “asymmetric shocks” in which some countries slumped while others boomed. And unlike US states, European countries were not part of a single nation with a unified budget and a labour market tied together by a common language. So why did those “technocrats” push so hard for the euro, disregarding many warnings from economists? Partly it was the dream of European unification, which the continent’s elite found so alluring that its members waved away practical objections. And partly it was a leap of economic faith, the hope — driven by the will to believe, despite vast evidence to the contrary — that everything would work out as long as nations practised the Victorian virtues of price stability and fiscal prudence.
Boring cruel romantics
here is a word I keep hearing lately: “Technocrat”. Sometimes it is used as a term of scorn — the creators of the euro, we are told, were technocrats who failed to take human and cultural factors into account. Sometimes it is a term of praise: The newly installed prime ministers of Greece and Italy are described as technocrats who will rise above politics and do what needs to be done. I call foul. I know from technocrats; sometimes I even play one myself. And these people — the people who bullied Europe into adopting a common currency, the people who are bullying both Europe and the United States into austerity — are not technocrats. They are, instead, deeply impractical romantics. They are, to be sure, a peculiarly boring breed of romantic, speaking in turgid prose rather than poetry. And the things they demand on behalf of their romantic visions are often cruel, involving huge sacrifices from ordinary workers and families. But the fact remains that those visions are driven by dreams about the way things should be rather than by a cool assessment of the way things really are.
Sad to say, things did not work out as promised. But rather than adjusting to reality, those supposed technocrats just doubled down — insisting, for example, that Greece could avoid default through savage austerity, when anyone who actually did the math knew better. Let me single out in particular the European Central Bank (ECB), which is supposed to be the ultimate technocratic institution, and which has been especially notable for taking refuge in fantasy as things go wrong. Last year, for example, the bank affirmed its belief in the confidence fairy — that is, the claim that budget cuts in a depressed economy will actually promote expansion, by raising business and consumer confidence. Strange to say, that has not happened anywhere. And now, with Europe in crisis — a crisis that cannot be contained unless the ECB steps in to stop the vicious circle of financial collapse — its leaders still cling to the notion that price stability cures all ills. Last week Mr Mario Draghi, the ECB’s new president, declared that “anchoring inflation expectations” is “the major contribution we can make in support of sustainable growth, employment creation and financial stability”. This is an utterly fantastic claim to make at a time when expected European inflation is, if anything, too low, and what is roiling the
markets is fear of more or less immediate financial collapse. And it is more like a religious proclamation than a technocratic assessment. Just to be clear, this is not an anti-European rant, since we have our own pseudotechnocrats warping the policy debate. In particular, allegedly nonpartisan groups of “experts” — the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Concord Coalition, and so on — have been all too successful at hijacking the economic policy debate, shifting its focus from jobs to deficits. Real technocrats would have asked why this makes sense at a time when the unemployment rate is 9 per cent and the interest rate on US debt is only 2 per cent. But like the ECB, our fiscal scolds have their story about what is important, and they are sticking to it no matter what the data say. So am I against technocrats? Not at all. I like technocrats — technocrats are friends of mine. And we need technical expertise to deal with our economic woes. But our discourse is being badly distorted by ideologues and wishful thinkers — boring, cruel romantics — pretending to be technocrats. And it is time to puncture their pretensions. ¢ tHe NeW yorK tImes Nobel laureate Paul Krugman is professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
How china can defeat america
ith China’s growing influence over the global economy and its increasing ability to project military power, competition between the United States and China is inevitable. Leaders of both countries assert optimistically that the competition can be managed without clashes that threaten the global order. Most academic analysts are not so sanguine. If history is any guide, China’s rise does indeed pose a challenge to America. Rising powers seek to gain more authority in the global system, and declining powers rarely go down without a fight. And given the differences between the Chinese and American political systems, pessimists might believe that there is an even higher likelihood of war. I am a political realist. Western analysts have labelled my political views “hawkish”, and the truth is that I have never overvalued the importance of morality in international relations. But realism does not mean that politicians should be concerned only with military and economic might. In fact, morality
can play a key role in shaping international competition between political powers — and separating the winners from the losers. I came to this conclusion from studying ancient Chinese political theorists like Guanzi, Confucius, Xunzi and Mencius. They were writing in the pre-Qin period, before China was unified as an empire more than 2,000 years ago — a world in which small countries were competing ruthlessly for territorial advantage. It was perhaps the greatest period for Chinese thought, and several schools competed for ideological supremacy and political influence. They converged on one crucial insight: The key to international influence was political power and the central attribute of political power was morally informed leadership. Rulers who acted in accordance with moral norms whenever possible tended to win the race for leadership over the long term. China was unified by the ruthless king of Qin in 221 BC, but his short-lived rule was not nearly as successful as that of Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty, who drew on a mixture of legalistic realism and Confucian “soft power” to rule the country for over 50 years, from 140 BC until 86 BC. According to the ancient Chinese philosopher Xunzi, there were three types
of leadership: Humane authority, hegemony and tyranny. Humane authority won the hearts and minds of the people at home and abroad. Tyranny — based on military force — inevitably created enemies. Hegemonic powers lay in between: They did not cheat the people at home or allies abroad. But they were frequently indifferent to moral concerns and often used violence against non-allies. The philosophers generally agreed that humane authority would win in any competition with hegemony or tyranny. Such theories may seem far removed from our own day, but there are striking parallels. Indeed, Mr Henry Kissinger once told me that he believed that ancient Chinese thought was more likely than any foreign ideology to become the dominant intellectual force behind Chinese foreign policy. The fragmentation of the pre-Qin era resembles the global divisions of our times, and the prescriptions provided by political theorists from that era are directly relevant today — namely that states relying on military or economic power without concern for morally informed leadership are bound to fail. Unfortunately, such views are not so influential in this age of economic determinism,
even if governments often pay lip service to them. The Chinese government claims that the political leadership of the Communist Party is the basis of China’s economic miracle, but it often acts as though competition with the US will be played out on the economic field alone. In America, politicians regularly attribute progress, but never failure, to their own leadership. Both governments must understand that political leadership, rather than throwing money at problems, will determine who wins the race for global supremacy. Many people wrongly believe that China can improve its foreign relations only by significantly increasing economic aid. But it is hard to buy affection; such “friendship” does not stand the test of difficult times. CreatING a desIrabLe modeL How, then, can China win people’s hearts across the world? According to ancient Chinese philosophers, it must start at home. Humane authority begins by creating a desirable model at home that inspires people abroad. This means China must shift its priorities away from economic development to establishing a harmonious society free of today’s huge gaps between rich and poor.
Building meaningful relationships
Charmed by the safe environment and modern lifestyle, Filipino Chinese Aubrey Young is happy to call Singapore home
ABOUT 11 years ago, Filipino Chinese Aubrey Young relocated here for work, and she hasn’t looked back since. With an open heart and mind, Aubrey adjusted to her new living environment effortlessly. “Singapore is a multi-cultural society that respects all races and religions,” she said. FORMING FRIENDSHIPS With English as the lingua franca, she found it easy to communicate and build relationships with her co-workers and friends. She would often have lunch with her colleagues and spend Friday evenings relaxing with her friends. Some of her favourite local foods include chicken rice, minced meat noodles and prawn noodes. Aubrey said: “There is a certain uniqueness to these dishes that I somehow associate with Singapore.” In addition, when Aubrey first came here, her Singaporean colleagues showed her around and helped her adjust to Singapore life. It also helped that her Filipino Chinese
Aubrey Young (far left) and her family enjoying a lunch together
SINGAPORE, MY HOME
home five years ago. And on every occasion, they developed meaningful relationships with their Singaporean neighbours.
While they still know their roots, they have lived here most of their lives and already consider Singapore their home.”
“They looked beyond race or nationality and would try to get to know us. That really helped us to integrate into the social communities that we’re part of,” she said. The couple even became good friends with some of their neighbours, who would visit their children to play with them. What’s more, the children have adapted well here. “Kylle is in Primary 2 and attending a local school. While they still know their roots, they have lived here most of their lives and already consider Singapore their home,” she said. During their free time, the family visits places such as the beach and theme parks. “We often have lunch and dinner gatherings as it is a great way for everyone to get together,” said Aubrey.
husband, who is a permanent resident, is working in the same company too. The couple met at work in the Philippines and relocated here about the same time. “We got married two years after we came to Singapore. We had a celebration with our friends in Singapore and another one with our families and friends in the Philippines,” said Aubrey. In fact, their colleague Kenneth, who had formed a close friendship with the couple, was one of the groomsmen on their wedding day. “It’s been a decade, but we still keep in touch,” added Aubrey.
FEELING AT HOME After working here for some time, Aubrey started to feel a sense of belonging and wanted to call Singapore home. So the permanent resident finally became a full-fledged citizen eight years ago. “Thinking long term, I saw myself staying in Singapore with my family, so I applied for citizenship,” she said. Today, Aubrey has settled nicely here with her husband and three children, Kylle Anderrsen, aged 8, Keith Eldriech, aged 5, and two-year-old Kiefer Owen. Over the years, the family rented a few apartments before finally purchasing their
With support from
It needs to replace money worship with traditional morality and weed out political corruption in favour of social justice and fairness. In other countries, China must display humane authority in order to compete with the US, which remains the world’s pre-eminent hegemonic power. Military strength underpins hegemony and helps to explain why the US has so many allies. President Obama has made strategic mistakes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, but his actions also demonstrate that Washington is capable of leading three foreign wars simultaneously. By contrast, China’s army has not been involved in any war since 1984, with Vietnam, and very few of its high-ranking officers, let alone its soldiers, have any battlefield experience. America enjoys much better relations with the rest of the world than China in terms of both quantity and quality. America has more than 50 formal military allies, while China has none. North Korea and Pakistan are only quasi-allies of China. The former established a formal alliance with China in 1961, but there have been no joint military manoeuvres and no arms sales for decades. China and Pakistan have substantial military cooperation, but they have no formal military alliance binding them together. To shape a friendly international environment for its rise, Beijing needs to develop more high-quality diplomatic and military relationships than Washington. No leading power is able to have friendly relations with every country in the world, thus the core of competition between China and the US will be to see who has more high-quality friends. In order to achieve that goal, China has to provide higher-quality moral leadership than the US. China must also recognise that it is a rising power and assume the responsibilities that come with that status. For example, when it comes to providing protection for weaker powers, as the US has done in Europe and the Persian Gulf, China needs to create additional regional security arrangements with surrounding countries according to the model of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — a regional forum that
includes China, Russia and several central Asian countries. Politically, China should draw on its tradition of meritocracy. Top government officials should be chosen according to their virtue and wisdom, and not simply technical and administrative ability. China should also open up and choose officials from across the world who meet its standards, so as to improve its governance. The Tang dynasty — which lasted from the 7th century to the 10th and was perhaps China’s most glorious period — employed a great number of foreigners as high-ranking officials. China should do the same today and compete with America to attract talented immigrants. Over the next decade, China’s new leaders will be drawn from a generation that experienced the hardships of the Cultural Revolution. They are resolute and will most likely value political principles more than material benefits. These leaders must play a larger role on the world stage and offer more security protection and economic support to less powerful countries. This will mean competing with the US politically, economically and technologically. Such competition may cause diplomatic tensions, but there is little danger of military clashes. That is because future Chinese-American competition will differ from that between the US and the Soviet Union during the cold war. Neither China nor America needs proxy wars to protect its strategic interests or to gain access to natural resources and technology. China’s quest to enhance its world leadership status and America’s effort to maintain its present position is a zero-sum game. It is the battle for people’s hearts and minds that will determine who eventually prevails. And, as China’s ancient philosophers predicted, the country that displays more humane authority will win. ¢
the New york tImes
KINdLES RUINEd By AIRPORT X-RAy SCANNERS? ¢ PAGE 31
Yan Xuetong, the author of Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power, is a professor of political science and dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University. This essay was translated by Zhaowen Wu and David Liu from Chinese.
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Focus on help for families that need it
Letter from Leong Sze Hian
I REFER to the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports’ (MCYS) study that only 20,300 families, or about one in 10 of the 200,000 families in the bottom fifth of the income ladder, were getting help under the various ComCare schemes. Even if the bulk of those getting assistance were in the poorest 10 per cent of households — about 100,000 which earned a household income of only S$1,400 a month, it still means that only about two of these 10 poorest households were helped. It was found that more than six in 10 lower-income families were able to manage without outside help, that most such families seem to prefer to rely on themselves rather than seek help from family, friends, charities or the Government. I find these findings to be somewhat odd, as I understand that, in the developed countries, those in poverty are typically given benefits and help automatically. Instead of explaining why most poor families do not want help, or that about one in 10 did not know where to get aid, perhaps we should focus on getting the help to them. After all, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was last raised from 5 to 7 per cent, with the main reason of helping the poor. So, since the funds are already there, we should focus on getting it to those in need. Whatever the reasons for not wanting or not knowing about aid, the poor, particularly the children and the elderly, should be helped regardless. I would also like to suggest that an independent study be done to examine as to whether the current system, process or procedures, may be too onerous, such that it may be deterring needy families from seeking help.
Dental problems need to be fixed
Letter from Dave Yap
I WANT to thank the Health Promotion Board, for its response (Nov 21) to my letter regarding dental subsidy for students. It mentioned that orthodontic treatment that is medically related would be subsidised. So how does one differentiate between what is medically related and what is aesthetic? I believe these are all dental problems that need to be fixed urgently. Moreover, the list of subsidised dental treatment provided to the elderly under the expanded Primary Care Partnership Scheme (PCPS) is extended to cover crowns, bridges, dentures and root canal treatment. Are not some of these treatments aesthetic? So why are we not helping our schoolchildren enough? If dental problems are treated from young, you not only save the pain the child has to go through but also the huge cost in the long run when you arrive at 40 years old before you can qualify for PCPS.
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today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Pet dogs must be leashed in public
Letter from Wong Hon mun (dr)
Director, Agri Establishment Regulation For the Chief Executive Officer Agri-food and Veterinary Authority
¢ HoW iN tuNe are our youtHs WitH curreNt affairs?
Dog owners should have proper control of their dogs in public and not allow them to stray.
Dog owners should also clear up their dogs’ defecation in public places, to keep the environment clean. those who fail to do so may be fined for littering. to remind owners to leash their dogs and pick up their dog’s poo, nParks have put up signs in our parks and park connectors. We believe that education is the longterm solution to the problem of irresponsible pet owners. the aVa thus promotes responsible pet ownership to equip existing and potential pet owners with knowledge on the care and responsibility that comes with owning a pet. We urge all dog owners to be considerate and exercise proper control of their dogs at all times so as not to pose a problem to others.
and Kartini omar-Hor
General manager, Parks National Parks Board
We thank Mr Brian J king for his feedback in the letter “Why are dogs on the loose in a public place?” (nov 10). We agree with Mr king that dogs on the loose in public places, particularly large dogs, can be intimidating. Dog owners should have proper control of their dogs in public and not allow them to stray. thus, dog owners are required to leash their dogs when in a public area. In addition, Scheduled dog breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd and Rottweiler must also be muzzled in public. Dog owners found to be flouting these rules may be fined up to S$5,000 upon conviction.
it surfaced recently that a singapore bar took its name from one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps of World War ii. While i shudder at the insensitivity, i am also saddened by the sad state of general knowledge of our population. Having been an educator who worked with those in their late teens, i was appalled by how much more they knew about music, movies and computer games than world history and current affairs. i suggest that our examination-oriented
education system is partly to blame. However, i must also point out that our “anytime, anywhere” connectivity to the internet is overloading our youngsters with information. in this case, however, they choose to access information on “popular culture”’ over that of more significant matters. While singapore students routinely score well globally in examinations, i wonder how they will fare in a game of “Trivial Pursuit”.
Letter from daNNy
cyber-baiting solution: No mobiles in class
Letter from Ho Kong Loon
I ReFeR to the recent report of cyber-baiting of teachers by their students (“Cyber-baiting happens to 3 in 10 teachers here”, nov 18). Many years ago, the video of a teacher lambasting a student was posted on the Internet. (a classmate had surreptitiously filmed the episode). the teacher was furious with the student because he had done his assignments perfunctorily and his work attitude was abysmal. She tore the assignments and ordered him to redo them assiduously and responsibly.
I watched the video three times. Were I the parent of that student, I would be grateful to that teacher. She was responsible and caring: She went the extra mile to inculcate proper work attitude in that student. that teacher was, however, stonewalled by the unwelcome attention the video generated subsequently. Would she still be as diligent and enthusiastic in going after other students in like manner? Unlikely. after all, there was even mention of follow-up counselling for the teacher. Parents and schools should work in concert to ensure cyber-baiting is dealt a fatal blow in its infancy. Would it be administratively practical to have pupils surrender their (labelled) mobiles to the class teacher at the beginning of each day, and retrieve them from him/her when class dismisses?
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Ceiling won’t be raised
Income cap for HDB rental flats covers bottom 20% of households: Khaw
¢ Lee KUAN Yew, GoH cHoK ToNG HoNoUreD
SINGAPORE — While the median household income for Singaporeans has gone up, that of the bottom 20th percentile has not — which is why the existing household income ceiling for HDB rental flats will not be raised. National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan made this point yesterday in Parliament in response to a question from Sengkang West MP Lam Pin Min, who pointed out that the median household income of Singaporeans rose to S$5,000 last year. Perhaps it was time to review the S$1,500 income ceiling for the HDB rental flats, Dr Lam said. Adding that the current cap “adequately” covers the bottom 20 per cent of households, Mr Khaw said: “In practice, HDB exercises flexibility, so that those earning above S$1,500 can still get a public rental flat, if they are unable to purchase a flat, have no family support or other housing options.” He added: “Indeed, the median income of
those who applied for two-room flats in recent BTO launches was S$1,400. This is below the income ceiling for public rental housing.” Over the last two years, 5,100 tenants living in the Housing and Development Board (HDB) rental flats had their rents raised, as their household incomes rose. Over the same period, 1,100 tenants had their rents reduced. Mr Khaw said: “It is fair that if you are earning more, your subsidy will be less than those earning less.” Still, he reiterated that the HDB was always “sympathetic” — where there are individual cases of financial hardship as a result of the rental adjustment, they will be reviewed and re-adjusted if necessary. Non-constituency MP Gerald Giam noted the “great” disparity between open-market rentals and HDB rentals. He asked if a tiered approach could be introduced under which rates for HDB rental flats could be raised further for some. Mr Khaw said it was feasible to make exceptions, but the main goal was still to achieve “permanent ownership” for Singaporeans, rather than a permanent state of tenancy. Mr Giam’s suggestion is something the Government could “take a look at”, Mr Khaw said.
When Mr goh Chok Tong took over as prime Minister in 1990, he was aware that many people feared that “Singapore would not survive without Lee Kuan Yew”. “When i succeeded Mr Lee, my over-riding goal was to keep Singapore going ... i was quietly determined to make sure that Singapore would continue to grow and prosper,” emeritus Senior Minister goh said yesterday. “it was an impossible task to step into Mr Lee’s shoes and walk in his footsteps. i decided to be myself, walk in my own pair of shoes, and do my best,” Mr goh added, as he offered a glimpse of his life in
politics during a tribute dinner yesterday. organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan associations and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and industry, it was held to recognise the contributions made by Mr Lee and Mr goh. Mr goh, 70, recalled that he and the other second-generation leaders “were labelled technocrats”. “Some people felt that we lacked fire in our bellies ... But we knew we had to run the next lap after the old guard retired. We applied ourselves. We learnt the ropes of politics. We worked well together,” he said.
¢ LAws oN LIceNseD moNeYLeNDers eNforceD
in the two weeks since rules on advertising by licensed moneylenders kicked in on nov 1, 32 operators flouted prohibitions on marketing their businesses through mainstream media, the internet and SMS, Law Minister K Shanmugam told the House yesterday. restrictions on where licensed moneylenders can advertise — were enforced after concerns that excessive advertising could encourage excessive and unnecessary borrowing. Mr Shanmugam said the registry of
Moneylenders issued warnings against the 32 errant operators and they have since complied. advertisements by loan sharks have been referred to the police for investigations, said Mr Shanmugam, but he did not say how many cases there were. To Mp alexYam’s (Chua Chu Kang grC) question of whether would-be borrowers should undergo compulsory education on the commitments involved in borrowing, Mr Shanmugam said it is something his ministry will consider. Teo XUANweI
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Supporting the elderly and their caregivers
NG JING yNG
¢ taxable Goods From overseas must be deClared at ImmIGratIoN CHeCKPoINts
SINGAPORE — Public housing estates already allow for “naturally occurring retirement communities”, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday, as he stopped short of saying “no” to having retirement villages here. And to provide more support for caregivers, the Government is also considering giving more annual parental leave, he told Parliament yesterday. Responding to a proposal by Member of Parliament Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) on having homebased health care services or retirement villages, Mr Gan acknowledged that other countries have such facilities. But given that the majority of Singaporeans stay in HDB estates and many grow old in their own homes, public housing estates provide for such an environment too, Mr Gan added.
He said that the Ministerial Committee on Ageing would be releasing a master plan for Singapore’s growing silver population next year. The committee, chaired by Mr Gan, is looking at areas such as healthcare and manpower needs on geriatric services in hospitals. Providing more support for caregivers will also be considered, said Mr Gan, when asked by MP Tin Pei Ling (Marine Parade GRC) if caregiver leave for those looking after the elderly could be mandated. “Part of our overall master plan ... will also include how we can help and support these caregivers, some respite in terms of services provided to them (and) looking at whether we can provide them more leave so that they have more time to look after the elderly and the frail at home,” Mr Gan said.
taxable goods bought overseas and brought into Singapore must be declared at the red Channel at immigration checkpoints. the reminder came from the Singapore Customs yesterday ahead of the year-end school holidays
beginning this week. Singapore Customs added that travellers carrying goods with values exceeding their Goods and Services tax (GSt) relief and duty-free allowance are required to also produce the invoices or receipts of their overseas
purchases for tax computation. all goods brought into Singapore for local consumption are subject to 7-per-cent GSt. More details on Singapore’s customs regulations are available at www. customs.gov.sg. CHaNNel NeWsasIa
CNB CeleBrateS 40th aNNiverSary
the Central Narcotics bureau (CNb) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and the theme is ‘Keeping singapore drug-Free, 40 years and beyond’. to commemorate the event , the CNb has launched its Heritage Gallery. It highlights the evolution of the local drug scene and documents the fight against drugs in singapore. It was officially opened by minister of state (Home affairs and Foreign affairs) masagos Zulkifli (right) and CNb director Huang Wen yi.
PHoto by erNest CHua
¢ Psle results to be released oN tHursday
the results of the 2011 Primary School leaving examination (PSle) will be released on thursday. Pupils may obtain their result slips from their respective schools from noon, said the Ministry of education. eligible pupils will also receive from their respective primary schools, their option forms to select secondary schools. the results of Secondary 1
postings will be out on Dec 21. Nan Chiau high School, which has been designated a Special assistance Plan school from January, will admit only express course students taking Chinese or higher Chinese as a Mother tongue language. two more schools — victoria School and Cedar Girls’ — will take in their first batch of Secondary 1 students in the six-year integrated programme.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
new telco laws to be used ‘as last resort’
SINGAPORE — They will be used as a “last resort” when other means to ensure a fair playing field have been exhausted, assured Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim, as laws were passed yesterday empowering the Government to further regulate the telecommunications sector. These powers include issuing a Separation Order for the transfer of assets from a licensee to another entity, in order to safeguard competition in the market. For instance, it could be applied in a scenario where a telco operator has control over critical infrastructure such as cable spectrum and could leverage this market power against its competitors in its downstream activities such as the retail of Internet and mobile services. The enhanced regulatory powers drew concern from Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam in Parliament yesterday. “Can the minister also reassure the House that the powers granted to him in this amendment will not be used other than to promote market competition and to tackle clear and present threats to our national security?” she asked. Dr Yaacob responded: “I would like to
assure that before we exercise the separation order in particular, we will ensure we exhaust all other means possible within our powers. The separation order is like the last resort, in which we have to intervene in order to secure the kind of competition we want in the market.” “The industry is evolving very, very fast ... with new services and entrants coming into the market, I think it’s important to ensure that the playing field is level.” He added: “Ultimately we believe fair competition will drive prices to affordable levels for all Singaporeans.” Under the amended Telecommunications Act, the minister will also have the power to direct a takeover of a telco’s business if the telco is unable to continue holding its licence in the instance of insolvency, and has to exit the market. This is to ensure continuity of key telecommunication networks or services for public and national interest. Such a Special Administrative Order (SAO) is applicable to public telecommunication licensees (PTLS) or telcos that provide large-scale basic communication services, and Critical Support Infrastructure operators that control network facilities that are essential and difficult to replicate. For instance, it could be a telco that shares
a coaxial cable in an MRT station with other content providers. A l s o p a s s e d we re t h e m u ch anticipated revisions in penalties for telcos that violate their licence codes or codes of practice, previously capped at S$1 million. The new provision will allow operators to be fined 10 per cent of its annual turnover or S$1 million, whichever is higher, giving regulator Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) more flexibility when deciding on penalties. The IDA will also now be able to issue written orders to building owners and
developers to ensure their compliance with code of practices to provide access to space and facilities for the installation and operation of telecommunications systems. The last time the Act was amended was in 2005. addItIoNaL rePortING by
The industry is evolving very, very fast ... with new services and entrants coming into the market, I think it’s important to ensure that the playing field is level.
minister for Information, Communications and the arts yaacob Ibrahim (picture)
today FILe PHoto
Fans of ai Weiwei strip in solidarity amid porn investigation
BEIJING — First it was money folded into paper planes that were thrown over the walls of dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s home. Now, the latest show of solidarity with Ai has taken the unlikeliest form of protest: Mass nudity. By yesterday afternoon, 70 Chinese Internet users had posted naked photos of themselves on a website called “Ai Wei Fans’ Nudity — Listen, Chinese Government: Nudity is not Pornography” — a rare form of protest in a country where public nudity is still taboo. They uploaded the photos after Beijing police questioned Ai’s videographer on Thursday for allegedly spreading pornography online by taking nude photographs of Ai and four women. Ai has defended the photos, saying it “is not pornography. If they see nudity as pornography, then China is still in the Qing Dynasty”. Supporters of Ai, whose 81-day secret detention earlier this year had sparked an international outcry, said that the questioning over the nude photographs is China’s latest effort to intimidate its most famous social critic. Last Tuesday, Ai had paid a bond of 8.45 million yuan (S$1.73 million), paving the way for an appeal on a tax evasion charge. The money was raised from contributions from his supporters.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Support in the flesh ...
Mr Wen Yunchao, who posted two nude photographs of himself on the website, said he believed the investigation against Ai’s assistant was the latest form of “persecution” against Ai. “This is a matter that has made many people very indignant,” Hong Kong-based Wen said. “So we are using this extreme method to express our protest.” Many of the photos posted on the website were accompanied with politically tinged commentaries. “Grandpa, is this pornography?” wrote a user, who was photographed bare-bottomed and writing on a wall with the words “89 political turmoil”, referring to the June 4, 1989, armed crackdown in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. reuters
Mud balls to purify Thai flood waters
From left: Former Khmer rouge leaders Nuon chea, Khieu samphan and ieng sary. reuters
Top Khmer rouge leaders on trial
PHNOM PENH — Three top Khmer Rouge leaders accused of orchestrating Cambodia’s “Killing Fields” went on trial yesterday before a United Nations-backed tribunal more than three decades after some of the 20th century’s worst atrocities. The charges against the surviving inner circle of the communist movement — all now in their 80s — include crimes against humanity, genocide, religious persecution, homicide and torture stemming from their 1975-79 reign of terror. But there are fears they will not live long enough for justice to be done so the indictments have been split into separate trials. The current trial is considering charges involving the forced removal of people from their cities. Tribunal spokesman Huy Vannak called the proceedings “the most important trial in the world” because of the seniority of those involved. “It sends a message that the trial, which survivors have been waiting more then three decades for, finally begins,” he said. The defendants, who sat side-by-side with their lawyers, are 85-year-old Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge’s chief ideologist and the No 2 leader behind the late Pol Pot, 80-year-old Khieu Samphan, an ex-head of state, and 86-year-old Ieng Sary, the former Foreign Minister. A fourth defendant, 79-year-old Ieng Thirith, was ruled unfit to stand trial last week because she has Alzheimer’s disease. She is Ieng Sary’s wife and served as the regime’s Minister for Social Affairs. aP
¢ arroyo to be detaiNed temPorarily iN hosPital suite
A Philippine court yesterday allowed former President Gloria Arroyo to be detained temporarily in an upscale hospital suite on electoral fraud charges while her lawyers battle to get her released. More than a dozen left-wing activists protested against the ruling and demanded that the 64-year-old be locked up like a common suspect in jail. A special air-conditioned cell complete with a living room and a small
kitchen has been prepared for Arroyo at police headquarters. President Benigno Aquino’s administration has not opposed a hospital detention and has ordered for Arroyo to be treated with respect. Arroyo, who is receiving treatment for a bone ailment, was arrested at the hospital on Friday. She has denied the allegations against her. ageNcies
BANGKOK — Alarmed by the rising stench of fetid flood waters and the health hazard they pose, Thais are attempting to combat the problem by using mud balls laced with effective microorganisms (EM) that are designed to eradicate the dangerous bacteria. The Thai government, private companies and relief groups have been distributing the balls to the public as well as spraying the flood water with EM in liquid form. One charitable group, the Royal SelfSufficiency Project, has already produced 100,000 mud balls and is on course to make half a million. Each tennis ball-sized sphere can purify 4 sq m of polluted water. It is made up of a culture of microbes that includes lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and phototrophic bacteria, as well as molasses, dried dirt and organic material like rice. The Japanese company that developed the mud balls, EM Research Organisation, says they have already been used effectively in ponds and reservoirs. But it is uncertain if they will work with such largescale flooding. “If it’s in a very well-controlled environment, it might be efficacious. “But used in a real-life situation, whether it’s effective or not, that’s a bigger question,” said Dr Pathom Sawanpanyalert, deputy director-general of the medical sciences department at the Public Health Ministry. Meanwhile, the government said most factories that were shut down over the past month because of flooding will resume operations by the end of the year but some may take a few more months.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
CAIRO — Egypt‘s military rulers struggled yesterday to contain an explosion of protests demanding their ouster, as demonstrators clashed for a third successive day with security forces around Tahrir Square. The violence put the viability of upcoming parliamentary elections, due to start on Nov 28, in serious doubt. But the army insists it will go ahead as planned. Several political parties and individual candidates said they were suspending their electoral campaigns after a weekend in which at least 22 people were killed. More clashes broke out across the country yesterday, with protesters hurling stones and firebombs and throwing back tear gas canisters being fired by the police into Tahrir Square.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Analysts say a surge in violence during the vote could undermine the new Parliament’s legitimacy if the result is questioned and deepen frustration at the army’s handling of the transition. Presidential hopefuls Mohamed ElBaradei and Abdallah Al Ashaal denounced the violence against protesters and called for a national salvation government, state news agency MENA said.
Egyptian elections in doubt after violent clashes
In its first official response to the crisis, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces repeated its commitment to its “road map” of the transition, but did not clarify when it will step down. Presidential powers will remain with the army until a presidential poll, which may not happen until late next year or early 2013. Protesters want a much swifter transition.
Spain’s new PM warns of hard times ahead
MADRID — Spain’s new leader vowed to battle the debt crisis but warned that “hard times lie ahead” and there “would be no miracles” as his conservative party swept to victory in Sunday’s general election. The Popular Party, led by Mr Mariano Rajoy, won 186 seats in the 350-seat Lower House of Parliament, garnering a strong mandate to push through further austerity measures in an attempt to turn around the economy. “Hard times lie ahead,” said Mr Rajoy, who is expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister on Dec 20. “We are going to govern in the most delicate situation Spain has faced in 30 years.” Mr Rajoy inherits a stagnant economy with a 23-per-cent unemployment rate and borrowing costs back at the levels Spain was paying before it joined the euro. He has pledged to slash the budget deficit and regain the nation’s AAA credit rating and is expected to name a heavyweight Economy Minister to deepen painful austerity measures at home. However, the change in government failed to immediately lift financial markets, with Madrid’s key Ibex index down 1.2 per cent in early trading yesterday.
Spain’s key borrowing rate for 10-year bonds started a second week above 6 per cent. A 7 per cent rate is considered unsustainable over the long term. Spain is the third southern European country in two weeks to see its government felled by the debt crisis in the euro zone. In Italy and Greece, prime ministers were forced by mounting financial and economic woes to resign and give way to interim “unity” governments. ageNcies
¢ Libya says saif gaddafi to be tried at home
libya’s leaders said they will try Muammar Gaddafi’s son at home and not hand him over to the International Criminal Court where he is charged with crimes against humanity. However, the former rebel faction that captured Saif Al Islam Gaddafi is refusing to deliver him to the national authorities in Tripoli, raising concern over whether he will get a proper trial and demonstrating the interim leaders’ weak hold over their fractured nation.
Meanwhile, officials said exIntelligence Minister Abdullah Al Senoussi was also captured alive on Sunday by revolutionary fighters from a southern region called Fazan. Senussi was caught at a house belonging to his sister near the town of Birak, about 500km south of Tripoli and in the same region where Saif was seized on Saturday while trying to flee to neighbouring Niger.
SKIES ClEAr uP
the fog that blanketed London yesterday has started to lift, allowing airports to resume normal flights. thousands of passengers were affected by disruptions since sunday. heathrow airport said 24 departing flights and 40 arrivals were cancelled yesterday morning. the destinations affected included manchester in northern england, amsterdam, brussels, stockholm, cologne and Nice. city airport in east London also cancelled 10 flights, including services to dublin, rotterdam and Paris. heathrow said 132 flights were cancelled on sunday. ageNcies, Photo reuters
‘Al Qaeda sympathiser’ accused of bomb plots
NEW YORK — An American citizen accused of plotting to bomb police and post offices in New York City as well as United States troops returning home remained in police custody after an arraignment on Sunday on numerous terrorism-related charges. Mayor Michael Bloomberg described Jose Pimentel (picture) as “a 27-year-old Al Qaeda sympathiser” who was motivated by terrorist propaganda and resentment of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. A US citizen born in the Dominican Republic, Pimentel was arrested on Saturday in a Manhattan apartment while assembling a bomb, the police said. “We had to act quickly because he was in fact putting this bomb together,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Pimentel admitted he “took active steps to build the bomb, including shaving the match heads and drilling holes in the pipes” and was “one hour away from completing it”, said the criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney. The authorities called him a “lone wolf” who had converted to Islam and became a radical. As a reader of the online magazine Inspire published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Pimentel took instructions from
Qantas, 3 unions head to forced settlement
SYDNEY — Qantas Airways, which grounded planes last month to force an end to strikes, said Australia’s labour regulator will decide on new contracts for three unions after talks broke down. Fair Work Australia will impose a deal after negotiations with long-haul pilots, ground crew and engineers failed to produce agreements by yesterday’s deadline. The carrier had 21 days to reach accords following a ruling by the regulator last month. The latest development should not affect travellers, as neither unions nor management are legally able to take any industrial action while the regulator undertakes the arbitration, which includes hearing evidence from both sides and drawing up a binding plan. The process may take months, Qantas said. Qantas and the workers are waging a bitter fight over pay and moving jobs to Asia. “It looks like Qantas believes they will get the better outcome from deferring to a decision by Fair Work Australia rather than continue negotiations,” said Mr Scott Marshall, an analyst at Shaw Stockbroking. ageNcies
an article How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom. Mr Kelly said Pimentel was energised and motivated to carry out his plan by the Sept 30 killing of Al Qaeda’s USborn cleric Anwar Al Awlaki. He added that Pimentel “talked about changing his name to Osama Hussein to celebrate his heroes Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein”. Pimentel was under surveillance since May 2009 and considered New York police cars, a New Jersey police station and US post office among his potential targets, officials said. He also talked about killing US military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Pimentel, who has not been charged in federal court, faces life in prison if convicted.
¢ PhiLiP morris sues aussie govt over PackagiNg Law
Tobacco giant Philip Morris yesterday launched legal action against Australia’s government less than an hour after Parliament passed legislation banning all logos from cigarette packages. From december next year, tobacco products have to be sold in olive green packs free from branding, but carrying graphic health warnings.
Philip Morris Asia, which is based in Hong Kong, served a legal notice of arbitration under an investment treaty that Hong Kong has with Australia. The company also intends to pursue claims under Australian law, saying billions of dollars of valuable trademarks and investments are at stake.
friday thursday Wednesday tuesday 11,796.20 p 11,770.70 q 11,905.60 q 12,096.20 p 0.22% 1.13% 1.58% 0.14%
US debt panel calls it quits
WASHINGTON — United States lawmakers abandoned their high-profile effort to rein in the country’s ballooning debt yesterday in a sign that Washington likely will not be able to resolve a dispute over taxes and spending until 2013. The admission of defeat by the 12-member congressional “super committee” is likely to cement perceptions among voters and investors that politicians are too divided to tackle trillion-dollar budget deficits and a national debt that now is roughly equal to the US economy. “Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve,” Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling and Democratic Senator Patty Murray said jointly. But lawmakers are less willing to compromise on the November 2012 presidential and congressional elections. The finger-pointing began within minutes of the briefing. President Barack Obama said Republicans had scuttled the talks by refusing to consider tax hikes on the wealthy. “They simply will not budge from that negotiating position and so far that refusal has been the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce the deficit,” Mr Obama said. Republicans blamed Mr Obama for a lack of leadership and said his Democrats had been unwilling to consider a fundamental overhaul of government-run healthcare programmes that could swamp the economy as the population ages. The panel waited until after US markets closed at 4pm (5am, Singapore time) to formally declare the effort dead, but shares on Wall Street had already hit a one-month low due to fears of out-of-control government debt in Europe and the US. reuters
nYse toP 5 BY volume
name vol Price cHange
Bank of america general electric citigroup ford Pfizer
268.7m 67.2m 62.2m 60.8m 54.2m
$5.49 q 5.02% $15.24 q 2.62% $25.00 q 4.87% $10.05 q 0.50% $18.96 q 2.92%
È È È È È
nasDaq 2,523.14 (-1.92%) s&P500 1,192.98 (-1.86%)
us markets stocks fall on us debt fears
United States stocks fell again yesterday, as the lack of progress in dealing with heavy debt both in the US and Europe further sapped investor confidence in equities. Late yesterday, the co-chairs of a US congressional “super committee” said they have failed to reach a deal to reduce government deficits. Investors are worried that the committee’s inability to come to an agreement could result in another downgrade of the US credit rating, though the major rating agencies have not commented so far.
ftse100 5,222.60 (-2.62%) DaX 5,606.00 (-3.35%) cac40 2,894.94 (-3.41%)
¢ HDB launcHes sengkang commercial site for tenDer
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) yesterday put up for tender a commercial site in Sengkang Town. The 99-year leasehold site, which is located at Sengkang West Avenue/Fernvale Road, has a site
area of 94,618 sq ft and a maximum allowable gross floor area of 283,854 sq ft. The tender will close on Jan 17. In a separate statement yesterday, the HDB said that it has awarded a residential site at Yishun
Ave 1 and Miltonia Close to joint bidders TG Development and Master Contract Service for S$138.9 million. The joint bid for the 181,910 sq ft condominium site, which has a maximum gross plot area of 382,011 sq ft, translates to about S$364 per square foot per plot ratio.
tODay tuESDay NOvEmbEr 22, 2011
China may ease property curbs next year: Varsity report
SHANGHAI — China may ease property controls in the second quarter of next year due to concerns a steep drop in prices will push economic growth below 9 per cent — an unspoken but key target for Beijing, a prominent Chinese university said in a report published yesterday. Property prices, transactions and investments will fall in the first quarter due to the tightening measures, a Renmin University of China report published in the state-run China Securities Journal said. However, the likelihood of a market collapse is slim. “Given local governments’ high reliance on land sales for fiscal revenue and the 9 per cent bottom line for China’s economic growth, the correction in the property sector won’t exceed 25 per cent,” the report said. “Local governments are likely to take numerous easing measures in the second quarter of 2012, while in the following quarter the central government may gradually loosen restrictions on credit and home purchases,” it added. China has launched a raft of measures since April last year to curb property prices. Government data released last Friday showed average property prices in 70 Chinese cities posted their first monthly decline since the cooling campaign, suggesting the start of a much-anticipated price correction that could help officials tame housing costs. During a visit to Russia earlier this month, Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated that the government would not waver on its tightening measures and pledged to bring prices down to a reasonable level.
MF Global Asia business may fold: Administrator
SYDNEY — The Australian arm of collapsed United States futures broker MF Global Holdings was shut down after failing to get an adequate offer, in a sign that efforts to sell its Asian business could meet a similar fate. “We could not get a sale as a going concern,” said Mr Chris Campbell, a partner at administrator Deloitte. “I am pretty sure the Asian sale is not happening either. I believe Asia will have a similar outcome.” KPMG, the liquidator for MF Global’s Hong Kong and Singapore businesses, could not offer an immediate comment. Three weeks after its collapse, furious former customers are still fighting for access to billions of dollars globally as they question why as much as twothirds of their money is still stuck. MF Global, which went bankrupt on Oct 31, has laid
I am pretty sure the Asian sale is not happening either. I believe Asia will have a similar outcome.
mr Chris Campbell, a partner at administrator Deloitte
off nearly half its staff globally, including more than 1,000 employees of the company’s broker-dealer unit. The bankruptcy came after the New York-based company placed disastrous bets on European sovereign debt. The planned sale of MF Global’s Asia business, which generated around 14.4 per cent of the company’s global revenue, had initially drawn more than 50 bidders. But the deal proved increasingly complex and the provisional liquidators were focused on selling units separately. rEutErS
¢ baOStEEl iN largESt Dim Sum bOND OffEriNg
China’s state-owned steelmaker Baosteel Group will meet fixed-income investors in Singapore today and in Hong Kong tomorrow ahead of a planned dim sum bond offering, two people familiar with the matter said yesterday. The proposed 6.5 billion yuan (S$1.3 billion) offering is set to be the largest corporate issuance to date of dim sum bonds, which are denominated in Chinese yuan and issued in Hong Kong. It will also be the first such sale by a Chinese firm outside the financial sector.
Baosteel, which is provisionally rated A- by Fitch Ratings, A3 by Moody’s Investors Service and A by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service, plans to use the proceeds to inject capital into its wholly owned subsidiary, Baosteel Resources (International). The company has hired China Merchants Securities (HK), DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, ICBC International and Standard Chartered as joint bookrunners and lead managers, while Deutsche and HSBC are global coordinators. DOW JONES
today tuesday November 22, 2011
¢ JapaN’s exports fall for fIrst tIme IN 3 moNths
Japan’s exports fell for the first time in three months last month, eroded by a strong yen and a sputtering global economy. exports fell 3.7 per cent on-year to ¥5.51 trillion (s$93 billion), the Finance Ministry said yesterday. The October fall follows a 2.3-per-cent rise in september, with shipments of semiconductors and other electronic goods falling due to strength in the yen. The impact of Thai
flooding may further hurt Japan’s exports. exports to China slumped an annual 7.7 per cent, posting their biggest decline since May. shipments to the united states fell 2.3 per cent, while those to the european union dropped 2.9 per cent, down for the first time in five months. imports were up 17.9 per cent, bringing the trade balance to a deficit of ¥273.8 billion.
Buffett sees investment opportunities in Japan
FUKUSHIMA — Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said yesterday he is unfazed by the recent scandal at Japanese camera maker Olympus and is still looking for investment opportunities. “We’re looking for companies that have some kind of sustainable competitive advantage,” he said in northern Japan’s Fukushima prefecture. “The fact that Olympus happens here or Enron happens in the United States doesn’t affect our attitudes at all,” he said, referring to an accounting scandal at Olympus that has raised questions about Japanese corporate governance standards. Mr Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is visiting Japan for the first time to tour a plant of tool maker Tungaloy, after cancelling his trip in March when the country was struck by a record earthquake. The factory is 40km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant that was crippled by the disaster. Tungaloy is a unit of an Israeli firm in which Berkshire holds an 80-per-cent stake. “There are lots of opportunities in Japan,” said Mr Buffett. He is interested in “businesses that will be around for many, many decades”. Mr Buffett also said yesterday that Europe’s debt crisis had shown up a “major flaw” in the 17-member euro zone system and it would take more than words to fix it. He said he had no idea how Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, which started in Greece two years ago and rages on, would end, though he noted there were good valuations among companies in Europe. “Not in the debt space, but in the equity space there are opportunities. I can think of a dozen euro stocks that are attractive ... There are stocks I like and wonderful businesses.” aGeNCIes
¢ aPPLe’s IPHoNe Is toP smartPHoNe amoNG mobILe workers
today tuesday November 22, 2011
apple’s iPhone has trumped Research in Motion’s (RiM) BlackBerry as the top smartphone among mobile workers, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times newspaper. Citing the iPass global Mobile Workforce Report, released by market research firm iPass, a mobile worker is defined as one
who uses a laptop, smartphone or tablet to access networks for work purposes. the iPass report said the iPhone now holds 45 per cent of smartphone market share among mobile workers, up from 31 per cent last year. BlackBerry held the top spot last year with 35 per cent.
“BlackBerry has not really fallen from the top spot ... so much as other smartphones have grown faster,” the report said. BlackBerry’s market share has declined slightly, to 32 per cent. the trend is thought to be brought about by the “consumerisation of it”, where corporations have allowed employees to
bring in their own devices and then have them configured for work use. Fifty-eight per cent of companies provision smartphones to their employees, down from nearly two-thirds a year ago. the iPass report is based on 2,300 responses from mobile workers from 1,100 businesses worldwide. aGeNCIes
Kindles ruined by airport X-ray scanners?
LONDON — Airport security measures could ruin your holiday reading plans, if you are using Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. Multiple complaints from users that their Kindle was ruined by a baggage check prompted claims that radiation permanently affected the device’s electronic ink display. “After my Kindle went through the X-ray scanner at Madrid airport, it no longer worked. I had been reading an e-book on the way to the airport so I knew there could be no other reason,” said Mr Michael Hart from London. “A phone call was made and someone came along and took photographs of the bad display. It’s my belief that the scanner operator — who subsequently questioned me about a radio in my bag — had used a high dose to look into the radio and the Kindle too.” According to a leading expert on electronic ink, the truth could be more complicated. “I don’t think the radiation used in an airport scanner would ever be strong enough to damage an electronic ink display,” said Professor Daping Chu, chairman of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Advanced Photonics. “But you can get a build-up of static inside these machines, caused by the rubber belt rubbing. If that charge were to pass
through a Kindle, it’s conceivable that it could damage the screen.” Electronic ink screens use thousands of tiny capsules filled with magnetic black and white particles to display text and pictures. They are controlled by applying a small voltage across the capsules, which sends either the positively charged white particles or the negatively charged black particles to the front. They stay in place until the next time a voltage is applied, which allows the Kindle battery to last for much longer than in gadgets, such as the iPad, that use LCD screens. “A static charge from an airport scanner could be 100 volts or more,” said Prof Chu. “That could permanently stick the particles to the screen.” Amazon denied X-ray machines were a threat to the Kindle. “Exposing your Kindle to an X-ray machine, such as those used by airport security, should not cause any problems with it,” a spokesman for the Internet giant said. “Many Kindle users travel by air and their Kindles are screened by airport security every day without issue.” According to users, the firm has replaced Kindles that stopped working after passing through an airport scanner.
tHe daILy teLeGraPH
through the red mist, a bright yellow light
resilient malaysia plunge a nation into mourning by defending their football title
¢ SEA GAmES footbAll finAl
indonesia 1 malaysia 1 (malaysia win 4-3 on penalties)
JAKARTA — More than 100,000 devoted Indonesian fans turned the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium into a veritable cauldron with red and white flames raging from its stands, as thousands more watched on a big screen just outside the arena. They all left broken-hearted. A whole nation was plunged into mourning yesterday after a wonderfully resilient Malaysia beat Indonesia 4-3 on penalty kicks to keep the title they won in 2009. The scores were tied at 1-1 after extra time. But the final was marred by reports that two fans were killed in a crush as they tried to enter the packed stadium before the match started. Six fans were reportedly hospitalised after a riot broke
out, while angry supporters who could not get tickets set a ticket booth on fire. Inside the stadium, the two sides contesting the final served up compelling drama. And it was the team in yellow that shone through in the end. This is the first time a Malaysian side has won back-to-back SEA Games titles since 1987 and 1989, when they beat a Singapore side that featured Fandi Ahmad and V Sundramoorthy. Malaysia deserved the gold medal here. They have had to endure a torrid tournament in Jakarta, from inflexible training slots allocated to the team and being forced to wait for two hours before being herded into armoured trucks to exit the stadium after every game, the SEA Games has not been easy for Ong Kim Swee and his Young Tigers. And for a while it looked like Indonesia, who have come under the microscope for taking more than should be allowed
as home advantage, were on track for a gold medal. The home side drew first blood in the fifth minute, when Gunawan Dwi Cahyo headed in from a corner, but Malaysian nerves that appeared jangled in the initial stages were settled when Asraruddin Omar’s diving header levelled the scores in the 34th minute. And perhaps the football gods smiled on the fortitude of the Malaysians in the end, with skipper Badrul Bakhtiar’s winning penalty kick spinning off the hands of Indonesian goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga’s hands and weakly bouncing across the line. Right on cue, bottles and plastic bags rained down from the stands, livid at their team’s loss. Even at the end, in a victory they had to fight bitterly for, Malaysia proved to be honourable winners, halting their celebrations to shake hands with their vanquished opponents at the final whis-
G S b t
indonesia thailand Vietnam malaysia Singapore Philippines myanmar laos Cambodia timor leste brunei
170 147 105 94 96 90 59 48 42 45 36 56 16 27 9 12 4 11 1 1 0 4
136 453 118 317 100 286 77 184 73 160 77 169 34 77 36 57 24 39 6 8 7 11
tle, and later, standing still to applaud Indonesia as the hosts received their silver. Negara Ku was played at the end, but the few Indonesian fans left in the cavernous stadium honked and jeered. Deep down, they surely knew the gold medals hanging from yellow shirts was indeed the fitting finale to these Games.
malaysian players celebrate after winning the SEA Games football final. PhotoS AP, don WonG
26th SEA GAMES INDONESIA 2011
Singapore’s duilian gold medallists Tao Yi Jun, Emily Sin and Tay Yu Juan.
PhoTo bY DoN woNg
World champions wow Indonesia
Low LiN FhooNg
Singapore’s women’s trio strike gold No 42 in duilian final
“I decided that when I reach the peak, it’s okay to retire and move on and experience different things.” With the Republic scheduled to host the 28th SEA Games in 2015, 17-year-old Emily could be one of the stars of the event in four years’ time, if wushu is on the programme. Tay gave her younger team-mate her vote of confidence, when she said: “Emily has great potential and I really wish her the best. Yi Jun and I will be there supporting the team from the sidelines in 2015.” Hwa Chong Institution student Emily made her SEA Games debut here and it was the best possible start for her. “Getting the chemistry right was a lot harder but my seniors really helped me a lot. It’s been challenging, but it’s great to win this because everyone dreams of winning a medal at the SEA Games,” she said. The Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation will spare no effort getting their exponents in tip-top shape for the 2015 Games. Ang Mong Seng, the federation’s president, said: “It’s good to get the gold medal. To prepare for the 2015 SEA Games we want more people to take part in the sport. We didn’t take part in Sanda (modern fighting technique influenced by Chinese boxing) so we hope to work on that. We want to expand the disciplines ... work with schools and try to develop more juniors to take part in the sport. “We want to compete in all events in wushu in 2015.” Men’s duilian exponents Fung Jin Jie, Jaryl Tay and Samuel Seah bagged a bronze medal in their event, scoring 9.71 points to finish behind winners Myanmar (9.73) and silver medallists Philippines (9.72).
JAKARTA — There were appreciative gasps from the spectators watching the Singapore trio of Tao Yi Jun, Tay Yu Juan and Emily Sin execute their 52-sec routine in the duilian final at the Senayan Sports Complex yesterday. At the end of it, loud cheers rang out for the world champions after their flawless performance and there was little surprise when they won the gold medal after scoring 9.71 points. Tao, Tay and Sin clinched Singapore’s 42nd and final gold medal of the 26th SEA Games here in Indonesia, after performing the same routine that saw them clinch the title at the World Wushu Championships in Turkey this year. Brunei’s women’s duilian team won the silver with 9.70 points, while the Philippines (9.68) claimed the bronze. The gold-medal performance was all the more significant for veteran athletes Tao and Tay, as the Games mark their swansong in the sport. Schoolteacher Tao, 26, who began competing in 2004, said: “I feel very happy winning the 42nd gold medal for Singapore. We are very satisfied with our performance today. “Now, I want to focus on my work and I’m really glad that we got the gold medal before retiring.” Tay, a 21-year-old bioscience undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University, added: “This is really a dream come true for all of us and I’m still shaking from the adrenaline and excitement. “We really worked hard for this. Now, I would like to experience my university life.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
26th SEA GAMES INDONESIA 2011
Athletes could receive less cash rewards in future
LoW LiN FhooNG
singapore’s chef de mission for the sea Games, tan eng Liang (centre), speaks to the media yesterday. Photo by doN WoNG
Shooters, fencers, silat exponents a let-down
Chef de mission for the sea Games tan eng Liang gives more than 10 sports a ‘d’, swimming receives glowing praise
JAKARTA — Before the 26th SEA Games officially kicked off in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang on Nov 11, Dr Tan Eng Liang cited sports like shooting and bowling as the ones he felt confident would deliver. Yesterday, Team Singapore’s chef de mission labelled shooting and fencing, among more than 10 sports, as disappointing, in his post-Games report of the performance of the 414-strong contingent in Indonesia. The SEA Games has come to an end today and the campaign has seen Singapore garner 42 gold, 45 silver and 73 bronze medals from 33 sports. Singapore’s tally at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos read: 33-30-35. Speaking at the Sultan Hotel, Tan said: “At best this is a satisfactory performance. We sent 192 athletes over 18 sports to the last Games in Laos, and this time it was 414 across 33 sports, the quantum is almost double, and therefore we should do better than the 33 gold medals in 2009.” Tan, 74, conceived a rating system from A to D based on medal achievements. He gave a D to eight sports — sepak takraw, weightlifting, archery, basketball, football, golf, dragon boat and petanque.
They all went home emptyhanded. But shooting, fencing and silat drew the most fire from the former national waterpolo player. Bagging 16 medals (6-5-5) at the 2009 Games, shooting managed only one gold and one silver this time. Fencing, which was not on the programme in Laos, returned with a silver and two bronzes, while silat’s three-bronze performance fell far short of their eight medals (1-2-5) two years ago. “Fencing and shooting have not done well at all ... the coaches obviously need to analyse what happened here,” said Tan. “What happened to silat? During the selection, they told us they (had credentials at the Asian and world level). On that basis selection was made, but they came back with only three bronzes. They need to look at themselves.” It was not all doom and gloom, though. Singapore’s swimming team received glowing praise. They won a record 17 gold medals, along with nine silvers and 13 bronzes. There were also 28 swimmers who clocked personal best times and it was no surprise when Tan described the performance as “outstanding”, along with sailing and
table-tennis. Canoeing (2-5-3), the bowling women and new inclusions roller sports and contract bridge also did well. Swimming champion Tao Li was singled out for special mention after her seven golds and one bronze made her the most bemedalled athlete at the Games. Others Tan singled out for doing Singapore proud were wakeboarder Sasha Christian, 100m silver-medalist Gary Yeo, swimmer Joseph Schooling, badminton’s Fu Mingtian and bowler Cherie Tan. The next SEA Games will be held in Myanmar in 2013 before Singapore host the biennial event in 2015. “These are just straight forward statistics, I will be giving a detailed report to the executive committee of the Singapore National Olympic Council,” said Tan, who urged all National Sports Associations (NSAs) to review their performances here and begin preparations for the 2015 Games. He said: “2015 is not too far away, and to really go to the top, you need a few years. 2011 is almost done, meaning there are only two-and-a-half years to prepare. I encourage all NSAs to start preparations immediately.”
JAKARTA — Gold medallists from Team Singapore’s 414-member contingent at the 26th SEA Games will receive approximately S$500,000 under the Multi-Million Dollar Awards Programme (MAP). Launched in 1993, MAP offers cash rewards to national athletes who win medals either at the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games or Olympic Games. A total of 42 gold, 45 silver and 73 bronze medals were won by Singapore’s national athletes, with four SEA Games records broken in Indonesia. But the cash reward for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, which will be hosted in Scotland and South Korea, respectively, could see a cut, as the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) review MAP. Currently, a SEA Games go l d m e d a l l i s t re c e ive s S$10,000, while an Olympic gold medal winner pockets S$1 million. Speaking after the SNOC’s post-Games wrap here, secretary-general Chris Chan revealed: “MAP will be reviewed for the next four years. Over time, MAP may go down as athletes receive more funding in other areas to help them prepare for major Games. “We have to be realistic as we appreciate that sponsors have been with us so many years and there are other pressing demands (from other areas) for sponsorship. “But all Games are important, especially the Common-
We have to be realistic as we appreciate that sponsors have been with us so many years and there are other pressing demands (from other areas) for sponsorship.
Chris Chan, secretary-general of singapore National olympic Committee
wealth and Asian Games.” Team Singapore’s chef de mission, Dr Tan Eng Liang, also called for a more stringent selection criteria for sports that do not perform up to expectations. Singling out sports like sepak takraw — the men’s regu team were defeated by Malaysia, Laos, Philippines and Myanmar — he said: “I will make some recommendations to the SNOC and expect the players and NSA (national sports association) to do something with the situation. “There could be tightening of selection criteria for example, sports that didn’t get any medals, we might be more strict with selection.” Singapore will host the 2015 SEA Games, and Chan revealed that the sports programme here would likely be pegged at just over 30. Host countries are expected to confirm the programme a year before the opening ceremony, with a minimum of 22 sports to be organised. A total of 42 sports were contested at this year’s SEA Games.
a gold medal at the sea Games and the olympics earns an athelete s$10,000 and s$1 million respectively. Photo by doN WoNG
today tuesday November 22, 2011
singapore’s traditional boat race men’s team in the 10 men crew 1000m final.
Isabella Li serving another winner.
Jasmine yeong-Nathan in perfect balance. tao Li taking the plunge en route to another gold medal.
the victorious women’s duilian team.
tao yi Jun, emily sin and tay yu Juan produced a flawless performance in the women’s duilian.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
26th SEA GAMES INDONESIA 2011
Prapawadee holds on for one last hurrah
PALEMBANG — Four years ago, a fortune-teller advised her to change her name to bring her good luck. Chanpim Kantatian became Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon in 2007 and, 12 months later, the weightlifter became an Olympic champion, winning the women’s 53kg class at the 2008 Beijing Games. The feat catapulted her to instant superstardom in her native Thailand. With the Thai national flag draped over her shoulders after she claimed the gold in the 53kg class here at the SEA Games, 27-year-old Prapawadee told Today she will call it a day after next year’s Olympics in London. “If I compete at the (London) Olympics, I will retire after that. I’m too old, my body cannot take it,” she said, after her win at the Dempo Sports Complex at the Jakabaring Sports City on Sunday. “Hopefully, I can win, but right now, I am still some way off my best form.” The change of name has not stopped her from suffering injuries and poor form, and they are starting to take a physical and mental toll on her. At the 2008 Olympics, Prapawadee edged out silver medallist Yoon Jin Hee of South Korea and Nastassia Novikava of Belarus with a combined lift of 221kg —
thai weightlifter aims for a fairytale ending at next year’s olympics
PHoto by taN yo-HiNN
95kg for the snatch and an Olympic record of 126kg in the cleanand-jerk. Not surprisingly, the petite 1.57m-tall weightlifter has been one of the Games’ biggest draws. A media scrum besieged her almost immediately after the medal ceremony on Sunday, while star-struck Indonesian fans armed with cameras and mobile phones leaned precariously over the railings to get a better snap-shot of the Thai superstar. Weighing in at 52.54kg, just 0.07kg heavier than she was in 2008, Prapawadee lifted 205kg — 90kg for the snatch and 115kg for the clean-and-jerk — to win gold, ahead of Indonesia’s Citra Febriyanti (203kg) and Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Thuy (200kg). However, Prapawadee cut a tired-looking figure and seemed more relieved than jubilant at her
SEA Games title. It was no surprise, after she spent the last couple of years plagued by poor form and various injuries. The last injury was to her right leg and it forced her to miss the World Championships in France earlier this month. She trains at the Sports Authority of Thailand in Bangkok, and her coach, Saipin Detsaeng, feels she has a long way to go to rediscover her 2008 form. “Her performance here was all right, considering she was 59kg before and spent the past two months getting it down to 53kg to compete here, so I’m satisfied with how she did,” said Saipin. “But first, she must compete with the others in the Thai national team for a spot in London. “Her fitness is not 100 per cent and she will need a more thorough preparation if she is to qualify for next year’s Olympics.”
If I compete at the (London) Olympics, I will retire after that. I’m too old, my body cannot take it. Hopefully, I can win, but right now, I am still some way off my best form.
sea Games gold medallist Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon (picture)
Before resuming her duties as a regular in the Royal Thai Army, Prapawadee will go all out for one last hurrah at next year’s Olympics, which London will host from July 27 to Aug 12. Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo, who won the 53kg class at the World Championships earlier this month with a combined 227kg, and silver medallist Aylin Dasdelen of Turkey, have been identified as her biggest rivals. She said: “I’m satisfied with my performance here, but I could have done better if not for the injury in my right leg. Right now, I only feel 80 per cent. But I want to finish (my career) as the Olympic champion.”
Synchronised swimmers set to show off at home next year
complete a clean sweep of all five golds at PALEMBANG — Singapore will stage the stake in the competition, with Indonesia inaugural South-east Asia (SEA) Swimming taking bronze (71.713). Championships next year. Singapore also won silver in the team Details have yet to be finalised, but duet and team free routines, and a bronze in Today understands that the biennial meet the team routine to finish second in overall will see the region’s best from swimming, standings ahead of Indonesia. diving, waterpolo, synchronised swimming Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) and open-water swimming locking horns in vice-president (synchronised swimming) a week-long meet that may be held at the Tay Chin Joo said the challenge now is to Singapore Sports School in May. keep this team together, possibly for the The news will come as a boost to Sin2015 SEA Games in Singapore. gapore’s aquatics scene, including synchronised swimming. The synchronised swimming team (picture) picked up a third silver on the penultimate day of competition here at the 26th SEA Games in the combined free routine, chalking up 73.101 points — 36.613 for technical merit and 36.488 for artistic impression — in a thrilling competition that wowed the 1,000-odd crowd at the Jakabaring Aquatics Centre. Regional powerhouses Malaysia (75.363) won the event to PHoto by ooi booN KeoNG “We’re very pleased with their performance as we were only targeting two bronzes, but they’ve far exceeded my expectations,” she said. “But as part of the team are made of up of students going overseas ... we need to start developing not only the senior team but also the junior national team.” Next January, the SSA will name a successor to current head coach Akari Kato, whose one-year contract expires next month. The Japanese led the team to a 12th-place finish in the combined free routine event at July’s FINA World Championships in Shanghai, and her close relationship with the squad, which includes 14-year-old Natalie Chen — the youngest of Singapore’s 414 athletes at this SEA Games — was evident when they jumped into the diving pool for celebratory photos together. “At the moment, they are still very young and need plenty more experience, but give them another two or three years and you’ll see what they can do,” said Kato. Synchronised swimming last featured at the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, where Singapore finished bottom of the five-team competition. “Seeing how our neighbours are doing certainly helps. We were not so good before, and here we are now in second ... we now know we cannot let go of what we have, and we hope to build on this team,” said captain Mei Shan Krishnan who, at 23, is the oldest and most experienced member of the squad.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Where to now, Beckham?
david beckham at the centre of transfer tug-of-war between la Galaxy and Paris saint-Germain
¢ aFterNooN latest
LOS ANGELES — David Beckham celebrated with Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan after pulling off the perfect Hollywood ending to his LA Galaxy career by winning the Major League Soccer Cup final. The 36 year-old and Keane combined to provide Donovan with the winner in the 1-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo at a rain-drenched Home Depot Centre. Beckham then enjoyed a locker-room beer with his team-mates but remained non-committal about his future. “There are a lot of options but at the moment I am still a Galaxy player and whether I stay or go I’ve had an amazing five years here,” he said. The fact is, Beckham has not decided what to do next now that he has reached the end of his US$125-million (S$163-million) deal with Galaxy. Galaxy want him to stay for at least another year, Paris SaintGermain (PSG) want him to join them in Ligue One and a collection
of Arab, Asian and Brazilian clubs have also been making their pitch. The battle, however, will almost certainly be decided by TV money. Galaxy have signed a five-year US$55-million contract with two new Time Warner regional sports networks — in Spanish and English — to televise their games live. PSG stand ready to pay him a small fortune to help them gain a global audience. The French club’s president is Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who fronted the June takeover by Qatar Sports Investments, and also happens to be president of Al Jazeera Sports. He is working on selling off PSG’s foreign TV rights — through Al Jazeera, naturally — and Beckham’s involvement would allow him to demand a far higher figure, with the suggestion that the footballer would not only get a £4.5-million (S$9.2-million) salary per season, but also a cut of the profits. Beckham will tour with Galaxy to Indonesia, the Phillipines and Australia next week, before returning to England for Christmas.
david beckham celebrates with team mates after winning the 2011 major league soccer Cup final. Getty imaGes
During that time Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns LA Galaxy, will sit down for talks with Beckham, but he has already expressed how important the veteran midfielder remains. “We don’t talk about this deal (the Time Warner contract) without David Beckham. We wouldn’t have gotten the Herbalife deal without him,” Lieweke said.
It is the kind of statement that is likely to make Al-Khelaifi further up the ante but Beckham continues to give nothing away. “The fans have been great, the LA experience brilliant and my family are happy here. I’m going to take a break and think about things now and then we’ll see,” he said. LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena believes Beckham can carry on with the club. “David is a champion. I’ve
been around great athletes and competitors in different sports and this guy is as good as they come — he has an unbelievable desire to win and compete,” Arena said. “If he decides to get on his horse and ride into the sunset or go elsewhere or retire, I support that. He’s earned it. He’s really earned the right to make the kind of decision he wants to make.”
the daily teleGraPh
FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup
singapore target top-two finish in Nations Cup
SINGAPORE — The Republic’s netball team are aiming high at next month’s FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup from Dec 5 to 11. Speaking to Today following the announcement of the 12-player squad yesterday, co-captain Jean Ng said the team are targeting a top-two finish in the sixnation tournament. Three of the nations are ranked higher than Singapore — Fiji (10th), Papua New Guinea (17th) and Sri Lanka (18th). Malaysia (21) and Namibia (24) are just below Singapore, who are currently world No 21. “The Nations Cup marks the start of a new four-year build-up for the next World Championships in 2015,” said Ng, a 92-cap veteran. “It’s an opportunity for us to blood new players and continue with a
renewal of the national team as the older players make way.” Eight of the 12 players named turned out for Singapore at the World Netball Championships held here in July, with coach Kate Carpenter drafting in four players from the national 21-and-under team. Said Carpenter: “These players have shown the potential to succeed at the national level for Singapore and will need to be working hard to earn court time.” Centre Shelby Koh, 17, is the baby of the team.“It is a great opportunity for me to play alongside experienced seniors and get the international exposure,” said the St Joseph’s Institution International student. As for Ng, the tournament will nudge her even closer to the 100-cap. “The drive for results is very addictive for me,” said the 33-year-old. “I’m still enjoying myself playing at
the highest level but I’ll be glad to see younger players coming through the ranks to replace me. “They’ll need to fight me for the place, though, because this is the national team and they cannot expect to just stroll in.”
¢ siNGaPore squad Cassandra soh, Charmaine soh, yu mei ling, Chen huifen, Charlene Porima, Nurul baizura, vanessa lee, shelby Koh, Premila hirubalan, Jean Ng (co-captain), lin qingyi (co-captain), Chen li li
FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup 2011 Dec 5 to 11 Toa Payoh Sports Hall For more information go to www.netball.org.sg Also follow Netball Singapore on Facebook and Twitter (Netball_SG)
Co-captain lin qingyi will be in action again next month in the FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup.
Photo Courtesy Netball siNGaPore
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today tuesday November 22, 2011
Victory, not numbers, matters to United
¢ ChampioNs League,
manchester united vs benfica MANCHESTER — Alex Ferguson’s side entertain Benfica in a Champions League tie tonight (tomorrow morning, Singapore time) and both teams have only one goal on their mind: Confirm their spot in knockout stage with victory at Old Trafford. They each have eight points in Group C, but United are ahead on goal difference. A draw would send both through, only if FC Basel lose to Otelul Galati. After last month’s 6-1 drubbing by crosstown rivals Manchester City in the Premier League, United’s defenders have kept a clean sheet in their last five matches. But those victories did not come with a feast of goals, rather, it was their display of sheer grit that stood out. Winning pretty is not a priority for Ferguson these days, nursing the team back to their best is. And everything is falling into place. The return from injury of captain Nemanja Vidic to marshal the heart of defence has coincided with a more steady back line. Although United will not be able to count on him against Benfica, as he is serving the second of a two-match ban, they are expected to hold out against Benfica.
Injuries that have plagued the engine room also seem to have eased up. They are looking far better there moving forward and Michael Carrick (picture), who Ferguson praised after he made his first league start of the season at Swansea, is likely to direct their sorties from there. “We were not at our best and the football wasn’t as fluent or easy on the eye as it could have been,” said Carrick, acknowledging that United’s recent performances have been far from prolific. “But we were happy to collect three points each time we won. “At this stage of the season it’s about picking them up.” That would serve as a warning to the Portuguese when they step onto the Old Trafford pitch.
City set for pizza treat
mancini’s men head to Naples, with ticket to next round almost a formality
¢ ChampioNs League, group a
manchester City players head towards their Champions League clash with Napoli in a buoyant mood. getty images.
Napoli vs manchester City MANCHESTER — In a city hailed to be the birthplace of pizza and renowned for its fine wine, Manchester City are hoping to dine on victory taken from the fiery cauldron of the Stadio San Paolo, where they will play Napoli tonight (tomorrow morning, Singapore time) in their Champions League Group A match. Having quite easily brushed aside an impressively dogged and disciplined Newcastle 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, City sent a clear message they will meet every challenge in the Premiership with flair, power and a supreme self-belief. But Europe has proven to be more of a challenge. Their only defeat this season was against Bayern Munich and they were also held to a draw at the Etihad against Napoli in September. Those results have rendered the clash at the intimidating Stadio San Paolo as crucial to City’s hopes of qualification. City, with seven points from four games, are second in Group A, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich who are expected to clinch
their place at home to Villarreal the same evening. Napoli have five points and must win to keep alive any realistic hopes of progressing. For boss Roberto Mancini, it is his most significant managerial return to Italy to date, a chance to give notice in his home country of the rapidly flowering potency of this City team. The Italian has good memories of Naples, too, having played for Sampdoria in the year they won the Serie A and scoring alongside the likes of Gianluca Vialli and Diego Maradona. But nostalgia aside, the 46-year-old is under no illusion that Napoli are pushovers, even with City’s current form. “This game will be a big test for us, though. “In the home game, we left a lot of space for them to counter-attack. “Napoli are fantastic at that, with players like Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik. They are very dangerous.” Napoli may have an abundance of talent but they have been highly erratic this season. Their star striker Cavani has also been a shadow of the player who scored 26 Serie A goals last season. But when the Uruguayan hits form, as he did with a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over AC Milan in September, the Azzurri are a different proposition.
They are also unbeaten in 10 home matches since returning to European competition but they face an English side who have not won in three previous visits to Italy and are raring to change their fortunes. Back in the side is Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, who was rested on Saturday and is expected to head City’s attack. Mario Balotelli will likely partner Dzeko thanks to a goal-scoring record and a coolas-a-cucumber attitude that is making him a fan favourite. With at least a draw, City can confidently look ahead to the group stages, but a defeat would take qualification out of their hands ahead of the group final match against Bayern at the Etihad. Even with historical odds in his favour, Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri knows his team will be up against a juggernaut of a side. “It won’t be at all easy, as City are a team of phenomenal players,” said Mazzarri. “But we will go to the bitter end.” ageNCies
¢ other FiXtures group a bayern munich vs villareal group b CsKa moscow vs Lille, trabzonspor vs inter milan group C manchester united vs benfica, otelul galati vs FC basel group d Lyon vs ajax amsterdam, real madrid vs dinamo Zagreb
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hyun-a and a battalion of k-pop stars invade s’pore with the mnet music awards
November 22, 2011
a publicatioN of
taylor swift and adele clean up at amas >>t6 health: GettinG crafty to beat depression >>t9 plaGued by miGraines? hit the Gym >>t11
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
Brown eyed girls
Singer Zee Avi
Zee Avi The diminutive singer with the big voice is back performing tracks off her new album, Ghostbird. Nov 22, 8pm,TAB.Tickets at S$55 Underneath It All Relive 20 years of music history “through the edgy and funky sounds” of Dualtone. Nov 23 to 24. 7.15pm and 8.15pm, Esplanade Concourse. Free. Tales Of Love And Death The Singapore Lyric Opera’s annual bash, led by Joshua Kangming Tan, and also featuring the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra, Opera Chorus and Children’s Choir. Nov 25, 7.30pm, Esplanade Concert Hall.Tickets at S$26 to S$78 from Sistic. Sundown Festival This year’s event sees Hebe Tien, Show Luo, Zhang Yun,Vivid and Teen Top taking the stage. Nov 26, 5.30pm, Marina Promenade. Tickets at S$138 selling fast from Sistic. The Wynners’ Great Leap Forward Concert The original Hong Kong superband reunites for this concert celebrating their 38th anniversary. Nov 26, 8pm, Resorts World Convention Centre, Compass Ballroom. Tickets at S$88 to S$198 from Sistic. Que Sera Sera This edition of the popular re:mix series sees new translations of traditional songs. Nov 27, 3pm and 7.30pm, Esplanade Recital Studio.Tickets at S$25 from Sistic. Clara C The singer-songwriter performs her hit songs Heartstrings and Offbeat, and more from her debut album The Art In My Heart. Nov 28, 5pm and 8pm, Esplanade Recital Studio.Tickets at S$45 and S$69 from Sistic. For the full gig listings, visit Poparazzi at http://blogs.todayonline.com/poparazzi.
Big Ban g
Being part of something special and probably once in a lifetime experience is something I hope I won’t miss. Victoria Lee, 19
The 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards isn’t just an awards show, it’s K-pop heaven for fans
THE demand for Korean pop culture in Singapore is unquestionable. Fans take time out to catch the Korean dramas and movies on television, in the cinemas, online, and they don’t mind queuing up 36 hours before a concert starts — even if it’s just a short showcase of five songs. And they won’t think twice about forking out over S$100 just to have a meet-andgreet session with their favourite stars. The K-pop phenomenon has spread
like wildfire around the world, even in a place as secluded as Bhutan. Last week, economist Song Seng Wun and his family were holidaying in the landlocked kingdom when something caught his eye: A poster of Korean female pop group Girls’ Generation (or SNSD, the acronym for So Nyeo Shi Dae, the Korean name for the girls). “K-pop fever has reached this high mountain, too!” wrote Song in an email to TODAY. “There are posters of SNSD, SHINee, et cetera. I cannot believe it!” Come Nov 29, every K-pop fan — even those in Bhutan — will want to be at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, if only because our little island is playing host to the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), the largest awards show celebrating Korean pop music. Coproduced by Mnet and MediaCorp VizPro International, this is only the second time the awards show is being staged outside
of Korea since it first began back in 1999. (The first was in Macau last year.) There will be 24 awards handed out during the four-hour extravaganza (six, if you include the two-hour red carpet segment), including awards for Album Of The Year, Best Music Video, Song Of The Year and Best Asian Artist. What’s cool about this year’s do is that there will be a Singapore’s Choice category specially set up, and fans here can vote for their favourite band, such as 2PM, 2NE1, Beast, Big Bang, Girls’ Generation, TVXQ and more. And, yes, there will be performances by top music acts such as Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, 2NE1, Kim Hyun Joong, Beast and Miss A. And movie and TV stars such as Lee Byung Hun, Kim Hee Sun, Han Chae Young,Yoon Eun Hae, Han Hyo Joo,Yoon Sung Ah, Oh Jee Ho and Kim Sung Soo will be along to present. And that’s only the tip of the K-pop iceberg.
Naturally, fans can’t wait to go. “Being part of something special and probably once in a lifetime experience is something I hope I won’t miss,” said Victoria Lee, 19, who is looking forward to catching 2NE1 and SNSD. “Both groups are girl group power houses in Korea, and have their own unique charm,” she said. “I love 2NE1’s stage presence and how they can just rock out any stage. SNSD too, as I’ve followed them since their debut.” Said 17-year-old student Tan Weiru: “I bought tickets (because of) the SM Entertainment artistes — SNSD Girls Generation, Super Junior and TVXQ (who aren’t going to be here because of their
busy schedule). I was hoping for SHINee to come, too, but they didn’t get nominated ... I’m looking forward to see 2NE1 and hopefully Big Bang too! Also, Song Joongki, because everyone seems to be such a big fan of his.” “I’ll be going for 2NE1,” said Pearline Ng, 19. “If I have to pay the same price to only see 2NE1, I will (still) go. I like them because their music is different and they — especially CL — are very good on stage. (It’s) not so much the synchronised dances you see from SNSD or other K-pop groups, but more of them doing their own thing in their own style. Plus, I really like all of their songs. Nothing (other than not being able to get tickets) will stop me!”
Apparently, lots of people agree with her, considering the tickets are almost sold out. Said Lee: “You never know when MAMA is going to come back, or when another opportunity like this will come where tons of Korean celebrities are together in one place and event.” The 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards happens on Nov 29, 4pm (red carpet), 6pm (awards show) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Limited S$198 free-standing tickets still available from Sistic.Vote for your favourite acts at http://mama.mnet. com. Closing date is Nov 25. Pick up the latest copy of 8-Days or i-weekly to vote for the Singapore’s Choice category. Closing date: Nov 27.
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
CD REVIEWS Every Step’s A Yes | The Bees — 4/5* THERE is nothing quite like a band that ignores popular trends and derives inspiration from the unlikeliest sources to create a totally distinctive work. The Bees hail from the Isle of Wight and prove themselves to be rock and roll scholars time and again with their unique blend of inspiration that straddle the gamut of five decades of pop music. This fourth album — Every Step’s A Yes — is a stripped down affair with tracks like I Really Need Love, Silver Line and Tired Of Loving being decidedly pastoral, folky and representative of the album’s stylistic approach. Elsewhere, the reggae-tinged Winter Rose, the psychedelic reverie of No More Excuses and the quirky Latin American flavour of Gaia reveal the band’s eclectic nature. It’s a bit of a grower though — Every Step’s A Yes might take a couple of listens in order for it to stick.
Beauty In The Small Things | Jon Chong — 3.5/5* LOCAL singersongwriter Jon Chong — who made a splash in the music scene with his debut album State Of My Mind back in 2009 — has returned with a sophomore effort. Fans of his smooth jazz-folk-pop stylings will be gladdened by the news that it’s more of the same with Beauty In The Small Things. Co-produced by music industry vet Joshua Wan, this collection of songs does not stray too far from what Chong knows best: Sophisticated songwriting backed by polished production values. Songs like the pleasing Here With Me, the dynamic What Love Does To Me, the breezy Lazy Days and the kinetic title track will appeal strongly to jazz-pop fans of every ilk. If there is a caveat, it may be that Chong’s voice sometimes falls short of his ambitious songwriting. Mind you, this does not compromise the overall high quality of this offering. KEVIN MATHEWS The Best Of 25 years | Sting – 3.5/5* LOTS of people think Sting is just this middleaged member of the Handsome Man Club who occasionally churns out mid-tempo, sometimes maudlin tunes about barley, or the occasional Elizabethan musical workout, and spends hours having Tantric sex with his wife. But one listen to this album and you can see what a vast range of music the man has produced in the last 25 years, post-The Police. Whether it’s jazzy overtones (Moon Over Bourbon Street), or slicing funk (We’ll Be Together, If You Love Somebody Set Them Free), politically hewn ballads (They Dance Alone, Russians), or syncopated experiments (Seven Days), the dude has done it all. And you get to hear them all again, but given a new remix and remastered treatment, which actually makes them sound fresh. And as this offering shows, Sting hardly puts a foot wrong in the AOR circuit. While all the songs on this 2-CD compilation are strong, our picks would be Never Coming Home, the live version of Demolition Man, They Dance Alone and We’ll Be Together. Our gripe would be that I Hung My Head and his haunting version of Little Wing weren’t included.
Lulu | Lou Reed And Metallica — 4/5* TALK about a mindblowing collaboration. Two of the most influential music icons, Lou Reed and Metallica, have come together to produce Lulu, a set of extended songs inspired by German expressionist Frank
Wedekind’s early 20th century plays Earth Spirit and Pandora’s Box. And as the cover art implies, this isn’t an easy listen. There is some serious sonic artillery here. The idea is to listen to these two discs at a stretch, much like a musical play (the time when you change discs can be the “intermission”).
But tracks like Pumping Blood, Cheat On Me and Little Dog are undiluted, noholds-barred performances, and frankly, take some getting used to. Then again, isn’t that what people say art is all about? You could say then, that this is high art at its peak.
The idea is to listen to these two discs at a stretch, much like a musical play (the time when you change discs can be the ‘intermission’.)
Not to be missed — again
Achtung Baby | U2 — 5/5* TOUTED as the second coming of U2 after the critical mauling suffered by Rattle And Hum (1988), 1991’s Achtung Baby would firmly establish U2 as the biggest rock band on the planet for the next two decades. This 20th anniversary reissue has the original album on one disc, with B-sides and bonus tracks filling the second disc. The album sounds as relevant and as exciting as it first did. The incorporation of electronic dance elements into U2’s sonic agenda seems de rigueur in 2011 but back then was revolutionary as the Irish band eschewed the flag-waving polemic anthems their bombastic reputation had been based on. Thus, the importance of the iconoclastic dance floor “gamechangers” Zoo Station (“I’m ready for what’s next”) and The Fly (“There’s a lot of things, if I could I’d rearrange”) cannot be underestimated in the grand scheme of modern rock history. The second disc compiles remixes of key songs — Even Better Than the Real Thing, Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses and Mysterious Ways — as well as cover versions of Lou Reed’s Satellite Of Love, Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black and CCR’s Fortunate Son, and tasty outtakes (Salome and Lady With The Spinning Head) all in one handy accessible package. Essential listening for every modern rock fan.
The boom box
Relooking a classic record
Jesus Christ Superstar (1969)
The album sounds as relevant and as exciting as it first did.This 20th anniversary reissue ... is essential listening for every modern rock fan.
JESUS Christ Superstar is a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Tim Rice. Or rather, it’s one of Lloyd Webber’s early Broadway successes. Or perhaps, it could be that rather surreal 1973 movie directed by Norman Jewison. But Jesus Christ Superstar actually started as a concept album back in 1969 (two years before it became a Broadway musical). The rock opera is very loosely based on the last week of Jesus’ life, starting with the preparation for his arrival in Jerusalem, and ending with the crucifixion.
Just how rock was this rock opera? Well, consider that on the original album, the part of Jesus was sung by Ian Gillan, the lead singer of Deep Purple, and the part of Judas by Murray Head (yes, the same guy who would have a hit with One Night In Bangkok). Gary Glitter had a one-liner as a priest and Michael d’Abo appeared as King Herod. Also, well-known rock sessionists such as guitarists Neil Hubbard and Chris Spedding, bassist Alan Spenner and drummer Bruce Rowland performed the music. The title song, Superstar, sung by Head, and I Don’t Know How To Love Him, performed by Yvonne Elliman, were both released as singles and eventually became big hits; but other songs have also ended up as fan favourites, including Hossanah, Heaven On Their Minds, What’s The Buzz and Everything’s Alright. CHRISTOPHER TOH
PLATI NUM - SINGAPORE
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
entertainment Women rule AMA
taylor swift wins Artist Of the Year over Adele
COUNTRY sensation Taylor Swift came up the big winner at the American Music Awards (AMA) on Sunday, claiming three trophies including the top honour, Artist Of The Year. She tied for most wins with British singer Adele, who also earned three trophies for Female Pop Artist, Best Album with her smash hit 21 and Top Adult Contemporary Performer. But Adele, who came into the awards show as the mostnominated singer with four nods, lost Artist Of The Year to Swift, who seemed genuinely surprised by the upset victory. “This is one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me,” Swift said. “I have no idea what I’m supposed to say. I did not think this was going to happen.” To be fair, hardly anyone did. Along with the year’s top artist, Swift claimed AMA trophies for Favourite Female Country Artist for the second straight year, and she nabbed Best Country Album with Speak Now. Adele, who is recovering from vocal cord surgery, was not on hand to accept her awards. Rapper Nicki Minaj was the night’s other big winner with two AMAs in the rap or hip-hop category: Favourite Artist and Best Album for Pink Friday. Minaj opened the show singing her smash hit single Super Bass in a metallic outfit that had two large speakers on her bottom. Elsewhere, the AMA awards were split among numerous acts. Rounding out the country awards with Swift were Blake Shelton for Best Male Artist and Lady Antebellum for Best Group. Maroon 5 picked up the honour for Best Pop Or Rock Group behind current hit Moves Like Jagger, and Bruno Mars rounded out the pop category with an AMA trophy for Best Male Artist. Among R&B acts, Rihanna grabbed Best Album with Loud, winning over ex-boyfriend Chris Brown and his F.A.M.E. Usher was named Favourite R&B Male Artist and Beyonce Best Female. Next up on the list of key honours are Grammy nominations, which will be announced on Nov 30. The Grammys are given out by industry group The Recording Academy, while AMA winners are voted upon by fans casting ballots online. ReuteRs
Selena Gomez (left) and Justin Bieber take fashion tips from Portia De Rossi and Ellen Degeneres.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Jennifer Lopez without a frock!
WHO WON WHAt At tHe AMA
Artist Of the Year: Taylor Swift New Artist Of the Year: Hot Chelle Rae
What’s green and pink and resembles a saloon hooker blow-up doll? Nicki Minaj, of course.
POP OR ROCK
Male Artist: Bruno Mars Female Artist: Adele Band, Duo Or Group: Maroon 5 Album: Adele, 21
Male Artist: Blake Shelton Female Artist: Taylor Swift Band, Duo Or Group: Lady Antebellum Album: Taylor Swift, Speak Now Male Artist: Usher Female Artist: Beyonce Album: Rihanna, Loud
RAP/HIP-HOP sOuL/RHYtHM & BLues
Why choose braces when you can get straight teeth in 2 weeks?
Artist: Nicki Minaj Album: Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday
Artist: Foo Fighters Artist: Adele
Artist: Jennifer Lopez
It was an awkward moment when Katy Perry realised it wasn’t the Jetsons convention she RSVP-ed for.
It’s not Christina Aguilera’s range that’s expanded.
Taylor Swift is shocked — shocked! — that she’s worn the same dress to every award show this year.
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Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
Elton John wows S’pore ... and Kevin Spacey, too
THE star power of Kevin Spacey is undisputed. But even the presence of a Hollywood thespian could not draw attention away from the one dubbed the Rocket Man. For the 10,000 or so fans who gathered at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Sir Elton John’s concert on Sunday night was nothing short of phenomenal. Sure, Spacey showed that he could shake his tailfeather, when he joined the crowd at the front to dance to Ready For Love; but all Sir Elton had to do was just belt out his big hits, such as Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Crocodile Rock and Your Song, and all the focus was back on him. The concert started with a short set by 2Cellos, a cello duo who performed covers of With Or Without You and Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Beyonce’s baby secret woes
IT’S tough to keep a pregnancy a secret when you’re in the public eye, and for a while, Beyonce thought the jig was up. “The whole time I definitely was thinking: ‘Everyone knows, everyone can see,’” said the singer before the screening of her new concert DVD on Sunday in New York. It became particularly difficult for her to hide the growing baby bump when the Grammy-winner performed for four nights to sold-out crowds at New York’s Roseland Theater in August. “When you’re pregnant, it’s a little bit harder to breathe, so it was hard doing all the choreography and singing at the same time,” said the 30-year-old singer. Fans who didn’t get a chance to catch The Intimate Nights shows — what Beyonce said was her last concert performance of the year — can get a behind-the-scenes look in her new Live At Roseland DVD, available exclusively at Walmart this week. The deluxe two-DVD set is available everywhere from Nov 29. Along with classics from her Destiny’s Child days and major hits from her solo career, the DVD includes interviews with the singer, home footage of rehearsals and special family moments — even shots of Beyonce in a wedding gown. She’s also hoping the film will serve as a time capsule for her unborn child, a chance for him or her to say: “I can’t believe I was in that belly,” she said. AP
Breaking Dawn rises with S$368m
Photos: aloysius Lim, Live Limited
THE Twilight Saga has staked out another huge opening with a worldwide launch of US$283.5 million (S$368 million). The North American total of US$139.5 million gives The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 the second-best debut weekend for the franchise, after the US$142.8 million launch for 2009’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Opening in 54 overseas markets, Breaking Dawn pulled in US$144 million internationally, according to studio estimates Sunday. But the Warner Bros dancing penguin sequel Happy Feet 2 stumbled in its debut, pulling in just US$22 million over opening weekend. That’s barely half what the first film in the animated franchise earned in its 2006 opening. The comparison is even worse considering the original did not have
A scene from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.
the sequel’s price advantage for 3D screenings, which cost a few dollars more than 2D shows. The previous weekend’s No 1 movie, Relativity Media’s action tale Immortals, fell to third-place with US$12.3 million, raising its domestic haul to US$53 million. AP
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
Rainbow after the rain
Through craft-making, a woman recovering from depression finds her worth
If you were to purchase craft items from Junaidah Mohd Eusope (picture) at a Suntec pushcart on weekends, you would never suspect that the cheerful, articulate lady once cried every day for two years. for the past 15 years, the 56-yearold has been battling major depression, triggered by stress from family conflicts with her siblings. Speaking to Today, Junaidah recalled her days of self-destruction when sleep was her only refuge. “I woke up only to go to the toilet or eat something. I wished I could sleep all the time. When I was sleeping, I wished I didn’t wake up, and when I woke up, I wanted to go straight back to sleep.” In her lowest times, Junaidah slept for more than 20 hours a day, leaving her four school-going children to their devices. Her eldest daughter became the younger children’s surrogate mother, as well as her confidante. “(Neglecting) the children was my biggest regret. My eldest daughter did all the cooking, washing, ironing and looked after the kids. My husband was always away so she became a listening ear to me. I really owe her a lot,” said Junaidah, who used to harbour thoughts of suicide. At his wits’ end, Junaidah’s husband checked her into a hospital. When she was officially diagnosed with major depression, he quit his job as a seaman
Major depressive disorder common here Major depressive disorder is the top mental health condition in Singapore, affecting one in 16 people in their lifetime, according to findings from the Singapore Mental Health Study released last week. The study was spearheaded by the Institute of Mental Health. The next two common conditions are alcohol abuse and obsessive compulsive disorder. The study found that most people who suffered from a mental illness experienced their first onset of symptoms in their 20s, and that a majority of them were not seeking professional help. Common symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, guilt, worthlessness, lethargy, loss of interest in activities the person used to enjoy, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite and suicidal thoughts. Need help? Samaritans of Singapore: 1800 221 4444 MCYS ComCare/Family Service Centre (FSC) Helpline: 1800 222 0000 Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800 283 7019
Photo by Koh Mui Fong
and took on odd jobs so he could remain in Singapore to look after the family. Winding road to recovery over the years, Junaidah’s condition fluctuated. After her last relapse in 2009, she started picking up the pieces with help. Today, she is finally on the road to recovery. Through the Craft Creates programme under the Institute of Mental Health’s (IMH) octave (occupational Therapy: Activities,Vocation and Empowerment) rehabilitation service, she has found her talent for craft work. octave is IMH’s outpatient rehabilitation programme, where patients recovering from psychiatric illness pick up skills that help them to integrate into the community. The programme currently caters to 250
people. Besides art and craft activities, octave also offers sports and computer classes, as well as life skills training. “At first, I felt that the craft work at IMH was a waste of time. I felt that there was no hope for me, but my counsellor from Simei Care Centre, who had referred me to IMH, told me to focus on it whether I liked it or not. He told me I could make it,” she said. over time, she uncovered her creative side. Craft Creates products made by Junaidah and her peers are currently for sale on weekends at a pushcart at Suntec City. The project, which gives recovering IMH patients a chance to earn a living, is a collaboration with students from Temasek Polytechnic’s free Enterprise programme. According to Tan Peck yan, senior
occupational therapist at IMH, 80 per cent of the sales proceeds go back to the patients, while the remaining is set aside for other rehabilitative activities at octave. Therapeutic art Tan said that craft-making offers patients an opportunity for “self-expression of feelings and ideas”. “The tangible end-product gives the individual a sense of accomplishment through the mastery of a skill. The repetitive and rhythmic nature of the craft-making process also helps the individual to unconsciously relieve the pressures of everyday living by focusing one’s attention on the here-and-now when making the craft,” explained Tan. >> Continued on T10
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
HealtH rainbow after the rain
>> Continued from T9 IMH’s senior occupational therapist Mabel Shek, who is in charge of Craft Creates, added that the wonderful thing about using arts and crafts as part of rehabilitation is that there are no restrictions on who can do them. “As long as a patient shows interest, we will be happy to help him or her,” she said. Shek said that once patients started connecting with craftwork, she often observes several benefits — their punctuality, attendance rate and attention span improve, as well as their ability to follow more complicated instructions. They also become more sociable. Junaidah’s enthusiasm for her craftwork has rubbed off on some of her peers. She also takes great pride in her creations, many of which are moving quickly off the shelves at Suntec City. As her husband is now ill and unable to work, Junaidah is grateful to be able to earn some money to offset their daily expenses. From the sales of her crafts, she also gets an intangible satisfaction. “When people say my works are beautiful, I feel so proud of myself. I didn’t know I could be useful too, because I’ve been a useless mother for too long,” she said. She attributed her reintegration into society to the help she got from IMH and Simei Care Centre. “I may not achieve what fellow depression sufferers Winston Churchill or Charlie Chaplin have, but I am as blessed as they are because so many people have helped me realise my full potential,” she said.
Lending a helping hand Craft Creates products made by IMH patients are currently sold at a pushcart in Suntec City, Level 3, beside Temasek Polytechnic’s KoolWerkz ice cream shop. Items on sale include hand-painted porcelain mugs and glasses, coasters, tissue box holders, vases, plates, mobile phone pouches, decorative items, pottery, basketry and beaded items. Opening hours are from Friday to Sunday, 11.30am to 7pm. Craft Creates products are also available at Octave Centres. For more information, visit www.imh.com.sg/shop/shop.html.
Lasik: myths and facts
Learn more about the latest advancements in Lasik and whether you are suitable for it. The talk will also include a section on Relex, a new laser vision correction procedure that uses femtosecond laser technology to provide the next-generation treatment of myopia and other refractive errors. Date: Thursday Time: 6.30pm to 8.15pm Venue: Singapore national Eye Centre, Auditorium, Level 4, 11 Third Hospital Avenue Fee/registration: S$5. Registration required. SMS your full name, nRIC and mobile number to 9725 2366, or register online at www.singlasik.com.sg
Date: Friday Time: 1pm to 2pm Venue: national University Hospital, Health Education Hub, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Main Building 1, Level 1, Lobby B Fee/registration: Free. Registration required. Call 6772 2184
Can exercise really ward off migraines?
MAny migraine sufferers are reluctant to hit the gym, fearful that pushing themselves too hard may bring on an attack. But for some, exercise may have the opposite effect. Migraine triggers vary widely from one person to the next. A few case reports have identified people for whom periods of physical activity could precipitate severe headaches. However, by and large, research has shown that regular exercise, at least a few times a week, either does no harm or may have modest benefits for people predisposed to migraines. In one of the most thorough studies, published in the journal Cephalalgia last month, researchers in Sweden randomly split 91 migraine sufferers into three
groups. One group exercised for 40 minutes three times a week; another was given topiramate, a drug that helps prevent migraines; and the third underwent regular relaxation exercises. The study lasted three months, and the subjects were monitored over an additional six months. The scientists found that the
rate of migraines fell in all three groups, and that each intervention was equally effective. They noted that for people who want to reduce migraines without the side effects of drugs, exercise may be a good alternative. In a smaller study, the same researchers looked at 26 migraine sufferers before, during and after
cycling sessions on stationary bikes at a clinic in Sweden. The subjects cycled three days a week for three months. At the end of the study, they saw improvements in cardiovascular fitness and reductions in the severity and number of migraines they experienced.
The New York Times
improve your mood through nutrition
Having mood swings? Are your moods erratic and do you often forget small things? The solution could simply be eating the right food. A nutritionist will talk about the types of food that can help improve mood and memory. The workshop also includes a food demonstration and healthy organic food recipes. Date: Dec 2 Time: 2pm to 3.30 pm Venue: WInGS, 9 Bishan Place, Junction 8 Office Tower #06-05 Fee/registration: S$16. Registration required. Call 6250 1012. Open to women aged 40 and above only
Diabetes and diet: Fact or fiction?
How do you differentiate between the facts and myths about diabetes and diet? Join in the discussion with a dietician on what information is reliable and what may not be 100 per cent true.
Implant Dentistry Treatment
Q: My mother had dental implants placed many years ago. Some of the artificial teeth (attached to the implants) are cracking. Does she need to remove the implants? — Tong Sze Tan A: It sounds as if the teeth have become worn out rather than there being problems with the implant fixture. In such instances, the artificial teeth can be removed and replaced with a new set. However, ensure that the bite of the new set of teeth is well-designed to avoid future cracking. Most of the time, you do not need to have the implants removed unless they are infected or fractured. It would be best to bring your mother to visit a dentist or specialist. He or she will be able to better advise you about the type of treatment based on the examination. Q: Must implant surgery be done under general anaesthesia? — Becky Lai A: Most implant surgery can be performed without general anaesthesia and done with local anaesthesia instead. However, if you are anxious about the procedure, consider intravenous sedation. This process is safe as long as it is done by a qualified anaesthetist. Plus, you do not need to be warded in a hospital. With intravenous sedation, you will not be aware of the procedure yet be able to quickly “wake” up after the treatment is finished.
Q: What are the steps involved in implant treatment? — Toh Lee Yen A: Your dentist or specialist will perform a thorough examination, which includes a 3D x-ray to assess the amount of bone. He or she will discuss your options, and the pros and cons before deciding on a personalised treatment plan. The treatment usually commences with the placement of the implant fixture. However, some people require a separate procedure to rebuild the bone. After placement of the implant fixture, a sufficient period of healing is required for the bone to integrate with the implant fixture. Depending on the bone quality and quantity, the healing period can take between six weeks and six months. After successful integration, the teeth are made and fixed onto the implants.
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
things to do
Handful of Keys Don’t miss out on LASALLE Musical Theatre’s latest production, Handful of Keys, which explores the song list of famous Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’. Come bounce and boogey along as the show’s cast perform the jazz and swing favourites that Fats Waller made famous in his illustrious career. Directed and choreographed by Broadway’s own Nikki Snelson, Handful of Keys will also be accompanied by Vincent Colaguiri on the piano.
Until Saturday, 8pm, LASALLE Flexible Performance Space, Block F Level 1, #F101 @ LASALLE. Tickets at S$20 and S$15 (concession) from www.gatecrash.com.sg.
French Movies 2011: MicMacs A video-store clerk loses his job when a stray bullet from a nearby shoot out embeds itself in his skull, leaving him fighting for his life. Wondering the streets after he is evicted from his home, he meets a motley crew consisting of a former convict, a junkyard dealer and a contortionist. When by chance, he
finds out about the two weapons manufacturing companies which ruined his life, he constructs a complex scheme of revenge with the help of his newfound family. In French with English subtitles. Rating of NC16.
Today, 8pm, Alliance Francaise Theatre. Tickets at S$7.20 from Sistic.
TAB presents: Zee Avi Live Good news for Zee Avi fans. The Malaysian-born singer and songwriter will be in town for a one-night-only performance to promote her latest album, Ghostbird. Zee Avi has toured with the likes of Peter Yorn, and has been compared to Billie Holiday and Cat Power. Some of her top hits include Bitter Heart, Just You and Me as well as The Book of Morris Johnson.
Today, 8pm (doors open at 7.30pm), 442 Orchard Road #02-29, Orchard Hotel. Tickets at S$55, get 10 per cent off when you pay with a Standard Chartered card .
habits and ideas about money management. Join founding director of Life Planning Associates Pte Ltd, Mr Benny Ong, to learn how to avoid marital conflicts by planning your finances according to your income, needs and goals. Sharing from his personal experiences, Mr Ong will also highlight the danger of using credit unwisely and how to avoid the pitfalls of excessive investing.
Saturday, 3pm to 4.30pm (Registration begins at 2.30pm), Woodlands Regional Library First floor, Programme zone. Free admission. Call 6767 3924 or email email@example.com to register.
Biblical Songs Composers throughout history have always drawn inspiration from the most famous book in the world, the Bible, coming up with some of the most ecstatic and beautiful works in literature. Join local-mezzo soprano Anna Koor and pianist Shane Thio as they present pieces by Beethoven, Bach, Antonin Dvorak, Rebecca Clarke and more.
Today, 8pm, The Living Room, The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane. Tickets at S$25, S$20 for students, NSFs and Arts House members from www.bytes.sg.
okto’s WHOA! Event (picture) Indulge in a weekend of family fun at okto’s Weekend Hall Of Awesomeness (WHOA!). Look forward to live shows, photo-taking sessions, obstacle courses and a DC superheroes exhibition. Rub shoulders with the stars of okto, such as the cast from Dream School and hosts from Knockout, Sheikh Haikel and Annabel Francis. Be the first to catch members of the all-new Mat Yoyo cast this Friday at 1pm and 4pm only at okto’s WHOA! Present your copy of Today and get 15 per cent off tickets at all Sistic outlets.
Nov 25 to 27, 11.30am to 8.30pm, The Max Pavilion at Singapore Expo. Tickets at S$10 each or S$30 for four tickets from Sistic. www.xinmsn.com/oktowhoa
UPCOMING Financial Freedom for Married Couples Money is one of the main causes of marital discord as many couples have different
how To play
The rules are easy. Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
Today Tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
t 14 on mediacorp
11.00 Hawaii Five-O MN Bones V (PG-Graphic Visuals) 1.00AM CSI IX 2.00 The Noose 2.30 India: A Love Story 3.30 Chase 4.00 The Dr Oz Show 5.00 The Martha Stewart Show VI
on mediacorp 26tH sea games 2011: closing ceremony (live)
Channel 5, 8pm
6.00AM Seriously Funny Kids 6.30 AM Live! 9.00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show IX 10.00 The Dr Oz Show 11.00 26th SEA Games 2011: Daily Highlights Today At The Games (Encore) 11.30 Great Ideas From JML 1 2.30PM Parental Guidance 1.00 First Touch
2.00 The Two Of Us 3.00 The Dr Oz Show 4.00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show IX 5.00 Video Zonkers 5.30 Unbeatable Banzuke 6.00 India: A Love Story 7.00 Don’t Forget The Lyrics IV 8.00 26th SEA Games 2011: Closing Ceremony (Live) 10.30 News 5 Tonight
a song to remember (debut)
Channel 8, 9pm
After more than 10 days of sporting action, numerous records and victories, it is time for us to celebrate the completion of the 26th SEA Games. Join us as we gather to honour the athletes and officials who have made this event a huge success.
6.00AM 6.30 7.00 10.00 NOON 1.00PM 1.30 2.00 2.30 Focus My Dear Kin Good Morning Singapore The Unforgettable Memory It’s A Small World II News 8 At One Frontline Magic Match Sticks My Teacher, My Friend Just In Singapore Pay It Forward Mrs P.I. Singapore Today Kampong Ties (PG) Home Makeover 2 (Debut) A Song To Remember (Debut) 10.00 News Tonight 3.30 4.30 5.30 6.30 7.00 8.00 9.00 10.30 Tuesday Report: Applaud To Life 11.00 Golden Ferris Wheel (PG) MN On The Fringe 11 (PG-Juvenile Delinquency) 1.00AM Comedy Night 2.00 Hero Of The Times 4.00 Golden Ferris Wheel
tHe great QUeen seon deok
Channel U, 7pm
Before Princess Cheon Myeong dies, she reveals her love for Yoo Shin and wants him to take good care of Deok Man.
1 1.00AM 3.00PM 3.30 5.00 6.00 7.00 Home Shopping City Footprints Guess 100% Entertainment D.I.E. The Great Queen Seon Deok 8.00 China’s Got Talent 9.00 Food Nation 10.00 The Threshold Of A Persona 11.00 News Tonight 11.30 1 2.30AM 1.30 2.30 China’s Got Talent Food Nation 100% Entertainment Close
Shanghai, 1930s. Songstress Yu Hong is getting more popular. Her jealous rival Qiao’er tries to harm her. Musician Mo Li Guang saves Yu Hong and both become acquainted.
destination trUtH (pg)
Josh and his team travel to Italy, where they conduct the world’s first paranormal investigation of the legendary city of Pompeii. Then, they go to Kenya where a creature called the Nandi bear is said to make its home.
9.00AM Sunshine Station (prescHool) 9.30 Little Princess 10.00 LazyTown (prescHool) 10.30 Charlie & Lola 11.00 Sunshine Station 11.30 City Of Friends
(prescHool) (prescHool) (prescHool) (prescHool)
2.30 3.00 3.30 4.00
ON SINGTEL MIO TV
Eros Bollywood (mio TV Ch 313), Available Now, Anytime On Demand
In this sequel to the 2004 hit film Murder, about a serial killer on the loose, Simran is married to Sudhir but feels lonely and neglected. When she meets her college-time lover Sunny again, they have an affair. Then, Sunny is found murdered.
NOON The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! 1 2.30PM 1.00 Sunshine Station
(prescHool) (prescHool) (prescHool) Hi-5 (prescHool)
1.30 Thomas & Friends 2.00 Mr Moon (prescHool)
4.30 5.00 5.30 6.00 6.30 7.00 7.30 8.00 9.00 10.00 10.30 11.00 11.30 MN
Chuggington (prescHool) Art Factory Kids Rock Record Breakers – Singapore Edition Sketch The Jungle Book Monster Allergy Blazing Teens The Amazing Spiez! Phineas And Ferb Mudpit Junior MasterChef Australia Destination Truth (PG) Inside Job KNOCKOUT Hidden Dragons: Thailand (Part 2) A Thousand Worlds Close
4.00PM 5.00 6.00 6.30 7.00 8.00 8.30 9.30 10.30 11.00 11.30 MN
Ku Milikmu Semanis Janji Kraf Kreatif Periuk Malaysia, Belanga Brunei Benci Bilang Cinta (Finale) Berita K-Nite 3 (Finale) Cut Amirah Destinasi Bajet 2 Laut 2 Berita Close
ON STARHUB CABLE TV
dora’s encHanted Forest adventUres: tHe secret oF atlantis
Nick Jr (StarHub TV Ch 304), 2.15pm
Dora and Boots are at the beach when they see Diego riding in on a dolphin. Diego, who had just been on an undersea adventure, has found the legendary lost continent of Atlantis and discovered why it disappeared from the Earth. Dora, Boots and King Unicornio try to help him end an ancient feud between unicorns and dragons as it is the only way to make Atlantis rise.
3.00PM 3.30 4.00 4.30 5.00 5.30 6.00
Anjaraipetti II Sathy Leelavathi Silanthi Mythilli Chinna Papa Periya Papa Anbudan Naangal Yaar Antha Star IV
7.00 7.30 8.00 8.30 9.00 9.30
Villakku Vecha Nerathilla Pathivugal Anandha Bhavan Tamil Seithi Saj & Kumar Theerpugal III (PG-Violence)
10.00 10.30 11.00 11.30 MN
Rehai III (PG13-Violence) Nijangal II Sollamaley Tamil Seithi Close
12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm, 6pm, 6.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm, 9.30pm, 10.30pm, 11.30pm, 12.30am, 1am, 1.30am
9.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm, 4.30pm
Headlines/s’pore market report
10.30am Programmes may be pre-empted due to breaking news
6.00AM 6.30 7.00 9.00 9.38 10.00 10.33 11.00 11.33 NOON 1 2.32PM 1.02 1.32 2.00 2.33 3.00 3.32 4.00 4.33
Asian Home News AM Live! Early Edition AM Live! Asia Today Amazing Asia World Today Clickability World Today Asian Home News World Today Amazing Asia Money Mind Geared For Growth Asia Today AM Live! Bite-size Asia Today Buying Asia Asia Today Amazing Asia
5.00 5.32 6.02 6.32 7.00 8.02 8.32 9.00 9.31 10.00 10.31 11.00 11.31 MN 1 2.31AM 1.01 1.31 2.00
Asia Market Report Yours Truly, Asia X Talking Point Frames Primetime Asia Get Rea! X It’s Organic Primetime News Mind Your Money Singapore Tonight Asia Business Tonight Asia Tonight Get Rea! World Tonight It’s Organic Singapore Tonight Asia Business Tonight Full Page Headlines
primeval season 5
British Entertainment On Demand (mio TV Ch 318), Anytime On Demand
Multi-award-winning Primeval comes roaring back — and it’s bigger and badder than before, as the race is on to stop the destruction of the world and prevent secrets from destroying the team. Professor Nick Cutter and his team investigate anomalies in time and are stressed by the unfortunate side effects of dinosaurs moving through into the present time. Cutter’s wife disappears during the investigation and he makes it his mission to find and save her.
STAR Movies (StarHub TV Ch 622), 9pm
When high school student Jennifer becomes possessed by a hungry demon, the glittering beauty becomes a pale and sickly creature constantly craving a meaty snack. Even geeky guys take on new lustre with Jennifer’s insatiable appetite. Her lifelong best friend Needy must finally step up to protect the town’s young men, including her nerdy boyfriend Chip.
today tuesday November 22, 2011
today tuesday November 22, 2011
Today is published by MediaCorp Press Ltd, Caldecott Broadcast Centre, Annex Building, Level 1, Andrew Road, Singapore 299939 Tel: 6333 3888. Printed by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd, 57, Loyang Drive, Singapore 508968. Tel: 65432222
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