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Thread: Singapore Also Can
08-05-2013, 12:20 AM #7328
Stamps to mark Singapore's 48th year of independence
A set of five commemorative postal stamps will be released to mark Singapore's 48th year of independence. Singapore Post said the stamps will showcase examples of what Singaporeans have shared, overcome and achieved together.
The set of five commemorative postal stamps launched to mark Singapore's 48th year of independence. (Photo: Singapore Post
SINGAPORE: A set of five commemorative postal stamps will be released to mark Singapore's 48th year of independence.
Singapore Post said the stamps will showcase examples of what Singaporeans have shared, overcome and achieved together.
This series is the first of three special stamp sets that SingPost is launching in as many years in the lead up to Singapore's golden jubilee in 2015.
The subjects featured in this year's series include "Beating SARS Together", "Cleaning and Greening Our City", "Conquering Our Water Challenges" and "Living Together in Harmony".
The stamps, with the surface values of 1st local mail, 50 cents, 65 cents, 80 cents and S$1.10, will go on sale on 5 August 2013.
And for the first time, the stamps will also be featured as 'Cinderella stamps' - which are stamps without postage value - in the National Day Parade (NDP) souvenir book titled "Our Storybook". The book is included as part of the fun pack for participants at the NDP.
Miniature sheets, pre-cancelled first day covers and presentation sets of the special stamp issue will also be on sale.
08-05-2013, 12:41 AM #7329
From primary school to nursing home
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong SOURCE:MediaCorp Press Ltd
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong SOURCE:MediaCorp Press Ltd
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong SOURCE:MediaCorp Press Ltd
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong SOURCE:MediaCorp Press Ltd
Yishun facility will house 180 beds and is one of 10 to be developed by 2016
By Neo Chai Chin
8 hours 8 min ago
SINGAPORE — It used to have schoolbag-toting children scampering up and down its staircases, but come 2015, when the building that was formerly Yishun Primary reopens, its users will be at the other end of the age spectrum, with lifts taking them to various floors.
The former primary school at 551 Yishun Ring Road is set to be converted into a nursing home with 180 beds, according to a tender for lift installation recently called by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The nursing home is expected to be ready by the first half of 2015, an MOH spokesperson told TODAY.
One of 10 new nursing homes announced last year that will be developed by 2016, the Yishun home will be the only one retrofitted from an existing site. The others will be newly built facilities, and consultancy tenders for five of them — in Choa Chu Kang, Geylang, Ang Mo Kio, Hougang and Jurong West — have been called so far. Sites for the four remaining homes have been identified, said the spokesperson, but tenders have yet to be called.
“We are on track with our plans to ramp up nursing home infrastructure,” she said. The 10 new homes will reportedly add about 3,300 beds to the current capacity of over 9,000 beds.
Disused sites can be retrofitted more quickly to “inject new beds to meet the current demand for nursing home beds”, said the spokesperson. Depending on their conditions, these sites could take about 15 months to retrofit, compared to about 18 months when built from scratch.
The Health Ministry works with land agencies to identify sites for nursing home development. Factors considered include the size and layout of each site, its impact on traffic, proximity to the community and accessibility by public transportation, said the spokesperson.
The conversion of a former school to a nursing home is not without precedent: In 2011, private nursing home ECON Medicare Centre began operations at 451 Yio Chu Kang Road. The single-storey, multi-building site was previously used by the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, and the MOH renovated the site before ECON moved in, said a spokesperson from ECON Healthcare.
Although altering an existing site entails lower capital investment and a shorter lead time, ECON had to “work around the existing structures for our daily operational routines”.
With wards at the 88-bed Yio Chu Kang facility spread out, more nursing stations — where staff prepare medication, do administrative work and keep an eye on residents — were set up and the centre has a staff-patient ratio that is 10 to 15 per cent higher than at ECON’s purpose-built homes, said the spokesperson.
Disused school sites, however, have been more commonly adapted into offices, commercial schools and student hostels in recent years.
The former Nan Chiau High School at Kim Yam Road was tendered last October for office and commercial school use, for instance.
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which currently manages 20 former school buildings, said it considers tendered price, concepts, proposed uses, track record and financial health of bidders when evaluating bids in an open tender.
It also works with other government agencies for former schools to be used by volunteer welfare organisations. The former Corporation Primary School at Boon Lay Avenue, for example, is presently used by Casa Rauda Women Home and Catholic Welfare Services.
08-06-2013, 02:02 AM #7330
Singapore team places third at International Geography Olympiad in Japan
Published on Aug 06, 2013
(From left to right): Tan Hean Shuen, Ian Teo Tze-Rong, Eric Ryan Toh Yung Slung, and Daniel Wong Xue Wei. The team from Singapore has placed third in a field of 126 students at the 10th International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) in Japan. -- PHOTO: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
By Audrey Tan
A team of four boys from Singapore has placed third in a field of 126 students at the 10th International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) in Japan.
Held in Kyoto from July 31 to Aug 5, the Singapore team attained a total of two gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
Daniel Wong from Raffles Institution and Ian Teo from St Andrew's Junior College were both awarded gold medals, with Daniel clinching the position of top gold medalist in the competition.
Tan Hean Shuen from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) clinched a silver and Eric Ryan Toh from Victoria Junior College was awarded a bronze.
08-06-2013, 02:12 AM #7331
Singapore has overcome its small geographical size: Foreign Affairs Minister
Published on Aug 05, 2013
Singapore's small geographical size makes the country "intrinsically not relevant," but it has overcome this handicap by succeeding both economically and politically, Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said on Monday, Aug 5, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
By David Ee
Singapore's small geographical size makes the country "intrinsically not relevant," but it has overcome this handicap by succeeding both economically and politically, Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said on Monday.
Singapore's relevance can be seen in the active roles it plays - despite being small - in international and regional fora like the United Nations and Asean, said Mr Shanmugam in remarks at this year's Foreign Service Scholarship Awards on Monday.
Mr Shanmugam, who is also Law Minister, cited Singapore's role in creating more than 30 Free Trade Agreements with other countries and having defence arrangements with Asean nations. Having a voice at these multilateral discussions is "far more important for us than for a bigger country," he added.
Singapore's size, he said, means that people will talk to us only if we are relevant. And he added: "We are only relevant if we are successful."
08-06-2013, 02:36 AM #7332
Visit Gardens by the Bay on Google's Street View
Virtual tour will include paid attractions such as the Flower Dome
Published on Aug 06, 2013
By Derrick Ho
Singapore's Gardens by the Bay is joining a growing list of iconic travel spots accessible only by foot which are being photographed by Google for its Street View feature.
The mapping service allows users to zoom in from above and get a panoramic 360-degree view of an area and take a virtual tour.
The tech giant will begin capturing images of several parts of the Gardens, including the Super Trees, Indian Garden and Dragonfly Lake, from today. The Flower Dome conservatory, which has an entry fee of $12 for local residents, will also be photographed.
A Google operator will walk through the Gardens with what is called the Trekker - a special backpack with a Street View camera system. This consists of 15 lenses mounted on a mast and connected to a computer, which allows the wearer to automatically capture an image of their surroundings every 2.5 seconds as they move.
Trekker operator Dan Luo Dequan, 28, at the Gardens by the Bay. The Trekker, a backpack with a camera system, will allow Google to take panoramic shots of travel spots usually accessible only by foot. -- PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
- PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail in the United States. -- PHOTO: GOOGLE
Other mapped tourist sites
AS AN extension of Street View, Google has, since 2012, been taking 360-degree panoramic photos of tourist sights around the world that are only accessible by foot. Here are those completed so far:
- Grand Canyon, US.
- Mount Fuji, Japan.
- Hashima Island, Japan - more commonly known as Battleship Island.
- Iqaluit, Canadian Arctic - the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
- Burj Khalifa, Dubai - the world's tallest building.
- The Galapagos Islands, a Unesco World Heritage Site off the coast of South America.
08-06-2013, 02:51 AM #7333
Members of SAF counter-piracy team in Gulf of Aden receive recognition
Published on Aug 05, 2013
Colonel Giam Hock Koon, 47, receiving the SAF Overseas Service Medal from Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen at the presentation ceremony. For three months, members of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 remained alert and thwarted numerous piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden. -- PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
Dr Ng Eng Hen interacting with medal recipients and their family members after the presentation ceremony. For three months, members of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 remained alert and thwarted numerous piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden. -- PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
A member of the SAF Command Team working with his South Korean counterpart during their deployment to the Gulf of Aden. For three months, members of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 remained alert and thwarted numerous piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden. -- PHOTO: YEO SAM JO
By Yeo Sam Jo
For three months, members of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 remained alert and thwarted numerous piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden.
But it was the second last morning of June this year that commander of the force Colonel Giam Hock Koon remembers the most. The task force was involved in the successful disruption of a hijacking by about a dozen Somali pirates on an Indian dhow that was carrying livestock.
"The alert was raised and we responded to it by directing the Japanese maritime patrol aircraft, which after a few searches, was able to localise this vessel and subsequently direct the adjacent task forces, which were able to pressurise the pirates into abandoning their plans," he recalled. "This was the closest the pirates were to being successful," added the 47-year-old navy officer.
Colonel Giam was one of 47 recipients of the SAF Overseas Service Medal on Monday at the Defence Ministry, in recognition of their counter-piracy efforts.
08-06-2013, 10:52 PM #7334
Lee Kuan Yew bust unveiled at SUTD
Published on Aug 07, 2013
-- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
A bronze bust of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was unveiled yesterday at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. The sculpture, cast by contemporary French artist-sculptor Nacera Kainou, was an early birthday present to Mr Lee from the Lyon- Singapore Association and the municipality of Lyon.
Mr Lee turns 90 next month.
At his suggestion, the bust will be placed at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the university at Dover Drive.
08-06-2013, 10:57 PM #7335
Lee Kuan Yew: New book is unvarnished account
Published on Aug 06, 2013
By Goh Chin Lian
Former prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew said that while his views are "largely unvarnished" in his latest book on geopolitics, some of the rugged edges were shaved off.
"I didn't want to ruffle too many feathers," said Mr Lee at the launch of his book on geopolitics "One Man's View of the World" on Tuesday.
SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang said in a speech that the elder statesman was "remarkably candid" in his analysis of international politics, now that Mr Lee is freed from the limitations of being in the Cabinet.
He added: "Mr Lee is an unapologetic realist in his perspective of international relations, one that eschews emotion or ideology."
Mr Lee Kuan Yew delivers a speech at the launch of the book One Man's View Of The World at the Istana. Mr Lee said that while his views are "largely unvarnished" in his latest book on geopolitics, some of the rugged edges were shaved off. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
08-06-2013, 11:03 PM #7336
Cartoonist Leslie Chew apologises; AGC won't proceed with contempt of court charges
Published on Aug 06, 2013
The exterior of the Supreme Court. Cartoonist Leslie Chew Peng Ee, who was facing contempt of court charges for some comic strips, has apologised for scandalising the judiciary. -- ST FILE PHOTO: TERENCE TAN
By Bryna Singh
Cartoonist Leslie Chew Peng Ee, who was facing contempt of court charges for some comic strips, has apologised for scandalising the judiciary.
In the apology, initiated by Mr Chew and released through his lawyers on Tuesday, he said: "I accept that (the) comic strips had misrepresented to the public that the Singapore Judiciary administers differential treatment to individuals based on their nationality, social status and political affiliation, and that there have been specific criminal cases in which decisions were made by the Singapore judiciary on the basis of the above factors rather than on the merits."
The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said that in the light of Mr Chew's apology and undertaking, as well as the fact that the offending comic strips have been taken down, it will not proceed with the contempt of court charges.
"All members of the public should note that the Attorney-General's Chambers will take firm action to protect the administration of justice in Singapore, and uphold the integrity of the Judiciary. Where appropriate, such action will include the commencement of proceedings for contempt," said a spokesman.
08-06-2013, 11:11 PM #7337
Resources, race and religion, sovereign rights will contribute to conflict in Asia-Pa
Published on Aug 06, 2013
Resources, race and religion, and sovereign rights are three issues that will persist as potential sources of conflict in the Asia-Pacific region, said Senior Minister of State (Defence) Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
By David Ee
Resources, race and religion, and sovereign rights are three issues that will persist as potential sources of conflict in the Asia-Pacific region, said Senior Minister of State (Defence) Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday.
This is especially so given the region's rapid growth, diversity and complex history, he told about 50 gathered senior military officers from more than 20 countries including the US, China, Japan, India and South Korea. Mr Chan, who is also Acting Minister for Community Development, was speaking at the 15th Asia-Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers or Appsmo, held at The Sentosa Resort & Spa.
Organised by Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, the conference allows officers to forge ties with their counterparts while keeping up to date with security trends. Mr Chan said that countries need avenues to "discuss such issues amicably and resolve their differences constructively," to prevent conflicts from flaring up.
He urged officers to take the opportunity to build trust and bonds with each other at events such as Appsmo, so that in times of challenge these ties can be called upon when countries work together. "It is incumbent upon us, as the new generation, to similarly build upon the foundation that (the previous generation) have, to...resolve the challenges facing us now and ... in the future," he said.
08-06-2013, 11:21 PM #7338
Singapore Memory Project: Lives and stories of 30 Singaporeans
Published on Aug 06, 2013
By Kash Cheong
The Singapore Memory Project on Tuesday unveiled a multi-sensory exhibition that showcased the life stories and hard work of 30 Singaporeans through portraits of their hands.
"This exhibition celebrates the values displayed by pioneers in overcoming the odds- it is through their hands that this nation blossomed, allowing us, the succeeding generation, to enjoy the gift of modern-day Singapore," said Minister For Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.
Stories included that of hawkers, teachers and builders. Visitors may bring home memories with a special memory card which collects memories from the exhibition and allows them to access it through the Singapore Memory Portal online. They may also submit their memories through interactive digital platforms at the exhibition.
The exhibition being held at the National Library Building at Bugis. It is open from Aug 6 to Oct 13 from 10am to 9pm daily.
08-06-2013, 11:45 PM #7339
No wigs for St Margaret’s five: Education Minister
TODAY file photo
Not all the five St Margaret’s students who shaved for the Hair for Hope campaign will have to wear wigs, says Heng Swee Keat
28 min ago
SINGAPORE — The five St Margaret’s Secondary School girls who shaved their heads in support of the Hair for Hope campaign will not have to wear wigs, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said today (July 7) after having spoken to Mrs Marion Tan, the school’s principal.
“It is reasonable to ask if and how exceptions (to the school’s rules) could be made, under special circumstances,” wrote Mr Heng in a post to his Facebook wall today.
“Mrs Tan, on her part, has also reflected on her decision, and understood that the girls wanted to show empathy and solidarity with cancer patients which entail the experience of going bald. With this in mind, she has supported all five in their wish not to conceal their shaved heads.
“I am glad that the Principal, teachers and students of St Margaret’s Secondary School have resolved this and will move on from here.”
The school had previously made the five girls promise to wear wigs as a condition for their participating in the campaign. After some resistance, the five complied but two subsequently said that they developed rashes from wearing wigs.
St Margaret's does not permit hairstyles deemed as "punk, unfeminine and sloppy". The Hair for Hope campaign is intended as a show of solidarity with children with cancer, who may suffer severe hair loss from chemotherapy treatment.
The Education Minister’s Facebook post, in full, reads as follows:
“Some parents have been asking if St Margaret’s Secondary School was harsh in asking some students to wear wigs after they shaved their heads to show support for children with cancer. I would like to share some thoughts on this.
“First, the teaching community and I are very proud when our students show great character, such as by showing solidarity with those afflicted with cancer. It is not easy for a teenage girl to shave her head — I fully appreciate and applaud the commitment it shows. I personally support the Hair for Hope campaign and, in fact, was happy to join the organisers last year when they invited me. I remember a 15-year-old cancer survivor who had his head shaved. I thought it was very brave of him to show the operation scar on his head. I could understand how much it meant to know others empathise with him.
“We want our schools to nurture young people with a natural empathy for those who have known suffering. I know that Mrs Tan, the Principal of St Margaret’s, feels the same way, which is why she gave her support to the students who first sought the school’s permission to shave their heads, on the condition that the girls would don wigs in school. Many have asked why Mrs Tan did not take into account the fact that in the context of Hair for Hope, going bald is a sign of solidarity and empathy for cancer patients. I know some may say, why is the school so rigid in the first place? Other schools let their students bare their heads for the same cause, don’t they?
“I understand that Mrs Tan’s rationale for asking the girls to wear wigs was because she was concerned that students of St Margaret’s should present themselves within the school’s guidelines. However, it is reasonable to ask if and how exceptions could be made, under special circumstances like the Hair for Hope cause. Or, are there other ways of showing support that are compatible with the school’s rules and ethos?
“Part and parcel of education are developing character, inculcating a healthy respect for views, and honouring commitments. The school had no issue with students having a heart – but the school was also trying to teach the girls that character is seen in how we honour our commitments, as much as it is seen in our charitable acts.
“I am happy to learn that yesterday, Mrs Tan and her teachers spoke with the students who participated in Hair for Hope. The girls shared with their Principal the learning they have had through this experience. Mrs Tan, on her part, has also reflected on her decision, and understood that the girls wanted to show empathy and solidarity with cancer patients which entail the experience of going bald. With this in mind, she has supported all 5 in their wish not to conceal their shaved heads. I am glad that the Principal, teachers and students of St Margaret’s Secondary School have resolved this and will move on from here.
“This, then, is the real heart of education, that everyone appreciates there is a learning moment in every situation, in every decision we make, in every promise we pledge. Our Principals and teachers have a huge responsibility to help shape our students’ characters. Of course, parents play a most important role, so I ask parents to work together with our educators to give our children the best experiences and lessons to become outstanding young people of character. Because ultimately that is what is really at stake.”
08-07-2013, 12:30 AM #7340
In a class of her own
Kok Mun Wai and the trophies she led her charges to win this year. This is the second time she has completed the five-gold sweep. Photo: Wee Teck Hian
Kok’s second five-gold sweep means she has now won 43 national schools netball titles since 1996
By Low Lin Fhoong
7 hours 52 min ago
SINGAPORE — Eight years ago, Kok Mun Wai achieved the unprecedented in schools netball.
The coach of CHIJ Kellock (Primary), CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) and Anglo Chinese Junior College (ACJC) led her teams to all five national titles at stake in the sport — the Primary Junior, Primary Senior, “A”, “B” and “C” Divisions.
Last week, she did the five-gold sweep again when her young charges from CHIJ Kellock scored a 36-23 victory over CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace in the Primary Senior final.
Yet, the 44-year-old, who declined to reveal any details about herself outside of netball, did not break out the champagne, nor jump for joy. In fact, the significance of the double triumph only sank in much later.
“It didn’t come to my mind as I was so focused on my job that day,” she said.
“I only realised it after the prize presentation when one of the teachers mentioned it. I was very happy as all the hard work by the girls had paid off. Everything came together this year as I had good, skilful players who were mentally strong. This is one of my lucky years. Hard work is important for sports, but so is luck!”
CHIJ Kellock’s victory means that Kok has now won 43 national titles across the primary, secondary and pre-university levels in her 17 years as a coach.
In all likelihood, she is Singapore’s most successful school coach, at the top of a list of decorated school coaches and teachers who have led their students to glory numerous times.
They include Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) rugby head coach Adrian Chong, who has led the Under-11, U-13, “A”, “B”, “C” Div teams to over 30 titles; former Victoria School teacher and coach Ho Kiat Chong (26 “B” and “C” Div cross country crowns, including eight doubles); and former hockey coach Felix Hector Gomez, who clinched 21 national hockey and floorball titles from 1994 to 2010 with Northland Secondary, Xishan Primary and Peixin Primary.
Despite attributing some portion of her two five-gold sweeps to luck, it is clear that the straight-talking, no-nonsense Kok does not believe in leaving things to chance either.
Said the former international who switched from an accounting job to coaching in 1996:
“I am strict with the girls, and I expect a lot of discipline, commitment and hard work from them. At the start of the season, I usually have a talk with them to tell them what I want — maximum effort in training.”
National netballer Natalie Long remembers the mantra to this day. The 23-year-old goal shooter spent 14 years under Kok’s tutelage at CHIJ Kellock, CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) and ACJC, winning eight titles.
“I was scared of her when I was younger as she was very fierce and used to shout at us when we slacked off,” she recalled
“I was really fearful of training for a long time because we had to run many rounds on the track, and we were punished if we didn’t meet the time targets.
“I was more scared of her than of my mum!”
But the disciplinarian and taskmaster also has a soft side. She would always reward her Player of the Match with personalised gifts.
Said Long: “She’s taught me the basics and that hard work pays off. Even though she is no longer my coach, she cares for me.
“Once, I was telling her about some problems I was going through, and she offered her help without me asking for it.”
08-10-2013, 05:28 AM #7341
NDP 2013: Crowds sang and danced in carnival-like parade
Published on Aug 09, 2013
Fireworks marking the end of the 48th National Day Parade on Friday, Aug 9, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
During the three-and-a-half hour National Day Parade on Friday, Aug 9, 2013, 26,000 spectators were treated to a display of defence hardware, aerial flypass, and a variety show with plenty of song and dance. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Performers dancing at the National Day Parade 2013 at the floating platform. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
By Stacey Chia
The last firework lit the sky, marking the end of the 48th National Day Parade.
During the three-and-a-half hour celebrations on Friday, 26,000 spectators were treated to a display of defence hardware, aerial flypass, and a variety show with plenty of song and dance.
The pre-parade also had a carnival feel, and parade-goers got their faces painted and had balloons sculpted for them.
About 6,000 participants took part in this year's NDP, including familiar personalities like Moses Lim and Koh Chieng Mun, who performed as their characters from the popular sitcom Under One Roof. For the first time, Team Singapore athletes like table-tennis star Feng Tianwei, and captain of LionsXII Shahril Ishak were also part of the performance.
But the crowds were disappointed that the Red Lions daredevil stunts were cancelled - the first time in decades - due to low cloud cover.
This year's NDP theme song, One Singapore, was heavily criticised by netizens, when it was first launched last month.
But spectators shrugged off the negative comments as they sang and danced along with 68 members from the Sing-a-Nation choir.
Keeping in line with this year's theme of Many Stories...One Singapore, this year's show was also slightly longer than usual. The NDP show committee said that this was to reflect the "many extraordinary stories about everyday Singaporeans".
Madam Jocelyn Teo, 43, who was at the parade with her family, said that she felt proud watching the parade. "I tried to participate before, but dropped out halfway, because it was too tiring. So I know how much effort went into putting this together. I'm really proud of the Singaporeans who put the parade together."
Last edited by Loh; 08-10-2013 at 05:43 AM.
08-10-2013, 06:12 AM #7342
One big 48th birthday party for Singapore
- By Woo Sian Boon
12 hours 32 min ago
SINGAPORE — Singaporeans celebrated the nation’s 48th birthday at the Marina Bay floating platform in a jubilant atmosphere that cloudy skies, the threat of rain and even a curtailed appearance by the Red Lions failed to dampen.
Vibrant lights illuminating the three-tier stage and the infectious pop songs accompanying each performance segment drew much cheer and the thumbs-up from young Singaporeans in particular.
Also a crowd-pleaser were the first-ever performances at the annual parade by Singapore’s athletes, including the LionsXII and synchronised swimmers, and appearances by the equestrian para-athletes on their horses.
Then there was the return of the action-packed segment in which personnel from the armed forces, civil defence force, navy and police force thrilled the audience with pyrotechnics on land and at sea — each team re-enacting how they would respond to crises such as terrorist attacks or industrial fires.
The parade, based on the theme Many Stories, One Singapore, was half an hour longer this year with a variety-show format. Old favourites such as the fly-past and march-past also kept the crowd entertained.
For some among them, the celebrations were extra special. Little Foo Shao Ning shares the same birthday as Singapore and turned 10 yesterday. “I’m very excited and my favourite part was the fireworks display,” she said.
Shao Ning’s father, civil servant Foo Kai Houw, said: “Usually we’d be celebrating her birthday and watching the parade at home, but this year, I was successful with balloting for tickets, so it’s a treat for her.”
One of many Malay-Muslims among the 6,000 NDP participants, Muhammad Alif Djohan said: “With my father by my side, and my friends by my other side, this is in a way celebrating Hari Raya with my friends and family.”
From the get go, the crowd’s mood was buoyed by their interactive exchanges with the emcees, who got them out of their seats performing the Kallang Wave and gave individuals pop quizzes about Singapore’s history.
The loudest cheers were reserved for former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew when he made his appearance with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. Wearing a red polo shirt, Mr Lee smiled and waved at the crowd before taking his seat.
As the sky darkened, light sabres that were given out with this year’s fun packs were switched on, and the entire platform was illuminated in waving orange and yellow lights while cameras were whipped out to capture memories.
The audience also sat rapt during the “Play” segment, a retelling of traditional tales of Bukit Merah and Sang Nila Utama.
Said 17-year-old student Elicia Yeo: “The stories were told in a much more engaging way than last year’s parade. My attention was captured by the vibrant colours of the stage and the lively songs accompanying the performances.”
As a finale, Singaporeans rose as one to sing the National anthem and recite the pledge.
Said Mr Albert Gomez, 62,:”I feel very proud to be singing the National anthem and celebrating our nation’s birthday with so many fellow Singaporeans. The atmosphere is electrifying, with everyone wearing red and waving our flag.”
- By Woo Sian Boon
08-10-2013, 06:38 AM #7343
More Pictures of Singapore's 48th Birthday
More Pictures of Singapore's 48th Birthday from the local press.
08-11-2013, 10:45 PM #7344
Singapore University of Technology and Design students develop fare ring
Published on Aug 12, 2013
SUTD students Olivia Seow and Edward Tiong showing how their "Sesame Ring" works at a subway station in Boston. -- ST PHOTO: ONG HWEE HWEE
By Ong Hwee Hwee Assistant News Editor In Boston
A Singapore invention may soon be "ringing" in changes in the way commuters use one of the busiest subway systems in the United States.
Two enterprising Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) students have created a ring embedded with a chip, which can replace a standard stored value card.
The "Sesame Ring" - a play on "open sesame" - has opened doors for second-year students Olivia Seow, 22, and Edward Tiong, 23.
They pitched the idea to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) while attending a Global Leadership Programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Last edited by Loh; 08-11-2013 at 10:48 PM.
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