Sabtu, 23 November 2013

The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Action against illegal guides


Suspected unlicensed tourist guides will be questioned or even hauled to the police station by enforcement officers, under proposed changes to the law to give the Government more teeth to fight the scourge of illegal guides.

Offenders may also face harsher penalties, with plans to double the maximum fine to S$10,000 (RM25,626) for recalcitrants. There are also possible plans for more training and to raise the professionalism among licensed tourist guides.

The proposals come after a year-long review by the Trade and Industry Ministry and the Singapore Tourism Board as they grapple with the growing menace.

These illegal tourist guides are often foreigners accompanying tour groups from overseas. Others may be work pass holders who take on freelance guiding jobs without the requisite licence to be tour guides. They frequently give wrong information and take away business from those who have valid licences.

MTI said in a statement that proposed legislative changes are part of the government's ongoing efforts to raise the quality of tourist guides.

Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said tourist guides are important in promoting Singapore as a choice destination. He added that standards have to be improved and tougher action need to be taken against illegal guides who could "otherwise tarnish Singapore's image and impede the professional development of the tourist guide industry". — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Army officer jailed for five months


A 38-year-old army officer was jailed for five months after paying an underage prostitute S$500 (RM1,281) for sex.

Emlyn Thomas Thariyan (pic) is the 28th man to be sentenced in a series of cases involving the same 17-year-old prostitute, who was part of an online vice ring. He is appealing both conviction and punishment – the stiffest to date.

Thariyan committed the offence at Hotel 81 Bencoolen on Feb 18, 2011.

He is the fifth man to be sentenced after claiming trial, following 42-year-old Swiss banker Juerg Buergin, ex-navy engineer Kwa Wee Nam, 34, Indonesian Reyner Desvando Suhar-tono, 29, and business consultant Edward Whistler Goh Ngian Meng, 51.

Kwa, Suhartono and Goh each received four months' jail, while Buergin, a former executive director with UBS, was understood to have left Singapore in August after completing a 19-week jail term.

A total of 51 men were charged last year.

All the 23 other men who have been sentenced had pleaded guilty.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a seven-year jail term and a fine. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network


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