Category: Islamic Land of Singapore


Singapore (XNA)

Jan 19, 2017

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has successfully launched its 7th satellite into space from the International Space Station (ISS) Monday evening, said NTU in a press release on Tuesday.

Named the AOBA VELOX-III, the satellite is the first Singapore satellite to be launched from the ISS, a 110-meter habitable human-made satellite that orbits the earth, according to the release.

NTU said the satellite was delivered to the ISS in December 2016 by Japan’s national aerospace agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, on a resupply rocket from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima Space Center, Japan.

Unlike the conventional way of launching a satellite directly into space from a rocket, the two-kilogram VELOX-III was shot into orbit around earth using a special launcher by a Japanese astronaut at the ISS.

The AOBA VELOX-III is a joint project between NTU and Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech). The nano-satellite features a unique micro-thruster built by NTU, which enables the satellite to remain in space twice as long than it usually would.

Traditionally, small satellites do not have thrusters due to modest budgets and insufficient space to mount conventional thrusters used by bigger satellites. Without thrusters, satellites have no means to keep them in orbit and will gradually lose altitude.

Director of the NTU Satellite Research Center Lim Wee Seng said they have successfully made contact with AOBA VELOX-III, which is now orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth.

The satellite will be conducting several tests, including the made-in-NTU micro-propulsion system, a new wireless communication system developed by Kyutech and experiments to evaluate the durability of commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in space.

Professor Mengu Cho, Director of Kyutech’s Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering, said the launch of AOBA VELOX-III is the tangible result of research collaboration between Kyutech and NTU for the past three years.

AOBA VELOX-III is an important milestone in the Japan-Singapore inter-university space exploration.

Source: Space Daily.

Link: http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Singapore_university_launches_7th_satellite_into_space_999.html.

March 23, 2015

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore mourned longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew with raw emotion and a blanket of relentlessly positive coverage on its tightly scripted state television on Monday, mythologizing a man who was as respected as he was feared.

The government announced that Lee, 91, “passed away peacefully” several hours before dawn at Singapore General Hospital. The increasingly frail elder statesman was hospitalized in early February with severe pneumonia.

State television broke away from its regular programming with a rolling hagiographic tribute to Lee’s life and achievements. In a live broadcast, one of its reporters called the death the “awful and dreaded” news. Effusive tributes flowed in from world leaders, including President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A self-proclaimed authoritarian who saw the world in stark realist terms, Lee commanded respect from Singaporeans, who this year will celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. He led multiracial Singapore with an iron grip for more than three decades until 1990, and is credited with transforming the resource-poor island into a wealthy finance and trade entrepot with low crime and little corruption.

Singapore’s government has declared seven days of national mourning, and flags will fly at half-staff on state buildings. A national holiday has not been declared, as daily life in this pragmatically commercial city of vaulting glass towers and broad, immaculate streets continues to bustle.

Still, there were tears and a deep sense of loss among Singaporeans who lionize Lee for his role in creating an oasis of stability in a region saddled with corruption, political violence and poverty. Many feel he provided them with a roof over their heads by creating a system of state-subsidized housing where the majority of Singaporeans live.

“He’s my idol,” said 55-year-old homemaker Lua Su Yean, standing near the sprawling display of flowers and cards left by Singaporeans at the hospital where Lee spent the last weeks of his life. She said her “heart dropped” on hearing the news and got her husband to drive her to the hospital.

“He’s done such great things and there’s nothing bad I can say about him,” she said. “My children grew up listening to my stories about him, and my grandchildren as well.” Lee’s son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, struggled to hold back tears in a televised address.

Speaking in Malay, Mandarin and English, the prime minister said Lee built a nation and gave Singaporeans a proud identity. “We won’t see another man like him. To many Singaporeans, and indeed others too, Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore,” he said.

The hearse carrying Lee’s body arrived not long after midday at the Istana government compound, where many in a crowd of several hundred people shouted “Mr. Lee Kuan Yew” and shed tears. Under Lee and his successors, Singapore was known around the world for its strict social order, including a ban on chewing gum, restrictions on free speech, a practice of bankrupting political opponents with defamation lawsuits, and canings for crimes some countries would rule as minor. In recent years, it has become socially more liberal and the fragmented political opposition made gains in Singapore’s last elections in 2011.

After stepping down as prime minister, Lee remained part of the Cabinet and an influential figure in Singapore and Asia. His legacy is regarded within Singapore and abroad as profound, but there also is recognition that a toll was also exacted.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at New York-based Human Rights Watch, said Lee’s “tremendous” role in Singapore’s economic development is beyond doubt. “But it also came at a significant cost for human rights, and today’s restricted freedom of expression, self-censorship and stunted multi-party democracy,” he said.

There were also dissenting voices in Singapore. “This man has put in certain structures which are certainly illiberal, anti-democratic, and his passing does not mean that they no longer survive,” said blogger Alex Au. “Effort is still needed to dismantle them.”

Tributes from world leaders highlighted Lee’s achievements. Obama called Lee a “visionary,” saying in a statement that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of his death. Obama, who met Lee during a visit to Singapore in 2009, said his “remarkable” leadership helped build one of the most prosperous countries. Lee also was “hugely important in helping me reformulate our policy of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific,” Obama said.

Neighboring Malaysia, with which Singapore has had occasionally testy relations, said Lee’s achievements were great and his legacy assured. “Malaysia is committed to the future of our relationship with Singapore,” said Prime Minister Hajib Razak. China’s Xi said Lee was a “strategist and politician widely respected by international society.”

A private wake for the Lee family will take place Monday and Tuesday at Sri Temasek, the prime minister’s official residence in the lush tropical grounds of the Istana compound. After that, Lee will lie in state at parliament. A state funeral is set for Sunday.

The government also set up condolence boards at Parliament House and Istana and a website called Remembering Lee Kuan Yew, where people can leave messages. Sayeed Hussain, an IT executive, said Lee was a “great hero” to Singaporeans as he paid respects at Singapore General Hospital.

“It is our duty to respect him and recognize him as a great hero in the world,” Hussain said. “This is our last chance to do so.”

Singapore (AFP)

April 16, 2014

Singapore on Wednesday welcomed an apology from Indonesia’s military chief over the naming of a warship after two marines who staged a deadly bombing in the city-state in 1965.

Singapore reacted furiously in February when the refurbished frigate was named “KRI Usman Harun”, lodging a diplomatic complaint with Jakarta and banning the vessel from its ports and naval bases.

Tensions escalated last month after the Indonesian navy dressed two marines as the executed bombers at a defense exhibition in Jakarta.

“Once again I apologize. We have no ill intent whatsoever to stir emotions. Not at all,” military chief General Moeldoko, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said in an interview with Singapore broadcaster Channel NewsAsia that was aired on Tuesday.

Moeldoko, however, said that the ship will not be renamed.

Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen welcomed the apology on Wednesday, saying it was a “constructive gesture to improve bilateral defense ties”.

This will “strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship that has been built up over many decades,” he said in a statement.

Usman Haji Mohamed Ali and Harun Said were executed in Singapore for their roles in the March 1965 blast at a downtown office complex which killed three people and injured 33.

Indonesia considers the two men to be national heroes. Their attack was part of an effort by then Indonesian president Sukarno to stage an armed confrontation against the newly formed federation of Malaysia, which included Singapore.

In his Channel NewsAsia interview, Moeldoko said: “Indonesia didn’t think that ‘Usman Harun’ would eventually turn into a polemic such as this.”

“It is my responsibility as the commander-in-chief of the (Indonesian armed forces) to offer a clarification and to take steps to ensure that the situation does not escalate,” he added.

Indonesia is Singapore’s third largest trading partner, with total trade between the Southeast Asian neighbors reaching Sg$79.4 billion ($62.6 billion) in 2012.

Relations hit a low point in the late 1990s after the fall of former dictator Suharto, and his successor B.J. Habibie famously referred to the tiny city-state as a “little red dot” on the map.

Bilateral ties have improved considerably in recent years.

Source: Space War.

Link: http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Singapore_accepts_Indonesia_apology_over_warship_row_999.html.