Sunday, October 31, 2010

Report says Singaporean’s have poor carpark etiquette


THE 'parking-lot thief', 'two-lot bandit' and 'parking perfectionist'.

These labels refer to inconsiderate drivers and their bad parking behaviour.

Citizen journalism site STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print) captures many incidents of poor parking etiquette daily. Some of these drivers park their cars at void decks, along the kerb or simply block exits and other vehicles.

Why do Singaporeans exhibit such poor parking skills, especially when it's an important component in securing a Driver's License in Singapore?

Is it the 'bo-chup' (cannot be bothered) attitude, or are there other reasons behind the lack of good parking manners here?

source: StraitsTimes

Notice of DBS Billing Changes for StarHub Cable Vision Ltd and StarHub Internet Pte Ltd Customers



For those who are subscribers of StarHub Cable/Broadband and are paying via DBS, this is for you:

StarHub has consolidated all customers’ accounts into an integrated system and StarHub Ltd will be billing on behalf of StarHub Cable Vision Ltd and StarHub Internet Pte Ltd.

As a result, effective from 01-Nov-2010, bill payment service for StarHub Cable Vision Ltd and StarHub Internet Pte Ltd will be discontinued.

If you have an existing Bill Payment Arrangement for StarHub Cable Vision Ltd or StarHub Internet Pte Ltd:

  • Please delete your existing Bill Payment Arrangement and replace this with StarHub Ltd as the new Payee and StarHub Account No as new Consumer Reference No.
  • Please do not create any new Bill Payment instructions for StarHub Cable Vision Ltd or StarHub Internet Pte Ltd

If you have already created a Post Dated Billing arrangement involving StarHub Cable Vision Ltd or StarHub Internet Pte Ltd:

  • Please delete this Bill Payment instruction and create a new instruction with StarHub Ltd as the new Payee and StarHub Account No. as the new Consumer Reference No. We will not be able to process any Bill Payment instructions to StarHub Cable Vision Ltd and StarHub Internet Pte Ltd after 01-Nov-2010

Details of the StarHub Cable Vision Ltd and StarHub Internet Pte Ltd billing changes can be found at

Friday, October 29, 2010

Beware: GSIS Issues Warning Against Fake Agents

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) alerted the public that some private individuals have been caught using the agency’s name in securing reinsurance contracts in London and Australia without its authority.

Upon verification, the contracts were revealed to be fraudulent, while the persons involved were also uncovered as fake agents who were not connected in any way to the GSIS.  The following persons were identified as having falsely identified themselves as authorized representatives of the agency:

   1. Efren O. Docena;
   2. Roberto C. Ibasco; and
   3. Arnulfo R. Madriaga.

The GSIS warns that it assumes no responsibility to compensate or indemnify any party for any contract or agreement entered into by persons or entities who have not been authorized by the GSIS to do so.

The public is advised to seek verification from the GSIS prior to entering into any GSIS-related transaction with purported agents.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Arriving in Singapore - Customs Clearance Procedure

Red and Green Channels

To expedite clearance of arriving travelers, the Red and Green Channel system is operated at all entry checkpoints.

If you are arriving by car, you will see the Red and Green Channel directional signs located along the route after Immigration clearance.

Air, sea, bus/coach or rail passengers will see the Red and Green Channel signs above the Examination Counters in the Arrival Hall at the respective checkpoint. Examination Counters are manned by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers.

When to use the Red Channel
Red Channel

Proceed to the Red Channel if you carry:

  • Prohibited items
  • Controlled or restricted items
  • Taxable or dutiable items exceeding your GST Relief or duty-free concession
  • Items for which no GST Relief or duty-free concession is granted
At the Red Channel, please:
  • Declare verbally to the ICA officers any of the above items that you are carrying
  • Produce the prohibited or controlled items together with the import permit, if any

When to use the Green Channel
Green Channel

Proceed to the Green Channel if you do not carry any of the items stated above. However, the officers may still conduct selective checks at the Green Channel. If in doubt, always seek clearance at the Red Channel.

Airphil Express will add Cebu to Singapore Route in December

Airphil Express, one of the country’s major carriers, gets its route network expansion underway in the addition of CEBU-SINGAPORE-CEBU flight starting December 01, 2010 operated by its 177-seater Airbus A320 aircraft.

The Cebu-Singapore service is scheduled to operate 7x weekly and will depart Cebu at 0800H,arriving  in Singapore at 1135H. Flight from Singapore will then leave at 1225H and arrive in Cebu at 1555H.

Airphil Express continues to expand its regional services by opening new routes, giving the ridding public more options to have convenient and easy air connections to various city points in Asia with its affordable prices. Manila-Singapore-Manila, Airphil Express’ first regional destination will launch its first  flight on October 27, 2010.

Grand Opening of Rapsa Philippine Cuisine at Harbourfront Centre

Rapsa Philippine Cuisine is inviting everyone to their grand opening this coming Thursday 28th October.


They have a promo of free “Turon” (Caramel Coated Banana Fritter) for the first 200 customers or while supplies last.


Rapsalicious Flame-Grilled Set Meals, barbecued over a bed of lava rocks to add that distinct smokey flavor


Aside from the popular turo-turo dishes, their menu boasts of

  • Inihaw Set Meals (liempo, manok, pusit, tanguigue, burger steak) which are flame-grilled over lava rocks for that distinct smokey flavor.
  • They also have 6 si-log breakfast meals that are served all day.



Location: Harbourfront Centre Food Junction

1 Maritime Square
at 3rd Floor Food Junction
Singapore, 099253

Price Range: $ (0-10)
    Takes Reservations
    Walk-Ins Welcome
    Good For Groups
    Good For Kids
    Take Out

Open daily from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm.

Located at Harbourfront Centre 3rd Floor Food Junction, a convenient lunch venue especially for those working at offices nearby (Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Canon, Mapletree).

There are also free shuttle services to Harbourfront for those working at Alexandra area (HSBC, DBS, UOB, HP).

Checkout their Facebook page to get updated on the latest menu, events, promos and more.

Hugo Boss and DSquared2 Sale at Isetan, up to 70%

Hugo Boss and DSquared2 Men’s Bazaar at Isetan Scotts  is on sale, where apparel and accessories from Hugo Boss and DSquared2 will go at huge discounts of 70% off!



Don’t miss this while you still have a chance…..


Event Details:
Date: 22 – 31 October 2010
Venue: Isetan Scotts, L3 Promo Gallery

Monday, October 25, 2010

Singapore Tourist Tax Refund Scheme

If you are a visitor to Singapore, you shall be entitled to a GST refund on goods that you purchase from retailers participating in the Tourist Refund Scheme ("the Scheme") provided that you satisfy all the eligibility criteria and conditions stated below.

Under the Premier Tax Free GST Scheme, visit any store that displays the "PREMIER TAX FREE" logo. Ask for your Premier refund when you spend only SGD 100 at a single participating shop. 

Tourists may receive a refund of GST paid if the goods were purchased from retailers who operate the scheme. It applies only to goods that are brought out of Singapore via Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport within two months from the date of purchase, subject to conditions of the scheme.

Eligibility criteria

You must be 16 years old or above at the time of purchase and must NOT:

  • Spend more than 365 days in Singapore in the past 24 months before the date of purchase;

  • Have exercised employment in Singapore in the past 6 months before the date of purchase;

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore; and

  • Be a member of the cabin or flight crew of the aircraft on which you are departing from Singapore,

  • If you are on a student pass, in addition to the above criteria, you are eligible only if you intend to depart and remain outside Singapore for a minimum period of 12 months. The Scheme also only covers goods that you purchase in the last 4 months to the expiry of your student pass. The goods must also be brought out within 2 months from the date of purchase.

Other conditions

  • You must spend a minimum of $100 at a participating retail shop on a single day. You may accumulate up to 3 receipts on same day purchases from the same retailer to meet this $100 threshold.

  • The goods must be brought out of Singapore via Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport within 2 months from the date of purchase.

  • You must have a duly completed refund form issued by the participating retailer.

  • You must produce the refund form with the goods and receipt personally to Singapore Customs for verification and endorsement of the form.

  • You must show your passport and boarding pass or confirmed air-ticket to Singapore Customs.

  • For bulky goods or goods to be checked in, please ensure that you proceed to the Singapore Customs GST Refund counter before checking in the goods.

  • Small items that can be hand-carried are to be produced at Singapore Customs GST Refund counter in the Departure Lounge after immigration clearance.

  • You must depart with the goods on a flight within 12 hours from Singapore Customs’ endorsement of your refund form.

  • You must submit the refund form endorsed by Singapore Customs to the retailer or refund agency no later than 2 months from the date of the endorsement. 


  • Singapore Customs is unable to accede to any request for a refund form to be faxed over to you at the airport.

  • Singapore Customs shall not endorse the refund form if you fail to produce goods for inspection upon their request.

  • If you are departing via Seletar Airport, please proceed to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Duty Office for endorsement.

  • Making a false declaration in the refund form to Singapore Customs is a serious offence.

  • Taking the goods out of the Departure Hall or passing the goods to someone else after getting the refund form has been endorsed by Singapore Customs is also a serious offence.

  • Offences committed under the Scheme attract penalties and possible imprisonment.

After getting the endorsement on the refund form and if you are departing via Changi International Airport, you should:

  • Proceed to the counter of Global Refund or Premier Tax Free if you are holding Global Refund Cheque or Premier Tax Free Voucher. These counters are located in the Departure Lounge after immigration. You can get your GST refund in cash at these counters. Alternatively, you can opt for direct credit to your credit card or bank account or for a bank cheque; or

  • Mail the refund form back to the retailer to process your GST refund, if you have purchased from a retailer operating the Scheme on his own. You can drop it in the mailbox at the Singapore Customs GST Refund counter before leaving Singapore.

If you are departing via Seletar Airport, please mail the endorsed form back to the retailer.

Please arrive early in the airport to allow sufficient time for Singapore Customs to inspect your goods and verify your claims.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Man caught in the act of molesting an unsuspecting female commuter in Bugis MRT station

Platform level of Bugis Station

Image via Wikipedia

Police have arrested a 42 year-old man who is believed to have outraged the modesty of a female commuter on board a crowded MRT train.

On 18 Oct 2010 at about 5.20pm, officers from Central Police Division were conducting anti-crime rounds at Bugis MRT station when they spotted a man molesting an unsuspecting female commuter on board a packed train cabin. The officers immediately moved in and arrested the suspect.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect could be involved in other molest cases in MRT trains. Investigations are on-going.

The offence of Outrage of Modesty under Section 354(1) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224 is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with caning or with any combination of such punishments.

Commander of Central Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Tan Hung Hooi commended his officers for their vigilance and quick-action which led to the arrest.

Police would also like remind the public to be vigilant against opportunists who might commit molest in crowded areas and seek to evade detection by blending into the crowd. To minimise the risk of falling prey to such opportunists, one should be alert when approached by strangers in crowded areas. Remain calm should you be confronted, and contact the Police as soon as it is safe to do so. Take note of the description of the offender, such as his appearance, attire, height and distinguishing features like tattoos or dyed hair.

Friday, October 22, 2010

More caught evading fares on public transport as authorities stepped up enforcement efforts

SINGAPORE - More fare evaders were nabbed on public transport last year as enforcement efforts by inspectors, bus captains, bus interchange and train station staff were stepped up.

Together, they caught 7,346 fare evasion cases in the last financial year - between April last year and this March - according to the Public Transport Council.

In comparison, 4,038 fare evaders were caught during a nine-month period from July 2008 -when a new penalty regime kicked in - to March last year.

Under the new regime, commuters face a S$20 fine for not paying or under-paying their fare and a S$50 fine for misusing concession cards. Previously, fare evaders paid only the balance of their fare.

When asked about the reasons for the spike, PTC said enforcement efforts were stepped up to deter fare evasion. "This resulted in an increase in the number of penalty fee cases," the Council added.

Between April last year and March, fare evaders caught on buses accounted for nine in 10 cases. Close to six in 10 bus fare evaders underpaid, while almost four in 10 did not pay any fares. Only 2.1 per cent of the bus fare evasion cases were for the misuse of concession card.

Overall, more than eight in 10 fare evaders who were caught in the last financial year paid the penalty fee or composition fine amounts. About one in 10 cases escalated to Court action, said the PTC.

The Council collected S$145,310 in fees and fines during the last financial year, which goes to defray the regulatory costs incurred in policing the penalty fee system.

PTC may use the fees collected to reimburse the Land Transport Authority for their share of administering the regime on PTC's behalf; Transit Link for its services collecting and processing the fees; and operators for their share of fare loss. Last year, 796 appeals were processed, according to PTC.

While more fare evaders may have been caught, analysts MediaCorp spoke to said the financial impact on the transport operators is minimal. They estimated the revenue loss would be around S$16,000 based on a maximum fare of S$2 under the previous fare structure.

PTC said the number of penalty fee cases in proportion to the total number of commuter trips "remain small at 0.0004 per cent".

However, it stressed that fare evasion was "a dishonest act" which "should not be allowed to go unchecked".

Before penalties were introduced, transport operators caught almost 10,000 fare evaders each month. The monthly numbers fell to under 1,000 last year, with fare evasion rates on buses plummeting 94 per cent since the regime was implemented.

With the new distance-based fare system in place, the PTC is also reviewing the penalty fee enforcement regime to determine its relevance and effectiveness as a deterrent.

Charles & Keith Warehouse Sale up to 70% Off 2010

Charles & Keith Warehouse Sale up to 70% Off 2010

Event Details:
Date: 21 – 24 October 2010 (Open to public)
Time: 10am – 8pm (ends at 5pm on last day)
Venue: 21 Tai Seng Street, Charles & Keith Building, Singapore 534166

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Singapore Air Pollution

Who said there’s no air pollution in Singapore?

10-20-2010 9-37-35 PM

Smoke from the burning forests of Indonesia, visits Singapore almost every year.

Edited October 21, 2010: These pictures were taken at 3:20pm today through our window. It seems that the haze is not going anywhere anytime soon. IMG_3798-Edit



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

POEA stops collection of Pag-ibig fees


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) clarified that is has suspended the collection of PAG-IBIG membership fees from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as directed by the Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDC) Chair Jejomar Binay.

Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili said that POEA is set to meet with PAG-IBIG immediately to conduct further studies and consultations on this issue and discuss a more facilitative mechanism to implement the coverage of workers under the Fund.

In the meantime, pursuant to Republic Act 9679 making PAG-IBIG membership among OFWs compulsory, all OFWs can pay their contributions directly through any PAG-IBIG office nationwide.

POEA also said that required insurance coverage for OFWs as provided under Republic Act 10022 will be implemented only after the Insurance Commission issues its guidelines on the matter.

Last chance to catch Adidas Clearance Sale up to 70% Off

Last chance to catch the Adidas Clearance Sale before it’s over….

What: Adidas Clearance Sale – Apparels and Footwear

Location: Wing Tai Industrial Centre, 105 Tampines Road, Singapore 535127



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Singaporeans 2nd richest in Asia

SINGAPORE ranks fourth globally and second in Asia Pacific in terms of average personal wealth, according to the inaugural global wealth report by Credit Suisse Research.

Average wealth per adult in Singapore has grown strongly in the last decade, rising from US$105,000 (S$137,100) per adult to over US$250,000 in 2010, supported by a period of strong domestic economic growth and asset price increases.

Singapore's two-fold increase in average wealth per adult has also been accompanied by a 7 per cent slide in average debt.

From a macro perspective, the report finds that the global wealth currently held by 4.4 billion adults has increased 72 per cent since 2000 to reach US$195 trillion.

Viral marketing of Cebu Pacific – dancing flight attendants male and female version

They have been all over the news but I have no idea that there’s a male and female version of the dance….

They may not be the best dancer but in fairness they got the world attention. Kudos to the creative and marketing people in-charge for this madness :-). They really achieved their purpose, to create free publicity and word of mouth that goes a long way.


Male Version



Female Version


But of course not everybody is happy:

  • Philippine women's rights group Gabriela released a statement calling Cebu Pacific's stunt with the dancing female flight attendants as sexist. “Portraying women in a sexy manner to make business brisk is not only cheap promotional gimmick but also makes corporations such as Cebu Pacific a purveyor of sexism and machismo that reverses the hard-won recognition that Filipino women have achieved after decades of fighting."
  • The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) said "Flight attendants are safety professionals and to require them to dance in front of passengers is demeaning and undignified, Flight attendants are not entertainers."

Cebu Pacific, on the defensive said that the cabin crew's dance routine was meant to "make people interested, showcase homegrown talent and raise morale."

The company added that passenger safety remains their primary concern.

"This does not replace the serious safety demo as required by CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines). It was done at cruising altitude during one of our test flights" - Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

You can be fined in Singapore for making an intriguing advertisement

The authorities in Singapore have opened a criminal investigation into the Dutch electronics group, Philips, over a marketing campaign.

A fuzzy video released on social media sites suggested a wild bear was roaming a residential neighbourhood.


Some viewers realized it was a stunt, but zoo officials with a tranquilizer gun searched for the animal.

Philips has apologized for what was, in fact, a human in a bear costume, filmed rummaging through rubbish bins.

Police, animal rights activists and zoo workers scoured the area after the video emerged.

'Very sorry'

Police later said they were investigating Philips for "an offence of public nuisance under section 268 of the penal code".

If found guilty, Philips faces a fine of S$1,000 ($767, £483).

Philips' public relations agency issued a statement on the incident: "We acknowledge that the resemblance of the mascot to a live bear has caused some public concern in the neighbourhood where the mascot was sighted.

"We had anticipated the attention that the bear will draw but have no intention to cause any alarm. We would like to apologize for any concern caused."

Reports suggest that the search for the non-existent bear involved 12 people from Singapore's Wildlife Reserves staff, three people from an animal protection group, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), and several police.

The Straits Times newspaper's citizen journalism website Stomp received the hoax video.

It reported that residents around Ulu Pandan Road, where the video was shot, had been nervous, fearing a wild bear was on the loose.

"We're just glad that even though there's a lot of time and resources wasted, that there's no bear on the loose," an Acres spokesperson said.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Update on Quota and Schedule for Passport Application

There is an update from the Philippine Embassy in Singapore that:

Effective immediately, the Philippine Embassy shall

  • accept passport applications from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.,
  • or when a quota of 150 applicants is reached, whichever is earlier, from Sundays to Thursdays, except on public holidays.

For security reasons, only applicants who are renewing their passports or requiring other official services in the Embassy shall be allowed inside the Embassy premises.

Applicants are requested to bring complete requirements in order to avoid unnecessary delays in processing.

I don’t agree on the “when a quota of 150 applicants is reached” part. What if you arrived at the embassy at around 11:00 AM you found out that the quota has been reached for the day, then you just wasted your time.

If they really wanted to avoid this circumstances, they should make it easy to check what is the current quota count, maybe through web-based, sms or IVR.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Only in Singapore – Yes The Train is comiiing….

LOVE it or hate it, the new MRT jingle 'Train is coming, train is coming...' is here to stay, for a while at least.

It is sung by the Dim Sum Dollies, who are this year's ambassadors for the Graciousness on Public Transport programme by the Public Transport Council.

To insert fun and humor into the programme, the cabaret trio recorded a series of jingles reminding commuters to queue up, move in and give up seats. These "Transit Melodies" will be played at selected times at stations and in-train.


And it has captured the attention of Singaporeans - in both good and bad ways.

Some find it entertaining and interesting, while others find it 'utterly annoying and extremely cheesy'.

Which camp do you agree with?

Yes, the train is coming!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Requirements and Fees before a Household Service Workers can get an OEC

An Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), is a requirement under POEA Rules and Regulations to help ensure that Filipino overseas workers (OFWs) are properly documented and protected.

The applicant should be accompanied by an eligible and qualified employer to process the authenticated Employment Contract at the Philippine Embassy.

  • The Worker should have served continuously for at least two (2) years with the same employer.
  • But if less than two (2) years, the processing will be through an accredited Singapore employment agency.

Requirements for the authenticated Employment Contract:

  • Two (2) copies of Standard Employment Contract (Original) – All pages of the contract should be signed by the employer and the worker.
  • Two (2) copies of Undertaking of an Employer (Original)
  • Two (2) copies of Work Permit (plus 1 copy for passport renewal)
  • Two (2) copies of Passport (plus 1 copy for passport renewal)
  • One (1) copy of Employer’s IC
  • Seven Thousand Singapore Dollars (S$7,000.00) Performance Bond from a reputable Insurance Company (Original)
  • One (1) copy of the Ten Thousand Dollar Medical Insurance (MOM)

Home Leave – S$110.00

  • Authentication of Contract – S$42.50
  • Verification – S$20.00
  • OWWA – $42.00
  • Overseas Employment Certificate – S$5.50

Passport Renewal – S$189.50

  • Authentication of Contract – S$42.50
  • Verification – S$20.00
  • OWWA – $42.00
  • Passport - S$85.00

Renewal of Employment Contract Only – S$104.50

  • Authentication of Contract – S$42.50
  • Verification – S$20.00
  • OWWA – $42.00

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Singapore Akaff Bridge, a masterpiece touched by a Filipina Artist




Alkaff Bridge


Alkaff Bridge is the most distinctive and colourful bridge across the Singapore River. It was covered with the signature exuberant circles of Pacita Abad during her last days of lung cancer in 2004.

Alkaff Bridge (Singapore's ArtBridge) is a pedestrian bridge in Singapore. It spans the Singapore River at Robertson Quay, located in the Singapore River planning area within the Central Area, Singapore's Central Business District.

The steel truss bridge is 55 metres in length and weighs about 230 tonnes. It is shaped like a tongkang (a light boat used commonly in the early days to carry goods along rivers), and is situated near the former Alkaff Quay. Alkaff Quay was named after a prominent Arabian family, the Alkaffs, who were among the wealthiest in Singapore during the early 20th century.

It was painted in January 2004 in vibrant colours by Filipina artist Pacita Abad (1946–2004) and a team of rope specialists. Pacita and her crew of helpers used 55 different colors and more than 900 liters of industrial-strength paint to transform the bridge into Singapore's first "Bridge of Art".

Pacita AbadFundaciĆ³n Pacit 

Pacita Abad was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the northernmost part of the Philippines, between Luzon and Taiwan. Her more than 32-year painting career began when she travelled to the United States to undertake graduate studies. She had over 40 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. She also participated in more than 50 group and traveling exhibitions throughout the world. Abad’s work is now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries.

"Painting the Alkaff Bridge is my gift to Singapore. I passionately believe in public art and hope that this project inspires many more like it and brings art into the everyday lives of Singaporeans." - Pacita Abad, Artist

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Singapore Key Crime Concerns Of 2010

While the overall crime figures for the period Jan-Jun 2010 has dropped. Police would nonetheless like to highlight two key crime concerns, namely:

  1. Prevalence of unlicensed moneylending (UML) and harassment cases; and

  2. Youth involvement in crime (Youths refer to persons aged 7 – 19 years. They include juveniles aged 7 - 15 years and young persons aged 16 – 19 years).

  • UML cases still a key area of concern despite drop in number of cases
    The number of unlicensed moneylending and harassment cases has decreased from 9,424 cases in the first half of 2009 to 8,654 cases (or -8%) in the same period this year. Notwithstanding that, the total number of persons arrested for unlicensed money lending and harassment has increased by almost two-fold (by 88%), to 789 persons in the first half of this year as compared to 419 persons during the same period last year.

    More significantly, Police have continued to hit relentlessly at the upper echelons of the loansharking syndicates. In the first half of this year, police had smashed a total of 8 loansharking syndicates as compared to 5 in the first half of last year.

    Combating UML – A multi-pronged approach

    Police will continue to clamp down on UML activities and those involved. A multi-pronged approach has been adopted to combat loansharking and harassment. Measures include enhancing legislation, stepping up enforcement and working hand-in-hand with the community on various anti-UML initiatives.

    For instance, amendments4 to the Moneylenders Act 2008 were passed in Parliament and came into effect on 11 Feb 2010 which will see UML offenders liable to stiffer penalties.

    The active involvement and close partnership between the community and Police remains pivotal in combating UML activities in our heartlands. For example, through various Community Safety and Security Programmes (CSSPs), the number of Neighbourhood Watch Groups (NWGs) formed with the strong support from the residents and grassroots to combat loansharking and related harassment activities have been increasing. The watchful eyes of these groups have been essential in the arrests of several loanshark runners and also in foiling attempts by loanshark runners to harass the residential units.

    Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Ng Boon Gay said, “Our efforts against unlicensed moneylending have shown some initial positive results, with the number of unlicensed moneylending and harassment cases falling by 8%. However, we will not let up on our enforcement efforts against loansharking syndicates and their members. Every single member of the syndicate, regardless of level, can expect to face the full brunt of the law.”

    Members of the public who are considering borrowing money from illegal moneylenders should also think twice because of the dire consequences that may follow. Would-be debtors are advised that while loansharks may claim to offer rates of, for example 20% on the principal, in reality, the actual interest rate could be higher. In addition the number of repayments and instalments are left to the whims of the loansharks. Sums repaid are frequently voided, sometimes to zero, if debtors default on any subsequent repayments. Thus, debtors may end up "repaying" the amount borrowed many times over, and spiral into a trap of perpetual debt. The safety of their family and neighbours will be put at risk as loansharks may resort to unscrupulous methods in demanding repayments. There are existing legal channels for loans and members of the public are encouraged to use these channels.

    Members of the public may call the related agencies such as Credit Counselling Singapore at 1800-225 5227 (Mon – Fri, 9 am – 6 pm) or email. The public can also check on the list of Registered (Licensed) Moneylenders.

    To complement Police’s efforts in combating loansharking activities, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is also launching a new initiative on 5 Aug 2010 in the form of an hotline (1800-9245664) – under “Project No Ah Long”5 – for members of public to provide information on loansharking and harassment activities.

    (Note : Please refer to the media statement released by the National Crime Prevention Council today for details on the project).

  • Youth Involvement in Crime
    Another key concern is youth crime. Although the total number of youths arrested for crimes in Jan-Jun 2010 has decreased slightly as compared to Jan-Jun 2009 (from 2,289 persons to 2,086 persons), there was a slight increase in the proportion of youths arrested out of total persons arrested (or one percentage point) when we compare the two periods.

    Youths were mainly arrested for theft and related crimes and rioting, which commonly arose from disputes which ended up in fights. Briefly, out of 8,653 persons arrested for overall crime from Jan-Jun 2010, 2,086 (or 24%) were youths. This compares to 9,908 persons arrested for overall crime in the same period last year, of which 2,289 (or 23%) were youths.

    Youth Crime – A multi-faceted problem

    Youth crime is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-agency, multi-stakeholder approach for lasting results. Educational institutions, law enforcement agencies, the social services sector, parents and youths themselves must all play a role in reducing youth crime.

    Police will continue to work with schools and educational institutions to prevent youths from turning to crime.

    At the same time, Police urge parents and family members to play their part to prevent youths from turning to crime by paying more attention to their activities and the company they keep. They can also remind their loved ones about the severity of participating in illegal activities and intervene promptly should they display tell-tale signs of being under the influence of bad company.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Malaysian-Chinese driver arrested for assisting two Indian immigration offenders by hiding in the car boot

The Malaysia-Singapore Second Link

Tuas Singapore-Malaysia Link

Officers from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) smelled a rat when the young driver was sweating profusely in spite of the chilly air blasting from the air-conditioner in his car. When asked to open the car boot for routine inspection, his excuse that the car boot could not be opened, raised the officers’ eyebrows. It was more than apparent that the Malaysian Chinese brought trouble, but here comes the twist – he was delivering double trouble.

It was a busy evening at the Tuas Checkpoint. The officers had been working tirelessly for hours clearing the peak hour traffic. Workers and travelers were in a rush to hit home to spend time with their loved ones. At about 7.30pm, a Malaysia-registered saloon car pulled into the checkpoint for departure clearance. The officers noticed that the young driver was fidgety and kept averting their gaze when spoken to. His nervous demeanors was more apparent when the officers requested him to open the car boot for inspection.

He insisted that the mechanism in the boot was out of order and that the storage compartment could not be opened. Not convinced, the quick thinking officers then asked to check the boot through the rear passenger seat. That was when the man knew his game was up. Two Indian men were found hiding in the car boot when the officers lowered the rear back seats. The driver and his two illegal passengers were immediately placed under arrest.

Double trouble taking a back seat

When questioned, the 21-year-old Chinese driver confessed to abetting the illegal departure of the two Indian immigration offenders. Being in financial difficulties, he fell bait to the offer from a Malaysian man whom he addressed as “Boss” to do the job for RM800. He was handed the car in Johor Bahru and told to pick up the illegal foreigners near a MRT station in the western part of Singapore. Thereafter, he drove to a quiet spot and told the two ‘passengers’ to hide in the car boot via the rear passenger seat
Preliminary interviews also revealed that the Indian nationals, aged 31 and 34 years, had sought help from unknown agents and paid them fees of S$1,000 and S$1,200 each for the illicit arrangements to leave Singapore. Their plans went to naught when the trained eyes of ICA officers saw through the ploy and thwarted the illegal attempt to cross Singapore’s borders.

The trio is currently under investigations by the ICA. The car used in the commission of the offence has also been detained by the authority. The ICA takes a serious view of attempts by foreigners to overstay, enter or depart Singapore illegally. Under the Immigration Act (Cap 133), the penalties for overstaying or illegal entry are a jail term of up to six months plus a minimum of three strokes of the cane, while the penalties for illegal departure is a fine of up to $2,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

source: ICA

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What does an expatriate in Singapore need to know about paying taxes and how much?

Expatriates need to pay taxes, and the amount of tax depends on how much you have earned and on your tax residency in Singapore.

A  resident expatriate will be taxed on all income earned in Singapore and any overseas income that was brought into Singapore prior to 01 Jan 2004. The income, after deduction of tax reliefs, will be taxed at progressive resident rates. The foreign-sourced income (with the exception of those received through partnerships in Singapore) brought into Singapore on or after 01 Jan 2004 is tax exempt.

Tax implications at a glance

If your period of stay (including work) in Singapore Resident status Tax implications
Is 60 days or less Non-resident Your short term employment income is exempt from tax. 
Is 61 to 182 days in a year Non-resident Your income earned in Singapore will be taxed at 15% or progressive resident rates, whichever is higher. Director’s fees and other income earned in or derived from Singapore are taxed at the prevailing rate of 20%
Is at least 183 days in a year Resident for that year All your income will be taxed at progressive resident rates.  You may claim tax reliefs.
Is at least 183 days for a continuous period over two years Resident for both years As above
Covers three consecutive years
Resident for both years As above


Singapore’s taxation rate is one of the most competitive in the world. After deducting personal reliefs, personal income taxes are levied on a graduated scale which starts at 0% and is capped at a favorable 20%. There is no tax on income derived and received outside of Singapore, and no capital gains or estate taxes to worry about.

Chargeable Income (SGD$) Rate (%) Gross Tax Payable (SGD$)
On the first
On the next
On the first
On the next
On the first
On the next
On the first
On the next
On the first
On the next
On the first
On the next


Please refer to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore website for more information.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two Men Arrested For Allegedly Using Counterfeit Singapore Currency

Police have arrested two men who are believed to have printed and used counterfeit Singapore currency as payment to retail outlets and taxi-drivers in various parts of Singapore.

In recent months, Police received several reports that counterfeit Singapore currency notes in $10 and $50 denominations had been used as payment for goods and services in various parts of Singapore. Following extensive investigations by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), the two suspects were arrested on 22 September 2010 in connection with the case. In the course of investigations, CAD also recovered a colour printer cum copier, believed to have been used in the counterfeiting process, together with other incriminating paraphernalia.

Both suspects, aged 31, will be charged in Court on for conspiracy to use as genuine counterfeit currency under Section 489B read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. Anyone convicted for this offence can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years and shall also be liable to a fine.

Director of the Commercial Affairs Department, Mr. Ong Hian Sun, commended his officers and added, “Police will not hesitate to take stern action against the perpetrators of such crimes.”

According to Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS):

It is important for the public to be aware of the security features incorporated in genuine currency notes and to be able to distinguish between genuine and fake notes.

The security features incorporated in the genuine notes provide for visual identification and authentication both by eye and by machine. Do not rely on a single security feature, instead check several security features  during authentication. If in doubt, compare the suspected note with one of the same denomination that you know is genuine.

There are usually easily detectable differences between a genuine note and a counterfeit one.

  • Genuine paper does not reflect UV light and therefore does not glow when exposed to that light. The intaglio print gives the note the tactile feel of raised print.
  • A counterfeit note is usually printed on lower quality paper and has a smooth and waxy feel. The paper also usually glows under UV light.
  • The watermark  on a counterfeit note is clearly visible without requiring the note to be held against the light. It lacks the three-dimensional effect.
  • The micro-lettering is not present in a counterfeit note.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Singapore Baseball and Softball Association U Sports Slowpitch Carnival 2010

The Singapore Baseball and Softball Association (SBSA) with its co-organiser, U Sports, NTUC Club will be holding its annual slowpitch softball carnival 2010 at the Anchorvale Fields on the weekends of 10, 16-17 and 30-31 Oct. This tournament is an annual fundraising event held by the Singapore National Women’s Softball Team. Funds raised during this competition will go towards the development of women’s softball... athletes in Singapore. This tournament, which comprises various categories, is open to all teams with players of varying experience. We enclose the flyers and the detail information of the carnival on 2nd & 3rd page.

Since its inauguration, the tournament has attracted a wide variety of teams from local universities, clubs and multinational companies.


Event: SBSA - U Sports Softball Slow Pitch Carnival 2010

Venue: Anchorvale Fields (opp Sengkang Sports & Recreation Center) GETTING THERE

CategoriesCompetitive, Intermediate and Recreational

Date: 10, 16, 17 October (Intermediate & Recreational), 30-31 October (Competitive)

Time: Full Day event

Fees: $480 per team - Special rate of $300 for teams who had participated in U Sports' recent Softball Mania, OR, have at at least 5 NTUC members/nEbO members in the team.

No. of players: Min. 10, Max 20 (Competitive and Intermediate), Max 23 (Recreational Only)

  • min 3 Female players during inning (Applicable to Intermediate and Recreational Categories Only)
  • Maximum of 4 Male League players playing at any one time (only for Intermediate)

How to Register: Visit the registration page to sign up and make payment online. Team Captains / IC, will first need to sign up as a user to use this facility. Once payment is made, an official registration form will be sent to you.


Recreational category is for beginners who just picked up the sport and would like to put their skills to the test.

All players can only have 3 years or less experience, as "beginners" say it all, we would strongly encourage the others who have more than 3 years' experience to come play in our Intermediate or Competitive category!

There must be a minimum of 3 ladies and a maximum of 7 gentlemen playing per inning.
* Subject to 4 or more participating teams.

After playing for a couple of years, you already have fairly good knowledge of the game. Now, you are ready to pit your skills against other like-minded players!
There can only be a maximum of 4 male league players. There is no limit to the number of female league players per team.

We know age has caught up with some of you, so feel free to appoint your designated runner (DR) before your game. Your DR can run bases for any player and there is no limit to the number of times he/she comes in. Please indicate in the line-up sheet who your DR is.

We welcome any team that wants to prove their team's prowess to all. Kicked up a notch from the intermediate category, get ready for some huffing and puffing. There is no minimum ladies' rules here, you can field all your male players, or it could all be female.

All games in the 3 categories will be played for a duration of 65 minutes or 7 innings, whichever is earlier. No new inning shall start at 60 minutes. The count will begin at 1 ball & 1 strike. Only rubber studs, running shoes are allowed (no metal cleats). More detailed rules and regulations for each category can be downloaded from our website.