Saturday, 29 September 2012

Singapore: the hyphen connecting the world and Asia

Sep 29, 2012

Singapore must continue to be diplomatically neutral and economically opportunistic to thrive

By PARAG KHANNA For the straits times

WITH the convening of the recent Singapore Summit, the "Little Red Dot" has proven its outsized role and importance on the world stage.

As one participant remarked, never has such a large market capitalisation been assembled in one room. I participated in the full summit, and came away with the view that Singapore's unique position and potential contributions to the world in the decade ahead were capably demonstrated.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered the kind of confidently tech-savvy speech unimaginable from any other head of state, even the BlackBerry-wielding United States leader Barack Obama. He didn't just name drop robotics companies, the online learning portal Coursera and our increasingly social relationships with digital avatars, but used these to highlight the "ruthless competition" Singapore's workers will face as technologies accelerate, rise up the value chain and displace even white-collar labour.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A newsman's take on Singapore journalism and shifting OB markers

Sep 02, 2012

Cheong Yip Seng, former editor of The Straits Times and editor-in-chief of the English and Malay Newspaper Division of Singapore Press Holdings, has a book due out later this year called OB Markers: My Straits Times Story. In an interview with Stephanie Garcia of The New Asia Media, he tells how the space for doing journalism in Singapore has changed, keeping pace with the political environment.

Stephanie Garcia: What are "OB markers" and how did they affect your work during your 43 years at The Straits Times?

Cheong Yip Seng: OB markers, or out-of-bounds markers, is a term used in golf to indicate boundaries on the golf course your ball must not stray beyond without incurring a penalty. In Singapore, it is also commonly used to lay out the limits to the freedom of expression, some of them mandated by law. Singapore's political leaders are convinced that OB markers are necessary for effective governance. Hence, they have strong regulatory powers over the media. Newspapers, for instance, have to apply annually to renew their publishing licence, a law introduced during British colonial days.