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  1. #5628
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Tech start-ups to get Jumpstart in new scheme

    Published on Jan 26, 2012

    Mr Chau got the idea for the scheme after noticing that once start-ups have proved their technologies can be turned into products and services, a lack of crucial skills means many are unable to proceed further. -- ST FILE PHOTOBy Grace Chng, Senior Correspondent


    Tech start-ups are usually founded by newly minted graduates who are technically competent and passionate about their products and services, but lack the business experience crucial for success.

    Missing from the recipe for success is expertise on a broad swathe of topics, ranging from negotiations with potential investors and distribution in key markets such as China, to copyright protection.

    To bridge this gap, the Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) will offer start-ups their members' expertise in a new scheme called 123Jumpstart.

    'Young technopreneurs don't know about many things. For example, they may not know how to negotiate with potential investors, and give away too much equity for too little investment,' said Mr Eddie Chau, SiTF's chairman and chief executive of social network monitoring website Brandtology.
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  2. #5629
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default A*STAR scholar in team behind new method of growing cells

    04:45 AM Jan 27, 2012

    SINGAPORE - A team of scientists from the University of Cambridge has discovered a method of growing different types of vascular smooth muscle cells - the cells which make up the walls of blood vessels - using cells from the skin of patients.

    Singapore A*STAR scholar Christine Cheung, who is doing her final year PhD studies at Cambridge, is one of the team members. Their work could lead to new treatments and better screening for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death globally.

    Death from the disease is mainly caused by the hardening and subsequent blockage of blood vessels due to the accumulation of fatty materials, a condition called atherosclerosis.

    As not all patients are suitable for conventional stenting or bypass treatment, an option in the future may be to grow new blood vessels to bypass their own blocked vessels.

    The Cambridge team's work was published on Nature Biotechnology's website on Jan 15.

    The team worked with embryonic stem cells and reprogrammed skin cells, collectively known as human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), which have the potential to form any cell type in the body.

    They discovered a method of creating all the major vascular smooth muscle cells in high purity using hPSCs which can also be easily scaled up for production of clinical-grade smooth muscle cells.

    This is the first time that such a system has been developed.

  3. #5630
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Growth in Asia will contribute to global rebalancing: PM Lee

    By Wong Siew Ying | Posted: 27 January 2012 1034 hrs


    DAVOS: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Asia is projected to grow by 6.7 per cent this year and growth in the region will contribute to global rebalancing.

    Speaking at the G20 dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Lee added that the world economy is at a critical juncture where policy missteps could trigger a global recession.

    In a meeting with leaders at the G20 dinner in Davos, Mr Lee said Asia is not immune to developments in advanced economies.

    That's because they account for 60 per cent of goods and services exported from Asia, and are among the region's largest investors.

    Mr Lee, who met with Head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde in Davos, said there's a need to provide the IMF with more resources to help contain the debt crisis in the eurozone and boost confidence.

    Mr Lee also said that fiscal consolidation must be balanced with collective actions to spur growth and restore confidence and optimism. Another priority for G20 leaders is to support trade and guard against protectionism.

    At another interview session at the World Economic Forum, Mr Lee said the momentum in China and India should carry Asia forward, if the situation in Europe does not worsen.

    China, Mr Lee added, may be in for a rough landing but they will get through.

    "(China) is an economy that is growing very rapidly, urbanising very rapidly. (It needs) a lot of facilities whether it is roads, hospitals, schools... Every year 1 per cent of the population move into cities, which means 30 million people need all this infrastructure," said Mr Lee.

    China will see a change of guard this year and Mr Lee believes there will be continuity between the present generation of leaders and the next.

    "They are of a similar mould... Very capable people, very cautious. I think there will be collective leadership, rather than any dominant single personality, which means they will act cautiously, (and) they will need some time to find their feet," said Mr Lee.

    Responding to questions about US engagement in Asia, Mr Lee said their presence has generated peace and stability, which enables Asian economies to prosper.

    And it's hoped that Asia will continue to remain high on their agenda.

    - CNA/cc
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  4. #5631
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    Default Redevelopment works for Iluma to be completed mid-year

    By Ng Puay Leng | Posted: 26 January 2012 1948 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Redevelopment works for entertainment complex Iluma is set to be completed by the middle of the year.

    Located in Bugis, Iluma opened more than two years ago, but it has not been able to attract the large crowd it had hoped for.

    Last April, CapitaMall bought over Iluma and has put in $38 million into the mall's redevelopment.

    When completed, there will be more retail shops and restaurants on the first level. The total lettable area will also be increased by 5 per cent.

    Currently, the mall houses a cinema, an arcade, theme restaurants and retail shops
    .

    Property analysts said the Urban Redevelopment Authority requires 60 per cent of the floor area to be used as entertainment space.

    But they added that entertainment is not a profitable business in Singapore due to consumers' spending patterns.

    SLP International research head Nicholas Mak said: "The time they spend in entertainment, which is typically the movie theatres, are fairly long - let's say two hours - but they may need to spend anywhere from 10 to 11 dollars to buy the tickets.

    "If they were to spend the same amount of time of two hours in, let's say, going shopping, they'll be spending a lot more than 10 dollars. Hence, the profit and rental of shops can be higher than that of entertainment space."

    Entertainment complexes like Iluma are not common in Singapore, and analysts said the key to success depends on several factors like location and size.

    They added that if there is enough space, developers can build themed entertainment facilities, which may appeal more to the crowd.

    - CNA/al
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  5. #5632
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Keppel's "Reflections" and "Caribbean" at Keppel Bay

    Singapore's Keppel Corporation multi-national conglomerate which specializes in shipbuilding, especially oil-rigs and turn-key engineering projects has now extended its long arm into property development at home and abroad.

    It's latest completed premier water-front project at Keppel Bay comprising "Reflections at Keppel Bay, Caribbean at Keppel Bay, Keppel Bay Bridge and Marina at Keppel Bay", was converted from its historical dry docks at Keppel Harbour and Keppel Shipyard.

    Last Monday, during the Lunar New Year holidays, I had a chance to sample this beautiful masterpiece when I visited the newly-constructed Berlayer Creek boardwalk that connects to the Keppel development.
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    Last edited by Loh; 01-27-2012 at 03:40 AM.

  6. #5633
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    Default NUS, NTU MBA programmes place in global rankings

    11:20 AM Jan 30, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School's Master of Business Administration (MBA) has retained its 23rd place in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2012 for the second year running - the highest ranking attained by a Singaporean university.

    Meanwhile, Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Business School (NBS) placed 34th in the same ranking, the fourth straight year the NBS has been ranked among the world's top 35, although it held the 33rd position last year.

    The NUS Business School said it did well in several categories in the annual ranking, such as in the post-MBA salaries of its graduates, which increased 185 per cent over pre-MBA salaries.

    The school also retained its place at 9th in the world for its graduates' international mobility.

    The NBS said its MBA graduates charted the highest salary level compared to other Singapore MBA graduates, with an average pay of US$102,350 a year, three years after graduation.

    Its MBA programme also ranked first in Singapore for the career progression opportunities and successful job placements offered to its graduates, the school said. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  7. #5634
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default London-based lawyers' fees comparable to Senior Counsel

    This will boost scope of their use, say lawyers
    Published on Jan 30, 2012

    By K. C. Vijayan, Law Correspondent

    Elite London-based lawyers have emerged as a competitive - if not cheaper - alternative to their Singapore counterparts, a prospect which may lead to more of them being hired here.

    Known as Queen's Counsel (QCs), these British senior lawyers are prized for their specialised skills in select areas of law.

    Interest in them for what they can bring to the table has soared in the wake of laws to widen the scope for their admission to the courts here.

    Three weeks ago, Law Minister K. Shanmugam introduced a Bill in Parliament for the ad-hoc admissions of QCs or their equivalents from other countries to argue cases here, subject to the court's permission. They are expected to be used in special areas such as banking and commercial law.

  8. #5635
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Creative ideas to make clothes drying fuss-free

    Published on Jan 30, 2012

    Engineering student Derek Yeo designed a system where bamboo poles swing around a vertical metal pole. -- PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTBy Shuli Sudderuddin

    Ms Jane Tan finds drying clothes in her flat a chore because it requires a lot of strength to heft bamboo poles. So she came up with a rack design that can be extended from the wall to allow people to hang their clothes with minimal fuss.

    'I thought of the design because I think the current one is difficult for the elderly or for younger people who may have trouble leaning over the balcony with heavy poles,' said the 20-year-old first-year National University of Singapore engineering student.

    Although it is just a rough sketch now, her design could make its way into future Housing Board homes soon. Hers is one of three ideas that have been selected by the HDB for prototyping. It will work with shortlisted designers to explore the possibility of developing their ideas into working models for testing.

    These ideas are part of the Ministry of National Development's (MND) public engagement drive - Cool Ideas for Better HDB Living.
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  9. #5636
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Housing boom fuels growth of prefab firms

    Companies expand to Malaysia to increase capacity and cater to growing HDB demand

    Published on Jan 30, 2012


    By Daryl Chin & Shuli Sudderuddin

    Singapore prefabrication companies are extending their reach across the Causeway, driven in part by the construction boom in the public housing market here.

    From a few in 2008, there are a total of seven firms in Malaysia now. Most expanded in the last few years, buoyed also by available land and cheaper labour costs.

    Mr Chong Wai Siak, president of Eastern Pretech, said a handful of companies have sprung up since his company first put roots in Senai Industrial park in Johor Baru in 2009.

    'There were none then, but now, there are about four or five companies within a kilometre of each other which supply precast components to HDB,' he said.

  10. #5637
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 200 students create world's largest 'rangoli'

    Published on Jan 30, 2012


    Some 200 students from various secondary schools created the world's largest 'Rangoli', measuring 25m by 15m by using 3.5 tonnes of biodegradable wheat husks on Jan 29, 2012. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIMBy Jennani Durai


    Some 200 students created the world's largest biodegradable 'rangoli' - a traditional Indian painting drawn on the ground - on Sunday at Si Ling Secondary School.

    Typically made with coloured rice powder, the rangoli was made with 3.5 tonnes of wheat husks in six different colours.

    The event was organised by the Marsiling Community Club's Indian Activity Executive Committee to celebrate the Indian harvest festival of Pongal.

    Students from nine different schools - Woodlands Secondary, Si Ling Secondary, Marsiling Secondary, Christ Church Secondary, Republic Polytechnic, Marsiling Primary, Fuchun Primary, Si Ling Primary and Republic Polytechnic - participated in creating the 25m by 15m drawing.
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  11. #5638
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Marine study in Singapore digs up 100 species

    Some are new to the island or to science; project one-third done

    Published on Jan 30, 2012

    Non-descript and small in size (20 mm length), this relatively common intertidal rocky shore shrimp has generally been called 'Palaemon serrifer'. Although it looks just like it's East Asian relatives, it is genetically very different and work is now in progress to determine if this is a new species. -- PHOTO: CMBS By Grace Chua


    Burrowed deep into the mudflats of Lim Chu Kang is a bumpy, warty sea anemone so new to science, it does not even have a scientific name yet.

    Its finders have fondly nicknamed it Bill.

    It is one of the new findings scientists have made, just a year into the most comprehensive study of marine life here.

    In the first phase of the three-year Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey, researchers looking at coastal mudflat and intertidal areas have already found a hundred species, some of which are new for Singapore or new to science altogether.
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  12. #5639
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Myanmar president Thein Sein in Singapore on state visit

    Published on Jan 30, 2012

    By Phua Mei Pin

    Myanmar President Thein Sein arrived on Sunday for a three-day state visit that will mark closer ties between his country - currently undergoing political reforms - and Singapore.

    A centrepiece of his visit is the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday, under which Singapore will offer its South-east Asian neighbour technical assistance such as in training its officers in legal, banking and financial sector reform, as well as sharing best practices in trade and tourism.

    Mr Thein Sein, accompanied by his wife Khin Khin Win, is on his fourth state visit since being elected last March, and previously visited Indonesia, China and India. He is Myanmar's first civilian president after nearly 50 years of military junta rule.

    While here, President Thein Sein will meet President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  13. #5640
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default PUB to spend S$750m to improve drainage capacity

    By Hoe Yeen Nie | Posted: 30 January 2012 1320 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Over the next five years, water agency PUB will be spending S$750 million to improve the capacity of Singapore's drains by 30 to 40 per cent.

    More resources will be put into retaining rainfall upstream to reduce the speed at which water flows into the drains.

    Earlier this month, a panel of experts had recommended better ways to deal with increasingly intense rainfall.

    On Monday, PUB said it has accepted these recommendations and laid out a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem.


    This includes setting aside S$750 million to increase drainage capacity particularly at six major canals such as Geylang River and Rochor Canal.

    More importantly, there will be measures such as water retention ponds and rooftop tanks to contain water in localised areas.

    PUB will also come up with new flood protection guidelines for buildings within a year.

    It said this approach is in recognition that Singapore has to move beyond widening drains and building flood barriers to resolve its flood problem.

    One reason is that with land being a premium, there is a limit as to how much can be set aside for drains.

    The panel also recommended better data. The PUB said it will be piloting a system over the next two years to better forecast where and when floods will occur.

    They will be getting information on rainfall from the Metereological Service and data from their own canal sensors. PUB is not, at this point, able to say how much advance warning it can give but it said that even a few minutes will be helpful to the public.

    As for Stamford Canal, in the immediate term, PUB will be coating its walls with a polymer lining to reduce friction and increase water speed. It will also remove the sewer and Newater pipes that are placed inside the canal to allow the canal to hold more water.

    These measures will raise capacity by about 10 per cent but in the long-term, measures such as a detention pond and diversionary canals are being studied.

    - CNA/cc

  14. #5641
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SYFC to give Temasek Poly students a chance to fly high

    By Sharon See | Posted: 29 January 2012 1805 hrs


    Temasek Polytechnic students examining an airplane.


    SINGAPORE: Temasek Polytechnic has tied up with the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC), to allow some of its students in their Aviation Management & Services course a chance to obtain a basic flying licence.

    Getting into the course however, will not be plain sailing, as there are several selection tests in place.

    Ng Wei Liang, a second-year student in Temasek Polytechnic, said: "The first stage is a psychometric test held by the Air Force, and next was the interview at the SYFC and the last was the medical. The medical was held at the ST Aeromedical Centre."

    Assessment criteria for flying licences are notoriously stringent. As such, the programme will only be offered to 30 of the polytechnic's Aviation Management & Services students this year, which make up a fifth of the cohort.

    However, that has not stopped Wei Liang.

    He said: "When I was very young, I wanted to be a pilot because I wanted to travel, but as I grew older, I found that flying was actually fun, interesting, and it's something different that not many people can do."

    The six-month flying programme leads to a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), which is a basic licence for amateurs. To become a full-fledged commercial pilot, amateurs need to earn at least two more licences.

    Not everyone who has obtained the PPL ends up becoming a pilot, but the Temasek Polytechnic says it is a good start.

    Paul Yap, course manager of Aviation Management & Services diploma, said: "We basically want to try to reach out to youths early to tell them that we've got this really interesting career option as a pilot, or career in aviation as a pilot, and if you want to see what it's like, we basically have a one-year programme where you can actually undergo the training and see if this suits you.

    "And if you want to become a pilot, the training that we give you will give you an advantage, a head-start over your peers, who perhaps don't have the same type of training."

    The polytechnic hopes this partnership can eventually help to ease manpower needs in the expanding aviation industry.

    Mr Yap said: "Globally, as the aviation industry expands, there is actually a global shortage of aviation personnel including pilots. If you look at a recent Boeing study, they've basically forecasted that over the next 20 years, there'll be a shortage of about 20,000 to 25,000 pilots a year. So therefore, there's actually a need to basically look at how we can actually help the industry get their manpower pool.

    "As our airline industry, particularly the low cost carriers, expands with Jetstar, with Tiger, with Scoot, there definitely is going to be a great push to have more pilots for that. And of course, when there is more push for the commercial airlines to get pilots, then of course there may be some pressure on the military side to also get their pool of pilots (as well)."

    -CNA/ac
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  15. #5642
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post

    by Neo Chai Chin
    04:46 AM Jan 13, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Having poor or less-educated fathers does not necessarily mean their sons will fare similarly, according to a study by a Ministry of Finance economist.

    Using the income records of about 39,500 father-son pairs from the Department of Statistics, the study has found inter-generational mobility in incomes and educational attainment to be "moderate to high", and higher than levels in the United States.

    The correlation between measures of fathers' incomes and those of their sons is 0.22 to 0.30, depending on whether annual or monthly incomes were used. The number typically varies between 0 and 1, with a higher value implying lower mobility.

    A 1992 US study found a correlation score of 0.4 and concluded inter-generational mobility there to be "relatively low".

    The Singapore study tried to measure the incomes of fathers and sons as close to the middle of the life cycle as possible: Cohorts of eldest sons born from 1969 to 1978 and their mean employment income in 2008, and their fathers' mean employment incomes between 1996 and 2000.

    Daughters and younger sons were left out, in line with comparable studies to avoid gender or birth-order biases in child investments, and also because daughters' incomes may be complicated by events such as childbirth and marriage.

    Despite recording relatively high levels of mobility, the study by Ministry of Finance economist Yip Chun Seng noted "some evidence, though not strong, of lower mobility among the poor".

    The report found mobility levels here higher than that found in two previous studies here using smaller sample sizes. Titled Intergenerational Income Mobility In Singapore and available on the MOF's website, it cited increased educational opportunities in the 1960s to 1980s as a possible reason for the relative mobility.
    Does that mean the converse is true of the rich? It would be a fascinating hypotheses.

  16. #5643
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Does that mean the converse is true of the rich? It would be a fascinating hypotheses.
    I doubt so because of the government's great emphasis on good all-round education in general. Having been brought up in better surroundings and a high quality of life, children of the rich would want to aspire to an even better life than their parents who can afford to send them to better schools and the best universities.

    Just like the children from poor families who were able to do relatively better than their parents with a more varied education and greater job opportunities. The competition also pushes them harder to do better.

  17. #5644
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    Default Independent unit to monitor ASEAN economic situation opens office in Singapore

    12:25 PM Jan 31, 2012

    SINGAPORE - An independent surveillance unit has set up an office in Singapore to monitor the macroeconomic and financial situation of ASEAN member states and China, Japan and Korea (ASEAN+3 countries) and identify emerging vulnerabilities.

    Opened today, the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) is part of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) Agreement, a US$120 billion currency swap arrangement among the finance ministries and central banks of the ASEAN+3 countries, which allows countries to tap on it as a liquidity pool.

    Speaking at the launch, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said in an environment of increased uncertainty and volatility, it was incumbent on each of the economies to build strong buffers.

    This included financial buffers in the form of a healthy foreign reserve position and a well-capitalised banking sector, and policy buffers in the form of prudent monetary and fiscal stance in good times to cushion times of slack or crisis.

    Mr Menon added, "Regional safety net mechanisms - like the CMIM - will provide added assurance to markets that governments have the tools and resources to deal with the economic or financial challenges at hand."

    However, he stressed that "regional safety nets do not obviate the need for global ones", noting that it is in "Asia's interest that the resources of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) are enhanced".

    "Asia will not be immune to an escalation of the sovereign debt crisis and any ensuing protracted slowdown in Europe. In such a scenario, a well-resourced IMF will reassure markets, by helping to dampen any spillover effects and mitigating the risk of an excessive contraction in economic activity," said Mr Menon.

    In the meantime, the AMRO will produce reports on a quarterly basis. In the event that the CMIM currency swap is activated, the AMRO assumes the key role of providing an objective assessment of a swap-requesting country and a recommendation for the CMIM parties.

    If the application is approved, the AMRO then monitors the use and impact of swap funds post-disbursement.

    The MAS said the AMRO's progress since its establishment in May 2010 has been remarkable.

    Since it commenced operations in May last year, it has conducted a number of surveillance visits in the region.

    Last month, the AMRO presented its first set of Economic Review and Policy Dialogue reports at a meeting of ASEAN+3 finance and central bank deputies. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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