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     Government: News 2006


     News 2006


     - Use the National Flag during National Day Celebrations 2006

     - Singapore and MIT to start SMART research center here in 2007

     - Police arrest three Singaporeans involved in Malaysia kidnap case


Singapore sees growth in debt capital market

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

"...First, real estate investment trusts or REITs. These have seen explosive growth, particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong over the last 3 years...

"In Singapore, the market capitalization weighted-average returns since IPO have been exceptional at over 30%. The market has also moved beyond traditional REITs to other products like shipping trusts and hotels...
"Singapore is also a fertile ground for CMBS development due to its stable economic environment (sovereign credit rating AAA/Stable/A-1+) and robust legal and land title system which have enabled structured finance issuers to raise highly rated debt...."


     - Police arrest 77 foreigners illegally working as masseuses


Entrapment: A Necessary Enforcement Tool

When Yeo was asked if he had any drugs, Yeo volunteered to bring drugs to the hotel where he was subsequently arrested with Ecstasy, `Ice¨, and Ketamine.

Adrian Yeo was, therefore, not a law-abiding person enticed into committing an offence by CNB.

In omitting to highlight the fact that Yeo was a habitual drug abuser, the ST report has misled readers into thinking that CNB had acted unethically when the circumstances of the case clearly show the contrary and that CNB had acted professionally...


     - Report on Wages in Singapore 2005


Smoking ban in eating places starts today (1 Jul 2006)

Food outlets such as hawker centres, coffeeshops, cafes and fast food restaurants will be smoke-free from 1st July. To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, smokers are reminded to light up only at designated smoking corners.

Under this new regulation, smoking is banned within the indoor refreshment areas (IRA) of all foodshops (Eg. Coffeeshops, Cafes, Restaurants). They can designate up to 20% of the floor area in their outdoor refreshment areas (ORA) as a smoking corner upon NEA¨s approval....



Singapore as A Leading Wealth Management Hub

Mr Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director, MAS

"Rising wealth in Asia, and the focus on Asian growth prospects have seen total assets under management in Singapore's fund management industry grow from about S$280 billion in 2000 to much more than S$600 billion now.

"Growth in private banking assets under management has also been strong, with anecdotal feedback suggesting Singapore private banking AUM averaging 20% per annum over the past few years to about US$200 billion currently...
"Our reputation for high standards of regulation and supervision and a robust legal and judicial framework, is trusted by financial intermediaries and clients alike to conduct wealth management activities..."


     - Exhibition of Non-Voters' List


Changes To Conditions For Massage Establishments

Under the new requirements, establishments administering foot-reflexology, physiotherapy, traditional massage or curative massage must ensure that the massage services are conducted in full view of the public and satisfy the following new requirements before they are exempted from the provisions of the Act...

To safeguard public health and safety, masseuses, therapists and reflexologists who are working or will be working in licensed massage establishments may be required to undergo and pass a medical health screening before they can be allowed to work for any licensed establishment for massage...




     - MAS sets up payment systems for liberalised stored-value card market

     - Registration exercise for admission to Primary One in 2007


Government launches 10-year infocomm masterplan


Create 80,000 additional jobs

Have 90 per cent homes using broadband

Achieve 100 per cent computer ownership for all homes with school-going children...



Inmate Dies in Prison

On 20 Jun 06 at about 11.15am, an inmate of Queenstown Remand Prison, 59-year-old, Chan Bing Chaw, was found hanging inside the cell with a T-shirt around his neck. The T-shirt was secured to a ventilation grille located on the wall above the cell door.

He was pronounced dead at about 11.45am.

Police are investigating into the case of unnatural death.

21 June 2006 @ 7.00 pm

Source: Media Release 21 Jun 2006

Related Article:

- Robber who fired gun faces death penalty if convicted

     - Commando officer dies during training in swimming pool

     - MAS conducts first mystery shopping survey on financial advisory practices

     - Chinese national found murdered in Ang Mo Kio salon


Hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes prepare for smoking ban

Smoking ban will be extended to hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes come 1st July.

To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, foodshop operators can set up smoking corners for those who want to light up. To date, close to half of the affected outlets have decided to set up smoking corners in their outdoor refreshment areas...


     - Age limit for taxi drivers to be raised to 73 years


Employment grew strongly by 45,000 in first quarter 2006

All the major sectors registered increases in employment. The bulk of the employment gains continued to come from the services sector (28,000)...

Some 10,100 residents or 18% of the unemployed residents have been looking for work for at least 25 weeks in Mar 06, about half the 20,200 or 30% a year ago...



Police arrest four African suspects in advance fee fraud scam

"...the victim was told that the buyers' funds were in blackened United States currency 'notes' held at the South African Embassy in Singapore. The victim was told to pay the suspect a sum of USD2,100 purportedly as 'late charges' to secure the release of the funds..."




     - Chief Justice expresses shock about lawyer's alleged misappropriation of clients' moneys

     - Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices formed

     - Singapore and United States navies participate in annual CARAT exercise

     - Police nab eight suspects involved in $1.5 million handphone heist

     - High Definition Television trials start in June 2006


Landmark design of Changi Airport's Terminal 3 unveiled

Terminal 3 will also employ state-of-the-art technologies to create a seamless environment for passengers transferring between the three terminals at Changi Airport.
These include a new People Mover System with a total of seven train stations located at various points within the three terminals, and a high-speed baggage system to facilitate quick transfers of bags between terminals...


     - Use of MyKad & cancellation of Malaysian restricted passports



     - Las Vegas Sands awarded Integrated Resort Project at Marina Bay


     - Apply for your National Day Parade 2006 Tickets Now!


Population Survey on the Arts 2005

"The profile of arts audience is demographically skewed towards young people below 35 years old (49%), comprising age groups of 15-19 (14%) and 20-34 (35%)..."


     - Appointment of New Cabinet

     - Direct Admission Exercise for JC in 2007

     - Singapore's insurance and re-insurance industry - next phase

     - Government accepts NWC's wage recommendations for 2006/2007

     - 47 schools in Direct Admission Exercise for Sec 1 in 2007

     - Six foreigners arrested for theft from ATMs; S$370,000 cash seized


     - Q & A on lewd photos posted by bloggers on blogs

     - MAS launches SGS electronic bond trading platform


Police launch online database of IMEI numbers of stolen handphones

HITS contains the IMEI numbers of handphones that have been reported stolen. This system allows the public to verify if the handphone they intend to purchase is stolen or not.....


     - Man armed with chopper attacks police officers; shot fired

     - Singapore delivers games to Asia's $14billion video game market


      - New Website lets ex-offenders check own 'spent' criminal records

     - Committee formed to steer Medisave use for chronic disease management

     - Polling Day Voters Turnout

     - Inaugural Changi Airline Awards

     - Counting of ballot papers & announcement of election results


The Challenge Posed by HIV/ AIDS to Singapore Businesses

In Singapore, the number of HIV-positive people has climbed steadily from the first case detected here in 1985 to 2,641 by December 2005. Three out of four (74.77%) who are infected are actively employed...

In 2005, out of the 255 new cases reported, a great majority (87%) comprised the age group of 20 - 59 years old, with those aged 20 - 49 years accounting for as much as 70% of all new cases...


     - 300,000 Singaporeans awarded $137M of Workfare Bonus


     - Polling Day 6 May 2006 is a public holiday

     - Decline in Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease (HFMD) cases


Retrenchment & re-employment 2005

Amid favourable economic conditions, the incidence of retrenchment dropped to a twelve-year low in 2005...

The incidence of retrenchment for professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) dropped to an eight-year low of 8.0 per 1,000 and a thirteen-year low of 4.8 per 1,000 for clerical, sales & service workers...

In 2005, on average 61% of local2 retrenched workers found re-employment within 6 months of their retrenchment, slightly higher than 59% in 2004. The improvement was more pronounced for the better educated workers...



     - General Election 2006 - Polling Day is 6 May 2006

     - Singapore Police & NYPD formalise training exchange programme

     - Medisave for outpatient treatment of four chronic diseases by end 2006


     - Gradual and modest appreciation of Singapore dollar expected

     - Advance GDP Estimates for First Quarter 2006

     - 2-day Flu Pandemic Exercise to take place in July 2006

     - General Election: Podpasting for campaigning not allowed


Easier for returning Singaporean children to re-enter local schools

First, at the primary school level, MOE will do away with the need for placement tests for returning Singaporean children seeking placement...

Instead MOE will identify a primary school nearest to their home with vacancies and offer a place to the child. We will implement this by the middle of this year.
Second, at the secondary school level, MOE will also do away with the need for returning Singaporean children to sit for multiple school-based tests.
Instead, MOE will develop a Centralised Placement Test (CPT) to provide a common yardstick...



Amended Enlistment Act requires males 13 years & older to get exit permits

MINDEF will require pre-enlistees aged 13 to 16½ to apply for Exit Permits if they intend to be away from Singapore for 3 months or more...

Those who require Exit Permits of 2 years or more will be required to furnish a bond...

The penalty regime for Exit Permit offences for those aged 13 to 16½ will be only a fine of up to $2,000, with no custodial sentences...

We will thus be introducing a new offence in the Enlistment Act under which parents and guardians can be made liable for the Exit Permit offences of their children or wards of ages 13 to 16½ so that the penalty can be imposed on their parents or guardians when the circumstances warrant it. The penalty regime for the offence will also be a fine of up to $2,000.




     - 203 buildings in Syed Alwi Road area to be conserved


Deposit Insurance Scheme launched in Singapore

"From 1 April, the deposit insurance scheme will compensate individuals and charities for the first $20,000 of their Singapore dollar deposits in standard savings, current and fixed deposit accounts, net of liabilities, in the event that their bank or finance company fails...."


     - 13 more schools to be upgraded by 2009

     - Singapore to recognise more foreign medical degrees

     - Survey shows more Singaporeans active in sports

     - Singapore Public Holidays in 2007 gazetted

     - Law against Singaporeans who sexually exploit minors overseas

     - Police arrest kidnappers of two Indonesian men

     - Singapore Labour Market 2005

     - ICA raid in 2 HDB blocks nets 33 immigration offenders

     - Defence Minister Teo speaks on training deaths in 2005



2nd Defence Minister speaks on NS deferment & disruption

Therefore, MINDEF will only grant deferment for pre-enlistees to gain their basic educational qualifications of `A¨ levels, polytechnic diploma, or below.

This is reasonable as most of our 18 year old NS enlistees would either have completed their basic qualification programme or are about to complete it.
As university degrees are considered higher educational qualifications, deferments for university studies will no longer be allowed. This new policy for deferments has been in place from the end of last year.


     - New NorthLight School to offer vocational programmes in 2007

     - Singapore to Have Next Generation Broadband Networks

      - Body of missing toddler found under Aljunied flyover

      - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A' Level Exams 2005 Results


Survey on Infocomm Usage in households & by individuals 2005

The proportion of households with access to a computer at home was 74%. This proportion has remained unchanged since 2003.

The proportion of households with two or more computers was 28%.
Nine in ten households in private housing had access to a computer at home; compared to seven in ten households in public housing.
About two-thirds of the Singapore¨s resident population aged 15 years and above were computer users.


     - Workplace Safety and Health Act replaces Factories Act

     - Suspected gunman in Serangoon Ave murder arrested in KL

     - Expatriate fined for verbally abusing immigration officers


     - Spike in contact lens related fungal corneal infections

     - Budget 2006 - Sharing the Fruits of Growth with all Singaporeans

     - Budget 2006 Speech

     - Performance of Singapore economy in 2005


Singapore Crime Situation 2005

Robbery and theft cases involving handphones taken remain a key area of concern for the Police. The number of such cases increased significantly by 1,414 cases, from 3,411 to 4,825 cases in 2005.

Handphone crimes increased most notably for theft in dwelling (excluding shop theft) from 832 to 1,119 cases (+287 cases), and for other thefts (from 1,096 to 1,837 cases in 2005).
Robbery (from 344 to 488 cases), snatch thefts (from 162 to 283 cases) and cheating and related offences (from 275 to 343 cases) also saw notable increases.
The increase in handphone crime may be due to the rise in mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore indicating a larger pool of potential victims...


     - Businessman shot dead in Serangoon Ave flat

Casino Control Bill 2006

To discourage locals from developing into problem gamblers, Section 116 of the Bill shall require the casino operators to collect an entry levy from Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents for every consecutive 24 hours in the casinos or $2,000 for an annual membership.

This levy will also underscore the message that gambling is an expense and not a means to get rich...
Section 108 of the Bill shall prohibit casino and junket operators from extending credit to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, unless they maintain a credit balance of at least $100,000 with the casino operator at the start of their gaming which would qualify them as premium players.
Automated Teller Machines or ATMs shall be prohibited within the casinos under Section 109 of the Bill so that patrons will not have easy access to their savings accounts to gamble continuously.
Minors are also another potentially vulnerable group who may fall prey to the glamour of the casino, without realising the possible dangers of gambling. Sections 130 to 137 of the Bill will prohibit persons below the age of 21 years from entering the casinos...


     - Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'O' Level Exams 2005 Results

     - Robber who fired gun faces death penalty if convicted

     - Report on the Ageing Singapore Population

     - Police officer found dead at home with gunshot wound

     - Release of 2005 GCE 'O' Level Exam Results

     - Food items individual travellers may bring into Singapore

     - Five illegal immigrants nabbed entering Singapore by sea

     - Singapore Employment Situation in 4th Quarter 2005


     - Prime Minister's Chinese New Year Message 2006

     - Foreign Affairs Ministry comments on NST 'Scenic Bridge' article

     - Importance of corporate governance for insurance companies

     - Exhibition of the Registers of Electors

     - LTA to administer bus lane offences from 1 Feb 2006

     - 700,000 serving and ex-NSmen may get 40th NS anniversary bonus

     - MAS liberalises multi-function stored-value card market


Is Class B2/C Hospitalisation Affordable?

"As a result of direct Government subsidies, the average Class B2/C bills are relatively modest. In 2004, the average bill size for Class B2 and C wards were around $1,050 and $800 respectively...
"As at end-December 2004, the average Medisave balance for all active accounts was $17,321. This is enough to cover more than 20 times the average Class C hospital bill or 10 times the 90th percentile Class C bill..."


     - Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) ups fines for errant soldiers

MINDEF to press for jail sentence in serious cases of NS defaulters

"Since the appeal case in the High Court in 1993, besides Melvyn Tan there have been 13 other cases of convicted defaulters who were sentenced only to a fine and who were not subsequently enlisted because they were already over 40 or almost 40.

"This is something that we need to look into more closely, especially as there may now be more defaulters who are 40 or older coming before the courts with the passing of time...
"MINDEF will be proposing to the House to increase the maximum fine provided for in the Enlistment Act from the current $5,000 to $10,000...
"...from now on, MINDEF will ask the prosecutor to press for a jail sentence in serious cases of NS defaulters, and explain why we consider a jail sentence appropriate in a particular case... "



     - Singapore and US begin testing of e-Passports


Proposed Workfare Bonus Scheme to help low-wage workers

"The scheme primarily targets those within the lowest 20% of income earners who earn $1,200 per month or less...

"The Committee recommends that those in the lowest 10% should be given more help. If surpluses allow, we recommend for this group earning $900 or less a month, a Workfare bonus capped at the equivalent of one month¨s salary.
"Correspondingly, those earning more than $900 to $1200 (lowest 20% of income earners) per month could receive a bonus capped at half a month¨s salary..."



Singapore carries out first large-scale anti-terror drill

"Ever since September 11 and the arrest of the Jemaah Islamiyah members in Singapore, we have stepped up our security measures...

"Exercise Northstar V is the largest scale exercise we have conducted so far. We simulated a scenario with multiple bomb explosions and a chemical agent release in 4 MRT stations and 1 bus interchange, to stretch ourselves and test our capabilities..."


     - $45-million Budget Terminal for low-cost carriers completed

     - TAF & Mindef Physical Fitness Performance Awards for Schools 2005

     - New speed limits for 65 roads in Western Singapore


Defence Minister comments on death of Special Operations Force soldier

I am very grateful that there are people like 2SG Ong, men like that in the unit, who come forward to take on this demanding task.

They know that at any moment, they may be called, and their lives are on the line. So they take training very seriously and they look after each other very seriously. If there are any shortcomings, if there are any persons who have failed to perform their duty properly, then of course, we will rectify this shortcoming. And the persons who have not performed their duties properly, they will have to be called to task.



Manpower Ministry revokes maid employment agency's licence

"The EA had failed to provide acceptable housing for FDWs under its charge by housing them in the kitchen and backyard of a house.

"In a separate incident, the EA also withheld the passports of FDWs placed by them. Finally, the EA had failed to repatriate an FDW upon the revocation of the in-principle approval of her work permit within the Ministry¨s stipulated deadline of 14 days..."


   News Snippets 2005 - Part 2

   News Snippets 2005 - Part 1

   News Snippets 2004

   News Snippets 2003