Singapore October 2023-

Written by  //  February 5, 2024  //  Asia  //  Comments Off on Singapore October 2023-

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Fareed Zakaria: What America can learn from Singapore about racial integration
(25 June 2015)

5 February
Singapore Sees Changi Airport Traffic Hitting Pre-Covid Levels This Year
Changi passenger volumes at 86% of pre-Covid levels in 2023
Construction of fifth airport terminal to start next year
For the full year of 2023, the airport handled 58.9 million passenger movements.
(Bloomberg) Singapore Changi Airport’s passenger volumes are expected to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2024, the country’s transport ministry said in a written response to parliamentary questions.
Monthly passenger traffic recovered to around 90% of pre-Covid levels in December. For the full year of 2023, the airport handled 58.9 million passenger movements, or 86% of traffic recorded in 2019, the ministry said.

18 January
Singapore minister charged with corruption resigns
(Reuters) – Singapore’s Transport Minister S. Iswaran was charged with 27 offences in a graft investigation, the anti-corruption agency said on Thursday, in one of the highest-profile cases involving a minister in the Asian financial hub in decades.
In a resignation letter dated Tuesday but published by the prime minister’s office on Thursday, Iswaran said he rejected the charges and “will now focus on clearing my name”.
The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said Iswaran, who was arrested in July last year, was alleged to have obtained kickbacks worth S$384,340.98 ($286,181) from property tycoon Ong Beng Seng, partly to advance Ong’s business interests.
There was no immediate response to emails seeking comment from Ong’s office. The property tycoon was also arrested in July as part of the corruption probe. He has not been charged.
The case has gripped Singapore, a major Asian financial hub that prides itself on a squeaky clean government that is rarely affected by graft and scandals involving political leaders.

2023

5 December
Singapore sets an example on AI governance
(GZERO AI) A lot of AI activities going on here at a conference organized by the Singaporese government that is looking at how to govern AI, the key question, million-dollar question, billion-dollar question that is on agendas for politicians, whether it is in cities, countries, or multilateral organizations. And what I like about the approach of the government here in Singapore is that they’ve brought together a group of experts from multiple disciplines, multiple countries around the world, to help them tackle the question of, what should we be asking ourselves? And how can experts inform what Singapore should do with regard to its AI policy? And this sort of listening mode and inviting experts first, I think is a great approach and hopefully more governments will do that, because I think it’s necessary to have such well-informed thoughts, especially while there is so much going on already. Singapore is thinking very, very clearly and strategically about what its unique role can be in a world full of AI activities.

3 December
How Suspects Laundered Billions in Singapore for Years
The city-state that’s embraced foreign wealth is reeling from an investigation that saw authorities seize cash, 62 cars, 152 properties and gold bars.
(Bloomberg) Wang Dehai was already on the run when he made Singapore his home five years ago. Police in China were offering a bounty for information about him for his alleged role in an illegal gambling ring.
Once in Singapore, Wang and his wife set up a family office and he got an employment pass, giving him the right to stay in the city-state. They banked with Credit Suisse, and the couple got passports from the tax haven of Cyprus. Wang, 34, splurged on a S$23 million ($17.2 million) condominium in the prime Orchard area and held about $2.8 million in cryptocurrency.
Wang’s idyllic world came crashing down in August when he was among 10 people of Chinese origin arrested and charged in the biggest money-laundering case the nation has ever seen. Authorities have seized more than S$2.8 billion in assets including gold bars, jewelry, 62 cars and 152 properties. The tally may rise, with many suspects still on the loose.
For decades, Singapore has taken steps to attract the uber rich, spawning a finance industry that’s made it one of the wealthiest countries on earth. Generous tax incentives and programs that offer pathways to long-term residency have paid off handsomely, prompting billionaires from James Dyson to Ray Dalio to set up family offices. Assets overseen by the money management sector have almost doubled in seven years to $3.65 trillion, with about three-quarters of that from abroad.
More recently, a wave of Chinese investors has arrived, fleeing strenuous pandemic restrictions and crackdowns that hit industries from technology to real estate. Singapore is a natural choice for them, as ethnic Chinese make up about three-quarters of the population and Mandarin is widely spoken. Since 2019, direct investment from mainland China and Hong Kong has risen 79% to S$19.3 billion. Private wine bars and country clubs have benefited from the surge in spending.

15 October
Singapore’s $20 Million Shophouses Are Blazing-Hot Properties
(Bloomberg) “Everything is new in Singapore except for shophouses, so in a way these are works of art — every shophouse has a different way of expressing itself, a different facade. These are spaces that we can never re-create.”
In the island nation’s real estate market, the distinctive two- to three-story row buildings can fetch $4,000 a square foot.

16 September
The Interlace apartments, Singapore, by OMA/Ole Scheeren – high-end design that’s affordable (YouTube)
The Interlace apartments feature stacked building blocks in an hexagonal pattern, and offers affordable housing in Singapore
With its 31 stacked blocks and hexagonal plan, the Interlace is far from standard tower block design
The Interlace, an apartment complex in Singapore by OMA
(Trends) This Singapore project proves that innovative architecture is not the sole prerogative of an elite few. Rather, it can be accessible to a much wider market in this case more than 1000 households.
The Interlace, developed by CapitaLand Singapore, was designed by architect Ole Scheeren working for OMA. The design brief was straightforward the development needed to create an iconic urban habitat of the future, says Wong Heang Fine, chief executive officer of CapitaLand Singapore (Residential).
“This was always going to be an exemplary development that would promote a sustainable, highly accessible and eco-friendly living environment, with a strong sense of community,” he says. “We set out to create an outstanding design for a development that is not only within reach of those who aspire to own a private residential unit, but also those who aspire to a unique lifestyle.”
The design was driven by many factors, including the shape of the 8ha site, which completes a 9km green belt. It was also determined by the need to maximise opportunities for social interaction.

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