How is the region coping with the most challenging economic and political problems it has ever faced? Is there any silver lining in the dark clouds which have enveloped the region since 1997?
Can the people in the region summon up the resourcefulness and resolve to see our way out of the economic crisis, without seriously undermining the political and social stability which has been somewhat taken for granted for so long? What have been the implications for the polity in Singapore? How will our relations with the region be affected? Will ASEAN survive and if it does, how will it have changed? Is there a need to re-examine the Asian values which have for some time been extolled as the bulwark of the Asian miracle?
The questions have shaped the discussion in this collection of papers contributed by economists Lee Tsao Yuan and Fong Cheng Hong, ministry official Chiang Chie Foo, diplomat Tommy Koh, journalists Asad Latif and Chong Wing Hong and academics Wang Gangwu, Khong Yuen Foong, Lam Peng Er, Kwok Kian Woon and Ho Kong Chong.
Singapore: The Year in Review 1998 is a collection of papers which were presented at a yearly conference organised by the Institute of Policy Studies, a public policy think-tank in Singapore. This is the eighth in the series. The first conference was in 1991. Both the conference and this publication aim at a substantive discourse on the highlights in the events of the year just ended.
The publication offers more than a review of the year past, it holds substantive and erudite analyses as well as informed perspectives of what the future holds for the region.