28 July 2006

Racial Harmony Day

A newspaper reported that our teenagers could not read race and religion the Singapore way. For example, 1 in 3 weren't sure of the distinction between 'Malay' and 'Malaysian'. Is this inimical to racial harmony? Full essay.

27 July 2006

Israel attacks Hezbollah in Lebanon

The recent flare-up in the Middle East highlights the problem of militias and the gulf between Arab governments and their people. The failure of statesmanship on both the Israeli and Arab sides has prolonged the Middle East conflict unecessarily. Full essay.

24 July 2006

Sauce for the goose

Columnist Andy Ho of the Straits Times warns against political videos, particularly those that mock and parody our leaders. Meanwhile, in another column, are jokes that mock and parody (not our) leaders. Full essay.

21 July 2006

Honour and the control of others

Zidane head-butts Materazzi. Taiwanese father poisons his own son. How sexist and patriarchal ideas make men look stupid. Full essay.

18 July 2006

Struggles rather than Troubles?

Guest writer Liew Kai Khiun, a post-'65 Singaporean, takes an uncommon look at the post-1945 "communist subversives" and explains why it's time to revise Singapore's dominant political narrative. Full essay.

15 July 2006

Gay marriage defeated in New York court

In the recent case of Hernandez v Robles, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the law allowing only opposite-sex couples to marry was not unconstitutional. What were the grounds for this decision? The key arguments explained. Full essay.

When the puppet speaks to the master

There was a striking headline in the Straits Times on 14 July 2006. "Where are the political cartoons today?" it asked. To whom was that question posed? And what might it be telling us about the dynamics between the government and its media? Full essay.

12 July 2006

Singapore buys Malaysia, Malaysia bombs Singapore

One may be outrageous and the other is widely seen as funny. But what if the tables are turned, and someone jokes about Singapore bombing Malaysia? How far would you qualify free speech? Full essay.

Let Mr Brown speak

Eric Tan wrote a letter to the Straits Times Forum regarding the "suspension" of the Mr Brown column. The newspaper declined to publish it. The letter.

Flags and monuments

Unfortunately, flying the Singapore flag around our National Day does not mean what it is supposed to mean. And monuments are made to mean what they may not mean. Full essay.

08 July 2006

Much ado about citizen journalism

The Straits Times ran a feature story on citizen journalism on 8 July 2006. It seemed oddly out of focus, but perhaps it was because, based on the questions they had emailed me, I expected it to go deep into issues of contestation and boundaries. Full essay.

06 July 2006

The inutility of speaking truth unto power

A well-known blogger wrote a commentary on the latest household income statistics in 'Today' newspaper. The government took him to task for "sarcasm" saying he was being partisan. Meanwhile, I saw the Korean film 'The king and the clown', which dealt with the effect of political satire too. Full essay.

Income inequality widens markedly

One in three Singapore households had less income in 2005 than in 2000, a government survey showed. In the same period, the top 10 percent of households saw their income increase by nearly 15 percent. Full essay.

03 July 2006

The troubles of Joo Chiat

Residents in this part of Singapore are upset about the bars mushrooming in the area. How bad is the problem? Yawning Bread makes a visit and discusses the the more general zoning and urban planning issues raised as a result. Full essay.