Language : English
Published : 2014-04-21
Pages : 272
Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus
Singapore is changing. The consensus that the PAP government has constructed and maintained over five decades is fraying. The assumptions that underpin Singaporean exceptionalism are no longer accepted as easily and readily as before. Among these are the ideas that the country is uniquely vulnerable, that this vulnerability limits its policy and political options, that good governance demands a degree of political consensus that ordinary democratic arrangements cannot produce, and that the countryÍs success requires a competitive meritocracy accompanied by relatively little income or wealth redistribution. But the policy and political conundrums that Singapore faces today are complex and defy easy answers. Confronted with a political landscape that is likely to become more contested, how should the government respond? What reforms should it pursue? This collection of essays suggests that a far-reaching and radical rethinking of the country’s policies and institutions is necessary, even if it weakens the very consensus that enabled Singapore to succeed in its first fifty years.
Living The Singapore Story is about Singapore, all 50 years of it as an independent nation. It is not a history book, or about its politics or its national leaders. It is about the people of Singapore and the stories they have to tell, in their own words.
They come from all walks of life – policeman, soldier, doctor, nurse, car salesman, bus driver, teacher, businessman, architect and more – reflecting the diversity that is Singapore. Some are well-known personalities you may recognise but many are ordinary folks.
There are personal stories, of the lives they led, the jobs they did, the challenges they faced, the things they enjoyed doing. Collectively, they tell the story of a people overcoming the odds to build a nation.
As Singapore marks its 50th anniversary, their stories, in this book commissioned by the National Library Board and produced by Straits Times Press, are worth.
Since 1957, Malaysia’s economic development has been an account of growth, transformation, and of structural change. More than 75 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the manufacturing and services sectors. However, Malaysia is stuck in a middle-income trap and is facing challenges on the economic and political front. In June 2010, Prime Minister Najib Razak unveiled the 10th Malaysian Plan (2011-15) to chart the development of Malaysia from a middle- to high-income nation. This publication represents a policy-oriented stocktake and evaluation by academics, policy-makers, and business people on Malaysia’s achievements, present work-in-progress endeavours, and some of the future challenges facing the nation in its pursuit to achieve a developed high-income country status.
About the Author
Sanchita Basu Das is an ISEAS Fellow and Lead Researcher (Economic Affairs) at the ASEAN Studies Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. Lee Poh Onn is Fellow at the Regional Economic Studies Unit, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore.
About the Author
James Meek is a contributing editor of the London Review of Books. He is the author of six novels that have published in the UK, US, France and Germany, including The People’s Act of Love, that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and won the Ondaatje Prize and Scottish Arts Council Award. We are Now Beginning our Descent won the 2008 Le Prince Maurice Prize and The Heart Broke In was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Prize. In 2004 he was named the foreign correspondent of the year by the British Press Awards and he contributes regularly to the Guardian, New York Times and International Herald Tribune. www.jamesmeek.net