MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, May 5, 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.

PM Lee and Malaysia's PM Najib to discuss high-speed rail link

Bilateral talks will start in earnest today at a leaders' retreat for Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The two premiers are expected to discuss the planned high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, with Singapore likely to announce a decision on where to site its high-speed rail terminus. - RACHEL CHANG

MND v AHPETC: High Court hearing continues

Nm AHPETC 0505

A High Court hearing to determine whether to appoint independent accountants to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) will continue today. The court yesterday heard arguments both from the Ministry of National Development, which is asking for the accountants to be appointed so they can oversee its grants to AHPETC, and from the town council, which is run by the Workers' Party. - WALTER SIM

Kindness Movement to release Graciousness Index

Smrt priority 0505

Singaporeans will find out later today if they've become more polite and gracious in the last year. The Singapore Kindness Movement is releasing its annual Graciousness Index today. The index started five years ago to evaluate changes in public behaviour, in particular courtesy and values. - PRISCILLA GOY

Case aiming to restore consumer confidence in prepaid spa packages

Dw mm spa 150504

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), Spa and Wellness Association of Singapore and EZ-Link are launching a new programme to protect consumers who buy prepaid spa packages. The new programme also aims to help spa operators regain consumers' confidence after a number of spas closed suddenly, leaving consumers stranded. - MELISSA LIN

Malaysian PM to address Economic Society dinner

Dw mm najib 150504

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is scheduled to speak at the Economic Society of Singapore dinner today. - REME AHMAD

Osim Q1 results out

Dw mm osim 150504

Osim International is releasing its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31 this evening. - PHYLLIS HO

First of two Malaysia by-elections begin as Rompin votes

Dw mm rompin 150504

Voters of the Rompin parliamentary seat go to the polls today, in the first of two by-elections this week. The by-election for Rompin in Pahang will see a straight fight between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition candidate Datuk Hasan Arifin, a two-term assemblyman, and the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) candidate Nazri Ahmad. The vote is taking place amid tensions within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition alliance - of which PAS is a member - over its controversial push to introduce the Islamic criminal code, or hudud, in Kelantan state. The Rompin seat - traditionally a stronghold of the BN - was left vacant following the death of BN incumbent Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis last month in a helicopter crash.

Another by-election will take place on Thursday. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, will stand for the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in Permatang Pauh in Penang, where she will face a four-cornered fight with BN candidate Suhaimi Sabudin and two independents. - SHANNON TEOH

Gulf leaders hold summit in Riyadh

Dw mm yemen 150504

The six Sunni-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will gather in the Saudi capital Riyadh today amid a Saudi-led coalition air campaign in Yemen that has raised tensions with Shi'ite Iran. The Yemen operation will be a key focus of the talks while Iran's nuclear programme is also expected to be on the agenda.

Saudi Arabia sees Iran as its main rival in the region and has organised its own coalition this year in an effort to stop the advance of Iran-backed Shi'ite rebels in neighbouring Yemen, fearing that the move could put the country closer into Iran's orbit. The group is also wary of Iran's nuclear programme despite a recent deal forged between Teheran, United States, France and other major powers that limits Iran's nuclear capabilities in return for the lifting of international sanctions. - IDAYU SUPARTO

SEA Games: Creating special versions of local food to serve athletes' needs

Dw mm seagames 150504

Sports nutritionists from the Singapore Sports Institute have paired up with seasoned chefs to create high-performance versions of uniquely Singaporean dishes, which will be served to athletes participating in this June's SEA Games. - LIM CHING YING

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.