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  1. #4115
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New Chapter in Singapore Story - Social Mobility & Education (5)

    * Finally, social mobility cannot mean a diminution of individual effort. Opportunities can and will be provided but it is finally the individual who determines hiw own success.

    What is our strategy for the way forward? How would we measure social mobility, especially since we are now at a higher base? Forty-four per cent of those aged 25-39 today have university education and their children are unlikely to climb much higher. There are also fewer Singaporeans living in one- to three-room HDB flats. That is why we seem to be seeing fewer of them in top secondary schools, polytechnics and universities.

    To enable and measure social mobility, we must not confine ourselves to narrow academic domains or specific groups. First and foremost, we must believe and focus on moving the whole of Singapore up. Yes, we are at the higher plane, but if we become complacent, others will bypass all of us.

    We must always aspire to develop the diverse talents of all Singaporeans. We must nurture creativity, innovativeness and entrepreneurship. The arts, sports, drama, dance, science and literature must thrive. The poor will need extra help, but we must not become myopic in neglecting the whole of Singapore. That would indeed be short-sighted.

    We are realistic that the extent of social mobility experienced in the past cannot be repeated in the future. Singapore has the highest per capita GDP in Asia today, surpassing Japan to take the top spot last year. It would be sad if increasing affluence results in smaller dreams for Singapore and Singaporeans. We must not lose the vibrancy and resolve of our founding generations. We must and can aim higher for everyone. In doing so, we must provide more resources to the poor to ensure that no one is denied access to education because of financial difficulties. Each child should have the opportunity to be the best that he or she can be.

    Will we succeed? I am optimistic because the Singapore Story continues to surface today across our island. We will continue to ensure that Singapore's education system remains at the forefront of excellence. We will continue to ensure that education is the best way to level up all Singaporeans.

  2. #4116
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Female expatriates prefer to work in Singapore

    The Straits Times


    Mar 8, 2011



    Singapore has been ranked among the most popular global destination to relocate to, with 100 per cent of professional women surveyed saying they would recommend working here to others. -- PHOTO: REUTERS



    SINGAPORE has been ranked among the most popular global destination to relocate to, with 100 per cent of professional women surveyed saying they would recommend working here to others.

    Women are increasingly considering Singapore because of the low crime rate, tax incentives, excellent lifestyle, and opportunities for personal development in the region.

    The Global Professionals on the Move Report 2011, commissioned by the Hydrogen Group and conducted by a consultancy project team from ESCP Europe, analyses responses from 2,637 professionals from 85 different countries with qualifications of a bachelor degree or above.

    Simon Walker, Hydrogen Asia Regional Managing Director, said he's 'noticed an increase in the number of women from overseas taking advantage of the career opportunities offered here. Banking sectors in particular are looking to source experienced female professionals from a global talent pool.'

    Mr Walker explained that many global firms were setting up headquarters in Singapore, or expanding their operations to include branch offices in South-East Asia.
    With 42 per cent of Singapore's population made up of expats and overseas students, it's not surprising that 80 per cent of the professionals surveyed found it easy to settle in and make new friends. -- THE STAR/ANN

  3. #4117
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sports Facilities Master Plan to enhance sports excellence

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Dylan Loh | Posted: 08 March 2011 1642 hrs


    SINGAPORE : A 20-year Sports Facilities Master Plan will map out how Singapore can better enhance sports excellence and participation.

    Under the plan, sports facilities will be grouped under three tiers to meet various needs.

    The first tier involves building world-class facilities - capable of hosting major and international events - at the Kallang Sports City, where the Singapore Sports Hub will be located.

    The second is to have integrated town hubs, which will serve as one-stop sports and lifestyle destinations, offering various activities and services.

    The first regional town hub will be ready in Tampines by 2015.

    The final tier is to create an integrated and comprehensive network of community and lifestyle sports facilities to bring sports and wellness closer to people.

    Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, said: "The Singapore Sports Council and the People's Association continue to work to provide relevant and upgraded facilities within each neighbourhood. And these sports facilities, especially those that are more than 20 years old, will be rejuvenated, upgraded and redeveloped to keep them relevant, safe and to meet the changing needs of the community. And where possible, sports and community facilities are co-located or integrated with F&B outlets and other facilities to provide more choice and convenience for residents."

  4. #4118
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Jakarta proposes new rules on hiring maids

    The Straits Times

    Mar 9, 2011

    Placement fees would be capped at $1,000, easing recruitment

    By Teh Joo Lin & Melissa Kok




    Madam Lee Siew Mok, 51, who has been a trainer at the Nation Employment maid agency for 20 years, training a group of maids at a hostel in Keramat Road last month. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING





    INDONESIAN maids could find it easier to get passage here and start work without giving up nine months or more of their pay to their agents, under new rules being proposed by Indonesia.

    A key change is to cap the placement fees maids pay to Indonesian agents at $1,000. This placement fee will be paid by the maid herself by taking a loan from an approved bank in Indonesia.

  5. #4119
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Woodleigh MRT Station to open on June 20

    Channel NewsAsi
    By Mustafa Shafawi | Posted: 08 March 2011 1735 hrs


    An SBS Transit MRT train (SBS Transit photo)



    SINGAPORE : SBS Transit has said that Woodleigh, the last unopened station along the North East Line, will begin revenue service on Monday June 20, thanks to an increase in new developments that have come up in the area.

    With its opening, residents in new developments like 'Blossoms@Woodleigh' and 'Parc Mondrian' can hop onto the 20-kilometre line to get to places like Punggol and HarbourFront in less than 19 minutes.

    They can also transfer to other MRT lines at Serangoon, Dhoby Ghaut or Outram Park stations to get to other suburban towns such as Jurong, Tampines or even Woodlands.

    Besides residents, the new station will also be able to serve students and staff from the nearby Stamford American International School, which is slated to open next year.

    On the same day that Woodleigh Station opens, Damai LRT Station, which is located in Punggol New Town, will also begin service, following the increase in residential developments in its vicinity
    .

    With the opening of Damai Station, all the seven stations on the Punggol East LRT system will be operational.

    As such, the Punggol East LRT system will operate in both directions for passenger convenience and to cater to ridership growth.

  6. #4120
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Philippine president to visit Singapore

    Channel NewsAsia
    Posted: 08 March 2011 2052 hrs


    Benigno Aquino (file picture)


    SINGAPORE : Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III will be in Singapore for a three-day state visit from March 9-11.

    While in Singapore, President Aquino will meet President S R Nathan, who will also host him to a state banquet.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will also meet President Aquino and host him to lunch.

    During his visit, President Aquino will speak at a Singapore Business Federation-IE Singapore Eminent Leaders Lecture and visit the Singapore Management University, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Changi Water Reclamation Plant and Changi Airport.

    He will also meet the Filipino community in Singapore.

  7. #4121
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    Default New Police Land Division HQ in Woodlands by 2015

    Channel NewsAsia

    Posted: 09 March 2011 1246 hrs





    SINGAPORE: Singapore's Police Force is augmenting its resources on the ground.

    It is setting up a new Police Land Division Headquarters in Woodlands New Town and two Neighbourhood Police Centres (NPCs) in Marsiling and Punggol.

    Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said these are major developments, benefiting residents living and working in Woodlands, Sembawang, Yishun and Choa Chu Kang areas.

    All three projects are targeted to be completed by 2015 and is in tandem with the area's rapid development.

    Mr Shanmugam explained that the north of Singapore is becoming a vibrant hub, with a growing resident population.

    The new Police Land Division and NPCs will provide faster response, increased Police presence and help Police in its fight against crime.

    But the Minister stressed that there is a limit to increasing Police resources.

    "Much investment goes into the selection and training of Police officers to be effective law enforcers. We should therefore use them to do the job they have been recruited and trained to do.

    He said currently, the Police are often called to address problems which are neither crime-related nor pose a real threat.

    And the nature of these calls typically ranged from complaints about noise, anti-social behaviour and many other similar complaints.

    Officers are also asked to mediate quarrels between neighbours, and at times to deal with snakes and monkeys.

    Mr Shanmugam said although many of these cases may be non-urgent, every caller expects his case to be treated as priority.

    Last year, the Police had more than 430,000 non-urgent calls, working out to almost 1,200 a day.

    The Minister cautioned that this meant Police officers were being delayed from responding to urgent calls, including those with imminent threats to life and property.

    Turning to Singapore's crime rate, Minister Shanmugam told the House that the country's crime rate has continued to drop in the past few years.

    There were 650 crimes per 100,000 population last year, the second lowest in 20 years.

    He added that while incidents of youth violence hit the headlines last year, Singapore's crime incidence remained low and is one of the safest cities in the world.

    Public confidence in the Home Team was also high.

    A survey by the Ministry of Home Affairs of 2,000 residents last year found that 91 per cent generally felt safe within their neighbourhoods.

    This was an increase over the 83 per cent result when the survey was last conducted in 2004.

    More than 92 per cent of the respondents also expressed confidence in the Government's ability to ensure the safety and security of Singapore.

  8. #4122
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Videolink from Singapore in Romania diplomat case

    The Straits Times

    Mar 10, 2011


    Silviu Ionescu, a former Romanian charge d'affaire in the state city, is charged with manslaughter, causing physical injuries and making false statements after the accident in December 2009. -- PHOTO: AFP


    BUCHAREST - A BUCHAREST court ruled on Wednesday that witnesses in Singapore can be heard via videolink in the case of a Romanian diplomat charged with manslaughter after a hit-and-run car crash there.

    Silviu Ionescu, a former Romanian charge d'affaire in the state city, is charged with manslaughter, causing physical injuries and making false statements after the accident in December 2009.

    Ionescu pleads not guilty. He has always denied he was the driver and says the car was stolen.
    The diplomat is alleged to have hit three pedestrians while driving a car belonging to the Romanian mission and to have fled the scene.

    One pedestrian, a 30-year-old Malaysian national, suffered brain damage and died on Christmas Day.
    One of the victim's friends, Bonghwee Haw, a 23-year-old Malaysian who was also severely injured in the crash, will testify through a videolink on May 6, the judge ruled. -- AFP



    Channel NewsAsia


    Witnesses to testify via videolink in Romanian diplomat case

    By Claudia Craiu | Posted: 09 March 2011 2100 hrs

    SINGAPORE : A Romanian court has ruled that over 20 witnesses from Singapore will be able to testify via videolink in the trial involving former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu.

    The group includes two victims of the hit-and-run case.

    The incident occurred on December 2009 in Singapore, and left one dead and two injured.

    The witnesses will testify between May 6 and May 20.

    The ruling is considered a breakthrough for the prosecution which has so far been in a deadlock on how to interview its witnesses.

    In court on Wednesday, Ionescu appeared relaxed and confident.

    They requested to file evidence from Singapore which they claim would prove Ionescu's innocence.

    This includes telephone and security records showing he was at the Romanian embassy in Singapore at the time of the accident, as well as testimony from a taxi driver.

    Ionescu also argued in court that there were discrepancies between the Singapore police report and what he claims as fact.

    He said for instance, that the Malaysian victim, Tong Kok Wai, 30, who died on Christmas Day, was cremated a day before the coroner's report was made.

    Speaking to reporters before the session, Singapore's Special Envoy to Romania, Anil Kumar Nayer, said the most important thing was that the trial continues and that justice is done.

    He added that the Singapore government is watching the proceedings closely.

    The next hearing is on May 6.

    Ionescu is on trial for culpable manslaughter, fleeing the scene of an accident, and giving false statements.
    Last edited by Loh; 03-09-2011 at 07:46 PM.

  9. #4123
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'pore may ease rules on foreign law firms

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Imelda Saad | Posted: 09 March 2011 1719 hrs


    Singapore's Supreme Court building


    SINGAPORE: The government may further liberalise the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice or QFLP scheme to allow more foreign law firms to practise Singapore law, in permitted areas.

    Six foreign law firms have been granted licences to do so.

    The law ministry will review these firms in the second half of the year.

    It will study information collected from both international and local law firms.

    Minister for Law K Shanmugam said: "Since commencement of the QFLP scheme, the six firms have increased their manpower by over 200 lawyers.

    "Almost two-thirds of these lawyers were hired from overseas, and more than half were the result of transfers from the QFLP's overseas officers.

    "The scheme is achieving one of our desired outcomes, the attraction of more legal talent to Singapore, while at the same time providing more exciting opportunities for local lawyers to work in top international law firms without having to leave Singapore."

  10. #4124
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default MHA studying new Organised Crime Act

    The Straits Times

    Mar 10, 2011

    By Mavis Toh


    Organised crime is 'not yet a menace in Singapore', Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam made clear on Wednesday when Parliament debated his ministry's budget. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG


    A NEW law is in the works to deal specifically with organised crime and pre-empt the sinking of roots here by foreign syndicates.

    Organised crime is 'not yet a menace in Singapore', Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam made clear on Wednesday when Parliament debated his ministry's budget.

    But the authorities are aware that the threat of cross-border and organised crime hangs over the city state as it is an open society and a financial and communications hub.

    Hence the law now under consideration.

    'The key is to stop foreign groups from penetrating our borders, sinking roots and growing here,' he said.
    The current local crime scene, though, comprises loose coalitions of hooligans in street gangs and small groups in loan sharking and drug activities, Mr Shanmugam said.

  11. #4125
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Budget 2011: S$150m training programme targeted at PMETs

    Channel NewsAsia

    By S Ramesh | Posted: 09 March 2011 1629 hrs


    Singapore office workers


    SINGAPORE : The Singapore government is investing S$150 million over three years to enhance the capabilities of professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

    The programme called the Skills Training for Excellence Programme (STEP) comes with four key objectives.

    Giving details in Parliament during the Manpower Ministry's (MOM) debate on Wednesday, Minister Gan Kim Yong said STEP will allow the nearly 60,000 PMETs here to deepen their industry and occupational specific skills so they can be more proficient in their jobs.

    Next, it will allow PMETs to broaden their skills through developing relevant horizontal skill sets such as management and human resource.

    There will also be courses for PMETs to refresh their skills and update their knowledge to stay abreast with new trends and developments in their sectors.

    And lastly, STEP will develop a talent and leadership core for key industries through scholarships and customised training roadmaps for PMETs in various sectors.

    Mr Gan explained that many of the training programmes are delivered through small bite-sized modules to meet the needs of working PMETs.

    Nevertheless, attaining a full qualification, through completion of a requisite set of modules, gives trainees a more comprehensive repertoire of skills.

    Therefore, the MOM will introduce a CET Qualification Award (CQA) to encourage workers to complete a full qualification. This will help finance the cost of training for the PMETs.

    Finally, from April 1, the MOM will also introduce mandatory qualification requirements for trainers, assessors and curriculum developers engaged by the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training providers.

    Mr Gan believes this will improve the quality and outcomes of the CET programmes and benefit both employers and workers.

  12. #4126
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Budget 2011: Salary threshold rise for work pass holders

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Hoe Yeen Nie | Posted: 09 March 2011 1615 hrs


    Singapore manufacturing sector




    SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower is raising the salary thresholds of two groups of workers -- local full-time and skilled foreign workers -- from July this year.

    And with foreign worker levies increasing again, it is timely for companies such as Lerk Thai to innovate.

    Since December, machines have been doing the cooking at Lerk Thai's outlet in Bedok Point.

    In one corner, a machine works the boiler, while another handles the wok

    The restaurant said the food tastes the same, but the cooking is done much quicker, while manpower costs are down by 20 to 30 per cent.

    Sales have also been increased by between 20 and 30 per cent since the changes were introduced.

    Lerk Thai is one of the restaurants managed by Select Group.

    The company's executive director Jack Tan said: "With the whole process in place, the chef can multi-task, instead of just standing in front of the wok to look after the wok."

    Lerk Thai is now looking into introducing automation for future outlets.

    Currently, the number of foreign workers a company can employ depends on the number of full-time local staff on its payroll.

    To prevent companies from paying locals "token salaries" to gain access to foreign workers, from July, their benchmark salary will be raised from S$650 to S$850.

    This is also in line with rising wages.

    Minimum salaries for skilled foreigners are also going up.

    The S-Pass levy will also be raised, by between S$190 and S$300.

    Minister for Manpower Gan Kim Yong said this is because the S-Pass stock has "more than doubled" since 2007, which is "clearly not sustainable".

    For S-Pass holders, this will be set at S$2,000, up from the current S$1,800, while the three categories of Employment Pass holders will be S$2,800, S$4,000 and S$8,000.

    The salary threshold for Q1 passes will be raised from S$2,500 to S$2,800; that of P2 passes will go up from S$3,500 to S$4,000 and for P1 passes, the new threshold will be S$8,000, up from the current S$7,000.

    Mr Gan noted in Parliament MPs' concerns that skilled foreigners were competing with Singapore white-collar professionals - or Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) - for jobs, but he reiterated Singapore cannot close its doors to foreign talent.

    "Given the tight labour market for PMETs, it is not surprising that salaries of local PMETs have moved up in recent years," Mr Gan said.

    "We need to raise the qualifying salary thresholds for EP and S Pass applicants accordingly, to keep pace with the local PMETs and to encourage companies to be more selective in hiring foreign talent who can contribute to our economy."

  13. #4127
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Budget 2011: S'pore can't let its guard down against terrorism, says Shanmugam

    Channel NewsAsia

    Posted: 09 March 2011 1518 hrs


    K Shanmugam (file picture)




    SINGAPORE: Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said Singapore cannot afford to let down its guard even though it has been successful in preventing terrorist attacks in the past.

    Speaking in Parliament during the debate on the estimates for his ministry, Minister K Shanmugam said in addition to the threat from foreign terrorist groups, Singapore has not been spared from the threat of individuals who are radicalised through exposure to online jihadist material.

    The security agencies have detained four such self-radicalised individuals so far.

    Mr Shanmugam stressed that tackling the threat of terrorism cannot be done by any government acting alone.

    He added that a vigilant and cohesive community played a crucial role in countering the spread and influence of jihadist ideology.

    "Singapore continues to be an attractive terrorist target. Mr Alvin Yeo is right to say that the nature of the threat requires that we all pull together and play our part. There are no absolute guarantees, and certainly no perfect systems. There will be occasional human lapses.

    "However I believe that the combined efforts of the government, the private sector and a vigilant and cohesive community will continue to guard Singapore from the terrorist threat, and continue to keep us safe and secure."

    On its part, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Internal Security Department (ISD) have conducted security briefings and conferences to reach out to the community to sensitise them to the threat of terrorism.

    To date, these security briefings have reached out to over 300,000 individuals.

    The SPF and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) also leveraged on new media platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, to spread the message on the need for public vigilance against possible terrorist threats.

    Mr Shanmugam said they will continue to organise such activities and exercises to raise public awareness and vigilance against terrorist threats.

    He said: "Past survey findings suggest that to the general public, crime is a greater concern than the terrorist threat. This is not surprising, given the fact that so far we have been fortunate enough to have avoided a large scale terrorist incident.

    Mr Shanmugam added that past surveys also suggest that there is generally a high level of confidence in the government and security forces' ability to respond effectively.

    "In terms of public preparedness for a terrorist incident, slightly more than half of the population indicated that they are prepared for an attack and know what to do in the event of an attack. This is encouraging, but there is room for improvement. Home Team agencies will continue their outreach and educational efforts on this front," he said.

  14. #4128
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    Default Red Bull to charge down Orchard Rd

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Low Lin Fhoong | Posted: 09 March 2011 2209 hrs


    David Coulthard




    SINGAPORE: Orchard Road, home to fashion-forward boutiques and malls, will witness high octane speed of a different kind when Red Bull Racing's F1 showcar speeds through Singapore's shopping belt on April 24, five months ahead of the Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

    Former driving ace David Coulthard will demonstrate short sprints, burnouts, donuts and engine breaks in a one-hour event along a 1-kilometre stretch from Orchard Link junction to the Buyong Road intersection near the Istana.

    The 39-year-old Briton has driven with Red Bull Racing, Williams and McLaren in a career spanning 14 years, winning 13 Grands Prix titles and finishing on the podium 62 times, before retiring in 2008.

    The 2010 World Championship team's showcar last featured in Singapore in February 2008 as a special five-minute item in the Chingay Parade, months ahead of the inaugural 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

    And the action will not be limited to Singapore shores, with the Red Bull Racing showcar expected to speed through Kuala Lumpur's bustling shopping street -- Jalan Bukit Bintang -- on April 3.

    This is the first time that the Austrian energy drink company is bringing the showcar event to Malaysia, with the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix to be hosted at Sepang a week later.

    More than 100,000 spectators are expected to get up close to the action in both cities, which will be closed for the Red Bull Speed Street event.

    Safety measures and precautions will be implemented to ensure the safety of the audience.

    Touted as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to experience the adrenaline, power and speed of a Formula 1 car up close, the event has featured in locations worldwide, including Bueno Aires (Argentina), Pamplona (Spain) and Bangkok.

  15. #4129
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Budget 2011: Low-wage workers to get more training

    Channel NewsAsia

    By S Ramesh | Posted: 09 March 2011 1800 hrs


    Singapore workers


    SINGAPORE: Helping low-wage workers do better and earn more is a multi-faceted challenge, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi.

    Speaking in Parliament on efforts to level-up low-wage workers, he explained that based on the 2010 Singapore Labour Force survey, at least 22 per cent of the total resident labour workforce had below secondary school qualification.

    "One of our priorities is promoting training for low-wage workers, which will enable them to become more productive and take on higher value jobs over time," Mr Hawazi said.

    "The government has made a major commitment to the upgrading of low-wage workers with the launch of the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme in July last year.

    "WTS consists of three components to support training for low-wage workers. First, the "Employer Grant" provides up to 95 per cent of course fees and absentee payroll support to encourage employers to send workers for training.

    "Second, the "Training Commitment Award" rewards workers up to S$400 a year to encourage them to complete their training as they work.

    "Third, the "Workfare-Skill Up" programme provides a holistic training roadmap with customised classes to help low-wage workers overcome training barriers, attain literacy and workplace skills and find suitable jobs.

    "As of February 2011, more than 34,000 workers have benefited from the scheme. Specifically, over 11,000 workers and 1,300 employers have benefited from the WTS-Employer Grant".

    A new programme will be launched to enhance their competency in English with the training made more accessible.

    It's called "The English @ Workplace scheme", which encourages companies to provide English training at the workplace.

    This will make such training more accessible to workers and the courses more relevant to their work.

    Mr Hawazi explained that under the scheme, companies will receive additional development grants to offset cost incurred in training, curriculum development and the adoption of other innovative design and delivery methods for Workplace English training.

    These development grants are over and above what the companies already enjoy in course fee funding and absentee payroll under WDA's existing programmes, including the Workfare Training Support (WTS) programme for low-wage workers.

    The English @ Workplace Scheme offers companies' two different options to better meet their needs when it comes to developing their in-house English training programmes.

    Companies can engage one of WDA's Workplace Literacy CET centres to design customised programmes and to conduct training at the companies' premises.

    For companies that already have in-house training capability or are looking to establish their own in-house English training programmes, they can become an in-house provider and deliver their own English training.

    Mr Hawazi also stressed that the ministry is stepping up its enforcement against errant employers.

    He said the Manpower Ministry will provide information for buyers of services, employees and consumers, on individual companies that have infringed employment-related laws.

    It will start by publishing online a list of employers convicted under the Employment Act and Workplace Safety and Health Act from April this year.

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    Default 4 1/2 football fields of tech toys at IT Show 2011

    The Straits Times

    Mar 10, 2011

    By Jasmine Osada



    GADGET lovers can look forward to bargains at Singapore's first major consumer electronics and tech fair of the year, which opens today.

    IT Show 2011 is marking its 10th anniversary with what is expected to be a record-breaking streak.
    It will be spread over five levels of the Suntec convention and exhibition centre, with more than 41/2 football fields' worth of exhibition space - the largest show in its history.

    The show hopes to pull in 820,000 visitors in its four-day run and ring up $70 million in sales, up from last year's 807,000 visitors who blew $67.5 million on tech toys.

    This is the first year Exhibits Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), is running the show. It has brought in big exhibitors such as Microsoft, Canon and Samsung, as well as the three local telcos, SingTel, StarHub and M1.

    Fans of Apple gadgets will revel in the new iPavilion, a 5,000 sq ft space that will 'resemble a mini-Mac World', said Mr Melvin Koh, the general manager of Exhibits Inc. The space will be a shrine to all things Apple - the iPad, iPod and Mac computers, new Apple accessories and Macintosh software.

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    Default Hard Truths: Doubts over e-book download

    The Straits Times

    Mar 10, 2011

    By Chua Hian Hou




    Online websites offering e-book versions of the book Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going could be a scam. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG


    WEBSITES offering downloads of a new book based on interviews Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew gave have appeared - though it is unclear if they can actually deliver the goods.

    One of the websites, mydownloadHQ, charges a sign-up fee of US$2 (S$2.50) for a seven-day trial, after which the user's credit card is automatically billed another US$50.

    The book, Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going, was written by a team of seven journalists from The Straits Times and published by the paper's parent company Singapore Press Holdings.

    It is based on 16 interviews Mr Lee gave to the team and offers his takes on issues, from race relations to his love for his wife.

    While this reporter did not enter a credit card number to see if the book was really available for download, users on sites such as Yahoo Answers and Webutation said mydownloadHQ does not always deliver and they were unable to get refunds.

    ST editor Han Fook Kwang, who was part of the team behind the book, said: 'It looks like Hard Truths has really travelled well, even in cyberspace.' He added that 'it must be a scam as we've not done an e-book version'.

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