Why It Matters

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.

Taxi companies have finally changed their rental schemes, with increasing numbers of vehicles idling in their yards. In the battle with Uber and Grab, cab operators need to ensure taxi driving remains economically sustainable, transport reporter Adrian Lim said. Now they need to look at winning over customers who have switched to private-hire cars. http://str.sg/4s5A

A new 11-page document sets out rules governing freshman orientation camp activities at the National University of Singapore. The rules may seem rigid, but reporter Tan Tam Mei said they can help stamp out inappropriate activities. The university and organising committees will have to strike a balance between ensuring camps remain vibrant and respecting participants' comfort zone. http://str.sg/4s4i

News that Singapore will draw up a trade deal with Britain post-Brexit was greeted with relief by the business community. Assistant business editor Yasmine Yahya noted that although bilateral trade is modest, Britain is a gateway to Europe for many Singapore companies. The deal will also benefit the British companies operating here. http://str.sg/4mtd

A new cash advance scheme makes costs more transparent for Filipino maids and their employers. Manpower reporter Joanna Seow said that although it is not a government policy, it is supported by two major associations of employment agencies here and an association of recruitment agencies in the Philippines. If it succeeds, it could benefit maids from other countries too. http://str.sg/4mHN

The number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tapping government grants for productivity initiatives fell last year, according to a Spring Singapore report. But reporter Marissa Lee said Spring's report is hopeful as it shows some SMEs are recognising that a downbeat economy might be the best time to carry out deep change. http://str.sg/4mD7

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2017, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe