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  1. #239
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sentosa's new Nature Gallery

    The Straits Times
    Aug 6, 2009

    New nature gallery at Sentosa

    By Victoria Vaughan

    AMID the din of development on Sentosa, there is a new respite for nature lovers.

    The island's Nature Discovery gallery, the 11th attraction at Imbiah Lookout, was opened by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Wednesday. The free learning space and walk through the Mount Imbiah nature reserve took two years to complete and cost $5.5 million.

    Mr Teo said the gallery is a testament to Sentosa's commitment to preserving its natural heritage and history.

    'This is a unique opportunity for young people in Singapore, students especially, to see how we can match and harmonise development together with respect for the environment.'

    Doing his part, Mr Teo planted a Seashore Mangosteen, an endangered tree in Singapore, to mark the occasion.

    The gallery aims to turn visitors into 'nature detectives' by displaying examples of clues nature leaves behind, such as tracks and droppings.

    The gallery, which is housed in a renovated monorail station, is the start of the 200m boardwalk which joins a pre-existing 2km track. Visitors can expect to see crab-eating macaques, flocks of swiftlets - whose nests are used for bird's nest soup - and golden orb spiders.

    Mr Mike Barclay, chief executive officer of Sentosa Leisure Group, said: 'We aim to keep Sentosa 60 per cent green and as part of that strategy we want to invest more in the green parts of the island.'

    Next month, Sentosa will begin rolling out a series of educational programmes to schools based on the nature attraction.

    The Nature Discovery trail will offer guided tours for up to 20 people, at $12 per person. Tickets are sold at the gallery shop. Private group tours can also be arranged for $150.
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  2. #240
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Celebrating Singapore

    The Straits Times
    August 10 2009

    Nation turns 44 with uniquely Singaporean celebration

    They came prepared for a parade with a difference - and got just that.

    About 27,000 spectators at the Marina Bay floating platform were treated to the nation's biggest musical yesterday - this year's National Day Parade.


    The third parade staged on the platform is also likely to be the last against a skyline of semi-finished skyscrapers of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort (IR), which is due to open next year.

    The show celebrating the country's 44th birthday was, quite proudly, uniquely Singaporean. Segments ran back and forth through time as hosts Gurmit Singh, Venetta Lopez, Michelle Chong, Mark Lee and Suhaimi Yusof kept the crowd's spirits high with laugh-out-loud moments.

    It was quite hilarious, rich with references to buayas, nonyas and jia pa buay? Hokkien for "Have you eaten?", a greeting which points to a nation obsessed with food.

    Lee's Singlish-speaking Admiral, speaking to Sang Nila Utama, drew several guffaws, while perennial favourites like the Red Lions daredevil parachute jumps and marching contingents brought people to their feet.

    Scoring this year's show was Dr Sydney Tan, who wanted to created a "common chord".

    The NDP music director said: "Everyone, including the guy next to you, will feel the same way, and that we are one."

    Music, in fact, linked the entire show and led up to the "Pledge Moment", which played out at the bay and beyond.
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  3. #241
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Race & Religion Sensitivities

    The Straits Times
    August 17 2009

    (In a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Singapore, misunderstandings can easily arise which may lead to disastrous consequences. It had happened before in 1964 when racial riots broke out and innocent lives were taken.

    "The fear of further violence contributed to Singapore's decision to secede from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965, when both sides were unable to resolve their disputes". Please refer to the following link:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_ra...s_in_Singapore

    Thenceforth sensitive issues touching on race and religion were tabooed. To ensure that race relations in Singapore is maintained on an even keel, the "Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act" was passed in 1990.

    So far, since Independence no further serious disputes among the races have erupted as the political and grassroots leaders, the civil servants and the religious leaders were able to solve issuess before they become problems.

    And yesterday, in his annual National Day Rally speech, the Prime Minister made further attempts to ensure peace and harmony among the various races and religious groups.)



    PM warns of religious fault lines

    By Clarissa Oon
    Senior Political Correspondent

    ON THE 50th anniversary of Singapore’s self-government, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong used the year’s biggest political platform to issue a rallying call for unity across different races and religions.

    A large part of his speech in English was devoted to addressing the climate of rising religious fervour, which he acknowledged was ‘an unusually serious and heavy subject for a National Day Rally’.

    But he said that social cohesion was critical to Singapore’s long-term success, and singled out racial and religious divides as the ‘most visceral and dangerous fault line’, potentially worse than the rich-poor gap or any divide between Singaporeans and foreign residents.

    The subject of religion was highlighted in his Malay and Mandarin speeches as well at the Rally at the University Cultural Centre.

    Religious leaders were present among the audience of 1,600, which included politicians, civil servants and grassroots leaders.

    In carefully crafted yet unambiguously phrased remarks on the need to maintain racial and religious harmony, he revealed that the Cabinet had discussed it at length and was behind him on this.

    ‘People may assume that we do not have a problem since we have lived in harmony for so long. Or perhaps they realise that the subject is sensitive and so shy away from discussing it.

    ‘Yet from time to time, we must discuss it, honestly but tactfully, to assess progress, recognise trends in our society and the world, and remind and tell ourselves where we must do better,’ he said.

    As a globally connected, multi-faith society, Singapore is not immune to the worldwide surge in religiosity. Examples include the heated culture wars between Christian conservatives and liberals in the United States, and the intense revival of Islam among Muslims worldwide.

    Taken to extremes, he noted that this trend could lead to aggressive proselytisation, intolerance and people not mixing with those of other faiths.

    Mr Lee reiterated several ground rules for how religious groups should engage society, the fundamentals of which are laid down in the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act passed in 1990.

    The rules include keeping religion separate from politics, and keeping schools and offices as secular common spaces.

    While Singapore is doing well compared to other countries where sectarian and religious conflict is rife, ‘let us also never forget what being a Singaporean means’.

    ‘Being a Singaporean means not just tolerating other groups, but opening our hearts to all Singaporeans,’ he stressed.

    He credited religious groups for having done good work to help not just their own flocks, but all segments of Singapore society. However, he drew the line at them imposing their views on others.

    His appeal to religious leaders: ‘Help your flocks to understand our limitations and guide them to practise their faith taking our (multi-faith) context into account.’

    Giving a recent example, he said he was grateful that the National Council of Churches of Singapore did not support churches getting involved in the April leadership tussle at women’s group Aware. A group of Christians had tried to take over the civil society group, which they felt was becoming pro-gay.

    Mr Lee said the stand of church leaders was a responsible one, adding that ‘had it not been for these statements, we would have had a serious problem’.
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  4. #242
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Three Singaporeans top at Oxford

    The Straits Times
    Aug 15, 2009

    By Lynn Kan

    THREE Singaporeans topped their respective courses at Oxford University this years, in a rare and extraordinary showing. They did politics, philosophy and economics (PPE); physics; and law.

    One of them is the grandson of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

    Mr Li Shengwu, 24, whose father is Fraser and Neave chairman Lee Hsien Yang, took top spot in his PPE class of 240 students. Mr Shyam Srinivasan, 22, was first among 70 who did physics while Mr Colin Liew, 23, scored first in law and bagged a £1,250 (S$2,900) award.

    Mr Liew's achievement was reported in the Sunday Times on Jul 26.

    The three top scorers are among 13 Singaporeans who graduate from Oxford this year. The trio's achievement is unprecedented, said Mr Chim Yi Hua, a fellow PPE graduate with Mr Li.

    The former president of the Oxford University Malaysian and Singaporean Students' Association (OUMSSA) said he could not recall such an unusual outcome in recent years. 'It's not easy to top one's cohort - not at all. To have three this year is very rare,' said Mr Chim, 22.

    Added Mr Li: 'It's one of those things where the element of chance featured a great deal in the outcome.' Mr Srinivasan said he was not overly surprised by the coincidence. 'Singaporeans generally do very well in Oxford.'

    Besides topping PPE, Mr Li was also named the top overall economics student across Oxford's 30 colleges that offer PPE and 18 that offer a joint degree in history and economics. He received the Hicks and Webb Medley prize and £300 prize money for his achievement.

    As for Mr Srinivasan, a former Indian national from Chennai who became a Singapore citizen in 2006, is also holder of an Overseas Merit Scholarship for teaching was 'very stimulated and encouraged' by his tutors at St. Hugh's.

    He will return after completing his masters in applied physics at Columbia University in the United States, and embark on a teaching career after he does his national service. His passion for physics culminated in the Scott Prize for best performance in physics and £300 in prize money.


    (Picture shows Mr Colin Liew, 23, scored first in law and bagged a S$2,900 award. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM)
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  5. #243
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Reasons to love Singapore

    The Straits Times
    Aug 15, 2009

    THERE are hundreds of reasons to love the little red dot. So say the more than 200 readers who took part in a contest carried in The Straits Times' National Day Special 2009.

    The supplement - which was distributed with The Sunday Times on the Republic's 44th birthday last week - listed 44 endearing things about the country and its people, places, quirks, habits and accomplishments.

    It also invited readers to submit their own 10 reasons they love Singapore, offering Canon Ixus cameras, Samsung Soul phones and iPod shuffles to the 10 best lists.

    An avalanche of entries - from Singaporeans and residents of all ages and ethnicities - flooded our electronic mailbox. Several also came by snail mail.

    The entries were as varied as they were colourful - some were short and sweet, there were lengthy essays as well as poems, and one or two even arrived in elaborate pdf formats, complete with visuals.

    The reasons they love Singapore, and the ways they express this affection, are just as diverse. Some border on the academic, some are touching, and some, downright hilarious.

    But for the team of judges going through the entries, one thing is obvious: The affection for this nation cannot be doubted.

    Some of the top 10 reasons to love Singapore included Singlish, chilli padi, Kopi in a bag and tissue paper.
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  6. #244
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Mm: Foreign Talent Is Vital

    The Straits Times
    Aug 14, 2009

    Dangerous to shut off flow as Singapore's economy will decline

    By Clarissa Oon & Goh Chin Lian

    MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on Thursday warned Singaporeans of the dangers of closing the country's door to foreign talent.

    Without educated foreign residents, Singapore faces the threat of a declining economy with a shrinking labour force, he said in a speech stressing the importance of accepting and embracing them.

    Immigrants make up for the children Singaporeans are not having, he said. To shut them out is to risk an unwelcome scenario similar to that confronting Japan's greying population: 'They refuse to accept immigrants, so their economy is feeble and lacks vitality.'

    However, MM Lee reassured Singaporeans that the Government is very conscious of protecting their interests. The number of foreign residents would be carefully controlled to preserve the character and values of Singapore society, he told about 700 grassroots leaders and residents attending a National Day dinner in Tanjong Pagar GRC.

    In his speech, he also highlighted the challenge of grooming a core of bilingual Chinese talent to engage China. But this will not be done at the expense of English, which will remain the common language of all Singaporeans, he said.

    Singapore has about 1.68 million foreigners. Mr Lee noted that 70 per cent are here temporarily, holding renewable passes, mainly the employment pass, S-pass for semi-skilled workers or work permits for the low-skilled. The rest are permanent residents, or PRs.

    The large pool has led to growing discontent among Singaporeans. 'There are complaints about new citizens and PRs taking away jobs from our workers and that those in sales and service do not speak or understand English.'

    But, he added: 'We accept only immigrants who increase the average level of competence of Singaporeans.' They must have skills and at least secondary, preferably tertiary education.

    Mr Lee produced a string of figures to show why Singapore needs skilled workers and professionals from Malaysia, China, India and elsewhere in the region. Without them, the labour force will shrink because Singaporeans are not replacing themselves.

    In Singapore, the burden will be too heavy for the young if there was no immigration. So, it is in Singapore's interest to have immigrants 'who can be integrated without upsetting the racial balance', Mr Lee said.

  7. #245
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    Default

    This is level 3 thinking stuff here. Lots of people can't even fathom level 1 thinking let alone reach level 3. +1 to LKY

  8. #246
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default YOG countdown begins

    The Straits Times
    Aug 14, 2009

    By Jeanette Wang , Terence Voon

    THERE is still a year to go before the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG), but the festivities have already kicked off in Singapore.

    The Padang was transformed into YOG party central on Friday night (Aug 14), as over 5,000 revellers turned up to mark the 365 days until the Games kick off.

    The main attraction: A 10m-tall countdown clock (sponsored by Omega)that was unveiled on the steps of City Hall in a hail of fireworks at precisely 8.10pm, or more auspiciously, 2010.

    Fittingly, it was the same venue which last year witnessed the announcement that Singapore would be the host of the first-ever Games.

    And judging from the reaction of the supporters who turned up on Friday, next year's opening ceremony at the Marina Bay Floating Platform will be just as raucous and electrifying.

    The festivities began earlier in the evening, with a YOG carnival at the Padang offering sports try-outs, as well as an Olympic Day Run which drew over 3,000 participants.

    As the minutes ticked by closer to the countdown hour, the party spilt over onto St Andrews Road, where youths of all ages were seen waving flags and dancing, punctuating the celebrations with screams of excitement.

    Senior Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security Professor S Jayakumar, who was the guest of honour at the event, said he was moved by the occasion.

    If anyone has any doubts about the support, enthusiasm and spirit of the young for the Youth Olympic Games, they should come here and listen to all of you,' he said at the event.

    'It is this spirit, these vibes and your support that we need from now till the Youth Olympic Games takes place, and I'll have no doubt that you will maintain your enthusiasm.
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  9. #247
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default From Bravery To Books

    Today
    Aug 19, 2009

    by Ansley Ng

    WHEN Lieutenant (LTA) Kok Khew Fai threw himself onto one of his recruits to protect him from a stray grenade - and both soldiers walked away unscathed - little did the National Service officer realise the course of his life would dramatically change after his act of bravery.

    One year ago, LTA Kok was bound for Nanyang Technological University to study aerospace engineering, two months before completing his National Service.

    But those plans have changed.

    Yesterday, the 21-year-old received a SAF Merit Scholarship to study aeronautical engineering at Imperial College in London, almost a year after he was conferred a top military award for his act of bravery.

    Son of a welding supervisor and housewife, LTA Kok will start his studies in October.

    His father Kok Han Kuan, voice brimming with pride yesterday, said he was thankful his son has been given the scholarship and hopes he will do his best.

    "As a parent, I am very happy and proud," said Mr Kok, 51. "There is no way I would have imagined that I could afford to send him overseas to study."

    LTA Kok has two siblings - a brother, 25, studying hospitality at a private school and a sister, 18, studying at a polytechnic.

    According to Mr Kok, his three children share a bedroom in the family's three-room apartment, and despite the cramped conditions, LTA Kok has always been a disciplined student. "Since he was young, we didn't need to worry about his studies," said Mr Kok.

    LTA Kok said he had thought about signing on with the air force as an Air Engineering Officer when he was a recruit, but did not meet the requirement because he was not a Singapore citizen.

    Then a permanent resident - his parents had moved to Singapore from Ipoh, Malaysia, when he was in primary school - LTA Kok shelved the idea, but later obtained his citizenship in 2007.

    Towards the end of his National Service stint, he thought of signing on again, and applied for the scholarship.

    "I thought SAF might offer a fulfilling career and I can learn a lot and contribute, so I decided to sign on," said LTA Kok.

    During a grenade live throw exercise in March last year, a recruit under his charge accidentally dropped a live grenade which landed behind them 2m away.

    LTA Kok had seconds to react before the grenade exploded.

    The officer instinctively pushed the recruit down close to the wall of the throwing bay and threw himself over him to shield him from the blast.

    Both soldiers were unhurt.

    Saying he wasn't sure if the SAF Medal for Distinguished Act he received had boosted his chances of securing the scholarship, LTA Kok said he went through the same interview process as other applicants.

    Indeed, the straight-A student from Jurong Junior College sat through at least three interviews - and none of the interviewers brought up the grenade incident, he said.

    "I feel very honoured that I have been given this chance by the SAF to go on this scholarship," said LTA Kok, who received the award from Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen yesterday, along with 19 others.

    Responding to queries, a spokesman from the Mindef Scholarship Centre said: "To qualify for the SAF Merit Scholarship, applicants must have good academic and military performance as well as strong leadership qualities."

    LTA Kok's life hasn't changed much since the grenade incident, he said, but friends who know about it sometimes tease him by calling him "hero".
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  10. #248
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default ASEAN Para Games: Singapore win first gold in badminton

    Channel News Asia
    20 August 2009

    By Patwant Singh

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...449875/1/.html

    Singapore has won its first gold in badminton at the 5th ASEAN Para Games held in Kuala Lumpur.

    Shuttler Tay Wei Ming made history by bringing home Singapore's first gold medal in the sport. Tay beat opponent Nhuan Tran Minh from Vietnam 19-21, 21-12 and 21-14 for top spot on Wednesday.

    This is the first gold medal the Republic has achieved in badminton in the ASEAN Para Games history.

    Over in swimming, Chen Ziling clinched her second gold medal in the Women 200m Freestyle S14 category by clocking a time of 03:23.70, smashing the previous record of 03:40.59.

    Paralympian Theresa Goh won gold in the Women 50m Freestyle S5 category. She also broke her own record with a time of 00:44.73, almost five seconds faster than her previous record of 00:49.76 set in 2005.

    Goh also took gold in the Women 100m Freestyle in the S5 category, clocking a timing of 01:37.40.

    Charlotte Lee clinched the gold in the Women 50m Freestyle (Intellectually Disability) category by clocking a time of 00:41.63, setting another meet record.

    Meanwhile, Benson Tan also set a new meet timing of 00:34.55 in the Men's 50m Butterfly (Intellectually Disability) category.

    Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu clinched the gold medal in the 50m Women Breaststroke SB3 category with a timing of 02:27.64.

    In the Men's 100m Breaststroke (Intellectually Disability) category, Lawrence Tay bagged silver with a timing of 01:25.04. He later went on to win a bronze in the Men's 200m Freestyle (Intellectually Disability) category.

    Veteran James Leow clinched a silver in the Men 50m Freestyle S9 category on Wednesday with a timing of 00:30.15, just missing out on the gold by a second.

    24 athletes competed in 6 sports for Team Singapore in the games which started last Saturday.

    The final medal tally for Singapore stands at 14 golds, 6 silvers and 3 bronzes.

    The contingent will be arriving back in Singapore on Thursday.
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  11. #249
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SEA Games: 202 athletes will represent Team Singapore in Laos

    Channel News Asia
    21 August 2009

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...000065/1/.html

    202 athletes in 19 sports will don Singapore's colours in this year's SEA Games in Laos in December.

    The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) released the preliminary list on Friday.

    With only 25 sports being contested, Singapore is expected to bring back fewer than the 43 gold medals won in the last Games in Korat, Thailand in 2007.

    Like the past two SEA Games, Singapore will again field young athletes - this time in preparation for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

    But with bowling and sailing not part of the line-up, Singapore's medal chances will be affected. And while swimming is expected to lead the charge, there are other bright spots.

    "We've got boxing back on track. Boxing has brought Singapore a lot of medals and glory in the early days and we've got some athletes from boxing who we think will be there competing," said Chris Chan, secretary general of SNOC.

    For the first time, Singapore will send a wrestling team - which is expected to do well.

    The National Sports Associations will have a week to appeal, with the final list to be announced a month before the games.

    Meanwhile, Chef-de-Mission for the games, Jessie Phua, who is also president of Singapore Bowling, is ensuring that the lack of proper facilities in Laos will not hamper Team Singapore's performance.

    "The sports council has more or less confirmed that we will set up a Singapore House, which will house the recovery centre and medical centre. We are also looking into contingency plans - for instance in the event of a medical care of a higher level being required, if there are evacuation procedures," said Phua, Chef-de-Mission of Team Singapore, SEA Games 2009.

    This will be the first time Laos is staging the SEA Games, which will run from December 9-18.
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  12. #250
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    Arrow

    loh, will u be going to the singapore f1 race this year??

  13. #251
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by george@chongwei View Post
    loh, will u be going to the singapore f1 race this year??
    Why? Do you want to come down to watch? I seriously doubt.
    I was about to post something here after watching the Europe race yesterday.

    Despite the recession, this year's F1 Night Race will also be special after last year's successful inaugural race for Singapore, which we reaped much accolades.

  14. #252
    Regular Member george@chongwei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Why? Do you want to come down to watch? I seriously doubt.
    I was about to post something here after watching the Europe race yesterday.

    Despite the recession, this year's F1 Night Race will also be special after last year's successful inaugural race for Singapore, which we reaped much accolades.
    Don't doubt me. So what kind of 'special' being offered in this year's night race? IS the tracks and the road and of course the lights ready?

  15. #253
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New Citizens Sworn In

    (It is by now common knowledge that Singapore needs to increase its population to an optimal 6 million or so in order to take advantage of global economic opportunities to expand its economy and sustain a high standard of living. Constrained by physical size, a number beyond this optimum will stretch Singapore's resources to the limit and bring about decreasing returns. The present number is around 5 million.

    As Singapore is unable to replace itself with its own citizens because of the low birth rate, some brain drain and an ageing population, suitable foreigners are encouraged to take up citizenship to help grow the economy and maintain standards. So each year, new citizens are sworn in.)



    The Straits Times
    Aug 23, 2009

    Swee Say urges them to learn about the cultures here; grassroots leaders will help them settle in

    By Mavis Toh

    THREE-YEAR-OLD Tan Sing Yi was probably the youngest new citizen at Saturday's National Citizenship Ceremony (NCC).

    When her father, two older sisters and about 127 new Singaporeans recited the Pledge and sang the National Anthem, she too chipped in earnestly.

    Her Malaysian-born father, service engineer Tan Kee Boon, 40, has been working here for more than 16 years.

    'It's a happy day for my family. My children will have a good education and future here,' said Mr Tan, who is married to a homemaker.

    On Saturday, some 3,600 people, like the Tans, became new citizens. Ceremonies were held in 13 group representative constituencies, while the NCC itself was held in the Supreme Court auditorium.

    Speaking at the NCC, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say urged both new and other Singaporeans to get to know one another, as they are now part of the same Singaporean family.

    He also encouraged new citizens to join in upcoming celebrations like the Mid-Autumn Festival, Hari Raya and Deepavali, and to learn more about the rich and diverse traditions of the communities here.

    'Immerse yourself in this unique Singaporean culture. Do not leave yourself out and do not be left out,' he said. Mr Lim said grassroots leaders, known as Integration and Naturalisation Champions, will work to help new citizens and immigrants settle into the country.

    At the national level, the National Integration Council, formed earlier this year, will look into more ways for new and other Singaporeans to interact and strengthen their relationships.

    Mr Lim also said that being bilingual is key in Singapore and new citizens should not only master English, but also remain strong in their mother tongue.


    Shruthii Muthappan, 9, says the Singapore Pledge at the National Citizenship Ceremony held at the Supreme Court. She is part of a trio of triplets who are becoming new citizens of Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE
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  16. #254
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Botak Jones to be Singaporean

    The Straits Times
    Aug 23, 2009


    HE is the tall 'botak' (bald) ang moh famously known as Botak Jones. Come this Friday, he will proudly become a Singaporean.

    Detroit-born Botak - Mr Bernie Utchenik - is so at home here that he eats at hawker centres and orders his 'kopi siu dai' (coffee shop lingo for coffee with less sugar).

    Mr Utchenik, 57, first came to Asia in 1991 as an oil industry engineer. In 1996, he settled down in Singapore and, in 2003, started American food joint Botak Jones. It now has 11 outlets islandwide.

    He has been a permanent resident here for seven years, and his wife is Singapore-born.

    He will go to the ICA Building in Kallang Road to get his pink identity card this Friday.

    'I've told my friends this is one of the few times they'll see me in a suit, so they should come support me,' he quipped.

    'My wife is a Singaporean, my business is here, so rather than feel like an outsider who just happens to live here, I should lend my support and allegiance to the country,' he said.

    Asked what of him is most Singaporean, he said: ''Aiyoh' and 'aiyah' come very naturally to me.'
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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Can't play Music, but she makes it into Music Conservatory

    The Straits Times
    Aug 23, 2009

    By Leow Si Wan

    SHE does not know how to play any musical instrument.

    But that did not prevent Ms Pradashini Subramaniam, 20, from becoming the first student without formal musical training to be accepted into the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore.

    And that is not all.

    She is also the first student there to major in Recording Arts and Sciences.

    The programme was launched in June to train musically competent and technically trained professionals in audio recording technology.

    Through a hands-on approach, students will learn studio and recording techniques, and computer-based audio technology. At the same time, they will get basic theoretical grounding in performance and composition. They will also take communication and new media modules.

    Established in 2001, the conservatory offers a four-year, full-time Bachelor of Music degree programme and its undergraduates can choose to major in two other areas, performance or composition.

    Said the conservatory's director Professor Bernard Lanskey: 'We selected Pradashini because she has the right academic credentials and good critical awareness.

    'She also has a good balance of the arts and sciences, an important quality in audio recording personnel.'

    The youngest child of a businessman and a housewife has a diploma in sonic arts from the polytechnic, where she learnt about studio techniques and sound design.

    While she will be the only student for the first intake of Recording Arts and Sciences, the school plans to accept five to six students next year.


    (Ms Pradashini Subramaniam (below), 20, is the first student without formal musical training to be accepted into the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore.) --ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
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    Last edited by Loh; 08-24-2009 at 11:21 PM.

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