In defence of academic research

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was an article contribution by Assistant Professor Aamir Rafique Hashmi from the Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in which he discussed the value of academic research. The article was in response to an earlier opinion piece which argued that academic research is not shaping public policy.

Asst Prof Hashmi opined that academic papers are primarily a means to facilitate debate among experts and that when these debates lead to significant discoveries, such discoveries are shared with the practitioners, policymakers and the public using multiple available channels. He added that academic papers are extremely useful in facilitating the creation of new knowledge and ideas, and their usefulness cannot be gauged solely by the count of the number of people who read them.

Click here to read the full article.

Changing places of worship

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Channel NewsAsia

In this report on the effect of urbanisation on the places of worship in Singapore, Professor Lily Kong, NUS Vice Provost (Academic Personnel) and faculty member at the Department of Geography, noted that one of the first things that migrants did when they first came to Singapore in the early days, was that they set up shrines as an expression of thanks. Prof Kong also shared her views about a recent announcement by the government on the possibility of housing several worship places in one building to cater to rising demand for such places.

Click here to read the full article.

Editor/Contributor, Asia Taktik – Singapore




Asia Taktik


About Asia Taktik

Founded in 2013, Asia Taktik is a woman and minority owned small business. It is a technical consulting firm that helps clients explore prospective markets, create opportunities, and establish productive operations in the Asia-Pacific region. We serve as a bridge between the West and East, providing information, plans, and essential support for commercial success in global markets. Our services help government agencies effectively address the challenges of foreign relations and policy implementation in the Asia- Pacific region. Our services help private businesses understand and manage issues related to the geo-political, economic and cultural state of affairs in order to operate profitably in region-specific markets. For more information on Asia Taktik, please visit

Editor and Contributor

Editor/Contributor, Asia Taktik – Singapore

The Editor/Contributor’s main responsibility will be to assist Asia Taktik personnel in editing and formatting Asia Taktik newsletter. He/She will be responsible for formatting, style, spelling, grammar, and references. He/She will also be responsible for generating ideas for Asia Taktik newsletters.

Compensation and Duration

This is a 3 month, unpaid internship opportunity for graduate students in the fields of public policy, business administration, international communication, international development, and journalism. Internship extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis

Interested? Contact  Jenny Lin, Founder & CEO, Asia Taktik LLC – email:




Lessons from Lee Kuan Yew

Friday, 10 April 2015

Daily News

This was an article contribution by Associate Professor Tilak Abeysinghe from the Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Assoc Prof Abeysinghe, who is also the Director of the faculty’s Singapore Centre for Applied and Policy Economics, discussed the legacy of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who was the chief architect of modern Singapore, and shared insights on the areas that other nations can learn from the Singapore story, in relation to leadership and continuity, cabinet, national security, good governance and development strategies.

Click here to read the full article.

Using property prices to guide climate change policies

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was an article contribution by Dr Eric Fesselmeyer, Associate Professor Liu Haoming and Associate Professor Alberto Salvo from the Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, on how governments estimate the impact of costs and benefits of strategies to reduce carbon in climate change.

Policy makers and researchers are finding it difficult to decide on the proper discount rate to use to evaluate carbon abatement strategies. The authors noted that the discount rate to use depends on how society values the future – i.e. if society places a high value on the future, then a low discount rate should be used since society considers a future dollar to be worth almost as much as a current dollar. They also discussed their study which focused on how Singapore’s property market can guide us on discounting future benefits at a lower rate than currently adopted in many policy circles.

The “Ask: NUS Economist” column is a monthly series by the NUS Economics Department. Each month, a panel will address a topical issue.

New law gives Malaysia teeth in fight against terror

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


This was an article contribution by Associate Professor Bilveer Singh from the Department of Political Science at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in which he discussed the introduction of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) by Malaysia to deal with the growing threat of the transnational Islamic State and other forms of terrorism. Assoc Prof Singh opined that preventive detention laws enhance public security but must be prudently exercised with effective checks and balances to ensure non-abuse — with the public as the best judge whether abuses have taken place or not.