COVER STORY

Digital Currencies and Their Adoption in Singapore

MONEY, FIAT CURRENCY AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES
The three main functions of money are as a unit of account, medium of exchange and store of value. Cash is a financial instrument and physical asset that combines four features: (i) it is anonymous; (ii) it is universal (anyone can take possession); (iii) it is exchanged peer to peer (without knowledge of the issuer); and (iv) it does not yield any interest by itself[1]. Banks are the traditional money creators and maintain their inimitability at keeping reserves at the central banks (CBs). (more…)

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ARTS & LITERATURE
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. (more…)


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EDUCATION
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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ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Malay/Muslim Businesses in FinTech

SINGAPORE’S FINTECH JOURNEY
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that “FinTech is transforming financial services in a way not seen before. Big Data has the biggest potential in the transformation of financial services.”1 MAS has started to analyse and combine large data sets to gain richer insights into customer behaviour and needs, identify fraud or anomalies in financial transactions, and sharpen surveillance of market trends and emerging risks. (more…)


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ENVIRONMENT
“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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FINANCE
SG Budget 2019: The Vision of a Caring and Inclusive Society

The Singapore Budget 2019 outlined a strategic plan to allocate resources to build a “Strong, United Singapore”. To realise this vision, among other objectives such as keeping Singapore safe and secure, transforming our economy into a vibrant and innovative one, and building a global city, is the aspiration of building a caring and inclusive society. (more…)


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HEALTH
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. (more…)


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INTERNATIONAL
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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LIFESTYLE
Together Apart: Holidays Without Travelling, 2020 Edition

I remember being a child and looking forward to what a marvellous year 2020 was going to be. It was filled with lofty dreams of all the things I had wanted to accomplish – I will be wearing strappy high heels that will softly clickety-clack as I glide along my swanky office, and pulling my chic bag as I rush to the airport for a business trip to New York City. (more…)


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OPINION
Woke Culture: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ‘WOKE’, ANYWAY?
Before 2014, the call to ‘stay woke’ was, for many people, unheard of. Within the Black communities, however, it had been around for a while – commonly referring to the notion of staying alert to the deceptions of other people as a basic survival tactic. In 2014, following the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, ‘stay woke’ symbolically came to be the cautionary watchword of Black Lives Matter activists on the streets as they urged one another to ‘stay woke’ against police brutality and unjust police tactics[1]. (more…)


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POLITICS
Leader of the Opposition and Political Evolution in Singapore

The appointment of Pritam Singh, the Workers’ Party (WP) chief, as the formal Leader of the Opposition (LO) is undoubtedly a significant step in the maturing of the political system in Singapore. Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong’s gesture showed a recognition of the desire of the electorate for greater opposition representation. (more…)


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