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Brits banned from Singapore after lockdown ‘bar crawl’

Anukul

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Brits banned from Singapore after lockdown ‘bar crawl’ | The Thaiger
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A group of British men staying in Singapore were prohibited from working there again after breaking the local lockdown to go on a “bar crawl”. The men each received a fine of around S$9,000. They were all charged after a photo of them drinking together during the country’s “lockdown” went viral last month.

A different party, comprising an American couple and an Austrian, were also disciplined for drinking on the same day. The court heard the men met by accident on May 16, in Robertson Quay, a popular bar and restaurant hang out near the city centre.

The party – 30 year old Neil Gordon Buchan, 37 year old Perry Scott Blair, 33 year old James Titus Beatt and 35 year old Joseph William Poynter, went to 3 bars in about 45 minutes. Although the bars were not open as usual, they were allowed to serve alcohol.

On the same day, a Facebook post went viral showing pictures taken by a passerby of people drinking in groups that evening. The post questioned why locals in state run housing were being punished for violating the lockdown laws when others could apparently “drink freely without masks.”

The prosecutor begged the judge to jail the men for a week but the court levied a fine instead. The court heard that they had no previous convictions in Singapore and their lawyer had objected to the “bar crawl” description.

The second group, including an American married couple 40 year old Bao Nguyen Brown, 52 year old and Jeffrey George Brown, went to the Quay to buy Indian food, but stopped to buy takeaway beer. They bumped into an Austrian man, 45 year old Michael Czerny, and offered him a beer. The court heard they drank and chatted for half an hour. They were fined 8,000 Singapore dollars each.

The Singapore Ministry of Manpower said 6 of the 7 people fined for drinking at Robertson Quay have been permanently banned from working in Singapore. They did not specify who was exempt, but the court heard that Czerny has permanent resident status, and therefore does not rely on a work pass.

Two other British men have been charged for drinking in Robertson Quay on the same day, but their cases are pending. MoM said between 1 May and 25 June that 140 people had their permission to work in Singapore for breaking the Covid-19 measure.

SOURCE: BBC

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    FAR TAN

    June 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Czerny should be severely punished as well. His PR status should be cancelled as he does not deserves it. He should abide the Singapore government’s law and not act like he’s entitled to do as he pleases. His employer should do the right by sacking him to show to others in the company that his action in flouting the covid-19 law will not be tolerated.

  2. Avatar

    sam thompson

    June 28, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Well done Singapore, a fitting punishment for the arrogant, selfish and ignorant

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Despite recent denials, NokScoot is closing down

Jack Burton

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Despite recent denials, NokScoot is closing down | The Thaiger
PHOTO: KN Aviation

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed another victim – regional budget airline NokScoot is closing down. The company’s board of directors decided yesterday to liquidate the airline, the decision to be announced in a general meeting of shareholders held in 2 weeks. The move will leave around 450 staff unemployed, except the few who will remain to work on the liquidation process. The company promises to pay full benefits in accordance with Thai law.

NokScoot is a joint venture between Singapore-based Scoot and SET-listed Nok Airlines. Nok, a domestic budget carrier established in 2004, holds 51% of the shares and Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, holds the remaining 49%. Thai Airways, now in bankruptcy, holds a 13.28% stake in Nok Airlines.

NokScoot operated medium and long haul Asian routes to 7 cities in China and 3 in Japan, as well as New Delhi, Singapore and Taipei, from its base at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, it was struggling due to intense competition from other low cost carriers. According to one board member:

“Unprecedented challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic have further exacerbated the situation Consequently, Scoot does not see a path to recovery and sustainable growth for NokScoot. In considering other possible alternatives, Scoot also offered to sell its 49 percent stake in NokScoot to Nok Air for a nominal sum of 1 Thai Baht. This was not taken up. We regrettably had to then make the joint decision to move ahead with the liquidation. Thailand remains an important market for the Singapore Airlines Group. Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot are committed to continuing to serve customers in Thailand with their existing operations.”

There was speculation the company would go out of business after it announced employee layoffs.

NokScoot will return 3 aircraft from it 5-jet fleet to the parent company in Singapore by the end of June.

SOURCES: Thai Enquirer | The Pattaya News | Chiang Mai One

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Singapore to begin human trial of potential Covid-19 prophylactic

Jack Burton

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Singapore to begin human trial of potential Covid-19 prophylactic | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Straits Times

A new drug, currently known as TY027, might be used to protect frontline healthcare workers against potential exposure to Covid-19, or travellers when they head to countries with high community transmission. Next week, 23 volunteers in Singapore will be involved in a clinical safety trial for the prophylactic antibody drug, which could be a viable treatment the disease that has already killed more than 400,000 around the globe.

The co-founder of Tychan, the biotech company behind the drug, told the media that if trials are successful, it could be used to render temporary protection against infection, as antibody drugs tend to be effective for about 2-3 weeks per dose. Using the drug to treat confirmed cases “could reduce a lot of problems we face right now,” such as the limited number of ventilators available at hospitals.

“One obvious thing is that a lot of the patients get sick for a very long time, and some of them even get very severe respiratory disease, so much so that you need oxygen ventilators to help them tie through this critical period, without which they would die. We hope this treatment will reduce the number of people who go into such a severe stage, and hopefully the number of people who die from Covid-19 can be kept to a minimum.”

But he noted that the eventual use of the drug, and who it will be administered to, will depend on the outcome of the Phase 1 clinical safety trial, which will take about 6 weeks. Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority granted approval for the trial on Monday. The trial, which will be conducted by SingHealth’s investigational medicine unit, will focus on evaluating the safety, tolerability and “pharmacokinetics,” the way the body reacts to the drug. If proven safe the drug will still have to undergo more tests before it can be used in real-life clinical settings, and that process could take months.

This is the first time an in-human trial for a Covid-19 treatment has been approved in Singapore. Presently, there is no proven antibody-based treatment for Covid-19, nor any licensed vaccine.

Tychan said in a statement that it produced the antibody on February 25, in partnership with Singpore’s Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Health, the Economic Development Board and other government agencies as part of a whole-of-government collaborative effort. The company then identified it as the most promising among several antibodies that demonstrated 100% neutralisation against Covid-19. Since then, preclinical safety studies and other regulatory requirements, including a 3 week stability test, have been completed successfully.

SOURCE: SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Death sentence handed down via video call in Singapore

Maya Taylor

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Death sentence handed down via video call in Singapore | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

A prisoner in Singapore has been sentenced to death via a Zoom video call, the first time the city state has delivered capital punishment remotely.

Thai PBS World reports that 37 year old Malaysian citizen Punithan Genasan was handed the death penalty as punishment for a 2011 heroin smuggling operation. Like Thailand, Singapore operates a zero-tolerance policy for drug trafficking offences. The criminal trial was conducted remotely as a result of ongoing restrictions in Singapore’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. But unlike Thailand, Singaporean authorities do carry out capital punishment sentences much more frequently.

The city-state had the second highest per-capita execution rate in the world between 1994 and 1998. In 2018, 13 people were executed and in 2019 another 4 people, 2 of them related to drugs cases. Execution is carried out in Singapore by long-drop hanging.

However, Phil Robertson from the Asia division of Human Rights Watch has criticised the use of video-conferencing to communicate such decisions.

“Singapore’s use of the death penalty is inherently cruel and inhumane, and the use of remote technology like Zoom to sentence a man to death makes it even more so.”

For his part, the defendant’s lawyer, Peter Fernando, says use of the technology was acceptable as it was only conveying the judge’s verdict and not being used to present legal arguments. However, he adds that his client is considering an appeal.

So far, there has been no comment from technology giant Zoom, whose video-conferencing platform has garnered millions of new users thanks to restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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