Singapore digest news (15.05-20.05)

Passport-free clearance to be rolled out at all Singapore checkpoints from 2024

Singapore residents and visitors leaving the Republic will be able to clear checkpoints without having to use their passports from 2024.

During its workplan seminar at the Singapore Expo on Friday (May 5), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that the manual counters at all passenger halls at checkpoints will be progressively replaced by about 800 automated lanes using ABCS from the first quarter of 2024.

From 2026, Apics lanes will be introduced at Tuas Checkpoint, allowing travellers to scan their generated QR codes and present their biometrics for identity verification, removing the need for officers to be stationed at every car lane.


MAS launches new S$10 coin to commemorate Lee Kuan Yew's 100th birth anniversary

On Monday (May 15), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched a S$10 coin to commemorate Lee Kuan Yew's 100th birth anniversary.

Designed by local artist Weng Ziyan, the reverse side of the coin features a portrait of Lee, accompanied by Marina Barrage in the foreground. According to MAS, Marina Barrage represents Lee's "vision to build a freshwater reservoir in the city" to strengthen Singapore's water resilience.

The backdrop also features the skyline of the Raffles Place financial district, as well as Fullerton Hotel and National Gallery Singapore— two heritage buildings which have "witnessed significant milestones in Singapore's history", said MAS.


New private home sales jump 80% in April; cooling measures unlikely to impact local buyers: Analysts

Sales of new private homes in Singapore jumped 80 per cent in April to a seven-month high, driven by the launch of two high-profile projects - Blossoms by the Park near one-north and Tembusu Grand in the Katong area.

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 887 units in April, up from 492 units sold in March.


PM Lee made first official visits to South Africa and Kenya

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made his first official visits to South Africa and Kenya, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Saturday (May 13). Two parties participated in a business roundtable with delegations from both sides. Mr Lee also hosted to dinner by Deputy President Paul Mashatile and attended a reception with overseas Singaporeans.


SPCA offers free pet health screening for low-income Singapore households

The initiative by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was launched on Saturday (May 13) at Marsiling, where the first of 10 pet health screenings was held. The health screenings are fully subsidised and funded by donations from the public.