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The WEATHER on MONDAY (30 Sep 2002): Partly cloudy and hazy. Showers with thunder in the afternoon over northern, western and eastern Singapore.    WEATHER OUTLOOK:  TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: Hazy. Showers with thunder are expected.    WATER TIDES (this month)  High tide   5.07am  2.1m   3.37pm  2.4m      SUN Sunrise  6.52am    Sunset  6.58pm   MOON  Moonrise  12.58am   Moonset   1.30pm    PSI: 52 (moderate)   TEMPERATURE: 25-32 degrees Celsius (The weather is updated daily before 8am Singapore time) For more information, call Meteorological Service Singapore Tel: (65) 6542 7788.

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Monday with the Editor: Really open house at The Esplanade?


Hi everyone

Last weekend, I was at The Esplanade's Open House to take in the sights as well as shoot some pictures to show those of you here who have yet to pay a visit to the Durian - as The Esplanade is fondly known.

I am sorry to say that I have come home empty-handed! That's because I was stopped by The Esplanade's staff from taking pictures of the place.

But, I am quite sore about the whole thing - not because I was told not to take pictures in the place, but rather because others have been allowed to get away with taking pictures.

A lady was clicking away but nobody stopped her. When I started taking pictures, one chap came up to me to tell me, politely of course, that photography was not allowed. Could it be the colour of my skin? The lady was a Caucasian tourist. Or could it be that tourists received better treatment than locals?

Being a typical Singaporean, I admit I was easily peeved at the thought of being discriminated against. This chap explained that I couldn't take pictures there because there was a large piece of artwork which stretched across the whole foyer on the ground floor where we were standing.

When I pointed out that others were taking pictures too, he said that they were members of the media. But, frankly, that was a lame answer he had blurted out for that lady wasn't a member of the press. She was a tourist pure and simple! Another Caucasian, presumably her hubby, was with her.

I then asked if I could take pictures of other areas in The Esplanade and was told that only the media was allowed to do that. After I identified myself as being a member of the media, he said as a matter of factly that I still needed permission as well as an escort. 

Now, I start to wonder why on earth their management has chosen to declare Open House at The Esplanade. I am sure you will agree with me that the idea of Open House means you are very welcome to look around as well as take pictures of the place!

But when you splash the words Open House and then let your staff pick and choose who they can stop from taking pictures and who they should close an eye to, you risk getting the wrong message across.

Part of The Esplanade's Mission, according to their Web site, is that "We will set exceptional standards of service that will position us as a world leader." I think the management needs to sit down and think of a way to drill that message into the minds of their staff.

I came away from The Esplanade disgruntled. It was my first visit there and it has left a bad after-taste in me. 



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30 September 2002

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Monday's News


A Singapore researcher has developed a solution containing tiny peptides or chains of amino acids that prevent the receptors in hair follicles from coming into contact with hormones that cause them to fall. Dr LEE Chee Wee, the founder of privately funded home-grown biotech company Lynk Biotechnologies, said that the solution had been tested on more than 100 balding men who applied the lotion on their heads for 45 minutes a day for an average of two months. He claimed they had between 30 and 60 per cent of hair re-growth. (4)

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has said that the number of unwanted animals it has taken in dropped to 10,500 in the year ending June 2002, from more than 13,000 the year before. SPCA's Executive Officer Deirdre Moss said that the number of animals taken in by SPCA had hovered at 11,000 to 12,000 a year for the past decade, hitting a high of more than 13,000 in 2001. (H3) 



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Paris: With a record budget overrun of 6.1 billion euros (S$10.7 billion), France has decided that the health service will no longer reimburse some 900 of the 4,300 drugs prescribed by doctors. The reason: They have "little or no recognised medical effect", reported The Guardian. (6)



To assist you in tracing the above news articles in The Straits Times, we have provided the section and page numbers at the end of each news article. Therefore, (12): main section page 12; (S4): sports section page 4; (A10): asia section page 10; (L3): life section page 3.

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