What’s In A Year: We Rounded Up 10 Trending Moments In S’pore That Defined 2017
This has been quite a year for the world. For Singapore. Trains broke down, Presidents took office, and students flashed the middle finger on national television.
Oh, and the nation gushed over a 50 year old man.
But that’s not all that happened. We’ve rounded up the most Singaporean things that made our 2017.
Singapore’s 2017 In A Nutshell
1. Racial Harmony Exemplified
In January, there was a Malay wedding that was in the vicinity of the path of an ongoing funeral procession and the guests at the Malay wedding stood still out of respect for the procession.[caption id="attachment_32605" align="aligncenter" width="498"] Image Credit: Facebook User Maidin Packer[/caption]
If that isn’t the most textbook representation of our racial harmony, we don’t know what is.
2. Uber Brings People Together
Singapore is a small country. The fact that we have so many people condensed into a small space, forces us to interact with strangers in various situations.[caption id="attachment_32607" align="aligncenter" width="816"] Image Credit: Vulcan Post[/caption]
And in this cluster of people, 2 strangers managed to find love in an Uber. A part-time UberPool driver picked up an Air Stewardess while he was working, where they had a casual conversation about her occupation.
Following that encounter, he found her again through the power of social media and now they’re attached. Sometimes, love happens where and when you least expect it.
3. NSF Is STOMPed For The Right Reasons
NSFs receive a lot of flak from the public. Most of the time because they’re sitting on seats in the MRT. It got so bad to the point where commanders were actively telling their recruits NOT to sit when they’re taking public transport.
But that’s not what this NSF was STOMPed for. In March this year, this NSF was seen sheltering an elderly lady in a wheelchair at Pasir Laba Camp.
Is that not the sweetest gesture ever? It’s very heart-warming to see such scenarios.
4. Cow In Yishun
Given how urbanised Singapore is, we don’t see farm animals around housing estates at all (not anymore, that is).
Then there’s this cow in Yishun. No we’re talking about a mean lady. We’re talking about a literal cow. The kind that goes “Moo” and is stereotypically white with black patches (or black with white patches).[caption id="attachment_32608" align="aligncenter" width="551"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Pinterest[/caption]
Long story short, the court denies the return of the phone to the parent.
The moral of the story here, is that privilege will not save you from rule-breaking.
7. The Man Who Drank The Elixir Of Life
In July, the nation was shook by the sudden discovery of the Man Who Never Ages.
Yes we’re talking about ChuanDo Tan. The 50 year old that looks way younger than his age allows.[caption id="attachment_32611" align="aligncenter" width="652"] Image Credit: @chuando_chuandoandfrey[/caption]
The former model-turned-photographer’s secret to staying young and buff AF, is working out religiously.
Not forgetting really good genes too.
We’ve never seen the nation come together for something positive, since National Day 2016.
8. The Kid Who Flipped The Nation Off
National Day this year was brilliant, as usual. But the icing on the cake wasn’t the fireworks.
It came at the end of the live broadcast of the National Day Parade.
A student from Henry Park Primary School (bless his heart) was seen flashing his middle finger at the camera at the end of the parade, when the performers were gathered for the finale.[caption id="attachment_32612" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Image Credit: Youtube[/caption]
The nation gasped, processed what happened, and laughed. Well, most of us laughed anyway. Parents were shaking their heads and teachers were scrambling to find the boy.
Long story short, he was found, reprimanded and counselled. But it was still a good laugh.
9. A New President
In September this year, there was a lot of controversy regarding the reserved election, but eventually the nation moved on and a new President was elected.[caption id="attachment_32613" align="aligncenter" width="1026"] Image Credit: @halimahyacob[/caption]
Mdm Halimah Yacob, previously the MP of Jurong GRC, is Singapore’ first female President. She was declared President-elect on 13 September this year and inaugurated the day after.
10. Flowers For Patients
In November, volunteers at BloomBack, a social enterprise, recycled wedding flowers and turned them into 300 bouquets that were handed out to patients at St. Andrew’s Community Hospital, Banyan Home, and the Salvation Army.[caption id="attachment_32615" align="aligncenter" width="687"] Image Credit: BloomBack[/caption]
The flowers, worth more than $10,000, were collected from a wedding dinner the night before. Not wanting the fresh flowers to be tossed in the bin, BloomBack decided to give these flowers a new purpose.
Sometimes, small gestures can really make one’s day.
Also read Here Are All The Concerts To Look Forward To In 2018 So Far
Grab Is Playing Santa This X’mas – Lets You Redeem Gifts With Your GrabRewards Points
We are now just 10 days away from Christmas!
Amidst all the Christmas cheer, here’s one more reason to celebrate. If you’ve been an avid Grab user, Grab has a present (or many presents) for you.[caption id="attachment_32216" align="aligncenter" width="779"] Image Credit: Grab[/caption]
From 11 – 23 December, the Grab Christmas Store is popping up at Plaza Singapura – and you won’t have to spend a single cent. The first and only store of its kind, you can shop over 88 gifts, ranging from accessories and beauty products to homeware and books, using the GrabRewards points you’ve accumulated.
For 2,000 points, you can choose from a selection of cups, bowls, and jewellery. For 4,000 points, you can get a jar of premium jam by Straits Preserves. And for 6,000 points, you can choose from body scrubs and fragrant candles.[caption id="attachment_32221" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Image Credit: Pinterest[/caption]
And if you manage to rack up 40,000 points – that’s A LOT of Grab rides – you get to choose from what we think are the best items of the lot: a JBL portable bluetooth speaker and a XiaoYi Action Cam, just to name a few.[caption id="attachment_32229" align="alignnone" width="1766"] Image Credit: Pinterest[/caption]
And that’s not all.
For even more Christmas rewards, check out the GrabRewards Catalogue inside your Grab app. If you see something you like, redeem it via the app, and pop by the Grab Christmas Store to collect it.[caption id="attachment_32223" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Image Credit: Groupon[/caption]
Grab users, be sure to check how many GrabRewards points you’ve accumulated and redeem them ASAP! All items are only available while stocks last so don’t be afraid to be kiasu!
Grab Christmas Store
Address: Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm
Date: 11 – 23 December 2017
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(Header Image Source: Grab)
Pay As Little As 90 Cents For Your Uber Rides – There’s Just One Tiny Catch
With ride-hailing services just a tap on the phone away, Uber-ing or Grab-ing has become a bad habit for many of us–especially those of us who are constantly broke.
If you can’t beat the habit, keeping a lookout for promos is the way to go! Throughout the month of May, Uber has a pretty sweet deal that will have you spending as little as 90 cents on your ride.
Uber x Apple Pay[caption id="attachment_25809" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image Credit: Why Not Deals[/caption]
For the month of May, receive a cashback of up to $9.10 off your FIRST Uber ride of the day. The only catch is you’ll have to charge your Uber ride to Apple Pay with a POSB/DBS card.[caption id="attachment_25810" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Uber Newsroom[/caption]
If you have yet to set up your Uber account (where have you been?!), here’s how you can do it:
- Set up Apple Pay on your device and link it to your POSB/DBS card
- When booking your ride, select Apple Pay as your payment method.
- Pay for the full fare of your ride first, and receive the discount to your POSB/DBS account in the form of cashback!
If you’re a habitual Uber user like we are and also own an Apple phone, why not save a whole lot of money this month by hooking up Apple Pay to you Uber account? We know how we’ll be getting to work the rest of the month!
Also, read 10 Must-Try Events And Eats For An Out Of This World May [1-15 May]
Everything You Need To Know Before You Take That ‘Easy Money’ Freelance Job
Freelance jobs are increasingly popular among youth in Singapore. Since 2015, why you’re taking the freelancing route are all problems faced by freelancers on a daily basis.
We decided to uncover the truth behind 4 popular freelancing jobs here in Singapore and find out the ‘real cost’ of working as a freelancer.
1. Private Hire Drivers[caption id="attachment_23010" align="alignnone" width="1024"] You have a license and your dad hates to drive. Might as well make some money right?! You’ll get to drive whenever and wherever you want and you’ll be meeting loads of new people (like good looking lads and ladies). You’ll also finally be able to tell your mum you were out late “because I was working!”
The Moolah: Expect to get paid from guaranteed fare incentives!
Private-hire drivers are part of a growing gig economy. Gig economy sees such as overtime pay. They also do not receive statutory benefits such as Central Provident Fund contributions from the companies they work for.
So who’s helping private-hire drivers?[caption id="attachment_23011" align="alignnone" width="1024"] National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) inked a partnership with Grab. Facilitating feedback between drivers and Grab, NPHVA seeks to foster stronger partner relationships. Grab also works in conjunction with e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) to provide mature workers with the opportunity to become drivers with Grab.
2. Food Couriers[caption id="attachment_23014" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The Benefits: On the move for most of the day, you’ll look super cool wheezing your way through traffic. Work whenever you want and you’ll finally get that extra amount of cash for the new iPhone (there’s always a new one!).
The Shady Side: Seen Premium Rush? While you’re not going to be targeted by a crazed loan shark, you’ll The Moolah: At $5 – 11 an hour and an additional $4 – 6 a trip, you’ll be making an average of $13 – 30 an hour!
3. Freelance Designers
Let’s face it, clients are difficult. You’ll meet the flaky, the rude and the uptight. And if you’re planning to do freelance designing as a full time job, you’ll spend A LOT of time worrying about when’s your next job (and if you’ll be able to afford rent next month).
The Moolah: While you may start out charging at $50 for one-off projects. Once you’ve built your portfolio, a large project (like a website) could fetch you a cool $1,000 (or more)!
4. Freelance Tutors
Under the Employment Act, part-timers without contracts like tutors, aren’t covered by the Manpower Ministry. With online tuition agencies popping up, you might not even see the organization that has hired you!
NTUC Strives To Protect Freelancers
There is an estimated 200,000 freelancers in Singapore. Unlike employed individuals, freelancers here in Singapore are not legally entitled to statutory protection and benefits such as CPF contributions, annual leave, medical leave and rights under labour legislation such as Employment Act and the Work Injury Compensation Act.
[caption id="attachment_23017" align="alignnone" width="1024"] NTUC U Portal[/caption]
In its recent Budget 2017 recommendations, NTUC called on the Government to review labour legislation that could potentially help ensure that the interests of freelancers and the self-employed are protected. NTUC is currently focusing on three ways to help protect the interests of freelancers:
- Expanding the role of Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM). Freelancers will have access to tripartite networks to resolve disputes.
- Urging the Governments to review how freelancers can currently make CPF contributions and also receive support from the Government in terms of CPF retirement adequacy.
- Urging service buyers to keep manpower costs at advisable rates enabling freelancers access to CPF contributions.
Last year, NTUC’s Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit (U FSE) in collaboration with e2i held a ‘Fair For Freelancers’. Freelancers were given the opportunity to come together and gain new business opportunities. U FSE introduced digital platforms to help connect freelancers with clients for project collaborations.
The Labour Movement continually works closely with the other Tripartite partners – Ministry of Manpower and employers, to create a better working environment for employees. Through Collective Bargaining, Dispute Resolution mechanism and Advocacy, NTUC is giving a voice to the working people of Singapore.
For more information on how the Labour Movement is speaking up for various worker segments, check out Labour Movement’s Budget 2017 Recommendations.
Also Read: True Heroes – 4 Invisible Jobs Singaporeans Take For Granted
These Restaurants Are Ditching Their Reunion Dinners So You Can Order From Them This CNY!
There’s nothing more important than food during Chinese New Year.
For the lucky ones with a whole family of masterchefs, reunion dinners and visitations are filled with kitchen-fulls of dishes, and table-fulls of homemade pineapple tarts and the like.
But what about those of us who aren’t as lucky? Or those of us who could potentially burn down our kitchen by simply boiling a pot of water?
Well, UberEATS wants to come to the rescue with their list of restaurants (both Chinese and non-Chinese) open during the weekend to whet your appetite and satisfy your hunger!
Chinese Restaurants Opened On CNY (28-29 Jan)
For those without a chef to tank all the visitors’ hungry stomachs, the team at UberEATS has come up with a list of some of their favourite Chinese restaurants:
Lao Jiang Superior Soup (Bukit Timah)
Specialities: Malaysian soup dishes such as the Ipoh Hor Fun Superior Soup and the signature Red Grouper Soup.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
Indocafe The White House
Specialities: A Lunar New Year set menu, and the Fortune Set which has classic dishes like Yu Sheng and ee fu noodles.
Opening Hours: 12 PM to 10:30 PM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
Five Loaves Two Fish
Specialities: Their well-known MSG-free collagen fish soup, and tze char dishes.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM, 27th to 29th Jan 2017
Tong Fu Ju Sichuan Restaurant
Specialities: Sichuan-style dishes with a speciality in seafood dishes. Popular options include kung pao chicken and charcoal grilled fish.
Opening Hours: 11:30 AM to 10:30 AM, 27th to 29th Jan 2017
5 Star Hainanese Kampung Chicken Rice
Specialities: Their famous chicken rice topped with free-range chicken, which is a healthier option of the meat.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 9 PM, 27th Jan. 12 PM to 12 AM, 28th Jan and 29th Jan 2017
Guo Se Tian Xiang
Specialities: Hunan delicacies like steamed fish head with homemade chili and griddle-cooked spicy shrimp.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 3 PM and 5 PM to 10 PM, 27th to 29th Jan 2017
Specialities: Seafood staples like curry fish head and Fu Rong omelette from the long-standing stall in Holland Village.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM, 27th and 29th Jan 2017
Ju Hao by MOF
Specialities: Northern Chinese cuisine like their signature freshly-made noodles and Xiao Long Bao (mini soup dumplings).
Opening Hours: 3 PM to 10 PM on 28th Jan 2017 and 11 AM to 10 PM on 29th Jan 2017
Non-Chinese Options Opened On CNY (28-29 Jan)
For those who are sick of yu sheng, pineapple tarts, roasted meat and fried rice, UberEATS also has some non-Chinese options up their sleeves:
Specialities: Some of their more popular dishes include a 48-degree sous vide salmon (with truffle mash potatoes) and tasty baked escargot.
Opening Hours: 12 PM to 12 AM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
Specialities: An Aussie-inspired cafe which prides itself on its homemade creations, and has gotten much attention from its Sunday roast chicken.
Opening Hours: 10 AM to 3:30 PM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
Two Blur Guys
Specialities: Gourmet burgers that come with thick patties ranging from prime beef, salmon, pulled pork and more.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 10:30 PM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
The Workbench Bistro
Specialities: A ‘hipster cafe in the heartland’, they serve Western dishes with a Singapore twist. Some dishes include purple sweet potato waffles with gula melaka and salted egg pasta.
Opening Hours: 12 PM to 10 PM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
Specialities: A Muslim-owned option, it serves reasonably-priced Italian cuisine with specials like braised veal leg and turkey bacon carbonara.
Opening Hours: 11:30 AM to 10 PM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
Aroi Na Thai Kitchen
Specialities: Thai food from the Holland Village food centre stall which offers favourites like green curry, mookata and pad thai.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
The Garden Slug
Specialities: For a non-conventional family which wants a Western option, it has New Year Reunion and Prosperity Trays. Some picks include lamb loin chops and caramelised confit of smoked duck breast.
Opening Hours: 10 AM to 10 Pm, 28th and 29th Jan 2017
Delhi 6 Katong V
Specialities: Indian favourites like garlic naan, spicy tikka butter masala, mutton briyani and also vegetarian options.
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM, 28th and 29th Jan
UberEATS CNY-Friendly Features
Above are just a few eateries given to us by the UberEATS team, and they have assured us that there will be more available during the weekend, so explore away!
In the meantime, the team has also shared about some CNY-friendly features on the app that will make ordering during the break much smoother:
1. No Minimum Order
Whether you’re feeding a party of friends, or just feeding yourself during the break, UberEATS would accept your orders – regardless of amount!
2. Scheduled Orders
If you’re a kanchiong spider, and would rather die than deal with a roomful of hungry guests waiting for their meals, you can now schedule orders from the UberEATS app.
You can start placing your orders a week in advance, so in light of the possible rush, we’d advice that you start picking your dishes now.
3. Concurrent Orders
This allows you to handpick the best from each restaurant, so that you won’t need to do multiple orders just for a single meal.
The app also lets you keep track of all your orders – just tap the receipt icon to see your past and upcoming orders!
Ditch The Fast Food, Treat Yourself This CNY Weekend!
In preparation for Chinese New Year, there is already so much to do from spring cleaning the house to shopping. Cooking, especially if you are expecting a healthy number of hungry guests, will simply add to your list of worries.
Since UberEATS is offering to take that fuss off our plate(haha), why not take up their offer? You can download the app here on the Apple store and Google Play.
Start shopping for your CNY meals starting from now and have the security of mind that your guests will be well-fed.
This article first appeared at Vulcan Post.
Also, read 9 Incredible Yu Sheng To Toss So You Get Good Luck In The Year Of The Rooster
A Day In The Life Of An Uber Driver – All You Need To Know And Tips Included!
Move over, taxis! Uber is one the newest and best way to get around Singapore. There is no denying that Uber advertisements are literally everywhere – on Instagram, Facebook, and even the little advert banners on the websites we visit.
Uber “supposedly” offers lucrative incentives for their drivers – such as X3 rates when driving during peak hours or additional SGD500 when you refer a friend to drive.
Sounds like a fast road to easy money! But what are the realities behind the wheel of an Uber driver?
Here is my personal account of being an Uber driver for a day:
An Early Start To The Day
My day started in the wee hours of the morning, with the sky slightly filled with faint blue hues.[caption id="attachment_17368" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Credit: Wired[/caption]
I had to be at a multi-storey carpark in Serangoon to pick the Uber car,a Toyota Prius C, that was assigned to me.
With just a single tap of my EZ-link card on the card-reader next to the IU, the car was unlocked. Fascinating!
Fumbling Over The Uber App
Getting clients, GPS directions to locations, tracking incoming bookings and earnings etc., were all done via the Uber App – which I struggled to figure out while driving.[caption id="attachment_17369" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Credit: nerdwallet.com[/caption]
I was so fixated on exploring the Uber App and ensuring that I get my first passenger when I heard a loud horn. Apparently, I had not noticed that a huge lorry was going straight.
With my heart beating wildly in my chest, it finally dawned on me why Singapore imposes such heavy fines for using mobile phones while driving. Thankfully, I had the Uber App all figured out by then.
Tip! If you are a first time Uber driver, do play around with the Uber app to familiarise yourself with it first. Figure out how to accept bookings BEFORE hitting the roads. The Uber driver interface is different from the usual Uber passenger interface that we are familiar with.[caption id="attachment_17483" align="aligncenter" width="1741"] Credit: techcrunch.com[/caption]
Tip! Do use the mobile phone holder that comes with a suction cup. This will ensure that your phone is in an ideal position at a corner. It will not block your view of the road and it allows you to reach over easily to accept incoming bookings on your phone!
Picking Up My First Customer
My first booking came with a loud and repetitive “ping” sound just 10 minutes after I had hit the road.
A young couple from Serangoon needed a lift to Bras Basah to attend a friend’s church wedding.[caption id="attachment_17366" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Credit: Tech In Asia[/caption]
I tried to be the friendly Uber driver – making small talk and asking where they were heading to.
I was just secretly hoping that they would give me a five star rating as that would boost my credentials as a well-rated Uber driver.[caption id="attachment_17484" align="aligncenter" width="4500"] Credit: Credit: Credit: Verine Ling[/caption]
As this was during one of Uber’s regular promotions to entice people to try being an Uber driver, referral incentives and guaranteed top-up on hourly rates were dangled as carrots.
Watch Out! Certain promotional campaigns require an Uber driver to meet a minimum of 80% acceptance rate for bookings before qualifying for the incentives.
However, this might not always be explicitly stated on the website. Do make it a point to check with the Uber operators if there is such criteria before driving![caption id="attachment_17480" align="aligncenter" width="572"] Credit: Verine Ling[/caption]
Is It Really Easy Money?
I was perhaps a lazy Uber driver.
Despite the constant pinging of the Uber app throughout my entire shift, I only accepted a booking when I felt “ready” to hit the road again after a quick rest.
[caption id="attachment_17372" align="aligncenter" width="1536"] Credit: Credit: )
Also, read We Hopped On The Makan Bus And Didn’t Wanna Get Off – Here’s Why!