Popular Posts!


Monday, October 29, 2012


www.mensgear.net,cool,gear,tech,mens,gadgets,grooming,style,gizmos,gifts,gift,ideas,travel,alexa,entertainment,google,auto,cars,rides,watches,babes,nude,xxx,ass,pussy, architecture www.mensgear.netwww.mensgear.net,cool,gear,tech,mens,gadgets,grooming,style,gizmos,gifts,gift,ideas,travel,alexa,entertainment,google,auto,cars,rides,watches,babes,nude,xxx,ass,pussy, architecture

The SLR lens adapter for iPhone is here from PhotoJOJO and yes it's real, if you ever had the passion for photography or just want to take awesome pictures with wide and long rage lenses this is for you. This case-adapter combo lets you mount your Canon EOS or Nikon SLR lenses to your iPhone 4 giving your phone powerful depth of field and manual focus. Get yours today from PhotoJOJO

Buy the The Shot Glass Lens Set at the Photojojo Store!


www.mensgear.net,cool,gear,tech,mens,gadgets,grooming,style,gizmos,gifts,gift,ideas,travel,alexa,entertainment,google,auto,cars,rides,watches,babes,nude,xxx,ass,pussy, architecture

If you think that the future is here and you are waiting for the "flying car" to be unveiled you might want to settle down. But the good news is that the spnKIX are here, its not as exciting as a flying car but its a sneak peek of what the future of transportation has to offer.The spnKIX are awesome, motorized skates that move you from home to work at 10mph, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery can be recharged in about two hours. If you are looking for a more awesome way to move get yours. (retail $649.00)


www.mensgear.net,cool,gear,tech,mens,gadgets,grooming,style,gizmos,gifts,gift,ideas,travel,alexa,entertainment,google,auto,cars,rides,watches,babes,nude,xxx,ass,pussy, architecture

So, here it is a flying motorcycle, now you can zip around town like you'r one of the Jetsons. The Hoover-bike is still being tested but you can get yourself on the list to be the first one to take it for a spin. It features a 1100cc engine, and with the light carbon fiber frame you can reach altitude of 10,000ft. There are still plenty of test that need to be done on the Hoover-Bike before production start, but its cool to see what the future has to offer. (retail $100,000)


Next time you are planning a extreme guys trip its a good idea to pack some key items, like matches, meat water, and oh yeah this emergency iphone charger from Eton FRX3, for just in case Johnny decides to cliff dive in to a 5 foot pond and the phones have been died for nearly 2 days. Small price to pay that can save your life. Great gift for your outdoors man. (Retail $59) 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

International banking cards in Burma by 2013

Monday, 30 July 2012 14:15 Mizzima News .

Three international banking cards will be introduced in Burma by the start of 2013, domestic media reported on Monday.
An international banking care Photo: Photo: Flickr / MoneyBlogNewz

The three international bank cards are VISA, CUP (China Union Pay) and Japan Credit Bureau (JCB), said 7-Day News.

ATMs of private banks operating under the Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) system will accept the three international banking cards, allowing the withdrawal of cash from an automatic teller machine (ATM) of any MPU member bank under the system, it said.

Meanwhile, on July 9, 11 private banks including Kanbawza Bank, Cooperative Bank, Myanmar Industrial Development Bank, Myawaddy Bank, Inwa Bank, Myanmar Oriental Bank, Asian Green Development Bank, Ayeyawaddy Bank, Myanmar Pioneer Bank, United Amara Bank and Tun Foundation Bank started offering foreign currency accounts in US dollars, Euros and Singapore dollars as well as FECs (Burmese foreign exchange certificate).
The banks also were permitted in November 2011 to trade three foreign hard currencies – US dollar, Euro and Singapore dollar.
There are a total of 19 private banks and three state-owned banks in Burma.
The state-owned banks are Myanmar Economic Bank (MEB), Myanma Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) and Myanma Investment Commercial Bank ( MICB).

Continue read-
Visa says international ATM service in Burma months away
Burma officially approves use of int'l credit cards

Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Immigration Bonus for Singaporeans? - Making the Foreigner More Acceptable

Rs is 1452012

Rapid Growth in Singapore's Immigrant Population Brings Policy Challenges

Rapid Growth in Singapore's Immigrant Population Brings Policy Challenges 

By Brenda S.A. Yeoh and Weiqiang Lin
National University of Singapore

April 2012

The history and fortunes of Singapore, an island nation between Malaysia and Indonesia, have always been closely intertwined with migration. As a British trading colony established in 1819, most of the city's population growth until the World War II was due to immigration. Supported by a fledging colonial economy, Singapore drew in large numbers of laborers from China, India, and the Malay Archipelago. Consequently, its population quickly grew from a few hundred to half a million by the 1931 census.
Immigration temporarily ceased during the Japanese occupation of 1942 to 1945,and Singapore's road to self-governance in the 1950s and 1960s saw the passing of new ordinances that limited immigration to only those who could contribute to its socioeconomic development. Stricter citizenship and immigration laws were imposed following Singapore's independence from Malaysia in 1965, leading to the dwindling of the city-state's nonresident population (i.e., nonpermanent noncitizen residents) to 2.9 percent of the total population.
It was not until the 1980s, when Singapore became more industrialized, that the question of migration returned. The state's nonresident population started increasing again, beginning a trend that continues to this day. In the last decade in particular, large infusions of new immigrants — and correspondingly new cultures — have begun to chisel away at the nationalist foundations the country had earlier laid. Coupled with concurrent waves of emigration among Singaporeans, the city seems to be returning to its former role as a transit point of the world.
Immigration to Singapore
The population of Singapore can be divided into two categories of people according to the permanency of their stay: Citizens (including naturalized citizens) and permanent residents are referred to as “residents,” while immigrants who are in Singapore temporarily (such as students and certain workers) are considered “nonresidents.” Permanent residents (PRs), while typically immigrants as well, have been granted the right to reside permanently in Singapore and are entitled to most of the rights and duties of citizens, including eligibility for government-sponsored housing and mandatory military service for young adult males, though not the right to vote in general elections.
The nonresident population increased at an unprecedented pace in the first decade of the 21st century, according to the 2010 Singapore census. During this period, it accounted for 25.7 percent of the total population, up from 18.7 percent in the previous decade (Table 1). As of 2010, the nonresident population stood at 1,305,011 out of a total population of 5,076,732.
In 2008, annualized growth of the nonresident population peaked at some 19.0 percent, while that of the resident population steadied at just 1.7 percent. Population growth rates for both nonresidents and residents, however, have begun to ease since the 2008-09 Great Recession, with 4.1 percent growth among the former and 1.0 percent among the latter in 2010.
According to the 2010 census, about 14.3 percent of the 3,771,721 residents of Singapore are PRs. Between 2005 and 2009, the PR population grew an average of 8.4 percent per year — much faster than the comparatively modest 0.9 percent average growth observed for Singapore citizens. This trend seemed to come to a rather abrupt finish in 2010, however, when the annualized growth of PRs fell to 1.5 percent while that of Singapore citizens held steady at 0.9 percent.
Despite the increasing share of PRs among the resident population, which itself rose from 8.8 percent of the total population in 2000 to 14.3 percent in 2010, the ethnic composition of Singapore's residents has remained relatively stable since 1990. Albeit, the percentage of Chinese fell below 75 percent of the total resident population for the first time ever in 2010, while the share of Indians rose from 7.9 percent to 9.2 percent. These particular ethnic composition shifts are largely due to widening discrepancies between citizens' and PRs' ethnic profiles (Table 2).
Table 2: Resident Population by Ethnic Group and Status, 2010

Singapore citizens3,230,7192,461,85276.2%487,75815.1%237,4737.3%43,6361.4%
Permanent residents541,002332,12861.4%16,1103.0%110,64620.4%82,11815.2%
Source: Department of Statistics, 2011
In terms of the overall migrant stock, the proportion of Singapore's population born outside of the country increased from 18.1 percent in 2000 to 22.8 percent in 2010. The majority of immigrants were born in Malaysia (386,000); China, Hong Kong, and Macau (175,200); South Asia (123,500); Indonesia (54,400); and other Asian countries (90,100).
The increasing share of the foreign born among Singapore's population is a direct consequence of policies to attract and rely on foreign manpower at both the high and low ends of the labor spectrum to overcome the limitations of local human capital. Indeed, the foreign born constituted approximately 34.7 percent of Singapore's labor force in 2010, up significantly from 28.1 percent in 2000. (Table 3)
Table 3: Foreign Workers in Singapore, 1970-2010

YearTotal labor forceNo. of foreign workersPercent of total labor force
Source: Compiled from Rahman, 1999:7 (for 1970 and 1980), Singapore Department of Statistics, 2001:43 (for 1990) and Singapore Department of Statistics, 2011:48 (for 2000 and 2010).
The most rapid (absolute) increase in the foreign-born proportion of the labor force occurred in the 2000s when, following decades of healthy growth, Singapore's nonresident workforce increased 76.8 percent from 615,700 in 2000 to nearly 1.09 million in 2010. (Figure 1)
About 870,000 of these new arrivals are low-skilled workers primarily in the construction, domestic labor, services, manufacturing, and marine industries. Since 2008, some foreign born have also been admitted as performers for work in bars, discotheques, lounges, night clubs, hotels, and restaurants. The remaining 240,000 are skilled and generally better-educated S-pass or employment pass holders, along with a small number of entrepreneurs. The size of this group has also increased rapidly due to intensive recruitment and liberalized immigration eligibility criteria.
Figure 1: Singapore's Total Resident and Nonresident Workforce, 1980-2010

A third immigration flow of increasing importance is that of international students. In 2010, 91,500 nonresidents came to study in Singapore on foreign-born student passes, comprising 13.1 percent of all students in the country. While this represents a slight decrease in enrollment from 96,900 in 2008, the government of Singapore has made the recruitment of foreign students a priority since 1997 (see section on Recruitment of Foreign Students, below).
With respect to citizenship, eligibility for the foreign born is limited to those who are at least 21 years of age and who have been PRs for at least two to six years immediately prior to the date of application. According to Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), citizenship applicants must also be "of good character," intend to reside permanently in Singapore, and be able to support themselves and their dependents financially.
According to media reports, 20,153 immigrants became citizens in 2008, continuing an upward trend from 17,334 in 2007; 13,200 in 2006; 12,900 in 2005; and 7,600 in 2004. In 2009 however, the number of new citizens fell slightly to 19,928. This slump was also mirrored in the annual uptake of permanent residency, which more than doubled from 36,900 in 2004 to 79,167 in 2008 but suffered a decrease to 59,460 in 2009. Sharper declines were recorded for both citizenship and permanent residency in 2010, ahead of the May 2011 general elections (Figure 2).
Figure 2: New Citizens and Permanent Residents in Singapore, 2002-2010

Low-Skilled Foreign Workers
Singaporeans are reluctant to take up low-skill jobs that pay low wages, so foreign-born workers often fill these positions. To guard against excessive permanent migration of those with less skills, however, government policy since the 1970s has ensured that unskilled and low-skilled migrants remain a transient workforce, subject to repatriation during periods of economic downturn.
Low-skilled foreign-born workers are managed through a series of measures, including the work-permit system, the dependency ceiling (which regulates the proportion of foreign to local workers), and the foreign-worker levy. These measures are expected to be tightened between July 2012 and July 2013 (see Table 4). Workers are only allowed to work for the employer and in the occupation indicated in their work permit, though a sponsored transfer of employment is permissible and subject to work pass validity. The termination of employment of a foreign-born worker results in the immediate termination of the work permit, in which case the immigrant must leave Singapore within seven days.
Work-permit holders are also subject to a regular medical examination that includes a general physical checkup, a chest x-ray, and a test for HIV/AIDS. They may not marry Singaporeans or PRs without the approval of the controller of work permits, and failure to get approval may result in repatriation. Female work-permit holders (typically domestic workers) who, through the compulsory medical screening process, are found to be pregnant are also subject to repatriation without exception.
On top of these controls, employers of work-permit holders are also required to post a S$5,000 (US$3,820) security bond for each (non-Malaysian) foreign-born worker. All employers of foreign-born domestic workers must also take out medical insurance (S$15,000, or US$11,450) and personal accident insurance (S$40,000, or US$30,535) coverage for each such worker, since employees in this sector are not entitled to workman's compensation.
Highly Skilled Foreign Labor
The other burgeoning sector of foreign labor — skilled workers — is usually referred to as "foreign talent" in both government and public discourse. Currently, skilled workers and professionals account for 22.0 percent (about 240,000) of Singapore's total nonresident workforce, eclipsing the 14.6 percent recorded for 2006.
Traditionally, most skilled professionals have come from the United States, Britain, France, and Australia, as well as Japan and South Korea. Due to policies instituted in the 1990s to recruit the highly skilled in nontraditional source countries, however, the majority of skilled workers (apart from Malaysians) are now from China and India.
Given Singapore's aspirations to become a major player in the globalized world, the nation's main economic strategy is based on being home to a highly skilled workforce. In addition to investing heavily in information technology and human capital to meet global competition, the government has focused on developing Singapore into the "talent capital" of the global economy.
To reach this goal, Singapore has liberalized some of its immigration policies (while tightening others related to low-skilled immigration) and made it easier for skilled migrants to gain permanent residency and citizenship. Various state programs have been launched to facilitate the inflow of talent to Singapore, including company grant schemes to ease the costs of employing skilled foreigners, a housing scheme to aid in the short-term accommodation needs of skilled foreign-born, various recruitment missions abroad, and regular networking and information sessions held in major cities worldwide. Recent urban development policies aimed at branding Singapore as a culturally vibrant "Renaissance City" or "A Great Place to Live, Work, and Play!" are also partly driven by this goal.
Unlike lower-skilled, lower-paid foreign workers, highly skilled workers hold P, Q, or S employment passes (i.e., not work permits) that are much less restrictive and confer greater benefits (see Table 4). For example, dependents who accompany many employment pass holders can also seek employment at all work levels by obtaining a letter of consent (dependents of S pass-holders must apply for a separate work pass). Additionally, P, Q, and S employment pass holders may apply to become PRs or citizens — a privilege not accorded to the lower-skilled with work permits.
To introduce more flexibility, a new subcategory of visas was introduced in 2007. The Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) is open to all current employment pass holders who have worked in Singapore for at least two to five years and who draw a minimum annual salary of S$34,000 (US$27,032). Overseas professionals who wish to immigrate to Singapore and whose last drawn monthly salary overseas was at least S$8,000 (US$6,107) are also eligible. PEP holders can take on employment in any sector of the economy, may be accompanied by their family members, and are permitted to stay in Singapore for up to six months if unemployed between jobs.
Around the time of the May 2011 general elections, the government of Singapore was facing widespread public disapproval of its liberal immigration policies for the highly skilled. This, coupled with difficult global economic conditions since the Great Recession, brought about a slight reversal of Singapore's policy stance towards skilled labor in the second half of 2011.
In two rounds of policy tightening with regards to employment pass and S-pass eligibility criteria between July 2011 and January 2012, it was decided that skilled foreigners must command 11 percent to 20 percent higher salaries before being granted the right to work in Singapore. And in December 2011, a provision allowing certain foreign-born professionals (those who possess or had possessed selected university degrees and/or skilled migrant visas for other countries) to apply for an employment pass eligibility certificate so that they could remain Singapore for up to a year to look for employment was also scrapped. As a result, foreign-born students in Singapore now have three months after graduation to land a job before having to return to their countries of origin. Additional measures to tighten the demand for S-pass workers are also expected to be phased in between July 2012 and July 2013.
Recruitment of Foreign Students
The global demand for international higher education has been projected to rise from around 2.2 million students in 2005 to 3.7 million by 2025, and the government of Singapore has taken steps to increase the number of foreign students who come to the city-state for study.
Singapore has long attracted students from Malaysia and Indonesia, but has been making specific efforts to develop the country into an international education hub for primary- through university-level students since 1997. Singapore is focusing on its strengths — including its English-speaking environment, high educational standards, and reputation for public order and safety — in the recruitment of foreign-born students from China, India, Southeast Asia, and other areas. Specifically, it has used the tagline "Singapore: The Global Schoolhouse," and the message that Singapore combines the best of Asian and Western education systems.
A government economic review panel recommended a target of 150,000 foreign-born students by 2012 — more than double the 2005 figure of 66,000 — estimating that this would create 22,000 jobs and raise the education sector's contribution to the gross domestic product from the current 1.9 percent (S$3 billion or US$2.29 billion) to somewhere between 3 and 5 percent.
As part of this effort, state agencies have designated an "arts and learning hub" in the central area of Singapore city; encouraged the creation of private schools; wooed reputable universities, like INSEAD and New York University's Tisch School of Arts, to set up branch campuses or programs in partnership with local universities; and set up the Singapore Education Services Center as a one-stop information and service center (equivalent to the British Council) for foreigners wishing to study in Singapore.
Emigration from Singapore
In the same way that immigration has gathered pace, more and more Singaporeans are packing up their bags and moving abroad. Temporary emigration or circular migration — for education, training, business, and work experience — has not only encouraged since the 1990s as a way through which the city-state can become more globally oriented and competitive, but is also associated with prestige and elitism.
One of the reasons why an overseas experience has been so valued is the pervasive way in which mobility has been celebrated in Singapore. A large proportion of civil servants and political leaders received their education in top universities abroad, and globalization has reinforced the view that mobile citizens, as bridge-builders, are indispensable to Singapore's economic development. Closely related, there is also the perception that foreign-born expatriates in Singapore are more valuable than local workers because of their exposure to foreign markets, thus allowing them to command higher salaries.
As of June 2011, an estimated 192,300 Singaporeans live overseas. The top destinations for Singaporean expatriates include Australia (50,000), Great Britain (40,000), the United States (20,000), and China (20,000). Many Singaporeans migrate as highly skilled workers and are employed in specialist sectors such as banking, information technology, medicine, engineering, and science and technology. Additionally, a generous proportion of them are students pursuing their first and/or postgraduate degrees. Some Singaporean students abroad have been sponsored by government scholarships and are obligated to return upon finishing their studies.
In the last decade, however, the trend for Singaporeans to emigrate permanently without necessarily contributing or returning to Singapore emerged and has government officials worried. With an average of about 1,200 highly educated Singaporeans (including 300 naturalized citizens) giving up their citizenship each year in favor of others, it is feared that, due to a lack of dual citizenship provisions, the country could be facing a brain-drain crisis rather than reaping the benefits of circular migration. In fact, it was reported in 2010 that about 1,000 Singaporeans a month were applying for a “Certificate of No Criminal Conviction” — a prerequisite to getting permanent residence overseas. In some social surveys among Singaporean youth, more than half of those surveyed would leave the country to build their careers if given the chance.
In response to this problem, the Singapore government has implemented a number of measures to reconnect with overseas Singaporeans in the hope that some will return in due course. Initiatives include linking up overseas Singaporeans with prospective employers in Singapore; updating them on the latest national developments; and setting up recreational clubs and social events (e.g., Singapore Day) for them in foreign cities. These tactics aim to keep overseas Singaporeans tied to Singapore, whether practically or emotionally.
Ongoing Issues, Challenges, and Social Change
Having greatly liberalized its borders in the past few years, it is not surprising that Singapore's migration reality has become more complex. The influx of large numbers of new immigrants into the city-state seems set to continue, even as emigration accelerates and fertility rates fall to a new low (1.15 children per female in 2010, down from 1.60 in 2000). In this context, attracting skilled foreigners to live, work, and settle — while keeping low-skilled workers under thumb — will likely remain a priority for the foreseeable future.
With the prospect that increased immigration could bring new challenges to Singapore socially, the government is working hard to maintain a state of harmony within what is already a multicultural nation. In several high-profile ministerial speeches in 2011, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day rally speech as well as former-Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's recent reminders about the nation's reliance on immigrants for growth, Singaporeans were encouraged to take a long-term view; continue to welcome talent; and, at least for a while, to “accept the discomfort” of having more foreigners around. While not expected to relinquish their cultures and languages, immigrants have been urged to participate in local events so that they can learn more about the traditions of their adoptive communities.
In 2009, Singapore's National Integration Council was established to promote interaction and national solidarity between locals and newcomers. Notably, a S$10-million (US$7.95-million) Community Integration Fund was created to sponsor activities that foster bonds between Singaporeans and immigrants. Additionally, 2011 saw the launch of the Singapore Citizenship Journey, an enhanced orientation program for new citizens comprised of online elements, field trips to heritage sites, and community sharing. The People's Association, which appoints “Integration and Naturalization Champions,” further engages new citizens through home visits, grassroots activities, and community work.
Social integration is, however, far from smooth on the ground. To some locals, newcomers — particularly the ubiquitous Mainland Chinese — are commonly seen as uncouth and prone to objectionable behaviors like littering, eating on public transit, and talking loudly on the phone. Similarly, South Asian construction workers and Filipino domestic workers have also been singled out as targets of public backlash. With criminal activity rising, including several high-profile murders in mid-2011, foreigners have also been blamed for the deterioration of public safety in Singapore.
Immigrants have responded with their own set of rejoinders. A spate of online disputes in 2011 involving Mainland Chinese immigrants ridiculing Singaporeans as “ungracious,” “disgusting,” and “inferior” reveals the extent of social discord despite the state's efforts toward immigrant integration. In August 2011, an immigrant family from China went so far as to lodge a complaint against their Singaporean-Indian neighbors for the smell of curry emanating from their cooking. In response, a Facebook page urging Singaporeans to prepare curry on a designated Sunday drew over 57,600 supporters. Ironically, Singaporeans of different ethnicities have become more united in this time of discord with immigrants.
Another point of contention relates to the belief that immigrants compete with Singaporeans for jobs. While the state insists that only jobs unfilled by citizens are assumed by foreigners, the government is still frequently criticized for not curtailing the uptake of managerial and professional positions by non-Singaporeans. Suspicions that the labor market is giving preferential treatment to the foreign born — described as “cheaper” and “harder-driving and harder-striving” than Singaporeans — are not helped by certain official statements. In particular, unemployment figures are routinely published as an aggregate comprising citizens and PRs, which obfuscates the actual unemployment rate among Singaporeans.
Paradoxically, a more tolerant side of Singapore emerges when it comes to the rights of unskilled and low-skilled foreign workers. Civil-society action has sought to address the adverse working conditions of foreign-born domestic workers — about 200,000 in Singapore today, mostly women and mainly from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka — since the early 2000s. Many have benefited from the social and advocacy support offered by nongovernmental organizations like Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics and Transient Workers Count Too. Not only have these groups raised public awareness about the plight of foreign domestic workers, state agencies are now more inclined to attend to cases of abuse.
Similar help has also been extended to the other 670,000 work-permit holders. Some issues being addressed include workplace safety, wage and foreign-levy policy, accommodation standards, and the regulation of unsafe truck transport for migrant workers.
While their efforts are comprehensive in scope, the success of civil society in Singapore remains tied to the will of a strong state. Foreign-born domestic workers, for instance, have long been deprived of regular days off as part of their employment. This particular aspect of domestic work will change beginning January 2013, when a new law mandating days off will take effect. But such extended, hard-fought battles highlight the difficulty that advocacy groups face in lobbying within a depoliticized space. They also hint at how citizens' distrust towards immigrants can further rigidify officially sanctioned surveillance curbs on foreign workers.
On the policy front, the question of increasing numbers of Singaporeans taking flight and the corresponding need to recognize dual citizenship remains an outstanding issue. Slippages between immigration policy goals and reality exert another constant strain. The various categories of work permits, as well as alternative passes that allow foreigners to enter as dependents, job seekers, entertainers, and private-school students before switching to worker status, suggest that Singapore's immigration policies go beyond mere talent-scouting or the filling in of unpopular job sectors, as often touted by officials.
In contrast to this openness, the emerging trend of working-class men who are disadvantaged in the local marriage market turning to foreign brides from nearby countries faces greater institutional hurdles. While the state has been anxious to stop the decline of marriage and fertility, marriage migrants from less-developed countries are not automatically granted residency or citizenship papers and may have to confront a long and uncertain pathway to citizenship. For couples with at least one Singaporean child however, the foreign spouse may be eligible to apply for a three-year Long Term Visit Pass-Plus, a new immigrant pass that will be available beginning April 2012. These policies reflect the clinical approach that Singapore adopts, whereby migration policies are frequently made based on particular economic criteria and rationale, rather than on strictly humanitarian or family-reunification grounds.
In sum, as Singapore comes of age in its development, new opportunities and problems have once again opened up the former colonial city to mobilities. While Singapore has long depended on external resources to satisfy its needs — for its workforce, jobs, education, talent, and even marriage — the country's goal to augment its population today presents much more complex risks, uncertainties, and challenges, often exacerbated by inconsistent policy outcomes. Indeed, the streams flowing through the highly globalized city have become decidedly more turbulent in recent years. With wisdom, perhaps the nation's political leaders can weather the storm that is now brewing.
Arumainathan, P. 1970. Census of Population, 1970, Singapore. Singapore: Department of Statistics.
Chan, R.K.H. and Abdullah, M.A. 1999. Foreign Labor in Asia: Issues and Challenges. Commack, NY: Nova Science.
Chew, S.B. and Chew, R. 1995. Immigration and Foreign Labor in Singapore. Asian Economic Bulletin 12 (2): 191-200.
Council for Private Education Singapore. 2011. Council for Private Education. Singapore: CPE. Available online.
Del Tufo, M.V. 1949. Malaya, Comprising the Federation of Malaya and the Colony of Singapore: A Report on the 1947 Census of Population. London: Crown Agents for the Colonies.
Goh, P.C. 1970. Citizenship Laws of Singapore. Singapore: Educational Publications Bureau.
Huang, S. and Yeoh, B.S.A. 2005. Transnational Families and their Children's Education: China's Study Mothers in Singapore. Global Networks 5 (4): 379-400.
Hui, W.T. 1997. Regionalisation, Economic Restructuring and Labor Migration in Singapore.International Migration 35 (1): 109-128.
Human Rights Watch. 2005. Maid to Order: Ending Abuses against Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore. New York: Human Rights Watch. Available online.
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. 2011. Citizenship Application. Singapore: ICA.Available online.
Ministry of Manpower. 2012. Ministry of Manpower. Singapore: MOM. Available online.
National Integration Council. 2011. National Integration Council. Singapore: NIC. Available online.
Rahman, M.M. 1999. The Asian Economic Crisis and Bangladeshi Workers In Singapore. Working Paper No. 147. Singapore: Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore.
Singapore Department of Statistics. 2001. Census of Population 2000. Singapore: Department of Statistics.
Singapore Department of Statistics. 2011. Census of Population 2010 Advance Census Release. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Available online.
Singapore Department of Statistics. 2011. Yearbook of Statistics Singapore. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Available online.
Teo, D. and Liew, C. 2004. Guardians of Our Homeland: The Heritage of Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Singapore: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
The Straits Times, various issues.
Wong, D. 1997. Transience and Settlement: Singapore's Foreign Labor Policy. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 6 (2): 135-167.
Yeoh, B.S.A. 2006. Bifurcated Labor: The Unequal Incorporation of Transmigrants in Singapore. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (Journal of Economic and Social Geography) 97 (1): 26-37.
Yeoh, B.S.A. and Annadhurai, K. 2008. Civil Society Action and the Creation of “Transformative” Spaces for Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore. Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 37 (5): 548-569.
Yeoh, B.S.A., Huang, S. and Devasahayam, T. 2004. Diasporic Subjects in the Nation: Foreign Domestic Workers, the Reach of Law and Civil Society in Singapore. Asian Studies Review 28 (1): 7-23.
Copyright @ 2002-2012 Migration Policy Institute. All rights reserved.
Migration Information Source, ISSN 1946-4037
MPI · 1400 16th St. NW, Suite 300 · Washington, DC 20036
ph: (001) 202-266-1940 · fax: (001) 202-266-1900

Budget 2012 round-up: Singapore to reduce foreign worker inflow

By Jeffrey Oon |  – Fri, Feb 17, 2012

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivers a Budget 2012 which will reduce dependance on foreign workers. (TV screengrab)Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivers a Budget 2012 which will reduce dependance on foreign workers. …
The Singapore government unveiled a "Budget For the Future" that will reduce the dependance on foreign workers and do more to build a stronger, more inclusive Singapore.
At the same time, the Budget contained a slew of new economic and social measures targeted to help specific groups such as older workers stay in the workforce longer, senior citizens, lower-income and special needs Singaporeans, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the transport and tourism sector.
In his annual Budget 2012 announcement on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance MinisterTharman Shanmugaratnam said Singapore will post an estimated  S$2.3 billion surplus for fiscal year 2011.
He unveiled the following measures:
Foreign Workers
The government will tighten the foreign worker quota by reducing Dependency Ratio Ceilings(DRCs), which specify the maximum proportion of foreign workers that companies in various industries can hire, to curb foreign worker growth from 1 July.
The two industries identified for these changes were the manufacturing and services industries.
The manufacturing industry will take a five per cent cut in DRC from 65 to 60 per cent. This means that foreigners will only be allowed to make up 60 per cent of the manufacturing workforce, as compared to 65 per cent previously.
The services sector will also take a reduction in foreign worker DRCs, from 50 per cent to 45 per cent.
S-pass holders will also see a cut in DRC of five per cent to 20 per cent.
These changes will be implemented come 1 July, where companies in the manufacturing and services industry will not be allowed to bring in new foreign workers that will result in them exceeding the new ceilings. Companies that exceed the new ceilings with their existing worker pool will be given an additional two years, till June 2014, to reshuffle their employee make-up to fall back within the new DRCs.
Foreign worker levies may also be raised from July 2013, depending on the rate of growth of the foreign workforce here in the coming year.
About 500 manufacturing companies and 8,500 services companies are set to be affected by the DRC changes.
Boosting the local workforce
To compensate the manpower crunch, particularly in the services industry, more incentives will be given to older workers, early retirees and homemakers to boost the local workforce.
A significant incentive will be introduced for SMEs to help them attract and retain older workers.
Employers will get a Special Employment Credit (SEC) for their Singaporean workers who are above 50 yrs old, and who earn up to $3,000 a month.
The SEC will be 8 per cent of wages and will cover almost 350,000 workers, or four-fifths of older Singaporean workers, including workers earning between $3,000 and $4,000, who will receive a smaller SEC.
This enhanced credit scheme, which was introduced last year, will be in place from September this year up to 2016, in order to allow employers space to hire older workers.
Over and above the SEC, all SMEs will receive a one-off cash grant of five per cent of their revenues in the year 2012, capped at a payout of $5,000, as long as they have been making CPF contributions to at least one of their employees.
The Government will make a major commitment to improve bus service levels by setting aside S$1.1 billion for a Bus Services Enhancement Fund over 10 years.
Under the Fund, the government will partner public transport operators (PTOs) to add  800 buses over the next five years, or a 20% increase, where PTOs took almost 20 years to increase their fleet of buses by that number previously.
Of these, the government will help fund the introduction of 550 buses, while the cost of the remaining 250 buses will be borne by the PTOs.
The increase in buses means that feeder buses will be able to run every 10 minutes or less for two hours during morning and evening peak periods, instead of one hour currently.
Turning to trains, the planned Downtown Line, Tuas West Extension, Thomson Line and Eastern Regional Line will be completed in 10 years' time, and will result in some 400,000 housing units being located within 400 metres of MRT stations, double the number at present.
The government has also decided to replace the Green Vehicle Rebate Scheme (GVR) with a newCarbon Emissions-based Vehicle (CEV) Scheme, which will give rise to up to $20,000 in Additional Registration Fee rebates for purchased green vehicles which have low carbon emissions. Conversely, new cars purchased under the scheme that have high carbon emissions will be subject to up to the same amount in surcharges.
The new CEV scheme is expected to cost government $34 million per year, more than double the total annual incentives given under GVR.
The Additional Transfer Fee (ATF), which was previously levied on used-vehicle transactions, will also be abolished come 18 February.
Senior citizens
A comprehensive package of benefits were unveiled for the welfare of elderly citizens in Singapore.
CPF contributions
Starting September this year, CPF contribution rates will be increased to help older workers aged between 50-65 by up to 2.5 percentage points.
Workers aged between 50 and 55 will experience a 2.5 per cent increase in their monthly contribution (2 per cent from the employer, and 0.5 per cent from the employee) to 32.5 per cent.
For those aged between 55 and 60, an increase of 2 per cent to 23.5 per cent will be implemented, and a 0.5 per cent increase in contribution to 14.5 per cent will kick in for those aged between 60 and 65.
Income tax relief doubled
Income tax relief will also be doubled for some 119,000 older taxpayers aged 55 and above, so that they can retain more of their salary earned -- with those aged between 55 and 59 receiving $6,000 in income relief every year, and those aged 60 and above to receive $8,000.
Medisave contribution rates for self-employed persons aged 50 and above will be increased from 9% to 9.5%, to take effect from January next year.
Older Singaporeans will have another way to get money out of their homes -- with a Silver Housing Bonus of $20,000 awarded to those who opt to move to smaller homes.
The Bonus will be given to older Singaporeans who wish to sell their existing flats and purchase three-room or smaller HDB flats.
The existing Lease Buyback Scheme will also be enhanced, with incentives being doubled from $10,000 to $20,000.
To improve the long-term health care support for the aged, a yearly healthcare expenditure will be doubled from $4 billion to about $8 billion over the next five years.
Among this, a $120 monthly grant will be given to families that hire foreign domestic helpers to care for their elderly family members who have severe dementia, or are immobile and unable to take care of themselves, over and above the existing $95 concession that these families already enjoy.
Bed capacity in hospitals will be expanded by 30%, or 1,900 more beds by 2020 -- more than the capacity at SGH, while another 1,800 community hospital beds will be added by the same year, more than a 100% increase from the number at present.
Apart from the new Community Hospitals that will be co-located with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and the new Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, two more Community Hospitals in Outram and Sengkang will be built by 2020.
Medishield coverage will also be extended to Singaporeans from age 85 to 90, as Singaporeans are living till 90 and beyond.
Medifund will be topped up by $600 million -- this will increase the payouts from Medifund by over 20 per cent.
Nursing homes, home-based health and social care services, day care and rehabilitation facilities and Senior Activity Centres will have more than double the capacity in long-term care services by 2020. Subsidies for these will be expanded to benefit more middle-income earners, with two-thirds of Singaporean households and 80 per cent of the elderly to qualify.
Lower-income patients will receive a 75 per cent government subsidy in community hospitals. Those above the median income, who previously did not receive any subsidy, will now receive a 20 to 50 per cent subsidy.
Lower income group
A permanent Goods and Services Tax voucher will be available to help lower income families.
This voucher will fully offset the 7% GST that the lower half of retiree households pay on their expenses. The GST voucher will come in the form of cash, U-Save and Medisave top-ups. [Click hereto view more details]
Children from lower-income families will be benefiting more from this year's Budget, with criteria for subsidy entitlement being revised to a per capita basis instead of a total monthly income.
The household income ceiling for entitlement to the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme has also been raised to $2,500 per month, which will allow 40,000 more, or double the number of students to be fully subsidised for school fees, uniforms and textbooks, and receive a 75 per cent subsidy on their exam fees. Other schemes will also be enhanced.
$200 million top-ups will also be made to the Edusave and ComCare endowment funds, as well as a further $10 million to be given to self-help groups and the Citizens' Consultative Committee ComCare Fund.
Singaporeans with special needs
Singaporeans with disabilities will also not be neglected, as a "stronger helping hand" will be extended to them.
There will be more places in centres for children who need intensive early intervention.
A new "Development Support Programme" will be introduced to provide learning support and therapy interventions to children with mild speech, language and learning delays, benefiting some 2,000 children.
The Special Employment Credit scheme will also be extended to employers who hire special education (SPED) graduates, regardless of age. These employers will also receive a credit of 16 per cent of their SPED graduate employee's wages.
The Workfare Income Supplement scheme will also be expanded to include all SPED graduates who work, including those aged below 35, and all persons with disabilities will also receive double their existing Handicapped Earned Income Relief.
Tobacco Tax
DPM Tharman also said there will be a 20 per cent increase in tobacco tax. Unmanufactured tobacco taxes will be up 10 per cent.
Elsewhere, the government will inject $905 million into the Tourism Development Fund to develop high quality tourism offerings.
Goods and Services Tax relief for goods brought in by tourists and residents returning from abroad will be simplified and enhanced.


How Does a Car Computer Work?


  • A car has at least one computer, but most have an engine control module (ECM), a body ride control unit, an ABS computer and a climate control computer. How many of these computers depend on the vehicle year, make and model and the options the vehicle has. If the vehicle does not have ABS brakes, it will not have an ABS computer. If the vehicle does not have climate control, it will not have a climate control computer.


  • The main computer is the engine control module. This may also be called the programmable control module. This computer takes its inputs and outputs through the various sensors on a vehicle. Sensors that give input give the computer information to send back to the engine via the output sensors.


  • Some of the sensors include a mass air flow sensor, a coolant temp sensor, cam sensor, crank sensor, idle air control motor, EGR valve, throttle position sensor and a knock sensor. Each sensor has its own job in telling the computer what the conditions are such as air quantity and quality, temperature of the coolant and where the throttle is. The computer uses this information to make infinite changes to the air-fuel ratio, turn the fans on or off and change the idle speed and injector timing, along with many other things needed to run the vehicle.


  • This part of the vehicle's running system is diagnosed by the engine control module. It lets you know when something is not working by turning the "check engine" or "service engine soon" light on. The ECM sends "codes" that turn the light on. A scanner is hooked up to the port under the driver's side dash so that the codes can be read. Because you cannot visually see if a sensor is bad, you must rely on the ECM to tell you this information. The scanner will tell you which sensor is out of range or not working at all.
    The ECM cannot diagnose itself. If an ECM goes bad, the vehicle may run badly or not at all. If the vehicle is running badly, a sensor could be out of range or bad, or the computer could be bad. When you hook up the scanner, you may get codes that do not exist or you may get codes that exist but do not make sense. This is a good sign that the computer itself is not working properly and should be replaced.


  • When you are working with the computer, extreme care must be taken. A friction shock from your fingers can damage the computer. Ground yourself before touching the computer. Most of today's computers must be programmed for the specific vehicle (getting "flashed"). You will need the VIN and the mileage of the car in addition to the numbers on the outside of the computer. The staffers at the auto parts store or the dealer should know that the PROM must be removed from the old computer and put into the new computer prior to "flashing" the computer. If they neglect to move the PROM or they say they will "flash" the computer without having your old computer, be sure to remind them that they cannot flash it without the PROM.

How to Build a Car Computer

Ryan Bauer
How to Build a Car Computer thumbnail
LCD touchscreen installation
Car computers, or "carputers" as they are often referred to, are essentially complete computers integrated into the interior of a vehicle. These multimedia systems put a multi-gigabyte collection of music at the driver's fingertips, as well as an assortment of tools such as GPS satellite navigation for trips and wireless Internet access that can be used when the vehicle is stopped. A regular car computer system will consist of two main components. The screen that is located in or on the dash provides the user with an interface to the computer. This is usually a touchscreen LCD. The other component is the actual computer itself, which is usually located in the trunk


    • 1
      Place the computer in the trunk of the vehicle. Any desktop PC will work for this purpose. To prevent the computer from sliding when the vehicle is moving, secure it to a fixed part of the car. One popular method for immobilizing the system is to connect it to the trunk's tie-down connectors using zip ties, wire, or a thin section of rope. One connection is enough to keep it from moving around if you locate the computer in a corner of the trunk.
    • 2
      Mount the touchscreen LCD in a place that will be easy to use but won't obstruct your vision while driving. If your screen fits the "double DIN" form factor, you can simply mount it where the stereo normally goes. Otherwise, it can be attached to the dash anywhere that is convenient. Use double-sided industrial strength adhesive tape or Velcro patches to hold the screen in place and keep it from moving.
    • 4
      While the carpet is still loose, now is the perfect time to run the power cord to the computer. Using a standard car stereo wiring kit, connect a positive line from the battery, through the firewall (using an existing wiring hole), along the side of the car under the carpet, and into the trunk. Tuck the carpet back into place under the trim. This positive power feed can then be connected to a DC-to-AC inverter to power the computer's existing power supply, or a replacement DC-to-DC computer power supply that eliminates the need for an inverter.
    • 5
      Connect the negative power connector of the inverter or DC power supply to a ground point on the car, preferably keeping the negative wire no longer than 1 to 2 feet in length. The most commonly used ground is the rear seat belt connector. Simply unbolt the seat belt from the car, file the metal to achieve a clean contact surface, and wrap the stripped end of the negative power wire around the bolt before replacing the nut.
    • 6
      Test the system. The computer can now be used just like any other PC would be. Use the system disk that came with the LCD to install the software that will allow the touchscreen to work. For sound output, hook an FM transmitter (these can be found for as little as $20 at any car audio store) to the audio output of the computer. This will allow you to tune your car stereo to a preset frequency (check the transmitter's manual) to hear sound from the car computer.


Car Computer History

Car Computer History thumbnail
Car Computer History
Computerized automotive systems are an ongoing evolution, continually improved from year to year to provide more efficient and more powerful cars. The basic fundamentals of the internal-combustion engine have not changed much since the beginning of the 20th century, but the need for tighter emissions standards coupled with fresh technology have made the on-board computer indispensable

Computers Come of Age

  • From the automobile's inception to the late 1960s, car engines were manufactured with simple designs and mechanical control parts, such as distributors and ignition timing controls. Emissions were not relevant, as efficiency gave way to horsepower and speed. As the 1970s began, federal mandates regarding a car's emissions were beginning to appear, and the fuel crisis of 1973 to 1974 showed many that larger and more powerful motors were not as important as economy. Most cars of this time period were fueled by carburetors, and very few ran with mechanical fuel injection, so the need for on-board computers evolved slowly. The actual physical requirements for an on-board computer had not been miniaturized to the point where they would fit into automobiles by the mid-1970s; it would take another decade before the microchip would be small enough to become practical.

Ignition Control Modules

  • As the gas shortages continued into the late 1970s, car manufacturers began to implement small, solid state circuit boards to control the ignition timing and spark, usually mounted into the engine compartment at the firewall. The hand-sized box would normally burn out within several years, requiring replacement. Several manufacturers experimented with computer-controlled carburetors into the early 1980s, using a crude microchip to meter the rate of fuel mixture and advancement of timing, but these proved unreliable and difficult to repair. The future of computer-controlled ignition resided in fuel injection, not carburetors, and through the middle of the 1980s almost all car makers pushed for an industry-wide changeover to integrated circuit controlled fuel injection.

Fuel Injection

  • The now complex carburetor gave way to fuel injection, mainly because of the ability of the computer to precisely measure the fuel into the engine. Carburetors had a number of disadvantages, such as vapor lock and altitude mixture problems, that a computer could solve with adjustments to the fuel injection system. As the microchip evolved, it became smaller and more powerful, and advancements in shielding could protect it from heat and moisture. Early automotive computers could be accessed with a standardized port in the dashboard, called OBD, or On-Board Diagnostics. This system utilized several sensors placed throughout the engine to relay problems to the technician, streamlining repairs.

OBD Comes of Age

  • As the 1980s gave way to the 1990s, on-board computers were deigned with more and responsibilities. Not only required to process the fuel mixture and timing, they now could be relied upon to control most of the electrical processes of the auto, including climate controls, braking systems and odometer. The computer became an integral part of the machine, upgradeable and customizable, giving the backyard mechanic incredible control over the powertrain's abilities. Using a laptop computer to interface with the OBD port, the programming of the car's microchips became second nature to racers. The engine's performance could be tweaked while the car was in use, and pertinent data could be relayed to the driver in real time. As the OBD system standard was improved upon, the OBDII, or OBD2 system was the next generation of auto computers. Powerful and malleable, this system eliminated the need to "sniff" tailpipes during emissions testing and allowed the sensors to relate the effectiveness of the emissions control systems.

Ghost in the Machine

  • In the beginning of the 21st century, computers become relied up to do much more than monitor and control the engine. With navigation systems, advanced climate controls, communications and entertainment devices, the on-board computer has become the most important part of the car's electrical system. Most automobiles have more computing power than a 1980's desktop computer and can monitor everything from coolant temperature to the ambient temperature of the interior cabin and make automatic adjustments. As vehicle makers improve on the internal-combustion engine, the future of the on-board computer is only just beginning; computers will be required in automobiles, gasoline powered or not, for decades to come.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Luxury and Opulence now for your Mobile Device

The world of luxury now has limitless possibilities. From the outrageous to the necessary, there is a swanky version of nearly every commodity found across the globe today. We bring you a few exclusive mobile phones and phone accessories which are guaranteed to up your chic quotient.

 Swarovski Crystal Studded iPhone 5 Case

The frenzy and excitement of the iPhone 5's launch has infected luxury design houses as well. Following Gresso's launch of beautiful iPhone 5 accessories, Crystal Rocked - another luxury phone accessory manufacturer, has launched similar Swarovski studded phone covers. Available in 12 exciting colours, these covers are embedded with more than 1300-cut Swarovski crystals. The hard-shelled plastic cases are chromed as well to add an extra layer of protection to your sleek iPhone. Another unique feature of these covers is that they do not add much weight to your phone but give it a stylish, elegant look without weighing it down.
Image Via Crystal Rocked

Vertu's Constellation Blue Collection

Over the years, Vertu has been known for bringing forth the finest mobile phone technology in an innovative luxurious avatar. The new models - Neon and Constellation Blue are no different. Designed in collaboration with Lapo Elkann, this phone has the same contours made popular by Vertu phones in the past. The phones use two toned hand-made leather for their exterior, and feature ultra-exclusive sapphire keys. Emphasisng the exclusivity of this product, only 100 such phones will be available for luxury phone lovers.

Image Via Vertu

Roberto Cavalli and Puro's collaborative iPhone Covers

Anything designed by Roberto Cavalli promises to be beautifully designed and executed. Making a bold foray into the world of mobile phone accessories, Roberto Cavalli has launched the 'Lock your Love' collection. This edgy collection features iPad and iPhone covers inspired by the nuances of our everyday lives and the world around us. The collection has been launched as a collaborative effort with Puro, an Italian company which specialises in accessories for the consumer electronic market.

Image Via Puro

Amosu Couture's Swarovski encrusted Samsung Galaxy S3

Android fans now have a reason to rejoice as well, renowned luxury brand Amosu Couture has launched a Swarovski edition for the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. Encrusted with nearly five hundred Swarovski crystals, the phone which already has a vast fan following has been adapted for people with discerning tastes as well. To make sure that your phone is truly unique, Amosu couture has offered buyers the option of encrusting the phone with their name or logos. To ensure full protection, each handset comes along with an exclusive calf leather case, courtesy Amosu couture.

Image Via Amosu Couture

Gold & Co's 24 karat Gold Plated iPhone 5

Since its release in September, the iPhone 5 has been receiving a lot of praise for its sleek, lightweight design as well as its fast processors. The London-based Gold & Co has now taken the shock value of this phone to a whole new level. Earlier in September, this company launched the 24-karat, gold-plated Rose Gold and Gold iPhone 5. Each individually numbered phone will come along with a custom-made wooden box, and a certificate of authenticity. If every one around you is carrying an iPhone, Gold & Co ensures that your phone is not only exclusive but also unique and opulent.
Image Via Gold & Co

ALSO SEE: This iPhone 5 Case Costs Rs 54 lakh


My Blog List