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     See also Education News

     TALK: Share Your Views

Death Is Not The Only Way Out

"Somewhere in Singapore today, someone will commit suicide. Seven others will try, but help will come in time and they will survive.

"The same will happen again tomorrow, and every day.

"These are among the facts of life and death here, and this is how it has been for a long time.

"Looked at one way, Singapore's statistics for suicide say that much has stayed fairly stable over the years and there is nothing to be alarmed about.

"Viewed another way, however, you must wonder why the numbers have not come down despite a proliferation of support services and crisis helplines over the years."

Excerpt of article "Death is not the only way out" by ALAN JOHN in THE STRAITS TIMES of 5 Jul 2006 (Page 22)

TALK: Share Your Views




     - MOE to develop 15 FutureSchools@Singapore schools by 2015


2006 survey finds almost nine in ten children aged 10 - 14 years are infocomm users

"Almost nine in ten children (aged 10 to 14 years) use the computer and Internet for communications, learning and play...
"The second highest proportion of Infocomm users are our youth and adults (aged 15 to 59 years), with about seven in ten using the computer and Internet extensively for communications and leisure activities.
"The elderly (aged 60 and above) are also Infocomm users. Three in ten use the computer, while two in ten have accessed the Internet in the past year..."


     - Study on returns to higher education in Singapore


     - Two students to be charged in court for misuse of sparklers

     - Synthetic fields for eligible schools



Higher school fees for PRs and foreign students

"From January 2007, PR in Government and Government-aided schools, junior colleges (JCs) and the centralised institute (CI) will pay about 20% more for school fees. They currently pay the same fees as citizens at the secondary and pre-university levels.
"FS, whose fees are already higher than those for citizens and PR, will have their fees increased by about 30%. The new fees for FS will take effect two years from now (2009 ), to give time for them to decide if they wish to apply to become permanent residents..."


     - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'N' Level 2006 Results

     - Education: Performance by ethnic group 1996–2005

     - Police arrest 12 people in island-wide anti-piracy raids

     - Three years of free Wi-Fi for Singapore from 1 Dec 2006

     - 2006 Primary School Leaving Examination (PLSE) Results

     - Inaugural Singapore Education Awards 2007

     - New committee to look into reducing school dropout rate

     - New school principals in 2007


All schools to get indoor sports hall for PE, sports and games

"The indoor sports hall will mean an approximately 50% increase in a school’s sports facilities. It will give schools the flexibility to conduct CCAs and PE lessons at any time of the school day...

"Estimated to cost a total of $690 million, the project will be implemented in phases over seven years..."



Two Years of Free Wi-Fi for Singapore

"Come 2007, Singaporeans will be ushering the new year with at least 24 months, or two years, of free (basic tier) wireless connectivity at up to 512 kbps speeds almost everywhere - thanks to IDA's 'Wireless@SG' programme...

"The three operators are extending this two-year free offering with unlimited usage to all residents and visitors in Singapore, including tourists and business travellers. The sign-up details will be made known from December 2006 by the operators..."



Norovirus outbreak may have affected another two schools

"MOH has investigated into the Ang Mo Kio Secondary School outbreak which occurred on 25-28 Sep and established the cause as norovirus gastroenteritis. Investigations into the cause of outbreak at Stamford Primary School are still in progress although norovirus has also been identified.

"As at Friday, 6 Oct, two other schools [ACS(I) and Maris Stella (Primary)] have reported 20-30 cases of students and staff falling ill with similar symptoms. These cases are also being investigated to determine their cause..."



Recent outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in two schools

"There has been an increase in the number of persons attending the polyclinics for acute diarrhoea over the past three weeks...

"However, in view of the recent outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in two schools affecting a large number of school children, the Ministry would like to advise the public to be vigilant about diarrhoeal illnesses..."



Major changes in teaching of English Language in our schools

Singapore students do fairly well in reading literacy, but standards of oral and written communication are highly uneven. Some employers have observed a decline in oral fluency, writing skills and the ability to communicate with impact...

The EL curriculum will focus on developing oral confidence, grammar knowledge and a love for reading to anchor EL learning throughout the primary school years...

Secondary students will revisit and build on foundational skills, in particular, grammar and spoken English...

A new subject, English Language, to be offered at H1 and H2 levels, will be introduced at the pre-university level from 2009...


     - AVA to implement grading scheme for pet shops


Primary schools to do away with EM3 stream from 2008

"Primary schools will introduce Subject-based Banding starting from the 2008 Primary 5 cohort, replacing the current EM3 stream.

"With Subject-based Banding, students will be able to offer a mix of Standard or Foundation subjects depending on their aptitude in each subject...

"Schools will work out class and timetabling arrangements that allow students to take separate classes in Foundation subjects while being integrated with other students for the rest of the curriculum..."



     - School Achievements in 2006

     - SJI (International) to be Singapore's 3rd privately funded school

     - Easier for returning Singaporeans to go back to our schools


More than 40 Singaporeans aged 19 and below HIV-positive

"By the end of last year, more than 40 young Singaporeans aged 19 and below have been reported as HIV-positive..."



Subutex to be classified as a controlled drug

"While some heroin addicts appeared to have benefited from Subutex, many others seem to have merely shifted their addiction from heroin to Subutex.

"In addition, many more who have never tried drugs before have become new addicts. Within 4 years of introduction, we now have at least 3800 Subutex users, 45% of them Malay, 43% Chinese and 10% Indian..."



Of young Singaporeans then and now

"As for assembly talks, we had guest speakers but unlike your 'interactive' talks; they did all the talking, we did all the listening and no one thought that we might want to ask them some questions.

"My teachers were more concerned that we did not fall asleep during the session. This I am told is one of those things that have resisted change as this generation of students is also similarly afflicted..."



Singapore Crime Situation - First half 2006

"Crimes involving handphones being stolen, which was one of the key concerns in 2005, decreased significantly, from 2,423 to 1,962 cases, in the first half of 2006...

"The drop in handphone crimes, despite the continued high mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore3 , may be in part due to enhanced public education on such crimes as well as tighter enforcement against errant second-hand handphone dealers..."




Community Issues: Improving the teaching of English Language in Singapore schools

"It has been suggested that native speakers of English be hired. Proceed with care: Natives have come and gone in the past. Just now, there are hardly any in the schools.

"What has been MOE's experience? Clear speech is fundamental when communicating with Singaporean students.
"Few native speakers are BBC-perfect in diction, understood in any cultural context. There are British teachers (more so Scots, Irish and Welsh) whose speech would not be intelligible to Singaporean ears..."



Hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes prepare for smoking ban

Smoking ban will be extended to hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes come 1st July.

To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, foodshop operators can set up smoking corners for those who want to light up. To date, close to half of the affected outlets have decided to set up smoking corners in their outdoor refreshment areas....



     - Apply for your National Day Parade 2006 Tickets Now!


Population Survey on the Arts 2005

"The profile of arts audience is demographically skewed towards young people below 35 years old (49%), comprising age groups of 15-19 (14%) and 20-34 (35%)..."


     - Direct Admission Exercise for JC in 2007

     - 47 schools in Direct Admission Exercise for Sec 1 in 2007



Police launch online database of IMEI numbers of stolen handphones

HITS contains the IMEI numbers of handphones that have been reported stolen. This system allows the public to verify if the handphone they intend to purchase is stolen or not.....


     - New Website lets ex-offenders check own 'spent' criminal records




Easier for returning Singaporean children to re-enter local schools

First, at the primary school level, MOE will do away with the need for placement tests for returning Singaporean children seeking placement.
Instead MOE will identify a primary school nearest to their home with vacancies and offer a place to the child. We will implement this by the middle of this year....
Second, at the secondary school level, MOE will also do away with the need for returning Singaporean children to sit for multiple school-based tests.
Instead, MOE will develop a Centralised Placement Test (CPT) to provide a common yardstick...



Amended Enlistment Act requires males 13 years & older to get exit permits

MINDEF will require pre-enlistees aged 13 to 16½ to apply for Exit Permits if they intend to be away from Singapore for 3 months or more.

Those who require Exit Permits of 2 years or more will be required to furnish a bond...

The penalty regime for Exit Permit offences for those aged 13 to 16½ will be only a fine of up to $2,000, with no custodial sentences...

We will thus be introducing a new offence in the Enlistment Act under which parents and guardians can be made liable for the Exit Permit offences of their children or wards of ages 13 to 16½ so that the penalty can be imposed on their parents or guardians when the circumstances warrant it. The penalty regime for the offence will also be a fine of up to $2,000...


     - Survey shows more Singaporeans active in sports


     - Law against Singaporeans who sexually exploit minors overseas


2nd Defence Minister speaks on NS deferment & disruption

Therefore, MINDEF will only grant deferment for pre-enlistees to gain their basic educational qualifications of ‘A’ levels, polytechnic diploma, or below.
This is reasonable as most of our 18 year old NS enlistees would either have completed their basic qualification programme or are about to complete it.
As university degrees are considered higher educational qualifications, deferments for university studies will no longer be allowed. This new policy for deferments has been in place from the end of last year.


     - New NorthLight School to offer vocational programmes in 2007


Home Affairs Minister tackles MPs' questions on crime situation

"As for snatch theft, where a person’s belongings are forcibly snatched away from him, cases involving handphones have increased from 160 cases in 2004 to 280 cases in 2005 and accounted for 45 per cent of the total number of snatch theft cases in 2005.
"Of particular concern are the cases specifically targeting the handphones of young victims, which has increased from 50 cases in 2004 to 93 cases in 2005.
"Robbery and theft cases involving handphones remain a key area of concern for the Police. The number of such cases increased significantly by 42 per cent to 4,830 cases in 2005.
"This is due to the higher mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore, thereby giving rise to a larger pool of potential victims. There are 4.3 million handphone subscribers in Singapore..."


           - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A' Level Exams 2005 Results


Survey on Infocomm Usage in households & by individuals 2005

The proportion of households with access to a computer at home was 74%. This proportion has remained unchanged since 2003.
The proportion of households with two or more computers was 28%.
Nine in ten households in private housing had access to a computer at home; compared to seven in ten households in public housing.
About two-thirds of the Singapore’s resident population aged 15 years and above were computer users.



More financial help for students from lower-income families

First, the income ceiling will be raised so as to allow the lowest 20% of households to qualify.

The income limits under the FAS for Government and Government-Aided Schools will be increased from the current $900 (Gross Monthly Household Income) to $1,500 for families with 1 or 2 children; and from $1,050 to $1,800 for families with 3 or more children.

Second, the benefits granted to FAS recipients will also be expanded. They will receive a full waiver of the standard miscellaneous fees, compared to the 50% waiver under the current FAS. FAS recipients will also get a 75% subsidy on national examination fees...


     - Spike in contact lens related fungal corneal infections


Singapore Crime Situation 2005

Robbery and theft cases involving handphones taken remain a key area of concern for the Police. The number of such cases increased significantly by 1,414 cases, from 3,411 to 4,825 cases in 2005.

Handphone crimes increased most notably for theft in dwelling (excluding shop theft) from 832 to 1,119 cases (+287 cases), and for other thefts (from 1,096 to 1,837 cases in 2005).
Robbery (from 344 to 488 cases), snatch thefts (from 162 to 283 cases) and cheating and related offences (from 275 to 343 cases) also saw notable increases.
The increase in handphone crime may be due to the rise in mobile phone penetration rate9 in Singapore indicating a larger pool of potential victims...


     - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'O' Level Exams 2005 Results

     - Release of 2005 GCE 'O' Level Exam Results

Survey on Singapore Youth & Their Portable Gadgets

by Second Year Media and Communication students in Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Business

"Out of the 795 respondents who owned handphones, Nokia had the highest share at 56% while Samsung and Sony-Ericsson tied for second place at 16% each...

"Respondents were asked to choose one item that they would not be able to live without from a list that included the handphone, PC, TV, portable music device, PDA, portable game console and digital camera. 78% of all the 800 respondents indicated that they could not live without their handphone."



MINDEF to press for jail sentence in serious cases of NS defaulters

"Since the appeal case in the High Court in 1993, besides Melvyn Tan there have been 13 other cases of convicted defaulters who were sentenced only to a fine and who were not subsequently enlisted because they were already over 40 or almost 40.
"This is something that we need to look into more closely, especially as there may now be more defaulters who are 40 or older coming before the courts with the passing of time...
"MINDEF will be proposing to the House to increase the maximum fine provided for in the Enlistment Act from the current $5,000 to $10,000...
"...from now on, MINDEF will ask the prosecutor to press for a jail sentence in serious cases of NS defaulters, and explain why we consider a jail sentence appropriate in a particular case..."


     - Single intake for JCs and centralised institute from 2009

     - TAF & Mindef Fitness Performance Awards for Schools 2005

     - Christmas & new year revellers molested in Orchard Road


     - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'N' Level Exams 2005 Results

     - National Service Dues: Did pianist Melvyn Tan get off too lightly?

     - PSLE 2005 Results


Prevention of child abuse and neglect in Singapore

"Over the last 5 years, my Ministry investigated an average of 188 complaints of alleged child abuse each year. Only in 40% of cases did our investigations reveal real evidence of abuse.
"Granted, the number of cases with evidence of abuse increased by about one and a half times from 61 in 2000 to 90 in 2004. This is due largely to greater awareness among those who have regular contact with children and who reported the incidents to the authorities for intervention..."


     - Singapore Tourism Board launches 'Unique2Me' Photo Contest

     - 51 new school principals for 2006

     - School Achievements in 2005  (replaces ranking of top schools)

     - Educational Performance by Ethnic Group 1995 - 2004


Compulsory registration for pre-paid SIM card holders

"From 1 November, mobile service providers, such as the Singapore Telecom Mobile Pte Ltd, StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd and MobileOne Ltd, will be required to ensure compliance in recording the personal details of all customers who buy prepaid SIM cards...

"...all existing prepaid SIM card users are required to re-register at retail outlets which sell prepaid SIM cards sold by their respective mobile service providers.

"Customers must be at least 15 years old before being eligible to purchase a prepaid SIM card..."



We Know What You Did Last June School Break: ACNielson Survey

Average spent by parents on each child during the June school break
Below $100
$100 - $199
$200 - $499
$500 - $999
$1,000 - $1,999
$2,000 and above
Not sure



Bicycle thefts in Singapore

"The number of cases of bicycle theft averaged around 400 cases a year from 2000 to 2004. In the first half of this year, 435 cases were reported...

"In 2004, 9 out of 10 bicycles stolen in public places were not secured at designated bicycle bays. Instead, the vast majority of those stolen were secured to lamp posts, railings and pipes..."



Study Mum Situation in Singapore

"As at end Jul 05, there were about 6,800 study mothers in Singapore of whom some two-thirds were from the PRC...

"As at end Jun 05, less than 1,000 study mothers were holding Work Permits..."



Prepaid Phone Cards To Be Controlled

"I had previously raised the issue of prepaid phone cards as an area of security concern. The exploitation of the anonymity given by prepaid cards to avoid detection is not new. Criminals have exploited this. And terrorist groups like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have done so too...

"The Homefront Security Division in MHA has been working closely with the IDA and the commercial service providers to work out a practical regulatory regime.

"These regulatory controls are likely to be implemented from early November. Details will be announced next month..."




Rising number of HIV positive young people

"Young people are vulnerable to AIDS. Locally, 1 teenager under 19 years was tested positive for HIV in first 6 months of 2005 bringing the total number of young people in the 10-19 age group who are HIV-positive to 19 as of June 2005. In addition, there are also 458 young people in the 20-29 age group who are infected.

"The increasing numbers of HIV positive young people are a worrying trend. It is tragic for a young life, so full of potential, to be limited by a positive diagnosis of HIV. It is even more tragic when the infected person unknowingly spreads HIV to other young people, like himself or herself, by engaging in casual sex or sex with multiple partners. However, we believe no one can help young people more than themselves. Young people have the ability and courage to take difficult issues head-on and come up with bold and innovative solutions..."


      - Police act against unlicensed second-hand handphone dealers


Three arrested for illegally distributing copyrighted songs online

"A pre-dawn raid on 3 locations by the Police on 17 August 2005 saw the arrest of 3 male subjects aged between 16 and 22 years old for distributing infringing copies of copyrighted music on the Internet.
"The 16 year-old student, 21 year-old unemployed man and 22 year-old factory operator were arrested in their respective residences..."



Number of youths arrested for rioting
"Youths arrested for rioting have been predominantly male. In 2004, the percentage was 84%. The majority are aged between 14 to 17 years. In 2004, 43% of youths arrested for rioting were students below the year of 16 with secondary school education. The next largest group of youths arrested for rioting are unemployed youths, accounting for 17% of arrests in 2004. Half of the youths arrested for rioting are Chinese, with Malays, Indians and youths of other races accounting for the other half. Seven out of ten youths arrested for rioting are first time offenders..."



Easier to enter the Sports School from 2006

"...First, the Sports School will admit all students with high sporting potential regardless of their academic ability. This will take effect from 2006..."



Rehabilitation for first- & second-time synthetic drug abusers

"From 1 July 2005, first- and second-time abusers of MDMA (Ecstasy, Ketamine), Methamphetamine (Ice or Yaba) and Nimetazepam (Erimin-5) will undergo a new rehabilitation regime in Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs)....."


     - First National Interschool Blogging Championship

     - IMH upgrades inpatient children psychiatric ward

     - Book a barbecue (BBQ) pit at any AXS station


Noise Singapore Festival 2005

30 Sep - 30 Oct 2005

Using everyday communication tools, the Internet and mass media, Noise Singapore provides a chance for anyone below the age of 25 to become an artist, designer, photographer, film maker, composer, musician, animator or poet.



Student falls from school building

A 16-year-old student of Bedok South Secondary School was injured after he fell off the first floor of a building at his school yesterday. Police are investigating the incident.

Source: Straits Times 11 Mar 2005 (H2)

     - Smoking ban to cover more public places from 1 Oct 2005


Islander - Singapore Schools

Getforme is looking for volunteer reporters from primary and secondary schools as well as junior colleges. Students of foreign-system schools are also welcome to join. These reporters will report on events and happenings in their own school.


       - Parent complains about 'taupok' game in JC

     - Monday with the Editor: Pet Island - Singapore Pets Online


Monday with the Editor: Still envy our children?

School starts today for more than 500,000 children across the island this new year. As these children stream back to their schools and begin looking around in their new classrooms, some of them may notice a classmate or schoolmate missing.

And they may realise that the tsunami which took place far from our shores over the holidays has something to do with that student's absence from school...



     - New school principals appointed

     - Recent rape & molestation cases in Singapore


Student falls from school building in Bedok

A 15-year-old student of St Anthony's Canossian Secondary School survived a fall from the fourth storey of her school building on Monday when a small tree broke her fall. Police have ruled out both foul play and attempted suicide.

Source: Straits Times 1 Dec 2004 (H1)


 Monday with the Editor: Singapore Idol - who will win?

...But, what if there's a tie? It is possible, you know. Glen Ong has an answer to this. Over radio this morning, I heard him telling everyone that, if the programme's producers allow, the two finalists should compete over who says "She sells seashells on the seashore" better.

     - Review of laws governing sexual offences

     - Mobile phone use and acoustic reuroma, a benign tumour

     - Monday with the Editor: Over-indulging our children

     - New cases of HIV infection reported in first half 2004

     - Monday with the Editor: Give our young less stress at school


Five-day week for schools

"If there is a ban on weekend homework, teachers will set tighter and tighter deadlines and students would have a harder and harder time catching up with weekday work. Stress would build up to an unbearable level..."



More parents file complaints against their children

The number of parents seeking to file complaints against their under-16 children doubled in the past year according to the Singapore Children's Society. The number of such cases going before the Juvenile Court increased to 143 in 2003 from 109 in 2002. More than half involved girls, mostly between 12 and 15 years old.

Source: Straits Times 6 Sep 2004 (1)

     - National Service (NS) cut to 2 years from Dec 2004 batch

     - Monday with the Editor: Of porn VCDs and the schoolboy

More than half of students surveyed say no curfews set on them

More than half of secondary school students surveyed said their parents did not set any curfews on them. Eight in 10 students said they had never discussed sex with their parents, and probably wouldn't even try. 35 per cent of students said friends were their closest confidants while 22 per cent chose parents. 21 per cent kept their troubles to themselves and the rest looked to siblings, relatives and teachers, among others. 

A total of 2,168 students from the Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical streams in 13 secondary schools were surveyed from 17 - 28 May 2004.

Source: Straits Times 21 Jun 2004 (3, H2, H3)

- - - - - - - - - - - -



A national serviceman was on 6 May 2004 jailed for six months for having sex with a 11-year-old girl in 2002. Chan Chaing Hee, 19, met the girl in September 2002. The girl, now in secondary one, is believed to be the youngest involved in such a case here. She became pregnant and was admitted to a hospital where the foetus was aborted in May 2003. (Straits Times 8 May 2004) (3)

The Ministry of Education (MOE) made it clear yesterday that it backed Kent Ridge Sec School's principal's decision to report to the police when the school found out some students had been viewing porn VCDs. However, MOE said the school should have "handled the situation better". The principal, Miss Chamb Cherk Ing made a police report on 9 Feb 2004. (Straits Times 18 Feb 2004) (H6)

A Sec 2 schoolboy was caught with a porn VCD in class on 6 Feb 2004. Subsequently, 17 schoolboys were detained in school for questioning. The school has made a police report. (Straits Times 1 Feb 2004) (H8)


     - Monday with the Editor: Of students and video recordings

     - Monday with the Editor: When children commit suicide



A teenager was jailed for four months and fined S$20,000 for having sex with a 15-year-old girl, a secondary 3 student. Chua Kok Tiong, 17, of Geylang Serai Vocational Training Centre, had been sentenced by the Juvenile Court and placed on probation for a similar offence with another girl. (Straits Times 21 Sep 2003 19)

A survey based on face-to-face interviews with 510 young Singaporeans aged 15 and above found nine in 10 of those aged 15 to 19 were confident about the road ahead for Singapore. The figure was eight in 10 for those in their 20s. The survey was conducted in July 2003 by Singapore Press Holdings' marketing, planning and development department. (Straits Times 8 Aug 2003 4)

  A young serial robber had his jail term increased from 9½ years to 14 years on appeal. Secondary school dropout Jerrick CHEN Weixiong, 17, will also receive 24 strokes of the cane. CHEN had chalked up 45 offences in just a few months. He went around with accomplices robbing school children of their mobile phones and bashing them up if they did not give them up easily. (Straits Times 2 Apr 2003)(H2)

  Results of a survey of 5,853 students, aged 13 to 17, from nine schools polled by the Northeast Community Development Council (CDC) and Fei Yue Counselling Centre, showed that five out of every 100 secondary school students said they had been "forced" to have sex. 259 students said someone had tried to get them to have sex in the past 12 months, and 83 gave in. (Straits Times 27 Mar 2003)(H9)

  A computer programmer was jailed for three years and nine months after he pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three charges of having sex with a minor. Rickson Chua Chin Gee met the 15-year-old girl through an Internet chatroom sometime in April 2002. (Straits Times 20 Mar 2003) (H4)

  A man who used an Internet chatroom to find young girls to rape was yesterday sentenced to 23 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane. Raymond POK, 26, posed as a teenager and lured three girls, two aged 14, and one aged 13, into his trap. (Straits Times Wednesday 5 Feb 2003) (4)

  A 15-year-old schoolboy who raped his cousin, 6, at her home while her mother was watching television in another room is now in remand and will appear before the Juvenile Court again on 25 Feb 2003. (Straits Times 21 Jan 2003)(H3)



  A 14-year-old boy was knocked down by a taxi on Tuesday in Jurong. CHEN Wei Liang, who celebrated his birthday the previous day, is in critical condition with brain injuries, said a spokesman for National University Hospital (NUH) where he is in intensive care. (Straits Times 21 Nov 2002) (H4)

  Between January 2001 and 13 Oct this year, 1,341 persons aged 16 and below were reported missing. All but 14 have now returned home. In 1999, 610 youngsters were reported missing. In 2000, there were 582. Most of them were between 13 and 16 years old and six out of 10 were girls. (Straits Times 8 Nov 2002) (H9) 

  Teenage girls outnumber boys in the use of ketamine, a synthetic drug. The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) arrested 15 girls aged 15 - 19 in 2001, compared to 13 boys in that age group. At least three young ketamine users have committed suicide this year. In statistics released by the CNB yesterday, the number of first-time ketamine abusers arrested in the first half of this year was 52 per cent higher than the same period last year. The number held for Ecstasy dipped by 6 per cent. The number of people arrested for abusing methamphetamine in the first half of this year has tripled, compared to the same period last year. The number jumped from 83 to 255. (Straits Times 6 Nov 2002) (3)

  A serial molester who preyed on teenage girls in Bishan lifts was yesterday jailed for six years. He will also be given 12 strokes of the cane.  GOH Kim Meng, 27, a senior air force technician, molested five girls, between 13 and 16 years old, over a period of three months in the area where he lives. (Straits Times 25 Oct 2002) (H4)

  Two 16-year-old students of Gan Eng Seng school were charged yesterday with setting fire to school property. LEE Kok Leong and TAN Peng Lai are accused of using a lighter to burn newspapers and a computer mouse, with the intention of damaging three classroom desks on which the mouse was placed. Police are currently investigating their cases. (Straits Times 25 Oct 2002) (H4)

  Full-time NSman YEO Boon Shiong, 23, who is married, was sentenced to six years and nine months in jail after he pleaded guilty to two charges - of committing statutory rape and hurting a public servant. YEO had sex with a 13-year-old girl he had met on a telephone chatline in July 2002. The girl, who was afraid she might become pregnant, made a police report the next day to say she had been raped. (Straits Times 15 Oct 2002) (H5)

  A man who started molesting his 9-year-old step-daughter on the day his son was born was yesterday sentenced to 24-years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane. The 43-year-old mover was found guilty after a three-day trial on three charges of aggravated rape. The victim, who turned 13 this week, was abused for the first time on Aug 22, 1999, four months after the man became her step-father. (Straits Times 25 Sep 2002) (H3)

  Tattoo shops here are registered like beauty centres, but are not regulated by health authorities. There are also no age restrictions, unlike in some countries where the minimum age to have a tattoo done ranges from 16 to 21. The Health Ministry here steps in only if it receives a complaint. There are about 30 tattoo shops here. (Straits Times 23 Sep 2002) (H7)

  A 13-year-old boy who had part of his hand chopped off underwent an operation last night to have it reattached. Police said part of his left hand, with four fingers and part of his palm, was found lying on the ground at the void deck of Blk 655 in Woodlands Ring Road. Witnesses said they had seen six boys running in different directions from the block. No weapons were found at the scene and the police are investigating. (Straits Times 20 Sep 2002) (6)

  Anglo-Chinese School principal NG Eng Chin, 43, has been reinstated to his post by the school's board of governors. The board had unanimously cleared him of all allegations of improper behaviour while counselling a teenage boy last year. The boy's mother had alleged he had molested the boy during late-night counselling sessions held at various places, including the beach. The Education Ministry has accepted the inquiry panel's conclusion and its recommendation that Mr NG be reinstated. Straits Times 3 Sep 2002) (3)

  Singapore's war on smoking enters a new phase as two proposals are being put before Parliament to ban the sale here of packs of cigarettes containing less than 20 cigarettes. Health authorities are especially concerned that the number of female smokers between the ages of 18 and 24 has gone up from 6 per cent in 1998 to 8 per cent in 2001, even though the national smoking rate dipped to 14 per cent last year from 18 per cent a decade ago. (Straits Times 3 Sep 2002) (1)

  Five boys, aged between 11 and 14, have been arrested after washing powder was dumped into the water tank on the rooftop of Block 124 Paya Lebar Way on Monday afternoon. Following complaints by residents, a plumber dispatched by the town council found two 1 kg packets of washing powder, both half-emptied, near the two water tanks on the rooftop. Town council staff then flushed out the down-feed pipes so that residents could get clean water from the second tank. (Straits Times 28 Aug 2002) (H8)

  A teenager who took his mother's BMW for a post-midnight joyride and crashed into a police car was yesterday placed on 18 months' probation. Dick WANG Liang Fu, then 15, drove the automatic car to meet two friends at Sembawang Sports Club on Upper Thomson Road at 1.20am on Dec 19, 2001. District Judge TAN Puay Boon yesterday ordered that he stay at home between 10pm and 6am and that he do 100 hours of community service. The boy's parents also signed a S$5,000 good behaviour bond. (Straits Times 26 Jul 2002) (H13)

  A man who forced his 13-year-old daughter to masturbate him and succumb to him sexually at knifepoint will be sentenced on June 24. The man, who cannot be named because it would reveal his daughter's identity, molested the girl, now 14, seven times in their Sengkang flat during the first three months of this year while his wife was working on the night shift. (Straits Times 4 Jun 2002) (3)

  Singapore Youth Tobacco Survey 2000, the first survey of 13,111 Secondary 1 to 4 students to find out the prevalence of underage smoking, has found that one in four still managed to sneak a puff at least once. Of those who took a puff, 11.1 per cent are considered smokers as they lit up at least once in the past month before the survey. This includes 2.4 per cent who smoke daily. More girls are picking up smoking: 13.4 per cent are boys and 8.8 per cent are girls. The survey also found that smokers are more likely to belong to families with at least one parent or elder sibling who smokes, or have close friends who smoke. The main reasons given for smoking are: curiosity or for fun, to follow the example of friends, or to relax and relieve stress. (Straits Times 2 Jun 200) (19)

  Almost 1,700 teenage girls here had abortions last year, said Mr CHAN Soo Sen, Minister of State (Prime Minister's Office and MCDS), on Tuesday. He told about 400 youth workers that they, parents, and teachers here will be guiding teens on making informed choices about sex. (Straits Times 30 May 2002) (H4)

  A first-year undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS) was given a stiff 15-month jail term and three strokes of the cane yesterday for molesting a 13-year-old girl. CHONG Weien, 21, a part-time drum coach at a secondary school, was alone with the girl when he made her masturbate him. Statistics produced in court showed that there were 62 teenage molest victims between November 2001 and January 2002. Molestations of under-16s formed 20 per cent, or 17 out of 79 cases, in November 2001. This went up to 31 per cent, or 28 out of 91 cases, in January 2002. (Straits Times 4 Apr 2002) (H2)

  A father who disciplined his 13-year-old son by caning him repeatedly was yesterday jailed for eight months. The 51-year-old cane operator admitted assaulting the child, causing injuries, in May 2000 when they were living in Clementi. Deputy Public Prosecutor Imran A. Hamid said that the injuries were in excess of the accused's parental prerogative to discipline his child. (Straits Times 4 Apr 2002) (H2)

  A 14-year-old boy who touched a woman on the breast and asked his friends to lie about it will have to spend two years at Gracehaven, a residential home for troubled young people. He was found guilty by the Juvenile Court on Jan 16. The boy molested the 35-year-old sales assistant in Chai Chee on May 17 last year. (Straits Times 7 Mar 2002) (H9)

  The results of last year's GCE O-level examinations were released yesterday. Of the 33,512 candidates, 93.5 per cent obtained three or more passes and 80 per cent achieved at least 5 Os. The top three students came from Raffles Institution. (Straits Times 1 Mar 2002) (1)


  Sydney: An intense ethical debate is raging over a child psychologist's decision to allow a 15-year-old boy with terminal cancer to have sex with a prostitute before he died, without the knowledge of his parents. While psychologists in Australia have condemned the decision, the case has aroused considerable public sympathy too, the Telegraph of London reported. The report said the boy, without speaking to his parents, told staff at a Sydney hospital of his desire to lose his virginity. (Straits Times 25 Dec 2001) (9)

  Fourteen boys, aged 14 to 19, were charged in two separate courts yesterday with attacking schoolboy WONG Wei-En, 15, and his four friends at a bus-stop near a hawker centre in Circuit Road. They were accused of forming an unlawful assembly to cause hurt, and using a hammer and a knife during the alleged attack on the five boys, aged between 13 and 16. (Straits Times 19 Dec 2001) (H1)

  Police yesterday arrested 13 teenagers, aged between 14 and 19, yesterday after WONG Wei-En, 15, was savagely attacked with hammers on Saturday while riding an SBS bus with four friends. Police revealed that the five boys met the 13 youths at Blk 52 in Circuit Road to discuss an earlier assault involving Wei-En and a fellow schoolmate of Manjusri Secondary. Things turned sour and the 13 youths attacked the five boys who dashed across the road and boarded SBS Transit Service 135 at the bus-stop near Macpherson Primary School. (Straits Times 17 Dec 2001) (1) 

  A 14-year-old boy died yesterday after falling while attempting a bicycle stunt on an obstacle ramp set up at the Ngee Ann Civic Plaza for the Asian Xtour competition. The competition, organised by ESPN Starsports, involves stunts and tricks performed on online skates, bicycles and skateboards. The Montfort Secondary two student's family declined to be interviewed last night when approached by The Straits Times at their home in Hougang. (Straits Times 8 Dec 2001)(3) Read our editorial

  A 15-year-old secondary school student was caught with illegal Ecstasy and Erimin-5 pills when her school's discipline mistress took a look in her schoolbag. The secondary 3 girl, who is in the Express Stream, brought the drugs to school in April after buying them from a man who offered them to her at a discotheque. She was sentenced to a year's probation at the juvenile court and ordered to serve 80 hours of community service. Her mother, a widow, was with her in court. Contacted yesterday, the school's principal said the girl, who came from a working-class family, was not considered an "at risk" student. (Straits Times 29 Aug 2001) (H3)

  A first-year student at Catholic Junior College was yesterday sentenced to two years of probation, to perform 120 hours of community service and also to stay at home between 9pm and 6am after he pleaded guilty last month to hurting Cecil CHEN Pin Lin, 15, with a knife in an incident behind the Meridien Hotel at 10.15pm on 25 Nov 2000. The court heard that Sherman SOH Liang Wei, 16, and about 20 other youths began by taunting CHEN and four of his friends. SOH caught up with CHEN and grabbed him, then pressed a knife against his neck, leaving a 1-cm cut. (Straits Times 17 Aug 2001) (H8) 

  A 15-year-old boy, who together with a 14-year-old accomplice, used kerosene to set fire to two shoe racks and a discarded sofa and mattress in three different blocks in Toa Payoh between 1.15am and 1.50am on 13 Jun 2001, told a district court he started fires because he was "bored". The court heard that the boy had dyed his hair brown, smoked and listened to satanic music. He also has a tattoos with satanic images. The boy will spend the next two years in the Singapore Boys' Home. Probation was denied. (Straits Times 8 Aug 2001) (6)

  A teen chosen to train for the under-18 national soccer team had sex on several occasions with his girlfriend, who subsequently delivered a baby. The baby was put up for adoption. Mohamed Imran Mohamed Ali, 17, a student, yesterday admitted having sex three times with the 15-year-old girl at his Pasir Ris home in June, July and December 1999. District Judge F.G. Remedios postponed sentence to 12 Jul 2001, pending a probation report. (Straits Times 14 Jun 2001)

  A teenager was fined S$9,000 after he pleaded guilty to surfing the Internet at his company's expense by using its Internet account illegally. A district court heard that between August and December 1999, Travis Joseph Keejin De Souza, 18, accessed the Web at home using the user identification and password of a Best Denki store's Net account. At the time, he was a sales promoter with the electrical goods store at East Point shopping centre in Simei. (Straits Times 6 Jun 2001)

  Nine out of 10 juvenile offenders, arrested mostly for petty crimes such as shoplifting, never have to step inside a courtroom. Instead they must complete a six-month counselling and rehabilitation programme conducted by the Ministry of Community Development and Sports (MCDS), together with the police, schools and social-service agencies appointed by the MCDS. The Guidance Programme, which began in 1997, offers youths a chance to be let off with a stern warning instead of a sentence. A total of 941 youths, who were all arrested for the first time, have since benefited from it - 87% of them were aged between 10 and 15, and about 60% of them were male. 90% of them had shoplifted, said Miss ANG Bee Lian, director of MCDS' rehabilitation and protection programme. (Straits Times 29 May 2001)

  Last year, 1,455 underaged smokers were caught puffing on a cigarette. And for selling cigarettes to teens under the age of 18, six retailers were prosecuted. The legal age for smoking in Singapore is 18. Those caught in the act will be fined S$50 the first time, and up to S$100 for second and subsequent offences. Under the law, those caught buying cigarettes for teens will be fined S$2,500. Those who give tobacco products to teenagers will be fined S$500. The penalties are doubled for subsequent offences. (Straits Times 6 May 2001)

A study of a sample group of 55 young female offenders who were arrested in 1998 and 1999 showed that most offenders did not come from poor families. About seven out of 10 girls came from families that had monthly incomes of over S$1,500, while about one in 10 were from families earning more than S$5,000 a month. The study on female juveniles by the Subordinate Courts was released yesterday. It showed that almost two out of five fathers who took a back seat were neglectful of their daughters, while more than half of the mothers were overly indulgent. (Straits Times 19 Apr 2001)

  Secondary 5 student goes to jail for robbery & outraging of modesty

  A district court on 26 Dec 2000 sentenced a secondary five student to eight years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to six charges of attempted robbery, robbery and outraging of modesty. Gary BEH Swee Peng, 17, molested two of the four women he robbed in his own neighbourhood in Hougang. He had been convicted last year of belonging to an unlawful assembly, but had been put on probation for 18 months. (Straits Times 27 Dec 2000)