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  1. #2211
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Canal review 'top priority'

    The Straits Times

    Jul 20, 2010

    By Jeremy Au Yong



    The Government has thus made a review of the Stamford Canal its top priority as it hopes to ensure there is no repeat of the floods that hit the shopping belt twice in the past month. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI


    A NEW twist has emerged in the mystery of how Orchard Road flooded. It wasn't just the debris in the canal that did it. The design and capacity of Stamford Canal has been found to be wanting too.

    The Government has thus made a review of the Stamford Canal its top priority as it hopes to ensure there is no repeat of the floods that hit the shopping belt twice in the past month.

    Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim revealed this in Parliament on Monday while addressing concerns of MPs over the recent spate of flash floods around the island. He said an inter-agency taskforce will conduct a review of all major drains and canals in Singapore, with the canal that runs through Orchard Road demanding the most urgent attention.

    'The Stamford Canal is now our priority. We will study this carefully and how, together with the system that we put in place, we can alleviate the hotspots that we have discovered in Orchard Road,' he said. Depending on the outcome, the Stamford Canal may be widened or deepened.

    Dr Yaacob noted that all measures will be considered, but within the constraints of 'cost effectiveness and competing uses for limited land in Singapore'.

    Improvement works have already been planned for various drains and waterways including the Geylang River, Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal and the downstream stretch of Rochor Canal. Tenders will also be put out before the end of the year to upgrade drains in flood-prone areas like Upper Thomson Road, Macpherson Road and Little India.

  2. #2212
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sports for all students

    The Straits Times
    Jul 20, 2010

    By Lai Han-Wei

    THE Ministry of Education (MOE) will work with the Singapore Sports Council and national sports associations to allow students who do not have the opportunity to represent their schools in inter-school sports competitions to compete at the recreational level.

    Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said this in a written response to a query from an MP in Parliament on Monday, on student participation in inter-school sports competitions.

    MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC Lee Bee Wah had also asked Dr Ng how many of these students were foreign students, and whether the minister would consider setting a cap on the number of foreign students participating in inter-school sports.

    In his reply, Dr Ng said that on average, 55,600 students a year took part in inter-school sports competitions in 2008 and 2009. Of these participants, 1,100, or about two per cent, were international students.

    Dr Ng emphasised that while Singapore citizens enjoyed benefits and privileges such as Edusave scholarships, bursaries and Primary 1 registration, competition in sports meets and academic tests encouraged 'all students to strive and excel'.

    As a result, the MOE would allow all students in national schools to 'compete alike based on merit', regardless of nationality.

    MOE will work with the Singapore Sports Council and sports associations to create Division II and III leagues for various games to allow students to compete on a recreational basis, he said.

    'There are benefits to creating opportunities for more students to compete at the recreational level, even if not all of them reach the apex of the sport. Not only do sports competitions help students develop their games skills, they also build character,' added Dr Ng.

  3. #2213
    Regular Member Bbn's Avatar
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    http://internationaltrade.suite101.c..._trade_buddies

    This is an outdated link showing trade between Singapore and Malaysia.

    Any further data or updates? I don't know how to copy the article here, that's why the link.

  4. #2214
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    Singapore bank DBS coughs out $84 million to appease angy Hong Kong investors http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/07...nked-products/.
    However, more than US$210 million sold by the same bank is gone for good, leaving behind many angry investors.

  5. #2215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    The Straits Times

    Jul 20, 2010

    By Jeremy Au Yong



    The Government has thus made a review of the Stamford Canal its top priority as it hopes to ensure there is no repeat of the floods that hit the shopping belt twice in the past month. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI


    A NEW twist has emerged in the mystery of how Orchard Road flooded. It wasn't just the debris in the canal that did it. The design and capacity of Stamford Canal has been found to be wanting too.

    The Government has thus made a review of the Stamford Canal its top priority as it hopes to ensure there is no repeat of the floods that hit the shopping belt twice in the past month.

    Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim revealed this in Parliament on Monday while addressing concerns of MPs over the recent spate of flash floods around the island. He said an inter-agency taskforce will conduct a review of all major drains and canals in Singapore, with the canal that runs through Orchard Road demanding the most urgent attention.

    'The Stamford Canal is now our priority. We will study this carefully and how, together with the system that we put in place, we can alleviate the hotspots that we have discovered in Orchard Road,' he said. Depending on the outcome, the Stamford Canal may be widened or deepened.

    Dr Yaacob noted that all measures will be considered, but within the constraints of 'cost effectiveness and competing uses for limited land in Singapore'.

    Improvement works have already been planned for various drains and waterways including the Geylang River, Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal and the downstream stretch of Rochor Canal. Tenders will also be put out before the end of the year to upgrade drains in flood-prone areas like Upper Thomson Road, Macpherson Road and Little India.
    Another typhoon is heading towards Hong Kong and South China now. It is called Chanthu and the one before was called Conson. I hope the honourable minister, now having identified the main cause of the floods in the wrong design of Stamford Canal, will not blame typhoon Chanthu in the same way he blamed typhoon Conson for the last floods, should there be floods again this week.

  6. #2216
    Regular Member Bbn's Avatar
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    The Star Online > Southneast Tuesday July 20, 2010 Weather a bane to local fruit industry By BRENDAN VIVE SUPPIAH newsdesk@thestar.com.my JOHOR BARU: The sales in local fruits has dropped because of weather extremities resulting in many trees bearing less fruit. State Fama director Faridultrash Md Mokri said in a press conference the sales of local fruits this year dropped by a vast 12,000 metric tonnes. “This year we only managed to sell 24,502 metric tonnes of fruit compared to 37,000 metric tonnes last year,” he said adding that the main source of local fruits were from Muar, Tangkak, Kluang, Batu Pahat and Pontian. He said the fruit season starts in June and by July, the season was at its peak but this year there were not much fruits even though it was at the peak period. King of fruits: Faridultrash along with other Fama officers trying out the durians during fruits eating event. “Recently there was a campaign held at Pasar Tani Larkin to promote the sales of local fruits,” he said adding that the next campaign would be held at Jalan Datin Halimah. He said Fama was also conducting programmes to increase the interest of growing local fruits among youths. “We hope to achieve this through programmes and campaigns in schools to promote interest in local fruits,” he added. He added that the agro-tourism initiative had also recently started in Tangkak and Pontian. “These places have seasonal fruits which the tourist can eat or harvest the fruits themselves. “Other sectors can also benefit from this as tourists normally come by subscribing to a package where they are able to visit other places such as places that sells kuih and handicrafts,” he said. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1995-2010 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

    This is the effect on the other side of the straits

  7. #2217
    Regular Member Bbn's Avatar
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    Default Trapping Surface Water

    To Loh and other interested ;

    The weather seems to be causing havoc in urban Singapore and not in the wide expanse north.

    This I think can be attributed to :

    1) When rain falls in areas of large expanse they can be slowed down by :
    a) A wide area to disperse the water over a time period
    b) Better still if there are hills and forest reserves, the n they can act as dry sponges
    absorbing the water and temporarily storing water. During dry weather the water is released
    into rivers and can be trapped or dammed.
    c) if underground is porous and there are huge pockets of loose sand the sand can also absorb
    the water and release it later.
    d) In wide expanses water can be temporarily stored in low lying lakes or ponds.
    e) Building rooftops and accessories can only store small amounts as their total surface area
    is quite small.
    f) Many others

    But when we talk about Singapore it would be a nightmare.Practically the whole area is built up and all platforms are impervious, they have to be channeled out to sea as quickly as possible.There are no storage basins like hills,fields, forests,underground chambers, lakes etc etc to provide relief.
    I admit I dont really read the articles posted, just skimming some that are related to my work. But I think just using channels may not be the only answer, cheapest probably. I think other technologies related to above may be available and may be available from elsewhere,say Europe.

    Of course all engineering solutions need time to be studied and their economic feasibility and value
    need to be evaluated over time.I agree that there may be enough local talent to solve the issues.
    Just trying to explain some logic, any Civil Engineer would be able to tell you more and in greater depth and scope.i think the task of solving such a complicated problem would make any Engineer worth his salt salivate,but I think at present it is no cause for alarm.

  8. #2218
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    Default

    Here is an interesting article about PAP getting more political support from foreign workers, http://www.littlespeck.com/content/p...ics-100703.htm

  9. #2219
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Do your best

    The Straits Times
    Jul 21, 2010

    Having participants in all 26 sports is win-win for Singapore, he adds

    By Jonathan Wong

    TAKE pride in having been picked to represent your country, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday told Singapore's athletes at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

    That already makes you winners, he added. 'Each athlete has made huge sacrifices... They make the extra effort to arrange their lives around training and competitions, all with the hope and dream of bringing glory to Singapore,' said Mr Teo, who is also Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) president.

    'The fact that we have athletes taking part in all 26 sports is a win-win for us,' added Mr Teo, who was the guest of honour at yesterday's flag presentation ceremony for the Aug 14-26 Games.

    Leading Singapore's 188-member contingent of 130 athletes and 58 officials for next month's inaugural Games will be chef de mission James Wong.

    The nine-time South-east Asia Games gold medallist said: 'The YOG could not be taking place at a better time for us as we continue to groom our young emerging athletes. It will give them international exposure on familiar grounds.'

    It was also announced that the NTUC FairPrice Foundation will be awarding $300,000 worth of sports scholarships to the SNOC.


    Addressing the crowd that included many in Singapore's YOG contingent, he said: 'You can be assured that the entire nation is behind you. Do your best and be the best possible representation for Singapore.' -- ST PHOTO: TERENCE TAN
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  10. #2220
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Barrage 'won't affect Orchard'

    The Straits Times
    Jul 21, 2010

    By Victoria Vaughan

    THE Marina Barrage can prevent flooding only in low-lying areas, and not in places such as Orchard Road, which lies above sea level.

    So suggestions that it was somehow responsible for the flooding along Singapore's premier shopping street recently are off-base, national water agency PUB said on Tuesday.

    Mr Tan Nguan Sen, PUB's director for catchment and waterways, said: 'Orchard Road is very far upstream and 4m or 5m above sea level, and it cannot be affected by the barrage, which prevents the Marina area from being flooded by keeping out the high tide.'

    In response to media queries, he explained that the barrage did not affect the way rain drained into the canals, which are built to slope down towards the Marina Reservoir.

    Before the barrier was built, low-lying areas such as Little India were more flood-prone when a high tide coincided with heavy rain.

    Mr Tan said the barrage did what it was supposed to do very well last Saturday, when Singapore was lashed by a storm and widespread flash flooding occurred over the central and eastern parts of the island. Without the barrage, things would have been much worse, he said, as the storm occurred just as a high tide was receding.


    Suggestions that it was somehow responsible for the flooding along Singapore's premier shopping street recently are off-base, PUB, the national water agency. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
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  11. #2221
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default July rainfall volume within Marina Barrage capacity: PUB

    Channel NewsAsia
    20 July 2010 2205 hrs

    By Hoe Yeen Nie

    July rainfall volume within Marina Barrage capacity: PUB

    SINGAPORE: Recent flash floods have prompted Singaporeans to question if the Marina Barrage is doing its job.

    At a briefing Tuesday, national water agency PUB explained it has done so - citing Saturday's downpour as an example.

    The intensity of Saturday's early morning rain caught everyone off-guard.

    When the two-hour storm ended, more rain had fallen than what the whole of July normally sees.

    It was the third time in a month that severe rainfall had caused flash floods in parts of the island.

    PUB data shows that despite the rising water level, the volume was well within the reservoir's capacity.

    At 5.30am, the flood gates were activated.

    By then, rain had been pouring for an hour.

    On the other side of the Barrage, the tide was also falling, and by 6am it was below the water level in the reservoir.

    All eight gates were then fully opened to let excess water out.

    The decision to drain water out of the reservoir, and how much to drain away, depends on several factors. These include how fast water level in the reservoir is rising, and if the level remains within an acceptable range. PUB says it also has to ensure that there is enough water in the reservoir to meet Singapore's drinking needs.

    Tan Nguan Sen, director of Catchment & Waterways, PUB, said: "The Marina reservoir was built for two main functions. One is to act as storage for fresh water, and the other one is for flood control purposes. For flood control purposes we want to keep the reservoir as low as possible, whereas as a storage for fresh water we want to keep it as high as possible."

    PUB says if the level in the reservoir exceeded its upper limit, water will be drained out, either by operating the floodgates or the pumps.

    But the Barrage may not release water every time it rains.

    Mr Tan said: "Unless it is very sudden heavy rain, and we see that the water level is rising very much faster, we will as an added precaution release the water. We'll only release the water up till the lowest operating level that we have."

    He also said the Barrage helped prevent severe flooding in the immediate areas downtown, though not in places further upstream, like Orchard Road.

  12. #2222
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's first hydrogen-powered public bus hits streets in Aug

    Channel NewsAsia
    20 July 2010 1725 hrs

    By Sharon See

    SINGAPORE: Singapore's first hydrogen-powered public bus will hit the streets next month.

    It'll be the first such bus in Southeast Asia and promises to help save the environment.

    Called GreenLite, it does not emit carbon and is "low" on noise.

    It's powered by a battery system and fuel cell technology that "converts" hydrogen into electrical energy and creates pure water as a by-product.

    The bus is jointly developed by researchers from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and China's Tsinghua University over seven months.

    Professor and associate dean (research) at the College of Engineering in NTU, Soh Yeng Chai, says: "This is a new concept in the sense that the standard fuel cell bus uses about 80 to 100 kW (kilowatt), whereas ours is only 40 kW.

    "The whole idea is that we want to use the concept of combining hydrogen and battery system to co-power the bus. So under normal conditions, the fuel cell stack is strong enough to power the bus, and at the same time charges the battery. But in high-load conditions, we need to use both the hydrogen and the battery to power the bus.

    Such eco-friendly technologies don't come cheap.

    Hydrogen costs six times more than diesel.

    Prof Soh says: "Currently to run 100 kilometres, we need about 10 kilograms of hydrogen; that translates to about $300."

    Still, SBS Transit will be testing out this fuel cell bus, as well as a hybrid bus that runs on both diesel and electricity.

    It has trained eight bus captains to operate these buses.

    Gan Juay Kiat, CEO, SBS Transit, says: "We're in the early stages of this trial, and we have to consider the capital cost and the operation and maintenance costs of the bus. That's why we're embarking on this trial to understand it more before we make a decision, going forward as to having more hybrid buses in the fleet."

    GreenLite will be used first as a shuttle bus for athletes and officials at the Youth Olympic Village next month.

    After that, it'll be used for Service 179 and 199, while the hybrid bus will ply the route of Service 185 for a year.


    GreenLite, Singapore's first hydrogen-powered public bus
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  13. #2223
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default HDB flats not meant to be used as source of funds: Mah

    Channel NewsAsia
    20 July 2010 1636 hrs

    By Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid

    SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan has stressed that HDB flats are not meant to be used as a source of funds for business or other uses.

    He said this a day after changes were made to the Housing and Development Act, to prevent owners from using their flats as collaterals to settle debts with moneylenders.

    Mr Mah said: "The HDB flat is not meant to be used as a source of funds for business. "The whole scheme was designed to provide affordable, good quality home for them, not to use that as a collateral or sources of funds for other uses whether it is for business, or other things.

    "Can you imagine if people are allowed to raise funds from flats, what kind of things they are going to use for? Some will be using it for business. But I can tell there will be many who would not be using that for legitimate business.

    "They will be using it for other things. They may even use it to go to the casinos, for example. And then what happens? They lose their money and then they lose their flats. They lose their homes, the roofs over their heads, where will they stay? Where will be their children stay?

    "So we decided to be prudent, as far as HDB flats are concerned. If you want to raise funds for businesses, for other things, entrepreneurship, look for other sources for funds."

    The amendments were passed under the "certificate of urgency" in Parliament on July 19.

    Any contract using an HDB flat as a security or collateral for any debt other than as mortgage to finance the purchase of the flat will be null and void.

    Mr Mah stressed that the gap has to be plugged immediately to prevent moneylenders from lodging future caveats against HDB flats.

    "The number of caveats has gone up sharply, and if you don't move fast, the numbers will keep going up and more and more people will be placed in this position of putting their flats as risk and possibly being homeless.

    "So I think that is something obviously not in the interest of the HDB flat owners themselves. So that's the reason why I decided to move on the certificate of urgency.

    "This practice of agents and moneylenders colluding to get people to borrow and use their flats as collateral, I think that practice, will stop because they will no longer be legal."

    He added there have been indeed many cases where flats owners had fallen into serious difficulties after they sold their flats, as a result of the inability to repay loans.

    Mr Mah was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his ministry's joint scholarship ceremony Tuesday morning.

    He presented scholarships to 39 undergraduates and 12 graduate students.

    The scholars come from a spectrum of specialisations, including environmental engineering and environmental biology. Some of them will be exploring new fields of study, such as aquaculture, agricultural economics and food technology.

    38-year-old Kelvin Ang, who will be taking up a Masters in Sustainable Heritage at the University College London, said: "This scholarship will give me an opportunity to learn from the best practices from Europe in terms of heritage. So if I can have those skills and bring them back to Singapore and apply them here, I think there's a better future for heritage buildings."

    19-year-old Lee Si Min will be taking up an engineering degree course at the University of Cambridge. She'll join the Building and Construction Authority when she completes her studies.

    Ms Lee said: "I am very interested in how the designs of buildings are made to be safe and sustainable. There are many projects coming up in the MND, for example, the Tianjin Eco-city and I am very interested in them. I hope to play a part and contribute to the society in this manner."

  14. #2224
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Cable Car rides to re-open to public on July 21

    Channel NewsAsia
    20 July 2010 1338 hrs

    By Dylan Loh

    SINGAPORE: The cable cars between Mount Faber and Sentosa island will return July 21, after S$36 million overhaul.

    Mount Faber Leisure Group, which manages the service, hopes to see a 20 per cent increase in ridership - compared with 1.7 million in 2009.

    After a nine-month absence, the longtime attraction now sports a fresh new look.

    They're now wheelchair-friendly, with an interactive touch-screen.

    Eight people can fit into a cabin at once, two more than the previous ones.)

    A round-trip between Mount Faber and Sentosa Island costs $26 - about $4 more than a ride on the old cabins.

    And they're set to make Sentosa a hotter attraction.

    Mike Barclay, CEO, Sentosa Development Corporation, says: "It's a great ride! So I think in itself it's going to attract a lot of people to come back, enjoy Sentosa again and re-acquaint themselves with the Cable Car.

    "In terms of overall visitorship, we have always said that we projected, going from about six million a year to somewhere between 15 and 21, 22 million a year. And based on the last two or three months, we've seen something like a three-fold increase in visitorship. So we are in-line with our projections."

    The fleet's crown jewel, a special cabin fit for royalty, adorned with crystals and leather chairs, that costs $888.

    Mount Faber Leisure Group says half the amount from hiring the special cabin will go to charity.

    Susan Teh, CEO, Mount Faber Leisure Group, says: "It's going to be a very luxurious ride, where you're able to actually have, you know, champagne in the cabin and you're able to have even the iPod docker to hear the own music that you would love."


    Jewel Cable Car
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  15. #2225
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New sports scholarship for winners from Team Singapore at YOG

    Channel NewsAsia
    20 July 2010 2151 hrs

    By Patwant Singh

    SINGAPORE: Singapore athletes competing at the Youth Olympic Games can expect more than just medals.

    A new scholarship was announced during the flag presentation ceremony for Team Singapore at Nanyang Girls High School.

    Singapore's flag-bearer for the Games will be basketball player Jabez Su, while swimmer Amanda Lim led the 130-strong contingent in taking the pledge and singing the national anthem.

    Many Team Singapore athletes are representing the country for the first time can expect good home-crowd support.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean said: "The fact that we have athletes competing in all 26 sports is already a win-win for us. If they can do their personal best in those sports that have timings, I think we will be very happy. If they can win medals, we will all be delighted, delirious."

    James Wong, chef-de-mission, Team Singapore, Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010, says: "Everyone here knows what they need to so because it's the first Youth Olympic Games for Singapore and they have been selected and it's one proud moment for everyone of them. They are just, I think they just can't wait to show what we can do in Singapore."

    NTUC FairPrice Foundation also announced a new sports scholarship amounting to some $300,000 -

    $50,000 given to an individual gold medal winner,
    $25,000 for a silver,
    and $17,500 for bronze.

    Team sports winners will get a bigger quantum.

    A team gold will net $80,000 while the top spot in team sports gets $150,000.

    Medalists for team events can expect $40,000 for silver and $20,000 for a bronze.

    While a silver for team sports earns $75,000
    and $37,000 for a bronze in this category.

    The total amount of $300,000 will be raised if there are more winners.

  16. #2226
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Experts suggest green measures to combat floods

    Channel NewsAsia
    20 July 2010 1906 hrs

    By Alvina Soh, Lim Zhi Ying

    SINGAPORE : Experts say the recent flooding has again shown why it is important to manage the environment and embrace green buildings.

    One solution lies in the rooftop gardens that some buildings have.

    They can function as catchment areas to store water and reduce the risk of flooding.

    Experts say such features should be incorporated into the building designs.

    Jason Pomeroy, director of Broadway Malyan Asia, said: "If we consider one square metre of ground coverage or rooftop coverage can actually hold 6 litres of water, that's considerable.

    "So if we can start to see a greater embracing of rooftop gardens as well as gardens on the ground, what this can actually mean is that we're minimising the rainwater run off the buildings...

    "We are mitigating the issue of hard surfaces within the tall building structures and therefore reduce the loading to the store water drainage. And that in essence basically means we are going to have less of a flood risk."
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    Default

    I think something is not quite right about the floods. The blame game makes everyone more skeptical. Just hear this http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/07...ntense-storms/
    There is something in this http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/07...ecent-flooding which makes more sense.

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