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 extra four weeks of unpaid infant-care leave for public servants will provide new parents with more support, said political correspondent Charissa Yong. But its take-up rate remains to be seen as couples will have to weigh the cost of one working spouse going a month without drawing a salary. http://str.sg/4h3k

The push by Malaysia's opposition Islamist party, the PAS, to inject harsher punishments into Islamic courts, with help from ruling party Umno, has both drawn praise and raised hackles, noted Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh. The issue is likely to be a big factor in the upcoming general election. http://str.sg/4hsj

The Ministry of Defence will be setting up the Defence Cyber Organisation to develop cyber-defence strategies. Political correspondent Chong Zi Liang noted this is a strong signal that Mindef considers an intrusion into its digital networks as harmful as an attack using more conventional weapons. http://str.sg/4h5R

Senior health correspondent Salma Khalik noted that the benefit of the Ministry of Health's move to give greater emphasis to primary and preventive care goes far beyond reducing the need for hospital care. Increasing health screening would alert those with problems to take early action. http://str.sg/4hG5

The Manpower Ministry has come up with measures to help professionals, managers, executives and technicians and retrenched workers. But workers need to be open to new jobs and even be willing to take a short-term pay dip if they switch jobs, said manpower correspondent Toh Yong Chuan. http://str.sg/4hMz

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe