Extracted from a news report MM Lee says Cabinet made right decision on integrated resort by Hwee Goh, Channel NewsAsiaon ChannelNewsAsia:
SINGAPORE : Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has envisioned Singapore as a "gem of an island" with a vibrant economy of 6 to 7 million people by 2030. To do that, he said the phrase "healthy and wholesome" was no longer good enough, and the two proposed integrated resorts with casinos would be a small but crucial part of this dream.
In many ways, Minister Mentor Lee's own anti-gambling stand was very much like everybody else's. Despite this, and the strong personal convictions of the ministers, he felt the Cabinet had made the right decision.
Mr Lee told Parliament, "If I were the prime minister and I was challenged like I was challenged on many issues when I was a younger man -- I had lots of energy -- I will take everyone on and say, I will persuade Singapore, I will convince Singapore that this is right, that the price is high, but the price of not doing so is even higher. So that's your choice."
IT'S TRULY A SIGN of the times that we are in -- that the Singapore MM should make such a statement around the same time that the conclave started in Rome. Woke up this morning and found an SMS message from a friend S., "We have a new pope. Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI." Such a relief! Praise God!
"Ecstatic Vatican crowds hail new Pope, as quiet few voice disappointment" was the heading of another report by ChannelNewsAsia. Here's an extract:
VATICAN CITY: "Viva il papa!" they screamed, as an ecstatic crowd of more than 100,000 greeted new Pope Benedict XVI with wild applause, tears and prayers Tuesday, with only a few quietly voicing reservations over Joseph Ratzinger's conservative stamp.
"It's miracle," said Cindy Claeys of Kenwood, California. "The choice is great!"
"Bravi! Bravi!" Claeys chanted with three friends, standing on chairs, screaming.
A group of Spanish priests, also standing on chairs set up by Vatican authorities for those waiting for the white smoke announcing a new Pope, used a common football cheer -- "Benedict" followed by three claps. Until recently, that had been used to hail the late John Paul II.
Michele Pane, from the southern Italian region of Calabria, said "he's an ideal successor for John Paul II. He will dialogue with the youth and with other religions."
One woman held up her rosary as Benedict XVI gave his first blessing as Pope from the central balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica.
Fellow German Marta Valle, who met with Ratzinger several times, was jumping with joy. "He's great. He's really a humble servant. He's always there for you. He listens to you," said Valle.
... But not all were pleased. Some simply shook their heads when asked their thoughts on the new pontiff, others quietly spoke their minds.
"I'm disappointed," said Khristine Eroshevich from Studio City, California. "I really would have liked a more liberal Pope to address the issue of birth control, women in priesthood, for example."
"His positions are too conservative," confided Azneto Verde. "But he remains the Pope," he said. - AFP