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latest articles

  • The educational ‘arms race’: all for one, loss for all – Part 1

    Sep 27, 2012 | Hits: 1563

    The following is Part 1 of a 2-part feature. You can read Part 2 here. By Christopher Gee Robert Frank in his 2007 book Falling Behind: How Inequality Harms the Middle Class points out that investment in children by parents is a positional good, with such expenditures taking on many of the characteristics of an arms race…..

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  • What Makes Us S’porean? Our Shared Values In Our Pledge

    Sep 25, 2012 | Hits: 999

    By Soon Sze Meng Our Singapore Conversation asks ourselves where we should be heading. It is as important to ask ourselves first what makes Singapore home and identify ourselves as being Singaporean. To me, it is about our shared experiences and values. Our shared experiences are the common spaces in this small island where we have…..

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  • National Conversation: Why Not An Electronic Hansard of Public Opinion?

    Sep 14, 2012 | Hits: 868

    By Arun Mahizhnan Here’s an idea to make the National Conversation more national, transparent and effective. The term National Conversation conjures up an expectation that everyone will be involved in this conversation.  All past methods of getting citizens to participate in public consultations had severe limits and outcomes were sub-optimal.  Part of the reason was that…..

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  • Taiwan’s Healthcare System – Observations

    Sep 13, 2012 | Hits: 1352

    By Dr Jeremy Lim These are my reflections after an intense week of discussions with Taiwanese policy makers, doctors, and the quintessential ‘man in the street’ about their healthcare system. Taiwan has been a lightning rod for discussions on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Singapore after academics had expressed concern over its sustainability, with one NUS…..

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  • FORUM: Work-Life Balance

    Sep 11, 2012 | Hits: 1273

    In his National Day Rally speech, the Prime Minister revealed plans to create an environment conducive for couples to have and raise children.  These measures were targeted at addressing the practical problems that child-rearing couples may face. These are also to “signal where we must change our mindsets and norms…” Among the measures being considered are…..

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  • FORUM: Allowing singles to buy HDB flats

    Sep 03, 2012 | Hits: 2760

    In his National Day Rally speech, the Prime Minister says he fully understands the concerns of single or unmarried Singaporeans over housing. He says the Ministry for National Development (MND) is looking into addressing these concerns. Currently, singles can only buy resale HDB flats. In the event that there is a policy change, singles may be…..

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  • Lessons from Behavioural Economics for Policymakers

    Aug 28, 2012 | Hits: 875

    By Adrian W. J. Kuah At the heart of standard neoclassical economic theory stands homo economicus: rational man who acts independently to maximise his self-interest.  And it does not require a great stretch of the imagination to describe the prototypical policymaker in more or less the same terms.  Can the criticisms that behavioural economics have been…..

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  • The End of Identity?

    Aug 23, 2012 | Hits: 7422

    By Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh China-born Feng Tian Wei’s Olympic table tennis bronze medal has sparked an outcry in this country about what it means to be a true Singaporean. Many Singaporeans say they feel no pride about the country’s first individual Olympic medal in four decades. Yet the problem is not so much that Ms Feng…..

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  • Heartware vs Hardware – Lets Start With The Children

    Aug 22, 2012 | Hits: 2274

    By Serene Koh At his annual National Day Dinner for residents in his Ang Mo Kio constituency, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged Singaporeans to strengthen their “heartware”—values such as mutual respect, care and compassion, meritocracy, and integrity—and to focus less on “hardware” such as new HDB flats and more train lines. He goes on to…..

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  • ‘Finlandisation’ of ASEAN?

    Aug 16, 2012 | Hits: 867

    By Lee Yoong Yoong “Finlandisation” is the influence of a dominant country on the policies of its smaller neighbours. It entails a conscious decision by a smaller country to not confront its more powerful neighbour in foreign relations while maintaining national sovereignty. The term originates from Finland’s decision to not challenge the Soviet Union during the…..

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