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Daily round-up, Sep 28: False bomb threat on SIA flight; Teong Tzen Wei third TeamSG swimmer to admit to taking drugs overseas

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Let’s get you up to speed with the day’s stories.

A 37-year-old man on a Singapore Airlines flight has been arrested after he allegedly assaulted cabin crew and claimed he had a bomb in his carry-on bag, the police said on Wednesday (Sep 28).

Police were alerted to the alleged bomb threat on board flight SQ33 from San Francisco to Singapore at 2.40am on Wednesday. The man was restrained by the crew, and police subsequently arrested him for making false threats of terrorist acts and for suspected consumption of controlled drugs.

The plane landed safely at Changi Airport at about 5.50am, under the escort of Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16C/D fighter jets.

The bomb threat was subsequently verified to be false.

Here’s a timeline of what happened on the flight. 

For a month beginning Oct 1, Sport Singapore will suspend all support for national swimmers Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim and Teong Tzen Wei after they admitted to having taken controlled drugs overseas.

The three carded athletes will not receive training assistance grants or have access to sports science and sports medicine facilities and services during that period. 

This is the first time Teong was named in connection with the drug-related offences. As a spexScholar, he will also have his scholarship benefits withdrawn for one month.

SportSG noted that the athletes had tested negative for controlled drugs while under investigation by the Central Narcotics Bureau for drug-related offences, but admitted to drug use while being TeamSG athletes. 

Schooling, Lim and Teong have been issued with letters of warning.

Malaysia and Thailand have launched initiatives to attract foreigners to live and invest in their countries to give their economies a boost.

Malaysia launched a new premium visa programme (PVIP), while Thailand introduced a long-term resident visa for not only highly skilled talents or remote workers, but also wealthy retirees and the so-called “global citizens”.

Malaysia’s programme is open to individuals with an offshore annual income of more than US$100,000. They must also have at least US$218,000 in their bank accounts and pay a one-time fee of about US$44,000 as well as US$22,000 per dependent.

Malaysian business leaders CNA spoke to said that such a programme could be a lucrative source of revenue from abroad but pointed out that the current PVIP framework lacks concrete measures to attract premium investors.

Under Thailand’s new visa, applicants must either have US$80,000 in annual income or half as much if they hold a Master’s degree relevant to their profession, or in some cases, an existing investment of up to US$500,000. In exchange, they get a 10-year long-term resident visa, a work permit and 17 per cent personal income tax – almost half of what others in a similar income bracket would pay.

The Thai government wants to make sure that the wealthy foreigners who visit Thailand will eventually make the country their second home.

It is also looking to wealthy pensioners to participate in its visa scheme, given the wealth and experience they can offer.



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