Brisk sales continue for TV box sellers despite ongoing court case

SINGAPORE– Merchants of Android TV boxes are keeping a close watch on a private prosecution case versus two fellow TELEVISION box sellers however have no plans to stop sales at the moment.

Sales of such Android TELEVISION boxes continue to be vigorous at Sim Lim Square during a go to by TODAY on Saturday (Jan 13).

Retailers there declare that their products– which come preloaded with apps that let users stream copyrighted content– are various from those pointed out in the legal case as they are not “specifically designed and adjusted” to make copies of copyrighted content.

” We are just doing streaming,” said a shopkeeper at Amconics Technology who declined to be called.


On Friday, 4 rights owners– telcos StarHub and Singtel, home entertainment giant Fox and the arranging body of the English Premier League (EPL)– filed private prosecution charges versus Synnex Trading and An-Nahl for the alleged offense of “wilfully infringing” copyright”.

Mr Joe Guo Jun, 30, a TELEVISION box salesperson at MT, situated on the third floor of Sim Lim Square, stated the TV boxes sold at the store were simply platforms for individuals to enjoy more content on their television, and “it is up to the users how they wish to use it”.

The TELEVISION boxes come preloaded with apps that can be used to access illegal content, Mr Guo who hails from Shandong stated the software was installed by a producer in Shenzhen, China, and not by MT or its personnel.

He worried that he typically discusses to his customers that it is “absolutely against the law” to access unauthorised websites and prohibited material through the devices.

A 73-year-old set-top box seller who just wanted to be referred to as Mr Tan included: “We tell individuals not to download. If the stores here assist individuals to download, that’s where you can get into difficulty.”

As evidence, Mr Tan showed TODAY (envisioned below) clauses on its receipts which mentioned: “Please do not download movie/dramas (sic) etc” and “Downloading is an offense under the copyright law”.

He added: “We are streaming through applications that can also be packed onto Android phones. If TELEVISION box sellers are considered prohibited, will authorities pursue phone and computer sellers too?”

Like many sellers, Mr Tan, a previous mathematics teacher, is watching advancements on the continuous legal case closely.

“If the case is not favourable, I simply shut down business (and retire),” Mr Tan added.

A representative of CH2 Technologies– the parent business of a couple of TV box brand names here which dominate the scene at Sim Lim Square and in IT shows– informed TODAY it does not provide channel memberships or video-on-demand services.

“We are just helping customers who wish to watch YouTube, films or dramas,” he said.

Still, Israeli business person Lior Nabat, 47, who was browsing for set-top boxes at the electronics shopping mall, noted that there are sellers who attempt to surpass the competitors by providing a variety of unlawful streaming apps.

Formerly, set-top boxes– utilized to stream films, television shows or sports programs– had actually decoded encrypted broadcasts offered by StarHub. The sale and distribution of these decoders are unlawful under the Broadcasting Act.

In the previous three to 5 years, brand-new innovations have actually permitted pirates to prevent the law, and the set-top boxes nowadays that use apps to stream material do not have decoders and are considered legal.

Last month, the Union Versus Piracy– whose members consist of significant home entertainment business– said the devices help with “widespread” piracy in Singapore.

In the event before the courts here, Synnex and its director, Jia Xiaofeng, were served with four charges each: One for the ownership of 104 media boxes “particularly created and adapted” for making copies of copyrighted last Might at its store in Geylang, and 3 for supposedly assisting clients make “unauthorised copies” of programmes or movies between May and September last year.

These include EPL football matches, as well as programs on cable channels such as Star Sports, Astro, TVB, and National Geographic.

An-Nahl, which utilized to carry Synnex’s set-top boxes, and its director Abdul Nagib Abdul Aziz, were served 2 charges each. They were for stocking 12 set-top boxes at its store in Tanjong Katong Complex, and assisting a customer use the media box to make unauthorised copies of EPL matches and Fox programmes last Might.

Asked if more set-top box sellers would be hauled to court, Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow legal representative Lim Ren Jun– who is representing Singtel, StarHub, Premier League and Fox– informed TODAY on Saturday that his customers are “considering their choices and will not think twice to take robust action to implement their legal rights”.

Mr Lim declined discuss the length of time his clients’ examinations had persisted before they litigated, just revealing that the Magistrate’s Problems preceding Friday’s charges were heard before the State Courts’ criminal activity computer registry on Nov 20 and 21 last year. No mediation case had actually been conducted to this day, he included.

On why StarHub, Singtel, Premier League and Fox are working together in the event, Mr Lim described his customers’ joint declaration, pronouncing their stand that “it is imperative that intellectual property rights are protected to offer content creators their simply due”.

“Piracy makes it untenable for manufacturers to keep creating content for the public’s pleasure and Singapore can not successfully motivate development when intellectual property rights are continuously trampled on,” they composed.

The rights and telcos owners added that they will continue to take “collective and decisive action” versus content piracy through public education along with legal channels, keeping in mind the “alarming expansion” of streaming gadgets that are utilized to see copyright-protected material “injures both consumers and manufacturers”.

These are the taxes Singapore could hike in next month’s Budget

SINGAPORE– Speculation is buzzing that the Singapore federal government will raise the products and services tax in its Feb 19 budget rollout. Product and Services Tax (GST) most likely won’t be the entire story.

Authorities have numerous other choices to increase taxes or at least signal that they’re needed in the coming years, as the city-state comes to grips with rising health and retirement expenses as the population ages quickly.

Here are a couple of other procedures to view as the budget plan is revealed:



Economies in the region are just beginning to deal with the sticky problem of how to help level the playing field in between brick-and-mortar retail and online vendors through a tax on the latter.

While Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia all have been conceptualizing this type of levy, Singapore may have to move much faster, stated Chua Hak Bin, a senior economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Study in Singapore.

That’s since any increase in the GST would offer online merchants an even bigger unjust benefit, he stated.

Francis Tan, an economic expert at United Overseas Bank in Singapore, sees the same urgency for an e-commerce levy.

” It’s pretty crucial today, particularly when there’s a growing share – increasing at a double-digit rate every year– of Singaporeans shopping online,” he stated. “They simply have to plug this space” between taxing online and traditional shops, he said.

Online buyers in Singapore typically aren’t taxed for their purchases if they don’t go beyond S$ 400, Indranee Rajah, senior minister of state for law and financing, stated in a November interview.

Given how rapidly online vendors are altering the way people shop, such a tax change ought to have been attained “most likely yesterday,” she said.

Singapore removed the tax on assets for people who died after Feb 15, 2008, and it’s possible the federal government may look for to reinstate the estate responsibility at some time, stated Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and method at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

The levy fits the federal government’s objective of broadening the tax base and making sure that the costs are fair.

” It does send out across a very important message about equitability– to make sure that when there’s inter-generational transfer of wealth, a few of this is to be redistributed” by taxing part of it, he said.


Earnings tax rates in Singapore are amongst the most affordable on the planet, and there might be space to change those without threatening the city state’s competitiveness.

The tax rate for leading earners, at 22 percent, compares favorably to a 30 per cent average throughout Asia and 34, 35 and 36 percent in Latin America, Europe and North America, inning accordance with information compiled by tax and financial advisory company KPMG.

On the business side, Singapore ranks No. 2 in the world on the planet Bank’s ease-of-doing organisation index, consisting of a seventh ranking in the “paying taxes” sub-category. The total ranking is three spots higher than rival Hong Kong.

But with tax competition heating up throughout the world as the U.S. decreases rates, it’s not likely Singapore will relocate the opposite direction.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, in reaction to a concern on the United States tax cuts this week, offered no hints of possible adjustments.

” There is increasing competitors in the worldwide arena,” stated Mr Heng. “We should continue to develop and enhance our competitive advantages, by keeping our pro-business environment and building on our connection to the worldwide markets and our strong links” to Southeast Asia and Asian economies, he said.


Officials like Ravi Menon, handling director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, have actually taken care not to cast a judging eye on the hype around cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, instead clarifying that while there may be investment danger, the authorities will not control them beyond indications of illicit financing.

Ernst & Young LLP is looking for more clearness on how to deal with virtual currencies in tax terms. The Inland Income Authority of Singapore has to attend to whether the currencies be treated as a commodity for tax purposes, or as a product derivative, “given the proposed statutory meaning that it is a digital representation of value where the underlying asset is a virtual commodity,” stated Amy Ang, a partner and financial services tax leader at Ernst & Young Solutions. BLOOMBERG

Parents’ illnesses spurred Swiss Cottage Sec alumnus to prioritise

SINGAPORE– Her daddy fell ill when she was in Secondary 3; her mom, a year later on.

Both events surprised 16-year-old Leow Su Qi, causing her to ponder the significance of life.

” One time on the bus, I sat down and began to believe (about) what my objectives in life are … and exactly what are the crucial things I want to accomplish in life,” Su Qi, a Swiss Cottage Secondary School alumnus who got her O Level results for 2 subjects on Friday (Dec 12).

She scored B3 in Elementary Mathematics and Art.

Su Qi was amongst the leader batch of students on a pilot plan that enables lower secondary students from the Typical (Academic) and Regular (Technical) streams to take subjects at a greater scholastic level.

The trial began in 12 secondary schools in 2014 and was extended this year.

It enables students who scored at least an A for English, mother, science or mathematics tongue in the Primary School Leaving Assessment to study the corresponding subjects at the Express level.

About 370 Normal (Academic) trainees in Su Qi’s friend took one or more topics in English, Mathematics, Combined Sciences and Native Tongue at the Express Level.

“These trainees’ general performance in these topics were comparable to their peers in the O Level cohort,” said the Education Ministry and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board.

Su Qi just recently got her N Level results, scoring A2 for English, Combined Science and Combined Liberal Arts, and a B4 for Native Tongue.

The teen stated joy, her family and friends and working to her dream task were essential to her.

She had “never ever actually liked making schedules”, but her moms and dads’ health conditions– for which she declined to reveal the information– spurred her to prioritise the most important jobs to accomplish every day.

She organized her life and handled her school activities and the family chores, which she shared her older sister.

Besides her research studies, she was likewise the vice-president of Swiss Home Secondary’s trainee council and a member of the Malay dance group.

Outside of a packed schedule, Su Qi discovered time to capture the periodic motion picture and play the Sims 4 video game.

“The best feeling you get is when you have the ability to strike off something on your to-do list,” she said.

Her next objective is to get into Singapore Polytechnic’s interior design course, and she intends to operate in set design.

Fewer O-Level students pass 5 or more subjects in 2017

SINGAPORE– She {had|had actually} set her heart on {joining|signing up with} the {student|trainee} council in Secondary One at Fajar Secondary School, {but|however} was {unsuccessful|not successful} {because|since|due to the fact that} she was not outspoken enough.

After having “{a big|a huge} cry” and with her {parents|moms and dads}’ {encouragement|motivation|support}, Wong Zi Qi {tried|attempted} {again|once again} the {following|list below} year, and {succeeded|was successful|prospered}.

The 16-year-old {eventually|ultimately} {became|ended up being} vice-president of the {student|trainee} council and is, today, {comfortable|comfy} speaking in front of an audience.

{Three|3} years {ago|back|earlier}, “my {{teachers|instructors} and {friends|buddies|pals|good friends}|{friends|buddies|pals|good friends} and {teachers|instructors}} {told|informed} me that if I did not speak, they would not {have|have actually} {known|understood} I {was there|existed}”, {said|stated} Zi Qi, who {received|got} her O Level results on Friday (Jan 12).


She scored {six|6} {distinctions|differences} (A1 or A2) for Elementary and {Additional|Extra} Mathematics, Chinese Language, Biology, Chemistry, and {Combined|Integrated} {Humanities|Liberal Arts} (Social Studies and History). Zi Qi, who {declined|decreased} to {reveal|expose} her grade for English, {hopes to|wishes to|intends to|wants to} {enrol|register} in {Pioneer|Leader} or Catholic junior college.

The {initial|preliminary} {failed|stopped working} {attempt|effort} at {joining|signing up with} the {student|trainee} council was not the {first time|very first time} she {had|had actually} emerged {stronger|more powerful} after {a disappointment|a frustration|a dissatisfaction}.

She {had|had actually} scored 199 in her Primary School Leaving {Examination|Evaluation|Assessment}, {just|simply} {short of|except} her target of 200.

” I {felt like|seemed like} I didn’t make my {parents|moms and dads} {proud|happy},” {said|stated} Zi Qi, her voice softening {slightly|somewhat|a little}.

She {promised|guaranteed|assured} her {mother|mom} she would do her {best|finest} in secondary school and {held true|was true|applied} to her word– her {results|outcomes} {placed|put|positioned} her {among|amongst} Fajar Secondary’s top-scorers.

In the lead-up to the O Levels, she {recalled|remembered} {constantly|continuously} asking her {Maths|Mathematics} {teacher|instructor}, Mdm Sangeetha, for {help with|assist with|aid with} {revision|modification}, “{giving|providing|offering} her a long list of Maths {questions|concerns} I had {problems|issues} with”.

Her experiences {so far|up until now} {have|have actually} taught her this: “Although {sometimes|in some cases|often} {certain|specific|particular} things {seem|appear} {impossible|difficult}, I feel that if we put our heart into it, {nothing|absolutely nothing} is {impossible|difficult}.”

5,000 more jobs to be created in sea transport sector

SINGAPORE– Over the next decade, more than 5,000 extra jobs and S$ 4.5 billion in value-add will be produced in the sea transportation sector under its industry change map (ITM) launched on Friday (Jan 12).

The plan sets out the restructuring plans for the shipping, port, maritime services sections of the maritime sector, which contributes 7 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product and utilizes over 170,000 people.

Revealed by Senior Citizen Minister of State (Transport and Health) Lam Pin Min at an industry occasion, the ITM was established by the Maritime and Port of Authority of Singapore (MPA) in collaboration with the industry, unions and other government companies. A typical style amongst the ITMs for the various sectors, digitalisation will also be key in driving the sector’s improvement. While doing so, some existing jobs will be reskilled and redesigned into roles that tap on digital skills.

Port workers will discover to operate in a more automated environment with the new port coming up in Tuas. Seafarers will also run clever vessels remotely in the future, while port crane operators who presently operate a single crane at any one time, will have the ability to supervise approximately five cranes while seated in an operations centre.


At a media instruction earlier in the week, MPA chief executive Andrew Tan stated there will be many opportunities for a whole spectrum of roles including marine property surveyors, delivering operations officers, ship representatives, shipbrokers, charterers, port operations officers.

Mr Tan worried that the restructuring does not require displacement of employees. “We will make sure that those that are currently doing those jobs will be retrained and reskilled to play the brand-new roles,” he stated.

He noted that the existing workforce in the sea transportation sector are specialists, executives, supervisors and service technicians (PMETs) who remain in a “great position to reskill themselves” by learning new skills such as information analytics and systems engineering.

More data experts will be required as maritime business tap data analytics to keep track of fleet-wide performance. New roles would likewise need individuals who are skilled in systems crafting to develop and manage complex integrated systems, in order to synchronise unmanned and manned activities in the Tuas mega port.

Announced in 2012, the new port will combine all of Singapore’s port operations in a single location. It will open in 4 stages, with the very first berths anticipated to be operational in 2021.

Apart from re-training the rank and file, Mr Tan worried the value of grooming the next generation of maritime industry leaders. “Among the feedback we get when we engage the industry is that our locals do not have that worldwide mindset. We desire to promote higher international mindsets by giving more exposure opportunities to those in leadership positions,” he said.

The digitalisation drive will offer the Republic a strategic competitive advantage in the international maritime market, amid growing competitors from nations such as China which are developing their facilities.

” It is important that among other maritime clusters, the Singapore maritime cluster is the first to continue in this area,” stated Mr Tan.

Mr Tan reiterated that digitalisation will bring immediate advantages to the market– higher effectiveness and savings in time and expenses through the streamlining of processes.

Amongst other initiatives, Singapore is investing in brand-new port abilities such as a fleet of 30 automated directed automobiles (AGVs) which have actually been deployed in a trial, along with automated lawn cranes and quay cranes in the Pasir Panjang Terminal. They are used to carry large containers within the port.

Along with the launch of the ITM, several memorandums of understanding (MOU) were signed between MPA and tripartite partners on Friday.

For instance, an MOU signed in between Singapore Customs, Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and MPA will cover the digitalisation of trade and maritime files such as a bill of lading– a document released by a carrier to acknowledge invoice of freight for delivery. The effort might involve making use of blockchain technology, said Mr Tan.

The implementation of the sea transportation ITM will need numerous stakeholders to interact, and the MOU finalizings are a demonstration of their dedication, he kept in mind.

MOUs to boost maritime start-up community

To encourage innovation and explore new development areas, the Maritime Technology Acceleration Programme (MTAP) will be launched, following the finalizing of a memorandum of understanding on Friday (Jan 12) by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business.

The three-year collaboration will include a residency collaboration at Block 71 at the JTC Launchpad @ One North. The two organisations will jointly organise activities to foster the maritime startup environment here such as running the Smart Port Obstacle (SPC), and building awareness amongst the startup neighborhood on opportunities in the maritime and port market.

The SPC is a yearly competitors for worldwide start-ups to tackle challenges in the shipping, port and maritime logistics clusters.

MPA and NUS Enterprise will likewise shortlist start-ups from the SPC to establish their prototypes through a 10-week curriculum that consist of training and mentorship. At the end of the effort, the start-ups will pitch their options to a judging panel, and successful start-ups will be offered grants to carry out proof-of-concept or product development projects with industry partners.

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan noted that the start-up community in the maritime industry is at a nascent phase. “The level of awareness (of) chances in the maritime sector (for start-ups) is not extremely high.

Separately, an MOU was tattooed by start-up Glee Tree, MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association for the development of a robotic process automation innovation in the ship firm sector.

The technology serves to automate manual processes such as information extraction, entry and validation. Glee Tree wased established by Mr Christopher Lim, 39 and Ms Ada Lim, 38 about 18 months earlier.

Speaking to TODAY, Marine Nexus CEO Eric Chean, 27, who has been running his maritime start-up for the past two years, stated the maritime start-up environment in Singapore is “very small”, compared to the size of the market.

” This is an old market that has an extremely standard technique to doing things. The industry also does not believe in innovation as much compared with other markets,” said Mr Chean.

Acknowledging the Government’s efforts to stimulate innovation in the sector, he included: “( It) can refrain from doing everything. The economic sector must likewise step-up.”

Revealed by Senior Citizen Minister of State (Transport and Health) Lam Pin Min at a market occasion, the ITM was developed by the Maritime and Port of Authority of Singapore (MPA) in partnership with the industry, unions and other government agencies. Apart from re-training the rank and file, Mr Tan stressed the significance of grooming the next generation of maritime industry leaders. Amongst other efforts, Singapore is investing in brand-new port capabilities such as a fleet of 30 automated assisted automobiles (AGVs) which have been released in a trial, along with automated yard cranes and quay cranes in the Pasir Panjang Terminal. MPA chief executive Andrew Tan kept in mind that the startup community in the maritime market is at a nascent stage. “The level of awareness (of) chances in the maritime sector (for startups) is not really high.