S’pore Ranked 5th in Least Corrupt Nations, Denmark Leads the Way

Singapore has maintained its position as the fifth least corrupt country globally, as per the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.

Since its inception in 1995, Singapore has been the sole Asian country consistently placed in the top 10. Over the years, it has ranked third in 2018 and 2020, fourth in 2019 and 2021, and currently sits at fifth in 2022 and 2023.

The index evaluates and compares countries based on their perceived levels of corruption in the public sector, utilizing a scale ranging from 0 (i.e., very corrupt) to 100 (i.e., very clean). Various aspects of public sector corruption, including bribery, misuse of public funds, and favoritism in civil service appointments, are taken into consideration.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 least corrupt countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2023:

1. Denmark (90)
2. Finland (87)
3. New Zealand (85)
4. Norway (84)
5. Singapore (83)
6. Sweden (82)
6. Switzerland (82)
8. Netherlands (79)
9. Germany (78)
9. Luxembourg (78)

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that expert opinions and business surveys contribute to the data collection process. The CPIB emphasized that this data stems from 13 external sources. Interestingly, the global average score stands at 43, with more than two-thirds of countries scoring below 50.

Singapore maintained its score of 83 in 2023, consistent with the previous year. The CPIB assured the public that corruption in Singapore remains well-managed, with the number of public sector corruption cases consistently low. Public Perception Surveys conducted regularly by the CPIB indicate a high level of public confidence in Singapore’s efforts to combat corruption.

“Singapore’s reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world is hard-earned,” according to CPIB.

In addition to the Transparency International index, Singapore excels in other corruption-related rankings. For instance, in the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2023, Singapore ranks third globally for the absence of corruption, making it the leading Asian nation among 142 countries.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

The CPIB highlights its commitment to working collaboratively with the community to maintain the integrity of Singapore’s governance. Moreover, the CPIB conducts its own Public Perception Surveys, further demonstrating the public’s strong confidence in Singapore’s anti-corruption endeavors.

Sources: 1 & 2



Excitingly Free Events to Enjoy in September 2023

Are you itching for some entertainment without denting your wallet? Look no further! September 2023 has an assortment of thrilling events that won’t cost you a cent.

From lively markets and festivals to captivating performances, enlightening talks, and interactive workshops, September is packed with budget-friendly delights.


Prepare for a sensory feast at the 7th edition of the Singapore River Festival, running from September 7th until the end of the month. This isn’t just about pretty lights along the Singapore River; it’s an immersive adventure. The Singapore River Festival 2023 offers live music, augmented reality (AR) experiences, delectable food workshops, and a series of events celebrating Japanese pop culture.

Explore the full event lineup on the Singapore River Festival website. Make sure to circle September 23rd and 24th on your calendar for a pet-friendly weekend featuring a best-dressed pet competition, a merchandise bazaar, pet health check-ups, and insightful talks by veterinary professionals.

Image Credits: facebook.com/singaporeriverone

Learn more: srf.sg


Calling all pet lovers! On September 9th and 10th, 2023, Crane at Joo Chiat invites you to a weekend filled with delectable treats, playful activities, and adorable pet accessories. What’s even better? All the vendors at Pets Weekend are small local businesses, so you can support your community while enjoying quality time with your furry, feathered, or scaly companions.

Location: Crane Joo Chiat, 281 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore, 427962


Nighttime light displays always enchant, and in September, VivoCity’s Skypark combines the magic of light installations with beloved Sanrio characters. Enter the Garden of Lights, a nightly wonderland featuring enchanting light displays with Cinnamoroll, Gudetama, My Melody, and, of course, Hello Kitty.

Don’t forget your camera! The exhibit is open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, with the Sanrio Garden wonderland lighting up from 6:30 pm onwards.

Location: VivoCity’s Sky Park, Level 3, 1 HarbourFront Walk, Singapore 098585

FEASTival FAIR (till 10 SEP)

Foodies, rejoice! Until September 10th, 2023, Jurong Point is hosting the mouthwatering FEASTival Fair. Featuring 26 food vendors from around the globe, including Japan, Thailand, China, Malaysia, and the USA, this food fair promises a wide array of sweet and savory treats. I look forward to viral Korean cheese coins from 2Ninja 1 Fatty, aromatic cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon, and mouthwatering wagyu skewers from Niku Master.

Location: 1 Jurong West Central 2, Singapore 648886


On September 9th, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, relax with your family at the Families for Life (FFL) Family Singalong Picnic in Gardens by the Bay. Enjoy beloved tunes from timeless animated classics, and don’t forget to sing along! Kids can indulge in free balloon sculpting and snacks, and the first 200 families will receive complimentary picnic mats.

Location: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953


The UNIQLO X Studio Ghibli Pop-Up continues to enchant until September 14, 2023. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Studio Ghibli with captivating installations featuring iconic scenes and beloved characters. Pose beside Chihiro and No-Face from “Spirited Away” aboard the train, take flight with Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” and marvel at the awe-inspiring moving castle from “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

That’s not all – don’t miss the enormous Catbus and Totoro inflatables from “My Neighbor Totoro”! Plus, if luck is on your side, you might even meet the iconic Yubaba, making special appearances at this pop-up extravaganza.

Image Credits: uniqlo.com/sg

As a bonus, all attendees receive an exclusive Studio Ghibli-branded tote bag, complete with a character poster and UTme! vouchers, allowing you to personalize your LifeWear with enchanting Ghibli designs (T&Cs apply). This is a magical experience you won’t want to miss!

Location: Bugis+, Level 2, 201 Victoria St, Singapore 188067

Mark your calendars and savor these thrilling events!

Sources: 1 & 2


Taylor Swift’s Singapore Concert Drives Unprecedented Increase in UOB Card Applications

UOB cardholders enter a room and make the whole world shimmer! UOB has recently announced a remarkable surge of 45 percent in card applications across Southeast Asia. This surge follows the revelation on June 21 that UOB’s credit and debit cardholders would have exclusive access to tickets for Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated The Eras Tour concerts in Singapore.

The news of UOB cardholders enjoying privileged access to Taylor Swift’s upcoming six-day performance in Singapore sparked a wave of anticipation among the public. Jacquelyn Tan, Head of Group Personal Financial Services at UOB, expressed her delight at the “very significant surge” in card application volumes, not only in Singapore but also across the bank’s markets in ASEAN.


With this announcement, UOB has granted over seven million customers the exclusive opportunity to attend Swift’s Singapore concert, which will be her only performance in Southeast Asia as part of The Eras Tour next year.

The impact of this announcement has been felt across ASEAN countries, as card applications experienced a notable surge. According to a media statement, the daily average of UOB credit card applications in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam during the week of June 21-27 witnessed a remarkable 45 percent increase compared to the preceding weeks of the month. Additionally, debit card applications in Singapore and Vietnam soared by nearly 130 percent.

Examining the demographics of credit card applications approved between June 21-30 in the five ASEAN markets reveals interesting trends. Customers aged 30 to 40 years constituted over one-third of the total applicants, while the 20 to 30-year-old demographic made up almost 32 percent. Among these new credit cardholders, females accounted for the majority at 52 percent. Notably, the UOB One Credit Card emerged as the preferred choice among applicants during this period.


In Singapore, the announcement of Swift’s concert triggered a noticeable shift in the demographics of new cardholders between June 21-27. The proportion of 25 to 29-year-olds increased from 22 percent to 27 percent in the week following the announcement. Moreover, there was a significant increase of almost 10 percent in the proportion of new female cardholders compared to the earlier part of the month when the male-female ratio was nearly equal. The UOB One Credit and Debit Card stood out as clear favorites among new local card applicants in their respective categories.

To accommodate the anticipated surge in card applications, UOB took proactive measures to increase the capacity of the relevant business units responsible for processing these applications.

Image Credits: unsplash.com


Swift’s exclusive appearance in Singapore contributes to the nation’s concert frenzy as post-Covid travel resumes. Tickets for Coldplay’s concert sold out within hours of their release, and Hong Kong pop star Jacky Cheung is set to perform for a record-breaking 11 nights. According to travel platform Agoda, accommodation searches in the city-state during Coldplay’s concert dates in January experienced an astounding 8.7-times increase, driven primarily by Malaysia and Indonesia, as stated in a released statement last month. Ultimately, various sectors within the hotel and tourism industry are poised to experience a surge in sales in the upcoming year.

Sources: 1 & 2


How to Make the Most of Your Singapore Public Holidays in 2024

Travel enthusiasts listen up! Planning your calendar for the year ahead involves more than just noting important events and birthdays; it also means strategically utilizing public holidays to maximize your leisure time. Let’s dive into the public holidays for 2024 and explore how you can make the most of them.

The following public holidays in 2024 are worth highlighting:

1. Good Friday (29 March 2024): Falling on a Friday, this holiday presents an excellent opportunity for a long weekend getaway. Plan a short staycation or indulge in some much-needed relaxation.

2. National Day (9 August 2024): Another Friday holiday, National Day is an ideal time to celebrate Singapore’s heritage and enjoy the festivities. Explore local events, catch a fireworks display, or organize a gathering with family and friends.

3. Second day of Chinese New Year (11 February): Although this public holiday falls on a Sunday, it is worth mentioning as it provides an extended weekend. Take advantage of this time to immerse yourself in the rich cultural traditions and vibrant celebrations of Chinese New Year.

4. New Year’s Day (1 January 2024) and Hari Raya Haji (17 June 2024): Both these holidays fall on a Monday, offering an opportunity to plan a long weekend trip or engage in activities that rejuvenate your mind and body. You can even plan a short trip to BKK, JB, or Batam.

5. First Day of Chinese New Year (10 February): Celebrate the arrival of the Lunar New Year by participating in traditional customs, enjoying festive cuisine, and spending quality time with loved ones. Because the first and second days of Chinese New Year fall on Saturday and Sunday, the following Monday (12 February) will be a public holiday. Thus, your family can enjoy a long weekend of three days.

6. Hari Raya Puasa (10 April 2024), Labour Day (1 May 2024), Vesak Day (22 May 2024), Deepavali (31 October 2024), and Christmas Day (25 December 2024): These Wednesday holidays provide many opportunities to unwind, reflect, and engage in leisure activities that interest you (e.g., movie watching or outdoor cycling).

Image Credits: mom.gov.sg

Now, let’s address the important matter of remuneration for work done on public holidays:

A. Employees covered by the Employment Act are entitled to 11 paid public holidays as mentioned above. However, employers and employees may mutually agree to substitute a public holiday for another working day to accommodate specific circumstances.

B. Employees who are required to work on a public holiday are entitled to an extra day’s salary at the basic rate of pay, in addition to their gross rate of pay for that day. This recognizes the extra effort put in by employees during public holidays.

C. Employers also have the option of granting time-off-in-lieu, based on a mutually agreed number of hours, for employees who work on a public holiday. This provision applies to workmen earning more than S$4,500 a month, non-workmen earning more than S$2,600 a month, and all Managers and Executives. It allows employees to take time off on another day as compensation for working on a public holiday.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

As you plan your travels or leisure activities for the year, keep these public holidays in mind. Utilize them wisely to relax, explore, spend quality time with loved ones, or engage in activities that bring you joy and rejuvenation. Remember, strategically planning your leaves from work around these public holidays will help you make the most of your time off in 2024.

Sources: 1 & 2



4 Spectacular, New Places to Explore in Singapore

Grab your favorite cup of hot chocolate or peppermint mocha and treat yourself with a trip to these spectacular, new places in Singapore! Let the good times roll with your friends and family members ’tis Yuletide season.


From now until January 2, 2023, Orchard Road glistens with streetlights and big Christmas trees. Take beautiful pictures with your loved ones as the entire stretch is dazzled with fairy lights, towering Christmas trees, and plenty of festive props. You can start from Plaza Singapura and end at Tanglin Mall.

Image Credits: facebook.com/VisitSingaporeANZ

Head down to Tanglin Mall for some winter wonderland glamour. This mall is a popular attraction for kids and young at heart. Near here is the Forum The Shopping Mall, which has pink neon lights decor that glows magically at night. While strolling some more, you will see Wheelock Place. Wheelock Place will draw you to its star-shaped illuminations suspended within its structure. Lastly, you will experience luxury with ION Orchard’s enormous star-shaped tree topper from Dior. This is your perfect backdrop for an IG snap!


Witness the Changi Airport Connector light up in bioluminescence until Jan. 31, 2023. The 3-kilometer-long festive installation is called the Dino Glow. The Dino Glow greets its guests with a trail of 1,100 levitating jellyfish beneath the T2 Skytrain tracks. Along the park connector are 4,000 dandelions and 3,600 mushrooms, which leads to a 40-meter tunnel of lighted arches. The dinosaurs at Jurassic Mile are also decked out in festive gear. The light-up runs daily from 7pm to 1am.

Image Credits: Changi Airport Group

Apart from these, there will also be local food, burgers, and desserts. Some are blue too! There will be blueberry bubble tea and blue donburis. The food trucks are open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from now until Jan. 1, 2023 at 5pm to 10pm.


Patricia Piccinini: We Are Connected exhibition reimagines reality at ArtScience Museum until Jan. 29, 2023. It features more than forty artworks and installations by contemporary artist Patricia Piccinini. Guests will be amazed by the strange reality where human-animal hybrids exist. Through her life-like sculptures, Patricia explores the advancements in biotechnology such as genetic engineering. Ticket prices range from S$16 to S$21.

Other activities at ArtScience Museum include the guided tours of the exhibition, which are available in Mandarin and English. Additional fees apply.


The Great Bay Fiesta displays attractions at Marina Bay, which runs from now until Jan. 1, 2023. The 20,000-square meter space includes four main event segments: The Great Cirque des Cascades, The Great World Carnival, The Great Food Fiesta, and Ice Magic: The Great Fantasy on Ice.

As someone who has never watched circus acts before, you will be impressed by the various performing acts that the Great Cirque des Cascades offers throughout its 80-minute runtime.

Image Credits: facebook.com/cheekiemonkies

At -10 degrees, Ice Magic: The Great Fantasy on Ice is the closest winter experience you can have in Singapore. The indoor ice playground will delight your children and their peers. Admission to the Great Bay Fiesta is priced from S$10. Additional payment applies for the activities.