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  1. #5730
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    Default Go sail at Marina Bay

    SingaporeSailing launch initiative and ink deal with Audi Singapore


    by Tan Yo-Hinn
    04:46 AM Feb 15, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Those who work in the heart of the city can soon enjoy a spot of sailing after they leave their offices for the day.

    At the end of next month, SingaporeSailing will launch an initiative called "Marina Bay Sailing". It aims to make sailing a common sight at Marina Bay.

    Speaking at the "soft launch" yesterday at the Marina Bay City Gallery, where eight new 20ft keelboats were christened, SingaporeSailing CEO Tan Wearn Haw said the move was in line with Vision 2030, the long-term blueprint to map Singapore's sporting landscape.

    The initiative, which includes the Audi Singapore Youth Sailing Academy, will see SingaporeSailing work with relevant authorities like the Urban Renewal Authority to promote Marina Bay as a sailing venue to corporations, various communities and the general public.

    "It's about using sports as a strategy and to bring people together. It's important for all to have a chance to get access to the sport," said Tan.

    Marina Bay will now be promoted as a sailing venue for corporate and community level events, including corporate leagues. The public can also sign up to sail on the fibre-glass Laser SB3 keelboats. Each of the boats cost at least 20,000 (S$39,760).

    An Asia-Pacific Universities Sailing Championships and local varsity sailing league are also in the pipeline.

    Tan, who is part of Vision 2030's sub-committee, said: "We realised leagues get more people coming back compared to one-off events, and we want to create something sustainable on a day-to-day basis."

    The initiative is linked to 10 key thrusts in SingaporeSailing's long-term blueprint "The Next Leg".

    Kick-starting it is the Audi Singapore Youth Sailing Academy. The auto-makers have signed a one-year deal with SingaporeSailing believed to be worth a "six-figure sum".

    Open to those aged 17 to 23, selection trials start in May, with up to 40 to be chosen for the first intake in June.

    For an "affordable fee", the group selected will undergo a six to eight-month training programme on basic seamanship.

    Applicants can sign up online and on specially-developed smartphone applications.

    The website address and mobile app will be unveiled at a later date.

    Said Tan: "It will allow more to have a taste of sailing without needing a club membership.

    "And if they like it, there are many clubs here who can be receptacles for them to continue after they complete the programme."

    Audi Singapore managing director Reinhold Carl says they are happy to play their part in boosting sports in the country.

    "If we can contribute (to Vision 2030), we're happy ... (and) if there is a young talent we can help to bring to the Olympics, why not."

    For details and enquiries, email info@singaporesailing.org.sg.







    Image 1 of 1



    enlarge this photo

    Ms Fun Siew Leng, group director of urban planning and design at the Urban Redevelopment Authority, christening the boat Mata Ikan yesterday. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN

  2. #5731
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    Default Singapore shuttlers to face Japan in the battle for Uber Cup spot


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:46 AM Feb 16, 2012

    SINGAPORE - A day after defeating Vietnam 5-0 at the Thomas & Uber Cup Preliminary Round (Asia), the Singapore women's badminton team were beaten 4-1 by Taiwan in their second group match at the Macau Forum, Avenida Marciano Baptista, yesterday.

    Playing in the first singles, world No 18 Gu Juan found the going tough against the higher ranked Cheng Shao Chieh (No 9) with the Taiwanese winning the tie 21-17, 21-14.

    Teammates Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari - who are ranked 13th in the world - levelled the score for Singapore in the women's doubles, scoring an upset 2-0 (21-16, 21-12) victory over world No 8 Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin.

    But 2011 SEA Games gold medalist Fu Mingtian faltered against Tai Tzu Ying in the second singles, losing the encounter 21-11, 21-14. The Taiwanese women then stormed ahead to clinch the next two matches.

    Women's doubles Wang Pei Rong and Hsieh Pei Chen beat pairing Chen Jiayuan and Thng Ting Ting. Pai Hsiao Ma then defeated Xing Aiying in the singles.

    Singapore Badminton Association CEO Bobby Lee said: "Our women's singles were not able to raise their performance today and lost to their higher ranked opponents. But Yao Lei and Shinta played very well today to overcome the Taiwanese pair."

    The Singapore women will face Japan in the second stage of the Asian qualifiers today for a spot in the top four, which will guarantee a place in the Thomas & Uber Cup finals in China in May.

    The men's team beat Macau 5-0 in their last group stage match yesterday, but failed to advance to the second round after earlier losses to Indonesia and India.

  3. #5732
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    Default More students to head overseas for aerospace industrial training

    By Dylan Loh | Posted: 15 February 2012 1938 hrs



    (L to R) Pratt & Whitney VP Dick Fair; S'pore Poly principal Tan Hang Cheong; Jon Beatty, VP of Airline Customers, Pratt & Whitney; and Dr Dave Chong, senior director, S'pore Poly.


    SINGAPORE : More Singapore students will head overseas for aerospace industrial training.

    Engine-maker Pratt and Whitney on Wednesday inked an agreement with Singapore Polytechnic for its students to gain hands-on experience in China.

    From now till 2017, about 300 Aeronautical Engineering students will go for a six-week programme in Beijing or Guangzhou.

    Singapore Polytechnic intends to send some 60 students a year.

    They will gain industry-relevant skills in Beijing or Guangzhou. Pratt and Whitney's Beijing training centre will provide hands-on experience. Students heading there will receive practical training with in areas like aircraft maintenance and commercial aviation.

    Jon Beatty, vice president (Airline Customers) at Pratt and Whitney, said: "Our training centre has actual hardware, real engines that you can disassemble and see. So when you graduate from this programme, you are really well-prepared to enter aviation, having worked on the actual products, as compared to just looking at the books or looking at printed material."

    This collaboration builds on a previous agreement between Singapore Polytechnic and Pratt and Whitney inked in 2010.

    Since this first collaboration was announced, over 150 students have received training from the aerospace manufacturer.

    Pratt and Whitney said this time round, those sent for the overseas stints will undergo an enhanced programme as a result of feedback from previous students.

    Tan Hang Cheong, principal of Singapore Polytechnic, said: "We are not training students just to have academic and theoretical knowledge. The hands-on (experience) is important, especially in the maintenance and repair, overhaul kind of sector. So I think for the polytechnic students, this is an excellent training opportunity."

    The aerospace industry as an engine of growth for Singapore's economy is getting bigger. Four in five jobs in the sector are held by locals, while nine in 10 of those working are professionals, managers, executives or technicians.


    Thus, this collaboration should go some way in opening more doors for Singaporeans who wish to sharpen their skills to stay relevant for the industry.

    Meanwhile, Pratt and Whitney has started construction on a new manufacturing facility at Seletar Aerospace Park. The 15,000 square metre site is expected to be ready for initial occupancy during the first quarter of 2013.

    - CNA/ms
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    Default A*STAR to showcase cutting-edge technologies at airshow

    Posted: 15 February 2012 1237 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is showcasing 15 cutting-edge technologies to boost safety and productivity in the aerospace and aviation industry.

    It said this is an example of how its R&D capabilities, which are developed with companies, can bring economic value to Singapore.

    These will be showcased at the Singapore Airshow from February 14-19 at Changi Exhibition Centre.

    They are from A*STAR's seven science and engineering research institutes.

    The advanced technologies cover four key areas: airframe; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); electronics and communications; and aviation logistics.

    One novel idea is for the airframe.

    A*STAR said it has found a fast-curing technology for aerospace sealants and adhesives.

    Existing sealants used to repair fuel leaks, install windshields and windows to seal out moisture in aircraft typically take a few days to fully cure at normal room temperature.

    With A*STAR's technology, short wave infrared (IR) radiation, which is currently used in devices such as heat scanners and sensors, is used.

    It penetrates deeply into materials and ensures a more uniform curing through heating.

    A*STAR said the new and simple curing process, which does not compromise the integrity of the sealants, takes only one to two hours, instead of seven days to complete.

    - CNA/fa

  5. #5734
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    Default Various factors considered when granting foreign spouse PR: PM

    Posted: 15 February 2012 0649 hrs


    SINGAPORE: The Prime Minister's Office is studying how it can further help Singaporean families with foreign spouses, in particular, those with children who are Singapore citizens, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday.

    Member of Parliament (Ang Mo Kio GRC) Intan Azura Mokhtar had asked if permanent residence (PR) is granted more easily to the foreign spouses of Singaporeans, especially those with Singaporean children.

    In his written reply, Mr Lee said PR is not automatically granted to foreigners who marry Singapore citizens.

    "However, if such a married couple has children who are Singapore Citizens, this is taken into consideration when the application for PR for the non-citizen spouse is assessed," he said.

    Various factors are considered in deciding whether or not to grant a foreign spouse PR, such as the duration of marriage and length of stay in Singapore, he said.

    Citizens who sponsor their foreign spouses for PR status will have to show that they are able to support them financially,
    Mr Lee added.

    In the case of foreign spouses who do not qualify for PR, they may be granted a Long-Term Visit Pass. This will allow them to remain in Singapore and seek employment here.

    - TODAY
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  6. #5735
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    Default Steps to tighten foreign workforce phased in since Jul 2010

    Posted: 14 February 2012 2141 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Manpower Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Tuesday in a written reply to Parliamentary questions, that measures to tighten the foreign workforce have been phased in since July 2010.

    Foreign worker levies are being increased in steps, starting from July 2010 to July 2013.

    The salary and other criteria for S Pass and Employment Pass holders are also being phased in.

    Replying to Member of Parliament (MP) for Hougang Yaw Shin Leong, Mr Tharman said the impact of the measures will not be seen instantly but over the next few years.

    It also has to be assessed against the context of the state of the economy, the demand for labour and the availability of local workers.


    Asked whether the target to keep foreign labour to one-third of our workforce is still relevant, Mr Tharman said the government had accepted the recommendation of the Economic Strategies Committee in 2010.

    The recommendations said the government should moderate the growth of the foreign workforce, and avoid a continuous increase in its proportion to the total workforce beyond the one-third level over the long term.


    He said while the proportion may fluctuate above or below the one-third level from time to time, Singapore should aim to avoid a secular increase in the dependence on foreign labour over the long term.

    The Ministry of Manpower will monitor the situation, and will further calibrate foreign manpower access if necessary, in future.

    - CNA/wk

  7. #5736
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    Default Singapore women no match for Japan


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:46 AM Feb 17, 2012

    SINGAPORE - It is crunch time for the Singapore women's badminton team in the race to make the Uber Cup finals after the shuttlers were eliminated from the second stage of the Preliminary Round (Asia) yesterday, suffering a 3-0 whitewash to Japan at the Macau Forum.

    The team will now have to post victories over Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong in the playoffs for fifth to eighth placing to top that particular group and have any chance of making the Uber Cup finals.

    Qualification rules state that one final qualifying spot will be awarded to either the fifth-placed Asian team or fourth-placed European team, depending on who has the higher world ranking.

    The matches will take place from today until Sunday.

    Hopes were high for Singapore world No 18 Gu Juan to repeat her 2011 Yonex Japan Open victory over Sayaka Sato (No 15) in yesterday's opening singles, but the 21-year-old struggled and lost 21-10, 21-18.

    The women's doubles pair Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari were next up and they were outwitted by world No 4 pair Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa, who won 21-10, 21-18.

    Eriko Hirose then clinched the winning point for Japan with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) win over 2011 SEA Games champion Fu Mingtian.

    Said Bobby Lee, chief executive officer of the Singapore Badminton Association: "We started slow in the first set of all the matches, had some chances in the second games but just could not match the consistency of the Japanese team.

    "As for the playoffs, we are still the underdogs but will continue to try our best to carve out a good result." Low Lin Fhoong

  8. #5737
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    Default How Singapore could learn from Jeremy Lin

    Letter from Colin Ong Tau Shien
    04:46 AM Feb 17, 2012



    I WISH to provide my input for Vision 2030 with an example of how sports in Singapore could learn from current National Basketball Association (NBA) phenomenon Jeremy Lin.

    He is not only the toast of the New York Knicks, he has given the NBA a breath of fresh air. Game attendances have picked up because people want to see him play.

    As an Asian-American, his success is encouraging more Asian-Americans to break the mould and consider professional sports as a career.

    What makes his story more amazing is that he has an economics degree from Harvard and is religious.

    So, it is possible to be well-rounded, given the proper environment and support.

    The point is that Singapore must develop the magic of sports in bringing a country together.

    Sportsmen should not only be given the best training facilities but also be viewed as being able to drive the economy from their sporting ecosystem.

    It is time Singaporeans view the sports industry as an important economic and social catalyst. Then, maybe we could have our own Jeremy Lins.

  9. #5738
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    Default Singapore takes a serious view of its international obligations: MFA

    Posted: 17 February 2012 1135 hrs


    Ministry of Foreign Affairs building


    SINGAPORE: Singapore has clarified a Reuters report that implied Singapore is not compliant with its United Nations obligations.

    The report dated on February 15 was titled 'Iran's Global Cat-and-Mouse Game on Sanctions'.

    A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Reuters appears to have conflated the unilateral sanctioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) by certain jurisdictions such as the United States, with the issue of United Nations member states' obligations under the UN Security Council Resolutions on Iran.

    MFA said the report contained several inaccurate assertions.

    For example, in referring to the 2010 seizure in Singapore of three ships of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) for failing to meet their credit arrangements, MFA says Reuters quotes selectively from UN Security resolutions on Iran.

    The resolutions state that the UN embargo orders IRISL assets be frozen, including those of any person or entity acting on their behalf or at their direction, and to entities owned or controlled by them.

    MFA said this is a misrepresentation of the relevant resolutions.

    It said these resolutions do not require the freezing of the shipping lines assets.

    They only require the freezing of assets of specific entities.

    The assets of the shipping line itself are not targeted by the resolutions.

    MFA said it is therefore factually incorrect on Reuters' part to report that the UN embargo orders IRISL assets be frozen.

    It added the Reuters reporter has whether wilfully or out of ignorance, failed to understand the issue and has confused several important legal points.

    The Ministry stressed that Singapore takes a serious view of its international obligations and enforces all UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.

    - CNA/fa
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    Default Expectations for Budget 2012

    By Wong Siew Ying | Posted: 16 February 2012 2008 hrs

    SINGAPORE: Singapore will be announcing its budget on Friday and analysts are not expecting many big surprises.

    The government has said that the focus of the budget will be on boosting long term competitiveness of the country and helping citizens cope with rising costs.

    Despite the challenging economic environment last year, economists said Singapore is likely to record a healthy fiscal surplus at about S$3 billion to S$4 billion for Fiscal Year 2011.

    This is mainly due to better than expected collections from corporate and personal income taxes, stamp duties from the buoyant property market as well as gaming taxes from the two integrated resorts.

    Experts said a good part of the new budget will likely go towards helping Singaporeans but they do not foresee any overly generous "handouts".

    Irvin Seah, economist at DBS Bank, said: "The focus will be to help the low to middle income group tide over this increase in cost of living as well as to enhance their employability. This will come in the form of more skills upgrading and training schemes, as well as an increased focus on education."

    Meanwhile, Singapore companies are also looking for some help from the government to offset rising business costs.

    Labour cost is a key issue, and there are concerns over possible changes in rules governing the hiring of foreign workers.

    According to the Manpower Ministry, foreign employment grew by 79,800 last year, after increasing by 54,400 in 2010.

    Professor Annie Koh, Dean, Executive Education, Singapore Management University: "That pain will continue as far as foreign worker levies go. Otherwise we won't change, we will keep using low cost labour. They might come in with schemes that say if you are willing to invest in your human capital locally, we let you do an equivalent top-up in the form of one more foreign labour."

    Also on the wishlist of business leaders - measures to help companies expand abroad such as cross-border financing schemes or an export-import bank.

    Teo Siong Seng, president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said: "Many of their projects cannot get financing because they don't have a track record, and they don't have a strong balance sheet."

    Tai Hui, regional head of research, South-East Asia, Standard Chartered Bank: "Singapore is placed in an advantageous position, crossroad between South Asia, India, North East Asia, China and ASEAN. The government's intention, at least the business directive ought to be how to tap the growth of these areas, which we think are going to be very positive for the next five to 10 years, maybe longer."

    Observers said while the budget will focus on longer term developments, the Singapore government will also keep an eye on uncertainties in the global economy. These include a potential recession in Europe as well as further moderation in US growth this year.

    - CNA/cc

  11. #5740
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    Default S'pore aviation sector set to benefit from luxury jet demand

    By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 16 February 2012 1843 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Singapore's aviation industry is set to benefit from an increasing demand for luxury jets, fuelled by the growing number of tycoons in the region.

    And analysts said the role of Seletar Airport, as a secondary airport, is also set to grow in importance.

    Industry players at the Singapore Airshow said the Asian market for luxury jets is set to soar, as the number of high net-worth individuals in Malaysia, Indonesia, and particularly China, increases.

    Analysts say Asian tycoons are increasingly drawn to private jets compared to commercial flights. And that it is more than just a status symbol, but a practical and economical choice.

    Christophe Degoumois, vice president, Sales, Bombardier, said: "What they are buying is not just about having a luxury cabin size, like purchasing a luxury car, or buying a luxury yacht. They are buying time and efficiency with it."

    As such, Singapore, being an important financial and tourist centre, will contribute to the growth of the market, as more individuals and companies opt for private jets for both work and play.

    Ernest J Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets, said: "We believe there is market here in Singapore; it is the centre of this region, both from the financial and business perspective."

    "Singapore has a lot of potential. Many high net-worth individuals enjoy the use of business jets, not only for luxury and leisure but also to run their businesses. Singapore offers a lot for the businessman... (such as) casinos, (and) all kinds of infrastructure," said Mr Degoumois.

    Jeff Miller, vice president of communications at Gulfstream, said: "Singapore is growing, Asia is growing, our market is growing all over this region. So if you just consider 10 years ago, we had 27 aircraft in Asia, today we have 175 business jets operating in Asia, 18 of them here in Singapore."

    The expected increase in traffic of private jets, is also set to contribute to the growth of Seletar Airport and Singapore's overall economy.

    Shukor Yusof, aviation analyst at Standard & Poor's, said: "You are going to see more private jets coming here, you need maintenance, you need workers and so on.

    "Seletar Airport will in the near future become very important, (because) these people want to come in quietly without any fuss, and these planes around us are the kind of assets that they will be buying to help them facilitate their business."

    Analysts said some 30 private jets fly in and out of Singapore's Seletar and Changi airports every month.

    - CNA/cc

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    Default On Short Leave

    Dear Fellow BCers,

    I'll be away from 18-22 February, 2012, in part to witness the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup competitions in Macau and a short trip to nearby Hong Kong thereafter.

    Therefore I won't be reporting the news from Singapore during this period.

    Others who are inclined, please feel free to continue with the news cover during my absence.

  13. #5742
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    Default Interactive Asia debate series coming your way

    By Olivia Siong | Posted: 22 February 2012 2108 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Channel NewsAsia will bring together some of the region's thought leaders in a debate series that is set to give viewers a new perspective on challenges facing Asia.

    The one-hour programme will be interactive, where studio audience can participate in the discussion.

    Some of the issues that will be debated in Channel NewsAsia's new series, "Bridging Asia -- The Singapore Debates", include economic growth and the environment as well as the impact of social media.

    Other topics include whether US President Barack Obama's re-election will be of consequence to Asia and whether ageism is a necessary evil for progress in Asia.

    The programme will be moderated by television personality Brendon Fernandez.

    Centre for Science & Environment New Delhi director Sunita Narain said: "A debate like this which opens the issues up, which discusses it from different angles, it's what Asians are looking for.

    "Asians are argumentative, we are people who like to think, and I think it's important to debate in Asia, so that we can think very carefully -- even if we're making mistakes, we can recognise those mistakes, so that we can learn to do things differently."

    Studio audience get to pose questions to the panellists in a question-and-answer segment, and even vote for the winning side.

    The audience will comprise members of society, specialists and interest groups.

    Carbon Care Asia Hong Kong advisor Albert Lai said: "It is an intellectually challenging programme, not just for the panellist but for the audience.

    "So if we can generate more discussion around Asia, that would certainly help Asia's growth, help Asia's environment, hopefully help Asia's politics as well."

    Channel NewsAsia managing director Debra Soon said: "We asked ourselves, how can we do it differently, what is it about a debate that we want to project and to tell the story about Asia. This show has all the elements.

    "It's about the challenges facing Asia, arguments among Asian intellectuals and experts, bringing in an Asian audience, bringing in the context of these issues, not only on television and on-air, [but also] on all our different platforms in a very interactive manner, so this, in a sense, is a format that's ground breaking, that we want to replicate."

    The programme will air every Tuesday, starting February 28 till March 27, at 8pm Singapore/Hong Kong time.

    - CNA/wk

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    Default Turning up the heat on tobacco

    HPB announces new measures to curb smoking

    by Amanda Lee
    04:46 AM Feb 24, 2012

    SINGAPORE - From March next year, misleading descriptors such as "light", "low-tar" and "mild" will no longer be allowed on tobacco packaging, while a new set of graphic health warnings will be extended to the outer packaging of tobacco products.

    The maximum tar and nicotine limits will also be lowered, and a new health information requirement will replace the current requirement to print tar and nicotine yield levels.

    Cigarillos will also have to be sold in packs of 20 instead of the current 10 to discourage smoking experimentation.

    These four new tobacco control measures, aimed at curbing smoking, will be rolled out by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), in partnership with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), under the amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

    In implementing some of these changes, Singapore is fulfilling its obligations as signatory to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    "The reality is that smoking kills, regardless of what type of cigarette it is. There is no evidence that 'light' and 'mild' cigarettes are any less harmful,"
    said HPB chief executive Ang Hak Seng. Yet, a 2009 HPB study showed 63 per cent of smokers thought "light" cigarettes were less harmful than "regular cigarettes".

    The ban on misleading labelling will affect about a quarter of cigarette brands sold here.

    The new health information requirement is also meant to further educate smokers as some mistakenly believe that lower tar and nicotine levels in cigarettes indicate less harm.

    The new requirement will read: "Smoking exposes you and those around you to more than 4,000 toxic chemicals, of which at least 60 can cause cancer. The chemicals include tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene."

    By implementing a new set of graphic health warnings on outer packaging, the authorities hope to enhance the effectiveness of these warnings. International research has shown that effectiveness of health warnings increases with size, said the HPB.

    Despite these measures, Government Parliamentary Committee for Health chairman Lam Pin Min felt more could be done.

    "I don't think the measures will be sufficient to deter smokers from smoking. However, it does remove the ambiguity and misinterpretation that the 'light' or 'mild' are 'healthier' options," said Dr Lam, calling on the HPB to continue its education efforts against smoking.

    Statistics from the HPB show that the prevalence of smoking among adults in Singapore has risen from 12.6 per cent in 2004 to 14.3 per cent in 2010.

    But beyond regular smoking, some feel that more public education on other forms of tobacco products is also needed.

    Dr Thomas Lee, consultant psychiatrist at The Resilienz Clinic, noted that, even though shisha smoking - fruit-flavoured tobacco smoked through large water pipes - is harmful, there is not a lot of public education on it, as compared to the regular cigarette smoking.




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    Default TRE removes offensive post about Lee Hsien Yang

    04:46 AM Feb 24, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Socio-political website TR Emeritus (TRE) yesterday acknowledged that a comment posted on its website about Fraser and Neave chairman Lee Hsien Yang was defamatory. The site also said that the offensive posting has been removed.

    In response, Stamford Law director Tan Chuan Thye, who was acting for Mr Lee, said his client was "satisfied that his requests have been met, that the false and defamatory postings have been removed and that TRE has acknowledged and expressed regret over this posting".

    "The vindication of his name and reputation is important," Mr Tan added.

    Mr Lee's lawyers had, on Tuesday, sent a letter to TRE asking the website to remove the offensive posting, prompting a response from TRE on its website that acceding to all of Mr Lee's demands would make running the site "difficult" in the future.

    Nevertheless, at about 10pm yesterday, TRE issued another statement on its website stating its editorial team "acknowledge and regret that a defamatory comment about Mr Lee Hsien Yang was placed on our website by a netizen. We had and have no intention to defame Mr Lee. We have removed the said defamatory comment from our website".

    It added: "TR Emeritus wishes to put this episode behind us and move on. We thank Mr Lee for his co-operation and understanding."

    TRE was earlier represented by lawyer M Ravi but subsequently switched to Senior Counsel Kannan Ramesh from Tan Kok Quan Partnership.

    On Sunday, TRE's Singapore-based editor Richard Wan was served with a Letter of Demand from lawyers representing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, over an article falsely alleging that he was instrumental in securing the appointment of his wife, Madam Ho Ching, as chief executive officer of Temasek Holdings for nepotistic motives. Mr Wan, on behalf of TRE, apologised for the article and removed the post.

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    Default Silicon Valley firm to provide training for ITE students

    04:46 AM Feb 24, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Up to 1,000 Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students are expected to benefit from training courses provided by VMware, a leader in the virtualisation and cloud computing field, under a three-year partnership inked between both sides yesterday.

    The top three ITE students from each graduating batch will also be offered in-house attachment positions with VMware, a company headquartered in Silicon Valley and with offices around the world.

    Under the agreement, the ITE will also be conducting instructor training for institutions in Singapore and ASEAN countries, so they can conduct classes for their students. The first beneficiary of this partnership will be the National University of Laos, whose instructors will get two weeks of training from ITE staff next month.

    The use of cloud computing to consolidate data in a virtual environment has become a new trend, as firms cope with rising operating costs, more awareness of environmental issues and proliferation of portable devices.

    The ITE's collaboration with VMware began in 2009, when ITE College West adopted a training framework under the VMware IT Academy. To date, 186 students from two courses - the Higher Nitec in Network Security Technology and Higher Nitec in Information Systems Quality courses - have completed a 60-hour elective and graduated with a joint certification.

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    Default TR Emeritus website flooded by defamatory comments

    Published on Feb 24, 2012


    Netizens have inundated TR Emeritus (TRE) with defamatory comments since it apologised on Wednesday to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for an article that allegedly defamed him and his wife Ho Ching.

    The sociopolitical website's editors appealed to those responsible to stop, even as they said they are pondering whether to shut it down.

    'There is no need to ensure that TRE will 'meet its maker' as it is one of the options which is being seriously considered by the team,' said the editors on Thursday.

    In an article on the website, they said that by 4am on Thursday, moderators had had to delete at least 300 comments that were 'outright defamatory and seditious' - six times more than what they would usually have had to remove.

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