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…

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, Hong Kong Catch Cold from Neighbors

Singapore, Hong Kong Catch Cold from NeighborsThe economies of Asia’s prosperous city-states Hong Kong and Singapore seem set to be about the worst economic performers in Asia this year as world trade falters and the air goes out of once buoyant property markets. Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, John Tsang, has just forecast growth of 1-2 percent in 2016 after 2.5 percent…

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…