Billie Eilish on being vegan

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Singer Billie Eilish got candid about her vegan diet in a recent interview. She said that she has been vegan for seven years. The Bad Guy hitmaker told British Vogue that she decided to change her eating habits after learning about the meat industry.

“Once you know that kind of thing and you see it, it’s really hard to go back,” she said. “And now, even though I have lots of friends that eat dairy and meat and I don’t ever want to tell anybody what to do…”

Billie Eilish became vegan after learning about the meat industry. Picture: Instagram

“I just can’t go on in my life knowing what’s going on in the animal world and, like, not doing anything about it,” Eilish continued.

Eilish, who comes from Los Angeles, shared that becoming a vegan was not difficult as she grew up not consuming meat in her neighbourhood, Highland Park, as reported by Buzzfeed. 

“Becoming vegan wasn’t, like, a huge deal for me because meat was never a thing in my life,” she said. “It wasn’t like I missed meat – it wasn’t like I had something to miss.”

Through the years, the singer has used her platform to raise awareness about how animals are treated in the meat industry.

Eilish hopes that more people will take a stand against animal cruelty and will think twice about where their meat and dairy comes from.

Born on December 18, 2001, Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell is an American singer and songwriter. She first gained attention in 2015 when she uploaded the song “Ocean Eyes” to SoundCloud. It was subsequently released by the Interscope Records subsidiary Darkroom. The song was written and produced by her brother Finneas O’Connell, with whom she collaborates on music and live shows. Her debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me (2017), became a sleeper hit, reaching the top 15 in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Eilish’s debut studio album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), debuted atop the US Billboard 200, reached number one in the UK, and became one of the best-selling albums of 2019. The album’s fifth single, “Bad Guy”, became her first number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100./TISG

Netizens go to town and blast SPH CEO over his ‘take umbrage’ comment

Singapore — Many brands and netizens have caught the “take umbrage” fever, making it the hottest catchphrase online.

Video clips of the incident where Singapore Press Holdings CEO Ng Yat Chung’s response to a Channel NewsAsia journalist’s question at a press conference on Thursday (May 6) captured the attention of many.

SPH said during the press conference that the revenue from the company limited by guarantee will now be channelled into the new constitution of the company with new goals. Responding, a Mediacorp-owned Channel NewsAsia journalist asked what the goals might be, adding: “Does this mean that the media business will now pivot to emphasise editorial integrity, for example, ahead of advertiser interest?”

The journalist also asked if it was safe to say this move comes after various corporate initiatives to improve the sustainability of the business failed.

In response, Ng said he “took umbrage” at the journalist’s first question.

Netizens had a field day with comments about the word “umbrage”.

Even Makansutra founder KF Seetoh commented on it.

In response to TISG’s queries, veteran journalist P.N. Balji said:

“It just tells me that there is a serious issue. This is the longest-lasting newspaper in Singapore with a history of about 200 years and it is one of the biggest shakeups – a major shakeup in recent times.

 

And instead of examining the deeper issue which is change, people are using this to make fun of things, which is in a way kind of typical of a society that dares not bring up the big issue.

 

And the real big issue here is the government. By that, I mean the government controls of Straits Times. The government control of the media, that is the bigger issue. That’s the one that should be discussed”.

 

 

He continued: “If you want to go into the specifics then I would say both parties were wrong. The reporter was wrong in the sense of not asking a good question. I mean I watched the video and she was not direct.

 

I think our journalists suffer from this. They don’t ask direct questions. When I mean direct question – she should have just asked a question.

 

Her question should have been short and sharp which is something like what does this shakeup mean to the way that SPH will deal with its advertisers. And I don’t think Ng Yat Chung would have gotten upset.

 

So I think that the reporter was kind of at fault here. Secondly, of course Ng Yat Chung is at fault here, definitely, because he just flew off the handle right. Which no newsmaker should”.

 

 

Businesses were quick to jump on the ‘umbrage’ bandwagon, including popular restaurant Tim Ho Wan.

Even t-shirt company Tee Hub got in on the action.

Responding to the CNA journalist, Mr Ng said: “There are reporters here who have received substantial funding from various sources, and I don’t believe that you will describe yourself as bowing to the needs of advertisers in doing your job”.

Mr Ng added that SPH has always had advertising and it has never conceded to the needs of advertisers. In fact, it will always continue to provide fair, reliable and credible reporting.

“The fact that you dare to question an SPH title for, in your words, conceding to advertisers, I take umbrage at that comment. Because I don’t believe that even where you come from, you do not concede to the needs of advertisers,” Mr Ng said.

With workers from Bangladesh and India dwindling, companies look to China for manpower

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Singapore – With a travel ban imposed on visitors with recent travel history from India and Bangladesh, companies that have relied on migrant workers from these countries are now considering other options for human resources.

Singapore has banned entry and transit for visitors, including long-term pass holders, with recent travel history to Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka beginning May 2.

The tighter border controls were imposed amid the rising number of confirmed Covid-19 cases within the community and the worsening Covid-19 outbreak in India.

On May 4, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that stricter measures would be implemented amid the rising Covid-19 cases.

Such measures are a step back to Phase 2 of exiting the circuit breaker period, said the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force co-chair Lawrence Wong.

However, “this is not a circuit breaker. We certainly hope not to have to invoke another circuit breaker”, he said.

Mr Wong also acknowledged that certain industries like construction and small and medium enterprises in Singapore would be affected by the travel ban.

“More recently, when we restricted the flow of workers from India and the entire South Indian continent…it means considerable delays will be added to all of our projects,” said Mr Wong.

Despite the Building and Construction Authority announcing on Apr 26 that it will provide support measures such as granting more flexibility for firms to source workers from China, companies have voiced that this won’t be enough.

A manager in the construction industry told Channel NewsAsia that with such alternatives, the cost of hiring workers from China would “shoot up” as demand increases.

“As it is, the daily rate for a Chinese worker is about S$200 to S$300 per day. With this move, don’t be surprised that the cost will go up 30 per cent to 40 per cent more for each worker,” he said.

“However, I also think many companies will hold back on hiring more Chinese workers, as they don’t have the budget to. And this will lead to more project delays.”

Meanwhile, the daily rate for workers from India or Bangladesh is about S$120 to S$150, an increase from S$70 to S$80 in the past.

Another construction company executive told CNA that there is currently a shortage of workers ranging from 30 to 40 per cent.

While sourcing from China will meet some gaps, fewer are willing to work in Singapore given economic opportunities in their home country.

“There was a net decrease of workers from the system practically the whole of last year … now with the stoppage from India, that makes the whole scenario even more challenging,” he said.

When asked if they were continuing their search in other countries, the executive confirmed they were “still looking”.

According to Assistant Professor Laavanya Kathiravelu from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Social Sciences, other industries, including food and beverage, shipyard and manufacturing, might be affected by the shortage of migrant workers.

“These are all areas of our economy that rely heavily on South Asian migrant labour,” she said./TISG

Read related: Just close the borders: netizens on the stricter measures amid rising Covid-19 cases

Just close the borders: netizens on the stricter measures amid rising Covid-19 cases

Succession question: Nikkei Asia asks if Lawrence Wong is ‘main man to watch’

Singapore—The ruling People’s Action Party’s succession plan was thrown into confusion with Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat bowing out of contention last month.

Immediately, suggestions as to who might be the next Prime Minister started floating around.

One strong candidate seems to have emerged above the pack, outgoing Education Minister Lawrence Wong. 

In a May 5 article, international publication Nikkei Asia asked if he is the “main man to watch”.

The case for believing Mr Wong is slated to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was strengthened by his appointment as Finance Minister, a position he will assume on May 15.

Mr Wong, as Minister for National Development last year, co-chaired the multi-ministry task force assigned to tackle the pandemic, and emerged as the Government’s frontman in its Covid-19 response.

He was perceived to have generally done well in this capacity, given the Government’s success in containing infections as well as the low death rate.

Mr Wong’s appointment as Finance Minister should not have come as a surprise to many, given that he was Second Minister in the Ministry of Finance (MOF) already, along with Ms Indranee Rajah.

The Finance Ministry portfolio is indeed an important one as the MOF is “responsible for managing Singapore’s fiscal policies and the structure of its economy”. The MOF also prepares the yearly national Budget.

And now, Mr Wong will be following in the footsteps of some historical political luminaries, including PM Lee, the well-beloved Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and former President Tony Tan, who all helmed the MOF at one point in their careers.

Nikkei Asia quotes Yu Liuqing, country analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, as saying, “After obtaining the finance minister portfolio, Lawrence Wong has the most comprehensive ministerial experience among all 4G ministers”.

The article also mentions that Mr Wong has had a longer career as an elected parliamentarian than another top contender, outgoing Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.

“And unlike Ong, he has never lost an election race,” NIkkei Asia ads. 

“With opposition politicians making gains, most recently in last year’s general election, the PAP is likely to be looking for a proven winner with broad public support to help maintain its uninterrupted run in power.”

Mr Ong was part of the PAP team that lost to the Workers’ Party in the Aljunied GRC in the 2011 general election.

But Nikkei Asia is not the only international publication to speculate on Mr Wong’s chances of succeeding PM Lee.

In the Malay Mail last month, Ms Surekha A Yadav called the minister “the embodiment of the Singapore dream”.

“He is the son of a teacher and sales representative; he has risen through the ranks via education. Winning a coveted public scholarship to the University of Madison Wisconsin and then winning places at the University of Michigan and Harvard. He is the embodiment of the Singapore dream.

“Though his ascension is not certain, the responsibilities of the Finance Ministry will likely be a final test. If he can manage the economy as well as he has Covid-19, I suspect little will stop him from reaching the No 1 spot.”

/TISG

Read also: Enter Lawrence Wong as leading contender for prime minister of Singapore

Enter Lawrence Wong as leading contender for prime minister of Singapore

 

Head of M’sia-S’pore workers’ group asks if JB workers can serve 21-day SHN at budget hotels

Johor Bahru—In the light of a recent increase in Covid-19 infections, Singapore announced that it is extending Stay-Home Notices (SHN) from 14 days to 21 days for new arrivals to the country starting from Friday (May 7).

The only exception will be for travellers from Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

This has been difficult news for many who are coming into Singapore to work, as the cost of hotel accommodation for SHNs has gone up from S$2000 to S$3000 due to the one-week extension, a sum not factored in by many workers.

Because of the added cost of the SHN, the head of a workers group is asking if workers from Malaysia can serve their SHN in less expensive accommodations, costing S$50 per day.

Malaysian daily The Star Online reported on Friday (May 7) that some workers are finding the cost of SHN to be much too high, particularly those who return to Johor under special travel arrangements such as Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA). 

These workers are required to pay in advance for their SHNs before they leave Singapore.

The higher SHN cost is burdensome for Malaysians working in Singapore, said Mr Dayalan Sreebalan, the president of the Malaysia-Singapore Workers Task Force.

He pointed out that “hundreds of lorry drivers” bringing food and supplies into Singapore are not subject to quarantine. These drivers are all vaccinated and may go in and out of Singapore daily without being required to serve SHN, he added.

According to Mr Dayalan, numerous Malaysians are now unable to go home, since their employers find the price of the SHN when they return to be too expensive.  

“This is almost three months’ pay for some of these workers and how are they supposed to survive and feed their families?” Mr Dayalan said.

He also said he received many requests for help from these workers after the extended SHN was announced.

One solution he suggested is allowing Malaysian workers to serve their SHN at budget accommodations that cost S$50 (RM150) per day, instead of in more expensive luxury hotels.

The Star Online quoted one worker named Gibran who said that lower paid workers would feel the brunt of the extended SHN both in terms of their finances as well as the days given for their annual leave.

Another worker from Johor Bahru was quoted as saying he probably won’t be back in Malaysia for a long time.

“I earn about S$1,200 (RM3,700) per month and after deducting my room rent and living expenses, I hardly have anything left to send back to my family.”

He added that his employer wants him to shoulder his SHN expenses if he wants to visit his family in Malaysia.

/TISG

Read also: Travellers already in quarantine express dismay over 7-day SHN extension

Travellers already in quarantine express dismay over 7-day SHN extension

Song Joong Ki was a ‘brat’ when he was a kid

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Seoul — Vincenzo actor Song Joong Ki recently opened up about his childhood and shared some stories of how he used to be when he was a child.

The actor held an online fan meeting titled ‘Song Joong Ki, Live’ on May 7 and spent some time with his fans. TV personality Jaejae was the emcee for the event while Song Joong Ki got candid about various topics with a special guest appearance, as reported by Allkpop.

The actor took a look at his baby photos during the fan meeting event and was asked about the level of difficulty in child-rearing the baby Song Joong Ki. The actor drew attention when he responded, “The highest level.”

Song Joong Ki was a ‘brat’ when he was young. Picture: Instagram

Song Joong Ki shared that most of his childhood photos show him having his hair tied. He explained, “This is what I heard from my parents but when you see my baby photos, my hair is tied up in most of them. I think my parents wanted a daughter as their second child so they tied it like that. I was told that I got angry when adults would say I was pretty.”

The actor also astonished his fans when he explained that he was a brat and broke the classroom fish tank three times within one year when he was in kindergarten. He explained, “I was in the apricot flower class but I was always at the azalea flower class because the girl I liked was there. I was uncontrollable.”

Born on September 19, 1985, Song Joong Ki is a South Korean actor. He rose to fame in the historical coming-of-age drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010) and the variety show Running Man (2010–2011) as one of the original cast members. Since then, he has played a diverse spectrum of roles in the television series The Innocent Man (2012), Descendants of the Sun (2016), Arthdal Chronicles (2019) and Vincenzo (2021), as well as the box office hits A Werewolf Boy (2012) and The Battleship Island (2017)—both on the list of highest-grossing films in South Korea./TISG

Goo Hye Sun says people should forgive her ex-husband; sues YouTube reporter who accused her of lying

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Seoul — On May 7, the legal representative of actress Goo Hye Sun confirmed that she has decided to file a defamation lawsuit against a YouTube reporter Lee Jin Ho for spreading false rumours about her.

The reporter dealt with an alleged written document, signed by an anonymous individual who claimed that actor Ahn Jae Hyun had demonstrated cheating behaviour with another actress during an outing involving various drama cast members, in a video uploaded back on May 3.

It was discovered that the document was being spread online during the time Goo Hye Sun and Ahn Jae Hyun’s controversial divorce lawsuit.

The actress’s legal representative said that Goo Hye Sun is in possession of the original copy of this document, written and signed on April 28, 2020. The rep stressed that this was a legitimate document and accused Lee Jin Ho of defaming Goo Hye Sun’s character by claiming that the document contained false information and was not valid in court.

Goo Hye Sun has decided to pursue legal action against Lee Jin Ho to debunk the reporter’s claims, according to Allkpop.

Ahn Jae Hyun and Goo Hye Sun went through a controversial divorce. Picture: Instagram

Soon after news of the lawsuit made headlines, Goo Hye Sun also opened up via her Instagram about the situation. She wrote:

“Having married with a conservative ethical code, I was not able to understand the other person’s situation with an open heart last year, when I experienced strong feelings of betrayal due to personal reasons.

Looking back on it now, my actions which were purely based on emotions from that time are more shameful than the event in itself. Because of this, I did not wish to bring these events to the surface again and chose not to mention it anymore.

However, the reason that I am writing once again now is that I have friends, and as a friend I do not want my friends to get hurt. I have a duty to protect my friends, which is why I recently said on broadcast that I do not have celebrity friends and wish to keep my friends private. I do not want my friend [who signed the document mentioned above] to face damages from this. I am very thankful toward that friend.

I have already forgiven everything. I am now positively believing that all of the things I went through thus far were events meant to help me grow as a person. By all means, please encourage that person who lived with me in his new beginnings. The past is the past, and even though I was not able to, I sincerely hope that you all will embrace even the wrongdoings of that person.” /TISG

UOB staff discloses personal information of 1,166 Chinese clients to scammers

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Singapore – A United Overseas Bank (UOB) staff allegedly fell prey to an impersonation scam, releasing the personal details of over 1,100 of the bank’s clients.

“Preliminary findings show that a UOB employee had allegedly fallen prey to a China police impersonation scam and had been deceived into disclosing the information of these Chinese nationals with Singapore-based accounts,” noted UOB in a news release on Friday (May 7).

The bank has written to all affected clients and has taken several precautionary measures to protect them as they might be targeted by scammers.

Such measures include disabling their internet and mobile banking access, resetting their digital banking access and stepping up account monitoring of affected accounts.

The bank has also set up an SMS alert threshold of S$1 for any online funds transfer. Scam protection notices were posted on the login pages of UOB Personal Internet Banking and UOB Might to inform the public of the scams.

“We expect the highest standards of professional conduct from our people at all times as part of maintaining the trust our customers place in us,” said UOB.

Meanwhile, the employee involved in this matter has been suspended and is assisting the police with their investigations.

UOB noted that it is working closely with the Singapore Police Force on their investigations.

UOB apologised to its customers that have been placed in such a position. “We will continue to make every effort with them on keeping their accounts safe.”

There have been similar cases in the past of scammers pretending to be police officers in China and informing their victims that their credit or debit card details have been compromised and used in fraudulent transactions.

The victims would then be advised to transfer their money for investigations. In the process, some of the victims disclosed their banking credentials or cash to the scammers./TISG

Read related: Bank reimburses Singaporean student who lost S$14,000 in scam

Bank reimburses Singaporean student who lost S$14,000 in scam

Singapore Incidents issued POFMA correction direction over viral video of South Asian travellers arriving at Changi Airport

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Singapore – The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has issued a POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) correction direction to Singapore Incidents for uploading a misleading video on social media showing a large number of travellers from South Asia arriving at Changi Airport.

MOT has instructed the POFMA Office to issue a correction direction to Singapore Incidents concerning its Facebook and Instagram posts on May 5, 2021, both of which contained the video, said MOT in a news release on Friday (May 7).

Singapore Incidents will be required to carry a correction notice on its Facebook and Instagram pages stating that the posts contain falsehoods.

On May 5, Singapore Incidents uploaded a video on its Facebook page, which showed a group of travellers from South Asia arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 1.

The video contained a watermark with the date “May 5” and the location as Changi Airport. The same video was also published on its Instagram page.

The information in the video is false, said MOT.

The video showed passengers arriving at the airport and a clock indicating the time was 2:53 pm.

There were no flights from South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) that arrived at any terminal in Changi Airport between 8 am and 3:30 pm on May 5, said MOT.

“In the video, passengers were seen walking past a renovation hoarding at gate hold rooms D42/43 in Terminal 1. This hoarding was removed on Apr 5, 2021, establishing that the video was taken before Apr 5.

The news release noted that beginning Apr 24, all long-term visit pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India are not allowed entry into or transit through Singapore.

From May 2, the border control measure was extended to all long-term visit pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“While there are still passenger flights arriving in Singapore from South Asia, these flights carry primarily returning Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, cargo, or fly in empty to pick up passengers in Singapore who are returning to South Asia,” MOT clarified.

On May 5, five passenger flights arrived in Singapore from South Asia, carrying 50 passengers in total, all of whom were returning Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents.

“All passengers arriving on these flights from the above-mentioned countries are currently subject to stringent border control and health measures. At Changi Airport, these passengers are escorted through the airport, separate from other passengers arriving from other countries,” said MOT.

The correction notice has been posted by Singapore Incidents on its Facebook and Instagram./TISG

Read related: MOH issues POFMA correction order to Goh Meng Seng, Singapore Uncensored over Covid vaccines’ adverse effects

MOH issues POFMA correction order to Goh Meng Seng, Singapore Uncensored over Covid vaccines’ adverse effects

Leanne Fu had to terminate two pregnancies in one year

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Hong Kong — Leanne Fu, wife of Hong Kong singer Jason Chan just revealed her heartbreak of having to terminate two pregnancies within a year.

In 2018, the 35-year-old model-actress gave birth to a daughter and had wanted another child. In May last year, Fu was forced to terminate her pregnancy when doctors found out that she was having an ectopic pregnancy, as the fertilised egg was growing outside the uterus. Fu had to abort another pregnancy earlier this week as she found out that the foetus was diagnosed with Edwards syndrome.

Babies with Edwards syndrome are usually tiny with heart defects and only a small percentage of babies born alive with the syndrome will survive past their first birthday.

She wrote, “Dear baby who’s 13 weeks old, I’ve tried month after month to conceive since last [year] and I was disappointed time and again. Finally, I saw a positive pregnancy test and I was feeling so thankful that you were finally coming into our lives. Although I had morning sickness every day and couldn’t eat, I still looked forward to meeting you. Every night, I wondered if you would look more like your daddy or me.”

Fu continued, “When you were 10 weeks and five days old, I went for my regular checkup and was happily taking photos when the doctor suddenly told me that the skin at the back of your neck looked thick. I had no time to react because I didn’t know what that meant, and the first thing that I asked him was, ‘Is there a problem?’ He said you’d have to get your blood tested as the thick nuchal fold was an indication that you could have Down syndrome or heart problems.”

Fu spent a week researching on the Internet for more information and speaking to mothers with children with Down’s. Fu decided that they would have the baby after discussing it with her husband, even if the test result came back positive, as reported by 8days.sg.

“We have the ability to look after you and give you all our love,” she wrote. “But the doctor called and said that you don’t have Down’s, but had [Edward syndrome] instead (…) Why did this happen to me? Most foetuses with this disorder die before they are born, and even if they manage to be carried to term, they could only have months, hours or even minutes to live.”

Fu still held on to the hope that she did not have to go through the abortion on the day she was scheduled to see the doctor. Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed that the baby’s left and right brains were fused together. The baby also had heart problems, no nasal bone and its intestines were outside of its body. She then decided to terminate the pregnancy.

Leanne Fu had to terminate two pregnancies within a year. Picture: Instagram

“The doctor suggested that I go through the abortion as soon as possible, but there was one thing I wanted to do before that,” Leanne admitted. “When I was pregnant for the first time, I didn’t take any photos. This time, I wanted all four of us to take a family photo together because I believe this will be my last pregnancy. I don’t have the courage to try and fail again. My tears have dried up and my heart has shattered.”

She then apologised to her unborn child, saying that she’s sorry that she doesn’t “have the courage to give birth to you because I can’t bear to only see you for that [short amount of time] after you’re born. I’m not lucky enough to have you. I’ve used up all my luck in this lifetime when I got married to your dad and had your older sister. Mummy’s sorry that I won’t be able to give birth to you, but I hope that you know that mummy and daddy will always love you.” /TISG

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