Singapore morning news for February 21

Singapore morning news for February 21

Singapore morning newsSingapore ranks 3rd largest market in SE Asia for Chinese tourists spending over CNY period
Singapore emerged as the third largest market in Southeast Asia for Chinese tourists spending over the Chinese New Year, with an increase of 34% in average spending per Chinese tourist, according to a joint report released by Nielsen and Alipay.
— The Edge Singapore

Train Brand Haw Flakes recalled after woman claims she bit into glass; AVA investigating
A haw snack has been voluntarily recalled by its supplier here after a consumer claimed that she had bitten into a piece of glass while eating it.
— The Straits Times (annoying popups)

The budget is bad! So say 43% of Singaporeans – Lim Tean
A Yahoo poll showed that almost half (43%) of Singapore thought that the recent Budget allocations announced by Finance Secretary Heng Swee Keat were bad, only 7% thought it was good while the rest viewed it as mediocre.
— The Independent

Singapore’s MFA says December meeting with Malaysia on water was overshadowed by new issues
The Singapore Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday (Feb 19) that the attorneys-general of Malaysia and Singapore met after both prime ministers agreed that officials should have discussions to better understand each other’s positions on the right to review the price of water.
— Asia One

Singapore’s overall crime rate goes up, pushed by surge in scams
Singapore’s streets remain safe even at night, but the Internet remains a lawless place.
— Today Online

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Singapore Medical Group announces $50 mil share purchase from existing shareholder CHA
Singapore Medical Group (SMG) says its 6.86% shareholder CHA Healthcare Singapore (CHAS) is increasing its stake in the group to 24.13% by purchasing existing shares from certain SMG shareholders via a $50 million investment.
— The Edge Singapore

Top-ups, rebates and bonuses are one-off, GST increase and government smokescreen are forever
Goodies are generously being handed out with this year’s budget. Goodies for the young and old, for millennials and merdeka generation. Is this an election budget? The odds and signals certainly point in that direction.
— The Online Citizen

MINDEF to recruit 300 cybersecurity experts, opens cyber training school
More cybersecurity experts will be recruited to step up defences in light of increasing threats, MINDEF said on Wednesday (Feb 20).
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

Singapore takes centre stage at World Restaurant Awards | Video
Singapore has taken centre stage at the first World Restaurant Awards in Paris.
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

CPF interest rates kept the same across all accounts; no change to HDB mortgage rate
The interest rates for all Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts will remain unchanged in the second quarter of this year, said the CPF Board and Housing Board (HDB) in a joint statement on Wednesday (Feb 20).
— The Straits Times (annoying popups)

Chua Chu Kang Town Council criticised online for installing video information screens in more than 1,600 HDB lifts
The Chua Chu Kang Town Council is installing video screens in more than 1,600 HDB lifts and lift lobbies in an attempt to improve communication with residents in the area.
— The Online Citizen

Biolidics partners Japan’s Sysmex Corp for cancer-related R&D
Biolidics Limited has established a strategic partnership with Sysmex Corporation, a Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed supplier of hematology instruments, to collaborate on the development of laboratory assays in the field of circulating tumour cells.
— The Edge Singapore

Carousell launching new review system and technology to tackle fraudsters
To counter the rise in e-commerce scams, Carousell plans to use new technology to identify and block fraudsters from creating new accounts.
— The Straits Times (annoying popups)

‘Business not as usual’ for companies that rely on foreign workers, say analysts in the wake of budget cuts on foreign employment
Analysts believe that the Government’s plan to cut the number of foreign workers in the services sectors will affect businesses resulting in slower growth.
— The Independent

Privacy concerns raised over cameras in SIA aircrafts, airline says they’re been ‘permanently disabled’
Singapore Airlines (SIA) were quick to reassure passengers on Tuesday (16 Feb) that the camera embedded in some of its inflight entertainment systems have been ‘permanently disabled’.
— The Online Citizen

Former opposition leader Benjamin Pwee to join Singapore Democratic Party
Weeks after leaving the political party that he has led for six years, Mr Benjamin Pwee revealed on Tuesday (Feb 19) that he has decided to join the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
— Today Online

Crime reports up in 2018 due to surge in scam cases: Police
The total number of reported crimes increased by 1.4 per cent in 2018 to 33,134 cases, compared to 32,668 cases the year before, the police said on Wednesday (Feb 20).
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

Facebook’s independent oversight board could include Singapore experts
Representatives from Singapore are among potential members to sit on an independent board Facebook is planning to set up to review appeals on its content decisions.
— The Straits Times

Poll: Seven in 10 Singapore executives made business decisions based on inaccurate data
Only 27% of firms agreed they could trust that their finance teams identified all errors to ensure they are reporting accurately.
— Singapore Business Review

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F&B chain Spa Esprit Group to halt expansion plans following foreign labour curbs
With more than 10 beauty and food-and-beverage (F&B) brands under its portfolio, Singapore’s Spa Esprit Group had its eyes set on growing its businesses further.
— Today Online

Singapore Budget 2019: Fuel duties jacked up for diesel vehicles
DIESEL duties were doubled on Monday in a bid to cut pollution from exhaust, two years after the tax system for diesel fuel was first rejigged.
— The Business Times (paywall)

How Singapore is future-proofing itself for information warfare, cybersecurity and digital conflict
Connectivity infrastructure is a key building block for Singapore’s economy and the changing needs of the digital economy require trusted, secure and resilient next-generation connectivity infrastructure, including 5G and narrowband Internet-of-Things (NB-IoT) sensor networks.
— The Drum

Singapore Airlines Under Fire For ‘Surveillance Cameras’ In Inflight Entertainment Screens
If air travel wasn’t stressful enough, it now appears that the limited privacy passengers enjoy at 35,000 feet might be eroded still further. Singapore Airlines is facing criticism on social media after passengers noticed a small camera embedded in the inflight entertainment monitor on a number of their newer planes.
— Forbes

Singapore bank ROEs to hit over 11% in 2020
Singapore banks ROEs are expected to rise by 169 bp YoY in 2018 as loans and margins improve and credit charges remain benign, according to Maybank Kim Eng.
— Singapore Business Review

Singapore: Maritime, airspace issues overshadowed water pact talks
The spokesperson said the Attorneys-General of both countries subsequently met in December 2018, but their discussions were overshadowed by the new issues that had arisen, namely the Johor Baru Port Limits and the Seletar Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures.
— The New Straits Times

Probation for special needs teen who wrecked properties at shops
Frustrated that he could not find his way to his appointments with a social worker and a counsellor, a teenager with a mild intellectual disability turned aggressive and took it out on strangers and things around him.
— Today Online

Singapore Budget 2019 puts some tax breaks out to pasture
SEVERAL tax incentive schemes have been allowed to lapse after they were reviewed for relevance by the Ministry of Finance, as part of the Budget package delivered on Monday.
— The Business Times (paywall)

Some companies may struggle to adopt technology to cut reliance on foreign workers
The tightening of the foreign worker quota will push companies to adopt technology to address manpower needs, but panellists at an event hosted by radio station Money FM 89.3 say some companies may struggle to make the switch.
— The Straits Times (annoying popups)

It’s impossible for a single budget to address every single issue, says Heng Swee Keat in Budget 2019 forum
Following his 2019 Budget Presentation in Parliament on Monday (18 Feb), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat participated in a forum on national TV to discuss the contents of the budget and address concerns from members of the public.
— The Online Citizen

Employing minors as maids in Singapore becoming a dangerous trend
There is an increasing number of under-aged women being employed as maids in Singapore. In a 2017 report, at least 240,000 domestic workers were recorded based on the estimated data of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Of this, more than 200 workers were believed to be underage.
— The Independent

5 Things I Like About DBS Group Holdings Ltd’s Latest Earnings Update
Highlighting 5 positive things that investors should know about DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05) latest earnings update.
— The Motley Fool

Budget 2019: Services sector to face ‘challenge’ of tighter foreign worker quota, but adapting firms will benefit
Local start-up honestbee, for one, believes the impending quota changes will have “minimal impact” on its business.
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

CSE Global swings back into the black with 4Q earnings of $4.9 mil; proposes 1.5-cent final dividend
echnologies company CSE Global declared earnings of $4.9 million for the 4Q ended December, reversing back into profitability from its restated loss of $39.1 million due to improved margins.
— The Edge Singapore

Govt-linked agency hires Malaysian burglary suspect who ends up stealing $62,000 worth of IT equipment from IMDA
A Malaysian engineer was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment here on Tuesday, after he was found guilty of stealing expensive equipment from Government statutory board, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).
— The Independent

Public deeply unhappy with 2019 Budget, based on Yahoo Singapore Poll
In his announcement, there are a few new initiatives that were introduced such as the Merdeka Generation Package to help older Singaporeans with their healthcare costs, a Home Team Science and Tech Agency, as well as a new sixth pillar of Total Defence and more.
— The Online Citizen

Sasseur REIT’s strong earnings momentum to continue into FY19: Maybank
Maybank Kim Eng is maintaining its “buy” call on Sasseur REIT while leaving its forecasts and target price of 90 cents unchanged.
— The Edge Singapore

MOH requests review of S$100,000 fine on orthopaedic surgeon
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has asked the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) to review a maximum fine its disciplinary tribunal had imposed on a doctor.
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

Apart from handouts, there were two standouts in Heng Swee Keat’s budget speech
Announcing a reduction in the foreign worker quota and S-Pass worker ratio for the services sector, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said: “Relying on more and more foreign workers is not the long-term solution.”
— The Online Citizen

These 2 REITS Delivered Weaker Quarterly Performances Recently
These two REITs have recently delivered weaker quarterly performance.
— The Motley Fool

Palladium tops $2,030 as shortages ignite record-breaking rally
Palladium burst above US$1,500 (S$2,030) to hit a record, extending a powerful rally driven by an acute shortage of supply as car manufacturers scramble to get hold of the material to meet stringent emissions controls.
— The Straits Times (annoying popups)

Manufactured political leadership is a serious malice to Singapore
For some strange reasons, Singapore had been plagued with endless breaches, lapses & failures, one after another over these past years, further adding to our national embarrassments.
— The Online Citizen

APAC Realty buys back franchisees, raises bet on regional expansion, remains upbeat on Singapore
As Singapore experiences the effects of the property cooling measures, listed real-estate agency APAC Realty, better known for operating under the ERA franchise, is now looking overseas to diversify from the Singapore property market.
— The Edge Singapore


Feature photo Pxhere


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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Piseth Pov graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics Science from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Phnom Penh in 2017, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Communications from Western University, Phnom Penh, the same year.

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