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  1. #1905
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Flunked exams, still ended up in MIT

    The Straits Times
    Fri, Jun 04, 2010


    He flunked Hong Kong's equivalent of the Primary School Leaving Examination and had to repeat his exams. -ST

    MR LEE Kwok Cheong, 55, is chief executive officer of the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM).

    Born and raised in Hong Kong, the eldest of six children started helping out in the family-run provision shop at eight. He went to primary school two years earlier than other children because of a shortage of day-care services and, as a result, flunked Hong Kong's equivalent of the Primary School Leaving Examination and had to repeat his exams.

    But his faltering first steps in education did not stop him from excelling in his studies later. In 1973, he won a place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a double degree in management and computer science. He supported himself by working three jobs.

    In 1983, Mr Lee, then a high-flying IT consultant in Hong Kong, was headhunted to join the National Computer Board here, later known as NCS. He uprooted his family and became a Singapore citizen in 1986.

    During his decade at NCS, Mr Lee transformed it into a regional IT and communications engineering services powerhouse with subsidiaries in eight countries. While he was there, NCS grew its revenue from $138 million in 1997 to $668 million in 2005.

    He has also served as the president of the Singapore Computer Society, chairman of the National InfoComm Competency Council and member of the iN2015 Steering Committee - iN2015 is the Government's latest 10-year IT masterplan.

    Although he admits to being known as the 'IT guy', education has always been close to his heart. That is why, in 2005, he agreed to head the global education arm of SIM that is tasked with running degree programmes in partnership with overseas universities.

    Mr Lee was an Adjunct Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University's business school from 1998 to 2002, and also sat on the boards of Nanyang Polytechnic and the Institute of Technical Education.

    Because of his own childhood experience, he believes in educational opportunities for everyone, regardless of their learning pace: 'I was a late bloomer. Had I been written off when I didn't do well in my exams the first round, my life would have been very different.'

    Mr Lee and his Japanese wife Sachiko, a housewife, have two sons and a daughter, all in their 20s.

    This article was first published in The Straits Times.

  2. #1906
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Elite school or not doesn't matter: PM

    The Straits Times
    Fri, Jun 04, 2010

    Success hinges more on what one makes of the opportunities given. -ST

    By Cassandra Chew

    FOR 20 years, the display band of Bowen Secondary School in Hougang has been top of the pops.

    Next month, the neighbourhood school is set to march into the spotlight again, when its band becomes a star attraction at the opening ceremony of the annual Singapore Youth Festival.


    Its achievements are not lost on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who held it up before 500 pre-university students yesterday when he stressed to them that their future success did not hinge on going to an elite school. It pivots on what they make of the opportunities they are given.

    'Our education system provides something for everyone, not just in a few top schools, but in many good schools and JCs all over Singapore,' he said at the annual Pre-University Seminar at the University Cultural Centre.

    Bowen, for instance, spares no expense in giving the best education to its band members, he noted.

    Instructors are flown in from Japan and key members are sent to receive training alongside a famous band in Nagoya.


    The school illustrates his point that good teaching, a varied curriculum and a wide range of activities are available in every school across the island, and not just 'elite' ones.

    PM Lee's remarks were spurred by a debate in The Straits Times Forum pages on the stiff competition to enter elite junior colleges, or JCs.

    He highlighted two letters.

    One had a student arguing that those in non-elite JCs, which also offer solid education, have ample chances to do well if they put in the effort.

    The other, from a Pioneer JC alumnus, pointed out that being in an elite JC is no indicator of future success.

    The writer also said no JC in Singapore is inferior and that success should not be defined solely as getting into top schools.

    PM Lee agreed with the letter writers, a nod of approval that resonated with many of the students.

    Delia Toh from Raffles Institution said many parents feel 'anything outside of academic achievements is sort of a waste of time'. She asked what could be done to correct the mindset.

    PM Lee said it is up to parents to believe that there are many places where students can get a good education.

    'I believe it,' he added, pointing out that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew attended the 100th birthday of his alma mater, Telok Kurau Primary School, to remind people that one does not have to go to a good school to do well.

    'What counts, as the Pioneer JC alumnus said, is what you do with your life and that's quite fundamental,' he said.

    Li Yi Jia from Dunman High asked how Singapore can progress as a meritocratic society without elitism rearing its ugly head.

    By ensuring Singapore keeps its doors open for the talented and capable to contribute, PM Lee replied
    .

    'That's one of the reasons we want to make sure all our schools are good schools... you don't have to go to the best school in Singapore or the most popular school in Singapore in order to get ahead,' he said.
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  3. #1907
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's sensational triumph as World Champions in women's table tennis

    I sacrificed my Sunday badminton session this afternoon to watch Singapore become World Champions in women's world team table tennis when she stunned WR1 China in Moscow's Olympic Indoor Arena on 30 May 2010.

    I sat patiently through the TV from 3 pm to 7 pm to witness Singapore's three women paddlers
    shocked their China counterparts 3-1.

    Star player Feng Tianwen, 23
    (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_Tianwei)

    and

    Wang Yuegu, 29 (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Yuegu)

    both beat China's WR1 Liu Shiwen, 19, 3-2 and 3-1 respectively to earn two valuable points for Singapore.

    FTW also gave Singapore the first point when she came from 2 games down to win the next 3 against Ding Ning in the first match. Then came the stunning WYG's win over Liu in the 2nd match before Sun Beibei went down 1-3 to China's Guo Yan to get a delayed reprieve for China. The winning point from WR2 FTW over WR1 LSW sealed a historic victory for Singapore and put her on the World TT map ahead of China now.

    This is Singapore's first major world team championship crown in Singapore's sports history. We are indeed proud of our women paddler's achievement, who also rewarded Singapore with a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics 2008.

    Result:

    Singapore 3-1 China

    Feng Tianwei (SIN) beat Ding Ning (CHN) 8-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9
    Wang Yuegu (SIN) beat Liu Shiwen (CHN) 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10
    Sun Bei Bei (SIN) lost to Guo Yan (CHN) 11-6, 6-11, 4-11, 6-11
    Feng Tianwei (SIN) beat Liu Shiwen (CHN) 11-7, 14-16, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7

    It was not as easy as it seemed as 24 countries fought for the prized World Champ position in Div 1. Singapore was ranked 2nd behind China, followed by Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Romania, Austria, Poland and Hungary in WR10. (Ref: http://ru.wttc2010moscow.com/files/2...ms_seeding.pdf)

    Singapore’s Road to the Final

    Group Stage

    beat Spain 3-0

    Feng Tianwei beat Shen Yanfei 3-0
    Wang Yuegu beat Zhu Fang 3-0
    Li Jiawei beat Ramirez Sara 3-0

    beat Czech Republic 3-1

    Feng Tianwei beat Dana Hadacova 3-0
    Wang Yuegu lost to Iveta Vacenovska 0-3
    Li Jiawei beat Katerina Penkavova 3-1
    Feng Tianwei beat Iveta Vacenovska 3-1

    beat Netherlands 3-0

    Feng Tianwei beat Li Jie 3-0
    Wang Yuegu beat Li Jiao 3-0
    Li Jiawei beat Elena Timina 3-0

    beat Germany 3-0

    Feng Tianwei beat Kristin Silbereisen 3-0
    Wang Yuegu beat Wu Jiaduo 3-0
    Sun Bei Bei beat Sabine Winter 3-0

    beat USA 3-0

    Yu Mengyu beat Ariel Hsing 3-0
    Li Jiawei beat Natalie Sun 3-2
    Sun Bei Bei beat Lily Zhang 3-0

    Singapore finished as Group B winners. China, Hong Kong and Japan finished as winners of groups A, C and D respectively. Poland, Germany, Korea Republic and Chinese Taipei qualified for the round of 12 as group runners-up. Croatia, Netherlands, Hungary and Romania completed the line-up having placed third in their groups.

    [B]Knock-out Rounds[/B]

    Round of 12 — Singapore received a bye into the quarter-finals as group winners

    Quarter-finals — beat Hungary 3-0

    Wang Yuegu beat Krisztina Toth 3-0
    Feng Tianwei beat Petra Lovas 3-1
    Sun Bei Bei beat Georgina Pota 3-1

    Semi-finals — beat Germany 3-0

    Feng Tianwei beat Wu Jiaduo 3-0
    Wang Yuegu beat Kristin Silbereisen 3-2
    Sun Bei Bei beat Sabine Winter 3-0

    So in the end I tremendously enjoyed my afternoon just sitting down at home for 4 hours to watch our brilliant girls in action as giant-killers to break the monopoly of China as world champions.

    However I wasn't alone as I had the famous John Burgess with his Russian friend Mikhail (?) as company as they commented on the proceedings. John was rather smart to allow Mikhail comment on the technical aspects while he was all enthused with performance of our girls. It was the first time that the Singapore flag was raised higher than others and our National Anthem "Majulah Singapura" was honoured at a world sports meet. John was just as happy as he had been living in Singapore for more than 30 years and had been involved in our sports scene either as coach (in Rugby not badminton or table tennis) or as sports commentator. When he first arrived he thought he could not last more than a couple of years!
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  4. #1908
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    nice blog report.

  5. #1909
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More pictures of our women table tennis World Champions

    All the pictures were taken from the TV screen yesterday when the World Championships finals were telecast.

    They showed how Feng Tianwei won the decisive winning point for Singapore, her indescribable joy that was shared by her teammates who rushed to the court to hug her, the prize presentation ceremony that followed the honouring of Singapore as the new world table tennis champion, with the raising of the Singapore flag and the playing of "Majulah Singapura" for the first time in a world sports meet and the passing of the Corbillon Cup to Singapore after so many years in China's custody.

    History of the Corbillion Cup

    The Corbillon Cup, donated in 1933 by Marcel Corbillon, President of the French TTA, for the inaugural Women's Team event in the 1934 World Championships (held in Paris, December 1933). The original Cup disappeared during the early days of the Berlin occupation after World War II - the German Women's team won the Cup in the 1939 World Championships in Cairo. The German TT Federation paid for an exact replacement made in 1949. Will the original ever surface?

    Despite the early dominance of the Hungarian men, and such stars as 5-time World Singles Champion Maria Mednyanszky, Magda Gal, Anna Sipos, Gizella Farkas et al, Hungary has never won the Corbillon Cup. China, the current holders, has won the Cup a record 16 times, beginning in 1965, and 15 of the last 16 World Championships! Japan has won the Cup 8 times, beginning in 1952, their last in 1971. Romania, with late legendary Angelica Rozeanu at the helm, has won 5 Cups (1950,51,53,55,56). Czechosolovakia won in 1935,36.38, while two-time winners are England (1947,48), Germany (1933/34,1939) and the USA (1937,49). South Korea won in 1973 and the Unified Korean team in 1991. The USSR won in 1969.
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  6. #1910
    Regular Member nokh88's Avatar
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    I too was in front of the tv for 4 hours and 15 mins 'cos I missed the live telecast a week ago. Mr. JB aka Mr. Bias said he was supposed to stay in Singapore for 3 years but extended to 30 years. He was very smart to leave the technical aspect of the game to his co-commentator. He did went overboard with his praises and on one occasion he did say something wrong and for the whole telecast, his best comment was when he describe the CHN team during the medal presentation where it was the most glum faces for winning a runners-up place.

  7. #1911
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    his commentry was 1 sided all the way , which is not very good.
    the funniest part is he say , the most sad face ever for a silver medalist.

  8. #1912
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokh88 View Post
    I too was in front of the tv for 4 hours and 15 mins 'cos I missed the live telecast a week ago. Mr. JB aka Mr. Bias said he was supposed to stay in Singapore for 3 years but extended to 30 years. He was very smart to leave the technical aspect of the game to his co-commentator. He did went overboard with his praises and on one occasion he did say something wrong and for the whole telecast, his best comment was when he describe the CHN team during the medal presentation where it was the most glum faces for winning a runners-up place.
    Yes John was biased but this time I can forgive him and I am happy he is happy. He had had his disappointments many times in the past.

  9. #1913
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Girl, 5, sets maths record

    The Straits Times
    Jun 7, 2010

    Cherlyn Lee's score at olympiad best in S'pore

    By Ted Chen

    CHERLYN Lee is only five, but she is a computational whiz.

    She correctly answered six out of 10 tasks - each involving the addition of 10 rows of 10-digit numbers - at a mathematical olympiad on May 30. The score is a new Singapore record. The 5min 17sec she took was also the fastest among 345 other contestants, most of whom were older than her.

    By comparison, the world record holder is Mr Alberto Coto of Spain, who in 2008 got 10 out of 10 correct answers in 4min 26sec. He was 38 then.


    Five-year-old Cherlyn Lee started on a course at CMA Mental Arithmetic school last year. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
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  10. #1914
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Arts outdoors at Waterloo, Queen St

    TODAY
    05:55 AM Jun 07, 2010

    Facelift to allow for street markets, performances

    by Ong Dai Lin

    SINGAPORE - A place where new ideas, works of art and creative products are incubated, with numerous exhibitions and fringe outdoor events including art-themed street markets and performances to attract visitors and locals alike.

    This is the future of Waterloo and Queen streets envisioned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which has decided to give the neighbourhood a facelift.

    The improvement works would cement them as the core arts and cultural streets within Bras Basah and Bugis, two decades after the area got a new breath of life as an arts and entertainment hub when the URA marked out Singapore's cultural district in its 1991 concept plan.

    At that time, terrace houses and bungalows along Waterloo Street were restored and rented out to arts groups. A section of the street was converted into a no-car zone to make it more pedestrian friendly, and more MRT stations were planned to serve the area.

    This time, pedestrian connectivity is again on the cards, but the URA's Request for Information document on government tender portal GeBiz suggests the greater aim is to facilitate the organisation of street events.

    The works will include landscaping, reconstruction of roadside drains and creating spaces for regular outdoor performances. The project is estimated to cost $11.5 million. Construction is expected to start next April and be completed by February 2012.

    When told of the Government's plans, some arts groups in the area came up with ideas for special festivals that could be organised for the community.

    An annual Waterloo Festival could be one of them, Dance Ensemble Singapore founder Yan Choong Lian told MediaCorp.

    This could be an occasion for "all the groups to showcase their arts. We can also invite foreign artists to the festival so that we can learn from them too". It would also be good to have a space for children to perform on special occasions such as Mother's Day or Children's Day, she added.

    But some shop tenants in Waterloo Centre said any adjustments to the road may mean fewer parking lots and they are less than thrilled about any proposed changes.

    "Customers now just park their cars by the roadside, walk in to buy their stuff and then drive off. There are already limited car park spaces here," said Mr Ong Ming Hor, owner of an automobile parts shop.

    Ms Deborah Soh, owner of cake shop Room for Dessert, said: "This area has the artistic laidback vibe. If you have too many things happening here, it'll become another Orchard Road."

    Some suggestions from architects on how to improve Waterloo and Queen Streets include better shade facilities.

    Former president of the Singapore Institute of Architects, Mr Tai Lee Siang, said: "It's always so hot or raining ... We can't just imitate overseas types of outdoor street performances ... We can have pavilions with air-conditioning, but these must be built sensitively so that they don't stick out like a sore thumb."

    According to an URA spokesperson, the project is to generate "more arts buzz in the area as the National Arts Council and National Heritage Board work closely together to organise art-themed street markets, performances and exhibitions".

    The URA also recognises the demand for car parking around the area.

    "As part of the improvement works, additional kerbside parking lots are planned to be provided along Waterloo and Queen Streets," the spokesperson told MediaCorp.

  11. #1915
    Regular Member nokh88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blindaim View Post
    his commentry was 1 sided all the way , which is not very good.
    the funniest part is he say , the most sad face ever for a silver medalist.
    Yeah, I heard that too. The most glum faces. His commentary is mostly very general and very weak on technical knowledge. We all know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Yes John was biased but this time I can forgive him and I am happy he is happy. He had had his disappointments many times in the past.
    He also supports Malaysia. Wonder who he will support if Malaysia were to play against Singapore.? He He.
    Anyway, we are all happy that Singapore won and Majulah Singapura was played, which is not very frequent in international tournaments.
    Last edited by nokh88; 06-07-2010 at 09:33 AM.

  12. #1916
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokh88 View Post

    He also supports Malaysia. Wonder who he will support if Malaysia were to play against Singapore.? He He.
    Anyway, we are all happy that Singapore won and Majulah Singapura was played, which is not very frequent in international tournaments.
    I think John is basically a nice fella who entertains us with his sometimes 'outrageous' comments but he meant no harm most times.

    Having been in this part of the world for the most part of his adult life, I'm sure John will be most diplomatic when it comes to SIN/MAS rivalry.

  13. #1917
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More tourists coming to S'pore, staying longer with opening of IRs

    Channel NewsAsia
    07 June 2010 2000 hrs

    By Teo Xuanwei

    SINGAPORE : More tourists are coming to Singapore and staying longer since the opening of the country's two integrated resorts (IRs).

    Even though both attractions are only partially opened, in-bound tour agencies said business has spiked by as much as 40 per cent.

    Many tourists are also extending their stays here by another night or two.

    They are also giving other attractions a miss to check out Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) and Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

    One company described the IRs as "exciting properties" which tourists would want to see "even if they are not complete".

    Both IRs have had a slew of hiccups since its opening.

    RWS' Universal Studios Singapore lost its main ride, the Battlestar Galactica, to technical faults barely a week after the theme park opened in March. The ride remains closed.

    Tour East Singapore general manager Yvonne Wong said: "Tourists just want to have a feel of the theme park first even if it's not fully open or some rides aren't working, because it's the newest in the region and has some unique rides."

    She said the fact that they cannot try Battlestar Galactica now doesn't bother them.

    "If they like the place, they can come back. The desire is based on the experience of the whole theme park, and not one or two rides," said Wong.

    Marina Bay Sands also had problems with its conference facilities and hotel rooms.

    MBS drew flak when it hosted its first event, the Inter-Pacific Bar Association's 20th annual conference last month. The conflict is the subject of a legal suit now.

    But glitches aside, demand continues to flourish.

    Tour agents said most tourists accept that kinks are common when mega-attractions open.

    For now, the more family-friendly RWS appears to be ahead in the race to woo tourists.

    But agents said MBS will put up a tough fight once its SkyPark and resident show The Lion King open.

    The only question is when. The show's debut is expected to be delayed, as MBS' theatres will not be ready by September.


    Tourists at RWS's Universal Studios Singapore
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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New research to help heart failure patients get faster treatment

    Channel NewsAsia
    07 June 2010 1336 hrs

    By Claire Huang

    SINGAPORE: The day may come when all it takes to tell if a person is suffering from heart failure is blood. This will mean saving time and life.

    One in five patients land in the hospital's emergency department due to breathlessness and chest pain. Of these, a quarter suffer from heart failure.

    But preliminary tests like ECG can be time-consuming and inaccurate.

    That's why the Cardiovascular Research Institute will be trying out a new blood test developed in New Zealand on some 1,000 patients.

    Of these patients, the institute will choose half with symptoms of breathlessness while the other half will have had chest pains.

    Professor Arthur Mark Richards, director, Cardiovascular Research Institute, National University Heart Centre, Singapore, said: "The target here in this lab would be to develop measurement methods for markers in the blood that are important in detecting heart problems of several different kinds. And not only detecting it but also giving an idea about how serious it is, what the outlook for that person is and also giving a measure of how well you're managing it and how well you're controlling it."

    Its newly-appointed director said this could reduce the time taken by doctors to make a diagnosis by two to three hours.

    If the research is successful, a prototype kit may be developed to provide a diagnosis in about 15 minutes.

    The lifetime risk of developing heart failure is quite high.

    Professor Richards added: "Middle-aged Singaporeans have a one in three chance that heart failure will be a problem for them some time in their remaining life.

    “This is something to be avoided if you possibly can, because having been given a diagnosis of heart failure, your survival is clearly reduced over the following year or five years, even more severely so than some forms of cancer.

    “So if you can prevent if from happening or detect it quickly and treat it quickly, then you stand a good chance of improving those people's quality of life in their lifetime and their survival time."

    Professor Richards hopes results will be available within the next 18 months.

    The institute is also working with six restructured hospitals to find out more about the different types of heart failures.

    Professor Richards said the information gathered from the research can help doctors better manage treatment.

    He said: "We'll be comparing what the outcomes are like for these people, how they respond to treatment, what their survival is like, how high their risk of coming back into the hospital might be, how their blood tests differ from one another, and how the structure of their hearts differ from one another.

    “All this will be done with the aim of understanding particularly the diastolic or preserved contract or function type heart failure better and finding an improved treatment or improved management for it.”

    Data gathered from the different ethnic groups in Singapore and New Zealand will be used to see if genetic and biomarker differences may emerge.

    The institute is receiving some S$6 million for the first two years from the National Medical Research Council for the research projects.

    Doctors said heart failure admission rates have been going up in Singapore.

    From May 2009 to April this year, there were more than 4,000 admissions. Heart disease is the number two killer in Singapore right after cancer.
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    Default Family is key institution underlying social policies: Balakrishnan

    Channel NewsAsia
    07 June 2010 1746 hrs

    By Joanne Chan

    SINGAPORE : The Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Vivian Balakrishnan, has stressed that the family is the key institution underlying social policies.

    This comes even as Singapore faces a changing landscape and questions are raised about whether the family can continue to be the main support.

    Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew once told Dr Balakrishnan that looking after the family is key to building a stable society. This principle has underlined many of Singapore's policies, but times are changing.

    Speaking at a seminar on Singapore's social policies at the National University of Singapore on Monday, Dr Balakrishnan noted that although Singaporeans still value the family, some worrying trends have persisted.

    These include low birth rates, marriages at a later age, and a rising number of divorces.

    These developments have raised questions about whether the family institution can be relied on as the main provider of emotional and material support.

    While recognising the stress placed on families, Dr Balakrishnan said the state cannot take over the role of providing support.

    He said: "Government cannot be a surrogate family, we cannot be a surrogate husband or a surrogate mother, or even a surrogate child.

    "Even as the family as an institution confronts greater challenges in the future, we need to make adaptations so that the family remains the crucial, social pillar of our nation and that we all continue to invest in it.

    "And it requires people both young and old, it requires the state, it requires employers to pay attention to this aspect of it."

    "I hope we will arrive at the situation where employers take into account the needs of families. So for instance, wherever possible, post both spouses overseas, give them good, fulfilling jobs overseas so that the family can stay intact. That would be so much better for our family stability."

    Dr Balakrishnan felt that in order for Singapore to thrive in the future, the nation must stay open to newcomers and help them integrate into society.

    The minister also highlighted the importance of helping all citizens own assets, which will ensure that they are invested in the nation's future.

    Dr Balakrishnan continued: "It's not just giving welfare, but making sure that you've got mandatory savings - enough savings to last you a lifetime and to look after your family.

    "To translate those savings into assets, housing or other investments which you can pursue through the CPF investment scheme so that these assets can be productive assets and produce reasonable returns to you."

    He said the government will continue to ensure that homes are affordable, and cautioned owners against selling their flat for a quick profit.

  16. #1920
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Chinese tycoons among NUS, NTU alumni

    The Straits Times
    Tue, Jun 08, 2010

    By The Straits Times China Bureau

    BEIJING - The National University of Singapore (NUS) has produced more Chinese tycoons than top United States colleges like Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Duke.

    In the last 15 years, it has produced four Chinese multimillionaires, mostly from its business school.

    On a list of foreign university alumni Chinese multimillionaires, NUS came in at No. 3, just behind Harvard and Stanford. Harvard produced six tycoons, and Stanford, five.

    MIT was ranked fourth, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) did well too, producing two Chinese tycoons to tie for fifth place with eight other schools.

    The two Singapore universities were the only Asian colleges on the US-dominated list which appeared two weeks ago in a report by 21st Century Talent, a newspaper, and Cuaa.net, a website that serves Chinese university alumni organisations.

    Covering Chinese tycoons worth over 100 million yuan (S$20 million) who had appeared on other rich lists such as Forbes and Hurun over the past 10 years, the report analysed their personal attributes such as place of birth, industry and the universities they graduated from.

    Of the nearly 2,000 tycoons covered, some 130 had studied in universities abroad.

    Of the four tycoons who studied at NUS, three went through the doors of its business school: real estate magnate Yang Yuyan, who at 2.1 billion yuan is the wealthiest of the four; Mr Chen Dan of Evergreen Group, who struck gold selling animal feed to farmers; and Mr Xu Liankuan, who heads bus manufacturing firm Zonda Group.

    Mr Chen and Ms Yang had done NUS' Asia-Pacific executive master's in business administration (MBA) programme, which is conducted in Chinese.

    The fourth magnate, Dr Lan Weiguang, holds a PhD from NUS' chemistry department, where he remains an adjunct associate professor.

    The two multimillionaires from NTU - property magnates Geng Jianming and Wang Zhenhua - completed its Chinese-language executive MBA programme, which takes in 50 students from China every year.

    The rankings are a boost for both Singapore universities, especially their executive MBA programmes.

    NUS' programme was ranked 11th globally last year, up from 30th in 2005, according to the Financial Times.

    The good showing by the business school's graduates, said its dean Bernard Yeung, 'attests to the rigorous, relevant and rewarding education that we have consistently provided to our students as Asia's leading global business school'.

    NTU's business school dean Gillian Yeo too said she was proud of its successful alumni. She added that the school's course curriculum 'has helped to develop the business acumen and leadership skills of our graduates'.

    Chinese education experts backed their comments, saying that the latest rankings burnish Singapore's reputation as an education powerhouse.

    A survey last year by China's top overseas education consultant EIC showed that Singapore was the most preferred destination in Asia among China's students, beating Hong Kong and Japan.

    Globally, the Republic was ranked fifth after the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

    'Among prospective Chinese business students, Singapore is even more attractive because schools there can teach them how to combine the international and Asian ways of doing business,' said EIC analyst Tian Chao.

    'This is something lacking in American and British business schools.
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    Default The six Chinese tycoons: Who they are

    GRADUATED FROM NUS:

    Mr Chen Dan, 44
    Worth: 1.5 billion yuan
    (S$310 million)

    The Guangdong native formed Evergreen Group in 1998, selling animal feed and crop seedlings to farmers.

    He graduated from the NUS Asia-Pacific Executive MBA programme in 2001, and subsequently grew his conglomerate into a 6-billion-yuan-a-year business.


    Dr Lan Weiguang, 48
    Worth: 1.8 billion yuan

    When Dr Lan received a scholarship to study chemistry at NUS in 1990, he was content with the $1,000 monthly allowance he was given. But greater prosperity awaited him.

    Shortly after he graduated with a PhD in 1995, he set up water treatment firm Sinomem. It became a multimillion-dollar company and was listed on the Singapore stock exchange in 2003. He remains an adjunct associate professor at the NUS chemistry department.


    Mr Jim Xu Liankuan, 44
    Worth: 1 billion yuan

    He heads the Hong Kong-listed engineering firm Zonda Group, which manufactures buses, auto equipment and other steel products. The Jiangsu native graduated from the NUS Business School in 1998.


    Ms Yang Yuyan, 47
    Worth: 2.1 billion yuan

    The real estate company Ms Yang and husband Zhang Yong set up in 1997 became the first Chinese property firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007. Ms Yang graduated from the NUS Asia-Pacific Executive MBA programme in 2008.


    GRADUATED FROM NTU:


    Mr Wang Zhenhua, 48
    Worth: 5 billion yuan

    The Jiangsu entrepreneur set up his first company at the age of 26, and has not looked back since. He found success in real estate after setting up Future Land in 1999. Mr Wang is a graduate of the NTU Chinese Executive MBA programme.


    Mr Geng Jianming, 48
    Worth: 7.5 billion yuan

    An engineer by training, Mr Geng formed real estate firm Rongsheng in 2002 with younger brother Jianfu. Their firm was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2007, which made them billionaires overnight. Mr Geng graduated from the NTU Chinese Executive MBA programme.

    This article was first published in The Straits Times.


    Photo Credits: BT Christopher Loh NJ, Zonda Bus Group

    1. Mr Jim Xu Liankuan
    2. Mr Chen Dan
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