CHANNELNEWSASIA

AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORT FLAGS IRREGULARITIES IN USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS

Lapses in the administration of grants, schemes and programmes, as well as instances of weak management of resources which resulted in wastage, were highlighted in the Auditor-General's Report for the Financial Year 2013/14, released on Thursday (July 17). After a few years in which the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) focused on procurement-related issues, it said it "consciously shifted" the emphasis for this year's audit to other areas to give the public sector time to enhance their procurement systems.

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Ventriloquist Victor Khoo dies

Ventriloquist Victor Khoo died on Friday (June 6) morning at age 63, after battling cancer for years. Mr Khoo was a well-known local and international entertainer, and was a voice that many Singaporeans grew up with, via the radio show "Happy Talk" on Saturday mornings. He was most famous for his ventriloquist act with his puppet Charlee. His family released a statement, lauding his pioneering work, and saying "even at the end, he had a smile and squeeze of the hand for us and all who visited."

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800,000 HDB households to get S$45m in utilities rebates in April

About 800,000 Singaporean HDB households will receive S$45m worth of GST Voucher - Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates in April. The GST Voucher - U-Save is the household component of the permanent GST Voucher scheme. It provides a direct offset on utilities expenses for households, and is paid out four times a year. In Budget 2014, a one-off GST Voucher - U-Save Special Payment was announced, with larger rebates for smaller flats.

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Gutter oil reports spark food safety concerns

The safety concerns were sparked when netizens posted several photos that allegedly show staff from a company named "Oil Village", extracting what is known as gutter oil, from grease traps near hawker centres in Bukit Panjang. But the company is not on a list released by NEA in February of firms that are licensed to open grease traps or deal with waste oil.

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NTUC UNABLE TO PROTECT ITS UNION MEMBERS

Some 2,900 unionised workers in Singapore were laid off in 2013 -- a 76 per cent spike from 2012, when about 1,650 unionised workers were displaced. About 90 per cent of total retrenchments in the unionised sector came from manufacturing. The labour movement, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), attributed this to firms relocating operations out of Singapore, or the shutting down of production facilities.

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NEA instructed to remove "archaic" rule from hawker stall licence

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has been instructed to remove an "archaic" rule from hawker stall licence requirements. The rule, listed under the Conditions of Licence for hawkers, stipulates that cooked-food stalls are not allowed to sell "restaurant type of dishes" unless authorised to do so in writing by the Director-General of Public Health.

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Govt mulling over more measures to strengthen moneylending rules

The government is considering additional measures to strengthen moneylenders' regulatory regime, Law Minister K Shanmugam said in a Facebook post on Monday. The measures also serve to complement the Monetary Authority of Singapore's 12 months' income limit on unsecured borrowings from financial institutions.

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Ng Teng Fong, Jurong hospitals to have transitional care programme

To ensure that patients are well supported after they have been discharged so that re-admissions are kept to a minimum, a transitional care team comprising doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals will be available to meet the patients' medical, social and psychological needs.

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