Singapore and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly
launched the book "Virtuous Cycles: The Singapore Public Service and National
Development" on 24 March 2011. Commissioned by UNDP in collaboration with
the Singapore Cooperation Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Singapore Civil Service College, this book highlights the lessons and best
practices from the Singapore Public Service that may be replicable in other
The book was launched by the Head of Civil Service Peter Ong, UNDP Resident
Representative of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Kamal Malhotra and author
Dr Naresh Saxena. In his opening remarks to more than 100 local and foreign
dignitaries and guests, Mr Malhotra emphasised that "good governance is not
only about policy. It is also dependent on the implementation of that policy". In
his presentation on the book, Dr Saxena commended Singapore's civil servants, as well as political leaders, for leading by example. One example he quoted was how Singapore minimises corruption, which he summed up succinctly as a matter of converting "low risk, high rewards" to "high risk, low rewards".
In his keynote address, Mr Ong said that Singapore "sought to build up a public
service that was proactive rather than reactive". For the Singapore Public
Service "to better address emerging strategic challenges" that were highlighted in the book, it needs to be more responsive and forward-looking. He cited the Public Service in the 21st century (PS21) and the recent setting up of the Centre of Strategic Futures as examples of how Singapore continuously builds up its anticipatory capacity.
Those interested to read the book may access it here.
The press release is accessible here.