It was heartening to see Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat chair the fifth and last meeting for the Committee on the Future Economy ("S'pore must remain confident of overcoming challenges: Heng Swee Keat"; Dec 2).
Indeed, his journey to recovery gives Singaporeans confidence in how we can face future challenges amid difficulties.
It is natural and attractive for our country to adopt sophisticated ideas and technologies to achieve high economic growth. This is a tested strategy.
However, as our society matures, we should also consider focusing on the soft and not- so-traditional industries such as the performing arts, sports and food.
We should infuse new technologies and ideas into these industries to create a new hybrid system.
For instance, we have had the Singapore Grand Prix for many years now. We could create industries to support and extend the Formula One (F1) race activities to beyond the two days a year.
A racing museum with realistic simulators and live screening of races can attract local and overseas enthusiasts.
Researchers could study all aspects of racing, from technology to design, to material science, to marketing and management of international events.
With these, we could start journals and courses, and be the centre of learning for all things racing for the region and world.
Another area is sports and sports science. The Sports Hub can expand to include centres for sports medicine and performance, institutes that research into and develop new materials, machines, training methods or food products for enhancing health and performance by athletes in every sport. This knowledge can also be applied to the military.
Event managers may run courses on how to attract big teams here, or how to create a dream league for any sports from scratch.
In music, Singapore has world-class singers, composers, song writers, musicians and production professionals. We can develop newer technologies for music production and research, and teach cutting-edge sound, light technology and theatre design.
In everything we do, we must sniff out opportunities way beyond the obvious and always stay in the lead. This is how our forefathers survive, and so will we.
Leong Choon Kit (Dr)