Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wikileaks vs Singi-blockade

In characteristic fashion nothing of the uproar felt in other countries over the WikiLeaks revelations has surfaced in Singapore.

Nor has there been condemnation over what Singapore leaders and officials said of their neighbours, particularly of Malaysia and the wrath it caused to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Though nobody has come forth to lend credence to the bombshell revelations, the disclosures over the weekend are now the grist to the republic’s chattering classes.

For neutral observers the “calm” in Singapore is yet another instance of a tightly controlled media which disallowed discussions.

For those wanting to hear and know more about all that has been revealed, their quests are best served reading foreign papers about what is happening in their own country! It may look ridiculous but is true nonetheless.

Yet there is everything to suggest that in Singapore all the gaggling of the press and spewing of the “venom” abroad, particularly those concerning Anwar, are taken in the best interests of maintaining peace.

In fact, this has always been the driving credo of Singapore authorities as in the case of former Israeli president Chaim Herzog who caused a furore when he visited Singapore in 1986.

(Malaysian politicians vehemently objected to Herzog's visit and urged the government to break off diplomatic ties with Singapore for hosting Herzog. The uproar was mostly happening across the causeway.)

Adversarial press

But as always is the case, press freedom is not what it actually means in the city-state.

Even way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Singapore former prime minister Goh Chok Tong inveighed against the adversarial (foreign) press, telling his parliamentary colleagues that “if the offshore press meddles in our affairs, we will confront them”.

Hence, when the infamous whistle-blower WikiLeads dropped its bombshell revelations in the name of crusading journalism, it is not all uncharacteristic that Singapore felt none of the fury that swept the United States and elsewhere.

For as long as the press in the city-state remains under the vice-like grip of the authorities, none of what is happening outside its borders will ever be given wide coverage.

Yet for all the rancour created by references to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and of the incendiary remarks directed at Anwar, it is hard to see how bilateral relations can be adversely affected.

After all, Singapore and Malaysia have endured far worse “skirmishes” than the WikiLeaks furore. And they have even survived the cable leaks storm because what is more imporant, as pointed out by the Republic’s Foreign Minister George Yeo, is the national interests of both countries than some revelations based on hearsay.

Sure, there is plenty of commercial and strategic interests working for both nations. The republic ranks as the largest investor in Malaysia, mainly in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor.

And both nations mirror one another in almost all cultural and religious aspects that it is almost hard to see why some leaked cables would cause to unravel all the work that had been done over the years.

In fact, if one were to look at the steady stream of visitors from Singapore to Malaysia, it is “business as usual”. This has always been the standard response whenever hiccups break out between both countries.

WikiLeaks should have done “better” if had it wanted a diplomatic rupture.

By Maxwell Coopers

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Li Hong Yan 李洪艳 drowned in Sentosa Cove

PRC woman in Sentosa Cove death was paid $800 to have sex
December 28th, 2010 | Author: Your Correspondent

The 24 year old PRC woman Li Hongyan, whose naked body was found lying in a pool at Sentosa this year March was paid $800 to have sex and spent the night with businessman Adrian Chua.

The sensational case made the headlines this year. A Coroner’s Inquiry this morning ruled out foul play in her death.

It was revealed in court that Ms Li met 39 year old Adrian Chua at a Havelock Road nightclub and agreed to have sex with him for $800.

Mr Chua testified in court that he did not use ‘force’ on Ms Li when they were having sex at his Sentosa Cove home and was notified of her death by two Sentosa rangers.

It is not known if Ms Li is a Singapore PR, a student on student pass or a tourist on social visit pass.

The beautiful Li HongYan...

The unlucky Adrian Chua....

The haunted house at Sentosa Cove....
By Rachel Chan - Dec 29, 2010
AS THE verdict on his daughter's death was read out yesterday at a Coroner's Inquiry at the Subordinate Courts, Mr Li Kui You, 58, could only lay his head on the table.

The soya-bean farmer, who arrived in Singapore with two relatives on Christmas night, was too despondent to raise his head when State Coroner Victor Yeo ruled that there was no foul play and that Ms Li Hong Yan's death was an accident. Evidence from police investigations showed that Ms Li, 24, whose naked body was found submerged in a Sentosa Cove bungalow pool in March, did not take her own life.

Mr Yeo concluded that the freelance KTV hostess drowned accidentally as she swam in the pre-dawn hours of March 24 this year.

Wearing a dark blue Mao jacket, Mr Li looked tired and sombre. He broke down when answering journalists' questions about his daughter.

Prior to Ms Li's death, her family and relatives had been under the impression that she had come to Singapore to be a hairdresser, for which she received training in China.

"She was such a sweet girl who never lost her temper. She got along with everyone," said Madam Fang Shu Hui, 57, who accompanied Mr Li to court yesterday. Madam Fang is the mother-in-law of Ms Li's elder sister.

Ms Li arrived from Heilongjiang province in China last year and was employed as an assistant supervisor at an Indian eatery in Jalan Besar. Meanwhile, she moonlighted as a KTV hostess at a nightclub in Outram Road.

She quit her supervisor job in early March to become a full-time hostess.

It was at the nightclub that she hooked up with Mr Adrian Chua, 39, chief executive realty-investment firm Roundhill Capital. He affectionately called her "Wawa", or "doll" in Mandarin and had taken her to his multi-million-dollar home in Sentosa Cove at least twice previously, each time paying her $800 for an evening's companionship.

On March 24, they had sex and at about 7am, Mr Chua's 26-year-old maid, Myanmar national Aye Aye Tun, found Ms Li floating face down in his pool. Yesterday, Mr Chua and his maid came forward for the first time to talk about the events that transpired prior to the discovery of Ms Li's body.

Mr Chua said he had sex with Ms Li, after which he fell asleep at around 4am.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed images of Ms Li unlocking the sliding doors leading to the pool at 3.48am. She was alone and fully clothed.

Mr Yeo said: "I am of the view that, at the pool-deck area, she removed her clothes so as not to get them wet." There was no CCTV camera installed in the outdoor area.

Mr Yeo surmised that Ms Li, who could not swim, had difficulty keeping her head above water after stepping into the pool. He added that she could also have slipped on the steps leading into the pool as it was dark.

Ms Li is 1.54m tall and the pool's maximum depth is 1.5m. The lights inside and around the pool were not switched on. As Mr Chua had previously taken her to the pool deck to chat and smoke, Mr Yeo said Ms Li probably went there again to smoke, adding that Ms Aye Aye Tun found Mr Chua's cigarettes and lighter with Ms Li's clothes before making her grisly discovery.

Mr Chua said he was woken up by two Sentosa Cove security personnel at 8am. "I was shocked to hear that a naked woman was found drowned in my pool," he said.

He has since sold the Sentosa property. He appeared calm yesterday as he took the stand, looking steadily at Mr Li and his relatives when Mr Yeo asked them if they had any questions for him. Mr Li could only shake his head and bury his face in his folded arms, saying in Mandarin that he was confused.

He was similarly dazed when two members of the public handed him about $500 in cash.

His eyes moist with tears, Mr Li could only utter: "Thank you."

Bangkok Kid wrote:
THE n-a-k-e-d body of a young Chinese woman was found drowned in a lap pool of a bungalow in an exclusive residential estate in Sentosa Cove on Wednesday morning.

The body of Ms Li Hong Yan, 24, was found by a maid who was cleaning the three-storey house along Ocean Drive at about 8.30am.

Paramedics pronounced her dead at about 9.30am.

Ms Li is believed to have spent the night at the house with its owner, after they met at a party.

While little is known about how she drowned, police said that there was no indication of injuries on her body.

Police have classified the case as an unnatural death.

On the evening of the accident, Li Hong Yan who is in Singapore to work in an Indian restaurant, had been moonlighting in a KTV night club. The night club Li Hong Yan was working in is one of the many KTV clubs found along Havelock Road, which catered to well-to-do businessmen with their bevy of pretty KTV hostesses girls. Li Hong Yan had allegedly met a customer, Adrian Chua, at the night club. After they finished their partying night, Adrian Chua had brought her home to his brand new multi-million dollar Sentosa Cove bungalow.

The next day, Li Hong Yan was found naked and drowned in the swimming pool within the luxurious and ultra-expensive Sentosa Cove bungalow. The Singapore police is currently still investigating the case and the owner, Adrian Chua, has not spoken to the media.

There are many online speculations as to why Li Hong Yan was not wearing anything when they found her in the pool in Sentosa. Some netizens thought that there were some hidden conspiracies, but a Channel News Asia forumer, ISylvia shared these more logical thoughts:

This is how I see it. First of all, when the girls are booked at any KTV, they are only wearing their working clothes. So this girl went with this rich Adrain guy to his house clad in this manner as expected. After they made love, usually the booked girl ended up in a half-wet towel or without any clothes when she is in bed. Surely you don’t expect her to pull out her pyjamas or nightie from her tiny handbag. Since wearing a half-wet towel to bed is not a very good idea and will give the girl hong-sip or rheumatism etc, and moreover it’s hard to fall asleep half-wet, she is likely to be naked sleeping. As have been previously mentioned, the man is likely to fall asleep first due to his alcohol intoxication and exhaustion. The poor girl who found herself lying on an unfamiliar bed with a snoring man is most probably trying to fall in sleep in vain. So she decided to get up to do something instead of enduring this situation for hours and hours. And that was why she was walking naked all over this house.

The house where Ms Li Hong Yan died belongs to Mr Adrian Chua Boon Chye.

Mr Adrian Chua Boon Chye, 39, is the founder and chief executive officer of Roundhill Capital, a real estate investment advisory firm, registered here under his residential address.

He is unmarried and is said to have lived at the three-storey house along Ocean Drive for over a year. Calls made to both his home and mobile phone yesterday went unanswered.

Ms Li Hong Yan had arrived in Singapore on Nov 10 last year and started working the following month as a catering supervisor at a restaurant and catering business in Tuas.

Paramedics pronounced her dead over an hour later. She is believed to have spent the night at the house with its owner, Mr Adrian Chua Boon Chye, after they met at a party on Tuesday evening.
SINGAPORE - There were three cases of drownings yesterday, one of which happened at the exclusive Sentosa Cove development.

The other two were at Kranji Reservoir and at a canal near Block 137, Potong Pasir Ave 3, although the body of the third victim had not been found at press time.

In the Sentosa Cove drowning, a naked Chinese woman was found dead in the pool of a bungalow on Ocean Drive that belongs to Mr Adrian Chua Boon Chye.

A police spokesman said they received a call at 8.05am yesterday about a woman found at a residential unit.

She was in her mid-20s and local Chinese newspapers have reported that she and Mr Chua, 39, had met in a nightspot the night before.

They described her as having long hair and attractive, and him as the chief executive officer and founder of a property investment firm.

She had apparently gone home with him and the last time he saw her alive was when they retired for the night. It is believed that his maid found her floating in the pool and alerted a neighbour, who had been walking her dog. There were no reported injuries on the victim's body.

She was pronounced dead at 9.35am and police have classified the case as one of unnatural death.

Just over two hours later, the police received a call that Mr Yap Kok Wooi was found facedown in Kranji Reservoir.

The security guard, who was about 55 years old and worked for Royal Security was stationed at an industrial building at Sungei Kadut Street 3. He was found fully clothed near Car Park B.

At 5pm, the police got another call about someone falling into the canal at Potong Pasir Avenue 3, next to St Andrew's Junior College.

Four family members had been playing ball when it fell into the canal. One of them, Mr Hasif Hamid, was trying to pick the ball up when he fell in. His sister saw him fall. Divers SCDF and the Naval Diving Unit were still trying to locate him last night.

Mr Hasif, 20, was believed to be a student with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore.

The police are investigating the cases.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vote Buying Begins....$50million

Expect more goodies coming your way my fellow Singaporeans...

This is only the start!!!


SINGAPORE: About 800,000 Singaporean HDB households can expect to receive about S$50m worth of Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates in January 2011.

The payout is part of the S$80m of U-Save rebates which the government will give out in 2011.

The second tranche of S$30 million of rebates will be paid out in July 2011.

A Singaporean household may receive up to S$190 worth of U-Save rebates in 2011, depending on HDB flat type.

Those living in 1-room and 2-room HDB flats, for example, will get U-Save rebates which will offset approximately 20% of their annual utility bills on average.

The U-Save rebates are part of the S$4 billion GST Offset Package to help Singaporeans, especially low and middle-income households, cope with the higher cost of living.

These rebates can be used to offset utility charges directly. The amount of rebates will be reflected in the utility bills for January and July 2011 for all eligible households.

- CNA/ir

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ministers Holding 8 Directorships - legalised corruption

Most Singaporeans are against their MPs holding directorships in multiple companies and want them to serve their constituencies full time.

The age-old issue surfaced again after a NUS economics professor wrote a scathing letter to TODAY questioning the committment of some MPs who held multiple directorships.

Former PAP MPs John Chen and Wang Kai Yuen (photo) reportedly held 8 and 11 directorships while ’serving’ as MPs at the same time. When asked about his ‘extra-curricular activities’ by the media, John retorted:

“Do you want me to work for free?”

Though John Chen is no longer a PAP MP, the issue certainly still resonates among Singaporeans with nearly 100 comments posted so far on TR Facebook.

Irene Ho wrote:

“People who want to be MP shouldn’t be in it for the money. If they want to make big money, they shouldn’t be an MP or Minister.”

Ramesh felt some Singapore MPs are too ‘materialistic’:

“MP’s… here in Singapore are really well taken care of ( probably the best in the world) and I wonder why SOME are still after the dosh…as for me I clearly don’t like the fact that a public leader has an BIG attitude of ” getting money” instead of service and helping people – that is a worry!”

Zailani opined they are paid too much:

“‎14k for spending 3 hours at meet the people sessions once a week? And sometimes not turning up at all? Scandalous! And ‘Meet-the-People” is actually a misnomer as I only get to see the PAP volunteers to explain my problems and not the MP personally.”

Bhaskaran Kunju concurred:

“The point is they are not doing anything that extraordinary. If they are doing anything at all. An MP’s main task is to be the voice of the people he or she represents, but most of these chaps don’t even attend their mee…t-the-people sessions. of course there are exceptions, like ho peng kee who actually shows up at every session and walks around listening in to as many people as he can. But most others you do not even know of their existence. And even if you do get a chance to meet them, nothing fruitful ever comes out of it. It’s just an exercise in futility.”

When the Malaysian opposition captured the states of Selangor and Penang in the 2008 election, they made it compulsory for state officials to reveal their salaries, perks and assets owned online.

Perhaps the candidates in the coming general election should reveal the number of directorships they intend to continue holding after they are elected or ‘ushered’ into parliament to the public to enable Singaporeans to make an informed decision if they are able to serve them dutifully and faithfully.

A netizen Kojakbt is compiling a list of PAP MPs holding directorships in public-listed companies. Please post whatever information you have here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Misplaced Patriotism by the Singapore Waterpolo Team

The trunks sported by Singapore's water polo team at the Asian Games are causing red faces back home, with many embarrassed by their design. Singapore government reprimanded its national men's water polo team for wearing swim trunks that feature an "inappropriate" likeness of the nation's flag. The government deemed the banana hammocks "inappropriate," and some of its citizens found them "disgusting," "nauseating," and "disgraceful." The trunks, which were designed by members of the men's team, debuted by the team while competing in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, show the flag's white crescent moon jutting up from the groin area with five stars to the side on a red background. Basically a curved phallus with five stars on speedos.

But Asian Games rules stipulate that a team's uniform cannot be changed in the middle of the tournament. "Unfortunately the team did not seek our advice on the use of the crescent moon and stars when they designed their swim trunks," the Information Ministry said in a statement last week. "We would have told them that their design is inappropriate as we want elements of the flag to be treated with dignity." The ministry, which normally evaluates the use of the flag on uniforms on a case-by-case basis, declined to specify which part of the design was objectionable. The team apologized and said it would retire the trunks after the Asian Games.