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  1. More than 30 years after their use was discouraged due to the Speak Mandarin campaign, dialects seem to be making a quiet comeback among an unlikely group - the young. More young Chinese Singaporeans now see dialects as an important part of their heritage, and are taking steps to make sure they will not be lost. Business undergraduate Jasmine Tan began uploading basic Teochew tutorial videos on YouTube last year. Her channel, Teochew Gaginang (which means "our own people" in the dialect), currently has 214 subscribers. "It's a way of reaching out to people," said Ms Tan, 19. "It's about cultural preservation but it's also to show people that dialects are not something uncool." The self-professed "cultural zealot" said that she started her tutorials after being inspired by another YouTube user who uploads tutorials of Native American languages in an effort to protect them from extinction. "You could call me sentimental," said Ms Tan. "But if you lose your dialect, you lose your culture." Others, like students Jeraldine Phneah and Mah Poh Ee, have even petitioned the authorities to bring dialects back on air. Ms Phneah, 22, has lived with her Hokkien-speaking grandparents since she was young. "When I listen to people speak in Hokkien, I feel a sense of closeness and warmth," she said. Ms Mah, who communicates with her family mostly in Cantonese but also speaks Hokkien and a smattering of Hakka, agreed. "I use the language to bond with my closest kin. If grandchildren can't communicate with their grandparents, that's a very sad thing," the 18-year-old said. There are also efforts to promote the use of dialects as a tool to communicate with those in the broader community. The National University of Singapore's Students' Community Service Club, for example, is experimenting with dialect tutorial videos to equip volunteers in their interactions with the elderly. The club used to hold two to three dialect workshops each academic year. However, it decided to switch to videos this year to increase outreach. "We wanted our volunteers to have a more meaningful interaction with the elderly," said Ms Kristabelle Tan, 21, the club's president. "Some are afraid to volunteer if they have no dialect skills." Ms Annie Lee, 24, who works with the Social Service Institute, has found that speaking "very fluent" Hokkien has made her job as a community relations officer easier. She recalled how she used to have difficulty conveying her thoughts to her Hokkien-speaking parents as a teenager. "I knew what I wanted to say but I couldn't verbalise it properly," she said. That was when she made a conscious effort to brush up on her Hokkien, and she now considers herself to be "very fluent" in the dialect. Ms Lee is now trying to pick up Cantonese, and has bought a Cantonese copy of social worker Koh Kuan Eng's dialect picture book. She has even purchased the Teochew and Hokkien versions of the book for her 20-month-old nephew. "Personally, I want to let dialects be passed on," she said. "I like the whole idea of continuing the legacy." Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/case-you-missed-it/story/young-people-speak-dialects-20131023
  2. March 31, 2008 M'sian Math prodigy now a S$358-an-hour hooker PETALING JAYA - MS Sufiah Yusof, the child Maths genius who won a place at Oxford University when she was just 13, has been found to be working as a prostitute, according to a report in London's News of the World. Ms Yusof, now 23, whose father Farooq is a Pakistani and mother Halimathon is from Johor, was reported to have entertained an undercover reporter in her flat in Manchester. Claiming that she had posted her services for 130 pounds (S$358) on the Internet, the newspaper said she had called herself Shilpa Lee on a hookers' website. She is said to have advertised herself as 'a sexy, smart student' who preferred 'older gentlemen'. The story in the newspaper comes just days after her father was jailed for sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls as he home-tutored them in Maths. Ms Yusof passed the Maths A-Level she needed for entry into Oxford at the age of 12. Three years into Oxford, she sparked a massive police hunt after running away. At the time her father bizarrely claimed Ms Yusof had been kidnapped and brainwashed by an organisation seeking the key to her intelligence. But Ms Yusof sent an e-mail to her family describing her life under her father as a 'living hell'. She was found in an Internet cafe in Bournemouth where she had been working as a hotel waitress. She refused to go back to her parents and instead was taken into the care of social services. By then Farooq was in jail for three years for his part in a 1.5 million pounds mortgage swindle. Ms Yusof returned to Oxford to complete the final year of her Masters in Maths but failed to finish the course after meeting trainee lawyer Jonathan Marshall. They were married in 2004 but her parents and siblings failed to turn up. They divorced a year later. The report, which carried grainy photographs of a semi-nude woman it claimed was Ms Yusof, said the girl met the reporter who posed as a client wearing a tiny skirt, leather boots and a tight T-shirt. She was carrying three mobile phones. She also told the reporter that she was studying for a Masters degree in Economics. Ms Yusof gave no indication of any sadness at the jailing of her father the previous day. On Wednesday, Farooq, 50, was sentenced to 18 months at Coventry Crown Court for touching two 15-year-old girls when he was home tutoring them. The report quoted her friend as saying: 'Sufiah has suffered so many knocks in her life. I just hope she can drag herself out of this life she has got herself into. She deserves a much better life than this. Her gift has been a curse.' -- The Star/ANN. http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNews/...69.html?vgnmr=1 3 handfones... 3 robert kia feeding her?