Burkhas, Candy and Gold

It is 2:00 am and I am winding through the back streets between Lavender and Serangoon Road, following the other late-night shoppers towards the lighted portals of the Mustafa emporium. The first few times I went down to Serangoon, I didn’t notice the nondescript automatic doors a few yards off the sidewalk, seeming to open…

Lee Kuan Yew stirs it up again

The octogenarian former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew Monday may have issued a grudging but almost unprecedented personal apology for what have been perceived as intemperate remarks about the treatment of the prosperous Chinese diaspora in Malaysia and Indonesia. Lee Kuan Yew’s “apology” was hardly a climb-down. Here is the text of his bristling…

Legal Warfare

Like Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah before his troops captured two Israeli soldiers and turned Lebanon into a conflagration, Far Eastern Economic Review editor Hugo Restall probably had no idea what he was starting when he interviewed often-sued and perpetually beleaguered Singapore opposition leader Chee Soon Juan in the Far Eastern Economic Review. The result was…

Singapore: Inside the Lion City, Part 5

Another in our multipart series on Singapore in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. The series examines Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues. Other than the tiny oil-rich Gulf states and Brunei, no economy in the world…

Singapore: Inside the Lion City, Part 4

Another in our multipart series on Singapore in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. The series examines Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues. Welcome to Singapore, the state ranked 140th out of 167 in the press freedom…

A Lion City Primer

Another in our multipart series on Singapore in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. The series examines Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues. Related Stories: Part 1-Center Stage, Part 2-Economy, Part 3-Security Delegates, Welcome to Singapore, host…

Singapore: Inside the Lion City, Part 3

Another in our multipart series on Singapore in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. The series examines Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues. Related Stories: Part 1-Center Stage, Part 2-Inside the Numbers, Primer Delegates to the IMF/World…

Inside The Lion City, Part 2

This is the second of a multi-part series to run over the next week in the Asia Sentinel in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. It will examine Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues Related Story: Singapore's…

Singapore’s Moment at Center Stage

This is the first of a multi-part series to run over the next week in the Asia Sentinel in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Singapore. It will examine Singapore's social and political structure, its relationship with the press, its concerns about regional security and other issues. Related Story: Singapore,…

New Press Restrictions Put Singapore in Reverse

On August 4, the tiny island nation took a giant step backwards in its relations with the international media and its commitment to press freedom when the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA) slapped controls on foreign media companies publishing there, apparently in retaliation for an article published in the monthly Far Eastern…