Archive for the ‘Singapore’ Category

E-bike owners must register and install number plates

August 3, 2017

TODAY Paper, 2 Aug 2017, E-bike owners must register and install number plates

SINGAPORE — Electric bicycle owners will have to register their vehicles between Aug 14 and Jan 31, 2018 and install number plates, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Wednesday (Aug 2).

After registering, owners will have three days to attach a number plate with the assigned registration number on the back of their bikes.

The plates must feature black characters against a yellow background or white characters against a black background, the authority stipulated.

E-bicycles with a valid blue or orange LTA seal can be registered at www.onemotoring.com.sg using one’s SingPass, CorpPass or Easy account, or at any SingPost branch. The S$50 registration fee will be waived for e-bikes that obtain seals before Aug 14 and that are registered by Nov 30.

E-bikes without an LTA seal must be sent to the authority’s authorised centres — Vicom Inspection Centres at Sin Ming, Bukit Batok or Kaki Bukit, and STA Inspection Centres at Sin Ming and Boon Lay — for inspection, approval and the seal to be affixed.

Only e-bikes that meet the latest technical requirements set by the authorities will receive an orange LTA seal. Owners can register their e-bikes at the same time by paying the S$50 registration fee, alongside other charges for affixing the LTA seal.

From Feb 1 next year, only e-bikes with the orange LTA seal can be registered. Vehicles with the blue LTA seal (approved under old technical requirements) cannot be registered.

Users caught riding an unregistered e-bike on public roads and paths can be fined up to S$2,000 and jailed for up to three months for a first offence. Users of e-bikes without a valid number plate can be fined up to S$1,000 and jailed up to three months on first conviction.

…..

Under the mandatory e-bike registration scheme, owners who sell their vehicles must transfer the registration within seven days of handing over the e-bike via www.onemotoring.com.sg. A fee of S$11 is applicable.

Users or retailers of non-compliant e-bikes may be fined up to S$5,000 and jailed up to three months, for their first offence. The e-bike could also be seized.

onemotoring.com.sg – motorised_bicycles

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Use Case’s model agreement to deal with contractors

July 22, 2017

ST Paper, 19 May 2017, Use Case’s model agreement to deal with contractors

We thank Mr Kong Peng Sun for his feedback (Unfair renovation contracts hurt home owners; May 11).

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) frowns on the practice of renovation contractors asking consumers to pay a substantial advance deposit before the work begins.

From 2014 to 2016, Case received at least 713 complaints in which renovation works were delayed or stopped halfway.

Most of the consumers who were affected by such delays were those who had paid at least 80 per cent of the contractual value. This is clearly unacceptable.

Consumers are advised to ask renovation contractors to commit in writing to the payment schedule as well as the key project milestones and deliverables, with completion dates clearly documented, and pay accordingly.

Consumers should also not pay a large deposit upfront.

In this way, they can limit their losses should the contractor delay or stop work. It will also be helpful should there be a subsequent dispute.

We also encourage consumers to use our model agreement on home renovation, which can be downloaded from our website (https://www.case.org.sg/pdf/model_renovation.pdf).

It provides fair guidelines for consumers to negotiate terms with contractors.

Samples of a payment schedule with key project milestones and deliverables can also be found in the model agreement.

When choosing a renovation contractor, consumers should consider a contractor under the CaseTrust accreditation scheme for better protection and faster resolution of issues, if any.

Lim Biow Chuan
President
Consumers Association of Singapore (Case)

Other funds available for younger S’poreans who want skills training

July 22, 2017

ST Paper, 13 May 2017, Other funds available for younger S’poreans who want skills training

We thank Mr Lionel Loi Zhi Rui for his feedback on the eligibility for the use of SkillsFuture Credit (Extend SkillsFuture Credit to younger S’poreans too; April 29).

Launched in January last year, SkillsFuture Credit aims to support Singaporeans pursuing skills or working at improving them.

It is for Singaporeans aged 25 and above as it is targeted at those who have completed their full-time education and are transitioning into or have joined the workforce.

Singaporeans below that age can tap their Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) to support their learning needs.

The PSEA can be used to offset the fees and charges for a wide range of courses. The list of approved programmes is at moe.gov.sg/education/post-secondary

They are also eligible for course fee funding on courses approved by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

More information can be found at ssg.gov.sg/course-fee-funding

Individuals with further feedback or inquiries can contact SSG via our feedback portal https://portal.ssg-wsg.gov.sg or on 6785-5785.

Patricia Woo (Ms)
Director
Corporate and Marketing Communications Division
SkillsFuture Singapore

Expenses of fund raising have to be below 30% of gross receipts

July 22, 2017

ST Paper, 1 Jun 2017, Expenses of fund raising have to be below 30% of gross receipts

We thank Mr Woon Bee Chai for his letter (How much of donations actually go to charity?; Forum Online, May 26).

All charities and Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs) are required to keep their fund-raising efficiency ratio below 30 per cent.

This means that the total fund-raising expenses must stay below 30 per cent of the total gross receipts from fund raising and sponsorships of the charity or IPC for that financial year.

The fund-raising expenses would include payments made to commercial fund raisers engaged by the charity.

Should a commercial fund raiser be engaged for a charitable cause, the commercial fund raiser should ensure it has a written agreement with the beneficiary charity before beginning to solicit funds.

The agreement must contain, among other information, the fund-raising method, percentage of proceeds that will go to the charity and fees of the fund raiser.

Commercial fund raisers and commercial participants need to also meet the following obligations towards donors:

•Provide accurate information to donors or to the public

•Disclose the name of their organisation, intended use of funds raised (including the cause and/or beneficiaries) and whether any commercial fund raiser has been engaged in soliciting the donation

•Ensure that all solicitation and publicity materials are accompanied by a written statement containing the proportion of total proceeds that will go to charitable cause, a breakdown of proceeds to each charity (if funds are raised for more than one charity), the name of the commercial fund raiser or commercial participants and its status as a commercial entity, and how the fund raiser/participants remuneration is calculated

The principles of transparency and accountability are paramount. More information on fund raising as a commercial fund raiser can be found on the Charity Portal.

Members of the public should remain vigilant and be discerning in responding to public appeals, to avoid falling victim to improper fund-raising activities.

When in doubt, the public should find out more from the fund raisers before making a contribution. At no time should anyone feel pressured to give.

The public should report to the Office of the Commissioner of Charities if they have any reason to believe that a fund raiser may have violated the Fund-Raising Regulations. If fraud or scams are suspected, the public should make a police report immediately.

Ang Hak Seng (Dr)
Commissioner of Charities

Note to Singaporeans: Brunei currency still legal tender here

July 3, 2017

TODAY, 3 July 2017, Note to Singaporeans: Brunei currency still legal tender here

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Most ordinary Singaporeans, it seems, may have forgotten about the long history of this currency agreement.

Following a colonial-era practice that saw currencies of all three ex-British colonies — Malaysia being the third — interchangeable on par, the first formal agreement, involving Malaysia, was inked on June 12, 1967. It was a sign of the depth of economic links between the three countries, despite the move to issue their own national currencies post-independence.

Malaysia opted out in 1973, given its domestic development imperatives, but Singapore and Brunei soldiered on for five decades, weathering economic challenges such as the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis, and significant structural changes to both countries’ economies, domestic monetary institutions and arrangements.

The agreement was able to withstand the test of time as the exchange rate-centred monetary policies of both these small and open economics kept inflation well in check; bilateral trade and investment also grew progressively, aided by low transaction costs from the fixed exchange rate.

Thus banks here accept from the general public Brunei currency — coins included — at par for deposit, said the MAS on its website.

Anyone who has had their Brunei currency rejected should refer the matter to the MAS, a spokesman said.

Details such as name and address of the company, date and time of incident, and what was said during the transaction should be included.

Resolving disputes between neighbours

May 27, 2017

ST Paper, 27 May 2017, Yishun residents build ‘wall’ to keep out nuisance neighbour

Feuding neighbours who cannot resolve their issues on their own or with the help of grassroots leaders can approach the Community Mediation Centre, which aims to resolve disputes without litigation.

Examples of disputes include complaints of excessive noise, smell or smoke, littering at or in the vicinity of the complainant’s place of residence, and trespassing.

But there is little the authorities can do if the neighbours do not want to make up or even turn up for mediation.

If mediation does not solve the problem, parties can file a claim with the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals.

The tribunals, which are given powers to resolve disputes between neighbours under the Community Disputes Resolution Act passed in 2015, can order the payment of damages up to $20,000. It can also order a neighbour to stop an action or to apologise.

Supporting evidence, such as photographs, video and audio recordings and police reports, can be brought before the tribunal. If the neighbour refuses to comply with the court order, further legal steps may be taken.

New initiative to share excess harvest

April 15, 2017

ST, 2 Apr 2017, New initiative to share excess harvest

{Extract}

We thank Miss Lee Kay Yan for her feedback (A little foraging for fruit and plants won’t hurt; March 28).

In early March, the National Parks Board started an initiative to share excess harvest with the public, as part of efforts to reduce horticultural waste.

Termed “Harvest Corner”, extra herbs and horticulture material generated from gardening sessions by volunteers are gathered and made available to members of the public.

This pilot project, which began in the Spice Garden at Fort Canning Park and will continue to run every Friday, has seen positive response from park visitors.

Members of the public who wish to learn more about our flora in Singapore can also download our DIY walks e-guides.

What’s Happening (Jan 2017 to Jun 2017) [PDF]

OneInbox, digital mailbox service for public, to end in June

April 15, 2017

ST, 6 Apr 2017, OneInbox, digital mailbox service for public, to end in June

{Extract}

Five years after it was introduced, a digital mailbox for the public to receive government correspondence is being shut down in Jun 8, 2017, owing to low take-up rate and the costs to maintain it.

Called OneInbox, the service lets Singaporeans sign up for the free digital mailbox to view e-letters from public agencies such as the Central Provident Fund Board, Housing Board and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras). The notices range from GST Voucher letters to Medisave deductions.

OneInbox was said to have cost the Government as much as $5 million to develop. The tender was awarded to local systems integrator CrimsonLogic. The targets were 250,000 users by the first year, and up to 800,000 in the third year.

The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) would not say how many eventually signed up for the service, part of the e-government masterplan, which then included the revamp of the eCitizen portal. But a report in June 2013 said just 3,000 users had signed up.

 

ST Forum

7 Apr 2017, Reasons given for OneInbox termination not convincing

13 Apr 2017, Low demand for ‘mailbox-only’ digital service

 

More Info

Are there digital channels that I can use to receive Government letters electronically?

 

Singapore Electricity Tariff Revision for Q2 (2017)

April 1, 2017

Singapore Electricity Tariff Revision for Q1 (2017)

TODAY, 1 Apr 2017

For the quarter 1 Apr to 30 Jun 2017, electricity tariffs will increase by an average of 6.1% or 1.20 cents per kWh compared to the previous quarter. This is due to a 12.0% increase in the cost of natural gas for electricity generation.

 

AVA – New licensing conditions for pet shops and farms

March 29, 2017

CNA, 28 Mar 2017, Tighter licensing conditions for pet shops and farms to take effect in April: AVA 

The changes, which take effect from Apr 1, were made to improve the housing, healthcare and management of animals, enhance their traceability and improve the accountability of pet businesses, said AVA.

Some of the revised regulations include:

– If two or more dogs are kept together, they must be compatible, and each dog must be able to move, turn around without hitting the sides of the kennel, stand upright, lie down and stretch.

– All retired breeding dogs must be kept separately from breeding dogs and segregated according to their gender.

– Puppies must be microchipped by nine weeks old and kittens microchipped by 12 weeks old.

– All breeding dogs must undergo an annual health check by a licensed veterinarian.

Members of the public can contact the AVA via its 24-hour hotline, 1800-476-1600.

See here for the full list of revised licensing conditions