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  1. #4914
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    Default Group to organise Singapore's first Human Library

    Aug 2, 2011 By Joanna Seow

    Libraries are usually quiet places, but visitors to Bishan Public Library on Sunday will be able to talk freely - to human 'Books'. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAO BIN


    LIBRARIES are usually quiet places, but visitors to Bishan Public Library on Sunday will be able to talk freely - to human 'Books'.

    A group of young people is organising Singapore's first Human Library, where people will be able to engage 15 volunteers in conversation, to learn from their specialised experience. These volunteers are of different ages and come from a diverse range of backgrounds. They include an alternative healing practitioner as well as Ms Denise Phua, an MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, who is representing the Autism Resource Centre.

    Mr See Yong Feng, 20, one of the ten youths behind the project, said that the main reason they wanted to do the project was 'to encourage more understanding between different groups of people'.

    The event will be held at the Bishan Public Library Programme Area on Sunday, from 11am to 4pm.

    More details can be found at the organisers' website, http://humanlibrarysingapore.blogspot.com/
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    Last edited by Loh; 08-01-2011 at 11:09 PM.

  2. #4915
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    Default S'pore refutes human trafficking report

    Aug 2, 2011
    By Jessica Lim


    THE Singapore Inter-agency Taskforce on trafficking in persons has released a detailed response to a recent United States report on human trafficking.

    The five-page response - which reiterates and points out new 'inaccuracies and misrepresentations' in the US State Department's latest annual report on human trafficking, released in June - was sent to the US yesterday.

    The report claims, among other things, that forced labour on fishing vessels has been found to have originated from Singapore, and that no trafficking victims were offered medical and other services at shelters in the past year.


    The report also stated that Singapore has not made proactive efforts to reduce the demand for commercial *** acts.

    The taskforce, which includes representatives from the Singapore Police Force and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and is co-chaired by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Manpower (MOM), has refuted the claims.

    In its response, the taskforce said that the US report's claim that the Government did not make proactive efforts to reduce the demand for commercial *** acts here was not true.

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

  3. #4916
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    Default New book on Goh Keng Swee launched

    Aug 2, 2011

    By Cai Haoxiang


    A COFFEE-TABLE book on Singapore's first-generation leader Goh Keng Swee was launched by President S R Nathan at the Istana yesterday.

    The book, Dr Goh Keng Swee: A Public Career Remembered, features reflections by former ministers and public officials on the late Dr Goh's working habits and thinking, such as his frugality and no-nonsense leadership style.

    The 170-page book is edited by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) dean Barry Desker and head of external programmes Kwa Chong Guan.

    It contains numerous pictures and short, personal writings, which those behind the book hope will make it accessible to Singaporeans.

    Said Mr Desker at the launch: 'Their candid memories and stories of interactions with Dr Goh at work will strike a chord with many of the older veterans familiar with his habits and idiosyncracies.

    'Reflections about how Dr Goh made decisions and went about his work will also be valuable for present and future generations of public servants and Singaporeans in general.'

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

    The latest book is available at leading bookstores for $55.64 (GST inclusive).

  4. #4917
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    Default New look for Changi Airport's oldest terminal

    Aug 3, 2011

    Upgrading work nearly completed, with more shops and eateries added

    By Karamjit Kaur, Aviation Correspondent


    What visitors can expect

    •Total floor space increased by 22,000 sq m to 302,000 sq m.
    •Number of shops and restaurants in the transit area up from 65 to 85.
    •Bigger holding rooms and wider walkways.
    •New and bigger toilets. There is also a set of 'premier toilets' with specially designed entrances, layouts and finishes. A glass wall provides a view of the tarmac, where aircraft are parked.
    •A new high glass facade to replace the wall spanning the length of the arrival immigration hall. This allows natural light in and offers travellers a better external view of lush greenery.
    •A bigger public viewing gallery.
    •A new departure kerbside canopy extends over the first two lanes and provides more shelter for visitors.
    •A new centralised departure immigration area, instead of two previously. A single point of entry allows more optimal and efficient manning of immigration counters.


    TERMINAL 1, Changi Airport's oldest and busiest terminal, is giving travellers and visitors more to do and enjoy now that a $500 million overhaul is more than 85 per cent completed.

    More shops and restaurants have been added, among other enhancements in the upgrade of the terminal, home to budget carriers AirAsia and Jetstar as well as key airlines like Qantas.

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


    The upgraded Terminal 1 will feature bigger holding rooms and wider walkways so travellers have more space to wait and queue. The overhaul of the 30-year-old terminal, which began in May 2008, will wrap up by the first quarter of next year. -- ST PHOTOS: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
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  5. #4918
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    Default Ballot paper for presidential polls to include candidates' photos

    Posted: 02 August 2011 1759 hrs
    SINGAPORE: The ballot paper for the upcoming Presidential Election will include the photographs of candidates.

    The Elections Department said this will allow voters to recognise the candidates more easily and facilitate their marking of voting choice on the ballot paper.

    The change in the format of the ballot paper was one of the rules and regulations gazetted on Tuesday, ahead of the Presidential Election which has to take place by the end of this month.

    Political observers are expecting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to issue the Writ of Election in the next day or two.

    The rules gazetted give clear definitions of matters like what constitutes an assembly centre, a banner or poster, distribution of election campaign recording, an election activity, and a social networking service.

    The gazette notification stated that the election period will begin with the date a Writ of Election is issued for the Presidential Election.

    It will end with the start of the eve of Polling Day, which is now called the Cooling-Off Day.

    Several items have also been excluded from the category of election advertising. These include diaries or calendars, key chains, T-shirts, miniature flags and soft toys.

    The gazette notification also stated that the maximum number of posters and banners which may be displayed in any public place during the campaign period will be decided by the Returning Officer.

    In addition, no new display of posters and banners will be allowed on Cooling-Off Day and Polling Day.

    The non-partisan restrictions on posters and banners remain unchanged. They are not allowed to denote any political party affiliation, given the nonpartisan character of the Presidential Election candidacy, said the Elections Department.

    An exemption under the Films Act has also been made to allow any individual to exhibit and distribute election campaign recordings as election advertising on the Internet, so long as the film does not distort or dramatise the election activity, and the film is not materially altered.

    President SR Nathan will not be seeking another term of office.

    So far, five Singaporeans have come forward to express their interest to contest the polls.

    Three of them have already submitted their forms for a Certificate of Eligibility from the Presidential Elections Committee chaired by the chairman of the Public Service Commission, Eddie Teo.

    - CNA/al/ir
    The Istana Main Building
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  6. #4919
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    Default ITE, FAS, YEO's give footballers a chance to turn pro

    By Patwant Singh | Posted: 01 August 2011 2306 hrs



    SINGAPORE: 30 players - aged between 17 and 21 years - from the Institute of Technical Education will train under Singapore's legendary footballer Fandi Ahmad.

    Fandi is the newly appointed Sports Ambassador for ITE and head coach for the H-TWO-O Ultimate Dream Team.

    He would lead the players through a six-month intensive training regime.

    Fandi said: "I believe about ten of the boys are good enough for the S.League when they start training properly, regularly, because in ITE they don't play for any club, they don't train."

    At the end of the programme, the team will play a match in January next year against a professional team, where they may be chosen by S.League clubs.

    For some, it is enough just to train under Fandi.

    One of the players, Muhd Nor Farhan, said: "I can see in the players' faces that even though they are tired, when they see Fandi during training they are really up for it."

    Another player, Nurshaid Mohd Ridzal, said: "With more training and a lot of effort in training and practice, I think we can be there!"

    The scheme will expand to cover 180 players as part of the three-year deal, which seeks to increase the talent pool of players in Singapore.

    As for the initial 30 players, the boys will train four times a week at the ITE College Central at MacPherson.

    The 30 boys were selected from 900 players from all the ITE colleges in Singapore who attended the trials
    . Besides being trained by Fandi, they will also have overseas training and playing opportunities in countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

    -CNA/ac

    Some of the ITE players at a training session
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  7. #4920
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    Default SMRT to add 119 train trips from Aug 15

    Posted: 04 August 2011 1221 hrs

    SINGAPORE: From August 15, SMRT will add 119 train trips each week on the North-South East-West (NSEW) Lines to shorten waiting times during non-peak hours on weekdays and on Sundays.

    In addition, peak hours on the Changi Airport extension will be extended by 30 minutes between 8.00am and 9.00am when the trains will come every nine minutes.

    Explaining the enhancements, SMRT's vice president of rail operations, Lui Wai Meng, said commuters' travel patterns have changed.

    More customers are using the trains during non-peak hours and on late Sunday afternoons.

    There has also been an increase in demand on the East-West Line and Changi Airport extension during morning peak hours.

    With the enhancements, commuters can expect waiting times during non-peak hours to drop to between four and six-and-a-half minutes from seven minutes.

    The majority of commuters who will benefit from the shorter waiting times are those on the North-South Line heading to Jurong East interchange station or south towards the city on weekday early mornings, and those on the East-West Line heading towards the city weekday late mornings.

    Passengers who are commuting from the city towards residential estates in the North and East of Singapore after 8.00pm on weekdays will also enjoy the reduced waiting time.

    This is the third round of train service enhancements introduced in 2011 by SMRT.

    With this latest round of service enhancements, SMRT would have added more than 1,710 train trips weekly since 2008.

    - CNA/cc
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  8. #4921
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    Default S$30 million boost for food R&D

    Posted: 04 August 2011 0706 hrs



    SINGAPORE: To address future food demands, the National Research Foundation (NRF) has awarded S$30 million in research grants to three projects under its Competitive Research Programme (CRP) Funding Scheme.

    The Singapore-based researchers had proposed projects to study a type of seabass that will breed easily and grows twice as fast as the normal variety, disease-resistent rice strains and fish that will be less susceptible to infection.

    The three proposals were selected after a rigorous competitive process which started in October last year, with the submission of 35 white papers which responded to the NRF's grant call on "Meeting Future Food Demands for Singapore".

    Eleven were picked and their researchers asked to flesh out full proposals, which were sent for international peer reviews. Finally, the NRF's International Evaluation Panel met to choose three.

    The CRP Funding Scheme offers funding support of up to S$10 million per proposal, over three to five years. CRP grant calls are announced twice a year.

    The NRF also announced on Wednesday a research grant to develop advanced membrane technology for large-scale wastewater treatment and seawater desalination.

    - TODAY


    A researcher in Singapore
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  9. #4922
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    Default Changi Airport enhances airfield security with fibre-optic sensors


    by Dylan Loh
    Updated 10:00 AM Aug 04, 2011


    SINGAPORE - Changi Airport will be the world's first airport to reinforce its perimeter fences with fibre-optic sensors to detect intruders.

    More cameras will also be installed at airport boundaries, which will be integrated with the new multi-million-dollar defence system called AgilFence, made by Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics.

    Said Changi Airport Group's executive vice-president (airport management) Foo Sek Min: "No system is fool-proof and perfect."

    "And as we review our existing perimeter protection, the introduction of this perimeter intrusion detection system will help us to have a better and faster response if there are any signs of intrusion."

    The pressure-sensitive sensors are protected by an armoured casing to prevent tampering and for easy maintenance.

    ST Electronics said the system is expected to last a decade, adding that it is immune to electromagnetic and radio frequency interferences, making it effective for deployment in an airfield.

    The system is expected to be fully operational by end-2012. Dylan Loh







  10. #4923
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    Default A specialised clinic for each group


    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:45 AM Aug 04, 2011


    SINGAPORE - When it comes to public sexual health services, a majority of patients would prefer to have specialised clinics for individual groups such as youths and homosexuals, according to the findings of the first study on the subject here.

    The study also raised concerns about young people below 20 becoming sexually active at a younger age and men-who-have-***-with-men (MSM), citing the need for sexual health prevention and intervention programmes specifically tailored for them.

    The Department of Sexually Transmitted Infections Control (DSC) Clinic - which conducted the study two years ago - has since set up a Men's Clinic on its premises, seeing between 30 and 40 patients every month.

    The clinic, meant for MSM, has only male staff to make for a less intimidating environment for the patients.

    The setting up of the clinic in January is in line with the study's results, which showed that more than 70 per cent of the 130 MSMs respondents felt the need to have a clinic to cater to their needs.

    As for having other dedicated clinics, 61 per cent of all 1,000 respondents said that it was essential to have a clinic catering to young patients.

    While setting up these specific services could encourage the targeted groups to come forward for screening and treatment, such moves may also be viewed by some quarters as sending out the wrong signals to society.

    National University of Singapore sociologist Paulin Straughan noted that some conservative groups would argue that abstinence is the best prevention but the "truth of the matter is that there are these alternative lifestyles in the community".

    Citing past findings that homosexuals tend to be at a higher risk of contracting Aids, she said: "Having a dedicated clinic would reach out to them and promote control … to turn a blind eye would, in fact, result in unwanted consequences."

    While such a service could be beneficial, the challenge lies in getting a positive take-up rate, added Associate Professor Straughan.

    As for youths, the Singapore Children's Society's Dr Carol Balhetchet pointed out that information about *** is already widely available.

    Dr Balhetchet, its director of youth services, said that reaching out to youths would be best left to other youths "who have gone through the hard way" as adults will be deemed as judgmental.

    However, she added, a supportive family would strongly encourage youth to stay out of trouble.

    The DSC Clinic study, Patients' Perception of Health Services for Sexually Transmitted Infections in Singapore, was published in the July edition of the Singapore Medical Journal.

    Led by Dr Gavin Ong from the DSC Clinic, the study collected 1,000 individual responses from patients over a four-week period in May 2009.

    Dr Ong told Today that the findings were in line with international studies and anecdotal observations, where confidentiality and competency of healthcare workers were key concerns of patients.

    While the issue of stigma was not highlighted in the study, Dr Ong said this was one of the study's limitations since the respondents were patients of the DSC Clinic.

    Still, he added, the study, being the first of its kind here, serves as a good reference point on patients' needs.







  11. #4924
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    Default Stirring Lions create selection headache

    World Cup qualifiers clash with SEA Games tourney leaving FAS to decide where focus will be




    by Shamir Osman
    04:46 AM Aug 04, 2011



    SINGAPORE - What a difference 180 minutes of football make.

    From a state of emergency, where both fans and belief had deserted the national football team after a calamitous 2010, the Lions have turned things 180 degrees around.

    After two stirring showings against Malaysia, ending 6-4 after two legs, the Lions are through to the third round of the World Cup qualifiers, leaving the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) with a headache of a different kind.

    With at least four players key to both the SEA Games squad and the senior Lions side, they now have to decide if the focus will be on achieving the set target of a silver medal at the November SEA Games or making it into the final group stage of the World Cup qualifiers.

    FAS president Zainudin Nordin is well aware of the bridge that needs to be crossed soon but his team have at least decided when they will make the call.

    "We are in with a fighting chance of making the fourth round of the qualifiers, and also stand a good chance at the SEA Games. We are already cracking our heads to resolve this, but we don't want to jump the gun," he told Today.

    "The first two matches in the qualifiers are critical, and will give us an indicator of where we stand. We will look at how we perform in those two games and decide after that."

    Facing China, Jordan and Iraq in Group A of the third round qualifiers, Singapore's schedule will see them open their campaign in Kunming on Sept 2, then return to host Iraq four days later.

    But it is the November fixtures, away to Jordan on Nov 11 and a home game against China on Nov 15 that will prove problematic.

    The SEA Games are scheduled to run from Nov 11-22, and while exact dates for the Games' under-23 football tournament are not yet available, it is virtually impossible to have players turn out for both the SEA Games squad and the senior team at the qualifiers.

    At least four players - midfielder Hariss Harun, goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, defender Safuwan Baharudin and attacker Shahdan Sulaiman - are shoo-ins for a starting spot at the SEA Games, and they are also key to national coach Radojko Avramovic's plans for the senior team.

    Izwan earned plaudits against Malaysia, the 21-year-old turning in a steady performance between the Singapore sticks in the absence of the injured Hassan Sunny and Lionel Lewis.

    He said: "Both are big tournaments, and I would love to be able to play in both if possible, but it's really up to the coaches to decide which team we train and play for."

    His sentiment was echoed by Safuwan, who showed a maturity beyond his 19 years in his two starts against Malaysia.

    He said: "The Courts Young Lions are doing well and I think we're moving close to peaking at the SEA Games but I think if the senior team does well in the first two World Cup qualifying matches, we'll probably stay with the seniors. But that's for the coaches to decide.

    "We may have played in the first XI for the national team, but that doesn't mean that if we're not with the SEA Games team then they can't perform - there are others who can step in and do the job.

    "I think the SEA Games team will manage just as well without us."





    FAS president Zainudin Nordin (left) has to choose between a historic World Cup qualifying performance or SEA Games glory. Photo by ERNEST CHUA








    5

  12. #4925
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    Default Five more gain elite Olympic funding

    Total of 11 athletes now in Olympic Pathway Programme as Singapore continue push for glory in London



    by Philip Goh Haw Hann
    04:46 AM Aug 04, 2011



    SINGAPORE - Five more athletes have been added to the multi-million-dollar Olympic Pathway Programme (OPP), as the Republic seek to improve on the sole silver medal gained at the Beijing Games three years ago.

    Announced last night by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, which administers the S$6.3 million fund, the five are pistol shooters Nigel Lim Swee Hon and Poh Lip Meng, table-tennis veteran Li Jiawei and shuttlers Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei.

    Today had reported in early June the inclusion Shinta and Yao - the women's doubles champions at last year's Li Ning Singapore Open - with last night's announcement confirming their places in the elite programme.

    Both shuttlers, as well as shooters Lim and Poh, are presently in Surrey, England, as part of a three-week pre-Olympic stint. They will then head to the Yonex BWF World Badminton Championships, which starts on Monday, at London's Wembley Arena.

    The quintet bring to 11 the number of athletes in the OPP, which provides funding outside of that available to their respective national sports associations (NSAs). Six athletes were named in the first batch in May 2009, namely paddlers Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu, Sun Beibei and Yu Mengyu, shooter Jasmine Ser and swimmer Tao Li.

    According to Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah, Jiawei's inclusion is affirmation that her comeback from time off to start a family is complete.

    "Since coming back from maternity leave early last year, Jiawei has been training hard and progressing well, and is now our third-highest ranked player in the ITTF list. Her inclusion in the OPP is a real morale booster for our Olympic veteran," said Lee.

    "More importantly, with her pre-Olympic expenses now covered under the programme, we are able to use our NSA funding towards developing our younger players," she added.

    For Singapore Shooting Association (SSA) president Chng Seng Mok, the inclusion of Poh and Lim comes as no surprise.

    "Both Nigel and Lip Meng satisfied the criteria for the OPP after winning gold at last year's Commonwealth Games," said Chng.

    "My biggest issue right now is to be able to hire a suitable coach to take them through to the Olympics, now that more funds have been freed up by their inclusion into the programme.

    "With most countries now working on four-year Olympic cycles, the more established ones would have had the funds to engage the most sought-after coaches after the Beijing Games, while we now have the harder task of identifying the best of the rest who can get the job done for us," added Chng.

    Funded by the Government and the Singapore Totalisator Board, the OPP provides additional logistical, technical and financial support to Olympic-bound athletes earmarked for medal success.




    National paddler Li Jiawei (left) will now join team-mate Sun Beibei (right) in the Olympic Pathway Programme. TODAY FILE PHOTO


    Last edited by Loh; 08-04-2011 at 04:08 AM.

  13. #4926
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    Default Better sports medicine support for S'pore Olympians in 2012

    Aug 4, 2011

    THE Singapore Sports Council (SSC) has ramped up its activities to provide the best facilities for the country's athletes for the London 2012 Olympics.

    Kicking off its list of preparations is the agreement the SSC has signed with the University of East London (UEL) to base the Team Singapore recovery centre at its Stratford Campus, SSC said in a press release.

    This is where SSC will offer a wider range of sports medicine and sports science support for Team Singapore athletes compared to any other Olympic Games in the past. Occupying a space of about 270sqm on the premises of the temporary teaching building, it is a short five-minute drive away from the Athlete's Village. This Team Singapore recovery centre is about three times bigger than the one it had at the Beijing Olympics. The additional space allows for a wider range of recovery services to be available to the athletes, including nutrition and physiology, which were not offered at the last Olympics.

    A team of eight sports medicine and sports science staff comprising a medical officer, psychologist, nutritionist, physiologist and four physiotherapists and masseurs will be based at this centre. Following Team USA, Team Singapore is the second, to secure a space at UEL for its onsite operations for the Games
    .

    'The Team Singapore recovery centre plays a critical role in our athletes' performance as it will keep them in optimal condition to compete. Finding a good location, coupled with a comprehensive suite of services were key priorities,' said Bob Gambardella, chief of Sports Development Group and Singapore Sports Institute, SSC. 'Being so close to the Village will allow our athletes to make an easy and seamless transition to the recovery centre', added Gambardella who was present at the signing ceremony at UEL.

    UEL Pro Vice-Chancellor Selena Bolingbroke welcomed the deal and said: 'The partnership is also an opportunity to build the legacy that will continue beyond 2012 and into the future, to boost participation in sport and meet UEL's aim of being the best university in London for sport by 2015.'


    'The Team Singapore recovery centre plays a critical role in our athletes' performance as it will keep them in optimal condition to compete. Finding a good location, coupled with a comprehensive suite of services were key priorities,' said Bob Gambardella, chief of Sports Development Group and Singapore Sports Institute, SSC. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

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    Default Forbes ranks NUS MBA no. 1 in S'pore, Asia

    Aug 5, 2011

    By Stacey Chia


    THE National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School's Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme has emerged top in Singapore and Asia on Forbes' list for the first time.

    Internationally, it placed fourth behind the Manchester Business School (second) and the IESE Business School in Spain (third). The London Business School took top spot. The NUS was the only Singapore business school to be ranked.

    The rankings released on Thursday are based on a survey of MBA graduates from the class of 2006. Forbes compared the earnings of graduates in their first five years out of school to their opportunity costs, which include forgone salaries for the duration of the programme, tuition and other fees incurred during the course of their study.

    The survey also adjusted for cost-of-living expenses and took into account students who received scholarships or study awards in order to accurately reflect the cost of completing the NUS MBA.

    'The ranking attests to the quality and value of the NUS MBA. This is added motivation for us to continue focusing on providing top-quality teaching, and enhancing the educational experience and employability of our students,' said Professor Bernard Yeung, dean and Stephen Riady distinguished professor of the NUS Business School.


    The National University of Singapore Business School's Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme has emerged top in Singapore and Asia on Forbes' list for the first time. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
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    Default Groom local talent, Swee Say urges MNCs

    Aug 5, 2011

    It will help S'poreans embrace globalisation, says labour chiefBy Kor Kian Beng

    LABOUR chief Lim Swee Say yesterday urged more multinational corporations (MNCs) to do more in nurturing and developing Singaporean professionals for higher positions, to demonstrate their commitment to Singapore.

    Such pro-active moves would help make Singaporeans holding professional, managerial and executive (PME) jobs become more accepting of the inflow of foreigners into the job market, Mr Lim said.

    They would, in turn, not view globalisation as a threat to them getting better jobs and wages, he added.

    'In short, we strive for Singapore to be first in global competition to sustain healthy growth and create enough good jobs.

    'We also strive for Singaporeans to be first in local employment to take on a better job, earn better pay and live a better life.'

    If not, the situation would lead to a 'win-lose' scenario often seen in other countries between management and workers, locals and foreigners, he said.

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


    Labour chief Lim Swee Say (second from left) and NTUC president John De Payva (third from left) singing along to National Day songs with union leaders at a National Day observance ceremony yesterday, the first of its 20 ceremonies to mark the nation's independence. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

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    Default Shortage of PhD talent in Singapore's R&D industry: A*STAR

    By Alvina Soh | Posted: 04 August 2011 1902 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Singapore's national research agency A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology & Research) has said that the main challenge for the R&D sector here is the lack of sufficient PhD talent.

    The agency said it expects to see a very strong need for PhD-level researchers in the near future, with Singapore's shift towards a knowledge-based economy.

    Bringing science from the laboratory to the mass market - that's what 37-year-old Dr Gideon Ho chose to do.

    The former A*STAR scholar decided to start his own bio-tech company that specialises in biomedical technology.

    "Research shouldn't just be embedded within a lab itself. And one of the things which I firmly believe in is that, if you're going to impact the world with your research work, then you have to bring it to the world, you have to let the world be exposed to it," said Dr Ho, co-founder of HistoIndex.

    His enterprising spirit and achievements has made him a role model of sorts.

    A*STAR hopes that many others would follow suit in contributing to Singapore's research scene.

    It added while R&D here has come a long way with more young people keen to take it up, there is still a need for high-calibre professionals.

    PhD-level researchers, it said, can help boost Singapore's competitive advantage.

    "We are a small country, we don't have a big talent pool, we have to offer the opportunities for our talent pool to develop the best way possible. We need to continue doing our outreach to present opportunities in scientific careers to our young people, so that is an ongoing challenge," said Dr Lim Khiang Wee, executive director of A*STAR Graduate Academy.

    To attract talents, A*STAR conducts outreach activities such as organising competitions and offering research attachments.

    - CNA /ls

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    Default Five receive SAF Overseas Scholarships

    By Satish Cheney | Posted: 04 August 2011 2342 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Five youths received the SAF Overseas Scholarships, which are among the most prestigious in the country, at the Istana on Thursday.

    For 19-year-old Aaron Koh, the scholarship is more than just about achieving his dreams.

    The former Hwa Chong Institution student said it is also about his younger brother who was born with a brain condition.

    He added: "Watching him grow up really reinforced the whole idea of the fragility of life. It was the reason why I decided to do a lot of community work because I want to help the less fortunate in society.

    "More importantly, this award means a lot to me because I think he has been a huge source of inspiration for me. He taught me resilience, never to quit and to always fight on no matter what."

    That is also the motto the other recipients prescribe to - even when others may question their choice of a career.

    Geeva Gopal Krishnan said: "I've had friends who asked me why I want to sign on, but my parents and family have been very supportive of my decision. Being an officer in the SAF was a dream since my school days when I was in the NCC as a leader."

    Another recipient, Tan E-an, said: "Certainly there are criticisms on different fronts about the military, but I think for me ... it's all about deterrence.

    "And what drives my desire to serve in the military is I see a greater purpose of how it actually prevents the horrors of war from coming to Singapore."

    And to do that, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said getting new talent is key.

    "We must continue to attract the best and brightest if we are to maintain or enhance our defence capabilities. The security environment around us will continue to evolve," he said.

    "Even as we become wealthier, the security challenges haven't become easier. In fact, they've become more complex. As China and India form new spheres of economic and military influence, we will see evolving dynamics," he added.

    The SAF Overseas Scholarships have become somewhat of a brand name with illustrious alumni. Now in its 41st year, a total of 281 scholarships have been awarded.



    Recipients of SAF Overseas Scholarships
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