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Keen lobbyist brings key world congress to Singapore

"I wanted to position Singapore as an ITS thought leader with innovative ITS solutions," says Mr Sing

COME 2019, a few thousand key people involved in developing intelligent transport systems (ITS) around the world will converge here to discuss the latest happenings and evolving trends in their field, which is very important for Singapore as a highly urbanised city.

The credit for bringing a large number of policy makers and the top professionals engaged in developing intelligent transport systems to Singapore goes to Sing Mong Kee, immediate past president of the Intelligent Transport Society of Singapore (ITSS).

Mr Sing successfully led ITSS to winning the hosting rights for the 26th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress 2019 to be held in Singapore. It also provides a good opportunity for local industry to showcase its capabilities and technology.

With his unique blend of dogged determination, strategic insights and deep knowledge of ITS, he was instrumental in winning the bid for Singapore.

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The premiere global event will attract 5,000 foreign delegates to Singapore and showcase the country's ITS capabilities. The four-day congress is expected to bring in an estimated S$11 million in tourism receipts. Furthermore, up to 4,000 visitors are expected at the public exhibition.

For his untiring efforts for the past several years, Mr Sing has been honoured with the Best Business Event Champion award.

He worked closely with the Land Transport Authority in rallying various stakeholders such as the Ministry of Transport, International Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board to develop a joint bid for the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress 2019.

To ensure that Singapore is successful in its bid, he made lobbying trips to other ITS chapters in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, gaining support for Singapore in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Sing showcased Singapore's commitment and hospitality by hosting the Singapore Night reception during the ITS World Congress in Tokyo (2013) and Detroit (2014), as well as the Asia-Pacific ITS Forum in Auckland (2014).

"I have always been passionate about Intelligent Transport Systems and using technology to create an improved travelling experience for everyone," says Mr Sing. "With a few members, we founded The Intelligent Transport Society of Singapore because we wanted to have a platform for sharing and exchanging new ideas and to grow the ITS industry."

"We also wanted to bring major industry conferences to Singapore," he adds.

ITSS is a non-profit organisation with members from the transport industry, government agencies, research institutes and academia.

As its president from 2004 to 2015, Mr Sing profiled Singapore's ITS capabilities internationally through participating in and exhibiting at multiple platforms, such as the ITS World Congress, the Asia-Pacific ITS Forum, the Singapore ITS Summit and the Smart Mobility Forum in Singapore.

He worked on the two preceding unsuccessful Singapore bids to host the ITS World Congress, and was determined to secure the ITS World Congress 2019 for the country.

"In 2008, we hosted the ITS Asia Pacific Forum with great success. Subsequently, we decided to bid for the bigger ITS World Congress," says Mr Sing.

"As president of The Intelligent Transport Society of Singapore, I wanted to ensure that major industry events happened here, to position Singapore as an ITS thought leader with innovative ITS solutions."

In 2011, he launched a bid to bring the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress to Singapore. But when Tokyo won the bid, he felt even more determined to succeed.

Two years later (2013) Singapore bid for the second time but Melbourne won.

"Although we failed again, we gained insights from the Melbourne team to ensure our next bid would succeed. We decided to lobby harder and increasingly engage and collaborate with other APAC ITS members to win more votes for our bid," says Mr Sing.

"That's why we visited other APAC ITS chapters and increasingly profiled Singapore's ITS capabilities internationally. We also hosted the Singapore Night reception during major ITS congresses to get everyone excited about coming here."

Mr Sing is a member of the board of directors of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Asia Pacific and ITS World Congress. With over 30 years of experience in transportation engineering, he is currently the transportation practice director at NCS Pte Ltd.

Thanking STB for the Best Business Event Champion Award, Mr Sing says that he "would like to share it with my team, who have worked with me for so many years to finally succeed in bringing the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress to Singapore in 2019".