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Singapore Also Can

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Loh, May 4, 2009.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore -Gradual growth in 2010

    The Straits Times
    Oct 29, 2009

    By Fiona Chan

    FIRST, the good news. Singapore's economy has moved beyond the initial post-crisis bounce of growth and will continue to expand as genuine demand begins to stabilise around the world.

    But Singaporeans must prepare themselves for a 'slower and steadier' pace of expansion next year than they are used to, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday.

    Even though Asian economies have recovered strongly, many of Singapore's key export markets remain weak. In fact, half of the country's exports go to economies that are expected to grow more slowly than usual next year.

    And once governments withdraw their stimulus packages - which have significantly cushioned the downturn - there could be a period of adjustment before 'normal' private-sector demand rises enough to take over.

    This will weigh on Singapore's growth, making it lower than in previous post-recession periods, the MAS said in its twice-yearly Macroeconomic Review.

    While the MAS did not provide any growth projections, its assessment implies that average growth for the next four quarters will come in lower than 4 per cent quarter-on-quarter, the rate of growth after the 2001 tech-bust downturn.
     

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  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore win World Junior Dragon Boat Championship 2009

    Red Sports
    Sept. 3 2009

    http://redsports.sg/2009/09/03/world-junior-dragon-boat/

    By Tan Joe-sie

    Czech Republic, Saturday, August 29, 2009

    The Singapore Junior Dragon Boat Team, comprising 45 National Junior College (NJC) and 4 Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) students won 4 golds, 3 silvers and 1 bronze to clinch the World Junior Dragon Boat Champion title in the recently concluded 9th World Dragon Boat Racing Championship held at Racice, Prague, Czech Republic from 26th to 29th August.

    In order to give our team the maximum amount of time to prepare for their upcoming examinations, we arrived in Prague only a day before the start of the races and managed only 1 short practice session at Racice.

    Poorly rested and not yet acclimatised, we had a disastrous first day of competition (26th August) in the 2,000 m races. Though we won a silver medal and a bronze medal for the Junior Women 2,000m and Junior Open 2,000m races respectively, we were very disappointed with our performance particularly with coming in 5th place in the Junior Mixed 2,000 race.

    It was fortunate for us that 2,000m races would not contribute any points towards the overall challenge title because turnings were involved in 2,000m races and only straight-course races (i.e. 1,000m, 200m and 500m) would contribute points.

    Our team responded with greater focus, discipline and hunger the following day (27 August), but luck was against us when we came in a very disappointing 5th placing yet again in the Junior Open 1,000m event final where the 6 boats came within 0.7 of a second, a close finish, the likes of which we had never seen before in 1,000m races back in Singapore.

    Everyone in our Junior Open squad gave their very best, but we only managed a 5th placing. Before our arrival in Prague, we knew little about our opponents. We then began to realise how tough our competition was.

    However, our fortune turned in the afternoon when we won the Junior Mixed 1,000m event. There was a strong wave of national pride and emotions, as we sang our national anthem passionately as our Singapore flag was hoisted to the top of the flag pole. This was the first time Singapore had taken part and won a gold medal in the World Dragon Boat Racing Championship. We were 1 point behind Poland and 1 ahead of defending champion Germany for the overall challenge title after this day.

    Riding on the wave of renewed belief and confidence, our team went on to win 2 golds and 1 silver in 3 events on the 3rd day (28th August) – the Junior Mixed 200m, the Junior Open 200m and the Junior Women 200m respectively.

    Our team’s tough training regime and good physical conditioning really did us a big favour, as the number of races (2 to 3 rounds of races per event) and the hot weather took their toll on our opponents. We gained a massive 30 points and had a 15-point lead over Germany and 19-point lead over Poland after this day.

    Needing only 8 points to win the overall title, we decided to focus on the Junior Open 500m and Junior Women 500m events on the final day (29th August) and send mainly our reserves and younger (Sec 3 and Sec 4) members for the Junior Mixed 500m.

    Though our Junior Open and Junior Women squads met with very stiff opposition to emerge only 4th and 2nd respectively, we secured enough points to win the overall title before the final event, the Junior Mixed 500m event.

    However, the whole championship took yet another twist when our Junior Mixed 500m squad making up of mainly reserves and younger, less experienced members, exceeded all expectations and shocked the sporting elite by storming to victory in the final.

    There could not have been a better way to end the championship than by being able to sing our nation anthem again before being presented the overall challenge trophy. The atmosphere was awe-inspiring and electrifying with our entire team singing the nation anthem at the top of their voices. We are the World Junior Dragon Boat Champions.

    We hope that we have managed to prove to all Singaporeans that though we may be a small country with few resources, we are capable of great things if we are united, disciplined, tough and hungry. Cheers to our beloved Singapore!

    9th World Dragon Boat Racing Championship
    Junior Divisional Nation Cup

    1st: Singapore 69 points

    2nd: Germany 49 points

    3rd: Canada 45 points

    4th: China 37 points (beat Poland in 500m performance)

    5th: Poland 37 points
     

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  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Bonding over Hainanese favourites

    Oct 29, 2009

    By Yen Feng

    'JIAK bui bor?' asked Mr Mah Bow Tan of the thousands of Hainanese gathered at Singapore Expo on Thursday.

    His question, meaning 'Have you eaten?' in the Hainanese dialect and doubling as a greeting, drew immediate applause from the 2,500-strong crowd from as many as 28 countries, some as far afield as Suriname in South America.

    The Minister for National Development, himself a Hainanese, was at the biennial Congress of the World Federation of Hainanese Associations being held here this year.

    The event, the largest since the maiden one in 1989, gives clansmen a chance to get together to share stories, trade contacts and enjoy cultural shows like dance and opera.

    The night before, at the event's welcome dinner, costumed secondary school students from Hainan pranced on stage between platters of steamed kampung chicken, a Hainanese favourite, and steamed rice.

    Later, event compere Fu Yingying burst spontaneously into a Hainanese song, then said: 'Please forgive me for interrupting the programme.
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    KPE lauded in Europe report

    The Straits Times
    Oct 28, 2009

    SINGAPORE'S newest expressway, the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE), has been ranked among the top international tunnels in a European report, in terms of safety and design.

    The European Tunnel Assessment Programme assesses expressways around the world using 200 criteria, which include the preventive, detection and self-rescue features of a tunnel.

    The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Wednesday that there was no mandatory requirement for tunnels in Singapore to be benchmarked against any international safety standards.

    It, however, wanted to ensure the design and operations of the KPE met the same rigorous standards required by European tunnels.

    Traffic on the KPE has been growing steadily. During the morning and evening peak periods this month, there were 6,800 vehicles an hour, compared to 4,900 vehicles an hour last year.

    The KPE was also given a top rating under the European Union's Directive on Safety Requirements for Road Tunnels in Europe in July.


    http://www.onemotoring.com.sg/publi..._roads/road_projects/kallang_paya_lebar0.html

    About the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE)

    The KPE is a 12-km expressway that stretches from the East Coast Parkway (ECP) to the Tampines Expressway (TPE). With nine kilometres of the expressway constructed as an underground tunnel, the KPE is the longest underground expressway in South-East Asia.

    The KPE starts from the ECP in the south, crosses under the Geylang River, Nicoll Highway, Mountbatten Road, Geylang Road, Sims Avenue and the Pan Island Expressway (PIE). The route continues from Aljunied Road and Upper Paya Lebar/ Paya Lebar Road before following Airport Road past the Paya Lebar Air Base to connect to the Tampines Expressway (TPE).

    The Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) was opened to traffic on 20 September 2008 at 10.00am. Costing $1.7 billion to build, the KPE is part of the Government's commitment to build roads to support Singapore's growth.
     

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  5. Pemuda

    Pemuda Regular Member

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    KPE ... no big deal la

    Alaaa... Uncle Loh, your KPE is nothing to shout about la. It is just a normal expressway la. It cannot compare to our MRR2 highway in KL. Infact, the reason your KPE won that European thingy is because our MRR2 didnt take part la.

    Our Middle Ring Road 2 or MRR2 Highway is 35km long. The MRR2 cost us about RM900million +++ as it is a very unique highway. It is very arty due to the design. The contractor we engaged infact was an artist before, specialising in concrete engraving. Take a look at some pics of our MRR2, please dont worry those are not cracks but work of art.

    In Malaysia, we stopped building ordinary highways ages ago. Now, we incorporate work of art into our highways.
     

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  6. Pemuda

    Pemuda Regular Member

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    Our Malaysian leaders too won some honours/awards ...

    Our previous education minister, now home minister was honoured with the Hang Tuah award.

    Getting the Hang Tuah award is really a big deal as we dont dish this prestigious honour to any Ah Chuk or his uncle, Ah Mok, Lingam or his drinking buddy, Thandevan or Abu or his step brother, Badut. Hang Tuah is our legendary malay warrior who killed thousands and thousands of Portugese with his 1" butter knife.
     

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  7. Pemuda

    Pemuda Regular Member

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    Singapore got this or not?

    The World Biggest Pewter Tankard.

    Hello Uncle Loh, our Royal Selangor Pewter crafted this sometime back. It is still the world's biggest tankard till this day as no other nation have the technology or technical know how to actually build one.
     

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  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Yes impressive, I think I saw one, maybe a replica, at Clarke Quay where RSP has a sales office. But it must have been moved somewhere now since I did not see it the last time. This is a good spot for display since many tourists gather here for makan and a good beer.

    I still possess some souvenir items made of pewter bought many years ago on my visits to Malaysia - a top spinner, a Kelantan kite flyer and a Kuda dancer as well as sealions. I must have lost the butterfly brooch. ;)

    I think I read the story behind the success of the pewter company although I've forgotten most of the details. It is an inspiration for young entrepreneurs. :D
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    I think that must be the famous kris he's holding, famous as it was reported widely in the press when the issue was publicised. :cool:
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Here are my pewter souvenirs. I also got a pewter egg cup for coming back last in a social golf game when I first learned to play the game long time ago. What I had to do to earn that prize included drinking a mug of beer with a golf ball inside. They called it the booby prize! :(

    I also found the three monkeys reminding us to "speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil"! :D
     

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  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    'Promising' PAP candidates

    The Straits Times
    Nov 1, 2009

    By Jeremy Au Yong

    BY THE next general election - in 2011 or 2012 - the People's Action Party must have the next generation of political leaders in place, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.

    Some members have been identified, he said, but the team that can one day take over from him and his senior colleagues is not yet complete.

    The hunt for political successors, including someone who could be Singapore's fourth PM, has been a niggling concern for Government leaders in recent years. Until now, however, no deadline had been set.

    But it is this uncompromising commitment to self-renewal, said PM Lee, that has allowed the PAP to thus far avoid the fates of other long-ruling parties like the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan and the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Malaysia.

    The Prime Minister, who is also the secretary-general of the PAP, made this points on Sunday morning at the PAP convention in Downtown East. He was addressing more than 1,000 PAP members, activists, MPs and former MPs.

    This year's convention holds special significance for the party as it marks 50 years of the PAP in power.


    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) said some members have been identified, but the team that can one day take over from him and his senior colleagues is not yet complete. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
     

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  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    S'porean aces US Sudoku

    The Straits Times
    Nov 2, 2009

    Though actually second, Tammy McLeod's perfect finish of the Japanese puzzle won her top spot

    By Cheryl Tan

    A SINGAPOREAN based in the United States has won a national Sudoku contest there, beating 68 contestants in cracking the killer Japanese number puzzles.

    The local brainbox, who won top prize in the third annual Sudoku National Championship in Philadelphia last Saturday, is Tammy McLeod, a 32-year-old computer programmer with search engine giant Google.

    Apart from the coveted title, she also wins US$10,000 (S$14,000), an iPod Touch and a place to represent the United States at the 2010 World Sudoku Championship to be held again in Philadelphia next April.

    Mrs McLeod was formerly from Raffles Girls' School (RGS) and Raffles Junior College (RJC).

    The mother of a 14-month-old baby girl, Audrey, she is also an alumni of the gifted programme in Rosyth Primary School and won the smartest Mensa competition in 1995. She has an IQ of 168.

    She moved to the United States in 2000 and lives in Los Angeles with her 35-year-old husband, Mr Brent McLeod, a video games designer.


    Computer programmer Tammy McLeod (far left, with husband Brent McLeod and daughter Audrey), on completing her puzzle onstage in front of more than 1,000 onlookers. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF TAMMY MCLEOD
     

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  13. Pemuda

    Pemuda Regular Member

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    A question ...

    Uncle Loh,

    I got a question here ...

    Singapore have a population of 5 million +-, right?
    Singapore's universities are world reknowned, right?
    Singapore is modern, progressive and is considered one of Asia's economic tigers, right?

    ... but how come you lot cant find a PM other than LKY's little boy, Hsien Loong in that 5 million pool? Are you saying Hsien Loong is the ONLY smart looking and brainy stud amongst the 5 million? Why is that PM post a 'hand me down' thing from daddy to son?

    And how come Temasek is helmed by Ho Ching, Hsien Loong's wife? Again, no other smart and brainy women in Singapore other than Ho Ching?

    :D
     
  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    :rolleyes:
    Thanks Pemuda for your kind words. :)

    Actually Singapore may have a population of 5 million now, about 1 million are non-citizens comprising of foreign workers and permanent residents who can't stand for, and vote at elections.

    I think Singapore is blessed in a certain way to have two from the same Lee family to be willing to serve the nation and to continue to make progress and prosperity for all Singaporeans. You would agree that Singapore's current status is no mean achievement for a very small city state, more so considering its very difficult and humble beginnings.

    Of course having members of the same family to serve at the highest office is not unique to Singapore as the most powerful nation in the world, the US, also has this tradition, the most recent being the Bush family. Even Malaysia has its fair share with the Najibs, the son being the current PM.

    The same question should be thrown back at you: How come with a much bigger population of more than 25 million, Malaysia cannot find someone else other than another Najib? :rolleyes:

    In Singapore's case, many like you may think that Lee Jnr's post is a 'hand-me-down' thing. This is not correct. When LKY stepped down in November 1990, it was Goh Chok Tong who took over as PM until August 2004 when he became SM, almost 14 years at the helm.

    Lee Hsien Loong entered politics when he was 32 in 1984 (His father was already PM at 35 years of age in 1959), not brought in by his father but by Mr Goh or Mr Rajaratnam, I think. He became PM on 12 August 2004. So it was a good 20 years working in government before he succeeded Mr Goh. As I understand it, the PM was not chosen by just one person. He was chosen by the Cabinet, comprising other top party leaders and Ministers.

    (Details of LHL can be found in Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Hsien_Loong#Early_political_career)

    and in "Singapore Government":
    http://www.cabinet.gov.sg/CabinetAppointments/Mr+Lee+Hsien+Loong.htm )

    In this sense LHL's appointment cannot be termed as a 'hand-me-down'. ;) He must command the respect and confidence of the other cabinet members, many of whom are highly qualified.

    The decision to be involved in politics is a personal one. There may be many able men and women in Singapore, but not many are willing to sacrifice their private lives and high incomes to serve the nation as political leaders.

    Ho Ching was not chosen by LHL to head Temasek. The chairman of Temasek must have found her to be suitable to employ her. And she has proven her ability before. Remember she has to produce results and face the music when things turn bad as it did earlier this year. She was willing to step down and be replaced by a foreigner, one Mr Goodyear, but he decided not to take on the responsibility at the last minute. So Temasek will have to source for another suitable candidate. Do we have another lady to respond? Your guess is as good as mine. :D
     
  15. Pemuda

    Pemuda Regular Member

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    Uncle Loh,

    I be more than happy to answer ... ;)

    Ok, Malaysia, unlike Singapore, our universities are not world reknowned.
    Malaysia, unlike Singapore is not modern, progressive nor are we one of Asia's economic tigers.

    I also have couple of other ways to answer your question. It is as follows:

    ... 25 million chaps and still Najib?? Uncle Loh, in Singapore you guys do have a anti corruption agency, right? Do you have any witness (keyword;witness not suspect) murdered in the building of your corruption agency?

    Singapore got its own armed forces, right? And like any armed forces in the world, your army have weapons and explosives, right? Do you lot have any murder cases involving C4?

    Chinese are the majority race in Singapore, right? Does the chinese in Singapore tells the other minor races in Singapore that they are 2nd class citizens? And tell them to go back to India, Indonesia, Thailand whenever the Chinese thinks they are out of line?

    :D
     
  16. Pemuda

    Pemuda Regular Member

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    Yes, there are some special cases where after daddy, the son became president/prime minister. The Bush family in the US is a recent case. And the poor Iraqis are paying the price. The country is worse off than when it was under Saddam and till today, no weapon of mass destruction.

    The reason why I asked why LHL was because I find it amazing for a smart and bright country like Singapore that there is no one other than LHL. Hand to heart, honestly, if LHL was not LKY's son, what are the chances of him being PM? And I agree, LHL is a smart cookie but I am sure there are a lot of smart cookies in Singapore as well, right?

    LKY to LHL ... maybe , you are right LHL is the smart and right choice.

    Ho Ching and Temasek?? I dont know. I just wonder if HC is not LHL's wifey, will she still head Temasek?

    I believe it helps if you have family connection in high places. I am not a smart chap but I think if my daddy is LKY, I will get some assistance in my career.

    LKY after all is human. ;)
     
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Of course you are not wrong if your family connection and influence at high places reach far and wide. It is of great advantage over someone who has to cultivate this from the beginning.

    LHL has been following his father since early days when the elder went about his political business. His tuition in politics started then and he has shown interest at such a young and tender age. This is a great headstart which later must have convinced him to take after his father's footsteps although he was not directly brought into the political arena by his father. In fact I read somewhere that his father tried not to influence his decision to take up politics but indirectly by bringing his son around to his meet-the-people sessions, etc, he has created an interest in him from very young.

    LHL has the intellect and political acumen to be a leader and with about 20 years learning the political ropes, he was well placed to be the PM, who could speak to the people in their language and dialect. How many young leaders who may have great brains can do this? How many are willing to endure the sacrifices? Many who are able prefer to earn more money in more comfortable circumstances. They prefer to be leaders in other less demanding professions. This is one distinct difference between those who are able and willing to become political leaders.

    Even now the PAP government is still cultivating possible candidates as our future leaders and has still not yet found a complete team for the next election. But the search is still on-going and hopefully among the brightest and most able, we are able to induce some who are suitable. :D
     
  18. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    S'pore resilient in crisis

    Nov 3, 2009

    Everyone played a part, with flexibility and resilience all round

    By Fiona Chan & Robin Chan

    THE economic crisis has demonstrated how strong Singapore is and how resilient and flexible its people and businesses are, said Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Monday night.

    The Government's 'full-force fiscal intervention' - introduced in this year's Budget - has helped prevent huge job losses and limited fallout from the global crisis, but has been only one part of the story.

    Speaking at the Enterprise 50 Awards gala dinner at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Mr Tharman said: 'Nothing would have worked if everyone had not played his part.'

    He noted that companies retained as many workers as they could, with some even creating new jobs. Instead of laying off staff, they reached for help from Government programmes such as the Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience, or Spur.

    Workers, too, made sacrifices in accepting wage cuts and shorter working weeks, and undergoing retraining, he said.

    Banks continued to lend to viable companies with help from the Government-funded risk-sharing initiative, while grassroots and community leaders, volunteers and philanthropists went out of their way to help those in need.

    Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam spoke at the Enterprise 50 Awards gala dinner at the Raffles City Convention Centre on Monday night, addressing the economic crisis issue. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
     

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  19. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    50 years in 382 pages:Tracing Spore's history

    The Straits Times
    Nov 3, 2009

    Book chronicles history of Singapore as reported in newspapers

    By Akshita Nanda

    IT COVERS the 1965 separation of Singapore from Malaysia and the 1987 death of stripper Rose Chan.

    A new book, Chronicle Of Singapore, tells the history of the country as it was reported in newspapers in the 50 years from 1959.

    The 382-page tome was created after sifting through about 10,000 reports from the Singapore Press Holdings archive and will be out in bookstores this Friday. It costs $59.90 and comes with a DVD of rare film and news footage, including Mr Lee Kuan Yew's emotional speech as Singapore gained independence.

    The book, published by Editions Didier Millet, features more than 2,000 stories on topics from politics to sports, arranged chronologically and presented in newspaper style.

    Mr Peter Lim, 71, who headed the team behind Chronicle and who is the former editor-in-chief of The Straits Times Press, said: 'It is not a history book in the conventional sense. Histories are notoriously subjective, depending on who they are written and commissioned by. We claim that this is objective, as objective as the newspapers that reported the events first.'

    The reports in the book present a slice of life as well as history, starting with British royal Prince Philip's visit here in 1959 and ending with the attack on Mr Seng Han Thong, MP for Yio Chu Kang, in January this year.


    Mr Peter Lim headed a 40-member team to produce Chronicle Of Singapore (left), which features more than 2,000 stories on topics from politics to sports. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
     

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  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    All decked up for X'mas

    The Straits Times
    Nov 3, 2009

    By Lim Wei Chean

    THIS year's Christmas light up will offer two different experiences - on Orchard Road and at Marina Bay.

    The annual dazzling affair is led by the trade associations of both precincts for the first time and they have each selected their own theme.

    The theme for the Orchard Road belt is 'Christmas all decked up', featuring the traditional yuletide icons with a twist. Catch Santas, reindeers and snowmen dressed to the nines, in part showing off Orchard Road as the fashion centre.

    Over at Marina Bay, drawing inspiration from the mythological tale of the Midas Touch, the streets from Raffles City, circling Suntec City, Millenia Walk, Singapore Flyer, Marina Square, The Esplanade, Citylink Mall and Clifford Pier will be transformed into a glittering extravaganza of gold. Coupled with dazzling lighting art pieces, Marina Bay will be presented as a golden shoreline, a reflection of its location.

    The light up has been brought forward to Saturday to coincide with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings.

    Singapore Tourism Board's director of tourism shopping and dining Andrew Phua said on Tuesday: 'Christmas is a time for celebration and this year, with the economy showing signs of recovery, there is even more to cheer about. Many tourists from all over the world come to Singapore this year-end season to join us in the festivities each year.'

    Catch Santas, reindeers and snowmen dressed to the nines, in part showing off Orchard Road as the fashion centre. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
     

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