25 April 2016

New Elected Presidency for Singapore: Is an update or rethink really needed?


Faster than a speeding bullet, or Minilee's premature constitutional contractions!

As public hearings for the constitutional commission on the changes to Singapore's Elected Presidency continue, so do our analysis to shed light and push back on what may be described as yet another hasty, ill-conceived exercise at constitutional amendment by the long-ruling People's Action Party.

Our previous post establishes the fact that despite the effort of the mainstream press, the proposed changes to the Elected Presidency are not mere updates but radical rethinks of the presidency. For the prime minister to moot the changes in parliament, convene the constitutional commission, call for feedback, let it hold public hearings, compile a report, study it, then craft the bill and allow his cabinet colleagues to sell it in parliament, have three readings of the bill all within the year, Minilee and the national press need to sell the changes as minor, perfunctory, and incremental. Otherwise, the prime minister's constitutional exercise will lose its credibility and it will be difficult to wash off the stench of unholy haste in the proceedings.

21 April 2016

New Elected Presidency for Singapore: Update, Rethink, or Clown Show?


In the matter of the changes to the elected presidency, it has taken less than 4 months from Lee Hsien Loong's proposals in his speech at the opening of the 13th parliament of Singapore for us to arrive at the constitutional commission's public hearings at the Supreme Court. And if Minilee has his way, the commission will present its findings by 2016Q3, following which the Prime Minister's Office will likely draft the changes it accepts from the commission, the bill read twice in parliament and passed "within the year", and the presidential election take place with the new rules in 2017, less than 18 months away from now.


12 January 2016

Blind men and the elephant: Chua Mui Hoong describes crony capitalism in Singapore

You've probably heard about the blind men and the elephant. In the dominant narrative, the moral of the story one should learn is the limitations to knowledge, how imperfect and incomplete information on the Truth may lead equally wise people to disagree on things. For my readers, I offer a counter narrative. The blind men and the elephant is an allegory for how things look to people who refuse to see what they're looking at.


13 November 2015

Rethinking the haze and Indonesia


Tiny and rich Singapore flails comically when it comes to Indonesia and the haze. For all its claims to being a diplomatic giant on the world stage, Singapore fumed helplessly for the last 2 months as forests and peatland burned in Borneo and Sumatra.

It's a smog that gives Peking, Shanghai, and Hong Kong a run for their money. A smog that's more lo-fi, yet more poisonous. And according to both locals and expats, a smog that has more immediate effects on health. More importantly, Singapore's credibility as a vibrant cosmopolitan city and productive financial centre withers each day the haze lingers over its skyline.

18 September 2015

Modelling the 2015 general election: numbers, outcomes... and theory?


Singaporeans voted on 11 September 2015 and returned the People's Action Party to power with a supermajority and a 9.9% swing in its favour. This was despite 5 years of poor performance by the PAP, where policy and governance failures erupted in the public eye. We at Illusio conduct a postmortem to uncover, from the numbers, if what went wrong for the opposition can be best explained from the voting model we have championed.

16 September 2015

Modelling the 2015 Singapore general election: theory and outcomes


Singaporeans voted on 11 September 2015 and returned the People's Action Party to government with a supermajority and a 9.9% national swing in its favour. This was despite 5 years of poor performance by the PAP, where policy and governance failures erupted in the public eye. We at Illusio conduct a postmortem to uncover, from first principles, what broadly went wrong for the opposition.