Singapore’s political environment is stifling. Citizens face severe restrictions on their basic rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly through overly broad criminal laws and regulations. In 2019, parliament passed a sweeping “online falsehoods” law that permits a single government minister to order the “correction” or removal of online content. The rights of the LGBT community are severely curtailed. Sexual relations between men remains a criminal offense, and there are no legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. After Singapore’s initial success in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, soaring cases among the city-state’s large migrant worker population highlighted the cramped and unhygienic dormitories in which most of them live.

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