Meeting needs of the lower-middle income

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Business Times

In today’s edition of The Business Times, it was reported that an independent study on retirement conducted by Associate Professor Chia Ngee Choon and Associate Professor Albert Tsui, who are both from Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and commissioned by the Ministry of Manpower, found that young workers today can replace their income upon retirement at rates similar to developed countries. The authors said that for Central Provident Fund (CPF) members who want to be able to replace a higher proportion of their income, “they must invest their CPF savings above the minimum sum wisely so as to generate a stream of retirement income to supplement CPF Life payouts”.

Click here to read the full article.

Dance music artist uses social media to engage fans




By Cheong Kakit, Graduate Student, CNM

Eight CNM students participated in a Q&A session with international DJ Ferry Corsten on 13 December 2013.

Best known for dance music tracks such as ‘Punk’, ‘Rock your body, rock’ and ‘Into the dark’, the DJ/music producer who is currently ranked 42nd in the world, invited and answered questions from the audience during a two-hour dialogue session held at the Dutch ambassador’s residence.

Apart from talking about the music industry and his life as a professional DJ, Mr Corsten also shared his views on the increasing importance of social media. He described his own usage of social media as a ‘fun’ and important way to connect with his fans. For example, he recently decided to host an ‘AMA’ (ask me anything) session where he personally responded to questions posted on his social media account.

About the experience, Agnes Chang, a second year CNM student said: “It’s definitely a rare opportunity to be able to meet one of the top DJs in the world and hear him talk about his passion for Electronic Dance Music. It is also amazing how he has managed to influence others and gain more followers with the facilitation of the Internet and platforms like Soundcloud, Youtube and Twitter.”


On the S’pore trail of a great naturalist

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Sunday Times

This was an interview with science historian Dr John van Wyhe, who left the University of Cambridge for NUS in 2010 to study about naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in greater depth. Dr van Wyhe shared about his research on Wallace and hopes to reconstruct Wallace’s world by going to the places he visited and weaving together what really happened. Dr van Wyhe holds a joint appointment as Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science and the Department of History at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

It was mentioned that a private fund-raising campaign supported by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at NUS is under way to erect a statue of Wallace at the upcoming Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Click here to read the full article.

Hackerspaces are becoming centers of liberal arts in Asia: NUS Prof

Tech In Asia

This was an interview with Assistant Professor Denisa Kera from the Department of Communications and New Media at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, who follows and supports science community labs and alternative R&D places (Hackerspaces, FabLabs) across the world with a special focus on DIYbio movements, consumer genomics and various citizen science projects.  She shared about her involvement with the open source science movement, her recent projects, her thoughts on the hackerspace movement and also suggested areas of improvement in the R&D and entrepreneur ecosystem in Singapore.

Click here to read the full article.

Let’s welcome A/P Lim Sun Sun to the Deanery!

A/P Lim Sun SunLet us warmly welcome Assoc Prof Lim Sun Sun who joins the FASS Dean’s Office as Assistant Dean of Research this year!

We caught up with her to find out more about her.

 Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I graduated from NUS with an Honours degree in political science after some of the best years of my life as a student in FASS. I enjoyed what I was learning so much – history, philosophy, political science – each subject was compelling, intriguing and thought-provoking in its own way and I loved them all! it was a wonderful introduction to the social sciences. So after receiving my PhD in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics,  I jumped at the chance to teach in FASS so as to recreate my experience for my students.

I have two young children who keep me busy with their incessant and often mind-blowing questions and observations. I enjoy reading, travelling and experimenting in the kitchen, although not always with good results.

What is your area of research?
I study the social implications of technology domestication by young people and families, charting the ethnographies of their Internet and mobile phone use. My recent research has focused attention on understudied and marginalised populations including young children, youths-at-risk and female migrant workers. I also conduct research on new media literacies, with a special focus on literacy challenges in parental mediation and young people’s Internet skills

Why Communications and New Media?
Our increasingly mediatised society has been greatly enriched by the advent of new communication technologies. These technologies have a potentially transformative effect on the ways in which we live and work, and how we engage with and relate to one another. Communications and New Media studies seeks to understand the impact of such technologies and human responses to such impacts.

Can you share your thoughts about joining Dean’s Office as Assistant Dean for Research?
After teaching in NUS for 10 years and having been involved in departmental service as Deputy Head of CNM, I appreciate this opportunity to serve at the faculty level. I hope to make a difference by helping to enhance the faculty’s research landscape through initiatives that can connect researchers with one another, as well as with their multiple stakeholders. There is also tremendous resonance between my work as Assistant Dean for Research and my involvement in the international academic community. I sit on the Executive Committee of the Association of Internet Researchers and I serve on the editorial boards of Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Communication, Culture & Critique, Journal of Children and Media, Mobile Media & Communication and the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. I believe that my new role in the faculty will be challenging but rewarding and look forward to this learning opportunity.


NUS Human Trafficking Conference: Friday, 10 January, NUS UTown


While sex trafficking has garnered much of the public’s attention, labor trafficking is arguably increasing in both volume and scope, especially in the fishing and construction industries, as well as domestic services in Southeast Asia.

This interactive conference is a rare opportunity where a diverse array of both international and local academics, activists, practitioners and policymakers will come together to have a fruitful exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Please join in the discussion with our speakers, as they debunk commonly-held beliefs about labor trafficking in the various sectors, and challenge conventional wisdom and traditional policy responses in mitigating this growing problem.

Title:  NUS Human Trafficking Conference
Date:  Friday, 10 January 2014
Time:  9am – 5pm (morning panel; lunch; afternoon panel)
Venue:  Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium, Level 2 Education Resource Centre, NUS UTown

EmancipAsia, a local NGO that is dedicated to addressing human trafficking issues in Singapore, has generously agreed to display a relevant photo exhibit titled, Bought and Sold, during the beginning of the semester at UTown.

The event is open to the public. *Admission is free.*

Due to limited capacity, your seat(s) will only be confirmed upon registration; hence, if possible, please kindly register by 8 January 2014, 5pm at:


What’s keeping blue-collar wages low?

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was an article contribution by Associate Professor Davin Chor, from the Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in which he discussed the link between foreign workers and local wages. Assoc Prof Chor noted that foreign workers are an important complement to our workforce and opined that it makes sense to monitor their quantity and quality more judiciously to avoid unintended socio-economic consequences. He added that it is equally important to pursue policies designed to re-skill the resident workforce, so that low-wage Singaporeans will continue to play an active role in transforming our economy.

The article is part of a monthly series “Ask: NUS Economists” by the NUS Department of Economics. Each month, a panel will address a topical issue.

Click here to read the full article.