1. MOE kindergarten registration for 2022 cohort to open on 5 February
The online registration exercise for admission to Ministry of Education (MOE) Kindergarten 1 in 2022 will open on 5 February 2021. Registration is open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents born between 2 January 2017 and 1 January 2018.
Online registration will last for five days, from 9 a.m. on 5 February to 4 p.m. on 9 February. Parents will be informed of the outcome by 31 March 2020.
A total of 43 MOE kindergartens will participate in this exercise. There will not be any physical open houses this year due to the COVID-19 situation.
Instead, a virtual open house will be held on Zoom between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on 30 January. The programme will include an overview of MOE kindergartens and their curriculum; parents will also have an opportunity to ask questions.
Subsequently, 35 kindergartens will hold concurrent sharing sessions. The remaining eight kindergartens will only open next year.
Parents who are interested in those kindergartens can sign up for any of the concurrent sessions held by the 35 kindergartens as the new pre-schools will have “similar programmes”.
2. HDB launches one-stop portal for flat purchases
The Housing Development Board (HDB) has launched a new one-stop portal for public housing flat purchases. This will make it more convenient for home buyers and sellers to gather information on the purchase or sale of a flat through a single platform.
The portal will be rolled out progressively from Wednesday, 13 January.
The portal’s features include a customised financial calculator for buyers to check their budget and payment plan, and for sellers to estimate sales proceeds. Flat listings collating information on current and upcoming Build-to-Order (BTO) launches are also available.
These features will recommend prospective buyers a suggested payment plan as well as speed up the search process of upcoming BTO flats.
Additionally, the website will also have loan listings for buyers to get information on housing loans offered by HDB and participating financial institutions. In subsequent phases of the portal’s rollout, HDB is also looking to include resale flat listings.
The HDB Flat Portal is phase two of the HDB Resale Portal launched in January 2018, which had halved the time needed for resale flat transactions and reduced the number of appointments with HDB.
3. Prices of vegetables up at Singapore wet markets due to heavy rainfall
Heavy rains over the past couple of weeks have seen Malaysia’s farms flooding, resulting in a shortage of supplies due to poor crop output and waterlogged roads.
As a result, prices of Singapore’s vegetables will be impacted as the shortage of supplies from Malaysia forces stall owners to get their goods from countries further away like Thailand and Vietnam where shipping is more expensive.
Prices of tomatoes have almost doubled as the rain has caused them to not ripen properly. However, this is not out of the ordinary as prices typically hike towards the end of the year as the monsoon season sets in.
A rise in the price of seafood has also been recorded, although this may be attributed to the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities.
4. Fewer Certificates of Entitilement (COEs) in February to April’s quota
There will be 12.8 per cent fewer COEs for car buyers and sellers in the next three-month quota period beginning in February. On average, there will be 4,241 car COEs per month for the next three-month period, down from 4,865 in the current quota.
These figures are the sum of COEs in Category A (cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp), Category B (cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp), and Open, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles but which ends up mostly for bigger cars.
The quota for commercial vehicle COEs will see the largest drop of 30.5 per cent, from an average of 735 to 511 COEs per month. Meanwhile, motorcycle COE supply will grow by 3.2 per cent to 1,083 per month.
In total, there will be 5,835 COEs — 12.2 per cent fewer than the 6,649 available currently.
While the reduction in COE numbers might lead to higher premiums, the uncertain economic outlet over the longer term might temper prices.