Attorney-General Lucien Wong reappointed for a second term

Attorney-General Lucien Wong will be serving a second term after his reappointment and swearing in ceremony at the Istana on Tue (14 Jan).

Mr Wong, who has over three decades of legal experience, was previously the chairman and a senior partner of Singapore’s largest law firm Allen & Gledhill.

President Halimah Yacob, who officiated the ceremony on Tue, in a Facebook post the same day expressed her confidence in Mr Wong’s abilities to “discharge his duties fairly and with integrity”.

Mr Wong’s previous appointment as Attorney-General — a position that entails acting as a legal advisor to the Government — raised questions concerning potential conflict of interest, as he was previously the personal lawyer of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Two opposition parties have highlighted the issue three years ago, as seen in the Singapore Democratic Party’s letter to then-President Tony Tan and the Workers’ Party (WP) urging the Government to address the matter in Parliament.

The SDP urged Dr Tan to revoke Mr Wong’s position as the Attorney-General, as Mr Wong, in the capacity of the Attorney-General, had allegedly refused to look into Dr Lee Wei Ling’s and Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s allegations regarding PM Lee’s purported abuse of power in the 38 Oxley Road dispute.

“Mr Lucien Wong was sworn in as AG on 16 January 2017. However, the fact that Mr Wong was the PM’s personal lawyer was revealed to the public only in June 2017. The President may not have been aware of this fact or its full implications.

“The association of Mr Wong with PM Lee prior to his becoming the AG has created an acute conflict of interest which cannot be ignored. It is important that President Tan does the right thing in the interest of the people of Singapore and revoke Mr Lucien Wong’s appointment as AG.

“Any further delay or refusal to act will cause even greater erosion of confidence in our public institutions,” the letter read.

Low Thia Khiang — then-chief of the WP — said that Mr Wong was representing PM Lee’s in his private dispute against his siblings over the Lee family’s private property, and then — as an Attorney-General — had the power to advise the Government and the Cabinet on matters related to said property and their late father Lee Kuan Yew’s will pertaining to the house.

“Is there also a conflict of interest here? Was this consideration taken into account when (Mr Wong) was appointed the AG? Can the PM clarify the role of the Law Minister and the AG in this matter, and explain to the House whether there’s any conflict of interest,” Mr Low asked.

Ms Lim, chairman of the WP, said regarding Mr Wong that it was “also well-known that he had been a senior partner in the same firm as the Law Minister for a long time”.

“They probably understand each other intimately,” she said.

Ms Lim also noted how Law Ministers in the past had expressly endorsed the need for there to be distance between the Government and the AGC.

“For instance, Prof S Jayakumar recently gave an interview for a book marking AGC’s 150th Anniversary. There, he recalled how when he was appointed Minister of State for Law in 1981, he was given an office located at the AGC, then in High Street.

“Now, there is no legal prohibition on appointing the Government’s close friends and former party comrades as the AG or Deputy AG … But, from a system point of view, do these appointments instil public confidence that the AGC will act independently in matters where the Government, or worse, the PM, has an interest in the outcomes?” she asked the House.

While Mr Wong’s predecessor V K Rajah SC — who was appointed Attorney-General on 25 Jun 2014 — ended his service as the Attorney-General on 14 Jan 2017 upon reaching the retirement age of 60 years, Mr Wong was 63 years old at the time of his appointment for the first term of his tenure.

As Mr Wong is 67 years old this year, he will be 70 at the end of his second term as the Attorney-General.

Article 35(4) of the Constitution stipulates that the Attorney-General may be appointed for a specific period and — subject to clause (6) — vacate his office at the end of the period.

The Attorney-General is permitted to hold office until the age of 60 years old. However, according to Section 35(4)(b), an Attorney-General who has reached 60 years of age may remain in office for a fixed period of time agreed between the Attorney-General and the Government upon the President’s discretion, if the President takes up the advice of the Prime Minister.

The post Attorney-General Lucien Wong reappointed for a second term appeared first on The Online Citizen.

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Employers may be prosecuted, face harsher penalties for discriminatory hiring practices: Manpower Minister

Amendments to the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) will see employers potentially facing prosecution in court and other harsh penalties for discriminatory hiring practices, including those involving making false declarations on fair hiring consideration.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on Tue (14 Jan) warned that employers found guilty of engaging in workplace discrimination will not be permitted to apply for new work passes for a minimum of 12 months, which is an extension of the previous six months.

In the “most egregious cases”, she stressed that the period of debarment may extend to up to 24 months.

“This will mean stronger deterrence against workplace discrimination of any kind. More importantly, it sends a clear signal about the need for fairness at work,” she told participants at the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Salesforce Platform Professionals’ graduation ceremony today.

Changes made to the framework have already come into effect earlier this month, which saw a logistics company in Singapore being the first company to be charged in court for making a false declaration in an Employment Pass (EP) application, by stating that it had properly considered Singaporean candidates before employing a foreigner.

Those found guilty of false declaration under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$20,000, or both.

Under the FCF, employers are required to advertise job openings for positions with a monthly salary of under S$15,000 on the national Jobs Bank for a minimum of 14 days before opting to apply for an Employment Pass for a foreigner.

Mrs Teo noted that a 12-month ban would result in companies not being able to renew or replace around a third to half of their foreign workforce, given that work passes are valid for two to three years.

Companies subjected to a 24-month ban will not be permitted to renew nearly all of the firm’s work passes or to hire new foreign workers within the period of the ban. Consequently, companies will have to hire Singaporeans in order to be able to continue their operations.

While instances of discriminatory hiring practices are declining, according to Mrs Teo, there are employers who have chosen to remain errant of the law, which resulted in the stiffer penalties introduced in the framework recently.

“Most employers have adapted and it is timely now to turn our attention to weed out the minority, that still think they can treat the FCF job advertising requirement as a paper exercise,” she said.

The FCF was introduced in Aug 2014 to combat workplace discrimination. It came into effect following the decline of new foreign talent into the country after Singaporeans expressed dissatisfaction over the influx of foreign talent into Singapore occupying PMET positions.

The Ministry of Manpower earlier this month announced that the Framework will be updated this year to ensure that Singaporean workers are not discriminated against in favour of foreign talent.

The post Employers may be prosecuted, face harsher penalties for discriminatory hiring practices: Manpower Minister appeared first on The Online Citizen.

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Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union CD Rates: 2.25% APY 18-Month CD, 2.50% APY 30-Month CD, 3.00% APY 60-Month CD (Nationwide)

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You might even find yourself earning more than a regular savings account. Be sure to apply as soon as you can to start your new account experience. Check back often for the latest Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union CD rates!

Disclaimer: Rates / APY terms above are current as of the date indicated. These quotes are from banks, credit unions and thrifts. Bank, thrift and credit union deposits are insured by the FDIC or NCUA. Contact the bank for the terms and conditions that may apply to you. Rates are subject to change without notice and may not be the same at all branches.

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The post Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union CD Rates: 2.25% APY 18-Month CD, 2.50% APY 30-Month CD, 3.00% APY 60-Month CD (Nationwide) appeared first on Hustler Money Blog.

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Custom Keto Diet Review

Nowadays, you get overwhelmed with hundreds of diet fads, exercise routines and various products to aid people in losing weight as being overweight and obese has become a global problem. But with all the existing weight loss programs out there, how do you even know what works and what doesn’t? How about a customized program…

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2010-2019 TSX Growth Kings: 3 Stocks That Had Over 1,000% Returns

Golden crown on a red velvet background

Investors who’ve held shares of three companies from different sectors from 2010 to 2019 are celebrating. All of them have a boatload of cash in the new year. Not one of them regrets investing in the success stories of the decade.

Precious gold

Kirkland Lake (TSX:KL) has shone the brightest, as it was able to disprove the idiom, “all that glitters is not gold,” at least in the past decade. This $9.4 billion gold mining company bested all stocks with a whopping total return of 2,530% with dividends reinvested. Imagine your $10,000 investment growing to $263,018 within the period.

This miner was barely making progress with its first mine in Macassa back in 2010. It was a high-cost project with limited production capacity. The previous owner thought Kirkland was silly even to purchase the flooded mine. It also required a considerable capital to hit management’s production goals.

Fortunately, Kirkland struck gold in the continent down under. In 2016, the company shelled out $1 billion and took over the Fosterville Mine from Newmarket Gold, a gold producer in Australia. Call it luck or vision, but today, Fosterville is one of the world’s highest-grade and most profitable mines.

Overnight cargo sensation

CargoJet (TSX:CJT) came in at the right moment when e-commerce was rising to new heights. Its overnight cargo service is a runaway success story. Based on available data, the stock was trading at only $8.64 per share on February 12, 2012. As of close on December 31, 2019, CJT’s price stood at $103.33.

Had you invested $10,000 in the stock about eight years ago, the total return would be 1,413.31%, bringing the value to $151,349.47 (including reinvestment of dividends). Analysts are forecasting the stock to climb to $130 in the next 12 months, or a 25% increase from its current price of $104.

Along with the option to take a 9.9% equity stake at the airline firm, Amazon.com signed a strategic agreement with CargoJet. The e-commerce giant is now utilizing CargoJet’s overnight air network and charter aircraft services to move packages from Amazon facilities to customers across Canada.

Incredible growth

Enghouse Systems (TSX:ENGH)(NYSE:ESL) is not among the most popular tech stocks, but many investors saw the potential of this software company early on. This $2.8 billion firm specializes in enterprise communications software. After displaying remarkable performance in the last decade, expect the stock to be on many investors’ radars.

An investment of $10,000 in Enghouse at the end of December 2009 produced a total return of 1,166% by year-end 2019. The windfall, including reinvestment of dividends, amounts to $126,648.

Although the operations of Enghouse are smaller in comparison to the likes of Constellation Software, it’s growing by acquiring software companies and consolidating them. The strategy of yearly, multiple acquisitions is highly successful.

Management’s opening salvo in 2020 is an expansion of its product portfolio. The company bought a New Jersey-based Dialogic group for about $52 million. With this acquisition, Enghouse now owns an industry leader in media processing software that it expects to deliver $58-$60 million in revenue in 2020.

Top buys in 2020

While past performance does not guarantee future performance, Kirkland Lake, CargoJet, and Enghouse Systems are likely to continue their winning ways this year.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and CARGOJET INC. The Motley Fool recommends Enghouse Systems Ltd.

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