Straits Times & TODAY - Please Stop the Propaganda....
- From: The Optical <theoptical@...>
Subject: [The Optical] To Straits Times & TODAY - Please Stop the
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 21:19:45 +0800 (CST)
To Straits Times & TODAY - Please Stop the
Propaganda....it's VULGAR & IRRITATING!!
Since the announcement that Lee Jr. will take over as
PM of S'pore on 12 Aug 2004, there has been almost
daily reports about it by the local media especially
the Straits Times & TODAY.
Enough is enough of this propaganda bullshit!!
It's a big joke when such reports quote so-called
"political observers" when most of them are PAP MPs.
What do you expect them to say against their new
In this regard, it is refreshing to read something
which balances eveything within this constant
sycophantic drone being dished out by the local media.
Below is an article by James Gomez from his website
The Control and Censorship of Political Expression in
the Singapore Media
Control over political content is the key concern for
the PAP government. Although, there are debates over
censorship of nudity, pornography and homosexuality in
the media, the area that receives most active scrutiny
is the media space that allows opposition parties or
civil society opponents to critique the PAP
government. Its grip over the media both local and
foreign, as well as over traditional and new media, is
what allows the PAP to remain in power. Censorship of
political expression is achieved through a mixture of
legislation, defamation suits and harassment.
Tuesday, 27 July 2004
by James Gomez
Media ownership in Singapore is carefully regulated
and media contents strictly monitored. Until 2000, the
Singapore Press Holdings owned all dailies in the
city-state after the People's Action Party (PAP)
government managed to consolidate and tame a once
vibrant press culture. The Media Corporation of
Singapore, an evolution from a series of government
owned broadcast corporations, dominates the
broadcasting media. The PAP government guards the
broadcast tuff with rigour, grudingly allowing foreign
broacasters to operate for commercial and public
relations reasons but legislating them off local
Hence, when announcements were made by the PAP
government in June 2000 that additional media licenses
will be issued to government linked companies,
Singapore Press Holding (SPH) and MediaCorp for each
to start additional broadcasting and print projects,
there was much optimism. The long-standing monopolies
of SPH in print media and MediaCorp hegemony in
broadcast seem poised for new internal competition.
The imminent presence of more media products on the
market led commentators to immediately claim that
internal competition among the media groups will
result in freer media in Singapore.
By the end of 2001 the initial enthusiasm was giving
way to some somber economic realities as both of these
companies re-visited their investments. Several of the
new media ventures were either closed down or merged,
staff down-sized and operations streamlined. Hence
those who banked on "economics" to usher in media
freedom into a media regime known for its control over
critical political content were clearly disappointed.
Instead, the PAP government, while issuing new
licenses, continued to introduce legislation to
control foreign broadcast and print media from
interfering with local politics. They claimed that
they needed to ensure that in the light of many
foreign reporting agencies relocating to Singapore,
the reporting of Singapore news, especially of
politics be undertaken by local media and not foreign.
On the other hand, those who were banking on new
communications technology such as the Internet to
usher in some form media freedom were also to some
extent were similarly disappointed. Space enjoyed by a
few Internet sites such as Sintercom, Think Centre and
opposition parties that were the focus of media
reports and scholarly journals were soon to suffer
setbacks. Internet sites that discussed politics and
based in Singapore were compelled to register with
regulatory authorities as early as 1998. In 2001,
legislation was hurriedly enacted to proscribe the use
of the Internet and SMS during election periods.
Arguments that the government will find increasing
difficulties in stopping the inflow of information
from the Internet or, no matter how the government is
reluctant to liberalise the mass media, Internet will
help break the monopoly of the traditional media
organisations were soon proven to be misfounded.
Instead, specialist crime divisions were set up, laws
were passed to monitor the Internet, and technology
was harnessed to conduct better surveillance. New laws
were introduced in 2003 to giving local authorities
sweeping powers to take pre-emptive action against
so-called "cyber terrorists". Under the changes,
anyone suspected of preparing to hack or deface a
website can be jailed for up to three years or fined
up to US$ 5000.
Although there were reactions from the foreign media
and a couple of independent local NGOs to the PAP
government's move against foreign media and the
Internet, there was a predictable silence from local
media. Government linked media agencies such as the
Parents Advisory Council and the Feedback Unit and
members of the public did not fair better as they too
did not voice their objections against such moves.
The measures directed against foreign media and the
Internet to regulate ownership and control content are
an indicator that at no time was media liberalization
in Singapore premised to achieve a freer media. If
anything, the reason for introducing local media
competition is anchored on the pursuit of advertising
revenue. Hence reports that the local Radio FM93.8,
was the site of a new kind of talkback radio where
people were airing their views freely on a range of
current affairs topics is an anomaly if it continues
in its present form.
Instead, the PAP government has managed to maintain a
firm grip over local media such as news papers,
commercial magazines, television and radio. But it
does have a problem over foreign media, both print and
broadcast, the Internet as well opposition party
magazines and the Internet as the local media faces
more competition at the commercial and content
provision levels. It is the demands of commerce and
content provision that will pose a challenge to the
PAP government's control over the media.
Subject: Signal Decoded : Singaporeans To Become Mere Witnesses Of Policies Making
From: (Mr) Law Sin Ling
27 July 2004
Signal Decoded : Singaporeans To Become Mere Witnesses Of Policies Making
A "powerful signal" was emitted to Singaporeans recently by
the government of Singapore. It was an invitation to selected members
of the community to witness the handover ceremony of the premiership
on the 12 August. The government emphasised that conducting the
ceremony at the "fortress" of Istana constitutes a break from
This iconoclastic gesture, beamed the government, "reflects the
thinking of the next generation of leaders in wanting to involve
Singaporeans in shaping the country" and to be able to "be
better prepared to face the challenges ahead".
Singaporeans were however markedly absent in involvement late in May
the same year when Mr Lee Hsien Loong, son of the eminent Mr Lee Kuan
Yew and nominated dauphin to the nation's highest seat of
executive power, was unanimously elected by members of the ruling
incumbent party to become the next Prime Minister of the nation.
The session was conducted in secretive fashion away from the eyes of
the public. Consultation on the views and opinions of the population
by the respective Member of Parliament of the people on the choice of
premier was virtually non-existence. All that Singaporeans had to do
was to wait for the result from the charade, transmitted via
a "powerful signal".
More critically, Mr Lee will officiate, and appoint his cabinet,
without having obtained any prior credible mandate from the nation.
The invitation to the public to lend their support to the enthroning
of the new premier will serve to publicise the (unsubstantiated)
legitimacy of Mr Lee, and to condition the minds of Singaporeans to
subserviently subscript to a veritable fait accompli.
The entire setup, over a backdrop of expected hearty cheering,
frantic waving, and thunderous applauding at the Istana on the 12
August will only further testify to the reality that the government
expects Singaporeans to docilely and unambiguously support all
policies and actions of the government, even in an affair as crucial
as the selection of the leader of the country.
And that will quintessentially be the REAL thinking of the leaders of
the next generation headed by Mr Lee. Singaporeans are expected to
become mere spectators with ceremonial involvement, needing only to
extend FINAL congratulatory praises and approvals of government
Far from being "a new beginning in Singapore's history"
as uttered by a certain Minister, it will essentially be old wine in
new bottle. Singaporeans can expect to experience a strong
manifestation of déjà vu, and an unavoidable socio-political
retrogression. The "challenges ahead" to advance the country
is expected to become even more arduous under the mindset of the new
(Mr) Law Sin Ling
P.S. The news report on this "invitation" in the Straits
Times included an apparent interview with a 29-year old gentleman who
had proudly proclaimed that Mr Lee, at age 52, "represents the
younger generation which include people like (himself)". One
cannot help but muse that if the misguided gentleman thought nothing
of the age-gap of 23 years between him and the new premier, certainly
the departing premier, Mr Goh, at 63-years of age is not too far in
his capacity to "represent the younger generation"?
Singaporeans will be very wary of such questionable reporting by the