29/02/2020

Take Fish Oil Every Day

What Will Happen To Your Body?

In recent years, fish oil has gained more and more supporters. The main reason for this growth is due to the presence of omega 3 which has many positive effects on the body.

It is a fatty acid capable of combating and preventing certain diseases, such as cholesterol, as well as reducing the level of triglycerides. The advice, however, is not to consume it in excess, three grams a day is a sensible and a healthy dose. If the dose is exceeded, you may experience nausea and dizziness.

Fish oil helps prevent cardiovascular disease, improves stamina, enlarges breasts, and prevents hair loss, along with other health benefits. Let’s have a look at all of them.

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28/02/2020

Earn a Growing Passive Income Stream in These 3 Steps


Generating a passive income in retirement does not need to be a particularly time-consuming event. In fact, there are a wide range of dividend stocks available that could offer the chance to earn a growing second income over the long term.

By investing in mature industries that reward shareholders, as well as reinvesting dividends received where possible, it may be possible to enjoy financial freedom in older age.

High-yield stocks:
  • While it may be tempting to simply buy the highest-yielding stocks you can find at any given moment in order to maximise your income return, doing so may not be a shrewd move. That’s because some stocks may have high yields due to them enduring a challenging period that has caused their market valuation to decline.
  • This could be because of weak industry operating conditions, or a poor strategy being employed by the business. Whatever the reason, avoiding value traps could be a worthwhile move for dividend-seeking investors, since it may be possible to obtain a better risk/reward ratio through buying stocks that offer greater sustainability over the long run.
  • As such, contemplating a company’s financial strength, strategy and how its industry outlook compares to those of other sectors could ensure you buy high-yield stocks that offer favourable outlooks.

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27/02/2020

Eating Honey Before Bed

What Can Happen to Your Body

Most of us are well aware that honey can be used to fight colds and moisturize our skin, but we may not be aware that scientists call it a superfood because of the many other properties it has that you may have never heard of. Combining it with food is tasty and healthy but if you consume just a spoonful of it before bed and let your body absorb all its goodness at night, you will be surprised by the wonders you’ll start seeing in your body.

soEbola has put together a “need-to-know” list of things that this superfood can do for your body at night. Honey contains a nutrient called tryptophan, a hormone that helps you relax and gives your body the signal that “it’s time to go to bed.” Though our body needs this amino acid, it doesn’t produce it naturally, and we can obtain it through our diet consuming products like honey.

Sometimes we wake up in the middle of the night. This happens because, during our sleep, our brain needs a substance called glycogen and induces the adrenal glands located in the kidneys to eject adrenaline and cortisol, which won’t let you sleep. Luckily, honey contains glycogen, so consuming it before sleep will help you avoid that adrenaline rush and ensure a good night’s sleep.

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25/02/2020

When One Man’s Trash is a Designer’s Treasure


Tears welled up in fashion design student Leeanne O’Donnell’s eyes when in 2016, a friend shared a video of Rana Plaza, a garment factory in Bangladesh, collapsing and killing over 1,100 workers.

“I saw crushed limbs and so much pain. My heart just broke,” said the 20-year-old diploma student at LASALLE College of the Arts.

She then started reading up on clothing manufacturing processes. She was shocked to learn about the massive amount of waste this produced — and how factory workers’ lives are put at risk.

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24/02/2020

Toasts of the Town

Kaya Toast
This simple dish is the ultimate comfort food for those with a sweet tooth, offering the right mix of crunch and sugar rush

It is the perfect snack that goes very well with a cup of local kopi (coffee) or teh (tea)—charcoal-grilled or toasted slices of bread enveloping slivers of cold butter and a generous spread of kaya (a traditional jam made from coconut and eggs).

Some eat this toasted sandwich for breakfast, others prefer it for tea. More often than not, it is accompanied by two soft-boiled eggs with runny yolks and translucent whites with a dash of dark soya and white pepper.

The savoury eggs are a good complement to the sweet kaya toast which has an appetising crispy crunch, a melt-in-your mouth layer of olive-green kaya and a generous dollop of butter.

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23/02/2020

8 Dirtiest Daily Objects That Have Dangerous Bacteria


Bacteria are part of living organism that exists. There are good bacteria and dangerous bacteria that cause illness. This dangerous bacteria looms everywhere even on surfaces that one cannot imagine they would. They exist on objects that are used on a daily basis with some of them having more bacteria than a toilet seat. This means that people should be careful when using objects to ensure that they clean them often to reduce the amount of bacteria on them. Some of the bacteria include Ecoli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus.

A ring harbors more germs underneath it than anyone can imagine. This is because it is always fixed in one place no matter what the wearer touches. One washes dirt, goes to the washroom, touches dirty clothes and even eats when the ring is still on. The germs find a warm place to hide on the underside. To prevent the germs and bacteria, the ring should be removed and the area cleaned often.

7 Others Dirty Objects:

  • Money
  • Handphones
  • Laptop Keyboards
  • Shopping Carts
  • Kitchen Worktops
  • Cutting Boards
  • Laundry

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22/02/2020

Singapore Budget 2020




10 things to know, from cash payout for S'poreans to GST not going up in 2021
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat arrives at Parliament House to deliver the Budget speech on Feb 18, 2020.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A slew of measures to deal with short-term challenges such as the coronavirus outbreak and long-term economic development were introduced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (Feb 18).

Immediate measures included a $4 billion package to help firms with cash flow and retain workers, and $1.6 billion for household expenses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

More long-term help included $6 billion set aside to cushion the impact of a future goods and services tax (GST) increase, and $8.3 billion to be spent on growing and transforming the economy over three years. Here are 10 highlights:
  • GST NOT GOING UP IN 2021
  • SUPPORT FOR ALL HOUSEHOLDS DURING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
  • HELPING BUSINESSES DEFRAY WAGE COSTS
  • HELPING BUSINESSES WITH THEIR CASH FLOW
  • EXTRA SUPPORT FOR SECTORS MOST AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS
  • ENHANCEMENTS TO SUPPORT ECONOMY'S TRANSFORMATION AND GROWTH
  • GREATER SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION, FROM PRE-SCHOOL ONWARDS
  • MEASURES TO HELP MIDDLE-AGED WORKERS STAY EMPLOYED
  • SCHEMES TO SUPPORT THE ELDERLY
  • BATTLE AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

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What should you do after the Budget 2020 speech?

Support measures announced during the Singapore Budget 2020 exceeded even the most optimistic predictions. In an unprecedented move, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the launch of not one, but two special support packages totalling $5.6 billion.

Designed to benefit Singaporean companies, workers and households, both packages comprise a mix of broad measures and targeted schemes. In the first, named the Stabilisation and Support Package, the Government has set aside $4 billion to help tide firms and workers over the present economic slowdown, exacerbated by the spread of COVID-19. The second $1.6 billion package, named the Care and Support Package, is meant to provide relief and assistance to households in the interim.

Read on for our take on what the Singapore Budget 2020 means for you:
  • YOU SHOULD STAY COMMITTED TO YOUR JOB
  • YOU SHOULD UP-SKILL
  • YOU CAN WORRY LESS ABOUT RISING LIVING COSTS
  • YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GET YOUR DREAM HDB FLAT
  • YOU SHOULD TOP UP YOUR (OR LOVED ONES') CPF

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COVID-hit sectors to get $4b and GST hike moved to 2025

The budget deficit could hit $5.1b in 2020, the government injects $1.6b into the CPF Housing Grant, and $1b gets pumped into cybersecurity measures.

ADDRESSING SOCIAL CHALLENGES:
  • Our Singapore Fund (OSF)
  • Nearly $4.3m has been committed to support ground-up projects for culture, heritage, arts, and sports
  • $250m to be set aside for greater movement to partnership efforts
  • Extend OSF beyond 2020 to support more ground-up initiatives
  • Issued National Innovation Challenges to date
  • AI-enabled healthcare, ageing, energy, urban mobility, etc
  • Government to address more specific challenges to encourage ground-up participation
  • Challenges in the social sector to support youth mental wellbeing amongst other things

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Overall budget deficit of $10.9b expected for FY2020

The Government expects an overall budget deficit of $10.9 billion, or 2.1 per cent of GDP, for fiscal 2020, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (18 February). But there will be no draw on past reserves as there is enough fiscal surplus.

In his Budget speech on Tuesday, Heng said, “In the coming year, the Singapore economy faces considerable uncertainty, because of heightened risks in the global economy, and the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak.

“Hence, for FY2020, our budget position will be more expansionary, with a larger basic deficit of $12.3 billion. This, together with the Stabilisation and Support Package, will impart a considerable fiscal boost to the economy to address near-term concerns,” Heng said. He added, “With our fiscal prudence since the beginning of this term of government, we have sufficient accumulated fiscal surplus to fund the overall deficit in 2020.”

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Long term measures are always better than short-term goodies

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has issued a press release today (19 February) in response to the government’s 2020 budget that was announced by Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat yesterday in Parliament.

“In our pre Budget statement, dated 12th of February 2020, Progress Singapore Party (PSP) called for an expansionary budget and therefore, we are aligned in principle. We would like to thank the government for taking into consideration feedback from voices like ours,” the Party stated.

PSP also commends the allocation of S$800 million for the healthcare system to combat the COVID-19 outbreak and future emergencies of such nature. PSP hopes that the front line medical professionals would benefit in terms of preparation, capacity building and infrastructure to affront the challenges.

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EY reactions to Singapore Budget 2020

EY today released its reactions to the Singapore Budget 2020 announcement:
  • Ms. Soh Pui Ming, Singapore Head of Tax, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP -“Overall, Budget 2020 is a balanced one for extraordinary times. Budget 2020 showcased the government’s foresight in recognising that the twin drivers for Singapore economic transformation would be led by empowering the people of Singapore to learn and adapt, while incentivising enterprises to grow, transform and embrace our evolving workforce.”
  • Ms. Chai Sui Fun, Partner, International Tax and Transaction Services at Ernst & Young Solutions LLP - “This Budget provides needed short-term help to businesses and households to ride the current economic difficulty without taking focus away from the need to build the country’s capacity and develop potential of Singaporeans to secure our future.”
  • Mr. Chester Wee, EY Asean International Corporate Tax Advisory Leader - “While the Budget provides support packages to affected businesses and individuals during this trying time, it also urges continuous investments and upgrading so that Singapore emerges stronger after this challenging time.”

related: Wish list for Singapore Budget 2020

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AWARE: Budget 2020 lacks of clarity on new scheme introduced

The national Budget should have more clarity and explicit in the effectiveness of Matched Retirement Savings Scheme as this scheme appears to be a pilot in Singapore, said the country’s leading women’s rights and gender-equality advocacy group, AWARE.

AWARE has raised the concerns about the matched savings scheme following the budget announcement made by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (18 Feb) saying that the new scheme is introduced to help lower-to-middle-income Singaporeans aged 55 to 70 who have not been able to set aside the prevailing Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) to save more in their CPF accounts. “Why not top up eligible individuals’ accounts to meet the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS)? And what happens after the age of 70?” questioned Shailey Hingorani, AWARE’s head of Research and Advocacy, further probing that the organisation would like to understand more about the government’s definition on its success.

Citing an example from Mr Heng in his Budget speech – who said that the payout of retired couple who would together receive around $1,400 monthly, up from $570 – Ms Hingorani remarked that even with the new scheme, it would still not come close to $2,351, the necessary amount to sustain a basic standard of living which was calculated by researchers last year.

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An extraordinary Budget for extraordinary times

With businesses battling an unexpected downturn as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, all eyes are on the Budget this year, specifically the “strong” relief package that the Government had promised.

Analysts are expecting the relief package to be at least S$500 million, more than double what the Government doled out back in 2003, when Singapore was going through an outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver his Budget speech on Tuesday (Feb 18). Heng, who is also Finance Minister, said in a message to Singaporeans on Sunday that he will unveil a set of “broad-based” measures to support viable companies and help workers stay in their jobs, with more given to sectors that have been harder hit, such as food and beverage (F&B) as well as retail. “We will also support firms and workers to make the best use of this period to restructure, train, and upgrade so that we emerge stronger when the eventual upturn comes,” said Heng.

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Singapore plans biggest budget gap in more than two decades

Singapore will post its biggest budget deficit since at least 1997, pledging S$6.4bil (US$4.6bil) in dedicated support for an economy being slammed by the (Covid-19) coronavirus outbreak.

The deficit will widen to 2.1% of gross domestic product in the year through March 2021 from a projected 0.3% in the current fiscal year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said Tuesday (Feb 18) in Parliament. The median in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for a fiscal 2020 shortfall of 1.5% of GDP.

Faced with an election due by April 2021 and a virus outbreak that’s having a worse impact than SARS, the government is stepping up its support for an economy that was already under strain from last year’s trade tensions. The state will set aside S$800mil to fight and contain the coronavirus outbreak, and will provide two economic support packages totaling S$5.6bil to assist businesses and consumers.



Highest projected deficit of $10.9 billion in decade to cushion coronavirus fallout

Armed with a $6.4 billion arsenal to fight the coronavirus and its fallout on the economy, this year's expansionary Budget could run a historic deficit of $10.9 billion - the highest in 10 years.

Coming in at 2.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), it exceeds the projected deficit of $8.7 billion in 2009 during the global financial crisis, when the Government rolled out a $20.5 billion Resilience Package to help Singaporeans and businesses.

That deficit was eventually pared down to $0.82 billion, or just 0.3 per cent of GDP.


Singapore’s 2020 budget contains clear signals the general election is imminent

Before he began his budget speech, Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat sheepishly told parliament that he would speak for a tad longer than usual.

In years past, he would confine his speech to two files, said Heng, who is also Singapore’s deputy prime minister – but because of the sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 disease, he had to expand it. “To support the national effort, the budget file grew and grew. So today, I have three files instead of two. So please be patient,” he said to a few chuckles from the chamber.

The speech may have been long, but it was clear on one message: the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is ready for the general election. The first clear signal the polls are imminent is the huge amount of money doled out by the government this year. The government recorded a gigantic budget deficit of S$10.9 billion (US$7.8 billion), largely due to transfers to companies and households.

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Amidst public clamour, Budget 2020 says GST remains the same for 2021

In today’s Budget 2020 announcement, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat informed that the “The GST hike by 2 per cent will not take effect next year”. As such, the GST will remain at 7% in 2021 said the Deputy Prime Minister. He added, “After reviewing our revenue and expenditure projections, and considering the current state of the economy, I have decided that GST rate increase will not take effect in 2021.”

According to the Deputy Prime Minister when the GST is raised eventually, there will be a parallel of a S$6 billion Assurance Package for Singaporeans that will mitigate the impact of its implementation.

Under the Assurance Package, all Singaporean adults would receive cash pay outs between $700 and $1,600 throughout a period of 5 years. This amount would suffice to taper off at least five years’ worth of additional GST expenses. For those living in a one room or three room flats, they would receive enough to offset the increase for a period of 10 years.

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Budget 2020 announcements on impending GST hike will take some heat off the issue at next GE: Analysts

The Government’s decision to not raise the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2021, and the provision of a S$6 billion offset package when the hike takes effect by 2025, will take some heat out of this political hot potato at the coming General Election (GE) which could be just months away, analysts told TODAY.

Dr Gillian Koh, deputy director of research at the Institute of Policy Studies, said: “This, in a way, changes the tune of the political debate when the GE is held… It addresses anxieties about it, and certainly questions of the impact on low-income households around the issue of the GST rise. “It was a political hot potato when Mr Heng announced (in 2018) that the GST would be raised but what he has done… is mitigate the political effects of that by assuring Singaporeans."

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in his Budget speech on Tuesday (Feb 18) that the GST hike will not take effect next year given the fragile economic conditions and further impact from the Covid-19 virus outbreak. Analysts interviewed by TODAY agreed that it would have been insensitive to raise GST as early as next year.

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Netizens concerned GST will be increased as soon as 2022

In his Budget speech in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 18), Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that there will be no GST hike next yearHe did add, however, that an increase in the GST will still be needed by 2025. Overall, netizens were concerned that the GST will be increased as soon as 2022 and disappointed with the proposed Assurance Package.

Mr Heng had said the Government would “assess carefully the appropriate time for the increase” and that Singaporeans would be given “sufficient lead time”. When the GST is increased, a S$6 billion Assurance Package will be introduced to cushion the hike. In 2007, when the GST was increased from 5 per cent to 7 per cent, the Government offered a S$4 billion offset package. This time, it has been raised to S$6 billion.

Mr Heng said that most Singaporean households will receive offsets to cover at least five years’ worth of additional expenses brought on by the higher GST. All adult Singaporeans will receive a cash payout of between S$700 and S$1,600 over the course of five years.



Wishlist and what to expect

In a Facebook post on Friday (14 February), he shared that with businesses being affected by the ongoing COVID-19 situation, concerns had been raised by some workers on whether their jobs would be impacted. To this, he urged: “In these times, we urge companies to take reference from the tripartite guidelines on managing excess manpower and cut costs to save jobs instead of cutting jobs to save costs.”

At the same time, he stressed the importance of workers to upskill, reskill and multi-skill, in order to be ready for any opportunities that come along.

In line with that, he shared his hopes that this year’s Budget will look at further enhancing the absentee payroll and course fee funding so while companies can receive greater support in investing in their workers, workers can also “stay engaged, empowered, employed and employable in this uncertain economic landscape.”

related: Live updates: Singapore Budget 2020

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Full Coverage:
All adult Singaporeans to get one-off cash payout ranging from $100 to $300
As it happened: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivers Budget 2020
Budget 2020: SkillsFuture expansion to aid Singaporeans' development
Sporeans aged 25 & above to receive 1-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up of S$500
SG Budget 2020: Enhancements to Silver Support & Lease Buyback Schemes
Budget 2020 | LIVESTREAM | The Straits Times x Money FM 89.3
Budget sets out three big, audacious goals for future
Singapore’s 2020 budget has clear signals the general election is imminent
S$4 billion stabilisation & support package for workers, firms amid COVID-19
Budget 2020: New scheme to help those with less CPF savings to save more
Budget 2020: Netizens concerned GST will be increased as soon as 2022
Additional incentives to encourage use of more environmentally friendly vehicles
Budget 2020: GST increase will not take effect in 2021
Help's at hand, Singapore News & Top Stories
New S$5b Coastal Flood Protection to tackle 'significant' risk,rising sea levels
S$8.3b allocated for economy growth, transformation over next three years
It will be “more expansionary” because of difficulties and uncertainties
S Pass sub-DRC tightened for construction, marine and process sectors
GST hike to still take place by 2025, amid the need to invest in healthcare
Senior employment credit, CPF offset new measures for hiring older workers
Budget 2020: All vehicles to run on cleaner energy by 2040
Spore to spend $719m beefing up government's cyber, data security systems
Top stories from The Straits Times on Feb 19
Budget 2020: $500 SkillsFuture Credit For S'porean Aged 25 And Above
Stabilisation and Support package to help workers stay employed
Budget 2020: Overall budget deficit of $10.9b expected for FY2020
6 things to look out for in today's Budget
Focus on Budget but S'pore shares extend fall as Covid-19 fears linger
Budget 2020: S Pass ratio to be reduced to 15% for 3 sectors
$6.4 billion for Covid-19 outbreak as DPM unveils strong Budget
$1b over three years to beef up Singapore's cyber, data security
S'poreans aged 21 and above to get one-off cash payout of up to $300
S$8.3 billion to help companies transform and grow over the next 3 yrs
Budget 2020: Increased CPF Payouts For Singapore Seniors
Budget 2020 include budget measures that were not on the table 1 month ago
Govt will allocate a sum of S$6.4 billion for coronavirus outbreak measures
Budget 2020: Gov't Offers Two Support Packages Worth S$5.6B
Heng Sweet Keat continues tradition of eating home cooked porridge night b4
$1.6 billion package to help Singaporeans amid economic slowdown
Budget 2020: $5 billion fund for Singapore to combat rising sea levels
Skilled foreign worker quota in construction,marine & process sectors cut to 15%
Addressing climate change is priority, says Finance Minister in Budget 2020
Singapore unveils $4.5 billion package to tackle virus outbreak
Budget 2020: Lump-sum tax built into road tax for electric vehicles
Budget 2020: Gov't To Offset 8% Of Wages For S'pore Employees
$1.6 billion dollar Covid-19 relief package for Singapore households
Singapore budget has US$4.6 billion boost to battle coronavirus outbreak
Amidst public clamour, Budget 2020 says GST remains the same for 2021
COVID-hit sectors to get $4b and GST hike moved to 2025
S$100-S$300 cash for S'poreans aged 21 & older to ride out economic slump
Singapore plans biggest budget deficit in years to meet virus threat
Budget 2020: Everything S'pore Startups And SMEs Need To Know
Spore sets aside $4 billion to help businesses & households amid coronavirus
Budget 2020 to include Covid-19 support measures not on the table a mth ago
Budget 2020 announcements on impending GST hike will take some heat off
Singapore unveils $4bn coronavirus relief package
Singapore budgets US$300M to support deep-tech startups
Singapore budget gives S$6.4 billion boost to economy
Check out the summary of transcript from the Singapore Budget 2020
Live updates: Singapore Budget 2020
Govt introduces rebates for buyers of electric vehicles; plans to impose
Singapore sets aside additional $215m for deep-tech startups
Singapore stimulates economy with highest budget deficit in 10 years
Govt to delay GST increase, offer S$6b package to cushion impact of tax hike
Spore electric push - rebate for EVs, charging network expansion to 28,000
Singapore goes hard with big-spending budget, flags recession fear
Singapore plans biggest budget gap in more than two decades
Singapore announces $4.6-billion boost to fight virus
S'pore unveils RM18.7b package to tackle virus outbreak
An extraordinary Budget for extraordinary times:What analysts expecting to see
Singapore allocates $4bn to support virus-hit economy
10 things to know, from cash payout for S'poreans to GST not going up in 2021
GST hike will not take place in 2021; $6b Assurance Package to cushion impact
$4b to help biz hit by coronavirus; sectors like tourism,aviation to get tax rebates
Singapore gives S$6.4 bil boost to economy in budget
Cost of living package, tax rebates among measures amid coronavirus outbreak
Govt to match CPF Retirement Account top-ups by older Singaporeans
435000 lower income seniors to benefit from new Matched Retirement Savings
New scheme to help Financial support measures for the seniors in retirement
Wage subsidies, CPF contribution offsets to help employers of older workers
Education, COL, retirement security: What the S'pore budget has for families
Increases to CPF for older workers to come, but CPF Transition Offset to help
Senior credit, CPF offset among new measures for those hiring older workers
Wage and CPF offsets for firms hiring older workers
Govt to match cash top-ups to seniors' CPF savings
Singapore Budget 2020: All adult Singaporeans to get one-off
Singapore Budget 2020: 10 things to know, from cash payout
Budget 2020: 5 things to know about measures to help
Singapore Budget tackles virus-hit economy, gears up for
Singapore's 2020 budget contains clear signals the general
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, what can Singapore expect in
Singapore Budget 2020: Highest projected deficit of $10.9
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Budget 2020: Senior employment credit, CPF offset among
Singapore Budget 2020: COE, vehicle tax revenue shrink by
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Watch Live: Experts on Singapore Budget 2020 highlights
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21/02/2020

The best anti-aging vitamin C serums


Of all the skin care products to choose from, vitamin C serums are a favorite among those looking for skin-brightening, anti-aging benefits.

Whether you’re a former sun tanning lover with dark spots and fine lines or hoping to fade acne scars and hyperpigmentation, vitamin C could be your answer. The powerful antioxidant neutralizes free radicals (which we generate when we’re exposed to things like pollution, smoking, stress and UV rays), which can damage cells and slow down collagen production.

The market is inundated with a slew of vitamin C serums, and not all are created equal. So we’ve taken a closer look at ingredient labels and combed through reviews to find some of the best formulas around. Ahead, shop the best vitamin C serums that go above and beyond, at every price point.

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20/02/2020

Singlish-slinging minister praised for calling outbreak panic buyers ‘idiots’


Update 28 Apr 2021: Chan Chun Sing Mocks Singaporeans in Closed-Door Meeting, Takes a Swipe at Hong Kong

Minister for Trade and Industry, Maj-Gen “Kee Chiu” Chan Chun Sing had a hearty laugh with business leaders as he condemned the behaviour of Singaporeans who he deemed overreacted to the 2019-nCoV Wuhan Virus scare.

In a leaked audio clip that has been making the rounds online, Maj-Gen Chan, who is slated to be Singapore’s next Deputy Prime Minister, is heard putting down Singaporeans, and taking swipes at Hong Kong and China. Maj-Gen Chan put down the efforts of Hong Kong and China’s leaders to stem the spread of the virus, and also laughed at Singaporeans who sought more masks from the government and stormed supermarkets to stock up on food supplies. The meeting reportedly took place last week.

Here’s some of the juiciest quotes from Maj-Gen Chan’s speech:
  • On Singaporeans complaining about mask distribution
  • On limited supply of face masks
  • On Hong Kong’s leadership regarding personal safety and hygiene
  • On Singaporeans being a disgrace
  • On “suckers” who stockpiled food
  • On stupid Singaporeans


Chan Chun Sing, our beng?

Everybody I know who knows Chan Chun Sing likes him. Smart, folksy, straight-talker, authentic, humble beginnings, frugal, hard worker who tirelessly works the ground, all well known attributes. I like his accent and liberal use of colloquialisms.

I have enjoyed stories about how he likes driving his security detail around (rather than being driven) and how, in conversations with elite civil servants, he has championed the need to cultivate closer ties with our immediate neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia, an issue close to my heart. All that gives me reason for pause when critiquing CCS. In the ivory tower that writers sometimes appear to occupy, one invariably wonders about the image of a person that the media projects. CCS is not the bumbling buffoon caricatured by his kee chiu antics, something I’ve heard many times.

Yet, as with most things, there is value in the views from both near and far. From my  distant trench, the evidence that keeps emerging about him—the latest being a leaked recording of a closed-door discussion with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)—only deepens my conviction that he has ascended far higher than he would have if we had genuine meritocracy at the top.


Confusion between cotton and sheep
Minister Chan explains confusion between cotton and sheep as being due to the lack of sleep

In a recent media podcast, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing explained that “it would not be possible for Singapore to survive without trade”. “We must not forget – even to produce eggs ah, where does the egg come from? You would probably tell me hens. But where does the chicken come from? Don’t tell me eggs,” he said.

In trying to make the point that Singapore cannot survive without international trade, he made an illustration that surgical masks could not be wholly produced in Singapore because there are parts that have to be procured elsewhere, such as cotton.

Giving a sardonic snigger, he drove home the message that we “don’t have too many sheep in Singapore to produce cotton.”

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Gerry Yeo 13 hrs


Walioa! That's what he said "Cotton comes from sheeps" .. Isn't he a SAF scholar?


Just a small group behaving like idiots like that will kill all of us

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing was being praised for his plainspoken tough talk after he apparently said “disgraceful” Singaporean panic buyers were behaving like “idiots” and threw shade at Hong Kong’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

His comments, made in a roughly 20-minute clip that has been spreading online this week, has gotten the attention of Singaporeans who seemed to enjoy his Singlish-steeped straight-talk and agreed with what he said. The clip was recorded in a closed-door meeting with business leaders.

“Just a small group behaving like idiots like that will kill all of us, it will kill our current price negotiation strategy, it will kill our future business strategy … I was very upset on Saturday because it has long-term implications on our international standing. Every country can behave like idiots, Singaporeans must not behave like idiots,” the voice that sounds like Chan says in the ostensibly leaked clip.

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Online users express anger towards Chan Chun Sing over his remarks of calling people “idiots” and “disgraceful”

Last week, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing conducted a closed-door meeting with a group of business leaders organised by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI). In the meeting, he addressed a number of issues including people’s behaviour of panic buying and hoarding essential items in Singapore. He noted that this behaviour “has long term implications” on the country’s international standing.

Mr Chan was referring to incident of Singaporeans clearing out supermarket shelves as they stock up on rice, instant noodles, hand sanitisers and more after the country’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level was raised to orange as the coronavirus outbreak continued to escalate.

Describing the entire thing as “xia suay” or “disgraceful”, Mr Chan said, “We embarrass ourselves, disgraceful, we disgrace ourselves.” Mr Chan added that he was “ashamed” at the behaviour of some Singaporeans who were stocking up on so-called essential items in fear that the country would run out due to supply chains being affected by the global outbreak.

related: Hong Kong netizens offended by Chan Chun Sing’s “disgraceful” remarks

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“Sia suay should be the word of the year…” Netizens take a dig at Chan Chun Sing now that panic buying is happening in many countries

With the Covid-19 outbreak spreading across the world, different countries such as Japan, Australia, Germany, the United States, and Indonesia have been airing reports of panic buying as people have been stocking up on necessities such as food, water, and even toilet paper.

Some Singaporean netizens could not, it seems, resist taking a dig at Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who did not mince words at panic buyers in Singapore and Hong Kong in a speech he made last month.

To be fair, Mr Chan did make these remarks with a certain degree of candour, as he said them in a closed-door meeting with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), and an audio recording of his speech had been leaked to the public.

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Chan Chun Sing's "Idiotic" Speech Gets International Coverage

Chan Chun Sing’s speech at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce closed door event, which was anonymously leaked to the wider public, has, not surprisingly, finally been picked up by foreign media. One of the media that picked up on his less than stellar speech in Singlish was a Honk Kong publicaiton.

The Translated headline was “Singapore Ministers says Hongkongers are idiots.” Of course, as everyone knows, newspapers and tabloids will come up with headlines that will incite some kind of adverse reactions from their readers. This is how they sell their papers, whether the headlines are a true reflection of what was said or not.

But Chan Chun Sing has put himself in this position all of his own doing. He did not think through the consequences of his supposedly straight talking speech. After all, why would a Minister speak in such a way at a closed door event? He was not talking to his close friends in a private event. While it’s true that the panic buying is unnecessary, there is no need for a Minister to resort to such derogatory words when speaking in his capacity as the Minister of Trade and Industry. This does not put Singapore in a good light, especially in terms of bilateral relations.

related:
Chan Chun Sing Claims He Is A Straight Talker, But Is He Really One?
Straight Talking Minister, Good For Singapore, Or Just A Lousy Excuse?

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Toilet rolls are among the must-have items for shoppers spooked by the coronavirus outbreak

For a few days earlier this month, it appeared as if parts of Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul were simultaneously struck by a zombie apocalypse as residents spooked by the coronavirus outbreak rushed to clear supermarket shelves of everything from fresh vegetables to toilet rolls and instant noodles.

Perplexed at why people were panic buying, Singaporean trade minister Chan Chun Sing accused citizens of the city state of engaging in “monkey see, monkey do behaviour” in a private conversation with businesspeople. A leaked audio clip of his comments went viral.

“You want to stock rice, stock noodle, I can tahan [“live with it” in Malay]. Then why stock toilet paper? If you eat all the rice and instant noodles you confirm [sic] diarrhoea,” he said in remarks laced with the city state’s famed “Singlish” lingo.

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Shameful and unsympathetic for Minister Chan to mock Hong Kong’s panicked behaviour, says political consultant
Minister Chan Chun Sing’s remarks about Hong Kong’s reaction to the Covid-19 virus is mean and ignores the vulnerable social situation in Hong Kong that was present even before the outbreak, says Alice Wu

In an opinion piece on South China Morning Post on Monday (24 February), the political consultant slammed Mr Chan’s remarks for lacking empathy, adding that it is “not exactly honourable behaviour”. “It’s shameful, actually, coming from a leader and it reflects badly on him, as well as the country he represents,” Ms Wu said. She is referring to remarks by Mr Chan in a leaked 25-minute audio recording in which he called Hong Kongers’ “idiots” for their behaviour of panic buying and hoarding in the face of the outbreak. Mr Chan was speaking in a closed-door dialogue with members of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

His comments drew the ire of Hong Kong netizens who felt that Mr Chan’s remarks were not appropriate and signalled his lack of understanding about the situation in Hong Kong. Ms Wu explained that she understands the anger at Mr Chan, acknowledging that his comments were “mean” as it ignores the fact that Hong Kong “appears to be down and out”.

She went on to say, “Granted, we’re lying on the ground because we tripped over ourselves, but mocking Hong Kong’s misfortunes – getting a laugh at the expense of people caught in their most vulnerable moments – still smacks of Schadenfreude and a complete lack of empathy.”

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Don’t be so quick to mock Hong Kong’s misfortunes, Singapore. Your time could come, too

While Hongkongers have every right to take offence at Chan’s comments, we should note that Chan said similarly harsh things about some of his fellow countrymen – the ones who followed our example and went on panicked shopping sprees.

I do understand the anger because Chan’s comments were mean. Kicking a man when he’s down is not exactly honourable behaviour. It’s shameful, actually, coming from a leader and it reflects badly on him, as well as the country he represents. It ignores the fact that Hong Kong appears to be down and outGranted, we’re lying on the ground because we tripped over ourselves, but mocking Hong Kong’s misfortunes – getting a laugh at the expense of people caught in their most vulnerable moments – still smacks of Schadenfreude and a complete lack of empathy.

Let’s hope Chan’s comments provoke enough anger in Hong Kong for us to step forward, overcome divisions, rise from the ashes of hate and fear, and come together as a community. Let’s also hope Chan will notice that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s pride came before her fall.

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Singapore hospitals would suffer if leaders wore masks like Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam: minister
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Hong Kong's chief executive, speaks while wearing a protective face mask during a news conference on January 31. Photo: Bloomberg

An audio recording of Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing commenting on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s decision to wear a surgical mask to a press conference on the coronavirus outbreak is making the rounds online.

In the 25-minute recording believed to be of a closed-door dialogue with members of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Chan said that if politicians in Singapore were to do the same as Lam, the city state’s hospital system “would have broken down”.

The minister’s leaked comments appeared to be referring to the worldwide rush on surgical masks that has seen prices of the product skyrocket and countries run out of supplies.

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Chan Chun Sing, our beng?

Everybody I know who knows Chan Chun Sing likes him. Smart, folksy, straight-talker, authentic, humble beginnings, frugal, hard worker who tirelessly works the ground, all well known attributes. I like his accent and liberal use of colloquialisms. I have enjoyed stories about how he likes driving his security detail around (rather than being driven) and how, in conversations with elite civil servants, he has championed the need to cultivate closer ties with our immediate neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia, an issue close to my heart.

All that gives me reason for pause when critiquing CCS. In the ivory tower that writers sometimes appear to occupy, one invariably wonders about the image of a person that the media projects. CCS is not the bumbling buffoon caricatured by his kee chiu antics, something I’ve heard many times. Yet, as with most things, there is value in the views from both near and far. From my  distant trench, the evidence that keeps emerging about him—the latest being a leaked recording of a closed-door discussion with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)—only deepens my conviction that he has ascended far higher than he would have if we had genuine meritocracy at the top.

CCS, in other words, would probably make a great Permanent Secretary (PermSec), pinnacle of the civil service, or agency head, or possibly a more junior politician, somebody that can connect with, and rouse, the “heartland” ground. That he has risen to our putative second in command worries me. And the fact that many Singaporeans have actually praised CCS for his comments at SCCCI suggests to me that our bar for leadership is just so low.

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Writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh says praises given to Chan Chun Sing calls standard of leadership in Singapore into question

Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh recently published a no-holds barred critique of Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who recently made the headlines for the leaked audio recording of a speech he made at a recent closed-door meeting with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI). Mr Chan drew both approval and censure for his speech, with some people praising him for authenticity and honesty, and others criticizing him for calling Singaporeans and Hongkongers “idiots,” among other things.

Mr Vakadeth, a published author and former senior editor with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), expresses concern over Mr Chan’s rise to presumptive second in command, given the Minister’s character and behaviour over the years.

While the writer praises Mr Chan for his down-to-earth ways, for Mr Vakadeth, “the evidence that keeps emerging about him only deepens my conviction that he has ascended far higher than he would have if we had genuine meritocracy at the top.” He adds that Mr Chan’s ascent to second in command in waiting worries him, and finds that the praise Mr Chan received for the leaked audio recording shows how low the standard of leadership has gotten in Singapore.

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Singlish straight talk is fine, but how about humility?
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing in January 2020. (File photo: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

Your network of friends can’t be very wide if you haven’t at least heard about leaked audio featuring Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing. It’s been making the rounds on social media, particularly on WhatsApp. Various websites have picked it up the story and this led, predictably, to a chorus of laments and imprecations levelled at the minister.

Since no one has denied the provenance of the audio clip and the leak can’t be described as an offence under the Official Secrets Act, I am going to stick out my neck here to write about it. Heck, even Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post has reported it.

The background: Mr Chan was speaking to businessmen from the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) on 10 February. As is the fashion these days, it was behind closed doors. It seems that whatever injunction to keep the discussion of the meeting private wasn’t heeded, a move that the SCCCI has lamented as “regretful” and “disappointing”.

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Lim Tean calls out Chan Chun Sing’s “disgraceful glorification of Singlish”

In a leaked recording of the meeting, the Trade and Industry Minister was indeed less diplomatic than usual, and can be heard saying such things as “Why did the run happen? You know, run on the supermarket, right? …I damn ashamed. You know why? Xia suay… We embarrass ourselves, disgraceful, we disgrace ourselves… No paper, water also can. So why do we behave so idiotically? I cannot tahan. Then the selfish idiot go and take all the alcohol swab, because got no more clean wipe right?”

But for lawyer and opposition leader Lim Tean, it was the way Mr Chan spoke that he first found fault with, writing a lengthy post on Facebook about speaking “Proper English.” He called the language Mr Chan used, “a disgraceful glorification of Singlish,” adding, “which has no place in a 1st World Country, where proper English should be taught and spoken. If our children were to speak like him in that audio, it would be the death-knell of the career prospects for many, unless you are an elite.”

The People’s Voice leader also called Mr Chan out for describing Singaporeans as “Idiots”, “Suckers” and “Disgraceful,” saying that many Singaporeans had complained to him about this. “From this incident, Chan Chun Sing shows himself to be cut from the same elitist cloth as his Party colleague Goh Chok Tong, who described those earning less than $500K as “mediocre”. And this from a Party that professes to be – With You, For You, For Singapore!” The opposition leader ended his post by writing, “So take a look at your own pathetic performance before you demean your own countrymen! And you should tender an unreserved apology for your uncalled for remarks!”

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Why Are There People Who Still Thinks Chan Chun Sing Said Nothing Wrong In His Ah Beng Speech?

Chan Chun Sing's 21 minute leaked audio recording of him berating Singaporeans who decided hoarding was a solution to the current virus heavy environment has drawn flak and praise in equal measures. While many average Singaporeans feel outrage at the way he speaks about the minority of kiasu Singaporean hoarders, there are still some, most likely the PAP Internet Brigade, who praised him for his straight talking act of bravado.

In fact, the way he spoke was more akin to an Army commander talking down to his lowly ranked men, who has no choice but to listen to his ranting and nod their heads in silence. This was no way a Minister, even in a closed door event, should be carrying himself. Certainly not in a Singlish heavy rant, which not only brings shame upon himself, but to Singapore in general. After all, wasn't his PAP party the one that started the campaign for Singaporeans to speak proper English, and banish Singlish to the dustbins. This would be another failed PAP initiative then, when one of their own top Minister cannot remove himself from his Singlish. But what is more disturbing than Chan's rant in the leaked audio is how there seems to be many non-partisan people who see nothing wrong with what he said and how he said it almost as if they agree with all the negative things said about Singaporeans as being idiotic, stupid, and suckers. Where is the empathy and where is the understanding on why people want to get masks and why people worry and panicked when Orange alert came out? Always easy to be on a high horse to criticize the masses than to do deeper reflection and analysis to help improve the situation. Some seem to think it was ok for Chan to joke and make fun of the people. But this was not a mere kopitiam chat with friends. When Chan speaks, he represents the government, especially at a meeting with business people from SCCCI. How he speaks shows how he thinks of our people and his attitude as Minister vs People.

If our elected leaders think poorly of us and many fellow citizens also think like that it is no wonder more and more foreigners look down on us. If this sort of constant put downs continue where is the pride of being Singaporean? And what about the people’s morale? Does it not matter?

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On leaked speeches, idiots, and suckers

By now a lot of you have probably heard this leaked audio recording of Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing speaking to the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It’s been circulating online, especially on WhatsApp, and The Online Citizen has posted it to SoundCloud, which I’ve embedded below.

In the recording, the minister addresses several aspects of the fight against COVID-19: the limited availability of masks, the raising of DORSCON from Yellow to Orange, the panic-buying that took place, the impact on businesses and employment. He spoke in full-on Chinese unker Singlish, letting loose and venting his frustrations over the situation. His verbal fire was especially concentrated on those who had engaged in panic-buying and hoarding: labelling them “idiots” and “suckers”, he mocked their rush to stock up on toilet paper, hand sanitisers, and even condoms, and described it as “sia suay” (disgraceful, in the sense that it causes people to lose face).

Since the audio was “leaked”, Chan has actually been praised by many Singaporeans for his candid talk. We are, after all, a nation of people who believe that we all need some “hard truths to keep us going”, and many people have taken this speech as an indication that the government is going strong and has got the situation all in hand. I’ve found the positive reaction pretty staggering. It makes me feel like there’s a significant number of us Singaporeans out there who actually like to be treated with disdain.

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Covering The Other Side SG 17 hrs

"This brings us back to a long-standing issue that has been raised time and time again: does the PAP government engage with citizens from a position of mutual respect and good faith? How meaningful are the public consultations that we have in Singapore? How open are they to listening to differing viewpoints and considering them?

If the government has so little trust and faith in the people, and believe that they can only speak candidly to a group of “elite” who are like them—such as the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry—then it’s no surprise that we have this sort of top-down paternalistic authoritarian governance. And we should really be asking ourselves if this is a good place to be.


This might seem okay for a lot of the time—and generally I think the government’s response to COVID-19 has been pretty good—but does it actually help to build the solidarity and social identity that we need to be resilient? Does it encourage Singaporeans to engage in our own critical thinking and parse the situation for ourselves without having to always be waiting for cues from the government? Does it make us strong enough to be able to be, to borrow the term from Chan, “steady” independent of the government? What happens if the government gets something wrong, or doesn’t react fast enough? Will we be paralysed as a people without direction from the top?"

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SCCCI President Ng who wants to investigate audio leak, linked to PA’s grassroots
Lawyer Teo Soh Lung: “You don’t have a reputation”

On Wednesday (19 Feb), lawyer and former ISA detainee Ms Teo Soh Lung wrote on her Facebook page expressing her amusement over Ng’s response. “His letter expressed the fear that its standing of ‘high repute’ has been damaged by the leak,” wrote Ms Teo. “Don’t worry about the leak. Recording private meetings are done by governments at all time. Your member’s conduct is not disgraceful at all.”

Ms Teo explained that while she was giving a speech at a private general meeting of the Singapore Law Society in the 1980s, someone present at the event “secretly recorded and reproduced verbatim” for the former prime minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. She said that Mr Lee at that time was trying to “run me down” at the Parliamentary Select Committee hearing on the Amendment to the Legal Profession Act in 1986.

She also mentioned that back in 2015, she tried to reserve SCCCI’s auditorium for the book launch of LIVING IN A TIME OF DECEPTION by Dr Poh Soo Kai, who is actually the grandson of the late philanthropist Tan Kah Kee and a founder of SCCCI. Dr Poh was one of the founding members of PAP. When the party split in 1961, he left to join the Barisan Sosialis party. He was subsequently arrested and detained without trial in 1963. He was arrested again without trial in 1976 and 1982.

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Function 8 19 February at 04:02

DAMAGED REPUTATION? By Teo Soh Lung
I was exceedingly amused by the letter written by the President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry regarding the leak of the audio recording of Minister Chan Chun Sing’s rant at a private meeting with business leaders. His letter expressed the fear that its standing of “high repute” has been damaged by the leak. It also expressed the disappointment and regret about the conduct of one of its members and the erosion of trust between the Chamber and the minister.

If I can offer a bit of consolation to the President here. Don’t worry about the leak. Recording private meetings are done by governments all the time. Your member's conduct is not disgraceful at all.

One example I can give is the unauthorised recording of my speech at a private extraordinary general meeting of the Singapore Law Society sometime in the 1980s. My speech was secretly recorded and reproduced verbatim for the then prime minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew who attempted to run me down (though unsuccessfully) at the Parliamentary Select Committee hearing on the Amendment to the Legal Profession Act in 1986.

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SCCCI: Leaked recording of Minister Chan’s closed-door discussion “unacceptable and deeply disappointing”

The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) issued a notice of clarification about the audio recording of Minister Chan Chun Sing’s closed-door dialogue with its members that was leaked to the public, indicated the act as “unacceptable and deeply disappointing” from its grassroots member.

On 10 February, Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing conducted a closed-door meeting with a group of business leaders organized by the SCCCI. The meeting – purportedly to be “frank, closed-door discussion” – touched on the latest developments impacting the nation’s economy and society.  The Minister addressed a number of issues including people’s behavior of panic buying and hoarding essential items in Singapore. However, a 25-minute audio recording of the discussion was then leaked and circulated among various group chats.

In the recording, Mr Chan can be heard describing the panic buying as as “xia suay” or “disgraceful”, adding that he was “ashamed” by these people who gave into panic and rush to stockpile essential items due to fear of the outbreak, calling them idiots.

related: Don’t worry about damaged reputation from the leak audio recording of Minister Chan’s rant for you have no reputation to begin with

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Leak of closed-door Chan Chun Sing meeting 'deeply disappointing' and a 'betrayal', says Singapore Chinese Chamber president

During the meeting, which lasted over two hours, Mr Chan spoke candidly about the supply of surgical masks, and said masks were not the solution to the coronavirus outbreak. "No matter how many millions of masks we have, we will never have enough," he is heard saying in the recording.

Noting that Hong Kong was facing a shortage of masks for medical personnel there, he said that if Singapore had issued masks indiscriminately, the hospital system would have "broken down" as there would have been no masks for hospital staff who have to take care of the infected. Neither could members of the multi-ministry task force here have worn masks like Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam did at a recent press conference. This would have caused panic, said Mr Chan.

While his remarks were reported in Hong Kong, there has been no official comment from Mrs Lam or the government there. Mr Chan and the SCCCI did not address reports and comments about his remarks out of Hong Kong.

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SCCCI chief calls leak of minister's comments 'a breach of trust'

The leak of a recording from a closed-door meeting between Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) members and minister Chan Chun Sing is "deeply disappointing" and a betrayal of trust, the chamber's president said on Tuesday.

In a letter to members seen by The Straits Times, Mr Roland Ng said SCCCI is investigating the matter, which has "serious implications" on its standing, for Singapore and for Mr Chan, who is Trade and Industry Minister. This came after a 25-minute recording of Mr Chan's remarks during the meeting last week was circulated on social media and messaging apps.

In his letter, Mr Ng said members had been informed multiple times that the meeting was off-the-record. The recording was thus "a clear breach of trust".

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Leaked audio of closed-door dialogue with Min Chan Chun Sing

Minister Chan does such closed-door dialogues fairly often. He would meet with different groups of Singaporeans, business leaders, union leaders, grassroots leaders and yes, even the average Singaporeans like yours truly.

Yes, I’ve attended a few of such closed-door dialogues and am familiar with how Minister Chan would typically check that we’re all Singaporeans and that we understand that it’s closed-door. What this means is he’s prepared to have a no-holds-barred discussion with the attendees, provided there’s no reporting by the media, no recording and yes, no leaks.

In such dialogues, he takes on all sorts of questions and is always candid. And what I personally like is how he tries to walk us through the thinking and decision-making process in policy formulation. In many instances, I have heard him explain the situation, share the different options and why the Government decides on a certain solution.

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Fabrications About The PAP 17 February at 19:17
๐—ฆ๐—ผ ๐—ต๐—ฒ’๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด. ๐—•๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ฒ’๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด

We've enjoyed listening to the leaked audio clip of #ourbengsteady Chan Chun Sing. Outraged by the exuberant use of Singlish in Chan Chun Sing’s leaked audio clip? Let me tell you why this Beng has got Singaporeans’ backs.

By now, if you’ve not heard Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing’s leaked audio clip, you don’t have many friends. Maybe you’ve joined others in lamenting why this Minister talk like that. Maybe you’ve cringed at the fact the audience seemed to enjoy his jokes and laughed along with him. (Whereas you, of course, would never dignify kopitiam humour with even a grunt of acknowledgement. The very idea!)

But there are ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐Ÿฑ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜€ why this Beng has got our backs.

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Chan Chun Sing 16 February at 19:53

The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) arranged for me to meet a group of local business leaders last week for a frank, closed-door discussion on the latest developments impacting our economy and society.

The business leaders had many questions for me on the evolving COVID-19 situation. Some were concerned with how we were handling the situation. Others were concerned about the dwindling visitor arrivals and the spate of panic buying. In addition to seeking assurance from the Government that we would support them through this challenging period, they also wanted to have our assessment of how other countries and places were dealing with the coronavirus, ways in which we could strengthen our defences both psychologically and physically to deal with the coronavirus and its fallout, as well as what the future is likely to be after the situation had stabilised.

I provided a frank assessment to the business leaders. Many of them have attended my closed-door dialogues and they know that I do not mince my words when presenting hard truths and trade-offs. I shared frankly our challenges, difficult decisions and trade-offs. This is because I see them as an important part of Team Singapore and recognise the role that they play in supporting Singapore’s continued survival and success. In order for us to continue to take difficult decisions together, it is critical that we have a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities that we face.

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Singapore urges calm after panic buying hits supermarkets
Singapore’s trade minister sought to assure Singaporeans that there is no need to rush for essential supplies like rice or instant noodles. Photo: Reuters

The government has come out to assure Singaporeans that there is an ample supply of essentials, after the raising of the risk assessment level of the novel coronavirus situation in the city state sparked panic buying at supermarkets.


Photos of long queues and empty shelves at supermarkets have been circulating on social media after Singapore raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) alert level to Orange on Friday afternoon. This refers to a situation in which a virus is spreading in Singapore but not widely, and is being contained.


Shoppers have also encountered difficulties buying groceries online due to high demand.


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An Attempt to Understand Why So Many People Dislike Minister Chan Chun Sing

When Heng Swee Keat was ‘confirmed’ as the PM-in-waiting last month, many Singaporeans breathed a sigh of relief. Some were glad to see an experienced Finance Minister at the helm, whilst others were disappointed at the lack of Tharman. Most citizens, however, simply closed their eyes and said a silent prayer of gratitude: “Thank god it’s not Chan Chun Sing.”

Okay, I lied. The prayers were loud and gleeful. Many were overjoyed to learn that Chan Chun Sing, long considered the frontrunner, would not be our next King. They were so ecstatic that the usual ‘return my CPF’ complaints were temporarily suspended, replaced by expressions of schadenfreude at Keechiu’s ‘downfall’.

Personally, I don’t like CCS, but I’m also disturbed by the amount of hate that he has received over the past year. To me, he is just another 4G Minister like his peers OYK and TCJ, neither exceptional in his achievements nor particularly damning in his faults. So what gives? Why do so many people have such a deep-seated dislike of Keechiu?

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That Chan Chun Sing question: Quite a number of points, actually

“What is the point behind the question?”. Quite a number of points, actually.

A debate in Parliament on Monday (Jan 6) on the government’s Industry Transformation Maps saw this rather loaded question arising out of a clash between Pritam Singh and Chan Chun Sing. The Workers’ Party secretary-general had tabled a question asking for the number of new jobs created in each of the 23 sectors covered under the ITMs. He wanted a detailed breakdown – Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Foreigners. (ITMs are roadmaps to drive industry transformation – each ITM consists of a growth and competitiveness plan, supported by four pillars: productivity, jobs and skills, innovation and trade and internationalisation).

Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad replied that employment for the sectors grew 19,500 overall, a result of an increase in employment for 39,300 Singaporeans and 8,600 PRs, and a decrease in employment for 28,500 foreigners. Presumably since the ITMs came into existence in 2016. Not satisfied, Singh pressed Zaqy for more data (writer: my nativist interpretation) – such as a broad picture of how many true-blue born and bred Singaporean PMETs have lost or gained jobs in recent times. Having such figures in the open would result in better and healthier public discourse so that, Singh stressed, “you don’t have a corrosive conversation about Singaporeans losing jobs to foreigners, et cetera.”

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing then jumped in to deliver a mini rah-rah speech on how important it was for Singaporeans to stop looking for divisions within this society and instead always regard everyone as part of Team Singapore. They should appreciate how foreigners have helped grow the economy and so on – and thank their lucky stars?

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I Gotta Wash My Hands!
There's Bird Flu (chicken), SARS (civet cats), Swine Fever (pigs), Mad Cow Disease (cattle), Ebola (monkeys & chimpanzee) & MERS (camels) & now COVID-19 (bats & pangolin). Hope Mr Mare is not galloping out to spread "Beh" (horse) virus. Haha.


Conservationists set the record straight on COVID-19’s wildlife links
  • The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been characterized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic. As the virus spreads, so too does misinformation about its origins.
  • Rumors that COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab or that we know with full certainty which animal host passed the disease to humans are unfounded.
  • Given the clear risks to animals as well as to human health, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Global Wildlife Conservation are calling for a permanent ban on wildlife trafficking and live animal markets.
The World Health Organization has categorized the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic in light of its spread around the world. Ever since the first cases emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, there’s been much speculation — and misinformation — about the origins of the virus. And while scientists suspect it may have come from a market in Wuhan when a diseased animal was consumed or butchered, spilling over into the human population from there, the issue is far from settled.

To give a better understanding of the origin of the coronavirus and what can be done to stop the future spread of disease from animals to humans, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Global Wildlife Conservation have partnered on a series of new infographics.

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Singapore to shut Changi’s Terminal 2 for 18 months due to COVID-19
The departure hall of Changi Airport’s Terminal 2. Photo: Muhammad Hasbi

Singapore will shut Terminal 2 of the Changi Airport as part of a cost-cutting move due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seriously affected the country’s tourism industry.

All operations at the terminal, including retail, will be suspended for 18 months starting May, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan reportedly announced in Parliament today. He also hinted at more closures, noting that only one terminal has so far been enough to handle the traffic at the airport.

Airlines operating at the terminal will be transferred to Changi’s remaining three terminals next month. Singapore Airlines will operate from Terminal 3. “We will save on running costs – for the airport operator, retail tenants, airlines and ground handlers,” The Straits Times quoted him as saying.

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Why Coronavirus Cases Have Spiked in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan

Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan — once heralded for early successes in battling the pandemic — are now confronting a new wave of coronavirus cases, largely fueled by infections coming from elsewhere. Singapore is also seeing a rise in local transmissions, with more than 400 new cases in the past week that have been linked to migrant worker dormitories.

The first confirmed cases in all three places were connected to people who had traveled to Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began, followed by small clusters of cases among residents with no travel history. Despite their proximity to mainland China, however, they had all managed to keep their case counts low for weeks, through vigilant monitoring and early intervention. None of these places had a single day with more than 10 new cases until March, even as the coronavirus spread around the world.

That changed in the past two weeks, as both Hong Kong and Singapore saw new cases in the double digits for consecutive days, with the bulk attributed to those who have traveled from abroad. Singapore’s numbers are now triple-digits, with large clusters of cases linked to dorms for migrant workers. Taiwan was hit with a surge of new cases, the vast majority of which were imported from other countries, while the number of locally transmitted infections remained low.


13 Haunting Pictures of Singapore

Popular destinations in Singapore are often packed with tourists and locals, but the Covid-19 outbreak has prompted many to stay indoors.

Photos of local hotspots don’t seem impressive to locals that see them every day, but this viral album might change your mind. Local photographer Lemjay Lucas used this opportunity to take haunting pics of the busiest places in our little red dot last Saturday (4 Apr) to Sunday (5 Apr). He feels that the outside world looked different as spaces seemed bigger and wider with the absence of visitors.

Here’s a look at the deserted destinations due to the global pandemic.


Wuhan: A City in China

Wuhan city, we all know that it's the 1st Chinese city famous for the Coronavirus. But do u know the city itself ? Here it is - real amazing you will surely like this

Above link is for marking Wuhan city's opening after COVID-19. The photos are darkened but when you touch it, it will brighten as a sign of light returning to Wuhan! Open the link and try it!




Went out without Mum's permission during Lockdown, now she got lockout

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