Poverty in Paradise City: When the Jester has a broken heart

International Research Journals
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Research in Peace, Gender and Development, 2011, 1 (4), pp. 138 - 154
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Via detailed personal interviews, this paper canvasses the views of leading Singapore opposition politicians and grassroots activists about poverty and income inequality in Singapore society. The role of opposition internet activism is also explored. Semi-structured personal and group interviews, with politicians and grassroots activists; literature search; and attendance at opposition party functions. The opposition in general and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and National Solidarity Party (NSP) in particular have repeatedly highlighted the growing income inequality and poverty in the country. Pictures in the SDPs promotional literature skillfully and dialectically present wealth and poverty in Singapore within the same pictorial image. Interviewees speak of the Dickensian living conditions in the one-room rental flats in Bukit Merah, just a taxi ride from Changi Airport, in the Minister Mentor Harry Lee Kuan Yews constituency of Tanjong Pagar GRC. The SDPs Alternative Economic Programme Its about You (2010) outlines the Partys proposals for minimum wage and unemployment insurance. The researchers obtain direct and personal access to Singapores grassroots opposition community, including people that are not party leaders and who are difficult to access. The views of this community have rarely been heard because of the Singapore Governments hegemonic control of mainstream media within the country
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