Last Updated: 31 July, 2023

Did you know that when you use a packet of tissue to reserve or “chope” a vacant table at the foodcourt, you are doing what villagers used to do to mark ownership? It was a common practice for villagers to use trees, rocks, or rivers to mark the space and say “this land is mine.”

A young man with a mental disability is cheated of his late mother’s life savings by a man claiming to be a friend. A property agent takes advantage of an elderly man with an intellectually-disabled daughter, by pocketing the sales proceeds of a flat the client had engaged him to sell. 

These are two of many cases of vulnerable persons in Singapore being financially abused - a consequence of systemic gaps, insufficient protective measures and a lack of financial planning by families of individuals with special needs.

During Singapore’s circuit breaker period, various incidences of the elderly flouting safe distancing rules emerged in the media, leading to concerns that this group in pa

No man is an island — that proverbial expression rings especially true now, when the health and safety of each individual depends so acutely on the decisions and behaviours of others. In the time of Covid-19, it becomes more apparent than ever that what makes or breaks a community is the result of individual actions.

Humans love to eat meat. From 50 million metric tons in 1950, annual meat production has jumped over five times to 275 million metric tons in 2015. That translates to the slaughter annually of some 300 million cattle, 1.5 billion pigs, and a staggering 50 billion chickens. The discarded chicken bones, scientists says, will form a fossil layer under the Earth’s surface that will mark the Anthropocene – the geological age dominated by human activity.

Much of that can be attributed to the rapid urbanisation of the 20th century, explains Sir Nigel Thrift.

According to a December 2018 UN report on worldwide use of single-use plastics, 127 countries have “adopted some type of legislation to regulate plastic bags”. These include the 28 member states of the European Union, who last month voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, straws, and cups by 2021.

Assistant Professor Aidan Wong from SMU’s School of Social Sciences discusses the value of electronic waste recycling and sustainability in Singapore.