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.
Reporter Joanna Seow said that the increase in the qualifying salary for foreign professionals to be hired on Employment Passes gives a boost to locals seeking jobs as professionals, managers, executives and technicians. But the higher pay may be a difficult pill to swallow for companies in industries like food and beverage and engineering which locals have stayed away from. http://str.sg/4Shs
Reporter Lim Yan Liang noted that Singapore's banning of Al Fatihin newspaper, which is linked to terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is critical in stemming the spread of radical ideology. It is also a reminder to Singaporeans to be discerning when they encounter online material purporting to be religious. http://str.sg/4SdY
Teen suicides in Singapore hit a 15-year high last year, reaching a total of 27. Reporter Janice Tai said that reducing the suicide rate requires varied initiatives that involve all segments of society and people cannot be afraid to broach the topic. http://str.sg/4Sgw
A scheme which retrofits flats to be more elder-friendly will get more subsidies to outfit ramps of more than one step high. Reporter Janice Heng said that while multi-step entrances are found in only some flats, it is a good sign that the scheme is being updated. But such schemes must be complemented by pro-active moves. http://str.sg/4Sch
More than two years after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared and after a wide-ranging and expensive search, the world is none the wiser about what happened to the plane and the 239 people on board. Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh noted that perhaps the authorities should have held off organising an underwater search until more information had come in about the plane. http://str.sg/4Sw6