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  1. #4931
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Sports School athletes shine in Scotland

    by Philip Goh Haw Hann
    Updated 09:04 AM Aug 08, 2011



    SINGAPORE - A stirring win in the girls' 4x100m relay yesterday capped an outstanding outing for the Singapore Sports School at the 45th International Children's Games in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

    The quartet of Tallulah Luisa Braganca, Shanti Pereira, Eugenia Tan and Farhana Mohd Thair clocked 49.03sec to win gold ahead of teams from Oakland (United States) and Patras (Greece).

    It was a second gold in two days for 14-year-old Shanti, who won the 100m sprint on Saturday in 12.66sec, pipping Poland's Karoli Ciesielska, 12.70sec, and Xu Mengqiao of China who clocked in at 13.00sec.

    Irwin Seet, the Sports School's director of sports, acknowledged Shanti's continued improvement, and said: "She was seventh two years ago in Athens, then got a bronze last year. Gold this year is a nice progression."

    Having arrived last week in Lanarkshire with a target of winning 10 medals in total, the Singapore Sports School's athletes will return tomorrow with 18. The haul of nine gold, two silver and seven bronze medals represent their best result at the annual games for athletes aged 12 to 15.

    The standout athlete in Lanarkshire was Singapore Youth Olympic Scholarship recipient from Thailand, Phiangkhwan Pawapotako, who won four individual swimming gold medals (girls' 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley), while Lim Ching Hwang won three golds (boys' 100m and 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle) and a silver (50m freestyle).

    The school's contingent of 18 athletes took part in badminton, swimming and track and field.

    This year's meet attracted around 1,500 teenaged athletes from 80 cities from around the world including Maribor (Slovenia), Ufa (Russia) and Beijing.




    PHOTO COURTESY SINGAPORE SPORTS SCHOOL
    Last edited by Loh; 08-08-2011 at 01:12 AM.

  2. #4932
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's 46th National Day

    Today, Singapore is 46 years old and still growing strong.

    At the Marina Bay, many Singaporeans and others will converge at the Floating Platform gallery to watch an extravaganza of activities to celebrate the occasion. More details can be found on the NDP website: http://www.ndp.org.sg/#/landing


    This is how a young Singaporean describes Singapore and being Singaporean:



    TODAY


    My Singapore



    by Phin Wong
    04:45 AM Aug 09, 2011

    Describing Singapore as a country is easy: Singapore is 46 years old, terribly efficient, gleefully clean, and really small. About the size of a mole - a non-descript mole, not an obtrusive Phua Chu Kang-type mole - on the face of the planet.

    It's also dependably sweltering outdoors but curiously freezing indoors. Oh, and it's got an awesome airport. And the food's good, too.

    It's an easy task because it is what it is today. Like describing what you're wearing at this very moment.

    Now try describing Singapore as your ideal home. Describe the Singapore you want to live in - your Singapore. Then describe how you're going about getting it done.

    It's a little less easy.

    And you can't phone a friend.

    Singaporeans are synonymous with many things - most of them we cheerfully laugh off as a bit of an in-joke.

    We never say no to a good bargain, love joining a queue for no other reason other than the fact that there are people already in one, incredibly capable of stuffing our faces at odd hours of the night, untreatably addicted to flip-flops and shorts, terribly territorial about tables at hawker centres, and, yes, live and die according to the gospel of kiasu.

    We'll nod along knowingly to these stereotypes because as accurate as they might seem to be, we know they're not really. Wink, wink.

    But not all Singaporean stereotypes are quite as amusing. Take, for example, the one about us being a bunch of complainers.

    Passive, apathetic complainers who whinge unceasingly - then sit back and expect someone to come and fix it for us.

    "When is someone going to come do something about this?" we're so fond of demanding. Now that stereotype's not quite a hoot. In fact, it's a little sad.

    This National Day, we're applauding 12 Singaporeans who are merrily proving that passive stereotype wrong.

    They come from different backgrounds, have different causes, and have taken different routes, but they share one thing in common: They've stepped up to the plate, they've cracked their knuckles, and they've gotten down to work to make their Singapore a reality.

    The Singapore they're building on their own initiative has compassion, generosity, conviction, and empathy.

    It empowers, protects, takes responsibility, and celebrates both community and diversity. It believes in humility, second chances, and the expression of its people.

    I don't know about you, but that sounds like home.

    Whether it's about helping the disadvantaged live better lives, giving a voice to the seldom heard, providing shelter and food for those without, saving the world from ourselves, or making sure we simply treat each other with dignity and respect, these 12 Singaporeans are inspiring reminders that it does matter that you give a darn.

    Because changes don't just happen - they're made. Because history isn't only to be read - it's written every day.

    And, most important, because building a home isn't passive - it's proactive.

    So what are you going to do about it?

    I know what my Singapore is. And I can't wait to share it with you.
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  3. #4933
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    Default National Day Awards for over 3,000 Singaporeans this year

    TODAY

    06:04 AM Aug 09, 2011

    SINGAPORE - Over 3,000 Singaporeans will receive the National Day Awards this year, which given every year to those who have made outstanding contributions in public service or community work.

    Receiving the highest honour this year - the Distinguished Service Order - are Professor Chan Heng Chee, ambassador at the Singapore embassy in Washington, and UOB Group chairman Wee Cho Yaw, the founding president of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations and Pro-Chancellor of Nanyang Technological University.

    Another five received the Meritorious Service Medal: Mr Syed Isa bin Mohamed Bin Semait, advisor at the Office of the Mufti Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, Mr Koh Choon Hui, chairman of Singapore Children's Society, Mr Liew Mun Leong, chairman of Changi Airport Group, Dr Su Guaning, President Emeritus at Nanyang Technological University, and Mr John De Payva, president of the National Trades Union Congress.

  4. #4934
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore's US Ambassador Chan Heng Chee

    The Straits Times
    August 9 2011

    By Kor Kian Beng


    Diplomat Chan Heng Chee, Singapore's long-serving ambassador to the United States, and banker Wee Cho Yaw, chairman of United Overseas Bank (UOB), top this year's list of National Day Awards recipients.

    Both are getting the Distinguished Service Order, the highest among the National Day awards given to 3,100 people in recognition of the outstanding efforts in public service, community work and other fields.

    Prof Chan, 69, is lauded for her contributions to Singapore's diplomatic service, which began in 1989 when she became Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and at the same time, the High Commissioner to Canada and ambassador to Mexico.

    In 1996, she was appointed Singapore's envoy to the US, where she now holds the No. 2 post in the diplomatic corps - often standing in as its acting dean for the ambassador of Djibouti.

    When contacted yesterday, Prof Chan, in an e-mail reply, said she was surprised when told about the award earlier by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

    "Really? Didn't think I would get anything any more", she said, recalling her reaction. It is her third National Day award. She received the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 1999 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2005.

    She added in her statement: "When you are a diplomat representing your country, you don't think of getting recognition or rewards.

    "It is mainly the mission at hand. So much of what a diplomat does is not visible and you don't tell the whole world what your agenda is."

    Prof Chan was a political science professor at the National University of Singapore and headed several think-tanks in Singapore before she was seconded to the MFA for her diplomatic postings. (I'm sure my university friends who were taught political science by her at the then University of Singapore are proud of her. )

    She was founding director of the Institute of Policy Studies in 1988 and served as director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies from 1993 to 1996.


    PROMOTING S'PORE'S INTERESTS IN TRADE, POLITICS AND THE ARTS


    She scored several firsts in her academic and diplomatic career, and Singapore' Ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee has added another achievement to the list.

    Into her 15th year in Washington DC, she is now the most senior woman envoy in the US capital - and second in the hierarchy of the diplomatic corps there.

    She is the dean of the women ambassdors and frequently finds herself standing in for the corps' current dean, Djibouti Ambassador Roble Olhaye, who is also his country's Permanent Representaive to the UN and has to travel.

    Prof Chan, 69, cited an experience in March 2009 as one of the highlights of her time in Washington: "The first time I was announced as the acting dean of the diplomatic corps, as I walked into the Chamber of the House of Representatives for the Joint Session of Congress address by then United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the whole hall erupted into huge applause and cheer.

    "And a few congressmen pumped the air for it was the first time a woman ambassador had entered the Chamber announced as acting dean."

    Prof Chan's comments was made in response to queries about her receiving the Distinguished Service Order - the top National Day Award this year - in recognition of her contributions to Singapore.

    The former academic was described by former US ambassador to Singapore Frank Lavin as a "dynamo", and has been credited with helping strengthen Singapore's ties with the US.

    Prof Chan, who was founding director of the Institute of Policy Studies in 1988 and who had won Singapore's first Woman of the Year award in 1991, also cited the US-Singapore free trade agreement (FTA) as another high point of her career.

    The pact to lower trade barriers and boost mutual investments came into effect on Jan 1, 2004 - some four years after it was first discussed between then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and then US President Bill Clinton during a round of night golf in Brunei.

    "The satisfaction is immense and now looking at how hard it is to get FTAs passed in Congress, Singapore has done very well,' said Prof Chan.

    "The FTA really taught us a great deal about the political process in the US and in Congress, more than we ever knew before, because we did not want very much from Congress up till then."

    Prof Chan also believes she has expanded the use of cultural diplomacy for Singapore in the US, in part due to her own interest in the arts.

    She has tried to give opportunities to Singapaore artists to showcase their talent at the embassy. Those featured have included violinists Siow Lee Chin and Lee Huei Min, the Tang Quartet classical ensemble and harpist Katryna Tan.


    (More details on Prof Chan can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chan_Heng_Chee )


    Photo: Then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Chan Heng Chee meet with U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen during Lee's visit to the U.S. in 2000
    Last edited by Loh; 08-09-2011 at 03:44 AM.

  5. #4935
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    Default

    Sorry here are the missing photos:


    Photo: Then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Chan Heng Chee meet with U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen during Lee's visit to the U.S. in 2000
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  6. #4936
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    Default China's leaders send letters of congratulations

    Straits Times
    August 9 2011

    By Rachel Chang

    Top Chinese leaders have written to congratulate President S R Nathan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam on Singapore's National Day.

    In letters released to the media yesterday by the Chinese embassy, the Chinese leaders lauded Singapore's "development miracle" and expressed hope that bilateral ties would continue to strengthen.

    In his letter to Mr Nathan, Chinese President Hu Jintao wrote that Singapore has played a "unique and active role in international and regional affairs".

    Calling Singapore and China "close and friendly neighbours', he expressed his appreciation to Mr Nathan for making significant contributions to the development of bilateral ties.

    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao praised Singapore for creating a "development miracle which draws worldwide attention" in his letter to Mr Lee.

    "The country has enjoyed social harmony and stability as well as economic prosperity, with the people living and working in peace and happiness," he wrote.

    Under Mr Lee's leadership, he said, Singapore adequately withstood the 2009 economic crisis, and "has been achieving new accomplishments in economic restructuring and upgrading".

    He added that the countries' bilateral relationship has been "maintaining good momentum", as both parties share "ever-expanding common interests in various fields".

    In his letter to Mr Shanmugam, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi characterised Singapore-China relations as "strong and robust'.

    "Over the 21 years of our diplomatic ties, due to joint efforts of both sides, the two countries have enjoyed ever-strengthening exchanges and cooperation in various field which yielded rich results, bringing about real and tangible benefits to the two countries and their people," he wrote.

    He added that he looked forward to working closely with Mr Shanmugam to further expand and deepen the "pragmatic cooperation" between the two countries.

  7. #4937
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Defying the odds to become success story

    Straits Times
    August 9 2011


    By Dr Khor Swee Kheng


    As a Malaysian working Singapore for the past eight months, I have found many things to admire about the country.

    Singapore is small and resource-starved, and almost completely dependent on the outside world for its existence. Yet, success was achieved despite these limitations - or did the people work harder because of them?

    Singapore ranks highly in absolute terms such as infant mortality and broadband penetration rates, but when measured in relative terms, its success becomes even more impressive. No other country has had such insurmountable odds stacked against it, and yet thrived when others merely aimed to survive.

    This isn't to say that Singapore's development should stop now. On the contrary, there is so much more to expect and demand from a government that has given its people the good life so far.

    When a country has built its "hardware" - like transport, communications and schools, for instance - attention naturally turns to the intangibles, like nation-building, the arts and the Singapore Spirit.

    However, this is a long process of maturation; for instance, Singapoe is only 46 years old, while the United States is 235.

    Singapore is a competitive nation, and that is its raison d'etre.So how about this for a rallying call to the Singapore Spirit? "Singapore: Defying the Odds".

    It is a pretty good start to realise that Singapore has been defying the odds successfully, and that the world now stands in awe of the Impossible City.

    It has the foundations for healthy growth into the future, and the uncanny ability to reinvent itself. These are its strengths in the challenging world ahead, but a greater strength lies in the lessons from the past, especially from a generation of leaders almost unprecendented in history.

    From the initially grim predictions of starvation at worst, and international irrelevance at best, its leaders have stayed ahead of the curve and steered Singapore to ba a rousing success story. You should accelerate into the future, but always remember to check the rear-view mirror.

    You are doing well, Singapore. You are punching well above your weight, and although no country is perfect, there is still so much for you to be proud of.



    Happy birthday, Singapore!

  8. #4938
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore marks 46th birthday

    By Imelda Saad | Posted: 09 August 2011 2106 hrs




    SINGAPORE: Singapore marked its 46th birthday on Tuesday with tens of thousands gathered at the downtown Marina Bay area to soak in the celebrations.

    Early birds streamed in a good three to four hours before the start of the show, braving the heat to get their choice seats.

    This year's National Day Parade makes its comeback at the Floating Platform at Marina Bay, with the completed Marina Bay skyline, as a stunning backdrop.

    The show started at 6pm sharp, followed by the arrival of new Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Cabinet, fresh from the country's General Election in May.

    Spectators were entertained in the pre-parade segment by the Red Lions - free-fallers from the Singapore Armed Forces.

    The action went a notch up, with the Dynamic Defence Display, featuring the country's new military hardware and capabilities.

    The parade also featured the first woman regimental commander, 45-year-old Master Warrant Officer Jennifer Tan, who ensured the contingents executed their drills with precision.

    President SR Nathan -- in his final appearance as President at the NDP before retiring as Head of State at the end of the month -- inspected the parade contingent.

    To bring the parade closer to more people, the contingents took a two-kilometre march along the Bay Front before finally assembling at the Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands Waterfront Boardwalk.

    A new element -- the Onward March, where selected parade contingents will march past and into the 27,000-strong crowd -- was introduced this year.

    By sun-down, more than 3,000 performers put up a spectacular show weaving in the theme - "Majulah (Onward)! The Singapore Spirit", urging everyone to reflect on what the Singapore Spirit means to them.

    And at about 8.10pm, Singapore stood still for the Pledge Moment, in a quiet moment of reflection.

    The parade culminated in a four-minute fireworks display -- another crowd favourite.

    -CNA/wk
    Both thrilling and poignant

    TODAY

    by Tan Weizhen
    Updated 09:22 AM Aug 10, 2011

    SINGAPORE - A feast of music, military might and colourful displays shook up Marina Bay yesterday evening, as tens of thousands of Singaporeans gathered at the giant floating stage to celebrate the nation's 46th birthday.

    While there were familiar crowd favourites such as the Red Lions parachuting and swooping down to the stage at Marina Bay, as well as fireworks, the parade this year brought in some new visual and interactive elements.

    In a new segment, columns of soldiers methodically marched up onto the galleries, weaving between the crowds and setting off flashbulbs in the stands.

    For the first time, the show took the form of a musical in five acts with the theme of Majulah! The Singapore Spirit. With 2,700 performers this year, there were also entertaining displays such as giant steamed bun mascots prancing around the stage.

    With the waters of Marina Bay once again forming the backdrop to this year's National Day Parade, spectators were treated to thrilling displays of naval action. A SeaHawk made an appearance, with divers jumping into the waters, in a scenario which played out a threat being neutralised by Singapore's defences.

    This segment, known as the dynamic defence display, also included powerful military displays on land with bursts of fire power and soldiers abseiling down a cube-like structure on the stage.

    Solemn moments interspersed the colourful show segments, as President S R Nathan took his last drive-past in what was also his final National Day Parade as the President of Singapore.

    The 27,000-strong crowd went silent as he went past, with many snapping pictures or standing to get a better view.

    Mr Tan Siong Khiang, 54, who works in the petrochemicals industry, said this year feels different because it is President Nathan's last NDP appearance. Although he attends the parade almost every year, he said: "This time I really looked forward to seeing him. It's a little sad after 12 years but I wish him all the best."

    But he said the show was as good as ever. "The show is encouraging and meaningful, and I feel proud to be Singaporean."

    Foreigners among the crowd enjoyed the parade. French tourists Katell Strasser and Sarah Dumez, both 24, managed to obtain tickets through a friend. "I love the atmosphere and the fireworks which is fantastic. We have a similar celebration back home but it's not as grand," said Ms Strasser.

    As the evening drew to a close, Singaporeans everywhere recited the National Pledge. The giant screen flashed to Singaporeans from Sentosa to St Petersburg taking the pledge.

    About 100,000 other people celebrated the parade this year at eight other venues, which included other parts of Marina Bay as well as Resorts World Sentosa

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  9. #4939
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Badminton: Hidayat suffers birthday blues at world championships

    Posted: 11 August 2011 0456 hrs
    LONDON: Former Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat suffered an oddly passive second round defeat here on Wednesday in what may well be the last world championship of a great career.

    The fourth-seeded Indonesian also spoiled his 30th birthday celebrations with an indifferent performance which culminated in a 21-17, 21-14 loss to Wong Zi Liang, a Singaporean ranked only 49 in the world.

    Hidayat, as so often, tried to play large portions of the match in the forecourt and at the net, but his lifting to the back was predictable, and he looked leaden-footed and uninspired.

    Asked what caused the loss and the performance, he kept repeating: "I don't know why, I don't know why," holding the side of his head with a smile.

    Although he reduced a six-point first game deficit to two, and a four-point second game deficit to one, Hidayat never really looked like turning the match around against a younger, keener and more aggressive opponent.

    "I prepared well and this was the best win of my career," said Wong, who now plays Hans-Kristian Vittinghaus, an unseeded Dane.

    The upset may help Lee Chong Wei, whose bid to become the first Malaysian ever to win a world title is moving forward with ominous smoothness.

    Lee once again showed himself the world's best mover on a badminton court, covering acres of ground with remarkable grace and economy as he beat Ville Lang, the world number 45 from Finland 21-10, 21-11.

    His next opponent though will be Park Sung Hwan, the ninth-seeded Korean, who ended Lin Dan's world title defence in Paris last year.

    Lin also earned a meeting with a well-known Korean and a re-run of perhaps his most notoriously controversial match, after beating Ireland's Scott Evans 21-15, 21-16.

    He faces Lee Hyun-Il, to whom he lost after a scuffle and harsh words in the 2008 Korean Open final.

    Since then however Lin has won the Olympic gold in Beijing, and become a more fulfilled player. He insisted that the past was now behind him.

    Asked if he was looking for revenge over Lee, he reportedly answered: "No -- because I don't have any negative feelings now."

    There was nearly another upset when Tien Minh Nguyen, the seventh seed, was 15-20 down in the final game against Kashyap Parupalli, the Commonwealth bronze medallist from India.

    But the Vietnamese played with great focus to save five match points in a row and continued his winning sequence to seven points to snatch an unlikely victory.

    Both Wang Yihan, the second-seeded former All-England champion and Wang Xin, the third-seeded world runner-up, carried China's challenge into the third round in the women's singles.

    So did one of the few players capable of stopping the Chinese, Saina Nehwal, the Commonwealth champion from India.

    Nehwal was bullish after her 21-10, 21-7 win over Chloe Magee of Ireland, saying that the task "would not be so very difficult."

    Asked to explain Nehwal said: "All the girls are putting up a tough fight these days. And I am fit enough and playing well enough to have a chance of beating the Chinese. I just have to do my best, that's all."

    There was nominally an upset when Pi Hongyan, the former world number two from France, beat Bae Youn Joo, the eighth seeded Korean, by 21-9, 15-21, 21-13.

    It was a well-planned and courageous performance and her best since spending three months on the sidelines since knee surgery in January.

    "I spent hours watching Bae on videos, and I had this match in mind for a long time," Pi said. "Perhaps I should do that more often."

    She next plays Sayaka Sato, the 16th seed from Japan, and could go on to have a quarter-final with Wang Yihan.

    -AFP/ac

    Wong Zi Liang Derek
    Taufik Hidayat (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)
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  10. #4940
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    Default Yao Lei and Shinta advance in world champs


    by Tan Yo-Hinn
    04:46 AM Aug 10, 2011

    SINGAPORE - Yao Lei and Shinta Sari Mulia, the Singapore women's doubles pair that hope to do damage at next year's Olympics, reached the last 16 at the Yonex Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championship yesterday.

    The 16th seeds edged out American pair Iris and Rena Wang 21-11, 21-17 in 31 minutes at London's Wembley Arena.

    Part of the Republic's elite S$6.3 million Olympic Pathway Programme, they will face either eighth seeds Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii of Indonesia or Turkey's Neslihan Kilic and Neslihan Yigit today for a place in the last eight.

    On the men's side, Derek Wong will face the biggest match of his career today when he takes on former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia in the men's singles round of 32. (Derek created the biggest upset of his career by defeating Taufik in straight games as reported above.)

    On Monday night (yesterday morning, Singapore time), the 22-year-old edged out Poland's Wacha Przemyslaw 2-1 to set up his meeting with Taufik, to whom he lost 21-10, 21-18 in a Thomas Cup Asian zone preliminary round clash last year.

    Speaking to Today last night over the phone, Wong said: "Hopefully it will be a much closer affair this time, but I'll need to play at a faster tempo so that he cannot control me around the court."

    At press time, Singapore's Ashton Chen was in action in the men's singles against eighth seed Du Pengyu of China, while Fu Mingtian was up against fourth seed Jiang Yanjiao of China in the women's singles. (Both of them lost.)

    Yao and Chayut Triyachart were also set to face Thailand's Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in the mixed doubles round of 32. (The Singaporean pair upset the seeded Thai pair.)

    Meanwhile, men's singles triple world champion and second seed Lin Dan of China booked his spot in the round of 32 with an easy 2-0 win over Lithuania's Kestutis Navickas.


    Last edited by Loh; 08-10-2011 at 09:29 PM.

  11. #4941
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    Default TTSH launches system to track surgical tools

    By Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 10 August 2011 2257 hrs


    SINGAPORE: In its bid to become more efficient, Tan Tock Seng Hospital recently launched the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for surgical set tracking.

    It now takes the hospital staff a minute to recall a contaminated surgical set, down from about eight minutes previously.

    This technology, which costs some S$147,000, was developed jointly with A*STAR.

    The RFID technology notes the movements of surgical sets by tracking where the sets have been in real-time.

    The automated system has helped cut the amount of time spent on recalling contaminated surgical sets by 87 per cent.

    As a result, Tan Tock Seng Hospital said potential infections are better contained.

    Not only that, the RFID technology has also improved staff's productivity.

    Nurse manager Han Tiew Peng said: "In the old system without RFID, we could have used about eight to 10 staff members to recall about 700 sets in a potential case.

    "But now with RFID, a lot of time has been saved using fewer staff and less time because we can actually use the current set location with RFID technology to trace the sets. The staff can then go to the location and retrieve the sets immediately."

    With this technology, staff members can log on to find out the place where the surgical sets can be found.

    And by looking at the number of sets in store, they will also be able to know how many surgical sets will be distributed to the operating theatres.

    The automated system can now capture information which previously had to be done manually, like patient information.

    It also highlights to staff any expired equipment.

    For a start, the hospital has tagged about 300 surgical sets and aims to increase the number to about 3,000 by the end of the year.

    - CNA/wk


    Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Radio Frequency Identification technology
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    Default NTU to research new solar cell

    By Lynda Hong | Posted: 13 August 2011 2032 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Glass panels or windows in buildings could be integrated with solar panels in the near future. Currently, solar cell panels made of silicon are typically placed on top of the buildings.

    The new solar cells are dye-sensitized solar cells, or Graetzel cells, named after its inventor Prof Michael Gratzel, who will be heading the new Centre for Nanostructured Photosystems at Nanyang Technological University.

    Dr Subodh Mhaisalkar, Director of the Centre for Nanostructured Photosystems at NTU, said: "Silicon solar cells are also rigid. You cannot really integrate them very easily in windows and so on.

    "These solar cells can be made readily on plastics. They can be used as bi-facial cells, so they can be used for transparent windows. They have different colours, so they can be used for building facades, or windows as well."

    The search is now for Graetzel cells which are more energy efficient and cheaper to manufacture. And most importantly to last for 20 years - that is as long as silicon cell panels.

    When the twin disasters struck Japan, causing a power shortage, about one hundred Graetzel powered torches were given to the Japanese. This type of solar powered cells does not need as much sunlight as typical silicon cells.

    Graetzel cells could also go overseas, like China, where test-bedding opportunities abound.

    Professor Freddy Boey, Deputy President and Provost of NTU, said: "Singbridge is a Guangzhou knowledge city. NTU would like to participate in it. One of the ways we can contribute is we bring technology, such as this technology - dye-sensitized method to harness solar energy."

    Professor Boey estimates that two years of test-bedding is needed to assess the economic feasibility of any solar cell research in NTU. The university has been involved in solar research for the past five years.

    -CNA/ac

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    Default A*Star scientists closer to growing human heart from stem cells

    Published on Aug 13, 2011

    By Feng Zengkun


    Scientists here are one step closer to growing a human heart from stem cells
    .

    The team from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) took a mouse's heart and removed its cells, leaving behind a scaffold.

    They then implanted the scaffold with human stem cells - which can grow into different types of cells - and after 14 days the cells developed into heart cells.

    The cell-laden scaffold was implanted back into the mouse, where blood vessels, necessary for the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the heart, developed.


    Scientists here are one step closer to growing a human heart from stem cells. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE STEM CELL CONSORTIUMBy Feng Zengkun
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    Default

    Area around Lim Bo Seng's tomb to be refurbished



    by Ong Dai Lin
    04:46 AM Aug 13, 2011

    SINGAPORE - In a nod to longstanding calls from members of the public, the tomb of wartime hero Lim Bo Seng at MacRitchie Reservoir will be refurbished, with informative panels erected near it to educate future generations about his contributions to the country's history.

    In response to a letter from Today reader Chin Kee Thou, who suggested that the authorities erect "a plaque inscribed with a synopsis of the historical deeds" of Major-General Lim, PUB director (catchment and waterways department) Tan Nguan Sen revealed that similar plans were already under way.

    Mr Tan said: "The area around MG Lim's tomb will be spruced up and the panels featuring his story will be placed nearby by the third quarter (of this year)."

    According to Mr Tan, the refurbishment work is part of the PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters project at MacRitchie Reservoir, which includes the ongoing construction of a new boardwalk and a new building for canoeists and kayakers.

    MG Lim, who was part of a resistance group against the Japanese during the World War II, died in captivity in 1944.

    Mr Daniel Teo Tong How, the grand-nephew of MG Lim, told Today: "We are very delighted ... after so many years of prompting (the authorities) because it is such a valuable and significant historical place ... he was such a war hero and we feel strongly he should be duly recognised."

    Responding to Today's queries, Mr Tan said that MG Lim's tomb - which is sited atop a knoll and overlooks the waters - "serves as a reminder of his heroism during the Japanese Occupation".

    He added: "The area surrounding Lim Bo Seng's grave will be refurbished to improve public access and enhance the aesthetics of the area."

    Singaporeans Today spoke to welcomed the refurbishing of MG Lim's grave. Taxi driver Jason Lim, 66, said: "It is quite useful because the people can know about Mr Lim."

    Undergraduate Vanessa Chin, 20, added: "It is giving Mr Lim some recognition and for the future generations to learn about him."

    The PUB's ongoing improvement work at MacRitchie Reservoir also includes a 40-km long submerged boardwalk for visitors to walk through shallow waters to be in close contact with aquatic life.

    The first phase of the redevelopment work - including the addition of a new multi-storey car park, an amenities centre and an improved floating pontoon - has been completed.


    Who is Lim Bo Seng?

    In 1942, Major-General (MG) Lim Bo Seng left behind his wife and seven children - and a successful family business - to be part of Force 136, a British-led underground resistance group against the Japanese during World War II.

    After undergoing training in places such as India, MG Lim - the 11th son of a Singaporean businessman - returned to Malaya in 1943 and operated in the jungles of Bukit Bidor, near Ipoh in Perak.

    MG Lim later left his jungle hideout to infiltrate the towns in order to broaden the urban intelligence network and to seek funds.

    In March 1944, MG Lim was detained by Japanese soldiers at an intersection in the outskirts of Gopeng, near Ipoh. About three months later - after he was tortured for refusing to provide information to the Japanese - MG Lim died in captivity at the age of 35.

    After the war, his remains were exhumed from the graveyard behind the Batu Gajah Prison in Malacca by surviving Force 136 colleagues and taken to Singapore. MG Lim was buried with military honours at MacRitchie Reservoir on Jan 13, 1946, and given the rank of Major-General posthumously.

    In 1954, the Lim Bo Seng Memorial, a 3.5m-tall pagoda, was unveiled at the Esplanade.




    Last edited by Loh; 08-13-2011 at 01:26 PM.

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    Default MediaCorp unveils design for its new campus

    04:46 AM Aug 13, 2011

    SINGAPORE - The Republic's leading media company MediaCorp announced yesterday that it has selected DP Architects and Maki and Associates as the architects of its new campus, which will be located at Mediapolis@one-north.

    MediaCorp first announced its relocation to a 1.5ha site in Mediapolis@one-north in December last year.

    Following a selection process, the design presented by Singapore-based DP Architects and Tokyo-based Maki and Associates was chosen "for their ability to meet operational needs, the seamless public engagement connectivity and their experience in designing media facilities around the world", MediaCorp said in a press release.

    Collectively, the team has built iconic structures including Resorts World Sentosa, Republic Polytechnic, Japan's TV Asahi Headquarters, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Arts and Sciences Building (MIT Media Lab), as well as the upcoming New York World Trade Center Tower 4.

    MediaCorp CEO Shaun Seow said: "Beyond building an efficient and functional working environment, our vision for the new campus is to incorporate fun, collaborative and exciting spaces for staff and members of the public to enjoy. We want the new complex to act as a catalyst to the cultural and media development of Mediapolis."

    MediaCorp said the design presented is in its initial stage and will undergo further improvements. The move is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2015.








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    Default Meet this year's President's Scholars


    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:46 AM Aug 13, 2011

    SINGAPORE - One is a future doctor who hopes to initiate changes in palliative care and healthcare expenditure by being part of the policy-making process. The other does not rule out joining politics and believes that the private housing market can play a bigger role to provide homes for the people.

    Mr Nigel Fong and Mr Yoong Ren Yan, both 19 and two of this year's four President's Scholars, have yet to embark on their university studies but they are already clear about how they can contribute to society.

    Mr Yoong, who will be studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, told Today that his past internship stint at the Ministry of National Development had spurred his interest in public housing policies - an area he is keen to explore upon graduation.

    The son of a lawyer and a teacher said the development of Singapore over the years could allow some of the policies to be re-examined, such as reducing the percentage of people living in public housing from the current 80 per cent of population, and allowing for more private housing to provide more options for everyone.

    Meanwhile, Mr Yoong's good friend and Raffles Institution schoolmate, Mr Fong, has chosen to reject a funded liberal arts offer at the prestigious Harvard University - in favour of pursuing medicine at the National University of Singapore.

    "My parents thought I am crazy ... but contributing to the field of medicine and the healthcare system here is something which I hope to do," he said.

    The keen debater said there is room for improvement in the current healthcare model, by moving away from a "return from investment" approach, including providing more subsidies for patients in palliative care who may no longer be fit to work.

    And for this pair of straight As scorers, it was community work outside school which had invoked their empathy and compassion for the needy.

    "I came to realise that things are not always what they seem ... Singapore is a rich country but beneath that are still many poor people.", said Mr Yoong.

    Mr Fong also urged his peers to not just focus on building credentials.

    "Being a President's Scholar is a title but it is important to look beyond that ... not just to do so many activities to build a good CV but to actually do everything for a passion," said Mr Fong, who has been helping out at Meet-the-People Sessions conducted by Member of Parliament Jessica Tan in Simei for the past three years.

    Apart from the two friends, two other 19-year-olds also received their commendations from President S R Nathan last night.

    Miss Xiao Yifei , who came from China when she was four and holds dual citizenship, said she sees herself very much a Singaporean with roots in this country.

    Miss Xiao, who plans to study international relations in the United States, attributed her success to support from parents and teachers.

    Mr Aaron Koh, a recipient of the Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship, said he sees "no higher calling than serving the nation".

    Mr Koh, who would not have been able to study overseas without any financial aid, said: "Getting a merit-based scholarship is not only an affirmation of my hard work but such a scheme also equalises opportunities for all in spite of socio-economical backgrounds".




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    Default National Day Rally 2011

    At a glance, key points from Prime Minister Lee's speech

    Published on Aug 15, 2011


    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday night announced several major changes at the National Day Rally to Government policies, ranging from healthcare, housing to university education. Here's a summary of what he spoke about:

    Healthcare

    - More drugs to be subsidised.

    - More subsidies for low-income patients.

    - Medifund use to be expanded

    - Out patient chronic care at GPs - qualifying age lowered from 65 to 40. Income ceiling to be revised to benefit more people.

    Housing

    - Income ceiling to be raised from $8,000 to $10,000 for BTO flats, and from $10,000 to $12,000 for executive condos.

    - 7,000 more rental flats in next two years.

    University Education

    - 2,000 more new places for Singaporeans by 2015.

    - Foreign student enrolments capped at current levels.

    Special Needs Children

    - More places in schools, including mainstream ones.

    - More financial aid for struggling families.

    Foreign Workers

    - Higher salary and education levels to be imposed to qualify for employment passes.


    The Prime Minister (above) on Sunday night announced several major changes at the National Day Rally to Government policies, ranging from healthcare, housing and University Education. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
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    Last edited by Loh; 08-14-2011 at 10:51 PM.

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