National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said today that the Government has learnt "a valuable lesson" from Singapore's current infrastructural problems and has embarked on a major shift in its planning and development strategy.
This, as reflected in the Population White Paper and the Land Use plan, is to invest in infrastructure ahead of demand.
Beyond public transport, which takes years to build, Mr Khaw noted that a new town needs all the amenities from hawker centres to childcare facilities. The Government will try to incentivise merchants and service providers to start their businesses in new estates "from day one," he added.
Mr Khaw reached inward for an analogy of the Government's new attitude towards infrastructure planning.
After his heart bypass operation, his cardiologist subjects his heart to bi-annual "stress tests" by accelerating his pulse rate to 165 beats per minute, beyond the 125 beats it reaches when he is exercising.
"This enables the doctor to check how my heart functions at a heightened stress level. If my heart works well under that condition, it should be OK for normal activities," he noted.
Similarly, this is why the Government is using a population projection of 6.9million to plan its infrastructure for 2030: "We need to stress test our long term infrastructure plan to ensure it will be robust."