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 Public Transport Council announced on Monday that as part of its annual transport fare review, weekday train trips before 7.45am will cost up to 50 cents less from Dec 29. Reporter Zhaki Abdullah says that as MRT ridership continues to increase - hitting more than three million rides daily last year - any attempt to reduce the peak-hour crowd must be encouraged. http://str.sg/4tkW
Monday's ban on two foreign Islamic preachers who wanted to enter Singapore to preach on a cruise ship is the latest in the country's ongoing efforts to keep out religious teachings that run counter to its multicultural and multi-religious values.
Assistant political editor Tham Yuen-C says the best protection lies in educating people about the importance of practising their faiths in the context of Singapore's multiracial, multi-religious society. http://str.sg/4Fjw
The Government's decision to develop the floating platform at Marina Bay into the new NS Square is a fitting tribute to national service. The irony is that the floating platform was built as a temporary site for the National Day Parade while the National Stadium was being constructed to be the parade's permanent venue. But reporter Danson Cheong says few will dispute that NS Square will be the hostess with the mostest for Singapore's annual birthday bash. http://str.sg/4FRX
Institutes of higher learning now account for only 8 per cent of vocational adult learning courses. But they will soon be taking on a bigger role, with the launch of the SkillsFuture Series of subsidised courses last Saturday. Still, reporter Yuen Sin says it is important that the value of postgraduate courses does not get undermined at the expense of vocational training, given that they deliver intangible skill sets like critical thinking still valued by employers. http://str.sg/4F2t
Data on the property market has been slightly more upbeat in recent months, after years of being weighed down by a combination of slow economic growth and market cooling measures. But economics correspondent Chia Yan Min says it might be too early to herald a return to boom times. Analysts have noted that any pickup in home prices is likely to be gradual. http://str.sg/4Fnv