On Monday (10 May), Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, announced that former transport minister Khaw Boon Wan will be appointed the chairman of the company limited by guarantee (CLG) after Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)’s media business is spun off from SPH.

The restructuring of SPH’s media business is subject to the final shareholders’ approval but most people would expect the approval to go through.

After the announcement, Khaw told the media that he would be taking on the new role with “some anxiety”.

“It is a heavy responsibility. I accept it with some anxiety as I have no digital media experience. I will see how we can adapt relevant experiences from successful transformation elsewhere,” he said.

Calling the CLG a national project, Khaw added, “I agree with Mr Iswaran on the local media’s critical role and will do my best to ensure we succeed in this national project.”

“This assignment will disrupt my retirement. In the last one year, I have been blissfully content. But I cannot allow a Singapore institution to go into decline,” he emphasized.

“I will see how I can help unleash the talent and the passion in our newsrooms. We will re-focus on our primary mission of providing quality journalism to help build this young nation.”

After the SPH shareholders approve the spin-off, OCBC, UOB and DBS, insurers Great Eastern and NTUC Income, Singtel, NUS, NTU as well as Temasek Holdings’ subsidiary Fullerton will become the founding members of the CLG. Most of them are, of course, linked to the government.

Khaw retired from politics ahead of the General Election last year to make way for PAP 4G leaders to take over. He was formerly a Malaysian and was awarded the Colombo Plan scholarship from Singaporean Ministry of Education in 1973.

After graduating in 1977 from the University of Newcastle in Australia, he started working in Singapore at the Ministry of Health. In 1992, he became the Principal Private Secretary to then PM Goh Chok Tong. He joined People’s Action Party (PAP) and entered politics in 2001, after a career in the public service.

88-year-old airport cleaner became Case 62873

Unlike Khaw, many Singaporeans, however, do not have the luxury of retiring, let alone being “disrupted from retirement”.

Take for example, the 88-year-old elderly Singaporean man, who recently discovered to have contracted COVID-19, still needs to work as a cleaner at the airport to make a living.

The 88-year-old is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd as a cleaner deployed to work at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Unfortunately, he was found to have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

He developed a runny nose and cough on 4 May and sought medical treatment at a General Practitioner clinic, where he was tested for COVID-19. His test result immediately came back positive the next day. He was subsequently conveyed to Sengkang General Hospital in an ambulance. Despite being vaccinated, he was still able to catch the virus at the airport.

The virus caught by the elderly man has gone on to infect a number of others linked to the airport. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has named this “Case 62873 cluster” after the elderly man who was labelled “Case 62873”.

As of yesterday (13 May), this cluster has grown to 46 cases, after 19 new cases were added to the list. The new cases include three cleaners and a cleaning supervisor, a housewife who visited Terminal 3 multiple times and a GoJek driver.

Of the new cases, nine people work at Changi Airport, while six of them were household contacts of cleaners who worked at the airport. Eight of the new cases in the cluster have tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant which was first discovered in India, MOH said.

In any case, unlike the 88-year-old elderly, Khaw can afford to retire and does not require to expose himself to danger at the Changi Airport everyday.


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