Although the General Election was a no-show, 2019 still proved to be an eventful year in Singapore. The Government ban on riding e-scooters on all footpaths was rated by 33% of Singaporeans as the news event of the year. This decision was announced after a series of accidents regarding this personal mode of transport, especially the death of an elderly woman in Bedok after being knocked over on a footpath. Though the ban was criticized by some as draconian, 1-in-2 say they like the decision.
The second biggest event came at the end of the year, when the Public Transport Council announced a rise in public transport fares by 7% in December, the highest quantum proposed. When we asked Singaporeans to express their sentiment, 43% felt angry (highest among all 2019 events), reinforcing concerns about rising costs of living, an issue likely to be debated at the next GE.
The first quarter of the year was dominated by the coverage of the NS training accident in New Zealand, which resulted in the death of actor, Aloysius Pang. Two in three Singaporeans expressed sadness over the accident, the highest among all news events for the year.
Besides these top three stories of 2019, the NUS #metoo incident, where student Monica Baey took to Instagram to name her peeping tom, stood out as the biggest news events amongst Singaporeans aged 15-24. This younger cohort were also more enraged than others by the incident, with 56% feeling angry over it, a 20% higher than the overall average.