Street Food: History, Culture, Society

Let’s assume the “street food” we know is hawker centre food, an evolution from the original street food pushcarts and stalls next to drains, with foldable tables and stools in old distant Singapore. This reflection on the state of hawker fare has been overcooked in recent times e.g. the demise of hawker food as hawking is long hard work and few inspiring ultra-rich success cases.

Everyone knows the ingredients on how hawkers are fading away. The hawker industry is dying out literally as the younger generation do not want to takeover the wok of their hawker parents as the job is not rewarding enough. The government charged high rents for hawker stalls, putting off aspiring hawkers and it sounds easier and better to be a taxi driver than a hawker. There  are no new hawker centres so there are not enough opportunities for those who want to try it out anyway. Hawking street food were honest means of livelihood for the uneducated but Singaporeans are more educated now so there is already a resistance to take up the trade since the stereotype is only the uneducated are hawkers.

However, there are more food courts now so some can argue convincingly that street food is still around just set in a different environment from before e.g. from pushcarts to hawker centres to food courts, char kway teow is still char kway teow. Also, more and more foreign-born are becoming hawkers as migrants have less hangups about any hawker stigma so there are new hawkers entering the industry, just that they might be more comfortable speaking in Thai, Vietnamese or with a strong China accent. Food stalls in hawker centres are more ecletic than before to cater to a more diverse customer base interested in choices from pasta, to muffins, to cuppaccino, to Vietnamese beef noodles, to pad Thai. So there is in fact a renaissance in hawker fare and street food is being redefined as the customers are more international in origin and taste.

Still, as we do not want the romanticised memory of the old hawker aunty and uncle to fade away, the government is trying to revitalise the craft in little encouraging ways by opening up 5 new hawker centres by 2016. Nonetheless, I doubt that infrastructure per se can bring back the street food we remember. We just have to accept that adapt to changing times. “Street food” will always be around, just maybe not the price and way we remember it when we were younger.


Where Creativity Lies: Street Food in Singapore
By Blake Beshore, Special Contributor
Blake Beshore’s picture

You would be hard-pressed to find a more diverse and creative food scene than at the inaugural World Street Food Congress in Singapore. The Congress featured 10 days of education, recognition, and celebration of the street food world and hosted some of the most influential movers and shakers in the food industry. Host KF Seetoh, Anthony Bourdain, Claus Meyer, Daniel Wang, Johnny Chan, James Oseland, Vo Quoc, and Brett Burmeister were there, to name a few.

But it wasn’t just the novelty of unique, traditional food sold streetside that brought the event to life. Singapore’s street food culture is one that all countries could benefit from following. Here’s what I learned after spending a few days in the midst of 37 different food stalls with cuisines originating from 10 different countries.

The Need for Street

The conference was divided into two components: the Jamboree, which allowed visitors to experience many different types of street food through its 37 different stalls, and a two-day dialogue with many of the prominent speakers in attendance. Anthony Bourdain, the host of CNN’s culinary experience show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, was the keynote speaker. I had seen Bourdain speak once before, but not with this much passion in his voice. He spoke of the origins of street food and expressed that this type of food did not spawn from abundance, but rather from necessity, poverty, oppression, and deprivation.

Street food originated from the twin problems of vendors needing an income and customers looking for low-cost, on-the-go food options. Vendors and individuals found ways to use every part of an animal for consumption and implemented many techniques to make the food last longer and taste better.

Bourdain followed this part of his presentation by explaining that street food is also about storytelling: telling an intimate story of family heritage. Love of street food runs through family lines, and the tradition is passed down to the next generation, keeping the entire industry alive.

This family tradition aspect of street food is what differs most from food in America. Bourdain blamed the fast-food culture in the States for a lot of problems — even pointing to the surge in popularity of McDonald’s and KFC in China. Their popularity has begun to weaken the importance of traditional cuisine because younger generations are taking a less active role in preserving their cultures’ cuisine and comfort food.

Keeping the Business Alive

Street food is a way into — not a way out of — the food industry. It allows countless people to share their passion and showcases the entrepreneurial spirit of many of the vendors. The investment or barrier to entry is low for many cooks, so it’s an appealing business opportunity with large growth potential.

However, increased regulations have put street food vendors on the defensive and made it difficult for them to earn a living. Many people have called into question the sanitary aspects of street food. To put it in perspective, we have to consider the consumers of street food. Vendors and cooks selling the food are most likely selling it to their neighbors — not tourists. It’s a local business. Their neighbors will always be there to judge good food from bad, and because they’re cooking for their neighbors, many of the vendors take pride in providing quality, sanitary food to their friends and families.

The way street food is served in Singapore is also changing. It still remains street food at heart, but it’s now served in a more Western-style setting, with stalls and booths lined up in a warehouse. It’s reminiscent of a mall food court, and each vendor is rated for sanitation quality. The cuisine is becoming more accessible and cleaner in an effort to preserve street food’s existence.

Street Food in America

Could this model of Asian street food be replicated and maintained in the U.S.? Possibly. With proper regulation, active and curious eaters, and food vendors in each major city, there’s a chance that street food could be the future of food sales in America if we use the Singapore model. But it would risk being trashed and propagandized by the uninformed and uneducated.

Street food isn’t just a food sale service. It’s an industry born of tradition and heritage that once strived to soften the blows of poverty and deprivation. It might be a new and unique way to eat a meal in a foreign country, but it has a bigger story behind it than just that — one that needs to be preserved.


Singapore and Malaysia Point Fingers at Indonesia, Indonesia Points Back

The taichi is ongoing. Singapore and Malaysia are blaming Indonesia for not enforcing the no-slash and burn laws in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia, while Indonesia is smoking out the Malaysian, Singapore and other foreign companies supposedly involved in slash and burn that led to the current haze. Malaysia already declared Muar and other parts of Johor as under a state of emergency because of the haze.

The whole haze problem has shifted to blame and shame, easier for governments, NGOs like Greenpeace and anyone else to do and appear relevant, although maybe it should not be the first item on the agenda. On the top of list is rather what more Indonesia and others can do to mitigate the problem –  transboundary haze pollution.

Malaysian firms suspected to have sent haze home
Sun, June 23 2013 14:31
Jakarta (ANTARA New) – Tens of companies have allegedly practiced slash-and-burns to open plantations in Sumatra`s Riau, causing forest fires that send blankets of smoke not only to the province itself but also to neighboring countries, Singapore and Malaysia.

It was reported on Saturday (June 22) that a joint team from the ministry of environment and other relevant ministries had found at least 20 domestic and foreign companies which were suspected to have caused land and forest fires.

Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya in Riau on Saturday made statements twice when he earlier announced that there were 14 companies (one believed to belong to Malaysian firm), allegedly involved in the burning of land and bushes.

He stated later, based on field checks, there were 8 Malaysian companies which were strongly believed to have contributed to the forest fires which caused Riau province, Singapore and Malaysia to be shrouded with haze. The eight Malaysian firms are not included in the 14 reported earlier.

“There are eight Malaysian oil palm companies which are strongly suspected to be behind the forest fires. We are still collecting data in the field to ascertain the suspicion,” Balthasar told a press conference on Saturday.

The minister named the eight Malaysian companies as PT Langgam Inti Hiberida, PT Bumi Rakksa Sejati, PT Tunggal Mitra Plantation, PT Udaya Loh Dinawi, PT Adei Plantation, PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa, PT Multi Gambut Industri and PT Mustika Agro Lestari.

“The eight companies excluded the 14 companies mentioned earlier to be involved in the land and bush fires,” the minister said.

He said that the number of suspected companies could increase further in the field. We will continue to investigate other companies whether they came from Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore.

The section head of Forest Fire Handling and Forest Protection of Riau`s Forest Service, Rahidi said on Sunday that hotspots detected by the US NOAA satellite were found in the areas belonging to tens of local and foreign companies in Riau.

The hotspots were detected in the areas of PT Siak Seraya, PT Kimia Tirta Utama, PT Inti Indo Sawit Subur, Village Unit Cooperatives (KUD) Dayus Mas, PT Padasa Enam Utama, PT Kartayatam Bhakti Mulia, PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo, PT Riau Sakti Trans, PT Raja Garuda Masa Sejati PT Sabira Negeri Utama, PT Guntung Hasrat Makmur, PT Panca Surya Agrindo, PT Bumi Reksa Nusa Sejati, PT Surya Bratasena Plantation, PT Adei Crumb Rubber, PT Rokan Adi Raya, Cooperatives 13 Anak Suku Bonai, PT Karyatama Bhakti Muli and PT Agroraya Gematrans.

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said the government would not tolerate companies burning land and bushes that caused haze to shroud Raiu and its surrounding.

“Companies which are proved to have practiced slash-and-burn activities and caused land and forest fires will be acted upon firmly. There will be no compromise,” the minister said when attending a function to see off a land and forest fire extinguisher team in Dumai, Riau, on Saturday.

He said that the government was now concentrating on putting out land and forest fires under the coordination of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). The agency team is composed of members from relevant ministries.

He said that the government had assigned the National Police to handle the legal process and take sanctions against firms behind forest fires. “Firms burning land will be dealt with by the police and the government will not hesitate to punish even those who already have business permits,” the forestry minister said.

The office of the environment minister is now collecting proof in the field. If the team already has enough proof, it will hand it to the police or to the prosecutor to be taken to the court.

“The fire sources are found within the areas of the companies. If the proof is enough we will take it to the court. Therefore, we will continue to coordinate with the Riau Regional Police and Prosecutor Office,” Environment Minister Balthasar said.

Deputy III for Damaged Environment Control and Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment Arief Yuwono said that forest fire perpetrators would be charged based on Law No.32/2009 on Protection and Management of the Environment.

“The law has a clause with regard to forest fires which carries a crime sanction,” Arief said.

Deputy V of the Ministry of Environment Sudariyono said that based on Law 32/2009, everyone had the obligation to preserve the environment, including land owners.

He said that the law did not say `deliberately or not deliberately`. It suggested that forest fires should not take place. “Owners have the obligation to protect it from fires. They have to be responsible for a fire that takes place, deliberately burned or not,” he said.

Article 98, point (I) of Law 32/2009 stipulated that a land fire perpetrator is punishable by a minimal three years or maximal 10 years in jail or a minimum fine of Rp3 billion or maximum fine of Rp10 billion.

If the fire causes the fall of a victim the perpetrator is punishable by a minimum four years or maximum 12 years in jail with a fine of Rp4 billion to Rp12 billion. If it claims a live the punishment will be between 5 and 15 years in jail and a fine of between Rp5 to Rp15 billion.

Yet, Deputy III Arief of the environment ministry said his side was collecting proof, including whether the fires took place due to deliberate burning.

He said that the forest fires could be analyzed whether it had happened due to deliberate burning. “With soil analysis, we can see proof such as the fire has taken place after the perpetrators used kerosene in burning the bushes,” said Arief.

Arief said that his side would see two things with regard to the forest fires in Riau, namely whether they were caused by negligence of deliberate acts. “It will be analyzed by our investigators. So, it would be proved whether the forest got fire or deliberately burned,” he said.

In the meantime Rahidi of the Riau Environment Service said most of the hotspots detected by the NOAA satellite in the areas of the plantation companies in Riau had been put out. “Most of them have been put out,” Rahidi said on Sunday.

Yet, the number of hotspots can just increase any time. After all, winds are still blowing from southwest to North West that could blow haze to Singapore and Malaysia, according to Riau`s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) on Saturday.

“Geographically, Singapore and Malaysia are located in the western direction of Riau Province. So, if the winds are blowing from southwest to northwest, the movement of haze has the potential to shroud the two neighboring countries,” Riau`s BMKG analysts Tri Puryanti said on Saturday. (*)

Call It Smog or Haze, No Clear Solution

The first big major haze was in 1997. The smoke from the forest fires were so bad that it reached Thailand and even Philippines. PSI shot to more than 200 compared to the 100s range now.

Incidentally, is it “haze” or “smog”? “Smog” is traditionally a urban city smoke and fog mix, hence smog, e.g. London smog 1952. In modern urban cities, bad air from vehicles plus industries also lead to the modern “smog“. When the smoke from forest fires comes from another place, another country, to call it “smog” just does not give it accuracy and justice. “Haze” is not the perfect description, but it suits its purpose better than “smog”.

Indonesia has neither answers nor clear solution to its transnational haze problem. It is one thing when farmers practice slash and burn. It is another scale altogether when companies illegally practice slash and burn on a wider commercial scale, which has an unhealthy impact on Malaysia and Singapore. What can Singapore or its fellow victim, Malaysia, do besides complaining loudly year after year? Indonesia so far has not ratified the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, since they felt being singled out as the annual regional problem while Malaysia and Singapore, the main victims, don’t want to share the cost of putting out the forest fires. ASEAN excluding Indonesia want to prevent haze from forest fires, and in the deadlock, Indonesia prefers a more downwind action and have damage control of forest fires and its haze instead. Should we pay for a solution as Indonesia would not budge on a problem within its borders until it gets a handout? Looks like more than 10 years after the 2002 ASEAN Agreement, that regional plan has gone up in smoke.


Sumatra Forest Fires Cause Worst Singapore Smog for 16 Years
By Jasmine Ng – 2013-06-18T11:21:58Z

Forest fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra shrouded Singapore and Malaysia in smog for a fifth day, leading to an advisory asking people to stay indoors.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency said its pollution index eased to a “moderate” 82 by 6 p.m., after rising to an “unhealthy” 152 late on Monday, which was the worst level since 1997, according to The Straits Times newspaper. The reading for smaller PM2.5 particulates, linked to lung diseases, stayed above 149 micrograms per cubic meter, compared to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency safe standard of 12.

Malaysia’s Johor state registered readings above 100 on the country’s pollutant index at 5 p.m., according to the country’s Department of Environment. The Malay Peninsula has been plagued for decades by forest fires in Sumatra to the West and Kalimantan on Borneo island to the East.

“Reduce outdoor activity and drink a lot of water during this period,” Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a Facebook post today, adding that the haze is expected to worsen in coming days.

The annual fires hit a peak in 1997, when the haze cost the economies of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore an estimated $3.5 billion, figures published by the Center for International Forestry Research in Bogor, Indonesia showed. The current smog could hurt the city-state’s services industry, according to Wai Ho Leong, an economist at Barclays Plc in Singapore.
Palm Plantations

Large tracts of peat lands around the coastal city of Dumai facing Singapore have caught fire, leading to the smog, according to The Straits Times, which cited Indonesian officials. Farmers are also burning plantations to clear land for the next sowing season, the report said. Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil.

“For too long, commercial interests in Indonesia have been allowed to over-ride environmental concerns,” Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, said in a Facebook post yesterday.

In a separate post today, Balakrishnan asked Indonesia’s Minister of Environment Balthasar Kambuaya to name the companies responsible for the fires and to publish maps of land ownership. “The combination of satellite photos, which are updated daily, and these concession maps would enable us to pinpoint the errant companies,” he added.

Singapore’s manpower ministry yesterday issued an advisory urging employers to minimize strenuous work outdoors.

At least 138 hot spots were detected over Sumatra, with hazy conditions expected to persist for the next few days, the NEA said yesterday. The fires typically occur during a dry season for the region from June to September, it said.

Pasir Gudang in Malaysia’s Johor recorded the highest reading of 148, according to the environment department’s 5 p.m. report today. Three of the four areas in Johor indicated levels above 100.

Lynn Lee Contempt of Court? No

Clearly guilty of contempt of court would be Shane Todd’s parents rather than Lynn Lee the filmmaker who made the video that 2 SMRT bus drivers were supposedly beaten during police interrogation. Shane Todd’s parents, in their denial and warped conspiracy theory that the US, China and Singapore governments were in collusion and covering up the murder of their son by PRC assassins, said outrightly that the court was corrupt. I don’t remember Lynn Lee doing or saying of anything of that sort.

Lynn Lee is merely guilty of advocating the SMRT strike cause. She knew the strike was illegal and once she heard about the plight of the drivers regardless if she believed it or not, realised that it was a good story and opportunity to give the drivers their point of view and accounts of police abuse in a video.  Which is all fine as it is merely pushing across a different perspective.

She worked with Jolovan Wham and others in lobbying for the SMRT strike drivers – HOME, TWC2, SDP altogether championed a lost cause as the strike was illegal and nobody wanted to support foreigners in the xenophobic climate in Singapore now. Idealistic in views, opportunistic in telling stories, but not contempt of court. The court warning to her is merely hot air, albeit she would be more careful of making similar videos in future. Who wouldn’t?

AGC sends warning to filmmaker for contempt of court

SINGAPORE: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has sent a warning to filmmaker Lee Seng Lynn, for posting online videos which contained allegations made by ex-SMRT bus drivers.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the AGC said it has issued a letter of warning to Ms Lee through her lawyer, for having committed sub judice contempt of court.

In January 2013, she had made public videos of interviews with two ex-SMRT drivers from China, who were charged with instigating other SMRT bus drivers to join the November 2012 illegal strike.

In the video, the two drivers, He Junling, 32, and Liu Xiang Ying, 33, had alleged that they were physically abused and threatened by their interrogators when in police custody sometime after the strike.

AGC said at the time of publication, Ms Lee was aware that criminal proceedings against He and Liu, as well as two other ex-drivers from China, Gao Yue Qiang and Wang Xianjie, were pending.

The criminal proceedings against the former bus drivers ended in February.

AGC said it has completed its review of Ms Lee’s conduct and found that her conduct created “a real risk of prejudice to the criminal proceedings pending then”.

It added that such conduct “can obstruct the determination of the truth or erode respect for our judicial institutions”.

This, it said, would in turn harm the public interest in the proper administration of justice.

But AGC is of the view that a warning is sufficient in this case, rather than court action against her for contempt of court.

Separately, the AGC said it is aware of remarks made by the family of the late Mr Shane Todd in relation to the coroner’s inquiry, which is currently in progress.

The AGC urged the public and the media not to make or report any statements “which could be construed as trying to improperly influence the decision of the coroner, or cast aspersions on the independence of this proceeding.”

The Limits of the Free Press and Media

Defamation laws are rightly there to limit the freedom of speech and protect reputation. Cyberbullying laws if they are ever enacted in Singapore and they should, are to limit people’s right to harass. Sexual harassment laws, I presume there are some in Singapore, are to redress sexually intimidating speech. The Sedition Act has become the law in Singapore to deal with hate crime,  limits what one can say about another’s race. The Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, is a law to limit what one can say about another religion.

What is the fine line between objectionable, inappropriate or insulting speech and threatening, intimidating or harassment speech is very subjective. Some victims are more thick-skinnned that others. Some offenders are smarter than others by packing hate speech as satire or parody, veiling harassment or hate with humour, sarcasm, mimicry or metaphor.

So in an obtuse nutshell, there are already many laws to deal with content in the Internet that harass or harm. Let the court deal with irresponsible and unlawful expression in the Internet. There is no need for the type of MDA licence of popular news sites that the government pulled out of his drawer.

The other question is whether the press should be “free” in Singapore? Yes it should be. There should be a WP-backed paper or station to compete with a PAP-backed media machinery, something like what is happening in other democracies like the UK where it is usually clear which paper supports Conservatives or Labour and readers can decide which biased view they want to read as the ultimate indisputable truth.

Which is same yet different right now in Singapore’s media. The situation now is that if one wants biased anti-PAP views, they can read content in the Internet. On the other hand if one wants biased pro-PAP views, they can read the ST. That is oddly proof of a free press already in Singapore considering that the Internet press has overtaken the papers. 

Free My Internet Blackout

The government already said bloggers would not need to apply for the licence, posting of a $50,000 performance bond and taking down of “objectionable” content within 24 hrs.


Symbolic and more showy than effective. Instead of continuing to voice opinions and allowing readers the choice to read and agree or disagree with the opinions on housing, transport, education and other policy imperfections, some bloggers decided to silence themselves and take a break. Playing into the government’s hands, this time the self-censorship is for a day, so the next time it is for a week, a month?


Web ‘blackout’ in Singapore
Published: 6 Jun 2013 at 11.49
Online news: Asia

SINGAPORE – Over 130 Singaporean bloggers blacked out their homepages Thursday in protest at new licencing rules for news websites they say will muzzle freedom of expression.

The 134 participants, including individual bloggers and community-based blogs, replaced their homepages with black screens featuring the words “#FreeMyInternet”, as well as the time and venue of a rally to be held Saturday. The 24-hour blackout was to last until midnight.

The protest comes after surprise regulations came into force on June 1 requiring news websites — including one operated by US-based Yahoo! — to obtain licences from the city-state’s official media regulator.

“This is not just a movement by socio-political blogs. The participating websites are from all genres from lifestyle and food, to technology,” said Choo Zheng Xi, a spokesman for the “Free My Internet” group that organised the protest.

“The diversity reflects an awareness that the new regulations can affect anyone because it has been framed so widely,” added Choo, the co-founder of popular political website The Online Citizen.

A rally will be held Saturday at a designated free-speech area, where police permits are not required.

Singapore’s media regulator, the Media Development Authority (MDA), and government leaders have sought to allay fears over the past week that the new rules were aimed at the feisty blogging community, pointing out that blogs were not considered news portals.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim on Tuesday dismissed claims by bloggers that the new rules would impinge on Internet freedom.

“I think the best way for people to see, after the licences are issued, is whether the activists are indeed limited in their public discourse,” he told the local media.

“I hope that the activists who are today making this far-fetched claim will be honest enough to admit it when the time comes.”

Bloggers participating in the Internet blackout insisted that the broad power of the new rules were indicative of the government’s intentions to require blogs to seek licencing in the future as well.

The new rules stipulate that websites which have at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore every month and publish at least one local news article per week over a period of two months must obtain an annual licence.

“Although the government would say that my fears are ‘far-fetched’ and that I am over-reacting, I’m not happy to ‘wait and see’,” Kirsten Han, a socio-political blogger, told AFP.

“I don’t want to leave it up to trust that they won’t make use of the catch-all definitions to extend the licensing regime to other websites and blogs in the future,” she said.

Predator Prof Tey Tsun Hang Jailed

Former NUS prof Tey Tsun Hang was found guilty sentenced to 5 month jail and he has appealed. Not sure if the courts still practices doubling the sentences if an appeal falls through. This law professor thought he could get away with it and he underestimated jealous students who whistleblew on him as such predator behaviour would eventually get exposed more so if it was not an isolated practice. Consensual though his relationship with his student, it was unethical and illegal as he abused his power for personal gain. He even sounded like a cheap mean fellow getting sex and other gifts from his victim, making her pay for aborting his baby, and then merely giving her a B.

Interesting that Tey, part of the establishment being a NUS lecturer and all, only got 5 months when the maximum jail sentence under the Prevention of Corruption Act is 5 years. He really got it lightly if the government was that hardline on anti-corruption and the recent sex scandals tarnishing the image of the government e.g. Peter Lim, and the political leadership e.g. Michael Palmer and Yaw Shin Leong.

Former SCDF chief Peter Lim was found guilty in a sex for contract scandal. Tey already set the benchmark of 5 months and let’s see if he gets a heavier sentence.

Singapore jails professor in sex-for-grades case

From: AFP

June 04, 2013 12:00AM

A LAW professor was sentenced to five months in jail in Singapore yesterday for obtaining sexual favours and gifts from a female student in exchange for better grades.

Former National University of Singapore (NUS) professor, Tey Tsun Hang will also pay a penalty for the gifts he had received, Judge Tan Siong Thye ruled.

Tey, who is married with a daughter, was found guilty last week of six charges of corruption over his relationship with his then-student Darinne Ko in 2010. Local media reported that she is now 23 and working in a law firm.

After the verdict, the NUS announced that it had terminated Tey’s employment.

Dressed in a white shirt and black tie, Tey folded his arms and mumbled to himself as the judge read out the grounds for sentencing.

He was handcuffed and led away by police officers after the court session ended.

Judge Tan said Tey “chose to be corrupt” and “exploited” his student, obtaining sexual favours and receiving gifts that included tailored shirts and a limited-edition pen.

Ko got pregnant during their affair and paid for her own abortion, the judge said.

“The corrupt actions of the accused were premeditated and carried out on several occasions. He clearly and systematically took advantage of his student,” the judge said.

“As an educator, he was in a position of trust and responsibility. He belonged to a public body that provided tertiary education to the people of Singapore,” he added.

Defence lawyer Peter Low filed an appeal immediately and Tey was granted bail at $120,000.