From the perfect solution to Singapore’s surplus of singles to an apparent war on chess, here’s what made us go WTF this week.
1. A genius solution to singledom was proposed
According to the latest General Household Survey, 70% of Singaporeans between the ages of 25 and 29 are currently single. This flies in the face of all governmental efforts to get us making babies. Not to worry though, Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo is on the case, recommending that Singaporeans open up to the South Korean solution for lonely singles – dating agencies. Who cares that South Korea’s fertility rate is even lower than Singapore’s! The real icing on the cake, however, was the letter from a certain Chua Boon Hoe published in The Straits Times. Chua’s inspired suggestion? We should build a “singles’ village”. In this utopia, “Wi-Fi or other entertainment should not be provided in the units” so that “those who want to watch TV or surf the Internet will have to go to community halls”. Rent would be low, but “the term of rental should be restricted to two years as singles are there to find love, not access cheap housing.” We’re hoping that this is all just an elaborate joke.
2. Thou shalt not make an image of LKY…that doesn’t follow these guidelines
As Singapore prepares to mark the first anniversary of Lee Kuan Yew’s death, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) saw the perfect opportunity to issue guidelines on the use of his name and image. While intended to prevent commercial exploitation and false endorsement claims, it also included a line declaring that “the name or image or likeness of Mr Lee Kuan Yew should be accorded dignity and respect” and that the use of his name or image would be monitored.
3. No chess in public areas?
As if installing anti-football barriers in void decks wasn’t enough, it seemed that even the cerebral game of chess wasn’t to be played in public areas. Turns out it was all an honest mistake by the Marine Parade Town Council. The “NO PLAYING OF CHESS AT COMMON AREAS” sign was meant to prevent noise and obstructions to a walkway. “We acknowledge our oversight for the content of the poster which does not reflect our intention well,” said an unnamed Town Council spokesperson. “As such, we would like to apologise for the wrong context of our poster.” The new “PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE” signs should do the trick.
4. Turns out, Singapore is the happiest country in Asia
Move over Bhutan! Singapore is officially the happiest country in Asia according to a United Nations report. You wouldn’t have thought it considering the number of things that the average Singaporean has to complain about (the UN report included).