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Welcome to this week's issue of the Birthday Workbook! Today, we read an essay by Muhammad Farouq Osman, a policy researcher, from the 2019 edition of the Birthday Book. If you haven't gotten a copy of our latest edition, you can do so here. In his piece, Farouq reflects on the need to integrate the disadvantaged into the policymaking process.  

Before you read his essay, watch the following video: 

  • What do you think are the limits of "win-win" thinking?
  • Where does Anand think major decisions about society are happening - in government, or in private foundations and corporations?
Now read the following article:
Read on Mothership
Consider the following questions:
  1. Why do you think Farouq was actively conscious of his working-class roots? Why is being a university student a "privileged position"?
  2. To what extent to do you think "the stratification of Singapore society into distinct class categories with opposing interests" has occurred?
  3. Who are the "segments of our people who feel left behind by the effects of globalisation and technological change"?
  4. Describe how the bandwidth tax plays out in real life.
  5. Why does Farouq think that existing measures to include the disadvantaged in Singapore policymaking are inadequate? Do you think the Belgian system is meaningfully different, and if so, how?
  6. Imagine you could redesign one major policy in Singapore. Who would you want to include in the process, and how?
Further reading
That's all for this week! Stay safe, take care, and feel free to us with your thoughts or feedback! 
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