Straits Times


Aug 12: Mr Lee Hsien Loong, at age 52 and after 20 years of service in politics, is sworn in as Singapore’s third prime minister, succeeding Mr Goh Chok Tong.


Jan: The ComCare Fund is set up to provide financial assistance to needy families.

April 18: After a year-long debate, the Government decides Singapore will have casinos.


Feb: Workfare Bonus is introduced to top up the pay of lower-wage workers, recognising that growth no longer delivers the same opportunities to all. It becomes permanent in 2007.

May 6: At PM Lee’s first general election at the helm, the PAP is returned to power with 66.6 per cent of valid votes.


Aug: Reforms to the Central Provident Fund scheme are announced, including mandatory annuities to cover old age, a later drawdown age of the Minimum Sum, and higher interest rates.


Feb 27: Terror suspect Mas Selamat Kastari escapes, sparking a review of the Internal Security Department’s operations.


Jan: The Government dips into reserves to help finance a $20.5 billion stimulus package for Singapore to ride out the global financial crisis.

May 27: PM Lee raises the minimum number of opposition MPs from three to nine through the Non-Constituency MP scheme, trims the sizes of Group Representation Constituencies.


Feb: The productivity push starts, with $2.5 billion set aside for continuing education and training and $2 billion for the National Productivity Fund.

April: Property cooling measures are introduced as property prices hit new heights.

May 24: PM Lee and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak agree to move the Malayan Railway station in Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands, breaking a 20-year impasse on the issue.


May 7: The watershed general election is held. PAP wins with 60.1 per cent of the vote share, but it sees the loss of Aljunied GRC to the Workers’ Party (WP).


Sept: The first phase of the Government’s $1.1 billion plan to boost bus services is rolled out.

Nov: Parliament passes legislative changes to remove the mandatory death penalty for certain instances of murder and drug trafficking.

Nov 26: Singapore’s 26-year strike-free record is broken as 171 SMRT bus drivers from China go on strike to protest against poor pay and living conditions.

Dec: Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer resigns over an extramarital affair. It triggers a by-election in Punggol East in January, which WP candidate Lee Li Lian wins with 54.5 per cent of valid votes. This follows the WP’s win in the Hougang by-election in May 2012.


Jan: A White Paper on Population sets out plans to accommodate up to 6.9 million people here by 2030, drawing backlash.

June: Websites that regularly report Singapore news and have significant reach are asked to put up a performance bond of $50,000 and be licensed under new licensing rules.

Aug: PM Lee announces plans for universal health insurance MediShield Life.

Dec 8: A riot breaks out in Little India.


Feb: An $8 billion Pioneer Generation Package is launched to provide health-care subsidies for Singapore’s pioneers.

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