Recognising the roots of racism in Singapore

Academic Views

Chong Ja Ian, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science of NUS, considers the media response to recent incidents of racial discrimination, particularly discussions of Critical Race Theory, and how to build greater understanding and empathy. All opinions are the author’s own. This piece is a translation of a Mandarin version published by AcademiaSG […]

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Making space for community


Editorials

Academics are repeatedly encouraged to contribute to the scholarship and to make a wider social impact. Most of AcademiaSG’s efforts so far have focused on the latter, defending and growing the space for academics to play a more public role (see our year-end report card below). But interlocutors within the academy are important, too. The […]

December 11, 2020

Recognising the roots of racism in Singapore


Academic Views

Chong Ja Ian, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science of NUS, considers the media response to recent incidents of racial discrimination, particularly discussions of Critical Race Theory, and how to build greater understanding and empathy. All opinions are the author’s own. This piece is a translation of a Mandarin version published by AcademiaSG […]

June 18, 2021

Why there is Chinese privilege in Singapore, but it’s not analogous to White privilege


Academic Views

Sai Siew Min, a Singaporean historian now based in Taipei, discusses key features of the Singapore context which distinguish “Chinese privilege” from “White privilege”, including the role of political authoritarianism, the landscape of linguistic inequalities, and the visibility of racialisation as “Chinese” in Singapore, which connects to our incomplete understanding of the history of the […]

June 17, 2021

面对种族歧视,务必认清问题


Academic Views

族群共处向来带来的挑战,不是一件当成是理所当然的事情,更不能轻视。需要的是出同理心、宽容和中肯前提下,让民众进行公开对话,才更能充分体会彼此的痛处和理想,而找到初步共识。就因如此,强调一片和谐无事,或一直坚持闭门作业,往往容易使人忘记在建立族群关系上,需要下的努力。多数族裔因为在人数上的差异,往往更容易忽视少数的劣势和经验,面对地问题较小,所以有一定的责任跨出第一步。笔者以为,积极的对话与磨合,或许比穿异族服装、品尝异族食物,更符合推动新加坡现阶段的族群关系,更有利于迈向新加坡公民誓约里,以“不分种族、言语、宗教”为基础,“建设公正平等的民主社会”。

June 15, 2021

Gaza through diverse Singaporean eyes


Academic Views

Faizah Zakaria, Assistant Professor at the NTU School of Humanities with a focus on environmental and religious histories, considers Singaporean discourse on the recent Israel-Palestine crisis, and questions the notion of ‘objective’ and pragmatic ‘views from nowhere’. Views expressed here are her own. Singaporeans tend to pride ourselves on pragmatism, including in our relationships with […]

June 11, 2021

How the drawing of electoral boundaries challenges the principle of equality


Academic Views

Constitutional law professor Kevin YL Tan delves into history to show how once-honoured principles for delineating constituency boundaries have been compromised since the 1990s. To ensure that executive discretion does not exceed legal bounds, Singapore should revisit the all-party boundaries committee’s recommendation ahead of the 1959 general election: Singapore should create an independent and permanent […]

May 26, 2021

Special Topic: Public funding of media


Special Topics

by Cherian George In May 2021, Singapore Press Holdings announced that it would hive off its media business into a non-profit company, SPH Media. The government said it is “prepared to provide it with funding support to help it build capabilities for the future”. There is a long tradition of public funding for media in […]

May 7, 2021

Lucky in a meritocracy? Examining conceptualisations of luck and academic success in Singapore


Academic Views

Assistant Professor Rebecca Ye (a sociologist of education and work at Stockholm University and former visiting fellow in Sociology at the Nanyang Technological University) discusses how ‘luck’ is understood in trajectories of academic success in Singapore and what this reveals about meritocracy. Debates on the relationship between luck, success, merit and inequality have intensified in […]

May 6, 2021

Scholarly journeys: Substation and Singapore’s academia


Academic Views

Following the announced closure of arts and cultural institution the Substation, independent Transnational Cultural Studies scholar Liew Kai Khiun recalls his own memories of the premise and its connections to research. The author has also been actively involved in Singapore’s civil society for the past two decades, in areas such as conservation, animal welfare, and […]

April 9, 2021