Research

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Like a Child With Two Parents

Amrita Malhi traces the historical roots of the 3Rs of Malaysian politics—"race, religion and royalty"—to 19th-century colonial contests between Siam and Britain.
  • Amrita Malhi
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The Citizens' Agenda: The Parties Respond

Nearly a year ago, we embarked on the Citizens’ Agenda: our quest to find out what our Singaporean community thinks are the most important issues facing Singapore, and then to write and commission articles on those subjects. Now, with Singapore’s General Election looming, we complete our journey by telling you how the political parties responded to the issues.
  • Thum Ping Tjin
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Educating for a Climate-Crisis World

If Singapore is to prepare its children for the climate crisis, the values that we inculcate and the premise of our entire education system needs to change.
  • Feroz Khan
  • Al Lim
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Explainer: The Climate Crisis and Singapore

It’s been 8 months since Singapore’s first climate action rally at Hong Lim Park, an event that mobilised 1,700 citizens and permanent residents. But what exactly is driving climate change, what are its effects, and how can such a small country do anything effective about it?
  • Meerabelle Jesuthasan
  • Anngee Neo
research
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Violence and Discrimination Against LBTQ Persons in Singapore

Research by Singapore LBTQ women’s NGO Sayoni reveals experiences of violence and discrimination at home, in schools and in public spaces—casting doubt on the government’s claims to protect all people from violence regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. [Content Warning: violence, sexual assault, suicide, homophobia and transphobia]
  • Sayoni
  • Esther Lim
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Explainer: Discrimination in Singapore

Discrimination, bias and inequality of many kinds present problems in Singapore—just as they do in every society. Its laws, policies and practices should be based on recognising this fact, not denying it.
  • Jolene Tan
  • Esther Lim
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Singapore: The Limits of a Technocratic Approach to Healthcare

The ruling elite of Singapore sees its healthcare system as the epitome of a rational, technocratic state, governed by impartial, objective criteria. A close examination of the healthcare funding system, however, reveals the limitations of applying purist technocratic premises and methodologies to governance.
  • Michael Barr
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How Gerrymandering Creates Unfair Elections in Singapore

Singapore’s elections are deeply unfair. Singapore’s system of electoral redelineation is one reason why - it creates constituencies which are unrepresentative, arbitrary, and lacking in voter equality; and the process lacks transparency, is extremely arbitrary, and heavily disadvantages non-governing parties.
  • Ngiam Shih Tung
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Explainer: Singapore’s Electoral System

This article presents an overview of Singapore’s electoral system, how it works, how and why it has been altered over the years, and the challenges it presents for representative democracy in Singapore.
  • New Naratif
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A Brief History of Elections in Singapore

Singapore's long history of elections is characterised by a tension between, on the one hand, a demand by the broader electorate for a responsive, accountable, government; and on the other, the desire of the government of the day to restrict the choice available to the electorate in order to achieve its desired outcomes while still retaining a veneer of popular legitimacy.
  • Thum Ping Tjin
research
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City of Ghosts: Migration, Work and Value in the Life of a Ho Chi Minh City Saleswoman

Taking the example of a particular Vietnamese woman’s life, this article explores the links between motorbike use and the work and living conditions of young migrant women in Ho Chi Minh City. Highlighting the social and economic consequences of migration-assisted economic development in Southeast Asia, it details the political economy of marginalisation that situates the migrant saleswoman, and shows how she struggles within it to free herself from imposed social categories, both old and new.
  • Robbie Peters
  • Anh Thư
research
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A New Islamic Populism and the Contradictions of Development

A new form of Islamic populism in Indonesia and other parts of the Muslim world articulates the rising ambitions and growing frustrations and anxieties of urban middle classes, urban poor and the periphery of the bourgeoisie, by aiming to provide access to power and tangible resources to an ummah conceived to be both downtrodden and homogeneous.
  • Vedi Hadiz
  • Chuan Ming Ong
research
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Consensus Representation Upkeep

Even if the People’s Action Party proves less able to manage and contain conflict under this new phase in Singapore’s political economy, its diminished ideological hegemony will not necessarily translate into diminished political domination by the PAP.
  • Garry Rodan
  • Tom White
research
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Moral Accountability Challenged

According to the People’s Action Party’s moral ideology of accountability, personal behaviour is seen as core to the critique of a public official’s performance. But two examples highlight growing questions about this line of thinking.
  • Garry Rodan
  • Tom White
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Increasing Welfare, Containing Entitlement

Singapore’s People’s Action Party has long opposed “Western welfarism”, preferring to emphasise self-reliance. However, this core ideology has been challenged in recent years as concerns have mounted over the cost of living, inflation, and the adequacy of Singaporeans’ retirement funds.
  • Garry Rodan
  • Tom White
research
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Capitalism, Inequality, and Ideology in Singapore

Part one of a series of four articles on capitalism, inequality and ideology in Singapore. With widening inequalities and issues with increasing productivity for economic growth, Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party has sought to make policy adjustments—such as boosting healthcare subsidies and bringing in housing reform—to address its citizens’ concerns. But over the past decade, there’s been an increase in questioning of the party’s core ideologies.
  • Garry Rodan
  • Tom White
research
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Journalism and Syariah in Aceh: Uncomfortable Co-existence

What are the ethics of journalism when it comes to reporting on the implementation of criminal bylaws in Aceh, Indonesia? The 2012 suicide of a 16-year-old girl triggered a debate among journalists that remains unresolved.
  • Janet Steele
  • Nadya Noor
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