What's News: February 27, 2018



Grad pay highest since 2012

Fresh university graduates took home a median monthly salary of $3,400 last year, the highest since 2012. But the proportion of graduates who secured full-time permanent jobs fell from 79.9 per cent in 2016 to 78.4 per cent last year, according to a joint graduate employment survey.


Budget debate begins

Parliament begins a nine-day debate on Budget 2018 today. MPs are likely to discuss, among other topics, the goods and services tax hike from 7 per cent to 9 per cent, due to take place after 2021. Some are expected to call for more measures to help low-and middle-income households cope with the increase.


Fall in foreign investments

Foreign investment pledged to the Philippines slumped 52 per cent last year as President Rodrigo Duterte continued to pivot away from traditional allies, the United States and the European Union, while gravitating towards China and Russia.

The US remained the top source of foreign investments for Asia's second-fastest growing economy, official figures showed.


Najib denies buying votes

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied that a financial aid scheme set to benefit seven million people is calculated to buy votes ahead of a general election due within months. The 1Malaysia People's Aid programme will see lower-income recipients get up to RM1,200 (S$404) each.


China v Western gunboats

France and Britain are responding to China's rising power with increased naval exercises and plans for freedom of navigation patrols, but these are likely to be of limited impact, says Professor Hugh White.


Next phase of dengue study

Phase 2 of an ongoing field study to curb dengue transmissions here will start in April with the release of male Wolbachia-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Tampines West and Nee Soon East. When they mate with uninfected females, the resulting eggs will not hatch.


App to predict taxi demand

An app being co-developed by a lab in Singapore Management University can help direct cabbies to areas of high street-hail demand. The app uses historical data as well as real-time data on taxi locations and status from the Land Transport Authority to predict demand.


Help on initial coin offerings

A local fintech firm is launching an initial coin offer (ICO) advisory centre in a bid to tap the growth of Singapore as a leading hub of ICO activity in the region. Singapore is the third-largest ICO market after the United States and Switzerland, but many firms here are hesitant to use ICOs as a fund-raising platform. Local start-up PLMP-Fintech hopes to address their concerns with the centre.


The perfect pro footballer

The professional footballer can't be a full-time smoker, just like he can't get drunk on match nights, be constantly late for the team bus or ignore his morning alarm. He wants to be 1 per cent more perfect, not less.


Go for show, but don't tell

British company Secret Studio Lab will stage an immersive experience, Secret Theatre Project Singapore, here from May 3 to June 10.

Ticketholders learn nothing about the show beforehand. Only on the show date will they receive a password, location and dress code via text message.

Reviewers are sworn to secrecy, and a surprising number of viewers have kept the secret of the show.


First looks

ST's Lester Hio checks out the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones in Barcelona. str.sg/o52n


Dollars and sense

Four business leaders weigh in on this year's Budget. str.sg/o5WG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe