The Big Story: Govt considering different viewpoints on Section 377A carefully, says Shanmugam

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The Government is carefully considering the best way forward on Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men but which the Government has said will not be proactively enforced, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Thursday (March 3).

"We must respect the different viewpoints, consider them carefully, talk to the different groups," he told Parliament.

"If and when we decide to move, we will do so in a way that continues to balance these different viewpoints, and avoids causing a sudden, destabilising change in social norms and public expectations," he added.

Meanwhile, another three Singaporeans have been evacuated from Ukraine, leaving six still in the country, said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Dr Balakrishnan gave this update during the debate on his ministry's budget on Thursday, three days after he told the House that nine Singaporeans remain in Ukraine.

Singapore continues to try to get humanitarian assistance there, said Dr Balakrishnan.

He added that Asean will shortly be issuing a statement that will call for an immediate ceasefire of hostilities in Ukraine.

And in headlines from the Ukraine crisis, Russia's defence ministry said 498 Russian soldiers had died and another 1,597 had been wounded since the invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24. This is the first time that Moscow had put a figure on its casualties.

Ukraine, in contrast, said more than 7,000 Russian soldiers had been killed so far and hundreds taken prisoner.

The figures could not be independently verified.

Separately, Singapore's weekly Covid-19 infection growth rate dipped to 0.98 on Wednesday, the first time it's below one since Jan 3.

Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases specialist from the Rophi Clinic, weighs in on this development.

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