Word on the street is that some things are set to happen in 2017.
I know what you’re thinking, politics… big yawn. It happens, right? We listen to news every day, gabbing on about politics and law and yet, the only difference in our day-to-day is that phenomenal 20 cents decrease in bus fares. Life-changing, I know.
But we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of things you didn’t know would take place this New Year.
1. You May Need a Permit to Drink
Yes, you read that right. The Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act, which was passed last January, places a ban on drinking in public places from 10:30 PM to 7:00 AM. This ban also includes retail shops, which will not be able to sell alcohol during the stated hours.
But there’s good news.
If you’re having a barbecue at a park and hold a permit from the National Park Board, you will be allowed to drink even after those designated hours. Don’t stray too far from the barbecue pit though, that might complicate matters.
2. You will Probably Stop Seeing Cigarettes in Stores
To curb smoking rates (which have increased by 1% from 2004 to 2013), the Tobacco Bill has been amended to restrict the sale and advertising of cigarettes. This means that not only are stores no longer allowed to display cigarettes in plain sight, but that advertising for tobacco products is also banned.
That’s pretty good news for those of you who smoke but get tempted easily. But for you guys who miss the sight of cigarettes, you could pay a quick visit to the Duty Free Store down at Changi Airport. These restrictions are not extended to them (yet).
3. Your Secondary School May No Longer Exist
If you decide to drop by your former secondary in 2017, don’t be surprised when you discover that it is gone from the face of the earth. Due to Singapore’s dwindling birth rates, schools are no longer acquiring huge cohort sizes like they once used to.
But don’t you worry (don’t you worry) child, MOE’s got a plan for you!
Our Ministry of Education (MOE) wants to ensure that students are consistently given a “good range of educational programmes” and therefore have decided to merge schools with low enrolment.
Those of you who are concerned about losing your former school’s heritage, fear not. These newly merged schools will allocate spaces dedicated to preserving the heritage of the individual schools respectively.
But for the rest of you who are afraid of losing touch with your teachers, seize them now, before they escape!
4. You May (or may not) Be the Next President
Prior to 1991, presidents of Singapore have been elected by the Parliament, not the people. As such, our presidents, Yusof Ishak, Benjamin Sheares, Devan Nair and Wee Kim Wee, came from a mix of races. Since that time though, our presidents have been elected by.. well, us. Over time, the eligibility criteria of a presidential candidate has been tightened to reflect Singapore’s growth.
Think you qualify to be the president? Here’s a checklist:
- Did you hold office in a position of seniority for at least 3 years?
- Did this position include responsibilities in either public or private sector?
- Was it a ministerial position or were you a CEO of a company with a paid up capital of at least SGD$100 million?
If you answered yes! to all of the questions above, then congratulations! You qualify to be our president!
Our Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong has acknowledged the increased difficulty in minority races being a President in the future, given that the changes in criteria reach out to a specific pool of people. He has assured our hearts that he too is aware of the importance of having minority-race presidents from time to time.
Let me get to the point.
If you’ve responded yes! to the above questions, and you are Malay, hey! Good news, you probably meet the requirements to run for our 2017 President Elections!
5. You Will Find Yourself Learning Something in 2017
With disruptive technology and slow economic growth, our Government really wants you guys to upgrade yourselves. Bet you didn’t see that one coming!
No but seriously, this time they mean business.
Whether you’re over 40, a freelancer, a traditional worker, or a professional, initiatives like Adapt and Grow or Attach and Train have been designed to cater to your specific needs. The Government has and will invest SGD$1 billion a year till 2020 on SkillsFuture initiatives alone. That’s how much they want to help you.
Employers have also declared a stronger interest in applicants with professional qualifications which are related to their field of work.
So, those of you who are keen in enhancing your CV, or just in learning something lucrative for your career, do check out our website here, or simply drop by during lunch hour if you want to avoid that lunch crowd. We are at Raffles Place!