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Straight Talk- Reflections on Spore politics, economy & society

This is a collection of speeches and essays spanning Former Minister Raymond Lim’s 20 years in journalism, finance and politics. The issues he addressed then are still very much alive today. He lays out his views on Singapore society, politics, the economy, entrepreneurship, foreign affairs and the Asian financial crisis. Now, when the appetite for political debate has grown exponentially alongside social media, here is Straight Talk on:

  • Society - Our economy is up. No mean feat in a crisis-strewn decade. But the “feel good” factor seems missing. Why?
  • Politics - It used to be said that there is a climate of fear which deters people from speaking up against government policies. Today, the pendulum has swung the other way.
  • Economy - Many Singaporeans who visit and work in China come back shell-shocked. Will they sweep us and other small economies out of the economic landscape?
  • Entrepreneurship - We need to imbue in our young a different worldview. It is not a world where everything must have its place and nothing is left to chance. Nor is it a world where we wipe off every speck of dust and in the process lose the stardust.
  • Foreign Affairs - Because our immediate environment is fraught with many uncertainties, we must create space for ourselves to grow and prosper. The creation of space must be the single most important strategic concept of our foreign policy.
  • Financial crisis - Blaming others for the problems – the Chinese over-saving rather than American over-consuming – is not helpful in managing the crisis and minimising its recurrence. Pogo was right: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Our price: US$20.00
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The Big Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew
“Lee Kuan Yew has long stood out as one of the century’s wisest and most consequential Asian leaders. This book, collecting accounts from close associates who joined him in building a new nation, makes an important contribution to the understanding of Lee Kuan Yew’s achievement.” –HENRY A. KISSINGER, Former US Secretary of State

Lee Kuan Yew was born in 1923, a time when Singapore was under British rule. After experiencing the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, he travelled to England to study Law. Mr Lee’s legal career in Singapore was marked by increasing political involvement. Together with a group of like-minded individuals, he formed the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1954. Following the PAP’s victory in the 1959 Legislative Assembly general elections, Mr Lee became the first Prime Minister of Singapore, at the age of 35. He held this position until 1990. After stepping down from the premiership, he remained in the Cabinet until 2011, serving as Senior Minister and subsequently as Minister Mentor.

Mr Lee oversaw Singapore’s transformation from a Third World country to a First World country. This remarkable achievement has long prompted admiration and debate. This volume makes a distinctive contribution to our understanding of Mr Lee’s legacy because for the first time the men and women who worked closely with him have come together to discuss his ideas. The resulting essays shed valuable light on a wide range of topics including law and politics, society and economics, and governance and foreign affairs.

THE AUTHORS:
Chan Heng Chee, Bilahari Kausikan,Chan Sek Keong, Kishore Mahbubani,Janadas Devan, SR Nathan,Heng Swee Keat, Seng Han Thong, Peter Ho ,Yong Ying-I, S Jayakumar

THE EDITORS:
SHASHI JAYAKUMAR is a member of the Administrative Service of Singapore and Deputy Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University.
RAHUL SAGAR is Associate Professor at Yale-NUS College and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of Secrets and Leaks, published by Princeton University Press.

Our price: US$22.00
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The Making of NTU-My Story
From its origins in the former Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI), which was set up in 1981 to provide facilities for tertiary education and research in various branches of engineering and technology, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has undertaken an extraordinary journey of excellence to become one of the world’s top young universities. In The Making of NTU, Cham Tao Soon gives a firsthand account of the 22 years he spent in building up NTI, which was later inaugurated as NTU. It is a remarkable story of how a very small team of dedicated people were put to the test in starting a university from scratch. Searching the world for teaching staff with the right credentials, it was impressed upon Cham more than once that they were “indeed a small start-up in the large engineering universe”. Yet, in just four years, NTI was singled out as one of the best engineering institutions in the world by the Commonwealth Engineering Council. How they did this is Cham Tao Soon’s story.
THE AUTHOR: Cham Tao Soon became the founding President of Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) in 1981. After NTI was reconstituted as Nanyang
Technological University (NTU) in 1991, he served as its President until December 2002. He was conferred the title of President Emeritus in July 2007. During his term, Cham played a historic role in transforming NTI from humble beginnings into a major university for industry and business. Beyond NTU, Professor Cham has been involved in the formation of the Singapore Management University in 1997, a spin-off from the Singapore Institute of Management. He is currently the Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SIM University. Cham remains active in the local industry and the engineering profession, having served on the boards of Natsteel Ltd, Singapore Press Holdings, United Overseas Bank and WBL Corporation Ltd. He has also served on high-level committees, including the Council of Presidential Advisers. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Fluid Mechanics) from the University of Cambridge, UK, and has received a number of awards, including the Public Administration Medal (Gold) and the Distinguished Service Order, both conferred by the Singapore government.

Our price: US$26.00
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THE PRESIDENTS OF SINGAPORE: BENJAMIN SHEARES
He was a well-known doctor and professor, and was one of the leading names in obstetrics and gynaecology in Singapore for decades.

And when he was 63 years old, he was asked to be the second President of Singapore, after the first President Yusof Ishak died in 1970.

What was Benjamin Sheares like as a President? Did he continue practising as a doctor after he became President? And who described
him as “a perfect gentleman?”

The answers to these questions and more can be found in this easy-to-read book, which is targeted at upper primary and lower
secondary pupils.

It has many photographs of Benjamin Sheares and readers will enjoy seeing him in his early years, when he was a professor, and also in
more relaxed, unguarded moments.

About the series
This is the first book in a series on the Presidents of Singapore, beginning with the first three Presidents:
• The Presidents of Singapore: Yusof Ishak
• The Presidents of Singapore: Benjamin Sheares
• The Presidents of Singapore: Devan Nair

All three books come with facts about the Singapore Presidency, such as how the President is chosen and what his or her duties are.
The books will be of interest to all Singaporeans and are especially relevant in light of the Presidential Election, to be held in September.
With pages to scan for additional material To make the books more interactive and exciting for young readers,
Straits Times Press has for the first time teamed up with a Singapore headquartered company that runs an app called SnapLearn.

Users who download the free app on their mobile phones will be able to scan certain pages in the books to access additional material including videos. Each book comes with a page of simple instructions, and the pages to be scanned have an icon for easy recognition.

About the author
Edmund Lim is an educator and the author of Where’s Grandma, which won the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award in 2013.

Our price: US$9.00
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THE PRESIDENTS OF SINGAPORE: DEVAN NAIR
C.V. Devan Nair, the son of a rubber plantation clerk, rose from humble beginnings to become an outstanding union leader, a Member of Parliament, and eventually President of Singapore.

This book, which is targeted at upper primary and lower secondary pupils, describes Nair’s childhood and his years growing up in an anti-colonial household.

It also describes in detail how, during the tumultuous post-war years, Nair came to the attention of the British authorities, who were cracking down on anti-colonial activities, and ended up spending a total of about five years in detention.

It gives an excellent overview of the exciting early years of Nair’s life in the 1950s and 60s as a teacher, a unionist and an MP, and highlights his dedication and contributions to the NTUC.

About the series
This is the first book in a series on the Presidents of Singapore, beginning with the first three Presidents:
• The Presidents of Singapore: Yusof Ishak
• The Presidents of Singapore: Benjamin Sheares
• The Presidents of Singapore: Devan Nair

All three books come with facts about the Singapore Presidency, such as how the President is chosen and what his or her duties are.

The books will be of interest to all Singaporeans and are especially relevant in light of the Presidential Election, to be held in September.
With pages to scan for additional material
To make the books more interactive and exciting for young readers, Straits Times Press has for the first time teamed up with a Singapore headquartered company that runs an app called SnapLearn.

Users who download the free app on their mobile phones will be able to scan certain pages in the books to access additional material including videos. Each book comes with a page of simple instructions, and the pages to be scanned have an icon for easy recognition.

About the author
Edmund Lim is an educator and the author of Where’s Grandma, which won the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award in 2013.


Our price: US$9.00
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THE PRESIDENTS OF SINGAPORE: YUSOF ISHAK
Every time we use a Singapore bank note, we see his face – the face of Yusof Ishak, the first President of Singapore.

But did you know that he had to overcome challenges in his life and was also a champion in sports such as weightlifting and boxing?

And not many people know that when he got married, in 1949, he and his wife lived in a kampung house with no electricity – the
couple used kerosene lamps for light.

This book, which is targeted at upper primary and lower secondary pupils, will make this icon of Singapore come alive. It is suitable for
anyone who wants an overview of the life and background of the first President of Singapore.

General readers will come away with a better appreciation of him as a leader, a newspaperman and a family man, and will enjoy the
many photographs of Yusof Ishak, at formal occasions and in less formal moments.

About the series
This is the first book in a series on the Presidents of Singapore, beginning with the first three Presidents:
• The Presidents of Singapore: Yusof Ishak
• The Presidents of Singapore: Benjamin Sheares
• The Presidents of Singapore: Devan Nair

All three books come with facts about the Singapore Presidency, such as how the President is chosen and what his or her duties are.
The books will be of interest to all Singaporeans and are especially relevant in light of the Presidential Election, to be held in September.

With pages to scan for additional material
To make the books more interactive and exciting for young readers, Straits Times Press has for the first time teamed up with a Singapore headquartered
company that runs an app called SnapLearn.

Users who download the free app on their mobile phones will be able to scan certain pages in the books to access additional material including videos. Each book comes with a page of simple instructions, and the pages to be scanned have an icon for easy recognition.

About the author
Edmund Lim is an educator and the author of Where’s Grandm, which won the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award in 2013.

Our price: US$9.00
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The Quah Kim Song Story
“What made Quah Kim Song such a great football star? I think it was a combination of talent, hard work, discipline, courage and great team spirit. He also had a great coach in Uncle Choo Seng Quee. I like the story told by Kim Song.” – PROF TOMMY KOH, Honorary Chairman, National Heritage Board

“I especially loved Kim Song’s portrait of his carefree youth. I could feel, smell, hear, touch those Quah family Sundays at the Sembawang seaside bungalow! What a family, what a lost way of life! ” – ILSA SHARP, Editor/writer and former long-time Singapore resident

“I witnessed first-hand how good the Quahs were at the ‘beautiful game’. They were football artists as well as artisans, and born with natural talent and impeccable skills that were admired by fans in Singapore and beyond.” –GODFREY ROBERT, Consulting Editor, The New Paper, and former Straits Times Sports Editor

The Quah Kim Song Story is about football in Singapore and the region, told in Kim Song’s colourful football vernacular to Jacintha Stephens. This book, she says, “is of a special time and place in Singapore’s social history. Of a moment in time when a young nation suddenly found a common goal and identity – and roared their allegiance as their football team played their hearts out. This was the birth of the great Kallang Roar.”

For almost three decades, there was a Quah in the national team. A legacy started by Quah Kim Beng in the late 1950s ended with Quah Kim Song in the early 1980s. In between there were Kim Swee, Kim Siak and Kim Lye, and three sisters, Theresa, Doreen and Rosa, who also donned national colours. In his book, Kim Song delves deep into what the Quahs were all about. His anecdotes and experiences, particularly on the football pitch, added to his lively sketches of crucial games, teammates, coaches and competitors, make this a rich memoir of the Kallang Roar era. Prof Tommy Koh, in his Foreword, writes that “When the Singapore national team was playing at its peak, the whole nation was proud of it and followed each match with bated breath. …Every great team must have an inspiring striker. Quah Kim Song was our inspiring striker in the 1970s.”

CONTENTS: Foreword by Prof Tommy Koh • Baptism of Fire • “He’s My Brother!” • Kicking Around in My Backyard • Serving School and Country on the Field • Meeting My Mentor • The Cup Whisperer • Breaking Hearts – and Legs • Gearing Up for Battle • Ending the 12-year Drought • After the World Cup • So Hard To Say Goodbye

Our price: US$14.00
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Thinking Allowed? Politics, Fear and Change in Singapore

Must politics in Singapore be taboo? Need political discussion engender fear? Is the Singapore system averse to change? Can it be remade? These are among the questions confronted in this book by one of Singapore's leading political commentators, a unique ringside perspective of the politics of this country quite different from any that has been told before.

Political observer Warren Fernandez draws from first-hand experience covering politics for the Straits Times for over a decade. He has witnessed the heat of the hustings, sat through countless parliamentary debates, trailed politicians on constituency walkabouts, travelled with and interviewed the country's top leaders... From the cost of living to censorship to Chinese education in schools, he tackles issues in his clear, no-nonsense style - just thinking aloud, but also always insisting that thinking should be allowed on the critical affairs of the day.

Drawn from the "Thinking Aloud" columns on Singapore politics and society that have appeared in The Straits Times since 1991, the book includes new essays that kick off the chapters and delve into the recurrent issues that Singapore has been grappling with for years, and is likely to do so for a long time to come.


Our price: US$16.50
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We also served-Reflections of Spore's former PAP MPs
“MPs are important actors in determining Singapore’s history. I encourage all MPs, including those who oppose the PAP, to give their accounts of the past. They will give a multidimensional view of past events and provide richness and texture to the story.” — Lee Kuan Yew

“I expect our book to do two things. First, to inform, and second,to inspire, the younger generation of Singaporeans, including new Singaporeans. They will know something of the two generations of political leaders in the first 40 years of independence. We can hope that a few of these Singaporeans will seek the mandate from the people, so that they will continue to lead our country into the future.” — Chiang Hai Ding

For the first time, 25 People’s Action Party former MPs tell how they became involved in politics, what they did as politicians, what they felt and wished for Singapore. They are former ministers and other office holders to backbenchers. Some served five terms, totalling over two decades, and some one term of four or five years. These are stories of ordinary people who served in unusual times and achieved extraordinary results for Singapore. Some are of very humble origin or have little formal education. Some served in the crucial decade, 1955 to 1965, during the birthing of the new nation, when the political outcome of their struggle could have gone against them, and they would have paid a heavy price for their convictions. Most served when that new nation started out on the long road to nation-building, during the decades of rapid social and economic change, when they had to convince their fellow citizens to make the necessary changes for independent Singapore to survive and progress. Most were not prepared for the tasks they had to undertake.

CONTRIBUTORS: 1 The branch secreta ry Chor Yeok Eng, 1959–1984 • 2 The was herwoma n’s son Ho See Beng, 1963–1984 • 3 The trade union lea der Mahmud Awang, 1963–1968 • 4 The “orang laut” Othman Wok, 1963–1980 • 5 The coffeeshop “boy” Teong Eng Siong, 1963–1979 • 6 The artist Ho Kah Leong, 1966–1996 • 7 The first Malay graduate MP SHA’ARI TADIN, 1968–1980 • 8 The historian Chiang Hai Ding, 1970–1984 • 9 The Rhodes Scholar Tan Eng Liang, 1972–1980 • 10 The Nantah pioneer Chai Chong Yii, 1972–1988 • 11 The self-made man Sidek Saniff, 1976–2001 • 12 The football mediator Teo Chong Tee, 1976–1996 • 13 The chemical engineer Bernard Chen Tien Lap, 1977–2001 • 14 The man with a godfather Rohan Kamis, 1979–1984 • 15 The industrial doctor Chau Sik Ting, 1980–1984 • 16 The Administrative Officer Othman Haron Eusofe, 1980–2006 • 17 The leadership trainer Saidi Shariff, 1980–1984 • 18 The teacher Wan Hussin Zoohri, 1980–1991 • 19 The political reporter Goh Choon Kang, 1984–2001 • 20 A woman in the House again Dixie Tan, 1984–1991 • 21 The country boy Wang Kai Yuen, 1984 –2006 • 22 The Political Secretary Zulkifli Mohamed, 1984–1996 • 23 The head prefect Lew Syn Pau, 1988–2001 • 24 The ENTREPRENEUR R. Sinnakaruppan, 1991–2001 • 25 The cardiologist Michael Lim Chun Leng, 1991–2006

Our price: US$30.00
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When the Party Ends - China's leaps and stumbles after the Beijing Olympics
Peh Shing Huei’s provocative book captures his harrowing, humbling and sometimes hilarious experiences in China when he was China bureau chief from The Straits Times. As he documents the rise of China, he also uncovers the problems beneath its sinews. Peh visits the bustling factories of Guangdong wrestling labour woes; strays into the line of fire during the bloody ethnic riots in Urumqi; journeys to the forgotten museum of the Cultural Revolution on a remote mountain top. When the Party Ends chronicles vivid accounts of questionable processes against the voiceless and the powerless. Peh gives voice to their battles with the Chinese Communist Party and errant companies over rights and resources. He shakes off officials so as to meet an environmentalist who was tortured for wanting to save a river from pollution. He speaks to a man who was jailed simply for posting an intemperate tweet. He interviews an ageing former Red Guard undertaker who still cries when he recalls the atrocities of the Cultural Revolution.

These and other vignettes are counterposed against Peh’s riveting narrative of the“palace intrigues” of the powerful communist leaders in the lead-up to the epochal leadership change in late 2012. It culminates in the dramatic downfall of princeling Bo Xilai – the latest in China’s complex political machinations. When the Party Ends is an absorbing and remarkable work of journalism, offering a fascinating insight into a changing China, one where the status quo is being reinvented with each passing day.

Our price: US$22.00
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