Friday, 30 December 2016

Wine collecting in Singapore today

What vintages of which wines does one start one's collection with? A tough question but an absorbing one to deal with.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

More help for those who can’t afford lawyers in ‘high stakes’ court cases

More accused persons who cannot afford a lawyer, especially if theirs are “high stakes” cases, will get a better shot of landing one under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas), which has recently employed two more criminal lawyers with funding from the Government.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Ex-BSI banker slapped with 30-month jail term

Former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei has been sentenced to a jail term of 30 months - the heaviest sentence so far for attempting to pervert the course of justice - in connection with Singapore's largest money-laundering probe linked to the massive 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Taiwan's security problem must be resolved politically

The military power balance across the Taiwan Strait has been tipped sharply in favour of the People's Republic of China over the past couple of years.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

How millennials are changing the way China thinks about money

Ma Yiqing, 24, is typical of China's younger generation - he uses his credit card frequently and borrows from online platforms to fund his shopping habits. In a pinch, he is happy to fall back on a lender closer to home - his mum and dad.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Don't sleep on it: going to bed mad makes it worse

A good night's sleep may reinforce negative memories in the brain, researchers said on Tuesday, lending scientific credence to the time-worn caution against going to bed angry.


Saturday, 26 November 2016

Lucien Wong named the next Attorney-General

Lucien Wong Yuen Kuai, chairman and senior partner at law firm Allen & Gledhill, has been appointed Attorney-General (AG) for three years, from Jan 14, 2017. He will replace VK Rajah, senior counsel (SC), who is due to finish his two-and-a-half year term of contract on Jan 14.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

With RM12.5b port, Malacca eyes slice of shipping giant Singapore's pie

Once at the heart of the global spice trade, Malacca is pumping nearly US$3 billion into an ambitious plan to put itself in demand in a different hot commodity - oil.

Israeli firm Cellebrite can steal phone data in seconds

It only takes a few seconds for an employee of one of the world's leading hacking companies to take a locked smartphone and pull the data from it.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

German exec, Michael Fritsch, gets 10 days' jail for punching taxi driver

A German national who punched a taxi driver in the forehead was ticked off by a judge for his "deplorable"' conduct from start to finish.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hong Kong judge blasts localist radicals for oath-taking that bordered on contempt

Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung says oath is “not a mere formality or empty form of words”

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Hague prosecutors say U.S. forces may have committed war crimes

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said on Monday there were preliminary grounds to believe U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan and at secret detention facilities elsewhere in 2003 and 2004.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Manila's South China Sea arbitration against Beijing 'not wise'

It was "not wise" of the Philippines to launch mandatory arbitration against China over their South China Sea territorial spat, said Singapore's former foreign minister George Yeo, calling it a move that cannot resolve what is at heart a political issue.

Americans in China dismayed, embarrassed by US presidential campaign as election draws to close

For many Americans living in China, the US presidential election can’t end soon enough.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Duterte nurses old grudges against US

President Rodrigo Duterte really doesn't like America. And, at 71 years old, he is unlikely to change his mind.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Canadian court delivers heavy blow to spy agency, saying it kept data illegally

A court dealt Canada’s spy agency a serious blow on Thursday, declaring it had illegally kept data collected during investigations over the past decade and threatening sanctions if the issue occurred again.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Growth in ties validates trust in China: Najib

The growth in their bilateral ties and cooperation validates the trust Malaysia has placed in China, said Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose visit here is being closely watched for signs of a tilt towards Beijing.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

West should not lecture countries they once exploited, says Najib as Malaysia pivots to China

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that former colonial powers should not lecture countries they once exploited on their internal affairs, a Chinese newspaper reported on Wednesday (Oct 2), in a veiled attack on the West as he looks to strengthen ties with China.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Behind Manila's ties with Beijing is a Chinese billionaire and his drug rehab centres

At the end of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's landmark visit to China last month, he held a brief private meeting with a businessman who may have played a crucial role in improving ties between the two nations.

Why the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte Hates America

To understand the roots of Duterte’s views, one has to take a closer look at his background, past experiences with the United States, and current grievances about U.S. policy toward the Philippines.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Why mind blanks happen during exams

It's a pattern many of us have likely experienced in the past.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Taiwan’s cross-strait export of phone scams ‘no good for island’, former president says

Taiwan has exported a highly undesirable “service” to the mainland – telecoms fraud, according to the island’s former leader.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

China and Singapore: Looking back to understand the future

Recent developments in the relations between China and Singapore have raised questions about how China sees Singapore and also how Singapore should see China.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Feng Shui: Expelling evil

In many parts of the world (cultural and religious differences notwithstanding), there are numerous items and symbols that are considered “lucky”, or even to ward off evil spirits. We explore how this works in feng shui.

Property Guru

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Tibet's thangkas find new fans across China

Her eyes riveted to the canvas, Wulan meticulously applies colour to an image of the Buddha, using pigments made of crushed pearls, turquoise and agate.

Food delivery jobs: Hot now, but could cool later

Delivery rider Gerry Tan has seen his monthly earnings rise 80 per cent - from $2,000 to $3,600 - since he started his job almost two years ago.

Medical tourism ambitions under threat

They came in droves - Indonesians, Thais and Malaysians - to receive quality medical treatment in Singapore's private hospitals.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Is China’s latest space mission a step towards PLA tracking of nuclear submarines?

Chinese scientists are working on a space-based device that could track gravitational ripples produced by submerged submarines


Friday, 14 October 2016

Thai unifying figure leaves lasting legacy

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who took the throne of the kingdom once known as Siam shortly after World War II and held it for more than 70 years, establishing himself as a revered personification of Thai nationhood, died on Thursday in Bangkok. He was 88 and one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history.

Russia: America's new bogeyman?

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, members of the American Foreign Policy Establishment (FPE) have been suffering from what former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman has described as the Enemy Depravation Syndrome (EDS).

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Snowden director Oliver Stone warns of US bid to 'control the world'

American film-maker Oliver Stone warned on Monday (Oct 10) that his country's desire to "control the world" by eavesdropping on the entire planet would end in disaster.

Baijiu getting its moment as makers mix it up

The fiery Chinese grain liquor called baijiu has been distilled and quaffed in the homeland pretty much the same way for a millennium. Yet as these brands expand overseas, spirits companies are wondering: How would it taste with 7-Up?

Monday, 10 October 2016

Bitten by a dog? Don't bother biting back

Lashing out at those one disagrees with seems to be a fad of late. There was the falling out between Chinese cross-talk star Guo Degang and his pupil Cao Yunjin, as well as the debate between two United States presidential candidates who found fault with each other.

Duterte v America: The bark's worse than the bite

Why is Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte bristling at the United States, for decades his nation's closest ally?

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Why the Sing! China final was a win-win for Jiang Dunhao and Nathan Hartono

Late in the onstage voting in the Sing! China final in Beijing's National Stadium, in plain sight of millions of viewers in China and beyond, things just weren't adding up.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for US intelligence

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

What’s really making Beijing angry with Singapore?

The argument between Singapore’s ambassador to China and the editor-in-chief of the nationalistic Chinese tabloid Global Times is less about specific actions and deeds as it is about Beijing’s growing disappointment with the tiny Asian city-state.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

No bill shock with new virtual SIM cards

Expensive mobile roaming fees are the bane of those who travel overseas. One way around this is to use a prepaid data SIM card overseas, but such services can be inconvenient as they require one to switch mobile number. Plus, not all overseas airports sell prepaid data SIM cards.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Fact-checking the debate: Trump and Clinton both deny their own words

Donald Trump’s habit of peddling hype and fabrication emerged unabated in the first presidential debate while Hillary Clinton played it cautiously in her statements, though not without error.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Philippines' Duterte wants to 'open alliances' with Russia, China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and "open alliances" with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States.


Cyberheist saga rages: Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial

In its editorial on Sept 26, the paper says it remains a shame that the Philippines will be returning only a small portion of money stolen from an impoverished nation like Bangladesh.

China to rank foreigners in new work permit system

Starting on Nov 1, the Chinese government will begin sorting foreigners into three categories: A, B and C.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

China pushes tourism in Tibet, while critics fear impact on local culture

China has unveiled a sparkling new hotel as part of its drive to get tens of millions more tourists to visit Tibet, even as critics say the push is slowly eroding the local culture.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The end of stealth? New Chinese radar capable of detecting ‘invisible’ targets 100km away

A top Chinese military technology company shocked physicists around the world this week when it announced it had developed a new form of radar able to detect stealth planes 100km away.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Colin Powell discussed ‘secret’ Israeli nukes in leaked emails

In a private email exchange last year leaked this week by hackers, former Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed Israel’s nuclear weapons capability with a friend, saying the country has 200 warheads.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Chinese sportswear heavyweights hit their stride on the back of a national health kick

China’s sportswear industry has hit a rare sweet spot that appears unaffected by the lingering economic downturn.

Playing the divorce game for a second home: China Daily columnist

The divorce sections of Shanghai's marriage registration office are witnessing a bizarre phenomenon.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Jochen Thewes gets jail for slapping cabby

A drunk German chief executive was given two weeks' jail and fined $1,000 for slapping a taxi driver and kicking his vehicle after the cabby had declined to pick him up.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

What the US and China are fighting over in South China Sea

As the leaders of China and the United States meet in Hangzhou ahead of this weekend's Group of 20 summit, many would like to know whether differences over the South China Sea will cloud the bilateral relationship. The question is, what exactly are the two nations competing over in the area? And more importantly, can they find a mutually acceptable way to move forward?

Fewer people getting married in China, transforming economy and families

"Back in the old times, many people met because they were introduced and just wanted to find a partner to live through everyday life," she said. "There were very few people who had a free relationship based on love. Now lots of people reject that kind of old attitude and want to find the suitable person."

Chinese Americans risk losing political power

Chinatown in San Francisco used to be the first port of call for Chinese immigrants. But what used to be a hub for the Asian community, where they could go to look for help with employment or immigration issues, has become a tourist trap, where visitors take photos under the Gateway Arch and browse in shops selling lanterns, fans and other oriental kitsch. 

Philippines’ Duterte eyes arms from China, ends joint patrols with United States

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he’s considering buying weapons from Russia and China and ending joint patrols with US forces in the South China Sea.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Call-a-lawyer web services target small businesses, individuals seeking quick legal aid

When a clause on an employment contract befuddled him, Mr Adrian Tan decided to seek legal advice. He turned to social media for recommendations, and ended up at a legal aid website, which touted a 15-minute phone consultation with a lawyer for a fee of S$49.

China’s Tech-Savvy, Burned-Out and Spiritually Adrift, Turn to Buddhism

But the leader of the monastery, the Venerable Xuecheng, who dispenses bits of wisdom every day to millions of online followers, has defended his approach, saying that Buddhism can stay relevant only by embracing modern tools. In a computer-dominated world, he has said, it is no longer realistic to expect people to attend daily lectures.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Why Chinese-Indonesians don’t have to hide any longer

Community was scapegoated in the violence that followed the Asian Financial Crisis, but in a post-Suharto, newly democratised country, their identity is no longer a hindrance


Buddhist College of Singapore launches new $35 million building for monastic students

The Buddhist College of Singapore now has its own $35 million building, placing it in a better position to serve its students - monks from the region.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

China's swoop on Boeing supplier points to aluminium's future

China’s emergence as the world's biggest aluminium maker has shaken up the industry, creating a surplus that forced competitors to close plants as profit fell.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Tough-talking Duterte makes international debut amid Obama spat

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to swear at US President Barack Obama, dangled the prospect of leaving the United Nations and insulted the pope, all without leaving the country. Now he's ready to meet the world.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Kwek Leng Beng: Billionaire hotelier with an eye for design

Billionaire hotelier Kwek Leng Beng, usually in sombre suits, looks like a different man as he strides into his newest hotel, M Social, in salmon-pink trousers.

When to turn to mediation in telco disputes

The introduction of an alternative dispute resolution scheme to assist telcos and consumers in resolving their disputes was proposed by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) last month.

Friday, 2 September 2016

A Chinese Mystery: Who Owns a Firm on a Global Shopping Spree?

Questions about Anbang’s owners come as Chinese companies make deals around the world — sometimes representing efforts by China’s powerful to move money out of the country, as the economy slows and the party tightens its grip on everyday life.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

US white nationalists use Twitter with 'relative impunity', have more followers than militant Islamists

White nationalists and self-identified Nazi sympathisers located mostly in the United States use Twitter with "relative impunity" and often have far more followers than militant Islamists, a study being released on Thursday found.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

South China Sea: Did the ruling sink the rule of law?

In my view as a private researcher who has researched the issue for years, the tribunal's ruling was also weighed down by a litany of controversies as there were eight troubling issues arising from the ruling.

Experts continue to question South China Sea arbitration

Myron Nordquist, a professor at the University Virginia, said a lot of things were wrong about the tribunal's award over the South China Sea dispute, particularly the fundamental flawed system to begin with.

Describing the arbitration as "one-sided", the veteran maritime law expert said a good award should be one with both parties' consent.

"It is a bad decision politically and this is a political decision," Nordquist said.

"It is a matter of whether the Article 298 (which grants a nation the right to declare issues that it does not accept compulsory arbitration) was honoured."

Nordquist also believes the award's decision to declare all geographic features within the South China Sea as rocks or low-tide elevations "is not going to be well-received".

"For example, Japan is going to be, in the end, unhappy with the way rock and island issue was handled by the Tribunal," Nordquist said. He cited the case of Okinotorishima, an island claimed by Japan and one even smaller than Taiping, as it might be put in an awkward position by the award.

South China Sea: Tribunal ruling will affect many other states' claims

The July 12 tribunal ruling on a maritime dispute case brought by the Philippines against China helped to clarify international law on oceans and sets a high bar for what constitutes islands. It will have repercussions for many regional states' claims.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Come to Canada for the natural beauty, stay for the ... propaganda?

A leading talk show host claims Canada’s tourism promotion agency is trying to prevent him from airing episodes on the mainland that touch on politically sensitive topics in the North American country, calling the obstruction censorship.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Who can step up as Singapore’s next leader?

On Monday, a week after he stunned Singapore when he nearly fainted while giving an annual policy speech live, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is due back at work. Following medical leave of seven days, it may be business as usual for him. But the incident has drawn attention to the unusual level of uncertainty around leadership succession.

Carro simplifies car buying, selling

Buying and selling pre-owned cars can be a real hassle. From dealing with unidentified scratches on the trunk - "Is the car really accident-free?" - to negotiating pricing with glib salesmen - "Today is your lucky day, because I have a special deal just for you!" - takes some getting used to.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

China: the new space superpower

For years, its space programme was shrouded in secrecy. Now, with plans for lunar and Mars missions, and crowds at its launch sites, China is ready for liftoff

The Guardian

Cyber Cold War heats up

This is a tale of spies, a US$500 million (S$677 million) cyber arms heist, accusations of an attempt to manipulate a US presidential election and an increasingly menacing digital war being waged between Russia and the West.

Japan, China should put past behind them and move on

Can China and Japan, the second- and third-largest economies in the world, ever set aside their historical enmity and work together closely for the collective good of all in this part of the world?

An American conspiracy to oust Malaysia’s Najib – or a propaganda war?

As civil suit turns public perception of 1MDB scandal against embattled PM, supporters rally with a tried and tested tactic. But it may have been tried once too often


Friday, 26 August 2016

Trump victory could cause global recession, says Citigroup

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States could lead to chaos in markets and increased policy uncertainty that tip the world into recession, according to Citigroup.

How the CIA made Google

United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’

Insurge Intelligence Part 1
Insurge Intelligence Part 2

Remaking US foreign policy: may the wisdom of its forefathers prevail

Any nation's right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.

The Nation

Thursday, 25 August 2016

ValueMax chief executive buys Katong freehold bungalow for S$30 million

The chief executive of listed pawnshop ValueMax Group, Yeah Hiang Nam, has lodged a caveat to buy a freehold bungalow along Wilkinson Road in Katong for S$30 million.

The crisis in Anglo-American democracy

Two of the great political parties in the West - the Republicans in the United States and Labour in the United Kingdom - are in a state of near collapse. That, in turn, threatens the health of democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Monday, 22 August 2016

There may be trouble ahead for China and Singapore

Singapore needed to display “the wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew’s era, which provided a better and more cautious balance between China and the US. 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Thailand rejects request to extradite Holland Village bank robbery suspect

Singapore's efforts to extradite a suspect in the Holland Village bank heist have hit a snag in Thailand. The Attorney-General's Office in Bangkok has rejected its request for Canadian national David James Roach.

Lochte's lies expose him for what he is

Lochte is done as a public figure, of course. Which is probably the most effective form of justice for someone who apparently so craves attention. Oblivion is what he deserves.

Hacking tools stolen from NSA show Chinese cyberfirms were targeted, experts say

Hacking tools claimed to be pilfered from the US National Security Agency reveal a ­severe security threat to China, mainland experts say, with a leading national provider of network security said to be among the victims of the government hackers.

Meet Ryan Lochte, the world's latest 'ugly American'

It is Ryan Lochte's turn to be scorned as the world's ugliest American: a man wrapped in shame for his concocted story of being robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

It looks increasingly likely that the NSA has been hacked, as experts scrutinise leaked code

Analysis of the cyber weapons that hackers say they extracted from the top secret National Security Agency has left a key team of outside experts increasingly certain that the files came from the NSA.

Pyramid scheme plays on 'Britishness' to ensnare China investors

That operation, called EuroFX, had also promised fat returns on foreign exchange. Chinese law enforcement authorities now say it was a pyramid scheme, which used cash from new investors to pay older ones. One Chinese official with direct knowledge of the matter says it could also have been part of a global fraud.

NSA hacking tools revealed online

Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency's elite group of hackers have been revealed in recent days, a development that could pose severe consequences for the spy agency's operations and the security of government and corporate computers.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A letter from Normandy to Abe: Lessons for Japan from WWII

I spent a few days with my grandchildren visiting the beaches in Normandy in France that witnessed the landings of D-Day and the cities and towns that were ravaged by the fighting; these represent the first crucial steps to eventually bringing an end to World War II in Europe.

Why Australia's luck may be running out

Australians of a nervous disposition should probably avoid reading the Chinese press and social media at the moment. A combination of tensions over the South China Sea and the Olympics has made Australia the target of wild invective by Chinese nationalists.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Judge affirms her earlier acquittal

She again throws out case against director and company for allegedly importing rosewood without a permit

Xi Jinping's here to stay: China leader tipped to outstay term

Already China's most powerful leader in decades, President Xi Jinping will probably seek to extend his term to more than 10 years, analysts say, the first Communist Party chief to do so since Deng Xiaoping.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Xi Jinping is no Mao Zedong

Much of the world is watching Chinese President Xi Jinping with concern. Not only has he been re-concentrating power in the hands of the central government, but many believe his radical anti-graft campaign is a fig leaf for a political purge. They worry that Mr Xi is building a cult of personality, much like the one that surrounded Mao Zedong and fuelled the Cultural Revolution.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Man used as test subject in CIA torture program to ask for Guantánamo release

A man the CIA used as a guinea pig for its post-9/11 torture program will plead his case for freedom from Guantanámo Bay later this month, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday, in perhaps the hardest challenge to date for Barack Obama’s intentions to empty the infamous detention center.

The Guardian

New Singapore Law Slammed as Attack on Free Speech

Critics say a proposed bill is yet another assault on freedom.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

In Japan, an Emperor Constrained by History and a National Identity Crisis

The hint by Emperor Akihito of Japan that he would like to abdicate challenges something bigger than the laws requiring him to serve until his death and questions over succession.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Why do Chinese think differently from the West?

Without understanding these fundamental differences in language, context and decision-making under uncertainty, it would be difficult to bridge the yawning gap between both sides of the Pacific.   It also means that the Chinese approach to economics and geo-politics will be quite different than is more commonly interpreted outside China. 

Singapore-bound Taipei rep sorry for drink driving

Taiwan's new representative to Singapore, Mr Antonio Chiang, has apologised for drink driving, saying that one should never drive after drinking alcohol.

How the US Misjudged the South China Sea, Part II

In Part I, we looked at U.S. actions and strategy in the South China Sea (SCS), and how U.S. policy so far has failed to achieve its desired result. The main reason for this is that U.S. strategy is based on a misunderstanding of China’s actions and goals in the SCS. In Part II, we examine China’s stance in the SCS and its response to U.S. actions.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Taiwan's new envoy to Singapore, Antonio Chiang, accused of drink driving

Taiwan's new representative to Singapore Antonio Chiang has been arrested for drink driving - just hours after being sworn in for his job, the island's media reports said.

Can NASA and China work together in space?

Meeting offers hope that decades-old freeze on space cooperation could be thawing


How the US Misjudged the South China Sea, Part I

Since President Barack Obama took office in 2008, his administration has made achievements in both domestic and foreign affairs. In terms of politics and diplomacy, he is committed to become a peaceful president through conducting smart power diplomacy, which so far has included promoting his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons; ending the war in Iraq; accelerating withdrawal of forces and the end of military mission in Afghanistan; restraining U.S. involvement in Libya and Syria; championing the Iran nuclear deal framework; and normalizing relations with Cuba.

Yum! Brands, McDonald's look for buyers as Chinese tastes shift

When it comes to China's multi-billion dollar fast food industry, Yum! Brands and McDonald's Corp are living large, enjoying a combined 38 per cent share of the market in 2015. Yum's KFC restaurant chain and the Golden Arches have long enjoyed a run of super-sized growth as consumers craved a taste of Americana.

Indonesian tax amnesty pitch: bring it home to a new home

Indonesians who have stashed billions of dollars abroad over the years can now bring their hoard safely back home - literally, to a newly bought condo.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

S$50m unauthorised investment by Mindef among lapses flagged by AG

Auditor-General says some of the lapses led to loss of revenue and raised concerns about governance in government departments and stat boards

Employment Pass holders must soon have higher minimum pay

Qualifying salary for foreigners to be hired on Employment Passes raised to $3,600

China parties lose online defamation suit

Two Singaporeans cleared in case that underscores Net anonymity

Didi shows Uber the way to doing business in tough China market

Just a year ago, Travis Kalanick told anyone who would listen that China was Uber Technologies Inc's most pivotal market. He's now waved the white flag.

China, Not Silicon Valley, Is Cutting Edge in Mobile Tech

“China was able to develop a lot of innovative business models, which arose in a different kind of economy,” said Ms. Chang, who spends time in both China and in Menlo Park, Calif. “Whether or not we admit it here in Silicon Valley, it’s had an impact on us and our thinking.”

Monday, 1 August 2016

Bus case another hot potato for President Tsai

In its editorial on Aug 1, the newspaper examines speculation that the driver's death was an act of self-immolation that left Chinese tourists as victims.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Swiber's move to wind up sends shock waves through market

Announcement stuns investors and analysts; news savages some O&M counters; DBS among banks with heavy exposure. Firm announces resignation of 3 exec directors

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Most Asean countries ‘want to stay out of Beijing’s South China Sea dispute with the Philippines’

Most Asean countries want to stay out of the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines, says a diplomat with inside knowledge about the negotiations that went on before the bloc issued a joint statement on the matter this week.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Indonesian tax amnesty could spark outflow from Singapore wealth industry

Singapore's wealth management industry is likely to suffer a bad dent as rich Indonesians move some money back home to take advantage of a tax amnesty, but the exodus of funds isn't going to be as big as Jakarta is predicting.

If nothing else, at least Trump understands the folly of ‘empire’

Donald Trump gets a lot of things wrong, but there is at least one thing much of the rest of the world can agree on with him: the United States is in no position to lecture other countries about civil liberties or human rights.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

South China Sea air strips’ main role is ‘to defend Hainan nuclear submarine base’

China’s underwater military strategy in the South China Sea, which remained concealed for the past two decades, suddenly emerged after an international tribunal rejected most of Beijing’s territorial claims in the hotly contested waters.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Americans too busy to stop wasting food

Americans say they feel bad about the 130 billion pounds (60 billion kg) of food that the nation wastes every year. But not badly enough to do anything about it.

A lack of respect for laws and the courts

The decision by bodies like the Hong Kong chapter of Amnesty International to criticise the convictions of Occupy activists casts groundless doubts on the integrity of the judiciary.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Japanese 'rent men' who are paid just to listen


The Philippine suit: A brilliant US machination?

Whatever the results of the Permanent Arbitral Court deliberations on the Philippine suit against China, which would be known after this column had been submitted, I can’t shrug off the suspicion that the US deftly played with President Aquino’s administration to file the case. For good or for bad.

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO is a Filipino diplomat and writer. He was formerly the Ambassador to Cyprus and Greece.

Will we be the West’s ‘tank man’ vs China?

I certainly hope we won’t, or President Duterte’s term will see an economic downturn, a year or so after what this overexcited Solicitor General Jose Calida called the country’s “crowning glory,” our victory in the UNCLOS case we filed against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. It’s a real possibility, though, that Calida’s crown of glory could be our crown of thorns.

Rigoberto Tiglao is a Filipino diplomat and writer. He was formerly the Ambassador to Cyprus and Greece.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

'Wolf of Wall Street' sued as US seeks 1MDB-tied assets

The US Justice Department is seeking to seize more than US$1 billion in assets including real estate, art and proceeds from the "Wolf of Wall Street" movie that it says were illegally acquired through money diverted from the embattled Malaysian development fund known as 1MDB.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The South China Sea Case and China's New Nationalism

Putting Chinese nationalism in historical context.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Oil wrestling: US and Britain fought over Iraq’s assets in aftermath of war, Chilcot report shows

The US and British governments fought bitterly over control of Iraq’s oil following the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the UK Chilcot report into the war shows.

Chinese scholar says ‘new evidence in Japan proves Beijing’s sovereignty over South China Sea islands’

Zhu Jianrong, a professor at Toyo Gakuen University, said that he had found several pieces of evidence – including a telegram and newspaper clippings from the 1920s to 1930s – which could prove that the Japanese government at the time acknowledged China’s sovereignty in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, Xinhua reported.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Hague ruling: 'Absurd award that contravenes procedural justice'

China views the Arbitral Tribunal as wrongly conceived, lacking jurisdiction to rule on territorial matters. But it remains open to negotiations.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mountains out of Molehills: The Pentagon’s Big Lie About the South China Sea

By February 2016, the U.S. “discovery” of a surface to air missile (SAM) capability on one of the Paracel Islands has been fielded as a new political tool to cry foul against China for breach of its commitment “not to militarize” the Spratly Island disputes.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

So far it’s been the US, not China, that has flouted international law

If the US were backed by international treaties rather than its maritime might, it might have a stronger case. Now it’s just a power play by a hypocrite.

Of Course China, Like All Great Powers, Will Ignore an International Legal Verdict

In ignoring an upcoming verdict on the South China Sea, Beijing is following well-established precedent by great powers.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Chilcot report criticises Tony Blair for leading UK into Iraq war based on flawed intelligence

A British inquiry into the Iraq war strongly criticised former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government on Wednesday, saying they had led the country into war based on flawed intelligence that should have been challenged.

Britain's Iraq war inquiry delivers damning verdict on former PM Tony Blair

Former British prime minister Tony Blair took his country into a badly planned, woefully executed and legally questionable war in Iraq in 2003, according to the findings of a long-delayed inquiry published on Wednesday (July 6).

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Cameron's reckless gamble could lead to breakup of the UK

The reaction to the UK's vote to leave the European Union has been dramatic. Sterling has fallen to levels not seen since 1985, David Cameron has resigned as prime minister and S&P has downgraded the nation's AAA credit rating by two notches to AA, with a negative outlook, in a move that may come to symbolise the perceived diminished status of the nation.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

After a boom decade, Shanghai still needs room to grow

A decade ago, there were construction cranes everywhere in downtown Shanghai, and many market analysts were sounding alarms about overbuilding and predicted a downturn in the city’s office property market.

China to launch ‘hack-proof’ quantum satellite next month

China will launch the world’s first quantum satellite next month to demonstrate a series of advanced technologies such as hacker-proof communications and quantum teleportation.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Use of mobile phones at petrol stations do not cause fires: Experts

The use of mobile phones at petrol stations will cause a fire, right? Wrong, say experts. It's just an urban legend, circulated via e-mail as early as the late 1990s, claiming that the microwaves emitted from mobile phones could generate a spark that could ignite petrol fumes.

US drone strike body count doesn’t add up

US military and intelligence agencies have killed as many as 116 civilians in air strikes on militants since Obama took office, the White House said.

Pastor Daniel Cheo Guan Beng jailed two weeks for road rage

A church pastor who challenged a businessman to a fight, then slammed a van door on him in a road rage incident, was sentenced to two weeks' jail on Thursday.

Why China Won’t Stop Island Building in the South China Sea

As the U.S. navy and rival Asian claimants respond to China’s building of military-grade infrastructure on disputed islands, heightened risks of conflict raise alarm bells over destabilization in a vital arena of global trade. The world awaits the deliberation of the Hague on the matter, but its decision will have little impact on China’s actions, which are anchored by Beijing’s grand ambitions to secure an unrivalled commercial empire throughout Eurasia and Africa.

The billionaire retail rebel

Tadashi Yanai likes T-shirts. They're comfortable, anybody can wear one and if you get a lot of people to buy them, you could become very rich. Mr Yanai has been selling T-shirts for over 30 years and now has more money than anybody in Japan. All because in the mid-1980s, the son of a suit maker from Yamaguchi prefecture got tired of selling stuffy menswear and created Unique Clothing Warehouse, better known as Uniqlo - the temple of everyday clothing for everybody.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

China, the US, and Extrajudicial Abductions

China’s new willingness to abduct enemies overseas is worrying. But remember the US has been doing the same for decades.

Inconsistencies emerge from Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee’s comments on his detention

The bookseller maintains that colleague Lee Po gave him the impression he was taken to the mainland involuntarily, although Lee denies this

Monday, 27 June 2016

Faster immigration clearance for eligible Singaporeans travelling to US

Frequent travellers to the United States will soon be able to clear immigration checks faster with the launch of the US-Singapore Trusted Traveller Programme (TTP) on Monday (Jun 27).

Online legal-drafting services on the rise in Singapore

Firms offering fuss-free contract-drafting services have been sprouting here over the past couple of years, many of which target start-ups that value high speed with small price tags.

Sovereignty, jurisdiction and international law

Singapore's transboundary haze pollution law is consistent with international law principles, which do permit a country's laws to have extraterritorial jurisdiction in some instances.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

China is threatening to leave a major UN sea treaty—and there’s nothing the US can say about it

Over 160 countries and the European Union have signed on to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). The United States, however, has long declined to do so.


Asean's disunity undermines its centrality

One thing is clear from the confusion and controversy arising from the recent special meeting between Asean and Chinese foreign ministers in Kunming: South-east Asia's premier organisation is structurally split over its divergent territorial interests.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The US military struggles to win hearts and minds in Okinawa as thousands protest woman’s murder

Crimes by US troops based on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa have long angered residents, who for decades have claimed the American military was out of control.

Some in Guam push for independence from US as Marines prepare for buildup on Asia’s doorstep

Guam, home to a large US air base, could see a vote on its political status in November

Asean must not be divided by South China Sea disputes

China has quoted historical facts to support its case. That countries did not come forward to dispute its position post-World War II, perhaps lends credence to this order. International agreements made thereafter may have further supported this view.

Can't always get what you want? Don't worry

The first time I went on a silent meditation retreat, a few years back, I was terrified that the experience might prove impossible to endure.

Bookseller Lam Wing-kee is lying, colleagues claim in ‘exclusive’ newspaper interview

Booksellers Lui Por and Cheung Chi-ping, both associated with the Causeway Bay Books store, have accused their recently returned colleague Lam Wing-kee of lying and being manipulated.


Friday, 17 June 2016

In Manila, police welcome arrival of president Duterte

That was welcome news to police in the Philippine capital who say they are so under-funded that they often have to buy their own bullets and get lifts to murder scenes in funeral service cars because they have no vehicles of their own.

China's plan for college spots for poor ignites class conflict

Cheng Nan has spent years trying to ensure that her 16-year-old daughter gets into a college near their home in Nanjing, an affluent city in eastern China. She wakes her at 5.30am to study maths and Chinese poetry and packs her schedule so tightly that she has only 20 days of summer vacation.

As China acts to cool property frenzy, volatility spurs new risk

China's use of administrative measures to control property prices can have painful repercussions for its swelling ranks of homeowners. Just ask Shanghai resident Yi Miaowen.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Half of Afghans captured and deliberately ‘terrorised’ by Canadian troops were innocent, say military police

Nearly half of the Afghans captured by Canadian troops in 2010 and 2011 had no links to the Taliban and were illegally held far longer than Ottawa has publicly acknowledged, military police said Wednesday.

Singapore targeting private firms linked to Indonesian fires, not national sovereignty

Singapore's move to go after companies linked to fires in Indonesia that led to last year's haze is not an issue of sovereignty or national dignity, said a Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) spokesman yesterday.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

CIA documents offer glimpse inside secret ‘black site’ prisons, where detainees faced brutal treatment

The CIA has released dozens of previously classified documents that expose disturbing new details of the agency’s treatment of terrorism suspects after the September 11, 2001, attacks, including one who died in Afghanistan in 2002 after being doused with water and chained to a concrete floor as temperatures plunged below freezing.

Released documents shed light on US CIA's torture programme

United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) lawyers sought guarantees the US spy agency would never be prosecuted for torturing suspects after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, while other staff warned the programme was an impending "train wreck", documents showed on Tuesday (June 15).

Monday, 13 June 2016

How to register for VEP

•Create an account at Malaysia's Road Transport Department (RTD) website.

•You can download your Vehicle Registration Card PDF file from the website of Singapore's Land Transport Authority and upload it to the RTD website. Once successful, a PDF confirmation slip will be sent to you via e-mail.

•Those registering at the Johor Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex will need to have their vehicle registration card, latest insurance cover note and passport with them.

•To collect the VEP tag, users must have the registered vehicle, passport, confirmation slip and RM10 (S$3.30) for an administration fee.

•The VEP tag is valid for five years and must be renewed three months before the expiry date.

 •For more details, visit the RTD website at

Singapore has picked the wrong target in its balance of powers strategy: Global Times commentary

Mr Chen Jiulin (founder of Beijing Joseph Investment Co and former CEO of China Aviation Oil) wrote an opinion piece, "Singapore should support China's South China Sea stand too", in the Global Times recently, hoping that Singapore "will stop using US' power consistently to contain China". Mr Chen has good intentions, but I think it is quite difficult for Singapore to change its stand. A rough recap will provide some understanding on how Singapore's views on security came about.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions

“People underestimated Donald Trump’s ability to pillage the company,” said Sebastian Pignatello, a private investor who at one time held stock in the Trump casinos worth more than $500,000. “He drove these companies into bankruptcy by his mismanagement, the debt and his pillaging.”

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Why I renewed my COE for five years

Last month, the 10-year COE for my Category B car expired. I was faced with four options: buy a new car; renew the COE for 10 years; renew for five years or do without a car.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Singapore aims to prosecute Indonesian polluters under haze law

Singapore is prepared to prosecute any Indonesian companies found responsible for the fires that produced hazardous ash clouds afflicting the city state last year, a minister said, standing his ground even as recent efforts to take firms to account drew ire from the country's largest Southeast Asian neighbour.

Serve court papers – via Facebook

Court okays use of electronic means beyond e-mail if defendant cannot be reached in person

The BSI story: How a 143-year-old Swiss bank took a quick road to ruin in Asia

Even in Asia's cutthroat world of wealth management, the news of a mass defection at RBS Coutts, venerable bankers to the British royals, came as a shock.

Bruce Lee quote on water

You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Legality of China's claims in South China Sea 'not weak': George Yeo

Citing Beijing's assertions that its claims in the contested waters date back to the Qing dynasty, Mr Yeo said that countries did not earlier object to China when it drew the controversial nine-dash line. Beijing uses the nine-dash line to mark a large swathe of the areas in the South China Sea that it claims.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

South China Sea islands part of Taiwan's territory

The statement that the occupation of Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island) by Taiwan in 1956 violates Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter and, therefore, does not confer lawful title, is not based on facts or history ("Will China decide to reduce tension in the South China Sea?"; May 31).

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Forget Pearl Harbour, Abe should go to Nanjing

If the two largest economies of Asia are at daggers drawn, the consequences cannot be conducive to peace and prosperity. Japan has to take steps to assuage the wounds of the past with China.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Forget Pearl Harbour, Abe should go to Nanjing

If the two largest economies of Asia are at daggers drawn, the consequences cannot be conducive to peace and prosperity. Japan has to take steps to assuage the wounds of the past with China.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Why Japan should apologise to neighbouring nations

Instead of urging the US to apologise, Japan owes Hong Kong an apology for the terrible atrocities it committed during World War II.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Mitsubishi Materials, Chinese WWII slave workers reach deal

Mitsubishi Materials Corp., one of dozens of Japanese companies that used Chinese forced laborers during World War II, reached a settlement with thousands of victims on Wednesday that includes compensation and an apology.


Dormitory operator fined $300,000 for housing more workers than allowed in facility

A dormitory operator was fined $300,000 on Tuesday (May 31) for housing foreign workers in an overcrowded dormitory, contravening the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA).

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

When running wears out the knees

Medication can stop pain, inflammation; more serious injury may require surgery

Housing crisis in China’s ‘Silicon Valley’: Huawei, other hi-tech giants head for cheaper cities as rising costs deter talents

Home prices in Shenzhen surged almost 50 per cent last year and are now more than double those in provincial capital

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

China tycoon saves Australia lambs to show perks of foreign cash

When biting winter winds whip through the paddocks of the 170-year-old Lal Lal sheep farmin Australia's central Victoria this year, a Chinese wool tycoon will be trying to help revive an ailing industry. He's also hoping to overturn scepticism toward foreign investors.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

US, China closer on South China Sea issues than they appear

When big countries reach agreement, small countries may pay the price, says Ambassador-at-large Bilahari Kausikan in a speech he delivered in Tokyo this week. The excerpt below includes notes prepared in anticipation of questions.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

China at an inflection point: what's in it for Asia?

China’s size and promise have long enthralled the world. The dream of penetrating China's market was colourfully captured in the words of a British commentator in the 1840s: "If we could only persuade every person in China to lengthen his shirt-tail by a foot, we could keep the mills of Lancashire working around the clock." Well, war, revolution, and central planning quickly laid to rest that fantasy.

Lawyers in Dallas Buyers Club action face punishment

The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) will be going after two former lawyers of the legal firm representing United States film studio Dallas Buyers Club LLC, following a complaint lodged last year on their conduct in civil claims against illegal downloaders of the movie.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Taiwan enters South China Sea legal fray, as group seeks to sway court on Philippines-China spat

A Taiwanese group has intervened in the Philippines' international court case against China's claims in the South China Sea, pressing Taipei's position that Taiwan is entitled to a swathe of the disputed waterway as an economic zone.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Johor's EduCity drawing Singaporean students

For decades, scores of Malaysian children have been boarding crowded buses daily at unearthly hours to come to Singapore to attend schools here.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

New TechSkills Accelerator to help Singapore develop 'world-class' ICT workforce

The TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA), a skills development and job placement initiative introduced during this year's Budget, will be the "umbrella framework" for information and communications technology (ICT) related training programmes and career development for all ICT professionals - and will help Singapore develop a "world-class ICT workforce".

Ex-BSI banker received 'secret profits' of US$4m: prosecutor

Former BSI private banker Yeo Jiawei allegedly received "secret profits" of about US$4 million when he was with the Singapore branch of the Swiss private bank, which has been embroiled in the probe into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Friday, 6 May 2016

Gucci apologises for sending warning letters to Hong Kong shops over paper handbag offerings

Luxury brand Gucci and its parent firm Kering have apologised for sending letters to six Hong Kong stores earlier this week warning them not to sell fake paper Gucci handbags and fashion items for the deceased.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Boosting productivity - with optimal office lighting

While not ideal, the reality is that offices are becoming a second home to many. There is no doubt that reporting managers must help to balance their employees' work life balance, but higher management must look at ways to improve productivity as a way to reduce long working hours. Most importantly, if employees are going to spend a better part of their day at work, then there is an impetus to create an ideal work environment for them.

Playing by the rules in Asia

Part of the attraction of a "rules-based global order" is that it would constrain all relevant players. US policymakers, unlike those in most of the rest of the world, don't find the concept inherently attractive. Although they - like everyone else - do pay lip service to it, willingness to be bound by international rules is not part of US officials' DNA.

Singapore probing complex transactions involving 'many shell companies' in 1MDB case

Singapore authorities are probing "complex and layered transactions" with "cross border elements" involving many shell companies in their investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), according to prosecutors here.

China ordering investment firms, online lenders to shut offices to head off social unrest

China's authorities, seeking to forestall potential social unrest due to growing failures of investment firms and online lenders, are ordering many to break leases and close their storefronts on busy streets - lest they become magnets for protesters.

Donald Trump is Republican presidential nominee and golf cheat?

Donald plunks two balls in the water, one goes out bounds and another lands in the bushes before Trump plants another ball in the middle of the fairway

Monday, 2 May 2016

British firm, Oxy Reckitt Benckiser's unit in South Korea apologises over disinfectant blamed for more than 100 deaths

The head of a Korean subsidiary of a British consumer goods company was slapped and shouted down on Monday (May 2) as he apologised for his firm's role in selling a humidifier disinfectant blamed for more than 100 deaths in South Korea.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

What lies behind the temptation to beat up on China over global steel crisis

Claims are normally built on rigged numbers – and nowhere more so when the target country is deemed a “non-market economy” – as China is.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Boosting productivity - with optimal office lighting

While not ideal, the reality is that offices are becoming a second home to many. There is no doubt that reporting managers must help to balance their employees' work life balance, but higher management must look at ways to improve productivity as a way to reduce long working hours. Most importantly, if employees are going to spend a better part of their day at work, then there is an impetus to create an ideal work environment for them.

Friday, 29 April 2016

2 people, not one, charged in Singapore's 1MDB probe

Singapore authorities have charged not one but two people - a former wealth manager at Swiss private bank BSI and someone allegedly involved in corrupt transactions in concert with the former private banker - in an ongoing investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) that was described in court as the "most complex" probe ever undertaken by the white-collar crime buster here.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Singapore ex-banker hauled to court amid 1MDB probe faces two more charges

Yeo's lawyer, Mr Philip Fong, managing partner of Harry Elias Partnership, argued that denying his client bail and access to his lawyers would be in breach of his presumption of innocence, and his constitutional right of access to counsel, thus making a mockery of fundamental liberties.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Architects also hurting from real estate woes

The real estate downturn has filtered down to architecture and engineering services firms, which were hit by surging redundancies last year - and industry players warn that the situation could worsen this year.

China must seize the opportunity for prosperity

China is facing the difficult task of managing a soft economic landing, after decades of spectacular expansion. Naysayers abound, but never mind them. China has an advantage that other countries in today's troubled global economy lack: a clear path forward.

Why China will not fall into the middle-income trap

China’s economic growth after over three decades of dynamic expansion at double-digit rates has markedly come down in recent years. The growth deceleration has raised the spectre of the Chinese economy falling into the “middle-income trap” (MIT).

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Arrested China exec said to be buyer of Sentosa villa

Zhang Min, the Chinese businesswoman involved in the Ezubao ponzi scandal, is believed to have been the buyer of a S$23.8 million bungalow along Lakeshore View in Sentosa Cove, the purchase of which has not been completed.

China has a fair shot at building the car of the future

The Detroit Auto Show has long set the tone for the global car industry, but a new player on the other side of the world could prove to be a bigger player. As the Beijing Motor Show begins on Monday, it's worth taking a closer look at China's car industry.

San Francisco is torn as crime situation worsens

From her apartment at the foot of the celebrated zigzags of Lombard Street, Judith Calson has twice peered out of her window as thieves smashed their way into cars and snatched whatever they could. She has seen foreign tourists cry after cash and passports were stolen. She shudders when she recounts the story of the Thai tourist who was shot because he resisted thieves taking his camera. And that is her tally from the last year alone.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Why won't Hollywood cast Asians?

Such facts reveal Hollywood's dirty little secret. Economics has nothing to do with racist casting policies. Films in which the leads have been whitewashed have all failed mightily at the box office. Inserting white leads had no demonstrable effect on the numbers. So why is that still conventional thinking in Hollywood?

Friday, 22 April 2016

Singapore Charges Ex-Banker Following 1MDB Probe

Yeo’s lawyer, Philip Fong, asked the judge to grant Yeo the "fundamental right" to counsel and said Yeo had been cooperating with the police since he was investigated in October and will continue to do so. Yeo isn’t a flight risk as he has family in Singapore and is willing to cooperate further with the authorities, Fong said.

The judge denied Yeo’s request for access to counsel.

Moët-Hennessy set to debut first luxury Yunnan wine

A partnership between French conglomerate Moët-Hennessy and Chinese baijiu consortium VATS has led to the creation one of the highest elevation wineries in the world. The joint venture is set to debut its first luxury vintage this summer, following years of negotiation and preparation.


Monday, 18 April 2016

Drinkers drive up demand for valet services

After a night of drinking, Mr Sean Tan usually gets into his car to head home. But the 32-year-old accountant does not take the wheel.

Enrolling fishermen in sovereignty claims

Chinese fisherman Chen Zebo was 13 when he first went out to sea, 19 when he headed to Scarborough Shoal and 30 when he was first arrested by the Philippine authorities on charges of illegal fishing.

Cheaper phone calls overseas with gadget

Dubbed Qongle, the device lets travellers make or receive calls from any Singapore number without subscribing to auto-roaming, which costs about $10 a month.

Top US colleges putting thousands of applicants in wait-list limbo

Students applying to top colleges crave to hear “yes!” when decisions roll out in March and brace themselves for “no”. But huge numbers get a vague answer that is neither admission nor denial - a tantalising “maybe” - with an invitation to join a wait list.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Government rebuts Lee Suet Fern’s comments on scheme

Ministry defends 2008 scheme which lawyer Lee Suet Fern says has not benefited Singapore lawyers enough

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

China’s swelling junkyards are readying iron ore’s next threat

As China’s booming middle class junks aging cars and home appliances, the next threat to the world’s ailing iron-ore producers is materializing.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Uber, GrabCar drivers to have vocational licences; undergo background checks

Private chauffeur drivers operating under apps such as Uber and Grab will be regulated in Singapore, to safeguard commuters' interest.

Singapore private car hire drivers to be licensed

To better protect commuter interests, in particular their safety, drivers of ride-hailing apps like Uber and GrabCar will require a licence by the first half of 2017, while their private hire cars will have to be registered with the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Offshore vehicles not illegal: MAS

Central bank says it has a strict legal and regulatory framework to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Pavlovian conditioning and 'correct thinking' on the South China Sea

On a global scale, China is not a clearly revisionist power. But Beijing wants to reclaim something of its historical centrality in East Asia. The United States has emphasised that it intends to remain an East Asian power.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Why few Americans appear in the Panama Papers

But one group is not there: prominent Americans. US tycoons and politicians are notably absent in the leaked files of the Panama law offices of Mossack Fonseca, which created thousands of shell companies worldwide to hide the identities of their ultimate owners, some of whom may have been evading taxes.

Mossack Fonseca has office in Singapore

Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the centre of the document leak, has an office in Singapore. It shares office space in the Jit Poh Building at 19 Keppel Road with TPS Corporate Services, a firm that helps clients set up and manage companies in different jusrisdictions, both onshore and offshore.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

‘Arrogance’ why Western tech firms fail in China: Top VC

"Western imperial arrogance" rather than government regulation is the reason technology firms fail in their attempts to expand into China, according to the chairman of a top Silicon Valley venture capital (VC) firm.


Monday, 4 April 2016

Law firm in 'Panama Papers' leak is secretive, with big clients

Mossack Fonseca, the Panama-based law firm at the heart of the "Panama Papers" scandal, is a discreet outfit with a roster of big-name clients and a quiet reputation for hiding money from the tax man.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Master con man tells how foreign criminals launder illicit fortunes through China

The country’s well-developed underground financial networks have caught the attention of foreign criminals who are using mainland China and Hong Kong to clean their dirty money and pump it back into the global financial system — largely beyond the reach of Western law enforcement, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Argentina hails UN decision to expand its maritime territory

Argentina's government celebrated on Monday a decision by a U.N. commission expanding its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35 percent to include the disputed Falkland islands and beyond.


Sunday, 27 March 2016

Shanghai’s allure fading for migrants

After living in Shanghai for nine years, Mr Teng Yiye, 38, and his family moved to a small town in neighbouring Jiangsu province in late 2014. It takes Mr Teng about an hour to drive to Shanghai to attend meetings for his interior design business, but he believes he made the right decision to leave the city.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Bangladesh bank heist exposes Philippine dirty money secrets

When mystery hackers launched a stunning raid on Bangladesh's foreign reserves, a plot worthy of a John le Carre spy novel was sparked in the Philippines, exposing the South-east Asian nation as a dirty money haven.

Kid finds dad with nanny & uses it to explain politics

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

On South China Sea islet, Taiwan argues Philippines case is far from watertight

On Itu Aba, in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, Taiwanese coast guard officials proudly haul a small wooden bucket of water from one of several simple concrete wells on the coral outcrop.

Taiwan takes media on tour of Taiping Island, which it claims in disputed South China Sea

The Philippines “distorted the facts and misinterpreted the law” in its arguments, Linghu told reporters at a pre-trip briefing Tuesday in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.

Maruah rejects changes to Elected President rules

Human rights group Maruah has spoken out against the proposed tightening of eligibility rules for Singapore’s Elected President, calling the proposed change “undemocratic and elitist”.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sleepy Ipoh awakens

Ipoh's old town has emerged as a tourists' delight: peeling indigo paint on century-old walls, gently crumbling buildings given a chic makeover, and delicate murals peeking out from alleyways.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Virgin Atlantic Airways probing incident where passenger claimed she was called a 'Chinese pig' by a caucasian man

The passenger, who was on Virgin flight VS250 on March 1, said she was insulted by a Caucasian male passenger and subsequently allegedly ignored by a flight attendant.

Boycott Virgin Atlantic.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Highway promises easier access to Meili Snow Mountain


Family’s failed bid to sue SAF sparks debate

The failed bid by the family of the late Private Dominique Sarron Lee to sue the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and two of its officers has sparked a public debate on whether the Government has done right by the full-time national serviceman (NSF). Netizens have taken to social media to air their grievances over what they deem as missteps by the SAF and the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).

Monday, 7 March 2016

Just who is militarising the South China Sea?

The US has repeatedly warned China not to militarise the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.  But China denies that it is doing or will do so and argues that it is the United States that is militarising the region and the South China Sea disputes.

Shanghai shows how not to start a start-up culture

“Risk-averse venture capitalist” may sound like a contradiction in terms but, in Shanghai, it’s precisely the sort of financier the city is looking to attract.

5 Myths About China's Missile Deployment on Woody Island

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands, with as the PLA Navy guided-missile frigate Yancheng close behind.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

A tiger that lost its roar, Taiwan pays price for not looking ahead

Since its launch just over four years ago, Taiwan-based Gogoro has grown from 15 employees to more than 600 and raised US$180 million (S$252 million) in seed funding.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Lana Cake’s baker is retiring

After 50 years of selling her famous chocolate cake, Mrs Violet Kwan of Lana Cake Shop wants to call it a day and is looking for a successor.

'Chinese century' poses big challenges for Taiwan, US

Of course, there are some who refute this neologism, but the developments after the Vietnam War in the middle of the last century, the recent failure by President Barack Obama to rally all Southeast Asian nations behind the United States to help contain the People's Republic, as well as the United Kingdom's vote on possibly leaving the European Union, all signal the end of Pax Americana.

US prosecutors say corrupt Chinese officials behind Glaxo pharma secrets theft, but defence says that’s ‘fantastical’

“It wouldn’t be the first time the government has sat in this courtroom citing overwhelming evidence in a trade-secrets case only to withdraw the charges before trial,” he said.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Iskandar's challenges, 10 years on

As Iskandar enters its tenth year as a development region, some projects that were seen as catalysts for growth in the region appear to be taking a longer gestation period than expected, with many developers taking a wait and see approach.

Iskandar housing market struggles amid weak interest

The idea that property development in Iskandar would satisfy spill over demand from Singapore was tested to its limit last year.

Multiple headwinds for Chinese property developers in Malaysia

R&F’s Princess Cove, a 30,000 unit project, is in worst shape. According to two local agents, it has sold less than half of the 3,000 units that went on pre-sale since 2014. R&F has declined to comment.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hong Kong Monetary Authority vows short sellers will not find it easy to mount assault on Hong Kong dollar

A more robust system for local banks to obtain liquidity and an enlarged monetary base make it near impossible for currency speculators to mount a successful attack on the Hong Kong currency, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which said there’s few parallels with conditions today and those in 1997 to 1998 which saw authorities launch a shock and awe defence of the financial system at the height of the Asian financial crisis.

Monday, 25 January 2016

New F&B and clubbing options at Clarke Quay

Admittedly, the riverside nightlife stretch has seen its fair share of tenants come and go, but since November, at least six new restaurants and bars have moved in.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

AXA Insurance offers cyclists non-financial benefits

Personal accident policies for cyclists may not be new, but one novel product takes it a step further by arranging non-financial services like a doctor's home visit and even housekeeping and meal services.

China rolling out initiatives to make it easier for foreigners to get green cards for residency

Seeking more foreign talent, China is rolling out new initiatives from March 1 that will make it easier for foreigners, especially ethnic Chinese, to obtain the elusive green card that will do away with work visas and provide access to public services.

NSA is world’s best hacker thief, says former director

“We steal other people’s stuff in the cyber domain,” retired General Michael Hayden said at a cybersecurity conference in Miami Beach.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Filipino Achilles Tomanpos Estremos hit cab and released handbrake fined $6k

An interior designer who refused to get out of a taxi after he was unable to pay the fare kicked the passenger door and hit its rear windshield and side window with an umbrella.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

A morality tale about religion and fraud

An old schoolmate from Raffles Institution, with whom I have not cared to keep in touch, rang me out of the blue last week to make me an offer he said I could not possibly refuse.