The Best of Both Worlds: Living Alternate Lives in Stanford and Oxford

“It’s hard to feel comfortable around you, or, you know, the same, knowing that you’ve studied in not just one, but two of the world’s most elite universities,” a friend of mine divulged during our annual catch-up, an occurrence limited by the once-yearly frequency of our returns to our hometown of Singapore. “Stanford and Oxford. Wow. Just wow.”…

Truth, freedom, and identity: scattered travel thoughts

The contemporary struggle for truth and freedom isn’t quite contemporary; it’s a debate that existed long before the horrors of 2016 (I apologise for referencing Buzzfeed), Conway’s #alternativefacts, or the purported end-of-American-democracy-as-we-know it. We often hear that we are at crucial crossroads, teetering on a precipice of intolerance and deceit never before encountered — but the conflation…

The Unexpected Cuba

Every city has its own music. Havana’s is best characterised by the cacophony of beeps and honks (emitted from decades-old Fords, Buicks, and Moskvitchs/Москвич alike) that – strangely enough – melds into a fascinating symphony when paired with the salsa/samba/rumba music reverberating on every street and plaza corner. Havana’s music reflects its vibrancy: its vibrancy…

Top 3 Must-Reads of 2016 (even if they aren’t all published in 2016)

Scroll down for a list of all the books I’ve read this past year! Shamefully, with a tinge of expected wryness, I admit that this past summer wasn’t incredibly fruitful on the novel-writing front (with bits and pieces jotted down here and there, but little spun into a coherent plot). But at least my love for a…

On Movement and Trains (and College)

I’m not quite sure what time it was when the train started to move (ten, fifteen, maybe 20 minutes after it was due to leave the station? Czech trains sadly lack the timeliness and efficiency of its German and Austrian neighbours), but its departure was signalled by a familiar musical refrain – a buildup of…

From SFO to LHR

“Mr. Møller’s message to us is a call to action. As citizens of the world and leaders of the future, we have a collective responsibility to address the issues of peace, sustainable development, and human rights facing our world today.” – Read my latest article for the Stanford Political Journal, on UN Director-General Michael Møller’s call…

Third-Party Taxi Apps: A Sustainable Industry, or a Fleeting Trend?

“The rise of the ride-sharing app has no doubt redefined the taxi and car service business, but with investors eagerly throwing money at companies like Uber, it is important to ask: just how sustainable is the existing ride-sharing model?” Wrote another article for the Stanford Political Journal a couple weeks back but forgot to post…

Understanding Xi Jinping’s US Visit

“The aversion to Chinese power is more than just mere sentiment; the belief in the value of antagonism in the form of checking Chinese expansion and anti-free market practices is widely held, especially in the West. But, Americans should be wary of the knee-jerk reaction to oppose China; it is far more beneficial to work…

Published in the ST: The Future of Singapore’s Education System

I was glancing through the papers this morning and got a little bit of a shock when I saw that my letter to the Forum editor had been published – “Students with different abilities make for a class act” ! (*Disclaimer: I did not come up with the title, I promise. Trust the Straits Times to try (and…

The Struggle for Recognition

It’s 7:30 am, and my alarm rings. The first thing I do is blindly feel my bedside table for my phone (knocking half a dozen books off the table in the process), slide to unlock, and then graze through my Facebook notifications to see how many people “liked” the photo I posted the previous night….