COVER STORY

2020 Census – A Community Perspective

Over many decades, the Malay community has generally been making good progress in almost all areas such as educational attainment, employment and income levels, and dwelling type as demonstrated in the latest Census 2020 released in June 2021[1]. Of course, in meritocratic Singapore and where excellence is the byword, the other communities have also advanced and with their head start, disparity between them and the Malays remains a stark reality. (more…)

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SOCIAL
SCWO’S REPORT: Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development

The Ministry of Social and Family Development has declared 2021 the Year of Celebrating SG Women. In light of this nationwide review on women’s issues to bring about mindset change in cultural value systems to achieve gender equality, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisation (SCWO) has been one of the organisations leading the Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development to identify issues concerning women in Singapore and gather recommendations accordingly. (more…)


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Bhaiyya, You Are My Brother

On 7 April 2020, Singapore entered its circuit breaker period, a nationwide stay-home order or cordon sanitaire – aimed at stemming the spread of the nascent COVID-19 pandemic. A few months later, Singapore’s residents were once again able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures like dining out, jogging, or even simply meeting up at each other’s residences, as the republic gradually loosened the circuit breaker restrictions with reduced community cases. (more…)


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The Death of Expertise: Examining Anti-Vaccine Sentiments

In the 18th century, the Baghdad-based Armenian merchant Owannis Moradian attempted to convince the people of Baghdad of the necessity of vaccination. His fervour for scientific developments and technology made him eager to spread the culture of vaccination in Baghdad as he was convinced that it would protect them from smallpox. However, he struggled in his initial attempts due to widespread misinformation based on religious convictions that made the people of Baghdad hesitant to accept this novel medical innovation. (more…)


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How People Think About Basic Needs

What do people living in Singapore today need in order to meet basic standards of living? Over two waves of Minimum Income Standards (MIS) research[1], our team conducted focus group discussions with ordinary Singaporeans to investigate this question. Our 2019 study reported household budgets for older persons: 55 to 64 years old, and 65 years and above. The 2021 study, which we recently released, determines the amount of money that households with children need for a basic standard of living in Singapore. It covers households with single or partnered parents, who have one to three children of any age up to 25 years old. (more…)


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PERSONALITY
The Evolving Role of Nurses with Afa Asmin

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthcare workers, especially nurses, who are needed not only in the hospitals but also in the community. In Singapore, a rise in interest in the profession has led to a nearly 50 percent increase in applications for Workforce Singapore’s nursing-related professional conversion programmes this year[1].

However, prior to the pandemic, 29-year-old nurse Afa Asmin often felt that people viewed nursing as a lower tier occupation, and nurses were not as respected as other healthcare professionals. (more…)


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BOOK REVIEW
Book Review: Hidayah Amin's Sang Nila Utama & Tun Seri Lanang: Singapore's Last Malay Schools

Sang Nila Utama & Tun Seri Lanang: Singapore’s Last Malay Schools by Hidayah Amin is a narrative about Singapore’s last Malay schools, Sang Nila Utama Secondary School (SNU) and Tun Seri Lanang Secondary School (TSL). The book shares more than just the history of the two schools. It includes the experiences, feelings and stories of students who had attended the schools and how their time there had shaped them to become who they are today, including the challenges that the schools faced. Both of the schools obtained their names from Southeast Asia’s historical personalities. (more…)


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EDUCATION
Two Years of the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Have They Meant for Education in Singapore?

In July 2021, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization issued a joint press release calling for the reopening of schools across the world. The press release lamented the fact that over 156 million students were being adversely affected by the continuing closure of schools in 19 countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both organisations expressed concern that “the losses that children and young people will incur from not being in school may never be recouped”. (more…)


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HEALTH
First Pregnancy at Advanced Maternal Age

Pregnancy, for many, is ideally a planned one and looked upon as a precious and intimate journey for a woman. Every pregnancy is different. The time, finances, and emotions invested are unique to every pregnant woman. This is even more so for those who are pregnant for the first time at an older age. Most times, it can bring about anxiety and worry amidst the excitement of the pregnancy. In this day and age, we do see a trend of women getting pregnant at a later age[1]. (more…)


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ENTREPRENEURSHIP
COVID-19 Lessons Learned: Business Owners Edition

NEW WORLD, NEW RISK
The year 2020 saw a tremendous shift in the business world and almost every industry across the globe was affected. While businesses often expect to be affected by waves of economic recession, part of the challenge this time is the fact that the pandemic has lasted much longer than what many businesses are normally used to in an economic crisis. Businesses were at the point of decimation, with many ending up shutting their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. (more…)


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INTERNATIONAL
Role of Singapore Muslims During the Ottoman-Balkan Wars

In the early 18th century to the end of the 20th century, with the rise of the Industrial Revolution, colonial powers such as the Great Britain, France and Russia started to expand their power to other regions such as Asia and Africa through colonisation. Their main goal was to search for wealth abroad and extract the resources there to expand their economical markets and influences on other regions. (more…)


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RELIGION
Adab for Muslims when Using the Handphone Camera

Today, the camera has become available in almost everybody’s hand due to the wide use of smartphones. Even a primary school student possesses a camera that comes with a mobile phone given by the parents for easy communication between them.

Unlike in the past, photo taking and video recording have now become easier for everyone, at any time or place. Muslims, however, must know that Islam commands them to observe adab (etiquette) in every aspect of life. In this regard, Muslims are to observe certain adab when using their handphone cameras for photo taking or video recording. (more…)


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