The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) claimed that tourist arrivals in 2011 reached a record 13.2 million, a rise of 13 percent from the previous year in 2010. Tourism receipts were at a record S$22.2 billion for 2011. The highest number of visitors came from Indonesia at 2,592,000 which is followed by China (1,577,000), Malaysia (1,141,000), Australia (956,000) and India (869,000). The biggest growth sector for Singapore in terms of dollars spent was visits to the Singapore’s two casinos – Resort World and Sands – Huat Ah!
About 800,000 HDB (Housing Development Board flats) households to receive SGD $40 Million of U-Save rebates. The U-Save rebates in January 2012 are the final batch of the five years of rebates that were granted as part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Offset Package beginning in 2007. Read more »
Singapore Shares went down 17% in year of wild swings and near panic sell-off. Almost SGD $130 Billion was wiped out from the SG share market. The market will enter 2012 with a valuation at about SGD $700 Billion. The blue-chip Straits Times Index (STI) close at 2,646.35 points. At the start of 2011, the STI it was at a high of 3,190.04. Read more »
At Turf City Shopping Mall, it is estimated that 70% of the retailers are expected to move out by 29 Feb 2012 because of the high rental and expected renovation works to be carried out by new Singapore Land Authority (SLA) master tenant SH Cogent Logistics. A few current tenants say they are not renewing their leases with SH Cogent Logistics because the new rent they are asking is several times higher than what they are paying now. But SH Cogent said the new rates are no higher than the market rate, and it was the previous master tenant Singapore Agro Agricultural (SAA) was charging far lower rents. Read more »
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Liat Towers again ponded (flooded) due to the prolonged heavy rain which fell directly into the building’s outdoor area. Ponded (flooded) area was at a sunken plaza and the primary means to drain water away there is through pumping. The unlucky shops at Lucky Plaza were also ponded (flooded). This is the second time, ponding (flooding) affected the shopping belt along Orchard Road. The Public Utilities Board officially claimed that No floods in Orchard Road, just ‘ponding’.
An auxiliary police officer from Cisco shot himself inside a toilet cubicle on the first floor of Vivocity. It is also possible this is a case of suicide, as there are no apparent signs of foul play, and the toilet cubicle was locked from the inside. At the time of the shooting, he was attached to Citibank branch in Vivicity.
First time in MRT 24 years history, train services on both directions of the North-South Line from Marina Bay to Braddell stations were disrupted at around 7pm. Passengers affected by the breakdown described scenes of total confusion. Emergency services were seen outside Dhoby Ghaut and City Hall MRT stations. Traffic congestion on Orchard Road as many opted for Taxi to get them home.
17 December 2011 Update: MRT broke down yet again along the same stretch. This time at around 7am in the morning. Read more »
Mr K Shanmugam met Myanmar’s opposition leader and nationalist Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence in Yangon (formally known as Rangoon). Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law has reaffirmed theties between Singapore and Myanmar, during his meetings with Myanmar (formly known as Burma) leaders and opposition leader. The Minister visit follows the recent meeting between Ms Aung San and U.S. Secretary of State. Read more »
Singapore’s astronomy enthusiast were treated to a grand view of the full lunar eclipse show. The full eclipse lasted about an hour between 10pm and 11pm local time. The weather was perfect and the sky was almost cloudless. Read more »
The United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) has opened its new East Campus in Tampines. The school has installed the world’s largest solar air conditioning and hot water system which costed over 10 million dollars. For that, the campus was presented the Singapore Building and Construction Authority’s highest award – the Green Mark Platinum award – in recognition of its sustainable approach to construction. Read more »
And additional 10% stamp duty for foreigner buying Singapore property. And 2nd time for PR (Permenant Resident) / 3rd time for Singaporean (Citizen) home owner pays 3% on top of current stamp duty. The current stamp duty are calculated as follows: 1% on first SGD180,000 of the purchase price, 2% on the next SGD180,000 and 3% for the remainder. According to stats, nearly a third of property buyers are non-citizen. Property prices are now 13% above the 1996 peak. And about 20% of the buyers are owners of more than 2 properties. Some property analyst predict that it will cause up to a 30% correction but not a crash. It has become a question not of if the market will fall in 2012, but by how much. Read more »
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) members elected a 55-year-old female, Mdm Diana Chia Siew Fui, as their new chief for it top decision-making body, the Central Committee. Madam Chia is the first woman to lead the Singapore labour movement. She was previously from the Healthcare Services Employees Union. Read more »
Teresa Hsu (1898 – 2011) was Singapore’s oldest person and popular social worker. Madam Hsu passed away peacefully at home at the ripe old age of 113 and was cremated the same day. The late Teresa Hsu founded Heart to Heart Service and the Home for the Aged Sick, and her commitment to charity earned her the Public Star in 2009. She spent her most life helping the poor and needy. Ms Hsu was widely known for her unassuming manner.
A Singapore Airlines cargo plane skidded off the Changi Airport runway. The big aircraft veered off the runway after landing around 4.40pm on Friday afternoon, 02 Dec. 2011. There was no injuries or damage were reported and the plane was able to taxi on its parking bay. The runway was subsequently closed for inspection and re-opened at about 6pm on the same day. Several planes were diverted to nearby airports – Paya Lebar Air Base (Military) and Senai Airport. Read more »
Dragon Mansion, located at 14 Spottiswoode Park, was sold by 86 home owners in a collective sale at a bargain price to a property developer – Spottiswoode Development. The sale represent about 1.9 million for each of the owner as the final price was 16% below the initial asking price of S$156 million. If is a 99-years leasehold site, one would understand the rational. But this is a freehold site – so it is another case of the owner killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Read more »