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SINGAPORE    High & Low Tides

 

    People

News, Articles & Reports

 

     2008

 

New CEPAS-compliant ez-link card

The Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) next-generation e-payment system for public transit, Symphony for e-Payment (SeP), is ready for implementation...
With SeP, commuters will be able to use cards issued by any card issuer for transit purposes as long as the card complies with the CEPAS standard and includes the transit application. Commuters can eventually use CEPAS-compliant cards for Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) payments in vehicles fitted with the new generation In-vehicle Unit (IU), Electronic Parking System (EPS) carparks and other electronic payment systems that support the CEPAS standard...

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Pilot scheme makes it mandatory to give way to buses

To give more priority to buses on our roads the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will introduce a pilot scheme to make it mandatory to give way to all buses exiting at 23 selected bus stops located along three roads...

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Increase in HIV testing In Singapore

In the first 10 months of 2008 (January-October), there were a total of 382 reported new HIV cases among Singapore residents. In comparison, there were 423 HIV cases notified for the whole of 2007. It can be expected that the total number of notified HIV cases in 2008 will exceed that of last year.
There has been an increase in the number of HIV tests done in Singapore in 2008, compared to 2007. The total number of HIV tests carried out for Singapore residents by local laboratories from January through September 2008 was 124,559, compared to 102,490 over the same time period in 2007. This represents a 22% increase this year...

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Enhancing public health measures against Tuberculosis

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will place tuberculosis (TB) under the Sixth Schedule of the Infectious Diseases Act (IDA) with effect from 1 December 2008, This will further strengthen public health measures against the spread of the disease, especially amongst air travellers...
There were 700[2]new cases of TB notified among Singapore residents in the first 6 months of 2008, as compared to 1,256 cases last year. The projected incidence of TB in 2008 is 38.4 per 100,000, which is higher than the 35.1 per 100,000 in 2007...

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Singapore Workforce 2008

There were 1,928,300 residents in the labour force in June 2008, comprising 1,093,200 males and 835,100 females. The resident labour force grew by 2.7%[1] from 2007 to 2008 (June periods), up from 2.0% in the preceding year. This was driven by both growth in the resident population and female labour force participation rate.
Despite the more challenging economic outlook, the employment rate for the resident population aged 25 to 64 rose to a new high of 77.0% in 2008 from 76.5% in 2007. The improvement mainly resulted from more females who were previously outside the labour force becoming employed...

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Parliamentary Q&A on Advance Medical Directive

More than 10,100 Singaporeans have signed Advance Medical Directives (AMDs). Over the years, 19 AMDs have been revoked and 6 have been put into effect...
Our AMD rate of 0.4% is low. But this is the experience in many other countries too. For example, in Australia the sign-up rate is even lower, at 0.2%. The US is unique in having a much higher sign-up rate compared to the rest of the world. Their rate is around 20% in adult population...

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Parliamentary Q&A on euthanasia

Euthanasia is only allowed in Belgium and the Netherlands. In Switzerland and the states of Oregon and Washington in the U.S., doctor-assisted suicide is permissible, but not euthanasia...
My Ministry is promoting Advance Medical Directive (AMD) and palliative care. AMD is about letting nature takes its course for the terminally ill at the last stage of their lives; AMD is about not mindlessly postponing death through futile medical interventions. AMD is not euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide. I do not think that Singaporeans are ready to accept euthanasia...

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Compulsory implementation of seat belts on mini-buses

The three-year time frame for school buses to retrofit seat belts is to minimise the disruption to the transport of these children that are displaced...
The five-year timeframe for the remaining small buses takes into consideration the fact that priority will be given to school buses during the first three years, and the capacity of the workshops to handle the retrofitting work.

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Imposition of visa requirements for Nigerian Ordinary Passport holders

With effect from 1 December 2008, Nigerian nationals who are holders of Nigerian Ordinary Passports will require visas to enter Singapore.

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MTI Forecasts Growth of -1.0–2.0% for Singapore in 2009

In view of the continued deterioration in the outlook for external and regional demand, MTI has moderated the GDP growth forecast for 2008 further downwards to around 2.5%.
The economic downturn is expected to last for several quarters, well into 2009...

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Release of the 2008 Primary School Leaving Examination Results

In all, 48,424 pupils (or 97.1%) have been assessed as suitable to proceed to secondary school. Of these pupils, 63.6% are eligible for the Express course, 21.6% for the Normal (Academic) and 12.0% for the Normal (Technical) course.
There are 1,432 pupils (or 2.9%) who are assessed to not yet be ready for secondary school in 2009 or more suited for vocational training...

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Release of 3rd Quarter 2008 Public Housing Data

Resale transactions increased by about 4%, from about 7,760 cases in 2nd Quarter 2008 to about 8,110 cases in 3rd Quarter 2008 (see Annex C)...
Subletting transactions fell slightly by about 4% from about 4,120 cases in 2nd Quarter 2008 to about 3,960 cases in 3rd Quarter 2008 (see Annex F). The total number of HDB flats approved for subletting rose to about 21,400 units, compared to about 20,200 units in 2nd Quarter 2008...

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IR updates in Parliament

Ms Olsen has also asked when the projected GDP boost would be achieved and if the IRs’ business will be affected by the financial turmoil. It would be fair to say that due to the global financial crisis and the slowdown already evident in our tourism sector, there may be some impact on the IRs’ business when they open. It is, however, premature to try to ascertain in quantitative terms what the exact impact will be, given the volatile economic conditions.
What we do know is that both IRs remain optimistic that their product offerings will draw visitors from their target market segments. On the Government’s part, the STB will continue to work closely with both IRs and monitor the situation.

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MAS Statement on Pinnacle Notes Series 9 and 10

The total issue size of the Pinnacle Notes Series 9 and 10 was S$26 million, sold to about 700 retail investors through five distributors: DMG & Partners Securities, Hong Leong Finance, Kim Eng Securities, OCBC Securities and UOB Kay Hian.
Investors who consider they have a genuine claim that they were mis-sold the product or that the product was misrepresented to them should lodge their complaints with the financial institutions (FIs) that sold them the products.

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MAS's actions on Lehman Minibond Notes Programme

To provide noteholders with an independent opinion on the options that best serve their interests, MAS has appointed Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance Pte Ltd (DTCF) as an independent financial adviser on the Lehman Minibond notes programme...
MAS understands that noteholders are anxious to know what they should do and what to expect next. At the moment, there is no action required on their part. MAS and the trustee will continue to keep noteholders updated on all developments including any options for them to consider...

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Proposed amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is proposing three amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA). They are:
(a) Lift the upper age limit for cadaveric organ donation;
(b) Allow donor-recipient paired matching for exchanges of organs; and
(c) Compensate living donors according to international ethical practices.

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Bank guard foils robbery attempt at UOB in City Plaza

On 10 Nov 08 at about 3.30pm, Security Officer Lance Corporal (LCP) Rosli Bin Mohd Sa’ad was on duty at a bank at a shopping centre along Geylang Rd when he spotted a Malay man behaving suspiciously in the banking hall.

Sensing that something was amiss, LCP Rosli decided to conduct a check on the subject. When confronted, the subject became agitated and a scuffle ensued that attracted the attention of some of the bank staff, who came forward to assist in subduing the Malay man.

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Singapore’s economy is strong

This downturn is just beginning. No one can say how long it will last and how deep the downturn will be. Recovery will come when the property market in America reaches bottom and begins to rise. That may not be for many months or even years.
Fortunately, in Singapore, having learned from the 1997/98 financial crisis, we have not allowed a speculative rise in residential property prices. Few citizens have bought homes that they cannot afford to service their instalments on their mortgages. High price condominiums and office properties have declined in prices...

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Employment Situation in Third Quarter 2008

Preliminary estimates show that employment grew by 57,800 in the third quarter this year. This was lower than the gains of 71,400 in the preceding quarter and 58,600 in the third quarter of 2007...
Preliminary estimates show that 2,000 workers were retrenched in the third quarter of 2008, up from 1,798 in the previous quarter and 1,827 in the third quarter of 2007...

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MOH replies to questions in Parliament on abortion

The Termination of Pregnancy Act was enacted in 1974, to provide for the safe termination of unwanted pregnancies by trained persons in appropriately equipped facilities.

It is to safeguard the health and well-being of the woman who has, for various reasons, decided to terminate her pregnancy. This is intended to ensure that all children born in Singapore are wanted children, who will be properly cared for, and will have opportunities to develop to their full potential...

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More clinics to offer anonymous HIV testing

The Ministry of Health will increase the number of anonymous HIV test sites in Singapore from the current three - Anteh Dispensary, Cambridge Clinic, and the Action for AIDS Anonymous HIV Testing and Counseling Clinic - to seven, with effect from 1 November 2008...

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MOE appoints 50 principals in 2008

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be appointing 50 Principals at the 11th Appointment Ceremony for Principals to be held on 30 Dec 2008. They comprise 27 newly-appointed Principals and 23 serving Principals/HQ officers who will take up appointments in other schools...

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Credit card payment scheme for ERP charges

From 5 November 2008, motorists will have an alternative mode of payment for ERP charges via their Visa / MasterCard credit cards.

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Death of Serviceman

MAJ Tan was talking with his colleagues after completing a 1.2km self-paced run when he suddenly collapsed. He was given prompt medical attention and evacuated to the National University Hospital (NUH) at about 8.45am.

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MOH to recognise more foreign dental degrees

From 1 January 2008, all dental schools accredited by the American Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association will be added to the Schedule of the Dental Registration Act.
The addition of 48 American dental schools and 7 Canadian dental schools will increase the number of recognised foreign dental schools in the Schedule from the current 34 to 89. The list of new and current dental schools can be found in Annex A...

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School of the Arts welcomes its first batch of 239 students

The School received an overwhelming response to the Talent Academy to recruit this batch of pioneer students for 2008. Over 1,000 applicants came for the Talent Academy.
Today, the School welcomes its first batch of 239 students who come from diverse social backgrounds and 129 primary schools...

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Advance GDP estimates for 4th quarter 2007

Growth of the Singapore economy moderated in the fourth quarter of 2007. Advance estimates[1] show that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 6.0 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter, following a 9.0 per cent gain in the previous quarter...

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     2007

 

8 youths arrested for unlicensed moneylending related activities

Police arrested eight Chinese male subjects, aged between 14 and 27 years old, for unlicensed moneylending related harassment activities in Hougang, Sengkang and Pasir Ris in a 20-hour operation which ended on the morning of 27 December 2007...

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Prime Minister's New Year Message 2008

High growth has benefited all Singaporeans. A record 172,000 jobs were created in the first three quarters of the year. Unemployment is down to 1.7%, the lowest in almost a decade.
Companies are reporting bigger profits, and workers are enjoying higher bonuses and wages. Low-income workers too are earning more, unlike in some previous years...

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Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat launches $25 million fund for education

The Fund will provide for three programmes: training opportunities to strengthen English language teaching in the region, opportunities for needy students in our polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education to gain overseas exposure, and scholarships for deserving students from Singapore and China to pursue their undergraduate studies in Singapore universities.
The Ministry of Education will administer the fund...

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First payment of Workfare Income Supplement scheme

The Government will make the first payment of the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme on 1 Jan 2008. About 287,000 workers will receive a total of $146 million in WIS benefits, for work done in the first half of 2007...

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New pay and career package for teachers

MOE will be introducing a new Education Scheme of Service (2008) from 1 April 2008 to better recognise and reward good teachers. The new scheme will be more market responsive and there will be a stronger link between pay and performance.
Officers will be placed on a salary range system with merit increments that are based on one’s performance, potential and market wage movements. This will replace the current salary scale system with fixed annual increments. With the revision to the salary ranges, a one-off salary increment of up to 4% will be made to the salaries of eligible officers on the new scheme...

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$138 million utility rebates for HDB households in 2008

Come January 2008, each eligible household will receive the second instalment of these U-Save rebates, amounting to between $50 and $110, depending on flat type...

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MediaCorp Radio settles fine for breaching the Radio Programme Code

MediaCorp Radio has paid a $5,000 fine imposed by the Media Development Authority (MDA) for airing a discussion on a sex-related topic during Class 95FM's "The Morning Express" programme in August this year.
The programme, aired between 7am to 8am on 21 August 2007, contained a prolonged discussion between the DJs on "whether men and women should make noise during sex" and "whether noisy men turn women off"...

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Singapore's ultra-high speed digital highway ready by 2015

The Next Gen NBN is expected to be available nationwide by 2015, although consumers can begin to look forward to a range of new and exciting Next Gen Services such as high-definition video conferencing, telemedicine, Grid Computing-on-Demand, security and immersive learning applications on the Next Gen NBN from about 2010...

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Medishield for special needs children

Persons with congenital illnesses can join MediShield to obtain coverage for medical treatment that is not related to their congenital condition...
As for children attending special schools or with special needs, the basis of coverage is the same as the basis for other children, that is, they should be healthy at the point of entry and have no pre-existing illnesses...

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PrimaDeli allowed to resume factory operations

The outbreak of Salmonellosis linked to the Prima Deli factory has ceased. There have been no new cases with reported onset of illness following the factory closure on 4 Dec 07...
AVA will allow the company to resume its factory operations in two stages under supervision.
With immediate effect, Prima Deli will be allowed to produce food products that undergo high heat treatment such as baked products and frozen dough to be baked in the outlets. If there is no operational hygiene deficiency, full factory operation may be resumed to produce the other products containing ingredients not subjected to heat treatment such as cakes with toppings...

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No reported cases of medical complications related to body art tattoo

Tattooing procedures carry the risk of transmitting infectious diseases, like HIV, hepatitis B and C. However, if sterilised or disposable needles are used and proper infection control measures are followed, the risk of infection is very small...
In the past 30 years, there have been no reports of infectious disease transmission or serious complications from a body tattooing procedure in Singapore. There is no compelling need to regulate the industry...

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Police advise festive revellers to remain vigilant against crime

Police would also like to advise revellers and shoppers to be vigilant against opportunists who might commit molest in crowds. Most of these molest cases happen in crowded areas where the suspect would touch the victim and move away. In some, the suspect would spray foam onto the victim and commit molest in the process...

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Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'N' Level Exams 2007 Results

This year, 11,568 (99.3%) students from the N(A) course and 6,307 (97.7%) students from the N(T) course will be awarded the N-Level certificate. The N-Level certificate is awarded to a candidate who obtains a passing grade of Grade 5 or better in at least one subject.
In addition, 110 N(T) students offered one or two N(A) subjects and 60 (54.5%) of them have obtained at least a Grade 5 or better in their N-Level Examination.[1]...

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Higher contribution rate for Edusave accounts from Jan 2008

From Jan 2008, the Government will increase the annual contribution rate to Edusave accounts of eligible pupils by $10 to $180 for those at the primary level, and by $20 to $220 for those at the secondary level.

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Singapore Labour Market 3rd quarter 2007

Total employment expanded by 58,600 in Q3 07, up substantially from the increase of 43,000 in Q3 06, making it the second highest quarterly increase after the 64,400 recorded in Q2 07...
1,827 workers were retrenched in Q3 07, an improvement from 2,472 in Q3 06 and 1,918 in Q2 07[2]. This brings the total number retrenched in the first nine months of 2007 to 5,709, much lower than 9,388 in the same period last year...

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More reported cases of tricksters impersonating government officers

Confidence tricksters continue to use the "Kidnap Hoax Scam" with 9 cases reported between 1 and 29 November 07 and 19 cases reported between 1 and 6 Dec 07...
Another ruse used by the cheats is to impersonate themselves as police officers or staff from the Supreme Court...
This method of cheating surfaced in September 07 which prompted police to alert members of public. As of 6 December 07, a total of 224 reports were received. The culprits were unsuccessful in 195 cases, but in 29 cases the victims were cheated of more than S$275,500 cash...

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Comfort and CityCab taxi fares to go up on 17 Dec 2007

Basic Fare

Current

Revised

Flag Down: $2.50 for 1st km

1km to 10km: $0.10 for every 210m

Above 10km: $0.10 for every 175m

Waiting time: $0.10 for every 25sec

Flag Down: $2.80 for 1st km

1km to 10km: $0.20 for every 385m

Above 10km: $0.20 for every 330m

Waiting time: $0.20 for every 45sec

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Taxi enforcement update

In enforcement operations conducted over a 13 day period, 14 errant taxi drivers were nabbed at several spots such as Boat Quay, CHIJMES, Clarke Quay, Mustafa Centre, Orchard Towers and Shenton Way.
Of these, 6 taxi drivers were found overcharging and 8 were caught for refusing to convey passengers. None was found touting...

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Reduced hospital subsidies for non-citizens

From January 1, 2008, non-PR foreigners will not receive any healthcare subsidy. PRs will continue to be subsidised for hospital services, but at 5 percentage points less than citizens.
From July 1, 2008, another 5 percentage-point reduction will be applied...

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New foreign workforce measures to meet strong market demand

With effect from 1 January 2008, the S Pass quota for all sectors will be increased from 15% to 25%. The new S Pass quota will come entirely from companies' Work Permit quota which will be increased for all sectors. Companies can therefore employ more S Pass holders, in lieu of Work Permit holders, hence improving the quality of their foreign workforce...
To strengthen our global talent attraction and retention efforts, refinements will be made to the PEP scheme. Foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least S$7,000 will be eligible for a PEP. The PEP will also be granted to former P1 Employment Pass holders upon application.
These changes will take effect from 1 March 2008. Existing and new P1 pass holders working in Singapore that apply for the PEP ahead of the 2-year requirement will be accorded in-principle approval. They can apply to take up the PEP at the end of 2 years on their current P1 pass...

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Singapore Workforce 2007

The continued tightening of the labour market this year has also led to significant gains in income and a reduction in the number and share of low wage workers...
Excluding the extreme age bands, the employment rate for those aged 25 to 64 edged up to a new record of 76.5% from 75.5% a year ago. Supported by efforts to improve employability of older workers, the employment rate of older residents aged 55 to 64 rose by 2.5%-points over the year to 56.2% in June 2007..

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Use of outdoor display areas (ODA) by HDB shop retailers

Since 17 Oct 07, HDB, SCDF and NEA have been mounting joint inspections with the Town Councils to enforce the ODA guidelines. Sixteen joint inspections, one in each of the 16 Town Councils, involving a total of 1,180 commercial units, have been carried out to-date.
Upon the first joint inspection, an average of 41% of the shops at each site were found to have infringed the ODA guidelines. Some of the common infringements include installation of drop-down screens and lack of 1-metre distance between rows of goods...

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NEA commissions book on Singapore hawker centres

The National Environment Agency has commissioned a book that traces the social history of this uniquely Singapore icon.
"Singapore Hawker Centres - People, Places, Food" is the definitive account on hawkers, their food and their stories. It also features environment and public health officials who have been instrumental in transforming hawking from a public health nightmare to a respectable trade...

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Electronic Medical Records Exchange extended to community hospitals

By the first quarter of 2008, over 4000 patients yearly at the community hospitals will be able to enjoy better patient care, improved drug safety, fewer repeat tests and hence lower costs with the extension of the Electronic Medical Records Exchange (EMRX)...
The extension marks the first step in the Ministry of Health's plans to extend the EMRX beyond the public sector...

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Lower season parking charges for commercial vehicles weighing up to 1800kg

From 1 Dec 2007, owners of commercial vehicles such as vans and mini-buses with unladen weight not exceeding 1,800 kg will enjoy lower season parking charges if their vehicles can fit into a car lot...
About 900 season parking ticket holders are expected to benefit from the revision. Instead of paying the higher season parking charge of between $120 and $185 per month for heavy vehicles, they will now pay the lower season parking charge of $65 for surface car parks and $90 for multi-storey car parks in residential estates, and between $80 and $180 in commercial areas...

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MOH advise public to discard chocolate cakes from Prima Deli

MOH and theAgri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) conducted joint inspections of Prima Food Pte Ltd which produces the chocolate cakes for all Prima Deli retail outlets.
Food and environmental samples were taken for laboratory analysis. Preliminary results on 03 December 2007 for the food samples are suggestive of Salmonella as the likely causative agent...
As at 03 December 2007, there were a total of 106 cases including six hospitalised cases, all of whom have been discharged. Six cases tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis. The last case had onset of illness on 26 November 2007.

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Cosmetic products to be regulated from 1 Jan 2008

Effective from 1 January 2008, all new products must comply with the ACD requirements and notify HSA prior to sale.
All existing products that are currently sold in the local market will be given 12 months to notify HSA and to fully comply with the requirements by 1 Jan 2011...

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Police arrest 20 persons for illegal soccer betting activities

Between 24 October to 18 November 2007, Singapore police conducted a series of island-wide raids targeted at illegal soccer bookmaking activities and arrested a total of 20 persons for illegal soccer bookmaking and gambling activities...

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HIV cases on the rise in 2007

Out of the164 Singaporeans detected to be HIV infected in the first six months, about 93% of the new cases detected this year were males and 7% were females.
Sexual transmission remains the main mode of HIV transmission among Singaporeans.  Of the 164 cases reported in the first 6 months of 2007, 155 cases acquired the infection through the sexual route, with heterosexual transmission accounting for 67% of infections, homosexual transmission 24% and bisexual transmission 3%.  Intravenous drug use (4 cases) accounted for 2%...

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Singapore ranked 4th in international reading literacy study 2006

A representative sample of our pupils – 7000 Primary 4 pupils from all primary schools in Singapore – took part in the study in October 2005...
Singapore ranked 4th among 45 education systems which participated in PIRLS 2006, an improvement from rank 15th in PIRLS 2001 (see Table 1, Annex B). Singapore’s average score also improved from 528 in 2001 to 558 in 2006...

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Review of the Singapore media industry

Early last year, MDA worked with industry players to successfully kick-off a series of trials on High Definition TV. Today, HDTV is available to Singapore households over free-to-air, cable and Internet Protocol or IPTV.
We view the delivery of digital TV services to mobile devices as a promising new way to deliver media services to consumers anytime, anywhere. Hence, MDA has proposed a policy framework to enable the early deployment of commercial mobile broadcasting...

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Guidance Programme has helped 6,000 young offenders since 1997

In his Opening Address, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan announced the increase of up to 25 per cent in funding for the 17 social service agencies that are running the Guidance Programme (GP) - a six-month programme for first-time young offenders to divert them away from being charged in Court...
Towards the end of the 6-month programme, the social worker will assess the youth’s overall progress and make an appropriate recommendation to the Police Investigation Officer.
Depending on the risks and needs of the youth, the programme may be extended for up to six months. The youth, if he completes the programme successfully, may be let off with a stern Police warning in lieu of prosecution...

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Singapore shortlisted for 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) just announced that Singapore, together with four cities, have been shortlisted to host the inaugural Games. The other cities remaining in the race are Athens, Bangkok, Moscow and Turin.

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Singapore to start video games classification system in 2008

The Board of Film Censors (BFC) will be launching a video games classification system next year to provide more choice for adults while protecting the young.
In the interim period, the BFC has decided to selectively use games rating to enable highly anticipated games to be launched in Singapore...

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2007 Primary School Leaving Examination (PLSE) Results

A total of 49, 817 Primary 6 pupils sat for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) this year, a decrease of 798 (or 1.6%) over the 2006 cohort. Of these, 5176 were from the EM3 course...
In all, 48, 665 pupils (or 97.7%) have been assessed as suitable to proceed to secondary school. Of these pupils, 63.5% are eligible for the Express course, 22.2% for the Normal (Academic) and 12.0% for the Normal (Technical) course.
There are 1,152 pupils (or 2.3%) who are assessed to be not yet ready for secondary school in 2008 or more suited for vocational training...

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Chee Siok Chin and John Tan removed from ASEAN Summit Protected Area

At about 6.00 pm today, Chee Siok Chin and John Tan had walked into Orange Grove Road, which is an area gazetted as a Protected Area.
Police officers deployed along the stretch of road first engaged the pair at the junction of Orange Grove Road and Orchard Rd and advised them that they were about to enter the protected area and that they should not do so...
They were warned repeatedly that they had entered the protected area, and should they refuse to leave, they would be removed. When they ignored the repeated warnings, and still refused to leave and continued to move forward, police officers led them into a police vehicle to bring them out of the protected area...

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Outlook for Singapore economy in 2008

MTI forecasts the Singapore economy to grow by 4.5-6.5 per cent in 2008. This represents a moderation in growth towards the economy's underlying potential rate, following four years of above-trend growth.
The market consensus is that the US economy will slow down in the first half of 2008 as a result of weaker credit and housing markets before resuming healthy growth in the second half. This would support GDP growth in Singapore in the upper half of the 4.5-6.5 per cent forecast range...

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HDB releases public housing data for 3Qtr 2007

HDB’s Resale Price Index (RPI) rose by 6.6% in 3rd Quarter 2007 over the previous quarter, with price increases across most flat types and towns.
The median Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) amount among all resale transactions conducted in 3rd Quarter 2007 was $17,000 (see Annex C). Cases requiring COV constituted 80% of all resale transactions in this quarter, with 20% of resale transactions done at or below valuation...

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Measures to help HDB retailers

Most older HDB shops were built with electrical loads lower than current norms. Over time, the electrical load requirements in shops have increased with the proliferation of air-conditioning, more lighting and other electrical appliances.
Currently, the charges for electrical upgrading for shop tenants and shop owners are $45 per amp and $85 per amp respectively. From 14 Nov 2007, electrical upgrading up to 1 phase 60 amp will be free for tenants while shop owners will pay the revised charge of $45 per amp...
The lower charges/free upgrading will benefit about 1,200 owners and 1,300 tenants of HDB shops with an existing electrical supply of less than 1 phase 60 amps...

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National Registry Of Diseases Bill passed

Part II of the Bill establishes the National Registry of Diseases and sets out its functions.  These include the collection of information on reportable diseases, establishment of registers, compilation and publication of statistics, and the provision of information for supporting health services and national public health policies...
Clause 6, in Part III of the Bill, makes the notification of reportable diseases mandatory for managers of all healthcare institutions.  The burden is placed on the manager as he has the management and control of the institution.  Very limited data will be required to make a notification...

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Inaugural National Infocomm Club Awards

The National Infocomm Club Awards recognise the creativity of Infocomm Club students in using technology to educate and connect to the wider community, or within schools...
Primary Category
Top Winner :  River Valley Primary School (Project: The Adventures of Respect)
Merit Winner : Chua Chu Kang Primary School (Project: Intelligent Communicators)
Merit Winner : Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Project: HOPE)
Secondary / Junior College Category
Top Winner : Raffles Institution (Project: E-learning Packages for Down Syndrome Youths)
Merit Winner : Hwa Chong Institution (Project: Spiderportal)
Merit Winner : Victoria Junior College (Project: Automated Quiz Management System)...

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Road closures for ASEAN Summit meetings

Apart from the meetings held in Shangri-La Hotel, there will be several other key events, which the Leaders and delegates will attend as part of the official programme. They include the following:
a Gala Dinner at Raffles City Convention Centre on Tuesday, 20 Nov 2007 .
b Reception at the Asian Civilisations Museum on Wednesday, 21 Nov 2007.
c Dinner at Istana on Wednesday, 21 Nov 2007...
As part of the security and traffic arrangements, Police will deploy resources to conduct roadblocks and security checks at and around all the event venues.

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Stiffer measures to deter errant taxi drivers

  • Stiffer penalties for errant taxi drivers
  • Taxi advisories for the public
  • More taxi stands within the Central Business District (CBD) / Street hail of taxis on CBD roads disallowed from 1 March 2008
  • Enhanced taxi QoS requirements fully phased in from 1 January 2008
  • Taxi Mystery Customer Audit kicked off

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Regulation of cyber gaming cafes in HDB estates

Computer gaming establishments are only allowed to be set up at shopping, recreational or commercial centres. This includes HDB Town Centres, which are part commercial and part residential.
In addition, licensees of computer gaming centres are required not to admit persons below 16 years of age before 6.30 pm on a school day.
Further, the licensee has to ensure that students wearing school uniforms are not admitted into the establishment at any time, and is not allowed to provide a change of clothes to students...

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Police bust illegal Internet cafes in Geylang

Police raided 3 internet cafes at in Geylang on 9 November 07, which resulted in the arrest of 15 men and 3 women aged between 18 and 47 years old.
Acting on information received, Police quickly established that three Internet cafes along Geylang Lorong 17 and 18 were involved in the provision of illegal online gambling games...

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Changes to SingPass system

Come 25 November 2007, Singaporeans who have forgotten their Singapore Personal Access (or SingPass) password will be able to get it reset almost immediately...
The new hotline, SingPass website and system administration will be managed by CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd, who was appointed by the Government through a competitive tender to develop, operate and maintain SingPass in April 2006. SingPass was previously managed by the Central Provident Fund Board...

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Crackdown on errant taxi drivers

Over a five day period from 30 October - 3 November 2007, 26 taxi drivers were found overcharging, seven were found touting while the rest were caught for refusing to convey passengers, in enforcement operations conducted at several spots such as Sentosa, Clarke Quay, Orchard Towers and Boat Quay...

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S$40 million infrastructure upgrade for Orchard Road

With the planned landscape and infrastructural enhancements, Singapore’s premier shopping street will have state of the art lighting highlighting its lush tree-lined boulevard, new creative spaces for staging events and a more integrated and engaging pedestrian mall...
Orchard Road's infrastructure works will be carried out in phases to minimise disruption to businesses and the public, while access points to buildings will be maintained at all times...
Works are expected to be completed by April 2009.

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MOH starts inquiry into Ren Ci Hospital and Medicare Centre

As the general review into Ren Ci’s past transactions also disclosed other gaps in corporate governance and internal controls, MOH commissioned EYA to carry out a more in-depth evaluation.
The follow-up reviews have since identified some possible irregularities in certain financial transactions involving Ren Ci and certain external organisations. Hence, MOH is commencing an Inquiry into Ren Ci to establish a fuller and better understanding of these irregularities...

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Promoting more interaction between GEP and non-GEP pupils

From 2008, all the nine primary Gifted Education Programme (GEP) centres will introduce initiatives to promote greater interaction between GEP and non-GEP pupils, allowing them to learn, work and play together on a daily basis...

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Lottery scam targets Singaporeans

The number of people falling prey to lottery scam fraudsters remains a concern to Police. In the past month, on average, 1 Singaporean falls victim to it daily. So far this year, more than 210 victims have been cheated of over S$2 million...

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3378 drivers caught speeding on new KPE

Since the opening of Phase 1 of the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) on 26 October 2007, the speed cameras installed in the KPE tunnel have captured a total of 3,378 vehicles speeding above the prescribed road speed limit of 70km/h in the first six days.

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SGNIC launches bidding for fully numeric domain names

While alphanumeric domain names already exist, (eg, www.in2015.sg), fully numeric ones like www.123.sg have not been allowed till now...
SGNIC, the national registry for domain names, will now also allow pure numeric domain names in all the seven .sg categories (ie. .sg, .com.sg, .net.sg, .org.sg, .gov.sg, .edu.sg, .per.sg). The registration for pure numeric domain names will be phased accordingly:
- 05 November – 28 December 20071: All qualifying applicants including businesses and individuals can register. Trademark owners2 will get priority over other applicants. Example: A company with "123" as its trademark will get priority for 123.sg, or in any other .sg domain category...

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MediShield coverage for newborns and youths in Singapore

From 1 December 2007, all newborn Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) will be offered MediShield coverage on an opt-out basis.
From mid-2008, the Ministry of Health will also facilitate coverage for Singaporean and PR youths...

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Employment situation in 3rd Quarter 2007

Employment continued to grow strongly as the economy maintained its rapid expansion. Preliminary estimates show that employment grew by 57,600 in the third quarter of 2007...
Services continued to lead the employment gains, adding 34,500 workers in the third quarter of 2007. Manufacturing posted gains of 11,800. Driven by the growth in building activities, construction increased its workforce by 10,800, continuing the rapid increase of the previous quarter...

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Singapore population in 1990, 2000 and 2006

Total Population by Residential Status for 1990, 2000 and 2006 (Mid-Year Estimates)[1]
 
Year
1990
2000
2006
Total Population
 
3,047,100
(100.0%)
4,027,900
(100.0%)
4,483,900
(100.0%)
Singapore Citizens
2,623,700 (86.1%)
2,985,900 (74.1%)
3,145,800 (70.2%)
Permanent Residents  
112,100 (3.7%)
287,500 (7.1%)
462,700 (10.3%)
Non-Residents[2]
311,300 (10.2%)
754,500 (18.7%)
875,500 (19.5%)

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Travellers to declare currency or bearer negotiable instruments over S$30,000

From 1 November 2007 onwards, persons who move into or out of Singapore physical currency1 or bearer negotiable instruments2 (CBNI) the total value of which exceeds SGD 30,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) will be required to give a report by filling up a form and submitting it to the authorities.
The form is available at all checkpoints, police establishments, Singapore Visitors Centres and branches of Singapore Post...

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Singapore Airlines A380 enters commercial service

The Singapore Airlines A380 enters commercial service today (25 Oct 2007), with its first flight – SQ380 – from Singapore to Sydney, Australia...
The majority of the seats on the two legs of this flight were sold on eBay, the global online marketplace, with all proceeds donated to charities...

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Annual Firewalking Festival 2007

The Annual Fire Walking Festival will be held on Monday, 29 October 2007 between 12.30am and 12noon...

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New governance structure for NUH and NUS School of Medicine

MOE and MOH have jointly agreed for NUS and NHG to establish a new governance structure for the NUS School of Medicine (NUS-SoM) and the National University Hospital (NUH)...
Under the new governance structure, NUH and NUS-SoM will be repositioned as a joint operating entity. This new NUH-SoM entity will be governed by one Governing Board which will include senior members from NHG, NUS, MOH and MOE...

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New applied subjects at 'O' Level from 2008

From Jan 2008, eight secondary schools will partner the polytechnics to offer to their Express and Normal (Academic) students, three new ‘O’ level subjects in applied disciplines: Creative 3D Animation, Fundamentals of Electronics and Introduction to Enterprise Development.
These new Applied Subjects will be reflected in the students’ GCE ‘O’ level Examination Certificates and be recognised for admission into Junior Colleges and Polytechnics...

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Ugly behaviour of aunties in the library

But, the children seated at each of these two workstations were not using the terminals — they weren’t even logged in. They were just plain sitting there, playing on the keyboard. Standing around the workstations in the multi-media section were some teenagers waiting for their turn to use the Internet. But the young children did not bulge from their seats. Apparently, they were under instructions to ‘chope’ the seats till 3.30pm when they would need to use the Internet...

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COC conducts governance review of seven large charities

The Commissioner of Charities (COC) has appointed Ernst & Young Associates Pte Ltd and Deloitte & Touche Financial Advisory Services Pte Ltd to conduct the governance review of the first seven large charities under his direct purview.
These charities were selected on the basis of their high total annual income which exceeds $10 million a year....

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6406 cases of voluntarily causing hurt reported in 2006

In 2006, out of the 6,406 VCH cases, Police initiated action on behalf of the victims in 468 cases, which accounted for 7.3 % of the VCH cases reported...
Police will initiate prosecution into VCH cases where there is harm to the public interest and safety, and when it is assessed that the assailant is a bully who is taking advantage of the weak and vulnerable - especially young children, senior citizens and physically or mentally-disabled persons...

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New 550-bed Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

MOH is building a regional hospital in Yishun to better serve residents from the Northern region of Singapore. Spanning over 3.4 hectares, the 550-bed hospital will offer a comprehensive range of medical and healthcare services.
The new public sector hospital will be named Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, following the promise of a donation of $125 million from the family of the late banker and philanthropist Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat...

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Tricksters impersonating Supreme Court staff and police officers

Police would like to alert the public of a phone scam where callers impersonate themselves as police officers or staff from the Supreme Court...
Over the past 3 weeks, Police have received 35 reports by victims who have received such calls, of which a victim have parted with about S$10,000...

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Secondhand Goods Dealers Act effective from 1 Dec 2007

Under the new Act, only dealers who deal in secondhand goods that are listed in the Schedule will be regulated. This will be regardless of whether such dealings take place at a shopfront, via a makeshift stall or over the Internet.
The list of items was drawn up based on crime data of commonly stolen items. While the existing Act has a wider list of items, the new regulatory regime has a reduced list which comprises commonly stolen items. This allows a sharper regulatory focus in preventing fencing1.
Dealers who deal in items which are not in the new list will not be regulated. The list of items may also be revised according to crime trends...

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ACT 3 Int'l presents Peter Pan

29 Oct – 4 Nov 2007

For 4- to 12-year-olds

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Creating a Singapore fit for children

I believe that the next big frontier is pre-school education. The literature consistently suggests that early intervention through a high quality pre-school education can help make up for deficiencies in home environments by way of ensuring school readiness.
Yet 2006 figures show that five percent of children entering primary school have not attended preschool. We want to ensure that as many children as possible are in preschool, so that they get a good start in life...

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Start of road works for Singapore Formula One Race

A series of road works will be undertaken in the city centre, which includes road widening works along Raffles Boulevard from Nicoll Highway to Temasek Avenue.
Other works in the city centre will include modifications to existing roads, such as the removal of road kerbs and traffic islands along the confirmed F1 track alignment...

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Medical devices in Singapore to be regulated

HSA is adopting a phased approach in implementing the new regulations to minimise the impact to the supply of medical devices and to provide sufficient time for the industry to meet the new standards and requirements. The control measures will be implemented in three phases, starting from 1 November 2007:..

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Chee Soon Juan's demonstration outside Istana

Upon arrival at the Istana, Police officers observed that Chee Soon Juan and some of his SDP supporters were staging a demonstration with various placards at the Istana Park.
Police issued repeated warnings against Chee Soon Juan and four persons who were part of his demonstration group, as they have contravened the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Prohibition of Assemblies and Processions - Istana) Order...
Despite repeated warnings to disperse, Chee Soon Juan and the others refused to comply and persisted with his unlawful demonstration. The Police seized the placards and arrested Chee Soon Juan and others...

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Singapore outlook for 2007 and 2008

Nonetheless, financial markets have rebounded recently and underlying economic conditions remain supportive. GDP growth is therefore on track to come in at the upper end of the 7-8% forecast range this year, up from the 4.5-6.5% forecast during the April review...
In the Singapore economy, growth will be led by non-IT manufacturing, construction and business services, which have built up a strong momentum and are more dependent on regional and domestic sources of demand as well as developments in specific product markets.
At this stage, our assessment is that the Singapore economy is likely to expand at a slower rate in 2008 than in the recent past, reflecting weaker global economic growth. Singapore’s GDP growth rate is expected to come in within its potential of 4-6% next year...

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MOE appoints 65 principals in 2007

This year, 23 of the 36 newly-appointed Principals are aged 40 and below, which is the largest number of young newly-appointed Principals in the last ten years.
Among them, the youngest are Mdm Eugenia Tan and Mrs Clara Lim-Tan at age 35. They will be heading Crescent Girls' School and CHIJ (Kellock) respectively...

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Proposed exemption from maximum credit card limit

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a consultation paper proposing to exempt card issuers from complying with the maximum credit limit when issuing credit or charge cards to individuals with an annual income of at least $120,000 or net personal assets exceeding $2 million[1].
With the proposed exemption, card issuers may determine the appropriate credit limits for this higher income group in line with their assessment of the credit worthiness of these individuals...

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NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia opens Singapore campus

Tisch School of the Arts Asia is the first-ever branch campus of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and it is also the first American art school to set up residence in Singapore.
Tisch Asia’s inaugural class of 33 graduate film students began their studies in September. More than half the students in this first group are from the United States, while the others come from Australia, Europe, Asia, and Central America.
In 2008, Tisch Asia will also begin offering MFA degrees in animation and dramatic writing...

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Proposed amendments to the Infectious Diseases Act

Therefore, we propose to amend the IDA to empower the Director of Medical Services (DMS) to obtain left-over samples, and send them for the tests and examinations for the purpose of monitoring the infectious disease situation in Singapore...
The Ministry proposes to expand the IDA to empower DMS to close any premises as non-food establishments may also be the source of an outbreak...
We propose to amend the IDA so that when required, the DMS may require medical practitioners as well as other categories of health care workers (e.g. TCM practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, etc.) to obtain disease related information from their patients...
MOH proposes to expand the IDA to address the situation where an individual who, although unaware that he is HIV-positive, has reason to believe that he has been exposed to the risk of contracting HIV or AIDS (e.g. by having unprotected casual sex with multiple partners)...

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159 Foreign Medical Schools recognised in Singapore

The Ministry of Health and the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) will be including an additional 19 leading international medical schools to the Schedule of the Medical Registration Act with effect from 1st October 2007...
Included are 6 medical schools from China, 4 from India, 4 from Japan, 2 from Taiwan and 1 from South Korea. 2 more medical schools from Europe have also been added...
Singaporeans graduating from any of the 159 international medical schools can also come back to Singapore, to supplement the number graduating from our own medical schools...

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Five schools to pilot boarding programmes for students

Five schools will be piloting various models of boarding programmes starting from 2008, to support the all-round development of their students...
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Year 1 – Year 4 Integrated Programme (IP) students will board together to forge bonds across levels, through activities such as inter-hall games. Each IP student will board for at least two semesters in total.
Hwa Chong Institution Sec 3, Sec 4, JC1 and JC2 students will have the opportunity to board together on an optional basis, to forge bonds across levels. Boarding will take place for one term (3 months)...

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Grading exercise for licensed security agencies

About 52% of the agencies which took part this year attained a Grade B and above as compared to the 24% in 2006. This is a marked improvement and a good testimony to the rising standards of the security agencies...
Of the 270 agencies in Singapore , 86 did not participate in the grading exercise. Of these 86, 8 agencies were newly licensed in the period of assessment and therefore could not be graded...

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Singapore and UK conclude landmark Open Skies Agreement

Singapore and the United Kingdom (UK) have concluded a landmark Open Skies Agreement (OSA) on 2 October 2007, removing all restrictions on air services operated by carriers of both countries.
With this agreement, Singapore Airlines (SIA) will now be able to operate as many services as the Singapore-UK market could support...
Similarly, UK carriers will be able to operate any number of services beyond Singapore to any other city in the world. These rights, which will be effective from end-March 2008, come nearly two decades after Singapore first made its request to the UK...

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New initiatives for Normal (Academic) Course

Currently, the criteria for promoting the N(A) students to Sec 5N  comprise a pass in English Language (EL) and the aggregate score of their best 3 subjects at the ‘N’ level examinations.  MOE will introduce the following refinements:

(a) Include both EL and Mathematics as compulsory subjects for computation in the aggregate score; and

(b) Increase the number of subjects to be included in the aggregate score to 5...

The refined promotion criteria will apply to the 2009 Sec 4N(A) cohort onwards...

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MAS issues revised property fund guidelines

The revised Guidelines are intended to improve safeguards for investors and to provide greater clarity and flexibility for commercial transactions...
MAS will amend the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) to include REIT management as a regulated activity...

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School Achievements in 2007

The School Excellence Award (SEA) recognises schools for their excellence in both education processes and outcomes. It is the highest and most prestigious award in the MoA framework.
This year, 5 schools will be presented with the SEA trophy. They are:
1) Crescent Girls' School
2) Tanjong Katong Secondary School
3) Nanyang Girls' High School
4) Hwa Chong Institution
5) Victoria Junior College

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Profile of inmate population in penal institutions in Singapore

The profile of the population by gender and education in the drug rehabilitation centres, penal institutions, and juvenile homes as of Jun 2007 are set out in the tables below:...

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Five arrested for online sale of pirated and counterfeit goods

Police have arrested five Singaporeans for peddling pirated and counterfeit merchandise on the Internet.
The four women and a man, aged between 24 and 34 years, were arrested at various locations in a 12-hour island-wide operation conducted on 24 September 2007...

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BIS Survey ranks Singapore as world's 5th largest FX centre

According to the latest survey by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), average daily foreign exchange (FX) turnover volume in Singapore jumped 84% from the previous survey in 2004, to reach US$231 billion in 2007.
The survey ranks Singapore as the fifth largest FX centre in the world and the second largest in Asia, closely behind Tokyo...
The survey also ranks Singapore as eighth largest centre globally in terms of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives trading, up from twelfth position in 2004...

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Summary of key amendments to the Penal Code

It will be made an offence to engage in penetrative acts such as oral and anal sex with a minor under the age of 16, with or without the consent of the minor;

It will be made an offence to obtain commercial sex from a minor under the age of 18, or communicate with any person for such a purpose; and

A new offence of sexual grooming of minors under the age of 16 will be introduced...

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Jackson Tai to step down as CEO of DBS

DBS Group Holdings said today that Jackson Tai will step down as Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to be with his family in the United States, and his last day at the bank will be towards the end of this year...
DBS has initiated an extensive global search for the new CEO. In the interim, with the endorsement of the Boards, Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of DBS Group Holdings and DBS Bank, will with immediate effect take on an active management oversight role. He will oversee the Corporate Office to ensure continued strong leadership and a smooth transition over the next few months...

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MOM revokes licences of three employment agencies

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has revoked the licences and forfeited the security deposits of three employment agencies (EA) - Ms Bushra Employment Agency, CM Manpower Centre Pte Ltd and Angel Maids Agency.
These EAs have breached the Employment Agencies Act by illegally deploying foreign domestic workers (FDWs) to perform work at households when they have not obtained valid work passes1...

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Medisave lucky draws for self-employed and informal workers

The Government is introducing the Medisave Contribution Draw (MCD) to encourage low-income self-employed persons (SEPs) and informal workers to contribute to their Medisave accounts...
The MCD will consist of four quarterly draws for each year of work done...
The MCD will run for three years and will be reviewed thereafter...

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Cancellation of licence for public lecture by Prof Emeritus Douglas Sanders

Our laws are an expression and reflection of the values of our society and any public discourse in Singapore on such matters should be reserved for Singaporeans.
Foreigners will not be allowed to interfere in our domestic political scene, whether in support of the gay cause or against it.

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HDB introduces family season parking ticket from 1 Oct 2007

The Family SPT is for HDB residents who require SPT to two different car parks because of family arrangements...
For such residents, who have already bought a regular SPT to park at their own residential car park, there is a need for a second SPT to park at another car park for visiting their parents, children, grandparents, siblings or their in-laws.
The Family SPT will be sold at 50% of the regular SPT price applicable to the car park where the Family SPT is to be purchased.

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Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act passed

Clause 11 of the Bill makes it mandatory for anyone physically carrying currency and bearer negotiable instruments or CBNI, above S$30,000, into or out of Singapore, to declare this to the authorities at the checkpoints...

The threshold amount of S$30,000 is based on the recommendation by the FATF, and includes not only currency in circulation, but also bearer negotiable instruments such as travellers cheques, money orders, cheques, bonds and promissory notes...
Hence, for clarity, a crossed cheque made payable to a specific person with the word “bearer” deleted is not considered a bearer negotiable instrument because only the person named on the cheque can receive the amount stated on it.
The new measure would be non-discriminatory and will be imposed on all travellers, including citizens, residents and foreigners, entering and exiting the country.
The penalties for non-declaration and false declaration are a maximum fine of S$50,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years or both...

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Registration of optometrists and opticians starts in Sep 2007

In July this year, Parliament passed the Optometrists & Opticians Act. The Act which aims to raise the standard of eye care in Singapore will come into effect on 1 January 2008...
Applications for registration by the Optometrists and Opticians Board have just started. Optometrists and opticians are advised to apply for registration before 15 December 2007, in order to continue practising as optometrists or opticians from January 2008...

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MediaCorp Radio Subaru Impreza Challenge 2007

The event is slotted to start at 7.00 am on Saturday, 3 Nov 2007 at Ngee Ann City's Civic Plaza.
To get a chance to register for the Challenge, tune in during the qualifying period (24 September 2007 – 26 October 2007) to any three of the following radio stations: Gold 90.5FM, Class 95FM and 987FM.
Wait for the DJ's ‘invitation to call’. Call in. The first male and female callers of each call-in segment will enter the Second Qualifying Round...

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Defence Minister speaks on Cpl Dave Teo in Parliament

CPL Teo was assigned patrolling duties on the night of the incident. Procedures require patrolling duties to be conducted on 2 hour shifts and in pairs, to ensure mutual support and responsibility while on duty. Guards on patrol duties are also required to make situational reports to the Guard Room at half hourly intervals.
These procedures were not carried out properly on the night that CPL Teo was on duty. If they had been properly enforced, it would have been extremely difficult for him to have left camp undetected, and even if he had managed to slip out, his absence would probably have been detected and reported earlier...

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Foreign domestic worker levy concession for disabled persons

Employers may now apply for the FDW Levy Concession (Persons with disability) from 15 September 2007.
The FDW Levy Concession (Persons with disability) will help families of persons with disability reduce costs of caregiving where a full-time caregiver is needed...
Employers applying for the levy concession will need to obtain a medical assessment on the functional ability of the person with disability in performing his/her activities of daily living...

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Singapore Labour Market 2nd quarter 2007

Total employment grew by an all-time quarterly high of 64,400 in Q2 07, surpassing the increase of 49,400 in Q1 07 and 36,400 in Q2 06. This brought employment growth in the first half of 2007 to 113,800, compared with 81,500 in the same period last year.
With the robust employment gains, the seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate declined significantly to 2.3% in Jun 07 from 2.9% in Mar 07. The resident1 unemployment rate also fell to 3.1% from 4.0% over the same period. An estimated 76,100 (or 60,200 after seasonal adjustment) residents were unemployed in Jun 07...

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Employer-financed insurance for medical expenses of foreign workers

The Ministry of Manpower will require employers to purchase and maintain insurance for the medical expenses of foreign workers from 1 January 2008.
This requirement is being implemented in tandem with the withdrawal of healthcare subsidies for foreigners1, which was previously announced by the Ministry of Health. The requirement will apply to:
  • All new and existing foreign workers on Work Permit or S Pass from 1 January 2008.
  • All new foreign domestic workers, and existing foreign domestic workers when employers renew their Work Permits, from 1 January 2008.

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Eight schools to be upgraded from 2009 to 2011

As part of the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) continuing efforts to renew and support our schools, eight more schools will be upgraded from 2009 to 2011 under the tenth phase of the Programme for Rebuilding and IMproving Existing Schools (PRIME)...
Schools undergoing PRIME will also benefit from the Flexible School Infrastructure (FlexSI) framework and the provision of an indoor sports hall as part of the upgrading plan.

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1 to 2 cents increase in bus fares and no increase in rail fares

The PTC approved a 1 to 2 cent increase in adult EZ-Link fares for buses. Senior citizen concessionary EZ-Link bus fares, which are flat fares pegged to the lowest adult EZ-Link fare band will also increase by 2 cents...
There will be no increase to all rail fares, some EZLink adult bus fares, as well as cash fares for buses, child/student fares and the prices of monthly student/NS men concession passes...

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A healthy life and a good, dignified and discreet death

First, their traditional diet: they eat more pork, more tofu (bean curd), more dark green vegetables and more seaweed than other Japanese...
Second, they are physically active. They exercise a lot and keep active all their lives. They work for as long as there is work available.
Third, their active daily life in turn benefits their sleep at night. They sleep easily and while they do not sleep long, they sleep soundly with little interruptions.
So this is the Ogimi secret to longevity: a healthy diet, an active life and good quality sleep...
End-of-life issues are deeply emotional. But at the Ogimi village, I did not find the villagers squeamish when talking about it. They laughed and joked about it.
They realise that treating death as taboo does a disservice to both the dying and the living, adding to loneliness, anxiety and stress for all. They are grateful for a healthy life and pray for a good, dignified and discreet death, a “pokkuri” moment.
It takes humility to acknowledge that medical science, however advanced, has its limits. For the most vulnerable group of patients at the close of their lives, for whom curable treatment is no longer an option -- their last moments matter...

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Rock Productions and CapitaLand develop Integrated Hub at Vista Xchange

"CapitaLand Retail will also project manage the entire development of the Integrated Hub, which is expected to be completed by 2011.
"The Integrated Hub will stand out in the one-north precinct with its stunning iconic architecture. Designed by Andrew Bromberg of AEDAS Hong Kong, the development will boast over eight levels of Civic and Cultural Zone, and four levels of Retail and Entertainment Zone, forming the base structure..."

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Safety and security measures for Formula One races

"For the safety of spectators, safety barricades will be lined up around the perimeter of the race circuit. This is similar to the arrangement adopted by most of the countries hosting F1 races...
"To ensure security for the event, Police will conduct checks on bags and personal belongings at designated access points to prevent smuggling of any weapons or prohibited items. Spectators who refuse to have their bags check can be denied entry. Spectators who appear to be highly intoxicated could also be denied entry..."

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Rapid HIV testing now available in medical clinics

"As of 1 Aug 2007, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is allowing HIV testing with rapid HIV test kits to be offered in medical clinics. Rapid HIV tests are screening tests that produce very quick results, in approximately 20 minutes...
"Rapid HIV testing can only be conducted in a medical clinic by trained clinic personnel, and only clinics which have participated in an MOH training workshop on Rapid HIV Testing are allowed to offer rapid HIV testing..."

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NETS and SingTel to launch Singapore's first NFC trials

"By including a stored value wallet with Over-The-Air (OTA) capabilities, which covers wireless downloads and top-ups of stored value to NFC phones, the trial becomes a first in Asia...
"Under the payment solution being planned, SingTel users will need to download a mNETS application, which will allow them to store and top up value on the mNETS payment application in their phones any time. Users will then be able to make payments using NETS FlashPay by flashing their SingTel mobile phones at NETS contactless terminals islandwide..."

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Dunman High School joins Chinese language elective programme

"The Ministry of Education will be establishing a 5th Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) Centre to nurture the language talent of students with an aptitude for Chinese Language. From 2008, the Dunman High School will be offering the CLEP...
"The CLEP is a two-year programme, which includes the study of classical and modern literature (poetry, prose, novels, and drama) and Chinese culture..."

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The Private Security Industry Bill 2007 passed

"Should a private investigator or security officer be charged with or convicted of a prescribed offence which makes his continued employment as a private investigator or security officer undesirable, his licence can be suspended with immediate effect. This power is provided in Clause 24(5) of the Bill.
"With the introduction of the licensing schemes for security officers and private investigators, more than 500 private investigators and 30,000 security officers will need to apply for a licence..."

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Police arrest armed full-time national serviceman in Orchard Road

"Police apprehended an armed 20-year-old SAF serviceman along Orchard Road near Orchard Cineleisure at about 8pm on 3 Sept 2007.
"The serviceman had gone missing from Mandai Hill Camp on the night of 2 September 07 with a rifle and some ammunition that had been issued to him..."

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Police investigating illegal Myanmese assembly at Orchard MRT Station

"On 25 Aug 2007, a group of Myanmese dressed in similar white attire had assembled around Orchard MRT Station.
"The intent of the assembly, which did not have a police permit, was to show support for fellow Myanmese who had been protesting back in Myanmar...

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Two new specialty centres for cancer and heart disease

MOH is setting up two new specialty centres for cancer and heart disease at the National University Hospital to meet the rising demand for tertiary care in these specialties...
Cancer and heart disease are the top two killers, with cancer taking 4000 lives in Singapore each year. They will remain the major causes of death and morbidity. New cancer cases are projected to increase from 9,000 per year to 13,000 by 2015. For cardiology, outpatient attendances are projected to grow from 200,000 per year to 320,000 by 2015. We must ramp up our capacity and capabilities to meet this rapidly growing demand...

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Changi Airport to be corporatised

"After careful consideration, the government believes that it is necessary to corporatise Changi Airport and to re-structure CAAS’ existing regulatory and strategic functions under a new regulatory body...
"Corporatisation will enhance Changi Airport’s ability to compete in this changed landscape. In being more nimble the new entity will further strengthen Changi’s position as a premier air hub...
"Corporatisation is a complex process. We will plan carefully and explore all possible options. The entire process is expected to take 18 to 24 months..."

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No plans to change minimum annual income requirement for credit cards

"First, let me clarify that the minimum annual income requirement to qualify for a credit card has not been relaxed, and remains at $30,000.
"There are no plans to change this. When Mr Palmer mentioned the relaxation in the minimum annual income for credit cards, I presume he was referring directly to payment instruments with a maximum credit limit of $500.
"MAS has exempted payment instruments with a credit limit of less than $500 from MAS' rules to provide some leeway to the market to innovate and develop convenient payment instruments..."

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Singapore CPI for households in different income groups in 1st half 2007

"The difference in the inflation rates between the lowest 20% and the higher income groups also narrowed.
"This was due primarily to lower electricity tariffs and domestic refuse removal fees which have relatively larger weights for the low income group.
"The main items contributing to the price increases during the first six months of 2007 for all income groups were taxi fares, cooked food, holiday travel, accommodation, school & tuition fees as well as hospitalization fees..."

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Drug addiction situation in Singapore

"The drug addiction situation in Singapore is under control, even though 999 drug abusers were arrested in the first half of this year, compared to 446 over the same period last year.
"Of the total number of abusers arrested, Buprenorphine abusers formed the majority, at 41%, with heroin abusers at 30% and synthetic drug abusers at 25%.
"One reason for the increase of 553 abusers is that the Central Narcotics Bureau gazetted Buprenorphine as a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act in August last year..."

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Beware of kidnap scam calls

"Police want to alert the public about a cheating ruse employed to induce people to part with money by alleging their next-of-kin had been kidnapped...
"The allegations were untrue and no one had been kidnapped. Unfortunately, one person was cheated of nearly $50,000 before realising it was a ruse...
"Another five kidnap scam calls were reported today, bringing the total number of cases to over ten reported since last Saturday..."

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Singapore Airlines A380 First Flight Charity Auction Starts

"The Singapore Airlines A380 flies its First Flight from Singapore to Sydney on Thursday 25 October and the return leg on Friday 26 October.
"A majority of seats on both legs of the First Flight will be auctioned on eBay, the global online marketplace, progressively over two weeks from Monday evening (Singapore time), 27 August 2007..."

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Proposed amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act

"Following the recent ruling by the Fatwa Committee of MUIS that Muslims can be included under the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA), the Ministry of Health intends to amend HOTA to improve the access of Muslim patients to donated organs...
"MOH proposes to amend the HOTA to include, upon death, Muslims who are Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PR) between the ages of 21 and 60 years, who are of sound mind, and who have not opted out...
"The inclusion of Muslims under HOTA is expected to provide up to five additional organ donors per year (yielding up to 10 kidneys, 10 corneas, 5 livers and 5 hearts)..."

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Singapore conducts major multi-agency maritime security exercise

"Led by the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) Coastal Command (COSCOM), this annual exercise involves some 2,000 personnel from the RSN, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Army, as well as the Police Coast Guard (PCG), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)..."

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ERP coverage extended to more roads from 1 Nov 2007

"The LTA has completed its review of traffic conditions on the roads and will be extending the coverage of ERP at the following locations. The changes take effect from 1 November 2007..."

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Police seek two teenagers in bomb hoax case

"Police are investigating a false call of a bomb threat that was made on 17 August 2007 at about 11.16 pm from a public telephone at the Concourse Area of Outram Park MRT Interchange (East West Line).
"Police seek information on the identities and whereabouts of the two persons shown in the photographs attached who can assist Police in investigations..."

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Significant changes to the CPF system

"By 2012, we will require employers to offer re-employment to workers reaching 62, up to age 65, and eventually to 67. This change will precede the raising of the Draw Down Age (DDA). By 2012, employers will be required to offer re-employment up to age 65 but the DDA to 65 will only be effected in 2018 – a significant time lag to help workers and employers adjust...
"1% additional bonus interest will be paid on the first $60,000 in a CPF member's combined accounts, with not more than $20,000 from the OA accounts. This will enhance CPF's existing risk-free framework...
"While our employment rates are among the highest in the world, our residents are also among the longest living. The present DDA of 62 years is hence too early and results in the majority of members prematurely depleting their savings. Thus, we will do the following: a. progressively raise draw down age..
"Even after changes to DDA, there will be those who live longer than 85. We want to ensure that they have a stream of income for life. The Government will therefore be looking at making annuities compulsory for members to protect them against outliving their retirement savings...

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Singapore to have fourth university

The Ministry of Education (MOE) is increasing the number of publicly-funded university places to cater to 30% of each cohort of Singaporeans by 2015...
The increase to 30% of cohort translates to about 2,400 additional university places per year for Singaporeans.

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Sleight Of hand culprit nabbed

On 19 August 2007 at about 3.15pm, an Iranian man was arrested for an offence of theft by sleight of hand. The man had earlier managed to steal money from foreigners by asking to see their foreign currency.

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Draft Mental Capacity Bill for public consultation

"Currently, under the Mental Disorders and Treatment Act (MDTA), the High Court can appoint a Committee of Person or Committee of Estate to manage the personal welfare of or make property related decisions for a person who is incapable of managing himself or his affairs. However, the appointment can only be done after a person has lost his mental capacity.
"One of the key features of the draft Mental Capacity Bill is that it will provide a statutory framework to allow a person to voluntarily make advance plans for his financial and personal welfare..."

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Singapore Fireworks Celebrations 2007

"The Singapore Fireworks Celebrations has lined up two fireworks displays, on 17 and 18 Aug, at the Marina Bay area to tie in with this year's National Day celebrations..."

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2007

Previous News, Articles & Reports 2007 - Part 2

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2006

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2005

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2004

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