Keeping the stories of MacPherson alive

Social Work major and Class Champion, Chan Jianhong, was recently featured in a Straits Times report for an interesting initiative he started. Inspired to cultivate the community spirit within the MacPherson estate where he lives, Jianhong worked together with six photographers to document the faces of the residents of all ages over a period of six months. The photographs were then amassed onto a huge billboard montage standing in Geyland East Central Road.

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Original sin of ‘economic polarization’ in Korea

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Korea Times

This was an article contribution by Associate Professor Shin Jang-Sup from the Department of Economics at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, who is also former adviser to Korea’s finance minister, in which he discussed the baffling tendency to deny facts in the current discourse on income distribution in Korea. Assoc Prof Shing noted that one can only draw effective policy solutions when they are securely based on facts, adding that it is necessary to assess the facts in the Korean economy with a global and historical perspective. He opined that it is impossible to reach a meaningful resolution on the impasse as long as facts are denied or avoided.

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Living alone: Trend of one-person households in Asia (Page 15)

Monday, 15 August 2016

Lianhe Zaobao

This was an article contribution by Professor Jean Yeung, Director of the Centre for Family and Population Research (CFPR) at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She shared findings from a special issue in Demographic Research on one-person households (OPH) in Asia that she and Assistant Professor Adam Cheung from The Hong Kong Institute of Education edited. The collection of 11 papers analyses the historical trends, the policy implications and impact on individual well-being of OPH in 15 countries in Asia. With population ageing, declining fertility and marriage rates, increase in divorce and migration, it is expected that OPH in Asia will continue to increase in the future.

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Reality check needed for S’poreans with unrealistic expectations (Page 12)

Friday, 12 August 2016


This was an article contribution by Associate Professor Tan Ern Ser from the Department of Sociology at NUS Faulty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Academic Adviser to the Social Lab from the Institute of Policy Studies at NUS. Assoc Prof Tan reviewed Singapore’s progress, and noted that in the past decade, the city-state has reached a mid-life crisis of sorts, with the re-emergence of a more class-conscious society because of income equality and unequal relative social mobility. He pointed out that the journey ahead would be more hazardous, making it more challenging for the People’s Action Party government to deliver the “good life” that an aspiring middle-class society expects, and opined that ultimately, Singaporeans have to get a reality check on their unrealistic expectations and stay resilient for the long haul.

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A more equal voting system needed in greying Singapore (Opinion, Page A21)

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Straits Times

This was an article contribution by Assistant Professor Sng Tuan Hwee from the Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Tan Jia Yi, a recent graduate from the Department. They discussed how we can have a voting system that takes into account Singapore’s fast-greying population, and how economic theory can help put things into perspective. Noting that as the median voter ages, political parties may be incentivised to pander to the elderly at the expense of the young, they discussed alternative approaches and opined that it is a good time for us to think about our lop-sided voter structure before it becomes too late.

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

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Brexit and the false analogies with Asean (Opinion, Page A21)

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was an article contribution by Associate Professor Reuben Wong from the Department of Political Science and Director of Studies at the College of Alice and Peter Tan at NUS. Assoc Prof Wong opined that most of the comparisons between the European Union (EU) and Asean are misplaced, and discussed their differences. He also highlighted that if there is one lesson of Brexit for Asean, it is that Asean should not take the benefits of regional projects for granted.

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