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 cyber attacks which brought down StarHub's Internet broadband network were caused by the "zombie machines" of customers.

With Internet-connected devices becoming more common, tech editor Irene Tham said that the industry needs to decide how to standardise and mandate how devices can be secured.

But home users will also have to play their part in cyber security by changing passwords for their devices. http://str.sg/4YMG

The Monetary Authority of Singapore's latest macroeconomic review painted a dire picture of the labour market for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who are finding it tougher to move into new roles because they lack the appropriate skills.

Economics correspondent Chia Yan Min said businesses also have a role to play in developing programmes to train workers in the skills they need. http://str.sg/4YGL

A smart metering system for utilities is scheduled to trial in 2018.

Reporter Samantha Boh said that such a system will help consumers understand their consumption patterns and cut down on excessive usage.

More tools can help users make informed decisions on utilities consumption and make a change. http://str.sg/4Y5Y

Malaysia's embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak needs to go to the polls by August 2018.

And his Budget 2017 was scrutinised for clues. Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh said the budget had smart handouts for Umno's key demographics but PM Najib will need to tackle the structural issues soon as Malaysia can no longer rely on oil and gas exports to fund freebies. http://str.sg/4YZ3

Singapore's healthcare system is undergoing a paradigm shift.

The new roadmap outlines two major shifts needed - to move healthcare from hospital to home and community, and to tap technology.

But senior health correspondent Salma Khalik noted that a third shift - to keep people healthier for longer - was not addressed in enough detail. http://str.sg/4f9e

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2016, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe