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  1. #1599
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Increasing interest from foreign media firms to collaborate with S'pore firms

    Channel NewsAsia
    11 April 2010 0100 hrs

    By Gladys Ow

    SINGAPORE : Singapore's media industry is making good progress in reaching out to audiences worldwide.

    There has been increasing interest from foreign firms to work with local companies.

    And there will be more opportunities for that at MIPTV - one of the world's largest media trade shows in Cannes, France.

    Some animated programmes produced by Singapore firms them have been picked up by foreign broadcasters, including those in France, Israel, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and South Korea.

    It is more of such collaborations that Singapore's Media Development Authority wants to encourage at MIPTV - the world's premier marketplace for buying and selling media content.

    It will be held in the French city of Cannes from April 12-16.

    And this year, Singapore will be represented by its largest contingent of 14 companies.

    Singapore has also been selected by MIPTV organisers as "Country of Focus".

    That will allow the Republic to have speaking engagements in a number of the conference tracts, as well as hold special lunches and networking sessions for the global partners interested in working with Singapore.

    "The multiplier effect to the rest of the economy is actually quite high. It's typically at least about eight to 10 times more than every dollar invested in there because it also allows the result of it to be shown worldwide. So people get a better understanding of what Singapore is about," said Christopher Chia, CEO of Media Development Authority of Singapore.

    Viewers in Singapore can also expect to benefit from collaboration deals between leading local producers and content distributors overseas.

    "From a Singapore consumers’ perspective, they get to see content made by Singapore companies and partnership with companies overseas. Therefore, the content that they see is really international in nature," said Chia.

    Also set to stir up interest is a prototype of a 3D racing game by Singapore company TQ Global.

    "Singapore is a place where east and west meet. So we are able to create a game that appeals to both east and west. Just like when we do drawings or programming of a dragon for example, the west will draw a dragon in one way, and the east will draw a dragon in another way. So here, we are able to integrate these two images together, and make it appeal to both sides," said Thanakorn Kitticharernkul, operations manager of TQ Global.

    More than 220 hours of high definition programming will be showcased at the Singapore Pavilion.


    Animated programmes by Singapore company Scrawl Studios
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  2. #1600
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Lui Tuck Yew is guest-of-honour at MIPTV in Cannes, France

    Channel NewsAsia
    10 April 2010 2251 hrs

    SINGAPORE: Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Lui Tuck Yew will be in Cannes, France from April 11 to April 14 to attend MIPTV 2010.

    Singapore is the "Country of Focus" at this year's MIPTV and Mr Lui will be the Guest-of-Honour at the "Country of Focus" activities.

    MIPTV is one of the world's premier market places for the buying and selling of television programmes and films.

    This year, the Media Development Authority (MDA) and IE Singapore will lead the largest-ever contingent of 15 media companies from Singapore under the Singapore Pavilion.

    As the "Country of Focus", Singapore will host a half-day conference on 12 April 2010 called "Focus on Singapore" to promote Singapore media content, capabilities and services, and to encourage more international co-productions and partnerships with Singapore companies.


    Mr Lui Tuck Yew (file pic)
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  3. #1601
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    Default HIT AND RUN : $30k interim sum for victim

    The Straits Times
    Apr 12, 2010

    By Teh Joo Lin

    MR BONG Hwee Haw, who had severe head injuries after being knocked down by a Romanian Embassy car, will receive a $30,000 interim payment from the vehicle's insurer, NTUC Income.

    The payment will be taken into account in any future compensation he may receive from the insurer. At present, his lawyer is locked in discussions with the insurer over compensation claims.

    When contacted by The Straits Times, an NTUC Income spokesman said: 'We agreed to provide an interim payment to Mr Bong after considering the case and his request. There is no doubt it was a genuine accident and he was one of the victims.'

    Mr Bong, 24, who is now unemployed, was hit together with his good friend, Mr Tong Kok Wai, 30, on Dec15 last year while they were crossing Bukit Panjang Road.

    Mr Tong died. Mr Bong, who had bruising in his brain and skull, as well as facial and leg fractures, has yet to make a full recovery.

    At the inquest into Mr Tong's death last month, State Coroner Victor Yeo ruled that the Romanian Embassy's former charge d'affaires, Dr Silviu Ionescu, was responsible.


    Mr Bong Hwee Haw, who had severe head injuries after being knocked down by a Romanian Embassy car, will receive a $30,000 interim payment from the vehicle's insurer, NTUC Income. --ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
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  4. #1602
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    Default Sailing: Singapore's Darren Choy wins Byte CII world title in Cannes

    Channel NewsAsia
    11 April 2010 2210 hrs

    By Tan Yo-Hinn

    SINGAPORE : Darren Choy on Sunday secured his second Byte CII world title, winning the 2010 Byte CII World Championships in Cannes, France.

    The Singapore Sailing Federation said that nine races were sailed in the championships which started on April 6, and it is also a Youth Olympic Games world qualifier event.

    Darren defended the title he won last year in Canada.

    It also puts the 16-year-old in a leading position to be selected for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, to be held in Singapore from August 14 to August 26.

    The regatta at the Yacht Club de Cannes is one of several qualifying meets for the Games, and the Singapore Sports School student topped the 44-strong field with a winning total of 32 nett points, 36 points ahead of second-placed Ian Barrows of the US Virgin Islands.

    Finland's Kaarle Tapper came in third, with 72 nett points.


    Sailor Darren Choy (file picture)
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  5. #1603
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 'Amazing Race' back in S'pore (tonight Ch 5 and AXN??)

    The Straits Times
    Apr 12, 2010

    By Lin Yingxin

    THE Amazing Race is back in Singapore - after an eight years' absence since the first run during the third season in 2002.

    Now in its 16th season, this award-winning reality television game show features 11 teams of two, each with a pre-existing relationship, in a race around the world. This season spans 64,000 km across five continents and nine countries including Chile, Germany, France, Seychelles, and Singapore.

    The Singapore episode is filled with the programme's signature high-energy challenges and high-wire stunts. It highlights the modern and contemporary facets of Singapore, juxtaposed with its cultural heritage, as well as iconic developments of its tourism landscape. The contestants will race through a range of locations and venues including the Victoria Concert Hall, Istana Park, ASL Marine Jurong, Sentosa and the Marina Barrage, before culminating in a dramatic stunt at the Singapore Flyer.

    The 16th season of The Amazing Race has attracted 7.3 million viewers across Asia so far. The Singapore episode will profile the destination to regional and global audiences. Viewers can catch the telecast of the ninth episode that is set in Singapore on Channel 5 and AXN on April 12 night.

    Co-creator and Executive Producer of The Amazing Race, Mr Bertram van Munster, was in Singapore last Saturday to introduce the Singapore leg of this season.

    'Singapore is an ideal location for The Amazing Race. Its cosmopolitan backdrop and fascinating culture and heritage present a variety of interesting venues and locations that are well-suited for this adrenaline-pumping reality game show. When I saw the Singapore Flyer, I knew I wanted to do a bold stunt for the show. This episode will be a thrilling one,' he said.

    Mr Chang Chee Pey, Director of Brand Management, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said: 'The high concentration of sights, sounds, tastes, cultures and attractions all packed within a small compact space makes Singapore a choice destination for The Amazing Race. Fans of the programme will be able to see how exciting and vibrant Singapore is and we hope that this will inspire them to experience the city for themselves.'


    The Amazing Race is back in Singapore - after an eight years' absence since the first run during the third season in 2002. --PHOTO: AXN ASIA
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  6. #1604
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    Default A chance to see the disease

    The Straits Times
    05:55 AM Apr 12, 2010

    by Esther Ng

    WHEN straight lines appear wavy or when the view seems blurry or patchy - you may be experiencing symptoms of a particular type of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease associated with ageing.

    Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy (PCV) affects around one in three Singaporeans, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese.

    The growth of polyps on the macular, the central part of the retina, causes a blurred central vision or a "dark shadow" and distorts the appearance of straight lines.

    Not much is known about this condition because it is not prevalent in Western countries and few studies have been done.

    Dr Nikolle Tan, a consultant opthalmologist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), said it was only in the last five to 10 years that they began to define PCV as another form of disease.

    The lack of reliable census and studies in Asia hampered doctors from understanding the condition better, she added.

    This might change with state-of-the-art imaging machines in TTSH which produce extremely high-resolution images of the eye, making it possible for doctors to detect PCV.

    The National Healthcare Group (NHG) Eye Institute's Fundus Imaging Reading Centre (Firc) is the first of its kind in Asia, outside Japan, to specialise in the use of angiography to detect PCV. The fundus is the interior surface of the eye, opposite the lens, and includes the retina, optic disc and the macula.

    By using indocyanine-green (ICG) angiography, polyps can be detected when a dye is injected into an artery and X-rays are taken to determine blood flow in an area.

    Doctors say the ICG test surpasses the fundus fluorescein angiography, where a dye is used to reveal any leakage or chronic retinal changes, as it goes past the cloudy layer of "leakage" and highlights the presence of polyps.

    "We are the first reading centre to do a multicentre randomised controlled trial on PCV in Asia outside of Japan, comparing different modalities of treatment. Through our work, the first diagnostic criteria of PCV was established here in Singapore," said Dr Tan.
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  7. #1605
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Chinese Arts Channel chooses Singapore as global launch pad

    Channel NewsAsia
    12 April 2010 1507 hrs

    By Joanne Chan

    SINGAPORE: The Chinese Arts Channel has chosen Singapore as its launch pad into the global market.

    Its chairman Wang Ping said Singapore's comprehensive infrastructure and easy access to the global market make it an ideal base for the company's international expansion strategy.

    Mr Wang added that the channel aims to share with the world the richness of 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture through unique arts collections and appreciation programmes.

    The Chinese Arts Channel has round-the-clock programming and reaches over 53 million households.

    Rated as one of the top 10 digital channels in China and available in over 230 cities, the channel provides insights into Chinese painting and calligraphy through its comprehensive news updates, documentaries, learning and training programmes.

    The Channel's partner here, Chinese Media Connect, also said it plans to use Singapore as a hub to bring Singapore-made and international media content into China.
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  8. #1606
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default It is healthy that there's political contest in S'pore: Ng Eng Hen

    Channel NewsAsia
    11 April 2010 1940 hrs

    By Lynda Hong

    SINGAPORE : Education Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday said it is healthy that there is political contest in Singapore.

    He was responding to reporters who asked him about the recent activity by opposition parties in various constituencies.

    Dr Ng joined 300 residents in Toa Payoh for some Sunday morning exercise.

    Elaborating on his point that political contest is healthy, Dr Ng said he would encourage would-be candidates and opposition parties to meet residents so that residents could ask them questions about what they stood for.

    He said: "I think it is healthier for Singapore, rather than just appearing before the elections and then not continuing. I have noticed that opposition parties are doing this more regularly, and I think all-in-all, it is good for politics in Singapore."

    Dr Ng said PAP MPs assume that there would be a contest each time, and so the MPs have been working the ground to improve the lives of residents.

    This point was also emphasised by Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong at a separate community event.

    Mr Gan also told reporters that there has not been a shortage of ideas within the ruling party.

    He was asked to respond to Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam's comments in a TODAY interview that a one-party system will lead to a society closed to new ideas.

    Mr Gan said that PAP MPs have been proactive in implementing their ideas.

    He said: "During the last recession, you also see that we have rolled out many initiatives, including the Jobs Credit, SPUR and so on.

    "They were very effective in helping our companies and workers cope with the recession and allowing our economy to recover very strongly, very quickly since the second half of last year."

    Mr Gan added that the PAP MPs have also been focused on serving the residents and improving their estates.


    Mr Ng Eng Hen
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    Last edited by Loh; 04-12-2010 at 04:52 AM.

  9. #1607
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Widen fight against terror

    The Straits Times
    Apr 12, 2010

    By Jeremy Au Yong

    GOVERNMENT measures alone are not enough to fight the threat from terrorism. The private sector and the people need to get involved too.

    Senior Minister S. Jayakumar made this point at a security conference on Monday, as he advocated an approach which he described as 'mainstreaming counter-terrorism'.

    'It involves a mindset change. It is about engaging the wider community to establish a cultural norm of being vigilant and rejecting extremism and violence,' he explained.

    But Professor Jayakumar, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, acknowledged that this mindset change is not an easy process.

    'Mainstreaming means that we must broaden our efforts to deal with 'softer' aspects, such as the conditions that may breed violent extremism. This means building resilience within our communities, addressing the socio-economic conditions that breeds terrorism, and counselling radical ideology at the ground level,' he said.

    Prof Jayakumar was speaking at the opening of the Asia-Pacific Programme for Senior National Security Officers, an annual event that brings together security experts from around the world to share perspectives on counter-terrorism.


    Senior Minister S. Jayakumar said it is about engaging the wider community to establish a cultural norm of being vigilant and rejecting extremism and violence. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
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  10. #1608
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default They will sing for S'pore

    The Straits Times
    Apr 12, 2010


    SINGAPORE'S biggest Mandopop - exports Stefanie Sun, JJ Lin, Tanya Chua and A-do have collaborated on a song for the first time - and it is not for the National Day Parade this year.

    They are singing the official theme song for the Singapore Pavilion at the upcoming World Expo in Shanghai. The uptempo Mandarin song, Every Touching Moment, made its global debut on Monday on radio stations in Taiwan, China, Malaysia, China and Singapore.

    The four home-grown singers were selected based on their commercial success in the region.

    Mr Colin Goh, managing director of Ocean Butterflies, says: 'When it comes to pop music in Singapore, our Mandopop artists are the most successful. The World Expo is a great platform to showcase Singapore's dream team of stars to a world audience.'

    Singapore Tourism Board, which is behind the Singapore Pavilion, commissioned Ocean Butterflies to produce the song last June.

    The World Expo, which takes place every five years, is a showcase for countries to trot out their best in design, architecture, technology and culture. Held from May 1 to Oct 31 this year, it is expected to draw 70 million visitors

  11. #1609
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S'pore set to rock at Expo

    The Straits Times
    Apr 13, 2010

    THE sprawling Singapore Pavilion at the upcoming World Expo in Shanghai is a three-storey structure built to resemble a music box. Its theme: Urban Symphony.

    According to an online poll of Chinese nationals conducted by marketing communications firm Ogilvy PR Worldwide and global marketing research company Millward Brown ACSR, the 3,000 sq m pavilion is among the top 10 exhibits to visit at the World Expo, which will run from May 1 to Oct 31.

    Designed by Singapore architect Tan Kay Ngee, the multimillion-dollar project is the biggest for Singapore at the World Expo, which is held every five years. The theme this time is Better City, Better Life.

    The theme song for Singapore's pavilion, Every Touching Moment, is sung by Stefanie Sun, Tanya Chua, A-do and JJ Lin.

    Their music video will be shown at the pavilion.


    PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
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  12. #1610
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    Default SMEs to get more funds for productivity-related courses as part of national drive

    Channel NewsAsia
    12 April 2010 1519 hrs

    By S.Ramesh

    SINGAPORE: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will get more money to send their staff for productivity training. This is part of the Manpower Ministry's plans to develop targeted programmes to help SMEs which hire nearly six out of every 10 workers here.

    Details will be announced next month.

    Speaking at his Ministry's workplan seminar on Monday, its Minister Gan Kim Yong also announced greater recognition for the Workforce Skills Qualifications programme.

    As Singapore's economy transforms, a bigger role awaits the Manpower, and Trade and Industry ministries in the national drive to raise productivity, said Mr Gan Kim Yong.

    One area is strengthening the framework of skills qualifications.

    The Workforce Skills Qualification system will now be recognised as a national credential.

    It will be included in the Singapore Standard Educational Classification to give a more accurate profile of the quality of the workforce.

    Mr Gan said: "This is a significant milestone as it signals employer recognition, as well as opens up more career pathways and opportunities for the workforce."

    MOM will also need to focus on helping the workforce raise productivity through Continuing Education and Training (CET).

    Mr Gan said: "We must also ensure that the CET programmes are delivered effectively. Therefore, we must continue to enhance the quality of our CET providers and the competency of our trainers.

    “This month, WDA's Institute for Adult Learning has started a new Diploma Programme in Adult and Continuing Education. The course will help deepen the capability of our curriculum developers, trainers, assessors and other CET professionals.

    “In particular, we will need to build up our capacity for PMETs given that they now make up more than half of our local workforce. Like rank and file workers, PMETs will need to also upgrade themselves constantly to stay relevant and contribute to productivity improvements."

    Another challenge is to get SMEs on the productivity transformation path.

    Bob Tan, vice-president, Singapore National Employers Federation, said: "Many SMEs just focus on day-to-day operations. So when it comes to taking on board new technologies and new innovative ways of doing things, they may not necessarily be aware of it.

    “By helping to get them up to speed and incentives to help them get automated - particularly industry-wide productivity improvement, that would certainly go a long way. Training is part and parcel. You can train at the worker level. But training employers about new processes they can adopt is also very important."

    So the Workforce Development Agency will work with SPRING to develop the training programmes and these include customised workshops and diagnostic tools to help SMEs implement productivity measures.

    In its efforts to encourage the entire workforce in Singapore to increase productivity levels, the Manpower Ministry is also doing its part by walking the talk.

    It has decided to set up a one-stop customer service centre in Bendemeer Road by 2012, bringing together many of its services involving foreign manpower and workplace safety and health, all under one roof.

    The S$73 million centre will be located near the Potong Pasir MRT Station.

    Office workers in Singapore
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  13. #1611
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    Default Timely for S'pore to share views on nuclear non-proliferation: experts

    Channel NewsAsia
    13 April 2010 0051 hrs

    By May Wong

    SINGAPORE: Political watchers say it is timely for Singapore to share its views on the non-proliferation of nuclear and cement its ties with the United States.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is scheduled to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in the US.

    As a major trading hub, experts believe it is important for Singapore to share its knowledge on trans-shipment security to prevent nuclear proliferation.

    They feel the country can also contribute to discussions on developing high technology nuclear energy at the Summit.

    Countries like China, France and Malaysia are expected to attend the meeting.

    "I think the PM should use this platform to propose that ASEAN countries should agree with each other and institutionalise this agreement that will keep ASEAN a nuclear weapons free organisation," Dr Huang Jing, visiting professor at the National University's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

    "And based on that fact, to also ask other nuclear weapon powers, when they're dealing with ASEAN, or when they already have any substantial relationship with ASEAN, they should promise to not use nuclear weapons against ASEAN countries."

    Experts say it is important for Singapore to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in the US, as this will enable the city-state to show support, on an international platform, in working towards a nuclear weapons free world.

    Observers add that it will also be a good opportunity for Singapore to meet with other world leaders to discuss the peaceful use of nuclear as an energy source in the future.

    While in the US, experts feel it is timely for Singapore to further strengthen its bilateral relations with America.

    "The Obama administration are looking for ways to really reach out to Asia, to come to Asia with a new, more multi-lateral agenda," said associate professor Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

    "Singapore is well poised to tell the Americans that we need them in the region and there's a reason for them to participate and gain from and not to regard Asian growth as an either or game but kind of a win-win situation."

    Ultimately, observers hope the US will understand the need to stay engaged, to provide stability to the Southeast Asian region.

  14. #1612
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    Default MDA, FreemantleMedia launch animation fund

    TODAY
    05:55 AM Apr 13, 2010

    by Genevieve Loh

    Singapore's Media Development Authority yesterday launched the International Animation Fund at annual media trade market MIPTV 2010. In partnership with FremantleMedia Enterprises - the producer of American Idol - the fund invites applications from all over the world for new animation content in any format, be it for television or theatrical features intended for cinematic release. MDA will co-invest up to $5 million per qualifying project. Applications are open at www.smf.sg.

    Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew said the partnership was in keeping with the direction Singapore is taking to be a "valuable launch-pad for foreign producers to tap on the growing pool of talent, film funds, ideas and beautiful Asian localities".

    "Our strategy is a simple one: We co-produce and collaborate with the world, for the world," said the minister, who noted that about $1.3 billion worth of private funds are anchored in Singapore for media financing and distribution activities." Genevieve Loh in Cannes
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  15. #1613
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    Default Tie-up on 5 animation works

    The Straits Times
    Apr 13, 2010

    By Lin Yingxin

    MEDIA Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and Scrawl Studios, a leading animation and media company here, will collaborate with international producers, including those from Canada, France and Taiwan, to co-produce up to five animation titles for global audiences.

    These productions, to cost US$13.5 million (S$19 million), are scheduled to be completed over five years, announced at the MIPTV 2010 event in Cannes on Tuesday, and are part of effort to meet international demand for quality Made-with-Singapore content.

    The first two projects to kick off this collaborative effort are 'Almost Extinct', an original 3D animated TV series created by Scrawl Studios, which will be co-produced with CCI Entertainment (Canada) in association with Coolframes Digiworks (Taiwan); and 'Hunter the Wereboy', another original 2D animated TV series to be co-produced by Scrawl Studios and Planet Nemo Animation (France). MDA will co-invest in them.

    Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer of the MDA said: 'Having established a household name for itself in the animation space with its earlier successes, Scrawl Studios is a shining example of a company that is creating compelling animation content for the global market, and MDA is pleased to support these co-productions which underpin our internationalisation strategy to produce with the world, for the world.

    Mr Seng Choon Meng, CEO of Scrawl Studios said: 'The collaboration with the Media Development Authority is a highly strategic one for Scrawl Studios, allowing us to significantly accelerate several co-productions in original animation content, and at the same time develop high-value production capabilities to engage major international partners and broadcasters, including those in North America, Europe, as well as Asia and in particular, China.'


    In a latest move to get Singapore-made digital content onto the world stage, the Government will fund worthy animation projects by a company from any country as long as they have a Singapore partner. -- PHOTO: MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
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  16. #1614
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    Default Changi tests new detector

    The Straits Times
    Apr 13, 2010

    Air jets lift particles and vapours from travellers' clothes for scanning

    By Karamjit Kaur, Aviation Correspondent

    IN AN ongoing effort to ensure safe travel, Changi Airport recently tested a machine that can detect traces of explosives on passengers.

    During the trial, which was conducted at Terminal 1 last month, passengers selected at random were asked to walk through the machine, called the IonScan Sentinel II, which uses jets of air to dislodge particles and vapours on a person's body or clothes.

    A scanner which can detect more than 40 types of explosives then takes just a few seconds to analyse the samples collected.


    Changi Airport recently tested a machine that can detect traces of explosives on passengers. -- ST FILE PHOTO
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  17. #1615
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    Default Respect our monuments

    The Straits Times
    Apr 13, 2010

    Commercial use robs them of significance, experts say

    By Kimberly Spykerman , Lester Kok and Yeo Shang Long

    MENTION Lau Pa Sat, and many Singaporeans will think of satay, barbecued seafood and steamboat.

    Is that any way to remember a unique 150-year-old building that looms large in Singapore's history?

    No, says senior lawyer and former judicial commissioner Joe Grimberg, who wrote to The Straits Times last week to say the majestic building is in a miserable state, cluttered by 'stalls and murky tarpaulins'. A new flyover nearby does not help, he added.

    Mention Lau Pa Sat, and many Singaporeans will think of satay, barbecued seafood and steamboat. Is that any way to remember a unique 150-year-old building that looms large in Singapore's history? --ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
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