SiTF Pays Homage to Singapore's Journey in Technology




From left: Shirley Wong, Immediate Past Chairman, SiTF; Guest-Of-Honour Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore Minister for Communications & Information; Saw Ken Wye, Chairman, SiTF; Michael Yap, SiTF Executive Committee Member, at the launch of Intelligent Island: The Untold Story of Singapore’s Tech Journey, which includes a foreword by Dr Yaacob.

The Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) has launched their latest book, Intelligent Island: The Untold Story of Singapore’s Tech Journey. The book seeks to uncover the philosophy and ideas that shaped Singapore’s development in the digital forefront and the defining moments that led to the Singapore of today, with its drive to become a Smart Nation. The book was curated by industry veterans spanning the private and government sectors and features several contributors who bring to the table their intimate knowledge and reflections of the ICT industry.

 
Alex Lin, CEO, SG Innovate talks about getting help from the community.

Commissioned some 18 months ago, 
Intelligent Island: The Untold Story of Singapore’s Tech Journey unravels what was in the minds behind the growth and success of Singapore’s infocomm and communication technology (ICT) industry.

For half a century, Singapore has made remarkable progress in technology since the early years when the first mainframe was installed in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) back in 1965 to automate the Board’s manual ledger accounting system. The Committee on National Computerisation was first set up in 1980, with the aim of training and educating the population to use computers and grow Singapore’s IT manpower pool. This constant emphasis on IT adoption and innovation has become a national narrative through the years.
For half a century, Singapore has made remarkable progress in technology since the early years when the first mainframe was installed in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) back in 1965 to automate the Board’s manual ledger accounting system. The Committee on National Computerisation was first set up in 1980, with the aim of training and educating the population to use computers and grow Singapore’s IT manpower pool. This constant emphasis on IT adoption and innovation has become a national narrative through the years.



Intelligent Island: The Untold Story of Singapore’s Tech Journey celebrates the unsung heroes – policy makers, entrepreneurs and top executives – who have driven and architected Singapore’s ICT industry in its formative years. In the first chapter, President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam discusses his take on Singapore’s need to push the envelope of IT and reflects on how he helped kickstart Singapore’s IT journey as the chairman of the Committee on National Computerisation.

Other visionaries and change makers featured in the book include founding National Computer Board chairman Philip Yeo, IT pioneer Tan Chin Nam, who has helmed many leading government agencies in his career, and former CEO of the then-Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA, which has since been restructured into two entities) and founder of Computer System Advisers (CSA) Johnny Moo.

The book also offers an inside look into the last 45 years of Singapore’s tech journey in several areas: development and impact of several national IT projects like TradeNet and LawNet; businesses set up by Singapore entrepreneurs; profiles of businessmen and made-in-Singapore products and services; information highway development in the early years from Singapore One to fibre broadband; Internet, dotcom wave 1 and Web 2.0 companies, investors and public sector funders; and the buildup of talent and manpower.

"This is the book that any tech professional who wants to be in the industry must read, because you can really glean the rich experience and knowledge that our pioneers have put forth that has contributed to where we are today," said Shirley Wong, Immediate Past Chairman, SiTF. Wong was Chairman when SiTF commissioned the book. 

Intelligent Island: The Untold Story of Singapore’s Tech Journey is the second book published by SiTF. Its first book, Singapore Tech, A Living Chronicle, launched in 2015 as part of Singapore's 50th anniversary of independence (SG50) celebrations in 2015. Intelligent Island: The Untold Story of Singapore’s Tech Journey was conceptualised after stakeholders in the first book realised that there were still many stories left untold after the publication of Singapore Tech, A Living Chronicle. 

"We wanted to put across the thinking behind, the back stories, the untold ones, and there are some juicy bits as well," said Michael Yap, Executive Committee Member, SiTF.

Alex Lin, head of SGInnovate, said the IT scene in Singapore developed as a result from community cooperation. "'Hunt in a pack' is a very good concept," he said of advice he had been given on how to penetrate the China market. "The strength of the wolf in the pack and the strength of the pack is in the wolf."


Liu talks about his experiences in past decades.

The CEO of Streamglobal, Bill Liu, also shared some of the lessons he had learned since 1972, when he started his career in IT. "If you don't try and you don't dare to do, you will never know if you can succeed," he said, "Keep learning and keep upgrading yourself because knowledge is expanding so fast. Try and learn how to deal with people from the top to the bottom and from all backgrounds and never overrate yourself; you can "BS" as much as you like but don't believe in your own BS."

Interested?

The book is available for purchase through the SiTF website at S$50.


Dr Yaacob signs on a digital copy of the book to launch it. 


Saw and Dr Yaacob with the signed  digital copy of Intelligent Island.



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Featured on: TechTrade Asia on 13th June 2017