The Dialectics of Digitalisation

“A specter is stalking in our midst whom only a few see with clarity. It is not the old ghost of communism or fascism. It is a new specter: a completely mechanized society, devoted to maximal material output and consumption, directed by computers; and in this social process, man himself is being transformed into a part of the total machine, well fed and entertained, yet passive, unalive, and with little feeling.”
— Erich Fromm1


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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. (more…)

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Graduates of Institutes of Higher Learning: Surviving the Future

Amid news of the threat posed by COVID-19 to an already ailing global economy plagued by the US-China trade war and deglobalisation, the announcements made by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat when he delivered the Budget 2020 speech on February 18 brought a ray of hope to workers as the outlook for jobs in the near future looked bleak. (more…)

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Malay/Muslim Businesses in FinTech

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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Refusing a Culture of Convenient Consumption

Environmental sustainability in Singapore is increasingly contradictory. Although globally known for its clean streets and greenery, it has become commonplace to see the streets being cleaned and trees pruned – often times not by Singaporeans themselves. Additionally, despite the immense societal concern on the effects of climate change, most people believe that government action is more important than individual climate action[1]. (more…)

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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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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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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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Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

We tend to think that we are rational decision-makers who rely on facts and data to make decisions. Unfortunately, we aren’t designed to be as objective as we would like to be. Regardless of our background and demographics, we all have our own biases that affect how we view and react to situations, and how receptive we are towards people whom we think are different from us. (more…)

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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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