Edgewise

Of planes, ships and chendol
SINGAPORE (Dec 10): When CNN dubbed the Singapore version of chendol one of the top 50 desserts in the world this past week, Malaysians reacted with predictable outrage. And, the bitterness over the sweet dessert quickly proved to be an ill omen for bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore. Now, Malaysia wants to reclaim the management of airspace over south Johor, ...
Fintech boom is underway but stock market is wary
SINGAPORE (Nov 26): On Nov 22, loss-making circuit board manufacturer CPH said it was pivoting from its competition-ridden core business to financial technology via a reverse takeover (RTO) of alternative financing provider oCap in a deal worth $61.8 million. Under the terms of the deal, CPH will issue 5.15 billion new shares at 1.2 cents apiece. oCap is now held by an entity called Delphinium ...
Genocide can't be good for business
SINGAPORE (Nov 19): It was only three years ago, after the watershed elections in November 2015 that saw Aung San Suu Kyi transition from democracy icon under house arrest to Myanmar’s State Counsellor and de facto leader, that Myanmar began to emerge from years of economic isolation. In 2016, the US lifted some of its economic sanctions; in 2017, there were 3.44 million tourist arrivals into ...
Tech and ethics: Regulation is not the only way
SINGAPORE (Nov 12): Reid Hoffman, who co-founded LinkedIn and was chief operating officer at PayPal before that, has come out to say he is for “some regulation” in the tech industry — provided it does not stifle innovation and jeopardise the US tech industry’s leadership. In an interview on Bloomberg TV, broadcast on Nov 8, Hoffman acknowledged that the responsibilities of the tech ...
Asia's food security: Why do we care?
SINGAPORE (Nov 12): In 2010, electrical engineer David Tan made his way from Singapore to a remote village in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He worked with the villagers, who mostly farm rice and corn, to fix some irrigation problems at a children’s home. The community gained better access to water, while Lin gained an appreciation for the farming community. He eventually decided to start a farming ...
The Public Service: Seeking diversity
SINGAPORE (Nov 5): In the 1980s, with the first two decades of frantic economy-building behind it, the Singapore government turned to fine-tuning its human resource policies. It tapped what Royal Dutch Shell, the multinational oil company, was already doing. The Civil Service adapted concepts such as the CEP, or current estimated potential, to assess how far individuals could progress within the ...
Regardless of wage, language or religion
SINGAPORE (Nov 5): In 1957, while on a beach holiday in Wales, British sociologist and disillusioned Labour Party member Michael Young bumped into an old friend, who had started a publishing house. The following year, Thames & Hudson published The Rise of the Meritocracy, Young’s futuristic satire on the state of society in the UK. The thesis warned against allowing education to engineer a ...
Game, on
SINGAPORE (Oct 29): In August, the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta had a special showcase. The 5,000-capacity BritAma Arena, normally a venue for Indonesia’s top basketball league’s games, was the stage for quite a different kind of game. Speed, reflexes and dexterity were on display and the players donned team jerseys. But they were also rigged out with headphones and microphones; the battles ...
Crooked bridge over troubled water
SINGAPORE (Oct 22): It must be exhausting for officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to have to constantly correct statements in Malaysia. For instance, they had to disabuse Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian this past week of what he thought will be discussed during his visit to Singapore on Oct 27. Osman reportedly said the construction of the “crooked bridge” would be on the ...
Who wants to live to 100?
SINGAPORE (Oct 22): In the 2015 movie The Intern, an internet fast fashion entrepreneur, played by Anne Hathaway, is surprised and sceptical when a 70-year-old widower turns up in her company’s internship programme. The “senior intern”, played by Robert de Niro, is a retired senior executive at a directory publisher. Hathaway’s character is obliged to work with him and dreads it at first. ...