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Thread: Singapore Also Can
07-04-2013, 12:00 AM #7226
Cristiano Ronaldo makes surprise visit to Crest Secondary to aid Peter Lim Scholarshi
Published on Jul 03, 2013
Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (back row, in white) takes a group picture with students from Crest Secondary School on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Ronaldo made a surprise visit to Crest Secondary on Wednesday, showing off his skills to 200 wide-eyed kids. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
(From left) Mr Peter Lim, Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and his girlfriend Ms Irina Shayk arrive at Crest Secondary School on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Ronaldo made a surprise visit to Crest Secondary on Wednesday, showing off his skills to 200 wide-eyed kids. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
(From left) Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, his girlfriend Ms Irina Shayk and Mr Peter Lim are seen in Crest Secondary School on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Ronaldo made a surprise visit to Crest Secondary on Wednesday, showing off his skills to 200 wide-eyed kids. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during his surprise visit in Crest Secondary School on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Ronaldo made a surprise visit to Crest Secondary on Wednesday, showing off his skills to 200 wide-eyed kids. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (right) demonstrates his skills with Crest Secondary School's football captain Muhd Haziq Isnin (centre) and vice-captain Oliver Lim in Crest Secondary School on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Ronaldo made a surprise visit to Crest Secondary on Wednesday, showing off his skills to 200 wide-eyed kids. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI.
Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo demonstrates his skills in Crest Secondary School on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Ronaldo made a surprise visit to Crest Secondary on Wednesday, showing off his skills to 200 wide-eyed kids. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI.
By Sanjay Nair
Real Madrid football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo made a surprise visit to Crest Secondary on Wednesday, showing off his skills to 200 wide-eyed kids.
The Portuguese forward, 28, is in town for a brief stopover to support the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship, which supports needy young athletes.
Ronaldo had arrived from a private holiday in Bali with supermodel girlfriend Irina Shyak.
During the 30-minute session, he told youngsters how he turned into the world's most expensive footballer and even did his trademark stepovers on stage.
07-04-2013, 04:14 AM #7227
9th Singapore National Swimming Championships:
Five noteworthy storylines
Posted by: Erwin Wong
Posted date: July 01, 2013
Swimmers who have met the 2013 Southeast Asian Games qualifying marks
Event Qual Mark Name Age Time Remarks 2011 Gold 2011 Silver Men’s 50m freestyle 23.33s Darren Lim 14 22.87s 23.28s 23.32s Men’s 50m freestyle 23.33s Russell Ong 24 23.33s Season’s best 23.28s 23.32s Men’s 100m freestyle 51.36s Danny Yeo 23 50.51s Open Record 50.79s 50.98s Men’s 100m freestyle 51.36s Darren Lim 14 51.25s U17 Record 50.79s 50.98s Men’s 200m freestyle 1:52.36s Joseph Schooling 18 1:49.47s Open Record 1:51.07s 1:52.23s Men’s 200m freestyle 1:52.36s Quah Zheng Wen 16 1:50.29s U17 Record 1:51.07s 1:52.23s Men’s 100m backstroke 56.96s Quah Zheng Wen 16 56.60s Open, U17 Record 55.59s 56.52s Men’s 100m butterfly 53.18s Joseph Schooling 18 52.33s Open Record 53.07s 53.17s Men’s 200m butterfly 2:01.44s Joseph Schooling 18 1:57.79s Season’s best 1:56.67s 2:00.24s Men’s 200m IM 2:06.96s Joseph Schooling 18 2:00.77s Open Record 2:02.90s 2:04.85s Men’s 200m IM 2:06.96s Quah Zheng Wen 16 2:05.96s 2:02.90s 2:04.85s Men’s 400m IM 4:31.27s Quah Zheng Wen 16 4:24.83s Season’s best 4:24.33s 4:27.41s Men’s 400m IM 4:31.27s Pang Sheng Jun 20 4:30.29s Season’s best 4:24.33s 4:27.41s Women’s 50m freestyle 26.23s Amanda Lim 20 25.86s Season’s best 25.77s 25.89s Women’s 100m freestyle 56.73s Quah Ting Wen 20 56.14s Season’s best 56.54s 56.71s Women’s 100m freestyle 56.73s Amanda Lim 20 56.63s Season’s best 56.54s 56.71s Women’s 200m freestyle 2:03.47s Quah Ting Wen 20 2:01.13s Season’s best 2:01.49s 2:03.02s Women’s 200m freestyle 2:03.47s Lynette Lim 21 2:02.86s 2:01.49s 2:03.02s Women’s 400m freestyle 4:23.00s Lynette Lim 21 4:19.31s 4:15.84s 4:16.54s Women’s 400m freestyle 4:23.00s Rachel Tseng 15 4:22.56s Personal best 4:15.84s 4:16.54s Women’s 800m freestyle 9:02.81s Lynette Lim 21 8:53.74s Season’s best 8:50.17s 8:55.51s Women’s 100m breaststroke 1:11.69s Samantha Yeo 16 1:10.49s U17 Record 1:10.55s 1:10.57s Women’s 200m breaststroke 2:37.12s Samantha Yeo 16 2:32.34s U17 Record 2:33.67s 2:35.53s Women’s 200m breaststroke 2:37.12s Cheryl Lim 18 2:35.55s Season’s best 2:33.67s 2:35.53s Women’s 100m butterfly 1:01.97s Tao Li 23 59.07s Season’s best 58.84s 1:01.92s Women’s 100m butterfly 1:01.97s Quah Ting Wen 20 59.92s Personal best 58.84s 1:01.92s Women’s 200m butterfly 2:15.70s Quah Ting Wen 20 2:13.77s Personal best 2:14.27s 2:15.43s Women’s 200m IM 2:21.31s Samantha Yeo 16 2:19.11s Personal best 2:18.75s 2:20.11s
Swimmers who have met the 2013 FINA World Championships qualifying marks
SNSC – Singapore National Swimming Championships; SNAG – Singapore National Age Group Championships; Nat Schs – National Inter-School Championships
Event Type Qual Mark Name Age Time Meet Men’s 50m freestyle B 23.11s Darren Lim 14 22.87s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Men’s 100m freestyle B 50.64s Danny Yeo 23 50.51s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Men’s 200m freestyle B 1:52.21s Joseph Schooling 18 1:49.47s ARENA Grand Prix; May 2013 Men’s 200m freestyle B 1:52.21s Quah Zheng Wen 16 1:50.29s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Men’s 200m freestyle B 1:52.21s Danny Yeo 23 1:50.82s 44th SNAG; March 2013 Men’s 50m backstroke B 26.32s Quah Zheng Wen 16 26.15s 54th Nat Schs; April 2013 Men’s 50m breaststroke B 28.98s Lionel Khoo 18 28.90s 8th SNSC; August 2012 Men’s 50m butterfly B 24.80s Joseph Schooling 18 24.68s ARENA Grand Prix; May 2013 Men’s 100m butterfly A 52.57s Joseph Schooling 18 52.33s ARENA Grand Prix; May 2013 Men’s 200m butterfly B 2:01.13s Joseph Schooling 18 1:57.79s ARENA Grand Prix; May 2013 Men’s 200m butterfly B 2:01.13s Quah Zheng Wen 16 1:59.46s 8th SNSC; August 2012 Men’s 200m IM B 2:04.19s Joseph Schooling 18 2:00.77s ARENA Grand Prix; May 2013 Men’s 400m IM B 4:28.05s Quah Zheng Wen 16 4:24.83s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 50m freestyle B 26.29s Amanda Lim 20 25.86s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 50m freestyle B 26.29s Mylene Ong 21 26.10s 8th SNSC; August 2012 Women’s 100m freestyle B 56.78s Quah Ting Wen 20 56.14s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 100m freestyle B 56.78s Mylene Ong 21 56.33s 30th Olympics; August 2012 Women’s 100m freestyle B 56.78s Amanda Lim 20 56.63s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 200m freestyle B 2:02.90s Quah Ting Wen 20 2:01.13s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 200m freestyle B 2:02.90s Lynette Lim 21 2:01.21s ARENA Grand Prix; June 2013 Women’s 400m freestyle B 4:18.55s Lynette Lim 21 4:17.19s ARENA Grand Prix; May 2013 Women’s 50m backstroke B 29.85s Tao Li 23 29.13s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 50m backstroke B 29.85s Shana Lim 20 29.31s 8th SNSC; August 2012 Women’s 100m backstroke B 1:03.54s Tao Li 23 1:01.60s 30th Olympics; July 2012 Women’s 50m breaststroke B 33.12s Samantha Yeo 16 33.01s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 100m breaststroke B 1:11.03s Samantha Yeo 16 1:10.49s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 200m breaststroke B 2:33.06s Samantha Yeo 16 2:32.34s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 50m butterfly B 27.77s Tao Li 23 26.93s 9th Asian C’ships; November 2012 Women’s 50m butterfly B 27.77s Quah Ting Wen 20 27.54s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 50m butterfly B 27.77s Mylene Ong 21 27.71s 8th SNSC; August 2012 Women’s 100m butterfly A 58.89s Tao Li 23 58.18s 30th Olympics; July 2012 Women’s 100m butterfly B 1:00.95s Quah Ting Wen 20 59.92s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 200m butterfly B 2:13.91s Quah Ting Wen 20 2:13.77s 9th SNSC; June 2013 Women’s 200m IM B 2:19.69s Samantha Yeo 16 2:19.11s 9th SNSC; June 2013
Swimmers who have met the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships qualifying marks
Age eligibility: Boys must be born between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 1998, and girls between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 1999.
Event Qual Mark Name Age Time Men’s 50m freestyle 23.31s Darren Lim 14 22.73s Men’s 100m freestyle 51.49s Darren Lim 14 51.25s Men’s 200m freestyle 1:52.55s Quah Zheng Wen 16 1:50.29s Men’s 50m backstroke 26.83s Quah Zheng Wen 16 26.69s Men’s 100m backstroke 56.65s Quah Zheng Wen 16 56.60s Men’s 200m butterfly 2:04.36s Quah Zheng Wen 16 2:01.49s Men’s 400m IM 4:27.87s Quah Zheng Wen 16 4:24.83s Women’s 50m breaststroke 33.33s Samantha Yeo 16 33.01s Women’s 100m breaststroke 1:11.35s Samantha Yeo 16 1:10.49s Women’s 200m breaststroke 2:32.69s Samantha Yeo 16 2:32.34s
Singapore Sports School, Sunday, June 30, 2013 – The 9th Singapore National Swimming Championships came to an end yesterday, putting a close to the six-day meet which displayed the very best of local swimming.
Being a Southeast Asian (SEA) Games year, the championships served as the sole local qualifying meet for the biennial Games, breaking recent practice of having a qualifying window where swimmers could attempt to equal or better the previous Games’ bronze-medal winning time.
It was also the only meet where junior swimmers could make the cut for August’s FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai, and also the final opportunity for all swimmers to qualify for the FINA World Championships to be held at the end of this month in Barcelona.
With a looming deadline and limited places in team squads on offer, the swimmers rose to the challenge with several startling times and a plethora of records – 13 national open and age group marks – despite the unease and uncertainty of whether the meet would even take place at all, due to the hazardous air quality which plagued the country two weeks ago.
Here are five noteworthy storylines that emerged from the meet.
1. Darren Lim within touching distance of Ang Peng Siong’s 31-year-old national record
Darren twice lowered his national under-17 100m freestyle record, and with his 51.25s time in the final, he earned himself a place in his first ever SEA Games squad, behind national record holder Danny Yeo, but ahead of freestyle veterans such as Clement Lim and Russell Ong.
Two days later on June 29, as the Secondary Three student took off from his starting blocks in the 50m freestyle heats, it had already been 11,271 days since Ang Peng Siong set the national record of 22.69s at the United States Swimming Championships on August 20, 1982. Darren touched home just 0.04s slower than the oldest national swimming mark in the books.
Although Darren could not improve on it in the final, his 22.87s was still good enough for him to finish first and add another event to his SEA Games program, which looks likely to be the 50 and 100m freestyle along with the 4x100m freestyle relay.
To put into perspective how fast Darren is, he is a massive 0.74s quicker than the United States boys’ 13-14 years old record of 23.47s held by Michael Andrew, and just 0.01s off the 15-16 years old record of 22.72s set by Shayne Fleming.
Darren would have been ranked ninth fastest in a field of Olympic champions at the US National Championships that have just ended, and would have taken silver at last November’s Asian Swimming Championships. It would also have been good enough to win this event at every SEA Games save for 2009, when non-textile suits were not yet outlawed.
Before Darren gets a shot at the SEA Games gold in Myanmar, he will have ample opportunities to lower his time, and the national record, at the World Championships (July 28–August 4), the Asian Youth Games (Aug 16–24) and the World Junior Championships (Aug 26–31).
2. Quah Ting Wen’s return to the national fold
Ting Wen made her SEA Games debut way back in 2005 as a 13-year-old, and then had a heady year in 2009 when she won five gold medals at the SEA Games to add to her four at the Asian Youth Games. There were countless national open and age group records in between, as well as an appearance at the 2008 Olympic Games. However she failed to qualify for both the 2011 SEA Games as well as the London Olympics the following year.
Ting Wen recovered from a broken arm sustained in November 2011, and finished seventh in the women’s 100 yard butterfly final at the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Swimming championships in March. She swam encouraging times at the Santa Clara Grand Prix in May, and really hit form at the Nationals here.
She qualified for the Myanmar SEA Games in the 100 and 200m freestyle and won the two events with her fastest times since 2009 and 2010 respectively. Ting Wen also took over two seconds off her seven-year-old 200m butterfly personal best to win the final in 2 minutes 13.77 seconds, beating national record holder Tao Li in the process. This made Ting Wen the second fastest ever local swimmer in this event, and also qualified her for the Games.
Ting Wen’s fourth individual SEA Games event will be the 100m butterfly. She is one of only two swimmers who will take part in four events. She became just the third local swimmer to go below the one-minute mark, after Tao Li and Joscelin Yeo, when she finished second behind Tao Li in 59.92 seconds.
Ting Wen’s rise to prominence in the butterfly events also gives the medley relay team another possible permutation to work with.
3. Samantha Yeo’s emergence as a medal contender in the breaststroke
While the 16-year-old is peerless in the local scene, her startling times at these championships have put her firmly in medal contention at the SEA Games. Samantha, who owns all three national under-14 breaststroke records in the 50, 100 and 200m, finished the meet with two of the three under-17 equivalents.
She broke Joscelin Yeo’s 1995 100m breaststroke mark of 1:11.37 by slashing nearly 1.4 seconds off her pre-meet personal best, clocking a stunning 1:10.49, and putting Nicolette Teo’s national open mark of 1:10.15 under serious threat.
Samantha then proceeded to lower her 200m breaststroke PB and under-17 record of 2:34.07 by a huge 1.73-second improvement. Her new time of 2:32.34 is 0.38 seconds away from Nicolette’s national open mark.
The 100 and 200m breaststroke titles at the last SEA Games were won by Malaysia’s Siow Yi Ting in times of 1:10.55 and 2:33.67.
These timings, as well as her 2:19.11 PB in the 200m individual medley, place Samantha in a good stead to challenge for top honours in December against familiar foes in Malaysia’s Siow and Christina Loh, as well as Thailand’s Phiangkhwan Pawapotako.
4. SEA Games champions unable to defend their titles
Arren Quek, a surprise men’s 50m freestyle gold medalist at the previous Games in Palembang, will not be present on the starting blocks to defend his title. He finished third in the National Championships final behind Darren Lim (22.87s) and Russell Ong (23.33), with only a maximum of two spots on the squad per event if the qualifying time is met.
Danny Yeo suffered the same fate even though he finished second in the 200m freestyle final and met the qualifying time of 1:52.36. The Games champion clocked 1:50.85 to Quah Zheng Wen’s 1:50.29, and with overseas-based Joseph Schooling’s national record of 1:49.47 at the Charlotte Grand Prix, his nominated qualifying meet, that meant Danny could only be content with a place on the 4x200m freestyle relay squad.
Teo Zhen Ren (1500m freestyle) did not swim at this meet, while Tao Li did not meet the qualifying marks in the 100m backstroke and 200m butterfly, which had zero and one qualifier respectively.
However, according to the selection policy, all swimmers have until September 8 to submit times in events that do not have two qualifiers. The Selection Committee may also in its discretion fill any vacant slots in any event with swimmers who have already been selected.
Defending SEA Games winners Joseph (200m butterfly), Zheng Wen (400m IM), Amanda Lim (50m freestyle), Tao Li (100m butterfly) have all made the cut in their respective events.
5. Bright prospects for relay teams
Singapore took home five of the six relay golds on offer at the last Games. The odd one out was the men’s 4x100m medley relay which they were disqualified from after an erroneous changeover. With a dearth in breaststroke talent to match main medley rivals Indonesia, even the presence of the region’s top butterfly swimmer Joseph Schooling may not be sufficient to overhaul the SEA Games record holders, whose superior backstroke and breaststroke legs would probably prove to be too much for Singapore.
Other than that, the times clocked at the National Championships suggest that Team Singapore have the ability to win the remaining lot. The team began the 2011 Games with only Danny and Russell having sub-52 second times in the 100m freestyle during the year. This time, there are already five such swimmers: Danny (50.51), Darren (51.25), Joseph (51.47), Clement (51.57) and Russell (51.71). Danny, Clement (50.68) and Joseph (50.99) are the only local swimmers who have gone below 51 seconds, and Russell has the fastest relay split of all time (50.12).
The men’s 4x200m freestyle team also offer much promise. Joseph’s 1:49.47 national record, along with Zheng Wen’s under-17 mark of 1:50.29 and Danny’s 1:50.85 should ensure the trio will spearhead the task to defend the gold medal. Clement, with a 1:51 split and individual swim to his name, could also be called upon to beat back the challenge from the Malaysians, led by the probable quartet of Lim Ching Hwang, Daniel Bego, Kevin Yeap and Vernon Lee.
In the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, the first six finishers (Ting Wen, Amanda Lim, Mylene Ong, Lynette Lim, Koh Hui Yu and Tao Li) at the Nationals clocked 57.70s and faster, and therefore could prove too strong for perennial rivals Thailand. The core of this group, with the additions of Shan Teo and Marina Chan, should also be able to defend their gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
In the medley relay, Tao Li could be deployed to swim the backstroke leg if Shana Lim is unavailable for the Games. Ting Wen, with her sub-minute butterfly time at the Nationals, could then take Tao Li’s spot in the butterfly and safely leave the task of bringing the team back in the final 100m freestyle leg to one of the many talented 100m freestyle swimmers who have shone at the recent Nationals.
Last edited by Loh; 07-04-2013 at 04:23 AM.
07-04-2013, 04:48 AM #7228
MSL coaches praise LionsXII’s discipline
By Dan Guen Chin
12 hours 29 min ago
SINGAPORE — Malaysia’s top football coaches have hailed the tactical discipline showed by the LionsXII this Malaysian Super League (MSL) season, highlighting it as one of the main reasons behind their capture the league title in only their second year in the tournament.
Ac cording to Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak, Selangor’s Irfan Bakri and Malaysian national coach K Rajagopal, what stood out for them was the LionsXII players’ ability to stick strictly to coach V Sundramoorthy’s game plans.
Said Hodak, whose side won the treble last season, the MSL crown, the FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup, but can only finish fourth in the table at best if they beat the LionsXII this weekend: “Their ability to defend well and keep their shape have been their keys to success.
“They may not have a prolific striker but the moment they score a goal, they can defend their lead staunchly and that comes with discipline. Likewise, no matter which formation Sundram uses, 4-3-2-1 or 4-4-1-1, his players always have the mental strength to see it through.”
Irfan, whose side will battle Johor Darul Takzim this weekend for the right to finish second this season, lauded the LionsXII’s fighting spirit. “You can see in their players’ eyes, especially the younger ones,” he said. “They are always fighting and chasing for every ball and looking out for one another, and now their hard work has been rewarded.”
Rajagopal said Singapore’s ASEAN Football Federation success last December had a knock-on effect on the LionsXII.
“The Lions were very disciplined in the Suzuki Cup and then experienced players like Shahril Ishak, Baihakki Khaizan, Hariss Harun, Izwan Mahbud and Safuwan Baharudin brought the confidence, and more importantly, the tightness into the LionsXII,” he observed.
“Discipline in defence and midfield makes the difference between winning and losing. And the LionsXII have bags of it.”
Hodak is now hoping that none of the LionsXII strikers will develop a rich scoring form in the Malaysia Cup. “Right now, the gap between them and other top teams is narrow because they don’t have a prolific scorer,” he said.
“I dread the day when they find a lethal finisher. Many teams will suffer.”
07-04-2013, 10:43 PM #7229
Singapore to usurp Switzerland as top finance hub by 2015: Study
Published on Jul 04, 2013
People look at the skyline of the Central Business District in Singapore on April 25, 2013. Singapore will dethrone Switzerland in the next two years as the world's top centre for managing international funds, a study said on Thursday, July 4, 2013, as a global tax crackdown and tighter regulation weaken the Alpine nation's appeal to investors. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
ZURICH (REUTERS) - Singapore will dethrone Switzerland in the next two years as the world's top centre for managing international funds, a study said on Thursday, as a global tax crackdown and tighter regulation weaken the Alpine nation's appeal to investors.
Switzerland, still the world's biggest offshore financial centre with US$2 trillion (S$2.5 trillion) in assets, came ahead of rivals Singapore, London, Hong Kong and New York in the 2013 ranking, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of its Global Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey.
But respondents to the survey, which questioned 200 finance industry professionals from 51 countries, also said they expected Switzerland to lose ground, with Singapore taking the top spot in the next two years.
Switzerland's tradition of banking secrecy has helped its financial sector thrive but is under massive pressure from the United States and elsewhere, as cash-strapped governments seek to stop tax evasion and close loopholes.
07-04-2013, 10:47 PM #7230
Upcoming community club in Hougang to be hub for residents
Published on Jul 05, 2013
The planned community club, which will be completed by early 2015, will be built on this plot of land in Hougang Avenue 9. Hougang is believed to be the first neighbourhood to house town facilities and a hawker centre within a single community club. -- PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
By Feng Zengkun
Hougang residents will soon be able to watch a play, see a doctor and tuck in at a hawker centre, all within the same community club.
The one-stop facility is believed to be the first in Singapore and will be completed by early 2015, according to Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Yeo Guat Kwang, who oversees the club's location in Hougang Avenue 9.
Asked whether the project would serve as a model for future community clubs, he replied that it had not been decided. "But if we make it a success, then definitely we may see more."
The Government had said in April that the new Tampines Town Hub to be ready in 2015 will have a football field, swimming pool, library and even a performing arts centre.
07-04-2013, 10:52 PM #7231
Older MRT trains to get new motors from Japan
Published on Jul 05, 2013
An MRT train travelling along the tracks near Bishan MRT station on Oct 30, 2012. Local operator SMRT has ordered these motors by Toshiba for all 66 of its oldest trains. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
By Hoe Pei Shan
The high-efficiency motors used by trains on the Tokyo Metro, the world's busiest subway, will soon be driving Singapore's MRT trains.
Local operator SMRT has ordered these motors by Toshiba for all 66 of its oldest trains.
This is the first time the trains will have their drive systems upgraded since they started operating in 1987.
Almost all of the recent disruptions, however, did not involve motor issues.
07-04-2013, 10:58 PM #7232
Temporary road closures at Changi and Joo Chiat for Hari Raya Light Up on July 6
Published on Jul 04, 2013
The Hari Raya Light Up at Geylang Serai in 2012. To facilitate this year's Hari Raya Light Up at Geylang Serai, the following roads and lanes will be closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday, July 6, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
By Farah Mohd Ismail
To facilitate this year's Hari Raya Light Up at Geylang Serai, the following roads and lanes will be closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday.
The slip road leading from Changi Road into Joo Chiat Road will be closed from 12 noon to 9 pm. The extreme left lane of Changi Road (between lamp post 46 and the junction of Joo Chiat Road), as well as Joo Chiat Road (between its junction with Changi Road and lamp post 2), will be closed between 5 pm and 8 pm.
During the road and lane closures, access into the above-mentioned roads and lane will only be granted to police and emergency vehicles. Parking restrictions along the peripheral roads will be strictly enforced. Vehicles found parking and causing obstruction will be towed away.
07-04-2013, 11:02 PM #7233
Asia needs to 'blaze its own trail' in green growth: Nobel laureate
Published on Jul 04, 2013
Asia should be less concerned with growing its economies and more focused on sustainable development, said Nobel laureate Professor Lee Yuan Tseh (above). -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
By Kash Cheong
Asia should be less concerned with growing its economies and more focused on sustainable development, said Nobel laureate Professor Lee Yuan Tseh .
"People in Asia always say they want to catch up with the United States, but if the world consumes like Americans, we would need 5.4 earths to sustain us," said the Taiwan-born professor who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1986.
Speaking at a five-day Singapore International Science Challenge organised by the National Junior College, which started on Monday, Prof Lee said although Asia has several encouraging projects like the Tianjin Eco-city, a massive population is also migrating from rural areas to cities. "I'm afraid at this rate, green energy may not be able to overcome more consumption by more people," he said.
Prof Lee is also the President of the International Council for Science. Together with other science institutes, the council is involved in the Future Earth Project, a decade-long research initiative which explores methods to cope with global environmental change.
07-04-2013, 11:19 PM #7234
RCs bringing back the kampung spirit
TODAY file photo
By Alfred Chua
7 hours 9 sec ago
SINGAPORE — Residents’ Committees (RCs) — grassroots organisations ubiquitous in public housing estates — have been associated with block parties and karaoke sessions. Now, two RCs in Queenstown have evolved into resource pooling centres, replete with items residents can borrow — including tables, chairs and ladders.
Member of Parliament Chia Shi-Lu, who oversees the Queenstown ward in Tanjong Pagar GRC, told TODAY that residents’ response to the new scheme, barely weeks old, has been “uniformly positive”. The concept came about when many residents repeatedly approached the RCs “to borrow items”.
Dr Chia then met the founders of blockpooling.sg, a resource-sharing social enterprise started by local technology company Estatebuzz, as he thought it “would be a good idea to make the RCs a nexus for resource sharing”.
Estatebuzz Chief Executive Officer Moh Hon Meng said he had wanted to use blockpooling.sg to bring back the “kampung spirit” from the past, when residents would barter their items and services with one another.
With the website’s launch in May, Singaporeans can offer items for their neighbours to borrow or tap the existing inventory list online to loan items. In addition, users can offer their skills — such as first aid —in what Mr Moh called “effort-based offers”.
Common services offered by users include IT help. Most of the items residents can borrow were donated, though some were present at the RCs before the scheme started.
Highlighting the benefits of the programme, Dr Chia said: “Firstly, it’s environmentally friendly. Secondly, it helps with the high cost of living when you can borrow instead of buy; and lastly, it helps with social bonding when people living nearby learn to depend on each other for resources.”
Dr Chia said he has shared the idea of turning the RC into a resource centre with other constituencies.
He added: “While it is great that the RC is a one-stop centre (for residents to borrow), I think ultimately we want the residents to approach each other about loaning items.”
It is still too early to tell the success of the project, but Mr Moh is hopeful his website can help recreate the “kampung spirit”.
“I hope this website is an opportunity for Singaporeans to open their cyber-doors to their neighbours,” he said.
07-04-2013, 11:43 PM #7235
Harmonising legal standards important for ASEAN’s integration: Shanmugam
Minister K. Shanmugam giving a media brief on Shane Todd case in Singapore. Photo: Ernest Chua
By Saifulbahri Ismail
14 hours 26 sec ago
SINGAPORE — Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said harmonising legal standards and strengthening legal frameworks are important components of ASEAN integration.
Speaking at a conference today (July 4), he stressed the regional group must continue its integration and community-building efforts in order to strengthen its resilience and competitiveness.
Some 160 participants from the region attended the conference.
One of the issues discussed was ASEAN’s external legal relations, as the regional group develops a range of agreements with other countries.
Mr Shanmugam said ASEAN’s senior law officials have also been working on various legal integration initiatives. These include harmonising the laws of various member states on arbitration and on the international sale of goods.
Mr Shanmugam said: “These efforts are important for ASEAN as the harmonisation of legal rules can help to remove uncertainty, reduce cost, generate greater business confidence, and ultimately advance ASEAN community-building goals.”
He added that a stronger, unified ASEAN will remain influential as it serves as a neutral platform for major powers to engage the region and each other in constructive ways.
He also lauded China for showing a serious intent to engage ASEAN.
Mr Shanmugam said: “China announced a whole slew of initiatives which sometimes doesn’t get as much attention as it should about putting in more money on platforms that would promote more physical integration and regional infrastructure development, working with ASEAN on maritime cooperation, working with ASEAN to fund the whole series of new projects, to upgrade the China-ASEAN FTA and so on.”
07-07-2013, 09:50 PM #7236
Six outstanding individuals honoured at Singapore Youth Award
Published on Jul 07, 2013
The Singapore Youth Award was given to six individuals for their contribution to the society on Sunday, July 7, 2013, at the Istana. The winners include (from left) non-profit group Halogen Foundation co-founder Martin Tan, scientist Juliana Maria Chan, arts and drama teacher Koh Hui Ling, musician Muhammad Riduan Zalani, paralympian Laurentia Tan and national netball player Jean Ng (not pictured). -- PHOTO: NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL
By Lim Yi Han
The Singapore Youth Award was given to six individuals for their contribution to the society on Sunday at the Istana.
The six recipients were selected from 107 nominees, the most number of nominations received in the past five years.
The winners include paralympian Laurentia Tan, 33; non-profit group Halogen Foundation co-founder Martin Tan, 35; scientist Juliana Maria Chan, 29; musician Muhammad Riduan, 27; national netball player Jean Ng, 34 and arts and drama teacher Koh Hui Ling, 33.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean was the guest of honour at the event. The award, which is in its 38th year, is administered by the National Youth Council.
07-07-2013, 09:55 PM #7237
Help build a better S’pore, PM urges youths
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the PAYM Loves Red launch yesterday. Photo: People’s Association
By Ashley Chia
5 hours 38 min ago
SINGAPORE — Many countries are battling a high youth unemployment rate, but Singapore has been fortunate and the young should take advantage of what they have and build a “better” Singapore, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
Addressing young volunteers on Youth Day as he launched a two-month long campaign, PAYM Loves Red, organised by the People’s Association’s Youth Movement, Mr Lee urged them to see the country’s achievements as a base from which to scale greater heights.
“We look at the difficulties that the Europeans have, taking care of the young people. One quarter of the young people are unemployed, and some countries like Spain or Greece, half the people are unemployed,” he said. “Fortunately in Singapore, we are not in that position. People graduate — whether it’s from ITE, polytechnic or university — the jobs are there.”
Mr Lee said that building a better Singapore would require a collective effort, where the successful contribute back to society while the Government does more to help the less fortunate by strengthening safety nets.
Referring to the S$100 million in the new National Youth Fund to help youths champion social causes, the Prime Minister urged the next generation to step forward to build a softer, more compassionate nation.
“We are building Singapore for the new generation, for the young. Take advantage of what you have, build on it and take it higher, stronger, brighter for many years to come,” he said.
Through PAYM Loves Red, some 6,000 youths from the organisation will be involved in an initiative to show love and loyalty to Singapore for its 48th birthday through over 100 different projectS, based on the themes of the arts, culture, sports, environment and community service.
The activities include singing National Day songs, doing a “bread run” for the needy and taking less fortunate children on a kite-flying excursion.
PAYM Loves Red will take place till Aug 31. The campaign, in its second year, is expected to reach out to 27,000 young people and residents islandwide.
Sengkang West Member of Parliament Lam Pin Min, who attended the launch yesterday, said young Singaporeans are facing increasing competition for jobs but there are still many opportunities available out there.
Nonetheless, noting that he has come across Singaporeans who are selective in what jobs they would like to do, Mr Lam said the young should bear in mind that every job provides a “learning opportunity”.
“It’s a stepping stone to more experiences and future opportunities,” he said.
Last edited by Loh; 07-07-2013 at 09:59 PM.
07-08-2013, 09:35 PM #7238
Singapore to push for action at haze meeting
Top of agenda at Asean meet: Seeking accurate land concession maps
Published on Jul 09, 2013
A general view shows Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers (centre) and commercial buildings as haze clears in Kuala Lumpur on June 28, 2013. Singapore will seek several concrete outcomes at an Asean haze meeting in Kuala Lumpur next week, and topping the agenda is an urgent push for Indonesia to provide official and accurate land concession maps. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
By Leonard Lim
SINGAPORE will seek several concrete outcomes at an Asean haze meeting in Kuala Lumpur next week, and topping the agenda is an urgent push for Indonesia to provide official and accurate land concession maps.
These maps, combined with satellite technology, will be instrumental in holding companies or individuals who clear land illegally to account, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday.
"Without those maps, it's very difficult for me to point fingers... authoritatively, bearing in mind that these activities occur in another sovereign land."
Dr Balakrishnan, who was one of five ministers who addressed Parliament yesterday on the haze issue, will lead a delegation to Malaysia for the three-day meeting, which begins on Monday.
07-08-2013, 09:44 PM #7239
Rules for online news sites a refinement and not a major shift: Yaacob
Published on Jul 09, 2013
Posed photo of a girl sitting in front of a computer and surfing the internet. The new rules for online news sites mark a refinement and not a major shift in content standards, said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN
By Tessa Wong
The new rules for online news sites mark a refinement and not a major shift in content standards, said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.
This was why the Government decided to hold consultations with the 10 news sites that would come under the regime rather than the wider Internet community. It does not believe that the new regulations will have an impact on the overwhelming majority of Internet content providers, he told Parliament yesterday.
It is now in talks with the 10 websites that will come under the new framework. The process started in May, and it will take two to three months more to work out the details of the licensing conditions.
Dr Yaacob added that the Government will nonetheless continue to engage stakeholders to allay any concerns they may have. He was responding to queries from members of both the opposition and the ruling party on the rolling out of the regulation, including its prior consultation process.
Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC) and Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong felt that the rules, which came into effect on June 1 - three days after they were first announced - seemed to have been unveiled in a rush.
Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam, who filed an adjournment motion on the topic, said that they "were dropped like a bomb" on the public.
Dr Yaacob noted in his reply that since 1996, most websites have come under the class licence scheme which has rules spelling out prohibited content, such as content that infringes on public decency or public harmony.
Now, the Government wants news websites to have individual licences, so that they are placed on a "more consistent regulatory basis" with traditional news outlets such as newspapers, which must obtain individual licences too.
Websites with individual licences must comply with two additional requirements: a 24-hour window to take down offensive content when directed by the Government, and they must put up a $50,000 performance bond.
The new rules are needed, he noted, because of media convergence where news is now published online besides in print and broadcast. Furthermore, "eyeballs are shifting" as more Singaporeans get their information from the Internet.
Hence, as online sites become a more significant source of news, the Government felt that the regulatory framework has to evolve as well to keep pace, "rather than wait and react", he said.
"I think we need to put the framework in place, learn as we go along, because there may be a proliferation of sites in the future," said Dr Yaacob.
07-08-2013, 09:52 PM #7240
'New rules do not target individual bloggers': Yaacob
Regulations targeted at news sites, says Yaacob
Published on Jul 09, 2013
Bloggers have been and will continue to be free to comment on government policies and do not need to feel curbed by the licensing regulations on news sites instituted last month. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
By Tessa Wong And Rachel Chang
Bloggers have been and will continue to be free to comment on government policies and do not need to feel curbed by the licensing regulations on news sites instituted last month.
The Government has not stopped any of them commenting on the ruling since it kicked in, Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim told Parliament yesterday.
And despite accusations that the move would stifle Internet freedom, this has not occurred, he noted, even as several bloggers critical of the rules watched from the public gallery as he fielded questions on the regulations.
"Since we... announced the law on May 28, nothing has stopped the bloggers from commenting," he said, reiterating the Government's stance that the change does not target bloggers.
The new rules, which require news sites to post a $50,000 performance bond and take down offensive content within 24 hours, kicked in on June 1, three days after the announcement.
The idea that the rules would have a chilling effect on bloggers is "far-fetched". Said Dr Yaacob: "I don't think they are so easily 'chilled'."
If future operators cannot afford the bond, the Media Development Authority (MDA) would be willing to set a "reasonable" amount in line with the news site's finances.
"The intention is not to prevent the site from operating under a licence. On the contrary, the intent is to allow a qualifying site to continue to operate, under an individual licence," said Dr Yaacob.
The whole idea behind the framework is to hold news sites to a higher standard than other sites, he added in response to questions in Parliament.
To qualify as a news site, they must have at least one news story on Singapore a week and attract at least 50,000 unique visitors from here in a month.
Some members pointed out that the definition for news sites was broad, and Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam who filed an adjournment motion on the rules said this could lead Singaporeans to believe the rules had been "crafted to censor blogs, especially those that discuss politics".
Dr Yaacob said this was not the case, and that the regulations were squarely targeting news sites to hold them to "a higher level of responsibility". "We need to license you so that you know that whatever you do, you must do it well and do it accurately because you're reporting for the benefit of Singaporeans," he said.
He noted that bloggers, Internet commentators and niche websites provide their personal views and do not regularly report on news. Hence they do not fall within the scope of the new licensing.
"However, should these websites morph into online sites reporting on Singapore news, MDA will have to separately assess if they meet the two criteria for licensing," he said.
Mr Choo Zheng Xi, part of the Free My Internet movement which opposes the rules, said he was "gratified" to see Dr Yaacob challenged by all three parties in Parliament - the ruling People's Action Party and the opposition Workers' Party (WP) and Singapore People's Party.
"We feel vindicated that our concerns over the new regulations are shared across the political spectrum," said the co-founder of sociopolitical blog The Online Citizen.
Separately, in a written response to a question filed by WP MP Chen Show Mao (Aljunied GRC) on the criteria for media accreditation, Dr Yaacob said factors include the reach and distribution of the news organisation, and its professional standing.
"The platform of the news organisation, whether traditional or online, is not a consideration. The licensing of online news websites is not related to accreditation and has no bearing on the criteria used to accredit the media organisations," he said.
The Government is discussing the licence details with the three companies which own the 10 news websites that come under the licensing framework - Singapore Press Holdings, MediaCorp and Yahoo Singapore.
Yahoo is the only one among the three that does not have press accreditation for its reporters.
07-08-2013, 10:02 PM #7241
NUS celebrates graduation of over 10,000 students
Published on Jul 08, 2013
President and NUS Chancellor Tony Tan Keng Yam presided over the NUS Commencement ceremony at NUS Commencement ceremony at NUS Cultural Centre on Monday, July 8. A total of 10,282 students will graduate from the National University of Singapore this year. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Valedictorian Mr Ow Yeong Wai Kit, Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in English Literature and University Scholars Programme, gives his speech at the NUS Commencement ceremony at NUS Cultural Centre on Monday, July 8, 2013. A total of 10,282 students will graduate from the National University of Singapore this year. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
NUS Commencement ceremony at NUS Cultural Centre on Monday, July 8, 2013. A total of 10,282 students will graduate from the National University of Singapore this year. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
By Stacey Chia
A total of 10,282 students will graduate from the National University of Singapore this year. This year's graduating class comprises 6,547 students receiving bachelor degrees and another 3,735 students receiving graduate degrees.
NUS Chancellor, President Tony Tan Keng Yam presided over the main commencement ceremony on Monday for 160 students from the University Scholars Programme.
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, was also among guests present at the ceremony.
A total of 23 ceremonies will be held at the NUS University Cultural Centre over nine days.
The pioneer batch of students from the NUS-Imperial College Joint Doctor of Philosophy Programme, NUS-CMES Double Degree Programme, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Master of Social Work, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science will graduate this year.
07-08-2013, 10:27 PM #7242
Claims that Shane Todd was murdered based on 'fantasy': Shanmugam
Published on Jul 08, 2013
Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam (above) said the conspiracy theory of American researcher Shane Todd being murdered in Singapore over sensitive work at the Singapore Institute of Microelectronics (IME), was based on "untruths, pure fantasy and pure imagination". -- PHOTO: AFP
By Rachel Chang
Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam said the conspiracy theory of American researcher Shane Todd being murdered in Singapore over sensitive work at the Singapore Institute of Microelectronics (IME), was based on "untruths, pure fantasy and pure imagination".
Speaking to the media on Monday afternoon after the State Coroner had delivered his finding of suicide on the case, Mr Shanmugam, who is also Law Minister, said the inquiry was fair, open and "the world can see what we have done".
He said that the Financial Times (FT) - which published a report about the case in February that was largely based on the belief of Dr Todd's family that he was murdered - should "do the honourable thing" and correct the untruths that it had reported.
This was because journalist Raymond Bonner, who was writing for the FT at the time, did not verify the facts before the story was published.
On Dr Todd's parents, who still maintain that he was murdered and who said they would take the case up with United States President Barack Obama, Mr Shanmugam said that he understood their grief but there should be "strength to face the truth".
State Coroner Chay Yuen Fatt had ruled earlier in the day that Dr Todd committed suicide by hanging.
The US Embassy in Singapore said after the decision was announced that the coroner's inquiry into Dr Todd's death was "comprehensive, fair and transparent,"
In a statement, the embassy added that its officials attended the entire inquiry and were with the Todd family during their time in Singapore. The Todds quit the inquiry on May 21 and went home to the US two days later.
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