Don't be too quick to write off SIA, Orchard Road

Recently, there has been much discussion about our national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) and our shopping belt Orchard Road (SIA headed the wrong direction, by Mr Peter Loon, Feb 3; Worsening experience on SIA flights, by Mr Rahul Gupta, Feb 6; and Make Orchard Road great, Feb 11).

Many recounted their experiences elsewhere and compared them with their SIA and Orchard Road experiences.

There is nothing wrong in learning from others, but one should not be too quick to disparage one's own.

We must acknowledge that the world is changing fast.

Technology has caused unprecedented disruptions, including in the way people travel and shop. Small, unknown start-ups can now dethrone giants.

Perhaps, our iconic carrier and landmark road need time to find their footing in this new landscape.

It calls for exceptional imagination to stay on top.

While the people behind SIA and Orchard Road are thinking hard on how to reinvent them, we should not criticise from afar and write off these icons as being over the hill.

Instead, perhaps, we could offer constructive ideas or words of encouragement.

As a people, we should harness all the resources we have to solve the problems together. For if we do not support our own, who will?

Lee Teck Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2018, with the headline 'Don't be too quick to write off SIA, Orchard Road'. Print Edition | Subscribe