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.


Littering has become a bigger problem in recent years, going by National Environment Agency data. The authorities meted out more than 31,000 fines last year, a seven-year high. It will not be sustainable to keep hiring more cleaners to keep the country clean.

Reporter Samantha Boh says residents have to take pride in keeping not just their homes, but also the country, clean. Only then can Singapore truly call itself a clean city, not a cleaned one. http://str.sg/4tbu


A new book chronicling decades of civil society activism details the efforts of 37 diverse activists who have campaigned for marginalised groups and championed niche but worthy causes. Their successes include: Removing a ruling that Aids sufferers' bodies must be cremated within 24 hours of dying.

Heritage and Community Correspondent Melody Zaccheus says the publication is clear evidence that advocacy has a place here. And it is time to celebrate such activists. http://str.sg/4tXf


The arrests of 11 royal princes as well as high-ranking officials, ministers and business tycoons in a single day in Saudi Arabia equate with a massive political earthquake.

The nation is now in the throes of potentially the most dangerous transformation in its history. Europe Correspondent Jonathan Eyal says Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will be wise to recall the safest method of ruling is not necessarily by marginalising one's opponents, but by co-opting them. http://str.sg/4tWJ


The infocomm media (ICM) Industry Transformation Map may appear to be far removed from the lives of ordinary Singaporeans, but it will actually hit a lot closer to home. Senior Tech Correspondent Irene Tham notes that the ICM sector will be the recipient of 16,000 new jobs by 2020.

Businesses should also be paying attention to the ICM plan. She says technology is a cost that must be paid now to avoid paying for it later with one's livelihood. http://str.sg/4tgq


Singapore is a small country, so bids to cut down on antimicrobial resistance here are unlikely to impact the global scene. Does having a national plan to combat it make sense then?

Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik says the answer is yes. By actively fighting the spread of superbugs, people here are protected to a greater extent. That is why the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, National Environment Agency and national water agency PUB have joined forces with the Health Ministry. http://str.sg/4tcK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe