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  1. #5152
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New transplant method for ageing cornea patients

    By Sara Grosse | Posted: 25 September 2011 1917 hrs



    Mr Chok Teck Chow (R) has his eyes examined


    SINGAPORE: Patients suffering from ageing corneas can benefit from a new form of corneal transplantation in Singapore.

    Descemets Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) is an advanced keyhole form of transplant that claims to result in almost perfect vision.

    For many years, 59-year-old Chok Teck Chow's eyesight has been deteriorating.

    But now, the property agent said his vision has improved greatly, as he is able to read nearly the entire eye chart.

    Chok is one of only three patients who underwent the DMEK surgery about a month ago to treat his ageing cornea.

    "Vision improved very much. I can see quite clearly, it's almost perfect," said Chok.

    Professor Donald Tan, Medical Director of the Singapore National Eye Centre, said "DMEK is a different procedure where we are just stripping off the membrane, we're just transplanting a membrane with cells. When we peel this membrane off, we got to get it into the eye and not damage it because the moment we touch the membrane with the cells, the cells die.

    "So the surgical technique on how to un-scroll the membrane, un-wrinkle it, attach it to the cornea is where the skill comes in."

    The Singapore National Eye Centre has also invented a new device, which is currently under patenting, to make the DMEK surgery easier.

    As the device is currently under patenting, details can't be revealed.

    When asked how the corneal transplant surgery compares to artificial cornea transplants such as the Boston K-Pro, the centre had some reservations.

    The Singapore National Eye Centre sees some controversies regarding the long-term success rate of the Boston K-Pro surgery, saying it potentially has some high risk complications. It recommends that the procedure be used only in cases of multiple corneal graft failures.

    The eye centre said the risk of graft rejection from a DMEK surgery is 0.7 per cent.

    The new procedure is expected to be performed on more patients once the new device is launched next year.

    - CNA /ls
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  2. #5153
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New transplant method for ageing cornea patients

    By Sara Grosse | Posted: 25 September 2011 1917 hrs


    Mr Chok Teck Chow (R) has his eyes examined


    SINGAPORE: Patients suffering from ageing corneas can benefit from a new form of corneal transplantation in Singapore.

    Descemets Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) is an advanced keyhole form of transplant that claims to result in almost perfect vision.

    For many years, 59-year-old Chok Teck Chow's eyesight has been deteriorating.

    But now, the property agent said his vision has improved greatly, as he is able to read nearly the entire eye chart.

    Chok is one of only three patients who underwent the DMEK surgery about a month ago to treat his ageing cornea.

    "Vision improved very much. I can see quite clearly, it's almost perfect," said Chok.

    Professor Donald Tan, Medical Director of the Singapore National Eye Centre, said "DMEK is a different procedure where we are just stripping off the membrane, we're just transplanting a membrane with cells. When we peel this membrane off, we got to get it into the eye and not damage it because the moment we touch the membrane with the cells, the cells die.

    "So the surgical technique on how to un-scroll the membrane, un-wrinkle it, attach it to the cornea is where the skill comes in."

    The Singapore National Eye Centre has also invented a new device, which is currently under patenting, to make the DMEK surgery easier.

    As the device is currently under patenting, details can't be revealed.

    When asked how the corneal transplant surgery compares to artificial cornea transplants such as the Boston K-Pro, the centre had some reservations.

    The Singapore National Eye Centre sees some controversies regarding the long-term success rate of the Boston K-Pro surgery, saying it potentially has some high risk complications. It recommends that the procedure be used only in cases of multiple corneal graft failures.

    The eye centre said the risk of graft rejection from a DMEK surgery is 0.7 per cent.

    The new procedure is expected to be performed on more patients once the new device is launched next year.

    - CNA /ls
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  3. #5154
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Stunning Singapore Race a Big Winner

    Terrence Voon - Straits Times Indonesia | September 26, 2011
    German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull lifts his first place trophy after winning the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, Sunday. (EPA Photo/Diego Azubel)

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    Vettel: No Pressure to Clinch Title in Singapore 8:58pm Sep 22, 2011



    Fireworks peppered the night sky over Marina Bay last night, as the nation and the fastest Formula One driver on the planet toasted to success at the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

    There was no coronation under the stars for Sebastian Vettel, the Red Bull ace who won the race from pole to flag, but a maiden win on the glittering and gruelling Marina Bay street circuit has further confirmed his dominance in the sport.

    Now that he has won his ninth grand prix of the season in Singapore, his championship lead has been extended to 124 points ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button, who finished second, and Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, who placed third last night.

    The race standings were not enough to hand Vettel his second world title on the trot, but he is almost certain to put the title to bed in two weeks' time in Japan, where a single point is all he will need to become the sport's youngest double world champion.

    For now, Singapore can look back on another visual and sporting feast that has delivered on all counts for the fourth year running.

    Last night's action-packed race, which saw Michael Schumacher escape injury after a nasty crash into the barriers, was watched by an estimated 100 million people. Once again, the city's skyline - a bewitching blend of colonial buildings and ultra-modern skyscrapers - sparkled in high-definition images that were beamed across the world
    .

    Even amid fears of a global recession, organizers were able to attract a capacity crowd of more than 82,500. It is estimated that more than half were foreign guests, and with the hospitality suites all but sold out this year, the Singapore race has retained its lustre and won over new fans.

    Said Englishman Terry Stevens, 44: "Monaco has its own aura, but there's just something more special about Singapore - not just the lights, but the overall atmosphere and the experience for both the drivers and fans. It just takes your breath away."

    The future of the race, which is due to be held until 2014 at the earliest, remains unclear. With negotiations between F1 chiefs and the Government still ongoing, the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday that the Republic remains the ultimate event on the 19-race F1 calendar.

    Since Singapore's debut in 2008, venues such as the dusk-to-night race in Abu Dhabi, as well as grands prix in South Korea and India, have been added to the F1 calendar.

    When asked by The Straits Times if Singapore is still the crown jewel of F1 - a description Ecclestone coined four years ago - he replied: "Yes, for sure."

    Off the track, the action sizzled for hotels, which reaped the rewards of an iconic race and several conventions and meetings held to coincide with it.

    Both the Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford have enjoyed full occupancies since the inaugural year in 2008, and last weekend was no different.

    "We are optimistic that this will continue for next year's race," said Lim Ee Jin, the director of marketing communications for both hotels. "The Singapore night race... remains a dynamic element of the country's vibrant and evolving tourism industry, and its impact has remained positive, particularly in the hospitality sector."

    Banks looking to entertain their top clients have also pulled out all the stops this year. DBS, for instance, committed more to hospitality this year, and ferried its guests to and around the circuit using river cruise boats and buggies.

    The circuit entertainment scored top marks as well. Metal giants Linkin Park rocked a record 50,000 fans at the Padang last night as part of the organizers' $5 million music-and-stage line-up.

    There was plenty of star wattage at the paddock too, where Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, American rapper Ludacris and British singer-producer Taio Cruz were spotted mingling with the teams.

    Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner, while disappointed that Vettel could not be crowned in Singapore, paid tribute to the hosts for yet another splendid spectacle.

    He said: "It's fantastic as usual, a great track, and it's still one of the highlights of the year. I love it."

    Reprinted courtesy of Straits Times Indonesia. To subscribe to Straits Times Indonesia and/or the Jakarta Globe call 021 2553 5055.
    Last edited by Loh; 09-26-2011 at 04:18 AM.

  4. #5155
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ng Ser Miang receives award for Youth Olympic Games success

    Published on Sep 26, 2011

    The United States Sports Academy on Monday awarded Mr Ng Ser Miang (Left) with a Distinguished Service Award for his role in the successful staging of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games last year. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI


    By May Chen

    The United States Sports Academy (USSA) on Monday awarded Mr Ng Ser Miang with a Distinguished Service Award for his role in the successful staging of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) last year.

    The award, given out annually by the Alabama-based institution, recognises individuals who have made significant contributions to sport for at least 10 years.

    Said USSA vice president T.J. Rosandich at the Singapore National Olympic Council office: 'The YOG was a fabulous event and it really speaks to the measure of the man that it came off the way that it did.

    'The award is something that is very seriously considered and there is a rigorous selection process involved.'
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  5. #5156
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    Default Singapore Sports Hub's iconic dome-shaped roof from May 2012

    Published on Sep 27, 2011

    Singaporeans will get their first glimpse of the iconic dome-shaped roof of the Singapore Sports Hub in the middle of next year. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB


    By Jonathan Wong

    Singaporeans will get their first glimpse of the iconic dome-shaped roof of the Singapore Sports Hub in the middle of next year.

    Speaking to reporters during a media site visit this afternoon, Mr Frederic Perez, construction director of Dragages Singapore, which is part of the consortium working on the Sports Hub, said: 'Now we are starting the super structure of the building so we are going from level one to level two of the stadium.

    'You will start to see the steel structure of the dome sometime in May next year.'

    The highest part of the dome structure will rise over 80 metres above ground - equivalent to a 30-storey Housing and Development Board flat - and is part of the 55,000-seater stadium equipped with a retractable roof.
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  6. #5157
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore eyes 2015 SEA Games bid

    SNOC's Chan says any bid must be ready for federation meeting on Nov 12


    by Tan Yo-Hinn
    04:46 AM Sep 27, 2011

    SINGAPORE - With the S$1.33 billion Sports Hub set for completion by April 2014, the sports authorities here are studying the possibility of hosting the 2015 SEA Games.

    In an email response to Today's queries, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) said yesterday: "The Singapore Sports Council, together with the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), are currently looking at the possibility of hosting the SEA Games after the completion of the new Sports Hub.

    "We will make the announcement on the decision in due course."

    Singapore last hosted the Games in 1993 with the former National Stadium at Kallang as the main venue.

    It was torn down last year to build the hub, a fully integrated sports, entertainment and lifestyle complex. The centrepiece of the facility will be a new, state-of-the-art national stadium that can seat 55,000.

    SNOC secretary-general Chris Chan said the Republic will have to make their intentions clear soon.

    "It makes sense (for us to host the 2015 SEA Games), but there's not much time. The Singapore Sports Council are talking to us. We have to put in the bid at the SEA Games Federation Council meeting, which is likely to be held on Nov 12 ... We've always said that we should host 2015 since we pulled out of the 2013 Games the last time," said Mr Chan.

    The SEA Games is a biennial event. This year's event will be jointly held in Jakarta and Palembang from Nov 11 to 22, with Myanmar staging the 2013 Games in their new capital Naypyidaw.

    MCYS Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday that despite the uncertain global economic climate, the Sports Hub, which will be the main venue for any SEA Games here after 2014, will be ready as scheduled.

    Speaking after a visit to the Sports Hub's 7-ha construction site in Kallang, Mr Chan said the project's Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model will help it withstand any future financial uncertainty.

    "The project team is confident, and what I'm most happy about from today's site visit is the partnership that they have in these three aspects," said Major-General (NS) Chan.

    "Some other projects in other places may focus on the construction of the stadium first, and then they develop the programming and after that, they look into issues of maintenance."

    "But this model has thus far served us well and that will help us to manage some of the downstream costs, because when you have the construction, programming and maintenance all working hand-in-hand together from Day One, subsequently it will do us good when it comes to the financial aspect of the whole programme."

    The project, the world's largest sports PPP, was delayed for three years due to the 2008 global financial crisis. SportsHub Pte Ltd, the consortium behind the development, will fund, design, build and run the facility in a 25-year deal with the SSC.







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  7. #5158
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'porean artwork shortlisted for APB contest

    By Nurul Syuhaida | Posted: 26 September 2011 1944 hrs


    Michael Lee's "A Second-Hand City".


    SINGAPORE: "A Second-Hand City", an artwork by a Singaporean, has been shortlisted for the 2011 Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize.

    The competition is aimed at recognising outstanding contemporary visual artwork in the region.

    Mr Michael Lee's Second-Hand City is a suite of eight digital prints.

    It showcases a thought-provoking series which explores contemporary life and art in the city, combining urban architecture with science fiction and pop culture.

    Other entries are from countries such as Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea.

    They make up a total of 15 finalists vying for the S$45,000 grand prize.

    The artworks also showcase the range of mediums and techniques used in contemporary art-making in the region.

    Mr Lee said: "In my work 'Second-Hand City', I hope to remind my audiences that we are all potentially very imaginative, something that we might have put on hold because of our workload and daily demands."

    All 15 artworks will be presented at the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2011 finalists exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) in November.

    Winners will be announced on November 17.

    - CNA/cc
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  8. #5159
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    Default Anime producers, song artistes to appear at AFA 2011

    By Nurul Syuhaida | Posted: 26 September 2011 2004 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Fans of anime and Japanese pop culture are in for a treat this November at the Anime Festival Asia 2011 (AFA 2011).

    Back for its fourth run, the festival will take a different approach in showcasing anime this year - that is bringing people behind the scenes, to the front.

    Shawn Chin, Director of AFA 2011, said: "Rather than just showing anime on the screen, it's really about letting fans understand the anime better. So we're showcasing character designers, producers, and voice actresses.

    "For instance, the voice actresses will be doing a live dubbing from your favourite scene of the anime. To us, that is a very exciting part of the event."

    This year's festival will also see a concert marathon over three nights, with 10 anime song (anisong) artistes and 10 hours of performances.

    With the theme "Rock your Soul", the "I Love AniSong" concert will feature alternative rock band FLOW, singer LiSA and local band Sea☆A. Other artistes include Kalafina, May'n, Kanako Itou + Shikura Chiyomaru and anisong legend Ichirou Mizuki.

    Two of the most successful anime of this year - Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Anohana - will also be shown during the festival.

    Another highlight is a 3-D concert featuring computer music software, Hatsune Miku. Last year, the virtual idol was only presented on a screen.

    Organisers hope to spread the home-grown festival to other parts of Asia, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, in the coming years.

    Anime Festival Asia will be held at the Suntec Convention Centre from November 11 to 13 and ticket sales will begin from October 1 via SISTIC.

    -CNA/ac
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  9. #5160
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Calling all creative minds

    Posted: 26 September 2011 1009 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Registration starts Monday for the "Creative Video Award" competition which returns for the third year.

    The competition, open to professionals and also non professionals, is organised by the Singapore Media Academy and MediaCorp's Channel 5.

    There are two categories.

    The "professional" category is for creative individuals in the industry, production houses and freelancers.

    While the "open" category is for members of the public with a keen interest in creating videos.

    Local film-maker, Royston Tan will lead a five-member judging panel from the media industry to judge the competition.

    But the Most Popular Award (Open category) will be decided by SMS voting.

    SMS voting will also form a part of the total score in determining the Grand Video Award (Professional category).

    Up to S$40,000 worth of cash and prizes are to be won this year.

    All winning entries will be televised on Channel 5 in a dedicated television programme after the competition.

    And winning videos will also be submitted for selection to the 14th Very Short International Film Festival in France.

    Deadline for video submission is December 9 and results will be announced at the concluding awards ceremony on January 13, 2012.

    For more information about the competition, please log on to Creative Video Award.

    - CNA/ck
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  10. #5161
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    Default Resorts World Sentosa hiring more dolphin keepers

    Published on Sep 27, 2011


    Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) plans to double the number of keepers to 36 to provide care for its dolphins at its upcoming Marine Life Park. --PHOTO: RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA


    By Huang Lijie

    Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) plans to double the number of keepers to 36 to provide care for its dolphins at its upcoming Marine Life Park.

    In a press briefing on Monday on the integrated resort's recruitment drive, it said it had already hired 18 dolphin keepers since last year.

    Its 25 dolphins are now housed at the Ocean Adventure park in Subic Bay in the Philippines.

    Animal activists who object to the captivity of wild dolphins have been petitioning RWS for the release of the bottlenose dolphins back to their natural habitat off the Solomon Islands, near Papua New Guinea.
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  11. #5162
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore GP, described as F1's 'black gemstone', earns high praises

    News Desk
    The Straits Times
    Publication Date : 27-09-2011


    Four years on, the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix is still drawing plaudits from all four corners of the globe.

    Newspapers and websites from around the world have continued to wax lyrical about the world's only Formula One night race.

    The National reported that the Republic is well suited to host the nocturnal event as the city thrives once the night arrives.

    Wrote Gary Meenaghan in the Abu Dhabi-based daily: "If Monaco's race is the revered and glittering jewel in the Formula One crown, then Singapore's annual event is the expensive black gemstone embroidered into the sport's silken nightcap.

    "Everything surrounding the event is enchanting: nightfall, bright lights, celebrities, parties, paparazzi, excitement, street hawkers and the smell of burning rubber in the hot, humid air."

    Auto racing reporter Brad Spurgeon
    was also taken in by the race amid the bright lights of the Marina Bay area, which served to accentuate the glitz that the sport has been synonymous with.

    "(With) the glorious skyline of the Asian financial hub, the image of the Singapore Grand Prix is clearly one of glamour, jet-setting and exciting nightlife," he wrote for The New York Times.

    The downtown backdrop, and in particular, the Singapore Flyer, the world's largest observation wheel, were not lost on the observers.

    The Times of London even paid tribute to race winner and runaway leader Sebastian Vettel by dubbing him the real "Singapore Flyer".

    Drivers, team principals and stakeholders also spoke of how happy they were to be back in Singapore, even though the likes of McLaren's Jenson Button called for the demanding race to be shortened and Red Bull's Mark Webber drew attention to the bumpy track.

    Inaugural winner Fernando Alonso said that the Singapore race is one of his favourite because of the lively atmosphere and the characteristics of the circuit.

    And if Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug could have his way, the Singapore GP would be a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar.

    "This race is a fantastic event and hopefully it stays forever on the calendar," he said. "It produces the most spectacular television pictures and is totally unique."
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  12. #5163
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    Default I couldn't have done better, says Mr Lee Kuan Yew

    Founding PM considers himself first-time lucky in developing Singapore

    Published on Sep 28, 2011

    Mr Lee Kuan Yew with forum moderator Michael Tay at the Russia-Singapore Business Forum held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre yesterday. Mr Lee also fielded questions on the global economic turmoil and the challenges facing Russia. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG

    By Kor Kian Beng, Political Correspondent

    Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew considers himself first- time lucky in developing the country to what it is today and believes that he 'could not have done better'.

    Now, at age 88, Mr Lee is no longer harbouring burning ambitions to further shape Singapore, as that is a job for the younger generation, he said on Tuesday.

    'I'm strolling into the sunset. When you're 88, there are very few new things you can undertake and have the hope of having enough time or energy to see through.


    Background story

    VALUE OF EXPERIENCE

    'I'm strolling into the sunset. When you're 88, there are very few new things you can undertake and have the hope of having enough time or energy to see it through... So all I do is take part in dialogues like this and dispense my experience.'

    Mr Lee Kuan Yew, in response to a question about his plans for the future.
    'So all I do is take part in dialogues like this and dispense my experience,' he said at the Russia-Singapore Business Forum (RSBF
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  13. #5164
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    Default S'pore leaps to 3rd place in study on competitiveness of IT market

    by Tan Weizhen 04:47 AM Sep 28, 2011SINGAPORE - Singapore has leaped to third place in a study that ranks the competitiveness of 66 economies in the information technology (IT) market.

    In its best showing since this study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) began in 2007, the Republic jumped six places. The United States and Finland snagged the top two spots.

    The EIU's IT Industry Competitiveness 2011 Index attributed the improved ranking to inroads in Singapore's research and development environment, with two-thirds of the world's top 100 IT companies based in Singapore. The Republic took fifth place globally for this area.


    It also listed two other areas that Singapore has done well in - its support for IT industry development, and human capital environment, which takes into account the number of students in higher education, people enrolled in the IT sector and quality of skills here. Singapore was deemed to have "vastly improved" in the latter indicator.

    Besides these three indicators, countries were ranked based on their overall business environment, IT infrastructure and legal environment.

    In jumping to third spot, Singapore surpassed countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden. Malaysia and India were two other countries which also saw their rankings rise by 11 and 10 spots, respectively. For Malaysia, it was due to its surge in R&D activity, and India improved on the human capital development front.

    Countries that saw a drop in ranking included China and Canada, due to their poor record in managing intellectual property rights. Iran took bottom spot.

    The study noted that the competitive environment in the IT sector is heating up globally and countries have to continually invest in IT to hold steady. The US, despite its economic turmoil, still achieved top position due to its foundation built up through years of investments, said the study.

    "As the global economy starts to recover, it is more important than ever for governments to take a long-term view of IT industry development,"said Mr Robert Holleyman, president of Business Software Alliance, which published the report.

    "Policy-makers cannot not just look at this issue on an annual basis or they risk being left behind. They must assess the next seven to nine years, and invest accordingly, in order to make substantive gains in IT competitiveness."

  14. #5165
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    Default It's also about local talent

    Singapore is set to be the top wealth management centre for several reasons, says Citigroup's Akbar Shah


    by Nicholas Fang
    04:46 AM Sep 28, 2011

    "Attracting people to come to Singapore is not an issue - the real issue is that you can't attract everybody," said Mr Akbar Shah, the head of Citigroup's Mega Wealth Business in the Asia-Pacific.

    There are several oft-touted reasons why the Republic is one of the world's top wealth management centres - its efficient infrastructure, attractive living environment and transparent system. Besides these, Mr Shah says, the availability of a talent pool - not just an imported but also a local one - plays a vital role in the industry's growth.

    "In today's environment, given the regulatory environment and the transparency and governance requirements, you don't just need an experienced front office. You also need a similarly competent middle office and back office.

    "That can only come through building up and properly training a workforce that is indigenous to the country. You can't import all your talent," he said, in a recent interview with Today.

    Nurturing talent is something that Citi has been successful in doing in Singapore, which is a key wealth management hub for the bank. In fact, Citigroup is holding its board meeting this week in Singapore, and its choice as venue is said to be a testament to the country's burgeoning significance as a global financial centre.

    Mr Shah echoed this view. "We have close to 10,000 employees here today ... We have a larger presence of people here than in Hong Kong," he added in reference to the bank's other major regional centre in Asia.

    By 2013, Singapore is expected to leap to the top spot as the world's largest wealth management centre, surpassing Switzerland and London, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year.

    While some industry watchers say that timeline is a little optimistic, Mr Shah believes it will happen sooner rather than later. "Because of the infrastructure you have here, the transparency, the legal system, the talent available, I think it's not a question of 'if' but of 'when' Singapore becomes the No 1."

    In the wake of the global financial crisis sparked off in 2008 by Lehman Brothers' collapse, the increase in regulatory pressures in other wealth management centres such as Switzerland, London and New York has been singled out as a key reason for the growing attractiveness of cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

    Mr Shah points out that requirements to create a safe and sound business have gone up all over the world, including in Singapore. "These are very positive signs and clients want more stringent governance requirements. It suits them because it's their money. They don't want these bankers going around giving irresponsible investment ideas."

    He added: "The success of Singapore is that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as the regulator is very hands-on, and they understand the importance of getting governance in order to build a credible wealth management industry.

    "You need to ensure that governance is good, the legal framework is good, and people are well trained. All of these things have combined to make an almost-perfect environment to do this business."

    One of the initiatives by the central bank has been the formation of the Private Banking Industry Group, which is co-chaired by Citi Private Bank chairman Deepak Sharma. Mr Shah pointed to this committee as a way in which the MAS is tapping industry expertise in order to understand what is happening in the markets, and using it to ensure that there is a safe environment for the wealth management industry.

    In April this year, the industry here also agreed to a code of conduct and a competency model that includes a significant amount of training for relationship managers, to ensure better governance in the sector.

    Looking ahead, Mr Shah is bullish about the Republic's continued success as a wealth management centre. "The generation of wealth in Asia has been unprecedented. According to industry reports, in 2011, Asia had 332 billionaires, up from 234 new billionaires a year ago. In comparison, the United States only minted 10 new billionaires in the same period.

    "The growth of wealth here is tremendous, and I'm not just talking about wealth in terms of business. In the private banking industry, wealth is liquidity and liquid assets."

    He pointed to markets such as India, China and Indonesia as having seen major wealth generation in the past two to three years.

    But the uncertainty facing global markets due to financial woes in the United States and Europe, and also in parts of Asia such as Japan, has led Citi to advise its clients to exercise caution for the moment, says Mr Shah.

    "It's not the time to be very aggressive. There will be opportunities, but our recommendation to clients now is to be very nimble, don't over-leverage, and make sure you have your asset allocation properly tuned," he said.

    This cautiousness does not mean a gloomy outlook for Singapore's industry leadership position, thanks to its sound basics. "Even if markets go crazy or fall off a cliff, Singapore's fundamentals are so strong that if the market becomes smaller, we can still be No 1," he said. "It's just that the pie could be smaller."



    Head of Citigroup's Mega Wealth Business in the Asia-Pacific Akbar Shah says it's not a question of 'if' but of 'when' Singapore becomes the No 1. Photo by DON WONG
    Last edited by Loh; 09-28-2011 at 12:41 AM.

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's air is the cleanest in region but ...

    04:47 AM Sep 28, 2011

    SINGAPORE - While the air in Singapore is cleaner than it is in other South-east Asian countries, the Republic's outdoor air pollution reading exceeds the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommended air quality guidelines, according to a report on about 1,100 cities released by the global body yesterday.

    However, in a press release, the WHO noted that "only a few cities currently meet the WHO guideline values" - only 10 countries made the cut.

    The report looked at how many tiny air pollutant particles - PM10 particles - were recorded floating in the air in each city
    .

    Singapore's PM10 reading came in at 32 micrograms per cubic metre of air, above the WHO's guidelines, which call for PM10 readings below 20 micrograms per cu m.

    In contrast, countries like Estonia - which topped the list - and Australia have some of the best air in the world, with PM10 readings of 11 and 13 per cu m respectively, while in Asia, Japan had a reading of 22.

    The data, collected from government agencies worldwide, was dated between 2003 and last year.

    The WHO said outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.34 million premature deaths each year and that investments to lower pollution levels quickly paid off due to lower disease rates and, therefore, lower healthcare costs.

    The reasons for high pollution levels varied but rapid industrialisation and the use of poor quality fuels for transportation and electricity generation are often to blame, it said.

    PM10 particles come mostly from power plant and auto exhaust emissions, and can penetrate into the lungs where they may cause cancer, asthma and acute lower respiratory infections.

    They can also enter the bloodstream, leading to heart disease, research suggests
    .

    In South-east Asia, Thailand's PM10 reading was 41, with Bangkok's air being more polluted than that in other Thai cities, at 54.

    Malaysia's reading was 42, while Indonesia's reading was 55. The air was significantly worse in Medan, which had a PM10 reading of 111, compared to 43 in Jakarta.

    Bejing's reading soared above China's national PM10 reading of 91, at 121, while Shanghai's reading was 81.

    The Republic of Korea had a reading of 61.

    Cities in Iran, India and Pakistan have some of the worst polluted air on the planet.

    The Iranian city of Ahvaz
    had the highest measured levels of PM10 particles in the world, at 372 per cu m of air, while the reading for New Delhi stood at 198. The reading for Islamabad, in Pakistan was 189.

    On the other end of the list are cities in Canada and the United States, benefitting from lower population density, favourable climates and stricter air pollution regulation.

    The PM10 reading for Canada was 13, while the reading for the US was 18, with the worst reading coming from Bakersfield, California, at 38. AGENCIES
    Last edited by Loh; 09-28-2011 at 12:51 AM.

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    Default Critical inflamation and cancer link found by Singapore scientists

    Posted: 28 September 2011 1032 hrs


    Singapore: New insights into how cancer cells spread have been uncovered by scientists at A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), highlighting the need for new cancer therapies that target the body's immune system to combat cancer.

    In studying whether cancer progression is a linear process, the scientists uncovered a link between inflammation, the body's natural defence mechanism when a tissue or an organ becomes affected, and cancer progression.

    A*STAR scholar Benjamin Toh, together with Professor Jean-Pierre Abastado, a Principal Investigator of SIgN, found that a primary tumour would produce a unique protein that will attract immune cells to a tumour, thereby accelerating its growth.

    It was also found that the immune cells could reactivate innate cells that could cause cancer cells to detach and spread to other parts of the body or form a new tumour elsewhere.

    "We are really excited because our finding is a clear mechanistic explanation for the long-recognized link between inflammation and cancer progression" said Prof Abastado.

    "It may have significant and far-reaching clinical implications in the way we treat cancer. This study will certainly prompt us to re-think about cancer therapies that aim at boosting the immune system."

    This latest finding on the cancer cells also reinforces the team's earlier studies which showed that cancer cells can detach and move from the primary tumour at a very early stage, often before the primary tumour is even detected.

    -CNA/sf

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    Default Singapore's population hits 5.18 million as at end-June

    Published on Sep 29, 2011

    By Janice Heng

    Singapore's population has reached 5.18 million, up 2.1 per cent from 5.08 million last year.

    The growth was due to increases in the number of citizens and non-residents. There are now 3.26 million citizens, up 0.8 per cent from 3.23 million in 2010.

    The number of non-residents - foreigners who are working, studying or living here but not granted permanent resident status - rose 6.9 per cent to 1.39 million this year, from 1.31 million in 2010. In contrast, the number of permanent residents fell by 1.7 per cent, to 532,000 from 541,000 in 2010.

    The updated population figures, released on Wednesday by the Department of Statistics, are of Singapore's population as at the end of June in 2011.

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