What's News: January 19, 2017

A nurse and a patient in Class B1 ward at Changi General Hospital.
A nurse and a patient in Class B1 ward at Changi General Hospital. PHOTO: ST FILE


Regrouping medical services

Singapore's public healthcare sector will undergo a major restructuring in the coming year. The six regional health systems will be regrouped into three integrated clusters by early 2018.

A new polyclinic group, based in the west, will be formed too.


4 new mega childcare centres

Four mega childcare centres will open by the middle of next year. Two of them will be in Punggol and will have 1,000 places each. These centres are in addition to five originally slated to open last year and are all being located in estates with high demand for childcare services.



Leong tries to burnish record

Outgoing Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying  made a last-ditch effort to shore up his popularity in his final policy address yesterday, proposing to abolish a deeply unpopular practice allowing bosses to dip into their contributions to workers' retirement funds to offset severance or long-service payments. In his address, Mr Leung claimed that all of his election manifesto promises had been implemented.


Defend liberal order: Biden

US Vice-President Joe Biden has urged global leaders to defend the liberal economic and political order at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mr Biden in his speech referred to institutions and initiatives such as the United Nations, Nato, the European Union and the Marshall Plan.


Who best to manage estates? 

Would lifts and blocks of flats be better maintained by the HDB than town councils? That question is being asked again in coffee shops and in Parliament, after a spate of breakdowns and incidents. Janice Heng weighs the options.


HDB flats in Bayshore area

The Urban Redevelopment Authority is calling for tender documents for the development of a master plan for a new Bayshore district that includes public housing. The plan is for 6,000 HDB flats and another 6,500 private units in the area.


Worker left high and dry

A Bangladeshi worker, whose employer did not comply with a court order to make good on his unpaid wages, was left high and dry as the court order cannot be enforced in the civil matter. Mr Islam Rafiqul, who is owed $7,363, must enforce it himself.


Conglomerates losing edge

Regional conglomerates outperform their pure-play peers but their lead has narrowed, shows a report. From 2006 to 2015, their median annual total shareholder return was 13 per cent, a fall from the 29 per cent in 2003 to 2012. As for firms focusing on a single business, median annual returns declined in the same periods from 19 per cent to 11 per cent.


Women's snooker meet here

Singapore will be represented by six local players when the World Women's Snooker Championship is held here for the first time. World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association president Mandy Fisher hopes the March 13 to 19 event, to be held at Safra Toa Payoh, will inspire more women here to pick up the sport.



Hit US band formed on a whim

American band Whitney's debut album was one of last year's most feted indie-rock releases, a feat for a band that started out as a joke. Its guitarist Max Kakacek says he formed the band with core member Julien Ehrlich (above, left) in 2015 for laughs. They will perform at Laneway Festival at Gardens by the Bay on Saturday.



The anatomy of cancer

Find out all you need to know about common cancers in Singapore with this interactive 3D exploration of the human body. http://str.sg/anatomycancer



Sentosa's wartime relic

A ruined fort is a fascinating place of exploration for Mr Helmie Khalid, in the latest episode of video series Living City. http://str.sg/sentosafort


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Subscribe