Kirsten Han

Kirsten Han

Journalist and writer

Telling stories from a tiny Southeast Asian island.

  • 206
  • 260K
Screen shot 2017 06 15 at 12.55.49 pm article

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.

Dscf1741 article

Singapore aggressively markets its heritage, but it’s letting an authentic piece of cultural history vanish

Most things don’t last very long in the ever-changing city-state of Singapore, but the Sungei Road Thieves’ Market has a history that can be traced back to the 1930s. It’s survived the Japanese Occupation, the decline of the British colonial era, and waves of development following Singapore’s independence. Yet Singapore’s love for urban renewal has finally caught up with one of the island’s last free-wheeling grassroots enterprises.

Singapore article article

Joseph Stiglitz’s Singapore is hardly the one I grew up in

A response to Joseph Stiglitz's use of Singapore as an example of better social equality.