Dec 062017
Pakistan power-lifting teams to leave for Singapore today

KARACHI: Pakistan’s men and women power-lifting teams will leave for Singapore on Thursday (today) to feature in the Oceania-Pacific Power-lifting Championship to be held there from December 7-10.The squad comprises Sybil Sohail, Saniha Ghafoor, Twinkle Sohail, Rabia Razzaq, Mohammad Ahmed Khan, Syed Nadeem Hashmi and Mehmood Heera.Rashid Malik will accompany the squad as coach cum manager.

Oct 312017

Renowned Islamic preacher Mufti Ismail Menk has been barred from entering Singapore as the government accuses him of promoting religious discord through his sermons. Along with Menk, Malaysian scholar Haslin bin Baharim was also banned from giving lectures on a religious-themed cruise scheduled for late November in Singapore, Aljazeera reported on Tuesday. A statement issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said its decision to reject Menk’s application for a short-term work pass stemmed from his “segregationist and divisive teachings”, while Baharim promoted “disharmony between Muslims and non-Muslims”. According to the ministry, Menk – a Zimbabwean preacher with more than two million followers on Twitter – was of the opinion that Muslims were not allowed to greet people of other faiths on their religious festivals. Baharim, on the other hand, was accused of holding views that promote friction between Muslims and non-Muslims, whom he allegedly described as “deviant.” Bangladesh bans Zakir Naik’s Peace TV “[Their views] are unacceptable in the context of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society,” the ministry said, adding that, “They will not be allowed to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore.” In a Facebook post earlier in the day, Menk said he had faced “no issues coming into Singapore as a tourist … but will not be joining the cruise now for reasons not within my control”. “To imply that I was using the cruise ‘to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and [Read More…]

Sep 182017
How much is enough?

Her Excellency Madam Halimah Yacob has been named new president of Singapore and she has decided to live in her own apartment. Two policemen have been posted to perform security duties at her now official residence. On the other hand, Mamnoon Hussain, the president of Pakistan, lives in a sprawling and opulent residence on Constitution Avenue in Islamabad, serviced by numerous staff. Pakistan’s per capita income is $1,468 while that of Singapore is $52,920. Pakistan’s annual exports stood at $21 billion while Singapore’s exports are over $150 billion. The contrast between economic indicators and the lifestyle of leaders is sharp and bewildering. Should we import leaders who would cost us less? I know many in Pakistan will say ‘no’, because paupers love princes. Ambassador(r) Javed Hafiz (Islamabad)

May 312017
From waste to power

Piles of garbage are scattered everywhere in Karachi. The Sindh government has been unable to resolve the issue. The condition of Karachi is further complicated when this wastes is burnt, increasing the temperature of the city. Pakistan is the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change. In order to resolve the issue, the provincial government needs to learn lessons from Sweden and Singapore. These countries have set up waste-to-energy power plants for the generation of electricity from solid waste and garbage. Singapore generates three percent of the country’s electricity from its four waste-to-energy power plants. The National Environmental Agency of Singapore is planning a fifth waste-to-energy power plant by 2019. Karachi should follow the example set by Singapore. On the other hand, Sweden imports garbage for generating energy. 950,000 homes are heated by trash across Sweden. Less than one percent garbage now ends up in the dump in Sweden. Waste now constitutes 19 percent of the fuel used by Sweden that makes it the world leader in generating energy from garbage and waste. Although garbage-infused smoke sounds highly poisonous, modern electric filters give the particles a negative electric charge which become nontoxic carbon dioxide before release. The Sindh government should follow the example and set up waste-to-energy power plant to produce electricity from garbage. Developing countries like Pakistan may get access to funding from the UN affiliated Green Climate Fund to invest in waste-to-energy power plant. This is how Karachi will be able to get rid of garbage and solid [Read More…]

May 282017
No tobacco

Every year May 31 is observed as the ‘World No Tobacco Day’ with a view to create awareness among the public against the hazards of tobacco smoking. Apart from adults, schoolchildren have also taken to the menace of smoking. In my opinion, besides the children’s family and the school administration, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has to be held responsible for this as it has failed to ensure strict implementation of the anti-smoking laws . Despite the fact that the sale of cigarettes to those under 18 years is prohibited by the law, shopkeepers – some near the schools – continue to defy the rules and openly sell cigarettes to under-age youths. Keeping the health hazards of smoking in view, a number of countries, including Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and India have adopted stringent anti-smoking laws and taken solid steps to curb the tendency of smoking in their countries. We also have the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance 2002 but it lacks strict implementation. Smoking in offices, public transport and public places goes on with flagrant disregard to the health of non-smokers. To assist the implementation of the law, a specific mobile number on which all violations of the anti-smoking laws could be reported can be initiated. Group Captain (r) Saeed Nawaz Khan Rawalpindi

May 042017

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s national broadcaster was fined for airing racist content over an internet drama episode that featured a Chinese actor with black face make-up, the city-state’s media regulator said on Thursday. Mediacorp was fined Sg$5,500 by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) over the segment in its Chinese language web-only series I Want To Be A Star, about bit part actors in the entertainment industry, which caused outrage online. “IMDA assessed that the segment was racially insensitive and constituted racial stereotyping that might offend certain segments of the community,” the regulator said, noting that the broadcaster had been swift to remove the offending content and had “taken remedial action to prevent a recurrence”. While the show itself did not attract huge interest, news of the apparently discriminatory episode touched a nerve over stereotyping in the mainly ethnic Chinese city and caused a storm of online criticism. Singapore blocks visas for Indian IT professionals Mediacorp “has always been making racist jokes about minorities like Filipinos and Indians and passing them as just caricatures”, one commenter, Anthony, said on Twitter. When contacted, Mediacorp directed AFP to an apology issued in October. “We’re sorry for the blackface portrayal. We take race-related issues very seriously and that portrayal should not have happened,” said Anil Nihalani, who heads Toggle, the streaming website that hosted the series. “We’ve removed the offensive scenes from the programme and will ensure something like that doesn’t happen again.” Affluent Singapore has large Malay Muslim and Indian populations, with strict rules against [Read More…]

Apr 132017
Holms to headline UFC Asia return

SINGAPORE: American fighter Holly Holm, who knocked out top mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey in her prime, will headline UFC’s return to Asia in June, organisers said on Thursday. In a statement, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) said Holm, currently number five in its rankings, will take on Brazilian Bethe Correia, the number 10, in Singapore on June 17. “After winning an impressive 10 straight fights with seven knockout finishes through 2015, Holm will look to bring back the heat in Singapore,” UFC said. Holm knocked out Rousey in November 2015 with a kick to the head, breaking the winning streak of UFC’s first female champion despite being a massive underdog.