1) VODAFONE PRESSES GERMANY FOR MORE HELP IN BROADBAND ROLLOUT
Vodafone wants the German government to facilitate the rollout of ultrafast fibre broadband connections to homes and businesses by investing in the “last mile” of networks.
Vodafone’s Germany chief Hannes Ametsreiter said the last mile to the home is extraordinarily challenging. He added It would be better to do it like the Spaniards and Portuguese. The state lays empty pipes, just as it builds highways for example state investment in infrastructure.
Vodafone, the world’s No.2 mobile operator, agreed last May to pay US$22 billion for Liberty Global’s cable networks in German and eastern European markets to challenge the dominance of former monopolies such as Deutsche Telekom.
The European Union has not raised any major concerns about the impact on Germany’s cable market of Vodafone buying Liberty Global’s assets, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said last month, improving the chances of the deal going ahead.
2) ‘NATURE OF POLITICS’ THE BIGGEST ‘UNKNOWN’ FUTURE CHALLENGE FOR SINGAPORE
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said The biggest “unknown” challenge that Singapore will face in the future is the “nature of politics”.
Mr Heng said Singapore has had “very constructive politics” for the past 50 years and more, and this has helped keep society cohesive and united. It has been able to achieve consensus on a large number of short-term, as well as long-term issues, and that has allowed Singapore to make really good progress.
He added Health Minister Gan Kim Yong is spending significant time thinking about how to restructure healthcare schemes and to enable more seniors to age at home. In turn, this creates other issues to tackle, such as how existing housing programmes can accommodate this and how ministries like the Ministry of Social and Family Development and Ministry of Health will reconfigure community networks to care for the elderly.
For Singapore, Mr Heng said the question should be how to include the views of as many people as possible in the governance process. It is “not a given” that having an opposition party, or having multiple parties, will “result in the best outcome for Singapore’s society
3) SULTAN GIVES CONSENT TO HAND OVER LAND FOR JOHOR-SINGAPORE RTS PROJECT
Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar consented to handing over his land in Bukit Chagar to the Malaysian government for the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) project, his confidential secretary stated in a statement yesterday.
It added that Sultan Ibrahim was disappointed over a news report connecting the issue of an increase in the cost of the RTS project with a piece of land belonging to him in Bukit Chagar.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad said on Friday the federal government would demand back its land if it was true that its ownership had been given to the Sultan of Johor without going through the proper process.
The location in question is one of five plots of land in Bukit Chagar that was given to Putrajaya by the state government in 2012, as part of a land swap agreement to build the Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex.
The RTS project, if implemented, will include a 4km rail linking Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru and Woodlands in Singapore, with the capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers per hour.
The project was initially scheduled to commence this year and was expected to be completed by December 2024. However, the Pakatan Harapan government in early April applied for a six-month extension until September from Singapore to decide on the RTS project.