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  1. #4659
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Better links and info with new e-Govt masterplan

    Jun 21, 2011

    One-stop portal for govt data and apps among first initiatives launched

    By Irene Tham


    New initiatives under eGov2015 plan


    data.gov.sg


    The new portal aims to be a one-stop venue for all kinds of free and chargeable government data, ranging from land title deeds and recently transacted property prices to the location of childcare and hawker centres. Maps are included too.

    About 50 agencies, including the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Land Transport Authority are represented.

    A Web browser is all that is needed to download and view the information.
    Ease of access is expected to spur Government-citizen partnerships in the creation of mobile phone apps and services.


    mGov@SG
    This new portal aggregates mobile phone apps created by government agencies.
    Some 40 are available, including one from the Housing Board that makes it possible to check recent build-to-order project launches and their floor plans.



    OneInbox
    This is the secure electronic mailbox given to every citizen from the second half of next year, which could signal the end of paper bills from town councils and government agencies.


    Access is through a SingPass ID and password on the eCitizen website, which means bills can be paid even when the citizen is overseas.


    Reach
    This existing feedback portal will be enhanced with news and updates on government consultation exercises.


    It is exploring the use of mobile apps and social media to alert citizens to consultation exercises or to invite them to take part in quick polls and online discussions.

    More details will be announced later.


    Separate SingPass-like access system for businesses


    An authentication system will be launched for business users transacting with the Government.

    This will help the Government differentiate between business- and citizen-related transactions, and is similar to systems used in Australia and Denmark.

    Data.gov.sg idea good, but needs fine-tuning: App developers

    MOBILE phone app developers are excited by the idea of Data.gov.sg, the one-stop venue for both free and chargeable government data that was launched yesterday.

    They said this will mean they do not have to visit separate government websites to get information on, say, carpark spaces and the location of childcare centres in order to design smartphone apps for the public.

    This information can now be conveniently downloaded - mostly in raw data format - from that single repository. One of the most basic forms of information, it can be recognised easily by many other computer programs without the need for further processing.

    With this format, app developers no longer need to write specialised programs to extract values such as names, ages and addresses from a dataset to be entered into a database, said Mr Chua Zi Yong, 26.

    'Developers don't need to jump through all these hoops now,' said the founder of Stream Media, which sells a mobile phone payment software to companies.

    Other developers, however, said there are kinks in Data.gov.sg that should be sorted out.

    Mr Muh Hon Cheng, 30, co-founder of smartphone app development firm Buuuk, said that the data catalogue merely provides links to individual government agencies' own websites.

    Some of the pages provide no data for download, he pointed out.

    For instance, clicking on the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to get information on licensed water service plumbers brought him to a description page on the PUB website with no files for download as he expected.

    Some links point to PDF or Excel files, which are not in raw format, said Mr Muh.
    'It is not that useful at the moment,' he said.

    Still, many sources of data are in raw format. They include statistics on maximum rainfall in a day from the National Environment Agency (NEA) and carpark information from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

    Mr Douglas Gan, 27, founder of technology start-up Shownearby, pointed out that missing persons and crime data from the Singapore Police Force is not available from the portal yet.

    'It will be good to have these,' he said.





    Dr Yaacob (front row, middle) and DPM Teo (front row, right) listening to a presentation by an exhibitor at imbX yesterday. The event features CommunicAsia, which focuses on telecommunication technologies, and BroadcastAsia, which focuses on media and broadcasting technologies. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO


    ENGAGING citizens is a key focus for the Singapore Government, and it will ride the digital revolution to do this, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.

    To this end, he unveiled a new five-year e-Government masterplan which will make it easier for the Government and people to exchange ideas and information, as well as improve ways to deliver the data.

    Government information will also be made easily accessible to spur Government-citizen partnerships to create products like mobile phone apps.

    The plan includes a slew of initiatives:


    Data.gov.sg: Launched yesterday, this is a one-stop portal for both free and chargeable government data. It brings together more than 5,000 sets of data from 50 agencies.


    mGov@SG: Also launched yesterday, it aggregates the mobile phone apps created by government agencies.

    Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.

  2. #4660
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 'Optimal' ratio of 1 foreign worker to 2 Singaporeans

    Jun 22, 2011

    By Ng Kai Ling




    Mr Alhaj Abdul Salam, 26, dancing with a singer at last night's roadshow aimed at promoting workplace harmony. Migrant Workers Centre chairman Yeo Guat Kwang said the ratio of foreign workers to Singaporeans has to be kept under firm control, even as employers complain that it is difficult to find enough staff. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG


    THE current ratio of one foreign worker to two Singaporeans is optimal and this has to be kept under firm control, even as employers complain that it is difficult to find enough staff, said Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, director for Quality Worklife and All Nationalities at the National Trades Union Congress.

    He added that it was the duty of companies to work within this ratio and redesign jobs to make them more productive, and to attract Singaporeans to take them on. 'From the labour movement we are working to help these bosses to see how we can put in measures to push up the productivity,' he said.

    'That's important because if we don't make the job a better one, fewer and fewer Singaporeans will be willing to do them.'

    He was responding to questions from The Straits Times last night about recent media reports that companies have had to turn away business because of the lack of manpower.

    Mr Yeo, who is also chairman of the Migrant Workers Centre (MWC), which helps foreign workers settle workplace disputes, was speaking on the sidelines of a roadshow at Tampines Dormitory.

    He added that the 1.05 million foreign workers here make up close to one-third of Singapore's total workforce.

    Read the full story in Wednesday's edition of The Straits Times.

  3. #4661
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    Default Fancy having 3-D channels on TV?

    Jun 22, 2011

    Such ideas a possibility when MediaCorp goes digital, as early as 2015

    By Chua Hian Hou , Technology Correspondent



    MORE free-to-air television, with whole channels dedicated to high-definition and eye-popping 3-D.

    These are some possibilities Singaporeans can look forward to when national broadcaster MediaCorp goes digital.

    Ahead of that event, which could take place as early as 2015, the Government has commissioned a digital TV trial, the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said yesterday.

    Dr Yaacob was speaking at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre, where he delivered the opening address for the four-day Infocomm Media Business Exchange trade show.

    The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) said the year-long,
    $2.5 million trial of the digital TV format known as DVB-T2, or digital video broadcasting - second generation, is to make sure DVB-T2 is suitable for Singapore in the light of its 'highly urbanised landscape and population density'.

    Read the full story in Wednesday's edition of The Straits Times.

  4. #4662
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    Default Singapore injects $15m into apps for businesses

    Jun 22, 2011

    By Chua Hian Hou




    The tourism sector is set to receive a $15 million mobile shot in the arm. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING


    SINGAPORE'S retail, tourism and F&B sectors are set to receive a $15 million mobile shot in the arm.

    On Tuesday morning, the Government announced that it will set aside that amount to create user-friendly mobile applications that will 'enhance the competitiveness' of companies in the retail, food and beverage, hotel and attractions sectors.

    Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim - in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the CommunicAsia conference - who announced the move and said: 'The convergence of social networking, location sharing and mobile devices has created new opportunities and challenges. Consumers are no longer just using their mobile phones for telephony or SMS, evident in the proliferation of tablets and other mobile devices over the last 12 months.'

    In view of the change, the Government is looking for proposals from companies on innovative mobile services suitable for those industries.

    According to an Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore factsheet describing the initiative, some possibilities include a wireless payment system for restaurants or a mobile food and drinks menu.

    An IDA spokesman said a key consideration for the proposals is that they must be easily deployed by its user, whether it is a restaurant or hawker stall, without requiring expensive customisation work. The IDA, he added, is looking to fund at least 30 projects, which are expected to deliver their solutions within the next two years. For more information on the call for collaboration, please visit www.ida.gov.sg

  5. #4663
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    Default 4 roadshows for migrant workers at dormitories

    Jun 22, 2011



    By Ng Kai Ling




    Themed 'Embracing Differences', the MWC Dormitory Roadshows 2011 aim to promote workplace harmony through integration of migrant workers within their living and working environments. -- ST PHOTO: SHAHRIYA YAHAYA


    FROM Tuesday through to Thursday, migrant workers will get to kick back and enjoy carnival games and stage shows held at four dormitories.

    The four roadshows, put together by the Migrant Worker Centre (MWC) and the Singapore National Employers Federations, will be attended by some 12,000 migrant workers staying at dormitories in the Tampines, Sembawang and Pioneer areas.

    Themed 'Embracing Differences', the MWC Dormitory Roadshows 2011 aim to promote workplace harmony through integration of migrant workers within their living and working environments.

    Each night, workers will be entertained by a series of activities such as stage performances or they themselves will take part in carnival games in their own dormitory.
    There will also be a social integration exhibition, displayed in English, Chinese, Tamil and Bengali, which will provide workers information on Singapore's history, customs and social norms.

  6. #4664
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default MediaCorp to stream all 7 channels online for free

    Jun 22, 2011

    By Chua Hian Hou




    Within the next year, consumers in Singapore and overseas will be able to freely access MediaCorp's seven 'Free-to-Air' channels on the Internet. -- ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN


    SINGAPORE'S free-to-air broadcast sector is poised for its biggest shake-up in decades, in response to changing consumer habits.

    National broadcaster MediaCorp will be streaming - free - all its seven channels online, alongside a new premium pay-TV service, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim announced at his Infocomm Business Exchange (imbx) opening address at the Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday morning.

    'Within the next year, consumers in Singapore and overseas will be able to freely access MediaCorp's seven 'Free-to-Air' channels on the Internet,' he said.

    'This initiative will also be a good way for overseas Singaporeans to keep abreast of events at home through the latest local TV programmes and be entertained by other programmes that MediaCorp has rights to.'

  7. #4665
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default MOM reviewing call for weekly rest day for maids

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 21 June 2011 1950 hrs


    File pic: A group of Filipino maids
    SINGAPORE: The Manpower Ministry (MOM) said it is currently reviewing the call for the government to implement a weekly rest day for domestic maids with compensation in-lieu.

    In an email reply to Channel NewsAsia, MOM said it will consult with various stakeholders including employers, employment agencies and non-governmental organisations.

    Members of the public can email their views and suggestions to mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg.

    MOM said it recognises the benefits of rest days to the well-being and productivity of foreign domestic maids.

    However, instead of mandating rest days, it said the government has adopted a more flexible approach of allowing households to work out a mutually agreement employment arrangement with their maids, and encouraging employers to grant their workers regular rest days.

    Accredited employment agencies use a standard employment contract for maids, which requires employers to stipulate the number of rest days per month. Should the maids agree to work during their rest day, employers are required to pay them an agreed amount of compensation.

    Agencies cautioned that this may not go down well with employers.

    Joanne Lee, Director of JL Employment Services Pte Ltd, said: "I would say most employers may not be in favour of this. I guess it's because during their rest days, they would want their helpers to be around to take care of their needs. I guess it's a lot of inconvenience."

    The MOM's 2010 survey showed that slightly over half of all foreign domestic workers in Singapore already enjoy at least one day off a month.

    The development came two days after Minister of Statement for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Halimah Yacob, suggested legislation be considered that makes employers give their domestic helpers a rest day every week.

    She said giving maids a day off might help to minimise some issues such as stress and overwork that domestic workers are facing now.

    As of December last year, there were about 200,000 Foreign Domestic workers in Singapore. Some employment agencies have said that if this weekly rest day is implemented, it could help boost the number of domestic workers in Singapore.

    They said this is important as the demand for domestic workers would rise as Singapore faces an ageing population and more women opt to go to work.

    The new International Labour Organisation convention was approved last week in Geneva to grant domestic workers greater protection from exploitation. Singapore was among 63 voters which abstained from voting on the convention.

    The Manpower Ministry has said it would sign the treaty only when it was sure it could implement it here, and that it would continue to review the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers.

    -CNA/ac

  8. #4666
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Most S'poreans want to work past retirement age: survey

    By Jonathan Peeris | Posted: 21 June 2011 2254 hrs


    Singapore workers


    SINGAPORE : Singaporean employees want to work past the retirement age and upgrade their skills, according to the latest Randstad Workmonitor survey released on Tuesday.

    It found that 72 per cent of Singaporean employees would be happier working two years past the official retirement age without any additional financial benefits.

    The survey also showed that 66 per cent of Singapore employees interviewed said their career now demands more education and training than ever before, while more than a third said they felt their current job was beyond their current abilities.

    Interestingly, four out of ten people surveyed would prefer a position with more responsibility, even if there was no increase in salary.

    The survey also indicated a high level of confidence among employees, with 61 per cent believing recruitment of good talent had been increasing since the financial crisis and 65 per cent believing their companies were in a good position to hire well-qualified staff.

    The findings also indicated a four per cent rise in employee satisfaction to 61 per cent among Singapore employees since its last quarterly release.

    However, 74 per cent felt that more people would leave to work abroad in the future.

    Randstad regional director for Singapore and Malaysia, Karin Clarke, said this highlighted the priority for employers to focus on strong talent retention and attraction strategies.

    The research surveyed 405 Singaporeans from May 2 to 13, as part of a global quarterly survey of 13,565 employees, which tracks employee confidence, mobility, job satisfaction and personal motivation.

    - CNA/al

  9. #4667
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'pore Indoor Stadium to close for renovations in 2012

    By Patwant Singh | Posted: 21 June 2011 2057 hrs


    Interior of the Singapore Indoor Stadium Video

    SINGAPORE: The Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS) will close for three months next year to facilitate repairs to the roof, part of renovations to streamline the stadium with the upcoming Singapore Sports Hub.

    But the shut-down could see the SIS's number of events drop by up to 15 per cent, revealed Managing Director Mark Collins who declined to say how it will affect revenue.

    The 22-year-old Singapore Indoor stadium has been going through renovations to give it a fresh look. One of the major structures that will get some repairs, the roof, which has been suffering from leakages.

    Mr Collins said: "We will address the roof issues in July, August and September 2012. That three month period will require that the building be shut down, so we will have to close for the roof renovations to take place. Ironically, that period of time around the F1 tends to be a bit of a lull in the events schedule here."

    SIS added they will ramp up the activities for the rest of the calendar year, to make up for the shortfall.

    Other improvements being made to the building include sprucing up entrances and lobbies, toilets and even installing LED panels around the perimeter of the arena. Customer service will be improved and food and beverage will be allowed into the arena for all events, not only sports.

    Organisers also gave details of some new events being planned after renovations. Two tennis events, one event for men and the other for women and likely involving the top five players in the world, could be held in November and December and there are plans for monster truck and big football events next year.

    Once completed, the Indoor Stadium will be completely integrated into the S$1.33 billion Sports Hub with a bridge linking the two structures.

    Mr Collins said: "Right now, we will generate over half a million people through the turnstiles of this building. That is half a million people once through here, we will encourage to go out to the Sports Hub to visit the other facilities."

    The operators of the Indoor Stadium said, they do not expect the rental rates for the facility to go up after the renovations. But they do expect attendances to increase as they enhance the visitor experience.

    -CNA/ac

  10. #4668
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    Default Monocle ranks Singapore as 15th most liveable city in the world

    By Leong Wee Keat, TODAY | Posted: 21 June 2011 0629 hrs



    Singapore skyline in the night (TODAY File Photo)

    SINGAPORE: The rising population poses challenges for Asia's "Garden City" but Singapore's politics and tolerance are "slowly improving".

    On the back of this assessment, Singapore climbed up sixth places to rank as the 15th most liveable city in the world, according to London-based magazine Monocle. Singapore was ranked 18 in 2009.

    According to the international lifestyle magazine, the top three liveable cities were Finland's Helsinki, Switzerland's Zurich and Denmark's Copenhagen.

    Monocle has conducted its annual quality of life survey since 2007 but approached this year's rating with three considerations - how cities make use of its opportunities, the probability of residents buying groceries after 8pm and balancing conservation with forward-thinking planning.

    Monocle said Singaporeans "had a good 2010" as the Singapore economy grew 14.5 per cent. "But more relaxed immigration policies have seen an influx of (mainly Chinese) migrants while a rapidly growing population means that public services are sometimes stretched," the magazine wrote.

    Monocle noted Singapore's inequality levels, one of the highest in the developed world, also mean that there is "some worry about the have-nots being left behind". However, the magazine noted the "political climate is slowly liberalising, with little blowback in the hitherto conservative state when a political candidate was outed as being gay".

    Local government "remains efficient", education and medical services "top-notch" and crime levels "are sound".

    "Furthermore, with Changi airport, some of the world's best beaches are just a short flight away," the magazine added.

    But Monocle suggested some "fixes" - better integration for the increasing number of migrants and fewer chains.

    "Does Singapore really need yet another Starbucks?" the magazine wondered, while noting there are some 69 Starbucks coffee outlets on the island.

    Japan had three cities - Tokyo (ninth), Fukuoka (16th) and Kyoto (21st) - in the world's top 25 liveable cities. Hong Kong, meanwhile, was a new entry in the list, taking the 17th spot. - TODAY

  11. #4669
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Letter from Derek Low

    TODAY

    Updated 08:45 AM June 22, 2011

    The bigger picture is for China to have a world ranked player Chen Jin upgraded so that they will have a larger pool of competing players for the 2012 London Olympic. This is a strategic move by the coach or team manager and even at the expense of team spirit, what can we say, it is their choice.


    (But BWF can make rules to penalise the offending party.)

  12. #4670
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sports Hub vows to wow Singapore


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    06:07 AM Jun 22, 2011

    SINGAPORE - Local sports fans could get to catch Manchester United, Barcelona and Liverpool at the Singapore Sports Hub, when the facility opens its doors in March 2014. And, besides some of the world's great sports teams, rock 'n roll giants like U2 and the Rolling Stones may well be a part of the grand opening act of the S$1.33 billion Sports Hub, whose centrepiece will be a new 55,000-capacity National Stadium.

    SportsHub Private Limited, the company in charge of financing, developing and operating the world's biggest Public-Private-Partnership project, has promised an opening festival of between three and six months at the 35-hectare Kallang site, possibly even featuring NBA champions the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Lakers.

    Speaking to MediaCorp yesterday, Mark Collins, managing director of the Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS), said: "It won't be just one event, we'll have multiple events over three to six months. It's going to be a very exciting time in Singapore. We're going to open with a major football event ... we want to do a major rugby event and events with multiple music genres.

    "Promoters, artists, agencies have already expressed interest in being involved in the grand opening of the Sports Hub. So we're engaging them today to ensure a vibrant calendar when we open in 2014."

    To prepare for the occasion, the SIS have unveiled plans to spruce up the 22-year-old facility's entrances, function rooms and restrooms over the next 18 months.

    Renovation work on the cone-shaped stadium roof will begin in July next year, with the facility expected to close for three months.

    According to Collins, the three-month closure could see the number of events at SIS drop by up to 15 per cent.

    Said Collins: "The roof had historical issues with leakage and we are going to address these by repairing the sub-structure underneath the roof. We recognise the fact that if you lose 90 days in the working calendar, it potentially creates a gap in revenue projections ... We will do tighter scheduling and try to do more events in the same time frame."

    Besides the national stadium and the 10,000-seater SIS, the Sports Hub will feature a 6,000-capacity indoor aquatics centre, 3,000-seat multi-purpose indoor arena, watersports centre and 41,000 sq m of business, commercial and retail floor space.




    An artist's impression of the S$1.33 billion Sports Hub at Kallang, with the Singapore Indoor Stadium located at the extreme right. PHOTO COURTESY SINGAPORE SPORTSHUB
    Last edited by Loh; 06-21-2011 at 10:32 PM.

  13. #4671
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    Default An all-Singapore final?

    If today's results go their way, both local teams could be in for a Cup showdown



    by Shamir Osman
    06:07 AM Jun 22, 2011

    23rd Canon Lion City Cup

    SINGAPORE - Almost everyone associated with the teams dream of it, and after their respective opening games in the 23rd Canon Lion City Cup, there is increasing belief among the Singapore under-15s and under-16s that it can come to pass: That this Sunday at 8.40pm, the two local teams will stand across each other on the Jalan Besar green in the final.

    The under-15s have made certain of their spot in the semi-finals after a dramatic 4-3 win over Newcastle United last Saturday, but their seniors still have to avoid defeat against Everton today to join them.

    Dejan Gluscevic will send his under-15 boys out to face Juventus in the earlier match today knowing a draw will be enough for them to top Group A.

    Said the coach: "The under-16s are our friends and our challenge ... and I'm hoping to meet them in the final, to make things even sweeter."

    Obviously, tournament favourites like Brazil's Flamengo and Italy's Juventus will bristle at any suggestion of an all-Singapore final, and the local teams know a tough road lies ahead. But there could be a rivalry developing between the two local teams.

    Gluscevic's boys beat the under-16s 4-3 in a friendly match three weeks before the start of the tournament, and their fightback from 3-2 down against Newcastle thrilled the Jalan Besar Stadium crowd, as the juniors look to replace the seniors - winners of the bronze medal at last year's Youth Olympics - in the hearts of local fans.

    "It was different playing against our seniors (in that friendly), we had drive, we wanted to show that we could beat them," said under-15 central defender R Aarvin.

    "Having an all-Singapore final is what everyone wants ... and there would be no better place to show that we are the better team."

    Before that, though, there is the Juventus hurdle to clear, with the under-15s also chasing a win as a present for their coach, who celebrated his 43rd birthday yesterday.

    "It will be a good birthday present for him if we win and top the group; he's been a good coach and even though he's tough, we've all benefitted individually and as a team," said Adam.

    According to Gluscevic, his boys have already presented him with the best gift.

    "They are willing to work and eager to learn ... my wishes have been fulfilled even before this day," he said.





    Photo by KOH MUI FONG
    Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd
    Last edited by Loh; 06-21-2011 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default An all-Singapore final?

    Sorry double posting.

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    Default Tg Pagar railway station to go in style

    Jun 23, 2011

    By Zakir Hussain & Amresh Gunasingham




    As the Tanjong Pagar railway station fades into history, a steady stream of people have been visiting the building to catch a glimpse of its last days before the land is handed back to Singapore on July 1. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO


    THE last Malayan Railway (KTM) train will pull out of Tanjong Pagar station a week from today, with as much fanfare as when the first train rumbled in almost 80 years ago.

    At the controls will be Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, who obtained his locomotive driving licence last year, KTM and palace officials said yesterday.

    The scheduled 10pm departure from Tanjong Pagar will be marked by a KTM-organised send-off party attended by officials, guests and station staff, among others.

    At midnight, Singapore will take ownership of the station - which opened in 1932 - following a breakthrough agreement with Malaysia last year.

    KTM will then move its operations in Singapore to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, where it will open a ticketing counter on July 1.

    Malaysia-bound trains will also start and end their journeys from there. However, the station's popular stallholders will not move to the new location. They will close shop at Tanjong Pagar for good this weekend - the deadline given by KTM.

    Read the full story in Thursday's edition of The Straits Times.
    Photo gallery

    Compiled By Priscilla Goi & M Kam


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    Default Reusable funpack for this year's NDP audience

    Jun 23, 2011

    By Royston Sim




    In a National Day Parade (NDP) first, audiences will be able to bring home and reuse some items in this year's funpack. -- ST PHOTO: SAM CHIN


    IN A National Day Parade (NDP) first, audiences will be able to bring home and reuse some items in this year's funpack.

    The fun pack, revealed earlier by NDP organisers, was designed with the concepts of 'reuse', 'recycle' and 'reflect', said Major Chan Ming Hoe, who chairs the NDP Logistics and Finance committee.

    Items that can be re-used after the parade include a bean-shaped maracas, a sound instrument that can be converted into a container.

    Said Major Chan: 'Our committee felt that these items should be reused, instead of being chucked to one side in the storeroom, and go to waste.'

    The funpack also contains a sun visor, a mini fan made from recycled materials and a collection of short stories titled Stories Of The Singapore Spirit.

    It also has an assortment of snacks, drinks and items such as a souvenir magazine and a discount coupon booklet.

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    Default Marriage rates fall for the first time since 2003

    Jun 23, 2011





    The number of marriages in Singapore dipped in 2010, while divorce cases crept up again. -- PHOTO: LAVANIA MOGAN


    THE number of marriages in Singapore dipped in 2010, while divorce cases crept up again.

    The Singapore Department of Statistics released these figures in their annual Statistics on Marriages and Divorces for the year 2010, on Wednesday.

    A total of 24,363 couples pledged to love and cherish their partners forever - a 6.6 per cent decrease from 2009 - and the first drop since 2003.

    Interethnic marriages however, rose from 12 per cent in 2000 to 20 per cent in 2010. Chinese grooms tying the knot with brides who were not of Chinese, Malay or Indian ethnicity, formed 51.9 per cent of all interethnic marriages here last year.

    On the other hand, 7,405 couples split up last year, slightly higher than the 7,386 divorce cases in 2009. Couples who were married for five to nine years accounted for 32 per cent - the largest group - of non-Muslim divorces. 'Unreasonable behaviour' and 'having lived apart or separated for three years or more' were the main reasons cited by almost all non-Muslim divorces in 2010.

    In contrast, couples in Muslim divorces who were married for less than five years formed the largest group. Two out of every three Muslim divorce cases were filed by the wife. 'Domestic violence and abuses' and 'financial problems' were the top two reasons for divorce.

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