TOP OF THE NEWS
The multi-year renewal of the North-South and East-West MRT lines has entered its second phase, which involves replacing the power supply system, track circuits and first-generation trains. The renewal programme for these oldest lines is expected to be finished by 2024.
TOP OF THE NEWS
Singapore's economic growth was muted last year at 0.7 per cent, the slowest in a decade, according to flash estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry yesterday. Modest expansion was recorded in the fourth quarter, but the growth picture looks to be brighter this year.
Malaysia's Education Minister Maszlee Malik resigned yesterday, saying he was stepping down under the advice of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The resignation marks the first change to the Cabinet and comes amid speculation of a reshuffle, as Tun Dr Mahathir seeks to strengthen his team after 1-1/2 years in power.
Officials have raided the Tokyo residence of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, who fled to Lebanon to avoid a Japanese trial, while Turkey detained several people as part of a widening probe into the security lapse.
Long before former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's sensational escape from Japan, a flamboyant Indian tycoon J.M. Rajan Pillai, who put together a multinational biscuit empire, made headlines when he bolted from Singapore to evade justice, says associate editor Ravi Velloor.
Loan scammers more than tripled their haul last year compared with 2018, with victims being fleeced of about $6.8 million in about 1,700 reported cases between January and November. This is well above the $2 million swindled from victims in about 990 cases in all of 2018.
This month, about 930,000 Singaporean households living in Housing Board flats will enjoy a Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebate of up to $100, depending on the type of their flat, said the Ministry of Finance. This is part of the GST Voucher scheme that is meant to help HDB dwellers lower their overall household expenses.
Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), the regulatory arm of the Singapore Exchange, has set up a working group of industry professionals and investors to look into the rules around retail bonds, including possibly tightening the admission criteria for issuers. The move comes after the high-profile default by water treatment company Hyflux last year.
The Singapore Sailing Federation is unfazed by its poor medal haul from the recent SEA Games. Instead, it is focused on producing all-round sailors who can excel in different classes and be competitive at the Asian and Olympic Games.
The first K-pop relationship of the new year has emerged. Heechul, 36, a member of veteran boy band Super Junior, and Momo, 23, of popular girl group Twice, have confirmed they are dating. The couple (above) reportedly became close after appearing together in a television show in 2017.
Straits Times Digital
Family's love, faith turn his life around
"I realised I was quite the scumbag... I needed to change for my family, I didn't want to hurt them any more," said Mr Benny Thiam, who was once a gangster and a drug addict. str.sg/blurb137
The Big Story
We talk about the first day of the zero-tolerance stance against e-scooter riders on footpaths, the victims of the Lucky Plaza accident and the flood situation in Jakarta. str.sg/blurb138