Singapore digest news (23.01-28.01)

Photo by Anna Smirnova

Brisk business for car rentals over Chinese New Year period

Chinese New Year visiting is in full swing this year with no pandemic restrictions and rental cars appear to be a popular way to get around.

Two well-known car rental companies said that demand is so high that they are all but out of vehicles. Ace Drive said business has been “overwhelming”, with its entire fleet of 240 vehicles fully booked nine days before the eve of Chinese New Year.


Vinyl record collecting is having a resurgence in Singapore

The market for records has steadily grown, and record shops have become not just a longtime haunt for hi-fi enthusiasts and lovers of all things nostalgic, but a haven for hipsters, jazz lovers and indie kids.

Vinyl record sales have been increasing year on year for more than 10 years in a row. Although there are no available figures for Singapore, the ongoing vinyl boom can be seen in the numerous record stores that pop up in areas such as Kampung Glam, Peninsula Plaza and Joo Chiat.


E-gates at Johor land checkpoints open to Singaporeans, says Malaysian home minister

Singaporeans entering Johor via the two land checkpoints can now use electronic gate (e-gate) facilities, Malaysia's home minister said.

"Previously, e-gates were only limited to Malaysian passport holders. But from today, we have decided to open this access to Singaporeans who use e-passports,” he said, adding that 20 more e-gates would be opened at the Causeway checkpoint, on top of the existing 20 gantries placed at the entry and exit routes.


Singapore to continue investing in local tech talent despite lay-offs at tech giants: Josephine Teo

Singapore will continue to invest in developing local tech talent despite recent lay-offs at tech giants as this is "the right thing to do", Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said.

"Tech workers with highly specialised skills continue to be in demand, such as in software development, cloud management, cybersecurity and data science. This comes as no surprise as technology has become a critical part of every industry. It is increasingly relied upon to drive innovation, productivity, and competitiveness," she said.


Singapore tourism expects to bounce back to pre-pandemic level by 2024

Driven by strong demands from key markets like India, Indonesia and Malaysia, the Singapore tourism sector recovered strongly in 2022 to exceed the Singapore Tourism Board's (STB) original forecast of 4 to 6 million visitors last year.

Last week, STB revealed that tourist arrivals to Singapore reached 6.3 million in 2022 led by Indonesia with 1.1 million visitors, followed by India at 686,000 visitors while 591,000 residents of Malaysia came to Singapore on visitor passes in 2022. In a statement, it added, "barring unexpected circumstances, tourism activity is now expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.