Saturday, February 23, 2019

Will the GE be held in 2019 or 2020? We look at the case for each

By Faris Mokhtar

23 February, 2019

SINGAPORE — Amid earlier speculation that snap polls could be held this year, political analysts are divided on whether this year’s Budget provided sufficient hints of an imminent General Election (GE).

Traditionally, the presence of Budget goodies has been seen by some as an indication of an impending GE, with the Government sharing its surpluses with the people before its current term is up.

While Budget 2019contained what the analysts described as “generous” measures, some of those interviewed by TODAY expect the GE to be held next year, following a string of incidents since the turn of the year which could have affected public confidence.

These included the death of actor Aloysius Pang, which was the fourth NS training fatality in 16 months, SingPost’s postal service lapses, and the leak of confidential information of 14,200 individuals diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

While the Government has acted quickly to address the lapses, the analysts noted that it would take time to restore public confidence.

Murdoch University's Associate Professor Terence Lee, who researches Singapore and Malaysia politics, said he believed the Government had initially crafted Budget 2019 with a GE in mind, but had second thoughts after the recent incidents.

Bicentennial Bonus CPF top-up a nice gesture but won’t guarantee retirement adequacy: Expert

By Alfred Chua

22 February, 2019

SINGAPORE — Among the slew of announcements in the Budget earlier this week, one thing that stood out for financial experts was this: that there are some 300,000 Singaporeans aged between 50 and 64 who have less than S$60,000 in retirement savings in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat revealed this statistic in his Budget speech as he unveiled the Bicentennial Bonus, which among other things will provide a CPF top-up of up to S$1,000 to this group.

Based on data from the Department of Statistics, they make up a third of all Singaporeans aged 50 to 64.

Of the 300,000, 60 per cent are women, the Ministry of Finance told TODAY.

Friday, February 22, 2019

The $247 trillion global debt bomb

July 15, 2018

The untold story of the world economy — so far at least — is the potentially explosive interaction between the spreading trade war and the overhang of global debt, estimated at a staggering $247 trillion. That’s “trillion” with a “t.” The numbers are so large as to be almost incomprehensible.

It’s China’s Huawei against the world as spying concerns mount

17 FEBRUARY, 2019

HONG KONG — Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has been under intense scrutiny around the world in recent months amid concerns its technologies and products could be used for espionage by Beijing.

In December, its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States Justice Department on charges she helped the company evade US sanctions on Iran. Although she has denied any wrongdoing, Meng is currently awaiting extradition proceedings and a hearing has been set for March 6.

Here is a round-up of what the world thinks about Huawei:
(and my interpretation)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

First new-generation neighbourhood centre opens along Punggol Waterway


Raj Nadarajan/TODAYOasis Terraces, HDB’s first new generation neighbourhood centre in Punggol Drive, Feb 17, 2019.

17 FEBRUARY, 2019

SINGAPORE — Cascading garden terraces overlooking the Punggol Waterway, access to a polyclinic and childcare centre, and more than 100 shops across seven storeys — these are what Punggol residents can look forward to at their new neighbourhood centre.

What you can find on the dark web besides drugs and child porn: military secrets, stolen art and more

17 FEBRUARY, 2019

HONG KONG — Although most people have no idea how to access the dark web, their exposure on this hidden, crime-ridden corner of the internet continues to grow.

Six million hacked personal accounts were added to the dark web last week, adding to the 6.5 billion personal records already available in the internet’s netherworld, stolen from websites where internet users entrust their personal information every day.

This leaked data is passed around in forums where hackers gloat about their recent cybercrimes, and scammers go shopping for identities to steal.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Why Workfare works better for Singapore than a minimum wage


13 FEBRUARY, 2019

In recent months, there has been some discussion on whether Singapore should have a minimum wage and whether that would be better than the current Progressive Wage Model and the Workfare scheme.

Here, we will explain why Workfare is still a better scheme than a minimum wage.

As pure market forces will determine the prices of private goods and services as well as wages, government intervention in the labour market to set a minimum wage is usually deemed necessary only when there is some market failure.