TOC fundraiser loses momentum after exposé on its hiring of foreign writers

Sep 07, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

The Online Citizen's chief editor Terry Xu's fundraiser has managed to raise $136,188.96 after 6 days of crowdfunding - an amount still short of the $210,000 required to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation.

While there was a spike in donations on the first couple of days, the fundraiser noticeably decreased in momentum as news of its preference to hire foreign writers takes centerstage as well as an incident there TOC 'bullied' an elderly woman with dementia.

Netizens riled up over TOC's hiring of Malaysian writers to interfere in Singapore's domestic affairs

Fathership published an exposé on TOC in May this year on the Malaysian writers dominating TOC's editorial team. The article was again put in the spotlight after netizens pointed out the hypocrisy of anti-foreigner Singaporeans donating to a foreign-run media outlet.

Source: Hardwarezone

Source: Reddit

Reports by Fathership surfaced that one of the Malaysian writer that wrote the defamatory article on LHL under the guide of Terry had adopted a pen name "Kiara Xavier" for her TOC articles.

Terry later changed the pen name to the writer's real name - Rubaashini Shunmuganathan - after the exposé to try to recoil from the online backlash.

TOC's bullying of a dementia elderly woman resurfaces

Another incident could also be attributed to putting the brakes on TOC's fundraiser.

The incident pertained to a video recorded by TOC of an elderly woman with dementia that took place in Yishun in May and contained allegations of police bullying - which were slammed by the police and later proven to be false.

TOC also snubbed the demand by the woman's son to apologise.

Netizens took to Reddit to express their outrage:

It remains to be seen if TOC's Terry Xu can keep up with the fundraiser although it will not be entirely surprising if Terry managed to raise the amount needed considering that Singaporeans are known to be daft about issues that goes against their own bias.

S'pore firm develops first Omicron-specific testing kit

Dec 06, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership
Home-grown biotechnology firm BioAcumen Global has launched Singapore's first Omicron-specific Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit.

This means that a person taking the test will receive one of three results: Covid-19 positive and Omicron positive; Covid-19 positive and Omicron negative; or Covid-19 and Omicron negative.

Currently, PCR kits here that are capable of detecting Omicron require an additional gene sequencing step to confirm the specific variant. This takes an additional day.

Some PCR kits, such as those currently in use by medical technology firm Acumen Diagnostics and biotech firm MiRXES, are able to detect both the Delta and the Omicron strains, but to confirm if a positive case has been infected by Omicron, gene sequencing is necessary.

Mr Jimmy Toh, director of BioAcumen Global, said: "We are looking at ways to cut down the steps and time needed to run this test. This is crucial, especially at the borders where accurate tests need to be done on-site. There is no time to wait on sequencing results to know if a positive sample is infected with Omicron."

Mass production of the kit has begun, and the BioAcumen Global team hopes this kit will provide much needed help locally and in the region for the surveillance and control of this new variant, Mr Toh said.