• George Yeo
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Singapore. Guest Columnist of BeyondSG. He is on Facebook. Readers are welcome to join his Facebook network at
  • Harold Fock
    Entrepreneur (Chief Editor of BeyondSG). Deputy CEO/CFO of a listed technology company in Asia and CEO of Foundation Capital Pte Ltd, a hedge fund based in Singapore.
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« A simple Idea | Main | Minister George Yeo's speech at the opening ceremony of 41st ASEAN Standing Committee »

August 16, 2007


Minister Yeo,

The day when a Singapore Minister can talk about Anakin Skywalker and Harry Potter in the same breath and yet weave it into a speech about making the right choices, that is the day I know the government has not lost touch with the common folks or Gen X, Y and Z.

It is like a new awakening in this city. I am writing this at TCC (coffee connoisseur). There is a free gallery guide at the reading corner and I counted at least 20 concurrent exhibitions. Diversity is now embraced, celebrated and encouraged. I flip thru Tatler (not that I wish to see myself holding the silly wine glasses and wearing Gucci) and see Royston being featured. I spoke to my best friend and partner, Eric Kong, Singapore top ten "Hedge Fund" Manager (who incidentally does not hedge but value invest only) and he just told me he challenged his daughter (who is a child prodigy) - "if you can be the top three in every subject, you get to quit school and do home schooling". Such conversations do not happen in the past.

It is like living in a small scale version of the Renaissance. A topic I know is dear to your heart. People are doing new things and taking risks. Craftsmen are proud of their skills. The scattie-cat scholars (haha) who can write the perfect strategy paper and does the best Powerpoint with the right Polka-dot shades is not so cool these days. In parties, they just don’t get the girls haha..(my own Dawkinian "Selfish Gene" test). We want builders, traders, scammers, merchants, dancers, thinkers, tinkerers and the scholar-bengs. There is so much hope and excitement these days.

As long as we can figure out how to deal with the ageing population and minimise the pain of those who missed the opportunity boat, I think Singapore is going to do well in years to come.

Harold Fock

Dear Minister

That was a great speech! Very insightful, meaningful, and easy to relate to. Most importantly, it will make an impact on the young audience, I have no doubt. I wish I had such a pep talk when I was at that age.

May the Force be with you and Singapore.


The more one produces, the less one gets.
Simple systems are not feasible because they require infinite testing.
Hardware works best when it matters the least.
Aircraft flight in the 21st century will always be in a westerly
direction, preferably supersonic, crossing time zones to provide the
additional hours needed to fix the broken electronics.
One should expect that the expected can be prevented, but the
unexpected should have been expected.
A billion saved is a billion earned.
-- Norman Augustine


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