Singapore’s Lawsuit-Happy Lee Family

Singapore’s Lawsuit-Happy Lee FamilyThe current squabble going on in Singapore between the children of patriarch Lee Kuan Yew, who died last April, is yet another indication, if any were needed, of the extraordinary litigiousness of the Lee family, which now seems to be caught in its own embarrassments, and which included a marathon pursuit of a British neurologist…

Singapore Extends Crackdown on Internet Journalism

Singapore Extends Crackdown on Internet JournalismYang Kaiheng, the 27-year-old editor of a now-defunct website called The Real Singapore is expected to go on trial next week after his pregnant wife and co-defender, Ai Takagi, was sentenced to 10 months in jail on March 23 despite pleading guilty on sedition charges and apologizing. If the sentence for Takagi, an Australian citizen,…

Singapore Threatens Online News Site

Singapore Threatens Online News SiteThe Online Citizen, Singapore’s longest-running independent online news site, harried by the government and denounced in Parliament, is clearly facing a crisis. The website has run out of funds and is being operated as a one-man show by its 34-year-old editor, Terry Xu, who hasn’t been paid for four or five months, he says. At…

Singapore Seeks to Rig Another Election

Singapore Seeks to Rig Another ElectionIn 2011, the popular Tony Tan Keng Yam, 67, whose distinguished career as a Singapore public official included membership in parliament, deputy prime minister, minister of defense, finance and trade and industry at various times, came within a relative whisker of losing the race to become the nation’s president – by less than 1 percent…

A Longtime Political Refugee Seeks Singaporean Justice

A Longtime Political Refugee Seeks Singaporean JusticeTan Wah Piow, a onetime student leader who fled Singapore after a trumped-up trial that found him guilty of participating in a 1975 riot in a union hall, is asking that his conviction be quashed 42 years later after the chief witness against him was convicted last month of long-running embezzlement of union funds. Tan,…

Obituary: A Singaporean Political Refugee Dies in the US

Obituary: A Singaporean Political Refugee Dies in the USFrancis Seow, once a high-ranking Singaporean official, died on Jan. 21 in the United States, where he had spent the past 25 years as a refugee from the late Lee Kuan Yew’s petty vindictiveness.  He died at the age of 88 in Boston, where he was an adjunct professor at Harvard University. Singapore has supposedly…

Singapore Ups Commitment to Host US Military Facilities

Singapore Ups Commitment to Host US Military FacilitiesSingapore continues to double down as recipient and benefactor of the US tilt to Asia, jointly announcing on Dec. 7 – the anniversary of the destruction of the US fleet by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941 – that it is adding Poseidon P8-A spy planes to an already formidable US presence…

Lee’s Shadow Fades From Singapore

Lee’s Shadow Fades From SingaporeTwo events on Oct. 1 signify that the era of Lee Kuan Yew and the Lee family itself are beginning to fade from Singapore, six months after he died on March 23. The two events are leadership transitions in the city-state’s government and its sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings.   Although the elder Lee stepped…

Singapore’s PAP Surprises Itself

Singapore’s PAP Surprises ItselfThe surprisingly decisive People’s Action Party win in the Singapore election says much about Singaporean society as it enters an era with possibly new and bigger challenges than those faced in recent years. The 70 percent vote for the PAP was a surprise if only because most commentators had believed the issue was whether the…

Politics, not Elections, will Change Singapore

Politics, not Elections, will Change SingaporeOn August 25, Singapore’s President Tony Tan officially dissolved the parliament, triggering early elections. While these elections, by law, could have waited until January 2017, 2015 is particularly advantageous for the incumbent People’s Action Party. The death of the ruling party’s founder and first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, on March 23 was followed by a massive…
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