Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Media Re-Visited

Responding to Pritam Singh's call in parliament to improve communications with Singaporeans in the digital age, MP Indranee Rajah (Tanjong Pagar GRC) asked Mr Singh if he thought there was indirect control of the mainstream media by the Government. Cued by the scent of blood,  Law Minister K Shanmugam joined in the gang bang and pressed him "to put your hand on your heart and say this is what I believe in."

Pritam Singh could have easily neutered the ravenous predators by quoting from WikiLeaks cable referenced 09SINGAPORE61:
¶3. (C) Singapore journalists tell us they are increasingly frustrated with the obstacles they face in reporting on sensitive domestic issues.  Reporters have to be careful in their coverage of local news, as Singapore's leaders will likely come down hard on anyone who reports negative stories about the government or its leadership, Chua xxxx xxx (strictly protect), the new Straits Times (ST) U.S. Bureau Chief (former China Bureau Chief) told Poloff January 6.
Chua lamented that the ST editors have all been groomed as pro-government supporters and are careful to ensure that reporting of local events adheres closely to the official line.

Or highlight the appointment of Lee Boon Yang as director of Singapore Press Holdings on Oct 1, in preparation for  re-election on Dec 1 to make him Chairman of the Board. Surely there are sufficient senior staff within the organisation to merit the post after years of faithful service? Lee is another of those ministers who can't seem to be able to find a real job in the private sector after being retired in 2009.

Or go further back in time to quote the observation of the Australian Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI):
"Many politicians in free countries, sensitive to exposure of their weaknesses and failings by the press, thirst for the very powers which Mr Lee Kuan Yew threatened to employ in Singapore.  Such threats are a menace not only to newspapers and newspapermen everywhere but also to the already dwindling liberties of all free men." (ST, May 28, 1959)

And if anyone still misses the point, here's a no holds barred advisory from ST Editor Leslie Fong,
"Where the issue in question is one over which the government has taken a determined stand, there is no doubt whose view will prevail. Should any journalist feel that he cannot accept such an outcome, then resignation is the only honourable course open to him. This is just one of the harsh realities which the press here faces." (Roger Mitton, "The Long Story, What Role For The Press? Singapore's Answers", Asiaweek, September 25, 1992).

Please treat our journalists kindly. These guys are under tremendous pressure.


  1. So why didnt Pritam cite these quotes?

    He didnt because Pritam needs learn a thing or two about jousting in Parliament with the ruling party. Dont expect any free rides or easy treatment, Pritam.

    Aljunied was given to WP as a prize by LKY for their behavior in Parliament and their non confrontational approach to politics. This is not to take anything away from the WP's efforts which helped them win Aljunied. There is a feeling however that the ruling party was not going all out to win at Aljunied. They appeared to be holding back. George Yeo and co. were dispensable pawns in a game.

  2. An answer is redundant when the answer is as clear as the day.

    As the cheinese saying goes:

    Gong dao zhi cai ren xin

    The truth and fairness in ones heart, conscience.

    I applause the wp 's performance in ten parliament otherwise, it is just media Corp production.

  3. He should just say 'Don't ask me... ask the people yourself'

  4. Thought PAP MPs have changed thier way of engagement after the GE but apparently very little has changed.

  5. Wouldn't he be more sincere if he had just simply asked Pritam a more direct question like "Do you think LKY is still in charge of the Govt or his son ?".

    The issue at hand is why is this PAP Minister considered it necessary for himself to play around with his words during a Parliament session ?

    Was he elected to waste his time and energy to beat around the bush ?

  6. After all these years of observing parliamentary "debates", my view is that the only man who can floor any pap minister, including the prime minister (both past and present) is none other than Francis Seow. The dictator, Harry Lee, knows this very well and went out of his way to demolish FS.

  7. Don't think LKY can debate with JBJ and CSJ too.

  8. I don't think LKY can debate with anybody. He just talks down to them. That's the trouble with people who are in power for too long.

    These days when you look at him, he can't even walk properly and always have that faraway look (looking over the horizon perhaps?. He's not involved in Parliamentary debates, he doesn't look after his constituency, we wonder what's he there for?

    If the government wants to appoint him as a consultant or adviser or whatever, then he should honorably resigned from parliament and continue to be happy doing his thing.

    Whatever it is, he has overstayed his welcome. If he doesn't know when to step down, then he may end up joining the ex clubs; members like Mubarak, Suharto, Gaddafi, etc

  9. Oh please,don't give me this "pity the journalist who are caught in between" spiel. They are as responsible as the MIW/Govt when they allowed themselves to be co-opted into a cozy relationships with them so they can co-exist. Right up till pre-election in May, all the MSM did were merely giving their blessing to the great success of Singapore, its policies and its transport system blah blah blah. Not a day goes by they are not reporting facts with full facts, or covering data with half truths. Where their duty to the people whose alternative voices are eliminated or downplayed?
    Very often, we are left divining sheep entrails in most cases.

    The 1998 financial crisis in SEA among the banks were largely due to the lack of transparency and responsible reporting by reporters. Everyone was caught up with Indonesia miracle, and "shocked" its currency plunged 80% of its value, not to mention Thailand and rest of countries. In short, the
    the media has abandoned [their] duty as watchdog of society.

    If they will all stand together and un-occupy SPH, what's the worst that could happen? We are out of press for a few days..so what? You think there's a loss here? They will fire all journalists overnight? Then what?
    Let them write their own press release then. If our journalist won't stand up for its citizens with truthful reporting, why do you expect the citizens to side them? They are every bit as guilty until proven innocent, as our SG law likes to begin with.

  10. http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/press_freedoms_lag_in_singapor.php

    If you have time to go through the wikileaks, there's an article that says SG govt owns 80% of SPH through various GLC vehicles , including Temasek. I rest my case. It's like singing the HDB flat is expensive and still MBT keep saying is cheap and affordable. cie la vie..just wait and watch -- 2016.

  11. //Very often, we are left divining sheep entrails in most cases. //

    TODAY and ST reported recently, 80% of locals are still home buyers.
    What they didn't say is that 80% includes PR. So is Sinkies + PRs = Local Residents. Totally misleading.

  12. LOL ..you wanna know what happened when the revolutionaries aka people occupied Egypt's State Security Building...watch this. The last time I saw this TV image was Enron? haha..but Singapore will be more high tech lah..they will move everything to iCloud somewhere they owned.


  13. "Shanmugan join in the gang-bang.." lol.. this is hilarous.

  14. "Pritam Singh could have easily neutered the ravenous predators by quoting from WikiLeaks cable"

    As much as we love Pritam to quote the potent wikileak, Pritam is just careful not to implicate himself and his party into investigation by the kangaroo police under kangaroo charge by quoting through "illegal" source.
    By quoting wikileak source, the paranoid Lee Dynasty could just find another excuse to implicate WP party with possession of illegal material (no matter if the source is available publicly) (Example: just like if porno is readily available, does it not make possession of it illegal ? Remember to view it, it could have been in your computer ). Nevertheless, the police under Lee's order could just investigate WP's members and put them under treason, though it is a worst case but it could be viable (we still have ISA , don't we ?) . Desperate time needs desperate measure, and PAP knows this, and we know how desperate PAP is nowsaday as the world continue on the trend to rid off dictator regime.

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