S'pore has talent to transform businesses here

I am a strong advocate of keeping our doors open to foreign talent as I do believe that many of them have much to contribute.

However, I am puzzled that the Government continues to believe that only foreign talent can help transform businesses here (Call to bring in foreign talent who can help transform business; Oct 19).

We have one of the best education systems in the world. Our methods of teaching mathematics have been adopted by other developed countries. Every year, our scholars graduate from top-notch universities with distinctions. For decades, our students have come out on top in mathematics Olympiads and international science competitions.

Yet, we do not produce data scientists or people to manage our financial institutions, such that we continue to rely heavily on foreign talent to do the work.

We have, in one generation, transformed ourselves from a Third World to a First World country, when no one believed we could. And now, in less than one generation, we need foreign talent to fill every significant role - from managing our financial institutions to winning medals in table tennis, and, now, even in transforming our businesses.

Are Singaporeans totally incapable of transforming our own businesses?

What we really need is to create more opportunities for Singaporeans to step up to the task and steer companies and educational institutions towards that direction.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore has talent to transform businesses here'. Print Edition | Subscribe