State of the City

Elderly don't need institutionalising; private sector, community to step up
SINGAPORE (Sept 3): It is 11am at HoviClub in Bukit Timah, and Glenn Miller’s In The Mood is on the speakers. An elderly lady and a nurse are swaying together to the jazzy tune. In another corner, a few seniors are engrossed in a game of mahjong. “We are very flexible here. We let the seniors come in when they want to, and do what they enjoy most,” says Andrew Kwek, managing director of ...
Singapore's smart city push cannot create Smart Nation without everyone's buy-in
SINGAPORE (July 9): Housewife Doreen Tan is “brushing up on the use of computers” to prepare herself to be part of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. But she is less comfortable about the zetabytes of data that the government and commercial organisations are collecting to create the smart city, an urban environment enabled by information and communications technology. “Everything they know; ...
As Singapore moves towards water self-sufficiency, price hikes are a fact of life
SINGAPORE (June 25): When Tan Tiong Peng started a laundromat in Singapore eight years ago, customers complained that his imported washing machines spat out too little water as they put their clothes to wash. It took Tan almost a year to convince customers that his Europe-imported models used a lot less water for the same load of laundry than conventional washing machines, as water tariffs were ...
Open electricity market slow to gain traction in Jurong soft launch; retailers still positive
SINGAPORE (Apr 23): This month, Joshua Loke switched his electricity service provider. Instead of Singapore Power Services, Loke now buys electricity from Keppel Electric. He will pay about 20% less than what SPS currently charges, he says. Loke lives in Jurong, where the Energy Market Authority has soft-launched the open electricity market. Since April 1, households and businesses whose ...
Uber’s sale of Southeast Asia operations to Grab leaves drivers, riders at a loss
SINGAPORE (Apr 2): The 500 Uber employees who turned up for work at the company’s Singapore offices on March 26 received a rude shock: They had till 4pm to pack up and leave. The ride-hailing giant’s sale of its Southeast Asia operations to its rival Grab was widely anticipated but has still managed to create a great deal of uncertainty. Drivers are worried about their livelihoods, employees ...
National Electronic Health Record brings patient rights, integration concerns
SINGAPORE (Mar 19): Nearly 20 years ago, Dr Eugene Loke and a few classmates from medical school began tinkering with a web-based personal health record system that put patients in charge of their information. “We wanted to empower patients,” Loke says of their early efforts. The system was adopted by a local public hospital and later acquired by a medical IT company. Loke spent five years ...
Co-working spaces: Vibrant communities or a drain on workplace productivity?
SINGAPORE (Mar 5): When Dr Shravan Verma started his company, an on-demand medical house call service called Speedoc, he chose to do so from a co-working space. “It allowed us to get the outreach we needed in the initial stages,” Verma tells The Edge Singapore. “We had a special partnership with the co-working space, where the members got a special code. They really helped to market and ...
What does Singapore have to fear from escalating protectionism in the US?
SINGAPORE (Feb 26): On Feb 16, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross proposed a tariff of at least 24% on steel imports from all countries and at least 7.7% on aluminium imports. His recommendations were issued following anti-dumping investigations that have lasted several months, and mark an escalation in US protectionism under President Donald Trump. In January, the US Trade Representative ...
As e-commerce retailers experiment with alternatives, malls may change
SINGAPORE (Jan 29): Alvin Lim, CEO of SGPomades, recently began selling his Ubersuave texturing wax and Mister Pompadour peppermint shampoo using vending machines. His company, an online retailer of hairstyling products, has a number of vending machines installed at locations such as Chinatown Point and White Sands. So far, the results have been favourable. “Vending sales are picking up and ...
Hospitality industry faces challenge of integrating technology to pursue growth
SINGAPORE (Jan 15): At the 120-year-old École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), executive dean Inès Blal is aiming to train a generation of technology-ready hoteliers. “We try to instil in them customer-oriented service excellence,” Blal says. “It is just another challenge for us — to deliver competencies to our students so that they can face any new change in the environment. Those ...