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  1. #6852
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    Default Land set aside to build 700,000 more homes by 2030

    Published on Jan 29, 2013
    12:00 PM





    Singapore's planners have set aside land for 700,000 more homes to be built by 2030, in anticipation of a 6.9 million population by then. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM



    By Jessica Cheam


    Singapore's planners have set aside land for 700,000 more homes to be built by 2030, in anticipation of a 6.9 million population by then.

    The National Population and Talent Division said on Tuesday that the government has done its long-term planning to accommodate the bigger population.

    The rail network is set to double to 360km, and new towns will be developed even while more green spaces are built.

    In the nearer term, it is ramping up infrastructure developments to support a population of 5.8 million to 6 million in 2020, while also tackling the infrastructure bottlenecks experienced today.
    Some steps it has taken include adding 800 new buses over the next five years, building 110,000 more public housing units and 90,000 private homes by 2016, and adding 4,100 new hospital beds by 2020.
    The government will continue to explore new technologies and innovative solutions to optimise Singapore's land use beyond 2030, said the NPTD.

    It released these figures in its White Paper on Tuesday, which sets out Singapore's population and immigration policies for the future.

    More details on Singapore's land use planning is set to be released later this week.

  2. #6853
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    Default SIT holds groundbreaking for satellite campus at Republic Polytechnic

    Published on Jan 29, 2013
    5:58 PM
    By Amelia Teng



    The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) held its fifth and final groundbreaking ceremony Monday at Republic Polytechnic (RP) for its satellite campuses.

    It also announced its first degree programme to be conducted at RP which will be a computing science course in partnership with the University of Glasgow.

    The course, which will cater to the demand for workers in the computing science industry, will start in September this year. The nine-storey building in Woodlands will house 660 students, and its first intake of students will share RP's facilities until the building is completed in 2014. The SIT has a satellite campus at all five polytechnics.

  3. #6854
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    Default NTU's new centre to engineer eye-disease treatments

    Published on Jan 29, 2013
    12:46 PM


    By Grace Chua


    A new centre at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has developed a slow-release drug that can be injected to treat the eye disease glaucoma.

    Researchers at the Ocular Therapeutic Engineering Centre, which officially opened on Tuesday, wrapped an existing anti-glaucoma drug in tiny nanocapsules which can be injected painlessly into the eye's surface.

    A single injection can deliver drugs for up to three months, and these are expected to work better than current treatments, where the same drug is applied as eyedrops that often flow out of the eye and are hard for patients to remember to apply.

    Now, human trials of the technology are about to begin. The centre will also develop technologies to treat other eye conditions like cataracts and retinal diseases.

  4. #6855
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    Default 12,000 residents have taken part so far in Our Singapore Conversation



    Citizen Dialogue Session - "Our Singapore Conversation" which was held at NLB, with Minister Heng Swee Keat and Acting Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in attendance..Photo: Ernest Chua. 13 Oct 2012.


    4 hours 16 min ago

    SINGAPORE — Over 12,000 residents have so far taken part in 155 sessions of the Our Singapore Conversation between September 2012 to January 2013.

    They were organised by the People’s Association (PA) and Grassroots Organisations (GROs) at various locations in the heartland.


    In a statement, PA said at the sessions, residents discussed about healthcare, elderly issues, education, social values and governance.


    Residents comprising community partners, district councillors, youths and seniors, including new citizens and permanent residents came together and shared their hopes and concerns and expressed their views on their ideal Singapore.

    A wrap-up session with over 100 grassroots leaders will be held on Thursday.
    Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and PA’s Deputy Chairman, Lim Swee Say and Our Singapore Conversation Chairman and Education Minister, Heng Swee Keat, will be present.

    Five presenters will highlight the aspirations shared by their residents at various dialogue sessions in the past four months.

    The PA and the grassroots organisations plan to organise more sessions to engage some 1,000 residents from February to March this year. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  5. #6856
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    Default Govt unveils plans for population growth

















    By Ashley Chia

    6 hours 50 min ago

    SINGAPORE — By 2020, the Republic’s total population could range between 5.8 million and 6 million. And come 2030, the figure could rise to be between 6.5 million and 6.9 million.

    Singapore’s total population now stands at 5.31 million with citizens and PRs making up 3.82 million, according to figures as at June last year.

    These were the possible population trajectories released today as part of the Population White Paper by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD). These projections may change, depending on changes to birth rates, life expectancy and social and economic factors.

    The White Paper outlines the Government’s policies to maintain a strong “Singaporean core” in the population, create good jobs and opportunities for citizens and build a high quality living environment.

    With the Government taking in between 15,000 and 25,000 new citizens and 30,000 Permanent Residents each year — to prevent the citizen population from shrinking — it is estimated that the resident population could reach up to 4.1 million in 2020, with citizens making up 3.5 million to 3.6 million.

    In 2030, the resident population, which includes PRs, is projected to be between 4.2 million to 4.4 million. Citizens will make up 3.6 million to 3.8 million.

    The White Paper also projected that come 2030, two thirds of Singaporeans are expected to be working in Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians jobs, compared to just half of the population today.

    Hence foreign workers are needed to “supplement” the workforce, and ensure the workforce structure has a full range of skills, backgrounds and experiences to serve economic, social and infrastructure needs.

    To alleviate the strains Singaporeans face today and support the projected population of about 6 million, efforts to ramp up infrastructure developments, such as transport networks, housing and access to healthcare, are underway and will be completed by 2020.

    By 2016, there will be 110,000 new public housing units and 90,000 new private units. Some 4,100 new hospital beds will also be available then.

    The Government is also planning and investing in infrastructure ahead of demand.

    This includes setting aside land for 700,000 more homes, and planning for more jobs, green spaces, recreational and sports facilities to be located nearer to residential areas like Jurong Lake District, Paya Lebar Central and One North.

    The rail network
    will also double to 360 km, which will put eight in 10 homes within a 10-minute walk from a train station.

    The Population White Paper can be read online at http://www.population.sg/

  6. #6857
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    Default We did not have 20/20 foresight, says PM Lee


    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. TODAY File Photo



    Uncertainties due to economic cycles and foreign worker inflow led to policy misstep


    By Neo Chai Chin

    15 hours 28 sec ago

    SINGAPORE — The question was whether Singaporeans would benefit from a public hearing on how public infrastructure came to lag behind population growth.

    Posed yesterday at an Institute of Policy Studies conference on governance, it prompted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to provide the most detailed explanation yet on the policy misstep, which has been a hot-button issue since it first surfaced in 2009.

    “You don’t need a commission or an inquiry to find out, I can tell you how,” he responded to audience member Leon Perera, a business consultant who spoke in his personal capacity.

    “It happened because we didn’t have 20/20 foresight,” said Mr Lee, citing uncertainties wrought by economic cycles and foreign worker inflow in the last decade.

    In retrospect, more could have been done to get ready for a larger population, and the Government will try to do better going forward and create a greater buffer in its planning, the Prime Minister added.

    The Government will release its population White Paper today, which will make “a guess” on the parameters for jobs, housing, transport and infrastructure to ensure good quality of life for Singaporeans, said Mr Lee.

    Mr Lee recounted that Singapore’s economy ran into recession in the wake of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, and slow growth led to foreign workers heading home “in some numbers”, he said. Housing prices went down and the Government did not know how long the downturn would last, he added.

    Then by 2005 to 2006, things began to look up.

    “We decided, I decided, that we should try and make up for lost time, because you want the economy to grow, you want Singapore to make progress, and you don’t know how long the sun is going to shine,” he told an audience of academics, and business and civil society representatives at the Shangri-La Hotel.

    As it turned out, the sun remained shining for longer than we expected. So the population grew faster than we expected, our infrastructure didn’t keep up.

    “Could we have predicted that we would have five years where the economy would grow brilliantly and our population would increase so rapidly? I don’t think we could easily have said that.”

    He added that it would have been “very risky” to turn away extra jobs created and opportunities like the integrated resorts. So the Government forged ahead, only to have the “strains” show up “quite suddenly”.

    In 2009, the Jobs Credit Scheme was introduced and the Republic recovered more quickly than expected from the global financial crisis.

    Fewer foreign workers left for home than expected.

    The housing price index, which had remained flat for months, suddenly shot up in June that year. By August, the Government was thinking of property cooling measures, said Mr Lee.

    On whether policies could be finetuned along the way, Mr Lee said it was not possible, given uncertainties in a volatile world. Changes can happen in the span of weeks – like how the property market changed in 2009 – or a year. But to ramp up the housing programme and to plan and build a train network takes five to 10 years, he noted.

    “You have to make a stand on it, you have to make your best guess, build in some safety factor and even then, it may turn out differently than you had planned,” he said.

    In a wide-ranging dialogue, Mr Lee was also asked about the difference between being popular and being populist, and whether the Government could take more steps in healthcare and transport policies to reinforce that it was on the side of the people.

    Mr Lee said being populist means taking action that is pleasing but may be harmful to the masses. Popular policies could please the masses, but also serve to do good. “I think what we are trying to do as a Government is to try and package our policies so that they can be popular, but at the same time they can be beneficial,” he said.

    He added that Our Singapore Conversation, the ongoing national dialogue, seeks to come up with new ideas on how to achieve “good objectives” without running into problems commonly encountered in the rest of the world. He said the right mechanisms have to be used and “you want to do it in such a way that people do not feel whenever you have a problem, it’s the Government which has to be blamed”.

  7. #6858
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    Default Record 51 million passengers for Changi Airport in 2012

    Published on Jan 31, 2013
    2:39 PM




    Passengers at the transit area of Changi Airport's Terminal 3. The airport set a new record in passenger traffic last year, crossing the 50 million passenger movements mark for the first time in its 31-year history. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    By Royston Sim

    Changi Airport set a new record in passenger traffic last year, crossing the 50 million passenger movements mark for the first time in its 31-year history. Passenger traffic for 2012 totalled 51.2 million, an increase of 10 per cent over 2011.

    Last December, Changi registered a record 4.92 million passenger movements. It also saw a new daily record on Dec 22, with 180,400 passengers passing through in 24 hours.

    Flight movements grew by 7.6 per cent to 324,700
    , while cargo volumes declined 3.2 per cent to 1.81 million tonnes compared to 2011. As of Jan 1, Changi Airport has been handling more than 6,500 weekly scheduled flights with 110 airlines connecting Singapore to 240 cities in 60 countries around the world.

    In a media release, Changi Airport Group (CAG) chief executive Lee Seow Hiang said: "2012 was indeed a good year for us...In the near term, Changi Airport's performance will depend largely on how quickly markets recover from the slowdown."

  8. #6859
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    Default Two new commercial belts to bring jobs closer to homes

    By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 31 January 2013 1246 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Two new commercial belts will be developed to locate more jobs nearer to homes.

    It is also part of efforts to ease congestion to the city centre and facilitate greater use of public transport.

    The target is for public transport to make up 75 per cent of all journeys, compared to the current 60 per cent.

    Roads take up 12 per cent of Singapore's land space.

    And given a limited land supply, there are constraints to build more roads and other facilities for private transport.

    To get more people to choose public transport, extensive plans have already been announced to ramp up capacity on buses and trains.

    But as Singapore's population continues to grow, changing travel patterns will also be key.

    Currently, major employment centres are located in the West and in the city. And there's high travel demand to these areas during morning peak hours, as housing towns are in the North and East. So the new commercial belts are expected to help spread the load better.

    There will be an innovation corridor in the North in 10 to 15 years' time.


    It will include the Woodlands Regional Centre, Sembawang, the future Seletar Regional Centre and Punggol, and act as a major employment node for people living in the North and North-east.

    There will also be more land for new business activities when existing shipyard facilities in Sembawang are phased out.

    And in the South, there will be a new waterfront city for more commercial and housing developments.

    It will extend from Marina Bay along the waterfront from Keppel, through Telok Blangah to Pasir Panjang Terminal.

    Experts say for decentralisation to work, the type of jobs within the commercial belts must be attractive enough.

    Dr Wong Tai Chee, Urban Geography & Planning at the National Institute of Education, said: "The scope, the scale and quality of services to be provided, to be developed in the regional decentralised centres, must be substantial - big enough to attract enough businesses. Otherwise, the economies of scale won't be big enough to attract business, that will be a failure.

    "That will be a serious matter to look into. If you can cut down the commuting time and also the commuting distance, and make jobs more available near homes for at least a certain proportion of the population, this will be good. Economically, it will also help to enhance the land values of the areas in the North and South corridors."

    There should also be better transport links.

    Associate Professor Gopinath Menon, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, said: "Good integration, so if people want to change from train to bus, bus to train, train to taxi, it should be very convenient, because people do not like transfers, it takes time so that's the most important thing, make it very convenient and also attractive."

    To facilitate this, there are plans to introduce community buses which operate during specific period of the day.

    By 2030, travelling to the new commercial belts will be enhanced with the new Cross Island Line and the Thomson Line.

    Drivers can also make use of the new North-South Expressway.

    To better optimise use of roads, the reversible flow scheme may also be introduced on certain expressways so that there will be more lanes to cater to the heavier traffic flow during peak periods.

    - CNA/ck/de

  9. #6860
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    Default Land to be reclaimed, converted to support 6.9 million population

    [

    Punggol Town will be developed further, making it eventually one of the largest HDB towns. Photo: HDB


    By Tan Weizhen

    31 January

    SINGAPORE — To support Singapore’s expanded population of up to 6.9 million by 2030, more land will be freed up for new homes, offices and other infrastructure.

    This will be done by reclaiming and converting existing land, as well as creating office areas nearer to homes.

    According to a paper on land use planning issued today by the Ministry of National Development (MND) — to complement the Population White Paper released on Monday — three new towns will also be developed in Bidadari, Tampines North and Tengah.

    New housing estates will also be added at the former Bukit Turf Club, Kallang Riverside, Keppel and Bukit Brown areas.

    Punggol Town will be developed further, making it eventually one of the largest HDB towns, with new homes slated for existing estates across Singapore.

    According to the MND, the bulk of land that can be reclaimed, if needed, is at Pulau Tekong and Tuas.

    Plans to convert existing areas such as military training areas, and some golf courses – once their leases end — are also in the pipeline.

    One key strategy is to move offices closer to homes, so residents do not have to travel so much.

    To that end, commercial nodes are planned island-wide – in the north, the south, Jurong Lake District, one-north, and Paya Lebar Central.

    In the paper, the ministry said that a “North Coast Innovation Corridor” and a “Southern Waterfront City” will be created.

    The former, spanning from Woodlands Regional Centre, Sembwang and Punggol, will be slated for industries in the fields of technology, such as the Seletar Aerospace Park.

    The southern waterfront city will extend from Marina Bay, through Telok Blangah to Pasir Panjang Terminal. This will be redeveloped for commerical and housing areas.

    Existing container-port operations — the City Terminals and Pasir Panjang Terminal — will be moved to Tuas Port.

    The authority also addressed issues of liveability within a more dense city. More greenery, such as rooftop greenery, will be introduced within estates, and there will be more park connectors.

    It reiterated that the transport network is being ramped up to support the increased population.

    In addition, the feasibility of a “reversible flow” scheme along certain expressways is being studied, where the traffic flow is heavy in one direction during morning peak hours, and in the opposite direction in the evenings.

    More rail lines will be built, with a rail density that is comparable to London. Eight in ten homes will be within a ten-minute walk from a train station.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default

    Well done, Uncle Loh. Btw, I hope you can re-open the Singapore Players thread.

  11. #6862
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin L View Post
    Well done, Uncle Loh. Btw, I hope you can re-open the Singapore Players thread.
    Hi Justin, Thank you, just hope more of our members and visitors can understand Singapore better with regular updates.

    Like you I was disappointed that the "Singapore Players" thread was locked an I hope our moderators will be kind enough to reopen it.

    Many will know that Singapore badminton players, especially our men, lags behind our
    Southeast Asian neighbors. The thread was started to introduce some of our better players to our BC fraternity and to encourage and cheer them on to achieve better performances, just like my "Singapore Also Can" thread hopes to do.

    I hope Kwun can respond positively.

  12. #6863
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    Default Teenage fencer Joshua sets unique record in South-east Asian C'ships

    Today




    Singapore fencer Joshua Lim.


    By Gerard Wong -

    02 February

    BANDAR SERI BAGAWAN - He may only be 16 but fencer Joshua Lim has set a unique record in South-East Asian fencing that his seniors can only marvel at.

    The teenager became the first Singaporean fencer to win all six gold medals in Senior, Junior and Cadet Individual and Team events at the South-east Asian Fencing Federation Championships after helping the Republic to win the men’s team foil title in the ongoing Cadet competitions today.

    After beating Brunei 45-7 in the semi-finals, Joshua and teammates Christian Lim, Jet Ng, and Chan Wei Yu beat Causeway rivals Malaysia 45-26 to claim the title.

    The victory ensured that Joshua completed his sweep of all six gold medals at Senior, Junior and Cadet level. He had won the senior individual and team golds in Ho Chi Minh City two months ago, and earlier this week, he won the junior individual and team titles, as well as the individual cadet crown.

    “Its been a very successful few months for me and I am very glad to earn this very special record at this level,” he said.

    “Of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my team mates’ support as they have all contributed to the successes at the team events.”

    On his future goals, he said: “I have not really thought about it but it will be a hectic few months as I will be travelling to Europe for a training camp in order to prepare for the Asian Junior Championships at Bangkok in March as well as the World Junior Championships at Croatia in April.”

    The men’s team foil (cadet) gold was one of two that Singapore won yesterday.

    The other was the women’s sabre team title. Just like their male counterparts, the quartet of Candice Lee, Joyce Ng, Lau Ywen and Jolie Lee scored a comfortable win over their opponents in the final as they defeated Vietnam 45-32.

    But Vietnam turned the tables on Singapore in the women’s epee team event when they defeated the team of Donna Lim, Nicole Aw, Tasia Lee and Jainus Lee 38-30 The two golds mean that Singapore are level with Vietnam in the medal table. After three days of competition, the Republic’s fencers have a total medal haul of 4 golds, 3 silvers and 10 bronzes.

    The championships will end tomorrow with the Men’s Epee, Women’s Foil and the Men’s Sabre teams in action.

  13. #6864
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    Default Experts weigh in on population projections

    Today


    ]

    Analysts noted that external factors, such as the global economy, would likely throw the Government's population forecasts off the mark. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG


    Past projections fell short of real growth, but some analysts feel that current forecast would have factored in buffer

    By Woo Sian Boon

    8 hours 26 min ago

    SINGAPORE — As Parliament sits today to debate the White Paper on population, some experts have questioned the soundness and accuracy of the projected population figures, given the difficulty in forecasting population growth.

    Citing the Government’s track record of underestimating population growth, they noted that external factors, such as the global economy and the demand for labour, would likely throw such forecasts off the mark.

    Nevertheless, others felt that policymakers would have gleaned lessons from past instances and factored in a buffer in their latest projections.

    In particular, demographer Gavin Jones from the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS) pointed out that the population projections for 2030 factored in more than two million non-residents. This would give policymakers some “flexibility”, he noted.

    The White Paper projects that by 2020, there could be between 5.8 million and 6 million people in Singapore. By 2030, the range is projected to increase to between 6.5 million and 6.9 million.

    But Economic Society of Singapore Vice-President Yeoh Lam Keong reiterated that population growth “always tends to exceed projected forecast”.

    “Because, firstly, there is very strong demand for labour from existing labour-intensive industries, and industry has a strong influence on immigration policy,” he said.

    “Secondly, given economic uncertainty, during the times when we have growth, the Government tends to err on the side of caution and go for more growth. Given these two tendencies, we tend to systematically overshoot population growth, not intentionally, but because of circumstance and current institutional practice.”

    While SIM University economics professor Randolph Tan noted that such forecasts are “always notoriously inaccurate”, he felt that publishing the White Paper was a “responsible” move by the Government, as it allows Singaporeans to air their concerns and hear “both sides of the debate”.

    But he said that policymakers could have come up with a less definitive forecast.

    Instead, Singaporeans could be informed about the probability of reaching a population of 6.9 million by 2030, he suggested.

    “The question therefore … is, what is the precision of the projections? What is the potential error range? How far can we afford to be wrong?”

    The Government’s past population projections have been below the mark. For example, the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Concept Plan in 1991 projected a population of four million to be reached after 2010.

    By 2000, however, the Republic’s total population had already crossed that mark.

    In 2001, the population was estimated to hit 5.5 million in the long term. When it reached 4.6 million in 2007, the projection for planning purposes was adjusted to 6.5 million. The Government had acknowledged that it was caught off guard by the surge in the number of immigrants.

    NUS sociologist Tan Ern Ser felt that the Government, in learning from its past experience, “would have built in some buffers and not cut (the projection) too close”.

    Agreeing with Dr Tan, NUS Department of Real Estate professor Tay Kah Poh added: “In other words, the plan assumes some degree of over-shooting, which is a huge change in thinking from before.”

    National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted last week that the projection was “aggressive” so that the Government “will not be caught under-providing, as we are experiencing currently” — a stance that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Facebook that he fully agreed with.

    Still, Mr Yeoh proposed capping the total population to 6 million in 2030 and 6.5 million by 2050.

    He said: “A population of 6.5 million will be very cosmopolitan, (there will be) a lot of foreigners but it will still have significant indigenous components. And it will be relatively wealthy so it might resemble … Switzerland, with significant social cohesion and national identity.”

    He added that, should Singapore ever reach a population of 8 million to 9 million, “it would look more like Dubai”. There could be “extreme income inequality, extreme dependence on foreigners and would be extremely crowded and unpleasant”, said Mr Yeoh.

    Meanwhile, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Senior Fellow Donald Low criticised the lack of scholarship and academic rigour in the White Paper.

    Writing on Facebook, Mr Low, a former high-flying civil servant, noted that there “wasn’t even a References section to show what research the writers of the paper had done, what social science theories they relied on, what competing theories/frameworks they looked at”.

    Citing Australia’s recent White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century or reports by the British government, which he said are “always complete with references to the social science literature”, Mr Low added: “There was also a surprising lack of rigorous comparison with other countries that have gone through, or are going through, a similar demographic transition.”

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    Default S’pore third most expensive city in Asia to live in: survey



    Ion Orchard
    • 16 min 13 sec ago

      SINGAPORE — The Republic has been ranked the third most expensive city to live in Asia and the sixth in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2013 survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

      The survey compares the cost of living among 131 cities worldwide using New York as a base city. Its findings show that the relative cost of living in Asian hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong has moved higher.

      This is largely due to rising wages and growth in the region, as well as the persistent weakness in Europe.

      Tokyo tops the list again this year as the most expensive city to live in, thanks to Japanese deflation, a weaker yen and rising prices across the world.

      Among the 27 Asian cities surveyed, Chinese cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen have seen the cost of living continue to rise.

      This was fuelled by wage inflation, increasing demand for consumer goods and strict currency controls.

      The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is carried out twice yearly, and compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drinks, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

      Meanwhile, economic growth has supported inflation and currency swings in Australian cities — placing Sydney and Melbourne at the third and fifth place in the top ten most costliest cities.

      Editor of the report Jon Copestake said: “The cost of living in Europe has seen relative declines, thanks to economic austerity and currency fears. But Asian cities have also been rising on the back of wage growth and economic optimism. This means that over half of the 20 most expensive cities now hail from Asia and Australasia.”

      However, Asia also remains host to six of the world’s ten cheapest cities — with Tehran clinching the top spot, followed by Jeddah. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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    Default Singapore inks MOU with international body to promote aviation training

    Published on Feb 05, 2013
    11:31 AM




    Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew (second from right) during the commissioning ceremony of the Lorads III, a new air traffic control simulator, held at the Singapore Aviation Academy on Sept 3, 2012. Singapore has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to promote aviation training. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN



    By Royston Sim


    Singapore has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to promote aviation training.

    Under the memorandum, Singapore will extend a programme that provides training fellowships by three years, till 2016. The number of fellowships under the ICAO-Singapore Developing Country Training Programme will also increase from 180 to 250.

    In addition, a new Aviation Leaders Scholarship will be introduced with up to six scholarships awarded each year for the Diploma in Civil Aviation Management at the Singapore Aviation Academy.

    The signing took place Tuesday morning at the opening ceremony of the fourth World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew delivered the welcome address for the forum.

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New study of sports sector's long-term manpower needs

    Published on Feb 05, 2013
    2:37 PM



    Sprinter Shanti Pereira in action during the Singapore Athletics Association (SAA) Track and Field Series 1 held at ITE College East Simei on Jan 6, 2013. The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) will conduct a study this year to address the longer-term manpower needs of the sports sector, said Acting Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday. -- TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG



    By Andrea Ong


    The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) will conduct a study this year to address the longer-term manpower needs of the sports sector, said Acting Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday.

    Responding to a question from Nominated MP Nicholas Fang on talent development in sports administration and management, Mr Wong said this topic will be covered in the new study.

    Among other things, the study will look at how to ensure a stable supply of expertise in sports administration and management. MCCY and SSC will also engage the National Sports Associations to "find out what competencies and skills we are lacking" and the salary benchmarks Singapore should be aiming at, said Mr Wong.

    Mr Fang and Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) later rose to emphasise the importance of good sports administrators in helping Singapore's athletes to perform at their best. Mr de Souza asked for more grants while Mr Fang asked if the ministry could highlight sports administration as an area where people can offer financial support instead of the conventional sports sponsorship.

    Acknowledging their concerns, Mr Wong said his ministry hopes to look into the issue in a holistic fashion and is prepared to put in more resources if necessary. He highlighted the ways in which the SSC already helps the NSAs to upgrade their administrative and management capabilities, such as providing training grants and working with local and foreign educational institutions to offer diploma and degree courses in sports administration.

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    Default Teenager Martina cracks idol Ser’s record



    Teenager Martina Lindsay Veloso (pictured), a student-athlete with the Singapore Sports School, could become one of Singapore’s top national shooters. Photo: Singapore Sports School


    By Deborah Ong

    13 hours 26 min ago

    SINGAPORE — She may have been in the sport competitively for only a year, but Martina Lindsay Veloso, 14, still managed a perfect 400 to win the schools’ division of the women’s 10m air rifle at the HomeTeamNS Invitation Shoot and rewrite the national record of 399 set in 2008 by Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jasmine Ser.

    Martina, a Secondary 2 student at the Singapore Sports School, was not even aware of it until her coach Lim Chea Rong broke the news.

    “We were having lunch after the competition when my coach told me I shot a perfect score,” she said. “I was shocked. I asked her if she was sure because I didn’t get a look at my score throughout the competition.”

    Lim admitted the Sports School’s philosophy of “shoot, forget about the shot and then focus on the next target” helped Martina.

    “Getting a ‘400’ is not easy. At that level, it is not only about skill but about mental strength,” said the former national shooter. “I was surprised she managed to do it so soon. I am very happy for her.”

    Ser, who shot 396 to win the open category, added: “It’s good that younger shooters like Martina are stepping up. It’ll take the sport to higher levels, and this result will spur other young shooters to want to be like Martina.”

    Martina, who trains three hours thrice weekly, made the cut for the Sports School shooting team through its “Learn-to-Shoot” programme which started in 2011 for their partner primary schools, and is one of three female shooters hand-picked by 2009 SEA Games medallist Lim.

    The teenager posted her previous best of 395 en route to winning the event at last year’s Thailand Open Shooting Championship, and credits Ser as a vital influence.

    “I used to observe the way she shot and tried to imitate it in competitions. She taught me to never give up,” Martina said.

    “I would like to participate in this year’s Asian Youth Games. There’s another competition this month (the NUS invitational shoot) so I’m hoping to repeat my performance there again. I also hope to participate in the Olympics one day,”

    Her mother, Loreso, 35, stressed the importance of her daughter leading a balanced life despite the high hopes placed on her. Said Loreso: “I want her to enjoy her life, and her childhood. Most importantly, she must always be grateful, and not forget the people who have helped her along the way.” DEBORAH ONG

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