Friday, October 30, 2015

In trouble over 20,000 litres of cough syrup, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

In trouble over 20,000 litres of cough syrup, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

In trouble over 20,000 litres of cough syrup

A former sales manager of a pharmaceutical company delivered more than 20,000 litres of cough syrup to a Malaysian despite suspecting that he was selling it on the black market, a court heard yesterday.

Ashley Jas Ang Wei Hoon, 38, supplied batches of the medicine to Wong Kin Yu at least 188 times from May 2009, in an effort to hit sales targets.

The estimated 20,307 litres involved is the highest amount of codeine dealt with in such cases, the court heard.


Wong would contact and instruct Ang to place orders under different clinic names.

She would then place the orders with her company, Beacons Pharmaceuticals.

The estimated 20,307 litres of cough syrup involved is the highest amount of codeine dealt with in such cases, the court heard.

After the medicine was delivered to Wong, he would sign the invoices and stamp the details of various clinics. She knew that he had provided false details in the invoices with the intent to commit fraud.

Yesterday, Ang, who faced 395 charges, admitted 30 counts each of supplying a medicinal product which is not on the general sales list; and conspiring with Wong and clinic assistant Soh Woon Mei to forge tax invoices to deceive Beacons into believing that the orders were from general practitioner clinics.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stacey Anne Fernandez said the Health Sciences Authority discovered discrepancies between invoices for deliveries by Beacons to 72 clinics and orders by the clinics between Aug 9, 2009 and May 19, 2010.

The clinics confirmed that they had not placed such orders with Beacons and that the clinic stamps and signatures on the invoices were not theirs.

In May 2009, Ms Soh, who worked at Kim Tian Clinic, asked Ang if she could help her order and deliver bottles of codeine-based cough syrup to Wong, who had previously visited the clinic.

Ang initially declined, but later, after realising she could not meet her team's sales target, accepted Ms Soh's request.

DPP Fernandez said Ang had wanted to develop a good portfolio "in the hope of getting a job in another multinational company".

She said that between May 2009 and May 2010, Ang delivered a total of 5,345 bottles of cough syrup and 20 bottles of codeine and other tablets to Wong.

Ang claims to have received a total of $10,000 from the deliveries.

Among some of the aggravating factors cited by DPP Fernandez were Ang's abuse of position of trust, that it was a difficult offence to detect and that she had been motivated by financial gain.

Ms Soh died of a natural cause during investigation while a warrant of arrest is out for Wong.

The case was adjourned until Nov 6 for Ang's lawyer Tan Cheow Hung to mitigate.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Five future challenges for Singapore economy, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Five future challenges for Singapore economy, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Five future challenges for Singapore economy

SINGAPORE - The challenge of moving the Singapore economy up the innovation ladder, from being one that is "value-adding" to a "value-creating" one, will be a key focus of the team set up to chart the Republic's economic direction.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who will chair The Future Economy committee, framed Singapore's challenges through the lens of the "five futures" - of jobs, of companies, of resources, of technology and of markets.

On jobs, Mr Heng noted that "it may not be immediate but if we look at a 10-, 15-year timeframe, the nature of jobs will change".

With 3D-printing and additive manufacturing changing how factories are being configured, Mr Heng said, "how do we build skills and redesign jobs so that workers can be at their best and that talent can be maximised?"

He was speaking to reporters after a closed-door dialogue with business leaders at the Singapore Business Federation on Wednesday (Oct 28).

A second key challenge is that the "future of companies" will be marked by the rise of disruptive business models and competition from abroad. So staying competitive means exploring "cooperative platforms" for different business clusters to cooperate with one another and maximise capabilities, said Mr Heng.

Technology undeniably presents a challenge and, while Singapore has invested heavily in education, research and development, the "future of technology" hinges on how this can be translated into innovative processes, said Mr Heng.

But not all innovations are technology-related and another challenge, the "future of resources", looks at how to organise one's resources like land or staff in creative and competitive ways, he added.

A fifth area, the "future of markets", is important because if firms expand overseas, "we transcend the Singapore market, we achieve scale", said Mr Heng.

The formation of this committee was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier this month as Singapore faces a leaner workforce, tapering growth and a weaker global economy.

Yesterday, Mr Heng also announced that Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), will be deputy chairman of the new committee and is now helping him to select other members from a shortlist. The line-up will be announced by early December.

Mr Heng said the team will measure success by the opportunities and jobs it creates for Singaporeans, since a shift to higher skills indirectly addresses productivity issues. "Higher skills, higher productivity, higher wages - that is the virtuous circle that we hope to achieve."

This is in contrast to the hard annual productivity growth targets set out by the last economic review committee in 2010. The report and its recommendations are expected to be issued a year later.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 26, 2015

Death toll rises to nearly 280 after powerful quake jolts Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Death toll rises to nearly 280 after powerful quake jolts Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Death toll rises to nearly 280 after powerful quake jolts Afghanistan, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Nearly 280 people were killed Monday when a powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake centred in the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan ripped across South Asia, toppling buildings, triggering stampedes and knocking out communication lines.

The full scale of the disaster and human toll was unclear when night fell over the remote and rugged terrain as authorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan rushed to mount rescue efforts.

In the most horrifying tragedy to emerge so far from the quake, 12 young Afghan girls were crushed to death in a stampede as they tried to flee their shaking school building.

The bulk of the casualties were reported from Pakistan, where 214 people were killed and more than 1,800 injured, disaster management authorities said.

"Many houses and buildings have collapsed in the city," said Arbab Muhammad Asim, district mayor for the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Many people were trapped under piles of rubble, with officials warning that the toll was set to rise.

"The building was swinging like a pendulum, it felt as if the heavens would fall," Peshawar shop owner Tufail Ahmed said.

Afghan officials said at least 63 people were confirmed dead and hundreds more injured, with casualties reported from around half a dozen of the country's 34 provinces.

The government has implored aid agencies for relief.

But large swathes of Badakhshan, the remote province where the epicentre is located, and other areas are effectively controlled by the Taleban, posing a huge challenge to any official aid efforts.

"Today's earthquake was the strongest one felt in the recent decades," said Afghanistan's chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.

"Initial reports show a big loss of life and huge financial losses in Badakhshan, Takhar, Nangarhar, Kunar and other regions. Exact numbers are not known because phone lines are down and communication has been cut off in many areas." A dozen Afghan schoolgirls, all under 16, were trampled to death in the remote northern province of Takhar as they rushed to escape their classrooms when the quake struck.

Bystanders rushed the dazed and terrified survivors to hospital, many lying limp in the arms of their rescuers, as doctors tried reviving some of them by pumping their chests manually.

"When the aggrieved relatives of the dead students came to collect their bodies, they were so distressed that they could not even talk to authorities to record their names," said Hafizullah Safai, head of the Takhar health department.

The quake was centred near Jurm in northeast Afghanistan, 250 kilometres from the capital Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake, which lasted at least one minute, shook buildings in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, sending thousands of frightened people rushing into the streets.

Traffic came to a halt in downtown Kabul, with frightened people getting out of their cars as they waited for the quake to stop.

Live footage from an Afghan news broadcast filmed in Kabul showed the anchor abandoning his desk as the quake shook the cameras.

Restaurants and office buildings emptied in Islamabad, with cracks appearing in some buildings but no major damage reported.

"We grabbed each other and were crying, we could not do anything, I felt so helpless," 16-year-old student Farhana Parveen, whose Islamabad school was evacuated, said.

"I had the scary feeling that the whole world would collapse." Hundreds of people in northern India poured onto the streets from office blocks, hospitals and homes.

Delhi's metro ground to a halt during the tremor although the airport continued operating.

In the Kashmir region, panicked residents evacuated buildings and children were seen huddling together outside their school in the main city of Srinagar.

The rescue effort was being complicated by the lack of communications, with the region's already fragile infrastructure hit.

Gul Mohammad Bidar, deputy governor of Badakhshan in Afghanistan, said lines were down and it was difficult to reach stricken communities.

"The earthquake was very powerful - buildings have been damaged (in Faizabad) and there are possible casualties," he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter immediately after the quake, saying that India stood ready to assist, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan if required.

Pakistan mobilised troops and all military hospitals were put on high alert, army spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa said, with the air force also offering support.

Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

The epicentre of Monday's quake was just a few hundred kilometres from the site of a 7.6 magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million more, although that quake was much shallower.

In Nepal twin quakes in May killed more than 8,900 people, triggered landslides and destroyed half a million homes.

Sent from my iPad(Air)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Testing of new train caused a power fault that led to 2-hour disruption on North-East line, Transport News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Testing of new train caused a power fault that led to 2-hour disruption on North-East line, Transport News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Testing of new train caused a power fault that led to 2-hour disruption on North-East line

SINGAPORE - A two-hour train disruption on the North-East Line (NEL) on Monday morning was caused by a new train undergoing testing, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said.

Preliminary investigations by LTA found that a new train undergoing testing had damaged the NEL's overhead catenary system as it was being withdrawn to the depot.

The  catenary system is the power supply system installed on the ceiling of the train tunnel.

Speaking to reporters on Monday morning, Land Transport Authority (LTA) chief executive Chew Men Leong said the train had pulled a wire, causing the power fault.

He said: "We will have to investigate very clearly as to why the new train caused this effect on the overhead catenary system and pulling the wire."

SBS Transit and the LTA initially activated free bus boarding along all affected stations. Free bus services were subsequently extended islandwide to help students taking O and A level examinations on Monday to get to school.

This includes all SBS Transit and SMRT services. The services ceased at 9.30am, SBS Transit tweeted.

26/10, 9.30am: Free bus rides islandwide as well as shuttle bus services have ceased.

— SBS Transit (@SBSTransit_Ltd)

Mr Chew said the LTA informed the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board, and worked with the Education Ministry to make sure schools were aware that students might be arriving late.

SBS Transit chief executive Gan Juay Kiat said the operator had issued excuse slips for students.

Mr Gan added: "Once we stabilise the situation we will be investigating together with LTA on the train that caused the dewirement when it was returning to the depot."

SBS Transit deployed more than 100 shuttle buses and about 120 goodwill ambassadors to manage the disruption. The first shuttle bus started at Punggol at around 5.30am.

Southbound train services towards HarbourFront resumed at around 6.50am, while northbound services towards Punggol were back up at about 7.20am, said Mr Gan.

However, trains initially ran at slower intervals of about 6.5 minutes compared to the usual peak hour intervals of 2.5 to 3 minutes, resulting in crowded station platforms and commuters struggling to board packed trains.

26/10, 9.15am: NEL svcs in both directions available. Addn travelling time of 5 mins. Free bus rides & shuttle bus svcs still available.

— SBS Transit (@SBSTransit_Ltd)

Full train service resumed at 9.30am "with 20 trains operating at 3-minute headway", LTA said on Facebook. Islandwide bus services were stopped at the same time.

This is the fifth incident on the 12-year-old line that lasted more than 30 minutes this year.

Rail operator SBS Transit posted a tweet at 5.23am saying that train service had ceased due to a power fault. 

26/10 05:23 - No NEL svc due to a power fault. Free bus rides available at designated bus stops along the NEL line.

— SBS Transit (@SBSTransit_Ltd)

Meanwhile, train service on the East-West Line from Tanah Merah to Changi Airport was also briefly disrupted.

SMRT tweeted that trains were not available between the two stations at 6.23am. Service had resumed by 6.38am.

Not again...

— Laremy Lee (@laremylee)

Do NOT take the train yet. Frm 8 to 10 min intervals. And the queue is so long, no one knows where the line starts.

— Kanchiong K. (@virginangelic)

down guess whos gonna be late for work? Not me becos I take the

— huziejasni (@minahjawa)

yes northeast line broke down im gonna sleep longer

— ツ (@valdotdat)

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bus, train fares to dip by 1.9% from Dec 27, Transport News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Bus, train fares to dip by 1.9% from Dec 27, Transport News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Bus, train fares to dip by 1.9% from Dec 27

SINGAPORE - Bus and train card fares will drop by up to four cents a journey from Dec 27, the Public Transport Council (PTC) announced on Friday after its latest annual review.

The adjustment, which takes into account last year's drop in oil prices, is timed to coincide with the opening of Downtown Line 2, and is four months earlier than usual.

The reduction amounts to a maximum 1.9 per cent cut allowed in a fare formula that weighs inflation, wage increase and fuel or energy prices. It will impact SBS Transit's revenue by $15.7 million, and SMRT's by $20.4 million.

The fare cut comes after substantial rises in the two previous adjustments, which saw fares rising by 3.2 and 2.8 per cent respectively.

Card-paying adults will see their fares drop by one to four cents from Dec 27, students by one to two cents, and senior citizens by one to two cents.

A family of two adults and two school-going children is thus likely to see monthly household fare expenditure fall by around $15.

  Current Fare New Fare
Adult Card Fare $1.66 $1.62
(-4 cents)
Senior Citizen Concession Card Fare $0.90 $0.88
(-2 cents)
Student Concession Card Fare $0.61 $0.59
(-2 cents)

PTC chairman Richard Magnus said: "This year's decision to reduce fares for commuters is in line with the negative quantum yielded by the fare adjustment formula due to lower energy prices. We have decided to grant the full quantum of reduction to benefit commuters and to keep fares affordable."

Low-wage workers will pay one to four cents less, while people with disabilities will pay one to two cents less. Both groups will continue to get fare concessions, but monthly concession and off-peak passes for the latter will remain unchanged at $60 and $40 respectively.

Commuters who pay cash, said to constitute only 3 per cent of all the total, will not see any reduction, though. Mr Magnus said this was to encourage people to pay by card.

As their revenue is contracting because of the latest fare adjustment, the two transport operators are not required to contribute to the Public Transport Fund this round. The fund is used to disburse vouchers to needy families to help them defray fare increases.

Separately, Mr Magnus said the council will decide how to adjust fares next year when the contracting model for buses kicks in. In such a model, an operator is paid a fixed sum to run a package of routes by the Land Transport Authority, which in turn collects fare revenue. The operation is usually subsidised by taxpayers, making it more complex to accrue cost and compensation.

The current fare formula takes into account changes in inflation rate, wages and an energy index that charts oil and electricity costs - all of which are proxies for costs faced by an operator. The first two components are given a 40 per cent weighting each, while energy has a 20 per cent weighting.

A productivity extraction of 0.5 per cent is then deducted from the derived figure. This is to allow commuters to share in the transport operators' productivity gain.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, October 17, 2015

More women are staying childless, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

More women are staying childless, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

More women are staying childless

The proportion of women who stay childless has almost tripled in the past 20 years, with experts expecting the trend to continue as values and norms about having kids change.

The Population Trends 2015 report, released by the Department of Statistics last month, highlighted the spike among ever-married female citizens and permanent residents (PRs) aged between 40 and 49 - the age group which is likely to have completed childbearing. The group totalled 267,628 in 2014.

Last year, 11.2 per cent of these women had no children, up from 7.1 per cent in 2004 and 4.2 per cent in 1994. Ever-married refers to those who are currently married, divorced or widowed.

Sociologists described the increase as significant and said it reflects changing values and norms.

Professor Jean Yeung, director of the Centre for Family and Population Research at the National University of Singapore, said: "People think less of passing on their lineage and what their parents want... As people get better educated and cost of living and expectations of living standards rise, it's also more socially acceptable not to have children.

"It's the decoupling of marriage and children."

Part of the reason for the jump is that some couples want children but cannot have them. For many, it is perhaps because they have put off childbearing for too long.

Dr Peter Chew, a gynaecologist for more than 40 years, said he often sees women who are focused on establishing their careers and waited until it was too late to try for a baby. As a woman ages, the chances of her getting pregnant decline.

Lawyer Gloria James-Civetta, 47, got hitched at 42. She suffered a miscarriage and, after that, she felt it was unsafe to try for a baby, as older mothers have a higher risk of having a pregnancy with complications.

She and her Singapore PR husband Gustavo, 50, considered adopting a child, but dropped the idea. They run a law firm together.

"It's not easy to raise a child properly at our age and it's too much of a demand on our time. It would be like caring for two sets of children - a kid and our elderly parents, who become like children in their old age. I think having a kid would be more stressful than running an office."

Then, there are those who told The Sunday Times they chose not to have children. They say they enjoy the freedom of life without kids or just do not want to deal with the lifelong responsibility of raising a child.

A qualitative study on childless Chinese Singaporean women, published in 2012, also shed some light. The lower-income women in the survey felt they could not afford to raise a child with an average monthly pay of $2,350. As for the university-educated women, with an average salary of $6,250 a month, they said they could not juggle motherhood and their work, and were unwilling to sacrifice their careers.

Both groups of women were also loath to give up their time and freedom and felt their husbands would not do their fair share in raising junior. The study was done by sociology lecturer Caroline Pluss, from the University of Liverpool in Singapore, her former student, Ms Amanda Ee, and Hong Kong sociologist Chan Kwon Bun.

The spike in the ranks of childless women comes as couples have fewer children. The average number of children born to ever-married female citizens and PRs in the 40 to 49 age group fell from 2.46 in 1994 to 1.87 last year.

Sociologists said the growing number of childless couples is worrying, considering that more Singaporeans are staying single. And even for those who marry, fewer have children or decide to not have any at all, for various reasons.

Add the fact that Singaporeans increasingly are marrying later, which affects their fertility, the situation could get even more severe.

Dr Tan Poh Lin, assistant professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said: "It has become increasingly socially acceptable to be a childless married couple here, leading to a vicious circle of rising childlessness.

"However, humans are programmed to desire to have children and there will always be a large proportion of the population who will continue to fulfil this desire."


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, October 16, 2015

6 things to check out at Coney Island Park, Home & Design News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

6 things to check out at Coney Island Park, Home & Design News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

6 things to check out at Coney Island Park

Mostly covered with lush vegetation, Coney Island, off the north-eastern coast of Singapore near Pulau Ubin, has always been home to myriad plants and animals.

With the opening of the 50ha Coney Island Park last Saturday, Singaporeans now have better access to this nature haven.

The island can be reached by two bridges that link its western end to Punggol Point Park and the eastern end to Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6.

Managed by the National Parks Board (NParks), the new park has a wide variety of habitats, including coastal forests, grasslands, mangroves and casuarina woodlands.

There are also 86 tree species and at least 157 animal species, including several nationally threatened ones.

For instance, the smooth-coated otter, which has a dog-like face and short, sleek brown or grey fur, has been seen at the park and in the surrounding waters. Threatened globally but found throughout southern Asia, this species of otter is the largest in South-east Asia.

There is also the rarely seen Sultan dragonfly, which is only occasionally encountered in nature reserves. Males have a dark red body and wings, while females are slightly larger and yellow in colour.

From some of the island's five beaches, which have been intentionally left uncleared, visitors can get a good view of Pulau Ubin and Johor.

As sandflies have been encountered at the beach areas, visitors are advised to wear long pants and covered shoes when visiting.

The island's western and eastern ends are barrier-free and wheelchair-accessible and cycling is allowed on the main path which connects the two ends. There are also boardwalks and earth tracks for those who want to go on nature walks.

There are four shelters and one toilet, but the nearest bicycle rental and food and drink outlets are at The Punggol Settlement 500m away from the park's western end.

Most visitors walk or cycle on the island. Some have picnics, go bird-watching or take photos, but camping and fishing are not allowed, even though the island used to be popular with anglers.

The rest of the island is zoned for sports and recreation as well as a future interim park.

Coney Island Park is open from 7am to 7pm daily as there is no lighting there after dark.

Here are six highlights of the park.


Two trees on the island have ancient origins and a long fossil history. They are of a species called cycads, which first emerged about 200 million years ago and co-existed with the dinosaurs.

They are palm-like woody plants which have roots, a stem, leaves and reproductive structures known as cones. They also bear seeds.

Although once abundant across the globe, their numbers and distribution have been greatly reduced and are now locally rare in the wild.

They typically grow very slowly and are known to live for as long as 1,000 years.

The two plants on Coney Island are the only surviving native cycads on mainland Singapore. One is about 3.5m tall and the other is a cluster of more than 2m in diameter.

They once grew along the coast of Singapore in Katong and were affected by development works.

NParks transplanted them to Coney Island, where they are back in their native beach habitat.


If you are lucky, you may spot the single, free-roaming bull on the island. It is a Brahman, a breed of Zebu cattle that originates from South Asia.

The shy, gentle animal has large ears that hang loosely by its head, loose skin hanging from its neck and a prominent hump over its shoulders.

It is a mystery how the bull got on the island. It could have wandered from Punggol or Lorong Halus, but no one has reported a lost cow.

It was found sick and malnourished on the island after the dam crossings were built, but has since been nursed back to health. It undergoes a veterinary check-up every six months and is under the care of NParks.

It forages naturally as there is an abundance of vegetation on the island. Feeding by the public is strictly prohibited.

Visitors are also reminded to avoid approaching, disturbing or trying to take close-up photographs of or with it. They should also not shout at or provoke the animal or use flash photography.


Located near the west entrance, this area was constructed from the timber of uprooted casuarina trees and other recycled materials. The ground material is made with sand recycled from the nearby beach.

The wooden structures here have names such as the caterpillar, millipede, earthworm and ant hill. Children can climb or walk on them and the more competitive ones can use them as an obstacle course.


The villa was built by the Haw Par brothers - Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par - who created the Tiger Balm ointment and set up Chinese daily Sin Chew Jit Poh in Singapore.

The Burmese-born Chinese siblings owned the island from the 1930s to 1950s and called for an open tender to build the villa in 1937. The 600 sq m building is the only known villa remaining from the Aw family.

It has a central hall and an open verandah that surrounds the house. A separate single-storey 100 sq m house was a service block.

Its architect was likely to be Ho Kwong Yew, a leading architect of the Modern Movement in Singapore during the 1930s.

The building was damaged during World War II and its grounds are currently managed by the Singapore Tourism Board as a tourist attraction.

But as the building is structurally unsound, visitors are advised not to enter. In fact, they should not visit the villa on their own, as it sits in a mangrove area that is subject to rising tides.

The villa will be a stop on guided walks conducted by NParks volunteers next month and in December. Registration has closed due to overwhelming response and it is not certain if there are more guided walks planned.


A wide variety of plants - some critically endangered or locally extinct - can be found on the island.

For example, the Barringtonia reticulata - a shrub with leathery leaves and pink flowers that grows in sandy forests near the sea - is critically endangered, while the Barringtonia conoidea - which has white flowers and thickly membranous leaves - was presumed to be nationally extinct.

Another critically endangered plant is the Dungun tree, found in the back mangrove. It produces woody, ellipsoid- shaped fruits that have a pronounced keel which makes the fruits resemble the head of Japanese superhero Ultraman.

These fruits float on water and the keel acts as a rudder. The tree's durable timber was used for making telegraph poles in the past.


Coney Island Park could be a haven for bird-watching enthusiasts as there are about 80 species of birds on the island. There are more than 200 species of birds at another nature destination, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

At Coney Island Park, seven bird species are listed in Singapore's Red Data Book, a reference guide on locally threatened species.

There is the black-crowned night heron and spotted wood owl, which are nationally critically endangered.

The red junglefowl, changeable hawk-eagle and red-wattled lapwing are nationally endangered and the grey heron and rusty-breasted cuckoo are nationally vulnerable.

Being endangered means a species faces high risk of extinction in the wild, while being vulnerable - a less serious condition - means a species faces a high risk of endangerment in the wild.

In addition, there are uncommon resident species such as the rufous-tailed tailorbird and rufous woodpecker, which are associated with forested areas.

During the migratory season, visitors can see the Asian drongo-cuckoo, large hawk-cuckoo, Chinese goshawk and Pallas's grasshopper warbler.

There are also blue-throated bee-eaters  - a common breeding migrant here - and four species of woodpeckers.

Sent from my iPhone