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  1. #4676
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore looking to break records in tourist arrivals

    Jun 23, 2011

    By Huang Lijie




    Tourists from China posing for photos at the Merlion Park. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA


    THE Singapore Tourism Board is 'extremely optimistic' about achieving record-breaking tourist arrivals and tourism receipts in 2011.

    Its assistant chief executive, Ms Melissa Ow, said on Wednesday that Singapore was set to meet its forecast of between 12 and 13 million visitors and tourism receipts of between $22 and $24 billion for this year.

    If the target is met, it would exceed last year's record 11.6 million visitors and some $18.9 billion in tourism receipts.

    The industry will continue to boom, said Ms Ow, because of Singapore's robust line-up of new tourism developments.

    Upcoming attractions include the Marine Life Park and Maritime Xperiential Museum at Resorts World Sentosa, the Gardens by the Bay in Marina Bay and the River Safari in Mandai.

    Ms Ow was speaking at the opening of the Asian Attractions Expo, a four-day trade show for the attractions industry in Asia, which is organised by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

  2. #4677
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    Default Students to get their feet wet learning at PUB's river classroom

    By Ong Dai Lin, TODAY | Posted: 23 June 2011 0648 hrs


    Artist impression of the river classroom. (Photo Courtesy of PUB)
    SINGAPORE: Students in Clementi will have a river classroom near their schools for outdoor learning, while residents in Rochor will have a green community area in a few years under the national water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) programme.

    PUB told MediaCorp that Sungei Pandan and Sungei Ulu Pandan have been chosen as one of its ABC Waters projects and are conceptualised as a river classroom to allow for experiential learning by students due to the vast presence of schools in the area.

    Gathering decks will be built to serve as outdoor classroom spaces for students to learn more about the ABC Waters design features of the projects. These include a sedimentation pond, eco-pond and marshland through which rainwater run-off from the main drains leading to the two rivers will flow and be treated before it is discharged into the rivers.

    PUB said it conducted a workshop for some schools in the vicinity in November last year to brief them on the project. More details on school involvement will be firmed up when the project is nearing completion in the first quarter of 2013.

    The Rochor Canal is the other coming project under the ABC Waters programme. It will feature a Gateway Plaza, where people can gather for community events, and a promenade along the canal that will be seamlessly integrated with the surrounding developments.

    Lookout decks will be built at selected spots for people to take in views of the river.

    PUB will also place specially selected plants along the river to filter and cleanse rainwater run-off from the promenade so that cleaner water flows into the river.

    Work will be carried out on the whole stretch of the Rochor Canal between Jalan Besar and Crawford Street and it is expected to be completed by January 2014.

    But because of the canal's close proximity to existing developments such as buildings, bridges and MRT tunnels, the challenge is to take extra care to prevent damage to these structures, said PUB.

    One resident, who wanted to be known as Mdm Lim, welcomes the project. She said: "It could provide relaxation from city living as residents can walk and jog there in the evening after work." - TODAY

  3. #4678
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default From F&B diploma to degree

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 22 June 2011 1719 hrs


    Workers in the F&B sector
    SINGAPORE: Workers in the Food & Beverage (F&B) sector in Singapore can now pursue related degree courses after they complete their Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) diplomas with At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy.

    This is the first time F&B WSQ programmes are being articulated into university degrees.

    About 120 trainees from At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy, who received their F&B WSQ diplomas from the academy, will also find it faster to obtain a degree.

    They only need two years instead of four to get their degrees, which will be conferred by the US-based Johnson & Wales University, one of the world's best culinary institutes.

    They can choose to complete their degree on-campus or online.

    This will benefit trainees such as 49-year-old Tam Zhi You - the oldest graduate to receive a Diploma in Culinary Arts.

    After spending 18 years in the advertising industry, Mr Tam decided to switch to his passion in the culinary arts.

    While he has not decided to take up the degree, he admits it will help him achieve his dream of setting up a restaurant in five years.

    Obtaining the degree will also allow trainees to cast their net wider when applying for jobs in the F&B industry.

    At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy director Kwan Lui said: "They will learn more than just the art and the craft.

    "They will learn the theories. They will also be exposed to human resource, financial, restaurant management skills and broader knowledge that they are going to need to move into management (roles)".

    -CNA/wk

  4. #4679
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default NTU's 'Batmobile' gears up for eco-marathon

    Jun 24, 2011





    -- ST PHOTO: TERENCE TAN


    The Nanyang Technological University unveiled its newest eco-car yesterday - one of two NTU entries in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia in Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, next month. The diesel-powered Nanyang Venture IV (right), resembling a Batmobile, weighs less than 50kg, due to its advanced carbon fibre reinforced polymer body shell, and has a high-tech telemetry suite complete with on-board camera and sensors. The car is expected to clock 1,000km using just one litre of diesel.

    The other NTU entry, the Nanyang Venture III (left), is a solar-powered car that won in its category in Sepang last year. With better electric motor and parts added, it is expected to surpass its own record of 316km per litre.

  5. #4680
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default End of the line for KTM station hawkers

    Jun 24, 2011



    Some plan to set up shop elsewhere, most to wait and see

    By Fiona Low




    A stallholder making teh tarik (above), and patrons enjoying their meals at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station earlier this month. The stallholders must vacate the premises by the end of this month, when the station will close. -- ST PHOTOS: LIM SIN THAI



    LAST call for those who enjoy the teh tarik or chapati served by the stalls at the railway station in Tanjong Pagar.

    By Sunday, most will be gone, ahead of the closure of the 79-year-old station at the end of this month.

    Many stallholders there told The Straits Times they are still unsure what they will do next or where else they can set up shop.

    A new chapter in the history of rail travel here opens on July 1, with the move by Malayan Railway (KTM) to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, and Singapore taking over ownership of the railway land following a breakthrough land swop with Malaysia last year.

    The art deco building, the terminal of the railway that threads through Peninsular Malaysia, has been gazetted as a national monument.

    Some stallholders there, like brothers Mahmoodul and Masudul Hasan, have seen train passengers come and go for the better part of 30 years. Most others, a mix of Singaporeans and Malaysians, have been there at least 10 years.

    Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Straits Times.

  6. #4681
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    Default Dr Tony Tan's presidency bid may deter others from running: analyst

    By Joanne Chan & Satish Cheney | Posted: 23 June 2011 2055 hrs


    Mr Tan Kian Lian



    Dr Tony Tan



    Dr Tan Cheng Bock


    SINGAPORE : With Dr Tony Tan announcing his Presidency bid, political watchers said it's unlikely more candidates will step forward.

    Earlier, Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Tan Kin Lian had stepped forward as potential candidates.

    With less than two months before the Presidential Election has to be called, all eyes are trained on the three men.

    "I saw we have probably reached the maximum number (of candidates) simply because I think Dr Tan, to many people, would be the candidate with the most impressive credentials. And I think that would effectively foreclose any other person from throwing his hat into the ring," said Associate Professor Eugene Tan, Law lecturer at Singapore Management University (SMU).

    Meanwhile, Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Tan Kin Lian said they are not surprised and are undeterred by Dr Tony Tan's decision to contest the Presidential Election.

    71-year-old Tan Cheng Bock expects a good contest and he feels the new wave of political awareness after the recent General Election will play a big part.

    As for Mr Tan Kin Lian, he said all three candidates will be good for Singapore.

    "This will be the contest - whether you want someone to continue the policies of the establishment, or if you want someone who brings to the office of the President, a new view reflecting the aspirations of large numbers of Singaporeans. And I hope that people of Singapore will make that decision when they cast their vote," said former NTUC Income chief Tan Kin Lian.

    The three candidates had been associated with the ruling party PAP, whether as MPs or as grassroots leaders.

    But following the May General Election - which saw some voters voicing their unhappiness with the government - all three candidates have made efforts to declare their independence.

    "Singaporeans will vote for somebody who they think has unquestionable independence. This is very important because judging from my observation of the General Election - you know I went to attend a lot of rallies - and I find that Singaporeans want fairness," said former MP Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

    "Some Singaporeans may take the view that given that we have a PAP government, that the PAP dominates parliament, that it'd be good for Singapore to have the elected President to be someone who is not closely associated with the government," said Associate Professor Eugene Tan.

    Political watchers expect the upcoming Presidential Election to be one of the most closely followed.

    "There is a general feeling that people are becoming very aware of the importance of their vote and their vote matters. And including the elected presidency, they want to exercise their vote," said Zulkifli Baharuddin, a former Nominated MP.

    Singapore last saw a contested Presidential Election in 1993.

    A lot has changed since - including the channels for engagement. Political watchers expect the presidential candidates to have an online presence, and reach out to voters via forums and dialogues.

    Mr Tan Cheng Bock said he would prefer a straight fight with Dr Tony Tan but would not be deterred by a three-cornered fight.

    But for Mr Tan Kin Lian, he said he prefers a three-cornered fight as it will give Singaporeans a wider choice.

    - CNA /ls
    Last edited by Loh; 06-23-2011 at 09:03 PM.

  7. #4682
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default ASEAN Schools Games in S'pore for the first time

    By Mustafa Shafawi | Posted: 23 June 2011 1620 hrs


    ASEAN flag and flags of ASEAN member countries.
    SINGAPORE: The ASEAN Schools Games will be held in Singapore for the first time.

    The games will be held from July 1 to 7 and the Education Ministry said tickets to the games and the opening ceremony will be available from Monday.

    It said the tickets will be given out free to enable as many people as possible to participate and support the games.

    There are around 12,500 tickets available for the competitions and 500 available for the Opening ceremony. Around half the seats have been allocated to schools.

    Interested members of the public may obtain their free tickets at least one day before each event at the MOE Co-Curricular Activities Branch reception counter at 21 Evans Road, on Mondays to Fridays from 8.30am to 6pm.

    Each member of the public can collect a maximum of 10 tickets on a first-come-first-served basis. Tickets for competitions will be issued in half-day slots (AM or PM).

    Updates on ticketing will also be available on www.aseanschoolsgames2011.sg

    The opening ceremony will also mark the opening of the Singapore Youth Festival, which will be held on July 1 at 7.30pm at The Max Pavilion.

    Besides taking part as spectators and learning more about ASEAN in their schools, some 2,200 students will be closely involved in supporting the operations in specific roles and as volunteers.

    -CNA/ac

  8. #4683
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore sport set for a new mission

    Chan announces 'Vision 2030', an upcoming masterplan to take sports to the next level


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:47 AM Jun 24, 2011

    SINGAPORE - Ten years after setting up the Committee on Sporting Singapore (CoSS), the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and Singapore Sports Council (SSC) are preparing to take the next step forward with a new masterplan.

    Dubbed "Vision 2030", it will look into building on the three key areas in local sports - mass participation, international success and growth of the industry.

    Acting Minister for MCYS, Major General (NS) Chan Chun Sing made the announcement yesterday when he spoke on the sidelines of the official launch of the of the 2011 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore at Raffles Place Park.

    In 2001, the CoSS unveiled 40 recommendations in its blueprint to promote sports participation, develop sports excellence and grow the sports industry.

    Since then, marquee sports events like the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore have seen record participation each year - 60,000 signed up last year - while the Singapore table tennis women clinched the Republic's first silver medal in 48 years at the 2008 Olympics.

    In 2007, the Republic's sports industry's GDP contribution exceeded S$1 billion for the first time, with the Government targeting S$2 billion by 2015.

    In a statement later, Chan said: "The successful implementation of the recommendations of the CoSS and Sporting Culture Committee has provided us new perspectives on sport. It is timely to review the future for sports in Singapore, taking into account the progress made over the last 10 years and the changing global and local environment.

    "Vision 2030 will take a fresh look at the paradigm for sport development in Singapore and how sports can make an even larger contribution to nation building.

    "In the next few months, MCYS and SSC will be working with the respective stakeholders to co-create the masterplan."

    The news on "Vision 2030" surprised members of the sports fraternity.

    Speaking to MediaCorp, Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah said: "I hope they will give more to sport for the masses and the promotion of sports like table tennis in the heartlands.

    "Tournaments like the South-East Asia Championships and Commonwealth Championships want to come to Singapore but right now we have limited resources.

    "It will be good to have more international tournaments held here to sustain interest among Singaporeans."

    Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) president Tang Weng Fei is hoping more can be done to develop a sporting culture and boost spectatorship.

    "For me, the thing that is grossly lacking in Singapore is a sporting culture ... when Singaporeans start paying to watch sports, we will have arrived," said Tang.

    "We have to start from the kids and develop that culture."

    Former national sailor Koh Seng Leong, who competed at the 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games, said: "I think the sports industry needs a bit more attention. If you look at cities like Melbourne where they are sports crazy, the sports industry there is thriving. It's been picking up in recent years here with more private companies organising events and that's a good sign."












    (From left) MCYS Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing with Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore and South-east Asia) regional CEO of Ray Ferguson, SSC CEO Lim Teck Yin, CFO (Singapore and South-East Asia) of Standard Chartered Bank Sanjeev Agrawal at the launch of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011. Photo courtesy of Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011

  9. #4684
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore attractions bad 6 of 7 Asian awards

    The Straits Times
    June 21 2011

    Singapore Cable Car was named the overall grand winner among Asian visitor destinations at the Asian Attractions Awards ceremony yesterday.

    It garnered the most votes of the 60,000 cast in an online poll and also took the prize in the medium-sized attractions category for attractions with between one and two million visitors each year.

    Its two accolades were among the six prizes Singapore attractions swept at the Asian Attractions expo at the Resorts World Convention Centre.

    Seven awards were at stake.

    The awards were handed out by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), which has more than 4,300 members in 100 countries.

    Other Singapore attractions which also took awards were:

    * Resorts World Sentosa, which won in the large-attractions category for destinations with more than two million visitors annually;

    * Sentosa 4D Magix, the multi-sensory adventure ride which took the prize in the small-attractions category for attractions with less than million annual visitors;

    * Universal Studios Singapore, which took the honours in the theme-park category, and

    * Singapore Zoo, which was top in the wildlife-park category.

    The seventh award, that for water parks, was won by Malaysia's Sunway Lagoon.


    IAAPA organized the four-day expo, a trade show for Asia's attractions industry.

    The event drew some 236 exhibitors and 4,000 buyers and exhibitors from more than 40 countries. The expo ends today.

  10. #4685
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Paddlers in double gold rush at SEA Junior event

    The Straits Times
    24 Jun 2011

    By Lin Xinyi

    Singapore's campaign at the 17th South-east Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships in Vietnam got off to a flying start, with both the Under-18 girls' and boys' teams striking gold.

    The trio of Pang Xuejie, Clarence Chew and Kerry Tan combined to defeat Thailand 3-1 in the final yesterday to win the Republic's first senior boys' title at this tournament.

    Clarence, who was part of the team that finished third last year, believes the result is a reflection of their recent progress.

    They thrashed hosts Vietnam - the team that ousted them at the last edition - 3-0 en route to topping the eight-nation field at the June 22-26 competition.

    "I've gained more confidence throught the competions in the last few months," said Clarence, 15, who featured in last year's Youth Olympic Games and made his World Championships debut last month.

    "I learnt to remain calm in crucial moments and to take my chances."

    In the girls' final, Isabelle Li, Chau Hai Qing and Cherryl Tang recorded a 3-1 victory over the Thais to retain Singapore's title.

    The dream start has given the paddlers an opportunity to better the six golds, two silvers and seven bronzes that the Republic garnered last year.

    Another nine golds from the boys' and girls' Under-15 team events, singles, doubles and mixed doubles are still up for grabs in Hai Duong in the north of the country.

    The tournament attracted more than 100 participants from nine countries.

    Following the achievements, Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah vowed to continue grooming youth paddlers.

    "The ami is to do better than the last outing every time our paddlers go out," she said.

    "Our youth development is on th right track. The results tell us that we have improved."

  11. #4686
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ride designers set sights in Asia

    By Neo Chai Chin, TODAY | Posted: 24 June 2011 0634 hrs


    Battlestar Galactica (TODAY File Photo)

    SINGAPORE: It seems like Asia is not only the place to be for business, themed environment designers and ride builders have also trained their sights on the region.

    According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, 15 parks are being built in China alone. Malaysia's Legoland is set to open next year and the Shanghai Disney Resort will open in 2016.

    Four ride makers at the Asian Attractions Expo - being held at the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) - told MediaCorp that Asia now accounts for 30 to more than 50 per cent of their business. The exhibitors said visitors to their booths so far come mostly from China, Korea, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Middle East.

    Proudly showcasing its new China projects was American wood roller-coaster maker Martin & Vleminckx Rides. Its latest, the "High Five" - a pair of duelling roller-coasters tilt toward each other at a 90-degree angle - is in a theme park called OCT Wuhan.

    Mr Charles Bingham, a partner in the company, noted: "China's an emerging market. It's a good opportunity for our industry."

    Asked how Asia differed from the European and American markets, Switzerland's Bolliger & Mabillard manager Robert Mampe said: "The theme park industry is very new to them but they're not any different from any other customer - they always want the biggest and the best."

    His company's recent projects in the region include those in Changzhou and Ocean Park in Hong Kong. Said Mr Mampe, who is based in Michigan: "People in Asia are just like people anywhere else in the world: They just want to have fun."

    In Singapore, work is still streaming in: Wildlife Reserves Singapore's coming River Safari, showcasing river habitats of the world, and the Gardens by the Bay are only two of the projects keeping these creative and engineering types busy.


    Also providing work are four more Universal Studios Singapore (USS) attractions by 2013, as revealed last month by RWS chief executive Tan Hee Teck.

    "There'll always be tourist projects underway in Singapore but I don't think you'll see the kind of boom that happened in 2008, 2009, for quite some time," said Mr Darren McLean, executive director of Pico-Sanderson JV, an alliance between local company Pico Art and Australia's Sanderson Group.

    The latter decided to establish a presence here in 2008. "When Singapore announced that integrated resorts would be built, we knew it was a good time to come," said Mr McLean.

    Pico-Sanderson designed and built four of the seven zones in USS and clinched a contract with Marina Bay Sands for its retail mall finishes.

    Now, the company is in the thick of the River Safari project and doing "specialist theme work in Gardens by the Bay, like animal sculptures", said Mr McLean.

    Also getting a slice of the River Safari pie is amusement ride maker Intamin. The Liechtenstein-headquartered company will be building a water ride for the attraction, said its sales and project management director, Ms Emily Chang.

    Meanwhile, Dutch ride manufacturer Vekoma, maker of the Battlestar Galactica at USS - the world's tallest duelling roller-coasters - has a couple of projects here "on the drawing board that might start to be serious very soon",

    Vekoma account manager (Asia) Domingo Vergoossen declined to give more details, as the industry "is very competitive, and it's hard to talk about new projects until they've been finalised". - TODAY

  12. #4687
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    Default Lee Kuan Yew to join LKY School of Public Policy as Distinguished Fellow

    Posted: 24 June 2011 1520 hrs


    Mr Lee Kuan Yew (file picture)


    SINGAPORE: Mr Lee Kuan Yew is joining the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore as a Distinguished Fellow.

    A statement said both the school and the university are delighted that there will be opportunities for students, faculty members and researchers to interact with Mr Lee and tap on his vast experience and insights into how societies are best governed in a globalised world.

    The school's dean, Kishore Mahbubani, said Mr Lee's involvement would significantly enhance the ability of the school to fulfil its mission and further raise the status of the school globally.

    Mr Lee will take on the appointment with effect from July 1, in addition to his current role as Senior Advisor to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

    - CNA/fa

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    Default A mixed night for Singapore

    Stylish Flamengo douse under-15s' fire, but under-16s advance to the final after penalty controversy



    by Shamir Osman
    04:47 AM Jun 25, 2011

    Football

    23rd Canon Lion City Cup

    SINGAPORE - They displayed a brand of football that was pleasing to the eye, and with a new star in the making in Adam Swandi, they captured the imagination of local fans, attracting bigger audiences at the Jalan Besar Stadium than even some of the professional teams in the S-League.

    In the end, though, it was a step too far for the Singapore under-15s at the 23rd Canon Lion City Cup.

    The home fans willed an all-Singapore final tomorrow.

    The older under-16 boys held their nerve in the first semi-final last night, beating Juventus 4-3 on penalties after playing out a 2-2 draw in regulation.

    But Dejan Gluscevic's under-15 team fell 3-0 to a Flamengo side that finally turned on the samba beat expected of the Brazilians.

    Takuma Koga's under-16 side will face Flamengo in the final, while the under-15s will face Juventus in a battle for third place in the curtain-raiser.

    Fast out of the blocks against the Italians, the Singapore under-16s stormed into a 2-0 lead after just 13 minutes, with Hazim Hassan scoring twice. Juventus came out firing after the break and hit back with goals in the 59th and 70th minute. Penalties beckoned, and with the scores tied at 2-2 after three attempts, referee Sukhbir Singh controversially called for a retake of Singapore's fourth penalty after Jonathan Tan had put his effort wide.

    The Italians were livid as Tan scored at his second attempt, and Singapore earned their spot in the final after Lorenzo Zarmanian saw his shot hit the crossbar.

    "We were a little bit lucky to win in the end, but what's important is that the boys kept fighting till the end. They worked very hard and did well," said coach Koga.

    The Japanese coach wanted a date with the under-15s, but Flamengo's boys, who had been disappointing in the pool games, turned it on when it counted.

    Playing to an incessant samba beat drumming from the stands, they displayed slick passing moves and even more silky individual skills as they kept the Republic's under-15s quiet for most of the match.

    A Mulhelmy Suhaimi own goal (61st) was sandwiched between a Jorge Marco strike six minutes from the break.

    Caio Rangel's 80th minute finish ended the dream of an all-Singapore final.






    Flamengo (in red) took on Singapore at Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday. Photo by KOH MUI FONG
    Last edited by Loh; 06-24-2011 at 10:14 PM.

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    Default Qatar Airways beats SIA to win best airline award

    Jun 26, 2011

    By Royston Sim


    Steady ascent


    Doha-based airline Qatar Airways has climbed steadily in the rankings from seventh place three years ago.




    Qatar Airways planes at the Doha International Airport in Qatar. Qatar Airways has beaten Singapore Airlines to clinch the title of Best Airline at the latest World Airline Awards. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    QATAR Airways has surprised established heavyweights by clinching the title of Best Airline at the latest World Airline Awards.

    The Middle Eastern carrier beat out Singapore Airlines (SIA) for the top spot.

    SIA finished second for the third year running in the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards, held during the Paris Air Show last week. It last clinched first place in 2008.

    Last year's winner, South Korea's Asiana Airlines, finished third this time round. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways rounded out the top five.

    SIA won the title of Best Airline in Asia, and the Best Airline for Business Class. It finished second in the Best Airline In-flight Entertainment category behind Emirates airlines.

    About 18.8 million airline customers participated in the Skytrax survey, which took place over 10 months from July last year.

    Read the full story in The Sunday Times.

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    Default Who the resale HDB flat buyers are

    Jun 26, 2011

    PRs, private property owners still make up nearly 30%, while 23% are first-timers

    By Jessica Cheam, Housing Correspondent


    Related Link
    Profile of resale flat buyers






    Private property owners and permanent residents made up almost 30 per cent of buyers for resale HDB flats, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed in his latest blog post. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    THE profile of buyers driving the hot Housing Board (HDB) resale market has been revealed - and it seems private property owners and permanent residents (PRs) still make up a sizeable chunk of the demand for such homes.

    Together, these two groups comprise almost 30 per cent of transactions, according to new figures released by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in his latest blog post yesterday.

    He also announced in the same posting that HDB will be combining the June and July launches of its new build-to-order (BTO) flats into one exercise in mid-July.

    Earlier, he had flagged larger launches as a way to give flat buyers a wider choice of flat types and locations, and to reduce the potential number of unsuccessful attempts on their part.

    The new figures released by Mr Khaw looked at the 2,162 HDB resale transactions closed last month.

    They showed that a fifth of buyers were permanent residents (PRs), 8 per cent were private property owners and about a quarter - 23 per cent - were newly married couples, or first-timers.

    Read the full story in The Sunday Times.

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Pictures: Final call for foodies at Tg Pagar rail station

    Jun 26, 2011

    By Sia Ling Xin




    Many hungry patrons visited the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station not only for food last night, but also to snap pictures before it closes permanently. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO


    IN ALL their 30 years at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, the stallholders who sell food and drinks there have never had it as busy as on Saturday.

    With just one day left before they have to put a lid on their business there, the hawkers were slaving over their stoves and dishing out mee rebus and chicken rice to snaking queues of diners hungry for one last bite.

    Almost every stall at both canteens at the railway station had lines of more than 20 people during dinner time last night. All the tables were also occupied while diners stood around waiting for a spot. Those who were not eating were busy snapping photographs of the scene.
    Almost everyone there had a camera in his hand.

    'We have the food prepared but not enough manpower to serve them. I feel so bad for the customers who are waiting. Business is so good it is bad for both them and us,' said Mr Mohammad Iqbal, 57, owner of Belkis Chicken Rice.

    Stallholders The Sunday Times spoke to said business had quadrupled in the past two weeks, with Saturday being the busiest.

    Stallholder Kartini Osman, who runs Oasis Rojak Station, said she does not have time for breaks because she has to serve her customers waiting in line. 'It is close to dinner time and I have not even had lunch,' she said.

    Read the full story in The Sunday Times.

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    Default Tony Tan will unite people if elected as president: PM Lee

    Jun 26, 2011

    By Zakir Hussain, Political Correspondent




    Dr Tony Tan will be a unifying figure for all citizens, and will bring honour and credit to Singapore. -- PHOTO: TONY TAN


    PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday he has no doubt that if elected president, Dr Tony Tan will be a unifying figure for all citizens, and will bring honour and credit to Singapore.

    In his first comments on the upcoming presidential election, the prime minister also disclosed that Dr Tan had informed him that he would be resigning from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) to contest the Presidential Election as an independent candidate.

    'He did not need my permission, nor did he ask for it,' said Mr Lee Saturday, in an email response to questions from the media. He was asked if Dr Tan had spoken to him about entering the contest.

    Mr Lee is chairman of GIC, and Dr Tan, 71, will step down as deputy chairman and executive director of GIC on July 1.

    On how he sees the presidential election, Mr Lee said that the President has important constitutional functions, especially through his custodial powers over reserves and key appointments.

    'He must carry himself with dignity, and discharge his duties with judgment and integrity,' he added.

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