Tuesday, April 27, 2010
'Ionescu still has 'immunity'
Mon, Apr 26, 2010 AsiaOne
ROMANIA sent Singapore a diplomatic note last Friday asserting that former charge d'affaires Silviu Ionescu continues to enjoy diplomatic immunity for the hit-and-run case of December 15, 2009.
This is puzzling, said Foreign Minister George Yeo, as 'it seems to imply that Romania is now claiming that Dr Ionescu was engaged in official duties at the time of the accident and we do not understand how this can possibly be the case'.
On the other hand, Romanian media reports suggest that the Romanian police may be preparing to arrest the suspended diplomat. The police there have told Interpol that they have the competence to prosecute him and they have started criminal proceedings against him.
According to Minister George Yeo, these media reports have not confirmed, but the Romanian police has informed INTERPOL that the competence to prosecute Dr Ionescu remains with Romania and that criminal proceedings against him have started in Romania for crimes committed in Singapore.
With these conflicting accounts, the sooner the Romanian legal experts visit us to clarify the situation, exchange views and review the evidence with our legal experts, the better. The visit is expected to take place by May this year.
Singapore has continually stressed to Romanian Ambassador Mr. Aurelian Neagu, that the Romanian Government should not underestimate the outrage that Singaporeans feel about this case and that justice must not only be served, but seen to be served and served expeditiously.If not, as the MFA statement has already made clear on April 9, 2010, bilateral relations will be harmed.
However, Minister Yeo stressed the importance to be disciplined and to carefully observe due process despite feeling impatient.
Transcript of Minister George Yeo's replies to supplementary questions, April 26, 2010.
Ms Irene Ng Phek Hoong:
First I would like to commend the Minister for his firm handling of the case. It is important that Romania does not underestimate our determination and resolve to pursue this case to ensure that justice is served.
Can I ask the Minister if Romania has given an indication of how long the criminal investigations would take in their country?Also given that Romania does not seem to share the same understanding as Singapore that Ionescu does not have diplomatic immunity, is there a higher international body that we can turn to resolve this?
Minister George Yeo:
Legally speaking, there is no higher authority we can appeal to. Because of some disagreement or confusion over the interpretation of Article 39.2 of the Vienna Convention, the earlier Interpol Red Notice has been suspended.This is part of Interpol's procedures, in that if there are differing views, they would pursue the matter further before reactivating the Red Arrest Notice.
All these require the two sides to meet. They have already said that members of the Prosecutor's office and Police would come to Singapore.We told them not to delay this and to come as quickly as possible in May. Let us clarify the position between ourselves and enable the process in Romania to go forth with our fullest cooperation.
Separately, MFA has asked our Ambassador in Brussels to visit Romania with members of our own Attorney-General's Chambers, in order to familiarise themselves with the legal procedures and processes in Romania. We are also engaging a lawyer to hold a watching brief for us in Romania.
The Wise Owl comments:
I think it is high time that we call a spade a spade!
The nonsense that is coming out from Romania is not only "puzzling"but defies logic and belief.
Ionescu is just one, solitary criminal.But when Romania sent Singapore a "Diplomatic note" last Friday, they are acting as a COUNTRY and doing so for " other reasons" other than saving Ionescu's hide.
I do not think the Romanian Govt, for even one moment, feels that Ionescu is an angel.If an exact similar case scenario had happened in Romania with Ionescu involved...I do not believe he will escape punishment of the severest kind.
Why then is Romania adopting this " playing with marbles" attitude towards Singapore?
Is it because we are just a " tiny little red dot" as a once high and mighty, unneighbourly fella recklessly called us ...while they are a big country where Dracula once came from?
The longer they continue this game of political upsmanship...the more Singaporeans everywhere should speak out loudly and clearly that we do not stand for such uncivilised behaviour anymore.
As the Minister said...." Bilateral ties WILL be HARMED! "
And I can offer a couple of suggestions free of charge...to make them take us more seriously as a nation.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The NewPaper also had their say in the sports pages filled with views, opinions and predictions from a cross section of sports fans and soccer pundits.
Starting tonight, Sat 24 April on our Live TV coverage, you'll be able to see how the end battle story will develop further. With only just 3 games left to play, realistically only Chelsea and Manchester United will be Champions. Arsenal killed themselves off in their last game when they lost 3-2 to Wigan in one of the greatest comeback stories in years.
Tonight Man Utd will be hosting chilli hot Tottenham Hotspurs who practically murdered Chelsea in that 2-1 win last week.
Spurs are in a rich and terrific form at the moment but they have not won at Old Trafford since 1989...21 years ago.
The Red Devils, despite that lucky 1-0 win over Man City with that unbelievable Paul Schole's last final seconds header, does not look all that strong on paper. The most expensive striker Berbatov ( Cost 30 million pound ) is regarded by many as a real flop. He not only lacks confidence in his finishing but is not a 'fighter' when the team is down...unlike Rooney.
Owens is out. The others may and can contribute a goal once in a blue moon.
On the other hand Spurs have very fast, speedy and accurate strikers and wingers who produce goals for fun...Modric, Pavluchenko, Bale, Defoe, Crouch, Lennon and others.
And a goalkeeper who has grown in immense stature...Gomes!
So who will win tonight?
Man Utd cannot afford a suicidal draw or worse, a loss on home turf or any turf.
So what will the outcome be?
[ Photo credit: Mirror Sports ]
Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea's Coach, has declared that he will not be watching the game tonight.
He has told his players to go to the cinema to watch a film instead...on their own.
He said, " I'll rather watch Clash of the Titans. No,I'm not afraid but what happens to M Utd does not concern me. I'm only concerned with our 3 remaining matches."
I just wonder who he's trying to bluff.
Since the day he lost to Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in his own backyard in the Champion's League...he has not been the same person. WHY?
Why indeed? Much earlier in the season, he openly declared that for him the Champion's League is more important than the EPL. And he has no silverware yet with Chelsea.
[ Photo credit: Mirror Sports ]
Alex Ferguson, Man U's coach will be praying all night that someone from his team will do a repeat Paul Schole's performance if there is still no score in the dying seconds.
It's hard to predict accurately the final outcome.
The ball is round and anything can happen in that eternity of 90 odd minutes.
[ Which is why football will never be replaced as the world's most most-watched sport.
Which is also why FIFA has been trying to squeeze every penny out of soccer-crazy Singaporeans for the TV rights to watch the World Cup 2010 in June/July. ]
Too many inponderables...like linesmen, the referee's idiosyncracy and the whims and actions of certain players themselves.
As Tay Yek Keat described it in his humorous 'tongue in cheek' column below,
" None of them can afford a hiccup!"
I certainly agree.
Tomorrow night, Chelsea host Stoke City in a game they are expected to win easily.
Don't be too sure...if you are betting especially if the Red Devils win tonight's game and pocket the 3 precious points.
That will put them in front at 79 points to Chelsea's 77 and cause another potential meltdown
and whether they went to the cinemas or not...make no difference to those 'pensioners' from Stamford Bridge.
So do sit back, relax and enjoy the drama as it unfolds.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wed, Apr 21, 2010 , Reuters ( report )
BARCELONA - Juan Antonio Samaranch, the 89-year-old former president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has died at the age of 89, the Barcelona hospital where he was being treated said on Wednesday.
Spaniard Samaranch, who was made the IOC's honorary life president when he stepped down in 2001, was admitted to the Quiron hospital on Sunday with acute heart problems and passed away at 1.25pm (7.25pm Singapore time), the hospital said.
He had died as a result of "cardio-respiratory failure" hospital doctor Rafael Esteban said in a statement.
"I cannot find the words to express the distress of the Olympic Family," IOC president Jacques Rogge said.
"We have lost a great man, a mentor and a friend who dedicated his long and fulfilled life to the Olympics."
Samaranch had suffered a number of health problems since his retirement and was admitted to hospital several times.
He ran the IOC with absolute authority for two decades and Barcelona's successful bid to host the 1992 Olympics was seen as his personal triumph.
He stepped down in July 2001, 21 years after he had been elected as the IOC's seventh president, and was made life president when he handed power to Rogge.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
And she couldn't wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her,
That she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
If she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
She knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
Of why he wasn't there today.
But still her mother worried,
For her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
She tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school
Eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
A dad who never calls.
For everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
Anxious in their seats
One by one the teacher called
A student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
As seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
Every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
A man who wasn't there.
'Where's her daddy at?'
She heard a boy call out.
'She probably doesn't have one,'
Another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
She heard a daddy say,
'Looks like another deadbeat dad,
Too busy to waste his day.'
The words did not offend her,
As she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
Who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back,
Slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
Came words incredibly unique.
'My Daddy couldn't be here,
Because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
Since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
And how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories
He taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
And taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes,
And ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I'm not standing here alone.
'Cause my daddy's always with me,
Even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
He'll forever be in my heart'
With that, her little hand reached up,
And lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
Beneath her favorite dress.
Her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
Who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love
Of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
Doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand back down,
Staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
But its message clear and loud.
'I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
But heaven's just too far.
You see he is a Brittish soldier
And died just this past year
When a roadside bomb hit his convoy
And taught Britians to fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away.'
And then she closed her eyes,
And saw him there that day.
And to her mothers amazement,
She witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
All starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them,
Who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
They saw him at her side.
'I know you're with me Daddy,'
To the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
Of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it,
For each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
Was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.
By the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
That heaven is never too far.
Send this to the people you'll never forget and
Remember to send it also to the person that sent
It to you. It's a short message to let them know
That you'll never forget them.
If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're
in a hurry and that you've forgotten your
Take the time...to live and love.
Until eternity. God bless!
SOMETHING ( The lyrics )
Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don't want to leave her now
You know I believe and how....
Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don't need no other lover
Something in her style that shows me
I don't want to leave her now
You know I believe and how
You're asking me will my love grow
I don't know, I don't know
You stick around now, it may show
I don't know, I don't know
Patti Boyd - The inspiration behind the song
Ritchie Valens was the 1st Latino Rock and Roll superstar. He was basically and musically untrained in voice and guitar style. From an early age of 9, he had this natural, raw talent for singing and wanting to play a guitar. Coming from a poor home, he picked up discarded parts from trash and built his own guitar! Still in his teen years, his singing and entertainment around his hometown at San Fernando, California soon caught the eye of a record producer who signed him on.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In this November 12 1990 article written by Ong Soh Chin under the Arts and Entertainment section of the Straits Times, she provided an interesting background of some of the popular hits from as early as the late 50's and early 60's.
Click on the photo to read.
Many of us have been singing and enjoying these songs from yesteryears without a clue of how they actually came about. Well, wonder no more.
Read on and discover what and how they were originally inspired. You may be surprised.
Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly
Originally Buddy Holly wrote the song for his niece Cindy Lou. It was titled, "Cindy Lou". At that time Holly was in a band called the Crickets. It so happened that his band drummer Jerry Allison had a crush on a girl named Peggy Sue Gerron ( still living today ) and pleaded with Holly earnestly to change the song title to "Peggy Sue" ....as to further attract the girl to him. The song was first released in July 1957.
Something by The Beatles
In 1964, the Beatles were making the movie " A Hard Day's Night" in London. A teenage model by the name of Patti Boyd had a small part in the film as a customer in a restaurant. George Harrison( 1943 - 2001 ) was quite taken up by her looks and charm. He went after her! Later they were married and in 1969 Harrison wrote the song " Something" for her. The song became the 2nd most popular song after "Yesterday". There was a twist in this real life story of Patti Boyd. Eric Clapton, who was Harrison's best friend, was so enamoured for Patti that he was openly pursuing her love. After fending him off for 3 years, Patti finally ditched Harrison and hitched up with Clapton. He was so grateful that he wrote the song " Wonderful Tonight" for her.
Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison ( 1936 - 1988 )
The song was written and sang by Orbison for his beloved wife Claudette.
The inspiration came just when she was going out of her home while he was waiting for her.
The song was released in 1964. Tragedy came later when his wife died in a motorcycle accident and he mourned her with the song" Too Soon To Know".
Personally, I like Roy Orbison's songs and his singing style very much.
He is listed at Number 13 in Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers of all time.
Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack
One of my personal favourites!
This song was written by Fox and Gimble and sung by Roberta in order to "lure" Don McLean out of his self-imposed exile. McLean became well-known with his Big hit," American Pie"...but grew tired of the publicity and the music scene and disappeared for 3 long years. He was a huge talent and this song was written about him.
Remember these lines...
"I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style.
And so I came to see him, to listen for a while..."
" Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words..."
Don McLean had another mega hit later..." Vincent ".
Monday, April 19, 2010
With only 4 more games to go in the 38 game EPL series, the leader of the pack Chelsea had 77 points, Man Utd 73, Arsenal 71, Manchester City 62, Tottenham 61 and Aston Villa 58. How things would change so dramatically after this spellbinding weekend of unpredictable action.
I settled myself down comfortably before the big TV screen for the 1st big local " el classico" between the 2 Manchesters.... M City vs Man Utd. The Blues vs the Reds.
For the full 90 minutes neither side had the extra inspirational move that would claim 3 points. Rooney was just woeful and so was Berbatov later. Nothing much came from the terrors of the blues either, not Tevez, not Adebayor and Bellamy.
I was at that time, doing what I usually do...picking some solo pieces on my Ukulele ( killing 2 birds with one stone)...then I heard the UK match commentator said," All it needs to settle this is that one stroke of brilliance or genius from a player and....". I've heard enough. Stopped playing the Uke to see if anything of this sort would happen in the 4 minutes of injury time alloted. The faces on Roberto's Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson said it all with less than 20 seconds left.
This was destined to be a 0 - 0 draw which would end Man U's title dream and a big blow to M City for 4th place finishing.
But wait...perhaps something might still happen, as long as the final whistle is not out yet. That was what happened in the previous 2 games between these 2 sides. The winning goal scored in the dying seconds of both games! Both times lady luck favoured the Reds. And whoever said lightning does not strike twice in the same place should have watched the last dying seconds of this 3rd game between these 2 sides. It struck 3 times!
Well, what happened? How did it happened? It can't be true! Better believe it.
The Referee had a quick glance at his watch while Craig Bellamy had the ball. He made a pass but it was intercepted by Nemanja Vidic who looked up, saw P Evra unmarked on the far left. Evra had yards of space, pushed forward, and from 10 metres saw Paul Scholes virtually unmarked in the heart of City's box. Evra lifted a precise cross to ginger-haired Scholes. No one was around him. He twisted his upper body in a funny sort of way and connected his head to the ball...which was aimed at the ground and at the far right post. GK dived but could not reached it.
Unbelievably...there was an eerie silence for a few seconds before the 3000 travelling Red Devil fans, stupefied by the reenactment of lightning can strike more than once syndrome, erupted in uncontrolled jubilation and cheers.
Alex Ferguson jumped from the utter gloominess of a moment ago to do his famous jig.
The frenzy of this Man U win saw Captain Gary Neville rushing towards Paul Scholes and planting a full kiss on his mouth!
Scholes said after the game he was for a few seconds dumbfounded as it did not sink in that he had scored a goal, let alone the winner.
The result meant that Man Utd has 76 points just 1 behind Chelsea.
The title race has been blown wide open again! But hold your horses...if Chelsea were to beat Spurs in the later game, as they were expected to by one and all, then everything will be back to square one.
[ Photo Credit: Mirror Sports - Defoe converting the penalty ]
The later game: Tottenham vs Chelsea
Just before this game was played, there were loud cheers by Spurs' players and fans everywhere celebrating the 'favour' that the Red Devils had done for their struggle to overcome Man City for 4th spot finishing. City was downcast losing for the 3rd time, and in the dying seconds, to the Reds...and on their home turf at Eastlands. Now's the time for Harry's men to repay the favour...beat mighty Chelsea and ensure the Reds' dream are still alive.
And so it was that I made myself a nice flask of good ole Singapore kopi-o, pick up my Ukulele and began a slow strum as the game got off.
Chelsea was not their usual, cocky self. The Man Utd win moments earlier must have played on their fragile minds. They were under huge pressure to perform. They usually do with their bullying tactics led by much disgraced John Terry and forever complaining "Drop-ba" ( Drogba ). Unfortunately for them, the met a team of real men for once! Playing with a seldom seen confidence of verve and swift tempo, Spurs put Chelsea to the sword.
In 2 previous games all caught on TV replays, John Terry had deliberately handled the ball with his arm or hand and gone away unpunished in the box. WHY this was so remains a mystery. The linesmen and the referees are not talking. Millions saw the blatant foul clearly including yours truly...and I was a few thousand kms away and the referee a few yards away!
Perhaps, that provided the belief for John Terry that no one, yes not even an EPL referee, would dare call his bluff.
He did not reckon with Phil Dowd!
In the 15th minute, as a cross came in, he used his right arm to cushion the ball towards his GK Petr Cech. Referee Dowd, without hesitation shook his head as if to say, " No, no not again..you've escaped punishment and thwarted the path of fairplay and justice. Not this time under me! "...and pointed to the dreaded spot.
And so Defoe bravely strolled forward, placed the ball down while GK P Cech was doing all he could to distract him to no avail. Defoe planted it beautifully at the top left corner sending Cech the wrong way. 1-0 to Spurs! The cockerels of Tottenham reverberated with loud crows joined by the millions of Man Utd fans worldwide. I'm certain those along Boat Quay and all our pubs would have sold more beers on account of that uplifting goal.
Chelsea did try to salvage the dire situation they were in, making dangerous moves and shots at Spurs goal. But they met a resolute defence especially in last man Dawson who was uncompromising. They could have scored with some of the mighty shots but for a colossus in goal....H Gomes ( from Brazil ). His was a one man octopus act, saving incredible shots time and time again.
Then, just before half time, Gareth Bale ( for me, he and Gomes were the Men of the Match ) who has improved so tremendously in his movements, shots and play...cut in and rounded P Ferreira and whacked a powerful shot which entered at far left post ( Cech dived fruitlessly!).
GOAL! Spurs 2 , Chelsea 0 . Pub owners smiled as more beers were ordered by those celebrating and also by those Chelsea and Man City fans drowning their sorrows.
Worse was to follow in the 2nd half as John Terry continued on his self-destructive path. Earning a 2nd yellow card for a terrible scything tackle on Bale, Referee Dowd again shook his head as if to say, " You really are an incorrigible fool and thug....John Terry!" Out came the Red card and off went the thuggish bully.
No hope for Chelsea after that. Spurs could have won by a far bigger margin had they been not so extravagant in front of goal...esp Pavluchenko who missed sitters after sitters.
Lampard pulled one back but by then it was too late, Chelsea having lost steam, lost the battle, lost the psychological warfare and reduced to just an ordinary team.
Final score Spurs 2 - Chelsea 1.
[ Photo credit: Mirror Sports - Paul Scholes winning header ]
[ Photo credit: Mirror Sports - Ferguson in truimphant jig ]
In another later game last night, Wigan caused the most stunning Victory in their Premier league
history when they came from the jaws of death to overcome mighty Arsenal 3 - 2!
I saw that game too and what an epic it turned out to be.
Mark my words...in years to come, this game would be viewed and reviewed again and again, for it was that kind of match.
Arsene Wenger calls it, " the WORST DEFEAT in my entire career! " And he has had many defeats, mind you.
That story and more in coming posts.
Friday, April 16, 2010
No immunity for Ionescu
By Teh Joo Lin
SINGAPORE has told Romania that its former charge d'affaires Silviu Ionescu does not enjoy diplomatic immunity for his alleged offences on Dec 15 last year. Based on Article 39.2 of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a diplomat loses immunity for non-official acts when his posting ends and he leaves his host country.
'Dr Ionescu was using the Embassy vehicle in his private capacity and for his private purposes', said the Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement on Thursday. 'As such, with effect from Dr Ionescu's recall, he no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity for the acts in question.'
The Coroner had found that Dr Ionescu, who turned 50 last week, was behind the wheel when the Romanian embassy's Audi A6 hit three pedestrians on Dec 15, killing one of them. The evidence showed that the Romanian had removed the state flag from the car before attending a birthday party at a karaoke lounge off Selegie Road. After the accident, Dr Ionescu was removed from his position and returned to Romania.
The MFA statement was in response to the Romanian authorities, which said it cannot arrest Dr Ionescu as he enjoys diplomatic immunity which Romania has not waived. Neither has Singapore sought a waiver.
Earlier this month, Singapore issued a warrant of arrest against Dr Ionescu, who is wanted for 13 criminal charges to do with the hit-and-run accident. This led to an Interpol red notice, which requests member countries to arrest Dr Ionescu with a view to his extradition.
While Romania is a member of Interpol, the country's Ministry of Justice said it could not arrest Dr Ionescu because there is no extradition treaty with Singapore.
In my previous post, I mentioned the great songs of the swinging sixties that touched on the tragedy of young love. There were many great singers and songwriters who came out with songs that, on listening, brought tears to many of their listeners.
One such song is this ever popular 1960 hit " Tell Laura I Love Her ". There were many singers who did the song including Dickey Lee.
But many people, including yours truly, can feel the raw emotion and sense of loss in this eeriely beautiful version by one of the best, the original " Tommy" ....Ray Peterson.
Ps: Remember to click the "Off" button at my Jukebox before you play.
Otherwise you get a double sound.
Happy listening and happy memories!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
In this Youtube video is Dickey Lee the original singer of the song which was released
in 1962. He was performing at the 1999 Rock and Roll graffiti event. To listen to the
original version, please go to my previous post.
Ps: Remember to click off the Jango Jukebox button on the right before playing this.
During the exciting era of the 60's leading to the 70's, tragic songs about about teenagers dying emerged as a popular genre in teenage sub-culture in the US and Britain. All were sad songs about tragic love gone wrong. Many became all-time radio and chart popping hits. In this category are songs like Tell Laura I Love Her, Teen Angel, Running Bear, Ebony Eyes and Leader of the Pack. However, the one song that I keep getting "request" for from old timers when I do Singalong sessions with them is this great song....PATCHES. It has long been a favourite of my dear wifey and others in our circle.
The first time I heard it was after its release in 1962 by original singer DICKEY LEE. The Youtube version below comes with lyrics and is the original version.
Then I remember I learnt the lyrics by heart and writing them down quickly into my original 60's Handwritten Songbook on page 19, as above scanned photo shows.
At one time in the 60's this song was banned by some radio stations in the USA for fear that the suicide theme of the song might unduly influence some teenagers into similar acts.
But by and large, the song grew in stature and became one of the all-time most popular songs of the last half century.
Was there really a girl called "Patches" who inspired this ballad?
Watch for my next few posts...which come with original newsclips 2 decades old.
PS: Do remember to click the stop button at my Jango Jukebox before playing this video.
Otherwise you get a double sound!
Btw, what are your memories about this song?
Wish you pleasant listening and fond memories!
Straits Times online
Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story
Apr 14, 2010
IONESCU's link to escorts firm
News reports in Romania have linked former Roman diplomat Silviu Ionescu to a local company there that allegedly recruits girls to become 'escorts in the most fashionable karaoke clubs in Singapore', reported The New Paper. -- ST PHOTO: CHAN BEE LENG
NEWS reports in Romania have linked former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu to a local company there that allegedly recruits girls to become 'escorts in the most fashionable karaoke clubs in Singapore', The New Paper reported on Wednesday.
Adevarul (The Truth), one of Romania's top daily newspapers, reported that the former charge de'affaires to Singapore had lent 28,000 euros (S$53,000) to the company, Elaboration Ltd, which is said to be run by his close friend, Mr George Karastergios, a Greek national.
The Romanian reports also link Dr Ionescu, 49, to a traffic accident in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, six years ago, after which he claimed the other driver tried to blackmail him, said TNP.
A warrant of arrest and an Interpol alert have been issued against Dr Ionescu, after a State Coroner found him to be the driver of the car that killed Mr Tong Kok Wai, 30, and injured two others in hit-and-run accidents last Dec 15 at Bukit Panjang.
Read the full story in Wednesday's edition of The New Paper.
The Wise Owl Comments:
There's an old saying and it's applicable in all countries..."you can run but you can't hide forever". We can expect more skeletons to drop out from the cupboard concerning such a criminal. Once those holding higher authority and power than that small fry Ionescu have come to the sensible conclusion that he's a great liability for their country's reputation and credibility...if allowed to conduct himself so miserably in public, I think there is a chance the media and the greater public in Romania may castigate him openly.
Thus it is important that we separate the individual from the state, for the moment ,when we go after S Ionescu.
Singaporeans have no quarrel with Romania...the country.
We are after a wanted and despicable criminal listed on INTERPOL.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Singapore News ... Breaking News, Straits Times online.
Arrest warrant issued, Interpol on red alert against Silviu Ionescu - By Saifulbahri Ismail
Posted: 09 April 2010 1708 hrs
Romanian Ambassador to S'pore to meet S'pore's Foreign Ministry officials
MFA provides same documents and photographs to Alex Coseru
Singapore's Foreign Ministry summons Romanian Ambassador to Singapore
Romanian diplomat Ionescu was the driver in fatal hit-and-run
S'pore will co-operate with Romanian authorities on Silviu Ionescu: MFA
Arrest warrant issued, Interpol on red alert against Silviu Ionescu
SINGAPORE: The Singapore government has issued a Warrant of Arrest against Dr Silviu Ionescu over a deadly hit-and-run accident, while Interpol issued a Red Notice against the former Romanian charge d'affaires. Last month, the Coroner's Inquiry held in Singapore ruled that Dr Ionescu was the driver of the car that hit three pedestrians on December 15 last year. One person died. Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Friday met Mr Aurelian Neagu, the Romanian Ambassador to Singapore, who is based in Tokyo. MFA said Mr Neagu was officially informed of the findings of the Coroner's Inquiry and the charges preferred by the Singapore Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) against Dr Silviu Ionescu. He was also officially informed that a Warrant of Arrest had been issued against Dr Ionescu and that Interpol had issued a Red Notice against him. A Red Notice means the warrant can be circulated in member countries, with the request that the wanted person be arrested with a view to extradition. Singapore's Foreign Ministry told Mr Neagu that Singapore understood Romania cannot compel Dr Ionescu to return to the Republic as there was no Extradition Treaty between the two countries. Still, the ministry stressed that the Romanian government had a clear moral obligation to persuade Dr Ionescu to come back to Singapore to stand trial. It said this was in Romania's own interests as Dr Ionescu had seriously damaged Romania's international reputation. Mr Neagu informed MFA that the Romanian Prosecutor's Office had started criminal investigations against Dr Ionescu on February 2 on "homicide by negligence, leaving the scene of an accident and false statements". These are similar to the charges which the ACG had prepared against Dr Ionescu. Ambassador Neagu stressed that Romania was committed to seeing justice done. The Ambassador explained that Romania would need to conduct its own investigations against Dr Ionescu in accordance with Romanian law. He assured MFA that Romania would continue to cooperate fully with Singapore on the matter, and abide by the law and international procedures in dealing with this case. MFA thanked Mr Neagu for his assurances of Romania's commitment, and reiterated that Singapore would cooperate with Romania to the fullest extent possible under Singapore's law to see that justice is served. Singapore told Mr Neagu that it has agreed to Romania's request to set up a Joint Commission, which will comprise legal experts from both sides, who will share evidence. They could start work by May. The Singapore Foreign Ministry cautioned Mr Neagu that Romania should not underestimate the depth of feelings that had been aroused in Singapore over the case. It continued to say that the Romanian government must, in its own interests, ensure justice is served. Otherwise, there would inevitably be consequences for bilateral relations. - CNA/yb
Full MFA statement here .
The Wise Old Owl comments:
I am certain my fellow Singaporeans would not have been surprised at all by the findings of the Official Inquiry in open court...with the mountain of solid evidence uncovered that Silviu Ionescu was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be the"hit and run" driver of the Romanian Embassy car that killed a man and seriously injuring others last December.
I am also not surprised that he has "run away" and have no moral courage to return to face the music and the LAW.
Neither am I surprised that he has been proven to be an outright, blatant LIAR in his statements to the Police and to the media.
But what I am most surprised and very angry about is his rather bizarre attitude displayed in the aftermath of those serious crimes he has committed. He showed no remorse when interviewed after the findings were released.
He added insult to injury by asking ," what's the so big a deal? Only one dead person".
Then to top it all, he went headlong into an ATTACK mode.....attacking the credibility of our Police investigators, our highly respected judiciary system, our courts, our MFA and finally....Singapore itself!
This I cannot take.
This we must not take, not only from such a despicable monster ( is he a diplomat? Diplomats are supposed to be highly respectable, top calibre people right? And I personally know quite a few very well.).
As a Singaporean, I support and commend our Singapore Government highly for this latest move. The Romanians may love to play political chess as did certain other countries in their past dealings with Singapore. But for Singapore we have no time nor the inclination for such games.
International credibility, Justice and Fairplay, bi-lateral Relations and above everything else, the respect for LAW and ORDER is what we value most....not games!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Here is something that will surely serve to inspire and get you thinking with a different perspective about working, about ageing, about being effectively productive no matter what your age is. My good, senior friend Mr Ong Teong Wan, has just been interviewed by JobsDB.com Singapore. The full interview transcript is on their website and they have given me the permission to reproduce the interview in my blog...so that more people can benefit from the excellent advice by Teong Wan.
Unk Dicko would like to thank JobsDB.com Singapore for allowing me to share this here. For JobsDB.com Singapore website please click....HERE.
How to stay productive regardless of age - Ong Teong Wan
Post on 30-Mar-10 by ong teong wan
JobsDB.com Singapore interviews Mr. Ong Teong Wan, Consulting Partner for Corporate Training at SIM and Honorary Advisor to STADA on Professional Development.
Teong Wan, at age 72, it’s very inspiring to know that you are still part of the workforce. What advice do you have, in terms of ‘active aging’, for both older jobseekers/workers, and hiring companies?
A mindset change and values re-orientation is needed on the part of older workers who are the resource persons on the one hand and employing organizations that use such resources on the other. I think it will be useful for older workers to accept, if not opt for, contracts for service and go for variable remuneration or income instead of requiring fixed base salaries at some point in their career, as part of their career planning. This means considering oneself as an outsource provider, running a business within a business, but with a captive client i.e. your current employer as a business partner of sorts.Being debt-free at the final phase of one’s career or occupation does not necessarily mean just doing no work and enjoying full-time leisure with friends and family and playing and ferrying grandchildren (who will grow up soon and may not need you as frequently). This is active aging. I would go for effective aging. We can do less work instead of no work, balance it with relaxation, leisure pursuits, helping others in dire need of assistance or contribute to the community to make it better. Re-orientating values means balancing self-interest with other’s needs to lead a balanced life. Having meaningful work to do, paid or unpaid, in later years helps to maintain one’s self-esteem which is vital for mental health as well as physical health. This is effective aging.Some may question, “Who wants to employ you at this age?” The internet provides limitless opportunities for creative alternative avenues of low risk work from home or in premises outside. It is not just a source of interesting facts, happenings and trivia.My website: http://www.managementwisetraining.com/ hosts a loose partnership with individual independent service providers as well as sole proprietors embarking on a second career while I am pathing into my fourth career. These are two groups of former associates and clients. One group has just retired and the other group opted for non-corporate work in mid-career to be self-employed using their previously gained skills and knowledge to work for different organizations, profit and non-profit. They enjoy the autonomy and flexibility of time to balance family and work life and are distanced from organizational politics and jostlings for position and power. This career option will phase them smoothly past whatever retirement age is designated, if they have a notional retirement age at all.Employers on their part will need to embrace the concept of post-retirement career planning as part of their human resource management system and not external to it. Payroll costs can be mitigated with variable payments instead of fixed payrolls and different employment contracts. One shoe-making company helps ex-employees set up retail outlets for the company’s products and helps them manage the outlets as their own businesses. Although mature workers may have fixed mindsets, they nevertheless have experiences that require little or no training time, except in businesses where technology changes very rapidly and even then these changes do not happen overnight. Work habits and thinking habits can change with a supportive and conducive work environment as most people behave according to the environment created by management. The company-assisted shoe retail outlets is an example of how mindsets can be changed.
What are some HR trends that you foresee for this year 2010?
In the short term, with the economy improving, we can expect to see higher labour mobility, especially in business where expertise is in short supply. With that will come fixed payroll increases as salaries are upped to attract or retain talent. This is where our past efforts at implementing Flexi-Wages or Restructured Wage Systems may be nullified again. These wage reform exercises advocate low fixed salary increases and higher variable bonuses based on organizational results. The short term need for staff when demand exceeds supply will dislocate such a pay system as it has happened in the past two attempts. Increased levies for foreign workers will impact on payrolls and business costs. In some industries, there is a limit to mechanization and automation that can be undertaken as the nature of the business itself requires detailed human interface and judgement operationally.There will be a need to study ways by which older workers past 60 can still be productively employed or self-employed in work that is low risk financially and physically. This will become more urgent as the indigenous population ages. There will be lower participation rates at training courses and even then, attendance will be sporadic, with participants going away to attend to urgent work matters or are called by superiors to attend to such matters. For most people, short term urgency overrides long term importance.
What are some of the key challenges that managers face with regards to managing and motivating their staff in these current post-recession times?
In a positive economic climate where jobs become more available, managers who are comfortable in managing for compliance, ie those who are very directive and prescriptive in approach, will face challenges with getting work done through and with their direct reports. Retaining the productive and talented ones will be more challenging too if such a style of managing persists.Managing for compliance can more easily get work done through and with people during recessionary times, when security and survival needs motivate people to work. During good times, workers are motivated more by higher order needs such as esteem needs, challenging tasks as they can more risks about failure, empowerment or greater authority to take risks at work and receive commensurate rewards for good performance. If managers can understand these, they will be less stressed and concerned themselves.
What are some key strategies for managers to effectively lead and manage their staff so as to retain and nurture them as well?
It may be more productive to manage for commitment, not just for such good times, but also for bad times. Managing for commitment means giving positive feedback when due, constructive feedback when work does not meet expectations, being receptive to suggestions, problems, issues and even grievances. When differences of opinions, perceptions, ways of doing things do arise, there is always the need to manage the differences and work together in partnership to arrive at mutually acceptable, if not beneficial outcomes. Nowadays it is called employee engagement.Ordinary as well as talented people want to be respected as individuals, to maintain self-esteem, to have the flexibility to do things in their own ways to achieve expected results; to be heard, understood and accepted, divergence of views and approaches are accepted and mutually acceptable. Good interpersonal relations or EQ will always remain core managerial and leadership skills or competencies and strategies.Most people leave an organization because of push factors rather than pull factors, given comparable and competitive pay. Pull factors such as “attractive” job offers are only catalysts for dormant push factors. Common push factors are: no respect for or from immediate superior, managing for compliance, uncaring and inconsiderate superiors, politicking, uncooperative workmates, unpleasant corporate culture, non-performance being rewarding, performance either good or poor is immaterial, too many impediments to get work done such as slow decision-making, too many irksome bureaucratic rules and procedures, too many fruitless meetings, lack of empowerment to perform a job not commensurate with accountabilities, too many reporting levels inhibiting personal output and the list goes on.
What inspired you to write your first book, ‘Results Management – effective people management to achieve excellent results’?
The many mid-career managers being laid off during the 2008 recession and their having to look for a transitional career gave me the idea to train them how to train others with the Results Management System that I have refined over the years. I have been doing all the training myself in this system for companies that wanted to improve operational productivity to make wages more cost-effective. I have Participant Manuals, Facilitator Manuals, and DVD’s to demonstrate the competencies needed to implement such a system organisation-wide. I needed a book for reference to complete my whole training package so that I can certify other experienced managers to train newer managers either in-house or as a second career option as a contingency. Besides, I thought I should mark my 70th birthday in 2008 with a localized and practice-oriented management book that I had been mulling over the years.
‘Results Management – effective people management to achieve excellent results’ is published by John Wiley & Sons.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
[ Tan Tock Seng 1798 - 1850 ]
As someone with a deep love for history, I have always been fascinated with the life and times of not only of kings, queens, emperors, conquerors, rise and fall of empires but of other leading personalities of the past. Invariably, this include our very own early pioneers who had contributed greatly to what has made Singapore such a great cosmopolitan world city today.
If you were to pick up a copy of our Road Directory, you will not fail to notice the many kinds of road names on the maps. We have roads that have names grouped together and linked to countries far away such as those from England, Scotland and Wales. Other road names hail from countries such as France, Spain, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, India, the Middle East and more. My kampong of Serangoon Gardens is an excellent example with road names that are actually towns in Britain...Brighton, Conway, Glasgow, Kensington, Colchester, Cardiff, Bridport, Huddington, Borthwick, Alnwick...just to name some.
For the French connection? A stone's throw away from our notorious Desker Road area can be found roads like Petain Rd, Foch Rd, Flanders Sq, and Somme Rd. Many of our roads are also named after prominent residents who have contributed to the history and development of their village, community or the nation.
Yet, there is no road or street named after one of the 2 foremost early pioneers of Singapore. He is the subject of this post....TAN TOCK SENG.
Ask any Singaporean if he or she has heard of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the answer cannot be anything other than a "Yes".
Ask any further questions about the man himself...his life,family,achievements and history, where was he buried etc...and you will get a shaking of heads.
The same goes for many of our early pioneers whose great achievements, though largely recorded, are somehow also largely forgotten...including their tombs and graves. It is a sad indictment and reflection of our times.
Read the newsclip below.
When I saw that report in January 1989 in the Straits Times, I cut it out immediately for future use. This is time to blog about it. We are all living in the midst of rapid change to not only our environment and skyline but to many of the things we hold dearly.
[ Tan Tock Seng Hospital today ]
In recent times, I came across reports of a few amateur dedicated tomb hunters who have succeeded in locating quite a number of tombs belonging to our long-forgotten early pioneers.
There are 2 active brothers surnamed Goh who have been searching all over Singapore cemeteries and updating the public with their findings mainly in Zao Bao papers.
[ Image: Unk Dicko's Archives - S T 28 Jan 1989 ]
Who was TAN TOCK SENG ?
Born in 1798 in Malacca, he came to Singapore in 1819, age 21. He was poor and so started off by selling vegetables and fowl along Boat Quay. He was very hardworking and saved enough to open a shop in 1927 at Boat Quay.
How did he become so rich later?
Able to speak English, Malay and dialects, he went into a partnership with a British land speculator J H Whitehead. They invested and speculated on land.
He owned one of the largest parcels of land in Singapore which included the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station land, the Padang to High Street to Tank Road, Ellenborough Building, etc.
He had other businesses as well.
He set up a hospital for the poor people in 1844. Realising that more space was required he donated money for the building of a new hospital located at Pearl's Hill which carried his name.
That hospital was later shifted to Balestier Plain and again later to where Tan Tock Seng Hospital is today ( at Moulmein Road ).
He also founded the oldest temple in Singapore...the Thian Hock Keng temple at Telok Ayer Street. It is still there today.
As a rare honour to him, the British appointed him as the 1st Asian Justice of Peace.
He carried the title of " Captain of the Chinese "...like Yap Ah Loy's Kapitan China title in KL.
Tan Tock Seng died at age 52 due to an illness. He was buried on the slope of a gentle hillock at
or near 256 Outram Road ( today ).
That is the picture of his grave in the newsclip.
Unk Dicko's Views
Just look at the picture of that beautiful hospital. It was started by this great man. Then slowly
let your eyes focus on his dilapidated tomb, overgrown by weeds, nothing at all to show and tell about the history of this man, as should be told to one and all, especially our young.
We should do something about this...
In the West, many of the known tombs of even famous outlaws and bandits, are carefully preserved for posterity.
No, I am not putting blame on anyone.
Just raising the consciousness and awareness level.