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Thread: Singapore Also Can
06-30-2011, 09:18 PM #4744
Crowd hungry for a piece of history
Jul 1, 2011
AT THE STATION
KTM staff also celebrate a last goodbye as visitors seek them out for photos, autographs
By Yen Feng
Mr Sulhan Sauti giving the thumbs up to the celebrity welcome he received as he drove the last train into Tanjong Pagar Railway Station last night. -- ST PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN
CAMERAS flashed everywhere.
From the grand archways framing the station front to the platforms out back, everyone, it seemed, wanted to take home a piece of history being made last night.
As early as 10am, people began streaming into Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
By night-time, several thousand had passed through the 79-year-old train station, including those who had specially bought tickets for the last passenger train leaving the station before it was shuttered for good.
Many bore souvenirs - coffee mugs, folders, and other items imprinted with the letters F, M, S and R, which stand for the Federated Malay States Railway.
06-30-2011, 09:20 PM #4745
Johor Sultan drives the last train out
Jul 1, 2011
By Cassandra Chew
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT
'All my memories working there, happy or sad, I will never have those again.'
Operations executive Md Zammry Mustapa
The last KTM train pulling out of Tanjong Pagar Station at 11pm last night with Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar at the controls. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
View more photos
ON BOARD THE SPECIAL LAST TRAIN OUT OF TANJONG PAGAR STATION: TRAIN enthusiast Char Lee leaned out the doorway in between train carriages and held his camera to capture the last moments of Malayan Railway's (KTM) last train travelling through the heart of Singapore.
Along the way, the 30-year-old member of the KTM Railway Fan Club yelled and waved to people who gathered along the route from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands.
This special train, which left the station at 11pm, an hour after the last scheduled KTM train departed, was driven by Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.
Small groups of people gathered along the track for a final look.
The platform of the Bukit Timah railway station was packed; residents along Rifle Range Road waved from their homes, and there were groups who waited at railway crossings at Bukit Gombak and Chua Chu Kang. Many were armed with cameras, video recorders and glowing light sticks as they shouted hearty goodbyes to those on board.
Some 600 passengers were invited to board the 12-carriage train. They included members of the Johor royalty and officials, current and former KTM staff, KTM train enthusiasts and some 50 journalists from Malaysia and Singapore.
06-30-2011, 09:23 PM #4746
One-way trip to the end of the line
Jul 1, 2011
Thirty years ago, I made the same trip to start a new life in Singapore
By Wong Kim Hoh, Senior Writer
A KAMPUNG HOUSE FOR KEEPS
OF ALL the souvenir hunters at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in the past few days, Ms S.Y. Chua arguably got the biggest keepsake - a life-size kampung house.
On Wednesday, the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board told The Straits Times it would give away the house, if the taker would bear the costs of moving it.
Yesterday, Ms Chua, who is in her 40s and a company director, said she wanted the structure, which was used to promote a travel fair two years ago and has stood in the foyer of the station since.
Ms Chua, a Malaysian who is a permanent resident here, brought in construction workers to dismantle the house, which she plans to transport to Malaysia.
'I know people who are planning to build a recreation park in Malacca, and thought the house would add a nice touch,' she said.
It will sit in a friend's garden until the park is ready.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
ABOUT 30 pieces of old railway track (above) had been snapped up by yesterday evening. Only 50 were on sale, at $200 each.
The silver-chromed pieces, said to be bits of track used at the station, were the most expensive collectibles at KTM's makeshift souvenir stalls yesterday.
Those who bought them believe they will increase in value.
Antique shop owner Alan Wong, 45, who bought two pieces, said: 'After today, these will be a part of history. The value will be there if you keep them for a time.'
He intends to display them at home or at his Bukit Merah shop.
Another collector, Mr Brian Teng, 38, said the pieces were the most meaningful of all the souvenirs on offer. He bought the 28th piece, which he felt was an auspicious number.
'The train used to run on it. Even for $2,000, I would have bought it,' said the operations director of a private school.
JAMIEE EE WEN WEI
MOST people were snapping up memorabilia, but some were on the hunt for real pieces of history.
Visual artist Koh Nguang How, 48, was at the station to take shots of its facade when he stumbled on some Malay books and magazines in a rubbish pile, presumably discarded by shopkeepers.
He took them all and might use them as 'inspiration', possibly creating a collage for exhibition.
JAMIE EE WEN WEI
Visitors armed with cameras snapped away as the Singapore and Malaysian flags were lowered after the last train went by last night. The rail link between the two countries starts from Woodlands today. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
I DROVE the historic last train from Butterworth into the Tanjong Pagar station last night.
Well, I didn't actually steer and manoeuvre the Ekspres Rakyat but I was in the same compartment right behind the three senior Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) train drivers who did.
Mr P. Anantharajah, 48, Mr Jamaluddin, 50, and Mr Ridzwan, 52, had kindly allowed my photographer colleague Desmond Foo and me to squeeze into the tiny cabin as they guided the locomotive from Woodlands into the iconic Keppel Road landmark which officially ceased operations last night.
Mr Jamaluddin, who coincidentally celebrated his 50th birthday, was singing lustily as he sounded the whistle to herald the train's arrival into Singapore.
We pulled in at 9.30pm, to a blinding avalanche of flashlights and a sea of people who had come to bid the station farewell.
I made my way through the heaving crowd and paused in the main hall, thinking of the first time I made its acquaintance.
06-30-2011, 09:29 PM #4747
Both PMs not bogged down by baggage of past: Observers
Jul 1, 2011
Tanjong Pagar station handover
By Rachel Chang
'Today, we mark a historic breakthrough in our bilateral relations.'
THE resolution of the Points of Agreement (POA) on Malayan Railway land here was made possible because Prime Ministers Lee Hsien Loong and Najib Razak approached the issue in a business-like way and were not bogged down by baggage of the past, observers said.
A key turning point was Malaysia's recognition of the POA as a legal document.
Singapore has always maintained that the POA is a government-to-government agreement that became legally binding up when it was signed in 1990, by then Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and then Malaysian Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin.
However, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had argued in 1997 that the POA was not legally binding until it was ratified domestically by Malaysia.
Mr George Yeo, who was Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister from 2004 until May this year, said: 'Once Malaysia accepted that the POA was legal, the issue became no longer one of principle and we could then afford to be flexible.'
Mr Yeo, who left the Cabinet in May after the general election, said that by 2008, when he first met new Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim at a conference in Egypt, he was 'not pessimistic' about the POA.
06-30-2011, 09:33 PM #4748
Singapore and Malaysia can now advance their many shared interests: PM Lee
By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 01 July 2011 0602 hrs
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The exterior of the art deco and neo-classical styled Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Singapore. (AFP Photo/Simin WANG)
SINGAPORE: The closure of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station marks a historic breakthrough in relations between Singapore and Malaysia, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
With the closing of this chapter, he said the two countries can now advance their many shared interests.
Mr Lee said he is happy that Singapore and Malaysia have successfully implemented the Points of Agreement (POA) on Malayan Railway land in Singapore.
He said the amicable resolution of a bilateral issue which has remained outstanding for almost 20 years is of great significance.
It marks a historic breakthrough in bilateral relations.
Thanking his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak, Mr Lee said Mr Najib's leadership and determination have resulted in a "win-win deal".
Mr Lee also thanked ministers and officials on both sides, adding that their hard work and cooperation have led to the successful implementation of the agreement.
Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam said this was the result of close bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
He thanked the countries' leaders, his counterpart Anifah Aman and his predecessor George Yeo.
Now that the issue has been settled, he said there would be new areas of cooperation to explore and work on.
The railway station has moved to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint and Singapore will resume ownership over all Malayan Railway land south of it.
There are also six land parcels slated for development by joint company M+S Pte Ltd - 60 per cent owned by Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional and the remaining 40 per cent by Singapore's Temasek Holdings.
06-30-2011, 09:36 PM #4749
Woodlands Train Checkpoint begins operation
By Saifulbahri Ismail | Posted: 01 July 2011 0851 hrs
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Woodlands Train Checkpoint
SINGAPORE: The first train bound for Malaysia left the new Woodlands Train Checkpoint at 5.45am on Friday.
This after the Tanjong Pagar railway station closed its doors at midnight after operating for nearly 80 years.
There were not many passengers on that early morning train and only eight travellers were seen clearing the Singapore and Malaysia immigration counters.
The Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said the clearance process has been smooth so far.
It has deployed additional resources on the first day of operations at the new trains checkpoint.
Some arriving passengers felt that disembarking at the old Tanjong Pagar train station was more convenient.
Departing passengers in the morning lamented they were not able to have breakfast before their trip as there are no food stalls available at the checkpoint.
Outside the checkpoint, transport connections were smooth and passengers were able to board taxis and buses quickly to get to their next destination.
06-30-2011, 09:40 PM #4750
Railway station closes chapter
By Saifulbahri Ismail | Posted: 30 June 2011 2008 hrs
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The interior of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
SINGAPORE: A historic chapter closed on Thursday at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Seven trains, bound for Malaysia, made their final journey from the station on Thursday.
Many people flocked to the station to take a last train ride from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
One of them is 64-year-old Mohd Jani Abdul Manap, who arrived in Singapore from Kuala Lumpur to do just that.
Mr Mohd Jani said the station brings back fond memories.
"When I was a boy, my father was a customs officer near Tanjong Pagar Road, it's nearby this railway station," he said.
"My brother and I used to play here. This is part of our playground - we used to catch spiders.
"I came here all the way with my brother... to wish farewell to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station."
Tickets for all five express trains have been sold out since late May.
However, passengers without advance tickets still queued up at the ticket counter for the shuttle trains at 7.15 am and 6.55 pm.
All food stalls have been vacated.
Many who visited the station on Thursday said they will miss the station's neo-classical facade and art deco features.
Passenger Robert Hoyes-Cock said: "What I'll miss most, is that I'm currently living in Portsdown Road area, and actually I can hear the train every night when I go to sleep.
"So, it will be a bit strange not hearing the train anymore in my neighbourhood".
Meanwhile, a Facebook page called 'The Last Train Into Tanjong Pagar' has been set up.
It has accumulated more than 600 fans since it was created earlier this month.
Facebook page creator Jerome Lim said: "It was for me a personal journey because what I wanted to do was to have a last homecoming back into Tanjong Pagar.
"There's always a kind of romance associated with train rides.
"I guess that's a throwback maybe to the glory days of train travel, maybe in the 30s. (For) Tanjong Pagar, it has this huge great hall, and I think that in itself, is an experience you won't get again with the train station moving to Woodlands Train Checkpoint".
The man who will be the last to leave the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is station manager Mohd Ayob Embong.
"Of course, I'll be sad. All the staff, I know very well," he said.
"The thing I will miss most is this building. I have been here for six years inside this building every day from 2.30 in the morning until 11 pm."
All 91 staff members of the Malayan railway took the last train out at 11 pm.
At the stroke of midnight, Singapore took ownership of the station.
06-30-2011, 09:43 PM #4751
S'pore explores new technology to treat drinking water
By Lim Jing Jing | Posted: 30 June 2011 1330 hrs
SINGAPORE: A new technology is being tested for its potential to treat drinking water in Singapore.
A S$5 million water treatment plant, which will use ceramic membrane technology to treat drinking water, has been built at the Choa Chu Kang Waterworks after two years of planning.
The "demonstration plant" is funded by a grant from the Environment and Water Industry Programme Office under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.
Raw water will be drawn from the Kranji, Pandan and reservoirs in the western catchment area, which includes the Tengah, Poyan, Murai and Sarimbun Reservoirs.
The plant is able to treat 1.2 million litres of water a day. Its performance will be tested over 18 months.
Untreated water in Singapore is currently filtered through polymeric membranes.
The ceramic membrane has a projected lifespan of 20 years, four times longer than the polymeric membrane.
The initial cost of building a ceramic treatment plant is higher but potential savings come in the long term, largely due to the durability of the ceramic membrane.
As a result, PUB said that ozone can also be added to disinfect water.
According to PWN Technologies, which built the plant, its ceramic membrane technology also has a lower energy consumption compared to conventional treatment methods.
This could mean cheaper or more readily available drinking water in Singapore as the population grows, even while the world's supply of potable water shrinks.
06-30-2011, 09:45 PM #4752
Medisave can be used for mammograms & colonoscopies
By Mustafa Shafawi | Posted: 30 June 2011 1858 hrs
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SINGAPORE : With effect from July 1, patients can use their Medisave for screening mammograms and colonoscopies.
The Ministry of Health said this would make screening tests more affordable and accessible to Singaporeans.
It said the change would benefit around 450,000 women for mammogram screening and one million Singaporeans for colonoscopy screening.
Patients can withdraw up to S$300 from their Medisave account each year to offset the cost of their mammograms.
On average, mammograms cost about S$100.
Subsidised mammograms are available for Singapore citizens and permanent residents at participating BreastScreen Singapore centres.
The Medisave withdrawal limit for colonoscopy screening will be pegged at the prevailing withdrawal limit for day surgery procedures.
06-30-2011, 09:48 PM #4753
Flood experts appointed
Posted: 30 June 2011 2146 hrs
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People stand on a stairway and watch as rain water floods a basement shopping and coffee shop at Orchard Road (file picture)
SINGAPORE: The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) has appointed an expert panel to review the drainage design and flood protection measures that will be implemented in Singapore over the next decade.
The panel, consisting of local and overseas experts, will be chaired by Professor Chan Eng Soon, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore.
The members of the panel were drawn from academia, professional bodies, private and public sectors. Their fields of expertise include civil and hydraulic engineering, flood control and climate science.
The terms of reference for the expert panel include an assessment of the current drainage infrastructure, assumptions and parameters for modelling, topography of flood prone areas, projected weather patterns, current and future building plans, information systems, and potential new technological solutions.
The review is expected to be completed in six months.
06-30-2011, 09:52 PM #4754
All set for netball's biggest party
by Low Lin Fhoong
04:45 AM Jul 01, 2011
SINGAPORE - More than 4,000 visitors from around the world will hit town for the 2011 Mission Foods World Netball Championships.
From July 3 to 10, the 11,000-capacity Singapore Indoor Stadium at Kallang will reverberate with the songs, screams and groans of disappointment, with fans from Australia, New Zealand, Barbados, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, England and Samoa expected to join their Singapore counterparts and cheer their favourites on.
The opening ceremony of the tournament is on Sunday, and will be followed by the first match when hosts Singapore take on Botswana in a Pool C clash.
A total of 61 international media - including New Zealand's Sky Network, ABC Radio (Australia) and United States' ESPN3 - are expected for the event.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Jessica Tan, chairperson of the local organising committee, said: "Ticket sales are going very well and we do expect good attendance at the games. I'm looking forward to the opening game between Singapore and Botswana (Sunday, 7pm) and this will be a test of Singapore's preparedness for the championship.
"Netball is important to us ... we want to build up Singapore's role in Asia and promote the sport in the region."
Added Molly Rhone, president of the International Federation of Netball Associations: "I had an update from the organising committee this morning and I'm very pleased with what they have achieved. I expect a really exciting championship."
All 3,390 platinum, gold, silver and bronze ticket packages - priced between S$550 and S$200 - have been snapped up although daily tickets are still available from Sistic outlets and online at www.sistic.com.sg.
More than 80 per cent of tickets for the final two days have been sold.
Netball Singapore expects some 8,000 seats to be filled during the opening ceremony.
The teams, divided into four pools of four, will compete in a total of 48 matches.
The top two in each pool advance to the quarter-finals, while the rest will play-off for the minor positions.
Mission Foods World Netball Championships 2011 mascot Netalia, local organising committee chairperson Jessica Tan (left of mascot), IFNA president Molly Rhone (right of mascot) posing with the 12 team captains at the pre-event press conference at the Swissotel the Stamford. PHOTO COURTESY OF FULFORD PR
06-30-2011, 10:00 PM #4755
Emirates extends Singapore Derby sponsorship by 5 years
Jul 1, 2011
By Fabius Chen
The Singapore Derby received a galloping boost on Thursday as Emirates inked a five-year extension to its deal as title sponsor. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
THE Singapore Derby received a galloping boost on Thursday as Emirates inked a five-year extension to its deal as title sponsor.
The new deal will take the Dubai-based international airline's association with the race through to its 20th year in 2015.
"Being associated with one of the world's top airlines, the Emirates Singapore Derby has now been elevated to a must-go event in both the racing and social circuits," said Singapore Turf Club president Yu Pang Fey.
This year's edition of the 2,000m race will be held at the Singapore Racecourse in Kranji on July 17, with a $1.15 million purse on offer.
As with previous years, guests will also be eligible for a Best Dressed to the Races contest, with the winner receiving a pair of return business class tickets to Dubai on Emirates, as well as a three-night stay in an Arabian suite at the Madinat Jumeirah's Dar Al Masyaf hotel.
07-01-2011, 01:23 AM #4756
Chen Show Mao retires from active practice at law firm
By Tanya Fong | Posted: 01 July 2011 1131 hrs
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Chen Show Mao
SINGAPORE: Aljunied GRC MP Chen Show Mao has retired as a partner of his law firm Davis Polk.
He announced this in his Facebook page on Friday morning.
Mr Chen said it was clear to him that given his new responsibilities as MP, he will not be able to actively continue practicing law the way he has in the last twenty years.
He said his retirement from the partnership will afford him more time for his family, to serve constituency and country, and to explore alternative work arrangements."
Mr Chen thanked the American law firm, which he has been with since 1992, as well as his colleagues and clients for the many good years with the firm, and reiterated his commitment to Singaporeans.
07-01-2011, 01:33 AM #4757
Su Guaning steps down as NTU president
By Sharon See | Posted: 01 July 2011 0057 hrs
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Dr Su Guaning
SINGAPORE: The president of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) formally stepped down on Thursday after nine years of service.
Professor Su Guaning, who is now appointed President Emeritus, is succeeded by Professor Bertil Andersson, a plant biochemist from Sweden.
Professor Andersson was the university's provost before he was appointed president.
When Professor Su took over NTU from his predecessor Professor Cham Tao Soon, he said his tasks were to build three new schools, compete better among Singapore universities, broaden the undergraduate education and build a solid alumni base.
Professor Su said: "Along the way, I also seized two opportunities that became eventually two of the Peaks of Excellence in the NTU 2015 Strategy - The Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre and the Mayors' Class."
At Professor Su's appreciation dinner, friends and colleagues paid tribute to his service, which has brought the university through a series of transformations into a world-class institute.
When Professor took over the university in 2003, he said the mood then was that NTU, as a young university, needed to quicken its pace to catch up with NUS, which was older and more established.
Today, the 20-year-old university is one of the youngest among the top 100 in world university rankings.
NTU's Chairman Koh Boon Hwee said Professor Su had transformed NTU from a practice-oriented, teaching university to an internationally-recognised research university, with the establishment of two Research Centres of Excellence.
He said Professor Su also saw through the opening of three new schools that provided students an avenue to pursue a broad-based education.
In 2006, Professor Su also led NTU through a major restructuring when it became an autonomous university.
In his speech, Professor Su said as a bilingual Singaporean, he had a strong interest in the Nanyang University heritage.
He said recognising and honouring the Nantah heritage is an essential part of national reconciliation.
Professor Su said: "The fact is, with our collective national efforts, NTU has built a world reputation. We recognise 1955 Nantah, 1981 NTI and 1991 NTU as milestones in the history of the university, and shall continue to climb, united by our common heritage.
"Today, Singapore should be proud that we have two world-class universities in NUS and NTU. NTU has scored some major achievements - two Research Centres of Excellence, the majority of National Research Foundation Fellows, various research competitions, "Proof of Concept" funding and increased total competitive research grants. Together with NUS, we compete for Singapore against the world."
07-01-2011, 04:21 AM #4758
Terracotta Warriors invaded Singapore
Our Asian Civilisations Museum is one of the privileged few in the world to be given the opportunity to exhibit some of China's First Emperor's terracotta warriors.
Here are some of the things I saw during a recent visit:
07-01-2011, 10:26 PM #4759
NUS team makes cheap power from rainwater
Jul 2, 2011
By Feng Zengkun
SCIENTISTS at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have found a cheap way to convert rainwater into electricity - and they are expanding their research to include sea water and wastewater, such as urine, as well.
They said such electricity is as cheap as power from the national grid and could become even cheaper in the future.
It can also be used to power cars if fuel tanks are replaced by water tanks.
Project member Chua Kian Jon, 41, an assistant professor at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, noted that the system makes use of Singapore's abundant rain. 'We're surrounded by all this water which could supply all of our electricity needs,' he said.
The rainwater system consists of tanks that can be placed on HDB block rooftops. The water is converted into electricity in two ways:
•Electricity generated by solar panels is used to split water into hydrogen fuel and oxygen.
07-02-2011, 11:41 AM #4760
URA invites public feedback on a possible 'Rail Corridor'
Jul 2, 2011
By Grace Chua
A northbound train at Bukit Timah station stops on the middle track to wait for the southbound train to pass. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
THE 26km tract of railway lands that were returned to Singapore on Friday may be kept a continuous green stretch and could even be linked to existing park connectors.
On its website, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) also suggested that the stretch from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands could one day add to the planned 150km round-the-island park connector network, or be a linear park like New York City's High Line, itself once part of an elevated railroad track.
The so-called 'Rail Corridor', the URA said, will offer people new choices of outdoor activities. 'We hope that it will encourage people to explore parts of Singapore that were less accessible before,' it said.
Last year, nature and heritage groups asked the Government to conserve what they term the Green Corridor, which comprises not just the recently returned KTM lands but also a 14km western stretch of railway towards Jurong. They argued that the 173.7ha expanse was home to rare birds and animals, and a key part of Singapore's natural and national heritage.
Since then, more than a thousand people have been on guided or independent walks along the tracks.
The URA did not say when it would make a decision, but it is inviting more public feedback on the Rail Corridor at its dedicated website
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