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Thread: Singapore Also Can
01-31-2012, 01:14 AM #5645
Singapore's unemployment rate hit 14-year low in 2011
Updated 01:51 PM Jan 31, 2012
SINGAPORE - Supported by strong employment creation, Singapore's unemployment rate declined to a 14-year low last year.
The Manpower Ministry said the median income of Singaporeans also increased over the last five years amid the tight labour market, by 3.5 per cent per year.
Even for low-income Singaporeans at the 20th percentile, real income has grown over the last five years by 2.2 per cent per year.
The key findings of the ministry's "Employment Situation, 2011" report showed that employment growth remained strong last year.
Preliminary estimates show total employment growing by 36,300 in the fourth quarter of 2011, bringing growth for the whole year to 121,300 - slightly higher than the gains of 115,900 in 2010.
The ministry said the bulk of employment gains continued to come from services, which added 95,100 workers.
This was lower than the increase of 112,600 in 2010.
Construction employment rose by 22,200, much higher than the 2010 gains of 3,400, boosted by public projects, said the ministry.
Manufacturing employment grew by 2,900, as gains totalling 4,800 in the first three quarters, offset the losses of 1,900 in the fourth quarter, said the ministry.
As at December 2011, locals accounted for 67.2 per cent of persons employed in Singapore (excluding foreign domestic workers). Foreigners formed the remaining 32.8 per cent, up from 31.4 per cent in December 2010. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
01-31-2012, 01:17 AM #5646
S'pore, Myanmar sign MOU on technical cooperation
by Dylan Loh
04:46 AM Jan 31, 2012
SINGAPORE - The Republic is set to play a bigger role in assisting Myanmar's progress, now that a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Singapore-Myanmar Technical Cooperation Programme has been signed.
The agreement will see Singapore give technical help to Myanmar in three priority areas - public administration, economic development and human resource development - to help build Myanmar's economic base and pool of skilled workers.
The agreement was signed yesterday during Myanmar President Thein Sein's three-day visit to Singapore, which ends tomorrow.
The Myanmar leader met President Tony Tan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. The MOU was signed by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam, and Myanmar's Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Wunna Maung Lwin.
Under the agreement, Singapore will provide courses covering areas such as urban planning, tourism development and central banking. There will also be protocol courses to help Myanmar prepare for its role as chair of the Association of South-east Asian Nations in 2014.
Customised study visits will also be organised for Myanmar officials.
At the state banquet yesterday, Dr Tan said in a speech that the Republic hopes the economic cooperation and business-to-business links between the two countries will strengthen "as Myanmar integrates with the international community".
He added: "The close cooperation between our governments has provided a strong framework for our private sector exchanges to intensify. Singaporean businesses and companies have invested in Myanmar since the 1990s.
"We have every confidence that Myanmar's progress in developing its economic infrastructure and legal framework will further encourage investments into the country."
With housing a key priority for Myanmar, Mr Thein Sein got an insight into Singapore's public housing system when he visited a Toa Payoh flat. Its occupants, Mr Tow Milan and his wife Soh Seow Pheng, told Channel NewsAsia that Mr Thein Sein struck them as "very much a family-oriented person". DYLAN LOH
Myanmar President Thein Sein and Singapore President Tony Tan inspecting the Guard of Honour during the welcome parade at the Istana yesterday. Photo by DON WONG
02-01-2012, 09:35 PM #5647
Government surplus 'to exceed forecast': Analysts
Published on Feb 2, 2012
By Aaron Low, Economics Correspondent
A buoyant property market and strong corporate earnings will boost the Government's revenues for the last financial year beyond earlier forecasts, say analysts.
And this will give it the extra cushion needed to boost infrastructure spending or deal with a possible downturn in the economy.
Based on eight months of public data on tax revenues, up to November last year, analysts are extrapolating that total revenues for last year could hit as much as $52 billion - or about 8 per cent more than the $48.1 billion predicted by the Government last year.
And assuming expenditures stay the same at about $47 billion, the Government could end up with a primary surplus of between $3 billion and $5 billion, analysts said.
GOOD YEAR FOR REVENUE COLLECTION
02-01-2012, 09:48 PM #5648
Singapore's DNA-mapping progresses human genome study
Published on Feb 1, 2012
DNA-mapping technology invented by the Genome Institute of Singapore's (GIS) Dr Ruan Yijun and his team is helping scientists in their continuing study of how genes interact and communicate with, and influence, one another, even from a distance. Dr Ruan is the institute's associate director of Genomic Technologies.
The groundbreaking technology, ChIA-PET, has uncovered some of the fundamental mechanisms that regulate the gene expression in human cells.
The research findings were published in scientific publication Cell on Jan 19.
Dr Ruan and his team is part of the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) consortium. The ENCODE is an ongoing project awarded to Dr Ruan's team by the National Human Genome Research Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States.
02-02-2012, 04:14 AM #5649
02-02-2012, 08:45 PM #5650
Something old, something new
by Low Lin Fhoong
04:46 AM Feb 02, 2012
SINGAPORE - Fencing and shooting are the two latest additions to the Singapore Sports School(SSC) roster.
Eight years ago when its Woodlands Campus opened its door, it only took in student athletes from eight sports - netball, golf, badminton, bowling, table tennis, football, swimming and track and field - but at an agreement signing yesterday with the respective National Sports Associations (NSAs), fencing and shooting joined the list.
The signing ceremony, held in conjunction with the school's Awards Night 2012, will see the NSAs cooperating with the sports school in areas like the recruitment of athletes, training and overseas competitions.
Nicholas Fang, president of Fencing Singapore, said that the partnership would be a boost to the sport's goal of a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Said the former national fencer: "Singapore Sports School coming in to work with us fills an important space for athlete development from the secondary up to pre-university level. Athletes are able to access world class facilities, coaching, sports science support, teachers and staff. This is a great breeding ground for them."
In another development, the SSC have taken sailing out of the list of sports which the school termed as an academy sport, like the 10 mentioned earlier. Sailing will join others like gymnastics, tennis, triathlon and silat as programme sports from this year onwards.
Explained Dr Irwin Seet, director of Sports at the SSC: "The decision to drop sailing as an academy sport was made last year in consultation with the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF), Singapore Sports Council and Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) after we discovered that the newer batch of sailors here found it daunting to commute to the sailing centre for their training. In short the availability of boarding at the SSC does not offer significant advantage to them."
"But we will continue to accept outstanding sailors who aspire to be successful in the sport and we will carry on collaborating with the SSF to ensure that sailors entering our school continue to be well supported in their academic and sporting pursuits."
At the awards night, the SSC recognised 31 student-athletes and alumni for their achievements last year, with swimmers Lim Ching Hwang and Stephanie Chen winning the Moo Soon Chong Outstanding Student-Athletes of the Year accolade for 2011.
Guest-of-honour, MCYS Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing credited the partnership between the NSAs and the sports school for the success of its athletes, saying that Vision2030 is the next stage of the sporting journey Singapore has to take on the road to producing elite athletes.
Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
02-02-2012, 08:48 PM #5651
DPM Teo promotes Singapore National Games
by Tan Yo-Hinn 04:46 AM Feb 03, 2012
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean has urged Singaporeans to sign up for the inaugural Singapore National Games (SNG).
The SNG, which is aimed at fostering community relations and sports, is to be held from Sept 1 to 9 this year.
It will be held at various venues such as Bedok Reservoir and Singapore Sports School, and will feature 10 sports - athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, dragon boating, football, netball, sepak takraw, swimming and table tennis.
"I am sure 2012 will be no less exciting for Sporting Singapore," said DPM Teo at the Raffles Town Club last night, where Singapore's top performing athletes for last year's SEA Games received cash rewards at the Multi-Million Dollar Awards Programme awards.
"For the first time, everyone will be able to take part in sports competitions at a national level. To be held every two years, the Singapore National Games is a new national multi-sports competition aimed at getting more people to participate in sport.
"The 2012 edition will pit community teams against one another in 10 sports. I hope all of you will form teams with your friends, neighbours and family members to take part in this exciting sports festival."
The Singapore National Games will be organised by the Singapore Sports Council, the People's Association, grassroots organisations and the National Sports Associations of the 10 sports.
About 6,000 competitors are expected for the games, which is open to Singapore citizens, permanent residents and non-citizens, and competitors in some of the sports will have to qualify through the Community Games.
For more information, visit www.pacsc.org.sg and www.ssc.gov.sg.
02-02-2012, 08:54 PM #5652
Stand-out stars confident about Olympics
DPM Teo speaks about hopes for Team Singapore at London Games, optimistic of a good performance
by Tan Yo-Hinn
Updated 07:05 AM Feb 03, 2012
SINGAPORE - Swimmer Tao Li and table tennis player Feng Tianwei were undoubtedly Singapore's stand-out stars of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and they are expected to do so again in London in six months' time.
The spotlight was obviously on the two of them at the Multi-Million Dollar Awards Programme (MAP) awards ceremony at the Raffles Town Club last night where Deputy Prime Minister and Singapore National Olympic Council president Teo Chee Hean spoke of his optimism that Team Singapore would do their country proud at the London Olympics.
On a night when he and officials handed out a total of S$525,000 to Singapore's top performing athletes at last year's SEA Games in Indonesia, DPM Teo also reminded the 420-strong audience, which included Acting Minister for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing, of the silver-medal-winning achievement of the Singapore women's table tennis team at the Beijing Olympics four years ago.
There was no mention of names but it was crystal clear that 2008 Beijing Olympics women's 100m butterfly finalist Tao Li, 22, and silver medallist (women's team) Feng, 25, would once again shoulder Singapore's hopes in London in six months' time.
Tao Li was the night's biggest recipient, picking up S$41,250 for her seven gold medals at last year's SEA Games, while Feng won S$17,500 for winning the women's singles and doubles.
As DPM Teo spoke about his hopes for the London Olympics, Feng's reaction was to crouch forward and rubbed her head in slight embarrassment, while Tao Li kept a straight face.
"I'm alright with the pressure," said Tao Li, who is aiming for a podium finish in the 100m fly in London, with a laugh.
"After I changed coach, things went much better, and I will be competing in March at the British pre-Olympic trials, and we should see a performance there. I'm definitely still confident going into the Olympics."
While two-time Asian Games champion Tao Li was cool about the attention, Feng admitted she already has butterflies in her stomach.
"It's only six months away, and I am feeling rather nervous," the world No 5 said with an embarrassed smile. "Like in 2008, it will be difficult ... but myself and the rest of the team aim to give it our best shot again."
Contract bridge player Tan Yoke Lan, who won the women's pairs gold with Seet Choon Cheng - they picked up a combined S$15,000 - will donate her entire share to the Singapore Contract Bridge Association.
Apart from the SEA Games, DPM Teo also described 2011 as an "exciting" year for Singapore sports, with the hosting of major meets including the Mission Foods World Netball Championships, ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships and Volkswagen Women's Table Tennis World Cup, and Singapore awarded hosting rights for the 2015 SEA Games.
"I am sure that Team Singapore athletes are training hard and the National Sports Associations are preparing them well for the Olympic Games. I am hopeful that you will continue to make Singaporeans proud," he said.
DPM Teo also noted the performance of Singapore's younger athletes at the SEA Games, as well as the encouraging performance from athletics - which won two gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
He said: "For every one of you who went to the (SEA) Games, there is a young Singaporean training hard, and aspiring to be the next (swimmer) Joseph Schooling, (wakeboarder) Sasha Christian or (badminton player) Fu Mingtian."
Some 413 athletes represented Singapore at the 2011 SEA Games, and the Republic finished fifth out of 11 countries in the medal standings with 42 gold, 45 silver and 73 bronzes.
Top 10 recipients
S$41,250 Tao Li (swimming)
S$26,250 Amanda Lim (swimming)
S$20,000 Joseph Schooling (swimming)
S$17,500 Feng Tianwei (table tennis), Danny Yeo (swimming), Cherie Tan (bowling)
S$15,000 Sun Beibei (table tennis)
S$13,750 Arren Quek, Shayna Lim, Teo Zhen Ren (all swimming)
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean attended the SNOC Multi-Million Dollar Awards Programme award presentation and Team Singapore Appreciation Dinner at Raffles Town Club yesterday. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
02-02-2012, 09:26 PM #5653
Singapore, US enhance bilateral relationship
Posted: 02 February 2012 0958 hrs
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam (R).
SINGAPORE: Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have noted the excellent state of the long-standing bilateral relationship, and have agreed to broaden and deepen current areas of bilateral cooperation.
Mr Shanmugam is in Washington D C as part of his introductory visit to the United States of America. Mr Shanmugam, who is also the Law Minister, met with Mrs Clinton at the US Department of State on Wednesday.
Mr Shanmugam and Mrs Clinton also had a substantive discussion on regional and global issues of mutual concern, including the United States' engagement of Asia, the ASEAN-US relationship and developments in Northeast and Southeast Asia.
After the meeting, Mr Shanmugam and Mrs Clinton issued a Joint Vision Statement on a New Political Framework.
They also signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU).
The first MOU is on the Establishment of an Institutionalised Strategic Dialogue which will institutionalise the existing regular discussions at the Senior Officials' level between the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Department of State.
The second MOU is on the Singapore-US Third Country Training Programme. This will provide a formal framework for both countries to collaborate on providing technical assistance to developing countries, particularly those in ASEAN. The collaboration will focus on areas such as public health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, information communications technology, sustainable development, aid for trade, English language training, education, and economic development. - CNA/cc
02-02-2012, 09:29 PM #5654
Stories written by local teachers to be part of school curriculum
By Wendy Wong | Posted: 02 February 2012 1434 hrs
SINGAPORE: A compilation of short stories written by Singaporean teachers will become part of the primary school English curriculum, starting next year.
Out of 200 submissions received, 12 short stories were chosen.
It was part of a story-writing competition, "Stories Teachers Tell" organised last year by the Academy of Principals (Singapore) and the Ministry of Education.
It aims to encourage teachers to write stories for children - with a local twist.
The compilations were launched by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday.
"It is precisely because Singapore stories connect us through shared experiences that we can see the potential of these stories to support value education - to help children understand themselves, their families and the wider environment in which they live," he said.
02-02-2012, 09:35 PM #5655
Ionescu planned to leave S'pore long before accidents
By Claudia Craiu | Posted: 01 February 2012 2215 hrs
ROMANIA: Former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu said he had planned to leave Singapore long before the accidents of December 2009.
Ionescu is on trial in the Romanian capital Bucharest for two hit-and-run accidents in Singapore which killed one of the victims.
Speaking in court on Wednesday, Ionescu said he wanted to be transferred as a vice consul in Spain, which is a position five ranks lower than the one he held in Singapore.
This was because of his medical condition and the so-called "pressure" he was facing in Singapore.
He claimed he could not reveal the sort of pressures he was allegedly being subjected to, as they constitute a state secret.
The head of the HR department in the Romanian Foreign Office, Mr S Moise, will also be called to testify that Ionescu did not have a favourable image in Singapore.
More witnesses are expected to testify on April 6 and 11 - the two new dates that were added on Wednesday.
At the end of the hearing, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Singapore Embassy in Brussels Jasmine Tan said the Singapore Government continues to closely monitor the progress of the trial.
She added Singapore is grateful for the continuing assurances it has received from the Romanian Government and that justice will be served expeditiously.
Singapore also continues to be ready to extend legal assistance to the Romanian authorities.
02-02-2012, 09:41 PM #5656
Nine NMPs selected
By Hoe Yeen Nie, Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 02 February 2012 1819 hrs
SINGAPORE: A Parliamentary committee has selected nine Singaporeans for its next batch of Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs).
This is the maximum number allowed under the scheme, which was introduced in 1990, to allow non-partisan citizens to enter Parliament and add diversity of voices.
The Clerk of Parliament said the Special Select Committee had invited the general public and functional groups to submit names of persons for its consideration for appointment as NMPs on November 2, 2011.
A record 50 applications were submitted when applications closed on December 8, 2011. Forty-seven eligible candidates were considered as three of the application forms were invalid.
The committee said most were of high quality, making it a challenge to select the nine NMPs.
Mr Michael Palmer, Speaker of the House and chairman of the Special Select Committee, said: "The committee looked for eligible candidates who had distinguished themselves through public service or in their respective fields.
"We wanted NMPs who could bring their specialised knowledge and experience to add to the depth and breadth of the debates in Parliament. This will help Singapore as we address together key challenges ahead."
Dr Ng Eng Hen, Leader of the House and a member of the committee, said: "Our final slate was to ensure the widest representation possible, so that the varied interests and needs of different groups of Singaporeans would be heard in Parliament."
Thirty-four applied as private individuals, but only one made the list. He is Nicholas Fang, a former journalist and president of Fencing Singapore.
Mr Fang said: "Well, I went in expressing a lot of interest to represent a subject that is very close to my heart, which is sport.
"I submitted the nomination under the individual route, not through the functional group, so in a certain sense, this gives me a bit more latitude to obviously talk on a very broad range of issues."
He added: "Singapore is at a stage where views are developing and maturing among everybody - the people and I think the government - so I think it would be interesting to talk about some of the issues that matter to the people.
"Obviously, we get a lot of feedback in the Internet space, in the online space, and these things become more and more important.
"So being able to address these in a way that touches the broader public as well as hopefully bring the two sides - the government and the people closer - together, so that we can actually start working for the same objectives."
The other eight NMPs were nominated by civic organisations.
They are Faizah Ahmad Jamal, a lecturer with Republic Polytechnic; Janice Koh, a stage and television actress; Laurence Lien, CEO of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre; Mary Liew from the labour movement NTUC; R Dhinakaran, managing director of fashion and lifestyle company Jay Gee Melwani Group; Eugene Tan, an associate professor from the Singapore Management University; Tan Su Shan, managing director of DBS Bank; and Teo Siong Seng, managing director of shipping firm Pacific International Lines.
This will be Mr Teo's second term as an NMP.
Mr Lien said he wants to be a voice for the social sector.
He said: "I would like to focus attention on the social realities on the ground. In my daily work, I come across... a whole range of issues - be it the ageing population, mental illness, income divide - so I think I will be in a good position to raise these challenges.
"Secondly, I want to talk about more community empowerment and ownership. I think the government can let the Singaporeans do more for themselves, let them take charge."
Ms Koh said she wants to speak about the hopes of artists in Singapore and give a cultural perspective to national issues.
She said: "I am very humbled and honoured by the NMP appointment. Firstly, I see this role as one of advocacy in Parliament for the arts and cultural community, giving voice to the aspirations, hopes and concerns of artists and art-makers in Singapore.
"Secondly, I would like to be a bridge between the cultural sector and policy makers, helping to build trust and partnership in our efforts towards strengthening Singapore's national identity.
"Finally, I also see this as an opportunity to contribute a cultural perspective to national issues and policy debates in Parliament."
Analysts say the new batch of NMPs comes from a diverse range of backgrounds and they hope this will lead to more interesting debates in Parliament. But with a group of opposition members and diverse, young PAP MPs already elected, it can be a challenge for the NMPs to make their mark.
Former NMP Zulkifli Baharudin said: "If they represent the industry, then they will have to be more aggressive in projecting the views of the industry. But there will be more competition and despite their background, they have to prove themselves because people are watching.
"I hope they are going to be nominated members who can enhance the institution by activity and their performance. But there is a danger that if they don't do that, then the whole institution will weaken."
The nine NMPs will be formally appointed by President Tony Tan Keng Yam in a ceremony at the Istana on February 9 and sworn into Parliament on February 14.
The nine NMP-designates are:
(1) Mdm Faizah bte Haji Ahmad Jamal (Civic and People Sector)
(2) Mr Nicholas Fang Kuo Wei (Individual application)
(3) Ms Janice Koh Yu-Mei (Media, Arts and Sports Organisations)
(4) Mr Laurence Lien Tsung Chern (Social Service Organisations)
(5) Ms Mary Liew Kiah Eng (Labour Movement)
(6) Mr Ramasamy Dhinakaran (Professions)
(7) Asst Prof Eugene Tan Kheng Boon (Tertiary Education Institutions)
(8) Ms Carrie Tan Su Shan (Business and Industry)
(9) Mr Teo Siong Seng (Business and Industry)
02-02-2012, 09:44 PM #5657
MPA invests S$19m to boost marine security
By Dylan Loh | Posted: 02 February 2012 1545 hrs
SINGAPORE: The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has invested S$19 million to boost marine security.
It goes towards a five-year contract for the use of six new patrol boats.
The boats are being chartered from Tian San Shipping for the duration of the contract.
The boats will help enforce maritime regulations, enhance environment protection and respond to incidents like oil spills.
MPA deputy port master Jolyn Tay said: "The new fleet is equipped with anti-pollution and fire-fighting equipment which is not included in the old fleet of patrol craft.
"This will enable us to have a faster initial response, because previously, we would have to cordon off the area and have another craft to initiate the first response."
MPA chief executive Lam Yi Young said: "The port of Singapore has grown into a global hub port with vessel arrival tonnage hitting a new record of 2.12 billion gross tonnes last year.
"With some 1,000 vessels in our port at any one time, ensuring the safety and security of our port waters is of utmost importance."
The boats are eco-friendly with low-emission engines.
02-02-2012, 09:49 PM #5658
Take a walk down new WWII history trails
3 leading from Kent Ridge, Fort Canning and Changi open on Feb 14
Published on Feb 3, 2012
Mr George Prior, 88, was a gunner with the Royal Artillery when Singapore fell and was one of more than 10,000 Allied POWs who were marched from the Padang to Changi during World War II. History buffs can retrace this route in a 26km trail that will open next year. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
By Lim Yan Liang
History buffs will soon be able to recreate the past with five new walking trails.
The trails, which have different themes and are an average of 6km to 8km in length, are spread around the island.
Three will open on Feb 14.
One that leads from Kent Ridge Park to the old Keppel Harbour recalls the Japanese invasion of 1942 and the Malay Regiment's final stand at Bukit Chandu.
02-02-2012, 10:10 PM #5659
New trail to commemorate impact of World War II on S'pore
by Evelyn Choo
04:46 AM Feb 03, 2012
SINGAPORE - A new World War II trail linking the 14 existing war markers with six new ones has been launched by the National Heritage Board (NHB) to allow visitors to experience the scenes from 1942 and the war's impact on Singapore.
The public can look forward to new content on this self-guided trail and a complementary trail booklet, said the NHB yesterday.
To commemorate the hard-fought battle and remember the country's heroes, NHB, together with the Singapore Heritage Society and Singapore History Consultants, have lined up various activities this month - including exhibitions, tours and talks.
The organisers also want to reach out to more war veterans and hear their stories.
The month-long programme will culminate in a remembrance ceremony at the Kranji War Memorial to mark the end of this dark chapter in the nation's history.
The ceremony, which will be held at 5pm on Feb 15, will be attended by war veterans, and heads of diplomatic missions in Singapore and their defence staff.
It is also open to the public.
Members of the media on the World War II trail at Kent Ridge Park yesterday.
Photo by Ryhan Yazid
02-02-2012, 11:14 PM #5660
Chingay 2012 on the waterway!
Singapore's most popular parade "Chingay", that is held annually during the Lunar New Year period, will again showcase the talents of the ordinary folks who are enthusiastic in folk songs, music and dances. The colourful and extravagant event will again be held at the Pit Building grounds tonight and tomorrow. As in previous editions, famous dance troupes from other countries have been invited to participate.
First Time in The History of Chingay
Centered on the theme of "Love, Care and Kindness Everywhere" Chingay 2012 takes you on a colourful celebration of love in all its guises, flowing with passion, romance, harmony and community spirit as Chingay marks its 40th years in anniversary.
Catch breathtaking performances along a 360-metres waterway with performers making a splash and creating spectacular stunts and exhilarating acts with water. Chingay 2012 promises a splashing good time for all.
Grand Opening - Dragon Dramatics
A gripping all-dragons show from LED Hip Hop dragon dance, straw dragons, water dragons, human dragon from Zhangjiang, a dazzling dragon float to two magnificent dragon and phoenix from Xi'an, Shaanxi of China with 36m-long bodies and 16m-wing!
Triumph Over Challenge - The Grand Finale
1000 performers stream across the waterway surrounding three giant sailboats with thunder and lightning effects depicting the challenges faced by humankind and performing to the Grand Finale song "Love Will Make You See". As the beat intensifies, the 1000-strong cast rises up in a show of strength and hope. With love, with care, we can conquer any challenge.
FOREIGN HIGHLIGHTS Couple Dance & Ta Ge (踏歌)
As the opening performance for Chingay 2012, 6 professional dancers from China Red Star Dance Troupe embrace the modern dance form at its peak with its remarkable display of style and beauty in their dance moves. As a national dance troupe under the People's Republic of China, the troupe has travelled widely and won numerous awards and accolades for both national and international dance competitions including clinching the Gold Awards for the Chinese National Classic Dance Works of the Twentieth Century, the 13th International Youth Festival and the Russian Siberian International Choreographic Art Competition. The China Red Star Dance Troupe reappears in the Ta Ge item supported by a 300 member strong Chinese contingent, displaying the traditional Han Dynasty dance with elegance and style. Presented by: China Red Star Dance Troupe
Choreography by: Ms Liu Min
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Prosperity Flying Dragon & Phoenix Dance 龙凤呈祥
As Chingay 2012 marks the year of the Dragon, the flying dragon returns with its second appearance in Chingay, this time round with its familiar counterpart the flying phoenix from Shaanxi China. The majestic appearance of the pair brings about peace and prosperity to the people of Singapore as they fly to the skies to 40 metres above ground. Watch in awe as the 88 metres long dragon and 35 metres long phoenix springs to life instantaneously, manoeuvred by a team of sturdy and strong performers. Presented by: China Shaanxi Huaxia Air Art Development Co Ltd
Choreography by: Mr Wen You Yuan
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Gods of Fortune, Longevity and Prosperity
Stilt walking acts are always a crowd pleaser with its fanciful costumes at towering height. A traditional art form that retains the spirit and festivity of Chinese New Year, let the Fu Lu Shou stilt walkers from Tian Loong Koong Stilt Walking Group and Johor Bahru Hong Yang Sports Association say 恭喜发财 "Gong Xi Fa Cai" and 万事如意 "Wan Shi Ru Yi" to all! Inviting them brings about prosperity, fortune and longevity to a brand new year! Let's wave to the spectacular performers from Singapore and Malaysia! Johor Bahru Hong Yang Sports Association also participated in the annual stiltwalking festival held in Belgium called Les Echasseurs Namurois and even received a special award for participating! Presented by: Tian Loong Koong Stilt Walking Group 天龙宫高跷队 and Johor Bahru Hong Yang Sports Association, Malaysia 柔佛州洪扬体育会
Choreography by: Mr John Ng Chwee Chuen and Mr Yeo Han Leong
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Zhanjiang Human Dragon Dance
First ever human dragon to be presented in Singapore, it is formed by performers stacking on top of one another to make up a human dragon chain. It is a special act that requires lots of stamina, skill and flexibility. With the combination of drums beats and sounds of gong in the background, the dragon weaves in and out, transforming into various formations, looking lively and enchanting from afar while retaining its toughness when viewed up close. A national troupe preserved under the Guangdong Province Cultural Heritage, it consists of 50 performers specially invited from China Zhanjiang Dragon Dance Troupe. They form a magnificent human dragon, displaying the heroic spirit of the mystic creature and symbolising unity and strength of the performers. Presented by: China Zhanjiang Human Dragon Dance Troupe
Supported by: China Zhanjiang Economic and Technological Zone
Choreography by: Ms Liang Hua Xiu
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Satsuma Rin! RIn! Rin!
Next is a wonderful display of international cultures from all over the world. First we have a fast paced and energetic dance item by a group of young and vibrant university students from Kagoshima Woman's College, Japan. Dressed in navy blue kimonos with striking yellow aprons, the ladies focus on traditional Kagoshima dance that is presented in a cheerful and joyful manner to suit the theme of Chingay Parade! Look at the sheer display of youth and vitality as they dance to the local folk song "Ohara-bushi" that has been specially re-arranged to incorporate modern elements in the melody. The group has been specially selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan Tourism Agency to appear in a tourism promotional video and it has been shown in 133 countries worldwide. Presented by: Young Odoriren Team Kajyotan
Supported by: The Japan Council of Local Authorities of International Relations (CLAIR) Singapore
Choreography by: Ms Eriko Komatsu
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Flowers in Bloom 百花争艳
Spring is the season where flowers bloom and all things come to life. Presented by The Lan Yang Dancer, their costumes portray different kinds of flowers such as orchids, peonies, lilies, lotus flowers and birds of paradise. Immerse in the graceful dance performance by this group of young and talented performers from Taiwan, as they hope to preserve and pass down the richness of Taiwan's unique minority cultures. Presented by: The Lan Yang Dancer 蘭陽舞蹈團
Supported by: Taiwan Visitors Association
Choreography by: Ms Chen, Yu-Ju and Ms Huang, Tzu-Yen
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It began as an old traditional dance, as a great wise man gave one dancer a name from god secretly in his ear. The dancer starts to twirl in circles as the name keeps ringing in his ears. He then turns anti-clockwise, in harmony with the earth's rotation. As one of the most important dances in the East, Egypt and several other countries, the El Mawlawia dance is a symbolic ritual to communicate with God through music and dance. The costumes have incorporated beautiful LED lights and look spectacular it looks as the performers twirl and toss their skirts higher and higher in the air. Established in 1959, the Reda Folkloric Dance Troupe endeavors to revive Egyptian folkloric dance and improve its status as a distinctive aspect of Egyptian culture. Reda Troupe is also endorsed by the Egyptian Government "as a band capable of representing the Egyptian Folklore both in music and dance." The group travelled vastly in Egypt to collect different folk dances and spreads their arts and culture to various parts of the world as they tour from one place to another. Presented by: Reda Folkloric Troupe, Egypt
Supported by: The Ministry of Culture of Egypt and Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Choreography by: Mr Ehab Hassan
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Helaran means "parade" in Sundanese referring to a group of people performing their gratitude and respect for a special occasion. It represents the activities of ethnic communities living in the West Java region. The people of would hold a procession to show gratitude to the Earth and their God. One of the highlights in their props is a structure of the Komodo Dragon, which lives in the Komodo Island of Indonesia, also classified as one of the new seven wonders. The Komodo Dragon is the world's largest living lizard. The "Sisingaan", also seen in the parade, are the lion replicas made of wood and bamboo, symbolizing gratitude and protection in Sudanese culture. There are several other traditional and uniquely Indonesian cultural elements in the parade, including the Angklung, which is a traditional handmade musical instrument made of bamboo, and Payung Geulis or paper umbrellas with traditional paintings. The performers are dressed in contemporary outfits modified from their traditional costumes. You can also see performers in their traditional kebayas, kapmpret and iket kepala also known as their traditional head bands. Presented by: Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, Indonesian School in Singapore, Indonesian Students Association in Singapore, FPIPS UPI Art and Culture Group (Bandung), Nusantara Art Forum (Jakarta)
Supported by: The Regional Government of West Java Province
Choreography by: Mr Ace Iwan Suryawan
02-05-2012, 08:41 PM #5661
Educating the world, Singapore-style
by Ng Jing Yng
04:45 AM Feb 06, 2012
SINGAPORE - When it comes to education, Singapore's global influence belies its small physical size: From the United States and Africa to places in the region such as Hong Kong and Thailand, schoolchildren are being taught with materials that are either adapted or based entirely on the Singapore curriculum.
According to Pearson, a global educational content developer and services provider, it has been exporting its Singapore primary and secondary school textbooks.
Over the same period, it has also been "actively approached and engaged in (the) adaptation of our Singapore original publications to supply for regional needs".
Pearson spokesperson Diana Hon said: "Mathematics and sciences are among the most popular for export or adaptation for places like Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Mauritius and the Caribbean."
US-based company SingaporeMath told Today its materials - adapted from Singapore curriculum resources - are used in 2,000 schools across the US and Canada. The company's president, Mr Jeffrey Thomas, said that in the past five years, sales have been growing between 10 and 20 per cent year on-year.
Textbook publisher Marshall Cavendish, which supplies materials to Singapore schools, said it exports these resources to more than 50 countries. Africa and Latin America are some of the new markets, Marshall Cavendish Publishing Group head Lee Fei Chen said.
In 2002, the Ministry of Education (MOE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US to formalise collaborations in education.
"Several countries have also found our textbooks, particularly in science and maths, well-written and relevant for their contexts, and have expressed interest in them," said a MOE spokesperson, in response to Today's queries.
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is on an official visit to Washington, will tomorrow sign an MOU with the US to build on the 2002 agreement.
Public School 132, a kindergarten and elementary school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been using Singapore's mathematics textbooks for the past three years.
In an email interview, the school's assistant principal, Ms Danielle Santoro, said: "We have noted an improvement in students' mastery of skills. This is clearly because the curriculum focuses on developing a clear understanding of one topic at a time."
Likewise, the "bar method" - widely used in the Singapore maths curriculum - has been well-received at Sidwell Friends Lower School, a private school in Bethesda.
Its maths coordinator, Ms Meredith Adelfio, told Today: "The bar models allow students to create pictorial models of word problems, which in turn makes these problems easier to solve ... Our students and their parents have been positive about Singapore materials."
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