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  1. #6223
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    Singapore's preschool education ranked 29 out of 45 worldwide

    by Ng Jing Yng
    Updated 03:04 PM Jun 26, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Singapore's early childhood education environment was ranked 29th among 45 countries worldwide, according to a latest study by the Economist Intelligent Unit.

    Some of the areas Singapore did well in were in the provision of curriculum guidelines and providing targeted subsidies for underprivileged families. Singapore also has high levels of preschool enrolment.

    For the 'affordability' factor, the report noted that the government balances Singapore's market-led provision of preschool education - where families pay for the preschool of their choice - with direct subsidies.

    Most of Singapore's weaknesses showed up in the area of 'quality', which includes factors like student-teacher ratio, average preschool teacher wages, preschool teacher training and linkages between Preschool and primary school.

    All top ten countries on the Index have ratios ranging from one teacher to five to 11 children, compared to Singapore's one teacher to 20 children ratio.

    Commissioned by the Lien Foundation, Finland led the pack while India was ranked last. In the Asia pacific region , Singapore was ranked sixth behind countries like Hong Kong and Japan.

  2. #6224
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    Default NTU scientists create toilet which turns waste into electricity

    Updated 03:54 PM Jun 26, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a new toilet system that converts human waste to electricity and fertiliser.

    Dubbed the "No-Mix Vacuum Toilet", the system has two chambers which separate liquid and solid wastes.

    It also reduces the amount of water needed for flushing by up to 90 per cent, compared to current toilet systems in Singapore.

    "Singapore has been relatively clean over the last few decades, but we can still improve a little bit," associate professor Wang Jing-Yuan, director of NTU's Residues and Resource Reclamation Centre, said.

    "In Singapore we don't have natural resources, that's why we've been thinking, can we use all these waste materials? To me, all these waste materials, they are resources."

    Scientists have been working on the system since 2010.

    There are now plans to carry out a six month trial starting next month.

    Prototypes will be installed in two toilets in NTU and will be used by some 500 students.

    Talks are also underway to test bed the project in a new town in two years' time.

    Scientists hope to commercialise the system and export it to other countries in the future. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
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  3. #6225
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    Default Gardens by the Bay gets spruced up for big day

    By Dylan Loh | Posted: 25 June 2012 1917 hrs



    SINGAPORE: It's all systems go as final touches are put on Singapore's latest attraction - Gardens by the Bay - ahead of its Friday opening.

    And getting there should be a cinch with free daily shuttles from the Marina Bay train station.

    The shuttles operate from 9am to 9pm at 10-minute intervals.

    These shuttles might operate on a permanent basis if there is a demand.

    Visitors can also alight at the Bayfront train station and walk 300 metres to the Gardens.

    For those who drive, there will be 720 parking lots.

    Cyclists will have bicycle stands to park their bikes as cycling is not allowed in the Gardens.

    The supertrees might resemble a science-fiction movie set.

    But getting around Singapore's Gardens by the Bay won't be an alien concept.

    Visitors can enter the 54-hectare park from seven places.

    Most of the attractions will be free. Ticketed areas include the aerial walkway and two cooled conservatories.

    Developers said the design of the billion-dollar-park has taken into account everybody's needs.

    Ng Boon Gee, assistant director (Development) Gardens by the Bay, said: "All the ramps here are actually constructed in such a way that they are gentle - the wheelchair can be easily pushed up the ramps. So these are the things that we are trying to do to make the space as user-friendly as possible."

    On a leisurely stroll, you will encounter birds, and bears - in the form of plant sculptures.

    And there are mini heritage gardens to reflect on Singapore's multi-racial composition with hints of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian influences.

    If you are tired of walking, you can always hop on a garden cruiser to get around, which will cost between S$3 to S$5.

    Managing director of Cafe Crema and Verandah at the Gardens by the Bay, Lim Li-Wei, said: "You can come here (to the cafe) and enjoy handcrafted coffee, or sandwich, as well as local favourites such as hokkien mee, bak kut teh and laksa."

    Four more spots for eateries will be up for tender in 2013 which means there'll eventually be more than 10 dining establishments to satisfy the hungry after a walk-in-the-park.

    - CNA/ck
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    Default Singapore dismisses Malaysian media allegations of interference in politics

    By S. Ramesh | Posted: 22 June 2012 1745 hrs



    The Singapore government has dismissed allegations in the Malaysian media and some online reports that it is interfering in the country's domestic politics.

    A spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry said such allegations are "baseless".

    This follows allegations that Singapore officials were involved in the recent Bersih 3.0 protests.

    There were also reports that some youths were being trained in Singapore as polling and counting agents for the upcoming Malaysian general election.

    In a statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said its officers were present at the Bersih 3.0 rally as impartial observers.

    The spokesperson added that's "part of their normal professional diplomatic duties."

    He said the officers also did not wear yellow to avoid being mistaken as rally participants.

    They avoided Merdeka Square, which had been declared out of bounds by the Malaysian authorities.

    The ministry said what its officers did were "legitimate duties of diplomats to observe political developments in their countries of posting".

    It explained that a diplomatic officer "is expected to be updated on the host country developments and to understand situations and sentiments on the ground".

    There is also a consular angle.

    The ministry said the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur received several queries from Singaporeans asking for advice.

    And having a first hand sense of the situation helped the High Commission offer effective consular advice and assistance.

    "I reiterate that these are normal functions for a diplomat. Indeed, other foreign diplomats in KL were also observing the rally. Given this, it is odd that some quarters of the Malaysian media seem to be singling out Singapore," said the ministry spokesperson.

    The ministry also rejected an allegation that Singapore contravened the Vienna Convention.

    The spokesperson added: "This is utterly untrue. 'Article 41(1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 reads: "Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State'.

    "I repeat that our officers were not interfering in Malaysian domestic affairs. They were observing. They were careful to follow all domestic laws and regulations. Let me say clearly that the Singapore Government is impartial and does not interfere in any country's domestic politics. Likewise, we expect that others will not interfere in our domestic politics."

    Separately, the Bersih group has clarified (on its Faceboook page) that the training of Polling and Counting agents in Singapore was an event "organised by Malaysians for Malaysians only".

    Singapore authorities are checking on these claims.

    The ministry spokesperson said foreigners are not allowed to engage in political activity in Singapore.

    Singapore had also rejected Bersih 3.0's application to hold a simultaneous rally here.

    "Again, we have no interest in interfering in anybody's domestic politics. We rejected Bersih 3.0's application to hold a simultaneous rally in Singapore. Why would we do that if we wanted to meddle?" said the spokesperson.

    It said Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had asked to meet Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ong Keng Yong, on Friday afternoon. It added that High Commissioner Ong will also clarify Singapore's position and address "these baseless allegations to prevent misunderstandings".

    - CNA/de

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    Default MOE to revise school sexuality education programmes

    Posted: 26 June 2012 1923 hrs

    SINGAPORE: The Education Ministry has revised its sexuality education framework to ensure its context stays relevant to current trends.

    The Growing Years curriculum, which addresses issues related to relationships and media influences, will now include a greater focus on social networking, its dangers, and what teenagers can do to protect themselves.

    The ministry also reiterated that sexuality education is not *** education. It is about the emotional, social and ethical aspects in addition to the physical aspect of sexuality.

    First started in 2000, Growing Years is conducted at the Primary 5 level through to Junior College or centralised institute level.

    The expanded new media component of the Growing Years programme is one of the tweaks made after it started talking to students, teachers and principals in 2009 as part of its review.

    Grace Ng, deputy director of the guidance branch at the Ministry of Education, said: "We understand from the children that they want to be taught how, the skills to navigate the landscape out there.

    "(For example,) how to handle relationships, what are the no-no's, how do we say 'no' to peer pressure, how to tell right from wrong, how to understand what they see on websites, or for that matter, on social networks."

    Complementing Growing Years is the Empowered Teens (eTeens) curriculum, which teaches students about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), protection from unsafe ***, and how to say "no" to pre-marital ***.

    MOE said the new course materials have been distributed to all primary schools and it will start training teachers to deliver these programmes.

    It added only specially selected teachers whose values align with MOE's on sexuality education may teach the Growing Years programme. Each school has at least 10 trained teachers.

    Schools like Zhenghua Secondary said the refreshed curriculum is timely as students are more plugged in to social media. For added measure, the school also engages an external vendor to supplement MOE's sexuality education programme.

    Such vendors must adhere to guidelines set by the MOE. MOE said 11 schools have engaged an external vendor to conduct sexuality education programmes in schools.

    Fiona Tan, Principal of Zhenghua Secondary School, said: "When the same message is reinforced through a different voice, and maybe through a different platform, the learning is reinforced and deepened. And the retention rate is also a lot stronger among our students.

    "At the same time, as the vendor is going through lessons with the students, our teachers are also sitting in to see how the learning can be further taken back and reinforced in the classes as well."

    The revised programmes are expected to be taught to students starting next year.

    Parents have the choice to opt-out of Sexuality Education programmes. MOE said the opt-out rate is less than one per cent. Reasons given include a lack of interest in such programmes, wanting to teach their own children on sexuality education and believing their children are too young for the programme.

    -CNA/ac

  6. #6228
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    Default Decision to build Gardens by the Bay not an easy one: PM Lee

    By Saifulbahri Ismail | Posted: 28 June 2012 2043 hrs

    Over 700 guests were invited to witness the official opening ceremony of Bay South Garden, the largest of the three gardens that make up Gardens by the Bay (Photo: Siti Bazilah, channelnewsasia.com)

    SINGAPORE : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the decision to build Gardens by the Bay was not an easy one.

    Speaking to some 700 guests at the official opening of the Gardens on Thursday, Mr Lee pointed out the land could have been used for more valuable developments.

    But he said that looking at it now, the decision to build it was correct.

    Gardens by the Bay is Singapore's latest manifestation of its 'City in a Garden' vision.

    Spanning 101 hectares, the S$1 billion superpark houses over a quarter of a million rare plants.

    It is now an icon of the redeveloped Marina Bay.

    But the decision to build it was not easy.

    Mr Lee said: "(We) could have used this for far more valuable commercial or residential developments, right in the middle of the new Singapore city. But our planners in URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) believed that a large and beautiful park was an important element of our new downtown in Marina Bay South, just like Central Park in New York, or Hyde Park in London.

    "Mr Mah Bow Tan, who was then the Minister for National Development, strongly supported this project. He saw value in having Gardens by the Bay right in the city, value beyond enhancing the value of the rest of the land in Marina Bay."

    Mr Lee said Gardens by the Bay is not just a pretty flower to admire from afar, but the "people's garden" for all to enjoy every single day.

    And he urged all Singaporeans to visit the Gardens and embrace it as their own.

    Mr Lee said: "This is just one example of how we are transforming Singapore's living environment. It may be a densely populated city, maybe one of the densest in the world, but we are determined that our people should be able to live comfortably, pleasantly, graciously.

    "Not just good homes, efficient public transport, which we are working hard to improve, or safe streets. But also be in touch with nature, never far from green spaces and blue waters."

    Gardens by the Bay features two conservatory domes - known as Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.

    Cloud Forest contains a man-made mountain that houses a variety of high altitude plants that are not normally found in tropical Singapore, while Flower Dome features an indoor Mediterranean garden and seasonal changing floral displays.

    There is also an Outdoor Gardens which members of the public can go to free of charge.

    The Gardens cost about S$1 billion to build.

    CEO of Gardens by the Bay, Dr Tan Wee Kiat, explained: "First of all, this is reclaimed land; in order to be the first project in here, you have got to drain the place, provide canals, bring in roads, electricity - in other words, a lot of the money is spent, half of it is on infrastructure.

    "The major portion of the other half are the two glass domes. Twenty per cent of that budget, which is very high for most developments, goes into securing plant material. And it is money rightfully spent because Singaporeans want a bit of spring and autumn, which you can never in the land of perpetual summer."

    The new green space opens to the public on Friday, and more than 30,000 visitors are expected to flock here.

    - CNA/ms


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    Default President Tony Tan honoured for contributions to research, education

    By Wong Siew Ying | Posted: 01 July 2012 2355 hrs


    German President Joachim Gauck (R) welcomes Singapore's President Tony Tan at his residence Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany on June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)


    LINDAU, Germany: Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam has been honoured for his contributions to research and education.

    He was inducted into the Lindau Foundation Honorary Senate at the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.

    Dr Tan's induction will help to further increase Singapore's visibility as a global research and development hub.

    His dedication to fostering education and research in Singapore goes back several decades.

    A snap shot of his efforts towards shaping the education system and driving R&D was played before an international gathering of Nobel Laureates and top scientists in Lindau.

    In conferring the honour, the Board of the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings says Dr Tan is a visionary and serves as a role model far beyond Singapore.

    Professor Wolfgang Schurer, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings, said: "As a pre-eminent servant of his country, he has been a quiet but tireless force in the rise of the Republic as a global hub of science and education in Asia.

    "He has been the spiritus rector of the four national universities of Singapore and spearheaded many strategic initiatives for research and education. His intellectual charisma and deep understanding of the global research landscape distinguish him as a highly respected ambassador vis-a-vis Europe and the world."

    Dr Tan's induction into the Honorary Senate also signals Singapore's strong commitment to R&D.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Tan says he is deeply honoured to accept the invitation to become a member of the Senate.

    He also encouraged more collaboration in research to tackle emerging global challenges, such as the depletion of non-renewable resources, disruption of ecosystems and transmission of infectious diseases.

    Dr Tan said: "The future of research lies in international and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Scientific communities and academia must work together with one another and with industries and governments through partnerships spanning across countries and disciplines."

    He also shared examples of how Singapore universities have partnered with institutions from different parts on the world to carry out research.

    Dr Tan is only the third Asian to be inducted into the Senate. He now joins a list of eminent personalities as ambassadors of the Foundation's work worldwide, including Bill Gates, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Group, Professor Ferdinand K.K. Piech.

    - CNA/de
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    Default S'pore tops regional 'Cities of the Future' ranking

    Updated 11:44 PM Jul 01, 2012

    SINGAPORE - For the second year running, the Republic topped a regional ranking of cities based on how well-prepared they are for the future.

    Yesterday, the ranking - now into its second edition - was released by FDI Intelligence, a bi-monthly magazine that is an offshoot of the company that publishes the Financial Times newspaper.

    Shangai and Seoul came in second and third respectively. According to FDI, the ranking "focuses on a mixture of data and expert opinion to rank cities which have the best prospects for inward investment, economic development and business expansion".

    The cities are assessed under six categories: Economic potential, human resources, cost-effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure, business friendliness and FDI strategy. The last category was added to this year's report. In this category, 32 Asia-Pacific cities submitted details about their promotion strategy and this was judged and scored by FDI's independent judging panel.

    Singapore was ranked in the top 10 for six out of the seven categories, with the exception being cost-effectiveness. It topped two categories: Infrasture and FDI promotion strategy.






    BLOOMBERG

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    Default PM Lee Hsien Loong opens sustainability events

    Published on Jul 2, 2012


    HDB Ceo Dr Cheong Koon Hean (in beige blouse) and PM Lee looking at a scale model of Punggol Eco Town at the CleanEnviro Summit at the Sands Expo & Convention Center on Sunday evening. -- ST PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN



    By Phua Mei Pin

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday opened the World Cities Summit, the CleanEnviro Summit and the Singapore International Water Week.The three events are being held jointly for the first time to underscore the inter-relatedness of urban planning challenges, and to facilitate integrated solutions.

    In opening the events, PM Lee highlighted that the world's cities are growing at an unprecedented pace, and that every city faces the challenges of ensuring a high quality of life for its residents.

    But in order to meet this challenge, city governments need proper planning, efficient administration and public support for their policies, he added.
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    Default 'Making S'pore our best home'

    More green spaces and blue waters have been integrated into our surroundings: PM Lee


    by Sumita Sreedharan
    04:47 AM Jul 02, 2012


    SINGAPORE - It would have been easy for the Republic to "sacrifice long-term environmental objectives for short-term development", as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong put it. But as he highlighted the challenges that Singapore faced in transforming itself into a liveable and sustainable city, Mr Lee reiterated yesterday that "efforts to make Singapore our best home will never end".

    Speaking at the joint opening ceremony of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), World Cities Summit and CleanEnviro Summit, Mr Lee cited having the "right policies" as well as pricing resources such as electricity and water correctly as some of the challenges.

    Mr Lee said: "It is not easy to transform a city and it requires long-term planning and careful execution."

    He noted that as Singaporeans are exposed to cities abroad, they would have high expectations of what they want Singapore to be. At the same time, more interests would have to be balanced, Mr Lee said.

    Over the years, policymakers have risen to the task of ensuring Singaporeans live "comfortably and pleasantly" in a densely populated city: Apart from new and upgraded housing estates, more MRT lines and buses to improve public transport, "more green spaces and blue waters" have been integrated in the surroundings.

    He noted that these efforts strengthen the "social capital" by integrating Singaporeans and new immigrants, as well as preserving ethnic harmony and building a compassionate society.

    Mr Lee added that Singapore's efforts to improve liveability have been recognised. The country was ranked 25th in Mercer's 2011 Quality of Living worldwide survey and ranked the highest in environmental sustainability in Siemens' Asian Green City Index 2011. "Rankings aside, Singaporeans and visitors can feel and enjoy this high-quality living for themselves."

    Nevertheless, "we have much to learn from others who show how strong leadership and community participation can transform mature cities", he added, citing the example of New York, which won the 2012 World City Prize. The conferences being held here are "valuable platforms" for Singapore to learn and exchange views, Mr Lee noted.

    Centre of Liveable Cities Deputy Executive Director Cheng Hsing Yao said yesterday that Singapore is a good place for such conferences - given that the country is an example of one that has been "forced by circumstance to innovate" and is a "living laboratory" for firms to develop, test and demonstrate solutions.

  11. #6233
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    Default Visitors flock to Gardens by the Bay

    Updated 05:54 PM Jul 01, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Over 70,000 people visited Gardens by the Bay in the first two days of its opening, and the management team of Singapore's newest attraction is stepping up efforts to handle the crowds.

    It is mobilising some 300 volunteers till next weekend to point visitors in the right direction if they get lost.

    The frequency of waste collection is also being stepped up.

    Some visitors have given feedback that lights are dim at night, but it is apparently part of the park's design features.

    Ms Ong Chui Leng, deputy director of programming, Gardens by the Bay, said: "There's enough lighting to light up the pathways for people to get around, but there are also sections which we want to create ambient lighting. For example, we lit up the trees to make sure that people appreciate what they are seeing." CHANNEL NEWSASIA





    The Flower Field inside the Flower Dome of the Gardens by the Bay on Jun 22 2012. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG

  12. #6234
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    Default The future prison

    Electronic portal for inmates to communicate with their loved ones is on the cards


    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:47 AM Jul 02, 2012



    SINGAPORE - Corresponding with family members electronically, instead of using pen and paper, could soon become a reality for prison inmates here.

    Over the next few years, the prison authorities are exploring the option of allowing inmates to type out their letters, which will then be sent by the prison staff to the intended recipients via an electronic portal - as part of its plans to move with the times and tap on technology to enhance the rehabilitation process for the inmates.

    Singapore Prison Service Senior Assistant Director (Technology) Kuai Ser Leng said: "I tell the staff I don't even write letters anymore - when is the last time you wrote letters with pen and paper?

    "Almost consistently, they tell me the same answer (that) they can't remember the last time they wrote a letter. We email, we use SMS, we use Whatsapp these days."

    Apart from allowing inmates to go paperless while corresponding with the world outside, the prison authorities are also exploring ideas such as giving the inmates access to e-books and e-learning opportunities.

    Currently, family members of inmates can book visits online. One project that has already been successfully piloted is the use of self-service kiosks, via which prisoners can submit their requests such as longer visiting time and a change in diet. Previously, inmates convey their requests verbally to their prison supervisors.

    The inmates can also use the kiosks to track the status of their requests or check the availability of new courses.

    To build rapport between prison officers and the inmates, a mobile device is also available for the officers to, for instance, access instantly the bio-data of an inmate instead of having to check it on the computer in the office.

    On the device, Senior Prison Officer Roy Phang said: "It allows us to find out more about the inmates immediately as they could be new admissions. We are also able to key in observations at the point where we observe certain behavioural changes in the inmates."

    Mr Kuai told TODAY that there are plans to increase the features of the self-service kiosks, including allowing inmates to check on their privileges.

    The prison authorities saw the use of the kiosks as an opportunity for inmates to familiarise themselves with technology - which would also help them assimilate back into society upon their release.

    Singapore After-Care Association Director Prem Kumar welcomed the adoption of technology in the prisons.

    Not only does it increase efficiency, it also empowers the inmates, Mr Kumar said. "As long there is an effort to outreach and empower those who are not tech savvy, that will be ideal."

    The prison authorities are also tapping on technology to improve the security of the premises.

    Currently, there are thousands of surveillance cameras installed at Changi Prison Complex. The authorities are studying the use of video content analysis to detect abnormal behaviour exhibited by the inmates by incorporating video intelligence into the existing surveillance system.

    They are also looking to use audio analytics to act as ears on the ground to detect aggressive voices. This could provide early warning to the staff for appropriate intervention.


    A shift to aftercare

    by Ng Jing Yng

    As the prison authorities shift their attention to after-care, an island-wide case management system will be introduced to better reintegrate a released inmate.

    Singapore Prison Service Senior Assistant Director (Technology) Kuai Ser Leng said the system will enable aftercare staff to assess possible risk factors that could cause former prisoners to re-offend. This includes data captured during their prison stay, such as the number of visits they have, signalling the level of family support.

    The system will also help staff understand the challenges a former inmate deals with and they can then refer him to various sources of help.

    The platform will further provide statistics and insights on the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes administered during the aftercare period.

    Trials for an interim system are ongoing with staff from the Selarang Park Community Supervision Centre and the full Internet-based system is expected to be ready by end 2014.

    Volunteers and partners of prisons will be able to use the system, but they will only be granted access to non-sensitive information. Mr Kuai assured former inmates' confidentiality will be protected, through measures like secured log in and regular auditing. Ng Jing Yng




    Photo by OOI BOON KEONG

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    Default New $50m cluster for surface engineering firms

    Published on Jun 28, 2012


    An artist's impression of the Surface Engineering Hub, which will be completed in the second half of 2013. A hub for companies in the surface engineering sector will be built at Tanjong Kling in the Pioneer district, JTC Corp announced on Thursday. -- PHOTO: JTC CORP



    By Jonathan Kwok

    A hub for companies in the surface engineering sector will be built at Tanjong Kling in the Pioneer district, JTC Corp announced on Thursday.

    The $50-million hub to be built over 1.88 ha will be the first shared facility here for companies in the sector, which contains many small and medium-sized enterprises.

    It will have a centralised wastewater treatment plant, which will reduce space requirements and save set-up costs for individual tenants.

    A treatment plant is especially vital for the surface engineering industry, where some processes produce a lot of wastewater.
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    Default Pioneer minister Yong Nyuk Lin dies, aged 94

    Published on Jun 30, 2012



    Mr Yong Nyuk Lin, one of Singapore's pioneer ministers, died on Friday morning. Mr Yong was among the ministers who signed the Separation Agreement in 1965. -- ST FILE PHOTO


    By JEREMY AU YONG

    Mr Yong Nyuk Lin, one of Singapore's pioneer ministers, died on Friday morning.

    Family members said he had been warded in Singapore General Hospital for the past few days due to medical problems related to old age. Mr Yong turned 94 last week. He is survived by his wife Kwa Geok Lan, two daughters Siu Len and Siu Li, and four granddaughters. His wife is the elder sister of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's late wife Kwa Geok Choo.

    His death marks the passing of another member of the old guard who served in Singapore's first Cabinet when it achieved self-government in 1959.

    He was among the ministers who signed the Separation Agreement in 1965 that declared Singapore's independence after it ended its 23-month union with Malaysia.
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    Default Chan to head 2015 SEA Games steering committee

    Updated 10:10 PM Jul 01, 2012

    SINGAPORE -- A 20-strong steering committee will head the organising of the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

    Heading the committee will be Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing. Speaking before the final of the 24th Canon Lion City Cup between the Singapore National Football Academy (NFA) under-16s and Ajax Amsterdam of the Netherlands at the Jalan Besar Stadium earlier tonight, Chan said the SEA Games will be another crucial step in Singapore's path to becoming a sporting nation.

    "During our first meeting we discussed the broad objectives of the Games, and how to use it to mobilize the entire nation to come forward," he said. "Hopefully with that we will develop a new model of sporting excellence for Singapore. This will be an opportunity for the whole nation to come together to play a part."

    The steering committee include Singapore National Olympic Council vice-presidents Low Teo Ping, Tan Eng Liang and Annabel Pennefather, Mini Environment Service Group founder and CEO Mohamed Abdul Jaleel, and Minister of State (Trade and Industry) Teo Ser Luck.

    Singapore hosted the biennial meet - the region's biggest - in 1973, 1983 and 1993.

    The 2015 SEA Games will be held mainly at the $1.33 billion Sports Hub which is scheduled to be ready by April 2014. The Games will also coincide with Singapore's 50th birthday celebrations.

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    Default Global public research service hub to open by year end

    Published on Jul 2, 2012


    Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and current administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), seen here with moderator Tommy Koh, at a dialogue with delegates on governance and sustainable development. Singapore will partner UNDP to set up a global public service research hub here by the end of this year. -- PHOTO: SPH



    By Royston Sim

    Singapore will partner the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to set up a global public service research hub here by the end of this year.

    Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew and UNDP administrator Helen Clark jointly announced on Monday that the upcoming Global Centre for Public Service Excellence will focus on aiding developing and other countries in strengthening their public service policies and strategies.

    Ms Clark noted that the centre will draw upon the best material from think-tanks and universities, and from on-going policy practice in various countries to supplement UNDP's existing knowledge.

    Mr Lui noted that the establishment of the Global Centre reflects the further deepening of the strong and longstanding relationship between Singapore and UNDP.
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    Default Singapore's youth keglers win more silver

    04:47 AM Jul 02, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Two more medals, both silver, were won by Singapore at the 2012 World Youth Bowling Championship in Bangkok yesterday.

    The boys' team of Basil Low, Keith Saw, Ng Chiew Pang and Mark Wong lost 889-807 to the United States in the final, while New Hui Fen, Ilma Nur Jannah, Krishna Darshini and Bernice Lim also settled for silver in the girls' team final after a 850-799 loss, also to the Americans.

    It adds to two bronzes won by Low in the boys' singles, and from New and Lim in the girls' doubles.




    Singapore's Basil Low. TODAY FILE PHOTO

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