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  1. #5832
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Liberal arts degree more relevant than ever, say corporate leaders

    by Monica Kotwani
    04:45 AM Mar 19, 2012

    SINGAPORE - With prospective students and their parents wondering what a liberal arts degree is all about, a panel of corporate leaders at a Yale-NUS College dialogue yesterday set out to address the question.

    Commenting on a liberal arts education - which Singaporeans will get a taste of when Yale-NUS opens next year - Google Asia-Pacific managing director Aliza Knox stressed the importance of students being able to switch roles quickly and well when they enter the workforce.

    "My understanding for people your age is the view that you're going to be switching roles every two to three years," she said. "What you need to be able to do is to go, 'I have the ability to be mentally agile and move from one thing to the other' as opposed to, 'I really know this kind of science, or I really know this French literature'."

    As companies which previously looked to hire graduates from United States and United Kingdom universities look to hire more graduates from Singapore universities, Mr Louis Lim, partner at Bain & Company, said the opening of Yale-NUS increases the number of resources his company can tap into when hiring.

    "Right now, we've seen a huge shift in terms of the quality of students that we're getting applications from. We've hired from SMU, NTU and NUS. We think that the quality has dramatically increased because I think people are a lot more confident and conversant as well on different topics," he said.

    The dialogue session was part of a series of events at the NUS Open House this year.

    Parent Yugesh Jerath said the dialogue helped parents better understand the different emerging fields. "I've been brought up in an Asian culture where the three or four successful professions are engineers, doctors, or accountant for example," he said. "That myth is going to be dispelled over a period of time when we start seeing the next generation of leaders coming from other areas. But right now, it's very well ingrained."

    The deadline for the college's inaugural round of applications is April 1 this year. There will be three more rounds of applications until April next year. MONICA KOTWANI

  2. #5833
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Three set to become Destination Parks


    by Saifulbahri Ismail
    04:45 AM Mar 18, 2012

    SINGAPORE - In line with the move to transform Singapore into a "city in a garden", three parks will be developed into large regional parks offering unique recreational features

    Admiralty Park, East Coast Park and Jurong Lake Park will be developed within three to five years into Destination Parks that seek to attract Singaporeans from all over the island. Construction could start as early as next year.

    They were selected based on their locations in the North, East and West regions of Singapore.

    Speaking yesterday at the re-opening of Bishan Park - now called Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: "We're building more parks like Bishan Park, Destination Parks in other parts of Singapore, each one with its unique attractions.

    "So, all over Singapore, whether you're downtown, in the Marina Bay which is very beautiful or whether you're in the neighbourhood, whether in the north, in the east, in the west ... we'll be able to have nature, we'll have active, beautiful and clean waters," he said.

    After more than two years of redevelopment, the Bishan Park has been completely transformed with a meandering river with landscaped banks and gentle slopes.

    This concept of Destination Parks will spearhead the redevelopment of parks in the future, said the National Parks Board (NParks). About 30 to 35 other parks could fit the model of Destination Parks.

    To help Singaporeans from all over the island enjoy these Destination Parks, accessibility to these locations will be enhanced, said NParks.

    Some of the features for the three upcoming parks were suggested by the public during the City in a Garden public engagement exercise last August. In the next few months, NParks will be organising roadshows and focus group discussions for the public to share their views.

    What you may see at each Destination Park

    Admiralty Park

    The naturally hilly terrain opens up possibilities of a playground with giant slides and climbing slopes. Rich in biodiversity, the park can also have outdoor classrooms and exploratory gardens.



    East Coast Park

    Unique play spaces currently not found in Singapore can be integrated into restaurants, allowing adults to relax at the eatery while keeping an eye on the little ones at the playgrounds. Sporting arenas could also be created to host local and international events.



    Jurong Lake Park

    The presence of a lake lends itself to a unique play experience such as an islandhopping adventure land. Imagine a sprawling adventure playground with water features and connected by different islands, each filled with innovative play equipment.



    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong taking a tour at the official re-opening of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park yesterday. PHOTOS BY OOI BOON KEONG, URA, TODAY FILE PHOTO






    Non-chinese camping at East Coast Park during Chinese New Year






  3. #5834
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Cheers ring out for Singapore's table tennis stars

    04:45 AM Mar 19, 2012

    The Republic's table tennis stars returned home yesterday after their sterling performance at the Asian Table Tennis Championships in Macau.

    A warm welcome awaited the paddlers at Changi Aiport, with members of the fraternity there to show their support for the team.

    Gao Ning and Yang Zi marked a milestone when they clinched the men's doubles title last month, Singapore's first Asian Championship title since 1954.

    The outing also saw the Singapore team return home with the most medals in the history of the tournament. Besides the gold, they also won three silvers - in the women's team, women's doubles and mixed doubles events. Channel NewsAsia




  4. #5835
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Andy Warhol art exhibition opens in S'pore

    By Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 18 March 2012 1929 hrs


    SINGAPORE: It's been 25 years since Andy Warhol's death but his creations continue to make an impact on the global art scene.

    And now, there's good news for Andy Warhol fans as more than 260 works of the Pop Art icon are in town at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

    Titled 'Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal', the exhibition is the largest collection ever to be shown in Singapore.

    For Warhol, art could come in many forms.

    He showed the world how different production methods can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

    ArtScience Museum senior project manager Lise MacDonald said: "He created a real bomb in the art world. He was an artist thinking ahead of any other people. He was definitely not the type of artist you could classify as conventional."

    His works blurred the boundaries between art and advertisement, and crossed the lines between the bizarre and the beautiful.

    And one example is the Cow Wallpaper which uses a cow motif for a wallpaper design.

    "Precisely, it's strange, right?" said MacDonald. "The colours are very bold and they're complementary colours put together so it has a visual impact and effect that are very striking. And it's the idea of the repetition of the pattern... that's very frequent in his work. Why would one not look at a cow? Why would one not look at a Campbell's soup can?"

    MacDonald was referring to Warhol's 1962 masterpiece '32 Campbell's Soup Cans' which was produced by a printmaking method known as semi-mechanized silkscreen process.

    But unlike Warhol's silkscreen prints of canned soup, there will be other collections that are hand painted in the exhibition.

    The works of three Southeast Asian artists - Jahan Loh from Singapore, Ibrahim Hussein from Malaysia and Jirapat Tatsanasomboom from Thailand - are also showcased as part of the exhibition.

    Each one is a distinctive take on the influence of Andy Warhol and how he has changed the way we look at everything - including traditional art.

    Singaporean visual artist Jahan Loh lived overseas in Taipei for eight years and what he missed the most was luncheon meat.

    Loh said: "I chose a very common reference point which is canned food. It's clearly a tongue in cheek poke at Andy Warhol's Campbell's soup, but contextualised within our Singaporean, Asian context. Certain similarities are deliberate, but other things are very different if you look carefully. I think maybe Andy Warhol would have painted luncheon meat if he'd tasted it."

    The exhibition runs till August 12, 2012 in Singapore and will head to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and finally to Tokyo in 2014.

    - CNA/fa



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    Population of wild boars in Singapore on the rise

    Some spotted even around Kent Ridge; NUS student doing study on their habitat

    Published on Mar 19, 2012


    A wild boar in the Central Catchment area (below) -- PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ONG SAY LIN


    By Grace Chua

    A year ago, Mr Chang Nam Yuen heard a loud crash in his garden in the middle of the night, accompanied by grunting and groaning.

    The commotion was caused by a wild boar which had been injured, perhaps hit by a car, and fallen through a gap in his fence.

    The Lower Peirce resident and chairman of the Kebun Baru Neighbourhood Committee, 60, said: 'We see them every night, as many as a family of 10.'

    The wild pig or boar population here appears to be on the rise, say researchers and residents. A 2010 paper in the journal Nature In Singapore put the population at 552.
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    Last edited by Loh; 03-18-2012 at 11:34 PM.

  6. #5837
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    Default Scientists discover mutated gene in cancer research

    Mutated gene that lessens drug effects and the solution found
    Published on Mar 19, 2012


    By Salma Khalik, Health Correspondent

    Scientists here have found a mutation in a gene that makes some cancer drugs less effective, as well as a solution to tackle this problem.

    This mutation appears in about 15 per cent of East Asians, and to a lesser extent in other Asians, but is completely absent in Caucasians and Africans.

    A team of 55 researchers, led by Associate Professor Ong Sin Tiong of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, found that 'targeted' drugs to combat specific types of lung and blood cancers do not work as well in patients with the mutated gene.

    However, the shortcoming can be addressed by the addition of another drug that is currently not commercially available, but is used in clinical trials elsewhere.

  7. #5838
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    Default NTU professor invents device that detects bacteria in treated water


    by Esther Ng
    Updated 01:37 PM Mar 19, 2012

    SINGAPORE - An hour, down from the previous two days, is all it takes to detect bacteria in treated water after a Nanyang Technological University researcher has developed a device, which could prove to be a boon for countries fighting water-borne diseases.

    Professor Liu Ai Qun's "Parasitometer" works by directing water to flow through a tiny channel, about the width of a human hair, within a small chip and shining a laser though the treated water. Microscopic contaminants such as bacteria or sand and silt can be detected from the way laser light bounces of the matter and through it. A camera sensor captures the data of the light refraction, from which the contaminant can be identified.

    Said Prof Liu: "We are able to identify cells by knowing their cell shape, the diameter and size, and their refractive index - how well their reflect light and let light through."

    For instance, the pathogens Cryptosporidium and Giardia can cause diarrhoea in humans if present in drinking water.

    The "Parasitometer" can pick up a single Cryptosporidium cell - four hundreths the width of human hair - from a ten-litre sample in one hour.

    The technology can also detect e.coli in water as well.

    The project which took three years, is funded by PUB's Environment and Water Industry Programme Office and supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation.

    Commercialisation of the technology is expected to begin in June. A company called Water Optics Technology set up by Prof Liu and NTU is looking for S$2million of funding from businesses and venture capitalists. It is currently in talks with investors and there has been "some commitment", said Prof Liu.

    The global water monitoring market is estimated to be US$7.4 billion (S$9.3 billion).


    Professor Liu Ai Qun from Nanyang Technological University. PHOTO BY Don Wong

  8. #5839
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More diabetic patients saved from having legs amputated

    04:45 AM Mar 20, 2012

    SINGAPORE - A minimally-invasive surgery method is saving more diabetic patients from having their legs amputated.

    The procedure involves a "drug-eluting balloon", which is coated with a drug similar to that used in chemotherapy but in very low doses.

    The process involves inserting the balloon into the patient's legs to widen his or her blood vessels.

    The drug helps prevent the re-narrowing of the blood vessels and minimises scarring.

    Fifty patients at Changi General Hospital have undergone the procedure since it was introduced in August 2010.

    The hospital has found that 90 per cent of them were able to have their legs saved, up from the 70 to 80 per cent achieved without the use of the "drug-eluting balloon".

    Changi General Hospital vascular surgeon Dr Steven Kum says the procedure is timely, given the high incidence of diabetes here.

    He pointed out that narrowed arteries in the leg coupled with infection mean there is a high chance of diabetic patients developing an ulcer in the limb.

    If not treated correctly, this poses an extremely high risk of amputation.

    "An amputation has a significant impact not only to the patient in the sense that (he or she) will be wheelchair-bound, (but also), the cost and burden to society are enormous," said Dr Kum.

    "Only half of our patients end up walking," he added.

    Sixty-three-year-old Tan Lian Ann is one patient who has benefited from the procedure. He underwent surgery three months ago on his left leg and it will soon be carried out on his right.

    Mr Tan said: "There was no choice. If I didn't do it, it would get infected and that would have been bad. I was scared, so I had to come in to do the surgery."

    Doctors also say the procedure is more favourable

  9. #5840
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Green path for new Bukit Brown road

    Eco-bridge will be built to reduce impact on nature and graves


    Published on Mar 20, 2012

    The Government on Monday announced that one-third of a controversial new road across Bukit Brown will be a bridge up to 10m off the ground. . -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUANBy Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent


    In what some observers see as a concession to various interest groups, the Government on Monday announced that one-third of a controversial new road across Bukit Brown will be a bridge up to 10m off the ground.

    This is expected to cost up to three times more than a surface road, but the option will benefit fauna in the wooded area, the site of an old cemetery.

    The bridge will also mean slightly fewer graves will be affected by the road works, although the Land Transport Authority (LTA) cannot pinpoint the exact number of graves saved because of this.

    All in, 3,746 graves will have to be exhumed from early next year. The LTA had initially estimated 5,000 would have to go when the road project was announced last year.
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    Default Divergent views at forum on politics

    by Syed Amir Hussain 04:45 AM Mar 20, 2012

    SINGAPORE - A question on the impact of last year's General Election (GE) on Government policies prompted divergent views at a forum on politics (picture) last night.

    Nominated Member of Parliament (MP) Tan Su Shan, who was among five panellists at the forum held at the National University of Singapore, argued that the Government's Budget for this year could arguably be "one of the more populist that we've seen in a long time" as a result of last year's GE.

    Mr Yee Jenn Jong, Non-Constituency MP and Worker's Party treasurer, drew a parallel to businesses. He said: "When the competition gets hotter, the incumbents have to respond."

    Member of Parliament (MP) for Ang Mo Kio GRC Intan Azura Mokhtar, however, disagreed that the Government is looking towards short-term moves now as a result of "a sudden change in tide".

    She said this year's budget "is needed, especially in terms of addressing the needs of those who need most help - the elderly, the low-income, the disabled".

    And People's Action Party (PAP) parliamentarians have been pushing for such policies for some time, she said.

    Yesterday's two-hour-long forum titled GE+1: Has Anything Really Changed? sought to explore changes here a year after the polls held last May.

    NUS law don Professor Kevin Tan noted there has been a "major generational shift in our demographics" with a new generation of voters who id not grow up in a post-colonial era looking at the world differently.

    The question to ask, he felt, is whether local politics is keeping up with the change.

    Dr Intan also noted that "definitely the old adage that our young ones are politically apathetic is not true".

    "Our younger generation is definitely a lot more aware about what's going on in the political arena," she said.

    Social media also give political parties a bigger platform to voice their thoughts, a view shared by both Mr Yee and NCMP Lina Chiam, chairman of the Singapore People's Party.

    Noting that social media such as socio-political blogs and websites are popular among youths, Dr Intan felt social media "is a force to be reckoned with and it's something that you can't quite run away from".

    Thus, she noted, the Government "is looking at it very seriously" and is stepping up on its new media approach while offering its perspectives online.


    Photo by DON WONG
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    Default More National Sports Associations to get multi-year funding

    Updated 10:55 PM Mar 19, 2012


    SINGAPORE - More National Sports Associations have received the green light for multi-year funding this year, compared to 2011.

    The Singapore Sports Council said its annual grant exercise has given in-principle approval to the funding applications of 29 associations. In 2011, the number was 21.

    Introduced in 2009, multi-year planning was meant to help sports associations realise their medium-term strategies.

    Some S$62.48 million will be channelled into the funding exercise for 2012 - up from last year's S$62 million.

    National associations for table tennis, swimming and sailing will receive grants of more than S$1.5 million each, whereas rugby, athletics and basketball will get grants of S$500,000 to S$1 million.

    The council's chief of Sports Development Group, Bob Gambardella, said: "Champions are not made overnight. For Singapore to be able to produce champions on a sustainable basis, we need to have a sports pathway."

    He added that this requires talent identification, and structured training and competition programmes, which will need long-term planning. CHANNEL NEWSASIA



    Medals not the only gauge for funding

    By Ian De Cotta, TODAY | Posted: 20 March 2012 0630 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Despite poor performances in major competitions last year, badminton, shooting and netball remain in the top tier for the Government's annual funding exercise for the upcoming financial year (FY).

    In a press release issued on Monday, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) announced that they will disburse S$62.48 million to 48 national sports associations (NSAs) for FY 2012 - April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013 - an increase of S$480,000 over last year.

    While the Singapore Chess Federation and Special Olympics Singapore have been included in this year's funding exercise, Singapore Bodybuilding and Rollersports are not among the recipients.

    Badminton and shooting mostly struggled on the big stage last year but they are two of eight NSAs that will receive more than S$1.5 million for the new year, along with Netball Singapore, despite the national team finishing second from bottom at last year's world championships held here.

    Responding to queries, SSC chief of sports development group Bob Gambardella said performance at major competitions is not the only indicator as to how much money will be disbursed to NSAs.

    "It is not the only criteria we look (at)," he said. "We also look at the merits of their multi-year sports plans in meeting the needs of the sporting community and the ability of the NSAs to execute and implement such a plan based on their capacities and past track record."

    In 2010, the SSC introduced a multi-year-funding scheme of up to three years to help NSAs concentrate on their longer-term training and development plan for their athletes.

    Eight new NSAs have been given in-principle approval to receive multi-year funding, including Special Olympics and boxing, bringing the total to 29

    The key performance indicator for boxing is to win gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games, which will be held here.

    Singapore Boxing Association president Syed Kadir said they have submitted a plan to the SSC that includes building up their youth and elite programmes.

    "We have already got these running and we have boxers coming up the ranks. Our target is two gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games and I think it is realistic," said Kadir.

    Special Olympics Singapore (SOS) are not looking at competition results.

    "While we aim for medals at special Olympics for our sportsmen and women, our targets are to increase the number of athletes into our existing sports and to help them with their intellectual disabilities," said SOS president Teo-Koh Sock Miang.

    "We are also putting in place a youth development programme for the under-8 children, to help them get active through sport." - TODAY
    Last edited by Loh; 03-19-2012 at 11:45 PM.

  12. #5843
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    Default HK best place to do business, Singapore ranked 9th: Bloomberg

    Updated 08:54 AM Mar 21, 2012

    LONDON - Hong Kong, a bastion of free-market policies and low corporate taxes as well as the gateway to the world's most populous nation, is the best place to do business, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Singapore came in joint ninth.

    Hong Kong secured top position in a new index based on six criteria including the degree of economic integration and labour costs. Holland, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia occupied the next four leading slots.

    The ranking marks a victory for Hong Kong 15 years after the city's return to Chinese sovereignty stoked concern that its role as an international financial hub would slide.

    Hong Kong's reputation for rule of law and corruption-free administration has helped distinguish the city from mainland China, which ranked 19th. Its links to the world's fastest-growing major economy have plus points by allowing it to serve as centre for the international use of the yuan, and last August China further relaxed limits on investment flows.

    "Hong Kong is a gateway to China, it has competitive tax rates and that makes it one of the natural choices for companies to set up their Asian headquarters," said Mr Tomo Kinoshita, deputy head of Asia economics research at Nomura Holdings.

    "It makes sense for companies that want to be close to China as well as the rest of Asia to use Hong Kong as their base."

    Bloomberg measured 160 markets on a scale of 0 to 100 per cent based on six factors. These are the costs of setting up business, hiring and moving goods; the degree of economic integration; less tangible costs such as inflation and corruption; and the readiness of the local consumer base, a category that includes the size of the middle class, household consumption and gross domestic product per person.

    Hong Kong scored 49 per cent, eclipsing Holland (48.3 per cent) and the US (46.9 per cent). Singapore was tied with Austria on 44.8 per cent, just behind eight-placed Tokyo but ahead of Switzerland and Canada.

    Of the top 50, Germany was the leader on the basis of cost of doing business, moving goods and less tangible costs, while the readiness of the local consumers was deemed best in the United Arab Emirates. Holland was deemed best for setting up a business.

    Brazil came bottom of the top 50 with 35.5 per cent, undershooting India at 35.9 per cent and Russia at 36.1 per cent.

    The World Bank ranks Singapore and Hong Kong top in its gauge focused on the ease of doing business. The Washington- based Heritage Foundation has named Hong Kong the world's freest economy for 18 successive years. BLOOMBERG



    The ''best countries for business'' rankings. Source: Bloomberg

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    WHO urges countries to stay united against tobacco companies



    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:45 AM Mar 21, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The fight against smoking is now at the crossroads as the tobacco industry takes on a more aggressive and explicit approach to undermine anti-tobacco measures, said World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan yesterday.

    Countries such as Australia - which is being sued for its plain cigarette packaging legislation - are being targeted as they try to introduce tobacco control measures, said Dr Chan at the opening of the 15th World Congress on Tobacco or Health.

    This is the first time the five-day congress is being held in South-east Asia, with Singapore playing host to more than 2,600 participants from over 140 countries.

    Urging countries to stay united against tobacco companies, Dr Chan said: "What an industry wants to see is a domino effect. When one country's resolve falters under the pressure of costly, drawn-out litigation and threats of billion-dollar settlements, others with similar intentions are likely to topple as well."

    In Singapore, Health Promotion Board (HPB) chief executive Ang Hak Seng stressed that tough policies - such as banning tobacco advertising - will prevail, as the Government moves to bring down the smoking rate from the current 14 per cent to 10 per cent by 2020.

    But there is a need to pair them with bottom-up strategies, for instance by mobilising the community to convert smokers into activists.

    One challenge Mr Ang pointed out is in tackling smoking among youth, with 16 per cent of 19 to 29-year-olds currently smoking.

    "Telling the youth alone is not enough we have to rebrand and take authority out of the equation," he said, citing HPB strategies such as creating smartphone applications where smokers planning to quit can get support from loved ones through a shared network and having peer support groups led by youth.

    Holding smoking cessation programmes at the workplace, where young adults spend most of their time, has also resulted in three in 10 smokers quitting, he added.

    Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony yesterday, said that, moving ahead, Singapore's strategies will have to change as Singaporeans' social behaviour changes and the tobacco industry becomes more innovative in marketing to youth.

    He noted that while Singapore may have one of the lowest prevalence of smoking in the world, the rates have been picking up here, especially among younger smokers.

    "This is cause for concern as we do not want more of our young to pick up smoking and to continue the habit into their older years," Mr Gan cautioned.

    Dr Chan agreed with Singapore's inter-ministry approach towards tackling smoking.

    Recalling a visit to a country where a banana was more costly than a packet of cigarettes, she said: "It is easy to blame an individual for making bad choices (but) the government has a duty to provide a healthy environment for individuals to make healthy choices."

    WHO Tobacco Free Initiative director Douglas Bettcher applauded Singapore's efforts to drive down the prevalence of smoking, but pointed out there is still room here to increase taxes on tobacco products.

    He also felt that Singapore is now in a position to go further and suggested plain packaging for cigarettes to draw out health hazard warnings for smokers.


    BLOOMBERG



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    Default Singapore 'attractive target for espionage, foreign subversion'

    by Syed Amir Hussain
    04:45 AM Mar 21, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Even as the threat of terrorism persists post-911, the concurrent internal security "threats of espionage and foreign subversion are just as salient today as during the Cold War", said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.

    Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister, noted that Singapore is situated "at the crossroads where the spheres of influence of major powers intersect" and also "an open society in a highly globalised world", which makes the country "an attractive target for espionage and foreign subversion", even by "friendly nations".

    Speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Internal Security Department's (ISD) Heritage Centre, he noted that a Singaporean Embassy staff member in Moscow was compromised and worked for the Soviet Union against Singapore's interest during the height of the Cold War. During the 1990s, the ISD dealt with "several cases" of espionage involving friendly nations. "The adage that "there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests" rings true," said Mr Teo.

    In highlighting other internal security threats such as the issue of self-radicalisation, as well as racial and religious extremism, Mr Teo noted that technology has been "a major game changer".

    A few cyber espionage attacks have already been countered, and more are expected, he said. "Our vulnerability has increased because of our own inter-connectivity, the cache of classified information that can potentially be stolen through electronic media, and our heavy reliance on IT systems for essential services," he added.

    While he noted that "the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and its affiliates continue to be a threat to Singapore" on the racial and religious extremism front, Mr Teo felt "the new variable in the racial and religious field is cyberspace".

    He said the Internet allows irresponsible, offensive and at times seditious comments about other races and religions to be made anonymously.

    Dangerous remarks on the Internet can go viral very quickly, "spiral out of control and rapidly damage inter-communal relations". "If transposed into action in the physical world, the consequences can be dire
    ", added Mr Teo. He further noted that online and self-radicalisation also represent new forms of the terrorism threat.

    Yesterday, the new Counter-Terrorism gallery at the ISD Heritage Centre, which showcases security operations and intelligence work undertaken by ISD officers, was officially launched.

    The new gallery includes new cases and exhibits over the past 10 years since the disruption of the JI network here and features the inner mechanisms of the JI such as security tradecraft, recruitment efforts, physical and military training.

    The Heritage Centre hosted over 10,000 visitors last year and has reached out to another 70,000 through mobile exhibitions in schools, tertiary institutions, community centres and shopping malls.

    And as part of the ISD's outreach efforts, Mr Teo said the Heritage Centre will be working with the Ministry of Education to reach out to all national schools through mobile exhibitions that are "more student-centric" over the next two years.


    The gallery showcases case property seized from the Jemaah Islamiyah members. PHOTO COURTESY ISD


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    Default Singapore retains triple-A rating from Moody's

    Updated 04:39 PM Mar 20, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Singapore has retained its triple-A rating from Moody's.

    According to a statement from the credit agency, Singapore's Aaa rating is supported by a high level of economic resiliency that is derived from rapid economic growth, rising per-capita income, and strong institutions.

    Moody's said that while Singapore lacks the size and the natural resources of most other nation states, its openness to global trade, finance, and immigration, together with an emphasis on human capital development, has driven its economic success.

    "These gains are also supported by the accumulation and prudent management of large fiscal and foreign currency reserves held at its sovereign wealth funds and its central bank," it added. CHANNEL NEWSASIA



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    Default New York City wins Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize

    Published on Mar 21, 2012

    By Robin Chan

    New York City has won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize this year for its urban rejuvenation since the devastating Sept 11 terrorist attacks more than a decade ago.

    The award will be given to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Departments of Transportation, City Planning and Parks and Recreation.

    Chairman of the prize nominating committee Kishore Mahbubani said: 'The city of New York is an inspiring story of urban rejuvenation. With bold vision, strong leadership, sheer determination, and excellent partnership between government and citizens, there is now a new sense of direction in the city.'

    He was speaking at the Raffles Hotel on Wednesday.

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    Default New initiatives launched to boost preschool standards

    More study awards, career guide for teachers; kindergartens to get help for quality certification

    Published on Mar 21, 2012




    By Lin Zhaowei

    THREE new initiatives announced on Tuesday are set to boost the standard of kindergartens here.

    The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that more study awards for preschool teachers will be made available from this year, and a guide to career prospects is currently being finalised.

    In addition, kindergartens hoping to be certified under a voluntary quality assurance framework may apply for subsidised consultancy services to help them.

    Minister of State for Education Lawrence Wong said the MOE hopes to boost the number of preschools that are certified under the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (Spark).

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