1. FIFTY SECRETS OF SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS — Edited by Tommy Koh
Singapore has evolved from a developing country to a developed one, in only a few short decades. Its gross domestic product per capita has soared from just US$517 (S$697) in 1965 to US$64,582 (S$87,128) in 2018.
Impressed, visiting university students from Mexico and the United States, in early 2019, asked the city state’s Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh for its secret of success.
His reply: there was not a single secret but many, which he would consider curating a new book on.
The result: Fifty Secrets of Singapore’s Success.
The collection of 50 essays, written by leaders and experts in their fields, sheds light on how the small state has scored significant success in not only economics but also eight other areas.
Among other things, Singapore is one of the world’s least corrupt countries, has one of the highest homeownership rates worldwide — of more than 90 per cent — and has world-class schools, healthcare and environments.
Singapore has also been a good global citizen. It has played a significant role in the development of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). At the United Nations (UN), Singapore has played a leadership role in the negotiations of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (also known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation) and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
2. DISUNITED NATIONS: INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL MUMS AT WAR
— by Stephanie Suga Chen
Living the expat life in Singapore just got crazier for Sarah, her husband Jason and their two children, Ruby and Eric, who are back in this sequel to Stephanie Suga Chen’s debut novel Travails of a Trailing Spouse.
With Ruby done with kindergarten, it’s time for Primary 1 enrolment, and Sarah and Jason decide to give the local school system a chance. But that brings them into a completely unfamiliar world, raising more questions than answers for Sarah, including: Should they queue overnight to secure a place in the school? Do the schools really prescribe how long a student’s nails can be? And why are dull-as-ditchwater English compositions valued more than creative, imaginative writing?
They switch Ruby to an international school but discover that this doesn’t make their lives issue-free. In addition to adjusting to sky-high fees and a much less structured academic environment, Sarah finds herself grappling with adult-size problems when she gets involved in the school’s high-pressure, high-expectations and possibly even racist Parent Teacher Association.
After she gets dragged into a school scandal and ends up being blackballed by the PTA, which is led by her dear old friend — make that former friend — Ashley Sanders, she can only stop and wonder, How did her life come to this?
3. DIPLOMACY: THE SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE (2ND ED) — by S Jayakumar
In this updated book, viewed by many as a definitive guide to Singapore-style diplomacy, former minister, diplomat and law dean S Jayakumar outlines the principles and norms that form the bedrock of Singapore’s foreign policy, shaped by more than five decades of hard-earned experience of ministers and officials. Professor Jayakumar, who retired from politics as Senior Minister in 2011, illustrates these with his accounts of and reflections on milestones where he had been involved as either Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs or, much earlier, as Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN).
This second edition includes an overview and chapter updates of the tumultuous trends and developments in the 2010s that have made a significant impact on geopolitics and diplomacy, especially for small states such as Singapore.
4. SPORT IN SINGAPORE: THE COLONIAL LEGACY — by Nick Aplin
This book is a detailed and comprehensive exploration of the development of sport in Singapore in the colonial period, from the early 19th century up until self-government was established in 1959.
Written by sports lover and academic Dr Nick Aplin — a senior lecturer at Nanyang Technological University’s Department of Physical Education & Sports Science and also the author of several sportsbooks including being the lead author of Singapore Olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004, published in 2005 — Sport in Singapore delves into the introduction and growth of the culture of sport in Singapore. More than 20 sports, including football, golf, badminton, netball, polo, and swimming, are examined, with each sport covered in its own chapter.
The book also examines other aspects of sport such as the role of clubs and associations in early Singapore, the different communities, the need for space, access to sport for women, how sport survived during the Japanese Occupation, restoring sporting traditions after the war, and working towards achievement in international sport and the Olympics.
Most importantly, the book highlights the very human stories behind sport in Singapore — the struggles and achievements of Singapore’s early sportsmen and sportswomen, including well-known names like Wong Peng Soon in badminton, Alice Pennefather who excelled in badminton, tennis and hockey, and weightlifter Tan Howe Liang, winner of Singapore’s first Olympic medal.
Sport in Singapore is rich with archive photos from past athletes, the National Archives, and Singapore Press Holdings’ library of photos. It also has charts, graphs, maps and illustrations.
5. DOING RIGHT BY PEOPLE — by Loh Meng See
In Doing Right by People, HR expert Loh Meng See shares his insights into the all-important field of people management, drawing on his wealth of experience at top companies Keppel Corporation and Singapore Airlines, and as a former Member of Parliament. Against the backdrop of the social and economic history of Singapore, readers are given a front row seat to how Loh rode out painful situations such as retrenchments during economic recessions and tensions between management and unions, as well as key even such as the SARS crisis and SQ006 crash. A must-read for business managers, human resources professionals, and any student of human nature.
6. MAKING A DIFFERENCE: 25 STORIES THAT MADE AN IMPACT
— by Shefali Rekhi (Ed)
From the cruel practice of pressuring women workers to remove their wombs just to hold on to their jobs to a report on the medical bill of an elderly which shook up a healthcare system, Making A Difference: 25 Stories That Made An Impact brings together some of the best stories from World News Day 2019. It features the exemplary works of journalists from newsrooms around the world, including those in Germany, India, Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia. This book serves as an important reminder that in today’s fast-changing and complex world, good journalism matters more than ever.
7. Headwinds and Hazards — by Vikram Khanna
What are some of the key economic and social challenges facing Singapore? How will new technologies change the future of work? What are the dynamics driving the trade war between the United States and China? How do economists try to predict football results? What practical lessons can we learn from behavioural economists? How was Venezuela transformed from being one of the richest countries in Latin America to one of the poorest in barely a decade?
These are just some of the questions that financial journalist and former IMF economist Vikram Khanna addresses in his new book, Headwinds and Hazards: Economic Snapshots in an Age of Populism, a collection of his essays on economic affairs which have appeared in The Straits Times and The Business Times.
In these essays, Vikram casts an astute eye over sweeping issues, ranging from enduring economic themes such as trade tensions and economic inequality to more recent phenomena such as bitcoin and blockchain. The book also includes his critical reviews of thought-provoking books on issues relating to Singapore, China, India and ASEAN.
8. MONEY SMART — by Lorna Tan
Like the best-selling Retire Smart: Financial Planning Made Easy — which sold 12,000 copies within a year — Money Smart is packed with information and insights into a range of personal finance topics such as retirement planning, investment, tax planning, financial planning, and consumer protection.
This compilation of the Lorna Tan’s articles published in the Invest section of The Sunday Times from January 2018 to May 2019 include:
- Finding the right financial adviser
- Funding your children’s education
- Financial planning tips for millennials
- 53 tips for better financial health
- Stress-free investing (or at least, close to it)
- Integrated Shield Plan riders: what you need to know
- Stretching your dollar with a Supplementary Retirement Scheme account
- Investor tips on Singapore Savings Bonds
- Online investing: it pays to pause before you click
Written in an easy-to-understand way, this book is a good guide for anyone who wants to understand how to manage his or her finances better, from retirees and more seasoned investors to young people just entering the workforce.
9. FUN SIZED SINGAPORE TIDBITS — by Lee Chee Chew
Veteran Singaporean cartoonist Lee Chee Chew is back, with his sharp eye, sense of irony, unbeatable humour and wicked pen. This compilation of close to 200 comic strips brings together among the best of his cartoons published in The Straits Times over several years.
With gentle mockery, his cartoons highlight the idiosyncrasies and unique aspects of Singapore living as well as the contemporary urban lifestyle that will be recognisable to anyone, Singaporean or not — from being kiasu to beating the heat, and from Internet access in the office to mobile phone use on MRT trains. The book is divided into 21 topics including education, shopping and transport.
The light humour and colourful, recognisable characters make this an instantly perfect gift for anyone young or old — something to put your feet up with during this holiday period, and guaranteed to have you chuckling.
10. DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? — Poems for Children by Felix Cheong
Poetry, boring? That’s a common misconception — and it’s what this book aims to change. Do You See What I See is an illustrated book of 15 poems for children that will make reading poems fun, funny and intriguing in several ways:
- Poems as riddles and mysteries. Some of the poems are written as riddles, about something that is unnamed. Children will find themselves wanting to read the lines closely for clues to “solve” the puzzle.
- Poems to tickle the funnybone. Amusing and witty poems help children delight in the wonderful world of words — for example, by comparing “flea” and “flee”; “bear” and “bare”.
- Hidden words or letters in the illustrations. Children will spend longer than usual on each page to find the words or letters hidden in the drawings. This adds to the fun factor and encourages greater familiarity with the text.
- Everyday topics. There are no poems about daffodils or highwaymen. This book is about everyday things that children in Singapore can relate to, such as mobile phones and the shopping mall.
- Local touch. Without being littered with “lahs” or dialect words, these poems include touches of Singapore, not just in the themes but also in the illustrations. Some children have black hair. Some are darker-skinned. One poem mentions kueh tutu. One illustration includes the iconic Supertrees.
- Variety. The riddle poems, humorous poems and more straightforward rhymes are mixed throughout the book to ensure the child never gets bored after a few pages. The illustrations are also varied. Some are whimsical, others amusing, supporting the mood of each poem.
Get these books now with promotion price at www.stbooks.sg