Debate

I have been a volunteer in the debate community since 1997, and was the President of the Debate Association (Singapore). I have coached students, judged local and international debates, organised competitions, co-created and hosted television shows (such as the Emmy-nominated "The Arena" in 2006-07, Bridging Asia: The Singapore Debates in 2012, The Year Ahead in 2014, and the World and Singapore Review in 2015, and 2016), given speeches at TEDx, writen articles (for CatalystAsia (2015), IPS Commons (2016), written a how-to book called Think Speak Win, and built websites because I truly believe in the importance of having respectful debate in society. I want us to be able to disagree without disrespect, especially on important issues. I am very worried about the disrespecfulness, divisiveness, and irrrationality that has dominated online conversations.

Websites

I noticed a few years ago that online commenters were increasingly disrespectful, and decided to do something about it for Singapore. I studied the issue while at Harvard Kennedy School. After a few trials and a patent application, dialectic.sg was born! A dialectic is a process of intellectual discovery, where an argument is considered with its counter-argument to better understand the truth; the website recreated that structure (with some fancy bells and whistles). It was featured in Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia, and has facilitated debates on sensitive national policy issues on television. The tool is also used in classrooms extensively as a teaching tool for respectful commenting.

More recently, I noticed that people were getting confused by #fakenews and #alternativefacts. Instead of lecturing them with facts, I built a comical quiz game with quirky local characters at confirm.sg to make learning fast and fun. I have spoken about my work in a number of publications, including PSD's Challenge.

Military

I fly the CH-47 "Chinook" helicopter, and I've been lucky enough to be deployed to support the Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief missions in both Thailand and Indonesia in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. I have also shared my thoughts on defence policy issues before. My speech to Raffles Institution, "Doubting Singapore's Defence" (2015) was shared over a thousand times, and the follow-up essay titled "Our Invisible Defences: Of Black Swans, Boiled Frogs, and Sacred Cows" (2017) also received a lot of attention. I've also written for the SAF professional journal of military affairs, on "The Use of Pre-Emptive Force by Small States" (2015). I've also appeared in a bunch of recruitment and promotional material for the SAF Scholarship.