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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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    In mixed marriages, the government has now gone to the extent of allowing parents to decide what race or combination of racial groups that they want to insert in their children's birth certificates eg Chinese-Indian, Malay-Indian, Korean-American, etc, to remind their children from where their roots are.
     
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Elephant statue auction doesn't flout charity rules

    Only 20 per cent of proceeds to go towards saving Asian elephants, but event is sale by a private firm

    Published on Jan 12, 2012


    Visitors to the Botanic Gardens viewing the elephant sculptures yesterday. More than 150 of the fibreglass sculptures go up for auction today and on Saturday. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM


    By Huang Lijie

    With their vibrant colours and individual 'personalities', the Elephant Parade statues have been turning heads across Singapore.

    But the exhibition - which aims to help save endangered Asian elephants - has also attracted murmurs that not enough of the proceeds are going to the good cause.
    About 70 per cent of the money raised by auctioning the sculptures will be used to cover various costs.

    On Wednesday, however, the office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) made clear that the auction did not flout its rules. That is because it is a sale by a private company, in which part of the proceeds are going to a good cause, as opposed to a full charity auction.
     

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  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Poly students design portable under-vehiclesurveillance system

    04:46 AM Jan 12, 2012

    Singapore - Three final-year students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's automation and mechatronic systems course have developed a portable speed hump equipped with an under-vehicle surveillance system that can be used at police sentry posts.

    The system won the star award during the Singapore Police Force's In-House Team Excellence Symposium last year.

    Vehicle undercarriages are now screened with mirrors - which are rolled around the vehicle - or a scanner, which can take up to two hours to install.

    Working with the Ang Mo Kio Police Division, the students designed a customised speed hump which can be assembled in 10 minutes by two officers.

    As the vehicle is driven over the hump, its entire under-carriage is simultaneously captured by five tiny cameras embedded in the hump. The images are then relayed to the officer's monitor in real time.

    They can also be viewed on handheld devices such as iPhone, iPad or any Android-enabled device
    .

    Being portable and easy to set up, the system is suitable for ad hoc deployment.

    Mr Melvin Chia Soo Kng - one of three students who worked on the project - said it took the team six months to develop a prototype.

    They spent another four months refining it , which costs around S$1,000, he added.

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    From front: Ngee Ann Polytechnic students Kendrick Ng,Melvin Chia and Charlie Chong, developers of the system. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN

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  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Artworks snapped up before public viewing at Art Stage Singapore

    Published on Jan 12, 2012



    The Death Of Marat, a sculpture of a dead man by Chinese artist He Xiangyu, drawing attention yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA


    By Deepika Shetty

    Even before it opened its doors to the public, Singapore's most high-profile art fair, Art Stage Singapore, had sold several expensive works after a by-invitation-only evening on Wednesday night.

    These included one of controversial British artist Tracey Emin's neon works brought in by New York gallery Lehmann Maupin and priced at more than 55,000 pounds (S$109,000). Indian new media artist Ranbir Kaleka's four-channel video projections on paintings were acquired by the private Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi for an undisclosed sum, while Singapore gallery Gajah sold two paintings including one by leading Indonesian artist I Nyoman Masriadi for US$350,000 (S$453,000).

    Singapore artists also did well on the opening night of the glitzy fair, which kicked off at the Marina Bay Sands Exhibition and Convention Centre with more than 8,000 guests from around the world. It is open to the public from today till Sunday.

    Local gallery Richard Koh Fine Art sold seven works by homegrown art collective Vertical Submarine while Gallery 2902, which specialises in photography and whose booth featured Singaporean Robert Zhao's work, sold eight of his works.
     

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  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    New low-cost carrier Scoot unveils cabin crew uniform

    Published on Jan 12, 2012





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    New low-cost carrier Scoot has unveiled its cabin crew uniforms. -- PHOTO: SCOOT



    By Karamjit Kaur

    Scoot, Singapore Airlines' new low-cost carrier, has unveiled its cabin crew uniform.
    When the airline starts operating in the middle of the year, stewardesses will don black and yellow dresses while the men will be in a similarly coloured T-shirt.

    Scoot will fly long-haul routes starting with Sydney, Australia as its first destination and promises fares up to 40 per cent less than what full-service carriers charge.
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Changi Airport honours staff for good service

    Published on Jan 12, 2012



    (From left) Changi Experience agent Maxime D'Alexandry, 22, trolley service assistant Au Jock Lian, 61, and carpark enforcement officer Tan Sui Tiang, 65, were among the 25 award recipients yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN



    Changi Airport trolley service assistant Au Jock Lian was making her rounds at Terminal 2 several months ago when she noticed a crying child standing at a boarding gate.

    The girl's mother had earlier realised that they were at the wrong gate. Because their flight was due to depart very soon, she told the girl to stay put while she rushed to the right gate, hoping to stop the plane from taking off. She would then return.

    Madam Au, 61, who saw what was happening, went up to the girl, reassured her and took her by the hand to catch up with her mother.

    'I wanted to make sure she was all right,' Madam Au said. 'I'll usually look around for passengers who might need help. It's a natural thing for me
     

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  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    [TD="colspan: 2"]Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibition opens at National Library

    Posted: 11 January 2012 1442 hrs



    SINGAPORE: An exhibition showcasing the origins of local street names and Singapore's street naming conventions has been launched.

    The "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" at the National Library also highlights stories about people, their lives and achievements, and roles they played in making Singapore what it is today.

    The National Library says the exhibition aims to create a greater awareness of Singapore's early history, journey through nation building and unique multicultural heritage.

    It also traces the history of Singapore through the street naming conventions from the pre-colonial era to modern day Singapore.

    More than 100 street names are featured, such as during the 14th and 15th century, pre-Raffles Singapore, the Raffles Town Plan and the post-colonial period after Singapore's independence in 1965.

    The different categories of street names, such as descriptive street names, those dedicated to prominent people, streets named after local personalities and street names reflecting the imprint of British colonialism, are featured.

    For instance, the Raffles Town Plan, one of the key exhibits, depicts the urban plan of Singapore according to Sir Stamford Raffles' instructions.

    The exhibition displays maps, photographs and old street signs from the National Library's donor collections and materials from supporting partners.

    Highlights include the National Library's legal documents and maps from the Koh Seow Chuan collection, PictureSG1's photographs of street scenes of early Singapore from the Lee Kip Lin collection, and a video on ten unusual street names such as Kay Poh Road, Rotan Lane and One Tree Hill.

    To reach out to more Singaporeans, three roving exhibitions will be held at the Woodlands Regional Library, Marine Parade Public Library and Jurong West Public Library, from June 30 to September 30, 2012.

    In addition, the National Library will also organise a talk on street names, learning journeys, a guided tour of the exhibition and the Curator's Walk which covers Toponymics, the study of street and place names in January and February 2012.

    National Library Board's CEO Elaine Ng said: "I hope that Singaporeans will enjoy learning about history and heritage through the evolution of our street names. We are also conducting guided tours of the exhibition for students and community groups, and learning journeys to areas such as Chinatown and the Civic District over the next few months."

    Admission to the "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibition is free.

    It is located at the Promenade, Levels 7 and 8 of the National Library Building and will run for six months from January 11 to June 29, 2012, from 10am to 9pm daily, except on public holidays.

    - CNA/fa

    The "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" at the National Library showcases the origins of local street names and Singapore's street naming conventions (Image from National Library)
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    #5567 Loh, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore, Thailand water agencies work on water safety

    10:50 PM Jan 11, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The water agencies of Singapore and Thailand have expressed satisfaction with the progress of the assistance to improve water safety in Bangkok following the floods in the country last year.

    Both sides reviewed the progress of the assistance from Singapore's PUB and Thailand's Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA).

    This took place when Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), Desmond Kuek, met the Governor of MWA, Mr Chareon Passara, in Bangkok today.

    PUB responded to MWA's requests by providing 50 units of online pH-and turbidity-sensors to MWA to enhance the monitoring of water quality in the treatment process in Bangkok.

    The sensors are being installed at the Bangkhen Water Treatment Plant.

    PUB will also train MWA staff on risk assessment and water safety plan formulation, as well as provide laboratory services for testing of water samples from MWA.


    A joint MWA-PUB workshop on water issues, in partnership with the World Health Organisation, is being planned in the first half of this year.

    MEWR said Mr Kuek's visit reaffirmed PUB's longstanding relationship with MWA, enhanced cooperation in water management and flood alleviation, as well as strengthened bilateral ties with Thailand.

    He was accompanied by officials from MEWR and PUB. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Ministerial pay review report misunderstood, says Committee

    Posted: 12 January 2012 0933 hrs



    SINGAPORE: The committee to review ministerial salaries has clarified that the recommended S$1.1 million annual salary for entry-level ministers includes basic pay and bonuses amounting to seven months.

    In its blog post, the committee said it assumes a one-month annual variable component, a three-month performance bonus and a three-month National Bonus.

    Without bonuses, the basic pay is 13 months, totaling S$715,000.

    It made this and several other clarifications in a post on its official blog on January 11.

    It said several aspects of its report have been misunderstood or not clearly understood.

    The committee also explained why its proposed wage benchmark links ministerial pay to the salaries of 1,000 top Singaporean earners.

    It said this was to reflect 'the level of talent it hopes to attract and the need to pay competitive salaries to minimise the opportunity cost for these people to come forward to serve.

    The committee also explained why it had not chosen to peg salaries to foreign leaders' pay instead.

    Although it said this was studied in detail, it wasn't adopted 'as the conditions in other countries are different and so are the compensation principles'.

    Doing so would not allow the committee to 'follow the principles of paying competitive salaries and clean wages'.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that the Government intends to accept the committee's recommendations, which will be debated in Parliament on January 16.

    - CNA/fa


    Gerard Ee, Chairman, Ministerial Salary Review Committee
     

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    #5569 Loh, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    S'pore, Thai studying giant freshwater stingrays in the wild

    Posted: 11 January 2012 1913 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and Thailand's Chulalongkorn University are working on a pioneering project to tag and track giant freshwater stingrays in the wild.

    They sealed the partnership with a Programme Agreement signing at the Singapore Zoo on Wednesday.

    The project, the first of its kind in the world, will involve tagging six wild specimens from the Mae Klong River in Amphawa, Thailand using "Pop-up Archival Transmitting Tags".

    Pop-up Archival Transmitting Tag is a combination of archival and satellite technology designed to track the large-scale movements and behaviour of fish and other animals which do not spend enough time at the surface to allow the use of real-time satellite tags.

    Chulalongkorn University will provide the field research expertise, while WRS will handle all financial aspects, including purchasing the tagging devices.

    Giant freshwater stingrays have attracted global interest due to their enormous size.

    However, little is known of their physiology, behaviour and migration processes.

    This species has not been bred in captivity and is threatened by fisheries and habitat loss.

    Results of the monitoring programme should provide valuable data of field survey and tracking in a natural environment.

    These data could be used to recreate an environment conducive for breeding the animals, thereby reducing the need for wild-caught specimens.

    The study may also shed light on how they affect the riverine ecosystems and if their decline is an indication of the deteriorating health of the whole ecosystem.

    Both organisations will also use the opportunity to raise conservation awareness for this species through educational outreach programmes among the local population in Amphawa district, Thailand, where the study will be conducted and through WRS parks' educational programmes.

    This will be the first official learning and cooperation platform between Thailand and Singapore.

    Ms Isabella Loh, WRS Group CEO said, "This is a significant partnership with Chulalongkorn University to help conserve the giant freshwater stingrays of Southeast Asia, and the aquatic ecosystem they thrive in.

    "Little is known of these enormous creatures and the vital role they play in the riverine ecosystem. This is one of the major interests in our conservation education drive for the upcoming River Safari."

    Dr Sonja Luz, deputy director, Conservation and Research and Learning Centre, said: "Giant freshwater stingrays are still being harvested for food by some local fishermen but we do not know their growth rates, how often they reproduce, their impact on the aquatic ecosystem and if the fishermen's practice is sustainable.

    "This project will elucidate the need for further scientific studies and species census; helping us to understand and manage them better. This study may also shed light on the possibility of a viable managed breeding programme for this species at our aquatic facility in River Safari."

    Prof Dr Mongkol Techakumphu, Dean of faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University added: "This is an excellent opportunity for us to be a part of a momentous study. We hope that the data acquired may even form the backbone for provincial and governmental regulatory controls, encouraging the conservation of the giant freshwater stingray."

    Visitors to River Safari, WRS' freshwater-themed attraction, will be able to discover these mystifying creatures for themselves when the park opens later this year.

    - CNA/ck
     
    #5570 Loh, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  11. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    It's not a satisfactory explanation. Let's say the identity of the person was not reported, yet the results of the ethnic group is reported, then that would be satisfactory.

    That's surely a personal data issue and not something to be reported by the newspaper...especially when there are minors involved who have less say in a society that tends to autocratism. Just because the students are minors does not mean personal data can published with impunity.
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Well, I think the main aim is to report the results of the four ethnic groups, Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian and how well they have improved or otherwise over the past year.

    I think the highlight on the few number of individual outstanding model students was to serve as an inspiration for others to emulate.
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Of course details of personal data are not usually published without obtaining the students'/ parents/guardians' permission. Some parents do not mind and even have their photos published.

    It is a difficult question whether the parents should disclose such information when their children are minors as you rightly say so. Unfortunately, minors and especially babies, are not in a position to defend their rights should they later object to their parents' decisions, which may be made in good faith.

    Race is very important in Singapore. Some groups are left behind because of historical and social circumstances and the government needs to address such issues and to correct any anomalies that exist.

    There are public housing policies based on race. For example in every housing estate, a certain percentage of the flats must be allotted to each ethnic group not only to ensure that public housing is always availabe to them but also as a way to integrate them. In schools, English is the first language to help citizens and PRs integrate better with a common language but students are allowed to study their mother tongue as a second language so that they understand their roots and culture better.
     
  14. venkatesh

    venkatesh Regular Member

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    Hi guys. I just want you to know that I'll be in Singapore this weekend. So, to all my fans out there, see you :):D
    Just kidding.
     
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Come during the Singapore Open 19-24 June.
     
  16. venkatesh

    venkatesh Regular Member

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    I'd love to. Unfortunately, my friends who work in Singapore are not badminton fans. Next time I go there, let's play.
     
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Budget Day is on Feb 17, short-term handouts unlikely

    Published on Jan 13, 2012





    By Melissa Tan

    Singapore's Budget for the year ahead will be delivered on Feb 17, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Thursday.

    The Budget is expected to feature measures to ease business costs and raise productivity, but short-term handouts as the economy slows are unlikely to be on the cards.

    All eyes are on hot-button topics such as foreign worker levies and coping with the manpower shortage in a tight labour market.

    With five weeks to go, members of the public still have time to make suggestions. The ministry has called for ideas on taxes and public spending for Budget 2012. Feedback can be submitted until Feb 5 via its Budget 2012 website at www.singaporebudget.gov.sg


    Photo:
    Singapore's changed skyline with the incorporation of the new Marina Bay Financial Centre on the left and a rejuvenated Clifford Pier.
     

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  18. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Mobility in S'pore 'higher than previously thought'

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    by Neo Chai Chin
    04:46 AM Jan 13, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Having poor or less-educated fathers does not necessarily mean their sons will fare similarly, according to a study by a Ministry of Finance economist.

    Using the income records of about 39,500 father-son pairs from the Department of Statistics, the study has found inter-generational mobility in incomes and educational attainment to be "moderate to high", and higher than levels in the United States.

    The correlation between measures of fathers' incomes and those of their sons is 0.22 to 0.30, depending on whether annual or monthly incomes were used. The number typically varies between 0 and 1, with a higher value implying lower mobility.

    A 1992 US study found a correlation score of 0.4 and concluded inter-generational mobility there to be "relatively low".

    The Singapore study tried to measure the incomes of fathers and sons as close to the middle of the life cycle as possible: Cohorts of eldest sons born from 1969 to 1978 and their mean employment income in 2008, and their fathers' mean employment incomes between 1996 and 2000.

    Daughters and younger sons were left out, in line with comparable studies to avoid gender or birth-order biases in child investments, and also because daughters' incomes may be complicated by events such as childbirth and marriage.

    Despite recording relatively high levels of mobility, the study by Ministry of Finance economist Yip Chun Seng noted "some evidence, though not strong, of lower mobility among the poor".

    The report found mobility levels here higher than that found in two previous studies here using smaller sample sizes. Titled Intergenerational Income Mobility In Singapore and available on the MOF's website, it cited increased educational opportunities in the 1960s to 1980s as a possible reason for the relative mobility.
     
  19. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    New life for army camp

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    by Hoe Yeen Nie
    04:46 AM Jan 13, 2012

    SINGAPORE - A former colonial army camp will soon get a new lease of life as a hub for contemporary Asian art, with 13 pioneer galleries to be occupying the space unveiled yesterday.

    The Gillman Barracks project is spearheaded by the Economic Development Board (EDB), JTC Corporation and the National Arts Council (NAC), at a relatively lean budget of under S$10 million.

    Gillman Barracks will also have a Centre for Contemporary Art, and will conduct artist residencies, hold public exhibitions and conduct research into art critique.

    The galleries that have signed on include Kaikai Kiki from Japan, and China's Pearl Lam Galleries, which are currently exhibiting at Art Stage Singapore. The only Singapore presence is FOST Gallery, which was established in 2006 and represents works by local and international artists.

    Some galleries have expressed interest in working with Singapore artists and taking them to the global stage. There will be about 20 galleries when Gillman Barracks is fully up and running.

    The NAC hopes the galleries will also grow the appetite for art. Its deputy CEO, Mr Khor Kok Wah, says: "If you look at a programme like the Art Stage, which we strongly support, you can see that there are many people here who may not be collectors. They are here because they are curious and interested. There is something here at Gillman Barracks that will speak to every one of them."

    Adds Dr Eugene Tan, programme director for lifestyle at the EDB: "The best way to educate audiences about art is just by showing them really good art, which is what I think the galleries will bring. We will complement that with activities and outreach programmes that will help explain what all this means to audiences here."

    Gillman Barracks will open in the second quarter of the year.


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    PHOTO COURTESY THE SINGAPORE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD



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  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Initiative for better food hygiene

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    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:47 AM Jan 13, 2012

    SINGAPORE - To promote better hygiene standards and food handling processes, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has rolled out a documentation process it hopes food caterers will adopt.

    Unveiled at a seminar for caterers yesterday, the Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) requires all the practices in the catering process to be documented, from food storage and preparation to cooking and delivery.

    This will give supervisors of the process better oversight of operations, which can be extensive due to the wide variety of food being prepared simultaneously.

    The voluntary initiative comes in light of food-poisoning incidents caused by caterers, while the number of food catering companies has grown over the years. There were 11 cases between January and November last year, and 11 cases in 2010, according to the NEA.

    It noted that cross-contamination is recognised by food safety experts worldwide to be one of the primary causes of food poisoning.

    Steps to be taken under the FSMS include colour-coding chopping boards and providing evidence of records pertaining to food storage and preparation.

    "As each type of raw food ingredient contains its own hazards, a clearly documented process will better enable supervisors to do more comprehensive audits to ensure that proper practices are carried out at each preparation station each time," said the NEA.

    Association of Catering Professionals President James Wong welcomed the initiative. "The investment of resources in sustaining a proper food safety management system will ultimately benefit businesses by increasing consumers' confidence," he said.

    "Customers today are becoming more discerning, and with food poisoning incidents capturing media and public attention, all caterers will do well to integrate such systems in their day-to-day operations."

    Urging more caterers to implement the FSMS, Mr Tai Ji Choong, the NEA's director for environmental health, said this initiative will help caterers meet customers' expectations of clean and safe food.

    "To facilitate such efforts, NEA is working with the relevant stakeholders to introduce simplified templates that can be easily used by any caterer to introduce FSMS in their operations," he added.
     
    #5580 Loh, Jan 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

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