An ode to Nelson Mandela

While most of Singapore was busy battling the haze in June 2013, Nelson Mandela was struggling for his life. Mandela, 94, hasn’t made a public appearance since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010. President Barack Obama was hoping to see him during his recent visit to South Africa, but the plans were dropped as […]

scandal

What’s in a scandal?

As a foreigner in Singapore I find the recent Aljunied-Hougang Town Council affair quite interesting to follow. I won’t pretend I understand all the nooks and crannies of the Singapore GRC/Town Council system, but I do think it’s a positive development that issues such as political influence, conflict of interest, and responsibility with citizens’ money […]

Tough action against Malaysian protestors: Too harsh or well-deserved?

The whip has been unleashed, and it’s not a pretty outcome. It was recently reported that out of the 21 Malaysians who were arrested for participating in the May 8 and 11 protests at Merlion Park against the Malaysian election results, three of them will be sent packing back up north. One of them was […]

Democracy, Human Rights and Confucianism

Recently President Obama toured several countries in the Far East. In a trip to Indonesia, he gave a lengthy speech (peppered with eloquent Bahasa) that contains the following: “Prosperity without freedom is just another form of poverty. Because there are aspirations that human beings share – the liberty of knowing that your leader is accountable […]