Having observed major worldevents ranging from the Global Financial Crisis, the European Sovereign DebtCrisis, to Brexit, I came to understand the extensive implications ofgovernment policies on economies. My study of Economics sparked an interest andawareness that politics and economics simply cannot be studied in isolationwhich ignited an aspiration for future study at University. I have always pondered about thestate of our economy without political intervention.
Market forces wouldcertainly have free reign; notwithstanding the high risks of failure. Suchthoughts paved my way towards embarking on an extended essay in economics whichstudied the extent to which property cooling measures ensured sustainableproperty prices in Singapore. The research saw me through intellectualdiscourse with experts in the field, such as government officials andprofessors where I discovered the importance of such policies in preventingmoral hazard and ensuring macroeconomic stability. It was intriguing to learnthat ‘animal spirits’, a term John Maynard Keynes used in his 1936 book “TheGeneral Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” still had such greatrelevance in describing the proclivities and emotions that ostensibly influenceinvestor behaviour. More interestingly, was applying the corollary of theVeblen effect to explain the reinforcing demand dynamics of housing. My research led me to questionthe type of role governments should play.
Should Adam Smith’s proposition that’Government should limit its activities’ and play the role of an umpire stand?Or a market participant with an inordinate and unusually high degree of controlas seen with the provision of public housing in my country? A recent servicetrip to Cambodia, which is a country whose illiberal democracy veers towardsautocracy, as seen in the dissolution of its main opposition party alerted meof the ramifications of the abuse of power. In particular, I saw the vastextent to which socio-economic developments hinge upon the development ofpolitics. It frustrated me deeply that most Cambodians living in the vicinityof Beng Mealea lacked access to basic sanitation, depending on contaminatedwater sources, which was a stark difference to Angkor, just 2 hours away.
Myobservations while leading the team teaching English at the Camp alsochallenged my initial perception that authoritarian regimes expedited economicgrowth and ensured stability as I was made aware of the inefficiencies oftop-down governance. This fuelled my interest in the relationship betweendemocracy and economic development, which I would like to explore in detail atuniversity. The IB curriculum has equipped mewith skills and interest in politics and economics.
I especially appreciatedthe introductory study into Statistics in Higher Level Mathematics, whichencouraged me to explore the notion of statistical error in hypothesis testingallowing me to solve economic problems with greater precision. Geography andEconomics have also developed my capacity to appreciate different views. I wasfortunate to have attended a talk by the EU Commissioner of Trade on The Futureof EU Trade Policy in Asia where the issue of ‘noodle bowl’ risk of trade pactoverlap was discussed. Intrigued as I was when I learnt how the formation ofregional trade agreements could hamper multilateral trade liberalisation, mydecision to apply for the subject was solidified. Being awarded the Ministry ofEducation Edusave Good Progress Award in 2016 and the Colours Award 2014 fornational level Tennis were testaments of my holistic achievements.
As Presidentof the photography club, I mentored amateur photographers which has honed mypublic speaking and leadership abilities. Volunteering weekly at a tuitioncentre for low income students where I was recently promoted to supervisor mademe realise the difference I could make. I believe my passion in bringing changecan be fulfilled through studying politics and economics.