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Thread: Singapore Also Can
05-08-2013, 02:21 AM #7056
WTA Championships headed to Singapore
Most prestigious event in women’s tennis to be staged here from 2014 to 2018 in ‘record-breaking’ deal
- 16 min 15 sec ago
SINGAPORE — Top-level women’s tennis action will be arriving on Singapore’s shores next year after Singapore successfully bid for the right to stage the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Championships for the next five years.
The championship is considered the most prestigious event in women’s tennis after the four Grand Slams.
At a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel today (May 8), the World Sport Group, Singapore Sports Council and Singapore Tourism Board announced that they have signed a five-year deal with the Women’s Tennis Association to host the WTA’s annual end-of-season tour championships from next year to 2018 at the Sports Hub’s Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The tournament, which was held in Istanbul at the end of this year, will feature the top eight singles players and top eight doubles pairs. They will vie for a record prize purse of S$6.5 million (S$8 million).
The other candidates to host the event from next year were Tianjin in China and Mexico’s Monterrey.
The last world-class tennis tournament that Singapore hosted was the men’s Heineken Open which was held from 1996-1999. That event featured the likes of Michael Chang of the US and Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt.
WTA Chief Executive Stacey Allaster said that the decision to go with Singapore is part of the association’s stated aim of expanding women’s tennis in the Asia-Pacific region.
“This is the largest and most significant WTA Championships partnership in our history. It’s a record-breaker,” said WTA chief executive Stacey Allaster.
- 16 min 15 sec ago
05-08-2013, 02:45 AM #7057
New centre for literary arts planned
National Arts Council initiative aims to develop playwrights and drive growth of Singapore theatre
1 hour 18 min ago
SINGAPORE — The National Arts Council (NAC) has announced plans to build a new arts centre for Singapore’s theatre sector, focused primarily on the development of original text-based works.
The Centre for Text-Based Works aims to nurture and develop established and emerging playwrights in Singapore, as well as facilitate the growth of new and original text-based works that will enrich and enhance Singapore’s canon of theatre works.
“We hope this Centre for Text-Based Works will complement and bring greater focus to current efforts by providing an avenue for both aspiring and established playwrights and theatre practitioners to collaborate, create, critique and present new writing for the stage,” said NAC Deputy Chief Executive Officer Yvonne Tham.
The success of similar institutions in other countries has given the NAC confidence that such a centre could help “drive the growth of theatre in Singapore”, said Ms Tham.
The council is currently conducting an open call to find a suitable partner for the project.
“The NAC is not seeking an operator to just run this centre. We want a strong partner who shares our vision and will help expand the artistic capabilities of Singapore’s theatre scene.” CHANNEL NEWSASIA
05-08-2013, 09:31 PM #7058
26 buildings recognised for attention to accessibility features
Published on May 08, 2013
For going the extra mile in coming up with user-friendly features, private condominium Reflections at Keppel Bay bagged an inaugural Building and Construction Authority (BCA) award. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
By Charissa Yon
For going the extra mile in coming up with user-friendly features, private condominium Reflections at Keppel Bay bagged an inaugural Building and Construction Authority (BCA) award.
Wheelchair users in the condominium can move in and out of each residential block using a specially designed door. Residents and visitors also can find their way around by looking at detailed cube-shaped signs.
The Keppel Bay condominium is one of 26 buildings lauded by the BCA for their universal design features, which means including accessible and inclusive features to cater to all users.
Other winners include the United World College of South East Asia's East campus, the Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre, and Changi Airport Terminal 1. The awards ceremony will be held on May 16 at Resorts World Sentosa.
05-08-2013, 09:50 PM #7059
Singaporeans share ideas on how to lead healthier lifestyles
By Kok Xing Hui10 hours 41 min ago
SINGAPORE – A plate of char kway teow tastes better than the healthier fish soup, while it is difficult to force exercise upon oneself after a long, tiring day at work.
These were among the reasons given by Singaporeans on what holds them back from adopting a healthier lifestyle, during a Facebook chat with the Ministry of Health on Wednesday night.
The chat – chaired by Minister of State for Health Amy Khor and and Parliamentary Secretary for Health Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim – is part of an ongoing public consultation on the Healthy Living Master Plan to gather ideas from Singaporeans on how they can be provided with access to a healthy lifestyle.
More than 50 Singaporeans participated in the session, where concerns centered around the availability and affordability of healthy food, and a lack of time for exercise.
Suggestions made by participants during the wide-ranging 90-minute discussion include getting employers to organise exercise sessions, listing calorie counts of food choices at hawker centres and food courts, offering Passion card discounts for sports courses offered by the Singapore Sports Council, building more parks and community gyms, and having a mobile van that offers free or subsidised health screenings.
“I am very happy with the interaction that we had. (The chat) was an active and lively chat where participants gave very good ideas. What we had today seems to consistently converge on a few themes of place, price and people,” said Associate Professor Faishal, who chairs the taskforce behind the masterplan.
He said one suggestion that stood out was having the MOH work with other ministries and agencies to build more park connectors and walkways to encourage Singaporeans to exercise, from participant Jeffrey Tong.
“If we can connect all these efforts (across agencies) … we can have a more comprehensive effort,” he said.
The chat was the first public dialogue the taskforce has held since the six-week public consultation exercise on the master plan started on April 22.
Three face-to-face community dialogue sessions will be held in the next few weeks and the taskforce is also collecting feedback via a website
To date, the MOH has received feedback from more than 100 people through the website.
05-08-2013, 09:57 PM #7060
WTA C’ships a coup for S’pore
WSG’s Andrew Georgiou and WTA’s Stacey Allaster handing the Billie Jean King Trophy to future Singapore players. Photo: Felicia Quick
By Philip Goh -
6 hours 31 min ago
SINGAPORE — A reputation for being able to deliver and a vision to innovate so as to elevate an already established event were what clinched Singapore the right to host the Women’s Tennis Association’s season-ending WTA Championship from 2014 to 2018.
Announcing the deal yesterday, Stacey Allaster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the WTA praised Singapore’s bid which was led by sports marketing agency World Sport Group (WSG) in tandem with the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Tourism Board.
“It was so inspiring that everyone could easily see what the future would hold for us to be here in the Singapore Sports Hub,” said Allaster, describing the Singapore bid’s hour-long presentation which outlined an expanded 10-day programme going beyond the tournament for the world’s top eight singles and doubles pairings.
Apart from enhancing the WTA’s Asia-Pacific growth strategy, Allaster also cites a common vision with the local organisers in “using sports to inspire the people of Singapore to live a better life through sports”.
The October event is the most prestigious women’s tennis tournament outside of the Grand Slams and Singapore headed off 42 other cities which expressed interest in hosting it, including Tianjin and Monterrey that made the final shortlist.
WSG CEO Andrew Georgiou said clinching the event was another sign that Singapore is streets ahead of other Asian cities as a premier sports events destination.
“It’s about Singapore having a strategic partnership with the WTA and the WTA using Singapore, like so many other sports are starting to, as a base for growing their business into Asia,” he said. “We’re working on delivering a 10-day festival of tennis that is ... also about lifestyle, entertainment and the industry.”
According to Georgiou, the WTA Championships is the one of many world-class events to be hosted at the S$1.33 billion Sports Hub which is due to open next April. “We’re trying to deliver a consistent and sustainable event schedule to the Sports Hub, to drive visitor-ship to the venue and engage the community. This event satisfies all those things.”
05-08-2013, 10:16 PM #7061
New Terminal 5 likely to be Changi Airport's biggest terminal
Observers believe the new Terminal 5 at Changi Airport will most likely be the airport's biggest terminal, with the capacity to handle between 30 and 50 million passengers a year.
SINGAPORE: Observers believe the new Terminal 5 at Changi Airport will most likely be the airport's biggest terminal, with the capacity to handle between 30 and 50 million passengers a year.
And they expect the new terminal to contribute to a more seamless travel experience for passengers.
With four terminals by 2017, Changi Airport will be able to cater to more than 85 million passengers every year.
But another passenger terminal could be built at a site in Changi East to cater to more demand.
The area is located between the existing runway two and runway three which is being planned for co-civilian use from 2020. To make way for this, it's understood that the existing Changi Coast Road will have to go or be diverted.
Given the large space, observers believe Terminal 5, slated to be ready by next decade, could have about twice the handling capacity of the current Terminal 2, which can handle about 23 million passengers a year. The new terminal will also help boost Singapore's competitive edge.
Mr Gary Ho, senior lecturer of Aviation Management and Services at Temasek Polytechnic, said: "The trend now in the world is to have mega terminals. If you look at our airport, it's old fashioned - one small terminal. If you look at the new airports like Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong they all have big mega terminals now, so our new T5 will be a mega-terminal. It would make sense to finally have a mega-terminal and for Singapore Airlines to finally be in one terminal instead of across two terminals."
With the national carrier at Terminal 5, each alliance of airlines such as Sky Team or One World could also operate out of dedicated terminals.
If so, aviation experts say this will contribute to a more seamless travel experience.
Mr Leithen Francis, Asia editor of Aviation Week, said: "Going forward, I think if we got more terminals, we are going to see Sky Team at one terminal, One World at another and Star Alliance at another. We are not going to have a situation which we see at the moment where some Star Alliance carriers are at Terminal 2 and some at Terminal 1, and some at Terminal 3, and they kind of spread around.
"Because there are going to be so many terminals, it is conceivable that each alliance will be able to get their own terminals, in which case the members of that alliance will be able to have their gates near one another. They will be able to have their lounges near one another so that the passengers will have a much more seamless experience when you fly in on one airline and you transfer to another, which is part of the same alliance. It will be seamless, it will be quick and it will be easy."
Terminal 5 is also expected to have more self-service facilities and bigger lounges.
Mr Francis added: "One big trend of course is - terminals are becoming more lifestyle destinations. There's a lot more retail, dining options at airport terminals, so Terminal 5 will be able to take all those trends into account.
"It helps with Changi Airport's efforts to compete, because if people know that their experience at Changi Airport is going to be a better experience than in any other airports than if they want to transit, then they will prefer to transit through Changi."
Observers say it may also be necessary to have a Skytrain to transit passengers to and from Terminal 5.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew has said that rising middle income groups in India and China mean that these countries will be markets of importance in the coming years.
And within Southeast Asia, the dynamic economies of Thailand and Indonesia are also driving sustained growth in travel demand, and he said Changi Airport should be well-poised to benefit from growth in these markets.
Changi Airport (Photo by: Hester Tan, channelnewsasia.com)
Last edited by Loh; 05-08-2013 at 10:18 PM.
05-08-2013, 10:36 PM #7062
Students by day... Big spenders by night
Singapore - Strobe lights are flashing, the music is pounding.
Tightly-packed bodies gyrate around the VIP table where the alcohol flows freely in one of Singapore's hottest clubs.
The table will rack up at least four figures on the drink bill tonight. Here, the hefty bills for champagne and branded vodka don't get signed off by corporate executives but, instead, by young adults between the ages of 18 and 24.
Welcome to the world of young, designer toting, VIP table-booking clubgoers. According to nightclubs these clubgoers frequent, they will drop anywhere between $1,500 to a staggering $25,000 on a single night of partying.
Last year's monthly median salary of a Singapore worker, according the Manpower Ministry, is just $3,480.
Says Mr Jeremy Matthew Bala, 34, marketing manager for upscale club Mink at the Pan Pacific Hotel: "It's a significant shift if you compare it to the mid-90s.
"No one would even consider spending $1,000 or $2,000 on a night back then.
"It's different today. They truly have spending power and they know their brands."
Click here to view the gallery.
On the Wednesday and Friday nights when TNPS visited, it's a scene straight out of a music video. Girls made up to look like K-pop starlets pepper the queue as guys in T-shirts, blazers and gelled-up hair display their best attempt at swagger.
VIP Host at Clarke Quay's Club Attica and Le Noir, Mr Nahid Ballou, says: "There's a mix of locals and expats, but mostly expats. Some are here for studies or their parents moved to Singapore with lots of money.
"And it's mostly the guys who spend the money.
"They have knowledge these days, not just about drinks but also about retail, about food. They know what's best - and they want it."
Zouk's marketing and events head Timothy Chia agrees that some of their youngest clubgoers have the most financial pull.
"One of our young regulars bought 12 bottles of Grey Goose vodka ($550 per bottle) and a bottle of Mumm Magnum ($1,985) on his birthday," he says.
"Another young big spender (who has yet to enlist for National Service) often spends about $1,200 - $1,500 per night and tips the waitresses $50 for every order he makes. He spent close to $10,000 for his birthday celebrations last year.
"Once, one of our young regulars ordered 300 shots of sour plum Vodka and stacked up the 15 trays of the shots. Another regular found out about it and ordered 1,500 shots of sour apple and sour plum shooters."
A 21-year-old clubgoer who is waiting to enter Nanyang Technological University next month, and who wants to be known only as Jay, says: "We usually buy a table and order a few bottles first just to enter.
Click here to view the gallery.
"For example, if there are 10 of us, we probably open four bottles, and after that, when we're all in, we'll open more bottles over the night.
"We drink champagne, so maybe after the original charge, we'll spend another $400-$500 more the rest of the night."
Jay parties four to six times a month, and spends about $1,000 each night. The most he has spent in a night is $7,000, on his birthday.
Full-time national serviceman Aaron, 21, parties almost every night and spends around $1,000 to $2,000 each night. The most he has spent in a night is $25,000, also on his birthday.
He says: "We drink champagne, like Dom Perignon. We also drink the new vodka with gold flakes in it, the Royal Dragon Vodka, which can cost up to $500 a bottle.
"$1,000 a night is not rare. More and more young people are willing to spend on clubbing.
"The older crowd still has the bulk of spending power, but people my age are increasingly willing and able to spend."
Both Jay and Aaron hold down part-time jobs, but they admit the jobs finance only a small fraction of their clubbing lifestyle. Out of the $4,000 or so Jay spends on clubbing a month, $1,000 comes from his part-time job.
Aaron, who invests in shares and whose family owns a Fortune 500 company, pays for a third of the $12,000 or so he spends on clubbing each month.
Most of the money for their nights out comes from their parents. Jay says: "My parents are in the investment and accounting industry, and they know that I club regularly.
Click here to view the gallery.
"But we have an understanding and they know that I know what I'm doing, so they do not have issues with it."
Mr Bala says: "Big-spending nights are usually to celebrate occasions like birthdays, an F1 weekend or a graduation from university. "Sometimes parents come in and pay in advance for their children.
"Then there are the regulars who spend but they don't drop a bomb every time. They'll maybe get a three-litre bottle of Belvedere for $1,280, they'll do a Dom for anywhere between $488 and $928.
"It's all about the theatrics. They want to be seen and they know their products and brands and go for what's fashionable."
Aaron disagrees: "I live within my means, it is not like I spend all my money on clubbing to show off and starve the rest of the week.
"I've actually toned down a lot. In the past, I would be the guy rolling up to the club in my father's Ferrari, and buying the big, showy drinks just to be the guy people talked about.
"I think it's all about growing up, now I party to relax and also to network."
Although the boys both admit that their spending may seem excessive to some, they say they're not about to stop.
Jay says, candidly: "It's a great way to relax with some friends, and a great way to make new ones. We like it, so why not?"
Click here to view the gallery.
Photos: TNP, ST, Butter Factory, Zouk Club Singapore, Le Noir, Pangaea, Instagram, Internet.
Last edited by Loh; 05-08-2013 at 10:41 PM.
05-08-2013, 10:53 PM #7063
Sprint quartet clock 39.45 seconds to break men’s national 4x100m relay record
Posted by: Erwin Wong
May 09, 2013
The national 4x100m relay team consisting of (from left to right) Calvin Kang, Lim Yao Peng, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Elfi Mustapha. Muhd Amirudin, who is not pictured here, combined with Gary, Cheng Wei and Elfi to break the men’s national 4x100m relay record at the Asian Grand Prix Series in Chonburi, Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Joe Goh/Singapore Athletic Association)
Chonburi, Thailand, Wednesday, May 8, 2013 — The sprint quartet of Muhd Elfi Bin Mustapa, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei and Muhd Amirudin Bin Jamal broke the men’s national 4×100 metres relay record of 39.58 seconds at the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix Series.
They clocked a time of 39.45s to finish first in their race, ahead of China, Oman, Thailand and Chinese Taipei, but were ranked second overall. The team from Hong Kong ran the fastest time with their 39.17s showing in the second race.
Coincidentally, the previous national record was also set in Thailand, and at the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix Series as well. Then, Calvin Kang had run instead of Muhd Elfi in that race in Kanchanaburi on 11 May 2012.
Calvin, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained at the Nippon Sports Science University Meet in Tokyo, Japan, late last month, said: “I’m elated and happy for the team. It’s a great start to the year breaking the national record! We were aiming to break it here at the Asian Grand Prix, and we managed to do it.”
“The team had a good push from the start, being in lane 2, with China and Thailand in lanes 3 and 4 respectively. Morale was high before the race, and our handovers were very quick during it. We won our race, beating China, Thailand and Chinese Taipei. This signifies a great breakthrough for us; that we can compete at the Asian level.”
Cheng Wei, 26, said the team had to come to terms with racing alongside continental powerhouses. “We had to deal with the pressure to perform and race with these teams, and not let it affect us negatively.”
This is the eighth time that Singapore has gone under the 40-second mark in this event, since its first instance in December 2009. The relay team, which is training full-time, is hoping to meet the Moscow World Championships qualifying mark of 39.20s. The biennial meet is in August this year, and the relay team is gunning for qualification.
“The record was great, but our performance wasn’t perfect,” cautioned Cheng Wei.
“There is still room for improvement to maximise our steppings, and we will definitely be working on that to further lower our time.”
The third and final leg of the Asian Grand Prix Series will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 12 May 2013.
1st Hong Kong 39.17s
2nd Singapore 39.45
3rd China 39.79
4th Oman 39.82
5th Thailand 39.83
6th Chinese Taipei 39.90
7th Thailand 40.05
8th India 40.15
9th Indonesia 40.49
Disqualified Sri Lanka
List of sub-40 second times by the national 4x100m relay team
39.45s — Muhd Elfi, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; Asian Grand Prix; Thailand; May 2013
39.58s — Calvin Kang, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; Asian Grand Prix; Thailand; May 2012
39.73s — Calvin Kang, Muhd Elfi, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; Asian Grand Prix; Thailand, May 2012
39.82s — Gary Yeo, Muhd Elfi, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; SEA Games; Laos; December 2009
39.83s — Calvin Kang, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; Asian Grand Prix; Thailand; May 2012
39.91s — Calvin Kang, Muhd Amirudin, Lee Cheng Wei, Gary Yeo; SEA Games; Indonesia; November 2011
39.97s — Muhd Elfi, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Calvin Kang; Singapore Masters Open; Singapore; March 2013
39.98 sec — Muhd Elfi, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; Asian Grand Prix; Thailand; May 2013
Singapore Men’s national 4x100m relay record progression
39.45s — Muhd Elfi, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; Asian Grand Prix; Thailand, May 8 2013
39.58s — Calvin Kang, Gary Yeo, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; Asian Grand Prix; Thailand, May 11 2012
39.82s — Gary Yeo, Muhd Elfi, Lee Cheng Wei, Muhd Amirudin; SEA Games; Laos; December 17 2009
40.10s — Gary Yeo, Muhd Shameer, Calvin Kang, Poh Seng Song; SEA Games; Thailand; December 10 2007
40.32s — Muhd Hosni, Hamkah Afik, Muhd Yusof Alias, Hong Jinsheng; Thailand Open; Thailand, April 28 1994
40.34s — C. Kunalan, Ong Yoke Phee, Tan Say Leong, Yeo Kian Chai; Asian Games; Iran; September 9 1974
05-09-2013, 09:14 PM #7064
Singapore's oldest Catholic church may soon begin overhaul
But still no fixed start date as project awaits approval, permits after 3-year delay
Published on May 10, 2013
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is in need of restoration as its bell tower is crooked, the walls have cracks and the building suffers from corrosion, water damage and crumbling plasterwork. -- ST PHOTOS: LIM SIN THAI, MARK CHEONG
By Melody Zaccheus
SINGAPORE'S oldest Roman Catholic church could soon be getting its much-needed overhaul after being plagued by three years of delays.
Plans discussed in 2010 to embark on a two-year, $40 million project to rescue the cracked walls and crooked bell tower of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, built between 1843 and 1847, were put on hold due to a lack of funds, said the project's supervisor, Father Adrian Anthony.
The church also needed more time to decide on the design and restoration so that it would be cost-effective. "We really have to ensure that there is no display of extravagance, taking every measure to make sure we spend cautiously so that it remains accessible to everyone," said Father Anthony.
No official commencement date for the restoration project has been set but Father Anthony said he hopes repairs will begin soon now that the process of acquiring building and upgrading permits from Government agencies is drawing to a close.
05-09-2013, 09:38 PM #7065
NDP 2013 to showcase stories of Singaporeans
Published on May 09, 2013
By Lim Yan Liang And David Ee
Every Singaporean has a story to share, and it is with these experiences that form the Singapore narrative.
That was the thinking behind this year's National Day Parade theme "Many Stories... One Singapore" that was unveiled on Thursday by the NDP 2013 executive committee, together with the NDP logo, a group of colourful rippling circles that together form the shape of the island.
"We think that the sharing of stories is a very compelling way of bringing people together. Most of us have our individual stories of growing up in Singapore, of going to school, to NS, making lifelong friends... Or even going to different places in Singapore to eat our favourite food," said committee chairman Brigadier-General Perry Lim, adding that these, along with Singapore's fight against Sars and it's "Garden City" journey, have "defined us as a nation".
To underscore the more personal nature of this year's parade, the National Day song will not be sung by celebrities but by a choir consisting of 10 groups of Singaporeans from all walks of life who were selected at auditions held earlier. These include groups of friends and family.
Brigadier-General Perry Lim, (right), chairman NDP Exco and Ms Selena Tan, creative director of The National Day Parade 2013. Every Singaporean has a story to share, and it is with these experiences that form the Singapore narrative. That was the thinking behind this year's National Day Parade theme "Many Stories... One Singapore" that was unveiled on Thursday by the NDP 2013 executive committee, together with the NDP logo, a group of colourful rippling circles that together form the shape of the island. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
05-09-2013, 09:41 PM #7066
Ordinary citizens to sing NDP 2013 theme song
Published on May 10, 2013
(First row from left) Nicholas Chin, 20, April Kong Min Qi, 25, Syaiful Ariffin Bin Abdul Rahman, 22, Zainul Mustaqueen, 22. (Back row from left) Deborah Goh, 21, NDP 2013 Creative Director Selena Tan, Chairman NDP Exco BG Perry Lim, and Dania Darwisyan Bintu Aslam, 21. It will not be Kit Chan, Taufik Batisah or Stefanie Sun singing the theme song at this year's National Day Parade (NDP). A band of 68 singers will take the stage instead, including Syaiful Ariffin Abdul Rahman and Dania Darwisyan Aslam. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
By David Ee
IT WILL not be Kit Chan, Taufik Batisah or Stefanie Sun singing the theme song at this year's National Day Parade (NDP).
A band of 68 singers will take the stage instead, including Syaiful Ariffin Abdul Rahman and Dania Darwisyan Aslam.
Don't recognise the names? That is because the parade wants ordinary Singaporeans to occupy centre stage, as part of its theme "Many Stories... One Singapore".
Mr Syaiful, 22, and Ms Dania, 21, met as students at ITE College East, and formed the vocal group Heartvox with four others. They will perform with other members of the public in a segment dubbed Sing A Nation during the parade.
05-10-2013, 02:54 AM #7067
Botanic Gardens to have heritage museum and green exhibit gallery
Published on May 10, 2013
The Botanic Gardens newly opened visitor centre and headquarters of the National Parks Board. The 154-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens on Friday unveiled plans for a heritage museum and separate gallery for green exhibits. -- FILE PHOTO: GEORGE GASCON
By Grace Chua
The 154-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens on Friday unveiled plans for a heritage museum and separate gallery for green exhibits.
The 240 sq m museum will contain artifacts such as the Gardens' oldest specimens and botanical artworks. The actual artifacts in the museum may be digital versions if things are particularly fragile or rare. The museum will be housed at Holttum Hall near the Gardens' Tanglin entrance. Built in 1921, the hall was the office and laboratory of Gardens' director Eric Holttum, who pioneered test-tube orchid breeding techniques.
In addition to the museum, a 314 sq m solar-powered gallery, the size of three to four HDB flats, will be built of concrete made from the hemp plant by developer City Developments Limited (CDL). Sited on Holttum Hall's lawn. it will first showcase a half-century of "greening" Singapore.
Together, the new additions will cost about $2 million in cash and kind from CDL, and are expected to be ready by the end of November. They will help the iconic gardens in its bid to be Singapore's first World Heritage Site by educating visitors about its history, said director Nigel Taylor.
05-10-2013, 03:13 AM #7068
Botanic Gardens to have heritage museum, "green" gallery
The Singapore Botanic Gardens announced plans on Friday for a heritage museum and a gallery for green exhibits. The new attractions will open their doors from end November 2013.
POSTED: 10 May 2013 3:06 PM
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Botanic Gardens announced plans on Friday for a heritage museum and a gallery for green exhibits. The new attractions, which cost about S$2 million in cash and kind from City Developments Limited, will open their doors from end November 2013.
The 240 square metre (sqm) heritage museum will house interactive and multimedia exhibits showcasing the gardens' rich heritage. These will include rare historical finds, such as books and paintings that date back to as early as the 19th century.
The museum will be located at Holttum Hall, near the garden's Tanglin entrance.
Members of the public can also look forward to a Green Gallery featuring more botanical exhibits. The 314 sqm gallery, which is an extension of the museum, will also be Singapore's first zero energy gallery.
The gallery, which runs on solar power, will be built using Hempcrete -- an eco-friendly building material.
It will showcase Singapore's "greening" journey as its first exhibition when it opens.
The director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Dr Nigel Taylor, said that the additions will be a "great help" in supporting the gardens' nomination bid as Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The new SBG Heritage Museum at Holttum Hall at the Singapore Botanic Garden (photo: NParks)
CDL Green Gallery at SBG Heritage Museum, Singapore's First Zero Energy Green Gallery (photo: NParks)
05-12-2013, 09:08 PM #7069
Marina Bay floating platform may get longer lease of life
Published on May 13, 2013
The Marina Bay floating platform might be kept for recreation, sports and community use, even after the Sports Hub is completed. -- ST FILE PHOTO
By Derrick Ho
It was meant to be a temporary measure, but the Marina Bay floating platform will be staying put for at least a while longer.
The 120m by 83m structure was designed as a stop-gap until the Sports Hub could be built.
But the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) - which owns and manages the platform - told The Straits Times that it is "considering retaining the facility for recreation, sports and community use", even after the hub is completed next year.
The floating platform - touted as the world's largest - was built in 2007 as an interim venue for mass spectator events in place of the National Stadium, which was demolished so that the 50,000- seater Sports Hub in Kallang could be built.
05-12-2013, 09:25 PM #7070
Singapore’s largest groundbreaking ceremony held in Tampines
SINGAPORE - Over 2,500 Tampines residents gathered at Tampines Stadium today (May 11) morning for Singapore’s largest groundbreaking ceremony, said the People’s Association (PA).
This morning’s ceremony marked the start of works on the country’s first integrated town hub.
Over the past year, more than 15,000 residents took part in focus group discussions, interviews and surveys to put together their vision for the hub.
The hub brings together public services such as the community clubs, regional library and sports facilities under one roof.
It will also adopt a sustainable model for its community spaces that harnesses solar energy and natural rainfall, and reduces heat absorption by external walls. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
05-12-2013, 09:35 PM #7071
Singapore's biggest blessing: Safety
Trust in public institutions like the police is not a given and needs to be nurtured. Will the blogosphere choose cynicism, or seek common ground to protect public institutions?
Published on May 10, 2013
-- ST ILLUSTRATION: MANNY FRANCISCO
By Kishore Mahbubani, For The Straits Times
As Singapore undergoes its mighty, irresistible metamorphosis over this coming decade, it is vital for it to ensure that it does not lose some painfully acquired blessings in the process.
In my previous column For The Straits Times, I had asked readers to share their views on my thoughts about Singapore's metamorphosis. I had said the soul of Singapore is being redefined, and that Singaporean society can either emerge as a happy butterfly, flitting around in a garden city, or as a lonely frog, croaking away unhappily in a little well.
I am grateful for the over 50 readers who responded and for their comments. They have helped shape my thinking for this column, and provided food for thought for future ones.
One of the biggest blessings Singapore has is that it is one of the safest cities in the world.
The level of safety we enjoy is a true miracle. Switzerland enjoys the same level of public safety. But it is surrounded by Europe. When you cross the border out of Switzerland, you continue to experience the same level of safety. But when you cross out of the border of Singapore, you may not. In short, we have to work extremely hard to preserve this cocoon of extraordinary public safety.
Some of it is clearly due to the very successful Singapore Police Force (SPF) we have. But the SPF is only one unit within an ecosystem of excellent public institutions delivering this high level of safety. The social trust that Singaporeans and Singapore residents have in this ecosystem is one key reason why our city is safe.
THIS is why I am extremely worried about the cynicism that the Singaporean blogosphere is developing towards these public institutions. Over time this cynicism could act like an acid that erodes the valuable social trust accumulated. Yes, let me concede that some of the online criticisms are justified. For example, the escape of Mas Salamat Kastari was a major failure.
Against this backdrop, I watched carefully the reaction of the blogosphere to the Shane Todd affair. Dr Todd, 31, an American researcher, was found hanged in his apartment here last June after he quit the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) which is part of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
We will have to await the outcome of the coroner's inquiry to find out what really happened.
This is why I was appalled that US Senator Max Baucus jumped the gun and tried to pressure Singapore by forcing Singapore to give the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) oversight of the case before the Coroner's Court had completed its inquiry.
This goes against all international laws and norms. The United States would never allow a foreign police force to oversee an FBI investigation. Nor would it allow any foreign intervention into its judicial inquiry process.
What makes this even more absurd is that any objective investigation will show that the SPF is at least as competent, if not more competent, than the FBI.
Why do I say this? Having lived in the US for over 10 years, I have observed that while Singapore has moved from Third World to First World in its public institutions, many of America's public institutions are going in the opposite direction.
The best minds in America do not go into lifetime public service careers. The best minds in Singapore do. This is why the trust and confidence in Singapore's public institutions remain high overall.
Kudos to blogosphere
I WAS therefore heartened to see that the Singapore blogosphere did not unthinkingly support the American position. Some of the more popular blogs were pretty hostile to the idea of the FBI interfering in a domestic investigation. This has given me some hope that we can try and find some middle ground between the mainstream media and the blogosphere.
In this middle ground, we should reach clear agreement that some of Singapore's painfully developed public institutions should be protected and strengthened, like the SPF.
If we don't develop this middle ground and if a significant percentage of Singaporeans begin to demonstrate a lack of trust in our public institutions, trouble may begin brewing around the corner. This lack of trust can suddenly manifest itself in different ways.
Let me suggest one hypothetical scenario.
We have had quite a few MRT breakdowns in recent years. Thousands of people were inconvenienced. Fortunately, each incident passed peacefully. The peaceful outcomes reflected the high level of trust that Singaporeans have in their public institutions. They saw each incident as an aberration - not indicating the emergence of a new pattern of decline. But this perception could well change if MRT disruptions persist.
Clearly, the public standing of train operator SMRT has been declining. When I served as Singapore's Ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 to 1989, my American counterpart was the legendary Ambassador Vernon Walters. His hobby was to visit and investigate every MRT system in the world. He proudly told me that having done so, he could confidently say the Singapore MRT system was the best in the world.
I asked why. He said it was the only MRT system in the world that had been built ahead of schedule, below cost and functioned smoothly.
Clearly this is no longer the case. The big question is: what went wrong? Was it a mistake to emphasise the short-term private sector profits rather than the long-term public good that the SMRT is supposed to provide?
All this brings me to the hypothetical scenario. If we have another major MRT breakdown, combined with declining trust in public institutions, we may have the perfect combination for a riot or two. We have been free from riots for almost 40 years. The reasons were simple: rising living standards and rising trust in public institutions. But if this trust becomes a declining commodity and if a major public service performs badly, it would be unwise to expect the same level of social harmony.
In short, it would be a mistake to take our high level of public safety for granted. It is the result of a very complex ecosystem of public institutions that still enjoys a high level of trust among Singaporeans.
However, if the blogosphere and the mainstream media cannot agree on a core consensus of preserving and supporting key public institutions, we could end up with a messier Singapore, becoming an unhappy frog rather than a happy butterfly.
To read Prof Mahbubani's previous column, click here.
The writer is Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
By Invitation features expert views from opinion leaders in Singapore and the region.
Last edited by Loh; 05-12-2013 at 09:50 PM.
05-12-2013, 10:38 PM #7072
Bigger show at Navy Open House
Published on May 13, 2013
Among the attractions are a dynamic display by members of the Special Operation Task Force on preparing to board a ship in distress (above) and the chance to fire paintballs using real weapons. -- ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
Members of the Naval Diving Unit in action during the dynamic display at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
A chinook helicopter pictured during the dynamic display at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
The Remotely Operated Vehicle pictured at the Mission Zone at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
The Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle pictured at the Mission Zone at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
From (left to right), An Armoured Fast Craft Utility, the RSS Archer Submarine and the RSS Intrepid Frigate, pictured at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
A S70-B Seahawk Naval Helicopter equipped with a dipping sonar passes by several vessels during the dynamic display at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
The Republic of Singapore Navy's servicemen (foreground) and two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats surround an "intruder" during the Dynamic Display at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A visitor at the media preview of the Navy Open House 2013 strikes a pose with naval divers from the Republic of Singapore Navy, on May 9, 2013. The Navy Open House 2013 will be held at Changi Naval Base on May 18 and 19, 2013. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Visitors to the Navy Open House 2013 will be able to see up-close some of the Republic of Singapore Navy's weapons, like the remotely operated underwater vehicle. The Navy Open House will be held on May 18 and 19, 2013, at Changi Naval Base. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A member of the press shooting a rifle on May 9, 2013, during a media preview of the Navy Open House 2013. To be held on May 18 and 19, the open house will feature an Experience Zone, where visitors can try their hand at weapons used in the Republic of Singapore Navy. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Visitors can walk through a mock-up of a submarine at the Experience Zone of the Navy Open House 2013, which will be held on May 18 and 19, 2013. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Visitors to the Navy Open House 2013, to be held on May 18 and 19, can take a cruise onboard the Republic of Singapore Navy's missile corvette, patrol vessel and mine countermeasure vessel. Pictured here is a cruise onboard a mine countermeasure vessel. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
The United States' USS Freedom, a Littoral Combat Ship, seen at Changi Naval Base, on May 9, 2013, during a media preview of the Navy Open House 2013. For the first time, foreign warships will be berthed alongside the Republic of Singapore Navy's own vessels, and opened to visitors. The Navy Open House 2013 will be held at Changi Naval Base on May 18 and 19. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Visitors to the Navy Open House 2013 will be able to see up-close some of the Republic of Singapore Navy's weapons, like the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (pictured in background with serviceman). The Navy Open House will be held on May 18 and 19, 2013, at Changi Naval Base. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
An armoured Fast Craft Utility seen during the media preview of the Navy Open House, on May 9, 2013. To be held on May 18 and 19, the Navy Open House will feature a 15-min Dynamic Display, which will showcase the Republic of Singapore Navy's fighting capabilities and naval base defense operations. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Naval divers jumping into the waters off Changi Naval Base, on May 9, 2013, during a media preview of the Navy Open House. To be held on May 18 and 19, the Navy Open House will feature a 15-min Dynamic Display, which will showcase the Republic of Singapore Navy's fighting capabilities and naval base defense operations. -- MY PAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A Submarine from the Challenger class pictured at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The RSS Kallang (left)and RSS Punggol pictured at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The Swift Rescue, a Submarine Rescue Vessel pictured at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A member of the media fires a General-purpose Machine Gun at the Experience Zone during the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats manned by members of the Special Operation Task Force (left) and an Armoured Fast Craft Utility pictured during the dynamic display at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Members of the Special Operation Task Force board the Swift Rescue, a Submarine Rescue Vessel to capture terrorists during a dynamic display the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A chinook helicopter passes the RSS Intrepid Frigate during the dynamic display at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats manned by members of the Special Operation Task Force pictured during the dynamic display at the media preview of the Navy Open House on 9 May, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
By Eugene Chua
CRAMPED, narrow and dark - these are the conditions in which Navy submariners live every day.
At the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Open House this weekend, the public will be able to get a feel of life on a generic submarine. For the first time, a replica of the interior of a submarine - complete with periscope and sleeping quarters - will be on display.
It will be housed within the Experience Zone, which also serves as a hub for a whole range of naval activities that will allow the public to put themselves in the shoes of sailors.
Visitors can experience the life of navy medical personnel at a mock ship operating theatre - stitching wounds and performing emergency rescue procedures
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By Dominic Seow in forum SingaporeReplies: 0: 09-08-2010, 10:24 PM
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