Boosting productivity not just the Govt's job

An office worker in Raffles Place.
An office worker in Raffles Place.PHOTO: ST FILE

I agree with editor at large Han Fook Kwang that productivity is a critical challenge for Singapore in the post-SG50 era of its economic and political life ("Fix the economy? Focus on education and culture"; Sunday).

However, productivity cannot be achieved merely with more government initiatives such as productivity schemes.

The Government has done a commendable job in the past 50 years in pushing the country from Third World to First World status, by achieving exemplary economic growth, and earning credibility and global recognition.

Now, it's the turn of the people of Singapore to join the growth and productivity initiative by applying themselves with passion to solve the challenges ahead.

No doubt, the quantum leap in economic development was achieved with the people's participation, especially the efforts of the pioneer generation.

But the country expects more from the current generation, to sustain growth both in qualitative and quantitative terms.

The current generation has to fine-tune its attitude, get more motivated and try its best to be more innovative and productive.

Innovation will not come merely from research labs and productivity workshops, but from the daily efforts of every person in every workplace.

This will be the real test of inclusive growth - growth triggered from the inside, and accelerated and compounded by outside initiatives.

The main drivers of this kind of development will be a quest for knowledge, growth-oriented education and a risk-taking attitude.

The ability to enjoy innovative work and the desire to work - not just for money but to cultivate a sense of belonging to the organisation and the country - are also critical.

Forging ahead in this direction will keep Singapore well ahead in the global economic race, and result in greater prosperity and happiness.

Atanu Roy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Boosting productivity not just the Govt's job'. Print Edition | Subscribe