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ARRESTED FOR THROWING NEIGHBOUR'S CATS FROM 15TH FLOOR
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: A local man has been arrested for suspected abuse by throwing three (3) cats, believed to be his neighbour's, from the 15th floor of an apartment building in Jalan PJS 8/9, Petaling Jaya.
Petaling Jaya district police chief, ACP Mohamad Fakhruddin Abdul Hamid, said that the arrest of the 44-year-old male suspect was based on a police report lodged on Monday, October 17, 2022.
He said the report stated that the suspect had thrown the animals from the 15th floor of the building.
" The police also found three (3) cat carcasses with the suspect. As a result of the initial investigation, the suspect admitted to throwing his neighbour's cats from his residential unit on the 15th floor," he said in a statement on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
Mohamad Fakhruddin said the suspect was remanded for four (4) days starting on October 19, 2022, and the case was being investigated under Section 428 of the Penal Code for mischief by killing or maiming animals.
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DRAW FOR SINGAPORE COMPANIES ABOUT BIG MARKET VIETNAM
HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM :It was a difficult decision for Quek Kawan Yi to leave the air force and move to Vietnam to join the family tableware business, but the former fighter pilot is glad he made the switch.
Speaking to The Straits Times on the sidelines of a Singapore Business Federation roundtable discussion in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, the chief operating officer of Q Industries said business for the Singapore company is booming in Vietnam, and that his five (5) years in the country have been smooth and enjoyable.
He said: " Nothing can replace the excitement and the thrill of flying. But after close to 15 years in the air force, and seeing where my family business was growing, I thought that if I was going to be a successful entrepreneur and business person, I would have to make the switch."
Quek, 38, was one of about 100 participants at the event, which was held in conjuction with President Halimah Yacob's state visit to Vietnam.
Q Industries, started by Quek's parents in 1987, opened in Ho Chi Minch City in 2003. It now has offices in Hanoi, as well as in Malaysia and Singapore.
Sixty out of 100 of Q Industries employees are based in Vietnam, where the company supplies tableware to hotels and restaurants and has recently started a culinary training programme.
Quek, who is unmarried with no children, said his transition from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City was an easy one, thanks in no small part to the strong travel links between the two (2) cities and perhaps, more importantly, the easy availability of Singapore food such as roti prata and bak chor mee (miced meat noodles).
" Culturally, there are differences, but overall, I find that living here is very comfortable," he said. Quek said he is likely to stay in Vietnam in the light of his company's success, which he expects will continue for the next five (5) years.
He added that the business is made easy in the country because of its large local market and openness to foreign direct investment.
Vietnam has a population of 98.2 million, with spending power on the rise and its gross domestic product expected to increase by about 7.5 per cent in 2022.
At the event, Halimah touched on the close trade and investment ties between Vietnam and Singapore, during her address to participants.
Singapore is the second-largest cumulative foreign investor, after South Korea, in Vietnam, with total investments amounting to US$68.68 billion (S$97.8 billion). In the first five months of 2022, Singapore companies invested a total of US$3 billion.
Halimah also said the two sides are exploring partnerships in the digital and green technology.
Guava Amenities is a Singapore company in Vietnam that is offering sustainable solutions. The firm, which provides amenities, healthcare supplies and other goods to the hospitality and travel industry, also links manufacturers to hotels and airlines, and focuses on minimising waste and carbon emissions.
Guava Amenities chief executive Gabriel Tan said: " Our focus is to make sure we have sustainable solutions. But for Vietnam, it's equally important to scale it to ensure that they are affordable." He added that if businesses keep their services affordable, Vietnam is a huge market full of opportunities.
Following the event, a reception was held for about 130 Singaporeans living in Vietnam. About 3,000 Singaporeans work and live in the country.
Halimah said all of them represent Singapore and its values, and urged them to give their perspectives on Singapore's future in the Forward Singapore exercise to shape and strengthen Singapore's social compact for its next phase.
On Wednesday night, Halimah met Ho Chi Minch City party committee secretary Nguyen Van Nen at the Reunification Palace in the city.
At a dinner after the meeting, she expressed her appreciation for the city's strong support for Singapore's businesses and called for continued collaboration to address common challenges such as climate change and urban management.
She said: " We can tap our complementary strengths to equip our cities for the future, including Ho Chi Minh City's aspirations to develop into an international financial centre.
" This will not just benefit our cities, but bring about growth and development to the wider South-East Asia region as well."
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SHOPS FINED AND WARNED FOR MISLEADING PRICE TAGS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
BANDAR SEGI BEGAWAN : The Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy fined two (2) business companies for violating Chapter 142 of the Price Control Act, and the Regulations under it during a daily routine inspection recently.
The offence was selling infant formula milk powder above the set price and not displaying the price tag for some of the items sold at the business premises. The two (2) companies were ecah fined BND500.
Meanwhile, four warning notices were issued to business companies for not displaying price tags on some of the good sold, displaying misleading price tags, and displaying price tags not consistent with the price in the payment system.
The agency said complaints relating to Chapter 142 of the Price Control Act can be channelled through the PenggunaBijak mobile app, Darussalam Hotline 123, or via email to email@example.com
Complaints must include supporting documents such as payment receipts and photographs as proof.
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FOR SCALDING FIVE-YEAR-OLD SON TO DEATH, PARENTS GET LIFE SENTENCE
SINGAPORE: The parents of a five-year-old boy who repeatedly splashed hot water on him until he died from his injuries were each sentenced to life imprisonment, after the mother avoided the death penalty on Tuesday, October 18, 2022.
Azlin Arujunah and her husband Ridzuan Mega Abdul Rahman, both 30, had splashed hot water on the boy on four occasions in 2016, at their one-room flat in Toa Payoh.
They were originally given 27 years' jail each in 2020 for causing grievous hurt by dangerous means. But the Court of Appeal increased Ridzuan's sentence to life imprisonment and convicted Azlin of murder in July, following an appeal by prosecutors.
On Tuesday, the five-judge panel said Azlin did not comprehend that the boy's injuries could have fatal consequencs, which has a bearing on whether the death penalty is warranted.
" We are not satisfied that Azlin manifested such a blatant disregard for human life. We therefore do not consider that the threshold has been crossed for the imposition of the death penalty," said the court, led by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.
The court said it accepted that objectively, reasonable members of the community would find Azlin's actions cruel and inhumane. However, the imposition of the death penalty must be justified in the first place by reference to the offender's state of mind and motivation.
While cruelty or a display of inhumane treatment is a relevant factor, the court " should not be distracted by the gruesomeness of the scene of the crime " in determining whether the death penalty should be imposed, said the court.
As for Ridzuan, the court removed the sentence of 12 strokes of the cane he had been given in relation to one of the eight other charges he had been convicted of.
While Ridzuan and Azlin have been convicted of different charges, the apex court said the pair share a very similar degree of culpability in this case.
" Their roles and the surrounding circumstances are similar, and most of the charges were committed by both of them in furtherance of their common intention. Both of them also shared parental responsibility for the deceased.
" Consequently, as a matter of fairness, the starting position should be that Ridzuan should not be sentenced to a more onerous sentence than Azlin," said the court.
The couple had splashed hot water on the boy on four occasions between October 15 and October 22 in year 2016, and only took him to hospital about seven hours after he collapsed following the final incident.
Azlin splashed water on the boy in the first three incidents, while Ridzuan splashed water on the boy in the second and fourth incidents.
In what prosecutors described as " one of the worst cases of child abuse ", the boy died from horrific scald injuries, which covered about 75 per cent of his body, on October 23, 2016.
The couple also committed other acts of abuse against the child, including confining him to a pet cage.
The pair, who have other children, originally faced a charge of murder with common intention to inflict fatal scald injuries on the boy.
The boy and his siblings cannot be identified due to a gag order.
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GETS THREE YEARS' JAIL FOR SEXUAL ACT ON UNDERAGE NIECE
SINGAPORE: A man molested his niece when she was between seven and eight years old, and went on to perform a sexual act on the minor in their home around seven years later in 2015.
Six years passed before she finally told the police in 2021 about her ordeal.
The court heard that the victim, who is now 22, initially did not want to alert the authorities because she feared that police officers and her family members would not believe her.
She decided to lodge the police report after her best friend and her boyfriend encouraged her to do so.
Her uncle, now 30, was on Tuesday jailed for three years after he pleaded guilty to one count of sexually penetrating a minor.
Two molestation charges involving the same victim were considered during sentencing.
The offender cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.
Before sexually penetrating the girl, he had earlier molested her when she was between seven and eight years old.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Heng said: " Emboldened by the lack of consequences, he escalated in his sexual abuse and committed a more serious offence of sexual penetration of a minor against the victim."
The man had lived in a flat with his family members, including his mother, the victim and her two younger brothers.
The man and his niece, who was then between 14 and 15 years old, were alone in the unit in 2015 when he took her to a bathroom and told her to sit on a toilet bowl.
He then sexually penetrated the girl after telling her to cover her face with her shirt if she felt scared.
After he committed the offence, the victim rushed to her bed and hid underneath a blanket.
She made a police report on May 01, 2021, and officers arrested her uncle later that day.
On Tuesday, DPP Heng pressed for a sentence of three years' jail, noting that the man had abused his position of trust.
She added: " As the accused and the victim lived together, this gave the accused easy access to the victim, and the accused knowingly exploited this.
" Furthermore, the sexual acts were committed against the victim within the sanctity of her own home, where she was supposed to feel safe."
For sexually penetrating a minor, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fines.
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' PLEASE AVOID PAS - UMNO FRICTION '
BERA: There should not be friction between UMNO and PAS as their ties may still continue in the future, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He also added that both parties should avoid insulting or hurling attacks against one another as such acts were not only prohibited by Islam, but also because the two parties used to work together under Muafakat Nasional, which had now become strained.
" We shouldn't be making attacks on each other because the ties may be rekindled again in the future. In politics, we are not forever enemies, and it is not forever that we are friends, and as such, we should avoid hurting other people's feelings.
" Who knows, one day we will sit together again for the sake of the Muslim ummah and the Malays in the country.
" If we make baseless allegations, it will only create animosity between us," he said to reporters after launching the Bera Barisan Nasional parliamentary machinery here yesterday.
Ismail Sabri, who is also an UMNO vice-president, earlier officiated the Bera UMNO divisional meeting here, reported Bernama.
The Prime Minister said this in response to PAS president, Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang's statement on Friday that PAS had suspended its cooperation with Barisan.
Abdul Hadi made the statement a day after Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that UMNO and Barisan had decided to go solo in the 15th General Election.
Meanwhile, in his speech, Ismail Sabri, who is also Bera UMNO division leader, hinted that he would defend the parliamentary seat, which he had won since 2004, should this be agreed upon by the party leadership.
He reminded the party machinery to unite and work together to ensure victory for all Barisan candidates, regardless of whether they are from UMNO, MCA or MIC, in the constituency.
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NO NEED TO SABOTAGE SAYS ISMAIL SABRI
BERA: The interests of Barisan Nasional should be prioritised to ensure whoever is chosen as a candidate wins the 15th General Election (GE15), says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The UMNO vice-president said that the culture of sabotage, or cah keting, must end if Barisan were to win and a stable government could be formed.
He said many wanted to contest and many were qualified to be candidates, but when not chosen, they would sabotage those who were selected to contest in the polls.
" Don't just think about ourselves. We will rejoice for two or three days because our friends lost, but those who will suffer will be the public," he said while officiating the Bera UMNO division delegates meeting at the Bera district council convention hall here on October 16, 2022.
He said those involved in campaigning for the party would also be disappointed to see their own leaders undermining each other.
" Imagine the feelings of members who joined the party at a young age, (who) did not sleep at night working for the party, to see their own leaders sabotaging each other," he said, reported Bernama.
The Prime Minister also said that the results of GE14, which saw Barisan failing to form a government at the federal level, should serve as a lesson for the coalition to win big this time and to avoid political instability.
" This election is different. In the past, UMNO and Barisan contested the elections with the expectation that they would win and be able to form the government in Putrajaya.
" However, after GE14, this 100% guarantee is no longer a given. We can no longer take it for granted and we have to work hard to ensure Barisan's victory, " he said.
Ismail Sabri, who is also Bera UMNO division chief, said that although he retained his seat during GE14, the victory was bitter-sweet, knowing many friends in the party had lost.
" Don't forget and don't take it for granted. The experience of GE14 should serve as a lesson.
" This time, we have to work harder because the Bera parliamentary constituency is different.
" All eyes are on us here because this is the prime minister's parliamentary seat," he said.
In this regard, he reminded the machineary of UMNO, MCA and MIC to work as ' one family ' to retain Barisan's victory in the Bera parliamentary seat and the Guai and Kemayan state seats, in addition to recapturing the Triang state seat from Pakatan Harapan.
He also added that work should start as early as possible.
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ACTIONS IN UKRAINE ' COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE ' - BLINKEN
WASHINGTON : United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that Russia's attacks on Ukraine present a " profound moral issue " and the international community has a responsibility to make clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions are unacceptable.
" The international community has a responsibility to make clear that President Putin's actions are completely unacceptable," Blinken told media.
" Now is the time to speak out in support for Ukraine: it is not the time for abstentions, placating words, or equivocations under claims of neutrality. The core principles of the UN Charter are at stake."
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RESTRICTS VISAS TO TALIBAN, OTHER OVER REPRESSION OF AFGHAN WOMEN - UNITED STATES
The United States has restricted visas from being issued to current and former members of the Taliban, among other individuals, for repressing women and girls in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told media on Tuesday.
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REFUGEES CAMP OUT IN BRAZILIAN AIRPORT IN SEARCH OF NEW LIFE - AFGHAN
SAO PAULO : Blankets and luggage cart have become the makeshift homes to more than a hundred Afghan migrants in Sao Paulo's international airport, serving as a temporary shelter for refugees after their year-long odyssey since the Taliban returned to power.
Brazil has approved about 6,000 humanitarian visas for Afghan refugees since late last year. But local authorities near Sao Paulo's Guarulhos airport said they had little idea there would be dozens of Afghans arriving daily this month.
Their numbers may continue to grow in coming weeks, as an average of four direct flights arrive daily from the Middle East and South Asia. With travel to Qatar surging for the World Cup in November, airlines are adding more flights to the region.
The airport's refugee assistance agency estimated that some 130 Afghans are encamped at the airport's Terminal 2, as efforts to house them have not kept up with the influx of new arrivals.
The refugees told Reuters they arrived without promises of a place to stay and now the local government is scuttling to find places for them outside the airport grounds.
Federal prosecutors pressed the federal government this week for details of what it is doing to handle the situation, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
Brazil's Justice Ministry, which handles immigration issues, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The families and single men at the airport said they had no choice but to endure a chaotic year-long journey to Brazil in order to flee a Taliban regime that persecutes anyone with any association with the previous, Western-backed government.
" All these people you see here, their lives were at risk in Afghanistan," said Mohammad Aryobee, a human rights activist and civil engineer who arrived in Brazil on Tuesday after fleeing from Afghanistan, he says, for having " secular ideals."
" The reason (for being here) is to save their lives, to save their families," he added. " My expectation is not so high...I need a place to live and find a small job, to improve my life."
The Sao Paulo state government is working with municipal authorities and civil society to attend to basic needs of the arriving refugees.
" We are able to give them three meals, a blanket, vaccination," said Swany Zenobini, part of the " Afghan Front " collective that mobilized to help receive and accommodate of the refugees. " Today we are managing to guarantee this because civil society is applying pressure on us."
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