Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said having prime space at downtown Marina Bay to expand the Central Business District gives Singapore a “significant competitive edge” to grow the financial sector at a time when opportunities in Asia abound.
He added Marina Bay is a great example of how the country has risen from “mudflats to metropolis”.
Speaking at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Fullerton Hotel, Mr Goh said the Fullerton Heritage development is part of efforts to transform Singapore into a distinctive and dynamic global city.
The event also saw the launch of a book which pays tribute to the historical significance of the Fullerton area.
Known as the “Fullerton Heritage”, the area which spans 1.4 million square feet along the waterfront, comprises a mixture of dining and hospitality options.
The Fullerton building, opened in 1928, was home to public offices like the General Post Office and Finance Ministry.
Mr Goh started his civil service, shipping and political careers at the building.
“Here, I had the privilege of working for and learning from the first generation political leaders like Dr Goh Keng Swee and Mr Lim Kim San, and top public officers like Joe Pillay and Ngiam Tong Dow.
“I had worked in offices on the second floor, fifth floor and also the small space up on the sixth floor. You can say that I literally worked my way up in Fullerton Building.
“Not many people may know this but Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) was incorporated in Fullerton Building with borrowed space from my office on the sixth floor. Later, NOL moved out to its own premises. I joined it a few years later.
“In 1976, I stood for elections and was appointed Senior Minister of State for Finance a year later. Like a homing pigeon, I returned to Fullerton Building where the Finance Ministry was,” said Mr Goh.
He added when the decision was made to turn the building into a hotel, it showed the government had “learned about the value of location”.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 30 Mar 2011