Friday, 29 March 2013

Watz Buzzing - 29 Mar 2013

Singapore social health suffering in five areas: report

Roslan Rahman - SINGAPORE, Singapore: People gather on a open field at the speakers corner to listen to people talk about immigration issues, in Singapore on February 16, 2013. The population white paper protest was attributed to a rise on civil and political participation, as other indicators lagged in a new social health report by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre. (AFP photo/Roslan Rahman 

Social health in Singapore is on the decline in five key domains: family, healthcare, housing and transport, income security and individual well-being.

This was according to the inaugural Singapore Social Health Report done by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and released on Wednesday.

In the case of weakening family ties, NVPC cited a survey on social attitudes by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports that showed a 9 per cent decline from 2001 to 2009 in the number of Singaporeans agreeing to give money to family members in times of need.

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Here are 6 sickening threats to Singaporeans' health 

According to the Singapore Social Health Project 2013 by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, healthcare needs in Singapore are rapidly increasing due to rise in ageing population and chronic illnesses. 

The report adds that the cost of care in Singapore has been consistently increasing with high private and out-of-pocket expenditure. Sectors, such as the Intermediate and Long Term Care (ILTC) sector, are struggling to keep pace with the growing demand for healthcare services.

It also noted these six alarming facts about Singapore's healthcare which received a negative rating from the aforementioned study.

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The 5 Cs aren’t enough; Singaporeans need the 6th C

In February, I wrote about the new 5 Cs that will actually make us happy Singaporeans:
  • Compare less
  • Cherish what you have
  • Choose your attitude
  • Complain less
  • Change your circumstances and yourself
I'm pleasantly surprised to see that the article has received more than 400 comments and has been shared 8,200 times on Facebook!
Clearly, the “5 Cs” is something that’s close to Singaporeans’ hearts. 

The 6th C that I missed out: Compliment others

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Billionaire Modi Says Singapore Sex Drive Hinges on Housing 

Billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Modi, who became a Singapore citizen last year, is urging his adopted nation to end a ban on young singles owning state-built homes because it hurts one of the city’s key goals: making babies.

Modi’s Global Citizens Forum, which the Spice Group chairman started this year to help youths worldwide, will ask the government to change a policy that only allows single adults over 35 to buy flats built by the Housing & Development Board. Modi says lowering the age to 25 would encourage sexual relationships and earlier marriages, helping to counter a slump in the birthrate that’s depriving the economy of workers.

“Most of the girls and boys these days would like to have sex before they marry,” said Modi, 64, who has three children and five grandchildren. “There are no virgin marriages.”

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Judge: Ex-UBS Executive Has to Defend Underage Sex Charges 

Juerg Buergin, a former UBS AG (UBSN) executive, must face trial on charges he paid for sex with an underage prostitute in Singapore, a judge ruled.

Based on the evidence presented, the prosecution “has satisfied every ingredient of the charge,” Singapore subordinate courts judge Eddy Tham said at a hearing today.

Buergin, 41, entered a not guilty plea to two charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute at the Shangri-La Hotel in September 2010 and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in January 2011. The woman, now 20, was 17 at the time of the alleged offenses, according to prosecutors.

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Singapore's old order ready for fall, says candidate Tan Jee Say

Encouraged by recent electoral gains, opposition candidate Tan Jee Say believes the ruling party's long-held grip on government could come to an end in Singapore's next general election.

The former senior civil servant, who ran unsuccessfully in the election two years ago, intends to take part in the poll expected to be held in 2016, and believes the opposition is ready to run the city state. 

"I will be contesting in the general election. It is a possibility for the opposition to take over the government in 2016," he said on a recent visit to Hong Kong

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Managing supply of water and rising energy costs a challenge for Singapore 

The government says that maintaining a stable supply of water against rising energy costs is a key challenge for Singapore.

This is because Singapore has been turning to technology to convert waste water into potable water – which requires energy.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, said this at the launch of the “Singapore Water Story” book on Friday.

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Singapore denies being haven for Malaysian tax cheats

Singapore on Friday strongly rejected a whistleblower’s allegation that its banks facilitate massive tax evasion by a powerful family in neighbouring Malaysia’s Sarawak state. 

London-based campaign group Global Witness had triggered an uproar with a “sting” video in which a person posing as a foreign businessman is seen negotiating with purported relatives and associates of state chief Taib Mahmud 

n one part of the clip, which went viral after it was posted on Tuesday, a man introduced as a Taib family lawyer called Singapore “the new Switzerland” with a “China Wall” protecting the identities of Malaysian depositors.

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Careful Statement From MAS Does More Harm Than Good 

Ouch! For those of you who don't know, Global Witness is an international NGO which has been around for about 20 years. Established in 1993, it works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide.

With a charter like that, it's small wonder they decided to target Sarawak's Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. Mr. Taib had been the Chief Minister of the Malaysian state for the past few decades (since 1981) and has been accused of corruption for years. In a "sting" operation, , investigators posing as foreign investors got Taib's cousins and lawyers on video discussing plans to buy Sarawak land (illegally) for hefty profit and how they could evade taxes by funneling the money through Singapore.

Global Witness even put up a video titled "Inside Malaysia'sShadow State" which had went viral in the region. In it, a lawyer for Taib's family, Mr. Alvin Chong openly told the investigators it's "obvious" to go through Singapore to evade taxes as the Singapore government "has a China Wall... a firewall. They will not tell the Malaysian government nothing". He then went on to say that Singapore is "the new Switzerland. We operate Singapore accounts too, both personal and corporate entities".

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The Exposé On Foreign Talent

On the other hand, quality control measures for financial institutions may not be apposite discourse for the gathering of Singapore bankers. Not when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has started investigation of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mamud over claims of corruption in the timber trade.

Claims which surfaced from the Global Witness film "Inside Malaysia's Shadow State". Film which features quotes like ""Singapore has a China Wall... They will not tell them, the Malaysian government, nothing..."

That was Alvin Chong Chee Vun of Alvin Chong & Partners, Kuching, sharing his "trade secret" about the offshore jurisdiction mechanism in Singapore, which he said would not comply with requests from Malaysian authorities for information about such agreements.

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