On June 5, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minster Heng Swee Keat took the opportunity to sum up his aims with his Fortitude Budget, the fourth budget of the year, which he announced on May 26. He focused on the necessity of preserving jobs and maintaining a strong fiscal position as Singapore battles Covid-19, the "global crisis of our generation". Heng said, "There is now talk of a global 'Lockdown Generation', and fears that the youth of our time could have their skills, employability, and incomes permanently affected, even after the world recovers from the pandemic. We must work to prevent a 'Covid Generation' of workers and students in Singapore." Overall spending on four budgets has come up to S$193 billion Coming in at S$33 billion, the Fortitude Budget means that a total of S$92.9 billion will be committed by the government to its Covid-19 response across all four budgets. In addition, over S$72 billion, or nearly 80 per cent of the $92.9 billion sum, ... » Learn More about DPM Heng: ‘Central plank’ of 4 Budgets is preserving jobs & helping unemployed find work
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NEXT PRIORITY People belonging to the A4 priority group form a long line on Tuesday for their COVID-19 shot outside a Manila shopping mall being used as a vaccination site. The A4 grouping covers front-line workers in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said Pfizer jabs could now be given to people 12 to 15 years old, but it advised the public to wait for further instructions on its rollout due to a supply shortage of the US-made COVID-19 vaccine. The Philippines has so far received only 193,000 Pfizer doses through the global Covax initiative, which is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), although vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said more than two million Pfizer doses would be arriving this month. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Food and Drug Administration on May 28 amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) of Pfizer to include the younger age ... » Learn More about Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approved for use on those aged 12-15 – DOH
SINGAPORE: It had been a tough year for Singapore. Then, as 2020 came to its close, it looked like the country could see a flicker of light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel with its transition on Dec 28 to Phase 3 of its reopening. And in the months that followed, the path to a post-pandemic normality looked to be fairly smooth, with community cases generally running to no more than a few a day. Plans for events which hadn't been possible for months started to gather pace. This was in spite of the pandemic continuing to rage worldwide, with a number of countries forced to introduce and then reintroduce measures to curb the spread of the raging virus. Singapore hadn't needed to. Then, very quickly, things changed. Clusters began to spring up, with one emerging at Tan Tock Seng Hospital - the first in a local hospital since the pandemic began. Community cases began to steadily increase. To tackle the spike, Singapore announced some tighter, targeted measures on May ... » Learn More about IN FOCUS: Tackling COVID-19 with targeted measures – the new normal for Singapore?
With the onset of #MeToo movement, workplace harassment has become the centre of most online discussions on women’s rights and gender issues globally. However, there are other issues that concern young Singaporeans in relation to improving gender equality in our society. This is what I realised after spending my Saturday afternoon (Feb. 6) with over 70 young Singaporeans in a Zoom discussion called “Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development”. What concerned these participants the most can be classified into three categories broadly: 1) work-life harmony, 2) workplace harassment and 3) the lack of female representatives in the leadership or senior management positions. Working mothers have “two shifts” to juggle Maintaining work-life harmony is already not an easy feat for an unmarried person like me. Those with kids definitely have it even harder. I have witnessed how my colleague, who recently returned from maternity leave, has to juggle both work and caring for ... » Learn More about There’s still no gender equality at many S’pore workplaces: What I learnt from an online dialogue with over 70 young S’poreans
NEW DELHI: India's retail inflation accelerated in May, at its fastest pace in six months as fuel and food prices rose at a higher pace, putting pressure on the central bank to tame prices amid a faltering economic recovery. The Reserve Bank of India earlier this month warned that high energy prices could stoke inflation while cutting the growth forecast to 9.5per cent from 10.5per cent for the current fiscal year beginning April. Annual retail inflation rose 6.30per cent year-on-year, up from 4.29per cent in April. Analysts had forecast retail inflation at 5.30per cent, according to a Reuters poll. Economists fear a rise in prices after the second wave of coronavirus hit the economy while killing tens of thousands of people since April. "We expect the CPI (consumer price inflation) prints to remain above 5per cent until September driving the annual average CPI to 5.2per cent for current fiscal year," said Garima Kapoor, economist institutional securities, Elara Capital, ... » Learn More about India’s May retail inflation picks up to 6.30per cent y/y, highest in six months
SINGAPORE: Changi Airport workers will be segregated based on their COVID-19 exposure risk and only those who have been vaccinated will work in high-risk zones, the airport said on Monday (May 24). The airport is an active COVID-19 cluster with 108 cases as of Sunday. A worker who assisted a family from South Asia last month could have been the infection source that led to 43 staff members contracting the virus, Changi Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said last Friday. Under the new segregation plans, terminals will be divided into three zones. There will be no mingling between those in Zone 1 – the highest risk area – and those in other zones during shifts, said Changi Airport in a press release. Workers in Zone 1, including those who work at terminal piers, the arrival immigration hall and baggage claim hall, will be protected “in the highest-level PPE”. A total of 4,400 people work in this zone. Timeline: How Changi Airport became Singapore's ... » Learn More about Changi Airport to segregate workers based on COVID-19 exposure risk
There are many names for what Singapore is going through at the moment. Circuit Breaker in all but name. Phase 2: The Empire Strikes Back. Déjà vu. A lockdown with Singaporean characteristics. Take your pick, but officially, it's known as Phase 2: Heightened Alert (P2HA), which resulted in at least one glorious meme, for those of us who spent endless hours playing "Command & Conquer: Red Alert" back in the day. Here's a handy comparison chart for what you can and cannot do during P2HA: Notice something? PH2A is much more "easy-going" as compared to the Circuit Breaker. Retail shops are open, you can buy 4D and Toto, and perhaps most important of all, bubble tea shops are open for takeaway orders (although some have closed ). Back on May 4, when now-Finance Minister and Covid-19 multi-ministry task force co-chair Lawrence Wong announced the latest measures, he said that the government is not ruling out the possibility of another Circuit Breaker. More ... » Learn More about Comment: Should S’pore do another Circuit Breaker? Maybe not.
SINGAPORE: The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Special Annual Meeting in Singapore has been cancelled, three months before it was scheduled to take place in August. Announcing this on Monday (May 17), the WEF cited global uncertainties caused by COVID-19. "Regretfully, the tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies, an uncertain travel outlook, differing speeds of vaccination rollout and the uncertainty around new variants combine to make it impossible to realise a global meeting with business, government and civil society leaders from all over the world at the scale which was planned," said the WEF. "This is despite the excellent support provided by the Government of Singapore." The next annual meeting will take place in the first half of 2022, with the final location and date to be decided "based on an assessment of the situation later this summer", said the WEF. Singapore was scheduled to host the Special Annual Meeting from Aug 17 to 20, after it was postponed from ... » Learn More about World Economic Forum cancels special annual meeting in Singapore
CHENNAI: Shares of India's Adani group companies trimmed losses on Monday after they said reports the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) had frozen the accounts of three foreign funds that are among the top stakeholders in the firms were erroneous. Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of the group controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani, had plunged as much as 25per cent, its steepest fall in nearly a decade. Nifty 50-listed Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone fell as much as 19per cent before paring losses. The NSDL said on its website it had frozen the accounts of Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund, without citing a reason. India's securities regulator SEBI and NSDL did not respond to requests for comment. The Adani Group companies issued identical statements to the country's stock exchanges, saying reports about the NSDL freezing accounts of the funds were "blatantly erroneous". They said they had an e-mail from the "Registrar and ... » Learn More about Adani shares trim losses after group denies reports of foreign funds freeze
The stock barometer firmed up at the beginning of the week as investors took position in anticipation of the country’s economic recovery. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 9.7 points, or 0.14 percent, to close on Monday at 6,917.49, tracking mostly firmer markets across the region. The market was shored up by the financial and services counters, which both rose by over 1 percent, while the industrial counter added less than 1 percent. The holding firm, mining/oil and property counters all dipped by less than 1 percent. “Investors secured profits from recent high-flyers like Ayala Land, SM Investments and URC to reposition in issues that have already pulled back like SM Prime and BDO. ICTSI continues to be the pack leader as it marks a new all-time high again [on Monday], posting a 25-percent gain from the beginning of the year,” said Christopher Mangun, head of research at AAA Equities. Value turnover amounted to P6.32 billion. There was modest net foreign ... » Learn More about PSEi looks to 7,000 as economy prepares to hit refresh