Looking forward to 2017: Security and crime, social services and consumer sector

As 2016 draws to a close, with many notable events shaping what has been called by many a year of change, 2017 looks set to be just as significant. The Straits Times looks at what to expect for security and crime, social services and the consumer sector.


Ready when terror hits and making roads safer

People in Singapore have been repeatedly exposed to news of terror attacks this year, and experts expect terrorism and extremism to continue characterising the security landscape next year.

In September, the Government launched the SGSecure movement, emphasising the need for preparedness for a potential attack here.

While Singapore has been spared an attack by militants, there is always the threat of one. In May, six Bangladeshi men were prosecuted here under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act for planning an attack in the South Asian country.

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Prepayment practices to come under focus

When a video of a Vietnamese tourist kneeling and begging a shop assistant for his money went viral in 2014, many people questioned how such a blatant cheating case could happen here.

The tourist had been told to pay an additional $1,500 for the warranty of a $950 iPhone 6 that he had already paid for, or risk losing both the phone and $950.

More than two years on, stronger consumer protection laws are in place to prevent the Jover Chew saga from repeating. Chew, the owner of the mobile phone shop, was jailed last year for cheating.

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New laws to protect the weak

Early this year, The Straits Times reported on the case of an intellectually disabled man in his 50s. His son used cigarettes to burn him, bamboo poles to hit him, and tied his hands when he did not do as he was told.

This went on for at least 10 years before hospital staff spotted scores of cuts and bruises on the man.

The hope is that such victims can be helped much earlier, when the Vulnerable Adults Act is tabled in Parliament, likely next year.

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