Singapore 

Parliament: In public interest for police to reveal past offences of driver who filmed PM Lee’s son Li Yipeng, says Shanmugam, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – The Police had stated the criminal record of the driver who filmed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s son after picking him up, because it was in public interest to give a fuller explanation and background as to why they were investigating the matter, Minister of Home Affairs K Shanmugam said on Monday (April 1). A 31-year-old Singaporean man had offered PM Lee’s son, Mr Li Yipeng, a ride in a private car last month and circulated videos from the encounter. The man’s past criminal records then emerged on…

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Singapore 

Singapore Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin unexpectedly dragged into MP’s squabble in Malaysia’s Parliament, Singapore News

KUALA LUMPUR – Singapore’s Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who visited Malaysia’s Lower House of Parliament while it was in session on Tuesday (March 19), was unexpectedly dragged into a squabble between an Umno MP and Malaysia’s Deputy Speaker . Mr Tan and his delegation are in Kuala Lumpur on a three-day visit to meet Malaysian leaders, and stepped into the hall of the Malaysian Parliament to observe an ongoing session. Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon announced the arrival of Mr Tan and his delegation at around 12.45pm. Datuk Mohd…

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Singapore 

Parliament: CBD to be refreshed ‘so that there will be activities beyond office hours’, says Lawrence Wong, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – Singaporeans can expect a rejuvenated city centre with moves taken to encourage more mixed-use development in the Central Business District (CBD) so that there will be activities beyond office hours. National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, in announcing this on Thursday (March 7), also said there will be a review of a scheme that allows eligible commercial buildings to maximise their use through bonus plot ratios. Speaking during the parliamentary debate on his ministry’s budget, Mr Wong said: “We will explore new incentives to better support rejuvenation in the…

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Singapore 

Parliament: Free opt-in cervical cancer vaccine for Sec 1 girls from this year, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – All Secondary 1 girls in national schools, including madrasahs, will be offered free vaccination from next month to protect them against cervical cancer. About 200 women get the cancer each year and 70 die from it, said Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor on Wednesday (March 6). She said: “This cancer, which is caused by infection with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), can be prevented with vaccination and screening.” The vaccine protects women against common HPV strains which primarily causes cervical cancer, but can also…

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Singapore 

Parliament: Correct the perception that Singapore is an arrogant nation, says Low Thia Khiang, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – Singapore needs to deepen relations with its ASEAN neighbours to correct the perception it is an arrogant nation that looks at developing nations with a condescending eye, said veteran opposition MP Low Thia Khiang (Aljunied GRC). “Success breeds envy among neighbours, and this envy can turn toxic if our neighbours come to believe that our success is due to our taking advantage of their weaknesses,” Mr Low said during Friday’s debate on the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s budget. Speaking on soft-power diplomacy, the former chief of the Workers’ Party…

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Singapore 

Parliament: ‘No conflict of interest’ in appointing new Auditor-General, a Senior Minister of State’s wife, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – There is generally no conflict of interest between the Auditor-General’s Office and the ministries it audits, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament on Thursday (Feb 28). Mr Chan, who is the Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, also set out how people are identified to fill key constitutional appointments. He was responding to Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), who had asked the Government to confirm if the recently appointed Auditor-General was the wife of a Senior Minister of State, and if so, how…

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Singapore 

Parliament: Planned GST increase alone won’t be enough for future spending needs, Sitoh says, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – The planned GST increase is but one measure to meet rising spending needs, and will not be able to meet them in full, Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir) said on Wednesday (Feb 27), as he reminded members about the need for fiscal sustainability and financial prudence. The Goods and Services Tax, currently at 7 per cent, is estimated to bring in $11.69 billion in the coming financial year. And the rise in the tax rate by 2 percentage points to 9 per cent, sometime between 2021 and…

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Singapore 

Parliament: To protect local jobs, Government has to cut foreign worker quota, says Chee Hong Tat, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – Jobs for Singaporeans will be lost and socio-political problems could flare up if the country does not control the number of foreign workers, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat. Mr Chee told Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 26) that such problems have occurred in other countries, which is why the Government reduced the foreign worker quotas for the service sector despite its impact on some companies. His response came after several MPs questioned the decision to lower the Dependency Ratio Ceiling, a quota…

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Singapore 

Parliament: Why sudden change in age for automatic CPF payouts not a good idea, says Josephine Teo, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – Manpower Minister Josephine Teo explained on Monday (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…

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Singapore 

Parliament: 5 things CPF members need to know about retirement payouts, Singapore News

SINGAPORE – Manpower Minister Josephine Teo addressed several MPs’ questions in Parliament on Monday (Feb 18) on when Central Provident Fund (CPF) members can start receiving payouts from their retirement savings. She emphasised that there is no change in policy. They can choose to start their monthly payouts at 65 or defer payouts anytime between 65 and 70. Age 70 is the latest that you can defer payout. Below are five things members need to know about retirement payouts. This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required…

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