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Thread: Singapore Also Can
03-15-2011, 10:09 PM #4183
Oliver Stone to head jury for Asian Short Film Award
By Satish Cheney | Posted: 15 March 2011 1829 hrs
SINGAPORE : Singapore is hosting the inaugural Screen Singapore in June, with one of the highlights - the Asian Short Film Award - being judged by three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone.
The region's film talent will be vying for the best Asian Short Film Award, and the winner - to be handpicked by a jury headed by Hollywood legend Oliver Stone - will go home with S$20,000 in cash and lots of exposure to the industry.
Aubeck Kam, CEO, Media Development Authority, said: "This award is a way for us to reach out to any citizen or permanent resident of an Asian country - if you've got a good film, less than 10 minutes, send it to us.
"And the best film - we want to celebrate and recognise through this award. Asia is in a very exciting phase of development right now. Clearly, the film industry has a lot of potential for growth."
Six major Hollywood studios such as Warner Brothers and Universal are taking part in Screen Singapore. Talks are also underway with other overseas studios, such as those in India and China.
The eight-day Screen Singapore will see red carpet events every evening, and although the VIP list is yet to be confirmed, top directors, producers and celebrities are expected to attend.
Some 200 to 300 delegates are expected at the event, which the organiser pointed out is vastly different from film festivals.
Jimmy Lau, managing director, Experia Events, said: "Screen Singapore is not a film festival. We don't have a multitude of awards to give out and neither is it covering areas of documentaries or edgy art films. This is all about mainstream movies.
"The aim of this is also to ensure we can create an eco-system surrounding the red carpet and the premieres, and there'll be master classes, conferences as well as exhibitions to go along with it."
The event runs from June 5 to 12 and organisers are hoping it can become one of the top industry events for the region.
03-15-2011, 10:14 PM #4184
Singapore's first Women's Heart Health Clinic
By Tanya Fong | Posted: 15 March 2011 2330 hrs
SINGAPORE: Heart disease, not breast cancer, is the leading cause of death among Singapore women.
One in three here die from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Yet less than 10 per cent of women are aware of this.
Compared to men, women have subtler symptoms, such as abdominal pain, jaw or back aches and nausea.
The lack of awareness of and resources for heart disease in women has spurred the National University Heart Centre Singapore (NUHCS) to start the first Women's Heart Health Clinic (WHHC) in Singapore.
Dr Carolyn Lam, the clinic's programme director and initiator, pointed out that even when women exhibit the same symptoms as men, they respond differently.
"Chest pain - 'I must be too stressed'. Neck pain - 'I need a massage'. Breathlessness - 'I'm really out of shape'. Men, however, will think it's a heart problem and see a doctor," she said.
It has also been shown that women have worse outcomes than men after heart attacks and interventions.
"We also wait longer before seeing a doctor. By then, the disease would have advanced," said Dr Lam.
She added that the risk of heart failure in women "skyrockets" after menopause, surpassing the risk in men.
WHHC - to start operating on April 21 - is a one-stop centre in which women will be treated by female cardiologists and receive integrated care from dieticians, occupational therapists and psychologists.
There are currently two cardiologists, including Dr Lam, serving the clinic, which is also a research and education centre.
Four more will come on board at a later date.
WWHC is looking to build a database for research into cardiovascular disease, particularly of Asian women, where data is sorely lacking.
Women who are interested can approach their general practitioners or call NUHCS to make an appointment.
03-16-2011, 12:20 AM #4185
LOL! Now we know why Singaporean women here are so anti-China :
Wednesday March 16, 2011
Divorcee on a mission to expose adulterous men
A SINGAPOREAN woman has embarked on a mission to stalk adulterous men.
Apparently, Tay Wanqing, 46, is on a vendetta after her former husband had affairs with three Chinese nationals.
The divorcee would walk around Chinatown, keeping a lookout for mismatched couples such as middle-aged Singaporean men with young Chinese women, China Press reported.
Once a target is identified, Tay would take out her camera to spy on the couple.
She would then send the photographs to the man’s wife.
Tay has apparently declared war against the Chinese women who “stole” other people’s husbands.
Due to her actions, Tay has received threats and was even beaten up but that has not deterred her.
“When my ex-husband was having an affair, nobody helped me. I was forced to fork out a lot of money to hire private investigators. Now, I want to help other women for free,” she said.
> The daily also reported that a couple drank pesticide in an attempt to take their own lives on a public bus in Johor.
The 20-something couple had stored the pesticide inside a fruit juice bottle before boarding the bus to Skudai from the Johor Baru city centre at about 1.30pm on Monday.
When the bus reached the Skudai highway, the estimated 40 passengers inside the bus detected a strong odour.
Subsequently, they saw the couple drinking from a bottle.
Suspecting something amiss, the bus driver immediately stopped the vehicle and flagged down a taxi to send the couple to the hospital.
Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.
© 1995-2011 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)
03-16-2011, 02:35 AM #4186
CPF maintains Special & Medisave interest rates
Posted: 16 March 2011 1118 hrs
SINGAPORE: The Central Providend Fund (CPF) will be maintaining the interest rates for the Special and Medisave Account at four per cent from April 1 until June 30 this year.
The government will also maintain the four per cent minimum rate for interest earned on all Special and Medisave Account and Retirement Account monies until December 31 this year.
Thereafter, interest rates on all CPF account monies will be subject to a minimum rate of 2.5 per cent.
Savings in the Special and Medisave Account are invested in Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS).
It earns an interest rate pegged to either the 12-month average yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities (10YSGS) plus one per cent or four per cent, whichever is the higher, adjusted quarterly.
The average yield of the 10YSGS plus one per cent, from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011, works out to be 3.42 per cent.
Hence, Special and Medisave Account monies will be invested in SSGS which earn four per cent.
Accordingly, the SMA interest rate payable to CPF members from April 1 to June 30, 2011 will be maintained at four per cent.
03-16-2011, 02:48 AM #4187
Are you a Singaporean?
« Tao Li, TODAY Athlete of the Year 2010
Mar 14 2011
Low Lin Fhoong
Posted at 9:09 pm under Uncategorized
There were quite a few teary eyes when the Singapore women’s team finally brought home a silver at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, and again when Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu, Li Jiawei, Sun Beibei and Yu Mengyu beat China at the World Championships last year.
But each time the table tennis team, or any foreign-born athlete, notches a significant victory, the debate on the Foreign Sports Talent (FST) scheme is renewed. The issue was brought up again in Parliament last week, when nominated MP Joscelin Yeo questioned the policy and its ratio of FSTs to local born athletes, and the investment in both groups.
Yes, the debate is not new. But the fact that it resurfaces again and again shows that it is close to Singaporeans’ hearts, as we mull over what it means to be Singaporean. Some say that we are a nation built by immigrants, hence the need to be more receptive. Others, however, are more resistant.
All round the world, in cosmopolitan cities Sydney, London, Paris, and Singapore – smatterings of English, Mandarin, French, Vietnamese can be heard on the streets. Sports like badminton and table tennis – which are dominated by China’s army of talents – have gone global, with the powerhouse’s former athletes occupying spots in numerous national teams worldwide.
Acceptance is not always easy, and often it works both ways. French national shuttler Pi Hongyan (former Chinese player) speaks the language, and others like Zhou Mi can communicate with her Hong Kong teammates in fluent Cantonese. Swimmer Tao Li is a great example of an athlete who has assimilated well, and the 21-year-old can even carry on a conversation in Singlish. Table tennis officials say it is a challenge getting the paddlers to speak English as most of their teammates and coaches speak Mandarin. Unlike Tao Li, who studied at the Singapore Sports School, the table tennis players do not have that advantage.
Like our immigrant forefathers, it will take time for our new citizens to find their feet, and identities. But let’s not forget that they too have uprooted themselves to find better lives and opportunities overseas, and that they have contributed to sports development here. Youth paddler Isabelle Li has benefited from interacting with her seniors, and considers them role models for their work ethic and skills. Yes, getting into the national team will be tougher, but winning a spot among world champions will be so much sweeter.
And perhaps, we will see Isabelle standing alongside Feng Tianwei at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Maybe the terms local-born and foreign-born will not matter then.
Youth paddlers Lin Ye, Isabelle Li and Pang Xuejie return triumphant from the Italian Junior & Cadet Open. Photo by Low Lin Fhoong
03-16-2011, 02:51 AM #4188
03-16-2011, 03:07 AM #4189
Tao Li, TODAY Athlete of the Year 2010
Feb 11 2011
Posted at 8:34 pm under Uncategorized
Congratulations to Tao Li on being named TODAY Athlete of the Year 2010!
The Singapore swimming star, who turned 21 last month, beat five other nominees – Feng Tianwei (table tennis), Wang Wenying (fencing), Mohd Hanafi Akbar (football), Lim Heem Wei (gymnastics) and Gai Bin (shooting) – to win the award, which has been won by table tennis star Li Jiawei (2008) and sailor Elizabeth Yin (2009).
Tao Li is the TODAY Athlete of the Year 2010. Photo by Tan Yo-Hinn
Over the past week, opinions have been divided on who should be the deserving winner.
Many have rooted for Feng, mainly for her role in spearheading the national side to a historic win over powerhouses China to win, for the first time, the Women’s World Team Table Tennis Championship crown in Moscow last May, and in the process also cause seismic shockwaves throughout the global table tennis community for achieving the rare feat of halting the Chinese juggernaut.
Others have also argued that the likes of Hanafi and Heem Wei deserve the recognition. They may not be as well-known or decorated as the likes of Feng or Tao Li, but have also always given their 110 percent and represented their country with distinction.
And Tao Li, of course, stormed to victory in 26.10secs to defend her 50m butterfly crown at last November’s Asian Games to add to the silver in the 100m fly she had won five days’ earlier.
Some might disagree on this, but it wasn’t just her achievements that seemed to resonate. It was perhaps the manner in which she won, the lead-up to it, and the fight she showed to prove her critics wrong and how badly she wanted it probably edged it for her. After she clinched a silver in the 100m fly in Guangzhou, Singapore’s chef-de-mission Low Teo Ping told the Singapore media there that like all other medallists, she could have her photo taken by one of China’s leading photographers. Instead, she declined, saying she’d take hers when she wins the 50m fly. Its that kind of conviction, self-belief and dare-to-do, no fear spirit that resonated with many of us that said: “Ah, finally here is someone who won’t sit on the fence, and is not afraid to take a challenge and to speak his or her mind – in a positive way of course - and not be fearful of it later.”
I suppose its not just winning, but how one achieves it as well that counts. And it’s not just in the pool that the Hubei-born star has shown that hunger to succeed.
When I first met her for an interview back in August 2005 at Farrer Park Swimming Complex, just a day after she received her citizenship application was approved, she could hardly speak a word of English although she tried to. But over the years, her English has improved steadily, and now converses fluently in the language, and readily gives interviews in English. Even though she still struggles to find the right words or adjectives, what matters is she keeps trying. She’s not afraid, and that quality has lifted her to where she is today, and as one of Singapore’s hopes for next year’s Olympic Games in London.
Nonetheless, we musn’t forget the other five nominees in Feng Tianwei, Wang Wenying, Mohd Hanafi Akbar, Lim Heem Wei and Gai Bin and their heroics in 2010. Maybe Tao Li just had that extra edge that convinced the judging panel she should be the winner
Last edited by Loh; 03-16-2011 at 03:11 AM.
03-16-2011, 04:17 AM #4190
Police officers receive medals for peacekeeping efforts
The Straits Times
Mar 16, 2011
By Tham Yuen-C
Contingent Commander, Acting Superintendent Jim Wee Aik Boon (centre) who led the 21 United Nations Peacekeeping Force team of officers, who have returned to Singapore after a tour of duty in Timor-Leste. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
FROM patrolling streets to training police officers, the 21 Singapore Police Force officers who were sent to Timor-Leste did them all.
On Wednesday, they received the Overseas Service Medal from Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee for keeping law and order in Southeast Asia's youngest country.
The officers were sent there on a one-year stint as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force.
They are the fourth batch of Singapore police officers sent to the country since 2006
03-16-2011, 09:38 PM #4191
Pandas named Kai Kai, Jia Jia
The Straits Times
Mar 17, 2011
Names for cubs, which will arrive here next year, chosen from almost 1,000 entries
By Huang Lijie
The two-year-old female panda which will be called Jia Jia. -- PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
WHAT are two 'beary' good names for the pair of panda cubs headed here from China?
Kai Kai and Jia Jia - they got the most votes from a seven-member judging panel. The names were picked from a shortlist of 20 out of almost 1,000 entries submitted to a naming contest that ended last December.
The two cubs are a three-year-old male and a two-year-old female. The male will be called Kai Kai, which means 'victorious' in Chinese. The female will be called Jia Jia, which means 'beautiful and fine' in Chinese.
Due to arrive early next year, the cubs will be housed at the upcoming River Safari, a $140 million river-themed animal attraction by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the parent company of the Singapore Zoo.
Pairs of names in the running included Ping Ping and An An, which mean 'peace' in Chinese; Pan Pan and Da Da, a play on 'panda' and whose Chinese characters may mean 'hoping for' and 'eminence'; and Zhong Zhong and Xin Xin, which mean 'loyal' and 'happy' in Chinese.
The judging panel comprised representatives from the Singapore Tourism Board, the Chinese Embassy, WRS and sponsor CapitaLand.
03-16-2011, 10:02 PM #4192
...to be perfectly frank and blunt, pandas smells really awful specially for kid spectators peering through the glass with the air-conditioning exhaust siphoning out the air directly into childrens lungs. Pandas should be left in their natural habitat and not for public display. It's truly pathetic too to make pandas as gift (sometimes on loan or for siring purposes) to other nations. The fact it can be extinct rather soon doesn't make for an excuse as friendship bartering chip. Smell that? It stinks!
03-16-2011, 10:31 PM #4193
Well, we'll have to wait what the Singapore Zoo experts can come up with. As I recall reading, the River Safari is a big open space, but I suppose the pandas will be housed in a special abode. Maybe they can also plant trees with sweet scent, etc.
The world has been engaging in 'barter trade' since long time ago. I give you this, you give me that. I give you money in exchange for goods and services. I give you friendship if you give me your most prized possession. I will be your good friend since you loan me the rare pandas. We also have the komodo dragon from Indonesia as a gift. Is there anything wrong?
If we can keep rare animals from dying out even if it meant keeping them in zoos for public display, I still think it is worthwhile instead of them becoming extinct in the wild with natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamies, fires, etc and human poaching.
Some zoos help to extend the lives of such animals by successfully breeding them, just like what the Singapore Zoo has done for so many animal and bird species including the orang utan and the komodo dragon. It is of great educational value for our very young to experience the sight of rare animals and birds before they become extinct.
Last edited by Loh; 03-16-2011 at 10:36 PM.
03-16-2011, 10:49 PM #4194
AVA tells fish farms to increase yields
The Straits Times
Mar 17, 2011
By Jessica Lim
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is setting targets for the 95 coastal fish farms to increase productivity.-- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE
FISH farms in Singapore have to reel in higher output or face the prospect of losing their licences.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is setting targets for the 95 coastal fish farms to increase productivity. Each farm must yield a minimum of 17 tonnes of fish per half-hectare of space annually. That space is the average size of a fish farm here.
'What we need to do with regards to local farming is to ensure that all the land that has been set aside for local farming will be productive,' said AVA chief executive Tan Poh Hong on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference to announce its plans, she added that licences may not be renewed if targets are not met within two or three years.
According to the AVA, some possible reasons for poor harvests could be a lack of capital or skills, or misuse of space, like using the farm for entertainment purposes. The push is part of a greater move to lift the percentage of local fish in the national supply from the current 4 per cent to 15 per cent in the next five to 10 years.
Singapore imports 90 per cent of its food so increased local production would give some protection from disruptions in global food supply and escalating prices.
03-16-2011, 10:58 PM #4195
AVA to help fish farms raise productivity
Posted: 16 March 2011 1601 hrs
Fish farm in Singapore
SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is stepping up efforts to help local fish farms increase productivity.
This is to meet Singapore's target of being able to produce 15 per cent of fish consumed locally.
Over the next few months, AVA will be visiting every fish farm to understand the farmers' needs so that it can assist them in developing plans to help them achieve minimum production targets.
There are currently 111 fish farms in Singapore.
Of these, 95 are coastal farms and the other 16 comprise deep sea farms, hatcheries, industrial-scale farms and oyster or shellfish farms.
These farms produce about four per cent of Singapore's total fish consumption.
As part of AVA's licensing conditions for coastal fish farms, the farms are required to meet a minimum production target of 17 tonnes of fish per half-hectare space annually.
Of the 95 coastal farms, 23 are currently producing more than the minimum production level of 17 tonnes.
Ten are producing between 8.5 and 17 tonnes, while another 36 are producing at below 8.5 tonnes.
The remaining 26 farms are new farms or farms which had undergone a recent change of ownership.
AVA said it will work closely with farmers who are not meeting the minimum production target, to help them improve their productivity.
Specifically, the authority will help them identify gaps that hinder production and develop improvement plans.
Farmers will also be encouraged to leverage on AVA's Food Fund to improve farming technology and upgrade production capability.
03-17-2011, 01:00 AM #4196
Jurong Bird Park
Talking about zoos, we have a bird zoo at Jurong called the Jurong Bird Park.
This park has delighted many local and foreign tourists and I was there in January to see what was new, more particularly to view the special new exhibit on the Penguins.
But I shall start off by showing you some pictures on the Bird Discovery Centre and the Flight Aviary.
03-17-2011, 11:58 AM #4197
Dr James Barnard wins Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize
By Joanne Chan | Posted: 17 March 2011 1723 hrs
Dr Barnard's technology, known as Biological Nutrient Removal, uses micro-organisms already present in the water to remove nutrients. (Photo: PUB) Video
Dr James Barnard wins Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize
SINGAPORE : The inventor of an eco-friendly method of treating used water has been named this year's Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize winner.
The international award recognises outstanding contributions towards solving global water problems.
It will be handed out at the Singapore International Water Week in July.
In fish farming, algae that grow in the water is an important part of the ecology - as a food source for the marine life. However, excessive algae bloom can quickly turn fatal.
Dr James Barnard, winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, said: "Other organisms feed on the algae, fish feed on the other organisms, and of course we eat the fish. That is the normal chain of events.
"The main problem is when the system becomes imbalanced, the algae growth becomes excessive, and when it's excessive, it disturbs the water balance so the fish can no longer survive in it."
This happens when nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are not removed from used water before being discharged into lakes and rivers.
In 2008, the outbreak of algae bloom in waters off China's Qingdao disrupted the Olympics sailing competition and damaged marine life.
Dr Barnard's technology, known as Biological Nutrient Removal, uses micro-organisms already present in the water to remove the nutrients.
Pioneered in the 1970s, this technology is currently used in thousands of water treatment plants worldwide.
It is more eco-friendly compared to traditional treatments as it does away with the use of resource-intensive chemicals. It can also result in up to 90 per cent of cost savings.
The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize received a record 72 nominations from 29 countries this year. Dr Barnard's technology stood out from the competition for his innovative and cost-effectiveness in treating used water.
Dr Barnard said he would donate the S$300,000 cash prize to charity. The South African native also hopes to use the money to improve school systems in his country.
Past winners include Professor Gatze Lettinga from the Netherlands for his anaerobic technology for used water treatment, and Dr Andrew Benedek for pioneering low-pressure membranes.
03-17-2011, 12:14 PM #4198
Paddlers gain from landmark collaboration
By Raj Kumar | Posted: 17 March 2011 1933 hrs
SINGAPORE: Two of Singapore's paddlers can now study for a diploma and represent the country at international competitions.
That's become possible with a landmark collaboration among the Singapore Table Tennis Association, Republic Polytechnic and the Singapore Sports School.
Sixteen-year-old Isabelle Li and 18-year-old Pang Xue Jie have just embarked on a diploma in Sports and Leisure Management.
They're on a special, tailor-made three-year programme that allows them to train with the national team in the mornings and evenings.
Lessons and special tuition will be held in the afternoons, conducted by lecturers from the Republic Poly, but at the Sports School.
This arrangement will cost S$260,000 annually for each athlete and will be borne by the STTA.
Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah said: "(So with this programme,) our two players will be able to get a diploma in three to five years' time.
"Last year, we signed an MOU with NTU and NTU has agreed to take in these two players, so long as they finish their diploma (in Republic Polytechnic or any of the polytechnics in Singapore")".
National table tennis player Isabelle Li said the programme has helped her make the best of both sports and her studies.
03-17-2011, 12:15 PM #4199
That's a good idea, maybe something similar could be done for badminton players. A lot of them are quitting to "focus on their studies" or whatever.
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