Monday, January 14, 2013

Literary Licence

Prices of property stocks are expected to tumble down significantly after the latest dose of cooling measures to tone down the real estate market. The good news is that sales of dictionaries will be heading upwards in the opposite direction, as the rush is on to nail down the definition of "survey" and "poll".

Thanks to a sharp-eyed netizen, we now know that when the Straits Times (ST) published a report on how they surveyed 50 Punggol East residents to gage which party they will be  supporting in the coming by-election - and printed the results of the poll on Thursday - they broke the law. Penalty: A fine not exceeding $1,500 or jail time not exceeding 12 months. Or both.

ST Editor Warren Fernandez, co-author of "Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas" and other English literary contributions, tried to define the journalistic exercise as a an effort "to get a sense tof the ground for our election reports". He blamed the headline for "overstating the significance of the information gathered by calling it a poll."  The Free Online Dictionary says that a survey is "A gathering of a sample of data or opinions considered to be representative of a whole." We don't really have to split hairs on this one.

"But the way I look at it is that there is no better way for people to know me without understanding where I come from, where I started, because this is me." Those were the words of the colorectal surgeon standing for election to parliament - whose sob story about taking public transport has just been updated to proud ownership of two cars -  but could be easily applicable to Fernandez, if you are apprised of his career route to editorship of the official mouthpiece of the state apparatus.

And if you are that well informed, you will also know the "police investigating the case" probably have results of their findings well prepared in advance. During the General Election in 2011, ST also published the results of a poll it conducted at Aljunied to gage who the residents will vote for, also on a day after Nomination Day. The punishment meted out? The paper was advised by the Elections Department not to publish any more polls or surveys during the election period. Even the model answer has been provided for a priori.


  1. Really sees no harm for such survey
    or am I too daft to find it less serious than
    Party Members found within restricted area
    of polling station?

  2. Does anyone know what happen to Joseph Ong after he was arrested for publishing an exit poll?

  3. Why does the Shit Times bother to carry out a poll ? For all we know their reporters may just be only polling from their armchair, especially when these reporters doesn't even have the ethics to maintain their professional standards in the wide world of journalism?

    Just publish the contrasting photos of the coming election rallies for both that of PAP & any of the opposition candidates and we will all get the real picture, isn't it ?

  4. We the 40% know of the hypocrisy and injustice.

    The purpose of trying to bring Shit Times to justice is to educate the 60% of the hypocrisy they are supporting with their ignorance.

    1. The suggestion that 60 % of the vote support PAP government is outrageous. 60% is a very healthy figure by international standards. But Singapore doesn’t have an international standard democracy.
      40% opposed is a huge rejection of the government. Looked in this light, the same goes for the Presidential winner. Expect more licenses to defamation and demands between now till 2016. Some one ought to do a GroupOn deal for pro-bono lawyers to stand up for the citizens and bloggers alike. Take heed the writings are already on the wall.

  5. SPH is a repeat offender.

    1. Good point.
      So repeat offender.
      Will the "punishment" be more serious this time?

  6. PAP MIW Jokes
    Q: What is a colo-rectal surgeon?
    A1: A surgeon who operates on assholes e.g. PAP politicians.
    A2: A brain surgeon who operates on PAP politicians

    Poor Dr Koh Poh Koon.
    After a hard day in the orifice, he still has to put up with my jokes about asshole doctors.

    Q: How do you shake hands with a colo-rectal surgeon?
    A: Verry carefully. And wash hands very thoroughly afterwards.

    Q: Do you know what your colo-rectal surgeon's hands have touched today?

    A colo-rectal surgeon is the rare profession in which the M.D. starts out at the bottom and stays there.

  7. Well, did the police ever "get on" the job of finding out the secret poll that was conducted during the GE2011, where the results were published 'outside' of SG? In other words, if you want to do exit polls, make sure you leaked it first to the foreign press and not locally...then it will all be legit.

  8. Where is the disgraced old hero ?

    Does he have the guts to appear now & threaten Punggol East voters to repent if they ever vote for the opposition ?

    To boost the odds, the opposition will need Limpeh to make a fool out of himself leh ? Did his son warned him not to appear for God's sake ?

    1. He doesn't need to appear. Teo CH is available, as is Khaw BW, to do the necessary. Both managed well in the Hougang case, giving sterling performances.

    2. Any aspiring newbies given helps by the Two You mentioned is doom.

      The Two may follow the destiny of Ex DPM Wong Kan Seng and Foreign Minister George Yeo. Joke aside, many swore at them when they appeared on tv at coffee shops. Somr even hurled profanities at them though it was just tv images.

    3. Sangat betul leh.

      Siapa yang champur dengan itu dua orang mesti suay terok terus tiga tahun. Jumpa hantu pun tiada begitu suay, sial

    4. The disgraced old hero should have learned his lesson after 'helping' to reduce Ong Ah Heng's support drastically few elections back.

      Perhaps not, since he dared to come out to warn Aljunied GRC voters and got George Yeo out of job during the last election.

      Funny thing is, a few other PAP heavyweights also tried to follow the old hero's footstep, thinking they will be effective in throwing their weight around on Hougang voters during the 2011 GE and BE. Instead of winning more votes for the PAP candidate, their presence caused the candidates downfall.

      I am rubbing my hands in glee if the old hero does appear in Punggol East BE, as it will surely help the WP to win.

  9. IT IS NOT JUST ME1/14/2013 1:45 PM

    The Great Singapore Spin Continues, in the form of The Great Singapore Conversation. Is all just a form of PR and communication exercise

    1. The eternal question remains unchanged regardless of any new PAP wayang or spin;

      "How does it benefit me if I vote PAP?"

      A question, most silly Singaporeans do not ask.

  10. Everyone is equal under the law.

    But some people are more equal than others?

  11. This election is so straight forward. Just stop voting for the party that is bullying you all this while.

  12. PAP can only managed to improve the well being of the people for at most one generation. THat kind of results do not need million dollar pay.