When hands and minds work together, innovation can blossom

Singaporeans are world-class managers; unfortunately, we seriously lag behind as innovators when compared with our counterparts in Japan, Germany and Australia.

Lately, I started visiting the Daiso outlets here because my daughter encouraged me to do so.

My inaugural visit to the store was an eye-opening experience.

I realised at once how much we have trailed behind the Japanese in terms of innovation and creativity.

I also learnt that innovations are not about designing the latest automobile or about developing the next piece of software.

The ability to innovate starts with the desire to make improvements to everyday living. That is what the Daiso brand is all about.

I am truly impressed at how the Japanese make all these innovative household tools.

They are not only practical, but also tastefully designed with matching colour schemes.

I believe the Japanese people were taught early in life to first think of how to use their hands to do things.

When the hands and the mind work together as one, this will not stifle a person's innovative faculty.

As we aspire to help Singaporeans move up to the next league in global competition, I look forward to changes in an improved education curriculum where there is more emphasis on doing things with one's hands.

I also hope that Singaporeans will start to build a do-it-yourself culture, such as in Japan, Germany, and Australia today.

Albert Sim Kian Siang