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Use Great S'pore Sale to let country shine

Discount signages at the Great Singapore Sale at Marina Square on May 28, 2016.
Discount signages at the Great Singapore Sale at Marina Square on May 28, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) should not be just an event for retailers, but also an event for us to shine as a people and as a country ("Making Great S'pore Sale great again"; last Sunday).

The GSS is also a great platform for us to showcase some of our aspirational values, such as our diverse and harmonious culture, warm and caring people, beautiful landscapes that combine the best of nature and urban living, and diligent and innovative spirit.

The GSS can be the catalyst to help us further strengthen these values, as well as to leave foreigners with beautiful memories of our island state that they can take back home with them to share with others.

With this in mind, and coupled with waning support and sales for the event in recent times, let us consider enlarging the GSS' organising committee to include other key stakeholders.

Let's re-engineer GSS to become a national initiative.

When tourists visit us, they don't just want to buy products, but they also want to have a good time.

If they have a good time, they would be more willing to purchase mementoes and presents for their loved ones.

We can offer experiences that cater to a wide spectrum of tastes. Create beautiful memories that will move hearts and spirits through creative shows, parties, meetings and other events.

For instance, we could showcase our high-tech capabilities through technology-driven entertainment, such as artificial intelligence-driven toys that combine the best of robotic engineering, virtual reality, animation, drones and the Internet of things.

If Singapore loses its attraction to foreigners as a place in which to live, work, study, shop and play, the bright light may fade on us on the grand stage of life.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 09, 2016, with the headline 'Use Great S'pore Sale to let country shine'. Print Edition | Subscribe