Maintain Singapore's edge with quality workforce

The port developments in Malacca, Klang and Kuantan, and the building of railway links between the ports on the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia could erode Singapore's competitive geographic location as a port ("Malaysia's East Coast Rail Line touted as a game changer"; Dec 22).

It is obvious that Singapore will have to refocus its strategic relations and face up to the new economic challenges.

Even with the competition heating up, new opportunities for investing in Malaysia will arise, which Singapore can participate in and benefit from.

Singapore has built up sufficient strengths and resilience as a nation, with an internationally acclaimed education system, good healthcare and a strong reputation as a financial and transportation hub.

We should strive to be on friendly and trading terms with everyone, to diversify and move away from traditional livelihoods, and shift our focus to education and training to produce a unique brand of Singapore workers.

Our workforce should be entrepreneurial, innovative and have a good attitude. They should be honest, disciplined, diligent, efficient and productive.

Our racial and religious harmony can also be a model for others, in order to secure peace, stability and economic prosperity.

While technology can be copied, a quality workforce cannot be easily duplicated. Such a workforce will help us remain competitive.

Young Pah Yin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2016, with the headline 'Maintain Singapore's edge with quality workforce'. Print Edition | Subscribe