- Young grad resorted to theft after she couldn’t find job
- ‘Haze’ voted the Chinese character for 2013
- Kim urges N. Korea military to bolster combat readiness
Posted: 24 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST
SHE stole more than S$38,000 (RM98,714) worth of jewellery from her adoptive mother in order to give the 66-year-old a monthly allowance of S$500 (RM1,298).
In sentencing 24-year-old Sarina Chan Jee Chin to 21 months of probation and 130 hours of community service, District Judge Low Wee Ping said: "I don't think you are a criminal to be put in prison, but it was a very foolish way to please your adoptive mother."
Chan, who is from China and adopted when she was four, could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for theft after pleading guilty.
The prosecution had argued that there was nothing unusual about this case to spare Chan a jail term, but the judge disagreed, saying there were "many special circumstances", including how ample restitution had been made.
When the prosecution highlighted the high value of the jewellery that was stolen, defence counsel Edmund Wong explained that Chan had returned S$19,185 (RM49,837) while S$18,860 (RM48,993) of the stolen items had been recovered by the police.
"If you add this to the monthly allowance Yeo received over three years, she gained more than she lost," Wong pointed out.
The judge also referred to Chan's good academic results, having graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a diploma in visual communications, and her present job as a freelance media research consultant.
Judge Low also added: "It would be excessive punishment to destroy all this and give her a criminal record."
It was in late 2010, after her graduation, when her adoptive mother Yeo Ah Moy asked for a monthly allowance.
Unable to find a job, she resorted to stealing S$2,255 (RM5,857) worth of gold jewellery from a drawer in Yeo's bedroom in March 2011, which she then pawned.
She stole three more times the next year, and then for the final time this January.
Five months later, Yeo discovered her jewellery missing and went to the police.
In the probation report, Yeo's husband said that he did not support a probation sentence for Chan.
But Judge Low said this was because he feared offending his wife.
Chan's lawyer also revealed that despite being estranged from her adoptive family – she is now living alone – his client had expressed the desire to support Yeo in the years ahead. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Posted: 24 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST
"HAZE" received the most votes from Lianhe Zaobao readers asked to sum up 2013 in a Chinese character.
The second most popular choice was "greed" given the corruption cases involving high-profile public servants such as Edwin Yeo, an assistant director with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. He was charged in August with misappropriating S$1.7mil (RM4.4mil) from 2008 to last year.
This is the third year in which Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao has run a poll to let its readers decide which one of 10 Chinese characters best reflects the major local and international events of the past year.
Of the record 130,000 votes collected this time, 32% went to the Chinese character mai, which means haze. Singapore experienced its worst haze on June 21, when the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit a record hazardous level of 401.
While this year was, from a news perspective, "an eventful year with many news events that warrant reflection", said Zaobao editor Goh Sin Teck, the readers' top choice showed that they were concerned about Mother Earth falling sick.
Tan, which means greed, received 24% of the votes, with pan, which means anticipation, in third place with 18%.
The 10 characters, which included "Internet" and "power", were shortlisted by a panel comprising various experts and academics, including Dr Foo Tee Tuan, deputy director at the UniSim Centre for Chinese Studies and Nominated Member of Parliament Eugene Tan.
The number of voters this year was 40 times more than last year, when "lust" was chosen after a series of sex scandals made the headlines. One reason for the rise in the number of voters this year was that the poll was sent online for the first time through the Chinese daily's website, Zaobao.com.
Various community outreach events to increase awareness of the poll – another first – were also conducted at libraries, where the public could vote on the spot. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Posted: 24 Dec 2013 06:59 PM PST
SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has urged the country's military to bolster its combat readiness, saying a war could break out "without any prior notice", state media reported Wednesday.
The call comes at a time of heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula following the execution of Kim's uncle and former mentor in an unusually public purge.
Kim visited the Command of Large Combined Unit 526 on Christmas Eve, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.
"He instructed the unit to put utmost spurs on rounding off its combat readiness... always bearing in mind that a war breaks out without any prior notice," it said.
The unit is based in the North's western port city of Nampo, according to the South's Yonhap news agency.
There are growing concerns over the regime's stability after the execution of Jang Song-Thaek, a senior leader who was also the uncle and former political mentor of the younger leader.
Seoul and Washington have warned of possible provocative acts by the nuclear-armed North following the purge.
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye called for "watertight security readiness" during her trip Tuesday to a frontline guard post, describing the situation over the border as "ominous".
"We should react sternly and mercilessly to any provocations by North Korea," she said.
In recent days the reclusive state's propaganda mill has gone into overdrive describing Jang as a traitor while extolling Kim's leadership.
Tens of thousands of troops pledged loyalty to him in a mass rally on the death anniversary of his father last Tuesday.
The Kim dynasty has ruled the impoverished but nuclear-armed state since 1948 with an iron fist and pervasive personality cult. -AFP
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