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  1. #3860
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    Default NTU opens Asia's first solar fuels lab

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Lynda Hong | Posted: 08 February 2011 1056 hrs

    Video
    NTU opens Asia's first solar fuels lab
    SINGAPORE: Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) can now look forward to recreating an energy process that takes place in plants to produce hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight.

    NTU's new Solar Fuels Lab, which is the first of its kind in Asia, was officially opened on Tuesday morning by NTU President Designate Professor Bertil Andersson, who is a pioneer in the "artificial leaf" technology.

    Inspired by nature's ability to recreate an energy-producing process through photosynthesis, researchers at NTU will be working to find suitable combinations of chemical catalysts that can speed up the artificial photosynthesis process using minimal energy.

    This will be used in a device which will be able to extract large amounts of hydrogen from water using sunlight.

    Incoming NTU president Bertil Andersson said: "The leaf has chlorophyll that has a lot of protein molecules that may not be stable in an artificial system.

    "So the [focus of the] research is [on finding] stable components in the technological system, in a technological machinery".

    The new solar fuels laboratory at NTU aim to extract hydrogen fuel using solar energy.

    And instead of conventional solar cell, the lab is testing if cheap substances like rust and titanium dioxide can efficiently capture solar energy to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.

    NTU visiting professor James Barber said: "We can do this reaction right now. It's no problem. We can use platinum, or we can use very expensive semi-conductor materials.

    "The challenge is to devise technology which is cheap, and is robust, and made of cheap materials".

    Professor Barber is one of the few world-class experts to work on the project, which comprises about a dozen researchers from NTU, including professor Michael Gratzal, Dr Heinz Frei and Dr John Turner .

    NTU said it plans to deliver the prototype in three to five years.

    Current technology requires huge amounts of energy to draw minute amounts of hydrogen from water which makes it commercially unviable.

    When perfected, this "artificial leaf" technology can reduce dependence on crude oil and help to ease problems caused by global warming and climate change.

  2. #3861
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    Default Plans to help older low-wage workers

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Mustafa Shafawi | Posted: 08 February 2011 1644 hrs


    1




    SINGAPORE: A workgroup set up by government feedback portal REACH, which looked into manpower issues, has recommended better support programmes for low-income workers who are above 65 years old.

    It recommended an unemployment credit, in which a worker who has been laid off can take a loan from his Central Provident Fund (CPF) account for three months.

    The loan amount would be determined by the last-drawn salary of the worker, and would be subject to a cap of three months.

    To fund the scheme, workers would contribute one per cent of their monthly income. The government would co-fund the scheme by making the same amount of contribution.

    Those earning below S$1,000 may be exempted from contribution, with the government paying the full amount into the account.

    The loan has to be paid back upon employment.

    Another proposal is for a Wage Insurance Scheme which subsidises 50 per cent of salary difference between new and old jobs, when an individual who is involuntarily unemployed take on a lower-paying new job.

    Like the Individual Unemployment Credit proposal, this insurance scheme is funded via a one per cent co-payment by workers and the government.

    A third recommendation is a basic retirement grant.

    REACH said the proposal is to provide a modest monthly stipend to individuals aged 65 years and above, who are identified as being in the low income and savings groups, to assist them with meeting their basic consumption needs.

    The workgroup suggested a monthly stipend of S$200 to S$300, similar to a scheme in Hong Kong called the Normal Old Age Allowance.

    To determine eligibility and to ensure that the scheme is targeted, means-testing can be conducted through assessing a worker's income level and assets.

    REACH said this small grant is intended to be just one component of retirement adequacy, with other components like part-time work and personal savings making up the rest.

    To help older workers integrate into the workforce better, the workgroup has also suggested job re-design, such as having flexible working hours and shorter shifts, as well as customised training such as an internship programme to help older workers learn customer service skills.

    Responding to the workgroup's recommendations, the Manpower Ministry (MOM) said the government is committed to helping older and low-wage workers and will study the proposals.

    It added that the budgetary implications of any proposal must also be carefully considered, so that any schemes that are rolled out are sustainable.

  3. #3862
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    Default S'pore urges Thailand, Cambodia to bear in mind ASEAN's reputation

    Channel NewsAsia

    By S Ramesh | Posted: 09 February 2011 1411 hrs


    Cambodian soldiers stand in formation at the Preah Vhear temple Related News MFA urges Thailand and Cambodia to exercise restraintUN chief seeks to end Thai-Cambodia border clashes



    SINGAPORE: Singapore's Foreign Ministry said it is encouraged by the recent visits made by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to Bangkok and Phnom Penh aimed at facilitating bilateral negotiations between Thailand and Cambodia.

    The ministry said it supports the ASEAN Chair's continued engagement to help bring about a peaceful resolution to the border dispute.

    Singapore has also urged all relevant parties to act with restraint and bear in mind the interest and reputation of ASEAN.

  4. #3863
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    Default More competitions to broaden sports participation

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 08 February 2011 2026 hrs







    SINGAPORE : Students' participation in school sports is set to get a boost - with more recreational sports competitions planned.

    The Ministry of Education's Co-Curricular Activities Branch is working with the Singapore Sports Council to create more competitions for students not already involved in core sports.

    This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Education, S Iswaran, at the opening ceremony of the National School Games on Tuesday.

    One example is the Milo-MOE Triathlon where the distances for the events have been greatly reduced and rules modified so that all students can participate.

    Schools can also collaborate with the Community Development, Youth and Sports Ministry to organise inter-schools sports carnivals to promote the sports their students have been learning through the Sports Education Programme.

    To promote fair play, different models for Good Sportsmanship Awards will also be piloted by the Singapore Schools' Sports Council (SSSC) and the Singapore Primary Schools' Sports Council (SPSSC).

    The awards will be given to players who have demonstrated exceptional acts of sportsmanship, even outside of competitions.

    Mr Iswaran said: "Our hope is for school sports participation to grow and for all our students to experience the joy of playing sports.

    "While striving to do their best in the various sporting activities, we also want our students to play fair and strive to be good sportsmen."

  5. #3864
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    The Straits Times
    July 28, 2009

    By Lim Wei Chean

    BY NEXT November, visitors to Sentosa will have another option of getting to the resort island - on foot. A new 620-m boardwalk with five pairs of covered travellators will make the journey a breeze.

    Works on the $70-million boardwalk kicked off on Tuesday.

    Ranging from 25m to 40m in width, the walkway will also be lined with retail and food and beverage outlets along the way.

    The walkway will link up to Sentosa's integrated resort, Resorts World at Sentosa, which will direct visitors to the resort or to attractions within the rest of the island. It is designed to carry 8,000 visitors per hour in each direction and is part of the resort island's plans to enhance transport links as it gears up for a surge in visitors when the IR opens early next year.

    The boardwalk, said Sentosa Leisure Group's chief executive officer Mike Barclay, is part of a $300-million budget to overhaul the transport links on the island to ensure that it can receive the increase in visitors, which is expected to double.

    The walkway will offer five different themed gardens, from mangrove, rock garden, terrain and hill, coastal flora and rainforest, giving visitors a different experience as they pass from one zone to the next.

    It will be lit at night to offer a different experience. This boardwalk will replace the original pedestrian path along the causeway bridge to the island that was closed in August 2007 for the construction of the second bridge.

    I was there to sample the new Sentosa Boardwalk during the Lunar New Year holidays in early February and must say that this new facility has added to the charm and convenience of Sentosa. One can see more of the area which starts from Vivo City and the Cruise Centre by walking on foot and making use of the covered travelator to Resorts World Sentosa where more excitement awaits the visitor.
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  6. #3865
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    Default Pocket dynamite destined for the lights

    Tao Li's Olympic ambition no idle boast, say those who know her



    by Low Lin Fhoong
    05:55 AM Feb 09, 2011

    [SIZE=2]TODAY's Athlete Of The Year 2010

    SINGAPORE - Her cheeky grin, spiky hair and Singaporean-accented English have endeared her to many here, more so after her historic feat at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she finished fifth in the women's 100m butterfly final, a first for any local swimmer at the multi-sport event.

    And last year, she earned a permanent spot in Singaporeans' hearts with her gutsy, never-say-die spirit at the Guangzhou Asian Games, overcoming arch-rival Jiao Liuyang of China in the 50m butterfly in 26.10sec to defend her gold medal. She also won a silver in the 100m butterfly (58.24sec).

    Her Asiad feats have not gone unnoticed, as the 21-year-old Auckland University of Technology (AUT) student joins the six-nominee list for the Today Athlete of the Year 2010 award, the others being sharpshooter Gai Bin, world team champion Feng Tianwei (table tennis), fencer Wang Wenying, junior footballer Mohd Hanafi Akbar and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Lim Heem Wei (gymnastics).

    Dr Irwin Seet, the Singapore Sports School's director of sports, was delighted to hear about Tao Li's (picture) nomination, telling MediaCorp yesterday: "For 26.10 seconds, Tao Li brought a nation to its feet. We were screaming for her, urging her on and celebrating when she won Singapore's first gold medal at the Asian Games. For her to repeat the feat with all eyes on her as the defending champion is testimony to her sporting pedigree.

    "Tao Li truly deserves to be honoured as the Today Athlete of the Year 2010.

    "We are proud whenever one of our alumni is honoured for such sports awards. It is also encouraging that Today has recognised one of our budding football players, Hanafi, for this award."

    AUT classmate and national swimmer Clement Lim is also backing Tao Li to win the award.

    Said the Youth Olympic Games swimmer: "She deserves it. I'm also a swimmer and I've seen the way she trains in the pool and I know how hard she trained for the Asian Games.

    "Feng Tianwei will be her closest competitor because she also achieved quite a lot last year but I'll be rooting for Tao Li."

    The Hebei-born swimmer is currently doing high-altitude training in Threadbo, Australia, with more overseas training stints and competitions lined up by coach Barry Prime this season, among them the Telstra Australia Swimming Championships (April 1 to 8), 14th Fina World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai in July and the SEA Games in Indonesia (Nov 11 to 25).

    But the ultimate goal for Tao Li is a podium finish at the 2012 London Games, where she will come up against the likes of Jiao, Australian defending champion Libby Trickett and world record-holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden (56.06sec).

    Some may scoff at the pint-sized (1.60m tall) swimmer's ambition but Singapore Swimming Association president Jeffrey Leow thinks otherwise: "I wouldn't put it past her. She's demonstrated that she can focus on the big events like the Beijing Olympics and Asian Games and she can't be discounted for London 2012."










    Singapore National swimmer Tao Li posing for profile photo at Singapore Sports School on 18 November 2009. Photo by KOH MUI FONG.

    Last edited by Loh; 02-09-2011 at 07:36 PM.

  7. #3866
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    Default University of Manchester, SIT offer new nursing degree

    The Straits Times

    Feb 10, 2011

    By Jennani Durai




    Education Minister Ng Eng Hen, who was at the signing of the tie-up yesterday, speaking to students at a simulated operating theatre in NYP. The new course will offer 70 places. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM


    NURSING diploma holders who want to study for a degree now have another avenue available to them.

    It comes in the form of a new tie-up between the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the University of Manchester (UOM). The British university, ranked among Britain's best for nursing, will offer a two-year direct honours bachelor's degree in nursing in conjunction with SIT starting in September this year. It will take in 70 students.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) yesterday, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said nurses were 'critical to the foundation of daily health-care operations', as they make up about 40 per cent of the staff in public hospital groups. He also announced that SIT - which runs foreign university degree courses on polytechnic campuses here - had secured 20 scholarships from health-care groups for students in the programme.

    Professor Karen Luker, dean of the nursing school at UOM, said the training of nurses worldwide was increasingly being delivered through university degree courses. 'No one questions that doctors need degrees, but when you see the complexities of what nurses have to do, you have to wonder why they don't either,' she said.

    The course will be conducted at NYP, which is one of two polytechnics here that offer a nursing diploma course. Together with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, it graduates around 1,000 registered nurses a year.

    The programme will supplement the graduate nurses produced by the National University of Singapore's Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, which takes in 80 to 90 undergraduates a year. Other ways for those wanting a degree include courses at private institutions, such as the one by the Singapore Institute of Management with the University of Sydney, and the course run by the Singapore Nurses Association with Australia's La Trobe University.

  8. #3867
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Hands-on approach in learning how to treat elderly patients

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 09 February 2011 2140 hrs


    Video
    Hands-on approach in learning how to treat elderly patients




    SINGAPORE : A new workshop on geriatrics is training medical students from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine to treat elderly patients - by letting them be in their shoes.

    The aim of the the workshop is to let students sink into the character of some of their patients, and feel how it is like to be an elderly person.

    The two-week course teaches students to appreciate the challenges faced, such as reading the labels on medication, or self-administrating insulin.

    The module, titled Foundations in Geriatric Medicine, received positive feedback from its pilot cohort last year, and looks set to stay in the syllabus.

    Hua Rong Bing, a student at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine - a member of the National University Health System - said: "We thought maybe it was just about getting old, getting slower. But there are actually a lot of other hindrances in life. When we were doing this small trial, we had to tape our fingers and everything became much harder to grasp and harder to feel and touch. The whole process, which we thought would only take five minutes, took 20 minutes. So it is quite interesting."

    Also part of the course is a fictional scenario where students learn to communicate with older patients effectively, by speaking slowly and using simple words.

    Dr Reshma Merchant, assistant professor at the Department of Medicine at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, said: "These are our future doctors. And I really want them to understand what problems the elderly face, what diseases they have, and how to interview or take a complete medical history from this group of people."

    The school prides itself as being one of the few in the world which offer specific courses on geriatrics in the junior years of medical school.

    And it is timely as Singapore's ageing population increases.

    Twenty years from now, one in five Singaporeans is expected to be 65 years old and above. In 2009, the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine saw 1,500 Singaporeans and 700 foreigners vying for a place in the school, which enrols only 260 students each year. The students graduate with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

  9. #3868
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default AWARE calls for paternity leave to be mandated by law

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 09 February 2011 1329 hrs

    Video
    AWARE calls for paternity leave to be mandated by law


    SINGAPORE: The Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) has called for paternity leave to be mandated by law.

    This is backed by findings from a survey it commissioned, involving more than 1000 parents with children aged seven years old and below.

    Nine in 10 respondents said they wanted paternity leave to be made compulsory.

    AWARE said such a move would provide a more supportive environment for Singaporeans to have babies and help reverse the country's declining birth rate.

    Ms Carolyn Lim, a mother of two who recently separated from her husband, said when she and her ex-husband were still together, he took a month of unpaid leave after each child was born.

    "It helps with the bonding process, between the father and the child," Ms Lim said.

    Getting more fathers to be involved in parenting is something that AWARE wants to encourage further.


    It said it is time for legislation to kick in, judging from the survey's results.

    AWARE executive director Corinna Lim said:"[The] first significant finding is that 91 per cent of respondents want to have mandated paternity leave -- [from a] minimum of six days up to as [many] as 14 days.

    "Our recommendation is that paternity leave be mandated -- two weeks [of] paid leave [and that the] leave payment be shared by [the] state and employer.

    Most respondents said paternity leave would allow fathers to be more involved in parenting. The survey found that 75 per cent of the fathers would take up the paternity leave option had there been one.

    AWARE said it felt that Singapore's current parenting leave policies -- where first-time mothers are given four months' maternity leave and none for first-time fathers -- reinforce gender stereotypes of women as caregivers and men as providers.

    Nearly six out of 10 respondents wanted the last four weeks of maternity leave to be transferable from mother to father.

    AWARE proposed the fourth month of maternity leave be converted into "parental leave" that can be taken by either parent, and as an incentive to fathers, a "parenting present" of S$4,000 be offered to couples when the father opts for the parental leave.

    Ms Lim said: "We have looked at studies in other countries, and we have found that this kind of parenting leave is quite a good idea and does promote gender equality but only if there is an incentive for the fathers to take the leave".

    In addition, AWARE wants to see all parenting leave benefits available to married parents be extended to unwed parents.

    AWARE's position on this matter was shared by the parents surveyed.

    Nine in 10 felt single and unwed parents should get the same childcare and infant care benefits as married parents.

    AWARE said it would forward the proposals to relevant stakeholders for their consideration.

    "The total fertility rate keeps going down -- we have to find some other solutions," Ms Lim said.

    "We have [been saying] that since 1998, that we have to look at policies that are more gender equal.

    "If we have more gender equal societies, where the costs for women to have children is not so high, we are likely to have more babies [and] a fairer society [where] women [do] better in the workplace.

    "We will continue to push [for] this and we will send this to all the policy makers and hope that this will be actively debated.

    In an email response, GPC Chair for the Community Development, Youth and Sports Seah Kian Peng said he is supportive of the proposals to have paternity leave mandated and to allow maternity leave to be shared between mother and father.

    Mr Seah said the government should be prepared to try more options to address the low total fertility rate and not be deterred by any administrative challenges.

    Meanwhile, Centre for Fathering executive director Wong Suen Kwong said the centre welcomes any initiative that would facilitate the involvement of fathers in the early stages of their babies' lives and for wives to feel supported.

    Other recommendations by AWARE included converting the currently mandated six days of paid childcare leave into dependent's leave, with 'dependents' including older children and parents.

    The AWARE-led survey was conducted by final-year Business Studies and Business Information Technology students who are specialising in marketing at Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Business & Accountancy.

    The survey was conducted between October 2010 and January 2011.

  10. #3869
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    Default LEDs to save town councils $5m a year

    The Straits Times

    Feb 10, 2011

    Energy-efficient lights for HDB blocks can yield carbon credits too

    By Jessica Cheam , Environment Correspondent


    What are carbon credits?

    EACH carbon credit allows the holder to emit the equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide.

    Under the existing international climate agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries have to meet certain greenhouse gas emission targets.

    An excess of these gases in the atmosphere is believed to be the main cause of climate change.

    Each developed country under the treaty is permitted to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas.
    If they exceed that, they have to buy carbon credits to meet their targets.

    The credits create a market for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by putting a monetary value on the cost of pollution.

    Under the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism, non-industrialised countries are allowed to register projects, for example in wind or solar energy production or in energy efficiency, which allow them to generate carbon credits.

    They can then sell the credits for money on the global carbon market. A certified carbon credit fetches around 11 to 14 (S$19 to S$24).








    Dr Teo (right) and Mr Teng inspecting new energy-saving LED tubes last week. The new lights are to replace fluorescent tubes in the common areas of 2,000 HDB blocks islandwide. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM


    IT'S a bright idea - install LED lights in the common areas of 2,000 Housing Board blocks islandwide and help town councils save $5 million a year.

    Better still, the switch to this energy-efficient option may also yield about $250,000 worth of carbon credits a year for the next 10 years.

  11. #3870
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    Default Singapore's 2010 tourism receipts hit 10-year high

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Joanne Chan | Posted: 10 February 2011 1042 hrs



    Visitors take photos in front of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in Singapore.


    SINGAPORE: Singapore raked in S$18.8 billion in tourism receipts last year, the highest in ten years.

    The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said this is a 49 per cent increase from from 2009.

    Shopping, sightseeing & entertainment accounted for majority of the tourism receipts.

    STB said the high growth in tourism dollars is due to higher spending per person, and more international visitors due to positive economic sentiment and the opening of the two Integrated Resorts.

    International visitor arrivals to Singapore reached 11.6 million last year, a 20 per cent increase from 2009.

    Indonesia, China, Malaysia and India were the top five international visitor-generating markets.

  12. #3871
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    Default New framework for health screening tests

    Channel NewsAsia
    Posted: 10 February 2011 1236 hrs





    SINGAPORE: A committee tasked to draw up a framework for health screening tests in Singapore has recommended that the adult population be screened for obesity, hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and colorectal cancer.

    In addition, women should be screened for cervical and breast cancers.

    The Academy of Medicine, Singapore (AMS) said the framework is the first evidence-based best practice guidelines on screening tests here.

    It was developed with the aim of providing clear guidance to healthcare professionals and members of the public about the value of specific screening tests and clinical indications, given the wide range of medical conditions for which screening is being offered.

    A Screening Test Review Committee (STRC), consisting of representatives from the academy and Health Promotion Board (HPB), used a three category framework: "Suitable for population-level screening", "Suitable for individual-level decision" and "Not recommended."

    Master of the Academy, Associate Professor Tan Kok Chai, said the guidelines serve many parties: clinicians who have to recommend screening tests for patients, clinic administrators who may want to offer screening packages and policy makers who may want to use them to guide policy decisions.

    Professor Lee Hin Peng, who chaired the committee, said he welcomed relevant and constructive feedback on the framework and will review it annually or earlier if needed.

    A simplified guide will be published for the public in due course.

  13. #3872
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    Default She is TODAY Athlete of the Year 2010 ...

    TODAY

    Three-man judging panel all go for Singapore swim star Tao Li, after her Asian Games exploits




    by Low Lin Fhoong
    05:56 AM Feb 11, 2011

    SINGAPORE - Normally a routine, today's breakfast for Tao Li at 6.30am (9.30am, Singapore time) in Sydney, Australia, will be deliciously extra special.

    Singapore's swim star, who won one gold and a silver at last year's Asian Games, will wake up to news that she has been named Today Athlete of the Year 2010.

    The three judges - SingTel CEO (Singapore) Allen Lew, OCBC Bank's Neo Bock Cheng, head of group transaction banking, and Patrick Yong, managing director of MediaCorp Press - came to the decision late last night, and the 21-year-old beat out five other contenders.

    The Auckland University of Technology student, who is in Australia on a three-week training stint, was asleep by the time the phone call came, but coach Barry Prime was in ecstasy when he heard the news.

    "I'll tell her about it first thing tomorrow morning. I'm sure she will be absolutely delighted and we are extremely proud that she's won it," the Englishman said.

    "It is a tremendous honour for her to win this, and also recognition of the hard work she put in to perform well for Singapore at the Asian Games."

    Despite a strong claim by table tennis star Feng Tianwei, Tao Li got the nod after a unanimous vote by the three-man judging panel.

    Other nominees in Today's honour roll were: World team champion and ITTF Pro Tour Grand Final winner Feng (table tennis), gymnast Lim Heem Wei, fencer Wang Wenying, youth footballer Mohd Hanafi Akbar and Commonwealth Games triple gold medallist Gai Bin (shooting).

    Tao Li was nominated for the Today Athlete of the Year accolade in 2008, but lost to paddler Li Jiawei.

    This time around, there was no doubt among the judges that she stood the tallest in the elite group.

    Said Neo: "Tao Li has proven herself once again in 2010 to be a stellar performer when it matters most. Her top-notch performances in the Asian Games and the Fina Swimming World Cup (short course) were simply inspirational. She has demonstrated that anything is possible with sheer hard work and dedication. I am sure Tao Li will continue to motivate our youth to realise their full potential as she reaches new heights."

    SingTel CEO Lew was also impressed with the youngster's tenacity and determination. "It was a personal victory at the Asian Games, and it was against the mighty Chinese team at the competition," he said.

    In a year lit up by the historic achievement of the Singapore women's table tennis team beating China to the world title, Tao Li's gold medal win in the 50m butterfly at the Guangzhou Asian Games also resonated with the nation.

    She finished second behind China's Jiao Liuyang in the 100 fly and, riled by her arch-rival's comment about being unrivalled in the pool, responded by clocking 26.10, a new national record, to defend her 50m fly crown.

    She followed it up with two silver medals, in the 50m and 100m butterfly, at the Fina Arena Swimming World Cup at the Singapore Sports School in October.

    Her biggest challenge this year will be the 14th Fina World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai in July. Part of her regimen in the build-up to the event included high-altitude training in Thredbo, Australia.

    Other major events on her schedule include the Telstra Australia Swimming Championships (April 1 to 8), and the SEA Games in Indonesia from Nov 11 to 25.

    The Today award could prove to be the start of something special for Tao Li, who aims to create history by winning the Republic's first swimming medal next year at the London Olympics.


    Readers tell us who they thought should get the gong
    I feel strongly that our national paddler, Ms Feng Tianwei, should win this award. She has placed Singapore in the limelight on the world stage of sports.

    She led our Singapore team to a major win over formidable China at the world team championships last year and that will go down in history as one of Singapore's greatest sporting achievements ...

    And she is No 2 in the world, against so many of China's best.

    Without a shadow of doubt, she is the outright winner. Jeffrey Tan


    It is rare to hear of gymnasts being nominated for top honours and even rarer for them to win any awards here in Singapore ... As a former national gymnast and coach, I fully understand and appreciate the tremendous amount of effort, energy and determination someone like (Lim) Heem Wei has put in to have achieved at her age! Most top gymnasts, especially in women's artistic gymnastics, are younger than 18 and it is commonly known that they peak at 14 to 16 ... So it is rare to hear that someone like Heem Wei has persevered and even won a medal for Singapore at the Commonwealth Games. I sure hope Heem Wei can win this award, not only for herself but also to promote gymnastics in Singapore.

    Lim Sim Hwee, a former Singapore gymnast and coach


    I really am proud of all our athletes who did Singapore proud. All their effort and sacrifice is much appreciated and I salute the fact they were willing to endure hardship in their quest.

    Singapore has never known success in gymnastics on the international stage, but Lim Heem Wei changed that in 2010. It was no mean feat, especially for an athlete who hails from a nation with no tradition in gymnastics.

    Robert Tan
    Last edited by Loh; 02-10-2011 at 08:26 PM.

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    Default Chingay Parade kicks off on Friday

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Wayne Chan | Posted: 10 February 2011 2227 hrs


    Video
    Chingay Parade kicks off on Friday
    SINGAPORE: This year's Chingay Parade, which will kick off on Friday (today), promises to be an international affair.

    The overseas performers hail from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and even Germany and Denmark.

    On Thursday, they were hard at work practising for the big show.

    Some foreign participants are taking part in the parade for the first time.

    Danish gymnast, Stefan Graversen, said: "It's our first time in the parade. So we're looking forward to it a lot. We're going to move a mat and then jump on it. And then the girls are.....going to show Danish gymnastics."

    Other first-timers in the parade include a Sri Lankan group.

    Speaking on behalf of the group, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Jayathri Samarakone, said: "When I came to Singapore two years ago, I really thought I should get the Sri Lankan performers to participate in Chingay. And I'm really very honoured and happy today that 40 participants from Sri Lanka are taking part."

    The Chingay Parade will be held over two days (11-12 February) at the Pit Building (next to the Singapore Flyer).

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    Default IATA launches two new scholarships with NTU

    Channel NewsAsia
    By S Ramesh | Posted: 10 February 2011 2036 hrs






    SINGAPORE: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has set up two new scholarships in cooperation with Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

    The scholarships, named after former IATA Director-Generals, will sponsor up to 12 individuals attending the newly developed Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) in aviation management at NTU, to be launched in 2012.

    According to the Director-General of IATA, Giovani Bisignani, the scholarships reflect the Association's commitment to strengthen its Singapore presence and work with local institutions. They also reflect IATA's commitment to developing the next generation of leaders for the aviation industry.

    The scholarships will provide tuition and support for Singaporean students and permanent residents and non-Singapore nationals as well.

    In September 2010, IATA signed a cooperation agreement with NTU to support human capital development for the aviation industry.

    IATA said these announcements come as 35 global strategic thinkers associated with the air transport industry gather in Singapore for IATA's Vision 2050 initiative to be held on Friday and Saturday.

    Mr Bisignani said: "This weekend, Singapore will play a special role in building the future of our industry. We have a big task ahead of us. By 2050, passenger numbers will grow from 2.4 billion to 16 billion and the cargo business will expand from 40 million tonnes to 400 million tonnes.

    "Ensuring that this growth is successful in meeting the needs of our customers safely, sustainably and profitably is critical to the global economy. Singapore is the perfect place for such a discussion. It is located between two of our fastest growing markets. And the government has a long history of understanding the economic benefits of aviation and supporting its profitable development."

    The Vision 2050 results will be reported to IATA's next AGM in June 2011.

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    Default VIVA Foundation to have new base at Novena Specialist Center

    Channel NewsAsia
    By S Ramesh | Posted: 10 February 2011 1732 hrs



    Novena Specialist Centre

    Video
    VIVA Foundation to have new base at Novena Specialist Center
    SINGAPORE: Singapore-based charity, VIVA Foundation For Children With Cancer is setting up its new permanent base at Novena Specialist Center with the aim of helping improve the survival rate and cure of children diagnosed with cancer.

    The 18,500 square foot space at Novena Specialist Center was donated by the Far East Organization in support of VIVA Foundation's cause.

    Called VIVA Hub, the facilities will include a Centre for Translational Research in Acute Leukaemia.

    It will also serve as a hub for children cancer related charities so as to improve coordination and use resources more effectively.

    VIVA Foundation's new home at the Novena Specialist Center will likely open by the middle of this year.

    Far East Organization's Executive Director, Property Services, Mr G L Yap said, "We are moved by the dedication and work of VIVA Foundation, a relatively young charity organisation that is inspired to care for and improve the lives of children suffering from cancer. We found in VIVA Foundation a strong resonance to our own brand aspiration of Inspiring Better Lives.

    "This donation is but a small contribution towards VIVA Foundation's very meaningful mission. It is our sincere hope that this gift of space will create value and provide a lasting legacy for VIVA Foundation and its beneficiaries."

    The Novena area has grown into a thriving hub for high quality medical care and services, education and research. It is home to numerous reputable medical institutions such as Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre, Novena Medical Center, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Thomson Medical Centre, National Neuroscience Institute, and the future Parkway Novena Hospital.

    Singapore's third medical school, a collaboration between Nanyang Technological University and Imperial College, London, is also slated to be sited next to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
    Last edited by Loh; 02-10-2011 at 09:21 PM.

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    Default Kuwaiti delegation gets insight into S'pore foreign policy

    Channel NewsAsia

    Posted: 10 February 2011 2127 hrs

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    Zainul Abidin Rasheed (C) with the delegation from Kuwait's Al-Rawad Centre.


    SINGAPORE: A 24-member delegation from Kuwait's Al-Rawad Centre got an insight into the fundamentals of Singapore's foreign policy on Thursday afternoon.

    Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed engaged the group in talks covering the future challenges of Singapore, relations with neighbours, competition with Hong Kong, and strategic relations with Middle Eastern countries.

    The delegation, comprising undergraduates from various tertiary institutions in Kuwait, is on a 9-day study visit to Singapore to better understand the country's policies, development story, governance and multicultural society.

    As part of their visit, the group also toured the the Singapore Airlines Training Centre and Parliament House.

    They will visit other government agencies, including academic institutions and attend a Meet-the-People Session.

    The Al-Rawad Centre was established in 1986 as an independent non-political organization with the objective of inculcating a sense of nationhood among the Kuwaiti youth through leadership training programmes and overseas study visits.

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