A short review of James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership”. Continue reading
Amidst political turbulence, Spain is set to organise its third election in less than four years. And even though early general election was called for April 28, the political gridlock is only set to continue. At the start of the week in Madrid, thousands of people demonstrated against the prime minister’s plan to ease political tensions in Catalonia. As opposed to the moves for independence, these demonstrators were calling for a united Spain instead. And as protestors called for the ouster of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders – who are accused of rebellion and other crimes stemmed to the declaration of Catalan independence in 2017 – began. Later in the week, the Spanish government later lost a crucial budgetary vote in parliament, which will likely lead to a snap election. Continue reading
A short review of Kenneth Paul Tan’s “Singapore: Identity, Brand, Power”.
The perspective that it is necessarily deleterious if Singaporeans raise questions about or challenges to National Service (NS) policy – for instance, “if people start to question now whether NS is necessary, if operationally ready NSmen should shoulder certain responsibilities, and whether the tempo and intensity of military training should be reduced” (ST, Feb. 5) – not only seems short-sighted and further disregards the absence of substantive engagement with servicemen and the general public, but also underestimates the value of rigorous discourse over the need for NS and the principles of defence and deterrence which justify the need for conscription in Singapore. It appears somewhat paradoxical, yet instead of being anchored by unquestioned or unchallenged assumptions of its importance, the institution of NS is perhaps best strengthened when it is constantly questioned and challenged by Singaporeans. Continue reading