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  1. #681
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'porean tricks abductors

    The Straits Times
    Dec 9, 2009

    Businessman promised to pay captors but went to cops instead.

    KUALA LUMPUR - A PLUCKY Singaporean businessman kidnapped by a Malaysian gang was released when he promised to pay his captors more money. He then went to the cops instead and nine suspects, including a foreigner, aged between 19 and 47 were arrested.

    Among them are a student, a businessman and a civil servant.

    The victim, who is in his 40s, was kidnapped on Nov 13 and held captive for about three days in a hotel here.

    His captors demanded that he pay a ransom of US$1 million (S$1.39 mil) for his release but agreed to let him go after he managed to cough up US$200,000.

    They threatened to kidnap him again if he failed to pay the remaining US$800,000.

    However, after laying low for a week, the man lodged a report at the Dang Wangi police station, resulting in the arrest of nine suspects in several parts of the city over the weekend. Police are on the lookout for one more person, believed to be the one holding the ransom money. -- THE STAR

  2. #682
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Migrant workers move her to write book

    Sun, Dec 06, 2009
    The New Paper

    Writing competition winner, 11, inspired after seeing them in lorry drenched in the rain.

    THE rain poured down on a group of migrant workers, huddled together at the back of a lorry.

    Soaked to the skin and perched on the edge of the lorry, the workers were a pitiful sight.

    Anya Lee Kitt, 11, who was behind the lorry in her mother's car, felt a pang of sadness.

    She told The New Paper: "They were drenched, and here I was in a nice car with windows. I felt really sorry for them."

    The plight of migrant workers here moved Anya to write a book about one worker's life.

    Her heartfelt work won her the first prize in this year's Budding Writers programme, organised by publisher Marshall Cavendish.


    The annual programme aims to promote writing for children by children.

    Her book, The Crying Dream, tells the story of Jaidev, a construction worker from India, and the challenges he faces while eking out a living in Singapore.

    Describing her book's protagonist, Anya said: "He's a person who dreams a lot. He dreams of providing a good education for his daughter and of giving his family a good life."

    As part of her prize, her book will be sold at major bookshops around Singapore from this month.

    She also won a Pilot hamper, a trophy and a certificate. There were 615 entries in two categories, one for primary schools and the other for secondary schools.

    The two winners, one from each category, were chosen from 20 finalists.

    Anya, a Primary 5 student at Singapore Chinese Girls' School, spent hours reading up on foreign worker issues on the Internet as part of the research for her book.

    She said: "I learnt about their lifestyle and how some workers died in accidents. I also read about cases of maids being abused.

    "It's very sad - these workers risk their lives doing jobs that none of us wants to do."

    Reading up on foreign worker issues, she said, helped her better appreciate the things she has. She said: "Our lives are very different from theirs - many of us have houses, cars,and a good life.

    "Many of them don't even have proper transport, and they have to leave their loved ones to make a living in Singapore."

    She said she spent about two weeks during the June holidays working all by herself on the text and illustrations for her book before submitting her entry through her school.

    Mr Shane Armstrong, the senior group publisher and head of Marshall Cavendish Publishing Group, said Anya's book was a clear winner because it showed a deep understanding of current social issues.

    Fresh view

    He said: "She is not only good at her craft, but is also sensitive to and observant of the world around her.

    "Her story will cause readers to look afresh at themselves and society at large."

    Ms Bridget Lew, founder and president of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, wrote the preface for Anya's book.

    The organisers approached Ms Lew to write the preface.

    She said: "Young people sometimes tend to live in an "igloo" because they aren't exposed to such issues.

    Education must also include learning more about the world around us."

    Anya said she did not expect to win. Her mother, a homemaker, was the first to get the news.

    "My mother got a call from somebody who asked if I was at home. She initially panicked and thought I had played truant from school," Anya said with a laugh.
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  3. #683
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Lights, Camera, Action

    The Business Times
    Wed, Dec 02, 2009

    CONTENT is king in the media world. And as far as Singapore goes, the authorities are pulling out all the stops to keep the Republic firmly planted on the throne.

    While previous efforts under the Media 21 blueprint have borne fruit by creating a vibrant local media sector, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) is going one step further to retain Singapore's edge in the light of rapidly-changing industry dynamics. And at the heart of this is the new Singapore Media Fusion Plan (SMFP) which the MDA unveiled this year.

    The media sector, which includes television, film, publishing and interactive digital media, has contributed about $20 billion in revenue to the economy and created almost 58,000 jobs - and SMFP aims to improve on this scorecard.

    The advent of digital media and technology convergence, for example, has changed the way content is produced, distributed and consumed. Television programmes can now be streamed to TV sets, computers and even handphones. Newspapers are branching into the online space and supplementing print-only content with blogs and video in response to the new media challenge.

    Helped by productions such as Slumdog Millionaire, Asia has stepped into the spotlight and is fast becoming an influential media market. While ascension to the big league opens up opportunities for Singapore, competition for a share of the new pie will correspondingly intensify.

    'The Singapore Media Fusion Plan is our response to a vastly altered media landscape that is quickly unfolding,' said MDA chief executive Christopher Chia. 'Building on the Media 21 blueprint, SMFP supports the country's transition to a creative economy by laying the directions to transform Singapore into a trusted global capital for New Asia Media.'

    The plan was launched at a time when most organisations were ducking for cover amid the global financial maelstrom. While most companies reined in spending, MDA continued to offer funding and assistance to help tide local media companies through the rough patch. 'In fact, MDA intensified its calls for proposals in order to stimulate a strong pipeline of projects for the industry,' Dr Chia said. 'Efforts were also stepped up to provide opportunities to media professionals to upskill and retrain, while costs were reduced for businesses through revisions in MDA's licensing policies.

    'As we emerge from the economic crisis, more and more international media players are looking towards Asia for fresh content, capital and markets.

    'We see this as a chance to seek co-production projects as partners are more willing to look outside of their home markets for collaborations, particularly to share the cost of production and open up new markets. This is also a good time to identify and exploit opportunities that translate into longer-term advantages for Singapore.'

    SMFP picks up from where its predecessor left off, and continues to focus on developing the media sector into a bigger engine for propelling Singapore's economic growth.

    However, the new game-plan has a more ambitious objective of transforming the local economy by embedding digital media technologies within other sectors. For example, MDA's Media-in-Learning programme attempts to use computer games to improve the way lessons are taught in classrooms, as well as corporate learning environments in industries such as defence and healthcare.

    At the individual level, SMFP aims to create local content that Singaporeans can identify with and be proud of, while opening up new job prospects and career choices.

    'Funds of $230 million have been allocated to drive the initiatives under the (SMFP) plan, representing a 40 per cent increase from Media 21 and coming on top of $500 million already committed to interactive digital media research and development,' Dr Chia said.

    Specifically, these investments will be channelled towards three main strategies designed to open up the next chapter of growth for the local media sector.

    The first strategy is to provide the best and most conducive environment for media businesses operating here.

    Singapore is already synonymous with business-friendly practices, such as attractive corporate tax rates and access to skilled labour. Building on this strong foundation, MDA seeks to make Singapore the port of call for creating, financing, aggregating and distributing media content.

    In an industry ruled by bright sparks and creative ideas, having a strong intellectual property protection regime is central to any plan to grow the media sector. To this end, Singapore got another shot in the arm this year when the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) announced plans to establish the international WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Scheme for Film Related Disputes in collaboration with MDA.

    In addition, Singapore will play host to WIPO's first Arbitration and Media Centre in Asia for handling film and media disputes.

    'Recent polls by Bloomberg and the World Bank-IFC report have ranked Singapore as a top financial hub and the easiest place to do business, underscoring its conduciveness for media business exchange,' Dr Chia said.

    The second cog in the wheel of the SMFP plan seeks to spur research and development in the local media sector to exploit new and emerging market opportunities. One example of this is MDA's recent efforts to boost R&D in the interactive digital media space.

    'Since this concerted effort started in 2006, a promising IDM eco-system has emerged, fuelled by innovation and entrepreneurship at grassroots level and boosted by increasing links between industry and academic institutions undertaking cutting-edge work in next-generation media,' Dr Chia said.

    Freshly minted initiatives such as MDA's Future of Media programme seek to take innovation out of corporate silos into a group environment where companies can pool resources, collaborate and experiment by building like-minded networks.

    'With funding and facilitation support from MDA, it is envisaged that these partner networks in the areas of mobile, games, TV, books and virtual worlds will work together to jointly develop a network of user base, distribution networks and development platforms for industry members to leverage,' Dr Chia said.

    The third strategy under SMFP is to 'internationalise' local companies and promote the export of home-made content, applications and services. So far, Singapore has struck co-production treaties with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea and entered into 20 media cooperation agreements with countries such as Sweden, China, France, Italy and Brunei.

    'To strengthen Singapore's position as a regional media hub and international collaboration partner of choice, MDA is also working closely with other leading media industry players and broadcasters from China, Japan, Korea and other South-east Asian countries to forge strategic partnerships under our city twinning strategy,' Dr Chia said.

  4. #684
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SEA GAMES IN LAOS: Catch team S'pore in action

    The Straits Times
    Dec 9, 2009

    CATCH Team Singapore in action at the SEA Games in Laos or send the athletes your best wishes - you can do these on the official website, www.teamsingapore.com.sg for the duration of the competition which started on Tuesday.

    Apart from the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening and the closing on Dec 18, the public will be able to watch selected live telecast as well as highlights of their favourite Team Singapore athletes in action daily.

    The Singapore Sports Council broke new ground when it experimented with live webcast of the first Asian Youth Games on the official website earlier this year and has decided to do this for these Games as well, it said in its press release.

    'As the Internet and New Media become more popular; this platform of viewing sports has become more commonplace,' said Mr David Voth, Senior Director of Sports Marketing Group, SSC.

    'This is another way of bringing the athletes closer to home, as well as closer to their fans and supporters. Hence, no matter where you are, you will be able to watch all the exciting performances, cheer on and celebrate as Singapore takes home top honours at the 25th SEA Games!'

    Team Singapore launched its well-wishing campaign for the 25th SEA Games via the website, which also features a new dimension - Singaporeans can keep track of which part of Singapore the well-wishes are coming from, through the map on the website.

    The public will be able to watch selected live telecast as well as highlights of their favourite Team Singapore athletes in action daily. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
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  5. #685
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sing $ to gain strength

    The Straits Times
    Dec 9, 2009

    THE Singapore dollar is expected to strengthen to 1.350 against the US dollar by the end of next year, compared with a forecast 1.382 by the end of 2009, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday.

    Singapore's economy is forecast to grow 5.5 per cent next year, versus expectations of a 2.0 per cent contraction this year, as the trade-dependent city-state rebounds from its worst recession, the survey of 20 private economists said.

    Economists have lifted their expectations for growth and inflation next year, which may spur the central bank to tighten monetary policy at its next review meeting in April, by allowing its currency to gradually strengthen.

    The Singapore dollar, which the central bank uses as its main policy tool by managing its exchange rate against a secret trade-weighted basket of currencies, was trading at 1.3932 against the US dollar by (0400 GMT, 12pm Singapore time), after having gained more than 3 per cent this year.

    The survey showed the consumer price index rising 2.8 per cent in 2010, after a forecast 0.3 per cent increase this year, in line with the government's 2010 forecast of a rise in the consumer price index of between 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

    Gross domestic product was seen growing 4.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year ago, the survey said, versus actual 0.6 per cent annual growth in the third quarter when the economy returned to growth after three quarters of annual contractions. -- REUTERS


    The Singapore dollar was trading at 1.3932 against the US dollar by (0400 GMT, 12pm Singapore time), after having gained more than 3 per cent this year. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
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  6. #686
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 5.5% growth for next year

    The Straits Times
    Dec 9, 2009

    By Robin Chan

    SINGAPORE economy is expected to expand by 5.5 per cent next year, a survey of private sector economists has shown.

    This is one percentage point higher than their expectations in September. The forecast by the 20 private sector economists is better than the Government's official prediction for a 3 per cent to 5 per cent growth in 2010.

    The economists expect first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) to shoot up 9.6 per cent before moderating to 6 per cent in the second quarter.

    All the sectors of the economy are expected to grow next year with manufacturing predicted to see a healthy 6.3 per cent expansion while exports should recover to 10.1 per cent growth. Inflation expectations were also revised upwards to 2.8 per cent from 1.5 per cent.

    The survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore also sees drastically improved numbers for the last three months of this year.

    The economists revised their growth forecasts for the fourth quarter from 1.9 per cent to 4.7 per cent, based on much smaller contractions in manufacturing, financial services and hotels and restaurants. But they expect exports contracting by 12 per cent in the fourth quarter, worse than the 11.5 per cent they predicted three months ago.


    The survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore also sees drastically improved numbers for the last three months of this year. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE
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  7. #687
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Down Syndrome girl may be the 1st to pass PSLE

    The New Paper
    Sat, Dec 05, 2009

    By Ng Wan Ching

    SHE scored an aggregate of only 90 points for her Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE), but Chung Xin En's parents are extremely proud of her.

    Not only will Xin En be heading to secondary school, but her feat may well enter the record books.

    The 13-year-old girl is believed to be the first person with Down syndrome to pass the PSLE.

    A check with the Ministry of Education and the Down Syndrome Association (DSA) showed that no official records were kept of such children taking the examination.

    Dr Saba Iqbal, executive director of DSA, told The New Paper: "As far as we know, Xin En is the first child with Down syndrome who has passed the PSLE."

    The abilities of Down syndrome children can vary a lot. And Xin En's abilities are on the higher side of this range. They usually have an IQ of between 50 and 70. Normal IQ is between 90 and 110.

    The top PSLE student this year scored an aggregate of 290.The lowest score this year was 45.

    Xin En scored a C for both English and Chinese and achieved a grade 4 for foundation mathematics. She did not have to take the foundation science examination. She will study in the Normal (Technical) stream in secondary school.

    Dr Chung Keng Yeow, 46, an assistant professor at National University of Singapore, said of his daughter: "She's making good progress. She still has quite a long road to go. Clearing the PSLE is a good start.

    "We are happy that she can study alongside her peers and make friends with them."

    When Xin En was born, her parents were not prepared for a baby with Down syndrome. Madam Lai Yin Kew, 47, was 34 when she was pregnant with Xin En.

    Doctors recommend that pregnant women above 35 undergo the screening test for Down syndrome.

    Said Dr Chung: "The doctor said there would be a risk of miscarriage if we did the test, so we didn't, as the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome was not that significant."

    After Xin En's birth, the family returned to California in the United States where Dr Chung was pursuing his doctoral degree at Stanford University. "It helped that for the first six years of her life, we were in the US.

    "Seeing how people dealt with Down syndrome there was an eye-opener and gave us hope," said Dr Chung.

    He said the family saw many people with the same condition as Xin En out and about, leading independent lives and being 'mainstreamed'.

    Which was why, when they returned to Singapore, they thought of mainstreaming Xin En. It was by chance that they got Xin En into Zhangde Primary School.

    After returning from the US, the family bought a home and went to a nearby school to place their elder son,who was then in Primary Six.

    Said Dr Chung: "The principal was very nice. She noticed we had Xin En and suggested that we try her in the school for a month."

    Xin En started Primary One with her peers and after a month, the principal and teachers thought she was benefiting from the experience.

    "From then, we decided to let her try for as long as possible," said Dr Chung, who also has a third child, a daughter aged 5. His son and younger daughter are normal.

    'Just for experience'

    Last year, after Xin En had spent six years in primary school, the principal suggested that she take the PSLE "to just try it for experience".

    She did and scored Ds for her languages and an E for science. She was not graded for mathematics. "She did better this year," said Dr Chung.

    Said Dr Saba: "Mainstream primary school education for children with Down syndrome is not compulsory.

    "But some parents do choose to send their children to mainstream schools. Whether they get in or not depends on the goodwill of the principals."

    This year, DSA launched its integration support programme and is currently working with seven mainstream schools. "We are supporting nine children," said Dr Saba.

    Dr Bhavani Sriram, senior consultant at the department of neonatology at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, said that one in every 700 to 800 live births here is a baby with Down syndrome. She is Xin En's doctor.

    "Children with Down syndrome belong to the moderate intellectual disability group. Things for them are different now," said Dr Bhavani.

    "There is much more social awareness and attention. There are now many support groups for parents. Butmore can be done."

    Dr Bhavani said that many with Down syndrome go to universities in the West. "They may not graduate, but they will go through a system of education. Their societies try to integrate them into the community as much as possible," she said.

    Xin En's parents hope she can lead an independent life eventually.

    "She has cleared her PSLE. Next we will teach her how to take a bus, probably in a year's time. She should be ready by then," said Dr Chung

    13-year-old girl with Down syndrome passes her PSLE. -TNP
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  8. #688
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Down syndrome girl well-liked by classmates

    The New Paper
    Sat, Dec 05, 2009

    By Liew Hanqing

    A POSITIVE, kind student who was well-liked by her peers.

    This is how Mrs Sandra Wong, who taught Chung Xin En maths, science and English at Zhangde Primary School, described her former student.

    Said Mrs Wong, who taught Xin En in 2007 and 2008: "She's very helpful and very kind - whenever her classmates need something, she will try her best to help.

    "For example, if someone needed a sheet of foolscap paper, she would rummage through her bag to get it for them even though her movements are slow."

    Xin En's kind acts earned her the Friend of Singa Award - given to courteous students - last year.

    Mrs Wong also described Xin En as a student who constantly had a positive outlook, even when she faced bullies who occasionally jostled her in the school canteen.

    She said: "Xin En's classmates love her. During recess, if anybody was mean to her, they would look out for her, stick up for her and alert me if necessary."

    Mrs Wong added that Xin En had an excellent attitude towards her studies. She said: "She loves science, and enjoys learning more about the subject. She even created mind maps on science concepts using the computer."

    Xin En, she added, was good in English, constantly scoring 8 or 9 out of 10 for her spelling and dictation tests.

    Said Mrs Wong: "She puts in so much effort - her homework is always done. I'm delighted that she has done well. She deserves to pass, with all the effort she has put in."

    She was active outside the classroom as well. Mrs Jaswant Sroya, principal of the school, said Xin En participated actively in school activities.

    "She was a member of the Girls' Brigade, and participated in every single activity organised by her CCA group," she said. "She was so active and so enthusiastic she even outshone some of the other pupils."

    Mrs Sroya too, said Xin En was well-liked by her peers. "She was very much part of the family. Wherever she went, she would greet people with a smile."

    Xin En, she recalled, was shy when she joined the school seven years ago.

    "But she adjusted really fast - the students and teachers were very understanding. They got to know her better, and she was never regarded as different from any other student."

    Mrs Sroya said that every year, the school would assign Xin En a buddy to see to her needs, such as helping to carry her bag or to guide her around in school.

    On Xin En's good results, Mrs Sroya said: "I am not surprised she has done well, considering the effort she was putting in.

    She looked confident after the PSLE exams. "I am so proud of her."

    Teacher says she constantly had a positive outlook, even when she faced bullies who occasionally jostled her in the school canteen. -TNP
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  9. #689
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Down Syndrome from Wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_syndrome

    Down syndrome, or Down's syndrome (primarily in the United Kingdom), trisomy 21, or trisomy G is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866. The disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by Jérôme Lejeune in 1959. The condition is characterized by a combination of major and minor differences in structure. Often Down syndrome is associated with some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth as well as facial appearance. Down syndrome in a baby can be identified with amniocentesis during pregnancy or at birth.

    Individuals with Down syndrome tend to have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate developmental disabilities. A small number have severe to profound mental disability. The incidence of Down syndrome is estimated at 1 per 800 to 1,000 births, although these statistics are heavily influenced by older mothers. Other factors may also play a role.

    Many of the common physical features of Down syndrome may also appear in people with a standard set of chromosomes, including microgenia (an abnormally small chin), an unusually round face, macroglossia (protruding or oversized tongue), an almond shape to the eyes caused by an epicanthic fold of the eyelid, upslanting palpebral fissures (the separation between the upper and lower eyelids), shorter limbs, a single transverse palmar crease (a single instead of a double crease across one or both palms, also called the Simian crease), poor muscle tone, and a larger than normal space between the big and second toes.

    Health concerns for individuals with Down syndrome include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, gastroesophageal reflux disease, recurrent ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunctions.
    Last edited by Loh; 12-09-2009 at 11:10 PM.

  10. #690
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    Default S'pore tops SEA Games medal tally

    The Straits Times
    Dec 11, 2009

    Swimmers, shooters, table tennis players take raft of SEA Games titles

    By Leonard Lim

    VIENTIANE - THE swimmers' five golds may have been the biggest contribution to Singapore's place atop the medal tally after the second day of the South-east Asia Games on Thursday.

    The Republic is perched at the summit with 11 golds, three silvers and eight bronzes.

    But it was a precocious teenage shooter who stole the hearts of sports fans with her tenacity and composure in the most pressured of situations.

    Goh Jia Yi - in her maiden South-east Asia Games - came from behind yesterday to force a sudden-death shoot-off with Thai Chotphibunsin Thanyalak at Laos' National Sports Complex shooting range.

    Against the odds, the 14-year-old then pipped the 19-year-old Olympian to the women's 10m air rifle gold.

    Judging from the composure she displayed during the nerve-wracking shootout, yesterday's glorious outing could mark the first of many for the Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) student.


    DPM Teo Chee Hean with the Singapore women's table tennis team - Feng Tianwei (from left), Zena Sim, Sun Beibei, Wang Yuegu and Yu Mengyu - after the team received their gold medals. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
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  11. #691
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    Default She's going to be a star

    The Straits Times
    Dec 11, 2009

    By Leonard Lim, AT THE GAMES

    VIENTIANE - AS FAR as opening statements go, the ones made by Quah Ting Wen and Singapore's swimmers yesterday not only settled some nerves, but also served notice of what to expect.

    Five golds from seven events, two South-east Asia Games records and two national marks set the tone for what could be Singapore's best away showing at the biennial event.

    As expected, much of the attention fell on Ting Wen. On a stage where Joscelin Yeo made her name, the Raffles Institution (Junior College) student continued to show why she is touted as the heir apparent to the former swim queen. The 17-year-old smashed two SEA Games marks, en route to claiming golds in the 100m freestyle and 4x200m free relay.

    What made the first win even sweeter was that it came in the opening event at the National Sports Complex pool. The 56.03sec effort also bettered Yeo's mark set at the 1999 edition by 0.02sec.

    'That first swim was really the key,' said a beaming Ting Wen after emerging from the toilet to a horde of waiting journalists. 'I was very, very jittery before that, especially on the starting block.

    'But, once I hit the water, I just channelled those nerves into positive thinking.'

    Quah Ting Wen winning her first gold medal yesterday with a record time of 56.03sec in the 100m freestyle. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
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    Default SEA Games Swim Sprint Champion

    The Straits Times
    Dec 10, 2009

    SEA GAMES IN LAOS
    Team S'pore on top


    Quah Ting Wen won gold and set a new SEA Games record of 56.03 in the 100m freestyle. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

    Sorry, please see picture below.
    Last edited by Loh; 12-10-2009 at 09:01 PM.

  13. #693
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    Default SEA Games Swim Sprint Champion

    The Straits Times
    Dec 10, 2009

    SEA GAMES IN LAOS
    Team S'pore on top


    Quah Ting Wen won gold and set a new SEA Games record of 56.03 in the 100m freestyle. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
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  14. #694
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    Default 25th SEA Games opens

    The Straits Times
    Dec 10, 2009

    Host country kicks off biennial sporting event with lavish ceremony

    By Leonard Lim

    VIENTIANE: Under a clear night sky and with tens of thousands watching across the region, a nation's dream came to fruition yesterday.

    The curtains lifted on the 25th edition of the South-east Asia Games in Laos, amid a three-hour extravaganza of song and dance at the main stadium of the National Sports Complex.

    Laos is staging the region's biennial sporting showpiece for the first time, in the same year that marks the 50th anniversary of the SEA Games.

    From the lavish fireworks and dances incorporating the region's multicultural richness to the lighting of the Games cauldron by an archer from the stadium's opposite end, the host country put up an impressive show that sets the stage for eight days of sporting action.

    At eating stalls and homes across the landlocked country, Laotians gathered around television sets to watch the ceremony unfold - and clapped jubilantly as their President Choummaly Sayasone declared the Games officially open.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Singapore National Olympic Council president Teo Chee Hean was among the 20,000 spectators who witnessed the opening ceremony. Cambodian PM Hun Sen, Myanmar PM Thein Sein, Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and Vietnamese PM Nguyen Tan Dung were also among the VIPs.


    Flag bearer, shooter Ong Jun Hong and Chef De Mission, Jessie Phua led the Singapore contingent in the march past during the opening ceremony of the 25th Sea Games held at the national stadium, Laos, Vientiane. -- ST PHOTO: ZAINAL YAHYA
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    Default SEA Games: Sharpshooter Goh Jia Yi

    My Paper
    11/12/2009

    By CHIA HAN KEONG

    The gold rush started early in the afternoon, when 14-year- old Goh Jia Yi won the 10m air- rifle women's title in a thrilling final.

    Placed second after the preliminary shoot behind Thailand's Thanyalak Chotphibunsin, the Raffles Girls' School student caught up in the 10-shot final, and both ended their shoot tied at 496.2 points.

    That meant a sudden-death shoot-off, and Jia Yi's score of 10.7 edged out Thanyalak's 10.2 for the gold.

    A relieved Jia Yi said after her win: "I feel proud and happy. All the training has been worth it. "During the final, I just told myself to do my best and not worry about the result. Still, it was pretty nerve-wracking during the final shot. Fortunately, I got the better score."
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    Default SEA Games: Swimming golds take Singapore top of medals table

    Channel News Asia
    11 December 2009 0300 hrs

    VIENTIANE: Laos and Singapore qualified for the football semi-finals at the Southeast Asian Games on Thursday as Singapore scooped five golds in the pool to take them clear at the top of the medals table.

    Laos and Singapore, playing each other in the final game in Group B, knew a draw would be enough to take them both through.

    Despite chances for the host nation, both sides were reluctant to commit themselves to attack as the second half wore on and the game petered out into a 0-0 draw.

    The result sent Indonesia crashing out of the competition after a dismal campaign in which they won a single point, along with Myanmar, who had beaten Indonesia 3-1 to give themselves a chance of making the last four.

    Due to the huge interest from local people, both games were switched to the 20,000-capacity main stadium at the National Sports Complex. They were originally due to take place at a smaller 10,000-capacity venue.

    Thailand, gunning for their ninth consecutive success in the under-23 competition, are in action in Group A on Thursday. They currently top the standings.

    In a busy night in the pool Singapore set the pace, winning five of the seven finals, including a new games record of 56.03 seconds for Quah Ting Wen in the women's 100 metres freestyle and a new mark in the women's 4x200m freestyle of 8 minutes 11.75 seconds.

    Malaysia's Siow Yi Ting set a new games record in winning the women's 200m individual medley with a time of 2:14.57.

    Singapore, who swept all seven table tennis golds at the 2007 SEA Games in Korat, northeastern Thailand, continued their domination, winning the men's and women's team titles.

    They have 11 golds overall, nearly double the tally for Thailand and Vietnam, who each have six. The only teams yet to win a medal are Timor Leste and Brunei.

    Two years ago, then-hosts Thailand dominated the medals standings with 183 golds out of a total of 477 - well ahead of second-placed Malaysia on 68 and Vietnam on 64.

    The 25th Southeast Asian Games opened in Laos capital Vientiane on Wednesday with powerhouse Thailand eyeing another gold rush.

    Athletes from 11 nations are competing in 25 disciplines at the 10-day biennial showpiece with track and field under way on Sunday.

    As well as headline events such as football, athletics, and swimming, the Games feature lesser-known sports including the martial arts karatedo and Muay Thai, and sepak takraw - a cross between football and volleyball.

    Laos themselves have set their sights on a successful Games, eyeing 25 golds, but the pattern of the hosts winning the event, which has been the case since 2001 in Malaysia, is sure to be broken this time.

    The SEA Games participants are Brunei, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. The Games close on December 18. - AFP/de


    (L-R) Silver medalist T. Chavisa of Thailand, gold medalist Tao Li and bronze medalist Shana Lim of Singapore at an award ceremony for the women's 200m backstroke.
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    Default Singapore team sports set for boost

    TODAY
    11 December 2009 0634 hrs

    By Low Lin Fhoong

    VIENTIANE: Football, waterpolo and netball are set for a boost, as the Government looks into providing additional funding to develop team sports in Singapore.

    Speaking to MediaCorp on Thursday, Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, said: "We want to look at some team sports like football and netball, which have done well, as we have never really focused on team sports in the past.

    "The concept will be similar to the Olympic Pathway Programme (OPP) ... it will be a large investment, but not as much as OPP.

    "That's why we're looking at the SEA Games to see what teams could be potential candidates for this support."

    Launched in May this year to succeed the $7 million Project 0812 programme, OPP provides additional support for athletes gunning for glory at the 2012 London Olympics.

    Table tennis players Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu, Sun Beibei and Yu Mengyu, swimmer Tao Li and shooter Jasmine Ser are currently receiving assistance under OPP.

    While the project is at the developmental stage, Teo said its purpose would be to propel team sports to achieving success at the Asian level. - TODAY

    Teo Ser Luck (file pic)
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