They make sacrifices to binge watch TV shows
Skipping meals and sleep, S'pore viewers can binge-watch one whole season of a TV series in three days, says Netflix study
Singapore is a world champion when it comes to binge-watching TV shows.
With DVDs and VCDs in the 2000s, viewers could finish watching entire seasons in a sitting. Now, online streaming options are keeping fans up at night.
In a recent study covering more than 190 countries, video streaming service Netflix found that Singapore's subscribers devoured the entire first season of a TV series within three days - the global average is four.
Miss Nurfaizah Faizuwan, 21, told The New Paper she has been binge-watching TV shows since she was 14.
She said she can finish watching a Korean drama, which spans 16 to 20 hours, in just three days.
"I used to watch US TV shows on Channel 5. But the problem is that it broadcasts the shows very slowly," she told The New Paper.
Her habitstarted with US shows Glee and The Vampire Diaries.
Miss Nurfaizah, who is waiting to begin her undergraduate studies at the Nanyang Technological University, said she has watched more than 40 TV shows over the years, and can spend seven hours a day binge-watching during the school holidays.
Now she binge-watches TV shows three days a week.
"Sometimes I'll skip lunch and just continue watching. I'll be so engrossed that I'll forget about my hunger," she said.
She also admitted she would snack on potato chips in front of the TV.
Nutritionist Fiona Chia said binge-watching TV shows can lead to a different type of bingeing later.
"Skipping meals intentionally allows the body to starve and feel deprived of energy. The individual would most likely feel over-hungry and tend to binge eat the next meal," she said.
In a US study conducted last year by digital recording company TiVo, 30 per cent of the 42,000 respondents regarded binge-watching as a negative activity. Despite that, nine out of 10 admitted to doing it.
Miss Nurfaizah goes to bed as late as 3am during the school holidays, but said: "I stop watching when I know I'm tired. It's not like I will forgo sleep."
Dr Kenny Pang, a specialist at Asia Sleep Centre, said sleep deprivation is not just about feeling tired.
"(Sleep deprivation) affects one's mood, concentration, focus and memory," he said.
"It can even leave the patient short-tempered and irritable.
"The immune system would also be affected as the lack of sleep increases the cortisol level. As this causes suppression of the immune system, the patient might be more prone to colds and the flu."
It's not just a habit among the younger generation.
Madam Irene Wong, 56, spends up to 10 hours a day watching Korean and Hong Kong dramas.
Madam Wong, who works part-time in administration at a tuition centre, told TNP: "When I'm cooking a simple dinner or ironing clothes, I watch Hong Kong dramas because I just need to listen. I don't really have to look at the screen.
"But for Korean dramas, I have to focus on the subtitles, so I will only watch them when I'm done with all my household chores."
She watches dramas such as The Royal Gambler, Descendants Of The Sun and Oh My Venus.
Madam Wong, who has watched more than 100 TV dramas over the last 16 years, said: "I sleep at 6am if I'm really rushing to finish a show, but I will make sure that I have nothing on the next day.
"On days when I have to work, I will sleep between 2am and 3am."
Mr Anson Tan, general manager of new media at PCCW Singapore, which launched streaming service Viu, said: "We see a mix of fans on our platform. There are those who chase dramas as they air, and those who prefer to wait for the entire series to end before they start watching - and these fans can finish it in one to two days."
"Sometimes I'll skip lunch and just continue watching. I'll be so engrossed that I'll forget about my hunger."
- Miss Nurfaizah Faizuwan
Shooter sent wife text messages during attack
Ex-cop helped illegals evade arrest
Former police sergeant jailed, fined for obstructing course of justice and leaking police information
As a police officer, he was supposed to uphold the law and keep the country safe.
But when Hui Yew Kong was a police sergeant, he accessed police information to help a nightclub manager check if one of his employees was in police custody.
On another occasion, when another manager texted Hui during a police raid, he advised the manager to get his illegal waitresses out.
Hui, now 38, also acted as a bookmaker to receive football bets totalling $21,690.
He was jailed yesterday for 19 months and fined $60,000.
He pleaded guilty to one count each of intentionally obstructing the course of justice and committing an offence under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) when he handed over the police information.
He also pleaded guilty to three counts of acting as a bookmaker involving $11,369.
A second count of intentionally obstructing the course of justice, five more charges of acting as a bookmaker involving $10,321 and two additional counts of offences under the OSA were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Hui, who became a police officer in 1998, had been attached to the Central Police Division lock-up since 2008.
In 2010, Hui got to know nightclub manager Jae Wee Wei-Ta as he was a regular at Mr Wee's club.
Mr Wee, who knew Hui was a policeman, called him on June 7, 2013, after finding out that an employee had not reported for work.
He asked Hui to check if the employee was in custody or was a wanted person.
Hui retrieved the information via a phone call to Tanglin Police Division. Even though he was not authorised to do so, he sent Mr Wee a text message saying that the employee was not wanted by the police and not in custody.
The court heard that since Jan 1, 2014, Hui also worked as a chief server at a nightclub known as Club de Colour on the ninth storey of Lee Kai House in Middle Road.
On Jan 9 that year, at around 11pm, police carried out an operation at the building to check on nightclubs and other similar businesses.
Samuel Lim Yong Choon, who was the general manager of Club Icon on the sixth storey, found out about the raids from a staff member of another club in Lee Kai House.
He sent Hui a text message to tell him about the operation about an hour later and the latter replied, advising him to remove his illegal employees from the premises before they could be arrested for immigration offences.
Lim instructed his bouncer to ask Club Icon's DJ to turn on the "no smoking" sign.
This was a prearranged signal to notify waitresses who had no proper work permits to leave the premises. About 10 of them managed to evade arrest after this.
Hui also acted as a bookmaker for football betting between April 16 and 24 that year.
For intentionally obstructing the course of justice, he could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.
And for acting as a bookmaker, he could have been jailed up to five years and fined up to $200,000 for each charge.
Lim, now 33, was sentenced to four weeks' jail yesterday for obstructing the course of justice.
The court gave him permission to surrender himself to the authorities on July 1 to begin his sentence.
New City Harvest Church album tops iTunes chart
New album featuring Ho Yeow Sun draws both criticism and support
Within a day of its soft launch last week, City Harvest Church's (CHC) album, Draw Me, topped Singapore's iTunes album chart.
It is now in second place behind Red Hot Chili Peppers' The Getaway, but ahead of Adele's 25 and local musician Gentle Bones' Geniuses & Thieves.
"Honestly, we were very surprised by the chart performance of this album because that was not on our minds when we produced it," the album's producer, Mr Mark Kwan, told The New Paper.
All 2,000 copies from Draw Me's first print run was sold by last weekend.
The album features CHC's co-founder Ho Yeow Sun in four of its 13 songs, which were written in the past few years - the same period CHC was under scrutiny by the authorities.
Last year, Ms Ho's husband and church co-founder Kong Hee was convicted of misusing $50 million in church funds along with five other church leaders as part of a plot to further Ms Ho's secular music career.
They are appealing against their convictions.
Some netizens mentioned two of Ms Ho's Mandarin albums, which made losses of close to $1 million.
Facebook user Tulip Jan wrote: "Do they seriously expect people to believe people outside this so-called church is buying the music?"
Former church leader Chew Eng Han, one of the six convicted, told TNP: "Sun should have learnt to be more humble now after being exposed in court for participating in the rigging of her own album and singles sales."
But Mr Kwan emphasised that Draw Me is not a "Sun Ho album" but one of the church's collective efforts.
Ms Ho was roped in as she is an "integral part of the worship team", he said.
On concerns that the church is buying up albums to boost sales, Mr Kwan said: "There is no reason for the church to buy up its own albums as chart positions and sales are not chief considerations."
CHC members TNP spoke to also defended the album.
One, who declined to be named, said: "I personally don't get every album the church releases, but this one especially ministers to me."
The 19-year-old student also felt that the lyrics resonate with the church members on the circumstances they have been through.
Another member, Miss Verine Lee, 20, a student, said: "In the eyes of most people, it may not be appropriate for her (Ms Ho) to be in the album. But she's just using her gift from God."