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  1. #6954
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore Sports Hub Under Construction

    This afternoon I took the train to Stadium MRT to update on the construction of our Sports Hub at Kallang.

    The view from the nearby Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS), where most of our Singapore Open tournaments were held in the past, was commanding, blocked only by the fencing surrounding the construction site.

    The Dome-shaped roof structure of the Sports Stadium was imposing with its steel frameworks and while many of the other structures are still at ground level, it appears that new Indoor Stadium, which is much smaller than the SIS, is sprouting up visibly. It stands at one corner closer to the Kallang Bay waters. Or could it be the aquatic centre?

    The Sports Hub is due for completion in 2014 and a year later in 2015, Singapore is expected to play host to the SEA Games.

    Kallang Bay, with all its amenities and other sports, recreation and restaurant facilities will then rival the Marina Bay as an attractive venue for the active young and old.

    The Stadium MRT is conveniently situated nearby to bring loads of visitors to this new attraction in years to come. Another new addition to interest Singaporeans and other residents at home for a much longer period, I hope.
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    Last edited by Loh; 03-20-2013 at 04:00 AM.

  2. #6955
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SingPost and FairPrice tops in postal service, brands surveys

    Published on Mar 20, 2013
    7:20 PM




    A trolley full of groceries at the NTUC Fairprice outlet in Thomson Plaza. NTUC Fairprice is one of the two household-name Singapore brands that have come out tops in recent surveys. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG


    By Grace Chua


    TWO household-name Singapore brands have come out tops in recent surveys.

    A study of global postal-industry performance by management consulting giant Accenture found local postal agency SingPost tops in the world, ahead of United Parcel Service (UPS), followed by the Austrian, Italian and Australian postal services.

    Accenture lauded the agency for diversifying its business, launching new products, and taking advantage of e-commerce trends, even as many postal agencies around the world struggle with declining mail volume and rising employee pension costs.

    Meanwhile, local supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice was named the best of five South-east Asian brands in international brand consultancy Interbrand's survey of the Best Retail Brands 2013, ahead of Malaysian department store Parkson, its Filipino counterpart SM Department Stores, Indonesia's Matahari department store and Thailand's Big C hypermarket chain.

  3. #6956
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Keep S’pore’s doors open to quality immigrants: LKY

    Mr

    Lee expressed confidence in the Republic’s ability to stay ahead of emerging economies in South-east Asia ‘for the next 20 years’. Photo: Ernest Chua


    Former Minister Mentor says they add to talent pool, help boost economy


    • By Eugene Neubronner


      5 hours 54 min ago

      SINGAPORE — Noting the demographic challenges faced by China and Japan, former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew yesterday reiterated the need to keep the Republic’s doors open to “quality” immigrants.

      Besides helping make up the numbers amid the low birth rates, Singapore’s approach of exercising “quality control” among immigrants — resulting in an enlarged talent pool —would also ensure it stays ahead of emerging economies in South-east Asia, Mr Lee said. In comparison, Japan would become “a nation reduced to nothingness”, as Mr Lee put it, if it continued to be averse to immigration.

      He said: “I see a nation reduced to half in 20 years, and if it still continues with the same policy, reduced to a further half, and eventually, it is all over.”

    • Mr Lee added: “To have a nation, you must have people and you must have young people to be able to drive the economy and young people buy the products ... and if you don’t have that, and you refuse migrants, as the Japanese do, you will just dissolve into nothingness. I think before that comes, they may change (their) policy,” he said.

      Speaking at Standard Chartered’s Singapore Forum Fireside Chat yesterday, Mr Lee was responding to a question about how concerned countries like Japan should be about an ageing population.

      China, too, is “risking its future” if it carries on with its one-child policy, he said. “Property prices will go down, assets will go down. There is no younger generation to put the pressure up, so I think it is heading towards the wrong direction,” said Mr Lee.

      Apart from Mr Lee, the dialogue included former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and StanChart Group Chief Executive Peter Sands. Mr Volcker noted that the world “cannot continue to grow” indefinitely, and would have to resign to “being like Japan” eventually.


    When asked about Singapore’s success and whether it can continue to thrive, Mr Lee said that for the Republic to remain successful, it needs to “retain the confidence” of investors and the people in the Government’s policies and institutions.

    “It will be very stupid of us to shake that confidence. The confidence rests on several pillars: Institutions, sound policies by the Government and an open trading area,” said Mr Lee.

    Singapore has had the chance to build up its institutions and rule of law, which requires “stable governments” that do not change policies when the next ruler shows up, he added.
    Saying he was not worried about emerging economies in South-east Asia surpassing Singapore, Mr Lee said he was confident the Republic would stay ahead “for the next 20 years”. Reiterating Singapore’s advantage of having “quality” immigrants, he said: “They will make progress, but if you look at the per capita they have got, the differences are so wide. We have the advantage of quality control of the people who come in ... so the increase in population means an increase in talent.”

    In particular, Singapore will continue to be strong in the financial sector, Mr Lee said, as there was “no real alternative”. “(Other countries) do not have the institutions, the confidence or the people with the money,” he said.

    On a broader front, Mr Lee said he would not take continued growth in Asia for granted, a sentiment shared by Mr Volcker. He also noted how some countries in the region did not work by the rule of law but by an individual. “When the individual changes, the system changes,” he said.


  4. #6957
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore is world's 20th biggest arms exporter

    Jump of 11 spots seen as a spike, not a trend, and is result of recent large sales



    Published on Mar 21, 2013
    10:12 AM




    Singapore's recent exports include a £150 million (S$286 million) delivery of 115 Broncos (armoured personnel carriers) to Britain for its troops in Afghanistan and 10 to Thailand. -- FILE PHOTO: ST ENGINEERING


    By Hoe Pei Shan


    SINGAPORE is now the world's 20th biggest arms exporter, having jumped 11 places in a year, new figures for last year reveal.

    Think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) found the volume of exports of major conventional weapons from Singapore leapt from a trend-indicator value (TIV) of 12 million in 2011 to 76 million. TIV is a common unit created by Sipri and, although based on the known unit production costs of a core set of arms, it is not representative of the financial value of the transfer.

    Defence specialists told The Straits Times this surge reflects the industry's growing capabilities. "Through the pursuit of military innovations that more countries are recognising, Singapore has been improving its global competitiveness in the defence market," said Dr Michael Raska, research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

    Executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (Asia) Tim Huxley called Singapore's breakthrough into the top 20 "quite an achievement" given its small size and history of lower arms exports. He noted that, rather than a trend, the sharp increase is "best treated as a spike" resulting from several recent large sales. He added that Singapore has a "limited range of defence products, none of which are particularly expensive".

  5. #6958
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Zoo sets up CCTV for shy Jia Jia in River Safari panda exhibit

    Published on Mar 25, 2013
    6:00 AM


    By Melissa Lin


    FOR the past six months, visitors to the River Safari's panda exhibit have not seen much of one half of its cuddly duo.

    Shy four-year-old Jia Jia has been retreating into her den so often that a closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) has been installed inside it.

    Visitors can now watch her through a live feed on a screen next to her enclosure, which is linked to her 15 sq m den.

    "(Male panda) Kai Kai is more outgoing and visitors can see his different antics, from chewing on his bamboo to taking a nap, in visible locations in his exhibit," said River Safari assistant director of zoology Ang Cheng Chye.




    Visitors can now watch her through a live feed on a screen (above) next to her enclosure. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND LIM



    Four-year-old Jia Jia has been retreating into her den (above) so often that a closed-circuit television camera has been installed inside it. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND LIM



    Jia Jia at the Panda enclosure at the Singapore Zoo. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG



    Kai Kai at the Panda enclosure at the Singapore Zoo. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


    The curious and playful Kai Kai cleans himself. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG









    Panda enclosure at the Singapore Zoo. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG





    Jia Jia, the female Giant Panda inside the cavernous enclosure which will be its new home at River Safaris Giant Panda Forest. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND FOO


    Giant female panda Jia Jia frolicking at her home Giant Panda Forest in River Safari. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

  6. #6959
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Residents brainstorm ideas for better living in HDB competition

    Published on Mar 24, 2013
    2:45 PM





    Republic Polytechnic lecturer Quek Yang Thee (right) and his 35-year-old wife Tay Mei Lan's (left) idea of a drawer compartment for unsolicited flyers in the mailbox clinched the top prize in the Facebook Call for Ideas on Unsolicited Flyers competition, launched in October last year. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG



    By Pearl Lee

    A couple, who were frustrated with the number of unsolicited flyers they were receiving in their mailbox, decided to submit an idea to the Housing Development Board (HDB) when they saw on Facebook that it was asking for ideas to solve the problem.

    Republic Polytechnic lecturer Quek Yang Thee, 36, and his 35-year-old wife Tay Mei Lan, decided to add a drawer compartment to the design of current letterboxes. This will create a partition in the letterboxes, and separate flyers from letters.


    The couple's idea clinched the top prize in the Facebook Call for Ideas on Unsolicited Flyers competition, launched in October last year. The competition is part of the Cool Ideas for Better HDB Living campaign launched in July 2011. Since then, HDB has received more than 100 ideas on how to improve living in its estates from emails and Facebook.

    On Sunday, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, presented the couple with the first prize. He also launched the second constituency competition in the Nee Soon and Sembawang GRC, following the first constituency competition in East Coast GRC last year.

  7. #6960
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Lee Kong Chian medical school to teach anatomy on touch-screen table

    Published on Mar 27, 2013
    8:00 AM





    The Anatomage Table offers interactive 3-D images of full-body anatomy using CT and MRI scans. Students will practise slicing and dissection with a virtual knife. -- PHOTO: NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY



    By Amelia Teng


    Doctors-to-be at Singapore's newest medical school are to learn anatomy using a human-size virtual operating table.

    The $120,000 touch-screen gadget
    - which resembles a giant iPad - will let 54 students interact with a full-size virtual cadaver when Lee Kong Chian (LKC) School opens at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in August.

    The Anatomage Table, designed by American firm Anatomage, offers interactive 3-D images of full-body anatomy using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

    The tool "will help medical students to visualise muscles, blood vessels, organs and soft tissues", said Assistant Professor Dinesh Srinivasan, who heads the school's teaching of anatomy.

  8. #6961
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Jackie Chan visits the Singapore University of Technology and Design

    Published on Mar 26, 2013
    7:48 PM







    Movie star Jackie Chan goes on a tour of the fabrication laboratory at the Singapore University of Technology and Design's (SUTD) Dover campus. Chan visited SUTD on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, much to the delight of students there. -- PHOTO: SUTD'S FACEBOOK PAGE





    By Debbie Lee


    Movie star Jackie Chan visited the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) on Tuesday much to the delight of students there.

    He dropped by the interim campus at Dover Road to view the university and have a look at the four traditional Chinese architectural structures he donated to the university in 2009.

    The structures, which are from his personal collection, consist of a pavilion, an opera stage and two houses. They are from the Ching and Ming dynasty, and are made from ancient wood.

    The structures will be eventually housed at the permanent SUTD campus in Changi. The first phase of the Changi campus will be ready by 2015.

  9. #6962
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore hit-and-run case: Ionescu found guilty, given 3 years' jail

    Published on Mar 27, 2013
    7:40 PM




    Former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu was sentenced on Wednesday to 3 years' jail with immediate effect after being found guilty of culpable homicide. --FILE PHOTO: AFP



    BUCHAREST - Former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu was sentenced on Wednesday to 3 years' jail with immediate effect after being found guilty of culpable homicide.

    The decision is not definitive, and he may yet appeal, according to a report on a Romanian TV channel.

    The former charge d'affaires of Romania in Singapore was charged with culpable homicide and with deserting the site of an accident in which one person lost his life and two were left injured.

    Ionescu was arraigned before the Court on July 1, 2010, by the State Prosecutor, who formally charged him with culpable homicide, grevious bodily harm with intent, deserting the place of an accident and providing false evidence to the police.

  10. #6963
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Singapore hit-and-run: Ex-diplomat Ionescu to appeal sentence, says lawyer

    Published on Mar 27, 2013
    7:54 PM




    Former Romanian Embassy charge d'affaires in Singapore, Silviu Ionescu, leaves Bucharest's courthouse after a new hearing in his trial on Dec 14, 2011. A Bucharest court sentenced a former him to three years in prison on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, for a 2009 deadly hit-and-run accident in Singapore. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP



    BUCHAREST (AFP) - A Bucharest court sentenced a former Romanian diplomat to three years in prison on Wednesday for a 2009 deadly hit-and-run accident in Singapore.

    Silviu Ionescu, who was Romania's charge d'affaires in Singapore, was found guilty of hitting three pedestrians in December 2009 while driving a car belonging to the Romanian mission. One of the pedestrians, a 30-year-old Malaysian, died.


    His lawyer told AFP he will appeal.

    “The court condemns Ionescu Silviu for manslaughter... inflicting injuries and fleeing from the location where the crash took place,” the judgement said.

  11. #6964
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Second collection of Lee Kuan Yew’s speeches launched



    Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat (right) with a copy of the publication during the launch yesterday. Photo: Don Wong



    By Kelly Ng



    7 hours 32 min ago

    SINGAPORE — A collection of former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s speeches, interviews and dialogues from 1990 to 2011 was launched yesterday, the second in a two-part series of Mr Lee’s published speeches.

    The Papers of Lee Kuan Yew: Speeches, Interviews and Dialogues (1990-2011) covers Mr Lee’s views on a wide range of topics, including racial harmony, anti-terrorism and international relations over a recent period of Singapore’s development.

    Speaking at the launch, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said the publication is a “useful and engaging resource” for understanding the rationale behind some local policies.

    “It will, among other things, provide insights into the background to policies that have been implemented through the years and will also open a door to some intimate thoughts of Mr Lee,” said Mr Heng. “Figures like Mr Lee come (along), but rarely in history. It was Singapore’s good fortune that we had, at our founding, a remarkable team led by exceptional men of values.”

    The collection, consisting of 10 volumes, was compiled by the National Archives of Singapore and published by Cengage Learning. The first collection — also in 10 volumes — was released in September 2011 and spanned four decades from 1950 to 1990.

    Cengage Learning said Mr Lee’s highly-respected stature across the world makes the collection an important reference for international scholars. The first set had been acquired by libraries in the United States, Japan, China and countries in the Association of South-east Asian Nations.

    A total of 500 case-bound editions can be purchased at US$3,000 (S$3,730) each and 100 leather-bound editions are going for US$3,800 each.

    Each of the National Library Board (NLB) libraries will have one copy available for loan. An electronic format can also be accessed via the NLB eResources website from June.

  12. #6965
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Timeline of the Ionescu case

    7 hours 47 min ago


    Dec 15, 2009: Two hit-and-run accidents involving vehicle belonging to the Romanian Embassy resulted in the death of Mr Tong Kok Wai (on Dec 25), and injured two others.

    Dec 17: Ionescu leaves Singapore; MFA later explained that he could not be prevented from leaving because he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

    Jan 3, 2010: Ionescu recalled from his post by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    March 2010: Coroner’s Inquiry in Singapore releases findings that Ionescu was responsible for causing the accidents.

    April 2010: Singapore issues warrant of arrest. Ionescu files application to Bucharest Court of Appeal to cancel the warrant, which was dismissed. Singapore’s MFA appoints Ambassador in Brussels Anil Kumar Nayar as Special Envoy to Romania.

    May 7 2010: Ionescu detained for questioning in Romania.

    May 15 2010: Mr Bong Hwee Haw, one of the three victims, was awarded damages amounting to S$360,000 against Ionescu by the High Court. Insurer NTUC Income was named co-defendant.

    July 2010: Romanian Public Ministry announces formal indictment against Ionescu, after a joint working technical group visited Singapore and met with the AGC and Traffic Police. First hearing on July 27.

    Nov 25, 2010: Ionescu appeals against detention and was released and placed under judicial supervision.

    January 2011 to March 2013:

    — Hearings for the trial
    — Witnesses in Singapore testify at sixth hearing in May 2011 via video-link
    — Testimonies for additional witnesses in Singapore in May 2012 via video-link
    — Closing arguments on March 13, 2013

  13. #6966
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    This could be Singapore's first World Heritage Site


    Published on Apr 01, 2013
    6:00 AM





    Singapore says the 154-year-old Botanic Gardens is “living testament to the foresight of the early pioneering spirit” of the country. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE



    By Tan Dawn Wei Assistant News Editor


    Singapore is making a pitch for its first Unesco World Heritage Site - the 154-year-old Botanic Gardens.

    It has sent its initial application for the coveted status to the global body, formally known as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

    The historic gardens was founded at its present site in 1859 by an agri-horticultural society. Its director, Dr Nigel Taylor, said an application to Unesco was made last December.

    But more work needs to be done before the gardens can be considered for official listing as a World Heritage Site.

  14. #6967
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default The design of Tampines Town Hub, Singapore's first integrated lifestyle town hub, has

    31 Mar 2013 8:43 PM


    SINGAPORE: The design of Tampines Town Hub, Singapore's first integrated lifestyle town hub, has been completed.

    Education Minister and Advisor to Tampines Grassroots Organisations, Heng Swee Keat, said its construction will start in two months.

    Mr Heng gave this update at a community roadshow at Tampines on Sunday.

    More than 15,000 residents of Tampines had a hand in the design of this first-of-its-kind hub.

    They were consulted over a span of 18 months through face-to-face interviews, phone surveys, focus group discussions.

    He said many of the residents' ideas were incorporated into the design of the Hub.

    Residents can look forward to several facilities and services including a performing arts centre, clinics, a library and food and beverage outlets.

    Mr Heng said: "Many of them said we don't want another commercial development and therefore we have significantly cut down on the retail space for instance. They wanted a space for which the entire family can come together, three generations, four generations so the hub has been designed with those facilities in mind."

    - CNA/fa



    Artist impression of Tampines Town Hub (Image: People's Association)
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  15. #6968
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default $1.1 billion bus improvement plan about a quarter way in

    Published on Apr 01, 2013
    10:40 AM




    SBS Transit buses at the Toa Payoh bus interchange. A total of 143 new buses have been put on the road since the Government's $1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) kicked off last September. --ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    By Christopher Tan


    A total of 143 new buses have been put on the road since the Government's $1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) kicked off last September.

    In giving the update on Monday, the Land Transport Authority said 93 bus services have been improved as a result, and that commuters in many parts of Singapore should experience better service. Of the 93 improved routes, 41 were made between January and March. These were improved routes are found in areas such as Bukit Merah, Novena, Telok Blangah, Toa Payoh and Woodlands.

    The number is about a quarter of the 550 additional buses promised under the BSEP.

    The programme is to be funded by tax revenue, and the cost includes operating expenses for 10 years, including driver salaries.


    Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew has said the Government spending money to improve bus travel as it currently seen by many as being less speedy and predictable than rail.

  16. #6969
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New self-collection passport machines available at ICA

    Published on Apr 01, 2013
    12:08 PM





    DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean trying his thumbprint at the icollect machine at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's workplan seminar. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN



    By Jalelah Abu Baker


    Singaporeans will be able to collect their passports from an automated machine with the launch of iCollect on Monday morning. The machines are a world first for secured document issuance.

    They will first have to make an appointment online, and will be able to collect it under three minutes, after verifying their identity. There will be two kiosks available at the Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) building in Lavender. The machines were launched in conjuction with the Authority's 10th anniversary.

    The service was officially launched by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean during ICA's workplan seminar. In his speech, DPM Teo, who is also the Home Affairs Minister, noted that with the opening of Changi Airport's T4, the Rapid Transit System between Johor Bahru and Singapore, and the high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore there would be more people travelling in and out.

    "ICA must continue to deploy innovative solutions, develop the potential of its officers, and work closely with the community in order to handle the increasing workload, rising public expectations and more complex security landscape," he said.

  17. #6970
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    Default Singapore to help Myanmar set up vocational training institute

    By May Wong
    POSTED: 01 Apr 2013 11:27 PM
    13 hours ago


    NAYPYIDAW, MYANMAR: Singapore will help Myanmar set up a vocational training institute in Yangon.

    This is part of Singapore's efforts to support Myanmar in its economic development.
    President Tony Tan Keng Yam announced this on Monday.

    Dr Tan, who is in Myanmar for a 5-day state visit, said a skilled workforce in Myanmar will serve as a growth engine for the country.

    The new vocational training institute will help educate and equip the workforce in Myanmar with skills such as hospitality, engineering and facility management.

    Also on Monday, Dr Tan met President Thein Sein for about an hour at a closed-door session. The two last met when President Thein Sein visited Singapore in January last year.

    Dr Tan also met opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson for the National League for Democracy.

    Earlier Myanmar held a ceremonial welcome for Dr Tan at the presidential palace.
    Dr Tan and his delegation will head to Mandalay and Yangon next.


    - CNA/ir



    Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (R) shakes hands with Myanmar President Thein Sein on his arrival in the capital, Naypyidaw on April 1, 2013. (AFP)
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    Last edited by Loh; 04-01-2013 at 09:10 PM.

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