Donald Low is Associate Dean for executive education and research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Prior to joining the School in 2012, Donald served for more than 14 years in various parts of the Singapore government. He was the director for fiscal policy in the Ministry of Finance in 2004–05 and the director of the Strategic Policy Office at the Public Service Division in 2006–07. In 2008, he established the Centre for Public Economics at the Civil Service College of Singapore to advance economics thinking in the Singapore government, and headed the centre for its first three years, putting in place its training and research programmes.

At the Lee Kuan Yew School, Donald’s research interests include inequality and social spending, behavioural economics, economics in public policy, public finance, and governance and politics in Singapore. He is also the co-author and editor of Behavioural Economics and Policy Design: Examples from Singapore (2011), which describes how the Singapore government has applied ideas from behavioural economics in the design of public policies.

Donald holds a double first in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, and a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a Vice President at the Economics Society of Singapore.

Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh is an author whose first book is Floating on a Malayan Breeze: Travels in Malaysia and Singapore (2012), a socioeconomic narrative of the two countries. His literary and research interests are about the way political and socio-economic systems influence ordinary people’s lives, their worldviews, and their interactions with each other.

From 2006 to 2013, Sudhir worked for The Economist Group in Singapore. As associate director of the Economist Corporate Network, he analysed the macroeconomic, political, and business environments of Asian economies, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia. Later, as senior editor of Industry and Management Research, he oversaw the analysis and writing of numerous global research projects, including the global city competitiveness index and an international ranking of preschool environments.

Sudhir has a BA (Geography), BA (South and Southeast Asian studies) and a BSc (Business Administration) from the University of California at Berkeley; and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. He has written for a variety of publications, including The Economist, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), The Straits Times and Yahoo! News.

Dr Linda Lim is Professor of Strategy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where she also served as director of the 53-year-old Center for Southeast Asian Studies. With economics degrees from the universities of Cambridge (BA), Yale (MA) and Michigan (PhD), Linda has been studying and writing about Singapore’s economy for 37 years, with academic articles ranging from “Singapore’s Success: The Myth of the Free Market Economy” (Asian Survey, 1983) to “Singapore’s Success: After the Miracle” (Routledge Handbook of Emerging Economies, 2013). A specialist on Asian economies and business, she has consulted for multinational companies with Asian investments and for international agencies such as the United Nations and The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), particularly in the areas of trade, investment, and government industrial and labour market policy. In addition to teaching MBA students about the world economy and business in Asia, she has trained business executives and government officials. A Trustee Emeritus of The Asia Society, a New York-based non-profit, she has served for 15 years (sequentially) as an independent director of two US public companies with technology manufacturing and regional headquarter operations in China and Singapore.

Dr Thum Ping Tjin is Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; co-ordinator of Project Southeast Asia, University of Oxford; and a visiting fellow at the Centre of Global History, University of Oxford. He works on the history of decolonisation in Southeast Asia and its continuing impact on contemporary Southeast Asian politics, society, and culture, with particular emphasis on plural societies from the vernacular and subaltern perspective.

His recent publications include “Chinese newspapers in Singapore, 1945–63: Mediators of elite and popular tastes in culture and politics”, in the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 83, part 1 (June 2010); “‘Living Buddha’: Chinese perspectives on David Marshall and his government, 1955–56,” Indonesia and the Malay World 38, no. 113 (July 2011); two chapters in Studying Singapore’s Past: CM Turnbull and the History of Modern Singapore (NUS Press, 2012); and “Flesh and Bone Reunite as One Body: Singapore’s Chinese Speaking and their Perspectives on Merger,” Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies 5 (2011–12): 29–56.


Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus Copyright © 2014 by Donald Low and Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh. All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *