Singapore Today - Opposition Perspectives

November 30, 2012, 3:30-5:30 P.M.
Room 114, Sheffield-Sterling -Strathcona Hall
Yale University

click here for biographical information on the Panelists >>


Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party
Mr. Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Secretary-General of the Reform Party of Singapore


Dr. Meredith L. Weiss, Associate Professor of Political Science, SUNY at Albany

         Ben Kiernan, Chair, Yale Council on Southeast Asia Studies
         Larissa Liburd, President, Yale International Relations Association



Dr. Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party

Chee Soon Juan is a neuropsychologist by training. Schooled in Singapore, he received his Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Georgia and returned to lecture at the National University of Singapore (NUS). In 1992, he joined the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP). Dismissed from NUS, Chee has been jailed several times for political activities. He is currently the secretary-general of the SDP and the author of Dare to change: An alternative vision for Singapore (1994) and A Nation Cheated (2008). He has held fellowships at Monash Asia Institute (Australia), University of Chicago, and at the National Endowment for Democracy (Washington, DC). He is the recipient of the Defender of Democracy Award 2003 from Parliamentarians for Global Action, and the Prize for Freedom 2011 awarded by Liberal International.

Mr. Kenneth Jeyaretnam
Secretary-General of the Reform Party of Singapore

Kenneth Jeyaretnam received a B.A. and M.A. with first class honors in economics from the University of Cambridge, and is an alumnus of the Amsterdam Institute of Finance. Mr. Jeyaretnam has 30 years of experience in the finance industry, working in London and Tokyo as an investment banker, and eventually becoming the manager of his own hedge fund. Jeyaretnam began an active role in Singaporean politics in 2008 following the death of his father, the founder of the Reform Party. On 10 April 2009 Kenneth Jeyaretnam joined the Reform Party, and was shortly brought into the party's Central Executive Committee and voted into the vacant position of Secretary-General.

Dr. Meredith L. Weiss
Associate Professor of Political Science, State University of New York at Albany

Professor Weiss received her PhD from Yale University in 2001, and
joined the faculty of the Political Science department at the University of Albany in 2008 after three years at the East-West Center in Washington, DC. Professor Weiss's research is in the field of comparative politics, focusing on Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Thematically, she explores processes and patterns of political development and mobilization, including such dimensions as electoral patterns and processes, nationalism and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, Islamism, "new media," and coalition-building in both civil society and electoral politics. Professor Weiss has testified for the House Committee on International Relations (Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific), given briefings for the US Trade Representative and State Department, and served as a State Department lecturer in Malaysia. She is the author of Protest and Possibilities: Civil Society and Coalitions for Political Change in Malaysia (2005) and Student Activism in Malaysia: Crucible, Mirror, Sideshow (2011), and the co-editor of four other books.


Sponsored by the
Yale International Relations Association (YIRA)

and the Council on Southeast Asia Studies at
Yale University