MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, May 4, 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.

Malaysian PM Najib Razak in town to meet PM Lee Hsien Loong for two-day leaders' retreat

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will be in town today to meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for a two-day leaders' retreat. The leaders are expected to discuss the high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, with Singapore due to announce the location of its terminal at this meeting. The retreat will kick off tonight with Datuk Seri Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, being hosted to a private dinner by Mr Lee and his wife, Ms Ho Ching. -- WALTER SIM

High Court to decide whether independent accountants needed to oversee grants given to AHPETC


A High Court hearing will start today to decide whether to appoint independent accountants to oversee government grants given to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC). The Ministry of National Development (MND) had applied to the court on March 20 to appoint the accountants, after a special audit by the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) found accounting and governance lapses at the Workers' Party-run town council. The hearing had been scheduled as a closed-door session, but the court decided to grant AHPETC's request to allow the case to be heard in open court. -- RACHEL AU-YONG

Athletics: SEA Games contingent to be presented


The Singapore South-east Asian Games Organising Committee will be demonstrating equipment retrieval using a remote controlled (RC) car, which will be used for the javelin, hammer and discus events at the SEA Games. Singapore Athletics will also be presenting the SEA Games Athletics contingent with the tournament vest and announce the team captain for its SEA Games Athletics contingent. -- CHUA SIANG YEE

Singapore Olympic Foundation: More than $1 million worth of scholarships to be presented

More than $1 million worth of scholarships will be presented at the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim scholarships awards ceremony on Monday, with Minister for Manpower and Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also the Singapore National Olympic Council president, and SOF chairman Ng Ser Miang present at ITE College Central. -- CHARLES ONG

Singapore Red Cross mobile clinic in Nuwakot begins operations


A mobile clinic set up by a Singapore Red Cross medical team in the Nepali district of Nuwakot will start taking in patients today. Partnering with the Qatar Red Crescent, the six-member team will tend to ailments common to disaster zones such as diarrhoea, food poisoning and respiratory tract infections. The Singapore team, which arrived in Nuwakot with nearly 200kg of medicines on Saturday, is expecting to see between 100 and 200 patients daily. The clinic is expected to be operational for at least three weeks. Nuwakot, located about 80km away from Kathmandu, is one of the areas worst-hit by the April 25 earthquake. -- LIM YAN LIANG

China, Taiwan ruling party leaders to meet for first time in more than 60 years


Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with the leader of Taiwan's Kuomintang party Eric Chu today in the first meeting between the heads of the ruling parties in the two rival states in more than 60 years. Mr Chu and Mr Xi, who is the head of China's ruling Communist Party, are expected to discuss cross-strait ties as well as economic issues - particularly, Taiwan's desire to join global organisations such as the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China last month dashed Taiwan's hopes of becoming a founding member of the AIIB. However, Mr Chu, who arrived in Shanghai on Sunday, said he was "optimistic" about the island joining the bank. -- IDAYU SUPARTO

Seminar on smart water and energy-efficient technologies opens

A seminar focusing on Smart Energy in City and Buildings, Smart Water-Waste and Intelligent Transport System opens tomorrow. The seminar, "Leading technologies for smart and sustainable cities' France/Singapore" will be opened by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative. Singapore national water agency PUB, Suez Environnement, and the Economic Development Board will sign an agreement to work together in the research areas of smart water and energy-efficient technologies that will contribute to water sustainability efforts.

Five-day panel on national security in Asia Pacific kicks off

Speakers including academics, policymakers as well as national security experts, will discuss challenges related to forging a national identity, governance and communication, and new trends in radicialisation, among others at the five-day Asia Pacific Programme for Senior National Security Officers. Organised by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean will attend the opening ceremony.

SMRT to hold press briefing to discuss financial results


SMRT Corp will hold a press briefing this morning to discuss its financial results ended March 31, 2015. Last Thursday, the transport group reported a 47 per cent jump in earnings to $91 million on the back of a 6.2 per cent rise in revenue to $1.24 billion. -- CHRISTOPHER TAN

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