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”?

To Live Together: Focus On Our Differences

BY TERENCE TAN Our children will have to deal with a more divided world. They’re going to grow up in a world where simmering racial tensions have boiled over into street violence, where a crowing xenophobe can become an elected President, and where religious fundamentalists are able to rouse thousands to perish in their name. To thrive in this world, they’ll have to navigate a … Continue reading To Live Together: Focus On Our Differences

Making Every School an Accessible School

BY SINGAPORE POLICY JOURNAL Education policy in Singapore has attracted much attention of late. In the recent parliamentary speeches, Ms Denise Phua (MP, Jalan Besar GRC) commented on how the Direct Admission System disproportionally benefits wealthy families. Mr Png Eng Huat (MP, Hougang) also expressed worries about the billion-dollar tuition culture. A good primary education is perceived to be essential for upward mobility, but the … Continue reading Making Every School an Accessible School

A History Worth Remembering: Forced Labour and National Identity in Singapore

BY THEOPHILUS KWEK “Until very recently Singapore’s past was a matter of supreme indifference for most Singaporeans simply because they believed this island never really had a history worth remembering…” – S. Rajaratnam, ‘The Uses and Abuses of the Past’, 1984. A quick Google search for “slavery in Singapore” returns references to “Modern-day Slavery”, as many have termed the conditions of foreign, and especially domestic … Continue reading A History Worth Remembering: Forced Labour and National Identity in Singapore

Creativity: from Education to Governance

BY KSHITIJ BANSAL Our education system has served us well thus far. Presentation skills, deal-making skills, teamwork skills and the like are key components of our education system. Our vocational training is also up to par. So to many Singaporeans, and to the world at large, there seems to be no immediate pressing issue with our system. Singaporean students regularly lift our chins high at … Continue reading Creativity: from Education to Governance

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?