4 former ICA officers charged with corruption

Four former officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) were charged today (Jan 9) with accepting bribes for facilitating or granting visit passes that would allow foreigners to prolong their stay in Singapore.

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Cleaners, guards to get pay hike under new system

Cleaning firms must offer entry-level salary of S$1,000 and give increments in tandem with skills upgrading. Starting in September — after legislative changes are introduced later this month and passed by Parliament — cleaning companies must pay an entry-level salary of S$1,000 each month, up from the current median gross monthly wage of about S$850, and subsequently give increments in tandem with skills upgrading.

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Can Singapore cultivate resilience in face of change?

The churning undercurrent of grievances over the Population White Paper, the toxic haze from Indonesia, the graft trials of public figures and senior civil servants, the series of hacking incidents and the Little India riot were events that captured the national consciousness through the year. Singaporeans could no longer boast about being above the fray. Today, a sense of doubt, pessimism, insecurity and, to some extent, despair, is palpable. The angst over the failure of our well-oiled state machinery has led some to describe the successive events over recent years as a failure of governance.

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Why China President didn’t visit Singapore

Singaporeans tend to look at China’s leaders with ambiguity, much like watching a very powerful distant relative with wariness and caution tinged with a modicum of pride. Every move is analysed, but there is no way to confirm the suspicions.At the recent Apec meetings in Bali, Chinese president Xi Jinping made the necessary rounds of networking, hobnobbing with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and holding talks with South Korean president Park Geun-hye, Thailand prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Malaysian PM Najib Razak and his host, Indonesian president Susilo. Bambang Yudhoyono

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Hospitals out of bed, again

This is, however, not the first time public hospitals face a shortage of hospital beds for their patients. In 2010, similar reports have surfaced. Mr Khaw Boon Wan, the Health Minister then, said Singapore will never be caught in such predicament again. Mr Khaw once described that the opening of Jurong General Hospital (even with the closing down of Alexandra Hospital) would bring in an additional 400 beds to the local hospitals in 2014.

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Project Jewel: The hype we can do without

Just to be clear, one should never be opposing just for the sake of opposing. Terminal One’s carpark is ripe for redevelopment to accommodate more. The question is in deciding more of what, and the values and principles that we bring in approaching that decision. The board and management of Changi Airport Group lost the opportunity to create a uniquely humane, sustainable, innovative and equitable redevelopment project by further losing themselves in marketing and PR rhetoric to choose to develop yet another plain old shopping centre with a man-made waterfall.

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Who will PM pick for Aljunied?

The more you think about it, the more it appears that Aljunied GRC is presenting the PAP with one big headache. The GRC system seemed like such a foolproof way for the PAP to secure its dominance. Who would have thought that it would end up haunting it, with that one loss opening up a can of worms? As we inch ever closer to the next General Election, which could well be next year, Singapore’s 50th year of independence, the PAP needs to have its strategy in place real soon.

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President Tony Tan pays tribute to late Sir Run Run Shaw

President Tony Tan Keng Yam has paid tribute to the late Sir Run Run Shaw. Writing in a Facebook post, Dr Tan said although living in Hong Kong, Sir Run Run was a good friend and made many contributions to Singapore. In 1985, when Dr Tan was Minister for Trade and Industry, Sir Run Run made a special visit to Singapore to contribute to the discussions of Singapore's Economic Committee, which was convened to identify new directions for Singapore's economic growth.

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COE prices end mostly higher

Prices for Certificates of Entitlement (COE) ended mostly higher in the latest bidding exercise on Wednesday. The COE price for big cars had the biggest increase of S$3,000, ending at S$78,700.

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