SINGAPORE: Tweets Number Smashed Records on National Day Celebration

Channel NewsAsia reports, Twitter users have smashed the record for tweets related to a one-day event in Singapore, sending out more than 230,000 tweets about Sunday’s (Aug 9) National Day Parade (NDP), including those with the hashtag #NDP2015.

Tweets also included other terms related to the Parade, such as #SG50, Majulah Singapura and Golden Jubilee as well as Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Hsien Loong, and NDP performers Kit Chan and JJ Lin.

This was twice the previous record held by the One Direction concert on Mar 11, where there were more than 100,000 tweets about the event.

According to data released by Twitter on Monday, there were 570 tweets sent per minute as it neared 8.30pm, just as the Parade culminated in a massive fireworks display.

Sunday’s Golden Jubilee celebrations saw more than 26,000 people gathered at the Padang, where the first National Day Parade took place in 1966. Thousands more packed areas such as the Marina Barrage and Marina Bay.

Fireworks explode during Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations near the central business district

Photo Credit: Reuters

MH370: Malaysia Sends Experts to Examine Maldives ‘Debris’

BBC reports, Malaysia says it is sending a team of experts to the Maldives to investigate reports that debris from the missing Flight MH370 has washed up there.

Images published in a newspaper in the Maldives show several small objects it said had been found on one atoll.

But Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said it was too soon to say if they were connected to flight MH370.

The Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people veered off its course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014.

The plane is long believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean – though no evidence was initially found despite a massive search operation.

The reports in the Maldives come just days after debris found on the remote French Indian Ocean island of Reunion were confirmed to be from the missing plane.


Photo Credit: Reuters

INDONESIAN: China and Japan Compete for High-Speed Railway Contract

JAKARTA — TODAY reports, China says it is offering more “competitive” benefits for the construction of Indonesia’s first high-speed railway — compared to a rival Japanese offer — as the country completes a feasibility study on the project.

Mr Xu Shaoshi, the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, was in Jakarta yesterday (Aug 10) to hand over the results of the study to President Joko Widodo.

Mr Xu did not disclose China’s final estimated cost for the construction of the railway line, which will connect Jakarta to Bandung. Earlier reports put China’s offer at a cost of US$4 billion (S$5.53 billion), with a lending period of 25 years and an annual interest rate of 2 per cent.

Japan, which is competing head-on with China for the same project, has submitted a lower offer. In a meeting with Indonesian Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel in Tokyo last week, Japanese officials said that under their proposal, the project would cost a total of 45 trillion rupiah (S$4.61 billion).

The Japanese government is also offering a soft loan to cover 75 per cent of the funding, with interest of as little as 0.1 per cent and a repayment period of 40 years. Under the terms of the soft loan, the Indonesian government will only have to start repaying the debt 11 years after the project has started operation.

Mr Xu said that China was proposing a joint venture with the Indonesian government, in which Indonesia will hold a 60 percent stake in the project and China the remainder.

Addressing concerns about the safety of a Chinese-built high-speed train, Mr Xu promised that China would do its best work in the construction and management of the project.

He also noted that the majority of high-speed train networks in the world were built by China.

China World's high speed train

Photo Credit: AP

Compiled by Eric Wong and June