Hyundai begins building electric vehicle hub in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co started construction on a research and development centre in Singapore on Tuesday that will house a small-scale electric vehicle production facility.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the facility may produce up to 30,000 electric vehicles (EVs) annually by 2025 and represents an investment of S$400 million ($295 million).

Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive places to buy a car and does not currently have any auto manufacturing capacity. But the wealthy city-state has set out ambitious plans to phase out petrol vehicles by 2040.

“Automotive activities are becoming viable in Singapore once again. EVs have a different supply chain, fewer mechanical parts and more electronics, which plays to Singapore’s strengths,” PM Lee said.

A Hyundai spokeswoman confirmed the 30,000 unit target but said that the exact capacity was yet to be determined. The facility is due for completion by end 2022, the firm said in a statement.

The announcement comes after vacuum cleaner company Dyson last year scrapped plans to build an electric car in Singapore, saying it was not commercially viable.

Singapore plans to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, and make a bigger bet on electrification to cut greenhouse gases and slow climate change.

Hyundai said in a statement its new Singapore facility aims to be carbon neutral by using solar and hydrogen energy, will utilise technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics, and will include a test drive track for customers.

The centre is part of Hyundai’s vision to enable future vehicle buyers to customize and purchase vehicles online using a smartphone, allowing production to be on-demand.

($1 = 1.3590 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by John Geddie and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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Singapore spotlights OT security, unveils security roadmap focusing on infrastructure



diagram: security switch on technology background,security management concept


© Getty Images/iStockphoto

security switch on technology background,security management concept


Singapore is setting up a panel comprising global experts to offer advice on safeguarding its operational technology (OT) systems and has unveiled the country’s latest cybersecurity blueprint, focusing on digital infrastructures and cyber activities. It is also hoping to rope in other Asean nations to recognise a Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS) that rates the level of security for smart devices, such as home routers and smart home hubs. 

Singapore’s latest cybersecurity masterplan builds on its 2016 cybersecurity strategy and looks to boost the “general level of cybersecurity” for its population and businesses. It focuses on the need to secure the country’s core digital infrastructure and cyberspace activities, as well as drive the adoption of cyber hygiene practices amongst its connected citizens. 

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Launched by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at this year’s Singapore International Cyber Week, held online, he said the new blueprint is essential for combatting the high volume of day-to-day cyber threats faced by people and businesses. 

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Heng said during his speech that COVID-19 had underscored the value of digital technology in economic and social activities, but also brought with it risks that must be addressed early. 

“As a relatively nascent frontier, we will need to address issues like the ethical use of technology, user privacy, and a growing digital divide,” he said. “As more people go online, crime and threats have also gone virtual. Cybersecurity will be critical as we become more digital.

Singapore Firm’s Newcastle Bid In New Turmoil As Exec Quits

A top executive at a Singapore firm seeking to buy Newcastle United has quit after police launched a probe into his activities, the company said Wednesday, the latest turmoil for the bid.

Bellagraph Nova Group, founded by two Singaporean entrepreneurs and a Chinese business partner, announced in August it was in “advanced talks” to buy the English Premier League team.

But the bid became mired in controversy over allegations that photos had been doctored to show the trio meeting with former US president Barack Obama, and other inconsistent claims.

Police then began investigating a company linked to Singaporean co-founders Terence and Nelson Loh, after an accounting firm lodged a report over unauthorised signatures on the group’s financial statements.

BN Group said in a statement that Terence Loh has now quit the firm to try and resolve the issues related to the police probe into Novena Global Healthcare.

Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper previously reported that he denied wrongdoing.

Bellagraph Nova Group, founded by two Singaporean entrepreneurs and a Chinese business partner, announced in August it was in "advanced talks" to buy Newcastle United Bellagraph Nova Group, founded by two Singaporean entrepreneurs and a Chinese business partner, announced in August it was in “advanced talks” to buy Newcastle United Photo: POOL / LAURENCE GRIFFITHS

The statement also stressed that BN Group is not “linked to Novena Global Healthcare and its forged financial statements”.

Despite growing doubts about the bid, the firm’s Chinese co-founder Evangeline Shen insisted last week BN Group was still serious about the plan.

She said the company’s team recently met a representative of Newcastle’s owner to discuss the bid, reported to be worth 280 million pounds ($360 million).

BN Group’s bid came after a Saudi-backed consortium withdrew its offer to buy Newcastle in late July, following a months-long wait for Premier League approval.

The company has said it oversees 31 business “entities” worldwide, with a group revenue of $12 billion last year and 23,000