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     Government: News

NEWS SNIPPETS

     2006

     - Marina Bay and Orchard Road countdown 2006/2007 events

     - Web surfing in Singapore largely back to normal

     - Singapore hit by heavy rain and flash floods

     - 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..."

More.....

 

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...

More.....

 

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..."

More....

     - 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..."

More.....

     - Withdrawal of 1998 off-budget concession on stamp duty deferment

 

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. ..."

More.....

     - 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 1996C2005

     - 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..."

More.....

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

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

     - 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..."

More.....

 

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..."

More.....

     - New lighting plan for the City Centre

     - 2006 Primary School Leaving Examination (PLSE) Results

 

     - 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..."

More.....

     - 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..."

More.....

     - 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..."

More.....

     - Stricter smoke test for diesel vehicles from 1 January 2007

     - Police bust foreign housebreaking syndicate

     - Employment situation in 3rd Quarter 2006

     - 3rd Quarter 2006 real estate statistics

     - 34 people to be charged in court for assisting loansharks

 

Programme to help NSmen prepare for IPPT

"The IPT is a voluntary programme designed to help NSmen prepare for their annual Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT)...

"The IPT consists of ten sessions, lasting three hours each, spread over five weeks. NSmen can take their IPPT during the eighth session. If they pass the test, they will qualify for the IPPT Monetary Award pegged to the results that they achieve..."

More.....

     - New committee to look into reducing school dropout rate

     - SCV fined for showing footage of lesbian sex on Zone Reality Channel

 

     - 15 sleight-of-hand cases reported since January 2006

     - Record 15,000 household products registered with SAFETY mark

 

Singapore eases admission criteria for new lawyers

"Government announced on 17 August 2006, its in-principle acceptance of the recommendation of the Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers chaired by the former Attorney-General, to allow Singaporean citizens or Permanent Residents ("PRs") who graduated from Overseas Scheduled Universities with Second Class (Lower Division) Honours to practise law in Singapore, provided they possessed certain relevant work experience or qualifications..."

More.....

     - New school principals in 2007

     - New 20-year SGS bond to further develop Singapore's debt market

     - Flat buyers taking an HDB loan need HDB loan eligibility letter

 

All schools to get indoor sports hall for PE, sports and games

"The indoor sports hall will mean an approximately 50% increase in a school¨s sports facilities. It will give schools the flexibility to conduct CCAs and PE lessons at any time of the school day...

"Estimated to cost a total of $690 million, the project will be implemented in phases over seven years..."

More.....

 

Two Years of Free Wi-Fi for Singapore

"Come 2007, Singaporeans will be ushering the new year with at least 24 months, or two years, of free (basic tier) wireless connectivity at up to 512 kbps speeds almost everywhere - thanks to IDA's 'Wireless@SG' programme...

"The three operators are extending this two-year free offering with unlimited usage to all residents and visitors in Singapore, including tourists and business travellers. The sign-up details will be made known from December 2006 by the operators..."

More.....

 

Norovirus outbreak may have affected another two schools

"MOH has investigated into the Ang Mo Kio Secondary School outbreak which occurred on 25-28 Sep and established the cause as norovirus gastroenteritis. Investigations into the cause of outbreak at Stamford Primary School are still in progress although norovirus has also been identified.

"As at Friday, 6 Oct, two other schools [ACS(I) and Maris Stella (Primary)] have reported 20-30 cases of students and staff falling ill with similar symptoms. These cases are also being investigated to determine their cause..."

More.....

 

IBM to build smartcard e-payment infrastructure for MRT network

"The high-performance and high-speed backend infrastructure is expected to double the present capacity and will be capable of handling about 10 million financial transactions per day...

"The e-Symphony incorporates the Contactless E-Purse Application Standard (CEPAS) and will therefore allow multiple suppliers to issue the contactless smart cards, which are currently issued only by EZ-link. This could bring about competition among the suppliers and in turn reduce the cost of smart cards to benefit users..."

More.....

     - Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) unveiled

 

Recent outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in two schools

"There has been an increase in the number of persons attending the polyclinics for acute diarrhoea over the past three weeks...

"However, in view of the recent outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis in two schools affecting a large number of school children, the Ministry would like to advise the public to be vigilant about diarrhoeal illnesses..."

More.....

     - Annual Firewalking Festival 2006

 

Major changes in teaching of English Language in our schools

Singapore students do fairly well in reading literacy, but standards of oral and written communication are highly uneven. Some employers have observed a decline in oral fluency, writing skills and the ability to communicate with impact...

The EL curriculum will focus on developing oral confidence, grammar knowledge and a love for reading to anchor EL learning throughout the primary school years...

Secondary students will revisit and build on foundational skills, in particular, grammar and spoken English...

A new subject, English Language, to be offered at H1 and H2 levels, will be introduced at the pre-university level from 2009...

More.....

     - National Museum to re-open officially in December 2006

     - AVA to implement grading scheme for pet shops

 

Option for foreign maids to have salary paid into their bank account

"To ensure prompt salary payment, FDWs can ask for their salaries to be paid into their bank accounts in Singapore.

"Effective 1 November 2006, MOM will introduce this as a new work permit condition for employers to comply..."

More.....

 

     - Singapore withdraws circulation approval for Far Eastern Economic Review

 

Primary schools to do away with EM3 stream from 2008

"Primary schools will introduce Subject-based Banding starting from the 2008 Primary 5 cohort, replacing the current EM3 stream.

"With Subject-based Banding, students will be able to offer a mix of Standard or Foundation subjects depending on their aptitude in each subject...

"Schools will work out class and timetabling arrangements that allow students to take separate classes in Foundation subjects while being integrated with other students for the rest of the curriculum..."

More.....

     - School Achievements in 2006

 

How Singapore can contribute to Asia's infrastructure financing activities

Lee Chuan Teck, Executive Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore

"On the other hand, Asian property developers who need to raise funds efficiently issue a REIT in Singapore because there is a ready pool of investors there. In this way, Singapore became the conduit for funneling global investments to Asian property developments.

"The same can be done for infrastructure. Singapore is a leading project finance hub in Asia. Leading banks such as Standard Chartered, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui, Mizuho and BNP Paribas having sizeable on-shore project finance teams to access regional opportunities..."

More.....

     - Police bust foreign syndicate using cloned ATM cards

     - Incentives to encourage development of infrastructure finance

     - Death of Serviceman

     - Singapore Labour Market Report for 2nd Quarter 2006

Incident at Speakers¨ Corner

"On 16 Sept 2006, Chee Soon Juan and a few of his associates gathered in the late morning at the Speakers' Corner.

"After making speeches at Speakers' Corner, Chee attempted to proceed on a protest march to Parliament House...

"However, he and his group were stopped by the Police and advised not to break the law..."

More.....

     - Changi Airport's Terminal 2 completes S$240m makeover

     - Bus and train fares to increase by between 1 and 3 cents

     - Police may not allow some IMF/WB civil society representatives to enter Singapore

     - Chee Soon Juan distributing pamphlets at Raffles City

     - Update On Subutex Voluntary Rehabilitation Programme

     - SJI (International) to be Singapore's 3rd privately funded school

 

New Cyber-WatchCentre (CWC) ready by March 2007

"The CWC will monitor cyber-threats to government networks round-the-clock and provide early warning of impending cyber-threats..."

More.....

 

MOE unveils S$250m plan to boost teaching profession

"...an Enhanced PDL will allow a teacher who has had at least 12 years of experience to take up to 2½ months (1 school term) of full-pay leave...

"MOE will introduce a new Learning & Development Scheme. In the scheme, teachers will be entitled to claim up to $400 or $700 per year, for any learning-related expenses that they choose...

"MOE is increasing the starting salaries of Pass/ Pass (Merit) Degree and Diploma recruits by 1 increment (which is equivalent to an increase of 5-8%) with effect from 1 Sep 06. The current starting salaries of trainee teachers holding other qualifications remain competitive..."

More.....

     - DUKE - NUS Graduate Medical School to open in 2009

     - Medisave withdrawal for outpatient care for four chronic diseases

     - Medisave withdrawal limit for day surgery to go up from 1 Dec 2006

 

     - Singapore tightens security ahead of IMF/World Bank meetings

 

Key challenges facing public housing in Singapore

"Between now and 2030, the number of elderly aged 65 years or older will increase dramatically, from 300,000 to 900,000. 1 in 5 Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above by 2030.
"We will need to provide a wide range of housing options to meet the different financial needs and lifestyle preferences of the elderly, from smaller HDB flats like studio apartments, to private retirement housing with dedicated care facilities..."

More.....

     -  Government continues to invest in technology-enabled work environment

     - Easier for returning Singaporeans to go back to our schools

 

New personalised employment pass not tied to any employer

The Ministry of Manpower will introduce a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) from 1 January 2007 to help us better attract and retain global talent...

The PEP allows the holder to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities. This helps us to retain selected global talent who would otherwise have to leave Singapore...

The PEP will be issued only once with a validity of 5 years. It will be nonrenewable. A PEP holder will retain the dependant privileges of his original EP type and the minimum annual basic salary requirement of S$30,000 will continue to apply throughout the 5-year duration...

More.....

     - New "R18" rating for cabaret shows

 

Singapore needs 60,000 babies yearly but gets 35,500 only

"Our own population is ageing - current projections show that one-in-five Singaporeans will be over the age of 65 by 2030...

"It has been two years since we introduced the parenthood package.

"Overall, we have seen some positive results - there were about 240 more births from January to June 2006 compared to the same period in 2005, and about 400 more births in 2005 compared to 2004. This is a positive reversal which comes after four consecutive years of decline..."

More.....

 

Publication of data on affordability of healthcare

"The 2005 data show that public hospitals are affordable. This is especially so for the Class B2 and C wards.

"The average B2 and C bills are below $1,100. 95% of all B2/C bills are below $3,500. Considering the high standard of clinical care provided in our public hospitals, this is quite an achievement..."

More.....

     - Commissioner of Charities appointed

 

 

More than 40 Singaporeans aged 19 and below HIV-positive

"By the end of last year, more than 40 young Singaporeans aged 19 and below have been reported as HIV-positive..."

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     - Circulation Of Foreign Newspapers In Singapore

     - Tenders invited for New Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang

 

     - Traffic at Singapore Changi Airport in 1st half 2006

     - Police arrest Malaysian for smuggling counterfeit S$1 coins

 

Subutex a Class A Controlled Drug from 14 Aug 2006

"From 14 August 2006, doctors will not be permitted to prescribe and dispense any take-home dosages for existing patients.

"All patients who require Subutex will have to consume their medication under direct visual observation of the pharmacist, doctor and/or his treatment team on a daily basis1 ..."

More.....

 

Prime Minister's National Day Message 2006

"The internet is a tremendous tool which is changing the world. We should make full use of it to link up with the world, engage one another, and be a productive economy and vibrant society.

"But the internet creates new problems too. Not everything on the internet is reliable; it is not easy to tell apart fact from fiction in cyberspace; and instant communications can cause people to over-react hastily and unthinkingly to events.

"Therefore we must learn how to live with this new medium, and adapt to it. This is a challenge to many societies, not just Singapore..."

More.....

 

 

Proposed Changes to Unsecured Credit Rules

"To lower the minimum income threshold for unsecured credit facilities to $20,000 from $30,000.  The minimum income requirement for credit cards remains at $30,000.

"To set the maximum aggregate credit limit of all unsecured personal credit facilities and credit cards granted by a financial institution at four times monthly income for individuals with at least $30,000 in annual income. For individuals with annual income of at least $20,000 and below $30,000, the maximum aggregate credit limit will be twice their monthly income..."

More.....

     - Proposed changes to the Banking Act

 

Subutex to be classified as a controlled drug

"While some heroin addicts appeared to have benefited from Subutex, many others seem to have merely shifted their addiction from heroin to Subutex.

"In addition, many more who have never tried drugs before have become new addicts. Within 4 years of introduction, we now have at least 3800 Subutex users, 45% of them Malay, 43% Chinese and 10% Indian...."

More.....

 

True telephone number portability by 4Q 2007

"From the fourth quarter of 2007, consumers can switch between telecoms service providers easily and yet have full use of their existing number, rather than having to update family members, friends and business contacts about a new one...

"Currently, mobile subscribers can switch telecoms service providers and keep their numbers. But he gets in essence a call-forwarding service as a call to his old number is routed to his new one. His contacts will see only this new number when he makes out-going calls and sends messages (SMS)..."

More.....

     - 144 people benefit from expanded human organ transplant law

 

Of young Singaporeans then and now

"As for assembly talks, we had guest speakers but unlike your ^interactive ̄ talks; they did all the talking, we did all the listening and no one thought that we might want to ask them some questions.
"My teachers were more concerned that we did not fall asleep during the session. This I am told is one of those things that have resisted change as this generation of students is also similarly afflicted..."

More.....

     - No outdoor demonstrations and processions during IMF/WB meetings

     - Number of recognised foreign medical schools increased to 120

 

Exit permit rules relaxed for National Servicemen from 1 Aug 2006

"Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) will henceforth be exempted from applying for exit permits for short overseas trips of less than 3 months...

"NSmen who have completed their Operationally-Ready National Service Training Cycle and have been phased into the MINDEF Reserve (MR) will no longer be required to notify the MNC of their overseas trips of more than 24 hours and less than 6 months..."

More.....

 

New Singapore biometric passports from 15 Aug 2006

"To facilitate a smooth transition to the BioPass system, ICA will have to close some of its passport application services counters from 9 Aug 2006...

"This will allow ICA to install and test the BioPass systems before its actual launch. As such, only limited passport application avenues will be available from 10 to 14 August 2006..."

More.....

 

Singapore Crime Situation - First half 2006

"Crimes involving handphones being stolen, which was one of the key concerns in 2005, decreased significantly, from 2,423 to 1,962 cases, in the first half of 2006...

"The drop in handphone crimes, despite the continued high mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore3 , may be in part due to enhanced public education on such crimes as well as tighter enforcement against errant second-hand handphone dealers..."

More.....

     - Police bust Orchard Underpass counterfeit syndicates

 

 

Singapore's GDP growth for 2006 likely to be 5% to 7%

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

"The Singapore economy grew by a robust 6.4% last year...

"Barring any unexpected shocks in the external environment including an escalation in geopolitical risks in the second half of this year, GDP growth for the year as a whole is likely to be in the range of 5 to 7%..."

More.....

 

 Singapore to hold large-scale flu pandemic exercise

21-22 Jul 2006

"This large scale exercise will involve over 1,000 personnel from MOH, the Ministry of Education (MOE), home-front and related agencies such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA), Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and the People's Association..."

More.....

 

MAS Launches Finance Scholarship Programme

MAS will set aside a budget of S$30 million from the FSDF over the next 5 years. It expects to award some 150 FSP scholarships over the next 5 years.

More.....

     - Foreign Worker Levy and S-Pass quota to go up

   News Snippets 2006 - Part 1

   News Snippets 2005 - Part 2

   News Snippets 2005 - Part 1

   News Snippets 2004

   News Snippets 2003