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  1. #3435
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    Default New director for Writers' Fest

    The Straits Times
    Dec 1, 2010

    By Linette Lin

    THE National Arts Council (NAC) has appointed Mr Paul Tan as director of the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF).

    From Oct 1, he is responsible for the artistic direction, production and organisation of the SWF, which will be re-structured to an annual, year-long event in 2011.

    Mr Tan is concurrently the Strategic Marketing and Communications director at the Singapore Tourism Board until end of January next year.

    A familiar face in the local literary circle, Mr Tan is an accomplished writer with two collections of his verse winning the Commendation and Merit Prizes at the Singapore Literature Prize competition.

    Mr Tan also mentored young adults in creative writing under NAC's pioneer Mentor Access Project, as well as students in the Creative Arts Programme from 1998 to 2006.

    Said NAC chief executive officer Benson Puah: 'With his experience as a writer, mentor and communications professional, Paul will be able to contribute fresh energies and perspectives to invigorate the festival and take it to another level.'


    Mr Paul Tan is responsible for the artistic direction, production and organisation of the SWF, which will be re-structured to an annual, year-long event in 2011. -- PHOTO: NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL
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  2. #3436
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    Default Yishun Greenwalk BTO three times oversubscribed

    Channel NewsAsia
    30 November 2010 2034 hrs

    By Tan Qiuyi

    SINGAPORE : The Housing and Development Board's (HDB) Build-to-Order (BTO) project, Yishun Greenwalk, has received almost three times the number of applications for the 1,176 units available ahead of Wednesday's deadline.

    More than 3,000 applications have been received.

    The project offers three, four and five-room flats priced between S$150,000 and S$365,000.

    Four-room units were the most popular, with more than 1,900 applications for the 602 units available.
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  3. #3437
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    There is a distinction between China/Hong Kong, China/Taiwan, and China/Singapore.
    Both Taiwan and Hong Kong are not independent countries like Singapore. However, special dispensation or exemption allowed and agreed to by China enables these two "Chinese provinces" to compete under their special but non-country status as Hong Kong, China and Chinese Taipei. Singapore unfortunately cannot be legally called Chinese Singapore or Singapore, China.

  4. #3438
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    Singapore's airline SIA Cargo has pleaded no contest (i.e. guilty) and agreed to pay a criminal fine of US$48 million for price-fixing. See http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/12...-million-fine/
    Separately, the European Commission has fined SIA Cargo another US$98 million for price-fixing in Europe.
    In addition SIA's customers are expected to sue for having been taken for a ride.
    Other airlines including Cathay Pacific and European and Canadian airlines have also been fined.
    This explains why SIA, Cathay Pacific and the other guilty airlines can still survive because of price-fixing, which kills competition and robs passengers through over charging.

  5. #3439
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    Default North West CDC launches $1.5m programme for youths

    Channel NewsAsia
    30 November 2010 1909 hrs

    By Monica Kotwani

    SINGAPORE : Youths who want to stage community activities such a recycling project, a play or even a hip hop concert, the North West Community Development Council (CDC) can be the go-to guy for funds.

    Launching the Youth@North West initiative on Tuesday, the Mayor of North West District, Dr Teo Ho Pin said the new initiative is the largest by a CDC.

    Under the S$1.5 million programme, young Singaporeans can also apply for funds to start off new projects they are passionate about.

    "What we hope to develop is a youth culture in the North West district, where we provide opportunities for youth to take ownership. So the youth engagement plan provides resources, mentors and guidance to the youths to come up with new ideas for the community," said Dr Teo.
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  6. #3440
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    Default National Stadium demolition nearly complete

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 December 2010 1531 hrs

    By S Anandam

    SINGAPORE: The demolition of Singapore's National Stadium is almost complete, with the work already into its final phase.

    The West Entrance Grandstand is all that is left of Singapore's iconic structure, which has stood since 1973.

    Demolition work began in September, and is now expected to be completed in March next year.

    It will be immediately followed by the construction of the long-delayed Sports Hub - projected to be ready by April 2014.

    Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan visited the site on Wednesday, to observe the demolition process.

    The new facility will replace the National Stadium as Singapore's premier land and sea sports, leisure and entertainment hub.
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  7. #3441
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    Default Hassle-free GST refunds

    The Straits Times
    Dec 1, 2010

    By Bryan Huang

    A NEW electronic system will remove-form filling by tourists at the point of purchase, making it easy for them to claim Goods & Services Tax refunds at Changi Airport.

    Tourists can look forward to the new system from mid-2011. The current tourist refund scheme, operated by either the retailers themselves or through central refund agencies, is 'burdensome and inconvenient' because of the need to fill refund claims forms, said the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) in a statement.

    The electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) will be a major improvement over the current paper-based system, added the IRAS. The eTRS captures purchase details at the point-of-sale and tags it to a token carried by the tourist, like a credit card.

    All the tourist needs at the airport is to use his passport and token to retrieve records of his purchase details, and he can choose to get the refund in cash or paid to his credit card account.

    The eTRS will be implemented from mid-2011 in phases, Full implementation is expected in the third quarter of 2012.

  8. #3442
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    Will Singapore sink in the future? http://www.eco-business.com/news/201...ng-sea-levels/

  9. #3443
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    This doesn't make Singapore look good http://www.singaporedesk.blogspot.co...sty.html#links

  10. #3444
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    This http://www.everythingalsocomplain.wo...s-are-obscene/ is making headlines all over the world. Now everyone knows what the crescent, strategically positioned, is all about-Singapore truly also can! No wonder with the world watching the Singapore water polo team was probably too embarrassed lest they be seen in all their "crescent glory" to win any medal.

  11. #3445
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    Default Homegrown int'l schools a draw

    The Straits Times
    Dec 2, 2010

    MOE Int'l schools a hit
    All expanding facilities; foreigners occupy up to half their places

    By Jane Ng

    THE three home-grown international schools are proving to be a draw, with all growing their enrolments.

    Five years ago, before Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) International, Hwa Chong International and St Joseph's Institution (SJI) International were set up, there were question marks over whether parents here would want to pay the higher fees, and whether foreign students would seek places in a Singapore-style international school.

    Read the full story in Thursday's edition of The Straits Times.


    SJI International students playing Captain's Ball in the school playground. -- ST FILE PHOTO
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  12. #3446
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    Default S'PORE-JOHOR RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM: Clear Customs just once

    Dec 2, 2010

    Singapore, Malaysia facilities for future rapid transit system to be located at one spot

    By Andrea Ong

    COMMUTERS on the planned rapid transit system (RTS) link between Singapore and Johor will need to clear immigration procedures only once for each direction of travel.

    This is because Singapore and Malaysian customs, immigration and quarantine facilities will be located together on each side of the border - in Singapore and in Johor - when the RTS starts operating by 2018. This was disclosed by the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) on Iskandar Malaysia in a statement yesterday.

    The committee, which met in Nusajaya, Johor, was set up in 2007 to facilitate cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia on the Iskandar Malaysia economic zone in Johor.

    Developing an RTS was one of the outcomes of a meeting here in May between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak. It will connect Singapore to Tanjung Puteri, which is near the Johor end of the Causeway.

    The statement said the JMC agreed in its meeting yesterday to carry out a joint engineering study on the technical parameters of the RTS so the system will be convenient, cost-effective and well integrated with transport systems in both countries.

    The meeting, co-chaired by Singapore's National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan and Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nor Mohamed Yakcop, also noted the progress made on several areas of bilateral cooperation.


    With the planned rapid transit system, commuters will only need to clear immigration once for each direction of travel. -- ST FILE PHOTO
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  13. #3447
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    Default ITE RESTRICTS COURSES: Fewer foreigners at ITE

    The Straits Times
    Dec 2, 2010

    Full-time programmes will not take in foreign students who did not study in local schools

    By Leow Si Wan

    FROM next year, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will stop accepting foreign students who have not been through the Singapore education system for its full-time courses.

    The move, coming about eight months after school fees were raised for foreign students, is welcomed by industry observers who see it as an effort to ensure that the investments poured into ITE will focus on helping Singaporeans.

    The vocational institute's director and chief executive officer, Mr Bruce Poh, said that based on current enrolment figures, such foreign students make up about 2 per cent - or about 250 students - of each ITE cohort.

    Each ITE batch typically has between 12,000 and 13,000 students.

    Foreign students - who could have previously enrolled in the ITE with private or overseas qualifications - will no longer be accepted as the school will, from the next intake, only take in either Singaporeans or foreigners who have studied in secondary schools here.

    The latter category makes up about 2 per cent of each intake, Mr Poh told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony for the new ITE headquarters and its third campus, ITE College Central, at its Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 site.


    The Institute of Technical Education will stop accepting students who have not been through the Singapore education system for its full-time courses. -- PHOTO: ZAO BAO
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  14. #3448
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    Default Yee Ping Yi will be new CPF Board CEO from 1st Jan

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 December 2010 1642 hrs

    By S Ramesh

    SINGAPORE : The CPF Board will have a new Chief Executive Officer from the 1st of January next year for a three-year term.

    Mr Yee Ping Yi, who is currently the Second Deputy Secretary in the Manpower Ministry, will succeed Mr Liew Heng San, who is retiring from public service.

    Mr Yee will be seconded to the CPF Board as CEO-Designate from the 13th of this month.

    Paying Tribute to Mr Liew's efforts at the CPF Board, the Manpower Ministry says the Board successfully implemented several major policy changes to improve the overall retirement adequacy of CPF members.

    These include enhancing CPF returns with an extra interest of 1 percent for the first $60,000 of CPF savings, helping members to stretch their CPF savings by deferring their draw down age, and introducing CPF LIFE - a national annuity scheme which allows members to enjoy a lifelong income.

    And during Mr Liew's appointment as CEO, the CPF Board was honoured with the United Nations Public Service Award for the effective and responsive public administration of the Progress Package and Workfare Bonus Scheme, a Government surplus sharing scheme in 2007.

    Mr Yee has been with the Singapore Administrative Service since 1996.

    He has served in a number of public sector agencies, including Ministry of Trade and Industry, Economic Development Board, Ministry of Health, and Public Service Division in the Prime Minister's Office.
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  15. #3449
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    Default S'pore youths remain very much traditional news consumers

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 December 2010 1636 hrs

    By Mustafa Shafawi, Sara Grosse

    SINGAPORE: The young in Singapore are serious news consumers, according to a regional survey conducted by Panasonic.

    The survey was conducted in conjunction with Panasonic's Regional Kid Witness News contest.

    Close to half of total youth surveyed said they read or watched the news at least once a day.

    The survey involved about 600 youth from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

    And, they rated traditional forms of media - such as TV and newspapers - top.

    Youth also said showed a lower preference of seeking news and information from blogs and forums.

    Singapore respondents particularly seemed more discerning about the trustworthiness of blogs.

    "I like blogs and websites because I think it's easier for me to access into it. Sometimes if I just want to check the accuracy, I think I just watch the news on TV," said 14-year-old Loga Ragumathan from Sembawang Secondary School.

    Another student, 14-year-old Calvin Leong from Sembawang Secondary School, prefers the newspaper.

    "I usually go towards the newspapers. I find newspapers very reliable. The source is very very accurate [whereas] from blogs, you can get different opinions from other people."

    Singapore youth formed 17 per cent of total respondents.

    Ninety per cent get their daily dose of news from newspapers, followed by television (73 per cent) and online news websites (41 per cent).

    In comparison, respondents in the region has television as the most common source (80 per cent), followed by newspapers (66 per cent) and magazines (40 per cent).

    They also showed a low preference of seeking news and information from blogs, forums and sharing sites.

    Only 36 per cent of Singapore respondents felt that news by bloggers is more believable than that in the newspaper.

    However, the majority did indicate a preference for more interactive news as they want to be able to choose what they want to read and voice their opinions on the reports.

    Singapore youth also stood out as serious news readers.

    Sixty-seven per cent of teenagers aged between 10 and 15, cited world news as their favourite section.

    In contrast, the top choice for the region was entertainment and celebrity news.

    84 per cent of Singapore respondents also disagreed that news is boring and 98 per cent of them viewed it as important.

    In contrast, 26 per cent of the regional respondents disagreed news is boring while 91 per cent agreed news is important.

    Close to half said they read or watch the news at least once a day and most kept up with the news to gain general knowledge.

    Others were swayed by the interesting headlines.

    Majority of them said they followed news willingly. Less than two in 10 said their parents made them followed.
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  16. #3450
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    Default RP develops iPhone-based portable brain control system

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 December 2010 1824 hrs

    By Wayne Chan

    SINGAPORE: Republic Polytechnic has developed possibly the world's first iPhone-based portable brain control system.

    The system uses the iPhone to process brain signals and direct corresponding commands to a wheelchair.

    The system is designed to help people suffering from physiological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or spinal cord injuries that disrupt communication between the brain and the body.

    The new system means users no longer need to lug around a heavy laptop.

    The iPhone plays commands through a set of earphones and to direct the wheelchair, the user just needs to concentrate when the command he wants is played.

    "I just look at at an object and focus on an object, so when I focus, my attention level increases. So that is actually the trigger for the command for the wheelchair to move forward, backward, left or right," said Liang Wei Kang, who is a Biomedical Engineering student at Republic Polytechnic.

    Developers said the system could cost less than $1000 a set if mass produced, a fraction of the cost of current systems which can run up to $20,000 or more.

    And the possibilities are endless.

    "We can use brain control using iPhone to control basically any device. In this case, we are using a wheelchair but we can expand it to the general market. You can control aircon, you can control lighting, you can control cars," said Eugene Tham, Senior Academic Staff, School of Engineering, Republic Polytechnic.

    David Jiang, Manager, Wireless Tech Development Centre, Republic Polytechnic, believes the system is very significant and can make a great impact for transferring the current hospital-centred system into a mobile healthcare system.

    "This handphone system, smartphone system or iPhone based system can be used to transmit data wirelessly, they (patients) don't need to physically go to the hospital, so to cut the cost," said Jiang.

    The system was showcased as part of the polytechnic's "Wireless Tech Day."


    Republic Polytechnic delevops iPhone-based portable brain control system
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  17. #3451
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    Default 300 youths from ASEAN assemble replica of ship at Temasek Poly

    Channel NewsAsia
    01 December 2010 2151 hrs

    By Monica Kotwani

    SINGAPORE: Some 300 youths from 11 countries are in Singapore as part of the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP).

    The youths from various ASEAN countries as well as Japan were at Temasek Polytechnic to build a replica of their ship and as well as to set a unique Singapore record.

    The challenge for them is to use 1500 cans to build a replica of the Fuji Maru which is taking the participants around the region for 53 days.

    Jenny Koh, Singapore's Reception Committee Chairman of the 37th SSEAYP, said the replica was built not only to foster ties and create friendship, but also to mark the programme's commitment to environmental conservation - one of the many current issues discussed on board the ship.

    And they collaborated with Temasek Polytechnic students, MINDS and the Spastic Childrens' Association of Singapore to do so.

    62-year-old Akira Takahashi, who is a renowned recycling artist, said students were told in advance to collect cans from their own countries.

    "We can give the impact that we are recycling not only in Singapore but also our neighbours, we are asking them to recycle together," said Takahashi who is born in Singapore.

    The participants wasted nothing. The bottom of the cans were used to create the 'ocean', and the drink tabs were strung together to set a new Singaporean record for the longest wave of drink can tabs - 428 metres long to be exact.

    The activity was part of the SSEAYP's Youth Engagement Programme and in line with the this year's SSEAYP theme of "Solidarity, Peace, Care and Share'.

    The SSEAYP is an annual programme sponsored by the Japanese government. The programme, which was started in 1974, is supported by the ASEAN member countries.

    It aims to foster friendship and a mutual understanding among youths from the various participating countries.

    30-year old Zatan Tan, who is a Youth Leader on the Fuji Maru, said he has gained from the experience.

    "We are split up into different groups, where we learn to interact, and really work with each other, have meals with each other, and even in our cabins, we are living with youths from different countries," said the Singaporean who has been on the ship for almost 40 days.

    The participants aged between 18 and 30, will head to Vietnam next.

    They will be going to Vietnam next, after which the ship will head back to Japan where participants will spend about 10 days before going back to their respective countries.


    Some 300 youths from 11 countries are in Singapore as part of the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme
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