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  1. #6019
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    Default About 1,500 primary school students to get a nutrition boost

    04:45 AM May 03, 2012

    SINGAPORE - About 1,500 primary school children from low-income families in the South East District will be given extra food in school daily to ensure they have sufficient nutritional intake.

    The "Health Up 4 Kids @ South East" programme, initiated by South East Community Development Council (CDC) and funded by CapitaLand Hope Foundation, will be piloted at eight schools in the district. Children will be given fruits, cereal, wholemeal bread, oats, milk, Milo, yoghurt, cheese and nuts to supplement their meals.

    A survey conducted in 2010 by South East CDC and Temasek Polytechnic with a group of students from Bedok, Fengshan and MacPherson Primary Schools had found that a number of children from low-income families were underweight and malnourished. This could be due to a lack of emphasis on nutritional needs and intakes in these families due to their daily financial struggles, said the CDC.

    For the programme, the eight participating schools will identify students who are receiving Ministry of Education Financial Assistance. Also, they will identify severely underweight students to benefit from the nutrition programme.

    With a balanced diet, the CDC hopes that the health and school performance of the students will be better.





    Najmus Sehar, 11, a 'Health Up 4 Kids' beneficiary from MacPherson Primary School. PHOTO COURTESY SOUTH EAST CDC

  2. #6020
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    Default Why more migrants needed in S'pore

    By Imelda Saad | Posted: 03 May 2012 0935 hrs


    People cross the road in the central business district of Singapore. (AFP photo/Simin Wang)


    SINGAPORE: Another study has been released in support of Singapore's need to attract new migrants to slow down the impact of an ageing and dwindling population.

    Released by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), the report is the first to take into account the country's non-resident population.

    This includes those on work permits, long-term social visit passes and foreign students.

    In its report, the institute sets out three scenarios.

    One, where the proportion of foreigners remains at 25 per cent (or one in four) of the total population.

    Two, where this proportion drops to 20 per cent (or one in five).

    And three, where the proportion is raised to 33 per cent (or one in three).

    For all scenarios, it is assumed that Singapore will take in 30,000 new citizens or Permanent Residents every year, and the country's Total Fertility Rate remains at 1.24

    The report states that a higher non-resident population will mean a larger total population, from the current 5 million now to 6.8 million in 2030, if the proportion of foreigners in the population is raised to 33 per cent.

    And while the average population will still get older, a higher proportion of non-residents will slow this process down.

    The same is said for the support ration between a working adult and an elderly.

    While the ratio will still decline, with more foreigners in the midst, the impact will be somewhat mitigated.

    Assuming the country's Total Fertility Rate remains at 1.24 and it brings in 30,000 new citizens or PRs yearly with non-residents, the support ratio now for every one elderly aged 65 and above to a working adult is 1:10.3.

    In about 20 years, this will be halved at 1:5.1, if foreigners make up 33 per cent of the population.

    If Singapore takes in no immigrants, there will be only about two working adults supporting each elderly person, by then.

    So, even with more foreigners in the mix, there will be fewer Singaporeans supporting the elderly.

    But the paper shows that the problem is exacerbated without taking in migrants.

    With or without foreigners, the labour force will be hit.

    Even with the bumped-up crop of foreigners, the report shows the growth in total labour force will dip from the average 3.6 per cent annual growth which Singapore has been enjoying since the 70s.

    With the current proportion of one in four foreigners in the midst, the labour force will grow by 1.04 per cent over the next 10 years.

    Raising the proportion to one in three will see the labour force grow to 2.47 per cent annually, over the same period.

    The IPS report comes just a week after a similar paper was issued by the National Population and Talent Division.

    Both papers present population projections based on certain assumption and are not meant to be forecasts or predictions.

    Together, the reports will form the basis of a national discussion on populations issues that will culminate in a White Paper to be released by the end of the year.

    The White Paper on Population will set out issues important to Singaporeans and map out strategies for a sustainable population.

    This will cover areas such as housing, transport and land use.

    - CNA/wk
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  3. #6021
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    Default Singapore's Chief of Defence Force receives Indonesia's highest military award

    Posted: 02 May 2012 1750 hrs


    Indonesian Minister of Defence Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro congratulates LG Neo Kian Hong after conferring the Bintang Yudha Dharma Utama on him at the Defence Ministry in Jakarta (Photo from MINDEF)



    SINGAPORE: Singapore's Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong has received Indonesia's highest military award, the Bintang Yudha Dharma Utama or Grand Meritorious Military Order.

    He received the award at a ceremony in Jakarta on Wednesday.

    The award was presented by Indonesian Defence Minister, Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro, on behalf of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

    Previous recipients of the Bintang Yudha Dharma Utama include former chiefs of defence force Lieutenant-General (NS) Desmond Kuek, Lieutenant-General (Ret) Ng Yat Chung and Lieutenant-General (Ret) Lim Chuan Poh.

    A statement from Singapore's Defence Ministry said the conferment of the award on Lieutenant-General Neo reflects the long-standing and strong defence relations between Singapore and Indonesia.

    The armed forces of both countries interact regularly in a range of activities, including visits, professional exchanges, and bilateral exercises such as Exercise Elang Indopura, Exercise Eagle and Exercise Safkar Indopura.

    These interactions have enhanced the mutual understanding and close ties between the two armed forces.

    Lieutenant-General Neo, who is in Indonesia for a three-day visit, called on Dr Purnomo and the Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian National Defence Forces, Admiral Agus Suhartono earlier Wednesday.

    He will visit the Indonesia Peace and Security Centre on May 3.

    - CNA/fa
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  4. #6022
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    Default Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces conferred S'pore's highest military award

    Posted: 12 April 2012 1647 hrs



    President Tony Tan Keng Yam (L) congratulating MG Aminuddin Ihsan after conferring the Distinguished Service Order (Military) on him at the Istana. (Photo: MINDEF)


    SINGAPORE: Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Major General Aminuddin Ihsan was conferred Singapore's highest military award.

    The Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) was conferred on him by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana on Thursday afternoon.

    The award was for his role in enhancing excellent defence relations between both armed forces. He was also instrumental in forging closer ties between both armed forces which also further enhanced the professional development of officers.

    Also present at the investiture was Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, as well as senior government officials and military officers from both countries.

    -CNA/ac
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  5. #6023
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    Default Asia's home of boxing

    On eve of title bouts, experts say the Republic has potential to be the region's boxing hub


    by Ian De Cotta
    04:45 AM May 04, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The first major title bout here in 22 years has been sold out and with the event scheduled to take place tomorrow night at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS), pundits are betting on Singapore to be the next global hub for professional boxing.

    In the words of top ring boxing and mixed martial arts announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr, the Lion City has the right resume as the "tremendous success story of all of Asia". (see other story)

    For event promoter Angelo Hyder of Dragon Fire Promotions, what counts is the city-state's reputation for staging big events like the 117th International Olympic Committee session in 2005 and the Formula 1 night race since 2008.

    Boxing fans have paid between S$50 and S$500 to watch the World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight title bout pitting defending champion Chris John of Indonesia against Japan's Shoji Kimura, which will be supported by the IBO featherweight title bout between Indonesia's Daud Yordan and Filipino Lorenzo Villanueva in a six-fight undercard.

    The last major title bouts, held here in 1989, were financial failures. Only 700 fans paid to watch Indonesia's Ellyas Pical defend his IBF junior bantamweight crown against Mike Phelps of the United States, while 450 turned up for Ghanaian Naya Yaw Konadu's successful defence of his WBC super flyweight title against Dae Yong Park of South Korea.

    Lennon Jr is not surprised that the gamble on Singapore has paid off for the WBA, the oldest of the four main sanctioning bodies for professional boxing.

    Singapore's economic success and political stability, he told Today, are top draws for sports events promoters.

    "If there is going to be a centre of boxing, it very well could be here because Singapore has demonstrated that they can do things and they can do things very big," said the American.

    For Hyder, Singapore's expertise and facilities - which will soon include the Sports Hub and a revamped Singapore Indoor Stadium - give the region's exponents the global platform they are seeking.

    "I am not overly concerned about going to America. My concern is to bring the next fighters through and maybe one can be a super champion like Manny Pacquiao or Muhammad Ali," said the Australian.

    "We want to create in the next generation those sort of fighters because look at the population we have around here and the opportunities."

    He added that poverty levels in the Philippines and Indonesia have turned these countries into boxing superpowers that breed boxers "who do the Rocky story".

    With Japan, Thailand and South Korea traditionally producing good boxers and with China also on the rise, there is a growing need to bring them to an Asian hub.

    Said Hyder: "To promote fights at the world level, you must have an organisation like MBS that can handle the logistics, which is a problem elsewhere in Asia. There is nowhere in other parts of Asia that can put this type of event on."

    The sell-out title fights tomorrow have prompted MBS senior vice-president of marketing Mark Juliano to hint that more can be expected. Said Juliano: "With this particular boxing event and the implausible response we have received from Singapore as well as the region, we certainly hope to bring in other title fights of International recognition here in the future."






    The fight between Chris John (left) and Shoji Kimura promises to be an exciting affair for fans and neutrals alike. REUTERS

  6. #6024
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    Default Singapore could rival Vegas

    Updated 10:58 AM May 04, 2012

    On the verge of eclipsing Las Vegas as a gambling hub, Singapore has all the ingredients to become a legitimate rival to the American city's home of boxing title, says famed ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.

    A World Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Lennon's surprise appearance added glitter to a card which offers genuine promise that the sport could find a long term home in Singapore and take business from Vegas.

    This is the first time Singapore is hosting two world title contests on the same card, and the promoters said all 4,000 tickets have been sold.

    While analysts forecast Singapore will overtake Las Vegas this year as the second biggest gaming location in the world behind Macau, Lennon acknowledges it will be a while before the duo spar as genuine boxing rivals.

    "There is a strong tradition of boxing in Las Vegas, and it won't happen overnight, but the world is moving east in many ways, the economy, the language and so forth making that shift is not out of the realms of possibilities," said Lennon.

    Offering a sobering contrast to Singapore's ambitions is the world class card assembled in Las Vegas this weekend. On Saturday (Sunday morning, Singapore time), undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr will defend his WBA super-welterweight title against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, while the Mexican Saul Alvarez faces Sugar Shane Mosley on an exciting undercard at the MGM Grand.

    Lennon believes Asia still needs boxers from the Americas and Europe to help establish itself.

    "Asia does need the rest of the world now, and I'm speaking in the sport of boxing only ... but the majority are more from the west, the United States, South America, Mexico and Europe as well, so that is the tradition. Could it move? Yeah it could, but it will take a little time."

    Undefeated John, who was named WBA 'fighter of the decade' earlier this year, could be key to Asia's future legitimacy, should he choose to make Singapore his base, and more illustrious opponents travel east to take him on.

    "Being in a neutral place can be a real advantage because fighters may not want to go to the hometown of their opponent. In some ways Las Vegas is that way for fighters in the US. Singapore could also be the same and this is the first fight they are doing, they are doing it big with two world titles, but let's see what happens." REUTERS

  7. #6025
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    Default Sepak Takraw: ISTAF Super Series tournament gets underway in Singapore

    By Patwant Singh | Posted: 03 May 2012 1601 hrs



    The ISTAF Super Series Singapore tournament got underway on Thursday at ITE College East Simei


    SINGAPORE: The ISTAF Super Series Singapore tournament got underway on Thursday at ITE College East Simei.

    Powerhouse Thailand in blue were in action against another strong contender Malaysia at the official opening.

    The Thais clearly outplayed their opponents with their acrobatics and deft touches.

    Ten men teams, including host Singapore and the United States, will be joined by six women teams in the third leg of the series.

    The other men teams are Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Korea, Brunei and Philippines. Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and China will compete in the women's category.

    The biggest Sepak Takraw event to be staged in Singapore will be beamed to an estimated 800 million global television viewers.

    Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing, outlined the importance of staging such events.

    Mr Chan said: "I hope more such events will come to Singapore because it provides opportunity for our athletes to compete at a higher level by sparring with the regional counterparts and international counterparts. I think all this would put them in good stead for future competitions.

    "The other thing is that I am always looking out for in these event is the organisation behind the event itself. These are small little events that allow us to oil our machinery and keep our experience warm, so that we can build upon all this to prepare ourselves to organise even larger events."

    - CNA/fa
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  8. #6026
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    Default No more Indonesian maids for errant bosses

    Indonesian Embassy urges maids to report employers who put them in harm's way


    Published on May 4, 2012


    Madam Masni (left) showing her maid Maratul Musyarofah the safe way to clean windows. The Indonesian Embassy will bar Singapore employers and maid agents from hiring and recruiting Indonesian maids if the women are put in harm's way in the course of doing domestic chores. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM



    By Amelia Tan

    The Indonesian Embassy will bar Singapore employers and maid agents from hiring and recruiting Indonesian maids if the women are put in harm's way in the course of doing domestic chores.

    Aware that keeping tabs on the thousands of homes here is impossible, the embassy plans to get the maids themselves to blow the whistle.

    Indonesian Embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwowo told The Straits Times that he is urging Indonesian maids to contact him - by phone, e-mail or Facebook - if they feel they are being made to clean windows and hang out laundry in dangerous ways.

    An employer or agent found by the embassy to have been in the wrong will be blacklisted and barred from taking on Indonesian maids, he said.
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  9. #6027
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    Default Inaugural Regatta ends on a high note

    04:45 AM May 07, 2012

    The inaugural DBS Marina Regatta, which was held in the waters of the Marina Bay over the weekend, drew to a close yesterday.

    Almost 100 international and Singapore teams participated. The prizes on offer totalled S$178,000 - the biggest-ever for an international dragon boat race.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (second from left), who was the guest of honour on the closing day, and DBS CEO Piyush Gupta (third from left) witnessed the Singapore national team come in second behind their Indonesian counterparts in the Open, Women and Mixed categories.

    Starting this year, the DBS Marina Regatta will be held annually in partnership with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association. Photo by Ooi Boon Keong







    Photo by OOI BOON KEONG

  10. #6028
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    Default New soccer academy to train kids - if they pass their exams

    Published on May 6, 2012

    Budding footballers of the Tampines Football Academy play a friendly game at the Tampines Stadium on May 6, 2012. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM



    By Jose Hong

    Needy youths and youth-at-risk will get to train with professional coaches and players from the Tampines Rovers under the new Tampines Football Academy.

    Less than a month old, the school takes in boys between the ages of 10 and 16 years who have a passion for soccer, and provide them opportunities to compete in friendly matches and participate in overseas training tours. There is only one catch - these students must pass all of their school examinations first.

    The brainchild of North East Community Development Council (NE CDC) mayor Teo Ser Luck, the academy focuses on reaching out to needy youth and youth-at-risk in the district. So long as these youths come from families whose household income does not exceed $2,500 or $700 per capita, they are eligible to apply for a registration fee subsidy.

    One of the key features of this academy is how it uses soccer to motivate youths to do well in their examinations. It is open to youths from all over Singapore, and will work closely with schools to ensure that its participants attain at least a pass in their examinations before they are allowed to proceed further with their football training. If the students do not do well in school, the CDC will offer them subsidised tuition sessions.
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  11. #6029
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    Default 'Old friends' reminisce during book interview

    Published on May 6, 2012



    Former West German leader Helmut Schmidt interviewed Mr Lee for a book he is writing. Two more such meetings are scheduled. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG



    Former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew met his one-time West German counterpart Helmut Schmidt at the Shangri-La Hotel on Saturday.

    Mr Schmidt is in Singapore to tap Mr Lee's views on international affairs for a book that he is writing. The interview on Saturday lasted three hours, and two more interviews of similar length are scheduled over the next two days.

    Mr Lee's office described the closed-door meeting as one between 'old friends', who reminisced about the past before discussing the present situation in the international arena.

    The former German leader, who is 94 and in a wheelchair, served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982.
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  12. #6030
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    Default Pre-schoolers to be taught healthy habits

    By Sara Grosse | Posted: 07 May 2012 1142 hrs


    Children at a childcare centre in Singapore (AFP File/Roslan Rahman)



    SINGAPORE: Children as young as three years old at pre-school level will be taught healthy habits, under a holistic framework called CHERISH Junior.

    CHERISH, or CHampioning Efforts Resulting in Improved School Health, will help to push for a learning environment that promotes integrated health-conscious experience among children.

    Teachers will use lesson plans and activities to teach topics related to health.

    They will also get children in K2 to act as role models to champion health-promoting habits and nutritious meals at childcare centres.

    The Health Promotion Board (HPB), which launched CHERISH Junior on Monday, aims to get at least 10 per cent of all pre-schools to come on board by the end of the year.

    It hopes to expand participation rate to 30 per cent by 2015.

    To date, 91 pre-schools have applied to be a CHERISH Junior pre-school.

    They are currently being assessed by HPB based on six criteria.

    These are school policies, physical environment, social environment, community involvement, curricula for healthy living and preventive and promotion services.

    They also have to show they are setting standards for best practices, as well as achieving tangible outcomes in school health promotion.

    These include providing a safe and healthy environment for learning, such as working with HPB to vigilantly detect and prevent the spread of communicable infections like Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) by displaying and distributing educational materials, and conducting educational talks for parents.

    The programme began as a small project in a few pre-schools a few years ago, featuring educational talks for parents.

    HPB will now move a full suite of health promotion activities to pre-schools to strengthen the health foundations of young children and influence their health outcomes later in life.

    According to HPB data, about eight per cent of children entering Primary 1 every year are overweight.

    HPB said with evidence showing obesity is hard to reverse in adulthood, there is an even greater urgency to move upstream to pre-schools and introduce healthy lifestyle habits in children as early as possible.

    Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: "Health promotion in early childhood goes a long way in preventing infectious diseases and developing good health habits and self-esteem into adulthood.

    "For instance, studies show that dietary habits are formed before one reaches five, and these habits are difficult to change after they turn 11.

    "It has, therefore, become necessary to bring our school health services further upstream, so as to nip any health problem in the bud even before our children enter primary school."

    HPB chief executive officer Ang Hak Seng said the pre-school environment provides one of the most conducive environments for influencing lifestyle habits by reaching out to young children, as well as their parents and teachers.

    "Within this setting, HPB is able to nurture the youngest health ambassadors and role models we have so far, empower parents with the ability to take proactive action in raising a healthy family, and provide educators with the resources and tools they need to run a successful health promoting school recognised by the CHERISH Junior Award," Mr Ang said.

    "In turn, I believe such schools will become popular choices among many parents who want their children to have a healthy start in life."

    - CNA/wk
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    Default Bukit Merah View Hawker Centre launches website

    By Melissa Chong | Posted: 06 May 2012 2148 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Bukit Merah View Hawker Centre has launched its very own website -- a first for a hawker centre in Singapore.

    The launch of the website also marks the official re-opening of the hawker centre after upgrading works.

    The hawker centre now sports a new look, with more food stalls and an expanded dining area, as well as more handicapped and eco-friendly features.

    MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Indranee Rajah hopes the website (www.bmvmakan.sg) will boost sales for hawkers by increasing their visibility online.

    The website will feature each hawker stall, including their best-selling dishes, opening hours and even a brief history of their business.

    "Singaporeans will go quite a long way for good food, so I figured if we have a website, then at least we can help our hawkers here to publicise their booth," she said.

    "I didn't want it just to be a website that talks about the hawker centre because every hawker centre is also about the hawkers, some of our hawkers have been here for 30 years."

    "Their recipes, the way they cook the food is very special and the whole life they have lived here. So I wanted the hawker centre to be about the people," Mdn Indranee added.

    The team behind the website consists of young grassroots leaders and volunteers, who volunteered to take photographs, interview stallholders and do write-ups for the website.

    It was designed by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which provided their services for a nominal fee.

    - CNA/wm
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    Default S'pore's largest dragon boat competition comes to a close

    By Alvina Soh | Posted: 06 May 2012 2048 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Marina Bay came alive on Sunday night, as nearly 100 teams pitted their skills against one another in The DBS Marina Regatta 2012 - Singapore's biggest dragon boat competition in recent years.

    It was a spectacular show of camaraderie, strength and endurance, as local and international teams raced to the finish line to win a total of S$178,000 in cash prizes.

    The two-day DBS Marina Regatta saw Indonesia dominating the international categories.

    Singapore came in second in the women's and men's category.

    Gracing the occasion was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who presented the awards to the champions.

    Spectators were later treated to a dazzling display of fireworks.

    - CNA/wm
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    Default Colombia president to visit S'pore

    Posted: 06 May 2012 1055 hrs



    File photo of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (AFP/File - Luis Acosta)



    SINGAPORE: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón will make a three-day state visit to Singapore from Sunday to Tuesday.

    He is here at the invite of his Singapore counterpart Tony Tan Keng Yam.

    This will be Mr Santos' first state visit to the country.

    A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Colombia.

    During his visit here, Mr Santos will call on President Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    Mr Santos will visit the Botanic Gardens, the Institute of Technical Education East Campus, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and be hosted to a business networking lunch by Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran.

    President Santos will be accompanied by his wife, María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos.

    His delegation will include several ministers such as Colombia's Foreign Affairs Minister María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Sergio Díaz-Granados and Transport Minister Germán Cardona Gutiérrez.

    There will also be a business delegation.

    - CNA/wk
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    Default How will future hawker centres be run?

    By Wayne Chan | Posted: 05 May 2012 1409 hrs


    Norjumanese (L) fronts Dignity Kitchen as its cashier (Photo: Chitra Kumar, channelnewsasia.com)


    SINGAPORE: A government-appointed hawker centre consultation panel has recommended social enterprises run hawker centres of the future, with aims of giving the disadvantaged jobs, and providing the community with affordable food.

    Meanwhile, some social enterprises in the food industry have already taken the first step to offer jobs to the disadvantaged.

    One of the social enterprises is Dignity Kitchen, where 33-year-old Norjumanese works.

    Norjumanese, who is blind, said: "Dignity Kitchen has fulfilled some of my dreams. Besides being a cashier, I am able to sing and be an entertainer."

    Norjumanese is one of 30 disadvantaged people working at Dignity Kitchen, a training school cum food centre operator.

    Students there are trained in food stall operations, food preparation, kitchen safety and simple cooking.

    Dignity Kitchen has even found jobs for some 50 of its former trainees in other food establishments.

    Dignity Kitchen executive director Koh Seng Choon said he hopes to do more than just teach a skill.

    He said: "What we try to do is not to just teach you a skill; what we want to do is to give you back your self-respect and dignity. That is harder to do."

    Mr Koh added: "One of my workers has some urinary problems and I know... he doesn't have CPF, so basically what we do now is give him options. For example, this month's rental you don't pay -- you pay me after one month."

    Another social enterprise which hopes to play a role in future hawker centres is Breakthrough Cafe.

    It employs ex-offenders, such 38-year-old Derrick Ee, who said he hopes to use the experience to set up a food business in future.

    Mr Ee said: "We also have a chance to do all those stock checking and ordering of stocks and then, this all helps us in terms of our future life.

    "My sister and her husband actually approached me to [set up] a stall of our own, like a small coffee shop. So from the experience that I gain from here, of course, I can give them advice and help them to set up the coffee shop."

    Breakthrough Cafe executive director Simon Neo said: "When they finish their programme, they can start their own business, and they can also continue to contribute to society in the hawker centre."

    The aim of getting social enterprises to run hawker centres includes giving the disadvantaged jobs, and providing the community with affordable food.

    - CNA/wk
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    Default S'pore, Brazil set to boost economic ties

    Posted: 05 May 2012 1121 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Economic ties between Singapore and Brazil are set to get a boost.

    Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang will make a four-day visit to Brazil next week, where he will meet his Brazilian counterpart Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Fernando Pimentel.

    They will advance discussions on economic cooperation between Singapore and Brazil, and discuss ways to tap the growing business opportunities in both countries.

    A statement from the Ministry of Trade and Industry said Mr Lim will meet other senior officials, including the Governor of Rio de Janeiro Sérgio Cabral and senior representatives from prominent Brazilian companies.

    He will also visit Singapore companies in Brazil, including Keppel FELS Brasil's BrasFELS shipyard in Angra dos Reis.

    Keppel FELS Brasil is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore and Marine.

    Mr Lim said he is confident Brazil's economy will continue to offer vast opportunities that Singapore businesses should seize, especially in sectors such as oil and gas, infrastructure and e-government.

    "Today, there are already more than 50 Singapore companies operating in Brazil and I would like to encourage more to actively pursue the opportunities in all sectors, especially oil and gas, infrastructure and e-government," Mr Lim said.

    "Conversely, Brazilian companies that are looking to take advantage of Asia's growth could use Singapore as a gateway to the regional market. I am therefore happy to note that we are continually strengthening bilateral trade and investment ties between our two countries."

    Brazil is one of Singapore's top trading partners in Latin America.

    Last year, bilateral trade amounted to S$4.16 billion, an 11 per cent increase over 2010.

    The number of Singapore-based companies with interests in Brazil is growing, in sectors spanning oil and gas, ports and shipping, freight and logistics, commodities, aerospace, consumer electronics and information and communications technology.

    Mr Lim will be accompanied by Singapore's non-resident ambassador to Brazil, Keppel Offshore & Marine chairman Choo Chiau Beng, as well as ministry officials.

    - CNA/wk

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