Newsbites – AGC vs Alex Au part two, and money matters

AGC can take another shot at Alex Au: Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal yesterday granted permission for the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to appeal against the High Court’s ruling that it has no no basis to act against Mr Au, 61, over a blog post by Mr Au that AGC claimed “scandalised the judiciary”. The original charge was first rejected by the High Court as it decided AGC has no basis for the charge. AGC’s attempted to appeal the High Court’s decision, but used the wrong legal procedure and was rejected again. The AGC now permission from the Court of Appeal to appeal a second time, which it believes “is prima facie contemptuous”, according to Senior State Counsel Tai Wei Shyong.


Beware phone scams on work pass applications: MOM

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has warned of scams involving someone impersonating as one of its officers to settle issues such as work pass applications in exchange for money transferred to a given account. The following is MOM’s statement on its Facebook page.

We have received feedback that members of the public have received suspicious calls from a person who claimed to be a MOM officer, asking them to transfer money to an account to settle issues related to their stay in Singapore or work pass application. The phone number displayed on the receiver’s phone is that of the MOM Contact Centre’s hotline (6438 5122).

We would like to clarify that these calls are not authentic. Our MOM officers will not make such calls for any funds transfers. We have advised the affected individuals to lodge police reports.

Members of public who receive such calls should:

• Ignore such calls;
• Not transfer any money to the caller, either via remittance agencies, banks or any other means; and
• Call the Police immediately at ‘999’ to report the matter.

We take such incidents seriously, as they undermine public trust in MOM.


Free Pre-Peak Travel scheme for trains extended to next year

The Free Pre-Peak Travel scheme, which allows commuters to tap out at 18 designated MRT stations before 7.45am on weekdays at no cost, has been extended to 23 June 2015. Those tapping out from 7.45am to 8am will also continue to have 50 cents off their train fares. The Land Transport Authority indicated that 7% of commuters have shifted out of the morning peak period since the introduction of the scheme in June 2013.

“In the second year of the free pre-peak trial, we are going to focus more on working with employers to make flexible work arrangements more widely available to their staff, so that their staff can have a choice of a lifestyle change,” Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo was quoted by media as saying.


Slight drop in HDB prices

HDB resale prices dropped slightly by 0.2% in April compared to March. While there was a 1.2% increase in price for executive flats, all other categories of housing decreased slightly. Property experts opined that this decrease was related to buyers being more conservative after changes to the HDB resale process that affected the Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) component of a deal.


Big drop in COE prices

Premiums for Certificate of Entitlement (COE) dropped across all car categories, with the price for Category A (cars with 1600 cc or less) falling the most by more than $10,000.