Do this, Straits Times, and maybe you’ll be credible and believable

In the midst of the Hougang by-election, the Straits Times put out this report and headline on its front page:

What followed were criticisms directed at the Straits Times for biased and irresponsible reporting. Even WP sec gen Low Thia Khiang accused it of being a “political tool” of the PAP.

The Straits Times, of course, has come out to defend itself, rambling on about its “balanced” report and what not. Here is what the “ST Editor” says. [By the way, I wonder who this “ST Editor” is – is he the Forum Page editor, or the Chief Editor, *Warren Fernandez? Why not put a name to the reply?]

“As professional journalists, we do not see ourselves as cheerleaders for any political party. Our aim is simply to report the news dispassionately and objectively, so that our readers can decide for themselves.”

Continue reading “Do this, Straits Times, and maybe you’ll be credible and believable”

Time to say no to the Nimbies

So, here we go again. Toh Yi Drive, Woodlands, and now Bishan. Residents in these areas object to the setting up of nursing homes and studio apartments for the elderly in their neighbourhood.

Everyone would agree that the old and sick should be cared for. No one in his right mind would say otherwise. In any case, if anyone should say we shouldn’t care for the elderly, the person himself would deserve to be in a home himself – a mental home.

So, we all agree that as a society we must – not should (which connotes a choice), but must – care for the elderly.  We all want to seem to be doing the right thing, the sensible and rational thing. Continue reading “Time to say no to the Nimbies”

Character assassination and the man at the top

Straits Times, 23 May 2012

If something happens in a company – bad things – regularly, you would question the leadership of that company.

Character assassination attempts by the People’s Action Party (PAP) during elections is a common feature in Singapore politics. It comes from way back when Lee Kuan Yew was the man with the hatchet. All and sundry were hacked down mercilessly. How mercilessly? Some were jailed. Some were sued. Some were bankrupted. Others ran away to exile themselves from the blunt blades.

Here in the 21st century, the PAP is at it again – even when Lee Snr is no longer in charge of the slaughterhouse.

In the last 3 general elections, character assassination attempts by the PAP of its opponents during elections have taken place. The latest bid to tarnish the character of the Workers’ Party’s Png Eng Huat is in character – of the PAP. It seems such behaviour had been hard-wired into its DNA.  Continue reading “Character assassination and the man at the top”

An honest day’s work – but screwed anyway

My apologies for the title, but after spending some time with a migrant worker today – together with some of my friends – I’m quite upset that what we had highlighted more than 3 years ago are still taking place. Namely, that employers are exploiting their foreign workers, leaving them helpless with nowhere to turn to.

The poor guy had even sought help from the Labour Court which actually agreed with him, and ordered the employer to pay the salary owed to the worker. The employer refused to do so. The Court apparently is helpless in what to do next, besides advising the poor migrant worker to resort to a civil suit – for which the worker has no money to lodge!

And MOM says its hands are tied too because of certain policies.

Look, the worker worked as many as 18 hours a day.

He deserves his salary.

Period.

And if the Labour Court and MOM cannot help him retrieve the money rightfully and honourably earned through hard work, then what the hell are the Court and MOM for?

It makes me angry – and we’ll be writing about his story.

And I am sure that his story is not an isolated one.

Appreciating it for what it is

Law and Foreign Affairs Minister, K Shanmugam, posted 2 notes on his Facebook page about Mr Cheng Teck Hock, the taxi driver who was killed in what is now called “the ferrari incident”. Shanmugam had paid a visit to the family at Mr Cheng’s wake.

I re-posted the minister’s note on my own Facebook page.

Soon after, some (comments online) said the minister’s action is a “wayang” and asked why it is being touted as an act of compassion. Government policies were soon added to the mix and Shanmugam’s action roundly criticised for not dealing with the actual causes of the death – which, some say, is the Govt’s immigration policy. The ferrari driver, who had smashed his car into Mr Cheng’s taxi, was a Chinese national.

While I understand the feelings – strong feelings – against the Govt’s immigration policy, and I have written quite a few articles on various platforms against it as well, I do not feel that criticising Shanmugam’s action in this case is a rational thing to do.  Continue reading “Appreciating it for what it is”

Sari, we made a mistake?

Sometimes, you want to give the mainstream media the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes, it is also hard to do so. This post is not to point the finger at the individual reporter in this case. It is, however, to point out that the mainstream media – being professional news organisations staffed by professional editors, reporters, journalists, and with resources which citizen journalists like myself and my colleagues can only envy from afar – should at least be mindful of simple mistakes which show up its lack of professionalism.

In the ongoing court case with regards to the Prime Minister’s discretionary powers in calling by-elections, the mainstream media’s reporting has, so far, been below par. (Caveat: I’ve also been following and reporting on the case for publichouse.sg and Yahoo Singapore, with the reports also published on TR Emeritus.)

Take this recent report on 16 May:

Continue reading “Sari, we made a mistake?”

Chiam – the lone MP who spoke up for 22

Mr Chiam See Tong, the lone opposition MP in Parliament in 1987, spoke up strongly against the arrest of 22 Singaporean social workers who the Government under then PM Lee Kuan Yew had arrested in May that year.

Here is an extract of his speech:

CHIAM SEE TONG:

What is the case against them? What evidence do you have? Although the Government has been saying, “Yes, we have evidence, otherwise we would not have arrested them.” What evidence? You tell me. There is no evidence. The only evidence is their own confession. That is all. Any court of law would throw out this kind of a confession. You arrested them at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, hauled them roughly to their offices, searched them, treated them very roughly and brought them to the Internal Security Department, not allowing them to contact anyone. No lawyers and no relatives were allowed to talk to them, at least for the first initial stage. They were interrogated, continuous interrogation. The Government says there is no torture. But this is a form of torture. Continuous interrogation is a form of torture. Continue reading “Chiam – the lone MP who spoke up for 22”