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Thread: Singapore Also Can
10-21-2013, 04:03 AM #7566
NUS, NTU impress in Business School's Executive MBA programmes ranking
Published on Oct 21, 2013
Graduates from the APEX MBA programme at the NUS Business School posing for photos at the commencement ceremony on July 6, 2011. The NUS Business School's double-degree programme with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has retained its position at fifth in the world, while the School's Asia Pacific Executive (Apex) Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme climbed nine places to 17th in the Financial Times' (FT) Global EMBA Rankings 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: SPH
The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School's double-degree programme with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has retained its position at fifth in the world, while the School's Asia Pacific Executive (Apex) Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme climbed nine places to 17th in the Financial Times' (FT) Global EMBA Rankings 2013. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) too performed will, debuting at 13th place.
The two EMBA programmes fared well in several categories on which their overall rankings are based, NUS said in a statement.
Alumni of the UCLA-NUS EMBA programme reported enjoying a high average annual salary of US$243,677 (S$301,877) and better career progression. The UCLA-NUS EMBA jumped from 57th to 14th place for Career Progress.
Meanwhile, the programme moved up two places to third for International Course Experience, demonstrating the global learning and networking opportunities it offers. It also continues to be ranked eighth for its participants' Work Experience, a measure of the seniority of previous jobs and an indication of student quality.
10-21-2013, 09:14 PM #7567
Athletics: Dipna Lim-Prasad breaks national 400m hurdles record at Malaysian Open
Published on Oct 20, 2013
Singapore runner Dipna Lim-Prasad (above) has clocked a new national record in the 400m hurdles by timing 60.36 seconds for a bronze medal at the Malaysian Open Track and Field Championships in Kuala Lumpur. -- FILE PHOTO: HILL & KNOWLTON
By Chan U-Gene
Singapore runner Dipna Lim-Prasad has clocked a new national record in the 400m hurdles by timing 60.36 seconds for a bronze medal at the Malaysian Open Track and Field Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
Vietnam's Quach Thi Lan was first in 57.74, while Wassana Winatho of Indonesia was second with 58.94.
This is the Singaporean's second national record in a month. Lim-Prasad had earlier claimed the 200m mark with 24.36sec effort at the Singapore Under-23 Open Track and Field Championships.
However, despite her fine recent form, both her 400m hurdles and 200m times are too slow to allow her to qualify for December's SEA Games. The qualifying marks are 59.64 and 24.06, respectively.
10-21-2013, 09:33 PM #7568
NS can wait for Schooling until after 2016 Olympics
Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling competes at the 26th SEA Games in Palembang on Nov 15, 2011. Photo: Tan Yo Hinn
MINDEF allows top Singapore national swimmer to defer National Service until Aug 31, 2016
19 hours 20 min ago
SINGAPORE — The Republic’s hopes of winning its first Olympic medal in swimming was given a huge boost today (Oct 21) when one of its brightest male swimming talents was allowed to train full-time without any disruptions for the next three years in pursuit of a place on the podium at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
National swimmer Joseph Schooling — touted as a potential Olympic medial hope in the near future — has been granted a deferment from national service next year to pursue his goal of winning an Olympic medal, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen announced in Parliament this afternoon.
Dr Ng revealed that the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) had received an application from Joseph’s parents earlier this year to defer his full-time national service as the 18-year-old is due for enlistment next year.
“Included in the appeal were detailed plans which outlined his training schedule and targets with the goal to represent Singapore and compete successfully in the swimming competitions of the 2016 Olympics,” said Dr Ng.
The Minister added that the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) had supported the appeal for deferment. They had decided after assessing Joseph’s previous achievements in international competitions that he “had the potential to do well in the next Olympic Games”.
According to US swimming records last month, the US-based Schooling, who specialises in the 100m and 200m butterfly events, is ranked in the top-five with Americans in his age group.
In the 100m fly, his time of 52.33sec is just behind 18-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps (51.10sec). He is also ranked third in the 200m fly (1min 56.27sec) and fifth in the 200m individual medley (1:59.99).
“As this appeal satisfy all the conditions for deferment for exceptional sportsman, the Armed Forces Council has decided to grant the deferment for Mr Schooling for full-time national service until Aug 31, 2016 in order for him to train and do well at the 2016 Olympic Games,” said Dr Ng.
“Mr Schooling will be enlisted for full-time national service once his deferment ends. We wish Mr Schooling every success and hopes he will do well at the next Olympic Games.”
To date, only Ang Peng Siong and Tao Li have come closest to winning Singapore its first Olympic medal in swimming.
At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Ang was ranked ninth overall in the men’s 100m freestyle after winning the event’s B final for the eight fastest swimmers outside of the final.
Twenty four years later, at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tao became the first Singaporean to reach a swimming final, finishing fifth in the women’s 100m butterfly final
10-21-2013, 09:41 PM #7569
The Schooling standard
Singapore national swimmer Joseph Schooling hopes to eventually become a full-time professional in the sport. Photo: Wee Teck Hian
Swimmer’s NS deferment could change S’pore’s elite sports landscap
6 hours 18 min ago
SINGAPORE — The decision by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to grant national swimmer Joseph Schooling deferment from full-time National Service (NS) could herald a whole new perspective towards sports in Singapore.
Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen announced in Parliament yesterday that MINDEF has accepted the 18-year-old’s application for a long-term deferment — a first for a national athlete — to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games as he fulfilled all requirements, which include a strong track record and potential to do well at the highest international level.
The decision could mean the end to the common gripe about NS commitments affecting the sporting careers of Singapore’s best male athletes.
“Schooling is setting a standard ... If he succeeds, which I’m sure he will, it will send a very strong message to the Ministries of Defence and Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) that (such) opportunities can be worked into elite sport,” said veteran sports administrator Low Teo Ping, now President of the Singapore Rugby Union.
Swimming icon Ang Peng Siong, who served NS from 1986 to 1989 but had to apply for time-off for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, also said: “Hopefully, Joseph’s example will make other young talents in Singapore to want to work harder and aspire to heights like his. With this avenue, there is hope for us to see success. Otherwise, it will be a tough battle.”
Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) President Lee Bee Wah added: “Taking a two-year break from competition or even intensive training can be detrimental to (an athlete’s) career, especially when he is in his teens and at the upward climb of his performance.”
“With this groundbreaking announcement, we hope our athletes will serve NS after their prime performance period or major Games, thus ensuring nobody escapes their rightful duty without having their opportunities denied.”
The MCCY backed Schooling’s application after the Singapore Sports Institute deemed he had the potential to excel at the 2016 Olympics. With his deferment ending on Aug 31, 2016, he can concentrate fully on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro from Aug 5 to 21, where he aims to medal, possibly in the 100m or 200m fly.
Jessie Phua, Singapore’s Chef de Mission at next year’s Asian Games in Incheon, applauded MINDEF’s decision as a “big step in the right direction”, and hopes talents beyond sports could also be considered.
She added: “There are some things that are age-sensitive, and sports is one of them. You can always serve NS later, but time waits for no one, especially sports. Talent is Singapore’s biggest asset, so why waste it?”
10-21-2013, 10:06 PM #7570
Schooling sets sights on Olympic medal
Schooling has chalked up strong performances since his Olympic debut last year. Photo: Getty Images
Singapore's Joseph Schooling (pictured) is now the 10th fastest swimmer in the men's 200m butterfly after setting a national record of 1min 56.27secs in the event's semi-finals at the 2013 FINA World Championship. But it was not enough to see him through to the final. TODAY FILE PHOTO.
Track record and progress in recent years have given him self-belief
By Adelene Wong
SINGAPORE — Ang Peng Siong came close in 1984 in Los Angeles, and Tao Li came closer five years ago in Beijing. Now, Joseph Schooling believes he can end Singapore’s wait for its first Olympic swimming medallist.
Widely regarded as one of the brightest young talents, the 18-year-old, who is based in the United States, is now aiming to finish on the podium at the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
According to US swimming records last month, Schooling, who specialises in the 100m and 200m butterfly events, is ranked in the top-five with Americans in his age group.
In the 100m fly, his time of 52.33secs is just behind 18-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps (51.10). He is also ranked third in 200m fly (1:56.27) and fifth in the 200m individual medley (1:59.99).
Schooling, a final-year student at the Bolles School in Florida, told TODAY his track record and progress in recent years have given him that self-belief.
“I have been steadily improving in my swimming over the past few years, so that is why I think I have a shot,” he said in an interview last week. “I want to bring glory to Singapore and win an Olympic medal in 2016 when I will be 21. Every competition is a stepping stone … I am getting closer (to my dream of winning an Olympic medal) every time I race.”
Ang and Tao have come closest to winning Singapore its first Olympic medal in swimming. At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Ang was ranked ninth overall in the men’s 100m freestyle after winning the event’s “B” final for the eight fastest swimmers outside of the final. Twenty four years later at the Beijing Olympics, Tao became the first Singaporean to reach a swimming final, finishing fifth in the women’s 100m fly final.
Singapore have won four Olympic medals: A silver and two bronzes from table tennis and a silver in weightlifting.
Schooling made his Olympic debut in London last year, but was distracted after an official ruled just minutes before his 200m fly heats that his cap and goggles were not approved for the Games, leading to a disappointing time of 1min 59.18secs, well below his then-personal best of 1:56.67. But he said “champions don’t make excuses” and vowed to bounce back.
Since then, he has chalked up strong performances, including at the World Championships in Barcelona in July, where he lowered his own national 200m fly record to 1:56.27.
At the London Games, Phelps won the 100m fly in 51.21, while South Africa’s Chad Le Clos took the 200m fly in 1:52.96, and Schooling is under no illusions about the difficult task ahead, saying there “needs to be a right balance” for all the moving parts to come together.
One vital component is his application for deferment from National Service (NS) so that he can maintain his momentum to the 2016 Games. A spokesperson from Singapore’s Ministry of Defence confirmed on Friday that Schooling had “made a deferment request for NS”, but declined further comment until a Parliamentary sitting today, when the topic of providing a more flexible approach to NS enlistment for male athletes at their prime will be raised.
Choosing a university with a suitable academic and swimming programme is also important for Schooling. Several American colleges are reportedly keen on him, with the University of California at Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin and University of Florida among those on his shortlist.
In the meantime, preparations for the Dec 11-22 South-east Asian Games in Myanmar are on track as he aims to win all his seven events. Trained by Spain’s 1988 Olympic 200m breaststroke bronze medallist Sergio Lopez at Bolles, Schooling has added 4kg of muscle to his 1.82m tall frame to improve his speed.
Said Schooling: “If I pace myself properly, I am confident of going a lot faster.”
10-21-2013, 10:37 PM #7571
PSC scholarships awarded on merit, no quota on number awarded: DPM Teo
By S Ramesh
13 hours 36 min ago
SINGAPORE — Singapore’s Minister-in-Charge of the Civil Service, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has emphasised that Public Service Commission (PSC) scholarships are awarded on merit and there is no quota on the number of scholarships to be awarded each year.
In a written reply to Parliament today (Oct 21), he said all deserving candidates, regardless of their race and background, will be awarded scholarships.
Mr Teo was asked by Member of Parliament (Aljunied GRC) Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap on the number of PSC scholarships awarded to the Malay community annually in the past 10 years.
In this regard, between 2004 and 2013, six PSC scholarships were awarded to Malays. One of them was a President’s-cum-Singapore Police Force Overseas Scholarship (SPFOS) holder.
Giving details of what the scholars have been doing, he said the scholarship recipients pursued a variety of disciplines such as law, economics, biochemistry and aeronautical engineering at undergraduate level.
Those who have graduated were deployed on their first posting to various agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Ministry of Social and Family Development.
Their deployment took into consideration their training and preferences, and the public service’s needs, and this was no different from that of any other PSC scholarship holder.
10-21-2013, 10:43 PM #7572
3 new senior care centres to open within next 6 months
By Melissa Chong
POSTED: 21 Oct 2013 22:51
SINGAPORE: Three more senior care centres (SCCs) will open in the next six months, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.
To ensure that they are accessible to seniors, the centres will be located within the community, near public transport facilities and have barrier-free access features.
They will also be operated mainly by voluntary welfare organisations and social enterprises.
The government opened three new SCCs last year, providing a range of aged care services, such as dementia daycare, day rehabilitation and basic nursing services.
The remaining 33 centres will be developed by 2016.
Mr Gan said this in a written parliamentary response to Member of Parliament Lee Li Lian, who had asked for an update on the new SCCs announced by the government last September.
10-21-2013, 11:14 PM #7573
UniSIM to begin study trips to law schools overseas
ByNG JING YNG
7 hours 44 min ago
SIM University (UniSIM) will make trips next week to schools like Queen Mary University of London and Northumbria University in the United Kingdom to study their law curricula, as it gears up to host Singapore’s third law school.
Revealing this at a media conference yesterday, UniSIM President Cheong Hee Kiat also said the law school — which will offer a part-time degree course and focus on criminal and matrimonial law — will not open next year, and even opening in 2015 would be “dicey”.
Unlike the other full-time degrees UniSIM is set to offer next year, there are no existing part-time law programmes for UniSIM to leverage and build a full-time course on, and time is needed to build up staff capabilities, he explained. The new law school is also “going along a trajectory which is quite different from what the (other universities) are on now”.
“We are really looking at how lawyers can be trained to have a focus on family law, criminal law and society in general. We (have) got to think through how to do it well while enabling our law graduates to be able to compete, if they wish to, effectively on the corporate side, with other kinds of organisations,” Prof Cheong said.
In the meantime, UniSIM is visiting schools which have “sufficient emphasis on theory and practice”, in line with its vision of a law school that will integrate both, but focus heavily on practice.
“They prepare the students and look at how they can be integrated into the workplace, how to get to the bar, that is what we will probably model (UniSIM’s curriculum on) after looking at how they do it.”
For instance, at Northumbria, law students engage in clinical and experiential learning throughout the course, culminating in full case work on behalf of clients in the final year.
Birkbeck, University of London, another school UniSIM is visiting, offers part-time and full-time law degrees, with evening classes for working adults
10-21-2013, 11:59 PM #7574
PUB wins international award
POSTED: 22 Oct 2013 11:03
National water agency PUB has been conferred the Presidential Award by the International Desalination Association for its commitment to the sustainability of water and desalination.
PUB Chief Executive Chew Men Leong (R) receiving the Presidential Award from Dr Corrado Sommariva, President of IDA at the gala dinner of the IDA World Congress 2013 held in Tianjin, China. (Photo: PUB
SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB has been conferred the Presidential Award by the International Desalination Association.
In a statement, the agency said the award is to recognise its commitment to the sustainability of water and desalination.
It also comes in recognition of PUB's special relationship with the association.
PUB chief executive Mr Chew Men Leong received the award from the association's president Dr Corrado Sommariva on October 21 at the association's world congress held in Tianjin, China.
As a global body that focuses on information, professional development and technologies for the desalination industry, the association has been working with PUB on a number of projects.
They include the launch of a desalinisation academy, the hosting of a fellowship award, and the Singapore International Water Week.
Desalinated water is one of Singapore's four sources of water, along with local catchment water, imported water and NEWater - Singapore's own brand of reclaimed water.
With the opening of Singapore's second and largest desalination plant last month, desalinated water can meet up to a quarter of Singapore's current water needs, said the statement.
10-22-2013, 02:37 AM #7575
Singapore and China ink seven new deals to boost cooperation
Published on Oct 22, 2013
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (right) and visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli co-chaired meetings of three Singapore-China bilateral bodies on Tuesday 22 Oct, 2013. Singapore and China on Tuesday signed agreements to cooperate on a host of areas including moves to boost the trade in services, set up a "smart city", and promote Singapore and Chinese companies in third countries. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
By Jeremy Au Yong
Singapore and China on Tuesday signed agreements to cooperate on a host of areas including moves to boost the trade in services, set up a "smart city", and promote Singapore and Chinese companies in third countries.
The two countries will also introduce direct trading between their currencies.
A total of seven agreements were signed after Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli co-chaired meetings of three Singapore-China bilateral bodies.
The meetings of the 10th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), the 15th Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Council (JSC) and the sixth Tianjin Eco-City JSC were all held on Tuesday morning. Mr Zhang is in Singapore on a three-day official visit that ends on Wednesday.
10-22-2013, 02:49 AM #7576
More subsidies for low-income students who want to study in independent schools
Published on Oct 22, 2013
By Pearl Lee
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be making enhancements to bursaries for students in independent schools.
Students from lower-income families will receive more subsidies for next year onwards.
The subsidies will also be expanded to cover miscellaneous fees in addition to school fees.
Currently, a student whose monthly gross household income is below $4,000 receives a 75 per cent subsidy on school fees. From next year onwards, the subsidy will be increased to cover 90 per cent of their school fees.
This will better support Singaporean students who qualify for and would like to pursue an education in an independent school, the Education Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
10-22-2013, 08:50 PM #7577
Queen's Baton Relay: Welcome to… Singapore
22 October 2013 Last updated at 07:08 GMT
By BBC Queen's Baton Relay team The journey to Glasgow 2014
A view of Singapore's War Memorial Park, Marina Bay, financial district, cricket club and the Padang.
The city state of Singapore is the latest stop of the Queen's Baton Relay as it travels around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
Continue reading the main story Singapore Facts
- Singapore is one of the world's most successful nations at table tennis. At the last Commonwealth Games, it won five out of seven gold medals (winning silver in the other two), and two bronze medals at the London Olympics.
- The hi-tech state is one of the most densely populated places on earth, with its 5.4 million people crammed into 255 sq miles - that is 21, 176 people per sq mile.
- The people of Singapore are the fastest walkers on the planet, according to research in 2007.
Singapore enjoyed its best ever Commonwealth Games in 2010 with 30 medals in badminton, gymnastics, shooting and table tennis.
It has competed at every event since the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff. Those Games also saw the inaugural Queen's Baton Relay.
The BBC's country profile highlights some of the key facts about the Asian nation.
BBC Weather for Queen's Baton Relay The Queen's Baton is now in Singapore, where it is likely to get a soaking in the warm and wet weather.
Commonwealth Games medals table 2010
Country Gold Silver Bronze 2010 total 2006 total Population per medal GDP per medal ($m) 1 Australia 74 55 48 177 221 120,339 5,634 2 India 38 27 36 101 50 11,286,782 12,238 3 England 37 60 46 143 110 359,790 11,954 4 Canada 26 17 33 76 86 442,105 17,579 5 South Africa 12 11 10 33 38 1,518,182 8,703 6 Kenya 12 11 9 32 18 1,243,750 1,023 7 Malaysia 12 10 13 35 29 785,714 5,471 8 Singapore 11 11 9 31 18 151,613 5,713 9 Nigeria 11 8 14 33 17 4,687,879 5,255 10 Scotland 9 10 7 26 29 192,308 6,312 11 New Zealand 6 22 8 36 31 119,444 3,272 12 Cyprus 4 3 5 12 6 72,583 1,967 13 Northern Ireland 3 3 4 10 2 170,000 4,542 14 Samoa 3 1 4 1 44,750 140 15 Wales 2 7 10 19 19 152,632 3,795 16 Jamaica 2 4 1 7 22 385,714 1,700 17 Pakistan 2 1 2 5 5 36,160,000 33,300 18 Uganda 2 2 3 16,350,000 7,870 19 Bahamas 1 1 4 6 2 57,000 1,223 20 Sri Lanka 1 1 1 3 1 6,733,333 13,773 21 Nauru 1 1 2 2 5,000 119 22 Botswana 1 3 4 2 475,000 2,908 23 St. Vincent & The Grenadines 1 1 109,000 567 Explanation of medals table:
As well as showing the latest standings for gold, silver, bronze and total medals won, this table features alternative ways to interpret how countries rank. By selecting one of the tabs at the top of the table, you can sort the last column:
By population - this shows total population of the country divided by the total number of medals won.*
By GDP - this shows the country's GDP divided by the total number of medals won. The figures for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are GVA (gross value added) which is sometimes called GDP at factor cost. Other figures may be GDP at market prices, which is usually higher (the difference is indirect taxes and subsidies).*
'GDP per medal' and 'population per medal' are only indicative ratios, and do not represent or reflect the level of investment in sport nor the amount of people competing in sport in each listed country.
By clicking on any country name on the table, you can view the BBC News website's full country profile.
*This economic information was obtained from the World Bank, CIA Factbook and the UK Office for National Statistics.
10-23-2013, 02:29 AM #7578
Philanthropist Toh honoured with new NTU medical school building
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine students reciting the Declaration of a New Medical Student to the audience. Photo: Nanyang Technological University
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s education wing named after businessman Toh Kian Chui
By Siau Ming En
2 hours 45 min ago
SINGAPORE — The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) has named the education wing of its Novena campus in honour of businessman and philanthropist Mr Toh Kian Chui.
The Toh Kian Chui Annex, a three-storey building, was named in recognition of the S$20 million gift from the Toh Kian Chui Foundation.
LKCMedicine is the Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) new medical school.
Half of the S$20 million will support undergraduate student scholarships and a top student gold medal for the graduating cohort. The other half will go towards establishing a Distinguished Professorship and to further medical education and research.
Speaking at its official opening today (Oct 23), Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat noted that the importance of a “values-centred education”, particularly in medical education, where all doctors will need to have “compassion, empathy and integrity” to deal with each patient.
He also referred to Mr Toh as a role model, where he was able to demonstrate “diligence, resilience and determination” in his career as a businessman where he built Changi Airport’s first runway and the facilities in Kusu Island.
“In the same way, we hope that the LKCMedicine will be able to embody the same pioneering spirit demonstrated by Mr Toh and lead in providing an alternative model of undergraduate medical education in Singapore, spearheading innovation in educating and nurturing doctors with deep values,” said Mr Heng.
10-23-2013, 02:40 AM #7579
Trio of veteran artists honoured with Cultural Medallion
Published on Oct 23, 2013
President Tan with (from left) conductor Yeh Tsung, 63, theatre practitioner Ivan Heng, 50, and poet and novelist Mohamed Latiff Mohamed, 63, at the Istana last night. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
By Clarissa Oon Senior Writer
Three veteran artists, representing the fields of English- language theatre, Malay literature and Chinese orchestral music, have received this year's Cultural Medallion.
Theatre practitioner Ivan Heng, 50, poet and novelist Mohamed Latiff Mohamed, 63, and conductor Yeh Tsung, 63, received their awards from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana last night.
The Cultural Medallion is the nation's highest cultural award, given out to Singapore citizens or permanent residents. It recognises excellence, commitment and leadership in the arts, and has been conferred on 112 artists since it was instituted in 1979.
Family members of all three men were present at yesterday's ceremony, including Yeh's wife of 30 years, Saulan, who flew in from the United States. The China-born Yeh, who is music director of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, is a Singapore PR whose family lives in the US.
2013 Young Artist Award recipients
- Sound artist Bani Haykal, 28
- Pipa musician Chua Yew Kok, 35
- Visual artist Grace Tan, 34
- Theatre practitioner Koh Hui Ling, 34
- Visual artist M. Zaki Razak, 34
- Music producer and composer Ruth Ling, 33
- Urban artist Zul Othman (Zero), 34
10-23-2013, 02:51 AM #7580
Popular comic series to come out of retirement for NLB information literacy campaign SURE (Source, Understand, Research, Evaluate)
By Kenneth Cheng
1 hour 1 min ago
SINGAPORE — After a 13-year hiatus, the popular comic series Mr Kiasu will make a comeback — with a message for readers.
The iconic comic series’ new instalment, titled Everything Also Want To Be Sure, the brainchild of cartoonist Johnny Lau, will be launched on Dec 15 as part of a national information literacy campaign unveiled by the National Library Board (NLB) today (Oct 23).
Mr Lau’s new comic is but one of a slew of initiatives employed by the SURE (Source, Understand, Research, Evaluate) campaign to create awareness of information literacy and imbue in the public the ability to locate, comprehend, and assess information more effectively.
After getting off to a successful start in schools in May in the form of an activity-based enrichment programme called SURE Club, the campaign will now be extended to the general public through cyberspace (via the website sure.nl.sg and the campaign’s Facebook page fb.com/sgsure), workshops for everyone from teenagers to adults, and a public symposium featuring eminent speakers, such as neuroscientist Dr Carl Schoonover.
The NLB has also partnered publishing house Epigram Books to weave the SURE technique into two top-selling book series, Sherlock Sam and Triple Nine Sleuths.
“Information literacy is about acquiring the skills to distinguish between fact, fiction and opinion,” said NLB Chief Executive Elaine Ng, adding that the campaign aims to offer ways by which the public can “navigate information in an entertaining way”.
Introduced last year as the National Information Literacy Programme and rebranded as SURE this year, the campaign is set to run till 2016.
10-23-2013, 03:05 AM #7581
Onus on Schooling to blaze the trail for others
Joseph Schooling. TODAY file photo
ByIAN DE COTTA
In the two short years since he claimed the 100m and 200m fly records at the 2011 national championships as a 16-year-old, Joseph Schooling has turned into something special.
Heralded as Singapore Swimming’s new poster boy, he went on to pick up two golds, a silver and a bronze at the 2011 South-east Asian Games. The teenager also qualified for the 2012 London Olympics and claimed a further three national records in the 50m fly, 200m free and 200m individual medley.
Yesterday, he must have woken up in Florida — where he studies and trains at Bolles School, a swimming powerhouse — feeling the weight of Singapore sports on his shoulder.
Hours earlier, while he slept, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen revealed in Parliament here that his application for deferment from National Service has been approved until after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
He is the first athlete to receive that privilege and it is an acknowledgement that the next three years are critical for the 18-year-old’s athletic development as he plots a strategy for glory and national pride.
The Government’s groundbreaking green light is supported by scientific evidence.
According to Istvan Balyi — an acclaimed expert in long-term athlete development whose programme is adopted by top sporting countries such as the United States and Britain — the final stage where top level competitors are trained to win comes when they reach 18.
This is when, the Canadian’s research states, athletes’ physical, technical, tactical, mental, personal and lifestyle capacities are fully formed and the focus is on maximising performance.
But Schooling’s NS deferment that gives him critical time to hone his swimming talent for the next three years comes with a heavy responsibility. His is a test case that could point the way forward for other local elite athletes with the potential to succeed. If Schooling takes it to its intended conclusion, the NS door could open a little wider for others.
The pressure then is on the fly specialist to live a disciplined and exemplary life worthy of a top athlete training for 2016 and there’s no room to slip up.
But must this journey result in a medal at the 2016 Games?
The last time a Singapore swimmer reached an Olympic final was in 2008, when Tao Li finished fifth in the women’s 100m fly.
Apart from Ang Peng Siong making the men’s 100m free B final in the 1984 Olympics, no male athlete in the pool has gone beyond that mark.
The bar for Schooling must then be at least a top-five finish in the 100m and 200m fly finals in Rio. Male swimmers reach their peak in their mid-20s and only the exceptionally gifted like Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe and Mark Spitz, who at 18 already owned five world records, are primed for early success at top-level international competitions.
Schooling’s journey in his attempt to hit glory on the global stage has only just begun and a realistic medal target for the swimming hopeful is the 2020 Tokyo Games, when he is 25.
And if the teenager shines at Rio, the challenge falls on the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) and Singapore Sports Council (SSC) to keep him in top physical condition and competition ready while he serves NS after the 2016 Olympiad.
The onus is on Schooling to beat a path for talented male athletes to succeed at the very top while they meet their NS obligations that every Singaporean man has to go through.
But this is not a one-man job, it is a collective effort that requires everyone in the country to be on board, including all national sports associations and even the Singapore National Olympic Council.
Ian De Cotta is a Senior Correspondent at TODAY.
10-23-2013, 03:27 AM #7582
NTU to set up Southeast Asia's first green maritime energy test facility
POSTED: 23 Oct 2013 15:40
SINGAPORE: The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is setting up an advanced maritime energy test facility for research and development work in green ship and port technologies.
Called the Maritime Energy Test Bed, it will be open to scientists and engineers from both academia and industry, and is expected to be ready by 2015.
NTU and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) are jointly funding the centre, which they say will be the first in Southeast Asia.
SMI Chairman Teo Siong Seng said: "The establishment of the Maritime Energy Test Bed will help in the translation of innovative technologies from lab-scale to large-scale application where new technologies will be tested prior to sea trials."
SMI will contribute S$4.7 million over the next 10 years to the centre while NTU will provide S$3.4 million with support from the industry.
File photo of a cruise ship at Harbour Front in Singapore.
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