It has been more than 18 months since Singapore’s first climate rally at Hong Lim Park in September 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic, as we have documented time and time again in this podcast, has only highlighted and exacerbated existing socio-economic inequalities in the country. With one of SG Climate Rally’s founding members, Estella Ho, we talk about intersectional climate justice and the unequal effect of climate change. In addition, we also learn more about her activist and advocacy work with the movement, in terms of her experience working with government agencies, working with other groups and organisations in the same space, and dealing with burnout.
In a commentary on climate governance for academia.sg, Belicia Teo made the case that the impact of climate change is not equal, and that, as a consequence, identifying and addressing these risks “should be up for debate and public scrutiny”. This was important, she added, so as to address differences in norms and values in Singapore. Her research was based on 10 interviewees from six climate groups, and we invited her to elaborate how the Singaporean state and climate groups framed climate change, as well as the differences in these framings. In addition, what should we expect from the state and the climate groups in the future?
Final-year PhD candidate in the University of British Columbia’s Department of History Edgar Liao studies the history of youth in Singapore. His work is informed both by his archival work and his previous experience as a volunteer and youth leader in the youth work scene in the country. After helping us understand the theoretical (Foucauldian) concepts he employs, Edgar explains how Singapore’s youth policies as well as patterns of inclusion and exclusion inform the history of the present. He describes a dualistic discourse: Of the Singapore state empowering youths with resources for development, while scrutinising and policing their activity and activism at the same time.