Every day on Page 2 of The Straits Times, reporters write about why certain news reports matter to readers. This is a weekly round-up of the columns.
It took 16 years to realise that it is too daunting for a rail operator to have to juggle the interests of shareholders and commuters, Senior Transport Correspondent Christopher Tan observed of the new financial framework. But he noted that Hong Kong's MTR Corp, listed the same year as SMRT, managed the job on a different operating model and that perhaps there are lessons to be drawn there. http://str.sg/459w
The high-speed rail project is Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's big bet to reach out to a populace living outside Greater KL, said Malaysia Bureau Chief Shannon Teoh. The massive infrastructure project will expand businesses and travel opportunities in the sleepier towns along the stretch. http://str.sg/45Dy
A series of robots have been unveiled in workplaces here, from Pepper the waiter to Emma the massage therapist assistant. Reporter Joanna Seow said these machines are a boon to the labour-short service sector. http://str.sg/45LZ
Japanese Emperor Akihito caused a stir when news broke that he wants to abdicate. Japan correspondent Walter Sim said that as a peacetime monarch, Emperor Akihito has consistently expressed remorse over Japan's wartime actions and helped build Japan's soft power by soothing wartime wounds with former foes. http://str.sg/4578
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) was shut down for more than five hours on July 14. Business reporter Grace Leong said that the SGX needs to give details on the breakdown and, more importantly, say what can be done to prevent more trading disruptions, so as to reassure investors. http://str.sg/45mD