Friday, 31 March 2017

Singapore Children's Society to run Appropriate Adult scheme


GPs can apply to join Primary Care Networks scheme from April


The most common cause of cancer? Simple bad luck

Most cancers are caused by random mistakes in the genetic code when cells divide out of the blue, new research shows. 

Despite widespread belief that the disease is usually inherited or triggered by an unhealthy lifestyle, two thirds of cases can be put down to DNA errors.

And there is nothing that can be done to prevent it from happening - it's simply down to bad luck, scientists claim. 


880,000 HDB households to receive S$120m of S&CC rebates

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC)

Hotline: 6278 9598
For more information, visit:,

You may want to read Few set up trust fund to care for kin with disabilities

Watercress: Inexpensive superfood

Watercress’s benefits are nothing new. For decades, it only made appearances as a plate garnish, but it used to be a staple in the diet of Roman soldiers. But watercress is no longer ornamental, largely because of its off-the-charts ANDI score.

ANDI score rates food based on the number of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients in relation to total calories. Watercress has the highest score among all foods; it offers the highest amount of nutrients for the lowest amount of calories. Watercress is considered a superfood and it is inexpensive.

Weight for weight, watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than bananas.

Note: Watercress is considered 'cooling' in TCM, so do not consume too much if you are old or always feeling cold. As it is very bitter, this is another reason for not using too much of it in smoothie.


First Zika cluster of 2017 detected at Simon Place


WHO warns of measles outbreak across Europe


When Puppy Thought No One Was Coming To Save Him, He Went In A Temple To Pray For Help


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Kidneys and TCM

TCM views the kidneys as the center of the body's yin and yang, the "congenital foundation," or the origin of life. In other words, the kidneys store the primordial yin and primordial yang (also called kidney yin and yang), which is the place where nutrients are stored and physiological functions take place.

Kidneys and parents
The person’s constitution, characteristics of the body and general health is strongly associated with the parents’ condition of health at the time of conception.

Kidneys and reproduction & development
The male and female sexual function, including the condition of the sperm and egg, is associated with the kidney function. People suffer infertility issues because their kidney yin & yang is in disorder or weak which affects the quality of their egg or sperm, which in turn may cause miscarriage.

The development of a child’s body (including, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, talking, listening) after birth is also strongly associated with the kidney function.

Kidneys and water
If someone is deficient in kidney qi or kidney yang, the body’s water metabolism will become sluggish and cause the body to suffer certain symptoms or diseases like swelling with heaviness & bloating, puffy knees and puffy legs, overweight or difficulty losing weight, tired or fatigued, puffy face (especially in the morning).

Bedwetting and looking pale, lack of energy, maybe falling behind in class or difficulties concentrating are some symptoms for children with weak kidney qi or yang.

Kidneys and bone, brain & marrow
If kidney qi or essence is deficient, the bone is not as strong as others. In other words, the bones are easily injured or broken.

One may also have joint pain, weakness in arms & legs, poor memory, lower back pain, frequent urination or early grey hair.

Kidneys and Ears
The health of the kidneys can reflect the health and functioning of the ears.

Kidneys and food
Food for kidney yang deficiency - fenugreek, chives
Food for kidney yin deficiency - wolfberry, Chinese yam

Read more @

Other ref:,0

Diet for healthy kidneys

Scam warning: Police warn of fraudulent charges to victims' phone bills


Long waits of a year or more for treatment at National Dental Centre Singapore

Note: Subsidised claim for normal gum treatment is equivalent to scaling, which is $40 up to twice a year.


Exceptional people: Heroes of Telok Blangah fire commended

Ms Sharita Kamarudin (left), who helped evacuate four children; and Mr Sofian Amin (second from left), who helped housewife Baedah Hassan (right) out of her flat; with Mount Faber Zone C Residents' Committee chairman Alex Wong.


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Technology: Singapore plans to have flying taxi by 2030 - video

The Ministry of Transport is talking to some companies to test-trial flying drones capable of carrying passengers. These futuristic vehicles are part of a drive to expand the range of urban mobility options, and Singapore plans to have them ready by 2030.


Forum: Support breastfeeding mothers rather than shame them

It is wrong to compare mothers who expose their breasts while breastfeeding to flashers (Baring the breast for whatever reason is wrong, by Ms Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon; March 24).

Unfortunately, there is a tendency to over-sexualise women's bodies. It is so embedded in our culture that we do not realise why covering up may be uncomfortable.

Women have the right to breastfeed anywhere and however they want.

It is a natural need and no mother should have to cover up just because some people object to it. Concerned parties can simply look away if it bothers them.

Some mums are extremely private people, while some have no issues doing what is necessary. Breastfeeding is uncomfortable, and in Singapore's hot climate, covering up makes things worse for the mother and the baby.

There is also the argument that a woman's breasts are private parts, and to have them exposed in public is indecent.

However, men walk around bare-chested as well, and nobody bats an eyelid.

Our society has a long way to go when it comes to respecting mothers. Let us support them instead of reinforcing a culture of shame and secrecy.

Francis Cheng


Forum: Lessons from the French education system

The expansion of the Direct School Admission scheme to all secondary schools in Singapore has had me thinking about my own experiences as a French citizen in my country's educational programme (Education focus shifts to students' strengths; March 8).

The French system is more focused on longer-term academic performance.

While there are major year-end exams, they do not form the sole selection criteria for entering secondary schools or junior colleges.

Instead, schools look at the student's grades over the previous two or three years to assess their suitability.

One of the main benefits of the French system is that it allows one to distinguish between students who are "exam smart" and those who are academically bright.

Another benefit is that it facilitates the grouping of students of roughly the same academic level and who learn at a similar pace. This allows for more bonding among students.

It is important that we protect both types of student: The bright students who are not necessarily exam smart, and the exam-smart students who may not be as academically capable as their results suggest.

Both, ultimately, are worse off under a system that over-emphasises final exams - the bright ones may miss the opportunity to go to a prestigious school, while those who succeed through cramming may struggle to keep up with the quicker pace of learning and denser curriculum in that school.

For any education system to be fair, schools should ensure that the students they select have the appropriate aptitude to succeed.

Olivier Darrieux


Voices: Able-bodied must learn to be more empathetic

From Terence Lim
Published: 4:00 AM, March 27, 2017

The examples given by the writer of “Give priority, not exclusive privilege, to people with disabilities” (March 23) are specious.

First, his question on what makes people with disabilities unable to wait for the toilet shows an ignorance of the challenges they face daily.

Has he, someone who can get ready to relieve himself in mere seconds, experienced or at least thought about the time and number of steps a person in a wheelchair requires to do so?

Second, the designated areas in buses and trains cannot be kept unoccupied, as there is no barrier to prevent encroachment or even maintain availability to designees.

Unlike regular commuters, who can force their way onto crowded buses or trains by squeezing, wheelchair users cannot board if passengers refuse to give way.

Disabled-access toilets, however, are not open spaces; they are toilets for people with disabilities or special needs. More accurately, they are large but single cubicles, which should not be considered underused simply because there is no queue, and optimally used only when there is one.

Despite the possibility of a legitimate user occupying such a toilet when a wheelchair user arrives, the point is to keep this probability low rather than increase it.

Not everything must be maximised, especially without due consideration for the trade-offs or any negative impact. We able-bodied people must be more empathetic towards people with disabilities; we should not add to their difficulties by being presumptuous or selfish in attempting to partake of their necessary privileges.


Sunday, 26 March 2017

A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away

You are probably familiar with the saying, ” An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Yes, apples are an awesome addition to a healthy lifestyle, but they are not the only thing that can help keep the doctor away! Drinking one green smoothie a day may be just the thing you need to stay vibrant and healthy.

Green smoothies are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are readily bioavailable and easily absorbed. Veggies like kale and spinach are not only nutrient dense, full of fiber, iron, calcium and protein, but they’re filled with chlorophyll which serves to strengthen the immune system, keep inflammation under control, increase red blood cell production and boost the cells ability to carry oxygen. The more you consume, the healthier you become.

Here are a few more very important health benefits of green smoothies:

How Yoga healed her bad back

Carla McKay says she gave yoga a real chance and the stretching became enjoyable. Her muscles got stronger surprisingly quickly after starting the exercise.

And, best of all, her chronic backache was considerably eased.

Carla McKay is the author of The Reluctant Yogi.

You may want to try these 4 yoga poses for your back:

Locust pose

Legs up wall
this pose is about the same as lajin doing on the floor

Flank stretch

Cat's pose


Exceptional people: Gold905 deejays make someone's day by covering their grocery bill


Irritable bowel syndrome on the rise in Singapore


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Earth Hour 2017

Switch off the lights for an hour at night in support of Earth Hour, which is marking its 10th year.

The annual lights-out event, which started in Sydney, Australia in 2007, has spread to more than 170 countries and territories.

This year’s event will be held on 25 March , from 8.30pm to 9.30pm in Singapore.

Friday, 24 March 2017

World TB Day - updated

World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.


You may want to read Rise in new tuberculosis cases in Singapore last year (2016)

Exceptional people: Shoe donation campaign for needy youth - updated with video

In My Shoes movement was yesterday launched at the Ministry of Education (Evans) Stadium to redistribute up to 5,000 spruced-up used shoes to youths each year to allow them to play sports,

Co-founded by national hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad and James Walton, Deloitte Singapore’s Sports Business Group Leader, the initiative takes unwanted sports shoes, cleans them up and redistributes them to disadvantaged youths in Singapore.

Youths from CareRunners, LoveSG and Northlight were the first to receive the spruced-up second-hand shoes from the movement at the launch.

Contact the co-founders at to donate your shoes, or make a donation at


Exceptional people: Singaporean runs orphanage in Vietnam to help street kids

When he lost his mother to stomach cancer seven years ago, Singaporean Poh Wei Ye took a six-month break to travel around South-east Asia and worked with various non-governmental organisations to help underprivileged children.

Mr Poh, 33, recalled: “(During) those six months, I fell in love with helping the kids. I felt that in developing countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, the kids are very vulnerable.”

In 2011, he set up the Thi An Orphanage — its name means “to accept everyone” — together with a Catholic nun in Vung Tau.

It started with 3 children, but now they provide shelter for 20 children aged 5 to 16.


In the absence of a will, how is the deceased’s estate distributed?


Intestate Succession Act

You may want to read Making a will: 5 things you need to know

Scam warning: Singtel subscribers hit by phishing e-mail

Some Singtel subscribers have received phishing e-mails, seemingly sent by the telco, telling them "Your Singtel bill is now available for download".

A Singtel spokesman said these are phishing e-mails and are not from Singtel. She advises recipients of these e-mails to delete them immediately.

Cybersecurity experts warn: Don't click on links or malware will infect your computer.


Scam warning: Credit for sex scams

The first 16 days of the month saw at least 53 credit-for-sex scam cases reported to the police, with victims losing at least $304,000 through such scams from the start of the year, police said yesterday.

The victims are usually men, who fall for the scammers through social media platforms such as WeChat, Locanto and OkCupid.

Members of the public are advised to call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 if they have any information on these scams, or dial 999 if they need urgent police assistance. The police also advised the public to take the following precautions:

•Be wary of strangers who befriend you online.

•Do not provide personal details when engaging with other users online.

•Do not share your payment receipts, e-mails or purchase cards containing details such as PIN numbers that can be used to redeem online credits.


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Exceptional people: Singaporeans donated mobile phones to migrant workers

image for illustration only
While many blue-collar foreign workers in Singapore use 2G or second-generation mobile phones – which provide voice calls, SMS and basic Internet access – telcos will be shuttering the 2G network by April 2017.

But a mobile phone is essential for such workers, to both keep in touch with loved ones back home and to call for help if they are involved in workplace disputes.

TWC2 is giving out the phones to its clients who are unable to work or who have not been paid by their employers, with a points system to help prioritise workers according to their needs.

TWC2 treasurer Alex Au said that the group has collected about 300 phones since September 2016, of which half were in working condition. The group also raised $11,458 and bought an additional 100 phones.

The Lasallian Youth Network are also collecting 3G mobiles for foreign workers.

It has amassed 20 phones since February and has also raised some $2,500 to purchase phones. It hopes to collect 100 phones and raise $4,000 by April as it has identified 105 needy individuals.

Those who wish to donate can find out more at


Singapore the healthiest country in Asia

Singapore is the healthiest country in Asia and the fourth healthiest country in the world, according to a new Bloomberg index.

Based on information from the World Health Organization, United Nations and the World Bank, the index ranked 163 countries based on variables such as life expectancy, causes of death and health risks such as high blood pressure, tobacco use, malnutrition and the availability of clean water.

Italy is the healthiest country in the world.

Growth in Italy has stagnated for decades, almost 40 per cent of its youngsters are out of jobs and it is saddled with one of the world's highest debt loads relative to the size of its economy.

Yet Italians are in way better shape than the rich Americans, Canadians and Britons - all thanks to its famous Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.


Staff and kids screened for TB at Clementi pre-school


Forum: Basic courtesy begins at home (家教)

Greeting and thanking the bus driver is basic courtesy, but to most people, it can be a tall order (Some simple courtesy goes a long way by Professor Tikki Pang; March 17).

Most residents find it difficult to acknowledge one another's presence, let alone greet their neighbours in the neighbourhood and inside the lifts.

Although our courtesy campaign and kindness movement have had some positive effects, the desired outcome has yet to be achieved.

Perhaps, these social shortcomings are partly due to poor upbringing at home, which is the ideal environment in which to instil such values in the young.

Hence, parents must teach their children basic courtesy, such as greeting and thanking their domestic helpers as well as those who serve them at food outlets.

Parents and grandparents should teach by example.

If the young are exposed to unacceptable behaviour at home, they may find it difficult to be socially responsible as they grow up.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Poisonous Foods We Love To Eat

1. Almonds

There are 2 types of almonds, sweet and bitter. The bitter ones are full of cyanide. Eating a few bitter almonds can cause problems for adults, and could be fatal for children. All almonds are heat-treated to remove traces of poison and bacteria before they are sold for consumption.

2. Cashews

Raw cashews contain urushoil, a chemical also found in poison ivy, can prove fatal if dosage is high. Cashews are steamed to remove the poison before they are sold for consumption.

3. Cassava or tapioca

The leaves and roots of cassava plants are surprisingly rich in cyanide. Before eating, peel and boil the roots to remove the poison. Low-cyanide roots are slightly bitter. High-cyanide roots are very bitter.

4. Tomatoes

The stems and leaves of tomato plants contain alkali poison called Glycoalkaloid, as are unripe green tomatoes. It would only be fatal if you eat in large quantities, but a small amount will still cause stomach problems and extreme nervousness.

5. Raw honey

Unpasteurized honey often contains grayanotoxin, but only if they are produced from certain plants' pollen or nectar. Poisoning from grayanotoxins is rarely fatal in humans, but still the side effects can last up to 24 hours.

6. Potatoes

Glycoalkaloids can be found in the leaves, stems of potato plants and sprouts of potato, or if the skin of potatoes is green. Eating glycoalkaloids will lead to cramping, diarrhea, confused headaches, or even coma and death.

7. Fruit seeds

Pips of cherry, apple, peach or apricot contain a type of hydrogen cyanide. So, do not eat the seeds of fruits, except almonds.

8. Nutmeg

Eating too much nutmeg may not kill you directly, but it will make you crazy, have seizures or hallucinating. It is so potent that it can save or kill, like fighting virus infections or induce abortion.


Texting too much can be a pain in the neck


Health-tips: How to maintain healthy hair

Here are some tips to maintain healthy hair:

1. Comb or brush your hair before showering
  • Brushing your hair before showering will help remove dirt.
  • This will also prevent pulling on hair knots so that your hair and scalp will not be hurt.

2. Take care of your hair at night
  • To prevent any hair frizz due to tossing and turning over the night, smooth out your hair before going to bed.

3. Massage your scalp
  • Regular five-minute head massages will help promote blood circulation so that hair follicles can restore nutrients more rapidly.

4. Go for regular scalp detox treatments
  • Scalp detox treatments will help remove scalp sebum and clogged pores, which aids in maintaining a clean and healthy scalp.

5. Avoid over-exposing scalp and hair to strong sunlight
  • Hair can become brittle and dry under such circumstances.
  • If your scalp is sunburnt, use soothing products on it and gently massage your scalp.

6. Consume more green leafy vegetables and yellow fruits
  • Lack of vitamins is one cause of unhealthy hair.
  • It is important to consume vitamin-rich vegetables and fruit such as spinach, leek, celery, mango and banana.
  • Vitamin B helps improve hair growth and add shine, while vitamin C plays a necessary role in enhancing the absorption of iron, which keeps our locks strong and healthy.


World's sperm are in trouble

As a couple hit their high point, millions of sperm begin their journey - rushing towards an egg to fertilise it.

But scientists say an increasing proportion of sperm - about 90 per cent in a typical young man - are misshapen, sometimes with two heads or two tails.

Even when properly shaped, today's sperm are often pathetic swimmers, veering like drunks or paddling crazily in circles. Sperm counts also appear to have dropped sharply in the last 75 years, in ways that affect the ability to reproduce.

Not everyone who wants to reproduce will be able to.

Apparently related to the problem of declining semen quality is an increase in testicular cancer in many countries; in undescended testicles; and in a congenital malformation of the penis called hypospadias (in which the urethra exits the side or base of the penis instead of the tip).

Read the full article @

Help schemes for kids come under one online system

A new programme in Tampines West will consolidate the various help schemes offered by different organisations into one system.

Three schools will be part of the pilot project, led by the North East Community Development Council (CDC). They are East View Primary School, Junyuan Primary School and Tampines Primary School.

Teachers, school counsellors and volunteers (trained by MSF to screen the needs of children) will first identify vulnerable children through a one-on-one screening.

Social workers from the Students Care Service will then key the details into an online system that will analyse and match the children's needs to over 10 help schemes or programmes, such as meal fund which provides food vouchers to children, after-school mentoring programmes and character-building camps.

The programme also helps their unemployed parents by linking them to job-placement schemes, thus providing more all-round support.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Forum: Disrespectful to post photo of breastfeeding mum online

A photo of a mother breastfeeding her daughter on an MRT train has been making the rounds on the Internet (Breastfeeding in public is normal, says mother who nursed her daughter without a cover on a train; ST Online, March 16).

I am a strong supporter of mothers breastfeeding in public without feeling the need to cover up. To take that away is to inhibit mothers who want to do right by their children.

Bare breasts are increasingly becoming a common sight, whether it be in a fashion show or a movie. Yet people are still uncomfortable when they see a mother breastfeeding her child.

I am disturbed that someone secretly photographed the scene and posted it on the Internet. This shows a complete lack of respect for a woman and her duty as a mother.

It seems like it was intended to shame the mother just because she did not conform to an ideal of how breastfeeding should be done in public.

This is a form of cyber-bullying, and we should discourage it.

I am glad that this mother is willing to put her child's happiness first.

I hope this incident does not deter mothers from breastfeeding their children in public.

Donovan Chee Kwok Hoe


Years of intense exercise tied to dip in male libido


Exceptional people: Laughter is the best medicine


Exceptional company: Make-A-Wish Foundation

Monday, 20 March 2017

Exceptional Singapore Women

1. Singaporean book makes history on local bestseller list

Cheryl Tan Lu-Lien's debut novel, Sarong Party Girls, has spend 27 weeks on the ST bestseller list.

2. Mixed martial arts exponent Angela Lee successfully defended her ONE Championship atomweight world title

She defeating Taiwan's Jenny Huang with a technical knock-out at the Warrior Kingdom event in Bangkok.

3. Michelle Chong has won Best Director at the Canada International Film Festival 2017

Singapore actress and filmmaker Michelle Chong has won Best Director for Lulu The Movie. The Canada International Film Festival recognises the best of world cinema from more than 90 countries.

4. New SMU law library named after Mdm Kwa Geok Choo