What's News: January 01, 2018

Writer Dina Zaman has chronicled the growing religious conservatism in Malaysia.
Writer Dina Zaman has chronicled the growing religious conservatism in Malaysia.PHOTO: DINA ZAMAN


PM's good news on economy

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his traditional New Year's message had some good news on the Singapore economy, which he said grew by 3.5 per cent last year. This better-than-expected growth was propelled in part by a spurt in Singapore's productivity, he said.


Rules for foreign-trained docs

All foreign-trained doctors must spend at least two years under conditional registration, during which they need to work under supervision and will not be allowed to offer aesthetic treatments. These are some of the new rules under the Singapore Medical Council Registration and Supervisory Framework.


Charting changes in a society

Malaysian writer Dina Zaman is a refreshing voice amid growing religious conservatism in Malaysia's multi-religious society. A practising Muslim, she made her name in the past decade as a lively chronicler of Malay Muslim society and religiosity. Yet, as much as she has been celebrated for her work, she has also been attacked by conservatives.


Transforming Guangzhou

Guangzhou, one of the key cities on the Pearl River Delta that spearheaded China's opening up 40 years ago, was called the "factory of the world". Now, it aims to be the next high-tech powerhouse by focusing on artificial intelligence and biomedical sciences.


China plays peacemaker

China, under its leader Xi Jinping, is doing more to seek solutions in strife-prone regions around the world, but its nascent activism is drawing a mixed reaction in the West, which has long criticised Beijing for not doing enough, says China bureau chief Goh Sui Noi.


Fees up at PCF, My First Skool

The two largest pre-school operators are raising their fees this year. At the PAP Community Foundation, fees will go up by 5 per cent for childcare and infant care, while My First Skool will increase fees by between $5 and $20 for infant care and between $6 and $33 for childcare.


Snapshots and topic of death

Nam Hong Welfare Service Society has started a photo-taking project in the hopes of encouraging discussions about the topic of death and dying. Some 200 seniors had their portraits taken at the society and could choose to use them at their funeral services.


Turnaround fuels optimism

Singapore's economy staged a strong turnaround last year due to surging demand for electronics, and this pick-up in activity is fuelling optimism about the year ahead. But beyond this short-term, trade-driven lift, there are lingering concerns over the country's longer-term growth prospects.


Key men out as United slide

Manchester United's third straight Premier League draw dropped them into third place but Jose Mourinho again refused to criticise his players, preferring to blame match officials for their woes. Still, Romelu Lukaku's head knock and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's more serious knee injury pose bigger worries.


Leading the carnival life

Life's a carnival for Ms Linda Aziz, 46, who works as a games manager at carnivals.

As part of her job, she gets to visit theme parks, meet new people and explore different cities. The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is on till April 1.


Aly Says

Getting lost in translation may be a thing of the past with image-based translation apps such as Google Translate's Word Lens, Papago and Waygo. str.sg/alysays


Kung Fu Panda

Malaysia-born baby panda Nuan Nuan, who made her debut in Sichuan earlier this week, "talks" about herself and her training to become "Kung Fu Panda". str.sg/nuannuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe