Wholesome Things That Happened In Singapore In 2023
Between political scandals, the rising cost of living, and the many internet banking outages, 2023 wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies in Singapore. And yet the year enjoyed its share of bright spots. Here’s a recap of some of the most heartwarming things that happened over the past 12 months:
Schoolboy shelters bus commuters from the rain
Singapore let out a collective “aww” when this video, when @sgfollowsall uploaded this video on Instagram. The boy, a student from Springfield Secondary School, went on to receive accolades from Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng, as well as an invitation to the Caring Carnival (a kickoff event for Caring Commuter Week).
Taiwanese man and his Singaporean ex-SIA flight attendant mum reunite after nearly 4 decades
After appealing to The Straits Times for help, 42-year-old Hsu Hu-chin found his mother, former Singapore Airlines stewardess Wang Wen Lian, residing in Singapore (she’d last seen him when he was a toddler). While stories like these don’t often have a happy ending, in this case, the two enjoyed a tearful reunion over a Zoom call arranged by ST.
Shanti Pereira scores historic gold at the Asia Games
Shanti Pereira sprinted to victory in the women’s 200m final at the Asian Games in October, nabbing Singapore’s first athletics gold since 1974. Just days before, she’d made history by winning silver in the 100m final, Singapore’s first Asian Games track and field medal in 49 years. Singaporeans, of course, were thrilled, with public figures like President Tharman congratulating her left and right.
Danelle Tan becomes first Singaporean footballer to play in the German league
Shanti Pereira is in good company amongst Singaporean sportswomen. At just 18 years old, footballer Danelle Tan became the first Asian player to join Borussia Dortmund’s women’s team. This is only one of her many accomplishments - just months early, in February, she debuted with the London Bees, making her the first female Singaporean to play in a European league.
IMAGE: LINKEDIN/SINGAPORE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
SIT duo help unconscious woman at hawker centre
In the middle of lunch, two Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) students, Chua Yuen Keong and Nikhil Tarun Sanghavi, spotted a man attempting to help an elderly who’d lost consciousness in her seat. Nikhil, a medic during national service, put his paramedic skills to use by checking the woman’s airway, breathing, and pulse. His friend, who studied physiotherapy, checked her for signs of a stroke after she regained consciousness. The Straits Times reported that the students will receive a (well-deserved!) Community First Responder Award for their efforts to assist her.
Santa arrives in Seletar
Nope, this isn’t in Orchard - it’s in Seletar! For the third year in a row, residents from 72 units at the Luxus Hill estate came together to light up their neighbourhood with Christmas cheer. (Oh, how we regret not driving up there for a late-night festive joy ride.)
IMAGES (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): FAITH TAN, SAMANTHA THIAN, GREEN NUDGE, YASSER AMIN, AND BENNY LOH
Singapore’s real-life “Planeteers” honoured as part of World Environment Day
2023 saw the debut of the 10 for Zero Awards, a new initiative seeking to celebrate and empower young people doing their part for the environment. Award winners included everyone from Kong Man Jing, co-founder of the “Just Keep Thinking” channel, as well as Muhammad Nasry, the 24-year-old Executive Director of Singapore Youth Voices for Biodiversity (SYVB). Read more about the recipients here!
IMAGE: DYSON LTD
24-year-old Singaporean becomes global finalist for James Dyson Award
E Ian Siew has undergone open heart surgery twice: once at birth in 1999, and again in 2021. His experience recovering from the latter inspired him to invent the Auxobrace, a vest-like brace that leverages soft robotics technology and vacuum devices to ease recovery for open heart surgery patients. Not only did he become the Singapore national winner of the James Dyson Award, but his design earned him a spot in the global top 20. Read our interview with E Ian here!