Have Singaporeans really moved on?

Scanning the forum pages of our English dailies, I notice a glaring absence of any letters about Mas Selamat-gate.

This could be due to one of two things:
1. Singaporeans have really moved on, as SM Goh Chok Tong and Straits Times’ political editor Chua Lee Hong exhorted us to; or

2. The media is rejecting all letters about the issue, and is failing its national duty of reflecting the views of Singaporeans.

Which one is it?

p.s. those who read the Chinese, Malay and Tamil press, do share the situation on that front.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam was a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament from 2011-2015. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore and currently runs a technology consultancy which he co-founded. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone. Published by The Workers' Party, 701 Geylang Road, #04-02 Teambuild Centre, Singapore 389687

13 thoughts on “Have Singaporeans really moved on?”

  1. They are blacking out those letters that express discontent and publish those that praise the government.

    Please do not waste your 80cents, Gerald.

  2. Hey gerald,

    seriously what can we do about the situation? so what if we want to stay on the subject? will anything change?

    Like you said in your previous post haha, the same thing is happening in the “cycle”

    J

  3. I will keep mentioning the MSK escape subtly every now and then. So, people do not forget. It is not the loud announcements that people remember. It is those soft little whispers that get into their minds.

  4. sorry mate, the Singapore media’s national duty is not to report the views of Singaporeans…

    Their role is for “national cohesion” and report on things that are key to nation-building, and towards the national agenda.

    Right now, i have a feeling the “national agenda” is to move on.

    Let us all pray that by WKS stays on, he gets his house in order, and help protect singaporeans from any attacks from JI.

    Coz if innocent Singaporeans (or any other nationality) are hurt because of Mas Selamat, only then i think some folks need to answer to their accountabilities.

    aygee

  5. It may be good to just put up a blog specially for the Mas Selamat Escape subject, and every week or so someone makes a progress report or update as long as Mas Selamat has not been recaptured. What say you?

    Concerned Guy.

  6. Actually TOC is already doing that. There’s a running counter of how many days since his escape.

    Aygee – someone pointed out to me recently: If WKS needs to stay on to fix the problems in the system, why don’t we just keep the entire WRDC team there too? Don’t they need to stay to fix the problems?

  7. I wonder how much “directions” are given to the straits times?

    or perhaps straits times have already internalised the fact that they are the government’s mouthpiece.

    I think perhaps, the latter is even sadder. cos it means they’re doing this on their own accord.

  8. Hi Weijia,

    Good question. I too wonder how much direction ST gets from MHA.

    I mean, if there is any instruction, there is a trace, email, phone call, letter, verbal instruction……

    But if ST is made compliant after so many years, then we are looking at artificially mutation of the media.

    regards
    Newcastle

  9. I do believe Sporeans have given up with trying to raise our concerns.

    The more we try, the more we get labelled as: not trusting the government, not being able to move on, complacent and somewhat malicious for hinting at getting a capable minister to step down.

    Add on to this the fact that we pretty much hear similar replies to our concerns, I cant blame anyone for giving up.

    Tt being said, I feel this incident has really opened up a new chapter in ppl-government relations in Spore and I don’t mean a good one, and its got ppl revisiting the highly unpopular topic of very high minister pay.
    The effects of this incident will only be obvious at the next elections.
    Btw, got your bonus package yet? Quite frankly i no longer feel happy for it, because everytime something “good” happens, the price of sth is either going to go up, or has already gone up. And i wonder why i save so hard when i’m probably never gonna realise my dreams of having sth i can be proud of (eg car or house i earned with my hardwork)

  10. Weijia and Newcastle,

    Firstly, it is MICA that directly oversees the press, not MHA.

    From what I know, the govt does not vet articles, nor does it directly instruct the editors what to write. After all, we’re not like friggin’ Sudan…oops, I think Sudan is ranked one spot higher than us by RSF.

    But if any articles are “out of line”, the editors can expect a tongue lashing by one of the Corporate Comms directors from the ministries.

  11. I don’t see there is a need for MICA or MHA to direct the ST what to do.

    Firstly, ST is under SPH. SPH is under Temasek. Temasek’s only shareholder is Ministry of Finance. So who is pulling the strings? Quite obvious isn’t it?

    Secondly, it has been a tradition that either the ST’s Chief Editor or his Deputy/Assistant Editor is an ex-Director of ISD or somebody senior from ISD, e.g. Mr SR Nathan was ex-Director SID before he became Chief Editor of ST.

    Thirdly, some of the “journalists” (actually they are only reporters because Journalism is dead in Singapore) are Intelligence Officers from ISD, e.g. the Chua sisters.

    I believe ST and related papers under SPH have become a Psychological Warfare weapon of PAP Gahmen, rather than a national newspaper in the normal sense.

    Observer.

  12. Dear Observer,

    Your comments raised 2 things which I am previously not aware of:

    1) ST’s Chief Editor or his Deputy/Assistant Editor is an ex-Director of ISD or somebody senior from ISD

    2) some of the reporters are Intelligence Officers from ISD, e.g. the Chua sisters.

    Would you be kind enough to enlighten me and direct me to resource to read up on the above comments?

    Regards
    Newcastle

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