Saturday, December 26, 2009

Selections 98: Books on Singapore

These are the 4 new books on Singapore featured in Selections 98:
  • Men In White: The Untold Story Of Singapore's Ruling Political Party (Revised Edition) by Sonny Yap; Richard Lim and Leong Weng Kam. Men In White is the inside story of one of the world's most successful political parties, the People's Action Party (PAP). Based on more than 300 interviews and 200 oral history interviews conducted in Singapore and the region, the story is woven together by three Straits Times writers. The result is a dramatic account of PAP - warts, blemishes and all - and of the pivotal moments in its history which changed Singapore forever. Narrated in three parts, the story is told in a journalistic mode and enlivened with anecdotes, quotes and stories of human interest. Part One tells how Lee Kuan Yew, a Cambridge-educated lawyer, and his anglicised associates collaborated with radical Chinese-speaking trade unionists to drive out the British colonialists and how they fought each other. It also chronicles the party's clash with the ruling UMNO which led eventually to separation from Malaysia. Part Two captures the agonies of leadership renewal and charts the ascent of Goh Chok Tong, who succeeded Lee Kuan Yew as Singapore's second Prime Minister. It ends with Lee Hsien Loong taking over from Goh in 2004. Part Three wraps up the PAP story by delving into the key principles that characterise Singapore governance and concludes with the intriguing poser: will PAP outlive Lee Kuan Yew?
  • Singapore And Asia: Impact of the Global Financial Tsunami and other Economics Issues edited by Sng Hui Ying and Chia Wai Mun. This book is an annual effort by the economists at the Nanyang Technological University to provide analysis, interpretations and insights of contemporary economic issues affecting Singapore and Asia. It covers two key themes: (1) Global Financial Tsunami and (2) other economic issues affecting Singapore and Asia. The Global Financial Tsunami is currently ravaging the world financial systems and the world economy. The authors brilliantly tackle pertinent issues such as fiscal and monetary management of the current crisis, impacts of the crisis on the Singapore and Asian economies, policy measures implemented by Singapore and other countries to combat the crisis, and regional efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of the crisis. A wide range of important economic issues affecting Singapore and Asia, including inflation, exchange rate, workfare, environmental economics, population and worth of human life in Singapore are addressed competently. The chapters build on economic and analytical frameworks to help readers better understand the economic and policy issues discussed.
  • Singapore: A Biography by Mark Ravinder Frost and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow. This substantial "biography" of Singapore draws on the resources of the National Museum as it brings to life people and events that since early times have shaped the island of Singapore. Anecdotes and sidelights as well as archival material make this both a scholarly and an accessible view of the country's people and development up to 9 August 1965. With high-quality illustrations, end notes, bibliography and index.
  • State, Society and Religious Engineering: Towards A Reformist Buddhism in Singapore by Kuah-Pearce Khun Eng. The book looks at how religion in Singapore is being subjected to the processes of modernisation and change. The Singapore State has consciously brought religion under its guidance. It has exercised strong bureaucratic and legal control over the functioning of all religions in Singapore. The Chinese community and the Buddhist Sangha have responded to this by restructuring their temple institutions into large multi-functional temple complexes. There has been quite a few books written on the role of the Singapore State but, so far, none has been written on the topic - the relationship between state, society and religion. It will help to fill the missing gap in the scholarly literature on this area. This is also a topic of great significance in many Asian, particularly Southeast Asian, countries and it will serve as an important book for future reference in this area of research and comparative studies.

No comments:

Post a Comment