Since its establishment in 1996, MPA has played a key role in Singapore’s development as a premier global hub port and International Maritime Centre (IMC). Today, MPA represents Singapore as its Port Authority, Regulator and Planner all at once.
Wu Zhenwei, who is currently pursuing a degree in International Relations at Peking University in China, was fascinated by Singapore’s rich maritime history from a young age. This fascination was what drew him to MPA, ultimately landing him a scholarship with them. He says, “Singapore started out as a small entrepot port. After years of hard work, we have now grown into one of the world’s busiest ports. I am proud to be part of the constantly evolving story of Singapore’s maritime industry!”
Gary Chew Jia Rui
MPA Local Undergraduate Scholar
Designation: Assistant Manager,
Ops Policy Unit
Studied: Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering), National University of Singapore
For fellow MPA scholar Gary Chew, his interest in MPA was piqued by the diversity of the organisation’s responsibilities in promoting the development of Singapore as a global hub port. MPA’s responsibilities span multiple areas – including safety, security, port operations and development, and promoting the overall development of Singapore’s maritime industry. Gary now works in the Operations Policy Unit as an Assistant Manager, overseeing the many aspects of MPA’s operations that attracted him to the organisation in the first place.
Having It All
For Zhenwei and Gary, what they value most working in MPA is the opportunity to grow and develop constantly.
Zhenwei tells us, “MPA provides me with the best of both worlds. Working here allows me to learn more about public administration while remaining involved in a dynamic business arena. As a major industry in Singapore, the maritime sector employs some 170,000 people in Singapore. I am excited by the bright prospects that MPA has to offer as it prepares me for a role in shaping one of Singapore’s most vital industries in the future.”
For Gary, MPA has allowed him to fulfil a lifelong dream. He shares, “I have always wanted an exciting career in either the energy sector or the maritime industry. Both industries are key movers in the world economy, so when MPA offered me the opportunity to study Chemical Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS), I immediately jumped at the chance.”
Firing on All Cylinders
As an organisation, MPA encourages a spirit of collaboration throughout the organisation, as each individual plays their part and contributes to the organisation’s greater values and mission.
As part of his role in the Operations Policy Unit, Gary observes the activities of the entire organisation. He monitors and analyses trends pertaining to maritime incidents in Singapore’s waters, reviews data in order to formulate enhancements to the port operation processes and works to find more effective ways to conduct the organisation’s activities.
He elaborates, “My department is currently looking into the integration of data analytics into current port operation processes that will, in turn, facilitate a more optimal distribution of resources to enhance maritime safety in Singapore’s waters.
“For instance, our analysis has so far enabled us to identify several areas pertaining to maintaining safety in Singapore Waters. As a result, MPA launched a Safety@Sea campaign in 2014, aimed at instilling a strong culture of safety among key members of the maritime community.”
Gary is also happy to see the recommendations of his unit’s analysis come into fruition, saying, “The Safety@Sea campaign involved increased safety briefings, distribution of educational materials and even a Maritime Safety Forum and Maritime Safety Workshops during a dedicated Safety@Sea Week.”
MPA Overseas Undergraduate Scholar
Studying: Bachelor of International Relations, Peking University, China
For Zhenwei, the Peking University student is looking forward to his future career in MPA. He tells us, “I hope to join the IMC division upon my graduation. I am interested in being directly involved in the promotion of MPA’s services and schemes. My goal is to reach out to more international companies, such as those in China to encourage them to become our partners and help grow Singapore’s maritime industry together.”
The most exciting prospect for Zhenwei in his role at MPA is the chance to contribute to Singapore’s growth as a nation. He adds, “Singapore is poised to continue growing as a leading IMC and I hope to be part of this endeavour. I look forward to being part of Singapore’s aim to maintain its competitiveness in the dynamic maritime industry for years to come.”
On the Horizon
Both scholars agree that taking the plunge with MPA was a life-changing decision as the MPA Scholarship has enriched their lives beyond their expectations.
Gary says, “I have been given many opportunities to manage projects and people in MPA. These experiences have enhanced my management skills and have helped me gain confidence as a person. I look to my future with MPA with enthusiasm and optimism.”
For Zhenwei, the most noteworthy part of his time with MPA was learning from the experiences of its people. He explains, “There is a strong sense of camaraderie in the MPA family. The close friendships I forged during my internship at MPA have served to reaffirm my sense of belonging to the organisation and industry. I also gained a better understanding of the organisation’s legacy through interactions with my colleagues. They helped me see that I was part of something big, and that fact is truly awe-inspiring.”
Gary also has some advice for aspiring MPA scholars. He says, “Keep an open mind and be prepared to try new things. The maritime industry is not always predictable, and one may be thrown into the deep end at times, but it is an opportunity to demonstrate resilience and an ability to think on your feet!”
Zhenwei concludes, “The maritime industry may be a niche industry, but one shouldn’t be afraid of stepping forward to learn more. It’s never too late to start learning about the dynamic and diverse maritime industry. As long as you possess a genuine interest for this industry, there is a place for you in MPA no matter where your strengths lie, be it in engineering, economics or even international relations. To learn more, be sure to join us during Singapore Maritime Week this coming April!”