THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Archive for October, 2018

How Weng Fan: Sylvia Lim is “hopeless” !!!

Posted by temasektimes on October 31, 2018

More dirty linen from the Workers’ Party continued to be aired out for public view in the latest proceedings of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) trial during which its former deputy secretary How Weng Fan described its Chairman Sylvia Lim as being “hopeless” in a phone conversation recorded in 2016 with a KPMG executive!

 

Ms How also accused Ms Lim of being “inexperienced” and “so scared of everything”, adding that the town council would “sure die” under her watch.

Parts of the conversation were read out by Mr Davinder Singh, with Ms How saying that Ms Sylvia Lim, AHTC’s chairperson and WP chairman, was a “hopeless” town council chairperson who was . She added that the town council would “sure die” under Ms Lim’s watch.

She also blamed Ms Lim for her husband’s death in 2015:

“You know, I had to lose my husband in the process. I think you read in the papers you should know. And because of her.”

When asked by Mr Singh who is the “her”, Ms How answered “Sylvia”:

“My husband was under a lot of pressure. We went through a lot of hell having to set up the town council properly, amidst all the problems that we had and at the end of the day we deal with audit, then AGO, then we have to deal with audit again, PwC, and nobody wants to listen to the problems we were facing and going through and at the end of the day, the town council accepts the AGO’s report just like that. Which cannot.”

How’s damning testimony put the already embattled Sylvia Lim in a bad spotlight with many Singaporeans harboring doubts about her handling of the takeover of AHTC such as appointing a completely new and inexperienced company FMSS to take over the town council without calling for an open tender.

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Jailed dentist Hoo Swee Tiang suspended 6 months for molesting bank teller!

Posted by temasektimes on October 30, 2018

Disgraced dentist Hoo Swee Tiang who was jailed six weeks last year for molesting a bank teller on a MRT train is now handed a six month suspension by the Singapore Dental Council (SDC)!

Hoo was sentenced to six weeks’ jail in 2016 after he was convicted of molesting a 30 year old woman who was working as a bank teller, by stroking her inner thighs while they were on an MRT train.

He lost his appeal against his sentence in 2017 and served a six week prison sentence for the offence.

SDC  brought one charge against him for his conviction of a criminal offence, implying a defect of character that makes him unfit for his profession under section 40(1)(b) of the Dental Registration Act.

At the end of his suspension, Hoo will need to work for two years under conditional registration which requires his principal supervisor to submit a report to the SDC every six months.

He will only be able to apply for full registration after completing the two year conditional registration, subject to SDC’s approval.

A quick google search of his name reveals many blogs with the title “Dr Hoo Swee Tiang – No 1 Dentist for Singapore”

It is not known if such blatant misleading self-promotion is allowed under the SDC guidelines.

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Cherian George: PAP model compromised quality of decision making in Singapore

Posted by temasektimes on October 29, 2018

The PAP’s monopoly on power has compromised quality of decision making in Singapore, charged prominent local academic Cherian George who is currently a media professor at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Speaking at the Institute of Policy forum last week, Prof George said the aspiration to build a democratic society in Singapore may have been enshrined in the Pledge but the meaning has been “hollowed out” over the decades since the country’s first-generation leaders wrote it.

 

This was due to Singapore’s minimal model of democratic government primarily by way of an electoral mandate, which has led to a failure to harness fully the nation-building potential of democracy, according to Prof George.

“The PAP’s (People’s Action Party) preferred model of democracy is one where citizens stay out of the kitchen and entrust the job to professional cooks,” he added.

Prof George compared the Singapore government to a dominant monopoly that is also its own regulator, whose unchallenged position is impervious to the marketplace of ideas.

“This model has already compromised the quality of decision making and led to an unnecessary, avoidable depletion of the political capital the government needs to serve its nation-building role, and is at odds with the clarion call contained in our Pledge, that we the citizens of Singapore are fellow nation-builders.”

Prof George used the PAP’s mismanagement of Singapore’s immigration to illustrate his point that such a model of governance has compromised the quality of decision-making.

The PAP has ruled Singapore with an iron fist continuously for 59 years since 1959, making it the political party with the second longest lived political party in the world after the Chinese Communist Party of China.

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Letter to MCYS questioning legality of WP’s fund-raising

Posted by temasektimes on October 28, 2018

Hi,

I am writing to express my concern about the three WP MPs Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh calling for public donations to foot their legal bills which has raised over $500,000 so far.

https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/workers-party-mps-receive-nearly-500000-in-public-donations-to-fund-ahtc-lawsuits

1. I understand from the Commission of Charity website that anybody who wants to solicit for public donations have to apply for a licence or permit to do so. In this case, did the three WP MPs apply for the relevant permits and are they approved?

2. The three MPs are soliciting from the public money to pay for their own personal expenses as in their legal fees and not for any charitable cause. Is this legally allowed in Singapore?

3. Given the large amount of public monies collected so far, who is going to ensure the monies are not being misused especially when the WP has clarified that the party will not use the donations in any way? Who is going to audit them?

4. Do the three MPs need to pay income tax for the “donations” which after all will be going into their pockets? It is not fair to Singaporeans who have been paying their income taxes dutifully on far less income while these MPs have gotten more than half a million dollars in a day without paying taxes.

I hope the ministry will investigate and look into this matter to ensure that public interests is protected and not manipulated by individuals for their own selfish gains.

Regards,

Germaine Lim

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Can I use my CPF or secure a bank loan to buy a 70 year old HDB flat

Posted by temasektimes on October 22, 2018

Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said recently at a dialogue session with young people that Singaporeans who buy a 50-year-old Housing Board (HDB) flat today can expect prices to continue to appreciate over the next 10 years.

“If you buy a 70-year-old flat, there is still appreciation potential especially because this Government is prepared to continue to invest in it through Home Improvement Programme (HIP) II and the Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (Vers),” Mr Khaw said.

While it is difficult to ascertain if his statement is true as no HDB flats have reached the 70 year mark yet, we can examine if it is possible to secure a bank loan and to use CPF to purchase the flat.

Read rest of article here.

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Singaporean received deceased mother’s CPF after 31 years with $2 interest

Posted by temasektimes on October 21, 2018

When Singaporeans passed away, the monies remaining in their CPF accounts will be given to their children or nominees in cash within a few months. However for one Singaporean Rahayu Binte Mazlan, she received her deceased mother’s CPF savings only 31 years later.

Source: Facebook

In a post on her Facebook, she shared a letter from the CPF Board and wrote:

“My mum passed away in 1987. She nominated me as her beneficiary. Last wed, I received a letter from CPF that there is money in her CPF after CPF review”.

When Singaporeans buy properties using their CPF monies, they have to pay back the interest accrued back to the CPF board after they sell them. However, it appears that the same rule does not apply to CPF board holding on to the monies of deceased Singaporeans as Ms Rahayu found out herself after she called CPF board to demand for the interest owed:

“I went to CPF yesterday. I said that since they had kept my late mum’s money, they should pay interest. They say that that her case was after review so no interest. What I don’t understand is that why after 31 yrs then they review? What is going on with our CPF?”

She ended her post feeling humiliated by CPF’s “kind” gesture:

“CPF are you trying to fool me or mock me after 31 years? Before I got kids till now I have grandkids. Don’t know if I should be happy or angry”.

In response to queries from the state media, a CPF spokesman said all of the deceased’s CPF monies were disbursed within two months in 1987 – except for a “small residual amount” which had been retained for a specific housing-related transaction.

“This amount continued to attract interest until it was deducted several months later for the transaction. The interest accrued – which amounted to less than $2 – remained unclaimed.”

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NUS: PRC Prof Henry Yeung charged for reckless driving to continue teaching “as usual”

Posted by temasektimes on October 17, 2018

Despite pleading guilty after being charged in court today for dangerous driving, NUS appears to be standing by PRC Professor in Geography and Acting Head of Department Henry Yeung Wai Chung.

In a shocking video posted online on September 7, Henry Yeung was seen driving a black Maserati recklessly by overtaking a lorry against the flow of traffic along Lorong Chuan.

 

His car eventually mounted a kerb and then continued driving fast against the oncoming traffic, narrowly crashing into a taxi and a car that were on the road.

According to his profile posted on the NUS website, Henry Yeung was born in Guangzhou and came to Singapore in 1988. He is currently the Acting Head of Department of Geography.

When asked by the state media, a NUS spokesperson declined to comment on that case except that Prof Henry Yeung is continuing teaching “as usual” at the campus.

NUS’ lenient approach to Henry Yeung was lambasted by netizens who queried if Yeung is suitable to continue in his capacity as a university lecturer and tutor mentoring young students after he was charged in court.

First-time offenders convicted of dangerous driving may be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both. Repeat offenders may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

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PAP minister slams Oxfam report: More important to see the “outcome” we have achieved

Posted by temasektimes on October 10, 2018

After having an egg thrown at his face by international charity Oxfam which whacked Singapore mercilessly for its poor efforts to reduce inequality, PAP minister in charge of Family and Social Development Desmond Lee has lashed out at the report for its “inaccuracies”.

 

 

Mr Lee claimed that almost half of Singapore’s population do not pay any income tax and that Singaporeans “benefit more than proportionately from the high quality of infrastructure and social support that the state provides”.

“The report assumes that high taxation and high public expenditure reflects commitment to combatting inequality. We think it is more important to look at the outcomes achieved, instead. The report itself recognises this limitation,” he added.

Mr Lee then rattled off a series of international rankings which put Singapore in good light such as being ranked second and sixth in the world for its healthcare outcomes and system by the Economist Intelligence Unit and World Health Organisation respectively.

He also boasted that 90 percent of Singaporeans “own” their homes though they are merely leasing them at exorbitant prices from the Housing and Development Board which will be returned to the state with zero compensation when their lease ends.

Despite putting up a brave front, Mr Lee still not answer the disturbing facts in the report such as its low investment in education and lack of efforts to implement a minimum wage.

What the Oxfam report did not mention is fact that Singaporeans unable to change the government through the ballot box as all the major institutions of the state including the media and the so-called “elected opposition” are under the control of the ruling PAP.

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Oxfam: Singapore ranked among bottom 10 countries in effort to reduce inequality

Posted by temasektimes on October 10, 2018

Singapore is used to being ranked in the top ten in the world by international surveys, but one international aid agency has the temerity to rank it in the bottom ten, sullying the reputation carefully crafted by the ruling PAP.

File pic: An elderly woman selling passport covers outside Lavender MRT station

 

The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2018 conducted by Oxfam showed that Singapore is ranked 149 out of 157 countries, below Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

According to the report, Singapore’s low ranking is due to a number of its “harmful tax practices”. Singapore’s maximum tax rate for high income earners is only 22 percent, one of the lowest in the world.

Oxfam also ticked Singapore off for its for its “relatively low level of public social spending”.

Only 39 percent of Singapore’s budget goes towards education, health and social protection, which is “way behind” countries such as South Korea and Thailand, where half of their budget are directed towards those areas.

Though Singapore has one of the highest income inequality in the world, its leaders are the HIGHEST PAID in the world.

It was revealed in Parliament recently that Singapore’s ministers earn, on average, an astonishingly high bonus of four months in the past 5 years.

Singapore’s Prime Minister takes home more than $2 million dollars a year while a junior minister is expected to earn at least $1 million dollars, excluding bonuses.

 

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10 Access Medical Clinics suspended by MOH for making severe “non-compliant” claims

Posted by temasektimes on October 9, 2018

According to a press release by the Ministry of Health (MOH), it has served notices of suspension of the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) participation of 10 Access Medical clinics. Their suspension from the scheme will take effect from 23 October 2018.

The clinics are: Access (Bedok South), Access (Circuit Road), Access (East Coast), Access (Kim Keat), Access (Marine Terrace), Access (Toa Payoh), Access (Whampoa), Access (Jurong West), Access (Redhill Close), Access (Bukit Batok). (Please refer to the Annex for the addresses of these clinics.)

 

Source: Access Medical Facebook Page

 

The clinics, which are all under the Access Medical group, had made numerous non-compliant Chas claims such as claims for patient visits or chronic conditions with no relevant supporting documentation. These were revealed following audits by the MOH on the Chas claims.

MOH added it has referred this case to the Police, and will also be referring specific doctors involved to the Singapore Medical Council for further investigation.

Access Medical is a private medical group which is reportedly founded by Dr Lim Yong Chin in 2012.

Source: Lim Yong Chin’s Facebook

 

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