Media Releases
Published Date: 23 March 2002

High Standards of Economics Awareness and Literacy in MAS-ESS Essay Competition 2001

Singapore, 23 Mar 2002 ...The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Economics Society of Singapore (ESS) today gave away prizes to the winners of the inaugural MAS-ESS Essay Competition.

The competition, which was held between February and June 2001, attracted a total of 51 entries on the theme "East Asia in the New Economy: Opportunities and Challenges ". The objective of organising the Essay Competition was to encourage wider debate on economic issues and policy questions among the public in Singapore. "We were encouraged by the number of responses received from a wide range of participants", said Dr Khor Hoe Ee, Assistant Managing Director of MAS' Economics Department, at the awards ceremony. "This indicates the current interest by the general public, students and academic community on economic issues that affect the Singapore economy."

The top three winners for both the Student and Open categories, were:

Student Category Open Category
First Prize Samuel Gan Weiyang
Hwa Chong Junior College
Donghyun Park
Nanyang Technological University
Second Prize Abdullah Luqman Hussin
Temasek Junior College
Edwin Heng Mok Han
Singapore Exchange Ltd
Third Prize Melvin Koh
Hwa Chong Junior College
Colin Toh
Monetary Authority of Singapore

In highlighting the key arguments in the prize-winning essays, Professor Augustine Tan, President of the ESS, observed that while the drivers of the New Economy, such as information flow and costs, networks, IT, knowledge, risk-taking and globalisation, are well recognized, much more research needs to be done to enable proper formulation of policy.

The event also saw the launch of the next essay competition by Mr Koh Yong Guan, MAS Managing Director, on the topic, "The Role of the State in an Increasingly Borderless World ". In his remarks, Mr Koh invited participants to suggest how Government policies could facilitate the transition of the economy into the next knowledge- or innovation-driven growth phase. "We hope that this essay competition will help stimulate greater public debate, seed new ideas and generate fresh insights on this subject", he added.

Mr Koh also spoke about the increased opportunities for professional economists in the public service. He said that the MAS is currently the largest employer of economists within the public sector, and MAS' Economics Department had over the years strengthened its research capacity over a broader range of applied economic issues. Mr Koh also emphasised the importance of strengthening and enhancing the analytical foundations of policy-making over a wide range of practical issues throughout the government.

The MAS-ESS Essay Competition will run for six months beginning 1 April 2002. The following attractive prizes will be awarded to the three best essays in the two categories:

Open Category Student Category
First Prize $8,000 $3,000
Second Prize $3,000 $1,000
Third Prize $1,000 $500

Participants interested in the MAS-ESS Economic Essay Competition can visit the MAS ( or ESS ( ) websites for further details. Entry forms can be downloaded from the websites or collected from the security counter of the MAS building. The closing date for the submission of entries is 30 September 2002.