Rethinking costs and the social compact


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Elvin Ong, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Southeast Asia Research at the University of British Columbia and Overseas Postdoctoral Fellow at the National University of Singapore, argues that reform of the economy—including to reduce dependency on low-waged migrant labour—should be done on a progressive basis. Over the past few weeks, Singaporeans have been actively […]

May 22, 2020

A conversation with Debbie Fordyce, TWC2 President


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Philip Holden, formerly Professor at the National University of Singapore, interviewed Debbie Fordyce—President of NGO Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)—to discuss the work of TWC2 and structural issues facing migrant workers. Philip: It’s a pleasure to interview Debbie Fordyce, president of TWC2. Some academics work directly on issues of migrant labour; many do not, and […]

May 14, 2020

COVID-19 and mental health


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Jung Jong Hyun, assistant professor at NTU, has been researching social determinants of mental health, using the stress process model as a guiding framework. Here he examines how COVID-19 can undermine mental health and how we can cope with it. (Banner photo: Amanda Ho) Another month! After hearing about the Circuit Breaker extension, I wondered […]

April 25, 2020

Who are we trading off? Considerations for Singapore’s post-pandemic social compact


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Chong Ja Ian, Harvard-Yenching Institute Visiting Scholar 2019-2020, argues that the pandemic reveals the need for Singapore to reconsider how it makes decisions about national directions and policy trade-offs. (Banner photo credit: Sumita Thiagarajan) Singapore’s state-affiliated mainstream media has lately been publishing pieces relating to inequality. Undoubtedly, this has to do with the disproportionate economic […]

April 23, 2020

In this zombie apocalypse, your homework is due at 5pm


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Teo You Yenn is Associate Professor, Provost’s Chair, and Head of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University. This week marks the beginning of the shutdown of schools and childcare centres in Singapore. All over the island, in households with children, adults are no doubt struggling to maintain some semblance of normalcy in abnormal times. Fixed timetables; […]

April 9, 2020

Protecting the precarious: COVID-19 and migrant workers


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Laavanya Kathiravelu, assistant professor at NTU, has been researching the lives of low-wage migrant workers for more than a decade and sits on the board of HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics). Here she examines how migrants’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic have not been adequately addressed. Across the world, the coronavirus outbreak has made […]

April 8, 2020

Mid-career and middle-aged workers’ woes: is training the solution?


Academic Views

Arthur Chia, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Work and Learning, Research and Innovation Division of the Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore University of Social Sciences, argues that it is necessary to move beyond supply-side solutions such as retraining to address the employment difficulties faced by mid-career and middle-aged workers. Mid-career and middle-aged workers are […]

March 16, 2020

Committing to supporting low-income workers


Academic Views

Irene Y.H. Ng, Associate Professor and Director of the Social Service Research Centre in the National University of Singapore, discusses ways to harness Budget 2020 for greater support of low income workers. This year’s unity budget has something for everyone. It includes immediate measures to deal with the current Covid-19 epidemic, and longer term strategies […]

March 12, 2020