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Thread: Singapore Also Can
06-12-2011, 08:00 AM #4608
It's always nice to lurk here to see what potential there is in Asia. Hi uncle loh!
06-12-2011, 09:26 AM #4609
06-12-2011, 09:29 AM #4610
NDP a family affair for this year's parade commander
Jun 12, 2011
By Danson Cheong
Lieutenant-Colonel Fahmi Aliman may be able to move 3,000 men with a single command. But at home, it is his wife who calls the shots. -- ST PHOTO: TED CHEN
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL Fahmi Aliman may be able to move 3,000 men with a single command. But at home, it is his wife who calls the shots.
The 19-year-veteran guardsman is the third Malay parade commander for the National Day Parade (NDP) since Singapore's independence in 1965 and first since 2000.
And shouldered with the monumental task of commanding all 29 contingents of this year's NDP, Lt-Col Fahmi, 38, is thankful for any help he can get, especially with running his household of six.
Said his wife, Madam Rohana Mohd Salleh, 38, a teacher at Dunman Secondary School: 'Because of his job, he isn't around sometimes. During those times, I have to take charge of the family.'
For instance, on Saturdays when her husband is busy barking out instructions at parade rehearsals, she drives their children to their extra-curricular activities.
Madam Rohana, who met her husband during his officers' cadet commissioning ball in 1993, also prepares honeyed water to help soothe his throat.
Read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times
06-12-2011, 09:41 AM #4611
Education Minister happy with feedback
Jun 12, 2011
By Jennani Durai
Mr Heng serving lunch to Norjana Abdul Rahman at a community free lunch project at Darul Ghufran Mosque yesterday. With them is mosque chairman Abdul Matin. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN
EDUCATION Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Saturday that he has a 'much better feel' for what needs to be reviewed in the education system, after being inundated with feedback during the three weeks he has been on the job.
The next step is to check that his feel of the ground is indeed right, or whether there are other areas to look into, he said.
'I'm doing more in-depth analysis, looking at the data and experience we've accumulated over the years,' he said on the sidelines of a community free lunch project at the Darul Ghufran Mosque.
The event was a joint initiative between the mosque, the Tampines Central Welfare Committee and the North East Community Development Council (CDC). Called Soup Kitchen, the programme provides free lunches to needy families in the Tampines Central ward every two weeks.
Mr Heng, an MP for Tampines GRC said that he had received hundreds of e-mail messages, as well as comments on his Facebook page, from parents, students, teachers and principals.
'It's been a very enriching experience. Many of them have given very thoughtful suggestions. I'm very heartened by this interest that parents, teachers, students take in education and I'm also very encouraged by the suggestions,' he said.
Read the full story in The Sunday Times.
06-12-2011, 09:44 AM #4612
06-12-2011, 09:54 AM #4613
ASEAN's ties with regional & international groups developing: PM
By S Ramesh in Jakarta | Posted: 12 June 2011 1836 hrs
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
JAKARTA: ASEAN's ties with various regional and international groupings are an organic architecture which is gradually developing, says Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
He was speaking at a plenary session at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Sunday.
Mr Lee said ASEAN's ties with groupings like the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Plus Three (which involves China, Japan and South Korea) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have helped to strengthen ties with one another.
He said while there's temptation to make things neater, it's wiser to accept the "untidiness" of these arrangements and let the structures evolve.
The World Economic Forum celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. And the occasion is especially important for host country Indonesia as it is also the current ASEAN chair.
Both Prime Minister Lee and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shared the stage for a special plenary session during the forum's opening ceremony.
"ASEAN wants to connect our Association with the global community of nations. That is the future of ASEAN in my view, and of course ASEAN must do more. We have to deal with so many challenges internally as well as externally but I believe very strongly we are on the right track, and we would be able to achieve our goals," said President Yudhoyono.
Prime Minister Lee explained that while the future is unknown, he believes Asia will be a big part of the 21st century.
He said both America and China are important partners and that the 10-member
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would like to strengthen ties with both big powers.
Mr Lee said ASEAN sees great potential in China's prosperity and development.
And its extension of relations across Asia has brought about great potential for trade and investments as well as tourism in the region.
This would also depend on China being good friends with America and it would be easier for ASEAN to be friends with both.
On the value of China's yuan, Mr Lee said he would prefer to see a gradual rise. Replying to a question on the subject at the forum, he said a stronger yuan would help China redirect its economy away from export-led growth.
Separately, the chief of the World Economic Forum also congratulated Prime Minister Lee for his party's resounding victory in Singapore's recent General Election.
Professor Klaus Schwab noted that many European leaders would be delighted with the percentage of votes secured by Mr Lee and his party.
Before leaving Jakarta for home, Mr Lee also had a meeting with his Indonesian host, President Yudhoyono.
The leaders expressed hope to expand areas of cooperation between both countries.
06-12-2011, 10:00 AM #4614
Students come up with simple solutions to everyday problems
By Sabrina Chan | Posted: 11 June 2011 2133 hrs
SINGAPORE: Students at Republic Polytechnic's Scientific Thinking Program are using simple solutions to answer some relevant and sometimes quirky questions.
Do worms like music? It is hard to say whether they like it, but according to students from Nan Hua Secondary School, listening to hard metal music makes them grow a little faster.
And worms are not the only ones affected by music - green beans prefer some groovy R&B to boost their growth.
Students from Assumption High Secondary School preferred a more serious topic, and one that is very relevant.
The junior scientists studied the anti-bacterial properties of copper, lead and zinc on E. coli bacteria.
One of the students, Winona Roxanne, said: "It's very surprising to have normal metals like copper to have distinctive and significant properties towards bacteria."
Some experiments even have some commercial potential. Students from Naval Base Secondary School used everyday ingredients like milk and salt to come up with a potent glue that can withstand up to 1kg of weight.
Dr Terence Chong, Director of School of Applied Science at Republic Polytechnic, said: "We actually ask the students, what do they see around them, what questions they have about nature, what's around, and they might seek to find out about it.
"So they come up with their own ideas about things, and we just help them ask better questions, make more rational sense out of the world and you get all sorts of interesting things."
The top four projects will be awarded a prize in the competition, which is into its eighth year.
06-12-2011, 10:07 AM #4615
Daigo Saito wins Formula Drift Singapore
Posted: 12 June 2011 2208 hrs
SINGAPORE: Japanese Daigo Saito topped the fourth edition of the VIP Formula Drift Singapore 2011 presented by Achilles Radial at the F1 Pit Building on Sunday.
The first Formula Drift championship in the world to introduce a team award, the Singapore event also saw Saito's Team Spark Motorsports take home the inaugural trophy for Best Team Performance.
In the final face-off, Saito went neck and neck with Team M150's Saranon Pornpatanarak, who came in second in the individual category.
Daigo said: "It is amazing to be racing on an F1 circuit and the crowd really got behind Formula Drift.
"It was an encouraging victory, considering that none of them has competed in Singapore before. I am planning on keeping up my performance for the whole series this year with the Spark Motorsport team."
Saito's teammate Ken Gushi from the US took third place, beating Malaysian Ivan Lau from LTM Bridgestone.
At the F1 Pit Building, sunny weather made for a welcome change from the thunderstorms that poured on the qualifying rounds on Saturday.
The qualifiers were based on the driver's individual runs on track, but for Sunday's format drivers did two laps in tandem, each taking a turn to lead and fight for the best score across two runs.
Drivers were judged on their speed, style and ability to maintain their drift angle for as long as possible.
The event is the first of a four-leg series that will go to Indonesia in October, Thailand in November and the Grand Finale in Malaysia in December.
06-12-2011, 10:14 AM #4616
The boy that dance chose
At 16, SOTA pupil Thaddaeus Low is bound for the world-renowned Rambert Ballet School in London
by Paul Gilfeather
Updated 11:16 AM Jun 12, 2011
Thaddaeus Low is a young man with exceptional talent and huge ambition.
But what's refreshing about the teenage protégé is that his ambition is neither naked, nor greater than his commitment to his art, which happens to be classical ballet and contemporary dance.
Maybe, just maybe, in those quiet moments alone he allows himself to briefly walk on red carpets, clutch golden statues or wave to fans from a limousine window.
But mostly, Thaddaeus just wants to do what he loves most - and that is to dance. For this uncomplicated youngster it is that simple.
Finding such passion and tireless dedication in a 16-year-old boy is unusual. He is pushing his body towards breaking point - the point where the dancer knows if he has what it takes to reach the very top.
"It's very hard to explain," he says. "When I am performing or in everyday class, the regime pushes you a little bit more. You just strive to be better. And it's difficult. But the difficulty is part of the fun.
"Dance is something where you are constantly learning and, for me, it is a process to be the very best at what I do. I don't have time for anything else. If you want to dance professionally you have to dedicate all your time to it. It is something I have to do every single day."
The Singaporean schoolboy will perform a pirouette into the next stage of his career this September when he takes his much-coveted place at the world-renowned Rambert Ballet School in London.
He will leave behind his mum, who works as a secretary, and his older brother and sister. None have a particular interest in dance but all have supported him.
But the youngster from Katong still has much to do if he is to become the first artistic great to drop off the ground-breaking School of the Arts' (Sota) conveyor belt of talent.
HYPERACTIVE AT AGE THREE
His mother sent him to dance classes at the tender age of three when most boys that age are still trying to walk in a straight line. It was an attempt to get some peace and quiet from her boisterous toddler as she raised her family as a single parent.
"I was hyperactive," he admits. "She wanted an outlet for me to channel my energy."
The jazz, tap and ballet lessons were a huge success and, by the age of seven, his teachers saw that he possessed something special.
He auditioned for Sota at the age of 11, by which time he had begun to concentrate on ballet and contemporary dance. Thaddaeus was one of only two boys deemed talented enough for that year's intake.
Physically, he is strong. In fact, he has calf muscles most professional footballers would kill for.
And the punishing regime he practises every day has also left Thaddaeus with a slightly tougher exterior than most teenagers. He is polite and boasts a friendly smile, but you get the feeling he has an inner steel which will serve him well in the years ahead.
He says: "When I was younger it was fairly hard for me at school because there is this stereotype that male dancers are all gay. All my primary school friends always thought that because I danced and I had to live with that stereotype.
"But after they saw me perform in school they realised that this is what I do and it was my passion. They understood this."
When the last of the pupils at the School of the Arts have left for the evening, and the janitor is dragging a brush over the floors, the young dancer continues his never-say-die drive to succeed in the studio.
His commitment to dance is total and he is 100-per-cent focused on his ultimate goal, which is to join a professional dance company, maybe in Europe.
But he is fortunate to be taught and mentored by Sota's head of dance faculty, Ms Cheah Mei Sing.
Ms Cheah, herself a former professional dancer, knows how tough it can be for young dancers trying to break into the professional scene and, as well as teaching Thaddaeus technique, helps the youngster prepare for the hard knocks which may await him in the real world.
Talking about her star pupil, she says: "It's not a case of Thaddaeus choosing dance. Dance has chosen him.
"He has a strict regime which he must carry out every day to keep his body at the optimum level. Any artist has to practise their craft, so for dancers your body is your instrument. You have to hone it every day to get it into that place where you can deliver.
"There is a misconception that dance is easy but that is the skill - making it look easy. Behind the performance you don't see how many hours they train. He also has to develop different styles. It is no longer the age where you just specialise in one kind of dance."
When a dancer reaches the point of ultimate fitness they call it "breaking the body". Cheah says that only when Thaddaeus experiences his limit will he truly know if he has what it takes.
"When you are a dancer you need to be broken, to put it cruelly. But then the dancer will rise up and, if they are good enough, go on to that next level."
Last edited by Loh; 06-12-2011 at 10:22 AM.
06-12-2011, 10:55 AM #4617
06-12-2011, 09:07 PM #4618
Retired principals returning to help
Jun 13, 2011
IN THE ST NEWSPAPER TODAY
MOE keen to make use of their knowledge and experience
By Jane Ng
'Retired principals are like a pot of gold just sitting there waiting to be tapped. If I were just to sit and waste away the days, all the knowledge inside me would go to waste. I might as well share it with teachers to encourage them.'
Miss Chiang Wai Leng, retired principal of Townsville Primary
Miss Chiang Wai Leng (left) and Mrs Belinda Charles, former school principals who continue to work for the Ministry of Education in other capacities since their retirement. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
WHEN Miss Chiang Wai Leng retired as principal of Townsville Primary in 2007, she did more than just sit back and enjoy her golden years.
The 65-year-old used the opportunity to complete her Master's in Education from the University of Melbourne. Now, armed with her degree, Miss Chiang has returned to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to co-write a science teaching guide, train teachers and sit on interview panels to hire them.
Read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times.
06-12-2011, 09:47 PM #4619
Singapore junior paddlers celebrate Rio win
by Low Lin Fhoong 04:47 AM Jun 13, 2011
SINGAPORE - The Republic's junior paddlers celebrated a successful outing at the 2011 Brazil Open in Rio Janeiro early yesterday morning, winning the under-21 Boys' and Girls' singles titles at the Maracanazinho Stadium.
Top seed Zhou Yihan defeated Wu Yue (2) of the United States 4-2 (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5) in the Girls' final to clinch her first ITTF Pro Tour under-21 title.
Team-mate Chen Feng then took to the table to face top seed Patrick Franziska of Germany. Disaster struck for the German when a shoulder injury during the first game forced him to withdraw, ensuring Chen Feng his first under-21 title, as well.
The senior women's team were assured of two gold medals in the singles and doubles events even before the final day of competition.
Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu, and Sun Beibei and Yu Mengyu will meet this morning in the women's doubles final and all four paddlers were playing in the last four of the singles at press time last night.
Men's singles player Zhan Jian was also in action against Marcos Freitas of Portugal in the semi-finals at press time.
06-12-2011, 10:02 PM #4620
Chinese-related scholarships on offer
By Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 12 June 2011 1700 hrs
Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)
SINGAPORE: SIM University (UniSIM) and Business China are offering five new scholarships to help nurture young Singaporeans who can be bilingual and bi-cultural professionals.
The scholarships are for Chinese-related degree programmes, such as Chinese Language and Literature, Translation and Interpretation, as well as Early Childhood Chinese Language Education.
All the programmes are conducted in Chinese at the university.
The scholarships, which are bond-free, will cover up to 80 per cent of total course fees.
They're for Business China members and staff of corporate members who are non-degree holders.
This is the first time Business China is working with an educational institution.
Business China CEO Low Yen Ling said: "We will work with UniSIM to see how in the longer term we can scale this beyond five students and five modules that they can choose from.
"On top of that... we are also exploring similar partnerships with other esteemed educational partners".
Ms Low is also Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency.
06-12-2011, 10:08 PM #4621
Vertical marathon hits new high
By Dylan Loh | Posted: 12 June 2011 1623 hrs
A vertical marathon participant at the end point of her race
SINGAPORE: Singapore's National Vertical Marathon event saw a record-breaking number of participants on Sunday.
A total of 2,631 took part in the race this year, compared to the 2,074 last year.
The event is organised by the Nanyang Technological University.
The competition pits runners in a race across 10 categories up the stairs of One Raffles Place in Singapore's financial district.
Nine of the categories are competitive.
The Men's Open category saw 28-year-old Singaporean Melvin Wong finishing first in a time of nine minutes 35 seconds.
Meanwhile, 38-year-old Australian Suzy Walsham won the race in nine minutes 53 seconds in the Women's Open category.
One Raffles Place is Singapore's tallest building, at a height of 282 metres.
The vertical marathon event is into its 17th year.
06-14-2011, 02:28 AM #4622
Terracotta warriors on display in S'pore
Jun 14, 2011
By Melissa Sim
Curator Selena Wang checking a terracotta general after it was installed yesterday. The exhibition titled Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor And His Legacy will run from June 24 to Oct 16 at the Asian Civilisations Museum. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
CHINESE terracotta warriors descended on the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) earlier this month, and were unpacked yesterday for an upcoming exhibition.
Titled Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor And His Legacy, the exhibition will open next Friday at the ACM.
This is the first time the terracotta army has made its way to South-east Asia.
The figures, which are considered one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, were packed into wooden crates and strapped into frame supports within the crates to prevent any movement.
They were transported from Xi'an to Shanghai by truck over three days, and then flown from Shanghai to Singapore.
Singaporean art handlers as well as representatives from China's Museum of the First Emperor Terracotta Army were on hand yesterday to make sure the statues had arrived in good condition.
Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.
06-14-2011, 02:31 AM #4623
Singapore ranks 2nd in providing citizen security
Jun 14, 2011
Singapore is ranked second in providing security to its citizens, according to an annual survey of the rule of law around the world released on Monday. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAO BIN
WASHINGTON - SINGAPORE is ranked second in providing security to its citizens, according to an annual survey of the rule of law around the world released on Monday.
The public administration of the country is also effective and corruption is minimal (ranked third), and the criminal justice system is among the most effective in the world (ranked fifth).
Notwithstanding the country's outstanding performance in most categories, there are substantial limitations on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, with Singapore in 50th and 61st place, respectively, out of all 66 countries.
Sweden and Norway scored highest on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, which ranks countries on such key areas as whether the government is held accountable, there is access to justice, rights are protected and crime and corruption is prevented.
The survey also found weak protections for fundamental rights in China, 'serious deficiencies' in Russia, and problems with discrimination in the United States.
'Achieving the rule of law is a constant challenge and a work in progress in all countries,' said Hongsia Liu, the executive director of the project, which was funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
06-14-2011, 02:38 AM #4624
Pictures: S'pore top official for Eco-City to move in
Jun 14, 2011
By Grace Ng
Tianjin Eco-City. -- PHOTO: SINO-SINGAPORE TIANJIN ECO-CITY
BEIJING - SINGAPORE'S top official in charge of the Tianjin Eco-City is also planning to be one of the first residents to move in, so that he and his family can test out its eco-friendly features.
The green township in the northern coastal city of Tianjin will welcome residents by the start of next year, said Mr Ho Tong Yen, chief executive of the Sino-Singapore project's master developer, yesterday.
'Once the Eco-City is ready to receive residents, I will move in, because the only way to know a product is to use it personally and then you will know its strengths and weaknesses and how it can be improved,' said the father of three, who currently lives in a more developed area close to the Eco-City.
The 30 sq km area includes '100 per cent green buildings' which meet water and energy efficiency standards, and have better sunlight and ventilation.
It will also include a green transportation system that may include electric trams, hybrid cars and bikes. Essential facilities such as supermarkets and clinics will be located close to homes so people can walk rather than drive.
In his first in-depth interview with the Singapore media since he took up the posting in January, Mr Ho emphasised that the development, which is envisioned to house 350,000 people over an area almost as big as Jurong Island, is not based on a 'utopian model'.
Read more in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.
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