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  1. #7277
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More than 1,000 art and music teachers discuss role of arts education at seminar

    Published on Jul 17, 2013
    11:51 AM


    By Pearl Lee

    Some 1,200 arts educators gathered at Republic Polytechnic on Wednesday to attend the Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research and Arts Education Conference.

    The three-day event, jointly hosted by the Education Ministry and National Institute of Education, encourages the sharing of knowledge and pedagogical expertise among art and music teachers.

    The conference, themed "Arts Education and the Community", will highlight the socio-cultural impact of arts education on societies worldwide. It will feature over 200 art, music, dance and drama presentations and workshops by arts institutions, established arts pedagogues practitioners from Singapore and around the region.

    Local artiste Dick Lee, one of the keynote speakers of the event, will talk about the role of arts and arts education in nurturing identity, and the impact of arts on the community.

  2. #7278
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    Default Biggest Singapore Science Festival to open on Friday

    Published on Jul 18, 2013
    12:01 PM



    lvscience - At X-Periment, a science fair where universities, companies, and research institutions share and demonstrate their latest innovations. The biggest Singapore Science Festival, with more than 50 organisations taking part, will open on Friday. -- FILE PHOTO: SINGAPORE SCIENCE FESTIVAL



    By Kash Cheong

    The biggest Singapore Science Festival, with more than 50 organisations taking part, will open on Friday. The opening carnival will feature internationally renowned science entertainer, Dr Ken Farquhar performing circus tricks and explaining the science behind them.

    Visitors to the carnival will also get to see printable solar cell batteries and a giant robotic snake that mimics the movement of real snakes. They will also get to meet local scientists and take a close look the work of research institutes, local universities and polytechnics. The carnival will be held at Marina Square from Friday to Sunday.

    The festival will also include the Singapore Mini Maker Faire where local and overseas inventors and hobbyists will showcase their DIY works including eco-friendly jewellery and haze detectors. It will held on July 27 and 28 at *SCAPE.

    Organisers said that the events lined up this year were intended to show the general public how fun and relevant science is in everyday lives. The entire festival runs from July 19 to Aug 4.

  3. #7279
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    Default Keglers not resting on laurels



    (From front) Singapore Sports School bowlers Charlene Lim Jia Yi, Aloysius Ng, Oh Han Qin, Jermaine Seah, Iliya Syamim. Photo: Wee Teck Hian



    By Adelene Wong

    6 hours 26 min ago

    SINGAPORE — Less than 10 years since it first opened its doors, the Singapore Sports School (SSP) has chalked up an impressive track record, including in athletics, football and swimming. And bowling is no exception.

    The SSP’s keglers have dominated the National “B” and “C” Divisions Schools Championships, finishing as champions or runner-ups every year since the school was formed in 2004.

    At the ongoing 20th Singapore National Schools “C” Tenpin Bowling Championship (July 15 to 27) at the Orchid Bowl, defending champions SSP got off to a rousing start, claiming two gold — including the men’s singles title from Oh Han Qin — and two bronze medals so far.

    Seven of its female bowlers also reached the top-10 for the “C” Division girls singles, but the SSP bowling academy’s head coach Thomas Fox insists the school’s keglers can, and must do more.

    “I am happy with the results we are getting at the moment, but we can do better. Definitely more can be done — and we do not just stop here because we are champions at the school nationals. We want to train our bowlers to do well at international competitions,” said Fox, who has been with the Sports School’s bowling academy for five years.

    He added: “The Sports School’s athletes have an upper hand over their peers from other schools because training facilities are fully-equipped and ready right at their doorstep.”
    Fox also stressed the need to intensify their mental training to allow them to better handle pressure and possess the “big-game mentality”.

    But, he conceded that they face logistical constraints with 57 bowlers sharing the SSP’s 12-lane bowling academy — small compared to bigger venues like SAFRA Mount Faber’s 34-lane facility.

    “They are rotating to share the bowling lanes for practice. Space permitting, if we can have more lanes at the Sports School, we can train better and perform at an even higher level,” he said.

    To underscore their progress, the SSP’s Oh Han Qin clinched the men’s singles title at the 20th National Schools “C” Division Championship on Tuesday with a 1,160 pinfall total, 24 more than runner-up Dani Azman of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).

    “Han Qin was running a high fever at the time of the competition, but commitment and support from the team and his family saw him holding on for a significant win,” said SSP interim bowling academy General Manager Yap Kok Wee.

    “We expect to do well in the upcoming doubles and team events for the rest of the tournament. I am very optimistic,” he said. Adelene Wong

  4. #7280
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Fruit peels may be used as life-saving water filters: NUS research

    Published on Jul 18, 2013
    5:31 PM
    185



    NUS lead researcher Ramakrishna Mallampati (above), has developed low-cost, low-energy and environmental friendly water filtration techniques using fruit and vegetable peels as filters. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG



    By David Ee

    Fruit peels are used as compost by the environmentally conscious worldwide. But the throwaway item could soon have an even higher calling - saving lives.

    Tomato and apple peels act like a sponge in polluted water, vastly reducing levels of heavy metals, pesticides and dyes, researchers at the National University of Singapore have found. Their two-year study found, for example, that the peel from eight tomatoes could in an hour almost completely remove heavy metal ions such as lead from a litre of water.

    Their findings could pave the way for a readily available and low-cost way to make drinking water safer for the nearly 800 million people worldwide without access to clean water.

    This could especially be crucial for those in remote regions without easy access to water purification devices, said lead researcher Ramakrishna Mallampati, and where groundwater close to villages is contaminated by industrial pollution.

  5. #7281
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Scientists create new hair follicle model to speed up cure for baldness

    Published on Jul 19, 2013
    11:43 AM

    By Debbie Lee


    Hair loss is a common disorder among men and women, but a research team has created a hair follicle model that mimics the structure of actual hair, which they hope will speed up a cure for baldness.

    The team of scientists from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) said the model would allow them to understand the mechanisms that control hair growth, said the institute's executive director, Professor Jackie Ying in a statement on Friday.

    Unlike existing models, the hair cells in the new model can be easily examined under the microscope, said the team's leader, Dr Andrew Wan.

    If commercialised, the technology can be used by pharmaceutical companies to screen drugs that promote or restrict hair formation, said the IBN. It can also be used to determine if the active ingredients in hair growth products are effective.

  6. #7282
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Four special news editions to teach values in secondary schools

    Published on Jul 19, 2013
    11:42 AM


    By Serene Luo

    Four commemorative editions of IN, the student newspaper of The Straits Times for secondary school students, will look at values like appreciating others or learning from adversity. These editions are part of a new tie-up between the Ministry of Education and Singapore's biggest English daily broadsheet.

    Announcing the pilot collaboration on Friday at Pioneer Secondary School, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the first issue, which looks at Racial Harmony Day, had been "well-received and has enriched discussions on racial harmony in classrooms".

    For instance, one of the articles looked at milestones in Singapore's tumultuous past that shaped its multi-racial society. The issue has accompanying activities for students to think about their roles in maintaining racial harmony in Singapore.

    These issues, which will be produced in tandem with special national occasions, will be used in classrooms over the next year. The next issue will be given out in August.

    These special editions are part of The Straits Times' award-winning Newspapers In Education programme, which is in its ninth year. The programme uses daily news to bring across language and literacy, national education and values lessons.

  7. #7283
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sailing: Singapore win team title at Optimist World Championships

    POSTED: 22 Jul 2013 6:49 AM
    TODAY

    RIVA DEL GARDA (Italy): Singapore's optimist sailors have won the team racing title at the Optimist World Championships for the third successive year.

    The team of Koh Yi Kun, Fathin Rasyikin, Loh Jia Yi, Edward Tan, Bertha Han knocked out Uruguay, Brazil, Britain and the United States en route to the final where they faced hosts Italy for the crown.

    The Republic subsequently won two out of three races to win the world title.

    In all, 48 countries competed in the event.

    Singapore had previously won the team racing title at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.

    The result means that the Singapore quintet are now three titles away from sweeping all the titles at the world meet for the third successive year.

    In 2011, Singapore won the Overall World Champion title and the Individual Girls' World crown through Kimberly Lim in New Zealand. They also clinched the Nations Cup and the World Team Racing title.

    Twelve months later, Singapore made it two sweeps in a row as Elisa Yukie Yokoyama captured both the Overall World and Individual Girl titles in the Dominican Republic and combined with her team-mates to take the two team titles.






    Singapore's optimist sailors have won the team racing title at the Optimist World Championships for the third successive year. (Photo: Singapore Sailing)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #7284
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Fewer kids with both parents from Singapore

    A rising number of babies are being born to Singaporeans with foreign spouses. Theresa Tan and Jane Ng examine the implications of this demographic shift.



    Published on Jul 21, 2013
    9:12 AM




    Posed photo of a woman carrying a baby. There were 42,663 babies born in Singapore last year, but only half of them had parents who were both Singapore citizens. Their proportion of all births shrank sharply from 2000. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    There were 42,663 babies born in Singapore last year, but only half of them had parents who were both Singapore citizens. Their proportion of all births shrank sharply from 2000.

    The rest were born to citizens with foreign spouses, or foreign couples. And this group swelled considerably from before.

    It is a significant demographic shift, experts say, with implications for what it means to be Singaporean and how to integrate foreigners who are here to stay.

    The data on parents' nationality appears in the Report on Registration of Births and Deaths 2012, published by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) this month.

  9. #7285
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Let women choose to do NS, says female focus group

    'They shouldn't be left out of critical rite of passage'



    Published on Jul 24, 2013
    8:28 AM




    2-hour session at Ulu Pandan Community Club, which was attended by 54 women. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA




    By Jermyn Chow Defence Correspondent


    ALLOW women to do national service - and no, this is not a call from a group of disgruntled men.

    Instead, the suggestion that women should be allowed to volunteer for NS came from the first all-female focus-group discussion on how to strengthen the commitment to national service.

    The 54 women, of between 19 and 60 years old, taking part yesterday said NS is a critical rite of passage and females should not be left out.

    Instead of the usual two years, they can serve shorter NS stints of between six months and a year, and be able to choose between combat and administrative, logistics, or nursing jobs.

  10. #7286
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Two new taxi models for Singapore roads

    They join array of over 30 available and come with higher flagdown rates



    Published on Jul 24, 2013
    8:25 AM





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...4_3758790e.jpg
    Trans-Cab has ordered 500 turbodiesel Renault Latitudes (above) while Premier Taxi has bought 50 Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrids. -- PHOTOS: WEARNES, PREMIER TAXI



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...K_3758797e.jpg
    Trans-Cab has ordered 500 turbodiesel Renault Latitudes while Premier Taxi has bought 50 Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrids (above). -- PHOTOS: WEARNES, PREMIER TAXI


    By Christopher Tan Senior Transport Correspondent

    TWO new models have joined Singapore's already bewildering array of taxis.
    And both will cost commuters more in flagdown fares.

    Trans-Cab, the country's second-largest operator, has ordered 500 turbodiesel Renault Latitudes - the first Renault cabs here. Its flagdown rate is $3.90, versus $3.20 for other normal cabs and as low as $3 for the older vehicles.

    Premier Taxi, the third smallest player, has bought 50 Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrids, which are a larger and newer variant of the Priuses used by Prime Taxis. The flagdown fare for this new environmentally friendlier taxi is $3.50.


    Background story

    Trans-Cab set to take over Smart taxis

    TRANS-CAB, the newcomer that became the second largest taxi operator here in less than 10 years, is set to acquire the fleet of rival Smart Taxis.

    Smart will relinquish its operating licence in September after it failed to meet the Land Transport Authority's service standards and maintain a minimum fleet size of 800.

    Smart, with 268 cabs last month, started in 2003 - the same year as Trans-Cab - when the Government liberalised the industry.

    Trans-Cab chief executive Teo Kiang Ang told The Straits Times yesterday that the deal has yet to be finalised. He would not disclose the sum involved.

    Smart's powder-green taxis will be resprayed to sport Trans-Cab's corporate red.
    The deal, if concluded, should bring Trans-Cab's fleet to more than 4,700.

    Smart Taxis managing director Johnny Harjantho was not available for comment.

  11. #7287
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Rolls-Royce, NTU launch new $75m laboratory

    Published on Jul 23, 2013
    11:43 AM





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...ceTwo2307e.jpg
    (From left) NTU Chief of Staff Prof Lam Khin Yong; NTU Provost Prof Freddy Boey; NTU President Prof Bertil Andersson; Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport; Rolls-Royce Director of Research and Technology Prof Ric Parker; National Research Foundation CEO Prof Low Teck Seng; and Mr Jonathan Asherton, Rolls-Royce, Regional Director, Asean & Pacific; officially launching the new Rolls-Royce@NTU Corporate Lab. -- PHOTO: NTU



    By Kash Cheong

    Global engineering company Rolls-Royce and the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU) have launched a new laboratory costing $75 million.

    A key purpose of this laboratory is to develop local scientific and engineering talent. The laboratory can accommodate 70 researchers and 165 graduate and undergraduates, about half of whom are expected to be from Singapore.

    The new tie-up will see 32 new projects in aerospace and maritime in the next five years focusing on three core research areas- electrical power and control systems, manufacturing and repair technologies, and computational engineering.

    The new lab is also the first under the Corp Lab@University scheme established by the National Research Foundation, which supports universities in industry-relevant research.

    Research at this lab will help Singapore "gain in terms of enhanced competitiveness in aerospace and transportational sectors", said Minister of State (Transport and Finance) Josephine Teo at the launch of the laboratory. Rolls-Royce employs more than 2,200 people in Singapore and accounts for more than 15 per cent of the country's aerospace output.

  12. #7288
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sailing: The heat is on


    (From left): Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus, Edward Tan, Koh Yi Kun, coach Fernando Alegre, Bertha Han and Loh Jia Yi. The squad successfully defended their team racing title at the 2013 Optimist World Sailing Championship in Lake Garda, Italy. Photo: Matias Capizzano


    But S’pore’s sailors calm despite favourites tag at Optimist World Championship


    TODAY
    23 July
    By Amir Yusof


    SINGAPORE — Having dominated the Optimist World Championship in recent years, it is no surprise Singapore are regarded as the team to beat at this year’s edition, which is currently ongoing in Lake Garda, Italy. The regatta is for youth aged 15 and below.

    Last year, the Republic won the team racing event, the Nations Cup, and claimed all three podium places in the individual category to become the first nation to successfully defend all three titles.

    On Sunday, they started their quest to do so again when they retained the team title after edging hosts Italy 2-1 in a best-of-three final, a result which was also Singapore’s eighth podium finish in the regatta’s history.

    The quintet of 15-year-olds Loh Jia Yi and Bertha Han, and 14-year-olds Edward Tan, Koh Yi Kun and Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus spent their rest day yesterday at the Gardaland Park, but know a much sterner test from the rest of the 47-strong field awaits them when the individual fleet racing resumes today.

    “It feels different this time. Our opponents are more aware of us and they have upped their preparation,” said Jia Yi who, along with Edward, is the only member from last year’s squad competing in this year’s Championship.

    “In terms of technique and quality, some teams have improved to the point they are on par with us.”

    But the Secondary 3 student at Raffles Institution added: “We have worked hard and all we can do is to focus on ourselves. It will not matter what our opponents do if we perform to the best of our ability.”

    Singapore successfully defended their team racing title — conducted in a two-day match racing format — after overcoming Tunisia, Portugal and Slovenia on Saturday to progress into the last 16. The next day, they negotiated their way past Uruguay, Brazil, Britain and the United States before triumphing over the Italians in the final.

    The individual fleet racing resumes today where after six races, Jia Yi leads the 259-strong field, followed by Edward (4th), Bertha (5th), Yi Kun (8th) and Fathin (21st).

    Although competing at the Optimist World Championship is a new experience for Bertha, Fathin and Yi Kun, they remain unfazed at the possibility that their rivals could single them out. Said Fathin: “I think the key will be to remain calm and not be nervous. We have worked hard and that will get us through.”

    The Sec 3 student at Tanjong Katong Girls’ School described Sunday’s win as her “greatest achievement”, but admits she is not used to the attention from the media, friends and family back home.

    Also receiving plenty of congratulatory messages from family and friends was team-mate Bertha.

    Said the Sec 3 student from Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary): “When I race tomorrow onwards, I will remember the messages, and I hope to use them to motivate me. It will be a hard race, but beyond just physical preparation, we are also mentally stronger from our win on Sunday.”



    Singapore Optimist sailing coach warns against complacency

    ByTan Yo-Hinn

    6 hours 34 min ago


    SINGAPORE — Unlike the old adage, when it comes to sailing, you still have to fix it even if it is not broken.

    After dominating recent editions of the Optimist World Sailing Championship, to the point of winning the team racing event, the Nations Cup and claiming all three podium positions in the individual category, there is a possibility that Singapore’s sailors could start taking success for granted, warned national Optimist coach Fernando Alegre.

    Competition at Lake Garda, Italy, resumed yesterday with the individual fleet racing regatta, with Singapore’s Loh Jia Yi starting the day as the leader of the 259-strong field after six races. Also in the contention are team-mates Edward Tan (4th), Bertha Han (5th), Koh Yi Kun (8th) and Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus (21st).

    Races 7 and 8 were still going on at press time, but if Jia Yi, 15, continues his form, he could lead Singapore to a third individual title in three years. Edward and Bertha are also battling for top-three finishes.

    While confident of their chances for the remaining six races, Alegre, who also masterminded Singapore’s success at last year’s meet in the Dominican Republic, warned much work lay ahead if the Republic are to stay ahead in the coming years at the Optimist, or under-15, level. “Next year will be harder, because other teams will come better prepared, and Singapore’s sailors could fall into some complacency,” he said.

    “In football, a team that is successful (should) never change its formation. But in sailing it’s not the same ... If you maintain the same structure, the other teams are watching and coping with it ... (You) also must innovate and invent new things to add extra value. If not, the performance will not be as consistent.”

    For now, routine — rather than change — such as waking and eating at the same time is key for the team to stay focused and comfortable.

    The individual fleet racing competition is scheduled to end by Friday, but the overall individual champion could be decided earlier depending on results and weather conditions.



    (Singaporeans can really be proud of our young sailors who are able to beat the best in the world to be crowned Team Optimist Sailing World Champion 2013!
    Keep it up guys!)

  13. #7289
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    Default Singapore maintains top ranking city and country for international meetings

    Published on Jul 24, 2013
    2:28 PM



    By Charissa Yong

    Singapore remains the world's most preferred destination for international meetings, according to the Union of International Association's global rankings for 2012.

    For the second year running, Singapore was the city and country which hosted the highest number of international meetings.

    In 2012, there were 952 meetings here which were organised or sponsored by international organisations or organisations of "significant international character". This made up about 10 per cent of all the meetings captured by the association and included 18 world congresses.

    Coming in second and third on the cities list were Brussels and Vienna, with 547 and 326 meetings respectively while Japan which held 731 meetings and the United States which held 658, came in second and third on the countries list.

  14. #7290
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    Default

    Football


    AirAsia scores 3-year sponsorship deal with FAS





    AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and Football Association of Singapore President Zainudin Nordin formalise their three-year sponsorship deal at the Jalan Besar Stadium on July 24, 2013. Photo: Kathy Cheng




    AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes with Singapore national team players Shahril Ishak (left) and Hariss Harun at the signing of AirAsia and the Football Association of Singapore's three-year sponsorship deal at the Jalan Besar Stadium on July 24, 2013. Photo: Kathy Cheng



    AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes with Singapore national team players at the signing of AirAsia and the Football Association of Singapore's three-year sponsorship deal at the Jalan Besar Stadium on July 24, 2013. Photo: Kathy Cheng




    Photo: Xabryna Kek




    AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes with Singapore national team players Shahril Ishak (left) and Hariss Harun, and Football Association of Singapore President Zainudin Nordin, at the signing of AirAsia and the Football Association of Singapore's three-year sponsorship deal at the Jalan Besar Stadium on July 24, 2013. Photo: Kathy Cheng





    AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes with Singapore national team players Shahril Ishak (left) and Hariss Harun at the signing of AirAsia and the Football Association of Singapore's three-year sponsorship deal at the Jalan Besar Stadium on July 24, 2013. Photo: Kathy Cheng


    Deal worth S$1.8m covers all national teams, including age-group and women’s teams

    TODAY
    1 hour 47 min ago

    SINGAPORE — Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

    The sponsorship, worth S$1.8 million, will include flights for the under-21, under-23 and senior national teams, as well as the National Football Academy’s age-group teams and women’s teams.

    The partnership with FAS is set to provide the necessary support to the association to gamer further success and raise footballing standards for all levels. The Singapore national football team is the recent victors of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup campaign.

    AirAsia will also offer “attractive travel packages” for football fans travelling to away matches, it said in a release.

    “I never looked at the commercial aspirations ... but to aim high and do something meaningful for Singapore football,” said AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes.

    “Having AirAsia on the Singapore jersey is important, we want to put forward the message that we want to do better, that we want to dream. We hope to be part of that success; to help some of those young kids realise their aspirations.”

    Mr Fernandes added that the sponsorship does not have “a fixed set of rules”.

    “Whatever the FAS comes up with and requires our assistance, we are ready to help,” he said.

    AirAsia has a track record of sports sponsorship, having backed the English Premiership football team Queens Park Rangers, Formula 1 outfit Lotus, the ASEAN Basketball League and MotoGP.

    FAS President Zainudin Nordin said he is “absolutely thrilled to have concluded an agreement with an organisation of AirAsia’s calibre and reputation”.

    “We are really thankful to Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and AirAsia for their staunch support for football and we are looking forward to working closely with them to further promote the sport in the coming years,” he said.

    He added: “It is a positive thing for us, because AirAsia and Mr Fernandez are supporting youth, and sports in particular.”
    Last edited by Loh; 07-24-2013 at 02:55 AM.

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    Default Singapore's first UN resolution adopted; now, every Nov 19 is World Toilet Day

    Published on Jul 24, 2013
    11:00 PM


    By Robin Chan

    The United Nations (UN) has agreed to mark World Toilet Day on Nov 19, thanks to a Singapore initiative.

    Singapore had tabled the resolution, Sanitation for All, to raise awareness of the global challenge of sanitation and toilets.

    It is the first time Singapore, since it became a UN member 48 years ago, had put a resolution before the UN's General Assembly of 193 members. The resolution was supported by 120 countries, said the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in a joint statement on Wednesday.

    The UN estimates that 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to improved sanitation. This causes poor health and gender inequality as well as slows economic growth and erode the personal dignity of the poorest people in the world, the statement said.

    After the resolution was adopted, Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said it was important for the issue of sanitation to receive greater prominence as the UN comes up with a Post-2015 Development Agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals.

    "Singapore hopes the resolution will focus the attention of the international community in making a positive impact on the lives of people all around the world," he added.

    Singaporean Jack Sim, who came up with the idea, added: "It is a very big benefit in accelerating sanitation, so that everybody around the world will have a toilet." Mr Sim is the founder of World Toilet Organisation, which aims to promote good toilet habits and clean toilets.


    (My view: Although most people in Singapore have a toilet, but in public, especially in the coffee shops and small restaurants, toilets are poorly maintained. However the big shopping centres and government buildings are generally acceptable. Part of the blame is attributed to bad personal habits and attitude. Some people have this mentality that "the toilet is not mine, not in my house, why should I bother too much about its cleanliness"? Such attitudes should change and education plays an important role.)

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    Default 48 Singaporean Seconds: Multi-racial Singapore is unique, says K-pop fan

    Published on Jul 24, 2013
    7:51 PM

    Singapore celebrates its 48th birthday on Aug 9, and to tie in with this, The Straits Times Picture Desk has put together 48 Singaporean Seconds, an audio-visual tribute to Singaporeans who have made this little red dot their home.

    We are releasing their stories and videos in the next few weeks. In the 13th instalment of our series, we talk to K-pop fan Nazurah Atiqah.

    Nazurah Atiqah, 23, civil servant

    Like many K-pop fans, civil servant Nazurah Atigah cheers her idols at the K-pop gigs she attends.





    Ms Nazurah Atiqah (right), 23, a South-east Asian Studies arts degree holder who speaks fluent Korean after taking language electives for six semesters because of her love for korean pop. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN


    What sets the 23-year-old apart from other Singaporean fans, though is that she actually understands every single word the performers are singing about.

    She had taken a Korean-language elective while studying at the National University of Singapore as she wanted to understand what the Korean stars were singing about in their videos.

    She graduated last year with an arts degree in South-east Asian studies and now works as an executive handling engagement and outreach.

    Her interest in Korean culture has also made her more curious about multi-racial Singapore. "In Singapore, we may not have a homogeneous culture, yet people are still united through shared concerns," she says.

    "At a football match, for example, you can see a Chinese uncle and a Malay boy discussing the game," she observes. "And when a goal is scored, everyone stands and cheers together."

    As she sees it, "we're unique because we take bits from different cultures, adapt them and make them our own" - even K-pop, too.


    - Photos and videos by The Straits Times Picture Desk

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    Default A bigger, more animated NDP



    The stage will be turned into sports arenas such as a basketball court during the Represent segment, when athletes come on stage to show off their sporting skills. Photo: NDP 2013


    Three-tier stage, multimedia highlights to help provide more organic performance, heighten experience for viewers

    By
    Emily Liu

    6 hours 5 min ago

    SINGAPORE — The organisers of this year’s National Day Parade have promised audiences a visual feast, with a bigger stage extended closer to the audience, as well as a slew of multimedia highlights during the annual spectacle.

    Performances will be spread across a three-tier stage, one of which sits upon a large LED screen in the middle.

    The Parade and Ceremony part will be held mainly on the lowest platform, while the show segment will take place on all three tiers.

    “The three tiers allow performers to creatively use the different spaces to showcase their talents,” said Military Expert 7 Chow Wai Yein, who is Chairman of Infrastructure and Decoration for this year’s parade.

    In one segment, 800 performers from the Singapore Soka Association will form a giant human LED screen as they line up along the stairs of two tiers of the stage.

    Construction of the stage took 34,000 man hours, 400 tonnes of steel and 150 tonnes of plywood, according to organisers.

    It will provide 4,600 sq m of usable space for more than 6,000 performers.

    With a larger performance area, the Red Lions parachuting team will be able to descend right into the middle of the action at the centre of the stage on the first tier.

    This year’s show will also feature more multimedia elements, including 3D animation and floor projections that paint a digital floor canvas across the floating platform.

    Singapore’s national icon, the Merlion, will also make its debut appearance on the NDP stage, animated in 3D.

    Compared to last year’s use of multimedia, which primarily formed the backdrop to the performance, this year’s show hopes to heighten the experience for spectators with a more organic, heartfelt performance, multimedia designer Sally Lee told TODAY.

    Aspire, one of nine segments in the show, will feature inspirational deaf performer Ramesh Meyyappan, as he mimes and acts across the vast canvas of the stage.

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