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  1. #5271
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Massive floods unlikely here, says Environment Minister

    Published on Nov 2, 2011

    Massive floods of the kind hitting Thailand are unlikely to happen here, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has said.

    In an interview with wire agency Reuters, published on Tuesday, he said Singapore has made moves, such as raising the height of reclaimed land by a metre above sea level and deepening drains and canals, to protect itself against floods likely caused by worsening climate change.

    It has also encouraged building owners to improve their flood defences.

    'It'll be more expensive, (and involve) more upfront cost, but you are buying insurance for the future,' he said.

  2. #5272
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Experimental Power Grid Centre officially opens

    By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 01 November 2011 1714 hrs
    SINGAPORE: The Experimental Power Grid Centre (EPGC), one of the largest experimental power grid facilities in the world, was officially opened on Tuesday morning.

    Located on Jurong Island, the S$38 million venture is the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR) centre for energy research.

    The facility is slated to pave the way for cutting-edge research to develop future energy technologies which will be eventually commercialised.

    At the opening, a collaboration was inked with the HDB to improve integration of renewable energy into housing estates.

    "What they will try to do is look at all kinds of energy they can harvest - be it wind, solar or battery. And they will see how we can optimise this in the grid," said Lau Joo Ming, Managing Director of HDB Building Research Institute.

    EPGC also signed MOUs with two international companies - National Instruments and Meidensha Corporation Japan.

    The collaboration with US-based National Instruments will involve the development of advanced measurement and control technologies for smart grids.

    Meidensha, one of the leaders in Japan's heavy electric industry, is looking to develop high-efficiency control technology for advanced medium voltage inverters, used in industrial pumps and fans.

    EPGC also entered a research collaboration agreement with SP PowerGrid. The two parties will study how to improve the reliability of its system.

    The facility will allow for novel energy technologies to be experimented in a safe environment - before taking them "live" to real electrical networks.

    Experimental Power Grid Centre's programme director, Associate Professor Ashwin Khambadkone said: "Second feature is the renewable energy sources. Sun is not in your control; wind is not in your control; how are you going to estimate how much solar energy? If it changes suddenly, what is the impact on the grid? So in order to do research and to do a controlled experiment you need to try out these scenarios. The emulators can help you programme."

    The centre has a capacity of one megawatt, which is enough to power 500 households. It is also designed to be customisable, so various power networks can be configured.

    And it's features like these that will help researchers develop smart grids, which are slated to pave the way for a competitive energy market.

    - CNA/fa/ls

    Image shows the remote control centre for the Experimental Power Grid Centre Facility (Image from A*STAR)
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  3. #5273
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Five Power Defence Arrangement key to regional peace, security

    By Olivia Siong | Posted: 01 November 2011 2126 hrs
    SINGAPORE: The Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) has been key to regional peace and security over the past 40 years.

    Its five partners - Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom - reaffirmed this at the 8th FPDA Defence Ministers' Meeting in Singapore on Tuesday.

    The FPDA defence ministers are in Singapore to celebrate the pact's 40th anniversary.

    While acknowledging it has made good progress, they said more should be done to improve co-operation in non-conventional areas. These include maritime security, cyber crime, and humanitarian assistance & disaster relief.

    Dr Ng Eng Hen, Singapore's Defence Minister, said: "This was an area of stocktake that we felt we should develop capacity and confidence in. In other words, we acknowledged that there were security challenges which may impact the FPDA as we move forward and for us to remain relevant.

    "We have to leave it to officials, exercises, to work out the practical arrangements in terms of the direction we want to go. But the recognition and acknowledgement of the challenges and the fact that the FPDA has to update itself and its processes to addresses these challenges is a significant step."

    Parties were also asked about their commitment to Singapore and Malaysia, if it came under threat.

    The UK's Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond, said the organisation represents a united front to potential threats to Singapore and Malaysia. But he also added that the FPDA is not a tripwire response organisation like NATO.

    Mr Hammond said: "It is primarily about demonstrating a political resilience; it is about preparing a coordinated military response through these exercises so that there's a possibility of presenting a credible case for a coordinated military response.

    "But clearly, the reality of the context in which we exist, this is about sending a signal of deterrence and standing shoulder to shoulder, exercising together in the way FPDA does, which I think is pretty much unparalleled in the region."

    Australia's Defence Minister Stephen Smith also said the FPDA began with historical links, but has become a practical cooperation vehicle.

    The defence ministers also witnessed Exercise Bersama Lima at the Changi Command and Control Centre.

    The joint exercise, which began on Monday and will end on November 4, involves about 4,000 personnel, 67 aircraft, 18 ships, two submarines and other support elements from the FPDA member countries.

    The defence ministers later called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana, before attending FPDA's 40th anniversary dinner hosted by Singapore's Defence Minister.

    - CNA /ls


    The FPDA Defence Ministers in Singapore to commemorate 40 years of commitment and cooperation amongst the FPDA member nations. (MINDEF)
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  4. #5274
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Two teachers to receive Special Education Awards

    By Alvina Soh | Posted: 01 November 2011 2215 hrs




    SINGAPORE: Two teachers will receive awards for their efforts in educating children with special needs on Wednesday.

    Madam Choo Pee Ling of Katong School and Ms Wong Wai Sian of Tanglin School were selected from 172 nominations - the largest number since the inception of the award in 2007.

    They will be given the Outstanding Special Education (SPED) Teacher Award by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education.

    Ms Tina Hung, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), said: "The winners of this year's Outstanding SPED Teacher Award have exemplified these qualities. They have transformed learning for their students, according to the individual student's needs and strengths."

    Three special education schools will also be awarded for their innovative methods to enhance students' learning.

    They are Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive School, Towner Gardens School and Delta Senior School.

    This is also the second consecutive year that Delta Senior School has clinched the award.

    The Special Education Awards, which is in its fifth year, is organised annually by the Ministry of Education and the National Council of Social Service.

    - CNA



    SPED teachers win awards



    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:46 AM Nov 02, 2011

    SINGAPORE - At Katong School, an institute for the mildly intellectually disabled, students learn mathematics outdoors and parents are roped in to enable learning to continue at home.

    For instance, there is the "Math Homekit", where parents help their children to learn more about numbers through practical tasks during their vacation, such as how to read receipts when they are shopping at the supermarket. Then, there is the Math Trails, an activity which the school - whose students are aged between seven and 18 - conducts with the help of the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.

    These initiatives were introduced by the school's Head of Department of Mathematics and Life Skills, Madam Choo Pee Ling, one of two winners of this year's Outstanding SPED (Special Education) Teacher Award.

    Mdm Choo, who has been a SPED teacher for 15 years, said: "By using activities, this encourages learning through play and engages the child even more."

    Involving their families also helps the students further realise their potential since homes provide a good setting for them to apply their skills, Mdm Choo added.

    The "Math Homekit", which was introduced two years ago, has now yielded positive results, with 80 per cent of the pupils able to complete the tasks given to them.

    Beyond the classroom, Mdm Choo also tries to improve her pupils' in other areas, for example, by encouraging them to travel independently between home and school. To promote healthier eating habits, she also initiated a "Fruit Eating Day" .

    When asked about her most memorable experiences as a SPED educator, she said: "Every day is a joy for me, to see the students grow … it is especially fulfilling to see their strengths being realised and the positive changes in them."

    Apart from Mdm Choo, Miss Wong Wai Sian from Tanglin School was also named as an Outstanding SPED Teacher. The Innovation Award goes to three schools - Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive, Delta Senior and Towner Gardens.

    The awards, now in their fifth year, are jointly given out by the Education Ministry and National Council of Social Service.

    The recipients will receive their commendations from Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Education and Law) Sim Ann at the inaugural SPED conference today.




    Katong School's Mdm Choo Pee Ling will be awarded the Outstanding SPED Teacher Award today. The Head of Department of Mathematics and Life Skills has initiated several programmes in Katong School, including a ''Math Homekit'' for students to learn at home with their parents and independent travelling between the student's school and home.
    Last edited by Loh; 11-01-2011 at 10:38 PM.

  5. #5275
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's biggest night event for youth on Nov 11

    The Straits Times
    Published on Nov 2, 2011


    Singapore will hold its biggest night event for youths on Nov 11. Aimed at providing an exciting platform for young people to bond with their international peers, the event will see about 700 youths from various nationalities engage in a series of activities such as rock wall climbing, abseiling and archery at key cultural sites around Singapore. -- PHOTO: spotlightyex.sg


    By Janice Tai

    Singapore will hold its biggest night event for youth on Nov 11. Aimed at providing an exciting platform for young people to bond with their international peers, the event will see about 700 youth from various nationalities engage in a series of activities such as rock wall climbing, abseiling and archery at key cultural sites around Singapore.

    An all-night long party featuring a repertoire of young local artistes will take place at *SCAPE after the event.

    The event and concert caps off a bigger initiative called Spotlight Youth Exchange, which aims to develop in young Singaporeans leadership skills and cultural sensitivities for better cross-cultural understanding with youth of other nationalities.

    About 150 youth from various tertiary institutions in Singapore took part in a five-month long leadership development programme from June to November this year to become youth mentors. They were involved in planning cross-cultural outings for their international counterparts, among other activities.
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  6. #5276
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default MOE to set up 'comprehensive framework' for Special Education schools


    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:46 AM Nov 01, 2011


    SINGAPORE - From next year, all the 20 Special Education (SPED) schools will share broad educational outcomes even as they continue employing different approaches to cater to their diverse students.

    In an interview with Today, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Education and Law) Sim Ann - who had been tasked to conduct a review of the SPED sector - revealed yesterday that the initiative is one of several that would be implemented. Others include moves to provide guidelines to professionals such as therapists and doctors, in order to assist parents in planning the education of their special needs children.

    The Ministry of Education (MOE) will also step up vocational training opportunities for special needs children who are able to work and encourage more employers to hire those with special needs.

    There have been calls from certain quarters for greater standardisation of curriculum and a higher level of professionalism among SPED schools.

    Ms Sim reiterated that the guiding principle behind the review is to look at the issues from the perspective of a parent with a special needs child.

    Ms Sim said: "Being able to be clear about the outcomes that are achievable for the different groups of such students becomes very important. Parents all want the best for their child. In the case of special needs, it is not just about going to the best school, it is actually about what are the best lifelong outcomes that we can achieve."

    To help achieve that, the MOE will put in place a "comprehensive framework" - a first for the sector, Ms Sim noted. While the approach can differ significantly among schools, such a framework could ensure a certain level of consistency as well as help schools learn best practices from one another, she added.

    Said Ms Sim: "We hope all the schools will be able to use (the framework) as a foundation to build their own development of specific curriculum."

    Ms Sim reiterated that the "last thing we want" is for the framework to create pressure for parents and special needs children.

    She added: "What we want is no different than what parents want ... if this child can be prepared to master more skills to do more for him or herself upon leaving school, I think the parent would want that."

    Apart from raising the quality of special needs education, the review also seeks to provide better accessibility to the resources for parents. Some plans in the pipeline include a more integrated school admission process and ways to help parents gather information on the various schools.

    The review also looks at the affordability of special needs education. There is scope to provide more assistance for families and this will be looked into, Ms Sim said.

    Looking ahead, MOE plans to implement more partnerships between SPED schools and their mainstream counterparts. The ministry is also considering opening up more training avenues for special needs educators in the National Institute of Education and explore other channels to address manpower issues.

    Acknowledging the dedication of the SPED educators, Ms Sim reiterated that a partnership between the MOE and voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) is still the way forward.

    Said Ms Sim: "Because of the diverse needs in the sector, we in MOE do not have the monopoly of knowledge on how best to meet such diverse needs."

    "The further we move away from a mainstream curriculum, the less we know, so partnership becomes very critical ... we very much respect the place of VWOs and we see a lot of benefits in working closely with them."

  7. #5277
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Food and flora at Gardens by the Bay

    Phase One, to open next year, features eight eateries and two giant greenhouses

    Published on Nov 2, 2011



    It may still look like a muddy construction site, but Phase One of Gardens by the Bay is set to blossom by June next year.



    By Ng Kai Ling

    It may still look like a muddy construction site, but Phase One of Gardens by the Bay is set to blossom by June next year.

    And when it does, visitors will be given a taste of local and international cuisines, with the opening of eight of the planned 13 eateries.

    On Tuesday, three dining concepts were revealed: An open air foodcourt reminiscent of the old Satay Club, a casual dining area at the Supertree Grove and a Mediterranean restaurant in one of the conservatories, the Flower Dome.

    The three will cater to a wide range of diners, from those who prefer budget local fare to dishes created by a Michelin-star chef.
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  8. #5278
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore set for best away booty at SEA Games

    Fresh faces and 'lesser' sports can boost gold tally in Indonesia The Straits Times begins its 10-day countdown to the 26th SEA Games by predicting the number of golds Singapore will win and then examining the sports that can deliver them.

    Published on Nov 1, 2011



    By Terrence Voon

    For a peek into the future of Singapore sports, keep your eye firmly fixed on the 26th SEA Games next week in Indonesia, where history and a glut of gold medals await the Republic's youngest contingent to the biennial event.

    Over the past two months, The Straits Times has canvassed over 20 sports, poring over statistics and getting the inside story about Singapore's athletes, their preparations and their expectations.

    Our conclusion: Get ready for breakthrough performances, the coming of age of new stars and a bumper crop of gold medals not seen since Singapore won 50 as hosts in 1993.

    There are no official medal targets to lean on this year. But, by our calculations, Team Singapore are good enough for at least 48 gold medals in Palembang and Jakarta - trumping the previous best 'away' haul of 43 in 2007. This is a bold call, keeping in mind that 195 athletes - or nearly half of the Singapore contingent - are under the age of 21.

    ST's 2011 48 "GOLD" picks:

    Swimming 12 (Tao Li, Joseph Schooling)
    Table Tennis 5 (Feng Tianwei, Isabelle Li))
    Bowling 4
    Shooting 4
    Fencing 3
    Sailing 3 (Victoria Chan)
    Athletics 2 (Zhang Guirong for shot put)
    Gymnastics 2
    Silat 2
    Water polo 2 (Men Gold medal #24)
    Archery 1
    Billiards 1
    Canoeing 1 (Geraldine Lee)
    Cycling 1
    Golf 1
    Judo 1
    Open water swimming 1
    Wakeboarding 1 (Sasha Christian)
    Wushu 1

    (Alas, our shuttlers will find the going tough. )
    Last edited by Loh; 11-02-2011 at 01:55 AM.

  9. #5279
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default McDowell: Barclays Singapore Open can be golf's '5th' Major

    The Straits Times

    Published on Nov 1, 2011



    Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell believes the US$6 million (S$7.5 million) Barclays Singapore Open has all the necessary ingredients to be elevated to Major status. -- PHOTO: AP



    Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell believes the US$6 million (S$7.5 million) Barclays Singapore Open has all the necessary ingredients to be elevated to Major status.

    The debate on the creation of a fifth Major to join the Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championship was re-ignited recently by world No. 2 Lee Westwood who said the tournament should be held in Asia-Pacific.

    McDowell will join a star-studded field for the Barclays Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club from Nov 10-13 looking to improve on his third place finish last year.

    The tournament has been referred to as 'Asia's Major' since its rebirth in 2005 after a three-year hiatus with subsequent backing from Barclays resulting in prize money rising to US$6 million and the world's top players flocking to Singapore.
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  10. #5280
    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    Default

    Are the news portals in Singapore down or something, Uncle Loh?

  11. #5281
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    :
    Quote Originally Posted by wilfredlgf View Post
    Are the news portals in Singapore down or something, Uncle Loh?
    Surprised you're so interested in S'pore's news!

  12. #5282
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Badminton: New S$1.5m training facility for S'pore team

    By Patwant Singh | Posted: 02 November 2011 2055 hrs
    SINGAPORE: Team Singapore shuttlers got a boost ahead of the Indonesia SEA Games, with a new S$1.5 million training facility.

    Located along Lorong 23 Geylang, the Singapore Badminton Hall boasts 14 Olympic-standard courts, six of which are air-conditioned. There is a seating capacity for 400 spectators, and this can be increased to 1,400.

    The 2,500-square metre arena also comes with hospitality areas and VIP viewing galleries.

    The public can also rent the place. But for now, the national badminton team will be using it for a six-day centralised training session.

    The facility, built in just 10 weeks, also comes with dormitories.

    Team Singapore badminton player Derek Wong said: "This venue will help my preparation a lot in terms of my recovery because the Sports Council is also here to support us. And the courts here are very good - good condition for training.

    "Even the winds and everything; we can add winds, we can add some drafts, some lighting that maybe in Indonesia we might come face to face with."

    -CNA/ac


    Team Singapore shuttlers training at the Singapore Badminton Hall
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  13. #5283
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default After 3 years, S'pore gets new Badminton Hall

    By Chia Han Keong
    my paper
    Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011


    THERE is a brand-new, state-of-the-art Singapore Badminton Hall, more than three years after the original building closed down when its lease was up in January 2008.

    The new hall is situated not at the old Guillemard Road address, but nearby - between lorongs 21 and 23 in Geylang.

    Occupying a total area of 2,500 sq m, it has 14 Olympic-standard courts, permanent seating for 400 spectators, hospitality and VIP viewing galleries, a gymnasium and 14 dormitory rooms for centralised training camps.

    In fact, the national-team shuttlers bound for Nov 11-22's South-east Asia Games in Jakarta are housed there for most of this week, as they undergo a six-day centralised training camp to prepare for the Games.

    The hall is divided into two sections - a Premier section comprising six courts in an air-conditioned complex, and a Deluxe section of eight courts without air-conditioning. There is space to erect another 1,400 spectator seats for competitions.

    The $1.5-million venue was built without any government funding, thanks to a bunch of badminton enthusiasts led by Mr Richard Tan, managing director of Arina Hogan Builders, which helps set up the lighting system at the Marina Bay Formula One circuit.

    Said Mr Tan: "We were upset that the historic hall was closed, and we wanted the sport to continue to be relevant here.

    "Hopefully, these facilities can inspire more people to pick up the sport and lift Singapore badminton back to its old glories."

    In the coming months, the hall will host several national tournaments: the Singapore Badminton Association National Age-group Doubles Championships, the Pilot Pen National Age-group Singles Championships and the Li-Ning Singapore Youth Invitational Series.

    It is also open to the public for booking of its courts.

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    Last edited by Loh; 11-02-2011 at 09:26 PM.

  14. #5284
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 2015 perfect time to host SEA Games

    So many in Singapore have not enjoyed the spectacle at home, they are due its special sports magic


    by Leonard Thomas
    Updated 05:58 PM Nov 02, 2011


    Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's announcement yesterday that the Singapore National Olympic Council have been given the green light to bid to host the 2015 SEA Games is a huge fillip for sport in the country.

    The 2011 Games will officially open in Palembang, Indonesia, next Friday. Both Jakarta and Palembang will host the multi-sport event from Nov 11 to 22.

    While we wait to hear of Tao Li's exploits in the pool and pray for the football team to finally break an implausible gold-medal drought in Indonesia, there will also be nerves jangling here as the country waits for news away from the competition arena, as the SEA Games Federation decide the host nation for the 2015 event on the sidelines of the 2011 Games.

    If Singapore gets the nod to host the 2015 SEA Games, it will be another significant step on the road to reviving the culture of sport that was once part of the fabric of life here. And there's no better way to rally a nation than a huge sports event.

    Ask New Zealand, after the recent Rugby World Cup.

    The last time Singapore hosted the regional event was in 1993.

    There is a huge swathe of the population who have not experienced the magic of the SEA Games. Yes, the country hosted the Asian Youth Games in 2009.

    Last year's inaugural Youth Olympic Games saw close to 3,600 athletes from 201 National Olympic Committees competing in 201 events in 26 sports. But, in terms of size, the SEA Games is bigger.

    There will be more than 6,000 athletes competing in 545 events in 42 sports at this year's Games in Indonesia. The estimated number of volunteers has been tagged at 9,000.

    Indonesia has estimated the cost to stage the Games at US$297 million (S$379 million). The aim is to galvanise a nation and inspire as many youngsters as possible to chase the dream of becoming champion gymnasts, dead-eye shooters and top-notch track sprinters.

    Perhaps the other goal is to prise youngsters away from computers games and DVDs and convince them to take up sport, and combat obesity.

    It is all very much on Singapore's agenda.

    While the Sports Hub is set to open in April 2014, a SEA Games without it will still be more than a worthwhile venture.

    Hosting the 2015 SEA Games will initiate a spirit of volunteerism, with thousands of Singaporeans tasked to be liaison and media officers, ushers and venue coordinators, among others.

    They will be charged to be international ambassadors of the country, the experience will be priceless for youngsters as they chart their future in whatever pursuit they desire.

    When the camera panned to the directors' box at Old Trafford two Sundays ago, I spotted Singapore billionaire Peter Lim sitting next to Manchester United owners the Glazers.

    A few days later the world's best women table tennis players flew in to Singapore for the Volkswagen Women's World Cup and China's Ding Ning proved herself the best player on the planet at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.

    Once Ian Thorpe carried that mantle in his sport, the Singapore Sports School will be the first swimming theatre where he launches his comeback, on Friday.

    The sports scene in Singapore has been transformed since the Republic last hosted the SEA Games in 1993.

    The country has individuals willing to invest in world-renowned sports institutions.

    The country is becoming a favourite destination for world-class sporting events.

    It all started for us in 1973 when the National Stadium hosted the opening ceremony of what was then called the South-east Asia Peninsula Games.

    On the 50th year of the country's independence in 2015, the 28th SEA Games in Singapore would be the perfect time for sport in the country to make the next giant leap forward.



    Leonard Thomas is sports editor at Today.
    Last edited by Loh; 11-02-2011 at 09:36 PM.

  15. #5285
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Malay Heritage Centre in next redevelopment phase

    By Ibrahim Sawifi | Posted: 02 November 2011 2056 hrs
    SINGAPORE: The Malay Heritage Centre located at Sultan Gate has started the next phase of its S$3 million redevelopment programme which involves the refurbishment of the centre's main museum and its surrounding garden area.

    The museum's permanent exhibition will be re-conceptualised.

    Five permanent galleries, each with different themes, will highlight the history of Kampong Glam as a port town and its significance to the Malay community.

    The exhibition will also showcase the progress of the Malay-Muslim community here and their contributions.

    Visibility and accessibility to the centre will be enhanced, with the removal of a 40-metre section of a wall along Kandahar Street.

    This will give visitors unrestricted view of the centre and its garden.

    Visitors can look forward to a spice and herb garden, which will feature flowers and plants commonly used in Malay cooking, medicine and culture.

    The new centre is scheduled to re-open in June, to coincide with its seventh anniversary.

    Malay Heritage Foundation chairman Zuraidah Abdullah said: "With the completion of the redevelopment works, we hope that the centre can be one of the icons in the area, helping to enhance the understanding and awareness of the Malay heritage and our culture and at the same time, enhancing the vibrancy of this area so that it can be something that all Singaporeans can be proud of."

    - CNA/wk
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    Default Tan Tock Seng Hospital starts robotics therapy

    by Tan Weizhen
    09:18 AM Nov 03, 2011


    SINGAPORE - Patients who cannot walk after being hit by brain injuries or illnesses such as stroke may now be able to recover faster, through the use of robotics therapy at a new one-stop centre.

    The new Centre of Advanced Rehabilitation Therapeutics (CART) at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which opened in August, uses robotic and virtual reality technology, such as games, to help patients recover the use of their limbs.

    This could help patients walk within three weeks, as compared to up to six weeks for conventional treatment by human therapists. For stroke patients, improvement in motor functions may be about 20 to 25 per cent faster than with conventional treatment.

    Other patients who could benefit from this centre include those who suffer from Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or nerve-wasting diseases.

    According to the centre, however, this does not replace conventional therapy as robotic treatment is not suitable for all patients.









    A patient using the Lokomat robotic walking trainer at the new Centre of Advanced Rehabilitation Therapeutics. Photo by ERNEST CHUA



  17. #5287
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default HDB unveils roadmap to guide in its vision for liveable towns

    09:19 AM Nov 03, 2011


    SINGAPORE - The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has unveiled a "Roadmap for Better Living in HDB Towns", which is focused on three key thrusts: Well-designed, sustainable, and community-centric towns.

    To do this, the HDB said its roadmap will set out key priorities for the board's professional focus over the next five to 10 years to "deliver a better living environment and meet the evolving lifestyle aspirations of HDB residents".

    With so many external consultants playing a part in town development, the HDB said there is a greater need to guide them to attain the planning vision of its towns.

    One example of this is the urban design guidelines for projects along the Punggol waterway to maximise access to the water by having tiered-building heights, with lower buildings in front and taller ones behind so more units can have a water view.

    To support the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, the HDB will also collaborate with private-sector professionals to create resource-efficient buildings.

    The blueprint contains strategies and initiatives that could help Singapore achieve economic growth and a good living environment, over the next two decades.

    For example, well-oriented buildings and micro climatic modelling will help towns capture cool breezes and improve ventilation, minimising the cost of air-conditioning.

    Some 70 per cent of HDB's building components are also prefabricated compared to less than 30 per cent in private sector developments.

    This means higher construction productivity of 2.28 man days per square metre as compared to 3.13 man days per sq m in private developments.

    To further drive sustainability, the HDB has also been test-bedding solar generated power in several of its towns since 2009.

    The HDB added while design and sustainability represent the "hardware" elements of public housing, physical infrastructure alone does not make a vibrant and endearing town. Hence, the third thrust will focus on the "heart-ware" of building cohesive and resilient communities.

    To do this, the HDB aims to encourage more residents to take ownership of the facilities and to build stronger neighbourly ties in their towns.

    The roadmap was unveiled at the HDB awards ceremony yesterday.

    National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan gave out 15 awards to HDB's consultants and contractors for exemplary performance and innovation in HDB projects.

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