Singapore’s seaport and airport play a critical role in putting us on the map.
So when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the updates of Tuas Port and Changi Airport’s Terminal 5 in his National Day Rally speech on Aug 21, people were understandably excited.
In a nutshell, when completed in 20 years time, Tuas Port will be the world’s largest fully automated port, making us a leading global player in the maritime space. As for T5, the hiatus due to the pandemic proved to be useful as T5 will be redesigned to be pandemic-ready with the ability to scale operations up and down more easily, and to isolate passengers from different flights to limit cross-infection. All these plus the fact that T5 will be able to handle 50 million passengers a year – more than T1 and T3 put together – will make Changi one of the most admired airports in the world.
Indeed. PM Lee said: “When completed in the mid-2030s, T5 will show the world what sort of place Singapore is.”
If T5 and Tuas Port don’t send a clear signal that Singapore is emerging stronger from the pandemic, we don’t know what would.
Besides connecting us to the world and consolidating Singapore’s position as a thriving business and trading hub, these two mega projects also provide plenty of jobs for our people.
For instance, given the sheer size of T5 – PM Lee said we are essentially building one more new Changi Airport – thousands of jobs will be created. Plus, the area next to T5 will be developed into the Changi East Urban District – a new business and lifestyle destination that will create more jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans.
Over at Tuas, other than the increased number of jobs, workers were retrained to help them adapt to a modernised working environment by picking up new skills and hence became more productive.
With state-of-the-art infrastructure and a skilled and productive workforce, more investments will naturally flow into Singapore and creating more jobs for other sectors.
If you recall, PM Lee actually spoke about the plans to construct T5 and Tuas Port a decade ago.
Now, coupled with the announcement during the NDR that Tuas Port will be fully completed around 20 years from now and T5 will be completed around mid-2030s, you could see that the Party is invested in Singapore for the long haul.
Because the entire journey from planning to completion spans a few decades – the past and future put together.
Herein lies another characteristic of the Party: always anticipate and plan, not just for the immediate future, but for the long-term.
Because we all know that for a country like Singapore to prosper and for future generations to succeed, the planning has already begun.
Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Chee Hong Tat said recently in a radio interview that Singapore’s advantage lies with the far-sightedness of the Government and the people and reiterated the point on looking ahead.
“Singapore would not be what it is today if our ancestors did not have the same concept of looking ahead. So these projects – airports, ports, subway networks, creating a greener environment, and maintaining the adequacy of our reserves have the same considerations. We don’t just think about this generation, but the next generation as well,” he said.
In fact, SMS Chee distilled it nicely for us: at the heart of everything that the PAP Government has planned or is planning for is always about the future.
And if we stay the course, the future, we guarantee you, is bright.
Cover photo credit: Changi Airport Group