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.

Two recent cases have highlighted the importance of identifying the mental condition of offenders and the value of treatment over jail time. Court reporter Shaffiq Alkhatib said that while the law recognises the mental state of the offender, it is now time for society to remove the stigma of treatment for mental health. http://str.sg/4u7k

The attempted revival of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and China's One Belt, One Road initiative represent renewed hope for globalisation, open markets and free trade. Business reporter Grace Leong said the TPP goes beyond the usual trade deals and could serve as a benchmark. http://str.sg/4uuH

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's remarks recently at the opening of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre reaffirmed Singapore's approach to multiracialism. Reporter Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh said this is particularly relevant today when far-right sentiments are gaining ground around the world. http://str.sg/4uW3

Asean and China finally agreed on the draft framework of a code of conduct in the South China Sea recently. China correspondent Chong Koh Ping noted that the code may not be legally binding, a revelation which raised some eyebrows, but this is just one more step in the long process of fleshing out the contents of the code. http://str.sg/4uMW

The Elections Department announced it will test registering voters electronically on Polling Day at a future election. Reporter Charissa Yong said technical innovation by the public service is just one part of the equation and that it is more important for the service to evolve to meet the needs of a better-educated populace with higher aspirations. http://str.sg/4upu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2017, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe