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  1. #1803
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore playwright among finalists of Rolex & Protege Arts Initiative

    Channel News Asia
    11 May 2010 1616 hrs

    By Mustafa Shafawi

    SINGAPORE : Singapore's Natalie Hennedige has been picked as a finalist in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

    The artistic director of Cake Theatrical Productions is the only Singapore representative among the 18 finalists from 15 countries.

    They are judged outstanding young talents in their artistic disciplines.

    Six of them will be selected and will be mentored for 12 months in their respective discipline.

    The mentors include musician Brian Eno, sculptor Anish Kapoor, and film-maker Zhang Yimou


    Ms Hennedige was awarded the Young Artist Award by Singapore's National Arts Council in 2007.

    Natalie Hennedige (photo: The Esplanade)
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  2. #1804
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    Default Singapore shares governance, infrastructure experience with Indonesia

    Channel NewsAsia
    11 May 2010 1848 hrs

    By Mustafa Shafawi

    SINGAPORE : Singapore will share its experience in corporate governance and developing infrastructure projects through the public-private partnership model with Indonesia.

    This will be done through a newly set-up state-owned company under Indonesia's Finance Ministry.

    A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Tuesday between the World Bank, the Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee Fund and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise to formalise the cooperation.

    The Temasek Foundation is supporting the programme with a $474,000 grant.

    Infrastructure development is a priority for the Indonesian government in sustaining economic growth and improving people's standards of living.

    Jakarta skyline
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  3. #1805
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 'Give us time'

    TODAY
    05:55 AM May 14, 2010

    Badminton team still in transition, says SBA chief

    by Low Lin Fhoong

    SINGAPORE - Badminton fans here have not had much to cheer about since 1986, when Wong Shoon Keat, Lau Wing Cheok and Hamid Khan qualified for the Thomas Cup finals.

    It's been more than two decades since the Republic's male shuttlers hit those heights in what is considered the most prestigious team tournament, while their female counterparts last competed at the Uber Cup finals in 2004.

    The Singapore men's squad has been hit by the retirements of players like former world No 6 Ronald Susilo (he's back to play in the doubles at the Li-Ning Singapore Open in June), 2007 SEA Games silver medallist Kendrick Lee, and women shuttlers Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia.

    And as the Thomas and Uber Cup finals continue to unfurl at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur this week, Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) president Lee Yi Shyan admitted that the national players will need time to recapture the sport's glory days.

    Speaking to the media after the SBA-PDF (Player Development Fund) Sembcorp Trailblazer Wong Kok Siew Awards presentation ceremony yesterday, he said: "Indeed, we are in a transitional period - our players are very young and a lot of them are in their 20s ... Maybe in two to three years' time we will see some of them maturing to a higher level."

    Qualifying for the Thomas Cup final in five years' time, according to the SBA, is an achievable goal. But Lee stressed that it would take a combination of factors like a good coach, international exposure and sports science to reach their target.

    Said the badminton chief, who is also the Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Manpower: "We are open to having foreign talent in the team ...

    "Our philosophy is to develop local and foreign-born players. What we can do is improve our training methods and sports science to help our players improve their potential."

    In March, the association signed on former All-England champion Luan Ching as their chief singles coach.

    Yesterday's event at the Singapore Sports School, where 19 players received disbursements totalling $50,000, also saw the badminton chief unveiling their new Adopt-A-Player Scheme.

    Through this, companies can provide financial support to their sponsored players.

    Individual accounts will be set up for the players, with the money going into their monthly allowances or salaries and overseas competitions.

    Sponsors can either make a donation to the players, or engage them as product ambassadors or sports club coaches.

    The SBA are in discussions with Arina Hogan Builders to sign onto the new project.

    Lee said that the scheme would help supplement the association's annual grant from the Singapore Sports Council. Over $1.5 million was disbursed to the SBA for FY2010.

    "We want to encourage more companies to come forward and adopt our players ... If we can mobilise the corporate sector, that will help us get sponsorship and attention needed for healthy sport development.

    "Later on, when the players finish their careers, they can go on to work in the companies. We hope in the next three years we can create 30 such adoptions and individual sponsorships," he said.


    National shuttler Ashton Chen (right) receiving his SBA-PDF Sembcorp Trailblazer Wong Kok Siew scholarship from SBA president Lee Yi Shyan at the Singapore Sports School yesterday. WEE TECK HIAN
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  4. #1806
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Remembering Goh Keng Swee

    The Straits Times
    May 14, 2010

    Passing of a Colossus

    By Chua Mui Hoong, Senior Writer

    DR GOH Keng Swee, one of the Founding Fathers of Singapore, died early on Friday morning of pneumonia at home. He was 91.

    His widow Dr Phua Swee Liang told reporters at their home in the East Coast area on Friday morning that Dr Goh died at about 5 am. He had been ill for many years and she was the main caregiver, helping to control his diabetes. She told reporters she felt emotionally numb at his death.

    He leaves behind his wife, a son and daughter-in-law, two grandsons and three great grandchildren.

    Dr Goh was a tax collector and then social welfare officer in Singapore in colonial times. A staunch anti-colonialist, he was part of a small band of men that met regularly at Mr Lee Kuan Yew's home in Oxley Road to discuss the setting up of a political party to fight the British colonial powers.

    In 1959, he entered politics on the People's Action Party ticket. In 25 years of political service, he served as the Minister for Finance, Defence, and Education. He later became Deputy Prime Minister.

    Dr Goh is best known for his contributions to the economic development of Singapore, although his imprint on modern Singapore stretches far beyond economics.

    He was instrumental in going against conventional wisdom in propelling Singapore towards an export-oriented growth strategy dependent on foreign direct investment, at a time when other developing countries favoured import substitution. Institutions like the Economic Development Board, the Development Bank of Singapore, Jurong industrial corporation, Monetary Authority of Singapore and GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation) were started by him.

    In Education, he oversaw the introduction of streaming to provide customised education tracks by academic ability, a policy that later became controversial.

    He also advocated the teaching of religious knowledge and was instrumental in creating the Humanities scholarship award to balance Singapore's emphasis on building up technical and scientific talent.

    He built up Singapore's armed forces in the early days and continued to advocate the use of technology to improve their capability.

    A man with varied interests, he was also involved in the creation of the People's Association and the Jurong Bird Park.

    He influenced an entire generation of civil servants. He is credited with having instilled foundational values of thrift among them, as well as inspired them with his own entrepreneurial, never-say-die attitude.

    Plans are being firmed up for a state funeral for Dr Goh.

    Dr Goh is best known for his contributions to the economic development of Singapore, although his imprint on modern Singapore stretches far beyond economics. -- ST PHOTO: STRAITS TIMES
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  5. #1807
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Such a long wait for a superstar

    TODAY
    05:55 AM May 15, 2010

    Wong, Fandi and Ang stirred a nation, now we hold out hope the new generation can do the same

    by Leonard Thomas

    When they play, the poor forget their troubles, at least for a while.

    When they perform, men and women swoon, even truck drivers and coal-miners have been known to shed tears if they watch.

    Sports superstars own a unique talent, we all know the story how two warring factions in Nigeria stopped their fight for 48 hours to watch Pele play.

    Sports superstars entertain and excite, they lift our spirits. They also make a whole nation swell with pride.

    I wonder how many in the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) have watched Wong Peng Soon play.

    I never did because Wong was in his pomp in the '50s and I was born later.

    Regarded as one of the greatest shuttlers of all time, he won his first All-England title in 1950, defended his crown in 1951 and '52, and came back to win it again in 1955. During that period, he was also part of two victorious Thomas Cup-winning teams (1948/49, 1952).

    He was a superstar.

    Singapore have had too few men or women like Wong.

    The hope is that the Youth Olympic Games will be the springboard, inspiring raw youngsters to take up sport and, hopefully, "be like Mike" one day.

    We remember Fandi and Ang Peng Siong, Tan Howe Liang deserves mention but he's more icon than superstar because it is very difficult for weightlifters to stir the senses.

    Canagasabai Kunalan will forever be cherished but he came up excruciatingly short for gold in the men's 100m at the 1966 Asian Games.

    I wonder what it is like to have a boxer hoist the Singapore flag in a ring, like Manny Pacquiao does so frequently these days to salute his Philippines.

    Malaysians adore their world squash queen Nicol David, they had Misbun Sidek and the crack pair of Razif and Jailani Sidek to thrill them in badminton in the '80s.

    These days Taufik Hidayat is Indonesia's badminton king, an Olympic and world champion with attitude who is looking to lead his nation to victory over China in the Thomas Cup Final on Sunday.

    The Thais had tennis star Paradorn Srichapan and continue to produce a steady stream of Olympic champions in boxing.

    Singaporeans hold out hope Tao Li will turn into a superstar at the 2012 Olympics in London, but I hear rumblings the 20-year-old butterfly sprint specialist is beginning to act as if she is already one. She announced her potential when she became Singapore's first Olympic finalist in swimming, finishing fifth in the 100m fly at the 2008 Games, but if she is acting up then the only way will be backwards.

    The Football Association of Singapore are working hard to send prodigy Hariss Harun on a journey similar to the one Fandi took, the 19-year-old begins in Shanghai in June, a football-obsessed nation prays he signs professional terms with a foreign club because that is the only way he can become a midfield general to be feared across the continent.

    Our table tennis women won team silver at the 2008 Olympics, but their inability to even dent China's supremacy, and struggle to click with the general populace, prevents them from capturing our imagination. But there is still time for the likes of Feng Tianwei, the current women's world No 2, and Li Jiawei, to become poster heroes here.

    Sailors Elizabeth Yin and Darren Choy are young and eager and already world-beaters, they have bags of potential, maybe the Olympic stage in 2012 and 2016 will be their time.

    SBA president Lee Yi Shyan said on Thursday it will take three years for the current crop of young national shuttlers to play at a higher level.

    The association missed a great chance when they failed to use the success of Ronald Susilo as a catalyst to develop a strong base of potential talent.

    Their shuttlers have yet to be given the nod by selectors for the Youth Olympics, they are rebuilding from scratch.

    I hope we get to see a Singapore shuttler like Wong Peng Soon in the next 10 years. The wait for another Singapore superstar is becoming interminable.

    (The writer is executive sports editor at MediaCorp.)

    Fandi Ahmad with the 1994 Malaysia Cup trophy. TODAY FILE PHOTO
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  6. #1808
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default NATIONAL DAY PARADE 2010: Returning to the Padang

    The Straits Times
    May 12, 2010

    By Jermyn Chow

    AFTER a five-year absence, this year's national day parade will return to the Padang and Old City Hall.

    Besides the usual light and sound show, ceremonial parade and airplane display, this year's fireworks also look set to be bigger.

    Starbursts of red and white will shoot across the sky from nine locations in the civil district and Marina Bay and more than 200 armoured vehicles and artillery guns will thunder down St Andrew's Road as part of the mobile column.

    The celebrations for Singapore's 45th birthday will fan out across the island with heartland parties in Sengkang, Eunos, Woodlands, Bishan and Choa Chu Kang, accomodating up to 5,000 people, said this year's organising committee chairman Colonel Benedict Lim.

    He unveiled the theme of this year's NDP 'Live our Dreams, Fly our Flag' on Wednesday at Old City Hall. 'This is where the first National Day was held and it is timely for us to come back here and remind people of where we started out.'

    Net-savvy Singaporeans and residents can also get their dose of NDP celebrations on their smartphones and via the Internet. The National Day website, at www.ndp.org.sg has been up and running since Wednesday, offering the latest updates and balloting online for NDP tickets. Users can also post their own photos and reflections of their dreams and aspirations for Singapore. The NDPonthego application for iPhones and Android phone users can be downloaded from June.

    After a five-year absence, this year's national day parade will be back on the hallowed grounds of the Padang and Old City Hall. Col Benedict Lim, NDP organising committee chairman. -- PHOTO: ZAO BAO
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  7. #1809
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Romanian High Court rejects Ionescu appeal

    Channel NewsAsia
    13 May 2010 1358 hrs

    By Mustafa Shafawi

    SINGAPORE: Former Romanian charge d' affaires to Singapore, Silviu Ionescu, has failed in his appeal to have his international arrest warrant annulled.

    Romanian media, Nine O' Clock, said the appeal was rejected after the Romanian High Court "realised that it cannot rule on documents or requests issued by states with which Romania does not have judiciary collaboration agreements."

    The ruling by the High Court of Cassation and Justice is final.

    This means the international arrest warrant issued by Singapore against Dr Ionescu remains valid.

    His lawyer, Maria Vasi, told the court that she did not rule out that the accident was staged by the Singapore authorities so that they could subsequently force the Romanian diplomat to reveal intelligence.

    Dr Ionescu was found by a Coroner's Inquiry in Singapore to be the driver behind the wheel of a black Audi which was involved in two hit-and-run accidents in December last year.

    One person subsequently died of his injuries.

  8. #1810
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Romania reassures S'pore on Ionescu's case

    Channel NewsAsia
    16 May 2010 1851 hrs

    By Low Mei Mei

    SINGAPORE: Romania's foreign minister has given the assurance that the authorities in his country have a strong commitment to fully observe the legal procedures in the hit-and-run case involving Dr Silviu Ionescu.

    Mr Teodor Baconschi also underscored their determination to enforce the law to its utmost extent.


    These reassurances were given in letters between Mr Baconschi and Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo.

    Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Sunday that there had been an exchange of letters between Mr Yeo and Mr Baconschi on the case of Dr Ionescu.

    In two separate letters, Mr Yeo informed Mr Baconschi of the appointment of Singapore's Ambassador in Brussels as Singapore's Special Envoy to Romania.

    Mr Yeo also informed Mr Baconschi of the forthcoming visit to Bucharest by the Special Envoy.

    MFA said Mr Baconschi, in his two replies, welcomed the visit of Singapore's Special Envoy. It also expressed readiness to extend full support for the Envoy's mission.

    Singapore's MFA said it welcomes these assurances from the Romanian foreign minister himself. It added that it will extend the fullest possible cooperation to the Romanian authorities to ensure that justice is served.

  9. #1811
    Regular Member george@chongwei's Avatar
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    Default

    Uncle loh, singapore alllsoooo can!!

    haha, watched that video of the prize ceremony.. very funny..

    glad to know that u had a great time here

  10. #1812
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by george@chongwei View Post
    Uncle loh, singapore alllsoooo can!!

    haha, watched that video of the prize ceremony.. very funny..

    glad to know that u had a great time here
    We missed you George! I understand limsy had had a great time partnering madbad in the social games. He is 'dangerous' with his racket!

    Now if you were there too and had limsy as your partner, I wonder what would become of your opponents.

    My partner Hagen was simply great and he carried a real punch.

  11. #1813
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'porean on gaming board

    The Straits Times
    May 17, 2010

    By Chua Hian Hou

    A SINGAPOREAN has been elected to the board of one of the world's most prestigious computer gaming industry body.

    On Friday, the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA) announced that Mr Tan Min-Liang, chief executive officer of gaming peripherals firm Razer, had joined its board of directors.

    The board of the PCGA, a non-profit video games grouping started in 2008 by tech giants including Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Capcom, now comprises eight companies including Razer. Mr Tan said that he was 'honoured' to be elected to the PCGA board.

    'There is so much synergy between Razer's core DNA - an essence of pure commitment to improving the PC gaming experience with state-of-the-art peripherals - and this organization's drive to establish high standards and quality guidelines for the evolving industry at large,' he said.

    Razer, the world's biggest specialist video gaming peripherals company, is owned by a group of Singapore investors including Mr Tan, a lawyer-by-training.

    It recently unveiled the computer gaming industry's first motion-sensing controller, which will be launched commercially by year-end. The controller was jointly developed by US-based motion tracking technology company Sixense Entertainment and Razer, at its US$20 million (S$28 million) Interactive Digital Media Lab in Singapore.

  12. #1814
    Regular Member george@chongwei's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    We missed you George! I understand limsy had had a great time partnering madbad in the social games. He is 'dangerous' with his racket!

    Now if you were there too and had limsy as your partner, I wonder what would become of your opponents.

    My partner Hagen was simply great and he carried a real punch.
    I can't come because my condition doesn't permits if u knew what happened to me

    If i were there too, i won't partner with limsy.. u know la why/./

    so u are now back in singapore?

  13. #1815
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by george@chongwei View Post
    I can't come because my condition doesn't permits if u knew what happened to me

    If i were there too, i won't partner with limsy.. u know la why/./

    so u are now back in singapore?
    Yes I flew back to Spore safely late last night and is now back to work in the office.

    Don't be so bad to limsy lah! He meant no harm.

    It will take me a few days to recover from the excitement of the TUC and our very own BC Tournament.

  14. #1816
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Reaching out to new immigrants

    The Straits Times
    May 17, 2010

    Grassroots leaders will visit and invite them to community activities

    By Melissa Kok



    THE People's Association (PA) is hoping that 5,000 new immigrants will get on board its national education programme each year to familiarise themselves with Singapore.

    It is an ambitious target, given that only 1,800 new immigrants have signed up for the programme since it was launched in 2007.

    To reach out to more, grassroots leaders will make house visits and calls to let the new immigrants know about upcoming community activities they can sign up for.


    A visit to the Peranakan Museum is among the activities on the People's Association's national education programme. -- ST PHOTO: AIDAH RAUF
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  15. #1817
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore, Indonesia to set up anti-terror working group

    Channel NewsAsia
    17 May 2010 1632 hrs

    By S Ramesh

    SINGAPORE: Singapore and Indonesia are setting up seven working groups to enhance cooperation between both countries.

    Speaking to the Singapore media after a retreat with visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said one of the groups will focus on counter-terrorism.

    Mr Lee said cooperation in this area has been going on well but in a low key manner.

    The new working group will help it work more smoothly and in an in-depth manner.

    Both leaders also discussed and expressed concern about the situation in Bangkok, especially the loss of lives in the last few days.

    Mr Lee noted that current ASEAN chair Vietnam had issued a statement two days ago calling on all parties in Thailand to exercise restraint.

    Mr Lee said both Singapore and Indonesia associate with the statement issued by the ASEAN chair.
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  16. #1818
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's success is due to hard work of its people: Shanmugaratnam

    Channel NewsAsia
    17 May 2010 0000 hrs

    By Ong Dai Lin

    SINGAPORE: One key to Singapore's economic success is Asia's fast growth, said Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in a CNN panel discussion on the world economy that was aired on Sunday, May 16.

    The show, hosted by Mr Fareed Zakaria, was recorded in late April and featured other guests like French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde; Mr Lawrence Summers, head of the White House Economic Council; and Mr Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

    During the interview, Mr Fareed noted that Singapore was growing faster than perhaps any other country in the world.

    He observed that quarter on quarter, Singapore grew 30 per cent. This was based on the Ministry of Trade and Industry's flash estimates comparing the last quarter of last year with the first quarter of this year.

    Mr Fareed asked Mr Shanmugaratnam why Singapore was so successful.

    Mr Shanmugaratnam said this growth was being experienced in Asia and added the region was coming out of the financial crisis a little faster than in most parts of the world.

    He also said there was a structural shift taking place in the world economy.

    He explained: "First, we have to expect there will be adjustments in savings among consumers, particularly in the United States. And generally, the adjustment in fiscal balances is something that is going to take several years. That means lower demand overall for the global economy than we had expected before the crisis."

    As to why Asia was growing faster, Mr Shanmugaratnam said Asia was a competitive place with highly motivated people.

    He said: "People work hard, they adjust easily, there is an insatiable demand for training, learning English, learning technical skills. Everyone wants to improve, and every parent wants their kids to do much better than them. So, that is the fundamental driver."

    One of the issues discussed during the interview was China's undervalued currency.
    Mr Fareed noted that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said that China "should effectively revalue its currency so that its goods are not unfairly cheap to the rest of the world".

    Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam responded by saying that as productivity goes up, “if you want people to be able to enjoy a higher standard of living by consuming more, it goes with a stronger exchange rate.”

    As to Mr Fareed's question on whether he is worried about the next crisis, Mr Shanmugaratnam said there was no escaping the next crisis but ”we want to make sure we do not get a big blow-out the way we got this time”.

    He added: “And when we do get the next crisis, we want to make sure that there is an orderly, and not a destabilising way of resolving problems of individual institutions."

    Tharman Shanmugaratnam
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  17. #1819
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default MM Lee launches Global Chinese Dictionary in Beijing

    Channel NewsAsia
    17 May 2010 2358 hrs

    By Tung Soo Hua

    BEIJING: A Global Chinese Dictionary that compiles terms and vocabulary used in different Chinese speaking regions was launched on Monday. The project was spearheaded by a Singaporean.

    Officiating at the launch in Beijing, Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said he hopes the dictionary will aid the global convergence of the Chinese language.

    This was Mr Lee's first meeting with the former chairman of China's consultative assembly, Li Ruihuan, since 2001. Both leaders were consultants on the Global Chinese Dictionary.

    Mr Lee said: "Vocabulary is crucial during conversation. The Global Chinese Dictionary will enhance exchanges between different Chinese speaking regions."

    The idea of compiling a global Chinese dictionary was mooted in 1999 by Singapore Chinese Language professor Chew Cheng Hai.

    The aim is to enhance communication among various Chinese speaking communities in view of globalisation.

    Noting that the Chinese language used in Singapore is one of the closest to international standards, Professor Chew attributed this to its pragmatic language policy.

    Professor Chew Cheng Hai, academic consultant of Global Chinese Dictionary, said: "The younger generation of Singaporeans need to learn two languages. If we waste time on creating unnecessary vocabulary, we are not doing justice to them."

    The project was funded and supported by China's Ministry of Education.

    Universities and academic groups in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore also took part in the project.

    The Singapore government places much emphasis on the study of the mother tongue languages, including Chinese. Language experts hope the successful implementation of the project will enhance Singapore's status as a hub of Chinese language studies outside mainland China.

    After the launch, Mr Lee met Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, who acknowledged that the minister mentor is the keystone in Sino-Singapore relations.

    Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (L) meets Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang.
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