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The South China Sea dispute doesn't need a military solution, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday.

Indeed, "the military should stay as far away as possible from this, and allow diplomatic and other aspects of resolution", he was quoted as saying on the last day of a week-long visit to China.

Beijing has angered Asean nations by asserting its claim to most of the disputed waters. But last week, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that Beijing wants closer defence ties with Asean.

China's proposals to sign a treaty of cooperation and host a meeting of defence ministers show that it is reaching out to Asean, Dr Ng said. "We ought to respond positively to this."


A 38-year-old Indonesian has been charged with armed robbery in the Raffles Place stabbing case.

The man, Arun, has been accused of robbing Mr Kang Tie Tie of a sling bag containing nearly $180,000 in cash, and cash cheques worth more than $600,000.

Using a knife with a 12.5cm blade, he allegedly stabbed Mr Kang in his right waist and hip around 1pm on Friday.

Both men were taken to Singapore General Hospital. Arun was charged through video conferencing from there.

Mr Kang, despite bleeding profusely, had chased the attacker outside Raffles Place MRT station, in full view of a shocked lunchtime crowd.

The man was caught with the help of bystanders, who pinned him down till the police arrived.


They are saying it with stitches for Syrian refugees.

A new Malay-Muslim organisation, Qiswah, has started a humanitarian project to provide 5,000 blankets to the refugees in Turkey, and to also raise funds for the people of Gaza.

People of various races and faiths took part in a mass sewing exercise yesterday, as part of the Stitching Lives project, organised with other Malay-Muslim organisations and supported by the Inter-Religious Organisation.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was the guest of honour, appreciated how various groups were working together for a worthwhile cause. He also urged vigilance against radicalisation.


No, you can't go to Beijing. That's what three Hong Kong student leaders have been told.

They were denied permission yesterday to board a flight to Beijing, where they had hoped to take their demands for free elections to Chinese authorities.

Nathan Law, Eason Chung and Alex Chow said airline officials informed them that their permits used for travel to the mainland had been cancelled.

Before they were turned back, they were mobbed by supporters who unfurled yellow umbrellas, a symbol of the city's democracy movement.

They also carried banners with pro-democracy messages, including "we want real elections". The protesters are demanding civil nominations in leadership elections in 2017. - AFP