March 2017
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Commentaries

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The evolution of NS and its relevance to Singapore
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By Nicholas Fang Today marks the 50th anniversary of the day National Service (NS) was introduced in post-independence Singapore. On March 14, 1967, Parliament passed the National Service (Amendment) Bill after then-Defence Minister Goh Keng Swee moved it for a second reading. It marked the beginning of...

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What a greener budget means for business, society
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BY LAU XIN YI Singapore’s Budget 2017 will be remembered for its strong emphasis on the environment. The recent announcement of measures such as the proposed carbon tax and the diesel duty has caused concern among businesses and the public about higher costs. Yet, these steps are...

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Grooming S’poreans to be global citizens who can thrive anywhere
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By Nicholas Fang and Aaron Choo At the start of his Budget speech, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat warned that an “inward- looking mood” had taken root in several countries, echoing what the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) report called a “dark shift” away from...

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Strategies for Singapore’s economic future
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By Chia Siow Yue In Singapore, the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) Report has been released. It recommends strategies to respond to external challenges such as subdued global growth, rapid technological change, political uncertainty and rising anti-globalisation. Despite these disruptive developments, the CFE argues Singapore...

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How Indonesia is stepping up fight against climate change
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United States President-elect Donald Trump may have labelled climate change a hoax, but that has not stalled the momentum behind last month’s United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco. Less than one year after its adoption, the Paris climate agreement has entered into force, with...

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Indonesia-Singapore retreat: Building trust on three issues
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When Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo meets Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today, it will be their first-ever bilateral retreat. There will be plenty to discuss between the leaders of the two countries. Both are making efforts to cooperate, yet — as with all...

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Diesel incentives for passenger cars must go
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We thank Mr Danny Lim and Mr Paul Chan for their responses (“Diesel moves must target commercial vehicles first”; Oct 14 and “Don’t drop diesel just yet”; Oct 18) to our commentary “Driving a future without diesel” (Oct 12). It is encouraging to see engaged citizens...

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Driving a future without diesel
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Government leaders from more than 60 countries have turned up the heat to combat climate change. The Paris agreement on climate change was concluded last year but will now come into force on Nov 4, making progress more quickly than sceptics thought and environmentalists feared. Singapore...

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Why the EU and ASEAN Should Strengthen their Engagement
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In the aftermath of Brexit and amid a series of other crises that the EU is facing, it is easy to forget that the European bloc remains one of ASEAN’s largest trading blocs, but it is imperative for the Asian economic coalition to continue its...

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Fighting fires and haze in Indonesia
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The recent return of the haze to the region underlines the fact that agribusinesses should take more responsibility in fighting peatland and forest fires in Indonesia. While some industry leaders have stepped up to implement promising methods to tackle fires, many other agribusinesses are not...