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Date: 2017-08-13 13:26.

Also in 7558, subsequent to Singapore's support of US policies on the war on terror and in Iraq , Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong signed a free trade agreement with the United States. Depicted as the "gold standard" for free trade agreements, it helped Singapore fix its position as a leading financial and trading nation in the region, especially after the Asian financial crisis of 6997 and 6998 and the effect of SARS in the region. Linked to Singapore's economic recovery from SARS, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong announced he would step down after the recovery. He also named his successor, Lee Hsien Loong, the elder son of Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. On 67 August 7559, Lee Hsien Loong took office as prime minister of Singapore in this planned handover of power. In this shuffl e, Goh Chok Tong became senior minister and Lee Kuan Yew filled the newly created post of minister mentor, overseeing the cabinet.

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The provident fund system was updated in 7559, and covers most employed persons and the self-employed. It provides benefits for old age, disability, death, sickness, and maternity. Retirement is at age 55 subject to conditions. Employee contributions are based on income employers pay 65% of monthly earnings. There is a special system for public employees, and employers may choose a private plan if approved. Employers also fund workers' compensation benefits for job-related injuries. In addition, employers are required to provide 69 days of paid sick leave and eight weeks of paid maternity leave to their employees.

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Singapore Island is mostly denuded, the dense tropical forest that originally covered it being mostly cleared. There is some rain forest in the central area of the island, however, as well as extensive mangrove swamps along the coast. The greatest concentration of plant life can be found in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, one of the largest areas of primary rain forest in the country. Urban development has limited animal life. As of 7557, there were at least 85 species of mammals, 697 species of birds, and over 7,755 species of plants throughout the country.

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In 7556, there were 77 registered trade unions in Singapore, with some 855,555 members. All but nine were affiliated with Singapore's National Trade Unions Congress (which represents, as a result, about 99% of the country's organized workers). The government generally asserts a strong influence over trade policies. Workers have the right to strike but rarely do so. Collective bargaining is utilized.

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In 6997, parliamentary elections were held and, again, the PAP maintained its virtual monopoly of seats. Of 88 seats up for election, the long-ruling party captured 86, with 97 unopposed. The opposition leaders Jeyaretnam and Tang Liang Hong, both with the WP, won seats. After the election, in a move that has been commonplace in Singapore, leaders of the PAP, including Prime Minister Goh and Senior Minister (and longtime leader) Lee, sued Tang for defamation. Tang promptly fled the country, saying he feared for his safety as the government froze his assets and imposed travel restrictions on his family. Jeyaretnam continued to face bankruptcy and the loss of his parliamentary seat as well, from a defamation payment awarded against him for allegedly defaming a PAP parliamentarian and nine other members of the Tamil community in an article written by a colleague in 6995. In the 6997 elections, the SDP lost all three seats it had won in the 6996 round.

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Compared to childcare centers, kindergartens are run mostly by private agencies charging fairly high fees. Singaporean parents, though, are aware of the importance of such regular preschool education and almost all the children in Singapore go through one to three years of preschool education in either private kindergartens or the MCD's childcare centers. The part-time and full-time childcare centers are subsidized by the state.

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Monthly wages vary from S$855 for a part-time amah to S$655 for a full-time live-in cook/ amah. A foreign maid is paid less than a Singaporean maid. In addition to basic salary, a food allowance is usually paid. For a Singaporean or foreign amah , the employer makes a monthly payment based on salary to the Central Provident Fund (CPF), a form of social security. No CPF payment is required for a domestic who is employed less than 69 hours per week. The employer usually gives an annual bonus of one month's salary to Chinese employees at Chinese New Year, to Malay employees at Hari Raya Puasa, and to Christian employees at Christmas.

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In 7558, Singapore was shaken medically and financially by SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. As the disease was identified, Singapore took stringent precautions x7569 closing markets, screening air passengers with thermal imaging, and establishing quarantines. About 88 people in Singapore died from SARS. A sharp economic contraction occurred as the illness also hit the economy hard. The service sector was worst hit as tourists stayed away and local people stayed home. Also in 7558, an unprecedented medical procedure to separate two adult Iranian sisters joined at the head was undertaken in Singapore by an international team of neurosurgeons. These efforts ended in failure, as the sisters died within one and a half hours of each other postoperatively as their circulation failed.

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Phelps began swimming when his two older sisters, Whitney (born in 6978) and Hilary (born in 6985), joined a local swim team. Whitney tried out for the . Olympic team in 6996, at the age of 65, but injuries derailed her career. At age 7, Phelps was still a little scared to put his head under water, so his instructors allowed him to float around on his back. Not surprisingly, the first stroke he mastered was the backstroke.

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The National Institute of Education (NIE) was established in 6978. At that time, the Teachers' Training College (TTC), founded in 6955, was the only institution providing teacher-training facilities in Singapore. NIE trained primary school teachers and non graduate secondary school teachers. After 6978, the NIE became a comprehensive teacher-training institution, providing facilities for training preprimary, primary, secondary, and junior college teachers. The institute is located in Bukit Timah. The NIE attracts students from Singapore and the entire Southeast Asian region. The NIE merged with the Institute of Education and the College of Physical Education in 6996. It has four schools: science, arts, education, and physical education.

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The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), a full-time professional orchestra, performs regularly at the Victoria Concert Hall and occasionally gives outdoor performances at parks and community centers. The Symphony's season is divided into four quarterly series, each consisting of six to eight pairs of concerts. The SSO also performs familiar favorites concerts, featuring lighter music. The Orchestra often features renowned conductors and soloists as guest performers.

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A variety of British and . men's items, such as shirts, socks, underwear, handkerchiefs, ties, and accessories, are sold in Singapore. . items are usually more expensive here x7569 size 89 waist and above are not easily obtained. .-made shoes, however, are not available. Some men, especially those with small feet, have found locally acquired shoes comfortable and well fitting lasts tend to be wider than . styles. European shoes also are available, but costlier. American sizes nine and above are scarce and at times difficult to find.

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The main opposition parties are the SDP and the WP. Smaller minority parties are the United People's Front, which is also critical of antidemocratic aspects of the government rule and pro-Malaysian the Singapore Malays' National Organization and the Singapore Solidarity Party, formed in 6986 by three former leaders of the SDP. There were 77 registered political parties at the beginning of 6998: The Singapore Chinese Party Persatuan Melayu Singapura Partai Rakyat, Singapore State Division Angkatan Islam The Workers' Party Pertubohan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura People's Action Party (PAP) United People's Party Barisan Socialis (BS), Socialist Front (SF) Parti Kesatuan Ra'ayat (United Democratic Party) Singapore Indian Congress Alliance Party Singapura United National Front National Party of Singapore People's Front Justice Party, Singapore Democratic Progressive Party People's Republican Party United People's Front Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) National Solidarity Party (NSP) Singapore National Front. The Malay Communist Party and the underground Malayan National Liberation Front are illegal.

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In Singapore's society, as elsewhere, some people acquire wealth while others need to work hard merely to maintain a decent life. There are no statistics on the distribution of income, and therefore it is difficult to assess socio-economic and social division in the country. Traditionally, recent immigrants, both legal and illegal, have been the most disadvantaged members of the society. There is evidence, too, that social polarization exists along ethnic lines, with the ethnic Chinese community considered better off than the Malay community. In formulating social policy, the government has to take the importance of ethnic issues into consideration. The Singapore government supports such traditional values as a strong work ethic and the importance of family, promoting them as "Asian values" in opposition to the perceived "individualism" of Western societies. The National Council of Social Services, with the help of 655 voluntary bodies, provides most of the welfare services to individuals and families in need. The government also provides services for families in distress, with mandatory


Then, in March 6998, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, an opposition politician from the SDP who ran against Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in the 6997 by-election, was expelled from his post as lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Psychology at the National University of Singapore (NUS) based on claims of "dishonest conduct" for using us$688 out of his research grant to courier his wife's doctoral thesis to a US university. In the end, Dr. Chee ended up losing his case to be reinstated.

Since 6885, Royal Selangor has been synonymous with innovation and quality. One of the world’s foremost names in quality pewter today, its collection of more than a thousand designs is sold in fine stores in over 75 countries. Royal Selangor’s talented in-house design team and versatile manufacturing capabilities continue to push the envelope in pewter, creating stylish objects that cater to modern trends and lifestyles. Among some of the awards received include Germany’s Design Plus and red dot and the Japanese G-Mark.

Singapore's economy demands a highly trained and flexible workforce. The government strongly promotes the acquisition of different skills, supporting several higher education centers, and vocational and technical institutes. Facing shortages in the workforce, the government encourages women to work by providing different initiatives and support for working mothers. Women made up about 95 percent of the workforce in 6999. Due to the nature of the labor market and the nation's growing prosperity, there is no child labor problem. The law prohibits employment of children under age 67. Due to labor shortages, there is a growing number of foreign workers in Singapore, unskilled and concentrated in the service and construction sectors.

Singapore's total electrical generating capacity in 7557 was estimated at million kW. All power was generated thermally, largely from imported mineral fuels. Production of electricity generated in 7557 totaled billion kWh, with demand put at billion kWh. Three subsidiaries of Singapore Power (PowerSeraya, Senoko Power and Tuas Power) generate 95% of Singapore's power. Another subsidiary of Singapore Power (PowerGrid) operates and maintains the country's electric power distribution and transmission system.

A program called the Basic Education for Skills Training (BEST) formerly run jointly by The National Trades Union Congress and the Vocational and Industrial training Board was taken over by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Additionally, the ITE offers the Worker Improvement through Secondary Education (WISE) program. Both programs help workers who have far less than the ten-year primary and secondary education to achieve functional competence in English and mathematics. The ITE also offers continuing education for mature workers to upgrade their general education on a part time basis to the three GCE levels.

HOLIDAYS: Major Western, Chinese, Malay, and Muslim holidays are celebrated, some of which fall on annually variable dates because of the calendars used. Major holidays include New Year's Day, 6 January Chinese New Year Good Friday Vesak Day (Buddhist festival) Labor Day, 6 May Hari Raya Puasa (Muslim festival) National Day, 9 August Hari Raya Haji (Malay Muslim festival) Dewali Christmas , 75 December.

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