A Growing Government-Ground Divide

Kwan Jin Yao analyzes the perceived deficiencies in the government’s engagement with youth. In this piece, he provides an overview of the trends that have facilitated youth civic and political engagement in Singapore, and the ideological bases that underlie this government-ground divide. He ends off on a hopeful note — with concrete ways that this divide can be bridged.

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Rethinking Scholarship Diversity: The Pre-U Education of PSC Scholars

Minister-in-Charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing recently remarked that the diversity of Public Service Commission Scholarship recipients goes beyond race, language, and religion. This raises questions about how diverse recipients have been in socio-economic terms, of which pre-university education provides a good proxy for assessment. In this piece, Andrew Chia looks at why diversity in background matters, and explores the diversity of PSC scholars using compiled data on PSC Scholarships from 2007 to 2018.

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Beyond Plastic Recycling: A look at Extended Producer Responsibility in Singapore

Singapore’s current efforts in managing plastic waste are mostly focused on downstream measures, but the broader issue of plastic consumption continues to require action upstream. Ensuring responsible production processes, through policy regulation, can help to promote general reduction of plastic waste and environmental impact. To that end, Woo Qiyun spotlights the role of an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme in Singapore, to increase the accountability of corporations and government.

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The politics of language: How can we mainstream social justice vocabularies?

How might we mainstream social justice ideas and language, beginning a national conversation that extends beyond more recognised civil society actors? Reflecting on the discourse surrounding migrant rights, Quah Say Jye draws upon philosopher Miranda Fricker’s concept of “epistemic injustice” to propose a shared vocabulary that might allow migrant workers into our linguistic community. He suggests that our semantic choices need to accurately represent the lived experiences of migrant workers, be accessible to them and the general public, and have the potential to pivot towards broader structural critiques.

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What could a fairer migrant worker policy look like?

Poh Yong Han argues that while addressing poor dormitory and food standards for migrant workers are important, they merely represent the tip of the iceberg. Unless we tackle the underlying structural issues that explain why migrant workers “consent” to such poor standards (low wages, high agency fees) in the first place, we are not addressing the root cause of the problem. To address them, she proposes setting a Minimum Income Threshold, and enforcing fair recruitment practices. She further suggests reconsidering whether the Work Permit scheme as it stands is even ethical, and asks if current restrictions (such as tying workers to specific employers) need to be loosened, and whether a fairer migrant worker policy would entail providing them with pathways to citizenship or residency.

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