Foreign media

These are a sample of the articles I have published in foreign media publications since 2004, when I wrote my first one while in grad school in the US.

They are listed alphabetically by organisation. The images used are not necessarily the ones in which my articles appeared, I used cool, high-res ones I could find.

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“The Oxley Road Dispute and Singapore’s Future”, Jul 19th 2017

(This article on the battle over Lee Kuan Yew’s estate was an interesting exercise because it reminded me of the trade-offs I have to make when writing for a foreign audience. A lot more background explanation is needed, which gets a bit tedious for a local audience. As such, many Singaporeans preferred the piece on Oxley that I wrote on my blog, which complements this.)


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“How I did it: Razer’s Min-Liang Tan”, July/Aug 2018

(Several of my Raffles Junior College buddies, including the CFO, are at Razer with Min-Liang, so it felt like I was among friends for the research and writing of this.)

“Deep Tech”, Jun 19th 2018

“The Go-Jek effect”, May 29th 2017

(I flew to Jakarta to interview Nadiem Makarim for this. One of my fav pieces.)



“M’sia-S’pore spat: We’ve been here before”, Dec 17th 2018

“Malaysia has changed! Will Singaporeans have courage to do as well?”, May 15th 2018

“Winds of change sweeping M’sia and S’pore”, Nov 5th 2012

(I love Malaysiakini: everything they have done and accomplished in Malaysia. I know the founders. There is a vignette of Steven Gan in my first book, “Floating on a Malayan Breeze: Travels in Malaysia and Singapore”.)


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“Losing Hindustan”, Nov 2020

(A book review of The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India by Manan Ahmed Asif. This piece was first published in the November 2020 issue of The Mekong Review. Please subscribe to the review here. Hard and/or soft copy available. It is one of the few great South-east Asian publications around.)


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“Smart Sports: How cloud is driving a digital transformation in major sports events that benefits athletes, teams, and fans worldwide”, Jul 1st 2020

(For this short piece commissioned by Alibaba Cloud Solutions, I got to research a cool topic: the intersection of sports and tech.)


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“Coronavirus and inequality threaten to unsettle Singapore election”, Jul 1st 2020

“Singapore—history haunts the ultra-modern state”, Feb 17th 2019

(A piece about Singapore’s bicentennial year)



“Coronavirus: is electioneering to blame for Singapore’s teetering pandemic response?”, May 5th 2020


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“Reaping what they sow”, Aug 4th 2012

“In God’s name?”, Jan 14th 2010

“A PR Problem”, Nov 12th 2009

“Taken unawares”, May 7th 2009

(One of my favourite shortform pieces. About “the AWARE” saga in Singapore. Got rave reviews from my editor, unlike below piece, which had red ink everywhere.)

“Muting the messengers”, Jan 15th 2009

(My first ever piece for The Economist; and yes, that above is the exact magazine in which my piece appeared, with my hero Barack on the cover. Read more about my work at the newspaper’s sister units here.)


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“Microentrepreneurs’ contribution to microcredit too long ignored”, Nov 18 2004

(co-authored with buddy Ron Luhur; link is to a republication on Yale Global)

Singapore-based media outfits

These are a sample of the articles I have published in Singapore-based publications since 2011. They are listed alphabetically by organisation.

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“Ctrl-Alt-Meat”, Jul 19th 2019

(A piece about “alt meat”, or modern plant-based meat substitutes. Several reasons I love this piece. First, Wildtype Media Group, which publishes Asian Scientist Magazine, is owned and run by my buddy Juliana Chan. Second, Asian Scientist is exactly the kind of publication niche that Singaporeans should be exploiting: helping to bridge Asia and the English-speaking world. Third, for this piece I interviewed Ling Ka Yi and Sandhya Sriram of Shiok Meats, a Singapore-headquartered, cell-based meat startup. Really cool stuff. Last, Wildtype is the only traditional media outfit in which I still have an official position: I am a “senior writer” there.)



“Should Singapore tax the wealthy more?”, Mar 13th 2014

“The end of identity?”, Aug 23rd 2012

“Inequality and the need for a new social compact”, Jan 2012

(A background paper for IPS’s Singapore Perspectives conference. Co-written with Manu Bhaskaran, Ho Seng Chee, Donald Low, Tan Kim Song, and Yeoh Lam Keong, all buddies of mine.)


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“In the contradictions of the S’pore Story, S’poreans need to decide how to redefine success”, Nov 18th 2018

“Why Singaporeans need to discuss 1987’s Marxist Conspiracy”, May 25th 2017

“Lee Kuan Yew Obituary”, Mar 24th 2015

(Many have said this is their favourite piece of mine.)

“Happy 49th Birthday, Singapore: Let’s find the the real joy of Singaporean society together”, Aug 9th 2014


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“Singapore: Let’s not ignore the downtrodden; nor those who speak up for them”, Apr 9th 2020

“A Vision of Singapore’s Future, or a Throwback to the Past?”, Sep 6th 2019

(A piece on Tan Cheng Bock, former politician from Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party who has now formed his own party to challenge it.)


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“Celebrating Mustafa: 24-Hour Supermarket, and a Migrant’s Dream Come True”, May 3rd 2020

“Growing Up With Star Wars, I Never Expected It to Mirror So Much of Today’s Inequalities”, Dec 18th 2019

“Is There Even A Point to Comparing Singapore to Hong Kong?”, Nov 14th 2019

(This might be my favourite piece so far anywhere; getting closer to achieving the gonzo style of travel journalism to which I aspire.)


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“Hard choices in a changing Singapore”, May 3rd 2014

(Republished on a blog.)

“Tense moments, followed by relief…”, Oct 13th 2012

(An extract from “Floating on a Malayan Breeze: Travels in Malaysia and Singapore”.)