Saturday, 6 May 2017

Gardening helps halfway house residents find release

Source: ST

The Hindu Endowments Board (HEB)-Ashram Halfway House is one of eight halfway houses here and the only one that caters exclusively to Indians.

Last August, the idea for an eco-garden was mooted by the chairman of the HEB management committee, Professor Narayanan Ganapathy.

From a small patch in a corner of the property, the area under cultivation is now the size of half a football field, with a variety of fruit trees and vegetables, including bananas, eggplant, lime and curry leaves.

As the project began to take shape, volunteers from the community came on board to help to rear honey bees, donated chickens and constructed a fish pond from scratch to breed tilapia.


Online suicide game prompts MOE advisory

With youngsters increasingly consumed by the world of social media, parents and educators here are increasingly concerned about their mental well-being, especially with suicide-related content trending online.

One particular game (Blue Whale) and a Netflix series (13 Reasons Why) prompted the Education Ministry to issue advisories yesterday on their online publication

Such content have been circulating and may negatively influence our children to view suicide as a viable way to deal with their problems, or even romanticise or glamourise the act of suicide.

Executive director of Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) Christine Wong said the best way to combat such social media trends is for the community to be on the alert for negative content online, teach youngsters to avoid it, and be attentive to their loved ones.


  • Samaritans of Singapore (24-hour hotline) 1800-221-4444
  • Tinkle Friend 1800-274-4788
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health 1800-283-7019
  • Care Corner Counselling Centre (in Mandarin) 1800-353-5800
  • Mental Health Helpline 6389-2222
  • Aware Helpline 1800-774-5935


Video: Flash mob by an orchestra in a surprising good classical performance

Coca-Cola produces over 100 billion disposable plastic bottles

Coca-Cola is failing to combat the environmental damage caused by it producing over 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles each year, a new analysis by Greenpeace has revealed.

According to the research, the world’s biggest soft drinks company’s single-use plastic bottles now account for almost 60 per cent of the company’s global packaging – a number that has increased by 12 per cent from 2008 to 2015.

Coca-Cola in 2013 set a target for its recovery and recycling rates in developed countries to rise to 75 per cent by 2020. However Greenpeace’s analysis of Coca-Cola’s available data from 2013 to 2015 revealed that this rate is actually declining. Greenpeace says that the rate fell from 63 per cent in 2013, to 61 per cent in 2014 and 59 per cent in 2015.


Forum: Self-responsibility the answer, not govt action

I strongly disagree with the suggestion of the former jackpot addict that the Government shuts down such entertainment places (Jackpot addict: I lost $10k in a day; April 30).

While it is true that the odds of jackpot machines always favour the "house", such machines have never been marketed as profitable for the player in the first place.

Indeed, the woman mentioned in the report persisted in gambling despite being clearly aware of the mathematical odds against her.

How, then, does this translate into a duty of the Government to shut these places down?

A sensible player would treat the jackpot machines as recreation, playing moderately for fun without harbouring any fantasies of riches.

Acting on the former addict's suggestion would mean depriving other players of their harmless fun - simply because she lacked the discipline to tackle her runaway gambling addiction.

Perhaps, instead of vigorously pursuing a nanny state agenda and looking towards the Government to address every problem, we should start taking responsibility for our own actions.

Doing so would result in a better society for everybody.

A mentality of turning towards the state to fix every trivial issue would only discourage the development of vital soft skills such as personal responsibility and self-discipline, and lead to a victim complex that blames the Government and the state for everything.

Francis Tay


Ringgit is rising fast against Sing$

As at 8pm on 05/05/17.