Khamis, 17 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Extensive underground network may be built to save space


SINGAPORE'S Central Business District, new Marina Bay Downtown and its future southern waterfront district may be linked by an extensive underground road network beyond 2030.

The plan being studied by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will see traffic zipping about unobtrusively beneath the surface in a series of subterranean ring roads.

Such roads, which free up surface space and improve the liveability of urban areas, are found in cities such as Brussels, Stockholm, Madrid, Paris, Hamburg and Boston.

Singapore's plan is seen as part of a larger one to accommodate a growing population, and it dates back to the 1980s.

Then in 1996, the LTA envisioned 30km of two- to four-lane roads forming a pair of concentric rings under the city centre.

It revisited the idea in the recently released 2013 Land Transport Masterplan, but added that the so-called Singapore Underground Road System (Surs) will now be more extensive.

"We are now studying how Surs can serve new developments in the Marina Bay area and the new southern waterfront city that will extend from Keppel Channel to Pasir Panjang Terminal," a spokesman said.

But until exact development plans for these two districts are clearer, he said, the scale and alignment of the underground roads remain conceptual.

Experts said going underground is inevitable.

Dr Park Byung Joon, head of the urban transport management programme at SIM University, said intense development is expected for the new downtown areas.

Thus, building roads on the surface "may not be desirable due to the limited supply of land".

Elevated roads may also mar the visual appeal and perceived prestige of a district, he said. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Salesman and manager jailed for having sex with teen prostitutes


A SALESMAN who had commercial sex with a 17-year-old girl in the online vice ring case has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Sng Kok Wee, 31, is the 23rd man to be dealt with to-date. He was among 51 men charged last year with paid sex with the same girl.

A district court heard that Sng came across a website on escorts who provided sexual services.

The girl was among the escorts working for Tang Boon Thiew, 40, and was described as an 18-year-old polytechnic student on the website.

After seeing her details, Sng was keen to engage her services and sent text messages to Tang to find out if she was available on Oct 10, 2010. He was quoted S$450 (RM1,125) for an hour of the girl's sexual services and the location was Hotel 81 Bencoolen.

Tang was jailed six years last week.

Meanwhile, an engineering manager, who had commercial sex with a 17-year-old girl from China who was forced into prostitution in Singapore, has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Nordin Mohamed Noor, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of paying the girl S$100 (RM250) for her sexual services at a lodging house in Geylang Road on May 23.

So far, 24 men have been charged with engaging in commercial sex with the Shandong province girl.

Nordin is the 20th man to plead guilty and the 18th to be sentenced. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Man ‘without conscience’ gets 30 months for statutory rape


A DISTRICT judge has ticked off a man for not only betraying the trust of a teenage girl and her family, but also his wife, after he committed multiple sexual offences with the girl, then 13.

"You have no conscience,'' judge Lee Poh Choo told Muhammad Zhafir Ahmad, 27, before packing him off to prison for 30 months yesterday.

The offences came to light in September last year when the victim's mother found pictures of her daughter and Zhafir kissing on her mobile phone.

Zhafir, a public servant, who faced 16 charges, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexually abusing the 13-year-old girl at her home and in his car between April and August last year. The other charges were taken into consideration.

A district court heard that Zhafir and his then-fiancee, whom he later married, knew the victim's mother. In September 2011, he invited the victim and her siblings to a movie but only the victim went.

After this meeting, they contacted each other regularly over the phone and through text messages. The victim told Zhafir that she saw him as a boyfriend. He accepted her as his girlfriend just one day before he got married, said Assistant Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan.

In April last year, after an outing, Zhafir had consensual sex with the girl at her home and told her to keep it a secret.

The following month, he picked her up from school in his car and drove her to a multi-storey carpark in Jurong West where they were intimate again. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network


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