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  1. #7022
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    Default BMW, NTU start up future mobility lab in Singapore

    Published on Apr 23, 2013
    1:46 PM




    Picture taken on March 23, 2012 shows an employee fixing the logo of German BMW carmaker on a car at the end of the assembly line at the plant in Dingolfing, southern Germany. BMW Group and Nanyang Technological University have launched a joint research programme on future mobility - the first of its kind in the region and one of eight the German car-maker has worldwide. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP



    By Christopher Tan

    BMW Group and Nanyang Technological University have launched a joint research programme on future mobility - the first of its kind in the region and one of eight the German car-maker has worldwide.

    The $5.5 million Future Mobility Research Lab
    is co-funded by the two parties, and will focus on three areas over the next five years.

    The three areas are: next generation of batteries for electric vehicles and other applications; mobility research, which studies the commuting patterns of people in a mega-city; and human-machine interface, which works on systems that can detect as well as predict driver behaviour.

    The lab will start with about a dozen people, including six PhD students. Both sides expect to have deliverables within four years.

  2. #7023
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    Default Singapore's largest tulip display at Gardens by the Bay

    Published on Apr 23, 2013
    6:22 PM
    89





    More than 100 volunteers, including about 50 students from Temasek JC help to plant 20,000 tulips at the Flower Dome in Gardens by the Bay to create the largest tulip display in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG













    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...ULIP12304e.jpg
    Students from Temasek Junior College planting hyacinths (Blue Pearl) as part of the tulip display at the Flower Dome in Gardens by the Bay. -- MY PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN


    By Sue-Ann Tan

    More than 100 volunteers including students and staff from Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) spent Tuesday afternoon planting tulips in Gardens by the Bay.

    From April 29 to May 20, the Flower Dome will be showcasing "Tulipmania", where 20,000 tulip bulbs in a myriad of colours will be on display. These bulbs have been flown in from the Netherlands.

    Other activities that will be held in conjunction with the tulip event include cultural activities such as Dutch cheese-tasting and music. Gardens by the Bay changes it displays monthly.

    Said Dr Kiat W. Tan, chief executive officer of Gardens by the Bay, Dr Kiat W. Tan: "Tulipmania takes visitors on a botanical journey into the world of tulips, right here in the tropics."

  3. #7024
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default PUB wins global award for ABC Waters Programme

    Channel NewsAsia

    By Alvina Soh
    POSTED: 23 Apr 2013 8:39 PM



    The ABC Waters Programme earned the title of the Utility Performance Initiative of the Year at the Global Water Summit in Seville, Spain.



    SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB has won an award for its Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme at the Global Water Awards 2013.

    The ABC Waters Programme earned the title of the Utility Performance Initiative of the Year at the Global Water Summit in Seville, Spain.

    The award recognises PUB's efforts at improving the long-term performance of water services to the public.

    The ABC Waters Programme aims to transform Singapore's utilitarian drains, canals and reservoirs into beautiful streams, rivers and lakes.


    - CNA/ck


    PUB wins global award for beautifying water spaces

    The Straits Times

    Published on Apr 23, 2013
    2:49 PM



    By Kash Cheong


    The Public Utilities Board (PUB) was conferred the Utility Performance Initiative of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2013 for its long-term initiative to transform mundane water pathways into beautiful spaces. Global Water Awards 2013 was presented at the Global Water Summit, a major industry conference held in Spain.

    PUB won the award for its Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme which aims to transform Singapore's utilitarian drains, canals and reservoirs into streams, rivers and lakes that are well-integrated into recreational spaces.
    The aim is for the community to enjoy these spaces and better appreciate this resource.

    "Water sustainability cannot be achieved by increasing water supply alone - it is just as important that the community see themselves as joint stewards of water. This is especially so given that two thirds of Singapore is a water catchment and most people live, work and play near water catchments," said chief executive of PUB, Mr Chew Men Leong in a statement on Tuesday.

    More than 100 potential sites have been identified for ABC Waters Implementation by 2030, with 27 projects implemented so far. Twenty new projects will start in the next five years.





    Chew Men Leong, chief executive of PUB receiving the Global Water Award for Utility Performance Initiative of the Year from guest speaker Vicente Fox, President of Mexico (2000-2006) and former President of Coca-Cola Latin America. (Photo: PUB)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Loh; 04-23-2013 at 09:49 PM.

  4. #7025
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    Default Pay $50k to holiday in Singapore? STB targets big spenders

    Big spenders from Russia, the UAE among tourism board's target groups



    Published on Apr 25, 2013
    7:29 AM




    Visitors relaxing in the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands. The Singapore Tourism Board has come up with a 22-page action plan to attract tourists from new, growing and traditional markets. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG



    By Jessica Lim, Consumer Correspondent

    Transfer by private jet, suite bookings at a five-star hotel, reservations at celebrity chef restaurants and a chauffeur at their beck and call.

    This is the kind of itinerary - costing up to $50,000 per person for a five-day trip - that inbound travel agency Hong Thai woos its well-heeled customers with.

    Such niche offerings have proved a hit with tourists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Russia - two countries singled out for targeting in a new discussion paper from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

    Hong Thai's director, Mr Alex Chan, 55, started offering such packages in 2011 and saw the number of tourists from these places increase by 10 per cent in just a year.


    Background story

    TAKE 'LASER BEAM' APPROACH

    Don't offer the broad-stroke standard products. Ask, what do your people want? I will package it for you, I will customise it for you.

    - Ngee Ann Polytechnic senior lecturer in tourism Michael Chiam, on what travel agencies should do

    TARGET MARKETS: BY THE NUMBERS

    Japan
    554,000 Japanese tourists visited Singapore from January to September last year and spent $0.7 billion. This is up 17 per cent and 20 per cent respectively from 2011.

    Vietnam
    The country accounted for 2.7 per cent (287,000) of the estimated 10.7 million visitors to Singapore from January to September last year.
    This is up 11 per cent in the same period in 2011. They also spent 4 per cent more.

    The United Arab Emirates
    The largely untapped Gulf market accounted for only 62,736 visitors in the whole of 2011. This made up only 0.5 per cent for total tourist arrivals that year.

    Russia
    Singapore received 59,378 visitors from Russia in 2011. This made up only 0.5 per cent for total tourist arrivals that year

  5. #7026
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default WWF gets Singapore students on board Eco-Schools programme

    Published on Apr 24, 2013
    8:06 PM





    The World Wide Fund for Nature launches its International Environmental Certification programme for Singapore Schools, Eco-Schools, following the completion of the Little Green Dot research programme. Launch of the Eco-Schools programme by (centre) Elaine Tan (CEO, WWF-Singapore), (centre left) Matthew Teng (director, The Silent Foundation), (centre right) Marcus Tay (Sustainability Manager, Singapore, IKEA Tampines), with representatives from schools participating in the programme's pilot phase. From left: Mrs Tan Wei Sien (Nan Hua High School) and Mrs Annie Lim (Commonwealth Sec School). From right: Nur Amirah Auni (Shuqun Pri School), Madam Siti Nursyakila Masli (Anchor Green Pri School), Mr Su Xiang Qin (Yuhua Sec School). -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG


    By David Ee

    The World Wide Fund for Nature, or WWF for short, has welcomed Singapore schools into its global Eco-Schools programme.

    The programme puts students at the heart of environmental education in schools. It gives them a central role in championing the environmental issues which concern them and their communities.

    For example, students take on key roles on their own school eco-committee and are heavily involved in decision-making.

    Participating schools will be expected to review their environmental performance, develop plans and monitor how they progress. In this way, they can integrate green learning into their own curriculum.

  6. #7027
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Changi Airport awards T4 design tender to SAA Architects consortium

    Published on Apr 24, 2013
    12:59 PM




    Travellers arrive at the Singapore Changi International airport on April 11, 2013. The task of designing the future Terminal 4 at Changi Airport has been given to a consortium led by Singapore's SAA Architects. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP


    By Karamjit Kaur

    The task of designing the future Terminal 4 at Changi Airport has been given to a consortium led by Singapore's SAA Architects.

    The firm has done work locally and overseas on different projects including the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. Its partners in the T4 project include global firm Benoy, The Straits Times understands. Benoy was involved in the designing of ION Orchard and Plaza Singapura.

    It took about a year for Changi Airport Group to assess the five proposals it received, sources said. Actual plans and designs will be unveiled later.

    T4 with a handling capacity of 16 million passengers a year will be built where the Budget Terminal was located. It will open by 2017 to cater to growing traffic at Changi Airport. Changi Airport Group is expected to issue a release Wednesday evening.

  7. #7028
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Cenotaph at Esplanade Park vandalised again



    A worker cleaning the Cenotaph after the reported vandalism. Photo: Amanda Lee


    TODAY

    ByAmanda Lee

    4 hours 11 min ago

    SINGAPORE — The authorities are investigating a case of vandalism at the Cenotaph at Esplanade Park along Connaught Drive that was discovered yesterday — the second incident in four months, which was also more extensive than the first.

    In December last year, the back of the war memorial was vandalised, but the National Heritage Board (NHB) did not make a police report as it was “not of such a large extent and (NHB) quickly cleaned it up”. Yesterday’s vandalism, however, was “really extensive”, the board said.

    The Cenotaph, one of Singapore’s 64 national monuments
    , had been spray-painted with the word “democracy” in red, and the dates 1914 to 1918 had also been crossed out. At around noon yesterday, two cleaners were seen scrubbing the graffiti off, leaving faint red stains across the monument.

    The Cenotaph honours those who died in World Wars I and II.

    “Spraying and defacing a war memorial is a disrespectful and despicable act,” said Commander of Central Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Daniel Tan. “The police will spare no resources to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

    The NHB said the Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB) received a call at 9am yesterday about the vandalism, and an officer was despatched to check. The National Parks Board (NParks) was then notified and activated to conduct a clean-up. Work is expected to be completed in the next two days, the NHB said.

    Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said on his Facebook page yesterday: “This is a disrespectful and deplorable act...We hope the perpetrator(s) will be found and firmly dealt with soon.”

  8. #7029
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SAF armour units to double training time in Germany



    Dr Ng Eng Hen (second from right) being briefed on the conduct of the bilateral live-firing exercise. Photo: MINDEF

    TODAY
    4 hours 21 min ago

    SINGAPORE — The Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) armour units will double their training time in Germany as they can now train in the country twice a year, under an agreement signed between the two countries.

    In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Defence said training opportunities in Germany have helped build up the professionalism and capabilities of SAF’s armour units.

    On Tuesday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen visited SAF troops participating in Exercise Panzer Strike at Germany’s NATO-Bergen Training Area, where he witnessed a successful bilateral live-firing involving the 2nd Company of the 48th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment and their German counterparts from the Bundeswehr’s 33rd Panzer Battalion.

    Speaking to the SAF servicemen involved in the exercise, Dr Ng stressed the importance of overseas training, in providing realistic and challenging training opportunities for the SAF to hone its operational readiness. He also extended his appreciation to the servicemen for their professionalism and dedication.

    Exercise Panzer Strike involved more than 1,300 armour personnel, 14 Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks and 11 Bionix I Infantry Fighting Vehicles from the SAF.

    Last edited by Loh; 04-24-2013 at 09:57 PM.

  9. #7030
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Satay by the Bay brings back fond memories of old Satay Club

    Published on Apr 26, 2013
    7:28 AM



    Less than four months after its quiet opening, the open-air Satay by the Bay is catching on among locals. While it may be quiet on weekdays, the 1,000-seat eatery is reportedly packed on weekends. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...D_3630015e.jpg
    Diners at Satay by the Bay get to enjoy the breath-taking skyline as well as a slice of history as the place tries to recreate the atmosphere of the old Satay Club near the Padang, which was demolished in 1995. Eight outdoor pushcarts sell satay, and low wooden tables and stools are provided for diners. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...5_3630021e.jpg
    Mr Abdul Karim, 52, who works at Sri Geylang Sate, with a plate of satay for customers. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...L_3630061e.jpg
    It is not just memories of the old Satay Club that the place is trying to revive. Another stall, Bayfront Steamboat Buffet, hopes to make it a double dose of nostalgia by bringing back the barbecue steamboats (above) of Marina South. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG



    By Melissa Lin

    Modernity, in the shape of the Marina Bay Financial Centre and iconic Marina Bay Sands, provides the waterfront backdrop for the open-air foodcourt in the Gardens by the Bay. But patrons also get to enjoy a slice of history.

    The rustic Satay by the Bay, as the foodcourt is named, is noticeably less glitzy than its surroundings, with its bare floor and plants dangling from the roof.

    But Satay by the Bay is an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of the old Satay Club near the Padang, which was demolished for new developments in 1995.

    A 10-minute walk from the two domed conservatories in the Gardens by the Bay, patrons can find eight outdoor pushcarts selling sticks of satay, with low wooden tables and stools for diners.

  10. #7031
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Section of Chinatown Food Street to close for renovations on May 1

    Published on Apr 25, 2013
    3:03 PM




    An artist’s impression of the new Chinatown Food Street after its revamp, which will be completed at the end of 2013. A section of the Chinatown Food Street will be closed for renovations on May 1 and reopen at the end of the year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a statement on Thursday. -- FILE PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD



    By Melissa Lin


    A section of the Chinatown Food Street will be closed for renovations on May 1 and reopen at the end of the year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a statement on Thursday. Shophouse units nine to 29 and 37 to 41 will be affected while the other units will operate as usual. Smith Street will continue to be open to traffic until further notice.

    After the $4 million revamp, the stretch will be fully pedestrianised. Stalls will be expected to open from lunch, as opposed to the current late afternoon. It will seat 600 people with 400 seats under shelter and another 200 in an open-air seating area. The street can seat 400 patrons now.

    The first-ever improvements to the 100m stretch on Smith Street, which was launched in November 2001, will be done by the Select Group.

    "The revitalisation of CFS is part of STB and Chinatown Business Association's efforts to ensure that the precinct remains attractive and relevant in today's context," STB said in the statement.

  11. #7032
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    Default ITE opens new in-house training academy for more than 2,600 staff

    Published on Apr 26, 2013
    12:29 PM


    The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) launched the ITE Academy, a new in-house centre to train more than 2,600 staff across the three colleges. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


    By Amelia Teng

    The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) launched the ITE Academy, a new in-house centre to train more than 2,600 staff across the three colleges.

    Housed at the ITE headquarters and College Central at Ang Mo Kio, the centre, with a capacity of 340 people, has 10 training rooms, two computer labs and a Harvard-style lecture room, among other facilities.

    The Academy aims to strengthen the institution's expertise in vocational and technical education, and enhance staff training in four areas - in leadership, pedagogy, professional and executive development and organisational sharing.


    The centre which is already in use since January, is expected to draw 2,688 staff this year.

  12. #7033
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Ngee Ann Polytechnic celebrates its 50th anniversary

    Published on Apr 25, 2013
    7:03 PM




    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat delivers a speech at the launch of Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s 50th Anniversary celebrations on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Ngee Ann Polytechnic on Thursday kicked off its 10-day celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary as an institution. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG





    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st...04%282%29e.jpg
    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat (centre) at the launch of Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s 50th Anniversary celebrations on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Ngee Ann Polytechnic on Thursday kicked off its 10-day celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary as an institution. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG




    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat (centre left) at the launch of Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s 50th Anniversary celebrations on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Ngee Ann Polytechnic on Thursday kicked off its 10-day celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary as an institution. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG


    By Amelia Teng


    Ngee Ann Polytechnic on Thursday kicked off its 10-day celebrations to commemorate its 50th anniversary as an institution.

    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honour, unearthed a time capsule that was planted in the school grounds 25 years ago by the late Dr Tay Eng Soon, who was then Senior Minister of State for Education.

    Mr Heng sealed a new time capsule containing 50 items, including a book that commemorates the polytechnic's journey that was also launched at the event. He also opened an exhibition that traces the school's history from its beginnings in 1963.

    As part of the celebrations, the school has organised a slew of activities from now until May 4, including a two-night charity concert, a performance at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and an anniversary dinner.

  13. #7034
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    Default Enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package leave schemes kick in on May 1

    Published on Apr 29, 2013
    11:57 AM




    New born babies in a nursery at the Thomson Medical Centre. Initiatives under the Government's enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package will take effect from Wednesday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: SAMUEL HE


    By Lim Yi Han

    Initiatives under the Government's enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package will take effect from Wednesday.

    Working fathers will be entitled to one week of paternity leave, and can also share one week of the working mother's maternity leave entitlement.

    From May 1, both married and unmarried parents receive six days of paid childcare leave a year for children aged seven and younger, and two days for those between seven and 12 years of age. Parents will also receive six days of unpaid infant-care leave a year if they have a child below the age of two.

    Employers and self-employed parents can submit their claims for reimbursement for the leave schemes from May 1. More information is available at www.profamilyleave.gov.sg.

  14. #7035
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default More offer helping hand to foreign spouses



    Transnational couples can now sign up for secular marriage preparation programmes conducted by 24 voluntary welfare groups that are supported by the MSF. TODAY FILE PHOTO


    Resources include marriage preparation, but many transnational couples don’t want to be singled out


    TODAY

    ByNeo Chai Chin


    9 hours 47 min ago

    SINGAPORE — They may face difficulties securing long-term visit passes, permanent residence or Singapore citizenship, but the tribulations of foreign spouses go beyond immigration issues.

    Some only speak their native language, while others have ventured into marriage ill-prepared. They end up socially isolated, hardly venturing out of their homes — either from lack of confidence or to abide by their husbands’ wishes — and their children may even look down on them.

    Recognising the needs of this group, some voluntary welfare and non-government organisations are developing resources for foreign spouses here. The Government, too, has formed an inter-agency special interest group to look into integration challenges of foreign spouses, TODAY reported last week.

    The Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI) began English and Mandarin classes for foreign spouses in 2008 and piloted a marriage enrichment programme for four Vietnamese-Singaporean couples last September and October. Facilitated by a Vietnamese interpreter, the course equipped couples with skills for open communication and to cope with cultural differences and other issues.

    ACMI plans to hold another marriage enrichment course for either Singaporean-Vietnamese or Singaporean-Thai couples in July, incorporating more hands-on activities like getting couples to take train rides together or tasking the wife to purchase a specific item from, say, Marks & Spencer.

    Such programmes are part of ACMI’s efforts to tackle transnational marriage issues before conflict occurs, said its Executive Director, Mr Jeremy Khoo. “Once the marriage breaks down, issues are magnified.”

    He hopes Family Service Centres (FSCs) — given their accessible heartland locations — will offer language courses for these spouses, as “language is most basic” in helping one integrate. It has shared its language syllabus with one FSC and is open to sharing it with more groups.

    Meanwhile, Fei Yue, with three FSCs in Yew Tee, Bukit Batok and Choa Chu Kang, will organise a pilot support group in June for 15 Mandarin-speaking foreign wives and their families, said Mrs Elyse Wong, senior social worker and manager at Fei Yue FSC (Yew Tee).

    The families belong to the Home Ownership Plus Education (HOPE) scheme conducted by Fei Yue’s FSCs. Fei Yue has over 800 families under the HOPE scheme. Mandarin-speaking wives — from China, Thailand and Indonesia — make up the biggest group among foreign spouses, numbering over 40, said Mrs Wong.

    While some foreign wives are doing “very well”, others face issues like isolation, barriers to joining the workforce, and relationship problems with their families, said Mrs Wong.

    Its social workers discovered some children who felt embarrassed by their mothers — they did not want their mothers to attend Meet-the-Parent sessions in school, insisting that only their fathers attend, for instance.

    “Society has formed a negative view of foreign brides and the children pick up on the negative connotations,” said Mrs Wong.

    Fei Yue’s support group
    will be organised over a weekend. Counsellors will address the self-confidence and self-care of the mothers, as well as their marital relationship. A children’s session will be held concurrently. The next day, the families will embark on an outing. Its staff will then follow-up twice with the mothers, and Fei Yue will provide a venue should the women wish to continue meeting up, said Mrs Wong.

    The number of foreign spouses has increased with the rise of transnational marriages. There were about 9,000 marriages involving a citizen and a foreigner last year and they made up four in 10 marriages involving at least one citizen in 2011. That year, the Government piloted a transnational marriage preparation course but take-up was “low”, a Ministry of Social and Family Development spokesperson said without providing numbers.

    Transnational couples may now sign up for any secular marriage preparation programme conducted by 24 voluntary welfare groups that are supported by the MSF. They are eligible for a S$70 rebate as long as one party is a citizen or permanent resident. Last year, 57 transnational couples attended MSF-supported marriage preparation programmes, the spokesperson said.

    The MSF spokesperson added that from feedback, many transnational couples did not want to be singled out, and this is something organisations like Focus on the Family (FOTF) are mindful of.

    FOTF launched a new coaching programme called Marriage Builders this year to couples wanting more personalised attention to unique circumstances such as age gap or intercultural issues. Counselling manager Tan Soh Hiang said the organisation is not looking at a “full-fledged programme” for transnational couples. “We may not want to single them out because the foundation for a good marriage is the same (for all couples),” she said.

    Property agent Dennis Ng, who is married to Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Dieu Hien, agreed and said couples of the same nationality could also come from different backgrounds. Mr Ng, 39, and Ms Nguyen, 23, attended ACMI’s marriage enrichment course and found it useful despite having few adjustment issues in their marriage.

    “I learnt about taking care of my family and my relationship with my husband,” said Ms Nguyen in halting Mandarin. “My husband and I don’t quarrel. When I first came here I missed my family, but my husband cares for me.”

  15. #7036
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    Default AGC statement on investigations into Leslie Chew

    TODAY

    27 April

    SINGAPORE — The Attorney-General’s Chambers has issued a statement on recent interest in the investigations into Mr Leslie Chew, an online cartoonist, for possible breach of the Sedition Act. The full statement is as follows:

    The Attorney-General’s Chambers is aware of interest in the investigations into Mr Leslie Chew. Mr Leslie Chew is assisting the Police in investigations at this time, and it will not be appropriate to comment specifically on his matter.

    There have also been queries on the general principles as to when investigations would be conducted, and action taken against persons.

    Every day, there are hundreds of commentaries, if not more, on socio-political matters both in the mainstream media and online. Many of these do not contravene the law, and no legal action will be taken by the Attorney-General’s Chambers on behalf of the State, even though some may contain factual inaccuracies. Some of these statements may defame or otherwise cause damage to an individual; whether any action is to be taken is generally a matter for that individual.

    However, racial and religious harmony is vital to our society and has enabled Singaporeans to live together in peace over the years. Words or deeds touching on race or religion have the potential to create fault lines within our society. Such bonds, once frayed, let alone sundered, cannot easily be repaired and we must therefore remain vigilant against any threats to racial and religious harmony.

    Where statements are made, or actions are taken, which insult a particular religion or race, or seek to engender hatred amongst races or religious groups, or which suggest that the Government is using race or religion for its own purposes, then a response will follow. Where the statements or actions are heinous, a firm line will be taken. For example, the burning of the Koran or the Bible will not be allowed in Singapore under the cover of freedom of speech or expression
    . On the other hand where comments are made in the heat of the moment, or by relatively immature persons who did not know better, a more nuanced response may follow. Much will depend on what is uncovered by investigations.

    Similarly, the rule of law is another fundamental tenet of our society and action will be taken in respect of any statement or action that seeks to impugn or undermine the independence of the Judiciary.
    Unwarranted allegations of bias or partiality strike at the heart of the judicial process, threatening the very institution that protects the rights of all Singaporeans.

    Such unfounded statements cannot be left to stand unchallenged and unpunished.

  16. #7037
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    Default Singapore’s fifth ‘national tap’ may draw on groundwater

    TODAY

    ByEugene Neubronner



    27 April
    SINGAPORE — Looking to add a fifth “national tap” to Singapore’s existing four, national water agency PUB announced yesterday that it was looking to study the possibility of drawing on “ naturally occurring aquifers and groundwater” in the area of the Jurong Formation.

    Aquifers are underground layers of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials, such as sand, from which groundwater can be extracted.

    The PUB has called a three-year consultancy services tender to study the potential of tapping on aquifers and other underground water sources in the western and southern part of the island, which contain rock deposits called the Jurong Formation.

    The study will look at the development of groundwater flow models, field investigation programmes and validation studies.

    The tender will be awarded in July. PUB declined to review the budget for the study.

    Singapore’s current four “taps” are the local catchment areas, imported water, desalinated water and reclaimed water, known as NEWater.

    The PUB said that water demand here will nearly double by 2060 — from about 400 million gallons a day currently — of which about 70 per cent of demand will come from the non-domestic sector.

    With “competing demands for land”, the PUB said, it would be “challenging” to build new reservoirs to meet Singapore’s water needs.

    “Based on knowledge of other rock formations worldwide and from observations made during engineering work, it may be possible that the Jurong Formation could host a deep, confined aquifer which could be less prone to surface pollution or subsidence
    ,” the PUB said.

    The agency noted that advances in geophysical exploration methods over the last few decades make surveying today “more effective than in the past” and will help in the study.

    PUB Chief Technology Officer Harry Seah said “extraction of groundwater will only be carried out if the risks of groundwater extraction can be adequately managed with no impact on existing buildings and infrastructure.”

    This will be verified by the models that will be developed in the study, he added.
    Academics TODAY spoke to said such aquifers would probably be at depths of 50 to 100 metres.

    Earth Observatory of Singapore Director Kerry Sieh suggested three areas the study is likely to look at: Porosity, permeability and fracturing.

    Porosity is the amount of space for water to flow in while permeability is how easily water can flow. Fracturing is when rocks are broken up with enough spaces in between for water to accumulate.

    “The next question would then be, is there enough water to pump it out?” he said.
    Assistant Professor Chew Soon Hoe from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore pointed out the challenges the study would have to address if they do indeed strike gold.

    “How would you recharge the amount of water that goes back in?” he asked. “And how do you make the well pumping economical?”

    Dr Sieh also echoed some of these concerns. He gave the example of India’s river Ganges, which has had so much water pulled out it is “measured in dropping meters per year”. Singapore, like elsewhere, will have to ensure that such sources are tapped “sustainably”.

    The PUB has also embarked on a study to verify the feasibility of extracting groundwater from reclaimed land in Jurong Island. The project has been awarded and commenced earlier this month.

    Additionally, the PUB is finalising the appointment of an international expert panel on hydrogeology to “give guidance and direction on its underground water exploration endeavours”.

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    Default Complex building designs bag BCA design and safety awards

    Published on Apr 30, 2013
    2:14 PM



    Exterior of the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. -- FILE PHOTO: MBS MUSEUM



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../21665559e.jpg
    The covered link bridge connects UTown to Kent Ridge campus and students can walk, bike, even roller-blade and skateboard between the campuses. University of Singapore’s new University Town – the 19-ha site of the former Warren golf course – opened its doors in Aug 2011. It is one of only a few sites to win the Building and Construction Authority’s coveted Green Mark GoldPlus District award for environmental sustainability. -- ST FILE PHOTO: SAM CHIN



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../24423213e.jpg
    The Residences at W in Sentosa Cove. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../25485537e.jpg
    The Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital (MNH). -- ST FILE PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN



    http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/st.../26348979e.jpg
    A view of the new Institute of Technical Education’s (ITE) College Central campus, located at 2 Ang Mo Kio Drive. The campus walls are filled with vertical-growing plants and the ceilings are imprinted with a specially designed leaf motif. Billed as the College of Creativity and Innovation, ITE College Central will also introduce new art-based courses. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA


    By Charissa Yong

    The Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum and National University of Singapore (NUS) link bridge were two of seven projects this year which won Building and Construction Authority (BCA) awards for their complex structural design and high safety standards on Tuesday.

    First given out in 2008, the BCA Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Award recognises engineers for their outstanding structural designs and high safety standards.

    The team for the ArtScience Museum, which is shaped like a lotus flower on an outstretched palm, included engineers Brendon McNiven and Chia Wah Kam of Arup Singapore. They designed a way of balancing the non-symmetrical building while keeping it transparent.

    The NUS link bridge, which connects its Kent Ridge campus to University Town, had to span ten traffic lanes of the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Engineer Yong Fen Leong of T.Y.Lin International was recognised for coming up with its 'S' shape, which minimised the impact on the bridge's surroundings. The bridge's segments were assembled at the site during off-peak hours.

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