Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Unseen Singapore #18 Hard Truths Series: Singapore's Infrastructure Woes

Ever wonder why Singapore in recent years seem to suffer from an avalanche of infrastructure problems? From the unstoppable floods at Orchard road to the incessant train breakdowns and more recently, the massive jam at the newly opened MCE (Marina Coastal Expressway), it made us wonder why despite the amount of resources and talent Singapore has, Singapore seemed to be screwing up over and over again when it comes to our physical infrastructure. 

We at The Unseen Singapore found the real reason behind Singapore's infrastructural woes. Being a nation that believes in nurturing our best and brightest talent, Singapore sends these brainy and all-rounded individuals overseas to pursue their tertiary education. Unfortunately, by looking at the breakdown of what our PSC scholars study, there is a disproportionate number of individuals pursuing degrees in Economics, Politics and the Humanities. 

From 2009 -2012, we had 288 PSC scholars, out of whom 119 or 41.3% of them studied Economics, Politics and Humanities. We understand that Singapore's knowledge-based economy is important but is PSC's focus on such generalist courses of study really beneficial to our country? Or is this policy rearing it ugly head now?  

In Singapore's unwavering pursuit of economic growth and political stability, has PSC neglected Singapore's engineering and ultimately infrastructural needs? Within the same time period, only 24 (8.3%) PSC scholars read Engineering and this is inclusive of non-structural engineering like computer science and electrical engineering. 

With such a small number of engineering-trained PSC scholars in Singapore's civil service, isn't Singapore's physical infrastructure under severe mismanagement? How can someone trained in Economics, Politics and the Humanities fully grasp the subtleties of engineering work and do a good job at managing Singapore's physical infrastructure? 

Judging by the numerous flooding, breakdowns and traffic jams, it is clear that Singapore is in dire need of Engineering scholars and PSC should do the right thing and put a stop to this rotten policy.   

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  1. Sadly, it is true that university-going students would much rather prefer to go into other fields of study over engineering and the sciences. It is surely a cause for concern that we have fewer science and engineering types in the civil service in future.

    However, the statistics can't support the claim made here. Those awarded scholarships in 2009-2012 would either still be in school/NS, or would just have started work in the civil service. They would be too junior in the system to be held accountable for any major screw ups.

  2. Tell me how Humanities majors can make money

  3. Glad we all decided to give up rational thought and just pluck some bias statistics out of thin air to back a ridiculous claim

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