Jumaat, 15 November 2013

The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Thumbs up for three-generation flats


THE latest three-generation living approach by the Housing Board (HDB) looks set to continue, given the number of young families with elderly members who applied for September's offerings.

Noting the positive response on his blog, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said: "The launch of 3Gen flats has clearly encouraged more to consider multi-generation living. This is a good sign.

"We should continue to facilitate multi-generation living for Singaporeans who wish to do so."

The HDB had offered only 84 three-generation units in Yishun, as it was "not sure of demand" then.

But a third of the 1,152 applications for three-generation units and five-room flats were from multi-generation households.

This is in stark contrast to last year, when only 3% of five-room flat applicants applied to live with their parents under the Married Child Priority Scheme, wrote Khaw.

The three-generation units are a new type of flat offered by the HDB.

They have four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and are 5 sq m larger than current five-room units.

The Housing Board bundled the three-generation flats and five-room units so that applicants would have an "alternative housing option" if one type ran out, Khaw said.

Second-time applicants signalled strong interest in these larger flats, forming two-thirds of the applicants.

Among first-timer multi-generation families, six in 10 are either expecting or have young children below age 16.

Their median age is 39, higher than the previous median of 30 among first-time applicants for five-room flats.

One in 10 first-timer households have no children, and their median age is understandably lower at 32.

Khaw said: "I am happy they are planning ahead to move into a larger flat to better take care of their ageing parents and future children."

Singapore is projected to have one in five people aged 65 or older by 2030.

"As population ages, family support will become increasingly important for our seniors," said Khaw.

"They also help to enrich family relations by sharing their experiences, and lending an extra hand in caring for their grandchildren."

Another 100 three-generation flats in Jurong West will be available in the next HDB exercise later this month. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Lee: Asean must work together to combat cyber threats


ASEAN nations must cooperate to strengthen their defences against hackers, which threatened several member states in the past two weeks, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

"We must not condone such malicious and harmful behaviour," he said, at the opening of the13th Asean Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (Telmin) yesterday. The annual meeting promotes regional cooperation in infocomm efforts to strengthen regional economies and social development.

Hackers compromised websites in Thailand, Philippines and Singapore over the past two weeks. Malaysia and Indonesia were also targets.

"We must strengthen our defences and cooperate to deal with these common threats," he said.

Singapore has arrested some of the people suspected in connection to the hacking incidents in Singapore. Condemning these acts as a crime, Lee said: "It is not a prank when someone hacks websites and intrudes into computer systems ... At a minimum it inconveniences the public, but potentially it has much graver consequences; it can damage infrastructure and endanger lives."

This happens when the electricity grid or a hospital management system fails to work. He also urged citizens to speak up against such acts, and express their disapproval of those responsible, or others who have supported the perpetrators.

In his opening address, Lee also touched on the need for Asean countries to "accelerate" the harmonisation of airwaves in the 700MHz band, currently used for TV broadcasting, so they can be recycled for mobile broadband purposes.

By agreeing on a common spectrum, regional mobile roaming can take place with minimal signal interference along coast lines.

So far, four out of eight Asean member nations – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – have committed to the plan to use the 700MHz spectrum, expected to be freed up when the switch from analogue to digital TV broadcasting takes place over the next few years. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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