Singapore news in brief

A senior employee with the Housing Board (HDB) and the director of a construction company were charged with corruption on Thursday.

HDB senior estate manager, construction company director charged with corruption

Tan Siam Chua, 60, who was a senior estate manager with HDB at the time of the alleged offences, was handed one charge of abetting corrupt transactions with agents.

The director of Liong Construction, Liong Ah Chye, 61, was charged with one count of corrupt transactions with agents.

MOM to target metalworking, small-scale construction work in safety inspections

The Manpower Ministry (MOM) will step up inspections of the metalworking industry and raise safety standards for smaller-scale construction work like renovations, as these accounted for many work-related injuries in 2023 H1.

MOM on Thursday released the national workplace safety and health statistics for the period between January and June.

There were 14 workplace deaths and 311 major workplace injuries in the first six months of 2023 – down from 18 deaths and 316 major injuries in the 2022 H2, and 28 workplace deaths and 298 major injuries in 2022 H1.

Singaporeans eat too much salt

Nine in 10 Singaporeans eat too much salt, and the rate of hypertension has almost doubled since 2010, latest data shows.

More than a third of people now suffer from high blood pressure, raising the danger of heart disease and stroke, according to the latest national health and nutrition report cards for Singapore released on Wednesday.

Adding to their health risks, people are eating more and moving less.

Singapore rises to fifth place in Global Innovation Index 2023

Singapore has moved up two spots to fifth place in the Global Innovation Index, leading the South-east Asia, East Asia and Oceania region.

Switzerland retained the crown for the 13th year in a row, in the ranking published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Sweden moved up one spot to second place and the United States slipped a spot to third. The United Kingdom took fourth place.

This year, the index used 80 indicators to track innovation trends in 132 economies.

Water price to go up 50c per cu m by 2025

Water will soon cost consumers an additional 50 cents per cubic m, starting with a 20-cent increase in April 2024 and a 30-cent rise in April 2025.

This means that most households will fork out an additional $4 to $9, excluding goods and services tax, for their monthly water bill by 2025, said national water agency PUB on Wednesday.

In 2020, the average monthly consumption of water was 15 cubic m for condominiums and 16.2 cubic m for HDB flats.

Lower- and middle-income households will get help to offset some of the price increase.

Mooncakes recalled after high levels of bacteria causing food poisoning found

Two types of mooncakes – Joymom’s Musang King Snowskin Mooncake and Fragrance’s Single Yolk Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake – were recalled by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) after they were found to contain high levels of bacteria that causes food poisoning.

SFA said it detected Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) in Joymom’s Musang King Snowskin Mooncake and aflatoxins, a type of toxin produced by fungus, in Fragrance’s Single Yolk Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake.

Both substances were present at levels exceeding the maximum limits stated in Singapore’s food regulations, said the SFA. Taste Right and Fragrance Foodstuff were directed by the agency on Wednesday to recall the mooncakes.


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