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 Xiangshan Forum, China's answer to the Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore, plays an increasingly crucial role in influencing opinions and building trust among regional defence and military personnel, China Bureau Chief Kor Kian Beng observed.

The lacklustre representation from the West is a pity as the forum allows for direct interaction with Chinese policymakers. http://str.sg/4xtN

Manpower Correspondent Toh Yong Chuan wondered how substantial the improvement to the National Jobs Bank will be.

But he said the upgrade is timely, given the slowing economy and stagnating local employment growth.

The effort to improve the jobs bank should allay workers' fears about job losses. http://str.sg/4xV9

Reporter Janice Tai said that more candid conversation is needed about the challenges facing residential aged care as one in four people in Singapore will be a senior citizen by 2030.

When designing assisted living facilities for the elderly, there will be a need to address quality of life issues as well as invite feedback from the people who will be living in such facilities. http://str.sg/4xET

It is timely to review the Park & Ride scheme's relevance, given the evolving state of public transport, transport reporter Adrian Lim said.

With expanded rail and bus networks since the scheme was introduced in 1990, this might also be the best time to wean drivers off their cars. http://str.sg/4xBk

Education reporter Amelia Teng said the seven new applied subjects to be introduced in secondary schools will make learning more relevant to real life for students.

These practice-oriented disciplines could give students a head start in discovering their strengths and encourage them to explore interests beyond academic subjects. http://str.sg/4xeA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2016, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe