Archive for the Current affairs Category

Shell Singapore donates more than $400,000 to families in need

As part of celebrations for its 125th anniversary in Singapore, Shell joined hands with Mediacorp’s Radio Gives Back to provide families in need with financial assistance.

From 4th to 17th April 2016, Shell donated $1.25 for every purchase of Shell fuels, along with additional donations of $5.00 for every 125 Shell Escape Points contributed by customers in support of this cause. Through this initiative, Shell raised more than $400,000 in donations, successfully exceeding its target donation sum of $300,000.

ShellDonation

To celebrate the success of the initiative, Shell formally presented a cheque of $401,495 to Mediacorp’s Radio Gives Back today at Caldecott Hill, home of Mediacorp Studios. The total amount in donations will be used to provide financial support for families in need to help with their children’s education, utility and medical bills and daily necessities. This initiative is part of Shell’s long-standing commitment to serving the local community.

New Outward Bound Singapore campus to be built on Coney Island

Outward Bound Singapore is expanding its campus to Coney Island. Coney Island is just a small strait away from the Outward Bound Singapore campus in Pulau Ubin, making it the ideal place for OBS expansion.

OBS @ Coney 1

The new OBS campus at Coney Isand (OBS @ Coney) will enable OBS to expand its capacity and provide all young Singaporeans with the opportunity to attend OBS during their upper secondary years.

OBS @ Coney 2

About 14,000 students go through OBS each year. OBS @ Coney will expand the capacity to provide outdoor adventure training opportunities for up to 45,000 youths every year. With good connectivity to both Pulau Ubin and mainland, the expanded OBS will be able to efficiently and effectively conduct more quality programmes and expeditions around Singapore, utilising our blue and green spaces.

OBS Additional Visuals 1

The OBS @ Coney campus will be rustic and blend in as much as possible with the surroundings. It will occupy 12-ha or about 10% of Coney Island. The rest of Coney Island remains open for the public.

OBS @ Coney will cost about $250 million and be ready in 2020.

coney campus -final-01

IRAS going to start taxing bloggers and online influencers

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) recently send out letters to some bloggers and online influencers saying that all income from their social media activities need to be declared in the annual Income Tax Return. Yeap, IRAS is going to start taxing bloggers and online influencers.

OK, it is really no surprise that IRAS is doing this. After all, there are more and more full time influencers and some of them can be earning quite a lot of money from advertorial. But perhaps the thing that surprise me is that non-monetary benefits including sponsorship of products/services in return for reviews may be taxable too.

SERIOUSLY?!?!

Are you telling me that if someone gave me a thumbdrive for review, I’ll need to find out the exact value of that product and declare that in my Income Tax Return? Or if I attend a food tasting session, I’ll need to find out the cost of that meal and declare it? And if I attend a press conference and they give me a goodie bag, I’ll need to ask the PR agency to tell me the exact value of that goodie bag so that I can file my Income Tax Return?

YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME IRAS!

Come on! Let’s be seriously. I think it is perfectly alright to tax bloggers and online influencers if they are paid to do advertorial for a company. But non-monetary benefits too? So are celebrities and mainstream media journalist required to declare all the non monetary benefits they received? Are athletes required to declare all the sports shoes and equipments sponsored by companies?

If IRAS goes about taxing non monetary benefits, then I think a lot of bloggers and online influencers will need to call it a day. Food bloggers won’t be able to write food reviews because every food tasting they do is taxable. Lifestyle bloggers might have problem too if they are offered staycation. And tech bloggers will not be able to cover any launch event oversea since the air tickets and hotel stay will be taxable.

Someone needs to review this. Taxing non monetary benefits for bloggers and online influencers will just kill the entire blogging scene.

Get your refunds from “Singapore Company Register”

Back in 2013, some people might have registered with this company called Singapore Company Register (or Data Register Pte Ltd) thinking that it is related to ACRA and had to pay $490 annual fee. I blogged about this entity several times. Read here and here.

The company, now called “Data Register Pte Ltd”, is allowing those who mistakenly subscribed to them to unsubscribe and get a refund. But here’s the catch, you need to do it between 29 February and 11 March 2016. That’s only 10 working days.

If you are interested in getting your money back, visit their FAQ to find out more. Good luck!

Another marketing stunt gone wrong

In case you missed the news, Rebecca Lim isn’t retiring. Yet. Her retirement announcement was part of a publicity stunt by NTUC Income.

RebeccaLim

Well, obviously both Rebecca Lim and NTUC Income are getting backlash from the public. What were the marketers doing? How do you expect people to trust a company when they pull this kind of stupid publicity stunt? And I thought trust is very important in the insurance industry. So who approved such marketing stunt? Didn’t they know they will get such backlash?

This isn’t the first time a publicity stunt of this nature gone wrong. Back in 2011, there was a marketing campaign involving a “couple” documenting obstacles to their relationship on Facebook and getting public support for their wedding. On the “wedding day”, the guy was “killed” in an accident and it was revealed that everything is a publicity stunt by a Insurance company. Till this date, nobody claims responsibility to the campaign because of the backlash.

When will marketers ever learn that this kind of lie tactics never go well?