The Straits Times
Published on Oct 11, 2012

What's the time in Singapore? Well, it depends

Two standards used here, SST and GPS, are 16 secs apart, and gap will widen


When someone tells you to turn up at, say, 5pm on the dot, you may want to ask him if he means Singapore standard time (SST) or global positioning system (GPS) time. There is actually a difference between the two time standards used here: GPS time is 16 seconds faster than SST.

The gap between them will widen by about one minute every 60 to 90 years, according to scientists' estimates. Eventually, GPS time would be 1min 16sec faster.

The closure of SingTel's 1711 time-announcement service last Monday - which was on GPS time - has cast the spotlight on the two time standards.

Organisations and people here have synchronised their clocks with either SST or GPS time. But only one standard will hold up in a court of law when a dispute arises - SST.