SINGAPORE: A company called Environmental Landscape was fined S$220,000 on Wednesday (Aug 14) after an explosion in an underground storage tank left three workers with burn injuries, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The incident happened on Jul 25, 2016 at 131 Lorong Semangka.
Four workers - Rahman Mohammad Ataur, Miah Sobuj, Uddin Mohammad Riaz and Alagappan Vignesh – had been instructed by one Hossan Billal to clean the tank, which was a confined space 3.2m deep and was only accessible with a ladder at the only manhole open at the time.
MOM said that after Miah entered the confined space, Rahman passed him a floodlight and electrical socket, and joined him underground.
Vignesh stayed above ground to observe because it was his first day at work.
As the last worker Uddin was entering the confined space, Rahman switched on the socket extension to activate the floodlight.
"This sparked off an explosion which was strong enough to propel Uddin and the ladder out of the confined space’s entrance," the press release stated.
Burnt, Uddin ran and dived into a nearby pool, while other workers helped Rahman and Miah out of the space.
All three were taken to hospital.
"BLATANT DISREGARD FOR WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH"
MOM's investigations revealed that Environmental Landscape had failed to conduct any risk assessment for the activities related to the cleaning of the confined space.
Critical hazards such as the presence of toxic or flammable gases were neither identified nor addressed before the workers entered the space to carry out work.
MOM added that all four workers were not trained to work within a confined space and neither were they informed of the risks involved, such as oxygen deficiency and the build-up of flammable or toxic gases.
The company had also failed to inform the workers of the safety precautions that should have been taken, and did not develop and implement procedures for dealing with emergencies that might arise while its employees were at work in a confined space.
In connection with the incident, Hossan was also charged for instructing the workers to perform the cleaning works without ensuring that it was safe to do so.
MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, Mr Sebastian Tan said: “The company had endangered the lives of its workers by requiring them to perform a high-risk job without any training, instruction, safety equipment or emergency rescue system."
"This blatant disregard for workplace safety and health is unacceptable. We will continue to press for high fines against employers who knowingly put their workers at risk," he added.
SINGAPORE: A FoodPanda delivery rider who got into a fight with a colleague, slashing him and striking him with a motorcycle helmet, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' jail and six strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Aug 14).
Eng Guan Hong, 40, had a job delivering food along with 29-year-old Batman Suparman.
The two men covered the same area in their work and were also members of a WhatsApp chat group with other FoodPanda delivery riders.
GOT UPSET OVER THE WORD "BODOH"
Sometime in the morning of Jan 28 this year, Eng sent a voice message to the group chat, saying that FoodPanda had a new scheme for riders and those who did not sign up for the new scheme were "bodoh", Malay for "stupid".
Mr Batman was offended at the use of the term and replied to tell Eng not to use that word.
The two men began exchanging messages in intensity and Eng repeatedly challenged Mr Batman to meet up with him to settle their differences, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok.
Mr Batman eventually agreed to meet Eng at United House, where the FoodPanda office was located, as he was meeting his friends nearby.
When Mr Batman arrived at United House at about 2.40pm that same day, he sent Eng a text to say he had reached the area. Eng, who was in the office, armed himself with a penknife bearing a 10.5cm-long blade and lied to his manager that he needed it to adjust his electric scooter.
He concealed the penknife in his back pocket and armed himself with a motorcycle helmet before leaving.
When he saw Mr Batman outside United House, Eng started swinging the motorcycle helmet at Mr Batman's head repeatedly.
Mr Batman tried to use his arm to block the blows, but was still struck on the left side of his head, and the helmet fell to the ground.
Other FoodPanda riders tried to stop Eng, but could not.
HE SLASHED BATMAN'S FACE
Eng then picked up the penknife that had fallen from his pocket to the ground, and charged towards Mr Batman, defying other riders who tried to restrain him.
As Mr Batman backed away, he tripped and fell, and Eng slashed at his face repeatedly with the penknife.
Although Mr Batman tried to ward off the blows with his arms, he was cut near his nose and above his ear.
The other riders managed to push Eng away, but he still managed to charge at Mr Batman and threw some punches at his face.
He stopped his onslaught only after colleagues from the FoodPanda office arrived at the scene and managed to pull him away.
Mr Batman then went to a nearby police station along with some riders to lodge a report.
He sought medical treatment at Singapore General Hospital later that day and was found to have lacerations over his nose, face and hand.
A doctor said in a medical report that the cuts on his face are expected to leave scars when healed.
Eng pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, with a second charge of causing hurt with the helmet taken into consideration.
SIGNIFICANT PREMEDITATION, DID NOT TRY TO RESOLVE MINOR GRIEVANCE
The prosecutor pushed for the sentence that was eventually given, saying that there was significant premeditation on Eng's part, as he had armed himself with not one but two weapons before meeting Mr Batman.
He did not even attempt to resolve what was essentially a very minor grievance, said the prosecutor, but started lashing out at the younger man with the helmet when he met him.
The assault was a sustained one, first with the use of the helmet, then the penknife, said Mr Kok.
Even when Mr Batman was on the ground, Eng continued to slash at his face, targeting his head and face with the penknife.
Mr Batman sustained serious injuries, said the prosecutor, and there is a possibility of scarring.
He noted also that Eng had a string of previous convictions, starting from theft in 1999 and a similar offence of voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon in 2004, for which he received two years' jail and six strokes of the cane.
BATMAN ANNOYED MY CLIENT: DEFENCE
Defence lawyer T M Sinnadurai said Mr Batman had repeatedly annoyed and challenged Eng. The prosecutor said he could accept that Mr Batman had annoyed Eng, but pointed to the statement of facts which said Eng had started the fight.
Mr Sinnadurai said the helmet used was more like a bicycle helmet and was relatively light, and that the medical report did not indicate serious injuries, as Mr Batman received only four days' medical leave and the longest laceration measured only 3cm.
"Nevertheless it is indeed a serious offence where a knife was used and the accused is not making any excuses for his actions," said the lawyer.
"He is telling this court that he will change to a new leaf and stay away from committing further offences of any nature."
For voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, Eng could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these punishments.
Mr Batman became an Internet celebrity for his unusual name about a decade ago and made global headlines in 2013 after he was jailed for two years and nine months for theft, housebreaking and taking heroin.
SYDNEY: A man was taken into custody for his suspected involvement in a stabbing incident in Sydney’s central business district, police said on Tuesday (Aug 13).
"About 2pm, emergency services responded following reports a man was walking along York Street, Sydney, armed with a knife," New South Wales (NSW) Police Force said in a Facebook post.
"As police made their way to the location, there were multiple reports the man had stabbed someone near the corner of King and Clarence Streets."
It added: "Police and NSW Ambulance paramedics located a woman inside a hotel, who had a stab wound. She has been taken to hospital in a stable condition."
The man was detained by members of the public, before he was arrested, NSW Police Force said.
"Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command, and various specialist police, are conducting proactive patrols the area, but it is believed there is no further threat to public safety," police added.
The arrest came after police had put out an advisory urging the public to avoid the area around King and Clarence Streets, where they said they were conducting an operation.
Photos posted on social media showed a number of police cars and ambulances in the vicinity.
SINGAPORE: Some MRT stations on the North-South Line (NSL) will open late and close early from in August and September to facilitate power supply system renewal and maintenance works, SMRT said in a media release on Tuesday (Aug 13).
Six stations between Bukit Batok and Marsiling will open at about 8am on weekends from Aug 24 to Sep 1.
From Sep 6 to Sep 28, four stations between Bukit Batok and Yew Tee will close earlier, at 11pm, on selected Fridays and Saturdays.
“The additional engineering hours will be used to carry out viaduct bearing replacement works and installation of 22kV cables as part of the power supply system renewal works,” SMRT said.
During these days, shuttle buses will be available for commuters travelling between affected MRT stations, it added. “The buses will stop at designated bus stops near the affected MRT stations to pick up and drop off passengers.”
In its release, SMRT also advised commuters to plan their commute and check the departure times at affected MRT stations. “The timing of the last trains’ departure from each station during the planned closures will vary,” it said.
“More time may also be needed to travel between MRT stations using the shuttle bus services.”
SINGAPORE: Singapore's central bank is raising its guard against money launderers increasingly using onshore shell companies to mask their transactions, a senior official said.
Ms Valerie Tay, who heads the anti-money laundering department at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said banks had closed accounts of several onshore shell companies over the past year, after detecting unlawful transactions.
"When we looked deeper into the risks, we realised that while criminals may still be using offshore companies, actually they have shifted to using onshore companies to evade detection," Ms Tay told Reuters in an interview, adding that this trend was also noticed in other financial centres.
"And that's when we started to be concerned. Because when the modus operandi of criminals shifts to evade detection and the industry isn't vigilant enough, the criminals can get their way," she said.
Singapore's position as one of the world's leading financial centres and a trade hub make it particularly vulnerable to money laundering due to large cross-border flows.
Traditionally, money launderers and tax evaders have used shell companies in offshore centres worldwide. But the relative ease of starting a business in Singapore renders it potentially more vulnerable to misuse of shell firms, which otherwise have many legitimate purposes.
Ms Tay, a 20-year veteran at MAS and former journalist, said red flags at shell companies included disproportionately large or high-velocity transactions and unusual patterns in dealings.
She said the MAS has told banks to "actively look for shell companies that can be abused for illicit financing. So there's a supervisory expectation for pro-active detection and disruption of illicit finance."
Data analytics and network analysis had helped banks map out relationship linkages to detect unlawful transactions at shell companies in the past year, Ms Tay said.
The MAS' anti-money laundering department, set up three years ago to conduct functions that were carried out by different units, has grown to 30 specialists from 20. It works closely with the Commercial Affairs Department.
In 2015, Singapore discovered that funds linked to a scandal-ridden Malaysian state fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd, had been laundered through its banking system. As a result, MAS shut down the local units of two private banks in 2016, froze millions of dollars in bank accounts, charged private bankers and imposed fines on banks.
"It was a wake-up call for everyone," said Ms Tay.
YES Chicken Rice gave out more than 1200 set of chicken rice on 9 August NDP to Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation
To commemorate our Nation's birthday on 9 August, YES Chicken collaborated with Shin Min Daily Newspaper to give out 890 sets of chicken rice by artistes Lawrence Hiew and Danielle Gan.
Those who possessed Pioneer Generation, Merdeka Generation cards and those who are 54 years old were entitled to a packet of chicken rice each. Readers who purchased copies of Shin Min newspaper also received a packet of chicken rice worth $2.80.
Even before the start of the event, there was already a queue forming in front of YES Chicken Rice stall and many people had also bought a copy of Shin Min Daily Newspaper.
At 8.45am, the giveaway kick-started. Artistes Lawrence Hiew and Danielle Gan were helping to take orders and packed the packets of chicken rice for all the folks, as well as promoting the special giveaway by YES Chicken and Shin Min Daily Newspaper.
By 11am, YES Chicken was out of stock for their chicken and had to prepare their new batch of chicken. By this time, they had already given out more than 1000 packets of chicken rice. Whole chickens were also sold at an incredible price of $8.90 in conjunction with National Day. More than 100 whole chickens were also snatched by the folks.
Founder of YES Chicken, Chef Sing, explained that to celebrate his opening of YES Chicken second outlet on 4 August and National Day, he thought of returning back to society and thus the idea of giveaway chicken rice for our Pioneer Generation & Merdeka Generation in particular.
Artistes Lawrence and Danielle, including Chef Sing were all grateful for the opportunity to do their little part for Singapore on its birthday and also the support from all the patrons to make this meaningful event a successful one.
YES Chicken (Chicken Rice):
Block 57, New Upper Changi Road, #01-1368, New Changi Eating House, Singapore 461057
9.30am - 9.30pm (Monday to Sunday)
Exclusive Interview: Singapore Fitness Trainer Edison King Ho learn the fitness training technique and skills from books
1. When did you start training your physique? What makes you decide to build up?
I started training when I was 17 because I was very skinny and got bullied a lot. I need to protect myself.
2. Is it important to control diet if you want to have a good and nice build? What should we eat to have a balance diet before and after training?
Training is 100%, diet is 100% too. You need to give everything you got to have a very nice physique. In order for your body to have sufficient nutrients, you need to get some simple carbs from good source only before and after workout e.g: white rice, potatoes and enough protein after your workout.
3. Why did you start to become a fitness trainer? Is it hard to be a fitness trainer and do you need to be certified to do it?
I started coaching my friends when I was 19 for fun in the community gym. I learned my own technique and skills from books and pro body builder in the gym. When I was 22, I started to feel satisfied whenever my clients got result, that’s when I started to take up courses, get myself certified and read up more!
4. How many students do you have for now? Are there more female or male students?
Currently I have 20 over clients with equal number of females and males.
5. Why nowadays many working executives love to go gym during their lunch hour?
That’s because they want to get it done with so after work they can go back home to their family or get involve with their social life. I consider them as are very responsible and determined people because they find ways not to give excuses for themselves not to go gym.
6. Understand that your wife had just gave birth to a baby boy. How much time do you spend with your wife and is it tough to be a baby daddy?
Yes, I’ve just promoted to becoming a dad. I make sure to spend time with my family after work and on weekends. And I still find ways to workout! No excuse! It wasn’t easy becoming a husband and a dad at the same time because you need to provide and I really want to be a hands-on dad in taking care of my new baby and my wife as she recovers from pregnancy.
7. How do you juggle between your career and family? Can you share more with our readers?
Family always come first. Now with my newborn baby, I should even work harder. My wife is a very understanding person which makes my life very easy and comfortable. Without my wife, I might not be where I am today. My tips to all your readers is first balance your family followed by your career but don’t forget to have some time for yourself to de-stress and to have a clear mind.
8. If there are new students keen to sign up with your fitness class, how do they contact you? How many lessons do you conduct a week?
I conduct my personal training sessions from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is my family day. 7.30am to 7pm (Weekdays) 7.30am to 5pm (Weekends). They can contact me via Instagram @_kingbrah and @kingbrahfitness to know more about my fitness background.
9. What do you want to say to your friends and supporters here?
Take good care of your fitness and health before anything. Money is important but don’t let what you earned go to medical bill because it will turn out to be the same. Persistency and Consistency is the key to anything in life.
Malaysian artiste Rex Chua was in Singapore recently for promotional events. This was his first time in Singapore as an invited guest by Royal Entertainment.
Rex joined Lawrence Hiew on his show 'Chef Lawrence' at the Four Seasons Durians Restaurant at Jewel Changi. Both of them enjoyed their special menu 'Seafood Shellout', which is mixed seafood fried in Chilli Crab sauce. An extensive assortment of seafood, Rex was impressed by the dish's rich flavor and taste.
Rex was also interviewed by Lawrence in a talk show 'CEO Entertainment hosted by Lawrence. Readers and fans will be able to know more about the young artiste. The show explored how being at the age of 22, how did Rex start out his own company and the road to success is not always sweet.
Besides participating in the recording of online programs, Rex was also invited as a guest artiste for "Hello, I am Danielle Gan" Music Showcase.
"This is my first music performance in Singapore and I hope to be back again soon to share more of my works to all of you."
Stay tune for exciting shows on Chef Lawrence and CEO Entertainment for more stories on Rex Chua.
EL PASO: The Dallas-area mother of the young man arrested in the mass shooting that killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, had called police weeks earlier expressing concern about his fitness to own an assault-style rifle, reporters said on Wednesday (Aug 7).
The mother contacted the Allen Police Department because she worried whether her son, aged 21, was mature or experienced enough in handling such a weapon to have purchased an "AK"-type firearm, reporters said, citing lawyers for the suspect's family.
Reporters quoted the lawyers, Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres, as saying the mother's call was "informational" in nature rather than motivated by concern that her son posed a threat to anyone.
"This was not a volatile, explosive, erratic-behaving kid," Chris Ayres told the network. "It's not like alarm bells were going off."
Reporters said it was not known whether the gun the mother inquired about was the same weapon police said was used in Saturday's attack. Authorities have said they are investigating the attack as a hate crime and an act of domestic terrorism.
Police say the suspect, Patrick Crusius, a white male from the Dallas suburb of Allen, drove 1,046 km to the west Texas border city of El Paso before opening fire at a Walmart store there.
Most of the 22 people killed were Hispanic, including eight Mexican citizens. At least two dozen people were injured. The suspect, who surrendered to police, has been charged with capital murder.
A racist, anti-immigrant manifesto believed by authorities to have been written by the suspect was posted online shortly before the attack, which the author called a "response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas".
During his mother's query to Allen police weeks earlier, according to her attorneys, she was transferred to a public safety officer who told her that based on her description of her son, he was legally allowed to buy the weapon in question, reporters said.
The mother, the lawyers told the network, did not give police her son's name, and police did not seek any additional information from her before the call ended.
Attempts by reporters to reach the attorneys cited in reporters story on Wednesday night were unsuccessful. Allen police were also not immediately available to discuss the report.
A statement posted by Allen police on Twitter this week, in response to media inquiries about the suspect's prior encounters with law enforcement, listed just three relatively minor contacts in department records.
The most recent, in March, was a false burglar alarm reported by the suspect at his grandparents' home, a call police said "was cleared without incident according to protocol".
In 2016, the suspect was a passenger on a school bus involved in a minor accident investigated by police, and in 2014, he was reported as a juvenile runaway, but returned home without incident about 30 minutes later, police said.
Police told reporters those three incidents represent "the entirety of our dealings with Mr. Crusius, in any capacity, be it suspect, witness, reporting party, or in any other manner."
Reporters quoted an unnamed source familiar with the family as describing Crusius as undecided about his life, having considered transferring from a community college to a four-year university, enlisting in the military and seeking a full-time job.
"He was trying to figure out what to do next," the source said. "When did the wheels come off? We don't know."
SINGAPORE: A 25-year-old man was charged on Thursday (Aug 8) with burning Singapore flags at a Housing Board block in Woodlands.
Elson Ong Yong Liang is accused of using a lighter to burn a Singapore flag along the common corridor on the 13th floor of Block 774 Woodlands Crescent.
The incident happened on Sunday at around 6am to 6.15am, according to court documents.
This also resulted in seven other flags, which were tied vertically across seven floors, to be damaged.
Ong, who is Singaporean, appeared in court via video link. His case will be mentioned again next Thursday.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said they were alerted to the incident at around 12.40pm on Sunday.
Through ground enquiries and with the aid of CCTV images, officers from Woodlands Police Division established the suspect's identity and arrested him on Wednesday.
"The man is believed to be involved in other similar cases in Woodlands," added SPF.
If convicted of mischief by fire, he may be jailed for up to seven years and fined.