The year 2023 had ended, and a new year had just begun. While the year-end period typically signifies ‘rest and relaxation (R&R)’ for many Singaporeans, this may not be the case for Asso Professor Jamus Lim, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Sengkang GRC with the Workers’ Party (WP).
During the Christmas period, he contracted COVID-19, leading to a quarantine that extended through New Year’s, all while experiencing a slipped disc just a few days before Christmas.
As 2024 begins, Dr Lee Wei Ling, a neurologist and the daughter of the late Lee Kuan Yew, celebrates her 69th birthday on 7 January.
Lee Hsien Yang, Dr Lee’s brother, extended warm wishes to his sister, sharing a cherished childhood photo capturing moments between them on Facebook.
This week, on 9 and 10 January, 2024, Singapore also witnessed its first Parliament sitting for the year.
During the debate, the Singapore Government has announced a deferral in the review of political salaries that was due in 2023.
This decision was relayed by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, who also holds the portfolio of Minister in charge of Public Services.
Representing the Prime Minister, he stated that the decision was due to global economics and the ‘global geopolitical situation,’ particularly in the Middle East and Ukraine.
In the same session, Mr Saktiandi Supaat, MP for Bishan Toa Payoh GRC, raised concerns regarding the regulatory supervision of the Singapore Palestine Film Festival scheduled from 12 to 21 January, 2024.
His questions to the Minister for Home Affairs focused on regulatory oversight, permissible limits for discussing the Israel-Hamas conflict, and the balance between understanding and preserving Singapore’s racial and religious harmony.
In response, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, Mr K Shanmugam, stated that films for the festival have been assessed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), confirming they do not promote violence or enmity.
However, permits will not be given for events related to the Israel-Hamas conflict due to safety and security concerns.
Minister of State (MOS) for Social and Family Development (MSF) Sun Xueling addressed a disturbing case during the Parliament session, where a teenager was sexually abused by a kith caregiver.
She clarified that, although the adopter and his wife had expressed the desire to adopt the child, they had not taken any steps to initiate the adoption process.
When responding to Parliamentary questions filed by Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin, PAP MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, and Ms He Ting Ru, WP MP for Sengkang GRC, she stated that the offender’s firm was not working with the MSF but directly with the children’s home.
In light of the country’s rampant scam cases, Sylvia Lim, the chairman of WP, highlighted the crisis of confidence among the public regarding the digital sphere during a Parliamentary motion debate.
She pointed out that even previously trusted savings avenues, such as CPF funds and fixed deposits, are now vulnerable to scams and malware, contributing to this crisis of trust.
This is leading to a shift in thinking about digital transactions, she noted.
It’s important to note that victims in Singapore faced the highest average losses in scams (US$4,031) between August 2022 and August 2023, according to a joint study by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) and ScamAdvisor.
In an effort to mitigate scam issue, Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam revealed that the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has been collaborating with social media giants like Meta and Google to combat phishing scams related to compromised WhatsApp accounts.
He detailed the SPF’s strategies for countering these fraudulent activities in a written reply to two parliamentary questions on phishing scams on 9 January.
In a written response to Ms Sylvia Lim’s parliamentary question on 10 January, Mr K Shanmugam also disclosed that Singapore is contemplating the recruitment of Auxiliary Police Forces (APFs) from other Asian nations like China, India, the Philippines, and Myanmar due to difficulties faced with current recruitment sources.
Additionally, case of corruption scandals resurfaced following National Development Minister Desmond Lee acknowledging that the corruption probe carried out by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) against PAP Transport Minister S. Iswaran has had a ‘big impact’ on the West Coast GRC under the PAP team.
In an interview, he expressed concern about the CPIB’s investigation into the Minister, labeling it as a ‘very worrying development’ without elaborating further on what it entails.
On 9 January, CPIB of Singapore has finalized the investigation. The case now has been referred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for further action.
Earlier this week, Red Dot United (RDU) issued a statement on their website in response to the large-scale layoffs at Lazada.
The party has strongly advocated for the government to support workers and maintain fair labor practices amid the retrenchment.
Love Aid Singapore, led by Gilbert Goh, saw a tremendous support in donations from Singaporeans for their humanitarian initiative to help Gaza amidst an ongoing conflict.
In an Instagram post, he highlighted the generous contributions that allowed Love Aid Singapore to commit two truckloads of aid, totaling US$60,000 or approximately S$80,000, all achieved within just two days.
Currently, they have exceeded their initial S$100,000 donation milestone, surpassing S$145,000.
Love Aid Singapore is currently getting ready for their third truck of aid.
Donations can be made through PayNow to 87745281.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) declared that starting from 1 June, 2024, they would no longer be accepting older EZ-Link cards without the SimplyGo logo, as well as Nets FlashPay cards.
Passengers were advised to transition to SimplyGo EZ-Link cards, contactless bank cards, or mobile wallet-linked payment cards, excluding concession card users.
However, this decision faced criticism from some individuals who expressed dissatisfaction through negative comments on social media posts.
At the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 11 January, South Africa had formally accused Israel of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip.
During the session, South Africa called for an immediate suspension of Israel’s intense military campaign in the Palestinian enclave.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, representing South Africa at the ICJ, depicted the situation in Gaza as grave and asserted that Israel’s operation is a calculated attempt to annihilate the population, allegedly sanctioned at the highest levels of the Israeli government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In response, Israel vehemently denied the allegations, dismissing them as baseless and accusing South Africa of echoing the voice of Hamas.
- The silence over Iswaran’s innocence: CPIB’s lack of action more troubling than proceedings
- Unaddressed query by Defence Minister to Leong Mun Wai’s question on PRs’ National Service obligations
- SGH apologizes for bruises on elderly patient’s hand and communication failure with family’s request
- CPIB completed investigation into S. Iswaran with case referred to AGC for further action: Chan Chun Sing
- LTA mandates replacement of old transit cards with SimplyGo from 1 June 2024
- Singaporeans wishing Dr Lee Wei Ling good health on her 69th birthday
- Former PAP Minister Tharman against two-step GST hike in 2007 to thwart price inflation
- 45-year-old Singaporeans passes away from liver failure despite 50 potential donors stepping forward
- Singapore-registered Mercedes EV caught fire in Malaysia, raising alarms about escalating EV fires
- Desmond Lee acknowledges Iswaran’s corruption probe had ‘big impact’ on West Coast GRC ahead of upcoming election
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