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  1. #6172
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    Default Pulau Semakau reaching first-phase capacity

    By Adrian Lim
    my paper

    Monday, Jun 11, 2012

    Rubbish is serious business, especially in land-scarce Singapore, whose only landfill site is found on the offshore island of Pulau Semakau.

    The use of Pulau Semakau as a landfill site is split into two phases and, yesterday, it was revealed that the 350ha site will reach its full capacity for Phase One by 2015.

    But this figure is on track, according to an estimate by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

    The NEA plans to utilise the island as a waste-disposal ground until 2045 and beyond.

    Phase One - which got its start in 1999 - will utilise over 170ha, with a landfill volume of 11.4 million cu m.

    Phase Two is still in its "planning and design stage", said Mr Ong Chong Peng, general manager of Semakau Landfill.

    He added that "there has been a steady increase in waste coming to Semakau in the past three years".

    He attributes this rise to a variety of factors, from Singapore's population and economic growth, to the arrival of the two integrated resorts.

    One way to ensure Semakau's longevity and to help reduce the amount of waste - which consists mainly of incinerated ash from Singapore - going to Semakau is to recycle, said an NEA spokesman.

    Singaporeans currently recycle only 59 per cent of their waste, the spokesman added. NEA's target is for the recycle rate to reach 65 per cent by 2020, and 70 per cent by 2030.

    The update on Semakau's status was revealed yesterday, when marine ecologist Zeb Hogan visited the island.

    Besides acting as a landfill, Semakau is a wildlife haven that is rich in mangroves and coral reefs.

    Dr Hogan - who hosts National Geographic's Monster Fish programme - led a group of 40 nature lovers on a tour of Semakau, as part of a collaboration between the television channel and the NEA. While there, he commented on Semakau's marine diversity.

    "The anemones, sponges, crabs and some of the fish here are different from what I've seen in other places. What's here is unique," said Dr Hogan, who is an assistant research professor at the University of Nevada in Reno.

    He had never visited Semakau, whose landfill was created using a 7km-perimeter rock bund built to enclose a part of the sea off Pulau Semakau and Pulau Sakeng.

    The bund is lined with an impermeable membrane and a layer of marine clay, to ensure that the waste is contained within the landfill.

    "Semakau is right in the middle of a busy area, (with) lots of boat traffic... It's surprising that (the marine life) is so intact and so healthy," Dr Hogan said after his visit.

    adrianl@sph.com.sg


    National Geographic Explorer Zeb Hogan, holding up a crab found in the intertidal area of Pulau Semakau.
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  2. #6173
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    Default The community games

    Aaron Tan of Bedok: ďThe Community Games is giving people a chance to play competitively.Ē

    Posted by: Les Tan Posted date: June 08, 2012 | 320 views








    Aaron Tan goes low to receive a shot in his singles match against Kampong Chai Chee. (Photo 1 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)

    Singapore Badminton Hall, Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Aaron Tan, 26, played for Bedok CSC in the East Coast Cluster final in the Community Games badminton tournament.

    Aaron was in the Singapore national badminton squad from 2003 to early 2008.

    We had interviewed Aaron way back in 2007 and we caught up with him again to find out what he has been doing in the last five years.

    Red Sports: What are you up to these days?
    Aaron: I just finished my first year at SMU (Singapore Management University).

    Red Sports: So whatís SMU like?
    Aaron: Itís a competitive school. It gives real-life experiences. I enjoy the curriculum and the interactions.

    Red Sports: What are you studying?
    Aaron: Business Management.

    Red Sports: How involved are you in badminton, besides playing in the Community Games?
    Aaron: Iím an assistant coach to Zhang Qing Song at the Singapore Badminton School. We have players who are aged eight to 16 at the school. Iíve been out of the national scene for four years.

    Red Sports: What do you miss about playing in the national team?
    Aaron I miss the great times with the players. I miss travelling with my teammates, the camarderie, especially when competing in major games like the SEA Games and the Commonwealth Games.

    Red Sports: For the record, how many major games have you attended?
    Aaron: I went to three SEA Games (í03, í05, í07) and one Commonwealth Games (í06).

    Red Sports: Are you playing for SMU?
    Aaron: Yes, Iím playing for SMU and Iím the VP of the badminton team. Weíre preparing for SUniG (Singapore University Games) in mid-September.

    Red Sports: What do you think about the competitive level of the IVP (Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic) Badminton Championship?
    Aarn: IVP badminton is getting more competitive. Schools now scout for players. The Polys are bringing in more higher-level players.

    Red Sports: Who are the strong teams in IVP?
    Temasek Poly dominated the IVP for the last three years. They were the champions this year. I was in the team that won. (Aaron was in TP before entering SMU.) For the next IVP coming in January, NTU and RP (menís), NUS (womenís), are strong.

    Red Sports: So how do you find the Community Games badminton tournament? Your team is very strong with five ex-national shuttlers.
    Aaron: You can have all the youngsters but you need to have a well-balanced team. (CG teams are required to have players of different ages.)

    Iím surprised with the atmosphere, with supporters coming down to support. Itís been quite competitive, with players Iíve never seen before performing well.
    The Community Games is giving people a chance to play competitively. Itís giving the younger generation a chance to play and progress.




    Aaron returns a shot. (Photo 2 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)




    Aaron's opponent, Lim Jian Ann of Kampong Chai Chee, returns. Despite Jian Ann's efforts, Aaron eventually prevailed 2-0 (21-13, 21-12). (Photo 3 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)




    Watching the final between Bedok and Kampong Chai Chee were (left to right) Mr Richard Tan (president of Singapore Badminton Hall), Mr Lee Yi Shyan (president of SBA), Mr Lim Swee Say (deputy chairman of PA), and Ms Jessica Tan (MP for East Coast GRC). (Photo 4 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)

  3. #6174
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    Default Singapore secure first medal at Asian Junior Championship


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    Updated 12:35 PM Jun 10, 2012

    COLOMBO - He typically towers over his peers with his 1.82m-tall, 84kg frame, but this time, thrower Wong Kai Yuen was the one dwarfed by the competition at the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Sri Lanka.

    Competing in the men's shot put final at Colombo's Sugathadasa National Stadium yesterday, the 17-year-old Hwa Chong Institution student was clearly the smallest-built athlete among the eight-strong pack. Even athletics chief Tang Weng Fei was worried for the young athlete, as he felt "the others were so much bigger than him".


    But Kai Yuen - who won the Best Male Athlete at the 2011 Asean School Games after winning two golds in the shot put and discus - stood head and shoulders above his rivals on the field. He won the Republic's first medal at the championships with a record-breaking heave of 17.39m, which was more than a metre further than his previous best distance of 16.31m.

    Ranked sixth among his opponents at the Asian Junior Championships, Kai Yuen and Iran's Kham She Amir Hossein were locked in a close battle for third spot until his fourth attempt saw him edging out the Iranian (16.70m) before hitting 17.39m in his final heave to claim his biggest career prize to date. Li Meng of China finished first with a new meet record of 19.95m, and Saudi Arabia's Abdul Qadri Mohammad Omer was second with 18.44m.

    Speaking to TODAY after the final, he said: "I wasn't so concerned about the rankings as past experience shows that athletes won't hit their personal bests so I just focused on performing well. It's a great feeling to win Singapore's first medal here.

    "I thought I would have a chance at winning as I've been doing 17 plus metres at training. My 10 week stint in Halle, Germany, with junior and senior throwers also really helped me.

    "I definitely want more. I hope to hit 20.50m eventually as that is the Olympic qualifying mark. I''m hoping to go to the next one in 2016 or even 2020."

    Singapore Athletic Association president Tang was on-site to give Kai Yuen a congratulatory hug after the final, and he told TODAY: "It was a really exciting final. He's done well. The Asian arena is quite tough and for him to get third is an achievement."

    While Kai Yuen was the toast of the dinner table for the 22-strong contingent, sprinter Ng Chin Hui also added more cheer to the Day 1 programme after clocking 48.75sec in the men's 400m heats to earn a spot in today's final.

    The blue ribbon men's 100m race served up some surprises yesterday evening, as Taftian Hassan of Iran claimed the gold medal in 10.49sec ahead of Chins's Xie Zhenye and Saudi Arabia's Al Shalani Yousef Ali, who won the silver and bronze respectively.



    Wong Kai Yuen was dwarfed by his competition, but still managed to book a place on the podium. Photo by Low Lin Fhoong.

    .

  4. #6175
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    Default SEA Diving (Menís Platform): Jonathan Chan wins silver

    Posted by: Lai Jun Wei
    Posted date: June 11, 2012


    Toa Payoh Swimming Complex, Sunday, June 10, 2012 ó Singaporeís Jonathan Chan Fan Keng finished second in the Menís Platform event at the Southeast Asia Swimming Championships to bring the nationís medal haul for the second day of competition to three.

    The 15-year old was assured a podium finish prior to the start and finished with 295.35 points (total dive difficulty 15.3) to place second in the two-man field.

    Malaysia starlet Muhammad Nazreen, 14, displayed a stellar performances to finish first, scoring 315.60 points (total dive difficulty 13.8). He has now bagged medals in all three of his events at the SEA Swimming Championships, and was the first in the championship to achieve scores of 9.0 in two dives during the Menís Platform event
    Malaysia currently leads the medal tally with nine medals (4 golds, 3 silvers, 2 bronzes) while Singapore lay in third place (2 silvers, 1 bronze) behind Indonesia (2 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronzes).




    Jonathan's feat added a third medal to Singapore's haul from the second day of competition. (Photo 3 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)

  5. #6176
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    Default Singapore to develop arbitration sector

    By S Ramesh | Posted: 11 June 2012 0951 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Singapore's Law Minister K Shanmugam said Singapore will continue to develop the arbitration sector and be pro-arbitration. It will also move in line with industry needs.

    He was speaking at the opening plenary session of the 21st Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration.

    Mr Shanmugam told the international legal fraternity that the Centre of International Law and the National University of Singapore's law faculty will be setting up the Singapore International Arbitration Academy later this year. It is the result of collaboration between leading arbitration practitioners and scholars from around the world.

    Mr Shanmugam is confident that the academy will contribute to the development of expertise in international arbitration, in a region where the need for such expertise continues to grow.

    Giving an update on the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), he said it handled 188 new cases last year. Of these, 135 were international cases fully administered in accordance with SIAC's rules.

    By contrast, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre administered a total of 41 new cases in 2011, including domestic cases.

    Mr Shanmugam said this year is already a better year.

    In the first five months of 2012, the SIAC handled 118 new cases, double the number handled in the same period last year.

    The total value of these cases were over S$2 billion. This exceeded the total value of cases handled by the SIAC for the whole of last year, which stood at S$1.3 billion.

    -CNA/ac



    The Straits Times

    S'pore 'well-placed to become global centre for investment arbitration'

    Published on Jun 11, 2012


    By Jennani Durai

    Arbitrators here and abroad have identified a role for Singapore in investment arbitration, a specialised field of law involving disputes between investors and states.

    They say that, given Singapore's success as a centre for commercial arbitration, it is positioned to become Asia's centre for investor-state arbitrations as well.

    The prominent arbitrators and counsel, both local and international, who made the comments were attending an arbitration dialogue organised on Sunday by the Ministry of Law.

    It was a precursor to the 21st International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress, which began on Sunday at Marina Bay Sands and will run until Wednesday. The conference has attracted over 1,000 delegates
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    Default Marina Bay pedestrian bridge: Work starts in Q4

    New pedestrian walkway to link Merlion Park and Esplanade


    Published on Jun 11, 2012



    Work on a pedestrian bridge linking the Merlion Park and the Esplanade will finally begin sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN



    By Stacey Chia

    Work on a pedestrian bridge linking the Merlion Park and the Esplanade will finally begin sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.

    News of this bridge, facing the double-helix bridge on the opposite side of Marina Bay, was announced in 2009, but time has been needed to nail down its design, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

    It will be 6m wide and 220m long, and curved.


    A URA spokesman said its look has been intentionally kept 'simple and elegant' to complement the design of the existing Esplanade Bridge.
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  7. #6178
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    Default Expansion plans underway at Semakau Landfill

    By Olivia Siong | Posted: 10 June 2012 1826 hrs


    Exploring Semakau Landfill.


    SINGAPORE: Work is underway to expand the landfill site on Semakau Island.

    Semakau, located among the Southern islands of Singapore, is the world's first offshore landfill created entirely from sea space.

    A 160-hectare lagoon at Semakau Landfill is set for a transformation and will soon become a landfill site as part of Phase Two of the National Environment Agency's (NEA) plans to expand the landfill area on the island.

    Currently, a 190-hectare of sea space is being used in Phase One of operations.

    General manager of Semakau Landfill NEA, Ong Chong Peng, said: "We are actually land-filling the sea space, the so-called Phase One sea space. Based on the current usage and based on the projections of the waste growth, sometime by 2015, the Phase One sea space will be used up. So right now we started early last year, we started the planning for Phase Two."

    Operations at Semakau started in 1999. It is Singapore's only off-shore landfill. The island receives more than 1,700 tonnes of incineration ash every day. It's expected to meet Singapore's landfill needs, till 2045 or beyond.

    Talks are underway with other government agencies.

    Mr Ong said : "For the future expansion of Semakau landfill, we really have to discuss with the authorities, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore Land Authority, so that's actually the long term plan. But we did have some initial discussion with them."

    With expansion plans underway, the National Environment Agency said it's committed to conserving the thriving eco-system at Semakau.

    Mr Ong said" "First (it) is to make sure our landfill operations are carried out properly, and also there's no pollution to the surrounding environment. And also, to make sure our perimeter, the structure, the stability of the perimeter bunds are properly maintained. To keep this surrounding water pollution free. So this is the first effort, to make sure the biodiversity can continue to thrive."

    The agency said it will call for a tender once its design proposal is approved.

    Details will be released at a later date.

    - CNA/ck
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    Default UniSIM degree recognised by Acra

    Published on Jun 12, 2012


    The Bachelor of Accountancy degree from SIM University (UniSIM) is the latest to be recognised by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra).

    It means graduates from the programme will clear the first hurdle towards registration as a public accountant here.

    'The recognition of UniSIM's Bachelor of Accountancy degree programme could potentially help boost the supply of public accountants by offering aspiring working adults an avenue to join the ranks of the public accountancy profession,' said UniSIM on Monday.

    The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants already exempt UniSIM accounting graduates from some professional examinations.

  9. #6180
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    Default S'pore to develop arbitration sector

    Shanmugam outlines plans to establish Singapore as a 'centre of excellence' for international arbitration

    by Ashley Chia
    04:45 AM Jun 12, 2012



    SINGAPORE - An academy that will help develop Singapore into "a world-class centre of excellence" in international arbitration will be set up later this year, said Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam yesterday.

    The move comes amid Singapore's aspirations to expand its legal services sector, fuelled by a growing number of foreign law practices and foreign lawyers in the country.

    The numbers have increased from about 63 to 116, and from about 630 to 1,030 respectively, in the past five years.

    Last year, the Singapore International Arbitration Council (SIAC) handled 188 cases, compared to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre which administered 41 cases.

    In the first quarter of this year, SIAC registered 118 cases compared to 59 in the same period last year, bringing in a total value of over S$2 billion.

    Noting the achievements of the arbitration sectors, Mr Shanmugam said Singapore "intends to go further, particularly in the context of excellence" and the establishment of the Singapore International Arbitration Academy will help facilitate that.

    "If you come to Singapore, you get a one-stop experience of the entire region. We intend to be a centre of excellence," said Mr Shanmugam at the 21st International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress,

    The inaugural academy will be hosted by the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Centre for International Law and NUS faculty of law from Nov 26 to Dec 14, and will be held at the NUS Bukit Timah campus.

    The annual 16-day programme "is the first in the world that provides training for counsel, instructing solicitors and government officials via a two track but integrated programme where counsel are instructed in preparation for oral submissions before leading arbitrators on the final day of the academy," said NUS Associate Professor Michael Ewing-Chow.

    Only 60 participants will be enrolled "to ensure maximum quality of skills training and interaction", he added.

    More than 40 leading practitioners, arbitrators and public officials will be sharing their insights and expertise.

    They include the United Kingdom Supreme Court President Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Attorney- General Sundaresh Menon - who will be appointed an Appeal Court Judge from Aug 1 - and former Senior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Professor S Jayakumar.






    BLOOMBERG

  10. #6181
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    Default Yale, NUS rebut Huffington Post story

    By Ng Jing Yng, TODAY | Posted: 12 June 2012 0539 hrs


    model of Yale-NUS campus in Singapore


    SINGAPORE: There is no "backroom" deal in the National University of Singapore's partnership with Yale University to set up the Yale-NUS College, and the American university is not being given special access to investment opportunities in Singapore as a quid pro quo - as suggested in a commentary by a Yale political science lecturer published on US news website The Huffington Post last week.

    Responding to TODAY's queries, both NUS and Yale on Monday denied the allegations which were attributed by Dr Jim Sleeper - who wrote the article - to an unnamed "very high official of a European university who'd been to Singapore a few times".

    In his article - published on June 5 - which was largely critical of the Yale-NUS partnership, Dr Sleeper, a former journalist at the New York Daily News, wrote that the source whom he met "at a dinner in Germany" said that there was "US$300 million for Yale in its deal with NUS".

    Dr Sleeper quoted the source describing the financial gains for Yale as "what you call insider trading: Yale will be cut in on prime investments that Singapore controls and restricts through its sovereign wealth fund. These will be only investments, not payments, so there's some risk. But ... Yale's endowment will swell by several hundred million in consequence of its getting in on these ventures".

    Dr Sleeper also likened Yale University to a "business corporation" and claimed that some members of Yale Corporation - the governing board and policymaking body for Yale University - have business and investment links to Singapore, including Dr Charles Ellis.

    Dr Ellis is currently an adviser emeritus to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation's Investment Strategies Committee.

    Dr Sleeper's claims were rebuked by Yale University Press Secretary Tom Conroy. He said: "Jim Sleeper has written repeatedly in recent months about his opposition to Yale-NUS College. He was a political journalist for a daily newspaper before he came to teach at Yale, and thus it is particularly disappointing that his most recent commentary in the Huffington Post once again contains errors of fact."

    "Yale is not, as Sleeper asserts, a business corporation. It is a not-for-profit organisation recognised around the globe as one of the world's great research and teaching institutions."

    Mr Conroy also reiterated that Yale is not getting any financial gain from the partnership with NUS, apart from reimbursement of expenses.

    He said: "Sleeper makes the claim - based on the conversational speculation of an unnamed European - that Yale is receiving special access to investment opportunities in Singapore as a quid pro quo for pursuing a partnership with NUS to create Yale-NUS College. This claim is false."

    He added: "Sleeper also makes the claim that former Yale trustee Charles Ellis 'maintains an investment business in Singapore'. This is false."

    In a separate response, an NUS spokesperson said there "is no 'backroom' deal as alleged". She added: "Yale University is reimbursed only for work done in connection with Yale-NUS College."

    According to the spokesperson, the reimbursement to Yale is for teaching replacements for Yale faculty members who had been involved in the joint planning processes for the college.

    The Government has said that it is funding the college. According to its budget book this year, the infrastructure cost for the Yale-NUS college campus is S$114 million.

    Contacted by TODAY, Dr Sleeper claimed in an email response that he did not make the allegations.

    He said: "My post does not say - in fact, it denies - that there is any payment or quid pro quo from Singapore or any of its government affiliates to Yale. My post does not say - in fact, it denies - that there is anything illegal about what the person I quoted suggested will be arranged."

    He added: "My post does not say that there has been any agreement to allow Yale to participate in restricted investment opportunities. It merely quotes someone saying that he is convinced that that is a possibility." - TODAY
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  11. #6182
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    Default Singapore's first-ever brain book by youth, for youth

    Updated 02:01 PM Jun 12, 2012


    SINGAPORE - How do we learn and remember things? What is fear, and what happens when our brain falls ill? All these questions are now answered in a first-ever brain book written by the youth, for the youth.

    The book is a collaborative effort between the Singapore Technologies Endowment Programme (STEP) and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Written by more than 30 Year 5 and Year 6 NUS High students who were mentored by professors and post-graduate students, the book also contains illustrations done by the students themselves.

    Co-editor of The Brain Book, Associate Professor Lim Kah Leong, said that the brain is one organ often overlooked and taken for granted.

    Assoc Prof Lim said: "I hope, of course, that the book will serve as a primer for our young to understand the functions of the brain, as well as how these functions of the brain could cause neurological and mental disorders."

    The idea, he said, was inspired by the lack of books about the brain that are appropriate for the youth.

    He said: "When we looked into books available at the bookstores, they are either too elementary in nature or otherwise too specialised. So we are hoping to prepare what we call a 'Goldilocks' book to target this youth group, and we have actually got students from NUS High School to write the book. So we have a book now that is written by high school students for high school students."

    The book was put together in just one month.

    Samantha Yong, a Year 5 student at NUS High, said producing the book was a learning experience.

    "When we first saw the topic, we found it a bit boring," she said. Yet further research on the topic led them to realise the information was applicable to any normal man. And the more they found, the more they realised that the topic was "actually very interesting," she added.

    Currently, the book is only distributed internally to schools, libraries and the various education ministries of ASEAN countries.

    An inaugural Brain Camp is also being held to cultivate curiosity in brain research. A 150 youths between 16 to 18 from ASEAN and other Asian countries will be taking part in workshops and visiting places of interest like the Singapore Science Centre.

    Organisers hope to make the brain camp an annual event.

    The STEP-NUS Sunburst Brain Camp and The Brain Book is funded by STEP, non-profit philanthropic organisation by Temasek Trust, working in partnership with the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Department of Physiology. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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    Default Lion Air eyes S'pore as feeder hub for regional markets

    Updated 09:29 PM Jun 11, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Indonesia's largest privately-owned airline Lion Air hopes to use Singapore as a hub to tap into other markets in the region.

    The airline announced this at its 12th anniversary celebrations in Jakarta last Friday.

    It also unveiled plans to launch a full service airline to tap the long haul market by March next year.

    The new carrier, Batik Air, will fly both domestically and internationally, with destinations including Singapore.

    Although Singapore contributes about 2 per cent of Lion Air's overall base of 27 million passengers, this did not stop its founder, Mr Rusdi Kirana from setting up other businesses in Singapore.

    These include an airline leasing company to capture a larger share of the regional traffic.

    Mr Rusdi Kirana, president director of Lion Air, said: "The idea is that we want to make Singapore not only as a hub for the assets to spread to all the airlines we are going to share or operate, but also as a hub for our feeder. The idea is that we'll feed Singapore from all over Indonesia. From Singapore, we'll fly to all other countries." CHANNEL NEWSASIA






    Lion Air. AP

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    Default Shanti powers home

    S'porean teenager sets national youth record, faces tough 200m final today


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:45 AM Jun 12, 2012



    COLOMBO - A roar rippled through Colombo's Sugathadasa National Stadium yesterday as sprinter Shanti Pereira rounded the bend in the women's 200m heats at the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championships, but the cheers were not for the 16-year-old Singaporean.

    Instead, they were for local favourite S R J Pabasara Senanayake, who looked poised to win the eight-women field coming into the final straight.

    But the Sri Lankan was beaten at the end, as Shanti stormed home in the last 100m to win heat three in 24.93sec - re-writing the previous national youth record of 25.14s set by elder sister Valerie in 2005 - and earn a spot in today's final.

    Kazakhstan's Andreyeva Olga was second in 24.96s, while Misihiro Yuki of Japan finished third in 25.27s. Senanayake had to settle for fourth in 25.41s, but still qualified for the final.

    Hopes will now be high in the Singapore camp for Shanti to deliver the Republic's second medal - shot putter Wong Kai Yuen won a bronze on Saturday - after she posted the second fastest qualifying time in the 200m, just behind Taiwanese 100m gold medalist Liao Ching-Hsien (24.62s).

    But the Singapore Sports School student faces a tough challenge against her older rivals - the Asian Junior Athletics Championships is a 19 and under event.

    "It was a very tiring race for me as the Sri Lankan girl in front of me was very hard to catch. It feels good to get the record as I have been aiming for it since the start of the year," Shanti told TODAY.

    "The girls from Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan and China will be very fast as I ran against them in the 100m, and my plan is to stay with the pack in the first 100m and keep up with them."

    Shanti has been in good form lately, after she bettered the national youth and junior record for the 100m with a time of 12.21s in Saturday's final.

    Day 3 of competition in Sri Lanka saw double delight for Thailand's men's and women's 4x100m relay teams, who topped their respective fields in 40.21s and 46.87s.

    Qatari thrower Ashraf Amgad Elseify also notched the first Asian junior record of the meet, heaving 80.85m to finish well ahead of rivals Sukdev Singh of India (65.25m) and Kuwait's Alhenoal Mobarais (59.86m), who finished second and third respectively.




    Singapore's Shanti Pereira (centre, with spectacles) in action at the 2012 Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photo by LOW LIN FHOONG

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    Default Kids get lessons in respecting their elders

    By Karen Ng | Posted: 11 June 2012 1653 hrs


    The Singapore Children's Society organised a community event to educate children in the three R's - Responsibility, Respect and Resilience


    SINGAPORE: Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

    The Singapore Children's Society aims to stay true to this old adage by giving kids a platform to give back to society.

    It might look like a regular children's party but these kids are actually getting a lesson in respecting their elders.

    Through song and dance, the children interact with senior citizens from different nursing homes - something they might not get to do in everyday life.

    It's a community event organised by the Singapore Children's Society to mark their 60th anniversary this year.

    It aims to educate children in the three R's - Responsibility, Respect and Resilience.

    Thirty children from the Henderson Student Care Centre and Sunbeam Place took part in the festivities.

    Both centres operate under the Singapore Children's Society.

    Organisers hope the event will foster bonding between children and the elderly.

    Singapore Children's Society's head of student care centre, Samantha Lim, said: "We really wanted to cultivate inter-generational bonding and to learn how to interact with the elderly. From the centre that I came from, the Student Care Centre, what happens is that the children usually live with their parents only so it's a two-generational relationship and they hardly get to interact with their grandparents. They may not know that the elderly need to talk slower, or that they need to be given instructions slower."

    - CNA/fa
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    Default New additions to the Night Safari

    04:45 AM Jun 13, 2012

    The Night Safari recently welcomed three new additions to its clouded leopard family, one of the world's rarest and most secretive wild cat species.

    Born in April, the three cubs are a result of a planned breeding programme that saw their parents, which arrived from Thailand's Khao Kheow Open Zoo three years ago, introduced at an early age to promote bonding and minimise aggression. These cats often display aggressive courtship behaviour that could result in the death of the female during mating.

    Visitors can view the cubs at the Night Safari's Leopard Trail.

    Photo Night Safari


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    Default NUS sets up S$15 million graphene fabrication facility

    By Olivia Siong | Posted: 12 June 2012 1844 hrs


    Artist's impression of the National University of Singapore's Graphene Research Centre.


    SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore's Graphene Research Centre announced on Tuesday the opening of a S$15 million micro- and nano-fabrication facility to produce graphene products.

    The facility is the first of its kind in Asia and will be fully operational by October.

    Graphene, a carbon-like material which scientists say has many uses, was only discovered in 2004. While it has been called the strongest material in the world, it is also incredibly flexible despite being only one-atomic-layer thick.

    Director of the Graphene Research Centre Antonio Castro Neto said the facility would use graphene to develop new technologies for flexible and transparent electronics and new devices that do not yet exist in the market, using the latest scientific equipment.

    Another area which scientists are looking at are stem cells. Researchers say that stem cells infused with graphene could produce artificial bones and even liver cells.

    "The material is very new, so we're still learning how to deal with that material, but the potential is enormous. That's why there's a big investment worldwide on graphene research. Many companies are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars," he said.

    "But Singapore started very early, which means we're in a position to protect intellectual property and patents, and even spin-off companies and so on."

    The transparent conductive coatings industry is touted to be worth US$55 billion by 2020.

    The Graphene Research Centre was set up in 2010 and is currently involved in over S$100 million worth of projects.

    Dean of NUS Faculty of Science Andrew Wee said the research centre was already being published in top scientific journals and has gained attention internationally.

    "We hope this will continue to grow. We'll be able attract research funding, we'll be able to attract industry collaboration and train top quality students that will eventually go into industry and academia and become the next generation of knowledge creators," he said.

    The centre hopes to attract 60 graduate students and 30 research fellows in the future. It currently has 19 research fellows and 10 graduate students.

    - CNA/wm
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    Default Singapore to host meeting on nuclear safety

    Posted: 12 June 2012 1857 hrs


    Black smoke rises from reactor number three of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture in March 2011. (AFP/Jiji Press/File)



    SINGAPORE: Singapore will host the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) seminar on nuclear safety from 13-15 June.

    The three-day meeting will discuss issues surrounding the theme "National, Regional and International Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response".

    The seminar is organised by Singapore in close collaboration with co-sponsoring ASEM partners, the European Commission, Finland, France, Japan and Korea.

    The seminar aims to stimulate discussion and greater cooperation on nuclear safety between Asia and Europe, and also within the respective regions.

    Addressing the participants will be speakers from the seminar co-sponsors as well as policy makers and representatives from China, Denmark, Germany, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden and Vietnam.

    Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators will also address the participants.

    A statement from Singapore's Foreign Ministry said about 125 participants from 26 of the 48 ASEM partners, as well as relevant regional and international organisations, will be attending the seminar.

    Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli will open the seminar at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel on Wednesday.

    ASEM was launched in 1996 to strengthen dialogue and cooperation among countries in Asia and Europe in the political, economic and other sectoral areas for mutual benefit.

    The ASEM Seminar on Nuclear Safety was proposed by Singapore's Foreign and Law Minister K Shanmugam at the 10th ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in Hungary in June 2011.

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in March last year showed that such event, whether due to natural disasters, human error or malicious acts, can have widespread, cross-border impacts on human health, the environment and food safety.

    Emergency preparedness and response is therefore an important aspect of nuclear safety for countries both with and without nuclear power plants.

    - CNA/ir
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