Youths Inspired by the Stories of Young Singaporeans from the Maritime Industry, at the Annual Singapore Maritime Dialogue Held at the PSA Pasir Panjang Terminal

08 August 2016

Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport, engaged about 150 tertiary students in a one hour dialogue session on Friday, 12 August, at the annual Singapore Maritime Dialogue which took place at PSA’s Pasir Panjang Terminal. It was the first time ever that the event was held at Singapore’s port premises, where Mrs Teo was joined by young maritime executives, together with senior maritime leaders and professionals on a panel to address and discuss issues relating to Singapore’s maritime industry with the students.

Through the inspiring stories shared by the young maritime executives, the students got a better understanding of the maritime ecosystem in Singapore and what is in store for them if they join the maritime industry. The six panellists explained to the students the importance of the industry to Singapore’s economy, and highlighted the vast array of opportunities that are available for them to consider in their academic and career pursuits.

The panellists are:

  • Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of Transport;
  • Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore;
  • Ambassador Mary Seet-Cheng, Senior Specialist Adviser and Ambassador (Non-Resident), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (also an IMO Maritime Ambassador);
  • Ms Lao Mei Leng, Partner, Moore Stephens LLP (the Moderator for the dialogue session, also a Councillor Member of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), Chairman of the Young Executives Group under the SSA, and a Singapore Maritime Ambassador);
  • Mr Muhammad Hazreen Bin M Haffis, Executive, Chartering – Operations, Aurora Tankers Management Pte. Ltd. (a Member of IMC Group), also a Singapore Maritime Ambassador and a MaritimeONE Scholar) and 
  • Mr Wayne Siek Weiying, Construction Manager, Operations Department, Keppel FELS (also a Singapore Maritime Ambassador)

This year’s dialogue surrounded the theme, ‘Braving the Seas of Economic Uncertainty’, as the Singapore maritime industry faces challenging times in the global business sphere. The young maritime executives, together with Mrs Teo, took the chance to elaborate on the industry’s continuous efforts to push for the development of Maritime Singapore, which is necessary as this is an industry that is critical to Singapore’s economy and it is here to stay.

Mrs Teo said, “The maritime community in Singapore is a resilient lot, having been through many ups and downs in the industry due to the cyclical nature of its business. I believe that Maritime Singapore will survive the current challenging economic environment as well, with strong support from the Government, with the industry’s initiative and innovation to diversify their businesses, and with the maritime community’s perseverance and grit. Together with key stakeholders, we will continue to invest in infrastructure and technology, as well as step up our manpower development efforts to attract and nurture promising individuals to join the maritime fraternity. I am heartened to see young Singaporeans like Hazreen and Wayne, who are so willing and eager to share about the industry’s prospects with their juniors. I hope that the youths will walk away inspired by these passionate young individuals.”

Ms Lao Mei Leng, the Councillor and Chairman of the Young Executives Group (YEG) under the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), and also the moderator for this year’s dialogue, added that the youths will find the maritime industry an intriguing and exciting one.

“For youths who are still unsure about their career aspirations, I would strongly encourage them to consider the maritime sector, as it is an industry so huge and diverse that there will definitely be an area where you can find an interest in. I have encountered many young executives in the business who enjoy and find a great sense of satisfaction in their work, especially when they know that they are contributing significantly to an exciting industry which makes up seven per cent of Singapore’s GDP. There will also be many industry events which you can attend, where you will have the luxury to network and make new friends,” said Ms Lao, who is working full-time as a Partner at Moore Stephens LLP and is also a Singapore Maritime Ambassador1.

As part of the event programme, participating students also had the opportunity to go on an exclusive port tour hosted by PSA, where they witnessed first-hand the maritime operations in the terminals and how the things which we use in our everyday lives are being handled and shipped.

Mr Muhammad Hazreen Bin M Haffis, a Singapore Maritime Ambassador and one of the young maritime executives who shared his stories during the dialogue added, “This is a rare opportunity for the students as entry into the Singapore port terminals is usually restricted. I hope that with the additional element of the port tour this year, the youths are able to better relate the maritime industry to their personal lives. After all, shipping moves 90 per cent of world trade, where our mobile devices, our clothes and our food are all being shipped by sea, and this is still the most cost efficient mode of transport. A lot of players are involved in this whole shipping business, and if you are up for it, join the maritime industry and be part of this important process.”

1 The Singapore Maritime Ambassador Programme (SG-MAP) is a new initiative launched in 2015, spearheaded by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) and with support by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. The programme engages students and professionals from various maritime sectors to volunteer as Singapore Maritime Ambassadors, to inspire more Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, to join the maritime sector by showcasing the immense possibilities that this sector offers.

About MaritimeONE

MaritimeONE (Outreach NEtwork) is the key manpower initiative for maritime stakeholders to collectively raise awareness of the maritime industry as well as to profile education and career opportunities for students and committed individuals.

The initiative was launched in April 2007 by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) and Singapore Shipping Association (SSA). Partnership activities include industry awareness talks, scholarship offers, student outreach events and regular networking events for employers and tertiary students.

Media Contacts

Singapore Maritime Foundation
Cheryl Lim
Acting Senior Executive
(65) 6325 0226

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