Top stories from The Straits Times on Tuesday, Feb 20

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Tuesday, Feb 20.


Singapore Budget 2018: Big bills looming and how to provide for them

As Singapore matures, its spending needs will rise. An ageing population will give rise to higher healthcare costs, while ageing infrastructure will have to be upgraded. At the same time, investments in areas such as security and education have to continue as Singapore grapples with global trends, ranging from the advent of technology to the threat from terrorism.

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Singapore Budget 2018: GST hike amid surpluses a hard sell, say analysts

The goods and services tax  hike from 7 per cent to 9 per cent has been announced right after one of the largest Budget surpluses in Singapore's history - making it a tough but not impossible sell, say analysts.

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Singapore Budget 2018: Higher stamp duty not a cooling measure, say analysts

The higher stamp duty, which has not been changed since 1996, is in line with other changes to the tax system to make it more progressive.

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Singapore Budget 2018: A fiscally sound but politically risky Budget

Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong noted that this could have been a pure sugar Budget with its huge surplus and SG Bonus for all adult Singaporeans. Instead, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat coated the sugar with a strong lacing of lemon.

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China's polar ambitions cause anxiety

China is set to expand its activities as it positions itself as a polar power, in line with its foreign policy to be a global presence.

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Probe into $2.4b fraud at Indian bank picks up pace

Officers from the elite Central Bureau of Investigation yesterday swarmed all over the Brady House branch of state-run Punjab National Bank in Mumbai, India's financial capital, which is at the heart of a US$1.8 billion (S$2.4 billion) fraud case involving a prominent billionaire jeweller.

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Manila nabs foreigner said to be an ISIS leader

Fehmi Lassoued was nabbed over the weekend with his Filipino girlfriend Anabel Salipada in Manila's Ermita district.

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SIA to change appraisal system for cabin crew

From April, Singapore Airlines cabin crew will no longer have their incentive points docked when they take sick leave for common ailments such as coughs and colds.

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Watchdog to study Comfort-Uber deal further

ComfortDelGro said that Phase 2 of the review can take up to 120 working days to complete, which means the tie-up may not be formalised until as late as July.

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Arts fest hits dominate The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards 2018

There are 52 nominations in 14 categories, including Production of the Year and Best Production for the Young.

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