Singapore Shocks its Neighbor to the North

Singapore Shocks its Neighbor to the NorthThere is more than meets the eye in the Singapore investigation into 1MDB and the subsequent forced closure by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) of the local operations of Swiss private bank BSI. This was the first time in decades that the MAS has resorted to such actions. BSI has also been heavily fined…

1MBD Starts to Come Apart

1MBD Starts to Come ApartThe decision on May 24 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to force the closure of BSI Bank Ltd – the first merchant bank to be closed in Singapore in 32 years – means that after months of last-ditch defense in Malaysia, the scandal over the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd is finally starting to unravel…

Singapore’s Opposition Figurehead Trounced Again

Singapore’s Opposition Figurehead Trounced AgainOn April 19, a political analyst in Singapore who declined to be named said opposition leader Chee Soon Juan, a five-time unsuccessful political candidate for office, would have to get 30 to 35 percent of the vote in a by-election in the working-class Bukit Batok district to remain a viable political leader. Chee was trounced…

Singapore’s ‘Jolly Hangman’ About to Strike

Singapore’s ‘Jolly Hangman’ About to StrikeOn Feb. 17, 2008, a 24-year-old Sarawakian migrant working in a rag and bone company in Singapore was drinking an apparently potent substance called “Narcissus Ginseng Wine Tonic” with four friends when they got the idea to rob someone. After they split up and three of them went their separate way, Jabing and his friend,…

A Veteran Singaporean Foe Challenges the PAP

A Veteran Singaporean Foe Challenges the PAPOn March 12, David Ong, a People’s Action Party MP resigned his seat in the Bukit Batok constituency of Singapore when the husband of his lover and campaign volunteer, Wendy Lim, lodged a complaint and the subsequent publicity drove him from both the office and the ruling PAP. That has opened the door for a…

An Icon of Singaporean Resistance Dies

An Icon of Singaporean Resistance DiesSaid Zahari, a onetime leading journalist who was one of an extraordinary group of anti-colonialists who became implacable foes of the late Lee Kuan Yew, the patriarch of modern Singapore, has died in Malaysia at age 88. Arrested in February of 1963 under the colonial-era Preservation of Public Security Ordinance in the infamous Operation Coldstore…

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…

The Lie at the Center of the Singapore Legend

The Lie at the Center of the Singapore LegendThe meta-narrative of the founding of modern Singapore is that as a young lawyer and activist Lee Kuan Yew beguiled the Communists into backing the People’s Action Party and once in power turned on them, jailing them after riots in 1955 revealed their true colors, into the process making Singapore a crucial bulwark in Asia…

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,…

Besieged Singaporean Blogger Again Turns to Crowdfunding

Besieged Singaporean Blogger Again Turns to CrowdfundingNearly two years ago, a now-34-year-old Singaporean blogger named Roy Ngerng intimated in his “Heart Truths” blog that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had diverted money from the country’s central provident fund. In doing so, he unleashed a whirlwind that has cost him his job, got him sued for civil libel and demonstrated the ominous…