Rabu, 13 November 2013

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First undersea road set to open Dec 29


THE Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) – Singapore's first undersea road, costliest expressway and one with the widest tunnels – will open on Dec 29, four years after the S$4.3bil (RM11bil) project started.

The 5km expressway, at S$860mil (RM2.2bil) per kilometre, has a 420m section that goes under the sea-bed just south of the Marina Barrage.

Linking the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway to the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), it will allow swift east-west travel. Drivers currently using the East Coast Parkway (ECP) to join up with the AYE can switch to the MCE from Dec 29.

The ECP will be downgraded to an arterial road that serves the Marina downtown. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Former Australia PM Rudd quits politics


SYDNEY, Nov 13, 2013 (AFP) - Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd (pic) announced an end to his chequered political career Wednesday, quitting politics two months after being ousted from office by Tony Abbott.

The charismatic 55-year-old Labor stalwart, who led Australia twice and was foreign minister in Julia Gillard's government, said he would leave parliament at the end of the week.

"This has been the product of much soul-searching for us as a family over the last few months," he told parliament in an emotional evening speech in which he had to pause several times to compose himself.

"The decision that I have made has not been taken lightly.

"But for me, my family is everything, always has been, always will be, which is why I will not be continuing as a member of this parliament beyond this week."

Since being soundly defeated by Abbott in September 7 elections, senior figures within Labor have urged him to quit, saying he would be a destabilising influence after three years of bitter infighting within the party.

The Mandarin-speaking Rudd stood down as Labor leader after his election loss but remained the local member for his Queensland electorate of Griffith.

He was elected prime minister in the 2007 general election in a landslide defeat of John Howard, but within his first term he was dumped by colleagues fed up with his style of management and demoted to foreign minister.

There were claims of egotism - even megalomania - behind the scenes and a series of policy mis-steps gave party members the pretext to depose him in shock coup that delivered Gillard to office.

His sudden downfall mystified the Australian public who had elected him, and this, coupled with the growing unpopularity of Gillard, prompted Labor to return to Rudd's leadership in June to try and salvage the party vote in 2013 polls.

In announcing his retirement from political life, Rudd thanked the people of Australia for electing him as their prime minister.

"To have served as prime minister of Australia has been a great honour afforded to very few in our country's history," he said.

His arch foe Abbott said Rudd had been one of the biggest figures in Australia politics in recent decades and wished him well.

"As a political opponent, but as someone who has known the member for Griffith quite well for a long time, I salute him and I wish him and his family all the best for the future," he said.

In his future life, Rudd said he planned to support causes for homelessness and organ donation and establish a "national apology foundation" to aid indigenous Australians.

He also intends to remain active in the international community "where I can make a genuine contribution to peace and stability, global economic governance and sustainable development, including climate change". - AFP

Father of nine jailed for sex with student


A TECHNICIAN, who is a father of nine children, was told off by a judge for having sex with a 13-year-old student that he befriended in an online chatroom.

In sentencing Razman Surya Rahmad, 39, yesterday to a year and three months' jail for having sex with a minor, District Judge Low Wee Ping said: "You should have known better. What if one of your children becomes a victim?"

Razman met the girl on a chat website on Dec 25, 2009 and exchanged telephone numbers with her.

He lied to her, saying he was 28.

He asked her to meet him, with the intention of having sex with her.

He also promised to pay her S$50 (RM128).

She met him at Eunos MRT station at night on the same day.

He then drove her to a nearby block of flats and they took the lift to a high floor.

When she asked for the payment, he said that he would give it to her later.

They then had unprotected sex at a staircase landing.

Razman then dropped her off at the same MRT station without handing over any money.

Some days later, he asked her again for sex but she turned him down.

Her mother found an SMS message in her mobile phone on Dec 29 and took her to the police.

Razman pleaded guilty to the offence last month.

Asking for a jail term of no less than 15 months, Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo said that Razman had "painted himself as a family man with many children" but had used the victim to satisfy his sexual desires.

Razman, who did not have a lawyer, said that he found out in 2009 that his second wife was cheating on him and was "totally devastated", leading him to commit the offence.

He is now divorced from his wife but has custody of their seven children.

He has two other children from his first marriage.

Razman had been planning to marry again and his fiancee, who was in court, burst into tears when the sentence was passed.

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined. — The Straits TImes / Asia News Network

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