Singapore Standard Time

Last updated

Singapore Standard Time
time zone
Standard World Time Zones.png
World map with the time zone highlighted
UTC offset
SST UTC+08:00
Current time
23:24, 2 April 2021 SST [refresh]
Observance of DST
DST is not observed in this time zone.

Singapore Standard Time (SST), also known as Singapore Time (SGT), is used in Singapore and is 8 hours ahead of UTC (UTC+08:00). Singapore does not currently observe daylight saving time. [1]



As part of the Straits Settlements, Singapore originally adopted the Malayan time, which was GMT+07:30 in 1941. [2] [3]

Following the Japanese occupation, Singapore (known as Syonan-to during this time) adopted the Tokyo Standard Time of GMT+09:00 on 15 February 1942. [4]

At the end of World War II and the return of the Straits Settlements to the British, Singapore reverted to its pre-war time zone. [4]

Daylight saving time in Singapore

Although Singapore does not currently observe daylight saving time in the traditional sense due to its tropical location, a form of daylight saving time, using a 20-minute offset, was introduced on an annual basis by the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements in 1933.

On 2 July 1920, a bill was intituled as Daylight Saving Ordinance, 1920. [5] It is to introduce a 30-minutes offset or seven and a half hour in advance of Greenwich mean time. The bill was read for the first time on 5 July 1920 but was later abandoned.

In 1932, Sir Arnold Percy Robinson [6] [7] raised the idea of 20-minute offset after an earlier attempt was abandoned in 1920 which was first proposed by Sir Laurence Guillemard for a 30-minute offset. [8] On 26 September 1932, a bill was intituled as Daylight Saving Ordinance, 1932. [9] The Ordinance was passed at a meeting of the Legislative Council held on 5 December 1932 [10] and approved by Sir Cecil Clementi (Governor) on 15 December 1932. [11]

Between 1934 and 1935, the Daylight Saving Ordinance, 1932 was extended throughout both years by Gazette Notifications. [12] [13] The 20-minute offset was formally adopted as standard time in Singapore in 1936, [8] and on 1 September 1941 the offset was increased to 30 minutes, [2] [3] the same as the 1920 proposal.

Malaysian standardisation

In 1981, Malaysia decided to standardise the time across its territories to a uniform UTC+08:00. Singapore elected to follow suit, citing business and travel schedules. [14] [15] The change took effect on 1 January 1982, when Singapore moved half an hour forward, on 31 December 1981 at 11:30 pm, creating "Singapore Standard Time" (SST). [16] SST is 8 hours ahead of UTC and is synchronised with Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei and Perth.


Period in use [17] Time offset from GMT Reference meridianNotes
Prior to 1 June 1905GMT+06:55:25103° 51' 16" E [18]
1 June 1905 – 31 December 1932GMT+07:00105° 00' 00" E [19]
1 January 1933 – 31 August 1941GMT+07:20110° 00' 00" E [8] [12] [13]
1 September 1941 – 15 February 1942GMT+07:30112° 30' 00" E [2] [3]
16 February 1942 – 11 September 1945GMT+09:00135° 00' 00" E [4]
12 September 1945 – 31 December 1981GMT+07:30112° 30' 00" E
1 January 1982 – presentGMT+08:00120° 00' 00" E [14] [15] [16]
Time Changes in Singapore Over the Years.jpg
Time Changes in Singapore between 1900 and 1989


In the 2000 edition of the Subsidiary Legislation under the Interpretation Act (Chapter 1, Section 51(2)). CAP.1, N1, Singapore Standard Time Notification, paragraph 2 “Standard Time” reads “The standard time in Singapore shall be 8 hours in advance of Greenwich mean time.” [20]


Time Ball Observatory at Fort Canning Hill Fort Canning Hill-1902.jpg
Time Ball Observatory at Fort Canning Hill

In the early days, Singapore used a timeball on Fort Canning and Mount Faber for sailors to check with their chronometers by the falling ball at exactly 1 p.m daily. When the second world war came to Singapore, the Public Works Department (PWD) cut the masts down as the masts formed "ideal" markers for artillery. After the war, the timeball became redundant as most ships now had wireless to give them time signals. [21]

The Time & Frequency Laboratory of A*STAR's National Metrology Centre (NMC) establishes, maintains and disseminates the Coordinated Universal Time of Singapore, UTC (SG) and Singapore Standard Time (SST), the national time scale of Singapore. The difference between UTC+08:00 and SST is never more than 0.9 seconds. NMC maintains five caesium atomic clocks and one hydrogen maser atomic clock. [22]

IANA time zone database

The IANA time zone database contains one zone for Singapore in the file

C.C.*Coordinates*TZ*CommentFormat UTC offset UTC offset DSTNotes
SG +0117+10351 Asia/Singapore Canonical +08:00 +08:00

See also

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  1. "Current Local Time in Singapore". Time and Date. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 "All Clocks Advanced Ten Minutes". The Straits Times. 1 September 1941. p. 9. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 "Further 10 Mins. Daylight Saving". Malaya Tribune. 27 August 1941. p. 3. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 "Malaya Finish With "Tokyo Time"". The Straits Times. 7 September 1945. p. 1. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  5. Attorney-General (9 July 1920). "Daylight Saving Ordinance 1920". Straits Settlements Government Gazette. 55 (76): 1150.
  6. "Who is Sir Arnold Robinson". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 5 August 1935. p. 6. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  7. "Sir Arnold Robinson". The Straits Times. 4 August 1935. p. 13.
  8. 1 2 3 "Twenty Minutes". Malaya Tribune. 4 January 1937. p. 10. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. Legislative Council (30 September 1932). "Daylight Saving Ordinance 1932". Straits Settlements Government Gazette. 67 (71): 1878.
  10. Legislative Council (30 December 1932). "Daylight Saving Bill". Straits Settlements Government Gazette. Singapore. 67 (102): 11.
  11. Legislative Council (23 December 1932). "Daylight Saving Ordinance 1932". Straits Settlements Government Gazette. 67 (99): 2623.
  12. 1 2 "Daylight Saving". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 3 December 1934. p. 6. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  13. 1 2 "Daylight Saving To Continue". The Straits Times. 20 October 1934. p. 12. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  14. 1 2 "Press Release on Time Zone Adjustment" (PDF). National Archives of Singapore. 20 December 1981.
  15. 1 2 "Clocks will be set forward at 11.30 p.m. on Dec 31". The Straits Times. 21 December 1981. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  16. 1 2 "Tonight's revelry will end half-hour earlier". The Straits Times. 31 December 1981. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  17. Helmer Aslaksen (20 January 2019). "Why is Singapore in the "Wrong" Time Zone?". National University of Singapore. Archived from the original on 20 June 2019.
  18. "Time, Gentlemen, Please". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (Weekly). 15 May 1894. p. 288. Retrieved 5 April 2019. Scroll to the bottom of article for time offset and Reference Meridian
  19. "A Matter of Time". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 31 May 1905. p. 5. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  20. "Singapore Standard Time Notification". Singapore Statutes Online. Archived from the original on 12 September 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  21. "Good-bye to time-balls". The Straits Times. 14 March 1948. p. 3. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  22. Agency for Science, Technology and Research (26 February 2020). "Time & Frequency" . Retrieved 14 September 2020.