Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How Mistrust is Generated

Watching Acting Minister of Manpower Tan Chuan Jin on the Talking Point programme special reminds one of a book which has the full title, "Denialism, How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms The Planet, And Threatens Our Lives." The despicable licensing of news sites is no rocket science, but Tan was definitely in full denial mode.

He repeated ad nausem there was nothing new to regulations already in place. Well, before 1 June 2013, there was no $50,000 dangling like the sword of damocles over sites that have a reach of 50,000 and offer at least one article per week on Singapore’s news and current affairs. And then there's the potential fine of up to $200,000 and/or 3 years in jail if the Media Development Authority (MDA) feels you are tardy in taking down the offending post within 24 hours. The lawyers' letters of demand, which has seen quite a bit of action, at least provides a longer time-frame to respond.

One caller phoning in asked point blank whether Tan is prepared to state on air that no blog site will ever need to be licensed. The cowardly general took evasive action behind the "until such point that we notify other sites" caveat emptor, choosing instead to keep all options open. His empty promises smack of the hypocrisy of 377A, which also promised a light touch. Like the duplicitous legislation of 377A, Tan is as good as criminalizing bloggers with a free spirit.

“First they came…” is the famous statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), an indictment of the sloth of German intellectuals after the Nazis' rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
 I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

And you actually thought you were safe. Think again.

In "Denialism", New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter reveals that Americans have come to mistrust institutions. One guest on the Talking Point panel touched on a similar mistrust generated by MDA's obscene haste in railroading the licensing regime. The final tally at the end of the program: more than 70 percent felt the new licensing rule will limit online news content.


  1. Yaacob "ran away" from talking point show, might as well since he is not very articulate and more so creating a licensing he himself could not reason reasonably. Than, this gunho General is such an attention "whore", trying to help cover the other ministry's backside.

    I have to repeat many times, MSM hosting such talk-cock show is a waste of public times. Before the guest and host appear, we already knew what is going to be answer from them and conclusion before the wayang programme ended.

    Are we getting any wiser from the talk-cock show? No, protest continues, questions need to be answered, MDA needs to be brought to task for their hidden agenda, Yaacob should engage online bloogers, live and not hide behind mediacock or SPH curtain to avoid the heat.

    1. Talking also no Point.

      先斩后奏 = Act first, Hindsight later.

      He gets 10 for creativity, 0 for content and 1 for the team.

  2. one big wayang farce. in the end there will probably be lots of court action

  3. He said that the bloggers & the public can continue to criticize the G. But why was the political satire cartoonist arrested and is now on bail?

    Can we call him a l**r for that?

    1. Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

  4. Whatever happened to the Singapore CONversation?

    1. PAPigs finally figured out what LKY knew a long time ago?

      It's cheaper, better, faster to regulate than to CONverse.

      GE 2016.
      This will be our chance to regulate PAPigs in parliament by voting in more Opposition MPs.
      Vote wisely!

  5. not a river in Egypt.

    It was the state of mind amongst the german and Jews back then.
    It's still a state of mind in the Japanese soldiers and leaders about WW2 rape
    It's still a state of mind in the Chinese politics about 6/4 Tiananmen massacre
    It's still a state of mind among our autocrats and technocrats in citizens' rights

    Lest we forget, any forms of unnecessary acquiesce to the power can only result in further abuse.

    Here's one to those we lost their lives but not lost their silence, fighting for modicum of freedom that remains denied to them. Lessons to all.

  6. What has TCJ said differently than what was already been said in the press releases and by MDA?

    The only non-MCI perspectives are the ones from the citizens, not the cowboys from MDA and the sheriffs from MSM.

    If I knew there were going to be so many uniform regurgitation from our politicians, I would have voted for Zheng Guoyuan & his parrot in the last election. At least he and his bird takes up only 1 seat in the parliament and the fowl would have done a better and entertaining job that the entire Empire.
    Damn, he should try running again in 2016.

  7. Just remember. You can never trust the PAP of today. What they say today is of no relevance to what they will do tommorrow. And what they will do tommorrow can be totally different from whatever assurances they give you today.

    The one that doctored all the laws has now been given a law doctorate by NUS. So, what is there to prevent them from further doctoring of the licensing scheme.

    1. Are u referring to the old fart? I thought he upped the lorry already.. But don't know why villains always last to die even in real life. Relative giving acollades to each other. Well done.

    2. Hahaha

      Not so fast. He just made an appearance ostensibly to receive his doctorate in law, but I believe the tell you guys that he is still alive and kicking.

    3. Old fart is a living joke. Must be the world's oldest comedian that worthy of genuine world record. We should be proud that we have someone funnier than Jim Carrey in Sin Land albeit may be the thousand of time world most expensive comedian.

      Can anyone coin a joke as funny as this

      take up to 30 years to recoup investment loss in financial fiasco due to incompetency and yet meantime get to enjoy extraordinary salary and perk until death. Uniquely Singapore .

    4. Did NUS get discreet approval from the PM son in giving the honorary doctorate to the father ?

      What is the use of the honour when one foot is already in the grave ?

    5. Aiyoh, why would NUS or the son want to deny him this last hurrah if this is his last wish. In any case, who dares to say no. The fact that he can rise from the grave to set things right shows that he still holds enormous power,

  8. This morning, I happen to be in the middle of the Tao Te Ching. Number 60 of 81 entries reads:

    Governing a large country
    is like frying a small fish.
    You spoil it with too much poking.

    Right now, our version is more like governing a small country, as if we are frying a big fish. We spoil it even before the poking could begin.

    A caller who cried for our leaders to do something. Wrong! They have already done way too much, especially when it comes to laws, regulations and taking away our rights. It is the belief that they can manage an economy for optimal outcomes by directing it command-and-control fashion.

    Our salvation will come only when we trust individual people to make mostly good decisions freely. The bad decision-makers will learn quicker, the good decision-makers will get even better, and the world will zip along on a giant wave of human ingenuity. No more relying on meddlesome cooks– we have other fish to fry.

  9. Hey Tattler, are you also blacking out tomorrow? ;-)

    1. Don't know about tattler, but tomorrow I am turning up for work in black.

  10. I honestly don’t for the life of me know what all the hoohaha is about. Yaacob ran away because he doesn’t have to explain anything to any of you. They know the people who are posting will do nothing except run their mouth for a few days or in the extreme a month or so and nothing, absolutely nothing will be done. Why is that you may ask, well it basically stems from the fact that Singaporeans don’t have any kahunas, none, no guts, no glory. Most are used to the maids doing all for them and possess no sense of the real world. Most bitch about the FT but at least the FT stand up for their rights, even in Commie China, they stand up, they gather they let the government know they are concerned. Here what is going to happen, there will be a small gathering at the legal place that more than five can gather, others will wear black to work…wow, wow, wow! How impressive! Yep, this sure shows the PAPPIES we mean business by golly… truly very funny…sissies!

    1. @Anon 12.30am.
      Instead of bitching here, why not you show some balls and take the opportunity to be at Hong Lim Park today from 4 to 7pm ?
      The organisers may give you the chance to go on stage and address the so called 5,000+ sissies. Tell the 'sissies' what you think of them and urge them how to strive for guts and glory.