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Thread: Singapore Also Can
10-14-2010, 02:22 AM #3027
10-14-2010, 04:59 AM #3028
Commonwealth Games: Singapore win women's doubles table tennis gold, silver
14 October 2010 1544 hrs
NEW DELHI: Singapore won gold and silver Thursday as their top four women paddlers battled for table tennis doubles supremacy on the final day of the Commonwealth Games.
In the end second seeds Li Jiawei and Sun Beibei were the victors after an outstanding comeback.
The finalists treated audience at the Yamuna Sports Complex to a number of sumptuous rallies marked out by deadly topspin, impossible chopped backhand returns and aggressive all-or-nothing smashes.
Favourites Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu took a relatively even first two sets -- each to eight -- off Sun and Li, who now has a hat-trick of doubles titles, having won in Manchester and Melbourne.
Sun and Li grabbed a set back, also to eight, before the break and the win seemed to be the shot in the arm they needed as they took the next set comfortably by 11-3 before winning the decider 11-5.
10-14-2010, 08:55 AM #3029
Singapore does not borrow money? Then how come it has such a huge debt to gdp ratio?
Yes, its GDP is much better than last year's but 2010 will end, despite a 13-15% gdp growth in 2010, only marginally by an average of 3.7% each year after 2007. This is not better than the other ASEAN countries. Even that 3.7% growth comes mainly from a higher population through bringing in more foreigners, and none from productivity gain.
10-14-2010, 11:19 AM #3030
Year 2000 we are still in the aftermath of the Asian financial crises so asset prices are very low.
Recently, asset prices have increased due to hot cash flooding in.
You could feel richer with a temptation to overspend. (sounds like US until 2 years ago).
Another reflection of rising absolute wealth is the attitude of people. I was very disappointed with some of the customer service attitudes that I experienced on my recent trip to Singapore. They do their job but with an attitude of arrogance or exasperation. On average, I would say other places in Asia have more empathy in their welcome.
10-14-2010, 10:21 PM #3031
On the tourist front, indeed Singapore is lagging behind many neighbouring countries in term of service. Thailand has often been singled out as most outstanding and despite so many problems happening in their country, tourists are still visiting.
When I first visited Hong Kong many years ago, I was also shocked to be confronted with 'arrogant' sales people as well. If you should touch an item for a better look, they expect you to buy it otherwise 'expletives' will fly. There was a recent report that a female HK tourist guide seemingly 'forced' tourists from mainland China to make purchases (for her share of commission I suspect), otherwise she will instruct the driver not to move. Of course she was later reprimanded by the authorities.
Singapore tourism is learning and the Tourism Board takes pains to organise courses related to good customer service, etc and I hope people in the business will wake up.
10-14-2010, 11:10 PM #3032
Out to play with the big boys
05:55 AM Oct 14, 2010
Teo Ser Luck reveals plan for consistent success at major Games, and touches on new shooting range
by Shamir Osman
NEW DELHI - Singapore sport will now focus on achieving success at major Games, and use the SEA Games to mostly groom athletes for bigger events.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Transport, Teo Ser Luck, revealed this here last night.
Speaking to the Singapore media just before the Republic's table tennis women went on to bag gold and silver in the Commonwealth Games singles event, Mr Teo said Singapore athletes should aim higher than just regional domination, while systems are developed to ensure that support is given to sports that can achieve at the highest level.
"These few years as we reach a higher standard and the SEA Games becomes like a springboard for younger athletes, we are focusing on the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics."
The key to achieving those heady heights is identifying sports in which Singapore can excel in, he said.
Seven sports - badminton, bowling, fencing, sailing, shooting, swimming and table tennis - have already been identified and the target for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has been set at six medals.
The sports identified will be given more in the Singapore Sports Council's annual funding exercise, with additional money made available should any of the disciplines need to improve their hardware.
Shooting has already hit the milestones expected here in Delhi, with 14 medals, five of them gold, and the sport is likely to win a new home.
Said Teo: "Shooting will be a key sport we will invest in, and that will include a new integrated range and we have been talking about it even at the SEA Games last year.
"We need the Singapore Shooting Association to refine their plan, and at the same time we need to work with other ministries and agencies to look for a site and location. It will cost between $35 and $40 million to build so we want to make sure it is the right decision,"
Along with new facilities, a youth development programme will be crucial to taking Singapore sport to the next level, and Mr Teo believes the person who will replace outgoing Singapore Sports Council CEO Oon Jin Teik will play a leading role in the mission.
"I'd like to thank Jin Teik ... we're looking for a person with as much passion and leadership as him.
"But we don't need just a CEO, we need a team ... with expertise in sports marketing, project management and handling the big sports events that we want to hold in Singapore, but that will come later," said Mr Teo.
10-14-2010, 11:33 PM #3033
Shuttlers fail to break drought
05:55 AM Oct 15, 2010
Duo cry foul over Indian point but Singapore end Games full of great memories
by Shamir Osman
NEW DELHI - One racket flew high up into the air at the Sirifort Sports Complex, while the other was smashed out of shape on the arena floor and abandoned.
Hopes were high that Singapore would break the eight-year gold-drought in badminton at the Commonwealth Games - since's Li Li's victory in the women's singles in Manchester - and cover themselves in glory like their counterparts from shooting and table tennis.
But there was no joy for Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, they fell controversially 21-16, 21-19 to the Indian duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa in the women's doubles final. With the scores tied at 18-all in the second set, Shinta raised her hand before Jwala served, to signal that she was not ready to resume play, but the Indian served and umpire Ian Spear awarded the point despite a few minutes' discussion with the players and the chief umpire.
Singapore tied the score at 19-19, but went on to lose the set and match. Eyes still red two hours after the end of the final, when she spoke to Singapore media, Yao said: "It's not just Shinta and I, everyone is angry. That was definitely a critical point, at 18-18 the game could have gone either way.
"The Indian girl was just playing the point, but there was no doubt about it, the umpire should have replayed that point."
Singapore badminton could not break new ground, but with one silver medal and two bronzes to their name, and a taste of playing in front of a capacity crowd under their belt, the shuttlers will be all the better for their experience.
Shinta's racket rising in the air and dropping back in her hand and Yao's disfigured implement lying on the Sirifort arena will soon be forgotten, but there were several moments in Delhi that will be burned into sporting folklore.
Indian shooter Gagan Naran, four-gold Aussie swimmer Alicia Coutts and the Singapore table tennis contingent's six-gold haul of the seven medals on offer will be remembered as some of the highlights of the Games.
As will the Indian hockey men's rollercoaster ride of emotions from their 5-2 loss to Australia in the group stages, to their 7-4 thumping of Pakistan and the penalty shootout win over England in the semi-final; and the meek 8-0 capitulation to the Aussies in the final.
India broke the 100-medal mark, a milestone for the country that won 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze to finish second behind the Australians (74-55-48).
Singapore too, crossed a major milestone: the Republic's tally of 31 medals (11-11-9) far surpassed their largest ever haul of 18 at the 2006 Melbourne Games.
Said chef de mission Annabel Pennefather: "The performance has well exceeded that of the last Games. We've had to overcome several challenges, and although it tested the character of everyone here, I'm pleased how the athletes responded to the challenges and still went out to give strong gutsy performances."
The problems surrounding the Delhi Games have been well-documented, but by the time the curtains came down on the 12-day event, India had salvaged what had looked like being a complete disaster.
The Indians may find it difficult hosting an Olympic Games in the near future, but perhaps more importantly, they have new heroes, world-class sporting venues and a public whose imagination has been firmly captured.
10-14-2010, 11:50 PM #3034
URA wins global prize
The Straits Times
Oct 15, 2010
By Amresh Gunasingham
THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has scooped a prestigious global prize in recognition of its design of a 9km stretch of parks around Telok Blangah.
Known as the Southern Ridges, it links Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park to West Coast Park.
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Award for Excellence comes just four months after the authority won the same prize for the Asia-Pacific region.
First established in 1979, the ULI award recognises projects that not only stand out for their design, but also represent the best examples of land use.
The award recognises the entire development process of a project, from construction and cost considerations to marketing, management and design.
The URA had previously won the global award in 2006 for its conservation programme and the Asia-Pacific award in 2008 for its master planning of the Bras Basah and Bugis areas.
10-15-2010, 12:11 AM #3035
Golden Gai to get $270,000
The Straits Times
Oct 15, 2010
ELEVEN gold medals make this Singapore's best performance ever at the Commonwealth Games.
The stars who won a total of 31 medals in New Delhi will receive cash awards, with Gai Bin set to get $270,000 and Jasmine Ser, $210,000.
Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Straits Times.
Shooter tops money list under programme to reward champions
By Leonard Lim
HIS medals are enough to buy a Marsiling four-room resale flat.
Shooter Gai Bin returns home today with the biggest windfall among Singapore's 65 athletes - his three golds, two silvers and two bronzes are worth $270,000 under a cash-for-medals programme.
The 42-year-old said: 'I haven't decided what I will do with the money yet. But it will be very useful for my training expenses.
'The medals are the result of three years of hard work, and the target now is a good show at next month's Asian Games.'
The Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) Multi-million Dollar Awards Programme (MAP) rewards winners at the South-east Asia, Commonwealth, Asian and Olympic Games with cash, sponsored by Singapore Pools.
The shooters accounted for five of Singapore's 11-gold haul in India, with the paddlers, led by world No. 3 Feng Tianwei, accumulating the rest.
Mixed doubles, team and singles gold medallist Yang Zi was the top-earning paddler with $194,000 - again, another first for it is traditionally his female teammates who have won big.
A Commonwealth individual gold nets $80,000. The quantum has been reduced from $100,000 after the last edition in Melbourne, as the SNOC decided that it wanted to further distinguish the difference in the level of competition between the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
A SEA Games gold nets $10,000, an Asiad gold $200,000, and the largest award is $1 million, for an Olympic gold.
One sign of the Commonwealth Games' diminishing importance: While shooter Jasmine Ser broke two Commonwealth records (in the women's 10m air rifle individual and women's pairs 50m rifle three-positions events) en route to golds, she will not receive extra money.
But medallists who set Asian and SEA Games records net bonuses of $50,000 and $5,000 respectively.
All the large payouts might raise eyebrows, but sports administrators have maintained that they are an incentive for someone to pursue a sporting career despite an athlete's limited career lifetime.
Still, it must be noted that the standard of competition is not equal across all sports, or even across different Games.
For instance, the table tennis field in New Delhi was not as strong as in shooting, which boasted the likes of Indian Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra.
The five female paddlers of the Singapore team have won 10 International Table Tennis Federation Pro Tour singles titles in all. The total among the other 15 participating women's teams? Zero.
However, it will be different story at next month's Asian Games, where the sport's powerhouses - China, the two Koreas and Japan - are expected to feature.
The same applies to the other sports that Singapore won medals in - badminton, gymnastics and shooting.
But the reverse applies in athletics and swimming, where the Commonwealth competition is - traditionally - stronger because of the presence of athletes from Australia, England and Canada (swimming) and Jamaica and Kenya (athletics).
Incentives aside, the MAP payouts are important to national sports associations (NSAs) too. Athletes are 'taxed' 20 per cent of their winnings. The money goes to their respective NSAs for the future development of champions.
This was implemented in 2008, after top swimmer Tao Li complained about having to pay a levy to help develop young swimmers. Back then, some NSAs had levies ranging from 15 to 30 per cent.
So, should more cash from MAP being channelled to NSAs, so they can develop a steady stream of champions?
Not at the expense of athletes, argue others. Don't shortchange our champions.
10-15-2010, 12:28 AM #3036
Top Earners From Delhi
The Straits Times
15 Oct 2010
Gai Bin (Shooting) $270k (3G 2S 2B)
Jasmine Ser (Shooting) $210k (2G, 2S)
Yang Zi (Table Tennis) $194k (3G 1S)
Feng Tianwei (TT) $164k (2G 2S)
Wang Yuegu (TT) $134k (2G 1S 1B)
Gao Ning (TT) $124k (1G 3S)
Nigel Lim (Shooting) $95 (1G 2B)
Poh Lip Meng (Shooting) $95k (1G 2B)
Li Jiawei (TT) $84k (2G)
Sun Beibei (TT) $84k (2G)
Aqilah Sudhir (Shooting) $80k (1G 1B)
Yu Mengyu (TT) $64k (1G 1S)
Yao Lei (Badminton) $45k (1S 1B)
Lim Heem Wei (Gym) $40k (1S)
Cheng Jian Huan (Shooting) $30k (1S)
Shinta Mulia Sari (Badminton) $30k (1S)
Cai Xiaoli (TT) $24k (1G)
Ma Liang (TT) $24k (1G)
Pang Xue Jie (TT) $24k (1G)
David-Jonathan Chan (Gym) $20k (1B)
Hendra Wijyaya (Badminton) $15k (1B)
Hendri Kurniawan Saputra (Badminton) $15k (1B)
Chayut Triyachart (Badminton) $15k (1B)
10-15-2010, 02:12 AM #3037
According to Bloomberg Singapore now risks recession bumps.
Credit Suisse Group AG labels Singapore's economy as having the most violent swings in industrial production (like a yo-yo) and its 2011 gdp is expected to shrink to 1/3 that of 2010. One way to stop this slide is to bring in more foreign workers because being short on productivity gains there are only two ways to increase gdp-more people through immigration or more exports, the latter is the equivalent of having more people but without the responsibility of looking after them.
10-15-2010, 02:14 AM #3038
10-15-2010, 02:23 AM #3039
10-15-2010, 02:39 AM #3040
S'pore, US reaffirm FTA
The Straits Times
Oct 15, 2010
SINGAPORE and the United States on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to continually improve the bilateral trade agreement, and ensure that its remains relevant to both countries.
This came during the 6th annual review of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) on Thursday, which was co-chaired by Ms Koh Lin-Net, Deputy Secretary (Trade) of the Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Assistant US Trade Representative Ms Barbara Weisel.
Discussions covered a wide range of issues including market access for goods and the regulation of services. In addition, both parties took stock of the collaborative efforts made in advancing environmental cooperation and strengthening intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement, said a statement from MTI on Friday.
Officials on both sides welcomed the positive impact of the FTA on trade and investment in both directions.
Since 2004 when the FTA came into force, bilateral trade has grown by almost 20 per cent to reach S$86.3 billion in 2008. While the economic crisis reduced trade flows in 2009 to S$66.9 billion, bilateral trade has since increased 20.2 per cnet year-on-year in the first eight months of this year to reach S$51.5 billion.
Bilateral investments have also recorded a significant increase. US investments in Singapore totalled S$51.8 billion as at end 2008, a 39.2% increase from end 2003.
Besides the FTA, Singapore is working closely with the US on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which is currently negotiated by several countries in the Asia Pacific.
The TPP is envisioned to be a high-standard agreement which will promote regional integration and meet the needs of modern businesses.
10-15-2010, 02:56 AM #3041
SUTD's dual Master's Degree Programme to be fully sponsored
14 October 2010 1430 hrs
By Dylan Loh
SINGAPORE: The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) said its graduate programme starting next September would be fully sponsored.
Four Master's degrees are available, from system design and management, to engineering in manufacturing.
The university said it hoped to have 25 students in the pioneer batch.
Final details of the programme are being worked out, such as whether students would serve a bond. These details are expected to be finalised before the end of the year.
For now, the sponsorship will last for at least six cohorts, with the intention of extending it to future batches.
SUTD said the sponsorship was in line with practices in the US, where many universities cover costs of Master's programmes.
It will also offer four undergraduate programmes including Engineering Product Development, and Architecture and Sustainable Design.
The varsity will open to take in the first batch of 500 students in April 2012.
SUTD president Thomas Magnanti said: "The students we've attracted so far... if you look at their performance and their 'A' Levels (results) and their grades, they're very strong across the board".
Professor Magnanti added the students showed not only academic strength, but also strength in co-curricular activities.
The university said it wanted co-curricular activities to be a key component of undergraduate life.
In every term, students are encouraged to engage in activities beyond the classroom, such as mentor younger learners, start a new club, or even prepare for a solar car race.
The varsity added it hoped students would proceed to its sponsored Dual Masters' course.
This will arm graduates with two degrees - one from SUTD and another from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
SUTD provost Chong Tow Chong said: "The Master's programme is unique because students will spend one year at MIT and one year at SUTD.
"At MIT they will (go through) the course requirement (and) at the same time, work on the projects. When they come back, they can extend the project (to make it a) Masters-by-research for the whole year".
For this, SUTD said a stipend for living expenses would be given, on top of tuition fees covered.
The cost of the sponsorship depends on the degree taken, with the SUTD portion estimated at about S$45,000 per student.
When the university is fully up and running, it said it hoped to admit 1,000 undergraduates as well as between 2,000 and 4,000 graduate students per year.
10-15-2010, 02:59 AM #3042
10-15-2010, 03:06 AM #3043
Dr Balakrishnan congratulates Team S'pore on sterling performance
14 October 2010 2216 hrs
SINGAPORE: Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan has congratulated Team Singapore on its strong showing at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Dr Balakrishnan said its performance was a spectacular showing by any measure.
He added Singapore's athletes delivered a sterling performance which has surpassed all expectations.
"With a record medal haul and many personal bests, this is Team Singapore's most outstanding performance at the Commonwealth Games since we first participated in 1958.
"Congratulations to all our athletes, coaches and officials. They have covered themselves in glory in New Delhi," Dr Balakrishnan said.
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