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.

The issue of what is the proper punishment for national service defaulters has always been a thorny one. Ang Lee Thye, 43, who evaded NS for 231/2 years, was sentenced to two years and nine months for the offence. Court reporter Selina Lum says what is clear is that a defaulter's NS performance and the degree of his connection to Singapore now hold little sentencing value. More importantly, those who completely evade their NS obligations can expect to face the full brunt of the law. http://str.sg/42dD


The new ministers and senior ministers of state in the latest round of Cabinet changes will be core members of Singapore's fourth-generation leadership. Political correspondent Charissa Yong notes that double-hatting exposes younger ministers to more issues in half the time. And such exposure means the ministers of tomorrow will be experienced hands better equipped to deal with increasingly complex issues such as an ageing society and a more challenging economic landscape. http://str.sg/42s2


The solidarity of Asean has been called into question by some people in recent years over its inability to always come up with a clear, unified position on contentious issues. But looking at the stance taken by Asean foreign ministers on the issues of North Korea and the South China Sea, assistant political editor Tham Yuen-C notes the fact that some parties are willing to be accommodating on an issue in the interests of the larger good, and that also makes for a united Asean. http://str.sg/42Xu


To better handle the increased workload, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore is investing in state-of-the-art systems that will allow controllers to guide planes from a windowless room, instead of having to sit in a control tower. Senior aviation correspondent Karamjit Kaur says Changi will likely be the first major airport in the world to be equipped to do this. When flights are better managed, there will be fewer delays for passengers. http://str.sg/42bx


From next year, a new Exercise and Sports Science subject will replace Physical Education at the O levels.

Reporter Calvin Yang says that while the new subject may build a sizeable pool of individuals with expertise in sports, care must be taken not to stifle the joy of sports in the pursuit of top marks. http://str.sg/42Rr

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2017, with the headline 'Why it matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe