Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has lamented the speed at which the country's 'Smart Nation' project is currently being implemented - and conceded it wasn't moving as fast as was expected. The Prime Minister insisted that it was imperative that solutions are sought quickly in order to resolve the issues currently being encountered by those tasked with the responsibility of launching the initiative.
Smart Nation was officially launched in November, 2014 and is supported by other government agencies. The innovative project was created as part of Singapore's efforts to co-create a better future for all its residents through technology enabled solutions. The city intends to harness all new innovative technology at its disposal in order to improve urban living. It aims to rally the collective efforts of people, businesses and governments to work together to support better living, create more opportunities, enhance public transport networks and ensure a secure but open data marketplace.
Fundamentally, the Smart Nation initiative ultimately strives to develop people-centric solutions to address global urban challenges. Through strategic deployment of technology across the country a tech savvy population can work quickly in an attempt to coordinate policies and synergize efforts collectively to create a 'Smart Nation'.
However, the Prime Minister's comments don't come as a surprise to residents who have also expressed their frustration at the speed at which the initiative is being implemented. Experts have claimed that the private sector needs to do more and really needs to step up. Part of the problem according to experts is that Singapore currently faces a lack of startup entrepreneurs, programmers, and data scientists. Analysts have also pointed to Singapore's relatively small market as being a problem with critics declaring that this works against its ambition to be a technology test bed.
Another reason touted by experts is the role of Singapore government which is known for being heavily involved in the local economy. However, because of this - it often results in the private sector waiting for the government to take initiative hence such stagnation. The government has vowed to reorganize certain government agencies and create a Ministerial Committee to remove bureaucracy and speed up progress in creating a Smart Nation.