Rabu, 29 Januari 2014

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Singapore PM hits back at social media "pack behaviour"

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 11:41 PM PST

SINGAPORE: Internet rules are necessary to restrain "pack behaviour" in social media and ensure civility between users, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in remarks released Wednesday.

Speaking at a university forum late Tuesday, Lee said social media raised the risk of an overreaction from the public when contentious incidents occur in the ethnically diverse city-state, with "unrestrained, anonymous viciousness".

Lee, who has nearly 260,000 Facebook followers, referred to several local incidents that have sparked off unbridled web outrage, including derogatory comments against Singaporeans posted on social media by British expatriate Anton Casey last week.

"Each one issue can cause a spark. Because of social media it becomes harder to settle such problems quietly and we risk having an overreaction," Lee told students at the Nanyang Technological University.

A video of his speech was posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

"It becomes like pack behaviour. You scold, you swear, you curse. All the wrong instincts get fed and in a group, there's a certain group dynamic and it is like a pack of hounds hunting, which is bad," he said.

"That by the way is also why we need rules in cyberspace..in human engagement you must have some basis on what is out of bounds, what we will comply with, what is acceptable, and what is not."

Lee said Internet users in the city-state had the right to repudiate and condemn unacceptable acts.

"But do not lower ourselves to that same level to behave in a way which really makes us all so ashamed of ourselves," he said.

British wealth adviser Casey was forced to temporarily leave Singapore for Australia last week after he claimed that he received "threats" following his Facebook posts disparaging Singaporean public transport commuters as "poor people".

The Porsche-driving permanent resident, his Singaporean beauty queen wife and five-year-old son were subject to virulent anti-foreigner abuse on social media after the posts went viral last Tuesday.

Responding to a question from a student who raised concerns about a surge of expatriates in recent years, Lee said the move was necessary because the economy has grown.

Singapore is highly dependent on foreign labour. Out of its total population of 5.4 million, only 3.84 million are citizens and permanent residents. -AFP

Gay daughter of Hong Kong tycoon makes heartfelt plea to dad

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 11:45 PM PST

HONG KONG: The lesbian daughter of a Hong Kong tycoon, who offered more than $100 million to find her a male suitor, has issued a heartfelt open letter urging him to accept her sexuality.

In the letter, which starts "Dear Daddy", socialite Gigi Chao asked her father Cecil to treat her partner Sean Eav as "a normal, dignified human being" - the pair have been together for nine years and are reported to have married in 2012 in France.

"I know it's difficult for you to understand how I could feel romantically attracted to a woman; I suppose I can't really explain it either. It just happens, peacefully and gently," she wrote in the letter, which was published in the South China Morning Post on Wednesday and circulated to other Hong Kong media.

Her plea came after property developer Chao, 77, who refuses to recognise that she is a lesbian, was reported last week to have doubled the "marriage bounty" on his daughter to HK$1 billion ($130 million), after an initial offer of HK$500 million two years ago.

The first sum attracted 20,000 candidates, with the bizarre dowry attempt making international headlines.

In her letter, 33-year-old Gigi said that she forgave her father because he was acting in her best interests.

And she took responsibility for "misleading" him into thinking there might be other options for her.

"I'm sorry to mislead you to think I was only in a lesbian relationship because there was a shortage of good, suitable men in Hong Kong. There are plenty of good men. They are just not for me."

In a plaintive message to her dad she told him of her sadness that he was unable to share in the life she had made for herself.

"My regret is that you have no idea how happy I am with my life, and there are aspects of my life that you don't share."

Chao, who owns publicly listed property developer Cheuk Nang, is a fixture of Hong Kong high society and regularly appears at public events with his latest young girlfriend. He reportedly once claimed to have slept with 10,000 women.

British movie maker Sacha Baron Cohen is reportedly working on a film based on the story. -AFP

Bomb attacks kill four in Pakistan's Karachi

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 12:55 AM PST

KARACHI: Three bomb blasts including a suicide attack targeting Pakistani security forces in the commercial hub of Karachi killed at least four people on Wednesday, officials said.

The dead included three paramilitary Rangers and one civilian, while four others were wounded.

In the first incident, two IEDs were placed close to a Rangers' checkpost in the busy North Nazimabad neighbourhood, killing one soldier and wounding three when they were detonated remotely.

"These were the IEDs which were installed in cement blocks targeting Rangers," senior police officer Amir Farooqi said.

Later, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the Rangers' headquarters located in the same area of the city, killing two troops and a civilian security guard, and wounding another.

"The suicide attacker walked in and tried to enter into the gate when he was intercepted by the security officials and he blew himself up," Farooqi told AFP.

A spokesman for the Rangers confirmed the toll. "The Rangers personnel who spotted and intercepted the suicide bomber will be awarded highest Rangers gallantry award," he added.

The injured were rushed to the nearby Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.

Earlier this month a Taliban suicide attacker killed one of Pakistan's best-known police commanders, famed for his fearless work tackling militants in the city.

Karachi, a city of 18 million people which contributes 42 percent of Pakistan's GDP, has been plagued by sectarian, ethnic and political violence for years.

Pakistan has endured a bloody start to the year with more than 100 people killed in attacks in January, according to an AFP tally.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government has been under fire for failing to make a strong response to the upsurge in violence. -AFP

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