What's News: May 12, 2017

The junction of Neo Tiew Lane 2 and Neo Tiew Road, one of the areas where AVA will tender out 36 new plots of farm land on 20-year leases from August.
The junction of Neo Tiew Lane 2 and Neo Tiew Road, one of the areas where AVA will tender out 36 new plots of farm land on 20-year leases from August. ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG


New farm plots in rare tender

For the first time in over 20 years, new plots of land will be tendered for agricultural use. The 36 plots in Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Tengah will be put up for bidding in tranches from August. Local farmers are important for food security, said the authorities.


Najib rallies Umno ahead of polls

Umno yesterday celebrated the 71st anniversary of its founding, with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak using the occasion to rally his troops for a forthcoming election. The event is seen as one of the last chances to boost sentiment ahead of Ramadan, next month's Aidilfitri holidays and the 29th SEA Games to be hosted by Malaysia in August.



Moon reaches out to Xi

South Korean President Moon Jae In (above) has moved to mend ties with China. In a phone call with President Xi Jinping, he told his counterpart he will send envoys to Beijing for talks on the North Korea nuclear crisis and the deployment of a US missile shield. The conversation came as media reports indicated Mr Moon could use the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea as a platform to restart dialogue with Pyongyang.


Tycoons ordered to pay taxes

Malaysia's Inland Revenue Board and the Attorney-General Chamber's National Revenue Recovery Enforcement Team have ordered several tycoons to pay up taxes running into hundreds of millions of dollars. Thirteen millionaires were among those being pursued for unpaid dues.


Monitor impact of carbon tax

Singapore's carbon taxes kick in in 2019. But the impact of higher energy prices on poorer households needs close monitoring. The Government should step in with rebates if needed, say Euston Quah and Christabelle Soh.


Private firms to help start-ups

Spring Singapore yesterday unveiled 17 private companies that will nurture start-ups as part of the Startup SG scheme. The approach is a move away from an agency-centric way of giving help and funding to start-ups.


Six high-speed rail contracts

American firm Aecom is one of the reference design consultants to be awarded a contract by MyHSR - a unit under the Malaysian Ministry of Finance tasked with undertaking the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail project. The six consultancy contracts were given last month by MyHSR.


Shares of Noble plunge 32%

Shares of Noble Group plunged 32 per cent to 87.5 cents yesterday, after the troubled commodity trader warned on Tuesday that it would incur a shocking net loss of US$130 million (S$183 million) for the first quarter. But the firm said yesterday that it has made substantial progress on cost savings.


F1 keen to extend S'pore deal

Formula One chief executive Chase Carey is placing a high priority on extending the existing deal with Singapore so that the night race remains on the F1 calendar, especially with Malaysia having decided to pull out after this year's Grand Prix.


New rules for Netflix at Cannes

American video-on-demand company Netflix will not be allowed to compete at the Cannes Film Festival after this year unless it changes its policy and gives its movies a French cinema release, organisers said on Wednesday.


Humdrum heart-throb

I don't think I am someone who lives a dynamic life, says hot South Korean actor Gong Yoo of his routine-filled days. str.sg/gongyoovid


Get on board

Bus service 284 has the shortest ride, but which service has the most scenic route? This and other fun facts at str.sg/busride

What it should have been

Our report on Wednesday, "Bandar Malaysia fallout: Two relieved of duties, say reports", stated that Malaysia's Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani was relieved of his duties as part of a committee tasked with restructuring assets of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad. This was based on a report by news site The Malaysian Insight.

Datuk Seri Johari has clarified that the committee had completed its tasks, and so, reports of him being relieved of his duties are erroneous. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Subscribe