Negotiating Singapore’s meritocracy

Joggers running outside The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Nur Diyanah Binte Anwar, RSIS

Recent debates on meritocracy raise questions as to what Singapore regards as merit. Several concepts have emerged reflecting how meritocracy is evolving in the Singaporean context, such as ‘compassionate meritocracy’, ‘trickle up meritocracy’ and ‘meritocracy through life’. Read more…

How Temasek has driven Singapore’s development

Temasek CEO Ho Ching, who redefined the company's mission to the pursuit of long-term wealth creation. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Angela Cummine, Oxford University

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Temasek, one of Singapore’s two sovereign investment funds (SIFs), along with the Government Investment Corporation (GIC). Read more…

Tentative but no fundamental change in Singapore

Singapore's skyline gliters with lights as spheres in the waters of Marina Bay form the number '50' to mark Singapore’s 50th anniversary in 2015, ahead of the New Year's countdown celebrations in Singapore on December 31, 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Mukul G. Asher, NUS, and Chang Yee Kwan, Independent

On the usual measures of economic prosperity, Singapore went from strength to macroeconomic strength in 2014. Real economic growth was between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent for the year. The world economy was forecast by the IMF in October to have grown at 3.3 per cent. Singapore continued to grow in importance as an ASEAN hub for RMB-denominated financial services, and was named, for the ninth year running, the best global location for business and enterprise. Read more…

Why Singapore will not replicate Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests

Pro-democracy protesters wait for the arrival of Letitia Lee See-yin, leader of the anti-occupy 'Blue Ribbon' group, in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on 7 October 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Dylan Loh Ming Hui, RSIS

On 27 September, hundreds of people staged a ‘Return Our Central Provident Fund’ (CPF) protest rally at Hong Lim Park, Singapore. Simultaneously in Hong Kong, the Occupy Central movement, combined with student-led classroom boycotts, morphed into a bigger and broader pro-democracy protest — paralysing key financial and administrative locations such as Admiralty, Civic Square and Harcourt Road. Read more…

Enhancing public debate on inequality in Singapore

Guests of the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore look over the financial district from a rooftop swimming pool on 13 May 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Mukul G. Asher & Chang Yee Kwan, NUS

The publication of Thomas Piketty’s 2014 book Capital in the 21st Century has brought the issue of income inequality to the fore of public policy debates in many countries. This is remarkable, given the book’s length (696 pages), the intricacy of the historical data series that forms the statistical foundations of the book’s main propositions, and its relatively narrow geographical focus (mainly the US, the UK, and Western Europe). Read more…

Singapore’s smart army

The Singapore navy guided missile frigate RSS Steadfast (FFG 70) and the corvette RSS Vigilance (90) are seen underway in the South China Sea (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric J. Cutright).

Author: Michael Raska, RSIS

Since its inception as a small city-state, Singapore has grappled with insecurity and strategic uncertainty. Traditionally, small states have experienced considerable limitations in balancing their security needs and strategic ambitions with policies directed at maintaining economic growth and social stability. Read more…

Singapore’s history wars

Lee Kuan Yew waves to supporters ahead of submitting his nomination papers to contest in the 2011 elections in Singapore on 27 April 2011. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Geoff Wade, ANU

As we move towards 2015, a year that will mark Singapore’s 50th anniversary as a nation, a battle over the past of that country is slowly gaining steam.

The increasingly frail health of Lee Kuan Yew, the man depicted in the establishment histories as the ‘father of Singapore’, is making this battle more important for both sides. Read more…