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Thread: Singapore Also Can
07-14-2011, 03:47 AM #4829
Pay rise for majority of Singaporeans in 2011
Jul 14, 2011
By Carmelita Miki Kwek
More than 82 per cent of people working in Singapore received a salary increase in 2011. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
MORE than 82 per cent of people working in Singapore received a salary increase in 2011, according to a global survey of 3,200 professionals conducted by Robert Walters.
Results from the survey reveal that 40 per cent of those surveyed received a pay rise of between 1 to 5 per cent, 20 per cent received between 6 and 10 per cent, 14 per cent received between 11 and 20 per cent and 8 per cent received more than 21 per cent.
Says Andrea Ross, managing director at Robert Walters Singapore and Malaysia: 'After coming off such a strong year of economic growth in 2010 in Singapore, it was not surprising that the salary levels increased across all sectors. The large increases in 2011 predominately came from the non-financial services industry, as salaries within the financial services sector had a sharp increase last year (2010).'
She adds: 'Another factor contributing to the increase in salaries at the start of the year would be an added focus of companies in trying to retain their top talent by providing competitive remuneration.'
The survey also reveals that, globally, economies in Asia saw the highest pay rises - 45 per cent of respondents from China, 26 per cent of respondents in Thailand, 24 per cent of respondents in Malaysia, 22 per cent of respondents in Singapore and 21 per cent of respondents received salary increases greater than or equal to 10 per cent.
Comparatively, a large proportion of professionals in western nations reported receiving no pay rise at all during 2011 - 65 per cent in Ireland, 49 per cent in New Zealand, 39 per cent in Belgium and 35 per cent in Australia.
07-14-2011, 03:54 AM #4830
NUS offers full sports scholarship to student-athletes
By Mustafa Shafawi | Posted: 14 July 2011 1314 hrs
SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore (NUS) has become the first local university to offer a full sports scholarship.
It has also enhanced its sports grants for student-athletes to pursue sporting and academic excellence.
NUS will be setting aside up to S$523,000 each year at steady state for both financial schemes.
A total of five sports scholarships will be made available to deserving students each year.
Two swimmers, Ms Christabel Fung and Mr Andrew Lim were among the inaugural recipients of the sports scholarship.
NUS Dean of Students, Associate Professor Tan Teck Koon, said: "We hope that the scholarships and grants will serve as a strong encouragement to our student-athletes and spur them on to achieve greater heights of sporting and academic excellence during their time with NUS."
07-14-2011, 09:59 PM #4831
NTU team invents 'self-healing' paint
Jul 15, 2011
By Feng Zengkun
Project leader Yang Jinglei (right), 34, an assistant professor at the university's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said the paint is ready for commercialisation and the team is looking for industry partners. -- PHOTO: NTU
SCIENTISTS in Singapore have invented paint that 'heals' itself, protecting cars from rust and corrosive substances such as saltwater.
It can also be applied on structures such as buildings and bridges to reduce the number of times they have to be repainted.
The research, by a team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), was published in the Journal of Material Chemistry last month. The NTU-funded project started in January last year
Project leader Yang Jinglei, 34, an assistant professor at the university's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said the paint is ready for commercialisation and the team is looking for industry partners.
It is expected to be slightly more expensive than normal paint, but Prof Yang said people will save money in the long run as the paint will last longer.
The paint heals itself through ultra- small capsules mixed into it. When a car coated with the paint is scratched, the capsules break and release a chemical that hardens over the scratch. This prevents the metal from interacting with air to produce rust.
Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Straits Times.
07-14-2011, 10:14 PM #4832
New Zealand varsity reaches out to the world
By Neo Chai Chin, TODAY | Posted: 15 July 2011 0712 hrs
Undergrads in Singapore
SINGAPORE: The earthquake that hit Christchurch in February was the "kick" that New Zealand's University of Canterbury (UC) needed to set in motion plans to internationalise its undergraduate student experience - and Singapore students keen on an outdoorsy tertiary experience stand to benefit from a new scholarship programme offered by the university.
Tenable for four years, each of the 24 international awardees stand to receive up to NZ$20,000 (S$20,600) a year, starting from next year.
The number of Singaporeans studying full-time at the UC is small - fewer than 20 - but it hopes to entice more. UC also has an exchange programme with the National University of Singapore (NUS). Since 2000, 41 NUS students and 28 UC students have participated in it.
Both universities are keen to grow the programme and UC is also keen on research collaborations with Singapore, said UC vice-chancellor Rod Carr.
Besides internationalising the student experience, UC's new scholarship is also part of measures undertaken to tell the world, post-earthquakes, that it is open for business, said Dr Carr, who was here earlier this week to meet alumni, NUS and the Nanyang Technological University.
The 6.3-magnitude quake hit on the second day of the school term on Feb 22, causing classes to stop for three weeks, while all the university's buildings were thoroughly inspected. But the quake affected mainly Christchurch's eastern suburbs and the city centre; UC's buildings, lying 10km west of the city, suffered only cosmetic damage, said Dr Carr.
But much good has risen from the disaster, which claimed the lives of two faculty members and two students who were in the city centre. Thousands of students have volunteered for recovery and rebuilding efforts, with the faculty nimbly adjusting their lesson plans to minimise impact on students. In the end, only five teaching days were lost last semester.
This semester, a new elective offering service learning was introduced, after the school observed how students had reached out to the community in the quake's wake.
Three thousand student volunteers rallied themselves in two weeks to shovel knee-deep silt and sand out of Christchurch residents' houses.
The elderly residents "enjoyed seeing these young, able people helping out" and the students set out to shovel silt, only to find themselves also offering "kind words" to the victims, said Dr Carr.
UC's students have been resilient to the disaster, with "very little take-up" of counselling services offered. "The 18- to 22-year olds, basically they're bulletproof," Dr Carr quipped. "But their parents do require a bit more reassurance, that the university is taking time to make sure buildings are safe, has got well-developed emergency response procedures, is concerned about the welfare and safety of students."
Going forward, it hopes to grow its international undergraduate student numbers by 50 per cent, to 15 per cent of the cohort.
UC's research has shown its students to be "more interested in the outdoors", "more outgoing, more adventurous". And for graduate students looking for a unique opportunity, there is the chance to spend 21 days in the South Pole in UC's Antarctic Studies courses. "I think we're one of the only universities in the world that has some space down in the Antarctic," said Dr Carr.
07-15-2011, 01:27 AM #4833
The sudden shift from women wearing skimpy netball uniforms to half-naked men in Speedo is quite unnerving!
07-15-2011, 02:28 AM #4834
The Strip Tease Act
I love watching the free-flowing, energetic young ladies in action! They wore tight shorts under their "skimpy" skirts, so no modesty is lost!
You should be there to witness the beautifully contoured body of the young water-polo Serbian from behind, changing his swimwear directly in front of us, ladies included.
He was simply magic! With just his big white towel as his cover, he entertained us with his 'strip tease' show - taking off his wet Speedo and replacing it with his navy blue underwear in slow motion, all the while performing his act sitting down. Then he stood up, still with his towel clinging and put on his pair of blue Bermudas. He finished it off with spraying perfume to his armpits.
He must have sensed that he was the "spectacle" and enjoyed every minute of it! Indeed he stole the attention of everyone in the stands, away from the pool!
07-15-2011, 02:38 AM #4835
Kwek Leng Joo holds joint exhibition with artist Ong Kim Seng
Posted: 14 July 2011 2020 hrs
SINGAPORE : An arts-cum-heritage exhibition on railways was officially launched on Thursday at the National Museum of Singapore."Tracking Memories" is a joint showcase of photographic works by businessman Kwek Leng Joo and watercolour paintings by artist Ong Kim Seng.
Officially launched by President SR Nathan, the exhibit features over 60 pieces of artwork. It took 10 months to complete.
The works set out to capture memories and experiences of the rail history between Singapore and Malaysia as part of heritage preservation.
The artists spent months researching and conducting site recces for the best vantage points.
"There were several occasions when I felt like Indiana Jones - trekking on endless stretches of stone pathways, hiking through jungle foliage taller than me and fighting thorny bushes, not to mention that on one occasion, I had barely 10 seconds to get off the railway track before a train zoomed past. I would say this is one of the most challenging and memorable photo projects I've undertaken thus far," said Mr Kwek, a photographer and businessman. Mr Kwek is the Managing Director of City Developments.
The exhibition is open to the public from 15 July to 28 August 2011, 10am to 6pm daily at the Stamford Gallery. Admission is free.
- CNA /ls
Bottom Left: Kwek Leng Joo
Bottom Right: Ong Kim Seng
07-15-2011, 02:46 AM #4836
NAC unveils designs for Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
By Monica Kotwani | Posted: 15 July 2011 1513 hrs
The National Arts Council says the current design would pay homage to Victoria Theatre's original design with a modern, 21st century touch
SINGAPORE: The National Arts Council (NAC) on Friday unveiled designs for Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall.
NAC said the designs will conserve the buildings' heritage elements and at the same time to provide improved facilities and performance spaces for the artists.
NAC said the Victoria Theatre will undergo extensive refurbishment because it underwent a major overhaul in the 1950s when developers installed air-conditioning. The overhaul significantly changed the 150-year-old building's facade and interior.
The current design would pay homage to the original design with a modern, 21st century touch.
The architects said the refurbished Victoria Theatre will seat about 600 instead of 900 people.
The project will cost about S$180 million, and is expected to be completed by October 2013.
Mok Wei Wei, Managing Director, W Architects, said: "There's a huge amount of modern amenities and technologies we have to put into the new concert hall and theatre.
"In this project, we'll have to do that in the context of a historical envelope, and to find space to put in all these modern amenities in the historic envelope. It's a huge challenge and we have been trying very hard to make it work."
The two buildings were closed for refurbishment last year.
07-17-2011, 09:44 AM #4837
Number of passengers at Changi Airport soars
Jul 17, 2011
WITH new destinations and more frequent flights, Changi Airport is on course to beat last year's record number of passengers.
It has attracted 22.4 million of them over the past six months - 10.7 per cent more than in the same January to June period last year.
And the numbers are not expected to diminish, as more passengers traditionally fly to and from Changi in the second half of the year because of the year-end school holidays.
This has led industry observers to predict that the airport should easily surpass the 45 million passenger mark by the end of the year. The figure would smash last year's total of just over 42 million.
Unveiling its latest numbers yesterday, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said that low-cost carriers had led the way in boosting passenger traffic.
Budget airlines such as Jetstar, AirAsia and Tiger Airways grew faster in the first half than full-service carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Qantas and British Airways.
Read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times
Last edited by Loh; 07-17-2011 at 09:51 AM.
07-17-2011, 10:11 AM #4838
Larger than life costumes at NDP 2011
By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 17 July 2011 1527 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singaporeans can expect a larger-than life spectacle at this year's National Day Parade.
That is because the annual parade is returning with over 700 mascots - dressed in elaborate costumes to depict the different cultures and unique aspects of Singapore.
From larger than life puppets to elaborately-designed costumes, this year's parade is set to be another colourful extravaganza.
For some participants, they will be dressing up as prata or satay to represent food items commonly found in Singapore.
And some have gamely embraced their roles.
"I feel I'm a prata man. It's kind of like when you put on the costume, you forget who you are and you are into the role," said participant Patrick Teo.
Other participants said the costumes needed some time getting used to.
"It's interesting and challenging, because it is quite a huge mascot, and when you walk, you have to walk properly, because it might hit your knee, and it is quite warm inside also," said participant Sheryl Tan.
The designs were the creations of 39-year-old Frederick Lee, who said it took about 10 months to put everything together.
"A mascot is much much difficult to perform in because it's larger than life. A lot of time, it depends on certain acts that we have, like this year, the opening act is actually influenced from different parts of the world (the archipelago, India and China) coming to Singapore so these are mascots that represent the part of the country," said Lee.
This is the third time Lee is contributing to the parade as a costume designer.
He was also the costume designer for the parade in 2008 and 2009.
07-17-2011, 10:15 AM #4839
Singapore-Malaysia football match: all tickets sold out
Posted: 16 July 2011 1658 hrs
SINGAPORE: All tickets for the 2014 World Cup Qualifying Round Two first-leg football match between Singapore and Malaysia have been sold out.
A queue started at the Jalan Besar Stadium South Gate at around 10.30pm on Friday and tickets were snapped up by 2.20pm on Saturday.
Ridzal Saat, FAS deputy director for marketing and competitions, said: "It would be a wonderful sight to see Jalan Besar Stadium in a sea of red and we would like to encourage all fans to come decked in red to support our Singapore national team in the match against Malaysia next Saturday."
07-18-2011, 01:35 AM #4840
More vibrancy for Singapore's arts & culture scene
Jul 18, 2011
WITH an average of more than 92 activities daily in 2010, the arts and culture scene in Singapore was more vibrant than ever before in 2010.
Figures released by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts on Monday showed that there was an increase of 16 per cent in activities - 33,884 in 2010 as compared to 29,286 in 2009.
There has also been an increase in the number of people engaged through heritage outreach programmes as attendance of non-ticketed heritage events rose from 7.06 million in 2009 to 8.79 million in 2010.
This is a result of an increase in the number of travelling exhibitions and programmes held at community centres, libraries and malls.
On the reading front, the National Library Board reported that it hit a record number of books borrowed from its branches - there were 33 million book loans in 2010, a 5 per cent increase from the 31.5 million in 2009.
The Department of Statistics also reported that the arts and cultural sector performed well in 2009 despite the recession, with Employment and Nominal Value-Added for the sector rising by 9 per cent from 2008.
Additional information can be downloaded at app.mica.gov.sg/Data/0/Singapore Cultural Statistics 2011.pdf.
07-18-2011, 02:26 AM #4841
Ang Mo Kio launches heritage trail
Jul 18, 2011
Some folklore and oral traditions worth preserving, says PM Lee
By Tessa Wong
Volunteer Natalie Maria Ong May, 19, handing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong a mock-up of a packet of nasi lemak during the launch of Singapore HeritageFest 2011. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday launched a heritage trail for Ang Mo Kio, the group representation constituency which he helms as anchor minister.
The trail features more than 40 sites of local interest, such as its town gardens and Teachers' Estate, with 15 markers placed throughout the neighbourhood.
It was developed by the National Heritage Board (NHB), with the help of local students and residents, from December last year until this month.
A brochure for the Ang Mo Kio trail has also been produced, and is available at the Ang Mo Kio Public Library.
Yesterday's launch coincided with the opening of the two-week Singapore HeritageFest 2011, which kicked off with an exhibition on local culture held at a field near the Ang Mo Kio Public Library.
At the festival opening, held at the exhibition, PM Lee spoke on the need for preserving local history and folklore, relating this to his constituency's name.
Read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times
07-18-2011, 02:36 AM #4842
PA launches Family Life Connector
By Monica Kotwani | Posted: 17 July 2011 2229 hrs
SINGAPORE: The People's Association (PA) launched its "Family Life Connector" initiative in a bid to get more Singaporeans involved in family activities.
It's an extension of PA's Family Life Champions (FLC) programme, where a grassroots leader is appointed in all constituencies to promote family life in the community.
The FLC started in 2005, and the Life Champion for each constituency organises programmes to recognise and celebrate family life.
PA said the new initiative comes on the back of the success of the FLC programme.
It will allow Life Champions to appoint several others within their communities as Family Life Connectors.
Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State for Health and Mayor for South West District, said: "I think the Family Life Champions have done really well. For instance, they have, over the last year, organised more than 500, close to 600 activities - reaching out to more than 31,000 people.
"This Family Life Connector initiative would further help to reinforce and strengthen the work of Family Life Champions. They will help Family Life Champions to reach out further to more families, more residents in the neighbourhood, to form interest groups that would reach out to inter-generations - not just to parents themselves and the children, but even grandparents."
With this programme, the PA said it also hopes to integrate Singaporeans of diverse races and from various estates.
The initiative was launched at this year's Family Life Champions Awards in Sentosa on Sunday evening. 43 Champions were honoured across nine award categories at the ceremony.
The awards ceremony also saw the Most Outstanding FLC award go to a male winner for the first time - Tay Poey Kiang from Braddell Heights Constituency.
- CNA /ls
07-18-2011, 02:51 AM #4843
Afghan govt officials to be in S'pore for anti-corruption training
Posted: 17 July 2011 1944 hrs
SINGAPORE: A group of 18 senior government officials from Afghanistan will be in Singapore for a training programme on anti-corruption.
The customised seminar from July 18 to 22 is organised under the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century (JSPP21).
Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it is Singapore's and Japan's first collaboration in providing joint technical assistance to Afghanistan in public governance and anti-corruption.
The one-week seminar will be conducted by the Singapore Civil Service College.
It aims to strengthen the capacity of senior Afghan policymakers in good governance and managing corruption, which are key priority areas for the Afghan government. It will include visits to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and Supreme Court.
Two professors from Japan's Meiji University will also share on the evolution of the Japanese system of government and its experience in managing corruption.
The JSPP21 is a framework of collaboration between the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) of MFA and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, under which both countries provide joint technical assistance to developing countries.
Singapore has been giving technical assistance to Afghanistan under the SCP since 2002, when it pledged a technical assistance package worth S$1.2 million at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in Tokyo.
About 410 Afghan government officials have been trained under the SCP in areas such as public administration, education, environment, urban transport planning and healthcare.
- CNA /ls
07-18-2011, 02:56 AM #4844
New 'riverfront' at Rochor Canal
Jul 18, 2011
By Royston Sim
The $48 million project at Rochor Canal is the latest addition to water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme. This scheme aims to transform utilitarian drains, canals and reservoirs so they resemble beautiful streams and lakes. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LUI
AT THE moment, it is just an ordinary stretch of canal.
Soon, however, the 1.1km route between Jalan Besar and Crawford will be transformed into an attractive 'riverfront' with decks and seating areas.
The $48 million project at Rochor Canal is the latest addition to water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme. This scheme aims to transform utilitarian drains, canals and reservoirs so they resemble beautiful streams and lakes.
The new 'Rochor River' will be integrated with surrounding developments and allow people to enjoy scenic views of the waterway.
A Gateway Plaza will be built at an open area near Ophir Road to stage community events, and rain gardens will be incorporated along Rochor Canal to treat rainwater run-off so cleaner water flows into the canal.
The project was launched by Ms Denise Phua, MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, near Crawford Court yesterday. About 300 people attended.
Read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times
07-18-2011, 03:05 AM #4845
A new vision for Singapore sports
Jul 18, 2011
By Terrence Voon
From left: SSC chairman Richard Seow, MG (NS) Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister of MCYS, SSC CEO Lim Teck Yin and MCYS director of sports division Koh Peng Keng. The acting minister unveils a new initiative called "Vision 2030", where sports will be used as a strategy for individual development, community bonding and national building in the next two decades. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
HOW would you improve the sporting scene in Singapore?
The government wants to hear from you over the next few years, as it formulates a national sports masterplan that will span the next two decades.
Called Vision 2030, the aim is to harness the power of sports to aid individual development, community bonding and nation building.
"We want the public to participate actively in co-creating Vision 2030 because we believe everyone has a stake in it," said Mr Chan Chun Sing, the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports on Monday.
"This brings us to the next lap for sports - by everyone, for everyone, and with everyone."
The first stage of the sports masterplan will be ready by early next year. From Tuesday, the public can share its ideas and feedback at www.vision2030.sg.
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