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Tatt Giap shares rise as new substantial shareholder revealed
KUALA LUMPUR: Tatt Giap Group Bhd is one of the most active counters on Bursa Malaysia with shares up 4.65% in early trade Thursday. [...]
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Eddin: Malay language must rise to challenge posed by ICT era
Eddin said despite the challenges faced, the Malay language needed to grow and be strengthened in line with the development of science and technology. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon SEREMBAN, Nov 14 — In the era of information and communication technology (ICT), Bahasa Melayu or the Malay language faces various challenges to be the medium of instruction in national education and to compete with the English language.Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Eddin Syazlee Shith said this followed the widespread use of English in ICT around the world.“This is because internet, computer hardware and software, such as Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, were all founded by English speakers.“Furthermore, we are now in the fourth industrial revolution era that has led to the development of industrial technology and this challenge has to be welcomed by academicians to ensure that Malay language can adapt to its role in facing this challenge.”Eddin said this to reporters after opening a public lecture on the challenges faced by Malay language, at the Teacher Education Institute, Raja Melewar Campus (IPGKRM), here todayAlso present were deputy director-general (Policy) of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Datuk Abang Sallehuddin Abg Shokeran, IPGKRM director Dr Nizam Abd Latib and principal research fellow from the Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong.Eddin Syazlee said despite the challenges faced, the Malay language needed to grow and be strengthened in line with the development of science and technology.“As a language of knowledge, the Malay language should also have the ability to become a modern language of science, technology, economics, engineering, medicine and literature. It should also function as an academic language complete with the necessary adjustments, terms and vocabulary,” he added.Apart from that, the deputy minister said media practitioners should set an example to the community as well as foreigners by employing the correct usage of the language.“Avoid using ‘rojak’ language that will only destroy the Malay language,” he said.Eddin Syazlee also urged scientists at public and private universities as well as all educational agencies to increase the publication of scientific books in the Malay language as primary reference materials. — Bernama [...]
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Cases of Mysterious Polio-Like Illness Continue to Rise. And Experts Are Frustrated Over a Lack of Answers
A rare, polio-like illness continues to spread across the United States, puzzling and concerning health officials who are investigating the mysterious condition. So far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a total of 72 confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 24 states, including clusters in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Ninety percent of confirmed diagnoses were in children younger than 18, according to the CDC. The agency is investigating another 119 patients in connection with the disease, which causes symptoms including sudden arm and leg weakness, loss of muscle tone, facial weakness or drooping and difficulty swallowing or speaking. In severe cases, AFM can lead to paralysis, respiratory failure or even death. AFM is exceedingly rare, each year affecting less than one in a million people in the U.S., the CDC says. Nonetheless, the disease has been on the rise ever since an outbreak in 2014. Since then, diagnoses have spiked in alternating years: There were 120 confirmed cases in 2014, 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016 and 33 in 2017, according to CDC records. Officials have been investigating AFM since at least 2014, to little avail. It’s often not possible to determine what causes AFM, though it can follow infections from poliovirus and non-polio enteroviruses, West Nile virus and adenoviruses. Environmental toxins may also be to blame, the CDC says. “While we know that these can cause AFM, we have not been able to find a cause for the majority of these AFM cases,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a call with reporters earlier this month. “The reason why we don’t know about AFM — and I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts we haven’t been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness — we continue to investigate to better understand the clinical picture of AFM cases, risk factors and possible causes of the increase in cases.” Messonnier also said officials do not know who may be at heightened risk of AFM — though it does typically strike children — and “don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of AFM.” Some patients recover fully, while others have lasting health problems. The CDC’s investigation has drawn criticism from its own advisors, some of whom have said the agency is not doing enough to understand AFM and its causes. Dr. Kenneth Tyler, a professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, joined other CDC advisors, as well as parents of children with AFM, in airing his grievances with the agency to CNN. “This is the CDC’s job. This is what they’re supposed to do well,” Tyler told CNN. “And it’s a source of frustration to many of us that they’re apparently not doing these things.” In a statement provided to TIME, a CDC spokesperson said the agency continues to investigate AFM and is working closely with experts to understand the condition. The agency has so far determined that initial AFM symptoms are similar to those of most viral infections; that patients have tested negative for poliovirus; and that AFM is most prevalent in the late summer and fall. “While CDC has determined causes of some AFM cases, we don’t yet have a comprehensive understanding of most of the AFM cases we have investigated,” the statement says. “We don’t know what has been causing the outbreaks since 2014. We wish we knew more now and we’re working hard to find the cause or causes.” One source of frustration for some doctors, CNN reports, is that there is currently no requirement for reporting cases of AFM to the CDC, potentially making it difficult to understand the full scope and severity of the problem. On the call with reporters, however, Messonnier said she believes “the majority of cases are coming to our attention.” Other experts feel that enteroviruses are likely to blame for AFM, and should be paid more attention in treatment, prevention and testing. While the CDC has confirmed enteroviruses as the cause of the some cases of AFM, Messonnier said the evidence is not conclusive enough to call them the single cause of the outbreak. “For individual cases we are finding agents, but nothing that provides the unifying diagnosis that we expect to explain this disease,” Messonnier said. With so much unknown about AFM, treating and preventing the condition can be difficult. Nonetheless, Messonnier urged parents to follow normal disease-prevention practices. “As we work to better understand what is causing AFM, parents can help protect their children from serious diseases by following prevention steps like washing our hands, staying up to date on recommended vaccines and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites,” she said. [...]
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Rise in cigarette prices won't be too drastic, says Health Minister
KUALA LUMPUR: While cigarette prices will go up, it will not be so drastic as to make smokers turn to illicit cigarettes to satisfy their addiction, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. [...]
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Global rights campaigners warn of rise in activist murders
PARIS: More than 150 rights campaigners from around the world gathered in Paris on Monday, warning of a spike in the number of activists from Brazil to the Philippines being murdered for their work. Groups behind the Human Rights World Summit, including Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights, said at least 312 activists were murdered in 2017. This represents a doubling in the murder rate since 2015, they said in a statement on the first of three days of meetings in Paris, bringing together activists from 105 countries. "In nearly all cases those responsible have acted with total impunity," the statement added. Andrew Anderson, head of Front Line Defenders, a Dublin-based group which seeks to protect activists, said the numbers for 2018 were set to be "higher still". "In the countries where the largest number of human rights defenders are being killed — Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, the Philippines, Guatemala, Honduras — we can see that the numbers are already higher than they were last year," he added. "The level of threat and risk that these courageous human rights defenders face is quite horrendous." The conference is aimed at building ties between activists to develop strategies for fighting repression and discrimination over the next two decades. Some of the activists met French President Emmanuel Macron later Monday at the Elysee Palace. Attendees include Matthew Caruana Galizia, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter whose mother Daphne, a Maltese journalist and anti-corruption activist, was assassinated a year ago. Anielle Franco, whose sister Marielle — a Brazilian black rights activist murdered in March — is also taking part in the conference. — AFP [...]
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Jakim officer claims internet and boarding school reasons for rise in LGBT
Mohd Izwan said there was a rise in the LGBT community in recent years as Internet has become easily available. — AFP pic GEORGE TOWN, Oct 29 — Mohd Izwan Md Yusof from Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) today blamed the internet and boarding schools as part of the reason for the rise in the number of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT).He said there was a rise in the LGBT community in recent years as the internet has become easily available.“Youths now have easier access to the internet, social media and mobile apps on LGBT, they are watching videos they are not supposed to watch about LGBT,” said the social and community director.Mohd Izwan said parents should be more vigilant and monitor their children’s online activities especially when they are hiding in their rooms.“Parents should be more aware of their children’s activities because gay tendencies can be developed at a young age due to LGBT influences,” he said during a seminar on LGBT awareness at the Caring Society Complex here.He also blamed boarding schools as potential places for students to develop homosexual tendencies.“These same-sex boarding schools meant the students spend a lot of time with the same sex and they might be unaware of the inappropriate influences they are exposed to especially at a young age,” he said.He suggested that boarding schools be open only for students above 16 years old as at that age, they can differentiate between bad and good.Mohd Izwan warned the society against using derogatory terms against the LGBT groups such as “sotong” (Malay for cuttlefish).“We should stop calling them sotong, instead, we should take them in, talk to them and pray for them,” he said.Mohd Izwan said the use of such derogatory terms against the LGBT community might backfire and cause them to be more daring in promoting their lifestyle.He said homosexuality is a sin according to Islam but Muslims must not hate the LGBT community.“In Islam, we don’t support the LGBT lifestyle but we have to take a different approach to counsel them instead of hating them,” he said.He said the LGBT community should be counselled so that they can “go back to the right path”.He said Jakim has the “Mukhayyam” programme to rehabilitate those in the LGBT community.“We have helped 1,450 people under the programme where some have went on to get married, some have changed their dressing and some are practising control from going back to that lifestyle,” he said.Mohd Izwan had earlier revealed that there were 173,000 homosexuals in Malaysia back in 2013 but the numbers have almost doubled to 310,000 this year.“Studies have shown that the transgender population, consisting mostly of sex workers, is at about 30,000 this year compared to 10,000 in 1988,” he said.Another speaker at the seminar, Dr Janizah Abdul Ghani, claimed homosexuality between men have caused a spike in sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the country.The doctor, from Penang Health Department, said this included HIV cases.She claimed that 80 per cent of the homosexual patients who sought treatments for STD in hospitals used dating apps for homosexuals. [...]
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Rise, fall and suspense – bitcoin's wild first decade
LONDON: From its birth in an anonymous, academic style paper to one of the world's most volatile and closely watched financial instruments, bitcoin has lived through a tumultuous first 10 years. Here is a look back at some of the trials and tribulations of the world's most popular virtual currency as it stands on the brink of either mass market acceptance – or early retirement. Bitcoin 'Bible' Published on Oct 31, 2008 by a person or group writing under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the currency was introduced to an unsuspecting world in a nine-page paper called "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System". Nakamoto's objective: to create a system that can send payments "directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution". It was, in effect, a master plan for a global currency that could not be controlled by any central bank and could be accessed by anyone. 'Genesis block' The first 50 bitcoins were born at 1815 GMT on Jan 3, 2009. These were bunched into a single unit called a block, the first of which was appropriately called the "genesis block". From then on, every new block was attached to the one that came before it, creating what is today commonly known as a block chain. The first transaction between two accounts occurred nine days later, when Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 bitcoins to computer scientist Hal Finney as a test. 0.00076 dollars Bitcoin's first value was deduced on Oct 5, 2009 from its cost of production. At the time, the best way to get bitcoins was to "mine" them – essentially, use computers to solve difficult puzzles that release bitcoins from a block. The electricity costs – these operations involve massive banks of interconnected processors – were offset by bitcoin's real-world value. The puzzles get more difficult with the rise in the number of users, making their mining progressively more expensive. US$30 million pizza On May 22, 2010, a virtual currency developer in Florida named Laszlo Hanyecz got a pizza delivery man to accept 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas. It was the first known bitcoin payment, worth about US$41 at the time. Today, each of those pizzas would be worth in excess of US$30 million (RM125 million) in bitcoin. May 22 is now known as "Bitcoin Pizza Day". Nakomoto's vanishing act Nakamoto announced his, her or their withdrawal from the project on Dec 12, 2010, ceasing all bitcoin operations four months later. The identity and number of bitcoins owned by Nakamoto has remained a mystery since. Nakamoto briefly reappeared in an internet chat room in 2014, denying a Newsweek magazine article that claimed to unmask the creator's identity. Bankruptcy protection After malfunctioning for over two weeks, the main bitcoin exchange – based in Tokyo and known as Mt Gox – filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2014. Accounting for nearly 80% of all bitcoin operations, the exchange said it had been hacked, losing some US$477 million in crypto currencies. Its former chief, a Frenchman name Mark Karpeles, is still facing legal proceedings in Tokyo, where he was briefly placed under arrest. Karpeles has pleaded not guilty to embezzlement and data manipulation charges. Breakthrough Last year was a mercurial one for bitcoin, with the currency hitting glboal headlines after soaring in value from less than US$1,000 in January to US$19,511 on Dec 18 – its all-time high, according to Bloomberg data. The virtual bubble burst in the subsequent days, with bitcoin's value fluctuating wildly over the course of the following weeks. It is now worth about a third of its record value and is experiencing much more modest trade volumes and price swings, which analysts see as either a sign of maturity or the beginning of bitcoin's end. Suspense Bitcoin hopes its next breakthrough will come with approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of its own exchange-traded fund (ETF) – a security similar to a stock that would track bitcoin's value. ETFs are one of the most popular trading mechanisms and the SEC's green light would give bitcoin a massive boost, securing both its short-term future and reputation among giant investment funds. The SEC is currently reviewing several applications. It has balked so far, expressing concern about the risk of fraud. – AFP [...]
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Oil prices fall after US crude inventories rise
NEW YORK: Oil prices fell on Wednesday after U.S. crude inventories rose by much more than expected and exports fell, while the dollar added to gains after minutes showed Federal Reserve policy makers largely united on the need to raise borrowing costs further. [...]
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Nation state cyberattacks on rise, says Europol
Global ransomware attacks are increasingly linked to nation states, with the lines between politics and crime often blurring, Europe’s police agency said on Sept 18. [...]
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3 ways baking soda makes food rise and shine
If baking soda were a woman, she would make the perfect 1950s housewife – she cooks, she cleans, she gets rid of smells and excessive gas, she soothes bug bites and sunburned skin. But any man who thinks he can keep her in the kitchen to take care of the home had better watch out: The long-suffering baking soda wife who has had enough of her no-good domineering husband also has, in her nature, the ability do him serious harm! The bloke is well advised to sharpen up for a bubbly coupling with his missus. Baking soda is often billed as a wonder product. You’ll find “51 fantastic uses for baking soda”, “10 quick ways to improve your life with baking soda”, “11 amazing health benefits for using baking soda”, “Surprising uses for baking soda that have nothing to do with baking” and similar listicles all over the Internet. In terms of household cleaning and personal health, NaHCO3, aka sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda, is quite the workhorse. You’ll get through half-kilo bagfuls quite easily and will replenish often. In cooking, however, a little baking soda goes a long way. So, it’s important to get the balance right – too much will result in a soapy or bitter taste, and in baked goods, a coarse, open crumb. The good people at SeriousEats, the online authority on all things food, have several articles on the fascinating chemistry of baking soda. They’ve done tests on exactly how much baking soda to use to make gingersnap cookies with the best snap and flavour, and how to turn ordinary spaghetti into springy ramen noodles. It can be used to neutralise excess acidity in canned tomatoes, tenderise dried beans, produce crisper shrimp, and it helps cut down the time you need to spend at the stove watching your onions caramelise. The reddish-brown colour of devil’s food cake is caused by the reaction between baking soda and cocoa powder. Photo: Pixabay Baking soda, an alkali, when combined with an acidic ingredient – such as vinegar, citrus juice and buttermilk, but also items like chocolate, brown sugar and honey – reacts to release carbon dioxide gas. This causes doughs to rise and batters to expand, as well as gives that reddish-brown colour to devil’s food cake. The baked good that is probably best associated with baking soda is soda bread. It is often identified with the Irish, but according to the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread, it wasn’t invented in Ireland. The American Indians are said to have used pearl-ash or potash, a natural soda in wood ashes, as a leaven in their breads. As for the Irish, they use baking soda instead of yeast in their breads as the wheat that can grow in Ireland’s climate is a “soft” variety, which produces low-protein flour and doesn’t form gluten like traditional bread. A nondescript powder that packs a punch. The recipe for the spiced bread here was inspired by one made by Nadiya Hussain, arguably the most famous winner of The Great British Bake Off so far, on a TV show she later hosted. It contained five spices and she served it with a lentil curry. Star2 also recently featured a restaurant that serves a curry leaf-studded soda bread that was reminiscent of vadai. Yeast doesn’t play well with large amounts of spices (some kill it), so a soda bread is the perfect conveyor for this curry-inspired loaf. Among our recipes, you can see the chemistry of baking soda at work most distinctly in the honeycomb toffee – which also goes by, among other names, hokey pokey, foam candy and cinder toffee. But baking soda isn’t essential only as an ingredient inside baked goods. Before they are baked, pretzels are poached in a baking soda solution, and this is what gives them their brown, shiny crust (the Maillard reaction at work) and their distinctive flavour. One of our recipes here is for pretzel bites. They’re little lengths of dough so no need to faff about with the traditional knot, which sometimes comes undone in the boiling poaching liquid. Have some dhal curry with this savoury soda bread. SPICED POT SODA BREAD You can replace buttermilk with soured milk: For every 250ml of full-cream milk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and let set for 5 minutes. The loaf can also be baked on a baking tray. Keep an eye on it as it may brown faster. Use any mix of spices you like, such as cumin, coriander, fennel and cardamon. 250g all-purpose flour ½ tsp salt ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tbsp mixed curry spices large pinch of turmeric powder 200ml buttermilk Before starting on the dough, place a large Dutch oven or lidded stainless steel pot in a 230°C oven to heat up. Sift flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in spices and turmeric powder. Make a well in the centre and pour in three-quarters of the buttermilk. Bring the ingredients together. If there are still dry bits in the bowl, add a little more buttermilk. Once a soft rough ball forms, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough gently and fold it over itself. Repeat this for 10 seconds to form a smooth ball. Carefully take the hot pot out of the oven, take off the lid and dust the bottom of the inside with flour. Carefully drop the ball of dough into the pot and using a sharp knife, cut a large cross into the top of the loaf. Replace the lid of the pot and return to the oven. Bake the loaf for about 25 minutes, then take off the lid and bake for another 10 minutes until the top is brown. When cooked, the bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Best eaten warm. Crushed honeycomb toffee makes a crunchy ice cream topping. HONEYCOMB TOFFEE You need a large pot for this as the sugar mixture foams up once the baking soda is added to it. Use a pot with a light coloured interior surface, such as stainless steel, as it makes it easier to tell the colour of the caramelising sugar. The use of a candy thermometer is recommended. 200g caster sugar 60ml golden syrup 2 tbsp water ½ tbsp ba [...]
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Malaysia to rise into the right track: Dr Mahathir
KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is confident Malaysia will be able to move into right track after been deviated from its intended direction as the nation has successfully gone through many challenges. He said the matter was proven via the results of the 14th General Election (GE14) when the people throughout the country showed their capability to bounce back after being strayed from the track which had long been built before this. "Even though we have deviated very far in the last few years and the damage was huge and difficult to repair, we have no choice but to continue toiling to restore the situation. "Whether we want it or not, we need to repair the damage because if we admit defeat and allowed it to continue, we will lost our value as a free and sovereign nation. "This means we will allow those who betrayed our country to win. We cannot allow this to happen," he said when speaking at the 55th Malaysia Day celebration at Padang Merdeka here tonight. Also present were Sabah Yang Dipertua Negri Tun Dr Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife Toh Puan Norlidah RM Jasni, the Prime Minister's wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas and Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, who is also the 2018 Malaysia Day celebration chairman as well as federal and state cabinet ministers. Mahathir said the National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations this year is very meaningful as we are not only free from the colonisation of foreign powers but also free from the previous kleptocratic and oppressive government. "We have gone through the challenges in 1957 and 1963 successfully. We will also overcome the challenges of 2018, Insya-Allah. "This is our country. It is we who decide our fate. No other people can determine our fate. Rise and fight to achieve the objectives of our beloved country," he said. — Bernama [...]
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How millennials fuelled the rise of ‘hipster’ culture in Singapore
Sonia Lee, 20, an undergrad, says she might have a hipster’s preference in her choice of literature, favouring local authors and poetry as opposed to more mainstream authors. — TODAY pic SINGAPORE, Aug 12 — Chef Chen Siyuan, 31, counts watching films by American director Wes Anderson and listening to indie music by artists such as Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience as his hobbies. His taste in film and music has led some of his friends to call him a “hipster”.But he demurs at the tag. “You don’t really want to be labelled, that’s the irony (of a hipster) I guess,” added Chen.The rise of “hipster” culture in Singapore is unmistakable, with the term becoming a part of Singaporeans’ daily lexicon.From artisan cafes, yoga studios to fashion boutiques, the imported youth subculture seems to have found its spiritual home here, so much so that it has not been bogged down by its negative connotations. In fact, for some, being a hipster has become a status symbol, experts say.The rise of hipster enclaves in Singapore and the disamenities generated by them were in the spotlight recently. Last month, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) rezoned parts of the Tiong Bahru estate, following feedback from affected residents.TODAY had also reported about the unhappiness of some residents — especially the elderly — with the noise and the crowds, particularly during weekends, at other hipster enclaves in Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates including those at Everton Park and Jalan Besar.But what is the hipster culture? And why has it flourished here?Its roots have been traced by some experts to the United States in the late 1990s in Brooklyn, New York and Silver Lake, Los Angeles, said National University of Singapore sociologist Joshua Kurz.Those cities were extremely violent then, and the authorities introduced various measures to bring down the crime rate. But these efforts were deemed to have sterilised the cities and stripped the neighbourhoods of their street culture, leading to a pushback among youth to reclaim these spaces, said Dr Kurz.“Hipsters came as a response resurrecting the old, finding the new before anybody else does and turning it into the next hot, new cultural thing,” he explained.Later, businesses in the US started to market their products to this group of youths including stores selling vinyl records and brands such as lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters and clothing brand American Apparel. Haji Lane, one of the hangouts popular with the hipster crowd. — TODAY pic Experts broadly define it as a movement of individuals looking for originality, to be different and not conform to mainstream interests and lifestyles.“It refers to a millennial generation searching for authentic alternative lifestyles which they believe comes from a seemingly more innocent past before the internet and mass manufacturing,” said Assistant Professor Liew Kai Khiun of Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.It is unclear when the hipster culture first appeared in Singapore, but experts including Dr Kurz narrowed it down to some time around the 2000s.Part of the problem in determining the birth of the subculture here is the reluctance of people to identify themselves as part of a hipster culture — a paradoxical characteristic of hipsters anywhere in the world.Dr Kurz said: “Unlike another subculture like the punks, where those who identify themselves as one readily call themselves one, hipsters hate such label.”Some aspects of the hipster culture are also contradictory, said Sherman Tan, a PhD candidate at the Australian National University and visiting research scholar at the National University of Singapore (NUS).Tan co-authored a study in 2014 titled The Rise of “Hipster” Culture in Singapore: Spatial Transformation in Tiong Bahru.Noting that the unwillingness of hipsters to define themselves as such “gives us a clue to what being hipster is about”, Tan pointed out that some say hipsters have a peculiar aesthetic style — a look that is relaxed and unbothered.While this suggests that they are unbothered by social standing, it contradicts how the subculture is seen as a way for middle-class youths to distinguish themselves from their peers, Tan pointed out.In Singapore, people tend to put the label on others and rarely on themselves, he added.“That’s where you start hearing, ‘Eh, don’t be so hipster la’ among Singaporeans,” he said. “But there is an unacknowledged desire for difference and uniqueness (among hipsters), and it’s not a uniquely Singapore trend.”In the Singapore context, it is the clamour for a sense of identity among a large middle class, which has been around for some time, in a densely-populated city, said Tan.When old buildings gave way to new ones, Singaporeans also became anxious about its built heritage, and looked to preserve the aesthetics of the past — a common trait of hipster culture.The experts said the hipster culture could have been driven by the droves of Singaporeans returning home after studying overseas in the late 90s and early 2000s, and were drawn to businesses that seemed to cater to the hipster lifestyle.For example, after Forty Hands cafe set up its first outlet along Yong Siak Street in 2010, other indie stores such as book store BooksActually set up shop in the vicinity. Haji Lane soon became a hipster spot around 2013, with a string of indie fashion boutiques drawing a strong following among youths. Amir Mohamed, 19, says he would be seen as a hipster when it comes to his musical taste and career aspirations. — TODAY pic Who’s a hipster?“Trendy”, “different”, “cool”, “pretentious”, and “vintage” — these are some of the words which Singaporeans interviewed associate with the hipster culture.Most agreed that hipsters here are people who try to be different from the cro [...]
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