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By On November 07, 2018

Disposable wooden chopsticks in Singapore safe to use: Case

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< img src="https://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_pictrure_780x520_/public/articles/2018/11/07/ak_chopstick_0711.jpg?itok=Zi3arR5l&timestamp=1541565509" alt="Sulphur dioxide is often used as a bleaching agent and to prevent the growth of mould and pests in disposable wooden or bamboo chopsticks."/>
Sulphur dioxide is often used as a bleaching agent and to prevent the growth of mould and pests in disposable wooden or bamboo chopsticks.
Published4 hours ago

SINGAPORE - A test on disposable chopsticks sold here shows they are generally safe for use and do not contain excessive amounts of sulphur dioxide residue, said the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 7).

Sulphur dioxide is often used as a bleaching agent and to prevent the growth of mould and pests in disposable wooden or bamboo chopsticks.

Excessive sulphur dioxide can harm the human respiratory system, said Case .

The test on 20 samples of disposable chopsticks showed less than 400mg/kg of sulphur dioxide in all samples. A range of between 7mg/kg and 364mg/kg was detected.

There is no specific standard regulating the amount of sulphur dioxide residue in disposable chopsticks in Singapore, said Case, but it noted that the regulatory authorities in China and Taiwan limit the amount to 600mg/kg and 500mg/kg respectively.

Case added that the chopsticks tested were from department stores, supermarkets and stores in the heartland areas. Chopsticks provided for takeaways from eateries were excluded "as a form of control and also because of traceability issues".

While Case said that disposable chopsticks here are generally safe for use based on the test results, it advised consumers to avoid using chopsticks that appear too white.

"As sulphur dioxide is used as a bleaching agent, disposable chopsticks that appear too white are likely to have been bleached before, thus potentially containing sulphur dioxide," said Case.

It added that the public should avoid disposable chopsticks that give off a pungent smell as this may indicate chemical use, and that the chopsticks are meant for single-use only.

Topics:
  • CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
  • FOOD AND DRINK

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By On November 06, 2018

Singapore looks to digital services to unblock traffic jams

A European startup that "believes owning a car doesn’t make much sense anymore" is bringing its Whim app to Singapore.

SINGAPORE -- Singapore is hoping to ease its congestion problems by encouraging foreign and local companies to help revolutionize the way consumers use its transport system.

Finnish mobility service provider Maas Global plans to enter the Singapore market early next year with an "all-in-one" app that consolidates all modes of transport services onto its platform. Singapore-born startup mobilityX is also expected to launch a similar app after last month announcing a new fundraising to expand in Singapore and the region.

"We have a big dream," Sampo Hietanen, founder and CEO of Maas, told the Nikkei Asian Review. Sometime in the 2020s, he said, Maas wants its Whim app on the smartphones of urbanites throughout Southeast Asia and Japan.

For decades, Southeast Asian metropolises have been infamous for the clouds of exhaust belched up by the vehicles that often sit motionless in traffic. Solutions to efficiently getting people where they are going have been sought for almost as long. Now the latest apps are offering to connect ride-hailing services like Grab with a range of other transportation options.

Maas and mobilityX hope to take advantage of the Singapore government's smart nation efforts to digitize its transportation services.

Whim's website proclaims, "We believe owning a car doesn't make much sense anymore for most people."

And that is exactly what Singaporean authorities, who have been en couraging residents not to own cars, want to hear. By 2030, the city-state's government wants 75% of all rush-hour journeys to be made on public transportation. It has another goal for its public transportation services -- to deliver 85% of all commuters on sub-20-km journeys to their destinations within 60 minutes.

It is not clear how these next-generation apps will affect Grab of Singapore and other ride-hailing services. "A couple of strong players may dominate the entire urban transport market," said Yang Nan, an assistant professor at the department of strategy and policy at the NUS Business School. "But it's too early to predict who would be these dominant players. The big picture is getting clearer, though: Transit operators are starting to see the opportunities in Maas and want to move in fast."

Hietanen said MaaS's goal is to make subscribers out of about 5% of smartphone owners who can afford its service in every city in which it operates.

As of October, about 60,000 smartphone owners in the European cities of Helsinki, Birmingham, Antwerp and Amsterdam were using Whim, which had put together 1.85 million trips.

In Singapore, Maas -- an acronym of sorts for mobility-as-service -- is partnering with ComfortDelGro, the city-state's largest taxi operator. Pricing plans and other details will be made available ahead of the Whim service becoming available in Singapore, according to a joint news release by both companies.

Hietanen said his company chose Singapore as Whim's first Asian city because the country's authorities have been "open and welcoming."

"We can only be in places where the industry is open and willing to work with us," he said. "There is quite an open atmosphere in Singapore."

The Singapore-born mobilityX in October announced Toyota Tsusho, a Toyota group trading house, as the lead investor in its series A fundraising r ound. It intends to use the funds to expand throughout Southeast Asia.

MobilityX's app will allow users to choose from taxis, e-scooters and bicycles. After selecting the modes they want to use -- perhaps a taxi for the first leg and a bicycle for the remaining distance -- users will then be directed to a payment page. Commuters will be able to choose to pay as they go or opt for a subscription plan.

Backed by Singapore subway operator SMRT Corp, mobilityX is now negotiating with ride hailing as well as bicycle- and scooter-sharing services.

"The complexity of options in the world of transport has increased a lot," said Colin Lim, CEO of mobilityX. "How do we piece together all these different modes of transport and simplify urban mobility? That's really our goal.

"There are companies out there who do journey planning, but based on our look at the different capabilities, almost all of them don't do the full end to end. For e xample, they may not include scooter or bicycle routes.

"We want to simplify the whole planning component for the user."

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  • Geely and China aerospace firm agree to work on supersonic trains
  • 'Robot taxes' will help keep humans employed, Bill Gates predicts
  • Alibaba logs lackluster earnings and cuts full-year forecast
Source: Google News Singapore | Netizen 24 Singapore

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By On November 06, 2018

10 fresh ideas to enjoy your next weekend in Singapore

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10 fresh ideas to enjoy your next weekend in Singapore Pu blished7 hours ago

Adventure through some of Singapore’s best kept secrets

When the itch to explore or relax beckons, Singaporeans’ first instinct is to book a flight overseas as one of the most well-travelled citizens in the world â€" but this means we sometimes overlook the adventures that can be found right on our doorstep.

On your next long weekend, why not rediscover the culture, beauty and fun our island has to offer with these indulgent and entertaining activities.

1. Get that floating feeling

Spend some well-earned recharging time the way top athletes do â€" with flotation therapy. Also known as sensory deprivation therapy or restricted environmental stimulation therapy, it involves floating in a lightless, soundless pod filled with 500-600kg of Epsom salts, a traditional curative for inflammation, tight muscles and stiff joints.

The float helps you free your mind from distractions and enter a deep meditative state to reduce st ress. These healing properties have been known to make the therapy popular amongst sportsmen and women including British hurdler Tasha Danvers and American gymnast Aly Raisman â€" both Olympians â€" who have been known to use flotation therapy in their wellness regimens.

At Palm Ave Float Club, you can try it for yourself. Each session lasts an hour to 90 minutes, and there is a special three-session introductory package for newcomers.


PHOTO: PALM AVE FLOAT CLUB

2. Embrace your inner artist

Get your creative juices flowing at My Art Space, a picturesque studio located in Istana Park. They offer hassle-free painting sessions, so grab some friends or go alone, and unleash your inner Picasso. All materials are provided for you and a free flow of refreshments is sure to keep the inspiration flowi ng throughout the session.

3. Holiday at home

You are saving on the cost of an airfare, so you can definitely justify indulging in a little luxury. For a weekend of true luxury head over to the Capella Singapore on Sentosa.

A modern structure that curves around two late 19th-century bungalows that have been restored to their colonial splendour, the Capella is a luxurious oasis away from Singapore's bustling metropolis. Surrounded by 30 lush lawns and sea views, it's the perfect place to relax. In the evening, order a cocktail at Bob's and settle in to watch the sun go down.

New members of The Platinum Card® by American Express enjoy a complimentary 2D1N stay upon signing up. Platinum Members also enjoy spa benefits, including an exclusive treatment package consisting of a 30-minute body scrub and either a 60-minute body massage or a 60-minute Organic Pharmacy facial treatment for $220.


PHOTO: CAPELLA SINGAPORE

4. Hit the heritage trail

Go back in time with a trip to the National Museum, the oldest museum in Singapore dating back to 1887. Its rich range of exhibits tell a multi-sensory and compelling story of the island's colonial and cultural history. Don't miss the newly refurbished Goh Seng Choo gallery, where you will be immersed in the world of magic and supernatural beliefs embraced by traditional South-East Asian societies.

Learn more about Straits Chinese culture at the Peranakan Museum, which houses the world’s finest collection of Peranakan artefacts. You will be impressed from the minute you arrive as the museum is housed in the former site of the Tao Nan School, a 106-year-old building which features fluted columns and façade-fronting balconies, all re miniscent of the Straits Settlements bungalows once owned by wealthy families.

The best time to visit is the first Sunday of each month, when they host special themed tours of the galleries and arts and craft workshops where you can create Peranakan-style items inspired by the museum’s collection.

5. Sanctuary by the sea


PHOTO: AMERICAN EXPRESS

Have an indulgent dining experience at Platinum Vibes, an exclusive seafront dining and drinks space just for American Express Centurion and Platinum Members and their guests â€" available until Dec 31, 2018.

Located on Level 2 of the Marina at Keppel Bay, Platinum Vibes is the only place in Singapore where you can savour dishes specially created by two Michelin-starred chefs â€" Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre and Yoshio Sakuta of Sho ukouwa.

Accompanying the unique menu is a wine list that boasts over 100 wine labels, which have been curated by wine lounge Park90 in partnership with famed critic Robert Parker. Among these are vintages rated over RP90 â€" the best of the best!

6. Catch a movie under the stars


PHOTO: MOVIE MOB FACEBOOK

Relive the nostalgia and romance of drive-in theatres â€" or experience one for the first time â€" at one of Movie Mob’s screenings. A roving cinema with regular film screenings across different locations island-wide, it also offers non-drive-in screenings.

If you work in the CBD, check out the Singapore Open Air Cinema Club hosted by co-working space, Hive. This cosy setting is just a stone’s throw away from Clarke Quay and it offers something for everyone by screening a whole rang e of films, from cult classics such as Thelma and Louise and The Breakfast Club to recent hits like Lion, starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel.

7. Wine and dine in style for less

It is a widely known fact â€" the national pastime of Singaporeans is eating. That applies not only to sampling hawker fare, but also to checking out restaurants and bistros that offer great food and a memorable experience.

Thanks to Love Dining privileges, American Express Platinum Members can enjoy upscale dining at appealing prices. Enjoy up to 50 per cent off the bill at over 50 of the finest restaurants and hotels in Singapore, including:

  • Conrad Centennial Singapore
  • Fairmont Singapore
  • Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
  • Swissôtel Merchant Court
  • Swissôtel The Stamford
  • The St. Regis Singapore
  • W Singapore â€" Sentosa Cove

8. Put your best face forward

Feeling worn out after a hectic week in th e office? A spa treatment is the perfect way to soothe tired limbs and unwind a weary mind.

Head to Adeva Spa. Conveniently located within Paragon mall, you can stop by to enjoy the Natura Bissé Diamond Whitening System, which was awarded the ‘Best Spot-Busting Facial’ at the Harper’s BAZAAR Spa Awards 2017. Or pamper yourself with Signature Face Spa treatments like Botanical Radiance and 3D Lucent.

Alternatively, visit Spa Rael at Goodwood Park Hotel to indulge in a range of Natura Bissé Face Spa treatments. These feature luxury Spanish skincare that can also be found in top-tier retailers worldwide, such as Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

If you want to add a touch of radiance to your weekend, make your way to The Ultimate for the Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Face Spa. This special treatment is designed to give your skin a boost with a powerful dose of Vitamin C to counter the impact of free radicals, resulting in radiant and firm skin.

American Express Platinum Members enjoy 25, 30 and 50 per cent off à la carte services at Adeva Spa, Spa Rael and The Ultimate respectively.

9. Discover a smorgasbord of delights at Sentosa

Sentosa is home to popular attractions like Universal Studios Singapore, but the island also hosts a wide range of unique and exciting activities.

Rub shoulders with statues of the rich and famous at Madame Tussaud’s â€" the perfect spot for Instagram-worthy photos.

There’s no need to fly to Bali â€" you can learn to surf right here at Wave House Sentosa. Qualified instructors guide you through the motions until you can carve or bottom turn like the best of them.

Swap skyscrapers and concrete for lush tropical greenery with a visit to The Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom. This multi-sensory interactive experience offers the perfect escape from city living.

American Express Platinum Members enjoy complimentary weekend parking at VivoCity on Friday, Satuday and Sunday, after 5pm, for a fuss-free experience on your way to Sentosa.

10. Chillax with a bar hop


Platinum Members and one guest get complimentary entry to Zouk, access to the new Zouk Members Lounge and discounted drinks all night long. PHOTO: AMERICAN EXPRESS

Singapore is fast becoming one of the bar capitals of the world. There are local favourites and award-winning establishments which have been around for years, and then there’s also a constant stream of new places opening up and surprising us week by week.

American Express Platinum Members can explore all that Singapore has to offer as they enjoy a range of benefits at some of the hottest bars and clubs on the island.

At Nutmeg & Clove on Ann Siang Hill, Platinum Members can enjoy a one-for-one d eal on their first drink. For a unique take on the classics you know and love, the bar offers a cocktail menu inspired by local herbs, fruits, flowers and spices found in the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings.

The Secret Mermaid at Raffles Place is a tasting room and cocktail bar dedicated to American craft spirits. Pick from a wide selection of gin, whiskey, vodka, rum and more, with one-for-one off the first drink for Platinum Members.

The Mad Men Attic Bar along North Canal Road â€" designed in a modern industrialist style â€" features street art from local graffiti collective RSCLS. Platinum Members can enjoy complimentary Kirin Beer or Pure Blonde Bottled Beer as they chill to live music.

Zouk is a mainstay of the island’s nightlife scene and Platinum Members get complimentary entry with a guest, access to the new Zouk Members Lounge and discounted drinks all night long so you can party right through to the early hours!

The Platinum Card®

The Platinum Card comes with many more benefits for you to live life to the fullest. These include access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, $800 travel credits yearly, bonus points on Singapore Airlines tickets, instant elite status at various hotel loyalty programs and much more.

All this is backed by the 24/7 Platinum Concierge who will go above and beyond to assist you, from planning a vacation to dealing with the unexpected when you are overseas.

Visit amex.co/liveplatinum for more details, terms and conditions, and to apply for your Platinum card.

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We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digit al articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs.

Source: Google News Singapore | Netizen 24 Singapore