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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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    Chinese official visits S'pore

    Channel NewsAsia By Lynda Hong | Posted: 09 June 2011 2116 hrs

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Mr Edmund Ho (L) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
    SINGAPORE: The visiting Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Edmund Ho called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday morning, at the Istana.

    The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is a multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

    It is made up of political parties, mass organisations, different ethnic groups and representatives from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as well as of returned overseas Chinese.
     
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Badminton, football ... and now hockey

    S'pore to host Asian tournament for under-18 boys in what will be a busy few weeks for sports



    [​IMG]
    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:47 AM Jun 09, 2011


    SINGAPORE - It looks as if sports fans in the country are set for a bumper few weeks of entertainment. Most of the world's best shuttlers will do battle at the Li-Ning Singapore Open, which will be held at the Indoor Stadium from June 14 to 19, and the Singapore under-15 and under-16s will aim to roar at the 23rd Canon Lion City Cup (June 18 to 26) when they take on the top under-15 sides from Everton, Newcastle, Juventus and Flamengo.

    It's going to get even busier, after the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) announced yesterday that the Republic will host the 3rd Boys' under-18 Asia Cup at the Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre from June 18 to 26.

    Some of the continent's top hockey nations like Pakistan and South Korea will compete in the eight-team tournament will compete for honours in the nine-day tournament.

    Singapore have been drawn in Pool A against defending champions Pakistan, Taiwan, Kazakhstan and Brunei, while South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and China are in Pool B.

    The top two teams from each pool will advance to the semi-finals, with the remaining countries vying for the minor positions.

    National coach Solomon Casoojee will announce his final list of 18 players today, with the majority of the squad expected to come from last year's Youth Olympics team. Australia-based Muhammad Haseef Salim and Nur Ashriq Ferdaus Zul'kepli, who competed at the 2009 FIH under-21 World Cup, are expected to lead the team.

    At the last Asia Cup in Myanmar in 2009, Singapore finished sixth out of nine teams, and Casoojee, who joined the SHF about two months ago, is aiming for a spot in the top four this year.

    Speaking to MediaCorp yesterday, the South African native said: "This is the team's biggest tournament since the Youth Olympics, and it will be a real test for them to see how they've implemented the changes we've asked of them."

    "We are working on refining the defensive structure, set-plays and game play.

    "Pakistan will be tough because they are traditional powerhouses, and Kazakhstan and Taiwan will be difficult games. But we are going to be competitive."

    SHF president Annabel Pennefather believes the tournament is a feather in the cap for Singapore.

    "SHF was approached to be the host as the AHF (Asian Hockey Federation) and FIH (International Hockey Federation) recognise that we now have excellent facilities to host events.

    "The Asia Cup is an excellent follow through as most of the Youth Olympic players will be able to play. We hope to develop a strong pool of senior players from this group in eight years' time."

    Defender Muhammad Zulfadli Jasni is looking forward to a rematch with the Pakistanis, after their 4-1 loss at the group stage at the Youth Olympic Games.

    Said the 18-year-old Nanyang Polytechnic student: "They are one of the top teams in the world and are known for their dribbling. We are watching videos of their matches and have to find a way to stop them. I think we can finish in the top four because we had good results during our Perth tour last month, and confidence is high among the team."

    What: 3rd Boys' U18 Asia Cup

    When: June 18 to 26

    Where: Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre

    Teams: Pool A: Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Brunei; Pool B: South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China

    Ticketing: S$5 (11 to 16 years old), S$10 (adults), S$60 (season pass), free entry for children below 10. Buy online at http://singaporehockey.org/asia18/purchase-your-tickets-online-2


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Centreback Muhammad Zulfadli Jasni (right) can't wait for the tournament to begin. PHOTO COURTESY OF SINGAPORE HOCKEY FEDERATION
     
    #4602 Loh, Jun 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Not a perfect 10 yet


    But fighting Tao Li will be 'psyched' up for the big ones

    [​IMG]
    by Tan Yo-Hinn
    04:46 AM Jun 10, 2011

    SINGAPORE - The Fina World Championship (July 16-31) is six weeks away but Singapore swimming star Tao Li (picture) would only rate her current form as seven out of 10.

    The 21-year-old is seen as having an outside chance of a medal in Shanghai, following stellar performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

    But speaking to MediaCorp at the Singapore Sports School earlier this week, Tao Li said her assessment was done with the 2012 London Olympics in mind.

    "To be 10 out of 10 means there is no room for improvement," said the swimmer, who will compete in the 50m and 100m butterfly in Shanghai.

    "I give myself a seven because I still have plenty to work on, like my turns, kicks and general fitness. This World Championship is a stepping stone to the Olympics … I must be 10 out of 10 (by the London Olympics). I always demand a lot of myself."

    Added coach Barry Prime: "You might ask why isn't it 10 out of 10 now? But we have to realise we always want room for improvement."

    Despite her modest rating, Tao Li insists she will be ready for next month's World Championship, where her main target is to improve on her 50m and 100m fly world rankings - she was eighth and 14th respectively last year.

    But she needs nothing less than a repeat of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she finished fifth in the 100m fly, and at last November's Asian Games in Guangzhou, where she defended her 50m fly crown.

    The Netherlands' Inge Dekker and Australia's Alicia Coutts are raging favourites in the 50m and 100m fly respectively.

    Current world No 1s in their respective events, Dekker clocked 25.57sec at the Elite French Championship in March, while Coutts turned in 57.25sec at April's Telstra Australian Open.

    Tao Li's personal bests for the two events are 26.10sec, registered in Guangzhou, and 57.54sec at the Beijing Olympics.

    An ankle injury and poor health following the Asiad meant she only resumed full training in March. But, a three-week high altitude stint in Kunming last month have raised the level of optimism.

    "It's coming back: My kicks are good. I can also hold my breath a lot better, and breathe one-in-two strokes for the whole 100m," she said.

    Tao Li, who will compete at the June 21-26 Singapore National Swimming Championship, added: "Seeing other (top) swimmers doing around 57.20sec means I need to improve by about 0.3sec to get there."

    Prime warned that Shanghai could be a "reality check", and Tao Li, who thrives on the big occasions, must push herself in training.

    "She probably doesn't find the day-to-day stuff exciting, but so do many senior elite athletes," said the Briton.

    "But she's done the day-to-day groundwork, it's now up to her to get herself psyched up to perform, and that's a quality she has."

    Next week will be a year since Prime became Tao Li's coach, and she said: "Barry says I always push him to the edge."

    Sneaking a quick peek at her coach's expression, she added: "But he's very concerned about me. He likes to talk a lot like a "nanny", but he wants me to do well at the World Championship and Olympics."


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Singapore swimming star Tao Li says she will be ready for next month's Fina World Championship in Shanghai. Photo by TAN YO-HINN
     
    #4603 Loh, Jun 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Jun 10, 2011

    Presidential election: Jayakumar's reality check for candidates

    By Elgin Toh & Andrea Ong


    'I'M NOT A CANDIDATE'

    'No, I am not a candidate. I don't intend to run for the elected presidency. So that will put an end to that speculation.'

    Professor S. Jayakumar, when asked during an interview with Insight if he will join the presidential race



    What he said about president's role

    'AS MINISTER for Law in the 1980s (and 1990s), I was very much involved in the drafting of the two White Papers and the constitutional amendments which brought about the elected president. In fact, I'm thinking of writing one of my next books about the making of the elected presidency.

    So with that background, having been so closely involved, I must say I'm a bit surprised and disappointed over some of the statements and claims made by some of the would-be candidates about what they intend to do if they get elected.

    Some of their statements seem to imply that the president is a centre of power unto himself, distinct from the government of the day, and implies that he has certain executive powers. That is not the case.

    The president does have some discretionary, custodial powers in a few areas, mainly the protection of reserves, on key appointments, and he also has some custodial powers in ISA detentions, CPIB investigations and the restraining orders under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act.

    But even in those few areas, the president has no power to initiate decisions or policy. He only has blocking powers.

    Other than those specified areas, in all other areas, the president, under the Constitution, must act on the advice of the Cabinet. That is the clear legal position.
    I think it is good if all Singaporeans, especially candidates, are very clear about what exactly the role of the president is, what he can do, what he cannot do. I say that because I do worry that otherwise, there may be wrong expectations about the role of the president, and we should avoid that.'





    [​IMG]

    Professor S. Jayakumar (above) signing Sembawang GRC MP Ellen Lee's copy of his book at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday. Prof Jayakumar recounts the development of Singapore's foreign policy in Diplomacy - A Singapore Experience. The guest of honour at the book launch was Dr Tony Tan, chairman of Singapore Press Holdings. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG

    [​IMG]

    FORMER senior minister S. Jayakumar delivered a reality check to prospective presidential candidates yesterday, suggesting that some of them had inflated views of what the president could do.

    Reiterating the legal limits to presidential powers, he said it would be good for all Singaporeans - especially candidates - to understand the president's role, so that nobody held wrong expectations.

    'I am a bit surprised and disappointed over some of the statements and claims made by some of the would-be candidates about what they intend to do if they get elected,' he said.

    These statements, he noted, implied that they thought the president was 'a centre of power unto himself, distinct from the government of the day', and had 'certain executive powers'.

    As former law minister, Professor Jayakumar said, he had been intimately involved in the drafting of the two White Papers (in 1988 and 1990) mooting the elected presidency and the constitutional amendments that created the new institution in 1991.

    He pointed out that the president had only 'discretionary, custodial power' in five areas:


    The protection of reserves.

    Key public sector appointments.

    Internal Security Act (ISA) detentions.

    Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

    Restraining orders under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act.

    Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Straits Times.
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    DPM Tharman now heads National Productivity CEC

    Posted: 10 June 2011 0032 hrs

    [​IMG]
    Tharman Shanmugaratnam (file picture)
    SINGAPORE : Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam is now the new chairman of the National Productivity and Continuing Education Council (NPCEC) - taking over the post from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

    The change, which took effect Thursday, is in line with recent changes to the Cabinet line-up.

    Mr Tharman said in a statement: "We will keep up the momentum created by the NPCEC in its first year. Where necessary, we will simplify processes to improve the accessibility and outreach of our schemes.

    "We will also look into effective ways of engaging the public to foster a culture of continuous improvements as a way to benefit both workers and companies.


    "The NPCEC will work closely with businesses and workers to raise productivity on a sustainable basis, so that all Singaporeans can share in the nation's progress."

    Mr Teo said: "It has been a fruitful start for the council in its first year. Plans for key sectors have been drawn up - which are meaningful to the industry players and workforce in these sectors.

    "The strong economic recovery last year brought with it a cyclical upturn in labour productivity of 10.7 per cent.

    "While we have seen some encouraging stories of productivity successes, what is more important is to stay focused on long-term, sustainable productivity growth - through product, system and process innovation, and skills upgrading.

    "We also need to integrate our framework for pre-employment and continuing education."

    Besides Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang and Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Lee Yi Shyan who remain in the council, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Tan Chuan-Jin, and Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo will join the council as new government representatives.

    Mr Teo said of the 12 sectors identified for productivity growth, eight are ready to undergo the implementation phase, while the council is working on the other four sectors.

    He said: "I'm quite confident that Mr Tharman will be able to move forward the agenda, together with the NPCEC members. Productivity is a long-term goal. It's not something that can be finished in one year or two years.

    "It's something which we have to keep on doing, so I likened it to brisk walking, pick up the habit, keep going all the time, do it every day, several times a week and then you build up your capabilities."

    Mr Teo was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Singapore Hotel Association's 50th Anniversary dinner, where he also launched a commemorative book "The Heritage of Hospitality - A History of the Singapore Hotel Industry", which looks at the hotel industry from the days of Sir Stamford Raffles.

    The event saw some 680 guests from the hotel and tourism sectors.

    In his speech, Mr Teo said the sector is doing well - with tourism receipts for the first quarter of this year estimated to reach nearly S$5 billion - a 36 percent growth from a year ago.

    - CNA/al
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Artificial cornea transplant brings new hope to patients

    By Wayne Chan | Posted: 10 June 2011 2119 hrs

    [​IMG]

    SINGAPORE : There is now new hope for patients who suffer from an infected cornea.

    Doctors in Singapore have performed a landmark operation to reconstruct and replace parts of a patient's eye with an artificial cornea.

    A 39-year-old patient, who wants to be known only as Ms Lin from Taiwan, became blind four years ago after developing what's known as the 'Stevens Johnson Syndrome' due to severe allergic reactions to medication.

    But she can now see again, just three days after undergoing an operation at The Eye & Cornea Transplant Centre in Singapore in January.

    Ms Lin said: "After I regained my sight, I found that people I knew now look different, because my memory 'stopped' four years ago. I now have to be careful not to get my eye infected and I have to avoid the heat so as not to affect my reconstructed eye."

    Doctors said before her surgery, Ms Lin's infected eye was disintegrating. So they had to reconstruct the surface of her eye and replace the diseased cornea with an artificial one.

    Dr Leonard Ang, medical director of The Eye & Cornea Transplant Centre, said: "The artificial cornea is made of a very bio-compatible material which sandwiches normal cornea tissue. And when we stitch it in place, there is a clear window in the centre.

    "And patients look through the clear window. So sometimes the surrounding area may become hazy, but the patient is still able to see well, so there is no issue of graft rejection.

    "A normal cornea transplant in these patients usually is associated with very poor results and almost all of these cornea grafts will eventually be rejected by the body and fail within two years."

    According to the doctors, 80 per cent of patients who have received the artificial cornea say they can see better.

    The four-hour procedure costs between S$20,000 and S$30,000.

    The complex operation can only be carried out by fewer than 20 doctors in the world.

    - CNA/al
     
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Preservation of Monuments Board launches tours on local monuments
    By Sharon See | Posted: 11 June 2011 1952 hrs
    *
    *
    Photos 1*of 1

    Central Fire Station
    * *
    *
    *Video


    Preservation of Monuments Board launches tours on local monuments


    SINGAPORE: Did you know the watch tower of the Central Fire Station was once the tallest monument in Singapore when the station was completed in 1909?

    At 110 feet, it was also the ideal height for fire-fighters to dry their fire hoses.

    And just a stone's throw away is the MICA Building, which was formerly the Hill Street Police Station. It used to house 1,000 people, including policemen and their families.

    These are some nuggets of history that volunteer guides like 32-year-old Jill Wong uses to weave together a rich narrative about Singapore's national monuments.

    Most of these monuments are found in the civic district - one of the oldest parts of Singapore.

    Organised by the Preservation of Monuments Board, the tours are meant to give participants a flavour of the past lives these buildings led, decades before their current form.

    For Jill, Singapore's short history is just as colourful and fascinating as those of older cities like London and New York.

    She said: "I am kinda hoping that through these tours, whether it's through PMB tours or museum tours, that people get that sense that this place, even though Singapore is not very old at all, is fascinating and there are cool stories if you just try and look for them."

    This year, the board is going all out, with four times as many volunteer guides and tours compared to last year. Last year, there were only four guides and five tours, compared to 16 adult guides and 20 tours this year.

    PMB said these tours attract a mix of participants from students to retirees, and tourists. People can learn more about Singapore's history through the 20 new Monumental Walking Tours held two days a week, from June till July 2011.

    -CNA/ac

    *
     
  8. FEND.

    FEND. Regular Member

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    It's always nice to lurk here to see what potential there is in Asia. Hi uncle loh!
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Hi lurker, nice to have you around. Hope everything's fine with you. :D
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    NDP a family affair for this year's parade commander

    Jun 12, 2011

    By Danson Cheong


    [​IMG]

    Lieutenant-Colonel Fahmi Aliman may be able to move 3,000 men with a single command. But at home, it is his wife who calls the shots. -- ST PHOTO: TED CHEN


    LIEUTENANT-COLONEL Fahmi Aliman may be able to move 3,000 men with a single command. But at home, it is his wife who calls the shots.

    The 19-year-veteran guardsman is the third Malay parade commander for the National Day Parade (NDP) since Singapore's independence in 1965 and first since 2000.

    And shouldered with the monumental task of commanding all 29 contingents of this year's NDP, Lt-Col Fahmi, 38, is thankful for any help he can get, especially with running his household of six.

    Said his wife, Madam Rohana Mohd Salleh, 38, a teacher at Dunman Secondary School: 'Because of his job, he isn't around sometimes. During those times, I have to take charge of the family.'

    For instance, on Saturdays when her husband is busy barking out instructions at parade rehearsals, she drives their children to their extra-curricular activities.

    Madam Rohana, who met her husband during his officers' cadet commissioning ball in 1993, also prepares honeyed water to help soothe his throat.

    Read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Education Minister happy with feedback

    Jun 12, 2011



    By Jennani Durai


    [​IMG]

    Mr Heng serving lunch to Norjana Abdul Rahman at a community free lunch project at Darul Ghufran Mosque yesterday. With them is mosque chairman Abdul Matin. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN


    EDUCATION Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Saturday that he has a 'much better feel' for what needs to be reviewed in the education system, after being inundated with feedback during the three weeks he has been on the job.

    The next step is to check that his feel of the ground is indeed right, or whether there are other areas to look into, he said.

    'I'm doing more in-depth analysis, looking at the data and experience we've accumulated over the years,' he said on the sidelines of a community free lunch project at the Darul Ghufran Mosque.

    The event was a joint initiative between the mosque, the Tampines Central Welfare Committee and the North East Community Development Council (CDC). Called Soup Kitchen, the programme provides free lunches to needy families in the Tampines Central ward every two weeks.

    Mr Heng, an MP for Tampines GRC said that he had received hundreds of e-mail messages, as well as comments on his Facebook page, from parents, students, teachers and principals.

    'It's been a very enriching experience. Many of them have given very thoughtful suggestions. I'm very heartened by this interest that parents, teachers, students take in education and I'm also very encouraged by the suggestions,' he said.

    Read the full story in The Sunday Times.
     
  12. FEND.

    FEND. Regular Member

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    Hi hi! Yea everything is fine with me, been working a lot now. You might see me down in singapore down in August for company related training. :)
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    ASEAN's ties with regional & international groups developing: PM

    By S Ramesh in Jakarta | Posted: 12 June 2011 1836 hrs

    [​IMG]
    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong


    JAKARTA: ASEAN's ties with various regional and international groupings are an organic architecture which is gradually developing, says Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    He was speaking at a plenary session at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Sunday.

    Mr Lee said ASEAN's ties with groupings like the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Plus Three (which involves China, Japan and South Korea) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have helped to strengthen ties with one another.

    He said while there's temptation to make things neater, it's wiser to accept the "untidiness" of these arrangements and let the structures evolve.

    The World Economic Forum celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. And the occasion is especially important for host country Indonesia as it is also the current ASEAN chair.

    Both Prime Minister Lee and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shared the stage for a special plenary session during the forum's opening ceremony.

    "ASEAN wants to connect our Association with the global community of nations. That is the future of ASEAN in my view, and of course ASEAN must do more. We have to deal with so many challenges internally as well as externally but I believe very strongly we are on the right track, and we would be able to achieve our goals," said President Yudhoyono.

    Prime Minister Lee explained that while the future is unknown, he believes Asia will be a big part of the 21st century.

    He said both America and China are important partners and that the 10-member
    Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would like to strengthen ties with both big powers.

    Mr Lee said ASEAN sees great potential in China's prosperity and development.

    And its extension of relations across Asia has brought about great potential for trade and investments as well as tourism in the region.

    This would also depend on China being good friends with America and it would be easier for ASEAN to be friends with both.

    On the value of China's yuan, Mr Lee said he would prefer to see a gradual rise. Replying to a question on the subject at the forum, he said a stronger yuan would help China redirect its economy away from export-led growth.

    Separately, the chief of the World Economic Forum also congratulated Prime Minister Lee for his party's resounding victory in Singapore's recent General Election.

    Professor Klaus Schwab noted that many European leaders would be delighted with the percentage of votes secured by Mr Lee and his party.

    Before leaving Jakarta for home, Mr Lee also had a meeting with his Indonesian host, President Yudhoyono.

    The leaders expressed hope to expand areas of cooperation between both countries.

    - CNA/ir
     
  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Students come up with simple solutions to everyday problems

    By Sabrina Chan | Posted: 11 June 2011 2133 hrs
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Worms
    SINGAPORE: Students at Republic Polytechnic's Scientific Thinking Program are using simple solutions to answer some relevant and sometimes quirky questions.

    Do worms like music? It is hard to say whether they like it, but according to students from Nan Hua Secondary School, listening to hard metal music makes them grow a little faster.

    And worms are not the only ones affected by music - green beans prefer some groovy R&B to boost their growth.

    Students from Assumption High Secondary School preferred a more serious topic, and one that is very relevant.

    The junior scientists studied the anti-bacterial properties of copper, lead and zinc on E. coli bacteria.

    One of the students, Winona Roxanne, said: "It's very surprising to have normal metals like copper to have distinctive and significant properties towards bacteria."

    Some experiments even have some commercial potential. Students from Naval Base Secondary School used everyday ingredients like milk and salt to come up with a potent glue that can withstand up to 1kg of weight.

    Dr Terence Chong, Director of School of Applied Science at Republic Polytechnic, said: "We actually ask the students, what do they see around them, what questions they have about nature, what's around, and they might seek to find out about it.

    "So they come up with their own ideas about things, and we just help them ask better questions, make more rational sense out of the world and you get all sorts of interesting things."

    The top four projects will be awarded a prize in the competition, which is into its eighth year.

    -CNA/ac
     
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Daigo Saito wins Formula Drift Singapore

    Posted: 12 June 2011 2208 hrs
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Daigo Saito
    SINGAPORE: Japanese Daigo Saito topped the fourth edition of the VIP Formula Drift Singapore 2011 presented by Achilles Radial at the F1 Pit Building on Sunday.

    The first Formula Drift championship in the world to introduce a team award, the Singapore event also saw Saito's Team Spark Motorsports take home the inaugural trophy for Best Team Performance.

    In the final face-off, Saito went neck and neck with Team M150's Saranon Pornpatanarak, who came in second in the individual category.

    Daigo said: "It is amazing to be racing on an F1 circuit and the crowd really got behind Formula Drift.

    "It was an encouraging victory, considering that none of them has competed in Singapore before. I am planning on keeping up my performance for the whole series this year with the Spark Motorsport team."

    Saito's teammate Ken Gushi from the US took third place, beating Malaysian Ivan Lau from LTM Bridgestone.

    At the F1 Pit Building, sunny weather made for a welcome change from the thunderstorms that poured on the qualifying rounds on Saturday.

    The qualifiers were based on the driver's individual runs on track, but for Sunday's format drivers did two laps in tandem, each taking a turn to lead and fight for the best score across two runs.

    Drivers were judged on their speed, style and ability to maintain their drift angle for as long as possible.

    The event is the first of a four-leg series that will go to Indonesia in October, Thailand in November and the Grand Finale in Malaysia in December.

    - CNA/ir
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The boy that dance chose

    TODAY


    At 16, SOTA pupil Thaddaeus Low is bound for the world-renowned Rambert Ballet School in London


    [​IMG]
    by Paul Gilfeather
    Updated 11:16 AM Jun 12, 2011



    Thaddaeus Low is a young man with exceptional talent and huge ambition.

    But what's refreshing about the teenage protégé is that his ambition is neither naked, nor greater than his commitment to his art, which happens to be classical ballet and contemporary dance.

    Maybe, just maybe, in those quiet moments alone he allows himself to briefly walk on red carpets, clutch golden statues or wave to fans from a limousine window.

    But mostly, Thaddaeus just wants to do what he loves most - and that is to dance. For this uncomplicated youngster it is that simple.

    Finding such passion and tireless dedication in a 16-year-old boy is unusual. He is pushing his body towards breaking point - the point where the dancer knows if he has what it takes to reach the very top.

    "It's very hard to explain," he says. "When I am performing or in everyday class, the regime pushes you a little bit more. You just strive to be better. And it's difficult. But the difficulty is part of the fun.

    "Dance is something where you are constantly learning and, for me, it is a process to be the very best at what I do. I don't have time for anything else. If you want to dance professionally you have to dedicate all your time to it. It is something I have to do every single day."

    The Singaporean schoolboy will perform a pirouette into the next stage of his career this September when he takes his much-coveted place at the world-renowned Rambert Ballet School in London.

    He will leave behind his mum, who works as a secretary, and his older brother and sister. None have a particular interest in dance but all have supported him.

    But the youngster from Katong still has much to do if he is to become the first artistic great to drop off the ground-breaking School of the Arts' (Sota) conveyor belt of talent.



    HYPERACTIVE AT AGE THREE

    His mother sent him to dance classes at the tender age of three when most boys that age are still trying to walk in a straight line. It was an attempt to get some peace and quiet from her boisterous toddler as she raised her family as a single parent.

    "I was hyperactive," he admits. "She wanted an outlet for me to channel my energy."

    The jazz, tap and ballet lessons were a huge success and, by the age of seven, his teachers saw that he possessed something special.

    He auditioned for Sota at the age of 11, by which time he had begun to concentrate on ballet and contemporary dance. Thaddaeus was one of only two boys deemed talented enough for that year's intake.

    Physically, he is strong. In fact, he has calf muscles most professional footballers would kill for.

    And the punishing regime he practises every day has also left Thaddaeus with a slightly tougher exterior than most teenagers. He is polite and boasts a friendly smile, but you get the feeling he has an inner steel which will serve him well in the years ahead.

    He says: "When I was younger it was fairly hard for me at school because there is this stereotype that male dancers are all gay. All my primary school friends always thought that because I danced and I had to live with that stereotype.

    "But after they saw me perform in school they realised that this is what I do and it was my passion. They understood this."



    BREAKING POINT

    When the last of the pupils at the School of the Arts have left for the evening, and the janitor is dragging a brush over the floors, the young dancer continues his never-say-die drive to succeed in the studio.

    His commitment to dance is total and he is 100-per-cent focused on his ultimate goal, which is to join a professional dance company, maybe in Europe.

    But he is fortunate to be taught and mentored by Sota's head of dance faculty, Ms Cheah Mei Sing.

    Ms Cheah, herself a former professional dancer, knows how tough it can be for young dancers trying to break into the professional scene and, as well as teaching Thaddaeus technique, helps the youngster prepare for the hard knocks which may await him in the real world.

    Talking about her star pupil, she says: "It's not a case of Thaddaeus choosing dance. Dance has chosen him.

    "He has a strict regime which he must carry out every day to keep his body at the optimum level. Any artist has to practise their craft, so for dancers your body is your instrument. You have to hone it every day to get it into that place where you can deliver.

    "There is a misconception that dance is easy but that is the skill - making it look easy. Behind the performance you don't see how many hours they train. He also has to develop different styles. It is no longer the age where you just specialise in one kind of dance."

    When a dancer reaches the point of ultimate fitness they call it "breaking the body". Cheah says that only when Thaddaeus experiences his limit will he truly know if he has what it takes.

    "When you are a dancer you need to be broken, to put it cruelly. But then the dancer will rise up and, if they are good enough, go on to that next level."



    [​IMG]

     
    #4616 Loh, Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Good! Hope to see you then. Pity you'll miss the Singapore Open, starting next week. ;)
     
  18. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Retired principals returning to help

    Jun 13, 2011

    IN THE ST NEWSPAPER TODAY
    MOE keen to make use of their knowledge and experience

    By Jane Ng


    VALUABLE RESOURCE

    'Retired principals are like a pot of gold just sitting there waiting to be tapped. If I were just to sit and waste away the days, all the knowledge inside me would go to waste. I might as well share it with teachers to encourage them.'

    Miss Chiang Wai Leng, retired principal of Townsville Primary




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    Miss Chiang Wai Leng (left) and Mrs Belinda Charles, former school principals who continue to work for the Ministry of Education in other capacities since their retirement. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA


    WHEN Miss Chiang Wai Leng retired as principal of Townsville Primary in 2007, she did more than just sit back and enjoy her golden years.

    The 65-year-old used the opportunity to complete her Master's in Education from the University of Melbourne. Now, armed with her degree, Miss Chiang has returned to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to co-write a science teaching guide, train teachers and sit on interview panels to hire them.

    Read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times.
     
  19. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore junior paddlers celebrate Rio win

    TODAY

    by Low Lin Fhoong 04:47 AM Jun 13, 2011

    SINGAPORE - The Republic's junior paddlers celebrated a successful outing at the 2011 Brazil Open in Rio Janeiro early yesterday morning, winning the under-21 Boys' and Girls' singles titles at the Maracanazinho Stadium.

    Top seed Zhou Yihan defeated Wu Yue (2) of the United States 4-2 (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5) in the Girls' final to clinch her first ITTF Pro Tour under-21 title.

    Team-mate Chen Feng then took to the table to face top seed Patrick Franziska of Germany. Disaster struck for the German when a shoulder injury during the first game forced him to withdraw, ensuring Chen Feng his first under-21 title, as well.

    The senior women's team were assured of two gold medals in the singles and doubles events even before the final day of competition.

    Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu, and Sun Beibei and Yu Mengyu will meet this morning in the women's doubles final and all four paddlers were playing in the last four of the singles at press time last night.

    Men's singles player Zhan Jian was also in action against Marcos Freitas of Portugal in the semi-finals at press time.
     
  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Chinese-related scholarships on offer

    By Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 12 June 2011 1700 hrs
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)


    SINGAPORE: SIM University (UniSIM) and Business China are offering five new scholarships to help nurture young Singaporeans who can be bilingual and bi-cultural professionals.

    The scholarships are for Chinese-related degree programmes, such as Chinese Language and Literature, Translation and Interpretation, as well as Early Childhood Chinese Language Education.

    All the programmes are conducted in Chinese at the university.

    The scholarships, which are bond-free, will cover up to 80 per cent of total course fees.

    They're for Business China members and staff of corporate members who are non-degree holders.

    This is the first time Business China is working with an educational institution.

    Business China CEO Low Yen Ling said: "We will work with UniSIM to see how in the longer term we can scale this beyond five students and five modules that they can choose from.

    "On top of that... we are also exploring similar partnerships with other esteemed educational partners".

    Ms Low is also Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency.

    -CNA/wk
     

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