Over a cup of tea

TWO significant events happened in Singapore during the last fortnight.

The lady, to use a celluloid name given to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, visited the city-state, and Lee Kuan Yew, father of modern Singapore, celebrated his 90th birthday. We draw a parallel in these two extra-ordinary lives in our section, The Fourth Estate.

Then, we take a hard look at the (in)existence of poverty in Singapore. Since poverty is an abstract and a very relative concept, it will take some time before this debate is settled for once.

As the underlining theme of this issue is economy, we take a look at two of the most important drivers of the country's economy in Kaleidoscope section – banking and tourism.

While there is no doubt that the local banks in the city-state has consistently been ranked among the strongest in the world, how well they cope as the government tightens its grip on them to curb cross-border tax-crimes will be interesting.

Another issue that has caused some concerns recently is the rising debts, both household and public. While the government's house seems to be in perfect order [a testimony to it getting the highest short and long-term credit ratings from international agencies], worrying signs have indeed emerged in terms of household debts.

We wind up the issue with an overall analysis of a report by the Monetary Authority of Singapore on recent economic developments. With US showing some signs of recovery, the government has raised its yearly growth forecast to 2.5-3.5%, which augurs well for the country's future.

Before I end, a special mention of our story marking the opening of Dolphins Island in Sentosa. If you're planning to visit it soon, just remember that those creatures have been designated as “non-human persons” by India recently.

May be its time for us to revisit our definition of entertainment!