Trace Awards & Festival Unveils Global Music Extravaganza

Trace Awards & Festival Unveils Global Music Extravaganza

Trace, the global music powerhouse, is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary with the electrifying Trace Awards & Festival in Kigali, Rwanda, featuring sensational live performances and a two-day cultural extravaganza, honoring the influence and creativity of African and Afro-inspired music and culture worldwide.

Global music powerhouse and Afro-music tastemaker, Trace, is gearing up to celebrate its momentous 20th anniversary with a dazzling new event: the Trace Awards & Festival. This extraordinary live ceremony and festival will pay tribute to the boundless creativity, coolness, and confidence of African and Afro-inspired music and culture across the globe.

Taking place in the vibrant city of Kigali, Rwanda from October 20 to October 21, 2023, the Trace Awards & Festival will shine a global spotlight on musicians, creators, entrepreneurs, and achievers from Africa and the African diaspora. In partnership with Visit Rwanda and QA Venue Solutions Rwanda, the event will feature a two-day cultural festival followed by a thrilling three-hour live televised music ceremony.

Headlining the Trace Awards will be awe-inspiring performances by the biggest African and Afro-descent artists, captivating a crowd of 7,500 music enthusiasts, opinion leaders, influencers, and trendsetters at BK Arena, the largest indoor arena in East Africa. From Afrobeat to Dancehall, Afro-pop to Mbalax, Amapiano to Zouk, and Kizomba to Genge, the Awards will honor various music genres, alongside recognizing outstanding artists in cultural and lifestyle categories.

Olivier Laouchez, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Trace, expressed his excitement about the event, saying, “Since its very first day, Trace has been promoting and showcasing the diversity and power of Afro-urban culture. There is no better way to celebrate our milestone twentieth birthday than with this exciting new music and cultural franchise. The Trace Awards is our way of celebrating the artistry, vision, and impact of musicians and other leaders in the urban cultural landscape.”

Janet Karemera, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Convention Bureau, shared her enthusiasm for hosting the inaugural Trace Awards in Rwanda, stating, “We are thrilled to stage the inaugural Trace Awards in Rwanda on October 21 and look forward to hosting this global celebration of African culture in our beautiful country, promoting Rwanda as a destination for cultural tourism experiences and hosting world-class events.”

In addition to the main event, the Trace Awards campaign will include an array of build-up events, an Awards tour, parties, and screenings in Africa, Europe, the USA, the UK, Brazil, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean. This comprehensive celebration aims to captivate the hearts of African and Afro-inspired music and culture enthusiasts worldwide.

The Trace Awards will be broadcast live on Trace channels in over 180 countries, allowing fans around the world to join in the excitement. The ceremony will also be featured on Trace terrestrial TV partners and satellite channels globally.

To learn more about the Trace Awards, visit the official website at, and follow Trace on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube @traceeasternafrica, as well as on Twitter @TraceEastAfrica. Engage with Trace on TikTok at @traceeastafrica, and be part of the conversation using the hashtag #TraceAwardsRwanda2023. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

Sourced from Rwanda Development Board

Anambas Shines at the Padang Melang International Folklore Festival 2023

Anambas Shines at the Padang Melang International Folklore Festival 2023

Deputy Regent of Anambas Islands Regency, Wan Zuhendra, opens the Padang Melang Festival. (Photo: Anambas News)

Experience the enchanting Padang Melang International Folklore Festival 2023, where diverse cultures converge to celebrate Anambas’ breathtaking beauty, vibrant cultural performances, and thrilling activities, creating unforgettable memories for all.

The Anambas Regency Government, situated in the stunning Riau Islands Province of Indonesia, has organized the much-anticipated Padang Melang International Folklore Festival 2023. This exciting event has attracted participants not only from neighboring Malaysia but also from our vibrant city-state, Singapore!

Governor Ansar Ahmad of the Riau Islands Province has expressed his wholehearted support for this annual tourism extravaganza, aiming to promote the breathtaking natural beauty of Anambas, particularly its pristine beaches and remarkable underwater landscapes. He stated, “Anambas possesses such enchanting and exotic marine tourism allure that it must be continuously promoted to attract visitors from both home and abroad.”

It is truly commendable that the Anambas Regency Government has involved citizens from Malaysia and Singapore in showcasing their art and cultural performances during the Padang Melang International Folklore Festival 2023. This cross-cultural celebration not only strengthens bilateral cooperation but also serves as a gateway to spotlight Anambas’ natural wonders and cultural heritage on the global stage.

The festival, taking place from June 2nd to June 4th, 2023, is set against the backdrop of the captivating Padang Melang Beach in Jemaja District, Anambas Regency. With approximately 7.5 kilometers of coastline, adorned with pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters, Padang Melang Beach has become an iconic destination that will surely captivate the hearts of Singaporeans seeking a tropical getaway.

Deputy Regent Wan Zuhendra of the Anambas Islands enthusiastically shared that the Padang Melang International Folklore Festival 2023 featured participants from various countries, including Singapore, who showcased their talents in the Rally Yacht and mesmerized the audience with captivating cultural performances. The festival itinerary includes an array of exciting activities, from exploring Jemaja City and savoring traditional culinary delights to witnessing exhilarating canoe races and engaging in lively traditional games.

In the words of Deputy Regent Anambas, “Through this event, we promote tourism while preserving the local wisdom of Anambas, including traditional dances and Malay songs.” The commitment to holding the Padang Melang International Folklore Festival annually reflects the dedication to attracting more foreign tourists to this remote Indonesian island, ultimately benefiting the local economy and supporting the small and medium-sized businesses that offer unique Anambas souvenirs to visitors.

Governor Ansar Ahmad captured the spirit of the festival by stating, “We are optimistic that the Padang Melang International Festival will have a positive impact on the future progress of tourism in Anambas.” With Singaporeans being known for their love of cultural festivities and adventure, this vibrant and diverse event promises to offer an unforgettable experience that will deepen the bond between our two nations and create cherished memories for all attendees.

Sourced from ANTARA News

Marina Bay Sands Lights Up for Blockbuster Transformers Premiere

Marina Bay Sands Lights Up for Blockbuster Transformers Premiere

Marina Bay Sands dazzles as it hosts a spectacular world premiere of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, igniting the night with explosive pyrotechnics, larger-than-life statues, and an unforgettable red carpet event.

New Autobot Mirage made landfall outside ArtScience Museum across the weekend to meet-and-greet with fans

Hold on tight, movie buffs! The iconic Marina Bay Sands took the world by storm this weekend, teaming up with United International Pictures (UIP) to host an electrifying world premiere of the highly-anticipated film, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The integrated resort served as the ultimate stage for the Autobots and their allies, who made a grand entrance during their two-day press tour. The culmination? A mind-blowing red carpet event under the twinkling stars, igniting the Marina Bay area with jaw-dropping pyrotechnics and mesmerizing projections.

Get Up Close with Autobot Mirage at ArtScience Museum

Prepare for an Asian debut like no other! On May 26, fans flocked to the entrance of ArtScience Museum to witness the unveiling of the 4.5-meter life-sized statue of the breakout Autobot Mirage. After the epic reveal of Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal at Gardens by the Bay, Mirage took center stage, captivating fans for three exhilarating days until May 28. It was a golden opportunity to meet this beloved Transformers character up close, capturing real-life encounters with Mirage on camera.

From L to R: Paul Town, Steven Caple Jr., Dominique Fishback, Tobe Nwigwe, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian onstage to usher in the world premiere of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Star-Studded Extravaganza Lights Up Marina Bay Sands

The integrated resort pulled out all the stops, rolling out a vibrant red carpet for a massive fan event. Enthusiastic crowds gathered around the Museum promenade to catch a glimpse of the stellar cast and filmmakers. Director Steven Caple Jr., renowned Transformers showrunners and producers Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian, and cast members Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, and Tobe Nwigwe graced the occasion with their presence. The Chief Operating Officer of Marina Bay Sands, Paul Town, welcomed over 150 local media personalities, along with 300 content creators and media who flew in to celebrate the film’s premiere. The atmosphere crackled with excitement as fans enjoyed a lively meet-and-greet session with the stars, culminating in an adrenaline-pumping light and pyrotechnic extravaganza that had everyone on their feet.

Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum and three towers were lit up with lasers and projections from Transformers: Rise of the Beasts throughout the night

Unleashing the Magic: Optimus Prime Takes the Stage

In true Transformers fashion, the grand show opened with a bang courtesy of Optimus Prime himself. Guests and spectators surrounding ArtScience Museum and the entire Marina Bay area were treated to an awe-inspiring three-and-a-half-minute laser and light show. This exclusive, never-before-seen spectacle featured state-of-the-art video mapping and a mesmerizing score from the film. As the night sky sparkled with dazzling pyrotechnics, Marina Bay Sands glowed in Optimus Prime’s signature red and blue colors. Laser projections adorned the buildings, while scenes from the movie came to life on the façade of ArtScience Museum. It was an audio-visual masterpiece that left the audience spellbound until the clock struck 11 p.m.

Transformers Premiere: A Celebration of Epic Proportions

Marina Bay Sands and United International Pictures forged an unparalleled partnership to bring audiences an unforgettable experience at the world premiere of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Chief Operating Officer Paul Town expressed his excitement, stating, “The energy tonight was palpable, and this was an incredible celebration that heralded the return of such a popular series.” The integrated resort continues to push boundaries, cementing its position as a global entertainment destination. And what better way to mark this milestone than with a world-class premiere for a film of monumental magnitude?

Sands Cares student beneficiaries with Director Steven Caple Jr. and Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura at “In Conversation With” session 

Inspiring the Next Generation of Filmmakers

The magic didn’t stop there! Acclaimed director Steven Caple Jr. and producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura engaged in an enlightening dialogue with 43 aspiring filmmakers as part of Marina Bay Sands’ Corporate Social Responsibility program, Sands Cares. The students, hailing from prestigious institutions like the School of the Arts Singapore, Temasek Polytechnic, LASALLE College of the Arts, and Nanyang Technological University, were given a rare opportunity to delve into the world of film, art, and culture through the eyes of these talented industry experts.

During the hour-long session, the aspiring filmmakers eagerly listened and posed questions, gaining valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs of pursuing a career in the film industry. Kleif Alexander Tan, a third-year film student from Nanyang Technological University, expressed his appreciation for the event, saying, “Events like these that support and motivate creatives are what Singapore needs to inculcate growth in this sector.” It was a unique chance for these budding talents to learn from the best and draw inspiration from the personal journeys of the distinguished duo.

A Spectacular Finale: World Premiere of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

(L-R) Steven Caple Jr., Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Tobe Nwigwe, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian attend the World Premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” at Marina Bay Sands on May 27, 2023 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

The press tour reached its climax with the highly-anticipated world premiere screening of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts at the prestigious Sands Theatre. Invited guests were treated to an exclusive first look at the thrilling installment of the Transformers series. As the film embarks on a new era, fans all across the island can eagerly anticipate its wide release in theaters on June 8th. The excitement surrounding the film is palpable, with fans and movie enthusiasts buzzing with anticipation.

(L-R) Steven Caple Jr., Dominique Fishback, Tobe Nwigwe, Anthony Ramos, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian attend the World Premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” at Marina Bay Sands on May 27, 2023 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Join the Conversation and Be Part of the Action!

Don’t miss out on the exhilarating world of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts! Join the conversation online and be part of the excitement by following Marina Bay Sands (@MarinaBaySands) and United International Pictures (@uipsingapore) on social media. Use the hashtags #Transformers, #RiseOfTheBeasts, #RiseOfTheBeastsSG, and #HomeOfRedCarpets to share your thoughts, engage with fellow fans, and immerse yourself in the epic Transformers universe.

With the Marina Bay Sands premiere making headlines and igniting the hearts of fans, it’s clear that Transformers: Rise of the Beasts has taken Singapore by storm. Get ready for an action-packed adventure that will transport you to a world where machines and humans unite to battle for the fate of the universe. Mark your calendars and buckle up for the blockbuster event of the year!

Norway’s National Day Sparks Joy and Solidarity on May 17th, 2023

Norway’s National Day Sparks Joy and Solidarity on May 17th, 2023

Norway proudly celebrates its Constitution and National Day on May 17th, 2023, fostering unity, solidarity, and a commitment to peace both at home and abroad.

On May 17th, 2023, Norwegian Ambassador Eivind S. Homme proudly raised the Norwegian flag to commemorate Norway’s Constitution and National Day. This significant occasion marks the adoption of Norway’s Constitution on May 17, 1814, a document that has continuously evolved to protect human rights, democracy, and social security.

Norway’s National Day, celebrated on May 17th, holds deep historical significance, symbolizing the nation’s journey towards full independence, achieved in 1905, except for the occupation by Nazi-Germany during World War II. On this special day, Norwegian children across the country joyously participate in parades, waving their flags with fervor, and are greeted by the King and Queen in Oslo. Even in Singapore, the celebrations continue in the traditional way at the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission, uniting Friends of Norway and fostering a sense of national pride.

At the heart of Norway’s national day celebration lies a strong focus on the young generation. Norwegians aspire to pass on and develop the rich heritage bestowed upon them, a society built on values of justice, equality, solidarity, and compassion for all. The nation believes that by upholding these principles both at home and abroad, they can forge robust partnerships and extend solidarity to the rest of the world.

On this momentous day, while celebrating liberty and peace, Norway takes a stand for Ukraine. Ambassador Homme, along with the people of Singapore, firmly demands an immediate cessation of the war and human suffering caused by the Russian government. This demonstration of solidarity highlights Norway’s commitment to peace and its dedication to upholding shared values worldwide.

The Norwegian Seamen’s Mission in Singapore served as the vibrant setting for the May 17th, 2023, celebration. The Embassy expressing gratitude to the dedicated volunteers, the 17th of May committee, the musicians, and all those involved in making the celebration a memorable one. Over 300 people came together to commemorate Norway’s Constitution Day, emphasizing the significance of this historic occasion.

As the celebrations unfolded, the atmosphere at the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission was one of camaraderie and cultural richness. Attendees immersed themselves in Norwegian traditions, fostering a sense of unity and appreciation for their roots. Through this gathering, the Norwegian community in Singapore showcased the enduring bond they share and their pride in their Norwegian heritage.

Sourced from Norway Embassy in Singapore facebook page

Experience Motorsport Luxury and World-Class Entertainment at Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2023

Experience Motorsport Luxury and World-Class Entertainment at Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2023

Rev up your senses as the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2023 unleashes a thrilling lineup of high-speed races and mind-blowing performances by 88rising, Post Malone, and Robbie Williams, creating an unforgettable collision of motorsport and music.

Get ready for an electrifying experience as the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2023 gears up to bring you a high-octane race alongside an incredible lineup of entertainment acts. The race promoter, Singapore GP Pte Ltd, has unveiled the first wave of performers, promising an unforgettable weekend from 15 to 17 September 2023. Whether you’re a motorsport enthusiast or looking for an extraordinary experience, this year’s event promises to be the ultimate fusion of adrenaline-pumping action and world-class musical talent.


Breaking new ground in the music scene, the game-changing record label 88rising will make their Singapore debut at the night race. Known for their ability to catapult acts onto the global stage, 88rising presents a remarkable lineup featuring artists like Jackson Wang, Rich Brian, NIKI, and Warren Hue. Prepare to witness iconic pop-culture crossovers as these talented performers redefine the boundaries of contemporary music.

Post Malone

Prepare to be mesmerized by the American global phenomenon, Post Malone, as he makes his highly anticipated Singapore debut. After Qualifying on Saturday, 16 September, Post Malone will take the stage at the Zone 4 Padang Stage, delivering a sensational performance. With multiple diamond-certified records, GRAMMY® Award nominations, and an unparalleled ability to captivate audiences, Post Malone is set to create an unforgettable atmosphere at the race.

Robbie Williams

British pop sensation Robbie Williams is set to make a triumphant return to the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Following his memorable performance in 2014, where he enthralled a crowd of 50,000 fans despite heavy rainfall, Robbie Williams is back to bring his chart-topping hits to the Zone 4 Padang Stage. Brace yourself for an evening of unparalleled energy and entertainment as Robbie Williams leaves his mark on the 2023 Grand Prix.

Exclusive Concert Access with Every Ticket:

Attending the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix guarantees access to the concerts at the Padang Stage in Zone 4. Whether you choose a single-day ticket or a three-day pass, you can look forward to an immersive experience that combines the thrill of the race with world-class musical performances. Ensure you have a valid ticket for the day of each act’s performance to enjoy the full entertainment program.

For motorsport enthusiasts and attendees alike, the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix promises a weekend like no other. From the heart-pounding excitement of the Formula 1 race to the mesmerizing performances of 88rising, Post Malone, and Robbie Williams, every moment will be packed with thrills and unforgettable experiences. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, where the worlds of motorsport and music collide in spectacular fashion.

Secure Your Tickets Now: To be a part of this extraordinary event, visit the official website of the Singapore Grand Prix at or authorized ticketing partners. Don’t miss your chance to witness the race and be a part of an entertainment lineup that will leave you breathless. Book your tickets today and prepare for a weekend of adrenaline, music, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Empowering African Students: Inclusive FinTech Forum Offers Free Online Learning and Career Opportunities

Empowering African Students: Inclusive FinTech Forum Offers Free Online Learning and Career Opportunities

Join the Inclusive FinTech Forum for Free Online Learning, Career Opportunities, and a Future in Finance & Technology!

The inaugural Inclusive FinTech Forum, a global platform championing Financial Inclusion and FinTech for Good, is gearing up to revolutionize the African landscape by empowering students and young professionals. Scheduled to take place from June 20th to 22nd, this transformative event, a collaboration between the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) and Elevandi, established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), promises to bring together policymakers, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporates from around the world.

A Beacon of Opportunity for African Students:

Recognizing the immense potential of students in universities across Africa, Elevandi is offering a game-changing opportunity – the Global FinTech Fundamentals course – free of charge. This self-paced online course, featuring insights from prestigious speakers at the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF), delves into the core concepts of FinTech and the revolutionary technologies shaping the financial sector. Upon completion and successful passage of the online test, students will receive an esteemed Knowledge Certificate, jointly issued by Elevandi Education and SMU Academy, Singapore Management University.

Fast-Track Careers in the FinTech Universe:

As an added bonus, students enrolled in the Global FinTech Fundamentals course will gain complimentary access to the Inclusive FinTech Forum’s Careers Forum. Scheduled for Tuesday, June 20th, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, this exclusive program has been thoughtfully crafted to provide students and young professionals with insights into the latest industry developments and trends.

At the Careers Forum, attendees will have the unique opportunity to learn directly from industry leaders through captivating keynotes delivered by influential FinTech figures. This invaluable experience aims to equip participants with the knowledge and connections required to navigate the dynamic world of finance and FinTech. An engaging networking mixer will also offer attendees the chance to forge connections, seek mentorship, and gain unparalleled insights into the keys to success in the industry.

Industry Unplugged: Expert Conversations:

Adding to the event’s allure, the Inclusive FinTech Forum will feature the highly anticipated Industry Unplugged: Expert Conversations session, scheduled for Tuesday, June 20th, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Exclusively available to learners who have completed the Global FinTech Fundamentals program, this session will facilitate thought-provoking discussions with industry experts.

From exploring digital transformation in financial services to illuminating the pathway to FinTech adoption, the Industry Unplugged session will delve into vital topics. Participants will also gain insights into innovation, entrepreneurship, and new career pathways in finance. The session offers an unparalleled opportunity to engage with global FinTech leaders and draw inspiration from their experiences, thus further enriching their understanding of the industry.

Don’t miss the chance to shape your future in finance and technology alongside eminent policymakers, visionary entrepreneurs, esteemed investors, prominent corporates, and esteemed foundations from across the globe!

Register HERE

Unveiling the Mysteries of the Silk Road: LKY School’s Public Lecture Event Offers Insights into Ancient Trade Route and Its Modern Significance

Renowned Author, Professor Tim Winter, Explores Silk Road’s Historical Significance and Modern Geopolitical Connections at LKYSPP Lecture

In a thought-provoking lecture held at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), Professor Tim Winter, a distinguished author and Senior Research Fellow, delved into the historical significance of the Silk Road and its contemporary implications for trade, diplomacy, infrastructure, and geopolitical connections.

Professor Winter, known for his groundbreaking work on the Silk Road, presented insights from his acclaimed book, “The Silk Road: Connecting Histories and Futures.” This captivating lecture shed light on the remarkable narrative surrounding the ancient trade route and its evolution into a platform that continues to shape international affairs.

Chaired by Assistant Professor Marina Kaneti, an esteemed expert in global development, the lecture emphasized the urgent need to prioritize geocultural politics in today’s dynamic world. Dr. Kaneti’s expertise, particularly in the Chinese Belt and Road initiatives, migration, and environmental governance, added valuable perspectives to the discussion.

The lecture traced the Silk Road’s ascent to global prominence, showcasing its transformation into a domain of scholarship, foreign policy, and internationalism. Professor Winter highlighted China’s current endeavors to “revive” the Silk Roads, both on land and through maritime routes, revealing unprecedented opportunities in the realms of trade, diplomacy, infrastructure, and geopolitics.

During the engaging session, emerging themes such as China’s Health Silk Road initiative and the envisioning of civilizational futures were explored. These discussions opened up the Silk Roads as a space for critical inquiry, inspiring visions of exploration and fostering international cooperation.

Professor Winter’s insightful analysis not only unveiled the historical significance of the Silk Road but also emphasized its potential to shape the future. Attendees left the lecture hall with a renewed appreciation for the Silk Road’s relevance in our interconnected world, recognizing its intricate interplay between culture, politics, and global affairs.

The event, hosted by the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, served as an intellectual platform for critical thinking and knowledge exchange. Professor Tim Winter’s thought-provoking lecture not only uncovered the historical significance of the Silk Road but also shed light on its transformative power in shaping trade, diplomacy, infrastructure, and geopolitical connections in today’s ever-changing international landscape.

About Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) at the National University of Singapore is a globally recognized institution dedicated to excellence in public policy education and research. LKYSPP provides a dynamic environment for thought leadership and fosters the development of future policymakers and leaders.

Sourced from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Step Back in Time at Al-Ta’i Festival: A Journey to the Pre-Islamic Era in Hail

Step Back in Time at Al-Ta’i Festival: A Journey to the Pre-Islamic Era in Hail

Hatim Al-Ta’i’s palace, tomb, and his famous fireplace in the village of Tuwairan

Step into the captivating world of poetry and culture at the Hospitality of Al-Ta’i festival, as Saudi Arabia’s historic city of Hail pays homage to the legendary poet, Hatim Al-Ta’i.

The Hospitality of Al-Ta’i festival, a captivating celebration of poetry and culture, came to a successful close on May 13. Held in the historic city of Hail from May 5-13, this festival was a remarkable event that paid tribute to the renowned poet Hatim Al-Ta’i, who lived during the pre-Islamic period in the Hail province.

Organized as part of the Year of Arabic Poetry initiative, with the generous support of the Quality of Life Program, the festival aimed to introduce visitors to the life and works of Hatim Al-Ta’i. As a prominent historical figure known for his poetic mastery, generosity, and horsemanship, Al-Ta’i left an indelible mark on the cultural heritage of Hail. Today, visitors can still marvel at the remains of his palace, tomb, and his famous fireplace in the village of Tuwairan.

The festival transported attendees on an immersive journey through the life and times of the esteemed poet. Cultural activities and events were meticulously crafted to reflect the vibrant culture of the region during Al-Ta’i’s era. The festivities began with the Utba area, specially designed for children. Here, young visitors engaged in various creative pursuits, including coloring, pottery making, weaving, and bracelet crafting, providing a glimpse into the artistic traditions of the time.

Next, attendees proceeded to the Awarid area, which served as a visual timeline of Al-Ta’i’s life. The performance took spectators through the poet’s childhood, youth, and eventual transformation into a revered figure of wisdom, offering valuable insights and advice garnered along his journey. The captivating presentation, titled “About the Poet of Ta’i,” not only shed light on the symbols of Arab poetry but also delved into the poet’s flourishing life, showcasing his role as a witness to the authenticity, morals, and values of the Arab people—an inspiration for generations to come.

The “About the Life of Al-Ta’i” area introduced a vibrant representation of the poet’s social life. An interactive exhibition provided a virtual reality experience, enabling visitors to immerse themselves in the 6th century A.D. and discover the world as it existed during Al-Ta’i’s time. This innovative use of technology allowed attendees to explore the historical context and better understand the rich tapestry of the era.

In the Cooking area, the Ministry of Culture arranged live cooking demonstrations that embodied the generosity and hospitality synonymous with Al-Ta’i. Visitors were treated to a tantalizing glimpse into the poet’s family life and stories, creating a truly immersive and multisensory experience.

The Diwan Hatim area served as a stage for literary figures and poets to pay homage to Al-Ta’i through their own compositions and readings of his biography. This captivating presentation explored lesser-known aspects of Al-Ta’i’s works, shedding new light on his remarkable history and artistic contributions.

The festival, an integral part of the Ministry of Culture’s broader vision to celebrate Arab poetry icons, including Antara ibn Shaddad, Labid ibn Rabiah, Zuheir ibn Abi Salma, Imru’ Al-Qais, and Al-A’sha, exemplified the ministry’s commitment to reviving and preserving the Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage. By presenting this heritage in contemporary and creative forms, blending modern technology and exceptional talents, the Ministry of Culture aims to enhance national identity and transform Saudi Arabia’s culture into a vibrant way of life.

The Hospitality of Al-Ta’i festival in Hail captivated attendees with its immersive and enlightening experience. Through the exploration of Hatim Al-Ta’i’s life and legacy, visitors gained a deeper appreciation for the region

Sourced from Arab News

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr: Malaysia Aidil Fitri Open House Held in Singapore

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr: Malaysia Aidil Fitri Open House Held in Singapore

The High Commissioner of Malaysia in Singapore, Dato’ Dr Azfar bin Mohamad Mustafar, his wife, Datin Che Norhayati Soib, and Sun Media’s Editor-in-Chief, Nomita Dhar

High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore hosted an Aidil Fitri Open House where guests wearing national attire were treated to traditional Malay cuisine to celebrate the end of Ramadan and strengthen ties between Malaysia and Singapore.

On Saturday, 22 April 2023, the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore held an Aidil Fitri Open House at Rumah Malaysia. The event was attended by diplomatic friends, business friends, and members of the Malaysian diaspora living in Singapore.

Guests arrived at the event wearing national attire, adding a touch of cultural flair to the celebration. They were treated to an array of traditional Malay cuisine, including satay, rendang, and ketupat.

The event provided an opportunity for guests to strengthen ties between Malaysia and Singapore and to celebrate the end of the month-long Ramadan fast together. The Aidil Fitri Open House was well-received by all who attended, with guests expressing their appreciation for the warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The event served as a reminder of the strong bonds of friendship that exist between Malaysia and Singapore and the importance of continuing to nurture these ties. Overall, it was a wonderful occasion for everyone to celebrate the festival together and strengthen the relationships between the two countries.

Food & Hotel Asia 2023 Returns Showcasing Innovations & Sustainability in F&B Industry

Food & Hotel Asia 2023 Returns Showcasing Innovations & Sustainability in F&B Industry

The highly anticipated Singapore mega exhibition on F&B industry opens today. Among highlights include introduction of the world’s first plant-based egg yolk substitute and other sustainable F&B solutions

EXCITING news that comes straight from the F&B industry as Singapore hosts the highly anticipated FHA (Food&HotelAsia) – Food & Beverage 2023 exhibition. With a focus on sustainability and education, this game-changing event is set to unite industry stakeholders from around the world and unveil the latest innovations in the field.

Ms Janice Lee, Event Director of Food HK and Singapore, describes it as, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the food and beverage industry to come together, exchange ideas, and enhance global connections. In the ever-changing environment of the post-COVID world, this event demonstrates the industry’s resilience, commitment to growth, and development. FHA is the perfect platform for the industry to emerge stronger together.”

Altogether there are 68 group pavilions and over 1300 exhibitors that will be present at the event. Notably, the China Pavilion is making a return after the pandemic, and young talent food and beverage competitions, feature zones, and a range of seminars on sustainable food solutions will be among the highlights.

FHA-Food & Beverage 2023 will also showcase the world’s first-ever plant-based egg yolk substitute and a zero-waste booth pilot, reflecting the event’s dedication to creating a sustainable future for the F&B industry.

Mr Poh Chi Chuan, Executive Director of Exhibitions & Conferences at the Singapore Tourism Board, said, “We are excited to debut the zero-waste booth pilot at FHA-Food & Beverage 2023. Sustainability is critical to the future of our MICE industry, and we hope that the pilot will encourage the industry to opt for such booths and continue to innovate for sustainability.”

The event itself will be playing a part in keeping the environment green as it will also recycle all paper, aluminum, and glass wastes, collect used cooking oil to be converted into bio-diesel fuel, and recycle the wood used at the event.

FHA-Food & Beverage 2023 will also host the first-ever Young Talents Escoffier competition, drawing in exceptional culinary talents from various countries. Esteemed judges such as Philip Golding and Alan Palmer will be presiding over the event, lending their expertise to recognize the exceptional skills of the participants.

Visitors will have so much to look forward to learn, experience and see the innovations, sustainability processes, and talent showcased at FHA-Food & Beverage 2023 which is destined to a game-changer for the F&B industry!

To register yourself click HERE

Explore Semangat yang Baru: Forging a New Singapore Spirit at the National Museum of Singapore

Explore Semangat yang Baru: Forging a New Singapore Spirit at the National Museum of Singapore

Learn about Singapore’s history and founding values at the National Museum of Singapore’s Founders’ Memorial pilot exhibition, featuring innovative technologies and interactive experiences. Admission is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

THE National Museum of Singapore invites Singaporeans and Permanent Residents to the Founders’ Memorial’s pilot exhibition, “Semangat yang Baru: Forging a New Singapore Spirit,” to learn about Singapore’s history and founding values. This exhibition provides an opportunity to explore the challenges faced by our founding leaders and generation during Singapore’s nation-building years of the 1950s to 1970s, and how their values and principles shaped the foundation of independent Singapore. The Founders’ Memorial aims to commemorate our founding leaders and their values and encourage future generations to reflect on these values and their significance.

Daching Pig Weighing Scale
Character Companion

This exhibition features artefacts such as a daching pig weighing scale contributed by Mr Tan Kah Hoe and Mdm Amy Phua, reflecting the tough decision of phasing out pig farming in Singapore to protect the environment. In addition, visitors can engage in interactive experiences such as role-playing tours and multimedia kiosks to discover which of the founding values they identify with most. The exhibition uses innovative technologies such as cloud infrastructure and 5G connectivity to provide an authentic and personalised storytelling experience, and visitors will be guided through the exhibition by virtual guides known as “Character Companions”.

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s birth, the exhibition also features a special digital trail spanning the post-war Singapore section of the Singapore History Gallery. Visitors are invited to embark on a trail in the exhibition to find out more about Mr Lee’s legacy and the values he embodied. The National Heritage Board’s museums have planned other activities to commemorate this anniversary, including a short film based on Mr Lee’s historic speeches and a pop-up exhibition in August for children to learn about Singapore’s founding Prime Minister.

Admission to the exhibition is free for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. The Founders’ Memorial’s pilot exhibition, “Semangat yang Baru: Forging a New Singapore Spirit,” is an excellent opportunity to reflect on Singapore’s history and founding values and what they mean for us today. Head down to the National Museum of Singapore to experience this innovative and educational exhibition.

Singapore Maritime Week 2023: Advancing Innovation, Decarbonisation and Talent Development

Singapore Maritime Week 2023: Advancing Innovation, Decarbonisation and Talent Development

The Singapore Maritime Week 2023 brings together international maritime community to take collective action towards innovation, decarbonisation and talent development.

Singapore Maritime Week 2023 set to bring together industry leaders for collective action on innovation, decarbonisation, and talent development.

The 17th edition of the Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) is set to take place from 24th to 28th April 2023 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, with the theme “Ambition Meets Action”. Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) in collaboration with industry stakeholders and research and educational institutions, the event will bring together key opinion leaders and industry leaders for a series of thought leadership conferences and events.

The focus of SMW2023 is on collective action to achieve the industry’s ambitions for innovation, decarbonisation, and talent development. With the maritime industry facing a range of challenges and opportunities, SMW2023 provides a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and advance key industry issues.

The week-long event is expected to feature a range of activities and events, including conferences, dialogues, and forums. Participants from around the world will gather in Singapore, reflecting the cosmopolitan profile of the industry and the city-state’s role as a leading international maritime centre.

#SingaporeMaritimeWeek #MaritimeServices #Decarbonisation #SustainableShipping #ShipFinance #GreenFinance #MaritimeEvent #Shipping

FIM2023 Advise If Possible Seek Partners Early

FIM2023 Advise If Possible Seek Partners Early

Developing business partnerships with other franchises before the conference could be pivotal to enabling the signing of more MoUs or business agreements during FIM2023 to generate more potential investments.

Exhibitors participating in the Franchise International Malaysia 2023 (FIM2023), to be held on 18-20 May 2023 in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, are urged to begin looking for and developing business partnerships with other franchises well ahead of the actual conference.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry (KPDN) secretary-general Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof said this would enable more memoranda of understanding (MoU) or business agreements to be signed during FIM2023 and generate more potential investments.

Held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)FIM2023 is the 30th edition of the event, and aims to provide exposure and business opportunities to individuals interested in being franchise entrepreneurs.

Secretary-General Azman said the Malaysian Franchise Association (MFA) is hoping to inform all exhibitors to engage other interested parties ahead of the event.

“We don’t want that during FIM2023, those who want to partner up will take too long to think,” he said at the media conference after the launch of FIM2023 here today.

Azman also shared that FIM2023 has set a target of RM550 million in potential franchise related investments–an increase of RMIOO million compared to the RM450 million recorded for FIM2022.

He said that many international and local franchises have signed up for FIM2023 and currently 94 exhibition spaces have been booked, including 76 franchises from Malaysia, with the rest coming from Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

“FIM2023 will also showcase franchise brands offering micro franchise business packages (under RM50,000) and affordable packages (RMI 00,000), including the Global Art and CheeseU brands,” he said.

FIM is an annual programme jointly organised by KPDN and MFA, and over 15,000 visitors are expected to visit FIM2023 throughout the three days of the event.

MFA chairman Datuk Dr Radzali Hassan said besides the franchise exhibition, there will be conferences, business briefings and various educational entertainment activities during FIM2023.

Meanwhile, CheeseU Restaurant founder and director Thomas Ang said that his company would take part in FIM2023 for the fifth time this year.

Based on previous experiences as an exhibitor, he said they would usually offer their main product, cheesecake, for free to visitors and it would attract them to find out more about CheeseU.

“This year, we are going to prepare Japanese Ramen, another menu in CheeseU and this is how we will promote our franchise,” he said.

CheeseU currently has nine outlets, including in Johor, Bangi, Selangor, and Putrajaya. The chain will open two outlets, in Kuantan, Pahang and in Batu Pahat, Johor.

Source from Bernama and Franchise International Malaysia official site

Year 2 of the Maldives’ Yacht Rally

Year 2 of the Maldives’ Yacht Rally

The Maldives Yatch Rally otherwise known as Savaadheeththa Dhathuru returns in 2023. Participants set sail from 1st March on an almost 315km journey through some of the most beautiful atolls, islands and waters in the world!

THE Maldives Integrated Tourism Corporation (MITDC) hosts the sailing competition “Savaadheeththa Dhathuru,” which invites yachtsmen from all over the world to take part in a voyage across the Maldives seas. Beginning in Noonu Atoll and ending in Alif Dhaal Atoll, the rally is slated to set out on its journey on March 1, 2023.

‘Savaadheeththa Dhathuru’ is a sailing event organized by the Maldives Integrated Tourism Corporation (MITDC) that invites yachtsmen from all over the world to take part in a voyage across the Maldives seas, stopping at local islands, exploring the heritage, and experiencing famous dive sites, sandbanks, and so on. It is proposed that it become an annual event based on its success.

The route for the rally’s second iteration, which will start in Noonu Atoll and end in Alif Dhaal Atoll, is set to begin on March 1st, 2023. Nine inhabited islands will be visited during the rally, giving participants the chance to see local landmarks and get a taste of island life through cultural experiences, diving, and other activities. There will be six designated anchor points where boat owners can secure their vessels. The organizer will arrange for sea transportation to the remaining islands.

The organizers want to capitalize on the advantages of bolstering these sectors of the nation’s tourism industry by promoting Maldivian culture, heritage, and nautical tourism as well as the nation’s rich history. The MITDC highlights this event as a tribute to As-Sultan al-Gaazee Muhammad Thakurufaanu al-Auzam, also known as Bodu Thakurufaanu, one of the greatest Kings (Sultans) to rule the small island nation.

For more information, visit

Sourced from Maldives Yacht Rally site

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Receives S$101 Million Donation for Asian Scholarships

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Receives S$101 Million Donation for Asian Scholarships

The Low Tuck Kwong Foundation donated S$101 million to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), National University of Singapore (NUS), on 22nd February 2023, to establish the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Advance Asia Leadership Fund and the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Scholarship

On 22nd February 2023, the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation made a generous gift of S$101 million to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), National University of Singapore (NUS). The money will be used to create the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Advance Asia Leadership Fund and the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Scholarship, both of which will help the next generation of Asian leaders succeed in the public sector and beyond. The Low Tuck Kwong Foundation, a private charitable organization named for businessman and philanthropist Dato’ Dr. Low Tuck Kwong, gave LKYSPP its largest donation to date. 

“We believe that students and thought leaders will gain from the bilateral learning and exchanges, share best practices, and build meaningful collaboration between Singapore, Indonesia, and the rest of Asia. It is our hope that this will lead to practical solutions to tackle issues and improve the lives of Singaporeans and our neighbors,” said Ms. Elaine Low, Chairperson of the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation and an alumna of LKYSPP who graduated with a Master in Public Policy in 2014. 

Ms Elaine Low and Professor Danny Quah, Dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics at LKYSPP, signed the agreement and presented the cheque. The ceremony was attended by Dato’ Dr. Low Tuck Kwong, LKYSPP Governing Board Chairman Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong, Minister for Education Mr Chan Chun Sing, Chairman of NUS Board of Trustees Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, and NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye. 

“The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy can contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia by shaping the next generation of public officials and raising standards of governance through pedagogy, research, sharing of experience and building of relationships. With the support of generous benefactors like the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation, the School’s ability to do so will be greatly enhanced,” said ESM Goh. 

Both the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Advance Asia Leadership Fund and the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Scholarship will offer scholarships to LKYSPP students from Asia beginning in the academic year 2023. The funds will support leadership programs for public officials from Asia in perpetuity. The donation will also allow LKYSPP to increase the scope of its executive education program on Singapore Futures. Teachers, student leaders, and young working professionals who participate in this program gain knowledge of future thinking and scenario planning techniques that will enable them to consider the structural elements and existential difficulties that will affect Singapore’s future in greater depth.

“The gift from the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation is inspiring, transformative, and timely. It dramatically advances our educational mission through providing scholarships to support Singaporeans and others across Asia who seek to advance their skills to better inform policy and governance practice in a complex world,” said Professor Danny Quah. “As it strengthens the School’s networks so that Singaporeans remain well-connected with the region, it also helps Singapore’s neighbours understand better how Singapore works and continues to keep the country as a global point of reference for good governance and sound public policy.” 

The signing and cheque presentation ceremony was followed by the unveiling of a plaque to mark the historic occasion. The plaque, which is situated in the LKYSPP main lobby, not only represents LKYSPP’s sincere gratitude for the kind gift from the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation but also a significant turning point for the organization. 

Sourced from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy official site

India Chairs First G20 Finance Ministers’ Meeting

India Chairs First G20 Finance Ministers’ Meeting

1st meeting of G20 Digital Economy Working Group (Photo: G20 India)

The first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the G20 Indian Presidency was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The meeting was co-chaired by Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Governor Dr. Shaktikanta Das

BENGALURU, Karnataka, hosted the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting as part of the G20 Indian Presidency from February 24–25, 2023. Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Finance Minister, and Dr. Shaktikanta Das, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, jointly presided over this meeting.

The G20 FMCBG meeting was preceded by a meeting of G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies (FCBD) on February 22, 2023, which was co-chaired by Dr. Michael D. Patra, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and Shri Ajay Seth, Secretary (Economic Affairs). 

The G20 FCBD meeting was officially opened by Shri Anurag Thakur, the Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India. 

The G20 Indian Presidency hosted the first FMCBG meeting, which was attended by invitee members, leaders of international organizations, and the finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 members. The meeting was attended by 72 delegations in total.

The G20 Indian Presidency had designed the meeting agenda in such a way that Ministers and Governors could have a meaningful exchange of ideas on pragmatic and meaningful approaches to addressing some of the world’s most pressing economic issues

The meeting was divided into three sessions on February 24 and 25, with topics such as strengthening multilateral development banks to address common global challenges of the twenty-first century, funding for resilient, inclusive, and sustainable “cities of tomorrow,” and leveraging Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) to promote financial inclusion and productivity gains. Global economic, health, and taxation-related topics were also discussed during the sessions.

The discussions at the G20 FMCBG meeting are intended to provide clear direction for the various G20 Finance Track workstreams in 2023.

In conjunction with these meetings, a number of side events on topics such as Digital Public Infrastructure, Policy Perspectives on Crypto Assets, and the Role of National Payment Systems in Cross Border Payments have been planned for the visiting Ministers, Governors, Deputies, and other delegates.

For the Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, and their delegations, specially curated cultural programs and a Ratri Bhoj Par Samvad will also be organized. These events will highlight the varied cuisines and cultures of India.

During a special event called Walk the Talk: Policy in Action, the Ministers and Governors visited the Indian Institute of Science (IIS) to interact with tech entrepreneurs and innovators who are developing cost-effective and scalable solutions to some of the problems faced by G20 member nations.

To welcome ministers, governors, deputies, and delegates, G20 India organized cultural programs showcasing India’s rich cultural odyssey throughout Karnataka, a land renowned for its deeply rooted cultural and artistic heritage with diverse forms of arts and crafts. The performance will reflect the artistry and splendor of Karnataka’s cultural ethos and legacy.

In order to give the delegates the chance to take in Karnataka’s stunning natural scenery, choices of excursions have been made available for them on February 26.

Sourced from G20 India site

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Receives S$101 Million Donation for Asian Scholarships

The Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy Receives S$101 Million Gift From Low Tuck Kwong Foundation

The Low Tuck Kwong Foundation donated S$101 million to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), National University of Singapore (NUS), on February 22, 2023, to establish the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Advance Asia Leadership Fund and the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Scholarship.

On February 22, 2023, the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation made a generous gift of S$101 million to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), National University of Singapore (NUS). The money will be used to create the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Advance Asia Leadership Fund and the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Scholarship, both of which will help the next generation of Asian leaders succeed in the public sector and beyond. The Low Tuck Kwong Foundation, a private charitable organization named for businessman and philanthropist Dato’ Dr. Low Tuck Kwong, gave LKYSPP its largest donation to date. 

“We believe that students and thought leaders will gain from the bilateral learning and exchanges, share best practices, and build meaningful collaboration between Singapore, Indonesia, and the rest of Asia. It is our hope that this will lead to practical solutions to tackle issues and improve the lives of Singaporeans and our neighbours,” said Ms Elaine Low, Chairperson of the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation and alumna of LKYSPP who graduated with a Master in Public Policy in 2014. 

Ms Elaine Low and Professor Danny Quah, Dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics at LKYSPP, signed the agreement and presented the cheque. The ceremony was attended by Dato’ Dr. Low Tuck Kwong, LKYSPP Governing Board Chairman Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong, Minister for Education Mr Chan Chun Sing, Chairman of NUS Board of Trustees Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, and NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye. 

“The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy can contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia by shaping the next generation of public officials and raising standards of governance through pedagogy, research, sharing of experience and building of relationships. With the support of generous benefactors like the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation, the School’s ability to do so will be greatly enhanced,” said ESM Goh. 

Both the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Advance Asia Leadership Fund and the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation Scholarship will offer scholarships to LKYSPP students from Asia beginning in the Academic Year 2023. These funds will support leadership programs for public officials from Asia in perpetuity. The donation will also allow LKYSPP to increase the scope of its Executive Education program on Singapore Futures. Teachers, student leaders, and young working professionals who participate in this program gain knowledge of futures thinking and scenario planning techniques that will enable them to consider the structural elements and existential difficulties that will affect Singapore’s future in greater depth.

“The gift from the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation is inspiring, transformative, and timely. It dramatically advances our educational mission through providing scholarships to support Singaporeans and others across Asia who seek to advance their skills to better inform policy and governance practice in a complex world,” said Professor Danny Quah. “As it strengthens the School’s networks so that Singaporeans remain well-connected with the region, it also helps Singapore’s neighbours understand better how Singapore works and continues to keep the country as a global point of reference for good governance and sound public policy.” 

The signing and cheque presentation ceremony was followed by the unveiling of a plaque to mark the historic occasion. The plaque, which is situated in the LKYSPP main lobby, not only represents LKYSPP’s sincere gratitude for the kind gift from the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation but also a significant turning point for the organization. 

Sourced from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy official site

The High Commission of India in Singapore hosts a reception for the Indian community

The High Commission of India in Singapore hosts a reception for the Indian community

H. E. Shri V. Muraleedharan, India’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, and H. E. P. Kumaran, High Commissioner of India in Singapore

The High Commission of India in Singapore hosted a reception for His Excellency Shri V Muraleedharan, India’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs. The Minister engaged the Indian diaspora in Singapore in a spirited discussion.

A warm welcome by the community for Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs and a lively interaction with the Indian diaspora in Singapore #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav.

Sourced from the High Commission of India on Singapore’s Facebook page

Singapore is being Represented at the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023

Singapore is being Represented at the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023

Enterprise Singapore sent 21 local companies and 58 business delegates to the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023 in Lucknow, resulting in the signing of six MOUs.

Enterprise Singapore has been in close ties with India in varying scopes of partnerships since the “Make in India” initiative was introduced in 2014 by the Indian Government as one of the other ways paved to establish a business-friendly ecosystem in India. These fruitful collaborations will be further deepened through Enterprise Singapore’s visit to the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023 in Lucknow with 21 local companies and 58 business delegates. 

In addition to attending the summit, the companies and delegates also visited the Smart City Command Control Center to gain knowledge and dig into further prospective partnerships. As an outcome of the event, Enterprise Singapore and the Uttar Pradesh government successfully signed six memoranda of understanding with the main focus on advancing infrastructure setup, waste management, and logistics. One of the notable MoUs in the scope of infrastructure setup is the cooperation in a pilot project initiating smart water technologies as an alternative to reduce expenses and increase the availability of potable water in Kudha Keshavpur, Ayodhya district. On the part of waste management, Vans Chemistry, an e-waste management service provider, is planning to establish a pre-dismantling and e-waste collection facility in Greater Noida to act as its base of operations in North India. Not to mention, in terms of logistics, Transworld Terminals is seeking to build a versatile storage facility in the same location.

This is a landmark set of partnerships since it is the initial cooperation between Enterprise Singapore and the Uttar Pradesh government. Although the Uttar Pradesh Government is not the traditional partner of Enterprise Singapore, this is a fresh way to start as an extension of the broader cooperation between Singapore and the Indian Government in the business sector.

For further details on the visitation, click here.

Astana International Forum Coming Up in June

Astana International Forum Coming Up in June

Official poster of Astana International Forum 2023

The Astana International Forum will be held on 8th to 9th June this year. Various heads of state, government officials, and representatives from International organisations will attend this forum to seek actionable solutions to global concerns

For decades, Kazakhstan has served as a cultural crossroads, encouraging mutual respect and worldwide cooperation. According to this Central Asian country this is the reason why its multi-vector foreign strategy has been successful for a long time.

Kazakhstan launched the Astana International Forum to discuss global issues and the Forum has become a new tool for creating a culture of multiculturalism on a global platform, and elevating concerns that are often disempowered. It is Kazakhstan’s commitment to being part of the global stage by supporting diplomacy, trade, multiculturalism, and idea exchange. The country is also committed to strengthening international law and engage in constructive dialogue with countries all across the world. The forum will discuss global issues such as security, economic development, and climate change.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will welcome Forum delegates this June

First Issue: Geopolitic, Security & Sustainability
Tensions between major world powers, nuclear disarmament, the refugee crisis, the rise of nationalism and populist movements, and other factors all pose a threat to world peace and stability. This is why it is critical to gather at the Forum to help guide toward the right way to protect the future of the nation.

Second issue: Climate Change
This important issue requires cooperation between countries. Rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss are all having a devastating impact on the planet. The world’s reliance on fossil fuels makes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change increasingly difficult. The oil and gas industry plays a critical role in ensuring energy security and the energy transition.

Third issue: Finance & Economics
Focusing on the importance of a collaborative solution to economic, environmental, and security concerns. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a severe global economic crisis, with many countries, businesses, and individuals struggling to survive.

Although these challenges may seem intense, the participating countries at the Forum can also find new opportunities for global cooperation and progress. The organisers hope the international community can address these issues at the Astana International Forum by working together to make the world a more stable, equitable, and prosperous place.

For further information, visit Astana International Forum

Singapore’s National Piano and Violin Competition will return in 2023

Singapore’s National Piano and Violin Competition will return in 2023

The most prestigious music competition in Singapore will begin accepting entries on May 2, 2023.

The highly anticipated National Piano & Violin Competition (NPVC), organized by the Singapore Symphony Group (SSG), returns for its 14th edition this year. The biennial competition, held at the Victoria Concert Hall and the Esplanade, is a well-known platform for discovering Singapore’s best classical music talents.

The National Piano and Violin Competition (NPVC) is a nine-day event that runs from November 25 to December 3, and it consists of 24 live performance rounds across four piano and violin categories, with the Prize Winners’ Concert & Prize Presentation Ceremony on the final show.

Participants will have the opportunity to perform in front of a diverse panel of adjudicators, including Christopher Park, Marianna Shirinyan, Noriko Ogawa for piano, and Erik Heide, Kevin Lin, and Yu-Chien Tseng for violin. Each category’s top three winners will receive trophies, certificates, and cash prizes.

For the first time since COVID-19, the NPVC Orchestra will perform on stage alongside the Artist piano and violin finalists. Set pieces composed by Singaporean composer Terrence Wong will be performed by participants in the Senior and Artist categories for both piano and violin.

“Nurturing musical excellence remains an integral part of our mission at the SSG, and we are excited to present the 14th run of this national competition,” said Mr. Kenneth Kwok, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Symphony Group. “We are excited to discover Singapore’s next generation of musicians and give them a platform to shine.”

All performances will be livestreamed on the YouTube channels of the Singapore Symphony and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. Furthermore, most live competition rounds are open to the public for free. Tickets to the Artist Finals on the 2nd and 3rd of December, as well as the Prize Winners’ Concert on the 3rd of December, will be $10 each. Dates for ticket purchases will be announced on the NPVC’s official page.

The NPVC 2023 registration period begins on May 2 and ends on July 10 at 5 p.m. Please visit for more information.



5 million FREE* seats for ASEAN destinations are up for grabs from now to February 19, 2023.

AirAsia launched its first major promotion of the year with 5 million FREE* seats, bookable from February 10 to 19, 2023. The campaign is being organized simultaneously by all AirAsia Group entities (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines). 

This FREE* seat promotion is valid from March 1 to December 10, 2023. Passengers can book AirAsia tickets to various international destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Kuching, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, and Sibu, as well as Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Denpasar – Bali, Jakarta, and Yogyakarta from February 10 to 19, 2023.

Booking period: 

10 – 19 February 2023

Travel period: 

1 March – 10 December 2023

During this promotional period, tickets to Seoul, Busan, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Taipei, and many other thrilling AirAsia X destinations are also discounted. One-way tickets start at SGD189.

Additional advantages include: 

Flight Delay Insurance* by Tune Protect

Guests will receive a one-time payment of SGD60 if their flight is delayed by at least two (2) hours from the original scheduled departure time or any new departure time.

Guests who make reservations for seats during this promotion are not charged for this insurance. Starting on February 20, 2023, it will be available for purchase on both the AirAsia Super App and the website.

AirAsia has also exclusively partnered with BigPay to provide automatic claims that are credited to the user’s BigPay account within three (3) working days based on their mobile phone number. Non-BigPay users must submit their claims to Tune Protect. 


*The FREE SEATS do not include airport taxes, fuel surcharges, or other fees. Terms and Conditions apply. 

**The claim is valid for passengers who received a delay notification from AirAsia less than 24 hours prior to the departure time that was originally scheduled or any new departure time. BigPay users will receive their claims in their BigPay account within three (3) working days based on their mobile phone number. Non-BigPay users must submit their claims to Tune Protect via this link. Please see the full terms and conditions here

Sourced from AirAsia official website

Australian High Commissioner’s Farewell Dinner in Singapore

Australian High Commissioner’s Farewell Dinner in Singapore

His Excellency Mr. William Edward Felix Hodgman has completed his term as Australia’s High Commissioner. A farewell dinner was held in his honor by the Dean of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps in Singapore, His Excellency Mr. Kakhramon Shakirov.

A farewell dinner was held on Thursday, February 9, 2023, and was hosted by His Excellency Mr. Kakhramon Shakirov, Dean of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps in Singapore, in honor of His Excellency Mr. William Edward Felix Hodgman, High Commissioner of Australia to Singapore, who had finished his term in office.

Will Hodgman was appointed to his position in March 2020, during the height of the pandemic. He advocated for and achieved increased economic, trade, and business relations, not just between Australia and Singapore but also between Singapore’s foreign business communities.

Along with making Singapore Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner and strengthening the country’s close defense ties, Will Hodgman’s leadership was essential in launching the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement (GEA).

Watch his farewell message video here.

Sourced from Embassy of Cambodia in Singapore and High Commission of Australia facebook post

1st G20 Employment Working Group concludes in Jodhpur

1st G20 Employment Working Group concludes in Jodhpur

The first G20 Employment Working Group concluded on a positive note on February 4 in Jodhpur, with all G20 countries expressing interest and commitment to constructively working towards the Indian Presidency’s three priority areas of Addressing Global Skills Gaps, Gig & Platform Economy & Social Protection, and Sustainable Financing of Social Security.

The three-day meeting of the Indian Presidency’s Employment Working Group (EWG) [2-4 February] is led by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, and is tasked with addressing labor, employment, and social issues in order to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced, and job-rich growth for all.

The Employment Working Group meetings began on Thursday with a special event featuring a panel discussion on ‘Exploring Strategies for Global Skills and Qualifications Harmonization and Developing a Framework for Common Skill Taxonomies’.

G20 Panel discussion

In the opening session of the second day, Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat welcomed all delegates and thanked them for their dedication to the cause of the G20 Employment Working Group in Jodhpur Union.

The Minister stated that the theme of India’s G20 presidency, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” or “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” is particularly appropriate as they gather to discuss the interconnectedness of economies and peoples. He describes it as a powerful reminder of their common humanity and the importance of working together to create a better future for all. It also emphasizes the importance of inclusive, sustainable, and equitable solutions to labor and employment challenges, he added. Following the ministerial address by India’s G20 EWG Chair and Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, Ms. Aarti Ahuja, remarks were made by Co-Chairs from Indonesia and Brazil on India’s G20 EWG priorities.

The second session featured presentations and interventions on the priority of ‘Addressing Global Skills Gaps’ from countries and IOs (International Organizations). International organizations such as the ILO and the OECD have highlighted various types of skill and qualification gaps in the labor market.

Following this was a presentation by Mr. Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, in which he discussed various skill and development initiatives and activities being carried out in India that have been proposed by business and government organizations in order to meet the objectives. The session’s open discussion gave the participating nations a forum to exchange experiences regarding some of the conditions and legal framework that currently exist for skill development in each of their home nations.

The third session focused on the priority issues of Gig and Platform Economy and Social Protection. It started with a detailed technical presentation by the ILO, OECD, and ISSA, followed by a presentation by the Niti Aayog, the Government of India’s premier think tank. Session 4 and 5 focused on the ‘gig and platform economy’ debate in the global and Indian contexts. The intervening countries gave detailed presentations on existing gig and platform economy frameworks and shared their experiences addressing worker concerns in this sector.

Opening remarks were made to begin the third day of the meeting by the Secretary of the Ministry of Labour & Employment and Chair of the G20 EWG. During the day’s sessions, the topic of ‘Sustainable Financing of Social Security’ was discussed. The ILO, OECD, and ISSA all highlighted current and emerging challenges in social protection. They also focused on the overall goal and the various structures available for long-term financing. The World Bank’s presentation emphasized the importance of universal social protection. The Employees Provident Fund Organization, Ministry of Labour and Employment, delivered an informative presentation on initiatives and schemes being implemented by the Government of India to improve and strengthen social security. This was followed by country-wise interventions and open discussion where participating countries detailed the existing conditions and legal framework for providing social security in their respective countries.

G20 participants are joining short yoga breaks between sessions

Short yoga breaks were also interspersed throughout these two-day sessions.

The sessions concluded with encouraging remarks from EWG Co-Chairs Indonesia and Brazil. In her closing remarks, Ms. Arti Ahuja, the chair of the EWG and secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, thanked all the G20 delegates and participants, as well as international organizations, for their participation and engagement in the discussions.

Sourced from G20 official website

HIGHLIGHTS: ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat and Coordinating Council Meetings, February 3-4, 2023

HIGHLIGHTS: ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat and Coordinating Council Meetings, February 3-4, 2023

The 32nd ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting and the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat were held on February 3–4, 2023. This is the first significant event held in Indonesia during its 2023 chairmanship of ASEAN

On February 4, 2023, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat was held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Retreat, with the theme “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” was the first significant gathering held during Indonesia’s presidency of ASEAN in 2023. The 32nd ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting on 3 February 2023 preceded the meeting.

The meeting covered topics such as reiterating support for Indonesia’s chairmanship, global connectivity and trade, regional security, and promoting ASEAN regional sustainable development.

Here are a few highlights from the meetings:

Timor-Leste attended the meeting for the first time as an ASEAN member.

Timor-Leste participated in the meeting for the first time as a member of the ASEAN Family, with the status of observer. Timor-Leste is welcome to attend all levels of ASEAN meetings, including Summit Plenaries. While reiterating its commitment that all ASEAN Member States and external partners will fully support capacity-building assistance and any other necessary and relevant support for Timor-Leste’s membership in ASEAN, ASEAN also encouraged the Timor-Leste government to step up efforts toward ASEAN membership preparations.

Discussion regarding to ASEAN region international trade

As reflected in the sub-theme of Indonesia’s Chairmanship of Epicentrum of Growth, ASEAN is determined to make Southeast Asia the center of regional economic growth and an engine for global growth through robust cooperation, including in the food, energy, health, and finance sectors. The ASEAN Coordinating Council gave the High-Level Task Force on Economic Integration (HLTF-EI) approval to create the ASEAN Blue Economy Framework in order to put the Declaration into practice and advance the Blue Economy as a new source of regional economic growth.

Under Indonesia’s chairmanship, ASEAN welcomed its Priority Economic Deliverables and flagship initiatives to address the immediate challenges of ensuring the region’s recovery and rebuilding and to further the momentum for ASEAN as an epicentre of growth through inclusive digital economy integration and sustainable economic growth.

ASEAN’s response to the circumstances in Myanmar and the Holy Quran burning incident

Given that the military junta has been in power in Myanmar for two years, significant progress in implementing the Five-Point Consensus is required to pave the way for a broad national dialogue. ASEAN will continue to support Myanmar’s initiatives to advance harmony and reconciliation among the various communities, peace, stability, and the rule of law, as well as sustainable and equitable development in Rakhine State. ASEAN will also facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons in a safe, secure, and dignified manner. 

Regarding the incident involving the burning of the Holy Quran, ASEAN strongly denounced the actions of far-right, extremist politicians in some nations. This blasphemous act has wounded and tarnished religious tolerance. Freedom of expression must be exercised responsibly. ASEAN will continue to promote the spirit of peaceful coexistence and encourage dialogue in order to achieve peace and harmony in a diverse global community.

ASEAN’s response towards South China Sea situation

Concerns were raised by some ministers during the ASEAN discussion of the South China Sea situation regarding land reclamations, recent developments, and serious incidents that have heightened tensions, eroded trust, and may threaten peace, security, and stability in the area. ASEAN is prepared to contribute to the peaceful dialogue between all parties, including by using mechanisms led by ASEAN to defuse tension, in order to maintain peace, security, and development in the region. The establishment of the ASEAN Coast Guard Forum (ACF) will allow for further discussion on the South China Sea issue.

Complete information about the meeting’s outcomes is available here.

Sourced from ASEAN official website

Crowds Thrilled at Chingay 2023

Crowds Thrilled at Chingay 2023

Photos by Michael Ozaki

The Chingay Parade 2023 which took place on 3rd and 4th February 2023 returned to the F1 Pit Building after after two years of digital and hybrid showcases no thanks to COVID. The pent up demand saw huge crowds in long queues braving the drizzle on the first night! Visitors were treated to a non-stop programme of music, dances and plenty of pyrotechnics!  

CHINGAY 2023 was truly a sensory extravaganza that celebrated diversity and sense of community while also showcasing community co-creation with the general public. Cultural and contemporary beats accompanied by fireworks by a diverse collection of local performers such as the NUS Angklung and the Happy Bikers Group at Bukit Gombak were invited to perform and international performances by the Japanese Association, tri-national Cambodia, India and Thailand music and dance troupes as well as a ‘MexSing” performance gave an international flavour to the event.

Revolving around the theme, “Embrace Tomorrow”, Chingay 2023 called on Singaporeans to treasure the present, create new possibilities, and embrace future opportunities together as a community with hope, dreams and confidence.

The roots of Chingay were not forgotten as the Chinese zodiac symbol the Rabbit also played a prominent role in the costumes, backgrounds and talented lead performers Hossan Leong, Siti Khadijah and Dwayne Lau at the ‘Bunny Moon Party’. Neighborhood communities had came together to build miniature floats that were displayed at the end of the parade. Altogether more than 3,000 young people came together for Chingay 2023 to perform and collaborate on community art projects like the Container Art Installation and the Rabbits ART-Venture Installation. 

With the help of more than 3,000 on-site performers from various groups, The People’s Parade will enthrall spectators with special effects, audience participation, and show elements that are all original.

The Chingay Spirit, which drives the nation forward as a whole with hopes, dreams, and resilience, is perfectly captured in the theme song for Chingay 2023. The song, “Embrace Tomorrow,” was written by music director Ting Si Hao and singer/composer Amni Musfirah. They were motivated by the challenges the country had faced lately and how it has overcome them as a united Singapore.  Authentic musical instruments from different cultures were used in the composition, including the Chinese Guzheng, the Angklung, and the Indian Bansuri.

A delayed broadcast will also be available on MediaCorp Channels 5 and 8 on 19 February, 2023 at 7.30 p.m.

Wellness Festival Singapore

Wellness Festival Singapore

At the first-ever Wellness Festival Singapore, you could meditate, exercise, and discover novel approaches to wellness through multisensory exhibits and interesting workshops. Wellness Festival Singapore will happen from 3 – 12 June 2023

Through more than 120 events and installations, you can learn about and put physical, mental, emotional, and lifestyle well-being into practice at this island-wide festival. Here’s a sneak preview of what to expect. At the inaugural Wellness Festival Singapore (WFS), you can recharge, rejuvenate, and refresh physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Engage The Senses


You can’t miss The Wellness Sensorium, a multi-sensory pop-up amongst nature in the city. The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay will be transformed into a vibrant wellness space, complete with six zones offering innovative and Instagrammable experiences. From participating in the mindful and collaborative Stone Ritual to finding immense calm in the atmospheric Light and Sound Bath, there are a variety of ways to experience wellness

Discover even more ways to live well through a series of free, daily programs at the Masterclass Studio. Programs include slow-stitch meditation with textile artist Agatha Lee, a nutritional cooking workshop that celebrates local flavors with nutritionist Charlotte Mei and food content creator Sarah Huang Benjamin, and much more.

Go for an island retreat


Have a getaway without going away with Sentosa’s Zentosa Fest.

The island will be transformed into a wellness retreat with a slew of programs, beach activities, and more throughout the month of June. Shed the stresses of urban living at the Stress Stop at The Southernmost Point of Continental Asia, and learn healthy ways to refresh your every day with masterclasses, sports workshops, and more at Palawan Green.

Break a sweat

Get moving at the Wellness Festival Weekend @ Jewel! in the airport’s serene Shiseido Forest Valley, set against the backdrop of the Rain Vortex.

Look out for exclusive classes covering spin-cycling, K-pop-led workouts, and even a mass Taichi workout with SEA Games Gold Medallist, Lee Tze Yuan.

Explore new ways of wellness

Recentre yourself with yoga classes aboard a luxury tall ship with Royal Albatross, up in the air at the Singapore Flyer, within the peacefully pink Museum of Ice Cream, or amongst historical buildings in Chinatown and Collyer Quay with Urban Yogis.

Learn about holistic treatments like equine therapy at the Singapore Turf Club, Ayurveda in Little India, forest bathing among lush greenery at Jewel Changi Airport, and somatic movements inspired by Singapore’s different cultures at the National Gallery. There’s something for everyone, no matter what you’re into.

Get the family together

It’s never too early to learn how to live well. This coming June holidays, bring the whole family on health and wellness adventures islandwide. Slow down and immerse yourselves in farm life at Hay Dairies, where you can learn about local agriculture, have a farm-to-table dining experience, and even meet and feed farm animals.

Cultivate wholesome mental health habits through play and other activities like creating calm jars and picking affirmations. Then, take part in wellness talks and workshops that span nutrition, mindfulness, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and more with COMO Shambhala.

Source: Visit Singapore

World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Singapore

World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Singapore

World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Singapore 2023 that will happen from April - December 2023

World Gourmet Summit Singapore is an upcoming event from April to December of 2023. Head to the event for a celebration of fine cuisine, excellent wines, and wonderful dining experiences!

Asia’s greatest haute cuisine festival, the World Gourmet Summit is an annual extravaganza that takes place from April to December. The Summit, which opened its doors in 1997, offers a wide range of stunning experiences that have been specially chosen for people who enjoy excellent dining. In its 26th year, the subject for 2022 is “Equilibrium: An Innate Sense of Taste,” and it focuses on uncovering the best gourmet delights in the culinary world.

Top Restaurants

Discover the rich flavors of Filipino food with MasterChef Michelle Adrillina, sample gastronomic wonders at Michelin-starred restaurant JAG, and celebrate International Vegetarian Week with Elemen.

Food lovers looking to sign up for this exciting calendar of epicurean experiences can expect a feast for all senses. Special menus, collaborations between world-famous chefs, and exclusive dishes are just some of what you’ll get to sample.

Food for Thought

Besides the feasting, serious foodies can also listen in on gastronomic talks with world-renowned Michelin-star chefs or get a hands-on experience at a selection of cooking workshops.

So if you enjoy indulging in delectable cuisines and deepening your appreciation for the wondrous world of food, be sure to check out the World Gourmet Summit’s annual line-up of events, and plan your travel itinerary around the feasts that await.

Source: Visit Singapore and World Gourmet Summit

Liu Kuo-sung Exhibition: Experimentation as Method

Liu Kuo-sung Exhibition: Experimentation as Method

The National Gallery is staging Singapore’s largest public exhibition of modern ink master Liu Kuo-sung which will happen on 13th January 2023.

As a world-renowned pioneer in modern Chinese ink practices; the exhibition spotlights key periods of Liu Kuo-sung’s groundbreaking artistic practice and trailblazing experimentation. Liu Kuo-sung: Experimentation as Method is the largest exhibition by a Singapore public museum dedicated to the Chinese ink master, Liu Kuo-sung, which celebrates his artistic career spanning 70 years.

This retrospective show traces Liu’s creative evolution through more than 60 paintings and 150 items from the artist’s personal archive, highlighting his significant innovations and contributions to the development of modern Chinese ink painting. His experiments in art go beyond the brush; Liu explores different materials and textures, and even invented the “Liu Kuo-sung paper.” He continuously reconstructs tradition with the modern, enabling the creation of a new approach to the time-honored practice of Chinese ink painting.

Source: Singapore National Gallery and Expat Living

PedalFest Singapore

PedalFest Singapore

With cycling now Singapore’s third most popular sport behind running and walking, it’s time for the first cycling lifestyle festival in Southeast Asia. PedalFest Singapore will be held on 11-12 February 2023

PedalFest Singapore is a cycling lifestyle festival in the region dedicated to all cyclist(s) to connect and meet over bicycle films, sporting programs, pedal and spin challenges, health and wellness workshops, and everything related to the bicycle

With cycling, which is now Singapore’s third most popular sport behind running and walking, it’s time for the first cycling lifestyle festival in Southeast Asia. Over the weekend of 11 and 12 February, connect and meet cyclists of all genres over bicycle films, sporting programs, spin activities and challenges, health and wellness talks, and upcycling workshops. Plus BMX artworks, inspirational talks with athletes and coaches, and more all at the Singapore Sports Hub from 11 am to 9 pm each day. A day pass costs $38 and the first 500 registered participants receive a free artisanal coffee.

For more information check out the event website here.

Glow Festival 2023

Glow Festival 2023

Glow Festival 2023

Glow Festival is finally back since the extraordinary Glow Festival back in 2019! Glow Festival 2023 will happen on 4-12 February 2023 in Marina Bay Sands.

Glow Festival is finally back, and this time it will be raising the bar to a whole new level! Featuring the world’s first multi-sensory festival space design concept, an unprecedented line-up of top international celebrity practitioners, a digital rewards and charity platform through the brand-new Glow App, and a banging closing party at MARQUEE Nightclub. Get ready to Glow Up with Glow Festival in 2023!

Since the extraordinary inaugural Glow Festival back in 2019, the faith in Glow and what it stands for has never wavered. More importantly, people’s incredible support has successfully sustained Glow Festival through these difficult times.

Glow Festival 2023 is designed and curated to take the Glow experience to a whole new level and help our Glow getters reach their very own wellness high. As part of Glow Festival’s ongoing commitment to bring audiences exceptional wellness experiences, the Glow Festival team is moving to the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Together with our incredible line-up of celebrity wellness instructors, we have curated a program of amazing workshops and classes that will whisk you away from your everyday hustle to a place of peace and tranquility, where you can relax, unwind, and be in the moment.

Source: Glow Festival SG

Launch of Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship by President Jokowi

Launch of Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship by President Jokowi

On Sunday (29/01) morning, the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout hosted the official start of Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023. President Joko Widodo expressed confidence that ASEAN will continue to be relevant by assembling a peaceful and stable Indo Pacific and acting as a center of economic growth.

ASEAN chairmanship kick-off was launched by the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, at Hotel Indonesia roundabout on Sunday (29/01). The Jakarta Provincial Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked together to host the Kick Off event which featured The Nusantara Parade. The fact that the event was coincided with the Motor Vehicle Free Day (HBKB), gave the atmosphere a unique and lively appearance. The parade lineup was vibrant and energetic, featuring marching bands, costumes fit for a carnival, percussion music ensembles, and Jakarta art groups like Betawi dancers and ondel-ondel. President Joko Widodo joined the procession in front of Sarinah and walked alongside it as it made its way to the HI Roundabout following a leisurely bike ride with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Acting Governor of DKI Jakarta, and several other ministers.

There were over 500 participants in the parade from different representative groups, including the Mawar Budaya group, the Jakarta Music House, the DKI Jakarta Paskibra, students from various high schools in Jakarta, the Altajuru music group, firefighters, and SSY.  Ambassadors from friendly nations and officials from international organizations took part in the parade as well. The presence of an entertainment stage featuring performers like Rara Lida, Putra Lida, and Maria Callista added to the joy of HBKB.

The handover of ASEAN Chairmanship from Cambodia to Indonesia occurred at the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2022. The year-long Indonesian ASEAN Chairmanship period began on January 1 of 2023 and will end on December 31, 2023. As the largest and one of the ASEAN founding members, Indonesia is expected to make significant strides and innovations in addressing global issues that also affect the region.

Through the ASEAN Chairmanship’s theme, “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” Indonesia is committed to leading ASEAN cooperation in 2023 to maintain and strengthen ASEAN’s relevance in responding to regional and global challenges and strengthen ASEAN’s position as the epicentre of regional economic growth, for the prosperity of ASEAN’s people. 

The kickoff was held prior to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting, which will take place on February 3–4, 2023, at the ASEAN Secretariat Building in Jakarta. 

Sourced from Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs official site

Yogyakarta will host the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023

Yogyakarta will host the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023

The ASEAN presidency is currently held by Indonesia. In keeping with ASEAN tradition, the 2023 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), with the theme “ASEAN: A Journey to Wonderful Destinations,” will be held in Yogyakarta to kick off Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is the region’s largest annual tourism event. The event will be attended by leading business decision-makers, professionals, and suppliers of ASEAN-based tourism goods and services. ATF includes discussions between tourism government agencies and private sector organizations as well as a travel exchange (TRAVEX) between ASEAN exhibitors and foreign buyers from significant travel markets.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023 will be inaugurated on February 2 at Hall A of the Jogja Expo Center (JEC) by GKR Hemas and Mrs. Nur Asia Uno. The Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, will then perform the official opening ceremony on February 3 at Prambanan Temple. The Royal Banquet will take place the following day, February 5, at the Yogyakarta Palace. 

According to Singgih Raharja, Head of the Yogyakarta Tourism Office, the ATF is a fantastic opportunity for Yogyakarta to gain more recognition on a global scale. 

“In reality, there are already a significant number of foreign visitors each year, especially before the pandemic. Hopefully, after ATF, there will be more international tourists who will come to Yogyakarta, get to know Yogyakarta, and not just stay in the city but also explore other districts,” Singgih said.

Around 310 exhibitors, 150 buyers, and 190 delegates will be present at ATF 2023. It is anticipated that the large number of foreign visitors will help to boost Yogyakarta’s tourism. 

“This is a good time for promotional investment, so the most crucial thing is that we create high-quality products for the tourism and creative industries.” Our tourism patterns were altered by the COVID pandemic. “As a result, the tour packages that will be offered to buyers must be tailored to current tourism trends,” Singgih continued.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno previously said that “Yogyakarta was chosen to be the location of the 2023 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) because it has MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) infrastructure readiness for international meetings at the ministerial level.

The readiness includes the availability of human resources, the provision of accommodation, the provision of large-scale exhibition grounds, and tourist attractions that include cultural authenticity, culinary specialties, and natural destinations.”

Baskara Aji, regional secretary of Yogyakarta’s Special Region, reaffirmed the city’s readiness to host the ATF in 2023. Aji asserts that Yogyakarta was selected as the venue for ATF 2023 due to its friendliness, high standards of service, and the city’s abundance of tourist attractions, all of which are thought to be capable of fostering the smooth operation of the event’s activities.

According to Baskara Aji in a written statement, “Yogyakarta is truly ready, starting with its hospitality, first-rate service, and tourist attractions.”

Aji went on to say that “the Yogyakarta Regional Government has made preparations ranging from infrastructure to providing education to the people of Yogyakarta to welcome ATF 2023.”

ATF 2023 attendees will also be given the opportunity to explore Yogyakarta’s tourist attractions, which include both natural and cultural attractions.

GKR Bendara
Image source: Yogyakarta Tourism Office

“ATF 2023 is a very good opportunity for the Yogyakarta Regional Government, considering that ATF is a regional effort to promote the ASEAN region as a tourist destination,” said GKR Bendara, the head of the Yogyakarta Regional Tourism Promotion Board. 

Participants in this ATF activity come from ten ASEAN member countries and represent all tourism-related sectors.

For more information about the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023, visit here

Sourced from Yogyakarta Tourism Office, ANTARA News, Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023 official site.

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2023

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2023


Bring your taste buds on an intoxicating adventure, with the artisanal concoctions on display at the Singapore Cocktail Festival.

An annual event on Asia’s cocktail and nightlife calendar, Singapore Cocktail Festival (SGCF) is a social and experiential gathering of drink makers and lovers from around the world.

Since its first debut in 2017, over 35,000 visitors have shared unforgettable cocktail moments.

Singapore Cocktail Festival had its event before in 2021. The creative theme for #SGCF2021 is music. Their participating bars have created their SGCF Signature cocktail and experiences inspired by their favorite songs, bands, and legendary icons.

Singapore Cocktail invited people to join them in their support of Singapore’s local bar community on their road to recovery. Every cocktail matters. Singapore Cocktail Festival hope to see everyone at the bars to celebrate their resilience and creativity.

Singapore Cocktail Festival will be back on March 2023.

Source: Visit Singapore

Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Council Hosts Successful Maiden Networking Event

Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Council Hosts Successful Maiden Networking Event

The Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Council (#KSBC) held its maiden networking event, bringing together business leaders and entrepreneurs from both countries to explore potential collaborations and opportunities.

The event was graced by the Ambassador of #Kazakhstan to #Singapore Askar Kuttykadam who delivered the keynote address.

The KSBC is a not-for-profit organization with the aim to become the bridge and catalyst for bilateral business collaborations between 🇸🇬 and 🇰🇿, supporting businesses and individuals to expand their network, gain exclusive market information, and succeed in both countries.

The event featured presentations and discussions on various topics, including market trends, investment opportunities, and business networking, among others. Business leaders and representatives from various industries participated in the event, showcasing the potential for mutually beneficial collaborations between the two countries.

“We are thrilled to have successfully launched the KSBC and to have brought together such a diverse group of business leaders and entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan and Singapore,” said Sultan Marenov, Chairman of KSBC. “We look forward to continuing to build on this momentum and to creating a platform for innovation and economic growth for businesses in both countries.”

Many companies applied for membership during the event and the KSBC is looking forward to welcoming them to its growing network of member companies.

Source: Embassy of Kazakhstan in Singapore

UPCOMING EVENT: Thaipusam Festival Singapore 2023

UPCOMING EVENT: Thaipusam Festival Singapore 2023

Thaipusam Festival 2023, which will be held on February 5th, is an upcoming event in Singapore. 

Anchored by a colorful annual procession, Thaipusam sees Hindu devotees in Singapore seeking blessings, fulfilling vows, and offering thanks.

The festival is celebrated in honor of Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), the destroyer of evil who represents virtue, youth, and power.

The festival generally lasts for 2 days. On the eve, a chariot procession bearing a statue of Lord Murugan begins from Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Saik Road.

The Thaipusam ceremony starts in the early hours of the morning. The first batch of devotees carries milk pots and wooden kavadis (ceremonial devices used for religious self-mortification in Hinduism). Some pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a wooden kavadi decorated with flowers and peacock feathers balanced on their shoulders. Other devotees carry spiked kavadis that require elaborate preparation.

Preparing for the ritual

Indeed, for devotees, Thaipusam is often the climax of an entire month spent in spiritual preparation with a strict vegetarian diet.

It is believed that only when the mind is free of material worth and the body free from physical pleasures can a devotee undertake the sacred task without feeling any pain.

A colorful procession

Of course, not all who join the Thaipusam procession commit to such extremes—many kavadis have no spikes, and women often simply carry a pot of milk, an offering that symbolizes abundance and fertility to the Hindus.

You can witness the spectacle anywhere between Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road, as some lanes are closed to traffic for the occasion.

Devotees will walk the four kilometers, along with relatives and friends who chant hymns and prayers to support and encourage them.

Source: Visit Singapore

Chinese New Year Message 2023 by PM Lee Hsien Loong

Chinese New Year Message 2023 by PM Lee Hsien Loong

PM Lee Hsien Loong’s speech on wishing a happy Chinese New Year in 2023

“Chinese New Year arrives early this year. We just welcomed 2023 and will be gathering with our loved ones tonight to usher in the Year of the Rabbit.

After nearly three years of battling the pandemic, I am glad that we can fully resume our Chinese New Year celebrations. I am sure this year’s festivities will be especially meaningful for many. The Lohei will be tossed extra high, cheers of “Huat ah” will be extra loud, and family gatherings extra joyous.

Tossing of Lohei

Meanwhile, let us not forget the hard work and sacrifices of those fighting at the frontline against COVID-19, and keeping Singapore going. We have thus far maintained our COVID-19 posture while watching external pandemic trends warily. Thankfully, our own situation remains stable. But new variants may yet emerge somewhere that bring unexpected challenges. Let us stay vigilant even as we celebrate.

Health is the greatest wealth. We must continue to look out for one another and exercise social responsibility. Do ART self-tests when needed, especially before visiting elderly relatives. If you test positive or feel unwell, stay at home. Most importantly, keep your vaccinations up-to-date, including the latest bivalent vaccines. This is still the best protection against COVID-19. I encourage everyone to play their part through these simple but effective actions.

Handed out hongbaos and goodie bags to residents at the Teck Ghee Hongbao Presentation Ceremony this month

Our shared COVID-19 experience has made us appreciate our families and loved ones better. Families are at the core of our social compact, and strong families are central to a stable, resilient society. We had dedicated 2022 as the Year of Celebrating SG families, with a series of engaging and meaningful events and initiatives throughout the year. At National Family Week, I was glad to see many warm and happy faces taking part in the fun-filled carnival activities. Organized by Families for Life, this will be held annually every June holidays, to encourage family bonding and support couples in their parenting journey.

National Family Week 2022

We also introduced plans for “A Singapore Made for Families 2025”, with programs and initiatives to catalyze the whole of society to support families through all phases of life. We can all do our part to build a society where every family is valued and supported. Companies can institute flexible work arrangements and cultivate a more encouraging workplace culture. Community partners can pool resources to celebrate and uplift families. Individuals, too, should cherish family time and make it a greater priority.

Year of the Rabbit decorations at Gardens by the Bay.

Even though our TFR dipped last year, I am heartened that many young people still see marriage and parenthood as important life goals. The Government will continue to help parents manage the pressures of raising children and give each child a good start. It is stepping up measures to support parents. We lowered fees at government-supported pre-schools this January. Further changes will be announced in the coming months. So to all our couples, do your best in this Year of the Rabbit!

I wish all Singaporeans good health, and a very happy Chinese New Year.”

Source: Prime Minister Office Singapore

Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 to be Held in March

Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 to be Held in March

Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 is an international trade and investment promotion event being organized by Bangladesh’s apex business body, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh.

Scheduled for March 11 & 12, 2023, the summit envisaged to become Bangladesh’s flagship business promotion bi-annual event, seeks to highlight Bangladesh’s economic and market strengths, and concrete trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh by convening national and global businesses leaders, investors, policymakers, practitioners, policy and market analysts, academia, and innovators.

The summit will highlight the success story that has set the foundations for sustainable growth trajectory of Bangladesh by showcasing the dynamic business / investment opportunities in Bangladesh and also improvements of business environment reforms. There will be insights to gain investment priorities of the global investors to improve policy. The summit facilitates exchange of investment success stories and good practices among investors and to seek those investors’ views and suggestions to create more partnership opportunities. By doing so to secure concrete investment interest/proposals and develop a solid investment pipeline for important sectors. This event also facilitate effective networking, dialogue and partnership opportunities among national and international investors, policy makers and broader group of stakeholders. 

Sourced from Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 official site

DPM Wong at IPS Singapore Perspectives 2023

DPM Wong at IPS Singapore Perspectives 2023

Speech by Mr. Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance at IPS Singapore Perspectives 2023 on 16 January 2023.


It’s very good to have this opportunity to join all of you today for this session of IPS Singapore Perspectives. Work is a very timely theme for this year’s Singapore Perspectives. Because work is not just a source of income. It’s also about dignity and purpose in life. And it’s crucial to our social compact. It’s central to our system of meritocracy, where we want every citizen to progress and excel, regardless of their starting point in life.

That’s why promoting work has been such a key part of the Government’s economic and social policies. A healthy labor market has long been the foundation for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in Singapore. But as our external environment and the nature of work itself evolves, so will our challenges. Today, I thought I would share with you three such challenges, and also offer a few ideas on how we intend to tackle them.


The first challenge is the future of work. We all know that we are living in a period of change, where technological advancements are disrupting industries everywhere. I don’t believe that this will drive us towards a jobless future, a dystopian future that some people talked about. I don’t think that will happen because, in Singapore as well as in many other advanced economies, there are still more job openings than workers to fill, and robotics and automation will help to fill these gaps. But the nature of jobs will change. In fact, this is already happening. Most of today’s jobs didn’t exist 30 years ago. Likewise, 30 years from now, there will be new jobs sprouting from scientific and technological progress.

And the thing is that not everyone will be able to benefit equally from these technological changes. Those with the right skills will be able to seize the opportunities and enjoy tremendous rewards. At the same time, those who are unable to adjust and adapt will certainly face more challenges.

Naturally, this will create anxieties, especially among older, mid-career workers. They are at greater risk of career disruption, as their skills will be less ‘current’ by definition. And the fear of being made obsolete is very real for them. It can also be daunting for mid-careers to have to switch to a new field and start from scratch with uncertain prospects. And that’s why we will need to review our policies and strengthen our institutions to ensure that work remains a central way for Singaporeans to thrive.

The second challenge is the security of work, particularly with regard to retirement security. In Singapore, we have the CPF system – it is premised on self-reliance and work, and funded by contributions from workers themselves, as well as their employers. The CPF provides for retirement in a sustainable way. We have avoided the pitfalls of defined benefit pension systems in many other places, where falling birth rates and rising longevity have made it harder for governments to support their citizens’ retirement needs in a financially sustainable manner.

At the same time, we have not kept our CPF system where it was. We have had it over the years. In particular, the Government has increasingly played a larger role in recent years to help Singaporeans earn and save for retirement. For example, we now provide more interest for those with lower CPF balances. We uplifted the incomes of lower-wage workers through Workfare and the Progressive Wage Model, and we introduced Silver Support to supplement the retirement income of seniors who had low incomes in their working years. But with more disruptions and volatility expected in our economy and our lives, Singaporeans will find it harder to consistently build up their CPF savings. So here again we must consider what we can do together to help Singaporeans better meet their retirement needs.

The third challenge is the challenge around the reward of work – how can we make rewards fairer and more equitable. So far again, we have been doing well in the sense that we have been able to sustain income growth across different segments of the workforce, with lower-income groups enjoying higher real wage growth than the middle-income, or higher income for that matter. And this is why income inequality in Singapore (as measured by the Gini coefficient) has been steadily coming down over the last decade. But again, we can do better in several areas. For example, we know that the median starting salary for university graduates is about twice that of ITE graduates and 1.5 times that of polytechnic graduates. And while some difference is understandable, too wide a gap can lead to problematic outcomes. For example, some may choose not to enter vocations they have been trained for or may feel pressured to pursue a degree, just to get the credentials, even if it is not aligned with their strengths or interests. It also becomes harder to match the right persons with the right skills to the right jobs. And all these compounds the sense of a continuous rat race and paper chase, adding to the worries and anxieties of Singaporeans.

Left unaddressed, all of these challenges which I’ve outlined briefly can adversely impact our social compact. We’ve seen this happen in many other places – when workers find themselves left behind, or they feel that the system is unfair, resentment sets in, and social cohesion starts to fray. In fact, we’ve heard similar concerns around the issues I outlined just now in our Forward Singapore conversations, and also at NTUC’s conversations with workers. And that’s why the Government has been studying what we can do to address the concerns and strengthen our social compact. Today, I will share some preliminary thoughts with you on what we are thinking about, and I look forward certainly to hearing your views and perspectives later in the dialogue.


First, we will need to redouble our investments in skills and human capital. We started on this journey with SkillsFuture a few years ago. We’ve made a lot of progress since then, but there’s still much more that needs to be done. In particular, we must strengthen adult skills training and improve pathways to better jobs, and this must form a core pillar of our refreshed social compact.

Because we know that these days, most workers will have multiple careers in their lifetimes; even in the rare case of somebody working in the same company throughout their lives, the work they do will likely evolve over time. That means workers must be able to access skills training to update themselves and stay relevant. And this is not just about undergoing a half-day orientation course, but really going through substantive training that could last a few days or even weeks. Unfortunately, we all know, even from our personal experience, that it’s not easy for people to enroll in such meaningful and substantial training. Employers may not support the training programs; or even if employers say that they will allow their workers to attend, they may not pay the salaries of the workers during the period of training. Not surprisingly, mid-career workers, many of whom need to take care of both elderly parents and children, find it difficult to commit to such training. Workers who are displaced from their jobs face even more acute challenges – some may need to switch to a new field altogether, but they find it difficult to go for training when they are unemployed and still have families to support. So they may end up just taking the first job available, even if it is not a good fit for them, which is not ideal.

We will therefore need to consider how we strengthen our skills and training eco-system – to provide more support for workers, give them a fresh injection of skills, and help them be better prepared for the transition to jobs in new growth areas. We have to be careful in thinking about this so that it does not erode the incentive to work. Because we’ve seen the results of unemployment benefits offered in other places where displaced workers receive generous benefits, but they then find it more attractive to stay unemployed than to get back into the workforce. We want to avoid these sorts of negative outcomes. And that’s why what we really should be thinking about is more like re-employment support, rather than unemployment support. It is about re-employment support. Providing some form of a financial cushion to workers, while enabling them to upgrade their skills. And helping to place them in new roles that best fit their abilities and aptitudes. We will also have to consider other parts of the ecosystem. It is not just about what the Government does. There are other important pieces that we need to look at. We need employers to step up – to invest in the training of their workers, and to encourage more training that leads to recognized, verifiable credentials. We need more innovative training programs, including work-based learning options. These will need to be curated and vetted, to ensure they can lead to better employment and earnings outcomes. We need to improve labor market information and strengthen labor market intermediaries so that there can be better matching of jobs and workers. In fact, we also want to provide workers with easy access to their own data on their skills and competencies, as well as the areas of future industry demand and growth, so that workers can be empowered and take greater responsibility to plan their own careers. These are major changes that we are thinking about to take our SkillsFuture eco-system to the next level and to strengthen our system of lifelong learning and training. So that’s one big area that we are applying our minds to, and we will be reviewing and seeing what more changes and improvements we can do.

The second broad strategy is to think about how best to bolster retirement security and assure Singaporeans that they can meet their basic needs in retirement. Here we have to understand that the circumstances are different for different cohorts. The Pioneer and Merdeka Generations are mostly retired. They have contributed invaluably to building today’s Singapore. But they did not benefit fully from the more recent enhancements to our CPF system. That’s why we have rolled out substantial Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation Packages to support them. We will continue to review ways we can take care of their needs and complement their family support. Then if you go to the next cohort, you are talking about those in their 50s and early 60s today. We have also put in place various measures to boost their employability and their CPF savings. But they too have a limited runway to work, save and benefit from the CPF system. And we will have to study how best to help them meet their basic retirement needs. New entrants as well as younger workers – will have a longer runway before retirement, and they should aim to consistently work and upskill themselves. We will pay closer attention to those with lower incomes – we already have Workfare and Progressive Wages to uplift their incomes, and with an enhanced skills training system along the lines of what I mentioned just now, we will be able to help them progress throughout their careers. With better jobs and wages, and our enhancements to the CPF system, they should be able to accumulate more savings for their retirement.

Of course, we must continue to look out for the other more vulnerable segments. They are platform workers or gig workers – we accepted the recommendations from the Advisory Committee last year, and we are studying how to implement the recommendations and help these workers save for their retirement. And there will be other groups like persons with disabilities and caregivers – and again we will see how best to work with their families and community organizations to better support them.

Ultimately, we want to be able to assure all Singaporeans: as long as they work and contribute consistently to your CPF, you will be able to meet their basic retirement needs. And for those who do not have the ability to work, or the runway to work and save through CPF, we will find ways to take care of you. This is how we can strengthen our system of collective risk-sharing and give everyone peace of mind over their retirement needs as they grow old.

Third, we must invest in quality jobs and make every profession viable and every pathway rewarding. Here we want to focus on jobs for our ITE and polytechnic graduates are given the wage gap I mentioned earlier. We are working with business partners to provide more industry exposure and work-study opportunities for polytechnic and ITE students in their industry of choice.

We also need to address starting salaries and career progression for these students. And it’s something that we are already doing. For example, some years back, we saw that many ITE students trained as lift technicians were not entering the industry, instead, they were doing other jobs when they graduated. And then, we dived into the issue and we realized that their starting salaries were too low. They were just $1,300. This was in 2016. And that’s why we have since put in place the PWM for lift technicians. Starting salaries are now 40% higher (at $1,850 in 2022), and are set to increase further over the next few years. But it is not just about the starting salary. Once you enter the industry, you can also look forward to a progression to supervisory and specialist roles – with greater responsibility and higher pay to match your expanded responsibilities.

We must continue to improve job prospects and establish better career progression across all fields. We will continue to expand the Progressive Wage Model to cover more areas with lower-wage jobs. Besides the Progressive Wage Model which focuses on lower-wage jobs, we must look at the next tier of jobs, which includes many associate professionals and technicians. We have already made some headway in some sectors, so this is a work in progress. We have made some headway in several areas. For example, preschool teachers today can aspire to better career prospects. Some can become specialists, in fields like early intervention for children with special needs. Others can take on leadership positions – to mentor newer teachers, develop teaching practices, or even oversee clusters of preschool centers. So if you are interested in preschool, it is not just better starting salaries, but a clearer sense of career progression as a specialist or as a leader in the field. In the IT sector, the industry associations SGTech and the Singapore Computer Society are now working on programs with major tech companies to expand opportunities for ITE and Polytechnic graduates over the next three years. Our goal must be to do the same across all sectors and industries – be it in social services or technical jobs. Every industry must relook at its skills ladder, and invest in ways to attract, retain, and reward its workers.

This is not just about reshaping the labor market; it is also about shifting our perceptions towards work and embracing a broader definition of what counts as ‘good jobs’; for us to recognize skills and competencies rather than be overly focused on paper qualifications.

Realizing this vision will require all of us to do our part. Employers can do more to hire, train, and recognize all workers, instead of pigeonholing them or holding them back unfairly based on their starting qualifications. Consumers, which means all of us, must be willing to pay more for certain goods and services, to uplift the wages of those who provide them. Basically, we can’t demand services delivered by our fellow citizens to be priced cheaply, and in the same breadth lament that their wages are too low. It is completely inconsistent. I know this is not an easy conversation to have at a time when people are also concerned about rising prices and cost of living issues. That’s why we will have to manage this economic restructuring carefully, and the Government will do whatever it can to provide support during the transition. But importantly, each of us, as parents, teachers, colleagues, and friends, of us must do our part to recognize and value one another, and accord dignity and respect to everyone for the work that they do.

In life, there is always a temptation to compare with others. To see who is “better”. Some of these comparisons can help drive healthy competition and a desire to learn and improve. But sometimes the comparisons are motivated by the wrong reasons and shaped by the desire to acquire status and social prestige. We saw this recently when there was a social media debate about luxury bags and what is deemed “branded”. If you have not been following the debate, then just go online and google “Charles and Keith”. But it extends to other areas too. We continue to see parental preferences for certain “branded” or top schools, even though MOE says “every school is a good school”. We continue to see preferences for “branded” jobs that supposedly confer higher status in life; and even within one industry, there is sometimes a perception of a hierarchy of jobs, with some areas deemed more prestigious than others.

I wish things were different. But I am a realist. I know it’s not going to be easy to change these mindsets. But we should all try to appreciate and recognize one another for who we are. Because at the end of the day, everyone is different; we are each blessed with unique gifts and talents. There’s no need to compare with others. The only comparison we need to make is an internal one – to focus on our own lives; to keep learning, improving, and; ultimately, to be better versions of ourselves.


Much of what I’ve shared today and the changes we will need to make will require buy-in from everyone in society—just as it has been throughout our nation’s history. We are fortunate in Singapore that we have built up over the decades a strong foundation of tripartite partnership, with the government, unions, and employers working together to ensure that growth and prosperity are shared by everyone in Singapore. So I look forward to working closely with our tripartite partners and other stakeholders as we chart our new way forward. As we continue with our “Forward Singapore” deliberations, which are ongoing, I invite all of you to partner with the government in co-creating our new social compact and shaping our future together.

To conclude – work has evolved, and will continue to evolve. But good jobs and work will always remain a key pillar of our social compact in Singapore. We will spare no effort to ensure that the labor market of the future offers benefits, opportunity, and security for all. We will ensure that Singapore remains a place where everyone can progress throughout life; contribute meaningfully to society; and forge fulfilling and dignified lives, with greater assurance for today and tomorrow. Thank you very much, and I look forward to our dialogue.

Source: Prime Minister Office Singapore



Against the backdrop of slowing global economies, rising interest rates, and economic uncertainties, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), in partnership with DBS Bank, held its annual flagship seminar on Business Outlook 2023 to help Singapore businesses better capture opportunities and sustain broad-based growth.

The International Monetary Fund has projected global growth to slow to 2.7% in 2023, and Singapore businesses are approaching 2023 with greater caution1. In line with this sentiment, the key highlights for this year’s seminar include the global and Singapore economic outlook and forecast for 2023; pathways for Singapore businesses to stay resilient in the evolving and volatile environment, potential pitfalls to watch out for, as well as new opportunities in developing countries and the emerging green economy.

Close to 150 business leaders and professionals attended the panel discussion titled “Navigating the Next Wave of Uncertainty” which featured panelists such as Mr. Irvin Seah, Executive Director and Senior Economist, DBS Bank Limited, Mr. Vinamra Srivastava, Chief Sustainability Officer, CapitaLand Investment Limited and Mr. Richard Koh, Founder and CEO, M-DAQ Pte Ltd. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Yong Hsin Yue, Deputy Honorary Secretary, Singapore Business Federation, and Managing Director, Kuok (Singapore) Limited. Issues discussed centered around global economic slowdown, growing inflation and interest rates, rising business costs, China’s reopening and its impact on Singapore businesses as well as the key role that financial technology plays in creating new opportunities for businesses and driving sustainability and growth.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Irvin Seah highlighted some of the key themes such as sticky inflation and high-interest rates, and China’s reopening which Singapore companies could be better prepared for amid the challenging economic climate. Mr. Vinamra Srivastava also shared insights on ways to complement one’s business needs with sustainability considerations and how to push ahead with the transition to a green economy through a multipronged approach. Last but not least, Mr. Lawrence Yong, General Manager (Sunray), M-DAQ Pte Ltd, spoke about how financial technology brings about new opportunities for businesses to build resilience, innovate and grow.

SBF also shared key findings of its annual National Business Survey 2022/ 2023. Mr. Irvin Seah added, “Market expectation is that 2023 will remain a challenging year. Interest rates could rise further while inflation will remain sticky.”
Mr. Vinamra Srivastava said, “Sustainability has become ubiquitous in corporate agendas and the focus is now on implementation as corporates turn their plans into action. At CapitaLand, we place sustainability at the core of everything we do, integrating it into all our business decisions. Our multi-pronged approach allows us to exercise dexterity and flexibility, and we involve multiple stakeholders as we push the boundaries on moving towards a green economy. The sustainability landscape is ever-evolving; the key is to make consistent progress with quantifiable science-based targets and produce tangible and credible results. While sustainability frameworks, standards, technologies, and stakeholder expectations are transforming at a rapid pace, we must remain proactive and press forward, even amidst uncertainty or ambiguity.”

Mr. Lawrence Yong highlighted, “Rather than being “reduced” by this age of ecosystem disruptions, companies can ride on the wave of digitalization by adopting emergent fintech solutions to introduce new customer value propositions that add resilience and growth to their business.”

Mr. Gan Seow Kee, Vice-Chairman, and Honorary Treasurer of, the Singapore Business Federation mentioned, “While the outlook points to an uncertain year ahead for businesses with an overall weakening in the global economy, it is not all doom and gloom. It is essential for businesses to strengthen their resilience and seize emerging opportunities including in the green economy and FinTech, so as to better ride the wave of disruptions and build more sustainable broad-based growth in Singapore.”

Source: Singapore Business Federation

Light to Night 2023 Festival: Here and Now

Light to Night 2023 Festival: Here and Now

The Light to Night Festival is back from 6-26 January 2023 in the Civic District. Light to Night 2023 embraces the theme of ‘Here and Now’ and explores what it really means to be in the present. The festival allows people to reflect on contemporary issues through freshly commissioned pieces by local and international artists in the Civic District. The festival is inspired by the act of responding to one’s time and the environment through art.

The festival offers opportunities for impromptu and fleeting interactions with art as well as brief periods of reflection on the world and who we are at this moment through a number of multidisciplinary programs. 

The Light to Night Festival is organized by National Gallery Singapore in collaboration with its Civic District partners. Highlights of the Light to Night Festival 2023 include the iconic Art Skins on Monuments (the biggest facade light show in Singapore), live performances, and large-scale day-to-night art installations. The Art X Social festival market also returns with over 50 booths of arts and crafts, food and beverage, workshops, and more. Admission to the Light to Night Festival 2023 is free, and there are programs on from as early as 10 am until midnight.

Artists line ups are Dawn Ng, Access Path Productions & RJ Thomson, Sai, Atelier Sisu, Studio McGuire, Han Sai Por x Flex Chew, Lolay x KABORED, Budi Agung Kuswara x Studio Batu, Ari Dykier, Felix Frank, and NYP SDM (Experimental Image Making).

Source: Singapore Art Week, Sassy Mama, and Light to Night

Inaugural SEA AiR Art Exhibition in Singapore

Inaugural SEA AiR Art Exhibition in Singapore

On January 10th 2023, the European Union Delegation to Singapore and Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) launched the exhibition of new works by regional artists, created after their residencies in Europe, as part of SEA AiR – Studio Residencies for Southeast Asian Artists in the European Union. Hoo Fan Chon, Citra Sasmita, Vuth Lyno: New Works marks the culmination of the first cycle of SEA AiR.

NTU and the European Union Delegation to Singapore have launched an exhibition of new works by regional artists, created after their residencies in Europe, exploring issues of female empowerment, marginalized communities, and the cosmetics of food.

The exhibition, Hoo Fan Chon, Citra Sasmita, Vuth Lyno: New Works, marks the culmination of the first cycle of SEA AiR – Studio Residencies for Southeast Asian Artists in the European Union.

SEA AiR is a joint program funded by the European Union and developed by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore).

As participating artists in the inaugural cycle of SEA AiR, Hoo Fan Chon (Malaysia), Citra Sasmita (Indonesia), and Vuth Lyno (Cambodia) were each awarded a three-month-long residency at an art institution in Europe as well as funding for the creation of artworks.

The exhibition is the outcome of a multifaceted process shaped by journeys and institutional collaborations, fieldwork and encounters, research, and artmaking. 

Located at NTU CCA Singapore’s Residencies Studios at Gillman Barracks, the exhibition is curated by Dr. Anna Lovecchio, Assistant Director (Programmes) at NTU CCA Singapore, and is part of Singapore Art Week 2023.

It will run from 11 January to 5 February 2023 and is open to the public.

Ranging from installation and video to sculpture and painting, some of these works also mark the artists’ first attempts at embracing new mediums and materials: 3D animation techniques for Hoo Fan Chon, video for Citra Sasmita, and paper for Vuth Lyno. 

Source: Delegation of the European Union to Singapore

PM Modi: Diaspora Can Strengthen India’s Global Vision

PM Modi: Diaspora Can Strengthen India’s Global Vision

The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention attracted 3,500 diaspora members from almost 70 countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said they are national ambassadors who can upheld India’s heritage and spoke on the convention’s theme: Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal*.’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai C Patel, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other dignitaries during the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention, in Indore on Monday (9/1)

THE 3-day PBD Convention took place at Indore, Madhya Pradesh from 8th to 9th January 2023. Apart from Prime Minister Modi, the event was also graced by Dr. Mohd. Irfan Ali, President of Guyana, who was the chief guest, while the President of Suriname, Chandrikaprasad Santokhi, was the special guest. Other dignitaries at the Convention included Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Mangubhai Patel, Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar, and several cabinet members.

PM Narendra Modi set off a rousing note in his inaugural address, while putting the spotlight on the significant role of Pravasi Bhartiyas in the next 25 years of the journey of Amrit Kaal*. “India’s unique global vision and its role in the global order will be strengthened by Pravasi Bharatiyas during the Amrit Kaal,” shared PM Modi. The Prime Minister pointed out that Pravasi Bhartiyas are the Rashtradoots (national ambassadors) of India’s heritage, of “Make in India,” of yoga and ayurveda, of India’s cottage industries, and of India’s handicrafts. The Prime Minister also reiterated that each and every Bharatvanshi carries all of India with them. “In the last eight years, India has tried to strengthen its diaspora.” He continued, “It is India’s commitment today that wherever you are the country is for your interests and expectations.”

The Prime Minister prevailed upon the diaspora to stay informed about India’s advancements as well as cultural and spiritual facts so they may promote India to the rest of the world on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

On the occasion the Prime Minster also released a commemorative postal stamp ‘Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen’ and inaugurated the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Contribution of Diaspora in Indian Freedom Struggle’

Singapore Banker Receives Award
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman was awarded during the valedictory session, presided over by the President of India Droupadi Murmu. It is the highest Indian award for Non-resident Indian and Overseas Citizen of India (it can also be an organisation or institution established and run by Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin), to honour exceptional and meritorious contribution in their chosen field/profession. This year Singapore banker, Mr Piyush Gupta, the CEO of DBS bank was one of the receipients of the award.

The PBD conference was signposted by five plenary sessions:.
– ‘Role of Diaspora Youth in Innovations and new Technologies’, Chaired by Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur. – ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in promoting Indian Healthcare Eco-system in Amrit Kaal: Vision @2047’. Chaired by Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya,  Minister of Health & Family Welfare.
– ‘Leveraging the soft power of India – Goodwill through craft, cuisine & creativity’. Chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi.
– ‘Enabling Global mobility of Indian Workforce-Role of Indian Diaspora’. Chaired by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
– ‘Harnessing the Potential of Women Diaspora Entrepreneurs.’ Convened by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The PBD Convention, a flagship event of the Government of India, is an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians and enable the diaspora to interact with each other. It has been celebrated on January 9 since 2003 to recognise the contributions of the Indian people living abroad to the growth of India. The day also honours Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival in Mumbai on January 9, 1915, after travelling to South Africa.

* Amrit Kaal refers to the next 25 years of Independent India that will take it towards year 100 of freedom.

The G20’s First Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion

The G20’s First Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion

The Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) meeting was held in Kolkata on January 9-11, 2023, as part of the G20 India Presidency. The two-day meeting brought together GPFI member countries, guest countries, and international organizations invited by India to advance discussions on the Finance Inclusion agenda during India’s G20 presidency.

The G20 process’ central component, the Finance Track, offers a productive forum for discussion of international economic issues and the coordination of policy. Through its meetings with Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, their Deputies, and various working group meetings, it discusses international macroeconomic issues. The global economic outlook and monitoring of global economic risks, international taxation, financing high-quality infrastructure, sustainable finance, financial inclusion, financial sector reforms, funding for upcoming health emergencies, and investments in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response are a few of the major issues covered by the finance track. 

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” serves as the foundation for India’s G20 Presidency and emphasizes the message of fair growth and a shared future for all. Global discourse must be refocused on issues that are focused on people in response to growing challenges in the post-COVID-19 era of the world economy. Thus, financial inclusion is essential to achieving the objectives of reducing poverty and empowering economically vulnerable groups, as it has a positive impact on inclusive and sustainable economic growth. 

A symposium on “Unlocking the Potentials of Digital Public Infrastructure for Advancement of Financial Inclusion and Productivity Gains” kicked off the meeting. A related component of this was an exhibition on “Digital Innovations for Financial Inclusion.”

The exhibition highlighted India’s accomplishments and efforts in advancing digital financial inclusion and creatively displayed the financial system infrastructure, emerging technologies, interactive financial literacy awareness videos, digital identification process flow for individuals, and digital innovations in financial inclusion by various stakeholders such as Public Sector Units, Public Sector Banks, Fintech companies, etc. This was done in conjunction with a Jan Bhagidari (Domestic Outreach) initiative that included a Financial Literacy Seminar on January 10, 2023. This program aimed to educate approximately 1800 high school students about banking, digital payments, insurance, investment, fraud prevention, and grievance redressal.  

The G20 High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion were scheduled to be implemented, as well as discussions on the role of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in advancing financial inclusion, lowering the cost of remittances, evaluating implementation progress, and advancing financing for MSMEs, during the GPFI Plenary sessions on January 10–11, 2023. The G20 Presidency of India is dedicated to advancing an agenda that speaks up for the needs of the most underdeveloped nations and reflects their worries and aspirations. The G20 Finance Track agenda will be guided by the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India in a way that is inclusive and geared toward addressing the needs of the current global economy as well as laying the groundwork for a better future. 

The attendees gave the meeting positive feedback. Tidhar Wald, Deputy Managing Director of Better than Cash Alliance in Kolkata on Wednesday said that India’s presidency has just started but it has already been incredible.

“We like the inclusion, he said at the conclusion of the first Global Partnership for financial inclusion meeting.

“India’s presidency has just started but it has already been incredible. We like the inclusion. India has made incredible progress in the last eight years in driving digital financial inclusion. A total of 1.34 billion digital IDs have been provided to the population,” Wald said.

Brazil’s Mauricio Costa Maura expressed his confidence in India’s presidency to deliver on its promises. “We expect good deliverance at the end to prove financial inclusion across the globe,” he said.

The delegate from Switzerland Jean Baptiste Deleze said: “We would like to thank the government of India, and the government of West Bengal for the commendable work. The organisation is admirable and the conditions for work are ideal here.”

On Wednesday (11/21), the delegates went to the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. The attendees enjoyed a filling meal while watching a film and light show. The cuisine of India was well received by them.

Source: G20 India and The Island Online

Chingay Parade Singapore 2023

Chingay Parade Singapore 2023

The Chingay Parade, one of Singapore’s most important events, features street floats, clowns, dancers, acrobats, jugglers, and many other performers in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The parade has its roots in China, where for two weeks prior to the arrival of spring, processions were held in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

Singapore’s Chingay Parade will take place at the F1 Pit. Chingay Parade 2023 completes the trilogy that was started with “Light of Hope” in 2021 and continued with “Ignite Our Dreams” in 2022 and “Embrace Tomorrow” in 2023. It exhorts Singaporeans to make a commitment to building a more optimistic Singapore by enjoining them to value the present and embrace the future collectively.

Enjoy the colorful and energetic Chingay Parade, which features performances by a multi-ethnic community’s talented individuals against a backdrop of container art created in the style of street art by young people.

The iconic Chingay floats are making a comeback, along with 17 mini-floats that were jointly made by the community and represent our strong sense of community and unity.

Book your tickets and find more information about the parade here

Singapore Motorshow 2023 is BACK!

Singapore Motorshow 2023 is BACK!

After a three-year hiatus, Singapore’s biggest and most well-known auto show, the Singapore Motorshow, will return to the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre from January 12 to 15, 2023. 

The four-day event will take place on two floors, levels 3 and 4. A lineup of brand-new models from 24 automotive brands, including the newest electric and electrified vehicles that highlight innovations and green technologies, MediaCorp celebrities, and alluring lucky draws will be on display at the Singapore Motorshow 2023 under the theme “It’s More Than a Car Show.” 

The Singapore Motorshow is the largest and most prestigious annual motoring event in Singapore. Singapore Motorshow has grown to become the premier platform for automotive brands to launch new models and showcases their latest products since its inception in 1992. Apart from that, Singapore Motorshow also provides special auto deals along with discounted prices on lifestyle goods and automotive accessories.

Toh Dasheng, Head of Industry Solutions, Mediacorp, said, “We are happy to partner with the Motor Traders Association of Singapore once again to bring back the Singapore Motorshow. Since the last Motorshow in 2020, many of us have missed the sight of new cars on display in all their gleaming splendor alongside the buzz of the many exciting on-site activities. With Mediacorp’s celebrities set to add a dash of stardust to the show as they engage with fans and car enthusiasts alike, we look forward to working with MTA to create a thrilling comeback of Singapore’s biggest and longest-running premium motoring event!” 

Stunt Performance by Russ Swift

Watch heart-pounding stunts like Swift Parking, J-turns, donut moves, and dance routines by three-time Guinness World Record holder Russ Swift throughout the four-day event. Those who are lucky enough will get to ride along with Russ Swift as he performs his breathtaking stunts!

Get to Know the Mediacorp Stars 

Celebrities from Mediacorp, including Pierre Png, Rebecca Lim, Elvin Ng, Kym Ng, He Ying Ying, and more, will make special appearances from January 13 through January 15, 2023. Get awed by meeting your favorite radio DJs Kun Hua and Hazelle from Yes 933 at Honda’s booth.

Lucky Draw for a Subaru Impreza or Nissan Kicks

The Subaru Impreza 5D 2.0i-S Eyesight AWD CVT is valued at S$90,800 (without COE), and the Nissan Kicks e-POWER Premium is valued at $76,800 (without COE). Visitors with a general public ticket have a chance to win one of these prizes. At 9:00 p.m. on January 15, 2023—the final day of the Singapore Motorshow—the lucky draw will be conducted. On January 19, 2023, the winner will be contacted and announced via social media (Facebook, Instagram, and website) for the Singapore Motorshow 2023. 


The excitement doesn’t end there as brands invite guests to stop by their booths for thrilling experiences that immerse guests in the brands’ ground-breaking innovations. Visit the Subaru booth to experience the Toyota Gazoo Racing Gran Turismo Cup (TGR GT Cup) with racing simulator rigs, and stop by Motul to enter the virtual spin-and-win session for a chance to win exciting prizes. Shop for lifestyle items, and auto accessories, and take part in trivia contests to walk home with premium goods and cash rewards from your favorite brands. 

Ticket Availability

The physical tickets are available for purchase at Suntec Singapore Concourse Level 3

  • S$12 for preview tickets (12 January 2022 from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm)
  • S$8 for general public tickets

*free of charge for children below 1.2 meters. 

General public tickets are now available for purchase on SISTIC’s website and app.

*An additional booking fee of $1.20 per ticket will be applicable for tickets purchased through the website or app. 

The Singapore Motorshow 2023 is organized by the Motors Traders Association of Singapore (MTA), in collaboration with Mediacorp and official sponsors AIG, HL Bank, and Motul.

Art Takes Over the Embassy of Italy: An exhibition of Singaporean and Italian contemporary artists

Art Takes Over the Embassy of Italy: An exhibition of Singaporean and Italian contemporary artists

The Embassy of Italy in Singapore will unveil a contemporary art exhibition at Sala Italia, in collaboration with Mucciaccia Gallery and Gajah Gallery, during the upcoming Singapore Art Week.

On this occasion, the embassy will host a selection of some works of the Italian artists Luciano Ventrone and Cristiano Pintaldi and some sculptures in clay and bronze of the Singaporean artists Jason Lim and Kumari Nahappan

Image Credit: Untited (Tornado), 2016, Cristiano Pintaldi. Courtesy of Mucciaccia Gallery.


WHEN: Monday 09th to Friday 13th January 2023. 

VENUE: The Embassy of Italy, 9 Raffles Place, #33-01 Republic Plaza, 048619 Singapore (go to Google maps)

OPENING HOURS: 9.30am to 1pm, and 2pm to 4.30pm
Upon registration at 

ADMISSION: Free Admission

Jason Lim

Regarded as Singapore’s next master ceramist, Jason Lim’s artistic growth over the past decade has been remarkable. Also a performance artist, Jason combines skilled craftsmanship in sculpting with influences from performance art. The result is ceramic pieces that go beyond being mere objects of beauty, to subjects that provoke thought and interaction with the viewer.

Kumari Nahappan

A Singaporean artist whose inter-disciplinary practice encompasses painting, sculpture and installations. She is celebrated for her iconic sculptures across landmarks in Singapore, such as Saga for Changi Airport, Nutmeg & Mace for ION Orchard, Pedas-Pedas for the National Museum and Pembungaan for OUE Bayfront (the largest bronze mural in Singapore). Alongside this, her sculptures have also graced overseas locations across Malaysia, the Philippines and Shanghai, China.

Cristiano Pintaldi

A master contemporary Italian artist who has refined his unique technique of pixel paintings. He uses the RGB colours (Red, Green and Blue) placed together against canvas to mimic how pixels are placed on the television screen.

Luciano Ventrone

An Italian artist and master in Hyperrealism painting aka the “modern-day Caravaggio”. One of the most celebrated artist of our time. Ventrone captures incredible details that are otherwise invisible to our eyes and his paintings are beyond the representation of an object. Each of his works can contain more than 500 colours. 

For more details on the Exhibition: Click Here


Festive Fun Blooms at the Gardens

Festive Fun Blooms at the Gardens

Get into the festive spirit and spend a joyful Christmas with family and friends at Gardens by the Bay.

Seasons of Bloom, the finale floral display marking Gardens by the Bay’s tenth anniversary, pays tribute to the various seasons of flowers that Flower Dome has brought to visitors over the past decade. In a nod to the year-end season, all things yuletide-themed take centre stage in the middle of the flower field, while Christmas Wonderland, Singapore’s biggest yuletide event, featuring specially curated stunning light installations at Supertree Grove. Lastly, experience a variety of fun Christmas Programmes including appearances by Santa and live music performances this December!

Finland Embassy in Singapore Held a Diplomatic Reception to Celebrate 105th Independence Day

Finland Embassy in Singapore Held a Diplomatic Reception to Celebrate 105th Independence Day

Mr. Tan Kiat How (Senior Minister of State) and H. E. Antti Vänskä (Finland’s Ambassador to Singapore)

The Finland Embassy hosted a diplomatic reception with Singapore’s Senior Minister of State as a guest of honor to celebrate Finland’s National Day.

On December 6, 2022, the Finland Embassy, headed by H. E. Antti Vänskä, celebrated their Independence Day at Shangri-La Singapore. The guests of honor representing Singapore were Kiat How Tan, Senior Minister of State, the Ministry of Communication and Information, and the Ministry of National Development.
Finland and Singapore share a strong bilateral relationship, with economic cooperation acting as the main driving force. Finland and Singapore frequently send delegations to forge alliances in a variety of fields, including technology, maritime industries, and education. The ambassador announced that the Finnish Embassy will host a Nordic Day celebration on December 10th where guests can meet Santa Claus at Gardens by the Bay.
Mr. Tan Kiat How, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, also made a speech and reaffirmed the strong relationship between the two countries. As part of the festivities, the Finnish Embassy also invited Samuel Phua and Mervyn Lee, Singaporean graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Finland, to perform the national anthems of Finland and Singapore as well as “Finlandia,” a composition by Finland’s greatest composer, Jean Sibelius, to honor Finland’s Independence Day.



Singapore, 5 December 2022 – Organised by Arts House Limited, Textures, the annual literary festival that celebrates Singapore literature (SingLit) makes its comeback from 6 – 15 January 2023, in conjunction with the Light to Night (L2N) Festival and as part of the Singapore Art Week (SAW). After two years of bringing local literary arts to the heartlands, Textures 2023 returns home to where it first began, celebrating the nation’s diverse literary scene at the home of Singapore’s literary arts, The Arts House (TAH). 

Curated by critically-acclaimed, multi-disciplinary artist Jason Wee for a third consecutive year, and with the theme aptly titled Arrived Home, the 2023 edition invites audiences to explore and question ideas of domesticity and belonging with programmes that highlight renowned local writers and their literary works. Completing the trilogy that started with Textures 2021: The Bottled City and Textures 2022: The Great Escape, Textures 2023 prompts audiences to reconsider what it means to return home, and the choices that are encompassed in one’s journey home.

Artistic Director Jason Wee said, “My inspiration for Textures 2023: Arrived Home came from my own reflection of what exactly constitutes home – the families, the spaces and the objects. After exploring various heartland venues in previous editions, it is apt to return to TAH for my final edition of Textures. My wish is to bring readers together in the heart of the city to engage with Singapore literature while considering the tender and bittersweet meanings we make of our homes and the journeys we take to return there.” 

Back to the home of the literary arts 
For the 2023 edition of Textures, visitors can look forward to a diverse range of programmes in celebration of the rich and diverse SingLit scene with programmes such as Cherita Hantu…Kembali (Ghost Stories…Returns), a thrilling collaboration with Hafidz Abdul Rahman which follows the journeys of four individuals through five stories, all entwined into one creepy showcase with an overarching theme of ‘the great return’.

Making its return after a two-year hiatus, A Novel Idea: SingLit Edition features three popular novels by Singaporean female writers: Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen, The Java Enigma by Erni Salleh, and This Is Where I Won’t Be Alone by Inez Tan. Bringing these novels to life, award-winning actresses Serene Chen and Shafiqhah Efandi will take the stage to perform all the various roles in the book in a condensed dramatised reading directed by Samantha Scott-Blackhall.

The well-loved TEXTURES Pop-up Book Stores also returns once again to offer a spread of titles by Singaporean authors covering various genres and languages. For those who prefer reading in quiet solitude on their daily commute home, Read at Home comprises a library of e-books specially selected for Textures 2023 in collaboration with National Library Board, for readers of all ages to download and experience the different perspectives of home from a variety of local writers.

Marrying literary and visual art forms in the month of January, Textures 2023 presents Re-turning: A Multilingual Poetry Reading with Calligraphic Performance. Poetry meets calligraphy in this multilingual and multidisciplinary performance featuring four renowned local poets, AP Tan Chee Lay, Dr Azhar Ibrahim, K. Kanagalatha, and Eric Tinsay Valles that invites audiences to reflect on the concept of home through various languages and lenses.

Visitors can also expect exhibitions and installations spread across TAH such as Dwelling, an art installation by architect Vince Ong which explores the archetype of a house and what a home truly represents. In collaboration with The Substation and curated by Fajrina Razak, Multifaceted Corners of #05-478 is a recreation of artist Priscilla Quek’s parental home which invites visitors to contemplate the relationships and mundane interactions of the everyday at home.

Family-friendly programmes beyond The Arts House 
Going beyond TAH, Textures 2023 will continue its outreach programmes at new and returning venues, with close to 10 family-friendly programmes that allow attendees to experience local literature in fun and accessible ways. Happening at National Gallery Singapore, Read with Storyteller: Beware the Sunda Slow Loris and Other Singaporean Fables teaches parents how to make characters come to life with expressive storytelling skills and features a colouring activity to create their favourite animal character. 

There will also be a host of multilingual family-friendly programmes at the Woodlands Regional Library, Ang Mo Kio Public Library and SAFRA Toa Payoh. These include a Chinese bilingual story and cartooning session for children aged 4 to 6 and a Malay programme for upper secondary school students and adults where author Farihan Bahron will be taking participants through the process of generating creative ideas from everyday life. 

Sim Wan Hui, Director of Venue Programmes at Arts House Limited said, “We are excited to start off the year with Textures 2023, bringing together Singaporeans from all walks of life to explore the richness of local literary arts. In conjunction with the Light to Night Festival 2023, we invite everyone to contemplate what home means to them and experience our home-grown visual arts and literary offerings at The Arts House as well as partner venues all around our home, Singapore.”

For those who want more of Textures 2023, the festival will extend beyond the first two weekends of January with a line-up of family-friendly activities at SAFRA Toa Payoh from 10-12 February. CrossTalk, a digital programme in partnership with the National Library Board and National Archives Singapore that discusses Singapore writing across generations, will also remain accessible on Textures‘ microsite for visitors to listen to.

Please see the Annex for more programmes and ticketing information. 

Follow #Textures2023 #ArrivedHome on:




Singapore Media Festival

Singapore Media Festival

THE Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Infocomm Media Development Authority, is one of Asia’s leading international media events, where the industry meets to discover the latest trends, talents and content in Asia. Taking place from 24 November to 11 December 2022, the Singapore Media Festival brings together the Asia TV Forum & Market and Screen Singapore (ATF|SS), Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) and Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2022.

Date: 24 Nov 2022 – 11 Dec 2022

Location: Various

Pricing: Various

For more information visit:-

Singapore International Film Festival (Hybrid)

Singapore International Film Festival (Hybrid)

Explore the best of Asian and Southeast Asian cinema at the 33rd Singapore International Film Festival Hybrid Presentation)

The Festival kicks off on 24th November 2022, and will run until the 4th of December 2022. With its dynamic programming, SGIFF is an important voice for groundbreaking Asian Cinema in Singapore and the region. The programme features new sections that highlight an extensive slate of independent cinema across a wide range of genres suitable for both casual and hardcore fans.

Date: 24 Nov 2022 – 04 Dec 2022

Location: Islandwide

Opening Film – $25
All other films – $15

For more information visit:-




Berlin-based GREENTECH FESTIVAL (GTF) launches its first ever Singapore edition in 2022, taking place from 17 to 18 November at Gardens by the Bay. A global platform that aims to foster innovative green technologies for a sustainable future, the GTF comprises the Green Awards, the GTF Conference and the GTF Exhibition, showcasing some of the latest Sustainability innovations. The festival will focus on the topics of sustainable city planning and green building technologies, among others.

The GREENTECH FESTIVAL is coming to Singapore on November 17-18. A diverse program of high-level speakers, exhibition and glamorous awards ceremony will bring together people, ideas, innovations, companies and organizations that change the world for the better. Sustainability is becoming synonymous with good business, and with the storyline ‘Tear down, rethink, rebuild: creating a sustainable world!’ we invite all those who stand behind inclusive, sustainable and ethical values to join the conversation and be ready to take on the challenges before us.

Get Your Tickets


Sustainability in the Gardens

Underlying the concept of Gardens by the Bay are the principles of environmental sustainability. Much effort was made to plan and design for sustainable cycles in energy and water throughout Bay South Garden.

Berlin-based GREENTECH FESTIVAL launches its first ever Singapore edition in 2022, taking place at Gardens by the Bay.

For more information visit:-

SALT iConnections Asia 2022

SALT iConnections Asia 2022

SALT and iConnections are teaming up for their first joint conference, SALT x iConnections Asia. The event marks the return of SALT to the Marina Bay Sands, which played host to SALT Asia in 2012 and 2013

SALT is a global thought leadership and networking forum encompassing finance, technology and geopolitics. Our global events connect leading asset managers and entrepreneurs with top asset owners, investment advisors and policy experts.

14 Nov 2022 – 16 Nov 2022

Sands Expo and Convention Centre




GovWare Conference and Exhibition 2022

GovWare Conference and Exhibition 2022

Asia’s Premier Cybersecurity Event Returns on 18-20 October 2022

GovWare Conference and Exhibition is set to return better, stronger and in person this year! This gathering of great minds will once again see cybersecurity trailblazers, business leaders and policy-makers coming together to address real challenges, discuss best practices and identify new opportunities. The extensive exhibition alongside co-located events and socials presents endless opportunities for you to discover the latest cybersecurity solutions, connect with your peers and learn from industry experts.

Don’t miss your opportunity to learn from the best and work with the best as we address this year’s theme: Fostering a Safe and Sustainable Cyberspace Amidst Disruption

18 Oct 2022 – 20 Oct 2022

Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore

Click this for :- Register Now

Click this for :- Passes and Rates



To register click here

Why Africa and Why Now

Updates from the Experts

IN 2022 the eyes of the world will be fixed on Africa. It’s recognised as a rising brand with the global attention fixed this June in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and this November in Egypt for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27). Against this international backdrop Made in Africa 2 will focus on how:

Africa’s population is estimated to reach the 1.7 billion mark by 2030. Find out more about the fastest-urbanizing region in the world with the highest number of youths in the world – All brimming with ideas, creativity and skills, which will make the continent the workshop of choice in the world.

Africa is set to realise its full potential as the continent’s recent growth is due to increased levels of foreign direct investment. Find out what are the measures and where are the countries that have implemented most effectively:

  • Improvements in fiscal policies, governance and regulatory frameworks
  • Moves to diversify away from Africa’s traditional commodities-based economies These developments presented greater opportunities for foreign investors.

Private Investments & Entreprenuers
The world has been shifting its investment focus to Africa and Africa is also seeking investors with a bold vision to see the multiple opportunities that currently exist there. Sectors surveyed and assessed for the best prospects and potential are revealed. Societal and educational developments will need investments in businesses and projects that promote greater socialisation of knowledge and technological innovation!

Building on the Asia and Africa Connection
Trade ties will be increasing beyond natural resource-extractive commodities, agricultural goods and other traditional African exports. Market researchers will be showing where will be the niches and broad areas opening up such as in processed and consumer groups, food and tourism.

There is definitely a case to be made for Singapore being more actively engaged to venture into the African markets to build on the 60 companies that are operating in more than 50 African countries. Singapore business owners and leaders in their respective industry sectors will share their experience “on the ground” to answer questions, and give the best possible picture about operating in Africa.

A Special Look at the AfCFTA
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is one of the flagship projects of the African Union (AU) that seeks to create a single market covering trade in goods and services. It connects 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP estimated at US$3.4 trillion. Singapore trade experts share about the potential impact of AfCFTA including how it will boost Intra-African trade, manufacturing export, job creation for youth, and poverty alleviation.

To register click here

Rwanda Liberation Day 2022

Rwanda Liberation Day 2022

(From left): Guest-of-Honour r representing the Singapore government, Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and Ministry of Trade and Industry and Rwandan High Commissioner H.E. Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye

Singapore congratulates one of the top success stories of Africa. After many challenges in its history, Rwandans pulled together after the tragedy of the 1994 genocide to embark with an enterprising and resilient spirit  

H.E. Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye recalled the many challenges and sacrifices Rwandans had to make to achieve Liberation

FOLLOWING close on the success of last month’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the Rwandan High Commission in Singapore put up another successful celebration event this time commemorating the country’s 28th Anniversary of Liberation at Goodwood Park Hotel on 15th July 2022. Rwandan High Commissioner H.E. Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye in his welcome speech recalled with some pride what Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said when he attended CHOGM that “There are many bright spots in Africa, and Rwanda is one of the brightest.”

The High Commissioner re-capped the long and difficult journey the country has travelled to become one of the most successful economies in Africa: “Twenty-eight years ago, the 100-day Genocide against the Tutsi was brought to an end by the brave men and women of the then Rwandan Patriotic Army. Liberation to Rwandans is a continuous struggle. After the liberation with firearms, all Rwandans embarked on the next phase of liberation: economic development, peace and prosperity. Throughout our economic development, Rwanda-Singapore strong diplomatic relations have contributed significantly to the progress we see today.”

Minister of State Alvin Tan: “Singapore and Rwanda might be geographically far apart, we do have much in common”

The Guest-of-Honour representing the Singapore government, Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and Ministry of Trade and Industry, in his speech remarked: “While Singapore and Rwanda might be geographically far apart, we do have much in common. We are both small countries whose greatest resource is our people. Both are eager to work with others to secure peace, progress, and prosperity for our peoples. We look forward to working with Rwanda and sharing our developmental experiences.”

The speeches by the High Commissioner and Minister Tan were filled with warmth and personal anecdotes. It was a lovely evening filled with Rwandan music and good conversation. The audience also learnt more about Rwanda’s history and her current progress and achievements in the videos that were screened during the event.

Some of the guests celebrating the 28th Anniversary at Goodword Park Hotel


In the last 20 years Sun Media Pte Ltd has published various titles for several African countries individually and launched ONE Africa in 2018 collectively for the resident African missions in Singapore. It was successfully followed by the MADE IN AFRICA e-conference. This year in collaboration with the Dean of the Arica group of countries in Singapore the second edition – MADE IN ARICA II CONFERENCE will be held in Singapore on 31st August 2022.

The MADE IN AFRICA II CONFERENCE aims to bring opportunities to use Africa as a sourcing and manufacturing base and brings with it updates on reforms and new markets to tap under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). You will know more about:

  • What you can buy from Africa
  • Africa as your next manufacturing base
  • Learn from those who successfully done business with Africa

To register please visit here

Invitations Open for X LAB4 from 25th to 27th July 2022

Invitations Open for X LAB4 from 25th to 27th July 2022

Investors and buyers have up to the 15th of July to sign up

THE Pacific Alliance invites companies from the United States, Korea, Canada, Singapore, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru interested in acquiring services in the Industry 4.0 sector (digital industries, software development and IT services) from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru to register for the X LAB4+ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum to be held on July 25, 26 and 27. Here you can have virtual business appointments with innovative entrepreneurs from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Registration is open from June 23rd to July 17th.

For Investors:…/investor…/register

For Buyers:…/buyers…/register



(Photo above from last year’s SIJE) Indonesian Ambassador H.E. Suryo Pratomo, Ms Low Yen Ling Minister of State at the Ministries of Culture, Community and Youth and Trade and Industry and Ms Caroline Wihono (of CW Jewels) at the Indonesia Pavilion Photo: Minister Low Yen Ling FB

The Singapore International Jewelry Expo (SIJE) 2022 is coming back in July and will be featuring Jewelry, Gems & Luxury Timepieces

IN July, the highly awaited Singapore International Jewelry Expo (SIJE) will open its doors to showcase its exceptional collection of outstanding and ravishing jewelry pieces to jewelry enthusiasts, buyers and collectors at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Singapore for four days from 14 July to 17 July 2022. The four-day international jewelry grandeur will display highly exquisite and impeccable jewelry designs from more than 230 exhibitors from 26 countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Italy, the United States, etc. The event is organised by Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS).

Admission is free but online pre-registration is required.

Vaccination Note: Please note that visitors need to be fully-vaccinated (received 2 doses, and the second dose at least 2 weeks before the date of visit)


Event Name: Singapore International Jewelry Expo (SIJE) 2022 – International Jewelry, Gems & Luxury Timepieces Exhibition

Dates: 14 to 17 July 2022

Times: ■14 to 16 July – 11.30am to 8.30pm
■ 17 July – 11.30am to 7.30pm

Venue: Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre Halls A & B, Level 1 10 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018956



  • Indonesian Jewellery Sparkles in Singapore – click here


26th Jan 2022

AFTER four years of negotiations, Singapore has finally signed the Pacific Alliance-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (PASFTA) and is the first associate member of the Pacific Alliance. This was announced at the 16th Pacific Alliance Summit at Bahía Málaga, Colombia on 26th January 2022. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon in his pre-recorded message at the Summit said that it was a “landmark moment” in Singapore’s partnership with the Alliance. He highlighted that the Pacific Alliance accounts for one-third of Singapore’s total trade and investment with Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 100 Singapore companies do business in Pacific Alliance countries that span very diverse sectors. He also expressed Singapore’s hope that “More companies from the Pacific Alliance will  use Singapore as a gateway to uncover markets and seize business opportunities in our region.”


24th Jan 2022

FINNISH Business Council (FBC) in collaboration with the Embassy of Finland in Singapore organized a speed networking event for any business or individuals who wanted to expand their network by getting to know the Finnish business community, find business opportunities and share knowledge. The event was held at the Huone Hotel where up to 25 participants rotated every five minutes.


18th Jan 2022

REGISTRATION for the 2022 Canada-ASEAN Business Leader Series have opened and the inaugural webinar took place on 18th January titled The Role of ASEAN in Global Supply Chain Diversification. It was co-presented by TD and Global Affairs Canada | Affaires Mondiales Canada. Visit the Canada-ASEAN Business Council’s EVENTS page for upcoming programmes at .


17th Jan 2022

THERE was a large andenthusiatic turnout of ambassadors for the Diplomatic and Consular Corps event – a discussion titled Asian Geopolitics in 2022: What Lies Ahead? Hosted by the Dean of the DCC here the Ambassador of Romania in Singapore, H.E. Florin-Marius Tacu and the Guest speaker was Mr. James Crabtree, Executive Director of International Institute of Strategic Studies-Asia (IISS-Asia) who shared his insights with the diplomatic community. He is a leading figure in organising the annual IISS Shangri-La. Dialogue and the IISS Fullerton Forum: The Shangri-La Sherpa Meeting, as well as the IISS Fullerton Lecture series.


11th Jan 2022

AN MoU was signed between the James Cook University and Beltei International University on closer cooperation between the two universities.The virtual signing ceremony was witnessed by H.E. MrSokKhoeun Ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Singapore. H.E. Ambassador also took a tour around the James Cook University Singapore campus and also held talks over the expansion of education cooperation by the James Cook University with other Cambodian universities.

Costa Rican Food Delights at Project Dempsey

1st – 29th Dec 2021

Ambassador Victor Rojas (far right) with guest dinners at The Project Dempsey

A unique partnership was formed between The Project Dempsey restaurant, Costa Rican Chef Cindy Castro and the Costa Rican Embassy here in putting together a special menu that makes up The Great Spice Potluck: Costa Rica Edition promotion during December. Costa Rica’s Ambassador Víctor Hugo Rojas González was interviewed by and shared how, “The Costa Rican embassy, which wanted to contribute to the best representation of the country’s food, we selected a menu that offers an exquisite variety of dishes for all tastes and lifestyles, vegetarians and various meats to delight everyone.”

Chinese Winter Olympics Gift

Photo: Mandai Park Holdings

30th Dec 2021

CHINA’S Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Hong Xiaoyong and Mr. Tan Chuan Jin, Speaker of Parliament and Deputy Chairman of Mandai Park Holdings, unveiled the nursery for Le Le – the first panda cub born in Singapore at River Wonders’ Giant Panda Forest. Le Le’s giant panda parents were presented to Singapore in 2012 for 10 years. Ambassador Hong also presented a Beijing Winter Olympics mascot souvenir Bing Dwen Dwen to Deputy Chairman Tan.

Flying Zolo Stopover in Singapore

Flying Zolo Stopover in Singapore

24th Dec 2021

ZARA Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British is attempting to be the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. When she arrived in Singapore at Seletar Airport on Christmas eve, it marked the more than halfway point of her record-breaking mission. 

Zara is also well on the way to becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo in an ultralight aircraft. Through this daring adventure, Zara hopes to inspire girls and young women to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and pursue careers in aviation. The Belgian embassy’s Flanders Investment & Trade staff Nathalie Surmont was at the airport to greet Zara and wish her the best of luck for the rest of her journey!

Bayern Visit: Germany Commits to Greater Asian Presence

21st Dec 2021

The German Navy Chief also called on Singapore’s Minister for Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen during his visit here (Photo: MINDEF)

THE visit by German frigate Bayern at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base in December was a sign of solidarity with Singapore as well as Germany’s continued commitment to the IndoPacific region. This was the assurance given by Germany’s ambassador here H.E. Dr. Norbert Riedel in his welcome speech. The Bayern became the first German navy vessel to cross the South China Sea since 2002. Also present was German Navy Chief Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schonbach, who was on his introductory visit to Singapore. The Chief Vice-Admiral said the frigate’s visit herald more German vessels can be expected to visit from 2023 onwards.

. . . .

Joint Concert for 50th Anniversary of India-Bangladesh Friendship

6th Dec 2021

From Left: H.C. P Kumaran, Prof Tommy Koh and H.C. Md Tauhedul

THE High Commissions of India and Bangladesh jointly organised the Maitri Diwas event here with the support of Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS). It celebrates the foundation of friendship between both nations and Prof Tommy Koh was the Guest of Honour for the concert which featured vibrant cultural performances by artists. Indian High Commissioner H.E. P. Kumaran described the current state of affairs between both countries as a ‘golden chapter’ of bilateral cooperation that ranged from connectivity, security, trade, energy and education to space, economy, sustainable development and innovation. High Commissioner of Bangladesh H.E. Md Tauhedul Islam said that India and Bangladesh have forged a lasting friendship and that, “We set an example of a new definition of friendship and nationhood 50 years ago; something which is needed again in today’s climate.”

. . . .

Indonesia Country Partner for SIJE 2021

2nd – 5th Dec 2021

THE Singapore International Jewelry, Expo (SIJE) 2021 (which also featured gems and luxury timepieces) attracted 12,000 visitors in both virtual and ‘live’ platforms. Speaking at the exhibition Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Surya Pratomo said this is the first time Indonesia became a partner country for this international show and was able to showcase this year medium-sized Indonesian boutique jewellery houses from nine Indonesian provinces. He said SIJE provided an excellent platform to raise the profile of the creative talent of its jewellery designers as well as the quality of its jewellery craftsmanship.

. . . .

Peruvian Film Festival 2021

4th – 26th Nov 2021

OPENING night of the Peruvian Film Festival 2021 was on 23rd November where the organisers – the Embassy of Peru in Singapore and National University of Singapore (NUS) Alumni Relations – held a limited attendance event due to the venue’s safety measures. The welcome remarks were given by H.E. Carlos Vasquez, the Ambassador of Peru in Singapore; and Mr. Bernard Toh, Director of NUS Alumni Relations. They introduced some of the best in Latin American cinema showcasing movies such as: The Good Bastard, The Milk of Sorrow and Indigenous’ Slayer.

. . . .

Denmark & Singapore Celebrate 200 Years of Green Ties

24th Nov 2021 – 2nd Jan 2022

Dr. Tan Puay Yok, Ambassador Sandra Jensen Landi and Minister of State Mr. Kiat How Tan

Denmark and Singapore share a collaborative history with green ties that span 200 years and are responsible for public diplomacy at the Embassy of Denmark in Singapore. The exhibition paid tribute to Nathaniel Wallich – a Danish surgeon and botanist who played an important role in botany throughout Asia especially in Singapore and India. In 1822 he was invited by Sir Stamford Raffles to help design and build Singapore’s first botanical garden. In essence he laid the first seeds that establish Singapore’s reputation as a ‘Garden City!’

The Danish Embassy said it was such a pleasure to have Minister of State Kiat How Tan visit the Danish exhibition at the Botanic Gardens. The Minister of State toured the exhibition with Ambassador Sandra Jensen Landi and Group Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens Dr Tan Puay Yok.

This auspicious start in Green relations continue till today as Denmark and Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment have recently signed an MoU to cooperate in the area of environmental collaboration within the water, environment, and sustainable development space which spans for five years.

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s Interview with Bloomberg TV at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Capella Singapore, 18 November 2021


Photo Credit: Bloomberg Television at Bloomberg New Economy Forum

Shery Ahn (Bloomberg TV)Let us discuss a complicated relationship between China and the US, and Singapore’s role in it. We are joined by Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. Minister, it is great to have you with us. Thank you so much for having us in Singapore.

Minister Vivian Balakrishnan: Great to be with you.

AhnSo let us talk a little bit about the comments that your Prime Minister (Lee Hsien Loong) has made. How are you on the ground, at the Ministry (of Foreign Affairs), preparing for any contingencies?

Minister: The first point I would make is that the probability of an actual conflict is low. Second point, it is a deep red line – certainly something which everyone needs to be concerned with. The third point is that the real risk is either an accident or a miscalculation, and the more there is engagement, there is talk, there is discussion, and there is hopefully a meeting of minds, I think that lowers the risk considerably. So that is really where we are at this point.       

Ahn: Are you trying to facilitate some of those talks?

Minister: No, it is not for us to facilitate. This is something which China and Taiwan needs to sort out amongst themselves first. 

Ahn: But Singapore is such a good partner to both of them.

Minister: We are long, old, and good friends to both sides across the strait. We really do hope for the best between them, that they can lower the temperature, lower the tensions, lower the risk of miscalculation. That is the only way you are going to get peace in a sustained manner across the strait.

Ahn: How much has the virtual summit between President Biden and (President) Xi helped?    

Minister: I think that was absolutely essential. This is a stage in which both countries’ decision making is localised at the very apex. The more the two leaders talk candidly, sincerely, frankly, the better. It lowers the chance of a miscommunication.

Ahn: Singapore is supporting China’s application to the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) regional trade agreement. Where do you think that will go?      

Minister: Take a step back. The spirit behind the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) or the CPTPP is for it to be open (and) inclusive to any economy that meets its very high standards. It is the most ambitious multilateral free trade agreement in the world right now. On that basis, we will have to welcome anyone who meets and aspires, and is able and willing to fulfil its high standards.

Ahn: Is China able to fulfil (the high standards)?

Minister: That is something which will need to be discussed in greater detail. The second point is the process. It requires consensus by all the existing members. So this discussion, this dialogue, and this resolution, even on bilateral issues, if any, amongst all the individual members will need to be sorted out.

Ahn: Are you facilitating those discussions? 

Minister: Next year, as the Chair of the Commission, we will certainly have to facilitate these discussions. You need to understand that Singapore is unique because for us, trade is more than three times our GDP. So this is not just ideology or a negotiating point. For us, free trade is our lifeblood. Anything that promotes that cause is something which we would support, we would welcome.

Ahn: Taiwan applied to the CPTPP as well, just days after Beijing did.

Minister: Yes, not surprising.

Ahn: What is the dynamic there and how do you expect that to play out?

Minister: Again, the same principles apply. Are you willing, are you able to meet these high standards? 

Ahn: Are you backing Taiwan as well? 

Minister: We would welcome their application in the same way we would welcome any economy that is willing and able to meet those high standards. Now, having said that, there are obviously political complications in that respect. Like many of the issues across the strait, you do need resolution, you do need a meeting of minds across the strait between Beijing and Taiwan.         

Ahn: What about a meeting of minds when it comes to Myanmar, because of course the US has talked about Singapore having financial leverage on that point in order to help Myanmar achieve democracy. What can you do?

MinisterThe first point I would make is that what is happening in Myanmar is a tragedy – a real tragedy not just of progress towards democracy, but its impact on ordinary people. The increase in poverty, the pandemic – it is really a terrible shame that this has happened. (The) second point is not to overestimate the impact of external interference. It will not work. From our years of working and engaging the people in Myanmar, we know this is a proud nation that needs to resolve its internal problems internally, without others trying to interfere. Specifically, on Singapore, I think we should not overstate our influence or our ability to affect the cause of events in Myanmar. But the people in Myanmar and both sides across the entire political spectrum in Myanmar know our position. We want peace, we want negotiations, (and) reconciliation. That is the only way you can get the peace and prosperity.

AhnWhat is Singapore doing in order to help achieve that?

MinisterFirst, we are all in ASEAN. We have stated our position clearly. You saw the recent (38thand 39th) ASEAN Summits – the representation or rather the non-representation of Myanmar. But the first point is that Myanmar remains an integral member of ASEAN. We are not ejecting them. Second, we state our position clearly, categorically. No question about that. Third, we are delivering humanitarian assistance because our main concern is the people of Myanmar, the economic, the humanitarian plight and the suffering which they are undergoing.

AhnParliament just passed a foreign interference act. What are the biggest threats for Singapore right now?

MinisterWe live in a world in which hostile information campaigns, (and) influence peddling now has got so many additional tools to turbo charge. So to pretend that it is business as usual, and that there are no current or future threats is not tenable. It is not aimed at any country. But we are preparing defences so that we can ensure that there will be no hostile, surreptitious campaigns launched by external parties or through proxies who clearly are advancing the agenda of external parties. 

AhnIt is not uncommon for local Chinese language media toeing the line for Beijing. Have you seen any indication of that?

MinisterNo, I would not characterise it that way. We are unique. We are the only political entity outside China with a majority of Chinese ancestry, who understand the Chinese language, who respond to cultural cues. That is both a blessing and a burden. But the key point is this – Singapore is not China. We are in the heart of Southeast Asia. But we understand China. We certainly have a role sometimes for communication, for explanation, and even being a convening point for dialogue. That is our unique selling point, our value proposition.  

AhnMinister, it is really great to be here with you face to face and thank you so much for having us in Singapore. 

MinisterThank you for being in Singapore. 

AhnVaccination rates here in Singapore are very high, but the restrictions also have been pretty stringent. What are you expecting in terms of easing some of those restrictions and your outlook for 2022?

MinisterWe have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, I think we are now at about 85 to 86 percent (who have had) two doses. Boosters – 20 percent and rising. The unique thing about what we are trying to do is to get to the level where there is reasonable population immunity, but for this to occur with very, very low mortality rates. That is what we need. Right now, what you are watching in Singapore is that the virus is spreading in a population which is immunologically naïve – that is a big word. Basically, we used to be on “COVID Zero”. We are now transiting into an endemic, coping situation. But the difference is, we are transiting in the presence of very high vaccination rates, and our ambition is to get through this with the lowest mortality rate in the world.

AhnMinister, thank you so much for being here and for having us.

Minister: You are most welcome. 

.   .   .   .   .

Call on President Halimah Yacob by President of the Republic of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian, on 17 November 2021

Photo Credit: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore
Photo Caption: Call on President Halimah Yacob by President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian

The President of the Republic of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian, called on President Halimah Yacob at the Istana today. President Sarkissian is on a visit to Singapore from 15 to 20 November 2021 to attend the Bloomberg New Economy Forum.

During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed the warm relations between Singapore and Armenia, which is underpinned by longstanding historical ties. They also noted our common interests as fellow small states, and the scope for us to learn from each other.

.   .   .   .   .


Republic of Sierra Leone, Republic of Zimbabwe & Kingdom of Bhutan  presented their credentials to President Halimah Yacob in separate ceremonies via videoconference, conducted at the Istana and the respective offices of the foreign Heads of Mission


Mr. Ernest Mbaimba Ndomahina is the High Commissioner of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Republic of Singapore, with residence in Beijing. He is also the Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the People’s Republic of China, since 2018, and is also concurrently accredited to Malaysia; the Republic of India; the Commonwealth of Australia; the Republic of Indonesia; the Republic of Japan; New Zealand; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; the Kingdom of Thailand; and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

High Commissioner Ndomahina previously worked as an accountant and was a businessman. He has also served as Co-Chairman of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Co-Chairman of the Fund-Raising Committee of the SLPP, and Leader & Co-Chairman of the Committee during which he oversaw the inauguration of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

High Commissioner Ndomahina is married and has four children.


Ms. Sophia Nyamudeza is the Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Republic of Singapore, with residence in Jakarta. She is concurrently accredited to the Republic of Indonesia as well as to ASEAN.

Ambassador Nyamudeza joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Zimbabwe in 1988 and has accumulated 33 years of diplomatic experience. She previously served as the Deputy Permanent Representative at the Zimbabwe Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (2006 – 2013) and as the Counsellor at the Zimbabwe Embassy in Rome, Italy (1995 – 2000).

She was also previously Deputy Director in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Policy Research and Communication, as well as Deputy Director of its Africa Department. She was also the Senior Desk Officer in the Zimbabwe Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Multilateral Affairs Department, International Organisations Department and Asia Department.

Ambassador Nyamudeza speaks English and Shona. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Zimbabwe and a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the UK Open University.

She is a mother of two sons.


Mr. Kinzang Dorji is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the Republic of Singapore, with residence in Bangkok. He is concurrently the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Ambassador Dorji joined the Civil Service in 1993 and has served in various capacities, including in public administration, public finance management, and bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador to Singapore, Ambassador Dorji served as the Governor of Haa District in Bhutan (2016 – 2021). He served as Minister/Deputy Head of Mission at the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in New Delhi (2011 – 2015), Head of Multilateral Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009 – 2011), Chief of Planning and Policy Division in the Ministry of Finance (2007 – 2009), and Commissioner of Tax Division in the Ministry of Finance (2000 – 2007).

Ambassador Dorji holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Sherubtse College (affiliated to Delhi University) in Bhutan and a Master’s Degree in Economics and Political Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He speaks Dzongkha, English, Nepali, and Hindi.

He is married and has two daughters and two sons.

PM Lee to attend G-20 Leaders’ Summit

PM Lee to attend G-20 Leaders’ Summit

PM Lee Hsien Loong to visit Rome, Italy for the G20 Summit (Oct 2021)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a working visit from 28 October to 1 November 2021 to attend the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy, at the invitation of His Excellency Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, in Italy’s capacity as the 2021 G20 Presidency.

The Italian G20 Presidency’s agenda rests on three main pillars of “People, Planet, Prosperity”, with the focus on ensuring a swift international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, looking beyond the crisis towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery, and securing a firm commitment to protect our climate and environment. Apart from participating in G20 discussions, Prime Minister Lee will have bilateral meetings with Leaders of other countries on the sidelines of the Summit.

Prime Minister Lee will be accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, and senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will be the Acting Prime Minister during Prime Minister’s absence as Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean will be on leave and not available to act.

32nd Singapore International Film Festival

32nd Singapore International Film Festival Celebrates the Enduring Joy of Cinema with New Perspectives

SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: We’re pleased to share that the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) returns for its 32nd edition this year. Happening from 25 November to 5 December 2021 in theatres-only, SGIFF will be presenting a strong array of over 100 films by film makers from 40 countries that informs, transforms and inspires.

A champion of Southeast Asian independent cinema, this year’s Festival will present a diverse, inclusive range of over 100 films by filmmakers from all over the world. These carefully selected films speak of memories, emotions, inspired conversations and discussions — that together celebrate the rejuvenation and continuity of film and storytelling in the cinematic community. 

Highlights of SGIFF 2021 includes:

  • New film sections join hallmark categories in the 2021 programme as the festival goes back to cinema-only format, curated by recently appointed Programme Director, Thong Kay Wee
  • More than 100 films will be screened across 6 cinemas in Singapore during the 11-day festival, representing works from more than 40 countries with strong representation from Southeast Asia
  • Indonesian filmmaker Edwin’s Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is this year’s opening film
  • SGIFF presents the inaugural Outstanding Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema Award to Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC)

Download Press Kit and Festival Guide. Please also see attached the opening press release, under embargo until Tuesday, 26 October, 10.30am (GMT+8).

Should you be interested to interview any of SGIFF’s executive team, film directors or producers, or have any media enquiries, please feel free to reach out to us at  

Presentation of Credentials: Vietnam & Korea

President Halimah Yacob received the credentials of the Ambassadors of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea on 13th July 2021 at the Istana.

H.E. Mai Phuoc Dung Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Singapore

PRIOR to H.E. Mai Phuoc Dung’s appointment as Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Singapore he served as the Director General, Directorate of State Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam. The career diplomat majored in International Relations. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990. He served as the Third Secretary at the Embassy of Vietnam in Italy from 1998 to 2002, and as Vietnam’s Consul General in Sydney, Australia from 2011 to 2014. He is married with a son and a daughter.

(Pictured here): President Halimah Yacob expressed her delight at the comprehensive development of the ties between the two countries in all fields, especially since both sides lift up relations to a strategic partnership in September 2021. She also said that Singaporean investors are keen on expanding investment in Vietnam, especially in areas of Singapore’s strength such as digital transformation, 4.0 technology, green growth and education.

H.E. Choi Hoon Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Singapore
President Halimah Yacob noted that the level of substantive cooperation between the two countries has increased due to high-level exchanges and the Korean government’s New Southern Policy. Ambassador Choi Hoon said he will do his best to promote bilateral relations during his tenure, and expand the horizon for bilateral economic cooperation

PRIOR to Ambassador Choi Hoon posting here he was the Standing Commissioner and Deputy Chairman for International Cooperation at the Republic of Korea (ROK) Financial Services Commission (FSC) from 2019 to 2021.

Ambassador Choi has held various positions in the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) including Director for Financial Hub Cooperation and Securities System Division since he started his career in 1991. He was posted to FSC in 2008, and worked as Director-General of the Banking and Insurance Bureau, Financial Industry Bureau and Financial Policy Bureau from 2016 to 2019. He also served as Director-General of the Greater Tumen Initiative Secretariat of the United Nations Development Programme China from 2011 to 2015, and Senior Assistant Secretary for Economic and Financial Affairs at the Office of the President from 2015 to 2016. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the Sungkyunkwan University, ROK, and a Master Degree in International Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham, UK. In 2017, he completed his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China.
He is married with one daughter and one son.

Presentation of Credentials: Republics of Croatia, Tunisia and Mauritius

President Halimah Yacob received in separate ceremonies via video conference the credentials of the following Head of Missions of the Republics of Croatia, Tunisia and Mauritius on 12th October 2021.

(From l to r): Excellencies Nebojša Koharović, Riadh Dridi and Santi Bai Hanoomanjee
H.E. NEBOJŠA KOHAROVIĆ Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia

PRIOR to being the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Singapore, Mr Nebojša Koharović served as the Ambassador of Croatia to China from 2013 to 2019, after which he took up post as Ambassador to Jakarta in 2019. He is concurrently accredited to ASEAN, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The ambassador has over 20 years of experience in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) of the Republic of Croatia.

He was appointed Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs for Non-European Bilateral Affairs in 2000. He was subsequently appointed Ambassador to Poland from 2003 to 2008, and Ambassador to Russia from 2008 to 2012, before returning to the MVEP as Assistant Minister for Foreign and European Affairs for Bilateral Relations from 2012 to 2013.

Prior to joining the MVEP, Ambassador Koharović worked in the Foreign Trade Department of the Mladost Publishing company from 1988 to 1990, and thereafter as a Scientific Assistant in the Department for Standard Croatian Language at the University of Zagreb (UniZG) from 1990 to 2000. He has an extensive academic career, having authored several dozen scientific and professional papers in Croatian language studies, sociolinguistics, and culturology. He regularly taught at UniZG, and was a visiting lecturer to the MVEP Diplomatic Academy, as well as foreign universities, including ParisSorbonne University in Paris, Columbia University in New York City, and Jagiellonian University in Kraków.

He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 2008, at the end of his term as Ambassador to Poland, and the Medal of Pushkin from the Russian Federation in 2012, similarly at the end of his term in Russia.

Ambassador Koharović holds a Master’s in Philosophy from UniZG, from where he also previously graduated in South Slavic languages. He speaks English, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Bulgarian, with knowledge of French and Czech. He is married with two children.

H.E. RIADH DRIDI Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia

PRIOR to his appointment here, Mr Riadh Dridi was appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia to the Republic of Indonesia in December 2018, and is concurrently accredited to the Republic of Singapore (resident in Jakarta) and ASEAN. Mr Riadh Dridi is a career diplomat with over 25 years of experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.

Ambassador Dridi started his career in the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996. He served as Secretary in the USA Division of the Directorate General for the Americas and Asia from 1997 to 2001, before being appointed as First Secretary, then Economic Counsellor and Cultural Attaché at the Tunisian Embassy in Washington DC, USA from 2001 to 2006. He returned to the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Head of the Canada Division from 2006 to 2008, after which he was appointed Attaché at the Minister’s Office in charge of American and Asian Affairs from 2008 to 2010. He was appointed Deputy Director at the Directorate General for Europe in 2010, and subsequently Deputy Head of Mission at the Tunisian Embassy in London from 2010 to 2015. Upon his return to Tunis, Ambassador Dridi was appointed Chargé de Mission of the Foreign Minister’s Office and thereafter served as Chief of Staff of the Foreign Minister from 2016 to 2018.

Ambassador Dridi holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Law, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis. He is married with two children. He speaks Arabic, French and English fluently.

H.E. SANTI BAI HANOOMANJEE Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius

PRIOR to Mrs Santi Bai Hanoomanjee accreditation here, she was the High Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius to India since May 2020 with residence in New Delhi. High Commissioner Hanoomanjee is concurrently accredited to Maldives. She is also High Commissioner-designate to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and Ambassador-designate to Nepal.

High Commissioner Hanoomanjee served for 33 years in the Mauritius Civil Service and retired in 2005 as Permanent Secretary, the highest post in the service. Soon after, she joined active politics and served as Member of the Opposition in the National Assembly for 8 years (2005 – 2010 and 2011 – 2014). She was appointed Minister of Health and Quality of Life in 2010.

Following her tenure as Minister of Health and Quality of Life (2010 – 2011), she became the first woman to be elected as Speaker of the Mauritius National Assembly in 2015; she served in that position till 2019.

In March 2015, she became the first woman to be conferred the rank of the Grand Commander of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (GCSK), Mauritius’ highest distinction of merit, in recognition of her contributions to the public service, political, and social fields. Her other appointments in regional and international organisations include President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region) (2015 – 2016), Chairperson, Parliamentary Association of the Indian Ocean Commission (2016 – 2019), and Member of the Standing Committee of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (2018).
She is married and has three daughters.

Presentation of Credentials: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan & Nepal

President Halimah Yacob virtually received the credentials of the Ambassadors of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Nepal on 4th August 2021.

H.E. Faizullah Zaki Ibrahimi Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

AMBASSADOR Faizullah Zaki Ibrahimi was appointed Ambassador-designate of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Republic of Singapore (resident in Jakarta) in August Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Ibrahimi was the Afghan Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled from 2017 to 2019.

Before his ministerial appointment, he was deputy National Security Advisor in the Office of the National Security Council and had served as Senior Presidential Advisor to President Ashraf Ghani. He was also an elected representative to the Afghan Parliament from 2005 to 2010 after a stint in the private sector.

Ambassador Ibrahimi holds a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Kabul University. He is married with four sons and one daughter. He speaks Dari, Pashto, Uzbek, Turkish, Russian and English fluently.

H.E. Jalal Sabir Oglu Mirzayev Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan

Mr. Jalal Sabir Oglu Mirzayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Singapore, is a career diplomat with over 20 years of experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.

Mr. Mirzayev joined the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999. He served at the Azerbaijan Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2001 to 2003, and at the Azerbaijan Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels from 2003 to 2005. He joined the First (Western) Territorial Department of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2005, before being appointed as First Secretary at the Azerbaijan Embassy in Malaysia in 2007. He returned to the First (Western) Territorial Department of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009 as Head of Division. Mr. Mirzayev also served as Deputy Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 2011 to 2015, and later assumed the position of Deputy Head of the Americas Department of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 2015. He served as Chargé d’affaires in the Netherlands from September 2017 until his appointment as Ambassador to Indonesia in September 2019. He has also served as Ambassador to ASEAN since 2020.

Mr. Mirzayev holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Baku State University. He is married with three children, and speaks English, French and Russian.

H.E. GANESH PRASAD DHAKAL Ambassador of Nepal

H.E. Ganesh Prasad Dhakal has been Nepal’s Ambassador to Thailand since June 2019, with residence in Bangkok. Ambassador Dhakal is concurrently accredited to Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. He also serves as Nepal’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asian Institute of Technology.

Ambassador Dhakal is a career diplomat, having joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal in 1996. Prior to his current appointments, Ambassador Dhakal was the Joint Secretary and Head of the Northeast Asia Division at the Ministry’s headquarters from 2016 to 2019. His other appointments at headquarters include Director-General of the Consular Services Department (2015 – 2016); and Joint Secretary and Head of the Central Asia, West Asia and Africa Division (2015).

Ambassador Dhakal’s previous overseas postings were in the Nepalese Embassies to Qatar (2013 – 2015), Berlin (2007 – 2012), and Russia (1999 – 2003).

Ambassador Dhakal holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He is married and has two children.

Presentation of Credentials: Estonia, Malaysia & European Union

President Halimah Yacob virtually received the credentials of the Ambassadors of Estonia, Malaysia and European Union on 31st August 2021.

H.E. PRIIT TURK Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia
Ambassador Priit Turk is the first resident Estonian Ambassador to Singapore, following the opening of the Estonian Embassy in February 2021

PRIOR to his accreditation to Singapore, Ambassador Turk served as Counsellor in the External Economic and Development Cooperation Department of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Turk has held several positions at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence, including Deputy Director of International Cooperation and Counsellor for Policy Planning at the Ministry of Defence, as well as Ambassador to Georgia with concurrent accreditation to Armenia, Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Director of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Turk obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and International Relations) from the University of Tartu, Estonia. He has a Master of Science (International Development and Governance) from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, where he was also a Chevening scholar. Ambassador Turk is married with two sons.

H.E. DATO’ DR. AZFAR MOHAMAD MUSTAFAR High Commissioner of Malaysia

PRIOR to his appointment as High Commissioner of Malaysia to the Republic of Singapore Dato’ Dr. Azfar Mohamad Mustafar served as the Ambassador of Malaysia to France. While serving in the Malaysian civil service, Dato’ Dr. Azfar obtained his Ph.D. in Maritime Law from the University of Wales Swansea, United Kingdom, and Master of Science in Maritime Affairs from the World Maritime University, Sweden. Dato’ Dr. Azfar also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from University Malaya, Malaysia, and a Diploma in Public Administration from the National Institute for Public Administration, Malaysia.

Dato’ Dr. Azfar started his civil service career in 1996. He served in the Prime Minister’s Department and Public Service Department before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001. Dato’ Dr. Azfar last served as Director General (Maritime Affairs), Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2015 to 2018, prior to his appointment as the Ambassador of Malaysia to France from 2018 to 2021. Dato’ Dr. Azfar was conferred the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) award by the Sultan of Pahang in 2018. He is married to Datin Che Norhayati Soib and blessed with five children.

H.E. IWONA PIÓRKO BERMIG Ambassador of the European Union

PRIOR to her accreditation to Singapore, Ambassador Iwona Piórko Bermig was a Member of the Cabinet of European Commission Executive Vice President for ‘Europe fit for the Digital Age’ Margrethe Vestager.

Ambassador Piórko Bermig has held numerous positions in the European Commission since 2005, including Head of International Affairs at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Member of the Cabinet of then-Vice-President/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini; and Member of the Cabinet of then Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle. She holds a Doctorate in Contemporary European Studies from Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, Brighton; and a Master of Arts degree in Advanced European Studies from College of Europe, Bruges.

Ambassador Piórko Bermig is married with one daughter.

Presentation of Credentials: Lao People’s Democratic Repbluc, Belgium & Saudi Arabia

President Halimah Yacob received in separate ceremonies the credentials of the following Ambassadors of the Republic of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Ambassadors of the Kingdoms of Belgium and Saudi Arabia on 28th September 2021.

H.E. SENGKEO POUANGPADITH Ambassador of Lao People’s Democratic Republic

PRIOR to his appointment as the Ambassador of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to the Republic of Singapore H.E. Sengkeo Pouangpadith, had served as the Director-General of Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Ambassador Sengkeo Pouangpadith joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993. He has accumulated experiences in his diplomatic career in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy over the last 28 years. Throughout the course of his career, he was affiliated with Europe and Americas Department, Economy Affairs Department, International Organisations Department and Protocol Department. He had served as the Attaché and Third Secretary at the Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Warsaw, Republic of Poland, from 1998 to 2004, and as the Counsellor at the Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Manila, the Republic of the Philippines, from 2009 to 2010.

Ambassador Sengkeo Pouangpadith holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in International Law from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, class of 1992. He speaks English and Russian, and is married with two sons and one daughter.

H.E. COLETTE TAQUET Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium

PRIOR to her accreditation to Singapore, Ambassador Colette Taquet was Director in the General Directorate of European Affairs in the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs (FPSFA). She had worked on issues such as the reform of legislation on migration and asylum legislation, COVID-19 crisis management, matters related to the security and free movement of people in the European Union, as well as legislation on the fight against online terrorist content, the protection of whistle blowers and recognition of e-evidence.

Ambassador Taquet has held several positions at the Belgian FPSFA, including that as Belgium’s Ambassador to Cyprus, Lebanon, as well as Poland and Lithuania. Ambassador Taquet has a degree in Political Science and a specialisation in International Law from Université Libre de Bruxelles (Free University of Brussels).

She holds the Medal of the Commander of Leopold’s Order (Kingdom of Belgium) and the Medal of Commander of the Order of Merit (Republic of Poland).

H.E. ABDULLAH MOHAMMED ALMADHI Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

PRIOR to his accreditation to Singapore, he was Assistant General Director and later General Director at the General Directorate of African Affairs, and Ambassador, General Director at the General Directorate of Inspection and Follow-up and concurrently, Ambassador and General Supervisor of the Internal Audit Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh from 2017 to March 2021.

Ambassador Abdullah AlMadhi, 57, is a career diplomat. A m b a s s a d o r Abdullah AlMadhi joined the Saudi Foreign Service in 1987 as an Attaché and was posted to several countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe in positions such as Second Secretary and Deputy Head of Consular at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Manila from 1993 to 1997, and Second Secretary and Head of Consular Affairs Department at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Doha. He was appointed as First Secretary at the General Directorate of Bilateral Economic Affairs and First Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Representative to General Investment Authority from 1999 to 2002. He held the post of First Secretary and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Prague from 2002 to 2004 and First Secretary and Head of Consular at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Damascus from 2004 to 2008. He held the post of Counsellor at the General Directorate of Bilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry and concurrently held the post of Counsellor at the HRH Foreign Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2013. He was the Saudi Ambassador in Pretoria from 2013 to 2017.

Born on 18 November 1963 in Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Abdullah AlMadhi graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography in 1986 from King Saud University in Riyadh. In 1992, he obtained a Diploma in Diplomatic Studies from Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh.

Presentation of Credentials: Bulgaria, Mozambique & Guatemala

President Halimah Yacob virtually received the credentials of the Head of Missions of the Republics of Bulgaria, Mozambique and Guatemala on 16th September 2021.

H.E. PETAR ANDONOV Ambassador of Republic of Bulgaria

PRIOR to Ambassador Petar Andonov’s posting to Singapore he represented Bulgaria as Ambassador of Indonesia since He is a diplomat with over 20 years of experience in the Bulgarian civil service.

Mr. Andonov began his career as a freelance reporter in 1986, before taking on the role of Editor and subsequently Editorin-Chief with Bulgarian National TV. He also served as the Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria from 1991 to 1992, before being appointed as Deputy Director at U.S. Radio Free Europe in 1993.

In 1997, he took on the role of Chief Coordinator of the Council for Economic Development to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. Mr. Andonov held this position until 1998, when he was appointed as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to Japan and the Philippines (resident in Tokyo).

Mr. Andonov was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, First Degree, H.M. the Emperor of Japan for Mr. Andonov’s contribution to the development of bilateral relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and Japan. Thereafter, Mr. Andonov took on the role of Moderator of current affairs programs and Foreign Policy and Economy Analyst at U.S. Radio Free Europe in 2003. In 2006, he was appointed to a similar role with TV Europe (News and Current Affairs Bulgarian TV Network). Mr. Andonov also served as the Program Director with the Confederation of the Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria from 2010 to 2012, before being appointed as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Korea.

He held this role from 2012 to 2019 and was awarded the Order for Diplomatic Service Merit 1st Degree of the President of the Republic of Korea in June 2019, for his contribution to the development of bilateral relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea. Mr Andonov has also served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Indonesia since 2019.

Mr. Andonov holds a Master of Economics and Organization of Labor, University for National and World Economy, Bulgaria, and a Master of Business Administration from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.

H.E. BELMIRO JOSÉ MALATE High Commissioner of Mozambique

PRIOR H.E. Belmiro José Malate posting here he has been the Republic of Mozambique’s Ambassador to Indonesia since August 2019, with residence in Jakarta. High Commissioner Malate is concurrently accredited to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and East Timor.

High Commissioner Malate is a career diplomat, having joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique in 1980. Prior to his current appointment, High Commissioner Malate served as Director for Asia and Oceania at the Ministry’s headquarters from 2015 to 2019. His other appointments at headquarters include Director for Multilateral Economic Relations (1999 – 2001) and Head of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Desk (1997 – 1999). High Commissioner Malate’s previous overseas postings were to Japan (2009 – 2015), Botswana (2004 – 2009), Dubai (2001 – 2004), and Malawi (1984 – 1987).

High Commissioner Malate holds a master’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick, UK. He is married and has two children.


PRIOR to Ambassador Jacobo Cuyún’s posting to Singapore, he has been the Ambassador of Guatemala to the Republic of Indonesia since November 2019 and the Ambassador of Guatemala to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since March 2021. He is a career diplomat. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala in 1980 and has served as the Consul-General of Guatemala in Los Angeles, California, USA, and also as Ambassador of Guatemala to the Republic of Korea, Norway (concurrently accredited to Denmark), and Morocco. He was also the Director-General of Protocol and Diplomatic Ceremony from 2012 to 2014.

He has received many decorations for his diplomatic service including: The Order of “WISSAM AL ALAOUI” with the rank of commander issued by the Kingdom of Morocco (2020); and the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit “GWANGHWA” medal issued by the government of the Republic of Korea (1996). He is married and has two children.



The inaugural e-conference gets enthusiastic response as speakers give a broad range of areas where sustainability issues can be applied

View the Speakers’ Presentations here

ACCELERATING Green, a series on Sustainability organised by IN Diplomacy, supported by the Diplomatic & Consular Corps (DCC) Singapore and sponsored by Olam International, received an enthusiastic response for its inaugural virtual conference on 29th July 2021.

Ms. Nomita Dhar, founder of Sun Media Pte. Ltd the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of IN Diplomacy, in her welcome highlighted the spread of speakers who are keen to share thoughts on the subject of sustainability. They included H.E. George Tumur the Dean of the DCC and Ambassador of Mongolia; Mr. Douglas Foo, the President of the Singapore Manufacturers Federation; the ambassadors/high commissioners of Australia, Chile, South Africa and Uzbekistan as well as the Director of Various Renewable Energy from Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. They were complemented by experts in the private sector who shared their insights in specific areas (see accompanying section on speakers).

In her introduction Ms Nomita said: “Accelerating green is urgent.  Never in history, the answer to a simple question – “How is the weather?” has been as important and critical as it is now. We all have only one Home, this Earth, of which we are all custodians and we are all responsible to preserve it and do everything possible to keep it from deteriorating any further. “

She also added: ” While each one of us can contribute, through collaboration we can Accelerate our Green efforts.  As a media company, we wish to be a catalyst for conversations and collaborations between countries, corporations and communities in our circle of influence, and beyond. 

Programme Highlights
ACCELERATING GREEN was officially launched by H.E. George Tumur, the Dean of the DCC and Ambassador of Mongolia. He also spoke on how important the Sustainability cause is to the country: “I am happy to share that Mongolia is one of the first countries to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals. Six months following the adoption of the SDGs by the global community, the Parliament of Mongolia approved its long-term development strategy (Mongolia’s Sustainable Development Vision 2030).

The Hon. Douglas Foo  is the President of Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) and vice chairman of Singapore Business Federation and Vice president of Singapore National Employer’s Federation. He is one of Singapore’s three Appointed Representatives at the ASEAN Business Advisory Council.

He outlined programmes and measures for Sustainability undertaken by the SMF to meet the business challenges arising  but said this was a necessity in the long term. One of the examples he highlighted: “SMF has incorporated in our operations is the establishment of our Manufacturing Alliance Transformation Office, or MATO for short. MATO is the product of collaboration between the SMF, Enterprise Singapore and other trade associations and chambers, or TACs to come together to drive transformation and innovations in many critical industries of Singapore including the food sector, the precision engineering sector and the electronics sector, to name just a few.”

“In this collaboration, the SMF identifies companies that require assistance to update their technologies and processes and partner with our partnering TACs to recommend solution providers to these companies. These companies can then tap on the available support to implement these solutions, which in turn will increase their output and by extension, increase these companies’ contributions to Singapore’s GDP. This is a circular system but one that has proven to be effective.”

Australian High Commissioner Will Hodgman who is also the former Premier of Tasmania (the state achieved Zero Emission in 2018) said: “Australia is working with Singapore to share expertise and reduce emissions with priority areas in hydrogen, carbon capture, use and storage, renewable energy trade, measurement and verification of emission reporting. The latest development was the joint launch by the Australian and Singapore Prime Ministers this year a $30 million dollar partnership to accelerate the deployment of low emission fuels and technologies and to trial the use of clean hydrogen and ammonia in port operations.”

The other heads of missions also gave highlights of their countries’ progress in the area of Sustainability while experts from the private sectors weighed in with direct insights related to its application in sectors like property development (Ms Esther An of CDL); the soil’s impact on climate change (Dr Christopher Stewart of Olam International); Earth 300 project  – symbol and showcase of research for sustainability solutions (Mr Aaron Olivera of Earth 300) and what can be done to plan and build up safe, equitable  and sustainable cities (Ms Lauren Sorkin of Resilient Cities Network).

Panel 1: Global Sustainability and Eco Wakening in Asia

+ H.E. Will Hodgman
    High Commissioner of Australia 
    Cooperation in Low-Emission Tech & Renewable Energy (Hydrogen & Solar)

+ H.E. Ignacio Concha
    Ambassador of Chile
    Cooperation in Green Hydrogen

+ Chrisnawan Aditnya, S.T.,M.T., 
    Director for Various Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia
    Renewable Energy Resources

Panel 2: Supply Chain and Sustainable Business

+ H.E. Modise Casalis Mokitlane
    High Commissioner of South Africa
    The Leap Forward WITHOUT Climate Change

+ Dr Christopher Stewart
    Chief Sustainability Officer, Olam International
    Circular Systems in Food Chain

+ Ms Esther An
    Chief Sustainability Officer, CDL
    ESGs & Competitive Advantages of Sustainability

Panel 3: Circular Economy and Thinking Out-of-the-Box

+ H.E. Kakhramon Shakirov
    Ambassador of Uzbekistan
    Integrating Sustainable Development Goals into National and Regional Development Strategies and Programmes

+ Mr Aaron Olivera
    Founder & CEO of EARTH 300
    The Earth 300 Odyssey – Making a Difference

+ Ms Lauren Sorkin
    Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network
    Clean Energy, Climate Change and Conservation Risks and Opportunities

Smart Cities and Cybersecurity Tackled in Middle East Conference

Smart Cities and Cybersecurity Tackled in Middle East Conference

THE National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Middle East Institute, the organisers of the ‘Meeting the Future Together: Opportunities and Challenges for the Indo-Pacific and the Middle East’ virtual conference had Singapore’s Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan as one of the key note speakers. He spoke on the topic of The Role of Technology – Building Resilience
through Smart Cities and Cybersecurity.

 Let me begin with a central proposition: COVID-19 has not changed history. But it has exposed the pre-existing defects and has accelerated on-going technological, economic, social and strategic tsunamis sweeping across the world. Let me just briefly offer four points.

Responding to Crisis

Firstly, The world last year demonstrated how digitalisation can enable a more nimble and adaptive response to a crisis. As COVID-19 first emerged, our government engineers quickly developed tools to communicate accurate information to the public, through websites like MaskGoWhere, SupportGoWhere, and FluGoWhere and also messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram. Some of these were developed quite literally overnight or within days, with our engineers working around the clock. The ability to provide crucial information from trusted sources made a pivotal difference for the necessary collective response.

We also developed a digital contract tracing tool called TraceTogether, which collects encrypted proximity data using Bluetooth signals. We know that contact tracing is usually a very manual and resource-intensive task but is absolutely critical in battling a pandemic. An efficient contact tracing system can break the chains of transmission by quickly identifying and isolating close contacts of infected persons. TraceTogether has been able to shorten the average time required for contract tracing from 4 days to less than 1.5 days. 

Countries in the Middle East have also rolled out applications to address the COVID-19 challenge in your own sectors. For instance, the UAE’s Virtual Doctor for COVID-19 chatbot service. This is an app that helps users deduce if they are at risk of getting the virus. The Saudi Arabia government has launched a digital health passport in January on the mobile app Tawakkalna [ta-wak-kal-na] to indicate an individual’s vaccination status. I think my friends in the UAE and Saudi Arabia will agree with me that these innovations have only been possible because of the steady investment in the digital foundation before the crisis hit, in terms of building the right digital infrastructure, developing the modern capabilities, and most importantly – nurturing talent.

Supporting Economic Recovery

Secondly, Even as we battle the pandemic, leveraging digitalisation can facilitate a more robust economic recovery post pandemic. We must never waste a crisis. This is obvious in the potential of the digital economies in Southeast Asia and in the Middle East. ASEAN is expected to become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2030. Our region’s digital economy is expected to grow six-fold: from about 31 billion US dollars in 2015, to almost 200 billion US dollars by 2025. In the Middle East and North Africa, the e-commerce market is expected to double in size to 48.6 billion US dollars by 2022.

Both regions are also blessed with a high youth dividend and we know that the young people are digital natives. They are not just digital consumers, but they will also be digital producers. They can drive progress in diverse fields like fintech, education, healthcare, logistics, as well as big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). And even as we take steps towards economic recovery from the pandemic, we need to intensify our efforts in an inclusive manner to equip all citizens with the right skills, education, and mindsets. This is done in several ways, including by building digital literacy through education; enabling access to devices and services especially for disadvantaged people or for people with disabilities; helping micro, small, and medium enterprises with access and expanding their market reach. In Singapore, we have the Smart Nation Initiative; Saudi Arabia has its National Transformations Plan 2020, and there are many others like Smart Dubai and Qatar’s Smart Programme. These strategies will enable us to emerge out of the crisis both stronger and smarter.

Third, Digitalisation needs a safe, secure, and stable cyberspace. As we all go digital and we find ourselves increasingly dependent on ICT networks, we know that we will also be exposed to increased risks and vulnerabilities. Disinformation and conspiracy theories have spawned info-pandemics. Malicious cyber activities will continue to be a clear and present danger, especially if there were a successful attack on Critical Information Infrastructure. Increasingly, ICT infrastructure pervades almost all aspects of our lives: whether in managing smart grids, traffic, civil aviation, utilities, or even our personal devices. Last year, Singapore launched our Safer Cyberspace Masterplan with the aim of going beyond protecting Critical Information Infrastructure, to providing some basic level of cybersecurity for the public. This will ensure that all our citizens have basic awareness of the types of cyber risks, and the sensible measures that we all need to take to better protect themselves. I know Israel has pursued such efforts for quite some time. For instance, it teaches highschoolers encryption tactics and coding under its Gvahim (va-him) programme.  

Establishing Common Standards

Fourth, at the international level, we need to establish common standards.  There is a need to develop frameworks to promote digital trade across borders. There is an ongoing effort by a group of WTO (World Trade Organisation) members to update global trade rules in order to facilitate this digital trade. Singapore has pursued Digital Economy Agreements with several partners to establish digital trade rules and digital economy collaborations.

In the security sphere, there is a pressing need to build a multilateral, rules-based order in cyberspace. Some good steps have been taken in this direction, to build stronger regional and international frameworks to regulate cybersecurity. For example, the ASEAN Digital Ministers have agreed to establish an ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Team, or CERT information exchange mechanism to foster stronger cooperation among national CERTs. In the Middle East, Oman hosts the ITU-Arab Regional Cybersecurity Center to strengthen regional capacity and to coordinate cybersecurity initiatives in the region. We can build further on this foundation, and even explore inter-regional exchanges of information and best practices, to harden our common defences.

We also need to continue dialogue at the UN to develop international rules and norms for responsible State behaviour in cyberspace. Some progress has already been made through the UN Group of Governmental Experts and Open-Ended Working Group on Cybersecurity. Singapore will continue to support these efforts, including through the Group of Friends on e-Governance and Cybersecurity, and the Group of Friends on Digital Technologies. It is in our common interest to ensure that the full range of Members’ views are taken into account, reflecting the international community in all its diversity.

Digital Cooperation, Digital Recovery

My friends, our journey through the COVID-19 pandemic has not been all gloom. We have also seen unprecedented levels of international cooperation in the fight against the virus. For example, China shared the first genome sequences of COVID-19 through the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data, or GISAID, and they did so early on, which enabled others including Singapore to quickly develop diagnostic test kits and to begin work on treatments and vaccines. As we look forward now towards re-opening safely in the new year, Singapore has also published a digital health certificate utilising blockchain technology. We call this HealthCert to facilitate cross-border verification of COVID-19 test results and vaccine records for international travellers. Several healthcare providers in the region have already adopted this standard, and we hope to work further with other partners to take this forward.


Our journey through COVID-19 has shown that complex, multi-stakeholder partnerships can produce significant results when we are united around a common goal. I believe we can build on this momentum to emerge stronger from the crisis, towards a brighter digital future – because our common digital resilience depends on what each of us does, and how well we work together.  

ICN 2020: NILANKA – Breathes New Life into Indonesian BATAK Folk Tale

ICN 2020: NILANKA – Breathes New Life into Indonesian BATAK Folk Tale


07 January 2020, Singapore – Having brought to the stage ten successful productions since its debut in 2007, ICN Cultural Production proudly presents ICN 2020 – Nilanka: A Musical. Inspired by the journey of self-discovery that many faces, Nilanka clutches topics revolving around identity and conformity.

Nilanka breathes life to a Batak folklore entitled “Dayang Bandir dan Sandean Raja” from Indonesia’s cultural heritage. The story follows six individuals as they struggle to stay true to themselves while facing seemingly unbreakable societal norms. When their intentions are masked by the realities of their actions, can they still defy what is expected to do what is necessary?

Through their musical adaptation of this legend, ICN Cultural Production hopes to send a message to society and open their eyes to the wonders of Indonesian culture. From captivating music to the meticulously crafted costumes and sets inspired by Batak heritage, Nilanka is bound to be an immersive cultural experience and unforgettable entertainment. Producer of Nilanka, Natasya Adistana says, “Our upcoming show highlights the importance of embracing diversity, not only in ethnicity or religion, but also in character and opinion. Through our student-run production, we wish to inspire the audience to strive for a more inclusive and positive community.”





ICN 2020 – Nilanka: A Musical will be staged at Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building on Saturday, 8 February 2020 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets start from $20 and are available at

Indonesian Folklore and History in Singapore: Nilanka, The Musical (in english)

PINTU & ICN present a retelling the Batak folklore ‘Dayang Bandir and Sandean Raja’, Nilanka chronicles the characters’ intertwined journey in fighting for their own purpose.
The musical showcases the aftermath of a civil war in the late nineteenth century that saw the emergence of various family groups of the Batak tribe in North Sumatra.


“PINTU is short for Pelajar Indonesia NTU or Indonesian Student NTU, an organization which consist of Indonesian students currently studying in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Singapore. The membership covers all students pursuing a bachelor’s or post graduate degree. PINTU was established on August 17, 2002″

“ICN Cultural Production is an annual musical theatre production that brings a new perspective on Indonesian folklore and history to the Singapore community”

To book tickets and find out more about the musical/cast go to the event’s main page:

To view the 2020 Title Release go the ICN musical got to:


Hasea, Played by Michelle Doreen Surja

Arta, Played by Abhirama Radhitya Sant

Drama Centre Theatre
National Library Building Level 3
100 Victoria Street Singapore 188064
Saturday, 8 February 2020
2:30 pm & 7:30 pm

Chile’s Heritage on Tour!

H.E. James Sinclair

Ambassador of Chile to Singapore

cordially invites to

the official opening of the “Chile’s Heritage on Tour” Exhibition

Guest of Honour Ms Grace Fu

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth

Date: Thursday, 30 May 2019

Time: 18:00 – 20:00 hrs

Venue: Green Pavilion, Botanic Gardens

Dress Code: Business Attire

Please RSVP by Wednesday, 29 May to




Fascinating and entertaining insights into Finnish cinema this month when the 2nd Finnish Film Festival starts from 11th to 21st Oct 2018. To see the film programme, video highlights and buy tickets click here.

Legally Blonde – The Musical (ends 27th May 2018)

An interesting watch for high schoolers, law students and those seeking to enjoy a light evening out. “Legally Blonde – The Musical” from New York has a freshness and teenage feel to it.

Maris Fernandes who plays the lead character Elle Woods did justice to her role and the other supporting cast also managed to put up a fun show. The plot centered around how Elle Woods goes to great lengths to win back her boyfriend Warner including following him all the way to Harvard Law School, where her ‘blonde looks’ are seen at odds with the surroundings and other students.

While she is challenged, she is seen creating her space despite her persona looking at odds to the Harvard vibe.

Flurry of colours, great music and dance keeps the audience engaged. It is in Singapore for a short run from 10th – 27th May 2018, it’s an interesting fun watch.
For tickets click here.

Brazilian Food Masterclass Kicks off Hotel Fullerton Promotion

Brazilian Food Masterclass Kicks off Hotel Fullerton Promotion

MRS Rosa Maria Campos Damico, the wife of the Brazilian Ambassador in Singapore, HE Flavio Soares Damico, welcomed Chef Paulo Machado on 5 April 2018 at the Fullerton Hotel where he conducted a MasterClass for several diplomats’ wives. He shared many interesting insights on South American cuisine as well as how to cook some Brazilian dishes: Caldinho de Feijao and Moqueca as well as a the romantically inspired guava-based dessert called Romeu E Julieta.

He was brought to Singapore by the Brazilian Embassy and The Fullerton Hotel to kick off Fullerton’s More Than Just Acai and Churrasco Brazilian food promotion from 9 to 15 April 2018. According to The Fullerton, Brazilian food has been riding the wave as the next big thing and Chef Paulo, who is also the owner of the Brazilian Food Research and member of the Slow Food Movement showed the ladies why his native ingredients are shaking up the cuisine scene.

The wives of the heads of misisons from Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and Ukraine along with members of the media received cooking tips by the articulate chef (he was first trained as a lawyer).

To taste for yourself these new food sensations Fullerton offers dinner buffets at its Town Restaurant before culminating in a superfoods brunch on Sunday, 15 April 2018.

Exclusive Cooking Class
Chef Paulo is also holding an Exclusive Cooking Class at Fullerton’s The Lighthouse Restaurant on Saturday, 14 April 2018 that is inclusive of a three-course lunch (from
11am to 2pm.

For more details on all of the above click here.

For a short video clip message from Chef Paulo Machado click here

DCC News A Fond Farewell to Good Friends and Colleagues

DCC News A Fond Farewell to Good Friends and Colleagues

(From l to r): The Ambassadors and their spouses: His Excellencies Thomas Kupfer (Switzerland), Nguyen Tien Minh (Vietnam), Dean Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz (Poland) and Manuel Gerardo Talavera Espinar (Peru)

Diplomatic and Consular Corps (DCC) bid goobye to Swiss, Peruvian and Vietnamese Ambassadors

A Farewell Dinner was organised by the Diplomatic and Consular Corps (DCC) in Singapore to honour HE Thomas Kupfer, Ambassador of Switzerland, HE Manuel Gerardo Talavera Espinar, Ambassador of the Republic of Peru and HE Nguyen Tien Minh, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on 19th March 2018 at the Fullerton Hotel Ballroom. The DCC’s Dean and Ambassador of Poland, Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, paid tributes to the three who will be transfered out to other country assignments as they complete their tours of duty here. Each of the three Ambassadors in turn also paid affectionate tribute to the invaluable help they have received from their wives in discharging their duties here and proferred sincere thanks and appreciation for the friendships they have developed with fellow members of the DCC in Singapore.

To view online or download more photos of the event click here.



A Happy Easter from Russia

A Happy Easter from Russia

Natalia Tatarinova, the Russian Ambassador’s wife shares some Russian Easter traditions

EASTER is round the corner and as we ready ourselves for a break this coming long weekend, Mrs Natalia Tatarinova, wife of Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Singapore, HE Andrey Tatarinov will have a few more additions to her Easter eggs and postcards collection. She shared how, “In Russia we don’t only hard boil eggs and decorate them in order to exchange with each other on Easter day but we also buy a new decorative egg every year. Most of them are wooden and then hand painted. Some artists take a wooden egg and then weave it over with multi-coloured beads. There are porcelain eggs too!” She also shares some photos of her collection here. Singaporeans were able to get some insights on Easter egg collections last year when there was a Belgium exhibition of Faberge and international eggs at Singapore’s Philatelic Museum.

The Ambassadior’s wife also imparted another tradition related to Easter in Russia: “As for Russian Easter tea, we bake a very rich cake once a year only. The process takes 4 to 5 hours. There are simpler cakes and cookies that can be done quickly. For example, on special occasions we make blini (pancakes) and spread them with jam, whipped cream, boiled condensed milk etc to make a tower. They are very tasty and looks beautiful! One of the photos here shows the Easter cake. We put icing on top and serve with special spread. Two letters written on the cake and postcards – XB – means “Christ resurrected” in Russian. On Easter morning we greet each other with these words. The response from the other person is “Resurrected indeed”. Then we kiss each other three times and exchange eggs.”

ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meet in Singapore

ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meet in Singapore

ASEAN Foreign Ministers (from l to r): Saleumxay Kommasith (Lao PDR), Kyaw Tin (Myanmar), Anifah Aman (Malaysia), Alan Peter Cayetano (Philippines), Pham Binh Minh (Viet Nam), Vivian Balakrishnan (Singapore), Don Pramudwinai (Thailand), Erywan Yusof (Brunei Darussalam), Prak Sokhonn (Cambodia), Retno Marsudi (Indonesia), and ASEAN Secretary-GeneralLim Jock Hoi. Photo: Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Briefings and support for long term gains for the region

ASEAN Chair for 2018, Singapore set up the first ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat held in February in the island-nation. A press release on the event stated that there were fruitful discussions on ASEAN’s priorities for the year ahead. Singapore also in a brief shared with the gathering of the foreign ministers the initiatives under its Chairmanship theme of ‘Resilience’ and ‘Innovation’. In their turn the Ministers expressed their support for ASEAN to articulate its strategic vision amidst the changing geostrategic environment, while remaining committed to the purposes and principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter and the TAC, as well to the realisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

The Ministers were in agreement on the need for ASEAN Member States to make use of innovation and technology to improve the lives of their people. They also expressed their support for Singapore’s proposal to create an ASEAN Smart Cities Network.

On receiving a briefing from Myanmar on the humanitarian situation in Rakhine State, the Ministers expressed their continued support for Myanmar’s humanitarian relief programme in Rakhine State and welcomed the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre)’s ongoing work with the Myanmar Government-led mechanism to deliver humanitarian assistance to all displaced persons without discrimination. The Minsiters went on to welcome the Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State between Myanmar and Bangladesh signed on 23 November 2017.

During the confabulations at The Retreat the attending foreign ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity.  They were all in accord when reinforcing the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety.

Regarding the situation in the Korean Peninsula, the ministers welcomed the resumption of inter-Korean talks, which they were hopeful would create favourable conditions for further dialogue on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula; they also strongly urged the DPRK to immediately and fully comply with its obligations under all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. The Foreign Minsiters also reiterated their support for the complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, called for the exercise of self-restraint, and underscored the importance of creating conditions conducive for constructive dialogue to de-escalate tensions.

To read the full statement by the Chairman of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, Singapore, 6 February 2018. click here.

Opening Night of Smash the Glass Film Festival – 1st March

Opening Night of Smash the Glass Film Festival – 1st March

Invitation from the High Commission of Canada:

Opening Night of Smash the Glass Film Festival
March 1 at 7:00 pm

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the High Commission of Canada in Singapore cordially invites you to the Opening Night of the Smash the Glass Film Festival at The Fullerton Hotel, March 1 at 7:00pm. This event includes a reception, screening of the film Driving with Selvi, and a post-screening discussion with Director Elisa Paloschi, and the film’s protagonist – Selvi.

Opening Night Film Synopsis
Driving with Selvi is an inspirational film about South India’s first female taxi driver. Selvi is a child bride in a violent marriage. One day she escapes, and goes on to become South India’s first female taxi driver. This is the ten year journey of a charming, strong, and courageous young woman who defies all expectations, moving beyond the pain she’s experienced to create a new life.

Along with the Delegation of the European Union to Singapore and the Singapore Committee for UN Women, we are pleased to present the Smash the Glass Film Festival from March 1 – 29, 2018 to showcase and celebrate women’s stories from around the world. Through a series of screenings every Thursday in March, audiences in Singapore will have the chance to view films from Canada, the EU and Singapore that explore themes of empowering women. For more information about the festival, please visit our Facebook page.

We very much hope to see you at the Opening Night of the Smash the Glass Film Festival. As tickets are limited, we would appreciate it if you could RSVP byThursday February 15, 2018 to

The Peak Inaugural Diplomatic Ball

The Peak Inaugural Diplomatic Ball

THE PEAK celebrated an evening of cross cultural sharing with the attendance of over 80 ambassadors, high commissioners, senior consular personnel and their partners dressed in their national costumes and key corporate business leaders, at the Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore on 18 January 2018.

This event was co-organized and graced by His Excellency Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland of Singapore and Dean of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps Singapore.

Highlight of the event was a Polonaise ceremonial dance that engaged some of the 220 attendees of the night within the ballroom. The ball raised more than $31,000 for MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) Fund.

This inaugural event was presented by Shangri-la Hotel Singapore and made possible by the collaboration with AmericanExpress, Audi and Inter-Parfums Singapore– Montblanc.

Floral centrepieces by JM Floral Creation and Photo Prints by PrintLab.

Coffee Morning Sessions

Coffee Morning Sessions

The wives of Singapore’s diplomatic corps congregated at the home of the Indonesian Ambassador in Singapore for their monthly Coffee Morning sessions. Hosted by Ibu Mahaswi Swajaya wife of Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya, the ladies were treated to a slice of Indonesian cultural life when Ibu Swi taught them some Javanese dance steps and traditional food  on 18th January 2018.

(Photo Credit: Dharma Wanita Persatuan DWP KBRI Singapura Facebook Page)


Ambassadors’ Cup 2017

Ambassadors’ Cup 2017

Support for Outreach Programme

In the run up to this year’s 18th Ambassador’s Cup on 11th November 2017 members of Singapore’s diplomatic community came out in full force to participate in a charity drive that featured nice music, good food and drinks as well as an auction of beautiful jewellery and artwork donated by staff, diplomats and artists here. Proceeds went towards supporting the Singapore Sailing Club community outreach programe for youths. The lucky draw was a hit too with music by the Fullerton Hotel’s Post Bar band who also had some help from singers from Chile and Brazil. Click here to view or download more photos of the event.

Foreign Affairs Cup: Fought with Heart & Passion!

Foreign Affairs Cup: Fought with Heart & Passion!

Diplomats and MFA group photo

On the Saturday of 28th October 2017, four diplomatic corp teams showed up each led by: Ambassador Tumur Lkhagvadorj (Mongolia), Ambassador Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz (Poland), Ambassador Nathan Wolf (Mexico) and Ambassador Andy Detaille (Belgium) led what was affectionately called the Kazkastan.

Dean of DCCS and Ambassador of Poland Kosiniak-Kamysz presenting the cup to the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs team.

The Mongolia team was made up of diplomats from: Mongolia, Israel, Timor-Leste, Poland and the USA. The Polish team was made up of diplomats from the Polish and French Embassies while the Mexico-led team had diplomats from all over Latin America including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru. The Kazkastan included Kazkastan, Russia and Belgium.

The tournament followed the standard FIFA Futsal rules for a Round Robin game and would be scored on a point percentage. All five teams played against each other once, and in the end the team with the best point percentage would be the winner.

Last year the final game was played between the EU team led by Ambassador Michael Pulch against the team from MFA. This year, MFA came out on top with a total of eight points. We would like to congratulate the Team Captain, Mohamed Firdaus and all his teammates: Mohamed Fazuddin, Joash Chong, Nicholas Zheng, Teo Tze Ern, Edgar Pang, Hafizan Ishak and See Chong.

Second place was a point tie of seven between Mexico and Kazakhstan. The goal differential of 6 in favor and 2 against for Mexico, versus 6 in favor 3 against for Kazakhstan, put Mexico in second place and Kazakhstan in third.

It was a great effort by all those present, a special thank you to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Ambassador Kosiniak-Kamysz and his PA Jagoda Takahashi for putting this together and making the second edition of the Foreign Affairs Football Cup a reality.  Stay tuned for 2018!

(10 Dec)

(10 Dec)

RISING 50 FUN RUN To mark the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations of Indonesia and Singapore, the Indonesian Embassy here with Havelocity is organising the Fun Run with musical performances and food bazaar at the finish line.. All are welcome to register @ S$35 per person. Each successful registration (non-Indonesian) will be awarded a return Ferry Fare Singapore – Batam plus a Massage Package! To register visit:

(25 Nov)

(25 Nov)

ST ANDREWS BALL 2017 at the Shangrila Singapore celebrates the patron saint of Scotland with a seven-course feast, freeflowing drinks, the Ghurka Pipes and Drums, and dancing until the wee small hours to a live band. It’s black tie, ball gowns and a touch of tartan.
For more info: or

(2 Dec)

(2 Dec)

TUX FOR TAILS INAUGURAL GALA is a benefit gala to raise funds for the SPCA which happens to be the only facility offer free healthcare to needy animals. This is limited to basic treatments and a small capacity. Funds raised will go towards its new clinic at Sungei Tengah. Click here for more info.

(24 Nov – 16 Dec)

(24 Nov – 16 Dec)

A hilarious take on the Chinese classic opera Madam White Snake but in English. It promises to be “full of heart, humour and home truths.” This is also the first time, after 30 years, Singaporean Glen Goei returns to the stage in the title role.Tickets available online at SISTIC.

(25 Nov)

(25 Nov)

A TROPICAL CHRISTMAS BOTANICAL ART & TEA WORKSHOP is a Christmas-themed botanical art and tea workshop held in the garden terrace of the Pollen Restaurant.
For more info:

(24 Nov)

(24 Nov)

HIGH TEA AND HIGH HEELS AT ST REGIS is organised by Sun Media the publisher of IN Diplomacy among several other titles that include IndoConnect Magazine for the Indonesian diaspora in Singapore. This fashion show combines the design talents of Singapore jeweller Caratell and Indonesian fashion house NES by Helen Dewi Kirana. A portion of the purchases of the fashion items and cost of tickets (S$150 per guest) also go to a charitable cause. Call Irvina at (65) 97917704.

(15 & 16 Nov 2017)

(15 & 16 Nov 2017)

FINTECH 2017 will have its Keynote Address delivered by Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India. He would also deliver the keynote address at the 16TH ASIA PACIFIC SUMMIT on 16 November 2017. The Asia Pacific Summit is an annual meet of global financial institutions being organised by Morgan Stanley. For more information on the Fintech event (on till 17 November 2017) visit:



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