This is what K Shanmugam, Singapore’s home affairs and law minister, called for this week in response to some quite awful anti-Indian incidents around town.
Yes, I agree with him. The opposition should. We all should. It is a daily battle.
However, we should also recognise the efforts made by the opposition over the years to distance themselves from racist and xenophobic strands. Here are two examples.Continue reading “Should the opposition be speaking out more against racism in Singapore?”
Today we heard the news that Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is spinning off its media unit, including The Straits Times and many other publications, into a non-profit entity. This follows years of consistently poor performance amid digital disruption and other changes to the media industry.
Wiser minds will engage in more thorough post-mortems—has anybody seen Ho Ching’s feed today?—but I wanted to spark a small conversation on the culture of elite governance in Singapore.
“If not for the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), the loss would have been a deeper S$39.5 million,” Lee Boon Yang, SPH’s chairman, said in reference to the media business’s first-ever lost of S$11.4m, for the financial year which ended Aug 31 2020.
(Which includes management salaries. In case you missed it, since the JSS began in February 2020, the Singaporean taxpayer has helped pay even more for the upkeep of numerous millionaire elites.)
All this got me thinking. Why exactly is Lee Boon Yang the chairman of SPH?Continue reading “The elites have run The Straits Times into the ground. What’s next?”
“…in today’s world it’s getting easier with the gig economy and freelance or contract worker or independent worker isn’t such a bad word anymore for some people but it was certainly difficult… but I was also so energized. So I think it wasn’t just nerves, I think this is the interesting thing about any journey, at the same time there’s this sense of excitement about … Continue reading My appearance on the Brave Dynamics podcast
Over the past few days many in Singapore and overseas have expressed surprise at the seeming paucity of political leadership talent in the ruling People’s Action Party.
I actually think this has been a long time coming, and in many ways is just reflective of our city-state’s economic and democratic maturation, about which there is plenty to cheer.
I explain why in a commentary, “Concerns about ‘seeming paucity’ of PAP leadership talent”, published in The Home Ground Asia, a new Singapore-based media outfit.Continue reading “Why is there a paucity of political leadership in SG?”
Join me on Sunday March 28th, 1.25pm Singapore time. Click here to view. Dear friends, please join Kenny Leck and me for a Facebook live video conversation this Sunday, as part of the #SGLitFTW event organised by BooksActually, an independent book store in Singapore run by Kenny. It’s been about a year since the pandemic changed our lives here, and the main topic of convo … Continue reading a live video interview this Sunday afternoon
Note: Amid this flight from the Facebook/WhatsApp empire, a quick note that I also have a Telegram channel: SudhirTV.
It has been a fun, fulfilling, rewarding year being a writer and commentator in Singapore. Thanks so much for following my work. I’m feeling more enthusiastic about Singapore’s social, political and literary climate than I ever have. It’s a terribly exciting time to be living and working here.
Nevertheless, I thought it might be good to spend some time going over some of the hurdles independent writers here face, something that I’m regularly asked about.
So, treat this for what it is, a reflective, end-of-year piece for the benefit of readers and young writers in Singapore interested not only in the product but the process.Continue reading “Ups and Downs of writing in the pandemic year”
This is the last of five in a series on Singapore’s prospective next prime minister. If you have enjoyed this series, please consider making a donation here to support my future work.
The pandemic has been tragic. Yet the assorted losses and disruptions to ordinary life have also prodded many Singaporeans to think about better ways of doing things, of living the good life.
Some are enjoying more time with old friends and family; others have opened their hearts (and wallets) to migrant workers they hitherto ignored.Continue reading “Singapore’s leadership crisis: Lawrence and Pritam”
This is the fourth of five in a series on Singapore’s prospective next prime minister. See here for the third, on Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, 61, minister for law & minister for home affairs
It may seem odd to include Shanmugam, never touted as a potential leader of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), in this series. Yet he is clearly a, if not the, power behind the throne. And observers do wonder if he harbours even greater ambitions.Continue reading “Singapore’s leadership crisis: Shan, the phenom”
This is the second of five in a series on Singapore’s prospective next prime minister. See here for the first, on Heng Swee Keat.
Ong Ye Kung, 51, minister for transport
To his fans, Ong Ye Kung (centre) is precisely the sort of leader Singapore needs in these uncertain times. Somebody who is affable and politically savvy; and who is able to listen to diverse views and then act quickly and decisively, with a conviction steely enough to fend off naysayers.Continue reading “Singapore’s leadership crisis: Ong Ye Kung and Chan Chun Sing”
If you think the pandemic has left your own plans in tatters, spare a thought for poor Lee Hsien Loong (middle), Singapore’s sixty-eight-year-old prime minister.
Recently on the verge of stepping down after sixteen years at the helm, he now does not know when he can.Continue reading “Singapore’s leadership crisis: will Heng Swee Keat be our next PM?”