Singapore Also Can

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Loh, May 4, 2009.

  1. ubootsg

    ubootsg Regular Member

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    Not competition. Singapore had two signed agreements with Malaysia to supply water. Ozone of the agreements have already expired. It's more of survival than anything else... It's a good thing that much progress has been made to make Singapore to be self-sufficient with regards to water.
    P.S. I realised that this is a very late response to the thread but I've just read it.
     
    #9561 ubootsg, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore is fifth in 2018's Global Innovation Index

    Wed, Jul 11, 2018 - 10:30 AM
    Yunita Ong@YunitaOngBT

    SINGAPORE has moved up two spots to place fifth in this year's Global Innovation Index, while remaining top of the list among countries in South-east Asia, East Asia and Oceania.

    Singapore remained top of the class for government effectiveness, regulatory quality and foreign direct investment outflows. Singapore was also the best performer for political stability and safety, market capitalisation, foreign direct investment inflows, high and medium-high tech manufacturing and high-tech net exports.

    The annual ranking done by Cornell University, Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) measures 126 countries based on 80 criteria, running the gamut from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications.

    In the overall global ranking, Singapore ranked behind Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, and beat the US (which fell from fourth place last year), Finland, Denmark and Germany.

    Among regional countries, Singapore did better than South Korea, which placed 12th overall, and Japan, which was 13th globally.

    Organisers also noted that after being 22th last year, China's 17th ranking this year "represents a breakthrough for an economy witnessing rapid transformation guided by government policy prioritising research and development-intensive ingenuity".

    The report also noted that some middle and lower-income economies such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam continue to move up the ranking in terms of innovation "perform significantly better on innovation than their level of development would predict".

    (Global Rankings:
    https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/gii-2018-report#)

    Some selected ASEAN countries:
    Rank
    05 Singapore
    35 Malaysia
    44 Thailand
    45 Vietnam
    73 Philippines
    85 Indonesia
     
    #9562 Loh, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    PUB and Brewerkz collaboration sees creation of NEWBrew, a beer made with NEWater
    By Coconuts Singapore Jul. 9, 2018

    If you’re tired of drinking the same old environmentally-neutral beers week after week during happy hour, Brewerkz may have something new for the adventurous.

    Yesterday, the homegrown microbrewery unveiled NEWBrew, a craft beer that’s only available this week. Its not so secret ingredient? Recycled wastewater.

    Yes, you read that right — booze made out of Singapore’s very own NEWater.

    In collaboration with PUB Singapore (the national water agency, that could double as the name of a bar), Brewerkz developed the groundbreaking beer in honor of the 10th annual Singapore International Water Week (SIWW).

    Despite its unglamorous reputation as water reclaimed from sewage, might we remind you that water used to make NEWBrew is a technological feat on its own? Singapore’s own brand of high-grade, ultra-clean, reclaimed water exceeds international drinking water safety standards. Sure, it’s perfectly safe for consumption, but NEWater is mainly used by specialized industries requiring ultra-clean water, including water fabrication and electronics, The Straits Times reported.

    Reporters who’ve blind tasted NEWBrew with other beers can’t find many differences between ’em.

    While NEWater is also sometimes used to top up reservoirs when levels get low, this is the first time Singapore is using it for beer-making.

    While there are no current plans to bring NEWBrew to the general market, adventurous drinkers who want a taste of this beer of the can check it out for a limited time at SIWW conference events.

    Of course, folks couldn’t help but have a little fun with the craft concoction.

    Newater craft beer? I guess PUB put the Pee in IPA.
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    I'm afraid the water controversy has returned to Singapore with the new Malaysian government. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore Airlines named world’s best airline in Skytrax awards

    [​IMG]
    The Airbus A350-900ULR that will operate the Singapore-Newark route. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)
    17 Jul 2018 08:37PM (Updated: 17 Jul 2018 08:40PM)

    SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) was on Tuesday (Jul 17) named the world’s best airline in Skytrax’s 2018 World Airline Awards, retaking the position it last held in 2008.

    Qatar Airways, which was top last year, came in second. Japan's ANA was in third place.

    SIA has been moving up the rankings in recent years – it came in third in 2016 and was placed second in 2017.

    The Singapore carrier also took top spot for three other categories - best airline in Asia, world’s best first class and best first class airline seat.

    The awards are based on surveys of more than 20 million travellers, who rated more than 335 airlines between August 2017 and May 2018.

    This is the fourth time that SIA has been named world’s best airline by the London-based research firm, after wins in 2004, 2007 and 2008.

    “A key 'wow' factor for customers is consistency and this proved to a real asset for Singapore Airlines who scored highly across both product and service,” said Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted.

    Accepting the award at a ceremony in London on Tuesday, SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong said: “I dedicate it to the 26,000 SIA Group employees who focus every day on delivering the world’s best travel experience to our customers.”

    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...orlds-best-airline-in-skytrax-awards-10538720
     

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  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    S'pore ratifies landmark Asia-Pacific trade pact

    [​IMG]
    Reuters file photo

    Singapore has become the third nation to ratify the landmark Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    Published19 July, 2018
    Updated 19 July, 2018
    SINGAPORE — The Republic has become the third nation to ratify the landmark Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade pact, after Mexico and Japan, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a press release on Thursday (July 19).

    The CPTPP is a "high-quality agreement" which will reduce market barriers and foster trade in a combined market of 500 million people with a gross domestic product of US$10 trillion (S$13.67 trillion), noted the MTI.

    The agreement establishes rules in new areas such as e-commerce.

    Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said: "The CPTPP is an important agreement that will complement Singapore's existing network of bilateral free trade agreements."

    The agreement will strengthen trade among countries in the Asia-Pacific, resulting in a more seamless flow of goods, services and investment, he added.

    "Against the current backdrop of trade tensions and anti-globalisation sentiments, the CPTPP sends a strong signal of our commitment to trade liberalisation and a rules-based trading system," said the minister.

    "The CPTPP is an open and inclusive agreement and we welcome like-minded parties to join the CPTPP after it has entered into force."

    The CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after six of the 11 signatories ratify the agreement.

    Japan took the lead in forging the CPTPP after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the TPP in January last year, saying he wanted to seek one-on-one deals that would be more beneficial to his country.

    The 11 CPTPP signatories concluded negotiations on Jan 23 in Tokyo. The CPTPP was subsequently signed on March 8 in Chile.

    Twenty provisions from the original TPP text were suspended temporarily — a majority of which relate to intellectual property protection.

    Experts are holding out hope that Washington will rejoin the pact in future.
     
  7. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    In a first, Singapore will lend its name to United Nations treaty on mediation
    https://www.todayonline.com/singapo...lend-its-name-united-nations-treaty-mediation

    By Cynthia Choo

    [​IMG]
    AFP
    Members of the United Nations Security Council attend a meeting chaired by Polish President Andrzej Duda at United Nations headquarters, on May 17, 2018, in New York City.

    SINGAPORE — The Singapore Convention on Mediation — the first United Nations Convention named after the Republic — will be signed in August next year.

    Once the treaty enters into force, it will permit settlement agreements arising from international commercial mediation to be enforced in any contracting state. Its goal is to make it easier for businesses to enforce mediated settlement agreements, which is commonly a challenge due to international borders.

    In a press statement on Monday (July 23), the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) noted that although mediation has risen as a means to resolve cross-border commercial disputes, one key obstacle to its growth is the difficulty that one party faces in ensuring its counterpart complies with their settlement arrangements.

    The Convention will be the first multilateral agreement to address this, and will therefore facilitate the growth of international commerce, MinLaw said.

    Singapore will host the signing ceremony in August next year, but it is unclear how many countries will be among the first signatories. However, it may be some time before it can take effect since there is a ratification process following the signing.

    Calling the treaty a significant one that will “put Singapore on the map” for thought leadership in international trade laws, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said: “Anytime people talk about mediation, they will look up the international treaty and they will know there’s a Singapore Convention. So automatically Singapore will have mindshare among the profession … among people who want to go for mediation.”

    The next step then is to make sure that the Republic has the right lawyers who are capable of handling the mediation and advising parties, Mr Shanmugam added. He was speaking to reporters at a media interview at the Ministry of Law.

    The other international treaty which was named after Singapore is the 2006 Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, which was concluded under the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations specialised agency.
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore's public transport system among best in the world: McKinsey report
    I[​IMG]
    File photo of an SBS Transit bus and an SMRT train. (Photo: Ooi Boon Keong / TODAY)

    By Melissa Zhu @MelissaZhuCNA
    21 Aug 2018 08:17PM (Updated: 21 Aug 2018 10:35PM)
    • Elements of success: Urban transportation systems of 24 global cities - assessed the transport systems of 24 cities using more than 80 indicators over five main dimensions: Availability, affordability, efficiency, convenience and sustainability.

      Some of the indicators included the percentage of the population living or working within 1km of a train station, the cost of a monthly public transport ticket, as a percentage of average income and the average transport waiting time.

      The report covered all modes of transport - personal, public, shared, cycling, and walking.


      [​IMG]

      Singapore clinched the top spot for public transport affordability, and also scored well in transport efficiency and safety.

    • "Singapore has created a best-in-class public transport system, which is accessible, efficient, convenient, sustainable, and at the same time affordable," the report said.

    • The report noted that a major step toward affordability was made in 2013, when the fares were reviewed and new measures were introduced, including a 15 per cent discount on adult fares for low-wage workers, free travel for children and seven other concessions.

      As a result, more than one million public transport passengers benefited from the new schemes, McKinsey said.

      The city also scored a high rating for sustainability, with one of the "safest and most ecologically sustainable" public transport systems, according to the report.

      The report said the convenience and flexibility of the Singaporean ticketing system, using the EZ-Link card, was another "outstanding" feature.

      [​IMG]


      HIGH SATISFACTION AMONG SINGAPORE RESIDENTS

      In addition to objective dimensions, the report looked at public perception based on surveys of 400 residents in each city on how satisfied they were with the mobility options available to them as well as their sense of whether the system they used was changing for the better.

      More than 30 transportation experts were also consulted to weigh the list of indicators and corresponding aspects according to their importance and impact on the quality of life.

      Of the residents surveyed in Singapore, more than 80 per cent said they were satisfied with the overall public transport situation. This was higher than the 71 per cent that was satisfied with the overall situation in private transport.

      The McKinsey report stated that Singapore residents were the most satisfied on many of the aspects analysed, as compared to residents globally.

      Electronic services, such as trip planners, and their evolution were among the transport features that residents surveyed said they enjoyed the most.

      However, the survey respondents were concerned with the affordability of private transport, which the report noted was a result of Singapore's deliberate car limiting policy.

      HONG KONG, SEOUL AND BEIJING ALSO RANKED HIGHLY

      Based on the report, four out of the top 10 cities for public transport were in Asia - aside from Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul and Beijing also made it onto the list.

      McKinsey said that Hong Kong had among the best public transport coverage in the world, with 75 per cent of the population and 94 per cent of workplaces being within 1km of a metro station.

      Notably, the city scored points for its "advanced" ticketing system, the Octopus chip card, which can be used not only to pay for transport and non-transport services, but is also used for non-payment purposes, such as access control for office buildings.

      It also had the highest ranking for public transport safety, with lower rates of public transit fatalities per one million people as compared to other cities.

      Seoul was ranked second among all of the cities for its public transport efficiency, with its progress driven by the optimisation of bus routes and construction of exclusive median bus lanes that increased bus speeds by an average of 30 per cent, according to the report.

      The development of an intelligent bus management system also played a crucial role in optimising bus headway and staying on schedule, making bus services more reliable, the report found.

      Beijing ranked among the top 10 across all five dimensions, coming in 10th - ahead of Singapore's 12th - in terms of its rail infrastructure.

      Of the cities surveyed, 20 were selected based on size, level of economic development, transportation system characteristics, and availability of data. Four more - Berlin, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore - were chosen because their transportation systems were "considered outstanding by external institutions", according to McKinsey.

      Source: CNA/mz(hm)
      Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...sport-system-among-best-in-the-world-10637978
     

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  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Born in the 1950s: 'Merdeka' generation lived with uncertainties, worked in Singapore's early industries
    By Faris Mokhtar
    [​IMG]
    Najeer Yusof/TODAY

    The Merdeka Generation Package will be offered to some 500,000 Singaporeans born between 1950 and 1959, though the benefits will not be as generous as they are for the pioneer generation before theirs, who had fewer advantages in life.

    Published22 August, 2018
    Updated 23 August, 2018
    SINGAPORE — Unlike the pioneer generation who endured the hardships of World War II or had to take up laborious jobs or were discouraged from going to school, the "Merdeka" generation born in the 1950s had it slightly better.

    Even so, life for this Merdeka generation ("merdeka" meaning freedom in Malay) was not all rosy. They were growing up at a time when Singapore underwent a tumultuous period that led up to its independence in 1965 and the early nation-building years after that.

    They witnessed the fight against communism and the racial riots, and were worried about Singapore's survival after the separation from Malaysia. Living conditions were still poor, the literacy rate was low, and unemployment was high.

    Ms Norliah Ismail, who was born in 1953 and is now a 64-year-old retiree, recalled her grandfather asking the family whether they wanted to move permanently to Malaysia where life would be more stable, or to remain in Singapore where there were many uncertainties about the future. She was quick to respond: "I study here, my friends are here, why should I leave?"

    Born in a village located at what later became the Singapore Turf Club at Bukit Timah, Ms Norliah lived with her parents and eight siblings.

    [​IMG]
    Norliah Ismail. Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

    Her father worked as a taxi driver, while her mother was a domestic helper for a British family.

    Before they were married, her parents stopped studying after their primary school education to work and support their respective families.

    Ms Norliah and her siblings managed to go to school while their parents worked, but things took a turn when her father died cancer.

    Then a 15-year-old Secondary 3 student at Whitley Secondary School, Ms Norliah decided to drop out of school and became a factory worker to ease her mother's burden.

    "I was sad, but what to do? I have to sacrifice for my family," she said.

    Now, she has three adult children of her own who are in their late 30s and early 40s.
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The circumstances were similar for freelance tour guide William Lim, 65.

    Born in 1953 to a family living along Beach Road, Mr Lim — who is the oldest of eight children — had to stop his studies after Secondary 3 to help earn money for his family.

    His father was a blacksmith and his mother took up odd jobs as a coffee-shop assistant, among others.

    Unlike his father who did manual work, Mr Lim got a job as an insurance agent before working in an electronics factory and then as a tour guide.

    [​IMG]
    William Lim. Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

    "The types of jobs we had were better. Less laborious than what our parents did," he said.

    Like others born in the 1950s, Mr Lim told of the fear they experienced when racial riots erupted in 1964.

    Singapore was part of Malaysia then after the merger a year earlier, and there were clashes between the Malays and Chinese as political tensions built.

    Then about 10 years old, Mr Lim saw people "running around", and his uncle — also a blacksmith — lining up weapons at home. Confused over the chaos, he asked what was going on.

    "My uncle said, 'There's a racial riot and I'm preparing weapons just in case we need to defend ourselves.'"

    Thousands were arrested after the series of riots that year. Close to 40 people died and more than 500 were injured.
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDIES, BETTER-PAYING JOBS

    Through the late 1960s and in the 1970s, as the industrial revolution was ongoing, Singapore's founding government leaders were in the thick of solving the problems of squalid living conditions and unemployment.

    Pioneer industries and factories linked to multinational corporations were encouraged to start up here, and job openings grew.

    That allowed Ms Christina Spykerman, who was born in 1959, to make a career switch from being a social worker — a job she had held for three years — to being a sales executive in the hotel industry, where she remained to this day.

    Now an executive vice-president for Asia-Pacific at WorldHotels AG, the 59-year-old said that as more jobs were created in the 1980s, salary levels started to soar.

    "The whole idea of bonuses came into play… and you could afford more things," she said.

    [​IMG]
    Christina Spykerman. Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

    While many Singaporeans of her generation grew up in poor households, Ms Spykerman was among the few who were slightly privileged.

    Her parents held what were considered "good jobs" at that time. Her father, a civil servant, was working in the postal services, and her mother was holding a job in a telecommunications company.

    Regardless of their better-paying jobs, her parents scrimped and saved to pay for household expenses. Ms Spykerman remembered her mother sitting her down, telling her that they could not afford to have a domestic helper, and that she would have to do the household chores.

    "I became a surrogate mother to my brother while my parents worked. I waxed the floors, prepared my brother for school," Ms Spykerman said.

    Her parents were prudent. Ms Spykerman and her younger brother received new clothes only once a year during Chinese New Year, and her mother would sew her school uniforms "extra large" so that she could continue using them for as many years as possible as she grew older.

    When Ms Spykerman was studying in the National University of Singapore, she would take up part-time jobs distributing flyers or giving tuition, for example, so that she could pay for her own spending instead of relying on her parents.

    In those days, the Government's plan to link education policies with the country's economic restructuring meant that there were more pathways to receive a vocational education at various institutions.
     
  12. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Mr Chinnathamby Malim Yusof Malik, now 62 and born in 1956, was among those who studied in what was then called the Singapore Technical Institute, and received a qualification in civil engineering.

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    Chinnathamby Malim Yusof Malik. Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

    He is now working as a licensed aircraft engineer at SIA Engineering Company.

    "During my father's days, the thought of getting an education did not cross their minds. They were not well-off and had to work. So, my generation was bit better off in that sense," Mr Yusof said. His parents have since emigrated from India to Singapore.

    SUPPORTING HEALTHCARE NEEDS

    In his National Day Rally last Sunday (Aug 19), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong teared up as he spoke about the Merdeka generation, who had experienced the "indelible, formative" events before and after Singapore's independence.

    To recognise their contributions, a Merdeka Generation Package will be created for them, he announced. Similar to the Pioneer Generation Package, it will cover areas such as outpatient subsidies, Medisave account top-ups under the national Central Provident Fund (CPF), and subsidies to pay for CPF MediShield Life insurance premiums.

    This package will be offered to some 500,000 Singaporeans born between 1950 and 1959, though the benefits will not be as generous as they are for the pioneer generation before theirs, who had fewer advantages in life.

    "But (it) will go some way to relieve their healthcare worries and, more importantly, show our appreciation for the Merdeka generation's contributions," PM Lee said. More details on the package will be announced next year.
     
  13. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Those who spoke to TODAY said that this piece of news was a "nice gesture" from the Government.

    Mr Lim, who takes home more than S$2,000 a month as a freelancer, said that it will help lessen some of his worries over his medical bills.

    He has high blood pressure and spends more than S$100 on medication every four months. Last year, he went for knee replacement surgery.

    "I do feel the pinch a bit when I pay for the medicine, and I don't have a stable income. So, it is worrying, whether I have enough savings for my healthcare needs later on," he added.

    For Mr Yusof, he is unsure about the extent to which the package will be helpful because details are "still vague".

    "We still do not know (what will be given), so, I can't say how much it will affect me."

    Ms Spykerman noted, as many have, that the middle or the "sandwich" class is often forgotten, because most of the Government's subsidies cater to those in lower-income households.

    So having the Merdeka Generation Package will help, she added. "Those in my generation continue to work, and our health and body will 'cave in' one day. So, it's really good to hear about the package."

    Ms Norliah said that since there are some Singaporeans in her generation who did not earn high salaries in their early working life and their contributions to their CPF accounts were therefore lower, they would have lesser CPF savings now.

    "Our savings in the Medisave account, for example, are not high. The package will ease some of our concerns about healthcare cost," she added.
     
  14. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    S’pore’s healthcare system best in value and satisfaction, but falls behind in providing access: Study

    By Wong Pei Ting

    [​IMG]
    rawpixel/Unsplash

    Published30 August, 2018
    Updated 31 August, 2018
    SINGAPORE – The Republic's healthcare system offers the best "value" and is the most future-proof among 16 countries surveyed, but falls behind most countries when it comes to providing access to healthcare due to shortages of hospital beds and skilled healthcare professionals.

    These were the findings by Dutch multinational technology company Philips, after polling 1,500 residents and 200 healthcare professionals here. The scores were ranked against 15 other countries in the study, which also found that Singapore is at the fore of technology adoption in healthcare sector, with its extensive electronic health records system, high adoption of fitness wearables and widespread implementation of telehealth.

    THE GOOD

    Scoring 74.3 in healthcare data collection and analysis – significantly higher than the 16-country average of 31.03 – Singapore is most ready to tap on solutions that will allow for an intelligent use of patient-centric data compared to the other countries, Philips found. Sweden came in second with a score of 59.43 in this aspect, owing to the application of artificial intelligence in its healthcare system.

    In terms of adopting new care delivery models, the Republic is also doing better than the other countries with a score of 79.16, well ahead of second-placed Sweden (49.98) and the United States (42.03) in third place.

    The report attributed Singapore's performance to its "exceptional telehealth adoption", which could be a reflection of recent successes in piloting and extending remote solutions in areas such as elderly care and rehabilitation.

    BUT…

    When it came to evaluating access to healthcare, Singapore scored 45.46 – below the study's average of 50.91 – even as it boasts the most value-for-money system. This was attributed to shortages of hospital beds and skilled healthcare professionals.

    For this study, "access" is evaluated by the number of skilled health professional density and hospital beds in relation to its population, and the percentage of people at risk of impoverishment due to surgical care.

    Philips' noted however, that Singapore should not fret over its relative low access score as it might be on the right track in thinking beyond healthcare professional density and hospital bed numbers as the main indicators of healthcare access.

    Ultimately, the healthcare systems that lead the world in the future will be the ones that also start thinking beyond the needs of traditional operating models and embrace technology to work smarter - Ms Caroline Clarke, chief executive officer of Philips ASEAN Pacific on Singapore's low 'access' score.

    REPORT CARD

    Overall, Singapore's healthcare model topped Philips' measure of healthcare value with a score of 54.61.

    Australia and Germany followed behind with scores of 52.59 and 50.93 respectively. The report evaluates value by averaging each country's healthcare access, satisfaction and efficiency scores.

    Singapore topped the list as it scored highest in healthcare satisfaction at 68.27 when the 16-country average is 52.85, and in healthcare efficiency at 50.11 when the 16-country average is 26.69.

    "Satisfaction" is calculated by how much residents' and healthcare professionals' perceive the healthcare system to be trustworthy and effective, while "efficiency" is calculated comparing the country's healthcare outcomes with its percentage of gross domestic product spend on healthcare.

    OVERALL RANKINGS
    1. Singapore – 54.61
    2. Australia – 52.59
    3. Germany – 50.93
    4. France – 50.85
    5. Saudi Arabia – 50.17
    6. Netherlands – 48.93
    7. Spain – 48.58
    8. Sweden – 48.10
    9. United Kingdom – 45.27
    10. Italy – 41.78
    11. Russia – 40.90
    12. China – 38.11
    13. United States – 37.95
    14. India – 33.64
    15. Brazil – 26.71
    16. South Africa – 26.61
     
  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    AI successfully used to halt prostate cancer in NUS trial
    https://www.todayonline.com/ai-successfully-used-halt-prostate-cancer-nus-trial

    By Cynthia Choo

    [​IMG]
    National University of Singapore

    Professor Dean Ho (left) and Mr Theodore Kee (right) from the National University of Singapore, together with their research team, used AI platform CURATE.AI to successfully treat a patient with advanced prostate cancer, completely halting disease progression.

    Published31 August, 2018
    Updated 31 August, 2018

    SINGAPORE — For the first time, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used to optimise the drug dosage used in prostate cancer treatment, successfully halting the disease’s progression in a clinical study.

    “This marks a major and groundbreaking shift in the way that oncology can be treated,” said Professor Dean Ho, director of the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology (SINAPSE) at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

    Prof Ho leads a seven-member research team which developed an AI platform called CURATE.AI, used in the trial. The team is backed by trusts such as the Wallace H Coulter Foundation and V Foundation, which have a history of working with US colleges and professional medical societies in cancer research.

    In a 16-month AI-driven oncology research project, the research team was able to use CURATE.AI to successfully reduce the tumour size and levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in a patient with metastatic prostate cancer.

    PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. A high PSA level can be an indication of a number of benign conditions, including prostate cancer.

    The preliminary research findings for the ongoing study was published in the journal Advanced Therapeutics on Aug 31.

    In the study, the patient was treated with multiple drugs under fixed and high dosage combination therapy for six weeks. Subsequently, the AI platform was used to calculate the drug dosage for the patient.

    In one instance, running counter to traditional cancer treatment methods where drug dosages are usually increased until the patient stops responding to the drug, before exploring other treatment options, the AI platform suggested a 50 per cent reduction in the drug dosage.

    Following the reduction, the patient recorded the lowest levels of PSA and his cancer tumour shrank in size (from 3mm to 1mm) after 16 months.

    “Traditional methods utilise the maximum tolerated dose of the drugs to treat patients due to the belief that higher dosing results in higher efficacy. However, our study has shown that in combination therapy, CURATE.AI guided substantial dose reduction can increase efficacy. [The platform] for the first time, enables the clinician to know how much and when to reduce the dose to increase efficacy,” said Prof Ho.

    “Without CURATE.AI, there is no way for clinicians to know how to dynamically change cancer drug dosing to continually optimise care,” he added.

    Stating that the AI platform individualises and optimises each patient using only their own data, Prof Ho said this method “takes all the guesswork out”.

    The research team is recruiting 10 more patients in the next three months from public hospitals. For a start, Prof Ho said they would be recruiting patients with blood, lung and liver cancer.

    Prof Ho said that the team started off using AI to determine drug dosages for prostate cancer because there is a “clinically accepted biomarker” that accurately reflects treatment efficacy — in this case, PSA levels — which can be quantified using simple blood draws.

    Blood cancers have similar clear markers and hence can be “straightforwardly applied”, explained Prof Ho.
    Other than such markers, imaging can also be used for certain cancers as the indicator of treatment efficacy. In addition, treatment safety can also be optimised in conjunction with the AI platform as there are ample blood tests for toxicity measurements, he said.

    Prof Ho and his team are based at the NUS. Prof Ho said that while the patient in the clinical study was American, the AI platform is “scalable” and can be applied to patients of all ethnicities, since the data and treatment regimen is personalised.

    “This means that when we use the system here in Singapore, we can simultaneously treat patients in Taiwan, Japan, globally,” he said, adding that he expects the product to be available in the market between three and five years.
     
  16. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    ‘Hundreds of jobs’ available at Facebook’s S$1.4 billion facility in Singapore slated to open 2022

    By Asyraf Kamil

    [​IMG]
    Facebook
    The S$1.4 billion data centre — the company’s 15th worldwide — will be located in Tanjong Kling (formerly known as Data Centre Park) in the western region of Singapore.

    Published 06 September, 2018
    Updated 06 September, 2018
    SINGAPORE — Singaporeans can look forward to “hundreds of jobs” at Facebook’s first custom-built data centre in Asia when it opens its doors in the Republic in 2022.

    Among the roles available include electricians, air conditioning and heating specialists as well as culinary, technical operations, cleaning, logistics and security personnel, and more. Some of the roles have been listed on the company’s careers page, with more expected to be published in the coming weeks.

    The S$1.4 billion data centre — the company’s 15th worldwide — will be located in Tanjong Kling (formerly known as Data Centre Park) in the western region of Singapore.

    In a press release on Thursday (Sept 6), the social media giant said that the 170,000 sqm space will form part of the company’s “growing presence in Singapore and across Asia”.

    Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the project on Thursday, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said the project helps Singapore to enhance its connectivity beyond the physical dimensions of air, land and sea, to include non-physical dimensions of talent, ideas and technology.

    “This investment in the digital realm will help us transcend our previous constraints of geography and size. Such investments, not just from Facebook alone, but also from many other players in similar fields, will help us transcend our geography and size,” said Mr Chan.

    Facebook came up with a new specially tailored design for Singapore and a way to build its facility to overcome efficiency challenges of locating the data centre in the Republic’s dense and urban environment with its high temperature and humidity.

    “Our partnership will defy the odds of history — a small city-state can not only survive but thrive because of our connectivity and because we are leveraging the latest technology to transcend our constraints.” — Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing

    The building is expected to be completed by late 2022, which is when the facility will commence operations.
    Facebook said Fortis Construction has been selected as a general contractor for the project due to its joint experience in building efficient data centres.

    SINGAPORE WAS CHOSEN FOR ITS:
    • Robust infrastructure, access to fiber network, and talented local workforce;
    • Great set of “community partners”, including government agencies such as the Economic Development Board and the Jurong Town Corporation, which have helped Facebook move the project forward;
    • Business-friendly environment, which included measures supporting the enforcement of contracts and increasing the ease of construction permitting.
    SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE NEW FACILITY:
    • It will be a single 11-storey building, and the first to incorporate the new StatePoint Liquid Cooling system, which minimises water and power consumption. Tests have shown that it can reduce the amount of groundwater used by 20 per cent in climates like Singapore’s.
    • The facility will also be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, with Facebook working to increase the development of new solar resources in Singapore.
    • The building façade is made out of a perforated lightweight material, which allows air flow and provides glimpses of the state-of-the-art mechanical equipment inside.
     
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    9 new precincts join pilot programme to make their districts more attractive, lively to public

    By Victor Loh

    [​IMG]
    TODAY file photo

    The Kampong Glam precinct is one of nine precincts joining the Business Improvement District, a pilot programme where the Government will co-fund private sector projects to spruce up precincts.

    Published17 September, 2018
    Updated 18 September, 2018
    SINGAPORE — More festivals, cultural performances and car-free activities will be coming to precincts such as Paya Lebar, Kampong Glam and Jurong Gateway as private stakeholders get a greater say in how to make their districts more lively and attractive to the public.

    A total of nine new precincts — including China Place in Chinatown, City Hall, Marina Bay, Marina Centre, Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar — are joining the Business Improvement District (BID), a pilot programme where the Government will co-fund private sector projects to spruce up precincts.

    Announcing the nine new entrants to the programme on Monday (Sept 17), National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said: "Retailers realise they cannot offer just discounts to entice shoppers anymore ... shoppers need a reason to go to their store other than buying things."

    He added that retailers need to stage experiences or become "extinct".

    Under the BID, stakeholders of participating precincts can come up with their own proposals to spruce up their districts. The Government will provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds — capped at S$500,000 a year — for four years. The precincts can include business, commercial, residential, industrial and agricultural districts.

    At least 51 per cent of stakeholders within these precincts must agree to the plans to rejuvenate their areas by forming associations and contributing membership fees, which will be used to fund the proposals.

    Stakeholders in the BID programme include community partners, property developers and businesses such as Blu Jaz Cafe in the Kampong Glam precinct and the Esplanade in the Marina Centre precinct. CapitaLand is participating in four BID projects at Raffles Place, Jurong Gateway, City Hall and Singapore River One, while Lendlease has two BID projects at Paya Lebar and Jurong Gateway.

    Citing Jinli Street in Chengdu, China as an example, Mr Wong said it is one of his favourite pedestrian streets in Asia which managed to enrich and enliven its rich culture and heritage through stakeholders' participation.

    "If you walk down the street, it is lined with tea houses, restaurants, it is fully pedestrianised, artisanal shops — all offering very rich and authentic cultural experiences," the minister added.

    Modern business districts have much to offer too, Mr Wong said. In Toyko's central business district, the Otemachi, Marunouchi and Yurakucho Area Management Association was formed in 2002 to rejuvenate the area, comprising over 100 members from private companies, students and office works.

    "(The association) expanded the sidewalks to improve the pedestrian experience, they created car-free zones, they beautified the streetscapes and they organised events like the Summer Festival. All of these have helped to transform the area and make it a much more vibrant city centre."

    Similarly, efforts to dispel the negative reputation of Circular Road and Boat Quay due to touting and overcharging have borne fruit.

    The Singapore River precinct was the first to kick off the BID in April last year, through its Singapore River One (SRO) association formed in 2012. Among the activities the SRO organised included the St Patrick's Day Street Festival and Singapore River Festival.

    Commenting on the nine new districts joining the programme, Mr Wong said: "These nine precincts represent a good mix of different precincts profiles. You have the historic district, the civic district, mixed-used precincts both within and outside the city."

    Eventually, the Government will work with the BID precinct stakeholders to learn from their experience and study the possibility of new legislation to provide legal backing for BID, Mr Wong said.

    PROPOSED INITIATIVES FOR THE 9 NEW PARTICIPATING PRECINCTS:
    • China Place in Chinatown: Activate public spaces with outdoor furniture, sculptures and activities; regular road closures along China Street for connectivity, extend festive light-ups from Chinatown to China Place.
    • City Hall: Curate signature annual food, wine, arts and culture events; temporary artworks, trials and photo spots.
    • Jurong Gateway within Jurong Lake District: Improved pedestrian comfort, shared customer services, coordinated logistics and common spaces.
    • Kampong Glam: Car-free zones, post box arts, murals, place and heritage markers.
    • Marina Bay: Heritage trails, arts and fitness activities; regular pop-up stalls and activities.
    • Marina Centre: Loyalty programme; marketing collaterals for branding.
    • Paya Lebar: Festival celebrations, and heritage trails and markers to reflect the rich Malay and Peranakan heritage; community and sporting events.
    • Raffles Place: Activating Public realms like Raffles Place Park with programming, activists and public art; public space at Market Street for community events.
    • Tanjong Pagar: Adding car-free zones and outdoor furniture; more events and activities at public spaces such as City Room at Tanjong Pagar Centre and Tras Link Park.
     
  18. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Top research scientists and engineers receive highest accolade
    https://www.todayonline.com/singapo...lent-presidents-science-and-technology-awards

    By Victor Loh

    [​IMG]
    Victor Loh/TODAY

    The recipients of the President’s Science Award: (from left) Assoc Prof Lim Kah Leong from NUS, Assoc Prof Louis Tan from the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), Prof Ng Huck Hui of Genome Institute of Singapore and Prof Tan Eng King from NNI.

    Published25 September, 2018
    Updated 25 September, 2018
    SINGAPORE — When Professor Judith L Swain first arrived in 2002 to spearhead the Republic's clinical and translational research scene — which converts research into potential treatments for diseases — it was almost unheard of for doctors not to practise medicine.

    The visiting professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS) said most parents were resistant to sending their children to medical school only to have them end up as physician-scientists.

    "The idea that a doctor would do some patient care, but (spend) most of their time doing research was not really accepted as what you'd want your child to do," the 69-year-old American, who is a cardiologist by training, added.

    [​IMG]
    President's Science and Technology Medallist Prof Judith Swain. Photo: A*Star

    Sixteen years on, she has helped to build up the clinical and translational research scene and nurtured a generation of physician-scientists here. And on Tuesday (Sept 25), Prof Swain was awarded the President's Science and Technology Medal — the highest accolade conferred upon research scientists and engineers in Singapore.

    Invited here by Mr Philip Yeo, the former Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Prof Swain — who was formerly with Stanford University — said unlike practising medicine where gratification is more immediate, the results in research take a longer time to be seen and felt.

    "If I'm taking care of somebody having a heart attack, I save a life and the next day you have this immediate gratification... By taking the longer view as a physician-scientist, especially in translational and clinical research, you can look back and say, 'I really changed how a disease is looked at or the understanding of a disease'," she said.

    On receiving the award, Prof Swain said: "It is nice to see that at the highest level, even clinical and translational researchers are recognised. And I think it makes a huge difference."

    Prof Swain was one of four individuals and a team of four researchers who received their awards for contributions to the science and technology field from President Halimah Yacob during a ceremony at Capella Singapore on Tuesday.

    NURTURING LOCAL SCIENTIFIC TALENT

    The President's Science and Technology Awards, which is in its tenth year, has helped to recognise a generation of research scientists and engineers in Singapore over the past decade.

    Prof Lam Khin Yong, vice-president of research at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), was another recipient of the President's Science and Technology Medal.

    [​IMG]
    President's Science and Technology Medallist Prof Lam Khin Yong, NTU Singapore. Photo: A*Star

    He was recognised for his research leadership in nurturing scientific talent here, in particular, his efforts to encourage collaboration between the academia and industry which saw the creation of corporate labs and bilateral research partnerships in Singapore between NTU and companies such as Rolls-Royce, BMW and Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba.

    "In Singapore, the only resource we have is the human capital ... Even as we undertake research we cannot forget about talent in Singapore. We need to grow our homegrown talents," he said.

    For these collaborations to work, foresight is needed. He said: "If I realise today that (artificial intelligence) is a hot area, it is too late. In science, we always need to plan ahead. One key challenge for universities' leadership is always to bring in talent, faculty members and research staff and ensure that these talents will play a role in Singapore's future economic growth."

    WORLD FIRST IN CREATING LIVE HUMAN MINI MIDBRAIN

    A quartet studying Parkinson's Disease received the President's Science Award for their work in that field, particularly their breakthrough research, where they managed to generate the world's first live human midbrain in a laboratory.

    Prof Tan Eng King and Associate Professor Louis Tan from the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), NUS Assoc Prof Lim Kah Leong and Prof Ng Huck Hui from the Genome Institute of Singapore said their interest in the field was partly spurred by questions which patients had about the neurodegenerative disorder, such as how to slow down its progression, and whether there are drugs to reverse it.

    By 2040, the World Health Organisation predicts that neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Parkinson's Disease will overtake cancer to become the second leading cause of death. And in Singapore where the population is ageing rapidly — the number of seniors aged 65 years and above are set to almost double to over 900,000 by 2030 — such diseases will become a bigger health concern.

    With just a drop of blood or other biomaterials, the researchers can now generate a live human mini midbrain from patients struggling with treatment, as well as patients who have not developed the disease, but are at risk of developing it, said Prof Tan Eng King.

    The ability to create diseased models of the human brain in a laboratory for experimentation cuts through challenges such as not being able to replicate the research through animal samples or getting human samples through biopsy.

    And it allows the researchers to conduct research on drug compounds or interventions to reverse the disease, and deliver benefits back to the patients, Prof Ng said.

    Other scientific discoveries which the team has made include the development of a test to monitor the disease and the identification of a drug target that is common in Parkinson Disease and Alzheimer's, and is being tested on the lab-generated human mini brains.

    Other winners of this year's President's Science and Technology Awards included Prof Loh Teck Peng from NTU and Prof Stuart Cook from Duke-NUS Medical School and National Heart Centre Singapore.
     
  19. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore tops World Bank 'human capital' rankings based on health, education

    [​IMG]

    File photo of children in a classroom. (Photo: AFP)

    11 Oct 2018 09:14AM (Updated: 11 Oct 2018 10:57AM)

    NUSA DUA, Indonesia: Singapore topped the World Bank Group's newest index which ranks 157 countries based on the productivity of the next generation's workers.

    The bank's Human Capital Index was released on Thursday (Oct 11) at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings on Indonesia's Bali island.

    The rankings, based on health, education and survivability measures, assess the future productivity and earnings potential for citizens of the World Bank's member nations, and ultimately those countries' potential economic growth.

    Singapore had an index standing at 0.88 followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. China was placed 46th, Malaysia at the 55th spot and Thailand at 65th.

    Chad, South Sudan and Niger took the lowest three spots.

    "By paying sustained attention to human development, Singapore is now among the world’s highest performers on learning and in the Human Capital Index," said the report.

    The new system of ranking countries is an effort to prod governments to invest more effectively in education and healthcare.

    According to the report, a child in Singapore who starts school at age four can expect to complete 13 years of school by his or her 18th birthday.

    "In Singapore, 98 per cent of students reach the international benchmark for basic proficiency in secondary school; in South Africa, only 26 per cent of students meet that standard," said the report.

    "Essentially, then, all of Singapore’s secondary school students are prepared for a post-secondary education and the world of work, while almost three-quarters of South Africa’s young people are not."

    Students in Singapore scored 581 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment, according to the report.

    The report also showed that children born in Singapore had a survival rate of near 100 per cent, and 95 per cent of 15-year-olds are likely to survive until the age of 60.

    DRAWING ATTENTION TO 'CRISIS'

    World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said he hoped the new index would encourage governments to take steps aimed at moving up the rankings, much as they seek to with the bank's popular "Doing Business" survey, which ranks countries based on ease of doing business, with low-tax, low-regulation economies faring better.

    Mr Kim acknowledged that the rankings would be controversial, but told reporters that the need for more and better investment in people was "such that we couldn't shy away from making leaders uncomfortable".

    "This is about drawing their attention to a crisis that we think is real. This is connected to productivity, this is connected to economic growth," Mr Kim said.

    He said there was "unanimous" acceptance among World Bank member countries and the bank's board.

    In Chad, the lowest country ranked on the list, the World Bank said productivity and earnings potential would be only about 29 per cent of what their potential would be under ideal conditions there.

    In Singapore, the earnings potential was 88 per cent of potential, while in the United States, ranked 24th between Israel and Macau, productivity and earnings were measured at 76 per cent of potential.

    Mr Kim said there were 28 countries, from Indonesia to Lesotho to Ukraine, who signed on as "early adopters" of the index to work with the World Bank to devise plans to improve their investment in health and education.

    The bank has warned that a wave of automation and artificial intelligence will eliminate many low-skilled jobs in coming years, making it harder for people with low levels of education and poor health to compete for work.

    The index showed that a country ranked at 50 per cent, such as Morocco and El Salvador, would lose 1.4 percentage points of annual GDP growth compared to its potential under ideal health and education conditions.


    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...man-capital-rankings-based-on-health-10814282
     

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    Jewel Changi Airport tenants to include A&W, Pokemon, Shaw Theatre

    [​IMG]
    Garden dining at Jewel. (Photo: Jewel Changi Airport Devt

    By Tang See Kit@SeeKitCNA

    11 Oct 2018 01:15PM
    (Updated: 11 Oct 2018 03:51PM)

    SINGAPORE: The return of fast food chain A&W, an 11-screen cineplex, a Pokemon merchandise store and other new-to-Singapore brands will be what travellers and local consumers can expect when Changi Airport’s mega retail and lifestyle development, Jewel, opens in the first half of next year.

    A S$1.7 billion project, the 10-storey complex – consisting of five storeys above ground and five basement floors – will be home to more than 280 shops and food and beverage (F&B) outlets.

    Jewel Changi Airport Development said on Thursday (Oct 11) that nearly 90 per cent of the sprawling 53,800 sq m leasable space has been taken up thus far.

    Among those unveiled at a media briefing include A&W, which is returning to Singapore after more than 10 years. Its menu will be “the first of its kind in Asia” combining best-selling items from its restaurants around the world, including coney dogs, curly fries and a cream cheese burger from Japan.

    [​IMG]
    Retail shops at Jewel ranging from renowned international names to home-grown brands. (Photo: Jewel Changi Airport Devt)

    Fans of Pokemon can also look forward to the game franchise's only permanent retail store outside of Japan. Apart from merchandise sold in Japan, the Pokemon Center Singapore will also be stocked with exclusive toys, stationery, trading cards and video games created just for Jewel.

    F&B brands that are setting up shop in Singapore, and the region, for the first time also include Swiss artisanal chocolatier Laderach, Norwegian casual seafood restaurant Pink Fish and American fast food chain Shake Shack.

    In addition, cinema-goers will be delighted as Shaw Theatres is set to open a cineplex with 11 screens, including a digital Imax theatre, Jewel Changi Airport Development’s head of leasing, Tan Mui Neo, confirmed at the media briefing.

    Jewel will also be home to a long list of homegrown brands, including design retailer Naiise, gallery store Supermama and Tiger Beer which will be launching a first-in-the-world Tiger Street Lab at level 5 offering exclusive seasonal brews.

    Local chef Violet Oon will open her largest restaurant to date – more than 350 sq m – offering local delicacies, such as dry laksa.

    [​IMG]
    Retail shops at Jewel ranging from renowned international names to home-grown brands. (Photo: Jewel Changi Airport Devt)

    Meanwhile, Nike is planning its largest store in Southeast Asia spanning 1,000 sq m. The sporting giant will take up one of the 11 duplex, large-format stores in Jewel, together with Naiise and Shake Shack.

    READ: Burger chain Shake Shack to open first Singapore outlet at Jewel Changi Airport


    MULTI-DIMENSIONAL LIFESTYLE DESTINATION


    To be sure, Jewel, which began construction more than three years ago, is positioning itself as more than just a mall with shopping and dining options.

    Apart from a distinctive dome-shaped facade made of glass and steel, other highlights include a sprawling 14,000 sq m rooftop park featuring play attractions, gardens and walking trails.

    The mixed development, located in front of and directly connected to Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, will also be home to Forest Valley, Singapore’s largest indoor garden, and a 40m-tall indoor waterfall that will transform into a light and sound show at night.

    [​IMG]
    Dining at Canopy Park. (Photo: Jewel Changi Airport Devt)

    This aims to create a unique retail experience where shoppers can enjoy a seamless experience of nature and retail all under one roof, according to Jewel Changi Airport Development.

    With travellers being more discerning about their destinations and their choice of airports for stopovers, there is a need to position Jewel as a “one-of-a-kind, multi-dimensional destination”, said its chief executive Hung Jean.

    READ: A close-up look at the 9,000 pieces of glass used in Changi Airport's upcoming project


    [​IMG]
    Dining options at Jewel Basement 2. (Photo: Jewel Changi Airport Devt)

    “We hope to showcase Singapore to the world, positioning it as the platform where local brands will be exposed to an international audience, while simultaneously bringing new and familiar global brands to Singapore.”

    Ms Hung said Jewel, which will also be linked to Terminal 2 and 3 via air-conditioned pedestrian bridges, aims to welcome 40 to 50 million visitors a year. Of which, 60 per cent will likely be locals, and the rest made up of tourists.

    Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/new...-pokemon-shaw-theatres-among-tenants-10815310
     

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