Document 376560

$100 million
to honour
It will seek to deepen regional ties to
keep alive the beliefs of founding leader
A $100 MILLION endowment has
been set up by Temasek Holdings
to honour the late Mr S. Rajaratnam, a founding father of Singapore who played a pioneering role
in the country’s foreign policy.
In striving to keep alive his
beliefs, the S Rajaratnam Endowment will seek to deepen regional
ties, a crucial backdrop to
achieving economic cooperation
and development in the region.
Such strong links will bring
peace and stability to the region,
said Mr Wong Kan Seng, chairman of the endowment, at its
launch yesterday.
This is especially pertinent
amid “a tumultuous era in world
history with profound and momentous shifts of power and ideas under way”, added the former deputy prime minister.
The United States, China, Japan and India are seeking a “new
equilibrium” with one another, he
said, while South Korea, Australia
and Russia also have interests in
the region.
“The next phase of Asia’s
growth will see more complex and
greater challenges in geopolitics,
changing demographics, income
disparities and the competitive
use of resources.
“It is thus important for all
stakeholders to reinforce the foundations for sustainable growth in
the region,” he told an audience
that included former president S
R Nathan and former senior minister S. Jayakumar.
Mr Wong is special adviser for
economic cooperation to Prime
Minister Lee Hsien Loong and
chairman of Temasek unit Singbridge Holdings, which develops
and invests in large-scale integrated townships in China.
To help foster growth and cooperation in the region, the endowment will partner civil society
groups, think-tanks and the private sector to implement domestic and regional programmes.
Its flagship programme will be
the annual Singapore Forum,
which will be launched next April
with the theme: Asia And The
World – New Growth, New Strategies.
Dr Teh Kok Peng, a founding
director of the endowment board
and chairman of business park developer Ascendas, said: “We hope
to take a forward-looking and
problem-solving approach in
which (international) policymakers and business leaders can discuss the opportunities, issues and
challenges facing the region and
the policy responses required.”
The endowment will also partner Singapore Polytechnic for the
Youth Model Asean Conference to
be held in December this year.
About 200 youth leaders from
Asean countries will gather for
four days to discuss matters including economic, security, social
and cultural issues.
The endowment will also support programmes that recognise
the work and contributions of Mr
Rajaratnam, in areas such as social development, culture, literary
arts and journalism.
Said Mr Wong: “Our basic approach is to be as broadly inclusive as possible, while holding
firmly to our core values.”
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Mr Wong Kan Seng, chairman of the S Rajaratnam Endowment, speaking at its launch yesterday, flanked by (from left) Mr Bilahari Kausikan, Professor Chan Heng
Chee and Dr Teh Kok Peng. The endowment will partner civil society groups, think-tanks and the private sector to implement domestic and regional programmes in
order to foster growth and cooperation in the region. Its flagship programme will be the annual Singapore Forum, to be launched next April. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Man who ‘dared to dream’
THE late Mr S. Rajaratnam dared
to dream during a tumultuous
time when Singapore was
unexpectedly thrust into independence, said former deputy
prime minister Wong Kan Seng
He was also committed to his
vision of “one united people” despite the racially
Mr Rajaratnam charged atmosphere then, said
played a
Mr Wong, who
pivotal role in
chairs the newly
launched $100 miladmission to
the UN on
lion S Rajaratnam
Sept 21, 1965
– shortly after
Deeply commitindependence.
ted to freedom
and equality, Mr
Rajaratnam rallied
against colonial rule and communism, “fearlessly deploying his biting wit and fluent pen” in championing freedom and equality, added Mr Wong.
Mr Rajaratnam was a journalist
who began his career at the Malayan Tribune, before joining The
Straits Times. He left journalism
in 1959 to enter politics.
Professor Chan Heng Chee,
chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew
Centre for Innovative Cities, said
in a brief tribute yesterday: “Mr
Rajaratnam was a man of ideas, a
prophet before his time.”
As Singapore’s first foreign
minister, he played a pivotal role
in the country’s admission to the
United Nations on Sept 21, 1965 –
one month after independence.
There, he spoke of the “interdependence of nations”, an idea that
was ahead of its time, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs policy adviser Bilahari Kausikan yesterday.
He was also one of Asean’s
founding fathers in 1967, and guided its philosophy of regional unity
and non-interference.
He was a firm believer of the
importance of unity in a multiracial society. He penned the Singapore Pledge in 1966, emphasising
“regardless of race, language or religion” against the backdrop of racial riots just two years earlier.
He was senior minister in the
Prime Minister’s Office when he
retired in 1988. He died of heart
failure in 2006, three days shy of
his 91st birthday.
Body blow to Singapore rugby as
Maoris cancel match over pitch
The Maori All Blacks were due to play at the National Stadium next month, but the New Zealand Rugby Union has called off
the fixture owing to “significant issues” with the stadium’s “very disappointing” hybrid surface. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
SINGAPORE’S burgeoning reputation as a regional rugby hub took a
hit yesterday when the National
Stadium field was slammed by the
governing body of the world champions New Zealand.
The New Zealand Rugby Union
(NZRU) said it was forced to cancel next month’s Maori All Blacks
clash with the invitational Asia
Pacific Dragons at the National
Stadium, owing to “significant
issues” with the “very disappointing” hybrid surface.
“The potential for injury was
simply too great to ignore,” its
general manager of planning and
operations, Mr Nigel Cass, said of
the sandy and patchy pitch.
“This ground is state of the art,
it opened in June and we had
Spotlight on Asian resurgence in 2015
GLOBAL stock markets are
taking a pause, as they consider
the potential impact of any move
by the US Federal Reserve to curb
bond-buying, and a slowing European economy. The Ebola threat
looms. The war on Islamic State
in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is
approaching. Oil prices are falling, hurting producer nations.
What of Asia?
As 2014 starts winding down,
it is time to ponder what lies
ahead for this region.
With strong leaders emerging
in Asia’s biggest economies –
China, Japan, India and Indonesia
– there is the promise of fresh
waves of reform that could set
the stage for the next growth
impetus. Presidents Xi Jinping
and Joko Widodo, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shinzo
Abe are all part of a new breed of
politicians who are focused on
building national strength and
delivering better living standards
to their people.
There are also plenty of
potholes – bilateral tensions between China and Japan, India and
Pakistan. In Indonesia, where Mr
Joko was sworn in as President
just this week, political opposition to him in Parliament is
already taking on new shapes.
These are the themes that will
be discussed by a stellar cast of
speakers at this year’s Straits
Times Global Outlook Forum, to
be held on Nov 21 at Shangri-La
Hotel. Sponsored by ANZ Bank,
the event will start with a keynote speech by Professor Kishore
Mahbubani, diplomat and dean of
the Lee Kuan Yew School of
Public Policy, followed by a presentation on the perils and promises for Asia by ANZ chief economist Glenn Maguire.
renowned editors T.N. Ninan of
India and Endy Bayuni of Indonesia and Singapore-based academics Li Mingjiang and Lam Peng
Er, experts on China and Japan,
Said Straits Times editor
Warren Fernandez: “New leaders
in Indonesia and India offer much
hope, even as the challenges the
region has to grapple with become ever more pressing and
complex. Our ST correspondents
around the region are all experienced Asian insiders. They will
be able to bring considerable insight into where the countries
they cover might be heading,
both politically and economically, in the years ahead.”
The ST Global Forum, now in
its third year, has become a key
event in the Singapore calendar.
every reason to expect it would be
a world-class venue.”
Speaking at a press conference
in Wellington to announce the
Maoris’ tour squad, he also questioned if officials had planted the
right grass, comparing the surface
to a “lightly grassed sand pit”.
The NZRU is believed to be
seeking compensation from Hong
Kong-based match promoter Carinat Sports Marketing and the
Sports Hub. Singapore Sports
Hub chief operating officer Oon
Jin Teik said the match was cancelled “as part of our concerted efforts to enhance pitch recovery”.
It is understood that 4,500
tickets have already been sold for
the Nov 15 game. Refunds will be
available from tomorrow till 8pm
on Nov 16.
Sources said the Maori All
ST Global Outlook
Forum details
Last year, a sell-out audience of
more than 300 people heard
Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam
speak on the subject, Will 2014
Be A Year Of Living Dangerously
For Asia? The theme proved prescient since bilateral tensions
rose significantly this year in the
East and South China Seas, and
continue to simmer.
Speakers will focus on the
question: 2015 And The Promise
Of An Asian Resurgence. They
will be joined on stage by three
top area experts from The Straits
Times newsroom – news editor
Peh Shing Huei, author of a book
on China, where he served as
bureau chief; Indonesia Bureau
chief Zakir Hussain, and Tokyobased senior economics correspondent Fiona Chan. The
audience will get plenty of opportunity to put questions to speakers and discussants.
“We are pleased to be able to
assemble some of the best minds
in Asia at this forum,” said
L Sign up for the forum
before Nov 12 at:
L Registration fee: $180
per person. Early-bird
special: $150 (until Oct 31).
Includes tea break,
three-course lunch and a
goodie bag.
L Payment by credit card
only and non-refundable.
Straits Times foreign editor Ravi
Velloor, who will moderate the
forum discussions.
“As new worries rise on the
global horizon, naturally the question on everyone’s mind is:
‘Where should I put my money?
Should I worry about my safety?’
This is a unique opportunity for
our readers to not only hear
directly from top experts but also
engage them.”
Blacks – whose tour includes two
matches in Japan – will still come
to Singapore, but their visit has
been shortened from one week to
four days. Made up of the best
New Zealand players of Maori
descent, the team is expected to
conduct coaching clinics at
schools, attend sponsor events
and feature in a sparring match
with the Singapore national team.
The fixture cancellation is a
body blow to Singapore rugby, at
a time when it is bidding to host
the Sevens World Series, Super
Rugby and high-profile international Tests. It could also negate
goodwill from International Rugby Board bigwigs, who had
praised the Republic’s ambitious
plans and its hosting of the recent
World Club 10s championship
when they were in town for their
annual meeting a fortnight ago.
Singapore Rugby Union president Low Teo Ping called on the
Sports Hub to sort out its “most
important asset”, saying there
have been “too many trials and errors” since the field was laid in
May. “The entire rugby community is disappointed because this
would have been the first top-level 15s match we’ve hosted in a
long time. Our sporting reputation takes a bigger hit each day
the field remains unfixed.”
The pitch – made of natural
grass reinforced with artificial fibre inserts – drew heavy criticism
following the Brazil-Japan international football friendly last week.
National sports agency Sport Singapore has threatened to withhold
funding to the Sports Hub till the
field is of international standard.
Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou’s
sell-out concert on Nov 8 was
postponed to Dec 27, to give the
turf a respite before the Asean
Football Federation Suzuki Cup
begins on Nov 23. A decision on
whether the matches for the regional championship will stay at
the Sports Hub, or be moved to another country or a smaller venue
here, is expected this week.
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