Saturday, 28 February 2015

Chew Jing Heng (25)


http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/environment/story/years-first-dengue-death-53-year-old-woman-west-coast-20150224

The article mentioned that residents should cooperate fully to allow NEA officers to inspect their premises to check for mosquito breeding. I have observed that many people are not willing to let inspectors into their house, simply because they knew they did not follow the steps to stop mosquito breeding or they are aware of cases where thieves pose as inspectors to enter the house. 

There are no point of views the writer has made, but there are comments about this issue. A comment by Aaron Chan stated that "Fighting mosquitoes can be done by one authority (but) it requires everyone to step in to clear stagnant water."
I fully agree with him. After all, it is not the authority's responsibility, but our responsibility as well. Everyone plays a part in keeping the environment safe from dengue and other diseases. We should follow the steps in stopping dengue fevers and less precious lives will be lost. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Luo Tianhong 32 readers response

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/education/story/look-beyond-schools-and-rankings-urges-uk-singapore-law-students-soci

Look beyond school and rankings, urges uk singapore law students society

First, let me give a brief summary of the article. The author main purpose of this article, is to represent the view of the UK singapore law students society(SLSS), but it also gives us the points of views of other personal, that contradicts the view of the SLSS. The context, is the delisting of eight british law universities recognized in Singapore. The SLSS thinks that the delisting will cause lesser students to be able to appreciate british culture, and cause second tier perception when applying for a job, with a lesser known university. However the other views presented thinks that it is natural due to the shortage of job openings, and it is important to ensure top quality lawyers get into singapore, and is thus correct. Now, let me move on to my thoughts on this article.

Firstly, I think that the delisting is Incorrect. First, let's look at the disadvantages of delisting. The delisting will cause lesser foreign lawyers to go to singapore, and lesser Singaporeans to be able to go to Britain. Britain is a very developed country, with a very developed system. It is important to learn from other countries, especially countries more developed than us. Britain has a law system much earlier than singapore, so it will definitely be more developed, and thus better than singapore. Even though there are still many universities it is definite that dropping universities will reduce the number of people being able to learn from Britain, and in my view, it is definitely a bad thing.

Secondly, delisting will further strengthen the perception that a top school has a huge advantage over a lesser known, or lower class school, a perception that the government is trying to change. Parents rush to send their children to the supposed top schools without considering whether it is really beneficial, and it is a wrong perception. However, this move would indirectly show parents how getting into a school which has a high level of recognition is so important, as getting into a lesser known school would mean being "second class" and thus indirectly strengthen a wrong perception.

Thirdly, I think that the points for delisting is invalid. I don't think that it is logical for the government to decide for the company who to employ. A better school in no ways guarantee a better lawyer. A company can learn more about the applicant through careful selection processes and interviews, much more than a simple degree. This restricts the choices of applicants for the company, and thus is incorrect. Same goes for the top quality lawyers, the government can in no way know whether the lawyer is good or bad by a degree, and is thus incorrect. I would suggest implementing policies on companies, or in the case of the government run law organizations, a stricter selection process to ensure you get the real top quality lawyer. However, I understand that the government needs to care for its citizens, but restricting foreign talents is not the solution. Singapore is known for its welcome of foreign talents, and it has made singapore the country it is today. Rather, policies can be implemented to secure the rights of citizens, like restricting the number of foreign workers in a company, or giving priority to citizens and such. To restrict foreign talents would cause the problems mentioned above, and is thus incorrect.

In conclusion, I don't think delisting the schools is correct, as it causes less people to be able to learn from Britain, and strengthen a wrong perception that a graduate from a school not as highly rated as the top schools are "second class", and does not directly bring benefits, so it is incorrect.




Thursday, 26 February 2015

Guo Hongyi (28)

Source: http://transport.asiaone.com/news/general/story/relief-parents-coping-rising-bus-fees

Relief for parents coping with rising bus fees

This article talks about the rising of school bus fees every year and how it has become more expensive each year. With the Budget 2015 scheme, school bus fees are waived and the students in the financial assistance scheme will pay less for their bus fees. The writer thinks that the rise of school fees are caused by the increased cost of vehicle insurance, and as a result, students have to pay more even though they are not involved in an accident. I agree with the writer that school fees are caused by the increased cost of vehicle insurance. To ensure the students' safety, the school may need to pay more for insurance. They may not have enough funds to pay for the insurance, hence the school bus fees must be raised so that they will be enough money to pay for the insurance.

Sarah Lim (19)

Article: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/education/story/schools-gear-first-round-rhb-the-straits-times-national-spelling-cham
Title: Schools gear up for first round of RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship
Date: 26 February 2015, Thursday

Issue discussed:
Amidst a packed week of revision for the upcoming tests, students armed themselves with storybooks, word lists and dictionaries in preparation for the Straits Times National Spelling Championship, also known as the Big Spell. These students were chosen based on their consistent good work shown in weekly spelling tests.

The writer mentioned,
"I will look for difficult words, memorise them and also look for their meanings. Sometimes my mother will help to test me." [participating student]
"It allows the children to have a greater precision of the English language and it emphasises the importance of spelling in literacy development. That is very much in line with our school's focus on developing engaged learners and effective communicators." [teacher]

Pointing out all the positive responses meant that the writer supports the idea of spelling competitions. She is obviously encouraging more of such educational and fun activities in the near future. I agree with the writer that spelling competitions is an approach that benefits students academically and mentally. One student said that his mother helped him by testing him those "foreign words" which he had looked up the meaning on the Internet. He took the initiative to not just memorise the foreign words, but look up on the various meanings of the words showed that he is responsible for his learning which is a value schools tries very hard to cultivate in students. Next, parent involvement in midst of the child preparation for the Big Spell enhances parent-child relationship. Lastly, the teacher mentioned that the Big Spell allows students to have a greater precision of the English language, emphasises the importance of spelling in literacy development and aids in developing engaged learner and effective communicators. True enough, the Big Spell have bring bundles of advantages in which students learnt the importance of precision and develops characteristics of a "model learner".

Lim Jak Zeng (31) 2H

     Sorry Mrs Woon, I'm reposting this because I accidentally deleted my earlier post while trying to add my name into the post. I will not make this careless mistake again.

Chuan Han Wei(26)

No delay in 11 convicts' executions, says Joko. 
This article talks about Indonesia not delaying in the executions by 11 convicts, mostly drug charges despite Australia, Brazil and France's pleas not to do so. This follows Indonesia strict and harsh penalties for drug trafficking, which is the death sentence. I feel that when people go into another country, they should read their rules and laws and rightfully practice them. I agree to Indonesia in rejecting the other countries pleas and execute the convicts. If Indonesia agrees to their pleas, it will encourage people to traffick drugs since it is possible for the governments to save them out. 

Reader response by Yizhuo

Current Affairs Reading (Yizhuo Dai



This article discusses about the increasing number of items being left behind on planes and at Changi. It is reported that 17,000 items have been left on planes last year, which is 11/2 times of  the number of items found last year. Changi Airport Group recovered 7,680 credit/ATM cards and mobile phones last year compared with 7,180 in 2013, which are kept for 3 days and then cut up. Apart from phones and cards, sweaters, jackets, shawls, books and tablet devices are the other more common items people leave behind, unusual items such as hearing aids, breast pumps, a bird cage and cabinet doors, have also turned up. These are either handed to the airlines or kept in lost and found offices. Sometimes, these items are returned to their owners if they are reachable, or else, they will be donated to charities such as the Salvation Army.

After reading the article, I feel that the increasing amount of items being left behind is caused by the laziness of people these days. More and more people and getting lazier and lazier, meaning that they will be too lazy to check if they have all their items which results in a higher chance of leaving their things behind. People being inconsiderate may also be one of the factors. Sometimes, people might see others leaving their items behind but are not willing to tell them. This may also be because they are too lazy to do it. I think that the amount of items found can be greatly reduced if we are more careful and aware of our surroundings at all times. 

In conclusion, there is a increasing amount in the number of items found in planes and at Changi which can be reduced if we are less lazy, more considerate and careful. 

Jeremy Tay (35)

Malaysia adopts new tactic in fight against dengue as cases soar to record high 

 http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/south-east-asia/story/malaysia-adopts-new-tactic-fight-against-dengue-cases-soar-record-hi#sthash.hb5Qz9k5

This article is about the number of people suffering from dengue fever rising in Malaysia and how they are trying to prevent it. The number of people who contracted the disease last year was more than 100,000, with 215 deaths. As they take the number of deaths as a high number, they are using deltamethrin as a pest spray to kill the mosquitoes. I find that dengue fever is a very serious illness as it can cause death. Even so, there are many ways to prevent it but many people still do not heed the instructions and may end up paying up their live for it. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water so we should try and prevent stagnant water.

Goh Ming Yee (7)

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/16/egypt-air-strikes-target-isis-weapons-stockpiles-libya
17th fen 2015


This article is about Egyptian war planes hitting targets in Libya to avenge bloodshed of the murder of 21 Christians. I feel that those Egyptians should not be taking revenge. Even though what they did was wrong, they still should not be actually hurting other people. They might end up hurting people who are not even related to the incident. No matter what others have done or anything, juddering others is wrong and shld not be done. If this were to happen in Singapore I am sure that we will remain calm and handle it in a proper and orderly way.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Jing Jing (23)

Article : http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/singapore-help-train-indian-officials-waste-and-water-management
Title : Singapore to help train Indian officials on waste and water management 
Date : 25 February 2015, Wednesday

The issue discussed here is about Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam visited the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur today, and that during this visit, discussion was carried out regarding the collaboration for Singapore companies with interests in India and more importantly, Mr Shanmugam invited Chief Minister Raje to send her officials to Singapore to study Singapore's practices in urban planning and housing fabrication technology, and we are told that up to 100 officials will soon be sent over to be trained on waste and water management. 


The writer did not provide her stand on this issue, however, I support and agree with the implementing of this idea. It is essential for every country to be improving herself constantly, and one of the ways this can be carried out is through the sharing of management strategies between the countries. As stated, Mr Shanmugam invited officials to come over to Singapore to study her practices in many areas, and this is a good collaborative effort as Singapore receive a few benefits through this expansion of cooperation in areas. firstly, as mentioned, Singapore gets to learn about how other countries manage their waste, how they do urban planning and skills development and these new techniques or strategies can be applied to improve standard of living. 

Next, as Mr Shanmugam invite Indian officials to Singapore to study our practices on certain areas, we show that we welcome them and it aids in the building up of relationship with India, and this is very crucial if we need to ask for help from them in the future. 

Lastly, with good relations with neighboring countries like India, Singapore companies which are interested to expand their businesses with India will be able to venture into a whole new market, and this provides more businesses opportunities for Singaporeans, leading to growth in economy. 


Lim Jak Zeng (31)

Gunman kills 3 in S Korea’s Sejong City, later found dead


Source: http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/gunman-kills-3-s-koreas-sejong-city-later-found-dead
Published on: 6:31 PM, FEBRUARY 25, 2015

  This article is about a gunman who killed three people in a convenience store in South Korea, before setting it on fire and fleeing. He end up being found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in an apparent suicide. Among the dead was a father, a son and another man who lived with the daughter. When questioned, the daughter stated that she lived with the gunman before breaking up with him a year and a half ago. She said that both of them have recently quarreled about financial matters, including the man's claim that he had a financial stake in the store. 
After reading this article, I felt really shocked after realising what greediness can actually cause someone to resort to such inhuman and selfish acts. Just because of the quarrel over financial matters between the daughter and the gunman and the gunman's greed to claim a financial stake in the daughter's shop, which he probably did not get, he actually became so frustrated and desperate until a point that he decided to kill the father and the people in the store as, probably, revenge for not getting the share he demands. I think this is very selfish and inhuman, as the gunman actually killed and hurt people just because of his frustration for not getting what he wants: money. This greediness in him to seize the opportunity to get some money has really overwhelmed him and caused him to not pause and think of the consequences of his actions. I feel that the gunman should not have the thought of having financial stakes of the daughter's shop, and even if he has to do so, he should settle it with agreements and not be insistent, which subsequently led to his extreme and inhuman ways to resolve this issue. If he resolved the issue with fair agreements, no member in the daughter's family would be lost and she does not hav to suffer the pain of losing a brother and father now. 
  In Singapore, we don't have any cases of shootings as the Singaporean Government do not allow Singaporean's or anyone in Singapore, other than the national defense forces, to own guns, compared to the Korean Government, which allows the civillians guns to be kept at the police station and only used during legal hunting periods. 

Zhou Wei 24

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/world/more-world-stories/story/abducted-tanzanian-albino-boy-found-dead-limbs-severed-police-20

Article Name: Abducted albino baby boy found dead with limbs severed in Tanzania: Police 
Overall Information: A screenshot from an online United Nations report on albinos in Tanzania. More than 70 albinos, who lack pigment in their skin, hair and eyes, have been murdered in the east African nation in the past decade, according to UN figures, many hacked to death and body parts removed to make charms and spells that witch doctors claim bring good luck and wealth.

I feel that the people should not cut off the limbs of albino people as they are still the same kind and race of people as them. The albinos is only humans who lack pigment in their skin, hair and eyes but is still of the same race, the human race, as the other people who does not lack pigment. The albinos still have a pair of eyes, a nose a mouth, a pair of ear and four limbs that have probably been cut off now. The belief of albino people limbs can bring good luck and wealth is only a non-scientific proven which is really very unfair for albino people as you can have your loved ones being taken away like animals and cut away their  body parts that rightfully belong to them which could kill or disable them when there is nothing to prove the belief. They are being hunted down because of nothing. The witch doctor is, in my opinion, really stubborn as I believe that even after having the limbs of your fellow human, I bet that there is no wealth or luck happening to them but they refused to face the fact that it is just a mere unproven belief  and believed in it even though it is not real. It is also almost like an obsession of it. Even if it is true it is still cruel and inhuman to just forcefully take away their body parts for your own advantage, everybody should be treated equally. They have just harmed one of them to get better. I think the government can probably have people that are specially trained to go and protect the albinos from the People that hunt them which will increase their survival rate and lower their chance of being attacked. What is in the limb of the albino is still flesh and blood nothing new and nothing less. In Singapore there is no such a thing as albino hunting as the people did not believe in it and I hope that there will be no such a thing even in the future as it is just morally not right.

Matthew (34)

Article: Not Giving in to Muscle Disease without a Fight

The issue being discussed here is that inn the next few years, emcee and radio personality Joe Augustin’s 16-year-old son Jordan may require ventilator support to help him breathe, as Jordan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Even though there is no cure for this rare disease, Jordan and his parents still remain positive and want to help Jordan live life to his fullest. One thing I have observed about this issue is that even though Jordan and his parents are faced with this unfortunate situation, they remain optimistic and try to keep all pessimism away.

The writer did not make a point when writing the article, however doctors and experts feel that it is better for relatives to be honest with the patients regarding the disease, although it is good to remain positive even when faced with problems. I agree with their views as being honest with the patients allow them to be mentally prepared and also have a better understand of the diseases they are diagnosed with, instead of being delusional about their condition. However, being positive when faced with problems is also good as it help patients to think on the brighter side and this might improve their conditions. Thinking positively helps to allow patients to engage in different activities even if they have a certain condition, which allows them to live life to the fullest. Instead of being depressed and feeling all negative about the fact that he or she is diagnosed with a disease, it would be a better option to be doing things that others are doing and not feel like an outcast just because of being diagnosed with an illness.

If someone close to me was unfortunately diagnosed with a disease, I would encourage him/her to continue living life normally and not be bothered with the illness to keep aside any negative feelings. If he/she keeps an open mindset to the fact that she is still able to do the same things that others do even with the illness, it might improve his/her condition by keeping up with a optimistic point of view towards their own condition.

Tong Yizhi (20)

Article: 

This Place Just Made it Illegal to Give Kids Too Much Screen Time

Source: http://time.com/3682621/this-country-just-made-it-illegal-to-give-kids-too-much-screen-time/

The issue being discussed in this article is children are spending too much screen time and this will cause many mentally and physically disorder, causing children to be unreal. Taiwan has made a law to reduce the screen time children spent. Now in Taiwan, Taiwanese lawmakers approved the “Child and Youth Welfare and Protection Act,” which expanded existing legislation to allow the government to fine parents of children under the age of 18 who are using electronic devices for extended periods of times. They hope that children will maintain a healthy "media diet".

In this article, the writer stated that "Despite these risks, as technology increasingly becomes a part of modern life, children are spending more and more time in front of screens". I agree with the writer. Nowadays, electronic devices have become essential to our daily lives. Be it entertainments or studying, many people stated that they cannot live without electronic devices. For children, playing games on electronic devices is like a daily routine. They find them enjoyable and eventually forms an addiction to them. Thus, children will end up spending more and more time in front of screens. Especially with advancing technology, there will be more electronic devices for children to choose. Thus, even though playing too much games on electronic devices might cause harm to their body, they still spend more and more time in front of screens.

In Singapore, there are no laws made against the time spent on electronic devices. But I think people have control of their own bodies so they should make their own choices on how much time they should spend on electronic devices. As for children, parents should be responsible and keep an eye on them as children are still young so parents should give a helping hand and decide the right choices for them.

Yong Jie Ning (22) 25 Feb 2015

Dry whether to persist till March, says NEA
Source:  http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/environment/story/dry-weather-persist-till-march-says-nea-20150225
Published on: 25 Feb

The issue discussed here is that this Feburary has been relatively dry and expected to persist till March. It is a good month for outdoor activities but the grass in parks are getting brown and dying due to the lack of natural water.  However, this still does not beat last year's dry spell also during the Feburary period where there was only 0.2 mm of rain. This month's drier weather is still not considered a dry spell since there was still occassional rain at some days of the month and there was around 13mm to 107mm The reason of this month's drier period is because Singapore is currently in the dry phase of the Northeast monsoon season, therefore the dry season is expected to stretch till March since the Northeast monsoon is forecast to prevail over the season. Our neighboring country is also expected to have low rainfall and increase temperature through March until early April.

I do agree with the spokesman of NEA that recently this month is getting drier. I realised that every Chinese New Year over the past few years have been a rainy one except for this year. Although it has not been raining much over the past week but I believe there is still enough water to use for the country since we have not yet entered the dry spell which is very fortunate for us. Very unfortunately, our neighboring country, Malaysia is going to experience a worser weather than us, not only are they going to have low rainfall, it is also expected to have a rise in temperature until early April. There is a huge population in Malaysia and if the resouviors and water bodies dry up, there may be a risk of water shortage and I hope it will not happen. This may be because of climate change and increase rate of global warming. We should do our part to be environment friendly and keep our world healthy and try to prevent harming the environment so that we will not experience bad weather change. 

Wei Ze Yu (21)

Article headline: Woman jailed for attempting to kill mum

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-jailed-attempting-kill-mum-20150219


  The issue being discussed in this article is Tina Goh of 43, who was jailed for six months for crime intimidation. She attempted to kill her mother by grabbing her mother's leg and tried to lift her over the railing along the fifth floor common corridor at Village Hotel Changi last October 17. The pair had checked into the hotel for two days to get away from loansharks. Goh owned the loansharks $300,000 and she could not afford to pay it back, she was so stressed that she had depression and susidal thoughts and even attempted to kill her mother.
 

    Firstly, I feel that Tina Goh, who attempted to kill her mother should not have done that as it was very inhuman. I believe that she only did it on impulse as she was overly stressed and she had depression. However, I think that there is no excuse for attempting to kill her mother just because she had depression, she should have sought help for her psychiatric problem. Next, I think that she should not have borrowed money from loan sharks  no matter how desperately she needed the money as it is illegal and loan sharks  have unreasonably high interest. If one could not pay back, the loan sharks   will harass them and even hurt them to get the money back. Goh should never lend money from the loan sharks even if the offer is very tempting, Goh should work for longer hours if she needed money but not lending money from illegal association. There are many people who are poor but very few of them did what Goh had done but they still get financial help from government or donations. Unlike Goh, who borrowed money from illegal loan sharks and ended up suffering in depression.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Calyn Seah (2)

Issue being discussed: A ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank on Sunday in a Bangladesh river. 38 people are confirmed dead while some are still missing. There are many of these incidents happening as more than 95 per cent of Bangladesh’s hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized boats do not meet minimum safety regulations as said by naval officers. 
How does the writer approaches this issue: The writer mentioned that experts blame poorly maintained vessels, flaws in design and overcrowding for most of the tragedies that happened. I think that is true as if the construction workers building and designers designing the boat carefully, ensuring that flaws are taken care of, these calamities would not have taken place. Innocent lives would not have been lost if measures were put up.
Relating this to singapore context: In singapore, we are much more particular of the safety of our people and thus if these kind of things would have happen, the government will take serious action and set up measures to prevent it from happening again. 

Link: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/south-asia/story/bangladesh-ferry-capsizes-100-passengers-board-20150222

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Yeoh zi jun (36) 2H

Yeoh Zi Jun(36) 2H

The article I am discussing about is that Chelsea, bars three racist  fans from entering the stadium. The victim, Soulymane aged 33,was trying to board a subway train when he got pushed down by Chelsea fans before the English team clashed with Paris saint-germain. They were reported of chanting' racist racist, we are racist and we like it' and another person was heard chanting the word Chelsea. This case is currently undergoing investigation and if the people are found out,they will be barred from entering the stadium forever. The victim will be allowed to watch a match in London in apology and to show him that the Chelsea fans are not like the ones he encountered. When being asked for his response, he wasn't very surprised when it occurred simply because of his skin color. He did not complain or say anything. He did not talked about the issue to his family members because it was a morbid subject. I was shocked at his response and how lightly he took it. To him,it was a normal to be targeted mainly because of his skin color, he lives and deal with the problem. If I was him, I would be really angry at the people because they were being racist. I felt very shocked upon knowing this incident because I did not know that racism still persist in some countries. Having grown up in multi racial society, I have developed a sense of being harmonious with everyone. Unfortunately in some countries that wasn't the case. Furthermore, they were chanting a soccer team 's name. This made us all question," Is soccer really like that?" What are the morals that were taught to this people. Is soccer really only about winning. If the soccer players can work well together to win matches, why can't they live harmoniously? This incident have shared a light on me that racism is still persisting. If this was to happen in Singapore,I would be really shocked and dumbfounded by it. From young,we are preached not to be racist and to live harmoniously without conflicts. "Pledge ourselves as one United nation,regardless of race,language or religion...." That is our pledge isn't it? It is really emphasized that racism cannot and will not occur in Singapore and if this was to happen in Singapore it will be a huge blow to its reputation of being a harmonious country where everyone can live together without conflicts.

See more at://http://www.onenewspage.com/n/Asia-Pacific/754wkionr/Chelsea-bar-three-racist-fans-from-stadium.htm

ng tat kit 33

The article I am discussing about is about the typhoon that quite recently hit Queensland.

A powerful cyclone roared ashore in a heavily populated area of Australia on Friday with authorities warning of a “calamity” as howling winds and torrential rain saw residents hunkering down to wait out the terrifying conditions.Tropical Cyclone Marcia slammed into the Queensland coast just after 6.00am Friday Singapore time having been upgraded to a category five, the most severe. 

I agree with the author that this bout of bad weather will be extremely damaging to both human and natural environments. As it spans over a large area of Australia, at least 170000 people will be affected by this natural disaster. I really pity these people as the might have to move away or take many troublesome security measures to ensure their safety. even after the typhoon has left, they will still be severely inconvenienced as the typhoon has already done damage to infrastructure such as power stations and roads. there will still be a massive cost of damages as well as aid needed to help those displaced or injured, as well as the families of the injured or dead people as they might need both financial or emotional help.

I feel that now that Australia has firsthand received the effects of a class five typhoon, i believe that the government of Australia will take measures to ensure that the next time a typhoon start, the damage can be lessens or prevented from occurring at all. this could take place in the form of better weather prediction, a national response system like the one Singapore has or flood mitigation measures.

 this event also makes e feel thankful that we are a relatively sheltered island and only receive tiny aftershocks that most of us barely notice. As Singapore is a small and densely populated country, it would be a disaster if anything as major as a class four to five cyclone or a tsunami ever hit us, as it is possible that we will suffer damage so bad we may be unable to rebuild. 



Friday, 20 February 2015

Lim Xin Yi ( 15 ) 20 - February-2015 ( Term 1 Week 7 )

Article Headline: Australia warns of calamity as massive cyclone roars ashore 

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/ausralianew-zealand/story/australia-warns-calamity-massive-cyclone-roars-ashore-20150220#sthash.0K9GKxZH.dpuf


On 20th February 2015 ( Friday ) , at 0600 hours Singapore time , Tropical Cyclone Marcia slammed into the coast of Queensland of Australia. The cyclone was rated in category 5, the most severe. Although the most vulnerable area is Yeppoon, places as far as Brian will also be affected.  Not only do the residents have to tidy up and guard their own properties, electricity was cut off, shelters and rescues teams were also needed for evacuation of residents loving in some of the affected areas. As a result of Tropical Cyclone Marcia, many flights were cancelled and more than 60 schools had to close down.

I agree that this weather phenomenon is severe and will bring about much damage to both the environment there and the lives of people there. Spanning over a large area is the affected parts of Australia and it will affect approximately 170000 people. I think that this disaster will make the victims' lives a lot more difficult even if Tropical Cyclone Marcia were to leave. People suffer great property kiss and damage and at the same time, they may also lose their lived ones. Furthermore,  most factories and buildings would need reparation or rebuilding. Hence, fewer work would be available and the people's lives may be harder as they may even have difficulty supporting their families and themselves.

After reading this article, I think that I am really fortunate to living living in Singapore. Since Singapore is near the equation,  it does not encounter such natural disasters . However, I think that the consequences will be a lot more worse as compared to Queensland if Tropical Cyclone Marcia were to happen in Singapore.  I think so as Singaoore is a densely populated country that is very small. If Tropical Cyclone Marcia were to hit Singapore,  it is most likely the entire of Singapore will be affected severely by it. Many residents would also be affected since Singapore is highly polluted and that there are also few or no shelters that protect people against such natural phenomenons. Thus, I think that if Tropical Cyclone Marcia were to hit Singapore, the while of Singapore might be affected badly and the country may have to start from zero again.








Thursday, 19 February 2015

Genevieve Lim (6)

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-jailed-attempting-kill-mum-20150219
Title: Woman jailed for attempting to kill mum

The writer states that a 3-year-old daughter, Tina Goh, was jailed for six months for criminal intimidation.
The former Singapore Airlines stewardess, who was heavily in debt and harassed by loan sharks, had heard voices in her depressed state telling her to kill herself and her mother Chen Tong Siew.
The unemployed woman grabbed Madam Chen's leg and tried to lift her over the railing along the fifth-floor common corridor at Village Hotel Changi last Oct 17. The pair had checked into the hotel for two days to get away from loan sharks.
Madam Chen struggled to break free and repeatedly shouted "jiu ming" - Mandarin for help.
 Goh had grabbed one of her legs and tried to lift her over the railing, with the intent to cause death.

I feel that Tina Goh, who had tried to kill her mother, should not have Done it as it was unacceptable. Although Goh was in a depressed state due to her owing $300,000 to loan sharks, which led to her hearing the voices telling her to kill herself and her mother, I think she should have sought help for her phychiatric problem, or sought help from other relatives or friends for her financial problem. According to the article, Goh had an elder sister, so she could have sought help from her. If she had, perhaps she would not have become depressed and have suicidal thoughts. Many people who owe loan sharks debts or are harassed by them end up being depressed and even turning to suicide as a form as escape from their problems. We should be more aware of our psychological health, such as when we are being too stressed or depressed. In such cases, we should know what actions to take, for example seeking help from doctors or taking a break to relax. I also feel we should not borrow money from loan sharks. If we do, they might harass neighbours and our own houses if we do not pay up on time, or even send their men to attack us or our family members. They might also add interests to the original amount of money which in turn will make the victim more prone to depression. also in Singapore, borrowing money from loan sharks is illegal and should not be Done at all.

Audrey (01)

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/thailand-fails-to-tackle/1665596.html

The writer states that Thailand is unable to deal with human trafficking in their country and has been downgraded to Tier 3 which is the bottom rung. Thailand may also face sanctions if it continues to to be at the bottom rung of the U.S. list. 

Human trafficking refers to trafficking in persons. It is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. 

I feel that the bureaucratic inefficiency of the Thailand government has led to the increase in human trafficking in their country. As said in the article, the government is not protecting victims who have escaped or been rescued from modern-day slavery. For example  victims who are held in government shelters designated to protect them described threats at gunpoint and severe injuries from beatings by staff. 

Although cases of human trafficking in Singapore is low, if this were to happen in Singapore, I believe that Singapore government will provide an austere and safe security along the borders and immigration controls. As a student I can also do my part by joining school clubs to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout our local community. 


Jan Hoe (08)

Yesterday, the 43-year-old Tina Goh who was heavily in debt and harassed by loan sharks, had heard voices in her depressed state telling her to kill herself and her mother Chen Tong Siew.The unemployed woman grabbed Madam Chen's leg and tried to lift her over the railing along the fifth-floor common corridor at Village Hotel Changi last Oct 17. The pair had checked into the hotel for two days to get away from loan sharks.Madam Chen struggled to break free and repeatedly shouted for help. The hotel's general manager heard the commotion and managed to separate them. Police were called in.

See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-jailed-attempting-kill-mum-20150219#sthash.S4wQEnbz.dpuf

This article left me in great shock. I feel that even though if she was meeting problems, she should not have tried to murder her mother 
and commit suicide. There are actually many ways to solve the problem. Tina Goh could have reported to the police about the loan sharks instead of avoiding the loan sharks and then killing herself. This is a very irresponsible act. She should have tried to face her problem and look for a job to repay the money that she owes. In conclusion, I feel that Tina Goh should not have tried to commit suicide since this would also leave her loved ones in pain.

Joyce 11

When Mr Pang Wei Ling moved into his four-room flat 13 years ago, his Chinese New Year decorations consisted of simple wall hangings and paper couplets. Now he displays ornaments, a 2m-tall water feature and decorations stretching 30m from the door of his flat at Canberra Link in Sembawang to the lift landing. He added: "When my non-Chinese neighbours complimented my work, I started increasing the decorations." Madam Sofiah Afandi, 47, who lives next door, said: "You don't have to be of the same race to enjoy the same celebrations." Mr Maloney Rodriguez Malelang, 41, a Filipino neighbour, said: "When they share their holidays with us, it makes me want to celebrate mine with them."

I think that we should all learn from mr pang, decorating the doorway with Chinese lanterns and twinkling lights so as to aid into the Chinese New Year festival mood. We should all celebrate fetivals together with our neighbors regardless of our races. This can help to build closer relationship with our neighbors. This can also help spread the happy mood to our neighbors and they can lead a happier lifestyle during Chinese new year. We can also make some delicious food and offer them to our neighbors so that we can get closer with one another and develop a better relationship, resulting in a more convenient future between us.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/spreading-chinese-new-year-cheer-neighbours-20150219#sthash.91oFhRxN.dpuf

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ding Hong Yi (5)

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/baby-dies-after-improperly-opened-stroller-pushed-toddler-cousin-2

This article is about the death of a baby that is not placed properly in his pram. His aunt Kicked the pram and placed the baby inside, not being sure wheter it is fully secured. The stroller folded inward and collapsed and the baby suffered 3 skull fractures and internal bleeding. He was found unresponsive and has brownish fluid flowing down his nose, thus taken to the hospital but unfortunately died.
The aunt should have taken a good look at the stroller just in case that it is not fully secured and wouldn't have caused this tragic accident. However, the younger cousin is lucky not to have placed into the stroller. If not there probably will be 2 deaths that day. The stroller company should also make sure that it is obvious to the user that it is fully secured and wouldn't collapse very hard on to the ground even if it is not fully secured. I hope the aunt has learnt her lesson.

Leong Shi Hui (14) Article response 18/2/15


**I'm so sorry that I'm late. I had a reunion lunch & dinner that lasted till around midnight yesterday and I had to sleep straight after. Hence I didn't submit my article response. I'm really sorry and I promise I won't do this again**


1. The issue discussed in this article is that Francis Goh, 57, a landlord found that the compound in Johor Baru that was rented to a tenant who owed four months of rent contained 24 malnourished dogs and some were too famished and desperate that they resorted to cannibalism: eating each other. Mr Goh described the scene, "Some of the dogs were lying in the backyard while the rest were too feeble to move. They were lying in their own filth among all the rubbish in the house," 

2. I feel that the writer is pitying the dogs while writing this article. I agree with the writer's point of view because I too pity the dogs. From the text, it can be seen that the house was poorly-kept from "The house is filthy, with dog faeces everywhere" maybe because the tenant escaped from his debts. I think that this type of environment is bad for digs, even for humans. Since the dogs are malnourished and famished now, their immune system will definite be weaker, and with filth and faeces all around, the germs from it will carry diseases like tick fever. Hence, the dog will be more prone to it. But I think that the main problem lies with the tenant. The tenant should not have abandoned the dogs in his house to escape from his debts. Even if the dogs were strays, he should not have done that because at the moment he picked up the dog, he hd the responsibility to take care of the dog till its life ends. One of my relatives had a dog. The dog was healthy at first but after a few months, it was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. Once knowing the news, the relative did not give her dog away to the shelter or to others but instead stayed with the dog till its final day. When I asked her the reason she did it, she told me, "Once you have a dog, it is like your child. When your child has a incurable sickness, will you leave him or her there to wait for their time?" I think that the tenant should learn from my relative because she has displayed all the good qualities of being a pet owner, like responsibility. If the tenant could not support himself in the first place, why did he pick up so many dogs? I think he should gauge his financial abilities before picking up the dogs. Hence I agree with the writer's point of view which is pitying the dogs.

3. If this happened in Singapore, I think that I would not take as long as four months to smell something fishy about the tenant because we have laws that allow government officials to have the right to search the compound in which the tenant is owing money. The police in Singapore will also react quickly to every report, not like the police in Johor Baru. 

Judy Huang (9)

Current Affairs (2) 18/02

Article Title : Women Jailed for Attempting to Kill Mum
Date Published : 18 February 2015
Link to News : http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-jailed-attempting-kill-mum-20150219

The issue being discussed in this article is a 43 year old women, Tina Goh, attempted to kill her mum at a hotel because of stress. She was thinking of committing suicide as well. Due to her heavy debts, loan sharks where constantly harassing her and it gave her stress, leading to suicidal thoughts. And she was stopped when she was caught trying to kill her mum at a hotel they temporarily checked in to avoid the load sharks for 2 days.

I think that for Tina to be feeling suicidal and have such thoughts is not entirely her fault, anyone in her shoes might have been thinking of the same thing. But it was she who went to the loan sharks in the first place to borrow money. She must have maxed out her loans at all the banks to have taken such measures, knowing that it is illegal and the interest rate from these loan sharks are unreasonably high. It would have been better if she tried to cut down on her expenses when she wasn't earning enough, or work longer hours to earn more. The worst decision was to deal with loan sharks. The offer the loan sharks gave her must be very tempting for her to accept it without considering the consequences. But she should have told the police about the loan sharks and not accept the offer. There are many people who have financial difficulties but very rarely do they end up like her, suffering emotional depression and resulting in suicidal thoughts and eventually actions. There will always be a way to help her out of her desperate situation had she not dealt with the loan sharks.

Koh Yi Ling(12) 18/2/2015

Link to article: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/baby-dies-after-improperly-opened-stroller-pushed-toddler-cousin-2

Article: baby dies after improperly opened stroller pushed toddler cousin

This article is about A baby who died after his 21 months old cousin pushed him in the stroller which was not properly opened and secured by his aunt which had caused the stroller to fold inwards with the baby still inside, which caused him to have three skull fractures and bleeding in the brain, found unresponsive and was dead the day after.
I feel that the aunt should be more cautious and careful with the stroller. She might not have known the dangers that could happen and probably did not care much about whether the stroller was properly opened and secured which is shown through a 'click' sound. The stroller was also in a rusty condition which made it harder to secure the stroller properly. The aunt should have changed the stroller as she knew about the rusty condition of the stroller. If she had been more observant and cautious, this accident might not have happened.

Jeslyn Teo (10) 2H

Date Of Article : 17 February 2015

Article : http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/huge-impact-here-if-jakarta-bans-maids

Title : Huge Impact Here If Jakarta Bans Maids 


Summary : This article is about how Singapore will suffer if Jakarta issues a maid ban. 

Response : Singapore relies heavily on foreign maids, mostly from Indonesia to serve them. I agree with the writer that if a ban on the maids are implemented, Singapore would suffer great losses, like the maid agencies and those who are working long hours and do not have time to take care of the household chores or children, or those who do not know how to do household chores. I think that Singapore relies too heavily on maids, most of my friends have maids in their houses and maids would be like servants to their needs and they do not have to lift a finger to even get a drink. If Jakarta imposes a maid ban, not only will Singaporeans be emotionally stressed, they would not be able to take care of their own selves too.

Ow Wen Xuan (18) 18/02

Current Affairs (2)

Link to article : http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/singapore-will-be-hit-hard-if-jakarta-imposes-maid-ban-2
Article name : Singapore 'will be hit hard' if Jakarta imposes maid ban
Published date : 17 February 2015


  This article is about the fact that as Singaporeans depend heavily on Indonesia for domestic help, thus the high possibility of  having a major negative impact on Singapore if Indonesia was to ban Indonesian maids from working overseas.

  I agree with the writer that the measures taken by the Indonesian government, which will cause the number of people coming to work decrease, might lead to the domestic helpers working in Singapore  being at a disadvantage. It is stated that due to the ban, some domestic helpers may leave the country as undocumented workers, thus being unable to go to their embassy for help if they get into any trouble overseas. I feel that this is very disadvantageous because I have heard of several cases of incidents such as domestic helpers being bullied by their employers. When this happens, they might not be able to seek justice for themselves since they cannot go to their embassy for help. This is very saddening as I truly believe that everyone has their own rights and should be treated the same. Thus I agree with the writer's view.

Ashley Loo (16)

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/baby-dies-after-improperly-opened-stroller-pushed-toddler-cousin-2

The issue being discussed is that a baby dies after its 21 month old cousin pushed the improperly opened stroller than the baby was in, causing its brain to be bleeding and suffer skull fractures which led to its death. I have observed that the stroller that the baby was in is very dangerous. A stroller is meant to be safe for a baby but in this article, it became dangerous to a baby and even caused the baby to die. The adult who is taking care of the two children should be more alert and careful, making sure that the 21 month old toddler won't touch the baby as he isnstill a toddler who has a possibility to do playful stuff. If the adult did take good care of them, she or he will be able to stop the cousin from pushing the stroller and it will prevent the death of the baby. This incident should always remind all mothers or all adults who are taking care of children, to make sure that the strollers are safe and properly cared for. 

The writer didn't make any point of view but State Coroner Janet Wang found that there had been no foul play in the baby's death and it's just an unfortunate event. I do not agree with this since I think that the baby's death can be prevented if the adult who is with them paid more attention on them and will be able to stop the cousin from pushing the stroller on time. Being more careful is a necessity when you're with young toddlers but the adult didn't do that which is very inconsiderate for him or her. 




Ng Yi Jie(17)

Single ladies are able to rent a male partner for special occasions with the new application "Rent-a-gent". These men are paid by the hour to accompany single ladies, and some are used for avoiding the constant nagging of the elders to find a partner.
The writer thinks that this application is immensely useful, while in my opinion, I feel that its disgusting and wrong to rent a male partner even for a minor event. First of all, the lady would not even know the guy she is renting, which is extremely dangerous. The rent prices cost a bomb. Rather than being entertained by a man for one hour, which costs $600, I would certainly prefer spending the money on myself.

Source: http://women.asiaone.com/women/relationships/get-your-grandma-your-back-rent-boyfriend-cny

chua xinyue (4) 18.2.15

title : Japanese man arrested for sending boy to help Fukushima clean-up 
source : http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/japanese-man-arrested-sending-boy-help-fukushima-clean-20150218#sthash.cEcmTXnP.dpuf

issue being discussed : a japanese business man was arrested today for sending a 15 year old to clear wastes of a wrecked nuclear plant. the boy said he was introduced to his former boss through a government-run employment agency and was ordered to lie about his age. 

observations : the writer explained very clearly on where the people were from specifically and gave back ground information about japan's prohibition against people under 18 working at radioactive areas.

writer : the writer approached this issue with great research about japan. (writer did not give opinions.)

if it were to happen in singapore : if this case happens to occur in singapore, i find that the singapore government would also sentence the businessman as it is inhuman to send a young child to work at such a dangerous place to work. moreover, it involves having skin contact with radioactive objects. thus, i feel that singaporeans would not be so unreasonable to force someone to lie about their age to work. 

Eunice Chua (3)

Current affairs (2)

Response on the article Snowballs fly in Washington, DC
Published on: 18/2/15

The article I am discussing about today is about people in Washington taking advantage of the heavy snow that occurred in the country to participate in a snowball fight. I find that the people are very creative, they looked beyond the heavy snow that hit them and think of a way to enjoy themselves. They have positive mindset and know how to find little joy, in things that affect or benefit them. I am very impressed by their thinking and action and hope that Singaporeans will do the same should we experience such natural disasters or hazardous events. Singaporeans are very blessed, we live comfortably, didn't have any natural disasters and do not have climatic change. People in other countries will have more experience than us, they know what is the meaning of the real joy. For average Singaporeans, being financially secure is a joy to them. However, for villagers living in other countries, joy could be having good weather for weeks or months just so that their crops could survive and be in good shape when it's ready to harvest. Singaporeans live too comfortably and when we experience such unfortunate events, we would be waiting for the government to take actions and will most probably not do anything to improve the situation. I believe that we should learn from the people in Washington, how to find joy in little things. Although our way of living and surviving might be different, we should always learn from them so cherish little things and live, to think positively, to make the situation better and not rely on others and more. It is always good to learn from others and improve ourselves so as to get prepared for unexpected events should they happen to us.

See more at http://www.straitstimes.com/news/world/united-states/story/snowballs-fly-washington-dc-20150218

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Lee Xin Yi (13)

Current Affairs

Article name: Foreign workers seen queuing for Chinese New Year bak kwa at Lim Chee Guan
Date of published: 17 February 2015
  This article is about Singaporeans being too busy to join the ridiculously long queues for bak kwa this Chinese New Year and thus get their workers to do it for them then. Some employers had asked their employees to help them queue up to buy bak kwa for the Chinese New Year. It was shown in the picture that someone took that some employees even need to stay overnight outside the shop to buy bak kwa.
  I agree with the writer that employers asking employees to buy things for them is strictly unacceptable because they should do the needs themselves as they will become lazier if they always order others to do things for them. In the article, the write stated 'highlighting the practice once again', which means that employers asking employees to do things for them was not the first time but it have been many times. Firstly, asking someone to do things for them is unacceptable. They should be responsible and do things on their own as buying bak kwa is actually to fulfil their own needs, not the employees. Secondly, the employees are here to help us in our daily life, such as office worker, cleaner, and construction worker etc. They are not our maid and they should be treated the same as how we treat our fellow colleagues or friends. They are still human beings. Thirdly, it is not a good example to show the new generation as these days, people from newer generations have been more lazy and more rude. Thus, the older generation people should set good examples for the newer generation and not teach them how to order people around. Hence, I think that asking others to help fulfill your own needs is unacceptable and Singaporeans should change these kind of behaviors.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Current affairs reader's response

Reader response by Yizhuo

The issue discussed here is the huge amount of rubbish in Singapore and the strategies discussed to stop the littering issue. Getting students to try being cleaners for a day and heavier penalties are some of the strategies discussed. Often cited reasons of why Singapore is becoming a 'garbage city' include complacency, a bad attitude and being pampered. Also, some suggest that different cultural attitudes can also be a reason. The key for Singapore to reclaim the status of a clan city invloves all Singaporeans to put in their effort.
The writer agrees that all Singaporeans need to take part in keeping the city clean. We cannot simoly rely on our cleaners to clean up after us. If one day these cleaners stop cleaning after us, the city would become a 'garbage city' for sure. Why can't we just take the initiative to clean up ourselves?
I agree with the writer's point of view. We take our cleaners for granted, often without thinking how much they do for us everyday. Everywhere I go, I could see these cleaners working hard, but not for their own benefit, instead for us. We should all work together to keep this city clean and green.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Yeoh Zi Jun(36) 2H

The article I am discussing about today is that there have been a person who have been diagnosed with Middle East respiratory syndrome( Mers) in Manila,Philipines. Although there have been several cases in which filipinos have died because of the deadly strain of virus overseas,this is the first time there have been a person who have been diagnosed positive of the virus in the own country itself. Even though it has been stressed that people who boarded the same plane as her have a low chance of having the symptom, they must still be closely monitored for the virus. So far, there have been 356 people who have lost the fight with the virus and passed away. The writer repeatedly stresses the potent of the virus and how deadly it is, which goes to show that the writer is very wary of the virus, even though the person who has contracted the virus is in Philipines and is being closely monitored, the writer is still very wary. I agree with the writer's point of view because the virus has killed many people and will continue to kill people unless there has been an efficient cure to it and we are more wary of our surrounding. If this was to happen in Singapore, I feel that Singapore may start to panic because Singapore is a very small and congested place and so the chance of contracting the virus is very high. I also feel that Singapore will take extreme safety measures to prevent the virus from spreading. See more at:.http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/asia-report/philippines/story/first-case-mers-diagnosed-manila-20150212

Friday, 13 February 2015

Jesper Leow (30)

Recently in Pakistan, there was an attack by gunmen on an Pakistani Shia mosque that lead to 19 deaths and 45 wounded. One of the gunmen blew himself up, one of them were killed in the gunfire and one was arrested. I observed that these terrorist attacks are often carried out on a certain race or religion, and I feel that such acts of racism should not be done. I think that if this was to happen in Singapore, it would lead to major distress because Singapore is a small country and can easily be destroyed, so we must stand together and do what is required in order to survive if this happens.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-31451201

Thursday, 12 February 2015

This is a Current Affairs Blog

A. Read and respond to CURRENT NEWS, i.e. news articles from the current week. DO NOT RE-USE ARCHIVED NEWS. 

Should you make use of the recommended readings in the google docs, make sure you use the articles and Theme for the current month. 

Provide the title as well as a hyperlink of the news article of your choice.

Use these questions to help you craft your responses:
 

1.  What is the issue being discussed?  What are some observations you have made about the issue discussed?


2.  How does the writer approach the issue?  Do you agree with his/ her point of view?  Why, or why not?


3. [Should your article be from a foreign press, then you should also relate this to a Singapore context.]  How would it be similar/ different if it were to happen in Singapore?


B.  On weeks when you are not required to post a response, you are to comment on a classmate's response.   Engage with the views shared and extend the quality of reasoning. You are also required to support your points when supplying comments.

These pupils are required to re-submit their comments:

Sarah Lim(19),  Wei ZeYu(21),  Zhou Wei(24),  Chuan Han Wei(26),  Lee Shao Min(29),
Matthew Seah(34),  Jeremy Tay(35)

The following pupils have not done their work.  You have until 23 59  Friday, 13 February to upload your posts.  Disciplinary action will be taken.

Chew Jing Heng(25) -  Comment not submitted
Dai YiZhuo(27) - Comment and Response Not Submitted
Jesper Leow(30) - Comment and Response Not Submitted
Ng Tat Kit(33) - Comment Not Submitted
Yeoh Zi Jun(36) - Comment and Response Not Submitted

Luo Tianhong (32)

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/education/story/parents-jump-brain-training-wagon-bid-boost-concentration-and-memory-

The title of this article is that parents jump brain training wagon in a bid to boost concentration and memory.
This article talks about how brain training centers are becoming more and more common, a growing trend among young children. Brain training centers develop exercises, such as puzzles, listening exercises, games requiring to sort objects and remember colors and shapes, while some centers desgined exercises to target childrens weak areas.  One parent sited her child, who after attending the exercise, didn't skip letters and words when reading. The passage also sited experts saying that brain training are not applicable in class or school, and should read to their children, bring the children out doors to help the child, instead of brain training.
I think that the writer gives a very good idea of both sides of the story, and tells us the views of parents on both sides. My view is that brain training is not effective. In my opinion, brain training is best developed through real life experiences. Rather than going to centers, parents can just expose them more to the society. Brain training is to help the child gain an advantage in school, and help them when they go into society. The improvements in cognitive skills, concentration, motor and processing skills are labeled as results of brain training, but I think a child would naturally learn them when they grow up. For example, when we learn to read, our processing and cognitive skills will improve. Indeed, language classes are including them in the curriculum through comprehension practice. Rather than trying out exercises, reading is the most direct way, since one would need to apply the skills learnt, instead of just trying them out in classroom conditions. Application in real life is the most important thing when learning a skill, and brain training are unable to help the children there. Furthermore, the example cited in the passage, when the parent said "she doesn't skip letters and words when she reads, with training to slow the eye down and see things in detail." This I think, can't be classified as brain training as she just payed more attention to what she is reading. Skipping letters and words are a sign that she is not paying enough attention, and slowing down her reading pace with a guiding adult with her to help her with understanding the text will help her to read them in detail. Skills learnt in school such as annotation also help students to see things in detail. This I think, shows that brain training can be replaced by practicing things in real life, and real life experiences are already able to train children in brain skills.
In conclusion, I think that real life experiences are the best way for children to train brain skills, and that brain training are not as effective as real life experiences, so brain training is not nessecary for children.

Chew Jing Heng (25)

http://www.tnp.sg/news/400000-15-years-they-cheated-him
http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/more-18000-raised-70-year-old-man-who-was-allegedly-chea
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/man-conned-400k-over-15-years

Summary:
More than US$14,000 (S$18,935) has been raised online for a 70-year-old man who lost $400,000 to two women over 15 years.

Two Singaporean women told Mr Tan Soy Kiang,the victim, who is single, that the money was for a non-existent debt he owed the government. The women are friends he has known for a long time and trusted. 
Response:
$400,000 is a large sum of money to most of us, especially to  the 70 year-old victim. I have observed that many elderly people like Mr Tan can easily fall into traps that will take away their hard earned money. This is rather common in Singapore where elderly people would have saved a sum of money for their retirement. I feel that elderly people are too gullible and that is why they become the target of such scammers. 
Although the writer did not give his point of view in this article, I have seen many comments regarding this article. There was one comment by Kevin Ong saying :"Close family and relatives of elderly need to pay more attention and care for theirs seniors lest they fall as prey into the hands of some unscrupulous predators." I fully agree with him. I believe that most of the younger generations will know the consequences of being scammed, and they will probably take note of such scams. However, elderly people will usually put their trust on such scammers and there goes their hard earned money. Therefore, I believe that close family and relatives should help to pay more attention to the elder generations to prevent them from falling into scammers.