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  1. #8467
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    Default Singapore's healthcare system lauded by World Bank President



    Singapore's healthcare system lauded by World Bank President


    By Linette Lim
    POSTED: 18 Jul 2014 22:51
    UPDATED: 18 Jul 2014 23:34


    "I don't think there's a single system in the world that spends as little as Singapore does in terms of percentage of GDP and gets the outcomes that it gets," said Dr Jim Yong Kim.

    World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim. (AFP/Jim Watson)



    SINGAPORE: Singapore's healthcare system has been lauded by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Dr Kim was in Singapore on Friday (July 18), following visits to Vietnam and the Philippines.

    He told Channel NewsAsia that he extended his trip to Singapore, so that he can see for himself what makes it tick. "I don't think there's a single system in the world that spends as little as Singapore does in terms of percentage of GDP and gets the outcomes that it gets. That's why I'm here. I know that there're always challenges, and one of the challenges that has been talked about is getting more people to use the primary healthcare system first, "said Dr Kim.

    "This is a problem that's common to many developed countries, and so it's one of the things that's been done very, very well - healthcare - but also we may even be able to bring some lessons here," said Dr Kim."

    While in Vietnam and the Philippines, Dr Kim announced billions of dollars in loans for the two countries. Besides healthcare, he said he was interested to learn about Singapore's approach to urban planning and water management.

    The visit is Dr Kim's first trip to Singapore, since he took office as the World Bank chief in 2012.

    "The bottom line here is what we see in Singapore is we see a government that is extremely focused on execution, and actually delivering results for their population, which at the same time is completely open so that market forces and good government execution come together in the success story of Singapore," Dr Kim added.

    "Every country in the world is trying to get there, to be able to have their government put together policies and execute in the way that Singapore is doing, while at the same time opening up their economy, so that foreign direct investment and companies from all over the world want to come here."


    - CNA/by

  2. #8468
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    Default Singapore most innovative in Asia, 7th in world

    Business Times, Singapore

    Published July 18, 2014

    By cai haoxiang

    haoxiang@sph.com.sg @HaoxiangCaiBT



    SINGAPORE pipped rival Hong Kong this year to become the most innovative market in Asia, in annual rankings published by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations Agency - ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

    SINGAPORE pipped rival Hong Kong this year to become the most innovative market in Asia, in annual rankings published by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations Agency.

    It now ranks 7th in the world for innovation, up from 8th last year.

    The index ranks 143 economies around the world that account for 93 per cent of the world's population and 98 per cent of its gross domestic product.

    It gathers data about institutions, research capabilities, infrastructure, market and business sophistication, as well as knowledge, technology and creative output.





    .











    Published July 19, 2014

    Switzerland tops innovation rankings for fourth year



    [SYDNEY] Switzerland has claimed the top spot on the Global Innovation Index for the fourth-straight year while Sub-Saharan Africa "posted significant regional improvement".

    The annual rankings, which this year focused on the role people play in the innovation process, found that Switzerland and other top-ranked countries Britain, Sweden and Finland, had strong all-round support systems that led to "high levels of creativity".

    BRICS nations such China, Brazil and India were catching up with the developed countries, the researchers from Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization said in a statement.

    "China significantly outperforms the average score of high-income economies across the combined quality indicators," they added in a report released on the sidelines of a G20 trade ministers' meeting in Sydney.
    Last edited by Loh; 07-19-2014 at 03:36 AM.

  3. #8469
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    Default Singapore most innovative in Asia, 7th in world

    Business Times, Singapore

    Published July 18, 2014


    By cai haoxiang

    haoxiang@sph.com.sg @HaoxiangCaiBT





    SINGAPORE pipped rival Hong Kong this year to become the most innovative market in Asia, in annual rankings published by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations Agency - ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

    SINGAPORE pipped rival Hong Kong this year to become the most innovative market in Asia, in annual rankings published by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations Agency.

    It now ranks 7th in the world for innovation, up from 8th last year.

    The index ranks 143 economies around the world that account for 93 per cent of the world's population and 98 per cent of its gross domestic product.

    It gathers data about institutions, research capabilities, infrastructure, market and business sophistication, as well as knowledge, technology and creative output.



    Published July 19, 2014


    Switzerland tops innovation rankings for fourth year


    [SYDNEY] Switzerland has claimed the top spot on the Global Innovation Index for the fourth-straight year while Sub-Saharan Africa "posted significant regional improvement".

    The annual rankings, which this year focused on the role people play in the innovation process, found that Switzerland and other top-ranked countries Britain, Sweden and Finland, had strong all-round support systems that led to "high levels of creativity".

    BRICS nations such China, Brazil and India were catching up with the developed countries, the researchers from Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization said in a statement.

    "China significantly outperforms the average score of high-income economies across the combined quality indicators," they added in a report released on the sidelines of a G20 trade ministers' meeting in Sydney.
    Last edited by Loh; 07-19-2014 at 03:50 AM.

  4. #8470
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    Default Sailing: Singapore's Loh Jia Yi, Jonathan Yeo world champions at Isaf Youth Worlds

    Sailing: Singapore's Loh Jia Yi, Jonathan Yeo world champions at Isaf Youth Worlds

    Published on Jul 19, 2014 1:17 PM


    Singapore sailors Loh Jia Yi (left) and Jonathan Yeo were crowned world champions after winning the boys' 420 event at the Isaf Youth Sailing World Championships in Tavira, Portugal. -- PHOTO: NEUZA AIRES PEREIRA/ISAF YOUTH WORLDS


    By May Chen

    Singapore sailors Loh Jia Yi and Jonathan Yeo were crowned world champions late Friday night in the boys' 420 class at the International Sailing Federation Youth Sailing World Championships in Tavira, Portugal.

    The duo edged out 31 other teams from as many countries in the regatta to finish first, ahead of Malaysia's Mohammad Faizal Norizan and Ahmad Syukri Abdul Aziz, and Japan's Ibuki Koizumi and Kotaro Matsuo.

    Said Jonathan, 18, shortly after the win: "I am the happiest person in the world right now. We had tears of joy and I am just speechless. I am just really grateful for everyone who has helped me and my partner."

    Team-mate Ryan Lo also won a bronze in the boys' Laser Radial event, behind Spain's Joel Rodriguez Perez and Ireland's Seafra Guilfoyle in the 57-strong fleet.

  5. #8471
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    Default Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall holds open house

    By Chitra Kumar

    POSTED: 19 Jul 2014 21:28

    UPDATED: 20 Jul 2014 02:06

    The historic doors of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall were re-opened to the public on Saturday (July 19). The open house, which runs until Sunday, includes free guided tours.




    The refurbished Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall (Photo: National Arts Council)



    SINGAPORE: The historic doors of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall were re-opened to the public on Saturday (July 19). The open house, which runs until Sunday, includes free guided tours and special performances by arts groups.

    Visitors can experience improved acoustics and go on a tour of the Grand Dame to hear all about her history. The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall holds memories for many, including tourists.

    One tourist said: "I first came here many years ago, and it's wonderful to see the old lady restored like this."

    One local visitor said: "It has very fond memories for me because it reminds me of the times when I worked backstage for my CCA."

    Visitors can also watch a variety of performances by local groups in theatre, dance and music. With the return of Singapore's oldest performing arts venue, many are also looking forward to a vibrant arts and culture scene in the Civic District.

    The public is also encouraged to share memories of the icon at the irememberVictoria booth, which is part of the Singapore Memory Project.

    Members of the public can also hashtag photos with #irememberVictoria on social media.

    - CNA/nd

  6. #8472
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    Default British artist Stephen Wiltshire completes 4m-wide drawing of Singapore skyline

    Published on Jul 20, 2014 8:40 PM


    British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire adding the finishing touches to his panorama of Singapore after five days of drawing. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE



    British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire waves to the crowd after completing his panorama of the Singapore cityscape. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE



    British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire talking with members of the public after he completed his panorama of Singapore after five days of drawing. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE



    The completed panorama, which was drawn on a 4m by 1m canvas by British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE







    A close-up of architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire's panorama of the Singapore cityscape, which he completed after five days. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE


    By Joanna Seow

    SINGAPORE - British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire has completed his panorama of Singapore after five days of drawing.

    On Sunday night, he put the finishing touches on the 4m by 1m canvas at the main atrium of Paragon mall, watched by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

    Known for his ability to draw intricate cityscapes from memory, Mr Wiltshire, 40, was commissioned to create the artwork by Singapore Press Holdings as part of the See The Big Picture project to mark its 30th anniversary this year.

    The finished panorama will be displayed at the Urban Redevelopment Authority Singapore City Gallery until it is formally presented to President Tony Tan Keng Yam in September, as a gift to Singapore for the nation's 50th birthday next year.

    "Thank you very much for coming and appreciating my work. Do the best you can and never stop," said Mr Wiltshire to the hundreds of visitors at Paragon, who cheered and applauded.

  7. #8473
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    Default NSmen the cornerstone of Singapore defence: DPM Tharman



    The newly-minted officers tossing their peak caps to mark the completion of their challenging 38-week course. Photo: MINDEF


    Published: 9:50 PM, July 20, 2014

    SINGAPORE ­— With tensions rising in the region, and security challenges such as terrorism, natural disasters, biological pandemics and cyber threats becoming transnational issues, Singapore must never take its success and stability for granted, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam today (July 20).

    And while the Singapore Armed Forces continues to invest in state-of-the-art platforms and weapons systems, at the centre of Singapore’s defences against such challenges: National Servicemen, said Mr Tharman, speaking at a commissioning parade at the SAFTI Military Institute.

    “National Servicemen, like yourselves, are the cornerstone of Singapore’s defence
    ,” he said to the 456 Army, 50 Air Force and 47 Navy officer cadets who were today commissioned as officers.

    Mr Tharman said the implementation of the Committee to Strengthen National Service’s recommendations will continue to build a stronger NS system. “At the heart of it all, the intent is to create a more positive NS experience that empowers and motivates individuals.”

    He also highlighted the role that family and friends play in supporting servicemen — something that many graduands Channel NewsAsia spoke to attested to.

    Said graduating infantry officer Muhammad Iqbal Abdul Rahim: “Every single day they call me and ask me how training is going, how the Officer Cadet School is treating me.”

    Graduating naval officer cadet trainee Thirunavukarasu Teyagarajan spoke of how his father helped him pass his swimming proficiency test. “When I came back every weekend, my dad would ask me to go for a swim. He would actually bring me to the swimming pool, then swim with me.”

    CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  8. #8474
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    Default SAF must remain strong, credible force: Tharman



    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam inspecting the Officer Cadet contingents at the 93rd Officer Cadet Course Commissioning Parade, held at SAFTI Military Institute. Photo: MINDEF


    Force has state-of-the-art platforms, weapons but servicemen still key to defence


    Published: 4:03 AM, July 21, 2014

    SINGAPORE — While Singapore has enjoyed peace, prosperity and progress for the past 49 years, the Republic’s success and stability must never be taken for granted because risks and volatility elsewhere could easily affect us and new security challenges will keep emerging, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

    Citing how countries have in recent years had to deal with transnational security challenges, such as terrorism, natural disasters, biological pandemics and cyberthreats, he noted that “the inter-connected world we live in means that incidents in regions far from Singapore will have impact here, and more than before”.

    Therefore, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has to remain a strong and credible force, he added.

    “As the ultimate guarantor of Singapore’s security, the SAF must remain a strong and credible force against all security threats, to give Singapore and Singaporeans the confidence to face a volatile and uncertain world,” said Mr Tharman, who was speaking at an officer cadet commissioning parade held at the SAFTI Military Institute yesterday.

    Although the SAF has transformed its warfighting capabilities by incorporating state-of-the-art platforms and weapons systems, he stressed that the cornerstone of Singapore’s defence remains national servicemen.

    “It is the continued commitment, competence and fighting spirit of our people that underwrite the strengths of a 3rd Generation SAF and achieves mission success for us,” said Mr Tharman. “National servicemen, like yourselves, are the cornerstone of Singapore’s defence.”

    Mr Tharman also noted that the implementation of the Committee to Strengthen National Service’s recommendations — including giving servicemen the chance to indicate their preferred vocations — will continue to build a stronger NS system.

    “When fully implemented, we will have a stronger NS system that takes into account the aspirations and challenges faced by a new generation,” he said. “At the heart of it all is the intent to create a more positive NS experience that empowers and motivates individuals.”

    The 553 graduands yesterday included 456 Army, 50 Air Force and 47 Navy officer cadets. The newly-commissioned officers will go on to assume command, instructional or staff appointments in the SAF.

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    Default Low says bold claims are about building a winning mentality

    Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, Scotland



    Photo: SNOC


    By Danial Hakim B Mohd Said


    Published: 4:03 AM, July 21, 2014


    SINGAPORE — Last week, Singapore’s chef de mission to the 2014 Commonwealth Games Low Teo Ping reiterated his belief that the Republic’s athletes can better their performance from the last edition four years ago.

    While his bold claims may have raised some eyebrows within Singapore’s sporting fraternity, which is generally not known to openly discuss performance targets, Low has defended his move.

    In a phone interview yesterday from Glasgow, where the Games opening ceremony will be held at Celtic Park on Wednesday, Low argued that far from putting unnecessary pressure on the athletes to perform, the confidence shown in them by sports administrators can sometimes make that crucial difference.

    “In sports, it is always important for sports leaders to encourage and push athletes on so that they can do better than what they are sometimes capable of,” he said. “Again here, (it’s about) making the winning mentality a big part of their habit.”

    At the 2010 Games in New Delhi, Singapore won 11 gold — five from shooting and six from table tennis — 11 silver and nine bronze medals to finish eighth out of 71 competing nations.

    This year, Singapore will be competing in athletics, badminton, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting, with gymnast Lim Heem Wei as flag bearer.

    So far, Singapore’s badminton, shooting, swimming and table tennis teams have arrived in Glasgow.

    The Games will feature 261 events across 17 sports and more than 4,000 athletes from 71 nations in the Commonwealth.

    Low, who was also Singapore’s chef de mission to the 2007 South-east Asian Games and 2010 Asian Games, said his biggest challenge as chef de mission would be to “balance performance with expectations”.

    “What athletes should do is to be committed to the training regime that their coaches have put together for them and develop that winning mentality,” said Low. “Hopefully all the pieces will come together, and that they do themselves and Singapore proud.”

  10. #8476
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    Default Respect across all races, religions vital for Singapore: Heng


    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat chatting with Martin Falkenthal...
    [More]


    A student from Elias Park Primary School dressed in a traditional malay...


    By Amanda Lee

    Published: 4:03 AM, July 22, 2014


    SINGAPORE — Noting that Singapore has thrived due to her openness to international trade flow, knowledge and culture, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat stressed yesterday that it is important for the Republic to continue to embrace diversity.

    Speaking at an event at Elias Park Primary School marking the 50th anniversary of the 1964 racial riots, he said this means going beyond understanding the main races here, to “respecting all people, regardless of race, language or religion, who live and work in Singapore”.

    “Good relationships can only be built if we better understand those around us,” he said, noting that he was heartened by the results of a recent study on racial and religious harmony.

    Conducted by OnePeople.sg and the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), the survey showed that two in three people here feel there is religious harmony and the majority are satisfied with the rights religious groups have.

    But the survey also found that there was a growing perception of prejudices across nationalities compared with five years ago, while comfort levels across race and religion appeared to have remained largely unchanged.

    While schools and community groups have done a good job in educating subsequent generations about the importance of racial and religious harmony, Mr Heng said there are areas that need to be worked on, such as building interest in intercultural understanding and interaction.

    He added: “We have to continue to build strong bonds in our community — bonds of trust, friendship and understanding — to meet the challenges of the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous global environment we face today.”

    Calling on Singaporeans to encourage others to be advocates of racial harmony, Mr Heng said OnePeople.sg has also changed how it aims to promote values of respect and understanding.

    Unlike in previous years, Primary 4 students will be making orange ribbons — a symbol of racial harmony — and giving them to individuals from another culture in return for a nugget about cultures and practices in their communities.

    At Elias Park Primary School yesterday, 32 Primary 4 students acted as student guides to 60 kindergarten children from PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Pasir Ris Block 517 and PCF Pasir Ris Block 738.

    One of the students, Foong Wei Qi, said she shared with the children about Chinese New Year traditions such as the reunion dinner, lion dance and visits to relatives’ homes.

  11. #8477
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    Default Singapore tourism takings hit $6 billion

    Singapore tourism takings hit $6 billion as hotel revenue rises 12 per cent on last year


    Published on Jul 21, 2014 4:09 PM




    Tourists view the Marina Bay Sands resort hotel and casino from a pier at Merlion park in Singapore on June 24, 2014. The tourism receipt tally in Singapore rose to $6 billion in the first quarter of 2014, a five per cent increase on the same period last year. -- PHOTO: AFP

    By Yeo Sam Jo


    SINGAPORE - The tourism receipt tally in Singapore rose to $6 billion in the first quarter of 2014, a five per cent increase on the same period last year.

    The growth was driven mainly by sightseeing, entertainment and gaming, which went up by 19 per cent, according to a report by the Singapore Tourism Board.

    Meanwhile, gazetted hotel room revenue grew by a robust 12 per cent to hit $0.8 billion in the first quarter, with overall revenue per room edging up by 2.2 per cent.

    International visitor arrivals, however, held steady at 3.9 million. There was a 14 per cent dip in arrivals from China, which followed a new tourism law introduced in October last year, which clamped down on cheap shopping tours sold at or below cost.

  12. #8478
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    Default Changi Airport launches Singapore Food Street at Terminal 3

    POSTED: 21 Jul 2014 15:27


    Travellers looking to experience Singapore's food heritage can now sample famous hawker fare from 13 popular stalls offering a total of more than 200 dishes.




    Located at Terminal 3, the Singapore Food Street boasts 13 popular local hawker stalls. (Photo: CAG)


    SINGAPORE: Playing up Singapore's well-known reputation for good food, Changi Airport Group (CAG) has introduced a Singapore Food Street, which boasts fare from 13 popular local hawker stalls.

    In a statement on Monday (July 21), CAG said it had set aside 1,000 sq m at Terminal 3 for the Singapore Food Street, which offers more than 200 dishes by household hawker names such as East Coast Lagoon BBQ Seafood, Odeon Beef Noodles and Changi Village Nasi Lemak.

    The other 10 hawker stalls are:

    • Tiong Bahru Meng Kee Roast Duck
    • Sin Ming Road Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh
    • Jalan Tua Kong Minced Pork Noodle
    • Bugis Street Hainanese Chicken Rice
    • Old Airport Road Fried Kway Teow & Carrot Cake
    • East Coast Lagoon Fried Rice Noodle
    • Newton Circus Satay/Satay Bee Hoon
    • E-Sarn Thai CornerK
    • Kampong Cafe
    • Singapore Food Street Beverage Stall

    "(The Singapore Food Street) brings to the airport Singapore's colourful hawker food culture, which is a big part of the average Singaporean's lifestyle
    . Not only do travellers now get to sample the best of local delights in Changi Airport, they can also dine in an environment that is uniquely Singapore," said Ms Ivy Wong, CAG's Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions.


    - CNA/kk

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    Default For sustainable growth, Singapore can't just do more of the same: DPM Teo

    By Tan Qiuyi
    POSTED: 21 Jul 2014 16:30
    UPDATED: 21 Jul 2014 23:17


    The challenge for the Economic Development Board, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, is to move towards higher value-added activities and innovation, to capture new opportunities and create good jobs for Singaporeans.



    DPM Teo Chee Hean at the 2014 scholarship award ceremony for the EDB. (Photo: Tan Qiuyi)


    SINGAPORE: Singapore has to strengthen its track record of trust, knowledge, connectivity, and livability to attract global companies to set up shop in the country, but must also position itself where it can add most value, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

    "To achieve sustainable growth, Singapore cannot simply continue to do more of the same, or to put in more resources in a linear fashion," said Mr Teo, who was speaking at an annual scholarship award ceremony for the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Monday (July 21).

    The challenge for the EDB, he said, is to move towards higher value-added activities and innovation, to capture new opportunities and create good jobs for Singaporeans. EDB officers are "working behind the scenes" to help ensure Singaporeans are equipped with the right skills to take up future jobs, Mr Teo said.

    Together with the Human Capital Leadership Institute, EDB is launching a Global-Asia Leadership Accelerator Programme for young executives, which will groom business leaders who can drive growth in Asia for companies.

    Six young Singaporeans were awarded scholarships at the ceremony on Monday - four from Raffles Institution, and one each from Dunman High School and Hwa Chong Institution. They will be pursuing undergraduate degrees in either Engineering or Economics in the US or UK.


    - CNA/by

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    Default Restructuring key to manufacturing sector's revival, say experts

    By Linette Lim
    POSTED: 21 Jul 2014 22:32
    UPDATED: 21 Jul 2014 23:11


    Recent weakness in GDP growth numbers has raised concerns over the health of Singapore's manufacturing economy, which needs to restructure to survive.



    A view of the Keppel container port terminal in Singapore. (AFP/Roslan Rahman)


    SINGAPORE: Recent weakness in GDP growth numbers has raised concerns over the health of Singapore's manufacturing economy. As restructuring gets underway and costs rise, there are fears more firms may move out of Singapore.

    "We do expect that more firms will start moving abroad,” said Mr Vaninder Singh, an economist at RBS. “But this is a trend that has been expected for some time, and is a part of the Government's policy framework as well."

    Singapore is barely half way through its decade-long economic restructuring plan, launched in 2010. Besides giving firms incentives to raise productivity, the Government has also been focused on attracting higher value-added manufacturing firms such as those in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

    The global semiconductor sector may be in the doldrums, but some companies like Aldon Technologies are surviving, and even thriving, thanks to the use of automation, and a focus on niche and customised products that are of a higher value.

    Higher-value-added services like plasma spray coating, which protects machine parts and tools, are much sought after within the semiconductor industry. Aldon has an 80 per cent share of the plasma coating market in Singapore, and says Singapore's higher cost base - both in terms of wages and rents - means that semiconductor firms here will not be able to compete with their regional peers on mass production.

    “Now, if we look at Taiwan and Korea, their chip-making industry is ‘complete’ - meaning, they make chips, they make handphones, they make PCs, they make tablets, they make smart devices,” said Mr Allen Ang, Aldon’s Group Managing Director. “But we’re not so ‘complete’ in Singapore. (And) probably this is the reason why we say we are lower in the value chain, and of a secondary supplier (status)."

    Recent data showed Singapore's economy contracting by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of this year, compared with the previous three months. The decline was partly driven by a sharp drop in manufacturing - which in turn was due to the closure of an electronics plant.

    "We're seeing a transformation of the Singapore economy, where probably we will see manufacturing ebb going forward,” said RBS’ Mr Singh. “But that does not mean that the entire economy is supposed to slow down. We will still see services improvements, we will still see firms setting up regional headquarters in Singapore, and all of that, put together, means that Singapore's economy will stay in a stable and reasonable growth path going forward."

    Economists say that this transition to a higher-value-added and more productive economy will take another few years. In the meantime, companies will just have to ride out the short-term restructuring pain.


    - CNA/rw

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    Default Computing is cool again - more and better students apply for courses in NUS

    Published on Jul 22, 2014 6:24 AM




    More students go for computer science degrees, which were shunned after the dot.com bust, because of good pay and fun work environment. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG


    By Sandra Davie Senior Education Correspondent

    After the dot.com bust of the early 2000s, computer science degrees were shunned by students heading to university.

    Now such careers are cool again, with applicants enticed by good salaries and workplaces that blend work with fun.

    The National University of Singapore's (NUS) School of Computing - which offers the largest number of degree courses in computer science, information systems and business analytics - has seen a rise in the quantity and quality of applications.

    Officials say the number of A-level applicants who listed computing as a first or second choice has increased by about 50 per cent over the last three years.


    Background story

    RISING DEMAND FROM FIRMS

    Big data is now part of every industry - from finance to telcos to health care... As a result, the need for data scientists and analysts has never been higher.

    - Professor Teo Hock Hai, who heads NUS' Department of Information Systems

    INTEREST IN TECHNOLOGY

    There's definitely the coolness factor. Young people are digital natives - familiar and comfortable with technology. They not only want to be consumers of technology, but also producers.

    - Mr David Leong, who heads PeopleWorldwide Consulting

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    Default Google honours Singapore national anthem composer Zubir Said

    POSTED: 22 Jul 2014 12:46
    UPDATED: 22 Jul 2014 15:09


    The search giant created a doodle on its website commemorating the man renowned for composing Singapore's national anthem, Majulah Singapura, on what would have been his 107th birthday on Tuesday (July 22).



    SINGAPORE: On what would have been his 107th birthday, local composer Zubir Said - best known for composing Singapore's national anthem - received a digital homage: His own Google Doodle.

    The personalised caricature of Zubir Said in front of the Google logo can be seen on both the Singapore and international version of the search engine's website. Users who click on the caricature are redirected to search hits for Zubir Said, with the Wikipedia entry on the composer as the first entry.

    Google told Channel NewsAsia that the logo was created only for Google.com.sg.

    A Google spokesperson said: "We decided to honour Mr Said, an entirely self-taught musician and composer who wrote Majulah Singapura (Onward Singapore).

    Besides being known for his musical gifts, he also had a heart of gold, helping adopted families and friends as much as he could even though his own family wasn't very well-to-do.

    "We wanted to celebrate this beloved man's spirit and legacy on Google Singapore's homepage today," the spokesperson added.

    The composer was born July 22, 1907, in the town of Bukit Tinggi in Minangkabau, Central Sumatra. Mr Zubir was the eldest of a family of three boys and five girls, and as a boy, taught himself to play musical instruments such as the flute and guitar. At the age of 21, in 1928, he left home for Singapore to forge a career in music against his father's wishes.

    He began his music career with a Malay opera group, but only received his first public recognition as a composer when his songs were performed at the Victoria Theatre in 1957.

    In 1958, the song he composed - Majulah Singapura - was picked to become Singapore's national anthem.

    In 1995, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award conferred by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore. He died on Nov 16, 1987, at the age of 80, leaving behind four daughters and a son.

    The Google Doodle was lauded on social networking site Facebook. One of those who did was local musician Inch Chua, who posted: "Thanks Google for honouring Zubir Said today! Happy birthday Mr. Said #singapore #sgrepresent"

    Ms Chua had in 2010 paid tribute to the composer by doing a cover of the national anthem.

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    Default Poetry World Cup Final: Singapore-Pakistan

    http://themissingslate.com/2014/07/1.../#.U88wmPOwrct


    PREAMBLE

    It’s time to decide who wins our first (and, quite possibly, last) Poetry World Cup. Over the last month, with the help of nearly 4,000 reader votes, we’ve whittled the original 32 poems down to a final two. Both semi-finals followed a broadly similar pattern, with the two poems close to parity until a surge of support in the final hours of voting put the result beyond doubt. Singapore (represented by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé) and Pakistan (represented by Mehvash Amin) were the two countries that made it through, and they’ll go head-to-head over the next 24 hours. You can vote in the poll or via the comments (both at the foot of this page), and the poem with the most votes will win the Poetry World Cup. Ready? Let’s go!THE POEMS



    gǎn qíng yòng shì :: impulsive and impetuous

    “It was game season, and there was blood and lust in their eyes. It was no different from Rome in the old days. Gladiators, lions, slaves, the ringmaster, thrust in a ring together. No different. No different at all.” In the next hour, Geronimo practically talks to himself, gives himself a lesson in violence as spectacle. “What are the forces of tradition? How do they bear down on these peoples? We are in their debt really. We don’t get to see this kind of steadfastness in the city. Such an unwavering belief in what should be done, what needs to be done, and how it should all be done. All that urban chic, all the material wealth, the sheer waste. The blitzkrieg of the senses, that’s what our legacy will be understood as.” An anthropologist returning to the city is like a gazelle let back into the wild after years of captivity. This is an intentional inversion, Geronimo says. The zoo from which it escaped is as much a wild terrain as the vast open field, the wilderness that everyone seems to root for. The primal has its dangers too, as the noble savage has shown us. He shouldn’t use “savage”, but the word has reclaimed for itself a new right to be, a chic authenticity. “Violence presumes the spectacle,” Geronimo says, establishing his thesis. In the same hour, outside the window, a mother has picked up a toddler by its collar, and another woman is whipping its back and legs with a strip of leather. There is no rattan cane lying around, so she picks up the closest thing to it. The toddler has its arms on its mother’s hip and thigh. The toddler is hysterical and crying, kicking out like a wild animal. All this happens outside the window, across the street. It too is a recapitulation. It might as well have happened in another country and century.



    Karachi

    We must learn to quarter fear,
    dice it, serve it on plates
    in manageable portions.
    Instead, it is etched like
    a hologram against the sky,
    starting out of the sockets
    of buses burnt on the road,
    where they root
    like indestructible fungi.
    The rat-a-tat of gunfire
    shatters the silence into pieces
    of a stone requiem.
    Come now, instead of
    allegorising fear,
    dare we spell it out?
    Dare we name the man
    who left his house
    never thinking: tonight it’s I,
    till the bullets made him
    spin and dance? And dare we
    name the woman
    who will not know
    the mess haemorrhaging
    into the sewer as her husband?
    A yellow moon comes up
    and the smell of fish
    from the phosphorescent sea
    almost cancels out
    the smell of fear
    and singed hopes.
    Almost. For nothing can atone
    but the seamless reparation
    of fairy tale endings.

    FINAL RESULT: Singapore 1295-1270 Pakistan

    Singapore win the 2014 Poetry World Cup!

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