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A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh: We need to continue to attract ‘First World’ researchers to Singapore

Posted by temasektimes on June 24, 2012

Being a small country with no natural resources and only a population of 5 million people, including 3 million citizens, Singapore needs to continue to attract ‘First World’ researchers to work in the R&D sector in Singapore, said A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh in an extensive interview with Chinese Daily Lianhe Zaobao.

Using the example of former Chairman of the Singapore Genome Research institute Professor Liu (刘德斌) to illustrate his point, Mr Lim said that if A*STAR had not recruited international research ‘superstars’ like Prof Liu, Singapore will lag behind by thirty to forty years in the research arena.

“Hiring renowned international researchers is to provide the environment to nurture young Singaporean scientists,” he added.


Mr Lim said A*STAR’s long-term strategy is to continue to nurture and groom local scientists to continue the work in R&D and it has invested heavily to offer scholarships to promising students in Junior Colleges and polytechnics.

He also encouraged researchers to walk out of the laboratory to become entrepreneurs to bridge the divide between research work and commercial enterprises.



16 Responses to “A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh: We need to continue to attract ‘First World’ researchers to Singapore”

  1. goodgirl said

    Lag 30-40 years behind if we don’t hire foreigners? Why not scare people further by saying 50-60 years? 🙂

  2. pooi said

    I’d like to ask how many Astar researchers, etc are “local” true blue singaporeans. From what they claim its 80% “residents”. from what i see. its probably 10% singaporeans. large % of the scholarships go to Foreigners.

    plus they like to parachute FTs in to positions. so don’t talk shit about nururing young scientist when they don’t have equal chances. the FTs mostly are crap quality who can’t find jobs in their own country. they just import them so that they can “buy” their papers and claim it as their own.

    commercialization? don’t get me started on that bullshit.

    absolute nonsense.

  3. Ken Lee said

    ya we third world country need first world country like china Philippine India bagala talent of ‘First World’ researchers to work in the R&D sector in Singapore.

  4. lim said

    Isn’t this similar to buying Gold Medals using foreign imports? The environment is just not conducive – if I am not mistaken a world famous research Caucasian couple quit and returned home recently.

  5. mahbok tan said

    Alamak this A*star chairman arh forget or are blinded , that their researchers are bz doing their work jn their respective “fields”.
    Look at the bus drivers – still trying to achieve a zero accident with the help of robot.
    The PRC n Pinoy , nurses are heavily working their shifts n trying with new found gadget to be tested on the patient in geylang.
    Don’t forget the sri lanka engineer still testing the latest braking system where at 50km/h the cannot cann

    • mahbok tan said

      …sorry for the error in transmission…
      …at 50km/h the car cannot stop but can swerved like a 4 wheel drive…climbing kerbs and plants….!!!!
      Like this arh the peasant view is currently Singapore and its Citizen are in deep shit due to the GOVT of the DAY immigration policies….si si oso must get more FT’s pussies…KNNBCCB…!!!

  6. mahbok tan said

    Allo mr chairman of a*shittar ,
    Didn’nt you notice that your researchers are bz testing the latest braking system of the car in woodlands n some PRC n Pinoy doctors are testing the latest technology on lubrication in geylang….!!!
    Still need somemore arh….n some prc drs with too much money oso testing the casino gambling pattern to generate money for the pro alien people….
    KNNBCCB…..all talking as if singapore can sink tomorrow…..rubbish CBmouth…!

  7. Damn said

    Prof Liu 30-40 years so serious. So how come NUS rank 20th internationally?
    Cannot produce local talents after so many years? So much budget. Where does it ended?
    So many highly paid professors. So where are the great companies spawn? So many so called scholarship awarded to fake talents, so where are the results? Should someone be responsible now? If yes who. May b should strip n walk around happily again yeah!!.

  8. Ma Chi said

    He is garment people of course toe the line ma….

  9. Jardel said

    Why not tell him that if a international renowed business leader was to be employed and replace him, ASTAR will be an international company by now on their own coffers instead of sucking money from the pap?

    Fuck him and he is just another servant. LCP, you are just a LCP. We will vote pap out and you will be booted out of office so will your fucking MINDEF ball suckers. If you dare, declare martial law and shut out mouths. But that way, just wait for Moody’s to drop the credit ratings of all our banks. Either way, YOU ARE DEAD. FUCK YOU. MOTHERFUCKER.

  10. mr teo say so said

    What do you think of getting an ex-SAF general to be in charged of research?

  11. spotlessleopard said

    Every new Bureucrat sings old tunes like OLD BROKEN RECORDS…yet they bring no new ideas but get multimillion ddolars in pay by the time they “move on”….all are nothing but Hanger Ons. with zero new ideas..

  12. David Leong said

    The issue is what level of talent are we allowing in. We certainly don’t need those entry level engineers, these entry level FTs compete with the local & take away jobs, depress wages and deprive our local the opportunity to develop their skill & move up the economic ladder.

    If you are talking about cutting edge scientist / finance guru or renowned designer, whom Singaporean can learn from, I think Singaporean are O.K with it. and we can differentiate them.

    Another point is that we have misused the term “FT”. How can bus drivers, salegirls, engineers or and the like classified as “FT”.

    MOM has lost focus and control on this issue. WAKE-UP!.

  13. bb said

    Read chapter 2 “The scientific community” from the book by M Bridgestock, Science technology and society. Sg failed in this area because it pursues pure research which has no practical application hence unable to generate a economy out of it. Alll these PhDs are researching and writing papers which are available in the public domain. For eg research carried out by Samsung engineers are never published becasue work done will used against competitors.

    For eg this company Rio Tinto in Australia employs 300 staff to do research and implement a programme call mine of the future and what they have done is never published.

    Sg should adopt this approached and encourage foreign companies to set up research centres in SG

  14. dieno said

    most astar staff is on contract… wonders if the chairman expects research findings to drop from the sky?

  15. Andrew said


    You should fucking listen to the researchers and scientists complaining about what a shitty place Singapore is to do RnD work.




    And do something about it.

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