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  1. #3911
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    Default HK Chief Secretary for Admin calls on S'pore leaders

    Channel NewsAsia

    Posted: 16 February 2011 0059 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1
    Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang Ying-Yen (L) meets PM Lee Hsien Loong.




    SINGAPORE : Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration, Henry Tang Ying-Yen, was in Singapore on Tuesday for a one-day official visit.

    As part of his trip here, he called on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at the Istana.

    Mr Tang was appointed Chief Secretary for Administration in July 2007.

    Prior to this appointment, he was the Financial Secretary and formerly the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology.

    Mr Tang has been a member of the Executive Council since 1997.

    He was named Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1993.

  2. #3912
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Remaking 'Home' for Total Defence

    The Straits Times

    Feb 16, 2011

    New version of NDP song debuts to mark Total Defence Day



    Deputy PM and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean (back row, third from left) with some of the 39 singers who lent their voices to the newly arranged Home. They are (back row, from left) Hazrul Nizam, Sam Kan, Simone Khoo, Gerald Tan, Alemay Fernandez, (front row, from left) Rani Singam, John Lee, Shabir, Kit Chan, Christopher Toh, Timothy Huang and Rahimah Rahim. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING


    MALAY rock legend Papa Rock, entertainer Dick Lee and up-and-coming singing sensation Olivia Ong may not be the faces usually associated with Total Defence.

    But they were among 39 home-grown artists who came together to sing the song Home, picked to jazz up this year's campaign.

    The song, which has been rearranged to give it a new spin, made its debut on Tuesday to mark Total Defence Day. The annual drive aims to remind Singaporeans of their role in defending the country. This year, the campaign, which started in 1984, is taglined 'Home - keeping it together'.

    Song producer Kit Chan said getting the singers together to record it and to film the video was a Herculean task, as some are based overseas. She first sang the song, written by Dick Lee, at the 1998 National Day Parade.

    'I feel as if my baby is born... there is very good energy and I feel the love,' said the 38-year-old, who started working on the project last year.

    Marked every year on Feb 15, Total Defence Day is an annual reminder of a small country's vulnerability. On that date in 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese. Other events held on Tuesday included a memorial service at the War Memorial Park on Beach Road (see story 'Remembering those who died in Occupation').

  3. #3913
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sports Illustrated bikini babes in Singapore

    The Straits Times

    Feb 16, 2011

    IN THE ST NEWSPAPER TODAY
    The Republic is featured in latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue

    By Huang Lijie


    On location in the Lion City

    OTHER recent occasions when Singapore was featured in the popular media overseas:


    Top Chef, a television culinary competition and Emmy Award winner, filmed its season finale here last year.

    The Martha Stewart Show, a lifestyle television series shown in more than 20 countries and which reaches more than 100 million households worldwide, filmed an episode here last year.

    The Amazing Race, an Emmy Award-winning reality television show that has teams racing around the world, filmed here in 2009; the episode was aired last year.

    De Dana Dan, a popular Bollywood movie featuring stars such as Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Katrina Kaif, shot most of its scenes here in 2009.




    The latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue features photos of model Izabel Goulart posing on a trishaw (above) and with a big-head doll (next photo) in Singapore. -- PHOTOS: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED




    SINGAPORE is getting exposure in the pages of the latest swimsuit edition of popular American magazine Sports Illustrated.

    The swimsuit issue, read by about 79 million people worldwide, is one of the publication's annual highlights. It features photos of top female models and athletes in swimsuits against stunning landscapes.

    Singapore is among nine locations chosen for this year's issue, along with others such as the Philippines' Boracay Island and the Canadian town of Banff.

  4. #3914
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default What the Singapore Census 2010 found

    The Straits Times

    Feb 16, 2011




    -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    THE latest data from Census 2010 on households and housing in Singapore, released on Tuesday, has revealed the following trends.

    See our graphic breakdown for a quick guide.



  5. #3915
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Govt to extend more support to needy Singaporeans

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid | Posted: 15 February 2011 1702 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1
    Dr Vivian Balakrishnan visits Assumption Pathway School




    SINGAPORE : The Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said the government will extend more support to Singaporeans, especially those who face challenges at a time of rapid economic and social changes in the country.

    He said this will be the theme of this year's Budget which will be presented by the Finance Minister this Friday.

    Dr Balakrishnan gave the comments during a visit to Assumption Pathway School on Tuesday morning.

    The Assumption Pathway School has some 510 students.

    The school caters to 13 to 16-year-olds who are not suitable for mainstream schools.

    They include those who have failed their Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).

    The school provides vocational lessons in skills like hairdressing and baking.

    Dr Balakrishnan said the larger context behind such a school is to make sure that every child in Singapore, regardless of their social, economic or learning challenges, will have opportunities.

    And he said that's also the direction that the government will take at the upcoming Budget.

    "The larger picture even for the Budget, the theme that runs through all this is giving more opportunities for all, and especially for those who are facing more challenges or more disadvantages, or at greater risk. What we really need to do now is to identify, to intervene early, comprehensively and in an integrated way, in order to maximise people's lives and opportunities," said Dr Balakrishnan.

    Dr Balakrishnan said he could not elaborate on which specific schemes will be tweaked or adjusted to help Singaporeans as yet.

    But he gave the assurance that the government will be doing more to fill up any gaps, be it in the economic or social fronts.

    He said: "So long as we keep looking for opportunities, to level up and to fill in gaps, we will be alright and that's really the commitment that we, as the government, want to give all our people."

    During the visit, Dr Balakrishnan also presented a S$250,000 grant from Temasek Cares to the school.

    The fund will go to assisting needy students in their basic schooling needs and fund programmes for those with special needs.

  6. #3916
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Growth of 4-6% for 2011 with economic declines reversed

    Channel NewsAsia
    Posted: 17 February 2011 0813 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1
    Buildings in Singapore financial district.


    Singapore: The Singapore economy grew by 14.5 per cent in 2010, reversing the decline of 0.8 per cent seen the year before.

    Growth for 2011 says the Trade and Industry Ministry will remain at 4.0 to 6.0 per cent.

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 12.0 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2010, with a 10.5 per cent improvement in the previous quarter.

    On a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter annualised basis, the economy grew by 3.9 per cent, an upturn from the contraction of 16.7 per cent in the preceding quarter.

    A statement from MTI said the economy expanded by 14.5 per cent in 2010, driven largely by the manufacturing sector.

    Due to a surge in electronics and biomedical manufacturing output, the manufacturing sector rebounded by 29.7 per cent in 2010 following a 4.2 per cent contraction in 2009.

    Growth in the construction sector continued in 2010, albeit at a more modest pace of 6.1 per cent compared to 17.1 per cent in 2009.

    The growth outlook for Singapore remains positive in 2011 with the continuing recovery of the global economy and the steady pace of growth in the advanced economies which is expected to lend support to Singapore’s manufacturing activities.

    The Ministry said it expects the Singapore economy to grow by 4.0 to 6.0 per cent in 2011 although the inflation forecast has been revised to 3.0 to 4.0 per cent from 2.0 to 3.0 per cent.

    Inflation is also expected to rise further to 5.0 to 6.0 per cent in the first few months of this year before moderating in the second half of the year.

  7. #3917
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default ArtScience Museum's opening treat

    The Straits Times

    Feb 17, 2011


    An exhibition at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI


    THE ArtScience Museum at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, the biggest private museum here, is opening with a bang.

    It will welcome visitors on Saturday with three blockbuster exhibitions - Genghis Khan: The Exhibition; Travelling The Silk Road: Ancient Pathway To The Modern World; and Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures And Monsoon Winds.

    The shows boast plenty of interactive elements, including videos, touch screens and computerised role playing.

    The idea of the museum is to explore the symbiotic relationship between art, science and technology.

    Its head Tom Zaller also wants to target families with a set-up that includes specially designed kits, worksheets and programmes for children.

    The lotus-shaped building designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie has 21 galleries spread over four floors and 50,000 sq ft of gallery space.

  8. #3918
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Lions land $380,000 mega deals

    The Straits Times

    Feb 17, 2011

    Top pay at Indonesian club, but two may lose national team spots

    By Lee Min Kok & Sanjay Nair

    'They're going to earn four times what most players earn here, who can blame them for snapping up the opportunity?'

    Shahril Jantan, SAFFC player

    Super League v Premier League

    INDONESIA SUPER LEAGUE (ISL)

    Founded in 2008, it had 18 teams originally, but this was reduced to 15 when Persema Malang, PSM Makassar and Persebaya Surabaya defected to the Indonesian Premier League (LPI).

    Managed by Liga Indonesia, under the supervision of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).
    Season starts in September and ends in June.

    Notable players
    Singapore striker Noh Alam Shah (Arema Malang).
    Paraguayan midfielder Aldo Baretto (Persiba Balikpapan).
    Uruguayan-born Indonesia striker and four-time ISL top scorer Cristian Gonzales (Persib Bandung).

    INDONESIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (LPI)

    Boasts 19 teams. Independent competition not sanctioned by the PSSI.
    Indonesian players in this league are not eligible to play for their national team.
    Formed in October last year. Season kicked off last month and will end in October.

    Notable players
    Indonesia's AFF Suzuki Cup star striker Irfan Bachdim (Persema Malang).
    Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie (Bandung FC).
    Singapore captain Shahril Ishak (Medan Chiefs).
    Singapore defender Baihakki Khaizan (Medan Chiefs).




    Shahril Ishak (left) and Baihakki Khaizan have just signed mega two-year deals each believed to be worth some $380,000. -- NEW PAPER FILE PHOTO


    SHAHRIL Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan might be Singapore's highest-paid footballers, with their new club Medan Chiefs in the breakaway Indonesian Premier League (LPI).

    But their future in the national team is now in doubt.

    Yesterday, the Lions duo inked lucrative two-year contracts - each believed to be worth US$300,000 (S$380,000) - with the North Sumatran side after quitting Indonesia Super League (ISL) club Persib Bandung on Monday.

    This works out to each player taking home about $16,000 monthly, not including perks such as a car and an apartment, as well as match bonuses of up to $900 - a marked increase from their previous salaries with Persib.

    While Fandi Ahmad reportedly earned $17,000 a month playing for Singapore in the Malaysia Cup in the 90s, and top athletes like swimmer Tao Li and golfer Mardan Mamat earned more than $700,000 in winnings and endorsements last year, the new deals for Shahril and Baihakki far outstrip the pay of footballers in the S-League, where the highest salary is believed to be $10,000.

    Although former Geylang United defender Baihakki declined to confirm the reported salary figures, he admitted that it was a 'very attractive offer', adding: 'An opportunity like this might not come again so I had to make the choice in the best interests of myself and my family.'
    Last edited by Loh; 02-16-2011 at 08:29 PM.

  9. #3919
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Living under one roof: The more the merrier

    The Straits Times

    Feb 17, 2011

    Some families are bucking the trend of smaller households

    By Cheryl Ong & Ng Kai Ling


    SPECIAL CARE
    'My parents help to take care of the children while my husband and I are at work. It's the kind of care you can't get anywhere else.'

    Teacher Marion Chew, who moved into her parents' home when she became pregnant and has been living there since




    Ms Chew (in beige) lives with (from left) her husband Andrew Lim, 35, son Ethan, five, sister Celina Chew, 33, parents Norman Chew, 62, and Quek Yeng Hong, 65, and twin daughters Kimberly and Natalie, seven, in her parents' landed property in Sembawang.




    LAST year's population census found that the average household size here has shrunk to a new low of 3.5, but some families - a declining minority - are bucking this trend.

    These are large families who live together and look out for and help one another.

    The four-room flat of the Yeos in Pasir Ris, for example, is home to 11 people: restaurant owner Nicholas Yeo, 32, his wife, 33, their three young children - aged five years to one month old - his sister, parents, grandparents and the family's maid.

    Mr Yeo said he chose this living arrangement to teach his children about family values as well as to take care of his parents.

    When they visited their relatives and friends during the Chinese New Year, organising the outing was a logistical challenge.

    With Mr Yeo's two other sisters, who live elsewhere, and his brother-in-law joining in, they needed three cars, including a borrowed sedan with enough space in the boot for his grandparents' wheelchairs.

  10. #3920
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore trade expands 21% in 2010

    The Straits Times

    Feb 17, 2011


    -- ST FILE PHOTO


    SINGAPORE'S external trade recovered in 2010, rising by 21 per cent, following a 19 per cent decline in 2009, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said on Thursday.

    The level of total trade reached $902 billion in 2010, up from $747 billion in the previous year. IE Singapore attributed this expansion to an increase in both exports and imports. Exports and imports grew by 22 per cent and 19 per cent respectively in 2010.

    Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) grew by 23 per cent in 2010, following a decrease of 11 per cent in 2009, on higher sales of both electronic and non-electronic NODX.

    Electronic NODX grew by 26 per cent in 2010, after a decline of 18 per cent in 2009. Non-electronic NODX rose by 21 per cent in 2010, in contrast to the previous year's contraction of 5.7 per cent.

    Non-electronic NODX (comprising 63 per cent of NODX) grew by 21 per cent in 2010, in contrast to the decline of 5.7 per cent in 2009. IE Singapore said this was due to higher domestic exports of petrochemicals (+42 per cent), specialised machinery (+145 per cent) and primary chemicals (+54 per cent).

  11. #3921
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default South West CDC expands aid schemes for needy residents

    The Straits Times

    Feb 17, 2011

    By Carolyn Quek

    Dr Khor, pupils and their relatives tossing yusheng at the launch of this year's meal bursary programme at Hong Kah Primary yesterday. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO


    MORE low-income families in the South West District will qualify for aid in cash or kind when the community development council (CDC) there raises the income ceiling for some of its help schemes.

    Yesterday, it announced the expansion of its meal bursary, which provides school-going recipients with vouchers for meals at their school canteens.

    Raising the qualifying household income ceiling for this programme from $1,800 to $2,500 a month will benefit more than 2,000 students this year, three times more than last year's 690 beneficiaries.

    To help residents cope with inflation, the CDC also plans to relax its income criteria for other bursary and voucher programmes, such as its transport scheme for needy residents.

    South West District Mayor Amy Khor said these moves were in response to inflation hitting a two-year high of 4.6 per cent last December.

    Her position as chairman of Reach, the Government's feedback channel, has also made her aware of the 'widespread sentiment' expressed about higher living costs in recent months.

  12. #3922
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default $6.4b scheme to boost Temasek's funding flexibility

    The Straits Times

    Feb 17, 2011

    By Gabriel Chen


    Temasek said this commercial paper programme, which is open to institutional investors, would complement its existing US$10 billion medium-term note programme launched in 2005. -- ST PHOTO: TAN SUAN ANN


    TEMASEK Holdings has pulled off another trailblazing fund-raising exercise, bringing more depth to the local debt market and broadening its stakeholder base.

    The state investment company announced on Wednesday that it is setting up a US$5 billion (S$6.4 billion) euro commercial paper programme to add flexibility to its funding options.

    Commercial paper, one of the most common short-term borrowing instruments in global money markets, is generally sold to provide seasonal and working capital for corporations. It has a maturity period of one to nine months, compared with a longer-term bond that can have a tenor of 10 years or more.

    As commercial paper is mostly issued by blue-chip firms, a degree of prestige is associated with it. It is also a low-cost alternative to bank loans.

    While Western companies have an established and growing appetite for such instruments, the market in Asia is still very much in its infancy.

    Temasek said this commercial paper programme, which is open to institutional investors, would complement its existing US$10 billion medium-term note programme launched in 2005.

  13. #3923
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default S$322m given out under HDB's AHG scheme

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Joanne Chan | Posted: 16 February 2011 2126 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1
    HDB flats

    SINGAPORE: The government handed out S$322 million to eligible households under the Additional Housing Grant (AHG) Scheme since it was enhanced two years ago.

    The grant can be used to buy either a new flat from the Housing & Development Board (HDB) or a resale flat from the open market.

    In fresh figures released to Channel NewsAsia, HDB said 16,100 households have benefited since the changes.

    But with growing mortgages placing a greater burden on households, some are hoping for more help at the upcoming Budget.

    High on their list is more housing grants.

    Twenty-six-year-old Singaporean Muhd Sharizan shares a three-room flat with his wife and two children.

    He received the maximum additional housing grant of S$40,000, which went towards offsetting the S$15,000 down-payment and reduced their outstanding loan.

    "My CPF was really not enough so this grant helped me to pay for my house. Without this grant, I don't think I could have afforded to buy the house," Mr Sharizan said.

    However, Mr Sharizan said he worries that the 30-year repayment period will be a drain on his retirement savings.

    Mr Sharizan and his wife contribute about S$500 to their CPF accounts each month - S$350 goes towards their mortgage.

    "The faster I pay, the faster my loan will (cleared). And so I can keep the rest of my money inside my CPF account for my retirement," he said.

    With housing prices on the upswing, first-time buyers have expressed concerns that mortgage loans are becoming unmanageable.

    Observers say bringing down housing prices is not the solution, as flat owners wouldn't want to see their assets devalued.

    Hence, it's unlikely new cooling measures will be introduced. The focus, instead, will be on helping young couples and the low-income buy their first flat.

    In this aspect, more housing grants may be on the cards.

    The AHG Scheme has been tweaked twice since it was started in 2006.

    Each time, the income ceiling was raised by S$1,000 to allow more households to apply for it, and the maximum grant available was upped by $10,000.

    Close to 28,500 households have benefited from the S$500 million disbursed so far.

    While a higher grant will help to lower the mortgage, observers say a longer term strategy must also be in place.

    MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Liang Eng Hwa said: "It is more than just pricing the housing or giving grant, but how do they service it in the long term.

    "So we must help them stay employable, to be able to earn a higher salary over time".

    Mr Liang said the government must monitor the debt service ratio, which calculates the amount that goes towards paying for housing.

    He said the ratio should be below 25 per cent - meaning flat owners can pay mortgages with their CPF, without having to use cash.

  14. #3924
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    Default Mongolian PM to visit S'pore

    Channel NewsAsia

    Posted: 16 February 2011 1922 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1



    SINGAPORE: The Prime Minister of Mongolia Sukhbaatar Batbold will make an official two-day visit to Singapore from Thursday, at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this is Mr Batbold's first visit to Singapore in his current capacity.

    Besides bilateral meetings, Prime Minister Batbold will visit the Housing Development Board and the Singapore Exchange.

    He will also officiate the opening ceremony of "Genghis Khan: The Exhibition" at the Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum as well as deliver a public lecture on Mongolia's economic outlook and the national development strategy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

  15. #3925
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    Default Lim Teck Yin is new SSC CEO

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Patwant Singh | Posted: 15 February 2011 2038 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1
    Lim Teck Yin
    SINGAPORE: Brigadier-General Lim Teck Yin has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Sports Council, effective from 1 April.

    48-year-old Lim is the current Commandant of the SAFTI Military Institute. He takes over from Oon Jin Teik who stepped down last December.

    The appointment of the new CEO comes after a three-month international and local search.

    An avid sportsman since young, Brig-Gen Lim has represented his school, university, military units and the Army in tennis, rugby, swimming and water polo.

    He also represented Singapore in water polo, winning six consecutive South-East Asian Games gold medals from 1985 to 1995, and an Asian Games bronze medal in 1986.

    The National University of Singapore graduate in Business Administration was also a recipient of the Singapore National Olympic Council Team of the Year Award for 1986, 1989 and 1991.

    Said Brig-Gen Lim: "Singapore's sports scene has transformed over the last five years. The next phase of development, especially with the upcoming Sports Hub in 2014, promises to be an exciting journey for all sports enthusiasts in Singapore. I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the SSC and look forward to working with the SSC team, our partners and all stakeholders to co-create this new exciting future."

    SSC chairman, Richard Seow, said: "Singapore is making its mark on the world stage in the rapidly growing and multi-faceted sports sector. On the home front we are becoming a nation of active sports participants and ardent sports fans.

    "A key criterion in our CEO search was to find someone with the passion and vision to lead and advance Singapore Sports. Sports DNA was a term used to describe the quality we were looking for and we are pleased to find a CEO that has outstanding sports genes. BG Lim's sports experience complemented with his demonstrated leadership and organisational strengths will help drive forward the vision and goals of Sporting Singapore."

  16. #3926
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More new offices eco-certified

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Wayne Chan | Posted: 16 February 2011 1325 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1
    Green or environmentally-friendly building




    SINGAPORE: Taking the effort to 'green' offices has paid dividends.

    The latest batch of recipients of the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) Eco-Office Label on Wednesday said they saw savings of between five and 30 per cent in utility costs.

    Gammon Construction Quality Assurance Manager Thng Seng Huat said they made efforts to orientate the site offices to be north-south facing to reduce heat gain, cutting down the need for air-conditioning.

    They have also designed the layout of lighting and air-conditioning at their offices to maximise energy efficiency.

    "(The staff) make an effort to switch off the computer and also the wall switches when they are leaving the office," Mr Thng said.

    "After meetings, they switch off the meeting room lights. When they go out, they try to car pool. They cut down on overseas travelling by using the video-conferencing.

    Another recipient, Changi Women's Prison, said simple changes like installing energy efficient light bulbs, and water saving taps and flushes, helped them achieve their target of 20 per cent savings in water and up to 30 per cent savings in electricity.

    22 new recipients received their certificates on Wednesday, bringing the number of green offices in Singapore to 73 since the Eco-Office label was first launched in 2005.

    Executive Director of the Singapore Environment Council Howard Shaw said the eco certification scheme will be rolled out to two more sectors in the second quarter of this year.

    "We've identified the retail industry where there are significant issues such as energy consumption, packaging and waste as well. Singapore having such dense shopping districts and there are more and more coming up all the time, we feel that some standards in this field would be useful."

    Building and Construction Authority CEO John Keung said that beyond the use of energy efficient technology, it takes commitment from users of buildings to achieve results.

    He said this was especially so for tenanted buildings where the landlords face the challenge of reducing total energy consumption although individual tenant's energy use is usually out of his or her control.

    Mr Shaw said: "There is a general perception that if you go green in the office, it's going to mean greater inconvenience for people and added cost to the business, when many cases, the opposite is true.

    "All our eco-certified offices have actually reported that they've saved on their operating costs, especially in the area of energy."

    He added that one of the biggest wasters of energy that is often overlooked is standby power. Many companies often leave appliances on standby overnight even when not in use.

    Singapore was recently ranked first in green building policy in the Asia Pacific, doing better than cities like Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney.

  17. #3927
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Using community sports to engage residents

    Channel NewsAsia
    By Dylan Loh | Posted: 16 February 2011 2111 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1
    Lim Boon Heng



    SINGAPORE : Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Lim Boon Heng, has urged grassroots organisations to leverage on community sports to bring the people together and to promote neighbourliness.

    Mr Lim, who is also deputy chairman of the People's Association, said the association aims to reach one in five residents by 2015 through community sports.

    Speaking at the 35th anniversary of Singapore's Constituency Sports Clubs, Mr Lim renamed them "Community Sports Clubs".

    He unveiled a three-pronged plan for grassroots organisations to use sports to reach more residents.

    The first is to build a pool of highly-competent and passionate volunteers through training programmes.

    The second is to expand the sports on offer by targeting interest groups such as children or youth.

    The third is to strengthen partnerships with grassroots organisations and community partners
    .

    Mr Lim said the Constituency Sports Clubs in their 35 years have played a key role in deepening resident engagement.

    More than 500 sports interest groups across all age groups have been formed since 2007, with popular sports being badminton and bowling.

    Mr Lim urged the renamed Community Sports Clubs to continue to form more interest groups and create high-point engagement events to sustain interest and involvement.

    He gave the PA Children's Football League Programme as an example. While it offers weekly fun football practices for the children, it also involves parents as volunteers.

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