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  1. #1786
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    Default Tough stance saves lives

    The Straits Times
    May 10, 2010

    By Zakir Hussain , POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

    SINGAPORE has no qualms about taking a tough line on serious crimes and imposing the mandatory death penalty because it believes this stand has saved thousands of lives, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday.

    The penalty applies to crimes such as murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking, and Mr Shanmugam believes it has had a deterrent effect and sent a clear signal to drug barons on Singapore's position.

    He acknowledged it was easy for death penalty opponents to focus on the plight of the individual who faced being hanged.

    But the consequences of getting rid of the death penalty had to be considered: 'You save one life here, but 10 other lives will be gone. What would your choice be if you were to make that choice?'

    Mr Shanmugam, who is also Second Home Affairs Minister, was responding to Joo Chiat resident Jack Lin, 26, at a dialogue that capped his visit to the ward.

    Mr Lin had asked whether the case of Yong Vui Kong, whose lawyers argued against the mandatory death sentence, would affect the future of such a punishment.

  2. #1787
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Interest over Ionescu's hit-and-run case picking up in Romania

    Channel NewsAsia
    09 May 2010 2049 hrs

    By Lynda Hong

    SINGAPORE : Interest in Romania on the Dr Silviu Ionescu hit-and-run case in Singapore is picking up, after authorities there decided to detain him for 29 days for further investigations.

    Fresh pictures have been appearing on Romanian TV of the former charge d'affaires to Singapore being led away for detention.

    He was detained for investigations into the accidents in December last year which killed one person and injured two others.

    The media in Romania has also been reporting how Singapore's media and online community are keenly following developments of the case.

    Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hoping that the Romanian authorities will persuade Dr Ionescu to return to Singapore to face charges.

    There is no extradition treaty between Singapore and Romania.


    Dr Silviu Ionescu Photo Credit: Romanian TV, Antena 3
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  3. #1788
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    Default NUSS Sports Complex is now fully operational

    The long wait has come to an end and NUSS members are now rewarded with a full complement of sports facilities, particularly our urgently required badminton courts, where hiterto there was none.

    Our club will be able to entertain our Malaysian counterparts of the former University of Malaya in our annual PAUM games in future without too much disruption. Now, we will be able to play most of the games in our own clubhouse except for soccer, which we will probably use the nearby NUS soccer pitch within the same NUS campus, golf and bowling.

    We would be able to do so this year except that the organising committees of both societies agreed last year to hold the games midway in Malacca to celebrate our 25 years (I believe) of sporting relationship.

    Our clubhouse will be able to host sports like tennis, squash, badminton, table tennis and other indoor games like billiards and darts if necessary. And shower and dining facilities are available to cater to after-games social gatherings.

    With our new MPH (Multipurpose Hall) with four badminton courts, we are able to invite other clubs for friendly games, especially those from overseas which are keen to play in Singapore.

    The following are some pictures I took yesterday of the integrated complex of NUSS, NUS Alumni House and the recent NUS Business School and the sports facilities available at our NUSS club.
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  4. #1789
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    Default

    looks like the badminton facility is most utilized..

  5. #1790
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cooler View Post
    looks like the badminton facility is most utilized..
    Still early days yet.

  6. #1791
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    Default 'Govt's role can, and should, shrink' (on sports)

    Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shares his views on national sport associations, foreign talent and more

    TODAY
    05:55 AM May 07, 2010

    TODAY marks the start of a 99-day countdown to the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, which will be hosted by Singapore in August. With sports set to take centre stage over the next few months, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan sat down with former national athlete and editor Nicholas Fang (today@mediacorp.com.sg) to discuss several of the current issues in local sports, as well as the challenges that lie ahead.

    What is your assessment of Singapore's national sports associations? Do they need to be more professional?

    Minister Vivian Balakrishnan: Levels of professionalism vary greatly among the NSAs (national sports associations). My starting point is that I want the NSAs to remain ground-up, people-centric organisations. I have absolutely no intention of allowing SSC (Singapore Sports Council) or MCYS (Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports) to take over any NSAs.

    Having said that, I think we all have a stake in raising standards of professionalism and governance.

    Remember our raison d'etre is not for a few of us to hold posts or titles, but to make sports accessible to our people, and give opportunities especially to talented young people to fulfil their dreams, both their dreams at the individual level and also dreams for us at the national level. That also means that MCYS and SSC would have to be tough in imposing standards.

    We are tough on our athletes, we should be equally tough on our officials.

    So, codes of governance, performance targets, the way you spend money, getting value for money, and outcomes, all of this should be measured. So, the same way we measure the performance of a 4x100m relay team, why can't I take the same, equally robust way of assessing the performance of officials? Officials should be held accountable.

    If we can get that balance right, NSAs are not Government-run entities, but people-centred organisations with a mission, running to very high standards - we can achieve this.

    I think we are making progress, if you look at the past 10 years. Overall, I think the standards of governance and professionalism in the NSAs have gone up.


    Should there be less confrontational attitude in the relationship between the sports council and the sports associations?

    Minister: We are all learning. This goes beyond sports and extends to even the charities and other organisations under MCYS.

    You don't have to be confrontational in order to be accountable to one another. It's not a zero-sum game.

    We can make the whole pie grow, if we learn to be more professional, including in our dealings with each other.

    To move forward, it's both about the people and the processes. It's about people, with their interest, dedication, experience and their networks, their ability.

    Then, it's about a system that allows people to perform at their best, and accountability as a team. The whole is larger than the sum of its parts. That's always the story of Singapore.

    At the individual level, we're always struggling against numbers. We're a small place, in a tough neighbourhood, this is a very competitive world. So, how can we organise ourselves so we can outperform as a team. The same analogy in sports also applies to so many other challenges we face as a country.



    Looking to the future, how do you see sports associations here evolving?

    Minister: NSAs are generally moving upwards, and I am confident we will be able to harvest the fruits of this increased professionalism, increased facilities, systems and infrastructure.

    So, I don't see painful trade-offs. If we keep on this virtuous cycle, we may see more resources available.

    Then we can stop thinking of this as expenditures and subsidies, but more as investments and opportunities. When we get there, the role of Government shrinks, and it becomes very much a people and business-sector enterprise.

    If you look at America, they've succeeded in creating a viable, growing sports ecosystem, which transcends media, big business, so many other areas of life. It's the case in America, Australia, even New Zealand, where sports is a religion.

    The role of Government can and should shrink, so NSAs shouldn't be so dependant on SSC for grants - they should be viable. This will take time to achieve, but that should be our ultimate goal.



    Sports as religion, do you think that will ever happen here?

    Minister: We are making progress. Sports is already becoming part of the mainstream of Singapore life. That's already a big step. I like the fact that now I have to worry about how to cater for so many people.

    It's a change in attitudes, now working with police on road closures, and how to manage this; working with businesses to see how we can work around it, how they are affected. We sit down with them to see how we can optimise it, instead of your business being compromised, maybe it can be enhanced. Attitudes are changing.



    With the Sports Hub being built and the YOG just 99 days away, what will be the next big thing on the sports scene here?

    Minister: What's clear is that given the way the Summer Olympics are going now, there's no way we can or even should host it. It's just too gargantuan.

    So long as they are not willing to allow the Games to be held on a regional basis, it's out of the question, so we won't look at that. SEA Games, certainly, we can do. At some point, we will come under increasing pressure to host the Commonwealth and Asian Games. We will deal with that as they come up, but they are nice problems and challenges to face.

    There are many opportunities to grow world class or world championship events to be held in Singapore.

    We should be on the look out, but also not sell ourselves short. We should plan a multi-year, even a decade-long vision or plan on what we should bid for, what we will host. Take a more strategic look. For example, now we have the Barclays golf, the HSBC women's golf, Formula 1.

    We should take an overall, high-level look at our stable of world-class sporting events and make sure we maximise them on the calendar. It's getting quite packed already, there's something almost week.

    But the pressure also grows. It's not difficult now to get 50,000 people if you organise an event.

    How many other events, besides the National Day Parade, can spontaneously get those sorts of numbers of people?



    What about the foreign talent scheme in sports? Is it here to stay?

    Minister: I'm a firm believer in this scheme. And it goes far beyond sports. I believe that it's one of the key strategic decisions we need to take. We need to remain open. Singapore needs to remain open, and that extends to sports. I have approached this issue with three principles:

    First, We must remain open, but the talent that comes in must truly be talented. We're not here to pick up other people's also-rans or people who couldn't succeed anywhere else. Singapore must remain a magnet for top talent, whether that top talent is a scientist, a sportsman, a businessman, an entrepreneur.

    If you've got the dream, you've got talent, I want Singapore to be one of the options that a young person thinks about.

    Second, we have to be fair. We must not favour or disadvantage locals or foreigners. Neither person should say that the other has a better deal than me or was treated better than me.

    Once we've accepted a person, he or she must be treated completely and scrupulously fair. There should be no discrimination.

    For example, if you brought in someone who is very talented in sports, I would want you to treat that person like you would treat your own daughter or son.

    Always ask yourself, would you educate your child, send them to school? Yes I know that sports would take centre place, and you might want to reschedule the academics.

    But you must look after the long-term interests of the athlete, that includes providing education and looking at his post-sports career, and really treat him like your own daughter or son.

    If you don't how do you expect that person to compete wearing your flag, and to feel proud and that sense of belonging? I don't think they can be just mercenary.

    Take someone like (national table tennis player) Li Jiawei. She came here when she was barely 14, spent more than half her life in Singapore. She's told me before about how she used to cry every night when she was a child, separated from her parents. This sort of sacrifice and effort are not the actions of a mercenary.

    I believe after all those years, all those sacrifices, all those experiences and ups and downs, she's as much a Singaporean as anyone else. Yes, I think we can improve things like language ability, but that relates to my third point.

    And that is there must be integration. They must not be isolated in ghettos of foreign sportsmen.

    So, we must be open, we must be fair, and they must be integrated.

    So long as we can do that, then I think the issue of foreign talent in sports, while it will never go away, it should not become controversial or divisive.



    Why are there so few locally-born Singaporeans on the Olympic Pathway Programme?

    Minister: To me, it's not a zero-sum game. If I can have more athletes with that potential, they will be worth investing in.

    Who says we should only aim to win one medal or two, so only have six on the programme?

    It's all about talent. The more talent we have, regardless where you were born, the more we can give you that turbo boost to succeed. And then when you succeed, to truly be a part of us, and for us to be a part of you. That is mission accomplished.

    There is always the fear that he's displacing me from the team, but if all of you can win more medals, that's fine.

    So, it's necessary to get people to see it as not a zero-sum game. Sports is not a zero-sum game.

    What I would like to see in the future, is teams that may consist, depending on the talent and availability and opportunities that exist and sometimes sheer luck, of more or less foreign talent. But it should be a non-issue.

    And the other point is, when you bring in someone in their early teens, and they succeed in their 20s, can't you accept the fact that it's the Singapore system, Singapore support, that has enabled that to happen? To not take pride in that achievement is just being silly. Her achievement is our achievement. Why do we want to short-change ourselves and say it's nothing to do with us, she's just a mercenary. It's just being churlish.

    I hope some of our local table-tennis players step up. We are not limiting it by numbers. Hopefully we will see someone come up who is of the same level, or even better.

    It's a challenge we always face in Singapore. It is a numbers game. It is not about us limiting it, but in the natural course of things, with a small population, there is a limited number, statistically, of actual world champions. But what we are trying to do is create a Singapore system which is open to talent, nurtures that talent, and gives fair opportunities to everyone.

    And this is a fundamental, which goes beyond sports, and is the way for Singapore and Singaporeans to succeed.


    Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
    Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd
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  7. #1792
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New Human Resource Capital Leadership Institute to drive goal of global talent hub

    Channel NewsAsia
    10 May 2010 1224 hrs

    By S Ramesh

    SINGAPORE: Singapore is seizing the opportunity to position itself as a Home for Talent to drive business and innovation.

    Helping to spearhead this towards becoming a global talent hub is the new Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI).

    The new institute's governing body is chaired by entrepreneur Sunny Verghese.

    The economy is recovering but the war is not over. The battle now is for the best talent to grow the business pie, said Singapore's Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong.

    Launching the new Human Capital Leadership Institute with its chairman Sunny Verghese, Mr Gan stressed this means ensuring that Singapore has the hardware and software to grow "talent centres of excellence".

    Mr Gan said: "This will then encourage more innovation for businesses in Singapore and across Asia. We will also provide companies with a supportive and holistic environment to nurture these talents into future leaders.

    “Top local talents will want to remain in Singapore and global talents will want to come here because we have the best educational infrastructures to help them develop their leadership competencies and further their careers.

    “Global companies will also invest and set up operations in Singapore because of the availability of a deep talent pool. Together with our strategic geographical location, unique multi-cultural attributes and world-class infrastructure, we believe Singapore is well-positioned to become this Home for Talent in the heart of Asia.

    “Employers will hire only the best candidates with the right skills and attributes. The workforce needs to upgrade its skills and knowledge in order to remain competitive and marketable.

    “Therefore, a key thrust of Singapore's economic growth strategy going forward is to enhance workforce capabilities by focusing on skills, innovation and productivity. To achieve this, we need to help companies develop progressive talent management and leadership capabilities."

    That's where the Human Capital Leadership Institute will play a pivotal role.

    It will offer the best-in-class executive education.

    One is the Singapore Business Leaders Programme which covers topics like Asian leadership attributes and the characterestics of an Asian workforce.

    Mr Sunny Verghese said: "We aim to connect in their respective fields with the most promising business leaders. Over time, HCLI aims to bring in other programmes from global institutions such as the one-week Human Resources Startegies for Transforming Organisations from the London Business School.”

    At the heart of developing Singapore into an iconic knowledge hub is the project called LINKS@Nepal Hill.

    LINKS stands for Leadership, Initiative, Network and Knowledge.

    The project involves attracting some of the top business schools from all over the world to come to Singapore and be housed at the bungalows at Nepal Hill.

    Leo Yip, chairman, Economic Development Board (EDB), said: "We are also talking to multi-national corporations which see a role for a corporate university campus in Asia and which hope to situate them in Singapore at LINK@Nepal Hill.

    “We think that will be a very important initiative because many MNCs are recognising that a corporate university to meet the needs of Asia would be quite different from the one back at the headquarters.

    “So corporate universities will be a key piece, HR consultancies will be another key piece. This is an important initiative because we believe that right now, the need for leadership development and talent management is growing in tandem with the growing Asian market.

    “There is not enough of research centred on this topic and so Singapore hopes to play a role and this would be interest and value to companies that want to manage their growing business in Asia and out of Singapore."

    Mr Gan added: "HCLI will be the centerpiece of LINK@Nepal Hill and will play the critical role of an integrator. It will engage and collaborate with companies to help them address their pan-Asian leadership development and talent management needs.

    It will work with leading business schools and consultancies to offer best-in-class programmes. Over the next few years, the initiatives by HCLI will generate greater buzz and create more opportunities for all stakeholders in the human capital ecosystem in Singapore and Asia."

    For the longer term, the Economic Development Board plans to develop seven- to eight-storey buildings in this area which will offer shared facilities for the knowledge hub.


    Minister for Manpower, Gan Kim Yong
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    Last edited by Loh; 05-10-2010 at 03:17 AM.

  8. #1793
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sentosa sees surge of 30% in visitors with record numbers on some days

    Channel NewsAsia
    10 May 2010 1804 hrs

    By Hetty Musfirah

    SINGAPORE: Sentosa is seeing a surge in visitors. From February to April this year, it had an increase of over 30 per cent in visitors compared with the same period last year.

    It also had record numbers on certain days.

    Sentosa is riding on new attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa.

    Longtime attractions and house staples managed by Sentosa Leisure Group like the Merlion and the Images of Singapore are enjoying renewed interest, drawing 26 per cent more visitors between February and April.

    One visitor said: "It is a very nice place to visit because it is almost complete all the entertainment"

    Sentosa said the good performance can also be attributed to the turnaround in the economy and it said that within the next five years, it's projecting guest arrivals to more than double than the current six million visitors it's seeing in the past two years.

    A crowd size of up to 20,000 was previously seen on only a weekend but it's now typical on a weekday.

    Rajavarman M, assistant manager, Admission Operations, Operations and Retail Division, said: "During a weekday, we see a weekend crowd before RWS has opened and on a weekend we are seeing a slightly more peak crowd that we used to see during certain public holidays. And during our current public holidays, we see an almost super peak crowd, like during Chinese New Year - we almost hit a 100,000 crowd which we have never seen before".

    Manpower and resources have been stepped up by up to 50 per cent to manage the crowds.

    Mr Rajavarman added: “We have got queue management plans and increased our trains. We see and study the traffic patterns and we increase the trains and buses accordingly like on a weekday.

    “We have seven buses running last time but now we have got 14 buses. On a weekend, we increase to 21 buses. For the deployment for manpower and all that, we increase by 50 per cent.”

    CCTV cameras are used to track crowd sizes at train stations Waterfront, Imbiah, Beach and Sentosa.

    Mr Rajavarman said: “We have a person in place during peak times who are studying the entire crowd flow using a CCTV.

    "The person who's looking at the CCTV will determine where we need to load half train and full train. We have to manage between the four stations.

    “On peak days trains run at an average interval of 3 minutes bringing 4,000 guests per hour per direction.”

    The promise is that visitors won't have to wait for more than 15 minutes for the trains.

    Tram services may come to halt to free up the roads around the island.

    There'll also be signs on the expected waiting times.

    An LCD screen at Beach Station carpark shows the traffic situation at Sentosa Gateway and the Telok Blangah junction during peak periods to help motorists and visitors avoid the jams.

    Sentosa also deploys Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs) to manage traffic build-up at various points at the areas.

    Sentosa is also working with partners like St James Power Station to improve traffic conditions like staggering the timings of key events.

    The Sentosa Boardwalk is expected completed end of this year or early next year.

    Guests will be able to access Sentosa and Resorts World Sentosa using the covered travellators. The upcpming newly-refurbished Cable Car will also serve to be another transport mode to get into the island.

  9. #1794
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New biotech research centre

    The Straits Times
    May 10, 2010

    By Grace Chua

    THE membranes used for seawater desalination can get clogged with algae and bacteria, and need to be cleaned every few weeks.

    But scientists at Nanyang Technological University hope to find a way around that.

    The researchers at the newly-opened Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre are working with NTU colleagues from a membrane technology centre on a project to keep membranes clean, using inexpensive solutions that do not pollute the surrounding water.

    The centre, a $21M tie-up between NTU and Australia's University of New South Wales, is the latest addition to the environment-and-water research landscape here.

    Officially opened on Monday , it is funded by NTU, UNSW, the Economic Development Board and the government-run Environment and Water Industry Programme Office.

    Projects include how to stabilise landfills as they decompose, and faster ways to clean wastewater. Currently, about five projects are up and running.


    (It is noteworthy that UNSW has decided to return to Singapore after abandoning its proposed campus some time ago.

  10. #1795
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Vision of future Singapore

    The Straits Times
    May 11, 2010

    By Carolyn Quek & Ang Yiying

    A VISION of future Singapore as a place which celebrates diversity, encourages community life and creates iconic spaces has been drawn by a group tasked to look at improving the quality of life here.

    Among their ideas are to create desirable housing for the elderly, develop a transport network that lets people get around the city easily, and allow places with distinct character to grow.

    Preliminary recommendations were presented to 200 people yesterday at a public feedback forum by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on its Concept Plan 2011, which sets out directions for land use and transport for the next 40 to 50 years.

    The focus group recommended creating spaces that would have distinct and different purposes, from art outreach to community interaction.

    Because of land scarcity, green spaces need not be huge and could be 'pocket-sized', said Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, president of the National University of Singapore and the group's co-chairman.

    He told reporters the group was in 'strong agreement' about letting distinctive neighbourhoods, like Bras Basah and Little India, develop organically and open up to greater community involvement.


    Intra-city shuttle bus & bicycle scheme recommended for city buzz

    Channel NewsAsia
    10 May 2010 2103 hrs

    By Satish Cheney

    SINGAPORE : Recommendations of the The Concept Plan 2011 Focus Group on "Quality of Life and Ageing" include an intra-city shuttle bus network and a hire-and-ride bicycle scheme.

    The focus group has also recommended, among other things, a menu of senior-friendly fixtures for residents to retrofit their existing homes.

    The recommendations are aimed at making Singapore a more liveable and lively city, which is inspiring and vibrant.

    One way, the group said, is to improve public transport - for example by renting out bicycles.

    Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, co-chairman of the focus group and President, National University of Singapore, said: "The idea was to create more cycling paths as well as make it more convenient for people to cycle.

    "The idea is that if you could take up a bicycle at one place, leave it off at another place and maybe with facilities to clean up after that, that might promote cycling within hot and humid Singapore."

    The focus group is one of two focus groups appointed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority as part of the Concept Plan 2011 review public consultation exercise to discuss four key issues - Quality of Life, Ageing, Sustainability and Identity.
    Last edited by Loh; 05-10-2010 at 10:04 PM.

  11. #1796
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    Default Swimming: Coach Ang seeks tie-up with Japan to boost Singapore swimming

    TODAY
    11 May 2010 0716 hrs

    By Tan Yo-Hinn,

    SINGAPORE: The name Norimasa Hirai may not ring a bell.

    But within swimming circles, he is better known as the head coach of Asian powerhouses Japan, and the long-time trainer of Kosuke Kitajima, Japan's four-time Olympic and three-time world breaststroke champion.

    Hirai may soon be sharing his winning formula with Singapore's swim team.

    Later this month, national head coach Ang Peng Siong will meet Hirai at the Tokyo Swimming Centre (TSC) to discuss a possible tie-up that would allow Singapore's national swimmers and coaches to visit the TSC for training camps and workshops.

    The four-day trip also includes visits to the Japan Institute of Sport Science and leading sports recovery products manufacturers Phiten to better understand the use of their products to aid the national swim team.

    "Singapore had some success with Parker Lam, who set national records in the 50m (28.03sec) and 100m (1min 02.65sec) breaststroke last November, and we want to see how much further we can push our breaststrokers to achieve times closer to world standards," Ang told MediaCorp.

    "The Japanese have a pretty good track record in producing world-class breaststrokers. We also hope to work together in the area of coaching.

    "It's also a good opportunity for us to look at Japan as a future training venue. The whole objective is to create more opportunities for the swimmers and coaches ... It's always good to learn from the best."

    The visit is a follow-up from informal discussions that Ang and Hirai had at a FINA seminar in Singapore last month.

    Hirai is known for producing top Japanese swimmers, including 2004 and 2008 Olympic 200m backstroke bronze medallist Reiko Nakamura and Kitajima, his most decorated pupil.

    The 47-year-old is widely credited with formulating the training programmes that brought the best out of the 27-year-old, 1.78m tall Kitajima - a five-time world record holder - who outswam his bigger American, Australian and European opponents to clinch the men's 100m and 200m breaststroke double at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

    A clearer picture will emerge after the meeting between the two coaches.

    Ang is hoping for a positive outcome that will help produce more breaststroke talents like 20-year-old Lam, and push the overall standard of Singapore's swim team.

    "We've had a long struggle producing really good breaststrokers," he said.

    "We had (current women's 100m and 200m breaststroke national record holder) Nicolette Teo until she retired after the 2007 SEA Games.

    "There are some promising male and female breaststrokers, so we want to ensure a level of continuity in our programme.

    "That is probably one of our weakest links now."

    While in Japan, Ang will also visit Phiten's offices in Kyoto to further understand the use of their sports health products for the national team.

    At the Laos SEA Games last December, the Singapore team used a hyperbaric chamber provided by the company to aid recovery and performance.

    Singapore won 14 gold medals to emerge as the best swimming nation at the biennial meet.

    "We are trying to explore ways to help our swimmers be a 100-per-cent for races. At this level of competition, every edge you can get is a bonus," said Ang.

    "It is expensive, so we have to look at the justification behind it and ensure the product is well-utilised." - TODAY


    Kosuke Kitajima is Japan's four-time Olympic and three-time world breaststroke champion.
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    Last edited by Loh; 05-10-2010 at 10:17 PM.

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    Default Embossed & colourful drain covers to spread message of clean waterways

    Channel NewsAsia
    10 May 2010 2327 hrs

    By Dylan Loh

    SINGAPORE: From September, new drain covers will have an embossed message saying which reservoir water underneath is headed.

    It's one way of encouraging people to keep drains free of litter for the sake of clean waterways.

    A piece of discarded tissue on the ground may get washed into a drain during rainy days. The rainwater then gets channelled towards reservoirs.

    If hundreds of pieces of litter get washed into Singapore's water catchment areas, it could get quite messy."

    To prevent the mess, national water agency PUB has splashed some drains with colour.

    The artworks have a message - what's dumped here can end up polluting a waterway far away.

    Yap Kheng Guan, director, 3P Network Department, PUB, said: "We should not be thinking that it is only in the Marina Reservoir that the water is collected from the rain around the Marina Barrage. It's collected from areas as far away as Ang Mo Kio which is 10 kilometres away."

    On average, 14 tonnes of rubbish enter Singapore's reservoirs daily.

    PUB hopes people will not just walk over the issue but learn about drains and their importance.


    Embossed & colourful drain covers to spread message of clean waterways
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    A Romanian judge has ordered the arrest of the ex-diplomat to Singapore yesterday (monday in Romania), after having decided that the chap had tried to "prevent the truth from being found out by influencing witnesses and by altering material evidence."
    Shouldn't there be more serious charges, as the above charges may carry a sentence (if found guilty later) that may turn out to be too light for the offence?
    Perhaps Singapore should send a high level government officer to Romania to make sure he doesn't just get a slap on the wrist instead of a few years in jail.

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    Default The Straits Times goes 3D

    The Straits Times
    May 12, 2010

    TODAY'S edition of The Straits Times comes with a little something extra: An added dimension, if you will.

    Scattered throughout the newspaper are news photographs, information graphics and advertisements that have been printed in 3D.

    All told, there are more than 30 pages with 3D elements in today's paper.

    To view the extras - which are marked with a logo bearing the words 'Best viewed in 3D' - a pair of disposable 3D glasses has been provided, and you will find it stuck to Page 3 of the Life! section.

    This foray into 3D makes The Straits Times the first English newspaper in the region to tap into such technology on such a large scale.

    The 3D elements were all rendered by journalists and other staff of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) using the latest technology, and enhanced for newspaper publication.

    The process of rendering images in 3D is a time-consuming one, said The Straits Times' art editor, Ms Angelina Choy.

    For example, the image of characters from the movie Toy Story 3, which appears in Page 7 of the Life! section, took about 1-1/2 hours to process.

    For photographers, getting shots that were suitable for 3D required a trained eye - they had to look for subjects that were set against a clean background, for instance.

    Besides allowing ST's 1.4 million readers to get the news from a different perspective, the 3D issue is one way the paper is constantly looking to improve, said its editor, Mr Han Fook Kwang.

    'The Straits Times has introduced many new features over the years, and we are continually trying to improve the paper to keep up with our readers' needs and expectations.'

    He said ST will gauge the response from readers and advertisers and decide how best to make use of the new feature: 'It is a new area for us, and we intend to find out what works and what does not.'

    A 3D newspaper also opens up new avenues for advertisers, said Mr Leslie Fong, SPH's senior executive vice-president of marketing.

    He said: 'Our foray into 3D publishing is another example of our determination to show that the game is far from over for print.

    'There is still a lot of fight left in newspapers yet - and our newspapers will continue to deliver the kind of unrivalled reach and impact our customers have come to expect of us.'


    This foray into 3D makes The Straits Times the first English newspaper in the region to tap into such technology on such a large scale. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE
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    Default Romanian judge deems Ionescu a risk to public order if he remains free

    Channel NewsAsia
    11 May 2010 1807 hrs

    By Saifulbahri Ismail

    SINGAPORE: A judge in a Romanian court holds the view that former charge d'affaires to Singapore, Silviu Ionescu, constitutes a risk to public order if he remains free.

    Romanian media Nine O'clock reported on Tuesday that the court acknowledged the fact that Dr Ionescu had tried to influence the woman accompanying him before the accidents into changing her testimony.

    Dr Ionescu had also asked his driver to modify the log of the embassy car.

    The judge presiding over the case said there were clues suggesting Dr Ionescu had committed the acts he's accused of.

    The 50-year-old former diplomat is currently under investigation in Romania for manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and making false statements.

    Last month, a coroner's inquiry in Singapore indicated that Dr Ionescu was the driver of the car that hit three pedestrians in a fatal hit-and-run accident last December.

    Dr Ionescu had filed an appeal against the 29 days preventive detention against him last Friday.

    A decision on the appeal will be made on Thursday.

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    Default Singapore's first Mixed Martial Arts contest to kick off at Resorts World Sentosa

    Channel NewsAsia
    11 May 2010 2003 hrs

    By Jessica Yeo

    SINGAPORE : Singapore will host its first major Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championship at Resorts World Sentosa.

    The two-day championship kicks off on Wednesday, with 20 fighters from 13 countries.

    The martial arts exponents come from various fields - such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing.

    The event will be screened in 24 different countries and will be Asia's largest mixed martial arts broadcast.

    The sporting event is expected to boost Singapore's credentials as a sporting city.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Channel NewsAsia
    11 May 2010 1807 hrs

    By Saifulbahri Ismail

    SINGAPORE: A judge in a Romanian court holds the view that former charge d'affaires to Singapore, Silviu Ionescu, constitutes a risk to public order if he remains free.

    Romanian media Nine O'clock reported on Tuesday that the court acknowledged the fact that Dr Ionescu had tried to influence the woman accompanying him before the accidents into changing her testimony.

    Dr Ionescu had also asked his driver to modify the log of the embassy car.

    The judge presiding over the case said there were clues suggesting Dr Ionescu had committed the acts he's accused of.

    The 50-year-old former diplomat is currently under investigation in Romania for manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and making false statements.

    Last month, a coroner's inquiry in Singapore indicated that Dr Ionescu was the driver of the car that hit three pedestrians in a fatal hit-and-run accident last December.

    Dr Ionescu had filed an appeal against the 29 days preventive detention against him last Friday.

    A decision on the appeal will be made on Thursday.
    I believe the above was taken from http://www.nineoclock.ro/index.php?i...20100510-13011.
    There is some difference between the two versions and also some omissions.
    The Romanian version is the source.

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