Help fund Musings from Singapore

If you enjoy the content here, please consider making a donation to help with the running costs.

No obligation. Give what you want. Even a dollar is great.

PayLah! or PayNow or Bank Transfer

Send money to UEN: 53406735B (“STV Works”) or simply scan the QR code below.

Alternatively, you can also do a direct bank transfer to “STV Works” at United Overseas Bank (UOB), account: 4653009199


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Note: There are no transaction fees with PayLah! or PayNow. With Paypal or Credit Card there is a percentage on top of a fixed cost, e.g. 3.9% plus $0.50 per transaction.

With your help I can keep the content on this site free and accessible to all.

IFAQ (Infrequently asked questions)

How do I know you are not using my money for booze?

I promise efficiency and transparency:

– Every dollar will be spent on creating content—video, written and otherwise—on Singapore for you

– I will publish regular, detailed accounts on this site (current plan is for twice yearly, beginning June 2021)

What is your “suggested donation”?

I intentionally do not quote an amount because I do not want to exclude anybody. If you are unsure, please give one dollar, that would be super!

We live in in an unequal world and I know my richer readers do not mind paying more to subsidise those who can’t. The first time I opened up my site for donations, in October 2020, donors gave amounts ranging from S$1 to S$500. I cherish every donation.

I am inspired by pay-what-you-want restaurants. First taste the food, eat. If you like it, pay. Some will pay more, some will pay less, some not at all. Hopefully today’s takings cover the rent.

Why donations? Why not a subscription plan?

A subscription plan would put pressure on me to churn out content here to keep subscribers happy. I do not have the bandwidth to do that while maintaining quality.

And maybe I never will. I think it is terribly important for me to keep writing on different topics for different publications, working with different editors and teams. #lifelonglearning

(Some recent work: an opinion piece on Singapore’s recent election for Nikkei Asian Review; a briefing paper on Asian science and technology pioneers that I wrote for the Asian Scientist Magazine; a long paper on Responsible AI that I edited for the Economist Intelligence Unit.)

Why don’t you fund this site out of your own pocket?

For the past fifteen years, I have financed “Musings from Singapore” through my paid work. From 2006-13 this was a full-time job; from 2013 till today this is the freelance paid work I do for clients such as the above.

It has been my privilege to do so. Thanks for reading and sharing. Among other things, “Musings from Singapore” has allowed me to experiment with commentary and new media in ways a regular job never could; my recent election videos are testament to this. 

This year my freelance income has declined (COVID?) while my costs have risen, largely due to video production and hiring more researchers and fact checkers. As you’ve seen with my homemade videos, I’m quite happy to do things low-cost; but they still add up. My contributors have been working for me well below market rates, and they/we are feeling the strain.

If this experiment fails then I may, grudgingly, consider a paywall or a paid newsletter.

Why don’t you use sites like Substack or Patreon?

They all charge transaction fees. Offering the three methods above allows me to cut down on overall fees, so more of your money can be directed towards content.

On a related note, some of you have said that you will buy my “merch”. But I see that as a resource-wasting workaround. I would rather just find an easy way for willing consumers to directly pay for my content.

Separately, I would rather not go down the road of advertising and influencer sponsored content, for many reasons, the main one being that I’m sure the quest for eyeballs will change me and my product for the worse (see Nas Daily).

I thought you had plans for a media start-up in Singapore. Is this it?

No. I still have plans for a separate media start-up, something that will be a separate entity, a Singaporean publication that will hopefully be around for decades to come. Those plans may take months, if not years, to come to fruition. I am still in very early discussions with potential co-founders (buzz me if interested!).

In the meantime, I hope to keep making videos and writing articles here. Hence I need your support.

I have more questions for you. How do I ask them?

Please do write! If your question is sufficiently fun and sufficiently infrequent, I will add it to this IFAQ.