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Thread: Singapore Also Can
09-14-2011, 09:27 PM #5084
Singapore and China reaffirm ties
By Maria Siow | Posted: 14 September 2011 2130 hrs
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (L) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
CHINA: Singapore's Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao have reaffirmed excellent ties between the two countries.
They also agreed on the need to explore new areas of cooperation such as sustainable development, as both countries face similar challenges in promoting development in the face of environmental and resource constraints.
The two met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China.
They noted the good progress made on bilateral cooperative projects such as the Suzhou Industrial Park and the Tianjin Eco-City.
Mr Goh and Mr Wen also agreed that maintaining a stable and secure environment in North East Asia is critical for the region's sustained economic growth.
Premier Wen also expressed confidence that Mr Goh will continue to strengthen cooperation between China and Singapore.
Mr Goh said even though he had stepped down from the Cabinet, he will continue to be active in deepening and broadening relations with China as well as other countries.
Mr Goh said this is both a personal choice as well as the wishes of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
He said that even though he had other plans after stepping down from the Cabinet, Prime Minister Lee had asked him to maintain relations with foreign leaders.
In particular, Mr Lee had asked Mr Goh to broaden ties with both Chinese national and regional leaders.
Mr Goh added that since May this year, he had travelled to Japan, South Korea, and now China.
It was as if he had not retired from government, Mr Goh noted, adding that he has always been interested in advancing relations between China and Singapore.
Citing his first trip to China in 1971 as a young NOL employee, Mr Goh said he can claim to be the first Singapore leader to have business contacts with China.
He visited China again in 1975 and 1977, and returned to the country once every two years or so.
On his visit to Inner Mongolia earlier in the week, Mr Goh said Singapore companies are more likely to invest in Liaoning province rather than Inner Mongolia.
He said even though Inner Mongolia hopes to diversify its economy, it is hard for Singapore to play a part as the exploitation of natural resources is not one of the island's expertise.
Mr Goh met Xia Deren, Deputy Party Secretary of Liaoning Province, during this latest trip.
Mr Goh told Mr Xia that he is glad to hear that Liaoning's economy will continue to grow at over 10 per cent in the years ahead.
But he cautioned that this fast pace of growth may be accompanied by inflation, high property prices, and a bubble economy.
Mr Goh also told Mr Xia that instead of comparing China's competitiveness with other countries, it might be more useful to examine the competitiveness between provinces in China.
He also called on Liaoning to pay further attention to the training of its workers, as raising their incomes will also help reduce the widening income gap.
Thanking Mr Goh for his suggestion, Deputy Party Secretary Xia said Liaoning hopes to work closely with and learn from Singapore in terms of managerial expertise, technology and experience in coordinated growth.
Mr Xia noted that Dalian's achievements in opening up had a lot to do with the contribution of the former Singapore prime minister.
He added that over the past five years, Liaoning province had witnessed an annual average growth rate of 14 per cent.
This growth looks set to continue over the next five years, even though more emphasis will also be placed on maintaining a good balance between economic development, people's living standards, and the environment, Mr Xia noted.
- CNA /ls
09-14-2011, 09:34 PM #5085
S'pore-Malaysia ties entering new phase: Shanmugam
By Malaysia Bureau Chief Melissa Goh | Posted: 14 September 2011 2139 hrs
Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman (left) with Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia : Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam has said that the relationship between Singapore and Malaysia is entering a new phase.
He was speaking in Putrajaya on Wednesday after a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
Mr Shanmugam said: ''Many of the issues between our countries have been resolved really, we are now looking at a new phase arising from the meetings between the prime ministers. There is increased trade, investment and it is good for both countries. This is really part of a process of deepening of relationship and establishing a strong bond.''
Mr Shanmugam is on a two-day visit to Malaysia - his second since his appointment as foreign minister in May.
He was last in Malaysia less than three months ago, to sign the landmark written instrument on a land swap deal that freed up Malaysia railway land in Singapore for joint development by both countries.
Mr Shanmugam described Wednesday's meetings with the two Malaysian leaders as warm and friendly - a sentiment echoed by his Malaysian counterpart.
Mr Anifah said: "Both of us agreed the relationship between Malaysia and Singapore is at a best level. Therefore, we agreed to continue to engage and discuss what is the best for both countries and our people. ''
Without going into details, both ministers said they discussed a number of bilateral issues and how to take them forward, and promised to forge closer ties both at the ministerial level as well as between their officials by doing away with time wasting formalities.
09-14-2011, 09:42 PM #5086
30% of S'poreans are "cynics": study
By Imelda Saad | Posted: 15 September 2011 0017 hrs
SINGAPORE: A new study has shown that about a third of Singaporeans are "cynics" who do not trust politicians.
The survey, conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies, covered nearly 1,100 Singaporeans, aged 21 and above.
It was carried out in July and August last year, around nine months before the May general election.
Compared to other liberal democracies like the US, which sees a higher percentage of cynics (47%-73%), researchers say the 30 per cent figure for Singapore is not huge.
Still they say the ruling People's Action Party should be "worried".
The study's definition of cynics include people who think they are often manipulated by politicians; politicians forgetting their election promises; and politicians who think having power is more important than catering to the people's wishes.
In other words, cynics are unhappy with the person, rather than the system.
However, the study did not differentiate whether the politician is from the ruling or opposition parties.
Arun Mahizhnan, deputy director of the Institute of Policy Studies, said: "Certainly in the recent past, in Singapore, there is some disaffection with the delivery of public goods. You heard about the transportation problems, the housing problems, even things like the flood.
"So to what extent are these permanent features? To what extent are these immediate reactions? This is yet to be determined. But this survey suggests that there is a significant minority who are cynical and there are ways in which the cynicism could be addressed."
The study also found that there is no significant relation between a cynic, how much he earns, his education and age. It said the difference is not a socio-economic one but a political one. That means cynics in Singapore cut across the entire cross-section of the community.
Unlike other countries, cynics in Singapore are also not influenced by mainstream media. Rather, about 13 per cent get their news from alternative new media sites like The Online Citizen and Yawningbread.org.
They are mostly young and educated.
So experts say policy makers should exploit the Internet and new media in their engagement efforts, on top of deepening relations - both online and offline.
Dr Zhang Weiyu, National University of Singapore's assistant professor of communications & new media, said: "Since these people tend to use online channels and interpersonal channels to discuss politics, we should take advantage of these two channels to reach out to this group of people.
"They probably also go to mass media but they don't do that as often as people who are less cynical and we find that they have lower trust in these mass media compared to people who are less cynical.
"So the government or the policy makers should take advantage of the Internet and other interpersonal interactions to influence these people - interpersonal like Meet-The-People sessions and also I suggest that we can conduct more consultational panels with normal citizens.
"We need to encourage interpersonal discussions directly between politicians and citizens. So it's not just politicians trying to send their message through mass media to the citizens because we find that interpersonal talk has a big influence."
The study also showed that mainstream media complement alternative new media sites. For example, 72.2 per cent turn to television for news, while 71.6 per cent read the newspapers for their main source of information.
Another group that need to be engaged further are those who claim they do not consume any news, be it through traditional or alternative media sources. They constitute about 14 per cent of respondents.
09-14-2011, 09:48 PM #5087
Extension of Seletar Airport runway completed
Posted: 14 September 2011 2005 hrs
SINGAPORE : Upgrading work to extend the runway at Seletar Airport by another 250 metres is now complete.
A joint statement by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group said the runway is now 1.84 kilometres long.
It will allow the airport to support larger jets, as well as heavier take-off loads.
And with the runway extension completed, Seletar Airport will resume normal operations from Thursday.
The airport is positioning itself as a niche airport for business aviation, general aviation and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities.
Singapore has seen strong growth in the business aviation sector, with aircraft movements growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent from 2007 to 2010.
The statement said the growth in traffic at Seletar Airport is expected to continue in the coming years.
This will be driven by the increase in private jet usage in Asia, as well as the Singapore Government's efforts to develop Seletar Aerospace Park into a leading-edge world-class aerospace facility.
When the airport upgrading project is fully completed in 2014, there will be a new control tower and fire station, significant increase in the number of parking stands, additional taxiways, upgraded aircraft parking aprons, as well as an instrument landing system.
09-14-2011, 09:59 PM #5088
More S'poreans drafting wills, giving estate to charity
By Ng Puay Leng, Wayne Chan | Posted: 13 September 2011 2241 hrs
SINGAPORE: The number of Singaporeans registering their wills with the Wills Registry is up some 25 per cent from almost 7,500 in 2007 to about 9,400 last year.
At least 6,000 have already registered their wills this year, according to the Public Trustee.
When 46-year-old Colin Choo decided to get professional help to draft a will five years ago, his friends and family were surprised and laughed at him because they felt he did not have much to leave behind.
But lawyers Channel NewsAsia spoke to said there are more people like Mr Choo, as drafting wills is no longer something that only the old or rich do.
Many younger Singaporeans are increasingly showing an interest in wills.
Lawyers said the proportion of Singaporeans who've indicated they want to donate part of their estate to charity has also increased by some 30 to 40 per cent over the last five years.
Mr Steven Lam, JTJB partner said: "The charities are getting very visible in their outreach programmes.
"And I think Singaporeans are quite selfless and we are quite willing to give a part of our estate to the charity so that the community at large can benefit from it."
09-14-2011, 10:05 PM #5089
Two-party system not good for Singapore, says Lee Kuan Yew
by Ong Dai Lin
04:46 AM Sep 15, 2011
SINGAPORE - The opposition should remain "competitive" in Singapore's political landscape but former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew doubts if the country will be able to sustain a two-party political system.
Speaking at a forum during the 7th anniversary celebrations of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy yesterday, Mr Lee felt a two-party system will not be good for Singapore.
"Amongst other reasons, I don't believe Singapore can produce two top class teams. We haven't got the talent to produce two top class teams," he said.
Mr Lee made these comments when responding to a forum participant's question on his vision for Singapore's future. In response, Mr Lee began by saying: "The question has got to be your vision, not my vision ... It's not for me to tell you what vision you should have."
Mr Lee, who was Prime Minister for more than three decades, said that he had "simpler problems" to tackle when he was in charge of the Government. "We are in the First World and many highly-educated people believe we must have more competition, more pressure on the government," he said.
"A generation that grows up in a period of affluence believes that we have arrived and as the saying goes the 'First World Parliament' must have a 'First World Opposition'.
"So the restlessness, whether that leads to better governance, I am not able to say. We will wait and see - how constructive the opposition can be, or will be."
Mr Lee addressed a broad range of topics during yesterday's 50-minute long dialogue. They included how the European debt crisis would evolve to addressing widening income gaps. He said Singapore has no plans to buy bonds from European countries facing a debt crisis, and felt Europe's monetary union will eventually break apart into two or three separate tiers because of economic differences among the member states.
'The solution is immigration'
Immigration, which was a talking point in Mr Lee's dialogue session with Nanyang Technological University students last week, surfaced again as a topic during the forum yesterday.
One of the participants asked Mr Lee how Singapore can do better in population policy now that the country is facing an ageing population after the stop-at-two children policy.
Mr Lee said the policy had "nothing to do with what's happened". He noted ageing populations are seen in developed countries where women are educated and "do not see their future just bearers of children".
"So the solution is immigration ... and as we age, and there are not enough young people to look after the old, then maybe the population will be receptive to taking in more immigrants," Mr Lee said, and added Singapore could add about 20,000 to 25,000 immigrants annually to grow the population.
Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, then asked Mr Lee what can be done for Singaporeans to understand better the importance of immigration.
Mr Lee replied: "I think we have explained it but they just don't want to see so many foreigners in their midst." The turning point for Singaporeans to understand the importance of immigrants, he felt, would be when they realise the immigrants are needed desperately and "are hurt by objecting to immigrants coming to Singapore".
Another forum participant asked Mr Lee if Singapore's national identity is strong enough to absorb the immigrants. Mr Lee replied that Singaporeans do not accept the need for immigrants because some immigrants do not speak English. "I don't think they (the immigrants) can learn English in their lifetime enough to become Singaporeans. We have to wait for that to happen in the next generation," he added.
Last edited by Loh; 09-14-2011 at 10:11 PM.
09-15-2011, 03:34 AM #5090
Singapore's first solar leasing project to kick off in Punggol Eco-Town
Published on Sep 15, 2011
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Thursday announced that 45 blocks in Punggol will be fitted with solar panels in Singapore's first solar leasing project, marking a milestone in the country's fledgling solar industry. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
By Jessica Cheam
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Thursday announced that 45 blocks in Punggol will be fitted with solar panels in Singapore's first solar leasing project, marking a milestone in the country's fledgling solar industry.
Local solar manufacturer Sunseap Enterprises bagged the tender to design, finance and install the 2 MWp (mega-watt peak) solar system in Punggol Eco-Town.
HDB will foot 30 per cent of the start up costs at $3.28 million. The company will pay the rest of the cost, but will recover this over the next 20 years by selling the solar power generated from the solar panels to Pasir-Ris Punggol Town Council at a preferential rate not higher than the current electricity tariff.
HDB's chief executive Cheong Koon Hean said yesterday that Punggol, as Singapore's first eco-town, 'is the ideal location for us to expand our solar PV (photovoltaic) installations through solar leasing'.
09-15-2011, 03:39 AM #5091
Virus-free technique used to create beating heart cells from skin cells
Published on Sep 15, 2011
Researchers from the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) have successfully created beating heart cells from skin cells. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
By Melissa Pang
Researchers from the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) have successfully created beating heart cells from skin cells.
These cells have the potential to replace the need for heart transplants in patients suffering from heart failure. Safety and feasibility tests for such a clinical application began in August.
While creating beating heart cells from skin cells is not new, the NHCS team has managed to do so using a virus-free technique that eliminates the risk of infection.
Associate Professor Philip Wong, director of the Research and Development Unit at NHCS, described the technique as a 'game changer for stem cell work and cell therapy for the heart'.
09-15-2011, 03:43 AM #5092
National Parks Board launches inaugural Parks Festival
Published on Sep 15, 2011
Guided walks are part of the over 90 acitivities visitors can expect during the inaugural Parks Festival, running from this Saturday onwards. -- PHOTO: NPARKS
By Kezia Toh
To get more Singaporeans to visit more than 300 parks here, the National Parks Board (NParks) has launched the inaugural Parks Festival, running from this Saturday onwards.
The nine-day festival will include activities such as gardening workshops, art installations and a night forest exploration.
Guided walks include an edible and medicinal plant tour, and a butterfly trail.
Mr Kong Yit San, assistant chief executive officer of the park management and lifestyle cluster, said: 'We want to remind people that there are parks where you can have leisure pursuits instead of just going shopping or to the cinema.
09-15-2011, 03:48 AM #5093
Angry Birds' counterpart makes debut at Jurong Bird Park
Published on Sep 15, 2011
Jurong Bird Park welcomed its first red-crested cardinal hatchling at the Jungle Jewels aviary in August. -- PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Jurong Bird Park welcomed its first red-crested cardinal hatchling at the Jungle Jewels aviary in August.
Commonly found in northern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the adult red-crested cardinal is easily identified by its bright red head, crest, and upper breast - and it resembles one of the main characters in the Angry Birds game. This latest addition is the offspring of the bird park's only pair, it said in a media release on Wednesday.
'We have a pair in our collection because of species' strict breeding requirements - they are known to be territorial, usually around their potential nesting areas during breeding season. It was only fairly recently that the male and female red-crested cardinal paired up, and we are overjoyed to have a chick flying around the Jungle Jewels Aviary. Birds only breed when they feel secure, are comfortable and husbandry needs are met, so this little chick, amongst others, is testament to our successes with our conservation objectives,' said Ms Kazveen Umrigar, Curator, Jurong Bird Park.
Also known as the Brazilian Cardinal, this particular bird species was once in demand as a cage bird and saw a sharp decline in its population in the wild. It is a monogamous species - the pair at the bird park has been together since 2000. Unlike other birds, the male cardinal solely constructs and weaves the nest, which is approved by the female during nesting and breeding.
09-15-2011, 03:58 AM #5094
Greening Singapore's urban landscape
By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 15 September 2011 1603 hrs
SINGAPORE: The National Parks Board (NParks) said it has received more than 200 suggestions on how to co-create a "City in a Garden" since it launched a public engagement exercise three weeks ago.
And more ideas are welcomed as it is a year-long exercise.
Kong Yit San, assistant chief executive at NParks, said: "We hope to have this much longer so that we can have more ideas coming in. At this stage, we are not sharing in detail about the suggestions that have come in, so that we do not steer people's mindsets or perceptions of how parks should be in the future."
About half of the suggestions received were on enhancing parks and streetscapes - such as planting more trees that provide shade.
About a quarter were on optimising urban spaces for greenery and recreation, like more rooftop gardens and solar panels on top of HDB flats.
In the meantime, NParks has launched the inaugural Parks Festival, starting this Saturday, to get more Singaporeans to visit more than 300 parks here.
The nine-day festival will include activities such as gardening workshops, art installations and a night forest exploration.
On the last two days of the festival, NParks is organising a mass cleanup of some of the major parks. It's hoped that this would foster a sense of ownership of the flora and fauna in Singapore.
09-15-2011, 08:49 PM #5095
S'pore to help M'sia set up arbitration centre
By Melissa Goh | Posted: 15 September 2011 1715 hrs
Mr K Shanmugam (L) meets Minister Nazri Aziz, who is in charge of legal affairs.
KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore has offered to help Malaysia set up its own international arbitration centre.
Singapore's Foreign and Law Minister K Shanmugam said this after meeting his Malaysian counterpart in charge of legal affairs Nazri Aziz, in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Mr Shamnugam said it's all part of increased cooperation between two neighbours after the resolution of several bilateral issues.
"The fact that legacy issue had been cleared, that had helped in all of that. We see a significant increase in interactions, between people to people, investment as well as business. And for example when we talk about arbitration centres, it's all indication, small and big of how we are cooperating," said Mr Shanmugam.
Both ministers had friendly discussions at Minister Nazri's office in Parliament.
Mr Nazri said Malaysia is keen to learn from Singapore's experiences as an international arbitration centre and plans to set up a similar hub like the Maxwell chambers in Singapore.
He said Malaysia plans to convert an old historical building in Kuala Lumpur into an arbitration centre and work with Singapore so that disputes concerning Islamic banking and finance can be referred to Malaysia for arbitration.
- CNA /ls
09-15-2011, 08:56 PM #5096
S'pore athletes help develop sports scene in Timor Leste
By Patwant Singh | Posted: 15 September 2011 1707 hrs
SINGAPORE: Timor Leste is getting help from Singapore to develop its sporting scene.
Singaporean firm Dream + is working with the young nation to build a sports culture among its youths.
Dream + was set up in 2009 by young athletes, who now number 35, to serve others like them. They came up with sports programmes and even mentoring for different organisations.
Now they have secured their biggest deal - working with Timor Leste.
"In April this year we were invited by the President of Timor Leste, President Horta, to do a fact-finding trip there, to see how we can use our services in Dream + and engage the youth in Timor Leste. The engagement would be to bring the youth together and play sports and to use that as a medium to bring the country together," said Mr Sherman Cheng, staff at Dream +.
It's a long term exercise (starting later this year) stretching up to 10 years, and reaching a few hundred thousand youths in the country.
President Jose Ramos Horta may even visit Singapore in November to finalise details.
In Singapore, the team has also worked with Mendaki, and are looking to offer its talent identification services to schools.
It's a two-way process which also provides young athletes with jobs.
"The main purpose for Dream + is to give a career path for all those youth after their playing careers. And I am happy with Dream + because of the things they have given me, like being able to help with mentoring," said Muhd Azlin Latib, staff at Dream +.
The company is also looking to grow in size.
In June, Dream + signed a deal with Dentsu Sports Asia, one of the leading sports marketing and management firms in the region. They are hoping that the partnership will benefit both organisations as they tap on each other's expertise.
09-15-2011, 09:02 PM #5097
32nd Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow in S'pore on Friday
Posted: 15 September 2011 2013 hrs
Lord Mandelson (L) and PM Lee Hsien Loong (R)
SINGAPORE: The 32nd Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow will be Lord Mandelson from the British House of Lords.
He will be in Singapore from September 16-23 to deliver a public lecture at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on the topic "The Case of Singapore: Building on Economic Success in a Changing World".
Established in 1991, the LKYEF programme invites outstanding individuals for high-level exchange visits to Singapore.
Fellows are chosen on the basis of their proven track records or extraordinary potential to contribute to the development of their nations, as well as promote international understanding and goodwill.
Lord Mandelson was elected to Parliament in 1992 and entered British government in 1997, serving as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
In 2004, he became the European Union Commissioner for Trade until 2008 when he re-entered the British government as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and First Secretary of State until 2010.
While in Singapore, Lord Mandelson will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and other members of the Singapore Cabinet.
He is also scheduled to meet former minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Lord Mandelson will also address the 3rd Schuman Lecture Gala Dinner organised by the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) and the Singapore Global Dialogue organised by the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).
09-15-2011, 09:08 PM #5098
Origami for charity
Posted: 15 September 2011 0659 hrs
The students of Meridian Primary School with their folded hearts. (Photo by HE PEI WEN)
SINGAPORE: The students of Meridian Primary School spent an hour on Wednesday morning folding paper hearts as part of a SingTel Touching Lives Fund (STLF) Fold-A-Heart School Visit.
The Fold-A-Heart initiative was started in 2002 and is a signature activity in SingTel's STLF programme. Members of the public are encouraged to fold a heart using the STLF print advertisement found in TODAY and to deposit the end-product into any post box.
The fifth and last STLF print advertisement will appear in the September 19 edition of TODAY. There will also be an e-version which can be accessed via the SingTel website in October.
SingTel donates S$1 for every folded heart collected. Funds will go towards six beneficiary organisations that support and provide training, education and counselling programmes to children and youth with special needs, including APSN Chao Yang School, APSN Tanglin School, AWWA Early Years Centre, MINDS Lee Kong Chian Gardens School, Singapore Cancer Society and Students Care Service. The school visits are part of the STLF community outreach efforts.
Mr Sasidharan, Meridian Primary School vice-principal, said: 'Through this activity, we hope the children will be more aware of the less fortunate.'
Kristen Joseph, 9, said: 'I'm very excited about helping those in need. I have so much I would like to pass my things to others. This makes me appreciate what I have.' - TODAY
09-15-2011, 10:55 PM #5099
Ex-president Nathan's memoirs to hit stands soon
By S Ramesh | Posted: 15 September 2011 1748 hrs
SINGAPORE: A group of well-wishers of former Singapore President SR Nathan will be setting up a new fund intended for the education of the less privileged.
Revealing this in an exclusive interview with Channel NewsAsia, Mr SR Nathan said the fund will be announced at the launching ceremony of his nearly 670-page memoirs entitled "An Unexpected Journey, Path to the Presidency".
The launch of the book will be officiated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday evening.
Mr Nathan said the royalties from the book, and donations from well-wishers will go towards the fund.
More details of the fund, including the amount being targeted, will be made known on Monday.
In the memoirs, Mr Nathan reveals a bit about his childhood days, his work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the presidency.
He said his life was an unexpected journey.
Following some of the tragedies that his family had gone through during his childhood days, he said he never expected his life to turn out the way it did.
Mr Nathan explained that the most difficult chapter to write was about his childhood.
Mr Nathan also said he had never expected to be approached to be the President of Singapore.
"When I was asked, it was unexpected. I was not too sure whether I could fulfil the role... I was not sure whether I could live up to it," said Mr Nathan.
Mr Nathan's wife, Mrs Ummi Nathan, whom he courted for 16 years before getting married, also wrote a page in her husband's memoirs.
In it, she described Mr Nathan as a "self-made man and said that young Singaporeans have lessons to learn from the book, whatever competition the world faces.
09-15-2011, 11:09 PM #5100
Kart Racing: Singapore's Andrew Tang in the hot seat at World Cup
By Ian De Cotta, TODAY | Posted: 15 September 2011 0744 hrs
SINGAPORE: The late great Ayrton Senna could only finish second twice on kart racing's grandest stage - in 1979 and 1980.
The Brazilian legend, regarded as the greatest Formula 1 driver in history, always said he regretted he didn't win one.
Fellow world champions Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonmen all cut their teeth in the competition, although victory also eluded them all.
Elite kart racing has been the starting point in the careers of many Formula 1 world champions, and on Saturday, Andrew Tang hopes it will open up a route towards a successful motor-racing future for him, when the 16-year-old Singaporean lines up on the grid for the CIK-FIA Kart World Cup at Sarno, Italy.
The teen is the first Singaporean to qualify for the prestigious competition, earning his ticket during European qualifiers in May when he finished 16th out of 60 drivers in Grantham, England. Only the top 40 drivers were selected for the World Cup.
Andrew will vie with 102 kart competitors from all over the world on Saturday, hoping to make the final cut of 34 drivers for the main race the following day.
Dad Tang Siu Kan and mum Anita will be in Italy proudly supporting their son.
"Getting into the World Cup is a step forward in Andrew's ambition to be a racing driver, but I think pacing his development is important instead of rushing it," Tang told TODAY. "We just want him to focus on doing well and see how he measures up against some of the world's best young kart drivers."
TODAY first revealed Andrew's talent in 2006 after he won the Macau International Kart Grand Prix for boys between the ages of nine and 11.
But he stopped racing after that win, worn out by the tedious travelling across the Causeway to train and compete in Malaysia every weekend for three years.
When he had a change of heart in 2009, mum and dad were not impressed, and had to be convinced before they relented. Said Anita: "Motor racing is expensive, but if he has the talent to make it, then we don't mind investing in his future. At the time we wanted to know he was serious.
"We entered him for the last leg of the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) in Thailand and he finished second, even though he did not do any racing for four years."
Andrew's parents decided to send Andrew on a racing stint in Japan in 2010 to chalk up more experience, before registering him for the 2011 AKOC season.
The youngster, a former St Joseph Institution International School student, currently leads the senior open championship by 20 points after completing two of the five races on the calendar.
Taking a year's break from school after earning his baccalaureate, the aspiring F1 racer has been living out of a suitcase in Europe since February, training and competing under top Irish kart trainer Jarlath Keary.
"He is not having an easy life and I told him that if he wants us to finance his racing he must do even basic things like helping the mechanics clean up the garage after each race," said his father Tang, who owns an investment and trading firm. "This must be an education for him or else little things will get to his head."
Andrew's European stint has so far cost the Tangs more than 200,000 euros, but they believe their son has a special talent.
Said Tang: "We have a lot to do because Andrew will be due for National Service soon. We need to seek the help of the authorities who can advise us on how we can continue to develop Andrew's racing talent while at the same time not disrupting his national obligations." - TODAY
Andrew Tang (third from left). (Photo by TANG SIU KAN)
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