Is Singapore's Smart Nation similar to Wall-E's Axiom?

Here is my attempt to summarize or decipher Singapore's Smart Nation initiative. Kinda like TL;DR version of

In a nutshell, I think that Singapore is trying to achieve something similar to the animation movie - Wall-E's Axiom.

Axiom space ship

Image credit :

In the movie, Axiom is a star liner spacecraft built by the Buy n Large corporation (BNL). The sole purpose is to evacuate humanity from Earth and ensuring the survival of humanity in space. Managed partly by artificial intelligence and human intelligence.

Now, I don't think so that the Singapore government is going to convert the entire island into a spacecraft, but I suspect that the some parts of futuristic environment illustrated in the Axiom are being replicated on the island.

Such as:

personal mobility

  • everyone gets his or her own zero CO2-emissions vehicle.

human machine interface management system

  • management heavily assisted and automated by artificial intelligence.

robotic beautician gone crazy

  • smart robots to help us to clean up, look smart and clean our trash.

Image credits :

Singapore government has too much money and don't know what to do with the money.

There are only 2 problems associated with money. Either you don't have enough money or too much money and don't know what to do. Which type you prefer?

According to the Chinese adage, problem that can be solved with money... is not really a real problem.

Someone figured out how to use the money to create a package and label it as a nation building program known as Smart Nation. The Smart Nation initiative is attempting to solve problems related to aging population, education, health care and sustainable energy. In Wall-E, these problems seemed to be solved in Axiom(except that there are no trees).

As of 2016, the Singapore Prime Minister is doing his best to woo talent to come back and work in Singapore and also by offering various goodies for technology companies such as Google to setup R&D center in Singapore. Seems like all the pistons are firing up to realize Smart Nation.

Starting your startup? Don't have idea?

In education or academic field, it is good to get A or distinction grade. It is even better to know how to use your grade A knowledge. However, it will be great to fuse money and knowledge to realize your potential. In the past, fusing healthy amount of money can turn knowledge into wonders such as automobile(car), telephones, light bulbs and Internet. Now, it is about the future.

I have the privilege of having to watch animations such as Stand by Me Doraemon, Wall-E, Big Hero 6, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Robotech series, The Cat Returns and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind countless times as my son demanded to watch them together with me. Watching these animation allows me to sort of "borrow" my son's eyes to look into the future. To sense where and what the future generations wanted to go.

To get ideas for your tech startups... all you have to do is find out what the next generation wanted or problems that you can solve for the future generations. These animation should be able to give you a lot of hints and ideas to implement. Watch them.

How this relates to Singapore?

I like to think the Singapore has the right ingredients or should I say... the primordial soup to achieve the futuristic creation as illustrated in the animation.

Give it a go as a place to fuse money and knowledge to realize your potential. If you don't like the environment or the people there, you can always take a break or park your self or employees in neighboring countries such as Malaysia or Indonesia.

To wrap it up

Are you going to make a lot of money by moving Singapore, starting up in Singapore or participate in their Smart Nation? I don't know... I don't have crystal ball for that. If you try, at least you got 50% chance of finding out, if no, then I'm sure it is 0% chance.

Will government of Singapore morph into an entity similar to Buy n Large corporation (BNL)? Seems like it. After all, who doesn't like to have the problem of having too much money.


  • I'm not a Singaporean, just an observer living 4-hours drive away north of Singapore.


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By AdamNg

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