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  1. #6376
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    Updated 08:25 PM Aug 07, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Singapore's women paddlers today defeated South Korea in the Women's Team bronze medal match to clinch the republic's second medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

    The team of Li Jiawei, Wang Yuegu and Feng Tianwei defeated South Korea's Kim Kyungah, Seok Hajung and Dang Yeseo 3-0.

    Feng scored the first point for Singapore after defeating Kim 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 13-11).

    Veteran player Li took the second point, defeating Seok 3-1 (11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8).

    It was the duo of Li and Wang that scored the match point for Singapore, defeating the South Korean duo of Dang and Seok 3-1 (11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5). CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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    Native-born or not, respect contributions of all citizens

    From Chan Wing Kin Updated 08:55 AM Aug 08, 2012

    I came across an interesting term in a letter in another newspaper about Ms Feng Tianwei's Olympic medal win. But no definition was given. I presume that the term "true-blue" might come from "blue blood".

    According to my dictionary, "blue-blooded" means from a royal or noble family. I doubt there are many, if any, citizens here who descended from a Singapore royal or noble family.

    If we take liberty to define a true-blue Singaporean, then perhaps one of the following may be appropriate: (a) one whose ancestor was the first human living on this island; (b) one who was born here; or (c) one who is a Singapore citizen.

    If we pick (a), there would be very few true-blue Singaporeans. If we say (b), the question is how can one be true-blue if one's ancestor is not.

    And if the contribution of a "non-true-blue" Singaporean is not as good as that of a true-blue one, it would demean our ancestors' contributions.

    We talk about reviving the kampung spirit in modern Singapore. This spirit does not include demeaning the contributions of someone who just moved to the kampung. Contributions by citizens, whether born here or not, should be given the same respect.

    To excel in school, work, sports, arts, etc, one must be talented, passionate and resolute. One needs to put in time and effort, to endure and overcome pressure and the disappointment of defeat. Support from one's family and fellow citizens is important.

    In any sport, it is rare to have a player with all the qualities above. Most, if not all, coaches would give more time to nurture that player irrespective of his/her background, gender, race and so on.

    Successful talents in their respective fields can set an example to other Singaporeans, and local players could learn a lot. It is not easy to succeed but one has better chances if one devotes oneself to it.

    If we do not yet have more Singapore-born citizens winning Olympic medals, we must find out the reasons, not point fingers.

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    Jiawei's starring role

    Veteran paddler's experience helps S'pore to women's team bronze medal

    by Tan Yo-Hinn 04:45 AM Aug 08, 2012


    LONDON - Flashing a thumbs-up sign and a hint of a smile, Li Jiawei yesterday muttered: "This is the perfect birthday present."

    Indeed, if this turns out to be her Olympics swansong, then she certainly chose a good
    time.

    With Singapore's national women's table tennis team needing a lift following Sunday's hugely disappointing semi-final defeat to Japan, Li emerged from her bit-part role to spearhead Singapore to victory over South Korea to secure the women's team bronze medal at the London Olympics and give her country and herself an early birthday present - she turns 31 tomorrow on National Day.

    The four-time Olympian had defeated Seok Ha Jung 3-1 in the second singles to give Singapore a 2-0 lead, after world No 8 Feng Tianwei had beaten Kim Kyung Ah 3-1 in the first singles.

    With hardly a moment's rest, Li then returned to partner Wang Yuegu to beat Seok and Dang Ye Seo 3-1 in the doubles' match to secure the bronze.

    It was Singapore's second medal at the London Games, after Feng's women's singles bronze, and it puts the Republic 60th in the medal standings for now, above the likes of Argentina, Turkey and Puerto Rico at press time.

    Li, who equalled swimmer Joscelin Yeo's record of four Olympic appearances, told TODAY this has been her most challenging Olympiad as she is feeling the mental and physical toll.

    "It's been a really significant and meaningful Olympics for me," said the four-time Sportswoman of the Year, who made her debut at the 2000 Sydney Games.

    "Last week, I had difficulty walking properly and, last Wednesday, the team doctor took a decision and injected me with painkillers to draw out the excess fluid (from my knee)," she said.

    "That's why after resting the next day, I went straight into competition on the 3rd (August). Of course, there was discomfort in my knee but at least it was all worth it."

    "I managed to be very focused today and I would say this is one my best performances."

    The world No 15's starring role in Singapore's win - a consolation for Sunday's disappointing 3-0 semi-final loss to second-seeds Japan - was clear for the 20-odd Singapore fans who met the team behind the spectator stands after the match, as they broke into an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday.

    Indeed, as Li, shrewdly switched to the second singles match by Singapore's women's team Head Coach Zhou Shusen and Assistant Coach Jing Junhong, dug deep into her vast pool of experience from her 16-year professional career to sweep aside Seok, she rolled back the
    years in front of some 3,000 spectators at London's ExCel Arena.

    "Experience does count and, being in my fourth Olympics, I was able to call upon that knowledge," said Li.

    Whether she will compete at the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 for a record fifth outing remains to be seen and Li herself was also non-committal.

    "I haven't given serious thought about retirement, but I will take a break and let my knee recover because it is an old injury that I have been carrying for a very long time," she said.

    "About whether I will play at the 2016 Olympics, we'll have to see how the situation is
    closer to the date"

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    Singapore to grow 1.5-2.5% this year: PM Lee


    By Imelda Saad | Posted: 08 August 2012 1852 hrs

    New ministerial committee to relook policies: PM Lee

    SINGAPORE: Singapore's economy grew 1.7% in the first half of this year and is on track for 1.5% to 2.5% growth for 2012, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Message.

    Prime Minister Lee said the country is doing well against the backdrop of an unsettled world.

    But, while the country is a success story today, Mr Lee said the next 20 years will be very different.

    And what Singapore becomes depends on what Singaporeans make of it.

    He called on Singaporeans to work together so that their children can always find hope of a better future, an inclusive society with a heart, and the best home for themselves.

    Which is why a younger group of ministers has been tasked to take a fresh look at policies and engage Singaporeans in the process.

    The reality is that the world is not standing still. Emerging economies in Asia are advancing rapidly. And with it, come challenges and opportunities.

    Hence, the need to review policies broadly, particularly social and education policies, said Mr Lee.

    "To still be a shining red dot twenty years from now, we must rethink our approaches, and reinvent ourselves. We must anticipate changes and prepare for what lies ahead," he said.

    "Singaporeans will remain at the heart of all that we do, as we update our policies to best serve our people. Core values such as meritocracy, multi-racialism and financial prudence cannot change. But within these broad principles, we should review what needs to change and where we should act more boldly."

    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat will lead this charge with a team of younger ministers.

    Mr Lee said they will engage Singaporeans in this review and build a broad consensus on the way forward.

    And as Singapore tackles future challenges, Mr Lee said citizens need to ask some fundamental questions: What sort of future do they want? What are their aspirations?

    One key strategy is to offer hope for a better future for every new generation of Singaporeans. Hence the focus on meritocracy and education, and the building of an inclusive society where the well off take care of the less fortunate.

    "We will equip them with skills and knowledge to thrive in an uncertain world. We must work with parents to bring their children to more equal starting points for primary school, through good and affordable childcare and kindergartens," said PM Lee.

    "We will open up more pathways in our education system, to fulfil the diverse aspirations of our young. Let us prepare every child for the test of life, not just a life of tests."

    On its part, the government has started to enhance the country's social safety nets, said Mr Lee.

    "As new needs have emerged over time, we have enhanced our social safety nets. We introduced ComCare to help the needy, and Workfare for low-income workers," he said.

    "Low- and middle-income couples now get Additional Housing Grants to buy HDB flats. In schools, Opportunity Funds enable less well-off students to participate fully in enrichment programmes and study trips."

    "This year's Budget was a further major step. We introduced new programmes. The Silver Housing Bonus is benefiting our ageing population. Increased subsidies for home-based care are helping more families with elderly parents. These are not one-off gestures, but a carefully designed package which lays the basis for stronger safety nets for the future," said Mr Lee.

    The prime minister said the government will build on these initiatives in a sustainable way.

    Also important is the sense of belonging and identity especially in an open globalised world.

    Mr Lee acknowledged that this will be harder to nurture with the presence of new immigrants and foreign workers.

    "We are managing the inflow to minimise the strains on our infrastructure and society. But Singaporeans must remain confident and open, and welcome those who will strengthen our team and help us and our children do better," he said.

    "For their part, new immigrants must make the effort to integrate into our community. They must acquire our social values, our cultural values, adopt our social norms and commit their loyalty and love to Singapore."

    Even as the country is open to immigrants, Mr Lee pledged that Singaporeans will be the focus of policies. "Even as we keep our society open to immigrants, we will bring up our own next generation," he said.

    "Singaporeans do want to grow their own families. Many couples do wish to have children, and we will do more to support their family life and parenthood," said Mr Lee.

    "I am happy that we expect more Dragon babies this year, but our fertility trend is still declining. We must go beyond the Chinese zodiac and tackle the underlying causes of our low birth rates.

    "If we can create more supportive social attitudes and work environments, and lighten the burdens of parenthood, we will help couples to have more kids," he said.

    For the full text and video of the Prime Minister's message, log on to www.channelnewsasia.com/nd2012

    - CNA/ir

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    J Y Pillay awarded highest public service honour


    By Joanne Chan | Posted: 09 August 2012 0709 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Mr J Y Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, is the recipient of this year's highest National Day Award - the Order of Nila Utama.

    The Order is conferred by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    It was last given in 2006 to former A*STAR Chairman Philip Yeo and former Permanent Secretary of the Finance Ministry Lim Siong Guan.

    The annual awards recognise those who've made outstanding contributions to Singapore in public service and community work and 2,845 individuals are being honoured this year.

    Once described by former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew as being "equal to the best brains in America", Mr Pillay, a former top civil servant has been credited with developing Singapore Airlines into a world-class carrier.

    Still an active contributor to Singapore today, Mr Pillay has been an adviser to the President since 2001.

    A key milestone came when the Singapore government sought presidential approval to tap the national reserves, during the 2009 financial crisis.

    "It was a pioneering move on the part of the government... so naturally we paid a little more attention than I suppose if it were a routine event. We looked at the proposals of the Ministry of Finance and we found that they were eminently reasonable, so there was no major problem," Mr Pillay said.

    Mr Pillay also plays a part in helping Singapore maintain good ties with dignitaries.

    As Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, he stands in as Acting President when the Head of State is away.

    He recalls meeting former US President George Bush.

    Mr Pillay said: "It was quite an interesting meeting, (we) chit chatted for about 15 minutes. Mr Bush was mostly doing the chatting, and I doing the listening. But I remember when he came up the steps, I told him, 'Mr President, you're the first head of state I'm receiving so I'm very nervous.' He patted me on the back and said don't worry."

    DBS Chairman Peter Seah and Ambassador-at-Large Tan Chin Tiong received the Distinguished Service Order.

    Mr Seah is a familiar face in the banking sector.

    The former President and CEO of Overseas Union Bank is currently the chairman of DBS Group Holdings.

    Mr Seah hopes the honour will spur on the organisations under him.

    "POSB is really the people's bank and we believe we should continue to serve our Singaporeans meaningfully and to give them efficient banking service at affordable prices. And for DBS as a whole, I believe that if we succeed and become the leading Asian bank, it will firmly place Singapore as a premier financial centre for Asia," said Mr Seah.

    The other recipient, Mr Tan Chin Tiong, was Singapore's Ambassador to Japan from October 15, 2004 to January 27, 2012.

    The Meritorious Service Medal went to eight individuals, including Chairman of Capitaland Ng Kee Choe, and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bilahari Kausikan.

    The Meritorious Service Medal (Military) was awarded to the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General (LG) Neo Kian Hong.

    In an email reply, LG Neo said he's "delighted and honoured to be awarded".

    He added that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will "continue to serve with pride and dedication to ensure that the SAF is an institution that the nation is proud of."

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    Singapore celebrates 47th birthday


    By Tan Qiuyi, Vimita Mohandas, Joanne Chan | Posted: 09 August 2012 2014 hrs

    SINGAPORE: Singapore marked its 47th birthday on Thursday with tens of thousands of people gathered at the downtown Marina Bay area to soak in the celebrations.

    The Marina Bay area was a sea of red as 26,000 spectators packed the floating platform - the centre of activity.

    And it was nothing short of funfare and bright smiles.

    Singaporeans of all ages and families were eager to enjoy the birthday celebrations themed "Loving Singapore Our Home".

    A spectator said: "The favourite part is the parade when I see all the officers in their dresses (uniforms) - it makes me proud; they look beautiful, wonderful."

    The Red Lions - free-fallers from the Singapore Armed Forces - were the usual crowd favourites.

    Adding to the pomp of the parade was the Commitment to Defence March with some contingents marching in from the seating gallery amidst the spectators.

    New at this year's parade was the dress theme - red and white - seen on many of the MPs, cabinet ministers and former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, compared to the mainly all-white of previous years.

    And making his first inspection of the parade contingent as Head of State was President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who took office in September last year.

    This year's parade commemorated 45 years of National Service paying tribute to NSmen - past and present - with a 10-minute salute from the ground, the sea, and the air.

    The sky was definitely not the limit for this year's fireworks display.

    The Singapore SOKA Association - a long time contributor to the National Day Parade - upped the ante with a stunning display of pyrotechnics.

    By sun down, more than 4,000 performers put up a spectacular show, urging everyone to reflect on what they love about Singapore.

    A spectator said: "Not only loving ourselves, our family, probably we should also love those who come to our shores to better themselves and better their lives."

    A large part of the success of the parade was also due to the enthusiastic crowd who cheered on the participants non-stop throughout the whole day.

    Mr Choo Khoon Hock, who has attended every single National Day parade since the first one in 1966, said: "Partly, I was in the Cadets Corp and I liked the marching tune. I joined the Singapore Volunteers Corp, so I got hooked. Every August, I would spend my time seeing every rehearsal."

    Spectators also grooved to the medley of National Day songs through the years.

    The parade culminated with a burst of colours in the sky, a fitting end to a superb birthday celebration.

    - CNA/ck

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    Default Thousands gather to celebrate Singapore's 47th birthday at Marina Bay

    Some pictures of Singapore's 47th National Day Parade.

    The three-act show, themed Loving Singapore, Our Home, also saw an NDP first as all Members of Parliament wore red and white outfits, instead of the People's Action Party white or Workers' Party blue.
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    Default Prince William and Kate to visit Singapore in September

    Published on Aug 11, 2012


    LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine will begin a nine-day trip as part of a tour marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in Singapore from Sept 11 to 13, St James's Palace has confirmed. -- PHOTO: AP


    LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine will begin a nine-day trip as part of a tour marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in Singapore from Sept 11 to 13, St James's Palace has confirmed.

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will move on to Malaysia where they will visit the capital Kuala Lumpur and Borneo's Sabah state from Sept 13 to 15.

    The trip is designed to mark the 60-year reign of William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

    They will then travel to the Pacific Island of Solomon, a former British protectorate north-east of Australia, between Sept 16 to 18 before a final stop in the tiny nation of Tuvalu from Sept 18 to 19.
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    Default Singapore set to be major hub for family offices

    Published on Aug 13, 201250






    Mr Daniel Harel, UBS Wealth Management’s South-east Asia head of global family office. -- PHOTO: UBS


    By Yasmine Yahya

    Singapore is poised to become a major regional centre for family offices, with all the ingredients needed to develop this industry, now in its infancy, experts say.

    Meanwhile, it is already gaining the interest of the wealthy all over the world, who want their family's finances managed here.

    A family office is a professionally run private organisation or entity that helps to administer a family's wealth.

    Several private banks here can help set up this entity and then provide advice to the wealthy family on issues such as how to invest its funds or how to carry out philanthropic work.

  10. #6385
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    Default Singapore is top international venue for meetings

    It leads UIA ranking's host country category for 1st time

    Published on Aug 14, 2012




    Representatives from various companies networking at travel trade show ITB Asia, held at Suntec Singapore last year. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG



    By Lim Yi Han

    Singapore is the top international venue for meetings, according to the latest global rankings by the Union of International Associations (UIA).

    It is placed above other developed Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (Mice) countries such as the United States and Japan, which ranked second and third respectively.

    It is the first time Singapore has topped the host country category, with 919 meetings and conferences which met the UIA criteria. This is a 27 per cent rise since 2010, when Singapore was in third place, with 725 meetings.

    Singapore also maintained its position as the "Top International Meeting City" last year, for the fifth consecutive year.

  11. #6386
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    Default Businesses team up to woo tourists to Singapore River

    Five-year plan includes having a mobile app and improving signs

    Published on Aug 14, 2012





    Mr Ty Tabing, executive director of the Singapore River One group, described the latest initiative as "a first-time effort to have a holistic approach at promoting the river". -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN



    By Ng Kai Ling

    A new organisation to promote the Singapore River as a "must-see" tourist destination was launched on Monday.

    The Singapore River One (SRO) group comprises 20 members whose businesses are found in a 3km stretch along the river in Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay.

    The group wants to promote the river bank collectively as a "Singapore River" precinct.
    The idea is to leverage the individual strengths of the three quays to attract more visitors to its food and entertainment outlets, said its executive director Ty Tabing
    .

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    Default Unlocking the 3 quays' potential

    Stakeholders to focus on making area cleaner, friendlier, and to improve the connections between them

    04:45 AM Aug 14, 2012

    SINGAPORE - A partnership formed by stakeholders along the Singapore River is embarking on a five-year business plan to enliven the precincts along the river and enhance visitor experience.

    Called Singapore River ONE (SRO), the not-for-profit entity will focus on making the area cleaner, friendlier and more enjoyable, said SRO and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in a joint statement yesterday.

    As it works with property owners and business operators along the river to execute the plan, SRO will embark on improving the connections between the three quays - Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay, which are all popular clusters of food-and-beverage and nightlife outlets - as well as the surrounding communities along the river.

    Plans include a new mobile app with a search map so that visitors can easily access information about the Singapore River.

    The group also pledged to have regular events and activities, as well as a more interesting streetscape through public art.

    The SRO is led by a 10-member board, with Mr Wilson Tan, Director of CapitaLand Retail Management as Protem Chairman.

    In the initial years, it will be funded by voluntary contributions by property owners, businesses and residents in the Singapore River precinct, together with co-funding from the Government. The URA will provide seed funding for the first three years for SRO's initiatives.

    "Our vision is to make Singapore River the premier destination for locals and visitors seeking an authentically Singapore experience in a place that connects the country's past to the present," said Mr Tan.

    "This will be achieved by offering a unique waterfront environment that highlights and embraces Singapore River's history, while celebrating the leisure, recreation and entertainment offerings there today."

    Noting that developing the Singapore River as a "premier mixed-use recreational destination" cannot be a top-down initiative, URA Chief Executive Ng Lang said: "We are happy to be able to support the setting up of the SRO, and look forward to working closely with it to realise our vision for the Singapore River."






    Boat Quay, Singapore River. TODAY FILE PHOTO

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    Default Thanks for the good times, Siong

    The New Paper

    Monday, Aug 06, 2012


    It was a cold morning at the Palam Airport in New Delhi.

    I was there to greet a world champion.

    A Singaporean world champion, who only months earlier had torpedoed through the length of the Olympic pool in Indiana in a world-best 22.69 seconds in 1982.

    A very rare Singaporean sports trait, that. So a privilege it was, being the only journalist greeting him.

    I had met another true local world champion before that, the legendary badminton maestro Wong Peng Soon.

    It was almost 20 years after I had witnessed him whipping the daylights out of world opposition in the Thomas Cup at the Singapore Badminton Hall.

    But this other Singaporean belonged to a different era, a different sport.

    And unlike Wong, who was born in Malaya, this young champion was born and bred in Singapore.

    As he arrived that November morning of 1982, after a marathon 20-hour PanAm flight from Houston, fatigue was a foreign word to him.

    Looking refreshed, relaxed and composed, swimmer Ang Peng Siong, then 20, strode into the greeting area, suitcase in one hand and a carry-bag slung over his left shoulder.
    For a big mission: To win the Asian Games 100 metres freestyle gold medal.

    "How's Singapore faring lah?" he volleyed, even before we exchanged a handshake.
    Swimming officials Tan Eng Bock and Eric Yeo, who accompanied me, interjected even before I could answer.

    "The relay girls won a swimming bronze," answered Tan.

    And, just as Tan completed the sentence, Yeo replied: "The water polo boys are on course for a medal."

    The patriotism in Ang was obvious on a quiet Indian morning when airport workers were unaware that this was a sporting world-beater.

    He laced his phrases with Singlish, interspersed with the heavy American accent acquired from spending almost a year in Houston.

    Almost three days later, "Siong" as he is affectionately called, fulfilled his mission: He won the 100m freestyle gold for Singapore.

    Proudly he stood on the rostrum, flanked by a Chinese and an Indonesian, his biggest rival from Japan ambushed to fourth.

    The Majulah Singapura echoed round New Delhi's Talkatora Stadium as our flag was raised, and all Singaporeans hailed Ang the Great.

    As Ang, 49, bid goodbye on Thursday to Singapore swimming as a coach in the national set-up, I could not help but look back on his exploits.

    And relish the many joys of reporting he gave me as I followed him for almost 15 years, from Jakarta to Seoul, and Los Angeles to Edinburgh.

    Whether it was the South-east Asia, Asian, Commonwealth or Olympic Games, Ang had always given of his very best.

    At the SEA Games especially, it was fascinating to see Singaporeans waving the red and white banner and screaming his name as he sliced through water.

    "Siong" often inspired me to write good prose, for he was poetry in motion in the pool. He never flinched from a challenge, never looked down on his rivals.

    Win or lose, he nearly always flashed an infectious smile; congratulating the winners and consoling the losers.

    "I will always be grateful to swimming," he often told me, realising that it was the aquatic sport that made a scrawny toddler into a successful man, and now boss of the highly-lucrative APS Swim School.
    Olympian dad

    When he was a kid luxuriating at the Farrer Park pool, I saw him lay the foundations for a bright career under the tutelage of his Olympian (judoka in 1964) dad, Ang Teck Bee, who was a competent swim coach too.

    The former Anglo-Chinese School product gained a scholarship through swimming to Houston University where he completed a business degree. And under American coaches, he blossomed into one of the world's best sprinters.

    If there was one weakness in him, it was the lack of a killer-instinct, the overpowering aggression that could make the slight difference between winning and finishing second. "Siong" has the nice-guy image; always prim, proper and never detracting.

    He is fortunate to have an encouraging and enterprising wife in Wendy, who always provided him with alternative views, sometimes coaxing him into taking harsh decisions.
    His 30-plus-year association with national swimming officially ended on Thursday.

    But he will remain in touch with the sport through his APS school, which churns out a never-ending stream of young talent.

    As we close a long and happy chapter for "Siong", we cannot but accept that APS has given Singapore many reasons to celebrate.

    But APS is here to stay. Where else, but at his - and its - birthplace at Farrer Park.
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    Default Important for S'pore to provide continued support for athletes: Halimah Yacob


    by Patwant Singh
    Updated 03:08 PM Aug 14, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob said it is important for Singapore to continue to provide the necessary support for its top athletes, so that they can continue to do their best and improved their performances at regional competitions.

    Mdm Halimah made the comments today at a welcome ceremony for Singaporean athletes arriving home from the London Olympic Games.

    Leading the team out was Chef de Mission for Team Singapore Jessie Phua.

    Senior Minister of State for Education Lawrence Wong was also on hand to congratulate the Republic's athletes.

    This final batch of Singapore athletes to return home included hurdler Dipna Lim Prasad, sprinter Gary Yeo, shuttler Yao Lei, canoeist Geraldine Lee, gymnast Lim Heem Wei and sailors Colin Cheng and Elizabeth Yin.

    Singapore's bronze-medal-winning table tennis team had returned earlier last week.

    More than half of the 23-strong contingent made their Olympic debut at the London 2012 Games.

    Despite their lack of their experience, Singapore officials said the athletes had done Singapore proud. "What they have done is really is help to bring the nation together. People followed them on the TV and also celebrated their successes," Mdm Halimah said.

    "It's really marvelous to know that Singapore is able to clinch two medals, and one is a medal for an individual event, which we have not been able to secure in the last 52 years."

    Mrs Phua said: "Singapore sports has come a long way. From being merely happy to be able to compete at the Games, we are now past that stage, we are now looking at medals every time.

    "I think working hard, that's a given. More importantly I think we have to work smart so that Singapore athletes will continue to feature at the pinnacle of everyone's sporting aspiration."
    CHANNEL NEWSASIA





    Getty

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    Default S'pore Science Centre to spend S$30m over next 5 years

    by Monica Kotwani
    Updated 10:41 PM Aug 14, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The Singapore Science Centre will spend close to S$30 million over the next five years to deliver quality and unique experiences in informal science education.

    Its chief executive, Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, outlined these plans at the centre's 35th Anniversary Celebrations.

    They include a virtual aquarium, costing half a million dollars, as well as a digital planetarium.

    The Singapore Science Festival
    next year will be bigger.

    The S$4 million event will be held over two weeks in July 2013, and will feature conferences, trade shows and street carnivals.

    The festival is expected to attract about 280,000 visitors.

    Other key projects include a Children's Science Centre, which the Science Centre hopes to open next year, as well as a Science Centre Without Walls initiative which will see exhibits and content branched out to satellite centres like shopping malls.

    Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng said: "It's an evolution. It's time for the Science Centre to take stock and say, 'Can you do better? Can you make the next quantum leap?'.

    "So it's not a change of mindset, but to rethink, take stock of our strengths, and to reinvent ourselves. It's a natural progression of going after greater heights."

    Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the centre, since its inception in 1977, has played a pivotal role in transforming the way students and the public interact with, and learn about science and technology.

    "The Science Centre will have to continue to update and upgrade its facilities to excite, educate and inspire a new generation of young students and young adults about science and its role in mankind's future," said Mr Teo. CHANNEL NEWSASIA





    The Singapore Science Centre. Photo by Nabihah Hashim

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    Default Cheng gunning for 2016 Olympics

    Sailor wants to finish in top 10 and fight for a medal


    by Low Lin Fhoong
    04:45 AM Aug 15, 2012



    SINGAPORE - After posting the best result by an Asian sailor in the Olympics Laser Standard class in London, Colin Cheng has set his sights higher.

    The 22-year-old, who marked his Olympics debut by finishing 15th out of 49 boats at Weymouth - a result that featured three top-10 spots in 10 races, including a second-placed finish in Race 8 - is determined to make it to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    And, this time, he is gunning for a spot in the top 10 - which is also the qualifying mark for the medal race.

    "The biggest thing I learnt at the Olympics is that, if you put your mind to something, it is possible to mix it with the best.

    "It's still early days to the 2016 Games but my target is to be in the top 10," said Cheng,
    who returned to Singapore yesterday with fellow sailor Elizabeth Yin - who was 24th of 41 sailors in the women's Laser Radial - as well as athletes from canoeing, badminton, athletics and gymnastics.

    Cheng, who won the Laser 4.7 World Championships and Asian Games gold in 2006, had taken an 18-month hiatus from his nanotechnology studies at the University of New South Wales to train and compete on the European circuit.

    He also decided to continue with coach Brett Beyer after the Australian parted ways with the Singapore Sailing Federation early last year. Cheng paid for Beyer to be his coach and was eventually selected for the London Games.

    Cheng is particularly inspired by Chinese sailor Xu Lijia, who claimed her country's second sailing gold in the women's Laser Radial.

    He said: "Xu Lijia has shown that Asians can do well. But a sustained level of training is needed …

    "She won the world championships in 2006 and it has taken her six years to win at the Olympics.

    "It's not easy at the highest level. Sports science will be the next step forward … Look at British cyclist Bradley Wiggins. It will be nice to see more of it in sailing as the sport has so many variables."

    Team Singapore Chef de Mission Jessie Phua agreed. She said: "Singapore sport has come a long way - from being merely happy to compete at the Games, we are now past that stage and are looking at medals every time.

    "Let's work smarter, with everybody working together. Let's put in a team of specialists to help our athletes to step up, not just from time to time but all the time."


    Some 100 supporters were present at Changi Airport to welcome the athletes yesterday. They included Lawrence Wong, the Senior Minister of State for Education and Information, Communications and the Arts - who will helm the new Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth from Nov 1 - and Halimah Yacob, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports.






    REUTERS

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    Default S'pore 'is richest country per capita' (in 2010)

    The Straits Times
    Publication Date : 15-08-2012

    (Please read the following report with a pinch of salt )

    By Melissa Tan

    Singapore was the richest country per capita in the world in 2010 and will remain at the top even as far into the future as 2050, according to a new study.

    The Republic's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita - its economic output divided by its population - came in at US$56,532 in 2010.

    This put Singapore ahead of runner-up Norway, according to the Wealth Report 2012 released yesterday by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank.

    The United States was in third place with a GDP per capita of $45,511.

    Of the top 10 most affluent economies in 2010, Hong Kong is the only other Asian presence.

    But the projected numbers for 2050 reflect the flow of wealth eastwards as the centres of global economic activity shift to Asia. This will see the four Asian tiger economies dominating the top spots.

    Singapore is "perfectly positioned" to capitalise on this shift, said Ms Grainne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, according to a Yahoo report.

    Ms Gilmore pointed to Singapore's skilled workforce, business environment, openness to trade, capital mobility and foreign direct investment as factors contributing to its stellar forecast performance.

    By 2050, Singapore is expected to have a chart-topping GDP per capita of $137,710.

    The US is expected to drop down to fifth place while Saudi Arabia will vault into the top 10 at No. 6.

    The world's high net worth individuals remain upbeat in terms of continued wealth creation, with less than a quarter pessimistic about their future wealth prospects.


    GDP per capita (2010)

    1. Singapore US$56,532
    2. Norway (51,226)
    3. US (45,511)
    4. Hong Kong (45,301)
    5. Switzerland (42,470)
    6. The Netherlands (40,736)
    7. Australia (40,525)
    8. Austria (39,073)
    9. Canada (38,640)
    10. Sweden (36,438)


    GDP per capita (2050)

    1. Singapore US$137,710
    2. Hong Kong (116,639)
    3. Taiwan (114,093)
    4. South Korea (107,752)
    5. US (100,802)
    6. Saudi Arabia (98,311)
    7. Canada (96,375)
    8. United Kingdom (91,130)
    9. Switzerland (90,956)
    10. Austria (90,158)

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