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  1. #1922
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Nantah spirit still going strong after 55 years

    The Straits Times
    Mon, Jun 07, 2010


    By Leong Weng Kam, Senior Writer

    The former Chinese-language Nanyang University (Nantah) lasted only 25 years before it merged with the then University of Singapore to become the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1980.

    Two Saturdays ago, when about 900 members of the Association of Nantah Graduates and their families and friends came together to celebrate the 55th anniversary of their alma mater's founding over dinner at the convention centre in Suntec City, the university had already ceased operation for 30 years.


    This is five years longer than the university's life-span, cut short due to changes in government policies which resulted in its falling enrolment.

    Yet, the Nantah alumni association, which was formed in 1964 and is one of 18 similar groups set up by graduates here and overseas, remains one of the most active old students' clubs in Singapore.

    Just a week before the anniversary dinner on May 29, the association organised a golf tournament at the Raffles Country Club where more than 100 alumni in 27 teams competed for the annual Nantah Cup.

    Earlier, on May 7, the association's 40-member-strong choir staged a concert to mark the milestone anniversary at the Victoria Concert Hall.

    In September, about 200 members and their families from here are expected to attend the 12th Global Reunion of Nantah graduates, a biennial event, to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia.

    In an interview last week, association president Chia Ban Seng, 71, who is managing director of cement manufacturer Indocement Singapore, said what has kept the camaraderie among the alumni alive is the value, yin shui si yuan, which they all subscribe to. It means remembering the source where one has drunk water.

    'We cherish the opportunity that our alma mater had given us to further our education, even after all these years,' he said.

    This positive spirit perhaps also explains the success of the global reunions since the inaugural meeting in Toronto, Canada, in 1992.

    More than 1,000 Nantah alumni from different countries have been meeting regularly at these events which have also been held in Hong Kong and other cities in China, Australia, North America, Indonesia and Malaysia during the past 18 years.

    Singapore hosted the biggest gathering at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the site of Nantah's former campus, in 1995. There were more than 5,000 participants.

    In the 25 years of its existence, Nantah produced nearly 12,000 graduates. About half of those who are still alive live in Singapore; the rest are scattered all over the world.

    The oldest alumnus is in his early 80s and the youngest is 52.

    Council member and a former secretary of the association, Mr Ong Chu Meng, 78, who had to wait five years for Nantah's opening before he could study for his degree in economics and politics at the age of 23, said it was the university's 'difficult past' which had helped pull former students closer together.

    Nantah, founded by the late Chinese community leader Tan Lark Sye, was a university set up with support from Chinese communities here and in the region. In the 1950s and early 1960s, it was a hotbed of radical student movements.

    Mr Ong, chairman of Utraco Greentech, a waste-water treatment company, also noted the flurry of books on Nantah which the alumni have published since the early 1990s.

    At least two dozen were published here and overseas in the past 20 years. They include those on its history, collections of essays, poems and even novels based on former students' experiences and recollections.

    He himself wrote one titled Ah, These 50 Years, a historical account of the university, to mark Nantah's 50th anniversary in 2005.

    The director of NTU's Centre of Chinese Language and Culture, Dr Lee Guan Kin, a Nantah graduate, said public interest in Nantah was renewed in the early 1990s after the popular writer and former Nantah lecturer Han Suyin called for the recreation of a new Nantah at the global reunion of graduates in Toronto in 1992.

    The idea was supported by many, including those in Singapore, who spoke of a Nantah 'resurrection'.

    In 1995, records of graduates were transferred from NUS to NTU to re-establish links between the former Nantah and NTU. Three years later, the former Nantah administration building, the garden memorial and the original arch and gateway to the old campus in Jurong were all gazetted as national monuments.

    The same year, Dr Lee said her centre started research on Nantah's history in a big way. It has published two books on Nantah so far, with a third coming out by the end of the year.

    Mr Chia, who has led the association since 1995, believes that the alumni should not meet and lament over the past any more, but instead contribute to society with their experience and talent.

    He announced at the anniversary dinner that the association would be giving cash awards of $500 each to 20 top students from 20 selected schools who aced the Chinese language at the Primary School Leaving Examination each year, starting from this year.

    It means giving out a total of $10,000 each year and the association has committed itself to doing so for at least the next three years.

    'We had raised scholarship funds to support students in tertiary institutions previously. But we realise now that we should promote the learning of Chinese language and culture at the lower level first, especially in the light of the recent mother tongue debate,' he said.

  2. #1923
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    Default Ranking university rankings

    The Straits Times
    Mon, Jun 07, 2010

    By Sandra Davie, Senior Writer

    THE champagne corks should have been popping at the National University of Singapore (NUS) three weeks ago. After all, a global ranking system placed it third among Asia's educational institutions, up sharply from tenth last year.

    That put it above the renowned Tokyo University and just behind Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and first-placed Hong Kong University.

    But NUS sensibly kept the bubbly on ice, knowing that ranking universities has become a growth industry with so many league tables jostling for space that it is hard to know which one to take seriously.

    The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asian University Rankings which gave NUS its high grade is just the first of several such gradings due out in coming months as rival ranking companies slug it out.

    All use different grading measures. Some are more credible than others. One of the heavyweights is Britain's Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, which had split with QS over differences in methodology. THE now partners data collection company Thomson Reuters and promises a more rigorous and reliable list.

    Shanghai Jiaotong University also compiles a keenly awaited grading.

    Every rating agency claims its grading is most reliable. But academics and students think otherwise.

    This is why the QS scores failed to make much of a ripple here. Indeed, some Straits Times readers asked why the NUS ranking generated no headlines.

    It all boils down to the credibility of the ratings. And too many questions are being asked about just how reliable QS, a London-based higher education information company, is.

    Rewind back to 2004: QS and Times Higher Education released their first world's top 200 universities list, putting NUS 18th worldwide. Cheers all round.

    Over the next few years, the annual rankings were called into question after several universities moved up and down the league table like yo-yos.

    NUS went from 18 to 22 to 33, before settling at 30. The University of Malaya plummeted from 89 in 2004 to joint 169th in 2005, before dropping out of the top 200 altogether.

    Heads were spinning even faster at Japan's Keio University, which plunged 72 places in 2008 to 142 last year, while Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea jumped 54 spots to 134.

    QS said the changes were due to the small tweaks to improve the rankings but the volatility year after year does not instil confidence in the methodology.

    As Melbourne University rankings expert Simon Marginson rightly pointed out: 'Large universities are like battleships, they turn slowly and their relative and absolute performance changes marginally from year to year.

    'Most ranking systems are boringly stable at the top - except QS,' he added.

    This indicates that sharp rises and falls are likely due more to changes in the data gathering process, number crunching methods or simply gaps in the data.

    Times Higher Education recently admitted that perhaps the 'most embarrassing aspect' of the old rankings it produced with former partner QS was the so-called 'peer review' score.

    About 40 per cent of a university's overall ranking score was based on this peer review - a simple survey asking academics which institutions they rated most highly.

  3. #1924
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    Default LIVE! Singapore kicks off with 1,500 artistes & companies

    Channel NewsAsia
    08 June 2010 1915 hrs

    By Lin Jiamei

    SINGAPORE : Over 1,500 performing artistes from over 50 countries are in Singapore for an inaugural global exchange.

    The inaugural "LIVE! Singapore" is a four-day event for the artistes and companies to network and share knowledge on the performing arts.

    It is a three-in-one package - a stage to show and tell; a conference to share ideas and a trade fair to explore business opportunities.

    The event will be a good way for the artistes to network as well as to exchange ideas for future collaborations.

    Lui Tuck Yew, Singapore's Acting Minister for Information, Communications & the Arts, said: "Singapore also aspires to be a major marketplace for the visual and performing arts. Our position as the cultural gateway between the East and the West enables us to gather and distill the best of Asia's cultures and ideas and bring the best of the world's cultures to Asia.

    For artistes in Singapore looking to make that leap to the international arena, one suggestion is to avoid calling them local artistes.

    Jeremy Monteiro, Jazz Artiste and managing director, Showtime Productions, said: "The word 'local' already has a very negative connotation. We should start calling ourselves Singaporean artistes and then eventually become what I call Singapore-based international artistes."

    Charles Hamlen, chairman, IMG Artists, said: "If people who are thinking of doing an Asian or Southeast Asian tour, Singapore is now, suddenly, not simply a place which they add on at the end or to fill a hole, it's becoming more of a place where you start.

    "The interest here, the halls that are being built and the reputation of the country taking the arts very seriously, are drawing more and more people here."

    And this serious interest will dominate the conference, where participants will suss out opportunities and discuss issues such as music rights and funding.

    Performing artistes at LIVE! Singapore
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  4. #1925
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    Default The Little Nyonya in the running for top TV award

    TODAY
    05:55 AM Jun 09, 2010

    by Glenda Chong

    SINGAPORE - MediaCorp's Chinese TV series The Little Nyonya is going places. The 34-episode drama serial was one of the highest-rated shows in Singapore and it also enjoyed strong ratings in China when it was broadcast in several cities last year.

    This year, The Little Nyonya has been recognised with a nomination for Best Scriptwriter at the Magnolia Award, one of the major highlights of the Shanghai TV Festival.

    Mr Chang Long Jong, deputy CEO, MediaCorp, said: "It's a very significant thing for us, because I think this is really what recognises the achievement of many local productions in China and in fact foreign productions - like our Little Nyonya, (which) got into the nominations.

    "If you have seen the released nominations, we are the only nomination that comes from overseas and we are actually competing against four other nominations from China. It's a great honour for us to be able to be ranked among the top productions in China."

    With this success, MediaCorp is not letting up on the China market. Mr Chang announced that from next month, all of its drama series in China will be in HD format. Besides TV drama series, MediaCorp will also provide documentaries and variety shows in HD format.

    This year's Shanghai TV Festival brings together the latest TV production from more than 50 countries.


    More details of The Little Nyonya can be found:

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

    And pictures:

    http://littlenyonya.mediacorptv.sg/photos.htm

  5. #1926
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    Default 500 degree chances snapped up

    The Straits Times
    Wed, Jun 09, 2010

    By Amelia Tan

    PLACES at the new Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) have been snapped up by polytechnic students. About 1,500 students applied for the 500 places on offer for SIT's first intake in August, and all the spots have been filled.

    The new institute was set up last September to fill growing demand by polytechnic graduates for a university education, and the rush for places is the latest reflection of this.


    About 15 per cent of the annual polytechnic cohort, or about 2,500 students, now secure a place at one of the three local universities. Many others with above-average grades are turned away, and the clamour for more places to be set aside for them has been growing.

  6. #1927
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    Default Groundbreaking sensor for commandos' life jackets

    my paper
    Wed, Jun 09, 2010

    By Low Wei Xiang

    SINCE April, army commandos have been using a life jacket that inflates automatically in water - even when its wearer is unconscious.

    The jacket is inflated by a canister that has a depth sensor plugged into it.

    The sensor ignites the canister as soon as it reaches a pre-set depth not greater than 9.5m.

    This innovative device, the first of its kind in the world, was highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday - Mindef Pride Day - to recognise the Singapore Armed Forces' efforts to improve productivity.

    Unlike organisations in the private sector, Mindef and the SAF do not gauge productivity gains in only monetary terms, he said.

    They also keep track innovative and self-driven ideas that lead to the improved use of resources and people, and ensure 'mission effectiveness'.

    The self-inflating life jacket was the brainchild of a team from the Special Operations Tactical Centre (Sotac), part of the Commando Training Institute.

    The team worked with partners, such as lecturers from Nanyang Polytechnic's (NYP) engineering faculty, over four years to develop the device.

    It will contribute to increased training efficiency and enhanced safety, said Lieutenant- Colonel David Lim, 42, Sotac's commanding officer.

    Till now, life jackets used by the commandos have not been versatile enough to meet their underwater training needs, as they either inflate upon contact with water or must be inflated manually by pulling a cord.

    The auto-inflation feature can save lives.

    "If a swimmer or diver becomes unconscious and sinks, his life jacket will...take him back to the surface," said Mr Teo.

    Mindef has applied for a joint patent with NYP for the device.

    It may also be sold to the public, said Lt-Col Lim.

    Mr Teo also highlighted another device which increased productivity.

    Previously, special goggles had to be worn when testing the infrared formation lights on Chinook helicopters, as they are invisible to the naked eye.

    Also, the tests could be done only at night as the lights are very dim, even when seen through the goggles.

    But checks can now be done at any time, and more quickly, thanks to an infrared light detector developed by Military Expert 2 Ong Chin Lin of the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

    It consists of a photo-transistor and a light-emitting diode which is illuminated when placed over an infrared light that is working properly.

    Such initiatives saved Mindef $206.7 million in the last financial year, 48 per cent more than that in the year before, said Mr Teo.

  7. #1928
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Many perhaps will know how tiny Singapore went through a difficult independence to fight for economic and political survival as a nation in some rather turbulent times and emerged the better irrespective.

    Now that the world is experiencing one of its worst recessions and Singapore is directly affected because of her open economy and dependence on the world for its export of goods and services, it is perhaps time that we remember what Singapore has achieved to gain world, regional and national recognition so as to cheer us on and to remind us that Singapore also can do better in the future to lift us up, to take pride in what we have achieved and to continue to do the best we can.

    So I would like to start this section dedicated to Singapore's past, present and future achievements in all fields of human endeavour, whether in economics, social development, politics, education, sports, the arts, design, medicine, science, law, engineering, IT, media, Guinness World Records, etc, etc.

    We should as far as possible cite public references to lend creditability to what has been publicised.

    Singapore Also Can
    I think Singapore will surely do. I think Singapore is a well nation Country. It is good to live in that place.

  8. #1929
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    Default S'pore economy expected to grow 9% this year: MAS survey

    Channel NewsAsia
    09 June 2010 1201 hrs

    By Mok Fei Fei / Mustafa Shafawi

    SINGAPORE : Private sector economists are even more bullish about Singapore's economic outlook, raising their full year 2010 growth forecasts for Singapore.

    Those polled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for its latest Survey of Professional Forecasters now expect the Singapore economy to grow by nine per cent this year.

    This is an upgrade from their previous expectations for a 6.5 per cent growth made just three months ago in March.

    The nine per cent forecast is at the upper end of the government's official forecast for seven-to-nine per cent growth.

    And for next year, economists expect growth to average 5.5 per cent.

    Looking at the various sectors, economists also upgraded the likely growth of four of the five industries.

    Double-digit expansion is expected for the manufacturing, construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors, though financial services is expected to grow as well.

    The private economists say the manufacturing sector is now expected to expand by close to 17 per cent.

    Construction will grow by 10 per cent and the financial services sector is expected to grow by nine per cent.

    Singapore's non-oil domestic exports are expected to grow almost 18 per cent.

    As for 2011, the private economists expect the economy to grow 5.5 per cent.

    Manufacturing is predicted to drive growth, as economists forecast a 16.7 per cent on-year increase, up from the previous forecast of 9.7 per cent.

    The only exception is the hotels and restaurants sector, where respondents cut their forecast from 8.5 per cent to 8.2 per cent.

    For the second quarter this year, economists say growth may probably come in at 9.4 per cent on-year, higher than 6.3 per cent in the previous survey.

    With higher growth, analysts also expect consumer prices to creep up.

    Their median inflation forecast for the full year climbed marginally from 2.7 per cent to 2.8 per cent, with second quarter inflation expected at 3.2 per cent.

    As for the labour market, the respondents expect the unemployment rate to be at 2 percent by the end of the year, unchanged from the previous survey.

    19 respondents took part in the survey.

  9. #1930
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore clean up on the tables

    The Phnom Penh Post
    Wednesday, 09 June 2010 15:00 Ken Gadffi

    Singapore topped the medals table after Monday’s conclusion of the 16th SEA Junior Table Tennis Championship held at the indoor hall of Olympic Stadium.

    Singapore dominated the medals count at the 16th SEA Junior Table Tennis Championship, which concluded Monday at the Indoor sports hall of Olympic Stadium.

    The city state won six gold medals, two silvers and seven bronzes at the five-day tournament, while Thailand clinched second with three golds, five silvers and four bronzes. Vietnam finished third with two golds, one silver and three bronzes.

    Hosts Cambodia sadly failed to make the podium on a single occasion, with Brunei and Laos also returning home empty-handed.

    In Monday’s finals, Singaporean Pang Sue Jie defeated Vietnam’s Nguyen Huu Duc by four sets to one in the boys U18 category. Pang had earlier won a goal medal in the boys double when he partnered Lim Jie Yang to defeat the Indonesian pair of Julius Duri Chayokusumo and Rocky Christofel Eman

    Singapore’s Ly Slyun Isabelle triumphed in the girls U18 category in similar 4-1 fashion, defeating Thailand’s Suthsini Sawettabut. Ly, U15 champion at the 2007 SEA Games, also clinched two further golds and a silver in girls double, mixed doubles and girls team respectively.

    In the boys U15 event, Thailand fielded some promising young talents to swoop two golds and three silvers. Fourteen-year-old Padasak Tanviriyacech was simply too strong for compatriot Suchat Pitakgusiri, 15, in an all-Thai finals, winning 4-2.

    In the girls U15 final, Vietnam’s Nguyen Hong Tam rolled over Thailand’s Plya Porn Pannak 4-2 to claim the gold medal.

    Despite Singapore’s prominence in the individual events, it was Vietnam that took home the gold medal in the boys’ team event, beating Indonesia three sets to two in the final. Singapore girls, however, maintained their stronghold to emerge victorious from their team event round robin format.

    Double gold medal winner Pang Sue Jie was delighted with his success at this year’s championships after falling out in the group stage of the U15 competition at the 2007 event. “I am very excited,” he said Monday. “I trained hard and set a goal to win gold in this championship, and I have realised my dream.” Pang went on to dedicate his success to his teammates for their overwhelming support during the epic finals.

    Compatriot Ly Slyun Isabelle, meanwhile, has set her sights now on the upcoming Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Singapore on August 14-26. “I am very excited for this victory,” the 16-year-old said. “Now I can look forward to the Youth Olympic Games and hope to win more medals again.”

    While Cambodia’s campaign ended without a medal once again, they can lift their heads high as competent hosts of the regional event, with Table Tennis Federation Secretary General Sun Sothearith, who also doubled as the tournament director, left satisfied after the closing ceremony Monday.

    “I am so happy we have been able to host this championship, and it was a great success,” he said. “Though our players did not win any medals, we have learned a lot from hosting this championship, and our players have gotten more experience.”

    Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
    Vietnam’s Nguyen Huu Duc (left) serves against Singapore’s Pang Sue Jie during their SEA Junior Table Tennis Championship U18 boys final at Olympic Stadium’s indoor hall.


    Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
    Singapore’s Ly Slyun Isabelle talks to her coach during her U18 girls finals against Thailand’s Suthsini Sawettabut Monday.
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  10. #1931
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    Default Ionescu to be held longer

    The Straits Times
    Mon, Jun 07, 2010

    ROMANIA'S former diplomat Silviu Ionescu's detention in his home country has been extended by 30 days, according to media reports there.

    The reports say a district court in Bucharest granted prosecutors' request to extend Ionescu's detention period. The former charge d'affaires at the Romanian embassy in Singapore had been placed under preventive arrest for 29 days on May 8.

    The 50-year-old had left Singapore for Romania soon after he allegedly knocked down three people, one of whom later died, in double hit-and-run accidents last December.

  11. #1932
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    Default Students draw inspiration from nature to create angklung music

    Channel NewsAsia
    09 June 2010 2059 hrs

    By Ahmad Dhafeer

    SINGAPORE : Making sweet music from the sounds of nature - that is what a group of students will be sharing in a concert featuring their own compositions using a traditional musical instrument - the angklung.
    It is the result of four months on a project in which they went on nature walks to draw inspiration.

    Along the way, they learnt to value peace and calm that are part and parcel of nature. They have also sharpened their sense of sound.

    The secondary school students are from MacPherson, Raffles Girls, St Anthony's Convent and St Theresa's Convent.


    They will perform at the Republic Cultural Centre at 8pm on Thursday. Besides original compositions, angklung fans will also be treated to familiar tunes.

    Charmaine Low, student of Raffles Girls' Secondary, said: "After walking through the forest and making our creative composition, we were kind of able to create music that was slightly different from the one we create in schools because we get to experience nature first-hand. So we were able to create music from the sounds of the birds."
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  12. #1933
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    Default Gasp for Air at River Fest

    The Straits Times
    Jun 11, 2010

    Gravity-defying act is the main highlight of this year's event

    THE Singapore River's rich heritage will be the focus of celebrations come the end of this month.

    Performances by famed Asian musicians like Thailand's Mellow Motif, an interactive art installation and a bumboat parade will be among the highlights of the third annual Singapore River Festival, which will run from June 25 until July 3.
    The centrepiece of this year's festival will be a gravity-defying show that will feature performers dancing on the water's surface and performing acrobatic stunts.

    Called Air - a pun on the Malay word for water - the performance will be staged by marketing agency Muse Inc, the same folk behind the entertainment programme for the Singapore Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

    The performance will be staged on Read Bridge and across the river, and will feature 10 performers hooked on steel wires that will allow them to 'walk on water' and spin through the air.

    Air will be staged on the first three nights of the nine-day festival.

    The performances this year will focus on the river's rich heritage, and will aim to track the progress of Singapore through the transformation along its river banks. To attract the crowds, admission to most of the events will be free. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
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    Default Youth paddlers to receive yearly $5,000 fund from STTA

    Channel NewsAsia
    10 June 2010 1537 hrs

    SINGAPORE : The Singapore Table Tennis Association has established a Youth Development Endowment Fund for its young players.

    The first four paddlers to receive the fund of S$5,000 are Zena Sim, Pang Xuejie, Isabelle Li and Clarence Chew.

    As long as the young players are representing Singapore, the allowance will be deposited into their accounts annually.

    They were chosen based on their achievements as well as tremendous potential that they have shown.

    Together with the launch of the development fund, the association also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nanyang Technological University.

    This agreement will ensure that the table tennis players will secure a place in the local university as long as they have a diploma from any polytechnic in Singapore or a certificate from the Sports School.

    Lee Bee Wah, president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association, was optimistic with the signings: "The main objective is to give additional support to our young table tennis players. Among the four players that are identified, two are going to take part in the YOG in August.

    "The message that we want to give to our players is that not to worry about your studies, put in you full effort in training and playing, we will take care of you."
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    Default S'pore ranked 9th most expensive location in Asia to live

    Channel News Asia
    14 June 2010 1339 hrs

    By Mok Fei Fei

    SINGAPORE: A survey has ranked Singapore as the ninth most expensive location in Asia to live in.

    According to human resources consultant ECA international, Singapore's currency has been strong relative to other major currencies in the region.

    Furthermore, it said prices of goods and services commonly purchased by expatriates have risen at much faster rates here than in other developed locations.

    Globally, Singapore has gained six places in ECA's global rankings and is now in 67th position, overtaking locations such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

    ECA International said Singapore's rise up the list continues a long term trend.

    Tokyo is the most expensive city in Asia and the world, regaining its status as the world's most expensive place to live in for the first time in five years.

    Joining Singapore and Tokyo in Asia's top ten are the Korean cities of Seoul and Busan as well as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

    ECA International said currency fluctuations continue to be the main factor impacting the ranking of Asian locations.

    The strengthening of Asian currencies over the past year, on the back of strong economic performance, has contributed to the higher costs

    Conversely, locations in mainland China have become cheaper, with Shanghai falling 18 places and Beijing dropping 29 places.

    This is due mainly to the pegging of the Chinese yuan to the weakened US dollar.

    Shanghai is China's most expensive city followed by Beijing and Guangzhou.

    Norway's Oslo is the second most expensive city in the world and the most costly European nation.

    ECA International said the strengthening of the krone against major currencies, an upward trend in oil prices and a short-lived recession contributed to its rise.

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    Default Home away from home

    TODAY
    05:55 AM Jun 11, 2010

    Sports Council move to secure training bases ahead of Olympics

    by Philip Goh Haw Hann

    SINGAPORE - The Republic's Olympic aspirants will soon have a training base in England, two years out from the 2012 London Games.

    According to the Singapore Sports Council's (SSC) Bob Gambardella, a decision will be made over the next fortnight as to which institution will be the home-base for the Singapore contingent in the days leading up to the Games.

    Last month, Gambardella and Vincent Eu, the SSC's assistant director for major games preparations, visited several institutions in and around London, checking on each venue's suitability as a pre-Games training site.

    They include Loughborough University in East Midlands, Marlborough College in Wiltshire, Millfield School in Somerset, and the University of Surrey.

    Among the basic requirements for these venues are swimming pools, multipurpose gymnasiums, locker rooms and other facilities that would be necessary for the athletes as they count down to the start of their Olympic campaign.

    "We also looked at the proximity of airports, how easy it is for our athletes to get from the airport to the venue, how near are the living quarters to the training facilities, and other types of services such as hospitals and shopping malls," said Gambardella, who is the chief of Sports Development Group and the Singapore Sports Institute at the SSC.

    At 160km or a two-hour drive from London, Loughborough University figures high on the list.

    A year ago, the Japanese Olympic Committee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to make Loughborough their training base. And just in April, the university was also named as the base camp for Team Great Britain.

    Loughborough University Director of Sport, Chris Earl, had said during the Team Great Britain announcement that they have the capacity to host two major Olympic teams, and were in talks with another smaller team, presumably Singapore.

    And according to Gambardella, the SSC will be seeking a similar MOU with the chosen institution, with Singapore providing reciprocal arrangements for British athletes.

    "Some of these venues have offered us the opportunity to come and train from a year out, so that our athletes and support staff can get some familiarisation in terms of the climate, the time zone change," said Gambardella.

    Besides recceing a pre-games training site for the anticipated 30-40 strong Singapore contingent, Gambardella and Eu also visited the University of East London to gauge its suitability as a Recovery Centre during the Games.

    "It'll be smaller than the one we set up for the Laos SEA Games last December, as we'll have fewer athletes for the Olympics, but it will offer the same services," the American said.

    And Gambardella is already looking beyond the 2012 Games.

    "We're looking at how we can create alliances not only up to London, but post-London as well. We've already started talking to the Brazilians for the 2016 Games," he said.

    "They're asking for help in badminton and table tennis, and in return will help us with training centres."

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    Default Women's badminton doubles pair smash their way to gold in India Open GP

    TODAY
    05:55 AM Jun 14, 2010

    by Low Lin Fhoong

    Women's doubles pair Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei's campaign at the Li Ning Singapore Open 2010 Super Series received a confidence boost yesterday, after the Singaporean duo clinched the India Open Grand Prix Gold title in Chennai.

    Up against local favourites Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta in the final, top seeded Singaporeans Shinta and Yao Lei stormed to a 21-11 lead in the first game, before the Indians rallied to clinch the next 21-9. But the Singaporeans dug deep in the third to seal victory, 21-15.

    The Indian title is the third for the world No 19 pair this season, after wins at the 34th Yonex Polish International Championships and Banuinvest International Championships in March.

    Both players will feature in the US$200,000 Li Ning Singapore Open this week.

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    Default New R&D institute opens

    The Straits Times
    Jun 16, 2010

    By Lester Kok

    Mr S. Iswaran (above) said the research and development (R&D) work done by ERI@N will yield insights and ideas which would affect energy policy in Singapore for the next two to three decades. --PHOTO: TEMASEK HOLDINGS

    SINGAPORE has a new institute that will focus on research into fast-growing and increasingly important areas such as solar power, electric vehicles and smart power grids.

    Dubbed ERI@N, short for the Energy Research Institute @ Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it will be powered by $200 million in funds from several agencies, including the Economic Development Board (EDB), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

    Other areas it will conduct research into include energy materials, wind energy and sustainable buildings.

    ERI@N will not go it alone. It will partner six renowned universities - the Austrian Institute of Technology, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, Imperial College London, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Cambridge, and the Technical University of Munich.

    It will also have a seven-member international advisory board comprising top academics in various fields. The board will be headed by a Swiss scientist, Professor Michael Gratzel, who won this year's Millennium Technology Prize in Finland for his invention and development of dye-sensitised solar cells, a cheap and good alternative to silicon solar cells.

    At the launch of the institute yesterday, Mr S. Iswaran, the Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education, said the research and development (R&D) work done by ERI@N will yield insights and ideas which would affect energy policy in Singapore for the next two to three decades.

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