Dreams Realised, Dreams Deferred: Understanding and Addressing the Racial Gap in Educational Achievement in Singapore

Many students in Singapore’s Normal (Technical) (or NT) stream do indeed have specific dreams and aspirations.

Some of these students fail to achieve their dreams, but many others succeed – with the help of specific kinds of interventions.

Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE), commonly derided as “It’s the End”, might be better celebrated as “It’s Truly Excellent”.

The ‘Malay stereotype’ – that Malays lack motivation and aspiration – is just that, an unfounded stereotype. (more…)

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Harassment in the (Virtual) Workplace

Companies are increasingly adopting a zero-tolerance stance towards workplace harassment, recognising that it is their duty to provide a safe and conducive work environment that allows individuals to bring their whole selves to work and carry out their work productively.

Workplaces that allow disrespectful and unprofessional behaviours to persist will affect the morale and productivity of the organisation and risk damaging its reputation. (more…)

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The ‘Hwa Chong Woman’ Incident: How Do We Discuss Racism in Light of Mental Illness?

In a video uploaded by Twitter user Ryan Kalmani, a woman dressed in pink was heard questioning other commuters in the MRT cabin about their ethnicity and education whilst taking videos of them. When another commuter had identified herself as Malay, the woman replied with, “Malay is it? Okay, no wonder”1. Claiming that she was being harassed, she had allegedly counted the number of Malays in the cabin to report to the police. (more…)

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Losing it All: Stories of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is not something many would consider as a solution when faced with a challenging financial situation. Along with it comes a host of negative clauses. And because few people see it coming, the people who become bankrupt rarely understand what they are subjected to and lose hope or do not know how to get out of it. (more…)

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Equal Shares of Inheritance for Muslim Children: A Forgotten Perspective

Muslim estates in Singapore are regulated under the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA). Section 121 of the Act stipulates that estates belonging to Muslims domiciled in Singapore and died intestate (without will) shall be adminis- tered in accordance to Islamic law of inheritance (Faraid). Under this condition, the eligible heirs to the estates and their shares would depend on the inheritance certificate issued by the Syariah Court of Singapore. (more…)

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Social Media = Social Change?: The Benefits and Pitfalls of ‘Slacktivism’

It is a familiar enough situation to many who spend enough time online (which is probably too many of us). A controversy or conflict arises and within days, hashtags are created, profile pictures are changed and statuses are updated to ‘bring awareness’ to a cause.

With much of human communication happening over the internet over the past couple of decades, it is only natural that activism too has moved into the online space. Yet such form of raising awareness has often been described pejoratively as ‘slacktivism’ or ‘clicktivism’ – a ‘lazy’ form of activism that asks little of its participants and affects little change in the real world. (more…)

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The Intelligentsia of the Asatizah Community

The asatizah in Singapore have come a long way since the post-independence period of the country. Gone are the days where the asatizah were few in numbers, without much support from organisations — who faced challenges of their own — and lacking many opportunities, be it financial or in continuing their studies overseas. (more…)

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Building Resilience Amidst Uncertainty: The Future of Work in the Age of Digitalisation

Digitalisation has given rise to monumental shifts in the future of work. With numerous predictions about the disruptive effects of technology, workers and the organisations they work for are inundated with negative messages of disruption. Furthermore, the future of work is not immune to further complications brought about by other global phenomena. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has further disrupted the way we work and will eventually entrench a new normal upon us. (more…)

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“What’s Climate Change Got to Do with Me?” – Tips for Environmental Action in the Malay/Muslim community

In February 2021, Singapore’s Parliament debated its first motion on addressing climate change. Filed by six Members of Parliament (MPs), the motion included several recommendations, including “regular reviews to increase the carbon tax, encouraging the setting up of more electric vehicle (EV) charging points in public, expanding climate education in schools and adding climate defence as a seventh pillar of total defence”1. (more…)

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Environment, Sustainability and Islam

The groundbreaking Netflix documentary Seaspiracy shocked viewers by exposing the widespread corruption within the global fishing industry. It mainly focused on the harmful impact of industrial fishing on the ecosystem and how people and communities who rely on fish and fishing as a livelihood are affected1. In addition, the documentary highlighted the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world that requires one to see the world as a tapestry of cause and effect. Unfortunately, our modern, urbanised lifestyle has created a hyper-consumerist, hyper-individualistic society that has greatly contributed to this catastrophe, which is antithetical to the religious epistemic. (more…)

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Private Banking in Europe with Sharifah Ferdaus Ali Albar

Switzerland is one of the world’s leading financial centres and is highly diversified with a high concentration of international and local financial service providers. Its financial sector is one of the most important sectors of the country’s economy, contributing 9.7 percent1 to its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. (more…)

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Book Review: The Years of Forgetting by Sofia Abdullah

I have always been interested in the issue of gender inequality in the Malay/Muslim community but had not delved deeply into the issue of child abuse in the community. Reading Sofia Abdullah’s The Years of Forgetting is definitely a big step for me, as it is a way for me to learn, unlearn and relearn issues like child and sexual abuse in the community. Sofia’s memoir has enabled me to realise the trauma that the victims go through, and how they navigate their lives while trying to move on from the traumatic experiences. (more…)

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