Why It Matters

Every day on Page 2 of The Straits Times, reporters write about why certain news reports matter to readers. This is a weekly round-up of the columns.

The mid-year bonus of 0.45 of a month's pay for civil servants is significant, reporter Charissa Yong said. The civil service is Singapore's biggest employer and its payouts are watched by the private sector as a guide for its own bonus payments. http://str.sg/4U8Q

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been campaigning for Malaysia's opposition ahead of two bellwether by-elections. Malaysia Bureau Chief Shannon Teoh observed that the voters' reception to Dr Mahathir, however, has been muted as bread-and-butter issues, rather than the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, resonate more in the largely rural seats. http://str.sg/4UeS

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority's move to destroy 7.9 tonnes of seized ivory worth about $13 million is a strong signal of Singapore's zero tolerance for the illegal wildlife trade. But environment reporter Audrey Tan said measures to combat wildlife trafficking must go beyond the symbolic. http://str.sg/4UQi

Reporter Priscilla Goy examined how the government targets for senior group homes are unlikely to be met. She said it would be wise to consult more industry players when expanding such social service schemes. http://str.sg/4UNi

The constant in Singapore and Myanmar's long history of bilateral links is connectivity, reporter Charissa Yong observed. Travel, business and people-to-people ties can only grow in the wake of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's visit, during which announcements were made to boost these connections. http://str.sg/4UTQ

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2016, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe