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  1. #3214
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    Here is how other Singaporeans see about SM Goh's remarks http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2010...-worlds-apart/.
    One is more a unifier, the other more "you get lost". Or is this a bit harsh?

  2. #3215
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default From Jet Li to Jiawei

    TODAY
    05:55 AM Oct 30, 2010

    Beijing sports school has groomed Olympic champs anda movie star, now it's opening its doors to S'pore students

    by Low Lin Fhoong

    SINGAPORE - Arguably, the Beijing Shichahai Sports School's honour roll is one that sets it apart from over 200 other state-run sports academies.

    Its alumni include former table tennis world champions Wang Tao and Zhang Yining, taekwondo Olympic champion (2004) Luo Wei, top gymnasts Teng Haibin, Zhang Nan and He Kexin, all-round wushu champion and movie star Jet Li, and Singapore's very own table tennis queen Li Jiawei.

    The secret to the school's successful production line, says principal Li Guicheng, lies in its innovative and scientific approach to talent identification, development, training and education.

    Factors such as bone age or mass, testosterone levels, nerve reaction tests and reflexes are used to measure a child's potential for a particular sport.

    Said Li, a former track and field athlete who coached the Beijing team in 1983: "We use tests like the electrocardiogram (ECG) to predict performance accurately and it is able to define the ability of the muscles to contract and expand quickly, which is important in sports like table tennis and taekwondo.

    "The integration of this and scientific training is the only way to achieve results and success, whether in China or other parts of the world. "That is why we are able to produce three to five Olympic gold medals (at the 2008 Beijing Games) by investing only $30 million RMB ($5.8 million). Our success rate is very high."

    Home to over 700 student-athletes, the school's expansive 40,000 sq m campus consists of 13 training halls for 10 sports - wushu, table tennis, badminton, weightlifting, gymnastics, volleyball, tennis, boxing, free combat and taekwondo.

    The school is now lending its expertise to students from the Singapore Sports School following the inking of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Sino-Singapore Sports Symposium for sports administrators, officials, coaches and athletes at the Raffles City Convention Centre on Friday.

    Organised by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and General Administration of Sport of China, the symposium also marked the 20th anniversary of Singapore's diplomatic ties with China.

    In 1999, the SSC also signed an MOU with the All-China Sports Federation, which allowed for the sharing of best practices in sports science, event management, athlete development and training.

    Said Cheah Kim Teck, SSC deputy chairman: "We've already benefited from the partnership as our triathlon gold medallist at the 2005 SEA Games (Cheng Jing Hean) spent months training in China.

    "An addendum to the MOU was concluded in 2008 - and as a result, more of our athletes went to train with Chinese provincial teams. Singapore's rhythmic gymnastics team and badminton team were exposed to new standards of play and competition, thanks to these overseas training trips."

    China's sports schools have not always been held in high esteem, with reports of long, gruelling hours of training for young children, overly strict coaches, abuse and doping. But Li said there have been sweeping changes in recent years.

    "In the last 10 years, we realised these problems (of long hours of training). Initially we were numb to these and did hard, tough work during training - a lot of lessons were learnt from our mistakes and a lot of athletes were injured or handicapped," he said.

    "The young kids used to train up to four hours a day, but now they only train for two hours."

    Some 15 members of the Singapore's badminton team are expected to travel to Nanjing next month for a one-long training stint with the Jiangsu provincial team.



    (

  3. #3216
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default F1 supremo Ecclestone, 80, won't slow down

    Even Billionaire Ecclestone doesn't want to retire.

    Reuters
    Thu, Oct 28, 2010

    He has no intention of giving up his lifestyle any time in the next decade. -Reuters

    LAST week, the ever-cheeky Sebastian Vettel presented Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone with a walking frame, equipped with steering wheel and front wing, as an 80th birthday gift.

    The billionaire Briton, who will be reaching his milestone today with plenty of energy but not much in the way of a celebration, saw the joke.

    On current form, there is about as much chance of Ecclestone needing the present as there is of Lewis Hamilton deciding to pack it in to become a parking attendant.

    The former second-hand car salesman, who turned F1 from a sport for oil-streaked "garagistes" into a billion-dollar glamour business, has no intention of giving up his lifestyle any time in the next decade.

    "Retire? Why? I need the money, I can't afford to retire," he said jokingly at Sunday's Korean Grand Prix. "I don't worry. Age is nothing. One day you're one age and a day later you're another age. It's all nonsense."

    Ecclestone, a bespectacled Andy Warhol-lookalike in pressed blue jeans and whose mobile ringtone is the theme from the film The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, has been a success by any standard.

    From selling buns to schoolmates, to making his first fortune trading motorcycles in fuelstarved post-war Britain and then making a mint in F1, he is well known as a natural dealmaker, with a soft-spoken manner that belies his Machiavellian streak.

    The sport, with a record 20-race calendar lined up for next season and new races on the horizon in India, Russia and the United States, can thank his magic touch for keeping the money pipeline flowing.

    Ecclestone, who got into hot water last year when he suggested Adolf Hitler was a man "who got things done", is by his own admission a dictator - a man who does a deal on a handshake, has a fondness for the office shredder and an aversion to e-mail and written contracts.

    There is no obvious successor lined up for the ringmaster who went through a triple heart bypass in 1999 and was recently divorced from his Croatian wife, Slavica, after 26 years together.

    Said International Automobile Federation president Jean Todt: "It is extraordinary to see this guy, days before he is to be 80, how motivated, how switched on he can be. I really wish to be in the same situation at his age. It's fascinating."
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    Last edited by Loh; 10-31-2010 at 10:11 PM.

  4. #3217
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    (The Devil's Advocate tries to mislead and paint a poor picture of our CPF scheme when he knows only a bit.)

    http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Gen-.../Int-Rates.htm

    CPF Interest Rates (01 Oct 2010 to 31 Dec 2010)
    (reviewed quarterly)

    Ordinary Account 2.50% p.a.
    Special & Medisave Accounts 4.00% p.a.

    CPF Interest Rates (01 Jan 2010 to 31 Dec 2010)
    (reviewed yearly)
    Retirement Account 4.00% p.a.


    For Ordinary Account (OA), CPF members receive a market-related interest rate based on the 12-month fixed deposit and month-end savings rates of the major local banks.

    As announced on 20th September 2010, the Government will maintain the 4% p.a. minimum interest rate on all Special and Medisave Accounts (SMA) and Retirement Account (RA) monies until 31 December 2011. Thereafter, interest rates on all CPF account monies will be subject to a minimum rate of 2.5% p.a.

    Since 1 January 2008, savings in the SMA have been invested in Special Government Securities (SSGS) which earn a quarterly-adjusted interest rate pegged to the 12-month average yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities (10YSGS) plus 1%.

    (The CPF interest rates are normally above commercial bank deposit rates and that is why members are keen to place their money in their Medisave Accounts especially for the self-employed. The government has ensured that the Retirement Account is given a higher rate than the Ordinary Account so as to ensure the retiree willl not be shortchanged. The 4% rate has been given even when the inflation rate has not reached 4% currently, the highest on recent record. As is the nature of inflation, it goes up and down but with judicial management by the authorities and the increasing strength of the Sing dollar, this will help to control inflation at a resonably level. Singapore's current inflation is largely imported as huge inflows of 'hot' money, particularly from the West are making their way here for better investment opportunities since Asia is the place to be in and Singapore is a reputable financial centre.

    The Devil's Advocate gives the impression that only Singapore suffers from 'high' (4%) inflation when it hasn't reached even double digit. Who can stand up to stay that prices in his country have virtually remained similar compared to 5, 10, 20 years' ago? When I was a boy, I can buy a bowl of mee for 10 cents and now the same bowl costs around $2.50-$3.00! No inflation for HK, I suppose. No inflation of property prices? Pure nonsense!

    The Devil's Advocate is trying again to paint an ugly picture of Singapore as "corrupt" because he can't stand Singapore's success. As though HK is not a financial centre and is free from "corruption". Singapore, I believe, is a signatory to the UN global money laundering agreement and is duty bound to report such cases. Just because Singapore has been acknowledged by a reputable outside source as the world's least corrupted country with Denmark and New Zealand. Needless to say his birth country and adopted country rank lower.

    Singapore's home ownership scheme is tied closely to the CPF home mortgage loan scheme. The majority of homeowners in Singapore is dependant on this scheme to service their loans. Don't let the Devil's Advocate mislead you into thinking that just because most Singapore HDB properties are on a 99- year lease therefore Singaporeans don't own their HDB homes. Of course they own their homes and they are at liberty to sell them in the open market (and make a handsome profit hopefully) before the lease is up. If they don't own they can't sell. It will then be just like renting a property to stay or to sub-let.

    The trouble with the Devil's Advocate is that he tries to be too clever by making misleading and frivolous comments, extracting snippets here and there and resorting to outside anti-Singapore sources without knowing the true picture. And he claims this is our "news media". No, these are from non-main stream sources and websites, unlike our daily newspapers.
    Last edited by Loh; 10-31-2010 at 11:10 PM.

  5. #3218
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Temasek Review website asked to change its name

    Today
    05:55 AM Oct 16, 2010

    by Ng Jing Yng

    SINGAPORE - One refers to Temasek Holdings' annual performance review reports, and the other is a socio-political website.

    And the investment firm would now like for the "misleading and irresponsible" use of the name Temasek Review to come to an end.

    Temasek Holdings has sent a letter to a general practitioner to change the name of the website. But in turn, Dr Joseph Ong is disputing that he is the founder of the Temasek Review website.

    The matter between the two parties arose from an article in The New Paper, which reported last week that Dr Ong was "the man" behind the website and that he "identified himself" to the police as its founder. But Dr Ong told MediaCorp on Friday that the report was incorrect.

    After receiving Temasek Holdings' letter, he said he sent an email to clarify this with the firm and asked them to "contact the website administrator instead".

    In a further statement to the media, Dr Ong said he "does not own, fund or run" the website and that the domain name is not registered in his name. He told MediaCorp he has sent a note about this to The New Paper, which he claimed is being published on Saturday. A disclaimer about his involvement has also been published on the website.

    Nonetheless, Dr Ong used to be a contributor to the portal. Then in May last year, he had posters of Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah - showing her photograph on a cover of a toilet bowl and seeking for her to step down as the president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association - put up.

    He told MediaCorp "this was a publicity stunt to surface the issue that people were unhappy with Ms Lee" and apologised for his actions. "There wasn't any intention to cause any harm," he said of the act which resulted in the police issuing him a conditional stern warning.

    Checks done by MediaCorp found that Temasek Holdings registered the name Temasek Review as a trademark in November last year. It has been using the name since 2004, and did not comment further on its next course of action.

  6. #3219
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 'We're all for exporting sports talent'

    TODAY
    05:55 AM Oct 30, 2010

    by Low Lin Fhoong

    SINGAPORE - Beijing Olympic Games silver medallists Li Jiawei, Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu, Yu Mengyu and Sun Beibei cemented their status as the queens of table tennis in May this year when they usurped 17-time champion China at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Moscow.

    Beijing Shichahai Sports School principal Li Guicheng is familiar with the Singapore women's exploits, particularly Jiawei's - a former student of the school. But principal Li said there was a need for fresh blood in the squad as the group was ageing.

    "Singapore has a very good team, especially now with Zhou Shusen as a coach," he told MediaCorp on the sidelines of the Sino-Singapore Sports Symposium on Friday.

    "There is great potential in the team, but the players are getting older, and there's a need to nurture and develop young talent."

    Towards that end, Beijing Shichahai and the Singapore Sports School have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), allowing for the exchange of coaches, teachers, management staff and student-athletes, namely from table tennis and badminton.

    Said Singapore Sports School principal Deborah Tan: "This is one particular partner that has both the breadth and depth of experience in developing youth athletes. There are two areas we are targeting - bringing staff into Beijing to look at sports training methodology, sports science and talent identification, and student exchanges.

    "We are at the stage where we are exploring satellite training bases for students outside of Singapore.

    "We signed a MOU with Aspire Academy in Qatar and are looking into other affiliations or partnerships in other countries. We are looking at badminton within the region."

    Li said Shichahai hopes to learn more about the Singapore Sports School's innovative methods of classroom teaching.

    While a number of the academy's graduates - including Jiawei - have left China to join other national teams, principal Li supports the idea of exporting sports talent.

    He said: "There are no boundaries to talent. A lot of talents in wushu, table tennis are all over the world. Wherever I go, I always have somewhere to stay!"

  7. #3220
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    This is a very interesting and thought-provoking article from another Singapore news media that is a must read for all Singaporeans http://www.kirstenhan.me/2010/10/30/...ong-questions/.
    The 3 major areas of unhappiness among a large segment of the younger generation are real but the culture of "kiasu" will also mean none of the concerns will be resolved or accommodated. It is classic case of paralysis.

  8. #3221
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    A study in contrast between two cities Singapore and Hong Kong in conviction rates in the courts.
    We can read about Singapore on www.british-weekly.com/?p=4101. Do you think Alan Shadrake will win?
    In Hong Kong conviction rates in the courts is 77.5%, lower than in Britain, Australia, NZ, and even such low rates include many who pleaded no contest. For defendants who went on trial the conviction rates in Hong Kong courts plummeted to just 57.5%, probably the lowest in the world! It is this that emboldens Hong Kong people to challenge, innovate, thirst for new business ventures without "Big Brother" throwing the rules book at them that makes this city to be home to countless number of demonstrations against the government. This utter lack of fear of Big Brother has become a culture that serves the community well, especially in entrepreneurship where complete lack of fear of government (entrepreneurs have the guts to tell you to go to hell) if you have done nothing seriously wrong is admired.
    Yet the crime rate in HK is no worse than Singapore's. In one crime, rape, HK shames Singapore in having a lower rape rate. The reason for this is that prostitution is legal here, which in many countries would be an offence.
    Maybe if the government loses more court cases crime rates could be lower! Ridiculous? I am not too sure.

  9. #3222
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default The School for the Arts (SOTA)

    This afternoon, while walking from Tekka Centre in the direction of Albert St, down Selegie Rd and Prinsep St towards Orchard Road, I can see many beautiful buildings, some new like LaSalle College of the Arts, the Wilkie Edge, ProMo and SMU (S'pore Management University), but many of them are old, restored and renovated such as the Rex Cinema, the Photographic Society (Selegie Arts Centre) at the triangular junction of Selegie Rd/Prinsep St, The Peace Centre, The Cathay, the Rendezvous Hotel (old Capitol Theatre),The National Museum, the YMCA and its splendid neighbour, the Orchard Rd Presbyterian Church with the MDIS, BMC Academy opposite the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, just to name a few.

    But in the midst of all these is the avant-garde newcomer SOTA, the School for the Arts, situated across the road from The Cathay. It is a very tall, unique and arty structure with its facade enveloped in soft, green climbers and other foliage.

    What is the history of SOTA and what does it represent? So I went to the school's website and discovered the following:

    http://www.sota.edu.sg/TheSchool/tabid/36/Default.aspx

    In March 2004, the Singapore Government accepted the recommendations of a Committee on Specialised Arts School to set up Singapore's first independent pre-tertiary arts school to nurture youths talented in the arts, with the vision to groom the next generation of artists, creative professionals and individuals who are passionate for, and committed to the arts in a multi-cultural society.

    The School of the Arts (SOTA) is Singapore’s first national pre-tertiary specialised arts school to offer a 6-year unique integrated arts and academic curriculum for youths aged 13-18 years old.

    Set up by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), the School offers a dedicated development path for those who have interest and show early talent in the arts, providing a learning environment where both the artistic and academic potential can best be realised.

    With a vision to identify and groom future generations of artists and creative professionals to be leaders in all fields, SOTA builds on Singapore’s unique strengths, including her multicultural Asian diversity and globally connected networks to synergise talents and resources.

    March 2005
    Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, announced selection of site at Kirk Terrace, flanked by Cathay Building and Paradiz Centre in the city. He also announced the appointment of Principal-Designate Rebecca Chew for the arts school.

    August 2005
    Focus group dialogues with local academic and arts community on design requirements for an arts school.

    November 2005
    Launch of Designing the Singapore Arts School exhibition.

    January 2006
    Groundbreaking of The School of the Arts by Dr Lee Boon Yang.

    October 30th, 2009 flagged the last buzz of school activity on 90 Goodman Road as SOTA celebrated the last day of school on the campus which she had gingerly plastered with all facets of SOTA school life since her first academic term began in January 2008.

    With this, SOTA embraces herself for another chapter at her new permanent school campus at 1 Zubir Said Drive, on January 4th, 2010.

    The newly named road commemorates the late Pak Zubir Said who composed Singapore’s national anthem during 1956-57. This is a fitting tribute to an early pioneer of the arts in Singapore as SOTA ushers in a new chapter for Singapore’s arts and education scene at its permanent home.

    Here are some pics I took on my way to SOTA:
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    Last edited by Loh; 11-01-2010 at 08:11 AM.

  10. #3223
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SOTA pictures

    And here are some pictures I took of SOTA, an imposing building next to The Cathay (used to be Cathay Theatre, a very popular haunt with the young at that time, 50's, 60's and early 70's, but old folks still remember fondly) that catches the eye very quickly.
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  11. #3224
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    Wow, Uncle Loh, trigger happy !!. Already on Deepavali holidays? I saw one photo of Peace Centre where I used to study Japanese. Across the street there was a coffee shop selling delicious "tau hueh" (soya bean drink).

  12. #3225
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokh88 View Post
    Wow, Uncle Loh, trigger happy !!. Already on Deepavali holidays? I saw one photo of Peace Centre where I used to study Japanese. Across the street there was a coffee shop selling delicious "tau hueh" (soya bean drink).
    I suspect that the "tau hueh" shop could still be there although I have not patronised it before. The next time I visit the place again I will pay special attention and hope to confirm its authencity as claimed.

    Wow, your Japanese must be very good neh?

    "Arigato gozaimasu"

  13. #3226
    Regular Member nokh88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    I suspect that the "tau hueh" shop could still be there although I have not patronised it before. The next time I visit the place again I will pay special attention and hope to confirm its authencity as claimed.

    Wow, your Japanese must be very good neh?

    "Arigato gozaimasu"
    OT.
    That was the good old days (about 20 years ago). My command of the language now is zero. The native teacher took back with him to Japan. Haha. It probably would have been different if they had sent a female teacher.

  14. #3227
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Gardens by the Bay on track for completion

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 November 2010 1607 hrs

    By Mustafa Shafawi

    SINGAPORE : Singapore's second botanic gardens, Gardens by the Bay, is on track for completion at the end of next year.

    Significant progress has been made since construction started in November 2007.

    Its key features - most notably the two dome-shaped Conservatories and the Super trees - are now visible to anyone travelling along the East Coast Parkway.

    National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the Gardens by the Bay plays a strategic role in Singapore's city in a garden vision.

    It will also be a hotbed for biodiversity to flourish, adding to Singapore's urban ecosystem of streetscape greenery, parks, nature reserves and skyrise greenery.

    Mr Mah was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for KingFisher Lake in the Gardens by the Bay.

    Beyond its aesthetic appeal, he said the lake will form part of a sustainable ecosystem.

    It acts as a natural filter, capturing run-off water from within the Gardens, cleansing the water, and then releasing it back into the Marina Reservoir.

    The lake will over time be a nature habitat teeming with aquatic plants, fishes, dragonflies and birds.

    Visitors can learn the value of aquatic plants in nature, and the significance of clean water in sustaining biodiversity.

    Japanese company Kikkoman has contributed S$1 million towards the development of the lake.


    Gardens by the Bay under construction
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  15. #3228
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Re-employment age "not impossible" to go beyond 67: Manpower Minister

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 November 2010 1520 hrs

    By S Ramesh

    SINGAPORE: Singapore's Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong has weighed in on a suggestion that the country's re-employment age may need to be raised to 68 years old.

    He said the idea, recently floated by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Boon Heng, was not impossible to imagine.

    Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Mr Gan also commented on the latest jobs data.

    Singapore's employment figures are positive and the latest third quarter labour figures bear them out, Mr Gan said.

    In particular, he noted the tight labour market situation with unemployment remaining low at 2.1 per cent.

    Mr Gan said: "Many of our manufacturing industries as they restructure, will move towards higher-end manufacturing activities and business activities.

    "Therefore for manufacturing, employment growth is likely to be slower as they are moving up the value chain.

    "But for the services sector, it is still expanding, particularly with the two integrated resorts which brought about many new service industry jobs in restaurants and hospitality.

    "That is why we are seeing many more job opportunities in this industry".

    Mr Gan said he believed this would continue in early 2011.

    "For the first part of next year, it should still remain positive but there are uncertainties globally, so we have to be mindful and watch developments worldwide and be ready be prepared for changes in the global landscape," he said.

    "But what is important for now is to focus on training and upgrading and raise the skills levels of our workforce and at the same time enhance the resilience of the workforce."

    Mr Gan added there had been improvements to employment numbers of senior citizens.

    But the ideal retirement age for Singaporeans has been on-going debate in the country.

    On the government's part, it is getting ready to introduce the re-employment legislation so that it can come into effect from 2012.

    As a first step, re-employment age would go up from 62 to 65 years old.

    Mr Gan said: "And we have said we are going to raise (the re-employment age) to 67 (years old) in the future. "Beyond that we will see how the development goes".

    Mr Gan added it was not impossible for the re-employment age to go beyond 67 years old as life span increases.

    "But our focus now is to get the re-employment legislation out so that our workers and employers can have more time to prepare, and the current legislation will look at moving our re-employment to 65 (years old) and then we will look at extending to 67 later on and maybe beyond," he said.

    Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Boon Heng said: "We are not forcing people to work but we are pointing out to people that if we are still healthy, it's good to have more money to spend. And if you can earn more money by working, why not?"

    Mr Lim did not commit on when the retirement age can up beyond 67 years old, but said consultation was on going.

    Commenting on the upcoming General Elections, Mr Gan wondered if the opposition had a vision for the nation.

    Last Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed that he had instructed that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee start work and it would be headed by the Secretary to the Cabinet.

    Mr Gan said: "I would be prepared to debate with them what kind of programmes are better and who would be able to serve the residents better. And for the opposition to take control and engage us... they have to offer an alternative agenda for the nation - what kind of policies they want to put in place for Manpower, Education, Health.

    "What are the alternatives they are offering and benefits they are going to bring to residents and voters?"
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  16. #3229
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'pore Index on Cities' Biodiversity to measure conservation efforts

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 November 2010 2027 hrs

    By Joanne Chan

    SINGAPORE : National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan has said the Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity aims to be the definitive tool to measure conservation efforts.

    The index is the first of its kind for cities to benchmark their efforts and identify areas for improvement.

    It uses indicators such as the percentage of protected areas and the strength of governance to determine the city's biodiversity score.

    The index was formally endorsed last Saturday at the 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya, Japan.

    Mr Mah was speaking on Monday at a ground-breaking ceremony of the Gardens by the Bay.

    Marina South is now a giant construction site, but that is all set to change by the end of next year.

    The first phase of the Gardens by the Bay is scheduled to open in November 2011, including the "Supertrees" or vertical gardens that will be up to 16 storeys tall and Kingfisher Lake.

    The Gardens project has faced delays, but is mostly on-track for completion.

    Mr Mah said: "The second conservatory ("Cloud Forest") is going to be ready six months later; it will be ready by the middle of 2012.

    "The first conservatory ("Flower Dome") will be ready by November/December 2011. So we are doing it in phases because of the delays and some problems in construction."

    A ground-breaking ceremony was held on Monday for the Kingfisher Lake - named after the bird species spotted in the area.

    Mr Mah said there are hopes that the population of kingfishers will grow once the lake is completed.

    Aside from its aesthetic appeal, the lake will also act as a natural filter. Water from the Gardens will run-off into the lake and be cleansed by the aquatic plants before being discharged into the Marina Reservoir.

    Japanese company Kikkoman contributed S$1 million towards the development of the lake.

    CEO of Kikkoman, Yuzaburo Mogi, said Singapore and the company both recognise the importance of water and it is this shared awareness that led to the donation.

    Mr Mogi said: "Kikkoman is very aware of the importance of water. We need water of the highest quality to make soy sauce."

    Another conservation effort being pushed forward by Singapore is for more cities to adopt the Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity. It has already been test-bedded by over 30 cities.

    Mr Mah said: "Seventy European cities are also adopting the concept of the index as part of their own programmes. We have also offered the World Cities Summit as a platform for cities to get together to report on their progress and to prepare for the next COP meeting."

    The next World Cities Summit will take place in 2012.


    Mah Bow Tan
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    Default New eldercare centre offers active rehabilitation programmes

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 November 2010 2002 hrs

    By Sara Grosse

    SINGAPORE : NTUC Eldercare's latest day-care centre for the elderly at Dakota Crescent will offer "active rehabilitation" programmes.

    It will have, among other things, a karaoke room and a gym.

    Singapore's Minister in charge of ageing issues, Lim Boon Heng, who was at the opening on Monday, said staying active will add years to the life of seniors.

    At the new centre, a physiotherapist will work with seniors to help them regain their range of motion, physical strength and balance.

    Lim Sia Hoe, general manager, NTUC Eldercare Co-operative Limited, said: "Some of their functionability is basically affected, so there is a disability in the way they do their daily activities and daily living.

    "And how do we actually get them to be well again or at least optimise on the functionability part of it? Active rehab comes into play - it is a very dedicated, very personalised programme. We design for each and every one of them. It's not one size fits all."

    The centre is the seventh NTUC Eldercare centre, with another being planned in Fengshan in the first quarter of next year.

    The fee for joining the day-care centre is S$520 a month.

    The labour movement's U Care Fund has donated S$1 million to the NTUC Eldercare Trust, which facilitates fund-raising efforts to keep the centres' services affordable.
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