IPS-Nathan Lecture

2014/15 IPS-Nathan Lectures: Lecture IV (Demography and Family)

This lecture examines the sustainability of policies determining the future of Singapore’s most important resource: people. It focuses on two issues at opposite ends of the life-cycle spectrum: on one hand, how to provide for older people in retirement, and on the other, how to make more babies. What fundamental policy assumptions could we reconsider as we plan for the retirement adequacy of what is one of the fastest ageing societies in the world? What improvements can we make to our social security net so that we have a more robust and inclusive system? How far are we willing to go to arrest our flagging total fertility rates? These fundamental questions are addressed in the context of ageing and starting a family in Singapore over the next fifty years, as the continued sustainability of our population and the dignity with which we allow our elderly to retire in underpin our demographic challenges.

Mr Ho Kwon Ping is Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, which owns both listed and private companies engaged in the development, ownership and operation of hotels, resorts, spas, residential homes, retail galleries and other lifestyle activities around the world.

Born in 1952, Mr Ho was educated in Tunghai University, Taiwan; Stanford University, California and the University of Singapore. He worked as a broadcast and financial journalist and was the Economics Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. He joined the family business in 1981.

In 1994, after the success of rehabilitating an abandoned tin mine into Laguna Phuket, Asia’s first integrated resort, he launched Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts. Banyan Tree has grown to more than 30 hotels and resorts, over 60 spas and close to 80 retail galleries, as well as three golf courses. With a strong presence in China, Banyan Tree will double its number of properties by 2016.

In May 2000, Mr Ho was conferred an honorary doctorate by Johnson &Wales University, and later received the London Business School 2005 Entrepreneurship Award. In 2008, he was named CEO of the Year at the Singapore Corporate Awards. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Hospitality Lifetime Achievement Award at the China Hotel Investment Summit in Shanghai.

As Chairman of Singapore Management University (SMU), Mr Ho was awarded the Singapore Government’s Meritorious Service Medal for his contribution in the founding of SMU. In 2010, he became the first Asian to receive the ACA (American Creativity Association) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his creativity and innovation in various spheres of endeavour. In 2011, he was voted top Thinker in Singapore in the Yahoo! Singapore 9 Awards, a testament to his business innovations and leadership in civic causes. In 2012, Mr Ho was given CNBC’s Travel Business Leader Award Asia Pacific 2012, in addition to being named to the board of Diageo, a British multinational. Mr Ho is married to Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings Limited. They have three children – two sons and a daughter.

Mr Ho Kwon Ping’s speech
• Media Coverage of Lecture IV: Demography and Family (4 Mar 2015)
Report on Lecture IV: Demography and Family
2014/15 IPS-Nathan Lecture Series: Lecture IV by Mr Ho Kwon Ping


Shaw Foundation Alumni House at NUS (Kent Ridge Campus)
Wed 4 March 2015
06:00 PM - 07:45 PM

For more information on the S R Nathan Fellowship for the Study of Singapore, please contact Nur Zahidah Binti Mohd Nasir at decb64_aXBzLnNybmZAbnVzLmVkdS5zZw==_decb64 or 6601-1420.