Are Mega Projects iconic or just another white elephant?

CNA running a two-part series on why Singapore has embarked on these Mega Projects


Our MRT was the brainchild of Ong Teng Cheong and Changi Airport was the idea of Goh Keng Swee. PM Lee Hsien Loong in search of a legacy is embarking on mega projects of his own and it includes Changi Airport Terminal 5 and Tuas Mega Port.

These mega projects do come with a mega price tag. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is “strongly against any pre-financing of any infrastructure”, IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac told a media roundtable as part of the Singapore Airshow on Monday (Feb 5). “We shouldn’t pay first without having the infrastructure ready to be operated and used by airlines and by the users.”

Some experts argue that these mega projects are here to boost the construction sector and to artificially prop the economy. It’s a formula that seems to be working. Last year, the government spent additional $2B in construction projects, after the sector went into decline for two consecutive years.

Other projects include the Jurong Lake District; as well as the building of the Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) and phase two of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS). These are functional projects and not just for vanity.

What are the challenges faced and the innovations underway? What can we expect when these projects are completed? All these and more will be featured in this exciting two-part series.

Catch it on Channel News Asia tonight and part II on the 14th February: 8.00pm


  1. Quote “Our MRT was the brainchild of Ong Teng Cheong and Changi Airport was the idea of Goh Keng Swee”. Unquote. Fake news, bros.
    MRT is not the brainchild of Ong Teng Cheong. The idea of constructing a rapid transit line in the country was initiated in 1967, when a four-year State and City Planning study conducted by the Singapore government and the United Nations Development Programme. So, it is the team’s idea although Ong pushes hard for it. We thank him for that.
    Changi Airport was the brainchild of Lee Kuan Yew. He was the one who pushed for the airport’s move from Paya Lebar to Changi, even though foreign experts disagreed. He foresaw that an airport on the coast would allow room for expansion towards the sea and would direct noise away from the city. In one of Lee’s speech in 2006, he said “But [I] felt then that Paya Lebar had inherent disadvantages. It was located near the city centre. Expansion would be limited”. Unquote
    As for PM Lee Hsien Loong, his monument is a prosperous and safe country called SINGAPORE which we can be proud of. If you think doing these are easy just look NORTH – a country labelled “Kleptocracy at its worst”, and led by Kleptocratic leaders, where the citizens only feel shame when their country name is mentioned.
    Please “The Independent” please don’t spread Fake News or hate (PAP) news leh.