Hazy days strain Singapore–Indonesia relations

A resident fishes by the river in Palangkaraya city, one of worst-hit by haze in central Kalimantan province, on 21 October 2015. Indonesian forest and agricultural fires have cloaked Southeast Asia in acrid haze, but a certain obscurity also hangs over the political and economic horizon as well. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Barry Desker, RSIS

The haze which has enveloped Singapore since June 2015 highlights the significance of its bilateral relationship with Indonesia. Just as Singaporeans cannot escape the devastating health impact of ‘slash-and-burn’ deforestation in Sumatra, emerging trends in Indonesia will have an impact on Singapore. Read more…

Defusing Singapore’s demographic time bomb

An elderly woman listens to a speech by Chee Soon Juan (not in picture), secretary-general of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), at Chua Chu Kang stadium during a rally ahead of Singapore's September 11 election, on September 3, 2015. Campaigning for Singapore's September 11 election began September 1, with a resurgent opposition seeking a greater political role as voters chafe at immigration and high living costs.  AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN

Author: Tan Teck Boon, RSIS

According to United Nations World Population Prospects 2015, Singapore will become a super-aged society by 2026. By then, one in five people in the country (or 1.25 million) will be aged 65 or above. The median age will exceed 44.9, up from just 18.1 in 1965. When Singapore gained independence in 1965, just 2.65 per cent of the population (or 49,757) were aged 65 or above. Read more…

PAP’s win silences its critics

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong celebrates after the results of the general election are announced, 11 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Netina Tan, McMaster University

In the 2015 election, Singaporeans strongly endorsed the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and gave Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong a strong mandate to lead for the next five years. Despite the online dissent and the large crowds that thronged the opposition rallies, the PAP won a handsome 70.1 per cent of the popular vote. Read more…

Singapore’s PAP wins over the youth and secures its future

Singapore election

Author: Michael D. Barr, Flinders University

One of the lingering questions of Singapore politics over the last couple of decades has been how to measure the effectiveness the National Education program introduced to schools in the second half of the 1990s. The program was designed to instil into the next generation a deep sense of gratitude to founding father Lee Kuan Yew and the People’s Action Party (PAP) government that he led for 30 years. Read more…

Singapore’s final authoritarian election

Supporters’ of the opposition Workers’ Party celebrate their party's retention of a group representative constituency in 11 September 2015 election. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Dan Slater, University of Chicago

Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) is riding high in the saddle again. After a decade of slightly sagging fortunes, in which the long-ruling party’s share of the national vote slumped from over 75 per cent in 2001 to barely 60 per cent in 2011, the PAP rebounded mightily in the election on 11 September, snaring nearly 70 per cent of votes cast. Read more…

Fragility in Southeast Asian democracy

Singapore Prime Minister and Secretary General of the ruling People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong gestures while delivering his speech during a political rally at the opposition constituency of Aljunied in Singapore, 04 September 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Democracy in some of Southeast Asia’s major economies is now under intense scrutiny.

In Thailand, the imposition of martial law has been a major source of international economic and diplomatic problems for more than a year. Read more…

Singapore’s election may hurt the PM, but the government is safe

Supporters of the ruling People's Action Party waves flags bearing the party logo during a political rally at the opposition constituency of Aljunied in Singapore, 04 September 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Michael D. Barr, Flinders University

As Singapore goes to the polls in a general election on 11 September 2015, the contending parties appear to be heading for a showdown over the timeframe by which the government should be judged. The government wants voters to judge it based on its record over 50 years or more; the opposition says it should be judged based on the last decade. Read more…