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Why Every Woman Should CrossFit For A Successful Work Life Balance

By | Fitness

Fitness for women – the phrase itself is of ambiguous definition. Fitness arguably entails no fixed criteria or rules to assess how fit a female is exactly. Into the bargain comes a perplexing 2016 era of fitness for the females who face the process of trial and error, grasping what works for their bodies! From circuit training to cardio regimes and a 100 deadlifts in the gym, the present-day woman no longer views the general yardstick to being fit as solely void of an irregularly high percentage of body fat. 




Amongst one’s fitness choices today comes CrossFit – presenting itself as a broad program designed to build muscular endurance and all-rounded fitness. CrossFit has been the strength and conditioning program for hundreds of elite and professional athletes worldwide; from military special operations units and even champion martial artists! With varied WODs (Workout Of The Day) and high-intensity functional movements, CrossFit trains people regardless of age, shape or size to improve cardiovascular fitness. From variations of gymnastics and handstand push-ups to combative training and throwing medicine balls, a CrossFitter does almost everything comprising part and parcel of specific workouts, all combined into one general workout. Yet lifting and conditioning to look as powerfully built as Ms Olympia isn’t too commended in societal norms either. “Our culture has traditionally viewed strength as a masculine trait and promoted a small, frail body as feminine,” say the authors of a study on women and weight-training in the journal The Physician and Sports Medicine. “Consequently, girls have been discouraged from participating in gross-motor-skill activities and strength development.”


Contrary to hearsay, CrossFit does not turn a woman into a lady brick! Undoubtedly, lifting builds muscle. But muscle burns fat, making it the fastest way to get lean! Even majority of experts suggest weight-training at least twice a week to reap a range of benefits. And yes, men and women included! Urban Remedy lends every woman 10 reasons why CrossFit is worth a try – and how not every CrossFitter transforms into a lady Arnold by lifting.


  1. Time To Learn Proper Form (And Proper Cardio)

Fear getting hurt with the gym’s selection of barbells? And if you’ve always been a hand weights girl who’s avoided strength training altogether, CrossFit is a great point to begin. Majority of CrossFit requires new athletes to understand a basic course with equipment usage and proper lifting form. And with the cross-training ways of CrossFit, you will start questioning the levels of effectiveness on machines you spent hours with. Say goodbye to the numerous hours spent on stationary bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines!


  1. Super Efficiency; Super Woman

It is as if CrossFit was invented for the present-day woman. Spared only one hour daily to work out? Then CrossFit would be your best bet. With CrossFit, it’s easy to squeeze in a workout as short as 7 minutes long, providing you more efficiency than the 45 minutes one would spend on the elliptical! It’s a time-waster. Majority of WODs (workout of the day) combine cardio and weight training. One will be surprised at how fast the heart rate can accelerate within a 10-minute combination of push-ups, burpees, and air squats.



  1. Say Goodbye To Boring Routines 

You’ll hardly find yourself dreading the gym or having the interval to daydream on the treadmill with CrossFit. Made up of constantly varied, high-intensity movements, the course of one workout of the day requires a CrossFitter to run, row, swing kettlebells and even work on gymnastic moves such as handstands! With coaches who use the timer throughout the class to keep you in constant motion, boring gym routines will never be heard of again.


  1. Lift And Still Look Like A Girl

If you avoid weight-lifting for fear of looking like a man – here’s a fact. To look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, one needs more of a super strict diet and dedication than the iron one pumps. Cardio burns calories while you do it; strength training, on the other hand, keeps the calories burning even while you are at rest. The end result is a toned body – and only the lady version of Arnold’s if you choose to build it so. With CrossFit, women can expect to see a increase in lean muscle tissue and a reduction in body fat. CrossFit also comes with a constantly varied nature; ensuring that every part of your body will get worked out, with specific focus on glutes and thighs. Combined with countless squats, your metabolism will get a boost with muscle mass, and still look good! Just look at Annie Thorrisdotir, a professional CrossFit athlete; also the only woman to have won the CrossFit Games twice in 2011 and 2012! Talk about inspiration!


  1. Forget The Scale; Focus On Strength

Forget the use of the weighing scale. Unless it’s about how much you are lifting, you will rarely hear talk about pounds in your CrossFit gym. Majority of CrossFitters keep track of their PRs (personal records) for their lifts and workouts through a mobile app or notebook, making it easier to see significant improvements in strength and stamina over time. In other words, CrossFit women focus on performance and not societal standards or aesthetics – strength, agility and effectiveness is more important than having a slim figure.


  1. Modifiable To Your CrossFit Abilities; Everyone Can Do It!

In a typical CrossFit box (also known as gym), every CrossFitter gets a physically strenuous but achievable workout, regardless of age, amount of experience or level of ability. This is reasonably because scaling weight applicably is encouraged, and almost every CrossFit movement can be modified to preference. Fret not – you are free to modify that pull-up with an exercise band or opt for a lighter kettlebell than the recommended weight, without judgments or awkward glances. 


  1. It’s A Supportive, Real Community 

Naysayers and critics may call CrossFit a cult, but a CrossFitter will tell you it’s a community. The best coaches create a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. Advanced athletes share training advice with beginners and cheer them on while finishing a workout. Along training journey of CrossFit, forming friendships and being a part of a real community who understands the same pains and gains you do is a bonus to that toned, strong body. 


  1. Get Rid Of Your Fears; Feel Stronger  

Haunted by memories of your school’s rope climbs, traumatising you well into your 30s? With CrossFit, everyone gets an opportunity to be challenged and confront fears and tears. CrossFit is not just physical, it’s mental. A CrossFitter needs mind and body strength to complete certain workouts. But in the end, knowing what you got through in the gym translates into your ability to conquer anything outside of it as well! Supportive coaches will guide a beginner towards challenging movements like rope climbs, pull-ups, and handstands with strength-building exercises in stages. In no time – you will feel stronger and gain confidence.


  1. Your Very Own Personal Trainer  

CrossFit coaches make the effort to get to know every athlete to guide them towards goal-setting. In every class; one will be given specific guidance on proper form and technique. Undoubtedly, CrossFit may be a sizeable financial investment as compared to working out alone; but it’s much more affordable than sessions with a personal trainer. And you still attain the same benefits!


  1. Master Every Daily Chore – Without A Man’s Help! 

CrossFit makes you strong, and strength leads to independence. A few months into CrossFit will refine your mastery of daily chores, without a man’s help. Activities like lugging groceries or moving cabinets at home or in the office will be painless. CrossFit focuses on one’s functional movements; sprinting short distances, carrying awkward items or lifting heavy things from the ground. Thus CrossFit training is, in varied ways, training one for everyday life. 


CrossFit For Women In Singapore

If you’re a beginner, CrossFit can be done in gyms, under the supervision of certified gym trainers, or at home by following CrossFit videos that are available online. We recommend that you engage in CrossFit under professional supervision. In a CrossFit box, there’s always that feeling of team work and camaraderie from completing a CrossFit workout together. In Singapore, you can experiment with CrossFit in gyms like CrossFit Unit, Reebok Crossfit Enduro, CrossFit Fire City, CrossFit Singapore or CrossFit Hub. Whether you juggle family life or make the most out of your career without a workout regimen, the CrossFit program is great for any woman. Most CrossFit classes in Singapore offer trial classes with prices that vary from each trial class or trial month. Head down physically to experience a CrossFit gym for yourself. Be challenged, be determined and be motivated enough to complete a CrossFit workout to the best of your abilities – this will translate into confidence as a whole!


By picking up CrossFit, one will learn the benefits of high-intensity functional fitness not only to the shape of the body but the overall health as well. Throw out assumptions of how CrossFit could be intense for the average Jane, or how it could overtly build muscle mass and cause physical harm. With CrossFit; strong is the new sexy.

Why You Should Master Public Speaking For Career Prospects

By | Lifestyle

Contrary to popular belief, public speaking is more than merely standing on a podium and speaking into a microphone to an audience. Public speaking, or a skill of communicating information, is the backbone of every society, regardless of age, gender, level of education or occupation. On a daily basis, we all form connections, influence decisions, and inspire change with public speaking. 


It is time to challenge the notion that public speaking should be reserved for the gifted, the professionals, or the elites. History, politics and statistics have ascertained the importance of speaking one’s mind. Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream speech” which inspired a nation and eliminated racial barriers. It may have taken an extra decade for equality to all races if not for such an inspirational speech. And let us not fail to recall Donald J Trump’s political victory that was met with shock across a wide political divide – simply with his powerful form of speeches and substance.


This applies to every common folk – politically apathetic or not. Without communication skills, the ability to progress in the working world and in life, itself, would be unachievable. Yet public speaking is one of the most important and most dreaded forms of communication.


I Have An Education To Advance Me – So Why Take Up Public Speaking?

According to recent polls, the more educated you are, the more comfortable you may be with public speaking. In one poll, 24% of degree graduates expressed a fear of public speaking, compared to 52% of respondents who had a high school certificate or less. Yet employment statistics say otherwise. In a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 44 percent of employers say the first thing that gets their attention is a job candidate’s general demeanour and confidence.



*Chronicle Of Higher Ed


“When employers do hire from college, the evidence suggests that academic skills are not their primary concern,” says Peter Cappelli, a Wharton professor and the author of a new paper on job skills. “Work experience and personality is the crucial attribute that employers want even for students who have yet to work full-time.”

Does this mean that if you lack confidence and strong communicative skills, this will translate into lower chances of employability? The answer is a resounding yes. Throughout primary school, it is easy to be the student who sits in the back of the classroom and avoids raising his or her hand to evade ‘show and tell’ situations. Not so easy in the working world – public speaking is a vital skill to have and to hone. It effectuates artless, everyday interactions between colleagues, bosses and employees, as well as potential clients. This can have an enormous impact on your career path and your level of success in your industry.


One may argue an education and polished resume is sufficient to carry you through the success of your career or business – but a confident personality and communicative skills set could give you that edge over the many competitors in what may seem as the rat race of the 21st century. 




Governments, parents and teachers may be equipping highly intellectual students with an education who understand disciplinary content, but are we preparing them to communicate that information globally?


The Types Of Everyday Public Speaking Everyone Should Know

To help you further understand why public speaking is important, Speech Academy Asia will first examine public speaking in everyday life. We will then discuss how public speaking can benefit anyone, regardless of age and occupation, personally.

Although public speeches are of various types, they are grouped here into three categories based on different purposes: informative, persuasive, and entertaining.

 *Speech Academy Asia

Everyday Informative Speech

Informative speaking is one of the most common types of public speaking. The primary purpose of informative presentations is to share your knowledge of a subject with an audience. The reasons for an informative presentation have in common one goal –  to impart information to an audience. For example, you might be asked to instruct a group of colleagues on how to use a new program or to report the development of a latest project to a group of managers. A local community group might wish to hear about your volunteer activities in Nepal over the holidays, or your classmates may want you to share your expertise on French cooking. 




Informative speaking is integrated into various occupations. Doctors often lecture about their areas of expertise to medical students, other surgeons, and patients. Teachers find themselves presenting to parents as well as to students. Firefighters give demonstrations about how to effectively control a fire in different environments. Informative speaking is a common aspect of numerous jobs and everyday activities. As a result, learning how to speak effectively is an essential skill in today’s world.


Everyday Persuasive Speech



In our everyday lives, we are often called on to motivate, convince or persuade others to change take an action, change their beliefs, or reconsider a decision. Advocating for a new co-curricular activity in the local university, convincing clients to purchase a product, or inspiring a group of youths to do voluntary work all require influencing people through public speaking. 




Giving persuasive speeches is a crucial part of attaining and continuing career success for politicians – in the case of Donald J Trump; who easily convinced millions to elect him as President. Motivational authors and speakers Motivational authors and speakers make millions of dollars each year from people who want to be motivated to do better in their lives. Les Brown (http://www.lesbrown.com) and Brian Tracy, another professional speaker and author, specializes in helping business leaders become more productive and effective in the workplace (http://www.briantracy.com). Whether public speaking is something one does daily or just a few times a year, persuading others is a challenging task. Developing the skill to persuade effectively can be personally and professionally rewarding.


Everyday Entertaining Speech

Entertaining speech involves an array of speaking occasions ranging from wedding toasts to presenting and accepting awards, to delivering eulogies at funerals and memorial services as well as after-dinner speeches and congratulatory speeches. 


The advent of entertaining speech traces its roots to the time of the ancient Greeks, when Aristotle identified epideictic speaking (speaking in a ceremonial context) as a significant form of address. Professionals such as religious leaders and comedians make a living from delivering entertaining speeches. We’ve all watched an awards show on television or seen the father of the bride deliver a wedding toast. Speaking to entertain is no insurmountable task, but similarly to a persuasive and informative speech, one that requires preparation and practice to be effective. 




Can Public Speaking Courses Benefit Me, Both Professionally and Personally?

According to a study by sociologist Andrew Zekeri, A. A  (2004), oral communication skills were the number one skill that college graduates found useful in the business world. In addition to learning the skills of creating and delivering an effective speech, students of public speaking courses leave the class with other amazing life-skills.


You Will Develop Critical Thinking Skills

The very first benefit you will gain is an increased ability to think critically. Problem solving is one of many critical thinking skills one will engage in during a public speaking course. For example, when preparing a persuasive speech, thinking through real problems affecting your society, community, or the world will provide possible solutions to those problems. Thinking through the positive and negative consequences of your solutions and then presenting your ideas to others will be a less complicated thought process. 


At first glance, it may seem easy to come up with solutions for a problem such as a shortage of community spaces; just build more spaces. After thinking and researching further however, you may find out you will cause an environmental impact from loss of green space and maintenance costs. Being able to think through problems and analyse the potential costs and benefits of solutions is an essential part of critical thinking and of public speaking aimed at persuading others. These skills will help you not only in public speaking contexts but throughout your life as well. Providing credible evidence within your speeches if you are going to persuade various audiences will enhance your ability to conduct and analyse research as well.


You Will Improve Both Your Verbal and Non-Verbal Skills 

A second benefit from a public speaking course is that it will help you improve both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Whether you competed in a debate competition as a student or as a complete novice in public speaking, the opportunity to actively practice communication skills and receive professional feedback will help you become a better overall communicator. Apart from improving your tonality as a well-groomed orator, you will discover how to improve non-verbal skills. Every so often, people do not realize that they overdo hand gestures or repeatedly mispronounce words while speaking in public settings until they receive feedback from a trainer during a public speaking course. After all, details do matter.


You Will Eliminate Your Fear Of Public Speaking 

Whether one is a professional public speaker or a greenhorn who has never given a speech, statistics show that majority of people experience anxiety when engaging in public speaking. 


According to a poll in the United States, roughly 40 million people in the U.S. aged 18 or older suffer from different forms of anxiety. A study by Rose, H. M., & Rancer, A. S. (1993) evaluating students’ levels of public speaking anxiety during both the first and last weeks of public speaking classes found that those levels decreased over the course of the semester. This means that a public speaking course will make anyone become better acquainted with the public speaking process, making them more confident and less apprehensive! 


Join A Course At Speech Academy Asia Today

The skills set required for someone speaking for informative, persuasive, or entertainment reasons, are applicable across all public speaking forms. Taking a public speaking class with Speech Academy Asia will improve skills in speech, develop your critical thinking, and even help you overcome anxiety.Speech Academy Asia’s courses have directly benefitted every individual,influencing the world around them, developing their leadership skills, and transforming them into a go-to person for solutions.



A Direct Prediction For Your Finances By 2025

By | Finance

The term Fourth Industrial Revolution may sound familiar – but what exactly is it? And how directly will it impact the human resources industry in 2025? In the case you have not heard of it – let an infographic from the World Economic Forum define how the industrial revolution has progressively transformed the global workplace. 



Photo: World Economic Forum


The first Industrial Revolution was defined by the founding of steam and water. Electricity for mass-production progressively introduced the world to the second Industrial Revolution. The third was drastically epitomized with the digitalization of everything – from the internet to various communication technologies. The fourth Industrial Revolution is a hypothesis of how the real world would integrate with the technological world – and more specifically; how such a new wave of technology will revolutionize the way we work – or if human work for that matter, is needed in the coming decade.


Virtual reality has catapulted the consumption and interaction of information to higher levels never imagined. From 3D printing tools to nano-bots futuristically injected into blood streams to cure illnesses as well as medicinal equipment like IBM Watson utilized for a doctor’s diagnosis – even medical scientist Sir Mark Walport’s statement of how previous job disruption has affected those in manufacturing and has not troubled professionals is about to change. Predominantly in his own area of medicine. Professor Andrew Moore, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University substantiates this with one fact – 50% of patent applications are now checked by machines. “You are safer being a plumber than a management consultant.”, he continues. The bold prediction of how the doctors will lose footing in the medical industry only feeds more global anxiety on questions directly related to human resources. How will technology transform people management? Will the future of HR be no HR – according to Mike Ettling, President of SAP SuccessFactors – the global provider of cloud-based human capital management (HCM) software?

HREasily combines the complex facts and findings into one straightforward framework to make the future of HR a reality. We combine the findings of top HR leaders who envisioned the 2025 HR profession through CHREATE (The global Consortium to Reimagine HR, Employment Alternatives, Talent, and the Enterprise) with the observations of the report, HR Leader’s Playbook: Digital Transformation. 


This combination includes five forces shaping the future of work and organizations, and six necessary roles in which the CEOs and Board members interviewed, believed as relevant to virtually every organization. In addition, there are three modus operandi a HR professional can be guided by as we go along. 


Five Forces That Will Shape Workplace 2025


Social & Organizational Readjustments



With less employment-based and more project-based relationships, this force will increase democratization of work, transform organizational forms such as the traditional hierarchy in favour of more power-balanced organization. Talent will participate with organizations increasingly based on similar interests and purpose instead of merely economic exchange. Organizational responses will include social collaborations as essential elements of product and service development. Business practices and culture will reflect shared purpose and mission along with shared leadership. Talent sourcing and engagement processes range from diverse work arrangements such as part-time, full-time, freelance, outsourcing, talent exchanges with affiliated organizations, and engagement based increasingly on a purpose-driven mission.




An Highly Connected World Globally 



Increasingly affordable mobile devices, virtual collaborations and new media will facilitate global and real-time communications that increase ideation and product development. Market strategies will use rapid prototyping with intensive user feedback. Businesses and their operations will be globally transparent, with extremely fast product development and release cycles, immediate feedback and relationships based on trust. Work will be sourced from anywhere at any time, by workers organized in the cloud, and networks of freelancers or free agents.  Work will be engineered through newly defined talent management systems that support a distributed and global workforce, high-trust cultures and purpose-built networks, empowered with large data.



All-Encompassing Global Talent Market 



Work will be seamlessly delegated around the globe with 24/7 operations enabled by new corporate and social policies. Maximum longevity will allow mature talent to stay in workforce longer.  Major talent majorities will include females and non-whites. Organizations increasingly divide work into projects, tasks and micro-tasks directed to the best talent within and outside the organization through diverse work relationships. Leadership and engagement will evolve to meet differentiated cultural preferences in policies, practices, work designs, pay and benefits.  Purpose-driven organizations will excel in attracting, engaging and motivating workers from many sources.


Six New Workplace Leadership Roles:

In 2013, The CHREATE teams envisioned that these changes will require organizational capabilities embodied in six new roles. These roles may be embedded in an HR profession of 2025, reflecting boundaries beyond traditional HR of today:


The Organizational Engineer 

An expert in facilitating virtual teams, nurturing leadership wherever it exists, and talent transitions. He or she has expertise in task optimization. Has the knowledge resource on principles such as responsiveness, networking, power and trust.


The Virtual Culture Architect 

Adept at principles of values, norms, and beliefs, articulated virtually and personally, he or she is a culture expert, ambassador and brand builder. Connecting current and potential workers’ purpose to the organization’s mission and goals is the purpose.




The Global Talent Scout, Mentor and Coach 

He or she masters new talent platforms and optimizes the relationships between workers, work and the organization, utilising the best platform (e.g., freelancer, contractor, regular employee, etc.). More than a talent contract manager, this person serves as a career and even life coach.



The Data, Talent & Technology Integrator 

It is after all, the fourth Industrial Revolution. This person serves the gap and provides expertise at finding meaning in big data and algorithms, and how to design work that optimally combines technology, automation and humans.


The Social Policy & Community Activist 

He or she creates synergy between goals that include economic returns, social purpose, ethics, sustainability, and worker well-being.  He or she influences beyond the organization, shaping policies, regulations and laws that support the new world of work, through community engagement.


1 Simple Modus Operandi To Survive The Future Of HR

The fourth Industrial Revolution has revolutionised the workplace of today. The advent of artificial intelligence, A.I, and robotics has increased the rate of change. HR professionals, both as individuals and as organizations, must develop adaptability as a core skill progress in the new world of technological transformation.




Main challenges of the fourth Industrial Revolution include a widening skills gap. Academic programs may fail to teach the programming languages needed to power the next generation of software and hardware products. To avoid the consequences of a workforce with obsolete skills, companies must train new and experienced employees alike, as new technologies quickly replace existing skill sets. The entire concept of “Human Resources” must be reinvented. It is time for the future of HR to listen to more human needs: flexibility of a work-life balance, global mobility, belonging, learning. Technological advancements aside, people want to make an impact. It is up to the future of HR to build systems that allow them to grow and express their talent.



In the fourth Industrial Revolution, scientists are not required to focus on data and A.I. alone – but the human mind in order to enable people to be key drivers of innovation. Only then can the world start thinking about how we will interact with evolving A.I. and technologies. Without transforming the concept of HR into “people first,” humans risk becoming robots themselves.

Loss Of Future Earnings – Quantifying Damages For Claimants In Singapore

By | Finance

A record S$8.65 million is believed to be the largest payout in a personal injury claim in Singapore. In December 2016, the case heard by the High Court resulted in the payout of damages to Ms Siew Pick Chiang, a 42-year-old woman who suffered serious post-traumatic stress disorder which saw her hospitalised up to 19 times over seven years after being struck by a bundle of overhead cables while cycling on a pavement along Pasir Ris Drive 8 on Oct 15, 2009. The cyclist launched the lawsuit against Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd in September 2012, seeking to claim more than S$26 million for medical expenses, hiring caregivers to care for herself and her son, loss of earnings, and miscellaneous expenditure such as taxi fares. Ms Siew, who ran a business providing pre- and post-natal services with her mother before the accident, was also awarded S$1.08 million for loss of future earnings and S$4.8 million for anticipated future expenses.


Seeking to follow in her footsteps as of November 2017 is 31 year-old Mr Jay Mitchell, an Australian national who had severe head trauma following a traffic accident in Orchard Road arguing that he had a 100 per cent chance of following the footsteps of his father and brother, who were pilots with Tiger Airways, which has now merged with Scoot. While on holiday in Singapore on Aug 5, 2011, he was hit by a car as he was crossing the road opposite the Hilton Hotel. He then underwent surgery in which part of his skull was removed. Mr Smith sued the driver, Mr Abdul Rahim Mohd Akhbar, and the car owner, Resorts World Sentosa, who accepted 70 per cent liability on July 15, 2016, with the sum payable to be assessed.


Most of the items to his claim such as pain and suffering, medical expenses and pre-trial loss of earnings have been settled at mediation and Mr Smith has received $231,841 so far. Based on what he would have earned in the future at 100 per cent liability, Mr Smith sought $6.629 million plus $100,000 for loss of earning capacity, the disadvantage he would suffer in the labour market. 


In view of Mr Smith and Ms Siew’s cases, what are the available options for a claimant similarly seeking damages? In any personal injury case, ranging from a traffic to a workplace accident, or one caused by the negligent act of another party, two main categories of damages may be pointed out to the injured party – special damages and general damages.


What Are Special Damages? Are They Quantifiable For Claims? 

Special damages are easily quantifiable as receipts of expenses that have been incurred as a result of the personal injury suffered would assist the court in reaching a settlement amount during legal proceedings. Special damages compensate the injured party for any economic losses that he or she has suffered as a result of the accident or negligent act. Such claims may include costs incurred for medical and hospitalisation bills, loss of income when the injured party is unable to work, and repair or replacement of damaged property. 


What Are General Damages? Are They 

As compared to special damages, general damages are not easily quantifiable. Accurately assessing the amount of general damages payable to a claimant is challenging due to 

claims for non-economic losses suffered to the claimant, the most common of which is pain and suffering. In such circumstances, pain and suffering is not solely confined to the physical pain or discomfort that the injured individual suffers, but also includes mental suffering or psychiatric disorders that came with it – such as emotional distress or anxiety attacks which the claimant may suffer post-accident or injury. 


IRB Law discourses the approach that is generally undertaken to quantifying general damages in Singapore.




Quantifying General Damages in Singapore

A reference book entitled Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases published by The State Courts of Singapore, together with the Singapore Academy of Law, is exercised by lawyers in advising their clients on the estimated amount of damages that can be expected from a wide range of injuries, such as psychiatric disorders.


An example of a case in Singapore when these guidelines were applied by the Court is Chang Mui Hoon v Lim Bee Leng. The parties were involved in a road traffic accident and the claimant sought general damages in respect of a whiplash injury to her neck, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) and depression, as well as for future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity. She also sought special damages for medical expenses, maid expenses, transport expenses and pre-trial loss of income. 


In this case, the Court referred to the Guidelines in order to assess the quantum of for the claimant’s alleged psychiatric injuries. The Guidelines list out various factors that can aid a court when assessing the amount of damages payable for the stated injury.


For example, in a claim for damages for general psychiatric injury, some of the factors a Court can take into consideration include: –


The person’s ability to cope with life and work in general as compared to his or her pre-trauma state;

The effect on the person’s relationships with family, friends and those with whom he or she comes into contact with;

Whether the person is suicidal as a result of his or her psychiatric condition;

Whether medical help has been sought;

The extent to which treatment would be successful;

The extent to which medication affects the person’s work and social life;

Whether the person adheres faithfully to counselling sessions and takes his or her medication;

The risk of relapse in the future; and

The chances of full recovery in the future.

It is also important to note that the quantum of damages payable for such injuries correspond according to their level of severity. For example, according to the Guidelines, where the injury is deemed to be relatively minor in nature, the amount of damages will typically range from between S$1,000 to $3,000.


General Principles in Quantifying Damages


At present, the use of guidelines continues to play an important role in assisting the courts in their assessment of damages for pain and suffering. It must be remembered that an award for damages, whether general or special, is not intended to be punitive, but compensatory in nature, and the final award of damages that is reached has to be one that is reasonable in the circumstances. Singapore’s current approach also avoids the problems faced in other jurisdictions, like in the USA, where the quantum of damages awarded for pain and suffering is often an arbitrary one that is largely left to the discretion of a jury. 







How To Claim?


You may start a claim by first writing a letter to the person or organisation you want to seek the claim from. If both parties can reach a settlement, the process is straightforward. 


However, in the case of a disagreement, you will need a lawyer’s help. You can commence an action in court by having a lawyer issue a summons asking for the specific reliefs.


If the defendant does not dispute the summons, then the process is simple. The lawyer will enter interlocutory judgement against the defendant with damages to be assessed or quantified at a separate hearing. This is like an interim judgment as you do not know the quantum of damages awarded yet.


On the other hand, if the other side contest the action, then both parties will go to court for trial. At the end of it, the judge will decide and award damages.


What If The Claim Is Against You?


Depending on whether you are negligent, you can chose to defend yourself. Alternatively,  you may do so with a lawyer or your insurance company can defend in your name. This is common with car accidents. Basically, the only way to defend yourself is to prove that you are not negligent, and the claimant is at fault. In grey areas, the case could swing either way.


How We Can Help


At I.R.B. Law LLP, our knowledgeable and understanding lawyers are more than willing to work through claiming for personal injury. Having experienced lawyers fight your case only makes sense. We aim to provide quality services at affordable prices, so you can place all your focus on getting the best outcome for your case without worrying about your wallet. Contact us at hello@irblaw.com.sg or +65 6589 8915 when you are ready to discuss your case. The information contained in this article is provided for general information only and may not reflect current status about applicable law, cases, settlements or judgements. Nothing contained on this website or article is intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be construed as I.R.B Law LLP agreeing to provide legal services to you. You acknowledge and agree that your use of this website shall not create a lawyer-client relationship with I.R.B Law LLP.

Home Renovation Disputes. Steps To Safeguard Your Finance Now.

By | Finance

Receiving the prized possession of brand new keys to a home, scouting around to appoint the most impeccable contractor or interior designer and securing the funds to start building your home sounds picture-perfect. Yet before you sign the renovation contract, take the time to study it. Better yet, secure your own contract with IRB Law LLP. Homeowners across all forms of brand new BTOs or resale flats, condominiums and landed homes of today have been caught by discrepancies between the promised and final renovation works, with little recourse but to accept delivery below par due to an equivocal contract, some of which as according to reports to the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE), are not contracts but quotations they signed. Based on complaints received, the renovation contractor industry has been in CASE’s top ten ranking list of industries with the highest number of complaints for the past decade. As of 2016, the renovation contractor industry was ranked fourth, with a total of 1,269 complaints lodged with CASE. The top nature of complaint for the industry is failure to honour, meaning that contractual obligations and promises were not fulfilled, followed by substandard services. From January to July 2017, 719 complaints were reported.




(Table: CASE)



The common renovation pitfalls many homeowners run into starts with paying a large deposit, or paying in full upfront to the renovation contractor. Despite contractual obligations, majority run into disputes due to multiple delays or unsatisfactory renovation works. Worst yet are homeowners who encounter renovation contractors that cease operations and become uncontactable after collecting payment.


To protect yourself against avoidable contract disputes, spell out the detailed clauses in your renovation contract from the beginning – explicitly in black and white, down to the fine print. Never rely on a verbal agreement – commit all spoken promises into a written contract. IRB Law LLP sheds light on an explanatory on basic considerations behind selecting the right contractor and an array of dispute resolution options when involved in a home renovation dispute.






Prior To Commencement of Renovation Works; Do A 3-Step Research


  1. Apart from browsing through the ideal interior design of a new home, it is crucial that homeowners choose an accredited contractor. Research on accreditation schemes that ensure the high standards and conduct of their accredited member contractors. To better protect consumers in this industry, Case started a joint accreditation scheme with RCMA last year, which protects consumers’ deposits against business closure through a deposit performance bond. There are currently 30 registered business under the CaseTrust-RCMA joint accreditation scheme. The list of accredited businesses can be found at www.casetrust.org.sg. 


  1. Researching on extras such as the contractor’s track record or requesting to see their works in progress is an added advantage. Besides considering cost as a factor, keep other factors such as quality, time taken and defect liability in mind. For Housing & Development Board (HDB) residents, engage a HDB approved contractor with evidence of such.


  1. Next, ensure you sign a contract with your renovation contractor while carefully reading the terms and understanding your rights and obligations under the contract. It is advisable to request for and keep a copy of the contract with you. Avoid signing the contractor’s proprietary contract as it may be drafted unfairly in favour of the contractor. CASE discourages the practice of renovation contractors asking consumers to pay a substantial advance deposit before the work begins and encourages consumers to use the CASE model agreement that includes fair guidelines for consumers to negotiate terms with contractors. Samples of a payment schedule with key project milestones and deliverables is provided as well. It is downloadable from their website(https://www.case.org.sg/pdf/model_renovation.pdf). 


A Legal Perspective; 7 Must-Haves In Your Renovation Contract


The contract should state detailed terms binding both homeowner and contractor. For certain types of works, it may require approvals or permits from the HDB or the Building & Construction Authority (BCA). The renovation contract governs the obligations of the contractor. Prior to the commencement of the renovation works, your contractor may have made oral promises beyond the scope of the contract. Keep in mind that oral promises are rarely enforceable. Thus, request that the contractor commit the oral promise to writing.In any case, contractors or their representatives cannot make false claims, oral or written, to mislead or misrepresent their client. If they do so, it may entitle the client to a cause of action. The following are important contractual terms. 


  1. Payment – payment should be made progressively; do not make full payment upfront;
  2. Commencement and completion dates and schedules;
  3. Liquidated damages – if the contractor breaches the contract and the homeowner suffers losses, a liquidated damages clause accelerates the claim process without requiring the homeowner to prove and value his losses;
  4. Variations – without a variation clause, the homeowner may not have the power to require the contractor to alter the works, and the contractor may charge a higher price or delay completion;
  5. Warranties  – as to workmanship and the quality of materials;
  6. Rectification of defects – obliging the contractor to rectify or defects before handover;
  7. Dispute resolution – a mediation clause can oblige both parties to refer the matter to CASE or other neutral parties in the event of dispute.


During Course Of Renovation Works; 3 Ways To Supervise Proper Work By The Renovation Contractor


  1. Make progress payments only and after satisfactory completion of the job agreed upon
  2. Monitor renovation works vigilantly by having a camera ready to have snapshots of unsatisfactory works or having a witness to as company during inspections. This will avoid mishaps or misgivings beyond the defect liability period when proof will be difficult.  
  3. If progress of work is substandard, raise concerns early and recognize when to give up on the current contractor before engaging a new one in place. 


FAQ By Homeowners : What Happens If I Want To Replace My Current Renovation Contractor Halfway Through The Works? 


Read the contract to determine if the contractor has breached the relevant contractual terms. To save time and costs, any discontentment should first be communicated to the contractor or the liable party, extending the party a chance to rectify the defect and reach an amicable resolution. Come to a mutual compromise as to termination and payment. Subsequently, you should inform the new contractor of your requirements, apply for a new HDB permit if applicable, and change your house keys if necessary. Take note that the contractor may not be liable if the defective materials are supplied by third party suppliers sourced by you. If the defective works are subcontracted, the main contract between you and the contractor will likely have laid responsibility upon the main contractor for the acts of the subcontractor.


Home Renovation Dispute Resolutions; 4 Solutions For Homeowners


  1. Lodge A Complaint With Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE)

Lodge a complaint with CASE if your matter is a consumer-to-business dispute. CASE can either correspond with the contractor on your behalf, or draft a letter to the contractor addressing your concerns. To enlist the help of CASE, click here.


  1. Mediation at CASE or a neutral board

CASE provides an affordable mediation scheme for the benefit of consumers. If mediation is successful, a binding settlement agreement can be reached and signed by both parties. If the contractor reneges and breaches the settlement terms, you will have a cause of action against the contractor. Be wary of acceding to mediation by certain trade associations. If these trade associations are dependent on their members for funding, their mediation panels have to be examined carefully to determine whether they are fair and unbiased.


  1. Lodge A Claim at the Small Claims Tribunal

You can lodge a claim at the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) if the cause of action (the date when the renovation contract was breached or the date when renovation was to be completed but was delayed or completed in a defective manner, to name a few examples) was not more than a year ago, and that you are claiming for a sum up to S$10,000, or up to S$20,000 if the contractor consents to a SCT hearing. If your claim exceeds the prescribed limit, you may want to consider lowering your claim amount. If you do so, you cannot claim for the remainder sum thereafter. To determine the size of your claim, you can check with another contractor to find out how much it would cost to rectify the defect.


  1. Obtaining legal advice or commencing litigation

The relevant renovation contract may contain mandatory mediation or arbitration clauses. If so, civil action may not be available until mediation or arbitration have been undertaken, depending on the precise terms. In any case, if you have exhausted all other options, and the quantum or type of your claim falls outside of the SCT’s jurisdiction, you should consult a lawyer to obtain legal advice, and determine whether litigation is an appropriate solution to your matter.



Credence Discusses Glossophobia; Fear Of Public Speaking That Could Affect The Overall Quality Of Your Life And How To Eliminate It In 10 MINUTES

By | Lifestyle

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”    – Jerry Seinfield




*1996 Roper Reports Survey


The famous Jerry Seinfeld punch line about the average person who would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy may still apply today even after 20 years – as statistics have shown according to a 2016 study by the National Institute Of Mental Health proving that 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety and around 5.3 million Americans have a social phobia. 


Glossophobia, also known as the fear of public speaking, is an all-too-common phenomenon that millions of people struggle with globally. A fear of speeches may seem insignificant as compared to other forms of anxiety one may face, but it must not be taken for granted – for this condition, if not conquered as early as possible, is a social phobia that has the potential to drastically affect both personal and professional relationships, decreasing the overall quality of life and in turn, increase the levels of depression. 


Eliminating the fear of public speaking is the ultimate key to the success of all forms of communication and career opportunities. It means being able to express your thoughts at a project meeting or answer spontaneous questions in front of a camera if the news crew shows up. On the personal front of some of life’s biggest events, it also means the adaptability and ability to give a speech at important weddings or delivering an eulogy at the funeral of a loved one.

Overcoming glossophobia can be challenging, but it is not impossible if one is equipped with the right skills. In this article, Speech Academy Asia unlocks that key to 6 healthy ways to eliminate the big fear of public speaking so you can be more confident sharing your thoughts in the workplace and other social settings.




Only Have 10 Minutes? Use The 10 Minute UMP Strategy 


Some people, even professionals who give speeches daily, regard delivering a speech as no problem. This no problem approach comes with its drawbacks. People with this approach are filled with overwhelming confidence in their speaking abilities that they fail to prepare even an outline of their speech. In this case, no matter how skilled the speaker may be in his or her tonality and pronunciations, the content may lack direction, clarity and focus. 


An easy 3 step strategy will help you manage the anxiety often associated with public speaking to improve the content and delivery of your speeches.



*Understand speech anxiety

*Manage physical and emotional responses

*Plan a course of action to effectively deal with those responses


U – Understand Speech Anxiety

Academic researchers use the term communication apprehension to describe Glossophobia and define it as “the fear or anxiety associated with real or anticipated communication with others” (Dwyer, 1998, p. 9). 




Public speaking is a skill required by many professions and will progressively advance one in almost all business, educational, and social situations. In careers ranging from the legal profession to sales, marketing to engineering, volunteering to teaching, effective public speaking skills are an asset and often a requirement for success. Instead of thinking of public speaking as a punishment, consider it as a meaningful addition to your personal toolbox of skills and abilities. In fact, public speaking has three key advantages: 1) it develops critical thinking skills, 2) encourages creativity, and 3) plays a key role in leadership (McKay, 2000).

It is common for someone experiencing speech anxiety to have physical reaction before, during, and after a speech. Public speaking, from the mere possibility all the way through the speech itself, can trigger increased breathing and excessive nervous energy.


Reducing the threat of such reactions can be done by preparing strong outlines and practicing over and over again. Speech anxiety also frequently consists of a psychological reaction. Now that you have understood speech anxiety, the next section will address how to manage the anxiety so that it can be refocused into something useful.


M – Manage Your Response




With an understanding of Glossophobia, you are ready to consider ways to manage it. One strategy for managing speech anxiety is to ensure that you are prepared to deliver an effective speech. Therefore, several rules for effective public speaking are presented below:


If you only have 10 minutes before the speech:


  • Choose a topic that you know well
  • Have a positive attitude towards your speech
  • View the audience as a source of support
  • Never read your speech directly – utilize pointers instead
  • Know that nervousness is not readily seen by the audience
  • Even the most accomplished speakers experience some level of arousal before a speech, the key is that they have learned to think of that arousal as excitement instead of a threat or anxiety. 


And if you have extra days ahead of your speech presentation:


  • Deep breathing exercises – to reduce heart rate
  • Relaxation – do yoga, mediate, stretch
  • Exercise – run, lift weights, swim, take an aerobics class
  • Maintenance – sleep and eat well
  • Find a calm place – imagine yourself in a desirable location


P – Plan Your Course Of Action




The following is a brief topical outline format that will help you organize an informative speech.


I. Introduction


Greeting (good morning, afternoon, evening)


Topic/Thesis Statement

Credibility (what makes you a trustworthy and expert speaker on this topic)

Relevance (why is this topic important to the audience)

II. Body


Point 1 (with evidence)

Point 2 (with evidence)

Point 3 (with evidence)

III. Conclusion


Notice (in conclusion, to summarize, etc.)





Consider What Is Said (Content), How It Is Said (Delivery), Who It Is Said To (Audience)

Keep in mind that effective speakers must consider how the audience might respond to the delivery and content of the speech. Speakers with a no problem approach are overtly confident in their own abilities that they forget how crucial the audience is to the success or failure of their speech. Speakers with Glossophobia on the other had, place the emphasis on the wrong and tend to focus more on what the audience might think about them and what they are presenting. Anxious speakers often invest a lot of time and effort into preparing a very informative speech but struggle to convey that information effectively. They may, for example, read their entire speech directly from the paper. Though informative, public reading is not nearly as interesting to the audience, nor as effective as public speaking. Equal emphasis must be given to audience and yourself – the speaker.


Get Rid Of Glossophobia And Take Charge Of Your Life Today! 

Have you ever thought about climbing the corporate ladder and eventually finding yourself in a management or other leadership position? If so, then public speaking skills are very important. If you want people to follow you, you have to communicate effectively and clearly what followers should do. “Powerful leadership comes from knowing what matters to you. Powerful presentations come from expressing this effectively. It’s important to develop both.” *Bender, P. U. (1998). 






“But after they settle in, you’ve still got to be funny because for an hour, just that fact that they get to see you live in a theatre is going to wear off if you’re not doing well.”


Those are once again, the words of Jerry Seinfeld. And while he was speaking about stand-up comedy, he could have been speaking about public speaking. If the audience are going to hear you speak for 20 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour, you better be good at what you are doing.