What's News: Aug 11, 2015

Building and Construction Authority assessors Simon Yee (right) and John Koh inspecting a flat in Fernvale Street.
Building and Construction Authority assessors Simon Yee (right) and John Koh inspecting a flat in Fernvale Street.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Ms Lee Hyeon Seo has published the story of her escape from North Korea.
Ms Lee Hyeon Seo has published the story of her escape from North Korea.PHOTO: COURTESY OF LEE HYEON SEO


PAP to unveil candidates

People's Action Party (PAP) organising secretary Ng Eng Hen yesterday said the party will unveil its candidate line-up starting as early as tomorrow. Dr Ng also said the PAP will detail the MPs who are retiring and the slate of candidates contesting in each GRC and SMC. The opposition parties have ironed out their claims to set the stage for straight fights for all 89 seats.


Anti-graft officials reinstated

The Malaysian government yesterday backtracked on a decision to transfer two senior anti-corruption officials to the Prime Minister's Department, amid a public outcry over interference in a corruption probe into 1MDB.


Tough for defectors to adapt

Cultural differences between North and South Koreans are as great as those in politics and economy. Defectors who risk their lives to flee Pyongyang have a hard time adapting to a new life in the capitalist south, though Seoul is gradually shedding its contempt and apathy towards the refugees.


Ex-PLA general sentenced

Another senior Chinese military officer has been punished in President Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption. Former lieutenant- general Gu Junshan, who once owned a 1ha mansion and many gold items, was yesterday given a suspended death sentence.


Festering wounds of WWII

Seventy years ago this week, Japan was defeated, heralding the end of World War II. At the core of Japan's modernising has been a rejection of Asia. So long as that attitude stays, the legacy of World War II will continue to be fought over, writes Jean-Pierre Lehmann. 


Quality of Singapore flats improving

The quality of flats in Singapore is improving. According to the Construction Quality Assessment System, the national yardstick for assessing the quality of building projects, HDB flats have an average score of 89, up from 66 when the scheme was introduced in 1989.



Snakes and rising sea levels

A study of Singapore's water snakes - likely the first of its kind - is being carried out to assess the impact that rising sea levels could be having on them. It has already recorded one species on the mainland that had never been found here before. 


Nod for Noble's practices

Noble Group's accounting practices comply with world standards and industry practices, an independent review by PwC has found. But short-seller Iceberg Research criticised the PwC report, saying the review only shows that Noble "successfully exploits accounting loopholes". 


Swimming champ skips event

Chinese long-distance star Sun Yang cited chest pains for skipping the 1,500m freestyle final amid allegations he had a physical altercation with a Brazilian woman swimmer during training earlier.

Still, his 400m and 800m golds and 200m silver were enough to win him the Male Swimmer of the World Championships award.


Cellist clinches award

Theophilus Tan, 25, has just been named winner of this year's Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award - the first cellist to clinch the accolade since it was established in 2011.

The award, worth $7,000 this year, honours the late pioneer violinist and conductor, and is given annually to a young string player who has shown a consistent track record of outstanding musicianship and performance.

Tan, a graduate of the National University of Singapore's Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, leaves next month to study at the Richard Wagner Konservatorium in Vienna. 

What it should have been

Last Saturday's report, "No basis to claims of GST hike: MOF", said the top marginal income tax rate for those earning above $320,000 a year will be increased from 20 per cent to 22 per cent for taxes to be paid in 2017.

This is inaccurate. The top marginal income tax rate for taxes to be paid in 2017 will go up from 20 per cent to 22 per cent for those with taxable income - that is, income on which tax has to be paid - in excess of $320,000.

We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2015, with the headline 'What'sNews'. Print Edition | Subscribe