First Among Equals: Lawrence Wong as Prime Minister and What Lies Ahead

The much-awaited question has finally been answered: Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will succeed Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong as the leader of the Fourth Generation (4G) of People’s Action Party (PAP) leaders, and thus, as the next Prime Minister of Singapore.

The announcement made in April should be welcomed by all Singaporeans: for far too long, there was too much speculation about the identity of the next PM, with three candidates – Ministers Chan Chun Sing and Ong Ye Kung being the other two – talked about as potential leaders. The speculation even led to rumours about discord and jostling within the party for the coveted position. (more…)

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Making Sense of Jihad Today and its Relevance to Singapore

The command to wage jihad (meritorious struggle or effort) and the reminder against neglecting it appears in many verses of the Quran and the Prophetic traditions. Some consider disregarding this injunction as blasphemous and worthy of humiliation and scorn from Allah swt. As a result, we are witnessing groups such as the Islamic State (IS) who have sanctioned their ‘eye for an eye’ campaigns by instrumentalising concepts within the Islamic tradition such as jihad and recruiting others to join them. (more…)

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Humanism in Community Advocation

Community advocation is a term that is of much relevance today – it signifies a continuous and laborious activity with the intention of implementing positive change based on a specific worldview. It is therefore reformistic in its essence. With the advent of social media that brings much exposure to both knowledge and current happenings of the world, it is to be expected that man with his gifts of criticality and creativity would feel called upon to seek change. But creative intellect is not the only factor in the psyche of man for him to willingly bear this responsibility. Such a burden can only be borne by a being that possesses a moral conscience. (more…)

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Surveillance Capitalism’s Social Problems: Progressive Orientation Helps the Most

The world is moving from modernisation to dataisation, from religion as we know it now to dataism, from capitalism to surveillance capitalism, and from all classes being useful to capitalism to the emergence of a class “useless” to it. With the onslaught of these seismic shifts, we need to sociologically and philosophically re-evaluate our orientations, including political or religious orientations, and determine which one best allows us to adapt to the new dataist political economy, while inculcating values that guide us to alleviate inequality, poverty and social problems. (more…)

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From Integration to Inclusion: Reconstructing the Minority Narratives

With Singapore opening up after two years of COVID-19 restrictions, it almost feels like the country is back to how it was pre-pandemic. Log on to social media or switch on the news, we’ve been flooded with stories of resilience, stories of perseverance, and also stories of love and support. However, we also had to confront an ugly truth – are we as harmonious as we like to say we are? (more…)

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Mitigating the Impact of Rising Inflation Rates in Singapore

The recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic has been slowed by several external shocks to the world’s global value and supply chain. Already one of the most expensive cities to live in, Singapore’s headline consumer price index or overall inflation reached 5.4 percent year on year in April 2022[1]. The core inflation (excludes accommodation and transport) also accelerated to 3.3 percent, the highest in a decade when core inflation reached 3.5 percent in 2012. (more…)

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The Role of Malay-Muslim Fathers in the Family

The White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development that was submitted to Parliament last month outlined the various challenges that women experience – from issues relating to caregiving work to the notion of a glass ceiling at the workplace. While the paper acknowledges positive developments for women over the years, there remains several unfavourable gender norms that are entrenched in Singapore society, such as the belief that women are, by default, the caregivers of the family and men, the breadwinners[1]. (more…)

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Strengthening the Role of Singapore Muslim Professionals in Community Advocacy

To address how the role of Singapore Muslim professionals in community advocacy can be strengthened, there are three things to consider. First, where we are now and what we have done well. Second, where we fall short and what the challenges are. Finally, how we can work together to further strengthen our role in community advocacy. (more…)

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From Kampung to Crypto: Empowering our Malays in Tech

In the past decade, we have seen the world grow exponentially with technology. Our larger community has become increasingly dependent on smartphones and computers to power our fast-paced lives. Within Singapore, this has sparked a slew of government-supported tech skills training initiatives – from SkillsFuture-claimable tech bootcamps like those by Generation Singapore to government partnerships with tech employers like the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA). (more…)

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Making A Plastic-Lite Society A Reality

From mid-2023, major supermarkets in Singapore will be required to charge at least 5 cents for a disposable carrier bag[1]. The rationale goes beyond the need to reduce single-use plastic waste; producing plastic bags itself is resource-intensive. Reports suggest that approximately 37 million kilograms (kg) of crude oil and 12 million kg of natural gas have gone into the production of three billion plastic bags, all of which were used by Singapore residents in a year[2]. (more…)

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Embracing A Career Change Abroad with Kefri Ismail

It is no secret that the Bay Area in San Francisco is a mecca for tech companies. With thousands of firms employing over 3.9 million workers[1], the Bay Area has become the largest tech talent labour pool in the US which continues to attract the brightest and best minds in the tech industry from across the globe. Individuals who are hoping to land a role in this competitive job market will be competing against a pool of global talent. (more…)

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Book Review: Singa-Pura-Pura is Present, Plural and Problematises Tradition

Singa-Pura-Pura is necessary reading for anyone remotely interested in any given configuration of ‘Singapore’, ‘Malay’ and ‘literature’. From academics more accustomed to poring over manuscripts to even non-Malay neophytes, there is something for everyone to chew on in this especially colourful anthology of short stories. Responding to the dearth of Singaporean Malay authors writing in English, the project as spearheaded by Nazry Bahrawi is said to lay the seeds for a loose, non-organised aliran (movement), anticipating an imminent flood of more bilingually proficient writers. (more…)

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