What's News: Feb 21, 2018


Heng explains GST hike

The impending hike in goods and services tax (GST) was a hot topic for discussion the day after the Budget speech. Netizens asked why the GST had to go up and if there were other ways to raise revenues. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in an exclusive interview said the Government had scrutinised all alternatives before deciding on the GST increase. 


Syrian enclave under fire

Air strikes hit Syria's Eastern Ghouta for a third straight day yesterday, bringing the civilian death toll to nearly 200 as the United Nations warned that the situation in the rebel-held enclave was spinning "out of control". Air strikes and rocket and artillery fire have battered the enclave since Sunday in apparent preparation for a government ground assault. 

A little girl being weighed by a nurse in Boali, Central African Republic.
A little girl being weighed by a nurse in Boali, Central African Republic. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


'Alarming' baby death risk

Babies born in the world's poorest countries - most of them in Africa - still face "alarming" risks of death, according to a Unicef report. Its findings show that Pakistan, Central African Republic and Afghanistan are the three most dangerous places to be born in. 


KL in talks over Uighurs

Malaysia's deputy prime minister yesterday said Kuala Lumpur was in talks with Thailand on the fate of 11 Uighur Muslims held in the country after escaping from a Thai detention centre last year. Malaysia faces "great pressure" from China to hand them over to Beijing.


Budget's Asia push a good bet

This year's Budget pushes Singapore companies to regionalise to take advantage of a booming Asia. Arguably, betting on the region is lower risk with potentially better returns than taking a few big bets on key industries, says Vikram Khanna. 


Upsized dementia prevention

About 2,000 more people aged 50 and above who are at risk of dementia will benefit from the expansion of a programme that aims to prevent the disease. The Age Well Every Day programme will be offered at 40 centres by 2023, up from nine now. 


Woman lied about kidnapping

Veronica Tay Ting Ting told police that three men had abducted her and taken her to the airport to board a plane to China on Aug 20, 2015.

But she later confessed that this was all a lie to get attention from her husband.


Japan plans to hire foreigners

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered his top advisory panel to consider ways to increase the number of foreign workers to deal with chronic labour shortages.

This comes as more than half of Japan's companies said in a survey that they do not plan to raise base pay in annual wage talks in coming months. 


Gearing up for boxing title

Boxer Nurshahidah Roslie has focused on a three-point strategy for the past 16 months: redesign, rebuild, reclaim. Next month, she will become the first Singaporean to contest a pro boxing title in Bangkok, when she takes on Sumanthar Baenkham for the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand's international super bantamweight title.



SSO musician eyes S'pore PR

American musician Jon Paul Dante's Facebook post praising multiculturalism in Singapore last Friday has gone viral. The principal trumpet player with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra intends to stay in Singapore and says he has begun his application for permanent residency. 


Budget and you

From an upcoming GST hike to an enhanced proximity housing grant and support for education, here are the measures in Budget 2018 that may affect you. str.sg/oiCK


Centenarians' tales

Ten centenarians recount their memories of Singapore's history. str.sg/centenarians

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe