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Simon Tay, Chairman of SIIA

Associate Professor Simon Tay is Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. He is concurrently a tenured Associate Professor, teaching international law at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law.

His book, Asia Alone: the Dangerous Post Crisis Divide from America (Wiley 2010) was well reviewed in the Economist, Financial Times and regional media. His commentaries feature regularly in regional newspapers. Professor Tay is also a prize winning author with five books of stories and poems. In 2010, his novel City of Small Blessings was awarded the Singapore Literature Prize. He recently published a collection of short stories titled “Middle and First”.

From 1992 to 2008, he served in a number of public appointments for Singapore. These included serving as Chairman of Singapore’s National Environment Agency; and as an independent Nominated Member of Parliament (1997-2001). In 2006, Professor Tay received a National Day Award.

Recent Content
What I Do

SIIA Chairman appointed as Singapore’s Ambassador to Greece

Singapore, Thursday, 23 January 2020 – Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), has been appointed Ambassador for Singapore. He will be accredited to the Hellenic Republic (Greece) on a non-residential basis. He will continue as SIIA chairman and in…

Commentary: End of centrist democracy and Asia’s unconventional systems

By Simon Tay For The Straits Times Last month, the world witnessed its two largest democratic votes – in India and across Europe – and elections have also been held in the key ASEAN countries of Thailand and Indonesia. Read the full article in The Straits…

Malaysia’s Investment Climate in 2019

Nearly a year has passed since Pakatan Harapan (PH) took office in May 2018. The new government has undertaken efforts to address Malaysia’s fiscal weakness and reform its institutions. But how are investors reacting to the first year of PH’s governance, and what challenges lie…

What I Do

Ideas make a difference. People can too. What we value, say and do can matter and make things better. That’s why – as a writer and public intellectual – I do what I do.


Observing key trends in Asia in a global context, hoping but also questioning the region’s rise: I combine information and data with what I learn from policy-makers, CEOs and experts and my personal insights and experiences of travel and engagement.


Analyzing political events and policies in context, with deeper perspectives: I draw from instinct and experiences gleaned over the last two decades, as well as academic knowledge and theory. I try to distill these into insights — succinct and candid — of both risks and opportunities, and the conditions for success.


Advocating publicly what we best do. Sharing what I observe and analyze, I put forward what policies and actions governments, citizens and corporations should consider. Different avenues for advocacy are utilized, with comments in the leading newspapers and news channels, as well as to socialize ideas with key policy-makers, experts and active citizens.


Advising privately about challenges, risks and opportunities. Whether government leaders or private individuals and corporations, there is a need for knowledgeable and practical advice and closed-door dialogues to help foster understanding and shape strategies and get policies and actions right.

Simon SC Tay ​c/o Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) 60A Orchard Road #04-03 Tower 1, The Atrium@Orchard International Involvement Hub Singapore 238890 Tel: +65 6734 9600 Fax: +65 6733 6217 Email: Facebook: @SimonTaySC LinkedIn: Simon Tay

5 years ago
Desmond Lee

Had lunch on Wednesday with the members of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) discussing issues from the challenges of an ageing and stratifying population to how they and ... See more

5 years ago
Singapore Institute of International Affairs

SIIA Chairman, Associate Professor Simon Tay speaking at the Asian #Sustainable & #PositiveImpactFinance 2018 Conference organised by Société Générale & Vous.

5 years ago
Singapore Institute of International Affairs

Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman of SIIA and Ms. Yeo Lian Sim, Special Adviser Diversity of SGX | My Gateway and Vice-Chair of Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) ... See more

6 years ago
Singapore Institute of International Affairs

#Myanmar used to be described as a triumph of democracy and a "frontier economy". Current headlines instead focus on the minority Muslims in #Rakhine state - whom many foreigners - but almost none ... See more

6 years ago
Singapore Institute of International Affairs

China and Singapore are NOT the same country as some seem to believe. They can work together — not “despite” but “because” they are.

A year ago, there was speculation #Singapore could be bypassed by #China's Belt and Road Initiative (#BRI). But PM Lee Hsien Loong's visit to China last year and his attendance at the Boao Forum for ... See more