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Should Speakers' Corner be kept just for protests?

ENCROACHING: Blogger Mr Roy Ngerng (in blue, holding microphone), Ms Han Hui Hui (in black, holding microphone) and their fellow Return Our CPF protesters at the YMCA Proms @ the Park event.
DISRUPTED: The event YMCA Proms @ the Park (above) was interrupted when the Return Our CPF protesters marched and chanted slogans in front of the stage.

The Speakers’ Corner should be reserved for protests and demonstrations, said Mr Gilbert Goh, a volunteer at non-profit society transitioning.org.

On Sept 27, there were ugly scenes when YMCA’s concert and a protest by #ReturnOurCPF group were held at Hong Lim Park on the same day.

Mr Goh, who has organised several large rallies there, said: “We have no alternative site like public non-government organisations have.”

But others like civil rights group Maruah president Braema Mathi said that while Speakers’ Corner is a space that is “used and valued” by civil society groups, other groups should be welcome to use it as well.  

Singapore Management University Law Professor Eugene Tan said: “The Speakers’ Corner was created as a space for people to express and share their views on a variety of issues, not just politics alone.”

Read the full report in our print edition on Oct 2.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.

Three-way finish in top apprentice quest

Noh Senari. TNP PHOTO: LATASHNI GOBI NATHAN
Zuriman Zulkifli. TNP PHOTO: NURJANNAH ZULKIFLI

The jockey's premiership is done and dusted for Manoel Nunes, his next milestone being his 100th winner for the season, and Laurie Laxon looks well on course for another trainer's premiership recently, celebrating his 1,100th Kranji winner.

However, there is plenty of interest in the apprentice's title which looks a three-way battle among Noh Senari, A'Isisuhaiiri "Harry" Kasim, and Zuriman Zulkifli. All three lads ride very well and, despite their diminishing allowance claims, are still popular with trainers.

While Tadgh O'Shea has struggled to find a winner, Nooresh Juglall has proved that getting on the board early helps and has been getting plenty of good rides, particularly from those trainers formerly of the African continent.

With Malaysian racing struggling, the 2011 champion jockey Jackson Low has decided to base himself in Singapore and has taken no time showing his skills with four winners from just eight rides, two of those being for long-time supporter Arexevan Racing. A strong, natural lightweight he is bound to be in demand, particularly with one of the proven senior lightweights, Barend Vorster recovering from injury.

John Powell is another rider having an outstanding season, striking at more than 20 per cent. Weight limits his opportunities but he recently celebrated his 200th win at Kranji and is a renowned "money rider", particularly when on a Baertschiger conveyance.

Among the trainers, Cliff Brown continues to have a good year, maintaining his outstanding record with horses over the 1,400m journey, such that he has become the "go-to" man in these events for many punters.

With those races often being the last race on the programme, he has also become the "get-out" man.

Magneto, a star in the making

Magneto, a star in the making

Singapore is welcoming many equine newcomers on the scene including several high-quality performers from the Pat Shaw stable.

While QUECHUA and ALEXANDRA PALACE look good money- spinners, the one that has got pundits talking is MAGNETO (above).

He looked good in his first three outings and then franked the form by trouncing War Affair in the Group 3 Committee's Prize over 1,600m and breaking the track record at the same time.

Magneto is by the Coolmore stallion and English 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand out of the Argentine mare Siusi, a result of the sire shuttling to Argentina for a season.

He raced as De Trento in Argentina and won five times from six starts, most of these wins being over 1,400m, though the way he finished off over a mile last start, 2,000m may not be beyond him at a later date.

S'poreans in actions

YESTERDAY'S RESULTS

ATHLETICS

  • Men's 200m (s-final): Lee Cheng Wei (22.17sec), Muhammad Naqib (22.15)

BOWLING (1st block)

  • Men's masters: Justin Lim (14th, 1,580 pinfalls)
  • Women's masters: Jazreel Tan (12th, 1,543), Cherie Tan (15th, 1,454)

KAYAKING

  • Women's single: Geraldine Lee (repechage, 1:28.85), Annabelle Ng (Q'finals, 1:27.97)
  • Men's single: Muhammad Syaheenul Aiman Nasiman (repechage, 1:26.02), Brandon Ooi (16th, 1:14.65)

DIVING

  • Women's 1m springboard final: Myra Lee (9th, 209.60pts)
  • Men's 1m springboard final: Timothy Lee (8th, 293.90pts)

RUGBY

Women's preliminaries: Singapore 0 China 43; Singapore 22 Uzbekistan 0

SAILING

  • Open match racing: (s-finals) Singapore 3 Malaysia 0; (final) Singapore 2 South Korea 0

SEPAK TAKRAW

  • Men's regu preliminaries: 
Singapore 0 Thailand 2

TABLE TENNIS

  • Men's singles (Round of 32): Gao Ning beat Bilegt Batkhishig (Mgl) 11-3, 11-2, 11-2, 11-1; Li Hu beat Lkhagvasuren Enkhbat (Mgl) 11-1, 11-2, 11-6, 11-5
  • Women's doubles (Round of 16): Lin Ye/Zhou Yihan lost 12-10, 11-4, 12-10 to Liu Shiwen/Wu Yang (Chn)
  • Men's doubles (Round of 16): Gao Ning/Li Hu beat Chiang Hung-chieh/Huang Sheng-sheng (Tpe) 12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4; Yang Zi/Chen Feng lost 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 9-11 to Kim Hyok Bong/Pak Sin Hyok (Prk)

TODAY'S SCHEDULE

ATHLETICS

  • Women's 4x400m relay final: Singapore

BOWLING (2nd block)

  • Men's masters: Justin Lim
  • Women's masters: Jazreel Tan, Cherie Tan

DIVING

  • Men's 3m springboard preliminaries: Timothy Lee

RUGBY

  • Women's team 5th-8th classification: Singapore v Malaysia

TABLE TENNIS

  • Men's singles (Round of 16): Gao Ning v Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (Tha); Li Hu v Fan Zhendong(Chn)
  • Women's singles (Round of 32): Feng Tianwei v Yuliya Ryabova(Kaz); Lin Ye v Batkhishig Batsaikhan(Mgl)
  • Men's doubles q-finals: Gao Ning/Li Hu v Jun Mizutani/Seiya Kishikawa (Jpn)

Asian Games: Malaysia refuses to give back ‘doping’ gold

Malaysia's gold medalist Tai Cheau Xuen celebrating during the medal ceremony of the women's wushu nanquan final at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon on Sept 20.

Malaysia has refused to hand back the Asian Games gold medal won by a wushu athlete who failed a doping test.

The country's wushu champion Tai Cheau Xuen was expelled from the Games on Tuesday after she was found to have taken the stimulant sibutramine, which is used in widely available dietary supplements.

Tai, who bagged the country's first gold medal on Sept 20, has returned to her home country. 

Malaysia officials said on Wednesday they still have the gold and they are not about to hand it over.

'Why do we need to give back the gold medal?'

The country's head of mission Danyal Balagopal told The Star that it had taken about 16 hours to get the results of Tai’s test back.

"We usually know the result as soon as it is brought to the lab," he said.

"On the day when the urine was taken from Tai, there were five samples placed together. There is a possibility that it was accidentally switched. Why do we need to give back the gold medal?" he added.

On Wednesday, Malaysia made a formal appeal to the international sports court over the way her drug test was handled, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) officials said.

The Swiss-based independent Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has set up a special unit in Incheon to handle disputes at the Games.

Zero tolerance for drug use

OCA director general Husain al-Musallam​ said: "The CAS will make its decision on whether or not to restore the gold within 24 hours.

"If the court finds that this player has the right to get back the medal, the OCA will not oppose it."

Malaysia’s Olympic chief Sieh ​Kok Chi said random doping tests had been carried out before the Asian Games on Malaysian athletes, with the exception of the wushu team.

"It is sad that a Malaysian gold medal winner has tested positive," he said, adding that Malaysia has zero tolerance for drug use.

'Tai did nothing wrong'

Tai, who turns 23 on Thursday, has garnered widespread sympathy in her homeland.

National Sports Institute director-general Ramlan Aziz said: "I am convinced Tai did nothing wrong. She strongly denied knowingly taking any illegal drugs or substances."

Tai’s 55-year-old father said she "will not consume performance enhancing drugs to boost her prospects of winning".

So far, five athletes have been snared in the hunt for banned drugs at the event.

The OCA says that about 1,900 of the 9,500 athletes in Incheon will be tested during the Games, which close on Saturday. 

Source: AFP

Kagawa is S'pore-bound for Japan-Brazil friendly

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa has been selected by Japan coach Javier Aguirre for the Blue Samurai's friendly against Brazil at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa has been selected by Japan coach Javier Aguirre for the Blue Samurai's friendly against Brazil at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Former Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa will be heading to Singapore after he received a national call-up from Japan coach Javier Aguirre for friendlies against Jamaica and Brazil.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder missed the Mexican's first two matches in charge due a concussion he sustained in August while playing for United.

Kagawa is now poised to turn out at the Singapore Sports Hub in a glamour friendly against Brazil on Oct 14 after facing Jamaica in Niigata on Oct 10 as the Blue Samurai prepare to defend their Asian Cup title.

The Asian Cup will be held in Australia in January.

Best 23

Aguirre said: "We’ll have only four matches before the Asian Cup. I want to check as many players as possible and take along the best 23

"The door to the national side is always open. Kagawa is very talented and I want to see him play in the centre of a 4-3-3 formation."

Aguirre has also summoned several of Japan's other European-based footballers like AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda, Mainz striker Shinji Okazaki and Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo.

The former Mexico boss has also drafted in three uncapped players in Kashima Antlers defender Gen Shoji, Sanfrecce Hiroshima defender Tsukasa Shiotani and Kawasaki Frontale striker Yu Kobayashi.

Earlier, Brazil boss Dunga had named Barcelona superstar Neymar, Chelsea players Oscar, Filipe Luis, Willian and Ramires, Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz and former Real Madrid and Manchester City striker Robinho among his squad to face Japan.

JAPAN SQUAD LIST
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Red Diamonds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)
Defenders: Hiroki Mizumoto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Kosuke Ota (FC Tokyo), Daigo Nishi (Kashima Antlers), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Tsukasa Shiotani (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers)
Midfielders: Hajime Hosogai (Hertha Berlin), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Junya Tanaka (Sporting Lisbon), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Ryota Morioka (Vissel Kobe), Gaku Shibasaki (Kashima Antlers)
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Mike Havenaar (Cordoba), Yu Kobayashi (Kawasaki Frontale), Yoichiro Kakitani (Basel), Yoshinori Muto (FC Tokyo)

Source: AFP

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