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  1. #3775
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    Default New clinical trials for high myopia

    Channel NewsAsia
    18 January 2011 1720 hrs

    By Vimita Mohandas

    SINGAPORE : The Singapore Eye Research Institute will conduct a new clinical trial in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to tackle the problem of high myopia.

    Singapore is known to be the myopia capital of the world with 40 per cent of adults suffering from the eye condition.

    Of these, nearly 10 per cent have high myopia. Some of them may develop myopic CNV which is a potentially blinding condition where abnormal blood vessels grow and leak blood and fluid into the retina.

    Three out of four patients picked for the trial will receive regular injections of a compound known as VEGF Trap-Eye. The compound inhibits the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye.

    The procedure aims to best correct the patient's eyesight in 24 weeks.

    The rest of the patients will be in the control group.

    Researchers will investigate the safety and effectiveness of the compound for two-and-a-half years. Close to 300 patients will take part in the trial.

    With up to 10 per cent of teenagers in Singapore suffering from high myopia or myopic CNV, researchers said the trial called the MYRROR study is important.

    Professor Wong Tien Yin, director, Singapore Eye Research Institute, said: "The MYRROR study for the first time will look at how effective is a drug that has now been shown to be fairly successful in treating wet age-related macular degeneration that occurs in older age group of people.

    "And now we are going to look at how this drug will ... (work on) younger people with high myopia and developing a condition called myopic CNV."
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  2. #3776
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default North-South Expressway alignment approved

    Channel NewsAsia
    19 January 2011

    By Dylan Loh




    Vehicles drive along an expressway in Singapore.


    SINGAPORE: The government will acquire close to 40 lots and more than 30 part lots of land to facilitate the construction of a stretch of the North South Expressway (NSE) between Admiralty Road West and Toa Payoh Rise.

    The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said this follows government approval for the alignment of that stretch of the new expressway.

    Planning, engineering and alignment studies for the southern segment of the NSE are still ongoing.

    The LTA said the lots to be acquired, which include Marymount Terrace and Marymount Convent, will be comprehensively redeveloped.

    The Orange Valley Nursing Home and Good Shepherd Chapel, as well as the Missionaries of Charity Gift of Love Home and Rose Villa would have to go, as a result.


    Marymount Convent School and Marymount Kindergarten said they would remain at its current premises.

    The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the sites at Marymount Terrace and Marymount Convent would be considered for residential development after the completion of the new expressway.

    The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) gazetted the lands affected by the acquisition on Wednesday.

    Landowners who are directly affected will receive the acquisition notices on Wednesday and they will be given ample time to move out.

    Some residents said they had been told to get their property evaluated before entering into talks with the government to work out compensation packages.

    They added they had two years to move to a new place.


    The new expressway will run parallel to the Central Expressway (CTE) to serve the north-south corridor.

    The CTE is currently the only expressway serving the north-south corridor and it experiences heavy traffic generated by motorists from the northern and central part of Singapore during peak hours.

    One driver said: "It will actually minimise congestion on certain expressways, due to the fact that there is another new route for (drivers) to use".

    Another said: "This highway will alleviate all the population leaving from Punggol and Yishun, and Woodlands, so it really helps a lot"

    A third person said: "It would not help. The more highway freeway you build, the more cars you will entitle people".

    LTA said even with the completion of the CTE widening project by the end of this year, traffic demand along this corridor is expected to continue to grow.

    The authority said the NSE will not only alleviate the current load experienced on the CTE, but also help ease traffic on major arterial roads, such as Thomson Road and Marymount Road.

    NSE will consist of a combination of viaduct and road tunnels to provide a new high speed road link from residential estates such as Woodlands, Sembawang, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and Toa Payoh to the city centre.

    It will also connect to existing expressways, such as the Seletar Expressway and major arterial roads, such as Marymount Road.

    Work on the new expressway is expected to start in 2013 and completed by 2020.
    Last edited by Loh; 01-20-2011 at 12:16 AM.

  3. #3777
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    Behind all the loud self claims of greatness there is no future for entrepreneurs in Singapore. It is is actually killing off entrepreneurship through milking the people's hard earned pay checks, and it has now gone so deep into this it is impossible to reverse. See http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southea.../MA20Ae01.html.
    It is perhaps the world's greatest government enterprise case study. But without diversity one economic blow may blow off everything, never to recover unless unpopular and drastic steps are taken like increasing massive numbers of immigrants. Increasing immigrants massively will also deal a death blow to increasing productivity.

  4. #3778
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    Default Record-breaking 2010 for Changi Airport

    Channel NewsAsia
    20 January 2011 1331 hrs

    By Mustafa Shafawi



    Travellers walk past departure schedule board at the Changi Airport in Singapore.

    SINGAPORE: Changi Airport Group (CAG) said more than 42 million passengers passed through Changi Airport last year, which surpassed the previous annual record of 37.7 million passenger movements recorded in 2008.

    It represented a 13 per cent increase over passenger movement in 2009.

    CAG said besides the full year record, the monthly and daily traffic records were also broken in December 2010.

    Passenger traffic for the month was 4.06 million, up 6 per cent from a year before.

    CAG said the airport's strong performance last year was underpinned by robust traffic growth to and from Southeast and Northeast Asia which increased 18 per cent, buoyed by the rapid expansion of low cost carriers.

    Strong growth was also registered in 2010 for airfreight handled, which rose 11 per cent to 1.8 million tonnes, and aircraft movements, which gained 9.7 per cent to 264,000 flights.
    Last edited by Loh; 01-20-2011 at 01:15 AM.

  5. #3779
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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    Behind all the loud self claims of greatness there is no future for entrepreneurs in Singapore. It is is actually killing off entrepreneurship through milking the people's hard earned pay checks, and it has now gone so deep into this it is impossible to reverse. See http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southea.../MA20Ae01.html.
    It is perhaps the world's greatest government enterprise case study. But without diversity one economic blow may blow off everything, never to recover unless unpopular and drastic steps are taken like increasing massive numbers of immigrants. Increasing immigrants massively will also deal a death blow to increasing productivity.
    The Devil's Advocate thinks he has all the answers and even make a "mountain out of a molehill" Orchard Rd flash flood. If he is so smart why doesn't he offer suggestions on the Australian floods where not only million dollars of property were lost but also human lives.

    What he is now talking is nothing new to our leaders and he is merely a mouthpiece duplicating what others have said ... yes like a broken down record player.

    In the past many outsiders have tried to mock and denigrate us, like this DA guy, but we continue to do better than before. Don't try to write us off so easily.

  6. #3780
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    The Straits Times

    Jan 20, 2011

    S'pore exports and company investment overseas up

    By Aaron Low



    Singapore exports and overseas investments saw double digit growth last year. -- ST FILE PHOTO


    SINGAPORE companies returned in force to overseas markets as export of goods and services as well as investment overseas, all saw double digit growth last year.

    Singapore's exports of goods grew 22 per cent to $479 billion last year, while services - a key pillar of the domestic economy - grew 15 per cent to $111 billion.

    Investments in overseas markets also grew to $15 billion last year, mostly in countries such as China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, as companies sought to establish a foothold in emerging markets.

    IE Singapore chief executive Teo Eng Cheong said that with Asia booming, a key focus for the next few years would be to help local companies expand aggressively to grow their business overseas.


    (It's good to note that entrepreneurship is still growing in Singapore contrary to the "doomsday" scenario painted by some "red-eyed" outsiders.)

  7. #3781
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    Default MM autographs limited edition books

    The Straits Times

    Jan 20, 2011

    By Robin Chan




    MM Lee in his office as he autographs the last five of 60 copies of the new book titled Hard Truths. -- ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW



    MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew signed 60 copies of a new book, which detail his views on a range of issues, at the Istana on Wednesday evening.

    These limited editions of the book, titled Hard Truths, were offered for a minimum donation of $10,000.
    Demand for the signed copies was so overwhelming that original plans for 30 copies were doubled to 60.

    The books have raised $627,802 in total from 58 donors. The buyers range in age from 17 to over 70, and include several non-Singaporeans.

    Proceeds will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund which gives children from low-income families money for recess at school.

    The book is based on 32 hours of interviews with Mr Lee, conducted by seven Straits Times journalists. It will be launched on Thursday.

  8. #3782
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    Default Tampines Town Hub 2015: Something for everyone

    The Straits Times

    Jan 21, 2011

    By Daryl Chin


    The TampinesTown Hub is Singapore's first integrated lifestyle hub for community, sports, arts & culture and commercial activities, a place where residents meet, learn, play and make more friends. -- PHOTO: PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION


    THE 261,700 Tampines residents who want to visit the library, play futsal, watch a concert or just eat and drink can find all that in one place by 2015.

    This scenario for a buzzing heart of the heartlands was unveiled by Minister for National Development and MP for Tampines GRC Mah Bow Tan on Friday morning as he announced the Tampines Masterplan for 2011-2015.

    The proposed project - dubbed the Tampines Town Hub - will occupy 5.7 ha of land, or about seven football fields.

    Existing facilities such as the Tampines Regional Library, North East CDC, Town Council and HDB branch offices will be relocated to the site. In addition, food and beverage outlets, retail shops, a performing arts theatre and a community club will be built there. It will also contain recreational facilities like an astro-turf football pitch, badminton and tennis courts.

    Mr Mah said he envisioned a central location in the town with something for everyone.
    He added: 'It all originated from the old concept of a community centre where people would drop in freely. But in today's world where there are so many different interests, and people have so many places to go to, what we hope to do with the town hub, is to gather people back again.'
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  9. #3783
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    Default MM's house: 'When I'm dead, demolish it'

    The Straits Times

    Jan 21, 2011

    By Elgin Toh

    -- ST FILE PHOTO


    IN ITS basement, some of the most important discussions on the future of Singapore were held in the 1950s.

    Now, the question is: Will the house at 38, Oxley Road survive its famous owner, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew?

    Broaching the subject was Mr Lee himself, during an interview with a team of Straits Times journalists for the book, Hard Truths, to be launched today.

    When the conversation veered to his home, which he has described as 'a big, rambling house with five bedrooms, and three others at the back originally used as servants' quarters', he said: 'I've told the Cabinet, when I'm dead, demolish it.'

    His reason?

    'I've seen other houses, Nehru's, Shakespeare's. They become a shambles after a while. People trudge through. Because of my house the neighbouring houses cannot build high. Now demolish my house and change the planning rules, go up, the land value will go up,' he said.

  10. #3784
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Made-in-singapore heart monitor

    The Straits Times

    Jan 21, 2011


    Light device is no lightweight

    Bulky recorders may be on their way out if CardioLeaf makes it through clinical trials

    By Lester Kok


    Weighing less than 50g, the CardioLeaf can record and store heart data for as long as a week. It can have its functions expanded so it can also track respiratory rate, blood oxygen level and skin temperature. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO


    A STICK-ON, water-resistant heart monitor the size of a leaf is set to debut here next year.
    Heart patients can put on this portable electrocardiogram (ECG) device - it weighs less than 50g - and practically forget it is there while the hard-working gadget records and stores heart data for as long as a week.

    This developed-in-Singapore device is a world first.

    The bulky recorders connected to messy wires and electrodes now used by patients who have had heart surgery, or who have heart problems like an irregular heartbeat, may well be history. First, however, the new device has to pass clinical trials on actual heart patients.

    Trials involving the CardioLeaf, as the device is called, should start in the second quarter, with patients in institutions under the National University Health System (NUHS), including the National University Hospital.

    The device has already cleared a non-clinical trial involving healthy people.

  11. #3785
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    Default Will PAP last?

    The Straits Times

    Jan 21, 2011

    MM Lee says ruling party will be voted out if it declines in quality and opposition fields a strong alternative

    By Elgin Toh


    -- ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW


    THE founding leader of the People's Action Party (PAP) who led it for 38 years as secretary-general has predicted its loss of power in government.

    Mr Lee Kuan Yew said in a new book to be launched today that the day would come when voters 'get tired of a stable government and say let's try the opposition'.

    'There will come a time when eventually the public will say, look, let's try the other side, either because the PAP has declined in quality or the opposition has put up a team which is equal to the PAP and they say, let's try the other side. That day will come.'

    He referred to the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party, which held power from 1955 to 2009, with an 11-month interruption from 1993 to 1994, and said its downfall was partly because it 'carried on with old ideas'.

    He added: 'No system lasts forever, that's for sure. In the next 10 years to 20 years, I don't think it'll happen. Beyond that, I cannot tell. Will we always be able to get the most dedicated and the most capable, with integrity to devote their lives to this? I hope so, but forever, I don't know.'

    Mr Lee, who was party leader until 1992 and now remains on its central executive committee, made these candid comments in a series of interviews with a team of Straits Times journalists. The interviews are published in a new book, Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going, to be launched today at St Regis Singapore.

  12. #3786
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    Default Oldest law firm marks 150 years

    The Straits Times

    Jan 21, 2011

    By Mavis Toh




    Singapore's oldest law firm Rodyk & Davidson kicked off celebrations to mark 150 years of its existence with the launch of a book on Thursday. -- ST PHOTO


    SINGAPORE'S oldest law firm Rodyk & Davidson kicked off celebrations to mark 150 years of its existence with the launch of a book on Thursday.

    Titled Rodyk - 150 Years, the book traces the evolution of the firm during the colonial period through to Singapore's post-Independence prosperity.

    Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, who wrote an article that formed a part of the book's introduction, lauded Rodyk as one of Singapore's heritage law firms.

    'It was once the pre-eminent law firm in Singapore but its star began to fade in the 1980s through lack of leadership and fresh legal talent, amidst the dynamic economic changes taking place in Singapore and in the region,' he said.

    It was through its merger with HelenYeo & Partners in 2002 and the acquisition of new talent that the firm was revived, CJ Chan added.

    He also urged other firms to emulate Rodyk to embrace change, discard the culture of seniority ranking of partners, seek fresh talent, and share profits equitably.

  13. #3787
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    Default Healthy growth in external economy: IE S'pore

    Channel NewsAsia 20 January 2011 1504 hrs

    By Millet Enriquez |

    Containers at the Keppel port terminal in Singapore
    SINGAPORE: IE Singapore said that Singapore's external economy rebounded strongly with healthy growth last year.

    The agency, which promotes overseas growth and international trade, said it assisted over 66,000 companies to expand beyond Singapore's shores last year.

    This is a 22 per cent increase from 2009, where many companies were impacted by declining overseas revenue, with some putting expansion plans on hold.

    IE Singapore also provided assistance to 366 overseas projects by Singapore-based companies in 2010 - up from 253 two years ago.

    This was announced on Thursday at the IE Partnership Seminar, attended by more than 250 company representatives.

    IE Singapore said for the whole of last year, export of goods bounced back by 22 per cent on-year to hit S$479 billion.

    Meanwhile, export of services grew 15 per cent to reach S$111 billion in the first nine months of last year.

    In the same nine months period last year, Singapore companies pumped in S$15 billion worth of investments overseas.

    This is about two and a half times what these companies have invested in the same period in 2009.

    IE Singapore CEO Teo Eng Cheong said: "Some companies have done it very well. They have found the right formula to go overseas in terms of both financing, in terms of the business model and in terms of finding the right partners".

    IE Singapore said it extended grants, financing and tax incentives to about 8,000 companies last year.

    It added it approved S$1.4 billions in loans and S$72 million in grants, last year.

    IE Singapore said that more than 90 per cent of the companies it assisted were Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which form a significant proportion.

    Around 13 new iPartners consortiums were formed last year in the areas of urban solutions, biomedical science, food and ICT. They are expected to bring in S$586 million in overseas sales in the next three to five years.

    IE Singapore said it will continue exploring opportunities in China, India, Latin America, Middle East, Russia and Africa this year, and work with trade associations to give more companies overseas exposure.

    Experts say the opportunities will be aplenty, and one of these is in commodities.

    Head of Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered Bank Singapore Sumit Aggarwal said: "The opportunity for Singapore companies is around building services related to commodities.

    "We cannot make gold mines, but we can create Singapore-based contracts which are acceptable across Asia. We can become the arbitration centre in Asia.

    "Singapore has a great opportunity to also diversify well beyond the business of oil, into many other commodities. Water is a very good example".

    Experts say the rising population, rapid urbanisation and growing affluence in emerging markets like China, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Sub-Saharan Africa will open up more opportunities for local businesses.

    Standard Chartered says it expects Singapore businesses to benefit from a global super cycle or a long and sustained period of high growth in the next two decades.

  14. #3788
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    Default $155 million top-up for Edusave scheme

    The Straits Times

    Jan 24, 2011

    By Kor Kian Beng & Leow Si Wan




    A one-off top-up of $130 will be made to the Edusave accounts of all primary and secondary Singapore Citizen (SC) students. -- ST PHOTO: WONG MAYE-E


    THE Government is pumping some $155 million into the Edusave scheme to ensure that students can continue to enjoy enrichment classes and IT-enabled programmes, despite higher inflation.

    The top-up is the biggest since the Edusave scheme was launched in 1993.

    The Edusave account of each student in primary and secondary school will get a one-off boost of $130 this year.

    This brings the total amount that a primary school pupil gets this year to $330, and a secondary student, $370.


    The account top-ups will total $54.8 million.

    Announcing the news on Sunday, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen added that the Ministry of Education (MOE) has given an additional $100 million in Edusave grants to government, government-aided and independent schools.

  15. #3789
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    Default Waterfront park opens in Woodlands

    The Straits Times

    Jan 24, 2011

    By Melissa Pang




    Official opening of Woodlands Waterfront, a 9ha coastal park with a waterfront promenade. Semawang GRC MP and Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan to officiate. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG


    WOODLANDS' $19 million coastal park and promenade were officially opened on Sunday.

    Woodlands Waterfront, as this recreational playground for residents in the north has been named, comprises a 9ha coastal park and a 1.5km-long waterfront promenade.

    It also has an event plaza, picnic areas, a playground and an undulating track for cyclists and runners.

    Health Minister and Sembawang GRC MP Khaw Boon Wan, who was the guest of honour at the official opening, called the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) project 'good value for money'.

    He said: 'I've been here several times now, at different times of the day, and it is very well used. I've noticed many come here either to do exercise... or fishing, catching crabs. Or just simply to look at the sunrise and sunset and in the evening, the night skyline of Johor Baru.'

    At least 10,000 people have visited the green space so far, said a URA spokesman


    Scenic Woodlands Waterfront unveiled

    Channel NewsAsia
    23 January 2011 1257 hrs

    By Vimita Mohandas/Monica Kotwani

    SINGAPORE: Residents in northern Singapore can now enjoy a spanking new recreational destination with the completion of the Woodlands Waterfront.

    The Woodlands Waterfront boasts a scenic nine-hectare coastal park and a 1.5km-long waterfront promenade.

    Visitors can also enjoy a scenic view of the entire coastal park and the Straits of Johor from high vantage points along the newly opened trail.

    The park is furnished with rest shelters and dedicated jogging and cycling tracks.

    A 700m-long cantilevered waterfront promenade, which was open to the public last November, also brings visitors closer to the coastline.

    Once a warehouse site, the Woodlands Waterfront was officially opened on Sunday by MP for Sembawang GRC and Minister for Health, Khaw Boon Wan.

    The S$19m project took about two years to build. About three hectares were opened to the public when the first phase of the waterfront was completed last May.

    Sembawang GRC resident, Hamidah Salleh, said: "We came here a few times during the night. It's very alive and vibrant at night itself. You don't expect that at 11 and 12 o'clock (at night), there's still a lot of people here....barbecuing, fishing and playing around. It's quite fun, I like the atmosphere."

    Madam Hamidah said another feature of the park she likes is the multi-generational playground.

    "The playground is suitable for all ages, even for the elderly. There's a lot of exercise equipment they can use to do a bit of movement. So I think you can bring grandma, grandpa, little children (here). Everybody can enjoy here. I think that's what I like about this place."

    Woodlands Waterfront also features a spacious carpark, with more than 100 parking lots.

  16. #3790
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    Default Singapore Institute of Technology to double intake

    The Straits Times

    Jan 24, 2011

    By Leow Si Wan




    Education Minister Ng Eng Hen (right) speaks at a dialogue session at Bukit Timah Community Club. -- ST PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN



    THE Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will double its intake of students - from 500 to 1,000 - this year.

    Students can also look forward to six new degree programmes, bringing the total number of bachelor's degree programmes offered by SIT to 16.

    These announcements were made by Education Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday during a dialogue session at Bukit Timah Community Club.

    Three of the new programmes are in conjunction with two new overseas partners. These are the University of Manchester in England, for a nursing degree; and the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, for a degree in mechanical design engineering and another in mechatronics.

    SIT will also team up with an existing overseas partner, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, to offer three degree programmes: in food and human nutrition; mechanical design and manufacturing engineering; and chemical engineering.

    The SIT, which started running programmes for its first intake last year, was set up in 2009 to offer polytechnic graduates an additional route to a university degree.



    SIT to offer 6 new degree courses

    Channel NewsAsia
    23 January 2011 1441 hrs

    By Hoe Yeen Nie

    A screen grab of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) website.

    SINGAPORE: The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will be launching six new degree programmes from this year, bringing the total number of programmes offered to 16.

    It will also double its student intake, from 500 to 1,000.

    SIT was set up in 2009 to offer more degree options for diploma holders, by linking the five polytechnics here with reputable overseas universities.

    It currently offers degrees in areas such as engineering, digital media and hospitality.

    With the latest announcement, it will add two more partners to the list -- the University of Manchester and the University of Glasgow -- to bring the total to seven.

    The University of Manchester will tie up with Nanyang Polytechnic to offer a Bachelors in Nursing Practice.

    Meanwhile the University of Glasgow will partner Ngee Ann Polytechic to offer engineering degrees with honours in mechanical design engineering as well as mechatronics.

    The three other programmes -- one in food science and two in engineering -- will be offered by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

    On the new collaborations, SIT President Tan Chin Tiong said: "SIT is committed to expand(ing) our programme offerings and partner(ing) reputable overseas universities which are leaders in their fields of specialisation.

    "Coupled with our unique education model, this commitment underscores our dedication to ensure that our graduates are relevant, prepared and an integral part of Singapore's growth".

    The institute also plans to offer more scholarships this year.

    Its admissions exercise will begin in February.

    While the institute caters primarily to polytechnic graduates, applications from A-level students will also be accepted this year, if they meet the requirements. These include having the relevant work experience.

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    Default MM Lee: You must want to die for each other

    The Straits Times

    Jan 21, 2011

    By Elgin Toh




    Mr Lee said Singapore was still a nation in the making, an aspiration and not a reality. -- ST PHOTO



    THIS was the challenge Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew threw to Singaporeans on Friday at the launch of Hard Truths, a new book about his beliefs.

    Mr Lee said Singapore was still a nation in the making, an aspiration and not a reality.

    Citing China as an example of a bona fide nation, MM Lee said that China can be 'ravaged, demolished', but the people would invariably come together again to rebuild it. If the same thing happened to Singapore, it may simply fall apart.

    'Do not believe we have got there,' he said. 'Will we make it? Am I certain we'll get there? No, I cannot say that. Something can go wrong somewhere, and we'll fall apart.'

    The 458-page book, Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going, is based on 16 interviews he gave to Straits Times journalists. Published by Straits Times Press, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore Press Holdings, the book is now available for $39.90 at all major bookstores.

    On Friday's launch event at the John Jacob Ballroom, St Regis Singapore, was attended by 160 guests, including diplomats, academics, MPs, captains of industry, and Mr Lee's daughter, Wei Ling.

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