Year 1997

Private Home Prices Plunged

Wednesday, 31st December 1997

The entire year of 1997 saw a 12.5% drop in private home prices with the number of transactions down 43% from 1996 at 6,990 the biggest annual drop since the 1985 to 1986 property slump and transactions plunged 42.8 per cent to 6,990.

Singapore Borders Opened

Wednesday, 31st December 1997

The Borders Group established its first international store here in Singapore, occupying 32,000 square feet (3,000 m2) in Wheelock Place, Orchard Road. It was the largest bookstore located here in Singapore.

SilkAir Flight MI185 Crashed

Friday, 19th December 1997

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.

Singapore Training Facilities in Queensland

Friday, 28th November 1997

A ground-breaking ceremony for Singapore Training Facilities at Oakey in south-east Queensland, Australia. The ceremony will mark the start of construction of new facilities at the Australian Army Aviation Centre at Oakey for a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) helicopter unit.

COE Crashed to $50

Monday, 17th November 1997

When the Asian financial crisis started, and premiums for big cars fell to $50 on this day. That was when COE bidding was conducted in a closed tender system in which bidders could not see the prevailing rate of other bids. The $50 COE was then described as “just a fluke” and COE prices bounced back to previous levels of about $64,000.

US Chinook Training Facilities

Thursday, 6th November 1997

Singapore’s Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence, Rear Admiral (RADM) (NS) Teo Chee Hean, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the official opening of the new facilities at the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) Peace Prairie Detachment in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Studio flats for the elderly

Wednesday, 5th November 1997

The Housing Board (HDB) unveiled a new type of housing – studio apartments targeted at Singaporean HDB flat-owners aged 55 or older. For a start, it would build 580 units at four sites in Tampines, Bedok, Yishun and Jurong East. Minister for National Development Lim Hng Kiang said the partially-furnished studio apartments would have elderly-friendly features and would be sold on 30-year leases which could be renewed for another 10 years.

New KK Hospital Opened

Friday, 10th October 1997

The new KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital was officially opened.

First Singapore Submarine Launched

Friday, 26th September 1997

The RSS Challenger, a Sjoormen-class submarine (small coastal submarine), is the first submarine acquired by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). The RSS Conqueror was the first of four former Swedish navy submarines acquired.

SAF Introduce BIONIX

Friday, 5th September 1997

Bionix, the first Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) manufactured by Singapore's defence industries, rolled out at the Singapore Technologies Automotive Limited (STA) at Portsdown Road this evening. This follows the announcement in Mar 97 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Dr Tony Tan, that STA had won a contract to specially design and build a fleet of IFV for the SAF. The SAF will receive the first batches of the vehicle from Jan 98 onwards.

World Gourmet Summit Forum

Thursday, 24th July 1997

The World Gourmet Summit is a celebration of gastronomy, held in Singapore annually. It is attended and participated by the world's masterchefs and vintners, who showcase their gastronomical creations to trade and public visitors alike.   World Gourmet Summit Forum was held in Singapore from 24 to 31 July 1997 at the Suntec City and hotels. The premier brought together master chefs from 12 hotels and restaurants around the world who cooked and conducted classes, as well as took food-lovers on a gourmet safari where the chefs treated them to four course-meals at a handsome price.

Racial Harmony Day Launched

Monday, 21st July 1997

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.

450 Singaporean Evacuated from Cambodia

Wednesday, 9th July 1997

The Republic of Singapore Air Force was involved in an unusual exercise of evacuating Singaporeans and Cambodians from different sides of the conflict. The RSAF flew 450 Singaporeans from Phnom Penh to the Paya Lebar Airbase. Among the Cambodians was ousted First Prime Minister Prince Ranariddth's son. Quite a number witnessed looting and had to endure several blockades before reaching safety.

Asian Financial Crisis Started

Wednesday, 2nd July 1997

The Asian financial crisis started with the 20% devaluation of Thailand Bath. This event occurred two months after Thailand Bath started to suffer from a massive speculative attack and a little more than a month after the bankruptcy of Thailand’s largest finance company, Finance One. This first devaluation of the Thai Baht was soon followed by that of the Philippine Peso, the Malaysian Ringgit, the Indonesian Rupiah and, to a lesser extent, the Singaporean Dollar.

No RSAF Pilot Have Intruded Into Johor Airspace

Tuesday, 25th March 1997

The RSAF always conducts a thorough investigation whenever an intrusion is alleged. As of date, no RSAF pilot found to have intruded into Johor airspace. Should the pilot be found to have broken the rules, he will be dealt with severely.

Two Killed In Howitzer Chamber Explosion

Sunday, 9th March 1997

A 155mm artillery round exploded in the barrel of a FH2000 gun howitzer on Sunday in Waiouru, New Zealand, during a live firing exercise conducted by the 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery. The incident resulted in the death of two full-time national servicemen, Third Sergeant Ronnie Tan Han Chong and Lance Corporal Low Yin Tit. Another 12 servicemen, including a Staff Sergeant from the New Zealand Defence Force, were injured in the incident.

Brother Of PUB Deputy Chief-Executive Jailed

Thursday, 20th February 1997

58-year-old Chui Fook Thim pleaded guilty to helping his brother, former PUB Deputy CEO Choy Hon Tim, flee abroad to evade the law. For that, Mr. Chui was sentenced to a 6-month jail term, becoming the first in Singapore to be convicted of such an offence.

French Air Force Strength Ties With Singapore.

Wednesday, 29th January 1997

The Chief of Air Staff, French Air Force, General (GEN) Jean Rannou, and the Chief of Air Force, Major-General (MAJ-GEN) Goh Yong Siang, signed a Technical Arrangement for the establishment of a French Air Force - RSAF Air Group which aims to promote cooperation and the sharing of information in professional military matters.

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