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Thread: Singapore Also Can
10-19-2012, 12:14 AM #6648
SUTD opens new fabrication lab
04:45 AM Oct 19, 2012
SINGAPORE - At this fabrication laboratory, students are able to design and build "almost anything".
Equipped with a wide range of fabrication equipment and tools, an electronics lab and a large project area, the Singapore University of Technology and Design laboratory encourages students to bring their creative ideas to tangible life.
Yesterday, the 1,000 sq m laboratory - roughly equivalent to the size of 10 five-room Housing Board flats - was opened at the university's Dover Road interim campus. Students in the first year of curriculum will make use of basic level equipment and tools - such as table saws, 3D printers and laser cutters - for design projects.
As they progress, they will be using the laboratory - which is modelled after Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Pappalardo Lab - to produce more advanced prototypes. The fabrication laboratory is also designed to cater to the needs of the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre.
It will allow faculty researchers and students from the two universities to collaborate in areas of science research and designing devices, systems and services.
SUTD's new fabrication laboratory is equipped with a range of equipment and tools for students to transform their creative ideas into tangible products. PHOTO COURTESY SUTD
10-19-2012, 12:23 AM #6649
First simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant here
Private school student, 29, undergoes procedure that increases survival rate
by Ashley Chia
04:45 AM Oct 19, 2012
SINGAPORE - Almost half a century after the world's first successful simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplant, doctors here recently carried out Singapore's first such transplant on a 29-year-old private school student who felt "reborn", in his own words, after the procedure.
On Sept 13, Mr Shawn Huang underwent a five-and-a-half hour operation that was performed by a team of surgeons from the National University Hospital (NUH) and the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
Mr Huang, who had Type 1 diabetes and renal failure, had been on insulin for more than 15 years and was on dialysis for more than a year. He had been on the waiting lists for both pancreas and kidney transplants since August last year.
After the successful procedure, he no longer has to be injected with insulin or undergo dialysis. Nevertheless, he will have to take oral medication to prevent rejection of the organs. Mr Huang said he has regained his appetite and feels more energetic.
On being the first patient here to undergo the procedure, he said: "I was not afraid because the doctors had explained to me about the procedures and assured me. I also trust the skills and expertise of the doctors."
An SPK transplant is estimated to cost between S$80,000 and S$100,000. A large part of the cost for Mr Huang's operation was defrayed by the Government's Health Services Development Programme, which promotes innovation and the adoption of advanced medical technology in public healthcare.
The surgery was led by Associate Professor Krishnakumar Madhavan, Director of NUH's Adult Liver and Pancreas Transplantation Programme, and performed together with Dr Victor Lee, Director, Pancreas Transplant and Consultant, Department of General Surgery, SGH; and Dr Tiong Ho Yee, Director, Kidney Surgery and Transplantation, NUH.
The first successful SPK transplant was performed at the University of Minnesota Hospital in 1966. Such a procedure increases the five-year survival rate of patients who suffer from Type 1 diabetes and renal failure from 38 per cent to 90 per cent.
Assoc Prof Madhavan said there is the "perception that Type 1 diabetes in Singapore is very rare and the main problem was Type 2 diabetes which is not suitable for this procedure".
The surgery on Mr Huang was performed after five years of research, and training under which doctors went overseas to acquire new techniques and nurses were attached to transplant units. Assoc Prof Madhavan said: "SPK is not going to impact a huge number of people in any country. But to these small number of people, (the impact) is tremendous."
Currently, there are 45 patients who have both diabetes and renal failure on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Among them, only about five may have Type 1 diabetes, according to Professor A Vathsala, Head and Senior Consultant of the Division of Nephrology at NUH.
Currently, pancreas is not included under the Human Organ Transplant Act. Given the success of the SPK transplant, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said, in response to media queries, that it will "review the development of the pancreas transplant programme and the clinical outcomes of the pancreas transplants in the next few years".
10-19-2012, 03:19 AM #6650
Table tennis: Jing Junhong to be new national women's head coach
Published on Oct 19, 2012
Former national paddler Jing Junhong (above) will step up as Singapore's national women's head coach, replacing the outgoing Zhou Shusen. -- ST PHOTO: SHAHRIYA YAHAYA
By Terrence Voon
Former national paddler Jing Junhong will step up as Singapore's national women's head coach, replacing the outgoing Zhou Shusen.
Zhou has been in charge since 2009, leading Singapore to a shock victory over China at the 2010 World Team Championships and two bronze medals at the recent London Olympics.
He has decided not to renew his contract and will leave at the end of the year.
Jing, who was 4th at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has been understudying Zhou for the last three years. She will lead the women's team to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
(I'm so happy for her. This is one golden instance when our Foreign Talent scheme has proven to be successful. If I recall correctly, she was brought in as a FT when she was already a young adult. She missed out on the bronze medal playing for Singapore during Sydney Olympics 2000. She even had Li Jiawei as team mate during her prime days.
Not only is she a Singaporean now, she even married a former local national table tennis player, Loy Soo Han, who later became an official of the STTA . They produced a boy for Singapore I think.
I hope she will continue to do Singapore proud and to upgrade herself along the way. )
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Jing.
Jing Junhong (Chinese: 井浚泓; pinyin: Jǐng Jùnhóng; born October 13, 1968 in Shanghai) was a professional table tennis player for the Singapore national team. Born in Shanghai, she has represented Singapore in sporting events since the 1980s, and has since retired. She was naturalized in 1994.
- 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney
- Fourth-place, women's singles
- 2001 Commonwealth Championships, New Delhi - Won 2 Gold Medals
- Women's Doubles (partnering Li Jiawei)
- Women's Team Championship
- 2002 Commonwealth Championships - Won 2 Gold Medals
- Women's Doubles (partnering Li Jiawei)
- Women's Team Championship
Jing Jun Hong Originally from Shanghai, Jing Jun Hong became a Singapore citizen in April 1994 and is quite easily Singapore’s most renowned table tennis star. In China she had been ranked as the country’s No.3 player. Representing Singapore at the Commonwealth Championships in 1995, Jun Hong claimed a silver medal, surrendering the gold only to the world No.3 player at the time, Chai Po Wa from Hong Kong. At the 1995 SEA Games in Chiangmai, Jun Hong didn’t disappoint her fans. Dominating the singles event, she also won the mixed doubles and obtained a silver medal in the women’s doubles. Her preparation for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics included a training stint in England. Although she didn’t make it to the quarter finals, Jun Hong’s performance was one of the best by a Singaporean female athlete at the Olympic Games. In recognition of this accomplishment and her eighth place finish in the Women’s World Cup, she was named Sportswoman of the Year in 1997. In 1997, at the 13th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Jun Hong once again pulled out all the stops, taking the individual, doubles and team gold, in Singapore’s finest ever results. Her fantastic achievements were again rewarded with the 1998 Sportswoman of the Year title, and these also include her singles win in Jakarta at the 19th SEA Games. Followed by her team gold medal at the regional Games and two doubles titles at the 20th SEA Games in Brunei, Jun Hong was firmly established in Singapore’s sporting history. In her second appearance at the Olympic Games, this time in Sydney in 2000, she placed 4th, a rank that resulted in her third Sportswoman of the Year title. Encouraged by the recognition she was receiving, she continued her successful career, winning yet more golds in the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 2003 SEA Games in Hanoi. Her third Olympic appearance in the 2004 Games in Athens saw her getting through to the third round. Jun Hong believes making it to the Olympics marks the true peak of her sporting life, “’this is where athletes really have to go.”
Jing Junhong - Singapore's Table-tennis FT who has made good
- 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney
10-23-2012, 04:23 AM #6651
Marina Bay Cruise Centre opens officially
Published on Oct 22, 2012
The 28,000sqm Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore opened officially today, doubling Singapore's berth capacity to four. -- ST PHOTO: RAJENDRAN NADARAJAN
By Jessica Lim
The 28,000sqm Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore opened officially today, doubling Singapore's berth capacity to four.
"With deep water, a large turning basin and no height restrictions, the terminal has the capability to dock ships of up to 220,000tons and measuring up to 360m in length," said Mr Edmund Cheng, chairman of Sats.
The new cruise terminal is operated by SATS-Creuers, a joint venture between Sats and Creuers del port de Barcelona.
The cruise centre is expecting more than 70 ship calls from now till March 2013. This translates into passenger traffic of more than 200,000.
10-23-2012, 04:32 AM #6652
National service a part of Singapore identity: PM Lee
He pays tribute to men who've served nation; $100m of goodies announced
Published on Oct 23, 2012
By Goh Chin Lian And Jermyn Chow
For nearly a million Singaporean men, donning a uniform to serve in the military, civil defence or police force was a rite of passage they knew was necessary, for the country's peace and stability.
Indeed, national service has become a defining part of the Singapore identity, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong observed yesterday, as he called on younger generations to do their part to defend their country and understand the strategic realities it faces.
On Monday night, he paid tribute to the more than 900,000 men who have served the nation, as he joined some 1,400 of them and guests at a dinner that capped year-long celebrations of the 45th anniversary of NS.
He also announced $100 million worth of vouchers and free NSmen club memberships to recognise their efforts. Each serviceman will get $50 to $100 worth of vouchers.
PM Lee pays tribute to NSmen with $100m of vouchers
Published on Oct 22, 2012
National service is a defining part of the Singapore identity, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he called on younger generations of Singaporeans to do their part to defend their country and understand the strategic realities it faces. --ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
By Goh Chin Lian And Jermyn Chow
National service is a defining part of the Singapore identity, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he called on younger generations of Singaporeans to do their part to defend their country and understand the strategic realities it faces.
PM Lee on Monday paid tribute to the more than 900,000 men who have served the nation, as he announced $100 million worth of vouchers and free NSmen club memberships to recognise their efforts at a dinner that capped year-long celebrations of 45 years of national service.
He described NS as "a universal rite of passage" for every male Singaporean, noting that it had become a national institution. He also praised NSmen for serving faithfully.
Mr Lee added that he was "cautiously optimistic" that the region will remain peaceful, but warned that Singapore cannot take its present peace for granted, and stressed continued efforts to build up the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team.
10-23-2012, 04:57 AM #6653
The rise of the small states?
by Yang Razali Kassim
04:45 AM Oct 23, 2012
On Oct 1, a loose grouping of smaller members of the United Nations (UN) called the Forum of Small States (FOSS) celebrated its 20th anniversary. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon told the forum: "Being small does not mean an absence of big ideas."
Indeed, six months earlier, on April 4, a group of five small states calling themselves the "Small Five", had presented a draft resolution that was big in significance - improving the "working methods" of the powerful Security Council.
Should the S5 succeed, the end result would be nothing short of a reform of the way the veto is exercised by the exclusive Permanent Five (P5) of the UN Security Council comprising China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
But as bold as it may be, the initiative was destined to fail, given the way the Security Council is dominated by the P5 with their veto powers. The motion was, unsurprisingly, withdrawn by the S5 when the P5 signalled they would block it.
DAVIDS AND GOLIATHS
Still, the move caught the attention of the media which described the event in dramatic terms: One headlined it "Small Five" Challenge "Big Five" Over Veto Powers. Another flashed: "David v Goliath". Yet another described the "S5" as an "unlikely group" of small countries that came together to "challenge the unchecked power of the P5 and to try to build a more effective UN".
The S5, comprising Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Switzerland, would prefer that their initiative not be so powerfully stated. Still, it was timely and significant.
The UN is suffering a paralysis over Syria. There is hardly wiggle room for a political solution to the crisis. A major cause of this stalemate: the failure to get a P5 endorsement of the Kofi Annan peace plan. Russia and China flexed their veto three times - over resolutions they deemed would lead to international intervention and ultimately regime change in Syria.
Russia and China did not want a repeat of the UN-endorsed international intervention in Libya which they had not vetoed - only to see North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bomb the Gaddafi regime out of existence. Both insisted that international intervention must not be about regime change.
The civil war now raging in Syria is partly due to the inability of the UN to step in as a result.
It was in the wake of this stalemate that the S5 found it advantageous to push its initiative to restrain the P5's veto. The aim was not to deny the P5's veto rights, but to press for more transparency in its exercise, and for them not to block resolutions that could end conflicts.
CALLING FOR UN REFORM
The emergence of the S5 points to a significant, yet understated, development in international diplomacy - the rise of small states in an era of flux in the international system. It is in this context that the emergence of their "mother ship", FOSS, should be watched.
FOSS was initiated in 1992 by Singapore and others as an informal forum of small states. The idea was to find strength in numbers, and to "survive and thrive" by promoting "a predictable and stable rule-based international system".
It began with 16 members but has since grown to be a "distinct constituency of small states" with 105 members, all having a population of no more than 10 million. Its two founding principles are inclusivity and informality; it has no formal structure, decision-making authority or common negotiating positions.
Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam said the expansion of FOSS underscored the viability of the "small-state model"; in fact, FOSS has become a go-to platform in the UN for those canvassing support. FOSS' role, he added, is to play thought leadership, catalyse ideas to contribute in global affairs, multilateral diplomacy, international security and development issues.
Out of FOSS has grown another similar strategy in 2009 called the Global Governance Group, or 3G, of small and medium-sized states.
This new initiative, also led by Singapore, is to give voice to the many states unrepresented in the Group of 20 (G20) - a new but still exclusive force in international relations. In engaging it, the 3G keeps the G20 process linked to the UN multilateral framework.
The common thread in all these is the desire to strengthen the UN as the anchor of a stable, rule-based international system, in which the world body plays its role in international crisis prevention and settlement of disputes.
That is why small states are calling for what Mr Shanmugam referred to as "an improvement in the Security Council's working methods" - a euphemism for a reform of the veto system which the P5 enjoys exclusively and unfairly.
RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO VETO
Aside from sharing FOSS' mission, the S5 has its genesis in the concept of the responsibility not to veto (RN2V). This idea, in turn, could be traced to a 2001 report to the UN, which later gave rise to the principle of the responsibility to protect (R2P).
The 2001 report by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty called for a restraint on the veto power of the Security Council. The push for such a reform, at least 20 years in the making, led to the emergence of the idea of RN2V.
The core critique of the veto system is that it is draconian, opaque, and tends to be abused in the name of power politics. The US, for instance, has flexed its veto often, including in defence of Israel's interests at the expense of a long-term resolution of the Middle East conflict.
The need for a restraint on the veto this time has become more critical given the stalemate over Syria. There is no sign that the UN paralysis over the Syria question is being overcome. With the major powers in the Security Council locked in conflicting positions, the international community may well need the small states to break the stalemate.
Yang Razali Kassim is a Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, where he also contributes to the RSIS Centre for Non Traditional Security Studies.
10-25-2012, 05:32 AM #6654
First commercial vertical farm opens in Singapore
By Olivia Siong | Posted: 24 October 2012 2003 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singapore now has its first commercial vertical farm, which means more local options for vegetables.
The technique uses aluminium towers that are as tall as nine metres, and vegetables are grown in troughs at multiple levels.
The technique utilises space better -- an advantage for land-scarce Singapore.
Sky Greens farm first started working on the prototype in 2009, and has opened a 3.65-hectare farm in Lim Chu Kang.
It produces three types of vegetables which are currently available only at FairPrice Finest supermarkets.
They cost 10 to 20 cents more than vegetables from other sources.
Despite the higher prices, the greens have been flying off supermarket shelves.
Ms Ivy Lim, a customer, said: "(The price) is not a very big difference, it's just marginal... I think as compared to organic (produce), the price is very attractive."
"The response has been very good. Even before the official launch, the vegetables were sold out in the last few days," said Mr Tng Ah Yiam, managing director of group purchasing, merchandising and international trading at FairPrice.
"Actually, the store manager called me and said we need more vegetables. So I think it's a good sign that the consumer supports local vegetables."
But prices may drop as the farm ramps up supply.
The farm currently has 120 vertical towers, and hopes to increase the number to 300 by next year.
This will increase its current daily supply of vegetables from 0.5 tonnes to two tonnes by 2013.
"The challenge will be to get investors interested. This type of farm needs (relatively) higher capital," said Dr Ngiam Tong Tau, the chairman of Sky Greens. "This is a new system, so people need to be trained (and) we need to attract people to come here to work."
The farm's expansion is expected to cost some S$27 million.
Currently, about seven per cent of Singapore's vegetables are grown locally.
It is hoped with more innovative farming methods, it will help meet the target of 10 per cent in the future.
"We are always looking at ways to increase our sources of food supply and if we can produce some in Singapore, then that can go some way to meet local demand," said Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Trade and Industry.
Vegetables grown in multi-level troughs at Sky Greens farm. (Photo: Olivia Siong, Channel NewsAsia)
10-25-2012, 09:19 AM #6655
A Jewel like Venice
HDB'S Corporate Magazine • October 2012
In the 1970s, thick green vegetation and mangroves, relieved only by pig and poultry farms, defined the topography of rural Punggol in north-eastern Singapore. Except for the hum of cicadas and the mad crowing of the village cockerels, life was slow and quiet. Fast forward a few decades later, and the farms are no more. Modern facilities and high-rise housing developments have urbanised much of Punggol, one of the last few bastions of rusticity in Singapore to be ushered into the modern age.
However much one may lament over the disappearance of this rural backwater, the 21st Century town that it has become is something to be celebrated – not least because it boasts an international award-winning waterway that is well loved by its users and all who chance upon it.
Aspiring to create a modern eco-town in Punggol with a thriving community, population and environment, HDB’s dream for Punggol is encapsulated in this vision, ‘Green living by the waters’. The Punggol Waterway, curving gently through the heart of the town, plays a key role as a recreational, educational and water-based hub for sports and other activities. With the new generation of public housing to be developed along its banks, it will bring to life the promise of waterfront living for the residents.
Dawn breaks and the sky is illuminated by the orangey-yellow rays of the sun. One can enjoy this splendid view at the Sunrise Bridge situated at the eastern end of the Punggol Waterway. It is from this bridge that we begin our journey through the waterway and take in the changing sights and sounds as the day progresses.
The waterway was actually never planned for from the start. As Singapore had to increase its water catchment areas to cater to the country’s water needs, the Serangoon and Punggol rivers were dammed up to form two reservoirs. The plan was then to link these reservoirs through a pipeline to allow the transfer of water and to control their water levels. However the planners, architects and engineers of the various government agencies, including HDB which led the project, felt that they could do more than just create a functional conduit. They decided instead to carve out a waterbody that can serve a wider variety of purposes, stretching 4.2 km long, ranging between 10 to 85 m wide and 3 to 4 m deep, roughly the size of 22 football fields, and a water volume equivalent to approximately 200 Olympic sized pools. This is how the waterway was ‘born’.
Where Dawn Breaks
The Sunrise Bridge is found at the Sunrise Gateway at the eastern end of the waterway, where mangroves and floating wetlands hark back to the town’s rural roots. Overlooking the Serangoon Reservoir, this spot with its breathtaking views, is ideal for shutterbugs to capture the sunrise.
Our journey along the waterway continues along a tranquil stretch flanked by plants, shrubs and trees. Other than the occasional jogger or cyclist, the meditative quality of the place offers a welcome respite from the pressures of urban life.
Moving westward now, before long, we see the next bridge – the Wave Bridge. As its name signifies, the structure resembles and echoes the meandering shape of the waterway, and feels right in place. This is the second of five pedestrian bridges along the winding waterway that allows people to cross over to either side of the banks.
Past to Treasure
The waterway gently widens as we reach the halfway mark. While taking in the change in surroundings, the first thing to grab your attention is a unique bridge formed by a careful juxtaposition of stilts and posts. Reminding one of fishing ‘kelongs’ (wooden platforms), the bridge makes a poetic statement of Punggol’s seafaring past. This bridge is at this spot for a reason. Called the Kelong Bridge, it follows the alignment of the old Punggol Road and leads to a heritage trail where people can discover interesting historical facts about Punggol. There is even a look-out pavilion designed like a hut on stilts.
Abdillah is someone who is delighted that efforts have been made to retain a part of the past in the present. “When I was young I used to cycle here to my friend’s kampong (village). We enjoyed doing many activities like the jetty jump and swimming in the river,” he recalls. “Now I’m living in Punggol and to have these features that remind us of the old Punggol is a great idea, as it retains the identity of this place. My friend who came jogging with me along the waterway finds the Kelong Bridge nostalgic and brings him back to his childhood days.”
On top of making sure the new structures retain certain heritage elements, the planners have also made an effort to conserve bits of the past – an old bus stop just behind this area has been preserved exactly as it once stood along the dusty, windy old Punggol Road.
Leaving the Heritage Zone and the nostalgic memories behind, we head towards the Recreation Zone. We pass by the Adventure Bridge that resembles a wooden suspension bridge, and sets the mood for the fun atmosphere that is to come. Children are revelling in the sand-play and water-play areas. The doting fathers and mothers meanwhile strike up conversations with the other parents. And the topics run the gamut, from how to soothe colicky babies, to finding the best playschools and eats. It is with this community bonding and interaction in mind that such open play areas are created, so that the ‘kampong’ spirit is preserved alive in this new town.
“It is a great place for families to go down and relax after work or bond. My family loves to cycle frequently along the waterway at night as it is very near our home,” says Mdm Ng, a Punggol resident. Her ten-year-old daughter, Rui En, chirps in and says she enjoys playing at the water-play area and sand pit area with her classmates.
Just like Mdm Ng’s family, hundreds of other families had gathered at the waterway last October 23rd, to join in the opening festivities for the waterway. The blue skies were dotted with kites of different shapes and sizes, and many families were out in full force exploring the waterway’s facilities. Mdm Ng recalls that her family had just shifted into their new home a few months before the opening and were surprised to see the waterway brimming with people and activities. It was not all play, as people were able to learn a thing or two about Punggol’s history from the heritage panels along the Heartwave Wall. Spanning 280 m long, this wall with interspersed vertical greening, formed an apt backdrop for the festivities for the launch of the waterway that evening.
The setting sun casts a warm evening glow around us and we have reached the western end of Punggol Waterway where the Jewel Bridge stands. This would be the place to catch sunsets as it feels almost magical sitting inside the jewel shaped dome aglow with LED lights. A year ago, it was just as magical when fireworks lit up the sky above the Heartwave Wall after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared the waterway open. The launch ceremony was witnessed by more than 10,000 revellers, some of whom had come from the other parts of Singapore to witness the spectacular sight.
Many more have since been to the waterway and enjoyed the expanse of water and greenery, the sights and sounds, of people and nature, and birdcalls and bicycle screeches. Some affectionately call it Singapore’s Venice. Not just because of the placid flowing waters and the activities it supports, but also because of its magical effect on those who visit – like its namesake that rose from brackish waters to become one of the most celebrated cities of the world.
Keith Tan, another Punggol resident, invites you to visit. “We live nearby and we come here to walk and enjoy other recreational activities. It’s wonderful. Previously, there were not many developments around and the town was pretty quiet. Now, it’s good that they have this waterway. Other Singaporeans should come here and enjoy it too!”
Punggol Waterway awaits you – come, stroll its promenades, soak in some zen serenity, experience the past in the present, and also choose to groove along in any which way.
Revitalising Punggol Town
The Punggol 21 Plus plan to remake Punggol Town was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 2007 National Day Rally. This was part of HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) plans and represented an improved version of earlier plans for the town. The ROH plans aim to realise the vision for new estates, rejuvenate communities in middle-aged estates, and regenerate old estates. The vision of Punggol 21 Plus was to transform Punggol into 'A Waterfront Town of the 21st Century' and central to this idea was the Punggol Waterway. My Waterway@Punggol, as it has been named, is Singapore’s longest man-made waterway built at a cost of $225 million. Housing developments and communal spaces are situated next to the waterway to realise the vision of bringing waterfront living to Punggol residents.
The waterway has won many awards including recent ones such as ‘The Global Grand Winner’ for Planning Category, and ‘The Global Superior Achievement Award’ of the 2012 International Water Association Global Project Innovation Awards. It is notable that this is the first time that the Global Superior Achievement Award is conferred on an Asian country.
Dubbed the Venice of Singapore, the Punggol Waterway is actually a man-made engineering feat delighting nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike with its rich offerings of green tranquillity and meandering river flow.
Last edited by Loh; 10-25-2012 at 09:25 AM.
10-27-2012, 01:49 AM #6656
10-27-2012, 01:59 AM #6657
Back to this sensitive issue of ethnic origin. Funnily enough, I came across a BC posting in Singapore which says "all races welcomed' when advertising a session. I accept that the statement is made in good faith but rather surprised it has to be mentioned explicitly.
Does that imply that there are Singapore badminton groups who consciously segregate themselves on the basis on a person's background?
10-28-2012, 10:14 PM #6658
There may be groups of just close friends coming together for a social game of badminton, so "outsiders" may not be welcomed in a sense. There may groups who are serious in wanting to upgrade their game and restrict players to those who have the common objective and relevant standard to do so.
Some groups may consist of foreign workers who may not speak English well and feel awkward in the presence of those who do. But actually the integration should help them learn English better and the advertisement that you mentioned may be intended to help such foreign players to feel more comfortable in participating.
For Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who have studied in our public schools and gone through National (military) Service, ethnicity should not be an issue by now. Because the young men of various races in Singapore - Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and other minorities would have gone through the tough experience of training together and to help one another. Of course there will always be personal prejudices and it takes time and positive experience to eradicate this. But by and large, Singapore society is geared towards integration and racial harmony.
And if badminton becomes the common interest, it makes bonding and integration a much more happier activity.
10-29-2012, 04:37 AM #6659
It's spring time at Gardens by the Bay
Horticulturists tweak temperature to keep plants looking their best
Published on Oct 29, 2012
Ms Lim helps to ensure the plants in the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest continue to adapt to the controlled environments.-- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
A visitor snapping a picture of cacti at the succulent garden section of the Flower Dome. The structure and shape of cacti, as well as the intricate patterns on their bark, are more obvious during the non-flowering period. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
Red roses in full bloom in the Flower Dome (above). -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
By Goh Shi Ting
It is nearly winter back home, but instead of losing their flowers and leaves, the oyster plants are flowering in the Flower Dome conservatory at Gardens by the Bay.
Typically, the bluish-white flowers, also called Acanthus mollis, native to southern Europe and north Africa, bloom during the spring season. "It's a bit confusing for the plants because they are supposed to be in winter now but they are at their optimum growth," said Ms Lim Mei Leng, a manager of the conservatory operations.
She is one of eight horticulturists who have the mammoth task of ensuring the non-tropical plants in the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories continue to adapt to their controlled environments. The former mimics the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions, while the latter replicates the high altitudes of tropical regions.
The two conservatories - which together house more than 200,000 plants of 80 species - are the highlights of Gardens by the Bay South, having helped to attract 1.7 million visitors since the Gardens opened in late June.
10-29-2012, 04:55 AM #6660
Kai Kai and Jia Jia to make public debut on Nov 29
Published on Oct 29, 2012
Giant panda Kai Kai munches on bamboo at the new home in the Giant Panda Forest. -- PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
The River Safari's giant panda exhibit will open to the public on Nov 29. -- PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
By Ng Kailing
Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia will make their debut at the end of next month.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore announced on Monday that the River Safari's Giant Panda Forest will open on Nov 29.
To see the pandas, visitors need to purchase a Singapore Zoo ticket at $20 per adult and top up $5.
For children from three to 12 years old, zoo tickets cost $13 each with a top up fee of $3.
10-29-2012, 09:49 PM #6661
Shrinking talent pool forces SBA to blood newbies
ASIAONE NEWS SPORTS
By May Chen
The Straits Times
Friday, Oct 26, 2012
The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) is fielding its youngest-ever team at the World Junior Championships this week - but not by choice.
A dearth of talent in the 17 to 18-year-old age range has meant that the Republic's team have an average age of just 16 for the Under-19 event. It is held in Chiba, Japan this year.
This is an anomaly, considering most countries - including powerhouses like China, South Korea and Japan - usually field older and more experienced shuttlers for the world's top tournament for juniors.
Said SBA chief executive officer Bobby Lee: "If you compare us with regional countries, we are very far behind in this age group and it's a gap that we acknowledge."
Out of the 27 players on the National Intermediate Squad (NIS) - the national youth set-up - only six are aged 17-18.
He conceded that there are currently no players in NIS who can immediately succeed national players like Olympians Derek Wong and Gu Juan.
This "missing generation" is also a worrying problem that could spell trouble for the sport in years to come.
"If we are unable to stretch the current national players' careers, and if the younger ones can't catch up fast enough, you'll find that there will be three to four years of weakness for Singapore badminton. It does worry us," said Lee.
For the boys, the root of the issue goes back to national service, while girls tend to drop out once tertiary education comes into the picture.
Even the previous quick-fix of recruiting foreign sports talent has proven tricky in recent years, added Lee. Shuttlers from countries like Indonesia and Thailand - who had supplemented the local talent pool for some time - are now less keen to make the switch because of better conditions in their home countries. Athletes also have to meet criteria such as educational qualifications before they can be accepted.
But the problem is not a new one for Singapore, says former national shuttler Ronald Susilo. The problem of attrition is also compounded by the fact that local youth shuttlers struggle to make the step-up to the world stage.
Said the 2004 Olympics men's singles quarter-finalist: "They find that they are unable to break the barrier between being a youth shuttler and the elite level, and it might be disappointing.
"But players shouldn't give up even if they don't do well at the junior level. Don't stop because you're tired. Stop because you're done," added the former world No. 6, citing himself as an example of a late bloomer whose success came late.
The SBA set up the NIS in May last year in the hope of grooming more quality shuttlers at a younger age, so that the shuttlers could be convinced to stay in the sport through their own results and progress.
Said Lee: "The NIS is meant to serve as a pipeline for the national team, but we'll need another three years or so to see the results - whether they are on a par with neighbouring countries, and if they will still continue to play, should they be invited to join the national team.
"Based on tournaments they've taken part in so far, the team are progressing well, but the world juniors will be another test for them."
NIS head coach Liu Qingdong admits his charges will be at a disadvantage on court in Chiba, but throwing them in the deep end now will benefit them in future.
He said: "It's also a kind of preparation for them. They will learn not to be intimidated when they play the big guns later in their career."
Not that fear is something on the minds of the players, who are relishing competing in their most important tournament so far.
Said Yeo Jia Min, the youngest in the team at just 13: "If there is any pressure at all, it'll be on my opponent."
Said team captain Sean Lee: "There is nothing to lose and nothing to be scared about. I've trained hard for this, I'm excited about it and I want to go and do my best."
The tournament begins tomorrow and ends on Nov 3.
10-30-2012, 03:18 AM #6662
Record $3,214 psf for Sentosa Cove bungalow
Published on Oct 30, 2012
This bungalow at Sentosa Cove is believed to have fetched a record price in terms of square footage. -- PHOTO: SRI5000
A Sentosa Cove bungalow has been sold for $32.5 million - a record price in terms of square footage, according to reports. The price of the Ocean Drive home worked out to $3,214 psf on a land area of 10,111 sq ft.
The previous record was set in 2010 for a $28.2 million property a few doors away that fetched $2,989 psf on a land area of 9,436 sq ft, said The Business Times.
Homes in Sentosa Cove, which is the only area where foreigners can buy landed property, have a 99-year leasehold tenure. The landed segment recorded bullish prices in the third quarter.
While overall residential prices rose 0.6 per cent, those for landed property gained 1.1 per cent, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data showed yesterday.
10-30-2012, 03:28 AM #6663
Scientists in Singapore find cause of skin disorder
]ncommon gene mutation identified; work published in journal this month
Published on Oct 30, 2012
By Feng Zengkun
Scientists in Singapore have helped to identify an uncommon gene mutation which causes thick patches of skin to appear on the palms and soles of patients.
As the patients age, more of these very thick and rough skin patches appear on their hands and feet, and the patches often join to form larger lesions. In severe cases, the lesions can be painful and debilitating.
The disease, called punctate palmoplantar keratoderma (punctate PPK), is related to the more severe skin disorder suffered by Indonesian "Tree Man" Dede Koswara, who has areas of skin resembling tree bark.
There is no cure for punctate PPK, although some patients have been successfully treated with a drug called acitretin.
10-30-2012, 03:33 AM #6664
Degree courses in physio, occupational therapy in S'pore
Published on Oct 29, 2012
Students and staff from Singapore Institute of Technology's inagural Physiotherapy degree course demonstrates a mock teaching seassion during a media tour before the signing of memoradum between Singapore Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin for their first degrees in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy at Nanyang Polytechnic on Oct 29, 2012. (From left: Azeni Ajum, 44, technical officer (seated). Sharlene Teo, 23, Chan Jing Cheng, 26 (in red) and Ivan Lee, 28). -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LUI
By Pearl Lee
FOR the first time, full-time degree courses in physiotherapy and occupational therapy are being offered in Singapore, in a tripartite partnership of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).
Started in September, the two one-year degree courses offered to diploma holders are conducted at NYP, the only local institution offering diploma courses in physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Previously, students who had completed their diploma courses in these fields and wanted to further their studies would have to go abroad.
The launch of the two degree programmes comes at a time when the healthcare sector is facing a shortage in allied health professions, including physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
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