Singapore, Myanmar to start off talks on bilateral financial commitment treaty

SINGAPORE: Singapore and Myanmar will start off discussions on a bilateral financial commitment treaty, as very well as update an avoidance of double taxation settlement, announced Key Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (Nov thirty).

Mr Lee designed the opinions at an formal meal he hosted for going to Myanmar State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi at the Istana’s Banquet Corridor.

Singapore has been a very long-standing and steadfast good friend of Myanmar, explained Mr Lee, and the two international locations are wanting to do more collectively as they rejoice the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Mr Lee noted that the two countries’ economic ties are sturdy and that they are escalating their trade and investments in each individual other, displaying Singapore’s self-confidence in the very long-phrase good results of Myanmar.

He also hailed the two countries’ individuals-to-individuals ties, noting that Ms Suu Kyi’s check out coincides with the mutual lifting of visa requirements for Singapore and Myanmar common passport holders, which will take outcome from Dec 1. “We also hope to boost air connectivity in between our international locations so that our individuals can check out each individual other more very easily,” he explained.

In his speech toasting Ms Suu Kyi, Mr Lee also noted that his personal link with the Nobel laureate pre-dates Singapore’s independence.

He spoke of how his father, founding Key Minister Lee Kuan Yew travelled to Rangoon – as Yangon was then known – in May well 1965, just after attending a convention in India. The elder Mr Lee was despatched off at the airport by Ms Khin Kyi, Ms Suu Kyi’s mother, who was then Burma’s ambassador to India.

Presenting a photograph of the conference to Ms Suu Kyi, Mr Lee explained: “The picture reminds us of the longstanding goodwill and friendship in between our two peoples and international locations and leaders.”

The picture from May well 1965, of Mr Lee Kuan Yew conference Aung San Suu Kyi’s mother, Ms Khin Kyi (Photograph: PMO)

“It is a true shock and it displays that the ties in between our international locations are more robust than we visualize,” explained Ms Suu Kyi of the photograph.

“And these ties have been growing steadily more robust and more robust, and warmer and warmer,” she explained. “And I think there is more knowledge in between our international locations now than there has been in the earlier.”

She noted that some of the organization leaders she fulfilled before in the working day had very long-standing connections with Myanmar. “These connections type a variety of bond which goes outside of basic organization passions.”

Ms Suu Kyi added that she welcomes Singapore businessmen in her country. “We think that, from these businessmen, our businessmen can understand not just the ways of building dollars, but how to make dollars without corruption. That is incredibly crucial.”

The Nobel laureate is scheduled have breakfast at a hawker centre with Overseas Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Friday. Mr Lee noted that meals – specially hawker meals – is incredibly near to the hearts of Singaporeans, and that he was “especially happy” to hear of Ms Suu Kyi’s hawker centre check out.

“I have an understanding of you are wanting to update wet markets and develop hawker centres in Yangon – a thing like the hawker centres we have in Singapore,” explained Mr Lee. “We are happy to share our practical experience and we will persuade our hawkers to disclose some of our key recipes – no matter whether it really is chwee kueh, chai tao kueh, chicken rice and laksa – and then more Singaporeans will go to Yangon to get pleasure from the foods there!”

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Survival Hacks: In excess of two hundred Means to Use Day-to-day Objects for Wilderness Survival

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A yearning to deliver kolek races again to Singapore

Text by Mayo Martin / Multimedia by Lam Shushan

Go through Component 1 of this collection: Seeing a way of lifestyle vanish

Component two: Bringing again a hundreds of years-previous tradition

RIAU ISLANDS, INDONESIA: For some Singapore people seeing at home, it is stirring nostalgic memories of times absent by – and the wistful hope that they could be introduced all over again.

We are on area at Tanjung Pinang in Bintan, streaming the pre-race festivities of a kolek or conventional sailboat regatta on Facebook Live on a cloudy day in late October.

Seeing this, Yazid Van Lamri writes: “Last viewed this with my late father at the coastal parts of (Pasir) Panjang behind hawker centre now at nearby park.. they call it ‘lumba kolek’.”

Other people like Hisham Hiseánas Huang try to remember how these tall, swish sailboats that have been portion of the region’s maritime lifestyle considering that the 1800s utilised to be raced throughout the New Calendar year Regatta and off Katong, Siglap, Telok Kurau and Bedok.

A kolek race in Bedok in 1963. (Picture: Ministry of Info and the Arts Assortment, courtesy of Countrywide Archives of Singapore)

Arthur Lee claims: “If this was portion of our Singaporean background, why not have Singapore Tourism Board organise this occasion? I think it could start from Clifford Pier, go all around Sentosa as a tourist promotional occasion, and conclusion at HarbourFront.”

Baseer Shamsudin is among those people who thinks it a excellent strategy to revive these types of local community-bonding things to do. In the previous times, kolek racing was a kampung-as opposed to-kampung occasion, much like neighbourhood football clubs.

Observe: The Facebook Live stream from Tanjung Pinang

It is all quite encouraging for Mazlan Mohd Nasir, a Singaporean who is doing the job to deliver again the sport of kolek racing to prominence all over again, at the very least in the Riau Islands. (Go through about his efforts right here.)

“It feels excellent owning these positive responses. When there are far more contributors, factors can grow to be a truth,” claims the 54-calendar year-previous, who grew up in the Southern Islands seeing his family’s kolek, Pujangga, capture the breeze. (Additional on the previous times right here.)


The thrill of these races isn’t like Components 1 or horse racing, exactly where the competitors burst whole-throttle from the commencing blocks. But there is a selected class when their brightly-colored huge sails slowly distribute as the crews labour to harness the wind.

And then they all of a sudden electric power previous you, and you realise how rapid these craft are. Mazlan claims they can possibly go up to eleven knots (20kph) tapping sheer wind electric power.

And simply because they often appear to be to be tilted to the side, kolek give the impression of perpetually being this close to capsizing. Straining to handle the sails, the crew stand on the gunwale at a perpendicular angle to the boat in buy to sustain balance. Within, there is often 1 man frantically bailing out the h2o coming in.

Forget F1, this appears to be like far more like a rodeo – with nine people today valiantly attempting to subdue a quite stubborn and gigantic bull.

There is a very little sense of awe when you realise just how much skill it takes – and satisfaction, also, when you try to remember that the kolek of the Riau-Singapore-Johor region in the 1800s was way forward of the English sailboat (which utilised to be beaten by the kolek in races in the sixties, Mazlan recalls).

In actuality the trapeze method of leaning out of the boat, it is stated, only came to be utilised by English sailors in the thirties.

Observe: The kolek in motion. Observe from three:05 for how the conventional compares to the modern-day sailboat.

What is at stake at these races? Mazlan claims there are trophies and a bit of cash, all around S$eighty at most for the winning workforce. But far more importantly, it’s about “the name (of the boat) and the pride”.


Sad to say, this isn’t Mazlan’s racing time. His family’s boat capsizes two times in two races in August, which is when we initially witness Pujangga in motion in the Riau islands.

When its yellow sail vanishes from check out for the 2nd consecutive race, it’s not by yourself – 8 of the eleven boats in its classification also capsized, a testimony to how difficult this sport is. “The wind is quite potent in excess of there,” mutters Mazlan.

The drenched sailors occur up to accumulate their consolation prize of packets of nasi padang, h2o and gasoline for the experience again home. “Capsize all over again!” 1 of the sailors blurts out. They are all smiles, but Mazlan’s nephew Firhan whispers to us: “They’ll be upset.”

It is two months prior to we see Pujangga all over again, this time in Tanjung Pinang in October in the most important and remaining race to be held this calendar year. The kolek capsizes in its third consecutive race. But this time, Mazlan is beaming.

Click on on interactive tale-map: Our journey to doc Mazlan’s tale

Not only has Pujangga been joined by an additional kolek from Keban, exactly where Mazlan’s 76-calendar year-previous father lives and the loved ones is attempting to revive the racing lifestyle – Mazlan has also lastly persuaded his wife, who doesn’t share his passion, to leave Singapore for a bit and join him in Bintan for this race.

Additional than thirty kolek start out on that quite difficult circuit, circling a big island off Bintan. A fierce squall blows in 50 % an hour into the race. As the rain and winds lash out, the Pujangga is among its several victims.

But for Mazlan, this third consecutive capsize isn’t a poor result at all. Just before the storm strike, the kolek was among the frontrunners at some factors and experienced managed to arrive at the turning issue at the other island, the longest distance it experienced sailed this calendar year.

“I’m content,” he tells us. “They did it against the potent winds, which reveals you the top quality of the boat and the crew.”

He’ll have to wait around till following calendar year for his kolek to end a race. But for now, as the survivors trickle in to much cheering and excellent-natured heckling by spectators cheering for their kampong groups, it’s time to enjoy the moment.


Indeed at the conclusion of the day, winning and shedding isn’t the most important thing that issues to these island-individuals.

Following 1 of the losses, we return with Mazlan to his father Mohd Nasir Awang’s compound in Keban. While we were being busy at the race, his sister Lela and the other individuals have been busy getting ready for a luxurious feast serving as both of those a celebration and a commemoration.

It is a thank-you supper for the valiant crew who gave it their all. It is also held in memory of Mazlan and Lela’s mother, Cik Nasir’s wife, who handed absent in 2003 and their brother, a diver who died in 2008. For them, loved ones and local community are 1 and the very same.

The living room has been cleared out to make room for the friends, individuals from the villages who pack them selves in to sit on the flooring as the village priest sales opportunities the prayers.

Later on, the foodstuff streams out of the kitchen area, a buffet of chicken curry, epok-epok, bubur kacang hijau, prawn porridge, roti jala and an assortment of kuehs.

Observe: Foodstuff they make at home on Keban, in 1:20 mins

As the air grows thick with cigarette smoke, Mazlan, who’s seated with the crew, leans in excess of to us and claims: “This is the time for bonding. We get alongside one another to talk and share stories.”

Since there is no race the following day, anyone stays up later than regular. Following supper, Mazlan, Cik Nasir and the crew shift outside the house to continue their banter beneath the stars.

In spite of owning lived much of their lives in Singapore, it’s obvious just how potent these Singaporeans’ bonds are with the people today of Keban, who have embraced them in transform.

For Cik Nasir, it’s a lifestyle that has occur whole circle: The son of a penghulu who still left Keban to create a loved ones (and even aid a new country uncover its footing) is now again home.

For his possess son, Mazlan, soon after shedding touch with his kampung childhood by the sea and his beloved kolek, he has rediscovered in his father’s hometown. And now he shuttles among two spots he calls home, to retain a special tradition afloat for the following era.

Go through Component 1 and Component two of Mazlan’s tale. Coming up: A former Singapore nationwide sailor turns artist documenting conventional boats.

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How Taipei created metropolis cycling protected and uncomplicated

TAIPEI: Bicycles that price tag 50 % the fare of a subway ride to hire. A three hundred-km cycling community and broader shared pavements. Which is how Taipei revolutionised its cycling society in just 8 yrs, chopping air pollution and congestion in the metropolis.

These times, the metropolis is a fine agent of the “Bicycle Kingdom” – a moniker that Taiwan originally acquired as the major exporter of bikes in the planet, but ever more now, because of residents’ reliance on pedal ability to get close to.

Taipei residents created 5.5 per cent of trips in the metropolis on bicycles in 2014, according to the European Cyclists’ Federation. Which is 2 times additional than Londoners, and four times additional than New Yorkers.

Following Youbike, Taipei’s general public bicycle rental technique, begun in 2009, Taipei’s cycling population shot up by 30 per cent.

A project by the metropolis authorities and Taiwan’s major bicycle manufacturer Big Bicycles, the rental technique will make it uncomplicated for individuals to hire a bicycle from a single of two hundred stations close to Taipei. Much more than twenty million trips were logged in 2015.

Observe: Producing biking inexpensive and uncomplicated

To check out out a bicycle, people just have to swipe an EasyCard (the equivalent of Singapore’s EZ-connection card) at the terminal. They can then return the bicycle at a station closest to their place, which they can identify making use of YouBike’s cellular application.

“They use YouBike for the final-mile services from their dwelling to the stations, or from the stations to perform, to college, to the library, everywhere,” YouBike spokesperson Vicky Liu instructed the Channel NewsAsia documentary It Figures. (Observe the episode listed here.)

Aside from the advantage, what draws in lots of to use the rental technique is the selling price stage.

“There is a short interval of time when the rental charge is waived. You can ride the Youbike for no cost for the to start with 50 % an hour,” stated Mr Mark Lin, a member of the Formosa Lohas Biking Affiliation and a recurrent person of YouBike.

These who hire from YouBike are charged NT$ten (US$.30) for every 50 %-hour block under four hrs, which is 50 % the selling price of a metro ticket in Taipei.

Even cyclists who possess bikes make use of the rental types, which are well worth close to US$600 every or as much as an up-scale bicycle in Taiwan. Mr Lin stated: “Taking me for example, if you use your possess bicycle and if it is high-priced, you have to be careful of theft.”

But apart from acquiring an inexpensive and easy rental technique, a protected ride also issues to all those who get close to by bicycle.

LANE TO Basic safety

In 2015, according to Taiwan’s transport authority, 305,000 individuals were wounded in street mishaps close to Taiwan. In 2014, the Taipei Town Governing administration claimed that 8 cyclists died in mishaps.

So that cyclists need to have not courageous the street, Taipei has a cycling community about 500km long, created up of dedicated cycling lanes, as effectively as pavements shared with pedestrians, which were legalised in 2007.

In addition, the pavements were widened further than the typical width to 3.5 metres, to accommodate both equally pedestrians and cyclists properly.

This move in the beginning acquired the ire of pedestrians, whose going for walks room was affected, as effectively as motorists, stated Commissioner of Taipei City’s Office of Transportation Chang Jer-Yang.

“We had to shrink the car or truck lanes,” stated Mr Chang, who lobbied for the widening of pavements. Travel time for drivers was affected by about ten per cent. “This compromise created cycling much easier but driving a minor inconvenient.”

Observe: How Taipei created cycling safer

Popular signage was placed alongside pavements so that cyclists would give way to pedestrians. “We hope to cultivate a perception of shared room,” stated Mr Chang.

With bicycle ridership on the increase, Taipei intends to extend its cycling community inside a few yrs, tripling its current duration.

Other nations around the world are hunting to emulate the kind of achievement Taipei has had in obtaining individuals to pick out bikes above cars and trucks. By close-2017, Singapore will pilot a bicycle sharing scheme, and options to grow its cycling community to 700km by 2030.

Observe the comprehensive episode It Figures episode, Gearing Up, listed here on Toggle. New episodes of It Figures each and every Monday at 8pm. 

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Father or mother Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Lifetime with Kids

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Craft beers consider on may well of mainstream brews in beer-guzzling Vietnam

HO CHI MINH Metropolis: A microbrewery in Vietnam as soon as built durian beer, defying the city fantasy that mixing alcohol and Southeast Asia’s king of fruit could kill you.

No a single died drinking the Pasteur Street Brewing Company’s durian wheat ale, but it was not a strike with customers.

“I was bartending listed here at the time and people would request: ‘Oh you have that durian beer?’” The company’s Canadian internet marketing manager Mischa Smith reported with a chuckle. “I’d give them a tiny sip, they’ll taste it and say, “Ok, do you have just about anything else?’” 

Effervescent UP 

Durian ale is no more time on the menu at Pasteur Street’s very small 30-seat bar in downtown Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, replaced as a substitute by flavours like jasmine, enthusiasm fruit, chocolate and even bacon.

It is a single of a developing number of craft breweries that have bubbled up in Vietnam’s 1st-tier cities in the very last two several years, and powering them is an eclectic mix of expatriates who are betting on the taste and assortment of their brews to stand out in a sector dominated by domestic and intercontinental giants these types of as Saigon Beer and Heineken.

Vietnam drank 3.six billion litres of beer in 2015, ranking fifth in Asia and keeping its title of Southeast Asia’s greatest beer guzzler. Thanks to a powerful beer culture and a young inhabitants of ninety three million, beer manufacturers see Vietnam as the following turning stage for advancement in the area, in accordance to Euromonitor International.

A variety of craft beers at a Vietnamese microbrewery Pasteur Street Brewing Business. 

Data shows beer intake grew six for every cent in 2015, of which imported beers remaining the most dynamic at 16 for every cent in full quantity conditions. Buyers are reaching out for imported beers from Western countries, which are found as the healthier, far better tasting and a classier consume for higher-revenue Vietnamese.

This phase of the sector is what craft brewers want to faucet. But competition is stiff – Vietnam’s craft beer begin-ups are up against the multimillion dollar internet marketing strategies, comprehensive distribution networks and founded model names of the big boys.  


Craft beer can often be “too different” for the emerging Vietnamese sector, which requirements time and convincing, reported Mark Comerton of Platinum Beverages.

“We attempted to launch a golden ale that was unfiltered, that meant it was a tiny bit cloudy,” the Irishman informed Channel NewsAsia.

The glance did not go down effectively with Vietnamese buyers used to the clarity of lagers. Distributors began returning the kegs indicating “There has to be something improper with this,” Comerton reported. “But we held powerful, attempted to do much more education and conveying, ‘No, this is how it is meant to be built.’”

Prices of a variety of craft beers at Pasteur Street Brewing Business in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis. 

A lot more significant perhaps is the selling price stage. In a country where the lowest priced beer can be identified on the streets for as tiny as US$.40, can craft beer with its premium selling price tag of US$two and up definitely flow for the Vietnamese?

“You’re paying for what you get,” reported Brian Vo, a university scholar and craft beer regular who belongs to the country’s effectively-travelled city center course.

Inquire any one on the road, nonetheless, and chances are most have never ever read of craft beer, except for bia hoi, the watery 40-cent draught brewed by modest unbiased brewers and identified simply in modest bars, eating places and road stands especially in northern Vietnam. 

Bia hoi: Inexpensive, refreshing and built fresh new every day.  

Prolonged Highway TO PREMIUMISATION 

Impending industry agitations spell intense competition in Vietnam’s beer sector. The federal government is moving to sell off significant stakes in condition-owned beer giants Sabeco and Habeco, the brewers of Saigon Beer and Hanoi Beer, drawing interest from international rivals like Heineken, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Asahi.

Craft brewers are unfazed, buoyed by over-all sector advancement and their self confidence in Vietnam’s extended street to “premiumisation”, an industry term for consumers’ willingness to fork out much more for high priced alcohol.

“If big international beer companies were to provide in their have craft beers, it would assist educate a sector where craft beer is nonetheless in its infancy,” reported Marc Djandji, a Pasteur Street shareholder and head of institutional profits at RongViet Securities.

The weeknight group at the Pasteur Street bar claims it all. In a full residence of expatriates and vacationers, 34-calendar year-outdated Vietnamese architect Binh stands out as a visible minority.

The mainstream beers are all the identical. “But for a different taste, I arrive listed here,” he reported.  

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US airlines resume direct flights to Havana

HAVANA: US airlines resumed direct flights to Havana on Monday (Nov 28), a signal of the switching moments just as the Cuban money held a tearful memorial for late groundbreaking chief Fidel Castro.

Following placing off from Miami with a drinking water cannon salute, an American Airlines flight touched down at Jose Marti international airport at eight.45am (9.45pm Singapore time).

It was the first time in extra than fifty several years a US airline supplied common industrial company to Havana.

“It is a thing historic. We had been expecting this for a long time listed here,” explained American passenger Edgar Salveani on arrival.

American Airlines passengers disembark at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. (AFP/Yamil Lage)

The first JetBlue Airways flight from New York to Havana arrived shortly soon after.

Commercial flights concerning Cuba and the US had currently resumed in August beneath the historic rapprochement the old Cold War foes introduced in December 2014. But these are the first to Havana.

In an extra dose of symbolism, they appear just a few days soon after Castro’s death at age 90 turned a website page on the groundbreaking leader’s divisive legacy.

As the planes touched down, hundreds of 1000’s of Cubans had been streaming onto Havana’s legendary Revolution Square to fork out their last respects to Castro, who dominated the island with an iron fist from 1959 to 2006.

“It is a as soon as in a lifetime expertise, it will be attention-grabbing to see how folks are responding to his passing,” passenger Priva Rhat informed reporters on the American Airlines flight.

Air journey concerning the United States and Cuba had been restricted to constitution flights from 1979 until finally before this year.

Direct industrial flights started on Aug 31, linking many US airports with nine Cuban towns, a lot of of them in or around tourism hotspots.

There are now 110 scheduled daily flights from the United States to Cuba, 20 of them to Havana.

The direct flights had been 1 of many watershed variations initiated soon after US President Barack Obama and Castro’s successor, his youthful brother Raul, introduced a thaw soon after extra than fifty several years of hostility.

Diplomatic relations had been restored in July 2015.

Washington however bans People in america from traveling to Cuba as vacationers, but journey is permitted for twelve other classes, including cultural and academic trade.

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Everyday living Hacks: Handy Hints to Make Everyday living A lot easier

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