First, the income ceiling will be raised so as to
allow the lowest 20% of households to qualify.
The income limits under the FAS
for Government and Government-Aided Schools will be increased from the current
$900 (Gross Monthly Household Income) to $1,500 for families with 1 or 2
children; and from $1,050 to $1,800 for families with 3 or more children.
Second, the benefits granted to FAS recipients
will also be expanded. They will receive a full waiver of the standard
miscellaneous fees, compared to the 50% waiver under the current FAS. FAS
recipients will also get a 75% subsidy on national examination fees.
discourage locals from developing into problem
gamblers, Section 116 of the Bill shall require the
casino operators to collect an entry levy from
Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents for every
consecutive 24 hours in the casinos or $2,000 for an
This levy will also underscore the message that
gambling is an expense and not a means to get
Section 108 of the Bill shall prohibit casino and
junket operators from extending credit to Singapore
Citizens and Permanent Residents, unless they
maintain a credit balance of at least $100,000 with
the casino operator at the start of their gaming
which would qualify them as premium players.
Automated Teller Machines or ATMs shall be
prohibited within the casinos under Section 109 of
the Bill so that patrons will not have easy access
to their savings accounts to gamble continuously.
Minors are also another potentially vulnerable group
who may fall prey to the glamour of the casino,
without realising the possible dangers of gambling.
Sections 130 to 137 of the Bill will prohibit
persons below the age of 21 years from entering the
by Second Year Media and Communication
students in Singapore Polytechnic¨s School of
the 795 respondents who owned handphones, Nokia had the highest share at 56% while Samsung and
Sony-Ericsson tied for second place at 16% each...
asked to choose one item that they would not be able
to live without from a list that included the handphone, PC, TV, portable music device, PDA, portable
game console and digital camera. 78% of all the 800 respondents
indicated that they could not live without their handphone."
"Our society will have to make many
adjustments as our population grows older. We need to put in place
policies and programmes to enable Singaporeans to live more
meaningful and fulfilling lives in their golden years.
"We must review issues such as
elder-friendly housing, barrier-free access to buildings and public
transport, and affordable medical care during old age. These issues
will become increasingly important to the growing numbers of senior
citizens. The Committee on Ageing Issues (CAI) has been studying
them and will publish its report soon.
"In addition, the Tripartite Committee
on Employability of Older Workers has just put out
its recommendations to make it easier for older
workers to stay employed. The Government supports
these recommendations, and will work with its
tripartite partners to help older workers upgrade
their skills, find jobs, and contribute in
productive ways to our society..."
"As a result of direct Government subsidies,
the average Class B2/C bills are relatively modest.
In 2004, the average bill size for Class B2 and C
wards were around $1,050 and $800 respectively...
"As at end-December 2004, the average
Medisave balance for all active accounts was $17,321. This is enough
to cover more than 20 times the average Class C hospital bill or 10
times the 90th percentile Class C bill..."
"Since the appeal case in the High Court in 1993,
besides Melvyn Tan there have been 13 other cases of convicted defaulters who
were sentenced only to a fine and who were not subsequently enlisted because
they were already over 40 or almost 40.
"This is something that we need to look into more
closely, especially as there may now be more defaulters who are 40 or older
coming before the courts with the passing of time...
"MINDEF will be proposing to the House to increase
the maximum fine provided for in the Enlistment Act from the current $5,000 to
"...from now on, MINDEF will ask the
prosecutor to press for a jail sentence in serious cases of NS defaulters, and
explain why we consider a jail sentence appropriate in a particular case... "
"The scheme primarily targets those within
the lowest 20% of income earners who earn $1,200 per month or less...
"The Committee recommends that those in
the lowest 10% should be given more help. If surpluses allow, we
recommend for this group earning $900 or less a month, a Workfare
bonus capped at the equivalent of one month¨s salary.
"Correspondingly, those earning more than
$900 to $1200 (lowest 20% of income earners) per month could receive
a bonus capped at half a month¨s salary..."
since September 11 and the arrest of the Jemaah
Islamiyah members in Singapore, we have stepped up
our security measures...
"Exercise Northstar V is the largest scale
exercise we have conducted so far. We simulated a scenario with multiple
bomb explosions and a chemical agent release in 4 MRT stations and 1 bus
interchange, to stretch ourselves and test our capabilities..."
I am very grateful that there are people
like 2SG Ong, men like that in the unit, who come forward to take on
this demanding task.
They know that at any moment, they may be
called, and their lives are on the line. So they take training very
seriously and they look after each other very seriously. If there are
any shortcomings, if there are any persons who have failed to perform
their duty properly, then of course, we will rectify this shortcoming.
And the persons who have not performed their duties properly, they will
have to be called to task.
"The EA had failed to provide acceptable
housing for FDWs under its charge by housing them in the kitchen and
backyard of a house.
"In a separate incident, the EA also withheld
the passports of FDWs placed by them. Finally, the EA had failed to
repatriate an FDW upon the revocation of the in-principle approval of
her work permit within the Ministry¨s stipulated deadline of 14 days..."
by 5.7% in 2005, better than expected. Growth was
broad-based. Manufacturing output rose sharply and
the services industries also did well...
first three quarters, we created 78,000 jobs. This
reduced the unemployment rate to 3.3%. For the whole
of 2005, employment creation should match or even
exceed the 108,500 jobs recorded in 2000.
"Wages increased by
around 4% and many workers enjoyed good bonuses.
Overall, Singaporeans have become more confident and