Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Conduct Unbecoming

There are many posts on the closed doors meeting pertaining to the impending crackdown on the Singapore internet. It was conducted according to the Chaltham House Rule, which stipulates that nothing should be done to identify, either explicitly or implicitly, who said what. The government representatives obviously were not looking forward to being named in public, like the infamous 48 listed, in case they said something stupid. After all, their wife and children may suffer from the unwarranted glare of the media.

One said representative explained that in the light of recent reports of hoaxes, falsehoods and racist comments that have spread online, there is a need for a code of conduct to serve as an alternative mechanism for people to seek redress. Otherwise, they will resort to calling the police.

Let's deal with the last line first. A netizen made a police report about Sun Xu's “I will wait for him with a knife” threat of bodily harm. The police first said a magistrate's complaint was required, then said it had decided to take no further action “after careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case and in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.” The combined civic action of the bloggers was more effective in the take down of the PRC scholar ingrate.

Racist comments there are aplenty, but none beats the failure to integrate over a meal accusation levied at our Muslim brothers. But unlike the two young men who were jailed under the Sedition Act, this one culprit was let off with a "I stand corrected" cop out. By any first world standard, this is conduct unbecoming.

We are not told what hoaxes and falsehoods the government representative alluded to. For all we know, the police warnings about spreading "false information about unverified cases of kidnapping" could have been a plant, a precursor to the excuse for a clampdown on cyberspace. What we do know is that hoaxes and falsehoods continue to be propagated and sponsored by the mainstream media. As are the lies that housing, transportation, healthcare, education are "subsidised". The truth that social media has maintained all along is that these tariffs are but a discount from the market rates, an adaptation of the pricing model used by TT Durai's NKF. Tan Chuan-Jin may blog until he's blue in the face, but a $100,000 flat is not affordable to someone drawing $1,000 a month, even before inflation hit 5.2%. And then there's the guy who said foreigners are workers transient workers who go home after the infrastructure is built. Just to make sure we are on the same page,
falsehood [ˈfɔːlsˌhʊd], noun, is
1. the quality of being untrue
2. an untrue statement; lie
3. the act of deceiving or lying

That's the definition from the internet version of The Collins English Dictionary.


  1. heard the joke about how raising the wages of those earning under $1,500 will "spark" inflation? i wonder what the constant jumps in the costs of everything are - financial ponding?

    how about the joke about how the ordinary man is not affected by the 5.2% jump in cost of living? i dunno about tharman, but i just paid $5 for a pack of nasi briyani. one year ago, same stall, same coffeeshop, that same pack cost me $4. so tt's a 25% leap. nope, i'm not affected, tharman, n definitely not by 5.2%...

  2. Given ST being the single press in SG for decades now, anyone would have had read more lies, half-truths and falsehood in their lifetime than they care to admit. Orwell said, "In time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act". The untold and other half of truths that never got to be told is being told everyday online. Isn't this kind of courage what our schools have always wanted to teach our children? Or better still, let them be a judge to ferret what truth is?

  3. The biggest hoax must have been this :-

    Two is enough. We won't have enough food/water to feed full population. We won't have enough land to accommodate everyone..etc..2 is enough.
    What's the doomsday now? Our current low TFR justify large import of workers/new citizens will lead to our demise or decline.

    That is two biggest hoaxes my parents and now I have listened to. It is unbecoming of politicians to hold citizens hostage. Lie to me thrice, you're out!

    1. The stop at two campaign was a bad decision. Their worries at that time showed the lack of foresight. In other words, those who implement the policy could only look at the immediate environment.

  4. What alternative mechanism to seek redress?!! Bollocks!!

    Is it not covered in the lemon law? Covered in the privacy law? In the sedition act? Is it covered in the libel & defame act? Tell me, in this land of thousand laws, which is it that people can't seek redress or the law can't be tightened? Or are they trying to suggest there is somebody (group) out there who this unknown anonymous committee would like to appoint to be head prefect to regulate moral behavior? Buy why?

  5. A closed door meeting for anything is not a very good way to start. As it invariably leaves a bitter taste thereafter. I heard the Brotherhood wanted very much to support this. But once they heard abt the method, even those within their ranks who initially supported it had to back away as the ground sentiment was simply not very supportive.

    How sad. Maybe next time.

  6. Had Lee Kuan Yew stayed on the Course of Stop
    At Two, he would have got it right. China's Stop at One is a fine example.

    IT IS THE GREED TO DEVELOP SIN INTO A FIRST WORLD ECONOMY that is causing the doom of Sin.

    We certainly could have made it more happy with more natural environment and less stress work life. Most Singaporeans would have landed property and a little plot to plant and park. Due to the greedy leaders, everything got burnt. Bloody foolish people we have to lead us to living hell.

  7. One Minister was once questioned about the poor 2.5% return on our CPF funds & whether Temasek/GIC's investments are directly funded by our CPF savings. His answer if I remember correctly, was something "It's not simple" like that.

    What we can't understand is how difficult can the simple truth be ? Any idea why some people have to refer to some truths as "hard truths" ?

    Maybe they are hardly true to begin with, that's why they are known as hard truths ? Or maybe because are they "manufactured", that's probably why they can't be the simple truth ?

    So if any of our leaders continue to lie to us, is their behaviour even worst than those 48 unlucky victims ?

  8. It is nothing news, all politicians do tell lies at certain period of their political careers. But it is indeed a real miracle that most people still choose to believe in their lies and keep them in power for 53 years.

    What happened to most of us? Have we stopped thinking? Have we lost this ability to differentiate what is right or wrong?

    No wonder, the government despises its own people who pay them million dollar salaries! We locals are idiots in their eyes while foreigners are talents?!

  9. Yes, we locals are indeed idiots, at least 60% of us. The other 40% are daft and need spurs up their hide because they simply cannot understand the cock and bull stories the government gives us.

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