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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Daily Lessons from Life 18 February 2019 - Budget Day

"7 things you need to know about Budget 2019

SINGAPORE: The 2019 Budget remains an "expansionary" one, with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announcing a Bicentennial Bonus and measures to help Singaporeans with healthcare costs.

He also set out details for the much-anticipated Merdeka Generation Package, which will cost the Government S$8 billion in all.

What do the measures announced on Monday (Feb 18) mean for Singaporeans and Singapore businesses?

Here’s a quick overview:

1. THANKS, MERDEKA GENERATION

As expected, the Finance Minister fleshed out the previously announced Merdeka Generation Package, which he called a “gesture of our nation’s gratitude” for those who played a critical role in Singapore’s development.
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The five key benefits announced were:

A S$100 top-up to Merdeka Generation seniors’ PAssion Silver cards
Medisave top-ups of S$200 for five years
Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies and discounts at polyclinics, public specialist outpatient clinics
MediShield Life premium subsidies
A S$1,500 incentive to join CareShield Life

2. AN “EXPANSIONARY” BUDGET THIS YEAR

Like the previous financial year, the Government’s budget position for FY2019 remains expansionary, with a basic deficit of S$7.1 billion expected.

This is excluding government top-ups to funds and Net Investment Returns Contribution from past reserves.

On the whole, a deficit of S$3.5 billion or 0.7 per cent of GDP is predicted, with increased spending expected for defence, education and health.

3. NOT EXACTLY A “HONG BAO”, BUT STILL A BONUS

Last year, the Finance Minister ended his Budget speech on a prosperous note, announcing a one-time “hongbao”for Singaporeans aged 21 and above.

In a similar vein, a S$1.1 billion Bicentennial Bonus was announced to commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial this year.

This includes GST vouchers and a personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent (capped at S$200 per taxpayer), for income earned in 2018.

4. Healthcare was a key focus, with more money earmarked for premium subsidies and other forms of support.

With another S$3.1 billion set aside this year, a total of S$5.1 billion will be put into a new Long-Term Care Support Fund, to fund CareShield Life subsidies and ElderFund.

5. MORE SUPPORT FOR WORKERS, BUSINESSES…

Measures worth S$1 billion were also announced to help local companies build “deep” capabilities. Firms can look forward to “customised” assistance in overcoming business challenges and scaling up.

For workers, there will be new Professional Conversion Programmes relating to blockchain, embedded software and pre-fabrication, while there will be extended wage support for older workers.

However, there will be a lower foreign worker ratio in the services sector, with Mr Heng saying that “relying on more and more foreign workers is not the long-term solution”.

6. less duty free for travellers
7. double diesel tax"

This report listed 7 things to know.

For me, the THINGS to NOTE r:

a. he said at the start: to ensure we can hv our way of life, we need a strong defence! So, 30% goes to defence, home affairs n security!;

b. healthcare cost at the root is not dealt with as more n more Sgp folks need gov subsidies n aid to deal with spiralling health cost!! Even the supposedly golden era Merdeka Gen needs this special package to keep from expected drowning in high health care costs!(?)

Q. the health insurance scheme not working? too much claims due to abuses by patients n healthcare providers like doctors n hospitals?

c. "bicentennial bonus" seems like an excuse to give some money to tne voters. Not sure abt those going to everyone though those that promote charitable giving matching is good.

d. extended the many schemes to encourage innovation, productivity n capacity development by 3 more years mean our biz people r not seizing the opportunity with botb hands? still reluctant or resisting the need to change, to innovate n to internationalised?

Let's see what other experts say tomorrow! 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Daily Lessons from Life 17 February 2019 - Good try!!

"'We have never taken a full salary as young hawkers'

SINGAPORE: In March, Chinatown Complex food centre will undergo renovations and will shut for three months. Alex Ho and Gay Yu Ting who jointly own a stall there are taking that as the cue to close for good.

Mr Ho, 28, and Ms Gay, 32, are behind Sutachi, which offers Japanese-Italian fusion food more commonly found in cafes.

An order of their rice bowl comes with a side of soup, and costs between S$5 and S$7.50. The most expensive item on the menu is a foie gras dish with slices of beef at S$19.50.

The stall opened in December 2017 and was featured on food blogs and review sites for their affordable take on gourmet fusion food. But that did not necessarily translate into consistent profits.

“When we opened, the first three months was very good (because) people were interested. Friends came, Eatbook came. That time, we made money. After that, it was survival period,” Ms Gay said.

“Even though we were popular, we were not popular enough. The stall still could not cover our salaries. We had to take a pay cut. We have never taken a full salary in the last 14 months,” she added. 

Ms Gay worked as an auditor for six years before she decided to pursue her passion in the culinary arts. She enrolled with At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy where she met her business partner and friend Mr Ho.

Both of them worked in restaurants and hotels for a few years after graduating from the academy. Mr Ho said he started out with a monthly salary of S$1,600 which grew to S$2,000 by the time he left to set up Sutachi four years later.

“As chefs, we know the food costs, suppliers and how the F&B business works. When you know the food costs, margins and your salary, you know how much the business is making. I asked myself why do I want to continue working for someone else?” said Mr Ho.""

Kudos to the 2 young persons for having a go at the hawkers trade. It didn't work well. Yet, I m sure they hv become more mature n experienced as a biz person n a human being.

The story also highlighted the real challenges faced by any new hawkers like: costs mgt of rental n foods, choice of foods n menus, etc. It also offers hard facts of dollar n cent, no. of bowls they need to sell to breakeven, how manpower is greatly affected when Mr Ho went for reservist, etc.

None of the romanticized "social enterprise hawkers centre" where diners come with family to release, watch a performance n whatnot!!

Ideas dreamt of or imagined by some members of the "Next Generation Hawkers n Hawkers Centre"!!

This story also highlights HOW MUCH MORE PM Lee n his colleagues will hv to do to get this "soon to be world heritage of Sgp hawkers culture" thingy going. Without a viable livelihoods to make, there won't b many hawkers around to tout this uniquely Sgp culture!

Blessed the 2 young persons n all the successes in their future endeavours!!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Daily Lessons from Life 16 February 2019 - No joke!!

1. No joke no. 1 - lady victim battered by brutal cowardice male robber in KL MTR lift around 6+a.m.

It was very brutal. The cctv captured the male robber savagely punching n kicking the female victim repeatedly. He is lower than a beast n must b caught to pay for his crime! It should b possible to get him quick as he didnt wear any cover n his face n full person was captured on the cctv clip!

May he be brought to justice swiftly n let the court b firm n just to mete our the most effective sentencing!!

2. MoH wrongly calculated CHAS subsidies for 7.7k users! This is really depressing n disturbing for MoH to hv this incident right after the last disastrous incident of HIV Leak!

Saying: "MoH takes these failings seriously!" is totally unhelpful n unconvincing!

MoH has lots of work to do to win back it's credibility!

All the successes in this endeavour!

3. Another gun shooting incident in the USA with 5 deaths (including the shooter/killer himself) n 5 police officers wounded! The timing of a day after the 1st anniversary of the high schools shooting!!

The usual outrage, sadness, condolences, "let's keep America safe n secured" messages by politicians will follow, etc. N then it will b just "biz as usual!"

This type of incident WILL  repeat itself n no one will b wiser!

Only hope of peace n harmony must never b lost!!

Blessed the deads n peace to the family n friends!!