MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, July 31, 2015

Malaysia's new deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaking to media in Putrajaya on July 28. 2015.
Malaysia's new deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaking to media in Putrajaya on July 28. 2015.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break today and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Malaysia's newly-appointed DPM to hold press conference

Malaysia's newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is to hold a press conference on Friday morning. It is unclear what Datuk Seri Zahid is expected to say at the briefing but pressure has been building on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's government since he sacked his deputy premier and attorney general in a cabinet reshuffle this week that was widely seen as an attempt to strengthen his hold on power as he battles corruption allegations.

TPP talks set to wrap up


Members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) hold a meeting in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii July 28, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are set to wrap up on Friday, after four days of meetings in Hawaii this week. While ministers from the Pacific Rim nations are hoping to finalise the ambitious free trade deal, which aims to cut tariffs and set common standards on issues such as environmental standards, there are still some major sticking points, such as the dairy trade and intellectual property rights.

Bangladesh, India in historic land swap after 70 years

Bangladesh and India will on Friday finally swap tiny islands of land, ending one of the world’s most difficult border disputes that has kept thousands of people in stateless limbo for almost 70 years. A historic deal sealed between the two countries’ prime ministers that was finalised in June and comes into effect Friday will allow tens of thousands of people living in border enclaves to choose their nationality after decades of stateless limbo. The 162 enclaves – small pockets of one country’s territory surrounded by the other – lack basic services such as schools, clinics, power and water because they are cut off from their national governments. Under the agreement, the “islands” will effectively cease to exist, as each country will assume sovereignty over all enclaves in its territory.

Crest Secondary to officially open

Crest Secondary, which took in its first batch of Normal Technical students in 2013, will be officially opened by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat today. The school is one of four specialised schools in Singapore catering to low-ability students. Crest Secondary which is in Jurong East takes in only students in the Normal Technical course. Apart from literacy and numeracy skills, the students will also learn vocational skills such as hospitality and retail servicing. - PEARL LEE 

Awards for those who have promoted racial and religious harmony

For the first time, nationwide awards are being handed out to recognise outstanding Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) members, initiatives and stakeholders who have made significant contributions to promote racial and religious harmony in Singapore.  In previous years, events to recognise the good work of IRCC members were carried out at the respective IRCC groups. Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth will do the honours at the Ministry's inaugural IRCC Awards Night 2015. - MELISSA LIN

OCBC and UOB to release Q2 financial statements

 ALPHONSUS CHERN
The OCBC bank at Shenton Way. PHOTO: ST FILE

OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank will be unveiling their second quarter financial statements this morning. Analysts will be scrutinising their results to see how they compare against DBS Group Holdings, Singapore’s biggest bank, which reported on Monday strong earnings and revenue growth. - WONG WEI HAN