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  1. #8382
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 13 from Singapore on list of world's top scientific minds

    NUS and NTU professors featured in list of 3,200 top researchers


    Published on Jun 26, 2014 9:30 AM



    Prof Zhang Hua of NTU carried out award-winning research in areas such as the use of nanomaterials.




    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...T2_438743e.jpg
    Prof Lee Jim Yang of NUS, who produced around 20 papers last year, was also on the list.


    By Amelia Teng

    Thirteen professors from Singapore have been named among the world's best and brightest in a new report.

    Eight from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and five from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - specialising in areas including agricultural science and conservation - were named by business information firm Thomson Reuters in its report: The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014.

    It is the largest number of researchers from Singapore to feature on the global list of top scientific researchers which this year featured about 3,200.

    It is the third time the New York-based firm has compiled such a list. Only two NUS researchers and one from NTU were named on the first one in 2001.

  2. #8383
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore teachers among the youngest in the world, but also among the most hardworki

    Published on Jun 25, 2014 4:59 PM




    Singapore's 33,000-strong teaching force is among the youngest in the world - 36 years old compared with 43 on average worldwide - but they are well-trained before going into the classrooms, seek continual training and feel valued by society, according to a global survey of teachers. -- PHOTO: ST FILE


    By Sandra Davie

    SINGAPORE - Singapore's 33,000-strong teaching force is among the youngest in the world - 36 years old compared with 43 on average worldwide - but they are well-trained before going into the classrooms, seek continual training and feel valued by society, according to a global survey of teachers.

    The five-yearly Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) that saw 34 countries taking part last year, also found Singapore teachers among the most hardworking. The 3,109 lower secondary teachers from 159 school who participated in the study said they worked 48 hours a week on average, 10 hours more than the Talis average of 38 hours. The hours included teaching time as well as time spent on planning for lessons, student counselling and running co-curricular activities.

    Those surveyed reported spending eight hours a week on average on planning their lessons, nine hours a week on marking and five hours a week on administrative work. Teachers from the other countries surveyed spent an average of seven hours on lesson planning, five hours on marking and three hours a week on administrative matters.

    Japanese teachers reported working even longer hours - 54 hours in a week, while American teachers reported working 45 hours a week and Australians, 43 hours a week, in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development survey.



    The survey asked teachers about their work including their initial teacher education and professional development, what sort of appraisal and feedback they get, the school climate, their school heads and about their instructional beliefs and teaching practices.


  3. #8384
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S’pore teachers work longer hours but are satisfied: Poll

    Si Ling Secondary teacher Low Pei Wen (left) with her mentor, Ms Wang...


    By NG JING YNG

    Published: June 26, 4:04 AM


    SINGAPORE — On average, teachers here work longer hours — with more time spent on administrative tasks and extracurricular activities — compared with their overseas counterparts, an international study has found.

    Still, almost nine in 10 of those surveyed said they are satisfied with their job, comparable to the international average.

    The findings of last year’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Teaching and Learning International Survey, which were released yesterday, also showed that the Republic has the youngest teaching force across all the 34 countries involved in the survey, with an average age of 36 years — about seven years younger than the international average.

    Correspondingly, a typical teacher here is less experienced, with an average of a decade of experience, compared with the international average of 16 years.

    At the same time, Singapore has the highest proportion of teachers serving as mentors at 39 per cent, more than double that of the international average of 14 per cent. It also topped the charts in terms of teachers’ participation in professional development.

    This is the first time that the Republic is participating in the survey, which was started in 2008 and is conducted once every five years. A total of 3,109 lower secondary teachers from almost all secondary schools here took part.

    The Ministry of Education (MOE) said the findings showed Singapore has given priority to building a quality teaching force that is well-trained and supported, dynamic in its practice and committed to the profession.

    Among other things, the ministry cited the fact that Singapore has one of the highest proportions of teachers who have been trained in actual classroom practices before becoming full-fledged teachers.

    On the average age of teachers, the MOE pointed to the support given to young teachers, including induction and mentoring programmes. It added: “Our young teachers inject diverse perspectives and renewed energy into the teaching force. They contribute to innovative ways to engage students ... and in harnessing the potential of new technologies for teaching and learning.”

    The survey showed Singapore teachers worked an average of about 48 hours per week — 10 hours longer than the global average. Japan was the highest at about 54 hours, with Chile the lowest at 29 hours.

    Despite their longer hours, Singapore teachers spend fewer hours teaching (17), compared with the international average of 19 hours. On average, they spend more time on activities such as marking, lesson planning, administrative work and extracurricular activities.

    Nevertheless, 88 per cent of those surveyed said they are satisfied with their jobs. The international average is 91 per cent. The proportion of Singapore teachers who felt the teaching profession was valued in their society was also the second-highest among the participating countries.

    Mr Andreas Schleicher, OECD’s deputy director for education and skills, said Singapore teachers are paid relatively higher than teachers overseas. “The choice Singapore makes to prioritise the quality of teachers above things such as the size of classes or less working time is certainly a wise strategy to invest in scarce resources.” But he added that the additional time needed by local teachers for administrative tasks and marking showed there was room for reflection on structuring their workload more effectively.

    Mr Wong Siew Hoong, MOE’s deputy director-general of education (curriculum), said yesterday that the ministry will support teachers’ workload, such as by having more allied educators. Currently, there is an average of seven allied educators in each primary and secondary school.

    Teachers interviewed by TODAY said they work from 45 to more than 60 hours per week. Most of their time is spent on planning lessons, extra-curricular or co-curricular activities (CCAs) and other school activities. Some suggested that teachers be excused from CCAs, while others asked for better enforcement of their rest time.

    Mrs Tan Chen Kee, Crescent Girls’ School principal, noted that non-teaching tasks could help in the holistic development of students. For example, being involved in CCAs helps teachers to nurture their pupils’ character.

    Ms Low Pei Wen, 29, a Si Ling Secondary School teacher, who started teaching six months ago, sometimes spends more than 12 hours in school each day. But she attributed the long hours to the fact that she is new to the job and her desire to interact more with her students. She is also thankful to have a mentor in the form of a senior teacher, Ms Wang Pei Fen, 52.

    Ms Wang said: “Having communication channels for teachers to feedback their workload and a good mentoring system where young teachers can raise their concerns, all these can help teachers to better manage their teaching load.”

  4. #8385
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Alexandra Health scheme wins UN public-service award

    Published on Jun 26, 2014 8:35 PM




    Patients waiting for a bed on 10 January 2014 at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s emergency department, which has 18 cubicles. The Alexandra Health System on Thursday became Singapore's first healthcare system to win a United Nations Public Service Award - for a scheme to keep people out of its hospital. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


    By Grace Chua

    SINGAPORE - The Alexandra Health System on Thursday became Singapore's first healthcare system to win a United Nations Public Service Award - for a scheme to keep people out of its hospital.

    Its Ageing-in-Place or AIP programme was the Asia-Pacific winner in the 'Improving the Delivery of Public Services' category, one of four groups.

    The United Nations did not say how many nominations there were in each category for each region, but 704 nominations from 80 member states were submitted in total for the annual awards.

    The Alexandra Health programme aims to understand why repeat hospital visitors to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, or 'frequent flyers', keep having to be re-admitted.

  5. #8386
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore again named top MICE destination

    POSTED: 27 Jun 2014 13:21


    The city-state retains its top spot as meeting country and city in the latest Union of International Associations Global Rankings.


    A view of Raffles Place business district in Singapore. (AFP photo/Roslan Rahman)


    SINGAPORE: The Republic was named the top International Meeting Country and International Meeting City for 2013 by the Union of International Associations (UIA).

    Citing the UIA study, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Friday (June 27) said Singapore was named Top International Meeting Country for the third consecutive year, and the Top International Meeting City for the seventh year running.

    A total of 994 meetings hosted in Singapore met the UIA's stipulated qualifying criteria, which is a 4.4 per cent increase from the 952 meetings in 2012. Second-placed United States, in comparison, hosted 799 such meetings, while third-placed South Korea organised 635, it stated.

    In terms of the ranking for cities, Singapore's 994 meetings far surpassed second-placed Brussels, which held 436 such events, while Vienna rounded off the top three by hosting 318 meetings, the statement said.

    Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive of the STB, said: "We are very happy to be named the top meeting country by UIA once again. Understanding our customers' needs has always been a key focus for us, and we will continue to emphasise our efforts on reliability and efficiency, giving them peace of mind when they attend or hold their events in Singapore."

    The UIA rankings were the latest in a list of accolades for the city-state as a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) destination. It was named Asia's top convention city for the 12th consecutive year by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the STB said.

    Singapore has secured six upcoming world congresses, including the World Congress on Brain Mapping & Therapeutics 2016 and World Congress of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus 2016, the agency added.


    - CNA/kk
    Last edited by Loh; 06-27-2014 at 02:02 AM.

  6. #8387
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default HDB announces Dawson estate renewal

    By Tan Qiuyi
    POSTED: 27 Jun 2014 13:17
    UPDATED: 27 Jun 2014 13:44


    31 blocks at Tanglin Halt Road, Commonwealth Drive to be redeveloped under SERS. "With every new HDB town becoming more modern, there is a need to ensure that older towns do not end up too far behind," says minister Khaw Boon Wan. Dawson: New development at Margaret Drive (Site A).
    Dawson - New development at Margaret Drive (Site B).
    Dawson - New development at Dawson Road (Site C).
    Dawson - New development at Dawson Road (Site D).
    Dawson - New development at Strathmore Ave (Site E).
    Location plan of replacement sites at Dawson.


    SINGAPORE: A total of 31 residential HDB blocks at Tanglin Halt Road and Commonwealth Drive will be redeveloped under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), together with Commonwealth Drive Food Centre, Tanglin Halt Market and about 50 shops and four eating houses in seven shophouse blocks in the Dawson estate, HDB announced on Friday (June 27).

    HDB will build five new housing projects on Margaret Drive, Dawson Road and Strathmore Avenue to re-house residents from these blocks, which will be ready by 2020.

    The transformation of Dawson estate is part of the Remaking Our Heartland initiative first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 2007 National Day Rally. The initiative has been rolled out in Yishun, Punggol, Jurong Lake, East Coast and Hougang.

    The residential blocks going en bloc are 24-38, 40-45 Tanglin Halt Road and 55, 56, 58-60, 62-66 on Commonwealth Drive, consisting of 2, 3 and 4-room apartments - 3,480 flats in total. This is the largest SERS project to be announced since the Hillview Avenue site in 1999.

    Shops and eating houses at Blocks 46-1, 46-2, 46-3 Commonwealth Drive and Blocks 39, 47-49 Tanglin Halt Road will be cleared as part of the redevelopment of Dawson estate. There will be a new two-storey hawker centre on Margaret Drive, and a new neighbourhood centre will be built as well.

    The former wet market at 38 Commonwealth Avenue has been conserved and will be refurbished to house shops.

    Residents and shop tenants will be informed by HDB and National Environment Agency officers going door-to-door in the estate on Friday and Saturday.

    "THE NEXT ICONIC ESTATE"

    Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan, writing on his blog, said Dawson is "fast becoming the next iconic housing estate".

    Two Build-To-Order (BTO) projects, SkyVille@Dawson and SkyTerrace@Dawson, featuring concepts like sky gardens and landscape terraces, will be completed next year, he noted, while residents of the new projects announced on Friday "will get a new modern flat with a fresh 99-year lease, with greenery at their doorstep, and panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas".

    "With every new HDB town becoming more modern and better designed, there is a need to ensure that the older towns do not end up too far behind," he said. Queenstown was the HDB's first satellite town, with many of the flats there more than 50 years old, he added.


    - CNA/es

  7. #8388
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singaporeans get first close-up glimpse of the Sports Hub and its facilities

    Singaporeans get first close-up glimpse of the Sports Hub and its facilities


    Published on Jun 27, 2014 9:44 PM


    By Melissa Lin

    SINGAPORE - Fireworks lit up the skies above the Sports Hub on Friday night as thousands of Singaporeans explored for the first time the long-awaited venue.

    Although facilities such as the Sports Hub centrepiece, the National Stadium, were not yet open to the public, visitors still came from 4pm onwards to walk around the 35ha compound. They played games such as beach volleyball and floorball along its waterfront area, shopped at the Kallang Wave mall and about 6,000 people took part in a 'walk-a-jog' event.

    On Saturday, the second and final day of the open house, visitors to the Kallang venue will get a sneak preview of indoor facilities such as the Aquatic Centre. The Sports Hub will hold a water polo competition and a synchronised swimming and diving display by national athletes. The Centre boasts two Olympic-size swimming pools and a five-metre deep diving pool.

    From 9am to 4pm, visitors will also be able to try out nine different sports - including judo, badminton and silat - at multi-purpose indoor hall the OCBC Arena. Equipment will be provided and coaches will be on hand.




    Fireworks lit up the skies above the Sports Hub on Friday, June 27, 2014, as thousands of Singaporeans explored for the first time the long-awaited venue. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO




















  8. #8389
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default A guide to what to do at the Sports Hub's open house on Friday and Saturday

    A guide to what to do at the Sports Hub's open house on Friday and Saturday


    Published on Jun 27, 2014 2:27 PM



    Thirteen years after the idea of a new National Stadium was mooted, the Singapore Sports Hub will throw open its doors on Monday. -- PHOTO: AFP


    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...21-627614e.jpg
    The Sports Hub, including the iconic new National Stadium at Kallang. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...27-227614e.jpg
    Try nine different sports activities at the OCBC Arena, a multi- purpose indoor hall, during the open house on Saturday. These are: badminton, boxing, judo, netball, silat, table tennis, taiji, taekwondo and volleyball. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...27-327614e.jpg
    There is a water park called Splash-N-Surf for kids aged up to 12, where there is a water slide called Sting Ray and a Lazy River water ride. It will open in July, with charges to be announced later. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...27-427614e.jpg
    There is a water park called Splash-N-Surf for kids aged up to 12, where there is a water slide called Sting Ray and a Lazy River water ride. It will open in July, with charges to be announced later. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...27-527614e.jpg
    There is a water park called Splash-N-Surf for kids aged up to 12, where there is a water slide called Sting Ray and a Lazy River water ride. It will open in July, with charges to be announced later. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...27-727614e.jpg
    There is an indoor rock-climbing wall managed by sports company Climb Central. It will open from Saturday, with free trials at 10am and 1pm. This promotion will continue every weekend in July at 10am, 1 and 4pm. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...27-827614e.jpg
    Shop and dine at the 41,000 sq m Kallang Wave retail mall, named after the old National Stadium and the wave-like contours of the mall. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...27-927614e.jpg
    Shop and dine at the 41,000 sq m Kallang Wave retail mall, named after the old National Stadium and the wave-like contours of the mall. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG


    By Elrica Tanu

    Thirteen years after the idea of a new National Stadium was mooted, the Singapore Sports Hub will throw open its doors on Monday.

    But on June 28 and 29, the public can get a sneak preview of the hub's world-class facilities at a community open house. All of the facilities will be free for use and remain so until July 31.

    The open house will kick off with the countdown to the 2015 South-east Asian Games on Friday, culminating in a fireworks and laser show at the waterfront.

    Tryouts for various sports with equipment and guidance from coaches will be held on Friday and Saturday. These are expected to become a regular feature every weekend.

    Booking is required for some of the facilities and guided tours. Go to www.sportshub.com.sg or call 6653-8900.

    Life! tells you what to check out at the 35ha, $1.3 billion complex.

    1. TOUR THE STADIUM

    Admire the new National Stadium, the centrepiece of the Sports Hub, with a free guided tour in July.

    From next Tuesday, the 1 1/2-hour tour will be available on selected days. Booking is required and a fee, to be revealed later, will be charged from August.

    Look out for the stadium’s retractable dome-shaped roof, the largest free-spanning dome roof in the world with a diameter of 312m. It is able to close in about 20 minutes, allowing a match to go on regardless of the weather.

    Then there are the 55,000 red-and- white seats, which are designed to trick the eyes into seeing a crowd when there is none. Another notable feature is a ventilation system fuelled by solar energy that pipes cool air to every seat.

    The stadium is the only one in the world which can host four different sports - rugby, cricket, football and athletics - in one venue as its seating can be reconfigured. The reconfiguration takes about two days.

    The stadium saw its first piece of action on June 21 and 22, when it played host to the rugby World Club 10s and attracted about 10,000 fans on each day.

    On Saturday, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra will take over the stage for a concert called Our People, Our Music, which is expected to draw a 20,000-strong crowd.

    Next up is another concert, by homegrown songbird Stefanie Sun next Saturday, and a friendly match between Italian football club Juventus and Singapore Selection, a mix of Team Singapore athletes and S-league players, on Aug 16.

    Surrounded by a 900m-long sheltered space called Sports Promenade, the stadium is also where you can go to jog and cycle.

    The old National Stadium opened in 1973, closed in 2007, and was demolished in 2010.

    2. ENJOY THE SUN

    This weekend, free tryouts for more than six sports will be held along a promenade fronting the Kallang Basin. These include floorball, football and kids’ athletics on Friday, from 4 to 6pm.

    Other activities such as frisbee and petanque, a French game where players aim to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball, will be available tomorrow, from 9am to 4pm. Equipment is provided and these games will be conducted by coaches.

    The Sports Hub aims to make these tryouts a permanent feature on weekends.

    The 2015 South-east Asian games countdown will begin at 6pm today along the riverside with a walk-a-jog, to be led by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Lim Swee Say, who is also labour chief.

    Registration has closed but you can enjoy a 30-minute fireworks and laser show at 7.30pm.

    There are two sand courts where you can play beach volleyball or other sports such as futsal, rugby and netball. They are free for use even after next month, but booking is required.

    Not in the mood for sports? Stroll along Stadium Riverside Walk, a walkway by the river which offers a great view of the city skyline.

    3. SWIM

    Watch a water polo competition and a synchronised swimming and diving demonstration, all performed by national athletes, at the OCBC Aquatic Centre at the open house on Saturday, from 9am to 4pm.

    Or make a splash yourself on other days at one of the two Olympic-sized swimming pools - one for training and the other for competition. If you are a trained diver, make use of the 5m-deep diving pool next to the swimming pools.

    On non-event days, the pools are open to the public and will be free for use next month. A fee will be charged from August.

    The aquatic centre played host to the South-east Asian Swimming Championships, which ended on Tuesday and included water polo and synchronised swimming. The Singapore men’s water polo team beat their Malaysian counterparts 18-5.

    The aquatic centre can hold up to 6,000 spectators and matches are broadcast on a giant LED screen.

    4. PLAY INDOOR SPORTS

    You get to try nine different sports activities at the OCBC Arena, a multi- purpose indoor hall, during the open house on Saturday. These are: badminton, boxing, judo, netball, silat, table tennis, taiji, taekwondo and volleyball.

    Equipment is provided and coaches will be on hand to offer guidance.

    There are six courts, spread over two blocks and two levels, which require prior booking. The arena can fit up to 3,000 people. It hosted the 6th World University Floorball Championship last week, the first time the competition was held outside Europe. The Asian Netball Championship is the next major match scheduled to be held there, from Sept 7 to 14.

    Air-conditioning will be turned on for competitions when there is a crowd, but the arena relies on natural ventilation on other days.

    5. SHOP, EAT AND BROWSE

    Shop and dine at the 41,000 sq m Kallang Wave retail mall, named after the old National Stadium and the wave-like contours of the mall.

    Only a handful of tenants are expected to be operating during the open house this weekend, as the mall will open progressively in the coming months.

    FairPrice Xtra, which will feature a sports theme, is one of the key anchors.

    NTUC FairPrice spokesman Tan Kian Chew says the hypermart will offer "a good selection of bicycles, sporting equipment, accessories and sportswear" as well as organic produce on top of the usual groceries and household products and appliances.

    Foodfare, an air-conditioned 800-seat food court, also operated by NTUC FairPrice, will offer healthier food.

    In the coming weeks, you can also dig into local delights at eateries such as A-One Claypot, Curry Times, My Briyani House and Old Street Bak Kut Teh, as well as international fare at restaurants such as Astons, Issho Izakaya, Manhattan Fish Market, Poulet and Shokudo. Shoppers can head to well-known fashion retailers such as H&M, Uniqlo and Forever 21, which are the other key tenants.

    There is also an indoor rock-climbing wall managed by sports company Climb Central. It will open from Saturday, with free trials at 10am and 1pm. This promotion will continue every weekend in July at 10am, 1 and 4pm.

    The first 20 patrons, who are required to have climbing experience, also get free entry on weekdays in July.

    Booking is required and can be done via the company’s website, www.climbcentral.sg.

    Usual charges range from $14 to $20 per entry, excluding equipment and registration. Adult supervision is required.

    There is also a water park called Splash-N-Surf for kids aged up to 12, where there is a water slide called Sting Ray and a Lazy River water ride. It will open in July, with charges to be announced later.

    Opposite the mall is a library and museum, which are both free for Singaporeans and permanent residents.

    The Sports Hub Library houses a collection of 80,000 books on sports, health and fitness, while the 2,200 sq m Singapore Sports Museum will showcase the history of sports here, including milestones such as the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

    The library will be up and running during the open house but the museum is expected to launch only in July.

    HOW TO GET THERE

    Public transport is recommended. The Sports Hub is within walking distance from three MRT stations: Stadium, Mountbatten and Kallang. The retail mall is more accessible from Stadium MRT station. Kallang MRT station is linked to the National Stadium via a sheltered walkway.

    The hub is also served by bus service numbers 10, 11, 14, 16, 70, 70M and 196.
    Parking tickets for Saturday are pre-sold because of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra’s concert at the stadium. Pre-sold parking is activated when there is a scheduled event at the stadium. You can get parking tickets from the hub’s website www.sportshub.com.sg or call the hotline on 6653-8900. Tickets are valid for 24 hours from 7am.

    SPORTS HUB

    Where: 2 Stadium Walk
    When: Open House: 4 to 8pm on Saturday, 9am to 4pm on Sunday. On usual days: 24/7, check the website for opening hours of individual facilities
    Admission: Free until July 31
    Info: Go to www.sportshub.com.sg or call 6653-8900
    More about the new Sports Hub here: www.straitstimes.com/sports-hub

  9. #8390
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Temasek's Ho Ching wins Asian Business Leaders Award 2014

    Published on Jun 30, 2014 10:13 AM




    Temasek Holdings chief executive Ho Ching speaking on the topic of "Temasek Holdings: Building a Sustainable Institution" during the IPS Corporate Associates Lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel on 29 July 2009. London-based business think-tank Asia House has awarded Temasek Holding's chief executive Ho Ching the Asian Business Leaders Award this year. -- PHOTO: ST FILE


    By Aaron Low

    LONDON-based business think-tank Asia House has awarded Temasek Holding's chief executive Ho Ching the Asian Business Leaders Award this year.

    The non-profit organisation, which aims to foster closer ties between Asia and Europe, said Madam Ho was selected to receive this year's award because of her business credentials and her efforts to inspire a commitment in others to improving society.

    Previous winners of the award include Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's founder Jack Ma, Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group and Mr Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman of Shell India.

    Said Sir John Boyd, Chairman of Asia House said: "We are extremely pleased to honour a business leader of the stature of Ho Ching, who has brought so much renown to Temasek and her industry in Asia. Ms Ho has demonstrated deeply impressive achievements in business whilst maintaining a dedication to the highest standards in corporate governance, transparency and leadership."

  10. #8391
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Buskers, themed cabins for a better MRT experience

    (Left) Ms Chen Qing Ying, who busked at City Hall MRT Station during a...
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    A football-themed cabin on the North-South Line with turf grass and...
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    LTA to pilot social initiatives at some stations over next few months to assess receptiveness


    By Joy Fang

    Published: June 30, 4:05 AM


    SINGAPORE — Buskers performing at train platforms, elaborately-decorated themed carriages and staff clutching stuffed toy flowers and giving out tissues to welcome commuters — these are among the “social experiments” the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is embarking on over the next few months to make commuters’ train journeys a little less harried.

    Efforts are already under way to upgrade ageing train infrastructure and improve service quality, but these projects will take years to bear fruit. For example, new trains will only arrive from this year, while the sleeper replacement project will be completed by 2016.

    In the meantime, the LTA hopes these social initiatives can make commuters’ journeys more palatable and encourage people to smile.

    LTA director of corporate transformation and futures Agnes Kwek said the authority is seeking to improve the train experience in every possible way. “But, in addition, public transport is very much a shared social space and our interactions with other commuters affect our train experience,” she said. “We’re launching a series of trials to foster a positive commuter culture — be it behaviour, interaction or atmosphere.”

    The initiatives will be piloted at selected SMRT train stations on a small-scale basis, so the LTA can monitor commuters’ receptiveness before assessing whether to implement them at other stations.

    Kicking off the initiatives is a football-themed cabin on the North-South Line. It comes decked with 3-D turf grass and soccer ball toys, as well as stickers of a football pitch and prints of cleats directing commuters to the middle of the cabin.

    A collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic Design School students, the 3-D features will only run until tomorrow, but the stickers will be present until the end of the World Cup.

    The LTA is also planning to have buskers perform at station platforms or concourses, in a tie-up with the National Arts Council (NAC). This will not only add vibrancy to the stations and make the public transport experience more interesting, but will also provide an additional platform for local performers to showcase their talents, the LTA said. Currently, busking on station premises and trains is not allowed.

    A spokesman said it has identified suitable locations and types of performances with the NAC and SMRT. “We want to ensure commuter flow will not be impeded during the trial. We will monitor commuters’ response to our busking trial and consider allowing performances in trains going forward.”

    In London, where busking in stations is common, space for buskers is clearly defined by a semi-circular floor graphic and a sign on the wall. The LTA hopes to create something similar.

    The pilot will start from July for three months at five MRT stations — Jurong East, City Hall, Raffles Place, Eunos and Bukit Batok. Buskers will be endorsed under the NAC’s Busking Scheme and will perform during the morning and evening peak hours. They can also collect donations.

    A test run was conducted at Jurong East, City Hall and Raffles Place MRT stations in May and commuters’ response was positive, said the LTA. Buskers who have performed told TODAY they were encouraged by the reception.

    Ms Chen Qing Ying, 38, who played the guzheng at Raffles Place and City Hall MRT stations for about two hours, said: “Sometimes, when people are waiting for the train, they are probably feeling anxious ... If there is music, they can listen while they wait and time can pass a little faster.”

    Ms Leticia Habon Caya, 60, the vocalist of husband-wife duo D’Highlights, said her 20-minute performance at Jurong East MRT Station had “felt exclusive because it was within the platform”.

    Singer-songwriter Marcel Lee Pereira, 33, said stations are packed with commuters and give buskers good exposure. In December 2011, his band The Glad Stones hopped on and off trains for a few hours and serenaded commuters with their guitars. “People were pleasantly surprised and one or two even had song requests,” he said.

    Neither Mr Pereira nor Ms Caya was perturbed that they would only be allowed to perform at designated spots. “It’s okay as long as I can provide music to commuters,” said Ms Caya, noting that equipment for her performances also keeps her in one place. Mr Pereira added: “Busking itself is very interactive ... You will always see new faces. It’s also easier if you have a location and you don’t have to move your gear.”

    Commuter Daryll James, 24, was sceptical of the LTA’s efforts. The civil servant, who takes the train three or four days a week, said: “The issue is not about a boring wait, but whether my journey is more effective and actually pleasant. This means having trains that are not crowded and having proper air-conditioning, and having them arrive on time.”

    Freelance writer Lilian Ang, 28, on the other hand, found the initiatives refreshing and hopes they continue on a larger scale. “It wouldn’t hurt to have some live music while I am waiting for the train in a crowded station.”

  11. #8392
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SEA Games: SingTel is 2015 Games' largest sponsor with $15 million deal

    Above: Mr Johan Buse, Vice President of Consumer Marketing, SingTel; Mr Richard Seow, Chairman of Sponsorship and Marketing Advisory Sub-Committee for SINGSOC; Guest-of-Honour Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Chairman, Steering Committee for SINGSOC; Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of Consumer Singapore, SingTel; Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chairman of Executive Committee for SINGSOC


    Chua Siang YeeThe Straits Times

    Friday, Jun 27, 2014

    SINGAPORE - Unveiled on Friday, the deal will see the local telco provide over next-generation multimedia solutions and technological infrastructure in its role as the event's official multimedia partner.


    Get the full story from The Straits Times.

    Here is the media statement from SingTel:

    SingTel pledges over S$15 million for 28th SEA Games


    SINGAPORE - Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) today announced its contribution as the largest sponsor to date for the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games). As Official Multimedia Partner, SingTel will provide over S$15 million in next-generation multimedia solutions and technological infrastructure to support Singapore's sporting quest as host nation of the SEA Games, which is making its return to the country after 22 years.

    "It is our priority to provide next-generation multimedia services for major sporting events in Singapore, such as the inaugural Youth Olympic Games and Formula One®. SingTel has been a big supporter of sports, and mio TV has been bringing unprecedented live coverage of major international sporting events into the homes of Singaporeans. We are pleased to be the Official Multimedia Partner for the SEA Games next year, especially when Singapore will be celebrating its 50th birthday," said Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO Consumer Singapore, SingTel.

    Under the partnership with Singapore Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC), SingTel will provide end-to-end multimedia solutions to enable seamless connectivity and the smooth organisation of the Games at all venues. SingTel's network capabilities will support an integrated games management system to coordinate and process data at the event.

    "In planning for the Games, we envisaged it to be the most digitalised Games in its history - one in which we can use technology powered by SingTel to augment game experiences and reach out to the entire Southeast Asia region," said Mr Richard Seow, Chairman of Sponsorship and Marketing Advisory Sub-Committee, SINGSOC. He added that: "This timely partnership will not only allow us to capture, interpret and co-create compelling shareable content, but will also bring us closer to that vision with their comprehensive portfolio of service that is ever-so-critical in today's working environment where speed and resiliency of data transmission is key."

    Come 5 June 2015, Singapore will be host to over 7,000 athletes and officials from 11 Southeast Asian nations across 36 sports. SingTel will sponsor high-speed internet and WiFi capabilities to ensure all participants stay connected.

    SingTel will also be organising an exciting line-up of activities to engage the community and rally Singaporean's support for Team Singapore athletes. It will lend its next-generation multimedia capabilities to enhance the series of roadshows, school engagements and public activities in the lead up to the region's biggest multi-sport event.

    More details will be unveiled at a later date.

  12. #8393
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default The Rickshaw puller who saved Lee Kuan Yew

    Happy 'reunion' as two grandsons of Koh Teong Koo meet former PM's brother


    Published on Jun 29, 2014 7:29 AM




    Mr Lee Kuan Yew (in black) with his family members, comprising siblings (clockwise from left) Monica, Dennis, Freddy and Suan Yew, as well as mother Chua Jim Neo and father Lee Chin Koon, in a family portrait shot at Lloyd Studio. This shot was taken the night before Mr Lee left for England to further his studies. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF LEE KUAN YEW



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...05_448960e.jpg
    Mr Koh Teong Koo with his wife, Madam Sit Chu Song, photographed with their eldest son Ko Ming Chiu in a photo taken in the 1940s. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF KO MING CHIU


    By Cassandra Chew


    Trishaw rider Koh Teong Koo pedals steadily down Oxley Road, pulling up at No. 38, the home of Singapore's prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

    A group of his friends trail in a car from a safe distance, expecting him to be turned away by the Gurkha guards at the gate. None of them believes his story that he regularly visits the home of Singapore's most powerful man.

    Then, to everyone's surprise, the gates are opened and Mr Koh cycles right in.
    It turns out their coffee shop buddy is no ordinary trishaw rider, but the only one in 1970s Singapore with close ties to the Lee family.

    It is a story the late Mr Koh's surviving friends relate with relish. What his friends did not know either, was that the Lees always described Mr Koh as the man who saved Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life during World War II.

    His story began in 1934 when he arrived in Singapore from Fujian province in China at the age of 22. Like many of his kinsmen from the Hock Chia dialect group, he became a rickshaw puller.

    In 1937, a Peranakan housewife, Madam Chua Jim Neo, got him to start taking her four sons and daughter to school by rickshaw. Mr Lee Kuan Yew was her eldest.


    Said Mr Lee's youngest brother, Dr Lee Suan Yew: "Imagine that, one man pulling at least four of us at one go. You have to be very strong to do that."


    Mr Koh also put his green thumb to work, growing sweet potatoes and cucumbers in the Lees' backyard at Norfolk Road, in the Farrer Park area, where they lived until 1942. "Teong Koo also taught me how to rear chickens and ducks," recalled Dr Lee.


    But to the Lees, Mr Koh is best remembered for taking care of Mr Lee when it mattered the most - when the Japanese invaded Singapore in 1942.


    By then, the family had moved to their grandfather's home in Telok Kurau, farther from the city, to avoid getting hit by bombs.


    One day, Mr Lee, then 19, and Mr Koh were checking their food stocks at the Norfolk Road house when they were ordered by the Japanese to go to a registration centre at Jalan Besar stadium.


    They were to be screened by Japanese soldiers, who would decide if they were "cleared" to return home, or if they should be rounded up and taken away. Those who refused to be screened would be punished by the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police.


    It happened that Mr Koh's coolie-keng - the dormitory for rickshaw pullers - fell within the registration centre's perimeter which was enclosed by barbed wire.


    It was an area with many Hock Chia immigrants and Mr Koh had a friend who let him and Mr Lee stay for a night at his home at 75 Maude Road.


    The next day, Mr Lee tried to leave the centre through the exit point, but the Japanese soldier on duty told him to join a group of young Chinese gathered nearby.


    Feeling instinctively that this was ominous, Mr Lee asked if he could collect his belongings first. The soldier gave permission and Mr Lee took off. He did not return.

    Instead, he laid low with Mr Koh for another day and a half until a different soldier was on duty. This time, he was cleared to leave.


    Mr Lee recalls that episode in his memoir, The Singapore Story. Had he not escaped, he would almost certainly have been taken to a beach near Changi prison and shot to death.


    The Lees believe they have the rickshaw puller to thank for Mr Lee's narrow escape from Sook Ching, an exercise to punish the Chinese in Singapore for supporting China's war effort against the Japanese. It is estimated that Sook Ching claimed between 25,000 and 50,000 lives.



    Dr Lee told The Sunday Times that when he visited his eldest brother recently, Mr Lee, now 90, could still recall the episode in detail.


    Dr Lee said: "My son told him, 'If it weren't for Teong Koo, the history of Singapore would have turned out very differently!'"


    Mr Lee laughed in response, said Dr Lee.


    Retired factory worker Tan Ah Mok, 84, who lived in Maude Road after the war and knew Mr Koh, told The Sunday Times: "Mr Lee's mother was very happy that he came back alive. So she treated Teong Koo well."


    Dr Lee believes Mr Koh looked out for the family because his mother first looked out for him. When he wanted to try his hand at entrepreneurship, it was Madam Chua who helped him with the money he needed to get started.


    He opened a canteen stall, then two provision shops on Maude Road and Bencoolen Street, and later bought five trishaws that he rented out to other riders.


    When war broke out, Mr Koh moved all his supplies of food and provisions to the Lees' Norfolk Road home, and these kept the family going as food became increasingly scarce.
    "My mother always said, 'Kindness begets kindness'. And she was right," said Dr Lee.
    Mr Koh's devotion to Madam Chua was apparent when she died of a heart attack in 1980 at the age of 75. He attended the funeral at Mount Vernon Crematorium, and was clearly upset.


    Mr Tan recalled: "One of Mr Lee's brothers told him not to cry. Then he gave him some money and told him to go home."


    Despite the support he received from Madam Chua, Mr Koh was unsuccessful in his business dealings.


    "He was too easy-going," said Mr Tan, who recalled how Mr Koh would often be seen relaxing in the evenings at the neighbourhood coffee shop or on grass patches. He drank a little but did not smoke.


    It was at Mr Ding Chin Hock's father's coffee shop, at 37 Maude Road, that Mr Koh bet with his friends that he could get into No. 38 Oxley Road after they wouldn't believe that he was a regular visitor to Mr Lee Kuan Yew's home.


    "Teong Koo really stood out to me because of his relationship to the Lee family," said Mr Ding, 66, a retired accounts clerk.


    Mr Koh had a wife and three sons in China, and he sent money home regularly.


    Eldest son Ko Ming Chiu, 67, remembers meeting his father for the first time in 1960, when he was 13 years old.


    "He was so tall and well-built, just like my grandmother," said Mr Ko in a telephone interview from Hong Kong.


    In 1970, Mr Koh sent 8,500 renminbi for the family to upgrade from an old, small house to a bigger, newer one.


    He visited every few years and would bring gifts such as watches, notebooks, woollen clothing and bicycles, said Mr Ko.


    "My father said it was difficult to make money with a rickshaw or trishaw - especially when it rained," he said.


    Mr Koh moved back to China in 1986. He made his last trip to Singapore in 1987, when he took his eldest son and granddaughter Jenny to see Mr Lee's second brother, the late Mr Dennis Lee. But none of the Lees knew about that visit.


    Mr Koh died in China in 1998 at the age of 86, survived by three sons and nine grandchildren. His wife Sit Chu Song died in 2000 at the age of 80.


    No one heard Mr Koh's voice again until June 5 this year, when his grandsons George and Ken learnt during a visit to Singapore that he had recorded an oral history interview in 1981.


    The brothers listened to a recording during a dinner organised by Dr Lee Suan Yew and heard Mr Koh describe his life as a rickshaw puller in 1930s Singapore.


    At one point, Mr Koh let out a hoarse chuckle and his grandson Ken, 33, a businessman, exclaimed: "He always laughed like that! My father will cry when he hears this."


    Mr George Ko, 39, a customer service manager, added: "I had always known that my grandfather was close to the Lee family, but to me, these were just stories. Now, I want to know more about my grandfather's life in Singapore."
    Last edited by Loh; 06-30-2014 at 09:30 AM.

  13. #8394
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    Default Pull of the past

    Published on Jun 29, 2014 7:28 AM




    Mr George Ko, 39, (left) and his brother Ken, 33, listening to a recording of their late grandfather Koh Teong Koo's oral history interview, together with former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's youngest brother Dr Lee Suan Yew, 80, and Mr Ding Chin Hock, 66, at the Bukit Room of Singapore Island Country Club on June 5.

    - PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...PA_448962e.jpg

    Mr Ding Chin Hock (left) and Mr Tan Ah Mok, 84, in front of their former Maude Road homes. One of the shophouses, No. 81, was a boarding house for Mr Koh Teong Koo and other Hock Chia rickshaw pullers. -- PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO
    Mr George Ko, 39, and his brother Ken, 33, listening to a recording of their late grandfather Koh Teong Koo's oral history interview, together with former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's youngest brother Dr Lee Suan Yew, 80, and Mr Ding Chin Hock, 66, at the Bukit Room of Singapore Island Country Club on June 5.

    The 1981 interview with the former rickshaw puller was conducted in the Hock Chia dialect.

    Mr Koh used to take the Lee siblings to school by rickshaw in the 1930s and 1940s, and is credited with saving Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life during World War II.

    The Lees lost touch with Mr Koh after he returned to China in 1986. He died in 1998.

  14. #8395
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Little India Riot: Misunderstandings about fatal accident sparked violence, says COI

    Published on Jun 30, 2014 6:01 PM



    Police officers examining the wrecked private bus at the aftermath of the Little India riot in the early hours on 9 December 2013. The Committee of Inquiry (COI) into last December's riot in Little India found that several misunderstandings about the fatal bus accident that sparked the fracas, and an Indian street culture of "retributive justice", both contributed to the violence. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    By Hoe Pei Shan
    SINGAPORE - The Committee of Inquiry (COI) into last December's riot in Little India found that several misunderstandings about the fatal bus accident that sparked the fracas, and an Indian street culture of "retributive justice", both contributed to the violence.

    While evidence and eyewitness accounts indicated that the "triggering cause of the riot" was a road traffic accident that killed construction worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu, the COI in a report released Monday said that the mob's "misperception about what followed ignited further fury that led to an escalation in violence and scale of the riot".

    These included wrongly holding the driver of the bus responsible for the death of the worker from India, when investigations later ascertained that the latter had in fact fallen under the bus by his own doing.

    The crowd also misperceived the intentions of the first responders, added the report, and the workers were enraged that public officers were shielding rather than handcuffing the driver and the bus time-keeper.

    Interviews with workers revealed that rumours about Mr Sakthivel being pinned under the bus alive - when he had in fact died upon impact - led the crowd into thinking no rescue efforts were being made.

    In a manner similar to Indian street culture, the crowd of workers - mostly from South Asia - tried to extract "retributive justice" by targeting the driver, the bus, the time-keeper, and the first responders.

    This, the committee heard, could have been further compounded by a "sub-culture...among some working class men in Tamil Nadu" to "feel heroism" in disobeying law enforcement.

    The COI noted that such men exercising psychologies "constitute a very small minority (in) Singapore's foreign worker population".

  15. #8396
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Little India Riot: Violence sparked by accident, alcohol ‘major factor’, says COI

    Published on Jun 30, 2014 6:00 PM



    The overturned police cars at the aftermath of the Little India riot on 8 December 2013. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND

    By Lim Yan Liang

    SINGAPORE -The riot in Little India last December was sparked by a fatal accident but alcohol was “a major contributory factor” that led to the escalation of the violence, the Committee of Inquiry (COI) tasked to establish the root of the incident has concluded in its report.


    The 75-page document, released by the Home Affairs Ministry on Monday, also found that the riot was not caused by any deep-seated unhappiness among foreign workers here, but rather the result of an “emotional outburst” following the death of construction worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu.


    The 33-year-old from India, had been run over by a private bus on the night of Dec 8 after he tripped while running after the vehicle. A riot that involved about 400 foreign workers, mainly from South Asia, then erupted.

    “The COI’s finding is that labour issues were not involved either proximately or remotely,” said the report, which followed a five-week inquiry earlier this year that heard evidence from 93 witnesses.


    The report highlighted lapses by the police in the half hour between the extrication of Mr Sakthivel’s body and the arrival of Special Operations Command. The decision to hold their positions instead of engaging the mob earlier, for instance, gave the rioters a “free rein to do whatever they wanted”, said the report. Nevertheless, the COI commended the police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force for their teamwork and the leadership of their respective ground commanders then.


    It also said that overall, the SPF (Singapore Police Force) responded to the riot “swiftly and efficiently”, adding that the lapses were “an aberration from the norm (and) do not reflect a serious and systemic defect in the police force as a whole”. “In the view of the COI, the SPF is on the whole... one of the finest police forces in the world,” said the COI. “The key is to learn from this incident, so that mistakes are not repeated and future responses are improved.”


    The committee has recommended, among others, that the police beef up its manpower, improve its communications and command-and-control capabilities to help officers dealing with public order incidents build a better picture of the ground situation, and train and equip frontline officers to effectively defuse and contain large-scale public order incidents. It also recommended that the authorities strictly enforce rules against public drunkenness and put in place alcohol restrictions in hotspots where large crowds typically indulge in heavy drinking.


    On receiving the report, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean thanked the four-man panel chaired by retired judge G Pannir Selvam and panel members Mr Tee Tua Ba, Mr John De Payva and Mr Andrew Chua. Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister, said that his ministry and the Manpower Ministry would study the committee’s recommendations over the week and deliver the Government’s response to it in Parliament next Monday.

  16. #8397
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Little India Riot: 8 recommendations from the Committee of Inquiry report

    Published on Jun 30, 2014 6:00 PM






    Members of the Divisional Tactical Team from the Central Police Division patrolling the open field opposite Mustafa Centre on Dec 22, 2013, to make sure that no one was consuming alcohol. -- PHOTO: ST FILE







    By Lim Yan Liang



    SINGAPORE - The Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the Dec 8 riot in Little India riot released its report on Monday. These are the eight recommendations it has put forth as a result of its findings:


    1. Improve police communications and command-and-control capabilities and help officers dealing with public order incidents build a better picture of the ground situation, especially in rapidly changing scenarios;


    2. Appropriately train and equip frontline officers from the police Land Divisions and Neighbourhood Police Centres to effectively defuse and contain large-scale public order incidents;


    3. Increase police’s manpower resources, including the Police Special Operations Command, so that they can better manage mass congregation areas such as Little India, and be ready to deal with large-scale public order incidents. But quality rather than quantity should be the major consideration in augmenting the force;


    4. To have police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force continue to build on their ability to respond in a concerted and coordinated manner to public order situations like they did last December;


    5. Cut the layers of approval and time needed to activate essential police resources that respond to public order incidents and other emergencies;


    6. Install additional lighting, safety and surveillance devices in areas which see large congregations of foreign workers, on top of installing better basic facilities in such areas;


    7. Make more services and amenities available to foreign workers outside of congregation areas and work with community stakeholders on ways to reduce congestion at congregation areas; and


    8. More strictly enforce rules against public drunkenness and put in place alcohol restrictions in hotspots where large crowds typically indulge in heavy drinking, and therefore which are more susceptible to trigger events that could spark a breakdown of public order.


    Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, in a letter on Monday thanking the COI members, said the Home Affairs and Manpower ministries will study the committee’s report and recommendations carefully. “The Minister of Manpower and I will provide the Government’s response to the Committee’s report in Parliament on 7 July 2014,” said Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister.

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    Default Busy first day for Lau Pa Sat after $4 million revamp

    Some food stalls see queues of more than 20 people at lunchtime

    Published on Jul 1, 2014 6:31 AM



    The lunch crowd at Lau Pa Sat yesterday at about 12.30pm. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO


    By Cheryl Faith Wee

    Crowds flocked to Lau Pa Sat yesterday on its first day open, after being closed for nine months for a $4 million revamp meant to last just two months.

    People started queueing at some stalls in the iconic 120-year-old market-turned- food centre at Raffles Place from as early as 11.30am.

    One hour later, the lines at some stalls had grown beyond 20 people each and waiting times for food were up to 30 minutes.

    Kopitiam, which manages Lau Pa Sat, estimated that about 20,000 people visited the food centre yesterday.

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