S&CC, COE, AGC, PAP, ICA and other acronyms in the news

Feb 18, 2017 08.42AM |

HOUSING and Development Board (HDB) households in People’s Action Party town councils will be paying more in service and conservancy charges. How much? Between $1 and $17 altogether depending on flat type. When? Not clear. But the rise will be staggered over two years. The first increase will take place from June 1 while the next increase is slated for June next year. Why? Higher pest control, cleaning charges as well as the new provision that town councils must set aside money for lift upgrading.

Before re-looking your household budget, wait for the Budget announcement on Monday. The bet is that there will be S&CC rebates that will relieve you for a couple of months or so.

Going by the news yesterday, what else can we expect from the Budget? Motor industry people are wondering what will be announced for vehicles given that next week’s COE tender exercise had been postponed by two days pending “an upcoming announcement”. It usually starts on Monday but it will start on Wednesday next week. Since no details were given, people are speculating like crazy.

Is it to stop private hire car companies from bidding and jacking up the price of COEs? After all, taxi companies were taken out of the public process and given a new scheme. Is it about announcing a lower car ownership rate for the future? Then again, do you need to suspend the bidding exercise for this? Or has it got to do with re-calibrating rebates on vehicles with lower carbon emissions? But the current scheme is supposed to run till June this year…

Before rushing to the showrooms this weekend, maybe we should just wait till Monday.

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Digging into the fine print of news reports, we’ve unearthed a couple of nuggets that you might have missed:

a) Senior Counsel Hri Kumar is no longer a member of the People’s Action Party, reported TODAY. It was announced two days ago that the former PAP MP will be appointed Deputy Attorney-General, sparking talk about what this does for the impartial image of G lawyers. The PAP, however, didn’t say when he quit the party. Was it the year before when he decided not to go for a third term? Or yesterday? Or does that matter?

b) Remember former tour guide Yang Yin, the Chinese national who scammed his way into getting Singapore permanent residency? Well, his PR papers have been revoked, ST reported the Immigration and Customs Authority as saying. This was done on November 1 last year, after he was convicted of cheating a rich Singaporean widow.

c) Complaints about motor vehicles have been going up, from 844 in 2014 to 1,477 last year, mainly about defects in cars. So, too, are complaints about pressure selling tactics in spas and beauty salons. TODAY reported the consumer watchdog, Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), as saying that one tactic was to withhold a customer’s credit or debit card unless he or she said okay to a sale. It’s an unethical practice, but isn’t it also illegal?

d) Muslims will be glad to know that the number of haj places will go up from 680 to 800 a year. Saudi Arabia uses a 1987 formula which sets the quota at 0.1 per cent of the Muslim population. The Muslim population has grown by 20 per cent since then, to 800,000 now, reported TODAY. Now, how did that increase come about? Has the proportion of Muslims in the country increased as well?


Featured image from TMG file.

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