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  1. #7294
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    Default S’pore sailors on track at Optimist World C’Ship

    Singapore’s Loh Jia Yi kept his composure to retain his overall lead at the Optimist World Sailing Championship in Lake Garda, Italy. Photo: Matias Capizzano


    By Tan Yo-Hinn

    6 hours 25 min ago

    SINGAPORE — Having swept the team racing, individual world and best overall team titles last year, the hope had been for Singapore to match those achievements.

    And now, going into the penultimate day of the Optimist World Sailing Championship at the Lake Garda, Italy, the Republic’s sailors remain firmly on track to retain all three titles, with Loh Jia Yi on course to clinch the individual world crown.

    After a blip in Tuesday’s Race 7 in which he finished 23rd, the 15-year-old bounced back from his worst result of the individual fleet regatta so far to win Race 8 and maintain his lead in the 259-strong field.

    As all sailors are permitted to discard one race result, Jia Yi continued to enjoy his five-point advantage over second-placed Nils Sternbeck of Germany, who has 16 nett points with four of the 12 races left.

    Singapore’s other sailors also did well enough to move into the top-10 rankings.

    Edward Tan improved from fourth spot to third (33 points) while Koh Yi Kun (36) climbed from sixth to fourth. Bertha Tan (39) remained fifth overall and Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus improved her position from 11th to eighth (52).

    At press time last night, the other races scheduled for yesterday had been called off due to poor wind conditions.

    Still, the current standings mean that Singapore have improved their chances of retaining the Nations Cup, the award for the best overall nation.

    Having already secured the team racing title on Sunday, national Optimist head coach Fernando Alegre has been left pleasantly surprised by his charges’ performances.

    “We’re doing what seemed impossible, which was to match what we did last year,” he told TODAY.

    “I don’t know how this can be possible, so I am also surprised (at how we’ve performed this year). But, there is still nothing to be excited about yet. We must stay focused and keep a low profile, and remain focused on what we have to do.”

    When asked what he thought of Jia Yi’s performance in Race 7, Alegre said the poor result was not the fault of the Raffles Institution Secondary 3 student.

    Said Alegre: “He started well, but unfortunately the wind shut down in the area where he was. But he knew he sailed well and got his position right and stayed calm. If he continues like that, he will claim the world title.”

  2. #7295
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default How the ‘Toilet Man’ and George Yeo made it happen



    World Toilet Organisation founder Jack Sim was instrumental in getting the UN General Assembly to endorse World Toilet Day. Photo: Jack Sim

    By Teo Xuanwei

    11 hours 2 min ago

    For 12 years, most Singaporeans knew Mr Jack Sim only as the “Toilet Man”, trying to bring about cleaner toilets here, even though he had also been jetting around the world trying to convince politicians to do more to provide proper toilets for their people.

    Yesterday, the 56-year-old founder of non-governmental organisation World Toilet Organisation was given a big boost for his mission: The Nov 19 World Toilet Day he started in 2001 was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.

    How a social entrepreneur’s initiative became recognised by the UN involved a large dose of luck.

    After former Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo lost in the 2011 General Election, Mr Sim decided to try his luck at getting Mr Yeo to open his World Toilet Summit on Hainan island that year.

    To his surprise, Mr Yeo accepted his invitation. “We spent three days together, and he said to me: ‘I’m very impressed with what you are doing. Is there anything I can do to help?’” said Mr Sim. “So, I told him I wanted to make World Toilet Day official.”

    Mr Yeo spoke to Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) Deputy Secretary Vanu Gopala Menon, who agreed to meet Mr Sim. Mr Menon said while he was initially cynical about meeting someone to talk about toilets, he was quickly sold on the importance of Mr Sim’s mission.

    Mr Yeo told TODAY via Facebook: “Jack’s passion is infectious. Toilets are a daily necessity for everyone but, everywhere, we have to make do with sub-standard ones, to put it mildly ... Toilets cost much less than their utility, yet they are often under-provided.”

    He added: “(There are) complex reasons for this market failure. (The) big reason is because it is a subject we often think (is) beneath us, so we don’t address it as a problem. World Toilet Day will help make toilets a legitimate, even desirable, subject of management and group cooperation.”

    In April this year, armed with a draft of the “Sanitation For All” resolution, the MFA arranged for Mr Sim to speak to delegates from other UN member states in New York.

    Things progressed swiftly from there and, yesterday, the resolution initiated by Singapore was tabled with more than 100 co-sponsors.

    On the General Assembly’s adoption of the resolution, Mr Sim, a self-described “toilet evangelist”, said: “It feels like I won the Nobel Prize for sanitation.”

  3. #7296
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Nov 19 is World Toilet Day, thanks to S’pore



    Students painted toilet seats to celebrate World Toilet Day on Nov 19, 2008. TODAY file photo


    UN member states adopt Republic’s resolution to tackle a global sanitation crisis


    By Teo Xuanwei

    11 hours 8 min ago


    SINGAPORE — Mark the calendar: Nov 19 has been designated as World Toilet Day by the United Nations, thanks to Singapore.

    Tabling its first-ever resolution at the UN General Assembly yesterday, Singapore called on member states to commemorate the date as part of a pledge to tackle the global sanitation crisis. The “Sanitation For All” resolution, which had 120 co-sponsors, was adopted by consensus.

    The Republic had championed for the UN’s endorsement of World Toilet Day — an initiative started in 2001 by a non-governmental organisation here, the World Toilet Organisation — to draw greater attention to the severe challenges in sanitation globally.

    According to the UN, some 2.5 billion people around the world had poor access to proper sanitation last year.

    Of these, 1.1 billion still practise open defecation.
    To tackle the issue, the resolution, which is non-binding, urges all member states to put in place policies for improving access to sanitation among the poor and eradicate open defecation.

    All countries are also urged to accelerate progress in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to sanitation.

    The MDGs are a set of eight international development goals that the UN established in 2000, which includes ensuring environmental sustainability.


    Multinational companies, international organisations, schools and other stakeholders are also encouraged to “redouble their efforts, through scaled-up ground-level actions ... to promote greater public awareness of the serious developmental, health and social problems caused by the lack of adequate sanitation”, said a joint statement by Singapore’s Foreign Affairs and Environment and Water Resources ministries.

    Noting that the UN is formulating the post-2015 Development Agenda to replace the MDGs, Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said Singapore hopes that the resolution will “focus the attention of the international community in making a positive impact on the lives of people all around the world”.

    Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan added that Singapore’s work in improving sanitation has “made a major difference” for public health and hygiene.

    Plans for how Singapore will commemorate World Toilet Day will be announced later.

  4. #7297
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    Default Founding of SMU a risk that paid off: Heng Swee Keat

    Published on Jul 25, 2013
    2:56 PM


    By Debbie Lee


    As the Singapore Management University (SMU) celebrated its tenth and largest batch of graduates on Thursday, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat lauded the university on the progress it has made since its founding in 2000.

    "We had serious concerns," Mr Heng said. "Would the new university, with no track record, be able to attract high-calibre candidates?" The risk paid off, he said, noting that last year's batch of graduates registered a robust employment rate of 91.7 per cent.

    Mr Heng was speaking at Resorts World Sentosa to over 2,000 graduates including 500 postgraduate students.

    SMU also conferred honorary degrees to former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong and former Xerox Corporation chief John Seely Brown.

  5. #7298
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 7 in 10 NTU students secured jobs ahead of graduation

    Published on Jul 25, 2013
    2:21 PM


    By Linette Lai


    Almost seven in 10 Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduates secured jobs ahead of graduation this year, according to a university survey carried out at the end of June.

    These numbers mark a slight increase from 2012.

    Speaking at the first of the university's graduation ceremonies, NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson also announced that a record 87.19 per cent of this year's graduates made contributions to the university, up from 82.02 per cent last year.

    "Each year, it warms my heart when I see the graduating class making a class gift to help their juniors - even before they have drawn their first pay check," said Professor Andersson.

  6. #7299
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore youth sailor Loh Jia Yi claims Optimist world champion title

    Published on Jul 26, 2013
    12:13 AM





    Singapore's Optimist sailor Loh Jia Yi in action at the Optimist World Championships, where he leads the 259-strong fleet. The 15-year-old Raffles Institution student is the first local boy to win the individual title at the annual Optimist World Championships. -- PHOTO: MATIAS CAPIZZANO


    By Chan U-Gene


    SINGAPORE sailor Loh Jia Yi has won the individual title at the annual Optimist World Championships.

    At Lake Garda in Italy, the 15-year-old Raffles Institution student, who became the first local boy to win the crown, emerged tops in a field of 259 international competitors. He won six of the 10 races.

    His victory follows the success of compatriots Kimberly Lim and Yukie Yokoyama, who won the overall title in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

    Earlier in the competition, Jia Yi, along with Bertha Han, Edward Tan, Koh Yi Kun and Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus, also won the competition's team title.



    Sailor Loh Jia Yi seals individual title at sailing competition in Italy


    Published on Jul 26, 2013
    7:22 AM





    Singapore sailor Loh Jia Yi in action at the Optimist World Championships in Italy, where he led the 259-strong international fleet. -- PHOTO: MATIAS CAPIZZANO


    By Chan U-Gene


    Sailor Loh Jia Yi tamed the currents of Lake Garda in Italy yesterday to claim Singapore's third successive individual crown at the annual Optimist World Championships.

    The 15-year-old recorded an emphatic victory over the 259-strong international field by sailing away from the start and never surrendering his lead.

    After the five-day contest, Jia Yi recorded six wins out of 10 races to become the first Singaporean boy to earn the crown.

    Said Singapore Sailing Federation chief executive Tan Wearn Haw: "This win is rewarding for Jia Yi and the team, as they have worked long and hard over the past years. It's a fantastic way to start the next and more important step of their Olympic journey.


    Background story

    DESERVING WINNERS

    They have worked long and hard over the past years.

    – Tan Wearn Haw, Singapore Sailing Federation chief executive, hailing the team after their Optimist individual and team triumphs

    THE WAY FORWARD

    Our junior sailors have shown that they have the capability. if they continue on this trajectory, with the same commitment and fortitude, they will excel at the youth and Olympic levels for sure.

    – SSF’s Tan

  7. #7300
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New book by Lee Kuan Yew to be launched on Aug 6

    Published on Jul 29, 2013
    11:38 AM





    By Melissa Lin


    A new book by former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew will be launched on Aug 6. Titled One Man's View of the World, the 400-page volume covers Mr Lee's views on the future of the major powers and regions of the world. He also writes about the global economy and climate change, and reflects candidly on life and death.

    The final chapter of the book captures a series of conversations between Mr Lee and his old friend, former chancellor of West Germany, Helmut Schmidt. The two met to discuss international affairs over three days in May 2012 when Mr Schmidt was in Singapore.

    A team from The Straits Times provided research and editorial material, and conducted a series of interviews with Mr Lee. Excerpts of these interviews are included in each of the eleven chapters.

    Published by Straits Times Press, the book will be launched by Mr Lee at the Istana. It will be available in bookstores for $39.90. The book will be made available in Malaysia and around the region soon after the launch. Orders may be done through the Straits Times Press website at www.stpressbooks.com.sg

  8. #7301
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Makeover for Chinatown Street Market

    Stalls sporting plastic awnings to be replaced with fire-safe box-like units



    Published on Jul 29, 2013
    7:38 AM





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...N_3767097e.jpg
    A mock-up of the shelter that will replace the plastic awnings of about 70 street stalls in Chinatown Street Market was erected two months ago outside Singapore Coins and Notes Museum on Pagoda Street. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING






    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../28748810e.jpg
    The colourful plastic awnings of over 200 street stalls that display a range of goods is a familiar sight for both locals and tourists. Yet the distinctive look and feel of the Chinatown Street Market may be getting a makeover. A small concrete shelter has been erected outside the Singapore Notes and Coins Museum, along Pagoda street. It is a prototype being tested to see if the shelter is suited to replace the existing ones. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING


    By Janice Tai

    The distinctive look and feel of the Chinatown Street Market will soon be getting a makeover.

    About 70 shopfront street stalls - which are now marked by colourful plastic awnings - will operate out of box-like units equipped with their own shutters and fire safety system by 2015.

    A mock-up of the shelter, about the size of two toilet cubicles, was erected two months ago outside the Singapore Coins and Notes Museum on Pagoda Street.

    The new shelters will replace existing ones - made up of plastic canvas draped over zinc roofs - which are a potential fire hazard.

  9. #7302
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Queue system at upcoming Ng Teng Fong General Hospital to cut patient waiting time

    Published on Jul 27, 2013
    2:55 PM



    Artist's impression of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. A new queue system for patients at the upcoming Ng Teng Fong General Hospital will help cut waiting time by up to 40 per cent when the complex is completed next year. -- FILE PHOTO: JURONGHEALTH


    By Rachel Tan


    A new queue system for patients at the upcoming Ng Teng Fong General Hospital will help cut waiting time when the complex is completed next year.

    "The patient only needs to register once. The itinerary of the day can also be printed out with the queue number and this is the same queue number that one patient will use to move from one point to the next point," said Jurong Health chief executive Foo Hee Jug.

    The 'One Bill, One Queue' system is part of a patient-centric approach seen in a number of features and healthcare processes at upcoming 700-bed hospital is on track to open December 2014, with the adjacent Jurong Community Hospital opening in 2015.

    "Measured by turnaround time and waiting time, the queue management system can shorten waiting time about 30 to 40 per cent," said Jurong Health assistant chief operating officer Ng Kian Swan.

  10. #7303
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More to benefit from Govt mobility fund for seniors

    TODAY

    By Ashley Chia



    37 min 21 sec ago

    SINGAPORE - Seniors who require Assistive Devices or subsidies for specialised transport and consumables can now tap on the enhanced Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) and have their applications approved at a much shorter time.

    Launched in 2011, the Government’s S$50 million injection into the fund - as announced in Budget 2013 - has widened the scope of coverage for seniors who need support to remain mobile and to live independently.

    The expansion now includes subsidies for consumable items like catheters, milk feeds and wound dressings for frail seniors receiving home-based healthcare services or attending a Singapore for Integrated Care for Elderly (SPICE) programme.

    Wheelchairs, commodes, spectacles and hearing aids can now be subsidised, as well as specialised transport services for wheelchair ambulant seniors to and from their home to the Day Rehabilitation Centre or Dialysis Centre.

    In addition, seniors attending Dementia Day Care Centres can also apply for the subsidy, regardless of their mobility status.

    Previously, consumables were not covered under the fund, and only walking sticks, rollators, basic wheelchairs and transport services for seniors receiving active rehabilitation at Day rehabilitation Centres funded by the Ministry of Health qualified for subsidies.

    More channels for seniors to apply for the fund have also been created which will enable the application process to be shortened.

    Seniors living in a 3-room HDB flat or smaller as per their NRIC address and receiving devices less that S$500 will automatically qualify for the 90 per cent subsidy. This simplified application process has replaced the previous household-means test.

    The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), which used to be the only access point to the fund, has now partnered community-based service providers such as restructured hospitals, community hospitals, Day Rehab Centres, Dementia Day Care Centres, Renal Dialysis Centres, AIC’s SPICE centres, Senior Activity Centres and home-based healthcare providers to enable wider accessibility to the fund.

    There are now 114 access points for SMF islandwide and more will be made available “progressively.”

  11. #7304
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Social safety nets being strengthened: PM Lee

    PM
    Lee at the opening of Pek Kio Community Centre. Photo: Don Wong


    Pek Kio Community Centre, the first community centre to be co-located with a school, officially opened



    By Vimita Mohandas

    14 hours 33 min ago

    SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the government is strengthening national safety nets and reviewing policies to help vulnerable groups more, adding that the community is also rallying together to address social needs and reaching out in ways that the government cannot do.

    He was speaking today (July 28) at the official opening of the Pek Kio Community Centre, the first community centre to be co-located with a school, Farrer Park Primary School.

    Mr Lee also stressed the importance of being self-reliant and working together to build a better tomorrow, as working together is even more important in our new phase as Singaporeans are living in a time of rapid change and uncertainty.

    He also said that while this will be an invigorating time for the young and people with skills (as there are more opportunities), there will be others who need more help.

    Mr Lee said: “There will be some who will find it difficult to adjust, especially the older Singaporeans and perhaps also, the lower income Singaporeans. They will need help to overcome the challenges they face. Whether it’s cost of living, the cost of healthcare, the widening income disparities, we need to focus on these people who need help and make sure that when we advance and move into the future, we all go together.”

    Mr Lee added that community centres act as a bridge to the community and to build community ties.

    Community centres are also a bridge to the future with brand new facilities such as a performing theatre, dance studios and an indoor sports hall.

    The Pek Kio Community Centre, which is also the first community centre (CC) to have a 200-seater performing theatre, will maximise community resources while promoting greater involvement in community activities by students and residents or parents in Pek Kio.

    Residents can also look forward to using the school’s indoor sports hall, concourse and field after school hours for community activities such as badminton, wushu and briskwalking.

    The new performing theatre, besides providing Farrer Park Primary School’s drama club with a well-equipped venue for performances, will also bring residents together through community arts and cultural activities and workshops.

    The new CC is also equipped with facilities, such as badminton courts, two dance studios, culinary room and music rooms.

    The indoor sports hall, badminton courts and field will be open to residents after school hours, and students in turn will be able to use the CC’s dance studios and other facilities during school hours.

    Students and residents will also be able to benefit from the new spacious culinary room and its stations, where they will be able to have hands-on sessions instead of watching demonstrations by the trainers. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  12. #7305
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singaporeans pessimistic? Nothing to feel down about

    Commentary



    Today file photo


    By Joel Yang

    7 hours 50 min ago

    There is a case to be made as to how pessimism is perceived in Singapore, and how it is not necessarily a “bad” thing, in the way it has been stereotyped in a recent Gallup study.

    The poll shows that 24 per cent of a small sample of Singaporeans — which it takes as representative — rated their future lives as expected to be worse than their current lives. This has raised concern that Singaporeans are a pessimistic people. It also appears to reinforce an earlier survey by Gallup in 2011 which concluded that Singaporeans were the “least likely worldwide to report feeling positive emotions”.

    We need to understand the socio-cultural factors surrounding our take on pessimism; it is protective, and potentially empowering. Our memes — ideas and behaviours passed through our cultural evolution — play a major role in shaping our current perspectives. Culturally, it can be said that in Singapore, we are socialised from birth to be more cautious; to be humble; and to fear losing out, or being kiasu.

    Harking back to our migrant ancestors’ early years in Singapore, there was much uncertainty over the future and whether they would be able to eke out a decent living to support their families. They took huge risks in leaving their countries of birth to seek a better life, and to be cautious was a highly self-protective measure then.

    These memes have been passed down through the generations. From young, we were taught by our parents to err on the side of caution. We were told not to play too far from them and to never talk to strangers. We were warned when our dreams grew too big, and told that we ought to be happy with what we already had. Understandable advice given the context, but then it leads us to the admittance that we are a cautious people.

    Caution and pessimism, it has been pointed out, go hand in hand. A point in defence of caution and pessimism: In a German article published this year in the Psychology and Aging journal, it was noted that older people who were cautious and had low expectations for a satisfying future, were more likely to live longer and healthier lives than those who were less cautious.

    SEEKING SYMPATHY

    Secondly, we are raised to never brag about our accolades.

    Ask any Singaporean what their strengths are, and chances are they would take a while before responding. It does not speak to our low self-esteem, but instead to our self-censorship of what may be misinterpreted as bragging (being hao lian).

    Several Japanese researchers of the cultural notions of happiness have identified that there is connectedness through self-criticism. When one tells others how well he is doing at work, it may breed envy. However, when one confides in others the difficulties he faces at work, he may receive sympathy and others may engage more with him.

    We are not as likely to respond with an “awesome” or “great” when asked how we are. Instead, we are probably more likely to say, “Not so good, I’ve been stressed with work lately.” Even if we have just received a promotion, culturally, we are not shaped to go around telling everyone about it.

    BEING MORE REALISTIC

    Thirdly, we have been socialised to compete in all that we do with the fear of losing out (kiasu-ism) — the downside being to win at all costs.

    We need to recognise the utility of “defensive pessimism”, a term coined by psychologists Julie Norem and Nancy Cantor. This is essentially negative thinking that channels anxiety about potential failure into successful achievement. Singaporeans, being the practical people that we are, may be seen as pessimistic. However, a darker outlook on the future is often more realistic and can aid in making more accurate predictions.

    The concept of “defensive pessimism” draws all three points together. This can be seen in Singapore through us setting low expectations (being cautious), which softens the blow of failure. We all know of a former classmate who would walk out of the exam hall complaining about how they were going to fail, only to subsequently receive the highest grade in class.

    By focusing more on areas of potential pitfalls and not revealing our strengths (being humble), one can feel more in control of the situation. And finally, by reflecting on worst-case scenarios, we can prepare in advance to prevent failure from occurring (being kiasu).

    Can we build a sustainable nation for the future that is based on pessimism, some ask? The question is not a fair one. It would be more astute to challenge this stereotyped notion of pessimism.

    “Pessimism” as it is conventionally understood does not mean we Singaporeans are unhappy. Perhaps instead the Western notion of “pessimism” does not quite fit into our cultural definition of “happiness”.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Dr Joel Yang is Head of the Master of Counselling Programme at the School of Human Development and Social Services, SIM University
    Last edited by Loh; 07-29-2013 at 01:12 AM.

  13. #7306
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    Default Schooling stronger, hungrier

    Sports





    Schooling will contest the 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m fly, and 200m individual medley at the World Championships at the Palau Sant Jordi arena. TODAY file photo


    Teen swim star makes World Championships debut today in 200m free


    ByTan Yo-Hinn


    9 hours 10 min ago

    SINGAPORE — He no longer thinks about the incident that ruined the biggest race of his young career but Joseph Schooling has certainly not forgotten it.

    A year after his Olympic debut in London was scuppered by news minutes before his 200m butterfly heats that his equipment was not approved, the 18-year-old Singaporean says the experience remains a valuable lesson gained.

    Already making waves in the United States where he is based, Schooling is now hungry for more success.

    That could come at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, where he will race in today’s 200m freestyle heats, an event for which he set the national record of 1min 49.47secs in May.

    “I don’t intend to just have one great swim. I intend on having multiple phenomenal swims so that no one can question my ability as a world class athlete,” he told TODAY.

    “If you have one breakout swim, people look at you differently. They expect more and more every time you dive into the pool and my goal is to keep upping that standard.”


    Schooling, who will also contest the 100m and 200m fly and 200m individual medley, added: “This is the perfect opportunity for me to make a scene on the world stage.”

    However, his preparations were temporarily affected after his valuables, including his cellphone, were stolen last week during a training camp in Girona on the outskirts of Barcelona.

    At the London Games, Schooling’s debut was marred by an official telling him just minutes before his 200m fly heats that his cap and goggles were not approved by the sport’s world body FINA, despite earlier checks, and he went on to post a disappointing 1:59.18, some way off his personal best of 1:56.67.

    This time around, the holder of five individual national records and defending 200m fly South-east Asian (SEA) champion insists he is stronger.

    “In a way, I’m happy I went through that because that reminds me life isn’t a fairytale and you can’t overlook the small things and expect every moment to be the way you want it to be,” he said.


    “It definitely is part of my routine now. I check the approved list myself and I double-check with my coach.”

    Since the London setback, Schooling has bounced back to post a series of impressive results — including winning the 200m fly in 1:57.79 at the Arena Swimming Grand Prix in Charlotte, North Carolina, in May — with many American universities keen to snap him up when he graduates from Bolles next year.

    For now, Schooling only has the World Championships on his mind.

    He said: “I’ve been racing well this whole year and I’ve seen a change in my swimming. Hopefully, I can carry this momentum into Barcelona and do something special.”

    At the competition yesterday, Tao Li, 23, reached the semi-finals of the women’s 100m fly when she clocked 58.94secs in the heats to be ranked 13th out of the 52-strong field, with Olympic champion Dana Vollmer of the US the fastest qualifier (57.22secs). Tao, a two-time Asian Games 50m fly champion, was in action in the semi-finals at press time last night.

  14. #7307
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    Default First dedicated paediatric and dementia wards at new Assisi Hospice

    Published on Jul 29, 2013
    12:36 PM



    Artist’s impression of the new Assisi Hospice, which will be located close to its current Thomson Road site. When the new and much bigger Assisi Hospice opens in 2016, it will have Singapore's first dedicated paediatric and dementia wards. -- PHOTO: NEW SPACE ARCHITECTS


    By Salma Khalik

    When the new and much bigger Assisi Hospice opens in 2016, it will have Singapore's first dedicated paediatric and dementia wards.

    Aside from more than doubling the number of beds - from 37 to 85 - the new building will also have a section dedicated to education and training in palliative and bereavement care for staff, volunteers and carers.

    The place will be built with a homely atmosphere, with "kopitiam"-type dining area for patients and their family to mingle, and a balcony in every room.

    Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who participated at the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, together with Archbishop William Goh, said: "The challenge is to build a hospice that can feel like a home, so that patients who are unable to be supported at home can have a peaceful and restful place to spend their final days meaningfully."

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    Default Scientists identify gene that worsens breast cancer

    S'pore team hopes to team up with drug firms to develop targeted treatment



    Published on Jul 27, 2013
    9:00 AM




    Scientists in Singapore have identified a gene which makes an aggressive form of breast cancer even worse, in a development which could lead to more effective drugs to treat it. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN


    By Feng Zengkun

    Scientists in Singapore have identified a gene which makes an aggressive form of breast cancer even worse, in a development which could lead to more effective drugs to treat it.

    Patients with triple negative breast cancer, whose tumours have high levels of a gene called UBASH3B, are likely to have earlier relapses within three years of treatment.

    Scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) also said these patients' cancer is more virulent and spreads faster in the body.

    Triple negative breast cancer gets its name because its tumours lack estrogen, progesterone and HER2, which are common in other types of cancer.


    Background story

    Triple negative breast cancer affects 15 per cent to 20 per cent of patients with breast cancer - the most common cancer among women here, making up three in 10 cancer diagnoses.

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    Default Singapore must guard against elitism: Goh Chok Tong



    Photo: Ooi Boon Keong


    Emeritus Senior Minister Goh warns that elitism threatens to divide the inclusive society Singapore is seeking to build

    28 July

    SINGAPORE — Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said yesterday (July 27) there is a need to guard against elitism because it threatens to divide the inclusive society Singapore is seeking to build.

    Speaking at his alma mater Raffles Institution's (RI) Homecoming event, Mr Goh said top schools must play a key role in ensuring that their students do not develop an elitist mindset and a sense of entitlement.

    Mr Goh is the second recipient of the Gryphon Award, an honour given to RI's most distinguished alumni.

    The first Gryphon Award was given to former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in 2011.

    Mr Goh spent six years in RI in the 1950s and he recalled it to be a melting pot of Singapore's best male students from different racial and religious backgrounds, whether they were rich or poor.

    He said his generation's experience was that of an open meritocracy that meant "equity and upward social mobility for most people."

    However, as the society matured, Mr Goh said some stratification is inevitable and income inequality has grown over the years.

    While he said it is natural and commendable for families to give their children a head start, he also cautioned against having a sense of entitlement.

    Mr Goh said: "When society's brightest and most able think that they made good because they are inherently superior and entitled to their success; when they do not credit their good fortune also to birth and circumstance; when economic inequality gives rise to social immobility and a growing social distance between the winners of meritocracy and the masses; and when the winners seek to cement their membership of a social class that is distinct from, exclusive, and not representative of Singapore society — that is elitism."

    Mr Goh said the solution is not to replace meritocracy.

    However, the practice of meritocracy must not worsen the divide between the successful and the rest of the society.

    Mr Goh said: "Those of us who have benefited disproportionately from society's investment in us owe the most to society, particularly to those who may not have had access to the same opportunities. We owe a debt to make lives better for all and not just for ourselves."

    He said the government will also have to continue to intervene through policies and programmes, benefiting those whose families have fallen behind economically.

    These efforts, Mr Goh said, will ensure Singapore's brand of meritocracy remains compassionate, fair and inclusive.

    Mr Goh also launched the Raffles Community Initiative, which is worth more than S$500,000.

    The initiative will serve as seed funding for community projects by students and alumni. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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    Default Myanmar-born, but SAF Overseas Scholarship recipient driven to serve

    SAF Overseas Scholarship recipient fought to persuade reluctant parents


    Published on Jul 30, 2013
    8:54 AM



    Officer cadets (from left) Lim Yu Han, Maung Thet Naing Win and Jonathan Loh You Qing, all 19, are among eight who received the SAF Overseas Scholarship at a ceremony yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    By David Ee

    When Myanmar-born Maung Thet Naing Win, 19, first told his parents in 2011 of his wish to pursue a career with the Singapore Armed Forces, they instinctively baulked at the idea.

    Having grown up and lived under the harsh rule of the former Myanmar military junta, they were adamant that their son not become a military man.

    But officer cadet (OCT) Maung, who moved to Singapore with his family when he was just a year old and became a citizen in 2008, persevered at convincing them.

    Yesterday, he became one of this year's eight recipients of the prestigious SAF Overseas Scholarship (Safos) in a ceremony at the Istana.


    Background story

    CALL OF DUTY
    I also convinced my dad that his job stability depended on Singapore's peace and stability, and that in part comes from the SAF.

    - Myanmar-born officer cadet Maung Thet Naing Win, 19, whose parents lived under the harsh rule of the former Myanmar military junta and did not want him to become a military man

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