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  1. #8161
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    Default Medisave use to be extended to reduce out-of-pocket costs for outpatient care

    Published on Mar 12, 2014
    2:15 PM



    Posed photo of a person with a stethoscope for stories on medical practitioners. The use of Medisave will be significantly expanded to help people meet their outpatient treatment needs. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING


    By Salma Khalik

    The use of Medisave will be significantly expanded to help people meet their outpatient treatment needs.

    First, the $30 deductible each time patients use their Medisave to pay for outpatient treatments will be scrapped. This will take effect from July.

    Patients will also be able to draw up to $300 a year should patients need scans for non-cancer diagnosis. Currently, Medisave only covers scans for cancer. This change will take effect early next year.

    Another change will allow older people to draw more than the current $400 a year per Medisave account for outpatient treatment
    . This flexi-Medisave use gives them an extra $200 a year and will start in the first half of next year.

  2. #8162
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    Default Duke-NUS Medical School discovers protein complex which 'disrupts tumour development'

    Published on Mar 12, 2014
    12:49 PM


    By Carolyn Khew

    Researchers at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School have discovered a protein complex which they say can disrupt a process known to promote tumour development.

    Known as dedifferentiation, the process causes tumours by leading mature cells to become ectopic neural stem cells. These cells undergo uncontrolled growth which eventually leads to the development of brain tumours.

    The team of researchers led by Assistant Professor Wang Hongya conducted a study using the brains of fruit flies and uncovered a protein complex which can prevent the formation of ectopic neural stem cells. The flies' neural stem cells are similar to those of humans.

    The discovery will provide insight on how the tumour development process can be inhibited - an area that was "previously poorly understood," the school said in a statement. It will also help with the "development of future cancer therapies".

  3. #8163
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    Default Singapore Budget 2014: First run of volunteer youth corps in June

    Published on Mar 12, 2014
    12:08 PM


    By Janice Tai


    The first intake of the new volunteer youth corps will start their training in June, after recruitment started last month.

    The one-year programme, now known as Youth Corps Singapore (YCS), will see the youth embarking on a local and overseas volunteering stint, lasting three to six months each.

    Another component will include a structured residential training programme to equip youths with knowledge and leadership skills, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said in Parliament on Wednesday.

    The Youth Corps is the first national-level programme of its kind, and also "a first in many steps towards more impactful youth development and engagement," he added.

  4. #8164
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    Default Singapore Budget 2014: $1.5 billion to give Singaporeans easier access to sports

    Singapore Budget 2014: $1.5 billion to give Singaporeans easier access to sports facilities


    Published on Mar 11, 2014
    7:39 PM



    An artist's impression of the Ang Mo Kio Wet Play Field, which will be redeveloped from the existing Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex. The Government will commit $1.5 billion to give Singaporeans easier access to sports and recreational facilities by 2030. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE SPORTS COUNCIL


    By Wang Meng Meng

    The Government will commit $1.5 billion to give Singaporeans easier access to sports and recreational facilities by 2030.

    Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said in Parliament on Tuesday that this will be used for phase one of the Sports Facilities Master Plan (SFMP).

    Mr Wong said the masterplan aims to give a majority of Singaporeans access to sports and recreational facilities within a 10-minute walk of their homes.

    We want to meet sporting needs at all levels - national, regional, town and community," he added.

  5. #8165
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    Default New boost for Singapore entrepreneurs at One-North

    JTC LaunchPad@One-north to provide start-ups with more opportunities to network and collaborat


    ByTan Weizhen
    Published: March 12, 1:05 PM


    SINGAPORE — In the latest boost for new entrepreneurs in Singapore, a new cluster for start-ups at the one-north region was launched this morning (March 12).

    Called JTC LaunchPad@one-north, the five-hectare site near Buona Vista will provide space for incubators and start-ups, in the hope of turning it into a community such as a mini Silicon Valley, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck.

    The site — which is expected to be completed by the end of this year — will almost double the start-up community here to 500. It comprises of three blocks — the current block 71 at Ayer Rajah Crescent which currently houses 250 start-ups, and the new blocks 73 and 79.

    Event spaces, sports facilities and other meeting areas will also be set up to allow the community to interact and to provide fledging start-ups with more networking and collaboration opportunities.

  6. #8166
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    Default Singapore Budget 2014: 10 things you need to know

    Published on Mar 13, 2014
    8:00 PM


    After a week and a half of discussion, the Committee of Supply debates on Budget 2014 has wrapped up. From housing, to education, we look at the major announcements that will affect you.

  7. #8167
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    Default Rain brings relief to sweltering S’pore



    Some were caught off guard and had to duck for cover as it rained in...
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    Rain poured down on many parts of Singapore on Mar 16 2014, after a...
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    Photo: Ooi Boon Keong






    Air quality improves, with PSI staying in ‘good’ range throughout yesterday


    Published: March 17, 4:12 AM
    Updated: March 17, 4:15 AM


    SINGAPORE — Heavy showers across Singapore yesterday ended a 27-day dry spell and improved the hazy conditions experienced over the past week, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) staying in the “good” range throughout the day.

    The rain, which started at 9.40am, was heaviest in the eastern and southern parts of the island — areas that received the least rainfall during the dry spell, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a statement yesterday.

    All except one of the Meteorological Service Singapore’s 64 rainfall stations recorded rainfall of above 1.0mm.

    As at 6.30pm, the highest rainfall total was 52.6mm at Changi
    . Nineteen other stations in the east, south and central areas recorded rainfall totals ranging from 31.0mm to 51.8mm.

    While there had been occasional brief showers on Saturday afternoon, the NEA had said then that the rainfall was not widespread and heavy enough to break the dry spell.

    Yesterday, many people took to social media to post a flood of wet weather pictures.

    Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also welcomed the rain on his Facebook page.

    The rain was the result of an equatorial band of extensive rain clouds from the southern part of the South China Sea brought in to Singapore and the surrounding region by strong, deep easterly winds, said the NEA.

    In an update on the haze situation, the NEA said no hot spots were detected in Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra yesterday due to extensive cloud cover. As at 10pm, air quality in Singapore was in the “good” band, with the three-hour PSI at 14 and the 24-hour PSI between 19 and 29. The 24-hour PM2.5 was between 10 and 19 micrograms per cubic metre.

    The NEA also said there were showers over parts of Peninsular Malaysia and central Sumatra, including the Riau province, with the former seeing improved air quality. As at 5pm yesterday, only three areas — one in Perak and two in Selangor — reported air quality in the “unhealthy” range.

    Schools in Malaysia that were closed last Friday due to the hazardous levels of air pollution have been directed to reopen today, reported Bernama.

    Thundery showers are expected in Singapore in the late morning and afternoon today and tomorrow, while the air quality for the next 24 hours is expected to remain in the “moderate” band, said the NEA yesterday. The showers have been forecast as the North-east Monsoon transitions to the Inter-Monsoon period expected in the last week of this month.

    Winds in the surrounding region are also expected to blow mainly from the east over the next few days. Should the winds temporarily turn in direction to blow from the north-east, or if there are hot spot activities in southern Johor, slightly hazy conditions are to be expected.

    An earlier dry spell between Jan 13 and Feb 8 also lasted 27 days.

  8. #8168
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    Default Sunday visitors in some malls, parks up as more maids get rest days

    Some malls and parks popular with domestic helpers are seeing increased traffic



    Published on Mar 17, 2014
    7:28 AM



    A crowd mostly having picnics in their own groups opposite Lucky Plaza at Tong Building on a recent Sunday. As more maids get days off, traditional hang-outs like Lucky Plaza and City Plaza are getting more crowded on Sundays. But some businesses say this is not translating into higher returns. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG


    By Joanna Seow

    Popular hang-outs for maids have become more crowded over the past year, as more domestic helpers get days off.

    Maids and business owners told The Straits Times that Lucky Plaza and City Plaza are seeing more Sunday visitors in recent months, as are other open spaces.

    "Last time, only the front of City Plaza was crowded; now, all the sides are too," said Ms Kuswati, an Indonesian maid who goes by only one name. She meets friends at the shopping mall in Paya Lebar on Sundays.

    She has lived in Singapore since 2008 but started getting weekly rest days only after her contract was renewed this month.

  9. #8169
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    Default Singapore sends 151 servicemen to join anti-piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden

    Published on Mar 17, 2014
    6:55 PM



    The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be deploying a 151-strong task group to the Gulf of Aden (GoA) in support of international counter-piracy efforts there. Singapore is joining international anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden for the ninth time since 2009. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM


    By Jermyn Chow

    Singapore is joining international anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden for the ninth time since 2009.

    On Monday, 151 servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces left for a three-month stint to protect merchant ships against pirate attacks in the waters off Somalia.

    Led by Colonel Cheong Kwok Chien, the servicemen sailed on the Republic of Singapore Navy's stealth frigate RSS Tenacious which was also carrying a Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter.

    They will join the multi-national Combined Task Force 151 to patrol the area.

  10. #8170
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    Default Singapore Sports Council to undergo name change

    National sports body embarking on rebranding programme, to be known as Sport Singapore from April 1


    TODAY


    By Philip Goh
    Published: March 18, 12:03 PM


    SINGAPORE — In their bid to drive sports to the next level for all, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) has embarked on a rebranding programme in its aim to realise the country’s Vision 2030.

    SSC chief executive Lim Teck Yin said the name change to Sport Singapore from April 1 will reflect their role to empower partnerships and communities as in the journey to achieve the goal of “Live Better Through Sports”.

    To get there, he added, they wanted a fresher, vibrant identify that shed the image as a boring authoritarian body in the sports fraternity.

    Lim revealed this to the media yesterday during a briefing on the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth’s 2014 budget presented in Parliament last week.

    “When we did a brand audit recently in relation to what we put out there to be the purpose of the organisation under Vision 2030, it was felt that it’s time for not just for a name change, but it’s time to communicate what we stand for,” said Lim.

    “We are the governing authority for the investment of public funds in Singapore, but more than that, we are in the ecosystem to partner our stakeholders, and this is what the (Sport Singapore) brand identity communicates.”

    As key partners of Vision 2030, National Sports Associations (NSAs) will now also be given more flexibility in managing funds disbursed to them.

    The associations will also be disbursed with baseline funding each year for a basket of fixed items, including national competitions and sports development, without the need to apply for them any longer, And they can also re-locate them without SSC approval
    .

    For the current financial year a total of S$80.77 million will be distributed to them every six months, instead of quarterly previously.


    A S$25 million Innovation Fund has also been set aside over five years to help NSAs and their respective sports to develop long-term capabilities.


    But probably what is the best news was reserved for non-Spex Singapore athletes’ preparing for next year’s SEA Games here.

    They will be funded for up to 12 months for the 2015 edition, an increase of six months from past Games.

    Adult medal hopefuls training full time for the regional biennial event could be given a grant for loss of wages of up to $2,500 a month, while up to S$800 a month will be considered for students.



    Singapore Sports Council known as Sport Singapore from April in rebranding exercise

    The Straits Times

    Published on Mar 18, 2014
    12:03 PM





    Singapore Sports Council chief executive Lim Teck Yim unveils Sport Singapore, the new identity of the council, at a media conference on March 17, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM


    By May Chen


    The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) will be known as Sport Singapore from April, as part of a rebranding exercise to align itself with its ambition of promoting a sporting Singapore.

    While its functions and role as the national sport agency will not change, SSC chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin felt it was time to put in place a "fresher, more vibrant" identity to better reflect Vision 2030, the blueprint for Singapore sports drawn up in 2011.

    "Our journey along Vision 2030 is well underway," Lim said in a briefing to the media on Monday. (Its) key elements... is something that needs to be communicated through our brand identity and Sports Singapore is that identity.

    "We are the governing authority for the investment of public funds in sport in Singapore, but more than that, we are in the ecosystem to partner our stakeholders and this is what this brand identity communicates."

  11. #8171
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    Default Nurseries, farms glad for rain but keep their guard up

    Green Gween nursery was among the local businesses that are hoping for more rain, as ‘the plants have to do a lot of catching up’. Today File Photo


    Widespread showers give respite, but firms hope forecast of more rainfall will come true


    TODAY

    By Woo Sian Boon -

    Published: March 18, 4:11 AM
    Updated: March 18, 4:15 AM

    SINGAPORE — Businesses badly hit by the recent dry spell, such as vegetable farmers, reacted with glee to the downpours over the past two days, although some continued to express apprehension over letting their guard down despite the forecast of thundery showers for the next few days.

    Widespread showers fell in the late morning and afternoon yesterday — the highest rainfall of 51.6mm was recorded at Yishun at 4pm — following the downpour on Sunday. It ended a 27-day dry spell in Singapore that had given some businesses ballooning water bills and caused some farmers’ production to fall by about 20 to 30 per cent.

    These firms are keeping their fingers crossed that the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) forecast for more rain in the coming days will come true. Said Candy Floriculture Director Sharon Goh: “It will take one or two weeks before my plants will fully recover.”

    Green Gween Landscape Design
    and Construction’s owner, Mr John Gwee, added: “We really need more rain ... because the plants have to do a lot of catching up in retaining water as a form of reservoir for themselves — they need to have constant replenishment from the rain in order to have a certain degree of moisture in the soil.”

    Others, such as Yili Vegetation and Trading Managing Director Alan Toh, are just glad for the respite — he had planned to purchase non-potable water from the PUB to water his vegetables yesterday, but shelved these plans because of Sunday’s rain.

    “I feel like I’ve won 4D. My problems have been solved. Now we can go back to normal operations and start planting new crops,” he said.

    Farm 85 Trading’s owner Tan Koon Hua, however, is not taking any chances. He has expanded the capacity of his irrigation pond by raising its height by 5 metres.

    “It’s as much as we can raise its water levels without having to apply for permits from the authorities but, with the additional capacity, we should be able to store enough water to last for 10 more days,” he said.

    Similarly, town councils, which have been implementing water-saving measures such as reducing the frequency of block-washing, are adopting a wait-and-see approach.

    Said a spokesperson for Tampines Town Council: “We are still closely monitoring the situation because it might be a temporary relief. Through the next week or so, if we continue to have regular rainfall, then we will resume normal block washing.”

    n response to queries, national water agency PUB said its measures to keep our reservoirs’ water levels healthy are still in place. “We are running our operations at status quo, with about 35 million gallons a day of NEWater injected into the reservoirs,” said a spokesperson. Desalination and NEWater plants are also still running at full capacity, she added.
    The agency continued its call for the public to conserve water and “make it a way of life” even though “some rain has returned”.

    Meanwhile, the widespread showers also brought respite in terms of air quality.

    Yesterday, the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index was 16-23 at 6pm, with the NEA predicting the index to remain in the “moderate” range today.

    Showers over Peninsular Malaysia and central Sumatra have also helped to improve the haze situation in these areas, with air quality in most areas of Peninsular Malaysia in the “good” range yesterday afternoon, it said.

    Winds in the surrounding region are expected to blow mainly from the north-east, said the NEA, although slightly hazy conditions can be expected if there are hot spot activities in southern Johor.

  12. #8172
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    Default 2015 SEA Games to feature 36 sports

    Floorball will make its debut as a full medal sport for the 2015 SEA Games. today file photo



    Bargaining will continue when Games Federation council meets next month but line-up looks firm


    By Dan Guen Chin

    Published: March 20, 4:12 AM
    Updated: March 20, 4:15 AM


    SINGAPORE — Weightlifting and karate are out while petanque, boxing and equestrian are in, with floorball making its debut as a full medal sport for the 2015 South-east Asian Games (June 5-16) in Singapore.

    For now, there will be 381 gold medals up for grabs but the number could increase when the SEA Games Federation council meets here to make a final decision on the line-up of sports for the 28th edition of the biennial Games.

    Speaking to TODAY, Singapore National Olympic Council Secretary-General Chris Chan said the local organising committee and SEA Games Federation council members have agreed to cap the number of sports at 36, after a series of meetings.

    “In the original list, we have 30 sports but after appeals by the member countries at the SEA Games Federation council meeting here last month, we have decided to include six more to the original list to make it 36,” said Chan.

    The six sports to be added are Boxing (11 gold medals), Equestrian (4), Floorball (2), Petanque (8), Rowing (18) and Volleyball (2).

    “That’s the furthest we can go,” said Chan, who expects more appeals from member countries when the federation meets here late next month and the likelihood that the number of gold medals will be increased.

    Chan’s Malaysian counterpart, Sieh Kok Chi, agrees that 36 would be the maximum. “In Singapore’s case, the bus is full. They cannot take in any more passengers. Given their resources and the limited number of venues, I think 36 sports is fair,” said Sieh.

    Chan added that the list of sports to be contested in Singapore adheres to the SEA Games charter, which includes the spreading of Olympic principles through its member countries.

    “Of the 36 sports, 24 are contested at the Olympics and 34 will be contested at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September,” said Chan.

    “But I have received appeals from member countries that a few more events should be included … countries who are strong in those sports and are likely gold medallists.

    “For example, the Thais want women’s golf, women’s football and badminton team events. The Malaysians want to add the Compound event in archery when there is only Recurve in the original list. There is also an appeal to add beach volleyball.

    “But we know the limitations we face and the costs to be incurred if we hold additional events.

    The local organising committee are also trying to keep the gold medal tally down to a more manageable level, with wushu and boxing told to keep the numbers down.

    Wushu had 23 gold medals in their original list but have been told to pare it down, given the understanding that apart from swimming and athletics, no one sport should have more than 5 per cent of the total gold medals at stake.

    “We have exceeded the 5 per cent mark and have been asked to reduce it to 20 gold medals,” confirmed a spokesman for the Singapore Wushu Federation.

    Likewise, boxing have been told to drop down from 11 gold medals to 10.

  13. #8173
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    Default Swimming: Two longstanding national records fall at National Age Group Championships

    Published on Mar 19, 2014
    11:18 PM


    Two national Under-14 swimming records, lasting two decades, belonging to two of Singapore's former star swimmers finally crumbled on Wednesday night.

    Tan Jing-E smashed Joscelin Yeo's 200m individual medley (IM) mark
    clocked at the 1993 SEA Games trials (2min 23.42sec) with a 2min 22.58sec swim at the 45th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships.

    The meet was held at the Singapore Sports School.

    Darren Chua
    was another record breaker when he was timed 1min 56.21sec in the 200m freestyle final. That broke a 20-year mark held by Sng Ju Wei, who was timed at 1:56.71 at the 18th South-east Asia Age Group Swimming Championships in 1994.

  14. #8174
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    Default Singapore scientists find 'new way' of creating stem cells from drop of finger blood

    Published on Mar 20, 2014
    11:53 AM


    By Grace Chua

    Scientists in Singapore say they have found a way to create human stem cells from a drop of blood pricked from the finger.

    Previously, methods for generating these cells - called human-induced pluripotent stem cells - involved collecting adult cells from bone marrow, skin or large quantities of blood. These were then genetically coaxed into reverting into stem cells.

    However, such invasive collection methods deterred some potential donors.

    Researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) revealed their new technique on Thursday.

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    Default Singapore expresses disappointment at Indo marines who pose as bombers

    Published on Mar 20, 2014
    11:52 PM


    The Indonesian Navy's three newest frigates, which are now being fitted at a yard in Britain. (From right) KRI Usman Harun 359, KRI John Lie 358 and KRI Bung Tomo 357. -- PHOTO: INDONESIAN NAVY



    By Zakir Hussain, Indonesia Bureau Chief In Jakarta

    SINGAPORE’S Foreign Ministry has expressed concern and disappointment over an incident on Wednesday at an international defence event in Jakarta, where two Indonesian marines posed as the perpetrators of the MacDonald House bombing in 1965.

    The uniformed duo wore badges that said Usman and Harun, after Osman Mohamed Ali and Harun Said, who were convicted and executed in Singapore in 1968 for the bombing that left three civilians dead and injured 33 others.

    Indonesia plans to name a new frigate the KRI Usman Harun, after the two marines who were made national heroes in 1968. But the move, publicised in February, drew protests from Singapore and strained bilateral ties.

    “We are concerned and disappointed over the incident at the Jakarta International Defence Dialogue (JIDD) exhibition,” an MFA spokesman said in response to media queries. “On learning of the incident, the SAF’s delegation at the JIDD withdrew from the event and returned to Singapore.”

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    Default Billionaire Adelson seeks land to expand Marina Bay Sands

    Marina Bay Sands 24/7


    Casino operator plans to add 1,500 rooms to S’pore’s largest hotel


    Published: March 21, 6:36 AM


    SINGAPORE — Las Vegas Sands has asked the Singapore authorities for more land to increase rooms at its Marina Bay Sands resort by about 60 per cent after facing almost full occupancy, billionaire Chairman Sheldon Adelson said yesterday.

    The world’s biggest casino operator plans to add 1,500 rooms to the 2,563-room resort, Mr Adelson said at a briefing here. It will also add meeting rooms, ballrooms and exhibition spaces to the US$6 billion (S$7.65 billion) project and largest hotel in Singapore when the Government releases more land, he said.

    “We need more rooms,” Mr Adelson said. “We are running at a 100 per cent occupancy; on a bad day, it’s 98 per cent. No other hotel in the world runs like this, except some in Vegas.”

    Mr Adelson said he had met government officials on Wednesday and repeated his request for more land. Marina Bay Sands has about 1.2 million sq ft of meeting and convention space and two theatres for Broadway shows, concerts and gala events, said a company filing.

    The room revenue at the resort rose 11 per cent to US$360.3 million last year, the filing showed.

    Last year’s occupancy rate was 98.6 per cent, with an average daily room rate of US$396.

    Hotels in the city filled 86.3 per cent of their rooms last year, data from the Singapore Tourism Board showed.

    Still, Sands posted fourth-quarter earnings on Jan 30 that trailed analysts’ estimates, as revenue in Singapore fell 8 per cent to US$659.8 million. Gains in mass gaming and non-gaming revenue were countered by “softer VIP play”, the firm said.

    Sands plans to focus on Asia after the operator abandoned a plan in December to build a US$30 billion mega-resort in Spain.

    “We want to develop a network of resorts around the Pacific Rim,” Mr Adelson said.

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    Default A cautious thumbs-up

    Sports



    Singapore Weightlifting Federation — which will get S$100,000, same as last year — can now tap into extra funds to help grow the sport and develop lifters such as Scott Wong. Today file photo


    National sports associations welcome innovation fund but not all know how to tap into S$25m pot


    By IAN DE COTTA
    Published: March 21, 4:13 AM


    SINGAPORE — Sports administrators have welcomed the move by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) to ease the way they do business and make facilities and programmes more accessible.

    National sports associations (NSAs) TODAY spoke to welcomed the flexibility in managing public funds given to them. This comes in the wake of the announcement this week of a new identity that the SSC will adopt on from April 1 as Sport Singapore.

    With the name change, Sport Singapore will seek to shed their authoritarian governing posture and forge partnerships, among others, with NSAs.

    A S$25 million innovation fund was also launched that NSAs can draw from to improve their capabilities. But to tap into it, they must propose ideas that have the ability to take their respective sports to the next level, said SSC Chief Executive Lim Teck Yin.

    Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS) President David Ong said his committee has explored some ideas that could meet the SSC’s criteria.

    They are hoping to take the game forward after the men’s team bagged a bronze at the 2013 SEA Games after 32 years. The women’s side last achieved the same feat at the 2003 edition.

    “We have at least one serious idea that we think will work,” said Ong. “Our budget has evolved over time to meet growing needs, developing of talent and organising tournaments.

    “Money is never enough and it is important that we ensure our budget is deployed optimally. With game-changing ideas, it means incrementally more budget is required.”

    The BAS are hoping this will add to the estimated S$200,000 they will receive from the S$80.77 million that the SSC is disbursing for the 2014 financial year.

    But at least one NSA, Sports Boules Singapore (SBS), has yet to understand how to tap into the innovation fund, which could very well be a lifeline for the governing body for petanque.

    With about S$20,000 left in their coffers, SBS Administrator and Development Manager Eddie Lim said they need about S$80,000 a year to sustain the sport.

    He said they will receive about S$32,000 in funding for the next financial year, and will struggle to keep afloat, ahead of the 2015 SEA Games here where the sport will be included in the competition.

    Companies, he added, have shunned sponsoring the NSA as it is known as a sport for senior citizens. With a lack of funds, it will be difficult to promote petanque to younger and middle-age people.

    Said Lim: “We are going to get SSC’s help on how we can make use of this innovation fund or else we may have to shut down.

    “There used to be over 1,000 people playing petanque but many have passed on and there are only about 800 of us left.

    “We have to sit down with the SSC to see how we can get more money to expand our reach, especially among younger people.”

    While welcoming SSC’s new approach to work in partnership with NSAs, the Singapore Weightlifting Federation president Tom Liaw said they could do with a little more help.

    They will get under S$100,000, the same as last year, and will have to raise another half of that to meet operating expenses.

    “The extra money will help us get more equipment for schools and get more students to take up weight lifting. At the moment we have been able to get this for three schools and this is not enough to grow the sport,” said Liaw.

    Singapore’s first Olympic medal came from weight lifting when Tan Howe Liang lifted silver in the 1960 Rome Olympics.

    Added Liaw: “To get the sport to its former glory, we also need to organise more competitions, from the two we are doing now, and send promising lifters to overseas competitions.

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