Singapore morning news for December 21

Singapore morning news for December 21
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Singapore morning news

Singapore high commission says news reports in Malaysia on Johor’s port limits are inaccurate
Singapore’s High Commission said on Thursday (Dec 20) that the Republic’s security agencies have been “exercising restraint” in enforcing its territorial waters, in response to a report claiming that Singapore Navy vessels were spotted within the new Johor Baru Port limits.
— The Straits Times

321 Scoot passengers stranded in Athens for second day due to multiple flight delays
More than 300 passengers on a Singapore-bound Scoot flight remain stranded in Greece for a second day after a technical fault on the Boeing 787 plane led to multiple delays.
— Straits Times

Singapore F-15 base scrapped for Ohakea
The (NZ) Government has scrapped plans to create a base for a squadron of Singaporean fighter jets, citing the excessive costs involved.
— Newsroom

ICA blames bomb hoax, cars breaking down and rampant queue-cutting for “exacerbating” jams
Instead of addressing commuters’ concerns that the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) is not opening up more lanes to expedite the immigration process at checkpoints, ICA blamed a bomb hoax, 2 incidents of cars breaking down and rampant queue-cutting for exacerbating the horrific jams at both Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.
— The Online Citizen

Forty years of reform: China vs Singapore
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the official beginning of China’s reform and opening-up, when the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held from December 18-22, 1978.
— Asia Times

All applications for passport, NRIC to go online from 2020
From 2020, all passport and NRIC applications will have to be done online, as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will progressively stop using paper forms for 15 services.
— Straits Times

Singtel launches EZ-link SIM card for tourists visiting Singapore
The hi!Tourist EZ-Link SIM Card, priced at $18, comes with 100GB of 4G data, up to 1GB per day access to Facebook, LINE, WeChat, and WhatsApp as well as 1GB roaming data for selected countries in the region.
— Yahoo News

Singapore had 5th highest tourist expenditure in the world for shopping last year: Mastercard
Ever wondered what tourists visiting Singapore enjoy doing in the Lion City? It turns out eating and shopping are among the top activities – at least according to how much money they’ve spent doing these things.
— Business Insider

More Singaporeans getting help to deal with rising costs, public sector report shows
More Singaporeans received a helping hand from the Government, particularly those struggling to keep up with rising costs of living, over the past two years, according to the latest public sector report released on Thursday (Dec 20).
— Channel News Asia

Singapore hawkers sign letter to support heritage bid
A “Let’s Support Singapore Hawker Culture” sign is displayed at the stall of Mr Koo Fook Tho, 65, who runs a fruit stall at Chinatown Complex Food Centre.
— The New Paper

Public Sector Outcomes Review shows that S’poreans cannot run away from technology & upgrading
There’s a far greater scope to the Smart Nation plan than simply making payments cashless.
— Mothership

Poorer households use more water to beat heat while richer ones turn up air-con, study finds
When temperatures rise, lower-income households here use more water whereas higher-income households consume more electricity, a local study has found.
— Straits Times

Noble Group sets aside US$800m in trade and hedging facilities for New Noble as restructuring takes effect
Noble Group said, as its restructuring took effect on Thursday (Dec 20), that a total US$800 million (S$1.1 billion) in new money debt has been made available to New Noble – the restructured entity whose planned listing on the Singapore bourse was derailed by an ongoing probe into improper accounting.
— Straits Times

Next year’s G-20 summit will ‘look into challenges facing world economy’
Singapore has been invited by Japan to next year’s Group of 20 (G-20) meetings and summit in Osaka.
— Straits Times

Japanese carrier to operate mega-ship terminal in Singapore
Japan’s Ocean Network Express, the world’s sixth-largest container-ship operator, said it struck an agreement with the Port of Singapore Authority to operate a sprawling cargo terminal capable of handling the world’s largest mega-container ships.
— The Wall Street Journal (paywall)

Deloitte makes double leadership change in Singapore and Myanmar
Deloitte Southeast Asia has undergone a leadership change in Singapore and Myanmar, appointing Cheung Pui Yuen and Aye Cho as country managing partners for the respective practices.
— Channel Asia

Deloitte CFO survey shows that trade tensions temper corporate optimism for 2019
The latest edition of Deloitte’s survey of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) at Chinese firms reveals a sharp drop in sentiment.
— The Online Citizen

MinLaw defers its decision to renew licences of some foreign firms by one year
The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) announced on Wednesday (Dec 19) that it would defer its decision to renew the licences of four foreign law firms under a scheme that allows them to practise certain areas of Singapore law.
— Today Online

Singaporeans earned more in 2017: Study
Singaporeans earned higher incomes last year and unemployment remained low, even amid uncertainties due to the changing global environment.
— The New Paper

Malaysia, Singapore shares fall after Fed raises rates
Declines ahead of widely expected Fed move help to stave off steeper fall
— Nikkei Asian Review

Singapore IPOs plunge, hurt by volatility, global tensions
The Singapore Exchange was among the hardest hit in Southeast Asia this year as new company listings shriveled, hurt by market volatility and geopolitical tensions.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Noble Group completes US$3.5 billion restructuring to emerge as smaller, unlisted firm
Noble Group , the once mighty commodity trader, on Thursday completed its drawn out US$3.5 billion debt restructuring to emerge as a smaller and unlisted Asia-focused coal-trading business.
— Channel News Asia

Clear skies for Singapore office sector – but beware potential headwinds
Singapore prime CBD Grade A office rentals are heading into their third year of increases on the back of steady demand amid tightening completion of new office space.
— The Business Times

Singapore IPO funds raised in 2018 falls to second lowest since financial crisis
Funds raised through initial public offerings (IPOs) in Singapore have fallen to the second-lowest level in a decade since the global financial crisis in 2008, according to a report by PwC.
— The Edge

AI leads list of tech trends to watch in 2019: FleishmanHillard
Brands that use artificial intelligence (AI) to engage in detailed and explanatory conversations – seeking to place AI in real-life contexts – will be next year’s big winners, according to FleishmanHillard’s Tech Trends 2019:
— The Edge

Singapore’s luxury marketplace Reebonz to list on NASDAQ after merger with DOTA
Singapore-based online luxury marketplace Reebonz is slated list on NASDAQ, following its merger with US-based Draper Oakwood Technology Acquisition (DOTA).
— Deal Street Asia

Productivity up, more jobseekers helped: public sector report
Productivity is up, more jobseekers are landing jobs, and businesses now enjoy more convenience, said the Ministry of Finance in the latest Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review on Thursday.
— The Business Times

What Shaped the Singapore Stock Market in 2018?
We look back at the major events that moved the Singapore stock market in 2018.
— Motley Fool sg

Stall at Chinatown bazaar goes for $13,899, highest in six years
This is highest in 6 years; stallholders believe the stall is ‘lucky’ as it is a hotspot for visitors at the Chinatown market.
— The New Paper

Business opportunities in a world of trade disruption
The US-China trade war has been a topic of widespread discussion and concern. A poll at the recent EY Asia-Pacific Tax Symposium found that over half of the respondents from Singapore-based businesses felt moderate to significant impact from recent US trade actions, and believed that these trade actions will likely continue for the next six months to two years.
— The Business Times

Huawei launches an app that uses AI to transform books into sign language for deaf children
Huawei recently announced a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to translate children books into sign language to help deaf kids read at a younger age.
— The Online Citizen

3 Reasons Why Investors Should Be Excited About Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited Now
This article looks at three reasons why Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited (SGX: O39) might be of interest to investors now.
— Motley Fool sg

Legal firm Clifford Chance launches its first innovation lab in SG
International law firm Clifford Chance on Tuesday launched its first legal technology-focused innovation lab Create+65 to identify, incubate, test and pilot new solutions for the industry.
— Deal Street Asia

Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review finds productivity up with more successful jobseekers
Productivity is up, more jobseekers are landing jobs, and businesses now enjoy more convenience, said the Ministry of Finance in the latest Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review on Thursday. The stock-take of the public sector’s work, released every two years, rounded up figures in areas such as the economy and welfare spending.
— The Business Times

Mediation a way of protecting private-hire car drivers
Private-hire car drivers could have a new avenue to resolve disputes with operators, under a mediation service proposed by the National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) and the National Taxi Association (NTA) yesterday.
— Straits Times

COE premiums up in 3 categories
Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums rose in three out of five categories in the latest round of bidding which ended yesterday.
— Straits Times

The Top 3 Best Performers of 2018
A look at some of 2018’s best performers and the lessons we can draw from them.
— Motley Fool sg

Tour guide who pulled turban off Sikh’s head in fight given mandatory treatment order
A tour guide who attacked a Sikh pedestrian for no apparent reason and pulled the turban off the man’s head was on Thursday (Dec 20) ordered to undergo 18 months of psychiatric treatment under a mandatory treatment order.
— Channel News Asia

Pushing further away from grades and book smarts
A wave of change is sweeping through the education system here to shift the focus away from grades and book smarts.
— Straits Times

Singaporeans spend an average of S$460 during Christmas
According to a survey by Picodi, Singaporeans spend an average of S$460 during Christmas with most of the money spent on food (43%), followed by gifts (31%) and Christmas outfits (23%). The biggest chunk of the money they spend during Christmas is on food and in average they spend S$ 196 just on it Besides …
— The Online Citizen

Mediacorp countdown party to feature augmented reality segment
For the first time, revellers ringing in the new year in Singapore will be treated to a special augmented reality (AR) segment at this year’s Mediacorp countdown party at The Promontory, which will also feature a host of local acts.
— Channel News Asia


Feature photo ASEAN Secretariat

This week’s Singapore morning news feature photo acknowledges International Human Solidarity Day, December 20.


Find our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Singapore morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Singapore news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.



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With a decade of experience as an editor and journalist, Roy has edited mastheads across Australia and Southeast Asia, from the remote island communities of the Torres Strait to Cambodia’s only award-winning newspaper, The Phnom Penh Post.

A a professional photographer since the days of film, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Photomedia and a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.

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