What's News: January 25, 2017


Pursuing other trade deals

Singapore will continue to take part in other free trade initiatives even as the Trans-Pacific Partnership falters. The Ministry of Trade and Industry said the Republic will have to "discuss the way forward" with other TPP partners, but the deal cannot go into effect in its current form without the US.


New rules on public spaces

From April 24, all new private developments that people can access round the clock must have amenities such as ample seating and shelter from bad weather. Public spaces above 500 sq m should also include additional features such as wireless Internet and phone charging points.

Passengers at Beijing Railway Station prepare to go home for Chinese New Year. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Firms offer extra pay for CNY

Desperate companies in China's booming service industry are offering workers up to three times their normal salary to entice them to work over the Chinese New Year period, when migrant workers make the long journey home to their families. The shortage of migrant workers tends to happen in coastal and developed cities.


Threat to key inland fishery?

The Thai government's backing of a plan to make the Mekong River passable to larger cargo boats has raised fears for the future of the world's largest inland fishery. The decision comes 17 years after China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand signed a pact on commercial navigation.


Creating jobs of the future

Anti-globalism may limit Singapore's follow-the-MNC economic strategy, warn Linda Lim and Benjamin Goh. A transformation is in order to nurture home-grown enterprises and tap the region's growth to create jobs of the future, they write.


Pay scheme for Filipino maids

Domestic workers from the Philippines can get a cash advance of up to $1,100 for expenses before coming here, from their employers, agents or other institutions. They should use only up to 50 per cent of their monthly salaries to repay the loan. The new scheme takes effect immediately.


Twist in UOB lawsuit

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has dropped five defendants from its suit over alleged inflated loans to buyers of condo units in Sentosa that involved mortgages totalling about $180 million. The suit against Lippo Marina Collection remains.


Push to fire Reit manager

A small group of unit holders in Sabana Shariah-compliant Reit - one of the worst-performing Reits here last year - is making the first concerted push by retail investors here to fire the firm that manages the Reit. They want to replace the external Reit manager with an internal management team.


End of the road for Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone's four-decade reign as the undisputed decision-maker of Formula One is over. New owner Liberty Media, which completed its takeover of the sport last week, has replaced the 86-year-old Briton with American Chase Carey. While a handover period was expected, it was the speed of Mr Ecclestone's removal from the decision-making process that was most surprising.



Slammed for missing rally

A backlash has started against pop star Taylor Swift, who did not attend the Women's March in Washington protesting against new US President Donald Trump. For critics, her tweet about the march is another example of her co-opting feminism but not taking action, or misunderstanding the concept.



Eight CNY greetings

Journalist Alyssa Woo gives you eight phrases to say other than Gong Xi Fa Cai during your Chinese New Year visits. http://str.sg/8phrases



Seniors' gain

Find out about the benefits for senior citizens with the new PAssion Silver Concession Card. http://str.sg/passioncard

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe