MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, March 4, 2015

The Parliament House of Singapore. The Budget debate will resume today, picking up from yesterday's wide-ranging session in which 25 MPs spoke about issues from fiscal sustainability to improving productivity. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The Parliament House of Singapore. The Budget debate will resume today, picking up from yesterday's wide-ranging session in which 25 MPs spoke about issues from fiscal sustainability to improving productivity. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

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.

Budget debate continues

The Budget debate will resume in Parliament today, picking up from yesterday's wide-ranging session in which 25 MPs spoke about issues from fiscal sustainability to improving productivity.

Likely to surface in today's sitting are more questions about the details of key schemes introduced in this year's Budget.

These include the Silver Support Scheme that will provide cash payouts to the poorest elderly folk, and the SkillsFuture initiative to help Singaporeans keep their skills relevant to employers. - FIONA CHAN

Bali Nine ringleaders taken to Indonesian island for execution

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” drug trafficking gang, were removed from a prison in Bali early this morning and taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. A date for their executions has yet to be announced, but the authorities must give convicts 72 hours' notice before they face the firing squad.

The move comes despite a sustained campaign by Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott for Indonesia to spare the lives of the Australians, as well as opposition from other countries and rights groups against the death penalty. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has remained firm, however, and the impasse has already strained diplomatic ties between Jakarta and Canberra. - LEE SEOK HWAI

COE bidding exercise for the month of March

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Car buyers will find out later today if it is indeed the right time to buy a car. The first bidding session for Certificate of Entitlements this month will close at 4pm today. Premiums had been sliding steadily in the last few bidding sessions due to a larger supply of COEs. - CHRISTOPHER TAN

State court to launch Centre for Dispute Resolution

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In a bid to encourage litigants to settle their disputes outside a lengthy and costly trial, the State Courts today is launching its very own Centre for Dispute Resolution. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon who is the guest of honour had said when the new centre was announced last year that it will build on the Courts' philosophy of promoting alternative ways of settling disputes as a "first stop" for all cases entering the court system. - AMIR HUSSAIN

Life Insurance Association to hold 13th annual luncheon today

Life Insurance Association, Singapore will be holding its 13th annual luncheon today, with the keynote address by Mr Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director, financial supervision, Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Dr Khoo Kah Siang, president of LIA Singapore will speak about the anticipated changes this year for the life insurance industry with several regulatory changes in the pipeline. Overall, the industry is on track to continue its growth momentum and LIA Singapore will focus on working closely with all stakeholders to maintain industry confidence and remain financially resilient. - MOK FEI FEI

Stacy Lewis vows to bounce back at the HSBC Women's Golf Champions

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Former world No. 1 Stacy Lewis is desperate to make amends for last week’s collapse at the LPGA Honda Thailand tournament. The American was tied for the lead with South Korean Amy Yang heading into the back nine but made several uncharacteristic mistakes to hand her rival the victory.

Lewis will be aiming to be the first two-time winner of the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore this week and also end the sequence of South Korean dominance in 2015 with Korean-born players winning all four tournaments so far this season. - JONATHAN WONG