Er Kwong Wah: The “roadie” who set the stage for SDU, matchmaking service for grads

In today’s context, retired civil servant Er Kwong Wah could be seen as a “roadie”, someone who set the stage for the Social Development Unit (SDU), the government’s matchmaking division, in the 1980s.  The 76-year-old tells TheHomeGround Asia that it was the one role he played in the 1980s that brought him closer to the…
10 Sep 2022 5 mins read

Plagiarism and inspiration – is there a difference?

Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness, according to Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Or is it? It can be a humiliating experience when you worked hard on an article, novel, artwork, or song and are looking forward to the royalties that will come in, but have the rug pulled…
8 Sep 2022 8 mins read

Ground-up activism: Civil society and advocacy that make a difference in Singapore

At the 2019 “Building Our Future Singapore Together” dialogue, Deputy Prime Minister and then Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat brought up the importance of civil society when he said, “We need to shift from a government that focuses primarily on working for you, to a government that works with you. Working with you, for…
29 Jul 2022 5 mins read

Grassroots movement: Is this the start of ground-up activism in Singapore?

Grassroots organisations (GROs) usually use collective action to drive change at a local, regional or even national level and in Singapore they are made up of the ordinary people rather than the leaders. In Singapore, GROs are relied on for mass mobilisation and surveillance. They include the Citizens’ Consultative Committees (CCCs), Community Club Management Committees (CCMCs),…
29 Jul 2022 5 mins read

Are we still living under a patriarchal government in Singapore?

When it comes to its style of government, Singapore has one that is “a mix of semi-authoritarian, one-party rule”. Its civil service is highly centralised and meritocratic, with government officials appointed to their jobs based on skill and performance. Singapore’s success clearly did not come down to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew alone and…
28 Jul 2022 6 mins read

Respect for all: Every LGBTQ student matters, or do they?

When Charissa, who is in a same-sex relationship with her partner, came out about her sexuality in her late teens, it was not to a very inclusive environment. “It was in 2015. I was 18 and I remember coming out to my family somewhere between the end of 2015 and early 2016 when my mental…
27 Jun 2022 4 mins read

The impact of not legalising same-sex marriage

A lesbian couple had wanted to hold their wedding in June – Pride Month, dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. This is especially exceptional since this year, it is 50 years old. Unfortunately, Parkroyal Collection Pickering, the hotel where the couple planned to hold their wedding, turned them away.  A screenshot of…
27 Jun 2022 5 mins read

Coming out to mum and dad and what you wish they had said

In a Youth Survey carried out in 2021 by news platform TODAY polling 1,066 respondents between the ages of 18 and 35, 75 percent of Singapore youth were willing to form close friendships with friends or colleagues who are in a same-sex relationship. The survey also found while 4 in 5 were willing to work…
27 Jun 2022 4 mins read
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