joined MAS 12 years ago, in 1998. I probably
blend so thoroughly into the MAS 'mould'
that people may think I joined as a trainee
officer and was 'born and bred' MAS. In
fact, MAS was my third job, and I was
once a mid career recruit. In 1998, I
probably bordered on being a job-hopper,
having spent only one to two years in
each of my previous jobs. But it was third
time lucky, and I found a fit in MAS.
It was strange but the moment I started
out in MAS, it just felt 'right'. I was
energised by the level of intellectual
debate and the calibre of the people I
worked with. There were clear shared values
and I felt that it was a place I could
grow and develop, and where I could belong.
the years, I have moved from legal work,
to policy, to financial sector development
and now capital markets. I must say sometimes
I feel like I am not allowed to stop learning.
Indeed, learning new skills and new domain
knowledge is both stimulating and challenging.
It means I'm never bored, but also that
I can never cruise. It also means plenty
of opportunities to learn about myself
and appreciate my own strengths and weaknesses,
while valuing the strengths of others.
The things that keep me going are the
people, the shared values and the intellectual
stimulation that comes with every challenge.
These were never so intensely felt as
in the recent economic crisis. If not
for the people, and the shared values
and mission that bond us, we surely would
not have navigated the crisis so well.
Our people are resilient and they take
pride in their work. In the midst of the
crisis, someone asked me whether this
was the worst time to be a regulator.
After some reflection, my answer was that
to the contrary, it was the best time
to be a regulator, for that was the moment
when what we did counted the most. I believe
many of us share that same quiet pride,
even if we don't always articulate it.”
Loo Siew Yee (Capital Markets Department)
joining MAS as a Trainee Officer in August
2004, I often struggled for words when
people ask me about my job responsibilities
as a banking regulator because of the
many roles we are performing. Imagine
telling them that you are essentially
a compliance officer, auditor, risk manager
and relationship manager rolled into one.
These do not yet include our other roles
in rules and policy formulation. Of course,
the recent financial crisis helped me
to better articulate my responsibilities
in a very concise statement. I am a small
part of a very big team that helped maintain
the safety and soundness of Singapore's
financial sector during the financial
- George Ong (Complex Institutions Department)
have been with MAS since 1999 and have
witnessed the changes in the working environment
within the organisation. When I first
joined, the culture was similar to what
people would perceive of a public sector
organisation, full of ‘red tape’
and where most people may not be open
to sharing. However, this has changed
over the years and departments now interact
and share information more readily in
the various work groups. To add to that,
my views have been sought! In my years
in MAS, I was also given the opportunity
to pick up new and interesting knowledge,
and be exposed to networks outside of
MAS such as the other ministries.”
Stephanie Kok (Strategic Planning Office)
have been with Consumer Issues Division
(CSI) for the past five years. The work
at CSI is varied. I am part of the team
that interacts with consumers who approach
MAS with their complaints against financial
institutions. I also help to implement
initiatives to raise consumer knowledge
of financial products through the MoneySENSE
national financial education programme.
interaction with consumers requires soft
skills such as empathy, a listening ear,
patience, and an inquiring mind. In addition,
hard skills are also needed in terms of
knowledge of the financial products consumers
are complaining on, as well as the ability
to analyse and determine the crux of consumers’
concerns based on the information provided.
I have also learnt to detect non-verbal
cues of consumers such as frustration
and to react to these cues appropriately.
One important aspect of my work is in
explaining to consumers what MAS’
role is with respect to the resolution
of consumer disputes against financial
institutions. It was especially challenging
during the global financial crisis when
many consumers approached MAS after their
investments declined sharply in value
or their credit-linked structured notes
defaulted or were redeemed early.
this is more than made up for by being
able to assist consumers who genuinely
need help in resolving their concerns
or disputes with financial institutions.
I also take satisfaction in working on
financial education initiatives to address
consumers’ knowledge gaps of financial
products, knowing that they would benefit
from these initiatives.”
Tan Chee Khiang (Investment Intermediaries
association with MAS began in 2002 when
I received an undergraduate scholarship
to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics
at Oxford. I joined the Financial Centre
Development department briefly in 2004
as an intern, and started work as an Economist
work is a balance of current analysis,
quantitative research and policy work.
I provide forecasts and reports on the
manufacturing, trade and transportation
sectors, which ultimately feed into the
monetary policy process. The recent crisis
outlined starkly how various sectors in
the economy were linked to each other,
as well as with the rest of the world.
It made the analysis of the underlying
drivers more complex and challenging.
It has been an exciting time as an economist
- to stay one step ahead of a global economy
that has both collapsed and rebounded,
and to try to make sense of all the surrounding
- Koh Tsin Zhen (Economic Surveillance
and Forecasting Department)