Published on: 03-Aug-2015
50 of Singapore’s leading minds contribute insights and vision for Singapore’s economy and the environment in the next 50 years
To commemorate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) economist Prof Euston Quah has produced a book that predicts what the future holds for the nation’s economy and the environment.
Published by World Scientific, Singapore 2065: Leading Insights on Economy and Environment from 50 Singapore Icons and Beyond is a collection of key insights from some of the country’s most influential thought leaders. Their perspectives cover a broad range of issues affecting Singapore’s future economic growth and environmental landscape, and the strategies needed to address the challenges and opportunities facing the nation over the next five decades.
In the foreword, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam wrote that there is “an interesting and diverse slate of opinion makers for this worthwhile book on Singapore, on the occasion of our 50th year of nationhood. Their perspectives of the future illustrate the challenges and opportunities that we face as a small country in a changing global environment.”
NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson described the book as “a stunning collection of perspectives across the spectrum.” He said the book presents a compelling look into the future through a series of thought-provoking insights.
“This volume also celebrates the country's exceptional success, retelling the invaluable stories and anecdotes that have paved Singapore's tremendous journey over the last 50 years. As Singapore continues to chart into the next half century, Singapore 2065 leaves plenty to ponder and will remain a valuable repository of knowledge for many years to come,” Prof Andersson said.
The contributing writers include influential figures such as:
• Ministers: Mr Heng Swee Keat, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Mr Lawrence Wong, Mr S Iswaran, Ms Grace Fu and Ms Josephine Teo;
• Prominent economists: NTU Emeritus Professor Lim Chong Yah; Prof Ng Yew Kwang; and Prof Tan Kong Yam;
• Veteran diplomats and top civil servants: Ambassadors Tommy Koh, Barry Desker and Kishore Mahbubani, as well as Mr Ravi Menon and Mr Andrew Tan;
• Business and industry leaders: Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of NTU’s Board of Trustees; Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree and many more.
The writers covered an extensive range of topics such as Singapore’s place in the dynamic global economy, evolving economic structures, technological advancement and innovation, environmental sustainability, and the future of education and Singapore’s social compact.
A common point raised by the writers is that measures of economic success are changing. In the next 50 years or beyond, Singapore’s achievements will not only be benchmarked by GDP growth, but also through a holistic consideration of other essential aspects such as liveability of the physical environment, magnitude of carbon emissions, extent of income inequality, and overall quality of life.
It is also notable that the discussion on tensions between the economy and the environment garner different opinions, including a proposition that society should consider aligning the interests of the economy and environment holistically, instead of viewing them in terms of trade-offs.
Certain pieces took on particularly refreshing angles. For example, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Ms Josephine Teo penned a heartfelt letter to young Singaporeans. Ms Teo wrote, “Take good care of our country, because it really is a most unusual and precious little red dot. Leave it an even brighter red dot than the one we will be leaving you.”
Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of NTU’s Board of Trustees, foresaw that "the digital revolution eventually enhanced Singapore’s economic competitiveness and the quality of life in 2065 Singapore had no match anywhere else."
Prof Kishore Mahbubani postulated that in 2065, the Singapore government will finally abolish private ownership of cars.
Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore penned a fictitious yet highly conceivable Singapore Budget Speech for 2065, complete with charts comparing the government’s budget in 2015 with that of 2065.
Acclaimed Singapore poet Edwin Thumboo, the 1979 Cultural Medallion winner for literature, also wrote a special poem for the book.
In addition, the book has a selection of articles from respected journalists who have written much on the economy and the environment, faculty and students from local universities, as well as international friends of Singapore who are well acquainted with the country through their frequent visits and strong affiliation to academia through the years.
The book also features some useful demographics and statistics about Singapore in its first 50 years of independence.
More information about the book can be found at: www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9523.
The book is sold through World Scientific’s website at $78.00 for the hardcover version and $36.00 for a softcover. It will also be sold at leading bookstores.
Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687
About Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
NTU’s main campus at Yunnan Garden has been named one of Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. It also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.
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