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  1. #613
    Regular Member jug8man's Avatar
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    Default Jet Li Singapore Citizen

    Now that Jet Li is a Singapore Citizen,....

    Can somebody get him to do a 'special appearence' at like 2010 Singapore Open???

    I'm sure it would help to generate more publicity for badminton. Get him on the live telly broadcast kind of thing.

  2. #614
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jug8man View Post
    Now that Jet Li is a Singapore Citizen,....

    Can somebody get him to do a 'special appearence' at like 2010 Singapore Open???

    I'm sure it would help to generate more publicity for badminton. Get him on the live telly broadcast kind of thing.
    I think Jet Li appeared in the recent Apec Summit meetings as one of the well known personalities to be interviewed by cadet/undergraduate reporters. He has started a foundation to promote charity.

  3. #615
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Lo Hwei Yen scholarship

    The Straits Times
    Nov 26, 2009

    By Sujin Thomas

    THE National University of Singapore law faculty has set up a scholarship in memory of Ms Lo Hwei Yen who died in the Mumbai terror attack a year ago.

    Ms Lo, 28, a lawyer who graduated from the faculty, was killed on Oct 27 in the attack that left about 170 dead.

    Applications are expected to open in the second quarter of next year for rising fourth year law students.

    The first scholar will be selected for the academic year beginning next August.

    The student will receive a scholarship award of $6,000 which will be used towards the payment of tuition fees. The initial endowment was pledged by Ms Lo's law firm, Stephenson Harwood.

    Professor Tan Cheng Han, Dean of NUS Law Faculty, said: 'Hwei Yen was a bright student and cherished member of the alumni family. We hope that through this scholarship, we can help to keep her memory alive in a positive way.'

    The National University of Singapore law faculty has set up a scholarship in memory of Ms Lo Hwei Yen who died in the Mumbai terror attack a year ago. -- PHOTO: MICHAEL PUHAINDRAN
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  4. #616
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Top PSLE girl from China

    The Straits Times
    Nov 26, 2009

    By Jennani Durai


    THIS year's top student in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) could barely speak any English when she moved here from China in 2006 with her family.

    Qiu Biqing, 13, from Qifa Primary School (considered just a neighbourhood school, not a prestigious one), achieved an aggregate score of 290, with four A*s and a Distinction in Higher Chinese.

    Her father, Mr Qiu Guo Hua, 45, is a research fellow at the National University of Singapore, and her mother, Madam Xie Xiaojin, 42, is a research assistant there. They both work in a physiology lab.

    The top Indian pupil this year is Muhammad Saad Siddiqui from Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), and the top Malay pupil is Syafiqah Nabilah Bte Shamshera from Raffles Girls' Primary School.

    Biqing said that she improved her English by reading a lot, and not being afraid to speak aloud even if she made mistakes.

    She has a place in Raffles Girls' School through the Direct Schools Admission process and hopes to become a lawyer or a novelist.


    97% can go to Secondary school

    OF THE 48,541 Primary 6 pupils who sat for the PSLE this year, 97.1 per cent were able to proceed to secondary school.

    Two-thirds of students were eligible for the Express course, around 22 per cent for the Normal (Academic) course, and around 12 per cent for the Normal (Technical) course.

    A total of 1,424 pupils (or 2.9 per cent) were assessed to be not ready to go on to secondary school.


    This cohort is the first to come under Subject-based Banding, which allowed Primary 5 students last year to have the option of taking a mix of subjects at Standard or Foundation level depending on their individual abilities.

    The top Indian pupil this year is Muhammad Saad Siddiqui from Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), and the top Malay pupil is Syafiqah Nabilah Bte Shamshera from Raffles Girls' Primary School.


    Qiu Biqing is seen here talking to Mr Haqam, her oral skills teacher who called to congratulate her. Mr Haqam had called another teacher's handphone, who then passed it along to Qiu. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
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  5. #617
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default PSLE RESULTS: More from neighbourhood

    The Straits Times
    Nov 26, 2009

    By Amelia Tan and Leow Si Wan

    NEIGHBOURHOOD schools have trumped their more storied counterparts in producing top students in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).

    Seven of the 13 best students this year came from schools in the heartland: Qi Fa in West Coast, South View in Choa Chu Kang, Greenridge in Bukit Panjang, Rulang in Jurong West and Gongshang in Tampines.

    Last year, only two neighbourhood schools produced top scorers.

    Qi Fa also had the best overall student: Qiu Biqing, 13, the daughter of Chinese nationals who are now permanent residents, who scored 290 points.

    Hot on her heels were pupils like Gongshang's Joyce Sin, who scored 287, and South View's John Zhang and Michelle Lim, with 286.

    Overall, the results for this year's PSLE cohort were similar to that for last year


    South View's John Zhang and Michelle Lim, both scored 286 points. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

  6. #618
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default PSLE RESULTS: More from neighbourhood

    The missing picture of John Zhang and Michelle Lim, both of whom scored 286 points.
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  7. #619
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Christmas comes early to Orchard Road

    Orchard Road is Singapore's shopper's paradise, especially with at least three big new shopping malls being added this year and many others being upgraded. ION Orchard is the most popular followed by perhaps Orchard Central!

    To usher in more tourists from overseas, Orchard Road has been given a huge facelift, the walkways have been widened and aesthetically paved, modern street furniture has been installed and greenery, trees and flowers adorned the lush garden-like surroundings to provide fresh air and shade from the hot afternoon sun. But during this time of the year, it is better to be armed with a handy umbrella in case the skies should open up unexpectedly and pour out their sorrows. Whatever, it can't be worse off than the threatening cold and snow from non-tropical countries in the West.

    And during this time of the year, Christmas buntings and giant decorations continue to brighten up the place and give it an air of hospitality, happiness and hope.

    Welcome and do join us at Orchard Road during this Christmas season. At night Orchard Road will be transformed into a Fairy Land with lights galore!
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    Last edited by Loh; 11-26-2009 at 10:53 AM.

  8. #620
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default No pay hike for ministers

    The Straits Times
    Nov 26, 2009

    By Sue-Ann Chia SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

    CABINET ministers, appointment holders and top civil servants will not be getting a pay increase for the second year running, in view of the uncertain economic recovery.

    Salaries were to have gone up in January as part of salary revisions that follow from benchmarking to the private sector. But the move was deferred at that time as Singapore had slipped into recession.

    Announcing the second deferment on Thursday, the Public Service Division (PSD) said that annual salaries of officers in the elite Administrative Service, and of political, judicial and statutory appointment holders, will in fact shrink by up to 22 per cent this year.

    This means that the annual salary for ministers at the entry-level grade of MR4, for example, will amount to $1.49 million this year, down from $1.92 million last year.

    For Administrative Officers on the Superscale Grade (SR9), annual pay packages will be down to $338,100 this year - a 15 per cent decline from $399,500 last year.


    As part of Government efforts to retain talent, salaries are benchmarked to top earners in the private sector and reviewed yearly.

    Cabinet ministers, appointment holders and top civil servants will not be getting a pay increase for the second year running, in view of the uncertain economic recovery. -- ST PHOTO: ALBERT SIM
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  9. #621
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Be forward-thinking: Mufti to Muslims

    The Straits Times
    Nov 27, 2009

    By Leow Si Wan

    IN HIS Hari Raya Haji sermon, the Mufti of Singapore Syed Isa Semait called for Muslims to be more forward-thinking in today's social context.

    He was addressing approximately 1,000 Muslims who were gathered at the Alkaff Kampung Malay Mosque at Bedok Reservoir on Friday for their congregational prayers and the korban ritual.

    Muslims all over the world celebrated Hari Raya Haji - an important Islamic celebration revolving around the theme of sacrifice - on Friday. Korban is a key ritual involving the sacrifice of goats or sheep whose meat is distributed to the needy.

    The Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed, who was also present at the mosque on Friday, echoed the Mufti's call for the Islamic community to ready themselves for future challenges.

    Mufti of Singapore Syed Isa Semait called for Muslims to be more forward-thinking in today's social context. -- ST PHOTO: MOHD TAUFIK A KADER
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  10. #622
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's ability to integrate people is key in country's growth

    Channel NewsAsia
    27 November 2009 2130 hrs

    By Hoe Yeen Nie

    Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said Singapore's ability to integrate people from diverse cultures has been a key driving force behind the country's growth over the past four decades.

    And this will continue to be an asset, as the economy moves into new growth strategies.

    Mr Tharman was speaking at the World Design Congress earlier this week.

    The Marina Barrage is a dam built across the mouth of the Marina Channel. It is an example, said Mr Tharman, of how Singapore has blended its own ideas with innovations borrowed from other societies.

    "What are we good at? We're good at pulling people together, and some industries thrive on that, pulling people together," he said.

    "I don't think we ever realised that 40 years after we started, it would turn out to be a great asset, tremendous asset in a knowledge-based world."

    Mr Tharman, who was formerly the Education Minister, said that it is people who will continue to drive the future of Singapore.

    That is why much emphasis has been placed on creating a meritocratic education system.

    Mr Tharman said: "In this next phase of growth and development, you need more effervescence that comes up naturally, through the schools, through the polytechnics, the universities, through our technical colleges.

    "The whole thrust of educational policy in the last decade and going forward has been to nurture that, give it maximum chance of going up."

    But that, he said, is a "difficult enterprise".

    "That meritocracy, which is our big plus, brings with it naturally a certain standardisation," Mr Tharman said.

    "How do we break out of that? By creating new pathways, and we're doing it in every public school, offering niches of excellence for kids who've got something different."

    Speaking at a convention of design professionals, Mr Tharman outlined some key areas Singapore would like to go into as it navigates itself in a post-crisis world.

    One is to create urban solutions, a massive opportunity as Asia undergoes rapid urbanisation.

    Mr Tharman said: "It's a huge challenge, making cities liveable, managing water resources, managing sanitation, keeping the air clean, keeping the place green. It's a huge challenge, and it's something Singapore has built up some experience in."

    Singapore too is aiming to take a bite out of the biomedical pie, and here again, Mr Tharman said that it is all about bringing together researchers from different environments.

    Singapore is also seeing growing interest from small enterprises from Europe and other parts of the world, which are keen to take advantage of opportunities in the region

    People at a pedestrian crossing in downtown Singapore. (file picture)
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  11. #623
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore Muslims urged to be ready for future challenges

    Channel News Asia
    27 November 2009

    By Ibrahim Sawifi/Riz Sunawan,

    SINGAPORE: Singapore may have survived the current economic recession, but uncertainties remain. And as Singapore's Muslims celebrated Hari Raya Haji on Friday, they were also urged to sharpen their global outlook to better prepare for future challenges.

    Muslims gathered at mosques island for the annual Hari Raya Haji prayers. Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed was at the Alkaff Kampung Melayu mosque in Bedok where he witnessed the Korban, a ritual involving the sacrifice of goats or sheep whose meat is distributed to the needy.

    He said that although the economy has turned, challenges abound. "The changes and challenges will become a frequent part of our lives. Thus we need to be very nimble, we need to be very resilient, and we need to be better prepared all the time, so that we can be as part of a total community, in terms of moving forward to progress."

    Over at the Mujahidin Mosque in Queenstown, some 70 grassroots members of other races also witnessed the Korban ritual. The mosque gave the visitors a presentation on the teachings of Islam and the reasons behind the Korban. Baey Yam Keng, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, found the presentation an eye-opener.

    And in the spirit of multi-racial Singapore, the guests were later treated to a sumptuous meal of nasi briyani.

    A crowd of Muslims
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  12. #624
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore Pavilion at 2010 World Expo right on schedule

    Channel NewsAsia
    26 November 2009 2325 hrs

    By Glenda Chong, China Correspondent

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...020790/1/.html

    Singapore Pavilion at 2010 World Expo right on schedule


    SHANGHAI: The Singapore Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is right on schedule. On Thursday, it celebrated the completion of structural works with a topping out ceremony, together with the official launch of its logo and mascot.

    Organisers said focus will now shift to the final stage of construction.

    Alfred Poon, assistant director, World Expo, Singapore Tourism Board, said: "It means we can now start looking at the interior and incorporating all the fine and nice programmes for the audience."

    The official logo for the Singapore Pavilion, designed by the firm Epigram, was inspired by the structure's exterior and musical instruments. An official mascot, called liulianxiaoxing, was also unveiled on Thursday to welcome visitors at the expo, come May 2010.

    "He's a cute little 5-year-old Singaporean boy who loves durians and likes to draw the Esplanade. We've actually conceived this idea from two most lovable icons of Singapore the durian and the Merlion," said Mr Poon.

    Spanning 3,000 square metres, the pavilion marks Singapore's largest participation at any World Expos. The island city hopes to showcase the nation's achievements in urban planning, water technology and environmental services, using recyclable materials such as aluminium and steel.

    Speaking at the topping out ceremony, Singapore's Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that historical links and excellent relations between Singapore and China will also be showcased at the pavilion.

    "There will be new areas of cooperation in environmental protection and water management between China and Singapore. World Expo 2010 will give Singapore the opportunity to highlight what we have learned in these areas from Singapore's point of view," he said.

    Singapore expects to attract 10 million visitors to its pavilion, out of an expected 70 million participants, during next year's five-month-long World Expo, starting May 1.


    [
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  13. #625
    Regular Member ants's Avatar
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    Default

    Good to know that the Christmas decors are back in Singapore.

  14. #626
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ties make China a 'shoe'-in

    The Straits Times
    Nov 28, 2009

    By Grace Ng, China Correspondent


    SHANGHAI: Mr Charles Wong, who heads the popular Charles & Keith shoe empire, has made Shanghai his new home to better launch the company's major expansion in China.

    The plan is to roll out some 100 stores across China over the next five years. Five stores are scheduled to open in the first part of next year in Shanghai in time for the World Expo.

    Mr Wong and his brother Keith took 13 years to set up about 200 stores in more than 23 countries, including about 30 in Singapore. But when it comes to the world's third-largest economy, Mr Wong is confident of hitting the 100 mark in five years.

    In the few years before the global financial crisis, the conditions were not right.

    'Rents were high...pricing was not very good. But now is the right time to start - and move quickly,' he told The Straits Times yesterday on the sidelines of the annual Singapore-Shanghai Business Forum.

    Mr Wong started selling shoes when he worked at his mother's small footwear shop in Ang Mo Kio during his national service days. He started his own brand with his brother because he wanted to cut out middlemen, who forced up prices.

    'Rents were high...pricing was not very good. But now is the right time to start - and move quickly,' Mr Wong (above) told The Straits Times yesterday on the sidelines of the annual Singapore-Shanghai Business Forum. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM
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  15. #627
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ants View Post
    Good to know that the Christmas decors are back in Singapore.
    Hi ants, high time you return for a visit during Christmas.

    As you can see from the pics, Orchard Road is even prettier than before, especially at night, and the decorations extend to famous Marina Bay as well, thanks to the APEC meetings and events held here recently.

    Beautifully made-up Miss Stag and her siblings will be most happy to welcome you to Orchard Rd.

  16. #628
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Neighbourhood schools top

    The Straits Times
    Nov 28, 2009

    Innovative schemes and teaching draw parents to top heartland schools

    By Leow Si Wan & Jennani Durai

    BETWEEN them, two neighbourhood schools - South View Primary and Gongshang Primary - produced four of the top 13 PSLE scorers this year.

    They are prime examples of how heartland schools do not have to lag behind premier schools if they have innovative programmes and dedicated teaching.

    Word spreads quickly: South View in Choa Chu Kang and Gongshang in Tampines are now so popular that there has to be a ballot each year for enrolment.

    More than 400 children have applied for 330 spots to start Primary 1 at South View in January.

    The ballot for places this year included even parent volunteers - who put in 40 hours of volunteer work a month to try and secure a place for their children.

    In the last three years, more than 99 per cent of South View's pupils have made it to secondary level. This year, the overall PSLE pass rate was 99.1 per cent.


    South View Primary School pupils dancing to the Bhangra beat during a music lesson earlier this year. The school in Choa Chu Kang teaches its pupils a different form of dance - ranging from Chinese and Malay to jazz and hip-hop - every year. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM
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  17. #629
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Falling productivity an issue

    The Straits Times
    Nov 30, 2009

    Matter likely to be a key issue tackled by growth panel, say economists

    By Fiona Chan

    THE declining productivity of Singapore's workers is likely to be a key issue tackled by the Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) when it releases its recommendations in January.

    This is a problem the government-led panel - set up to find new ways for Singapore to grow over the medium term - should address, say economists.

    Over the last few years, Singapore's rapid growth has been mostly driven by a massive increase in the workforce, said Citigroup economist Kit Wei Zheng.

    But it is clear that growth powered by importing foreign labour is simply not sustainable, he said.

    Between 2006 and last year, the number of workers in Singapore jumped an average 6.5per cent a year, largely due to liberal immigration policies, said Mr Kit.

    By last year, foreigners accounted for a third of the three-million-strong labour force, up from only a quarter in 2004. Singapore's economy boomed correspondingly with average growth of 8.2per cent a year between 2004 and 2007.

    The declining productivity of Singapore's workers is likely to be a key issue tackled by the Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) when it releases its recommendations in January. --PHOTO: AFP
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