SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam shares about "Creating Bases for Optimism in an Era of Insecurities" at the 11th Ho Rih Hwa Lecture

The Ho Rih Hwa (HRH) Series was established by SMU Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping’s mother, Mrs Ho Lien Fung in memory of his father Mr Ho Rih Hwa – who was a former Singapore ambassador and businessman. She hoped it would inspire students and the public by giving them the opportunity to hear accomplished entrepreneurs, business leaders and political figures from around the world, share their experiences, insights and opinions. The series has been graced by eminent modern thought leaders including most recently former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim; Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany; Mr Ban Ki-moon, then UN Secretary General; and Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore. The inaugural speaker in 2002 was Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding Prime Minister; and in 2004, Dr Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia spoke – when he was then a former Prime Minister.

SMU had the honour of hosting Senior Minister & Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who delivered the 11th edition of the HRH Leadership Lecture on 22 September 2022. The lecture was attended by over 700 guests which included members of the SMU Community, students and teachers from other educational institutions, as well as representatives from the business, government, and foreign diplomatic community. Titled “Creating Bases for Optimism in an Era of Insecurities”, his address provided valuable insights and views on how we must respond to the new confluence of geopolitical, economic, social and existential insecurities.

SMU Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping moderated a lively Question-and-Answer segment that followed the lecture.  Questions included one on the evolution of the education system in Singapore to acknowledge not just academic qualities but also individual aptitudes in other areas. SM Tharman shared that significant steps have been taken, and expressed optimism that more progress will continue to be made.

Read more about SM Tharman’s insights and perspectives on The Straits Times.