Top stories from The Straits Times on Sunday, Nov 19

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Sunday, Nov 19.

Christmas treats may cost more amid global butter shortage

Cafe chain Ya Kun Kaya Toast said it has been absorbing the butter price increases, and will not be raising its prices or skimping on the slabs of butter used for its toast, though it is closely monitoring the situation. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

A global butter shortage that has pushed prices to record highs this year, and emptied supermarket shelves in France, has made its impact in Singapore.


Climate change campaign on the cards next year

Minister Masagos Zulkifli delivered the National Statement of Singapore at COP23 and announced the designation of 2018 as the Year of Climate Action. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES

Singapore will ramp up its efforts to tackle climate change next year to raise awareness among people of the urgent need to reduce waste and do their part for the planet.


Commentary: Will there be more signs of leadership renewal for the PAP at its party convention on Sunday?

Since the party's conference in December last year, it has had to grapple with three situations, the Oxley saga, the public debate over the presidential election and the MRT troubles. PHOTO: SHIN MIN

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will address thousands of party members today during PAP's biennial convention, at the end of what has been a relatively choppy year for the ruling party, which has governed Singapore since 1959.


Lunch With Sumiko: Eddie Teo, a very civil servant

As chairman of the Public Service Commission since 2008, Mr Eddie Teo interviews about 350 students seeking government scholarships every year, among other responsibilities. His long career in public service has also seen him at one point serving as director of the Security and Intelligence Division and the Internal Security Department at the same time. PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

When Mr Teo - chairman of the Public Service Commission - looks back on his 47-year public service career, it is the beginning and the end that he regards most fondly.


Backbench with front-line impact: 30 years on, are GPCs still relevant?

There are currently 12 GPCs, each covering a policy domain. The specialisation lets MPs become more informed and raises the standard of debate in Parliament. ST FILE PHOTO

From new hawker centres to holistic education, government parliamentary committees have played an often unsung role in shaping policies. But with a stronger opposition presence in Parliament, have they had their day? How can they be more relevant? Insight analyses the GPC state of play.


Afternoon Christmas light-up on Orchard Road goes unnoticed by shoppers

The Christmas light-up seen in front of Wheelock Place at 4pm. It spans a 2.88km stretch from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Some have questioned the move to start Orchard Road's Christmas light-up in the afternoon instead of at 6.30pm in the past, with some calling it a waste of money.


Johor's Malays tilt towards conservative Islam: Survey

The findings of a maiden survey commissioned by ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute on the role of Islam and its governance in the Malaysian state has found that most prefer Muslims in key leadership roles, and back strict Islamic criminal laws. 


It Changed My Life: Rebel finds his life's sole purpose

Stunned by his father's brush with death in the 2004 tsunami, Justine Lee started a social enterprise to help the needy.


Hidden world of adventure and indulgence in Indonesia's Nihi Sumba Island Resort

Panoramas are blue and nature is untamed on Sumba island, where tech billionaires and football stars are cossetted in the world's top resort.


Manushi Chhillar wins Miss World beauty pageant crown for India

Manushi Chhilar wins the 67th Miss World contest final. PHOTO: AFP

An Indian medical student was crowned Miss World at a glitzy event in a Chinese resort on Saturday, making her country the joint-most successful in the beauty pageant’s history.