What’s in the papers in Singapore

With the Stewardship Asia Round Table behind me, I caught up with Singapore friends before heading to the airport. I also had time to look at the papers. Here’s a selection of what readers of the Straits Times and Business Times have been reading on June 5th apart, of course, from coverage of the US state visit, and our discussions of the Stewardship Asia Round Table.


1) According to a survey by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the world’s largest companies have identified at least $250bn of assets which need to be written off or retired early as the planet heats up.

2) Polls show that substantial majorities of Americans, including Republicans, support increasing taxes on the very wealthy, including through wealth taxes as high as 70% cent over a certain threshold.

3) A leading university with links to the government and defence and intelligence community, the Australian National University, revealed that it had been attacked by hackers who gained access to the personal details of up to 200000 students and staff dating back 19 years, the second major cyber attack in two years, raising concerns that foreign actors were trying to access details of sensitive information about students who may go to hold senior government positions. An attempted infiltration last year had been attributed to China.

4) In what is seen as growing concern over the future of the World Trade Organisation, a group of high profile experts has warned of a breakdown in trade rules in which every county would become its own ‘judge, jury and executioner “Said the experts, ‘In its current form the WTO is not up to the task, given its outdated rules and governance challenges and failure to keep up with developments in the trading , investment and digital economy landscape’

5) The American way of calculating the trade deficit ignores the nature of modern supply chains. It attributes 100 per cent of the value of an iPhone costing $237 made in China as an import. Yet industry analysts have concluded that China only gets 3.6% of that income. The rest ($229) is divided between suppliers in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the US

6) A Chinese Communist Party circular titled Document no 9 in 2015 listed seven taboo topics that must not be taught to the young. These include western constitutional democracy, press freedom and civil society, and discussion of Tiananmen Square.

7) In an article about the approach of the Chinese government, a Chinese government source is quoted as saying ‘What good is democracy if a country becomes destabilised, poor, weak and a mess? The welbeing of the people is the priority. The USA preaches freedom and democracy. China seeks social stability as a prerequisite for economic development.’

Item 1 comes from Business Times, Singapore, 5 June 2019

Items 2-6 comes from The Straits Times, 5 June 2019