Academic freedom in Singapore, or lack thereof

Yale Daily News

President Levin’s naïve assertion in the November/December issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine that scholarly publications at the National University of Singapore are not censored does not accord with academic reality in the country. The government’s Controller of Undesirable Publications banned Christopher Tremewan’s academic book “The Political Economy of Social Control in Singapore” in the 1990s, even though the work is probably the best available scholarly introduction to the island state’s political system. NUS likewise sacked American economist Christopher Lingle and U.S.-educated psychologist Chee Soon Juan for publicly criticizing the PAP regime. Democracy advocate Chee has since become close to the Singaporean Nelson Mandela because of his many terms in prison.

Joel s. Fetzer GRD ’96
Malibu, Calif.
Nov. 17

The writer is a professor of political science at Pepperdine University.

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