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David Lawless


The ‘demand and supply’ fuelling Singapore’s premium foreign sex industry

Unlike the streetwalkers openly prowling red-light districts, these women operate under a shroud of secrecy and discretion – yet are a ubiquitous presence online. SINGAPORE: Her website, with its own personal domain name, is particularly polished and professional-looking. Slick copywriting accompanied by glossy, high-resolution photos suggest a lingerie model’s portfolio perhaps, but the telltale signs are there: An absent face. Multiple pages of FAQs, where she calls herself a “GFE”, which stands for girlfriend experience. A “general information” section stating she does both incalls and outcalls, and will cater toRead More

Say yes to renewing the Singapore F1 Grand Prix

With the future of the Singapore F1 night race up in the air, an expert gives six reasons why Singapore should renew the contract. Singapore GP currently holds a contract to host the FIA Formula One World Championship until 2017. (Photo: AFP) By Faizal Yahya Share this content In a few months’ time, the Singapore F1 night race will be upon us and the Government has to decide whether it wishes to extend the current contract for another five years. The Singapore Grand Prix (GP) has always had its naysayers, whoRead More

Two foreign workers get jail for terror funding

Two Bangladeshi workers detained in April under the Internal Security Act were yesterday jailed for financing terrorism. Mamun Leakot Ali, 30, was given 21/2 years, while Zzaman Daulat, 34, will face two years behind bars. Both were part of a group of six workers charged under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act in May. Calling for deterrent sentences, DPP Nicholas Khoo said the two men could have thought the worst punishment they would face for their actions would be repatriation, but the courts needed to send a message that suchRead More

Older freehold apartments below $1,000 psf are value-for-money buys

The demand for older freehold apartments and condominiums seems to have picked up in the first week of August, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis from Aug 2 to 9. More than half of the completed units sold during the first week of August are either of 999-year leasehold or freehold tenure. Close to 50%of the properties in the sub-$1,000psf range were freehold rather than leasehold condos, with most of them located in the suburbs. According to property agents, this trend reflects the fact that most of the buyersRead More

Zika Starts to Take Hold in Singapore

Singapore has confirmed 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus, mostly among foreign construction workers, and said it expected more cases to be identified. All but seven of those infected had fully recovered, the Health Ministry and the National Environment Agency said in a statement on Sunday. The other seven remain in hospital. Miami-Dade mosquito control worker Carlos Vargas point to the Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae at a home in Miami, June 7. RHONA WISE / AFP – Getty Images On Saturday, authorities confirmed a 47-year-old Malaysian woman living inRead More

Foreigners’ pay: Balance needed

From next year, the qualifying salary for foreign professionals to be hired on Employment Passes (EPs) will be raised. Such workers will need to be paid at least $3,600 a month if firms want to hire them on EPs, up from $3,300 now. The move, announced by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Tuesday, is part of its regular updating of the EP salary criterion to keep pace with rising local salaries. Starting salaries of graduates from Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University in full-timeRead More

Indonesia readies prison island for drug convict executions

JAKARTA -Indonesia has beefed up security at Nusa Kambangan prison island and closed it to visitors in a sign authorities are preparing to execute people convicted of drug crimes. The head of prisons in Central Java province said Tuesday that about 1,000 police have been sent to Cilacap, the town nearest the maximum security island, and that preparations on the island are complete. Indonesian officials have said 16 people will be executed this year, including citizens of Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Pakistan, though they have not confirmed any more details. SyedRead More

Johor proposes ferry services to Singapore

JOHOR BARU: The Johor state government has suggested the setting up of a ferry service as an alternative mode of transportation for commuters travelling to and from Singapore. Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the proposal was to help ease the traffic congestion at the Causeway and the Second Link faced by road users and commuters who travelled between Malaysia and Singapore via Johor Baru. He said the ferry terminal would offer services from Kong Kong in Pasir Gudang to Singapore’s Changi Ferry Terminal, which offers ferry servicesRead More

GrabCar bans prank caller

SINGAPORE – He would make bookings for rides at odd hours of the night or give bogus destinations and pick-up locations. Once, he even booked a ride with Pulau Ubin as his destination. These were a few of the ways in which Mr Peter Quek had harrassed drivers with ride-hailing service GrabCar over nine months since November last year. Grab, the firm behind GrabCar, said it has “permanently banned” Mr Quek from the ride-hailing platform after investigating a complaint against him from a driver. This is believed to be the firstRead More

Those implicated in US 1MDB lawsuits must clear their name

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday (July 25) that those named in the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) civil lawsuits on the freezing of assets linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) must take responsibility to clear their name. Datuk Seri Najib also said the government will ensure that no public funds were abused. “This is our stand and let us allow this issue be settled via the judicial process. The government will give its full cooperation on the matter,” he added. The Prime Minister was speaking atRead More

Olympian Dr Tan Eng Liang launches his autobiography

Among family and friends, former Senior Minister of State for National Development and Finance and Olympian Dr Tan Eng Liang launched his autobiography titled “Simple Beginnings: Building a life of integrity, resilience and service” at UTown on Saturday morning. The 190-page autobiography was inspired by a desire to share his life stories with his five grandchildren, and was penned with his daughter, Lynn over a period of two years. His close friend of over 60 years, Ambassador-at-large Professor Tommy Koh said of Dr Tan in his speech at the launch, “The test of a man isRead More

Team Singapore gears up for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games

Members of Team Singapore’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games came together to mark their journey to the pinnacle of sport at the Official Flag Presentation Ceremony this morning. Guests of Honour Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development and President, Singapore National Olympic Council and Ms Grace Fu, Minster for Culture, Community and Youth presented the Singapore flags as a symbol of honour to the flag bearers for the respective Games. The respective flag bearers for the contingent were revealed on that day withRead More

Two hawker stalls receive one-star ratings in first Singapore Michelin Guide

Singapore – Two hawker stalls have been awarded the one-star rating by Michelin, in the first Singapore Michelin Guide. The stalls are Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in Crawford Lane and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle at Chinatown Food Complex. In all, 22 establishments received the one-star rating while six restaurants earned two stars each. Only one, Restaurant Joel Robuchon, earned three Michelin stars. This is the latest laurel for chef Joel Robuchon, who already operates a string of restaurants with a total of 25 MichelinRead More

Fitness clubs that called it quits in Singapore

For instance, international gym operator Virgin Active has made bold plans to expand, pumping in up to $100 million and open eight to 10 more clubs. However, some operators have closed down after struggling with financial and manpower difficulties, leaving many gym members in the lurch. With gym chain California Fitness becoming the latest casualty with the closure of all its outlets, we look at some fitness clubs that had to bring down the shutters in recent years. 1. CALIFORNIA FITNESS A customer looking at the signage at the lobbyRead More

Wooing overseas Singaporeans home

More than 200,000 Singaporeans currently live and work overseas, up significantly from 10 years ago. Previously seen as a worrying trend for Singapore’s leaders, new initiatives have been launched to tap on their international exposure and draw them back home. By Romesh Navaratnarajah The number of Singaporeans looking for greener pastures abroad continues to rise, with 212,500 overseas Singaporeans as of June 2015, up 23 percent from 163,000 in 2005, according to a Population in Brief 2015 report published by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD). A large majorityRead More

Malaysia 1MDB investigation: US seeks to seize $1bn in assets

The US Justice Department is looking to seize more than $1bn (£761m) in assets as part of its investigation into Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB. Lawsuits filed in Los Angeles by the Justice Department allege there was “an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated” from 1MDB. The fund was set up in 2009 to turn Kuala Lumpur into a financial hub. But, the lawsuits say, billions of dollars were instead fraudulently diverted from 1MDB. It says “multiple individuals, including public officials and their associates” were responsible for diverting money between 2009Read More

All California Fitness outlets shut

SINGAPORE – California Fitness has shut down, “until further notice”, all its outlets including the ones in Novena and Bugis, because its owner JV Fitness lacks the finances to keep them running. This was announced just after midnight on Wednesday (July 20) by Tim Reid and Theresa Ng of Ferrier Hodgson, who have been appointed provisional liquidators of JV Fitness by the courts on Tuesday (July 19) . This follows the abrupt closure of its downtown Republic Plaza branch on Saturday (July 16). All California Fitness outlets in Hong KongRead More

Temasek said to weigh buyout of Singapore subway operator SMRT

Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd is considering a buyout offer for SMRT Corp, the city-state’s biggest subway operator, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Temasek is weighing an offer to buy all the shares it doesn’t already own in SMRT, according to the person, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. It currently has a 54 per cent stake in SMRT, which has a market value of about S$2.4 billion in Singapore, data compiled by Bloomberg show. SMRT has faced publicRead More

Man convicted of raping partygoer on Sentosa beach

SINGAPORE – A 26-year-old former Sentosa beach patrol officer was on Monday (July 18) convicted of raping and sexually assaulting a drunk partygoer on Siloso Beach. The High Court found that the prosecution had proved its case against Pram Nair – on one charge each of rape and sexual assault – beyond a reasonable doubt. He will be sentenced at a later date. The woman, then a relief teacher, was attending a party at Wave House, a club and restaurant located at the beach with a female friend on theRead More

PM Lee to visit Malaysia on Tuesday to witness signing of MOU on KL-Singapore high-speed rail

SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be in Putrajaya on Tuesday (July 19) for the signing of an agreement on the much-anticipated high-speed rail (HSR) that will connect Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Mr Lee and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the project, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Monday. Mr Najib indicated in April 2016 that the MOU signing would take place in the middle of this year. First announced in 2013 at theRead More