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Stanford honors student Kevin Siew examines the "Singapore Model" of counter-terrorism

A Singaporean student who had worked closely with the Shorenstein APARC's Southeast Asia Forum (SEAF), Siew Zhi Xiang Kevin, joined his fellow students in the Honors Program in International Security (2006) at a ceremony at Stanford on June 16, 2006. Kevin's honors thesis, completed in 2005, was entitled "Winning the Ideological War on Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Evaluating the Singapore Model."

At the ceremony, a brief summary of the work by SEAF Director Donald K. Emmerson, Kevin's adviser, was read to the audience:

In this thesis, Kevin examined the "Singapore model" of counter-terrorism--the set of steps taken by Singapore's authorities to counter the threat of violence by radical Islamists. Kevin had three questions in mind: What policies comprise this "Singapore model"? How effective have they been inside Singapore? And which (if any) of these policies might be applicable or adaptable in other Southeast Asian countries facing comparable threats? The result of Kevin's work may be the first scholarly effort to research and answer these questions. Noteworthy was the learning process he underwent as he enlarged his range of readings and informants beyond official sources. While recognizing the clear success of Singapore's efforts to prevent terrorism inside its borders, he acknowledged the need to treat Muslim Singaporeans as stakeholders not suspects. He also took into account the uniqueness of Singapore, especially compared with majority-Muslim Indonesia and Malaysia. By disaggregating the "Singapore model" into its component parts and locating these on a spectrum from most to least "exportable" to other countries, Kevin wrote a convincingly nuanced evaluation that should be of potential benefit to policymakers in Singapore and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.