FICA: Assurances to academics are welcome, but concerns remain

Academic Views, Editorials

The Government has promised that FICA will not obstruct normal academic activity. Its statements do not allay such fears completely.

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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

Science-based does not mean value-neutral: Making the case for broader public participation in climate governance


Academic Views

Belicia Teo, a PhD student at NYU’s Department of Sociology whose research focuses on climate change and social movements, argues that climate policy requires more than “listening to the science” — it also requires broader deliberation to address differences in norms and values. The rhetoric of “listening to the science” has gained prominence recently, thanks […]

March 25, 2021

Yes please, let’s talk about ‘cancel culture’


Academic Views

Professor Cherian George explains why he welcomes establishment voices’ complaints about social justice activists’ attempts to boycott offensive speech. I have been glancing occasionally at Singapore’s debate on “cancel culture” with a mix of bemusement and satisfaction at how some conservatives have been rising to the defence of open discussion. For the uninitiated (lucky you), […]

March 19, 2021

“Be decent mother, go through PSLE”: when children’s education becomes parental care labor


Academic Views

Associate Professor Teo You Yenn discusses how children’s education becomes parental care labour, with differing impacts on parents across class and gender lines. Contemporary Singapore appears to be a great place to raise children—safe, clean, with good care infrastructure and a world-class education system. Singaporean adults also appear to be exactly the right people to […]

February 24, 2021

Essential work and the gig economy: Job quality matters


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Independent researcher Dr Stephanie Chok asks: if gig work and other non-standard forms of employment are an integral and growing part of our economy, what are our shared political responsibilities in ensuring that it delivers fairer returns? Beyond Social Services’ February 2021 report, Mind the Chasm: COVID-19 and Deepening Inequalities in Singapore, reveals the pandemic’s […]

February 23, 2021