Seen and heard this week


Seen and heard this week is a weekly column highlighting thought leadership from the NUS community


NUS Business Associate Professor Lawrence Loh examined the unique corporate governance approach of Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, in a 12 March commentary published in The Business Times. Assoc Prof Loh observed that Huawei’s corporate governance model seems to be vindicated by its business performance, even if there are suspicions of undue external influences. He noted that the Huawei case is a classic exemplification of the tension in corporate governance — the balance between purpose and pragmatism — and added that while the starting point of the Anglo-American model is independence and control, Huawei seems to put the end point of performance first. Even though Huawei seems to be defying the critics, there is no absolute correct method of corporate governance, according to Assoc Prof Loh, as the company is writing its own success story the “Hua Way”.

In another commentary published in The Straits Times on 14 March, Associate Professor Angelique Chan and Assistant Professor Rahul Malhotra at the Duke-NUS Medical School discussed how families cannot be left to bear the sole brunt of the caregiving burden as Singapore’s population ages. Assoc Prof Chan and Asst Prof Malhotra shared that family caregivers spend, on average, 39 hours a week on caregiving — nearly equivalent to a full-time job — and have reported that their caregiving responsibilities lead to stress, lack of leisure time, and adverse economic impact. The duo hailed the recent government announcement of a Caregiver Support Action Plan to enhance support for family caregivers of older persons as exceedingly timely, but also suggested other areas to look into such as offering financial support to family caregivers to reduce their financial stress, and implementing caregiver-friendly work policies so that family caregivers can remain in the workforce. They believe that adopting a multi-sector approach to caregiving can lead to a higher quality of life for caregivers and their care recipients.

Also on 14 March, Visiting Research Professor Robin Jeffrey from the NUS Institute of South Asian Studies penned his views on the upcoming Indian elections in a Channel NewsAsia commentary. He noted that the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government under Narendra Modi had won a remarkable victory in the 2014 elections, and that Modi and his party had subsequently promised economic development and good days ahead. However, the record in the past five years has been rather patchy, with increased unemployment and decreased women participation in the workforce. Prof Jeffrey opined that even if the BJP tries to harness feelings of Indian patriotism that were incited when a suicide bomber killed para-military police in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir in February, the political party will find it difficult to repeat its sweeping electioneering success of 2014.

Read more about the NUS community in the news