As the custodian of State land and properties, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) seeks to maximise land resources to serve the nation’s economic and social needs. To this end, the SLA provides an efficient land management system that augments the city-state’s capability to design multi-faceted solutions to solve the complex challenges in the land-scarce country.
In addition, the SLA embraces technological innovation to further its mission and bolster Singapore’s Smart Nation drive. It is currently developing the first 3D map of Singapore which enables the city-state to improve risk management, facilitate collaboration and enhance decision-making for city planning and urban solutions. To find out more about SLA’s work, we speak to Kayley Ng, Principal Executive, Land Sale & Lease Management and Gao Siqi, Principal Executive, Tenancy Management. Both are recipients of the SLA Undergraduate Scholarship.
What sparked your interest in applying for an SLA scholarship?
Kayley Ng: Having spoken to various officers at a career talk, I found SLA’s work interesting and meaningful. Furthermore, there is a diverse range of job scopes available in SLA, which is an important consideration for graduates seeking to be exposed to a variety of work opportunities.
Gao Siqi: Calling Singapore—a nation with one of the highest population densities in the world—as home, I have always been fascinated with how our country manages her land scarcity issues. This sparked my interest in pursuing a scholarship opportunity with the SLA, which has the vision of “Limited Land • Unlimited Space”.
Ng Qiu Lin Kayley
SLA Local (Mid-Term) Undergraduate Scholar
Land Sale & Lease Management
How was your internship experience with the SLA back when you were an undergraduate?
Kayley: I look back fondly at my internship experience as I got to help out in the SLA’s Geohackathon event, which focused on using geospatial technologies to provide solutions to our everyday challenges. Through my internship buddy, I learnt about how the Government could play an active role in encouraging people to use technology and spatial tools to come up with innovative solutions.
Siqi: I interned in the Finance Department before I entered university. My main responsibilities were in financial reporting, such as the vetting of the annual report against actual data. I became acquainted with the various responsibilities in the Department, which helped in my accountancy studies, as well as got to know the colleagues who make sure that SLA is running smoothly.
What are some of your memorable experiences so far in the SLA?
Kayley: Some memorable episodes of my career involve participation in exciting projects and visiting places that challenges one to think of ways to maximise the use of our land resources. Some of the solutions include the multi-stacking of uses, utilisation of underground spaces and finding new uses for disused buildings. These projects and visits often leave a deep impression on me as they inspire me to constantly challenge myself to be more innovative in my way of thinking and not be limited by what I already see and know.
Siqi: One interesting episode involved being the emcee for the SLA National Day Observance Ceremony 2016. It was quite a fun experience as I have never been an emcee before! It is wonderful that SLA has given us a wide variety of experiences to improve both our technical and soft skills.
What do you find meaningful about your current roles and responsibilities in the SLA?
Kayley: My current portfolio deals with land sales and lease management. This includes being on the ground and connecting directly with individuals and businesses to assist with their requests while working closely with various agencies to ensure that their proposed development plans make optimal use of the scarce land resources in Singapore.
Siqi: I am currently managing tenancies of the public sector including public hospitals and polyclinics. With the increasingly aging population in Singapore, the hospitals are developing multiple projects to cope with the increasing demand for medical services, resulting in more complexities in the hospitals’ tenancies. It is heartening to know that SLA Tenancy Management has played a part in streamlining the rental procedure for the hospitals over the last year.
SLA Local (Full-Term) Undergraduate Scholar
Any advice for aspiring SLA scholars?
Kayley: An aspiring scholar should make sure they have a clear idea of where their interests lie, and whether the company they are applying to is aligned with their interests. As a scholarship will affect your future career choices, it is important to be thorough with your research and do the necessary preparations before making a commitment.
Siqi: A SLA scholar should possess the P.A.H. qualities. P for passion, A for adaptability and H for humility. Passion is what drives a person. Adaptability is the ability to adjust to new conditions and changing times. Humility is what makes a person humble towards the world out there since there is always so much to learn and improve on. These are the qualities which cannot be learnt and are becoming more necessary for leaders.
First of all, find out all about SLA and what it does by visiting the SLA website and annual reports. Would you want to be part of the team to achieve the national goal of optimising land resources? If yes, apply to join the SLA family!