From false political endorsements to Singapore’s declining press freedom, here’s what made us go WTF last week.
The toilet kerfuffle on Orchard Road
What’s going on at our malls lately? One would’ve thought that Tampines 1’s recent racism episode would be a learning opportunity, but according to a report in The Straits Times, Wisma Atria established a rule banning contractors from using their toilets, under threat of fines, apart from a designated restroom on the fifth floor of the car park. This was a result of workers showering in the toilets and washing their tools in the sinks. Surely a simple ban on showering and washing tools would be sufficient?
Our abysmal press freedom rankings
This shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore, but Singapore is once again languishing in the lower reaches of the Reporters Without Borders (RWB) World Press Freedom Index. Our 154th position puts us below the likes of Turkey, Russia and Myanmar. This is a further decline from 153rd place last year; a move which RWB attributes to the closure of The Real Singapore and lawsuits against critics. However, as it is with the similarly depressing ranking of our national football team, not every Singaporean actually cares.
Duterte’s claims about Singapore
The Philippine answer to Donald Trump, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte is best known for his vile “joke” about gang rape and his intention to murder his own children if they do drugs. While we’ve mostly been bystanders to his shenanigans, Duterte suddenly became Singapore’s problem when a Facebook post emerged with an apparent endorsement of his campaign by PM Lee. Fortunately, this was a bogus claim, and the Singapore embassy in Manila was quick to shut it down.
That gross dating app
We’re hoping that it’s some kind of social experiment to expose elitism in Singapore, but as Tech in Asia reports, the dating app Ivory is a very real thing. Launching in December, Ivory is targeted at “ambitious and high-achieving Singaporeans, overseas-Singaporeans and expats” who can form “tomorrow’s power couples”. Their not-at-all tasteless tagline? “The Better Deserve You”. If you’ve always liked Tinder, have delusions of grandeur and enjoy thinking about elephant slaughter while you find your soulmate, you can join their waiting list now.
The false alarm about our banana supply
The Panama Papers might not have implicated any Singaporeans, but there was another Panama-related issue in the news to concern us last week. The world’s banana supply is being threatened by an outbreak of the Panama disease. But don’t worry goreng pisang fans; the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority has assured us that Singapore’s banana supply is stable.