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A Cure Against Conversion Therapy in Singapore?

03.27.23

Lawyer and activist Daryl Yang discusses how a consumer protection approach to conversion therapy might offer a balanced alternative to legislative change that permits individual choice whilst protecting against misleading claims.

Gender, Race and Identity

A Primer on Singapore’s Forthcoming Constitutional Amendment to “Protect” Marriage

09.15.22

While the government has announced that it will repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, it has also sought to protect the definition of marriage from constitutional challenge. Lawyer and activist Daryl Yang explains what the resulting constitutional amendment may look like, as well as what it means to the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore.

Gender, Race and Identity

Senator Cory Booker’s Baby Bonds Proposal is a Good Idea, but it Doesn’t Go Far Enough

05.28.21

In 2005, Pope John Paul II died, Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League, and the Dow Jones had not yet broken 11,000. It was also the year in which then Prime Minister Gordon Brown started a radical experiment to provide every child born in the U.K. with a long-term tax-free savings account or “baby bonds.” […]

Politics

A Tale of Two Sections: Lessons for Singapore From India’s Section 377 Repeal

12.8.20

In September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court made history by unanimously voting to repeal Section 377, which explicitly forbade “unnatural offences of carnal intercourse” and was often used against the country’s LGBT+ community. As the ruling was being celebrated in India, three separate challenges were made in Singapore’s courts against the country’s similar Section 377A. […]

Social Policy

Letter to the Editor: Response to Rethinking Scholarship Diversity

09.21.20

Aloysius Foo responds to our previous article by Andrew Chia, Rethinking Scholarship Diversity: The Pre-U Education of PSC Scholars. In his letter, he highlights the need to go beyond diversity, and explore the deeper issues surrounding Singapore’s social class reproduction, which has created an “Aristocracy of Merit”.

Education, Training and Labor

COVID-19 May Redefine America’s Social Contract for Decades to Come

06.22.20

As a record number of Americans file for unemployment and families struggle to make ends meet, the COVID-19 Pandemic has not only accentuated deep flaws and inefficiencies in the U.S. healthcare system; it has also exposed gaping holes in America’s social safety net. In response, U.S. policymakers must act boldly to construct a new social […]

Social Policy

The politics of language: How can we mainstream social justice vocabularies?

06.22.20

How might we mainstream social justice ideas and language, beginning a national conversation that extends beyond more recognised civil society actors? Reflecting on the discourse surrounding migrant rights, Quah Say Jye draws upon philosopher Miranda Fricker’s concept of “epistemic injustice” to propose a shared vocabulary that might allow migrant workers into our linguistic community. He suggests that our semantic choices need to accurately represent the lived experiences of migrant workers, be accessible to them and the general public, and have the potential to pivot towards broader structural critiques.

Social Policy

What could a fairer migrant worker policy look like?

05.4.20

Poh Yong Han argues that while addressing poor dormitory and food standards for migrant workers are important, they merely represent the tip of the iceberg. Unless we tackle the underlying structural issues that explain why migrant workers “consent” to such poor standards (low wages, high agency fees) in the first place, we are not addressing the root cause of the problem. To address them, she proposes setting a Minimum Income Threshold, and enforcing fair recruitment practices. She further suggests reconsidering whether the Work Permit scheme as it stands is even ethical, and asks if current restrictions (such as tying workers to specific employers) need to be loosened, and whether a fairer migrant worker policy would entail providing them with pathways to citizenship or residency.

Health

Citizenship-Stripping as a Political Tool: A Comparative Perspective

04.27.20

Since the attempted coup on 15 July 2016, Turkish state authorities have engaged in what they characterize as a counterterrorism campaign against the political enemy they blame for the attacks: the expatriate cleric and government critic Fethullah Gülen, as well as hundreds of his followers who fled the country. The Turkish government still maintains that […]

Il/licit Intimacies: Why The State Regulates FDW’s Intimate Lives

03.5.20

In Singapore, foreign domestic workers (FDWs) on Work Permits are subject to various bio-political restrictions: namely, restrictions that govern who they can marry and whether they can be pregnant.

What explains these restrictions, and why is the state so invested in policing the private intimacies of foreign domestic workers? Poh Yong Han traces through parliamentary debates and newspaper articles to show how these restrictions are informed by a neoliberal philosophy that informs how we view citizenship, and unpacks its consequences.

The Case For Incorporating Social Analysis Into Policy Design

02.24.20

Paul argues that policymakers need to move beyond numbers-driven, utilitarian logics of decision-making and incorporate a human-centered approach to policy-making. Drawing from Teo You Yenn’s seminal work on the need to understand issues like inequality as lived experiences rather than just statistical data, Paul considers the benefits of a social analysis approach and examines the ways in which it can be implemented in Singapore.

Democracy and Governance

Past the Pilot Stage: Policy Makers Must Consider Impacts of Police Body-Worn Cameras beyond Accountability

01.21.20

In September 2013, attorney Scott Greenwood of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said of police use of body-worn cameras, “You don’t want to give officers a list and say, ‘Only record the following 10 types of situations.’ You want officers to record all the situations, so when a situation does go south, there’s an […]

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