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  1. #6274
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    Default China to set up clearing bank for yuan in Singapore

    Published on Jul 7, 2012


    An employee counts Chinese 100 yuan banknotes at a branch of Bank of Communications in Shenyang, Liaoning province on July 6, 2012. Singapore has inched ahead in the race to be the world's second offshore yuan trading hub, with China agreeing to let one of its banks become a clearing bank for the yuan currency in the Republic. -- PHOTO: REUTERS



    By Kor Kian Beng, China Correspondent

    SUZHOU, Jiangsu - Singapore has inched ahead in the race to be the world's second offshore yuan trading hub, with China agreeing to let one of its banks become a clearing bank for the yuan currency in the Republic.

    As part of a pact signed by both countries at their apex bilateral meeting on Friday, the clearing bank will come from two Chinese banks to be granted the Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) privileges in Singapore.

    In return, applications from selected Singapore banks to set up branches in China will be 'expeditiously' processed by the Chinese government.

    A statement from Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry fleshed out these plans and said the implementation details will be worked out by the two countries' financial agencies in due course.
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    Default Singapore completes review of mandatory death penalty

    By S Ramesh/Imelda Saad | Posted: 09 July 2012 1641 hrs


    Singapore Parliament House.


    SINGAPORE: The Singapore government has completed a review of the mandatory death penalty for all its laws.

    On Monday, Parliament was given an update of the review in relation to laws related to drug offences and certain types of homicides.

    In a ministerial statement in the House, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean said that all executions that have come due since the review started in July 2011, have been deferred.

    And he explained that the review reaffirmed the relevance of the death penalty for all the offences to which it currently applied.

    Mr Teo said: "The death penalty has been an important part of our criminal justice system for a very long time, similar to the position in a number of other countries.

    "Singaporeans understand that the death penalty has been an effective deterrent and an appropriate punishment for very serious offences, and largely support it. As part of our penal framework, it has contributed to keeping crime and the drug situation under control."

    For drug traffickers, Mr Teo said that the review concluded that the mandatory death penalty should continue to apply in most circumstances.

    However, where two specific, tightly-defined conditions are met, Mr Teo said the death penalty will still apply but it will now be at the discretion of the courts.

    These conditions are: firstly, the trafficker must have only played the role of courier, and must not have been involved in any other activity related to the supply or distribution of drugs; secondly, discretion will only apply if having satisfied the first requirement, either the trafficker has cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau in a substantive way, or he has a mental disability which substantially impairs his appreciation of the gravity of the act.

    Mr Teo said that the government proposes to change the law such that when these conditions are met, the courts will have the discretion either to sentence the trafficker to death, or alternatively to pass a sentence of life imprisonment with caning.

    Under Singapore's laws, anyone who trafficks drugs is liable for the death penalty - from syndicate leaders, to distributors, to couriers who transport drugs, and pushers who sell drugs - as long as the quantity of drugs involved is above the stipulated thresholds.

    Mr Teo noted that the weight element is often misunderstood. He said the mandatory death penalty threshold for heroin is 15 grammes of pure diamorphine, which is often portrayed as the weight of a few 50-cent coins.

    But in street form in Singapore, at a typical purity level of 2.3%, 15 grammes of pure diamorphine is equivalent to some 2,200 straws of heroin worth S$66,000, based on each straw having a gross weight of about 0.3gm and street price of about S$30.

    DPM Teo warned that this quantity was enough to feed the addiction of more than 300 abusers for a week. In such cases, the death penalty is imposed, given the harm caused by these drug traffickers and the numbers of lives they destroy.

    He said: "The government's duty is first and foremost to provide a safe and secure living environment for Singaporeans to bring up their families. We must be constantly vigilant, adapt our law enforcement strategies and deterrence and punishment regime to remain ahead of criminals.

    "We must do what works for us, to achieve our objective of a safe and secure Singapore. The changes announced today will sharpen our tools and introduce more calibration into the legal framework against drug trafficking, and put our system on a stronger footing for the future."

    Concluding, Mr Teo said the government will monitor how the changes impact and influence the behaviour of the criminal organisations. If the situation worsens, it will consider tightening the provisions or making other changes.

    On homicide offences, Parliament was also informed that the review of the mandatory death penalty showed that Singapore should retain the death penalty in its penal laws, except for certain types of homicides where it should no longer be mandatory but be at the discretion of the courts.

    Law Minister K Shanmugam explained that the mandatory death penalty will continue to apply to the most serious form of murder, intentional killing.

    Mr Shanmugam warned that offenders who intended to cause the death of their victims ought to be punished with the most severe penalty, and the law ought to provide the most powerful deterrent against such offences.

    However, he explained that other categories of murder could be committed with different degrees of intent and under a variety of situations that may not deserve the death penalty.

    In such cases, the courts should be given the discretion to order either life imprisonment or the death penalty.

    "This change will ensure that our sentencing framework properly balances the various objectives: justice to the victim, justice to society, justice to the accused, and mercy in appropriate cases," Mr Shanmugam said. "This is a matter of judgement and the approach being taken is not without risks, but we believe this is a step we can take."

    The minister explained that the changes were a right step to take as Singapore society becomes safer, less violent and more mature, citing the nation's relatively low incidence of homicides, with 16 recorded homicides, or about 0.3 per 100,000 population, in 2011.

    Mr Shanmugam told Parliament that once legislation has been put in place, all accused persons who meet the requirements can elect to be considered for re-sentencing under the new law.

    This will include accused persons in ongoing cases, as well as convicted persons who have already exhausted their appeals and are currently awaiting execution.

    "While we have outlined the principle of the changes today, those giving legal advice to the accused persons should carefully study the legislation when it is enacted and properly understand the precise scope of the changes. In the meantime, they should not make any assumptions or give misleading advice," Mr Shanmugam said.

    The minister also told Parliament that for firearms offences, the government's conclusion is that such offences are a serious threat against law and order, against which the country must continue to maintain a highly deterrent posture.

    The mandatory death penalty will therefore also continue to apply to firearms offences.

    Mr Shanmugam stressed that in making the changes, the government seeks to achieve and balance two broad objectives.

    The first is to continue taking a strong stance on crime.

    "Where many other countries have failed, Singapore has succeeded in keeping the drug menace under control. Singapore's homicide rate is one of the lowest in the world, and we believe that the deterrent effect of the death penalty has played an important part in this. Our tough approach to crime has resulted in crime rates which are significantly lower than many other major cities," he said.

    "Young children can take public transport by themselves. Women can move around the city freely. We have no gun violence, no protection rackets, no drug pushers on the streets, no inner-city ghettoes. Citizens and visitors alike feel safe, in and out of home, at all hours of the day. This is something enjoyed by few cities in the world. This is something we should seek to preserve."

    The second is the refinement of Singapore's approach towards sentencing offenders.

    Mr Shanmugam warned that Singapore's cardinal objectives remain the same and crime must be deterred and society must be protected against criminals.

    "Justice can be tempered with mercy and, where appropriate, offenders should be given a second chance," he said.

    "How these objectives are achieved and balanced depend on the values and expectations of society, as it evolves and matures. We believe the proposed changes strike the right balance for Singapore today. They will seek to ensure that our criminal justice system continues to provide the framework for a safe and secure Singapore, while meeting the need for fairness and justice in each case."

    Draft legislation implementing the proposed changes to the application of the death penalty to drug and homicide offences will be introduced in Parliament later this year.

    Currently, there are 35 persons awaiting capital punishment; 28 are for drug offences and seven for murder.

    Arguably the most high-profile case is that of Malaysian drug trafficker Yong Vui Kong. He was sentenced to death in 2008 for trafficking heroin. He was 19 at the time.

    Amnesty International has cited Yong's case in its recent calls on the Singapore government to abolish capital punishment.

    Yong's lawyer M Ravi told Channel NewsAsia that his client is "most eligible for death sentence to be reconsidered under the amended law as his mastermind will be a witness to the prosecution to attest that Yong is a mule". The mastermind is allegedly Yong's boss, Singaporean Chia Choon Leng.

    Also on death row is Pathip Selvan Sugumaran. He was convicted of killing his 18-year-old girlfriend in 2009.

    Both men are appealing their convictions.

    - CNA/wm/ir
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    Default International Biology Olympiad held in S'pore for first time

    By Valerie Chang | Posted: 09 July 2012 2001 hrs



    SINGAPORE : The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is being held for the first time in Singapore.

    The event, which is being held from July 8 to 15, will see students working through biology problems and experiments.

    Two hundred and thirty-six of the world's most promising pre-university biology students and 205 officials from 59 countries are expected to take part in the event.

    The IBO was officially opened by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is also Patron for the IBO 2012 Singapore.

    The competition is in its 23rd year.

    It aims to encourage talented students to pursue a career in science, and stresses the importance of biology for society.

    The practical and theoretical tests will be conducted at the National Institute of Education (NIE).

    Students participants will be housed at the National University of Singapore (NUS), while jury members and officials will stay at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

    The IBO 2012 Singapore is organised by a team of professors and staff from the NIE at the NTU, and the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS, and other staff members from various departments in NTU and NUS.

    - CNA/ms
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    Default PM Lee Hsien Loong arrives in India on 3-day visit

    Published on Jul 11, 2012


    NEW DELHI, India - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives in India on Tuesday night for a three-day visit, on his second trip to the country as PM.

    Mr Lee, who is visiting at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will together with his Indian counterpart witness the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in vocational education and skills development, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.

    During his visit, Mr Lee will meet the country's political leaders and attend two forums.

    Mr Lee's first visit to India in 2005 as PM saw the signing of the landmark Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which includes agreements on trade in goods and services, and investment protection

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    Default New sports and arts framework to engage at-risk youths

    Posted: 11 July 2012 1109 hrs


    SINGAPORE: A new framework will now provide a more coordinated and structured approach to engage at-risk youths through sports and arts.

    This was announced by Minister of State for Home and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli at the opening of the Youth Arts Symposium on Wednesday.

    Known as the Sports and Arts (SPAR) framework, it aims to help youths aged 12 to 21 pursue alternative pathways.

    The framework is developed by the Central Youth Guidance Office and will be carried out under the purview of the National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation.

    While using the arts to reach out to at-risk youths is not new in Singapore, this initiative will coordinate and combine efforts across the government, community and the people sector.

    Mr Masagos Zulkifli said: "The good thing is that there are many people in Singapore who are particularly passionate about helping our youths. But to get them to align to particular methods, for example, sports, music and arts will be a challenge because many of them have their own methodologies, their own thinking and philosophy and we're not going to interfere with that.

    "But what we want to do is that we want to show them that there are evidences, there are also researches, there are also good practices in other countries and our own that we can develop, that everyone can benefit from."

    The framework will be driven by three key strategies.

    They are strategic narration, which will spell out the philosophy that sports and the arts can provide a real and positive difference and engage at-risk youths.

    It will also seek to establish professional norms and standards for working with youths and train instructors, artists and social workers.

    The third strategy is outreach initiatives - where potential platforms to engage stakeholders will be identified and service models to facilitate adoption and implementation will be developed.

    A pilot programme will be developed for two schools in the Northeast and Southwest districts, as early as the end of this year.

    - CNA/ck

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    Default Motor Racing: S'pore GP set to get five-year extension

    By Ian De Cotta, TODAY | Posted: 11 July 2012 0634 hrs



    F1 drivers steer their cars on the Marina Bay City Circuit. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)



    LONDON: Following almost a year of tough negotiations, Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone insisted on Monday that his Formula One Management (FOM) company had agreed terms with organisers to stage the Singapore Grand Prix for another five years after the current contract expires in September.

    Mr Ecclestone's remarks - made in an exclusive interview with TODAY in the British capital - came just hours after Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran told Parliament that negotiations between race promoter Singapore GP and FOM were "still ongoing".

    Mr Ecclestone, 81, told this newspaper that all obstacles preventing the deal from going through have been resolved and that the timing of the official announcement of the contract renewal will be decided and made by the Singapore Government.

    An option for two more races until 2014 - after this year's edition from Sept 21 to 23 - would have kicked in had FOM and the Singapore authorities decided to walk away from the negotiating table.

    "Everything that was in the way of the Singapore Grand Prix continuing for another five years has been cleared," said Mr Ecclestone, chief executive officer of F1 commercial rights holder FOM. "I'm happy that this is out of the way because Singapore has been good to F1 and the night race has also been equally good for Singapore."

    Earlier on Monday, in a written reply to a question by Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Member of Parliament Liang Eng Hwa, Mr Iswaran also reiterated that Singapore will continue to host the race "only if the terms for a full five-year extension are economically viable". "We hope to see a mutually agreeable outcome soon," he had added.

    Over the weekend, Singapore GP executive director Michael Roche told reporters that money was at the centre of talks to renew the current contract.

    Despite being snowed under with work after Sunday's British Grand Prix, which was also attended by Singapore negotiators, Mr Ecclestone was keen to reassure that all was well with Formula 1's only night race.

    Said Mr Ecclestone: "It has always been my intention to see that this race in Singapore continues beyond our current deal. Now that the negotiations are finally over, I am looking forward to go to Singapore for this year's event because I've always enjoyed it."

    First held in 2008 on the 5.073 km Marina Bay street circuit, the rights fee to stage the Singapore Grand Prix is believed to have cost Singapore organisers US$35 million initially, and after yearly increases, peaked at about US$42 million last year.

    It cost another S$150 million to prepare for each race, and 60 per cent - or S$90 million - of that amount is footed by the Singapore Government.

    A feasibility study to review the benefits of continuing with the race here beyond the first agreement was conducted by authorities after the 2010 edition.

    It revealed that in the first three years, the night race raked in a total of more than S$420 million in tourism receipts, while an average of more than 110,000 international visitors came to Singapore annually. In terms of global reach, the race also attracted a total of 300 million television viewers worldwide.

    - TODAY
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    Default S'pore zoo welcomes 13th baby white rhinoceros

    Updated 04:50 PM Jul 11, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The Singapore Zoo has recently celebrated the birth of its 13th white rhinoceros, which was born on April 10.

    Weighing about 70kg at birth, baby Jumaane can be seen exploring or rolling around in the mud in his exhibit at the Wild Africa region of the Zoo. His mother, Shova is always close by, keeping a watchful eye on Jumaane
    .

    White rhinos are considered near threatened in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened species.

    Together with the Indian rhino, it is the largest species of land mammal after the elephant.

    These white rhinos are hunted for their horns - some believe it has medicinal properties - when in fact, the horns are made of keratin and there is no scientific evidence to suggest the horns are a cure for any medical conditions.

    There are now eight white rhinos in the Singapore Zoo. Of the 13 born in the zoo, some have been sent to Indonesia, Australia, Thailand and Korea as part of the zoo's ex-situ conservation efforts through its worldwide exchange programme.

    To offer vistors an up close and personal encounter with these giants, the zoo now has a daily feeding session - the first ever in Asia - at 1.15pm where visitors can come up close.





    is sharing a nosey moment Jumanne with 2-year old female Kito, who was also born in the Singapore Zoo. Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

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    Default Offer on the table 'insufficient'

    Race promoter responds to F1 boss Ecclestone's claim that terms have been agreed

    by Philip Goh
    04:46 AM Jul 12, 2012


    SINGAPORE - With all parties trying to eke out the best deal for themselves, Singapore GP (SGP) confirmed yesterday that negotiations over a new deal to stage the Singapore Grand Prix have been going on for almost a year. But it reiterated that the offer from Formula One Management (FOM) - which holds the commercial rights to the Formula One race - is "insufficient for us to commit to a full five-year extension".

    SGP's media statement came after FOM Chief Executive and F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone insisted - in an exclusive interview with this newspaper on Monday - that terms have been agreed for a new five-year deal after the current contract expires in September.

    Mr Ecclestone, 81, had said: "Everything that was in the way of the Singapore Grand Prix continuing for another five years has been cleared."

    However, SGP said yesterday: "What is presently on offer from (FOM) is insufficient for us to commit to a full five-year extension We remain hopeful at reaching an outcome that is mutually beneficial to all parties." SGP said that talks on the renewal of a new five-year term are still ongoing.

    In response to media queries, the Singapore Tourism Board referred to the update given by Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran in Parliament on Monday, in response to a question tabled by Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Member of Parliament Liang Eng Hwa.

    Mr Iswaran had said that negotiations between SGP and FOM were "still ongoing".

    "We hope to see a mutually agreeable outcome soon," he had added.

    The rights fee for the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 - F1's first night race - is believed to cost Singapore organisers US$35 million (S$44.2 million) and has increased annually to a peak of about US$42 million last year. Preparations for each race on the 5.073km Marina Bay circuit cost S$150 million, with 60 per cent - or S$90 million - paid for by the Singapore Government.

    A feasibility study conducted after the 2010 edition revealed that the event raked in a total of more than S$420 million in tourism receipts, while an average of more than 110,000 international visitors came to Singapore annually. In terms of global reach, the race attracted a total of 300 million television viewers worldwide.






    The current contract for the Singapore Grand Prix expires in September. REUTERS

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    Default Elderly to receive nursing, social services faster, more effectively

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 11 July 2012 1712 hrs

    SINGAPORE: NTUC Eldercare and the Home Nursing Foundation (HNF) have come together to provide both nursing and social services to the elderly in the community.

    This comes after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise a two-year collaboration lasting until July 10, 2014.

    Through this collaboration, both NTUC Eldercare and the HNF can mutually refer the elderly in their charge to each other and coordinate their services to meet the various needs of the elderly.

    There would be quicker cross referrals between both agencies, which would ensure faster service for patients.

    NTUC Eldercare may, for example, refer patients requiring healthcare services to the HNF nurses for that area so that the patient can be attended to faster. HNF nurses who are present in the NTUC Eldercare centre can also provide information to the community about HNF's services.

    At the same time, should HNF's nurses feel that a patient that they attend to could do with help in social services, such as housekeeping, they can also refer the matter to NTUC Eldercare.

    Chairman of NTUC Eldercare Lim Boon Heng said: "It is a practical and cost-effective way to put together an en suite service for our growing population of elderly residents. As we combine our strengths, we can produce an even more vibrant community sector that grows from strength to strength."

    CEO of HNF Dr Yim Sau Kit said: "Some patients don't need us and they just need home care, and that's why we thought of partnering NTUC so that the care that doesn't require a medical nursing professional. We can (instead) download to our home care counterparts and they have a group of caregivers to help us."

    The pilot phase of this collaboration began in June, with four nurses assigned to the NTUC Eldercare Silver Circle Day Care Centre at Dakota Crescent and the NTUC Eldercare Senior Activity Centre at Redhill.

    The aim is to extend this service to all of NTUC Eldercare's eight centres islandwide.

    - CNA/wm

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    Default National Games may allow local sports stars

    by Dan Guen Chin
    Updated 08:44 AM Jul 12, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Ever wondered if you could swim faster than Tao Li, or beat Feng Tianwei at table tennis?

    That may happen at the inaugural Singapore National Games (SNG) 2012, which is open to Singapore citizens and non-citizens.

    Yesterday, a S$2.65 million sponsorship agreement was signed between Yonex, Mikasa and the SNG's co-organisers - the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and the People's Association (PA). The deal sees Yonex as the SNG's main sponsor and official equipment and apparel supplier, and Mikasa as the official partner, for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions.

    "Why not? Anybody can take part in the National Games, even if he or she is an Olympic gold medallist," said Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Chan Chun Sing at yesterday's signing ceremony at MCYS.

    "They are names people can identify with and their participation can bring people from all walks of life to the Games."

    The biennial Games is aimed at offering the public an opportunity to partake in Singapore's sporting landscape and bring the community closer through sports.

    To be held from Sept 1 to 9, the games features athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, dragon boat, football, netball, sepak takraw, swimming and table tennis. An estimated 10,000 people have signed up for the annual Community Games, which serve as qualifiers for seven of the 10 sports contested at the SNG.

    The SSC is currently working out the eligibility guidelines with the various NSAs for national athletes to participate in the games.

    SSC Chief Executive Officer Lim Teck Yin added: "But certainly the presence of national athletes at the games are welcome, if not as a participant, then as a coach or even as a motivator."

    "And we will also have fringe events, like a cheerleader's contest, as part of the run-up to the games," added Lim.

    Dan Guen Chin



    Visit www.singaporenationalgames.sg for further details.





    Photo by WEE TECK HIAN

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    Default Singapore keglers add two golds at Asian Schools meet


    by Tan Yo-Hinn
    Updated 01:48 AM Jul 12, 2012

    SINGAPORE -- Three more medals, including two golds, have been added to Singapore's tally at the ongoing 14th Asian Schools Tenpin Bowling Championship at Jakarta's Jaya Ancol Bowling Centre.

    On Wednesday, the duo of Darren Ong and Muhammad Jaris Goh clinched the boys' doubles title with a combined 2,673 pinfalls from six games to finish 42 pins ahead of runners-up Aseel Alroomi and Abdulla Ahmed of Kuwait (2,631).

    Indonesia's Billy Muhammad Islam and Adhiguna Widiantoro settled for third (2,520).

    In the women's doubles, the team of Kimberly Ooi and Tracy See also took gold with a 2,681 total.

    Janine Kuwahara and Madeline Mae Llamas of the Philippines were second (2,472), and Singapore's Joy Yap and Michelle Ng third (2,429).

    The results mean Singapore lead the medal standings with four gold, one silver and one bronze, ahead of second-placed Philippines (0-3-0), with Kuwait third (0-1-0).

    A total of 132 bowlers from 14 nations are taking part in the tournament, which continues on Thursday with the boys' and girls' team of four events.





    Singapore's Muhammad Jaris Goh and Darren Ong clinched the boys' doubles gold at the 14th Asian Schools Tenpin Bowling Championship in Jakarta. Photo courtesy of Singapore Bowling Federation.



    Singapore's Kimberly Ooi and Tracy See clinched the girls' doubles gold at the 14th Asian Schools Tenpin Bowling Championship in Jakarta. Photo courtesy of Singapore Bowling Federation
    Last edited by Loh; 07-11-2012 at 10:31 PM.

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    Default Singapore Exchange, LSE sign cross-trading agreement

    Published on Jul 12, 2012


    SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Singapore Exchange and London Stock Exchange said on Wednesday they have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable cross-trading of some of their largest and most actively traded securities.

    Under the Agreement, SGX members will be able to trade FTSE100 securities on the Singapore bourse's GlobalQuote Board.

    LSE members will get to buy and sell 36 securities of Singapore's indices on the London exchange's newly-created International Board.

    The proposed collaboration will occur in stages.

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    Default Republic's keglers off to golden start

    by Philip Goh
    Updated 08:10 PM Jul 11, 2012

    Jakarta - Singapore won gold in both the boys' and girls' singles competition yesterday to start their campaign at the 14th Asian School Tenpin Bowling Championships on a golden note.

    Bowling in Squad A at the Ancol Bowling Centre in Jakarta, 17-year-old Javier Tan opened with a game of 230 and followed up with lines of 207, 214, 226, 225 and 257 for a total of 1,359 pinfalls.

    That was good enough to secure the gold medal for Javier, a bowler with the National youth team, with none of the Squad B bowlers able to match the score. Team-mate Joel Tan, who was also in Squad A, won silver with 1,333 pinfalls, ahead of South Korea's Hwang Jun-Hurk (1,282).

    "I started off well which put me in a high spirit," said Javier, who is making his third appearance at the Asian Schools. "Thereafter, I just kept my focus and took each game one at a time."

    In the girls' singles, Joey Yeo Ruoqi knocked down 1,281 pinfalls to take advantage of faltering frontrunner Nao Kato of Japan. Despite trailing Nao after four games, Joey's stronger finish proved a winning one, finishing 30 pins ahead of Madeline Mae Llamas of the Philippines (1,251), with Australian Melissa Ann Fisher (1,238) in third.

    "I was in last year's Asian School girls team but we did not make the trip due to some unforeseen circumstances," said 15-year-old Joey. "This time, I will make the most of it and win as many medals as I can." Joey described the lane conditions as "not easy but challenging and I had to make quick adjustments in order to get my ball into the pocket. I also made sure I made all my spares which are important." PHILIP GOH






    Javier Tan wins the singles gold at the ASian Schools in his third year of participation. (PHOTO COURTESY SBF)

    Joey Yeo found the lane conditions challenging but managed to top the girls singles event nonetheless (PHOTO COURTESY SINGAPORE BOWLING FEDERATION)

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    Default Important to strengthen ties

    S'pore and India should move beyond economic ties and cooperate on broader scope: PM


    by S Ramesh
    04:46 AM Jul 12, 2012



    NEW DELHI - It is important Singapore and India go beyond economics and strengthen ties across a broad range of activities, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

    Speaking at a business summit organised by captains of industry, Mr Lee said he welcomed new bilateral initiatives during his visit and talks with Indian leaders.

    These include the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in vocational education and skills development.

    Also, Singapore's Institute of Technical Education and the Delhi State Government's Department of Training and Technical Education will establish a World Class Skills Centre in New Delhi.

    Mr Lee said the aim was to train up to 15,000 students in electronics, hospitality, finance and other fields.

    He also noted that Singapore offers many opportunities for Indian companies, being a global economy with an international workforce.

    This makes the country a good base for Indian companies to expand internationally, Mr Lee said. Singapore is also a safe test-bed for innovative technologies, he noted.

    Adding that Singapore is also an attractive partner for Indian companies, he cited the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, which aims to create a global manufacturing and trading hub.

    Some Singaporean companies are participating in the project: Jurong Consultants completed a feasibility study for the Manesar-Bawal Investment Region in Haryana and Hyflux is co-developing a seawater desalination plant in the Dahej Special Economic Zone in Gujarat.

    Mr Lee reiterated that investors rely on good governance, predictable regulatory regimes and a hassle-free, rules-based business environment before making major long-term commitments. In that regard, he welcomed the ongoing dialogue between Singapore's economic agencies and India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to discuss common challenges faced by the Republic's companies in India.

    Mr Lee said he looked forward to a mutually beneficial outcome which would improve India's investment climate for all investors, not only Singapore. He said he hopes the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between the two countries will be concluded soon.

    The agreement, which was signed in June 2005, integrated pacts on trade in goods and services, investment protection and economic cooperation in areas such as education, intellectual property and science and technology.

    While passenger movements between Singapore and India have continued to grow despite the economic downturn, Singapore's connectivity to India is significantly more limited under the air services agreement, compared to China. Mr Lee said the two countries should try to liberalise the aviation sector and allow more flights between them.






    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee with his Indian counterpart, Mr Manmohan Singh, and Mrs Singh, at the Presidential Palace yesterday. REUTERS

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    Default More 10-cent deals in heartlands

    Updated 08:47 AM Jul 12, 2012


    SINGAPORE - For an hour on certain days this month, shoppers can snap up fruits, bread and grooming services for 10 cents, as part of the Heartland Fiesta taking place in various neighbourhoods.

    Last weekend saw long queues as shoppers found apples, kiwi fruit, eggs and haircuts going for 10 cents at Yuhua Place, Jurong West Street 41, Hong Kah Point, Chong Pang City and Toa Payoh Town Centre.

    More 10 Cent Deals are coming up this week as merchants seek to draw crowds and attention to the heartlands.

    Said one of the merchants organising the 10 Cent Deals: "I hope to use this as a way to reward loyal customers and attract new customers to my shop. I am also glad it helps bring in more people to the neighbourhood."

    Heartland Fiesta is an annual event and is part of the Great Singapore Sale. This year, seven neighbourhood centres, namely Jurong East Street 24, Yuhua Place, Jurong West Street 41, Hong Kah Point, Teck Whye Shopping Centre, Chong Pang City and Toa Payoh Town Centre, participated in this event, with more than 450 retailers to joining in.

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    Default S'pore-style industrial park in India?

    Singapore companies have capabilities to handle infrastructure projects: PM Lee


    by S Ramesh
    04:46 AM Jul 13, 2012



    NEW DELHI - Singapore is prepared to share its experience in building industrial parks in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam with India, which has potential for building such parks, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    Speaking to the media yesterday, Mr Lee said Singapore has been talking to several states in India about such projects. However, it would take some time, as land has to be acquired and approval has to be obtained. Support from the state government is also needed, Mr Lee noted.

    With the Indian economy at a stage where it needs a considerable amount of investments, especially in infrastructure, Singapore companies have capabilities to handle some of these projects, he added.

    On the ongoing review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries, Mr Lee reiterated that both Singapore and India hope to settle it by the end of the year.

    There are no specific difficulties, except that issues are taking longer to resolve, with Singapore hoping to have more favourable treatment in tariffs for some goods, Mr Lee said.

    The Republic also hopes to have the rules of origins eased, as well as market access for some services improved, he added.

    On the Indian side, there is interest in concluding mutual recognition agreements in professions such as nursing, Mr Lee said.

    He commented on recent reports that Singapore is a destination for "black money" from India. A White Paper on Black Money, which was tabled in the Indian Parliament on May 21, alleged that Singapore was being used as a conduit for round-tripping of Indian "black money" into India.

    Mr Lee said that Singapore is a financial centre with good standing so there was no reason for Singapore to do such shady business.

    "We were a bit surprised to read the White Paper on Black Money which the Indian government published to find ourselves mentioned in despatches there and to have it suggested that the amounts were disproportionate and there must be some round-tripping. It is not correct. We have informed the Indian government on this matter to put the record straight and explained why this is not so and they must be mistaken."

    He added: "And yesterday ... Prime Minister (Singh) acknowledged my point and said yes, in fact, he felt that, he accepted the explanation and we should not have been cited in this way in the White Paper and I accepted that."

    During his three-day official visit to India, Mr Lee met politicians from the ruling party and the opposition, interacted with business leaders and addressed the Singapore symposium.







    PM Lee with Indian President Pratibha Patil at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on Wednesday. Reuters

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    Default Changi Terminal 1 upgrades completed

    by Sumita Sreedharan
    04:45 AM Jul 13, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Visitors to Changi Airport Terminal 1 can expect more shops and more open spaces, as upgrading work costing S$500 million has been completed.

    About 22,000 sq m of floor space has been added and key areas such as the departure check-in hall, departure transit mall and the arrival hall have also been made more spacious, with higher ceilings and better lighting.

    The number of shops at T1 has increased from 85 to 110. Retail and food and beverage space has been expanded by 12 per cent at both the public and transit areas.

    According to the Changi Airport Group, the next round of upgrades will involve the car park in front of T1, which may be converted into an aviation-related mixed-use complex.

    The complex will host facilities for travellers connecting to cruises and tour buses. It is expected to increase T1's handling capacity by 14 per cent to 24 million passengers per annum.

    As part of the project, some of the public areas in T1 - such as the baggage claim hall, arrival hall and taxi bays - will also be expanded to provide more space for aviation facilities. SUMITA SREEDHARAN




    One of the more eye-catching additions in T1 is Kinetic Rain, the world's lar­gest kinetic art sculpture (picture), made up of 1,216 bronze droplets that move in synchrony to a specially choreographed dance every day. Photo by DON WONG

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