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Thread: Singapore Also Can
01-23-2011, 10:49 PM #3792
S'pore awards 11 scientists $3m each in research grants
The Straits Times
Jan 21, 2011
By Chua Hian Hou
The Government has awarded 11 scientists research grants worth millions. -- ST PHOTO
THE Government has awarded 11 scientists research grants worth millions.
On Friday, the National Research Foundation (NRF) announced its fourth batch of research fellows, who will each get $3 million in funding support over five years.
This is to conduct cutting-edge work in areas like developing whole new types of metal/ceramic composite materials and finding new ways to cure leukaemia.
The agency's hotly-contested fellowship programme - dangling up to $3 million in funding support over five years - had drawn 174 applications from scientists hailing from prestigious institutions like the Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
01-23-2011, 10:53 PM #3793
MM Lee: A mythological figure?
The Straits Times
Jan 21, 2011
By June Cheong
As Singapore's success grows, so too does Lee Kuan Yew's legend. -- ST PHOTO
IN 1965, MM Lee Kuan Yew, then Singapore's first prime minister, vowed that Singapore would survive as a country. More than 45 years later, he has fulfilled his promise. Singapore is a thriving metropolitan city.
As Singapore's success grows, so too does Lee Kuan Yew's legend. Much of the younger generation who never knew Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister, liken the now Minister Mentor to a mythological figure - an image that MM Lee wishes to dispel.
01-23-2011, 11:01 PM #3794
The Straits Times
Jan 21, 2011
Hard truths for Singapore
By June Cheong
Between 2008 and 2009, a team of seven Straits Times journalists met and challenged MM Lee with questions gathered from the public, fans and critics alike. - ST PHOTO
IT IS well-known that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is a gifted orator. What happens then when you pit seven journalists and editors against one of the most esteemed minds in Singapore?
As MM Lee put it: 'You're gonna cross swords with me, then you must be willing to get stabbed.'
Between 2008 and 2009, a team of seven Straits Times journalists met and challenged MM Lee with questions gathered from the public, fans and critics alike.
Deputy Political Editor at The Straits Times, Lydia Lim, said: 'He's particularly combative when he speaks about what I think he considers fundamental issues. When he thinks you don't get it, then he becomes quite aggressive. During the first few interviews, there were moments when it was a bit rough. I was a bit disheartened because I thought 'Oh no, this is not going very well. It's not very conversational.' I think thereafter it got better. We also got more used to it.'
The interviews spanning more than 32 hours were eventually turned into a book, Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going.
Throughout the 16 interviews, MM Lee was combative, forthcoming, jovial and laconic.
01-23-2011, 11:08 PM #3795
'MM Lee, does your food go through a food taster?'
The Straits Times
Jan 24, 2011
THE following is an excerpt from the 32 hours of interviews Straits Times journalists held with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew for the book Hard Truths, available in bookstores now.
Q: Does your food go through a tester before you eat it?
A: (long chuckle) 'What do I need that for? Who's going to poison me? I'm not a defector from the KGB.'
Q: Do you believe in love, and love at first sight?
A: 'I don't believe in love at first sight. I think it's a grave mistake. You're attracted by physical characteristics and you'll regret it.'
Q: But love, surely?
A: 'Yes, yes. I married a woman whom I knew for a long time. I had no interest in her when she was a student at Raffles College with me because I was too young and preoccupied with my work. But she told me later that she was interested in me.
'During the war, I was making gum mucilage. Yong Nyuk Lin was the chemist, so one production was at my home, the other production was at his home.
'I went to see him, and there she was. There was time on my hands, I was cycling. So I said, 'Oh, she's a nice girl.' We became friends. Then it gradually developed and I carefully considered the problem.
'I think I made the right choice. And with every passing year we adjusted to each other, until now even our habits become the same. That's life.'
Q: There was an interesting question that was submitted. It said, 'I heard that, like Sherlock Holmes, you do not read, watch or hear anything that is irrelevant to your work.' Is that true?
A: 'By and large, yes. Where is the time? But I read Don Quixote for relaxation when the new translation came up, which is well translated. I was in Spain and I got a copy in English. It's not relevant to my work but it carried me back to a different century. Cervantes imagined his knight-errant and Sancho Panza. Quite an interesting read.'
Q: Did you find any lessons in it?
A: 'You might mean well but don't tilt at windmills, it's a waste of time. But it was a comedy, it's a story. I don't tilt at windmills. I got mortal foes to fight against.'
Q: Is the 'climate of fear' Singaporeans feel here partly your doing?
A: 'Come off it! Are you fearful? If you're fearful why do you ask me this question? Is anything going to happen to you? Utter rubbish!'
Q: We may not personally be fearful but we did encounter quite a few young people who were.
A: 'I cannot explain that and I'm not interested whether they're fearful or not fearful. I think it's better that they're fearful and they take me seriously, than if they think I'm somebody they can brush off. That's all. And if you're the prime minister and you're brushed off, you're in trouble.'
01-24-2011, 01:08 AM #3796
Cost of living in Singapore increases by 2.8% in 2010
The Straits Times
Jan 24, 2011
Transport costs saw the largest CPI increase in 2010, up 10.3 per cent compared to 2009. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
THE overall cost of living in Singapore rose by 2.8 per cent for the whole of 2010, the Department of Statistics Singapore revealed on Monday.
Excluding accommodation costs, the consumer price index (CPI) for 2010 would have grown by 3.3 per cent.
The cost of transport saw the largest increase in 2010, up 10.3 per cent compared to 2009, reflecting higher prices of cars and petrol.
Housing cost climbed by 2.0 per cent following higher electricity tariffs and accommodation costs.
With more expensive prepared meals, vegetables, fresh seafood, rice and other cereals, chilled meat, as well as milk products, food prices rose by 1.4 per cent.
Between November and December 2011, CPI rose by another 4.6 per cent.
01-24-2011, 03:55 AM #3797
Record investments by foreign companies
The Straits Times
Jan 24, 2011
Firms committed to invest $12.9 billion here in fixed assets such as factories and machineries. -- ST PHOTO: ONG CHIN KAI
COMPANIES from around the world flocked to invest in Singapore in 2010, and the strong investment momentum is expected to continue this year.
The Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Monday that firms committed to invest $12.9 billion here in fixed assets such as factories and machineries, handily beating its own forecast of $10 to $12 billion for the year.
Companies also forked out an all-time high of $8.6 billion last year on total business spending, which includes expenditure on wages and rentals.
All this bodes well for job-seekers. When completed, the projects committed to last year will result in 21,300 new skilled jobs - the most ever.
They will also contribute $14.4 billion in 'value-added', which is the second-highest figure on record, the EDB said. Value-added is what counts when calculating actual economic growth.
01-24-2011, 09:01 PM #3798
The Straits Times
Jan 25, 2011
S'pore-Sydney proposed bourse merger gets funding
Singapore stock exchange has secured around US$3.7 billion (S$4.8 billion) in funding from six banks for a proposed merger with Sydney's bourse.- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
SINGAPORE - SINGAPORE'S stock exchange (SGX) said on Monday it has secured around US$3.7 billion (S$4.8 billion) in funding from six banks for a proposed merger with Sydney's bourse.
SGX said in a statement the funding consisted of term loans of $3.8 billion and Aus$750 million (S$953 million) from leading banks in both countries.
Both stocks exchanges announced the multi-billion dollar merger in October, intended to create one of the world's largest and most diversified financial trading hubs.
The announcement initially sparked a political backlash in Australia, where key independent lawmakers questioned Singapore's human rights and democracy record and argued that the deal would disadvantage Australia.
But Australia's competition watchdog said in December it will not oppose the merger, bringing the deal one step closer to completion.
Funding will come from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the Singapore branch of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, United Overseas Bank and National Australia Bank. -- AFP
01-24-2011, 09:09 PM #3799
The Straits Times
Jan 25, 2011
Works to raise Orchard Road on schedule
By Amresh Gunasingham
Parafoil Design and Engineering product manager Jwee Quek (wearing a tie) showing Dr Yaacob the flood barrier at Liat Towers that his firm designed. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE
View more photos
THE ambitious $26 million project to raise a 1.4km stretch of Orchard Road, in a bid to stave off future floods, is on target for completion as scheduled in June.
About 70 per cent of the roadside kerbs have been lifted. And although less than a tenth of the road itself has been raised, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim said on Monday he was confident work would be completed on time.
Speaking to reporters after a visit to the area, he said he was pleased with the progress so far, given the need to satisfy the competing needs of drivers and tenants in the area.
He said the engineers faced constraints, including having to work only at night to avoid the busy traffic along the premier shopping belt. They also work only on short stretches at a time so that as few lanes as possible are closed.
Dr Yaacob said the work could be stepped up after the Chinese New Year break, when it will be halted temporarily as part of an agreement between national water agency PUB and local businesses. 'The experts will look at the work plan and see how this can be accelerated. Given the option, we want to finish as quickly as possible,' he said.
The works aim to prevent a repeat of the floods that deluged parts of Orchard Road in June and July last year.
01-24-2011, 09:17 PM #3800
New scholarship for medical students
<H3 class=date_story>The Straits Times
Jan 25, 2011
An artist's impression of The Academia, comprising 13-storey twin tower buildings, which will be ready in 2013. It will house SGH's pathology services, and SingHealth research laboratories and education and training services. -- PHOTO: SINGHEALTH
SINGHEALTH is giving a booster shot worth up to $576,000 a year to medical students.
On Monday, it announced the launch of a scholarship, the first by a public health-care cluster here, to benefit four undergraduates each year, starting with the current batch of first-year medical students.
Singapore citizens, permanent residents and international students from the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School are eligible to apply.
The scholarship's value will be pegged to a Singapore citizen's tuition fee at both universities. SingHealth will provide about $144,000 for a four-year course at Duke-NUS, and $100,000 for a five-year course at the Yong Loo Lin school.
There will be a four-year bond with SingHealth upon graduation, which can be served concurrently with a government bond that medical students at these schools have to serve.
Singapore General Hospital (SGH), KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Changi General Hospital, five national speciality centres and nine polyclinics are under the SingHealth Group.
01-24-2011, 09:21 PM #3801
The Straits Times
Jan 25, 2011
World volunteer conference comes to town
By Carolyn Quek
More than 1,000 members of the world's volunteering community gathered here on Monday for a four-day conference. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
MORE than 1,000 members of the world's volunteering community are gathered here for a four-day conference.
The 21st International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) World Volunteer Conference will feature more than 150 speakers, including movie stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh (above, right), who will share their insights on volunteerism.
Li founded the One Foundation charity while Yeoh is the global ambassador for the Make Roads Safe campaign which aims to raise awareness of the problem of road traffic injury.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong will deliver a keynote address this morning.
At the opening ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa yesterday, President S R Nathan unveiled a display of orchids symbolising the spirit of volunteerism together with the IAVE world president Lee Kang Hyun, United Nations Volunteers executive coordinator Flavia Pansieri and Singapore's Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Yu-Foo Yee Shoon.
The conference is being held here for the first time.
01-24-2011, 09:26 PM #3802
The Straits Times
Jan 25, 2011
Parents' background the edge for students
By Rachel Chang
MM Lee laughs with a class of students during his visit to Dunman High School. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE
A MARKED difference in parental background is what divides the students of 'brand-name' schools from those of neighbourhood schools, rather than the facilities they have access to or the quality of their teachers.
Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew told reporters on Monday after a visit to Dunman High School that he had formed this opinion after visiting several schools.
These visits, to both top schools like Raffles Girls' Primary and neighbourhood schools like Punggol Primary, were a bid to 'have a sense of the quality of the schools, the nature of the students, to see whether we are being fair to everybody', he said.
Mr Lee acknowledged that top schools had more 'frills' because they charged higher school fees. Better teachers also gravitate to them due to the perceived higher status and their principals' ability to scout for talent, he said.
But he emphasised that teachers in neighbourhood schools were, on the whole, 'equally competent'.
Rather, the difference he has perceived is 'in the nature of the students', he said. He revealed that he had asked for statistics on the educational background of the parents of students from a range of schools to substantiate the hypothesis.
01-24-2011, 09:34 PM #3803
Faster 4G rollout in Singapore
By Rachel Kelly | Posted: 24 January 2011 1813 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singapore can expect a quicker rollout of faster mobile broadband.
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has announced its plans to bring forward the rollout of 4G in Singapore.
4G, or the fourth generation of wireless-mobile standards, provides users with mobile speeds five to 10 times faster than the current 3G speeds. So, downloading a video on a smartphone would be a breeze.
The IDA will re-allocate the 2.3/2.5 GHz bands for 4G as early as next year.
IDA added, however, that the take-up of the allocation would commence once current contracts expire on 30 June, 2015.
The move is to provide greater certainty to industry on the availability of the spectrum rights after 2015.
Current spectrum right holders are: M1, PacketOne Singapore, QMax Comms, SingTel Mobile Singapore and StarHub Mobile.
The IDA will also allow operators to deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE) with their existing spectrum rights in the 900/1800 MHz and 2.3/2.5 GHz bands.
The move is aimed at guiding and assisting the industry in their investment and network planning.
An M1 spokeswoman told MediaCorp that "M1 will be able to deploy LTE earlier, as well as manage our spectrum allocation more efficiently."
Foong King Yew, research director at Gartner Advisory, said: "It will be an opportunity for the service providers to deploy the new technology early on, work through the teething problems and gain operational experience before mass deployment."
A SingTel spokesperson said: "As LTE can operate in different spectrums including 2.3/2.5G, 900/1800M and even 700M, SingTel is exploring all options available and is working closely with network providers to ensure commercial LTE services can be introduced to our customers in good time. The availability of compatible devices like dongles, phones and tablets are key factors that will influence the time to market for LTE services."
A StarHub spokesperson said: "StarHub is seeing significant growth in mobile data and LTE is planned to form an important part of the future growth of our network. We are currently conducting technical trials of LTE."
But while telcos will be able to roll out LTE on current bandwidth, it is still a waiting game when it comes to the availability of compatible devices.
For the moment, experts say that LTE is mainly a mobile broadband play for devices such as mobile dongles and it won't be until 2012 that we will see further rollout on smaller screens such as smartphones.
"I think the focus has to shift from consumer to what it can do for businesses. At the end of the day, giving higher speeds to consumers will not open their purse strings [further]. So what we are to look at is to enable something that can enable businesses," said Nitin Bhat, partner & vice president at Frost & Sullivan ICT Practice Asia Pacific.
Some analysts expect over 70 billion connected devices to come to market in the next 10 years. That compares with around 4 billion in the last 10 years.
The telcos will need to bid for the re-allocated bandwidth. But experts do not expect them to pay more than S$100 million each, the amount they paid for 3G.
01-25-2011, 11:11 PM #3804
President Nathan launches book on his role in the labour movement
By S Ramesh | Posted: 25 January 2011 1805 hrs
President S R Nathan
SINGAPORE : Singapore's President, SR Nathan, has said the nation should never take for granted the peace and harmony of good labour relations.
This is because any mismanagement of these ties could ignite sparks and discredit all efforts in preserving harmonious labour-management relations.
Speaking to the media ahead of the launch of his book, "Winning Against the Odds", about his work in the Labour Research Unit, President Nathan also revealed that he is working on his memoirs next.
For President Nathan, the book tells of the interesting times he has lived through and about the Labour Research Unit and the role it played in the founding of today's NTUC.
Mr Nathan said: "It is not a lesson - I thought ... by narrating this, those who read it will get a sense of the times. Of course, there will be those who disbelieve it. I am not creating a story. So my hope is that reading it, today's generation will know how we came here.
"How much you take from it is yours, how much you reject is yours, but I can only tell you what happened, what I did, what we went through and what is the origin of the NTUC of today."
"One of the important elements was the Modernisation seminar - as the NTUC was struggling for its existence, it was not easy to mobilise people. Subscriptions had to be collected by volunteers who went around to collect money during pay day.
"And the movement could not move without financial support - the affiliates were not rich, so a check-off system was introduced after the seminar and unions found themselves with money in the kitty. To ensure that they were properly made use of, we encouraged the co-op movement to bring the cost of living down so that people couldn't exploit the market.
"Today we are in a different world - we are plugged to the world economy, and jobs depend on how effective and capable we are. There are others equally capable and willing to take on the jobs at a lesser rate. We will always be vulnerable to the pressures of globalisation - you are not competing with your employer in Singapore but with workers worldwide."
"Winning Against the Odds" is President Nathan's second book. His first, launched last year, was on his early life as a labour relations officer for a Seafarers' Union.
Mr Nathan said the title of the book, "Winning Against the Odds", is relevant even in today's context for Singaporeans.
He said: "It will be a feature of Singapore - that we will be constantly having to win against the odds, be it the economy, be it the social changes and be it our relations with others and be it the strategic landscape in which we exist and in which we have to find survival."
Mr Nathan added that he embarked on the publishing of his two books after much encouragement from his friends.
"I didn't do anything until I assumed the Presidency. (In) the early months of the Presidency, I was grappling with what I have to do, (I) had time on my hands. I had to determine how I was going to do it, those were all in the thinking process and I had time.
"So with the urgings of friends, I said why not produce it into writing. Much of it was in my memory. As civil servants, we don't carry documents all around us, some are documented.
"And this is something that happened in the 1950s and 60s and this was essentially trawling my memory and picking up the pieces as you thought through what happened."
President Nathan explained, "I did not maintain any diary in those times because I saw it as a passing phase in my career. Hence, much of what I have narrated has been trawled from my memory. It could seem to some readers that this is a highly selective account of those times.
"If that be so, I can offer no apologies, as I recorded what I remembered and what came to my mind as significant as I recounted the events. Readers could also find some parts of the book somewhat disjointed or even incomplete. Again I offer no apologies as they reflect my personal experiences and encounters as they happened.
"I had to learn on the job and improvise solutions dictated by the prevailing circumstances of those times. I enjoyed living those years, with their challenges and frustrations. I would not wish to say anything differently, even if there are differences of views by others, interpreting the happenings of those times differently."
The President also explained his reason for dedicating a whole chapter in his book to NTUC's founding secretary-general, the late President CV Devan Nair.
He said: "The NTUC could not have existed if not for his contribution, if not for his leadership, if not for his ability to mobilise people to stand up against intimidation and see the larger picture of Singapore's interest and how labour with its mood for agitation had to be moved to look at the larger picture and contribute to the kind of stability we were looking for.
"He was a formidable figure, as you know he had been active in the pro-communist sense. He saw the writing on both sides of the wall and he was able to convey through his personal experiences what it was and what it would lead to and he won the confidence of many workers who moved away from the pro-communist camp. His leadership was critical, and having worked with him, I felt we owe him a debt."
President SR Nathan's book about his work in the labour movement won't be his last publication. Next on the cards will be his memoirs.
He said work on his memoirs is reaching its final stage. But the President is keeping close to his heart one important decision, and that is whether he will be seeking re-election to the Presidency come August this year.
"I am still waiting, there is still a long way off - couple of months more. When I decide, I will tell you," he added.
Mr Nathan's book on his work in the labour movement is being launched as part of NTUC's 50th anniversary celebrations this year.
A new training award - the SR Nathan U Development Award - was also launched on Tuesday.
Proceeds from the sale of "Winning Against the Odds" will go towards setting up the award to recognise and develop outstanding staff in NTUC's Administration and Research Unit.
So far, over S$1 million has been raised for the award from corporate and individual donors.
01-25-2011, 11:19 PM #3805
Youths today happier & more vocal than 5 years ago: survey
By Wayne Chan | Posted: 25 January 2011 2230 hrs
SINGAPORE : Singapore youths today are happier and more vocal than their counterparts five years ago, according to the National Youth Survey 2010.
The survey also showed that youths are spending more time with their family.
However, despite these improvements, there were still some areas of concern.
40 per cent of those surveyed said they spent 10 hours or more per week with their families, as compared with just 25 per cent in 2005.
96 per cent also said they are proud to be Singaporeans. More also agreed that there are enough opportunities in Singapore for them to achieve their aspirations.
However, the National Youth Council (NYC) is concerned that the percentage of youth involved in leadership roles has gone down by half - from 22 per cent in 2005 to 11 per cent last year.
Teo Ser Luck, chairman of the National Youth Council, said: "I believe our young people, most of them have the leadership potential. Then the question is why are they not spending more time in leadership positions? Is it because they are spending more time online?"
Other areas of concern include the liberal views of youths towards divorce. While almost half said one should marry, 64 per cent felt that divorce was an option, depending on the circumstances.
Most youth surveyed ranked "maintaining strong family relationships" as their most important life goal, followed by "having a successful career" and "acquiring new skills and knowledge". To "earn lots of money" came in fourth in the rankings.
But some had different goals. One youth, Suen Johan, explained why he felt getting married or finding the right partner was more important.
He said: "Because ... among my friends, a lot of them have difficulty in finding (a partner). So I think it's quite important - in supporting you through all the difficulties that you go through in life."
On being more vocal, half of those surveyed said they had expressed their views before, mostly through online channels, as compared to only 24 per cent in the 2005 survey.
The findings of the third National Youth Survey are contained in the latest edition of the "YOUTH.sg: The State of Youth in Singapore 2010" book.
The book was launched on Tuesday afternoon by National Youth Council chairman and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Mr Teo Ser Luck.
Last edited by Loh; 01-25-2011 at 11:30 PM.
01-25-2011, 11:29 PM #3806
New interactive service for multiple devices from MediaCorp
By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 25 January 2011 1701 hrs
Singapore: MediaCorp, Singapore's leading media company, will introduce a new interactive service in the second half of 2011 that will revolutionise the way users watch television and use Internet-enabled devices - from PCs to tablet devices and mobile phones.
The service, called Over-the-Top (OTT) in the media industry because it piggy-backs on users' existing broadband connections, will be free except for premium content which requires a subscription.
Users will get to enjoy content leveraging on MediaCorp's TV, radio, print and online offerings as well as third party content.
As for premium content, these include "live" TV channels which will come with interactive elements such as behind-the-scenes footage and synopses, while news programmes could have accompanying maps to aid understanding of the report being presented.
An added attraction is that the service will be optimised for viewing and navigating on large high-definition TV screens - all the user needs is a set-top box, or enjoy the content via selected "Connected TV" models which come with Internet connectivity.
"We want this service to be device agnostic so that our interactive TV experience goes beyond the TV set," said MediaCorp CEO Lucas Chow.
"We want users to enjoy this interactivity and stay engaged wherever they are, whether they are using a set-top box, or a phone or tablet. It will be an enriched experience like no other. Through this new offering, it helps our users live smart, stay entertained, informed and educated,” he added.
Mr Chow went on to describe the interactive service as another milestone in Singapore's history of broadcasting.
He said: "I think this is quite a revolution for MediaCorp, in terms of offering our traditional broadcasting services, and I would even call it the most exciting time since we introduced colour television broadcast.
"We are turning your living room into a two-way communication, plus the possibility of taking some of these services along with you as you move out from your house. This is going to be the next generation of how you are going to consume television, radio as well as print products and Internet."
To receive the service, all that is needed is a broadband connection. This should be connected to a set-top box or other Internet-enabled devices like a games console or blu-ray player.
The service will be available once the device is connected to the TV set.
But if users have a "Connected TV" that is Internet enabled, all they need is a broadband connection to get the service.
MediaCorp says the service comes at a time when major set makers are preparing to launch models of "Connected TVs" and it will collaborate with them to offer its service via an application on their menu, thus dispensing with the need for a set-top box interface with the TV.
Among the host of features available will be programme previews, movies and TV series on demand and high definition quality TV programmes.
The system will also offer easy-to-use TV applications such as casual games, public and community services such as real-time traffic information, a "personal locker" to store content such as videos and photographs which can be shared and even dedicated channels on specialist subjects such as investing.
If that's not enough, there will also be easy access to social network applications such as Facebook and plans to allow users to watch YouTube videos on the interactive service.
MediaCorp says the service is best deployed on high speed connectivity such as the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network.
However, a good viewing experience is possible even with Internet connection speeds of 2 Mbps.
"MediaCorp's new service is a good example of the enhanced entertainment experience that can be brought about by the deployment of the Next Gen Nationwide Broadband Network," said RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, CEO of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.
"We hope the launch of this service will encourage other service providers to take advantage of the ultra high speed network and develop more of such interactive services that will benefit consumers," he added.
Several thousand households will be invited to take part in trials of the new service which the Media Development Authority has welcomed.
The CEO of the Media Development Authority of Singapore, Mr Aubeck Kam, said the new OTT service will extend MediaCorp's traditional free-to-air television content onto new platforms and enable MediaCorp to offer additional services and features not possible in traditional broadcasting.
"I hope that this service will contribute to a vibrant and competitive media market, to the benefit of the viewing public,” added Mr Kam.
More details of the service, such as pricing and subscription, will be announced over the next few months.
Meanwhile, MediaCorp wants a collaborative approach to develop interesting TV applications.
"To reinvent the TV experience, we want to 'crowd source' and tap the industry for innovative ideas," said Mr Shaun Seow, MediaCorp Deputy CEO (News, Radio, Interactive & Print), who is spearheading the OTT project team.
"We'd like to invite developers to design TV apps tailored to our local context and tastes, for example, utility services, games and even T-commerce. The possibilities are endless,” he said.
Worldwide, OTT television services are growing because of its simplicity of use. Among those in use now are Netflix, Apple TV and BBC iPlayer.
01-25-2011, 11:35 PM #3807
The Straits Times
Jan 26, 2011
Nasa instructors to train 40 local students
By Melissa Lin
40 cadets from the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Singapore will get to take part in a new Space Wing programme. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
IN JUNE this year, 40 cadets from the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Singapore will get to take part in a new space programme. They will be trained by instructors from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Called the Space Wing Programme, the new course is a result of a partnership between the Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA) and NCC Singapore.
'It'll be a very rigorous five-day programme that blends academics, practical elements and experiential training all into one. It follows the astronaut-training programme in NASA, but it's a watered down version, of course,' said the SSTA's president, Mr Jonathan Hung.
He added that to be selected, cadets should have a certain aptitude in basic mathematics and science, be physically fit and all-rounded.
In 2012, a Space For Science enrichment programme will be launched to engage lower secondary school students in the learning of space technologies.
The SSTA is working with 3D Classworks for this initiative and the NASA is helping with the creation of content. For now, the aim is to bring the idea of space exploration closer to home. Mr Indra Ahmad, the business development manager of 3D Classworks, said: 'We want the students to appreciate space technologies, know that it exists and when they grow older, this may be an area they want to go into.'
01-25-2011, 11:42 PM #3808
Keeping selfless spirit of forefathers alive
The Straits Times
Jan 26, 2011
THE ST INTERVIEW
New clan leader wants to integrate immigrants and prevent emergence of a divided community
By Leong Weng Kam, Senior Writer
Mr Lee says the charitable spirit of the clan founders is social capital which can contribute to building a nation of people who care. --ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN
PATRICK who? Until he was elected secretary-general of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) last October, not many people had heard of Mr Patrick Lee.
Yet the 62-year-old businessman was the top choice of SFCCA president Chua Thian Poh for the post.
The view was obviously shared by members of the umbrella body for more than 200 clan groups. They gave their unanimous support.
Mr Lee tells The Straits Times he agreed to step into the post because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, the late Lee Chee Hung, founder of textile company Sing Lun. His father was known for his contributions to Kong Chow Wui Koon, the 170-year-old Cantonese clan association formed by fellow clansmen from their home town in Xinhui, Guangdong province, China. He died in 2003 at age 86.
As a filial son, Mr Lee joined the clan association 10 years ago to continue his father's work. He took over Sing Lun and transformed the textile trading company into a major Singapore apparel provider with an annual turnover of $230 million.
He says he found time to do more community work only after his son took over the day-to-day running of the business from 2005. His son Mark, 38, is now the company's managing director. His daughter Anne, 39, helps run the company's investments in another family company, Bowen Enterprises.
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