POSTED 13 Aug 2019 - 08:41

As Singapore turns 54, what is the most pressing issue facing the country?

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How can we ensure a bright future for Singapore?

Top Response

Max Loh, Managing Partner, Singapore and Brunei, Ernst & Young LLP

Amid all forms of economic uncertainty, wider geopolitical developments and digital disruption, building and maintaining trust among government, businesses, institutions and citizens is arguably the most pressing issue facing any country. For Singapore, as a small and multiculturally diverse...


Jean Drouffe, Chief Executive Officer, AXA Insurance Pte Ltd (Singapore)
13 Aug 2019 - 08:49

Singapore has come a long way since its independence 54 years ago, and has been extremely successful moving up the ladder at an incredible pace. The next phase of growth may prove to be a greater challenge, and Singapore is now facing issues that frequently plague mature economies - sluggish growth and growing inequalities. Cultivating a caring and inclusive society will strengthen the country's ability to manage challenges along the way, and should be a priority for individuals and corporates alike, not despite the headwinds we are expecting in the coming year but because of it. AXA has been working alongside Singaporeans for 50 years now, and we aim to play a part in building an inclusive society through meaningful collaboration with local entities that share our purpose to empower members of our society.

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Sanjay K Deshmukh, VP and MD, South East Asia and Korea, VMware
13 Aug 2019 - 08:48

Singapore's 54 years and transformation to a First World nation is a reminder of perseverance, resilience and forward-thinking. As we continue on our growth journey, there may be an opportunity to drive more efficiency by transforming our workforce.

The country's small talent pool and the evolving economic and technological environment create an urgency to modernise, upskill and become more agile. We believe that workforce transformation using technology innovations can facilitate better collaboration and employee productivity. It can also be used to harness existing untapped people resources like the differently-abled who are currently outside of the traditional workforce. Work flexibilities made possible with technology can also encourage a workforce that is more gender-balanced. In the long term, technology and diversity can help us create a more sustainable and progressive Singapore.

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Rathakrishnan Govind, CEO, London School of Business and Finance
13 Aug 2019 - 08:48

As we celebrate 54 years of independence, Singapore is at a crossroad : as a developed nation, we are surrounded by economic and political challenges in the region and globally; and, at the same time, we grapple with internal policies that will guide the future of our citizens. Our biggest challenge is learning how to deal with the technology and digital media of today, to better deal with the multitude of disruptions that can potentially be avoided. We are still not coping with this change. We are using traditional methods to solve new problems that we are not familiar with. Business leaders, civil servants and politicians need to understand this and find deliberate means to harness the technology and digital media to work for the world we live in today. I'm sure this will be corrected in time as the new generation takes leadership, but we cannot wait for that to happen today. Let's not talk about technology and digital disruption as an agenda for the future, instead let's act on it today, in all walks of our business, social and policy making.

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Maren Schweizer, Director, Schweizer World Pte Ltd
13 Aug 2019 - 08:47

Keeping Singapore's economy vibrant and innovative is the key. We need to be prepared for even more changes and be increasingly adaptable to them.

Beyond Singapore's physical size lies our strengths to turn our openness and connectivity into an advantage, for instance riding the Asean wave of growth to scale and take advantage of newer and bigger markets outside of Singapore.

Individual businesses can do more collectively by teaming up with trusted local and overseas partners.

Overall we have to stay ahead of rapid changes with our people being the centre of our businesses while continuing to invest heavily in education and training to help our talents realise their potentials and acquire new capabilities.

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Yvonne Wassenaar, CEO, Puppet
13 Aug 2019 - 08:47

With Singapore's digital revolution, we need to ensure that the country's biggest assets - people - progress alongside on this journey. It's important to capitalise on the new opportunities that come with Singapore's developments but, with this change, we also expect challenges and have seen a tech skills gap. It's important that we provide adults and tertiary students with the skills they need to succeed with technical shifts, particularly in top tech jobs related to data analytics, DevOps and cloud. These types of skills and understanding will help future-proof Singaporeans with some of the core skills they will need to navigate the digital era.

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Albert Phuay Yong, Hen Chairman and CEO, Excelpoint Technology Limited
13 Aug 2019 - 08:47

Singapore has made remarkable progress in building a prosperous, harmonious multicultural nation, and we are now an advanced society. In my opinion, with the ongoing political tensions across the globe and the impact on businesses, companies big or small will start taking cost-cutting measures such as re-organisation and tightening spending and investments. If these global uncertainties are in for the long haul, it is inevitable that the job market will shrink, and this will be a problem for our graduates and the unemployed. These, coupled with rising living standards, will create potential challenges for our people.

Therefore, it is extremely important to build core capabilities and strengthen our domestic infrastructure. When we have strong fundamentals and a strong team, it will be harder for any headwinds to create an impact. There will always be opportunities even in the worst of times. We have to stand united as we navigate through this journey for innovation and growth.

Congratulations on Singapore's 54th National Day! Best wishes for a year filled with peace, success and happiness.

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Tony Lombardo, CEO, Asia ,Lendlease
13 Aug 2019 - 08:46

As we watch the world become a more volatile and a less harmonious place, it is important for Singapore to remain an equitable place to live. Driving inclusive growth is critical to create opportunities for everyone. Social media has enabled rapid news flows, but this is challenged by the proliferation of fake news in a post truth era. Clear and authentic communications from political leaders will be important in maintaining peace and stability. Singapore is well positioned for the future and Singaporeans need to understand how they can best play their role to keep it successful, just as they had over the last 54 years helped build this country.

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John Bittleston, Founder and Chair, Terrific Mentors International Pte Ltd
13 Aug 2019 - 08:46

The most pressing issue facing every country in the world, including China and USA, is whether to form an alliance or alliances with other countries or remain independent. Singapore is already a member of Asean, an alliance of sorts. Should we have stronger alliances with other countries? Europe is finding the European Union difficult because Britain is not committed to it. Singapore could have alliances with countries of its size or with countries in its area. Geography is no longer the defining factor for alliances now that communications and flight access are so good. Singapore needs room to grow physically and technologically. Johor is an obvious preference.

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