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  1. #5968
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    Default New building for arts and cultural activities at Ngee Ann Polytechnic

    04:45 AM Apr 18, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Students at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) now have a new building for arts and cultural activities, as well as a revamped sports complex to provide a more dynamic environment for sports.

    The two projects, launched yesterday, were carried out under the polytechnic's Phase 6 campus development programme to enhance facilities for students.

    The S$57-million-programme started in October 2009 and was completed in December last year.

    "Given that NP is pushing 50, the campus renewal programme is a timely investment to refresh the learning environment," said NP principal Chia Mia Chiang.

    The new building houses arts and cultural CCA club rooms, music rooms and dance studios. It also has lecture theatres, classrooms, a 400-seat auditorium, a food court and staff centre.

    The sports complex contains a gymnasium with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, multi-purpose sports halls, martial arts training studios, squash courts, an Olympic-sized pool, sports CCA club rooms and a food court.

    The next phase of development will see new lecture theatres, classrooms, a student village with retail outlets and interaction areas as well as staff offices built.

    Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower Hawazi Daipi, who launched both buildings, said: "The expansion and rejuvenation of our polytechnic infrastructure not just provides more space in general for more students, but gives an opportunity to update our specialised facilities and equipment to better train our students for the workplace."

    It also provides facilities for the "holistic education" of students, he said.






    Mr Hawazi Daipi trying out archery with a high-tech bow at Ngee Ann Polytechnic yesterday. PHOTO COURTESY NGEE ANN POLYTECHNIC

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    Default MediaCorp bags record haul at New York Festivals

    by Monica Kotwani
    04:45 AM Apr 19, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Asia's leading media company, MediaCorp, has won a record haul of awards at this year's New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.

    The company bagged two gold, five silver and two bronze awards, as well as 11 finalist certificates at the awards ceremony on Tuesday night which recognises the "World's Best Work" in the television entertainment arena.

    Channel NewsAsia's (CNA) documentary, The End/Beginning, was awarded four medals - two golds and two silvers - by a global panel of judges.

    It looks into the personal stories of different individuals who survived extreme circumstances.

    MediaCorp, which submitted 61 entries, is the parent company of CNA. The other winning titles from CNA include ASIA Exposed and Crimson.

    In all, CNA won two golds, three silvers and one bronze, six out of the nine awards that went to MediaCorp.

    Singapore's most-watched television channel, Channel 8 won a bronze award for its programme titled The Activist's Journey.

    The programme seeks to provide insights into specific human rights and conservation projects around the world.

    The remaining two winning entries were programmes produced for and shown on Channel U and a documentary produced for the international market by Caldecott Productions International.

    Mr Donovan Castillo-Mohlman, CNA vice-president for Network Programming and Promotions, said: "It's remarkable that we have so many of our programmes endorsed by an international jury."

    "Finding the right mix of themes, executed with solid production values, and making them relevant to our viewers in Asia will continue to be the driving force for our programming decisions on the channel,"
    he said.

    CNA, which prides itself on providing global audiences with an Asian perspective, sees the awards as reinforcing its drive to look for innovative ways of telling stories.

    Said CNA programming manager (Television) Helen Sim: "For example, for the documentary, The End/Beginning, we used illustrations and graphics to replace the use of archived footage. For Crimson, we used crime stories to bring out the social issues that Asia is currently facing."

    "So I guess such innovative ways of telling the story resonated with the judges," she said.

    Among the programmes that received a finalist certificate were Channel 5's Confessions of a Crime and Okto's Rated Art.

    Last year, MediaCorp took home one bronze and two silvers.

    The annual New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards is now into its 55th year, with entries coming from more than 35 countries.

  3. #5970
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    Default MediaCorp bags record haul at New York Festivals

    Today

    by Monica Kotwani

    04:45 AM Apr 19, 2012


    SINGAPORE - Asia's leading media company, MediaCorp, has won a record haul of awards at this year's New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.

    The company bagged two gold, five silver and two bronze awards, as well as 11 finalist certificates at the awards ceremony on Tuesday night which recognises the "World's Best Work" in the television entertainment arena.

    Channel NewsAsia's (CNA) documentary, The End/Beginning, was awarded four medals - two golds and two silvers - by a global panel of judges.

    It looks into the personal stories of different individuals who survived extreme circumstances.

    MediaCorp, which submitted 61 entries, is the parent company of CNA. The other winning titles from CNA include ASIA Exposed and Crimson.

    In all, CNA won two golds, three silvers and one bronze, six out of the nine awards that went to MediaCorp.

    Singapore's most-watched television channel, Channel 8 won a bronze award for its programme titled The Activist's Journey.

    The programme seeks to provide insights into specific human rights and conservation projects around the world.

    The remaining two winning entries were programmes produced for and shown on Channel U and a documentary produced for the international market by Caldecott Productions International.

    Mr Donovan Castillo-Mohlman, CNA vice-president for Network Programming and Promotions, said: "It's remarkable that we have so many of our programmes endorsed by an international jury."

    "Finding the right mix of themes, executed with solid production values, and making them relevant to our viewers in Asia will continue to be the driving force for our programming decisions on the channel," he said.

    CNA, which prides itself on providing global audiences with an Asian perspective, sees the awards as reinforcing its drive to look for innovative ways of telling stories.

    Said CNA programming manager (Television) Helen Sim: "For example, for the documentary, The End/Beginning, we used illustrations and graphics to replace the use of archived footage. For Crimson, we used crime stories to bring out the social issues that Asia is currently facing."

    "So I guess such innovative ways of telling the story resonated with the judges," she said.

    Among the programmes that received a finalist certificate were Channel 5's Confessions of a Crime and Okto's Rated Art.

    Last year, MediaCorp took home one bronze and two silvers.

    The annual New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards is now into its 55th year, with entries coming from more than 35 countries.

  4. #5971
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    Default More schools recognised for their niche areas of excellence


    by Ng Jing Yng
    01:05 PM Apr 19, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Nine primary schools and eight secondary schools have been awarded the Ministry of Education's (MOE) Programme for School-Based Excellence and Niche Programme this year.

    Among these schools, two primary and two secondary schools were recognised for their second niche area of exellence.

    Creative thinkers and dance sports are new niche areas recognised for this year. Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) was awarded the school-based excellence for creative thinking while Edgefield Primary School was awarded the school-based excellence for dancesport.

    Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law Sim Ann made this announcement at Changkat Primary School this morning - the school was awarded the Programme for School-Based Excellence in basketball.

    The initiative was introduced in 2005 and now involves 190 schools.

    These schools receive additional funding of up to S$150,000 to build up their niche.

    For secondary schools with Niche Programmes, they can admit up to 5 per cent of their secondary one intake through the direct school admissions exercise. The new schools awarded the Niche Programme this year include Woodgrove Secondary for environmental education and Naval Base Secondary for visual arts.

    Ms Sim, when asked about parents' concerns on their child not getting into popular sports activities, noted that the key is in providing recreational opportunities for students not selected for the competitive team.



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    Default MOE revises English Language O and N-level exam formats


    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:45 AM Apr 19, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Reading out a speech or news report, editing grammatical errors and taking notes while listening to a passage - these are some of the new features in the English Language O and N-level examinations from next year onwards.

    In line with a greater emphasis on the functional use of the language - following the latest English Language syllabus issued in 2010 - the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be changing the assessment guidelines for the subject at O and N-levels, Today has learnt.

    For instance, in the Express and Normal (Academic) streams, listening will be a new 45-minute segment that will weigh up to 10 per cent of the student's grade.

    Pupils will be expected to answer questions based on texts, including reports, and to complete a note-taking task.

    In terms of writing skills, students will be required to show their understanding of grammatical rules by editing a 250-word text.

    There will also be a comprehension component in the English Language Paper Two, where visual texts such as advertisements may be used to enhance pupils' media literacy abilities.

    The oral examinations will also do away with picture discussion and more attention will be placed on using English Language as a tool for interaction. Students will be asked, for example, to present a news report and discuss its contents afterwards or deliver a speech.

    For students taking the Normal (Technical) syllabus, their N-level examinations will include real-life tasks such as having to fill up a form and writing a letter of application. Students will complete these assignments based on information extracted from sources ranging from brochures to advertisements.

    Teachers told Today that these changes will better prepare students for the workplace but noted that students and parents must also play a role in adapting to the new assessment format.

    At St Andrew's Secondary, students have been put through drama performances and debates to provide more opportunities in using the language through authentic settings.

    On the new assessment format, Mr Liang Sea Fong, the school's head of department for English Language and Literature, said: "There is a greater alliance among the three streams. The greater emphasis placed on listening and editing skills will better prepare students for their lives in building inter-personal relationships (and) writing in internationally acceptable English."

    At Teck Whye Secondary, only one in four students speak English at home. The school's head of English, Ms Shirley Teo, said that the changes were much needed.

    She said: "I think we have underestimated for our students the intricacies of listening well and to organise what we hear purposefully. At tertiary level, our students are required to become independent learners and take down notes."

    Kranji Secondary's Head of English Language and Literature, Ms Serene Lai, said that students will be able to communicate more accurately by knowing the right use of grammar.

    The use of real-life tasks will help students apply the language in their daily lives, she said.

    Nevertheless, she reiterated: "Parents play a vital role by being role-models in the use of Standard English (and) students should be pro-active to read widely."







    Debating sessions, such as this one between St Andrew's Secondary and Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School, will help students prepare for the revised exam format for English Language. PHOTO COURTESY ST ANDREW'S SCHOOL (SECONDARY)

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    Default S'pore to host three global summits on sustainable cities

    Updated 01:07 PM Apr 20, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Some 15,000 international delegates will converge in Singapore this July for three global summits.

    These are the World Cities Summit, the Singapore International Water Week and the inaugural Clean Enviro Summit Singapore, which will be held together for the first time from July 1 to 5 at Marina Bay Sands.

    The three events will see prominent mayors, government and industry leaders discuss solutions for more liveable and sustainable cities.

    The delegates are expected to speak on wide-ranging topics, including investing in cities, smart cities, water planning and urbanisation trends and challenges in the next 20 years.

    Beyond discussing urbanisation issues, there will also be in-depth discussion on water and waste management.

    With integrated solutions being the new focus of the three events, executive director of the Centre for Liveable Cities Khoo Teng Chye said their co-location this year is one way Singapore is taking the lead to find new and more holistic ways to achieve clean and sustainable development for global cities.

    The co-location of the events will offer a truly integrated platform for the first time for global delegates to discuss challenges, opportunities and best practices, he added. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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    Default National Library launches Asian Children's Literature Collection

    Updated 12:55 PM Apr 20, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The National Library Board today launched its first thematic collection, the Asian Children's Literature Collection.

    The new collection, which includes a selection of up to 800 rare books, will be available for public viewing.

    These include handwritten, out-of-print and fairytale classics in various Asian languages.

    The collection was launched at Woodlands Regional Library this morning by Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim.

    The Government is committed to providing equitable access for Singaporeans to a diverse set of knowledge resources, as well as conducive reading and learning environments through the libraries, Dr Yaacob said.

    He also encouraged parents to make use of the many Asian fairy tales, folklores, legends and fables in the collection to engage their children with meaningful stories.

    This could help them develop an understanding of our ancestral cultures and deepen their appreciation of Asian culture and heritage
    , Dr Yaacob added. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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    Default Singapore set to become regional hub for training helicopter pilots


    by Dylan Loh
    04:45 AM Apr 20, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Singapore is fast becoming a regional hub for training helicopter pilots, with a new full-flight simulator starting operations earlier this month.

    Besides France, the Republic is the only country to have this high-tech machine, situated in Seletar Aerospace Park and operated by aerospace group Eurocopter. About 40 pilots from five nations, including Australia, India and the United Arab Emirates, will train at the Eurocopter simulator this year.

    Trainees will get to experience flying over France and try their hand at executing different chopper manoeuvres.

    "It's hard to practice emergency situations because it is very dangerous. So this simulator lets us practice in safety," said Mr Park Chang Sung from the South Korean Coast Guard, who has trained with the simulator.

    Mr Scott Kitchen, who trained Mr Park, said simulators make pilot training safer.

    "It also saves valuable training dollars for any company or any organisation because the cost for a flight hour is much more than what it costs to run the flight simulator," he said.

    Eurocopter's training centre in Seletar Aerospace Park also has another simulator that is used by the Republic of Singapore Air Force. Some 50 pilots train with it every year.

    Noting that training with a simulator plays a crucial role in honing pilot skills, instructor Ronnie Chan said: "Sometimes when you practice in the air, you feel a bit lost because you don't know what to do. (In the simulator), technique-wise, if you are wrong, we'll correct you."

    Eurocopter said more bookings for the training services are in the works.

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    Default A*Star discovers breakthrough in breast cancer treatment

    Published on Apr 20, 2012

    By Goh Shi Ting

    Breast cancer patients have another form of treatment to look forward to.

    A landmark discovery in neural stem cell research by A*Star's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) shows that engineered human stem cells can be used to target breast tumour cells.

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Singaporean women. More than 1,400 women are diagnosed with the disease, and more than 300 die each year, due to the invasive nature of the tumour spreading throughout the body. Conventional therapies are also ineffective in destroying the cancer cells.

    Using a mice test, IBN found that the use of neural stem cells, which has been investigated to treat brain tumours, can target outside the central nervous system too.

  10. #5977
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    Default Ayes all round for Singapore eye in the sky

    First locally developed satellite invaluable in helping to monitor environmental change


    Published on Apr 22, 2012


    A satellite image of a forest fire in Sumatra on Sept 18 last year. Since its launch in May last year, the X-Sat has taken and beamed back more than 1,000 satellite images from space. -- PHOTO: NTU SATELLITE RESEARCH CENTRE



    By Jermyn Chow, Defence Correspondent

    One year in space, and Singapore's first locally designed and built satellite has not only captured images of Sumatra's forest fires and the Bangkok floods, but also had a few near misses with floating debris.

    Since last May, X-Sat, which hovers 800km above ground, has taken and beamed back more than 1,000 satellite images from space to help researchers on the ground monitor the effects of environmental changes.

    Associate Professor Low Kay Soon, one of X-Sat's team leaders, said the National Environment Agency and environmental consultancy Sentinel Asia have benefited from X-Sat's images.

    The red-and-black photographs - with red denoting vegetation and black representing bodies of water - can be used to measure soil erosion, sea pollution and environmental changes within an area of 50km by 30km.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Maids urged to upgrade themselves on days off

    by Alvina Soh

    04:45 AM Apr 23, 2012



    SINGAPORE - Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob is urging foreign domestic workers - who would have one day off every week from next year - to make use of the mandatory day off to upgrade themselves.

    She spoke yesterday as a group of 52 Indonesian maids graduated with high school or pre-university certificates from Sekolah Indonesia Singapura. The maids had spent two days every month over the past two to three years studying.

    Since 2009, 1,789 Indonesian maids have enrolled in the training school to brush up on their sewing and computer literacy skills, as well as English proficiency.

    With the mandatory weekly day off for foreign maids kicking in next year, Madam Halimah said she hopes more will take advantage of the extra time they have to acquire new skills.


    "(It would be) a chance for them to rejuvenate, to rest and to revitalise in different ways, connecting with their friends, with their community. But at the same time, also upgrade themselves, to benefit themselves as well as their employers too," Mdm Halimah said.

    According to the Indonesian Embassy, there are currently 120,000 Indonesian maids in Singapore.

    Sekolah Indonesia Singapura takes in up to 400 students a year.


    With the extra day off, it expects an additional 500 to enrol in its courses next year. Alvina Soh

  12. #5979
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    Default Sikhs in S'pore mark Vesakhi

    by Tan Qiuyi
    04:45 AM Apr 23, 2012

    About 6,000 people gathered yesterday at the Singapore Khalsa Association on Tessensohn Road for the annual Vesakhi or Sikh New Year celebrations.

    Members of the local Sikh community, permanent residents, expatriates and foreign workers came together for an all-day event of sports, song, and dance.

    Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing also joined the fun. 'Singapore has been an immigrant society for as long as we can remember. Every year, every generation will bring forth new people to come to our shores to join us as fellow Singaporeans,' Mr Chan said. 'It's very important for us, within this community, that we can organise ourselves and come together to do things for ourselves.' Tan Qiuyi; Photo by: Don Wong





    Photo by DON WONG

  13. #5980
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    Default Recycling has its rewards

    Online programme lets HDB, landed property residents earn points

    by Amanda Lee
    04:45 AM Apr 23, 2012

    SINGAPORE - More recyclable material has been collected from Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats and landed properties, according to the country's first online recycling rewards programme.

    The programme, called Grow your Recycling Incentives Now, was launched in June in landed properties in Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and parts of Jalan Besar GRC by Veolia Environmental Services.

    The programme was rolled out a month later in HDB estates in Tampines, Pasir Ris and Changi Simei, as well as in landed properties in Pasir Ris and Changi Simei.

    Residents can earn redemption points for every kilogram of recyclable material collected, which can be used to redeem for retail privileges or be donated to support charitable causes.

    According to Veolia Environmental Services, the amount of recyclable material collected from the HDB flats grew by over four times, from 90 tonnes in July to 365 tonnes in January.

    Over the same period, landed properties witnessed a 31.7 per cent increase, from 120 tonnes of recyclable materials collected last July to 158 tonnes in January.

    Currently, about 1,000 of the estimated 7,000 residential landed household in Pasir Ris, Changi Simei, Tanjong Pagar GRC and parts of Jalan Besar GRC have registered with the programme.

    "We hope to have half of the landed property in the two sectors that we are working on to register in the next 12 months," said Mr Jerome Baco, country manager of Veolia Environmental Services.

    To mark Earth Day, more than 50 employees of Veolia Environmental Services reached out to more than 900 landed properties in the Tanjong Pagar GRC last Friday to encourage more residents to recycle and sign up for the programme.

    The company had in February deployed recycling ambassadors in the HDB estates to work with the respective grassroots network such as the Residents' Committees, to educate residents on the correct recycling practices and encourage recycling.

    Recyclables deposited into the radio frequency identification-tagged recycling bins can be weighed and the participating household identified.

    Through this method, residents can convert the weight of recyclables into redemption points. With a minimum of 3kg of recyclables collected in the recycling bin, one point will be awarded for every kilogram.

    The accumulated points can be used to redeem privileges and gifts sponsored by seven merchants, such as Ben and Jerry, Homefix and Pet Lovers Centre. The points can also be donated to support a worthy cause.

    Notwithstanding the points, Mr Loo Teck Leong, 82, a resident of Tanjong Pagar GRC, felt the most important thing for him is to recycle those items that can be recycled.

    Another resident of Tanjong Pagar GRC, Miss Cheryln Tan, 35, a communications executive, said that with the recyclable bins at her doorstep, it makes it "convenient to recycle" as she would not have to drive to a recycling centre to bring items such as plastic bottles and papers.

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    Default Australian PM Gillard reaffirms ties with Singapore

    Published on Apr 24, 2012


    PM Lee with his Australian counterpart Julia Gillard on Monday. She was on her first official trip to Singapore since taking office in 2010. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENGKIM


    By Cheong Suk-Wai, Senior Correspondent

    Australia will likely extend its agreement with Singapore to allow the Republic's air force to continue to train in Oakey, Queensland, said its Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday.

    Ms Gillard, who was on a two-day visit to Singapore, indicated that Canberra would renew the tie-up, in a move that promises to give a boost to ties between the two countries, particularly in defence cooperation.

    'Singapore values the opportunity to train and come and do exercises in Australia, including at the Army Aviation Centre at Oakey, where Singapore does helicopter training, and that is under an agreement that we are about to renew,' she told journalists.

    The Australian leader's official visit here is her first to Singapore since taking office in June 2010. Accompanied by her partner, Mr Tim Mathieson, she had arrived on Sunday
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    Default Fifth Vietnam-Singapore park gets green light

    Viet leaders roll out red carpet for President Tony Tan


    Published on Apr 24, 2012


    President Tony Tan (left) at a state banquet with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang at the International Convention Centre and at a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the Government Office on Monday. -- PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO



    By Jessica Lim

    HANOI - The fifth and newest Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) got the go-ahead on Monday, in a move that marked burgeoning ties between the two countries.

    As President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang looked on, the US$337.82 million (S$422 million) project, a joint venture led by Singapore's Sembcorp Development and Vietnam's Becamex IDC Corporation, received its investment certificate.

    The ceremony at the ornate Presidential Palace in Hanoi was one of several that Dr Tan attended on the first day of his state visit to Vietnam.



    Background story


    EXCELLENT TIES

    'These projects symbolise our excellent partnership based on trust and mutual interests and benefits, and are testament to Singapore's confidence in Vietnam's future.'

    President Tony Tan Keng Yam

    It also closed a circle that had started when Mr Sang visited Singapore seven months ago and witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the feasibility of a fifth VSIP in central Vietnam.
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    Default Vietnam agrees to S$413m industrial park


    by Dylan Loh
    04:45 AM Apr 24, 2012

    HANOI - Singapore has been given the green light to build a fifth industrial park in Vietnam, worth over US$330 million (S$413 million).

    The 600-hectare project in Quang Ngai province will be developed along with a 520-hectare commercial and residential site.

    It comes as both countries mark closer cooperation, with President Tony Tan Keng Yam's inaugural state visit from yesterday to Friday. Dr Tan yesterday witnessed a ceremony where Singapore was awarded certification to build the new industrial park in central Vietnam.

    Singapore conglomerate Sembcorp will develop, market and manage the project. About 30 to 40 parties have already indicated interest in the park, said Sembcorp.

    Phase One of the park should take shape within three years, when the first factories and profits spring up.

    Dr Tan said the joint industrial undertakings symbolised a partnership based on trust, and testified to Singapore's confidence in Vietnam's future.

    "As we celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of our bilateral relations next year, I am confident that our ties will continue to grow from strength to strength," said Dr Tan. "Let us continue with our strong partnership to advance our common regional interests for the betterment of our people and the region."

    As Vietnam develops, the project is expected to feed rising demand in domestic consumption and create more jobs for the local workforce.

    "Central Vietnam, if you look at it, is a very nice corridor to other nearby countries, for example Laos, northern Thailand and even Cambodia," co-chair of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park Group (VSIP) Low Sin Leng said.

    "But, most significantly, central Vietnam itself has about five million population in the surrounding province and Quang Ngai is a industrial province in central Vietnam. Not to forget that central Vietnam also has a lot of labour and the cost is relatively cheaper."

    VSIP is a joint venture between Vietnam's Becamex IDC Corporation and a Singapore consortium, with Sembcorp Development, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries, holding the majority of the shares in the consortium. Singapore has investments of over US$20 billion in Vietnam.







    Dr Tan (left) and Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang (second from left), witnessing the award ceremony for the industrial park. PHOTO COURTESY SEMBCORP INDUSTRIES

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    Default Qatar keen to learn from Singapore's waste water and parks management

    Posted: 24 April 2012 0945 hrs


    Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Community Development, Youth and Sports Mr Sam Tan meeting Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah. (MFA)



    SINGAPORE: The Central Municipal Council (CMC) of Qatar has expressed interest in learning about Singapore's experience in waste water and parks management.

    This took place during a meeting between Singapore's Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Community Development, Youth and Sports, Mr Sam Tan and the Chairman of the CMC, Mr Saoud Bin Abdullah Al-Hinzab in Qatar on Monday.

    The CMC is the only elected Council in Qatar and comprises 29 members from different parts of the country.

    It deliberates on a range of issues, including urban and infrastructure planning, as well as health and sanitation.

    Mr Tan also called on the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah.

    They reviewed the progress achieved at the 5th Meeting of the Qatar-Singapore High-Level Joint Committee, which took place in Doha on March 13, 2012.

    They also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral ties.

    Mr Tan extended an invitation for Dr Al-Attiyah to visit Singapore.

    He'll participate in a roundtable on "Strengthening All Forms of Cooperation and Partnership for Trade and Development, including North-South, South-South and Triangular Cooperation" on Tuesday.

    Mr Tan is in Qatar from April 21 to 24 for the 13th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

    The theme of the conference, which takes place once every four years, is "Development Centred Globalization: Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Growth and Development".

    On Monday, Mr Tan delivered a statement at the General Debate.

    - CNA/cc
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