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  1. #8042
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Keppel Club

    Keppel Club looking at becoming social club, after lease expires at Telok Blangah site


    Published on Feb 16, 2014
    10:20 PM



    Tucked away in Telok Blangah, Keppel Club has a history dating back to over 100 years. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM


    By Rachel Scully

    TUCKED away in Telok Blangah, Keppel Club has a history dating back to over 100 years.

    But now, it will be the first private golf club in Singapore not to have its lease extended upon expiry in 2021 and will not be offered an alternative site.

    The 44 hectares of land it occupies, which includes its club house and an 18-hole course, is slated for housing developments, and was first announced in the 2001 Concept Plan by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.


    Members of Keppel Club had a closed-door meeting with representatives of government agencies and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on Sunday at the Suntec Singapore Convention Centre.





    Among their concerns, Keppel members wanted to know how easy or difficult it would be for it to evolve into a social club and secure a site for a new clubhouse. This means that the club would not have golfing facilities, but can still provide members with amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts.

    Mr Shanmugam told the members that the club would not have to bid to lease its new site, given that it was the first club whose lease would expire without being offered a replacement golf course and that it had a long heritage.

    Speaking to the media after the members-only meeting, Mr Shanmugam said the Government will try to help the club and see if the operators of the public golf course can work out some arrangements with Keppel's members.

    "If a new golf course is offered to them, and they would have to pay a premium for it... and the club's chairman was saying they were not sure if they can pay the premium (required) for a social club," said Mr Shanmugam.

    "It's not as if the new golf course can be alloted free of charge or at a discounted rate, it is going to cost a lot of money."

    Other members had asked at the meeting if they could get a short extension for their existing site and retain some parts of the club house in Telok Blangah.

    However, such an arrangement was not possible as the land preparatory works will be initiated quite immediately after its lease runs out in 2021

  2. #8043
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default One of SICC's greens to become public golf course after 2021

    Published on Feb 16, 2014
    9:34 PM


    The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), the largest golf club here with four 18-hole courses, will lose one of its greens when its lease runs out in 2021. -- FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM


    By Rachel Scully

    The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), the largest golf club here with four 18-hole courses, will lose one of its greens when its lease runs out in 2021.

    One of its two courses at the Bukit location will be converted into a public course and be managed by the labour movement.

    This announcement was made known at a members-only briefing with representatives of government agencies, including Law Minister K. Shanmugam, at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre on Sunday.


    TMCC, NSRCC members first hit by reduction of golfing land


    Published on Feb 16, 2014
    10:18 PM




    Members of Tanah Merah Country Club (TMCC) and the National Service Resort and Country Club Changi (NSRCC in Changi) will be the first to feel the impact of the Government's move to take back some land now occupied by golf clubs and courses to make room for more urgent needs, such as housing and infrastructure. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM



    By Yasmine Yahya

    Members of Tanah Merah Country Club (TMCC) and the National Service Resort and Country Club Changi (NSRCC in Changi) will be the first to feel the impact of the Government's move to take back some land now occupied by golf clubs and courses to make room for more urgent needs, such as housing and infrastructure.

    But members are unfazed, as they expect compensation. Furthermore, both clubs will have their leases renewed upon expiry, which could give membership prices a boost.
    NSRCC in Changi will be offered a new lease until 2040 when its current one expires in 2023.

    However, the Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) that it holds for the land occupied by its nine-hole Air Force Course and part of its Par-3 nine-hole Executive Course will not be renewed upon expiry on Aug 31, the Ministry of Law said on Sunday.

    Part of this land will be required for the Civil Aviation Authority Singapore's (CAAS) construction of new taxiways and realignment of the existing Changi Coast Road.

  3. #8044
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore Airshow:

    Aerobatics and aircraft displays wow crowds on final day


    Published on Feb 16, 2014
    7:31 PM





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...show216e_0.jpg
    Members of the public watch the morning aerial display by the Air Force Black Knights, a six-ship formation display, at the Singapore Airshow 2014 on Sunday, Feb 16, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...irshow216e.jpg
    Members of the public watch the morning aerial display by the Air Force Black Knights, a six-ship formation display, at the Singapore Airshow 2014 on Sunday, Feb 16, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...irshow216e.jpg
    Seven-year-old Kushal Kota (left) tries out the machine gun on the V200A Armoured Fighting Vehicle together with his father Mr Subbarao Kota, 39, at the Singapore Airshow 2014 on Sunday, Feb 16, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...irshow216e.jpg
    Members of the public surround the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter plane on display at the Singapore Airshow 2014 on Sunday, Feb 16, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...show216e_0.jpg
    Members of the public queue to get into the United States Air Force C-17 at the Singapore Airshow 2014 on Sunday, Feb 16, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN




    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...show216e_0.jpg
    Mr Thangaraju Suresh (extreme left), 32, and Mr Selvam Sivaraman (extreme right), 30, react during the heart-shaped aerial display formation by the Air Force Black Knights at the Singapore Airshow 2014 on Sunday, Feb 16, 2014. They are part of a group of 100 foreign workers, whose dormitory boss subsidised their Airshow tickets and transport. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



    Some 40,000 people packed Changi Exhibition Centre for the second day running as the Singapore Airshow 2014 drew to a close on Sunday.

    Tickets for both public days were sold out. Visitors on the second day braved the heat to catch aerial stunts performed by pilots from the Black Knights - the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) aerial display team - who flew six F-16C Fighting Falcons decked out in red, white and the national symbols of the crescent moon and five stars.

    Eight fighter aces from South Korea's Black Eagles squad also wowed the crowd and signed autographs for fans.

    There were long queues at the static aircraft displays as well. with some 50 aircraft on display over the weekend.

  4. #8045
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's longest green belt

    Singapore's longest green belt linking nature reserves in central, western parts ready by end 2014


    Published on Feb 16, 2014
    1:01 PM


    By Audrey Tan

    Singapore's longest green corridor was unveiled on Sunday morning by the National Parks Board (NParks) and the South West Community Development Council (CDC).

    When completed by the end of 2014, Tengah Nature Way will be lined with trees and shrubs to help the movement of small animals like birds and butterflies.

    The 13-km stretch will connect the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves in central Singapore, to the Western Catchment area where the SAFTI live-firing area is located.

    It will comprise community gardens and greenery planted along roads in residential areas to bring biodiversity closer to the neighbourhood.




    South West District mayor Amy Khor (left, in floral top) at the unveiling of Tengah Nature Way, Singapore's longest green corridor was unveiled on Sunday morning, Feb 16, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN





  5. #8046
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default National Skin Centre's medical records system wins Asia-Pacific accolade

    Published on Feb 17, 2014
    11:44 AM


    In 2011, the National Skin Centre also set up an online portal for patients to have access to their medical history, including dates of visits, medication history, and allergies. PHOTO: NATIONAL SKIN CENTRE


    By Linette Lai

    The National Skin Centre's (NSC) electronic system of medical record-keeping has been recognised as one of the most advanced in the Asia-Pacific region.

    The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Asia Pacific, which collects and analyses health-related IT data, announced on Monday that the NSC had achieved Stage 6 of the Primary Care Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model.

    There are seven stages in the model, with the seventh being the most advanced. NSC is the first and only primary outpatient care facility in Asia Pacific to reach Stage 6.

    Director of NSC Professor Roy Chan said: "By harnessing innovative IT systems, we are able to raise our standards of medical service and increase our efficacy in patient care."

  6. #8047
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Tourist arrivals and spending hit record highs in 2013

    Tourist arrivals and spending hit record highs in 2013; spending growth slowest since 2009


    Published on Feb 17, 2014
    2:30 PM



    Two Chinese tourists leaving the Gucci outlet at Paragon. Singapore welcomed a record 15.5 million tourists last year, with arrivals rising 7.2 per cent from 2012. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM


    By Jermyn Chow


    Singapore welcomed a record 15.5 million tourists last year, with arrivals rising 7.2 per cent from 2012.

    Although tourist spending also hit a record $23.5 billion, the 1.6 per cent growth in 2013 was the slowest since 2009, according to preliminary estimates by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) released Monday.

    The slower growth in spending was led by business travellers, who spent 6 per cent less between January and September last year, compared to the same period in 2012.
    STB attributed this to a cutback in corporate travel budgets.

  7. #8048
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Indonesian warship Usman Harun banned from Singapore ports and naval bases

    Published on Feb 18, 2014
    2:10 PM

    By Jermyn Chow


    SINGAPORE will ban the Indonesian warship, named after two marines who carried out a bombing in Orchard Road, from calling at the Republic's ports or naval bases.

    The Singapore Armed Forces, as "protectors of this nation", will also not sail alongside or undergo training exercises with the new Indonesian navy frigate, the KRI Usman Harun, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, in response to MP Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC).

    Mr Zaqy had asked how the Defence Ministry (Mindef) and the SAF would respond to the Indonesian Navy's decision to name a new frigate after two marines who bombed MacDonald House in Orchard Road in 1965, killing three people and injuring 33 others.

    On Indonesia's decision to name the ship, Dr Ng said Mindef "knew the harm it would cause to bilateral relations".

  8. #8049
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Swedish navy chief receives Singapore military award

    Published on Feb 18, 2014
    12:32 PM





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...swednavy1e.jpg
    Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen (left) presenting the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera) to the Chief of Staff of the Royal Swedish Navy Rear-Admiral Jan Thörnqvist on Feb 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: MINDEF



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...swednavy2e.jpg
    RADM Jan Thörnqvist (in dark uniform) inspecting a Guard of Honour at the Ministry of Defence on Feb 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: MINDEF


    By Carolyn Khew

    The Chief of Staff of the Royal Swedish Navy (RSwN) Rear-Admiral (RADM) Jan Thörnqvist was conferred Singapore's prestigious military award, the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera), or the Meritorious Service Medal (Military), by President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

    Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the award to RADM Thörnqvist at the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Tuesday morning.

    RADM Thörnqvist received the award "in recognition of his significant contributions in strengthening the defence ties between the RSwN and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)," announced Mindef in its press release.

    The Defence Ministry added that under RADM Thörnqvist's leadership, "the relationship between the two navies has grown and matured" through efforts like facilitating the training and operationalisation of the RSN's Archer-Class submarines, as well as the sharing of expertise and experience between the two submarine communities. The RSwN and the RSN also interact frequently through courses, exchanges and bilateral exercises.

  9. #8050
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default California county water agency wins the 6th Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize

    Published on Feb 18, 2014
    11:47 AM


    By Grace Chua

    As the US state of California faces its most severe drought in decades, one of its water agencies has clinched the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize for its innovations to manage water.

    The Orange County Water District will be awarded the sixth edition of the prize at this year's Singapore International Water Week in June, said Mr Chew Men Leong, chief executive of national water agency PUB, on Tuesday morning.

    Mr Chew lauded the agency for its pioneering work in groundwater management and water reclamation using advanced technologies, its public outreach on water issues, and for advancing public acceptance of water reuse.

    It was picked among 45 nominations from 24 countries.
    Last edited by Loh; 02-18-2014 at 12:28 AM.

  10. #8051
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore Day to be held in London next month

    Highlights will include local food and showcase of personal memories of home



    Published on Feb 19, 2014
    8:05 AM


    A section of the crowd watching performers at last year's Singapore Day event, which was held in Sydney. The annual event, organised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit under the Prime Minister's Office, aims to keep citizens overseas emotionally connected to Singapore. -- PHOTO: MINDEF


    By David Ee

    This year's Singapore Day carnival is headed for London next month, and will feature a fresh creative element.

    The annual event organised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) will showcase works by 11 Britain-based Singaporean artists that tap their personal memories of Singapore.

    They comprise students and working professionals such as architects, sound artists and fashion designers.

    Visitors will get silk-screen postcards featuring nostalgic Singapore scenes such as guppy fishing in longkangs (drains) to post to friends and family back home.

  11. #8052
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Science Centre Singapore gets $3.5 million in sponsorships for new science centre

    Science Centre Singapore gets $3.5 million in sponsorships for new science centre for children



    Published on Feb 18, 2014
    6:52 PM


    By Audrey Tan


    The Science Centre Singapore (SCS) received on Tuesday sponsorships amounting to $3.5 million from four organisations that will fund the development of a new science centre for children.

    KidsSTOP, which is slated to open in June, aims to arouse children's natural curiosity and let them explore and learn more about science through exhibits and programmes.

    Spanning 3,000 sq m, the centre will be located within SCS's omni-theatre building.

    Its exhibits will include a miniature supermarket where children can role-play as street vendors, for instance, to learn about good nutrition, and the nine-metre-tall "big dream climber", which has climbing structures such as hanging doors and flying fish.

    The sponsoring organisations are Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Lego Education and Tote Board. Funds donated by the BCA, the CAAS and Lego Education will go towards building the Built Environment Zone, Flight and Space Zone, and the Robo Robo Club respectively. Tote Board's donations will finance general programmes at KidsSTOP.

  12. #8053
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Temporary public order bill scopes police powers in Little India tightly: Iswaran

    Published on Feb 18, 2014
    4:07 PM



    The proposed public order law will allow the Police to continue to take calibrated measures to maintain public order and calm in Little India, Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran told Parliament yesterday, at the bill's second reading. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG



    By Lim Yan Liang

    The proposed public order law will allow the Police to continue to take calibrated measures to maintain public order and calm in Little India, Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran told Parliament on Tuesday, at the bill's second reading.

    He also stressed that under this bill, the police will have less power than they do under the Public Order (Preservation) Act or PO(P)A, which MHA has had to invoke since the riot on Dec 8 to maintain order.

    It invoked a provision in PO(P)A to impose restrictions on the public consumption of alcohol in the Little India area, as Singapore currently has no laws to impose such restrictions.

    "But POPA was conceived to deal with far graver situations,"
    Mr Iswaran told the House on Tuesday. "Consequently, it is an Act with broad and extensive police powers, and it requires the Minister for Home Affairs to proclaim the existence of a state of danger to public order in a designated area - in this case, Little India."

    Many of the powers available to the police under POPA - such as powers to impose curfews, take control of property or authorise lethal force for those who resist arrest - are "excessive and unnecessary", said Mr Iswaran, while powers made available under the proposed temporary legislation are "scoped tightly... to maintain public peace".

    The Public Order (Additional Temporary Measures) Bill, which will take effect for 12 months after it is gazetted and give police powers, such as to exclude or compel a person to leave the special zone for up to 24 hours, also has precedents in Singapore's existing laws, Ms Iswaran said.

    "In short, this legislation is limited in duration, location, and scope of powers
    ," he added.

    Joining the debate, Mr Hri Kumar Nair (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) said that the bill, which Parliament is expected to pass today, should be reviewed after the Committee of Inquiry into the causes of the Dec 8 riot issues its recommendations. The legislation should then be amended, if necessary, he added.

  13. #8054
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Indonesian warship Usman Harun disallowed from calling at Singapore ports

    Ng Eng Hen, Defence
    Indonesian warship Usman Harun disallowed from calling at Singapore ports and naval bases


    Published on Feb 18, 2014
    2:10 PM



    Indonesian Navy's three frigates, KRI Usman Harun 359 (right), KRI John Lie 358 (centre) and KRI Bung Tomo 357 (left). Singapore will disallow the Indonesian warship, named after two marines who carried out a bombing in Orchard Road, from calling at the Republic's ports or naval bases. -- FILE PHOTO: INDONESIAN NAVY



    By Jermyn Chow


    SINGAPORE will disallow the Indonesian warship, named after two marines who carried out a bombing in Orchard Road, from calling at the Republic's ports or naval bases.

    The Singapore Armed Forces, as "protectors of this nation", will also not sail alongside or undergo training exercises with the new Indonesian navy frigate, the KRI Usman Harun, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, in response to MP Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC).

    Mr Zaqy had asked how the Defence Ministry (Mindef) and the SAF would respond to the Indonesian Navy's decision to name a new frigate after two marines who bombed MacDonald House in Orchard Road in 1965, killing three people and injuring 33 others.

    On Indonesia's decision to name the ship, Dr Ng said Mindef "knew the harm it would cause to bilateral relations".


    While Singapore wants good bilateral ties with Indonesia and has worked hard to develop the friendship and military cooperation, he said the naming of the ship has heightened suspicions and resentments on both sides, "setting back many decades of relationship building in defence ties".

    He also said the naming of the warship came as "an utter surprise".

    "Mindef and the SAF were disappointed and dismayed over this inexplicable move. Even without ill intent, how can the naming of the ship after the two bombers build good ties, or enhance mutual respect and regard with both our countries?"


    When Singapore received news about the naming of the ship, Dr Ng called his Indonesian counterpart, who was in Europe, at 8 in the morning.

    "I would not have disturbed his trip unless it was an important matter and the Indonesian Defence Minister knew it."

    He said that he stated the Government's position and followed up with a written note, so that there would be "no misunderstanding about our deep concern".

  14. #8055
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default When terrorists in one country are national heroes in another

    The two men who carried out the MacDonald House bombing (left) only revealed they were Indonesian marines during their trial, in the hope of being treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. PHOTO: CHANNEL NEWSASIA

    TODAY

    By Johannes Nugroho

    Published: 19 February, 4:02 AM
    Updated: 19 February, 5:00 AM


    Tensions are running high between Indonesia and Singapore over the former’s decision to name a naval vessel after two convicted members of the Indonesian Marine Corps, who carried out the bombing of the MacDonald House office building in Singapore on March 10, 1965.

    The bone of contention lies in how Harun Said and Usman Ali, the two Indonesian commandos, are seen by both countries.

    In Singapore, they are the perpetrators of the bombing of a civilian target, while the Indonesian government sees them as national heroes who carried out their duty during Konfrontasi (1963-66) with Malaysia.

    The disparate labels for the two men are understandable considering Singapore, still part of Malaysia at the time, and Indonesia were locked in a dispute that stemmed from the latter’s objection towards the formation of the federal state of Malaysia, encompassing large swathes of territory on the island of Borneo that Indonesia had laid claim to.

    However, objectively speaking, were Usman and Harun terrorists or were they war heroes?

    TERRORISTS BY DEFINITION

    Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines terrorism as the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal. By this definition alone, what the two men did qualifies as an act of terrorism.

    Singaporean police records state that when they were arrested floating at sea, the two men said they were a fisherman and a farmer, before later confessing to the bombing.


    However, it was not until later, during their trial for murder, that the two revealed they were members of the Indonesian Marine Corps with express orders to cause trouble in Singapore as part of confrontation with Malaysia. Apparently, the two men chose to reveal their status in the hope of being treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

    When the presiding judge denied them POW status — on the grounds that members of enemy armed forces who are combatants and who come here with the assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits and divest themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers, but are captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war — Usman and Harun retracted their statements that they were members of the Indonesian military.


    ‘HERO’ STATUS WAS ANOMALOUS

    Despite lobbying by the Jakarta government for their release, Usman and Harun were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. However, when their bodies were brought back to Jakarta after their execution in 1968, the two were interred in the National Heroes Cemetery with full military honours.

    It could well be argued that the granting of national hero status to the two men was Indonesia’s way of saving face after a failed diplomatic attempt to have the two released.

    It was also a delicate time for Indonesia as the new government under then President Sukarno was trying to extricate itself from the confrontation.

    The hero status for both men was also anomalous even by Indonesian standards, as people given this recognition are usually those who perished in combat against enemy forces. Usman and Harun never actually met this criteria — as never during Konfrontasi did the Indonesian government nor its Malaysian counterpart officially declare war on each other.

    So, essentially, both were perpetrators of a state-sponsored act of terrorism. Hence, the adamant position by the Singaporean government that Usman and Harun were terrorists.


    MURKY MOTIVES


    By the same token, Indonesians should look at the incident as a lesson in how not to conduct bilateral relations. Sukarno’s accusation that Malaysia was a puppet state of the United Kingdom has never been proven.

    To date, it remains obscure why Sukarno instigated the unofficial war against Malaysia in 1963. Some historians have argued that his earlier success in wresting Papua from the Dutch emboldened him to try a similar tactic with the former British Malaya, though Sukarno always publicly denied any territorial ambitions. Nevertheless, Sukarno’s coveting Malaysia as part of a Greater Indonesia may not have been just a flight of fancy.

    In many ways, his model for the state of Indonesia was the ancient Majapahit Empire, which encompassed Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and parts of Thailand and Indochina.

    Whatever his motives, the border skirmishes and acts of sabotage against Malaysia during Konfrontasi appeared to be designed to provoke the British, who had granted independence to Malaysia in 1957, into declaring war against Indonesia. Had they done so, Sukarno would certainly have obtained his evidence that Malaysia was simply an extension of British imperial powers. THE JAKARTA GLOBE


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Johannes Nugroho is a writer and businessman from Surabaya. This commentary was first published in The Jakarta Globe (http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/).

  15. #8056
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default What S’pore needs to survive as a small country

    TODAY

    Published: 19 February, 4:02 AM


    A top-grade defence force, strong bilateral and multilateral relationships, and a strong network of international partners.

    These are what Singapore needs to survive as a small country, said Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam yesterday in response to Member of Parliament (MP) Zaqy Mohamad’s concerns that Singapore’s bigger neighbours might view themselves as the bigger sibling in an “abang-adik” — big brother and small brother — relationship with the city-state.

    The MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, who had asked about MINDEF’s response to Indonesia’s naming of the warship after the two marines involved in the 1965 Macdonald House bombing, also noted that as Singapore’s larger neighbours prosper, they may take a more nationalistic view.

    Mr Shanmugam pointed out that country size has been used as a bargaining chip with Singapore since its independence, but the Republic has stood firm.

    “The point about bigger and smaller countries is never going to change for us. It is not a new issue. It was always there from the time we became independent. That, size of others, was used as a bargaining chip with us. We withstood that ... We have been able to hold our own, punch well above our weight, simply because we have been faster, skilful and successful.”

    Besides having a strong military, Singapore also needs to ensure strong regional relationships through organisations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, so that issues can be dealt with at both bilateral and regional levels.

    Responding to Nee Soon GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak’s queries over reported plans to build, on Batam island, the statues of the two marines, Mr Shanmugam said the Government has to take the Indonesian Foreign Minister “at his word” that there is no ill will and malice from Indonesia with regard to the naming of its warship.

    Singapore’s response has been “crystal clear” and calibrated on where it stands on the warship, through calls by Singapore ministers to their Indonesian counterparts and a formal diplomatic note, he said.

    Mr Shanmugam added that Singapore will take “one step at a time” and “wait to see what happens” with regards to plans to build the marines’ statues. Xue Jianyue

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    Default Discovery by A*Star scientists may help those with Down syndrome

    Published on Feb 19, 2014
    1:10 PM


    By Linette Lai

    Scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) have mapped out the precise function of a protein, which may lead to a better understanding of how to help those with Down syndrome.

    The protein, known as SNX27, was previously known to be related to memory formation. Insufficient amounts of SNX27 mean that nerve cells cannot pass chemical signals to one another properly. This, in turn, impairs the brain's ability to form memories.

    As Down syndrome sufferers are born with 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46, resulting in lower levels of the protein, they often have difficulty in forming memories, which affects their learning ability.

    However, it was not known exactly how SNX27 was related to memory impairment.

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    Default Singapore, Dhaka are best and worst Asian cities for expats

    Published on Feb 20, 2014
    12:09 AM



    Aerial view of the Singapore Marina Bay city skyline, showing the Marina Bay Sands (left), the Marina Bay Financial Centre (centre) and the Central Business District skyscrapers (right). --PHOTO: SPH


    PARIS (AFP) - Singapore on Wednesday topped an international survey of the best cities in Asia for expatriates while the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka was named the worst.

    Japan took all the other spots in the Asian top five, with Tokyo in second place followed by Kobe, Yokohama and Osaka, according to the annual ranking by the Mercer consulting group.

    Worldwide, Vienna, Zurich and Auckland were named as the best places to live, followed by Munich and Vancouver. Paris was ranked 27th.

    The city offering the worst quality of life was Baghdad followed by Bangui in the Central African Republic and the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

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