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Thread: Singapore Also Can
09-26-2012, 12:03 AM #6563
S'pore & UNDP to set up Global Centre for Public Service Excellence
Posted: 26 September 2012 1120 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singapore and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed an agreement to set up a Global Centre for Public Service Excellence.
UNDP administrator Helen Clark and Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, inked the deal in New York on Tuesday."Strong and responsive public services have a profound effect on the opportunities and quality of life of all people," commented Ms Clark.
Ms Clark said the purpose is to create a place where the best thinking on public service policies, strategies and institutional innovation can be consolidated and shared with senior policy makers around the world.
Mr Shanmugam said the new research centre marks a new chapter to Singapore's long history of cooperation with the UNDP.
He hopes it will serve as a useful platform for the sharing of Singapore's development experience and best practices in public service with other countries.
The centre will be operational by the end of the year and will be located in Singapore.
The centre will analyse and disseminate the latest information and practices from think-tanks, universities and policy makers in Singapore and other countries in the area of public services.
Its research and policy papers will also seek to inform civil servants across the region and beyond on the state of play and the long-term implications of efficient public services that meet the needs of citizens.
The centre will be located at Heng Mui Keng Terrace, near the National University of Singapore.
An interim director has already been designated for the centre.
09-26-2012, 10:50 PM #6564
MM Lee gives Russian governor tips to attract investors
RUSSIA-SINGAPORE BUSINESS FORUM
Published on Sep 27, 2012
In conversation with Lee Kuan Yew with moderator Mr Michael Tay, executive director of RSBF (extreme left) at the Russia-Singapore Business Forum in Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. A Russian governor on the brink of launching economic reforms on Wednesday sought the advice of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who gave him two tips from Singapore's story on attracting investors. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
By Goh Chin Lian
A Russian governor on the brink of launching economic reforms on Wednesday sought the advice of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who gave him two tips from Singapore's story on attracting investors.
First, ensure security for investors and their property. Second, remove bureaucratic hurdles that prevent them from carrying on their business.
While there were countries in the region that take investors "hostage", Singapore had made efforts to help the latter succeed, said Mr Lee.
"We take the opposite line. An investor who comes in, it is our duty to help him succeed, and when he succeeds, his friends will know about it and they will also come in," he told Mr Andrey Turchak, governor of the north-western Pskov region, which is engaging Jurong Consultants to help set up a special economic zone.
09-27-2012, 12:45 AM #6565
Indonesia urged to ratify haze agreement soon
04:45 AM Sep 27, 2012
SINGAPORE - ASEAN environment ministers meeting in Bangkok have urged Indonesia to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution as soon as possible.
A statement issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) yesterday said that Indonesia had reported that it was in the final stages of its ratification process.
At the meeting, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said that the cumulative total number of hotspots that have been recorded in Sumatra so far this year is at its highest level in many years, a point that was noted by a number of other ASEAN ministers.
According to data provided in the statement, the cumulative hotspot count for this year to date has exceeded the cumulative annual total for 2006, the last year in which Singapore experienced a prolonged haze spell.
It currently stands at 12,750, compared to 12,014 in 2006.
As of last night, the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) stood between 41 to 47, in the "good" range. Earlier this month, it hit a high of 79, sparking a health warning.
The MEWR said Singapore has seen 11 days where the PSI exceed the "good" range this year so far.
ASEAN member states were urged to ensure that companies adopt zero-burning techniques for land clearing.
To follow up on this, the meeting also discussed the identification of errant companies by the sharing of concession maps and cross-referencing of the location of hotspots.
The ASEAN ministers noted that the El Nino conditions currently developing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean may prolong the dry season slightly and extend dry weather conditions.
As such, increased hotspot activities in the region can be expected.
The ASEAN member states have pledged to remain vigilant to continuously monitor the situation on the ground and implement haze prevention activities. Channel NewsAsia
09-27-2012, 01:08 AM #6566
Creating ripples with 'water diplomacy'
by Pau Khan Khup Hangzo
04:45 AM Sep 27, 2012
Singapore's innovative water solutions have been hailed as a success story.
Equally impressive, however, is the transformation of its water diplomacy. It has gone from bilateral engagement with Malaysia on water supply, to sharing the benefits of its water management experience with other countries.
Singapore's water diplomacy was in its formative years centred on relations with Malaysia. Due to geographical limitations, such as its small size and the lack of natural aquifers and groundwater, Singapore had been forced to look beyond its borders for its water supply.
Its engagement with Malaysia resulted in two landmark water agreements, signed in 1961 and 1962, respectively. The 1961 agreement obliged Malaysia to sell to Singapore 86 million gallons of water per day, and the 1962 agreement a further 250 million gallons per day. The 1961 agreement expired last year and the 1962 agreement will expire in 2060.
However, these water agreements are not without their problems. Following Singapore's independence in 1965, the price of water became a major irritant in relations between the two countries.
Malaysia's go-it-alone approach in arriving at a decision to raise the price of water raised concerns in Singapore. It was feared that such actions, if allowed, could set a precedent for unilateral action by Malaysia.
In the face of such issues, Singapore embarked on a programme of self-sufficiency in water. The country's treated waste water, dubbed NEWater, now accounts for 30 per cent of its total water needs.
Another 10 per cent of its water requirements are drawn from desalination plants in the country. Also, 67 per cent of Singapore's land area is now water catchment. These efforts have enabled Singapore to gradually reduce its water dependence on Malaysia, from 80 per cent in 1965 to 40 per cent last year.
The success of Singapore's self-sufficiency efforts has also heralded a new phase in its water diplomacy. Singapore is now actively engaging with international water issues in an effort to position itself as a "hydrohub".
The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) is a case in point. Launched in 2008, the SIWW has become a major annual event for water practitioners around the world.
The meeting has enabled Singapore to showcase its experience and its innovative water solutions.
The SIWW also provides Singapore with the platform to explore opportunities in the integration of water solutions and urban planning with cities around the world.
For example, Singapore has shared its expertise in water-sector reform and waste-water management with countries such as Australia, India and Mauritius.
Water technologies have also become integral to Singapore's humanitarian assistance efforts. In response to the 2009 typhoon in the Philippines and the 2011 floods in Thailand, Singapore sent water quality monitoring and water purification equipment to enable victims to gain access to clean drinking water.
Singapore's experience in water management is becoming increasingly relevant and its water diplomacy timely.
Rapid urbanisation has put tremendous pressures on urban infrastructure, the environment and natural resources, especially in developing countries.
Singapore, through its water diplomacy, can help these countries confront the challenges associated with accelerating growth.
Pau Khan Khup Hangzo is Associate Research Fellow with the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
The Sembcorp NEWater Plant. TODAY FILE PHOTO
09-27-2012, 04:33 AM #6567
Doing what's best for S'pore
New technical director Turner vows to work with clubs to achieve 'in-roads' into Asia
by Tan Yo-Hinn
04:45 AM Sep 27, 2012
SINGAPORE - It is barely two days since he took on his new role, but Ian Turner was quick off the blocks to address two issues that could prove controversial in his four-year tenure as the Singapore Swimming Association's (SSA) new technical director and national head coach.
Speaking at the SSA's Toa Payoh Swimming Complex offices yesterday where his appointment was confirmed, Turner revealed that a national training squad - comprising 12 to 16 of the various clubs' best swimmers and which is likely to include his pupil, national star Tao Li - will be formed and eventually be based at the S$1.33-billion Sports Hub which opens in April 2014.
But the 61-year-old is acutely aware that his proposal - which will see the swimmers train with the national side and their respective clubs, and Turner working with the clubs to monitor their progress - could be controversial, particularly as the SSA's now-defunct Centre of Excellence (COE) was unpopular as clubs felt the national body had prised their swimmers from them. He also knows his continuing role as Tao Li's personal coach could raise concerns over a conflict of interest.
However, Turner, who succeeds Ang Peng Siong as national head coach, allayed those concerns.
"All our performance centre here will do is to offer an alternative, and it will be done in consultation with the swimmers' (respective) club coaches," Britain's former head coach told TODAY.
Given Singapore's limitations, he added: "In the United Kingdom, athletes are virtually forced into a (national) performance centre.
"For us, we're not in a position (to do that) at all. I need to embrace the coaches, and work together, and be viewed as a colleague, not an enemy. I don't want clubs to think that SingaporeSwimming is going to adopt a three-iron whip."
On the issue of Tao Li, Turner gave the assurance that he will remain impartial.
"I will do what's best for Singapore and, if that means some hard calls have to be made, that's what I will do," said the Singapore Swimming Club's former swimming director.
SSA President Jeffrey Leow declined to reveal the specific key performance indicators set for Turner, but it involves establishing a high-performance mindset and framework in the local swimming community.
"He's familiar with Singapore and understands the political framework of clubs here, which is critical for a technical director building up a national framework," said Leow.
Turner will meet the clubs soon before finalising his plans to develop Singapore's national swimming framework. The plans include increasing the pool of international-standard coaches and improving the national men's team as the Republic seeks to eventually become one of Asia's top three swimming nations.
Turner said his barometer for success at the end of his term would be to make "in-roads into Asian swimming".
But he warned that the SSA is not like a free-spending English football club that can buy success.
"We are not a Manchester City or Chelsea with an open cheque book. It takes at least 10 years to develop a competitive swimmer," he said.
Turner's appointment has been generally welcomed by clubs.
"In the past, a lot of things were done at the last minute. But I'm sure Ian will do a good job," said Swimfast Aquatic's head coach and multiple-SEA Games champion David Lim.
Former national swimmer Leonard Tan, a coach at The Swim Lab and graduate of the SSA's former COE, added: "It's a good idea, although some club coaches may feel a bit upset if their swimmers start training more with the national side.
"The key is communication, and I believe this could be good for the sport in Singapore."
Turner wants to allay fears that a national training squad will prise swimmers from their clubs. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN
09-27-2012, 04:42 AM #6568
Feng confident new faces can replace retiring seniors
by Low Lin Fhoong
04:45 AM Sep 27, 2012
SINGAPORE - The Singapore women's table tennis team may have lost veteran Wang Yuegu to retirement after the London Olympic Games, but Feng Tianwei believes younger team-mates like Yu Mengyu are ready to step up.
Aside from 23-year-old Yu and senior player Sun Beibei, Isabelle Li, Zhou Yihan and Lin Ye have also been touted as faces to watch at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, when Singapore will defend the two bronze medals (women's team, women's singles) that they won in London.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of the Olympians' visit to Ai Tong School yesterday, Feng - who is currently the highest-ranked Singaporean at world No 7 - said: "I think Mengyu has the ability to take on that responsibility. There have been some gradual changes within the team so I hope to welcome these new players and adapt to them as soon as possible.
"We have had some hard-earned results so far, and I hope to work hard with my team-mates and I hope we can continue to do well."
Beijing Games silver medallist (2008) Wang, 32, had announced her retirement last month after winning the women's team bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Liaoning native was also part of the team that won a historic gold medal at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Moscow in 2010.
While veteran player Li Jiawei is expected to announce her future plans by the end of this year, Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) President Lee Bee Wah had previously hinted that the 31-year-old could be calling it a day.
A high performance sub-committee chaired by the STTA's newly-elected Deputy President Low Yen Ling and former honorary secretary Soon Min Sin will look into the training and development of the national men's and women's team over the next four-year Olympic cycle.
It will also be full-steam ahead for the national sports association's youth development plans, which include initiatives such as their PAP Community Foundation table tennis programme for kindergarten children, zone training centres and a Crocodile Challenge Cup for primary school pupils.
The programmes will complement the STTA's ambition to develop local paddlers for the SEA Games in Myanmar next year, the Asian and Commonwealth Games in 2014, and the 2015 SEA Games, which will be hosted here.
Lee is hopeful that Feng and Li - who visited the Singapore Sports School and Ai Tong School yesterday - will inspire the next generation of table tennis superstars.
She said: "The main focus of today's activity is to encourage these young children … and after seeing these kids from Ai Tong, their basic skills are quite good. I hope they will continue to stay interested in table tennis. That way, we will have more young players in future who will join our national team.
"I hope that, in 10 years' time, we can see these young kids wearing the Singapore national jersey and standing on the podium."
(From left) Feng Tianwei, STTA President Lee Bee Wah and Li Jiawei at Ai Tong School. PHOTO COURTESY SSC
09-27-2012, 09:42 PM #6569
Singapore will reassess Gulf of Aden involvement
If piracy drops, coalition will decide on military presence: Ng Eng Hen
Published on Sep 28, 2012
The Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter being rolled out to the flight deck of the RSS Intrepid for its surveillance flight in the Gulf of Aden. The stealth frigate is also armed with new guns. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
By Jermyn Chow, Defence correspondent
ABOARD RSS INTREPID IN THE NORTHERN ARABIAN SEA - Singapore will reassess its involvement in subsequent multinational anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said if piracy attacks become less frequent, the Republic will join its coalition partners in "deciding when the military presence is less required".
"At least for this deployment, we will continue; whether there is a subsequent one or a few more deployments, we will see how it is," Dr Ng told reporters when he visited the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) stealth frigate on Thursday.
The RSS Intrepid, with 145 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel on board, is on a three-month mission in the Gulf and is conducting anti-piracy patrols in the waters off Somalia.
09-27-2012, 10:20 PM #6570
Thieves' Market vendors worry that they may be forced to close
Published on Sep 28, 2012
Thieves' Market operates in Pitt Street and Larut Road, which are closed to traffic daily between 1pm and 7pm. The market used to be twice the size but was halved to accommodate construction works. -- ST PHOTO: ST GOH SHI TING
Vendors show no sign of packing up even though it is past 7pm, the time they are supposed to clear the street for motorists. -- ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN
(Above) The flea market vendors are mostly middle-aged or elderly people trying to
make a meagre living. They sell everything from old shoes to used laptops,
cellphones and even spectacles. -- ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN
By Goh Shi Ting
Vendors, worried that the days of the Sungei Road Thieves' Market could be numbered, have formed an association to protect their interests.
The Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods, set up in April, has about 40 members now.
The flea market - home to vendors who sell used items from laptops and shoes to vinyl records - has reportedly been around since the 1930s. But the space it occupied was halved in July last year to accommodate the building of the Jalan Besar MRT station of the Downtown Line. It is slated to open in 2017.
The Land Transport Authority allows Larut Road and Pitt Street to be closed from 1pm to 7pm daily for about 300 vendors to peddle their wares. However, many do not clear out until 9pm.
09-27-2012, 10:31 PM #6571
Oktoberfest catches on in Singapore
Published on Sep 28, 2012
Clarke Quay Oktoberfest 2010: Bavarian costumed girls dancing to the German folk music by Oompah band, High Notes. -- PHOTO: CLARKE QUAY
Clarke Quay Oktoberfest 2010: Crowd queuing for food and beer at the various food kiosks -- PHOTO: CLARKE QUAY
Clarke Quay Oktoberfest 2010: Oompah band High Notes. They are all decked out in Bavarian costumes and entertains crowd with their renditions of German folk songs and entertaining crowd -- PHOTO: CLARKE QUAY
Clarke Quay Oktoberfest 2010: Oompah band High Notes and the Bavarian costumed girls -- PHOTO: CLARKE QUAY
Clarke Quay Oktoberfest 2010: Patrons posing for photo with the Bavarian costumed girls -- PHOTO: CLARKE QUA
Traditionally celebrated in Munich, Germany, from late September to early October, Oktoberfest has caught on among Singaporeans.
Revelers can look forward to Oompah music, a variety of Erdinger beers, dirndle-wearing waitresses and lederhosen-wearing waiters at various venues, from Perankan Place and Clarke Quay and Hotel Fort Canning to Sentosa.
09-27-2012, 10:41 PM #6572
CPF and MOM increase efforts to protect low-wage workers
Published on Sep 27, 2012
From November, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board will step up their efforts to make sure that employees, particularly low-wage workers, are getting their basic employment rights under the law. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
From November, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board will step up their efforts to make sure that employees, particularly low-wage workers, are getting their basic employment rights under the law.
This means that, among other things, they are paid CPF contributions, receive prompt payment of salary, receive paid annual and medical leave, and adherence to working-hour requirements.
A joint statement from the Board and the Ministry on Thursday said that greater attention will be placed on industries such as food & beverage (F&B), retail, and security and cleaning where breaches of the CPF Act and Employment Act are higher.
The number of enforcement inspections will be increased from around 500 to 5,000 each year, it added.
09-27-2012, 11:23 PM #6573
URA allows shophouse to keep its graffiti artwork
Published on Sep 28, 2012
The graffiti art on the wall of this Haji Laneshophouse was commissioned by its tenant, Ms Aileen Tan, who runs Blu Jaz Cafe as well as Piedra Negra. The URA has strict colour guidelines for shophouses but will make exceptions. -- PHOTO: MARK CHEONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
By Jessica Lim
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has clarified that graffiti art on the walls of selected conserved shophouses is allowed.
While it introduced stricter colour guidelines for historic shophouses in January this year, it is prepared to make room for exceptions, it said. One such exception is a shophouse in Haji Lane which has artwork on its side wall commissioned by its tenant, Ms Aileen Tan, who runs Blu Jaz Cafe.
On Monday, The Straits Times reported that this shophouse had flouted URA's new conservation rules, which states that "traditional paint schemes and colours" are to be used on conserved shophouses.
This means that the base colour of shophouses are to be a pastel shade, with strong colours used only to highlight decorative details. The rule was not specific about whether this applied just to the front of the shophouse or to the side walls as well.
09-27-2012, 11:35 PM #6574
Engineering innovation, to stay ahead
by James Dyson
04:45 AM Sep 28, 2012
During his recent speech at the State Dinner here, Prince William singled out the importance of the scientific and educational ties between Singapore and the United Kingdom.
He is right to be hopeful of this collaboration. But both countries can do more to create the right conditions for invention.
Singapore currently ranks second for global competitiveness, according to The World Economic Forum. The UK is a respectable, but less impressive, eighth. The more competitive a country, the more likely it is to sustain growth.
Innovation is the last but most important measure. From the industrial revolution to the digital era; invention and new ideas have always driven progress.
The conditions needed for creative thinking and problem solving are no secret - but surprisingly not always adhered to.
IGNITE THE PASSION
To start with, you need a culture where science, technology and engineering are revered. Ambitious infrastructure projects and public celebration of achievements through engineering awards are important.
People are fascinated by technology and, contrary to popular belief, there is no need to dumb it down. The Hadron Collider that led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, the nature meets technology colossus that is Gardens by the Bay or even France's high speed rail network; all have captured the public's attention. They have ignited a passion.
Young people need to be inspired by science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
They are innately curious about how and why things work.
Education should couple excitement of real world engineering with tangible problem solving in the classroom.
But in the UK, research showed that only 4 per cent of teenage girls are interested in training as engineers and 14 per cent scientists; whereas 32 per cent want to be models.
Today, there are nearly 20 per cent fewer mechanical engineering students in Singapore than a decade ago. The UK and United States are experiencing similar declines.
But our world continues to need more engineers as high technology industry booms. The gap is being filled elsewhere, by amongst others - China and India. Stereotyped as producers, they are gearing up to be the creators too.
I established the James Dyson Foundation to help get young people excited about engineering. In the US, the UK and Singapore, Dyson engineers run workshops where university students can turn an idea into a prototype in a couple of hours.
We are also piloting a scheme in Singapore schools that sees young people taking apart vacuum cleaners in design and technology lessons. Inquisitiveness needs fuelling.
TAKE RESEARCH COMMERCIAL
Once, you have inspired your engineers you need their ideas to become more than potential.
Collaboration between universities, companies and not-for-profit organisations has yet to be fully realised. Oxford, Cambridge, Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore - we know our universities are world class, and not just because they continually rank high in global rankings. The research being undertaken is ground breaking.
The addition of a pair of business eyes can help turn blue skies research into a commercial application. Establishing new universities and industry institutes similar to those in Germany and Japan would help promote collaboration in technology development. With niche expertise, the centres would be capable of becoming world leaders in their fields.
GOVERNMENT AS CURATOR
As for governments, their role is to be the curators, not the prescribers, of innovation. Policy often hinders, more than it unleashes, innovation.
But there are measures that can encourage businesses to grow, to export and to invest. Easy access to financial support for start-ups is crucial in reducing cash-flow pressures that often hinder R&D investment. Healthy tax breaks encourage sustained investment.
Singapore knows this well. Research and development takes time and money, with many dead ends before breakthroughs occur. Thomas Edison said "genius is 1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration". Ideas are instant but invention is the long haul.
Setting the right conditions for new ideas and invention needs persistence and patience.
From education right through to taxation, there is no quick fix. But if you put faith in science and engineering consistently, the result is world beating, ingenious technology.
And that is how you keep competitive.
James Dyson is an inventor and the founder of Dyson. The technology company spends S$2.6 million a week on R&D in its UK, Singapore and Malaysia facilities.
09-27-2012, 11:46 PM #6575
Singapore's population crosses 5.3 million
Published on Sep 28, 2012
By By Janice Heng
THE total population here hit 5.31 million at the end of June, up from 5.18 million a year ago, according to the Government's annual Population in Brief report released on Friday morning.
The citizen population grew to 3.29 million, up from 3.26 million in June 2011, while the number of permanent residents stayed fairly stable at 0.53 million.
The biggest jump was in non-residents, which include foreign workers, their dependents, and foreign students. There were 1.49 million non-residents in June, up from 1.39 million a year before.
The report said this 7.2 per cent rise was "due to strong manpower demand in a tight domestic labour environment".
09-27-2012, 11:50 PM #6576
New NHG institute to better serve ageing population in Singapore
by Vimita Mohandas
04:46 AM Sep 28, 2012
SINGAPORE - To better serve the needs of Singapore's ageing population, the National Healthcare Group will launch the new Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing (IGA) today.
The centre, to be housed in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, is a one-stop service centre bringing together different medical specialities to care for the elderly.
The IGA is set up by Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Division of Integrative and Community Care to establish new directions for geriatric care in Singapore. The institute will also allow healthcare professionals to conduct research.
Focus areas will include clinical, technology, living environment and industrial designs. These will be targeted at developing innovative care models.
The institute will also work with the three medical schools to improve the prominence of geriatric education.
It will also serve as a platform for medical professionals and elder care providers in the community to share knowledge and exchange ideas on ageing research and education.
Associate Professor Chin Jing Jih, divisional chairman of Integrative and Community Care at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said: "The population in Singapore is ageing very rapidly and we have set (up) this Institute of Geriatric and Active Ageing primarily to coordinate research and educational efforts so that they can be aligned with the needs of senior citizens in Singapore.
"Through this platform, we also hope to train more healthcare workers to be confident and competent in the care for the elderly."
09-28-2012, 01:02 AM #6577
SIA unveiled as official airline of Singapore Indoor Stadium
Updated 10:18 PM Sep 27, 2012
SINGAPORE - National carrier Singapore Airline (SIA) has signed a deal to become the official airline of the Singapore Indoor Stadium. (SIS)
The sponsorship deal, which was brokered by World Sport Group, the exclusive commercial partner of the Sports Hub, was announced yesterday.
It makes SIA the latest addition to the SIS's group of corporate partners which include 100-PLUS, Carlsberg, Jack Daniels, MasterCard and Mercedes-Benz.
As part of the deal, the SIA signage will now be displayed throughout the SIS.
The airline will also enjoy branding opportunities on the Sports Hub's official website, and will also have the right to feature the SIS event calendar on its website.
"We are glad to partner with the Singapore Indoor Stadium to continue bringing in vibrant live performances as well as exciting sporting programmes to Singapore," said Mr Sheldon Hee, SIA's senior manager for Marketing Communications and Development.
"We also look forward to the eventual completion of the Singapore Sports Hub, a fully integrated sports, entertainment and lifestyle centre of which the SIS will be a key feature,"
SIS managing director Mark Collins said: "We are proud to partner with a brand that holds such world-class stature, one that is best in its class.
"With less than two years to go to the completion of the Singapore Sports Hub, the support from the corporate community has been positive and encouraging.
"We look forward to working hand-in-hand with our partners to build a vibrant entertainment and sports scene in Singapore for all to enjoy."
The SIS became part of the Sports Hub in Aug 2010. The S$1.33 billion, 35-hectare Sports Hub is scheduled to open in April 2014.
09-30-2012, 11:06 PM #6578
Support eldercare facilities, says PM Lee
Prime Minister highlights that it is important to involve senior citizens in daily life
by Dylan Loh
04:45 AM Oct 01, 2012
SINGAPORE - Following the announcement last week that 105 eldercare facilities will be built islandwide over the next four years, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on Singaporeans to support eldercare facilities.
The facilities will not just be for senior citizens now but also for the next generation when it gets old, said Mr Lee, who was making a speech at the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in Teck Ghee Division yesterday evening.
Recent plans to build such facilities in housing estates have met with resistance from residents. The Government has said it will seek feedback in the months ahead from residents near the sites proposed in the new plan in the months ahead.
In making Singapore more elderly-friendly, Government programmes are only a part of the solution, said Mr Lee. The other part is for people to take care of themselves and their elderly family members, so that they can grow old with their health and relations intact.
"It's important for us to involve the older ones in our community, not just during festive occasions like tonight, but also in our daily lives. Because ... our society is ageing quickly. You can see it all around us, and even in Ang Mo Kio, you can see it, many more old people now. And we have to help our seniors to age with dignity and with peace of mind," he said.
Mr Lee added that eldercare facilities are being built in housing estates - including in his Ang Mo Kio constituency - so that elderly residents can have the facilities they need near their homes and families.
Eldercare facilities are being built in housing estates to help seniors have better access to them. TODAY FILE PHOTO
09-30-2012, 11:20 PM #6579
Foreign workforce up but ...
Pace of growth slows, particularly outside of the construction sector
by Neo Chai Chin
04:45 AM Oct 01, 2012
SINGAPORE - Foreign manpower numbers, excluding foreign domestic workers, grew by 34,100 in the first six months of this year, despite the pace of growth slowing due to tightened inflow of foreign labour.
Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday released data on work permits, employment passes and S Passes for the first half of this year, and said more measures may be put in place if necessary to encourage companies to pursue higher-productivity business models and processes instead of labour-intensive growth.
Beyond the numbers, Mr Tan said calibrating Singapore's foreign manpower framework is also about "finding that delicate balance that will deliver sustainable wage growth for Singaporeans, growth prospects for businesses and a societal composition that we can accept".
The increase in foreign manpower numbers in the first half of this year is 7.3 per cent less than the same period last year, when 36,800 overseas workers were added. Excluding construction workers, however, growth was 40 per cent lower compared to the same period last year.
The data was released earlier than expected - just last month in Parliament, Mr Tan had said the numbers would be released early next year. But given population statistics released last week that showed continued growth in foreign workforce numbers, Singaporeans' concerns were "understandable", Mr Tan wrote in a blog post.
From January to June, the number of work permits for low-skilled workers increased by 20,600 - largely due to foreign construction workers - and S Passes for mid-skilled workers grew by 14,200. Employment Passes for managerial or executive-level foreigners contracted slightly by 700 - the first half-yearly reduction since 2009 when a recession hit.
The "strong growth" in S Passes is likely due to companies using them to bring in more junior-level professionals, managers and executives now that Employment Pass requirements have been tightened, said Mr Tan. "We are taking a close look at this group," he wrote.
The growth in absolute numbers came as a surprise for some, given the higher rates of rejection for Employment Pass and S Pass applications so far this year, as compared to the previous year.
Nominated Member of Parliament Ramasamy Dhinakaran, who is Managing Director of retailer Jay Gee Melwani Group, said retailers cannot find sufficient local manpower and called for more specific dependency-ratio ceilings to cater to sub-sectors.
Unlike the finance sub-sector, retailers and food and beverage operators find it harder to recruit locals. While salary is a factor, locals also perceive retail and F&B jobs to be less prestigious, he said.
President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Chan Chong Beng said the small domestic market prevents some companies from investing in machines to ramp up productivity - they may be able to churn out more mooncakes a day but would have trouble selling them, for instance.
While schemes like the Productivity and Innovation Credit were useful, Mr Dhinakaran called for government agencies to groom specialists to identify and help companies implement innovation initiatives.
Labour economist Hui Weng Tat of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, however, noted that the growth in foreign manpower was "relatively high", making up nearly 60 per cent of the employment growth of 58,900 in the first half of this year.
He said productivity should be the driver of economic growth and that the tighter inflow of foreign labour would force companies to relook their growth strategies. The demand for foreign manpower would be a recurring problem if the Republic continues to grow sectors with poor productivity potential, he added.
Last edited by Loh; 09-30-2012 at 11:24 PM.
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