WE THE CITIZENS - UNDERSTANDING SINGAPORE’S POLITICS
2016/2017, Semester 2
Arts & Social Sciences (Political Science)
Modular Credits: 4
By the end of the module, students must muster the following:
a. understand what Singapore's politics mean from the perspective of a citizen
b. understand the various issues that affect and involve citizens in Singapore
c. understand the political dynamics between citizens and the governments on various selected issues
The module will be taught through the following means:
- Students' discussion and presentations
- Students' essay writing
- Students' consultations with tutors
- Students writing of examinations
Please observer NUS and FASS schedules as well as self-directed tutorials that will be held on an odd and even week basis.
The module initiates students into the workings of politics from the perspective of citizenship. What constitutes citizenship? What are the roles, duties and obligations of being a Singapore citizen? How do citizens interact and impact politics and decision making in Singapore? How have changes over the years, including (a) perspective of Singapore’s political history, (b) imperatives shaping national politics, (c) the political system, (d) its key structures and approaches to nation building, affected national politics and in turn, led to the political elites responding to changing demands of citizens? The role of civic and civil society will also be discussed.
MODULE: WE THE CITIZENS - UNDERSTANDING SINGAPORE’S POLITICS
Introduction – what is the module about?
Importance and Emergence of Citizenship in Singapore: role, duties and obligations
British immigration policies and the rise of a plural society in Singapore
Political administration of Singapore, 1819-1965 and the management of a colony
Evolution of key political institutions: colonial leadership, local participation and rise of the Legislative Assembly
Singapore as an independent state and the development of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary
Role of key political office holders:
Changing role of the MPs vis-à-vis the citizens
Political Citizenry: Citizens and elections and changing expectations of citizens of the Government
Challenges facing Singapore citizens: political, economic, social-cultural and psychological
Government’s response to the rise of politically conscious citizens: civic society, civil society and active citizenry
Redefining Singapore citizenship in the context of changing national, regional and international environment
Conclusion & Revision
A Moment of Anguish: Singapore in Malaysia and the Politics of Disengagement
, (Singapore: Times Academic Press, 1998).
Politics and Governance in Singapore: An Introductio
n, Second Edition (Singapore: McGraw-Hill Education (Asia), 2012).
C. M. Turnbull,
A History of Singapore 1819-1988
, 2nd (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1989).
Chan Heng Chee,
Singapore: The Politics of Survival 1965-1967
, (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1971)
Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore
, (Singapore: NUS Press, 2012).
Diane K. Mauzy and R.S. Milne,
Singapore Politics under the People’s Action Party
(London: Routledge, 2002).
Donald Low and Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh (eds.),
Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus
, (Singapore: NUS Press, 2014).
Singapore: The Unexpected Nation
, (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008).
Parties and Politics: a Study of Opposition Parties and the PAP in Singapore,
(Singapore: Eastern Universities Press/Marshall Cavendish, 2003/2004).
Lee Kuan Yew,
The Battle for Merger (Reprint)
, (Singapore: National Archives, 2014).
Lee Kuan Yew,
The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew,
(Singapore: Times Editions, 1998).
Lee Kuan Yew,
From Third World to First. The Singapore Story: 1965-2000
, (Singapore: Times Editions, 2000).
Lily Zubaidah Rahim,
The Singapore Dilemma: The Political and Educational Marginality of the Malay Community
, (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Simon S.C Tay (ed.),
A Mandarin and the Making of Public Policy: Reflections by Ngiam Tong Dow
, (Singapore: NUS Press, 2006).
Terence Chong, (ed.),
Management of Success: Singapore Revisited
, (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2010).
There will be fiver tutorial meetings in this module. The first tutorial meeting will be devoted to acquaintance between students and tutors as well as discussion of essay assignments, course requirements, grading and so on. This will also be an excellent opportunity for students to clarify issues on the modules with their respective tutors.
Tutorials for the course are meant to be extensions of the lectures. Accordingly, materials covered in the lectures will be dealt with more comprehensively in the tutorials. The course requirements consist of a tutorial assignment and extensive tutorial participation. The focus will be on development of thinking and expression skills as well as to understand the importance of civic-mindedness, citizenship and inter-cultural understanding.
Grading: Students will be
Class participation 20%
Essay assignment 30%
Final Examination 50%
Questions for the tutorial topics
are attached in this course outline. These are meant solely for generating class presentations and vocal debates.
To avoid any misunderstanding concerning the
ODD and EVEN
week tutorial system, the official NUS academic calendar is attached on the last page of this handout. Tutorial schedules are on the IVLE course website. Signing up should be done via the Faculty of Arts and Social Science website
. Please check CORS website for additional details, including of tutorial venues.
will be approximately
eight double-spaced typed pages (approx. 2500 words)
. You are expected to choose one question from the 3 pre-set questions (listed on p.7). Please take note of the
This will be strictly adhered to.
Your essay must be correctly documented in terms of footnotes and references. I strongly suggest that you refer to Kate L. Turabian’s
A Manual for Writers of Term papers, Theses and Dissertations
(Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1987). A copy of relevant excerpts from the Turabian book will be given out to every student. Copies are also available in the Reference Section of the Central Library. You must submit a hard and soft copy of your essay to your tutor.
1. Introduction and tutorial topic assignments.
2. What does it mean to be a Singapore citizen?
3. What is the role of the citizen in the Singapore’s ‘Westminster parliamentary system’?
4. How do citizens make their political needs and preferences known to the political
leaders in Singapore?
5. Is the concept of an active citizenry a myth in Singapore?
Is Singapore’s politics is principally defined by its ethnicity?
“In Singapore, citizenship is defined by being anti-foreigner”. Discuss.
Has the rise and importance of globalization made the concept of a Singapore citizen irrelevant?
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week