Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy 45th birthday Singapore !!

Darren Fifield
Managing Director
e-Dialog Asia-Pacific

Singapore is a relatively young country, but in 45 short years it has become a satellite business nation to Southeast Asia, and to the rest of Asia Pacific. It is where MNCs come to set up business and reach out to the world. Singapore's cultural and linguistic diversity is astounding. In spite of this, Singapore is largely English-speaking. Furthermore, the fusion of eastern and western business practices makes it easier for foreigners to adapt to the culture, business practices, and to adjust to the protocols of the nation. Today, Singapore is synonymous with development, growth and a bright future. It is truly among the top cities to live in for both business and a great quality of life.

Vinod Kumar
President and Chief Operating Officer
Tata Communications

It is indeed worthy of celebration that Singapore's anniversary should fall at a time when it's expected to chalk up the world's fastest full-year growth rate of up to 15 percent. This is an amazing turnaround for a country that was also the first in Asia to go into recession in 2008.
It's an exciting time for businesses. After a few difficult years, they have finally found the confidence and courage to invest in long-term innovation and growth opportunities. This bodes well for the communications and IT services industry, which plays a vital role in enabling the transition of the Singapore economy in the coming decade.
With the government's focus on productivity, innovation and support for knowledge based industries, we are confident that Singapore and Tata Communications, whose regional HQ is based here, will continue to thrive.

Lim Soon Hock
Managing Director

What pleases and excites me most about Singapore is our ability to transform ourselves and to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Singapore has also demonstrated that we have the tenacity and versatility to tackle whatever problems come our way, starting with Separation and on to the recent financial crisis.

As we move forward, while we continue with our economic and career pursuits, Singaporeans should set aside time for the family and make it a top priority. As we celebrate our 45th National Day, apart from making the national pledge, every Singaporean should make a personal pledge for the family, as it can potentially touch the lives of every Singaporean. If more Singaporeans pledge to marry early and have children early, we can be on the way to reverse the declining trend of our total fertility rate (TFR). When this happens, all Singaporeans will have a good reason to rejoice and celebrate in a bigger way.

Note: Lim Soon Hock is also the Chairman of the National Family Council

Daniel McConaghy
Vice President and Managing Director
FICO Asia Pacific

I would like to congratulate Singapore on 45 years of progress and economic success and make a special mention of the rapid strides it has made to transition from a regional to global hub in the banking and financial services sector in recent years.
The hallmark of Singapore's success over the years has been its winning mindset where policy makers abandoned failed models and creatively invented new ones thereby establishing a new status quo for other countries to follow. The nation's success in the banking sector is due to this visionary approach and an unrelenting commitment towards creating an environment where business risk was minimized.

Looking to the future, Singapore will need to find ways to create and exploit new competitive advantages, including renewed investments and enhancements to the country's risk management capabilities and infrastructure. In addition, the Singapore government would do well to continue with its bold and forward looking policy framework and build an operating environment that supports innovation as the future will belong to entities that seize the initiative as well as manage the uncertainties.

Andrew Tay
Zebra Technologies of Asia Pacific

I'm a firm believer in the dictum that life begins at 40, and at 45, Singapore has matured into a country that I am proud to be part of. The nation's excellent performance in the first half of 2010 means that Singapore is now set to become the world's fastest growing economy. While the future looks promising, the next 50 years are going to be a challenge. Our economy, though robust, relies a lot on its strategic geographical location, world-class talent and trade support from EMEA and North America. As such, we need to strengthen our relationships with the APAC countries and global emerging markets like Latin America. We need to remain hungry for, and dedicated to, continuous success and growth. If we do this, I am sure that Singapore will continue to be as successful 50 years down the road.

David Leong
Managing Director
PeopleWorldwide Consulting Pte Ltd.

...Our new leaders need new dreams.

Dream again, we shall again fly into another realm.
I think of bygones times, my admiration grew even more.

This National Day is a celebration for all.

A celebration to our new leaders not forgetting our rootsWho led us from dust to developed nationhood.

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Philip Chua
Country Manager for Singapore and Malaysia
Akamai Technologies

Singapore is the epitome of a "young achiever". At the age of 45, it has earned itself the reputation of having one of best infrastructures in the world.It is extremely heartening to note that Singapore is not resting on its laurels but is continuing to innovate and invest in the future. The Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) is currently being rolled out nationwide. NGNBN is set to change the way we will do business and consume online content - right from doing business in the cloud to live and on-demand HD streaming.Great innovations revolve around cities with world class infocomm infrastructure and on that note, here's wishing this wonderful city a Happy 45th Birthday. Akamai Technologies looks forward to contributing to Singapore's ongoing success.

E H Lim
Avi-Tech Electronics Ltd

Singapore has been built on the hard work, foresight and willpower of its people and its government. I am proud of the fact that we are today a thriving global city, one of the financial centres of the world with a developed legal and political system, excellent transportation and world class business infrastructure. Yet, despite the attributes of a First World city, Singapore still maintains much of its proud Asian heritage with a truly multicultural population.

I am looking forward to the next 45 years as we ride the wave of what many people believe will be the Asian century. With some of the world's biggest markets at our doorsteps, Singapore can continue to grow economically even as we develop as a society rich in culture and graciousness. I look forward to Singapore becoming a nation that can take its place among the globe's leading countries, and contribute towards the future economic and environmental sustainability of our planet. All my colleagues and I at Avi-Tech wish Singapore a very happy 45th birthday!"

Thirumalai Chandroo
Modern Montessori International Group

Like someone who has gradually come of age and gracefully matured with time, Singapore today exudes the class and confidence of a first-world nation that transcends borders and boundaries. What continues to impress and inspire me is the fact that, despite a lack of natural resources, Singapore has built herself up, brick by brick from a humble fishing port, to become rich in expertise and infrastructure. The year Singapore at 45 is a regional leader in finance, healthcare, infocomm and education, while concurrently setting international standards in the airline and shipping industries.

The immediate challenge is to leverage on the potential of our limited local and foreign talent so as to remain relevant and competitive in an increasingly cosmopolitan global village. Singapore is now reaping the fruits of her labour, and looking forward to greater opportunities that may present themselves in the new frontier.

William Woo
Managing Director
Xchanging Southeast Asia

A stable political set-up and an excellent economic infrastructure have made Singapore an ideal place for businesses to invest in and grow. The vibrant social environment makes it an attractive place for local talents as well as for expatriates. Most importantly, the meritocratic culture of Singapore gives it an edge over all other destinations for businesses as well as for individuals. I believe the times today bring opportunities as well as challenges for Singapore as it takes a prominent position in the recovering world economy. The challenge will be to sustain its growth momentum despite the slow recovery in the European and American economies. At the same time, Singapore has a brilliant opportunity to establish a strong position in financial services as well as new generation technologies and truly showcase its potential. At 45, Singapore is still a relatively young nation with tremendous potential. I believe the country has a great future ahead. Happy Birthday Singapore!!

Dhirendra Shantilal
Senior Vice President-Asia Pacific
Kelly Services

Singapore's resilience, tenacity and foresight has instilled confidence in its people to be proud of the distinctive global city we live in, one that has been a model of excellence for many others to emulate. In a span of 45 years, Singapore has grown from the strength of the industrial era to a knowledge-based economy at the forefront of the world's free market economies. Premier performances high up on the cultural quotient scale illustrate our nation's endeavour to be a well-rounded, all encompassing sanctuary for Singaporeans.

Looking ahead, human capital will continue to be the driving force for our nation's success. The key concepts of the knowledge economy that are knowledge and education are already deeply ingrained in the master plan for future growth, and will be the cornerstone for Singapore as a progressive nation to identify and address emerging global trends and economic growth sectors. Together, we the people, are well poised to harness the collective efficacy of a nation that will strive to build a better tomorrow for Singapore.

Deb Dutta
Vice President
Brocade Communications

Unlike most countries, the red dot has proven that size does not matter and it has done so for the last 45 years. The struggles and ideals of its founding fathers has created a platform of quality, efficiency and transparency that has drawn the world to it's doorstep surpassing the wildest dreams of 1965. A cursory glance across Singapore's skyline bears testament of this success. It has been imperative for Singapore to scout the world to attract best foreign talent to work and live here. Meanwhile, many Singaporeans are talent hunted to work overseas. Against this backdrop of shifting demographic ratios, social policies governing equality, fairness, tolerance and justice has to be in work-in-progress mode all the time. Playing to this year's NDP 2010 theme "One Voice", Singapore is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one. Happy 45th Birthday, Singapore!

R Dhinakaran
Managing Director
Jay Gee Enterprises Pte Ltd

It feels great to see how far we have come as a nation over these 45 years and how much we have achieved. Our vision as a nation and its meticulous execution over the years has been key to the nation's prosperity and wellbeing. Today, looking ahead, our challenge is to preserve and further this success and build a more inclusive society. As an aging country, we will be challenged by constraints on labour and welfare for the aged. Our quest for success will need to stretch beyond material gains and visible signs of success. Our ability to continue thriving as a successful multiracial country will be key for Singapore to remain attractive to talents from far and wide.

In the years to come the baton of leadership in all fields will be slowly passed on to the younger generation. These are people who have been born in a more prosperous Singapore and have embraced values which may be in variance from those of the earlier generation. Our challenge will be to understand and shape them better so that they are ready to take the next leap ahead for Singapore in the years to come. National Day always leaves us with joyous emotions, thrill and pride and salutations to the pioneering leaders who have had the vision and sacrificed so much to build the nation we love so much.

Dora Hoan
Group CEO
Best World International Ltd

Modern Singapore -- an economic powerhouse with one of the world's highest per capita incomes, excellent schools, outstanding health care and remarkable public services that have made it a magnet for global attention and admiration. The question: who and what kind of spirit built this remarkable city-state?

45 years ago, at the dawn of our nation's birth in 1965, our First Prime Minister announced "We shall be a Republic". It began with this dream. Our founding leader had the audacity to envision a multiracial and multilingual society that would be unified by a sense of a unique "Singaporean identity" where people, if they work hard and in harmony with society, can live life with grace and dignity. It was followed by succeeding leaderships that did its best to remain true to the vision, and stayed on track, building brick upon brick on the ideals of a "graceful society", and now an emerging "global city" where we aim for that "Athenian spot of light"-the comfort and lifestyle of a modern society as we work to lessen the disadvantages that often attend it.

Our people, in support of our leadership did not falter at what seemed like an improbable story of a nation that no one thought should even exist -- a nation with almost no natural resources, without a common culture, a fractured mix of Chinese, Malays and Indians, standing by itself to stay afloat and prosper amidst a sea of global uncertainty. In our search for the best solution, it is exciting how we seemed to have struck a unique formula for what makes a nation great, that is, people and government working together for the common good. The profoundness of this truth, the clarity of vision of our leaders' vision and the boldness of our people's purpose has turned our nation into the economic miracle of the modern world. Yet material wealth alone was not what sustained us. It is the sense of idealism and service borne of our social solidarity and national pride that have and will continue to drive us forward.

I see the many stages of our young republic not as self-contained but rather as a continuum. Certainly, our journey is not complete and not without its challenges. Yet amazingly, each period has evolved into one that is better than the last. Singapore took a different path as a nation that has made a choice to uphold civic citizenry based on responsibilities and respect for the common good, over individual merits and rewards. Rather than feel peculiar and discrepant about the path we have taken, we must in fact, feel uniquely blessed. Indeed, all our troubles notwithstanding, we are blessed to have the opportunity to dream and become co-creators of an "ideal republic" as envisioned by our founding leaders. It is a kind of society where we can live our dreams and where, if we work hand in hand, "enlightened political power" and the "empowerment of people" will finally coalesce and come to attain for all of us, the new meaning of freedom.

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