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Thread: Singapore Also Can
12-02-2009, 12:45 AM #647
12-02-2009, 01:05 AM #648
S'pore office rents tumble
The Straits Times
Dec 1, 2009
By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent
GREAT news for office tenants in Singapore but far leaner times for landlords: Office rents have plummeted by more than half in the past 12 months.
On average, they fell a whopping 53.4 per cent from their peak in the third quarter of last year to Sept 30 this year - the second-fastest rate of fall in the world. Only rents in Kiev, Ukraine fell more quickly, by 64.6 per cent.
That meant the Republic fell from 9th spot to No.32 in the latest Top 50 most expensive markets list, according to a half-yearly global survey done by US-based consultancy CB Richard Ellis.
The occupancy cost here - rent plus local taxes and service charges - is now US$63.89 (S$88.25) per square foot (psf) a year, down 23 per cent from six months ago when it was in 15th place. That is down more than half from US$135.13 psf a year ago.
'We've seen a dramatic correction in rents but in a way, it is helping businesses secure far more competitive business costs,' said CBRE's executive director, office services, Mr Moray Armstrong.
'The market is now roughly where it was three years back.' Just two years ago, Singapore was No. 1 in terms of the highest 12-month rise in occupancy costs across the globe. This threw many tenant companies into a frenzied search for cheaper digs.
On average, they fell a whopping 53.4 per cent from their peak in the third quarter of last year to Sept 30 this year - the second-fastest rate of fall in the world. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
12-02-2009, 01:35 AM #649
More locals dating foreigners?
Nov 30, 2009
By Shawn Lee Miller
WITH more and more foreigners coming to Singapore to work, has it changed the dating scene here?
In a recent survey conducted by dating review site Club Uno, one third of 517 singles polled felt that having expatriates here presents more dating opportunities and are open to dating them.
Asked if they would date a foreigner, most local women RazorTV interviewed said yes. Their reason? They said they found local men to be 'boring, childish and possessive'.
Still, some women told RazorTV they would only date Singaporeans as they felt more comfortable with locals.
Well I managed to locate the article and I would have done so much quicker had you mentioned the title "More locals dating foreigners".
But the article did not use the word "marry" as you so wrongly pointed out in your post to try to deceive our readers. Maybe your eyesight is not too good?
And this survey is not representative of all eligible women in Singapore as it is exclusive to the "dating review site club Uno".
So please taneepak, don't try to deceive members here and paint a biased picture of Singapore women.
Please open your eyes wider and your mouth smaller if you want others to believe in you.
Last edited by Loh; 12-02-2009 at 01:44 AM.
12-02-2009, 08:09 AM #650
12-02-2009, 09:08 PM #651
You can date many girls but you can marry only one at any one time.
Furthermore you are trying to paint a distorted picture of a third of Singapore girls are involved when that survey is restricted to the "dating review site club Uno".
Because you did not copy the ST article here (and you accused me of being lazy to try to find out) that's why I have to waste time searching for it and when I found it the truth is exposed, so are your intentions!
Isn't it your intention to try to put down Singapore as much as possible? I have indicated this to you in your previous posts yet you persisted.
Please don't waste more time on issues which do not do us any good, particularly issues between Singapore and Malaysia, just because you are sitting far away in Hong Kong.
Last edited by Loh; 12-02-2009 at 09:11 PM.
12-02-2009, 09:27 PM #652
Stem cells treat cerebral palsy
The Straits Times
Dec 2, 2009
By Judith Tan
TWO-YEAR-OLD Georgia Conn was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, but is now showing signs of improvement from the disorder after an infusion of her own stem cells - made possible by the banking of her own cord blood shortly after birth.
She was given the infusion on Sept 8 by neurosurgeon Keith Goh in Singapore - making it the first time stem cells from a baby's own cord blood used to treat cerebral palsy here.
It was carried out at the Conns' home after the Health Ministry (MOH) gave the greenlight.
Dr Goh said: 'There was no ethical issue as the cord blood was Georgia's own.'
The Conns had spent 18 months researching on the Internet and had, at that time, thought their only option was Duke University in the United States where 97 children with cerebral palsy were treated with their own cord blood.
Dr Goh has since applied to MOH to conduct clinical trials on using cord blood stem cells to treat cerebral palsy here and hopes to start them early next year.
The Conns had spent 18 months researching on the Internet and had, at that time, thought their only option was Duke University.
12-02-2009, 09:32 PM #653
Exhibit to foster religious harmony
The Straits Times
Dec 3, 2009
By Yen Feng
AN EXHIBITION to display items of religious significance from Singapore and China will bring to the public greater awareness of the different faiths practised in the two countries, said the Venerable Kwang Sheng on Wednesday.
'Such an awareness is necessary for religious harmony and peace-building among different faith groups,' he said in a press conference about the event to be held this month at Suntec City.
The Venerable Kwang, chairman of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), said that it had taken the non-government group one year to put together the week-long event, costing $1.3 million.
In addition to the exhibition, which will feature more than 1,300 items, the event will also showcase musical performances by religious groups and lectures by local and visiting religious scholars.
Items from Singapore are on loan from the 10 religious groups represented in the IRO. They include a 350-year-old handwritten Quran, Islam's holy text, from Bukit Timah's Ba'alwai Mosque, and a ring that belonged to the first Catholic Archbishop of Singapore, the late French missionary Michael Olcomendy.
The remaining items will include ancient Buddhist scrolls and porcelain vases, as well as items from China's five official religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam.
12-02-2009, 09:37 PM #654
S'pore's response on Afghan
The Straits Times
Dec 3, 2009
SINGAPORE'S response to President Barack Obama's announcement on Afghanistan:
'Singapore welcomes the United States' continued commitment in Afghanistan that President Obama outlined today. This is a positive and pragmatic way forward.
'Singapore continues to support the multinational stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Weapon Locating Radar and a medical team are now deployed in Oruzgan province and an engineering team in Bamiyan province in support of these efforts. Singapore has also offered to deploy a KC-135 aerial refuelling tanker and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle detachment if these are useful to the multinational efforts.
'Singapore has also been offering a variety of training programmes for Afghan officials, including health care, anti-narcotics control, and water and waste management.'
12-02-2009, 10:05 PM #655
Google Street View service
The Straits Times
Dec 3, 2009
It provides 3-D views of public roads, tourist attractions and buildings islandwide
By Chua Hian Hou
SINGAPORE'S streets can now be explored virtually with Internet giant Google's new Street View service, which went live on Wednesday.
The Republic is the first in South-east Asia to have the free service, which offers 3-D views of roads, landmarks and buildings islandwide.
Between October last year and this June, several Opel Astra cars chalked up thousands of kilometres driving up and down the island's roads and highways, with multi-directional high-resolution cameras mounted on them snapping pictures every few metres.
The millions of images shot were then stitched together to create the service, which is accessible via the Web and some mobile phone models, like those using Google's Android phone software, said its regional head of product management, Mr Andrew McGlinchey.
It also ran an online poll, together with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), to gauge the public's opinion on the must-feature heritage hot spots and tourist attractions here. The tourism agency, which sees value in the service, paved the way for Google to access private roads at sites like Sentosa, so that it could map as much of the island as possible.
Said STB's assistant chief executive for marketing, Mr Ken Low: 'People unfamiliar with Singapore can now get a first look at our city. The convenience...will give people from anywhere in the world a much better idea and picture of what Singapore looks like.'
Google's Street View is accessible via the Web and some cellphones using Google's Android phone software. -- PHOTO: THE HOFFMAN AGENCY
12-02-2009, 10:31 PM #656
9th most expensive city
The Straits Times
Dec 2, 2009
By Fiona Chan
A STRONGER currency and a rise in inflation has made Singapore a more expensive place for expats to live, a survey has found.
Singapore jumped three spots from a year ago to become the ninth priciest Asian city in the latest cost of living rankings by human resources firm ECA International.
It beat Taipei in Taiwan and China's Shenzhen and Guangzhou, although Singapore remains cheaper than Japanese cities such as Tokyo and Yokohama, China's Beijing and Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Worldwide, Singapore's rising cost of living catapulted it into the 78th spot on this year's global survey, up almost 20 places from 97th last year.
The main reason for this movement - and, in fact, for most of the changes in this year's survey - is exchange rate fluctuations, said ECA International.
The Sing dollar has gained about 10 per cent against the United States dollar since March. This has helped push up the cost of living in Singapore compared to some neighbouring cities that are pegged to the US dollar, such as Hong Kong.
Worldwide, Singapore's rising cost of living catapulted it into the 78th spot on this year's global survey, up almost 20 places from 97th last year. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
12-02-2009, 10:35 PM #657
S'pore, ROK ink defence MOU
The Straits Times
Dec 2, 2009
SINGAPORE and the Republic of Korea (ROK) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defence cooperation on Wednesday.
The Defence Ministry said the MOU 'seeks to strengthen bilateral defence relations between Singapore and ROK'. It will also allow both countries to broaden their defence cooperation to include areas such as humanitarian assistance and military medicine.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean and the Republic of Korea's Minister of National Defence Kim Tae Young signed the agreement at the Ministry of Defence this morning.
'The signing of this MOU reflects the warm and friendly defence relations between Singapore and the ROK, and their commitment to strengthening defence cooperation for mutual benefit,' said the Ministry of Defence in a media release.
Mr Kim, who is in Singapore for a bilateral visit from Dec 1-3, met with Mr Teo before the signing ceremony. During their meeting, both ministers exchanged views on regional security developments and bilateral defence cooperation. Mr Kim will also be visiting the Infantry Gunnery Tactical Simulator at Pasir Laba Camp today.
12-03-2009, 01:47 AM #658
12-03-2009, 09:53 PM #659
Pm On Goal Of Chinese Language Education
Dec 4, 2009
Help every child go far.
Teaching aims to help children from different family backgrounds.
By Chua Chin Hon
HAVANA (CUBA) - ONE fundamental goal in Singapore's policy of bilingual education is to help students of different home language backgrounds become as proficient as possible in the Chinese language, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Because of this, how Chinese is taught must be adapted to better fit changing times, especially when more children are coming from English-speaking homes and technology is influencing the way they learn, he said.
In 1999, he noted, 43 per cent of Chinese pupils in Primary 1 came from English-speaking homes. Today, it is the reverse.
'We have to acknowledge this shift in language habits, and adapt our system so as to make it work for the larger number of students from English-speaking backgrounds,' he said.
Mr Lee had been asked to give his take on the issue of Chinese language education at the end of a visit to Cuba on Tuesday.
Spirited exchanges in the newspapers and online over the teaching of the Chinese language followed Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's comments on Nov 30 that the teaching of Chinese should be made more 'fun' and move away from a one-size-fits-all approach.
PM Lee said that one fundamental goal in Singapore's policy of bilingual education is to help students become as proficient as possible in the Chinese language, and to do this, how Chinese is taught must be adapted to better fit changing times. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
12-03-2009, 09:58 PM #660
New Sentosa shuttle planned
The Straits Times
Dec 4, 2009
Buses to run from airport, hotels and heartland
GETTING to Sentosa could be easier next year with the introduction of shuttle buses transporting people from the airport, hotels, Marina Bay Sands integrated resort and even the heartland.
Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), the resort island's master planner, has called a tender for 'experienced and established coach operators' to operate a shuttle service from March 1 next year as the $6.59 billion Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) opens its doors.
Last year, Sentosa greeted about 6.1 million visitors. But this number is expected to almost double to 10 million annually with the opening of RWS.
The proposed shuttle bus service is to 'provide convenience for tourists' to go to Sentosa from the airport, the shopping districts and hotels, said Sentosa Leisure Group's commercial director Susan Ang.
However, it has also asked operators to look at running ad-hoc routes from heartland hubs during peak periods like school and public holidays.
Prices and frequency of the service will be decided by operators bidding for the project.
The shuttle bus proposal is part of a multimillion-dollar plan to overhaul the transport system on Sentosa.
12-03-2009, 10:58 PM #661
Adrian Pang, "The Little Nyonya" among winners at Asian Television Awards
Channel News Asia
03 December 2009 2229 hrs
SINGAPORE : The 14th Asian Television Awards - which recognises excellence in programming, production and performance - took place in Singapore on Thursday night.
And regional broadcaster, MediaCorp bagged wins for Best Editing, Best Drama Series as well as Best Drama Performance by an Actor.
It was a night of glitz and glamour, with the region's TV stars and top studio executives in town to celebrate the best in the industry.
Channel 8's "The Little Nyonya" won the Best Drama Series award, together with Taiwan's Hakka Television Station's production of "1895 in Formosa." (http://littlenyonya.mediacorptv.sg/about.htm)
Singapore's Adrian Pang won the Best Drama Performance by an Actor for his role in MediaCorp Channel 5's "Red Thread." Qi Yu Wu from "The Little Nyonya" won a highly commended award in the same category.
Pang had also won the Best Comedy Actor title in 2002 and it seems he can't resist being a funny guy.
"I was playing this blind guy and looking glazed most of the time which didn't require me to have a rape scene or a mental breakdown or have a dramatic death. So, that says something," quipped Pang.
A co-production between MediaCorp, Korea's KBS and Japan's NHK - "Supermen of Malegaon" - won the Best Editing award.
CNBC's Martin Soong won the Best News Presenter/Anchor award while CNN's Kristie Lu Stout grabbed a highly commended award in that category.
In the Best Talk Show category, MediaCorp's BlogTV which airs on Channel NewsAsia was highly commended.
In the Best Entertainment Programme category, MediaCorp Channel 5's President Command Performance won a highly commended award.
Singapore actor Chua Enlai won a highly commended award for Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress for his role in "Parental Guidance".
Another highly commended award went to "The Way We Live" (Episode 5) Living In The Shadow Of The Volcano which was aired on MediaCorp's Channel U.
1. Adrian Pang won the Best Drama Performance by an Actor for his role in 'Red Thread'.
2. The Little Nyonya poster
Last edited by Loh; 12-03-2009 at 11:02 PM.
12-05-2009, 03:17 AM #662
Record 175,000 workers get help under U-Care fund
05 December 2009 1514 hrs
By Hetty Musfirah
SINGAPORE: The labour movement has helped a record number of union members this year. NTUC gave out S$23 million to over 175,000 workers and their families in its largest number of handouts under the U-Care fund.
The number exceeds the 60,000 to 80,000 handouts distributed in a typical year, an indication of the severity of the economic downturn.
Programmes rolled out by the labour movement this year were targeted at helping union members affected by the downturn.
Its U-Care Immediate Assistance programme received an overwhelming response, with 40,000 workers who were retrenched, placed on shorter work weeks or have suffered pay cuts applying for the relief which came up to S$8.5 million.
Meanwhile, 67,500 workers and their family members had their burden of living expenses lightened with U-Stretch vouchers. The value of each voucher was increased from S$50 to S$80.
S$5.4 million of U-Stretch vouchers were disbursed.
The movement also gave out bursaries and scholarships worth over S$1.2 million to children from lower-income members. That's 20% more than the usual amount given out in an average year.
And to conclude the year's efforts, the movement also gave out over S$5 million worth of Back-to-School vouchers to help 43,200 needy children prepare for the new school term.
12-05-2009, 03:28 AM #663
Chinese language should be viewed as more than an exam subject
04 December 2009, 2045 hrs
By Hoe Yeen Nie
SINGAPORE: Parents and teachers in Singapore agree with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who said on Thursday that changes to the Chinese language curriculum must account for different abilities and needs.
But they also feel that children should be inspired to take on a more positive attitude towards the learning of the Chinese language, rather than view it as just another examination subject.
9-year-old Josiah Chua is not afraid to read out loud in Mandarin, especially when his mother is there to help with the difficult words.
Speaking Mandarin is a part of life in the Chua household and Josiah's mother, Madam Koh Siew Min, said watching drama serials together is a great way to keep them engaged.
"I can see that they're interested when they ask me, 'So what does this idiom mean? What does this proverb mean?' because they need to follow the storyline... I took the opportunity to introduce new words and to tell them that learning Chinese is actually really fun," she said.
Both Josiah and his 11-year-old brother, Jonathan, are students at Henry Park Primary School, which ropes in parent volunteers to conduct weekly language activities.
Mdm Koh said she would like to see more interactivity between teachers and students during Chinese lessons, adding that handling exams should not be the main reason for Chinese language learning.
Both Jonathan and Josiah study Chinese under a new 2005 curriculum, which provided some form of customised learning for those with different language abilities.
The current review is expected to go even further. Besides looking at how the language can be better taught to an increasingly English-speaking audience, it will also cater to the desires of a growing number of students who want to master the Chinese language.
Drama is one way that some schools are using to reach out to their students, while using English to teach Mandarin is also gaining popularity in some quarters.
Some teachers said English can be particularly helpful in explaining certain nouns and concepts.
Wu Xinping, Chinese language teacher at Dunman High School, said: "However, we must be clear that English and Chinese are basically two different languages. Some concepts that are found in Chinese don't have an equivalent concept in English."
Ms Wu added that Chinese teachers have to be clear about these linguistic differences, and see how English can be used to achieve teaching objectives, instead of using it "for the sake of using English".
Her colleague, Ng Tze Fang, also noted that some older teachers may be at a disadvantage if they are not well-versed in English.
Singapore's leaders have often stressed the economic benefits of being bilingual, particularly the advantages of being able to engage with a rising China.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say said: "Singapore's future development is not the only reason why we have to be bilingual. But more importantly, it's also for the sake of maintaining harmony in our multi-cultural, multi-lingual society."
But for parents like Mdm Koh, it is more about sharing an integral part of their cultural heritage with their children.
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