Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s comments about foreigners taking Australian jobs in a speech made last week in Rooty Hill, the working-class heartland of Sydney’s western suburbs, has brought issues of immigration, asylum and race back into election campaigning.
The first workers strike in 26 years in this affluent Southeast Asian city-state has triggered some soul-searching about the treatment of migrant labour and the low wages they are paid.
With a population of five million crammed on a landmass of just 715 square kilometres, the tiny republic of Singapore has been forced to expand upwards, building high-rise residential complexes to house the country’s many inhabitants.
Malaysia is gearing up for a general election in six months and as the campaigns enter the crucial voter-courting phase many observers are wondering if the political ‘tsunami’, which severely weakened the ruling National Front coalition (BN) at the 2008 polls, might be repeated.
How to get Singaporeans to have more babies has become a major part of the debate about this country’s future, and the government is encouraging people to speak out on the issue.
Singapore was recently ranked as the world’s richest country. But there is much scepticism about such rankings among average citizens here.
The rapid currents moving the centre of economic influence towards an emerging global order headquartered in Asia were evident at the PanIIT’s 2012 annual conference of alumni of the highly prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), which took place in Singapore over the Easter weekend.
A routine announcement by the government of this city-state entitling foreign, female domestic workers to a day off each week has sent their affluent employers into a tizzy.
When a group of about 100 mostly Bangladeshi migrant workers went on strike at a construction site over unpaid wages this month, it created ripples in this affluent and orderly island republic.
A landmark concert featuring artistes from eight of the ten South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) took place here on Jan. 21, in an effort to build a regional community through the common language of music.
For 25 years, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) has been Singapore's most important civil society campaigner for gender justice.
This tiny island republic sits on trillions of dollars in foreign reserves. Yet, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a BBC interview this month that his country cannot spend its way out of the economic downturn, until the global economy heals.