Money Bags: Once Every 823 years

Hahaha, viral message that got everyone ticklish.

Every February has 28 days. Divided by 7 days a week equals 4 of each day ie 4 Sundays, 4 Mondays, 4 Tuesdays, 4 Wednesdays, 4 Thursdays, 4 Fridays & 4 Saturdays.

With the exception of Leap Years, which has 29 days, happens once every 4 years and next Leap Year is 2020.

Rumours that February 2019 has 4 of each day for the first time in 823 years is false coz that will occur at least once every 6 years.

But why wait for a viral message or your horoscope to tell you February is a good month?

Every month is a good month & every day is a good day. Cheers

5-5-5 Weekend Configuration
In 2019 March will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays

5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays in a month – happens only every 823 years? This popular urban myth has been circulating on the internet for a while. However, it is precisely that: a myth. Before you get too excited about this once-in-a-lifetime event and start telling your family and friends, know this: any such claims are false. Special combinations of days like 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays occur much more often than every 823 years!

The 823 Years Myth - If you own an email, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media account, chances are that you have come across an email or a post that claims an upcoming month has a very rare specific combination of days. A recent version goes something like this:
March 2019 will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. This happens only once every 823 years. The Chinese call it “silver pockets full.”
The email is right in that March 2019 has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. But this is nothing special or unusual. You will not have to wait another 823 years for the next time this happens in the month of December. Only 6 years later, in 2024, March will also have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays.


Diet impacts women’s emotional wellbeing more than men’s

Women need greater levels of nutrients in their diet to support their emotional wellbeing, a new study claims.

Researchers at Binghamton University in New York found that women are less likely than men to experience positive mental wellbeing until they achieve a balanced diet.

Meanwhile, men are more likely to experience good mental health until nutritional deficiencies arise.

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Investing Basics: How to Find Growth Stocks?

As the name suggests, growth stocks are companies whose earnings are growing at an above-average rate compared to the broader market. These companies usually command much higher valuations due to the positive sentiment surrounding the company.

However, despite the higher valuations, growth companies can still deliver great long-term returns if they can fulfil or even exceed their potential.

In this article, I want to discuss where and how you can find growth stocks and what valuation metrics investors should look at when analysing such stocks:
  • Look for high-growth industries
  • Historical growth as an indicator
  • Look for growth catalysts and sustainability
  • Valuations matter!
  • Using Peter Lynch’s metric of PEG
  • The Foolish bottom line

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Singapore buys new “BMW” submarines

Ng: Timely to buy new “BMW” submarines in response to China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, S Korea

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his wife, Ivy Ng who is the CEO of SingHealth, were in Germany yesterday (18 Feb) to launch Singapore's first Type 218SG advanced submarine, which has much more firepower.

The submarine built by the German defence contractor Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has many advanced capabilities and was named "Invincible" by MINDEF. It is one of the 4 submarines ordered from MINDEF. The other 3, named "Impeccable", "Illustrious" and "Inimitable", will be delivered from 2022.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Ng said that Singapore faces threats in the maritime domain, including terrorism, the shipping of illegal arms, weapons of mass destruction and people, as well as piracy.

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Made for Singapore: First of four custom-built RSN submarines launched in Germany

The first of four customised submarines designed for operations in Singapore's shallow & busy tropical waters was launched in Germany on Monday (Feb 18).

Speaking to reporters after the launch ceremony in Kiel, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the acquisition of the submarines was "timely", with the maritime environment around Singapore facing security challenges & other Asian countries increasing their defence spending.

The 70-metre long vessel, christened the Invincible, is the first of 4 new submarines custom-built to Singapore's needs. Among other things, they will possess longer endurance and greater weapons-carrying capacity.

related: Confined conditions, stressful scenarios, tough training - The life of a Singapore submariner

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Customisation of Type 218SG submarine includes use of materials suited to saltier Singapore waters
The launch of the Invincible, the Republic of Singapore Navy's first German Type 218SG submarine, in Kiel, Germany, on Feb 18, 2019. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Starting on a clean slate has allowed Singapore to customise the new Type 218SG submarines more extensively, compared to what it could do with second-hand submarines.

Some of the customisations include using materials that are more suited to the saltier Singapore waters, having more automation that affords crew members more rest, & also incorporating design elements that are tailored to the average Singaporean sailor's body size and strength.

Mr Ong Li Koon, director of naval systems at the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), revealed these features when he spoke to reporters on Monday (Feb 18) before the launch ceremony of a new Type 218SG submarine in the port city of Kiel, Germany.

related: Invincible, first of Singapore's biggest & most advanced submarines

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Singapore buys 4 customised submarines from Germany

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) purchased four new submarines from Germany, with the first one already fully functional.

The wife of Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Ivy Ng, launched The Invincible-class or Type 218SG submarine at the thyssenKrupp Marine Systems shipyard in Kiel, Germany, on February 18 (Monday).

While it is still in Germany, Invincible will be undergoing a series of sea trials before being delivered to Singapore in 2021.

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Invincible, first of Singapore's biggest and most advanced submarines, launches in Germany

Singapore's acquisition of 4 new Type 218SG submarines, which offer more firepower and combat options, is a timely move as maritime security challenges evolve and countries beef up their submarine fleets, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Speaking on Monday (Feb 18) at the launch of the first Type 218SG submarine named Invincible, Dr Ng said Singapore faces threats in the maritime domain, including terrorism, the shipping of illegal arms, weapons of mass destruction and people, as well as piracy.

He also noted that in Asia, defence spending has increased significantly, reaching US$447 billion in 2017, an increase of about 61% from 2008, with many countries modernising their armed forces.

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Republic Of Singapore Navy

Forge ahead with some of the world’s most advanced naval platforms, as you deepen your expertise and take command of a stunning arsenal of assets.

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Josephine Teo: CPF Board can do better

In communicating messages on payouts
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo speaking in Parliament on Feb 18, 2019

While the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has "stepped up" its outreach efforts, there is "much room for improvement" in how it relays information on key issues such as starting payouts for those who are retiring, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in Parliament on Mon (Feb 18).

Mrs Teo was responding to Members of Parliament (MPs) Foo Mee Har, Cheryl Chan & Liang Eng Hwa on whether CPF information can be better related to the public.

The answer is yes.
"For example, we will review the letters sent to (CPF) members who are approaching their Payout Eligibility Age (PEA), so as to avoid misunderstandings which confused members unnecessarily,"
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Why sudden change in age for automatic CPF payouts not a good idea, says Josephine Teo
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that from this year, all members reaching their eligibility payout age can attend a CPF Retirement Planning Service, a face-to-face personal service. PHOTO: GOV.SG

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo explained on Mon (Feb 18) in Parliament why she is wary of making a sudden change in the policy on the age that Central Provident Fund members can automatically receive monthly payouts from their retirement account.

This is partly because members have been told for years that payouts start when they instruct the CPF Board. "So this has been the longstanding instruction," she said.

"Every time there is a change, it takes a long while for people to get used to it." She suggests instead focusing on improving the communication for the policy as it stands.

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Claims that CPF 'retirement payout age' shifted to 70 not true: CPF Board

Social media posts and messages claiming that the Government has shifted the payout age for the Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) to 70 are "not true", the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board clarified in a Facebook post on Saturday (Jan 19).

"You may have recently come across social media posts and messages that claim that the Government has quietly shifted the 'retirement payout age' to 70 for the Retirement Sum Scheme," said the CPF Board.

"This is not true and here are the facts," the board said.

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Make full CPF payout by age 70

The issue of Central Provident Fund (CPF) payouts is of great interest to all Singaporeans since it concerns everyone's hard-earned money.

Recent comments on the issue by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo raise a few questions (No change to CPF payout age: Josephine Teo, Feb 19).

If the interest rate earned by CPF savings is indeed risk-free and well above market rates, then it stands to reason that many more people would opt for the deferment of payment.

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CPF Monthly Payouts Default At Age 70: What Could Have Been Done Better? Is It Still A Reliable Retirement Plan?
Retirement Sum Scheme Monthly Payouts For Singaporeans Turning Age 70 From 2018 Onwards

To clarify the above misunderstanding amongst Singaporeans, here’s what we found out after reading through some of the information on the CPF website.

For Singaporeans turning age 70 from the year 2018 onwards, here are some things you need to take note of:
  • The CPF Board has automatically start payouts at age 70
  • If you wish to receive their payout at an earlier age, you will need to opt out of it.
In short, your CPF monthly payout automatically kicks in at age 70 though you are eligible for payout at age 65, if you wish to kick start your monthly payout anytime earlier, you need to do something about it.

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54-year-old veteran lashes out at CPF Board for constantly changing its retirement payout age

A 54-year-old veteran named Khris Ang recently took his Facebook page to vent his dissatisfaction over Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board after it had been changing the retirement payout age multiple times over the years.

In his post, the former senior engineer said that when he started working, he had no option but to put in his monthly contribution into his CPF account. However, he mentioned that it’s a bad habit that CPF Board has acquired as it keep deferring the payouts.

He revealed that when he first started working, the deal was everyone can get a complete withdrawal when they reach the age of 55. This according to Ang is “an absolute peach sweet and juicy” deal for CPF Board.

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Why CPF is Failing

When the PAP inherited the CPF system from the British, they did not change the basic flaw in the system, which was to allow members to withdraw all the funds when they reached the then retirement age of 55. Later in the 1980s when they tried to move the withdrawal age to 60 in tandem with the retirement age, there was strong resistance from the ground. Consequently, they lost the second parliamentary seat to opposition in 1984.

I suspect that in order to achieve the same purpose, the mandarins then created the minimum sum and special account structure. They designed the minimum amount to increase over time such that when the baby boomers retire, it would balloon to a substantial amount. Today I believe those mandarins would have been very pleased with themselves as for more than 50 percent of CPF members who reached 55 almost all their funds in the ordinary account are transferred to the special account to meet the minimum amount requirement. However, they did not anticipate the public outcry arising from it.

The CPF as a retirement scheme has two problems, firstly the withdrawal age of 55 is outdated as people live longer and need to work longer before they can withdraw their CPF. Furthermore, withdrawal at 55 is uncoordinated with the current retirement age of 62 today. Secondly, the lump sum withdrawal is not in line with the principles of pension, which is an annuity.  The CPF members should convert the lump sum into an annuity. It looks like the government understands all these concepts. They put in place the minimum sum and CPF Life annuity.

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Live long and prosper with CPF Life

While I prefer the old scheme's 20-year fixed payout, it's CPF Life that will provide me a monthly income for as long as I live.

Ten years ago, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board introduced CPF Life after studies showed that Singaporeans were living longer and longer, with many past age 85 when their monthly retirement payout would have run out under the old Retirement Sum Scheme.

CPF Life is the national annuity plan, providing lifelong income throughout retirement, which is the logical thing to do to avoid a situation in which one's savings or income runs out before one's life does.

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“It’s common sense, automatic payout should start at 65” says Calvin Cheng on CPF

Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng is known for his pithy no-nonsense remarks on social media.

The comments he made on the withdrawal of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) following the announcement of the Budget 2019 were no different, and hard-hitting.

Cheng wrote, “It should be the other way round. Automatic payout at 65 and people can request to start only from 70.”

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How The CPF Minimum Sum & Payout Eligibility Age Have Changed Since 1987

CPF Minimum Sum Increased From $30,000 In 1987 To $181,000 In 2020.

The Minimum Sum (MS) and Payout Eligibility Age (PEA) are key components of the Central Provident Fund (CPF), which most working Singaporeans contribute towards every month. Both introduced in 1987, the MS and PEA have undergone drastic changes over the years.

These changes were introduced by the government to ensure the system evolves with the needs of its citizens. In particular, the MS has increased from $30,000 to $181,000 while the PEA has increased from 60 to 65 years old. With that, here’s a more in-depth look back at how both have changed over the decades.

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Toh Chin Chye’s criticism of raising CPF withdrawal age 34 years ago resounds as calls to hike withdrawal age renew

Late pioneer politician Dr Toh Chin Chye’s sharp criticism of raising the Central Provident Fund (CPF) withdrawal age over three decades ago resounds even today as the world’s largest human resources consulting firm, Mercer, recently renewed calls to raise the CPF withdrawal age given growing lifespans.

Mercer’s recommendations came after the release of this year’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index (MMGPI) which ranked Singapore’s pension system the best in Asia for the 10th consecutive year and the 7th best pension system in the world.

Singapore’s pension system is primarily centred around the CPF system – an employment based savings scheme in which employers and employees contribute a mandated amount to the Fund each month. It is compulsory for all Singapore citizens and permanent residents to contribute to CPF.

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CPF: "The gift that keeps on giving"
CPF Board ad encouraging members to gift loved ones

The advertisement, called ‘Birthday Gift’, was launched earlier this month. In a 30-second long clip, a couple can be shown celebrating the wife’s birthdays after the first year of marriage, the fifth year of marriage and the tenth year of marriage. The husband gifts the wife a bouquet of roses on her birthday after their first year of marriage and expensive jewelry four years later.

On her tenth year of marriage, the husband gifts his wife “a gift for the years ahead”. The wife is extremely joyful to discover a statement from CPF Board, showing that her husband has topped up her Special Account under the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme.

The wife exclaims “Wow,” before teasing her husband, “So how are you going to top this next year?” as the advertisement asserts, “The future is closer than you think – Be ready with CPF”.

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You don't need much space to have sex
Josephine Teo on ‘no flat, no child’ belief

That was the feisty rejoinder from Sr Minister of State Josephine Teo, who oversees the National Population & Talent Division, to a question on whether young people are not getting their flats early enough to have children.

The suggestion was that this could be a chicken-&-egg problem. To qualify for the Parenthood Priority Scheme, which gives 1st-time married couples 1st dibs on getting a flat, they must be expecting or have a citizen child below 16.

But to have a child, some say they need to have a flat first.

read more

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CPF: "The gift that keeps on giving"
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TOTO Hong Bao Draw 2019

Update: 2 lucky punters in Yishun share $13.6m Toto Hongbao prize money

Two lucky punters in Yishun have won about $13.6 million in the Toto Hongbao draw on Friday (Feb 22).

Both bought QuickPick ordinary entry tickets. One bought from the outlet at Northpoint City's Cold Storage in Yishun Avenue 2, while the other got it from Sheng Siong at Junction 9 in Yishun Avenue 9.

The winning numbers - 05, 08, 14, 16, 34, 39 and additional number is 23 - were drawn at 9.30pm on Friday evening.

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Jackpot snowballs to $13.6 million

The estimated jackpot of the TOTO Hong Bao Draw 2019 on Friday (22 February) has snowballed to $13.6 million from $12 million.

There was no winner for the Group 1 prize pot of $1,615,432 in the TOTO draw on Monday.

The Hong Bao Draw’s estimated jackpot is not Singapore Pools’ biggest ever for a TOTO draw. In 2016, the Hong Bao Draw had a prize pot of $13.9 million.

Last year‘s had a prize pot of $12 million.

The odds of winning the TOTO jackpot are one in almost 14 million.

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Guess who are in the Queue??


China plans to tap the Sun’s boundless energy

With an orbiting solar farm
Our Sun is the most readily available source of energy we have available to us, but harnessing its incredible power is something humanity is still a challenge. Solar farms placed in sunny areas of the Earth do a good job of converting sunlight into usable energy, but major drawbacks remain

For one, solar panels placed on the planet can only collect sunlight for a portion of the day, and weather can dramatically hinder their ability to create electricity. Now, China thinks it has a solution to both of those problems, and it’s going to test its idea within the next few years.

In a new report from China’s Science and Technology Daily, as spotted by the Sydney Morning Herald, the country’s plans for a space-based solar farm are revealed. Rather than a power-gathering installation on Earth, China plans to launch an energy-gathering solar station into Earth orbit.

Using a space solar station instead of one on the ground not only eliminates weather as a factor but also allows the station to remain in full sunlight 24 hours a day. According to the report, China envisions a system by which the spacecraft collect solar power and then send it down to receiving stations on the Earth as a laser or microwave beam. The power would then be fed into the power grid as electricity.

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China's Chang’e 4 spacecraft touches down on dark side of moon

China’s space programme has hit a new milestone.

A Chinese spacecraft has made history on Jan. 3, 2019 by successfully touching down on the dark side of the moon that does not face Earth and has never been explored.

The confirmation of the landing came in the form of a tweet by Global Times, widely regarded as a Chinese state mouthpiece.

read more

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Singapore budget 2019

Singapore Plans Cautious Budget With an Eye on Election

Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will aim to strike a delicate balance in Monday’s budget: preaching fiscal prudence while doling out more social spending ahead of elections that could come as early as this year.

While not expected to be as headline-grabbing as last year -- when Heng flagged a hike in the goods-and-services tax -- the 2019 budget will cover a range of familiar policy priorities. Infrastructure spending, more health-care support for a rapidly aging population, and help for firms transitioning in a digital economy were top-of-mind for Heng in a Jan. 22 interview.

The global backdrop calls for more caution. Weaker demand and U.S.-China trade tensions saw Singapore’s export-reliant economy grow at a slower pace than expected in the fourth quarter, data showed Friday.

read more

Winners and Losers From Singapore's Budget as Election Looms

Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat boosted health-care and military spending, gave tax rebates to citizens and tightened rules on foreign workers ahead of an election that could come as early as this year.

Heng announced a new S$8 billion ($5.9 billion) support package for seniors in his budget speech on Monday, as well as measures to help local businesses adopt new technologies. The expansionary fiscal plan will push the overall budget deficit to 0.7 percent of gross domestic product in the year ending March 2020, from a revised surplus of 0.4 percent this year.

The finance minister opened his speech by talking about the changing global and domestic landscape and the importance of planning for the long term, while being open to diversity. Weaker demand and U.S.-China trade tensions saw Singapore’s export-reliant economy grow at a slower pace than expected in the fourth quarter.

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Full Coverage:
What does Singapore PM-in-waiting say about an early election?
Is #SGBudget2019 an election budget?
Sporeans from older folk and young people give thumbs-up to budget
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Analysis | Aging Singapore Tries to Avoid the Japan Trap
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Singapore Budget 2019 (Full Speech)
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Analysts see winners in defence, healthcare, banks from Budget
Aging Singapore Tries to Avoid the Japan Trap
Enhanced Workfare scheme support for low-income households
Travellers to get lower allowance for GST-free purchases, duty-free
Lower-wage, older workers to receive greater support amid tighter
Reduced travellers' import tax relief to offset GST increase
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Smaller allowances for duty-free alcohol and GST relief for goods
Returning home from holiday? You may have to pay more GST
$6.1B Merdeka Gen Package to benefit almost 500,000 Sporeans
Measures worth S$1 billion to help businesses build 'deep' capabilities
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More being spent on education to give children a good start in life
GST increase, 9 per cent “not high by international standards”
Over S$8 bil$ on Merdeka Gen that will benefit 500000 Sporeans
CHAS Scheme To Cover All S’poreans For Chronic Conditions
Singapore Budget 2019: $1.1b Bicentennial Bonus for Singaporeans
Spore to spend S$4.6b over next 3 yrs on economic transformation
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Singapore Budget 2019: Winners and losers
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Budget 2019 $5.1B to set aside for long-term care of Singaporeans
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Live: Singapore Budget 2019
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Foreign workers quota cut for services sector
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Budget 2019: Measures announced over the years
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Singapore Budget 2019: Follow ST live coverage
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MOE to announce 'significant' move to improve education system
Budget 2019: Diesel tax doubled to 20 cents a litre, Government
Tackling Singapore's skills shortage likely to lead Budget agenda
Budget 2019 to be delivered at 3.30pm next Monday
Budget 2019: Experts predict fiscal fillip
Budget 2019:30% of Government expenditure go towards defence
Budget 2019: S$1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus for Singaporeans
Support for Sporeans, businesses are key themes in Heng Swee
Singapore's government will likely spend big ahead of an upcoming
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Budget 2019 ask not what's in it for you, ask what's in
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Positioning Singapore for future challenges
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A Budget to bring some cheer, and to secure Singapore
Daily Briefing: Singapore finance minister aims a cautious budget
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Budget deficit of S$3.5b expected for FY19
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Tighter tax rules on booze and other buys
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NTUC's wish-list Budget 2019:SkillsFuture top-up, more wage help
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