How Immigrants Don’t Want Other Immigrants

We’ve been extraordinary in economic development. We can be as good at defeating xenophobia. BY ROYCE QUEK Rome wasn’t built in a day: and it also wasn’t built by the people and riches of its own lands. Instead, its armies conquered Greece, North Africa and Asia Minor through the manpower of not just Romans, but the many Roman allies: fellow Italian cities which had been subjugated by Rome and were forced to give soldiers to the Roman war machine. With this strategy of co-opting other cities into its growing dominion, Rome swept all before it. But the Italians weren’t happy …

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Why aren’t we all “Cosmopolitan”?

BY POH YONG HAN For a young city-state, Singaporeans celebrate our “cosmopolitanism” and “global outlook” as ingredients for economic success. Yet, celebration of cosmopolitanism has also been met with pushback. Whether in sporadic bursts of public xenophobic sentiment or undertones of disapproval and mistrust in our day-to-day conversations, this apparent dichotomy requires us to examine our perceptions of cosmopolitanism itself – what is cosmopolitanism, how … Continue reading Why aren’t we all “Cosmopolitan”?

Are Singaporeans Xenophobic?

BY ZACH ISAIAH CHIA It seems that globalisation has resulted the rise of nationalism and xenophobia. We see it in the rise of UKIP in UK, New Dawn in Greece, Donald Trump in the US and the Swedish Democrats in Sweden. A recent Op-Ed in the Singapore Policy Journal argued that the local-foreigner divided was threatening to tear Singapore asunder. In the article, writer Samuel … Continue reading Are Singaporeans Xenophobic?

Our Calloused Hearts: Xenophobia and Racial Disharmony in Singapore

BY SAMUEL MYAT SAN “Regardless of race, language or religion…” This phrase in Singapore’s National Pledge has been a cornerstone of the city-state’s approach to racial harmony. The principles behind this policy are already unraveling, with Singaporeans becoming increasingly intolerant of foreign races, languages and religions. This “citizen-foreigner divide” may undermine racial harmony in Singapore if left unchecked. The government’s own harsh treatment of refugees, … Continue reading Our Calloused Hearts: Xenophobia and Racial Disharmony in Singapore

A Case of Renewed Identity: The Fading Role of WWII in Singapore’s National Narrative

BY AMARIS LEE With Singapore in its 50th year of independence, the island’s past has been the focal point of much introspection this year. The National Day Parade dedicated an entire chapter to an artfully choreographed portrayal of the island-state’s history. The celebration and consideration of the country’s history is less inevitable than it may initially seem – until the late 1980s, Singapore looked firmly … Continue reading A Case of Renewed Identity: The Fading Role of WWII in Singapore’s National Narrative

A Super-aged Singapore: Policy Implications for a Smart Nation

BY TAN TECK BOON The latest July 2015 United Nations World Population Prospects (UNWPP) paints a sober picture of Singapore’s demographic situation. A rapidly ageing population has severe implications but emerging technologies can cushion its impact. ACCORDING TO United Nations World Population Prospects (UNWPP), Singapore will become a super-aged society in 2026. By then, one in five persons in the country or 1,258,441 will be … Continue reading A Super-aged Singapore: Policy Implications for a Smart Nation

Maybe, Baby? Understanding Singapore’s Low Fertility Rate

Singapore’s citizen population is shrinking. A Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1 would allow the population to stabilize – our TFR is currently 1.2. The government has tried almost everything to spur couples to “action”: from traditional incentives such as cash, health benefits, and parental leave, to not-so-traditional messaging strategies such as the fertility fairytale. However, in spite of these ingenious interventions, our TFR has … Continue reading Maybe, Baby? Understanding Singapore’s Low Fertility Rate