- Bus tickets to Malaysia sold out
- Former minister fined for drink driving
- Hun Sen vows to lead government
THOSE hoping to take a coach to Malaysia next weekend but have yet to buy their tickets might have to change their plans.
Many coach companies have sold all seats, given that Hari Raya Aidilfitri and National Day fall on Thursday and Friday respectively to make an extra long weekend.
First Coach, Golden Coach, Aeroline and Causeway Link Express all reported that bus trips from Singapore to popular Malaysian destinations such as Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh are fully booked on Aug 7 and 8.
Meanwhile, Grassland Express & Tours and StarMart Express Air Asia Liner are also sold out for Aug 7, and have only the less popular night tickets left for the next day. Tickets are still available for Aug 9.
Coming back in time for the work week might also be tricky, as return trips for Aug11 have all been snapped up. Those for Aug 12 are quickly running out.
Coach companies attribute the spike in ticket sales to the fortuitous timing of the back-to-back public holidays.
"Singaporeans are all kiasu because of the long weekend," quipped Grassland Express & Tours ticket agent Stanford Ee, 65.
"We are very crowded, just like Chinese New Year."
Said Aeroline customer service officer Nashira Ersham, 25: "Many even called a couple of months earlier to check for tickets."
Most bus operators sold all their tickets as early as a month ago. To deal with the demand, several added more bus trips at a higher price.
According to a StarMart Express Air Asia Liner ticket agent, it will dispatch about twice as many buses for its Thursday evening trips to Kuala Lumpur.
These rides will, however, cost S$60 (RM150) instead of the usual S$30 (RM75).
While many are flocking to Malaysia next week, others like National University of Singapore student Alexis Ng prefer to skip the crowd.
"I'm not going this time because I want to avoid the jam," said the 23-year-old, who regularly visits her relatives in Penang.
"Besides, I usually prefer to fly because it's safer and more convenient." — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
FORMER minister of state Chan Soo Sen said raising a toast at a charity event led to him being fined S$2,000 (RM5,100) and banned from driving for a year.
After admitting to drink driving, the 56-year-old said he had made the "careless" mistake of not getting someone to drive him home from the event where he had been drinking red wine with its organisers.
A father of two, Chan was a People's Action Party MP from 1996 to 2011 and had been a minister of state three times.
The traffic court heard yesterday that he had been travelling along Cantonment Road towards Outram Road when he was stopped at a police roadblock just before midnight on July 13.
An officer noticed that he "smelt strongly of alcohol" and he admitted to having had drinks. He failed a breathalyser test and was arrested. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen vowed to establish a government under his leadership despite allegations by the opposition party of massive electoral fraud.
Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) on Sunday claimed it had secured an estimated 68 of the 123 lower house seats, shading the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) which won 55.
The CNRP rejected the results, citing widespread voting irregularities, and vowed to press for nationwide protests unless an independent probe is launched.
According to the Cambodian constitution the kingdom's National Assembly must have "at least 120 members" and hold its first session within 60 days of the election, leaving the CPP well short by its own reckoning of the seats if the opposition chose to boycott parliament.
But in a defiant radio address yesterday the premier said his party has an "absolute majority" and will "proceed to set up the leadership of the parliament and government. They will not wait for you (the opposition)".
"There will be no stalemate... I am the Prime Minister. I will continue to be the Prime Minister," he added.
"The law does not specify how many lawmakers are needed for the first meeting."
He also urged the CNRP to join talks over participating in the next parliament.
The first parliament meeting will be convened by late September.
The CNRP has already called for a United Nations-backed investigation into allegations that 1.25 million legitimate voters were culled from the electoral roll, while more than one million "ghost names" and a further 200,000 duplicated names were added to the list.
Rainsy has said his party had in fact won a majority of 63 seats and repeated a vow to prevent the CPP "stealing victory".
In a statement, the opposition said its leader Sam Rainsy will announce the "CNRP's stand related to election results" on Tuesday.
Hun Sen, 60, a former Khmer Rouge cadre who defected from the murderous regime, has vowed to rule until he is 74.
He oversaw Cambodia's transformation from a nation devastated by the "Killing Fields" genocidal era in the late 1970s to become one of South-East Asia's most vibrant economies.
The premier – who has been in power for 28 years – is regularly accused of ignoring human rights and muzzling political freedoms. — AFP
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