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Singapore, Disrupted


Singapore is in a state of disruption. Change is here – disorienting, disturbing, sometimes distressing change. Disruptive technologies are displacing jobs and dislodging workers. Society is showing signs of splintering. The gap between the “best” and the rest is growing. In establishment circles, members are breaking ranks. People are searching, probing, asking: what’s happening? Change is also unequal. While shaking up many quarters at an alarming rate, it is not happening fast enough in the areas that truly matter, observes Chua Mui Hoong, political columnist and Opinion editor of The Straits Times, in this volume of fresh essays and published articles. As a journalist who writes from both the head and the heart – and often from a heartlander’s perspective – she takes on issues such as joblessness and safety nets, meritocracy and elitism, marketplace upheavals and leadership transitions, and persuades us that in this new age of disruption, what Singapore needs is a new order. But how can Singapore reorder itself? What can it do better? How must it move, and how can all the motion be translated into real change and advancement? Singapore is at a crossroads. How it responds to this state of disruption will determine its place in the disrupted world. “Chua Mui Hoong writes with a brilliant mind, a warm heart and integrity. She is not afraid to praise or to criticise any one, any institution, including the Government. No reasonable person can question her objectivity and fairness. She loves Singapore and Singaporeans, especially our working class and heartlanders. In spite of her success, she has never forgotten her roots. Her gentle voice is a voice of conscience from our heartland.” – Foreword by Tommy Koh Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Professor of Law, National University of Singapore