Cultivating a Dialogical Society: Reflections of IPS’ Singapore Perspectives 2021

The recently concluded Singapore Perspectives 2021 conference organised by the Institute of Policy Studies has created an impact on the Singaporean intelligentsia.

Among the topics discussed was the issue of ‘Chinese Privilege’ touched upon by panelists discussing the theme of ‘Identities and Cohesion’1. One speaker expressed she was “agitated” with the use of the term within Singaporean society.

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COVID-19, Pandemics & Vaccinations

More than a year has passed since the first cluster of COVID-19 infection was reported in a province in China. That first cluster occurred just around the time of a festive season that traditionally had many people going home to spend time with their loved ones or travel overseas for holidays. This contributed to more clusters occurring elsewhere around the world, leading to what has now become a global pandemic.

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Raffles in the Age of Fallen Heroes

The first half of the 21st century may very well be known in future as the age of fallen heroes. Perhaps the most well-known case with a global reach is the Rhodes Must Fall post-apartheid protest movement that began on 9 March 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. The movement was originally directed against the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, the British mining magnate and coloniser of Africa, and symbol of colonial oppression and racism. The statue was located at the upper campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT), Africa’s highest ranked university. On that day, a UCT student, Chumani Maxwele, flung faeces at the statue[1].

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City of Stars or City of Tears?: A Questioning of Singapore’s Development

When development comes to mind, it is almost instinctive to relate it to economic achievements, capital accumulation or profit maximisation of a society or country. However, when understood as a discourse, development is indeed a vast subject, which is not limited to purely economic terms. Since independence, the dominant discourse on development in Singapore has remained largely focused on economic and physical advancements.

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