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Thread: Singapore Also Can
05-17-2011, 02:47 AM #4489
Thousands flock to Universal Studios for new Madagascar ride
By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 16 May 2011 1742 hrs
Madagascar: A Crate Adventure
SINGAPORE : Thousands flocked to Universal Studios Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa on Monday morning for a feel of its newly-opened ride, Madagascar: A Crate Adventure.
Even if you've never seen the animated movie by DreamWorks, the nine-minute ride - one of the longest rides in Universal Studios Singapore - promises to be a blast for riders, especially the younger ones.
"Amazing! It's exciting, especially for the kids, they can see all the characters in the Madagascar movie," said one guest.
"We thought it was a little bit tame. But the music was fabulous and the characters were very nicely done," said another.
"The nice thing about Madagascar: A Crate Adventure is that it really is a ride that's available for three generations - from kids to adults to grandparents. Everyone can ride it, so it's a great addition to Universal Studios Singapore," said John Hallenbeck, VP of Park Operations, Universal Studios Singapore.
The ride took about three years to conceptualise and create.
"Water rides are the most difficult attractions to create because water is fluid and unpredictable, whereas roller coasters and other mechanical type rides are easy to engineer," said Kevin Barbee, executive designer, Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa.
With this new launch, organisers now say it's all systems go for the grand opening of Universal Studios Singapore on May 28.
05-17-2011, 02:52 AM #4490
Olympics: A toast to Singapore's Olympians
By Tan Yo-Hinn, TODAY | Posted: 17 May 2011 0634 hrs
Mr Tan Howe Liang (R) receiving his medal from DPM Teo Chee Hean at the Singapore National Olympic Council's Olympians Nite. (Photo by Ernest Chua - TODAY)
SINGAPORE: Many of them were the best in their field at one time. The others in the select group continue to pursue excellence and chase their dream. The one thing they all shared in common was the Olympic spirit, etched forever in them.
Many of Singapore's biggest names in sport were feted on Monday night at the first gala dinner organised to honour Singapore's Olympians. Around S$250,000 was raised for the promotion of Olympism and for charitable causes, with the sum also being used to assist Singapore's Olympians in financial need.
More than 70 Olympians turned up for the special event at Orchard Hotel, with more than 20 others represented by their family members, and each received specially-minted medallions engraved with a serial number, the athlete's name and the year they flew Singapore's flag at the Olympics.
In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister and Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) president Teo Chee Hean, the guest-of-honour, pointed out two reasons why it was necessary to celebrate the achievements of Olympians.
Said Mr Teo: "First, such recognition helps to highlight the enduring richness of Singapore sport in the minds of the sporting fraternity and the wider community.
"Second, the accolade will (also) serve to inspire the new generation of sportsmen and women."
Singapore's sports chief was later asked if more should be done to help retired Olympians financially, and he said: "I've spoken to a number of them, and many do have good jobs, are successful in their own ways. To be a sportsman, you need to have determination to succeed in what you're doing, and many have made a success in life."
As for suggestions for Singapore streets to be named after some of the country's top Olympians, he added: "These are ideas that can be considered, we have a committee that considers street names. I'm sure there are many good ideas."
Since the 1936 Berlin Olympics, 167 athletes have represented Singapore across 14 sports, among them the first medallist, weightlifter Tan Howe Liang, who won a silver at the 1960 Rome Games.
Of the amount raised on Monday night, S$125,000 were from five sponsors - each contributed S$25,000 - and 18 donors gave S$5,000 each. The rest of the money came from various national sports associations.
Also, 390 specially-commissioned Royal Copenhagen Olympic Plates, each costing S$200, were on sale to help raise funds for activities organised by Olympians Singapore and the Breast Cancer Foundation.
"We will also standby money, in case there are Olympians who are in need. We may not be able help them completely, but at least it will help them tide over for a while," said former sprint star Canagasabai Kunalan, the association's honorary secretary who took part in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.
Some of the Olympians were just grateful for the recognition.
Former shuttler Hamid Khan, who took part in the 1992 Barcelona Games, said: "It really feels good at long last to be recognised. It doesn't have to be monetary, just the recognition means a lot.
Former high jumper Noor Azhar, who took part in the 1972 Munich Olympics, added: "It's also an opportunity for many of us to catch up with old friends." - TODAY
05-17-2011, 09:06 PM #4491
French warship makes waves at IMDEX Asia
Channel NewsAsia By Satish Cheney | Posted: 17 May 2011 1906 hrs
SINGAPORE : The International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference or IMDEX Asia takes place in Singapore from May 18-20.
And some 20 warships from all over the world will be present.
Channel NewsAsia checks out one of the main highlights - a warship from France that seems to be towering above the rest.
At 200 metres long, the FNS Mistral is one ship the French are very proud of.
Having some of the most high tech capabilities when it comes to naval defence, it uses only some 170 staff. Usually a ship of this size would employ 400 to 500 crew members.
The ship is named after a strong wind usually found in the South of France. And the 11-storey ship is so huge that it can even house a mini hospital.
"We have 1,000 square metres dedicated to the hospital which carries two surgical blocks, 70 medical beds. We can carry numerous teams of surgeons and doctors and be used in humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations," said Captain Xavier Moreau, FNS Mistral.
The ship also houses a school for cadets from France and other countries.
And the Mistral has also had its fair share of action - fighting piracy in the Gulf of Eden, something which has to be an ongoing effort by all countries.
Vice Admiral Marin Gillier, French Forces Joint Commander, Indian Ocean, said: "Piracy in the Indian Ocean is still a major problem. On this very day I am speaking to you, there are 21 civilian ships that are anchored off Somalia where they are kept as hostages. There are around 510 hostages from all nationalities.
"We need more countries to work with us out at sea. We have to help Somalia build up the country with capabilities such as police and justice."
The ship is here as part of IMDEX Asia and will head to Indonesia after the event is over.
05-17-2011, 09:26 PM #4492
Singapore to stage Ultimate Footbag Challenge in June
By Patwant Singh | Posted: 17 May 2011 2008 hrs
Singapore to stage Ultimate Footbag Challenge in June
SINGAPORE : It's fun, easy to learn, and could soon be the next big craze among youths.
Called footbag, it's a game involving a small ball - slightly larger than a golf ball - and made of leather or cloth and filled with beads.
Anyone, both young and old, can pick up the simple moves to get started in the sport popular in the US and Europe.
Now Asia could be the next frontier for the sport, as Singapore stages the Ultimate Footbag Challenge on June 25 at Velocity.
And the sport is getting a leg-up from the Singapore Sepak Takraw Federation, with the two games sharing many similarities.
"Footbag can also be a training base for sepak takraw. The way that the footbag being kicked, being trained by youths... (it's) the same format... So I believe that footbag can be an instrument for sepak takraw trainers to use this footbag for the sepak takraw players," said Abdul Halim Kader, president of the Singapore Sepak Takraw Federation.
The Singapore competition is one of endurance, with the participants having to use their legs to keep the ball in the air for five minutes.
Besides Singapore, similar competitions will be held in Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. A regional winner will be picked through online voting and that lucky winner gets an all-expense paid trip to watch a live Real Madrid soccer match.
Many Singaporeans may take to the sport easily, as it is very similar to another local traditional game called "chap teh".
Still the organisers are not taking any chances and are organising two workshops to get everybody familiar with the intricacies of footbag.
05-18-2011, 01:26 AM #4493
Property prices, commercial space info on OneMap
The Straits Times
May 18, 2011
The services aim to help individuals interested in the residential property market information and businesses in search of commercial space. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
TWO new services have been recently added to OneMap, an integrated map platform which enables the public to access government agencies' location-based services and information.
The services aim to help individuals interested in the residential property market information and businesses in search of commercial space, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said on Wednesday.
The first service, PropertyPrices, shows the transacted prices of both private housing and Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale flats over the past year on a map. Users can also view information such as size of the unit, tenure type (freehold or leasehold) and transaction date.
The other service, Space2Lease, allows businesses to check for government properties available for rent by the SLA and HDB. Information such as the floor area and monthly rental of available commercial space can be viewed at a glance on a map.
There is a free OneMap app on the iPhone, SLA said in its media release. Developers can use the set of Application Programming Interface (APIs) to develop applications for the mobile platform using the OneMap infrastructure.
05-18-2011, 01:37 AM #4494
S'pore loses No. 1 economic competitiveness ranking
The Straits Times
May 18, 2011
By Robin Chan
Singapore has lost its top spot in a closely watched ranking of economic competitiveness. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
SINGAPORE has lost its top spot in a closely watched ranking of economic competitiveness.
A recovery in financial markets pushed the United States (US) back to first place alongside Hong Kong, while higher cost of living pressures dragged Singapore down to third place, in the annual IMD World Competitiveness report.
After growing 14.5 per cent last year, it is no surprise that Singapore ranked second among 59 countries in terms of the competitiveness of its domestic economy.
But rising cost of living pressures from steeper property prices, and higher food, energy and transport costs showed up in the index, where the Republic fell from 47th to 54th in terms of price competitiveness.
Singapore edged into first place last year, on the back of a resilient recovery from the global economic recession. It had alternated with Hong Kong for second and third place for many years, while the US had been top since 1994.
Dr Stephane Garellli, director of the World Competitiveness Centre at Swiss business school IMD, said: 'The world of competitiveness becomes more national. 'World Competitiveness 2.0' is thus characterised by a greater self-reliance of countries. It increasingly emphasises re-industrialisation, exports, and a more critical look at de-localisation. This trend is triggered by the rise in commodity and transport prices and higher labour costs in emerging economies.'
05-18-2011, 01:40 AM #4495
Sky@eleven wins BCA Excellence Award
The Straits Times
May 18, 2011
Freehold condominium Sky@eleven, a development by Times Development, will be conferred a Merit Award under the Residential Category for the Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Awards 2011 at Resorts World Sentosa on Thursday. --ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
FREEHOLD condominium Sky@eleven, a development by Times Development, will be conferred a Merit Award under the Residential Category for the Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Awards 2011 at Resorts World Sentosa on Thursday.
Times Development is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).
The Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Awards were launched in 2008 by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to recognise efforts to ensure safety in design, construction and maintenance of buildings and civil engineering projects.
Sky@eleven is located in the prime district 11 off Thomson Road. It was launched in January 2007, and all 273 units were snapped up within 30 hours of its launch, with the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) obtained in May 2010.
'We are honoured that Sky@eleven has been given this award. It shows that Times Development is an organisation that values the safety and well-being of our people, and we take concrete steps to ensure this,' said Mr Seow Choke Meng, Executive Director of Times Development.
Other SPH property ventures include Paragon in the heart of Orchard Road, and The Clementi Mall, which will celebrate its official opening on Saturday.
05-18-2011, 01:45 AM #4496
Barrier-free access at older bus interchanges
Channel NewsAsia Posted: 17 May 2011 1611 hrs
Passengers boarding buses at Bedok Bus Interchange
SINGAPORE : The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the project to revamp bus interchanges to make them user-friendly is on schedule.
It said about 80 per cent of older bus stops are now barrier-free.
LTA said work on the last three bus interchanges will start before 2014.
Some features the revamped bus interchanges include lower information counters for the wheelchair-bound, specially constructed pathways for the visually-challenged, and ramps in place of stairs.
LTA said renovation work on 17 bus interchanges has been completed.
Work on Harbourfront, St Michaels and Toa Payoh bus interchanges will be completed by 2014.
05-18-2011, 01:48 AM #4497
Relocation of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station from July 1
By Mustafa Shafawi | Posted: 18 May 2011 1043 hrs
Woodlands Train Checkpoint
SINGAPORE: The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will be relocated to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint with effect from July 1.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the Bukit Timah Railway Station will cease all operations on that date.
And all arrival and departure trains will terminate and start at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint.
05-18-2011, 01:52 AM #4498
CPR device may up survival chances in cardiac arrest cases
By Alvina Soh | Posted: 17 May 2011 1844 hrs
Mechanical CPR device (in green)
SINGAPORE : A new mechanical device for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) could increase the chance of survival of patients with cardiac arrest.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the device is more effective than manual CPR.
Hands-free, compact and mobile - the latest device by the SCDF aims to provide more consistent and effective chest compressions on the go.
SCDF said this will address current difficulties that paramedics face, such as providing consistent CPR while transporting patients.
"You have to bring the patient to the lift, maybe down the stairs, to the void deck, from the stretcher to the ambulance. So this is something that the mechanical device can certainly do better," said Dr Poon Beng Hoong, SCDF's chief medical officer.
Dr Poon added that manual CPR is manpower intensive, and could tire paramedics if done over long periods of time.
"With the mechanical device, our paramedics would be able to free their hands to manage other things such as manage patients' breathing, as well as to give medication to the patient," said Dr Poon.
Costing some S$25,000 a piece, the device will be installed in 14 SCDF ambulances from next Monday.
SCDF said manual CPR would still be performed, along with the use of the machines.
05-18-2011, 02:12 AM #4499
Four more stamps for collectors
Posted: 17 May 2011 0723 hrs
Photo Courtesy of SingPost
SINGAPORE: A new set of stamps depicting four popular hawker centres in Singapore - Lau Pa Sat, East Coast, Maxwell and Newton - will be on sale from Wednesday.
The stamps, each with a value of 80 cents, will be on sale at all post offices and the Singapore Philatelic Museum.
A SingPost statement said the new stamp issue, Hawker Centres of Singapore, captures a unique way of Singapore life.
A presentation pack costs S$5 and a pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with the complete set of stamps will cost S$4.05.
First day covers will be cancelled with a special Hawker Centres of Singapore postmark.
Orders can also be made at SingPost's online shopping portal, vPOST
05-18-2011, 02:50 AM #4500
Lau Pa Sat
This cast-iron market, originally known as the Telok Ayer Market, has a remarkable history.
Excerpts from Wikipedia:
"Telok Ayer Market (Chinese: 直落亚逸巴刹), also known colloquially as Lau Pa Sat ("old market"; 老巴刹), is a historic building in Singapore, and is located in Downtown Core within the Central Area, Singapore's central business district. It is currently a food centre.
In the early nineteenth century, Telok Ayer Market was a simple wooden building, located on piles just over the waters of Telok Ayer Bay and hence the market's name.
The Malay name Telok Ayer means "water bay" as the coastal road Telok Ayer Street lies alongside the bay.
Because of its Victorian iron structure, the market is referred to in Malay as pasar besi (iron market).
Telok Ayer Market's unique, octagonal, cast-iron structure is delicate in its execution, and was designed by James MacRitchie. It was shipped out from Glasgow by P&W MacLallan, who had also made the iron for the Cavenagh Bridge in 1868.
The use of cast iron for the structure, as well as for decorative reasons, is typically Victorian. Slender columns are topped with composite capitals supporting trusses with filigree-like infills. The cast-iron archways and fretted eaves brackets are good examples of the craftsmanship of the day. It was erected by Riley Hargreaves & Co. (now United Engineers).
By the early 1970s, the area around Telok Ayer Market — Shenton Way, Robinson Road, Cecil Street and Raffles Place — had swelled into a busy commercial district with sparkling new skyscrapers. In 1973, the market was converted into a hawker centre and by 1986, it was closed to make way for a new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line. The building's historical and architectural value was recognised and its signature cast-iron supports were put into storage.
Telok Ayer Market was reconstructed for the last time in the late 1980s, when tunnelling work for the MRT was completed. The latest building remains true to MacRitchie's and Coleman's designs and the cast-iron supports have been reinstated.
Renamed Lau Pa Sat, the vernacular name by which most Singaporeans refer to the market, the old market reopened in 1991 as a festival market, a supposedly modern food court catering to office workers and tourists. The owner was Rafiq Jumabhoy's Renaissance Property (part of now defunct Scotts Holding). The grandeos food court was opened with a lot of fanfare and wide media publicity. But it soon became a flop, business dropped a few weeks after it opened, due largely to poor ventilation (no air conditioning). Lau Pa Sat was later taken over in 1995 by Kopitiam - another food court operator, and still in operation today albeit messier than Festival Market. Lau Pa Sat was gazetted as a national monument on 6 July 1973."
I was there in April, at the same time to look at the changes at Clifford Pier, Shenton Way and Marina Bay. Here are some pictures of my visit:
05-18-2011, 03:58 AM #4501
PM Lee announces new cabinet lineup
The Straits Times
May 18, 2011
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the new cabinet line-up on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: TERENCE TAN
PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced major changes to the Cabinet lineup on Wednesday.
Mr Wong Kan Seng, Mr Mah Bow Tan and Mr Raymond Lim will retire from Cabinet.
There are new heads for 11 out of the 14 ministries, with a new Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) in Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He remains Finance Minister and also takes over the Manpower Ministry.
Mr Teo Chee Hean remains DPM and will head the Home Affairs Ministry.
The rest of Cabinet looks like this:
-Mr K Shanmugam will be the new Foreign Affairs Minister and will remain in charge of the Law Ministry.
-Mr Khaw Boon Wan will be the new minister for National Development.
-Dr Yaacob Ibrahim will be in charge of Information, Communications and the Arts.
-Dr Ng Eng Hen will be Defence Minister.
-Dr Vivian Balakrishnan will be in charge of Environment and Water Resources.
-Mr Gan Kim Yong will be the Minister for Health.
-Mr Lui Tuck Yew will be Transport Minister .
Newly elected Members of Parliament Heng Swee Keat and MG Chan Chun Sing will be Education Minister and Acting Minister for Community development Youth and Sports.
05-18-2011, 08:11 AM #4502
MM's grandson is which one?
05-18-2011, 08:27 PM #4503
05-18-2011, 08:52 PM #4504
PM to chair GIC, Tharman new MAS chairman
The Straits Times
May 19, 2011
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also revealed that he will be the new chairman of GIC. Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the new chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
ALONG with the announcement of his new Cabinet lineup on Wednesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also revealed that he will be the new chairman of GIC, taking over the reins from Minister Mentor (MM) Lee Kuan Yew.
Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the new chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Senior Minister (SM) Goh Chok Tong is the current MAS chairman.
MM Lee and SM Goh have been appointed senior advisers of GIC and the MAS respectively.
PM Lee has accepted the resignations of MM Lee and SM Goh from Cabinet, following their joint statement to resign last Saturday.
05-18-2011, 08:56 PM #4505
Singapore revises GDP growth forecast to 5-7%
The Straits Times
May 19, 2011
By Robin Chan
The Singapore economy grew a better than expected 8.3 per cent in the first quarter this year from the same period last year led by the manufacturing sector. --ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM
THE Singapore economy grew a better than expected 8.3 per cent in the first quarter this year from the same period last year led by the manufacturing sector.
The strong first quarter performance led to growth for the full year being revised upwards to between 5 per cent to 7 per cent from between 4 per cent to 6 per cent, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.
The near term external environment is also expected to be conducive to Singapore's growth for the rest of the year, it said.
Economic expansion is expected to be supported by growth in the manufacturing sector and financial services.
However risks remain in Europe's sovereign debt problems, from pressure on oil prices from political turmoil in the Arab world, prolonged disruption in industrial activities in Japan and also from a tight labour market adding to cost pressures for firms at home.
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