Single mothers getting equal rights, Boo Junfeng’s second premiere at Cannes and saving our street food—read on for a quick round-up of the city’s burgeoning (and dying) trends.
Boo Jun Feng
Hot: Boo Junfeng
Making a second appearance at the Cannes Film Festival this year is local filmmaker Boo Junfeng, whose first feature Sandcastle made the International Critics’ Week lineup at the event in 2010. His second work, Apprentice, is a psychological drama about a friendship between a correctional officer and an executioner at a prison. Apprentice is In the running for the prestigious Prize Un Certain Regard. While our homegrown film talents are getting international recognition, Mediacorp is set to undergo a review of its operations to “better position the company for the future” and enhance programs “against an increasingly challenging environment for broadcasters around the world”.
Photo credit: Kelly Fan
Hot: Women’s rights
Not: Woman acquitted of sexual assault
Finally giving single mothers equal rights, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin announced a revised policy comprising 16 weeks of maternity leave and access to a Child Development Account that can be used to pay for childcare and healthcare. It’s a small step towards a more inclusive society here, but there was some bizarre news in the realm of equality later in the week. A transgender man was found not guilty of the sexual penetration of a minor because she is biologically a woman.
Beauty World Food Centre
Hot: Preserving hawker culture
Not: Beauty World Food Centre
It’s been slightly more than a week since Tiger’s viral Hokkien Mee video tugged at our heartstrings and it seems like we are finally doing something about our fast-disappearing hawker food—a 14-member committee has been set up to help hawkers sustain their businesses and attract younger talents to the trade. While there’s still hope for local street food, Beauty World Food Centre might be next to go. According to The Straits Times, a mystery buyer has offered $17.5 million for the popular hawker center with plans to transform it into an air-conditioned food court. Worse, it was reported that “many stallholders have agreed to sell their stalls as they are growing old and their children have no interest in taking over the business.”
Photo credit: Uber @UberSingapore
Hot: Uber’s new fares
Not: Licensing Uber and Grab Car drivers
It’s only a matter of time before more regulations are in place for Uber and Grab Car services and a recent announcement will require drivers from these companies to have a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence, undergo a medical examination and background screening, and have vehicles registered with authorities. These steps might be aimed at enforcing safer rides, but according to a letter by Uber’s general manager Warren Tseng, “The problem is that more steps do not necessarily mean safer riders or drivers in Singapore.”
Passengers can, however, rejoice—following the announcement, Uber has indicated a fare cut for uberX, with the base fare down to $3 from $3.50 and subsequent charges at $0.45 per kilometer, from $0.50.