Saturday, 3 May 2014

Woes, Woes, Woes!

First riot in 40 years rocks peaceful Singapore

Twenty seven people have been arrested following the worst case of civil unrest that Singapore has seen in over four decades, local press reported.

A mob of approximately 400 foreign workers were involved in the riot late on Sunday evening, sparked by a fatal accident involving a 33-year old Indian national who was run over by a private bus in Little India, a Singaporean district that is home to large amounts of Indian and Bangladeshi foreign workers. Ten police officers and four civil defense officers were injured.

The crowd of foreign workers swarmed the bus, chasing the driver – a Singaporean national – and set police vehicles and an ambulance on fire.

Reflections on the Little India Riot

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Singapore was a hotbed of abductions in the 1950s and 1960s
Kidnappings were rampant in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s, with rich towkays being the main targets

Many of the kidnappers were part of secret society gangs, and violent - they confronted the police with guns and grenades.

To put a stop to these threats, the Government amended kidnapping laws and raised the maximum penalty from 10 years to death or life imprisonment.

By the 1970s, the number of kidnaps dropped significantly. These were the five most famous kidnapping cases of the past:
  1. Kidnapping and murder of biscuit king Lee Gee Chong
  2. Kidnapping of Tangs' founder Tang Choon Keng
  3. Kidnapping and murder of shipping tycoon Tay Kie Thay
  4. Kidnapping of movie tycoon Shaw Vee Ming
  5. Kidnapping of rubber magnate Ng Quee Lam
related: The Sheng Siong Kidnapping

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Kidnapping cases in Singapore
Nina Elizabeth Varghese, Ng Lai Poh , CK Tang

On January 8, 79-year-old Madam Ng Lai Poh, mother of Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee, was abducted near Block 631 Hougang Avenue 8, the first kidnap case in Singapore in 10 years.

Mdm Ng was released in the early hours of January 9 after a S$2 million ransom was handed over and the kidnappers nabbed an hour later.

Kidnappings are a rare occurrence in Singapore, with only three cases of kidnapping with ransom over the last 13 years. All cases were solved by the police and the kidnappers jailed for life.

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Bus drivers in Singapore's first strike in 25 years
Foreign workers walk out of their dormitory in Singapore. Singapore Tuesday issued a warning to mainland Chinese bus drivers, who are staging the first strike in the city-state for more than 25 years, an act that could land them in prison
AFP News - Foreign workers walk out of their dormitory in Singapore. Singapore Tuesday issued a warning to mainland Chinese bus drivers, who are staging the first strike in the city-state for more than 25 years, an act that could land them in prison

Singapore Tuesday issued a warning to mainland Chinese bus drivers, who are staging the first strike in the city-state for more than 25 years, an act that could land them in prison.

A total of 102 Chinese drivers working for state-linked transport firm SMRT began their wildcat strike over pay on Monday, refusing to board a shuttle bus from their dormitory to a nearby depot.

An agreement was hammered out to convince them to return to work, but SMRT said more than 60 drivers still did not turn up for duty on Tuesday.

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Singapore's first strike in 26 years peters out

"There are lessons from this episode, including how we can better engage our (drivers), and we will improve in this area," said Teo Chew Hoon, an executive vice president of SMRT.

"In the meantime, we are doing our utmost to make immediate improvements to their living conditions," she added.
Strikes and other forms of industrial action are extremely rare in Singapore, where unions work closely with the government and private business, making the port city an attractive place for foreign investment.

The last strike in Singapore was staged in 1986, the manpower ministry said.

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Singapore’s first strike in nearly 3 decades shows strains from foreign workers

Singapore responded to its first strike in nearly three decades, by bus drivers, with riot police and official criticism of disgruntled immigrant workers.

Singapore relies on hundreds of thousands of immigrants, from countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh and China, who work as maids, construction workers and in other jobs deemed unappealing by many locals.

The foreign influx sparked a backlash, particularly among low-income Singaporeans, by keeping wages down while growing numbers of expatriate professionals working for global companies in the city push up housing and other costs.

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5 Lessons to Learn from the PRC Chinese SMRT Strike

In the midst of a unusually rainy wet festive November  month, Singapore was hit with a bombshell when 170 PRC Chinese bus captains conducted an illegal strike two days ago.

Citing work pay difference between themselves and their  Malaysian counterparts and the difficult living conditions at their apartments,  these foreign workers ironically broke a 25-year-old peaceful labour movement here.

Under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, essential service workers cannot go on strike unless they give their employers 14 days’ notice of their intention. I have listed five lessons which we can learn from the PRC Chinese SMRT strike:

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Third Security Breach At Woodlands Checkpoint
Driver nabbed in another checkpoint incident

A 33-year-old Malaysian man was arrested yesterday for trying to evade immigration clearance at Woodlands Checkpoint, slightly more than one week after a similar incident occurred. In a similar incident on April 13, Koh Chin Had, 42, tried to slip past immigration officers at the same checkpoint by tailgating the car in front. The two incidents followed two high-profile breaches earlier at Woodlands Checkpoint.

Last month, a Malaysian delivery driver managed to drive off in his Singapore-registered car while undergoing security checks, sparking a five-hour search before he was arrested. Tan Chu Seng, 64, allegedly drove over a cat-claw security barrier that was activated to stop him.

Less than two months earlier, in January, a Malaysian teacher gave immigration officers the slip by tailgating another car at the checkpoint. Nurul Rohana Ishak, 27, was arrested three days later when she entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs compound.

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Myths And Misconceptions About CPF - 5 CPF myths busted
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin tackled some common myths and misconceptions about the Central Provident Fund system during Tuesday's Parliament session. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

MYTH NO. 1 - Your Minimum Sum keeps going up. Once the Minimum Sum is set for a particular cohort, it does not change. Rather, it has been going up for each new cohort.

For example, someone who turns 55 between July 2014 and June 2015 will need to set aside $155,000. This is more than for the previous cohort, which had to set aside $148,000, but this older cohort's own Minimum Sum has not gone up.

Similarly, for someone who turned 55 five years ago, the Minimum Sum was $117,000 and has not changed. The Minimum Sum has been rising from cohort to cohort over the last decade in order to catch up with what a lower-middle income household would need in their retirement years, taking inflation into account.

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Managing the bed crunch in hospitals

Patient beds in corridors and make-shift tents, a phenomenon normally associated with poor developing countries, are now a common sight in at least one of our world class hospitals (see attached report in today’s ST). How far down will Singapore descend into the Third World?

If Mr Lee Kuan Yew had brought Singapore from Third World to First in one generation, then his PM son has outdone him by bringing us back to Third World in less than half a generation!

Severe bed crunch in Singapore’s hospitals is not a new sight. There were reports of it some years back. I had also pointed this out in my essay on the Singapore economy that was released in February 2011, nearly 3 years ago. The relevant extract is as follows:

related: Hospitals facing severe bed crunch

Rising cost blamed for fee increases at public hospitals

In the past six months, other public hospitals and several specialist medical centres also increased their out-patient consultation fees, Lianhe Zaobao reported.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, National University Hospital and KK Women's and Children's Hospital increased their fees at the end of last year. Singapore General Hospital, the Institute of Mental Health, Alexandra Hospital and Changi General Hospital increased their fees earlier this year.

The Chinese language newspaper checked with the eight public hospitals and found that the increases were not uniform.

related: Health Cost

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Recent Train Disruptions: Stalled train causes hour-long disruption on Circle Line

A Circle Line train stalled between Tai Seng and Bartley stations at 8.05am on Friday (Aug 8), causing major crowds at Bishan and Serangoon stations and affecting the service intervals between trains toward Harbourfront station for about an hour.

In a statement on its official Facebook page, SMRT said: "The stalled train was driven by a Station Staff to Bartley, where passengers were detrained. Our commuters resumed their journey on the next trains."

While full services along the Circle Line resumed at around 8.14am, the stalled train meant further delays to trains behind the vehicle. Normal headway between trains was restored at around 9.19am, the operator said.

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Public Transport Council announces fare increase of whopping 3.2%!

The Public Transport Council (PTC) has approved a fare increase of 3.2 per cent on train and bus fares from April 6 this year. Adult card fares for buses and trains will go up by 4 to 6 cents per journey. Senior citizens will pay 2 to 3 cents more per journey, while students pay 2 cents more. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Public Transport Council (PTC) has approved a fare increase of 3.2 per cent on train and bus fares from April 6 this year.

Adult card fares for buses and trains will go up by 4 to 6 cents per journey. Senior citizens will pay 2 to 3 cents more per journey, while students pay 2 cents more.

Cash fares for train and adult bus rides will go up by 20 cents per trip, while senior citizen and student concessionary cash fares for bus rides will increase by 10 cents per trip.

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Josephine Teo takes issue with Workers' Party's comments on public transport fares

The Workers' Party (WP) statement on the public transport fare hike drew a swift response from Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo on Friday.

The Workers' Party never misses an opportunity to pander and its response to the fare review exercise was, to a large extent, predictable.
First, they claimed credit for the concessions. That's always easy. Except someone else did the real work of sorting out the math and getting the balance right. 
Then, it criticises the Government, for directly funding programmes like the Bus Services Enhancement Programme. 
It also opposes operators getting more fares through the adjustment
WP urges govt to delay fare hikes; Josephine Teo replies
Bus and train fares up 4-6 cents from April 6
New transport fare concession schemes receive positive response
Transport Minister Lui says PTC has struck good balance

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Finally the Transport Minister, Lui Tuck Yew, has come out to express that he is disappointed with SMRT for the string of delays and disruptions which have occurred so far this year.

There have already been 4 major disruptions this year before the very first month is even over.

Lui met with SMRT CEO and senior management today to find out the information which has been revealed by SMRT's initial investigations. He said later in a statement that he understands the frustration and anxiety of commuters and that he is concerned about SMRT's service.



Our trusty train service couldn't even make it through 2 weeks of the new year before another breakdown.
Services on the North South line between Yew Tee and Woodlands were delayed at 12:30 and then stopped all together in both directions.
SMRT updated the public saying that they were alerted of a 'loss of traction power' between Kranji and Yew Tee. They said that they deployed engineers there to investigate and free bus services were deployed.
related: Transport Woes - A Picture Story

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MRT Breakdown record book 2013

Now that I have finish compiling the breakdowns/delays for year 2013. Perhaps everyone can have a look for themselves the breakdowns/delays to date.

Many did not know how often breakdowns/delays occur until this record appears. Either it did not affect you, or it did not get broadcast. Either way, this is for documentation and awareness.

To be fair, most records were taken off the tweets, so perhaps some delays were smaller in terms of severity and did not affect us much, but still tweeted to keep everyone update.

related: Transport Woes #2

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Khaw urges calm after S$1m flat price

Singaporeans should not be upset over reports that a resale flat was sold for S$1 million, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan during a recent dialogue session with grassroots leaders in Sembawang, reported The Straits Times.

Mr Khaw explained that there will always be premium units offering fantastic views that will command very high prices, just like the case of the executive maisonette in Queenstown.

The sale of that unit is still on-going and is expected to hit S$1 million, with a cash-over-valuation (COV) of S$195,000.

related: Housing Woes

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More million-dollar HUDC sales to come: expert

Channelnewsasia Forum, 18 Jul 2013

Expect more million-dollar transactions of Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) units.

This was what one expert -- Nicholas Mak, the executive director for research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants -- said about the units, which were built in the 1970s. One unit at Serangoon North was sold for S$1.14 million, which is the highest this year. Last year, another unit at Shunfu was sold for S$1.33 million.

There are currently four HUDC estates pending privatisation.

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Clearly, we could have done more: PM Lee

PM Lee admits his government's lack of foresight in planning for population growth in Singapore. (Yahoo! photo)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday admitted that his government “could have done more” to prepare for Singapore’s rapid population growth that has strained the capacity of existing infrastructure.

Speaking in a 90-minute dialogue at the Singapore Perspectives 2013 conference organised by the Institute of Policy Studies on Monday afternoon, PM Lee acknowledged the lapse in policy judgment, explaining that his government was trying to “make up” for time lost to the post 9/11 global economic recession in 2005-2006.

“I decided (by 2005 and 2006) that we should try and make up for lost time because you want the economy to grow,” he said. “You want Singapore to make progress and you don’t know how long the sun is going to shine. As it turned out, the sun remained shining for longer than we expected. So the population grew faster than we expected; our infrastructure didn’t keep up.

related: Our SG Population

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Govt admits: We could have planned better

Crowd of commuters at Bishan MRT station on Monday morning. A signal fault caused an MRT train to trip between Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio stations at 8.10am on Monday morning, causing delays along the North-South Line for about 45 minutes

DPM Teo Chee Hean admits that population growth in recent years has outpaced Singapore's infrastructure plans.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Minister Teo said the government has since ramped up infrastructure development in the areas of transport, housing and healthcare and these are "coming on stream progressively"
But he admitted that going forward, Singapore needs to "better manage infrastructure provision with population needs"

related: "Worst-case Scenario" Of A 6.9 Million Population

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Singapore is the only place in the world where new immigrants are given citizenship first before they integrated into society. This is also why there are aplenty of integration woes from Singaporeans denial to accept Olympic-winning Chinaporean sports talents to a Chinaporean hanging China flag during Singapore National Day period. The ease of getting Singapore citizenship also contributed to the integration woes with Chinaporeans like Feng Tian Wei getting fast-tracked citizenship in less than 2 years.

There is also no English test, no stringent interviews, no merit-based system in the awardance of citizenship in Singapore. As the birth rate of Singaporean Chinese hit a new low at 1.09, even masseurs from China were given permanent residency in order to maintain the racist racial quota policy. While PAP stop short of selling citizenship, it will only be a matter of time before they sell the whole country out to ensure their political dominance for the next 60 years

In the midst of getting more pro-PAP votes, the PAP government allowed the influx of foreigners and gave away as many permanent residency and new citizenships as possible. Permanent residents' population have increased 10% in just 3 years from, 0.48 million in 2008 to 0.53 million in 2011 [Link]. New citizens intake have also increased to an average of 18,000 every year since 2006, a NUS sociologist said that these 90,000 new citizens taken in from 2006 were likely to have voted for the ruling PAP government in GE2011 saying "when they converted their citizenship, that's their vote already" [Link]

Study confirms discomfort between S'poreans and new immigrants

Pedestrians walk along the street of Orchard Road in Singapore's upmarket shopping belt. (AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN

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You can take an immigrant out of his country, but can you take his country out of him?

Not by quite a long shot, it would seems.

Just three more reasons below to remind the govt just why it has to really think through very carefully the implications and ramifications of its open door policy to the mass influx of immigrants:




related: Integration Woes

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The Unseen Singapore #18 Hard Truths Series: Singapore's Infrastructure Woes

Ever wonder why Singapore in recent years seem to suffer from an avalanche of infrastructure problems? From the unstoppable floods at Orchard road to the incessant train breakdowns and more recently, the massive jam at the newly opened MCE (Marina Coastal Expressway), it made us wonder why despite the amount of resources and talent Singapore has, Singapore seemed to be screwing up over and over again when it comes to our physical infrastructure.

We at The Unseen Singapore found the real reason behind Singapore's infrastructural woes. Being a nation that believes in nurturing our best and brightest talent, Singapore sends these brainy and all-rounded individuals overseas to pursue their tertiary education. Unfortunately, by looking at the breakdown of what our PSC scholars study, there is a disproportionate number of individuals pursuing degrees in Economics, Politics and the Humanities.

From 2009 -2012, we had 288 PSC scholars, out of whom 119 or 41.3% of themstudied Economics, Politics and Humanities. We understand that Singapore's knowledge-based economy is important but is PSC's focus on such generalist courses of study really beneficial to our country? Or is this policy rearing it ugly head now?

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Singapore leaders seek to reduce local graduates as mass intake of foreigners led to excess supply of degree holders

Malaysia Star, 25 May 2013

Having a large number of graduates, once thought crucial for Singapore’s prosperity, is now considered not conducive to the changing manpower market, at least in Singapore.

However, none of the political leaders – the Prime Minister and three ministers – has mentioned another reason for the excess of graduates – the mass intake of foreigners.

Led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the leaders are now advising Singaporeans to consider non-university routes to success.
Khaw said: “You own a degree, but so what? You can’t eat it. If that cannot give you a good life, a good job, it is meaningless.”

Then it was the turn of Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who said that a good qualification alone does not guarantee a career, let alone a job. 

Thirdly, Acting Minister for Social and Fa­mily De­ve­l­opment Chan Chun Sing said it is not the degree or diploma that is most important for graduates, but the ability to learn a different set of skills. Full story

Related: Too many graduates in Singapore

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The Education Conundrum

Many are of the view in Singapore that the people are her only resource. There has been much emphasis on education and some would say not always with best results. There is a feeling that the tinkering with the education system is unhelpful. Others believe the system encourages rote learning and should be abandoned in favour of a more creative one to teach the children to be articulate and think for themselves.

Amidst this education conundrum, PM Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at the National Day Rally, announced what many hailed as welcome changes.

We need more changes in our country – that is for sure. Still, PM Lee should be commended for taking new initiatives and moving in the right direction. These are measures which should have been taken years ago, sparing generations of students the agony of the stressful Singapore education system. But the burden is somewhat being eased at last. And perhaps, I can leave the readers with a food for thought – why not scrap the PSLE altogether?

Related: Our SG education

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Strong message and ‘power’ photo from CPIB’s 60th anniversary

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attending the 60th anniversary celebration of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau with former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong. (Photo / Kenji Soon, from Lee Hsien Loong Facebook page)

It is a photo that has been going around on Facebook, capturing three of Singapore’s Prime Ministers, past and present, striding along like three leads in the opening credits of a TV show on criminal justice.

Fittingly, they were attending the 60th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Tuesday.

"Not so often that all three of us attend a ceremony together,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on his Facebook page, and that probably sums up why the photo has been shared by online users.

Zero Tolerance For Corruption
What’s happening to squeaky clean Singapore?
Not possible to completely eradicate corruption: K Shanmugam
Maintaining Standards of our Civil Service

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Govt has zero tolerance policy towards corruption: Chan Chun Sing

Replying to a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied GRC Sylvia Lim on the risk of corruption in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Senior Minister of State for Defence Chan Chun Sing said MINDEF, like the rest of the government has a zero tolerance policy towards corruption.

He said Singapore's defence procurement process is widely recognised to be of the highest standards.

Mr Chan said: "Suppliers know that MINDEF has high expectations and that we drive a hard bargain when it comes to pricing. We have also been described as a "reference customer"- that means that when Singapore buys a platform, it sets a benchmark for cost effectiveness of that platform. We have studied the TI report in detail and will decide where more information can be released, so long as it does not compromise our security goals. We are confident that our current systems and processes to guard against corruption remain robust. Nevertheless, we will regularly view our processes to ensure that we remain corruption free."

Crime, Corruption, Scandal & Professional Misconduct 2
Recent Corruption Cases in Singapore
CPIB monitoring effectiveness of criminal case disclosure regime

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The recent spate of high-profile corruption cases involving senior civil servants and leaders of the establishment has set some Singaporeans questioning if Singapore is that ‘clean’ after all

However, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam uses ‘human nature’ to deflect public concerns, saying that “corruption and falling to temptation are basic vices that have existed since time immemorial.”

“Like in all societies, and in Singapore as well, there have always been people who have been corrupt. There will always be people who will be corrupt,” Mr Shanmugam said.

Key myths about corruption

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Idea of the '50-year flood' has been misunderstood

A picture posted on Facebook shows cars being stranded along the Ayer Rajah Expressway during one of the recent flash-floods

For many people, the sight of all four city-bound lanes of the Ayer Rajah Expressway submerged just over a week ago would have triggered a thought along the lines of: "Isn't this sort of thing only supposed to happen once every 50 years?"

This half-century time-frame entered the national consciousness in 2009, when then minister for the environment and water resources Yaacob Ibrahim said the flooding in Orchard Road that year was a "freak event" that happened once every 50 years.

Dr Yaacob was referring specifically amount of rainfall that caused the flood although his quote that is now dredged up every time there is a flood (and there have been several) as proof of how badly the authorities misjudged the flood risk here.

related: Heavy flash floods hit Singapore again

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MM Lee: No amount of engineering can prevent floods

This was Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's response to the recent spate of flash floods that affected many areas in Singapore, including Bukit Timah, Orchard Road and Thomson Road.

MM Lee was speaking on the sidelines of his visit to the Kolam Ayer ABC Waterfront and the River Vista at Kallang, two new projects under the Public Utility Board's Active, Beautiful and Clean - or ABC - Waters Programme.

He said: "Whatever we do, when we get extraordinary rainfall - like we had recently - no amount of engineering can prevent flooding

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Only rain can help Singapore now

Fire hazard: An aerial photo shows forest fires in Riau on Thursday. The US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite has detected 148 fires throughout the province (Antara/Virna Puspa Setyorini)

As haze from forest fires in Sumatra wreaked havoc on the prosperous city-state of Singapore, Indonesian government has suggested an imminent downpour as the only way to bring an end to the crisis.

Forestry Ministry general secretary Hadi Daryanto said on Thursday that Indonesia could not guarantee that necessary measures taken to combat the fires would be effective without a miracle in the form of a heavy downpour.

Hadi quoted a forecast from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), which predicted a downpour on June 28.

related: Fighting the Haze

Haze in Singapore reaches 'unhealthy' level, worst in 16 years

AFP News/Roslan Rahman - A view from Mount Faber shows haze covering Singapore, on June 17, 2013. Singapore is shrouded in a smoky-smelling haze as pollution from forest fires in Indonesia's Sumatra island spreads to neighbouring countries

The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) on Tuesday at 9am reached 115 which is still within the "unhealthy" range.

On Monday at 10pm, the reading hit 155, the highest Singapore has seen in 16 years.  The PSI has been climbing steadily since Monday from 55 at 9am to 80 at 12pm and crossed into the "unhealthy" range of 105 at 3pm, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA). Any reading between 101 and 200 is considered “unhealthy”.

The smoky-smelling haze from Indonesia shrouded skylines and was visible on street level at various places.  Marina Bay Sands was cloaked in smoke as the burnt smell pervaded the central business district - Watch Video

related: Haze in Singapore 'unhealthy' - worst in 16 years

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Singapore's inflation rate hit 2 percent in October this year, up from 1.6 percent in September. Projected inflation for 2013 is between 2.5 – 3 percent.

The increase was attributed to a rise in private road transport cost, which itself is driven by the increase in premiums for Certificates of Entitlement that are needed to own a car here.

Inflation is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It measures price changes using a fixed basket of consumption goods and services commonly purchased by households over time. The weightage of the goods in the CPI basket is kept constant to a base period to ensure that any changes in the inflation rate reflect only price changes. Let’s take a look at some of the key categories and how they might affect Singaporeans:


Survey: 65% of Singapore consumers worry about inflation
Inflation accelerates again in July, pushed by food and car prices
Incomes of Singaporeans adjusted for inflation expected to drop this year

Rising cost of COE pushes inflation up to 2% in October
Singapore September Inflation way above forecasts

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'Cost of living a concern' for young S'poreans

What do young Singaporeans hope for their country in the next five years?

An affordable place to live in, a society that defines success beyond academic and material achievements, and jobs that offer a better work-life balance.

These were some of the findings of a new poll done by Singapore Polytechnic students, which aimed to find out about the aspirations of young Singaporeans.

Altogether, 825 people aged 15 to 35 took part in the survey, which was conducted face to face over three weeks last June. The respondents were representative of Singapore's youth population.
related: Coping with Inflation & cost of living

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Posting to his facebook page about the recent retrenchment of over 500 workers from HGST,  Tan Chuan-Jin said that retrenchments are inevitable. HGST is a subsidiary of Western Digital that recent decided to move its manufacturing from Singapore to Thailand resulting in the loss of about 500 jobs.

The Minister for Manpower acknowledged that the retrenchment was "one of the larger retrenchments this year."

He explained that such retrenchments are unavoidable and will occur even when the economy is doing well. This is because of restructuring that occurs in the economy.

related: Almost 500 Spore jobs lost as WD moves manufacturing to Thailand

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Candidates prematurely rejecting job offers adds to employment woes

Tech companies in Singapore are probably facing a lot of problems lately, especially in the area of talent acquisition and retention. Just six months back, recruitment firm Hudson released a report indicating that Singapore has the highest levels of employee burnout in the whole of Asia Pacific.

This week, Hudson released another report titled "Salary & Employment Insights 2013" that seems to add to the plethora of issues bosses need to address—fickle-minded would-be employees who pull out at the last minute.

According to the report, talent shortages in Singapore are putting employers at greater risk of candidate withdrawal with almost one in four candidates (23.2 percent) withdrawing from the recruitment process and a quarter (25.2 percent) willing to reject signed offers.

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Integration Woes

You can take an immigrant out of his country, but can you take his country out of him?

Not by quite a long shot, it would seems

Just three more reasons below to remind the govt just why it has to really think through very carefully the implications and ramifications of its open door policy to the mass influx of immigrants

Immigrants and Integration Woes
Study confirms discomfort between S'poreans and new immigrants

A recent study has confirmed discomfort arising from the growing pool of new immigrants in Singapore.

The Indicators of Racial and Religious Harmony -- put together by the Institute of Policy Studies and, the national body for racial harmony -- showed that Singaporeans were less comfortable with new Singaporeans as their boss, employee, or neighbour.

The study covered some 5,000 local households. It showed that 93.8 per cent of non-Chinese respondents are comfortable with having a Singaporean Chinese as their boss. The figure drops by nearly 20 percentage points when it comes to having a new immigrant from China as a boss.

The Singapore Story
The Poor & Homeless in Singapore
Crime, Corruption, Scandal & Professional Misconduct 2
Myths And Misconceptions About CPF
An Undercurrent Of Fear In Geylang?
OMG, Another Riot In Singapore?
Third Security Breach At Woodlands Checkpoint Health Cost
Employment Woes