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     Government - News 2005

      NEWS SNIPPETS 2005


Deaths of SAF Servicemen Due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac death or SCD results from sudden cardiac arrest in a person who is usually in a state of normal health. In other words, the person may not exhibit any warning symptoms or signs prior to the attack.
In the SAF, over the period from 1996 to 2005, for these nine years, there were 19 cases of sudden cardiac deaths, that is about 2.1 cases a year.
Of these, five had collapsed during training; the others were not during training. There is no comparative data for the Singapore male population. However, the National Heart Centre study showed that there were 261 cases of sudden cardiac deaths among the Singapore male population aged 18 to 45 over the period 2001 to 2003, that is over a three year period, or an average of 87 cases per year.
To put the issue in perspective, allow me to share some pertinent information on the chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest.
Dr Lim Swee Han, Senior Consultant and Head of the Singapore General Hospital Accident and Emergency Department, reported in a January 2005 paper that there was a 4.1% survival rate in 968 non-trauma cardiac arrest cases in a five year period, from 1994 to 1999.
Dr Marcus Eng Ong Hock, in a cardiac arrest and resuscitation epidemiology study in 2003 reported that from a total of 548 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Singapore, only 2.0% survived to discharge.
Even among patients who suffered cardiac arrest in tertiary hospitals, that is while they were already in hospital where the best care is available, the survival rate to discharge ranged from 18 to 32%, according to studies from various countries. Unfortunately, death as a consequence of cardiac arrest is the most common outcome even with optimal management.
Statement by Minister for Defence Mr Teo Chee Hean in Response to Parliamentary Question on Deaths of SAF Servicemen Due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest - An Excerpt

Full Text of Statement

Source: News Release 18 Jul 2005



      - Police advisory on NKF suit

     - New Board and CEO for National Kidney Foundation (NKF)

     - President Nathan to run for second term


KKH to serve all healthcare needs of women

"...Unlike the past when practically every Singaporean was born in a public hospital, Medisave made it affordable for many mothers to deliver their babies in private hospitals.

"The combined effects of these two structural trends have resulted in the new KKH being under-utilised. Bed occupancy is about 65%, below average. Number of babies born is one-third what it used to do...
"As a government, we should be pleased that Singaporeans are finding private obstetric care affordable. Then our limited resources can be re-deployed to serve more pressing needs, like oncology and geriatrics, where patients may not be able to afford private hospital care. Time to Change.."


      - Happy Birthday Singapore! - National Day Projects


     - Commemorative coins - Singapore's 40 years of independence


Rehabilitation for first- & second-time synthetic drug abusers

"From 1 July 2005, first- and second-time abusers of MDMA (Ecstasy, Ketamine), Methamphetamine (Ice or Yaba) and Nimetazepam (Erimin-5) will undergo a new rehabilitation regime in Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs)....."


     - Police arrest 15 men for distributing pirated software

     - MAS launches NUS Centennial Commemorative Coins

     - Best units in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)

     - ComCare Fund for needy Singaporeans launched

     - Registration of children for admission into Primary 1 in 2006

     - HDB Sample Household Survey 2003


     - Naked body parts along Kallang River - suspect arrested

     - 9 out of 10 use Government electronic services

     - Singapore Labour Market Report - 1st Quarter 2005

     - MRT extension to link NEL's Chinatown station to Marina Bay

     - Survey on Gambling in Singapore

     - Key Survey Findings on Education Services 2003

     - S.P.F.G Boutique Cafe opens in Changi Airport Terminal 1

     - Give your view on changes to Income Tax Act

     - Landmark City Campus handed over to SMU

     - Government accepts NWC's wage guidelines for 2005/2006

     - PTC approves tiered increase in bus & train fares

     - Presidential Election 2005

     - Poliomyelitis - important to ensure all children are vaccinated

     - Government allocates Bukit Timah Campus to NUS

     - 70,000 Singaporeans yet to qualify for CPF Top-ups

     - Key Survey Findings on Health Services 2003

     - 43 sec schools in sec 1 direct admission exercise in 2006

     - University admissions under new A Level curriculum

     - First National Interschool Blogging Championship

     - Performance of Singapore Economy in 1st Quarter 2005

     - Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill 2005

     - Singaporeans engaging in sex with minors overseas

Registration of Criminals (Amendment) Bill 2005

"We are amending the Registration of Criminals Act or "RCA" to allow the record of a conviction kept in the Register of Criminals for a less serious crime to be considered as spent if the person stays clean after a specified period...

"As we are making a start in this area, we have decided to do so on a more cautious note, by providing for criminal records to become spent. In the light of experience gained, we can consider expunging criminal records in the future..."


     - IMH upgrades inpatient children psychiatric ward

     - Pulau Ubin conservation & management plans launched

     - Computerised Theory Test to start in June 2005: Traffic Police

     - Changi Airport's no-frills terminal ready in early 2006


Can Singapore always remain clean?: MM Lee

"...Whether it is policemen, immigration officers, customs officers or officers in charge of dispensing licences, it is dangerous to have them grossly underpaid.

"Over the last 40 years, Singapore has moved towards paying political and civil service officers 70-80% of what their equivalents are earning in the private sector, the formula is based on an average of 6 professions, their salaried incomes based on the income tax returns.
"This has enabled ministers and officials to live according to their station in society without extra sources of illicit income..."


     - Prime Minister's May Day Rally Speech 2005

     - Employment Situation in 1st Quarter 2005

     - Latest Civil Defence Emergency Handbook now available

     - 1st Quarter 2005 Real Estate Statistics

     - Interim Changes to 2006 PSLE & GCE 'O' Level MT Exams

     - Singapore to have two IRs with a casino each

     - Retrenchment & Re-employment in 2004

     - MOE to build six new primary schools by 2008

     - MAS Monetary Policy Statement

     - NUS to set up Singapore's second medical school

     - NUS, NTU & SMU to become autonomous universities


My Uniquely Singapore Passport 2005

"The Passport offers holders (Singapore residents or visitors) discounts at 40 Singapore establishments including tourist attractions, F&B outlets as well as a family-oriented spa..."




     - Singapore Public Holidays 2006 Gazetted

     - New speed limits for 43 roads from 1 Apr 2005

     - No single intake for JC/CI admission in March 2006


     - Man jailed for employing foreigners without work permits

     - Suspension of N & N Agriculture Farm

     - 17,300 graves in Choa Chu Kang Cemetery to be exhumed

     - Singapore Road Traffic Situation in 2004

     - Equipment to detect terrorist shipments of nuclear material

     - Posting results for the 2005 Joint Admissions Exercise

     - Ministry of Manpower fine tunes foreign worker policy

     - Singapore Labour Market 2004 Report


School fields for public use

"Some 50 school fields all over the island will be available for public use under a scheme to maximise the use of sports facilities in Singapore...

"Members of the public can book the fields for a small fee; full soccer-sized fields can be booked for $50 per two-hour slots while smaller-sized soccer fields can be booked for $25 per two-hour slots..."



Changes to CCA and CIP for university admission

"... it will no longer be necessary to have a fixed CCA points system for junior college (JC) and Centralised Institute (CI) students applying to university from 2007 onwards. MOE will remove the CCA grading system, PEARLS, for first year students in JCs starting from this year.

"At the same time, MOE will remove the minimum 6-hour requirement for CIP for all students in JCs and the CI from this year. The CIP scheme, introduced in 1998, is now a vibrant feature of JC life..."



AIDS Epidemic - 311 new cases in 2004: Dr Balaji Sadasivan

"...We do not know the reasons for the sharp increase of HIV in the gay community. An epidemiologist has suggested that this may be linked to the annual predominantly gay party in Sentosa - the Nation Party -which allowed gays from high prevalence societies to fraternize with local gay men, seeding the infection in the local community. However, this is a hypothesis and more research needs to done.

"The reported new cases are only the tip of the ice-berg. In total, we have more than 2,000 HIV/AIDS patients. But for every AIDS patient we have diagnosed, there are possibly 2 to 4 undiagnosed patients with HIV in Singapore. That means there could be, anywhere between 4,000 to 8,000, undiagnosed HIV patients in Singapore..."


     - Smoking ban to cover more public places from 1 Oct 2005

New biometric passports for Singaporeans

"...The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) plans to introduce a Singapore biometric passport by October this year. This new passport will contain the person's unique facial and fingerprint information.

"It will make use of an inventory control number as the passport number, instead of the current approach of using the person¨s NRIC number. This unique inventory number will make it easier to share information on lost and stolen Singaporean passports as part of the global effort to curb passport abuse.

"The validity period will be shortened from the present 10 years to 5 years, to allow us to incorporate new technologies into the Singapore passport more rapidly. The biometric passport will speed up immigration clearance significantly, as well as deter people from misusing the Singapore passport, thus upholding the reputation of the Singapore passport, and facilitating our citizens' travel overseas.

"...Minister elaborated that the fees for the new biometric passport planned to be introduced by October this year, have not been determined. He added that the existing passports that have not expired continue to be valid..."

Response given by the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Wong Kan Seng at the Committee of Supply Debate on the Ministry of Home Affairs, Thursday, 3 March 2005

Source: Ministry of Home Affairs Press Release 3 Mar 2005

       - CCTVs to be used in parts of Geylang to combat vice

     - 11,790 Immigration Offenders Arrested in 2004

     - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'O' Level Exams 2004 Results

Loss of medical talent to the private sector

"...These are doctors who have devoted many years of their lives to public service; good doctors and dedicated teachers.  I have expected them to retire in public sector.  Why are they now in private practice?
"Within the Ministry, there seems to be a view that the "loss of doctors to the private sector is not a loss, for as long as they continue their practice in Singapore".  I do not agree with this view.  The loss of good teachers and clinicians from the public sector is a big loss to Singapore...


     - Notification of Release of 2004 GCE O-Level Results

     - Singapore Crime Situation 2004

     - HDB Resale Flats: HDB-assigned valuers for bank loan cases

     - Singapore Budget 2005

     - Tentative List of Singapore Public Holidays for 2006

     - Securities & Futures (Amendment) Bill 2005 passed

     - Younger teachers can take up Senior Teacher appointments

     - Financial Advisers (Amendment) Bill 2005 passed


Home Team report card for 2004

""Most of the major offences such as housebreaking, robbery, rape, cheating and related offences, registered decreases..."


     - Employment Situation in 4th Quarter 2004


Rising Expectations of Singaporeans

^Do not just promise welfare benefits but show people the price tag. Explain how you are going to fund this for the people, how are you going to pay the bill, and who is going to pay the bill.
"And if you impose such a bill on Singaporeans, which Singaporeans will stay to pay it? And which Singaporeans will say, `thank you very much, I¨m off. There are so many other countries in the world where the taxes are cheaper¨´


     - MediShield reform plan takes effect from 1 July 2005


Government corporatising statutory board CISCO

"...CISCO will no longer share the same insignia as Police and upon corporatisation, CISCO's auxiliary police officers will no longer don the same uniform as the Police..."


     - Consumer Price Index 2004

     - Republic of Singapore Navy acquires 6 new naval helicopters

     - Conditions of Employment 2004

     - Release/detention of persons involved with JI and MILF

     -  Case concerning land reclamation by Singapore in and around Straits of Johor (Malaysia v Singapore)

     - Singapore tourism targeted to net S$30 billion by 2015


     - Singapore observes one minute of silence on 9 Jan 2005

     - UAGFSC recommends autonomy for NUS & NTU

     - Tsunami Disaster Memorial Service on 9 Jan 2005

     - No first-year cash rebates for housing loans from 6 Jan 2005

   News Snippets 2004

   News Snippets 2003