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  1. #5101
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Internal Security Act continues to be 'relevant and crucial': MHA

    Published on Sep 17, 2011

    In a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), it said that the Singapore Government has used the ISA 'sparingly'. It has only been used to deal with threats of subversion, racial and religious extremism (such as inciting racial or religious hatred, strife and violence), espionage and terrorism, it said. -- PHOTO: MHA

    By Li Xueying


    The Internal Security Act (ISA) 'continues to be relevant and crucial as a measure of last resort' for the preservation of Singapore's national security, said the Singapore Government on Friday evening.

    In a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), it said that the Singapore Government has used the ISA 'sparingly'. It has only been used to deal with threats of subversion, racial and religious extremism (such as inciting racial or religious hatred, strife and violence), espionage and terrorism, it said.

    'These threats continue to be salient today, especially in the last ten years against the threat of terrorism, where the Government's priority is to act swiftly to prevent an attack from taking place,' it said.

    Arrests of Jemaah Islamiah members under the ISA in Dec 2001 'thwarted the imminent suicide bombings against establishments in Singapore that were planned by Al-Qaeda operatives, assisted by several of the arrested Jemaah Islamiah members, preventing the loss of innocent lives'.
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    Last edited by Loh; 09-17-2011 at 12:43 AM.

  2. #5102
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's use of ISA 'on smaller scale than in Malaysia'

    Published on Sep 17, 2011


    In a post-Sept 11 world, pressure from countries like the US to abolish the ISA has decreased as they grapple with the need to detain radicals, says political observer Eugene Tan. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

    By Zakir Hussain & Li Xueying

    Singapore's use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) has been on a much smaller scale than that across the Causeway, analysts said on Friday.

    And while the law that allows preventive detention has also drawn opposition here and calls for repeal over the years, these have been fewer in number and less widespread than in Malaysia, they added.

    They pinned this down to the different approaches both countries took in applying the ISA.


    Background story

    STILL FIGHTING TERRORISM


    'Kuala Lumpur is not going to deprive themselves of the legal powers to thwart terrorism. They do realise that political and security considerations need balancing. Hence a repeal of the ISA in Malaysia, in my view, would not have any significant negative repercussions on Malaysian, Singaporean or regional counter-terrorism efforts.'

    Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna, head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A MATTER OF LEGITIMACY

    'The moment the public perceives that the ISA has become a political tool to, say, keep the ruling party in power and keep political opponents at bay, it will lose its legitimacy and there will be public pressure to abolish the ISA. This state of affairs has not arisen in Singapore and I don't see it happening in the next few years or so.'

    RSIS Associate Professor Bilveer Singh
    While political opponents here have escaped the might of the ISA, politicians in Malaysia have been held under the law.
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  3. #5103
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Bilingualism is possible in Singapore, says Lee Kuan Yew

    By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 16 September 2011 1619 hrs


    SINGAPORE : Former minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said he is convinced bilingualism is possible in Singapore, with English as a master language.

    He also said that children should be exposed to two languages at an early stage.

    Mr Lee was speaking at the launch of the Chinese edition of his latest book, "Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going", on Friday.

    Within nine months of releasing the first edition, Mr Lee was back to launch his latest book in Chinese.

    The translated version is a result of Mr Lee wanting to cater to the need of the older generation of Singaporeans, many of whom do not read English.

    The book is based on 16 interviews with the former minister mentor and touches on a spectrum of issues. It is available at leading bookstores at S$39.90 a copy.

    Speaking to his guests, Mr Lee switched effortlessly between English and Mandarin.

    He said while it is important to be bilingual, it is a bonus if one could speak a third language.

    He said: "It is best to have Malay as a third language. If you can understand it and speak it, you will be up to date with happenings from Malaysia and Indonesia. It is a plus point."

    Mr Lee said the use of English as a master language has propelled Singapore to the world, while Mandarin has enabled its citizens to take advantage of a rising China.

    After citing his own challenges in mastering his mother tongue, Mr Lee suggested that children start young.

    He said: "My Chinese, I had no total immersion. So it was a constant struggle to overcome one difficulty after another, so that in the end I am able to speak without much effort.

    "I think if we arrange our education system, especially in kindergarten and pre-school, in such a way that our children are exposed to two languages straightaway, we will make bilingualism a reality and easily achieved by all."

    Mr Lee turned 88 years old on Friday
    and those present wished him the best of health.

    - CNA/cc/ms
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  4. #5104
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 189 scholarships awarded to young athletes

    By Alvina Soh | Posted: 16 September 2011 2047 hrs


    SINGAPORE : The Singapore Olympic Foundation gave out 189 scholarships on Friday to help young athletes with financial constraints achieve their goals.

    The Singapore Olympic Foundation - Peter Lim Sports Scholarship was also awarded to athletes who have taken part in youth or national championships.

    They received their scholarships from Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing.

    Each recipient received between S$1,000 and S$10,000.

    The scholarship, which was founded on June 29 last year, saw 670 applications from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

    Major General (NS) Chan together with Ng Ser Miang, chairman of the Singapore Olympic Foundation, and Peter Lim, director of the Singapore Olympic Foundation and donor of the scholarship, presented the scholarships to the recipients.

    ST Telemedia also made a donation of S$100,000 in support of The Singapore Olympic Foundation.

    Calvin Kang, a scholarship recipient, said: "It enables me to help me fund my training, my equipment, my transport as well as my supplements and competitions. So I think with the aid of the scholarship, it will help me to boost my funding and also help me to pursue my dreams and run faster."

    - CNA/ms
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  5. #5105
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SAF takes part in exercise Suman Warrior

    Posted: 16 September 2011 0918 hrs



    SINGAPORE: The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) took part in the annual Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) land exercise code-named Suman Warrior which ended on Thursday.

    About 50 personnel from the SAF participated in the 10-day exercise, along with 200 personnel from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    This year's exercise was the 22nd in the series, hosted by the United Kingdom and took place in York, North Yorkshire.

    The Singapore Defence Ministry (MINDEF) said the series of annual exercises aims to enhance the interoperability among the FPDA armies.

    The FPDA was formed in 1971 and the FPDA countries will commemorate 40 years of cooperation this year.

    The FPDA is an important part of the regional security architecture and the SAF's regular participation in FPDA exercises underscores Singapore's continued commitment to the FPDA.

    - CNA/cc
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  6. #5106
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore Sports Hub takes shape

    07:29 PM Sep 16, 2011


    SINGAPORE - Singapore Sports Hub has completed its first phase of construction.

    The piling and foundation of the new National Stadium is done and the construction team will now concentrate on its superstructure.

    The construction team has ensured all the rubble from the old National Stadium and the car parks and roads surrounding it has been recycled. The recycled material currently serves as bases for roads and working platforms for the heavy machinery required on site and will be incorporated into the foundation of the new development eventually.

    Meanwhile, the football pitch is currently undergoing accelerated settlement to prepare for the next phase of construction.

    The Sports Hub will be an integrated sports, entertainment and lifestyle hub and it will be in operation in April 2014. The new stadium will be able to accommodate as many as 55,000 people. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  7. #5107
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SCGS, ACJC awarded School Excellence Award

    By Sharon See | Posted: 18 September 2011 1849 hrs


    Photos 1 of 2

    Students at Singapore Chinese Girls School look forward to Wednesdays because they get a one-hour recess, instead of half an hour, which they can use for various activities

    Anglo-Chinese Junior College says it places emphasis on character development in its pursuit of holistic education



    SINGAPORE: The Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) and Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) have been awarded the School Excellence Award.

    SCGS and ACJC are also among the five schools awarded the Best Practice Award for Student All-Round Development, Teaching and Learning as well as Staff Well-Being.

    The other three schools are Nan Hua High School, River Valley High School and Meridian Junior College.

    While some may suffer from a bout of midweek blues, students at SCGS look forward to Wednesdays because they get a one-hour recess, instead of half an hour, which they can use for various activities.

    Cheang Ko Lyn, who is a Secondary 1 student at SCGS, said: "Every week, I think almost all the students look forward to this the most because it's a chance to carry out a lot of activities that we can't normally do. We have different singing performances and dancing performances put up by classes, and this actually bonds the classes as well as people in between different levels.

    Parent volunteers also help the school to organise activities for the students.

    SCGS' principal Mrs Low Ay Nar, said: "We also collaborate with the parent support group to conduct activities during the one-hour recess. For example, we have the Health Month activities, we've had Salad Days, some art and craft activities. I think we also have library language month activities and we recently had the Traditional Games Day.

    The school started extending recess on Wednesdays two years ago as a way to build a happy culture in school.

    Mrs Low said: "We have the one-hour recess as a midweek respite for the girls. Usually, people don't look forward to middle of the week... but now we find that the girls are looking forward to coming to school, even though it's Wednesday. Psychologically, it has achieved a higher level of excitement for us and I think the happiness level has gone up.

    "We need to build a culture that supports positive school experience. And it is through positive school experiences that people feel motivated and that contributes to school excellence."

    Meanwhile, ACJC, which is the other winner for the School Excellence Award, places emphasis on character development in its pursuit of holistic education.

    ACJC's principal Mrs Kelvyna Chan, said: "Character is the moral compass. A person can be very intelligent, very smart, very skilful, but it is the character that ensures that the person makes use of his intelligence and skills in the right manner, that he can benefit others and not just to benefit himself."

    Whether it's through sports or the performing arts, Mrs Chan said the college helps students build good character through the curriculum and co-curricular activities.

    Toh Ghee Wei, a year two student at ACJC, said: "One very poignant memory that I have is travelling to Slovakia for a debate tournament. And I think that really gave me an international exposure, develop my oratorical skills a great deal, gave me a lot of confidence in public speaking."

    Toh, who is the oratorical and debating society president in the school added: "We are encouraged to choose subjects which we enjoy and we're passionate about and we get that freedom. So I was able to do history, which I absolutely enjoy. And I think that helped a lot, in terms of developing my academic ability as well.

    ACJC's Student Council's president Abigal Ngam, said the students, teachers and even parents have helped to create a sense of community in the school.

    "During the exam period, not only do you see a lot of students staying back to study in groups as like a support community but also teachers making themselves available for consultations. And even the parents are chipping in to provide dinners every week night for people who stay back late in school to study.

    "So with this kind of support and the sense of being a family in ACJC, it really helps to develop each individual and to make everyone feel more comfortable and at home in ACJC."

    The schools will be presented these awards on September 22 by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat.

    - CNA/fa
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  8. #5108
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore Takeout makes its way to New York

    Posted: 18 September 2011 1806 hrs

    SINGAPORE: Some New Yorkers had a taste of Singaporean cuisine over the weekend as the travelling pop-up kitchen Singapore Takeout made its way to the Big Apple.

    Pork buns, laksa, short ribs buah keluak are some of the well-loved Singapore food that New Yorkers had a taste of over the weekend.

    New York is the pop-up kitchen's fourth stop on its global tour of nine major cities.

    Malcolm Lee, a chef from Candlenut Kitchen who specialises in Peranakan food, cooked up a storm with some New York chefs like Anthony Ricco, Dominique Ansel and even Ed Cotton from the popular TV series, "Top Chef".

    Pastry chef Dominique Ansel, said: "There's a lot of flavours that you find in Singaporean cuisine which you cannot find in French cuisine. It's very exciting, very interesting to work with that.

    Chef Ed Cotton, who was a finalist on "Top Chef" Season 7, said: "I was able to spend a fair amount of time in Singapore and learning about the actual foods and the culture and everything. (It was) a crash course on Singaporean cuisine. I did come back from Singapore not too long ago. One of my chief favourite dishes is chilli crab, along with this noodle dish that I had - char kway teow. I'm gonna replicate that dish and turn that into a ravioli."

    Singapore Tourism Board's CEO Aw Kah Peng, said: "We're giving people a taste of cuisines from Singapore, but more importantly is of them working with chefs from New York to create Singapore-inspired cuisines. What we want people to go away with is really just being surprised with the diversity of Singapore's cuisine and the inventiveness of what our chefs can do, and what our chefs can do working with the chefs in New York."

    Singapore Takeout has travelled to London, Moscow and Paris, and it will be heading to Hong Kong, Shanghai, New Delhi, Dubai and Sydney.

    CNA/fa
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  9. #5109
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ride along the new Pasir Ris Town cycling path

    By Sara Grosse | Posted: 18 September 2011 1455 hrs
    SINGAPORE: Cyclists and pedestrians in Pasir Ris Town where 70 per cent of its population are cyclists according to Citizens' Consultative Committee for Pasir Ris West can expect a safer cycling environment as plans to create a cycling network in the town take shape.

    The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has completed a 1.1-kilometre stretch of cycling path, along Pasir Ris Drive 3, to connect cyclists to and from their homes to the Pasir Ris MRT station and bus interchange.

    The LTA said construction of the cycling paths in the town started in mid-July 2011.


    Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Teo Chee Hean launched the new stretch of the cycling path on Sunday.

    He said: "Pasir Ris is a town famous for cycling and cyclists and this marks a good step forward in shaping a safe cycling culture in our estate where cyclists and pedestrians can co-exist."

    A resident in the area said: "In Pasir Ris, it's actually a lot more beneficial for the residents because we are more of a cyclist neighbourhood.

    "We are near the beach, we have one central MRT where most of us actually cycle over, be it for the White Sands shopping centre or be it to travel to work."

    A grassroots helper said: "It seems that sometimes cyclists are not giving way to pedestrian. And sometimes pedestrian, they just ignore the cyclists.

    "So at least if you separate them, it's good I find. It's safer for both."

    Mr Teo also commented on how the cycling infrastructure in Pasir Ris is slowly improving.

    For example, he said the double decker bicycle parking rack near the town's MRT station is the only one in Singapore.

    And with more housing expected to be built in the area, there is a possibility for more parking lots for bicycles.

    Alvin Yeo, Chairman, Citizens' Consultative Committee for Pasir Ris West, said: "We know that Pasir Ris now have a lot of condominium projects and ECs coming up. From my understanding, about six to eight thousand units (and) more.

    "I would say in the next three to five years, there may have another maybe 10 thousand more bicycles or 10 thousand more cyclists.

    "We have another plan (and that's) LTA sheltered bicycle park. It's actually the phase two (which) we have not launched."

    Grassroots organisations also plan to organise safe cycling clinics.

    Pasir Ris is one of the seven HDB towns under the National Cycling Plan to facilitate intra-town cycling to transport nodes and key local amenities.

    When the entire network is fully completed in 2012, residents can expect a 13.3-kilometre cycling path network connecting residents to the town hub, Pasir Ris MRT station and the bus interchange.

    First announced in February 2009, the S$43 million intra-town cycling plan covers five HDB towns - Pasir Ris, Sembawang, Tampines, Taman Jurong, and Yishun.

    The LTA said the cycling paths complement the existing cycling infrastructure within these HDB towns and facilitate intra-town cycling to transport nodes and key amenities.

    In July 2010, Changi-Simei and Bedok towns as well as Marina Bay were incorporated into the programme.



    Cycling path at Tampines
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  10. #5110
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Louis Vuitton Island Maison launched

    By Wang Zheng / Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 17 September 2011 2046 hrs


    People walk by the bridge outside Louis Vuitton's nautical concept store that opened at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands casino complex. (AFP PHOTO / SIMIN WANG)


    SINGAPORE: Singapore's first store in the form of an island was launched at the Marina Bay Sands on Saturday. The Louis Vuitton Island Maison is also the luxury giant's fourth store front in Singapore.

    The opening was a red carpet event featuring celebrities from Bollywood, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Singapore.

    And doing the honours on Saturday evening was Mr S Iswaran, Minister from the Prime Minister's Office and Australian actress Cate Blanchett.

    Louis Vuitton said the Maison is part of the brand's expansion in Asia.

    The Maison is a crystal pavilion on the water and its exclusive interior design and fittings all reflect the nautical theme.

    A highlight of the space is its art gallery, with works from prominent designers and celebrities
    .

    One of the first to be featured is actor Chow Yun Fat, whose photography took centre stage at the launch.

    He said: "Shoppers come here for the brand. Occasionally those interested in art may also come in to take a look. I feel it's quite a balance between art and shopping."

    The store officially opens to the public on September 18.

    -CNA/ac
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  11. #5111
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default NUS to launch Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health

    Published on Sep 19, 2011


    Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong will officially launch the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at NUS, to train future leaders in public health and improve the health of the Singapore population and the region, through research and work on innovative models of public health and healthcare delivery that are cost-effective and relevant to Asia. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOOBy Kezia Toh


    The National University of Singapore (NUS) will launch the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health to train future leaders in public health.

    To be established on Oct 1, the school is an expansion of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

    It also aims to improve the health of the population here and in the region through research on public health models that are cost-effective and relevant to Asia.


    For example, it has developed a new health monitoring system, the Population Health Metrics and Analytics (PHMA), to track the population's health risks and attitudes towards healthcare over an extended period.
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  12. #5112
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Table tennis gets another backer


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:46 AM Sep 20, 2011

    SINGAPORE - The Singapore women's table tennis team are the reigning world champions and Olympic silver medallists. The Singapore men and women won all but one of the seven golds on offer at last year's Commonwealth Games and they have ruled at the SEA Games.

    The success of the players has clearly helped the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) grow their stable of sponsors.

    Yesterday, table tennis chief Lee Bee Wah inked yet another deal, this time with Keppel Corporation. The partnership with Keppel Corp is worth S$300,000 over three years, and will cover the operational costs and hiring of coaches at the STTA's zone training centre in Clementi, as well as the start-up of a new centre at the Jurong West Sports Hall.

    Around 280 players aged between five and 11 currently train at seven centres - Bishan, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Yishun, Jurong West, Innova Primary School and Clementi - around the country as the STTA look to grow their talent pool.


    Since March 2010, the association have signed deals with nine companies totalling more than S$4 million, including the likes of Crocodile International, 100PLUS and Mitsubishi Electric Asia.

    The latest partnership came after a meeting between Keppel Corporation's chief executive officer Choo Chiau Beng and Lee at a fundraising event last November.

    Speaking at the Reflections at Keppel Bay showflat yesterday, Lee said: "The cash sponsorship towards the Keppel Corporation Zone Training Centre at Clementi will help grow the efforts of STTA to nurture more table tennis talents.

    "Over the years, our zone training centres have groomed many players for our youth development squad and the national youth team, and hopefully, we will be able to groom Olympic champions."

    Wang Look Fung, Keppel Corp's director of group corporate affairs, said: "The sport of table tennis represents universal values such as passion, teamwork and commitment, all of which are Keppel's core values as well. We hope that out of this training centre, Singapore will see heightened appreciation of the sport as well as champions of tomorrow in the international arena." LOW LIN FHOONG












    Last edited by Loh; 09-19-2011 at 09:43 PM.

  13. #5113
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    Default Near perfect sight again after new cornea operation

    Acid attack victim undergoes rare surgery

    Published on Sep 20, 2011

    The Boston keratoprosthesis procedure, carried out by Associate Professor Leonard Ang, uses a button-shaped implant instead of a real cornea. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

    By Poon Chian Hui


    Splashed in the face with acid during an attempted robbery, Madam Ho feared she would never see clearly again.

    That was until she became one of the first patients in South-east Asia to be fitted with an artificial cornea using a new transplant method.

    Now, the 44-year-old mother of four can once again perform everyday chores with little trouble after a surgeon used the pioneering technique to improve her damaged vision.

    Madam Ho, who declined to give her full name, was left blind in her left eye and partially sighted in her right after the would-be robbers drove up in a car, tried to snatch her handbag and flung the corrosive liquid at her.

    The attack - which left her with scars all over her face, chest and hands - happened as she was walking back to her home in Malaysia one night in 2008. She had nearly reached her house when she saw her assailants driving towards her.

    Madam Ho screamed to raise the alarm, before noticing that one of them was about to throw something. "I couldn't react in time," she said in Mandarin. "I was just very scared, and it really hurt." Her family came to her aid after she dashed back home.

    Madam Ho was taken to a Malaysian clinic and later hospitalised for a month at Mount Elizabeth in Singapore. Her injuries meant she had to give up her administrative job and had trouble doing household chores. Her attacker remains at large.

    However, her life improved last November after she underwent the operation at The Eye & Cornea transplant Centre at Paragon Medical.

    It was done by Associate Professor Leonard Ang, the first surgeon in Southeast Asia to carry out the procedure, called the Boston keratoprosthesis.

    The operation, which he has performed on only seven other people, uses a button-shaped implant which consists of four parts, which have to be put together before surgery. It is made of material that the patient's body will not reject.

    Madam Ho, who is married and whose children are aged between nine and 18, has now regained almost perfect vision in her left eye. "Previously, it looked completely white - it could detect only some light," she said. "Now, I can see again."

    The operation costs between $30,000 and $35,000, and takes at least two hours to complete.

    Conventional cornea transplants use ones donated by other people. But real corneas are at risk of being rejected by the body, and patients have to take strong medication to stop this from happening. Even so, between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of cornea grafts fail within three years, said Prof Ang.

    The Boston procedure was first approved in the United States in 1992, but was fine-tuned in recent years.

    Patients do not have to take any medicine after surgery. However, they are usually given eye drops to guard against dryness.

    All but one of the seven others who underwent this procedure since 2008 achieved at least 6/12 vision, which means they can drive safely. Prof Ang described the results as "dramatic".


    Related Links:
    NEAR PERFECT SIGHT AGAIN AFTER NEW CORNEA OP
    http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIM...P1BLURBS20.pdf

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  14. #5114
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    Default Former president S R Nathan launches memoirs

    S R Nathan hopes latest memoirs will show young people how hard work and education make many things possible

    Published on Sep 20, 2011

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, former president S R Nathan and Mr Didier Millet, founder of Editions Didier Millet, which published An Unexpected Journey: Path To The Presidency, at the book's launch yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG


    By Kor Kian Beng, Political Correspondent

    As a school dropout at the age 16, a young S R Nathan never thought he would be anything other than a hawker's assistant, let alone Singapore's future president.

    But his life journey - detailed in An Unexpected Journey: Path To The Presidency, his memoirs launched on Monday - shows that however difficult circumstances may seem, many things are possible with hard work and education, among key factors.

    Speaking at the launch of his 672-page book by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, he said that he hoped the memoirs would demonstrate this lesson especially to young people setting out in their careers today.

    Demonstrating his belief in the positive impact of education, Mr Nathan, who stepped down as president on Sept 1 after two six-year terms, has lent his name to a new education endowment fund announced last night.


    Background story

    A RECORD FOR POSTERITY

    'They felt that people should understand the fundamental principles that drove our leaders in the years after independence, and the challenges that were part of Singapore's transformation as an independent nation; lest they forget and take for granted our present affluence and comfort.'

    Mr Nathan, who said he wrote the memoirs after prompting from his family and friends
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  15. #5115
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    Default SR Nathan fund launched

    By S Ramesh | Posted: 19 September 2011 2027 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Singapore's former president SR Nathan's memoirs as well as the "SR Nathan Education Upliftment Fund" were launched on Monday by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    Royalties from the sale of the book and donations received will go towards the fund, which has so far reached S$8 million.

    A statement from the fund's administrators said the SR Nathan Education Upliftment Fund will specifically support appropriate education assistance programmes of the four self-help groups.

    They are the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and the Eurasian Association.

    The fund will give them flexibility to assist deserving cases which may fall outside their current ambit for the use of their own funds.

    Grants from the fund will be used solely for the purpose of education upliftment.

    It's also to help financially disadvantaged Singaporeans achieve their full potential, so that they and their families may have a brighter future.

    Details of the fund were made known Monday during the launch of Mr Nathan's memoirs, "An Unexpected Journey - A Path to the Presidency."

    Speaking at the event, PM Lee said Mr Nathan's memoir's are significant for several reasons.

    Firstly, they are a historical account of Singapore's development, where the people came from and what brought the country to what it is today.

    In this way, Mr Nathan's memoirs contribute significantly to nation building.

    His memoirs also helped the country to understand what it meant to be Singaporean
    .

    Mr Lee noted that through his career, Mr Nathan had faithfully answered the nation's calls and frequently went well beyond that to protect Singapore's interest.

    Mr Lee also said Mr Nathan's life exemplified the Singapore story.

    Although not everyone can be president, Singaporeans can achieve their potential in a meritocratic society and with leaders determined to make it a land of opportunity for all citizens.

    Speaking at the event, Mr Nathan said almost every big step in his career was unpredicted.

    So, many felt that a record of these times would be important reading for young Singaporeans, who should know about the world as it was in the early days.

    Mr Nathan said he was also encouraged by his wife Umi, and children Juthika and Osith.

    Mr Lee said of Mr Nathan's wife: "She has been a constant source of support for more than half a century and a loyal wife who made sacrifices in her family life when her husband answered Singapore's repeated calls to serve.

    "I am glad that the book includes a short essay by Mrs Nathan, which in a few words convey a sense of her warm and generous personality.

    "Mr Nathan's achievements would not have been possible without the steadfast support of Mrs Nathan, and Singapore is grateful to both of you."

    Mr Nathan said: "The book turned into something more substantial than I planned at the outset. In fact, it is the story of my entire life, from my earliest childhood years right up to my two terms as President of Singapore.

    "I hope that each chapter will offer something of interest, whether a picture of family life in a kampong house in pre-war Joo Chiat, or a glimpse into the day-to-day workings of the Istana, and the elected presidency today.

    "Many years ago, as a school dropout, I never imagined that I would one day be anything other than a hawker's assistant. I hope these memoirs will show many young people setting out in their careers today, that with education, hard work and the School of Life, many things are possible, however difficult circumstances may seem at times."

    -CNA/wk

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    Default New masterplan to chart programmes for persons with disability

    By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 20 September 2011 1342 hrs


    SINGAPORE: A new masterplan is in the works to chart the development of programmes and services over the next five years for persons with disability.

    The Enabling Masterplan 2012-2016 is expected to be ready in 2012.

    Acting Minister for Community Development Youth and Sports, Major General Chan Chun Sing announced on Tuesday during a visit to the Centre for Training and Integration at the Holiday Inn Singapore.

    A 31-member steering Committee comprising representatives from the private and public sector will be set up to develop the plan aimed at reviewing service needs and opportunities for persons with disabilities.

    Mr Chua Chin Kiat, who is the Chairman of the Centre for Enabled Living, will lead the steering Committee.

    The Masterplan will focus on areas such as early intervention, education, employment and adult and caregiver support.

    - CNA/fa


    Major-General Chan Chun Sing
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    Default Ranking drops but 'NTU life sciences improved'

    By Ng Jing Yng, TODAY | Posted: 20 September 2011 0627 hrs


    SINGAPORE: The sharp fall in an international ranking of Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) life sciences faculty over the last two years has prompted concerned undergraduates to request a meeting with the faculty head, which will be held on Wednesday.

    While NTU jumped 16 places to 58th in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) world university rankings released earlier this month, its life sciences faculty came in at 179th position among life sciences and medicine faculties around the world. In comparison, the National University of Singapore's (NUS) life sciences faculty was ranked 12th this year.

    In 2009, NTU's life sciences faculty was ranked 89th. Last year, it fell to 174th place before dropping another five places in this year's rankings.

    Speaking to TODAY, Professor Mark Featherstone - who was appointed as chair of NTU's School of Biological Sciences last month - explained that the dip was attributed to the fact that, since last year, QS surveyed a larger pool of academics for its rankings.

    He said: "If it so happened that there was a big increase in the number of faculties surveyed in a year, and if it was in an area of the world where not many know us well, there would be more faculties responding but fewer who know us."

    QS was unable to respond to TODAY's queries by press time. Apart from rankings based on its survey of faculties around the world, QS introduced subject rankings this year, which rely on a "more sophisticated approach", according to its website.

    For the subject rankings, the universities were ranked in bands. In the biological sciences category, NTU was in the 151st to 200th band - along with well known institutes such as Technion (also known as the Israel Institute of Technology), Prof Featherstone pointed out.

    He reiterated that NTU's School of Biological Sciences has "actually improved". He said: "For faculty rankings, (QS) only solicits the opinions of faculty members around the world ... (QS) pointed out that faculty rankings are based on a single criterion whereas the subject rankings are dependent on multiple criteria and are therefore more sophisticated."

    On suggestions that the NTU's life sciences faculty paled in comparison to its peers in terms of citations, Prof Featherstone also stressed that the school is only a decade old and it has young faculty members who are starting out on their careers.

    In contrast, the NUS department of biological sciences has a much longer history and the university has a renowned medical school, which influences its life sciences faculty rankings, Prof Featherstone pointed out.

    He was confident that the opening of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in NTU in 2013 will "significantly influence" the ranking of the university's life sciences faculty.


    Prof Featherstone said that there will be close collaborations with the new medical school in areas such as neuroscience and immunology.

    Come Wednesday, Prof Featherstone will be conveying these points to final year students in NTU's School of Biological Sciences, as he seeks to allay their concerns over the fall in rankings. - TODAY

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