10 must-reads for today

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan visiting Bukit Batok MRT station yesterday for an update on the MRT power system renewal project. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan visiting Bukit Batok MRT station yesterday for an update on the MRT power system renewal project. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG


1 New MRT renewal phase

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.


2 Brighter outlook for 2020

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.


3 Malaysian minister resigns

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.


4 Ghosn's Tokyo home raided

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.


5 Ghosn and the Biscuit King

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.


6 $6.8m lost to loan scams

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.


7 U-Save rebate this month

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.


8 Review of retail bond rules

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.


9 Grooming versatile sailors

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.



10 K-pop love is in the air

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Subscribe