The Possibility of an Inclusive Smart City: Designing for Foreign Domestic Workers

Joshua Tan argues that Singapore must consider the “Other” in the design and conceptualization of its smart districts and masterplans. He surveys smart city initiatives like Smart Nation Singapore and the Punggol Digital District, observing that there is hardly any mention of the foreign domestic workers (FDWs) that contribute to the domestic labor vital for our nation’s development. He outlines strategies to include FDWs into the discourse and technologies of “smartness” in Singapore, benefiting not only FDWs, but also the households they serve and regions from which they came.

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Rethinking What We Owe Each Other

Jane Loo and Yasmine Wong examine our moral obligations to one another during COVID-19. They discuss the importance of social responsibility and how it maps onto the provisions and shortcomings of existing tracking technologies used to curb the spread of the virus. From the angle of beneficence—acting for the benefit of others and the common good—they explore possibilities for our control strategies and the community going forward.

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[Reading Group] Collective Summary #4: Tying It Up — Truth & Regulation, Privacy & Power, Smart Nation & Cyber Leadership in ASEAN

Over the past two months, the participants of SPJ’s reading group have been developing their individual article ideas, inspired by their past three policy discussions on digital technology issues, ranging from notions of governance regarding smart cities, to perspectives on trust in government and regulation of commercial technologies. During this final student-led colloquium, the participants presented and provided feedback to one another as they prepared to write their op-eds and explainers.

In the last of four collective summaries, Monica Chan takes stock of the reading group’s presentations, whose topics fell under three main themes: Truth & Regulation, Championing Inclusive Tech, and Smart Nation Aspirations.

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[Discussion Event] Reimagining Our Hawker Culture, Post-UNESCO

On May 8, 2021, SPJ hosted a discussion event on Singapore’s hawker culture, following its addition to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2020. The discussion centered on key concerns and questions relating to Singapore’s hawker culture that have been dominating nationwide conversations: What is our hawker culture? As older hawkers retire, how might Singaporean hawker culture continue to evolve in ways that facilitate its longevity? What is the role of public policy in preserving and progressing hawker culture?

Check out our summary for a peek at what was discussed. This marks our final event for Spring 2021, and SPJ would like to thank everyone for their support this past academic year. Stay tuned for our other upcoming events later this year!

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[Discussion Event] Data Go Where? Data Governance in Singapore

On March 25, the Singapore Policy Journal hosted its second virtual event of the Spring 2021 semester in collaboration with The Sessions from the NUS University Scholars Programme, titled “Data Go Where? Data Governance in Singapore.” The event included a short small-group pre-event discussion followed by a speaker panel featuring Quek Su Lynn (Director, Government Data Office), Yi-Ling Teo (Senior Fellow, Centre of Excellence for National Security at RSIS), and Timothy Lin (Co-Founder, Cylynx). In both the discussion and the Q&A with the speakers, a variety of ideas were discussed regarding data governance, and the participants were introduced to private and public sector perspectives of some of the challenges that consumers, companies, and the government face in a field that seems ever-growing.

Check out our summary for a peek at what was discussed, and stay tuned for our other events coming up!

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[Reading Group] Collective Summary #3: Regulating Digital Technology — Challenges & Trade-offs

The Singapore government’s rollout of SafeEntry and TraceTogether amidst COVID-19 has introduced a new wave of discourse on data security, privacy, and accountability. These conversations are also being fueled with calls for stricter regulations on Big Tech as consumers come to grips with the industry’s concentration of power and their ability to influence human behavior. In light of these ongoing developments, how should we think about the challenges and trade-offs that come with regulating digital technology?

In the third of four collective summaries following SPJ’s reading group, Jenn Hu reviews the remarks of our guest speakers, Simon Chesterman and Roland Turner. The summary details the takeaways from the group, as well the policy deep-dives conducted in group’s subsequent roundtable discussions.

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