Top stories from The Straits Times on Sunday, Feb 10

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Sunday, Feb 10.


Merdeka package will not burden a future government: Chan Chun Sing


Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing gave the assurance that funds will be set aside by this term of government for the Merdeka Generation Package. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Trade and Industry Minister also made it clear that money for the multibillion-dollar scheme will not come from a future hike in the GST.

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Thai king thwarts former princess’ PM bid: How a royal rumble derailed Thai Raksa Chart Party and Thaksin’s ambitions


Former Thai princess Ubolratana Rajakanya at a World Cup game in Russia with ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck. PHOTO: WEBSTA

 

The Thaksin-linked party that shocked Thailand with its bid to rope in the King's sister could now be fighting for its survival, says ST Indochina bureau chief Tan Hui Yee.

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Malaysian government vessel Polaris and Greek carrier collide in Singapore waters off Tuas


Greece-registered bulk carrier Piraeus was on its way from Singapore to its next port of call at Tanjung Pelapas, Malaysia, when the collision took place at 2.28pm on Feb 9, 2019. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

 

MPA said that it was "deeply concerned" that the presence of unauthorised vessels in Singapore port limits could threaten navigational safety in the Republic's waters.

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200 years of nation-building: A betel nut tax, anyone?

Workers paving a taxiway for a project which includes construction of Changi Airport Terminal 5. Among the other projects on the horizon for Singapore are the Tuas Megaport and the Cross Island Line. A composite aerial shot of Singapore in 1960 and t
A composite aerial shot of Singapore in 1960 and the transformation by 2015. In 1963, the Public Utilities Board was set up to manage water, electricity and gas. A decade later, the vast majority of Singaporeans had access to piped water. By 1980, the whole of Singapore had been linked to the main sewerage system, and night-soil collection became a relic of the past. PHOTO: ST FILE

ST looks back over the past 200 years at how Singapore has raised revenues and spent on essential needs for a nation in four areas.

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Blockbuster year for selling en bloc in 2018


The top collective sale last year was Pacific Mansion, a freehold site in the upscale River Valley precinct. PHOTO: ST FILE

 

En bloc sales notched a blockbuster performance last year with 35 residential deals valued at more than $10 billion, the highest in more than a decade.

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Two dengue deaths so far this year - one in Bedok Reservoir, the other in Hougang


Between Dec 30, 2018, and Feb 8, 2019, 1,186 dengue cases have been reported. PHOTO: ST FILE

 

Two men, aged 74 and 77, have died from the dengue virus as of Friday, according to MOH and NEA.

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US-backed Syrian force launches ‘final battle’ against ISIS


Alleged ISIS group fighters who fled from the frontline Syrian village of Baghuz, near the Iraqi border, sit blindfolded in the back of a pickup truck after being taken into custody by SDF forces for screening. PHOTO: AFP

 

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces began an assault against the final ISIS enclave in eastern Syria on Saturday.

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Red packets for crematorium workers: More than just a gift?


The case has stirred confusion - and debate - among some on whether it is appropriate for public servants to accept gifts such as red packets during festive or special occasions, and when it might be deemed a corrupt act. 
ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

 

Crematorium workers involved in a corruption probe did allegedly give preferential treatment to funeral directors in return for red packets, said NEA.

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Does Singapore education still need the Cambridge brand?

Students checking their A-level result slips last year in Nanyang Junior College, one of the four schools affected by the theft of exam scripts for Chemistry Paper 3 in 2017. The scripts were being delivered to an examiner in Britain in November that
Students checking their A-level result slips last year in Nanyang Junior College, one of the four schools affected by the theft of exam scripts for Chemistry Paper 3 in 2017. The scripts were being delivered to an examiner in Britain in November that year when they were stolen from a locked courier van. PHOTO: ST FILE 

 

Some people have questioned the need for exams here to be linked to the British group as Singapore sets the teaching content.

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Crazy little thing called love: Unconventional unions that have stood the test of time

Mr Wu Derong dated Ms Dedeng Lopez (both above) after she left her job as a domestic helper in his home and started working for another Singaporean family. They have two children, aged 18 and 20.
Mr Wu Derong dated Ms Dedeng Lopez (both above) after she left her job as a domestic helper in his home and started working for another Singaporean family. They have two children, aged 18 and 20. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

 

A middle-class Singaporean man went against the tide for years to wed his family's former domestic helper, his first love and soul mate. Read their story and more.

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