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Thread: Singapore Also Can
11-01-2010, 11:29 PM #3231
NParks and WDA to launch two new WSQ programmes on landscaping
01 November 2010 1922 hr
By Vimita Mohandas
SINGAPORE: NPark's Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will launch two new Landscape Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) programmes at the Diploma and Advanced Certificate Levels.
Announcing the new courses in landscaping on Monday at the Skyrise Greenery Awards, Senior Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu said skyrise greening will provide a quality living environment for people.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, the first prize winner - with lush courtyards, roof terraces and well-planned green spaces - is an example of what Singapore wants to create. Lush courtyards, roof terraces and well-planned green spaces.
According to Chew Kwee Tiang, Chief Operating Officer of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, the green efforts has helped create a healing environment.
"For the patients in the ICU post operations, when they see the natural light and the green outside their garden, it de-stresses them, gives them a calming effect and with that I think they will heal faster," said Mrs Chew.
A roof garden at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
11-01-2010, 11:44 PM #3232
S'pore to launch satellite
Nov 2, 2010
The Straits Times
X-Sat, the first locally made satellite, will be launched in India
By Jermyn Chow
IT'S finally confirmed - Singapore will go into space next month when the Republic launches its first locally made satellite.
The X-Sat, a refrigerator-sized micro-satellite designed and built from scratch here, is set to launch at the end of next month, confirmed the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), although it did not reveal the date.
(For more details of the satellite pls refer to:
11-01-2010, 11:57 PM #3233
$100m recycling plant opens
The Straits Times
Nov 2, 2010
New Tuas facility will recycle industrial waste from solar-cell manufacturing
By Dhevarajan Devadas
A NEW recycling plant that makes the production of solar cells even greener was opened on Monday.
The $100 million Tuas facility, set up by Norway's Metallkraft, is mainly to recycle material used at the world's biggest integrated solar cell complex, also in Tuas.
That $2.6 billion facility, set up by fellow Norwegian firm Renewable Energy Corp (REC), is due to be officially opened on Wednesday.
The main function of Metallkraft's facility is to recycle REC's spent slurry, a liquid used to cut silicon wafers, which would otherwise become industrial waste. This recycling will be done without adding any chemicals or producing waste streams.
REC can then use the recycled slurry instead of fresh slurry.
Metallkraft said its proprietary process can recycle 100 per cent of spent slurry.
Last edited by Loh; 11-02-2010 at 12:01 AM.
11-02-2010, 12:06 AM #3234
Kikkoman donates $1m for lake
Nov 2, 2010
The Straits Times
Soya sauce maker chose project as clean water is key to its trade
By Jessica Lim
AT FIRST glance, there is little in common between a Japanese soya sauce manufacturing firm and Gardens by the Bay (GB), one of the attractions at Marina Bay.
Dig a little deeper, and there is - in the most prosaic way imaginable. Clean water is an essential component of soya sauce. And GB's lakes help produce just that: water that is filtered and drained into the reservoir to be finally piped into homes and factories.
This is why soya sauce maker Kikkoman Corporation is donating $1 million to GB for the development of Kingfisher Lake, a 5,800 sqm body of water in GB's Bay South garden. The sum - the largest cash donation GB has received - will be used to build features like a mini-waterfall, a lily pool and a spring water system.
Kingfisher Lake captures run-off water from the gardens, filters it through aquatic plants and then discharges clean water into the Marina Reservoir nearby.
The firm's Singapore arm - Kikkoman Singapore - committed the money through the Garden City Fund, a registered charity of the National Parks Board, which runs GB. 'To make high-quality soya sauce, pure and clean water is very important. Gardens by the Bay has some unique and very important water management initiatives using water circulation systems and aquatic plants,' said Kikkoman chief executive Yuzaburo Mogi at a ground-breaking ceremony for Kingfisher Lake on Monday.
He said the firm, which is celebrating its 25th year in Singapore, approached GB after researching possible water-related projects it could sponsor.
11-02-2010, 02:14 AM #3235
Prepare for N-power option
The Straits Times
Nov 2, 2010
We need to be ready when time comes for us to make a decision: PM
By Rachel Chang
SINGAPORE will start now to prepare for the day when nuclear energy is necessary and feasible.
That day may not be that far off, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday at a dialogue at an annual Singapore energy conference.
When asked by moderator Sri Jegarajah from broadcasting station CNBC whether it would be during his time in office, he said to laughter: 'I would say possibly during my lifetime.'
Earlier, PM Lee, in a 45-minute address, gave the clearest indication yet that nuclear power is increasingly an option being scrutinised by the Government.
Identifying nuclear power as an 'important part of the solution to mankind's energy problems', he said Singapore is building up its capabilities now because the nuclear option is one it 'cannot afford to dismiss'.
Measures taken will include getting in touch with nuclear experts as well as training local engineers and scientists, the Prime Minister said.
PM Lee Hsien Loong delivers the annual Singapore Energy Lecture at SICEC. -- ST PHOTO: BRYAN VAN DER BEEK
11-02-2010, 02:22 AM #3236
S'pore, Vietnam to sign agreement to facilitate study visits for officials
01 November 2010 2000 hrs
By S Ramesh
SINGAPORE : Singapore and Vietnam will be signing an agreement to facilitate a study visit programme for officials from the Vietnamese Communist Party to learn from Singapore's developmental experience.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam Commission for External Relations, Hoang Binh Quan, is in Singapore to jointly witness the signing with Foreign Minister George Yeo.
Chairman Quan, who will be in Singapore till Wednesday, will also be meeting Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean.
He will attend a lunch hosted by Government Parliamentary Committee Chairman for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Michael Palmer.
11-02-2010, 10:33 PM #3237
Young proud to be S'porean
The Straits Times
Nov 3, 2010
By Amelia Tan
MOST Singaporeans feel a sense of belonging to their country and will step forward to defend the nation if it is under threat.
Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said this strong sense of patriotism has been borne out in surveys of National Servicemen and the public in recent years.
More than 90 per cent of the respondents said they would defend Singapore when it comes to the crunch.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a National Education seminar on Tuesday, Dr Ng also said criticism and questioning are natural and essential to ensure that National Education messages are internalised.
He has told NE practitioners that criticism and negative sentiments should not be discouraged.
'Just because you have articulated those messages, it is not the end point. In fact I would be very worried if people said I believe you straight away because this process requires you to reflect on what has been said,' he said.
'Examine it, question it and even test it, and then internalise it. This takes time and different experiences,' he said.
His comments followed those voiced by a Nanyang Technological University student last week at a forum. The student said he did not know what he is defending anymore with the changes in polices and influx of foreign talent.
Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said this strong sense of patriotism has been borne out in surveys of National Servicemen and the public in recent years. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG
11-02-2010, 10:48 PM #3238
MM Lee frail but well, and intends to travel again, says PM Lee
02 November 2010 2049 hrs
By Hetty Musfirah
SINGAPORE : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is frail, but well and intends to start travelling again.
The prime minister made the comments about his 87-year-old father in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.
These were his first comments about his father's health since the death of his mother, Madam Kwa Geok Choo, last month.
PM Lee told Reuters "the years take their toll". He said his father "is well, he is frailer than before, he is 87 already, but his mind is still all there and he has been travelling and I think he intends to travel again."
Mr Lee Kuan Yew was recently admitted to hospital for a chest infection. And concerns were raised about his condition and what effect it could have on government and policy.
In the interview, PM Lee said the country will survive. He said both the system and people are in place.
"There have been two changes of prime minister since he stepped down. There is a team - he doesn't run the government day-to-day. He attends Cabinet meetings - not every meeting, but usually. He gives us the benefit of his considerable experience and wisdom which we take very seriously.
"But finally, we have to decide what to do and we have to carry the message to the population. It is our challenge and soon the challenge of the next generation of leaders, who have to emerge," the prime minister added.
On the upcoming election which must be held before February 2012, PM Lee said it is very important to bring in new candidates and potential office holders to take Singapore forward.
The 58-year-old said Singapore should not have a prime minister who is in his 70s, given the physical demands of the job and the need to be in sync with the new generation.
In the same interview, PM Lee said Singapore's hot property market was a matter of concern and needed careful monitoring to avoid a bubble.
He said: "Our property market has been taking off, which is causing some consternation. We have had a series of measures to squelch the property market, but liquidity is awash, sloshing around the whole region. We are watching carefully.
"The last set of measures was announced at the end of August - they seem to have dampened sentiment some, but we will have to watch and see."
Measures to cool the residential market included a reduction in the amount that those with existing mortgages could borrow to buy second properties, and extending a stamp duty on those selling property within three years of purchase.
New requirements were also introduced for those wanting to purchase resale HDB flats.
11-02-2010, 11:03 PM #3239
DPM Teo outlines plans to expand CET system
02 November 2010 2052 hrs
By S Ramesh
SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has outlined priorities to make Singapore's Continuing Education and Training (CET) system more responsive to the fast-changing global economy.
DPM Teo, who chairs the National Productivity and Continuing Education Council (made up of leaders from government, industry and the union movement), was speaking at the Workforce Skills Qualifications Partnership Night celebrations.
On the fifth anniversary of the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) System, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) paid tribute to the contribution and effort of its key stakeholders.
They received three accolades from DPM Teo during the ceremony. These include the WSQ Distinguished Partner, the WSQ Leading Adopter and the WSQ Champion.
There are now 46 CET Centres and over 500 other approved training organisations offering some 12,500 courses across a range of skills and occupations at various levels.
The government is committed to invest $2.5 billion over the next five years to expand the CET system.
DPM Teo said the bigger challenge now is to put this added resource to develop a first class system.
To achieve this, Mr Teo said some principles must underpin the development of the country's CET system.
First, it must be industry-driven and leading to win-win outcomes for both employers and workers and this could come on the form of successful job placements, productivity enhancement or better goods and services delivered.
Next, the CET system must focus on the needs of adult learners which are very different from young students"
However, the task of developing a first class CET system cannot rest on the Government alone, said Mr Teo.
The various government agencies and the Post-Secondary Educational Institutions will require the strong, unwavering support of the tripartite partners.
The system also needs to take into account the changing demographics of the Singapore workforce.
DPM Teo said: "Professionals, Managers, and Executives (PMEs) now form half of our total workforce, and this proportion is increasing. Like rank-and-file workers, PMEs too face skills obsolescence.
"At the same time, employers are constantly searching for workers who not only have strong foundational skills, but also deeper and more specialised expertise."
PMEs and their employers can now look forward to many more WSQ programmes to broaden and deepen their skills. By 2015, one in three WSQ training places will be targeted at PMEs, compared to one in five today.
There will also be more options to cater to the diverse needs of the workforce.
DPM Teo said: "The recently established Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) offers Polytechnic graduates upgrading opportunities to obtain industry-relevant degrees.
"The ITE and polytechnics will also introduce many more WSQ offerings at different skill levels, to provide more opportunities to those who wish to upgrade themselves. Today, there are linkages between the WSQ and ITE's NITEC systems. Some WSQ programmes have been articulated to degree programmes.
"For instance, the University of Las Vegas and Kingston University London extend credit exemptions to WSQ graduates in tourism and aerospace respectively for their degree programmes. Locally, UniSim extends credit exemptions for WSQ diplomas in Retail Management for their Bachelor of Science in Marketing."
Raising the quality of CET trainers and having more international institutions to enrich the CET scene are equally important.
For this, the Institute of Adult Learning, which is the CET version of the National Institute for Education for teachers, will have programmes for the trainers.
"By next year, WDA will introduce a career services website, where job-seekers or workers can make a self assessment of his suitability for different jobs, receive advice on job offerings and search for suitable CET courses. This will empower Singaporeans to take charge of their own training and development.
"While we will pump in resources to create a robust CET framework, nothing is as powerful as an individual's informed decision to pursue his or her own upgrading path. A lifelong learning mindset will be key to maintaining lifelong employability," said DPM Teo.
And despite the tightening labour market this year, training numbers continue to remain strong whether in a downturn or when the economy is doing better.
More than 200,000 workers were trained under the WSQ system in the first nine months of 2010.
DPM Teo said: "This year, our economy and productivity are likely to register double digit growth following the sharp rebound from the global downturn. But we must not be complacent.
"Achieving the ESC's target of productivity growth averaging two to three per cent each year over the next decade is no easy task. To put this in perspective, the target is two to three times that of the annual one per cent productivity growth we had achieved over the last 10 years."
Continuing Education and Training (CET)
11-02-2010, 11:19 PM #3240
A*STAR to develop cost-effective cancer-treatment device
03 November 2010 1034 hrs
By Mustafa Shafawi
SINGAPORE: Researchers from Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) are developing a cost-effective and a more rapid way to help doctors assess the effectiveness of treatments to cancer patients.
The new device measures the level of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in the blood and it is expected to slash by more than half the time needed to analyse a sample.
Currently, the only clinically approved method for CTC analysis takes three to seven days to process.
A*STAR said the new device would allow for more frequent tracking of a patient's response to the prescribed treatment.
This enables the doctor to better tailor dosages for radiation and or chemotherapy - treatments that can be plagued with discomfort and serious side effects.
Senior research engineer with A*STAR's Institute of Microelectronics' Bioelectronics Programme, Dr Abdur Rub Abdur Rahman, said the aim was to have the device capable of analysing samples in less than a day and to cap the cost at S$100 per test.
Comparatively, the clinically approved CTC method is priced at about S$900 a test.
Cancer is rated the number two killer in Singapore.
A researcher at work
11-02-2010, 11:40 PM #3241
95% of students say they are proud to be Singaporean: survey
02 November 2010 1742 hrs
By Sharon See
SINGAPORE : The Education Minister and Second Minister for Defence, Ng Eng Hen said he is upbeat about Singapore youth and their sense of belonging to their country.
He said two National Education surveys on students conducted in 2008 and 2010 showed that over 95 per cent were proud to be Singaporeans.
Similar surveys on National Servicemen have also consistently shown that a majority feel they belong here and would defend Singapore should it come under threat.
Speaking at the 2nd Connexion Seminar on Tuesday, Dr Ng said new media has played a major role in this sense of increased participation among the young.
At the seminar, National Education practitioners received the thumbs up for using new media better to engage Singaporeans.
Dr Ng, who was the Guest-of-Honour at the event, said: "I told practitioners that from time to time, when there are criticisms and negative sentiments, not to be discouraged, that questioning is a natural process.
"But thankfully, I think we're quite happy that surveys show that there's a great sense of belonging. And I think that our young are optimistic and we have built something precious, and something which Singaporeans are willing to defend."
Dr Ng said this should encourage Singapore to continue finding innovative ways to directly engage students.
National Education, which covers Singapore's history as well as issues of social and national concern, do this through the prowess of technology.
For instance, to find out more about certain heritage sites, take a picture with a smartphone and an image-matching system will furnish you information.
COL (Ret) Png Bee Hin is the CEO of Leadership Development Resources, which developed an application that allows students to learn about National Education through handheld devices.
He said: "We've always wanted to reach out to young people, and we realise that using the tour guide concept didn't quite work. The best way to engage them is using self-directed and collaborative learning. And that's why we use the power of GPS and image recognition technology to engage them."
For the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), its YouTube channel - cyberpioneerTV - has garnered more than two million cumulative views since it was launched nearly two years ago.
Clara Tan, who is the Covering Head of the Internal Media Department at MINDEF said: "People are commenting on the channel, they're telling us that they enjoy 'Every Singaporean Son', they're sharing their National Service experiences through cyberpioneerTV through the 'Every Singaporean Son' episodes we're putting up.
"Basically what we're doing is creating a platform for the public to interact with us and to be part of this content creation process. And in this process, they will learn more about defence."
Dr Ng Eng Hen at the 2nd Connexion Seminar
Take a picture with a smartphone and an image-matching system will furnish you information
11-02-2010, 11:44 PM #3242
British author Shadrake guilty of contempt of court
03 November 2010 1112 hrs
By Zul Othman
SINGAPORE: British author Alan Shadrake has been found guilty of contempt of court for 11 passages in his book, "Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice In The Dock".
He had been accused of undermining the judicial system here in 14 passages in the book.
In his judgement, Judge Quentin Loh said 75-year-old Shadrake's claims were made without rational basis.
His sentencing will passed next week.
Shadrake faces a possible jail term, a fine, or both.
11-02-2010, 11:54 PM #3243
SMU's head wants varsity to be one of top business schools in Asia
02 November 2010 2321 hrs
By Ng Jing Yng
SINGAPORE : Two months into the job and Singapore Management University's (SMU) new president knows where he wants the varsity to be in five years - as one of the top business schools in Asia.
And Professor Arnoud De Meyer is confident the university can eventually rank among the top business institutes worldwide.
University rankings have been a hot topic of late, and Prof De Meyer told Channel NewsAsia in his first in-depth interview since joining SMU in September, that he is in favour of rankings, but admits that every ranking is biased.
Rankings provide transparency and are helpful, but he added: "We should do what's right for SMU and not what's right for the rankings."
The 56-year-old Belgian, SMU's fourth president, shared his plans on how it can achieve greater global recognition.
Inter-disciplinary research and teaching will be key to producing graduates who can give comprehensive solutions for a changing society.
One challenge in academia, as he sees it, is the way promotions come about from peer review and publications of a single discipline.
He plans to encourage faculty to publish inter-disciplinary research and to acknowledge the higher level of difficulty in such research during promotional reviews.
Unfettered by any legacy, SMU can lead the way for this university model, he added.
The founding dean of the INSEAD's Asia campus here, Professor De Meyer also wants to increase SMU's post-graduate numbers from 600 to 2,000 in the next few years, for instance, through a new innovation management programme in which students are taught skills such as project management to ensure innovations can be marketable and sustainable.
As "a good university is a producer of ideas", SMU will also create a strong culture of research that can be relayed to society.
Through these efforts, Prof De Meyer hopes this will attract the best brains worldwide.
"We want top quality international students for local students to interact with," he said. "This will produce better leaders ... to work in a global world."
The Li Ka Shing library at Singapore Management University (SMU)
11-02-2010, 11:59 PM #3244
Singapore to have own accountancy qualification
02 November 2010 2115 hrs
By Jonathan Peeris
SINGAPORE : Singapore's accountancy industry will soon have its own post-university professional accountancy qualification - just like the CPA in Australia.
This will help Singapore a leading global accountancy hub in Asia Pacific by 2020.
The Pro-Tem Singapore Accountancy Council is currently developing the programme with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS).
Announcing the qualification at a conference on Tuesday, Second Finance Minister Lim Hwee Hua said accountancy professionals here and in the region will have an avenue to develop their careers by obtaining credentials that are globally recognised.
She said: "The objective is to develop accounting professionals who are not just deep problem solvers in the core area of accountancy. We also want our accountancy professionals to be equipped with the skills to interact with other specialists and understand technical issues from a wide range of disciplines and functional areas."
The two bodies are also consulting with accounting bodies in the UK, Australia and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants to develop the programme.
The certification will also be open to graduates from non-accountancy backgrounds and foreign students.
Separately, the council is also looking into niche areas for accountants here to specialise in.
"We've already formed a committee to look at the different specialisation pathways in terms of risk management, for instance, development of CFOs (Chief Financial Officers), internal audit, valuation, taxation. These will be the specialisation, so called qualifications, that we can look at," said Bobby Chin, chairman of Pro-Tem Singapore Accountancy Council.
Other areas of specialisation such as management accounting or forensic accounting may be introduced later.
11-03-2010, 12:06 AM #3245
Debators from 10 int'l universities in S'pore for debating competiton
02 November 2010 2008 hrs
By Imelda Saad
SINGAPORE: Some 40 of the best debaters from ten international universities are meeting in Singapore for a week of intense verbal sparring in Mandarin.
The teams will compete in the Singapore-Sinomem International Varsity Debate, which starts on November 2.
The event is jointly organised by MediaCorp's Channel NewsAsia and China Central Television.
The 10 schools include the National University of Singapore, the University of Hong Kong and even Princeton.
The Debate ends on Sunday, November 7.
The series will be telecast on Channel NewsAsia from November 23 to December 21 this year.
The universities taking part are:
National Chengchi University
National University of Singapore
The University of Hong Kong
University of Macau
University of Malaya
Wu Han University
University of Nottingham
University of Sydney
11-03-2010, 12:17 AM #3246
Shadrake guilty of contempt
The Straits Times
Nov 3, 2010
By Khushwant Singh
BRITISH author Alan Shadrake, 75, was found guilty of impugning the impartiality, integrity and independence of Singapore courts in his book.
High Court Judge Quentin Loh found the author of A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice In The Dock had scandalised the judiciary in 11 of the 14 passages that the Attorney-General had listed as contemptuous.
In the three passages, Shadrake could be said to be making allegations against institutions other than the courts. He will be sentenced next Tuesday.
During the three-day hearing last month, Deputy Senior State Counsel Hema Subramanian argued that the 14 statements alleged or insinuated that the Singapore courts bowed to pressure from foreign governments, favoured the rich and privileged and were used as a tool by the ruling party to muzzle political dissent.
Shadrake, through his lawyer, Mr M. Ravi, maintained that the selected passages did not scandalise the courts and constituted fair criticism on matters of public interest. But Justice Loh said that Shadrake had included half-truths and falsehoods in his book and this cannot constitute fair criticism.
The judge noted that 6,000 copies of the book have been sold so far, and if left unchecked, it would result in readers losing confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore.
The author declined to comment on the judge's decision but told reporters after the verdict: 'I think I have been given a fair hearing.'
Separately, Shadrake is being investigated by the police for criminal defamation, an offence which carries a maximum two-year jail term and a fine. His passport is being held by the police.
11-03-2010, 03:36 AM #3247
HP opens new design centre
The Straits Times
Nov 3, 2010
By Chua Hian Hou
HP HAS set up a new design centre for its business printers in Singapore.
Its 5,000 sq-foot Global Design Centre is located alongside its Depot Road manufacturing site, its first such facility outside the United States. Besides working on the look-and-feel of the printing giant's new products, its 35-man team of industrial and user-interface designers will also develop new projects like better graphical-user interfaces for touch-screen printer displays, and integrate Internet technologies into its products to allow users to send a document for printing remotely.
The site was officially opened on Wednesday by Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew.
In his opening address, Mr Lui said the electronics sector has been the 'lynchpin' of Singapore industrial growth, and one that continues to play a key role in its quest to become a knowledge-driven economy.
In 2009, he said, electronics manufacturing made up 30 per cent of Singapore's manufacturing output.
'It had also driven Singapore's transformation into a more R&D and knowledge-driven economy. This was evident by the fact that the electronics sector accounts for close to 60 per cent of total private sector R&D spending in 2008,' added Mr Lui.
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