There’s been so so much wackiness this past year that it may be hard to remember some of the more serious and significant events that shaped Singapore these last 12 months.
Let’s recap some of the monumental moments that made 2022, 2022.
The growing controversy over the death penalty
The ongoing battle by activists to get the death penalty abolished blew up earlier this year. It started when executions resumed after the pandemic died down in March, and accelerated to the point that 11 people have been hanged this year (that we know of).
The Transformative Justice Collective, a local activist group, spearheaded a pressure campaign to get the government to halt the executions. Protests were held and several inmates that were in line to face the noose had their stories spotlighted by the media.
The outcry traveled internationally to Malaysia, New York, the European Union and billionaire Richard Branson, who the government decided to challenge to a live TV debate that didn’t happen.
The government paid no heed to the outcry – the executions continued while officials forcefully defended the policy. The Ministry of Home Affairs cites their own vague studies that Singaporeans approve of the death penalty. The drug force and the courts have denied that any of the executions were unjust.
October 6, 2022
The long-awaited repeal of S377a
It was a momentous year and a long time coming for those who fought to overturn Section 377a of the Singapore criminal code, which made sex between men illegal. They finally achieved their goal in August when the prime minister announced the colonial-era law would be repealed. But it was one step forward and one step back for LGBT rights as another bill was passed at the same time to protect the definition of marriage from legal challenges (aka no chance of same-sex marriages soon).
The Parliamentary debate on the issue was painful to watch, with many MPs bringing up their LGBT friends while arguing against their rights. But still, the milestone of 377a’s repeal was achieved after years of protests over pushback from conservatives.
November 30, 2022
We need to catch a break, not another outbreak! In the midst of a viral pandemic, we were faced with the threat of another epidemic. News of people getting infected with monkeypox kept popping up internationally, with infections getting closer to the city-state.
It didn’t take long for Singapore to record its first infection and that number rose to at least 15 cases. Thankfully, health authorities were prepared with plenty of training from dealing with the coronavirus so the outbreak didn’t amount to much and the monkeypox was contained.
A mini chicken scare was thrown at us earlier this year when Malaysia announced that it would stop supplying fresh chickens due to months of supply issues and rising prices. This sent many into panic mode at supermarkets, which saw shelves and shelves of chicken cleaned out.
Trolls also listed the birds for over a million dollars on Carousell. But the ban didn’t last long and all’s good with chicken suppliers — for now.
Our journey with COVID-19
It’s been two years since Singapore recorded its first COVID-19 infection and numbers have been fluctuating ever since.
This year, infections did spike occasionally, especially after major holiday events like during the Hari Raya Haji and the Formula One race weekends.
But in general, it seems like the pandemic is behind us (fingers crossed). Restrictions were relaxed, large-scale events and gatherings allow until now the only thing we need to worry about is wearing masks on public transportation.
Currently, the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and above at vaccination centers where operating hours have recently been extended.
July 5, 2022
Other stories you should check out:
December 23, 2022
December 31, 2021