Host Inaugural Youth Olympic Games

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Singapore was declared host of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) 2010. In all, 26 sports will be contested. YOG are planned to be an international multi-sport event held every four years in staggered summer and winter events consistent with the current Olympic Games format. Each participating country would send at least four athletes. 170 countries are expected to participate in the 2010 Youth Summer Olympics. (There are over 200 National Olympic Committees, most of which participate at the regular Games).

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The Inaugural Singapore Airshow 2008

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The inaugural Singapore Airshow 2008 was held from 19 February to 24 February 2008, with the first four days reserved for trade visitors at the purpose-built New Changi Exhibition Centre. Changi Exhibition Centre (CEC) is situated on a plot of land just beyond the northern edge perimeter fencing of Changi Air Base (East), which was itself located due east of the nearby Singapore Changi Airport. Besides the usual aerospace exhibits and static displays, the event saw the return of aerobatic flying displays put up by the Airbus A380, RSAF’s Black Knights in their F-16s and the Roulettes of the Royal Australian Air Force.

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Mas Selamat extradited to Singapore

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Mas Selamat extradited to Singapore from Indonesia. Mas Selamat was then detained in Singapore’s Whitley Road Detention Centre under the Internal Security Act without trial. Mas Selamat was arrested earlier in Indonesia on 20 January 2006 for using a fake identity card in Java, where he was visiting his son who was said to be studying at a religious school there.

Nicoll Highway Collapsed

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At about 3.30 pm, a disaster struck when part of the temporary retaining wall of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Circle Line at Nicoll Highway collapsed. It caused a cave-in and brought the surrounding area and part of Nicoll Highway down into it, forming 30 m deep ravine. As Nicoll Highway sank, gas, water and electricity cables snapped, causing power to go out for about 15,000 people and 700 businesses in the Marina and Suntec City area. Tremors were felt at Golden Mile Complex. Tenants and residents in the building were also evacuated. Police immediately cordoned off the adjoining Merdeka Bridge and sealed all roads leading to Nicoll Highway. The tragedy left four men dead. Nicoll highway was only reopened to traffic 8 months later on 4 December 2004.

SARS Outbreak

Major Events, People 1 Comment

The SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, outbreaks was traced to a 23 year-old female Singaporean traveler returning from Hong Kong on 25 February 2003. In all, SARS has killed 25 Singaporeans and infected 173 more over the next two months. From March to May 2003, SARS raged in Singapore. Schools were closed. The Pasir Panjang wholesale vegetable market was closed off. Visitors stopped coming to Singapore. Changi Airport was deserted. Shopping malls and restaurants emptied out. The economy took a terrible hit as many businesses folded. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong told Singaporeans the SAR outbreak costed the country about $1 billion.

Update: On 6 May 2003, CDC Lowers SARS Travel Warnings for Singapore. On 31 May, the World Health Organization declared Singapore SARS-free.

Members of Jemaah Islamiyah arrested

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Members of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) arrested for bomb plot. JI was formally founded on 1 January 1993 by JI leaders, Abu Bakar Bashir and Abdullah Sungkar while hiding in Malaysia from the persecution of the Suharto Government. After the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998, both men returned to Indonesia. Where it gained a terrorist edge when one of its founders, the late Abdullah Sungkar, established contact with Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.

Singapore Airlines SQ006 Crashed

Major Events, Places 33 Comments

At 15:17 UTC, 23:17 Taipei local time, Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 took off from the wrong runway in Taipei during a typhoon, destroying the aircraft and killing 83 of the 179 occupants. Singapore Airlines Flight 006 (SIA SQ6) was a scheduled flight from Singapore Changi Airport to Los Angeles International Airport via Chiang Kai-Shek Airport (now Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport) in Taiwan. SQ006 was the first fatal crash of a Singapore Airlines aircraft. The Boeing 747-400 aircraft, registration 9V-SPK, was delivered to Singapore Airlines on 21 January 1997. Read more »

S R Nathan As President

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Mr S. R. Nathan (Sellapan Ramanathan Nathan) was sworn in as the Republic of Singapore’s sixth President and the second popularly elected President. The President of the Republic of Singapore is the Presidency of popularly-elected office. In the 1991 constitutional amendments gave the President certain reserve powers over government expenditure of financial reserves and appointments to key public offices. The President’s official residence is the Istana.

SilkAir Flight MI185 Crashed

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SilkAir Flight MI185, a Boeing 737, was on a scheduled passenger flight from Jakarta, Indonesia to Singapore. MI185 crashed after abruptly plunging into the Musi River from its 35,000 feet cruise altitude, killing all 104 people on board, 97 passengers and 7 crew. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder stopped recording, at different times and for no apparent reason, minutes before the aircraft departed level flight and entered a steep vertical dive. The Boeing 737 Aircraft operating as Flight MI 185 was the newest in SilkAir’s fleet, delivered to the airline ten months prior to the crash. The U.S. NTSB concluded that the crash resulted from an intentional act by a pilot, most likely the captain.

Racial Harmony Day Launched

Major Events, Nation Building, People, Religion No Comments

Racial Harmony Day was first launched on 21 July 1997. It is part of the National Education Programme, headed by the Ministry of Education and is celebrated on the anniversary of the communal riots that occurred on 21 July 1964.

SQ 117 Hijacked

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The Singapore Airlines flight SQ 117 took off from Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur with 129 passengers and crew onboard at 1815 hrs. Four passengers who claimed to be Pakistanis took control of the plane when it was enroute to Singapore. The plane landed and parked at Changi Airport’s Runway One at 2215 hrs. The hijackers claimed to be members of the Pakistan People’s Party. They wanted the release of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s husband. The hijackers issued a five-minute deadline at 27 March 0645 hrs after which they threatened to kill one passenger every ten minutes if their demands were not acceded to. SAF Elite Commandos stormed the plane, killing four Pakistani hijackers and freeing all passengers and crew. The rescue of SQ 117 was over in just 30 seconds and ended at 0650 hrs.

Goh Chok Tong became Prime Minster

Major Events, Nation Building, People, Politics 1 Comment

A new chapter opened in Singapore’s modern history Goh Chok Tong became the second Prime Minster of Singapore when he took over the office from Lee Kuan Yew who resigned after having been Prime Minster since 1959.

COE Introduced

Major Events, Nation Building No Comments

Certificates of Entitlement (COE) give Singaporeans the right to own a vehicle. In Singapore, anyone wishing to buy a car or motorcycle has to bid for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE). Only public buses, school buses and emergency vehicles are exempted from this scheme. A certain number of COEs would be released every month for bidding. Once successful and only when one owns a COE that registration of the vehicle could take effect. The vehicle entitlement is valid for only 10 years and is transferred with the ownership of the vehicle.

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Hotel New World collapsed

Major Events, Places 6 Comments

Disbelief was shared by Singaporeans when news broke out that a hotel had collapsed in Singapore. The six-storey Hotel New World at junction of Rangoon Road and Serangoon Road had collapsed. The tragedy claimed 33 lives. Read more »

Singapore Cable Car Tragedy

Major Events, Places No Comments

Tragedy struck when the towering structure of a Panamanian-registered oil rig struck the cable of the Sentosa Cable Car and caused two cable cars to plunge into the sea. The disaster happened shortly after 6 pm when the oil rig, which was being towed away from Keppel Wharf, became entangled in the cable and caused it to snap. It also left thirteen people trapped in four other cable cars between Mount Faber and Sentosa. This accident was the first involving death or injury since the cable car system opened in 1974. A total of seven people died in the cable car tragedy. Read more »

Changi International Airport began operation

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This day has a place in Singapore’s history as the day Changi International Airport began operation as the island’s principal airport. The towering 80-metre high Control Tower is iconic of the airport’s longstanding reputation as one of the best in the world. The Changi Airport replaces the old Paya Lebar Airport as the new Singapore International Airport (SIN).

The Spyros disaster

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An explosion occurred in the engine room of the Greek tanker Spyros, at Jurong shipyard. The SAF was asked to assist in evacuating the victims to the hospitals. Immediately, a task force of servicemen, ambulances and RSAF helicopters was mobilised to assist in the casualty evacuation operations. Apart from ferrying the injured by ambulances, the SAF also mobilised RSAF helicopters to ferry victims in critical condition to the Singapore General Hospital. The Spyros disaster which claimed the lives of 80 people and injured many others.

The Laju Hijacking

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The Shell Oil Refinery located on Pulau Bukom Besar, (an island lying south of Singapore) was attacked by four terrorists who were armed with submachine guns and explosives. The group comprised two Japanese from the Japanese Red Army (JRA) or ‘Sekigun’ and two Arabs from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The bloop attack on the refinery forces them to hijack the “Laju”, a Ferry Boat, with five crew members as hostages. The terrorists started their bargaining. The terrorists agreed to release the crew of the ‘Laju’ in exchange for a party of ‘Guarantors’ . The team was led by Mr S.R. Nathan, then MINDEF’s Director of Security & Intelligence (now President of Singapore). The 12-men-team was made up of four SAF Commandos and eight other government officials. On 7 Feb 1974, arrangements were made to transfer the terrorists by boat from “Laju” to the Marine Police Headquarters and then by minibus to the airport. On 8 February 1974 at 0125 hours, the four terrorists left Singapore for Kuwait, and hostages were immediately freed unharmed.

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