Singapore digest news (20.06-25.06)

Photo by Anna Smirnova

Singapore Allocates $1.1 Billion to Financially Support Vulnerable Categories of Citizens Amid High Inflation

Singapore announced a SGD 1.5 billion bailout package to support low-income and vulnerable categories of citizens who suffered the most from high inflation. The package of measures also provides additional assistance to local companies.
The key measures, announced by the authorities, provide the population with special payments of up to SGD 300 in the form of vouchers for food and services. In addition, households will receive a loan to pay for housing and communal services of SGD 100, the ministry noted.
The authorities are also implementing measures to support local businesses amid rising energy costs by co-financing investments in equipment with a higher level of energy efficiency.


“Clever solution”: S'pore firm launches pilot to turn KFC packaging, food waste into farm fertilizer

Local sustainable food packaging company Tria has begun a six-month-long pilot with fast-food chain KFC Singapore to turn single-use packaging and food waste into agricultural fertiliser — an endeavour they claim to be a world first.
Mr Ng Pei Kang, Tria’s chief executive officer, said during an event launch for the pilot on Tuesday (June 21) that the biggest challenge when it comes to recycling food packaging is segregating the containers from the food waste.
The cost of segregating the two, he said, can be up to five times the cost of the packaging itself, so it does not make business sense for food and beverage firms to make an attempt at recycling.
The packaging and food waste from the KFC outlet is collected and sent to a recycling plant where it is dumped together into a machine, a type of composter patented by Tria,that breaks the waste down into smaller components before microbes digest it.
Mr Ng said that one tonne of waste is able to yield about 200kg to 300kg of fertiliser, which he eventually hopes to sell to both local and Malaysian farmers once the company is able to put out a consistent supply.


Durian prices drop due to surprise bumper crop, reversing earlier projections

Despite earlier projections of a shortage of durians from Malaysia that would cause prices to increase, a surprise bumper crop and tough competition have resulted in prices dropping by as much as S$7 a kilogram.
Six out of seven sellers approached on Friday (June 17) said that they have lowered their prices to attract customers.
Mr Zen Ho, who is in charge of Durian Empire in Punggol, said that better weather conditions in Johor for the past two weeks have resulted in a bumper crop.
“We thought the next crop of durians from Pahang would come in July, but the rain there caused the durians to drop earlier. So while there is a shortage still from Pahang, there are some coming into Singapore at the same time as those from Johor, so there’s more supply overall,” he said.
Mao Shan Wang, a popular durian type, would typically retail for more than S$25 a kilogram, but Mr Ho said that his prices would be between S$18 and S$21, depending on his suppliers in the next two weeks.


Singapore-Desaru ferry service approved by MPA after safety requirements fulfilled

A ferry service between Tanah Merah terminal in Singapore and Desaru Coast terminal in Johor has been approved by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
"The commencement of the new ferry service is pending Batamfast’s final preparations to operate this new ferry service, including obtaining the necessary approvals from other authorities," said MPA in a statement on Tuesday (Jun 21).
“The start of the ferry service between Singapore and Desaru is another step forward in restoring connectivity between Singapore and Malaysia”, he added.
The route will be operated by Batamfast's subsidiary Desaru Link Ferry Services, and the journey is expected to take about two hours. The authority received a proposal from Batamfast in March this year to operate the new service between Desaru Coast and Tanah Merah.


Swimming: Singapore's Teong Tzen Wei finishes 8th at FINA World Championships

Singapore swimmer Teong Tzen Wei finished eighth in the 50m butterfly final event at the FINA World Championships on Sunday (Jun 19).
The Singapore Swimming Association said that Teong is the first male Singaporean to qualify for the finals since 2017.
The Singapore Swimming Association congratulated Teong for being the “fastest and only Asian swimmer for the Men's 50m Butterfly Finals at the FINA World Championships Budapest 2022”.
Previously, at the Hanoi SEA Games, Teong smashed the SEA Games 50m freestyle record with a time of 21.93. It was the first time he had finished a race in under 22 seconds.