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Thread: Singapore Also Can
05-06-2010, 10:44 PM #1769
05-07-2010, 02:57 AM #1770
Romanian court rejects Ionescu request to cancel arrest warrant
07 May 2010 1351 hrs
By Mustafa Shafawi
SINGAPORE: Former Romanian Charge d'Affaires to Singapore, Silviu Ionescu, has failed in his attempt to get the arrest warrant issued against him cancelled.
The Bucharest Court of Appeal rejected the request on Thursday saying it was "out of the question, Romanian media Nine O'clock reported on its website.
Prosecutors had earlier called on the courts to reject the request describing it as unacceptable.
However, the ruling may be appealed at the High Court.
Dr Ionescu had claimed that his rights were impaired, as the warrant prevented him from leaving the country.
He's wanted in connection with two hit-and-run accidents in Singapore last December that left one person dead.
A coroner's inquiry in Singapore revealed that Dr Ionescu was the driver of the car involved in the accidents.
Singapore issued an arrest warrant against him on April 1.
05-07-2010, 03:09 AM #1771
Concept Plan 2011 focus group reveals draft suggestions
06 May 2010 2132 hrs
By Mustafa Shafawi/Satish Cheney
SINGAPORE: Public transport, walking or cycling should be the default means to get around in Singapore.
The recommendation was part of a two-pronged strategy proposed by a focus group on the Concept Plan 2011 to make Singapore an endearing and green home for all.
To discourage private transport, it said carpark lots should be reduced and higher parking fees be levied in the city.
"The important thing about car parking is that it is a possible way of regulating the use of private cars, because if you have difficulty in parking a car in a certain part of the city, and there's a very good public transport system, you may just consider using public transport," said Ong Keng Yong, co-chairman of the focus group on "Sustainability and Identity" and director of the Institute of Policy Studies.
The focus group said the government should include sustainability building considerations as a criterion for the award of land tenders.
Programmes to promote a green mindset and raise public awareness about recycling and reducing wastes should be strengthened.
In making Singapore an endearing home, the focus group felt that a Heritage Charter be introduced.
"It's basically to try and build a consensus among all the stakeholders in a particular district as to how to cherish, safeguard the things we love in that district," said Lee Tzu Yang, co-chairman of focus group on "Sustainability and Identity" and chairman of Shell Singapore.
The charter should be jointly formulated by the public, private and people sectors.
To enrich the experience of Singapore's built and natural heritage, it recommends that more people have homes in the heritage districts.
The focus group also said there must be greater community involvement in shaping an endearing Singapore.
With this in mind, schools and non-government organisations need to work with local communities to strengthen the local identity.
The focus group is one of two groups appointed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
The recommendations are being put up for public comment, after which the focus group will fine-tune its recommendations before making its submission to the URA.
The submission will be taken into account in drawing up the Concept Plan 2011, which maps out the long term directions for Singapore's land use and transportation plans over the next 40 to 50 years.
05-07-2010, 03:22 AM #1772
S'pore calls for more robust regime against nuke material trafficking
06 May 2010 2329 hrs
SINGAPORE : Singapore has called for a more robust global export control regime to guard against the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials and weapons.
Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vanu Gopala Menon, made the call at the 2010 review conference of the parties to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
He said the establishment of a multilateral fuel assurance mechanism could help prevent the spread of sensitive nuclear know-how, yet at the same time provide countries interested in pursuing nuclear energy the means to do so.
There must also be a mechanism to encourage countries with nuclear weapon capabilities that are outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - India, Pakistan and Israel - to abide by the same international rules.
North Korea must also be incentivised to rejoin the global non-proliferation regime.
The Ambassador also said the international community needs to strengthen nuclear safety in a way that does not impede, but enables, states which abide by their international obligations to reap the benefits from non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
He also called for the IAEA, which has been setting international norms and standards on nuclear safety and security issues, to have its mandate and capacity strengthened.
Regional arrangements can play a useful role in supporting and supplementing the IAEA. ASEAN countries have started a conversation on an ASEAN nuclear safety regime.
Many countries, including Singapore, are exploring nuclear energy as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuels. This is the right of all countries under Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, there are no rights without responsibilities.
It is therefore imperative that all countries that insist on their rights under Article IV spare no effort to reassure the international community, by deeds as well as words, that their intentions are peaceful and not directed at weapons development.
The Ambassador said that the recent conclusion of the follow-on treaty to START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) between the US and Russia was a positive step forward after a long period of inaction.
To maintain the momentum, there is a need for all Nuclear Weapon States to seriously address other critical issues such as reducing the role of nuclear weapons in strategic defence doctrines, the no-first-use policy and negative security assurances to Non-Nuclear Weapon States, and for all Nuclear Weapon States to continue to significantly reduce nuclear weapons in a transparent and verifiable manner.
All Nuclear Weapon States, and not just the two major powers, should commit to reducing their nuclear arsenals, end qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and testing.
Singapore applauds Indonesia's decision to initiate the process of Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty ratification.
A way must also be found to involve non-NPT states with nuclear weapons capabilities - India, Pakistan and Israel, as well as North Korea that has left the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - in such discussions.
05-07-2010, 03:43 AM #1773
25 local features to debut at Cannes Film Market
06 May 2010 2010 hrs
By Mustafa Shafawi
SINGAPORE: The Media Development Authority (MDA) will showcase 25 new features by local filmmakers at the Cannes Film Market which runs from 12 to 21 May.
They are among 102 film projects which will be promoted by MDA at the event, some 25 per cent more compared to last year.
The features range from romantic comedies and adventure flicks to animation features and thrillers.
Among them are: "Neon Sign", the first Singapore-China-Korea film co-production funded through MDA's International Film Fund, and "Bait", Singapore's first 3D action thriller co-produced by Singapore's BlackMagic Design.
MDA's Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Chia, said as the local film-making community becomes increasingly business-savvy, more are concentrating on co-producing commercially viable, internationally marketable projects.
05-07-2010, 04:03 AM #1774
Record turnout, R&D boost expected at S'pore Int'l Water Week
06 May 2010 1841 hrs
By Mustafa Shafawi, Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid
SINGAPORE : A record turnout is expected at this year's Singapore International Water Week in June.
The organisers said the turnout will be boosted by the debut of two new country pavilions, an increase in the number of participating companies, and more than 70 co-located events.
They also said more leading water players are investing their Research and Development (R&D) dollars here, and will make these announcements at the week-long event.
One of them is Japanese membrane manufacturer Toray, which will officially open its R&D centre in Singapore during the Water Week.
The Netherlands Water House will also be launched. The organisers said it will enhance cooperation and strengthen ties between Singaporean and Dutch businesses and research institutes in the water sector.
Altogether, over 12,000 people are expected to attend the Singapore International Water Week, which will see more than 450 participating companies at the Water Expo.
Last year, some S$2.2 billion worth of business deals were sealed. More could be on the cards as there will be a 10 per cent increase in the number of companies participating at the trade show.
Michael Toh, managing director, Singapore International Water Week, said: "This year, we will see a strong industry component at the Singapore International Water Week - the Water Expo, which is the trade conference, the trade show.
"At the SIWW we'll see more than 450 companies showcasing and exhibiting their products, solutions and technologies. New ones include those from Canada and Korea.
"They join returning country pavilions from China, Europe, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Singapore to bring the total number to a record of eight pavilions this year. The Japanese companies will also showcase their latest water solutions in a pavilion that's nearly 1.5 times bigger this year."
There is also the inaugural Asia Pacific Water Ministerial Forum and the first-ever River Basin and Delta Management Workshop.
Mr Toh said: "We want to galvanise, enable the ministers to share their experiences, their case studies and their stories about implementation of water solutions.
"We want them to talk about governance and also talk about technologies, to be of interest to the participants at the Singapore International Water Week, such as re-use and desalination."
Participants including ministers from Hong Kong, Fiji and Samoa are expected to attend.
There will also be the 14th Meeting of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation - the first to be held in Southeast Asia. The water leaders' summit will focus on critical areas in water management such as good governance, innovative technology and sound financing.
"We are trying to inject new areas of discussion. For the very first time, we will have the river basin workshop which focuses on the need to address the challenges that are faced by rivers as well as deltas, because as you know many rivers flow through cities, flow to very populous areas, so we want to have a very strong focus - this is a new area of focus," Mr Toh added.
05-07-2010, 04:10 AM #1775
REACH receives 270 responses to issues raised at PM Lee's May Day Rally
06 May 2010 2226 hrs
By Jeremy Koh
SINGAPORE: Government feedback unit REACH has received more than 270 responses across its various engagement channels on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's May Day Rally speech on May 1.
The issues revolve around the restoration of employer's Central Provident Fund contribution, the government's call to raise productivity and foreign worker-related issues.
At a 90-minute e-Townhall webchat on 6 May, for instance, some of about 30 participants felt the announcement on the partial CPF restoration was timely and appropriate.
Some felt the one-percentage point increase should be higher while others were worried about whether companies can manage the higher costs.
Speaking to reporters after the webchat, REACH chairman Amy Khor said the sentiments echoed feedback received on other channels.
"We actually did a quick poll of close to 200 respondents, and close to 8 in 10 agreed it's timely and appropriate for a partial restoration of employer's CPF contribution rate and I think this also came out in this evening's webchat," she said.
Other concerns raised at the webchat included the adequacy of CPF money for retirement and healthcare needs, and the employability of older Singaporeans.
"I think for webchat, one of the advantages is that they get direct engagement and they get instant, real-time responses from people who are chairing the session. In many ways, it helps to clarify some of their issues and concerns regarding the policies. In fact, they themselves help to clarify each other's concerns," said Dr Khor.
REACH is currently conducting a telephone poll to gather reactions on the May Day Rally. Results from the poll will be announced shortly.
05-07-2010, 04:26 AM #1776
My hometown in S'pore
The Straits Times
May 7, 2010
By Loh Keng Fatt
NATIONAL Day is coming.
This year, The Straits Times will celebrate the places where Singaporeans call home on this island. The concept for this year's National Day Supplement is My Hometown in Singapore.
What makes people loyal to a particular neighbourhood?
What makes them proud?
What is so special about, say, Serangoon Gardens?
What is so unique about living in, say, Woodlands?
What do folks in Katong enjoy that others cannot?
Everyone has a home, or a hometown, in Singapore. Everyone has a story to share about the joys of living there.
We want to hear those stories.
We want to see photos of your hometown.
We want to read your poems, or lyrics of a song you wrote about your hometown.
Or even a podcast or a video you've made to express yourself.
In tandem with the National Day supplement on Aug 9, we are devoting space at straitstimes.com to allow you to share your stories, pictures and more.
Please submit them either with the relevant attachments or video links, to email@example.com with the heading 'My Hometown in Singapore' by July 15.
Leave your full name, age, occupation and mobile phone number.
We will also publish the contributions from the public in our supplement.
ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
05-08-2010, 08:26 AM #1777
Ionescu detained for questioning by Romanian authorities
08 May 2010 1023 hrs
By Lynda Hong
SINGAPORE: Romanian prosecutors have detained Silviu Ionescu for questioning. The ex-business attaché is wanted by Singapore authorities in connection with two hit-and-run accidents here in December last year, which left one person dead.
Romanian TV news channel, Antenna 3, showed the country's former Charge d'Affaires to Singapore Dr Silviu Ionescu being led away in handcuffs.
Those were the first video pictures we've seen of Dr Ionescu since his return to Romania after the accidents.
Other news agencies, Mediafax, English Hotnews reported that Dr Ionescu refused to make any statements after coming out from the hearings which lasted for about two hours.
Romanian prosecutors are seeking a 29-day detention warrant against Dr Ionescu.
Judges have 24 hours to approve the diplomat's detention, or release him.
Prosecutors said Dr Ionescu tried to influence witnesses' depositions and asked an employee to erase data in his computer.
Dr Ionescu has also failed to get an arrest warrant issued by Singapore against him cancelled.
The Bucharest Court of Appeal rejected his request as "out of the question", according to an online report by Romanian media.
However, the ruling may be appealed in the country's High Court.
Dr Ionescu had claimed his rights were being impaired as the warrant prevents him from leaving Romania
05-08-2010, 08:37 AM #1778
Sharing school facilities with residents is pivotal towards community building
08 May 2010 2014 hrs
By S Ramesh, Sharon See
SINGAPORE: Sharing the facilities of schools with the area's residents is one way of enhancing community bonding. That's the view of Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Masagos Zulkifli, when he launched the project on Saturday.
Some school facilities at Tampines Primary and Tampines Secondary are now open to the public.
The idea was mooted three years ago when the Tampines schools were being upgraded under the Education Ministry's Programme for Rebuilding and improving Existing Schools or PRIME.
Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Parliamentary Secretary,Education and Home Affairs, said: "We thought at the time when the PRIME was being executed for the school to rebuild the school, it'll be a great opportunity to study how we can design the new school so that the facilities in the school can be used by the community during off-school hours."
Mr Masagos said the Education Ministry has been sharing sports facilities in schools with the community after school hours since 2005.
To-date, 80 school fields are available for the public to use and 50 'free-to-play' smaller fields available for recreational purposes.
Furthermore, 30 indoor sports halls are opened to the public for badminton, basketball, netball and volleyball.
Many schools also allow registered organisations and community groups to make use of their non-sports facilities such as halls, music rooms and classrooms.
Facilities in the community school, include the gym located at the Secondary School's compound.
The nearby Changi General Hospital will also run its weight management and wellness programmes for the community at the gym.
Mr Masagos said it's a joint effort by the School and Tampines West CC to bring the programmes to the neighbourhood.
Residents also welcomed the idea of having access to more facilities in their neighbourhood.
One resident said: "I find that it's very good for the public and residents here because during the day time, students make use of the facilities here and during the off period, our residents can make good use of these facilities."
Mr Masagos stressed that safety will not be compromised.
He said: "Around the school, there're security cameras during operation when the public have access. There'll be security guards on hand as well as community-based staff who'll also be on hand to manage the facilities."
Mr Masagos added the schools have been designed such that access to public is confined to certain areas only.
Apart from promoting a healthy lifestyle, the Tampines Green Residents Committee has embarked on a joint project with the primary school by providing plants for the school's eco garden.
Mr Masagos added: "The plants include grapes, passion fruit, winter melon and ribena. I heard the students are thrilled by the eco garden and they are looking forward to see these plants bloom."
Students from Tampines Primary are also helping out at the community garden patch to help residents label the plants with their scientific names.
05-08-2010, 08:50 AM #1779
S'pore & Johor officials discuss expiry of 1961 Water Agreement
07 May 2010 2023 hrs
By Joanne Chan
JOHOR : Officials from Singapore and Johor met on Friday in Johor to discuss matters relating to the expiry of a water agreement.
A Joint Technical Committee (JTC) and Joint Working Group (JWG) will be handling the transition of assets and operations.
The 1961 Water Agreement will expire next year, but Singapore's national water agency PUB said it will continue to import water under the 1962 Water Agreement which will expire in 2061.
PUB also said it has put in place the Four National Taps strategy to ensure that there will be a diversified and sustainable supply of water to meet Singapore's water needs.
The Four National Taps are water from local catchments, NEWater, desalinated water and imported water from Johor.
05-08-2010, 08:59 AM #1780
Environment ministers of S'pore & Malaysia review areas of cooperation
07 May 2010 2329 hrs
By Lynda Hong
SINGAPORE : Ministers from Singapore and Malaysia met to review the progress of work carried out by the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment (MSJCE).
Both sides had fruitful discussions and exchanges of views on various areas of cooperation.
Singapore's Minister for Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) Dr Yaacob Ibrahim met his Malaysian counterpart in Malaysia on Friday.
Dr Yaccob Ibrahim is on a two-day visit at the invitation of Malaysia's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Douglas Uggah Embas.
The visit is part of the Annual Exchange of Visits (AEV) between the environment ministries of Malaysia and Singapore.
At their meeting on Friday, the two ministers held fruitful discussions.
In a joint statement, both sides noted the marked improvement in tackling vehicular pollution.
They will continue to share experiences on controlling vehicular emissions, such as the tightening of vehicular emission standards and promoting the use of green vehicles.
On joint monitoring of water quality, the ministers reiterated the need to further improve the water quality in the Straits of Johor.
Researchers and scientists from Singapore and Malaysia agreed to continue the exchange of information on the monitoring of ecology and morphology in and around the Straits of Johor in order to conserve the biodiversity of both countries.
As for pollution in the Skudai Water Catchment, Malaysia will continue to exchange information with Singapore on water quality of Sungai Skudai and take actions to reduce the pollution.
The ministers commended the MSJCE for having successfully conducted the 7th Joint Emergency Chemical Spill Exercise at the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing on 2 Dec 2009.
The seventh exercise recorded the largest number of participants to date. It provided a good opportunity for both countries to test and improve their existing response plan.
The next emergency response exercise will be organised by Singapore, tentatively in early 2011.
A tabletop exercise will be conducted tentatively in June 2010 by Singapore to prepare for the field exercise between Malaysia and Singapore on response to chemical spill in East Johor Straits (EJS) in 2011.
Both countries had been working together to exchange information to prevent and control oil pollution, including the discharge of oily wastes into the Straits of Johor, and also update the existing procedures for Control of Tanker Desludging Activities and Disposal of Tanker Sludge in Malaysia and Singapore.
They will explore the possibilities to control oil spill in the Straits of Johor.
The ministers reiterated the importance of continuing to work closely through the Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution, involving Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, in strengthening cooperation in tackling transboundary haze pollution arising from land and forest fires.
Since 1979, the Annual Exchange of Visits has served to forge closer environmental co-operation and ties between the two ministries.
The two delegations will participate in the 23rd Annual MEWR-MNRE Friendly Games on Saturday.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim
05-08-2010, 11:31 PM #1781
MFA responds to UN expert on race issues
The full text is as follows:
Thu, Apr 29, 2010
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Singapore, issued a press statement in response to that of Mr Githu Muigai, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance:
Mr Githu Muigai visited Singapore at the invitation of the Singapore Government. He had requested to come to Singapore to better understand our society, engage in dialogue, and identify best practices to be shared.
We told Mr Muigai that for Singapore, maintaining racial and religious harmony and treating minorities fairly is not just the morally correct thing to do. It is a political, economic and even foreign policy imperative for our continued survival and prosperity.
The principle of meritocracy is the basis of Singapore's success and will continue to serve as the core value of our society.
Mr Muigai told us that he now better appreciates the complexity of Singapore society and how we deal with racial issues. He agreed with us that managing racial issues is a journey with no end and there will always be challenges. We told him that we will deal with them pragmatically as they arise; policies are continually reviewed and adjusted if changes are warranted.
The Singapore Government looks forward to reading Mr Muigai's final report. We have an open mind because the maintenance of racial harmony is of such vital importance to us that we are prepared to consider any practical suggestion that advances this goal and is workable in our unique circumstances.
We do not expect Mr Muigai to agree with all our approaches; nor do we agree with all that he had shared with us. Such differences of opinion are natural when dealing with a subject as complex as race. We will respond fully as appropriate when we see his final report.
However, there are some comments in his press statement and from his press conference that require immediate clarification.
Position of the Malays
We are surprised that Mr Muigai had so quickly concluded that in the field of education, "special measures within clearly defined timelines" may be necessary to help address the historical inequalities faced by the Malay community.
As Mr Muigai himself has acknowledged, statistics show that "great progress has been made in the last decades" in terms of the Malay community's performance in education and many other areas. These statistics are publicly available.
The approach that Mr Muigai appears to be advocating - popularly known as 'affirmative action' based on racially defined quotas - is one that has been tried by many countries without notable success. During our discussions with him, we found that Mr Muigai is well aware of failures of affirmative action and indeed shared with us an example of such a failure in another country.
During his meeting with MUIS, Mr Muigai directly asked the President of MUIS Haji Mohd Alami Musa whether he thought the Malay community wanted the government to create special provisions to help the Malay community. Haji Alami categorically told Mr Muigai that the Malays disapproved of any affirmative action policy because the Malay community had a deep sense of pride in its own ability to achieve steady progress under the national system of meritocracy.
Restrictions on Discussion of Sensitive Issues
In the course of his press conference this afternoon Mr Muigai referred to restrictions in our laws such as the Penal Code and the Sedition Act and expressed the opinion that they may not as useful today as forty-five years ago. He called for greater openness in the public discussion of sensitive issues.
Here we must emphatically disagree with Mr Muigai. Race, language and religion will always be sensitive issues in Singapore. This does not mean that they cannot be discussed, but a balance must always be struck between free expression and preservation of racial and religious harmony.
This balance is only for the Singapore government to determine because only the Singapore government bears the responsibility should things go wrong. The UN bears no such responsibility and we see no reason to take risks for the sake of an abstract principle. We believe most Singaporeans agree with the government's approach.
Presidential Council for Minority Rights
Mr Muigai was of the opinion that there was a potential conflict between the role of the Chief Justice as head of an independent judiciary and as Chairman of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights (PCMR). Mr Muigai has not fully understood the Constitutional role of the PCMR. As the Chief Justice himself told Mr Muigai, if there was any conflict of interest in a case, the Chief Justice would recuse himself. Our judiciary is well respected internationally and the PCMR has worked well to preserve racial harmony in Singapore.
Categorisation by Ethnicity
Mr Muigai has suggested that categorising individuals by ethnicity, for example on our National Registration Identity Cards and through our Group Representation Constituency system, may reinforce and perpetuate prejudices and negative stereotypes. However, during our discussions Mr Muigai acknowledged that there was no single correct approach to this issue and that there were good reasons not to pretend that ethnic differences did not exist.
Acceding to International Conventions
Mr Muigai has also recommended that we accede to certain international human rights conventions. We have told Mr Muigai that we are in the process of studying some of these conventions and do not rule out acceding to them. But we do not value form for its own sake and will accede to these conventions if there is substantive value in doing so and we are prepared to implement all their provisions.
There are also factual errors in Mr Muigai's press release that need immediate correction.
Education for Malay Students
Mr Muigai had noted that "the Government had until a decade ago supported free education programmes for Malay students". This implies that the Government has reduced the amount of money devoted to Malay education. This is not true. What has changed is that the money that used to be allocated to middle-class Malays who no longer need subsidies for education is now given to Mendaki for distribution to the most needy Malays. The total amount of money dedicated to Malay education has not changed.
Non-Tamil-speaking Indian Muslims
Mr Muigai claimed that non-Tamil-speaking Indian Muslims may find it difficult to identify with Mendaki or SINDA. This is not true and in fact they have been making full use of programmes in both community groups. No Indian Muslim in need of help is denied help.
Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools
Mr Muigai claimed that Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools were established in order to nurture the best talents that will form the next generation of leaders in the various fields. This is a misunderstanding of the role that SAP schools play in Singapore. Then-DPM Lee Hsien Loong in his speech at the 300th Anniversary of the Birth of the Khalsa Sikh Vesakhi Celebrations in 1999 had explained fully the role of SAP schools. The speech is still relevant and Mr Muigai was given a copy of the speech today.
05-08-2010, 11:42 PM #1782
Andrea Bocelli performs to over 10,000-strong audience at Botanic Gardens
08 May 2010 2156 hrs
By Lynda Hong
SINGAPORE: It was an enchanting night for over 10,000 people at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on Saturday evening.
World-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli performed 'LIVE' in Singapore at the gardens.
Also in the audience was Singapore President S R Nathan.
The Italian's performance was accompanied by Singapore's Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonic Chamber Choir.
The concert is part of YTL's anniversary celebrations.
Andrea Bocelli was also joined by special guests.
They included Australian pop singer Delta Goodrem, Slovenian soprano Sabina Cvilak and acclaimed flutist Andrea Griminelli.
05-08-2010, 11:52 PM #1783
Inaugural contemporary art exhibition for children at Singapore Art Museum
08 May 2010 1606 hrs
By Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid
SINGAPORE: Getting young children to appreciate art - not just any form, but contemporary art that can be abstract to some.
The Singapore Arts Museum (SAM) is launching an interactive art exhibition to appeal to the younger ones.
It's a special treat for the little ones, as the SAM transforms its building off Queen Street into art gardens, showcasing works inspired by nature.
Visitors will get to befriend Walter the rabbit - a helium float installation - located just as one enters the museum.
They can also watch these mechanical flowers - or floribots - "grow" and "bloom" according to how fast or slow one moves around in the area.
Or simply, be a part of a fairy tale.
Sandra Lee, artist, The Enchanted Forest, says: "When the children enter the enchanted forest installation, it will be as though they are stepping into a page of a story book and as they move along the gallery space, the story will unfold before them, they are like the protagonists in the story, and they will meet all sort of the characters."
Experts say contemporary art and interactive spaces like these have become increasingly useful for learning and discovery.
Tan Boon Hui, director of Singapore Art Museum, says: "Children respond most actively to contemporary art because they have a certain curiosity and they are not daunted by something that looks new, in fact they want to explore it."
"It's also very important for us, because this is really the audience of tomorrow, and contemporary art, the art works that we have here, they are interactive, they use video, new media, so they are the language our young children are growing up with, so it is really their art and the children's season is really our tribute to them."
"Parents can also get their children this activity book, that's designed to accompany the different art works and enhance their learning experience. Children as young as four years old, will be exposed to topics like geometry, ecology and science.
Theodore Watson, artist, says: "I have two installations, Daisies and Funky Forest, and they both in a way interactive eco-systems that allow children to play with digital projections. Funky forest lets you make trees with your body, use water flowing across the floors, guide water to help keep the trees healthy and alive."
The exhibition is part of this year's International Museum Day celebration and will run from May 14 at SAM.
05-09-2010, 12:07 AM #1784
Mrs Lim Hwee Hua: A letter to my mother
05:55 AM May 08, 2010
Minister Lim's Letter on Mothers' Day
You had very little and yet you were so generous.
You were hardly educated and yet you taught me much.
There were nine of us but you made each of us feel special.
You toiled hard but always found time to prepare us meals.
I never once heard you complain,
even when the going got tough.
Your smile will always be etched in my memory
and your love, in my heart.
On Mothers' Day and every other day.
Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, 51
Minister, Prime Minister's Office
Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport
Mother: Mdm Lim Gek Keow (deceased 1989)
Lim Hwee Hua, 51, Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport, with her mother Mdm Lim Gek Keow, who died in 1989.
MediaCorp Press Ltd
Last edited by Loh; 05-09-2010 at 12:12 AM.
05-09-2010, 12:19 AM #1785
Actor Tay Ping Hui: A letter to my mother
05:55 AM May 08, 2010
We've never been physically affectionate because we're a traditional Asian family. For us, actions speak louder than words, and your actions speak volumes.
When I often get home late at night because of my hectic filming schedule, I'll usually find you still up watching TV. The first question you and dad always ask is, "Have you eaten?" and there would always be warm food on the table, waiting for me. About 15 minutes after I step inside, you'll be shuffling off to bed.
I know you're waiting up for me, and watching TV is merely an excuse. While some people get irritated at their parents waiting up for them, I see the intentions behind it. That is why I will always finish up these late suppers, no matter how full I may be. You always make sure that I'm taken care of. I guess no matter how old we get, to you, I'm probably still your little boy.
I remember how you used to take us kids travelling by taxi all the way to the old Odeon building to eat the famous beef noodles and waiting at least 40 minutes to get our food, simply because us kids liked it. No questions asked.
My siblings have left the family home but I still live with you and dad. I don't care if somebody called me a Mummy's Boy, or a Daddy's Boy - what's wrong with that? It's about you and dad knowing that I'm around, I'm here for you.
For Mother's Day, most of all, I'd like to tell you, thank you for your unconditional love. When I do eventually move out, it does not mean that I am leaving you, because my heart will always still be with you and dad. I want to show that same care and concern for my future children that you and dad have shown us.
To all the mothers in the world and mine, I'd like to say, do not belittle your own efforts for taking care of your children. You're worth much more to your children than you think.
Mum, I'd like to tell you, nobody's perfect - you're not the perfect mother, I'm not the perfect son, but the bond we have as family will never be broken.
Tay Ping Hui, 39
Mother: Annie Siah
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