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Longform

The Longform vertical is here for you whenever you need it. Watch this space for passionate op-eds, musings with word counts that are way past social convention, and, if we dare say so ourselves, well-written pieces that offer a glimpse into the perspective of another human. Just click, scroll, and you’re ready to roll.

Perception of Mother Tongue in Singapore (and why it can be limiting)

Perception of Mother Tongue in Singapore (and why it can be limiting)

The Mother Tongue has always occupied an awkward position in Singaporean society. A simple search on the official Ministry of Education’s (MOE) website leads to an expectedly idealistic dictum: “The learning of Mother Tongue Language (MTL) is a lifelong endeavour. The MTL policy seeks to nurture our students to become effective communicators in MTL and supports our students to study MTL to as high a level as possible.” At the same time, however, with different races in Singapore, the English language asserts its dominance as a common ground to facilitate communication. Easily observable on a societal level, English — as…
Behind The Scenes Of Voluntourism: The Perspective Unbeknownst To Volunteers

Behind The Scenes Of Voluntourism: The Perspective Unbeknownst To Volunteers

Is volunteer tourism a boon or bane? It is a much-needed debate on an emerging trend – one that many turn a blind eye to. Volunteer tourism, also known as voluntourism, is tourism with an emphasis on work contribution and helping out at local organisations. Volunteers say voluntourism is about a sense of moral duty and attaining a transformative experience for themselves, but research by experts in the field of sustainable tourism –  such as Donald Brightsmith and Eliza Raymond – shows that it may be doing more harm than good. Like everything else, voluntourism is becoming increasingly industrialised; with…
Trump vs. Huawei: No One Wins in This Two-Sided Feud

Trump vs. Huawei: No One Wins in This Two-Sided Feud

The war between Donald Trump and China rages on, possibly reaching a crescendo following Trump’s recent announcement. The announcement detailed the blacklist of business relations between U.S companies and Huawei, citing the latter as an “unacceptable risk” to national security. The ban itself was not wholly surprising, given the rising tensions between the two countries. However, the ramifications from the fallout will have an impact further reaching than the shores of America and China. In the wake of the announcement, Google has come out and said that they will be complying with the order and thus, will be rescinding future…
How The NUS Voyeurism Incident Brought Social Issues To Light

How The NUS Voyeurism Incident Brought Social Issues To Light

You would have definitely heard of the voyeurism case that happened at the National University of Singapore (NUS) by now, but here’s why this case speaks to the masses. What happened In case you’ve missed it, on Friday, 19 April 2019, third-year NUS student Monica Baey revealed on her Instagram story that a fellow student – Nicholas Lim – filmed her while she was showering in the Eusoff Hall toilet last November. In the stories that followed, she explains how – despite the irrefutable evidence against her perpetrator – Nicholas got away with a 12-month conditional police warning, compulsory apology…
Going Beyond The Band: Here’s Why The Sam Willows Deserve A Spot At The Forbes 30 Under 30

Going Beyond The Band: Here’s Why The Sam Willows Deserve A Spot At The Forbes 30 Under 30

On 2 April 2019, Forbes released its 2019 edition of the 30 Under 30 Asia List, with local pop band The Sam Willows clinching the coveted spot in the Entertainment & Sports’ category. The quartet posted on Instagram regarding the delightful news, saying that they “made it just in time”; as one the members – Jonathan Chua – will turn 30 next year. 22 other Singaporeans joined The Sam Willows in the list that celebrates 300 “entrepreneurs and game-changers” from Asia. This Year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List also includes 300 game-changers in their industry across 10 different categories…
Is This The Endgame For The Original Avengers Cast?

Is This The Endgame For The Original Avengers Cast?

“We are in the endgame now” is the pivotal line by Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War. Indeed, we too are approaching the final stages of the massive saga that has lasted more than a decade. The question is, does that also ring true for the actors in the film? Like the Marvel film series, the actors portraying these characters have gone through a long journey. Robert Downey Jr. (RDJ) has been portraying his titular character, Iron Man, for the longest time among the original cast. Even before Iron Man, RDJ was in the film industry for a long time,…
Singapore Budget 2019: What’s in it for you?

Singapore Budget 2019: What’s in it for you?

Here we are again. In the space of two hours and six minutes on 18th February, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the Budget 2019 – a breakdown of how the government plans to use our nation’s funds for the year ahead.   Naturally, this is a hot-button topic, and as with every other year, financial analysts all over Singapore and news sites have been dissecting the budget plan and sharing their insights. As Minister Heng mentioned, this was a very lengthy speech and if you have not been keeping up with the news, delving into two hours’ worth of…
Apple is out of the wireless charging race, and that’s fine by us

Apple is out of the wireless charging race, and that’s fine by us

Let’s travel back in time. The day is 12 September 2017, Apple had just unveiled the revolutionary iPhone X alongside the iPhone 8 — making an unprecedented move by skipping the iPhone 9. The surprises didn’t stop there. Apple signalled its intent to “move the industry forward” by also announcing the Apple AirPower; a wireless charging pad that allowed users to charge up to 3 Apple devices at a time with a specialised iPhone notification display. They set its release date as 2018. It’s now 2019. The AirPower has yet to arrive in stores. In fact, it never will. On…
Empowered Women Empower Women: 5 Questions with Grace Park, Christina Teo, and Tjin Lee on International Women’s Day 2019

Empowered Women Empower Women: 5 Questions with Grace Park, Christina Teo, and Tjin Lee on International Women’s Day 2019

Today, on 8 March, we commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) – a global event that celebrates the successes of women, particularly in challenging traditional gender expectations and norm. The event also symbolises an impetus of gender parity, which is a core theme that works in tandem with this year’s IWD core theme: Balance for Better. We sat down with three women leaders: Co-Founder and President of DocDoc, Grace Park; Chief Builder of she1K, Christina Teo; and Founder of Mercury Marketing & Communications, Tjin Lee. We discussed how these leaders have embodied this year’s theme to tear down all gender expectations…
Crazy Rich Asians: Game Theory and the Gospel

Crazy Rich Asians: Game Theory and the Gospel

Everybody wants to know what everyone else thinks about Crazy Rich Asians (CRA), particularly, if you’re Asian. Many commentators have already weighed in about how CRA is either a triumph of representation for the Asian community, or an opulent neo-colonial misrepresentation of the Singaporean, Asian, and Asian-American ethnic groups, and an actively discriminatory film. These are critical issues that deserve attention, but they ultimately grapple with the contexts that the film interacts with, and not the heart of the film itself. If we want to understand what the film means to the people who are watching it, then we should…
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