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Singapore Also Can

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

  1. skchen

    skchen Regular Member

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    ______________________________________________________________

    Yeah, 'Singapore also can', is a very good slogan. What it has achieved since 1959 is phenomenal and has uplifted it from 3rd world to developed status. And this is despite all the limitations in terms of land, resources, etc. Its greatest asset is of course is its people and their ingenuity.
    In sports it has done very well in table-tennis and I think it can also do so in badminton. I wonder what has happened to Ronald Susilo who was once a formidable player. Its past greats were Wong Peng Soon and Ong Poh Lim.
    Zhao Jian Hua was once a coach there and I wonder whether there are any more Chinese coaches there. Maybe Singapore can consider employing Li Mao as a coach. Who knows what can happen.

    :D:D:D:D:D:D


    ________________________________________________________________
     
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Hi skchen, thanks for showing an interest in Singapore.

    Alas, after the great Wong Peng Soon and Ong Poh Lim, the badminton players that folllowed were not of the same quality yet.

    Ronald Susilo has practically retired and has received a SBA scholarship to study business management, together with his singles buddy, Kendrick Lee. His ultimate aim is to open a Badminton Academy.

    The SBA still engages Chinese as well as Indonesian coaches and recently during the Sudirman Cup, a few of our local-born players were given a chance to play, since a number of both men and women national players have retired. I was surprised that they did relatively well despite their lack of international exposure and Singapore remained in Group 2 without demotion to Group 3.

    Well as regards getting the 'best' coach, it will be of limited use if the trainee material is not up to standard, particularly in commitment and discipline. Now all eyes are on Hendrawan to see whether he could really produce another LCW for Malaysia. ;)
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Marina Bay sparkles

    I hope foreign visitors to the Aviva Open Singapore this year will spend at least some time, preferably Friday evening when there will be lots of people and free music available around Marina Bay and the Esplanade "Durians".

    The Singapore Indoor Stadium at Kallang where the Singapore Open will be held soon in June, is located not too far away from the Raffles Place MRT station. When exiting Raffles Place station, cross the road to Boat Quay and walk towards the famous Fullerton Hotel.

    Then take a stroll across Cavenagh Bridge, which was originally meant to be a draw bridge for bigger ships to navigate the narrow Singapore River, to reach the other side where the Asian Civilisation Museum and the rest of the civic district loom large. You can catch the Victoria Memorial Hall, now still a favourite venue for concerts and musical performances, the former Supreme Court and City Hall towards the far end.

    Take a right turn to cross the road from under, using the short tunnel over which Anderson Bridge is located a short distance away nearer to Fullerton Hotel. The Anderson Bridge and the roads nearby will once again be used for F1 night racing during the second half of the year. Soon we will again see the surrounding area being turned into a hive of concrete and steel activities.

    At the other end of the tunnel, Esplanade Park presents itself. From here you can see the twin "durians" of Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, Suntec City and its many international hotels and the pleasant tree-lined promenade known previously as Elizabeth Walk. A longer walk under the Esplanade Bridge will bring you right up to Marina Bay and all its splendor. Even though the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resorts are still piling upwards, the giant cranes, the powerful lights and the ongoing human activities make the scene simply mysterious and magical. By end-December, this IR will become a complete jewel sparkling with life and buzzing with human activity that will certainly turn Marina Bay a notch higher.

    And the best place to witness this spectacle is on the roof top of the spiky durians, the Esplanade. From here you can view the beautiful waterfront, the three impressive IR buildings still awashed in a veil of light transparent rays, the floating platform where our National Day celebrations will once again be held on August 9 and the white sails of the Outdoor Theatre supported by its huge white booms.

    Chances are that you will join the rest of the spectators to sit on the concrete rows and be entertained to free music by new bands and their musicians. Enjoy! :)
     

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    #103 Loh, May 30, 2009
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  4. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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    One of my friend is involved in the planning and management of this thing - been asking me many times to drop by. Looks good by the way.
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Thanks to your friend who is making a contribution to the development of Singapore into a first-class entertainment hub and yes I think you should come over again during the Aviva Open Singapore, starting June 9. Then you can kill two birds with one stone and cheer LCW on to retaining his Singapore Open crown! :)
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Economic Disparities among ASEAN Countries

    Recently I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to pay 'pilgrimage' to the world famous Angkor Wat.

    No doubt Angkor Wat and the many Buddhist temples and shrines around it deserve a place in world heritage history, but a large majority of Cambodia's population seem to live in relative poverty. Angkor Wat thrives because of the tourist dollar and I believe the people living around here must be better off than many of their counterparts in the remoter parts of Cambodia. But sadly, Cambodia as a whole has a per capita income of only US$2,066, slightly ahead of Burma (Myanmar) US$1,160, among ASEAN countries according to the following extract from Wikipedia, using information from IMF for 2008:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    During its early years of development, Singapore has been looking up to Switzerland as role model and I am surprised that Singapore (US$51,142) has now surpassed even Switzerland (US$42,783) according to the report. Oil-rich Qatar maintains its pole position with US$85,868, while Luxembourg (US$82,306) commands second place far ahead of nearest rival, Norway (US$53,451). USA (US$46,859) secures 6th place whilst Hong Kong comes after with US$43,811.

    I should think Singapore's economic policies must have paid off handsomely with foreign direct investments pouring in in great numbers over the decades and coupled with a relatively smaller population, Singapore has managed to remain on top. Countries with huge populations tend to 'suffer' lower per capita incomes.

    But great disparity occurs among ASEAN countries, thus making common economic decisions a little more difficult for the group as a whole, than say the EU. The following statistics from the same source reveal the 'uneven' situation (World average US$10,497, China US$5,963):

    4. Singapore US$51,142
    5. Brunei US$50,117

    60. Malaysia US$14,072

    86. Thailand US$8,225

    121. Indonesia US$3,987
    123. Philippines US$3,546

    128. Vietnam US$2,784
    135. Timor-Leste US$2,365
    137. Laos US$2,204
    142. Cambodia $2,066

    160. Burma US$1,160

    It seems a difficult task for the low income countries to move ahead but if China with the world's largest population can secure an average income of US$5,963 for its people, there must be a difference in the management of the country's resources that made it stand out. I think China is the world's third largest economy now, after the US and Japan.
     
    #106 Loh, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Asian Youth Games 2009 - Just do your best!

    The Straits Times
    June 3, 2009

    But DPM and SNOC boss Teo will not set gold targets for athletes

    By Leonard Lim

    Deputy Prime Minister and SNOC president Teo Chee Hean (centre, in white) and Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan (right of Mr Teo) and other officials posing with Singapore's contingent after the flag presentation ceremony.

    AIM for personal bests and be good hosts. Deputy Prime Minister and Singapore National Olympic Council president Teo Chee Hean had this message for the country's 90-member contingent competing at this month's Asian Youth Games.

    'You know me, I never set gold targets,' Mr Teo said. 'What I ask from our athletes is that they always do their best, they conduct themselves well on and off the field, particularly this time because we are the hosts.

    'Their conduct should be exemplary... winning with humility and losing graciously.'

    Mr Teo, who is also the Minister for Defence, was speaking at the flag presentation ceremony for the Republic's AYG athletes yesterday at Raffles Institution. He was the guest of honour.

    There had been previous reports of a five-medal target - including one gold - for Singapore's contingent at the AYG, which is a dry run for next year's Youth Olympic Games.

    Mr Teo also called on the athletes, aged between 14 and 17, to set their sights firmly on the 'more challenging' YOG.

    He said: 'The AYG will, therefore, be a timely and significant opportunity for our young athletes, who will now be benchmarked against their peers from the 44 other Asian countries on one big common platform.'

    Mr Teo also assuaged fears that the H1N1 flu outbreak or security concerns would disrupt the June 29-July 7 Games.

    'We're able to manage all these things,' he said.

    The AYG will see about 1,300 athletes competing across nine sports: athletics, aquatics, basketball, beach volleyball, bowling, football, sailing, shooting and table tennis.

    Even North Korea will be sending 27 athletes to compete in five sports: athletics, diving, football, shooting and table tennis.

    Ting Wen, 16, will be Singapore's flag-bearer and lead the home contingent out at the June 29 opening ceremony at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

    The freestyle specialist, who earlier this year eclipsed two long-standing marks held by former swim queen Joscelin Yeo, said: "It's a big honour to be selected, and leading out the athletes before the home crowd will be amazing."

    She will swim in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 4x100m freestyle events, and the 4x100m medley.

    Echoing Mr Teo's comments, she added: "I'm not looking at a medal. Every time I go into the pool, it's about setting a new personal best.

    "A medal would be a bonus."
     

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    #107 Loh, Jun 3, 2009
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  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Everest team welcomed home

    The Straits Times
    June 2, 2009

    SINGAPORE'S first women's team to reach the top of Mt Everest was welcomed home last night by a crowd of cheering supporters, including Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan.

    Ms Joanne Soo, 39; Ms Lee Li Hui, 27; Ms Jane Lee, 25; Ms Esther Tan, 26; and Ms Lee Peh Gee, 32, conquered the mountain almost two weeks ago.

    The sixth member, Ms Sim Yi Hui, had to drop out due to chest pains.

    Speaking at a press conference after their arrival, the women said they will now focus on public education talks to urge more Singaporeans to fulfil their dreams by 'climbing their own Everests'.
     

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  9. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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    Spot Ms Sim Yi Hui from the picture. :)
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    I think she's second from right, showing her watch.
    Do you know her? ;)
     
  11. Dato A

    Dato A Regular Member

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  12. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    ..their pre-Mt. Everest conquering pic:
    http://redsports.sg/2009/05/21/women-everest-moutaineering/
    [​IMG]
    The Singapore Women’s Everest Team (from left to right): Joanne Soo, Esther Tan, Lee Li Hui, Jane Lee, Sim Yi Hui, Lee Peh Gee. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Women’s Everest Team)
    Off topic-..i can't believe San Jose, CA (the capital of Silicon Valley) was ranked one of the cities with the lowest cost of living in the world, last yr!:eek::cool:
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Off topic-..i can't believe San Jose, CA (the capital of Silicon Valley) was ranked one of the cities with the lowest cost of living in the world, last yr!:eek::cool:[/QUOTE]

    So Singapore is ranked 10th most expensive city in the survey by the Economist on "cost of living". Fortunately Singapore is not No.1 on this issue otherwise foreign investors may find less incentive to pump in more dollars into our economy. :D

    The unenviable top position goes to Tokyo as the capital of the world's second largest economy followed by another Japanese city, Osaka. But the fact that Tokyo continues to attract investors and businesses to its shores despite its high costs does say something of that city's 'magneticism'. It would seem demand has exceeded the supply of Tokyo's goods and services, including property and hotel rentals.

    So Singaporeans should not feel 'sad' just because Singapore's cost of living remains high. On the contrary if our city continues to attract foreign investors and provide fellow Singaporeans with employment and a higher standard of living, it indicates that we are doing okay.

    It is inevitable that rents for accommodation in space-starved Singapore will continue to be an irritable issue but if Singapore can maintain high productivity levels and help investors sand businesses turn in a tidy profit, then the cost of living should not preoccupy their calculations.

    An open economy like Singapore's has both advantages and disadvantages. When the world economy is down as it is now, we suffer from the lack of demand for our services, so our GNP goes down. But on the plus side, since the cost of imports has also declined, Singapore's cost of living should also decrease and inflation should also follow likewise.

    If investors keep coming to Singapore despite its high cost, then it is still a good thing for Singapore. :D
     

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    #113 Loh, Jun 4, 2009
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  14. george@chongwei

    george@chongwei Regular Member

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    i love singaporean chinese dram:cool::)
     
  15. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    Not bad looking those women as climbers.
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    My Chinese sucks! :(

    Therefore I hardly turn on to Singapore's Chinese Ch 8. :D

    Most of the actors from Singapore are bilingual, especially the younger ones, with English as their first language. Therefore their standard of Chinese is not considered good. So it is quite an achievement for them to be able to polish up their Mandarin and to act in Chinese dramas. Their coaches from China, Hongkong,Taiwan and elsewhere must have done a good job. :)

    But I understand quite a few are from Malaysia and a smaller group from China itself. So they help to raise the Chinese language bar for Singaporean actors.

    Being trade-oriented, Singapore is trying to export its locally produced English and Chinese dramas overseas, such as the recently produced "Little Nyonya" which depicts something about Perankan (mixed marriages between Chinese and Malay) life.

    Starting with joint-ventures, our media people are making some headway over the years. And with media-related enterprises and mass communications studies being encouraged by the government, we hope to make the media and performing arts business a much more viable venture.
     
    #116 Loh, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Singapore

    Talking about the media, I am impressed with Channel NewsAsia in providing TV coverage in English on current news, especially on business and how the stock markets are doing, focusing primarily on Asian news and current affairs. CNA is perhaps the first from Asia to disseminate and distribute news in English to so many countries around the region.

    With a relatively short history of 10 years, CNA has now spread to many Asian countries supported by local correspondents and reporters and even to US and Europe. US is the world's leading economy and CNA is now able to compete with other international TV media to provide up-to-date news on some of the more important events taking place there. Its strength however lies in its ability to provide particularly Western audiences with news on Asia.

    So CNA has now joined a growing number of adventurous Singaporean MNCs (Multinational companies) to create a niche in the world for its services. :)

    More information could be found in Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_NewsAsia
     

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  18. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    I love all our girls and may they continue to climb higher in all their endeavours! :D:p;):)
     
  19. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    Hmm..

    Off topic-..well, considering San Jose, as arguably the capital of Silicon Valley and the city itself is located in California, as arguably one of the top 10 economies in the whole world, it's still a bit surprising to see it being listed as one of the cities with the lowest cost of living, per last yr's datas.
    As i'd been there, last yr, San Jose is definitely one of the nicest communities/cities to live in.

    S'pore, no doubt, as i've been there, it should be listed in the top 5 if not top 10 (costliest) cities in the whole Asia Pacific region.
    ..since ants is going ga-ga-ga over the pic, here are some more for our ants..
    Btw, they do have a facebook page...so, go, sign up..;)

    http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=5099879175&start=10&hash=be821a0e690a6816a9ea31512c009221

    Their website:
    http://www.womenoneverest.com/index.html

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Jane Lee: Kingpin
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Sim Yi Hui: The Merry-maker
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Esther Tan: The Writer
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lee Peh Gee: Hannibal
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Joanne Soo: The Mentor
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lee Li Hui: Zen climber
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #119 ctjcad, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The principle of "Secularism" that makes Singapore successful.

    "One reason why Singapore has done well so far is that we had exceptionally wise founding fathers like the late S. Rajarathnam who was a fierce defender of secularism."

    Just what does secular mean? My Concise Oxford Dictionary describes it as "not religious, sacred, or spiritual".

    In his contribution to the Review & Forum page of The Straits Times, May 20 2009, Mr Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, says:

    "One of the best decisions I made in my life was to study philosophy at the then University of Singapore. Though I had to repeat a year in order to switch courses, it turned out to be a hugely beneficial decision because it armed me with one of the most powerful weapons developed by mankind: logic.

    I discovered the power of logic when I served at the United Nations. Logic travels well across cultures and languages. A logical argument in one culture is equally logical in another culture, just as mathematical truths are equally valid in all cultures.

    In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Cuba supported it; Singapore opposed it. Hence, we had fierce arguments with Cuba in numerous multilateral fora. In the end, what helped us was a simple rule of logic: All specific propositions can be universalised. Hence, if you argue a specific case, you have to accept the universal rule that goes with it.

    I put across this simple logical argument to the Cubans: You argue that it is legitimate for the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan. The universal consequence of this argument is that it is legitimate for major powers to invade small states. If you accept this universal rule, it means that it will also be legitimate for the United States to invade Cuba.

    The Cubans were mad as hell when we made this argument because they could not argue against the logic. Even the Iranians - who were as anti-American as the Cubans- told us that we were logically correct.

    The same power of logic can be applied to all other disputes. For example, some members of the Anglican Church of Our Saviour have argued that it is legitimate for their members to take over the secular organisation, Aware (of Singapore), because Aware was supporting activities they considered to be against their religious principles. Their pastor Derek Hong was quoted saying: "It's not a crusade against the people but there's a line that God has drawn for us, and we don't want our nation crossing that line." He later expressed his regret for saying this.

    The universal application of this argument is that it is legitimate for religious organisations to take over secular organisations if these secular organisations violate their religious principles. Let us now try a logical extension of this argument by imagining the following scenario.

    Imagine that there is a religious organisation in Singapore which believes that it is immoral for teenage girls to be forced to expose their arms, legs and faces when they go to school. They say: "There's a line that God has drawn for us, and we don't want our nation crossing that line." Hence, since the teachers of Singapore are enforcing the rule, this religious organisation marshals its members, takes over the Singapore Teachers' Union and uses it to advocate the argument that female teenagers should be "free" to choose whatever dress they want to wear to school. They argue that it is wrong to impose the corrupt Western school uniforms on young women of their religion.

    Please note that the above is not a hypothetical example. This argument over school uniforms has been played out in France. Should we allow this to happen in Singapore too?

    The people who led the takeover of Aware did not realise that they were pushing a rule that could undermine the delicate social and political fabric of Singapore. There is one simple political reality that many Singaporeans have not fully absorbed. It is not normal for multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious societies to live in relative harmony. Indeed virtually all the multi-ethnic former British colonies have failed to preserve ethnic harmony after gaining independence. Look at the cases of Guyana, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Fiji.

    Singapore is the exception to the rule. What principles explain its success? One key principle has been the principle of secularism. There is a place for religion in society and there is a place for politics in society. Both should stay in their respective spheres. Many societies have come to grief because religion has been used as a force in politics. And Singapore will definitely come to grief if religion enters the political sphere here. As Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng put it emphatically last week: "Keeping religion and politics separate is a key rule of political engagement."

    This is why we should be aware (pardon the pun) that the Aware saga is not just about one organisation; it is also about the larger principles that allow Singapore to survive and not fall into the same fate as other failed multi-ethnic communities.

    One reason why Singapore has done well so far is that we had exceptionally wise founding fathers. One of them was the late S.Rajaratnam. He was a fierce defender of secularism. Shortly after independence in 1965, he drafted the National Pledge, which speaks of Singaporeans as "one united people, regardless of race, language or religion".

    One simple solution for Singapore's long-term survival is to create a firewall - a thoroughly impregnable firewall - between religious space and the secular space in Singapore society. However, when I proposed this simple solution in the draft version of this article to my friends, I received a blizzard of comments stressing that it would be very difficult, in practical terms, to create such a firewall. I agree. It will be very difficult. But if we fail to build and maintain such a firewall, dealing with the consequences of allowing religion to enter the secular space here will be more difficult.

    In some areas of life, there are no easy solutions. There may only be solutions that require vision, courage and wisdom to implement. Hence, we should not underestimate the challenges of preserving secularism in Singapore.

    Writer'sProfile:

    Kishore Mahbubani was appointed Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 16 August 2004 after having served 33 years in the Singapore Foreign Service (with postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and twice as Ambassador to the UN, during which he also served as President of the Security Council). He was the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry from 1993-1998.

    http://www.spp.nus.edu.sg/Faculty_Kishore_Mahbubani.aspx
     

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    #120 Loh, Jun 5, 2009
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