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Thread: Singapore Also Can
12-05-2009, 03:39 AM #664
Changes to BMT
The Straists Times
Dec 4, 2009
By Jermyn Chow
BASIC military training, that rite of passage for Singapore men, is being tweaked further to ensure that more 18-year-olds emerge from it fit to fight.
While it will remain the nine-week course for seven in 10 recruits, the changes will be drastic for males who are obese.
This is when a male who is 1.65m tall weighs about 85kg, or has a body mass index of more than 27. Most of these men will have their course run for 19 instead of 15 weeks.
A smaller number who tip the scales with a body mass index above 35 will also have 19 weeks of training, down from the current 26 weeks.
In all, about 10 per cent of Singapore's 20,000 or so enlistees are classified as obese. While 85 per cent of them graduate from the course combat-fit, the Singapore Armed Forces thinks it can do better.
Another group who will be affected by changes to BMT are those with medical conditions, which constrain them from certain types of activity such as long route marches. Their BMT will go up from seven to nine weeks; this group forms about six per cent of the cohort.
12-05-2009, 12:16 PM #665
..need to pick up and play badminton..
12-06-2009, 07:54 AM #666
Komodo dragon gives birth
The Straits Times
Dec 6, 2009
After trying for 34 years, the Singapore Zoo has succeeded in breeding the endangered species which hails from Indonesia
By Shefali Rekhi
IT WAS a marriage made in Singapore.
He was a bit of a clumsy, hot-headed fellow but she, ever demure, won his heart. She even got him to do a Bollywood-style mating dance.
Now, Bima and Yoko have an offspring - the Singapore Zoo's first newborn Komodo dragon.
The Sunday Times visited the yet-unnamed baby, which - snug in its keeper's tender embrace - posed quietly for the cameras.
'It's as precious as the Mona Lisa for us,' said Mr Biswajit Guha, assistant director (zoology) at the zoo. He said that for the past 34 years, the zoo had been trying to breed the reptile, which is the world's largest living lizard species.
Komodo dragons, found only in remote Indonesian islands, are descended from dinosaurs. This endangered species - with fewer than 3,000 in the wild - has a life span of 20 to 30 years.
Komodo dragons, found only in remote Indonesian islands, are descended from dinosaurs. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
12-06-2009, 08:51 AM #667
The Komodo Dragon is a species of lizard that inhabits the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft) and weighing around 70 kilograms (150 lb). Source: Wikipedia
Killer Komodo dragon – its venom is worse than its bite
University of Melbourne venom expert Dr Bryan Fry and a team of international experts have discovered that the Komodo dragon produces venom which kills its prey, debunking the commonly held belief that its bacteria-ridden mouth causes its prey to die.
Published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, this study shows that Komodo dragons bring down their prey by excreting venom from their mouths.
The bacteria theory has always been “a complete myth – scientific voodoo”, according to Dr Fry.
“If you look at the jaw of a Komodo dragon, two bulges – the venom glands – are visible. They secrete venom into the wounds made when the dragons attack.
“Their primary weapons are huge, serrated, dagger-like teeth which inflict horrible wounds. The dragons then secrete venom which acts as an anti-coagulant to keep the prey bleeding, and also widens the blood vessels so the prey bleeds out faster.”
Dr Fry’s team found that the Komodo dragon has the most complex venom glands of any reptile, and was found to be a close relative of the giant goannas that once roamed Australia, known as Megalania. Megalania grew up to seven metres in length and preyed on the megafauna – animals which weighed up to 400 kilograms.
As if dagger-like teeth and newly-discovered venom sacs weren’t enough, komodo dragons are also extremely fast: “They can run up a hill faster than I can run down a hill,” Dr Fry explained. “They’re absolute machines.”
Dr Fry travelled around the world “with Komodo dragon heads tucked under my arm” to use sophisticated imaging equipment at international universities to thoroughly examine the physical structure of the animals, and tested the venom extracted from a terminally-ill dragon in Singapore.
Komodo dragons are native to the islands of Indonesia (thankfully not Australia), with adult males weighing over 100kg, and exceed three metres in length.
Shocking secret of Komodo dragon's bite unlocked by scientists
By Leigh Dayton
May 19, 2009 12:00AM
THE huge carnivorous Komodo dragon isn't just the largest living lizard, it also packs the biggest poisonous punch of any creature.
What's more, new research shows that the mega-meat eater probably inherited its "biggest" and "most venomous" mantle from its extinct Australian ancestor, the 7m-long dragon, Megalania, The Australian reports.
Adult male Komodo dragons weigh in at about 100kg and exceed 3m in length. A typical meal weighs 30-40kg.
Deer are common prey. While humans seldom fall victim to Komodo dragons, earlier this year a dragon stalked a poacher for several days and then, with a companion, waited for the man, caught, killed and ate him..
"They're the cleverest of all lizards. They're very smart," said Melbourne University venom researcher Bryan Fry, head of the international team that reports on the lizard's weaponry today in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The biggest surprise of all is that until now researchers didn't even know the Komodo Dragon - a monitor lizard in a group called the Varanidae - was poisonous.
"Nobody looked," Dr Fry said.
That's because Komodo dragons lack the grooved-tooth venom delivery system found in other varanids.
Instead, Dr Fry's team found the lizard uses sharp, serrated teeth to open gaping wounds in its prey into which the venom easily flows.
The wounds naturally bleed profusely while compounds in the venom increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure, inducing shock in the victim.
The findings debunk a common belief the dragon's prey is killed by deadly bacteria in rotting food stuck in its mouth.
"Their teeth are shiny white and their gums pink.
"They are remarkably clean animals," said Dr Fry, who worked with captive Komodo dragon's in Singapore.
In the wild, Komodo dragons are highly endangered, living only on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca and Flores.
Dr Fry's colleague, biomechanist Stephen Wroe from the University of NSW, compared the anatomies of the dragon and the Megalania, which existed until roughly 40,000 years ago.
He concluded that both species wielded lightweight but sophisticated skull and tooth adaptations, which allowed them to kill large animals through rapid blood loss.
"Australia's Megalania was probably the largest venomous animal that ever lived," he said
Komodo Dragon Profile
Komodo dragons have thrived in the harsh climate of Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands for millions of years, although amazingly, their existence was unknown to humans until about 100 years ago.
Reaching 10 feet (3 meters) in length and more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms), Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on Earth. They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails.
As the dominant predators on the handful of islands they inhabit, they will eat almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs, smaller dragons, and even large water buffalo and humans. When hunting, Komodo dragons rely on camouflage and patience, lying in wait for passing prey. When a victim ambles by, the dragon springs, using its powerful legs, sharp claws and serrated, shark-like teeth to eviscerate its prey.
The older version of Komodo's jaw
Animals that escape the jaws of a Komodo will only feel lucky briefly. [I]Dragon saliva teems with over 50 strains of bacteria, and within 24 hours, the stricken creature usually dies of blood poisoning. Dragons calmly follow an escapee for miles as the bacteria takes effect, using their keen sense of smell to hone in on the corpse.[/I] A dragon can eat a whopping 80 percent of its body weight in a single feeding.
There is a stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons on the islands of Komodo, Gila Motang, Rinca, and Flores. However, a dearth of egg-laying females, poaching, human encroachment, and natural disasters has driven the species to endangered status.
Scan of Komodo Dragon Jaw – picture from Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
12-06-2009, 09:07 AM #668
Double degree partnership
The Straits Times
Dec 6, 2009
By Melissa Sim
THE Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) at the University of Tokyo will jointly offer a double degree from next July.
This is the LKY School's first tie up with an Asia university, and GraSPP's first ever double degree partnership with any institution since it was founded in 1877.
Said the Dean of the LKY School of Public Policy Kishore Mahbubani: 'It is a huge honour to be picked as their first partner. They said they had to find a partner with a name brand that was blue chip, and the Lee Kuan Yew name carries a lot of weight.'
The schools had been in talks for the past year, and had signed the memorandum of understanding last month.
This will be the LKY school's fifth double degree partnership, after tying up with the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, London School of Economics, Sciences Po in Paris and HEC, University of Geneva.
The programmes allow students to spend a year in the partner university, and finally graduate with a Masters in Public Policy from the LKY School and a comparable graduate degree from the partner institution.
12-06-2009, 08:25 PM #669
SEA Games: Singapore House stands out in Vientiane
04 December 2009 2243 hrs
By Tan Yo-Hinn
SINGAPORE: Earlier this week, Singapore Sports Council (SSC) sports science director John Limna was having breakfast on the balcony of "Singapore House" when he spotted one of the football teams competing in the SEA Games in Vientiane, Laos, out for a morning run.
The whole squad stopped dead in their tracks to gawk at the property he was in.
Team Singapore Recovery Centre, or "Singapore House" as it has become affectionately known, is a property rented by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC).
It is a one-stop sports medicine and sports science centre set up to help Singapore's athletes optimise their performance at the SEA Games, which officially runs from Dec 9 to Dec 18.
The players from the national under-23 football side and the waterpolo boys, who both arrived in Vientiane earlier this week, are already benefiting from the facility.
The two teams begin their campaigns tomorrow - both play Indonesia - four days before the opening ceremony.
It is believed the Republic is the only country at the SEA Games to have a recovery centre for athletes.
A six-strong sports science team from the SSC arrived in Vientiane last week to set up "Singapore House".
Over 200 Singapore athletes from 19 sports are expected to use the facility when the Games officially kicks off.
"They have all sorts of things there like hydropools and hydration packs, which is very helpful," said Singapore football team manager Eugene Loo.
National waterpolo vice-captain Yip Ren Kai said: "Having the recovery centre, with its hot and cold baths and specially prepared drinks for the athletes, helps a lot. We have our meals there because our food is specially prepared."
Both teams are settling well into their new surroundings, including the 4,000-bed Games Village.
"The people here have been really helpful in meeting our needs, like fixing the drainage at the Games Village. Going outside at night is difficult, though, as there are hardly any street lamps. But overall, we're very pleased," said Loo.
The waterpolo team, chasing a 23rd successive gold medal, trained at the competition pool at the Main Sports Complex on Thursday.
"All our basic needs are taken care of, and that's all we need to concentrate on our mission to claim the gold medal," said team manager Wong Kok Piew.
Members of the Singapore national under-23 football team relaxing at the Team Singapore Recovery Centre at the SEA Games Village in Vientiane, Laos.
12-06-2009, 10:01 PM #670
SEA Games: Coaches hungry for Singapore football's first gold medal
Channel News Asia
04 December 2009
SINGAPORE: One fulfilled a boyhood dream when he went as far out as Europe to play professional football, the other collected multiple Malaysia Cup winners' medals en route to earning the tag of "Captain Marvel".
Both V Sundramoorthy and Tambiah Pathmanathan enjoyed long and glittering professional football careers and became heroes to so many Singaporeans. But they never struck gold at the SEA Games.
On Saturday, the two former stalwarts begin a quest to fulfill that dream and end Singapore's gold-medal jinx in football at the Games, this time from the sidelines.
Pathmanathan is the head coach of the under-23 team and Sundram is the assistant coach, and their boys open their Group B campaign against Indonesia tomorrow at the National Stadium in Vientiane, Laos.
Speaking to MediaCorp on Thursday, Pathmanathan said: "As a player, coach or even as a supporter of the Singapore team, we will keep dreaming of winning the SEA games gold medal until we achieve it."
In 25 editions of the Games, Singapore have won three silvers and four bronze medals in football. Pathmanathan, a veteran of six Games, has collected two silvers and a bronze while Sundram, who played in five tourneys between 1983 and 1993, has three silvers and one bronze to his name.
The latest Singapore team assembled for a SEA Games mission is the youngest the Republic have fielded for the tournament and Sundram, 44, feels belief will be crucial for the 20-strong squad, whose average age is only 19.8 years.
"Everything is possible in football, and I say this to the boys every day," he said. "Out on the pitch, it's eleven versus eleven, and their performance on the day will determine how things turn out."
"At this age, players are still lacking composure and maturity," he said. "We can definitely surprise everyone, but the boys need to believe in themselves."
What Pathmanathan, 53, remembers most of his time with the national team at the SEA Games - the tournament became an under-23 event in 2001 - was the camaraderie within the squad.
"The Games Villages back then had a similar atmosphere to this one. We were always together, laughing and joking. Of course, we didn't have mobile phones and gaming consoles then," he said. "It was friendly everywhere, except on the pitch."
Sundram's most vivid memory of the Games was his first one in 1983, when Singapore were hosts. He was 17 then, and the Lions' opening game was against a star-studded Malaysia side that included Santokh Singh, Soh Chin Aun and the legendary Mokhtar Dahari.
Singapore rocked the nation with a 2-1 win, and Sundram announced his arrival on the big stage with the winner.
"Fandi (Ahmad) won the ball in the box, the loose ball fell to me and I neatly placed it into goal," he reminisced. "For a rookie, like I was then, it was really special."
The Lions reached the final, but fell to Thailand 2-1 in front of 60,000 at the National Stadium.
There will be no shin-pads or knee-high socks for "The Dazzler" and "Captain Marvel" tomorrow, they will be barking out instructions and mulling tactical changes as they watch intently from the bench.
But the dream is still the same.
"As much as this team is young, with a lot of first-timers, we still dream of gold," said Pathmanathan.
Singapore's quest for football gold kicks off Saturday against Indonesia and Channel 5 will broadcast the game "live" from 4pm.
12-06-2009, 10:16 PM #671
25th SEA GAMES: Team S'pore leaves for Laos
he Straits Times
Dec 5, 2009
By Lin Xinyi
AS SINGAPORE'S main contingent left for the South-east Asia Games on Saturday morning, a prominent name was missing.
Shuttler Kendrick Lee, who won a silver in the men's singles at the last edition in 2007, did not travel to Laos due to studies.
Singapore Badminton Association chief executive Edwin Pang said of the SIM University management studies first-year student: 'Our technical team found that his full-time studies had taken a toll on his form and fitness, and decided to grant his request to focus on his exams.'
There are also rumours that Ronald Susilo might not feature despite making the trip. But Susilo, who fell ill a few week ago, said: 'I still have five days of training before competition starts.
'As one of the more experienced members, I'm hoping that I can contribute.'
The shuttlers' job did not get any easier after an unfavourable team event re-draw, after organisers employed the wrong seeding system.
DPM Teo Chee Hean chats with national badminton player, Ronald Susilo, at a sending off ceremony held for part of the Singapore Team leaving for the SEA Games in Laos. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
12-07-2009, 11:08 AM #672
SEA Games: Singapore's water polo team secures first gold medal
07 December 2009 1707 hrs
By Patwant Singh,
VIENTIANE : Singapore has won its first gold medal at the Laos SEA Games, which is also the first medal given out at the Games.
The Republic's water polo team triumphed 8-5 against Thailand in their last match of the round-robin competition.
Victory against the Thais ensured top spot for Singapore, who had earlier beaten Indonesia and the Philippines.
This is Singapore's record 23rd successive gold medal in the sport at the SEA Games.
Naturally jubilant with their perfect record, Singapore is now aiming higher.
Luo Nan, captain, Singapore Water Polo Team, said: "This team only changed three players from the last SEA Games, so everyone knows each other very well.
"We hope we can go to the Asian Games next year. So (on returning) to Singapore, we can start training..."
12-07-2009, 08:53 PM #673
AT THE GAMES: Champions Again
The Straits Times
Dec 8, 2009
Singapore fight back after early setback to clinch 23rd straight water polo title
By Jonathan Wong
VIENTIANE - IN THE end, it did not matter if they had trailed Thailand. For the gold medal was as good as hanging around their necks.
But try telling that to the Singapore water polo team after their hard fought 8-5 comeback win on Monday.
Because, even though the nation's 23rd straight gold medal and the first of the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Laos was in the bag, they had another record to preserve - their unbeaten run in the competition since 1965.
An insipid first-half performance saw them trailing 2-3 to the Thais in their final game of the four-team round-robin tournament. It was also the first time they had trailed in the tournament, having comfortably beaten Indonesia and the Philippines 14-5 and 8-1 respectively.
What followed was a rollicking by coach Lee Sai Meng at the break as he reminded his players of their proud heritage.
Said centre-back Yip Ren Kai, who again put up a dominating display in defence: 'At that point it wasn't about the gold medal any more. It was about pride and protecting Singapore's legacy.'
Singapore captain Luo Nan is pumped up after scoring against Thailand. His goal helped the Republic overcome an insipid first-half display in their final round-robin match.-- ST PHOTOS: LIM SIN THAI
12-07-2009, 09:08 PM #674
Mice industry set to roar next year
The Straits Times
Dec 8, 2009
Opening of IRs, signing of 10 major shows so far feed players' optimism
By Tessa Wong
THINGS are looking up for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) industry, with 10 major shows attracting more than 5,000 foreign delegates each signed for next year - twice as many as there were this year.
Together with the two integrated resorts' plans to host more than 60 events in the next few years - a fifth of them new to Singapore - they are painting a rosier picture for business tourism.
Most of the shows are returning annual or biennial events, such as the Singapore Airshow in February.
The mega show, which is Asia's largest aerospace and defence event, is expected to pull in about 40,000 trade visitors next year, of which about 13,500 will be international visitors.
Another show making its return is Food and Hotel Asia, which will attract 21,000 visitors.
But on the list is also one new event: The Youth Olympic Games, which is expected to draw more than 5,000 athletes and officials, 1,200 media representatives and 20,000 volunteers.
EVENTS next year that are expected to attract more than 5,000 foreign delegates each:
1. Singapore Airshow (February)
2. International Furniture Fair Singapore, held in conjunction with the 27th Asean Furniture Show (March)
3. Food and Hotel Asia (April)
4. CommunicAsia (June)
5. BroadcastAsia (June)
6. Youth Olympic Games (August)
7. ITB Asia (October)
8. Ufi Congress (November)
9. Anime Festival Asia (November)
10. 18th International Oil and Gas Industry Exhibition and Conference (Osea) (November)
12-07-2009, 10:12 PM #675
More hype over Chingay Parade next year
The Straits Times
Dec 5, 2009
By Frankie Chee
IT SHOULD be easier to get tickets to catch the Chingay Parade at a new bigger venue next year, but you need to be fast.
Some 36,000 tickets are available to access the 90 minutes of parade fun at the Pit Building, home of the Formula One night race, on Feb 19 and 20.
But 70 per cent of the tickets have already been sold.
This year's event in the City Hall area had only 16,600 tickets on tap over two nights.
The new location also allows more than 40,000 people to catch the parade for free, at one portion of the parade route.
There's also a lot more to gawk at, at the 38th edition of the Parade organised by the People's Association.
Performers dancing at the Chingay 2009 rehearsal. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
12-07-2009, 10:52 PM #676
Global companies wanted
The Straits Times
Dec 6, 2009
By Robin Chan
THE Economic Development Board's new chairman has a message for global companies: make Singapore your home.
Mr Leo Yip hopes that companies from around the world will not put just an Asian office and a factory here but the whole works: international head offices, innovation centres and corporate universities.
Giving his first interview since assuming the chairmanship in July, 45-year-old Mr Yip spoke enthusiastically for nearly two hours on a range of issues, including developing new sectors for the economy like clean energy, digital media and lifestyle.
But what he is most excited about is honing - 'moving from the broad concept to the nuts and bolts' - the EDB's 'host-to-home' strategy of making Singapore a long-term base for business, innovation and talent. This concept was revealed in April this year amid Singapore's deepest recession, after the EDB and former chairman Lim Siong Guan met with its international advisory council of business leaders.
Over the past five months Mr Yip has been working to translate this idea into concrete proposals to companies. And he believes there is no better time to put this into action as there are dynamic flows shaping the new global economic landscape.
Mr Yip said one trend is that global business and the global economy are becoming increasingly Asian, with Asia continuing to take a larger part of the world's total trade, he explained, not just because of China and India, but emerging economies like Vietnam and Indonesia as well.
S'pore drawing more Asian firms to set up global base
The Business Times
Mon, Dec 07, 2009
By Teh Shi Ning
(SINGAPORE) Economic Development Board (EDB) chairman Leo Yip has set his sights on attracting more Asian companies to use Singapore as a base to go global.
Traditionally, EDB's focus has been to draw investment from multinationals based in the G3 economies, and this will continue. But Mr Yip now also sees much potential for Asian enterprises to add diversity and strength to Singapore's corporate landscape.
Many Asian businesses, especially in high-growth China and India, have reached a size where they now aspire to global presence. And Singapore is in an 'interesting and valuable position to take advantage of this', Mr Yip said in a recent interview.
Chinese companies like sportswear giant Li-Ning and miniature acoustic components maker AAC both set up regional or international headquarters here this year, while the chief executive of a top Indian conglomerate told him recently that Singapore could help it 'build a global brand'. There are over 7,000 MNCs in Singapore at the moment; several thousand are from India and China.
Asian enterprises see Singapore as a springboard not just to Western markets, but high-growth ones in Asia too. 'It is quite interesting that Chinese and Japanese companies have been talking to us about how to reach India's market, while Indian companies ask about how we can help them enter North-east Asia,' said Mr Yip.
Other than access to a global and regional business network, Singapore also offers these companies the opportunity to hire international talent, says Mr Yip. 'If we can keep offering such value, we could see more of these up and coming Asian companies call Singapore home. And these could well be in the Fortune 500 in 10 to 20 years,' he says.
Of course, there are competing Asian cities, similarly global in outlook, connectivity and international talent, and over which Singapore needs to maintain a competitive edge, he says. One way is to stretch 'thought-leadership' in areas where Singapore already has a lead - such as the marine industry's offshore oil-rig business and aerospace's maintenance, repair and overhaul services. Providing a suitable environment for test-bedding innovations and developing urban solutions is another strength, Mr Yip says. A wider range of lifestyle offerings - arts, sports, fashion - could also boost Singapore's attractiveness and liveability. These are part of a fledgling lifestyle sector EDB hopes to grow, alongside other sectors like interactive digital media and clean technology.
EDB's 'relentless search for new opportunities and the next big thing' is really to 'ensure a more diversified and robust range of industry sectors,' and never mere fad-chasing, says Mr Yip. Opportunities arise from existing capabilities. Semiconductor expertise has helped grow the new solar manufacturing sector, while Singapore's own needs spawned solutions and competitive strength in the water industry, he says.
Existing growth sectors like petrochemicals, electronics, and biomedicals, of which Jurong Island, Biopolis and other business parks stand as 'physical icons of thriving industries', will need to be sustained too.
But sectoral growth is now framed by EDB's wider vision of transforming Singapore from 'host to home' in the eyes of foreign businesses, innovators and talent. It is a strategy introduced by Mr Yip's predecessor Lim Siong Guan, and one which he will press on with.
'The context in which Singapore has to forge our future economic competitiveness is different from five years ago, or even two years ago,' Mr Yip says. EDB will now broaden its scope and depth of engagement and collaboration with companies abroad. This strategy does not put an end to drawing in specific plant or R&D centre investments. Rather, it means asking how Singapore can aid these companies' pan-Asian or global plans in the longer-term.
Mr Leo Yip hopes that companies from around the world will not put just an Asian office and a factory here but the whole works: international head offices, innovation centres and corporate universities. -- PHOTO: AP
12-07-2009, 11:28 PM #677
Disabled shine in Charity show
The Straits Times
Dec 8, 2009
More than $3 million was raised for the Society for the Physically Disabled
Performers from the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) teamed up with celebrities in the three-hour-long SPD Charity Show 2009 and moved viewers to donate generously.
The show, held at Caldecott Broadcast Centre and shown on Channel U on Sunday night, raised more than $3.07 million, exceeding the initial target of $2.8 million.
But the society's overall fund-raising target this year is $4.6 million. Funds support its various programmes and services for more than 2,500 people with disabilities for the year.
The winning combination of performers proved to be blind South Korean music prodigy Yoo Ye Eun's piano performance. The six-year-old dueted with Taiwanese singer Rachel Liang on the song You Raised Me Up.
The duo drew more than $210,000, the highest amount raised during the show.
Another performance which drew more than $120,000 in donations was the segment where actress Zoe Tay wrote calligraphy with the help of a disabled boy to the accompaniment of Kym Ng's erhu playing.
12-08-2009, 12:46 AM #678
TCM a hit with trendy youth
Dec 8, 2009
By Dawn Tay
TRENDY and on top of the latest digital trends, project manager Jael Chng, 31, does not fit the bill of a typical traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) user.
Two months ago, in a bid to improve her general health, she started on a bitter concoction of Chinese herbs. Miss Chng said: 'It's like taking vitamin C. It's more holistic as it addresses the root causes of health problems. It also boosts the immune system and increases blood circulation.'
Another young believer in TCM is Miss Jenny Line, 26, who works in a publishing firm. She turned to a Chinese physician to speed up recovery from a biopsy for a lung infection last month, and to stave off other infections.
Younger consumers in their 20s and 30s, like Miss Chng and Miss Line, are buoying the local TCM market, which has seen a boom in recent years.
Four Singapore TCM manufacturers told my paper that they have seen up to a 20 per cent increase in their sales over the past year, with a corresponding increase in the number of young consumers.
While imports from TCM powerhouse China are still increasing, more are turning to made-in-Singapore products. The sales of Singapore products have increased by about 7 per cent each year since 2007.
Singapore products currently number around 3,000 types - a third of all TCM products approved for sale here. Increased consumer confidence in local products is the main reason behind the increase, manufacturers and retailers here said.
Consumer confidence in home-grown products has been boosted as local TCM products have been certified under internationally recognised standards of good quality control - Good Manufacturing Practice Standards - since 2007, they said.<'p>
At the same time, confidence levels in China-made products have dropped due to various food scares, they added. With the shift in the TCM consumer base, the types and forms of products that are popular have changed too.
Mr Ong Lye Hwee, sales and marketing manager of TCM manufacturer Science Arts, 52, said: 'In the past, popular products were those in demand among the elderly group, used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.'
Now, younger consumers are turning to TCM to control their cholesterol levels, for health supplements, to lose weight and improve their looks, industry players said. And gone are the days of slaving over a stove brewing herbs - TCM products now come in capsules and are bottled, so that it is easy for working adults to carry them around and consume them.
All these changes are the result of the push by TCM companies to get their products into the mainstream market. No longer confined to housing estates and Chinatown, TCM shops have moved into shopping malls, and TCM brands have been sponsoring sports teams and events.
Said Miss Nicole Hu, 26, a third-generation family owner of home-grown firm Poly Natural Health Process, which produces its own brands of bird's nest: 'There's more information out there about TCM than (there) was five years ago. People see TCM in stores, supermarkets and pharmacies. It's not something you just chuck on the bottom of the shelf any more.'
The buzz is not limited to consumables. Young professionals are buying other TCM products, like medicated oil, and turning to traditional treatments like acupuncture, which was adopted by the Singapore Sports Council in late 2007 to treat national athletes.
Marketing executive Andrew Kwa, 26, a faithful consumer of ginseng, summed up the sentiments of his peers: 'I believe in TCM as much as in vitamin C.' -- mypaper
[I][Miss Jael Chng, 31, turned to TCM two months ago to boost her health. (NEO XIAOBIN)/I]
12-08-2009, 08:55 PM #679
SEA Games: Singapore one point away from football semi-finals
08 December 2009 0653 hrs
By Shamir Osman,
VIENTAINE: After the hard-fought win over Myanmar on Monday, goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at was a bit of a star.
Five Laotian girls queued up to pose for pictures with the Singapore under-23 'keeper.
He made his first appearance in the 25th SEA Games on Monday, taking the place of the injured Jasper Chan, and put in a sturdy performance between the sticks as Singapore defeated the 2007 silver medallists Myanmar 2-1 to boost their semi-final hopes.
There were many heroes wearing the blue of Singapore out on the Chao Anouvong Stadium pitch on Monday.
There was central defender Safuwan Baharudin (14th minute) and midfield ace Hariss Harun (29th), who both found the net with headers, off corners sweetly delivered by the cultured left foot of Shaiful Esah.
From defenders Afiq Yunos and Safuwan to midfielders Isa Halim and Hariss, and goalkeeper Hyrulnizam, Singapore would have been hard pressed to pick their best player on the day.
"I'm glad that we won, but I'm most pleased about the way the boys rallied together as a team. This game brought out the best in the boys as far as fighting spirit and determination is concerned," said a beaming head coach, Terry Pathmanathan.
"The boys did more on the pitch than they usually do."
Now, along with the challenge of replacing the suspended Safuwan, who picked up his second yellow card of the tournament on Monday, Pathmanathan has the task of keeping the youngsters' feet firmly on the ground.
They need only a point against the hosts on Thursday to book their place in the last four, and the former Singapore star said: "The biggest task for me now is to make sure that the boys don't get complacent. I don't want them to be floating in the air. Laos will be a very difficult opponent."
When Singapore scored the two goals against Indonesia on Saturday - the match eventually finished 2-2 - the Singapore bench cleared with players piling on top of each other in unadulterated delight.
Monday though, the celebrations were a little more muted - raised hands and high-fives was as far as it went - all acutely aware that the job had yet to be completed.
Said captain Isa Halim: "The boys must learn that in international football, a two-goal lead is nothing. "We needed to concentrate and focus, and that was what we did out on the pitch."
Defender Safuwan, who has had a great tournament so far, knows there is still much to do. "We won, but I'm still very nervous ... because we still haven't qualified yet," said the Young Lions defender.
But skipper Isa is confident that his team can only get better. "We deserve this victory, we made mistakes in the Indonesia game, but we showed that we are learning from those mistakes," said the Home United midfielder.
The Singapore team are indeed learning, and they are also determined not to get carried away.
Said Hariss: "We did well and I hope this is redemption for throwing away the two-goal lead the way we did in the Indonesia game. Now, the task is to keep playing like this."
Singapore's Under-23 football squad.
Last edited by Loh; 12-08-2009 at 09:00 PM.
12-08-2009, 09:24 PM #680
Gen Z more rooted here
The Straits Times
Dec 8, 2009
SINGAPORE youths feel rooted to the country and do not desire to leave, a series of surveys by social networking website Habbo has found.
This could be because they enjoy material comforts and there are more opportunities in Singapore now than 15 years ago, said Mr Ken Lim, the Singapore country manager of Sulake, the company behind Habbo.
Conducted in July and August, each of the eight surveys had an average of 1,100 Singapore teenagers, who are registered Habbo users, participating. Furthermore, despite being well travelled, this 'Generation Z' (Gen Z) - made up of 12- to 18-year-olds - does not appear to have as strong a desire as their predecessors, Generation Y, to have a go at living abroad.
The survey questions were developed and the results analysed by Launch Group, a communications agency.
The findings showed that Gen Z's ultimate career goal is to enjoy their work, not earn a lot of money, become famous or climb the corporate ladder.
This is different from previous generations, and could be because Gen Z, having grown up in material comfort, see a career as something they should enjoy, instead of something necessary to ensure their livelihood, Mr Lim said.
Gen Z are also all about going green: About 95 per cent of respondents agree that it is their responsibility to take care of the environment, and over three quarters also care about whether their family is purchasing green products.
In fact, two in three recycle every chance they can. More than half have donated to carbon-offset programmes. 'I always use both sides of a piece of paper, and I'm trying to make a habit of not taking long showers,' said student Eileen Chua, 17.
Unsurprisingly, Gen Z say that, in choosing a job or employer, they wish to work for an organisation that is environmentally-conscious. Their main source of knowledge about the environment is the media, followed by school and teachers, parents, then discussions among friends, the survey found.
The survey findings indicate that, when it comes to toys, the Internet is also their favourite research tool, followed by getting information from TV programmes and making an actual visit to a shop.
Almost one in five Gen Z-ers spends up to $300 a month on toys, mostly doled out by their parents. The favoured toys are game consoles and gadgets, such as cellphones and music players.
'The good thing about researching online is (that) you get to hear a lot of opinions, from people who own a certain product,' said student Jonathan Leow, 16.
Seven in 10 Gen Z-ers polled spend at least three hours a day online. With tech-savvy Gen Z's preference for doing their own research on products of interest, social-media platforms - which enable users to share information - become a useful marketing tool for advertisers to tap on, said Mr Lim. -- mypaper
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