Transition: The Story of PN Balji
“Balji’s perspectives are insightful and also brutal, but always thorough and original.”
A 40-year perspective of the changing social, economic and political life of a city state seen through the discerning eye of a veteran journalist, and how his own life has reacted and transformed with it.
From January 2021, Woon Tai Ho started to meet PN Balji for breakfast every Monday morning. What began as casual catchup between two friends developed into a weekly two, three-hour session, and ultimately this book.
From an arranged marriage to fatherhood and now grand-fatherhood, nothing is more important to Balji than family. But in today’s Singapore, youngsters prefer to stay single, or forego having children. Family, the most crucial social institution is under threat. Running parallel to the narrative on family is a bold and critical view of the political transition crisis in Singapore. From Lee Kuan Yew to Goh Chok Tong, and now Lee Hsien Loong, what happens after the third-generation leaders? The PAP has always been decisive, efficient and forward looking, is the current fourth generation leaders up to par as the city state faces its biggest crisis since independence?
At 73, Balji has been a journalist under the administrations of all three Prime Ministers and lived through the major milestones of Singapore. His perspectives are insightful and also brutal, but always thorough and original. His is a bold and independent mind, “My views are always pro-Singapore, but not necessarily pro-government or pro-opposition,” he quips.
Transition: The Story of PN Balji is a 40-year perspective of the changing social, economic and political life of a city state seen through the discerning eye of a veteran journalist, and how his own life has reacted and transformed with it. Whether it is the institution of family or the institution of state, the book captures the unrelenting views of thinking mind who is waist-deep into his second act.
Woon Tai Ho is the Chief Executive Officer for RHT Digital & Media. Tai Ho brings with him a deep knowledge of traditional and digital media with first-hand media and marketing experience working across Asia. He is highly sought after for developing brand positioning and brand values, as well as designing media and marketing plans. He is best known for starting the Asian-wide news channel, Channel NewsAsia.