Singapore. In May, Singapore's Central Bank (MAS) closed
the Swiss bank BSI following disclosures about suspected
money laundering linked to neighboring Malaysia's state fund
1MDB, founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. It
was the first time in 32 years that a bank was forced to
cease operations in Singapore. "BSI Bank is the worst case
of lack of control and gross neglect we have seen in
Singapore's financial sector," said MAS CEO Ravi Menon. In
parallel, Switzerland launched a police investigation
against BSI for deficiencies in the internal organization.
countryaah, plans for a terrorist attack against the popular Marina
Bay area in Singapore were rejected in August after a
suspected man changed his profile picture in social media to
a picture with the text "Indonesian support and solidarity
for IS". The exchange, along with other communication via
social media, allowed the man and five other suspected
terrorists to be apprehended by police on the Indonesian
island of Batam, 1.5 miles south of Singapore.
On August 25, the world's first self-driving taxis rolled
out onto Singapore's streets. Initially, they were six, but
would later be expanded to twelve later in the year, in
order to provide the city state's streets with a whole
armada of self-driving taxis around 2018.
During a televised speech in August, the country's
64-year-old Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong fainted.
According to doctors, the attack was caused by a temporary
drop in blood pressure as a result of "prolonged standing,
fatigue and fluid deficiency". However, the incident shocked
many Singaporeans who were concerned about the Prime
The same month, it was reported that Singapore-based
banking giant DBS has started testing a new video chat in
its ATMs in Singapore. The chat offered customers to do
simpler banking with 24/7 service. A valid ID document was
required to use the service. Some vending machines also
scanned customers' fingerprints.
Singapore's central bank closed a second Swiss bank -
Falcon Bank - in October due to serious deficiencies in its
money laundering controls linked to the Malaysian state
investment fund 1MDB. The transactions around 1MDB were
investigated in several places. According to Swiss
authorities, there was evidence that up to US $ 800 million
could have been embezzled in a "scheme of pyramid schemes"
During the year, Singapore was ranked as one on the World
Economic Forum's annual digitization list, where digital
infrastructure and Internet use, among others, are measured.
In the knowledge survey TIMSS, a survey of school pupils in
64 countries/regions, Singapore consistently had the
highest score in mathematics and science in grade 4 and
grade 8 respectively. Of the eighth grades in Singapore, 54%
reached the TIMSS advanced level of 625 points. In Sweden,
the proportion was 3%.