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MyPaper 我报 - 20111122

MyPaper 我报 - 20111122

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MyPaper 我报 - 20111122
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Published by: dr_twiggy on Nov 28, 2011
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22 .• 2011





S'pore predicts sharp slowdown
"Should these risks materialINGAPORE vesterdav predicted sharply lowe-r ise, growth in the Singapnre economic growth of 1-3 economy in 2m2 could come in per cent next year, amid an ex- lower than expected," it added. port slowdown, and warned The 2011 grass damestic product (GDP) as forecast is a that the situation could worsen if Europe's debt woes trigger a huge slowdown, down from the all-time bigh of 14_5 per cent global crisis. seen last year when the econoThe figure is off the previous estimate of 2.5-3.5 per cent and my was coming off a 0.8 per well down from the 5 per cent cent contraction the previous predicted for this year as deyear. mand in the country's key exSingapore's trade-driven port markets in Europe and the economy is regarded as a bellwether for Asia's exporters, United States dries up. 'This does not factor in downwhich depend heavily on elecside risks to growth, such as a tronics and other manufactured worsening debt situation or a, shipments to North Americu full-blown. financial crisis in the and Europe for growth, advanced economies," the Minis"It looks like the risk is totry of Trade and Industry (MTI) wards the downside," Dr Chua said in a statement, Hak Bin. a Singapore-based


economist with Bank of America- Merrill Lynch, said of the implications of Singapore's forecast for the rest of Asia. "The fact that the tech exports were weak will mean other Asian economies will also see tech exports being pulled down," he told AFP. Asia's fate will depend to a large degree on whether Europe can contain its debt crisis, which has engulfed large economies, including Italy and Spain, according to Dr Chua. Singapore's GOP was valued at S$284.6 billion last year, and total trade was more than three times as large. "The longer the European debt crisis drags on with no dear solutions, it will have a neg-

ative impact globally," said Ms Selena Ling. an economist with Singapore's OCBC Bank. "We are starting to see the impact come through." The MTI said it expects Singapore's electronics industry and other sectors that rely heavilyon overseas orders to remain under pressure despite support from Asia's better-performing economies. Even the financial-services sector will be affected by heightened uncertainties in the external environment, it added, The forecast came as data released separately yesterday by the trade-promotion body International Enterprise Singapore

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Reservoir deaths have not compromised water quality



Clan associations must change with the times, says Mr Lee Kuan Yew A5 How China can defeat the United States A8 Team Singapore's SEA Games showing 'at best, satisfactory' A14 Desperation maketh an entrepreneur of Michael Tien A18

Look forward to smoother lv1RT train rides by 2016
By Joy

WITH plans in the pipeline to add more trains to alleviate the current MRT squeeze, Singaporeans can expect a much smoother ride On MRT trains by 2016. Seventeen trains will he added by the end of the year or early next year, in addition to the five new ones already launched in May, Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo said this will enable trains to run at two-minute intervals for a longer period along the North-South and East-West lines. She was responding to a question raised by Non-Constituencv Member of Parliament Gerald Giam on the issue. Mrs Teo explained that the CUITentfleet of trains allows only the Yishun to Marina Bay stretch of the North-South Line to run at two-minute intervals for about 45 minutes during morning peak hours. Another 13 trains will be rolled out by around 2014 and 2015. Together, these 35 trains will enhance the capacity of the North-South and East-West lines by about 25 per cent. More trains will also be delivered from .2016_ The new trains will take advantage of the improvements to

the J urong East Station platforms that were completed in May, which enable trains to run at two-minute intervals. They will also benefit from a new signalling system, which will enable trains to travel closer to each other safely, from 2016. The. North-East Line and Circle Line will also receive new trains in about four to five years' time, The new trains are expected to increase the North-East Line's capacity by up to 50 per cent and the Circle Line's capacity by about 40 per cent, she noted. Mrs Teo said these measures are meant "to further shorten" the intervals between trains and "improve comfort levels for commuters", in tandem with ongoing depot-extension works over the next few years. Noting that some people may ask why the trains cannot he delivered sooner, she said planning for additional train purchases needs to be done together with plans to increase depot space and stabling yards, which are used to house the trains when they are not in use. Unlike cars, "trains cannot be purchased off the rack", Mrs Teo said, "Manufacturers do not carry inventories of train cars, as trains have to be custom built to fit the design of the line. and platform," she explained, It is also not possible to

A6-A9 Al0 All A12 A13 A14-A15 A16-A19

This is for me? No way!
GOLLY! That's what Taylor Swift had to say about her American Music Awards artist-of-theyear win in Los Angeles on Sunday. The 21-year-old beat British singer Adele to the prize. "This is so crazy," Swift said in her acceptance speech. She pTeviously won the award in 2009, beating Michael Jackson then. (PHOTO: AP)

Titanic exhibition revisits voyage's splendour - and its dangers


ENGUSII EDITORIAL Consuking Editor FEUX 5011 felix@sph.cQm.sg Editor Deputy Editor News Editor \'tOW KAI GliAl kaichai@Sph.com.sg SARAH NG ngsls@sph.cam.sg SUJIN THOMAS sUJlnt@sph.oom5g KENNYCIIEE kennyc@sph.com.sg SURESH MENON smenon@Sph.com.sg




Deaths didn't affect water quality
NANAYt\J<ARt\. HE recent spate of dea.ths in Bedok Reservoir has not compro. mised the quality of drinking water. That is because the water in the reservoir is raw or untreated, and, once it is treated, it is safe for consumption. That was the assurance that Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan gave to Nan-Constituency Member of Parliament Lina Chiam yesterday. Mrs Chiam had raised doubts about the quality of drinking water after six bodies were pulled out from the reservoir in the past six months, She asked if the Government had intensified the water-purification process after the incidents.

News Editor Business Editor Entertahmeot' Lifestyle Editor Sports Editor Art & Design Director CopyEditvr


Dr Balakrishnan explained that the water in the reservoir undergoes stringent filtration and chemical disinfection to ensure that it is safe to drink.

as increased lighting and police foot patrols to prevent further incidents at the reservoir. Additional signs providing information on support helplines have also beeu put up, following a suggestion from a member of the public, while warning signs, lifebuoys and safety barriers are already in place at the reservoir. Drawing from his experience at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Balakrishnan said the bigger issue at hand is to help people who are depressed or having difficulty coping with life. 'We need first to let people know that help is available, that there are people - both their relatives and the community as well as the larger society - who are ready to reach out to them." I-Ie added that members of the public can playa part by ensuring their own safety when

using the reservoir and its facilities for activities like canoeing, dragonboating and sports fishing. Ms Lee Bee Wah, an MP for Nee Soan GRC, asked if there are plans for the Govemrnent to work with the media to prevent copycat suicides at the reser-

Moreover, the process eliminates bacteria from decaying organic material that exists naturally in reservoir ecosystems. He added that the treated water is monitored continuously and falls well within World Health Organisation standards, As an additional safety net, an external audit panel comprising domestic and international experts assesses the toxicology, quality and chemistry of the treated water. Given these measures, Dr Balakrishnan said there is no need to change standard operating procedures at water-treatment plants. National water agency PUB has also implemented steps such

jilla@Sph.com.sg CHIA HANKEONG hankeong@sph.com"g pmRWIWAMS peterwll@sph.com.sg KONG SOON WAil sW@sph.com.sg

Dr Balakrishnan said the media has acted responsibly in its coverage, adding: "One of the general rules in politics is never blame the media."


HOTUNE 6319-8880
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Copycat t~jJ1 rno fang very difficult to get it 100 per cent right every time." Asked by MP Cedric Foo on whether parallel bus services along major MRT routes can be considered, Mrs Teo said some services have been introduced at stretches where the loading levels on the trains are very heavy. However, she said many commuters still prefer to take the trains. This is because missing one or twa trains might just add five or six minutes to the total train journey, but taking the bus could result in a "potentially longer" journey, depending on road conditions. Mr Foo also asked for higher rebates for commuters who travel before peak hours. Mrs Teo said anecdotal evidence suggested that "the shifting of behaviour has not been as great" and more needs to be done to encourage people to travel earlier, "Our commuters value their sleep more than what they have to pay," she said.

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THE Government has no plans to implem ent higher taxes on tood that is high in sugars and saturated fats. The Health Ministry has explored the idea, but there are concerns that the move may affect food prices, which could hit low-in come earners more.


On the cards: More annual Sleep more leave to care for the elderly vital than
SINGAPOREANS with elderly parents to take care of may be given more days of annual leave to do so, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said yesterday. This potential measure is one of several being discussed by the Ministerial Committee On Ageing, which was set up to coordinate government efforts to prepare for an ageing population. The committee is currently looking into how the Government can give caregivers "some respite in terms of the services we can provide to them ... with more leave so they have more time to look after the elderly and the frail at home", he said. Mr Can was responding to a question from an MP for Ma.ririe Parade GRC, Ms Tin Pei Ling, who stressed the importance of "family support" in caring for the elderly, She asked if the Government would consider mandating annual leave for that specific purpose.


In response to a. question
from an MP for Holland- Bukit Timah GRC, Mr Christopher De Souza, Mr Gan said that a dedicated sub-committee is looking into the manpower requirements for dealing with the ageing population. More geriatricians, nurses and allied-health professionals will have to be recruited, and the capacity of nursing homes will have to be expanded, he added. The ministerial committee's masterplan, which "will detail initiatives to facilitate ageingin -place", will he released next year,Mr Gan said,

NATIONAL Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said his ministry will look into a su ggestion by Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam to have a higher tier of rents for fam ilies ineligible for rental flats because they ea rn more than $1.500. but are unable to buy a Build-to-Order flat as they are not first-time buyers. Mr Khaw said he belongs to the "school of thought" which agrees that exceptions can be made for th ese fa milies,


"jump the queue" for train purchases as train manufacturers have to fulfil contractual commitments to other buyers. Still, she expec-ts the opening of the Downtown Line "to significantly reduce" the overcrowding situation. Asked by Me Giamwhether there had been advance planning for the upcoming improvements, Mrs Teo said there was. The extra 22 trains were first mooted in 2007 and were to be delivered by next year_ However, she said the delivery was brought forward to this year. But projecting demand and ridership ahead of time is "always going to be a tricky business", she said. "It's going to be


CHANGES to the Central Provident Fund ICPFI Act will allow anyone to ma.ke voluntary contributions to another person's CPF account, and to allow interaccount transfers to be reversed in special circumstances, such as when one is in severe financial straits. Among the other changes to the Act is the new Special Needs Savings Scheme. Members of Parliament praised the new Special Needs Savings Scheme, saying it is timely and a step in the right

RESIDENTS in Marymount Terrace and Jalan Kuak who have had their houses acquired for the North-South Expressway will get help. For instance. affected owners will get 40 per cent of their compensation upfront instea d of 20 per cent After handing over their land, they can also stay an at subsidised rental rates for up to tlNo years.

THE maximum penalty for telcos which flout the rules has been raised to 10 per cent oftheir annual business turnover, or $1 million, whic hever is higher. This is a change from a penalty ceiling of $1 million. Under the changes to the rules, the Government will also be able to step in and take action if a telco monopolises the market or acts against national interest.

SINCE new advertising rules took effect on Nov 1. 32 licensed moneylenders have been caught breaching them as of last Monday, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday, They had, among other offences, put up advertisements in areas beyond their business premises. All were issued with warnings, and have since complied with the rules.

The scheme, which helps parents provide for the financial needs of their disabled children in the event of their death, will allow parents to arrange for a month Iy payout to their children using their CPF savings without having to set up a trust.


my paper



PSLE results to be released on Thursday


HE result.s ~.Ol" p. imary School Leaving Examithe. nation (PSLE) will be out on Thursday. The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced yesterday that pupils mayo btain their result slips from


their schools from noon. On the same day, eligible pupils will also receive from their respective primary schools option forms to select secondary schools. Pupils are required to hand the option forms to their parents. Parents can choose to submit their child's secondary-

school choices through their child's primary school or via. the MOE Secondary One (Sl) Posting website. In every sealed Sl Option Form, there will be a unique St Personal Identification Number which enables parents to submit secondary-school options online. The online system will be accessible 24 hours daily from 12prn on Thursday till 3pm next Wednesday. Submissions at primary schools can be made from 12prn till 3pm on Thursday; and from 9am to 3pm between Friday and next Wednesday, excluding Saturday and Sunday, The Sl posting results will be released on Dec 21. Pupils are to report to the secondary school they are posted to at B.30am on Dec 22. Posting results can be obtained from the child's primary school, or via the MOE website. Results can also be received on local mobilephone numbers via 8MS if parents indicate their preference for this in the si Option FOrJ]]. nggwen@sph.com.sg

¢ For mm'e information, parents can visit the MOE Secondary One Posting website at wwmmoe.gov.sg! education/admissions/secondary-one-posting or call the MOE customer-seroice centre on 6872-2220.

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Mr Lee to clan associations: Modify your roles



English". He emphasised that English is the working language here and Mandarin a second language. Anything otherwise would have caused Singapore to fall apart, said Mr Lee. "Dialects have gradually faded away, and will continue to fade Two pictorial publications to commemorate the contributions of Mr Lee and Mr Goh were launched. In his speech, Me Goh traced the highlights of his career from 1976 to the end of his 14-yea.r
tenure away, even in China," he said.

ORMER prime minister Lee Kuan Yew called on clan associations yesterday to modify their roles to stay relevant in a changing society. If they do not, he cautioned that they will tind that their old role will have no meaning in Singapore. Mr Lee said: "People from different parts of China needed to rally together to help one another. Today, there is no such difference. We are all Sin-


gaporeans. There is no longer such a need." Mr Lee proposed that clan associations consider attracting new immigrants from China to participate in their activities. "With .government help, we can teach them simple English for modest fees so that they can integrate into Singapore society with greater ease." He called it a "revolutionary idea" but one whose "time has come". 'This is the future," he said. Mr Lee was addressing more

ENGLISH IS WORKING LANGUAGE: Mr Lee Kuan Yew speaking at the gala dinner organised to honour him and Emeritus SM Goh Chok Tong yesterday. (PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN) than 1,000 guests at a gala dinner organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associatinns and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Indusby to honour him and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday. It was held at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre, Mr Lee said that Singaporeans are not unhappy about the

Stimulus package possible, say Nomura analysts
showed electronics exports tumbling 17 per cent in the third quarter from a year ago. The ministry's downbeat proj eetions for next year came as it released third-quarter figures showing GDP grew 6.1 per cent, an improvement from I per cent in the second quarter. Analysts said growth is a major concern for next year. "We are looking at GDP gTOWth of around 2..5 per cent year-on-year for full year 2012, given the velY subdued external demand for Singapore's exports amid the global uncertainties," said economist Chow Penn Nee at United Overseas Bank. Singapore is a major producer of high-end telecommunication and computer-related parts shipped to the rest of the world. as well as petrochemical and pharmaceutical products. 'The electronics cluster is expected to register a lower level of output, given the downturn in the global electronics cycle," the MTI said. Analysts from Nomura financial-services group said the Government may step in with a stimulus package when the next Budget is unveiled in February next year. "The size of the stimulus will likely depend on how the external situation unfolds from here," they said in a report.

He said: "Mr Lee handed over the premiership to me but, mind you, it was not on a silver platter but a porcelain plate." Mr Goh added that he owed much of his success to his cohort of colleagues, including then deputy prime minister Lee Hsien Loong. "Singapore is like this piece of priceless porcelain. It is our common heirloom which we must hand over in good condition, from one generation to another," he said.

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SUU KYI TO TAKE PART IN, MYANMAR BY-ELECTIONS PRO~DEM CRACYleader Aung 0 San Suu Kyi intends to run for Parliament in upcoming by-elections, a decision that was expected after her party decided last week to rejoin mainstream politics in longisolated Myanma r, In a landmark development, the National League for Democracy decided last Friday to rejoin politics, signalling its confidence in recent reforms by the civilian government that took power earlier this year.




Chinese strip for dissident Ai
lRST, it was money folded into paper planes and thrown over the walls of dissident artist Ai Weiwei's home, Now, his supporters have gone online to stage an even unlikeli er show of solidarity: mass nudity. By yesterday afternoo n, 70 people had posted Dude photos of themselves on a website called Ai Wei Fans' Nudity Listen, Chinese Government: Nudity [s Not Pornography. It is a rare form of protest in a country where public nudity is still taboo. They uploaded the photos after Beijing police questioned Ai's videographer last Thursday for allegedly spreading pornography online by taking nude pi ctures of Ai and four women. Supporters of the artist, whose 81-day secret detention earlier this year sparked an international outcry, said the questioning over the nude photos is China's latest effort to intimidate its most famous social critic. The videographer, Zhao Zhao, said Beijing police interrogated


FOG, GROUNDS FUGHTS IN AND OUT OF LONDON THOUSANDS of passengers faced severe travel disruption on Sunday after fog grounded hundreds of flights in and out of London's airports, including Heathrow, the country's busiest Heathrow Airport confirmed that 132 flights, including 50 British Airways services, were cancelled due to thick fog,

NOTHING TO HIDE: Artist Ai Weiwei baring his T-shirt last Wednesday as he walked into the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau to appeal against a tax-evasion charge. (PHOTO: AP) him for about four hours on the motives behind the photographs, Ai paid a bond of 8,45 million yuan (S$I,7 million) last Tuesday and paved the way for what he fears would be a futile appeal against a tax-evasion charge that his supporters deride as political vendetta, The money was contributed by his supporters. Many of the photos posted on the protest website were accompanied with politically tinged comments, "Grandpa, is this pornography?" wrote a user, who was photographed bare-bottomed and writing on a wall with the words "89 political turmoil", a reference to the violent crackdown
on protests in Beijing's Tianan-

Ai told Reuters that the poIke questioned him during his confinement about the nude photographs, which were taken in August last year. He said the photographs had no deeper political meaning and were not meant to criticise the government, hut added that the Beijing could perceive the photos as a "rebellions act". "We did it because it was a way to remove fear and the feeling of isolatioll,' Ai told Renters, "Because fear and the feeling of isolation are the defining characteristics of certain societies. "Today, in reality, these (actions) are inappropriate. So, when I see everyone like this, I feel that young people still have some conscience."

GADDAFI'S BRUTAL SPY CHIEF CAUGHT ON SUNDAY COLONELMuammar Gaddafi's spymaster, Abdulla h Senussi. was arrested on Sunday, Libyan officials announced. They also said that the dead dictators son, who was ca ptured the previous day. would face trial in Libya. The military council in the Wadi Shari District said the intelligence chief was Gaddafi's brutal enforcer for decades, and had been taken prisoner from his sister's house in the southern desert.



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Thai govt and Thaksin dispel talk of his pardon

MALAYSIA TO RELAX LAWS ON PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES MALAYSIA will relax laws to allow peaceful public gatherings to be held without a police permit, as Prime Minister Najib Razak accelerates reforms ahead of a possible general election next year. The Peaceful Assembly Bill will be tabled in Parliament on Thursday, and stipulates where such gatherings can be held to ensure they do not disturb public order. th e New Straits Times newspaper seid,

HEALTHY DIET FOR MALES HELPS IN IVF SUCCESS RATE THE chances of a successful in-vitro fertilisation IIVFj increase if men have a diet high in fruit and grains, and low in red meat, alcohol and coffee. a Brazilian study on male sperm said. While female reproductive problems have been linked to body weight, as well as smoking and drinking, it had not been clear if the same applies to men during IVf treatment

JUSTICE Minister Pracha Promnok insisted on Sunday that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would not benefit from a draft royal decree seeking pardons for inmates on the occasion of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday on Dec 5, "Thaksin will not receive any benefit from the decree, and his name will not be included in the list of convicts eligible for a royal pardon," Mr Pracha told Thai daily The Nation, He added: "Convicts on the run will not be eligible. "The new draft will not benefit anyone in parti cular, especially Thaksin, because 'those who are eligible for a royal pardon must have served (a portion of) their jail terms first," Mr Pracha said that convicts in corruption cases will not be eligible for a royal pardon. Thaksin yesterday wrote an open letter to the Thai people, saying that he is ready to make a sacrifice, but a.Yellow Shirt leader noted that he did not say he would forfeit the right to receive a royal pardon, The Nation reported. Thaksin wrote the open let-

ter amid STowing opposition to the draft royal decree, which was approved hy the Cabinet and was earlier reported to be designed to allow the fugitive former premier to receive a royal pardon without having to serve any part of his sentence. He wrote: "I support all measures that will lead to national reconciliation and do not want to see any attempt that will sour the atmosphere, and I am prepared to sacrifice my personal happiness, even though I have not received justice during the last five years." He also wrote that as the King was ill, nobody should worry the King. Me Pracha denied any connection between Thaksin's statement and his, Thai newspaper Bangkok Post reported. The paper also quoted an anonymous source at the Puea Thai party as saying that Thaksin ordered the party to cancel its plan to seek a royal pardon for him, TI1e anti-Thaksin People's Alliance For Democracy cancelled its demonstration planned for yesterday. after hearing Mr Pracha's announcement, AGENCIES

genocide starts in Cambodia

Key trial for

THREE top Khmer Rouge leaders yesterday heard charges of genocide and other atrocities against them, as their "milestone" trial got under way at Cambodia's United Nations-backed war-crimes court, "Brother No.2" Nuon Chea, former head of state Khieu Samphan and former foreign minister leng Sary appeared to listen intently in the packed Phnom Penh courtroom, more than three decades after the brutal "Killing Fields" era, They have denied charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Up to two million people died during Tor, the cumrnuuist move-

ment's 1975-1979 reign of terTIle start of opening statements in the long-awaited case is seen as a key moment in the still-traumatised nation's quest for justice,

"It's a major milestone that, finally, this trial has started," said 'court spokesman Lars Olsen. "Many people never thought it would happen." Missing from the session was Ieng Thirith - the regime's "first lady" and the only female leader to be charged by the court - after she was ruled unfit for trial last week because she has dementia, Judges have ordered her release, but she remains locked up while an appeal by the prosecution is considered) which is expected to take two weeks, Hundreds of Cambodians, including monks, students and regime survivors, packed the court's public gallery_ "I feel very happy, I carne because I want to know the story and how it could have happened: said 75-year-old farmer Sao Kuon, who lost 11 relatives under the Khmer Rouge, Nearly 4,000 victims are taking part in the legal proceediugs as civil parties. Led by "Brother No. 1" Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied cities, abolished money and religion and wiped out nearly a quarter of the population through starvation, overwork and executions, in a bid to create an agrarian utopia.

33 DIE IN EGYPT AS VIOLENCE RAGES FOR THIRD DAV CLASHES between police and protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square erupted for a third straight day yesterday, The deadly violen ce left at least 33 people dead. Police used tear gas sporadically against hundreds of protesters. who responded with stones and rocks,

U,S. VARSITY PUTS 'PEPPER SPRAY' OFACERS ON LEAVE THE University of California, Davis, said on Sunday that two police officers had been piaced on administrative leave after using pepper spray an seated protesters at the campus last Friday during a demonstration aligned with Occupy Wall Street. Videos of the encounter, widely distributed over the Internet, showed two police officers in riot gear dousing the protesters with pepper spray as they sat an a sidewalk with their arms entwined,




ETHIOPIAN TROOPS ENTER SOMALIA TO HIT MILITANTS WITNESSES along the drought, stricken Ethiopia,Somalia border reported an Sunday that hun, dreds of heavily armed Ethiopia n troops had crossed into Somalia in an offensive against militant group AI,Shabab, So far, the rea ction among Somalis has been the polar apposite of what happened a few yea rs ago, when Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in 2000 and occupied the country for about two years, turning the population against them and fuelling the rise of AI-Sha bab,

WOMAN TRIES HISTORIC ANTARCTIC CROSSING REACHING the end of the earth has become almost routine these days: One hundred years after Norway's Roald Amundsen beat Britain's R. F, Scott to the South Pale, mare th an 30 tea ms are trying for it this year. But Ms Felicity Aston has been there, done that. Weather and her stamina permitting, the 33,year-old British adventurer will keep on skiing at the South Pole to the other side of the frozen continent and become the first person using only muscle power to cross Antarctica alone,

OANTAS ROW WITH UNIONS TO GO TO ARBITRATION: A ROW between Australia's Qantas and two staff unions will go to arbitration after talks called in the wake of the shack grounding of its fleet fa iled to find a compromise before the deadline at midnight yesterday, the airline said, Qantas and unions representing pilots, engineers and ground staff were given 21 days to resolve their lonq-runninq contract dispute after the industrial-relations tribunal stepped in to order that the airline end the grou ndinq,

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How China can defeat America
tioual competition between political powers - and separating the winners from the losers. I came to this conclusion from studying ancient Chinese political theorists like
Guanzi, Confucius; Xunzi and Mencius.


ITH China's growing influence over the global economy, and its increasing ability to proj ect military power, competition between the United States and China is inevitable, Leaders of both countries assert optimistically that the competition can be managed without clashes that threaten the global order, Most academic analysts are not so sanguine. If history is any guide, China's rise does indeed pose a challenge to America. Rising powers seek to gain more authority in the global system, and declining powers rarely go down without a fight. And given the differences between the Chinese and American political systems, pessimists might believe that there is an even higher likelihood of war. I am a political realist, Western analysts have labelled my political views "hawkish", and the truth is that I have never overvalued the importance of morality in international relations. But realism does not mean that politicians should be concerned only with military and economic might. In fact, morality can playa key role in shaping interna-


They were writing in the pre-Qin period, before China was unified as an empire more than 2,000 years ago - a world in which small countries were competing ruthlessly for territorial advantage. It was perhaps the greatest period for Chinese thought, and several schools competed for ideological supremacy and politieal influence. They converged on one CIUcial insight: The key to international influence was political power, and the CEntral attribute of political power was morally informed leadership, Rulers who acted in accordance with moral norms whenever possible tended to win the race for leadership over the long term. China was unified by the ruthless king of Qin in 221 BC, but his short-lived rule was not nearly as successful as that of Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty, who drew on a mixture oflegalistic realism and Confucian "soft power" to rule the country for over 50 years, from 140 BC until 86 BC. According to the ancient Chinese philosopher Xunzi, there were three types of leadership: humane authority, hegemony and tyranny, Humane authority won the hearts and minds of the people at home and abroad. Tyranny - based on military force - inevitably created enemies. Hegemonic powers lay in between: they did not cheat the people at home or cheat allies abroad, But they were frequently in-

Realism does not mean that politicians should be concerned only with military and economic might. In/act, momlity can playa key role in shaping international competition between political poweTS.
different to moral concerns and often used violence against non-allies. The philosophers generally agreed that humane authority would win in any competition with hegemony or tyranny. Such theories may seem far removed from our own day, but there are striking parallels. Indeed, Dr Henry Kissinger once told me that he believed. that ancient Chinese thought was more likely than any foreign ideology to become the dominant intellectual force behind Chinese foreign policy. The fragmentation ofthe pre-Qin era resembles the. global divisions of our times, and the prescriptions provided by political theorists from that era are directly relevant today. Unfortunately, such views are not so influential in this age of economic determinism, even if governments often pay lip service to them. The Chinese government claims that the political leadership of the Communist Party is the basis of China's economic miracle, but it often acts as tho ugh competition with the US will be played out on the economic field alone. And in America, politicians regularly attribute progress, but never failure, to their own leadership. Both governments must understand that political leadership, rather than throwing money at problems, will determine who wins the race for global supremacy. Many people wrongly believe that China can improve its foreign relations only by significantly increasing economic aid. But it's hard to buy affection; such "friendship" does not stand the test of difficult times. How, then, can China win people's hearts across the world? According to ancient Chinese philosophers, it must start at home. Humane authority begins by creating a desirable model at home that inspires people abroad. This means China must shift its priorities away from economic development to establishing a harmonious society free of today's huge gaps between the rich and the poor. It needs to replace money worship with traditional morality and weed out political corruption in favour of social justice and fairness. In other countries, China must display humane authority in order to compete with the US. America enjoys much better relations with the rest of the world than China in terms of both quantity and quality. America has more than 50 formal military allies, while China has only two quasi-allies, North Korea and Pakistan. To shape a friendly internatinnnl environment for its rise, Beijing needs to develop more high-quality diplomatic and

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military relationships tban Washington. No leading power is able to have friendly relations with every country in the world, thus the core of competition between China and the US will be to see who has more high-quality friends. And in order to achieve that goal, China has to provide higher-quality moral leadership than the US. China must also recognise that it is a rising power and assume the responsibilities that come with that status. For example, when it comes to providing protection for weaker powers, as the US has done in Europe and the Persian Gulf, China needs to create additional regional security arrangements with surrounding countries according to the model of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - a regional forum that includes China, Russia and several Central Asian countries. And, politically, China should draw on its tradition of meritocracy. Top government officials should be chosen according to their virtue andwisdom, and not simply technical and administrative ability. China should also open up and choose officials from across the world who meet its standards, so as to improve its governance. The Tang dynasty - which lasted from the 7th centurv to the 10th and was perhaps China's most glorious period employed a great number of foreigners as high-ranking officials, China should do the same today and compete with America to attract talented immigrants. Over the next decade, China's new leaders must playa larger role on toe world stage and offer more security protection and economic support to Jesspowerful countries. This will mean competing with the US politically, economically and technologically, Such competition may cause diplomatic tensions, but there is little danger of military clashes. That's because future Chinese-American competition will differ from that between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Neither China nor Ameri ca needs proxy wars to protect its strategic interests or to gain access to natural resources and technology. China's quest to enhance its world leadership status and America's effort to maintain its present position is a. zerosum game. It is the battle for people's hearts and minds that will determine who eventually prevails. And, as China's ancient philosophers predicted, the country that displays more humane authority will win, myp@sph,com.sg

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'Lone wolf' terrorist plotted to bomb NYC

MANHATTAN man who became fascinated . by American-born Muslim militant Anwar Al-Awlaki was arrested on charges of plotting to build and detonate a bomb in New York, city officials announced on Sunday night. At a hastily called City Hall news conference, police commissioner Raymond Kelly, alongside Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said the man, Jose Pimentel, 27, had begun to plot a bomb attack in August. But the death of Al-Awlaki, killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September, spurred Pimentel to speed np his plans. Mr Kelly said Pimentel, who


is also known as MuharnrnadYusuf after converting to Islam, had been under police surveillance for two years and was arrested last. Saturday after he came close to completing at least three bombs. Pimentel planned to test his abilities by detonating mailboxes, before embarking on a bombing campaign around New York City, Mr Kelly said. Mr Bloomberg and Mr Kelly said Pimentel was not part of a conspiracy, had no known contacts abroad and, in the mayor's words, appeared "to be a total lone wolf'. A native of the Dominican Republic and a naturalised AmeriCan citizen, Pimentel had spent much of his life in Manhattan.

His extremist remarks "made even some like-minded friends nervous", said Mr Kelly, adding thatPimentel even considered changing his name to Osama I-Iussein "to celebrate his heroes", Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Along the way, Pimentel began making incriminating statements to an informant who was working with the police, investigators said, and those conversations were recorded. The bomb-making began in earnest last month, with trips to a Horne Depot in the Bronx and a 99-cent store in Manhattan, during which Pimentel was under surveillance, according to a criminal complaint. There, he purchased a clock, elbow piping, and Christmas lights, all bomb-malting parts.

CAUGHT-New York officials said police arrested Jose Pimentel (left) while he was building pipe bombs - as seen in video clips released on Sunday - with the intention of embarking on a bombing campaign around the city. (PHOTO:

He kept the police informant np to date on his progress and, at times, the bomb-making sessions took place at the informant's apartment, the complaint said. Last Saturday, the police videotaped him in the informant's apartment as he was drilling holes into three pipes. NYT


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Embattled Spain throws out Socialist government

MrMariano Rajoy's centreright People's Party swept yesterday to the biggest majority for any Spanish party in three decades. his plans for attacking a steep pubJic deficit that is threatening to push the fourth economy in the euro zone towards a perilous bailout. "Spain's voice must be respected again in Brussels and Frankfurt ... We will stop being part of the problem and will be part of the solution: said Mr Raj oy, who is not scheduled to take office for a month. With five million people out of work - the European Union's highest jobless rate - voters vented their rage on the Socialists, who led Spain from boom to bust during their seven years in charge. The People's Party won the biggest majority of any party in three decades, taking 186 seats in the 350~seat lower house. The. Socialists slumped to 111 seats from 169 in the outgoing Parliament, their worst showing in 30 years,

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SPAIN became the fifth European nation yesterday to throw out its leaders because of the spreading euro-zone crisis, following Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Italy. Mr Mariano Rajoy's centre-right People's Party stormed to a crushing election victory as voters punished the outgoing Socialist government for the worst economic crisis in generations. Mr Rajoy, 56, led his party to an absolute parliamentary majority yesterday, and is widely expected to push through drastic measures to try to prevent Spain from being sucked deeper into a debt crisis threatening the whole enro zone. "Difficult times are coming," he told supporters in his victory speech. Financial markets will be hungry for details on

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POLICE departments around the United States are working to shield their radio communications from the public, as cheap technology has made it easy for anyone to use handheld devices to keep tabs on officers responding to crimes. The practice of encryption has grown more common from Florida to New York, and west to California, with officials saying they want to keep criminals from using officers' internal chatter to evade them. The Washington police moved to join the trend this autumn, after what chief

Cathy Laniel' said Were several incidents involving criminals and smartphones. "Listeners used to be tied to stationary scanners, (but) new technology has allowed people to listen to police communications on a smartphone fran] anyJ.dI'IPu.u~ui.1llll .iliJCM.l'IHllfi~ .. i t:umpilu.,,~t Td;[M'J.~Cl1Jl GIU~ WDI'iod (II}, T HI_ ..... T~ (15-51 ~l~l;I~~ Maril).5q_ulr'.lCnlI1T51~~) '!'~tr6Sj~ll&il~!i-UII))il6t.!OO n .... Sill.nv ...m t~rMlflol,M~'U P... I(-'I!..,.pio~di

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where," Ms Lanier testified at a DC Council committee hearing this month. "When a potential criminal can evade capture and learn that, There's an app for that,' it's time to change our practices." The transition has put the police at odds with the news media, which says its news-gathering is being impeded. AP

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Tablet apps make shopping fun

POWER GLITCH HITS SOME BLACKBERRY PHONES THERE have been reports that some BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 phones fail to power on after being charged overnight BlackBerry maker Research In Motion confirmed the claims, saying that a "limitednumber of customers have re ported an issue where their device does not power on", The firm is "actively working on a software update to resolve th is issue", tech slte BGR reported. 1 IN 5 PEOPLE IN UK REGRETS BUYING iPHONE, POLL RNDS MORE than one in five people in Britain who have bought an iPhone said they regretted the purchase, a poll of 1,694adults by mobile-deaI site goodmobilephones. co.uk has found. The users were n at happy with their iPhone because of poor battery life.They also cited better srnartphone alternatives as reasons for their regrets, tee h website T3 re ported. AIRPORT SCANNERS MAY DAMAGE KINDLE SCREENS SOMEKindleusers in Britain have complained that airport scanning equipment has damaged their device's electrophoretic ink IE Ink~screen. Mr Michael Hart,from London, said his Kindleno longer worked after it went through an X-ray scanner atthe Madrid airport, The Telegraph reported. Experts said they did not think that radiation levels found in airport scanners are high enough to damage E Ink displays. However,they wou Id not rule out the possibilityof static electrical charges being the real culprit instead. CRACJaNG, PASSWORDS AS EASY AS '.ABI:123' "PASSWORD"is the worst online password of the year, according to an annual list by password-manaqernent application provider SplashData. Splashllata created the rankings based on millionsof stolen passwords posted online by hackers, said tech site Masha ble. The other entries that rounded up the top five are: 123456,12345678, qwartv and abcl23.

tronic store, shoppers armed with tablet computers can now use an app to see how different clothes rnight mix and. match. Many retail ers, from Saks Fifth Avenue to Wal-Mart to lifestyle shops such as Anthropologie, are putting out new iPad apps for the holiday season. These apps do away with scrolling through pages of items online, and aim to make shopping more entertaining, such as allowing people to browse, mix and match items, and view multimedia features in ways not possible in stores, print catalogues or online previously, 'There's always been a little


one item at a. time on an elec-

NSTEAD of going through

bit of a disappointment with the online experience, because the website needs to be practical and doesn't engage the customers as well as the store experience and the catalogue," said Mr Chris Love, director of portfolio management at Anthropologie, "We're thinking about the iPad as a new channel that needs to be treated differently." Just 8 per cent of online shoppers OWntablet devices, and retailers, on average, have spent an anaemic US$14,000 (S$18,170) on apps, said Forrester Research. But 60 per cent of tablet owners use them to shop and many, especially young people, say they prefer shopping on tablets to smartphones and even PCs. Retailers greeted the iPad by

putting their print catalogues or web sites on the device. But now some firms - including Revel Touch, which designed Anthropologie's app - are re-imagining catalogues for the iPad by taking advantage of its touchscreen to flip through or zoom in on items and adding' video, moving images and connections to social networks. Other firms with businesses that create catalogue apps for retailers include Google, The Find and Catalog Spree. On Revel's Anthropologie app, people can create collages by scrolling through blouses, trousers, dresses, jewellery and purses, and buy the items they choose. Shoppers can see thumbnail views of all dresses or jewellery and touch them to magnify

items and make purchases. "It's impossible to do this on a desktop with a mouse," said Revel Touch founder and chief executive Mar Hershenson. "The transition of product search has gone from purely a matrix to trying to he more inspirational."

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N9 is Nokia's best smartphone
Al-I SENG Nokia N9 Srnanphona MID a fJUlTY of smartphones from the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC, Nokia's N9. available since October, has gone largely unnoticed. It is the first Nokia smartphone with MeeC,o, a Linuxbased mobile as, and it is also the last as Nokia has since joined forces with Microsoft and moved on to Windows Mobile OS. Small wonder then that consumers are not paying too much attention to the N9, which is sad as it is an extremely good smartphone, and the best Nokia smartphone to date.


The device, housed in a single-piece polycarbonate, has a very sleek design. Apart from the volume and power keys, there is no home button and everytbing is done via touch and swipes on the 3.9-inch Amoled screen which is made frotn scratch-resistant curved glass. The N9 is a very responsive

and easy-to-navigate smartphone with minimum fiddling required of the user. If only Nokia had come up with the N9 earlier, it would have been a very different story for the company. Everything about the N9, from the design to the user interface, speaks of homage to the Apple iPhone - right down to the packaging (a small box like that for the iPhone), the power charger (a three-pin plug with USB cable), and even the micro SIM. Nokia. promises to support the N9 until at least 2015, including software updates and
services support.

Navigation made easy on this Internet-TV box
Aztech PlavXtreme Internet TV Huh ZTECH, the powerline products specialist, has come up with an Android Internet-TV box. Loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerhread, the box enables Web browsing, and e-mail and social-media activities on the home TV. All that is needed is a HDMI connection from box to TV and broadband, The Aztech PlayXtreme requires direct wired connection to the LAN port on the box, but it is likely that future versions will include wireless connection. The box delivers Full HD playback from streamed online content and stored content on SD card, external USB drive Or NAS hard disks. It comes pre-installed with apps for access to the latest news and weather updates. Users can also install online games and third-party APK files. Most times, onscrcen navigation for such boxes can be a real pain but not the Play'Xtreme, which has a remote control with a QWERTY keypad for text input and desktop control. How much: $199,comes in egret·white design.


How much: $799 (16G B~,$899 164GBf. Available in three colours - black, cyan and magenta

SATA II but Sandisk Ultra SSD is no laggard
Sandisk Ultra Solid State Drive jSSD~ ITH the Thai floods reducing substantially the supply of hard drives and pushing up prices, the appearance of newer and taster solid-state drives (SSDs) at lower prices is welcome relief SSDs are still much more expensive than hard drives but the price gap has narrowed considerably, so much so that SSDs have

THEPakistan authorities have banned about 1,600terms and phrases deemed obscene. In a letter issued to local teleos last Monday,the government said that they have seven days to blockthe words on their networks or face legal action, PCMag reported. Words on the list,which has been floating a round on Twitter, range from "idiot"to "fornicate", as well as "go to hell"




become a. viable alternative, especially in view of the faster speed, lower power consumption and greater durability. San disk recently launched its Ultra SSD in three configurations - 60GB, 120GB and 240GB. They are 2.5-inch SATA II devices with up to 280MB/sec read and 270 MB/s€c write capability. Mean time between failures is rated at up to 1,000,000 hours. Theoretically, a SATA II SSD would be slower when com-

pared to a SATA III SSD, which can deliver up to 6GB/sec transfer rates. A simple comparison test involving the Sandisk Ultra and OCZ Vertex 3 and PIextor SSDs (both SATA III devices) did not show it to be that much of a laggard. Admittedly, it was not a controlled test, although the three. SSDs were put through the same tasks. Perhaps specifications by themselves do not tell the whole story, So before plonking down cash for an expensive SSD, it would be worthwhile to look beyond the specifications. Whatever the choice, once hooked on SSDs, it is very difficult to go back to tortoise-like hard drives. How much: 8230I60G $415 B~, 1120GB~, 1240GB~ $790

THEnew Twilightvampire movie opened with a massive US$283.5million($$369 million) in worldwide ticket sa les over the weekend, as passionate fans filledtheatres for the beginning of a two-part finale to the hugely popular su pernatu ral love story. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 - whi ch opens in Singapore on Thursday - captured an estimated US$139.5 millionin the UnitedStates and Canada. That ranked as the fifth-biggest domestic opening to date.





Success a miracle, says director Ko
Bv jov
FANG E'ITING into Hollywood might be viewed as the pinnacle of every filmmaker's career, but it is something that Taiwanese author and film-maker Giddens Ko is nonchalant about, "Why must Wego international? We sbould just do whatever makes us happy," said the 33-year-old in Mandarin during an interview with 1ny papCT on Sunday. He said: '1 wouldn't force myself to write something that caters to a market for the sake of entering it ... After all, how can we make something that can beat Hollywood?" Kn's debut film, You Are The Apple Of My Eye, which is based on his autobiographical novel of the same name, was a massive box-office hit in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Singapore,
the rom-com has earned more


OSCARwinners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody willjoin the cast of Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's upcoming epic, 1942, said Varletv.com The story tells of a famine in central Chinathat claimed three rnillon lives during the war against Japan. Production company HuayiBrothers confirmed that Brodywill playa reporter from Time magazine, while Robbinswill playa priest

PUppy LOVE: You Are Tbe Apple Of My Eye, which has earned more than $1.35 million in Singapore, is about the director's affection for his high-school love. (PHOTO: INTERNET) author to first-time film director has not been easy for Ko, who confessed that be finds filmmaking exhausting, Writing a book requires only three months to complete, with publicity taking one to two weeks, he noted. Making a movie, however, can take three or more years, with no end in sight to publicity demands and promotional activities, if your film is popular. "But this type of success is something one doesn't get easily, so I cannot complain: he added quickly with a smile. Still, Ko said he is going back to his first love after promotional activities for the movie are over. He plans on taking at least a year off to immerse himself in writing. He isn't ruling out another movie, though. "1 hope the time (1 spend all. writing) will allow me to forget

TAIWANESE director Lee Ang is in the midst of shooting his new movie, LifeOf Pi, but is dreading going to Taiwan for a reshoot. According to The Wrap, Lee is trying "to decide whether to return to Taiwan to reshoot some scenes". His major concern? The "excessive media attention" he receives when he's there.

than $1.35 million as of Sunday, It opened on Nov 10, and has outgrossed films such as Secret and Lnst, Caution. The film also nabbed four nominations for the upcoming Golden Horse Awards, including a best-new-director nomination. The film and book, which was published in June 2006, is a bittersweet look at the high-school years of student Ko Ching-teng (played by newbie Ko Chen-tung) and his group of buddies, all of whom have a crush on pretty and studious Shen Chia-yi (Michelle Chen), Ko, who has published more than 60 novels, short stories and comics, was in town over the weekend to attend the ongoing BookFest, where he held two autograph sessions. Better known by his pen

the success I had, so I won't be influenced by what other people say about this movie and (their demands that I) make a second one that is exactly the same," he said. Inevitably, he was asked about the real-life Shell. Ko revealed that the two keep in touch. She called him last week and promised to let him know her thoughts on the film, he said. She had already read his book and penned a long letter to him after, in which she thanked him for writing about. their story, which made her feel special. And how does his current girlfriend of six years - a woman whom he got to know after she wrote him a letter as a fan of his books - feel about seeing the movie about his high-school love? She was initially jealous, said Ko. "She kept pinching me while watching the movie, but I just kept telling her that I love her and tbat she is prettier and cuter," he joked, joyfimg@sph,com.sg ~. BookFest is on until Sunday at Suntec Convention Centre, Hall 6'01 to 603. You A"e The Apple Of My Eye is playing in cinemas.

AT THE HELM: .Best-selling author and first-time director Giddens Ko. name Jiubadao (01' Nine Knives), the man told my pape'i' that he expected the movie to be popular in Taiwan as he believed he made a good movie. But successes in other countries were "miracles". The change from best-selling



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ROBINGibb,a member olthe Bee Gees, is battlingliverca ncer, according.to re ports. The 61-year-oldstar was diagnosed several months ago. Gibb was taken to hasp itaI last week after his familymade a 999 call, but later returned to his home in Thame, Dxfordshire, where familyhave gathered to be by his side, according to The Telegraph.

Swift, Adele and Minaj rule at AMA ceremony

CANADIAN singer Michael Buble is celebrating his second No. 1 aIbumin Britain after his Christmas-covers album topped the week's music chart, said the


The aIbum,which sees him singing classics likeWhite Christmas. climbedfrom last week's No, 2 spot to overtake Susan Boyle's latest release.

COUNTRY sensation Taylor Swift came up the big winner at the American Music Awards (AMA) on Sunday, claiming three trophies, including the top honour, the artist of the year. She tied for most wins with British singer Adele, who also earned three trophies for female pop artist, best album with smash hit 21 and top adult contemporary performer. Adele, who came into the audience-voted awards show as the most-nominated singer with four nods, lost artist of the year to Swift, who seemed genuinely surprised by the upset victory. "This is one of the craziest

things that has ever happened to me," she said. «I have no idea what I'm supposed to say. I did not think this was going to happen." Along with the year's top artist, Swift claimed AMA trophies for favourite female country artist for the second straight year and nabbed best country album with. her Speak Now. Adele, who is recovering from vocal-cord surgery, was not on hand to accept her awards, Rapper Nicki Minaj was the night's ather big winner, with two AMAs in the rap or hip-hop category; favourite artist and best album for her Pink Friday. Maroon 5 picked up the honour for best pop or rock group

PINK FLUSH: Nicki Minaj won American Music Awards on Sunday for favourite rap artist and best rap album, (PHOTO: AP) thanks to their hit, Moves Like Jagger, and Bruno Mars rounded out the pop category with an AMA trophy for best male artist. Among R&B acts, Rihanna grabbed best album with Loud, beating former boyfriend Chris Brown and his F.A.M.E album. Usher and Beyonce were named favourite R&B male and female artists respectively. The Foo Fighters earned top alternative. rock band, while Jennifer Lopez was the top Latin artist,

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For kids, parents prefer paper books

Zee Avi delights with 'island indie pop'
ZEE Avi, the singer-songwriter from Sarawak who found fame through You'Tube, is on her most extensive Asian tour yet. The 26-vear-old has already visited South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and she will gig at the Tab in Orchard Road tonight. Zee Avi (real name Izyan Alirahman) was discovered by Patrick Keeler of The Raconteurs and is signed to Jack Johnson's label, Brushfire Records. She is now based in New York. She will be playing songs from her sophomore album, Ghostbird. She tells my paper about the record, and about partying at Brushfire Records.

RINT books may be under siege from the rise of e-books, but they have a tenacious hold on a particular group; children and toddlers. Their parents are insisting that the next generation of readers spend their early years with old-fashioned books. This is the case even with parents who are themselves rue-hard downloaders of books onto Kindles, iPads, laptops and phones. They freely admit to their digital double standards, saying they want their children to be surrounded by print books, to experience turning physical pages as they learn about shapes, colours and animals. Mums and dads also say that they like cuddling up with their child and a book, and fear that a shiny gadget might get all the attention. Also, if little Joey is going to throw up, a book may be easier to clean than a tablet computer. "It's intimacy, the intimacy of reading and touching the world. It's the wonderment of her reaching for a page with me," said Ms Leslie Van Every, 41, a San Francisco mum who is a loyal e-book reader and whose husband reads on his iPhone. But for their 2'(2-year-old


daughter, Georgia, dead-tree books, stacked and strewn around the house, are the lone option. "She reads only print books," Ms Every said, adding with a laugh that she works for a. digital company, CBS Interactive. "Oh, the shame: As the adult book world turns digital at a faster rate than publishers expected, sales of e-books for titles aimed at children under eight have barely budged. They represent less than 5 per cent of total annual sales of children's books, several publishers estimated, compared with more than 25 per cent in some categories of adult books. Many print books are also bought as gifts. Children's books are also a bright spot for brickand-mortar bookstores, since

parents often want to flip through an entire book before buying it, something they usuany cannot do with e-book browsing. A study commissioned by Harper Collins last yea... found that books bought for three to seven year olds were frequently discovered at a local bookstore, 38 per cent of the time. And here is a. question for a digital-em debate: Is anything lost by taking a picture book and converting it to an e-book? Dr .Junko Yokota, the director of the Center for Teaching

through Children's Books at National- Louis University in Chicago, thinks the answer is yes, because the shape and size of the book are often part of the reading experience. Wider pages might be used to convey broad landscapes, Of a taller format might be chosen for stories about skyscrapers. Size and shape "become part of the emotional experience, the intellectual experience", said Dr Yokota, who has lectured on how to decide when a child's book is best suited for digital or print format. "There's a lot you can't standardise and stick into an electronic format: she added. Publishers say they are gradually increasing the number of print picture books they are converting into digital format, even though it is time-consuming and expensive, and developers have been busy creating interactive children's book apps. While the entry of new tablet devices from Barnes & Noble and Amazon this autumn is expected to increase the demand for children's e-books, several publishers said they suspected that many parents would still prefer the print versions. "There's definitely a predisposition to print," said Mr Jon Yaged, president and publisher of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, which released The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah

Diesen and On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Til1man. "And the parents are the same folks who will have no qualms about buying an e-book for themselves," he added. That is the case in the home of Mr Ari Wallach, a. tech-obsessed New York entrepreneur who helps companies update their technology. He reads on Kindle, iPad and iPhone, bnt the room of his twin girls is packed with only print books. «There's snmething very personal about a book and not one of 1,000 files on an iPad, something that's connected and emotional, something I grew up with and tha.t I want them to gTOW with," he. said. up "I recognise that when they are my age, it'll be difficult to find a.'dead-tree book'. That being said, I feel that learning with books is as important a rite of passage as learning to eat with utensils and being potty trained." myp@sph,com.sg



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A lot has happened since the last album was released in 2009. Ghostbird is a collection of tales and lessons that were learnt from the past couple of years. I feel like I've nurtured and polished my art and my gift a little more. Your music has been described in maoy ways. How would you describe it yourself? "Island indie pop". Someoue at a radio station told me that.

and whatit's about?

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Crocodile Rocker works his
BARKER WHAT: Elton John & Band Greatest Hits Tour VENUE: Singa pore Indoor Stadiu m AmNDANCE: 10,000 WHEN: Sunday ELTON John is no longer quite the Rocket Man he used to be. At his Greatest Hits gig on Sunday, he was content to stay planted at his Yamaha grand piano, getting up every now and then only to take a bow, or to sign autographs for a. lucky few in the front rows. But then, it's no surprise, really. With a showbiz career spanning over 40 years, the man is now regally rotund at age 64. PIllS, he's a family man, having adopted a child with long-time partner David Furnish. The whole family was in town for John's gig on Sunday, as well as to attend the World Orchid Show at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre last Friday, when Jobn had an orchid named after him. John's 160-minute, sold-out show, presented by Live Limited and Marina Bay Sands, saw him go through chart-toppers like Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (from 1974's Cari-

PIANO MAN: Elton John delivered chart-toppers like Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Sacrifice with much conviction during his 160-minnte, sold-out show. (PHOTO:

of the concert's first halt; lounging lazily in their seats, resistance was futile in the second half of the show. John - with backing from a tenacious group of musicians, including drummer Nigel Olsson, who has been playing with him since the late 1960s - roused the crowd with up-tempo tunes like Crocodile Rock and Bennie And The Jets. At one point, John revealed that the audience Werein the presence of Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey, who is in town for his role in the play Richard III, currently showing at the Esplanade. Spacey, 52, who was seated waved gamely, and got his boogie on to the 1974 hit, The Bitch Is Back. Perhaps what the show taught us is this; Flamboyant, 19708 Elton John - he of the neon-feather boas and sky-high platform shoes - has mellowed. But as the man said in his 1970 hit Your Song, with which he closed the show, "my gift is my song, and this one's for you". Thank you for the music, Elton. vbalker@sph.com.sg
several rows fram the stage,

There ain't no party like a Brushfire party. You get to meet all these cool new people. JOSEPHINE PRICE ~ CatchZeeAvi at Tab

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bou) and Sacrifice (1989'S Sleeping With The Past). These were sung almost pitch-perfect, and with much conviction. During the gig, the Grammy winner - decked out in a shiny purple shirt, trademark purple shades and a black, sequinned long-tailed coat with a.n orchid emblazoned on the back - showcased his booming baritone perfectly. While the mostly mature crowd of 10,.000 were generally unresponsive for the most part

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WAS sad to read about the massive land acquisition and relocation of homes and shops needed to make way for the upcoming North-South Expressway, but the move to improve travelling time between the northern and southern parts of Singapore is welcome. The new expressway would have 16 entry ramps and 17 exit ramps, plus a number of slip roads, However, a. recent report quoted transport researcher Lee Der Horng of the National University of Singapore as saying that many entrances and exits can be challenging for motorists. He said that those access and exit points could disrupt traffic flow, and fewer such points might be more ideal. While this means drivers have to travel a slightly longer way to and from the expressway, motorists will experience a far smoother drive once they are on the expressway. I agree with the researcher's comments, and hope that the Land Transport Authority will take into consideration his remarks.

It is not worth the while of tenants and residents of Rocher, among the many affected, to make sacrifices for an expressway that, ultimately, may not help shorten travelling time at all.


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Smoother: ~1119i1!0igeng shun chang Tenants: fllP zu hu WRITE TO US AT MY PAPER. E-mail your opinions to myp@sph.ClIm,sg Please include your full name, address and a telephone contact number. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and length.

Schoolchildren get subsidies, except for dental aesthetics
I REFER to Mr Dave Yap's letter, "Why aren't dental subsidies given to schoolchildren?" (my paper, Nov 16). The Health Promotion Board places a strong emphasis on the prevention of dental problems and inculcation of good oral-hygiene practices from young. Our School Dental Service ensures that all school-going Singaporean children (seven- to is-year-olds) in national schools are provided free basic dental services, including screening" for dental

caries, cleaning and fillings in school dental clinics. When the children require follow-up specialist dental care, they are usually referred to the National Dental Centre of Singapore, where they are accorded subsidised rates. There is, however, no subsidy for orthodontic treatment, which is classified as aesthetics treatment. Ortho dontic treatment for medically related conditiODS, however, will be subsidised. I thank Mr Yap for the opportunity to provide clarifications to his query, and encourage him to call the School Dental Centre on 6435-3782, Or e-mail HPB_Dental_Counter@hpb.gov.sg for any further queries. DR EU OVCHU SENIOR DEPUTY DIRECTOR SCHOOL DENTAL SERVICE HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD

Money changer's staff counselled
I REFER to Mr Lim Poh Seng's letter, "Money changer's staff gave out wrong change" (my paper, Nov 10), and thank Mr Lim for his feedback. In the spirit of delivering a smooth and stress-free experience for all airport visitors, Changi Airport has stringent standards and guidelines in place for its concession operators, including money changers. Operators are required. to deliver a high level of customer service and, when handling cash transactions, exercise PlUdeuce and vigilance. Money-changing operators maintain error-correction logs to monitor service standards. In this case, investigations showed that the enol' was recorded properly in the operator's error-correction log, and action has been taken to counsel the staff involved, to ensure that such a lapse does not recur. The operator takes customer feedback seriously, and apologises for the customer's unpleasant experience. It is in the process of getting in touch with Mr Lim to follow up on his concerns. MRS MARITONET ALUOUIN ASSISTANT VICE-PRESIDENT, CONCESSION OPERATIONS CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP

SEA GAMES T"ONIGHT INDONESIA Vice-President Boediono is scheduled to close the SEA Games at tonighfs Closing Ceremony in Palembang, reported the official SEA Games bulletin. Three popular Indonesian musicians - Agnes Monica, Giring Ganesha and Afgan Syherza - will pertorrn at the ceremony, along with more th an 300 dancers, programme director Helmi Yahya said. SOME GAMES OFfiCIALS HOUSED IN 3 SHIPS SEA Games organisers have been usir 9 th ree ships anchored at Palembang to house some officials for the Games, reported the official SEA Games bulletin. For example, the ship managed by the Donny Kapelle company has 360 rooms of va rious classes of comfort. Some rooms were even converted by the officials into meeting rooms and offices for the duration of the Games. CLEAN SWEEP OF SOFTBALL BY PHILIPPINE TEAMS THE Philippines swept the softball competitions of the SEA Games after the men's and women's teams won their final matches to leapfrog over their respe ctive rivals for the gold at the Jakabaring Sports Complex in Palembang, reported GMA News Online. The women's team trounced Thailand 6-0, while the men's team came from behind to defeat hosts Indonesia 7-3 and retain the titles they last won in the 2007 Korat Games. TIMOR LESTE WINS ARST MEDALS IN SHIlRINJI KEMPO TIMOR Leste won its first SEA Games gold and silver medals in Shorinji Kempa on Sunday. The country's mixed pair alJ uliarna Perreira and Darceyana Borges won gold in the artistic kyukenshi category, while compatriots Domingos Savio and Fidelia da Costa Perreira took silver in yudansha. ASEAN WANTS TUG·OF·WAR INCLUDED IN: FUTURE GAMES ASEAN cou ntries are looking to include tug-of-war in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games, as well as the 2015 Games which Singa pore will host. In July, the Singapore TUgof-War Association met the Asian Tug-of-War Federation and other Asean nations to sign a letter of memorandum to get the sport inc luded in the Myanmar SEA Games.





The good, the bad and the ugly

lNJAKARTA one to mince his words. The Team Singapore chef de mission for this SEA Games has held key positions in the Singapore sports scene for over 40 years - and his experience and expertise in evaluating athletes are never in doubt. So when he called a media conference yesterday and told us journalists straight up that Team Singapore's performance at this Games was "at best, satisfactory", everyone sat up and listened intently for his analysis of the team's 42 gold, 43 silver and 72 hronze outing. And the wizened sports administrator pulled no punches in sounding out those spa rts that have disappointed (shooting, fencing, gil at, sepak takraw, football). He was also generous in showering accolades on those exemplary sports and sportsmen (swimming, canoeing, badminton's women's singles champion Fu Mingtian.)


R TAN Eng Liang is not

He also shed some light on other sports should try to emuwhy he thought Singapore's perlate: that they get the strong supformance was merely satisfactoport of parents of the particiry. The vital statistic: Out ofthe pants. "This is a. pillar of strength 414 Singaporean athletes sent to compete at the Games, only 174 that many other sports have not utilised or maximised," Dr Tan won at least a medal. That works out to be about said. "The parents have certainly 42 per cent, 01' less than half of contributed to their children's the contingent sent to Pal emsuccess." Indeed, these parents had bang and Jakarta. And since the Singapore Namade their way to Palernbang to tional Olympic Council's cheer their sons and daughters (SNOC's) qualifying criterion on during the swimming compefor athletes is the bronze-medal titions, and the delight on their mark at the last SEA Games, it faces must surely be a big factor is a little disappointing that for swimmers to keep trying for more than half the medals. Dr Tan also sinsportsmen could not earn a medal. gled out canoeing In particular, for their big leap 26'SEAGA"'M'::s~' team sports like footforward in winning ball, basketball and ~Jl two golds, five siltraditional boat racVel'S and three ing - which require bronzes, rating big teams of around 15 or more them B+ for a sport that was not players - have not contributed even featured in the last Games. However, he had harsh many medals. By contrast, Dr Tan gave words for si lat a.nd sepak plenty of praise to the swimtakraw, Silat, which boasts world champions in its ranks, reming contingent, which brought home 17 golds, nine silvers and turned a paltry three bronzes. 13 bronzes, Sepak takraw, wbich used to be He noted the swimming assoa sport garnering a few medals, ciation's success in putting in has not won a single medal place a system of producing talsince 2007. "What happened?" he asked. ents and getting good coaches to "There should be a swift inquiry train the potential medallists, and swimmers delivering the among these national sports associations (NSAs) tofind out goods when it mattered. He also singled out an imporwhy the medals have dried up." tant factor in swimming which Ditto shooting and fencing,

two sports that have vastly underachieved at this Games. Dr Tan is, however, heartened that these two sports have owned up to their poor performances and promised a thorough review of what went wrong. I felt it was the right attitude on the part of these NSAs to own up to their underachievement quickly and start correcting them. No excuses given, merely a promise to do better. Dr Titn's analysis was perhaps the best wake-up call for all underachieving athletes or sports associations. The SNOC's quest. is clear: It. wants as many medals as possible. The drive for excellence must not be lacking, even in entry-level sports events like the SEA Games. With Singapore hosting the Games in four years' time, it's time to get the house in order and prepare to excel at home. hankeong@sph.com.sg

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Women's wushu team win gold - again by 0.01 pt
TWO years ago, the Singapore women'S wushu dulian team won gold at the Vientiane South-east Asia Games by a slim 0.01 point. Yesterday, the team - with two of the same members as the 2009 team - retained their title in Jakarta's Senayan Sports Complex Indoor Tennis Hall. The winning margin'? The same 0.01 point. Indeed, the trio of Tao Yi Jun, 'I'ay Yu Juan and Emily Sin - who were crowned world champions last month in Turkey - scored 9.71 points to edge out Brunei's Lee Ying Shi and Faustina Woo, who scored 9.70 points. The wushu event, which pits the one-minute choreography of competing teams against each other, was a blur of rapid weapon thrusts and acrobatic flips that thrilled the crowd at the arena, Immediately after their victory, the two veterans of the team, Tay and Tao, said that they are contemplating retiring from the sport to concentrate on their careers.

COUNTRY Indonesia Thailand Vietnam Malaysia Singapore Philippines Myanmar Laos Cambodia FINE VVZN' (from left) Emily Sin, Tao Yi Jun and Tay Yn Juan displaying their prowess in the women's wushu dulian event held in Jakarta yesterday. (PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES) Said Tay, .21, an undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University: "For the past few years, I've dedicated myself to studies and training. It's time for me to stop training and focus on completing my studies." Added Tao, 26, a maths and physi cs teacher at. Maris Stella High School: "It's great that we are retiring all a high note, and that we have Emily here who is young and talented enough to carry the flame." Emily, 17, merely wanted to enjoy the moment. Said the Hwa Chong Junior College student: "It still feels like a dream Timor Leste Brunei


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to me, to win a gold medal in my first Games. I have to thank my two veteran teammates for helping me fulfil this dream. "It was tough initially to fit into the team's choreography, but Yi Jun and Yu Juan have shown great patience with me." CHIA HAN KEUNG

NADAL LA.BOURS TO BEAT ASH AFTER MONTH'S LAVOFF RAFAEL Nadal, playing his first competitive match after a month -long layoff, ne eded nearly three hours to subdue American dahutant Mardy Fish at the ATP World Tour Fina Is on Sunday, winning a late-night thriller 6-2,3-6,7-617-3). Meanwhile, Roger Federer opened the championships with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Jo-Wiltried Tsonga.




I'm staying put, says Villas-Boas
NDRE Villas-Boas has rejected suggestions that his position as Chelsea manager is under threat and insisted that he has the full backing of owner Roman Abrarnovich despite Sunday's 1-2 defeat by Liverpool, The loss was Chelsea's second in as many Barelays Premier League (BPL) matches at their Stamford Bridge home, It left the Loudon club fourth in the table, 12 points behind leaders Manchester City, and already facing a daunting: challenge if they are to force their way back into the title race, Chelsea's disappointing start to the campaign has prompted reports that Abramovich is starting to question his decision to appoint the 34- year-old Villas-Boas as Carlo Ancelotti's successor before the start of the season. But the Portuguese was adamant that the Russian billionaire is fully committed to the manager's longterm plans for the club, adding: "I think it's not a question of the owner having patience. "We have set out to build something new at tbis club and the club is committed to taking what we're building to the future, The owner didn't pay 15 million euros (S$26.4 million) to get me out of Porto to pay me another fortune to get out. "Our commitment is towards the club and what we are doing in the future. We have enough talent to compete in all competitions, and that's the perspective we take at the moment," Despite acknowledging that he is building for the future, the Portuguese refused to labe I the current campaign as a season of transition and was determined to maintain a challenge On all fronts, "With the dimension of ow- club, we cannot forget that our fans expect us to win titles," he said. "We have to respond to the confidence of the fans, There's no running away from responsibilities. "There's no calling this a transitional period. We're not calling for time to work. OUT responsibility is to win
trophies. We're in four competitions

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341 PALERMO WIN PUTS JUVE BACK AT HEAD OF SERlE A JUVENTUS went back to the top of Ita[ian Serie A after a 3-0 win over Palermo on Sunday, which took them ahead of Lazio on goal difference. The Turin club also have a game in hand on most of their riva Is and remain the only unbeaten team in the league. Simone Pepe, Alessandro Matri and Claudio M archisio scored the goals to beat the Sicilians. AfP [PARK WINS FIRST I:PGA TITLE BV TWO STROKES SOUTH Korean Park Hee Young won her first LPGA go~ title on Sunday, holding off Germany's Sandra Gal to win the seasonending LPGA Titleholders tournament by two strokes, Park made par in the final 10 holes for a two-under-par 70 to finish 72 holes on nine-u nder 279. Gal, who shared the lead w'lth Park after 54 holes, fired a 72 to share second piace with American Paula Creamer on 281. AfP UK OLVMPIC ASSOCIATION TO KEEP HARD UNE ON DOPING THE British Olympic Association (BOA) has vowed to defend its hardline approach on doping, despite facing the prospect of sa nctions after being found to be non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada I, Wada's Foundation Board ruled on Sunday that the BOA was non-compliant with Wada's rules beca use they have refused to lift their lifetime ban on athletes found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.

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ON TARGET Liverpool's Glen Johnson (right) scoring the winning goal against Chelsea on Sunday as teammate Dirk Kuyt looked on. Liverpool won 2-1, (PHOTO: AFP) he was operated by a lO-year-old on a PlayStation video-game console, Said the manager: "Gary was a fantastic defender and I have nothing to say about his opinion. It's a stupid approach to an opinion, but if that's the way he wants to take the game, that's ridiculous," Meanwhile Dalglish, whose Liverpool team are now unbeaten in nine games, was delighted by his side's character. He said: "We wanted to win the game and Glen Johnson's gone up into their box after 87 minutes. A right fullback. That shows the commitment. We're happy with how we played and delighted with the three points." Liverpool's preparations had been overshadowed by the death from leukaemia of Luca J ones, the five-year- old son of their Australian reserve goalkeeper Brad Jones. "That's when football becomes irrelevant, really, when a five-year-old kid dies," Dalglish said. "We'd never use Brad's misfortune (as motivation), We all dread to think what the boy's gone through, Brad knows everyone at the club is thinking of him and sympathise with him."

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AMERICA'S CUP CHAMP WINS FLEET·RACE FINALE DEFENDING America's Cup champion Jimmy Spithill of Oracle Racing. sailed to victory in the fleet-race finale of the third stop of the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) in San Diego Bay on Sunday, Spithill became the first skipper in the inaugural season of the ACWS to win both the match-racing cha rnpicnship and the fina I fleet race. He won the match-racing title last Saturday by sweeping two races from the French Energy Team,

still, and we still have the possibility to win them." Maxi Rodriguez gave Liverpool a first-half lead but Chelsea appeared to have done enough to claim a point through Daniel Sturridge's 55thminute equaliser before Blues old boy Glen Johnson clinched the points three minutes from time, The Blues' display was marred by defensive mistakes but Villas-Boas backed central defender David Luiz, who was described by Sky SPOtts pundit Gary Neville as playing as though

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UAE powerboat wins Nations Cup
TEAM United Arab Emirates (UAE) proved to be the dominant team at. the FJH20 Nations Cup powerboat tournament held over the weekend at The Float@Marina Bay. They won both races in the two-

day event. On Sunday, pilot Ahmed AI Harneli, who was the fastest qualifier as well as the winner of last Saturday's Match Race, claimed the championship'S title in the FIH20 N ations Cup Grand Prix. Qatar's pilot, Khalid Saleh AI ShamIan, came in second in the Grand Prix and the second UAE pilot, Majed AI Mansoori, came in third out of the 16 boats that finished the race.

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DOWJONESIA 11,796.16 {.25.43)

M1:t.WHi",M I_UUI!
COMPOSITE INDEX 2A15.13 (·143)

FTSE 100 5,36;1.94 {'60.20)

HANO'S~NG 18,225.85 (·265.381

KOSPI 1.820.03 {·19.14)

NIKKEI 8,348.27 1·26.641


2.600 -------------t'-2;]00





(100 "IJils)

















2.697.28 (·32.36) Nov 21. 2011

RHB STOCK MAY PAY FOR aSK'S INVESTMENT BANK RHBCapital.Malaysia's fifth· biggest banking group, may issue stock to pay for OSK Holdings' investment bank, three people with knowledge of the matte r sa id. RHBmay issue new shares equivalent to as much as 10 per cent of its existing equity to pay for the unit. sa idthe sources. That would value the transaction at as much as RM1.63billionIS$667million), based on RHB's closing price last Friday.


Relief in sight for China property?

FREE TRADE KEY TO GLOBAL RECOVERY, SAYS S, KOREA SOUTHKorean President Lee Myung Bak said Europe's debt crisis poses a "great threat to financial markets" and that "free trade" is key to a global recovery. "We must continue to promote free and open trade," Mr Lee said in a speech. Lessons from the 2008 financial crisis can still be applied today, he added.

HINA will likely relax some property- market curbs next year because of concerns that slumping prices could hurt economic growth, a prominent Chinese university said yesterday in a report. China has introduced a range of measures aimed at bringing down property prices in the past year, such as bans on buying second homes in some cities, hiking minimum down payments for buyers and introducing property taxes. But Beijing-based Renmin University has forecast that the government would likely relax limits on bank lending to the property sector and purchases


of new homes in the third quarter of next year, said the report it published in the state-run China Securities JOLlTIlaL Industry officials and an alysts are divided over when the government might ease curbs, originally put in place to cool the red -hot property sector after a surge in prices put homes out of the reach of many. Chinese Premier Well Jiabao recently dashed hopes of any change in the short term, saying that housing prices should return to "reasonable levels". But cash-strapped local governments rely heavily on revenue from land sales, and the central government will likely intervene to prevent property prices from falling more than 25 per cent, Renmin University said.

Property investment is also a contributor to economic growth, so Beijing might act to help ensure gross domestic product (GDP) growtb - which creates jobs and prevents social unrest - remains strong, it said. The prestigious university's
economic-research institute

forecast annual GDP growth of 9.2 pel' cent next year, against an estimated 9.4 per cent growth this year. Official data showed that the number of major Chinese cities posting a drop in home prices doubled to 34 last month from September, in a sign that efforts to cool the country's surging property market are working. Housing prices ill the capital Beijing, commercial hub Shang-

hai and the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen among the most speculative markets - all feU slightly last month from September, figures showed, The report said property prices and sales volume were likely to continue to fall through the first quarter of next year, but it ruled out a Iarge-scale sell-off and a hard-landing for the economy. AFP

Down payments; kilt ding jTn Dashed: 1i1!JJli:JZ shl po mie Home prices: miil" fang jia Specul ative: flHIl

e~t6u iT de



Trade call: Sell AUD/USD
1.03535 1.03065 1.02595 1.02130

RAT TO MAKE ALFA ROMEO CARS AT CHINESE VENTURE ITALY'S Fiatwill make Alia Romeo brand vehicles at its Chinese joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group, China's No.6 domestic carmaker, the president of its Chinese partner said. Mr Zeng Ginghon9sa id the joint venture, GuangqiFiat, will start production in July.

Downside bias seen forAUD/USD
In this section of my paper, we explore the fore» market and examine events that may influence trading
Meanwhile, Singapore's trade-promotion agency said that non -oil domestic exports will probably rise 2 to 3 per cent this year, lower than a previous forecast of 6 to 7 per cent. Indeed, growth in other South-east Asian economies may have peaked as well. There are essentially two reasons for the slump in the Asian currencies and their economies as a whole. The first is the ongoing concerns with Europe's sovereign-debt crisis, with the possibility of an Italian default on everyone's lips. The second reason is the failure of United States lawmakers to reach an agreement ou cutting the country's budget deficit..
These two reasons have re-


1.01660 1.01190 1.00725 100255

BEIJINGwants to open full negotiations on a free-trace agreement with Japan and South Korea next year, Chinese state media said yesterday, amid growing riva Irywith the United States. The report in the Global Times dailyfollows efforts by US President Barack Obama to woo countries from across the Pacific Riminto a US·ledfreetrade agreement, which China has not been invitedto join.

Nov 10 2011

Nov11 Bpm




Nov 16 12pm

Nov 17






LAST week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the global economy and financiul system are in their most

duced demand for emergingmarket assets all over the world. TRADE CALL Short AUD/USD at 1.0045 On the hourly chart, AUD/USD

fragile state since the 2008 crisis, with the immediate outlook characterised by a high degree of uncertainty.


has dropped 400 pips in the last 10 days, from a high of 1.0343. The psychological level of 1.0000 was breached last week, and the bias remains to the downside. Entry is taken on 1.0045, once prices retrace. A protective stop is placed slightly above the previous high of 1.0106. This is a trend play, and we will have two profit targets on this trade,

exiting the second position


Entry Price = 1.0045 Stop loss = 1.0110 tst Profit = 09980 2nd Profit = 0.9915 mVll@sph.com.sg The torite» is the founder and CEO of FXI Academy, which conducts lessons on lorex trading.






From debt to surplus in 4 years: How Canada did it

When Canada's back. was to the wall in 1994. it had a fiscal situation similar to that in many countries today. Here is what its ratios of deficit to GOP and debt to GOP were then. and what those ratios are projected to be this year, as well as for other countries

19911 Canada Canada
Ireland Japan


Budget deficit

Net !lovernment debt Iinciudes all levels of government, not just national]


of GOP


Percentage 34.9% 10.3% 10.3% 9.6% 8.5% 8.0% of GDP

2011 (projected)


INANCE officials bit their nails and nervously watched the clock. There were 30 minutes left in a bond auction aimed at funding the deficit and there was not a single bid. Sounds like today's Italy or Greece? No, this was Canada in 1994. Bids eventually came in, but that dose call, along with downgrades and the Wall Street Journal calling Canada. "an honorary member of the Third World", helped the nation's people and politi.cians understand how scary its budget problem was. "There could have been a day when we would have been the Greece of today," recalled then prime minister Jean Chretien, a Liberal who ended np chopping cherished social programmes in one of the most. dramatic fiscal turnarounds in the world. "I knew we were in a bind and we had to do something," Mr Chretien, 77, told Reuters in a rare interview. Political economist Brian Crowley, the head of the Ottawa-based think-tank. Macdonald-Laurier Institute who examined the lessons of the 19905, said; "Everyone want.s to know how we did it." To win its budget wars, Canada. first had to realise how dire its situation was, and then dramatically shrink the size of govemment rather than just limit the pace of spending growth. It would eventually oversee the biggest reduction in Canadian government spending since demobilisation after World War II. The big cuts, and relatively small tax increases, brought a budget surplus within four years. Canadian debt HELPDESKftB!J¥1! shrank to 29 per cent of gross domestic Downgrades; ~!j,mjianq l! product in 2008-09 from a peak of 68 per Turnarounds: ~~3£ cent in 1995-96, and zhuan bian the budget was in the black for 11 consecutive 'In the black: i'l" 'lll"#-" years until the 2008-09 you yfng yu recession. Sceptical; 'If-Rfn huai yr de Canada went from having the secondworst fiscal position in the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialised countries, ahead of only Italy, to easily the best. "We used to thank God that Italy was there because we were the second-worst in the G-7," said Mr Scott Clark, associate deputy finance minister in the 1990s. The turnaround began with Mr Chretien's arrival as prime minister in November 1993, when his Liberal Party - in some ways Canada's equivalent of the United States' Democrats - swept to victory with a strong majority. The new government took one look at the dreadful state of the books and decided to act. "I said to myself, I will do it. I might be prime minister for only one term, but I will do it," said Mr Chretien. He sat his sceptical Cabinet down and laid down the hard truth. He would get rid of the deficit, it would be painful and unpopular and nobody would be spared. There was no choice, no room for negotiation. It had to be done, The chill in the room was such that newly appointed junior minister for veterans affairs, Mr Lawrence MacAulay, called his wife afterwards to say he would soon be out of a job. Mr MacAulay, who represents the Prince Edward Island fishing community of Cardigan, has since been re-elected six times and sits in the House of Commons today. myp@sph.com.sg



Spain France Portugal Italy

6.1% 5.9% '5,9%





Desperation drove this entrepreneur
In this fortnightly series, our writers talk to people who stand out in their areas of expertise, especially thosefrom the corporate worZd
SAMH CHANG las Sound & Vision, an audio-visual company specialising in entertainment systems, said that he does not regret the decision. But perhaps it is with the benefit of hindsight that the Entrepreneur oftbe Year in 200B - the award was given out by the Rotary Club and Association of Small and Medium Enterprises - can say that. Atlas, which is the sole distributor of brands such as Bose and Loewe in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, took only three years to bounce back from a 1986 crisis. Against the backdrop of an economic downturn, as well as inapprnprrate investment decisions, Atlas HiFi, as it was called then, lost almost all of its assets. The company subsequently proved its mettle, growing from strength to strength, and doubling its profits every five years. The jovial Mr Tien, who is taking a Master of Business Administration in Finance, remembered that his initial years in tbe business world were tough, especially after his father contracted leukaemia. in

AKE it from Mr Michael Tien: Businesses succeed when one is absolutely passionate, or just absolutely desperate. It was precisely this sense of desperation that drove the man wbo calls himself an accidental entrepreneur to give up an opportunity to further his study overseas in 1986, in order to take over the reins of his father's flagging business. He was then 23, and had just finished his national service. Today, the chief executive of At-


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The eldest son in the family, Mr Tien did not speak to his father until he was 16 years old. He explained that it was because his father was a "traditional Asian man" who usually kept to himself. But, when his father saw his interest in the business and capabilities, especially after the major crisis tbe company went through, he gradually opened up to him and shared his vision and insights with his son. It was also during those days

that Mr Tien's mother left tbe company to take care of his father, leaving him in control of the company's operations. His father eventually succumbed to the illness in 2003, and Mr Tien took over as CEO. "I used to have my father to talk things through with. But...I had to rebuild the business (on my own)," he said. At that time, there were "turbulent changes" in the audio-visual world. "We had challenges on the technological front. Some of the products we were carrying were no longer at the forefront." He recalled that the technologies were in a state of flux from 2004, aftel' the analog-records era, which dominated for a good 50 years. Compact discs, laser discs and Blu-ray products followed, hut those did not last long. He said: "Customers got confused." It took a rebranding in 2005 for the home-entertainment-systems specialist group to move ahead. Now, the enterprise offers audio-visual entertainment systems for a larger customer base, including hotels and offices. As the successor to his father's business, Mr Tien knows exactly how difficult it is for such companies to grow stronger. The same thing that makes them strong, ironically, holds them back: Family, "Many family businesses me not able to make it past the second generation. There is usually a dilution of authority, and there is no one really in charge," the father of three girls said witb a laugh.

It is made especially complicated if the patti arch of the family has five or six wives, because that would mean more potential successors. That is why Mr Tien believes in bringing in people beyond the family. "We don't want to promote people just because they are family. I strongly believe in promoting someone (based) on merit." This is evident in his succession plan. He plans to step down in 2013, and is grooming four candidates for the CEO post. Only one of those four is a family member. But he will step down only if he gets what he wishes for: He bas plans to work full-time - without pay - for his church, He devoted more time to his spiritual side in 1998, after his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, now 13, had to go for heart surgery when she was just five days old. "I want to use the skills I have to teach others how to build a business and how to make it sustainable, I have done my part in the corporate world. Now, it's time for me to contribute somewhere else," he said. schang@sph.com.sg

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(PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN) Who: Mr Michael Tien, 48, chief executive of Atlas Sound & Vision. The company has set up an Atlas Experience Audio Visua I Boutique at TripleOne Somerset, a Bose@MW concept store at Millenia Walk, and Loewe Gallery at Palais Renaissance. Education: Anglo-Chinese Sc hool (Primary), Anglo-Chinese School (Independent). Mr Tian took his A levels privately, after he failed Chinese. He is pursuing his Master of Business Administration in Finance at the University of Manchester. Career. Joined Atlas after serving national service.



surplus in 4 years: How Canada did it

From debt to

YAKUZA LINKED TO OLVMPUS' LOSS COVER-UP FINANCIAL brokers who helped Olympus cover up years of investment losses, now at the centre of a growing scandal, have indirect links to Japan's yakuza crime syndicates. Rewards that brokers earned from helping Olympus cover up the shortfalls could have been channelled to the notorious organised-crime groups, the Japanese daily Sankei Shimbu n said.


China OK with unbalanced recovery
Cl-lENGDU ecunonlY


HINESE Vice-Premier Wang Q.ishan warned yesterday that the global
remains in a grim

LONDON JEWELLER PLANS $1.3B HONGKONG IPO LONDON-BASED jeweller Graff hopes a planned Hong Kong IPO will bolster its position in a fast-changing diamond industry and give it financia I clout to expand into Asian and other major cities, said the company. The company's stock listing, seen next year, is expected to raise US$l billion (S$1.3billion). according to banking sources.

TtMASEK RAISES STAKE IN CHINA 'CONSTRUCTION BANK TEMASEK Holdings bought 337 billion sha res of China Construction Bank on Nov 11, according to a disclosure filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Temasek raised its stake in the bank to 9.42 per cent from 7.86 per cent, after the transaction.

MF GLOBAL'S AUSTRAUAN ARM SHUT DOWN THE Austra lian arm of collapsed United States futures broker MF Global Holdings was sh ut down after failing to get an a d equate offer, in a sign that efforts to sell its Asian business could meet a simila r fate. MF Global, which we nt bankrupt on Oct 31, laid off nearly half its staff globally, including more than 1,000 employees of the company's broker-dealer unit

state and that an "unbalanced recovery" might be the best option. The warning, made at the annual meeting of the United States-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in the south-western Chinese city of Chengdu, echoed Mr Wang's comments over the weekend that a long-term global recession was certain and that China must focus on its domestic problems. Polieymakers globally are expressing increasing alarm at the risks facing the world economy, mainly stemming from financial contagion in Europe. Several central banks, including those in the euro zone, Australia, Brazil and Indonesia, have cut official interest rates t.o support their economies. "Global economic conditions remain grim, and ensuring economic recovery is the overriding priority," said Mr Wang, the top official steering China's financial and trade policy, at the start of the second day of talks. At the talks, senior American officials warned of a souring mood at horne towards China. Mr Wang also said that China and the US should work together to achieve balanced economic growth. But his comments also sug-

TALK SHOP: Vice-Premier Wang Qishan with the United States trade delegation that includes (from left) Mr Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture: Mr John Bryson, Secretary of Commerce; and Trade Representative Ronald Kirk. (PHOTO: BWOMBERG) gested that Beijing should attend to bolstering China's own growth before it worried about global imbalances, implying that a strong Chinese economy that nurtures a continued trade deficit with the US would be better for the world economy than a slowdown in China itself. "An unbalanced recovery would be better than a balanced recession," Mr Wang told dozens of trade, investment, energy and agricultural officials from each government seated in a conference hall. "As major world economies, China and the US would make a positive contribution to the world through their own steady development." China's growth is slowing, down to 9.1 per cent in the third quarter from 9.5 per cent in the second quarter and 9.7 pel' cent in the first quarter, but the rate remains within the government's comfort zone.

The central hank has loosened its grip on bank credit in a bid to support cash-starved smallfirms and pledged to finetune policy if needed. The JCCT talks do not address exchange-rate policies, but US offici als at the talks warned Mr Wang and his colleagues that they could not ignore rising American impatience with China's trade policies and investment barriers. At the heart of the trade fric-

tion between the two countries is the US trade deficit with China. It swelled last year to a record US$273.1 billion from about US$226.9 billion in 2009, in spite of both governments' pledges to strive to correct "global imbalances". US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson told the talks that his government welcomed more expanded trade and investment, but on balanced terms. "The reality is that many in the US, including the business community and the Congress, are moving towards a more negative view of our trading relationship, and they question whether the JCCT is able to make meaningful progress," he said. The first day of the two-day talks "did not make as much progress ...as we need to," he added. "It is time to work hard and deliver results." He and US Trade Representative Ronald lurk pressed China to make more progress on protecting patents and other intellectual property, opening government-procurement purchases to foreign suppliers, and clearing np multinational firms' worries about policies that encour-

age home-grown innovation. But Mr Wang had his own salvo of requests: for cutting visa and export red-tape for Chinese businesses; granting; China market-economy status, so it is less vulnerable to anti- dumping measures, and easing restrictions on Chinese purchases of high-tech goods that Washington deems sensitive.

Dismal results across Asia signal need for stimulus
JAPANESE exports dropped more than forecast last month, Singapore said its growth may slow to 1 per cent next year, and China signalled that the global economy faces an extended slide. These reports may raise pressure on policymakers in exportreliant Asia to implement further stimulus measures. A record of the Bank of J apan's Oct 27 meeting released yesterday showed on e board member favouring an additional 10 trillion yen (S$169 billion) of asset purchases. Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said yesterday that China must adopt more "forward looking" and flexible monetary policy. Mr Vishnu Varathan, a Mizuho Corporate Bank economist in Singapore, said: "Export growth will slow across Asia and we may see financial shocks coming through. Asian pulicymakers are going to become stimulatory all over again." Japan's Finance Ministry reported yesterday that shipments abroad fell 3·7 per cent last month from a year before, the first drop in three months and an indication that the nation's rebound from the record March earthquake will slow. Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said the country's gross domestic product (G D P) may rise 1 per cent to 3 per cent next year, after a 5 per cent gain this year, in a projection that did not incorporate a European

recession. The Thai government has cut its forecast for this year's economic growth. to 1.5 per cent because of the impact of flooding, the National Economic and Social Development Board said in Bangkok yesterday.
The nation's economy may

EURO ZONE POSTS ARST TRADE SURPLUS IN 2 YEARS THE euro zone posted its first trade surplus for almost two years in September, the European Central Bank (ECB) said yesterday. The curre nt-account balance moved into a surplus of 0.5 billion euros IS$O.88 billion) following a deficit of 5.9 billion euras in August, a slight upward revision from previous data, the ECB sai d.

shrink 3.7 per cent this quarter, after growing 3.5 per cent in the three months through September from a year earlier, it said. "Third-quarter expansion was lower than expected, raising the chance of a temporary interestrate. reduction," said Ms U sara Wilaipich, an economist at Standard Chartered in Bangkok. The central bank may make a "one-off, 50-basis-point" rate cut at its policy meeting next Wednesdav, she added. Growth in South-east Asian economies may have peaked in the third quarter. Malaysia's GDP rose 5.8 per cent in the three months through September from a year earlier, after

expanding 4.3 per cent in the previous quarter. The Malaysian government cut its forecast for this year's economic expansion last month and said there is increased pressure for it to use fiscal resources to bolster growth. The expansion rate will probably be 5 per cent to 5.5 per cent this year, Prime Minister Najib Razak's administration said on Oct 7, less than an earlier target of as much as 6 per cent. International Monetary Fund Managing director Christine Lagarde said last Friday that "it's a continuation of 200B", in reference to the current global economic and financial turmoil. "I want to believe that countries will understand that they can actually change the course of things," she said in the interview with CBS television's 60 Minutes programme that aired on Sunday.




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O~der all 50.rts of Christmas goodies ,at Q foodJactory sa/e.

To find out more, turn to CLASS 7 in CATS Classified linThe Straits Times now.

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hun fei po san: Be hall dead with Iright

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