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Straits Times & TODAY - Please Stop the Propaganda....

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    From: The Optical Subject: [The Optical] To Straits Times & TODAY - Please Stop the Propaganda.... Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 21:19:45
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2004
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      From: The Optical <theoptical@...>
      Subject: [The Optical] To Straits Times & TODAY - Please Stop the
      Propaganda....
      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
      boss...nothing!!

      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
      JamesGomezNews.com:
      http://www.jamesgomeznews.com/index.php

      Editor
      TheOptical

      ------------------------------------------------------

      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
      politics.

      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
      Singapore Review

      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
      tradition.

      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
      policies.

      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
      leadership.

      (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
      local media.
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