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  1. #6036
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    Default More educational opportunities for SAF personnel

    Posted: 04 May 2012 1927 hrs


    Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong and Principal & CEO of NYP Mr Chan Lee Mun signing the MOU at NYP Friday afternoon.


    SINGAPORE: Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) warrant officers, specialists and military domain experts can now look forward to more opportunities to continue their education and attain a formal diploma qualification.

    This has been made possible under a collaboration between the SAF and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).

    The collaboration was formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Partnership in Education between Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong and principal & CEO of NYP, Mr Chan Lee Mun on Friday.

    The Ministry of Defence said this 10-year MOU is built on the strong and multi-faceted partnership between the SAF and NYP since 1995.

    It comprises two main areas of collaboration.

    The first is the development of bridging certificate programmes to enable SAF personnel with an 'O' Level or National Institute of Technical Education Certificate to attain a formal diploma qualification through customised NYP diploma programmes.

    The second area allows servicemen to accumulate credits from SAF courses, which are recognised for academic courses at NYP.

    This will provide more academic upgrading opportunities to meet the servicemen's aspirations to continue their education.

    - CNA/cc
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  2. #6037
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    Default Malaysian police chief conferred Distinguished Service Order

    Posted: 04 May 2012 1723 hrs



    Courtesy call on Acting Prime Minister Mr Teo Chee Hean by Inspector-General of Police, Royal Malaysia Police, Tan Sri Haji Ismail Bin Haji Omar (Photo: MHA)


    SINGAPORE: Malaysia's police chief has been recognised for his role in strengthening ties between the crime fighting forces of Singapore and Malaysia.

    Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haji Ismail Bin Haji Omar, was conferred the Distinguished Service Order by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana on Friday.

    He contributed significantly to the promotion of close ties between the Royal Malaysia Police, the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Internal Security Department.

    The excellent co-operation in investigations, training and sharing of intelligence and information led to successes in combating terrorism and transnational crime.

    He also helped to deepen ties and develop rapport between officers of both countries.

    The citation said that under his leadership, the Royal Malaysia Police provided valuable operational assistance to the Singapore Police Force in solving significant cross-border criminal cases and smashing organised crime syndicates.

    The long-standing liaison meetings between both forces in criminal investigations, commercial crime investigations, as well as in maritime security have seen greater sharing of information and closer co-operation.

    Earlier Friday, Tan Sri Ismail Bin Haji Omar called on Acting Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean.

    They discussed topics of mutual interest, such as combating terrorism and transnational crime, and enhancing intelligence and information sharing between the law enforcement agencies of both countries.

    - CNA/wm
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  3. #6038
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    Default Singapore and EU reaffirm strong ties

    Posted: 04 May 2012 2104 hrs


    (Photo: MFA Singapore)


    SINGAPORE: Singapore and the European Union reaffirmed their strong ties during the visit by a seven-member delegation from the European Parliament's Delegation to Southeast Asia and ASEAN (DASE).

    Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam hosted lunch for the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

    Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday that both sides had a good discussion on a number of issues of mutual interest.

    These include the situation in Europe, developments in Asia, as well as Singapore's economic and social policies.

    MFA said Mr Shanmugam and the MEPs looked forward to the conclusion of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) and the EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (ESPCA).

    EUSFTA and ESPCA would also pave the way to greater ASEAN-EU engagement.

    The delegation, led by Chairman Werner Langen, called on Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer.

    It also met the Singapore-Europe Parliamentary Friendship Group, Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang and Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo.

    During its visit from May 1 to 4, the delegation also met with various ministries, agencies and think-tanks, as well as visited the Marina Barrage and PSA.

    - CNA/wm
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  4. #6039
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    Default All SUTD undergrads will get chance to do research

    New uni also announces two new centres for defence research


    Published on May 8, 2012


    SUTD president Tom Magnanti (right) calling for everyone present to give a 'high-five', at yesterday's inauguration ceremony to mark the launch of the academic year. Prof Magnanti said the university hoped to reach the full intake of 500 next year. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO


    By Sandra Davie, Senior Writer

    All 340 undergraduates at the new Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will be given the opportunity to carry out research, officials said on Monday.

    This sets it apart from most schools, where only a small proportion get the chance to do so.

    Officials said the move will provide more value for students already drawn to its multidisciplinary curriculum and partnerships with two renowned institutions.



    Background story

    Why they picked SUTD over other varsities

    Arron Li, 21, from Tampines Junior College. Scored an A for computing, B for Mathematics, and C for Physics at the A levels.

    He was accepted into the mechanical engineering course at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) but chose to wait 11/2 years for the SUTD term to start. Fascinated with the way products work, he plans to specialise in engineering product development.

    Why SUTD: 'We are exposed to a wide spectrum of subjects, including those in the humanities. It is something that not many other engineering universities can provide. I'm someone who truly loves variety.'

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Huang Jiayi, 21, diploma in mechanical engineering from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, with a 3.75 grade point average.


    She wants to specialise in engineering systems and design. She was accepted by five British universities, including Warwick.

    Why SUTD: 'I had my mind set on going overseas and I got into all five British universities that I applied to. But I gave that dream up, because not many people can count themselves as the pioneer batch from a university.'

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sharlene Wong, 20, from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, with a diploma (distinction) with honours.


    She waited for about 11/2 years to join the school, as she is keen on its engineering systems and design specialisation. She also had offers from NUS, NTU and the University of Rochester in the US.

    Why SUTD: 'I really believe in the philosophy behind the entire education at SUTD. It's a place where you really get to develop every aspect of yourself, and let your creativity go wild.'

    The school - which will team up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and China's Zhejiang University - has already said that it is setting up two research centres, on design and innovative cities.



    New defence labs at S'pore's 4th university

    by Ashley Chia
    04:45 AM May 08, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The Republic's fourth university will play a part in elevating defence research and development here, with two new laboratories being set up as part of a partnership with the Ministry of Defence.

    Announced yesterday, the move will see the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) complement work currently done at the DSO National Laboratories, including those at the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University.

    The first, called Temasek Laboratories, which went operational this month, will centre on areas of defence system design and development such as unmanned systems, soldier systems and information systems.

    iTrust, the second research centre, will focus on cyber security areas like software and firmware characterisation and security of critical infocommunications infrastructure. It will be ready by the end of this year.

    Said SUTD Provost Chong Tow Chong, the director of Temasek Laboratories: "Our wish is for SUTD's Temasek Laboratories to be the world's leading research centre in the frontier of systems design and integration, 10 years from now."

    Speaking at the university's inauguration ceremony yesterday, President Tony Tan, SUTD's Chancellor, said the collaboration will also provide "opportunities for undergraduates to undertake leading edge research under the mentorship of SUTD faculty, while working on real-world problems".

    At the ceremony, Michelle Loke, 19, part of the SUTD's pioneer cohort of students, said she was drawn to the university's cross-disciplinary aspect, which she felt would help give her a good grounding in both the arts and the sciences.

    With plans to study engineering product development, Ms Loke said she had always been interested in taking things apart to see how they work and her interest in engineering was further piqued after volunteering at an old folks' home earlier this year.

    "People keep coming up with new inventions or toys for the young but not much for the elderly. I'm very comfortable with the elderly and I think there are a lot of things that can be invented for them," she said. Ashley Chia


  5. #6040
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    Default All SUTD undergrads will get chance to do research

    SUTD president Tom Magnanti (right) calling for everyone present to give a 'high-five', at yesterday's inauguration ceremony to mark the launch of the academic year. Prof Magnanti said the university hoped to reach the full intake of 500 next year. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
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  6. #6041
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    Default 150 historical artefacts to go on display at Malay Heritage Centre

    Items, donated or lent, include two medallions of the late Yusof Ishak


    Published on May 8, 2012


    Medallions given to Singapore's first President Yusof Ishak by Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien of Brunei, are some of the collections at the Malay Heritage Centre. -- BERITA HARIAN PHOTO: TUNI SHARIFF


    By Tay Suan Chiang

    When Mr Yusof Ishak was appointed Yang Dipertuan Negara, or head of state, of Singapore in 1959, he received two medallions - one each from the Sultan of Brunei and Malaysia's king.

    These medallions will be among 150 artefacts on display at the revamped Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) when it reopens in September.

    The items, donated or on loan from more than 20 individuals and corporations, will be showcased in its permanent galleries.


    A TOUCH OF THE PAST

    The $3 million spruce-up of the seven-year-old MHC will allow it to focus on the rich history of its Kampong Glam location. Previously, the museum looked at the Malay community as a whole.
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  7. #6042
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    Default Singapore and Colombia ink air travel deal

    Updated 07:29 PM May 07, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The airlines of Singapore and Colombia will have the flexibility to operate any number of direct passenger services between both countries.

    They can also operate, under certain restrictions, up to seven weekly passenger services and seven weekly cargo services between, and beyond, both countries.

    These have been made possible by an Air Services Agreement (ASA) between Singapore and Colombia.

    The agreement was signed by Singapore's Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew and Colombia's Minister of Foreign Affairs María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar on Monday.

    The signing took place on the sidelines of a state visit by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon.

    Mr Santos is on a three-day state visit to Singapore, from Sunday to Tuesday. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  8. #6043
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    Default More Singaporeans setting up cooperatives

    By Melissa Chong | Posted: 08 May 2012 0034 hrs


    More like-minded Singaporeans are coming together to set-up cooperatives rather than rely on help from government or charities


    SINGAPORE: More like-minded Singaporeans are coming together to set-up cooperatives rather than rely on help from government or charities.

    Many are setting-up profit-making businesses, with a social mission.

    For seniors, the fast-paced nature of commercial tour packages can be exhausting and that's where Silver Horizon, a cooperative that designs elderly-friendly travel packages, comes in.

    Their itineraries are slower-paced with a focus on forging new friendships.

    "Travel which is not at the moment present in the market because it is not focused currently on seniors and for the relaxation of seniors, the pace and the bonding session," explained Helen Lim, a founding member of Silver Horizon.

    Ms Lim added that Silver Horizon's wish is to see seniors from the lowest income brackets take their first trip out of Singapore.

    "We would like to use the profit to help another group of seniors in the society. These are people that we know have never even owned a passport."

    Silver Horizon is neither a charity nor a commercial company.

    The Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) has defined it as a social enterprise, based on self and mutual help, formed by members to serve members.

    Dolly Goh, the SNCF's CEO, said such social good is becoming an increasingly popular business model.

    "Within these two years, we have seen a 150 per cent increase in submission of business plans among the young. The trends of cooperatives formation follow the social needs of Singapore - the ageing population, the low income, the senior citizens and people with special needs."

    Ms Goh said to start a cooperative, at least 10 members are needed as well as drafting a five-year business plan and by-laws.

    "It is not difficult to start up a cooperative because SNCF will assist you. We teach you how to do your cash flow, your P&L and also help to walk you through what it takes to start up a business."

    There are now 85 cooperatives in Singapore, which have touched the lives of 1.7 million people.

    And for those who endeavour to start an enterprise with a difference, a cooperative could be a model worth pursuing.

    - CNA/fa
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  9. #6044
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    Default A sporting pioneer

    Singapore's sporting fraternity mourns loss of one of country's best sports administrators


    by Ian De Cotta
    04:45 AM May 09, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The 1970s and '80s were a time when the economy was a top priority in Singapore but former Singapore Sports Council (SSC) executive director Lau Teng Chuan (picture) went against the tide, throwing his weight behind the development of sports.

    And this is how the veteran sports administrator, who died yesterday evening after a five-year battle with stomach cancer, will be best remembered.

    Dr Lau, who was 83, was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital four days ago in critical condition. He leaves behind wife Mary, two sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

    "He believed sports was good for the nation and Singaporeans, and he put his heart and soul into it," said former national swimmer Oon Jin Teik.

    Said SSC chief executive Lim Teck Yin: "He was a teacher, a coach, a mentor and a friend to anyone in need of sound advice ... When you look at our sporting landscape today, you can see the influence of his fine mind and the greatness of his spirit. He will be missed by everyone who knew him."

    During Dr Lau's watch, the SSC put into action the master plan to build facilities like stadiums and swimming pools throughout the island to encourage mass participation in sports.

    SSC chairman Richard Seow said Dr Lau, who was the SSC's executive director from 1975 to 1992 before becoming the Secretary-General of the Singapore National Olympic Council for seven years from 1995, was a man who wanted to make the world a better place and "acted from a good heart".

    "He lived these values throughout his life and, in doing so, had a profound impact on all our lives," said Mr Seow.

    Former athletes also paid tribute to Dr Lau, who took a special interest in their training, especially when they were overseas.

    "He kept track of how we were doing, even though it was not his job. He wanted to see standards in Singapore improve and would call us regularly to find out how we were doing," said Mr Oon, who competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

    Boxer Syed Abdul Kadir, who won bronze at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, said: "Sports in Singapore has lost one of its biggest supporters. He was a gentleman and a rare individual."

    According to Dr Tan Eng Liang, a former SSC chairman, Dr Lau's biggest contribution to Singapore was implementing a revised PE programme in the mid-'70s to place qualified PE teachers in schools.



    Former top sports administrator Lau Teng Chuan dies

    By Patwant Singh | Posted: 08 May 2012 2043 hrs
    SINGAPORE: One of Singapore's former top sports administrators, Lau Teng Chuan, has died from stomach cancer. He was 83.

    Dr Lau is regarded by many as the father of physical education in Singapore having played a key role in implementing the PE strategy in schools.

    He received the Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from Loughborough University in 2003 for his contribution to the public service and the development of sports in Singapore.

    Dr Lau was the Sports Council's Executive Director for 17 years till 1992 and went on to assume the post of Secretary-General of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) in 1995.

    DrLau was a national badminton player, representing Singapore from 1956-58, and also Singapore's chief coach from 1963-65.

    As a capable administrator, Dr Lau was awarded the National Day Public Service Administration awards in 1969 (bronze) and 1981 (silver), and the International Badminton Federation's Distinguished Service Award in 1997.

    He launched his autobiography last month, called Lau Teng Chuan (Sportsman, Teacher, Sports Administrator) with proceeds going to the Lau Teng Chuan Scholarship Fund.

    - CNA/de





    PHOTO COURTESY SINGAPORE NATIONAL



  10. #6045
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    Default Three teachers awarded for being caring and nurturing

    By Sharon See | Posted: 08 May 2012 2029 hrs


    Minister of State for Education Lawrence Wong with award recipients.


    SINGAPORE: Minister of State for Education Lawrence Wong has said that the real lesson teachers impart on students is not just the subject matter at hand, but the importance of perseverance and diligence.

    Mr Wong was speaking to teachers who were honoured as exceptional role models on Tuesday at the ninth Caring Teacher Awards.

    A teacher at Xinghua Primary School, Mdm Valerie Chee, doesn't believe in scolding or punishing her students when they do something wrong. Instead, she encourages them to self-reflect and face the consequences.

    "Because I'm teaching foundation stream pupils so, many of them come to school with a huge emotional baggage. So for me, I feel that touching their hearts, moulding their character and making a difference in the lives is much more rewarding than just helping them excel in their studies," Mdm Chee shared.

    She is one of three teachers who was presented a National Award for her commitment towards holistic development of students.

    Allan Yeong, Northland Secondary School, said: "In order for them to be able to engage in their academic studies, students have got first of all to know that you show care and concern for them, and be interested in them. Once they are happy, once they are with you, and with themselves, they'll be able to cope more readily with their studies."

    Ng Hong Peng, Anderson Junior College, said: "I had the good luck of being inspired by many caring teachers in the past so I think I want to follow up on their good work, aspire to become like them so hopefully, I can also help to guide some students and help them to do even better in life."

    It's through such personal interactions that teachers leave their mark on students.

    Mr Wong said: "Many years later, your students may not remember the exact facts, figures and problems you give them. But they will remember the resilience, critical thinking and problem solving skills they have actively applied in their school work. These are the skills they will need in future each time life presents them with something difficult or unexpected."

    Mr Wong added caring teachers are the ones students work the hardest for, because they don't want to let these teachers down.

    - CNA/ck
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    Default S'pore, India to cooperate further in education, science & technology

    By Chhavi Bakaria | Posted: 08 May 2012 2122 hrs



    Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam (R) shakes hands with Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna in New Delhi. (AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH)


    NEW DELHI: Singapore and India are looking at ways to cooperate further in the fields of education and science and technology.

    This emerged from the second joint ministerial committee meeting in New Delhi, attended by Foreign Minister K Shanmugam and his Indian counterpart S M Krishna.

    This is Mr Shanmugam's first visit to India in his capacity as Foreign Minister.

    Trade between Singapore and India currently stands at US$35 billion and continues to grow.

    Since signing the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), Singapore has emerged as the second largest foreign investor in India with cumulative FDI of around US$14 billion, while India is the eighth largest foreign investor in Singapore.

    And both sides are looking to deepen this cooperation in the areas of education and science and technology.

    India's Foreign Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna said: "In the field of skills education and training, we noted that the potentials that exist for mutually beneficial cooperation. Our Ministry of Labour and Singapore's Ministry of Education have had detailed discussions on specific areas of co-operation. The government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is also developing specific projects for a world-class skills training centre."

    The two sides also discussed on how to improve people-to-people exchanges, tourism and connectivity.

    Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said: "Today we have close to 200 flights between India and Singapore and passenger traffic has been growing very significantly; grew 8 per cent last year, grew 14 per cent in the first five months of this year. And I think the more we can do to strengthen that, improve further the connectivity, the greater the flow of people between Singapore and India and that will benefit both sides."

    India and Singapore have shared close bilateral ties with a thrust on economic cooperation. And both sides are looking to further that cooperation in other fields, when the Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits in July.

    - CNA/ck
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    Default New book on late Goh Keng Swee assesses his policy contributions

    By Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 08 May 2012 2049 hrs

    SINGAPORE: A new book about the late Dr Goh Keng Swee, Singapore's first Finance and Defence Minister, has been published.

    Entitled "Goh Keng Swee: A Legacy of Public Service", the book is a collection of essays that assess his policy contributions to Singapore.

    The book's authors say it's the most comprehensive review of the late Singapore leader's contributions published so far, spanning his career that started in the colonial service, right through his roles as Minister for Finance, Defence and Education.

    Some say Dr Goh's natural traits made him the perfect candidate for a national hero.

    Dr Emrys Chew, Editor, said: "Singaporeans are 'kiasu' (fear of losing), they are people who want results, and they are technocrats, technocrats galore, in fact, a nation of technocrats. And Dr Goh was technocrat par excellence, but he showed us the best way to do it!"

    The book was launched by former President S.R. Nathan.

    It surveys key phases in Singapore's transformation, where Dr Goh played a leading role in policymaking and the creation of public institutions.

    The book is a second part of a commemorative series published by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and World Scientific Publishing.

    Part One of "Goh Keng Swee: A Public Career Remembered" was a coffee table book published in August 2011.

    Barry Desker, Dean of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said: "This book is different because it uses the skills of a group of Singapore scholars from a variety of fields who have come together to put an overall and comprehensive view of Dr Goh's contributions. What we hope to do is to encourage younger Singaporeans to think about the achievements of people like Dr Goh."

    The passing of Dr Goh in May 2010 had a galvanising effect on the book, which was being written at the time. Contributors more than doubled their content, resulting in this collection of 330 pages.

    - CNA/de
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    Default Chek jawa, pulau ubin

    I have wanted to visit this precious, almost last remaining "natural haven", in tiny Singapore some time ago but only succeeded in doing so during the last Sunday of April.

    Very little was known about Chek Jawa until about 12 years ago when it was reported that the place will be reclaimed for development in land-scarce Singapore. Unusually rich in biodiversity, Chek Jawa is situated on the eastern tip of Pulau Ubin, an island three times the size of Sentosa and located on the north eastern part of Singapore, opposite Changi International Airport. With the strong support from nature lovers, educators, scientists and experts, this is one rare project which caused the government to change its decision and to retain Chek Jawa in its natural state for as long as possible.

    Chek Jawa is unique in that within this small haven, different ecosystems survived and thrived. It would not have been if hordes of enthusiasts kept coming back and trample the natural habitats as they did during its early discovery. Now, boardwalks and railings have been installed to ensure the continued survival of the mangrove, seagrass lagoon, sandbars, sandy beach, coastal forest, coral rubble, rocky shore, etc and all its tiny inhabitants.

    I did not capture all that has been written about the creatures of Chek Jawa (Java Man?) as they appear at different times and according to the tides. Once the tide comes in, the shallow waters will turn murky and makes it difficult to discern the animal movements from atop the boardwalk. But I had my fair share of a variety of mud skippers, tiny colourful crabs including the Fiddler with its brilliant one-arm pincer, sword fish, snails, spiders, cicada, butterflies and other insects, singing birds and the bigger Herons out fishing in the shallow waters, and best of all, the mother wild pig with her suckling piglets. I wanted to see the starfish and perhaps the seahorse at low tide, the snakes and the otters, but the time was not right. So I will have to make more return visits to learn more.

    Here are some pics that I wish to share with you.
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    Default Chek jawa, pulau ubin


    Some more pictures taken during my half day trip to Chek Jawa.
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    Default S'pore researchers develop cancer cell-screening biochip

    Updated 12:01 PM May 09, 2012



    SINGAPORE - Researchers at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have developed a miniaturised biochip that promises to boost the development of more effective cancer drugs.

    The biochip investigates the effect of drugs on cancer stem cells (CSCs), which form a small and distinct class of cancer cells in a tumour. CSCs are more resistant to chemotherapy and if they are not eradicated, can lead to cancer recurrence.

    Conventional studies of the CSCs, however, are hampered because these drug screening methods require large sample volumes and are slow and expensive. CSCs, on the other hand, are scarce and make up about 1 per cent of cancer cells.

    By developing a miniaturised biological assay, called the Droplet Array, the researchers are thus able to perform cheaper, faster and more convenient drug screening using limited samples, said the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) today.

    The IBN researchers used the Droplet Array to investigate the drug responses of CSCs extracted from breast, liver and colon cancer cells.

    They found that chemotherapeutic drugs showed poor efficacy in liver CSCs, while the CSCs from the breast and colon tumours also showed much greater ability to survive the effects of anti-cancer drugs.

    Animal studies were conducted to validate the findings of the Droplet Array.

    IBN executive director Professor Jackie Y Ying, who led the study, said: "The Droplet Array marks a significant breakthrough in nanotechnology and lab-on-a-chip concepts, and provides an efficient platform for accelerating drug screening and development."

    "We hope that this finding will facilitate the development of more effective cancer drugs," she said
    . CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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    Default Former senior minister Jayakumar receives award from Emperor of Japan

    Posted: 08 May 2012 1649 hrs


    Prof S Jayakumar greeting Mr John Major at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo after they were both conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan.(Photo by MFA)


    SINGAPORE: Former senior minister, Professor S Jayakumar, has been conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan.

    Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said this took place on Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

    MFA said Prof Jayakumar also met former British Prime Minister John Major, who was also conferred the award.

    He has known Mr Major since his days as Foreign Minister.

    The Embassy of Japan said Prof Jayakumar had helped to strengthen relations between Singapore and Japan.

    It said he took the leadership to launch the Japan-Singapore Symposium for intellectual exchange between the two countries, in 1994.

    He also played a leading role in the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement negotiation, which was concluded in 2002.

    The embassy also said throughout his tenures as Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister, Prof Jayakumar gave great support to Japan's diplomatic relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    - CNA/ck
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    Default S'pore to share labour approach & experiences at ASEAN meeting

    Updated 11:37 AM May 09, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Singapore will share its approach, experiences and challenges in improving social protection and skills development at a regional meeting of labour leaders.

    It will be led by Minister of State (Manpower) Tan Chuan-Jin, who will be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from May 10 to 11, for the 22nd ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM).


    The meeting will focus on the theme "Improving Social Protection and Skills Development".

    Mr Tan will also discuss initiatives with ASEAN labour ministers and his counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea at the 8th ALMM Plus Three Labour Ministers Meeting.

    He will be accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Manpower.

    The ministry said today that the biennial ALMMs and Senior Labour Officials Meetings provide an important avenue for leaders to discuss labour issues of common interest and to implement joint projects to benefit the region in employment, human resource management and development. CHANNEL NEWSASIA





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