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latest articles

  • With an Informed Electorate, the Voting System Can Cater to Young and Old

    By: Gillian Koh and Ng Zhong Wei | Aug 29, 2016 | Hits: 114

    As developed countries the world over grapple with their rapidly ageing societies, there is a rising call for a fundamental rethink of the tenets and systems of political representation. The concerns about the political impact of that demographic trend are well-founded. A recent Lord Ashcroft Poll following Britain’s referendum about its place in the European…..

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  • Why We Need to Talk About Race

    By: Mathew Mathews | Aug 19, 2016 | Hits: 1378

    The just-released Channel NewsAsia-Institute of Policy Studies survey on race relations captures the reality of multicultural living in Singapore. Broadly put, it sheds light on how Singaporeans have — or believe they have — interpreted and exemplified our shared ethos of multiculturalism. More than 95% of the approximately 2,000 Singaporean residents surveyed agreed that diversity…..

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  • To Triumph Over Terrorism, We Need Resilient Citizens

    By: Graham Ong-Webb | Aug 18, 2016 | Hits: 718

    The imperative about holding together and succeeding, which formed a key plank in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Message this year comes at a time when Singapore is bracing itself for a possible terrorist attack franchised by the Islamic State terrorist network. Judging from numerous recent public statements by the Singapore authorities, their…..

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  • Managing Singapore’s New Diversities

    By: Mathew Mathews | Aug 12, 2016 | Hits: 847

    Singapore has become more socially diverse in recent years, beyond our traditional differences of race, religion and language. Much of this has come about because the country has positioned itself at the intersection of global flows. But welcoming what is new and foreign into our island has meant that Singaporeans, who have become accustomed to…..

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  • Voters Matter in Building a Healthy Electioneering Culture

    By: Cassandra Choo | Jul 28, 2016 | Hits: 322

    Singaporeans’ immediate concerns upon hearing last month’s British referendum results to leave the European Union were pragmatic and focused on the economic bottomline: How much value would the stock exchange lose? Is it time for a cheap holiday in the United Kingdom? However, we need to be asking a different set of questions. For instance:…..

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  • Why Friends Matter

    By: Mathew Mathews | Jul 25, 2016 | Hits: 626

    Close family ties are a mainstay of Singaporean life. The 2013 Survey on Social Attitudes of Singaporeans (SAS), released in a research paper by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) earlier this year, found that 83 per cent of the respondents would turn to their families when faced with financial difficulties and other troubles.

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  • Singapore Governance in a Troubled Post-Brexit World

    By: Gillian Koh | Jul 11, 2016 | Hits: 775

    A sense of social insecurity and ambivalence about immigration shaped the vote in the Brexit referendum. Many developed countries including Singapore are not immune from rising disillusionment with globalisation, compounded by periodic economic crises. As Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam put it in a Facebook post responding to the Brexit outcome, there is a growing…..

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  • The Paradox of Strong Family Ties in the Integration of Immigrants

    By: Eugene Teng and Leong Chan-Hoong | Jun 28, 2016 | Hits: 894

    There is a general consensus that Singaporeans are not xenophobic, but we have, in recent years, seen cases of negative behaviour towards foreigners. Take, for example, the vitriolic comments against groups from specific countries on social media, protests at Hong Lim Park against the influx of foreigners into Singapore, and anti-foreigner speeches at election rallies……

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  • Strengthening Safety Nets for the Elderly should be a Societal Concern

    By: Chirag Agarwal | Jun 24, 2016 | Hits: 876

    Most of us would have seen elderly folk — of the same vintage as our parents or grandparents — cleaning tables at hawker centres, sweeping the sidewalk and selling packets of tissue paper outside MRT stations. These scenes may make us uncomfortable. Some of us, as I do, may feel ashamed and question society’s moral…..

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  • Thinking Differently about Water Policy: The Role of Social and Cultural Dynamics

    By: Ezra Ho | Jun 22, 2016 | Hits: 569

    Water security is Singapore’s Achilles’ heel, and this vulnerability is deeply engrained in our national consciousness. Singapore fell to the Japanese in February 1942 after they captured our reservoirs. Water supply was for many years a source of bilateral tensions with Malaysia, which used to provide up to two-thirds of our water supply. So crucial…..

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