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5 Farms you may not have known existed in Singapore

Singapore countryside

When we think of Singapore we rarely think that there may actually be countryside somewhere beyond the high-rises and urban gardens.

As the call for organic food increases it has put these little country farms in the spotlight.  Mostly situated in the Kranji area of Singapore, It is known as the backyard of Singapore and they class it as a suburb in the northwest.  It is approximately twenty-two kilometres or forty-one miles from the city center.  A bit of the countryside complete with animals and farms growing organic food.

5 Farms you may not have known existed in Singapore

Jurong Frog Farm

31 - 5 Farms you may not have known existed in Singapore
Image source: tripadvisor.com

The tour packages to this farm are by appointment only but it is a very educational day out for the kids.They offer fun activities and you get to find out all about the American bullfrog.  This farm distributes from meat and other fresh farms produce free from the use of harmful substances.  Their frog meat products are quite well known within Singapore and they will deliver right to your door.

Oh’ Farm

32 - 5 Farms you may not have known existed in Singapore
Image source: tripadvisor.com

They use Hydroponics to produce pesticide-free foods to promote healthy living.

They produce ready cut vegetables, fresh herbs and spices all grown on the farm.

This farm is also unique in that it has a butterfly lodge where people can learn and enjoy watching butterflies in an ecological flight friendly landscaped garden

Farmart Centre

33 - 5 Farms you may not have known existed in Singapore
Image source: tripadvisor.com

If you are looking for a great day out that is educational, fun topped off with great local food this farm has it all.

Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm

34 - 5 Farms you may not have known existed in Singapore
Image source: tripadvisor.com

As the name implies this farm has crocodiles on it and is Singapore’s only crocodile farm.  It houses up to thirteen thousand crocodiles at any given time.  Crocodile skin and meat have a high sale value in various parts of the world.This farm is also quite educational and informative, a must for any pre-school outings.  But entry is quite restricted there are tours you can sign up for and take a tour company.  One such company is Uncle William’s who offer the “Crocodile Farmtrail” a day out where you visit three different farms.

The Animal Resort

35 - 5 Farms you may not have known existed in Singapore
Image source: tripadvisor.com

A great place for kids and adults to reconnect with nature.  The farm offers to close up experiences with the different animals that are kept there.

There is stream fishing, a rest area where you can sit quietly and soak up the sounds of nature.  On the farm, you will find Bird Avery’s, horses, Peacocks, a Marabou Stork, Rabbits and Guinea pigs and loads of other animals to thrill the kids.

Top HR functions that are trending in Singapore for 2018

The importance of HR in a corporation

With the world changing as fast as it and more cultures starting to collide the role of HR in a company has never been more important.

Ensuring the rights and needs of both the corporation and employee are met HR walks the fine line between them.
For any information on Singapore Human resources, a person can contact the Singapore Human Resources Institute or SHRI.

Certain payroll software companies such as Payboy are outstanding in the ensuring that HR functions are fully automatic and intuitive to use.

Top HR functions trending in Singapore for 2018

Retaining the talent pool
With Singapore’s ever-improving labor market as the economy increases the local talent pool decreases.  This makes retaining a company’s talent imperative, especially for those top performing employees.The role of HR becomes more important as they work to maintain them and support these employees ensuring they stay with the company.

Measuring Employee performance
As various global compliances start to hit global companies situated in Singapore they have to start to ensure employees work performance measures up to their requirements within their job function and specification.  To do this it is HR’s job to find innovative ways in which to measure performance.

Developing Local talent for the various positions
As Singapore has clamped down on immigration it has moved towards companies implementing training programs to ensure that positions are first allotted to Singapore Citizens.

HR will play a vital role in ensuring employee development and career roadmaps. These must clearly outline an employee potential and expected career path within the company.

More internal recruiters
As HR functions grow they become less inclined to be able to handle the recruiting process.  It will then be within the firms own interests to hire employment agencies. They can assist in shortlisting the various candidates screening them with the initial interviews to deliver the top candidates to the company.

Developing plans for mature workers
As life expectancy increases employees are working later in life.  With result companies are starting to realize the value of employing and keeping aged workers.

Their experience is a valuable company commodity as is what they have to offer their young co-workers in terms of training.

HR will play a vital role in ensuring the correct procedures and policies are in place to accommodate these workers.

Understanding the importance of the different generations working under the same roof

Gen Y and Gen X workers have different needs, aspirations and requirements.

These are complex dynamics that HR will have to work through and come to appreciate.

It is necessary to retain a balance between them in order for the company to perform at their optimum.

2 Stunning buildings designed by a true visionary the late Zaha Hadid

A tribute to a true architect pioneer, Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid passed away in 2016 at the age of sixty-six.  She was a true visionary and transformed the world of architecture using state of the art designs and materials.

Her buildings gave new and unique perspective and shape to the cities in which her masterpieces stand.Her many successes were awarded the highest honors from academic, civil and educational institutes around the world. Singapore gave tribute to Zaha Hadid where the Zaha Hadid exhibition launched in Singapore in late 2017.  A showcase of her works will be displayed at the ArtScience Museum.

2 Stunning Singapore buildings designed by

D’Leedon Singapore
Her very first project in Singapore was a residential condominium one.  Located in Farrer road the project located over eight hectares of land consisted of seven 36-storey towers and 12 semi-detached villas.

The tapered towers taper inwards as they get towards the ground in order to create access features and private gardens.

Rock, Forest, meadows, foothills, water and pockets of greenery with pedestrian walkways integrated flawlessly into the landscape making communal areas seem like a person is no longer in the city.

There are many recreational facilities offered for the residents of these towers and villa’s to enjoy.

The project ran from 2007 to 2014, there were 1715 separate units built with 340 unique apartment layouts.

One North Master Plan
This is a futuristic project built for the digital media industries, Infocomm and Singapore’s biomedical.

Set between the Singapore science park and the National University of Singapore this colony type project.The project has already spanned two decades and set to be completed in 2021 as the brainchild of Zaha Hadid’s.  The urban architecture of natural landscape formations creates its own skyline as it takes shape.  This will be the first time Singapore applies the concept of an artificial landscape taking up an entire urban quarter.

Buildings are 5000000 square meters and will have an estimated population of 136 000.

Aha Hadid was not only an architect but a designer and artist which came through in her various architectural masterpieces and unique designs such as the Nassim Villas.

The exhibition in Singapore “Zaha Hadid, Une Architecture” transports visitors to the show through three different levels of Zaha Hadid’s designs.

It showcases her works and designs from all around the globe taking through her many design phases assigned to the projects she worked on through the years.

info3 - 2 Stunning buildings designed by a true visionary the late Zaha Hadid
Image source: cargocollective.com

5 Of the most beautiful houses in Singapore that would be anyone’s dream

Homes in Singapore

There are many amazing mansions in the world but some of the most outstanding are in Singapore.

This island seems to have the most imaginative and innovative architects that are constantly coming up with outstanding buildings.

5 Of the most beautiful houses in Singapore

#1 The Fish house in Sentosa Cove

21 - 5 Of the most beautiful houses in Singapore that would be anyone’s dream
Image source: stories.cromly.com

This three bedrooms three bathroom modern work of art designed by Guz Architects HD has an open-air lounge space that looks out over the sea.But the unique part of this house is the 21m swimming pool that wraps around most of the house, looks over the sea and encases an underwater lounge area.

This basement area is a glassed encased entertainment area and the most expensive room in the entire house.

#2 The Winged House

22 - 5 Of the most beautiful houses in Singapore that would be anyone’s dream
Image source: design-milk.com

This beautifully unique house is set upon a triangular plot with an extending roof.  The roof allows for natural ventilation, shade and shelter.The use of open light spaces makes the house green and airy with lots of entertainment areas.

#3 Ninety7 Siglap House

23 - 5 Of the most beautiful houses in Singapore that would be anyone’s dream
Image source: contemporist.com

This house stands three stories high on top of Siglap Hill in Singapore.  The architects, Aamer Architects, drew inspiration for the hill for their design incorporating with the shape of a ship.Its long lines and long balcony overhangs give those enjoying their view shade and shelter.

The family room and master bedroom and family room have the most beautiful panoramic views being perched on the third level of the house.

The living and dining areas are found on the second floor with two cabana style bedrooms that open out onto the pool area on the first floor.

The house has roof gardens and timber decks for those warm nights sipping cool sundowners as you enjoy the tranquil views.

#4 Up-Peel House at Andrew Road

24 - 5 Of the most beautiful houses in Singapore that would be anyone’s dream
Image source: a-dlab.com

This house designed by A B Lab was quite the challenge as the plot of ground ran along the perimeter of a green mature nature reserve it also falls at the intersection of a busy noisy highway.

The architect made the design look like an extension of the greenery by making an undulated turf room. The plot of land is also situated on a floor below ground level which made the architect use the lower parts of the house for most of the living area which muffles the noise of the highway.

#5 Nassim Villas

25 - 5 Of the most beautiful houses in Singapore that would be anyone’s dream
Image source: arch2o.com

These villas look a bit like the Ironman house built on the hilly terrain.  This sleek modern home with its cutting-edge technology seems to effortlessly merge with its surrounding scenery as it stands proudly above the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

Designed by Aha Hadid architects these villas portray a sleek new age of ultra-modern luxury.

The most expensive apartments in Singapore

The amazing architecture of Singapore

Singapore has some of the most amazing building designs.  They stand tall in the neat clean streets making the city look like something right out of a futuristic movie.

Apart from their most amazing buildings they also have some beautiful homes and apartments.  Some of which come with the hefty price tag to match.

The most expensive apartments in Singapore

Scuptura Ardmore
This penthouse apartment is now the most expensive home ever sold in Singapore with a price tag of $60 million in August 2017.

It was bought by one of Singapore’s richest men and co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin.this apartment has the perfect balance of its aesthetic beauty and well-designed living spaces.

The penthouse sits on top of this 36-storey luxury apartment building that has four bedroom apartments four of which boast private lap pools.

The building has concierge facilities, sky gardens, gymnasium, outdoor entertainment areas, indoor entertainment areas, jacuzzi, lap pool, children’s pool and its own private clubhouse.

The building itself has a unique architectural design that stands out amongst its neighbors.

Le Nouvel Ardmore
This ultra-luxurious penthouse got sold in 2015 for $51 million.

This penthouse is located in the Le Novel Ardmore a freehold development that has only two apartments per floor in the 33-storey tower.

The penthouse tops this on level 32 and takes up 2 stories on its own.

The design of this building was inspired by the Rubik’s cube.

The penthouse was sold to Mr Sun Tongyu who is one of the founders of the Alibaba Group.

This apartment has five bedrooms, a study, private pool, a private foyer, roof terrace, its own private gym and entertainment area.

Twentyone Angullia Park
This building is a uniquely designed high-rise building embracing urban tropical living.

Perched along the popular Orchard Road this building brings some of the greenery of the avenue into the building itself.

It offers sky terraces, lap pool and each of its apartments are luxuriously designed to let in the most light.

The penthouse was sold for $42.9 million along with the apartment below it for another $11.53 million.

The apartment was bought in June 2013 by Low Taek Jho who was involved in the 1MDB scandal that impacted Malaysia.

The Nassim
A fifth floor unit of the Nassim sold for $25.27 million in May of 2017.

This 55-unit luxury development is the design of the well-known architect Mok Wei Wei.

45 of the unsold units and the penthouse were bought by one of the richest men in Singapore, banker Wee Cho Yaw.  The sale of these apartments helped the developer of the project escape heavy penalties that were accruing on the unsold apartments.

5 Reasons why moving to Singapore is the right decision to make

Singapore houses some of the world biggest companies

Singapore boasts some amazing futuristic architecture, innovative technologies, some of the cleanest and safest streets in the world.  They also have a very stable and booming economy being one of the richest in the world.

5 Reasons to move to Singapore

#1 The best educations system in the world

11 - 5 Reasons why moving to Singapore is the right decision to make
For people with children, you can be sure that your child will be receiving a first-class education.  They this very seriously with numerous educations programs like the Gifted Education Program.

They employ only the best educators to ensure each child gets a chance to succeed in life.

#2 Singapore is listed as one of the safest countries to live in in the world

12 - 5 Reasons why moving to Singapore is the right decision to make
Singapore is ranked second after Japan as one of the worlds safest cities in which to live.
It has a high quality of life and longer life expectancy.

#3 Second highest economy ranking

13 - 5 Reasons why moving to Singapore is the right decision to make
With its high quality of life and excellent education and comes in second to Switzerland in areas of business sophistication, technology and innovations

#4 Singapore has the highest paid citizens in the world

14 - 5 Reasons why moving to Singapore is the right decision to make
Singapore is a popular destination for expats as they find that they are handsomely rewarded for their skill sets.  This makes them want to stay on and work there especially as the cost of living in Singapore is low.

Their public transport is not only safe but reliable and can get you basically anywhere you want to go.  The cost of a cab for those places that are very reasonable and are lower than the cost of a car.

#5 Healthcare system

15 - 5 Reasons why moving to Singapore is the right decision to make
Singapore’s efficient health care system has been rated by WHO as the worlds 6th best health care system in the world.  It has also been rated as the worlds most efficient by Bloomberg.

Their public health services for those at the lowest level of subsidy is excellent and patients are all treated like they are in private health care.For the working Singaporeans healthcare funds are taken from a variety of mixed finances.
These include deductions from compulsory savings plans, life insurance schemes, provident funds and national insurance schemes.

Singapore has fast become one of the top tourist destinations in the world.  It has some of the finest shopping, dinging and technological marvels around.It has some top attractions to visit as well like the iconic Ion Orchid, National Gallery Singapore, Universal Studios Singapore and one of the biggest lifestyle and entertainment malls Vivo City.

A move to Singapore could be one of the best decisions you could make for your career and family.

Top-ranked primary schools in Singapore

Compulsory Primary school education in Singapore

The primary school education in Singapore has been ruled by the Ministry of Education to be compulsory.  This is a foundation for students to learn English, mathematics and their own home language.

In Singapore primary school is a four-year foundation phase which starts at Primary 1 and goes to Primary 4.  After Primary four there is a two-year orientation stage from Primary 5 to Primary 6.

From primary 4 the top 1% from the previous year are selected for the Gifted Education Programor GEP.

There two sets of tests run before starting Primary four to get the top 10% and top 1% as the top 1% from this group will then go on to the Gifted Students Program from Primary 4 to Primary 6.

The GEP is not compulsory and parents may opt out of it should they not wish their children to be part of the GEP.

Top-ranked primary schools in Singapore

Henry Park Primary School
There school motto “Every child matters and every child can succeed,” says it all about how this school values each and every student.

They strive to nurture each and every child acknowledging that they are different with different strengths and characters.

Their teaching programs
include that of the Learning for life (LLP), service learning development, Applied Learning Program (ALP) and the in-house Talent Development program.

The school has been in operation since 1977 and has been the recipient of the Ministry of Educations School Distinction Award, Sustained Achievement in Sports, Aesthetics and Physical fitness awards.

This is a co-ed school and one of the most popular in Singapore.

Nan Hua Primary School
This school has a rich history in Singapore having been started in 1917 as part of the Nan Hwa Girls School.  The school was started by Chinese businessmen and run by Mr Xion Shangfu who was a teacher.

The school was forced to close down in 124 due to a lack of funding but was reopened in 1928.

The school was an all-girls school until 1964 when it was renamed Nan Hwa Primary School and started taking in both boys and girls.

Today the school is very popular and has undergone many academic reforms and transformations.

It offers the GEP a long with many of the popular school learning programs such as the LLP, ALP, etc.They are a school that places a high value on family along with eight other values that are strongly advocated by the school.  These values include loyalty, Filial Piety, Humanity, Love, Courtesy, Righteousness, Integrity and a sense of shame in wrongdoings.

Their philosophy is to have a school “of engaged learners who lead with character and serve with heart”!
They strive to “nurture gracious citizens that are rooted in values and their Chinese Culture”!

info2 - Top-ranked primary schools in Singapore
Image source: schoolbag.sg

7 Quick steps to finding a job in Singapore as an Expat

Working in Singapore

Since its independence in 1963, this tiny island republic just of the southern tip of Malaysia is now one the richest nations in the world.

Despite its authoritarian government, this little island is a big draw for expats looking to move to its thriving economy and favorable taxation system to work.

Singapore has been cited as “a model of civic governance”, with its renowned clean streets and disciplinarian policing system.

7 Quick steps to finding a job in Singapore as an Expat

#1 Check your eligibility
As with the rest of the world Singapore has, various visa and work permit criteria, rules and requirements a foreigner has to meet.

There are several differentworks passes a person could qualify for there is a test that a person can take to check your eligibility status.  But this test is not one hundred percent accurate and it is always best to check with a visa expert.  The self-assessment tool can be found on the Singapore Governments Ministry of Manpower Website.

#2 To find a job
Assess whether or not your career is one that is needed in Singapore.  There are a lot of fast growing sectors in Singapore that are need of people.

Sectors such as Computer Science, the tourist industry is booming in Singapore at the moment, etc.

#3 Assessment of eligibility to work in Singapore
To find out what jobs are in demand you can analyze the Strategic and Skills-in-Demand List.  This list is also part of the Ministry of Manpower website.  It lists jobs that are in demand and those that will be in the near future.  It details the occupations and skill set levels they require this is the list to base your job applications on.

#4 Go online to one of the employment websites
There are a lot of different job sites online that list all the available jobs currently being advertised by various employers.

#5 Your CV is everything
Ensure your CV/Portfolio is up to date and always read the websites for information on how various employers or employment agencies prefer it to be formatted.

#6 Apply for the job
Once you have your CV updated, in the correct format and have all your qualifications and references ready send it off.

There are a lot of websites dedicated to creating the perfect CV and cover letter for various jobs.  These sites are well worth a read before sending off your job application.

#7 Apply for your work visa
Once you have a job offer in writing and you have accepted it, it is time to embark on a whole new adventure.  You have to now get a work permit.  The best way to do this and to ensure you are doing it correctly is to approach a company that specialized in getting visas.  They will make sure you have filled in your application correctly and that all your paperwork is in order.

info1 - 7 Quick steps to finding a job in Singapore as an Expat
Infographic by: internations.org

2 Of the top shopping malls in Singapore, you will want to shop until you drop in

Singapore the great shopping haven

Singapore is known for its many great shopping malls.  With many great malls to choose from a person is quite spoilt for choice. You can browse through their street malls on a bustling sunny day or lose yourself in one of the many more conventional ones.

Shop till you drop in one of the following 2 top Singapore Malls

#1 Vivo City

1 - 2 Of the top shopping malls in Singapore, you will want to shop until you drop in
Situated along the harbor front is what can only be called a mega mall given its sheer size, is Singapore’s largest mall VivoCity.

If it is shopping till you drop that you want well this mall is definitely one that will tire you out by the end of the day as you navigate your way around it. This mall is a lifestyle, entertainment and shopping centre all rolled into one huge shopping experience.  The mall has over one million square feet of retail therapy for those looking for the ultimate shopping experience.  From the big brand names such as GAP, Armani, some of the best swiss watches to name but a few this mall has consistently won various awards.  It’s most recent being the “World’s Retail Destination” category award.  Besides the some of the best shopping in the world there is the rooftop sky park guaranteed to keep the kids busy for hours, Singapore’s largest cinema, Amphitheatre, four food courts and a wading pool.

There is really something for everyone at the mall!

#2 Ion Orchard

2 - 2 Of the top shopping malls in Singapore, you will want to shop until you drop in
A work of steel, marble and glass, a work of art that houses a mall of some top shops.  This luxury shopping center with superior services, butler style concierge, special toiles for the visiting celebrities and high paying customers.
It has some of the best name brand shopping like Luis Viton, Miu Miu, Harry Winston, Cartier, Yves Saint Lauren and Prada and other straight of the runway designers the mall offers top class celebrity chef cuisine.

There is also the celebrity chef fine dining, art exhibitions and the cloud viewing deck.

This is shopping at an entirely different level!

The rules for renting a Housing and Development apartment in Singapore

The Housing and Development Board

Singapore caters for its Singapore Citizens who do not have many if any housing options.  They have flats/apartments they offer them under the Public Rental Scheme.
A person has to fulfil certain criteria in order to qualify for these heavily subsidized flats/apartments, especially as the numbers of properties under this scheme are limited.
The HDP (Housing & Development Board) is where a Singapore Citizen would apply by means of an application form after which they will go through stringent screening tests.

Rules for renting and HDP apartment

#1 Eligibility
Must be a Singapore Citizen (SC)

There must be at least one other SC Citizen living in your household.  This may be children, fiancé’ or fiancée
A spouse

Your parent or parents if you are single

You and your siblings should you be orphaned

If in a joint singlescheme, you and your listed occupier must both be SCs, single and at least thirty-five (35) years old.  Single means any of the following scenarios: unmarried, divorced, legally separated, widowed or orphaned (you must have a least one parent living with you and an SC)

#2 Age
The age requirement is that you be at least twenty-one (21) to apply

#3 Income
The total gross income of your household cannot exceed $1500 a month

#4 Existing Housing & Development Tenants or essential occupiers
You or any of you listed occupiers cannot be current essential occupiers or tenants of HDB flats

#5 Owing a Property
Neither yourself or listed occupiers may not own property of any sort when applying for an occupation of and HDP flat.  This includes inherited property, holiday homes, local or overseas properties.

#6 Debarment
The department takes into account any former property that is or may have been owned by the applicant(s).  They will take into account the proceeds that may have been made from the sale of the property in question.  Should the department ascertain you can afford to house you could be barred from and not be eligible to apply for HDP housing assistance.

#7 Family support
Should it be found that any of the applicants have children that could afford to financially help with other accommodation or be able to house the applicants with them!  The applicants will be deemed as not eligible for HDB housing.

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