Saturday, Aug 30, 2014Saturday, Aug 30, 2014
Premium
 
LABOUR-INTENSIVE sectors which have not raised their game are a big reason the productivity drive has struggled to gain momentum in the past two years, labour chief Lim Swee Say said yesterday.

Top of The News

MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) plunged into wider losses of more than RM750 million (S$300 million) in the first half of this year, as it continued to bleed from lower ticket sales after the disappearance of Flight MH370 in March.
THE long-held notion that new media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the great leveller of political participation online has been debunked, at least according to a new survey.
BEIRUT - The United Nations confirmed an armed group captured 43 UN peacekeepers on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights yesterday, saying it was doing everything to secure their release.

Singapore

TOURISM company Straco Corp is buying the troubled Singapore Flyer for $140 million, more than a year after the attraction hit financial trouble.
SOLAR panels could soon be seen in army camps, schools and more Housing Board blocks.
ANIMAL lovers have criticised a Housing Board notice that suggested that some dog owners in Ang Mo Kio consider "debarking your dog through surgery" - a procedure which involves the cutting of its vocal cords.

Asia

AHEAD of a visit to Japan this weekend to boost India's ties with Asia's second-largest economy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is tweeting up a storm - in Japanese, no less.
MINDFUL of a political backlash in his final weeks in office, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gently rebuffed a suggestion from his successor to raise subsidised fuel prices at a four-eyes meeting on the leadership transition.
BANGKOK - A Thai court has dismissed murder charges against former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy over a bloody 2010 protest crackdown, months after a military coup tipped the balance of power in the politically divided nation.

World

DONETSK - Ukraine and the West yesterday said Russian troops were actively involved in the fighting tearing apart the east of the country, raising fears of a direct military confrontation between Kiev and its former Soviet masters.
LOS ANGELES - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, one of Hollywood's most famous and powerful supercouples, are now married, reported People magazine.
ANKARA - Turkey's outgoing premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in yesterday as president to extend his decade-long rule.

Money

WHILE harsh poverty might not be a problem here, Singapore, like all other countries around the world, has to ensure that its people have the chance to achieve their full potential, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.
INVESTING in education is one of the most "durable" ways to ensure that economic growth is a tide that lifts all boats, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran yesterday.
OCBC is offering shareholders incentives to use its ATMs to subscribe to the bank's $3.3 billion rights issue, which was announced recently.

Life!

Looking for something to do? Take your pick from 10 festivals that are taking place around the island till Sept 21.
The hip quotient in the Central Business District (CBD) is set to turn up a notch with the launch of four nightlife and dining concepts over the next three months.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said: "We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once."

Insight

THOUSANDS of noisy mynahs roost every day in trees outside the Jurong West flat of leasing executive Clement Lim. Mr Lim has complained to several agencies to get the problem solved - but so far, it has been three years of looking for a permanent solution, and the squawking continues.
Zip is set up by the Public Service to make ministries more aware that the public sees the Government as one entity. It aims to reduce the number of agencies they approach for help.
THE new Municipal Services Office (MSO) could take its cue from the city that recently hosted the soccer World Cup, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Opinion

THERE is a famous American South saying that goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". In the more enlightened North, branding gurus and academics would prescribe a rebranding exercise for ailing entities.
A HUMBLE fishball stick made political history in Singapore when it helped prompt the setting up of the new Municipal Services Office (MSO). The removal of the stick, discarded on a walkway in Bukit Gombak, had been delayed for more than a day because parts of the walkway were managed by different agencies. Complaints about the stick caused South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling to call up agencies, upon which she found out the source of the problem.
ONE of the unfortunate realities of economic discourse in Singapore is that outside the Government, there is relatively little research on practical public policy, especially social policy.

Forum Letters

WHILE it is good that the civil service is taking the lead in plugging the gap between graduates and non-graduates in terms of remuneration and promotions ("Civil service to boost career paths for non-grads"; Wednesday), the impact on the education service may be limited.
THE two recent major policy changes - going beyond qualifications in developing workers' skills ("More training and career pathways for ITE, poly grads"; Tuesday) and allowing non-graduate civil servants to progress based on performance and potential ("Civil service to boost career paths for non-grads"; Wednesday) - are setting the pace for a changing societal landscape that moves away from an over-emphasis on academic qualifications.
MR ALEX Au's letter ("Salary non-payment a big issue for migrant workers"; Monday) paints an inaccurate picture.

Sports

A CLUB-VERSUS-COUNTRY row threatens to overshadow the Singapore Under-23 football team's preparations for the Asian Games next month.
LONDON - Alexis Sanchez's first goal for Arsenal was enough to take Arsene Wenger's side past Besiktas and into the Champions League group stages for the 17th season in succession.
SOFIA - Defender Cosmin Moti used to play for Steau Bucharest's bitter rivals, Dinamo Bucharest, for seven years. But it was when he donned a Ludogorets shirt - reserve goalkeeper Ivan Cvorovic's shirt, to be precise - on Wednesday, when he did the most damage to the Romanian champions.