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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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    NTU professor receives Imperial College fellowship forbiomedical sciences

    Sorry Double posting
     
    #6881 Loh, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    NTU professor receives Imperial College fellowship for biomedical sciences

    Posted: 14 February 2013 1413 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Provost of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Professor Freddy Boey, has received the prestigious Faculty of Medicine Fellowship by Imperial College London for his contribution to biomedical sciences.

    The Fellowship was awarded to Professor Boey on Tuesday at Imperial College's Faculty of Medicine.

    It's to recognise his exceptional achievements in medical technology and his outstanding contributions to the development of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine - a joint medical school between NTU and Imperial College.

    Professor Boey, a renowned serial inventor with 25 global patents to his name, has developed many innovative medical devices.

    These include a first-of-its-kind hernia mesh, which was recently approved for sale by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

    The mesh is now marketed by a start-up company which he co-founded.

    The company is in talks to test it in local hospitals by the end of the year.

    - CNA/ck



    NTU Provost Prof Freddy Boey (R) receiving the fellowship from Prof Dermot Kelleher, Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. (Photo: NTU)
     

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  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Civilian War Memorial at Beach Road gazetted as national monument

    Published on Feb 15, 2013
    10:38 AM


    [​IMG]

    A soldier (centre) bows his head in respect for the civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore during World War II at the memorial service at the War Memorial Park at Beach Road to mark the 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG


    By Ian Poh

    The Civilian War Memorial will be gazetted as a national monument this year, said Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong on Friday morning.

    The 67-metre structure along Beach Road near City Hall MRT station was unveiled in 1967 and honours civilians who died during the Japanese Occupation in 1942.

    It will be the 65th monument gazetted in Singapore. National monuments are protected by law and cannot be torn down or changed in any major way.

    Speaking to reporters at the 46th War Memorial Service at War Memorial Park, held every year on Total Defense Day in memory of victims of the Japanese Occupation, Mr Wong said: "The trials and sacrifices made by our forefathers...remind us of what it means to be Singaporeans."
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore debaters 3rd in world championship

    Posted: 14 February 2013 1347 hrs




    SINGAPORE: A team of Singapore debaters came in third at the 25th World School Debating Championship (WSDC) in Antalya, Turkey.

    A total of 50 countries participated in this year's competition between 27 January and 6 February.

    Darion Jin Hotan from Hwa Chong Institution was ranked fourth for overall performance while Tan Teck Wei from Raffles Institution was ranked 13th.

    The other members of the team are Rabin Kok from Anglo-Chinese Junior College, and Lee Chin Wee and Tan Kuan Hian from Raffles Institution.

    The Singapore delegation was led by its coach, Mrs Geetha Creffield of Anglo-Chinese Junior College, and Mdm Evelyn Woels of the Ministry of Education.

    The WSDC is a global competition for debaters between the ages of 14 and 19.

    The team from Australia was crowned champion after it beat Swaziland in the final.

    - CNA/ck
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Najib in town for Leaders’ Retreat

    [​IMG]

    Mr Lee and his wife hosted a private dinner for Mr Najib and his wife at the Fullerton Bay Hotel last night. Photo: MCI

    TODAY
    Tuesday 19 February 2013

    Malaysian Premier, PM Lee to hold discussions, visit sites of joint ventures in S’pore, Johor



    By S Ramesh


    5 hours 31 min ago

    SINGAPORE — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrived in Singapore yesterday for a Leaders’ Retreat with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the fourth between the Prime Ministers of the two countries and a key bilateral platform to drive relations forward.

    The two leaders last met in Putrajaya in January last year and one key issue that was discussed then was expanding cooperation through joint projects between the two countries.

    Last night, Mr Lee and his wife hosted a private dinner for Mr Najib and his wife.

    This morning, the Prime Ministers and their delegations will hold discussions. In the afternoon, the two leaders will visit sites of joint ventures by Temasek Holdings and Khazanah Nasional, in Singapore and in Iskandar Malaysia.

    In Singapore, they will unveil the Marina One project in Marina Bay and receive an update on the DUO project in Ophir-Rochor, which are mixed use developments.

    They will then travel to Iskandar Malaysia to unveil the Urban Wellness and Resort Wellness projects in Medini.

    Mr Najib is accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising several Cabinet ministers and senior officials. Among those in the Singapore delegation are Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and several Cabinet ministers.

    Dr Lim Wee Kiak, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs, attributes several reasons for the growing ties between Singapore and Malaysia.

    Dr Lim said: “It is the ongoing understanding that Singapore and Malaysia do not exist alone. We are facing greater competition from other countries economically, (and) within ASEAN. Singapore and Malaysia play an important role and if they cooperate together, they can in fact move the whole of ASEAN forward.

    “The Iskandar project is another catalyst to bring the two countries together because we have common interests. It is one project that will benefit both countries for the people, as well as the country.”
     
    #6885 Loh, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Your views are star of this show

    [​IMG]

    On Feb 21, TODAY’s Voices section will make the bold leap to live television.




    18 February

    SINGAPORE — It began with a mission to let a diversity of voices be heard, in print.
    Come this Thursday, no longer will that just be metaphorically so.


    "The show is a key initiative in our efforts to transform TODAY into a multi-platform news brand, leveraging on the unique strengths of MediaCorp. Last month, we unveiled a total revamp of our digital editions - website, mobile and tablet - and we already have a strong and loyal following on social media. VoicesTODAY on Channel 5 will build on those pillars to extend our brand into broadcast and broaden the conversation with our audience."

    Mr Walter Fernandez
    Managing Director, MediaCorp Press, and Editor, TODAY



    TODAY’s Voices section is making the leap to live television, with a new half-hour talkshow with a difference — the views of regular Singaporeans are the star of the show.

    And just as it will aim every week to highlight the key issues that matter to people, the debut episode of VoicesTODAY will tackle the national soul-searching question of recent days: Whither the Singaporean Core?

    Produced in collaboration with Channel 5, VoicesTODAY will air at prime time at 9pm, hosted by two experienced presenters, Ms Hazlina Halim and Mr Nicholas Fang.

    There will be no studio guests — instead, viewers will hear from members of the public who are invited to join in the discussion by phone or video chat on Google Hangout.

    Views posted on TODAYOnline’s Facebook, Twitter stream and website over the week will also be flashed on screen throughout the show.

    Helping to moderate the live discussion, and to play devil’s advocate where necessary, is something Mr Fang — who himself crossed over from print to broadcast journalism years ago — is looking forward to.

    “The opportunity to co-host VoicesTODAY is very exciting, given the current climate of increasing public debate and discussion of critical issues across both traditional and new media,” said Mr Fang, 37, a former business editor at Channel NewsAsia. He currently serves as a Nominated Member of Parliament and Executive Director at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

    He hopes to take the discussions to a deeper level. “I am hoping that the callers who reach out to us will be prepared to challenge, and be challenged in their views, so that we can have an honest and in-depth discussion, and hopefully, explore issues from perspectives we might have not considered before.”

    Ms Halim, 28, who lectures in Communications & Media Management at Temasek Polytechnic, has been a presenter on TV programmes in Singapore and Australia, including the Malay news for the past eight years.

    Her message to viewers: “Voices are meant to be heard, so don’t be shy of yours — use it, own it, but always be accountable for it, and do take time to listen to the voices of others.”

    Regular letter-writer Mr Teo Kok Seah, 43, congratulated TODAY on the “bold” move to TV that would “expand its reach to a much wider audience”.

    Author Mr Prem Singh, 61, another Voices contributor, called the show a “new dimension of thought-sharing”. “Families will sit down to watch and listen, and start sharing amongst themselves as well. Those who have been passive, or disinterested, may find themselves keen to share their thoughts. This is the beauty of talk shows,” he said.

    VoicesTODAY on Channel 5

    Debut Episode

    This Thursday, 9pm, on Channel 5
    Topic: Whither The Singaporean Core?

    To give your views:

    Tweet us at @todayonline or using #VoicesTODAY
    Post at: http://www.todayonline.com/VoicesTODAY

    By phone or video chat: Email voices@mediacorp.com.sg or call 6691-1020/1, if you want to take part in the live chat.
     
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    PMs agree to high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

    Published on Feb 19, 2013
    12:50 PM


    [​IMG]

    Singapore's Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong (left) meets Malaysia's Prime Minister, Mr Najib Razak in Singapore for the Singapore-Malaysia Leader's Retreat at the Shangri-La Hotel on Feb 19, 2013. Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build a high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, a move that will "dramatically improve" the connectivity between the two countries. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN


    By Rachel Chang

    Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build a high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, a move that will "dramatically improve" the connectivity between the two countries.

    The rail link will "usher in a new era of strong growth, prosperity and opportunities for both countries," said a joint statement from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak today.

    "It will facilitate travel between KL and Singapore, enhance business linkages and bring the peoples of Malaysia and Singapore closer together," it said. "Ultimately, this project will give both countries greater stakes in each other's prosperity and success.

    At a joint press conference on Tuesday, both PMs described it as a "game changer".
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    PMs agree to high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

    Published on Feb 19, 2013
    12:50 PM



    [​IMG]

    Singapore's Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong (right), meets Malaysia's Prime Minister, Mr Najib Razak, in Singapore for the Singapore-Malaysia Leader's Retreat at the Shangri-La Hotel on Feb 19, 2013. Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build a high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, a move that will "dramatically improve" the connectivity between the two countries. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN


    By Rachel Chang



    Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build a high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore by 2020, in a move that both heads of government called a "game-changer".

    Announcing the breakthrough agreement at a press conference today following bilateral talks, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the rail link would create a 90 minute door to door journey for commuters, and that it will "change the way we do business, the way we look at each other and interact."

    He pointed to the Eurostar link between Paris and London, which transformed "two European cities into one virtual urban community" as a model for the KL-SG link.

    Malaysian PM Najib Razak said that the project will be a private-public one, with the link being built by private contractors with government infrastructural support. He declined to estimate how much the project will cost.
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore, Malaysia agree to high-speed rail link between Singapore and KL

    [​IMG]

    Could we be seeing a station like this here by 2020? This image provided by the California High Speed Rail Authority shows an artist's rendering of a high-speed train station, as California mulls a high-speed rail network. PHOTO: AP


    TODAY


    1 hour 29 min ago


    SINGAPORE — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak have agreed to build a High Speed Rail Link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, according to a joint statement issued during the Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat this morning.

    Mr Najib said that the deadline for the completion of the high-speed rail link is 2020, and that the projected travel time will be 90 mins.

    "It's a strategic project for the two countries, it will change the way we see each other," said Mr Lee. "I think it's going to be a game-changer. It's going to transform the way people interact, the intensity of our cooperation and the the degree to which we can inter-dependent on one another."

    The leaders have tasked the Iskandar Malaysia Joint Ministerial Committee to look into the details and modalities of the High Speed Rail Link.

    The distance between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is roughly 350km. By comparison, London and Paris are about 480km apart, and the journey between the two cities is approximately two hours and 15 minutes aboard the Eurostar high-speed train.
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Marina One to be ready in 2017

    [​IMG]

    Marina One will comprise two towers of 1,042 apartments and the Marina One East and West towers of office space, as well as a retail podium.



    ByTeo Xuanwei



    6 hours 12 min ago


    SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Premier Najib Razak yesterday unveiled the design of Marina One — one of a number of joint projects borne out of the major land-swop deal the two leaders sealed in 2010.

    The mega mixed-use development, which has a development value of S$7 billion, is located behind the Marina Bay Financial Centre, and will gross approximately 3.67 million sq ft of residential, commercial and retail space in total, when completed in 2017.

    The M+S project — a 60:40 company of Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings — will have 1,042 units in two 34-storey residential towers, including one- to four-bedroom units and penthouses that will be launched in the second half of this year.

    There will also be another two 30-storey commercial towers with approximately 1.88 million sq ft net lettable area.
    Architect Christoph Ingenhoven, renowned for green and sustainable designs — such as the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California — was behind Marina One’s lushly landscaped design which includes waterfalls and rooftop gardens.

    The development will also incorporate a unique garden ecosystem by landscape architect Gustafson Porter, best known for his design of Singapore’s Bay East, Gardens by the Bay.

    Marina One will also sit above Singapore’s largest and most connected MRT interchange by 2016, M+S said.

    Speaking to reporters after the two leaders viewed a showflat of the development, Mr Lee flagged the Marina One project as a “very important (one) for both Singapore and Malaysia”.

    “I think this is a project which we’ll both be very proud of, and which will thrive and prosper and add to our city and to our friendship,” Mr Lee said.

    Agreeing, Mr Najib described the project as a “real winner”, which fulfils his expectation of a “landmark iconic building”. “What we see today is the beginning of that iconic building ... the beginning of a very exciting project,” he added.
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Short of space? No such thing

    Singapore


    [​IMG]

    Sky living? Art: Yen Yok

    [​IMG]

    Art: Yen Yok



    We could build over, under, outwards and offshore, say experts — the creative opportunities truly abound



    • ByNeo Chai Chin


      07 February

      If architect Tan Cheng Siong had his way, Singapore’s living areas would be multi-capable zones teeming with activity, sited next to MRT stations.

      People would work and live there. Workplaces and entertainment outlets would be sited below residential spaces, with the different functions vertically separated via a system of pedestrian, bicycling and landscaped decks.

      Buildings would have frames built to last a long time, but with flexi-changeable interiors. They would be lush with vertical greenery and allow for vertical air circulation.

      They would feature a variety of housing such as cluster homes, penthouses and apartments. They would also be equipped to collect rainwater, to produce energy via solar panels and mini-wind farms, and food via personal farm plots in multi-storey carparks.

      “Citizens want affordable housing and employment, leisure and mobility, fresh air and gardens, babies and families, communities and opportunities,” said Mr Tan, principal of Archurban Architects Planners.
      GEOGRAPHY NOT A LIMITATION

      Mr Tan, Designer of the Year at the 2012 President’s Design Award, believes innovative design, good management and architecture that incorporates what he calls the “skyland” concept is key to successfully accommodating a larger population.

      Geographical land size should not stop Singapore from multiplying its volume of space — and no, he isn’t referring to more shoebox apartments.

      “Stop them before they become head shrinkers and slums,” said Mr Tan, who has previously said land shortage is a “fallacy”.

      Singapore could house a population of 6.5 million to 6.9 million by 2030, according to the population White Paper published last month. The Ministry of National Development (MND) reckons that about 7 per cent more land is needed — about 766 sq km, up from 714 sq km available today — to “comfortably support” the projected population.

      Areas that could be reclaimed by 2030 include Tuas Port, Pulau Tekong and Jurong Island. Beyond 2030, areas including Simpang, Marina East, Changi East, Sungei Kadut, Pasir Ris and around the Western islands could be reclaimed if needed.

      RECLAIM OR RECYCLE

      Experts, however, note the limits to the territorial sea space available for reclamation. There is a limit to how far Singapore can reclaim if the Republic is to keep its anchorages and fairways for the maritime and shipping industry, said civil engineering professor Yong Kwet Yew of the National University of Singapore.

      He notes that shallow waters less than 20m deep have been reclaimed in the past, and current projects are in depths of between 30m and 40m. It is less economically feasible to reclaim at further depths, Prof Yong said.

      Besides reclamation, the intention is to develop existing land not in use, intensify land use and “recycle” land, an MND spokesperson said. To cater to economic and population growth, more land will be required for “critical uses” like housing, community facilities, industry and infrastructure.

      To this end, the Government plans to consolidate land-intensive activities such as military grounds and golf courses. The latter will be allowed to run out their leases before being redeveloped, the MND said. Land for old industrial estates will also be recycled.
      GOING UNDER

      Beyond these measures, exciting possibilities lie below ground and offshore. An Underground Master Plan is in the works to map out possible uses of this subterranean resource, and Prof Yong said a framework of subterranean land rights should also be created to support underground development.

      He draws a distinction between spaces created at the basement of buildings — which are a vertical extension of these structures constructed in the ground, and commonly used for car parks or shopping malls — and underground caverns, which are usually standalone spaces created in the rock.

      In general, underground space is suitable for uses that do not require a long stay by humans. “The lack of natural ventilation or sunlight may have psychological and behavioural effects on humans that we are still not fully aware of,” Prof Yong said.

      But such spaces are suitable for pollutive or noisy uses such as roads and heavy industries, as these would require less of a land buffer underground (building noise barriers above ground can be a blight on the landscape, he noted).

      Potential structures that can be housed underground include road and rail infrastructure, car parks, power stations, treatment plants, research labs, reservoirs, warehouses and even performance halls, said Prof Yong.

      SUBTERRANEAN SCIENCE CITY?

      Singapore is already exploiting some of its subterranean space.

      Networks of tunnels channel sewage to a Changi treatment plant, and distribute electrical and telecommunications cables, district cooling and water pipes in Marina Bay.

      The Defence Ministry’s Underground Ammunition Facility is built beneath a former quarry in Mandai and the Jurong Rock Caverns, an oil and petrochemical storage facility being built 130m under Jurong Island, will begin operations later this year.

      The JTC is also studying the development of an underground science city beneath Kent Ridge Park.

      A feasibility study on the ambitious project was completed last year by a Swiss-Singapore consortium, which came up with a design for 40 linked rock caverns with total rentable space of 192,000 square metres across three to four levels, it was reported. The caverns could house research laboratories for biotechnology and life sciences as well as data centres.

      The MND added it is technically feasible to build large utilities and infrastructure facilities such as data centres, incineration and water reclamation plants underground, and it is studying whether to do so in order to “free up valuable surface land for higher value uses or community uses”.

      It has also commissioned a consultancy study — to be completed by June next year — to explore innovative design and engineering solutions that could reduce the cost of large underground developments.

      OVERSEAS MODELS

      There is no shortage of examples of what has been done overseas — the Churchill Falls Power Station and RESO underground city in Canada, and the Itakeskus swimming complex in Finland are just a few, said Prof Yong.

      And in Germany, an “innovative” underground transportation pipeline is being developed for cargo, which frees up surface infrastructure and also reduces pollution and noise caused by heavy vehicles, he said.

      “When Montreal and other major cities in temperate climates develop underground cities and shopping malls, it is as much about creating space as it is about consumers’ comfort during cold winters and hot summers,” he said. “Similarly, underground shopping malls in Singapore provide comfort during hot weather and rain.”

      In planning underground development, there is a need to account for unique conditions here such as the high ground water table, high humidity and variable geological formations.

      Unlike some cities with more extensive cavern developments like Helsinki in Finland and Oslo in Norway, Singapore has a flatter terrain.

      But preliminary studies have shown that “judicious ground improvement” of soils can render it feasible for underground caverns. “From an engineering perspective, there is no limit to how much space could be potentially exploited,” said Prof Yong. “The limit often lies in economic and commercial viability of the project.”

      There is one caveat, however: Underground space, once built, is difficult to redevelop. Planning must hence be done in a sustainable manner, and spaces should be designed for permanency or with a high degree of flexibility for change in use, he said.

      ALL AT SEA


      What about floating structures off Singapore’s coast?

      They are mobile, less damaging to the marine ecosystem than land reclamation and enable unsightly utilities like incinerators and wastewater treatment plants to be located away from the population. But they also cost more to maintain than land structures, require a good foundation for station-keeping and positioning and incur stability concerns due to waves, winds and currents, said Professor Soh Chee Kiong of the Nanyang Technological University’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

      The Marina Bay Floating Platform here is an example of a floating structure, as is Tokyo’s Mega-Float which serves as a runway for airplane takeoffs and landing, and a floating hotel built by Singapore’s Bethlelem shipyard now being deployed in North Korea.

      Research by NUS and NTU on floating structures in the past decade have mainly targeted applications for the offshore and marine oil and gas industry — which are more challenging than, say, for floating hotels, said Prof Soh.

      The National Innovation Challenge last year on Land and Liveability could spur research to develop new ideas in floating structure technology, he said.
      Overseen by the National Research Foundation, the S$135 million set aside aims to create new space and optimise land use to support an economically vibrant, highly liveable and resilient city of the future.

      OPPORTUNITY, NOT PROBLEM


      Prof Soh reckons that, depending on how the country develops and public acceptance, Singapore’s landscape in 50 years could feature multi-purpose offshore floating structures for its airport and seaport, for solar and wind energy harvesting, for fish farming and sea sports.

      “If I were a planner, I would look at using up available existing space including surrounding islands first, then go underground and if we need to, go offshore — though technology is there, research should continue to make them more durable, cost-effective and sustainable,” he said.

      Urban and land use planning for a denser population is complex, but as Professor Heng Chye Kiang, Dean of the NUS School of Design and Environment put it: “The question is whether Singapore can still be as liveable as its population continues to grow ... the challenge can also become an opportunity to introduce new typologies of integrated development, more meaningful open and green spaces integrated with amenities, a more effective mobility system and better use of new technologies to render our city more efficient and resilient.”
      Will HDB flats of the future be taller?


      Like all other developments, HDB blocks are subject to height control based on the relevant agencies’ planning rules, flight paths and other technical requirements, said the MND.

      Standing tallest at the moment is the Pinnacle@Duxton at 50 storeys. In towns with less severe height constraints — such as Toa Payoh, Queenstown, Bukit Merah — residential developments are “in the range of 40 stories”, with a few blocks under construction exceeding that.

      HDB already builds to the maximum allowable height in new towns. But it does not do so in the Central Area where height limits are less restrictive, because very high-rise buildings will require high-speed lifts and an additional fire safety refuge floor — extras which will be “expensive to provide and maintain”, said MND.
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    No evidence that ageing societies have economic problems: Austrian demographer

    Published on Feb 19, 2013
    3:34 PM




    [​IMG]

    The image of the elderly in Singapore has to change as older generations become increasingly educated, Austrian demography expert Professor Wolfgang Lutz said on Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013, in an Institute of Policy Studies public lecture. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOSEPH NAIR




    By Janice Heng


    The image of the elderly in Singapore has to change as older generations become increasingly educated, Austrian demography expert Professor Wolfgang Lutz said on Tuesday in an Institute of Policy Studies public lecture.

    "The image of today's elderly in Singapore is strongly formed by the fact that (they) are largely uneducated," he said. But he noted that the proportion of Singaporeans with tertiary education has been rising, which will lead to the future elderly being better-educated.

    Citing statistics which show that better-educated elderly people tend to be healthier and more productive than their less-educated peers, he said the combination of these trends sheds doubt on the common expectation that ageing societies have economic problems: "I don't really see any evidence of this in any country."

    Professor Lutz is in Singapore for three weeks as a National University of Singapore Society Distinguished Professor. At a seminar last Wednesday, he said countries should not aim for a total fertility rate of 2.1, and suggested 1.7 as an optimal level of fertility for Singapore.
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    PM Lee, PM Najib launch three projects in Johor

    By S Ramesh | Posted: 19 February 2013 1927 hrs



    JOHOR BAHRU: The Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia launched two wellness projects in Medini at Iskandar Malaysia and a mixed development project at Danga Bay in Johor Bahru on Tuesday.

    Fresh from the launch of joint development projects in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak travelled to neighbouring Johor Bahru where the two wellness developments were unveiled.

    Afiniti Medini, an urban wellness project, is aimed at becoming a regional destination for families, tourists and professionals. It features a wellness centre, service apartments, a corporate training centre and retail space. Afinity Medini is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

    Both leaders also launched Avira, another resort wellness project at Medini Central which will have homes, serviced apartments and commercial space. The development is expected to be completed in 2018.

    The two projects are jointly developed by Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings.


    Medini is among the five flagship zones at Iskandar Malaysia and is a 40-minute drive to the Central Business District in Singapore.

    Both projects will have a total gross development value of three billion ringgit.

    Mr Najib acknowledged that the success of the Iskandar project has exceeded the original plans and there has been a significant increase in investments from Singapore companies in Iskandar Malaysia.

    Mr Najib said: "We both agree that we should develop something which develops the true meaning of the word "iconic" and from what I can see it befits the description. This will be truly an iconic and and landmark project which will certainly bring much benefit not only to those people involved in this project and users of this projects, but also indicative of the growing stronger ties of the two countries.

    "I would say there is a significant increase of investments from Singapore. During our bilateral discussions this morning, we stressed the importance of the Industrial Working Group to meet on regular basis to encourage investors from Singapore to relocate their investments here, as well as for new investments to take place here in Iskandar."

    Mr Lee said: "This is going to be an oasis not only for people from Malaysia or Singapore, but perhaps from all over the region to come and recharge their batteries, enjoy the environment and absorb the spirit of wellness."

    He said the Malaysian government had shown commitment and drive to develop Iskandar Malaysia.

    Mr Lee said: "A lot of investments have come in from the government, a lot of investment has come in from the private sector and significant amount of that has come from Singapore.

    "I believe there is a lot of potential because from Singapore's point of view, we are developing and at the same time, there is a lot of spillover of what Singapore companies which want to expand or companies which want to come to Singapore but can't quite fit into Singapore. I think Iskandar offers a prime opportunity for them.

    "As long as the Malaysian government pursues this to develop Iskandar and to link up with Singapore, the prospects are very good and from Singapore's point of view, we are very happy it is going to succeed."


    Also launched on Tuesday is a 3.2 billion ringgit joint venture project in Danga Bay - a 20-minute drive from the Causeway.

    Mr Najib and Mr Lee witnessed the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding by CapitaLand, Iskandar Waterfront and Temasek Holdings.

    - CNA/fa/de
     

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  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Achievement for the second generation

    My "Singapore Also Can" thread is mainly about Singapore's achievements and how Singapore can become better.

    Ironically, I think it is a fantastic achievement for the PMs of both Singapore and Malaysia to have come full circle and cooperate to make both countries potentially economically, socially and politically stronger. This indeed augurs well for the future. :)

    The sons of previous Prime Ministers and currently PMs themselves, Najib Razak, son of the late Abdul Rasak of Malaysia and Lee Hsien Loong, son of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, have made history by bringing the two countries back together again, although not politically but economically by their recent initiatives, the most important of which is the agreement on building a high-speed train service connecting Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur with Singapore by 2020. This will bring immense benefits to both countries, still joined by social, business and family ties.

    Singapore had to fight a strong communist-led opposition to win the merger with Malaysia in 1963 but was forced to withdraw from the union in 1965 to prevent further animosities and bloodshed so prevalent in politics then. But the half-century or so of self-reliance, hard work and dynamism projected Singapore from Third World to First World status and such an achievement was much credited to Lee Kuan Yew and his old guards.

    Now the sons have taken over the helm to write a new page in the bilateral relations history between both countries, hopefully without further interference from the doomsayers. If the initiatives come to fruition in years to come, the road ahead could only be positive and should lay a stronger foundation for closer cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia.

    This would indeed be a star achievement!

    Singapore Also Can! ;)
     
    #6894 Loh, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore's separation from Malaysia #236

    It may be relevant to bring readers back to my post #236 on 8/9/2009 to get a feel of
    the emotions and events surrounding Singapore's historical separation from Malaysia.
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Panda Kai Kai

    During the Chinese New Year holidays, I visited our Singapore Zoo for my long awaited meeting with our famous pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia who are on a 10-year loan from Beijing.

    These two star pandas are housed in specially built aircon habitats built alongside the river. But on my visit only Kai Kai, the male panda, was on display, the shy lady Jia Jia refused to emerge from her den apparently due to the excessive noise and movement of the curious visitors. We were told to be quiet so as not to create too much disturbance and were allowed to enter in batches for about 15 minutes each time.

    Here are some pictures of Kai Kai enjoying his natural meal of bamboo leaves.
     

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  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Our Singapore Zoo

    Having visited some of the zoos in the region, I believe our Singapore Zoo is of a good standard with its open concept that allows resonable space for the animals to move about in their enclosures. Activites such as feeding the animals, making them perform in coordinated shows, providing animal rides and allowing photography with them, add more interest and excitement for visitors. And to cap it all, we have a great variety of animals housed in conducive surroundings to greet the visitor. :)

    It rained almost everyday during the CNY holidays and visitors to the zoo had to carry umbrellas or queue up to purchase raincoats or waterproof ponchos of reasonable quality for $5 each. However the rain stopped in the late afternoon to allow a more congenial walk around the exhibits and enclosures.

    Some attractions were more popular than others, for example the giant pandas, the white tigers, the colonies of Hamadryas baboons in their huge enclosure with waterfalls and artificial hills and the elephant show. Of course this time around, the addition of the River Safari provided the opportunity for many to survey the adjacent waters in old-fashion river boats.

    Here are some picture to keep you company:
     

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  18. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    Sorry, I don't know what happened to your Panda pics. I just clicked 'Like this post' and they disappeared.
     
  19. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Ha ha, just like shy Jia Jia who refused to appear in public. :D

    Oh, things like this do happen once in a while. The internet is full of mystery!

    But I hope you'll be able to view the white Tigers which I'm going to post soon. I spent more time with them and one of them rewarded me by swimming in the moat separating us from them. ;)
     
  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Our White Tigers

    The White Tigers are my favourite animals at our Singapore Zoo.

    They are majestic in their white and light brown coat and their inescapable black stripes that are common to all tigers.

    They are very strong and every move they make shows off their rippling muscles. Their big paws are immensely powerful too and beautiful to look at on the underside.

    But one of the tigers showed its more natural non-menacing side like that of a cat when it jumped into the moat to swim and play. Though it was still drizzling it enjoyed the cool waters and stayed in it for a relatively long time for me to capture its every move. This was a rare sight for me as I have never seen any of the tigers in the waters before.

    My patience paid off despite the rain and it made my day! :)
     

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