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  1. #7957
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Heritage Board launches research into Singapore's four lookout towers

    Published on Jan 29, 2014
    11:28 AM


    By Melody Zaccheus


    The National Heritage Board (NHB) has launched a documentation project of four lookout towers in Singapore built in the 1960s and 1970s.

    The research effort aims to promote greater public awareness of the architectural and historical significance of observation decks, as part of NHB's interest in expanding its database on Singapore's built heritage.

    The four are the Seletar Lookout Tower, the Chinese Garden Pagoda, Toa Payoh Town Gardens Lookout Tower and the Jurong Hill Tower.

    "We want to raise public awareness among Singaporeans about the architectural and historic significance of these towers even as they enjoy the beautiful views," said Mr Alvin Tan, the board's group director of policy.


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  3. #7958
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Istana to host guided nature walks during open houses from Saturday

    Published on Jan 28, 2014
    9:05 PM

    • By David Ee


      The Istana will host guided nature walks of its expansive grounds during open houses starting from Saturday.
      Led by volunteer guides with the National Parks Board, members of the public will get to tour areas such as the Spice Terrace and Queen Victoria Garden while learning facts about the flora and fauna there. For example, the Istana has two resident Oriental Pied Hornbills , other birds such as the Lesser Whistling Duck and the Oriental Magpie Robin, and a Tembusu tree more than 150 years old.

      Visitors will also get to hear intimate anecdotes about some of the species.
      The Bread Flower climber found within the grounds, for instance, was a favourite of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife because of its sweet fragrance.

      On Tuesday, President Tony Tan Keng Yam hosted about 30 students and visitors on a special preview of the guided tour. The tours on Saturday's Chinese New Year open house will be held at half-hour intervals between 10am and 4pm. They are priced at $4 for Singapore citizens and permanent residents and $10 for other visitors. All proceeds will be donated to the Community Chest.



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...STANA2801e.jpg
      President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Mary Tan (in yellow) join some 30 people, including students from Cedar Primary School, Queenstown Secondary School and West Spring Secondary School, as well as beneficiaries from the Association of Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Centre for Adults Horticulture Programme, look at bread flowers (foreground, top right corner) in a special preview of a new guided walk - The Nature Guided Walk at the Istana, on Jan 28, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...1PRES2801e.jpg
      President Tony Tan Keng Yam (foreground, second from right) and Mrs Mary Tan (in yellow) join some 30 people, including students from Cedar Primary School, Queenstown Secondary School and West Spring Secondary School, as well as beneficiaries from the Association of Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Centre for Adults Horticulture Programme, look at a nutmeg tree in a special preview of a new guided walk - The Nature Guided Walk at the Istana, on Jan 28, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN]



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...2PRES2801e.jpg
      Volunteer guide Bian Tan (second from right) points out the flora and fauna at the Spice Terrace to including students in a special preview of a new guided walk on Jan 28, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...3PRES2801e.jpg
      John Ngu, 27, (third from left) from the Association of Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Centre reacts after smelling the nutmeg in the plastic container held by Mrs Mary Tan (in yellow) as President Tony Tan Keng Yam (third from right) watches by the side. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...4PRES2801e.jpg
      Volunteer guide Betty Wee students from Cedar Primary School, Queenstown Secondary School and West Spring Secondary School, as well as beneficiaries from the Association of Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Centre for Adults Horticulture Programme. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...5PRES2801e.jpg
      Queenstown Secondary School's Lim Wan Tong (foreground, second from right) and Elena Leong (centre, wearing spectacles) look at the fresh nutmeg held out by volunteer guide Bian Tan (extreme right) as he points out the flora and fauna at the Spice Terrace to including students in a special preview of a new guided walk on Jan 28, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



      http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...6PRES2801e.jpg
      An NParks staff brings members of the media around the Queen Victoria Garden during a special preview of a new guided walk. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN


  4. #7959
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Published on Jan 23, 2014
    8:11 AM







    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...N_4008320e.jpg
    By doing away with grades, the National University of Singapore hopes that freshmen can venture out of their comfort zone and take on more ''exploratory'' type of courses. -- ST FILE PHOTO



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...3_4007767e.jpg
    NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan says "it is important to reduce some of the over-focus on grades as the most important thing to go for, as opposed to actual learning". -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG


    By Ong Hwee Hwee, Assistant News Editor

    In a bold move by the National University of Singapore (NUS) to reduce the obsession with grades, how its freshmen perform in exams may no longer count in their final mark.

    The initiative, already in place at its medical school, will be rolled out in phases to other faculties, which could include law and engineering, from as early as this year, revealed NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan.

    Details are still being worked out for what NUS has called its "grade-free" system, which will be extended to the whole school over the next few years. But while there will still be tests and exams, first-year students will no longer get A to F grades.

    Instead they will just be given a distinction, pass, or fail in their modules - and these will not form part of their Cumulative Average Point, which determines the quality of the degree awarded at the end of their course.
    Actually, not a bad idea.

  5. #7960
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Actually, not a bad idea.
    I wish this was the case during my time.

  6. #7961
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    Default WTA Championships in S’pore

    Sports

    WTA Championships in S’pore to be 10-day extravaganza with US$6.5 million in prize money




    TODAY
    Published: 27 January, 6:28 PM


    MELBOURNE — The WTA is moving its season-ending championships from Istanbul to Singapore and will revamp it into a 10-day event with music, entertainment and tennis-related symposiums.

    Speaking ahead of Monday’s launch, WTA chief Stacey Allaster said “we’re ultimately in the entertainment business and trying to broaden our reach” and “expand our fan base”.

    The event will be held from Oct 17 to 26 this year at the Singapore Sports Hub’s 7,500-seat indoor stadium, and prize money will be lifted by US$500,000 to US$6.5 million.
    Allaster said the tour was spending “300 percent more” on the championships in Singapore than in the past.

    Singapore was chosen over the other two finalists: Monterrey, Mexico, and Tianjin, China.

    The move to Singapore was well-timed to capitalize on growing interest in women’s tennis in Asia, helped by Li Na’s emergence as a top player. The Chinese won the Australian Open singles title on the weekend.

    Last year the WTA held 10 events in China, up from two in 2010.

    The tournament invites the top eight singles players and will go from four to eight doubles teams. The expansion to ten days will also accommodate juniors and legends events, plus coaching and other industry-related conferences. It will start off with a weekend of music and entertainment followed by a week of tennis.

    Allaster said it was too soon to say which music acts would headline the event, but likened the integration of music and entertainment into the sport to the half-time act at Super Bowl.

    “By providing a cool, happening must-attend event with all these other experiences, I know that’s the way to help us drive growth,” Allaster said.

  7. #7962
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Formula 1 inspires WTA chief Allaster

    Tennis

    (How it all happened that Singapore became the next stop for the WTA season-ending championships.)




    Stacey Allaster wants the WTA Championships to be accessible to everyone. Photo: Wee Teck Hian



    TODAY

    By Philip Goh
    Published: 25 September, 4:02 AM


    SINGAPORE — As she watched the Formula 1 cars zipping by on the Marina Bay street circuit last week during the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, Stacey Allaster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), was thinking how neat it would be to have one of her top stars cruising about in the race machines in October next year.

    That is when the WTA Tour will stage for the first time its annual year-end WTA Championships in Singapore, kicking off a five-year commitment to have the marquee event here.

    Allaster met the media yesterday at the tail end of an eight-day visit. She was one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural Sports Matters forum last week, where she revealed that the WTA would be setting up an office in Singapore. It will also be appointing a new CEO for the Asia-Pacific and a tournament director, both of whom will be based here.

    “We’re going to have a home here,” said Allaster. “We’ll open up an office and have staff here and they’ll be here in this community, working with schools, local communities, the Singapore Sports Council, so that we can have more kids enjoying sports year-round and not just for the 10 to 11 days that the WTA Championships is here.”

    With the announcement in May that Singapore would be its home from this year to 2018, the WTA Championships, which features the top eight women’s singles players and doubles pairings according to year-end rankings, will also be expanded from its current six-day format to a 10-day festival.


    Said Allaster: “My goal is for these championships to be the best in the history of the WTA. We have a 40-year history and we chose Singapore because you share our vision for that goal to transform the event to being a 10- to 11-day international celebration, a spectacle of innovation and fun, entertainment and excitement. And I have no doubt we are going to achieve our goal.”

    Ahead of launching the WTA’s Road to Singapore campaign, Allaster spent last week meeting with government officials and its local partner, World Sports Group, to map out their strategy for next year and 2015 and meet potential sponsors during the buzz of the Formula 1 week.

    “Certainly, while I was having a good time at Formula 1 this past weekend, I thought about how we can do some cross-promotion between our athletes and F1, and promoting the WTA Championships,” said Allaster. “It’ll be fun to have a tennis player in an F1 car.”

    Allaster also assured fans that the event will be accessible to all. “We want the WTA Championships to be the people’s championships, one that’s available and accessible to Singaporeans and everyone in Asia,” she said.

    “There will be very affordable tickets for everyone ... where there’ll be a way to connect, to be part of the event.


    “We have ambitious goals for our five-year partnership, and I really cannot wait to come here next October.” Philip Goh

  8. #7963
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default ‘Road to Singapore’ campaign to WTA Championships launched

    Tennis



    Ana Ivanovic at the ASB Classic in Auckland. Photo: Photosport.co.nz


    Serena Williams kicks off the ‘Road to Singapore’ with the WTA...
    [More]

    Li Na kicks off the ‘Road to Singapore’ at the Shenzhen Open. Photo:...
    [More]


    Published: 01 January, 11:49 PM
    Updated: 31 December, 1:00 PM


    FLORIDA - The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) launched today the “Road To Singapore”, a season-long campaign which will see the WTA stars through their journey from the beginning of the year to its culmination during the season-ending WTA Championships in Singapore. For the first time in the 44-year history of the WTA Championships, a city in Asia-Pacific will host the prestigious year-end event, which will take place during Oct 17-26, 2014, and through 2018.

    Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO commented: “The entire WTA organization is excited about the debut of the ‘Road to Singapore’ with today’s launch. The fans of women’s tennis are the lifeblood of our organization and we look forward to hosting the best WTA Championships fan experience in our history and providing extraordinary access for our fans across all platforms, creating a closer bond with the WTA stars.”

    “I am starting my 2014 season today, but I’ve already made qualifying for the WTA Championships one of my biggest goals,” said Serena Williams, WTA World No 1 and four-time WTA Championships winner. “I am really excited about the WTA Championships being held in Singapore for the first time as it’s an amazing city that I’d like to visit. Women’s tennis is definitely growing and becoming more and more global each year.”

    WTA’s strategic priority of growing the women’s tennis brand and tournament footprint in Asia started in 2008 with the opening of its first office in Beijing and upgrading the China Open to a Premier Mandatory event. With the addition of Singapore as the Championships host city, 17 events will be staged in the Asia-Pacific market in 2014. Since 2008, attendance, broadcast and digital exposure have set new records in the region which has expanded the WTA’s fan base.

    The WTA Championships will be staged within the state-of-the-art S$1.3 billion Singapore Sports Hub and will be transformed into an international sport entertainment spectacle, significantly upgrading the fan experience with the introduction of new events, including exhibitions between WTA’s Rising Stars and Legends, daily fan festivals, business conference, industry forums, music events and a VIP Experience that will provide the most inspirational and exciting WTA Championships experience in the history of the WTA.

    The fans of women’s tennis will have the opportunity to get closer to their favorite stars and the Championships via a season-long “Road To Singapore” journey. Throughout 2014, fans can be fully engaged with the Championships and WTA Stars’ journeys to Singapore by visiting the newly launched Championships website (www.wtachampionships.com) and becoming “A Road To Singapore Insider”. Through the dedicated platforms, newly launched for the “Road to Singapore” adventure, fans will enjoy an unparalleled access to their favourite players’ season-long journey, including enhanced editorial coverage across all platforms.

    To further support the investment in Southeast Asia, the WTA is opening an office in Singapore and has appointed Ryan Sandilands as the regional CEO of Asia-Pacific. Sandilands and his team will be responsible for driving WTA’s growth strategy throughout Asia-Pacific, including business development, operations, government relations, media distribution; and executing a commercial strategy to drive revenues across all markets in the region.

    The WTA will host an official launch of the WTA Championships and “Road to Singapore” in market on Jan 27, 2014 during which WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster, in addition to a WTA Star and Legend, will officially kick off the Championships for local fans and commercial partners. The details of the Championships events programming and fan experience will also be revealed at that time. The WTA is working closely with the World Sports Group, the Singapore Tourism Board and the Singapore Sports Council on delivering the best Championships in the WTA history.

    The WTA Championships was the most-watched WTA event of 2013, setting record broadcast and digital audience milestones with coverage in 170 countries via 50 broadcasters and 1,000 overall hours produced, which includes live matches, match replays, and player highlights. The 2013 WTA Championships set new records for fan engagement earning 15 million more fans across social media during the three years in Istanbul, with more than 150 million reached via #WTAChamps.

    Singapore will become the ninth different city to host the WTA Championships following Boca Raton (1972-1973), Los Angeles (1974-1976, 2002-2005), Oakland (1978), New York City (1977, 1979-2000), Munich (2001), Madrid (2006-2007), Doha (2008-2010) and Istanbul (2011-2013).

  9. #7964
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default PM Lee thanks Malay community leaders for attending tudung dialogue

    Published on Feb 03, 2014
    11:11 PM



    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (in pink) interacting with (from left) Madam Bibi Jan Ayub, Habib Hassan Alatas and Syed Isa Semait during a two-hour dialogue over the Muslim headscarf held at the Old Police Academy, on Jan 25, 2014 . Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to thank the Malay-Muslim community leaders and representatives who attended a closed-door dialogue on the Muslim headscarf, or tudung, last month. -- FILE PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION


    By Robin Chan


    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to thank the Malay-Muslim community leaders and representatives who attended a closed-door dialogue on the Muslim headscarf, or tudung, last month.

    In a Facebook post on Monday night, he said that one of the oldest to attend was Ustaz Ibrahim Kassim, an 87-year-old religious leader who went despite not being well.

    "Ustaz Ibrahim is a learned and respected religious leader. He teaches at mosques and Malay/Muslim organisations, counsels couples and prisoners, and is active in the Religious Rehabilitation Group. He is also a Hakam (arbitrator) at the Syariah Court,"
    wrote the Prime Minister.

    Mr Lee added that "Ustaz's commitment to the community is deeply inspiring" and that he looks forward "to working with him and like-minded community leaders to build an inclusive and harmonious Singapore".

  10. #7965
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Racial and Religious Harmony makes a Harmonious Singapore

    Past experience has shown that a harmonious Singapore cannot be achieved if there is a breakdown in racial and religious harmony. This will lead to chaos and civil unrest. It will also mean a standstill to our economic development or even a falling back.

    The racial riots in 1964, so vividly presented in Channel NewsAsia's (CNA) current series on "Days of Rage" with rare black and white footages, reminds viewers of the dangers of playing up on racial, language and religious issues and was one of the main reasons why Singapore had to leave Malaysia in 1965, barely after 2 years of merger, from 16 Sep 1963 to 9 Aug 1965.

    Malaya's UMNO was depicted to have struck the first blow when it sent representatives to Singapore to involve in Singapore's domestic politics and play up Malay issues. All hell broke loose thereafter and finally resulted in Singapore's exit and independence.

    No wonder that Singapore's political leaders are very sensitive on race, language and religion and will not allow others to capitalize on these issues for their own advantage.


    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_in_Malaysia


    CNA
    "DAYS OF RAGE"
    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/tv/tv...ts/977062.html

    The darkest periods of Singapore’s history were when politics and race tore apart communities; when trade unions brought the economy to a standstill; where saboteurs were bent on making this country fail; and terrorism reared its ugly head. The days of rage were dark days then, but they also helped to strengthen the country’s core beliefs, and make it the nation it is today. This series brings to the fore events and challenges in Singapore’s history and the lessons learnt.

    1964 Race Riots

    On 21st July 1964, race riots plunged Singapore into days of rage. They marked the beginning of the end for Singapore’s place in the new Federation of Malaysia – just 13 months (should be 23 months) later, the two nations would separate.

  11. #7966
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ten-minute dengue diagnosis kit could hit the market in 12 months

    NEA officers conducting checks. As of last night, there are 53 active dengue clusters, the agency said. TODAY FILE PHOTO

    TODAY

    Published: 04 February, 4:02 AM


    SINGAPORE — Doctors may soon need only 10 minutes to determine if a patient is infected with dengue — one-third the amount of time the fastest test kit in the market here currently takes.

    However, that depends on how soon the technology for the faster dengue test kit, designed by Nanyang Technological University scientist Vladislav Papper, can be commercialised into a product.

    There is currently no vaccine or specific anti-viral medicine that fights dengue, which makes early diagnosis key to prompt treatment for a disease that may cause fatal complications.

    Dr Papper’s proposal is among seven research projects that were awarded grants of up to S$250,000 each by the National Research Foundation in December to commercialise into products within 12 months, under its 10th Proof-of-concept grant call.

    Two other awardees are in the medical device and pharmaceutical/biotechnology categories, while the remaining four are in the engineering category.

    Singapore saw its worst dengue outbreak last year, with more than 22,000 people infected with the mosquito-borne disease. Seven people died from dengue last year, while the disease has claimed its first victim this year in early January — a 59-year-old woman who died from dengue haemorrhagic fever.

    As of last night, there are 53 active dengue clusters in Singapore, according to the National Environment Agency’s dengue website.

    Rosewood Drive in Woodlands is currently the worst-hit area, with 37 cases, of which six are cases reported in the last two weeks. Four other areas — Jurong West Street 52, Farrer Road, Lorong Kismis and Telok Kurau — have also seen more than 10 cases each, in total.

    There were 175 cases recorded last week, which is a 12-month low, though the figures only take into account cases over five days instead of the usual seven days because of the Chinese New Year holiday.

    The preceding week registered 336 cases.

  12. #7967
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New nutritional research centre to promote healthier lifestyles in Asia

    By ReshmaPOSTED: 03 Feb 2014 22:07


    SINGAPORE: Asia's first Clinical Nutritional Research Centre (CNRC) is set to promote healthier lifestyles across Asia through state-of-the art research and the food people consume.

    CNRC, which was officially opened on January 28, also aims to better understand the causes of metabolic diseases common in the region, such as diabetes, cognitive decline in the elderly and obesity.

    CNRC is a S$20 million joint venture by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and National University Health System (NUHS).

    The centre said that natural ingredients, when added to food, has additional health benefits -- for example, rice that can help lower glucose levels in the blood while tasting exactly the same, which makes it a healthier choice for diabetics.

    It hopes that the public will be able to get hold of such rice on supermarket shelves by next year.

    Professor Jeyakumar Henry, director of Clinical Nutritional Sciences, said: "We can provide ideas and concepts that are based on food science to develop a new range of foods that have lower cholesterol, lower glycemic or glucose control, (and) enhance cognition.

    "So this is an important stimulus to produce a whole range of foods that are specially tailored to the Asian population and the Asian palate."

    Companies present at the launch of the CNRC said the centre's research will carry through to their products and strengthen innovation.

    Dr Eline Van der Beek, research director at Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition, said: "We will see a change in products.

    "We already see that our innovation pipeline is very much R&D driven, and thus having access to a facility with state-of-the-art analytical methods to actually measure what happens to your food -- it will help to boost your innovation pipeline.”

    Apart from food research, CNRC also boasts state-of-the art facilities such as the "BodPod", which measures the amount of fats stored in the body, aimed at combating conditions such as obesity.

    How much energy one’s body uses is also monitored through Asia's first whole-body dual calorimeter room.

    The room evaluates the ability of the body to burn different types of food through the amount of carbon dioxide produced and oxygen consumed by a volunteer.

    The centre hopes that it will be able to play a role in developing Singapore as a major hub for food and nutritional research.

    Professor Jeyakumar said: "In the worldwide arena, there are very few places that work on Asian population and that is the importance of a Singapore centre."


    - CNA/nd

  13. #7968
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    Default MediShield to be extended for those who have reached 90

    The proportion of patients aged 65 and above admitted into public hospitals rose to 33.4 per cent last year. Today File Photo


    The move is an interim measure until MediShield Life review is complete


    ByTiara Hamarian
    Published: 04 February, 3:30 PM


    SINGAPORE — MediShield coverage for those who have reached the age of 90 will be extended as an interim measure until the review of MediShield Life is completed, the Health Ministry announced today (Feb 4) as it welcomed the preliminary observations of the MediShield Life Review Committee (MLRC) released last month.

    The extension, which takes effect from Mar 1, ensures that elderly MediShield policyholders do not drop out of the scheme when they reach the current maximum coverage age of 90, and can continue to enjoy MediShield protection until MediShield Life takes effect.

    The move is expected to benefit some 150 policyholders turning 91 soon, with their premiums to remain the same as that of those aged 90 at S$1,190.

    As for the MLRC’s observations, the ministry said it agreed with the committee’s focus on enhancing the benefits under MediShield Life to reduce the co-payment borne by patients, adding that “a balance will need to be struck between enhanced benefits and higher premiums”.

    Noting the concerns about premium affordability, especially for the elderly and low-income, as well as uncertainty over the approach towards increasing pre-funding, the ministry assured that the Government was committed to helping the vulnerable groups.

    One key consideration for MediShield Life would be to keep premiums within Medisave contribution levels for the lower-income group. This can be achieved through various Government subsidies and support measures, so that the lower income group “need not fork out cash for their MediShield Life premiums,” the ministry said.

    For older generation Singaporeans, the Government will help with the Pioneer Generation package, with details to be announced.

    It also will work with the MLRC to help the public understand better the concept of pre-funding for MediShield Life, whereby the amounts paid by each age cohort are set aside for their own use in future.

  14. #7969
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    Default Singapore Botanic Gardens progresses in UNESCO World Heritage Site bid

    Singapore's first bid for a UNESCO World Heritage Site moves ahead with the submission of the official nomination dossier for Singapore Botanic Gardens.


    POSTED:
    04 Feb 2014 16:12
    SINGAPORE: Singapore's first bid for a UNESCO World Heritage Site moves ahead with the submission of the official nomination dossier for Singapore Botanic Gardens.

    The dossier details the gardens' historical, economic and socio-cultural importance.

    It also includes a proposed site management plan, which outlines the nation's long-term commitment towards the site's protection, if it is successfully awarded World Heritage status.

    The submission to UNESCO follows four months of public consultation led by the National Heritage Board (NHB) and the National Parks Board (NParks).

    In a statement on Tuesday, NHB said over 200 feedback submissions were received for both the nomination document and the site management plan.

    Most participants contributed memories or pledged their support for the bid.

    Many fondly recalled their visits to the gardens, band performances, feeding of the swans, as well as romantic walks.

    The statement said the rich heritage of Singapore Botanic Gardens will continue to be shared through various activities organised by NHB and NParks, including learning journeys for students, musical performances, and an exhibition focusing on the use of plants in the Malay culture.

    In March 2014, NHB will present an exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore that traces the progress of Singapore from a colony to a garden city through the historical development of Singapore Botanic Gardens.


    - CNA/gn


    Here are some pictures on Botanic Gardens from my own album.

    These cover some portions of the main garden which includes the Swan Lake but not the Evolution Garden, Eco Garden, Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, the Healing Garden, the Orchid Garden, the Ginger Garden and others. So a lot more can be explored.
    Attached Images Attached Images                                                            
    Last edited by Loh; 02-04-2014 at 04:58 AM.

  15. #7970
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    Default The Botanic Gardens sculptures and new Heritage Museum

    There are many sculptures and colonial architecture in the Gardens that would please the eye. Many of the sculptures were works on children at play or with their mothers, showing off their innocence and carefreeness. Others were on plants and animals, including birds, the most awe-inspiring was a flock of swans taking to the air at Swan Lake.

    Perhaps the more notable children-centred sculptures are those gifted by our late Chief Minister and famous criminal lawyer, Mr David Marshall. These include the "Girl-on-a-Bicycle, Girl-on-a-Swing and Lady-on-a-Hammock", all of which were sculptured by Sydney Harpley R.A in 1987 and 1989. Mr Marshall stepped down as Chief Minister when he failed to achieve complete self-government for Singapore in the 1950's but he went on to become a most popular Ambassador to France when Singapore achieved independence. He was well regarded as a man of the Arts.

    Perhaps of great significance is the addition in 2008 of the bronze sculpture of the "most eminent" Polish composer, Frederick Chopin, seen here busying himself with yet another composition under the watchful admiration of a young lady companion. Their location at the Palm Valley near the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage at Swan Lake is most apt. Palm Valley with its spacious picnic grounds is a favorite meeting place for music enthusiasts to assemble for live performances.

    "The Bandstand" stood the test of time when it was erected in 1930 and still loved by many as a favourite location to take pictures with, especially with wedding couples. It is indeed a picturesque octagonal gazebo that stands proudly in the midst of greenery and flowers.

    There are many more attractions and "secrets" that our Botanic Gardens can offer. You need to pay a visit to find out.
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    Last edited by Loh; 02-04-2014 at 06:07 AM.

  16. #7971
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore maths makes its way to South America

    Textbooks based on MOE method adopted in some countries



    Published on Feb 05, 2014
    7:05 AM



    At Southern Cross School in Santiago, Chile, first- to fourth-grade pupils became more interested in their mathematics lessons after the school started teaching Singapore maths. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NURIA LING


    By Melissa Sim U.S. Correspondent In Washington

    At Southern Cross School in Santiago, Chile, first- to fourth-grade pupils became more interested in their mathematics lessons after the school started teaching Singapore maths.

    Says head of the elementary school Shannon Watt: "They are more engaged and more active and asking more questions now."

    Singapore's maths syllabus - developed by the Ministry of Education with a strong focus on problem solving and using model drawings - has been adopted in a number of South-east Asian countries and the United States.

    And it has also slowly made its way to South America.

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    Default Pioneer Generation Package a long-term commitment: Chan Chun Sing

    Published on Feb 04, 2014
    8:46 PM


    Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing greeting residents at the Buona Vista Community Club at the annual Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas SMC Chinese New Year Dinner. The pioneer generation package is a long term commitment to take care of the elderly for as long as they are around, Mr Chan said on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


    By Charissa Yong And Tham Yuen-c

    The pioneer generation package is a long term commitment to take care of the elderly for as long as they are around, Minister for Social And Family Development Chan Chun Sing said on Tuesday.

    "It's not just one year and that's it. It'll last five, 10, 20 years, even more, so long as they're with us," he said.

    The package - meant to help seniors with health-care costs - will help lift the burden of taking care of the pioneer generation from the younger generation as well, he told some 600 Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas residents and grassroots leaders at their annual Chinese New Year dinner.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will unveil details of the package on Sunday.

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    Default What kind of society do we want to be?

    TODAY File Photo



    By Devadas Krishnadas

    Published: 05 February, 4:01 AM
    Updated: 05 February, 5:00 AM


    Singaporeans have been described as “economic digits” —living and working for the sake of the betterment of the economy. This description is outmoded.

    Singaporeans of today and tomorrow want their lives to be more than just about work.


    This is not unreasonable and it is to be expected of a well-educated populace, where many have the means to travel and study abroad. Even for those of limited means, the Internet has brought the world into the palm of their hands.

    Singaporeans also want to have greater peace of mind about the pressures of life. They want to have retirement adequacy, affordable healthcare, and housing and educational opportunities.

    We also have a strengthening social conscience. We want to see the less well-off do better, the disabled cared for, the elderly tended to and the troubled assisted. We do not want us or our fellow citizens to struggle alone in a competitive economy; we want to find ways to collaborate to make our society a more compassionate one.

    So we want more — and we want to be more.

    To date, predictably, the attention was been focused on what the Government can and should do about all of these admirable intentions. To its credit, the Government has introduced a slew of policy imperatives across a range of areas to match the desires of Singaporeans.

    And there may well be more that it can do.

    There are weighty questions demanding our attention: What is the efficacy of a minimum wage? What should be the distribution of the tax burden to support higher spending? How do we manage the tension between the egalitarian ideal and the inequity that results from differences in effort and ability? How can we find the balance of responsibility for the country between the triangulate of the individual, the society and the government?


    THINKING ‘US’ OR ‘ME’?


    To find satisfactory answers to these important questions, three conditions need to be in place.

    First, we have to be invested in the process of finding the answers to these difficult questions. This means getting informed, participating in the discourse and accepting that even competing ideas may have legitimacy.

    Second, we need to understand that we live in a world of trade-offs. All and any solutions will come with costs — either direct or opportunity costs, or both.

    We will have to challenge ourselves to think in terms of country and not just self alone.

    This not only means thinking about the greater good, but also thinking about the impact of decisions that extend beyond our lifetime. A country, unlike a company, cannot shut down or be liquidated. We need to keep this country going indefinitely. That means our choices have to be sustainable over the long term.

    Third,
    we need to understand that working our way to the answers is a protracted process. In this process, it is okay to disagree; and it is just fine to demand better explanations from the Government or from public intellectuals.

    What we need to keep in mind is that we can have our differences without suffering divides, and that we can have disagreement without incurring disputes.

    And that most of all, even where we may have uncommon views as individuals or groups, we have a common destiny as a citizenry and a country.


    TAKE OWNERSHIP OF OUR FUTURE


    To do all this is within our control. We may not have much choice about our fate as a small country. What matters is that we do have the choice about how we want to go about meeting the emerging challenges.

    We may be a test-tube country, but we are growing in maturity and expertise in the sophistication that we apply to reconstituting ourselves with each experiment. The political and policy changes in recent years are a demonstration that our political and social feedback loops are working. It is the responsibility of the elected government to provide leadership for the country’s future. But it is the responsibility of all Singaporeans to take ownership of the country’s future.

    Determining who we are as Singaporeans, and what kind of society we want Singapore to be, are appropriate questions to occupy us as we advance to our 50th year of independence. Let us do so without being ignorant of our past, small-minded about our present or blinkered as to the rich possibilities of our future.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    :

    Devadas Krishnadas is the Managing Director of Future-Moves, a strategic risk consultancy. This commentary is adapted from a chapter in his new book, Sensing Singapore: Reflections in a Time of Change, available in all major bookstores.
    * For Part 1 of Singapore at 50: Handling change has always been a part of the Singaporean DNA go to http://tdy.sg/dna4feb

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