MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, May 21, 2015

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break today and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

SIA launches new premium economy class

Singapore Airlines will launch its new premium economy class today. The new cabin will come with enhancements such as wider seats that recline further, extra legroom and better food - all for around 20 per cent more than a regular economy class ticket, excluding promotional fares. - KARAMJIT KAUR

The Seletar Mall officially opens


The Seletar Mall in Sengkang, which had a soft launch in November last year, will be officially opened today. The guest of honour at the opening ceremony is Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min, who is also Member of Parliament for Sengkang. The mall was developed jointly by media group Singapore Press Holdings and United Engineers Limited. - TEE ZHUO

US official to discuss "boat people" issue on visit to Myanmar


A senior United States state department official will visit Myanma today for talks with the government about the "boat people" crisis in the Andaman Sea. US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold discussions with government officials in Naypyidaw and Yangon on the root causes that have driven the migrants to sea. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand had come under international pressure in recent weeks for turning away boats in their surrounding waters that are overloaded with exhausted and dying Rohingya migrants from Myanmar, as well as Bangladeshis. On Wednesday, Indonesia and Malaysia said they would allow 7,000 migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh to come ashore, but made clear their assistance was only temporary. Nearly 3,000 boatpeople have swum to shore or been rescued off the three countries over the past 10 days after a Thai crackdown on human-trafficking threw the illicit trade into chaos, with some of the syndicates involved abandoning their helpless human cargo at sea.

Malaysia to present country's blueprint for the next five years


Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will today unveil the 11th Malaysia Plan in Parliament, which will showcase his government's strategies and priorities for the next five years. The plan will be the country's final blueprint leading up to its target of becoming a developed country by 2020. Mr Najib's administration has boasted of economic growth that puts the country on the path of becoming a high-income nation but detractors have been quick to point to a widening wealth gap, rising cost of living as well as concerns over education and a persistent perception of corruption that prevents Malaysia from truly achieving developed status. - SHANNON TEOH AND ASRUL HADI ABDULLAH SANI

Five new Collaborative Industry Projects to be Introduced


To help SMEs access technology innovation and harness rising eCommerce trends, Spring Singapore will be introducing five new Collaborative Industry Projects (CIPs). Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Teo Ser Luck will share how these CIPs will help SMEs in terms of enhancing operational efficiency as well as improving their sales, marketing and customer engagement capabilities at the 2015 inaugural SME Capabilities Forum today. - ARIEL LIM

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