Photo of Vivian Balakrishnan from CNA

Speaking at an panel discussion in an exhibition yesterday (Feb 11), Foreign Minister Vivian Balarishnan sang about world-changing new ideas and humanity:

“We want Singapore to be one of these nodes where new ideas, crazy ideas, will change the world. Will liberate human beings from the burdens of age. Will help us remain masters of our lives and still retain our humanity, still retain our connections with other human beings and make life better.”

The Minister who has never worked a day in the private sector then continued to wax lyrical about technologies and entrepreneurship in front of 160 engineers, entrepreneurs, researchers and businessmen:

“Such solutions had to address real human needs and remain safer than existing technology or treatments. They also had to be more cost effective and financially accessible to all, while remaining acceptable and resonate with human beings on a psychological and emotional level. When you’re dealing with physical devices capable of sensing and responding in a very sophisticated way, that whole usability and human-robot interface is going to be a very rich field for research and development.”

Minister Vivian Balakrishnan is part of the growing political crisis in the ruling party PAP, which has been corrupted with bureaucratic inefficiency and a “talk-only” culture. Earlier this week, the ruling party government came out with a 109-page report from a 30-member committee. The Committee for Future Economy (CFE) report gave no concrete direction or specified policy changes after an one-year study, prompting sharp criticisms from intellectuals and the public.