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  1. #5560
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    I really am at a loss at why the ethnic origin of students should have so much importance in academic results. It really comes up with a lot of regularity. Why the emphasis? It subtly enhances differences in society.
    Yes unfortunately the race identity is still emphasized. One reason is that it has been a practice for a long time. Another is that the MOE has been keeping records of the performance of not only the schools but also the ethnic groups, not without a reason. While the Chinese students have been maintaining a stable performance the other two groups have in the past not making good improvement. So with the statistics collected, the government can devise schemes to help those to improve with the aim that the national average can be achieved by majority of the students, irrespective of their backgrounds. It will take some time but the target is within reach. Of course in multiple- racial Singapore there are political connotations as well.

  2. #5561
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    In mixed marriages, the government has now gone to the extent of allowing parents to decide what race or combination of racial groups that they want to insert in their children's birth certificates eg Chinese-Indian, Malay-Indian, Korean-American, etc, to remind their children from where their roots are.

  3. #5562
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    Default Elephant statue auction doesn't flout charity rules

    Only 20 per cent of proceeds to go towards saving Asian elephants, but event is sale by a private firm

    Published on Jan 12, 2012


    Visitors to the Botanic Gardens viewing the elephant sculptures yesterday. More than 150 of the fibreglass sculptures go up for auction today and on Saturday. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM


    By Huang Lijie

    With their vibrant colours and individual 'personalities', the Elephant Parade statues have been turning heads across Singapore.

    But the exhibition - which aims to help save endangered Asian elephants - has also attracted murmurs that not enough of the proceeds are going to the good cause.
    About 70 per cent of the money raised by auctioning the sculptures will be used to cover various costs.

    On Wednesday, however, the office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) made clear that the auction did not flout its rules. That is because it is a sale by a private company, in which part of the proceeds are going to a good cause, as opposed to a full charity auction.
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  4. #5563
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Poly students design portable under-vehiclesurveillance system

    04:46 AM Jan 12, 2012

    Singapore - Three final-year students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's automation and mechatronic systems course have developed a portable speed hump equipped with an under-vehicle surveillance system that can be used at police sentry posts.

    The system won the star award during the Singapore Police Force's In-House Team Excellence Symposium last year.

    Vehicle undercarriages are now screened with mirrors - which are rolled around the vehicle - or a scanner, which can take up to two hours to install.

    Working with the Ang Mo Kio Police Division, the students designed a customised speed hump which can be assembled in 10 minutes by two officers.

    As the vehicle is driven over the hump, its entire under-carriage is simultaneously captured by five tiny cameras embedded in the hump. The images are then relayed to the officer's monitor in real time.

    They can also be viewed on handheld devices such as iPhone, iPad or any Android-enabled device
    .

    Being portable and easy to set up, the system is suitable for ad hoc deployment.

    Mr Melvin Chia Soo Kng - one of three students who worked on the project - said it took the team six months to develop a prototype.

    They spent another four months refining it , which costs around S$1,000, he added.



    From front: Ngee Ann Polytechnic students Kendrick Ng,Melvin Chia and Charlie Chong, developers of the system. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN

  5. #5564
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Artworks snapped up before public viewing at Art Stage Singapore

    Published on Jan 12, 2012



    The Death Of Marat, a sculpture of a dead man by Chinese artist He Xiangyu, drawing attention yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA


    By Deepika Shetty

    Even before it opened its doors to the public, Singapore's most high-profile art fair, Art Stage Singapore, had sold several expensive works after a by-invitation-only evening on Wednesday night.

    These included one of controversial British artist Tracey Emin's neon works brought in by New York gallery Lehmann Maupin and priced at more than 55,000 pounds (S$109,000). Indian new media artist Ranbir Kaleka's four-channel video projections on paintings were acquired by the private Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi for an undisclosed sum, while Singapore gallery Gajah sold two paintings including one by leading Indonesian artist I Nyoman Masriadi for US$350,000 (S$453,000).

    Singapore artists also did well on the opening night of the glitzy fair, which kicked off at the Marina Bay Sands Exhibition and Convention Centre with more than 8,000 guests from around the world. It is open to the public from today till Sunday.

    Local gallery Richard Koh Fine Art sold seven works by homegrown art collective Vertical Submarine while Gallery 2902, which specialises in photography and whose booth featured Singaporean Robert Zhao's work, sold eight of his works.
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  6. #5565
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New low-cost carrier Scoot unveils cabin crew uniform

    Published on Jan 12, 2012






    New low-cost carrier Scoot has unveiled its cabin crew uniforms. -- PHOTO: SCOOT



    By Karamjit Kaur

    Scoot, Singapore Airlines' new low-cost carrier, has unveiled its cabin crew uniform.
    When the airline starts operating in the middle of the year, stewardesses will don black and yellow dresses while the men will be in a similarly coloured T-shirt.

    Scoot will fly long-haul routes starting with Sydney, Australia as its first destination and promises fares up to 40 per cent less than what full-service carriers charge.

  7. #5566
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Changi Airport honours staff for good service

    Published on Jan 12, 2012



    (From left) Changi Experience agent Maxime D'Alexandry, 22, trolley service assistant Au Jock Lian, 61, and carpark enforcement officer Tan Sui Tiang, 65, were among the 25 award recipients yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN



    Changi Airport trolley service assistant Au Jock Lian was making her rounds at Terminal 2 several months ago when she noticed a crying child standing at a boarding gate.

    The girl's mother had earlier realised that they were at the wrong gate. Because their flight was due to depart very soon, she told the girl to stay put while she rushed to the right gate, hoping to stop the plane from taking off. She would then return.

    Madam Au, 61, who saw what was happening, went up to the girl, reassured her and took her by the hand to catch up with her mother.

    'I wanted to make sure she was all right,' Madam Au said. 'I'll usually look around for passengers who might need help. It's a natural thing for me
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  8. #5567
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    Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibition opens at National Library

    Posted: 11 January 2012 1442 hrs



    SINGAPORE: An exhibition showcasing the origins of local street names and Singapore's street naming conventions has been launched.

    The "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" at the National Library also highlights stories about people, their lives and achievements, and roles they played in making Singapore what it is today.

    The National Library says the exhibition aims to create a greater awareness of Singapore's early history, journey through nation building and unique multicultural heritage.

    It also traces the history of Singapore through the street naming conventions from the pre-colonial era to modern day Singapore.

    More than 100 street names are featured, such as during the 14th and 15th century, pre-Raffles Singapore, the Raffles Town Plan and the post-colonial period after Singapore's independence in 1965.

    The different categories of street names, such as descriptive street names, those dedicated to prominent people, streets named after local personalities and street names reflecting the imprint of British colonialism, are featured.

    For instance, the Raffles Town Plan, one of the key exhibits, depicts the urban plan of Singapore according to Sir Stamford Raffles' instructions.

    The exhibition displays maps, photographs and old street signs from the National Library's donor collections and materials from supporting partners.

    Highlights include the National Library's legal documents and maps from the Koh Seow Chuan collection, PictureSG1's photographs of street scenes of early Singapore from the Lee Kip Lin collection, and a video on ten unusual street names such as Kay Poh Road, Rotan Lane and One Tree Hill.

    To reach out to more Singaporeans, three roving exhibitions will be held at the Woodlands Regional Library, Marine Parade Public Library and Jurong West Public Library, from June 30 to September 30, 2012.

    In addition, the National Library will also organise a talk on street names, learning journeys, a guided tour of the exhibition and the Curator's Walk which covers Toponymics, the study of street and place names in January and February 2012.

    National Library Board's CEO Elaine Ng said: "I hope that Singaporeans will enjoy learning about history and heritage through the evolution of our street names. We are also conducting guided tours of the exhibition for students and community groups, and learning journeys to areas such as Chinatown and the Civic District over the next few months."

    Admission to the "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibition is free.

    It is located at the Promenade, Levels 7 and 8 of the National Library Building and will run for six months from January 11 to June 29, 2012, from 10am to 9pm daily, except on public holidays.

    - CNA/fa

    The "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" at the National Library showcases the origins of local street names and Singapore's street naming conventions (Image from National Library)
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    Last edited by Loh; 01-11-2012 at 09:49 PM.

  9. #5568
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore, Thailand water agencies work on water safety

    10:50 PM Jan 11, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The water agencies of Singapore and Thailand have expressed satisfaction with the progress of the assistance to improve water safety in Bangkok following the floods in the country last year.

    Both sides reviewed the progress of the assistance from Singapore's PUB and Thailand's Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA).

    This took place when Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), Desmond Kuek, met the Governor of MWA, Mr Chareon Passara, in Bangkok today.

    PUB responded to MWA's requests by providing 50 units of online pH-and turbidity-sensors to MWA to enhance the monitoring of water quality in the treatment process in Bangkok.

    The sensors are being installed at the Bangkhen Water Treatment Plant.

    PUB will also train MWA staff on risk assessment and water safety plan formulation, as well as provide laboratory services for testing of water samples from MWA.


    A joint MWA-PUB workshop on water issues, in partnership with the World Health Organisation, is being planned in the first half of this year.

    MEWR said Mr Kuek's visit reaffirmed PUB's longstanding relationship with MWA, enhanced cooperation in water management and flood alleviation, as well as strengthened bilateral ties with Thailand.

    He was accompanied by officials from MEWR and PUB. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  10. #5569
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ministerial pay review report misunderstood, says Committee

    Posted: 12 January 2012 0933 hrs



    SINGAPORE: The committee to review ministerial salaries has clarified that the recommended S$1.1 million annual salary for entry-level ministers includes basic pay and bonuses amounting to seven months.

    In its blog post, the committee said it assumes a one-month annual variable component, a three-month performance bonus and a three-month National Bonus.

    Without bonuses, the basic pay is 13 months, totaling S$715,000.

    It made this and several other clarifications in a post on its official blog on January 11.

    It said several aspects of its report have been misunderstood or not clearly understood.

    The committee also explained why its proposed wage benchmark links ministerial pay to the salaries of 1,000 top Singaporean earners.

    It said this was to reflect 'the level of talent it hopes to attract and the need to pay competitive salaries to minimise the opportunity cost for these people to come forward to serve.

    The committee also explained why it had not chosen to peg salaries to foreign leaders' pay instead.

    Although it said this was studied in detail, it wasn't adopted 'as the conditions in other countries are different and so are the compensation principles'.

    Doing so would not allow the committee to 'follow the principles of paying competitive salaries and clean wages'.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that the Government intends to accept the committee's recommendations, which will be debated in Parliament on January 16.

    - CNA/fa


    Gerard Ee, Chairman, Ministerial Salary Review Committee
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    Last edited by Loh; 01-11-2012 at 10:14 PM.

  11. #5570
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'pore, Thai studying giant freshwater stingrays in the wild

    Posted: 11 January 2012 1913 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and Thailand's Chulalongkorn University are working on a pioneering project to tag and track giant freshwater stingrays in the wild.

    They sealed the partnership with a Programme Agreement signing at the Singapore Zoo on Wednesday.

    The project, the first of its kind in the world, will involve tagging six wild specimens from the Mae Klong River in Amphawa, Thailand using "Pop-up Archival Transmitting Tags".

    Pop-up Archival Transmitting Tag is a combination of archival and satellite technology designed to track the large-scale movements and behaviour of fish and other animals which do not spend enough time at the surface to allow the use of real-time satellite tags.

    Chulalongkorn University will provide the field research expertise, while WRS will handle all financial aspects, including purchasing the tagging devices.

    Giant freshwater stingrays have attracted global interest due to their enormous size.

    However, little is known of their physiology, behaviour and migration processes.

    This species has not been bred in captivity and is threatened by fisheries and habitat loss.

    Results of the monitoring programme should provide valuable data of field survey and tracking in a natural environment.

    These data could be used to recreate an environment conducive for breeding the animals, thereby reducing the need for wild-caught specimens.

    The study may also shed light on how they affect the riverine ecosystems and if their decline is an indication of the deteriorating health of the whole ecosystem.

    Both organisations will also use the opportunity to raise conservation awareness for this species through educational outreach programmes among the local population in Amphawa district, Thailand, where the study will be conducted and through WRS parks' educational programmes.

    This will be the first official learning and cooperation platform between Thailand and Singapore.

    Ms Isabella Loh, WRS Group CEO said, "This is a significant partnership with Chulalongkorn University to help conserve the giant freshwater stingrays of Southeast Asia, and the aquatic ecosystem they thrive in.

    "Little is known of these enormous creatures and the vital role they play in the riverine ecosystem. This is one of the major interests in our conservation education drive for the upcoming River Safari."

    Dr Sonja Luz, deputy director, Conservation and Research and Learning Centre, said: "Giant freshwater stingrays are still being harvested for food by some local fishermen but we do not know their growth rates, how often they reproduce, their impact on the aquatic ecosystem and if the fishermen's practice is sustainable.

    "This project will elucidate the need for further scientific studies and species census; helping us to understand and manage them better. This study may also shed light on the possibility of a viable managed breeding programme for this species at our aquatic facility in River Safari."

    Prof Dr Mongkol Techakumphu, Dean of faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University added: "This is an excellent opportunity for us to be a part of a momentous study. We hope that the data acquired may even form the backbone for provincial and governmental regulatory controls, encouraging the conservation of the giant freshwater stingray."

    Visitors to River Safari, WRS' freshwater-themed attraction, will be able to discover these mystifying creatures for themselves when the park opens later this year.

    - CNA/ck
    Last edited by Loh; 01-12-2012 at 12:42 AM.

  12. #5571
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Yes unfortunately the race identity is still emphasized. One reason is that it has been a practice for a long time. Another is that the MOE has been keeping records of the performance of not only the schools but also the ethnic groups, not without a reason. While the Chinese students have been maintaining a stable performance the other two groups have in the past not making good improvement. So with the statistics collected, the government can devise schemes to help those to improve with the aim that the national average can be achieved by majority of the students, irrespective of their backgrounds. It will take some time but the target is within reach. Of course in multiple- racial Singapore there are political connotations as well.
    It's not a satisfactory explanation. Let's say the identity of the person was not reported, yet the results of the ethnic group is reported, then that would be satisfactory.

    In mixed marriages, the government has now gone to the extent of allowing parents to decide what race or combination of racial groups that they want to insert in their children's birth certificates eg Chinese-Indian, Malay-Indian, Korean-American, etc, to remind their children from where their roots are.
    That's surely a personal data issue and not something to be reported by the newspaper...especially when there are minors involved who have less say in a society that tends to autocratism. Just because the students are minors does not mean personal data can published with impunity.

  13. #5572
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    It's not a satisfactory explanation. Let's say the identity of the person was not reported, yet the results of the ethnic group is reported, then that would be satisfactory.
    .
    Well, I think the main aim is to report the results of the four ethnic groups, Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian and how well they have improved or otherwise over the past year.

    I think the highlight on the few number of individual outstanding model students was to serve as an inspiration for others to emulate.

  14. #5573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    .

    That's surely a personal data issue and not something to be reported by the newspaper...especially when there are minors involved who have less say in a society that tends to autocratism. Just because the students are minors does not mean personal data can published with impunity.
    Of course details of personal data are not usually published without obtaining the students'/ parents/guardians' permission. Some parents do not mind and even have their photos published.

    It is a difficult question whether the parents should disclose such information when their children are minors as you rightly say so. Unfortunately, minors and especially babies, are not in a position to defend their rights should they later object to their parents' decisions, which may be made in good faith.

    Race is very important in Singapore. Some groups are left behind because of historical and social circumstances and the government needs to address such issues and to correct any anomalies that exist.

    There are public housing policies based on race. For example in every housing estate, a certain percentage of the flats must be allotted to each ethnic group not only to ensure that public housing is always availabe to them but also as a way to integrate them. In schools, English is the first language to help citizens and PRs integrate better with a common language but students are allowed to study their mother tongue as a second language so that they understand their roots and culture better.

  15. #5574
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    Hi guys. I just want you to know that I'll be in Singapore this weekend. So, to all my fans out there, see you
    Just kidding.

  16. #5575
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    Quote Originally Posted by venkatesh View Post
    Hi guys. I just want you to know that I'll be in Singapore this weekend. So, to all my fans out there, see you
    Just kidding.
    Come during the Singapore Open 19-24 June.

  17. #5576
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Come during the Singapore Open 19-24 June.
    I'd love to. Unfortunately, my friends who work in Singapore are not badminton fans. Next time I go there, let's play.

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