Navigating through the ‘rules’ of civil society: In search of disability rights in Singapore
The Singapore School, initiated by the founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and subsequently propagated by Bilahari Kausikan and Kishore Mahbubani, characterises a political regime dedicated to social order and economic growth that is believed to achieve human dignity and “good governance” (Chew 1994). In this vein, the needs and rights of the community may outweigh the rights of the individual in the eyes of the government. Political and social goals, such as reducing inequality for persons with disabilities, have not been a major policy in Singapore’s history (Ng 2015). Rather, economic development and nation building have been the key emphases in providing access to education, housing and healthcare. Given Singapore’s economic disadvantage compounded with high unemployment rates, poverty and inadequate public housing, the priority of social welfare policy was not to place further financial burden on the state (Low and Aw 2004). These principles continue to shape social policies in Singapore. Lee expressed the hope that Singapore would never become a Western-style, liberal, individualistic society such as the USA or the UK.
Asian Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society
A history of human rights society in Singapore: 1965-2015
Taylor and Francis
City or Country
EE, Wongmeng, NG, Ian Derong, LOR, Jean, & WONG, Reuben. (2017). Navigating through the ‘rules’ of civil society: In search of disability rights in Singapore. In A history of human rights society in Singapore: 1965-2015 (pp. 169-186). London: Taylor and Francis.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2357
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