The Big Story: S'pore, Hong Kong 'finalising details' of travel bubble

SINGAPORE - Catch up on the hottest topics on The Straits Times' weekday talk show.

The Big Story, broadcast every weekday at 5.30pm on Facebook and YouTube, has reporters and senior editors discussing the top stories of the day.

The show is helmed by multimedia correspondent Hairianto Diman and assistant video editor Olivia Quay, and airs live from ST's digital studio.

Details of an arrangement to restart all forms of travel between Singapore and Hong Kong without quarantine are being finalised, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Wednesday (April 14).

Mr Ong said the two cities have been actively discussing plans to start the air travel bubble, which was initially slated to take off in November last year.

Separately, a former deputy lead at the Ministry of Health (MOH) was charged on Wednesday with allegedly leaking Singapore's daily Covid-19 case numbers 22 times last year.

Zhao Zheng, 36, who was the deputy lead of MOH's Data Management Unit, faces 24 charges under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Meanwhile, the Singapore economy posted an unexpected rise in first-quarter growth as gains in manufacturing were buttressed by signs of a nascent recovery in services industries.

This was the economy's first quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2019, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the same quarter last year, before the onset of Covid-19 and mobility restrictions, gross domestic product (GDP) posted nil growth.

We speak to an economist from CIMB Private Banking, Mr Song Seng Wun. He weighs in on the unexpected recovery, and what it means for Singaporeans.

Also on the show, journalist Toh Ting Wei talks about the main concerns raised by both cyclists and motorists on a recent proposal to register bicycles and put some form of licensing for cyclists in place.

We also share other news in Singapore and around the world.