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SINGAPORE: Former City Harvest Church fund manager Chew Eng Han was arrested on Wednesday morning (Feb 21) for attempting to flee the country in a sampan, the police said at a news conference.

The 57-year-old, one of six church leaders convicted in 2015 of misappropriating S$50 million of church funds, had been out on bail and was due to turn himself in on Thursday to begin his jail term.

Another man, 53-year-old Tan Poh Teck, who was piloting the motorised sampan, was also arrested.

In a split decision by the High Court last April, Chew had his original six-year jail sentence lowered to three years and four months. Chew is the only one of the six who has not started serving his jail term for criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts.


SINGAPORE: The increase in goods and services tax  (GST) was not the only option considered for raising revenue, but it is  the most sustainable source of income over the long-term, said Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah.

“There are a few other things we have explored as well … But GST is the one that will give you, over the long term, a sustained revenue of  sufficient amount that will take care of our expenditure needs, for  healthcare, infrastructure, security and education,” Ms Indranee said on  Tuesday (Feb 20) on 938NOW’s Talkback call-in programme.

Calling  the changes that Singapore faces “unprecedented”, Ms Indranee  highlighted the country’s greying demographic, saying that “the number of people who are getting older, in the next five to 15 years, is not  something that Singapore has seen before”.

“So, the need  to spend more is going to jump. And that is the reason why we have to  look at the GST. Because what you really want is long-term sustainable  revenue. Cutting expenditure will help, and that is something we must do and have done. But in and of itself, it will not take care of the  increased expenditure that we will need,” she added.

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The PAP government owes Singaporeans an explanation as to how it  ‘missed’ statutory boards’ contributions estimate by a mile last year.

In Today’s “S’pore posts record S$9.6 billion budget surplus, thanks to ‘one-off’ factors“, the article briefly explained how PAP managed to generate the ‘unexpected’ gargantuan surplus in FY2017:

 1. ” …owing mainly to “exceptional statutory board contributions” and higher-than-expected collections from stamp duties.”

 2.  “Some S$4.9 billion in statutory board contributions were expected in FY2017, more than 16 times the initial estimate of S$300 million“.**

 3. “This was driven mainly by an “exceptional contribution” from the Monetary Authority of Singapore thanks to higher investment returns from recovering global markets, said the MOF”.

Fact: Increased contributions from some stat boards were almost offset by decreased contributions of other stat boards.

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Lynn Xiong might have been a worse proposition, she could have sucked his entire empire dry.

SINGAPORE: The much-rumoured goods and services tax (GST) increase was confirmed by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during his Budget 2018  speech on Monday (Feb 19), and it will go up from 7 per cent currently  to 9 per cent some time in the period between 2021 and 2025.

Mr Heng said the exact timing of when the GST increase will kick in depends on the “state of the economy, how much our expenditures grow and how  buoyant our existing taxes are”. "But I expect that we will need to do so earlier rather than later in the period."

That said, the minister said the GST hike will be implemented in a “progressive  manner”. This means the Government will continue to absorb GST on  publicly subsidised education and healthcare, and enhance the permanent  GST Voucher scheme when the hike kicks in. The enhanced GST Voucher scheme will provide more help to lower-income households and seniors, he  added.

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KUALA LUMPUR: The family of Indonesian domestic helper Adelina Lisao, 21, who died following alleged abuse and mistreatment by her employers here, is demanding compensation for their loss.

According to a report by the Jakarta Post yesterday, Adelina’s family claims that she was never paid her salary since beginning her employment in 2015.

“We demand that Adelina’s salary for three years be paid. Don’t justify withholding her salary because she was unregistered.

“The amount of money does not matter. (It) is still her right (to be paid),” said her aunt, Petronela Koa, while waiting for her remains to arrive at the El Tari Airport in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

The family also claim that two people had allegedly recruited and sent Adelina to work illegally in Malaysia.

The duo in question has since been arrested by local police for forging Adelina's documents. The papers indicate that Adelina was six years older that her actual age of 17 when she was sent to Penang three years ago.

Meanwhile, preparations are being made to lay Adelina’s body to rest in her home town today.

It was reported that Adelina was rescued by police last Saturday following suspected repeated abuse by her employers.

She died at 4.45pm on Sunday while being treated at the Bukit Mertajam Hospital. A post mortem revealed that she died from multiple organ failure related to anaemia.

When found at her employer’s home at Taman Kota Permai, Bukit Mertajam, Adelina had severe injuries on her head and face, and infected wounds on her hands and legs.

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SINGAPORE — For most women, menstruation is no more than a minor inconvenience. For Ms Goh Hwee Ling, however, severe menstrual bleeding after the birth of her first child caused a major disruption in her daily activities and made her anaemic.

For two to three days each month, the teacher’s life would revolve around changing sanitary pads every hour to manage her heavy flow.

“Even then, some menstrual blood might still drip onto the floor,” said Ms Goh, who is in her forties.

“Whenever my period arrived, I had to take an extra change of clothes and underwear to work and I often found myself stuck in the ladies’ washing up after myself. As a teacher, it was very inconvenient for me. I had to ask another teacher to take over my class, and pray that the ladies’ was not too far away.”

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SINGAPORE — When Ms Linda Wong first received an electronic hongbao for Chinese New Year last year, she was “surprised” by the gesture. The 24-year-old sales executive, who got it from a relative,  told TODAY that it was the first time she had heard of such a concept.

“I was quite excited to get the e-hongbao. I think the novelty (of receiving one) made it more special,” she said.

Still, Ms Wong, who declined to reveal how much she received, said that nothing beats the excitement of receiving “the physical red packet” that are familiar to most.

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TOKYO (AP) — A Tokyo public school has adopted Giorgio Armani uniforms for students, triggering criticism in a country where hefty school fees are already burdening young parents.

Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo's upscale Ginza shopping district has announced plans to introduce the new uniform option, which costs more than 80,000 yen ($730) for a full set. A minimum set — a navy-blue jacket and matching trousers or skirt, a long-sleeve shirt and a hat — would be more than twice the price of the current uniforms.

The school's principal, Toshitsugu Wada, told a news conference Friday that the top fashion brand would fit Taimei's identity as "a school of Ginza." He said he chose Armani because its boutique is near the school.

Wada acknowledged the new uniform would cost more, but considered it worth it. He said his decision is unchanged despite the criticism.

"I thought Taimei can use the power of the foreign fashion brand for its identity," he said.

The Armani uniform, to be launched in April, is recommended but not compulsory.

In Japan, where a sense of belonging and conformity are valued, uniforms are worn at most secondary schools and used to be considered durable and thrifty. Prices have jumped in recent years and have become a big initial investment for Japanese parents.

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Sitting next to an upset child is every airline passenger's worst fear — but a YouTube video taken by a passenger on a Lufthansa flight from Germany to New Jersey in August takes it to another level.

The Daily Mail first reported the video, which shows a child yelling, climbing on a seat, and running through the aisles. The video, titled "Demonic child screams and runs through an 8 hour flight from Germany to Newark," suggests the child was disruptive throughout the entire flight.

"That was a nightmare — eight hours of screaming," a person is heard saying at the end of the video.

Some viewers on Twitter sympathized with the child and his mother, arguing that the child may have a condition that would make air travel uncomfortable.

"I have one of these at home," one person wrote. "He drives me nuts. Nothing mom can do and I feel for her."

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Dayre Says Goodbye

Hello Dayreans,

First of all, we would like to thank all those who supported our sticker sale. However, it is with a heavy heart that we bring this post to you. Since the start of our sale, we have received contributions amounting to USD700, with a total of 113 people purchasing our stickers.

Unfortunately, this is a relatively small amount in comparison to the cost of sustaining Dayre for a full year which totals up to SGD150K. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision of shutting down Dayre as it is no longer viable to sustain the platform.

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Google is enabling its built-in ad blocker for Chrome tomorrow (February 15th). Chrome’s ad filtering is designed to weed out some of the web’s most annoying ads, and push website owners to stop using them. Google is not planning to wipe out all ads from Chrome, just ones that are considered bad using standards from the Coalition for Better Ads. Full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads will be targeted by Chrome’s ad filtering, which will hopefully result in less of these annoying ads on the web.

Google is revealing today exactly what ads will be blocked, and how the company notifies site owners before a block is put in place. On desktop, Google is planning to block pop-up ads, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound, and ads that appear on a site with a countdown blocking you before the content loads. Google is being more aggressive about its mobile ad blocking, filtering out pop-up ads, ads that are displayed before content loads (with or without a countdown), auto-play video ads with sound, large sticky ads, flashing animated ads, fullscreen scroll over ads, and ads that are particularly dense.

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