Case Studies


Results Found

  • Jennifer Dodgson
The second section of a two-part study of Singapore’s immigration policies, this case looks at immigration’s role in the nation’s economy. Since the 1970s, the government has used immigration to help drive growth and smooth the business cycle, thus reinforcing the economic credentials of the ruling People’s Action Party. While the use of foreign labour helped the country to increase its GDP, it also had negative side effects and unintended consequences. This case study examines the economic and social effects of immigration in Singapore, and the policies that have been enacted to maximise the benefits from immigration while mitigating the downsides.
  • Lim Wei Chieh
Almost 10 years ago, an anonymous person or group going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to Bitcoin and its underlying technology, blockchain. While the individual technological components of blockchain had first originated in academic literature as early as the 1980s and 1990s, it was Nakamoto who put them together into a system that holds much promise in solving some of the biggest problems today. Blockchain technology offers plenty of opportunities and benefits across various industries. And some pundits have even started calling blockchain the greatest invention since the Internet. Of course, as with all new technology, the opportunity comes with challenges and risks that need to be understood and addressed. This brief will discuss the underlying concepts and applications of blockchain technology, and the opportunities and risks that are perceivable at the current stage of development.
  • 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.