I was also planning to comment on Baey Yam Keng’s speech on how the government should handle the new media. Fortunately, I came across a comment by “Jonathan” on TOC. Other than the PS, it covers all the points I was planning to make.
On the whole, he presents himself to be a reformer. He wants to loosen the grip on traditional and new media alike. He mentioned repeatedly that it is not necessary and not possible to engage every statement made online.
However, his intention is at best half-baked for the part on traditional media. He wants to make mainstream media to be the benchmark of the online discussions. This amounts to saying that mainstream media will still be the mouthpiece of the Government (or the ruling party). I believe there he has contradicted himself and this shows that he may lack the conviction in media reform after all.
The part about teaching students “online media literacy” is alright in itself, but such proposal is always met with skepticism. People are afraid that it will be a form of covet propaganda programme or censorship, given the not-so-illustrious track record of the ruling party on this matter. When faced with the problem of indeterminacy of Mr. Baey’s true intention, we are forced to look at his party colleagues to search for a coherent answer. To me, the ruling party’s stance is on the rather dire side.
As such, while I appreciate Mr. Baey’s audacity to propose something rather avant-garde, I cannot trust that his speech alone, without the backing of powerful PAP figures, will lead to any actual media reform which the liberals will like.
ps. He ended his speech in Chinese by saying that he seconds the motion. What motion is he talking about?