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.

JTC Corporation is taking over administration of the Housing Board's several thousand industrial units from 2018. This move will streamline administration for businesses and help the Government plan for, and accommodate, the needs of growing businesses, reporter Wong Siew Ying observed. http://str.sg/4f2e

Singapore's massive islandwide counter-terrorism exercise conducted on Monday is a response to the high level of threat the country is facing. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may have lost its stronghold of Mosul in Iraq, but reporter Danson Cheong noted that experts agree South-east Asia is a hot spot as battle-hardened militants return home. Hence, preparing Singapore's security forces as well as the population to deal with the aftermath of an attack is crucial in reducing the death toll and keeping the country united. http://str.sg/4fe6

Two Chinese astronauts are spending 33 days in space as part of Shenzhou-11's manned mission which blasted off on Monday. China Bureau Chief Kor Kian Beng said China's ambitious space programme will have a global impact. Besides contributing to human knowledge with scientific research, the programme has the potential to push technological innovation for Chinese industries and contribute to its military might. http://str.sg/4fdj

Premiums for health insurance are likely to rise as the moratorium on prices is lifted next month. Hence, the 54-page report by the Health Insurance Task Force with recommendations on keeping costs low. Health reporter Linette Lai said some of the recommendations are a necessary part of reining in healthcare costs in the light of Singapore's ageing population and the price of new technologies. http://str.sg/4ffa

Political reporter Rachel Au-Yong noted that the four agreements between Singapore and Australia signed in Canberra recently will strengthen ties between the two countries. Besides boosting military and trade ties, benefits such as a multi-year visa and relaxation of regulations mean social ties are encouraged. http://str.sg/4fqF

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe