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  1. #6597
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    Default Companies Act to undergo major changes by 2014

    Updated 09:24 PM Oct 03, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The Companies Act governing all companies incorporated in Singapore is in for "major housekeeping", said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

    This is following a review and public consultation process that took four years.

    Of the 217 recommendations that were put forth by a committee appointed to review the Act, the Government has accepted 192 recommendations, modified 17 and rejected 8.

    This is the largest number of changes to the Act since it was enacted in 1967.

    Making the announcement at an event at the 13th Investors' Choice Awards dinner organised by the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) this evening, Mr Tharman said one recommendation that was accepted involves allowing public companies issue shares with different voting rights.

    There will be safeguards to protect the rights of minority shareholders, by requiring their approval for the issuance of such shares.

    Mr Tharman also highlighted changes targeted at encouraging greater shareholder activism among retail investors.

    These include putting in place a multiple proxies regime for indirect investors, including CPF investors.

    Other changes are aimed at reducing regulatory burden and compliance costs for small companies. For example, a new small company criteria will be introduced to exempt private firms from statutory audit.

    A firm will be considered a small company if it fulfils at least two of the following criteria: having a total revenue of not more than S$10 million, total gross assets of not more than S$10 million or employing less than 50 people.

    This will replace the current criteria whereby a company is exempted from having its accounts audited only if it is an exempt private company (EPC) with annual revenue of S$5 million or less.

    A total of 25,000 companies, which do not qualify under existing criteria, are set to benefit from the change.

    Other key changes will also be put in place to further boost transparency and corporate governance standards through extending statutory duty on disclosure of conflict of interests for directors to CEOs, and requiring public companies to disclose why its auditors resign, in the event of premature resignation.

    The next step is to amend the Companies Act, and draft a Bill to be passed in Parliament.

    The changes are expected to be implemented by the middle of 2014
    . CHANNEL NEWSASIA





    Today File Photo

  2. #6598
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    Default Biography of "Majulah Singapura" composer launched

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Nur Isyana Isaman | Posted: 01 October 2012 2254 hrs


    SINGAPORE: A biography that records the life of Zubir Said, the composer of Singapore's national anthem Majulah Singapura, was launched on Monday.

    Compared to previous published books about him, the biography is special because it was written by his own daughter, based on their life experiences together.

    Many know Zubir Said only as the composer of Majulah Singapura.

    But his personal side has been captured in the book, "Zubir Said - The Composer of Majulah Singapura", by his daughter Dr Rohana Zubir.

    The launch of the book marks the start of a series of activities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death.

    Dr Rohana said the book helps educate the younger generation on the history of Singapore and aspirations for the country - embodied in the national anthem.

    "The elements that he has written in the wordings of the song, with a lot of aspiration for the future of Singapore," said Dr Rohana. "That was written in 1950, and at that time, Singapore wasn't what it is today."

    "So his words are like Majulah, Majulah, and today you see the realisation of that prayer, that's why he called his song 'heed the prayer', that it's his own personal prayer for the country, Singapore, and that has materialised."



    (Photo: ISEAS)
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    Default Singapore's 1st Chinese temple marks 200 years

    Published on Oct 05, 2012



    More than 2,000 guests attended the dinner on Thursday to celebrate the founding of Soon Thian Keing Temple (above), including President Tony Tan, the guest of honour, seen here signing the guestbook. A commemorative book detailing the temple's history was also launched at the event. -- ST PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBIN


    By Chia Yan Min



    The first Chinese temple founded in Singapore has turned 200. Soon Thian Keing Temple on Lorong 29 in Geylang celebrated its anniversary at a dinner held on Thursday outside its premises.

    President Tony Tan Keng Yam was the guest of honour at the event, at which the temple also pledged $100,000 towards the President's Challenge 2012 and $200,000 to 14 other charities.

    A commemorative book detailing its history was also launched and distributed at the event.

    About 2,000 guests attended the dinner, including ex-presidential hopeful and former Member of Parliament Tan Cheng Bock, Marine Parade GRC MP Fatimah Lateef and South East District Mayor Mohamad Maliki Osman.

  4. #6600
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New National Stadium to have world's largest dome

    Roof can double as projector screen; stadium on track for opening in 2014


    Published on Oct 05, 2012








    Construction (above) at the Sports Hub yesterday and an artist's impression of the stadium from the inside. The retractable roof will take 25 minutes to open or close. The stadium is built to host football, rugby, cricket and athletics events in one venue. -- PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE, SPORTSHUB PTE LTD



    By Terrence Voon, Sports Correspondent


    By April 2013, the new National Stadium will take its place on the Singapore skyline - and in the record books.

    The steel support structure of the stadium's distinctive, dome-shaped, retractable roof - spanning 310m - will be complete by then, exactly a year before the entire Sports Hub opens its doors.

    Work on the structure has already begun. When the 55,000-seater stadium is finished, it will dwarf the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas (275m diameter) as the largest dome in the world.

    "It really is a landmark building, one that will be very visible on the Singapore skyline," said Mr Clive Lewis, lead sports venue designer for the Sports Hub.

  5. #6601
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default LSE names new student centre in London after S'pore philanthropist

    Published on Oct 05, 2012




    An artistís impression of the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, which will house the studentsí union, a gym, pub and multi-faith prayer centre. -- PHOTO: LSE




    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...W_3328336e.jpg
    A new building in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will be named after Singapore philanthropist Saw Swee Hock (above). -- ST PHOTO


    By Chia Yan Min

    A new building in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will be named after Singapore philanthropist Saw Swee Hock.

    The well-known academic has donated several million - a sum he requested not to be published - to the university, his alma mater.

    The money will go to the new Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, slated to open in time for the new semester in October next year, and located on the university's Central London campus.

    The donation follows another $30 million sum Professor Saw gave last year to the National University of Singapore (NUS) to establish the school's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

  6. #6602
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    Default Wall of Fame for model pupils at Horizon Primary School

    Published on Oct 05, 2012





    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat looking at some exhibits at Horizon Primary. He was with Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Penny Low (in purple top) and principal Ang Chin Du (in black and white top). -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM



    By Matthias Chew


    Character education is a big priority at Horizon Primary School, which has gone out of its way to recognise pupils who demonstrate good values.

    Before the first Edusave character awards have been given out for exemplary behaviour, Horizon has moved to honour such pupils by placing their names and pictures on a wall near its canteen.

    Each term, a pupil from each class, who is deemed to have practised management guru Stephen Covey's seven habits of highly effective people, is nominated for the board by their classmates. The nominations must be supported by their teachers.

    Some of these habits include being proactive, and thinking about how a situation can benefit all parties.

  7. #6603
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    Default BT budding artists scheme gets girl dancing again

    Published on Oct 05, 2012




    Natalie Chew (left above) in a performance at the Children for Children 2012 event for needy children on Thursday. -- ST PHOTOS: JOYCE FANG





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...N_3328322e.jpg
    Gan Eng Seng Primary pupils on the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure ride at Universal Studios Singapore yesterday. -- ST PHOTOS: JOYCE FANG


    By Priscilla Goy


    Schoolgirl ballerina Natalie Chew
    might have given up pursuing her hobby - were it not for a fully sponsored arts education programme. The CHIJ (Kellock) pupil had ballet lessons from the age of three. But after about five years, she had to stop learning due to a lack of time and the cost of the classes.

    Now, at the age of 11, she is able to take lessons again on weekends, for free, at the Little Arts Academy, a performing arts school for beneficiaries of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

    Her hard work paid off on Thursday when she took part in a performance by CHIJ (Kellock) pupils that showcased dances from America, China and Africa.

    Titled My World, My Adventure,
    the performance was part of an event called Children for Children 2012, that also included craft activities and games for 1,255 children on the Ministry of Education's (MOE) Financial Assistance Scheme.

  8. #6604
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More scholarships for SUTD undergraduates

    by Alice Chia
    Updated 04:06 PM Oct 04, 2012

    SINGAPORE - More scholarships are now available for undergraduates of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

    Besides paying for tuition fees, they also offer exchanges and internships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US and Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China.

    These will be made possible with increased funding set aside by the SUTD, which is Singapore's fourth publicly-funded university.

    Every year, it will commit between S$1 million and S$1.5 million to five scholarship programmes.

    Scholarship holders will not have to serve any bond.

    The SUTD hopes to award the scholarships to 100 Singaporeans from its second batch of students, who will start their term in May next year.

    Before this, it only had one scholarship programme, which pays about S$11,000 in tuition fees a year for each student.

    The 72 scholars under this programme are also eligible for selected scholarship programmes.

    SUTD Provost Professor Chong Tow Chong hopes the scholarships will help place the SUTD in the same playing field as the other universities.

    "Now that we are all ready, we have more faculties, we get all the pieces coming together, it is time for us to roll out a more comprehensive scholarship so that we can also be competitive, to attract those very bright students to join us," he said.

    Professor Chong said the university hopes to attract students who want to make a difference to the world and are willing to venture out of their comfort zone, take risks, improve and learn from their mistakes.

    He said applicants must also have team spirit and enjoy working with other students.

    Students can also apply for other scholarships administered by industry members and sponsoring organisations, such as Keppel Group and JTC Corporation.

  9. #6605
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sports Hub roof in place by end-2013


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:46 AM Oct 05, 2012

    TODAY

    SINGAPORE - By November next year, the distinctive steel dome roof of the Sports Hub's 55,000-seater National Stadium will be added to the Singapore skyline.

    Spanning 310m and weighing 8,057 metric tonnes, the 20,000 sqm retractable dome will be the largest of its kind in the world when completed ahead of the official opening of the S$1.33-billion Sports Hub in April 2014.

    At present, the 80,000-capacity Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, which measures 275m in diameter, boasts the world's largest dome roof.

    Construction of the National Stadium's roof began in June this year and Dragages Singapore, one of the equity partners of SportsHub Pte Ltd, maintained at a press briefing yesterday that the project is on track to be completed in two years' time.

    "All along, the challenge (for us) is the roof structure," said Dragages Contract Director Chen Shee Shann.

    "We awarded the contract for the steel roof structure early last year and by November or December we got all the materials in and started fabrication. That part of the risk is already over, now it's getting the work done."

    Clive Lewis of Arup, one of the designers for the Sports Hub, added: "On the critical path, the dome roof is one of the first things we worked on.

    "Work on the multi-purpose indoor arena has started, it's out of the ground, the aquatics centre is in an advanced stage, the retail area and car park are coming up."

    Designed to protect spectators from Singapore's heat and humidity, the National Stadium will reduce heat gain with methods such as an under-seat cooling system and an insulated metal roof.

    With the National Stadium custom-built to host football, rugby, cricket and athletics events - also another first in the world - 30,000 seats will be located in retractable seating modules to achieve the best balance between the different viewing criteria for sports like football and athletics.

    Located on a 35-ha site in Kallang, the Sports Hub - the world's largest Public-Private Partnership - will also feature a 3,000-seat indoor aquatics centre, multi-purpose indoor arenas, a water sports centre, the existing Singapore Indoor Stadium, a sports information and resource centre with a sports library and museum.

    It will also have 41,000 sq m of business, commercial and retail floor space, with occupants including the Singapore Sports Council, Singapore Sports Institute and other National Sports Associations.






    The S$1.33-billion Sports Hub will officially open in April 2014. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN

  10. #6606
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    Default Do university rankings matter to students?

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 04 October 2012 2130 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Two of Singapore's universities are now among the top 100 universities in the world, according to the latest edition of Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

    The improved rankings of National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will further enhance their appeal in attracting students of calibre.

    But their presidents say rankings shouldn't be the only deciding factor.


    NTU president, Professor Bertil Andersson, said: "Ranking may be just the first approach. I spent a lot of time talking to parents...I'm out recruiting students as well. When I talk to them, they ask if NTU passes NUS (in ranking). I say that's not the point. But of course NUS and NTU should try to be ahead internationally to position the country."

    NUS president, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, said the students should look at "what they are interested in, what are the strengths of the university, what kind of programmes the university offers, what are the particular features that distinguish a university from another and how that fits their profile."

    Some of the parents and students Channel NewsAsia spoke to said that ranking is important when selecting a university as it gives them the confidence that the institution and the courses provided are recognised not just on a local level but internationally as well.

    Hochiu Lin, a mother of two children, said: "When you tell people, 'I'm a graduate of NUS', they will be 'oh, you are from the top 50 or top 30'. It makes a lot of difference, and I think to a potential employer, it's very important."

    Joyce Xiao Shuang, JC 1 student from Hwa Chong Institution, said: "Ranking represents how trustworthy a university is. If their ranking is very high, that means their programmes have certainly received a certain form of recognition."

    However, others feel that other factors also play a part and what matters most are the job prospects of the individual upon graduation.

    Leow Yao Yang, Year 6 student from Raffles Institution, said: "There are many factors involved in deciding your university (choice), like passion, finance, and more (importantly), your interest."

    In addition to rankings, some students said they look at graduate employment surveys when selecting their universities.

    - CNA/ir

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    Default *Scape gets makeover to better serve youth

    Sorry, double posting.
    Last edited by Loh; 10-07-2012 at 10:21 PM.

  12. #6608
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    Default *Scape gets makeover to better serve youth

    More structured programmes for young people in the pipeline

    Published on Oct 08, 2012



    *Scape's revamped first level, now named Underground, houses stalls for young entrepreneurs. -- PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

    - PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...8_3331312e.jpg
    Mr Anthony Chien, 20, practising popping, a form of street dance, at the new HubQuarters. -- PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES




    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...3_3331311e.jpg
    Marsya Alya (left), four, and Nayli Frysha, seven, with The Simpsons figurines at HubQuarters for youth organisations. -- PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES



    By Eisen Teo


    Youth community space *Scape is undergoing a $500,000 revamp, two years after it opened. The revamp, which involves bringing in more youth groups running
    development programmes, will see *Scape focus more on hothousing youth initiatives.

    Floor space within the five-storey building in Orchard Link will also be reorganised. On the fourth and fifth levels, a fresh "HubQuarters" will occupy 8,500 sq ft.

    Tenants will be a mix of youth organisations offering development programmes like workshops and talks for young people aged 15 to 35. Its 7,000 sq ft first-floor space - previously called Street + Market and used for ad hoc weekend flea markets - has also been refurbished.

    Renamed "Underground", it now houses stalls for young entrepreneurs, and re-opened two weeks ago with 31 stalls offering apparel, accessories and shoes.

  13. #6609
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    Default Young wushu fighters prove they have mettle

    They're promising but need to hone skills and gain further exposure

    Published on Oct 08, 2012





    Having tasted international success, world junior champions Samuel Tan, 16, Jowen Lim, 13, and Vera Tan, 14, as well as their medal-winning team-mates, are hungry to win more medals and to popularise their low-profile sport.-- ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG


    By May Chen


    After watching their seniors win a clutch of SEA Games and Asian Games medals over the years, Singapore's young wushu warriors have a lot to live up to.

    But winning is already a habit for the country's new generation of Chinese martial arts exponents, who fought their way to unexpected success at the recent World Junior Championships in Macau.

    Their haul from the biennial tournament: three golds, four silvers and three bronzes.
    This was Singapore's best return since the event started in 2006, a tally beaten only when the championships were held here in 2010. This year's event featured about 600 competitors from 40 nations.

    Although superpowers China did not feature in the events that earned medals for Singapore, the future looks bright for the Republic's 11-member youth squad.


    Background story

    BRIMMING WITH POTENTIAL

    Most of them were taking part in their first major competition, so it was natural that they showed nerves. They still need work on their basic techniques and need more exposure at major competitions, but this is a group that has the potential to perform at the senior level.

    - National junior wushu coach Tang Ning is full of praise for his young proteges, who bagged 10 medals in all at the World Junior Championships


    The Medallist

    GOLD (3)
    • Samuel Tan: Boys' Group A taijiquan

    • Vera Tan: Girls' Gp B taijiquan

    • Jowen Lim: Boys' Gp B cudgel
    SILVER (4)
    • Samuel Tan: Boys' Gp A taijijian

    • Abel Tan: Boys' Gp A broadsword

    • Jowen Lim: Boys' Gp B changquan

    • Vera Tan: Girls' Gp B taijijian
    BRONZE (3)
    • Fung Hui Xin: Girls' Gp B changquan and sword

    • Ong Li Cheng: Girls' Gp C sword
    Gp A: 16-18 years
    Gp B: 13-15 years
    Gp C: 10-12 years

  14. #6610
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    Default Gardens By The Bay is World Building Of The Year

    Published on Oct 05, 2012




    Man-made Supertrees stand among their real counterparts in Gardens by the Bay on Sept 28, 2012. Gardens By The Bay was crowned World Building Of The Year at the prestigious World Architecture Festival earlier this evening at Marina Bay Sands Convention Center. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM


    By Natasha Ann Zachariah


    Gardens By The Bay was crowned World Building Of The Year at the prestigious World Architecture Festival earlier this evening at Marina Bay Sands Convention Center.

    It also won the best display building for its conservatories, Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.

    The three-day festival, which started on Wednesday, is considered the Oscars of the architectural world. Past winners of the World Building of the Year include MAXXI, National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome by Zaha Hadid Architects and Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa by Peter Rich Architects.

    Four other Singaporean projects took home prizes as well. The Kallang River-Bishan Park won best urban landscape project of the year, condominium Martin No. 38 won for best housing building, the Marina Bay MRT station received a prize for best transport building, and the Herman Miller shop-in-shop at furniture store X-tra at Park Mall won for best shopping building.

  15. #6611
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    Default New nursing homes to create over 1,700 jobs

    Govt ramping up hiring of nurses, support staff for 10 upcoming facilities

    Published on Oct 08, 2012





    The Government is ramping up recruitment for the 350 nurses and 1,400 support staff it needs for 10 new nursing homes. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA



    By Tessa Wong


    The Government is ramping up recruitment for the 350 nurses and 1,400 support staff it needs for 10 new nursing homes. These will be built over the next three years.

    Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Sunday announced plans to increase enrolment for related courses at the Institute of Technical Education and polytechnics, and encourage people to make a mid-career switch into health care.

    Allowances for selected candidates among those who make the switch will also go up, to help them cover their cost of living as they train full time. The Health Ministry will also encourage retiring health-care workers to keep working.

    "Even if they retire, we will encourage them to come back to work part time and contribute to our workforce," Mr Gan said. "So we are pulling out all stops, exploring all venues to recruit more manpower to meet our needs," he added.

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    Default NUS students win Public Policy Challenge

    By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 07 October 2012 1935 hrs



    The students received their S,000 cash prize and a trophy from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sunday.


    SINGAPORE: A group of business students from the National University of Singapore have won this year's Public Policy Challenge organised by the Public Service Division.

    The students received their S$3,000 cash prize and a trophy from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sunday.

    The Public Policy Challenge aims to expose tertiary students to the challenges and dilemmas of policy development and implementation.

    In her closing remarks, the Division's Permanent Secretary Ms Yong Ying-I said it is not easy to develop the right answers in public policies.

    It is also important to be open to new ideas.

    The winning team discussed the issue of housing for singles.

    It proposed the idea of cooperative housing where singles are able to co-share rented flats.

    The NUS students will also be offered internships with the Public Service Division.

    "We are allowed to make proposals and we are allowed to voice our opinions on controversial issues or issues that we think Singaporeans are having trouble grappling with. I think this is very good platform for us to work out a feasible and implementable solution," said team member Gilbert Neo.


    - CNA/cc
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    Default Singaporean artist's sculpture to display in London's Chinatown

    By Catherine Drew | Posted: 07 October 2012 0625 hrs



    Chua Boon Kee's award winning, which is based on the Chinese proverb 'yin sui si yuan', will be placed at one of the busiest entrances to London's Chinatown



    LONDON: A Singaporean artist has won a major commission for a piece of public art, which will be shown in London's Chinatown from next year.

    Chua Boon Kee has been chosen from 49 East Asia artists for his winning design which is based on a Chinese proverb.

    It is a major commission for the artist who said he hopes it will bring his work to a wider audience.

    Mr Chua, whose artwork can be seen across Singapore, won the 30,000 euro commission with one of his abstract calligraphy sculptures.

    The sculpture, which is over seven metres long and 1.5 metres wide, was inspired by the Chinese proverb, "yin shui si yuan" (When you drink, remember the source).

    Chinatown Arts Space's creative director David Tse said
    : "Obviously that works on a sustainability level in terms of respecting the resources of the planet but also it works on a more metaphoric level - a call to East Asia people overseas to remember where they came from."

    Mr Chua, who is currently working in China, where the sculpture is being made, said he is delighted to win the commission.

    Mr Chua said: "To me, this marks yet another new beginning in my artistic endeavour. I hope that this first sculpture project to be presented in the United Kingdom will serve as a platform for me to have a sustained opportunity to create more artwork here."

    The sculpture, which is due to arrive next year, will be placed at one of the busiest entrances to London's Chinatown.

    This will mean great exposure for the artist.

    Mr Tse said: "There isn't a public artwork that is anything like this so I think for London it's very new. And the exciting thing for the artist, it's an amazing showcase for him. I don't think he's ever exhibited so far in the UK. The sculpture is going to be in situ for a minimum of ten years."

    While the winning commission was chosen by a team of experts, the public was also consulted and Chua's sculpture emerged as the most popular.

    - CNA/fa
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