Saturday, 30 November 2013

What to eat for $2.50 and under

We gave ourselves a budget of $2.50 and below for every meal, and were left well-fed and pleasantly surprised.  With the increasing standard of living in this city, it is comforting to know that a tasty, substantial meal can still be had for no more than a few dollars. Those that made the cut are complete meals, a filling (sometimes healthy) plate of the best budget eats in Singapore. Read and eat on. 
What good, filling dishes can you get for $2.50 and under these days in Singapore? We worked our way around the island and found that eating well for cheap is still very possible

BAK CHOR MEE | Heong Huat Fishball Noodle, $2.50 | A humble bowl of noodles, in soup or tossed dry with minced meat and other ingredients, is one of the simplest hawker meals that one can find for $2.50. At Ghim Moh Market, Heong Huat Fishball Noodles serves a portion packed with ingredients and lots of bite. Choose from different types of noodles: mee pok, mee kia or kway teow. The dry noodles are evenly coated with sauce and come topped with fish cake, fish dumplings, minced meat and fish balls. Fried shallots and fried bits of lard add some sinful texture to the noodles. The accompanying soup is less salty than most we have tried. (Address: Block 20, Ghim Moh Road, #01-50, Ghim Moh Food Centre | Opening hours: Daily 5.30am-2pm)
BAK CHOR MEE

BLACK CARROT CAKE | Delicious Fried Carrot Cake, $2 | We were hoping to get a snack-sized portion at $2.50, but this is what we got: a filling portion of radish cake chunks well-tossed and covered with black sauce, big pieces of sweet omelette and fat beansprouts with their tails on. Score! (Address: Block 85, Redhill Lane, #01-33, Redhill Food Centre | Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-2pm)
BLACK CARROT CAKE

CHAR KWAY TEOW | Fried Kway Teow Fried Oyster, $2 | Not a massive plate, though this char kway teow (fried flat noodles) more than makes up for its size in flavour. It is an oily plate of sticky-sweet, dark, wok hei-laden kway teow, bulked up with chunks of egg, fat beansprouts, slices of fishcake, and – we weren’t expecting this – plenty of hum (blood cockles). Leave the vinegar-infused chilli sauce on the side – it mars the otherwise spot-on dish. (Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-08, Tiong Bahru Market | Opening hours: Daily 10am-10pm)
CHAR KWAY TEOW

WHITE CHICKEN RICE | Fook Seng Goldenhill Chicken Rice, $2 | This stall's regular plate of chicken rice ($2; premium, $3) comes with Hainanese-style white chicken that is slightly gamey in taste and texture. There is a mild sesame oil fragrance to the sticky rice, and the sourish spicy chilli sauce brings all the elements together beautifully. We think this is one of the best plates of chicken rice in Singapore, and feel lucky to be able to have it for such an affordable price. (Address: 37 Jalan Rumah Tinggi, #01-429 | Opening hours: Daily 9am-7pm)
WHITE CHICKEN RICE

ROAST CHICKEN RICE | 88 Chicken Rice, $2.50 | This is one of the stalls at Ghim Moh Food Centre that has long queues, and at $2.50 for a plate of roast chicken rice, we can see why. The portion is generous with a suitable meat-to-rice ration. The meat is succulent with a silky (albeit, a little oily) soy sauce coating. Expect fluffy, well-seasoned rice and vinegar-infused chilli that brings it all together. (Address: Block 20, Ghim Moh Road, #01-20, Ghim Moh Food Centre | Opening hours: Daily 10am-8pm)
ROAST CHICKEN RICE

CHWEE KUEH | Jian Bo Shui Kweh, eight pieces for $2.40 | This “water cake” (direct translation for chwee kueh) is topped with chye poh (Chinese dialect for preserved radish) that is sweet, nutty (we reckon it is in part because of the sesame seeds) and on the dry side (not a bad thing). The cake itself is soft and smooth, while the chilli is not overpowering, working beautifully into the salty and browned chye poh. (Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-05, Tiong Bahru Market | Opening hours: Daily 6.30am-11pm)
CHWEE KUEH

FISH MEAT NOODLES | Tom's Citizoom Minced Fish Noodle, $2.50 | Young hawker Tom Loo turns the bak chor mee (minced meat noodles) on its head and makes a fish version of it. His noodles, cooked to retain a slight bite, comes with fish balls, fish cake, crispy bits of fish and a fried fish dumpling. Find out how long it took Loo to perfect this well-portioned, affordably-priced bowl. (Address: 57 Lengkok Bahru, #01-489, Teck Huat Kee Coffeeshop | Opening hours: Tue-Sun 7.30am-3pm)
FISH MEAT NOODLES

HAINANESE CURRY RICE | Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice, $2.40 | A plate of pork belly rice for under $2.50? It exists. We ordered the smallest portion of plain rice (available at $0.50, $0.70 or $1), asked for the tau pok (beancurd, $0.50) and the pork belly ($1.40), and still walked out quite full. The servers gave two sauces – the starchy, slightly spicy curry sauce, and the mildly herbal dark sauce in which the tau pok was steeping. What a good, quick, flavourful meal. (Address: 229 Jalan Besar | Tel: 98261464 | Opening hours: 11am-3.30pm)
HAINANESE CURRY RICE

LAKSA | Sungei Road Laksa, $2 | This Jalan Besar stall’s headlining dish is one of the last few – if not the only – places in Singapore that still keeps its laksa gravy gently heated in an aluminium pot over charcoal fire. Some say this results in a smokier aroma, we reckon that the spread of charcoal results in an even heat. The laksa isn't visually impressive – it comes in a small bowl, with merely a few slices of fishcake, and isn't rich and creamy because there isn't much coconut milk. What it does have is a lovely fragrance and a generous amount of fresh hum (Chinese dialect for “blood cockles”). All of these for $2. (Address: 27 Jalan Berseh, #01-100, Jin Shui Kopitiam | Opening hours: 9am-6pm,except first & third Wednesdays of the month)
LAKSA

LOR MEE | Lor Mee 178 and Ma Bo Noodles, both $2.50 each | Even without the usual braised egg, and ngoh hiang (five-spiced minced meat rolled in beancurd skin), this stall's sticky, slurp-worthy dish helped put Tiong Bahru Market on the map. Although at $2.50, you won’t get the frittered nuggets of shark meat, the bowl of “braised noodles” (lor mee in Chinese dialect) is full of flavour, thanks, in part, to the add-on minced garlic topping. It is also crunchy in texture from the deep-fried batter, and hearty from its medium-thick, flat egg noodles. If you’re looking for the condiment-laden version, the most bang-for-the-buck dish we’ve found is at Ma Bo Lor Mee at ABC Brickworks Food Centre. For $2.50, you get a generous portion of noodles topped with ngoh hiang, fish cake, fish fritters, braised meat and a whole braised egg. Now if only the sauce was less cloying. (Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-58, Tiong Bahru Market | Opening hours: Daily 10am-10pm) and (Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-139, ABC Brickworks Food Centre | Opening hours: Daily 9am-8pm)
LOR MEE

NASI PADANG | Istimewa Nasi Padang, $2.50 | Yes, you have to tell the makcik (Malay for “Madam” or “auntie”) that you have only $2.50 to spend and risk holding up the line a little longer, but she will do her best to scramble for the most filling and varied plate. During our visit, she piled on the rice and gave an egg, a plump bergedil (fried potato patty), stir-fried green beans and milky, non-soggy (vegetables), less oily than most sayur lodeh (vegetables stewed in coconut milk curry). With so much flavour, we didn't mind that the plate was vegetarian, nor did we mind the food coma that came later in the afternoon. (Address: 28 Hoy Fatt Road, #01- 24, Stall 3  | Tel: 96301272 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-3pm, or until they run out)
NASI PADANG

PRAWN NOODLES | Prawn Noodles/Laksa/Yong Tau Foo, $2.20 | It’s the prawn noodles soup you want: the sweet, dark soup is almost herbal, a little peppery, warm. Pictured above is the smallest size. The $3 version is considerably bigger, served in a melamine bowl. Our order holds just-cooked noodles in a styrofoam bowl, topped with three pieces of halved-prawns, lots of fish cake and a small handful of fried onions. The broth tastes like a much sweeter, more rounded bak kut teh (pork ribs and spices soup) without the pork ribs and with less pepper. (Address: #B1-08 Comcentre Cafeteria, 31 Exeter Road, Comcentre | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-2pm or until sold out)
PRAWN NOODLES

ROTI PRATA | Sin Ming Roti Prata, two pieces for $1.80 | You could have the coin prata at six pieces for $3.50, though the regular prata is equally good, and not just for our story's cheaper constraints. The dough used is the same. For the regular prata, the sweet-salty-buttery dough is fluffier inside, but equally chewy, and crisp on the outside. Bonus points for being one of our Hawker Heroes. (Address: 24 Sin Ming Road, #01-51 Jin Fa Kopitiam | Tel: 64533893 | Opening hours: Daily 6.30am-6.30pm)
ROTI PRATA

TEOCHEW PORRIDGE | Shi Le Yuan Teochew Porridge, $2.50 | You have to be specific with the stallholders when you order: the porridge or rice ($0.30 per portion), stewed peanuts ($0.50), regular vegetables ($0.70), and meat ($1) shouldn’t bust your budget. We accidentally picked the daily vegetable special of broccoli with goji berries ($1), so we busted our budget by 20 cents, but the meat – minced pork with fermented beans – was just what the constraints and the non-watery porridge needed. For $2.50, we were able to tuck into a myriad of flavours and textures that were further accented by the chilli sauce, fermented beans and garlic-chilli-vinegar sauce. This did not leave us too full to resume work, too. (Address: Blk 85 Redhill Lane, #01-41, Redhill Food Centre | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-2pm)
TEOCHEW PORRIDGE

THOSAI | Heaven's Indian Curry, $2 | Heaven’s is famous for serving the rare South Indian snack putu mayam (vermicelli served with grated coconut and sugar), although for a more filling meal, the thosai (crispy pancake) is our choice. For $2 you get not one, but two pancakes served with sambhar (lentil curry) and tomato chutney. The thosai is not as ghee-laden as those served in Little India’s many eateries; this is a lighter and less-crisp version, mimicking the kind made in South Indian homes. The sambhar is perfectly spiced and well-balanced in flavour. Although we did miss the coconut chutney (usually served with thosai), at these prices, it was more than we could ask for. (Address: Block 20, Ghim Moh Raod, #01-20, Ghim Moh Food Centre | Tel: 94290431 | Opening hours: Daily 6am-2pm) 
THOSAI

VEGETARIAN INDIAN FOOD | Annalakshmi Janatha (Central Square) and Annalakshmi Janatha (Amoy St), $2.50 | "Annalaskhmi" is the goddess of plenty and these restaurants run by the ethos atithidevo bhav (Sanskrit for "the guest is God"); the guest is therefore welcome to pay as much as they wish or are able to do so at this social enterprise. The generous restaurants serve North and South Indian homecooked dishes via a menu and a rotating buffet counter. This restaurant group with two locations under its belt was named one of our top 52 best buffets in Singapore, but of course, please pay them more than $2.50 if you are taking the all-you-can-eat buffet. It's only good karma. (Address: 20 Havelock Road, #01-04, Central Square | Tel: 63399993 | Opening Hours: Daily 11am-3pm, 6-9.30pm) and (Address: 104 Amoy Street, #01-01 | Tel: 62230809 | Opening Hours: Mon 6-10pm; Tue-Sun 11am-10pm)
VEGETARIAN INDIAN FOOD

WANTON NOODLES | Wanton/Chicken Noodles, $2.50 | Formerly Hong Ji Mian Shi Jia at Telok Blangah Crescent Hawker Centre, we’re glad this wantan (pork dumpling) noodles specialist made the move to the centre of the city. The best part of this meal – apart from the price – are the glistening nodle strands that are cooked to a bouncy bite and the very savoury chilli-spiked sauce in which they swim. The side bowl of sweet and mild soup gives off an essence of ikan bilis (fried anchovies), and is the base to the dumplings which are the size of big buttons – both sideshows to the amazing noodles. (Address: #B1-05, Comcentre Cafeteria, 31 Exeter Road, Comcentre | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-2pm or until sold out)
WANTON NOODLES

YONG TAU FOO | Zhen Ji Yong Tau Foo, $2.40 | This is one of our most treasured finds: pick any six items, including the noodles or rice, and each item is 40 cents. Of the minimum of five pieces you have to order (excluding the noodles or rice), one can be substituted for more noodles, if you’re really that hungry. We asked for the soup version; the sweet, light broth is made by simmering soy beans which, incidentally, are also served to the customer. (Address: #02-66, Tiong Bahru Market, 30 Seng Poh Road)
YONG TAU FOO

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Friday, 29 November 2013

Big Brother is watching you

Pervasive Surveillance Under Obama


Under the rubric of cybersecurity, the Obama administration is moving forward with a Bush regime program to screen state computer traffic on private-sector networks, including those connecting people to the Internet, The Washington Post revealed July 3

That project, code-named “Einstein,” may very well be related to the much-larger, ongoing and highly illegal National Security Agency (NSA) communications intercept program known as “Stellar Wind,” disclosed in 2005 by The New York Times.

There are several components to Stellar Wind, one of which is a massive data-mining project run by the agency. As USA Today revealed in 2006, the “National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.”

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Ever wondered if ‘Big Brother’ is spying on you too?

Krishna Rajagopal, founder and CEO of Akati Consulting, said there are evidence of the government spying on its citizens.
Krishna Rajagopal, founder and CEO of Akati Consulting, said there are evidence of the government spying on its citizens

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Forget Edward Snowden’s revelations on the US spy scandal, Malaysians who have always feared being watched too closely by their government should know their insecurities are not unfounded, a local cybersecurity expert and lawyer have warned.

It is true that “Big Brother” is watching even in Malaysia, Akati Consulting founder and chief executive officer Krishna Rajagopal said, citing evidence he said clearly shows that the Malaysian government has been collecting and keeping the personal data of its citizens, or in other words, “spying”.

“We have intelligence reports of data collecting servers that were placed in Malaysia and are still active in Malaysia, spying servers, Big Brother servers.

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Singapore an advanced surveillance state, but citizens don’t mind

cctv

Leaks of top secret documents by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has exposed Singapore as a key “third party” providing five countries, including the United States and Australia, secret access to Malaysia’s communications data.

This is done by way of Singapore intelligence tapping on the SEA-ME-WE-3 internet cable which runs from Japan to Singapore, Djibouti, Suez, and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany. SingTel, Singapore’s largest telco which has close relations to the government, allegedly facilitated providing access to the cable. Malaysia and Indonesia are said to be key targets for Australian and Singaporean intelligence.

However, the news, which suggests that the state has the resources to spy on its own citizens, got little traction within the country. Revealed in August, the pageviews only snowballed recently, and even so, it garnered a weaker reaction than the entrance of extra-marital dating site Ashley Madison into Singapore, a move which sparked an outcry among conservative Singaporeans.


Singapore does not comment on intelligence matters: Shanmugam


Singapore’s relations with its Southeast Asian neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia shouldn’t be damaged by recent spying allegations, Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said.

“The Indonesians and Malaysians know we won’t do anything to harm their interests,” Shanmugam said at an event today in Singapore. “Nevertheless, there’s such a thing as domestic politics in all three countries.”

Malaysia summoned Singapore’s high commissioner earlier this week and said it was “extremely concerned” about claims of spying by the city state. Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and U.S. intelligence cooperation since the 1970s, facilitated in part by Singapore, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Nov. 25, citing documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

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Malaysia will not retaliate against S'pore over spy claims

Malaysia does not intend to retaliate against Singapore following claims that the island nation had a hand in helping the United States to spy on the country.

“We could also think of ways to do the same, but we won’t and should not do this,” said Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek after officiating at the 11th Malaysia International Conference on Communications at a hotel here.

He added that the government was still determining if there were indeed breaches in security and if there was proof, it would lodge a strong protest with the US.

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Full coverage:
Straits Time:Neighbours know Singapore will not harm their interests: Shanmugam
Jakarta Post: Malaysia does not intend to retaliate against Spore following claims
NEWS.GNOM.ES: Spore Says Spying Reports Won't Hurt Ties With its Neighbors
Malaysiandigest.com: Singapore Says 'No Harm Intended'
The Malay Mail Online: Shabery: Malaysia will not help US spy on Singapore
ZDNet: Malaysia: We can protect classified data


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New Snowden leaks reveal US, Australia's Asian allies

Edward Snowden: The outrage won't stop spying, experts say.
Edward Snowden: New leaks have revealed the involvement of Australia in the interception of global satellite communications. Photo: Reuters

Singapore and South Korea are playing key roles helping the United States and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia, according to top secret documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. New details have also been revealed about the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in the interception of global satellite communications.

A top secret United States National Security Agency map shows that the US and its “Five Eyes” intelligence partners tap high speed fibre optic cables at 20 locations worldwide. The interception operation involves cooperation with local governments and telecommunications companies or else through “covert, clandestine” operations.

The undersea cable interception operations are part of a global web that in the words of another leaked NSA planning document enables the “Five Eyes” partners – the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - to trace “anyone, anywhere, anytime” in what is described as “the golden age” signals intelligence.

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Australian spies in global deal to tap undersea cables

The unseen paths of the world's information.
Underwater paths of the world's information

The nation's electronic espionage agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, is in a partnership with British, American and Singaporean intelligence agencies to tap undersea fibre optic telecommunications cables that link Asia, the Middle East and Europe and carry much of Australia's international phone and internet traffic.

Secret information disclosed by United States intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed that the British Government Communications Headquarters is collecting all data transmitted to and from the United Kingdom and Northern Europe via the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable that runs from Japan, via Singapore, Djibouti, Suez and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany.

Australia is connected to SEA-ME-WE-3 by a link from Singapore to Perth, and GCHQ's bulk interception includes much of Australia's telecommunications and internet traffic with Europe.

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S'pore reportedly linked to undersea cable spying

seaweme3

The news follows the recent disclosure of top secret government documents by United States intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, which revealed an interception program by the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) code named Tempora. This allegedly involved harvesting of data, e-mails, instant messages, calls, passwords and etc, entering and exiting Britain via undersea fiber optic cables

Snowden had reportedly also claimed the U.S.'s National Security Agency (NSA) had hacked major Chinese telcos and Internet submarine cable giant Pacnet

Fairfax Media, which owns the SMH, also published a controversial report in 2010 on U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks, part of which questioned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's political performance.

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New Snowden leaks reveal Singapore secretly helping US and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia
The Age, 24 Nov 2013
Singapore and South Korea are playing key roles helping the United States and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia, according to top secret documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. New details have also been revealed about the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in the interception of global satellite communications.

A top secret United States National Security Agency map shows that the US and its “Five Eyes” intelligence partners tap high speed fibre optic cables at 20 locations worldwide. The interception operation involves cooperation with local governments and telecommunications companies or else through “covert, clandestine” operations.

The map confirms that Singapore, one of the world's most significant telecommunications hubs, is a key “third party” working with the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners. Full story

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No need to spy, Malaysia ready to share relevant intelligence, minister tells S'pore, US


Malaysia Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right)

SERDANG, Malaysia - Malaysian is ready to share any relevant intelligence with Singapore and there is no need for the island state to spy on the country, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Tuesday.

"In principle, no other country should be trying to obtains the secrets of another nation," he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid was responding to foreign news reports that Singapore was helping the United States in its global spying activities. He said Malaysia had already sent a protest note earlier to the US.

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Singapore must furnish proof it’s not involved in spying on Malaysia

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Singapore needs to furnish proof that it is not involved in spying activites. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Singapore needs to furnish proof that it is not involved in spying activites. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Singapore must submit proof and clear information if the allegation that it is involved in spying activities on Malaysia is not true.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government took a serious view on the allegation as Singapore was the closest neighbour and had close ties with Malaysia.

“Whatever information that we have, anything that concerns espionage that is mentioned by anyone related to our country is something that we don't take lightly. “If Singapore says that this is not true, then it must provide us with information to refute the allegation and the proof that it is not true,”

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Malaysia investigates fresh spying allegations


News agency Bernama cited an online news portal, which reported that secret documents leaked by American whistleblower Edward Snowden had revealed that Singapore had aided an intelligence group that allegedly spied on Malaysia.

A statement by its foreign affairs ministry said the Malaysian government is extremely concerned about the reports. The ministry statement said it will call in Singapore's High Commissioner on Tuesday to seek clarification. Malaysian authorities said they have already taken action, with regards to earlier allegations of spying by the US and Australia.

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Wisma Putra summons Singapore envoy as spy claims escalate


According to Fairfax, Malaysia and Indonesia had been key targets for both Australian and Singaporean intelligence even since the 1970s, since most of Indonesia’s telecommunications and Internet traffic goes through the island city-state

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Singapore High Commissioner Ong Keng Yong will be called in today to clarify allegations that the island republic is aiding the United States in spying on Malaysia.

Describing Singapore as a “good friend and neighbour”, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman denounced the latest revelations by US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden implicating the island republic, saying that if they are proven to be true, it is a “serious matter that the government of Malaysia strongly rejects and abhors”.

“It cannot be over-emphasised that spying against a good friend and neighbour is unacceptable and goes against the true spirit of and commitment to good neighbourly relations,” Anifah said in a statement sent late last night.

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Malaysia Summons Singapore Envoy as Spying Claims Widen

Singapore's PM Lee Hsien Loong & Malaysia's PM Najib Razak
Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore's prime minister, and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak shake hands in front of Malaysia's landmark Putra Mosque in Putrajaya. Source: Government House/AFP/Getty Images

Malaysia summoned Singapore’s high commissioner today to respond to allegations of spying which risk damaging improved political and business ties between the Southeast Asian neighbors.

Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and U.S. intelligence cooperation since the 1970s, facilitated in part by Singapore, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday, citing documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Malaysia’s foreign ministry said it was “extremely concerned” and had already acted against earlier claims of espionage by the U.S. and Australia.

“It cannot be overemphasized that spying against a good friend and neighbor is unacceptable and goes against the true spirit of and commitment to good neighborly relations,” Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s foreign minister, said in an e-mailed statement before this morning’s meeting. “If those allegations are eventually proven, it is certainly a serious matter.”

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Top-secret exposé: Singapore helping US spy on Malaysia


A map originally published by Germany magazine Der Spiegel and sighted by Fairfax, showed 90 electronic surveillance facilities worldwide, including in US embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Yangon

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — Neighbouring Singapore is a key partner of the “5-Eyes” intelligence group which was revealed to have tapped telephones and monitored communications networks in Kuala Lumpur, according to more top secret documents leaked by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In a report by Australian media group Fairfax Media today quoting Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, it was revealed that Singapore is a key “third party” providing the ring — made of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — access to Malaysia’s communications channel.

Singapore was included in a map published by NRC, which showed the US’ stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels through interception facilities on the US’ West coast, Hawaii and Guam.

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S'pore high commissioner meets M'sian official amid spying allegations




A view of the causeway bordering Malaysia's southern state of Johor Bahru and Singapore on Nov 26, 2013.

The Singapore High Commission has denied knowledge of helping the US spy on Malaysia and said it has no interest in harming the friendship between the city-state and its neighbour.

Singapore's High Commissioner Ong Keng Yong, who was summoned by Malaysia's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, has explained to ministry officials that he does not have information about allegations in Australian media that the city-state had helped facilitate US-Australian surveillance in the region, which included spying on Malaysia.

Read also:
» No need to spy, Malaysia ready to share relevant intelligence, minister tells Singapore, US
»
Malaysia summons Singapore envoy over spying report

» Spying spotlight now on Singapore

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Ong: We have no interest to harm our partners

Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Ong Keng Yong met Othman Hashim, the secretary-general of Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry this morning (26 Nov), to clarify allegations that Singapore spied on Malaysia.

Speaking to CNA, Mr Ong said he was unable to comment on the allegations because he does not have any specific information.

He said he has referred the media reports to the relevant agencies in Singapore.

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SG HIGH COMMISSIONER TO M'SIA: WE HAVE EXCELLENT BILATERAL TIES DESPITE ALLEGATIONS OF SPYING



After allegations that Singapore has been spying on Malaysia surfaced recently, Ong Keng Yong, Singapore’s high commissioner to Malaysia, said that the two countries have an excellent bilateral relationship and that Singapore has no intention to harm its neighbours or the relations we have with them.

Mr Ong said that Singapore and Malaysia work closely together on many issues where we have common interests. He met with the Secretary-General of Malaysia’s ministry of foreign affairs, Othman Hashim, to clarify some allegations.

Meanwhile, Mr Ong declined to comment on the issue to media saying that all the relevant public information is available in media reports made by the relevant agencies in Singapore.

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Malaysia summons Singapore envoy over spying report


According to reports, Singapore's High Commissioner, Mr Ong Keng Yong (right), will be called in by Malaysia to seek a clarification over reports that allege Singapore is involved in spying activities against Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia summoned the high commissioner from neighbouring Singapore on Tuesday over a media report that said the city-state helped facilitate US-Australian surveillance in the region.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had already summoned the heads of the US and Australian missions earlier in November in protest over reports that a vast US-led surveillance network included a listening post in America's Malaysian embassy.

Malaysia is "extremely concerned" about the Singapore report, foreign minister Anifah Aman said in a statement. "If those allegations are eventually proven, it is certainly a serious matter that the Government of Malaysia strongly rejects and abhors," he said.

related: Spying spotlight now on Singapore

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KL summons SG envoy over alleged spying against M’sia


Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ong Keng Yong

Kuala Lumpur (KL) summoned the High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia, Ong Keng Yong, today (26 Nov) to respond to allegations of spying activities by Singapore against Malaysia.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Singapore’s High Commissioner had confirmed by phone that he had been called to meet Malaysian senior foreign ministry officials this morning.

In a press statement released yesterday (25 Nov), KL said it is extremely concerned about reports of alleged spying by a number of countries on Malaysia.

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Malaysia summons Singapore envoy over spying report

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia summoned the high commissioner from Singapore on Tuesday over a media report that said the city-state helped facilitate US-Australian surveillance in the region.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had already summoned the heads of the US and Australian missions earlier in November in protest over reports that a vast US-led surveillance network included a listening post in America's Malaysian embassy.

Malaysia is "extremely concerned" about the Singapore report, foreign minister Anifah Aman said in a statement. "If those allegations are eventually proven, it is certainly a serious matter that the government of Malaysia strongly rejects and abhors," he said,


Money changed hands over Pulau Batu Puteh, claims ex-CID chief

Money changed hands over Pulau Batu Puteh, claims ex-CID chief


Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim today revealed that money changed hands, which led to Malaysia losing its claim on Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore in 2007.

That revelation was made in Mat Zain's 31-page statutory declaration sent to the Prime Minister's Office on October 9.

"In the accompanying letter to the Prime Minister, I urged him to focus on paragraph 54 (e),(f) and (g) of the SD , which revealed the wrongdoings of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who handled the Pulau Batu Puteh case.

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INDONESIA DEMANDS EXPLANATIONS FROM SG AMBASSADOR AS SPYING CONCERNS WIDEN


Singapore’s ambassador to Indonesia, Anil Kumar Nayar has been summoned by Indonesia to clarify allegations that Singapore assisted US and Australia to spy on the region

South Korea was also implicated and a meeting is to take place between the ambassadors of Singapore and South Korea as well as the foreign ministry of Indonesia.

It is understood that the order had come down from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. President Yudhoyono had described both Singapore and South Korea as friends but also acknowledged that the meeting was simply to clarify concerns as there has not been any specific mention that the spying operations were targeted at Indonesia.

It was cited that the foreign affairs ministry had already handled the situation to express Malaysia’s disapproval over the issues.

related: Indonesia spying scandal: SBY says Abbott has agreed to start new relationship

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Indonesians protest at Australia war memorial over spying

Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in front of the Australian embassy in Jakarta

JAKARTA - Hundreds of Indonesians protested at an Australian war memorial on Borneo island Wednesday, in the latest show of anger over allegations of spying that have sparked a diplomatic crisis.

The continued public fury came despite an easing of tensions between the leaders of Australia and Indonesia, who have pledged to rebuild ties following the worst breakdown in relations for years.

In Balikpapan on Borneo, some 500 demonstrators from the nationalist Red and White Front expressed outrage at the claims Australian spies targeted the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and ministers in 2009.

related:
Yudhoyono slams Australia over phone-tapping
Anti-Australia protests in Indonesia as ex-spy chief hits out | Asia
Anti-Australia demo in Indonesia over spying row | Asia News
Indonesia protests to Korea over alleged US spying role

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Indonesia protests to Korea over alleged US spying role


Anti-Australia protesters burn Australian flags during a rally in front of the Australian embassy location in Malang, East Java, on November 22, 2013

Indonesia has lodged a protest against South Korea's alleged support of US interception of undersea telecommunications channels across Asia, Seoul's Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday.

Jakarta's Vice Foreign Minister Wardana called in Seoul's ambassador Kim Young-sun on Tuesday at the instruction of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

That was apparently to verify news reports that South Korea and Singapore are key "third parties" helping what is called the "Five Eyes" partners ― the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand ― tap high-speed fiber optic cables at 20 locations worldwide. The reports cited a secret US National Security Agency map leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

related:
Indonesia steps up threats in Australia row
Indonesians burn Australian flags over spying reports
Australia PM seeks security dialogue with Indonesia after spy row
Indonesia police guarantee safety for Aussie tourists
Discipline of Kopassus in question

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No Real Friends

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was upset when it was revealed that Australia had listened in on his telephone calls.

He ordered military and people-smuggling cooperation with Australia to be frozen and down-graded relations with Australia.

Both Mr Yudhoyono and Minister for Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa have explicitly denied that Indonesia taps the telephone calls of its "friends", describing such behaviour as illegal and immoral.

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Just Say Sorry And Move On

Fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden has been causing consternation for many countries with his revelations of spying by the U.S government. This time is Singapore’s turn.

Reports published in the Australian newspaper, Sydney Morning Herald, said that Singapore and South Korea had played key roles in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network involving the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Singapore was especially singled out as it is a major telecommunications hub, so we are a very important link in the surveillance network. Naturally, our neighbors are pissed at us for spying on them with Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ong Keng Yong, been summoned to the Malaysian Foreign Ministry.

In other news, the sky is blue and water is wet.

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Malaysia asks Singapore Ambassador to come lim teh


For those whom do not understand the Singaporean jargon, the title means summoning our Singapore ambassador to the office for discussion on certain issues

Which certain issue is the recent allegations that Singapore is assisting the "Five Eyes" nations to spy on our fellow neighbours. Also Indonesia is also seeking a "Lim teh" session as well. Recently Australia also have been on the blunt end of scrutiny for being accused of helping the US to spy on Indonesia.

Such allegations are very serious and it breaches the trust between neighbours and relationships. Hopefully everybody including the US will behave.

Probably they have not learnt of the Singapore Army's 8th Core Value: You can do anything but don't get caught.

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Shedding light on MINDEF's Security & Intelligence Division

Recent media reports about Singapore's alleged assistance to the Five Eyes group of nations have created a stir in the region, with Singapore's diplomats summoned by Malaysia and Indonesia.

The reports also highlight the specific involvement of the Security and Intelligence Division (SID). Many Singaporeans are aware of the Internal Security Department (ISD), due to the Internal Security Act, it's questionable activities against political opponents and the infamous escape of Mas Selamat from its detention centre.

The SID, on the other hand, has been virtually unknown by almost all Singaporeans. Even older than the ISD, it has existed since 1966, and is Singapore's external intelligence agency. In other words, it spies on other countries.

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