Singapore digest news (29.08-03.09)

Photo by Anna Smirnova

Jurong Bird Park set to close on Jan 3, 2023 – time to plan a trip down memory lane

For those wanting to immerse in some nostalgia, the park is launching a line-up of activities from Sep 3 called A Flight To Remember, to celebrate its legacy and rich heritage.

You have around four months to visit Jurong Bird Park to relive your school excursion or family outing memories as the park announced on Tuesday (Aug 30) that it’s set to close on Jan 3, 2023.The date is exactly 52 years after its opening in 1971.

Staff and avian residents will then begin preparations to move to a brand-new home in Bird Paradise at Mandai Wildlife Reserve.
For those wanting to immerse in some nostalgia, the park is launching a line-up of activities called A Flight To Remember to celebrate its legacy and rich heritage.

Running from Sep 3 to Jan 3, 2023, programmes include a self-guided Heritage Trail where you can learn about the park’s transformation through a series of displays that illustrate key milestones in the park’s 51-year journey.


Singapore's first arts university, formed by NAFA and LASALLE alliance, to welcome students from 2024

Singapore’s first government-supported private arts university will welcome its inaugural cohort of students in August 2024.

Applications will open in the third quarter of 2023, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Tuesday (Aug 30).

The setting up of the university was first announced in 2021 by then-Education Minister Lawrence Wong at the Committee of Supply debates.

The university will offer an expanded range of programmes in fine arts, design, media arts, performing arts and arts management, as well as in new and upcoming areas in the applied arts, said MOE.


Singapore intends to restrict access to cryptocurrency trading

Authorities in Singapore are concerned about citizens' growing interest in cryptocurrencies and their "irrational obliviousness" when it comes to the risks associated with trading in digital currencies. Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said this on Monday. Authorities therefore want to limit retail investors' access to cryptocurrency trading, Reuters reported.

MAS does not intend to ban cryptocurrency trading entirely, but wants to impose certain restrictions that would help cut off unqualified investors from risky digital currency transactions.
"These could be customer suitability tests or restrictions on the use of leverage and credit to trade cryptocurrencies," Mr. Menon said, speaking at the "Yes to Digital Asset Innovation, No to Cryptocurrency Speculation" seminar.


Singapore introduces new work visa rules to woo foreign talent

Singapore on Monday announced new work visa rules to woo foreign talent as the Asian financial hub looks to bolster its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures include a new five-year visa for people earning at least S$30,000 ($21,445.42) a month that allows holders to job for multiple companies at one time and grants their spouses eligibility to work. The new visa will be available from January.

Among the other measures, some tech professionals whose skills are in short supply will from September 2023 be eligible for five-year visas, up from a two- to three-years currently. The processing time for employment passes - typically granted to high-paid professionals - will be also be immediately reduced to 10 days.


Discovery offers path to safer, solid-state sodium rechargeable batteries

A safer, greener, and inexpensive rechargeable battery for powering electric vehicles, mobile phones and many other applications could be a step closer following a breakthrough discovery by NUS researchers.

The team led by Assistant Professor Pieremanuele (Piero) Canepa (Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the NUS College of Design and Engineering) has identified a new sodium-ion-based solid electrolyte composition that may enable ultrafast battery charge and discharge.

“Conventional and widely used lithium-ion batteries are plagued by safety issues, particularly due to the high flammability of the liquid electrolytes they contain,” Asst Prof Canepa said.
“The challenge has been finding safer solid-state alternatives that can compete in terms of, charging speed, longevity and potentially charging capacity.”