Whether you’re planning to visit or work here in Singapore sometime in 2019, it’s important that you get acquainted with the new or amended laws that have been ironed out by the government as of late.
Knowing these “new” laws will help you ensure a more meaningful and enjoyable stay here in the country, and of course, get you out of the hair of authorities as much as you can.
New or Amended SG Laws for 2019
The new/amended rules may or may not directly affect you as a traveller, a migrant, or as a person interested in international affairs, but knowing these can give you some insight as to where the government is putting their stamp on, especially coming into the New Year:
- Smoking Ban on Orchard Road
Under the initiative of the National Environment Agency (NEA), a precinct-wide smoking ban will be enforced across Orchard Road with the entry of the New Year. There will be, however, 40 designated smoking areas along the strip, to help smokers and businesses adjust with the transition.
- Busting Fake News
Singapore is enforcing a zero-tolerance approach against fake news. Originating from 22 recommendations floated by the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods, the initiative which is set to take place within the next year, will enable the government to disrupt the spread of fake news which may result in the disruption of national order and harmony, threaten national security, and compromise the country’s position as an international financial hub.
- Greater Protection for Employees under the Employment Act
Starting April 2019, greater protection in terms of job security and increased pay will be enjoyed by rank and file workers, PMETs earning under SGD 4,500, as well as non-workmen such as clerks and receptionists.
With these changes set to take effect by next year, the government aims to increase its chances of developing and drawing more qualified workers and keeping highly-specialized professionals in their fields to enjoy their employment here in the country.
- A Different Take on Learning
With the government’s attention now focused on the quality of education of Singaporean citizens, there will no longer be assessments and exams for Primary 1 and 2 pupils, while Secondary 1 students will no longer be required to take the mid-year exams. The changes will also take effect for Primary 3, 5, and Secondary 3 students sometime in 2020 or 2021.
Furthermore, schools will only be required to set only one class test per subject for each term that will qualify as part of the year-end scores. Also, report books will no longer show a student’s ranking in class or cohort. These changes aim to help students rediscover the joy of learning, and not just an obligation dictated by a system patronized by the adult society.
- Better Data Protection
From September 2019, organizations will no longer be allowed to collect, use, or disclose NRIC numbers, or make copies of identity cards. This has been one of the provisions imposed by the Personal Data Protection Commission regarding the handling of data and personal information, in order to address the growing risk of fraud and identity theft. However, these guidelines do not apply to the government, public agencies, or organizations they represent.
With this new set of improvements, the government aims to strengthen the country’s internal facilities on the account of the welfare of its citizens and stakeholders.