Journey through Maritime Singapore’s Transformation on the MPA Maritime Bus

26 July 2019

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, launched the “MPA Maritime Bus” at Canberra Secondary School, in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial today. Developed by key partners from the maritime industry, the travelling bus will showcase Singapore’s maritime past, present and future in an immersive way.

2   Through its interactive content, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) hopes to bring visitors through Singapore’s rich maritime heritage and highlight the contribution of the maritime industry and its workforce to Singapore’s economy. The MPA Maritime Bus targets students between ages 7 and 16 years old, and the general public. The MPA Maritime Bus is categorised into three sections of our maritime sector – Past, Present and Future. 

3   For Past, visitors will experience Singapore’s past as a trading post where goods such as silk, tea, porcelain and spices were traded and learn about significant contributions made by early settlers such as Hajjah Fatimah Sulaiman and Seah Eu Chin. Visitors can also look forward to an olfactory and sensorial experience of how trade was like in Singapore’s early days.

4   For Present, visitors will learn about Maritime Singapore today, how container shipping disrupted the way goods are transported globally, and what building the first container port in Southeast Asia meant for Singapore as a transshipment hub. They can also experience life on board a container ship via a 360-degree video and play an interactive game on sorting containers.

5   For Future, Tuas Next-Generation Port (NGP), which will be fully operational by 2040s, takes centre stage. Visitors will get a glimpse of how the future port will be operating with advanced technologies such as drones, automated guided vehicles and even autonomous ships. They will also learn about various career opportunities offered, both on-shore and offshore, that may best suit them by completing a personality quiz.

6   Mr Khaw said, “As we mark Singapore Bicentennial, we reflect on Singapore’s journey from a small trading post into a global hub, an international maritime centre. It is a remarkable transformation, an amazing journey. We faced many challenges along the way, but we worked together to overcome them. The MPA Maritime Bus provides an immersive experience, to help us appreciate the past, understand the present and anticipate the future of Maritime Singapore. Along the way, we hope to inspire younger Singaporeans to join the exciting careers in the maritime industry.”

7   For students, they will get to enjoy a skit before the arrival of the MPA Maritime Bus. Through the story of a lighthouse keeper and his daughter, they can experience the various adventures one can embark on within the maritime industry. An activity booklet, which traces the exhibition route, will engage the younger visitors as they will be able to identify themselves with one of the four characters – navigator, developer, anchor and inventor. Members of public can attend a specially developed stop-motion workshop at selected community spaces where the bus will be visiting, and enjoy hands-on experience producing their own maritime-themed animation clips.

8   More than 80 guests from the maritime community attended the launch event. Other guests included student leaders from Canberra Secondary School and its National Cadet Corps (Sea) unit, as well as seafaring cadets from the Singapore Maritime Academy.

9   The MPA Maritime Bus, which is open to the public for free, will travel to schools and community spaces from 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020. The bus will open from 8.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays except on Mondays and 11.00am to 8.00pm on weekends including public holidays. Please refer to MPA Facebook page for the latest bus schedule.

Maritime Bus

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan viewing exhibits inside the MPA Maritime Bus.

Maritime Bus 2

Minister with students and teachers from Canberra Secondary School, seafaring cadets from Singapore Maritime Academy and guests.