IPS-Nathan Lectures by Mr Lim Siong Guan: Lecture I (“The Accidental Nation”)


Can Singapore Fall?  As a young nation, we have focused our energies on building a strong, independent, and sovereign Singapore.  However, after decades of unprecedented growth and prosperity, we now have to guard against the danger of complacency, ossification, and decline. It is timely to contemplate the possibility of Singapore’s failure.
“The Accidental Nation”, Mr Lim’s first lecture, will explore the circumstances of Singapore’s unexpected independence, and the logic of geography as a key factor for Singapore’s viability.  It will also consider the shared values that we would need to bring together the people and society, so as to build an honourable, united, and flourishing home and country. The Q&A Session with Mr Lim, following his lecture, will be chaired by Professor Tan Tai Yong, President and Professor of Humanities (History) at Yale-NUS College.


Mr Lim Siong Guan is the 4th S R Nathan Fellow for the Study of Singapore.

He is a Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, instructing on leadership and change management, as well as a Senior Fellow of the Singapore Civil Service College, since 2006.

Currently Advisor to the Group Executive Committee of GIC Private Limited, Mr Lim was the Group President of GIC from 2007 to 2016.  The GIC manages the financial reserves of the Singapore government.  He was Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board from 2006 to 2009.

Mr Lim was the Head of the Singapore Civil Service from 1999 to 2005.  From 1994 to 2006, he was also Permanent Secretary, variously, at the Ministry of Defence, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Finance.

Mr Lim has co-authored with Joanne H. Lim two books: The Leader, The Teacher & You – Leadership Through the Third Generation, a best-selling book on leadership and governance, and Winning With Honour in Relationships, Family, Organisations, Leadership, and Life, a book on success in life, family and work.  He is a member of the SwissRe Advisory Panel and the International Board of the Stars Foundation, a Swiss foundation that promotes leadership development for leaders of the next generation.  He chairs the Board of Directors of Honour (Singapore), a charity that seeks to promote the culture of honour and honouring for the well-being of the nation.




For enquiries, please contact Ms Rachel Hoa at tel: 6516-8389, or email: 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017
6.00 pm – 7.30 pm (Registration and light refreshments from 5.00 pm)

Auditorium, Shaw Foundation Alumni House, The National University of Singapore, 11 Kent Ridge Drive Singapore 119244