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latest articles

  • Inequality has a geographic dimension – between and within neighbourhoods in Singapore

    By: Leong Chan-Hoong | May 30, 2018 | Hits: 1514

    The two weeks of intense discussion on the presidential address in parliament has unanimously pointed to the danger of inequality and hardening social mobility in Singapore.   The city-state has one of the highest income disparity levels among developed economies, though not among other global cities, before taxes and government transfers. In the long run, this rift will undermine…..

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  • Aim for 4G leaders: Equalise vocational, academic pathways

    By: Gillian Koh | May 15, 2018 | Hits: 742

    The egalitarian ideal of being a fair and just society remains strong in Singapore. Indeed, this was a central theme in President Halimah Yacob’s address in Parliament on Monday, when she said the Government would tackle inequality “vigorously”. After all, the country’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew set up as an article of faith…..

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  • Building resilient communities in the age of disinformation

    By: Carol Soon | May 11, 2018 | Hits: 568

    Ten million Chinese migrant workers entering Indonesia, a long-haired male journalist portrayed as a female election volunteer for the governor of Jakarta, as well as uprisings of Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar – what do these have in common? They are all disinformation making their rounds on online platforms and closed-group channels such as Facebook…..

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  • In upholding harmony, communities’ responses, not just laws, matter

    By: Mathew Mathews and Leonard Lim | May 07, 2018 | Hits: 352

    In the past year or so, statements by two foreign religious teachers in Singapore sparked discussions on their conduct and the impact on social harmony. The most recent one involved Mr Lou Engle, an American Protestant Christian pastor. During a conference in March, he reportedly told the audience that “Muslims are taking over the south…..

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  • Shaping the future of Singapore’s heartlands

    By: Cheong Koon Hean | Apr 26, 2018 | Hits: 666

    Someone once told me that in Singapore, HDB flats are ‘like the air we breathe’. They are so much a part of our life because more than 80 per cent of our residential population live in them. Even if you do not live in an HDB flat, you would have used some of the amenities…..

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  • How we can better chart Singapore’s urban future

    By: Cheong Koon Hean | Apr 12, 2018 | Hits: 1914

    The city state of Singapore, at just 720 square kilometres, is about half the size of metropolitan London. Yet it has to house many facilities to support its economic and social growth, including major uses such as airports and ports, energy, waste and water management and military infrastructure, all of which are needed to support…..

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  • To mitigate online falsehoods, tweak how information is distributed

    By: Benjamin Goh and Natalie Pang | Apr 11, 2018 | Hits: 789

    The last few weeks of hearings by the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods have shown us the complexity of dealing with “fake news”. Hearing the myriad viewpoints from traditional print media companies, social media platforms and social science researchers has shown us that the modern information ecosystem has transformed an otherwise unremarkable proposition –…..

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  • To tackle deliberate online falsehoods, look also to non-legislative efforts

    By: Shawn Goh and Carol Soon | Mar 26, 2018 | Hits: 972

    In the first two weeks of public hearings by the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods, the role of legislation in countering deliberate online falsehoods was debated by academics and experts. Several experts agree that legislation can play a role in the fight against deliberate online falsehoods, but there are gaps in existing legislation due…..

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  • Budget 2018 responds to SME issues about expanding overseas, but will they work?

    By: Faizal Bin Yahya and Mooris Tjioe | Feb 28, 2018 | Hits: 1119

    The Government’s observation in Budget 2018 of a “shift in global economic weight towards Asia” is timely. Singaporean companies have been shown to be able to perform well overseas. In 2016, a survey conducted by IE Singapore found that for small- and medium-sized enterprises that had ventured abroad, overseas revenue growth was significantly stronger than total revenue…..

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  • The politics of Budget 2018: Lots of persuasion needed

    By: Gillian Koh | Feb 21, 2018 | Hits: 1109

    In Budget 2015, and prior to the previous general election, then Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the Government had provided sufficiently for increased spending by the state till the end of the decade. This was, at the time, and still is, read by Singaporeans as a promise that there would be no increase in broad-based…..

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