Singapore digest news (10.04-15.04)

Singapore rent prices are still sky-high. Long-time expats are having to consider drastic changes

Foreign residents in Singapore continue to feel the pinch as home rental prices soar and show few signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels soon.

Whether one’s renting a room, an apartment or a house, long-time expatriates living in Singapore are digging deep into their pockets and making drastic changes to cope with rising rents.

According to data from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority’s rental index, prices of all private residential properties surged by 29.7% year-on-year in 2022 — the highest since 2007.


Lack of charging infrastructure, financial concerns put brakes on electric vehicle switch for taxi drivers

Singapore may be racing to increase the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), but many taxi drivers are not switching gears just yet.While they are interested in opting for the greener choice, factors such as the lack of charging infrastructure and other cost considerations are holding them back from making the change.

Singapore has ramped up its EV adoption efforts in line with its sustainability goals, with plans to deploy about 60,000 charging points by the end of the decade.It is also trying to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040.


Genetics and AI: The tech that goes into growing strawberries in Singapore

Juicy strawberries, plucked from the vine and into my mouth – this was not something I was expecting to taste in sweltering Singapore. The strawberries growing at Singrow’s indoor farm at the Science Park are derived from a Japanese varietal, but have been bred to grow in higher temperatures.

The fruit is the yummy result of years of research into how key genes affect plant growth by Singrow CEO and co-founder Bao Shengjie and his team. The bespectacled scientist, who has a PhD in molecular biology from the National University of Singapore (NUS), is confident that they have developed the world’s first climate-resilient strawberries.


Rooms in some hotels snapped up for F1 Singapore Grand Prix weekend five months ahead of event

It may be five months away from the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, but some hotels near the Marina Bay Circuit are already getting booked up for the race weekend. With more countries having eased their COVID-19 restrictions since last year’s race, hotels in the city centre are once again gearing up for full houses ahead of this year's edition, which will be held from Sep 15 to 17.

One hotel seeing its rooms snapped up is The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, which offers a front-row seat to the track and a view of the iconic Turn 13 hairpin. Country general manager of The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts Gino Tan attributed the expected higher turnout in part to China and Hong Kong relaxing their COVID-19 border restrictions. Other parts of the world are also warming up to the Grand Prix, he added.


Singapore must broaden meritocracy, rethink approach to education and work: President Halimah

Singapore must ensure a broader and more open meritocracy that works well for all Singaporeans, said President Halimah Yacob as she opened the second session of parliament on Monday night (Apr 10).

This means rethinking the country's approach to education and work, said Madam Halimah as she laid out the key priorities for the remainder of the 14th parliament. Mdm Halimah said that meritocracy has provided opportunities, but as the country prospers, those who have already done well will naturally seek to pass on their advantages to their children.