MALAYSIA IMPLEMENTS MININUM WAGES

Beginning 2013, Malaysia joined the league of nations implementing minimum wages. With the wisdom of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Government picked enough courage and confidence to implement this policy. The Minimum Wages initiative for Malaysia was announced by the Prime Minister in his Budget Speech on Oct 15, 2010. The policy is meant to ensure employees can meet their basic needs and create the necessary environment for industries to move-up their value chain by increasing the productivity of their employees through the use of technology and other innovations.

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New scholarship to nurture talent in power sector

A new industry scholarship is now available for those pursuing relevant engineering courses at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics and universities. The Energy-Industry Scholarship (EIS), co-funded by the government and power sector companies, aims to develop and nurture talent for the power sector.

Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who will be / are currently pursuing relevant engineering courses are welcomed to apply. The closing date for the scholarship application is March 14, 2014.

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‘Not obliged to obtain permission’: STB on creative agency’s design

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Wednesday said they were “not obliged to obtain permission” to use a creative agency’s design for the 2014 Singapore Art Week’s guide. The response came after Singapore-based creative agency DoodleRoom said on Monday that they were “disappointed” STB had “recycled” their design, which was submitted to STB to be used as the cover page for the art event’s guide last year.

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S$1.4m worth of contraband cigarettes seized

Four Malaysian men were Monday (Jan 13) each sentenced between 34 and 36 months’ jail each for their involvement in contraband cigarettes. The four men were arrested last Saturday after 14,999 cartons of contraband cigarettes worth S$1.4 million were seized, marking this the third largest seizure of contraband cigarettes in four years. The duty and Goods and Services Tax evaded exceeded S$1.1 million.

Last Friday, the Singapore Customs and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority conducted checks on a 12m container upon its arrival at the Tanjong Pagar scanning station. Checks revealed duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in 16 pallets of board partitions.

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10-YEAR-OLD MEGAN TAN'S SPEECH ON ANIMAL RIGHTS IMPRESSED MINISTER SHANMUGAM

Megan is a primary school student studying at Maha Bodhi School. She is already volunteering at ACRES – ACRES had to lower their volunteer age for her! She wrote her speech herself. I was told that Megan is a very shy girl. Thus it must have been difficult for her to stand in front of an international audience and give a speech. But she decided to make the speech because of her deep care and concern for animals .

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Private-home sales down 80% last month

SALES of new homes plunged last month to their lowest level in five years as cooling measures and economic uncertainty hit the market. Developers released fewer units in the wake of growing resistance from buyers, who are becoming increasingly keen to hold out for lower prices. The result was that only 259 units were sold last month - the lowest since January 2009 and a remarkable 80 per cent down on the 1,271 units snapped up in November.

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It is about overcrowding, not xenophobia

I refer to this week’s VoicesTODAY topic, “Is xenophobia a growing problem?” Any claim of xenophobia among Singaporeans must be substantiated, for it drives a wedge in our relatively cohesive society. Singapore residents, including foreigners who have lived here for several years, are merely unhappy about overcrowding. Having too many people on a small piece of land, with public infrastructure that is overtaxed, causes discomfort and stress due to intensifying competition for limited resources such as housing and cars. The unhappiness is not directed at foreigners.

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Judge has harsh words for victim in underage sex case

A man was jailed for 10 months yesterday after having kinky sex with a minor. Ramos Lobatan Alan, 26, a Mexican, was the second of five men facing charges of underage sex with the girl to be sentenced. However, during sentencing, District Judge Low Wee Ping had some harsh words for the 15-year-old victim. He said the court was "troubled by the conduct of this minor who seems to be very misguided" and had contributed to men having to face the law.

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HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN UNKNOWINGLY OVERCHARGED BY BUSES?

We should be aware of is being overcharged on buses. I was shocked to see that a mere 10 min bus ride on a Basic SBS Bus Service 66 was charged $1.86. Investigation by Transitlink showed that the system recorded my boarding place at Science Centre when in fact I was at the eastern side of the island. I don't think everyone looks at the card readers every time they tap on and off to know if they've been overcharged. How much extra money are buses making from unsuspecting customers?

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