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Thread: Singapore Also Can
02-21-2011, 08:32 PM #3962
Former American footballer sentenced to 16 months' jail
By Shaffiq Alkhatib | Posted: 21 February 2011 1546 hrs
Kamari Kenyada Charlton
SINGAPORE: A former American footballer was sentenced on Monday to 16 months' jail after receiving cash worth more than S$330,000 in a telephone scam.
Thirty-eight-year-old Kamari Kenyada Charlton had pleaded guilty to five charges last week. 17 other charges, including one for overstaying in Singapore, were taken into consideration.
Charlton was involved in a phone scam targeting elderly citizens in Australia and Germany between July 2008 and May last year.
The victims, who were of either Serbian or Croatian descent, were duped into remitting funds to Singapore, and Charlton was the one who received the money.
In most of the cases, the senior citizens would receive phone calls from a woman claiming to be a representative from the Croatian Embassy in Singapore.
She would tell them that their loved ones, who had supposedly been detained by Singapore authorities, had fallen ill while in custody. The woman would then ask the victims to transfer some money over for so-called medical treatments.
Investigations revealed that the calls she made came from a number of Singapore-registered mobile phone numbers. Some of them were registered under Charlton's name.
His accomplices are believed to be still at large.
The tall, bearded American looked visibly gaunt as he stood in the dock before Senior District Judge See Kee Oon.
Addressing the court, Charlton pleaded for leniency, adding that he had lost nearly 40 kilogrammes in body weight since his arrest last year. He used to tip the scales at some 130 kilogrammes.
Charlton was represented by lawyers Hamidul Haq and Thong Chee Kun from Rajah & Tann.
Mr Thong had urged the judge to sentence their client to not more than ten months' jail, saying that Charlton was a mere recipient of the monies and not the mastermind of the scam.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor David Chew pressed for a stiffer sentence of 18 months' jail as he said the offences had reflected a high degree of planning.
The transnational syndicate had also defrauded the elderly victims of thousands of dollars of their life savings, said DPP Chew.
Speaking to Channel NewsAsia outside the Subordinate Courts, Mr Hamidul Haq said: "He (Charlton) decided to plead guilty because he has already spent enough time in prison. He basically realised he just wants to take responsibility for his role and finish this case as soon as possible so that he can join his family."
For receiving the stolen property, Charlton could have been jailed up to five years and fined for each charge.
02-21-2011, 08:37 PM #3963
Austrian President in S'pore for state visit
By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 21 February 2011 1822 hrs
Mrs Margit Fischer (L), Austrian President Dr Heinz Fischer (C) and President S R Nathan Video
Austrian President in S'pore for state visit
SINGAPORE: Visiting Austrian President, Dr Heinz Fischer, who is in Singapore for a three-day state visit, was given a ceremonial welcome at the Istana on Monday morning.
This is the Austrian President's first state visit to Singapore, and he is here at the invitation of President S R Nathan.
After the Istana ceremony, President Fischer and Mrs Margit Fischer called on President Nathan.
The leaders exchanged views about political and economic developments in Europe and Asia, and also discussed cooperation in the economic field, science and technology, and arts and culture.
Later Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also met with President Fischer at the Istana - where they agreed to explore ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.
The Austrian President is accompanied by a delegation representing the country's cultural, educational, business and media sectors.
While here, he also visited an Austrian bank, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, and the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.
On Monday evening, the Austrian President was hosted a state banquet by President S R Nathan at the Istana.
In his speech, Mr Nathan said both countries share a close friendship and hopes this visit will open a new chapter in Singapore-Austria cooperation.
Mr Nathan also said that both countries have cooperated over a range of areas, like inter-cultural understanding. Also, exchanges in arts and culture have expanded and intensified over the years.
On the economic front, President Nathan said prospects for further bilateral cooperation are promising.
Mr Nathan added that the Singapore-Austria Economic Forum to be held on Tuesday is timely as there is potential for companies from both countries to collaborate and offer services in environmental technology and precision engineering.
On Tuesday, President Fischer will attend the Singapore-Austria Economic Forum and visit the National Museum and Nanyang Technological University.
02-21-2011, 08:46 PM #3964
George Yeo attends Nalanda University meeting in India
Posted: 21 February 2011 2245 hrs
George Yeo(extreme right) with S M Krishna (second from right) and other members of the Governing Board of the Nalanda University - MFA photo
SINGAPORE : Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo attended the meeting of the Governing Board of the Nalanda University in New Delhi on Monday.
The meeting, which was chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen, reviewed the progress made on the Nalanda University Project.
It also discussed the framing of the statutes as well as the university's organisational framework.
The Board agreed that the next meetings would be held in Patna, India, in July 2011, and in China in late 2011.
A Foreign Affairs Ministry statement said that during the working visit, Mr Yeo also met his counterpart, Indian External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna.
Mr Yeo also met the Upper House member from Bihar state, N K Singh, to whom he conveyed an invitation for Bihar's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to visit Singapore.
Mr Yeo leaves New Delhi on Monday evening for Jakarta to attend the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Tuesday.
02-21-2011, 08:57 PM #3965
SAF Malay general leaving to join private sector
The Straits Times
Feb 22, 2011
By Zakir Hussain
THE most senior Malay officer in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will leave the military to join the private sector at the end of next month.
Brigadier-General (BG) Ishak Ismail (right) relinquished command of the Army's 6th Singapore Division last Friday, the SAF's on-line publication Cyberpioneer reported on Monday.
BG Ishak, 48 - who became the SAF's first Malay general when he was promoted to the one-star rank two years ago - will join ST Electronics (e-Services) on April 1 as senior vice-president/general manager, it added.
News of his imminent departure fuelled speculation that he could be heading for politics and become a candidate for the People's Action Party candidate in the next general election.
But when contacted on Monday, BG Ishak told The Straits Times that he had no plans to enter politics.
His promotion in June 2009 marked a milestone in Malays' efforts to be fully accepted in the military, a controversial issue ever since it was disclosed in 1987 that the SAF adopted a cautious approach in placing them in certain jobs.
02-22-2011, 07:42 PM #3966
SPH's EMND journalism big award winners
The Straits Times
Feb 23, 2011
By Rachel Scully, Multimedia Journalist
The infographics and design chief has spent more than 22 years with The New Paper's art department. -- PHOTO: RAZORTV
HE'S described as creative, humble and very talented. 47-year-old Lee Hup Kheng is not your typical journalist, yet he ousted other reporters and journalists to emerge tops at Singapore Press Holding's English Malay Newspaper Division (EMND) Awards 2010.
The infographics and design chief has spent more than 22 years with The New Paper's art department. More affectionately known as Hup to his colleagues, he was reeling in shock when he won the coveted Journalist of the Year award.
The other big award, Story of the Year, went to The Straits Times senior correspondent K C Vijayan for his exclusive scoop on the IVF baby mix-up at Thomson Medical Centre.
Vijayan explains that even though the end product might seem effortless, the time taken to build rapport and trust with newsmakers can be a long one.
In the case of his award-winning story, it came unexpectedly after a newsmaker he had been keeping in touch with for almost three years let him in on it.
02-22-2011, 07:57 PM #3967
ST's IVF story wins top story award
The Straits Times
Feb 23, 2011
Report nabs SPH Story of the Year prize
By Jessica Lim & Melissa Kok
The awards are an annual recognition of Singapore Press Holdings' English and Malay Newspapers Division?s finest. The Straits Times won seven of the 14 awards this year. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
THE story of a Singapore couple who conceived a baby via in-vitro fertilisation and who then discovered that its DNA did not match the husband's got the country talking when it ran last November.
Some readers sent in letters and e-mail messages expressing shock and questioning IVF procedures. Others congratulated The Straits Times for breaking the incredible story.
On Tuesday, the report won Straits Times (ST) journalist K. C. Vijayan the coveted Story of the Year award at the Singapore Press Holdings'annual awards for its English and Malay Newspapers Division (EMND).
'It is the coolest award-winning story I've ever written. It also took the shortest time to break,' said Mr Vijayan, 60, the newspaper's legal correspondent who joined the paper in 2000 after he retired as a prison officer.
'It shows that the fight is won long before you enter the ring and the lights come on. This story came from someone I spent lots of time building up trust with,' he added, quoting former boxing great Muhammad Ali.
This was his second Story of the Year award. In 2006, he and fellow journalist Chua Mui Hoong won the award for a story on Mr Andrew Kuan, the former group chief financial officer of JTC Corporation who wanted to challenge incumbent President S R Nathan for the Elected President post.
Mr Vijayan's latest story resulted in the Ministry of Health suspending new IVF procedures at Thomson Fertility Clinic, where the mix-up occurred. The case also led to a review of all 10 fertility clinics here and the matter was raised in Parliament.
On his knack for getting scoops, Mr Vijayan said: 'Good stories fall onto your lap if you have done the long, lonely homework to build up your base of contacts. After that, a story has a life of its own, leading to a string of follow-up stories.'
On Mr Vijayan's win, ST editor Han Fook Kwang said: 'Once in a while, we get a story that becomes a talking point for days if not weeks, which results in some policy change, or which seems so improbable you think it can happen only in fiction.
'This story was all of the above, and if there was anybody in the newsroom who could have broken the story, it was Vijayan.'
The Straits Times won seven of the 14 awards on Tuesday. The others included Feature of the Year, by Ms Huang Lijie, 27, and Mr Wong Kim Hoh, 49, for their Saturday Special Report on the Singaporeans who patronise the two casinos here.
The report was a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the gamblers, and gave a clearer idea of just how many Singaporeans visited the casinos - much more than previously reported estimates.
The Headline of the Year - IPOh-oh... - was won by ST's Jomar Kho Indanan, 44, a clever twist on the lacklustre IPO market.
ST's Lee Chee Chew, 47, won Layout/Page Design of the Year for a classy, minimalist Life! cover on the year's best offerings in town, and Feature Picture of the Year went to the paper's Mr Samuel He, 27, who took an arresting photo of a mother and her autistic son.
Two ST reporters also won special awards - Mr Terrence Voon, 32, for his World Cup stories, and Mr John Lui, 46, for his Being There column in Life!
The other awards went to The New Paper, the Business Times and the Malay-language daily Berita Harian.
The Journalist of the Year title went to Mr Lee Hup Kheng, 47, the infographics and design chief at The New Paper (TNP). It marked the first time an infographics journalist has won the title since it was launched in 2009.
Miss Jamie Lee, 26, of the Business Times (BT) was named Young Journalist of the Year.
Speaking at the awards ceremony held at SPH's auditorium, EMND editor-in-chief Patrick Daniel lauded the various newsrooms for producing a great crop of work and noted that the annual awards celebrate excellent work.
He said 2010 was a good year for SPH newspapers, which benefited from Singapore's stunning 14.5 per cent gross domestic product growth. This was seen in advertising volume and the thickness of its newspapers, he said.
Last year, SPH's newspaper and magazine revenues grew 9.2 per cent to reach $974 million for the financial year ended Aug 31 - a remarkable shift from a poor 2009 when the economic crisis saw advertisers cut back on budgets.
'That's massive... we could not have hoped for a faster turnaround,' said Mr Daniel.
But with the advent of new media, a huge challenge will be for print media to stay relevant in the digital age. To adapt, SPH will soon launch new iPad and iPhone products, he said, adding that online products were also undergoing a revamp.
ST will integrate its various products like Stomp and Razor under an enhanced st.com site, and also launch a product that taps the popularity of social media. BT, TNP and Berita Harian will follow suit.
Mr Han said the challenge was to continue to maintain the quality given the competitive environment. 'Readers' expectations are much higher these days because there are so many sources for stories,' he said. 'It's the quality of the work that will differentiate us from our competitors.'
02-22-2011, 08:12 PM #3968
Surgeon's $24.8m bill landed her in the soup
The Straits Times
Feb 23, 2011
Dr Susan Lim charged patient linked to Brunei's royal household that amount for 7 months of treatment
By Salma Khalik, Health Correspondent
THE STORY SO FAR...
DR SUSAN Lim, a surgeon in private practice, looked after a patient from Brunei for some years.
The woman, linked to the Brunei palace, died in August 2007. Her medical bills for that year have not been paid and were at the centre of a hearing by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) over claims that Dr Lim had overcharged her patient.
The complainant against Dr Lim is not the patient's family, but Singapore's Ministry of Health.
An SMC disciplinary committee made up of three public sector doctors was set up to hear the case. The hearing was held over several periods last year.
In late May, one of the committee members, SingHealth group chief operating officer Wong Yue Sie, died from a stroke. He was replaced by KK Hospital paediatric surgeon Anette Jacobsen. She was sent the relevant documents, with more than 10,000 pages of transcript, about two weeks before the next hearing, scheduled for three days from July 29.
But barely an hour after the hearing began, the panel chairman said they had no further questions and had reached a decision. Dr Lim's lawyers protested that they had not been heard. While both parties had sent in written submissions, the three days were meant for them to present their case verbally.
The committee then agreed to hear them out. After a few hours, Dr Lim's lawyers asked the committee for the decision it had reached.
It refused to say. Dr Lim's lawyers then suggested it had pre-judged the case and should step down. The SMC's lawyers did not object. The committee stepped down without giving its verdict.
Two months later, in September, Dr Lim was told a second committee had been set up. Her lawyers are now asking Justice Philip Pillai to quash the SMC's move to set up a second committee.
Dr Susan Lim (right) charged patient linked to Brunei?s royal household that amount for 7 months of treatment. -- ST FILE PHOTO
SURGEON Susan Lim treated a patient linked to the Brunei palace for seven months in 2007. Her bill: $24.8 million.
Singapore's Ministry of Health was upset when it learnt about the amount, and that led to it filing charges against the well-known doctor.
That was the claim her lawyers made in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. They also noted that Dr Lim later reduced the bill twice, although it has yet to be paid.
The bill is at the heart of a case between Dr Lim and the Singapore Medical Council (SMC).
She is fighting the SMC's decision to appoint a second disciplinary committee to investigate an accusation by the Health Ministry that she overcharged the patient.
On Tuesday was the first time that it came out into the open that the patient, who had breast cancer and later died, was linked to the Brunei royal household.
02-22-2011, 08:18 PM #3969
Nine members leave Reform Party
The Straits Times
Feb 23, 2011
Five are from its top committee; they cite differences of opinion
By Kor Kian Beng
WE WILL MOVE ON
'It is sad but we are focused on moving forward.'
Reform Party secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, about the departures.
WHY WE QUIT
'We left because we had differences of opinion. That is common in any organisation. We tried to work things out initially but it reached a point where no further compromises could be made. We decided it was time to part company.'
Ms Hazel Poa, 41, speaking on the group's behalf. She was a potential election candidate for the Reform Party.
Reform Party secretary general Kenneth Jeyaretnam (left), about the departures.
THE opposition Reform Party (RP) has been rocked by the mass resignation of at least nine members, including five in its top decision-making committee and a couple regarded as potential candidates for the upcoming general election.
The central executive committee (CEC) members who quit are: treasurer James Teo, 51; organising secretary Jeisilan Sivalingam, 41; youth wing chief Justin Ong, 25; and CEC members Jeannette Aruldoss, 46, and Tony Tan Lay Thiam, 41, a former government scholarship holder slated to be a candidate for the election.
02-22-2011, 08:26 PM #3970
Second batch of signed Hard Truths raises $1.75m
The Straits Times
Feb 23, 2011
By Elgin Toh
'The world needs more leaders like Mr Lee - leaders who speak frankly to the people. With him, you don't have to read WikiLeaks, all you have to do is read this book.'
Irish hedge fund manager Bill Bollinger
Mr Bollinger, with his wife Judy and son James, moved to Singapore six months ago. He picked up a copy of Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going to find out what makes the country tick, and wants his two sons to read the book. He is an admirer of Mr Lee, and has pledged $25,000 for two signed copies of the book. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
HE HAS lived in New York and London and has travelled to major cities around the world, but Irish hedge fund manager Bill Bollinger finds none that functions as well as Singapore.
'The rule of law, the level of competence, but most importantly, we feel safe on the streets,' said the 55-year-old, who moved here six months ago with his wife Judy, 55, and 12-year-old son James.
When he heard that a new book on Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was out, he picked up a copy to find out what made the city-state tick.
His verdict on the 87-year-old leader?
A visionary, he said, adding: 'The world needs more leaders like Mr Lee - leaders who speak frankly to the people. With him, you don't have to read WikiLeaks, all you have to do is read this book.'
This week, when Mr Bollinger read that autographed copies of Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going were available for a minimum of $10,000 a copy, he ordered two and pledged $25,000.
'My wife and I are really keen on supporting education and helping young people,' he said, referring to the two charities that will benefit from the donations.
He added that he wanted his two sons to read the book. They are James, who studies at the Singapore American School, and Douglas, 18, who studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.
Mr Bollinger's order was among 172 that The Straits Times received by the end of yesterday, when orders for the autographed copies closed.
No new orders will be taken.
In all, the second batch of signed copies attracted donation pledges amounting to $1,748,288.
This will bring the total sum raised from the sale of autographed copies to $2,376,090.
The first batch of 60 signed copies last month raised $627,802 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which helps needy primary and secondary schoolchildren.
Said Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang: 'One simple truth from the response: We have many people out there with big and generous hearts, and we're gratified their donations will go a long way in helping these needy and deserving students.'
Three-quarters of the proceeds from this batch of autographed copies will go to the Education Fund, administered by the Ministry of Education. The rest will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
Established in 1970, the Education Fund provides scholarships for outstanding students.
One such award is the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence, which recognises graduating secondary school students 'who have excelled in both academic and non-academic spheres, and who exemplify positive character development, strong leadership qualities and commitment to service to the community'.
Of the latest batch of 172 orders, 66 were from a wait list of people who missed out on the earlier batch of 60 signed copies last month. The remaining 106 were fresh orders.
Hard Truths is available at all major bookstores for $39.90
02-22-2011, 08:31 PM #3971
Rising costs continue to be a concern after Budget 2011
The Straits Times
Feb 23, 2011
The most hotly discussed Budget issues are:
Issue No. 1: Sharing the Fruits of Growth (29 per cent of all feedback received)
Issue No. 2: Rewarding Working Singaporeans (20 per cent)
Issue No. 3: Boosting Productivity & Skills of Workers (17 per cent)
Issue No. 4: Supporting Families with Children (6 per cent)
Issue No. 5: Enhancing Home & Quality of Life (5 per cent)
Government feedback unit Reach added that overall, Singaporeans are 'generally positive' about Budget 2011. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG
THE new Budget, with cash payouts, tax rebates and top-ups, appears not to have done as much in easing the nagging concern among Singaporeans and companies about rising prices.
This worry was repeatedly seen in the comments received by Government feedback unit Reach over the past four days and at a forum it held on Tuesday.
Its statement on Tuesday said most welcomed the initiatives to alleviate the rising cost of living, especially for low-income earners. 'However, the issue of inflation and rising costs continued to be a topic of concern for many.'
A number were concerned the cash payouts would not be enough to cover rising costs in such services as medical care and child care, it said, adding that it received 600 responses, mainly online.
At the forum chaired by Second Minister for Finance Lim Hwee Hua, the issue dominated the 90-minute session attended by about 50 people.
Many asked what the Government will do to prevent inflation, which hit a two-year high of 4.6 per cent last December, from worsening.
02-22-2011, 08:38 PM #3972
Manpower Minister Gan says productivity is important for growth
By S Ramesh | Posted: 22 February 2011 1919 hrs
Gan Kim Yong
SINGAPORE : Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong has defended the latest increase in foreign worker levy announced in the Budget Statement last Friday, pointing out that productivity improvements are an important part of the country's growth strategy.
He was speaking to journalists from Channel NewsAsia after a Mandarin TV forum on Budget 2011.
There have been much concern and anxiety among employers about the increases in foreign worker levies.
The increases for S pass and work permit holders will be phased in, in six-monthly intervals, from January 2012 till July 2013.
The latest hike comes just a year after a similar announcement in last year's Budget.
Mr Gan said: "We understand the concern and anxiety that employers have. We will need to do this because over time, we have to ensure that our productivity improvement will catch up.
"We don't have a lot of time - the other countries are improving, our competitors are improving and therefore we have to step up our efforts to do so. This is a good time to do that because we have a strong economic growth last year.
"The outlook for this year remains positive and so we have decided to take this opportunity to step up our efforts in raising our foreign worker levy and encouraging our employers to focus on productivity improvement rather than continue to rely on low-cost, low-skilled workers."
He added: "Last year, when we rolled out the schedule of foreign worker levy adjustments, we were still emerging from the recession and we were cautious to ensure we did not derail the recovery.
"Now that the economy is firmly on the recovery track and will grow strongly this year, it is a good time for us to do that. From the feedback from some employers over the last 12 months, we have seen that some of the employers have taken it seriously and have implemented productivity measures.
"The construction sector has also set up the construction productivity road map and we have provided 250 million dollars for that initiative. But the progress we believe can be hastened, it can be speeded up because we need to catch up as quickly as possible and we can remain competitive.
"Some employers took the view that now that the business is good, better do the business first rather than focus on productivity. We really want to remind all our enterprises that productivity is an important part of our growth strategy, we have to focus on it now rather than wait till later."
On concerns that companies may pass the costs to consumers, Mr Gan said: "For employers, rather than looking at ways to pass on the costs or ways to get around the foreign worker regulation, it is better for them to focus on productivity.
"If they are able to improve their productivity and tap on the various funding schemes we have put in place, they would be able to benefit their business - they would become more competitive and efficient and may end up with lower costs if they can reduce their reliance on foreign workers.
"So rather than passing on the costs, they should rely on how to reduce reliance on foreign workers, (and) focus on productivity."
Mr Gan also noted that Budget 2011 has paid particular attention to low-wage and low-skilled workers.
He encourages them to continue tapping on various schemes like the Workfare Income Supplement and Workfare Training Support scheme. This will help them to acquire new and better skills to take on higher value jobs and earn more.
02-22-2011, 08:43 PM #3973
FairPrice to hire more seniors
By Alvina Soh | Posted: 22 February 2011 2332 hrs
SINGAPORE: Some 20 seniors will be offered jobs in NTUC FairPrice's latest initiative to promote active ageing.
The supermarket chain announced on Tuesday the launch of the project at City Square Mall.
NTUC FairPrice CEO Seah Kian Peng said: "We want them to stay active through employment and through this way, it serves a few purposes.
"Firstly, you are able to keep your time meaningfully used. Secondly, we believe mature workers bring with them a lot of stability, and a lot of experiences".
The pilot project will see senior citizens above 60 years old serving as customer relations officers at various FairPrice outlets.
They will assist with customer enquiries and gather feedback as part of their duties.
Singapore's first Olympic medallist is also lending his weight to the active aging cause.
Seventy-seven-year-old Tan Howe Liang was named as FairPrice's Ambassador for Active Ageing.
He kick-started his new role by leading 50 senior citizens from South East CDC and FairPrice, in a mass workout.
One of the workout participants, 66-year-old old Sabita Devi, said she was inspired by Mr Tan to be more active.
02-22-2011, 08:48 PM #3974
S'pore to aid Christchurch
Posted: 22 February 2011 2145 hrs
A car drives past a destroyed building in Christchurch central business district, New Zealand
SINGAPORE: Singapore is sending help to Christchurch as rescue efforts continue after the devastating earthquake.
Christchurch was hit by a powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake earlier, which killed at least 65 people.
Dozens were reportedly trapped under flattened buildings in New Zealand's most devastating tremor in 80 years.
One-hundred-and-sixteen Singapore Armed Forces servicemen from Headquarters Guards, participating in the annual bilateral Exercise Lion Walk in Christchurch, will be helping with rescue operations and provide humanitarian aid.
The exercise has since stopped, and all SAF personnel are safe and accounted for.
In addition, Singapore is sending a 55-member Singapore Civil Defence Force urban search and rescue team to assist in the disaster relief efforts.
They are bringing along a host of rescue equipment like fibre-optic scopes, life detector systems and hydraulic cutters and spreaders.
Four search dogs are also part of this mission.
The SCDF team will be sent off by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.
They will leave Singapore early Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean has also conveyed Singapore's condolences to New Zealand.
In a telephone conversation with New Zealand's Defence Minister Wayne Mapp on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Teo offered the assistance of the SAF servicemen, which New Zealand accepted.
02-22-2011, 09:21 PM #3975
NSAs to receive 24% increase in funding in 2011
By Patwant Singh | Posted: 22 February 2011 1251 hrs
Photos 1 of 1
Football among the team sports to receive increased funding from the Singapore Sports Council.
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) will disburse S$67.2 million to National Sports Associations (NSA) starting April 2011, a 24 per cent increase compared to last year.
Forty nine sports will benefit from the extra funds.
Among them sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, and football, which will get more than S$1.5 million each.
29 NSAs saw an increase in funding, 18 saw a slight decrease and two remained the same.
The amount to be given out includes direct and indirect funding.
Almost S$18 million of the funds will be channelled into a holistic athlete development programme, to focus on youth development programmes and groom young athletes.
The SSC said it wants the NSAs to groom young athletes for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary with the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, said: "The momentum can't stop since last year's YOG and the preparation for YOG. So we are continuing that effort. Youth coaches in the Olympic sports will continue as well...we are going to put more focus on the development pathway for all the different sports."
Focus will also be placed on team sports, with an allocated amount of S$8.3 million. This is an increase from S$8.11 million in 2010.
Football and water polo are among the team sports which will see an increase in funding.
Zainudin Nordin, President of the Football Association of Singapore, said: "We want to go as low as possible to see how we can pick them at a younger age, so that is first. Secondly for us, to be able to have peaks in our achievement. The immediate target for us in the future is for us to be able to aim for the SEA Games in 2013 and 2015. So we are looking at youths the age of 16, 17 and 18."
To increase their source of funding, some 39 of the Associations have also registered as charities. 19 Associations are still in the process of converting, while five do not want to make that change. The five NSAs maintaining the status quo are darts, gateball, kendo, pickle-ball and weiqi.
The SSC said the multi-year funding programme, which was started last year, has proven to be successful. So much so that 21 NSAs have been given in-principal three year funding approval. This is a significant increase from the nine NSAs last year.
02-22-2011, 09:30 PM #3976
NTU launches virtual job fair
By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 22 February 2011 1850 hrs
Students at the NTU career fair.
SINGAPORE: The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has launched a virtual career fair, believed to be the region's first, for its students and potential employees.
NTU said there are a record 175 companies taking part in the career fair this year, 60 per cent more recruiters compared to those in 2010.
The number of jobs offered at the fair this year doubled to a whopping 4,500, with about 80 per cent of recruiters from the private sector.
One of the features of the NTU iFair is the virtual career portal developed by NTU, which enables students to meet potential employers, online.
NTU's Career & Attachment Office director Loh Pui Wah said career fairs in the past tend to be brick-and-mortar.
"But with the evolvement of web technology, we want to bring the career fair (to the virtual world), so that companies... can make use of the web to (interact) with the students," Mr Loh said.
About 50 companies have signed up for a piece of the virtual real estate.
And as hiring sentiments make a positive comeback from last year, recruiters look set to step up on their branding for a tech-savvy generation.
DSO National Laboratories human resources assistant director Serene Tan said NTU's iFair is helpful because it is virtual, and cuts down on logistic effort to set up physical career booths.
"They have been quick to set the virtual booth up with some customisation and we will be putting up positions available on our DSO corporate website, which is directly linked to the iFair," she said.
Ms Tan added iFair will also help them get in touch with students on overseas attachments who are unable to attend the physical career fair.
The iFair is set to run from March 14 this year, and will continue to be accessible till June 30, 2011.
Meanwhile, the physical career fair runs on February 22 and 25 at NTU's Nanyang Auditorium.
02-22-2011, 09:32 PM #3977
Honduran President to visit S'pore
Posted: 22 February 2011 2010 hrs
SINGAPORE: Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa will be in Singapore for a three-day working visit starting Wednesday.
Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry said this is the first visit by a Honduran Head of State to the Republic.
While here, President Lobo will meet President S R Nathan.
He will also attend meetings organised by the Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, and the Economic Development Board.
President Lobo will also visit the Marina Barrage and the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Singapore City Gallery.
02-22-2011, 09:35 PM #3978
Austrian President visits NTU
Channel NewsAsia Posted: 22 February 2011 2251 hrs
Dr Heinz Fischer (C) at Nanyang Technological University.
SINGAPORE: Austrian President, Dr Heinz Fischer, who is in Singapore for a three-day state visit, has also been visiting institutions while here.
On Tuesday, he was at the Nanyang Technological University in Jurong, where the university signed two agreements with Austrian researchers to see how the sun's energy can be tapped to improve the energy efficiency of homes and other buildings.
Dr Fischer also spent some time mingling with students and faculty members.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, Dr Fischer attended the Singapore-Austria Economic Forum.
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