Case Studies


Results Found

  • Alisha Gill
Excerpt: Historically, city planners had equated transport with motorised vehicles, and developed infrastructure to move them efficiently. This was true of Singapore as well. Until 2008, Singapore’s Transport Ministry did not even consider cycling a legitimate mode of transport. Yet, a decade later, bicycles and other active mobility devices are ubiquitous and have created new challenges for Singapore’s transport planners. The government today defends the bicycle’s right to space, and appeals for patience when Members of Parliament (MPs) and the public complain about reckless riders, and indiscriminately parked shared bicycles. In this case study, we examine how attitudes and policies towards cycling have evolved in Singapore, with the objective of addressing three broad issues: how did significant policy shifts happen; defensible ways for allocating scarce land to different groups of commuters, and the tactics that policymakers can use to change the status quo and manage unintended consequences.
  • Jennifer Dodgson
Singapore was founded as a nation of immigrants, and has retained a relatively welcoming demand-driven immigration policy. This strategy promotes economic growth and minimises welfare costs, and many other countries have switched or are considering switching to a similar model. However, it is not without disadvantages; businesses have an almost insatiable demand for cheap foreign labour, while citizens have grown increasingly unhappy about the infrastructure pressures and cultural clashes with immigrants. This case (part one of a two-part case study) looks at the two principal strategies adopted by the Singapore to attempt to reduce the number of work visas granted: the Foreign Worker Levy and the Dependency Ceiling system. We evaluate the reasoning behind their introduction and look at their effects on immigration in Singapore.

Part two of this case will consider the economic and social effects of immigration in Singapore, and the policies adopted by the government to attempt to maximise gains while minimising disadvantages.
  • Stephanie Chok
Singapore has the third highest prisoners-per-population rate among advanced economies, due largely to a strict stance on drug-related crimes. An earlier case study detailed the evolution of Singapore’s ‘war on drugs’. 

The case study begins with a brief statistical overview of Singapore’s prison population, with an emphasis on drug offenders. This case study will also give an introduction to the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and its key partners, as well as their incarceration, rehabilitation, and reintegration frameworks. It includes a discussion on a distinctive feature of halfway care in Singapore: the heavy involvement of religious groups and community organizations. The final section discusses prisoner reentry, where state concern is focused on preventing reoffending and successful ‘reintegration’, of which a core aspect relates to the employment of ex-offenders.
  • Stephanie Chok
Singapore’s ‘zero tolerance approach’ to drugs has been well-established, but there were periods in our history when drug use was viewed as an acceptable social habit, one no more harmful than consuming port or beer; and when opium trading was also extremely profitable. This case study contextualizes Singapore’s stance on drugs by providing a historical overview of key shifts in legislative approaches to drug use and trafficking in Singapore, with these milestones both reflecting as well as shaping transitions in moral discourses around what has become unequivocally framed as a ‘resilient social problem’ capable of destroying the lives of responsible citizens, their families, and national development imperatives.
  • Jade Goh
In 2006, the Malaysian government introduced harm reduction as a strategy to address the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Malaysia. The country’s harm reduction approach comprised of two initiatives: methadone maintenance therapy and the needle syringe exchange program.

The introduction of harm reduction marked the government’s shifting attitude from one that viewed drugs as a national security issue towards one that treated drugs as a public health concern. But Malaysia’s harm reduction initiatives still faced numerous challenges. Such strategies were viewed as being counter to the Islamic laws of prohibition and thus faced opposition from some religious leaders and organizations. Further, the public generally took a negative view of IDUs, and law enforcement agencies and public health initiatives sometimes came into tension. The challenges involved in scaling harm reduction efforts had wider implications for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents in Malaysia.
  • Stasha Wong
Singapore’s two most recent public engagement exercises, Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) and SGfuture, aimed to be different from the country’s previous national-scale public engagement exercises in their emphasis on authenticity and inclusivity. This case study examines how OSC and SgFuture determined and developed their respective scopes, formats and processes; the exercises’ efforts and challenges to establishing credibility among Singaporeans; and the tangible and intangible outcomes that arose from the exercises.