Me

I am a professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Communication, writing on media and politics. You can contact me via the form at the bottom of my bio page.

Interests

My research and writing focus on:

Hate propaganda and disinformation: How intolerance and hate are used in political contention, threatening freedom and equality around the world.

Media freedom and censorship: How journalism around the world struggles to serve the public interest in the face of external and internal threats.

Singapore media and politics: The governing party’s authoritarian resilience and hegemonic control of political expression.

Interviews

Ted Gover (@tedgover) in Los Angeles interviewed me in January 2021 on a wide range of topics, including hate propaganda and media freedom. 
An interview with Andrea Ho of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Recently published

“Hate propaganda has a history measurable in millennia, considerably longer than the digitally assisted misinformation that has triggered concern in recent years.”

My chapter on “Hate Propaganda” appears in The Routledge Companion to Media Disinformation and Populism edited by Howard Tumber and Silvio Waisbord.

Co-authored with Donald Low, PAP v PAP: The Party’s struggle to adapt to a changing Singapore was released in October 2020.

My book, Air-Conditioned Nation Revisited: Essays on Singapore Politics, was published by Ethos Books in February 2020. Download a chapter: “The Dogma Behind Pofma“.

• Please visit the My Publications page on this site for more.

In press

By Doaa el-Adl, Egypt.

Red Lines: Political Cartoons and the Struggle against Censorship is in production. To be published by the MIT Press (English) and Urban Comics (French), this is a global study of 21st century censorship as experienced by political cartoonists around the world. It is rendered entirely in graphic form, in collaboration with comic book artist Sonny Liew. Visit our website and view our conversation with T. Sasitharan in a Substation event.

Current projects

Cartoon by Ed Hall

The power and precarity of the pencil: Taking as a point of departure the New York Times‘s extraordinary decision to stop running editorial cartoons entirely, this chapter examines the economic and professional precarity of political cartooning. It will appear in the volume Precarity in Journalism, edited by Linda Steiner and Kalyani Chadha.

Gallery

Ladybug, Enryakuji

Selected commentaries

Race and the PAP: A chapter from PAP v PAP on the what needs to change in Singapore’s management of cultural diversity.

Section 298 of Singapore’s Penal Code is a bad law that promotes offence-taking instead of tolerance; it needs to go. Read my commentary.

Leadership succession: Heng Swee Keat’s anointment as the chosen one has been viewed with sceptism — a problem I pondered in this book chapter written before the elections.

Unsavoury tactics in GE2020 is likely to leave the country divided, regardless of the election results. Read my commentary co-authored with Donald Low.

A call for clean online campaigning: Singapore’s online falsehoods law fails to regulate social media manipulation by the ruling party. Read this call for more transparency by a multidisciplinary team of experts.

Nationalist populism has emerged in Singapore, cultivated by a ruling party that once prided itself on elite-led technocratic government. Read my pre-election commentary on the post-Covid world.

Stay in touch

Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook
YouTube
Instagram

My other sites

On hate propaganda in the world, titled after my book.
A site I manage with fellow Singaporean academics.
My blog on Singapore, titled after my book.
My blog on Singapore media, titled after my book.

On Twitter