berthahenson

Random thoughts on today’s news

In News Reports on January 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

Sometimes, things strike me as I’m reading the news reports. I don’t know if the same things would strike you but I thought I’ll just share them. 

A Bishan maisonette has just been sold off to a couple for $1.05million, which is $250,000 over valuation! This, in the days of property loan curbs! More interesting tid-bit in the ST story is that there are 285 “landed’’ “public’’ homes here. A corner terrace house in Whampoa recently fetched $1.02million. They were built by HDB’s predecessor, Singapore Improvement Trust. Who are these lucky fellas who are sitting pretty in them!?!    

Wow! Strong words in court: “Mercifully he passed away… and did not have to witness the proverbial washing of his family’s dirty linen in public.” That was from Justice Quentin Loh who said the sons of the late Singapore scouting pioneer Dennis Goh had instigated the suit to get their sisters removed as joint owners of the Clementi flat he left behind.

Am tempted to talk about a man who wanted to light his girl’s fire but chose to set her alight but it doesn’t seem very PC. Anyway, the scorned and love-lorn ex-cabby pleaded guilty yesterday. Here’s what’s interesting: The man, who was suffering from a major depressive disorder, had been detained not once, but three times, under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which allows suspects to be held in custody without trial, according to ST. This provision is for people considered a danger to society. Hmm…

The Thai teen who lost her case against SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) may not have to pay trial costs which amount to more than $200,000. That is, if the teen, who lost her legs in the accident, doesn’t appeal, said SMRT and LTA. That seems like a lot of money to deter anyone…It’s a warning that the girl is going to have to pay through her nose if she fails again in the next round. Or it’s a plea to her to think very carefully about whether she really has a case against them. All that would really depend on how her lawyer advises her. Got case or no case? Can get that $3.4m in damages or not? The authorities should come out quickly with those guidelines on legal costs as promised by the Chief Justice earlier this year. I still can’t get over the fact that the two doctors who sued Mindef for infringing their copyright for mobile medical stations said they stopped pursuing the case because they ran out of money to fight it…

Our schools are good. No, they’re great going by the O level scores of the 2013 cohort.  Of the 34,124 who took the exam, 82.7 per cent attained at least five passes, matching the record set in 2004, said ST. That’s the big picture. What about the weaker students? According to TODAY,  the 4,170 students from Normal (Academic) course who sat for one or more subjects, 90.3 per cent have obtained at least one O-Level pass. Is this an improvement? Maybe, we should turn out attention to this group of students next and see how we can help them level “up’’?

New transport fares are going to be announced on Thursday and the G is promising help for the lower income. They can expect fares to go down to the levels of 10 to 15 years ago. Anyone remember what that was like? The thing is, the G talks about public transport vouchers again. Now if I remember correctly, hundreds of vouchers in the past hadn’t even been taken up…Either people really don’t need them – or there wasn’t a good plan to get them to the needy. Perhaps, that should be fixed first.

Here’s an ST Forum letter writer’s appeal: “We have the police force to protect us from bullies. So why not set up a social media police force to protect us from cyber bullies?’’ Who wants to apply for the job?

 

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