Search Results

145 items found

Blog Posts (124)

  • 3rd Place Winner - Senior Category

    By Chua Yi Lin, Yale-NUS College In media and in policy, the mere mention of issues like poverty invites fierce contestation from everyone: from academics and parliamentarians to our neighbourhood coffee shop uncles and aunties, people are clearly invested in dissecting this unequal and imperfect reality. I thus invite you to consider these questions: “Why does inequality merit our attention?” “What do we define as poverty in Singapore?” “How can we help the poor?” The above questions are no doubt important—and even pragmatic—to ask in our personal and structural attempts to eradicate the persistence of poverty in Singapore. However, these seemingly empirical and actionable questions are ‘familiar’ inquiry—most feel far more comfortable dealing with them. More individuals, if not all, squirm uncomfortably when unabashedly intrusive lines of inquiry surface, in which examples include: “Why are you poor?” “What do we perceive about the agency and deficiencies of people we call poor?” “What perceptions of the poor do we unfailingly reinforce to the detriment of all?” These questions are not only provocative—they matter in so far that perception is reality. Our explanations for why poverty exist, alongside our impressions of underprivileged communities, do not simply stay in the abstract space we call our minds; thoughts and feelings can transcend the cerebral to become truths and lived experiences that we think in, speak in, and live in. We hence should not buy into the idea that we are wholly indifferent to poverty, or that Singapore evades discussion and action on poverty; conversely, the reality is that everyone operates on principles of what poverty is and how best to address it. Consider the narrative of Singapore’s unique vulnerability in our earlier nation-building days. From the looming possibility of foreign impositions to the ‘communist’ threat, meeting our material needs was framed as existential. [1] The subsequent goal of reducing widespread and absolute poverty has greatly influenced Singapore’s economic measures and social assistance programmes: Our welfare policies emphasis self-sufficiency, nudging individuals to first rely on productive employment and their family’s savings, before turning to aid in the form of schemes like a wage supplement programme. [2] Improving the work on this front is ongoing. But given this context, what are the underlying assumptions we hold on how the poor should be served? Sticky perceptions Professor Donaldson, in his study of unmet needs in Singapore, incisively surfaced our hidden prejudice of those underprivileged: “it’s implied that the poor are lazy, not hardworking, don’t have dreams and aspirations or don’t value education”. [3] Essentially, we heuristically link the cause of poverty to the outlook and incompetence of vulnerable communities. Inherent in this generalisation is not cruelty—one who has this view but genuinely cares for the lower-income may well start a well-intentioned initiative encouraging one’s beneficiaries to apply ‘positive thinking’ in their lives and hence lift themselves from poverty. Rather, when we attribute this social ill to them possessing the ‘wrong mindset’, we assume that poverty is a largely self-inflicted condition. The bulk of the responsibility to combat impoverishment is suggested to be a personal one instead of a systemic problem. Yet, this individualistic view of poverty may bring more harm than good, especially when poverty is in no way a condition that those struggling actively choose to be in. And often, unequal starting lines and unjust circumstances play larger roles in determining the limited resources they can access. When poverty is attributed to a personal lack of willpower or the absence of an ability to seize better opportunities, two of many consequences emerge: poverty is cyclically stigmatised, and systemic factors are not properly addressed. The stigma of poverty Faced with the negative connotations of character and competencies that follow the ‘poor’ label, one can either avoid identifying with their poverty or withdraw into internalised inferiority. The first scenario is worrying: Those who may not be the worst of their counterparts, but are struggling and working hard, may be alienated from the popular conception of a poor person either being ‘lazy’ or at ‘rock bottom’. Unable to see themselves within this narrow mould of poverty, a false dichotomy of being undeserving or deserving, alongside the tediousness and intrusiveness of means-testing, may deter those underserved from seeking much needed assistance. Meanwhile, the second scenario is insidious: The effects of poverty being stigmatised is manifold. For example, there is strong correlation between childhood poverty and low self-esteem, which grows into other undesirable downstream impacts like underachievement, [4] only amplified by internalised negative beliefs about poverty and other factors like parental involvement and the social capital of children from lower-income backgrounds. Tragically, if we seek inclusivity, then individual-centric judgements of the disadvantaged result in the opposite: “Just by being poor, marginalised citizens are often demotivated and hesitate to engage in meaningful relationships with community members, which can undermine social cohesion and social inclusion.” [5] An unaccommodating system When efforts to tackle poverty solely look at promoting individual responsibility, we miss the bigger picture of the structural shifts and shocks that further entrench poverty for certain groups of people. The types of poverty are diverse. In my opinion, most poverty in Singapore is characterised not by the complete deprivation of necessities, but the abundance of precarity. Lien Centre for Social Innovation’s handbook on poverty precisely identifies the intersectionality of poverty: Gender and race are just some of the dimensions that exacerbate inequality, in which the precarious situations that people are placed in are sites where systemic disadvantages collide and worsen poverty. [6] It also goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has only sharpened the precarious situations of those disadvantaged: the phenomenon of gig workers experiencing destabilising instability in income is one such instance where the protection of these vulnerable workers requires more structural and thoughtful reforms than ‘you should work harder!”. [7] Granted, not everyone perceives poverty to be the fault of those most impacted by it. However, how much of our current approach to poverty is implicitly rooted in these preconceived notions of poverty? Our perceptions demand closer scrutiny and reform. [1000 words] References [1] Loh, Kah Seng. “Within the Singapore Story: The Use and Narrative of History in Singapore”. Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1998), pp. 1-21. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40860676 [2] Naidu, Vignesh Louis. “Rethinking the Delivery of Welfare Programmes in Singapore”. Case from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (2014). [3] Sim, Shuzhen. “Shining a light on Singapore’s invisible poor”. Research@SMU Issue 44 (2017). https://research.smu.edu.sg/news/smuresearch/2017/apr/25/shining-light-singapore%E2%80%99s-invisible-poor [4] Doi, Satomi, Takeo Fujiwara, Aya Isumi and Manami Ochi. “Pathway of the Association Between Child Poverty and Low Self-Esteem: Results From a Population-Based Study of Adolescents in Japan”. Frontiers in Psychology (2019). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00937 [5] Talib, Naimah. “The poor know they’re poor: the roles of shame and stigma in the everyday lives of people in poverty”. New Mandela (2019). https://www.newmandala.org/the-poor-know-theyre-poor/ [6] Smith, Catherine J., John A. Donaldson, Sanushka Mudaliar, Mumtaz Md Kadir, Lam Keong Yeoh. “A handbook on inequality, poverty and unmet social needs in Singapore”. Social Insight Research Series 1-86, Lien Centre for Social Innovation: Research (2015). https://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lien_reports/10 [7] Teo, You Yenn. “Beyond the pandemic: inequality as lens”. Academia SG (2020). https://www.academia.sg/events/20200501-post-event-notes/teo-you-yenn/

  • 3rd Place Winner - Junior Category

    By Ruth The RuiQi, Catholic Junior College Graduate “Fluffy white clouds floated across the pink, salmon hue sky. The sun shone brightly above my window, waking me up from my deep slumber…” Learning how to start a creative writing composition remains a poignant memory in my primary school education. Being so young and possessing little to no vocabulary, being taught this new and seemingly interesting essay hook arrested my attention. The lack of my personal knowledge and independent interest translated to my rote learning, adhering to the expectations of true and tested ways. This is what the nature of many social pressures in Singapore can be likened to: one not having the chance to develop their own individual ideas and subjecting themselves and succumbing to the expectations of others. Expectations can come from oneself, parents and friends, and more recently social media. Moreover, the prominent culture of pragmatism and adopted political system of meritocracy that undergirds the success and prosperity of Singapore as a little red dot on the world map is also ironically what beats down those who deviate from conventional paths. At the crux of social pressures in Singapore is the upholding of meritocratic ideals. There is the expectation and demand for people to work hard and consequently, succeed. This is commonly experienced in a school setting by students as national exams like Primary School Leaving Examination, GCSE O-Levels and A-Levels place immense academic stress on students. Students study not just with the goal of doing well in the exam but also with a totalising outlook that doing well in these examinations grant them greater opportunity to get a better job in the future. However, this also means that not doing well or up to par with expectations of oneself, parents and teachers could easily cause a student to deem themselves a failure in life. Whilst loved ones’ expectations of good grades are often well-intentioned to help the student get into a better school, as a student, it is difficult to possess the emotional maturity to understand this: they are not their grades and that their role in society is not just a student, it is also a son/daughter, a friend etc. As a result, they interpret any academic shortcomings not to be underperforming as a student but rather as outright inadequacy as an individual in society. This is where pressure can become overwhelming and harmful to one’s mental health. Hence, it is important that more emphasis be placed on students’ well-being whilst from young in schools and teaching them healthy coping mechanisms to deal with setbacks and stressors. Besides students, working adults are also no strangers to huge emphasis on meritocratic ideals. The rise of work-life integration in workspaces has bumped up the stress that employees face as they have greater obligations to both meet their KPIs and produce quality work and show up to family commitments like taking care of their children and elderly parents. Work-life balance is becoming a thing of the past and work-life integration praises itself on the creation of people who are seemingly more productive. However, in reality, employees feel more burnt out with the blurring of office and family hours, with work and personal matters concurrently on their minds. Whilst the notion of meritocracy can arguably boost productivity, it does not determine a definite successful outcome and creates uncertainty. With a few simple swipes, people also access countless life updates of their friends and celebrities nowadays. It is easy for people to compare themselves to others in every aspect of life, social life, career, finances and marital status. Social media is an ominous force of social pressure as people can find themselves in echo chambers on social media, seeing negative perceptions like “Psychology major in University is useless” and “Computing job is in demand” can be internalised self-reinforcing. Seeing what the majority of people are doing can also hamper one’s independent ability to discern what they truly want to do in life and thus lower the potential for satisfaction and happiness in the future. Furthermore, this can also perpetuate a negative impression of certain groups in society that is false and discriminatory. For example, the emphasis on science subjects in schools and less on the arts and humanities is prominent as seen through how students are encouraged to take triple science in secondary school and the junior college cut off point for arts stream being higher than that of the science stream. These all point to the subtle but ever present expectation for students to go down the old, beaten path of doing science subjects so as to not “close” one’s doors to a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. There is also still a strong sentiment that white collar professions like doctors are still seen as prestigious and are competitive, therefore appealing to the masses. The limited perceived avenues for success can discourage people from thinking outside the box and pursuing alternative paths. This hampers creativity and innovation in the long run in Singapore as compared to our Western counterparts who pride their education on being exploratory and encouraging self-expression. Finally, expectations of society can be said to stem from overt pragmatism. People simply opt to take the safest, most guaranteed route in life as it would provide a higher chance of stable income. This could stifle one’s moment of anagnorisis, the joy of them realising their career aspirations and forging a path for themselves. Therefore, as much as the system’s pressures can be blamed for the individual aspirations or lack thereof, it ultimately depends on the strength of one’s character. It is up to individuals to subvert society’s idealistic realities, to smile and laugh with their differences, despite their differences. It is only then that people can untether themselves from the strongholds of society’s expectations and pursue their true passions. Social pressure can be a motivating force so long as people use it as a tool to better themselves rather than become slaves to it.

  • The Djokovic Affair: Anti-Vaccine Sentiments in the COVID-19 Era

    By Alamelu, Editor The 2022 Australian Open started on January 17th, 2022. On January 16th, the man who has won the most Australian Open titles in history was deported from the country. Had he been able to participate in the tournament, Novak Djokovic could have very well become the record holder for winning the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles. Needless to say, the stakes were high for Djokovic. And yet, it can be argued that the reason behind his inability to participate in the tournament was… preventable, on Djokovic’s part. A Timeline of the Djokovic Affair But, before we get into that, here is a timeline of the ‘Djokovic Affair’ (as it has been dubbed), for those of us who were not following it: Australia’s travel restrictions, as of January 2022, require “all foreign visitors entering the country to be double vaccinated” [1]. The day before he was due to arrive in Melbourne, Victoria — where the tournament was being held — Djokovic announced on social media that he had been granted medical exemptions from being vaccinated by two separate Australian medical panels, on the basis of having tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-December 2021. When Djokovic landed in Melbourne on January 5th, he was detained by the Australian Border Force for “not meeting federal coronavirus requirements” [2]. Djokovic had received one of his exemptions from Victoria’s state government; border control is handled by Australia’s federal government [3]. Early on January 6th, Djokovic’s visa was cancelled, and he was detained in a “notorious immigration detention hotel” for five days. On January 10th, “an Australian court heard arguments from both the government and Djokovic's lawyers”. Djokovic’s legal team asserted that “the tennis player had been treated unfairly when he arrived”. Judge Anthony Kelly ruled in Djokovic’s favour and reinstated his visa [4]. It is important to note here that the court ruled only on the legality of the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa, as opposed to whether it was the ‘right’ thing for the Australian government to do. A few days after, Djokovic’s visa was re-cancelled on January 14th by Australia’s Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke. Documents “released as part of the legal proceedings [had] raised questions about Djokovic’s actions,” revealing that he had attended public events, maskless, “immediately after he had tested positive,” and that he had travelled to Serbia within two weeks of his arrival in Australia. Although Djokovic had acknowledged in a statement uploaded to Instagram two days prior that mistakes had been made, Hawke’s “overarching argument for cancelling the visa was that Djokovic’s presence in Australia ‘may pose a health risk to the Australian community’ because it ‘may foster anti-vaccination sentiment’” [5]. This decision was promptly appealed by Djokovic’s lawyers and the hearing took place on January 16th. The court ruled in favour of the Australian government, with the three-judge panel “unanimously [dismissing] Djokovic’s application to overturn the cancellation”. The Chief Justice clarified that “the ruling was not a reflection on the validity of Hawke’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa on Friday” — rather, it was “only on the merits of his decision-making process”. Djokovic boarded a flight out of Australia to Dubai on the night of January 16th, the eve of the 2022 Australian Open. Novak Djokovic’s Libertarianism, and Bodily Autonomy There were some fascinating takeaways from Djokovic’s exclusive interview with the BBC following the ‘Djokovic Affair,’ but perhaps the most significant of them all was his decisiveness when revealing that he was willing to “forego the chance to be the greatest player that ever picked up a racket, statistically,” in order to remain unvaccinated [6]. When pressed for a reason by the BBC’s Media Editor, Amol Rajan, Djokovic states that “the principles of decision-making on [his] body are more important than any title or anything else” [6]. His determination to prioritise bodily autonomy over the possibility of cementing his status as the world’s greatest male tennis player only serves to underscore his unwavering libertarianism. Aside: What is Libertarianism? Libertarianism, as described by Brennan, van der Vossen and Schmidtz (2017), “refers to a body of related views on politics, justice, and economics” [7]. However, at its core, libertarianism is a “political philosophy that takes individual liberty to be the primary political value” [8]. Libertarians “contend that the scope and powers of government should be constrained so as to allow each individual as much freedom of action as is consistent with a like freedom for everyone else” [8]. Under libertarianism, everyone is essentially as free as they can be, so long as their liberty does not obstruct someone else’s. Interestingly, when asked what he would say to “anti-vaccination campaigners around the world who proudly declare: ‘Novak Djokovic is one of us’,” Djokovic is firm in distinguishing himself from them. He replies that he has “never said that [he is] part of that movement” [6]. As defined in a 2021 study by Benoit and Mauldin, anti-vaxxers are people who “[believe] vaccines do not work, are not safe or refuse vaccines for themselves and their children if applicable” [9]. This definition does not appear to apply to Djokovic, who does not seem to deny the importance of vaccines in halting the spread of COVID-19. Rather, he is quite simply in favour of bodily autonomy. He expounds on this, expressing that, “as an elite professional athlete, [he has] always carefully reviewed, assessed … anything really that [goes] into [his] body as a fuel” [6]. He adds that, based on “all the information that [he had gotten]” — presumably about his COVID-19 vaccine options — he has “decided not to take the vaccine as of today” [6]. Djokovic’s awareness of the importance of vaccination in the global fight against COVID-19 and refusal to actually get vaccinated pave the way for the exploration of the conundrum that has plagued multiple governments since distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines first began in 2021. How do you reconcile an individual’s right to make decisions about their own body with scientifically valid public health measures to stop the spread of a harmful, infectious virus when they are diametrically opposed to one another? Anti-Vaccine Sentiments in Singapore: Iris Koh According to Our World in Data, approximately 90% of Singapore’s population is fully vaccinated as per the initial vaccination protocol (i.e. excluding the booster shot), as of March 7 this year [10]. For comparison, only about 57% of the world population is fully vaccinated as per the initial vaccination protocol [10]. Despite Singapore’s comparatively high vaccination rates, however, not all Singaporeans have been willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Case in point: Iris Koh. Iris Koh is “the founder of a group with a known stance against COVID-19 vaccination,” called Healing the Divide. Late January this year, Koh was “charged and remanded over her alleged involvement in a scheme to submit false information to the Ministry of Health (MOH)” [11]. MOH had been investigating a doctor who was suspected of submitting false information to the National Immunisation Registry, in which he had claimed to have administered COVID-19 vaccines when he actually had not. The police investigated MOH’s report and arrested Koh, the doctor, and the doctor’s assistant on the same day. It appears that Koh had referred other members of Healing the Divide to the same doctor and had also suggested administering something in lieu of the vaccine to patients. Both the doctor and his assistant had “submitted the information” hoping to “induce MOH to issue the Certificate of Vaccination against COVID-19 in the TraceTogether application” [11]. Additionally, Koh is also being investigated for “allegedly instigating others to call and overwhelm COVID-19 public hotlines” [11]. The police stated that they “take a very serious view of conduct which may pose a public health risk amid the national fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” and added that “offenders will be dealt with sternly, in accordance with the law” [11]. COVID-19 Vaccines and the Singapore Government Since the advent and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, the Singapore government has been more insistent than most in requiring its population to get (and remain) fully vaccinated. The government has done more than most to incentivise Singaporeans to get vaccinated as well. These efforts include, but are not limited to [12]: disseminating up-to-date information directly to the public through its official channels (via WhatsApp and Telegram, for example), targeting messaging specifically at vaccine-hesitant senior citizens (eg. in their native languages, such as Hokkien and Cantonese, which are not official languages in Singapore), and ensuring that all Singaporeans have (easy) access to vaccines (such as walk-in vaccinations for the elderly). Even though the Singapore government has increasingly compelled Singaporeans to get vaccinated by restricting the access of those who have not — unvaccinated folks are disallowed from dining in at restaurants, for example [13] — it must be reiterated that there has been great effort on the government’s part to educate Singaporeans on COVID-19 vaccines. For instance, simply searching “vaccine information” on Google brings up a MOH page detailing everything one might need to know regarding the COVID-19 vaccine [14]. More significantly, there is a video linked on the page, in which the chairman of the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination, Professor Benjamin Ong from the National University of Singapore, discusses how COVID-19 vaccines help, citing relevant statistics too [14]. While it can be said that Singaporeans have limited autonomy in deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, given the harsh restrictions unvaccinated folks are subjected to, it cannot be denied that the government has undertaken serious efforts to educate the population on the usefulness and reliability of the COVID-19 vaccines that are available here. It definitely helps that Singaporeans tend to be rather compliant, too. Kuah (2018) suggests that Singaporeans are “highly literate and obedient” [15], which has aided the government’s efforts to encourage the population to get vaccinated in two ways. Firstly, high literacy rates in Singapore can indicate that Singaporeans are typically more receptive to medical suggestions from external sources (eg. the government) that are backed strongly by scientific evidence. Secondly, Singaporeans’ general obedience, particularly towards authority figures, can mean that Singaporeans are more likely to do anything (reasonable) that the government asks of us. Despite the government’s wide-ranging efforts to maximise vaccination rates within the country, the case of Iris Koh and her associates is clear indication that not even Singapore is exempt from the sweeping influence of the anti-vaccine movement. Before proceeding, I would like to clarify that, although the anti-vaccine movement places heavy emphasis on bodily autonomy, it is often characterised by overwhelming amounts of misinformation as well. With regards to misinformation, social media is a key driving factor of this issue, due primarily to the ease with which one can post and view content, without the kind of proofreading and peer reviewing that we often see in the publication of newspapers and journal articles. Social media companies play a significant role in this, where both the general public and healthcare professionals have rightfully attributed the rise of misinformation to the lack of efforts by these companies to moderate and prevent such issues from proliferating. Moreover, as Cheang and Choy (2021) describe it, “Singapore’s reputation as a nanny state in popular culture stems from its highly technocratic and paternalistic approach” [16]. They characterise the ruling party, the People’s Action Party, as “[willing] to make intrusive interventions into the personal lives of its citizens” [16]. The government’s strong insistence that Singaporeans get vaccinated against COVID-19 can be argued to encroach on our right to bodily autonomy, seeing as we are not given significant choice in determining whether to take the vaccine. Thus, Singaporeans who prefer not to be strong-armed into making health-related decisions may have been turned off from getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as a result of the government’s harsh policies. However, the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is such that a significantly large percentage of a country’s population needs to be (fully) vaccinated in order for it to eventually ease restrictions and lessen the burden of the pandemic on its healthcare system. The dilemma then remains because both parties (ie. governments and individuals) rightfully retain their responsibilities to independently determine the best course of action for their countries and bodies respectively. All of the aforementioned factors combined provide a sufficiently comprehensive reasoning for Singapore’s vaccination rate at present — why we can achieve such a high vaccination rate, but are still unable to peak at a 100% rate. Conclusion To answer the question I posed earlier, it is a deeply challenging task to attempt to reconcile an individual’s right to make decisions regarding their own body with science-backed public health measures to stop the spread of a harmful, infectious virus when they oppose one another. As undesirable as it is, there appears to be no right answer to this dilemma, which is evident in the huge variety of measures different governments have taken. Governments seem to have based their COVID-19-related decision-making thus far on how collectivist or individualistic their populations are. Countries with more collectivist cultures — where the wellness of the group is prioritised over that of the individual — have implemented more stringent measures, such as mask mandates and strict border controls. Examples include China and, of course, Singapore. On the contrary, countries with more individualistic cultures — where individual freedom takes precedence — have adopted more lenient measures. The UK government, for example, announced earlier this year that it is optional for everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate [17]. The variation in the choices made by governments of collectivist and individualistic societies regarding COVID-19 restrictions underscores the notion that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the conundrum at hand. Something that works perfectly in one country — or even in one city — might be wholly rejected in another. Further, there might be significant differences of opinion within individual cities and countries themselves as well, as illustrated by the Iris Koh example mentioned above. Despite how unfortunate it is that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a mainstay in all of our lives for more than two years now, it does enable us to witness first-hand how governments and authorities all over the world continue to attempt reconciling individual rights with societal well-being. Bibilography [1] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-59890943 [2] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-60014059 [3] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/podcasts/the-daily/novak-djokovic-australia-immigration.html [4] https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/01/15/sports/djokovic-australia [5] https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jan/17/novak-djokovic-deported-for-trying-to-breach-australias-border-rules-scott-morrison-says [6] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60354068 [7] https://doi-org.libproxy1.nus.edu.sg/10.4324/9781317486794 [8] https://www.britannica.com/topic/libertarianism-politics [9] https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-021-12114-8 [10] https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&facet=none&pickerSort=asc&pickerMetric=location&Metric=People+vaccinated+%28by+dose%29&Interval=7-day+rolling+average&Relative+to+Population=true&Color+by+test+positivity=false&country=OWID_WRL~SGP [11] https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/iris-koh-healing-divide-covid-19-vaccination-anti-vax-arrest-2453626 [12] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-09-16/overcoming-vaccine-hesitancy-singapore-style [13] https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19-phase-advisory [14] https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/vaccination [15] https://doi-org.libproxy1.nus.edu.sg/10.1007/978-981-10-6971-0 [16] https://doi.org/10.1142/9789811220753_0004 [17] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/do-you-isolate-covid-rules-b2040363.html Alamelu is a third-year student majoring in English & Economics and an editor for The Convergence. She’s deeply interested in inequality and the factors that create and sustain it, and hopes to amplify the voices of minorities through her work. When not writing or rushing to meet deadlines, she’s likely knee-deep in oddly specific Internet wormholes or rewatching her comfort television shows.

View All

Pages (21)

  • NUSPA Chancellor's Challenge Shield | The Convergence

    11 minutes ago 5 min 3rd Place Winner - Senior Category By Chua Yi Lin, Yale-NUS College In media and in policy, the mere mention of issues like poverty invites fierce contestation from... 0 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked 15 minutes ago 4 min 3rd Place Winner - Junior Category By Ruth The RuiQi, Catholic Junior College Graduate “Fluffy white clouds floated across the pink, salmon hue sky. The sun shone brightly... 0 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked

  • NUSPA Social Policy Division | The Convergence

    The Convergence Apr 18 8 min How about Me? The Mental Health Fragility of Caregivers for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder By N Rizwanul Bahmid (Guest Editor) Mental Wellness during COVID-19 Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about countless problems... 11 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Apr 14 10 min The Uncertain Life After Sports for Singaporean athletes By Rishika Ghanamoorthy, NUSPA Social Policy Division Life after sport is a scary thing for many competitive athletes. Many athletes plan... 65 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Mar 2 5 min The ‘Singa-parent Culture’: How we might be perpetuating the cycle of poor mental health By Rishika Ghanamoorthy, NUSPA Social Policy Division Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Singapore, with around one in seven... 38 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked

  • NUSPA Book Prize | The Convergence

    NUSPA Book Prize The Convergence Mar 12, 2020 5 min Singapore, a one–party dominant state By Saddiq Basha (Book Prize Participant, Winner) With the collapse of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Malaysia’s 14th General Election,... 331 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Feb 27, 2020 5 min Why should Singaporeans be seriously concerned with Islamic radicalism and Islamophobia? By Mohamed Fayyaz (Book Prize Participant, 1st Runner-Up) In 2016, a man attacked three female students of Madrasah Al Ma’arif Al... 517 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Feb 20, 2020 6 min Tackling Our Complex Future By Calissa Man En Qin (Book Prize Participant) My daughter dares to dream. She can be a leader. A scientist. An artist. Anything. She can... 159 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Sep 20, 2019 1 min Calling for Submissions for NUSPA Book Prize! Looking to share your views on the future of Singapore? The NUSPA Book Prize Essay Competition is now open and calling for submissions!... 130 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked

View All