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The Straits Times to hold 167th birthday bash at Gardens by the Bay

Carnival and concert will kick off its STAR outreach programme to engage readers.

Singapore, May 18, 2012 - The Straits Times will celebrate its 167th birthday on Sunday July 15 with a carnival and concert at the newly-opened Gardens by the Bay, as part of its stepped-up efforts to deepen engagement with its readers and the community.

The first company to hold a big-scale outdoor event just two weeks after the Gardens' opening, The Straits Times hopes to draw 30,000 people to the birthday bash. The event will feature day-long carnival activities around the sprawling Meadows, leading up to the concert at 7 pm.

The carnival and concert will kick off the Straits Times Appreciates Readers (STAR) outreach programme to demonstrate the newspaper's commitment to proactively engage its readers.

The two-hour concert will feature Jason Derulo, an American singer-songwriter-dancer; 4Minute, a sexy five-member K-pop dance girl group; and Boys Like Girls, an American rock band from Massachusetts. Also performing will be popular Singaporean jazz flautist, Rit Xu; Singapore Idols Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza, and ChildAid performers Amni Musfirah, 18 years; and Sophia Joe, 13 years.

Concert-goers are free to picnic by the Meadows before the concert, and enjoy the scenic garden view and spectacular skyline over the Marina Bay waterfront.

Tickets for the concert will go on sale in June, priced at $67 for The Straits Times readers and $75 for others.

The tickets also entitle holders to a private sundown party in August at the Universal Studios Singapore, in Resorts World Sentosa, where they can enjoy all the rides, and a goodie bag.

The concert comes on the heels of exciting changes that are taking place at The Straits Times. Its new Editor, Mr Warren Fernandez, 46, is taking the paper forward with a fresh approach to growing readership and interacting with the community through new and innovative ways.

Being planned is a day-long STAR Open House at The Straits Times' home in SPH News Centre, Toa Payoh North, to further connect with readers by showcasing its journalists and the work they do.

Mr Fernandez announced the upcoming STAR concert at a trade engagement with about 200 advertising and media executives at the SPH News Centre on May 17, where he also gave a sneak preview of the changes in the newspaper from today.

Said Mr Fernandez: "We want to be the source that Singaporeans turn to for their news and views. To do that, we must be in touch with our readers, and be very much a part of the community we serve. This concert will be a great way for us to reach out and connect with our readers. That is what the STAR programme is all about."

Welcoming the STAR party, Mr Michael Gilligan, RWS's Senior Vice President of resort marketing, said: "When Resorts World Sentosa heard that The Straits Times wanted to celebrate its birthday with the STAR blow-out party, we knew that Resorts World Sentosa was the perfect place.”


"We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the post-event party at Universal Studios Singapore. Readers can be sure it will be a great celebration, with all rides, entertainment and restaurants open exclusively for their enjoyment. This promises to be a birthday party that readers will never forget.”

Also to be held in conjunction with the STAR concert is the 4th Little Red Dot-Beautex's "Life's Beautiful - The People's Garden " art competition, which is open to primary school pupils.


The drawing contest, which will also take place at the Gardens by the Bay on July 15 from 1 pm to 5 pm, is organised by Tipex Pte Ltd and Little Red Dot, the Straits Times’ weekly publication for primary schools. The winning artworks will be printed on special editions of Beautex tissues boxes, with part of the proceeds from the sale of the tissue boxes going to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

As part of its community outreach programme, The Straits Times will also hold a charity auction of a Volkswagen car, to be donated by Volkswagen Singapore. The winning bidder will be presented the car at the STAR concert. Part of the proceeds from the auction will be used to buy subscriptions of The Straits Times for 1,000 low-income households.

More details on the STAR outreach programme's concert and carnival will be announced soon.

Launched on July 15, 1845, The Straits Times, the English flagship daily published by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), today serves over 1.3 million readers daily, and is Singapore's best-read newspaper. It also has an online presence (at www.straitstimes.com), which features breaking news and premium news, as well as blogs and online forums, and also hosts citizen journalism site Stomp and online television service The Straits Times RazorTV.



Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E


For more information, please contact:

Mr Tan Ooi Boon
Vice President
Marketing
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 2088
Email: ooiboon@sph.com.sg


Mr Yeo Siew Chi
Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1586

Email:
yeosc@sph.com.sg


About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore.

The Straits Times also has an online presence at www.straitstimes.com. The site features top stories, blogs and an online forum threads. Also under The Straits Times' umbrella are citizen journalism site Stomp and online television service The Straits Times RazorTV.

For more information, visit
www.straitstimes.com.


About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.

Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing
In Singapore, SPH publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages. On an average day, 2.92 million individuals or 74 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications.

SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 330 million page views with 18 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH's online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; Stomp, omy.sg, and The Straits Times RazorTV.

SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, an Android smartphone application and The Business Times Weekend's iPad application. SPH's Chinese flagship newspaper Lianhe Zaobao has also launched its digital platforms which include a web application, as well as online and PDF versions.

Broadcasting
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Chinese and 91.3FM in English.

Events and Out-of-Home Advertising
SPH’s events subsidiary Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s leading Digital Out-of-Home advertising company.

Properties
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. Its latest retail development, The Clementi Mall, started business operations in 2011. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, has also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.