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  1. #6138
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default ITE students wear gowns for 1st time at graduation ceremony

    Published on May 30, 2012


    For the first time in ITE's 20-year history, the students donned graduation gowns at the ceremonies, just like their counterparts in polytechnic and university. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN


    By Lin Zhaowei

    More than 11,800 students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduated from their courses this month.

    For the first time in ITE's 20-year history, the students donned graduation gowns at the ceremonies, just like their counterparts in polytechnic and university.

    The gowns were introduced by ITE to recognise the students' successful completion of their courses, and to instill pride in their achievement.

    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat was the guest of honour at the ITE Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, where the top 626 graduates received certificates of merit. Mr Heng congratulated the graduates and urged them to work towards fulfilling their aspirations.
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  2. #6139
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Hearing-impaired pianist's triple win at US competition

    Published on Jun 1, 2012


    Mr Azariah Tan competed in two divisions under the college category of The American Prize and won first prize in the solo division and both the first and second awards in the concerto segment. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM


    By Huang Lijie

    Hearing-impaired pianist Azariah Tan has added another feather to his cap with three wins at a recent competition in the United States.

    The 21-year-old Singaporean, who is studying for a master's in music at the University of Michigan, took part in The American Prize, a contest for emerging musicians, earlier this year.

    He competed in two divisions under the college category, the solo and concerto performance. He was first in the solo division and swept both the first and second awards in the concerto segment.

    The contest, established in 2009, is held by a non-profit performing arts organisation, Hat City Music Theater.

    Mr Tan, a graduate of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore, has won other music prizes, including a bronze award and a special jury prize at the 11th International Chopin compeitition in Japan in 2010.

    He said he competed in The American Prize at the suggestion of a univeristy professor in Michigan because it is judged on recorded performances. That meant he would not have to travel and be distracted from his studies. He found out that he won early last month.

    His father is a corporate trainer and his mother is a university lecturer.

    An only child, he is in Singapore for his summer holidays, and will perform in a concert tomorrow at Kallang Theatre for Very Special Arts, a non-profit organisation that helps people with disabilities enjoy the arts.

    He said: "I hope to be able to use the gift of playing music to bring happiness to others."
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    Last edited by Loh; 06-01-2012 at 12:57 AM.

  3. #6140
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff calls on Defence Minister

    Published on Jun 1, 2012



    US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey (left), calling on Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen at the Ministry of Defence on Friday morning. -- PHOTO: MINDEF


    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States (US), General Martin E. Dempsey, called on Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong at the Ministry of Defence on Friday morning.

    Gen Dempsey, who is in Singapore on a four-day introductory visit from May 31 to June 3 in conjunction with the 11th Shangri-La Dialogue, will also visit Sembawang Air Base later on Friday afternoon.

    A Mindef spokesman said the visit underscores the excellent and longstanding defence ties between Singapore and the US.

    'The United States Armed Forces and the Singapore Armed Forces interact extensively through bilateral and multilateral exercises, professional exchanges and cross-attendance of professional courses. These regular interactions have served to enhance the inter-operability between the two militaries and foster mutual understanding between their personnel,' the spokesman said.
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  4. #6141
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default When the teacher wants to learn ...

    Educators to be encouraged to take up courses that build on their interests and strengths


    by Sumita Sreedharan
    04:45 AM Jun 01, 2012



    SINGAPORE - Teachers here could enjoy more autonomy in their development with the launch of a new framework.

    Called the Teacher Growth Model, it was developed by the Academy of Singapore Teachers after consultations with the Ministry of Education (MOE), experts and teachers.

    Currently, teachers have to clock about 100 hours of professional development per year, and it is up to the schools how much time is allocated to mandatory courses and how many courses the teachers can pursue for professional development according to the subjects they teach and their own competencies.

    Under the new model, teachers are encouraged to take their professional development into their own hands and choose courses that interest them.

    It will work on the basis of five desired outcomes: The ethical educator, competent professional, collaborative learner, transformational leader and community builder.

    The model provides a structure for teachers to grow in any of the five areas, allowing teachers to engage in continual learning, and the ministry wants teachers to take ownership for their own development.

    Dr Charles Chew, principal master teacher at the Academy of Singapore Teachers, explained that these outcomes are aligned to the "desired outcomes of preparing our students for the 21st century".

    He added: "Today's teachers are as diverse as our students. So we need to provide multiple modes of learning, whether it is face-to-face, whether it is rendered learning, whether it is network learning, or whether it is reading and discussing online."

    Announcing the new professional development framework yesterday at the 6th Teachers' Conference, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat pointed out that there are 32,000 educators and "a one-size-fits-all system will not work well".

    He said: "Our main focus should be to develop our teachers' areas of interests and strengths, and to help them develop holistically ... We need to shift from a deficit model to a growth model; that is, from addressing deficiencies to building on strengths."

    Under the new framework, teachers must come up with a development plan with their reporting officers.

    Miss Yuen Chai Lin, a head of department at Pioneer Secondary School, welcomed the greater "freedom and autonomy to decide what we really want and how we want to do it". She added that it is only right that teachers continually learn, as that is what they preach to their students.

    Said Miss Yuen: "We always tell students that you learn something today and then tomorrow, it becomes obsolete and you've got to learn more … to reflect that for our students, we have to take the first step in doing so."

    But some teachers expressed concern about the additional time needed to plan their professional development, as well as the possibility of more paperwork.

    One of them said: "This is time taken away from my family obligations and I already do not have much of a work-life balance."







    The new framework gives teachers more autonomy in their own development. REUTERS

  5. #6142
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Security institutions 'must be inclusive'

    S'pore Defence Minister says they must work for common good so as to respond effectively to risks


    by Saifulbahri Ismail
    04:45 AM Jun 04, 2012



    SINGAPORE - To deal with emerging risks, the goal must be to maintain or improve the "global commons" that have allowed Asia to grow amid peace and stability, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on the final day of the Shangri-La Dialogue yesterday.

    And as the world searches for more effective means to address challenges to security, institutions and mechanisms need to be "inclusive" and "work for the common good", said Dr Ng.

    "Inclusiveness as a hallmark would ensure that key stakeholders, especially those who are in a position to contribute, whether in terms of leadership, ideas, expertise or resources, are able to do so," he said.

    "In this respect, it is important for us to ensure that the interests and aspirations of all stakeholders - big and small states, existing and new - are accommodated as we seek effective solutions to our challenges."

    Dr Ng said results also count for these institutions and mechanisms, with one example worth emulating being "Eyes in the Sky", a combined maritime-air patrol at the Strait of Malacca, between Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

    He pointed out that the Strait of Malacca was previously graded as a war-risk zone but that label has now been dropped. "It was because of these combined maritime patrols that the risk was reduced," he said.

    Mutual trust takes time and effort to be developed and must be fostered through transparency, equitable rules and practical cooperation, said Dr Ng.

    There is also a need for countries to pool resources and synergise efforts as no single country has the resources or ability to provide lasting solutions.

    Dr Ng gave the example of the Singapore Navy's Information Fusion Centre, which stitched together information sharing linkages from some 29 countries.

    He noted that security institutions, too, have to remain relevant. "Many of the institutions and mechanisms that we now have, some were post-war, Cold War constructs. If we are to be effective, we may have to refresh and update institutions and mechanisms that reflect both the resources and ability for the different nation states or countries," he said.

    During the dialogue, Britain's armed forces minister Nick Harvey said pre-emptive cyber strikes against perceived national security threats are a "civilised option" to neutralise potential attacks.

    Mr Harvey said this in relation to reports that the US had launched cyber attacks to cripple Iran's nuclear programme.

    Canada's National Defence Minister Peter Gordon Mackay said: "The emergence of cyber attacks, new technologies that impact on all of us. This is a reality that has to be reflected in international norms and international law."

    The 11th Shangri-La Dialogue closed with a ministerial lunch hosted by Dr Ng.

    Canada eyes Singapore as aid relief hub
    SINGAPORE - Singapore is studying a proposal by the Canadian government to set up a Logistics Support Hub here for its regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

    The response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows reports of the proposal by Canadian Defence Minister Peter Gordon MacKay.

    No further details were given of the proposal.

    Mr MacKay was in Singapore along with other defence chiefs to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual security conference that ended yesterday.

    Speaking at the conference, he had stressed the need for greater global cooperation in disaster relief efforts.

    Canadian troops were among the international forces involved in the massive relief operation that followed the 2004 tsunami. CHANNEL NEWSASIA






    Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue. PHOTO COURTESY MINDEF

  6. #6143
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ex-students bid farewell to old campus

    More than 400 alumnae gather at Old School for a remembrance ceremony


    by Amanda Lee
    04:45 AM Jun 04, 2012


    SINGAPORE - One alumna recalled how she would sneak food into the library, while another recalled her weekly Saturday society session at the school hall. These were some of the memories of school days at their former Mount Sophia campus that the alumnae of Methodist Girls' School (MGS) fondly shared yesterday.

    More than 400 alumnae and present students of MGS gathered at the school-turned-arts enclave - now called Old School - for a remembrance ceremony as the site's current lease comes to an end this month. The site has been zoned for residential development under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's 2008 Master Plan.

    Among those present was Dr Jacqueline Tay, who "happened to be in town" and learnt about the remembrance ceremony yesterday through her former classmates.

    The obstetrician and gynaecologist, who now lives in Leeds, England, affectionately remembered how she was able to get a "good view of the sea from her classroom".

    As an alumna of the class of 1977, Dr Tay also remembered her time as the head prefect when prefects had to "manage traffic control", "direct traffic" and "close the (school) gates".

    Her classmate, Ms Michele Lim, remembers how she and her friends would "eat biscuits along the bookshelves in the library" and was never caught by the librarian for doing so.

    Mdm June Wong, who graduated in the 1930s, recalled living in the boarding school with her four sisters. During her four-year stay, the 91-year-old remembered how they were "not allowed" to roam around the school compounds at night.

    The MGS was founded by missionary Sophia Blackmore in 1887 on Short Street with an initial enrolment of nine Indian girls and later Nonyas, Chinese and Eurasians. It moved to the Mount Sophia site in 1928. Before that, the site housed Nind Home, a boarding house for girls built by the Methodist Mission, where Ms Blackmore worked and stayed. After the war, it was deemed an unsafe structure and demolished.

    The school moved to its current campus on Blackmore Drive in 1992.

    Old School now consists of businesses such as art studios, galleries, eateries and the Sinema theatre.

    Last year, MGS alumnae Carol Tham and Lim Li-Hsien launched "Save Old School" to campaign for the Government to conserve the Mount Sophia campus. The pair created a Facebook group called "Save Old School", which now has around 5,326 likes.

    When approached by TODAY, Ms Lim Li-Hsien declined to comment on the campaign's progress as she did not want "to affect the discussion" with the Government.




    Photo by OOI BOON KEONG

  7. #6144
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Canada eyes S'pore as aid relief hub

    Updated 05:02 PM Jun 03, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Singapore is studying a proposal by the Canadian government to set up a Logistics Support Hub here for its regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

    The response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows reports of the proposal by Canadian Defence Minister Peter Gordon MacKay.

    No further details were given of the proposal.

    Mr MacKay is in Singapore along with other defence chiefs to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual security conference that ends Sunday.

    Speaking at the conference, he had stressed the need for greater global cooperation in disaster relief efforts.

    Canadian troops were among the international forces involved in the massive relief operation that followed the 2004 tsunami. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
    Last edited by Loh; 06-03-2012 at 11:22 PM.

  8. #6145
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    Default S'pore committed to assisting Sri Lanka in reconstruction: Shanmugam

    By S Ramesh | Posted: 02 June 2012 2304 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam says Singapore is committed to strengthening bilateral ties and assisting Sri Lanka as it embarks on reconstruction and genuine national reconciliation.

    Mr Shanmugam said this when he met Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday, on the third and final day of his official visit to the country.

    Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that during their meeting, Mr Shanmugam told President Rajapaksa that Singapore was happy to see that peace had returned to Sri Lanka.

    He also said that during his visit to Trincomale and Jaffna, he saw the significant progress in physical reconstruction in the areas that he visited.


    Mr Shanmugam also said that while reconciliation cannot be imposed from the outside, well-wishers of Sri Lanka, such as Singapore, look forward to an inclusive process that would include addressing the emotive sentiments of people affected by the decade of conflict.

    He also reiterated Singapore's offer of technical assistance, which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had made during President Rajapaksa's state visit to Singapore in February this year.

    It focuses on areas of human resource development and economic development, which are Sri Lanka's current priorities.

    MFA said President Rajapaksa expressed his appreciation for Singapore's offer to assist Sri Lanka in its development.

    He shared with Mr Shanmugam the ongoing efforts made by the central and provincial governments towards post-conflict development.

    These include the restoration of basic infrastructure and services in the worst-affected areas in the northern province of Sri Lanka.

    - CNA/cc
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  9. #6146
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'pore to host 4 US littoral combat ships

    Ships will not be homeported here; crew will live on board ship

    Updated 04:53 AM Jun 03, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The Republic has agreed in principle to the United States' request to forward deploy up to four Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) to Singapore on a rotational basis, with the first expected to be deployed next year.

    Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen yesterday conveyed this to US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, when the pair met here on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

    Dr Ng and Mr Panetta noted that both navies would work together to finalise the deployment details and arrangements. The LCS will not be based or homeported in Singapore, and the crew will live on board ship for the duration of their deployment.

    The US is working with Singapore for one or two LCS to use Singapore's facilities after tests and trials on these new ships are completed. The first LCS will be deployed from the second quarter of 2013.

    Mr Panetta reaffirmed that the LCS deployment would strengthen US engagement in the region, through the port calls at regional ports, and engagement of regional navies through activities such as exercises and exchanges.

    This announcement, via a joint statement, came as Mr Panetta also revealed yesterday at the Shangri-La Dialogue that the US would shift a majority of its warships to the Asia-Pacific region by 2020 - giving the first details of a new US military strategy.


    US Marines-SAF joint training at Murai from 2013

    At their meeting, Mr Panetta and Dr Ng affirmed the close and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between the US and Singapore, and the shared strategic perspectives between both sides.

    They also affirmed both countries' commitment to continue exploring joint initiatives to further operationalise the Strategic Framework Agreement, signed in 2005, and facilitate US engagement in the region.

    The US and Singapore, they noted, were working towards increasing the complexity of existing bilateral exercises - such as with the incorporation of Navy elements into Exercise Commando Sling, currently a bilateral Air Force exercise. This modification would enhance interoperability across the military services of both countries.

    Both sides were also working toward enhancing joint training opportunities, including through the use of the Murai Urban Training Facility in Singapore for more regular joint training by the US Marines and the Singapore Armed Forces from 2013.

    Dr Ng also thanked Mr Panetta for the US' support of the SAF's training detachments in the US, while Mr Panetta expressed appreciation for Singapore's useful contributions to Afghanistan and the international counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden.


    MINDEF ANSWERS Frequently asked questions on LCS DEPLOYMENT

    How does the LCS deployment sit with existing agreements between Singapore and the United States?

    The deployment of the LCS will contribute to the US' continued presence in and engagement with the region. Singapore's support for the LCS deployment is in line with the Singapore-US 1990 Memorandum of Understanding and the 2005 Singapore-US Strategic Framework Agreement, which underscores both sides' long-standing belief that the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific is beneficial for regional peace and stability. Over the years, Singapore has allowed military aircraft and vessels from the US, as well as other countries, the use of our facilities.

    When and how many LCS will be deployed to Singapore?

    The US is working with Singapore for one or two LCS to use Singapore's facilities after tests and trials on these new ships are completed. The first LCS will be deployed from the second quarter of 2013.

    Will more LCS be deployed to Singapore beyond 2013?

    Dr Ng had conveyed to Mr Panetta during their meeting on June 2 Singapore's in-principle agreement to the US' request to deploy up to four LCS to Singapore on a rotational basis. However, working-level discussions between the RSN and the USN on the deployment details and arrangements are still ongoing, and these will still need to be finalised and agreed upon before the deployment can proceed.


    What will the LCS be doing in the region and how long will each LCS be deployed in Singapore?

    Like other US ships deployed to the region, we can expect the LCS to make other port calls in the region and to engage regional navies through activities such as exercises and exchanges when it is deployed here. Hence, we expect the LCS to call into and out of Singapore on a regular basis when they are deployed here, and the amount of time that each LCS will spend in Singapore during each port call will vary.


    Will the LCS be based in Singapore?

    The LCS will not be based or homeported in Singapore.


    Will the LCS crew and their families live in Singapore?

    LCS crew members will live on board the LCS throughout the duration of their deployment, including when an LCS calls into Singapore. Family members of the LCS crew will not live in Singapore.


    How many personnel are there on the LCS?

    Each LCS has a core crew of 40, which can be augmented to a total of 75, depending on the mission.



    US to increase military presence in Asia-Pacific

    By S Ramesh, Wayne Chan | Posted: 02 June 2012 1851 hrs

    SINGAPORE: The United States will expand its military power and presence in the Asia-Pacific to support deeper and more enduring partnerships in the region.

    Its Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, outlined this strategy at the annual Asia-Pacific security summit, dubbed the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday.

    The US Defence Secretary used his maiden appearance at the Shangri-La Dialogue to assure the region and the world of America's commitment.

    Mr Panetta said that despite the budget cuts faced by the US military, America will play an essential role to help promote strong partnerships with countries in the region.

    For one, it plans to move more of its warships to the Asia-Pacific region.

    "By 2020, the Navy will re-posture its forces from today's roughly 50-50 per cent split between the Pacific and Atlantic, to about a 60-40 split between those oceans. That will include six aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers, littoral combat ships and submarines," said Mr Panetta.

    With this rebalancing of power, Mr Panetta said defence relations with Singapore will also continue to grow.

    Four littoral combat ships are expected to be deployed in Singapore.

    Singapore's Defence Minister, Dr Ng Eng Hen, believes the US rebalancing its focus on Asia is a sensible one.

    "This is where many feel the growth century will be - the Asia-Pacific region. And we hope their presence here will continue to add stability to the region. It'll benefit not only Singapore, if they continue what their role has been, but the region and indeed Asia and the rest of the world," said Dr Ng.

    Dr Ng said details would be announced later.

    An important issue that was discussed at the Shangri-La Dialogue was US-China ties.

    Mr Panetta said the US is all for a "win-win" solution, as far as ties with China are concerned.

    He's confident that close US-China ties will be good for the peace, stability and security of the Asia-Pacific region.

    He added the key strategy is to strengthen military-to-military contacts.

    These, he said, will bring about greater transparency between the two countries

    "What both of us have to recognise is that we are powers in this region. We have common interests in this region. We have common obligations to promote peace and prosperity and security in this region," said Mr Panetta.

    During their meetings, defence ministers also urged Myanmar to press on with reforms.

    They backed a call by Myanmar's defence minister to lift more sanctions against his country.

    On the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, several leaders took the opportunity to call on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    Among them was US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta and US Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns.

    French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also met Mr Lee.

    He also called Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    During the meetings, they reaffirmed the strong bilateral ties between Singapore and France.

    They also highlighted defence cooperation as a key pillar of the bilateral relationship, and exchanged views on strategic developments in Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

    - CNA/cc





    Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta meeting on Saturday
    Last edited by Loh; 06-03-2012 at 11:45 PM.

  10. #6147
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Harry Potter: The Exhibition makes Asian debut in Singapore

    By Sharon See | Posted: 01 June 2012 2223 hrs




    One of the exhibits also includes a statue of Dobby the house-elf. (Photo: Sharon See)


    SINGAPORE: Something magical has reached Singapore shores - enter the wizarding world of the boy who lived at the ArtScience Museum in the Asian premier of Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

    Harry Potter fans can get reacquainted with Buckbeak the Hippogriff, take a close up view of the six Horcruxes for the first time and watch out for the Dementor.

    Taking a tour through hundreds of props and costumes that were used on the movie set could just be the next best thing now that you've read the books and watched the movies.

    And here for the opening of the exhibition are two familiar faces, the most famous pranksters in the wizarding world.

    For James and Oliver Phelps, who played Fred and George Weasley, going through the exhibition was like a trip down memory lane.

    Oliver Phelps, who played George Weasley in the movie, said: "I borrowed - we'll say that - a bag from the Weasleys' Joke Shop - Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. When we were filming, I just slipped it under. But there was nothing else that was going around. I always wanted to keep our wands because you'll see that here, each wand is unique to each character, and unfortunately, there're here, not in my house. I suppose for everyone else, it's good that we don't get to keep them."

    - CNA/ck
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    Default BCA wins United Nations award for preventing corruption

    Published on Jun 4, 2012


    The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has won the United Nations Public Service Award for its Contractors Registration System (CRS).

    Singapore has won several UN public service awards in the nine years since their introduction.

    However, this is the first time a public agency here has been recognised for its work in the category of Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service.

    The CRS, set up in 1985, is a centralised, one-stop registration system for contractors applying for public-sector construction projects. It has forced an improvement in the procurement criteria for these projects and also raised the professionalism of contractors.

  12. #6149
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SEA U-23 Water Polo: Singapore edge Indonesia 7-6 towin gold

    Posted by: Les Tan Posted date: June 02, 2012






    Ang Zi Yuan (#11) of Singapore about to unleash a shot at goal while Rezza Putra (#8) of Indonesia tries to stop him. (Phoot © Lawrence Ang, courtesy of Ho Shu Fen/Fulford PR)

    Toa Payoh Swimming Complex, Friday, June 1, 2012 — Singapore beat Indonesia 7-5 to retain their status as the number one South-east Asian (SEA) water polo nation at the SEA Swimming Championships.

    Singapore had secured earlier victories over Malaysia (15-4) and Thailand (11-2) to set up this gold-medal decider against Indonesia. Indonesia drew 7-7 with Thailand and beat Thailand 17-5 in their earlier games.

    Despite having three extra-man situations, Singapore failed to score in the first quarter and fell behind when Zaenal Arifin of Indonesia scored a counter-attack goal.

    Singapore came back in the second quarter with three goals by Ang Zi Yuan, Wayne Chong and captain Loh Zhi Zhi to give the home crowd something to cheer about but Manulana scored from long range to reduce Singapore’s lead to just one (3-2) heading into the third quarter.

    Singapore found the third quarter a tough one as the Indonesians outscored them 3-1, with Delvin Felliciano scoring the go-ahead goal for Indonesia to lead 5-4.

    Loh Zhi Zhi led the comeback for Singapore as he equalised to make it 5-5. Ang Zi Yuan then gave Singapore a 6-5 lead which they did not lose again before Zhi Zhi scored his third to give Singapore a two-goal, 7-5 lead. Indonesia scored a goal but with only six seconds left on the clock, there was no way back for them.

    “We had a bad start, and our inexperience showed,” said Zhi Zhi. “We weren’t playing up to our standard, and there were a lot of misplaced passes.

    “That said, we were confident that if we played to our standard, we can win. In the second half, the seniors stepped up, and credit to the team, we managed to come back.”

    10 SEA countries are taking part in water polo (May 28th to June 1st), diving (June 9th to 11th), synchronised swimming (June 15th to 17th) and swimming (June 13th to 17th) under the umbrella of the SEA Swimming Championships. 300 athletes from the 10 countries are expected in Singapore for the four disciplines.

    Scoring by Quarter
    Singapore vs Indonesia
    1st Q: 0-1
    2nd Q: 3-1 (3-2)
    3rd Q: 1-3 (4-5)
    4th Q: 3-1
    Final Score: 7-6

    Scorers
    Indonesia
    Delvin Felliciano (2)
    Manulana Bayu Herfianto (1)
    Ridjkie Mulia Harahap (1)
    Natanael (1)
    Zaenal Arifin (1)

    Singapore
    Loh Zhi Zhi (3)
    Wayne Chong (1)
    Yip Yang (1)
    Ang Zi Yuan (2)

    Indonesia Lineup
    Zuliansyah (#1), Muhammad Nurdiansyah (#2), M Alex Siswandono (#3), Delvin Felliciano (#4), Manulana Bayu Herfianto (#5), Bebi Willy Eka Paksi Tarigan (#6), Riyan Rinaldo (#7), Rezza Auditya Putra (#8), Ilfan Riandi (#9), Ridjkie Mulia Harahap (#10) Natanael (#11), Zaenal Arifin (#12), Novian Dwi Putra (#13)

    Singapore Lineup
    Lee Kai Yu (#1), Loh Zhi Zhi (#2), Wayne Chong (#3), Yip Yang (1) (#4), Adriel Ng (#5), Gilbert Beh (#6), Chiam Kun Yang (#7), Chow Jing Jie (#8), Toh Zhi Hong (#9), Ooi Yee Jia (#10), Ang Zi Yuan (#11), Koh Jian Ying (#12), Sean Ang (#13)

  13. #6150
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    Default Every raindrop counts

    PUB ramps up world-first technology that will make 90% of the island a catchment area

    by Woo Sian Boon
    04:45 AM Jun 04, 2012



    SINGAPORE - For a country that brought to the world the technology to recycle sewage into high-grade reclaimed potable water, the Republic is now making strides in another world-first: Variable salinity technology, which would turn almost the entire island into a water catchment area, as national water agency PUB strives to make use of every drop of rainwater.

    TODAY has learnt that, following a successful pilot, PUB plans to ramp up the technology, having recently identified eight potential sites across the island, including one at Jurong, at which to build new plants.

    PUB had revealed that it was looking at using more of the technology - without giving details - in a letter to this newspaper last month, in a response to a reader's suggestion to harness water in the streams and rivulets near the shoreline.

    Currently, two-thirds of Singapore's land surface is a water catchment area. But, according to PUB, a considerable amount of rainwater still goes to waste at smaller rivulets situated at the island's outskirts. With the new technology - which has the dual function of generating potable water from brackish water and sea water - about 90 per cent of the island will become a water catchment area.

    During wet spells or periods of heavy rainfall, an inflatable rubber weir built into a canal retains rainwater that is otherwise drained into the sea.

    The water from the canal is transferred to a variable salinity plant. During the purification process, the water is filtered to remove particles of less than 100 micrometres in size. The water is then desalted when it is run through reverse osmosis membranes.

    During dry spells, however, the variable salinity plant switches to "seawater" mode, and seawater is pumped into the plant from a pipe spanning 190m offshore.

    The seawater stream is passed through seawater reverse osmosis membranes and then through the brackish water reverse osmosis membranes to obtain salt-free water.

    PUB spokesperson Sarah Hiong told TODAY: "The variable salinity plant is the first of its kind in the world, and is designed to produce drinking water from seawater and brackish water at an affordable cost."

    With some parts of the island seeing ony minimal rain for up to four-fifths of the year, it would not have been cost effective to build conventional systems for small catchments such as streams and rivulets near the shorelines.

    The PUB launched a prototype variable salinity plant at the Bedok NEWater facility in 2004. Bouyed by its success, a S$7.4-million demonstration-scale plant was constructed in 2007 at Sungei Tampines. And for the past five years, the plant has been working around the clock, processing up to 2 million gallons (9.1 million litres) of brackish rainwater per day - or about 0.5 per cent of Singapore's daily water consumption, which stands at 380 million gallons.

    Like NEWater, the water processed by this latest technology is safe for drinking, meeting or surpassing drinking water quality guidelines and standards by the World Health Organization and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    But as the yield is small, all product water is currently used to augment the supply of NEWater used to meet industrial needs.

    Ms Hiong noted that 55 per cent of Singapore's total water demand comes from the industrial sector. "NEWater is primarily supplied to industries, and (the new technology) frees up potable water from catchment areas for household consumption," she said.

    Four of the potential sites identified for new variable salinity plants are in the eastern part of the island, and two each in the western and north-western parts. One of the sites -to be situated in Jurong - will ultimately be capable of processing 1.3 million gallons of seawater or 2.6 million gallons of brackish water per day.

    As the new technology make inroads here, members of the public have more reasons not to litter.

    "Rubbish thrown on the ground can be washed into drains when it rains, and end up in a canal, which is collecting rainwater for our water supply," Ms Hiong pointed out.







    Photo by ERNEST CHUA

  14. #6151
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    Default Singapore to host biennial ASEAN Children's Forum

    Posted: 05 June 2012 0607 hrs


    Website of Singapore Children's Society.


    SINGAPORE: A group of children and youth, aged between 12 and 18 from ASEAN member states, will gather at the NUS University Town for the biennial ASEAN Children's Forum (ACF).

    The 36 delegates include those with special needs, as well as representatives from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

    The three-day forum, which starts on June 6, is co-organised by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and Singapore Children's Society.

    This year's theme - "Empowering children by promoting their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child" - encapsulates the hope that ASEAN children and youth can take greater ownership of issues affecting them, and be empowered to serve as advocates of change in their respective countries.

    Through a series of workshops, the young delegates will come up with ideas on how their governments and communities can better support the interest and development of children.

    These ideas will be presented to Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob at the forum.

    Several presentations are also lined up where delegates will learn about the development and progress of children in ASEAN.

    Mdm Halimah said: "The forum is a significant platform for the discussion of children issues in the region. It provides an opportunity for ASEAN children and youth to not only discuss matters close to their hearts, but also to work together. It also gives ASEAN countries an opportunity to hear from our children and youth, who will be our leaders tomorrow."

    Mr Koh Choon Hui, Chairman of Singapore Children's Society and the Singapore Government Representative for children's rights on the ACWC, said: "Children should be empowered to better their circumstances. Singapore Children's Society firmly believes that their voices should be heeded, and the ACF is the appropriate platform for them to formulate proposals for the betterment of their peers."

    - CNA/de
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    Default Defence Chiefs of FPDA member countries meet in Malaysia

    Posted: 04 June 2012 2323 hrs


    Defence Chiefs of the FPDA member countries met in Malaysia to convene the 14th FDCC. (Photo: MINDEF)


    SINGAPORE: The Defence Chiefs of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) member countries convened in Malaysia on Monday for the 14th FPDA Defence Chiefs' Conference (FDCC).

    The meeting was chaired by Malaysia's Chief of Defence Force (CDF) General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.

    This year's conference was attended by Defence Chiefs from countries like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

    The conference is hosted alternately between Malaysia and Singapore.

    It is the highest military professional forum of the FPDA and serves as an important platform for dialogue and exchange of views among the Defence Chiefs.

    In statement, the Defence Ministry said with non-traditional threats to security and the more prominent role that the defence forces have played in providing humanitarian assistance, the FPDA's ability to evolve and adapt to this changing environment over the years has enable it to remain relevant.

    The ministry added this is important to maintain regional peace and stability for the benefit of all countries.

    - CNA/ck
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    Default Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan travels the world to fix dog behaviour

    By Monica Kotwani | Posted: 04 June 2012 1859 hrs


    Cesar Millan (Photo: National Geographic Channel)


    SINGAPORE: He's known as the 'Dog Whisperer' on his popular TV show on the National Geographic Channel, helping everyone from celebrities to ordinary dog owners overcome the behavioural problems of their pet pooches.

    But Cesar Millan, who is on the Asian leg of his Live tour told Channel NewsAsia he fits in a personal visit to furry friends every opportunity he gets.

    It was a big day for 350 dogs at the Animal Lovers League shelter.

    Many of them are rescued street dogs carrying the scars of their past.

    One of them, Mango, has been singled out by the shelter's volunteers.

    Christine Bernadette said: "He basically never stepped out his kennel. He has always been in there. Every time we tried to leash him, or take him out, he just gets really violent, and to us we don't want to stress him (out) or make him panicky."

    But within an hour or so, Cesar has not only coaxed Mango out but also got him to swim in the pool.

    Soon enough, Cesar also has his trademark roller-blades on. And after a little hesitation, Mango is soon tottering quietly alongside.

    "For seven years, Mango didn't know what Singapore looked like. That's an honour, you know what I mean. As a person that loves dogs, I know how much they enjoy adventure, and having a beautiful luscious place like what you have here in Singapore, he never knew that.

    "Dog lovers, or rescuers, when they see a dog (makes a snarling sound) doing that, they feel bad, and they stop, right? And what the dog learns, is to stop you with insecurity, to stop you with temper tantrums."

    For volunteers like Christine, seeing Mango out and about was an emotional experience.

    "He's felt grass for the first time in seven years. We took a lot of take-aways from today's experience, and the most important thing to reward Mango, not by using treats or food, but by telling him that if he came out and he was willing to step out of the kennel with us, what he'd get is something very different, a whole new experience. And we didn't know he liked to swim - he looked so happy".

    Cesar said helping shelter dogs also helps him.

    "There's a need, and I miss my dogs (laughs), and that's how I get my fix. I get to practice exercise, discipline and affection, and that to me is spirituality - it fulfils me.

    "And as a father, I want my kids to know that if they feel sad, or they feel bad, the best thing they can do is to help somebody else. There's always going to be somebody in a worse situation that you are in."

    Animal Lovers League (A.L.L) shelter houses more than 300 dogs and many of them are medium to large sized dogs and with the government looking to launch a pilot project this year, that will allow medium sized dogs in public housing.

    Cesar said it's not so much the breed of the dog that matters but the amount of exercise they receive to release their pent-up energy.

    "The apartments in New York are smaller than the apartments here, and they have Mastiffs, they have Great Danes, and they have humongous breeds.

    "New Yorkers walk more than the people in LA, so in a way, it forces New Yorkers to walk more with their dogs.

    "Dogs in LA walk less because they have big backyards.

    "It's not so much the breed. It would be fantastic for the government, since the government sets the rules, to also provide areas where they can - one floor is specially for the dogs.

    - CNA/ck
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    Default Scoot will fly to Tokyo, Taipei


    Budget carrier celebrates maiden flight to Sydney with announcement of new routes


    by Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid
    04:45 AM Jun 06, 2012



    SINGAPORE - Singapore's first long-haul budget carrier, Scoot, will be making daily flights to two more popular destinations in Asia, Tokyo and Taipei, from the third quarter of this year.

    The carrier made the announcement yesterday after its maiden flight touched down in Sydney.

    Scoot chief executive Campbell Wilson said: "Tokyo isn't the expensive place that it used to be. I guess the consequence of a couple of decades of stagnant growth is that prices have not gone up, and so we can get great value airfares.

    "Taipei, of course, helps us sustain the route because as we start the airline, as we build the brand, it will take some time to build the loads and so flying via Taipei gives us another opportunity to attract passengers."

    Scoot's inaugural flight from Singapore to Sydney - with Mr Wilson and 400 guests on board - met with a rocky start on Monday night after take-off was delayed for almost two hours due to a technical fault.

    "Clearly these things happen. Aircraft are complex machines. When the warning light comes on, they are checked-up by engineers and that was the case. So the warning was checked, the aircraft was clear and away we went," said Mr Wilson.

    During the flight to Sydney, the cast of MediaCorp's The Noose provided in-flight entertainment and one lucky passenger won a free return ticket.

    On Scoot's long-haul budget flights, passengers can rent iPads that come pre-loaded with movies, music and games. Those in economy class will need to pay S$22 to use the tablet computers, while passengers in business class will enjoy the perk for free.

    The aircraft landed smoothly at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport yesterday morning and received a water cannon salute.

    Scoot will start flying to the Gold Coast, Australia, from June 12.




    Scoot's inaugural flight had a rocky start but landed smoothly in Sydney yesterday. PHOTO COURTESY JAMES MORGAN/SCOOT









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