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Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Loh, May 4, 2009.
Well done, Uncle Loh. Btw, I hope you can re-open the Singapore Players thread.
Hi Justin, Thank you, just hope more of our members and visitors can understand Singapore better with regular updates.
Like you I was disappointed that the "Singapore Players" thread was locked an I hope our moderators will be kind enough to reopen it.
Many will know that Singapore badminton players, especially our men, lags behind our
Southeast Asian neighbors. The thread was started to introduce some of our better players to our BC fraternity and to encourage and cheer them on to achieve better performances, just like my "Singapore Also Can" thread hopes to do.
I hope Kwun can respond positively.
Teenage fencer Joshua sets unique record in South-east Asian C'ships
Singapore fencer Joshua Lim.
By Gerard Wong -
BANDAR SERI BAGAWAN - He may only be 16 but fencer Joshua Lim has set a unique record in South-East Asian fencing that his seniors can only marvel at.
The teenager became the first Singaporean fencer to win all six gold medals in Senior, Junior and Cadet Individual and Team events at the South-east Asian Fencing Federation Championships after helping the Republic to win the men’s team foil title in the ongoing Cadet competitions today.
After beating Brunei 45-7 in the semi-finals, Joshua and teammates Christian Lim, Jet Ng, and Chan Wei Yu beat Causeway rivals Malaysia 45-26 to claim the title.
The victory ensured that Joshua completed his sweep of all six gold medals at Senior, Junior and Cadet level. He had won the senior individual and team golds in Ho Chi Minh City two months ago, and earlier this week, he won the junior individual and team titles, as well as the individual cadet crown.
“Its been a very successful few months for me and I am very glad to earn this very special record at this level,” he said.
“Of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my team mates’ support as they have all contributed to the successes at the team events.”
On his future goals, he said: “I have not really thought about it but it will be a hectic few months as I will be travelling to Europe for a training camp in order to prepare for the Asian Junior Championships at Bangkok in March as well as the World Junior Championships at Croatia in April.”
The men’s team foil (cadet) gold was one of two that Singapore won yesterday.
The other was the women’s sabre team title. Just like their male counterparts, the quartet of Candice Lee, Joyce Ng, Lau Ywen and Jolie Lee scored a comfortable win over their opponents in the final as they defeated Vietnam 45-32.
But Vietnam turned the tables on Singapore in the women’s epee team event when they defeated the team of Donna Lim, Nicole Aw, Tasia Lee and Jainus Lee 38-30 The two golds mean that Singapore are level with Vietnam in the medal table. After three days of competition, the Republic’s fencers have a total medal haul of 4 golds, 3 silvers and 10 bronzes.
The championships will end tomorrow with the Men’s Epee, Women’s Foil and the Men’s Sabre teams in action.
Experts weigh in on population projections
Analysts noted that external factors, such as the global economy, would likely throw the Government's population forecasts off the mark. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Past projections fell short of real growth, but some analysts feel that current forecast would have factored in buffer
By Woo Sian Boon
8 hours 26 min ago
SINGAPORE — As Parliament sits today to debate the White Paper on population, some experts have questioned the soundness and accuracy of the projected population figures, given the difficulty in forecasting population growth.
Citing the Government’s track record of underestimating population growth, they noted that external factors, such as the global economy and the demand for labour, would likely throw such forecasts off the mark.
Nevertheless, others felt that policymakers would have gleaned lessons from past instances and factored in a buffer in their latest projections.
In particular, demographer Gavin Jones from the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS) pointed out that the population projections for 2030 factored in more than two million non-residents. This would give policymakers some “flexibility”, he noted.
The White Paper projects that by 2020, there could be between 5.8 million and 6 million people in Singapore. By 2030, the range is projected to increase to between 6.5 million and 6.9 million.
But Economic Society of Singapore Vice-President Yeoh Lam Keong reiterated that population growth “always tends to exceed projected forecast”.
“Because, firstly, there is very strong demand for labour from existing labour-intensive industries, and industry has a strong influence on immigration policy,” he said.
“Secondly, given economic uncertainty, during the times when we have growth, the Government tends to err on the side of caution and go for more growth. Given these two tendencies, we tend to systematically overshoot population growth, not intentionally, but because of circumstance and current institutional practice.”
While SIM University economics professor Randolph Tan noted that such forecasts are “always notoriously inaccurate”, he felt that publishing the White Paper was a “responsible” move by the Government, as it allows Singaporeans to air their concerns and hear “both sides of the debate”.
But he said that policymakers could have come up with a less definitive forecast.
Instead, Singaporeans could be informed about the probability of reaching a population of 6.9 million by 2030, he suggested.
“The question therefore … is, what is the precision of the projections? What is the potential error range? How far can we afford to be wrong?”
The Government’s past population projections have been below the mark. For example, the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Concept Plan in 1991 projected a population of four million to be reached after 2010.
By 2000, however, the Republic’s total population had already crossed that mark.
In 2001, the population was estimated to hit 5.5 million in the long term. When it reached 4.6 million in 2007, the projection for planning purposes was adjusted to 6.5 million. The Government had acknowledged that it was caught off guard by the surge in the number of immigrants.
NUS sociologist Tan Ern Ser felt that the Government, in learning from its past experience, “would have built in some buffers and not cut (the projection) too close”.
Agreeing with Dr Tan, NUS Department of Real Estate professor Tay Kah Poh added: “In other words, the plan assumes some degree of over-shooting, which is a huge change in thinking from before.”
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted last week that the projection was “aggressive” so that the Government “will not be caught under-providing, as we are experiencing currently” — a stance that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Facebook that he fully agreed with.
Still, Mr Yeoh proposed capping the total population to 6 million in 2030 and 6.5 million by 2050.
He said: “A population of 6.5 million will be very cosmopolitan, (there will be) a lot of foreigners but it will still have significant indigenous components. And it will be relatively wealthy so it might resemble … Switzerland, with significant social cohesion and national identity.”
He added that, should Singapore ever reach a population of 8 million to 9 million, “it would look more like Dubai”. There could be “extreme income inequality, extreme dependence on foreigners and would be extremely crowded and unpleasant”, said Mr Yeoh.
Meanwhile, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Senior Fellow Donald Low criticised the lack of scholarship and academic rigour in the White Paper.
Writing on Facebook, Mr Low, a former high-flying civil servant, noted that there “wasn’t even a References section to show what research the writers of the paper had done, what social science theories they relied on, what competing theories/frameworks they looked at”.
Citing Australia’s recent White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century or reports by the British government, which he said are “always complete with references to the social science literature”, Mr Low added: “There was also a surprising lack of rigorous comparison with other countries that have gone through, or are going through, a similar demographic transition.”
S’pore third most expensive city in Asia to live in: survey
16 min 13 sec ago
SINGAPORE — The Republic has been ranked the third most expensive city to live in Asia and the sixth in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2013 survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
The survey compares the cost of living among 131 cities worldwide using New York as a base city. Its findings show that the relative cost of living in Asian hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong has moved higher.
This is largely due to rising wages and growth in the region, as well as the persistent weakness in Europe.
Tokyo tops the list again this year as the most expensive city to live in, thanks to Japanese deflation, a weaker yen and rising prices across the world.
Among the 27 Asian cities surveyed, Chinese cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen have seen the cost of living continue to rise.
This was fuelled by wage inflation, increasing demand for consumer goods and strict currency controls.
The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is carried out twice yearly, and compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drinks, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.
Meanwhile, economic growth has supported inflation and currency swings in Australian cities — placing Sydney and Melbourne at the third and fifth place in the top ten most costliest cities.
Editor of the report Jon Copestake said: “The cost of living in Europe has seen relative declines, thanks to economic austerity and currency fears. But Asian cities have also been rising on the back of wage growth and economic optimism. This means that over half of the 20 most expensive cities now hail from Asia and Australasia.”
However, Asia also remains host to six of the world’s ten cheapest cities — with Tehran clinching the top spot, followed by Jeddah. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
Singapore inks MOU with international body to promote aviation training
Published on Feb 05, 2013
Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew (second from right) during the commissioning ceremony of the Lorads III, a new air traffic control simulator, held at the Singapore Aviation Academy on Sept 3, 2012. Singapore has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to promote aviation training. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
By Royston Sim
Singapore has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to promote aviation training.
Under the memorandum, Singapore will extend a programme that provides training fellowships by three years, till 2016. The number of fellowships under the ICAO-Singapore Developing Country Training Programme will also increase from 180 to 250.
In addition, a new Aviation Leaders Scholarship will be introduced with up to six scholarships awarded each year for the Diploma in Civil Aviation Management at the Singapore Aviation Academy.
The signing took place Tuesday morning at the opening ceremony of the fourth World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew delivered the welcome address for the forum.
New study of sports sector's long-term manpower needs
Published on Feb 05, 2013
Sprinter Shanti Pereira in action during the Singapore Athletics Association (SAA) Track and Field Series 1 held at ITE College East Simei on Jan 6, 2013. The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) will conduct a study this year to address the longer-term manpower needs of the sports sector, said Acting Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday. -- TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG
By Andrea Ong
The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) will conduct a study this year to address the longer-term manpower needs of the sports sector, said Acting Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday.
Responding to a question from Nominated MP Nicholas Fang on talent development in sports administration and management, Mr Wong said this topic will be covered in the new study.
Among other things, the study will look at how to ensure a stable supply of expertise in sports administration and management. MCCY and SSC will also engage the National Sports Associations to "find out what competencies and skills we are lacking" and the salary benchmarks Singapore should be aiming at, said Mr Wong.
Mr Fang and Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) later rose to emphasise the importance of good sports administrators in helping Singapore's athletes to perform at their best. Mr de Souza asked for more grants while Mr Fang asked if the ministry could highlight sports administration as an area where people can offer financial support instead of the conventional sports sponsorship.
Acknowledging their concerns, Mr Wong said his ministry hopes to look into the issue in a holistic fashion and is prepared to put in more resources if necessary. He highlighted the ways in which the SSC already helps the NSAs to upgrade their administrative and management capabilities, such as providing training grants and working with local and foreign educational institutions to offer diploma and degree courses in sports administration.
Teenager Martina cracks idol Ser’s record
Teenager Martina Lindsay Veloso (pictured), a student-athlete with the Singapore Sports School, could become one of Singapore’s top national shooters. Photo: Singapore Sports School
By Deborah Ong
13 hours 26 min ago
SINGAPORE — She may have been in the sport competitively for only a year, but Martina Lindsay Veloso, 14, still managed a perfect 400 to win the schools’ division of the women’s 10m air rifle at the HomeTeamNS Invitation Shoot and rewrite the national record of 399 set in 2008 by Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jasmine Ser.
Martina, a Secondary 2 student at the Singapore Sports School, was not even aware of it until her coach Lim Chea Rong broke the news.
“We were having lunch after the competition when my coach told me I shot a perfect score,” she said. “I was shocked. I asked her if she was sure because I didn’t get a look at my score throughout the competition.”
Lim admitted the Sports School’s philosophy of “shoot, forget about the shot and then focus on the next target” helped Martina.
“Getting a ‘400’ is not easy. At that level, it is not only about skill but about mental strength,” said the former national shooter. “I was surprised she managed to do it so soon. I am very happy for her.”
Ser, who shot 396 to win the open category, added: “It’s good that younger shooters like Martina are stepping up. It’ll take the sport to higher levels, and this result will spur other young shooters to want to be like Martina.”
Martina, who trains three hours thrice weekly, made the cut for the Sports School shooting team through its “Learn-to-Shoot” programme which started in 2011 for their partner primary schools, and is one of three female shooters hand-picked by 2009 SEA Games medallist Lim.
The teenager posted her previous best of 395 en route to winning the event at last year’s Thailand Open Shooting Championship, and credits Ser as a vital influence.
“I used to observe the way she shot and tried to imitate it in competitions. She taught me to never give up,” Martina said.
“I would like to participate in this year’s Asian Youth Games. There’s another competition this month (the NUS invitational shoot) so I’m hoping to repeat my performance there again. I also hope to participate in the Olympics one day,”
Her mother, Loreso, 35, stressed the importance of her daughter leading a balanced life despite the high hopes placed on her. Said Loreso: “I want her to enjoy her life, and her childhood. Most importantly, she must always be grateful, and not forget the people who have helped her along the way.” DEBORAH ONG
Still in search of perfection
Star paddler earns nomination for 5th straight year and eyes more glory
Published on Feb 02, 2013
in The Straits Times
By May Chen
FENG Tianwei is a three-time Olympic medallist with an uncompleted to-do list.
Even with a world team title wrested from the hands of mighty China on her resume, Singapore's top table tennis player's thirst for glory is insatiable.
"I'm a Virgo," the 26-year-old born on Aug 31 declared proudly.
But to be unsatisfied after a year that included two Olympic medals - a bronze in the singles and another in the team event that made her Singapore's first multiple Olympic medallist at a singles Games - is perhaps what separates athletes like Feng from those who are less successful.
Said The Straits Times Athlete of the Year award nominee: "No matter how well I do, I always feel that I am capable of more. I have very high expectations of myself and am almost never content."
Feng is the only athlete to have been considered for every single edition of the annual award since it was inaugurated in 2009 - although she was twice named as part of the national women's team.
She won the 2010 trophy with her team-mates for beating powerhouses China to the world title.
Or perhaps, in the eyes of this self-proclaimed perfectionist, 2012 remains an imperfect year - and her toughest yet.
"My results fluctuated a lot and my world ranking dropped," said Feng, who started the year ranked fifth but was 10th by June.
For someone who was once a match away from being the world's best paddler, 10th was unthinkable.
"Because of my bad performances at tournaments before the Olympics, I wondered from time to time if I was going to be a flop at the Games," the current world No.8 recalled.
But she steam-rollered Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa 4-0 in the bronze-medal play-off to win Singapore's first individual Olympic medal in 52 years.
Where others like coach Jing Junhong and team-mate Li Jiawei had fallen short at previous Games, Feng rose to the occasion.
"I wanted to change history," she said. "Playing at the Olympics is like walking into a life-or-death battle. It's a baptism of fire for athletes and anyone who goes through it comes out different."
With the recent retirement of veterans Li and Wang Yuegu, Feng is now tasked with leading a largely untested team to success. The burden feels heavier than ever.
But having twice emerged with distinction from the cauldron that is the Olympics, there is a quiet confidence about her.
"Our team now is young and inexperienced. I have to shoulder more of the responsibility so the others can bear less. But I think I can do it," she said.
Hazard a guess if you like, but Feng will not reveal what her unfulfilled mission is. She said: "I still have one more target to meet, but I will not say what it is. When I've done it, you'll know."
Table tennis star Feng Tianwei, Singapore's first multiple Olympic medallist at a single Games, says that no matter how well she has done, she feels she is capable of more. She still has a target to fulfil, though she is not telling. -- ST FILE PHOTO
Core principle of pricing new flats - affordability: Khaw
By S Ramesh | Posted: 05 February 2013 1415 hrs
SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the core principle behind the pricing of new HDB flats remains affordability.
Replying to questions in Parliament on Tuesday, he said the prices of new HDB flats are set based on the typical household income of families, the market price of similar resale flats in the vicinity, and the flat size and location.
Mr Khaw said HDB applies a substantial price discount to ensure that the new flats will be affordable and to give eligible first-time home buyers a leg up, the government provides them with significant housing grants of up to S$60,000.
He said in this way first-timers who buy new flats in non-mature estates will find them affordable.
MP for Nee Soon GRC Lee Bee Wah asked in Parliament: "If I heard correctly just now, minister mentioned that the resale price of the flats in the vicinity is taken into consideration. I thought recently minister mentioned the price of new BTO flat has just been de-linked from the resale price?"
Mr Khaw said: "The member has not heard wrongly. Both statements are correct. We take into account those factors, and we apply a discount, and then further we give extra grants to the members. But in recent months because when I de-linked - the meaning of de-linking means, I vary the discounts, so that the prices can maintain, steady."
White Paper is govt's plan to forestall impending crisis: ESM Goh
By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 06 February 2013 1914 hrs
SINGAPORE: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said the White Paper on Population is the government's plan to forestall an impending crisis.
Speaking in Parliament for the first time since he stepped down from Cabinet in 2011, Mr Goh also said decisions made will have implications on Singapore's competitiveness and international stature.
Mr Goh said the government faces some serious challenges ahead such as addressing the constraints of space and the limits of an ageing and shrinking citizen population.
There is also the need to meet the higher expectations of a well-educated young generation for better jobs, promising careers, affordable housing and comfortable lifestyles.
Thus, the White Paper is a strategic plan to find solutions to sustain growth and prosperity to benefit all Singaporeans.
Mr Goh said: "But unlike our previous crises, our demographic challenge unfolds imperceptibly over one or two decades like a slow, sinking ship. Yet it is urgent, in that we need to decide how to act now to right the ship. That is the difficulty for the Prime Minister and his team. They have to think long term. They can see the population pyramid becoming unstable. They can see the silver tsunami coming. They can see the economy deflating at some point in the future. They fear the Singapore ship will sink."
Mr Goh said he is reassured that the population figure of 6.9 million is a planning parameter and not a target.
And instead on being fixated on the population figure, he urged for agreement on the broad approach laid out in the paper.
These include changing to a lower gear in economic growth and a calibrated slow-down in expansion of the non-resident workforce.
Mr Goh said the White Paper seeks to strike a balance, with the interests of Singaporeans and businesses in mind.
He said: "A reduced inflow of foreign workers will complement the impetus to raise productivity. Our businesses must adjust and the government will help them make the transition. Those which are structurally unable to may have to rationalize their operations. Some may have to relocate. Affected Singaporean workers must be helped."
Mr Goh said continual economic restructuring is one of the enduring features of the Singapore Story.
And as Singapore is a price-taker in international economics and geopolitics, whether the country can continue to shape international developments to its advantage, is contingent on it remaining vibrant and successful.
He said foreign businesses in Singapore are watching the debate and the next steps to be taken closely.
Mr Goh said: "If our institutions are not forward-looking, our economy flat, our society divided, Singapore will not be able to punch above its weight. It will lose its lustre and influence. Why would others invest in Singapore and in Singaporeans if our house is in disarray and we cannot solve the big problems confronting the country?
"These are tough, fundamental challenges which the PM and his ministers will have to resolve. They will have to do this not only intellectually and logically, but also emotionally and sensitively. They will have to dispel people's current and future fears, win their hearts and minds, while planning a better tomorrow for them."
He added: "I applaud PM and his team for their courage and leadership in tabling this paper to sketch out the next chapter of the Singapore Story. The politically expedient alternative would have been to leave the issue to his successor to tackle."
Mr Goh said the challenges face concern all Singaporeans and that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong did the right thing to lay out the challenges in a transparent manner so that Singaporeans and debate and build consensus on their future.
"PM and his team did the right thing by laying out the problems, the trade-offs, and our options in a transparent manner so that all Singaporeans can become more aware of our demographic destiny, debate it and build consensus on the way forward."
Mr Goh asked Singaporeans to read the White Paper together with the many programmes that the government is rolling out to meet the needs of Singaporeans.
And together, he said, they formed the strategic plan to make lives better for all Singaporeans.
Take a visual tour of the Kranji Experience
Published on Feb 08, 2013
The dam at Kranji Reservoir Park was constructed in 1975 and was one of Singapore's earliest solutions to solve water constraints. The park was also the place where a group of volunteers called the Dalforce fought alongside Australian troops against the Japanese on Feb 10, 1942. The allied troops scored themselves a victory after burning the invading forces after setting fire to oil released from the nearby Woodlands depot. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The Kranji War Cemetery on Feb 1, 2013. The cemetery is the last stop of five checkpoints of the Resilience Trail War and Peace, The Kranji Experience. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The entrance of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Students get to visit a main hide, a shelter for discreetly watching wildlife and a mangrove boardwalk. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A photo of the Kranji Reservoir Park, the fourth stop during War and Peace, The Kranji Experience on Feb 1, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A photo of the mangrove boardwalk at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the third stop during War and Peace, The Kranji Experience on Feb 1, 2013. Students will also get to watch a 12 minute video and visit a main hide, which is a shelter for the discreet watching of wildlife. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A crab spotted along the mangrove boardwalk at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, which is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Students also get to visit a main hide, a shelter for discreetly watching wildlife. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A crocodile spotted along the mangrove boardwalk at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, which is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Students also get to visit a main hide, a shelter for discreetly watching wildlife. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The mangrove boardwalk at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, which is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Students also get to visit a main hide, a shelter for discreetly watching wildlife. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The memorial plaque at Sarimbun Beach. The Japanese invaded Singapore here on Feb 8, 1942. Despite defeating the first two waves of Japanese troops, The Australian defence was breeched on the third wave. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mr Sam Tan, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Culture, Community and Youth launched the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth's (MCCY) Resilience Trail, War & Peace: The Kranji Experience yesterday.
The trail features the World War II battlefield site of Srimbun beach where Allied soldiers fought against the invading Japanese Army.
This is the fourth in a series of trails designed to promote an appreciation of our history and heritage.
ST Athlete of the Year: Maturity maketh the champion
Reining in her temperament pays off for Ng as she finally hits the jackpot
Published on Feb 09, 2013
Bowling world champion Shayna Ng is now calmer and more in control at crucial moments. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
By Wang Meng Meng
SHAYNA Ng is a world champion bowler, but few know that her glorious career very nearly did not take off.
She shot to nationwide prominence in December when she won the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Poland. That made her the second Singaporean - after Jasmine Yeong-Nathan in 2008 - to become the world champion.
Her achievement, which was one of the highlights in a golden year for Singapore sport, earned her a nomination for The Straits Times' Athlete of the Year award.
But it nearly did not turn out that way.
Ng had enjoyed a rapid rise in the sport. From a beginner as a 13-year-old in 2002, her talent ensured that she was in the national junior squad within a year. By 2006, she was already a full international.
But just as quickly, she was relegated back to the juniors a year later for exhibiting a poor attitude in training.
She slogged her way back into the senior team in 2008. Then, she started winning. First came the 2010 Asian Games (trios) crown, then the Hong Kong Open, Commonwealth Championships (doubles, mixed team) and SEA Games (team) titles in 2011.
But, despite her growing success, defeats rankled. None more so than the 2011 World Women's Championships (WWC) loss in Hong Kong.
Then, she had finished third despite a WWC singles record score of 1,601 over six games (average of 266) in the preliminaries, beating the previous mark by almost 200 pinfalls (1,407). But she failed to deliver in the final rounds.
Ng recalled: "Back then, I would blame everyone and everything but myself. I would say that the competition format was unfair.
"I was always in denial. It made me feel better for a while but not in the long run."
The 23-year-old then gave the assurance that that is all in the past. She now uses cue words tailored to calm her down in certain situations during competition.
"Stay aggressive", "focus on the process, not outcome"... mental pointers such as these.
"I've always needed that little bit more control at the most crucial moments. I used to be nervous, especially at step-ladder tournaments," she said.
"Those cue words have helped me block my opponent out from my mind and let me play my own game."
And despite the pain, she is thankful for the defeats she had suffered previously for the experiences are priceless.
Ng explained: "You can train every day but experience is something that cannot be trained.
"You can be very talented but you will still need to respond to the pressures of real competition."
The practice, the hardened psyche, the wisdom and the muscle memory all came together in spectacular fashion in Poland as she ended 2012 with the world crown on her spiky hair.
She began 2013 in similar fashion, winning the International Championships in Japan, which come with a prize purse of US$60,000 (S$73,500) and pitted her against 118 other women.
But hunger is driving her on.
She said: "I keep telling myself that I've not won anything yet. There's another important game still to play."
Amended motion on white paper adopted; 6.9 million is not a target
Published on Feb 09, 2013
People crossing the road at Bugis Junction on Feb 8, 2013. In his speech on Friday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the 6.9 million figure had been taken out of context. The future population, he said, depends on Singaporeans of tomorrow and not the Government of today.-- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHiA
After a week of robust debate, MPs and political observers welcomed the amended motion of the White Paper endorsed by Parliament on Friday.
The changes make clear that the 6.9 million population figure in 2030 is not a target and the Government is not deciding now on any specific population size for beyond 2020. The projections beyond this decade are for the purpose of land use and infrastructure planning. Meanwhile, priority will be be given to addressing current infrastructure bottlenecks.
In his speech on Friday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the 6.9 million figure had been taken out of context. The future population, he said, depends on Singaporeans of tomorrow and not the Government of today.
His own guess was that it would be somewhere above six million to cater to an ageing baby boomer generation but yet "significantly below" 6.9 million.
"Nobody knows what's going to happen in 2030. Even in 2020, you cannot be sure... Therefore we cannot decide on a population trajectory beyond 2020," he said.
There will be a review of plans in the white paper closer to 2020, PM Lee added.
Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan welcomed the Government's move to stress that the 6.9 million figure is not a target but a planning parameter, and said this now has to sink in with Singaporeans. Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa, who proposed the amendments, said: "It's good that we can highlight a few things in the amended motion like the Singaporean core, and the fact that this is not a population target. I think the backbencher MPs were more comfortable with the amendment."
The original motion reads: "That this House endorses Paper Cmd. 1 of 2013 on "A Sustainable Population for a Dynamic Singapore" as the population policy roadmap to address Singapore's demographic challenge, and Paper Misc. 1 of 2013 on "A High Quality Living Environment for all Singaporeans" as the land use plan to support Singapore's future population."
The amendment proposed by Mr Liang on Tuesday reads:
(1) to leave out "population policy"; and
(2) at the end, to add "projections; and supports maintaining a strong Singaporean core by encouraging more Singaporeans to get married and have children, supplemented by a calibrated pace of immigration to prevent the citizen population from shrinking; and recognises that the population projections beyond 2020 are for the purpose of land use and infrastructure planning, and not a population target; and calls on the Government to:
(a) place priority on resolving current strains on the infrastructure, particularly in transport;
(b) plan, invest in, and implement infrastructure development ahead of demand;
(c) ensure that the benefits of our population policies, such as better job opportunities and salaries, flow to Singaporeans; and
(d) carry out medium term reviews of our population policies and assumptions to take into account the changing needs of Singapore and Singaporeans, as well as changing domestic and external circumstances."
Changi Airport takes off as a garden haven with more than 100,000 plants
Published on Feb 09, 2013
Visitors at the garden in Changi Airport's Terminal 2 on Feb 7, 2013. A team of 10 horticulturists manage 150 gardeners and are constantly looking for ways to keep the airport plants looking fresh and vibrant. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Chinese New Year installations in Changi Airport's Terminal 1 on Feb 7, 2013. A team of 10 horticulturists manage 150 gardeners and are constantly looking for ways to keep the airport plants looking fresh and vibrant. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Butterfly garden at the Changi Airport's Terminal 3. A team of 10 horticulturists manage 150 gardeners and are constantly looking for ways to keep the airport plants looking fresh and vibrant. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
An aeroplane outside of Changi Airport on Feb 7, 2013. A team of 10 horticulturists manage 150 gardeners and are constantly looking for ways to keep the airport plants looking fresh and vibrant. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Butterfly garden at the Changi Airport's Terminal 3. A team of 10 horticulturists manage 150 gardeners and are constantly looking for ways to keep the airport plants looking fresh and vibrant. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Sunflower Garden in Changi Airport's Terminal 2 on Feb 7, 2013. A team of 10 horticulturists manage 150 gardeners and are constantly looking for ways to keep the airport plants looking fresh and vibrant. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
By Natasha Ann Zachariah
The next time you are rushing through any of Changi Airport's three terminals, stop and smell the roses.
With more than 100,000 plants in the vicinity, the airport here is no longer just a place for commuting, as landscaping becomes a large part of infrastructure planning.
For more, see Life!Weekend.
Changi to spend $1.3b to build T4 and surrounding infrastructure
Published on Feb 08, 2013
Changi Airport will spend close to $1.3 billion to build Terminal 4 as well as new roads and aircraft parking bays to support the capacity growth. Work on the facility and infrastructure will start this year and be completed in 2017, Changi Airport Group said on Friday. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
By Karamjit Kaur
Changi Airport will spend close to $1.3 billion to build Terminal 4 as well as new roads and aircraft parking bays to support the capacity growth. Work on the facility and infrastructure will start this year and be completed in 2017, Changi Airport Group said on Friday.
T4 to be built where the old Budget Terminal was located will be a two-storey high building designed to cater mainly to budget carriers and regional airlines that operate single-aisle aircraft.
But unlike the spartan Budget Terminal, it will offer passengers more comfort and services, the airport said.
For example it will provide aerobridges so people are sheltered from the rain and sun instead of having to board and disembark aircraft using mobile stairs.
There will also be more shops and restaurants.
Guided tours on Istana Open House days
By Vimita Mohandas
15 hours 40 min ago
SINGAPORE - For the first time, a guided tour will be held at the Istana to promote a deeper understanding of the national monument - a collaboration between the Preservation of Monuments Board and the Istana of Singapore.
The first tour will be offered on Monday at the Istana's Lunar New Year Open House. Whether it's a painting inspired by a tropical plantation or a decorated ceiling, there's a human interest story behind each art piece.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam said: "People come here but they don't really understand the significance of the building and some of the artefacts and paintings until somebody explains it to you. Just like myself, I come here everyday and I pass all these things and it doesn't register until you know what are the details."
But now you can get the chance to hear the stories behind the 144-year-old national monument through a guided tour. The 45-minute tour, led by a team of volunteers, will take visitors through Singapore during the colonial days to the tumultuous years towards independence.
One of the art pieces that stood out for President Tony Tan was a Balinese painting which has multiple stories playing out simultaneously within the picture. So one can expect to see iconic structures and buildings of Singapore's landscape which include the Merlion, Changi Airport and the Singapore River.
Visitors can also expect to hear stories of individuals involved in the daily management in each of the three stately rooms. A banquet hall that used to be the kitchen underwent renovation to now host State banquets held in honour of visiting heads of states and governments. The centrepiece of the room is a chandelier weighing 220 kilogrammes.
The tour will be offered on all Istana Open House days from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Ticket fees for the guided tour are at S$2 for children between the ages of 4 and 12, S$4 for Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, and S$10 for foreigners.
All proceeds collected from the tours will be donated to the Community Chest.
Tickets can be bought at the site itself. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
NTU teams up with Israeli university in satellite and space research
Published on Feb 11, 2013
By Khushwant Singh
THE Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) have teamed up to collaborate in satellite and space research.
A joint press statement issued on Monday stated that this cooperation would allow NTU to expand its satellite research programme with one of the world's top science and technology research universities that is often dubbed "Israel's MIT", a reference to the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on Sunday by the president of NTU, Professor Bertil Andersson, and Technion's president, Professor Peretz Lavie, in Haifa in Israel.
"The agreement will strengthen NTU's satellite programme, cementing its position as Singapore's number one university in satellite research," said Professor Andersson.
Singapore painter Ruben Pang opens solo show in Lugano with Italian art gallery
Published on Feb 11, 2013
After Singapore painter Ruben Pang made his mark in Milan with a group show last November with Italian gallery Primo Marella, he is now holding a solo exhibition in Lugano, Switzerland, this month. -- ST PHOTO: TERRENCE LIM
By Deepika Shetty
After Singapore painter Ruben Pang made his mark in Milan with a group show last November with Italian gallery Primo Marella, he is now holding a solo exhibition in Lugano, Switzerland, this month.
The choice of Europe for Pang's international solo debut comes amid buzz already building there for the artist.
At the group show in November, called Deep S.E.A - Contemporary Art from South East Asia, three of Pang's paintings sold even before it opened.
His new solo show consists of three sculptures - the first time he has exhibited the genre - together with nine new paintings. Pang describes the paintings as "an attempt to bring a saturated light/digital visual effects/dream sequences/glitches into oil paint".
Singapore scientists develop advanced way to map human DNA changes
[h=1]6 hours 5 min ago[/h]SINGAPORE - Singapore scientists have discovered a way to map chemical changes that occur in the human DNA using 100 times fewer cells than was previously possible.
The Genome Institute of Singapore describes this as an "extremely important advancement".
That's because the regulation of any changes to cells in the body is essential for normal growth and health.
Any abnormality in the cells could be the cause of diseases such as cancers.
Conventional methods of studying changes to the DNA require large quantities of cells - about one million to 10 million cells.
This makes it difficult to study rare cell populations of the body.
The new method allows scientists to map changes in the DNA using very small populations of cells.
Principal investigator Dr Shyam Prabhakar said: "It's akin to having a more powerful microscope that provides a more fine-grained view of critical biological processes.
"We are very excited about using this new technique to peer into the inner workings of tiny groups of cells that have a massive impact on human health. For example, tumours in cancer patients are known to be heterogeneous at the fine scale - some sub-regions are relatively benign, while others are lethal.
"The new protocol will help us characterize this fine-scale variation, and hopefully lead to more precise treatments for cancer and a host of other diseases."
The Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) is an institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). CHANNEL NEWSASIA