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Thread: Singapore Also Can
06-10-2013, 10:30 PM #7141
Better, more affordable childcare by 2014: Chan Chun Sing
By Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid
POSTED: 10 Jun 2013 6:36 PM
SINGAPORE: Better quality and more affordable childcare services could come as early as next year, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development. The new initiatives are set to be announced later in June. Plans are also underway to build a childcare centre within each cluster of new flats, where possible.
Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing revealed this in an exclusive interview with Channel NewsAsia.
There are currently about 1,000 childcare centres across Singapore, and the government has said it plans to build 200 more by 2018 -- all to give parents the peace of mind that their little ones will be well taken care of while they are off at work.
However, it is not just about having more childcare centres. Parents want them accessible as well -- near their workplaces and within walking distance from their homes.
Currently, demand for childcare places exceeds supply, especially in newer towns.
Mr Chan said: "When it comes to accessibility, it's really about having the childcare centres at the correct place and this usually means near the parents' house or near the workplace, which is why we are encouraging the workplace owners to actually start up new childcare centres.
"At the same time, we want to design the new HDB estates to have an in-built childcare centre within each of the precinct. So that has to do with accessibility because that minimises the logistics challenge and at the same time, the transport requirements for the parents."
Besides accessibility, parents also want childcare services to be of good quality, and at a cost that is affordable -- something especially important for the lower and middle-income families in Singapore -- so that their children will not miss the chance to get a head-start in life.
To address parents' concerns, the government is unveiling a slew of initiatives in the coming weeks.
To keep childcare fees low, the Anchor Operator Scheme will be extended to more operators and tender details will be released end-June. Currently there are two anchor operators -- the PCF (PAP Community Foundation) and the National Trades Union Congress' My First Skool -- which receive government grants and charge fees below the industry median.
With more anchor operators offering more childcare places at affordable fees, the increased competition is expected to help raise quality and drive down the costs.
The median monthly fee for the industry stands at S$775 for a full-day child care programme. For the anchor operators, it is S$615.
Families with a household income of S$2,500 or less can pay a monthly fee of just S$3. That is because children attending centres by the anchor operators receive government subsidies, which have been further enhanced since April 2013.
Mr Chan added: "On the supply side, we want to make sure that the cost is kept low through our direct subsidies at the back-end through the operators, while they maintain affordable fees.
"On the other hand, we give tiered subsidies to the parents -- to those who have less, we give more -- so that we all achieve the aim that if you need to send your child to a childcare centre, it should not take up more than 10 per cent of household income and that will make us comfortably within the top end of the OECD countries' averages."
On calls for the government to nationalise the sector to standardise childcare services, Mr Chan said that may not benefit young children.
He said: "If you nationalise the childcare sector, then you will lose the desired diversity that we have in the sector... I think from the research done in other countries, the younger they are, the more diverse their learning style and learning habits, so it is very difficult to have a one-size-fits-all (solution).
"But as you grow older, then it is probably easier to have a national syllabus and I think that's the approach that we have taken so far."
The tender process however, will change to improve the quality of childcare.
Currently, sites are tendered out to the highest bidder. However, the ministry will soon reveal "quality factors" which operators must meet. The factors may include affordability of fees and programmes being offered.
06-12-2013, 12:04 AM #7142
That uniquely Singaporean crab disappearing fast
Local scientists trying to save a crab that's found nowhere else in the world
Published on Jun 12, 2013
The Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis) is one of three crab species is found only in Singapore's Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Bukit Batok Nature Park. -- ST PHOTO: TAN HEOK HUI
By David Ee
MENTION crab, and Singaporeans will think of it on a plate smothered in chilli sauce.
But local scientists are now fighting to save a crab, barely larger than a 50-cent coin, found nowhere else in the world but here.
Numbers of the Singapore freshwater crab have declined drastically, they have found, though its exact population is unknown.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has listed it as critically endangered, and considers it one of the 100 most threatened species in the world. It is found only in several isolated forest streams in Bukit Timah, Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak.
06-12-2013, 12:10 AM #7143
ITE introduces new grouping of subjects; students no longer specialise early on
Published on Jun 11, 2013
Students from the Institute of Technical Education will be offered greater flexibility in terms of choosing their areas of study from next year, as related courses will be grouped into clusters. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
By Pearl Lee
Students from the Institute of Technical Education will be offered greater flexibility in terms of choosing their areas of study from next year, as related courses will be grouped into clusters.
Currently, students apply for a specific course when they enter the school, such as, hairdressing or aerospace avionics. They will then go on to complete a two-year programme under their chosen course.
Under the new system, related courses will be grouped into clusters. For example, courses such as hairdressing, beauty and wellness, and fitness and sports, will be grouped into a cluster under the Lifestyle theme. First-year students will take a range of foundation models which will prepare them for all the courses under a specific cluster of their choice. In their second year, the students will then choose to specialise in a specific course under the broad cluster.
This new framework was announced by Senior Minister of State for Education and Law, Ms Indranee Rajah, at the Institute's graduation ceremony on Tuesday afternoon. This year, some 12,447 students will graduate from ITE programmes.
06-12-2013, 10:20 PM #7144
270kg grouper caught by fishermen off Singapore's eastern-most point
Published on Jun 13, 2013
It took a forklift and seven men to lift this 2m-long Queensland grouper, which was caught near Pedra Branca. Seafood restaurant owner Johnny Tan forked out more than $6,000 for the fish. -- PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
A 2M-LONG Queensland grouper weighing 270kg has been caught by fishermen off Singapore's eastern-most point.
It took a forklift and seven men to lift the beast into the kitchen, and more than 10 hours of cleaning before Mr Johnny Tan, 52, owner of seafood restaurant Grouper King, could serve the giant to customers yesterday.
Mr Tan told The Straits Times that he received a call from fishermen, who caught the fish near Pedra Branca, at about 1am on Tuesday and went down to the Senoko fishing port personally to witness their catch.
He said it was the biggest grouper he had seen in his 20 years in the business, adding: "I was shocked to hear that such a big fish could be caught so close to Singapore.
06-12-2013, 10:32 PM #7145
Participants of Singapore's first NDP share memories for documentary series
Published on Jun 12, 2013
Mr Shamsudin Shadan, the then-Regimental Sergeant Major for the first National Day Parade (NDP). Participants of Singapore's first NDP in 1966 had less than 50 days to put together the event following the nation's split from Malaysia the year before. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
(From left) Retired lieutenant-colonel Sardar Ali, retired colonel Lau Kee Siong, former regimental sergeant major Shamsudin Shadan, retired colonel John Morrice and retired lieutenant-colonel Swee Boon Chai. Participants of Singapore's first National Day Parade (NDP) in 1966 had less than 50 days to put together the event following the nation's split from Malaysia the year before. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Participants of Singapore's first National Day Parade (NDP) in 1966 had less than 50 days to put together the event following the nation's split from Malaysia the year before. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
By Melody Zaccheus
Participants of Singapore's first National Day Parade (NDP) in 1966 had less than 50 days to put together the event following the nation's split from Malaysia the year before.
While it was intensive, it was also memorable and significant, said the then-Regimental Sergeant Major Mr Shamsudin Shadan who features in the third episode of the National Heritage Board's documentary series - A Nation Remembers.
"My role was to help select and train Guards of Honour for our first parade and to make sure they could execute their drills perfectly to reflect Singapore's growing military strength," said the 80-year-old.
It was especially significant because there was an air of despair and despondency among new citizens following the announcement the year before that Singapore would be separating from Malaysia, said Mr Swee Boon Chai, 67, who marched in the parade as an officer cadet. The parade, which featured a total of 23,000 participants including 36 uniformed groups, served to foster a sense of social cohesion and optimism, said Mr Swee. The episode featuring these first-hand accounts alongside archival footage of the historical event will air on NHB's YouTube channel and website in August.
06-12-2013, 10:41 PM #7146
SingPost comes out top for HR practices in international postal service awards
Published on Jun 12, 2013
Singapore Post branch at Eunos Road. Singapore Post has won the World Mail Award 2013 in the people management category, beating other postal services from around the world. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING
By Janice Heng
Singapore Post has won the World Mail Award 2013 in the people management category, beating other postal services from around the world.
The awards, which are supported by the Universal Postal Union, were presented in Madrid on June 6. This is the second time SingPost has won, its first win was in 2007.
This year, it was also shortlisted in the top three in the Customer Service category.
SingPost's staff initiatives include the $10m SingPost Inclusivity Fund, launched this February, which give bigger salary increments and training support for lower-income staff.
It also has staff engagement programmes such as fortnightly futsal sessions between operations staff and management, and town halls and breakfasts with their group chief executive officer.
06-13-2013, 12:19 AM #7147
Searching the coast for marine life
A shrimp is discovered after mud is rinsed out from a trawler haul during a dredging session out at sea.
Dr Arthur Anker from NUS surveys the approaching storm at Pulau Hantu Besar during an intertidal walk.
Dr Daisuke Uyeno from the University of the Ryukyus prepares to dive in a lagoon at St John's Island, headquarters of the expedition.
Koh Kwan Siong from National Parks instructing students the proper way to handle collected specimens that might be posionous. Photo by Don Wong.
A baby fish is coaxed out of tank after being photographed.
A volunteer participating in a morning intertidal walk at a lagoon on Pulau Hantu Besar during low lide.
Dr Shane Ahyong from the Austalian Musuem with a red algae specimen found during his intertidal walk at Pulau Hantu Besar.
Dr Arthur Anker of NUS looking out for marine life in mud sucked up with a Yabby Pump.
A ghost crab seen during a intertidal walk at Pulau Hantu Besar.
Dr Daisuke Uyeno from the University of the Ryukyus showing a specimen collected during a dive.
Tan Chia Sing of NUS who specialises in cephalopods coaxing a life octopus out from a container in the laboratory where specimens are identified and photographed.
Dr Lin Chiawei from Taiwan and Dr Jim Lowry of Australia identifying collected specimens.
A baby fish discovered during an intertidal walk.
Dr Kevin Tilbrook (front), a specialist of Bryozoans from the Museum of Tropical Queensland is delighted with a surprise find collected from under a pontoon by another scientist.
A scientist gathering samples at a lagoon as storm clouds loom over Pulau Hantu Besar.
Two volunteers wash out their booties after returning from an expedition. For three weeks, volunteers and scientists work and rest on St John's island, the expedition's headquarters.
When possible, collected specimens are photographed alive or when they are in a state of calm or sleep. Sea animals with intricate parts have to be handled with extra care to avoid discolouration and damage.
A live crustacean in a petri dish is seen magnified with the aid of a microscope.
A scientist searches for sea fauna under a pontoon. Apart from trawling the sea bed and intertidal walks, scientists also rely on scuba diving to collect specimens in hard to reach places.
Water is showered over a haul of mud recovered from a trawl net to help scientists sift through debris for any possible marine life.
A volunteer with the expedition searches for marine life on a lagoon at Pulau Hantu Besar during an intertidal walk. Volunteers are invited to help out with tasks such as photography, outdoor field sampling and collection, specimen processing as well as database support.
From the lagoons off Pulau Hantu to the gleaming laboratories on St John’s Island, TODAY photojournalist Don Wong takes a closer look behind the scenes of one of Singapore’s most comprehensive scientific undertakings.
By Don Wong
15 hours 35 min ago
SINGAPORE — From scooping for living specimens with a simple nylon net in the mudflats off Singapore’s coasts to peering through a high-powered microscope to determine whether a rare species is thriving in our waters once again, international and local scientists, aided by enthusiastic volunteers and students, tirelessly surveyed marine flora and fauna in the Straits of Singapore and the Southern islands over three weeks.
The expedition, which concluded last week, is part of the ongoing five-year Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey by the National Parks Board and the National University of Singapore’s Tropical Marine Science Institute, which has identified 30,000 specimens of interest since 2010.
Data on marine fauna are collected through scuba diving, coral brushing, hand-collecting during low tide, using specialised equipment such as dredges and otter trawls. The specimens collected are then sorted and examined, and some are preserved for record.
06-13-2013, 12:32 AM #7148
Changi Motorsports Hub plan scrapped, permanent track no longer being considered
The Changi Motorsports Hub site will be handed back to the Singapore Land Authority after piles driven in during the early stages of construction are removed. Photo: Wee Teck Hian
By IAN DE COTTA
8 hours 12 min ago
SINGAPORE — The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) has scrapped the Changi Motorsports Hub project, after deciding that the concessions potential investors wanted to make it commercially successful did not justify the costs and benefits of reviving the stalled racetrack project.
SSC Chief Executive Lim Teck Yin added at a press conference yesterday that a permanent racetrack will no longer be considered here, crashing hopes that a facility could spin off much more for the tourism industry and other businesses.
The major stumbling blocks in the project included requests for free land to build it, doubling the lease of the 41-ha site at Aviation Park Road to 60 years, tax concessions and that SSC fund part or the entire project.
The requests were made, even though interested parties were told of the SSC’s three key requirements to move the project forward: It must be fully funded by the private sector, be commercially viable, and that there is no special tax-exempt status for the land.
But the potential investors, who were approached during a seven-month “market sounding and request for information (RFI) exercise”, said the project will not be financially viable unless a significant combination of the key concessions were in place. The SSC received seven proposals from six consortia, including one based overseas, in the exercise.
The RFI followed the SSC terminating its contract with SG Changi in December 2010 after the Japanese-led consortium failed to meet key construction milestones.
It had won a bid to build the Changi Motorsports Hub in March 2009, with plans for a 250-room hotel, retail and a racing academy on site. The group had also lined up MotoGP, the motorcycle equivalent of Formula One, as the star draw at the venue. SG Changi paid a total of S$40 million for the land but quickly ran into financial difficulties.
The decision to axe the project permanently came after more than four months of “whole-of-government deliberations” after the RFI ended in January this year.
“After careful consideration and consultation with other government agencies, we have decided not to proceed with the tender as these significant conditions for the project to be commercially viable are things that SSC cannot accede to,” said Mr Lim.
“The majority of the feedback we receive from the industry indicates that the project is not sustainable if undertaken solely by the private sector without SSC’s involvement.
“The amount of concessions, for example, through direct equity stakes, land pricing or tax concessions is not insignificant and not surprising due to the high barriers of entry into the project.”
He added that in balancing the costs and benefits, the land take and proposed use of it do not justify an operating model that involves significant government subsidy or concession.
The SSC chief said the plot of land, next to where the bi-biennial Singapore Air Show is held, will now be handed back to the Singapore Land Authority after piles driven in the early stages of construction by the previous consortium are removed.
The cost of clearing them, which will take almost a year, and those of conducting the RFI will be billed to SG Changi, before any refunds are considered in light of terminating their contract.
A permanent track would have given Singapore an opportunity to build an eco-system of high-technology industries, which the country excels in, around it.
It was one of the objectives of building the race track and such companies here and those planning to do so, will now have to look to a similar but bigger track just across the Causeway.
The RM3.5 billion Motorsports City complex in Johor’s Iskandar economic region is being built and will be managed by billionaire Peter Lim’s Singapore-based FASTrack when ready in 2016.
Chief executive of the facility Barry Kan told TODAY it is designed to attract research and technology companies, especially those based in the Republic, to test their products there.
“Our catchment area is principally Singapore and apart from motorsports enthusiasts, it is our plan to grow high-technology companies around Motorsports City,” said the Singaporean.
As to the growing interest in racing here, SSC’s Lim said the sporting authority will now help Singapore Motor Sports Association promote it through Johor’s Motorsports City.
“SSC stands ready to work with SMSA, if need be, to liaise closely with our counterparts in Malaysia, in Johor in particular, if there is any kind of facilitation that can be afforded in the future,” he said.
06-13-2013, 12:39 AM #7149
SRT brings 3 theatre greats to S’pore
Singapore Repertory Theatre and The Esplanade present the 3 Titans Of Theatre series.
Peter Brook, Yukio Ninagawa and Simon McBurney works to be staged
34 min 16 sec ago
SINGAPORE — If next month’s The Phantom Of The Opera, Bolshoi Ballet’s Swan Lake in November, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s Taming Of The Shrew in October still aren’t enough for you, then here are three more productions to look forward to.
The Singapore Repertory Theatre, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and The Esplanade will be presenting the works of internationally acclaimed directors Peter Brook, Yukio Ninagawa and Simon McBurney under the 3 Titans Of Theatre series
McBurney’s Shun-kin will be on Aug 30 and 31. Inspired by the works of Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki, it centres on the story of a shamisen player and her servant lover. The cast includes celebrated actor Yoshi Oida (The Pillow Book) and movie actress Eri Fukatsu (Bayside Shakedown).
Ninagawa’s Musashi marks his return to Singapore after two decades, having previously staged Macbeth and Medea. The samurai comedy-drama will be staged on Nov 8 and 9 and features actors Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note) and Junpei Mizobata.
Peter Brook also returns to Singapore, wrapping up the series with the English language version of his French play The Suit on Nov 22 to 25. The play is about the brutality of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Tickets are available from June 13 onwards at Sistic.
06-13-2013, 10:44 PM #7150
Singapore now 16th on Global Peace Index, up 7 places
Republic moves up 7 places as the rest of the world grows more violent
Published on Jun 14, 2013
NUMBER OF POLICE OFFICERS: Peaceful countries need fewer police officers to maintain and enforce the rule of law, according to the Global Peace Index. -- ST FILE PHOTOS
EDUCATION: Countries with high Global Peace Index scores tend to have better education outcomes, said Institute for Economics and Peace research director Daniel Hyslop in a press release on this year's index. -- ST FILE PHOTOS
By K.c. Vijayan And Natalie Kuan
SINGAPORE moved up seven places in this year's Global Peace Index (GPI) to be the 16th most peaceful out of 162 countries.
It is one of only three Asian nations in the top 20 - the others being Japan at No. 6 and Bhutan at No. 20 - and leads the South-east Asian nations in its scores.
The annual GPI, now in its seventh year, was released on Wednesday at the United Nations by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an independent, non-profit research group dedicated to shifting the global focus to peace as a measure of well-being and progress.
The GPI is used by many international organisations, governments and non-governmental organisations such as the World Bank and the UN to inform policy.
(The GPI shows the) fundamentals of human development in Singapore are well in place: health care, education, support for families and the elderly.
- Diplomat and Singapore International Foundation governor K. Kesavapany
Top 20 most peaceful countries
3. New Zealand
14. Czech Republic
16. Australia and Singapore
(Brunei not included in index)
06-13-2013, 11:03 PM #7151
Dutch tie-up for Singapore's healthcare and med-tech sectors
Published on Jun 13, 2013
By Kash Cheong
SPRING Singapore, an agency responsible for growing local enterprises, has inked a memorandum of understanding with Dutch medical institution Maastricht University Medical Centre Holding (MUMCH).
This will create further opportunities for the development of local healthcare, life sciences and medical industries, said Deputy Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore Mr Ted Tan.
MUMCH is the holding firm for the commercialisation of activites of Maastricht University Medical Centre. It has conducted clinical trials with major pharmaceutical companies and developed 3D-printed implants for patients amongst other things.
"Singapore med-tech and life sciences can leverage on the expertise of MUMC to penetrate the European market," Mr Tan said. "They can look forward to more research and development collaborations, joint product development projects, possible joint-ventures and investment opportunities with Dutch companies."
06-13-2013, 11:07 PM #7152
Final Our Singapore Conversation public session on housing focuses on elderly
Published on Jun 13, 2013
Senior Minister of State for National Development, Tan Chuan-Jin (centre), wraps up the session at the National Library on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. More can be done to better connect and communicate with the elderly to help them monetise their flats for their retirement needs or move closer to their children, said many of the 45 participants at the last public Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) session on housing matters on Wednesday night. -- ST FILE PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
By Charissa Yong
More can be done to better connect and communicate with the elderly to help them monetise their flats for their retirement needs or move closer to their children, said many of the 45 participants at the last public Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) session on housing matters on Wednesday night.
Suggestions on how to better communicate with the elderly include setting up a centralised agency that could match elderly subletters to suitable tenants and airing television skits to explain the Housing Board's (HDB) monetisation schemes in Malay, Tamil and Chinese dialects.
Some also argued that current HDB policies could also be tweaked to get more senior citizens on board, such as extending the Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme to those who own four-room flats and bigger, or even building more dual-key units to house multiple generations under one room.
Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin wrapped up Wednesday night's session at the National Library and said that their views would be taken into consideration. He also asked participants to consider that Singaporeans all had different needs and cautioned that many of the requests put forward would have to be funded by taxpayer monies if they were to be adopted.
06-16-2013, 09:34 PM #7153
Yale-NUS College to open in August with over 150 students
Singapore’s first liberal arts college will open in August with 157 students, seven more than the originally planned intake. -- FILE PHOTO: YALE-NUS
The chance to pursue an ‘unprecedented’ education format here was what drew Ms Anthea Tjoa to Yale-NUS. Photo: Yale-NUS
First cohort picked from over 11,400 applications from more than 130 countries
5 hours 18 min ago
SINGAPORE — The Republic’s first liberal arts college, Yale-NUS College, will matriculate 157 students from 26 countries for its inaugural cohort in August this year.
These “extremely accomplished students with diverse talents and backgrounds” were picked from over 11,400 applications from more than 130 countries, Yale-NUS said in a press release yesterday. Their SAT scores at the 75th-percentile is 760 for critical reading and 780 for maths, while the median score is 1,440 on the 1,600 scale.
Although academic grades were a “primary consideration” in its selection process, Yale-NUS said “significant weight” was also given to interviews, recommendations, essays and extracurricular accomplishments.
Among the first cohort, 97, or 62 per cent, are Singaporeans, including almost 10 per cent from polytechnics. The bulk of the rest are from Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, another 63 Singaporeans have committed to start at the college over the next two years after completing their National Service.
Yale-NUS founding President Pericles Lewis said: “We are writing a new chapter in the history of liberal arts and science education for an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Our inaugural class will experience a distinctive, international education in a community of learning that provides a microcosm of our globally networked society.”
Ms Samantha Yap, who graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a Diploma in Arts Business Management and aspires to become a curator, is among the inaugural batch.
The 19-year-old chose to apply to Yale-NUS because she “felt its wide breadth of subjects and topics would satiate my appetite for knowledge”.
Another student, Mr Theodore Lai, 21, said he chose a liberal arts education because it would expose him to topics from global affairs to comparative literature, thus allowing him to “gain a much wider knowledge of the world and how it functions”.
For Ms Anthea Tjoa, who was born in Singapore, of Peranakan and Indonesian-Chinese descent, but has lived in Myanmar for the past eight years, the chance to pursue an “unprecedented” education format here was what drew her to Yale-NUS.
The college is planning to grow its class size to 250 students over the next few years.
06-16-2013, 09:45 PM #7154
Singaporean is top woman investor on Forbes list
Shanghai-based Toa Payoh girl is 36th on list of top 100 tech investors
Published on Jun 16, 2013
Ms Lee had her schooling in CHIJ St Nicholas and Hwa Chong JC. -- PHOTO: GGV CAPITAL
By Grace Chng Senior Correspondent
Singaporean venture capitalist Jenny Lee, 41, has the golden touch, and business magazine Forbes thinks so too.
On its 2013 Midas list of tech's top 100 investors, the partner in American venture capital firm GGV Capital is ranked 36th, the top woman investor globally.
(The list ranked two other women: Ms Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers at 47 and Ms Theresia Gouw of Accel Partners at 82, with her colleague, Mr Jim Breyer, topping the list.)
A Shanghai-based investor, Ms Lee has completed five major deals in the last three years. She listed four Chinese companies in her portfolio to raise US$500 million (S$626 million), three on the American stock exchange, Nasdaq, and one on the Chinese exchange, ChiNext.
06-16-2013, 10:04 PM #7155
Fastest car in Singapore Koenigsegg Agera sold for $5.3 million
Published on Jun 15, 2013
Founder of Koenigsegg Automotive Christian von Koenigsegg (left) showing the Agera S to Mr Michael Lim, chief executive of distributor Motorway Group. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
The Koenigsegg Agera S hypercar - boasting a 420kmh top speed and a $5.3 million price tag - was revealed to 200 VIPs and guests at a private launch event at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia hotel.. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
A Koenigsegg Agera S is seen at its launch in the Ritz Carton ballroom. The Koenigsegg Agera S hypercar - boasting a 420kmh top speed and a $5.3 million price tag - was revealed to 200 VIPs and guests at a private launch event at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia hotel. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOSEPH NAI
THE fastest and most expensive car in Singapore was unveiled yesterday.
The Koenigsegg Agera S hypercar - boasting a 420kmh top speed and a $5.3 million price tag - was revealed to 200 VIPs and guests at a private launch event at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia hotel.
Handcrafted in Sweden, the car, which runs on regular petrol, took around 4,000 hours to produce and and comes with a 1,040 horsepower twin turbo engine. There are only three other Agera S models in the world - one in America, and two in Hong Kong.
Its price tag here includes a $100,000 certificate of entitlement.
06-16-2013, 10:10 PM #7156
Lee Kuan Yew plants tree to mark 50 years of greening Singapore
Published on Jun 16, 2013
Former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (second right) plants a rain tree at Holland Village Park on Sunday, continuing an unbroken 50-year tradition. -- ST PHOTO: GOH CHIN LIAN
Mr Lee Kuan Yew (centre), together with Mr Chan Chun Sing (left) and Mr Poon Hong Yuen (right), the National Parks Board CEO, plants a tree at Holland Village Park to mark 50 years of greening Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
Mr Lee Kuan Yew (seated, second from left) takes a group photo after planting a tree to mark 50 years of greening Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
Mr Lee Kuan Yew (second left) takes a quick look at the exhibition at Holland Village Park after planting a tree to mark 50 years of greening Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
By Goh Chin Lian
Former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew planted a rain tree at Holland Village Park on Sunday, continuing a what has become an unbroken 50-year tradition.
On the same day in 1963, Mr Lee planted a mempat tree at Farrer Circus, then a traffic roundabout, to signify the start of an island-wide tree-planting campaign.
The National Parks Board will mark 50 years of tree-planting and greening Singapore by setting aside 1,963 trees for members of the public to plant from now until November this year.
More than $470,000 raised will go to enhancing the biodiversity and heritage value of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
06-17-2013, 02:32 AM #7157
Dick Lee joins Steinway Artist list
By Christopher Toh
2 hours 10 min ago
SINGAPORE — Singaporean performer and composer Dick Lee will join the ranks of Diana Krall, Billy Joel and Harry Connick Jr on July 8, when he will be conferred as a Steinway Artist, according to a statement issued by Steinway Gallery Singapore, on behalf of renowned piano makers, Steinway & Sons.
Lee will be the first Asian Steinway Artist in the pop/contemporary genre. The Steinway Artist programme features musicians who choose to use Steinway pianos exclusively. Steinway & Sons only appoints one upon careful examination and reviews.
Celine Goh, general manager of Steinway Gallery Singapore, said Lee was chosen for “his musical talent not only in the country but across the globe with numerous awards to his name”.
“Having him to join the ranks with other esteemed Steinway Artists is a great celebration in the local music scene,” she added.
“I have always loved playing on a Steinway piano because of the instrument’s unparalleled sound quality,” said Lee. “Being part of the Steinway family is a dream come true and I hope this will inspire future generations of Singaporeans to realise their goals in music.”
To celebrate Lee’s conferment, Steinway Gallery Singapore will donate a Steinway-designed Essex 108 upright piano to the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), a charity organisation funded by Community Chest Singapore.
“The donation of the Essex 108 is part of Steinway Gallery’s CSR program to assist AWWA particularly with regards to their children’s programmes,” said Goh. “We believe that music is a powerful tool that can enhance lives everywhere regardless of age and background.”
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