During an hour-long ministerial forum with students of the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) on 4 September, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong answered several questions from the audience.
Videos of the premier’s answers were uploaded into a playlist on the Prime Minister’s Office Youtube Channel.
On the topic of blockchain technology, PM Lee said that while there will be places the technology can be used, there will be many places where it’s not actually needed.
Noting that it is a “fabulous new idea”, he added using blockchain technology would not put auditors out of a job, saying “if you use blockchain to verify some of the things which previously auditors had to go and verify, I have no doubt that there will be many other things which auditors need to check for.”
He added later, “And I can tell you for sure that having blockchain is not going to stop things from going wrong, or stop people from finding clever new ways to do wrong things.”
PM Lee used a Chinese saying that translates to “the magician is one foot taller, the evil witch is 10 feet higher” to illustrate the point that for each advancement made in blockchain technology, someone will come up with a more advanced way of beating the system.
“There is no end to this,” he cautioned.
He said, “So I have no doubt that auditors will always have work. But it may well need to be done in quite a different way from the way auditors used to do.”