Kirsten Han

Kirsten Han

Journalist and writer

Telling stories from a tiny Southeast Asian island.

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Calls mount for accountability in Singapore

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's efforts to absolve himself of abuse of power allegations aired by his younger siblings have only deepened his political troubles.

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Sungei Road Market’s Living Heritage is More Than Just Hipster Nostalgia

The campaign to save the Sungei Road Market was never about its artificial preservation but about resisting its artificial closure.

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To Sue or Not to Sue: Defamation and Double Standards in Singapore’s Family Feud

The prime minister has indicated that he might still sue his siblings, depending on what they continue to say in public. It's now become an exercise in seeing how far the siblings can go before they reach his limit, but would it really be to our benefit to see a lawsuit?

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Foreign Policy

Singapore Can Have Meritocracy or Aristocracy, But Not Both

By airing their dirty laundry, the city-state's ruling family is exposing its hypocrisy.

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Singapore's Family Feud: A 'Secret Committee' and the Problem of Due Process

What we’re seeing now is not regular due process.

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The Lee feud is not about the house – it's about the story

The ongoing Lee family feud is not about whether to preserve or demolish 38 Oxley Road. It never was.

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The #OxLeeFeud: A test of one's commitment to the bigger picture

There are no heroes here, no one to look up to, just a petty elite arguing pettily in Facebook posts about things not going their way.

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Memory and Movements in Building Singapore's Civil Society

Understanding our history is crucial to diagnosing the challenges we face and figuring out how to overcome them.

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Barraged by allegations, Lee vows transparency

In a rare scene of political theater in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong apologizes to the public for his family's feud.

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Sibling rivalry raises political risks in Singapore

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's public feud with his younger siblings has raised uncomfortable questions about his leadership and governance.

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First family feud mesmerizes Singapore

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's younger siblings claim the premier has abused his power and failed to execute their late national founder father's last wishes.

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Is the First Family Finally Waking from Singapore’s Orwellian Nightmare?

Lee Hsien Loong has continued to erode civil liberties on the island. Like his father, he’s sued political opponents, journalists and dissidents. Are his siblings starting to wake up?

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Lee family feud in Singapore

Dueling public statements between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings have brought ruling family discord into a glaring public light.

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A straight married couple became a same-sex one and Singapore’s famous efficiency broke down

Singapore allows transgender people to change the particulars on their IC after sex reassignment surgery, but doesn't recognise same-sex marriage. Our public housing system, meant to provide good homes for Singaporeans, prioritises married Singaporeans in the hopes that they'll start families to boost our low birth-rate. And while Singapore is well-known internationally for our modernity and efficiency, the system can also break down from time to time when uncommon unique or first-of-its-kind scenarios pop up.
Unfortunately, the couple whose story I tell in Quartz got hit by all three things, with very painful consequences.

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A Matter of Life and Death: An Abolitionist's Experience

On my work as an anti-death penalty activist in Singapore.