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 National Environment Agency's move to increase the number of hawker centres managed by social enterprises will help keep food affordable while making sure centres are clean and productive. Reporter Carolyn Khew said exploring new ways to keep hawker centres vibrant will also keep Singapore's hawker heritage alive. http://str.sg/4deq

Singaporeans were rattled by the news that five maids working in Singapore were radicalised through social media in the past two years. Reporter Danson Cheong pointed out that these figures should be seen in perspective: Singapore has 237,100 maids. While vigilance is necessary, Singaporeans should not become paranoid. http://str.sg/4dWY

Court reporter Selina Lum noted that laws were enacted 10 years ago to improve workers' safety following three high-profile workplace accidents. On Dec 15, the High Court imposed a record fine of $250,000 on GS Engineering & Construction Corp. The higher fine should encourage companies to proactively prevent workplace fatalities. http://str.sg/4dgQ

Facebook has rolled out new tools to try to weed out fake news that has been circulating on the social media site. Tech Editor Irene Tham said this move is a positive one, although it can be abused. But social media users should also rein in indiscriminate sharing of information and read information more sceptically if this scourge is to be beaten. http://str.sg/4dc7

Singapore and Malaysia inked a historic agreement on Dec 13 to build a high-speed rail line linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur by Dec 31, 2026. Assistant Political Editor Royston Sim said the next few years are crucial as contracts have to be drafted and tendered out. But the line, when completed, promises tremendous gains for both countries. http://str.sg/4d5W

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2016, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe