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News, Articles & Reports

     TALK: Share Your Views

Death Is Not The Only Way Out

"Somewhere in Singapore today, someone will commit suicide. Seven others will try, but help will come in time and they will survive.

"The same will happen again tomorrow, and every day.

"These are among the facts of life and death here, and this is how it has been for a long time.

"Looked at one way, Singapore's statistics for suicide say that much has stayed fairly stable over the years and there is nothing to be alarmed about.

"Viewed another way, however, you must wonder why the numbers have not come down despite a proliferation of support services and crisis helplines over the years."

Excerpt of article "Death is not the only way out" by ALAN JOHN in THE STRAITS TIMES of 5 Jul 2006 (Page 22)

TALK: Share Your Views




Income Tax (Amendment) Bill passed

"Currently, the penalty for not filing an income tax return is significantly less severe than the penalty for under-declaring income. This creates an incentive for taxpayers to avoid taxation by not submitting their income tax returns.
"To discourage this practice, a penalty of double the amount of tax undercharged will be introduced for the failure to file a tax return in respect of any year of assessment within 3 years from the filing deadline..."



Report on labour force in Singapore in 2006

"76% of the resident population aged 25 to 64 were employed, the highest since the data was first compiled in 1991, up from 73% in 1996...
"12% or 172,000 of resident employees were engaged on term contracts in June 2006 while the remaining 88% were permanent employees3. On average, employees on term contract drew lower pay than those on permanent appointments...
"The share of degree holders almost doubled to 23% from 12% a decade ago..."



10,221 reported cases of loan shark harassment activities in 2006

"In 2006, 294 persons were arrested for UML offences and related harassment activities. This is an increase of 11% as compared to 2005.
"In 2006, Police also dealt with 39 UML syndicate members under the CL(TP) Act, which is an increase of 63% compared to 24 in 20053. In addition, Police smashed 8 syndicates last year4 ..."



Proposed changes to rules for unsecured credit

"A measured step of lowering the minimum annual income threshold for unsecured credit facilities from $30,000 to $20,000. A more conservative maximum credit limit of twice the borrower's monthly income will be set for individuals in this $20,000 to $30,000 income group, with no access to credit cards...
"Create appropriate modifications to the moneylenders regime.  For instance, for unsecured loans of $3,000 and below, no minimum income requirement would be imposed but such loans would be subject to an interest rate cap..."



Employment situation in 4th quarter 2006

"Preliminary estimates show that total employment grew by 48,800 in the fourth quarter of 2006, considerably higher than the gains of 35,300 in the same period a year ago, and up from 43,000 in the third quarter of 2006...
"Total retrenchment for the whole of 2006 was 12,200. Although this is higher than 10,294 in 2005, it is only about half the number retrenched in 2001 (25,838). Manufacturing formed the bulk of retrenchments (8,800), followed by services (3,000) and construction (400) in 2006..."



Road Traffic Situation 2006

"The number of persons killed increased from 173 to 190 in 2006. The number of persons injured increased from 8,226 to 9,706 in 2006, of which 104 suffered serious injuries...
"There was an overall increase in the number of speed-related accidents, from 1,445 to 1,657 cases in 2006, with the number of speed-related fatal accidents increasing by 15 cases, from 51 to 66. More than 1 in 3 of all fatal accidents were speed related..."



Thaipusam Festival 2007

From 6 P.M. On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 to 2 A.M on Fri, 2 Feb 2007



Secondhand Goods Dealers Bill 2007 passed

"The current Act does not cover dealers operating without a shop. We recognise that many secondhand goods dealers today actually carry on their business via other means, such as on the Internet, or in an open-air setting like Sungei Road. This is unacceptable, as thieves and robbers will simply get rid of their loot through these other dealers who do not have a shop-front...
"MHA is hence widening the coverage of the law to include those dealers who do not operate within a shop. However, in keeping with the emphasis on a sharper regulatory focus, only dealers who trade in secondhand goods that are listed in the Schedule will come under the ambit of the Act..."


     -  Crazy Horse Paris in Singapore to close

     - Chinatown light-up and bazaar for Chinese New Year

     - PTC revises premium bus service scheme


Commissioner of Charities completes inquiry on Youth Challenge

"The COC found that the Executive President's total annual remuneration for the financial year ended 31 January 2006 was $248,867. Of this amount, only $53,836 was disclosed as the Executive President's salaries in the Income and Expenditure Statement.
"Another $164,475 was disclosed in Note 3 to the audited financial statements as salaries apportioned to various projects/events...
"The Executive President's total remuneration of $248,867 amounted to 56% of the total donation and other income of $442,287 raised for the same period..."



The Banking (Amendment) Bill passed

"Entities that have not been approved to issue credit cards in Singapore will be prohibited from soliciting for or accepting card applications in Singapore, and this applies equally to third parties acting on their behalf...
"The proposed regime also clarifies that single party merchant credit is exempted from regulation.  Such an arrangement, where the card is used only for transactions with the issuer, is essentially a deferred payment scheme offered by merchants to their customers.
"In addition, a new exemption for cards granting credit in small amounts not exceeding S$500 will be introduced.  This allows flexibility in payments for small-ticket items without raising substantial concerns about Singaporeans spending beyond their means..."


     - MOE to develop 15 FutureSchools@Singapore schools by 2015

     - StarHub first to launch HDTV service in Singapore


2006 survey finds almost nine in ten children aged 10 - 14 years are infocomm users

"Almost nine in ten children (aged 10 to 14 years) use the computer and Internet for communications, learning and play...
"The second highest proportion of Infocomm users are our youth and adults (aged 15 to 59 years), with about seven in ten using the computer and Internet extensively for communications and leisure activities.
"The elderly (aged 60 and above) are also Infocomm users. Three in ten use the computer, while two in ten have accessed the Internet in the past year..."


     - Study on returns to higher education in Singapore


     - MDA launches new licence framework for IPTV

     - The new NKF’S progress report 2006


     - Two students to be charged in court for misuse of sparklers


Changes to Medisave and MediShield in 2007

"First, the Ministry of Health will increase the Medisave inpatient daily withdrawal limit from $400 to $450...
"Second, the Ministry of Health plans to allow Medisave use for MRI and CT scans, if they form part of an outpatient cancer treatment...
"MOH intends to further reduce the co-payment, in particular the deductibles of Medisave-approved private insurance plans, in 2007..."


     - Medisave can now be used for outpatient treatment of three additional chronic diseases


     - RSAF to be reorganised into five commands

     - Synthetic fields for eligible schools



SMU starts School of Law

"The Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers estimated that an additional 140-150 legal professionals will be required each year from 2010 until 2015 to meet the needs of Singapore’s legal industry.

"To meet this number, the SMU School of Law will take in 90 students in AY2007, reaching a steady-state intake of 120 from AY2008 onwards.
"The NUS Faculty of Law will also increase its intake from the current 220 to 240 beginning in AY2007..."



Survey on polyclinics in Singapore

"The heaviest patient attendances were seen at Ang Mo Kio (27,041) and Jurong (24,275), more than double the volumes seen at polyclinics such as Queenstown (9,345), Marine Parade (10,393) and Outram Polyclinics (10,550) - the lowest in attendances among polyclinics..."



Singapore economy expected to grow by 4-6% in 2007

"In the last five years, our real per-capita GDP grew on average by 4.3% per annum, but real average wages (after adjusting for inflation) grew at only half this rate – 2.1%.

"Higher-end wages have risen by more than this. But at the lower-end wages have increased by much less, and some have even stagnated.
"This is why we are implementing Workfare as a fourth pillar of our social safety net, together with the CPF, the 3Ms (Medisave, MediShield and Medifund) and HDB home ownership..."



Public transport operators to handle lost & found properties

"With effect from 1 January 2007, the public bus and taxi companies, namely, SBS Transit Ltd, SMRT Buses Ltd, Comfort Transportation Pte Ltd, Yellow-Top Cab Pte Ltd, CityCab Pte Ltd, SMRT Taxis Pte Ltd, Trans-Cab Services Pte Ltd, Smart Automobile Pte Ltd and Premier Taxis Pte Ltd, will handle all properties found in their vehicles and handle all reports on lost and found properties made by their customers and drivers..."



Public transport operators to handle lost & found properties

"With effect from 1 January 2007, the public bus and taxi companies, namely, SBS Transit Ltd, SMRT Buses Ltd, Comfort Transportation Pte Ltd, Yellow-Top Cab Pte Ltd, CityCab Pte Ltd, SMRT Taxis Pte Ltd, Trans-Cab Services Pte Ltd, Smart Automobile Pte Ltd and Premier Taxis Pte Ltd, will handle all properties found in their vehicles and handle all reports on lost and found properties made by their customers and drivers..."


     - Changes to CPF Minimum Sum and Investment schemes from 1 Jan 2007


     - General Election 2006

     - The Neptune restaurant closes after 34 years in business

     - Marina Bay and Orchard Road Countdown 2006/2007 events

     - Web surfing in Singapore largely back to normal

     - Damaged undersea cables cause slow Internet access in Singapore

     - Singapore launches world's first commercial 100Mbps residential broadband service

     - Singapore hit by heavy rain and flash floods

     - M1 offers free wireless broadband service at Parco Bugis Junction

     - AMK Hub set to open in Ang Mo Kio in early 2007

     - Singapore Public Holidays 2008 - Tentative List


Conditions of Employment 2006

"The 5-day workweek is the norm, with higher share of employees now on this arrangement than two years ago. Close to two in five (40%) full-time employees in the private sector worked 5 days a week in 2006, up from 34% two years ago.
"Lagging significantly behind, were the 5½-day (15%), 6-day workweek (16%), and shift work (17%) each accounting for less than one in five employees in 2006..."



What really happened with Chee in prison

"Coincidentally, on the day that Chee stopped eating (28 Nov 06), the SDP website posted a statement “Dr Chee Soon Juan’s health deteriorates in prison” and started to purvey the story that Chee was unwell because of his treatment in prison.
"Soon after that, several foreign Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) wrote to express concerns similar to that purveyed by the SDP over Chee’s health and his treatment in prison.
"Then just as strangely as Chee had stopped eating on 28 Nov 06, Chee abruptly resumed eating his meals on 4 Dec 06. He ate his dinner ordered from a menu of choices at Changi General Hospital...



Higher school fees for PRs and foreign students

"From January 2007, PR in Government and Government-aided schools, junior colleges (JCs) and the centralised institute (CI) will pay about 20% more for school fees. They currently pay the same fees as citizens at the secondary and pre-university levels.
"FS, whose fees are already higher than those for citizens and PR, will have their fees increased by about 30%. The new fees for FS will take effect two years from now (2009 ), to give time for them to decide if they wish to apply to become permanent residents..."


     - Central and northeast Singapore experience tremors

     - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'N' Level 2006 Results

     - Police nab armed robber preying on convenience stores


Labour Market 3rd Quarter 2006 Report

"Cumulatively in the first nine months this year, the economy added 124,500 workers, surpassing the gains of 113,300 for the whole of 2005. This employment creation is the highest ever recorded1..."



Revision of hospital subsidy for foreigners

"From October 2007, PRs will continue to be subsidised for hospital services, but at 5 percentage-points less than Singapore citizens.
"From October 2008, another 5 percentage-point reduction will be applied. This way, Singapore citizens will enjoy greater subsidy than PRs, by a total of 10 percentage- points.
"As for the other foreigners, there will be no more healthcare subsidy from October 2007. ..."





     - Singapore to acquire refurbished Leopard Tanks from Germany

     - Genting International and Star Cruises wins Sentosa IR bid

     - First-time writers and illustrators publishing initiative



     - Education: Performance by ethnic group 1996–2005

     - Tanglin Village attracts businesses with its rustic charm



Key developments in the Singapore media industry

Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts

"The terrestrial and cable trials have kicked off, making Singapore the first in Southeast Asia to launch HDTV public trials.

"In tandem with the launch, MDA is leading a drive to promote the development of local HD content and speed up nationwide adoption and deployment of HD technology..."



     - Police arrest 12 people in island-wide anti-piracy raids

     - Three years of free Wi-Fi for Singapore from 1 Dec 2006

     - M1 launches Singapore’s first true island-wide wireless broadband service

     - Health Ministry forms national committee to combat HIV/AIDS

     - Map-based information service on land ownership available online


Expansion of the hedge fund industry in Singapore

Mr Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore

"In Singapore, we have seen a steady increase in the number of hedge fund managers - from a handful 5 years ago to over a 100 now.

"It is not only small boutique firms but many large well-known hedge funds have also set up operations in Singapore, drawn by a pro-innovation and competitive business environment, high regulatory standards and trusted legal regime, and the available talent pool..."



Police nab Internet trickster selling car parts and accessories

"The culprit lured unsuspecting car enthusiasts in an online motoring forum into parting with their money by claiming that he was able to get bulk discounts on car parts and accessories.

"The victims would place orders with the culprit and make payment electronically. However, the victims never received their goods. When the victims discovered that they had been cheated, the culprit taunted them to catch him if they could..."


     - New lighting plan for the City Centre

     - 2006 Primary School Leaving Examination (PLSE) Results


Chingay 2007

23 - 24 Feb 2007


     - MP suggests using half-height platform screen doors in MRT stations

     - Accreditation scheme for local dating industry in mid-2007

     - More Medisave-Approved claims settled faster by insurers


Rates for HDB rental flats to be pegged to household income

"Starting from 1 Mar 07, HDB will align the rental for its flats to the household income of the tenants.
"Tenants whose monthly income is $800 and below will continue to pay the 1st-tier rent. Similarly, tenants who rented their flats after 1 Oct 2003 and whose monthly income is between $801 and $1500 will continue to pay the current 2nd-tier rent.
"However, tenants whose income has since risen above these levels will be required to pay higher rent based on their new income levels..."


     - Four duped into parting with their cash and valuables in scam

     - New Chinese Language Curriculum for Primary 1 and 2 in 2007


Banking (Amendment) Bill - First Reading in Parliament

"The Bill introduces a requirement for foreign full and wholesale bank branches to maintain a minimum level of eligible assets in Singapore in proportion to their liabilities...

"Such a requirement would help to improve the recovery of assets from a failed foreign bank branch in Singapore to meet the claims of Singapore depositors..."


     - Inaugural Singapore Education Awards 2007

     - US President’s Visit to Singapore

     - Scenic Changi Point coastline opens to the public

     - One-stop NS portal launched

     - Proposed amendments to the Penal Code



     - Singapore ranks 5th in 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index


Challenges for the Asia Bond Market

Mr Heng Swee Keat Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore

"Most Asian markets are still dominated by local investors, comprising mostly banks, insurance companies and pension funds. Anecdotal evidence suggests that on average, non-resident investors hold less than 5% of Asian bonds...

"After the financial crisis, most Asian economies lifted restrictions on foreign participation in their bond markets...

"But I believe we need to go much further - beyond removing barriers to foreign participation, we should be actively facilitating foreign participation, and integrating our markets into the global system..."



Survey shows Singaporeans upbeat about the near future

“Back home, Singaporeans registered an increased level of optimism in this latest survey compared to the previous period and a year ago. The Singapore Consumer Confidence Index climbed 7 points to reach a high of 110—surpassing the regional average of 94,” observed Mr Ashok Charan, Managing Director of ACNielsen Research Singapore.


     - Police bust foreign housebreaking syndicate

     - Employment situation in 3rd Quarter 2006



Previous News, Articles & Reports 2006 - Part 4

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2006 - Part 3

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2006 - Part 2

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2006 - Part 1


Previous News, Articles & Reports 2005 - Part 6

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2005 - Part 5

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2005 - Part 4

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2005 - Part 3

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2005 Part 2

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2005 - Part 1

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