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What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

In Media on 11/04/2018 at 10:25 am

There’s a lot of chatter (Local academics propogate fake news?) and some thought both here and abroad on what is “fake” in “fake news”.

But very little thought it seems is given to “news” because there seems to be a belief implication that “news” is good: a idea that is shared here by the PAP and sheep, the talk cock, sing song, tell lies anti-PAP cybernuts, and anti-PAP activists (Chinese helicopters like Terry Xu, the ang moh tua kees etc)

But what if news is really nothing but BS to sell ads?

“News,” Crouch said, “is that which makes its consumer self-important, angry, or sufficiently whatever the hell to turn to page twelve, and, turning, encounter the ad for the carpet sale.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-43645567 where the BBC Arts editor, Will Gompertz, reviews David Mamet’s latest novel, a thriller: Chicago.

The bit just before this is as enlightening

What do you think they’re paying us for?” Crouch [the news editor] had said.

“Man bites dog,” Mike had said.

“Bullshit.” Crouch said. “Man bites dog is too interesting to be news.”

“Then what is news?” Mike said.

David Mamet’s latest novel, a thriller: Chicago

But let’s get serious and consider the views of Harvard’s Claire Wardle who says that “much of the debated content is not fake, but used out of context or manipulated, while polluted information also extends beyond news”.

She says

Calling the term “fake news” woefully inadequate in capturing the complexity of the
scourge currently afflicting the world, Harvard expert Claire Wardle suggested that this “information disorder” should be grouped into seven categories that range from satire, manipulated content, to fabricated content.

Such information disorder, while not defined as “black and white”, can also be categorised according to its level of truthfulness and intention to cause harm, said Dr Wardle, an expert in user-generated content, in her written representation to the Select Committee studying deliberate online falsehoods here.

Her submission was part of the 167 written representations accepted and published on the committee’s website on Monday (Apr 09).

(First few paras of an article from an article from the constructive, nation-building digital free sheet of MediaCorp entitled

‘Fake news’ is far more complex; problem of information disorder goes beyond US and social media: Expert

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/fake-news-far-more-complex-problem-information-disorder-goes-beyond-us-and-social-media)

Here’s more from her from said article (Pls read it, it’s good)

Dr Wardle, an executive director of First Draft – a non-profit organisation that is focused on experimental projects to fight disinformation – is also a research fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center for Media,Politics and Public Policy. She had previously testified at a United Kingdom committee hearing on fake news and misinformation in February.

In her written representation to Singapore’s Select Committee, Dr Wardle said much of the debated content is not fake, but used out of context or manipulated, while polluted information also extends beyond news.

Elaborating on the seven types of information disorder, she said that the least problematic of them is satire or parody, when people often fail to realise the content they are reading is satire.

The next one is a false connection, such as when headlines, visuals or captions do not support the article’s content. This is followed by misleading content and false context, where genuine content is taken out of its original context and circulated. The others are: imposter content and manipulated content, where genuine information is manipulated to deceive others. The last category is fabricated content.

These types of information disorder can also be categorised into misinformation, disinformation and malinformation, said Dr Wardle. Content that is false but not intended to cause harm will fall under misinformation, while the same type of content which is intended to cause harm will be considered disinformation. Truthful information that is aimed at causing harm is malinformation.

The authorities can consider the different elements that make up the information disorder, she said. For instance, they can consider who are the agents and their motivations for creating misleading or inaccurate information, as well as the type of messages being distributed. They should also take into account how the messages can be interpreted differently, depending on the source of the message, and how it ties in with the readers’ existing beliefs, among other things.

Another suggestion was also to provide additional investment and training opopportunities to strengthen “non-partisan media”. This comes as newsroom resources shrink, which results in fewer editors catching honest mistakes, or fewer journalists being trained to verify content sources on social media, for instance.

Funding and coordination of an international research agenda for monitoring the scale and impact of disinformation was another idea put forward by the researcher, a prominent expert on online falsehoods whose views are often sought after by international media.

Dr Wardle noted that current debates on this issue have been “focused disproportionately” on the United States, political disinformation, Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter bots.

“In fact, this problem of information disorder is global, and includes powerful disinformation related to science, health, religion and ethnicity. In certain places it is leading to protests and violence, and people are losing their lives because of decisions based on inaccurate information.”

 

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Why so many ex-ST jurnos working in HK’s SCMP

In Media on 04/04/2018 at 4:27 am

The South China Morning Post has long been Hong Kong’s English-language paper of record. Alibaba has made it part of Beijing’s efforts to project soft power abroad. (NYT)

NYT Dealbook on Monday

This reminded me that SCMP’s newsroom is swarming with ex-ST newsroom staff. Wonder if they got employed because they have the experience doing for the PAP what Jack Ma wants SCMP to do for China: propaganda.

After all ST journalists are noted more for producing high quality propaganda for the PAP, then high high quality journalism. Sad.

What “fake” news will be allowed

In Malaysia, Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 27/03/2018 at 11:01 am

Adding to my tots in Fake news traffickers will be hanged

there was this

“Any information related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that has not been verified by the Government is considered fake news.

Datuk Jailani Johari (pic), the Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister, explained that fake news is information that is confirmed to be untrue, especially by the authorities or parties related to the news.”*

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/03/21/unverfied-info-on-1mdb/#QKmu29kU273TUQuU.99

M’sia is introducing legislation that would result in people found guilty of publishing “fake news” being jailed for up to 10 years or face fines of up to M$500,000: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43538109

This reminded me of

 

 

The Straits Times (ST) splashed on the front page today (16 Mar) the headline, “Fewer foreigners, more locals in workforce last year“.

It reported that the number of foreigners working in Singapore fell by 32,000 last year – the biggest in 15 years, ST said.

However buried within the artcle ST did report that the decline was mostly due to fewer work permit holders due to weakness in the construction and marine industries. For more read https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/03/16/net-increase-in-foreign-pmets-last-year/

I think ST’s headline is more than misleading or misrepresenting the truth: it’s “fake” news analysis. Inconvenient facts are “hidden” from view.

Sadly this is the kind of “fake” news that will be allowed. Why? Because ST and other constructive, nation-building publications and channels practice it as part of nation-building.

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act

George Orwell

Sadly in S’pore our anti-PAP cybernuts do not believe in doing revoluntary acts. They’d rather tell lies too: think Phillip Ang.


*But then

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak (above) today assured that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filings on 1MDB won’t be considered fake news.

He said this during a meeting with foreign correspondents today which also saw the government tabling its the Anti-Fake News Bill in Parliament.

“You can quote them, what did they say, based on the filings. It is not considered fake news.

“It’s their views. Like DOJ, you quote them, what they said,” he said.

 

ST, Today editors trying to be like Tharman

In Media on 26/03/2018 at 9:43 am

I’ve said before that PAP ministers especially Tharman are lousy comedians

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/tharman-trying-to-tell-jokes-again/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/property-tharman-trying-to-crack-jokes-again/

It looks like ST and Today’s editors are trying to be more like Tharman. They already Indian although Warren has to use some black Kiwi polish on his skin and the other Fernandez needs to use plenty of bleach. Btw, the colour of their skins should tell one that despite the same family name, the two are not related.

What it does tell us is that the media is an Indian territory, like the law.

Seriously, they also auditioning to be ministers because the inability to crack good jokes seems a criteria to be a minister?

It does us no justice’ to be pro-Government, say Singapore’s mainstream media

In the age of social media, which gives the public more sources of news, there is no reason for Singapore’s mainstream media outlets to be partisan in its reporting, senior editors of Mediacorp and The Straits Times said on Friday (Mar 23).

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/no-reason-to-be-pro-government-say-singapore-mainstream-media-10070790

Well what about the fact that these papers are operating in  S’pore? This requires a licence renewed yearly.

The conventional wisdom has it that the PAP expects the media to, at the very least, brown nose the PAP govt especially the ministers. And nothing in Cheong Yip Seng’s,“OB Markers: My Straits Times Story” challenges this belief. Some even say the book reinforces the belief.

Btw, the book was only self-censored. Everyone in the PAP administration tot that someone else in the administration was reviewing the manuscript. So noone censored reviewed the manuscript. ST had planned a massive publicity campaign for the book. Only day one went to plan. The campaign was pulled on orders from higher up.

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Related post: Meaningless distinction by ST’s editor

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What they said

Walter Fernandez 

In response, Mediacorp’s editor-in-chief Walter Fernandez said: “Before the social media advent, there were far fewer brands of news sources. These were larger, more dominant and enjoyed a higher degree of trust.

“The significant fragmentation of the audience has left them with a significantly wider choice … We are judged now quite differently by the expectations of an audience that has moved on significantly, and we have to fight to earn their trust on a daily basis now.”

“In that sort of environment, against that sort of landscape, it does us no justice to want to be ‘pro-A’ or ‘pro-B’ in that sense,” Mr Fernandez added.

“Our fundamental premise is we have to provide accurate, contextual and timely information to audiences and allow them to make up their minds.

“Ultimately … (in) moments of crisis, we see people coming back to mainstream media. That speaks to the trust there is within our organisations and the trust Singaporeans hold up the two mainstream media companies with.”

Warren Fernandez

Said Mr Warren Fernandez, editor of The Straits Times: “Over the last five, 10 years we’ve tried extremely hard to be fair, balanced and objective because we see our role as not trying to play up one party or the other, but to give our readers as much information as they can to make decisions for themselves.

“If we were biased, we would be clearly called out on social media. It would backfire and affect our credibility, so we wouldn’t be inclined to do that. I don’t think it does anybody any service if we tried to … it would be a disservice to our readers, a disservice to our journalists, and ultimately I think a disservice to Singapore.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/no-reason-to-be-pro-government-say-singapore-mainstream-media-10070790

 

Cybernuts, be happy that SPH not so smart

In Internet, Media on 25/03/2018 at 5:04 am

In 2001, Naspers, a South African publisher (It published the ST for the apartheid regime) bought a stake in a lossmaking Chinese start-up in the wake of the dotcom bust for US$32m.

This week it sold more than US$10bn of its shares in Tencent, the Chinese technology group, a sliver (2%age points) of a stake worth US$167bn which it acquired in 2001 for “peanuts”. It still has 31% of Tencent.

Well I’m sure a PAPPy, think Goh Meng Seng (OK, OK, he’s a covert PAPpy), would say Naspers was lucky. Well at the time the ang moh CEO of Naspers was in China looking at internet investment opportunities, so were Temasek, GIC and SPH senior executives.

They so unlucky meh? Remember Napoleon only wanted as marshalls (his most senior generals) generals who were lucky. He knew the importance of luck. Early in his career, he lost a battle but the unexpected arrival of a fresh division turned the battle around.

Or our GIC, Temasek and SPH executives juz stupid?

Btw, Naspers is trading at a 40% discount to its Tencent stake, despite having profitable operational businesses and other successful internet investments. Shareholders are unhappy.

 

Meaningless distinction by ST’s editor

In Media on 24/03/2018 at 9:45 am

(Alternative title “What if editor was also censor? And justifying censorship”)

Writers are “engineers of human souls”Joseph Stalin once told Soviet writers. And I’m sure our Harry would agree with him on that when it came to journalists. After all both wanted the media to be part of their constructive, nation-building endeavours.

So I can’t stop laughing when I read what Warren Fernandez (Btw, TMG’s Bertha Henson* coveted his job, something to bear in mind when reading her criticisms of ST and SPH. Where was her critical voice when she was angling for the post of ST’s editor? She was no Cherian George.) told the parliamentary Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods.

The ST editor said

that an “important distinction” needed to be made between the “exercising of judgment by editors, and censorship or self-censorship”.

“Before we publish anything, we would want to assure ourselves that the content we are putting out is not libelous, unfair or biased … it’s us exercising responsibility,” he said.

“We recognise it’s a duty, and we make judgment calls and we take constant feedback from many sources – newsmakers, readers, organisations … that’s the critical role a responsible media organisation would play.

“If you’re going to have a meaningful exchange and debate, you need informed decisions. It’s not a matter of every view being put out there, and have a slugfest, and expect sweetness and light to emerge.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/no-reason-to-be-pro-government-say-singapore-mainstream-media-10070790

Well the above distinction between the role of an editor and a censor does not exist or is meaningless when the editor is chosen by a govt determined that the media be constructive, nation-building. Read Cheong Yip Seng’s, “OB Markers: My Straits Times Story” on how he became ST editor: Harry tot he “was ready” is my impression of what he was telling us. Also read how subsequent editors were choosen.

 


 

*Secret Squirrel, Morocco Mole, and ST and SPH insiders say she quit ST the day when it was announced that Warren was returning to ST to be ST’s editor. So all her criticism could be sour grapes rather than the repentance of a wannabe Seth Lord.

Fake news traffickers will be hanged

In Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/03/2018 at 10:53 am

That was my tot when I read on FB

Singapore may fight fake news in the same way as drugs: Puthucheary

(Constructive, nation-building headline last week)

My FB avater commented: Hang convicted people isit? Terry Xu u have been warned.

TX: I am always prepared to die for what I am doing. So not much of a threat.

My avater: Respect.

Seriously, other than hanging convicted traffickers of “fake news”, there’s another probability about what the FT (He sneered at those who did NS) jnr minister wants: there’ll be no presumption of innoncence for those accused of trafficking in fake news. They got to prove their innocence.

If a suspect is caught with a prescribed amount of an illegal drug, it is deemed to be a trafficker and liable to be hung. It’s up to the suspect to prove that it isn’t a trafficker.

So maybe a suspect traffickier of ‘fake” news has to prove his innocence?  Stuff from certain sites like “The Indian Idiots — S’pore” are presumed to be “fake” unless proven otherwise by the suspect? Maybe anything that Dr Chee says will be deemed to ne “fake” news, until proven otherwise?

And maybe the presumption of guilt can be overturned by showing that the “fake” item was from a report that orginated from the constructive, nation-building local media like Mothership or ST? Or that a govt agency said it?

And maybe there’ll be a law that says that whatever a minister or govt agency says is the truth: those who allege otherwise will be deemed to be traffickers of fake news who will have to prove their innocence like drug “traffickers”.

The mind boggles.

PAP is losing the war to keep S’poreans in ignorance

In Economy, Financial competency, Media on 02/03/2018 at 11:01 am

Be of good cheer, those of us who want the PAP lose its hegemony (Cybernuts excluded because like TRE’s Oxygen, they think a crushing defeat of the PAP is just another GE away: they’ve been thinking that since before Cyberspace came into existence), the PAP is losing the war on keeping S’poreans financially illiterate with comments like:

GST hike ‘the responsible way’ to fund areas of collective need: Heng Swee Keat

(Today)

Preserving reserves signals to markets strength of Singapore dollar: Chan Chun Sing

(ST)

Let me explain.

When two natural PAP supporters make the comments I report below, it’s clear that the retired chief economist of GIC (Known as LKY on FB), Donald Low, Chris K and others (including little old me) have not wasted our time raving and ranting that

— S’pore has too much reserves and that they can and must be used to make life better for S’poreans.

— And that tax rises show that the PAP administration are reckless prudent, or at least are mindlessly prudent.

FB post by a retired SAF officer, now active in mental welfare causes. He was one of the first Black Knights.

Maybe what the Government needs to do is to show to the citizens various scenarios (given some assumptions) about how to cater for the future financially. Period 2021-2025…, Scenario1…use of GST hike and 50% of Investment returns to manage the budget; Scenario 2…use of all reserves to do the same. Then show Sporeans what is left at end 2025, and how the projected financial state will affect Spore’s future financial health.

And this FB post by a lawyer who has said he voted for the PAP

The G says that Singapore’s reserves must be kept secret as a defence against speculative attack.

Whether true or false, there is an obvious price to pay in that if there is no public information about Singapore’s reserves, intelligent debate about Singapore’s fiscal policy becomes well nigh impossible.

The debate in Parliament currently appears to be rather sterile in the absence of meaningful facts and figures.

I am not in favour of the G’s current approach to the (non)transparency of Singapore’s reserves, which to me is not justified and makes no sense, on balance. We are better off having the knowledge to chart our national destiny.

People like Dr Tay Kheng Soon should take heart that the 70%ers can change their mind. He has often mused that educating S’poreans to realise that the PAP articulated alternative is not the only “right” way is a thankless, long and tedious task.

Whatever, remember that half of the 70% voted for Dr Tan Cheng Bock as president. He only lost because of Tan Kin Lian and Goh Meng Seng decision to fix S’poreans. As a TRE reader put it

Sabo King help Tony Tan by persuading Tan Kin Lian to steal 4.91% votes which is enough to prevent Tony Tan from winning.
Sabo King sabo TKL and made him lost his deposit.

 

 

Our Goebbels’ works: only for today 25% discount

In Media on 25/02/2018 at 6:19 am

Saw this yesterday

25% DISCOUNT! Yes, you read right. Tomorrow (25 Feb) is the birthday of S. Rajaratnam, Singapore’s first Foreign Minister, who also wrote our National Pledge. 
However, did you know that he also wrote several short stories and radio plays before he became a politician? 
Some of the stories were so good, they were selected for anthologies in the UK and USA and translated into several languages, including French and German!

Find out more here: https://buff.ly/2CgI8fR

When I think of S. Rajaratnam, I think of Joseph Goebbels who was one of Hitler’s closest associates and most devoted followers. One could say the same of the relationship between Rajaratnam and one Harry Lee.

Goebbels, like Rajaratnam, was known for his public speaking skills.

But his greatest skill was in the use of propoganda

began to take an interest in the use of propaganda to promote the party and its programme. After the Nazi Seizure of Power in 1933, Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry quickly gained and exerted controlling supervision over the news media, arts, and information in Germany. He was particularly adept at using the relatively new media of radio and film for propaganda purposes.

Wikipedia

Rajaratnam was also good in controlling the media and spinning for the PAP.

But Rajaratnam was no anti-Semite. And he was the side that won.

What about benefits comparison table too?

In Economy, Media on 20/02/2018 at 7:31 am

When I saw this bit of propoganda for the GST increase, I couldn’t help but think:

They should also put the benefits alongside the comparison of the GST rates.

Whatever, I note that HK does not impose GST.

Why ST journalists must be happy

In Media on 03/02/2018 at 11:42 am

Constructive, nation-building ST (and other constructive, nation-building SPH, and constructive, nation-building MediaCorp) journalists must be pretty happy that in 2017 journalists globally have achieved the biggest gain in credibility relative to other “groups”: see chart below. Err somhow I don’t think this applies here because I just read this On media, politics and stranger thingshttps://www.facebook.com/notes/cherian-george/on-media-politics-and-stranger-things/10154934466551612/

Read it.

Related post: “Fake news: Just make mainstream media more credible”

Ranking of most reliable sources for people

 

“Fake news: Just make mainstream media more credible”

In Media on 18/01/2018 at 11:12 am

Taz the headline of a very good article from a publication I usually trash as “The Idiots — S’pore”. Do read it because it’s very good: http://www.theindependent.sg/fake-news-just-make-mainstream-media-more-credible/

But as the writer

Tan Bah Bah is a former senior leader writer with The Straits Times …

I still find the piece a bit rich coming from a once senior insider even though he’s correct. I mean coming from an ex-ST tua kee this is hilarious:

because you are comfortable only with sycophantic group-thinkers.

Wasn’t the ST editorial team nothing but sycophantic group-thinkers who got their jobs (and retained them) because they bought into Harry’s vision of the media: constructive (as defined by him), nation-building (also as defined by him) and cheerleading?

But Bah Bah is not the only one biting the hand that once fed him well. Late last yr, I tot of the ST team in exile in SCMP (including Yaacob’s sis who was ST’s deputy editor) in HK, and retired SPH editors Bertha Henson (It’s alleged she tot she could be ST’s editor) and Balji (a discreditable report about his ethics linked inside Feeling free to bite hand that once fed him) when I read the u/m dissing of FB by a former senior employee.

Henson, Balji, Bah Bah and the ST team in exile in SCMP (including Yaacob’s sis who was ST’s deputy editor) in HK were once like this FB guy, enablers of a juggernaut. When they were regularly paid 30 pieces of silver serious sums of money, they never doubted that they were working for truth, justice, the S’pore way and Harry. But when the money stopped, they all had Damascene conversions, or so it seems. Humbug?

From NYT’s Dealbook

“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
That’s what Chamath Palihapitiya, the former Facebook executive turned venture capitalist said at a Stanford Graduate School of Business talk last month. Mr. Palihapitiya, who was a vice president of growth at the tech juggernaut, recommended that users take a “hard break” from social media.
More from his chat:

The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse. No cooperation. Misinformation. Mistruth. And it’s not an American problem. This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem. So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion.

NYT is grinchy over Christmas present

In Media on 23/12/2017 at 4:35 am

Doesn’t like Trump’s Christmas present

“Well, we have a tremendous spirit for the tax reform,” Trump said. “This is going to be one of the great Christmas gifts to middle-income people.”

Die die must always say bad things about Trump or his works. But then FT reports that a New York based banker earning US$5m a year, will be paying an extra US$400-500000 in taxes

From NYT’s Dealbook

A merry “Taxmas,” but who’ll get the bigger present?
In a surely coincidental series of announcements, several companies — including AT&T, Comcast, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp and Boeing — announced that they were giving their employees bonuses or higher wages, and increasing investment in light of the passage of the Republican tax bill.
An aim of the tax bill is to help American companies, in the belief that they will in turn bolster the economy as a whole. (Justin Fox of Bloomberg View writes that AT&T’s bonuses aren’t a gimmick, but a natural consequence of a corporate tax cut.)
But skeptics have asserted that those companies really just want to get on President Trump’s good side. (AT&T, for example, is seeking approval for its Time Warner deal despite a lawsuit by the Justice Department. At a news conference, Mr. Trump praised AT&T’s bonus and capital investment plans.)
Some back-of-the-envelope calculations, courtesy of Binyamin Appelbaum of the NYT:
A bigger question: How long can any economic stimulus from the tax bill last?
From Patricia Cohen of the NYT:
“The really hard question a year from now is going to be is how much of the miniboom we see is just an acceleration of stuff that was going to happen anyway or additional investment that is really going to spur the economy,” said Mihir A. Desai, a professor of finance at Harvard Business School.

And finally

The tax overhaul doesn’t change the fact that automation will still cause job losses, and that giants like Apple and Alphabet will still pay lower taxes than nascent rivals, Farhad Manjoo writes in his latest State of the Art. (NYT)

The PAP way?

In China, Media on 21/11/2017 at 5:52 am

The government doesn’t refute critics or defend policies; instead, it overwhelms the population with positive news (what the researchers call “cheerleading” content) in order to eclipse bad news and divert attention away from actual problems.

This has allowed the … government to manipulate citizens without appearing to do so. It permits just enough criticism to maintain the illusion of dissent and only acts overtly when fears of mass protest or collective action arise.

Sounds like the way the PAP does things with the help of the constructive, nation-building media.

No leh. It’s supposed to be the Chinese way: https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/2/16019562/china-russia-internet-propaganda-media


“Why CCP’s fears are PAP’s fears”

Keeping power in a one-party state

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But maybe the CCP learnt from the PAP? It was one of the things that Deng learnt from LKY? After all when LKY came into power, he made sure that the local newspapers, tv and radio all became part of the PAP’s constructive and nation-building team.


Address to the General Assembly of the International Press Institute at Helsinki on 9 June 1971

“What role would men and governments in new countries like the mass media to play?… The mass media can help to present Singapore’s problems simply and clearly and then explain how if they support certain programmes and policies these problems can be solved. More important, we want the mass media to reinforce, not to undermine, the cultural values and social attitudes being inculcated in our schools and universities.

[Several paragraphs later] Freedom of the press, freedom of the news media, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore, and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.”

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Their job was (and is) not to critick LKY’s govt but to be its cheerleaders.

Example from MediaCorp’s reporting (Might was well juz publish the speech):

The trust between the People’s Action Party (PAP) and Singaporeans will be tested in the coming years amid social and economic disruptions afflicting the world, party secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong warned activists on Sunday (November 19) at the PAP convention.

And it is during this period, that the trust built by the ruling party “painstakingly over more than 60 years” will be more important than ever, said Mr Lee, who is also the Prime Minister.

Stressing the need for good policies to help Singaporeans cope with the challenges, he also urged Members of Parliament (MPs), activists and “key people throughout our society” to preserve the “good politics”.

He noted that in western democracies, the trust between mainstream political parties and the people has essentially broken down, and the parties “no longer seem to represent the common man’s interests”.

“We must never let this happen in Singapore. The PAP must always pursue policies which benefit the broad majority of Singaporeans,” he said.

“The PAP must always hold the ground, stay close to Singaporeans and maintain their trust and confidence.”

Adding that it will not be an easy task to achieve goals such as upgrading the economy, creating good jobs, building world class infrastructure and preparing for an ageing society, Mr Lee said that in order to implement the policies, “we must get our politics right”.

The people must support the PAP, he said.

“Most of all, they must trust the PAP,” he added.

“They must know that the party cares about them, and is working to improve their lives.”

Mr Lee said this does not mean the government should do only popular things. From time to time, it also has to make hard choices and take difficult decisions.

“And when we do so, we must be upfront with Singaporeans” in explaining the rational and getting their support, he said.

“Even if people may not like the specific policy, we must convince them that we are doing it with good intentions, and for good reasons,” he said.

He reiterated the people “must know the PAP not as a remote, impersonal government, but as their team, as a human, personal preference – your caring MP, your friendly branch secretary, people whom you know, people who have shown that they can get things done, and will help you through difficulties and improve your lives,” he said.

 

ST editor admits failing in reporting and analysis

In Media on 27/10/2017 at 4:57 am

“Our goal must be (to) produce reliable and credible political news as well as thoughtful and insightful commentaries on Singapore politics and policy affairs,” said Warren Fernandez ST editor and editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media (EMTM) group at SPH. Reference: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/sumiko-tan-promoted-key-editorial-role-sph-073324356.html

Wow what an admission that ST and SPH in general are not producing “reliable and credible political news as well as thoughtful and insightful commentaries on Singapore politics and policy affairs”.

Interesting this admission because many S’poreans (self included), not juz the anti-PAP ang moh tua kees and their fellow cybernuts, think that the nation-building and constructive SPH group and MediaCorp are just part of the propoganda department of the PAP administration.

So producing “reliable and credible political news as well as thoughtful and insightful commentaries on Singapore politics and policy affairs” remains only a goal i.e. an aspiration like multi-racialim in S’pore.

(Oh I forgot that having someone whose i/c says “Indian” as the “Malay” president is multiracism at work, a bit like “Calling a deer a horse”?)

Whatever, it looks as though Warren Fernandez accepts that S’pore’s 151st ranking  in the World Press Freedom Index is about right.

A report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reflected Singapore being in the 151st place this year. In 2016, Singapore was in the 154th rank.

This year, other Asian countries above Singapore includes:

Taiwan – 45th rank (up two ranks from 51 in 2016)
South Korea – 64rd rank (up six ranks from 70 in 2016)
Japan – 72nd rank (maintaining the same rank as in 2016)
Thailand – 136th rank (up six ranks from 142 in 2016)
Indonesia – 124th rank (up six ranks from 130 in 2016)
Philipines – 127th rank (up 11 ranks from 138 in 2016)
Burma – 131st rank (up 12 ranks from 143 in 2016)
Malaysia – 144th rank (up two ranks from 146 in 2016)

Hong Kong fell to the 73rd rank from 69 in 2016.

TOC

Or maybe he juz feeling punch-drunk after learning that Sumiko Tan is his new deputy. A lot of people in ST, and ex-ST (think wannabe Sith Lords) think she’s an air-head.

Related post: LKY’s favourite editor

 

 

SPH: Blame previous CEO

In Media, S'pore Inc on 16/10/2017 at 6:00 am

It’s fashionable to berate scholars for incompetency especially ex-generals, especially the present Kim Jong-un look-a-like CEO of SPH. After all he did preside over the decline of NOL and its sale juz before the shipping market turned.

But take a step back and look at how SPH was managed before he became CEO.

Low hanging fruit left to rot

Why weren’t these things only done now, not earlier?

— Newsroom consolidation: “The New Paper sports desk will move to ST in November, and ST money desk will move to BT.” (Atas version of Petir)

— And “the AsiaOne team, comprising about 10 members of staff, will be re-deployed to the Straits Times Digital team,” (Yahoo)

These actions should have been done years ago, not last Thursday. After all, revenue from ads and circulation have been declining for years, so why wwere these simple acts of newsoom and tech consolidation not done earlier?

Only scholar can think of these actions isit?

Retrenchment

The original plan by the previous CEO was to cut jobs over two years. The Kim Jong-un look-a-like accelerated the culling, and rightly so.

Here’s something that someone I know wrote on FB

I’ve honestly never seen a retrenchment exercise (and it’s happened to me before) where the retrenched staff are not asked to leave immediately. OK locking out of computers is not the proper way for the staff to find out, but sad as the news is, what’s happened is pretty much the norm. Once a retrenchment exercise is decided on (and one can debate whether it is good or bad), there is no point delaying.

I was at a local bank when they did a major retrenchment. They said they would do it in two months’ time. It was a terrible time waiting and wondering who would be hit. In the end they did it in a week. It was still bad, but there was no point waiting.

Hali: MSM keeps fueling the rage

In Media, Political governance on 21/09/2017 at 7:25 am

Juz when S’poreans unhappy about Hali’s appointment as president were getting tired of KPKBing about it, with one unhappy oldie (Maybe Kopi Lim lim kopi with him?) saying on FB,

There is a wise saying: When you taunt or ridicule a person once you can claim that’s lampooning, Repeat it and it becomes a joke in bad taste. Repeat it the second time: that’s persecution ! So, let’s be upright and charitable and not conflate the person and the issues.

the constructive, nation building media decided to stroke our anger

The rise of an ethnic minority to the country’s highest office in the country has enhanced Singapore’s reputation as a meritocratic state, said observers from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Today

The best responses to this “provocation” is too funny not to report

Yeah. Reserving the (s)elections for a certain race is most definitely meritocracy in action. Just like gang rape is democracy in action

And

sure, running a race with no opponents and winning is extremely meritocratic

And

Did they mention anything about the other two candidates being disqualified… even though, they’re more capable than her?

And did they mention about the PM post not ready for non-chinese?

And

My dictionary reads meritocracy is define as government (in this case president) selected according to merit. What merits does she has? Moreover, it’s a “Reserved” appointment.

Dictionary published fake definition?

First Hali, then GCT, and now the the constructive, nation building media are determined to keep us angry until the next GE? Bet u PM will be next to stroke the anger.

Related article: Doesn’t Hali realise that “Speaker” is BS post?

NOL: More evidence scholar screwed up

In Media, Political economy, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 19/09/2017 at 10:13 am

Looks like NOL was sold juz when the shipping cycle was about to turn (finally).

Yesterday FT’s authoritative Lex column said under the title “Container shipping: surf’s up

Now that the industry is rationalising, how high can prices go?”

Industry volume growth is expected to hit 5 per cent this year, from 3.8 last year. Scrapping rates have picked up, while new capacity on order is finally falling. Such newfound discipline might last longer than in previous cycles because consolidation has increased the market share of the top six operators to almost two-thirds, from two-fifths in 2013. Four alliances have become three.

Well the ex-general, scholar and ex-Temasek MD running NOL is now CEO of SPH. Good luck to the shareholders.

Here’s real meritocracy at work: US navy when there’s a suspected systematic problem PM, this is accountability

How Pay & Pay can ensure we complain less

In Infrastructure, Media, Public Administration, Temasek on 29/07/2017 at 10:31 am

You know the PAP administration is rattled when a PAP minister castigates the constructive, nation-building media for reporting the problems that MRT breakdowns are causing commuters. He wants the media to report how Great SMRT is.

ST’s editor responded, “If press coverage doesn’t match everyday experience, then the press loses credibility.”

He only said that because we have the internet and social media to keep honest his paper and other media. I’m old enough to remember when local media coverage at times didn’t match everyday experience.

Now to some constructive advice to the minister and his minions on how to make sure S’poreans KPKB less when the trains don’t run on time.

Behavioural economists tell us we are wired to care more about things we pay than things we get for free. This tendency is called the “endowment effect”. Paying for something represents a loss of money, so we care more and get more upset over things we pay for than over things (identical or otherwise) we can get for free*.

So when an MRT delay occurs, shut the KPKBing down by making the trip free.

It has the additional benefit of showing Khaw, LTA, SMRT and Temask how much revenue is lost when trains don’t run on time.


*Take “WordPress”. Because I use the free version, I don’t grumble about things that suck.

ST trying to fix Dr Lee isit?

In Media on 21/06/2017 at 11:00 am

We know that Dr Lee is rowing with her brother the PM. We also know from her row with ST last year that she’s dyslexic. So I was laughing when I read it today’s ST:

Kids with dyslexia more prone to social, emotional problems: Study

Children with dyslexia are more likely to encounter a range of social and emotional difficulties – such as feelings of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem – than their peers.

And having strong social support networks may help to buffer them against such negative outcomes.

These were the main findings of a study by the University College London (UCL), based on responses of 99 Primary 3 pupils with dyslexia across 13 primary schools here.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/kids-with-dyslexia-more-prone-to-social-emotional-problems-study

 

ST’s fake news on sustainable shark fisheries

In Media on 29/05/2017 at 4:24 am

The ST report see below is BS because at the end it reports a WWF person saying “there are no shark fisheries that have been independently certifies sustainable”.

How much did the shark fins’ sellers association pay for this ad?

Kathy Xu

What am I reading??? There is no such thing as sustainable shark fishery right now, especially not for the targetted species, given that they are mostly megafauna that reproduces slowly. Just because all parts of the shark is sold, that does NOT equate to sustainable fishing. Misleading headlines like this really sets conservation work back by so much. 😦Thank goodness for WWF’s Janissa Ng weighing in at the end of the article about how “there are no shark fisheries that have been independently certifies sustainable”. Can only hope people read this till the end..

No automatic alt text available.

Zainudin Nordin never was PAP MP isit?

In Media on 26/04/2017 at 4:37 am

Image may contain: 2 people, text

(Happy to attribute above I saw on FB, if I know who to attribute it to.)

The four individuals connected to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) investigation into Singapore football are out on police bail. Bill Ng, his wife Bonnie Wong, Zainudin Nordin and Winston Lee are assisting the police in their probe into the suspected misuse of club funds at Tiong Bahru Football Club and an attempt to obstruct audits into clubs.

ST

Bill Ng, wife, ex-FAS president and FAS gen sec arrested

Cynical Investor

Don’t know waz excuse of constructive, nation-building media but my excuse is I wanted to focus to the FAS connection. And anyway, my previous story (about Zainudin Nordin) was headlined:

What weed is ex-PAP MP smoking?

As a FB pal put it:

It was the same MSM “privilege” with Choo Wee Kiang, Chng Hee Kok, Phey Yew Kok and probably others that I don’t recall. I don’t think such an omission would have made any difference but the estab wouldn’t want to take any risk, even if it’s a nationwide loss of 100 votes. It’s also up to S’poreans to keep themselves informed – politically and nationally interested S’poreans would be able to tell it’s a PAP MP.

SDP, Terry, TRE: Learn from the French

In Media on 25/04/2017 at 5:53 pm

True the u/m guys are fascists but still they got an effective way of combating the French MSM’s narrative: they helped Le Pen get 21% of the votes. (Emphasis mine).

France’s cyber-patriots are a diverse lot. Some call themselves the “réinfosphère”, signalling their determination to counter what they see as media bias. Rather than preach, such sites put up links to news stories culled from mainstream sources – typically about violence in immigrant suburbs – and let the facts speak for themselves.

Their underlying assumption is that news organisations may be blind to reality but they are occasionally forced to face it. The message of housing estates descending into chaos or Islamism is relayed to those who know where to look, and then shared by those who care.

The pioneer of this approach is Fdesouche – short for “Français de souche”, French people of old stock. Although the site’s author does not voice an opinion, the comments section gives free rein to a stream of xenophobia.

Fdesouche and like-minded sites are run on a shoestring, but they wield real influence. An outcry last summer over the burkini on French beaches was amplified by the réinfosphère and several mayors decided to ban the Islamic swimwear.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39475635

 

The truth about fake news

In Media on 17/04/2017 at 5:59 am

It’s now coming from the fans of Hilary because she lost  and becauseconfirmation bias makes her fans feel good, they help spread fake news about Trump and the other side.

Claire Wardle, who is a research director at First Draft – a non-profit organisation which is looking for solutions around trust and truth in the digital age says

“People like to share information that makes them feel good, ” …

“Many people on the left right now are feeling overwhelmed and fearful and unsure of what’s going to happen next. While they’re scrolling through their information feeds at speed on small mobile phones their critical functions are not kicking in, and they’re seeing information that makes them feel immediately connected with other people who think similarly to them. And without doing the usual checks that they would do, they’re sharing and very quickly passing on similarly false and problematic content that we were seeing before the election.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-39592010

Hmm guess we know know why the cybernuts of TRELand behave the way they do.

Here’s some constructive advice:

Brooke Binkowski, who is managing editor at Snopes website, warns newsreaders to stay aware of the emotions they feel when consuming content.

“If you are a newsreader or someone who likes reading news but you don’t know immediately what may or may not be fake, ask yourself by reading the headline, what emotions do I feel? Am I really angry, scared, frustrated, do I want to share this to tell everybody what’s going on? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then check your sources.”

Snopes is a respected fact-checking US site.

Sad, S’pore can’t adopt this practice of combating fake news

In Media on 24/03/2017 at 6:05 am

I couldn’t help but snigger when I read

a new initiative by journalists from Le Monde, the French daily that has developed a readers’ tool to weed out fake news. A few weeks ago, they started volunteering at schools, teaching teenagers how to distinguish between responsible journalism and fabricated news. Other newsrooms in France are doing the same. Alexandre Pouchard, one of the Le Monde journalists involved, tells me the objective is to raise awareness about sourcing and promote simple tools (such as Google reverse image search) to check the origin of photographs or memes. “It’s about getting some reflexes, like wondering where a story or image is from,” he says. “On the one hand, young people are more vulnerable to this phenomenon and less used to identifying unreliable sources and, on the other hand, they are not our usual readers, so we have to get in touch with them.” FT

I mean can you imagine Sumiko Tan and other editors, and journalists going to schools and telling students with a straight face that they (the reporters and editors) rely on media briefings, phone calls and email messages from the PAP administration, and self censorship to make sure they and hence us the readers get the right facts and perspectives?

Have a good weekend.

Proof that LKY was right to despise media freedom

In Media on 14/03/2017 at 2:38 pm

Sometime back the UK PM made a major speech on Brexit. How the UK papers covered it shows the views of the papers in Brexit:

A brief glance at this week’s headlines gives ample evidence of what psychologists call confirmation bias – the tendency to interpret events in a way that accords with pre-existing prejudices.

Wednesday’s front pages alone provide ample evidence of the way the same events are interpreted in wildly different ways by different newspapers – always and without fail in accordance with their prejudices.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38666066

And how readers are manipulated:

The Telegraph and the Guardian use similar pictures but by using a much tighter crop, a blue background and a positive headline, the Telegraph seem to endorse the prime minister; whereas the Guardian seem to issue scepticism about her chances of success. Interestingly, the Financial Times, which like the Guardian backed Remain, also uses exactly the same picture, albeit with a different crop. Their headline, being longer than most of the others, equivocates.

 

Western MSM refuses to held accountable/ Ungrateful

In Media on 09/02/2017 at 4:26 pm

MSM is upset that he wants to hold media accountable:

the Spicer Doctrine – the belief held by the White House press secretary that it is the job of government to hold media to account and not just the other way round – poses a mortal threat to the trade we call reporting.

BBC

Sad!

Especially when he’s really helping journalists and editors

he is doing more than any other modern politician to help them pay their mortgages and feed their families.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38854711

Ungrateful!

Why I hate a free, pious, preachy press

In Media on 04/02/2017 at 7:11 am

i.e the US neo-liberal* media, and the neo-liberal elite they back. They empower PC and help fix “mavericks” who are non-PC. And worse, they are humourless and have no sense of irreverence or absurdity.

The following is an extract from the UK’s equivalent of the NYT, written by the editor of a conservative US publication:

Trump is most vested in different battles, mainly against an establishment and a north-eastern elite that he considers overly insulated and self-interested and due to be taken down a notch.

All during his campaign, he inveighed against political correctness, whose enforcers on college campuses and in the elite culture have had the upper hand in establishing the agreed-upon rules for public speech. They had the power to make transgressors against their rules grovel, cry and apologise. To deny them their jobs. To make them worry about telling the wrong joke or posting an impermissible thought on Twitter.

Trump’s election, despite violating almost every rule set down by political correctness, represented a step toward the disempowerment of this elite.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/29/donald-trump-left-faces-new-cultural-warrior-in-battle-it-thought-won


*Chris K suggested this term to highlight the group of liberals that believe in identity politics (Yup like the alt-right that they accuse of playing identity politics: both are two sides of the same coin) and Nazi or fascistic PC.

What the junior minister of Truth really meant

In Media on 31/01/2017 at 4:35 am

In the current environment where things happen very fast, it is critical for Singapore to continue to have a national broadcaster that people can turn to as a credible and reliable source of news.

Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State at the Ministry of Communications and Information, said this during a visit to Mediacorp on Saturday (Jan 28)…

CNA

What he really meant is that the PAP administration needs running dogs like MediaCorp and SPH with people like Debra Soon and Sumiko Tan inside to give S’poreans the news that the PAP wants S’poreans to hear, see or read; not the news that the a free media forces* on its audience.

—————————————

Index of Press Freedom

Our Asian peer group all above us: Taiwan (51st), Hong Kong (69th), South Korea (70th) and Japan (72nd)

Our Asean nieighbours above us: Thailand (136th), Indonesia (130th), Philippines (138th), Burma (143rd) and Malaysia (146th).

The same are in the last three positions: Turkmenistan (178th), North Korea (179th) and Eritrea (180th).

———————————-

To be fair S’pore at 154th on the Index is a long way from N Korea. It’s even ahead of Brunei at 155th.  Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia somewhere lower.

Maybe the propaganda ministry’s and MDA’s ministers and bureaucrats, MediaCorp and SPH and their journalists and editors should work harder to get us down to the level of China (176th)?

Thank god, Yaacob the Info minister is a Malay, not an ambitious, hardworking, ruthless Cina like Chee Hong Tat. If he were minister he’d install a KPI that we must match at the very least China’s ranking .

—————————————————————-

*Think the lies the NYT, Washington Post and CNN feed the Americans who only have Fox and WSJ *for “fair and balanced” reporting. They are even turning to the BBC which in the UK is dissed by many conservatives as a bunch of leftists for a more nuanced view on Trump the Triumphant.

Yup I am sceptical about the “free media”. What one of the best editors in the UK wrote about his time editing the Sunday Times:

Murdoch has too much power and influence: that he controls every aspect of his newspapers on three continents, dictating an editorial before breakfast, writing headlines over lunch, and deciding which politician to discredit over dinner. He has been known to do all three. But he does not generally work like that: his control is far more subtle.

For a start he picks as his editors people like me, who are mostly on the same wavelength as he is: we started from a set of common assumptions about politics and society, even if we did not see eye to eye on every issue and have very different styles. Then he largely left me to get on with my work.

Editorial freedom, however, has its limits: Even when I did not hear from him and I knew his attention was elsewhere, he was still uppermost in my mind. When we did talk he would always let me know what he liked and what he did not, where he stood on an issue of the time and what he thought of a politician in the news. Such is the force of his personality that you feel obliged to take such views carefully into account. And why not? He is, after all, the owner.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/1996/12/rupert-murdoch-199612

**Both owned by Murdoch.

 

 

Why I like a free, irreverent press

In Media on 29/01/2017 at 6:13 am

Only UK tabloids (think TNP on steroids and smoking weed) can come up with this kind of stuff

The Daily Mirror thinks it was “like watching Julie Andrews hang out with Hugh Hefner.” The Sun’s cartoonist offers a different comparison with Beauty and the Beast in the Disney version. “Lady and the Trump” is the headline in the Daily Star.

And

Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts thinks that the late Cilla Black would have been encouraged: “the blind date was a success.”

And

The Sun can’t resist offering a formal pat on the back: “Mission accomplished, Theresa.”

The Sun reports that Jeremy Corbyn continued to have what used to be styled “a little local difficulty” with his party. “Whenever you think Labour’s chaos cannot get worse, it does.”

BBC

Double standards of US MSM

In Media on 28/01/2017 at 8:29 am

It’s not fake news whrn US MSM misreports news (Bit like our ST and other constructive, nation-building media).

No wonder one of Trump’s most senior advisers calls the NYT, the Washington Post and other uS MSM publications, the “opposition party”, not the Democrats: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38766620

The latest example

Then, for a brief moment, it looked as if the White House was declaring a trade war, when reports surfaced on Twitter that Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, had said that a 20% tariff on Mexican imports would raise the necessary funds.

Those reports, it turned out, were not quite right. Mr Spicer in fact suggested that a deal was nearing on corporate tax reform. He implied that it would include the so-called “border-adjustment” Republicans in the House of Representatives have long sought. That change could pay for the wall, he said. (He later told a reporter he was only discussing “possible” policy moves).

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/01/taxes-and-tariffs

The difference between “alternative news” and “fake news”

In Media on 24/01/2017 at 5:30 pm

The “We love Hilary. Trump sucks” equates the term “alternative news” (used by Trump’s right hand woman when talking about the size of the inauguration crowd) with “fake news”. They have a point on the issue of the size of the crowds going by the photos.

But isn’t this a good example of the proper use of the term “alternative news”?

Mr Spicer said it was “unquestionable” that Mr Trump’s inauguration “was the most watched” ever.

Although Ronald Reagan’s was top in terms of television figures, attracting 41.8 million viewers, Mr Spicer pointed out that the 30.6 million who tuned in to see Mr Trump take the oath of office did not include the millions who watched the ceremony online.

(Extract from a BBC report)

The usual suspects are dissing this argument but really I can’t follow what they are trying to say. All I know is that they are not calling this “fake news” and this I suspect makes them madder.

The Trumpeters are telling a lot of lies but the “We love Hilary” MSM (because they are so emotional that Trump Triumphant cocked a snook at them and won) are letting the Trumpeters get away with murder.

From NYT Dealbook on another reason ehy MSM is so upset:

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION
Breaking down the stage after President-elect Donald J. Trump’s news conference on Wednesday. As new would-be scandals rapidly follow older ones, many fail to gain traction.

Trump Shows How to Smother a Scandal: With a Bigger Story

As one would-be controversy rapidly succeeds another, it’s clear that there’s only so much the news media and the public can focus on at once.

How to trust SPH reporting?

In Media, Uncategorized on 17/01/2017 at 2:49 pm

Here’s an example of how our constructive, nation-building media by omitting a fact misleads readers (intentionally or not).

It reports the Sultan of Johor attacking Tun M for attacking the Forest City where 700,ooo apartments are being developed with the hope to sell to PRC Chinese.

“If investors wish to pump money into Johor Baru, do we say ‘no, no, if you are from China, you cannot come’.

 “Is there such logic? Anyone in their right mind knows that Chinese investors are among the richest and most influential now.

“So why should there be a pro­blem? I welcome all investors,” Sultan Ibrahim said.

Read Also: Mahathir takes aim at China investments in key party speech

“Dr Mahathir thinks it is easy to play up race because these investors happen to be from China.

“This is utterly disgusting,” he added.

His Royal Highness said that Ma­lay­sian companies, with Chinese and Malay collaboration, would also benefit from the setting up of these mainland Chinese companies here.

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/johor-sultan-throws-mahathir-challenge#xtor=CS3-17

What the report omitted is that the sultan has a personal interest in the project. He’s an investor with a Chinese developer.

If we cannot rely on an SPH publication to give us the facts on a “foreign” story, can we trust it to give us the facts when the story is local? After all its publications are supposed to be constructive, and nation-building.

When the Progressives lie, it’s not a lie

In Media on 11/01/2017 at 4:38 pm

See how the NYT Dealbook reports and analyses the news when a standard bearer of the hard left misrepresents the truth about Trump’s appointees. If it had been Trump who got his facts wrong, I’m sure the headline would be screaming that Trump is lying.

LKY has a point about muzzling the media

Trump Appointees’ Taxes

“Not only is Donald Trump giving a gang of billionaires control of our government, he’s offering them a special tax break just for signing up.”

So said Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, when criticizing how the tax code allows government appointees to defer paying taxes on stock sales.

Not true, says Andrew Ross Sorkin. The crucial point is that the taxes are deferred — not eliminated.

If there is a benefit, it allows executives to diversify out of their own stock. But if they want to cash out and buy a house, for example, they will pay the full tax bill. Some, like Steven T. Mnuchin, the nominee for Treasury secretary, may actually lose money on some of the assets they have to sell because their holdings are in illiquid assets, like private equity funds, that have to be offloaded at a discount.

Of all the potential conflicts of interest that Mr. Trump and his cabinet picks may present, the tax treatment they receive in this instance is not one of them, Mr. Sorkin writes.

 

ST & CNA only correcting “fake news” or misreporting?

In Media on 08/01/2017 at 7:07 am

The anti-PAP internet brigade are KPKBing about censorship of or self-censorship by our MSM, ever since a well-funded pro-PAP click-bait site reported that ST and CNA had changed their initial reports on what the Minister for Pets said, taking out the comment: “You are not going to get angels in power all the time”.

The assumption of the PAPpy site, cybernuts and the saner anti-PAPies is that the Minister for Pets had really said,  “You are not going to get angels in power all the time”.

Err maybe the CNA and ST reporters were practising what “The Idiots” — S’pore (TISG as it prefers to be known as) and Jafri Basron** are really good at: faking the news? And got caught out juz like “The Indians — S’pore”** and Basron?


TISG and Fake News

OTC not the first elected president

Wrong building

Accusing DBS of breaking the law

Fixing the NEA and the WP

But to be fair, things have improved since a PAPpy joined the team.

Btw, it claims to be loudhailer for the PAPpies.

—————————————————

Or maybe their reporters are FTs who have difficulty understanding English? Fake degrees isit?

So, mabe ST and CNA were merely correcting their reports to reflect what was really said?

Or intended to be said?

Keep an open mind. The truth is out there.


*He’s a groupie of one JBJ following him from WP to RP. With someone like him as an enemy, the PAP doesn’t need friends like mothership or Jason Chua and gang.

**TISG’s other name. I’m not being racist: a former editor, an ethnic Indian, called it “a bunch of Indians” when he was editor.

 

Huh? PAP admits it’s practicising dishonest politics?

In Humour, Media on 07/01/2017 at 3:12 pm

Wah lan!

I tot the above when I read

To tackle social and political issues, return to ‘honest politics’: DPM Tharman

CNA: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/to-tackle-social-and-political-issues-return-to-honest-politics/3420624.html

A reasonable reading of what the headline implies is that Tharman is saying that the PAP has to return to “honest politics” to “tackle social and political issues”, which in turn implies that the PAP is practising dishonest politics?

Bet u there will another “edit” like in the case of “You are not going to get angels in power all the time”.

MediaCorp, why liddat? Why so sotong?

PAP administration giving the finger to Int’l Human Rights Day?

In Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/12/2016 at 7:30 am

Speakers’ Corner: Photo of “boarded-up” notice board seems very symbolic of the state of freedom of expression in S’pore

Some 60 people commemorated International Human Rights Day at Hong Lim Park. It was organised by MARUAH.The crowd may be small but the speeches were interesting.

Almost all the basic rights enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were touched upon.Interestingly there was a conspicuous absence of plain clothes police officers. There may have been just a couple of them in the crowd. And there was only one police vehicle at the carpark.

The Hong Lim Park Notice is plastered up. New and stiffer regulations will soon be displayed.

2016 has been a bad year for civil rights activists. Many of them were harassed by the police and had their computers, mobile phones, disk drives etc confiscated without court orders. Being hauled up for police interviews appears to be common and frequent. Two recent Hong Lim Park events have seen a number of activists and spectators being questioned by the police.

Finally, the passing of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill has stifled free speech to a ridiculous level. This law undermines the judiciary rather than protects it.

(Ms Teo Soh Lung  on her FB page)

 

When even Trump fans don’t believe Fox News

In Media on 10/12/2016 at 5:29 am

Even when Pizzagate is debunked  by the New York Times and Fox News, among many others … no factual news story has slowed the torrent of Tweets from the true believers.


Pizzagate

No victim has come forward. There’s no investigation. And physical evidence? That doesn’t exist either.

But thousands of people are convinced that a paedophilia ring involving people at the highest levels of the Democratic Party is operating out of a Washington pizza restaurant.

The story riveted fringes of Twitter – nearly a million messages were sent last month using the term “pizzagate”.

So how did this fake story take hold amongst alt-right Trump supporters and other Hillary Clinton opponents?

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38156985

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I mean if the extreme alt-right doesn’t believe Fox, what can a resonable person say?  Btw, I accept that the NYT is a fake news site operated by the elitist extreme ultraleft (it said Clinton would win and still refuses to accept the reality that Americans US elected Trump as president to give the bird to the likes of the NYT).

Maybe the PAP has a point about draconian laws (like the Sedition Act and ISA) and suing for defamation?

 

US liberal MSM caught lying again?

In Media on 08/12/2016 at 12:50 pm

From NYT’s Dealbook

The audacity of fiscal hype? – President-elect Donald Trump’s plans might not blow up the budget. “The proposed tax cuts may not have as large of an impact on the government’s finances as some analysts project,” U.S. economists at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a report. – Bloomberg

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.”

What do you think of Denzel Washington’s comments?

Update at 5.08pm:

Salena Zito, writing in the Atlantic magazine, summed up Trump’s election campaign by saying: “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

But can the press really stop taking literally what the president-elect says?

That’s quite a dilemma for the next four years

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38188074

Harry had a point on media freedom?

In Media on 03/12/2016 at 5:13 am

He tot it was distracting and confusing the masses.

He didn’t believe in it. He wanted a constructive, nation-building media that reported what he wanted reported and in the way he wanted it reported and analysed. No alternatives allowed.

And maybe he has a point that diversity of views can be confusing.

This extract from a BBC report is interesting. One poll and three different angles from three different influential UK papers.

A poll of British Muslims for the Policy Exchange think tank is covered three ways by three papers.

The Times runs the story on its front page, with the headline: “Most Muslims want full integration with British way of life.

“Research involving more than 3,000 Muslims shows that they broadly share the views and priorities of the wider population, rather than being shaped by supposedly “Islamic” concerns,” the paper says,

“Ninety-three per cent feel a fairly or very strong attachment to Britain and are likely to identify the NHS, unemployment and immigration as the biggest issues facing the country.”

The Mail pulls out a different question from the survey, with the headline: “Only 1 in 25 British Muslims believe Al Qaeda carried out 9/11 attack, says think tank.”

“Some 31 per cent thought the American government was behind the strikes on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon,” the paper reports.

“Another 7 per cent said it was a Jewish plot, while 58 per cent did not know.”

Meanwhile the Guardian’s headline reads: “British Muslims have separatist tendencies.”

David Goodhart, co-author of the report, says: “British Muslims as a whole continue to live somewhat more separately than other large ethno-cultural minorities – in neighbourhoods and schools, in terms of women not working, and in terms of attitudes and religiosity.”

Of course, if one one creativity, then different perspectives are mandatory.

S’pore and the PAP can’t have its cake and eat it.

It’s personal: Liberal MSM’s problem with Trump

In Media, Uncategorized on 27/11/2016 at 4:44 pm

OK, OK it’s not all personal but here are excerpts from a BBC report http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38072407 that show the that the journalists from the liberal MSM are not happy with him because he won the election, attacks them, has views that offend them, and reporting him is not easy because they can’t resort to lazy clichés or pigeonhole him.

Err what ever happened to holding their prejudices and emotions in check and thinking thru the issues.

And btw, I suspect that his skill in talking to the “stupid” masses makes them worried about their relevance as the fourth estate.

============================

After reading the u/m excerpts I appreciate more why one Harry Lee did what he did to local media: he castrated the journalists.

===================

Trump is willing to change things around to make people happy or when it suits him. Everything can be negotiated, including the scheduling of meetings and positions on issues.

 

In contrast journalists at the mainstream organisations don’t like last-minute schedule changes or sudden, unexpected shifts in policy. They also don’t like feeling beholden to elected officials.

And

The relationship between the mainstream journalists and the president-elect has been fraught with misunderstandings – and laced with rage. Trump regularly lashes out at these reporters on social media and in other forums.

In turn, these journalists are mystified and angry.

As I’ve been travelling with the press corps during the transition, it’s clear that many of them can’t believe he won the election. They’ve also been frustrated by his abrupt shifts in policy and his decision-making process.

“How am I supposed to cover this?” one reporter said to me recently, looking at a laptop that he held open in front of him. He said he wasn’t sure how to describe the president-elect’s foreign policy since he’d changed his mind so often.

And

Trump demonises these media organisations, as well as their executives and reporters, and this way makes it hard for the media to be seen as impartial.

This puts mainstream journalists in a bad spot. Many of them feel that when it comes to covering Trump, they can’t win. They feel offended by his actions – and resent the way that he acts in his job.

Why cybernuts still read ST, watch MediaCorp

In Media on 25/11/2016 at 10:43 am

In a recent survey, 88% of Russians said that TV news was one of their main sources of information. But here’s a funny thing – at the same time 31% of respondents said they thought they were being completely misled by the information provided.

That means that about one in five Russians choose to watch the news on TV, while at the same time believing that news to be a lie. How to account for that?

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37871543

2 reasons says this BBC reporter, and both apply here too on why S’poreans read, warch the constructive, nation-building media

“Everything is relative,” he told me. “We in Russia could use postmodernity in order to explain to the West that if any truth is relative, then we have our special Russian truth that you need to accept.”

Mr Dugin’s contorted Orwellian logic is influential in Kremlin circles, though not necessarily among the masses.

And

Ekaterina Schulmann, a political scientist, gave me a different interpretation.

“People are not looking for news as such,” she said. “They are looking to decipher a system of signals – who is on air today and who was yesterday, what is the intonation, the choice of words. It is important to understand all this, because it helps you survive if you are dependent on the state.”

The second chimes in with what the Jap owner of the FT says about SPH:

The company enjoys a relatively favourable position as the sole newspaper publisher in the city-state, and while it is not government-owned, the content of its publications is heavily influenced by the authorities, effectively making them a semi mandatory read for civil servants and businesses seeking insight into policymaking.

And before any cybernut challenges me on my assertion that cybernuts read ST, nuts should remember remember that a lot of what they read are in reality cut and paste stuff from ST. The cut and paste artistes at TOC, TRE, TISG know that there is a hunger for such stuff.

SPH fights property fat cats

In Media, Property on 23/11/2016 at 6:11 am

But first,like this description of ST’s owner

The company enjoys a relatively favourable position as the sole newspaper publisher in the city-state, and while it is not government-owned, the content of its publications is heavily influenced by the authorities, effectively making them a semi mandatory read for civil servants and businesses seeking insight into policymaking.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Asia-s-print-media-are-on-the-ropes

A running dog of the PAP.

Valuers make a good living by doing almost bugger all, so it’s good that SPN is suing their trade union.

SPH-linked Streetsine Singapore* is taking the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) to court for not recognising its technology-based automated valuations as valid, and claims the lack of recognition led to business opportunities being lost.

Streetsine alleged that SISV failed to fully assess the programme’s capability – which offers property valuations at a fraction of the cost and time incurred by manual valuations – before issuing a press release in April saying it did not recognise computer-generated valuations.

It claimed SISV neither conducted nor commissioned any expert evaluation, investigation or audit of the two services at issue or any automated models in general.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/suit-over-computer-generated-valuations

*60% owned by SPH

Triumphant: What the media “liberal” “experts” are keeping quiet about

In Media on 11/11/2016 at 5:43 am

(And media includes new media)

Trump did a bit better with blacks and Hispanics than Mitt Romney in 2012.

Women didn’t desert though there was a swing to Hilary. Predatory Trump better than a Liar and a Crook.

And while

Mr Trump ran as a champion of the country’s working class, but his support lay predominantly with those earning more than the country’s $56,000 median income. Mrs Clinton won 52:41 among voters earning less than $50,000 a year, according to exit polls. Mr Trump won narrowly among all income groups above that.

FT

The first two points show that the Democrats had a really lousy candidate.

The last point shows that Ariffin Sha is talking cock when he wrote

It’s funny how the people who would be most affected by Trump’s plans are the very people who voted for him. People, especially those who need the most help, do tend to vote against their own interests pretty often.

With deluded, uninformed young ang moh tua kees like him, the PAP is lucky in its enemies. With enemies like Ariffin, who needs friends?

Hard Truths on connecting with the 70%

In Internet, Media on 16/09/2016 at 6:10 am

Activists (anti-PAP, Oppo, alternative views or social) must realise or be aware that

— The 70% (especially the swing voter, 35% of the voters ) know what they are doing when they vote for the PAP; and

— that some anti-PAP, alternative etc views are more equal than others i.e. the cybernuts must not be given the space to talk cock, sing song. They must not be given publicity, and rebutted.

WP knows these Hard Truths and have used this knowledge to win and hold Aljunied GRC. Trouble is that others don’t. Yes, I thinking particularly of Mad Dog. (And sadly, retaining Aljunied was all the WP was interested in until recently.)

Voters know what they are doing

Those who think the decisions voters make are ignorant or even irrational do them a disservice. The judgments rendered by the electorate are sometimes misinformed, and often harsh, but rarely irrational …

Many experts on the issue despair at the ignorance voters display: they seem hopelessly wrong about the numbers coming, the reasons they come and the impact they have on the economy. Yet although they are muddled on the details, voters are remarkably responsive on the big picture. Concern about the issue tracks numbers closely: when migrant numbers go up, more voters cite it as a concern. Voters noticed the pledges by successive governments to bring numbers down, they noticed when these pledges failed, and they noticed that one important reason for that failure was rising immigration from the EU. The growing number of voters who wanted immigration reduced drew the logical conclusions from all of this: the old parties had failed on the issue, so they turned to a new one (Ukip); controlling migration looked close to impossible within the EU, so they voted to leave.

This pattern of behaviour – ignorant about the details, but responsive on the big picture – is one we see quite often. It has a lot to recommend it. When a room gets too cold, we respond by turning up the heating. When the room gets too hot, we turn it off. We usually manage to do this without knowing the precise temperature. Voters often display a similar thermostatic logic. Of course, voters aren’t consistently rational even on the big picture stuff. But usually when they apparently go off the rails, there is an interesting logic underlying what they do, throwing light on the strengths and weaknesses of how we reason more generally.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/aug/27/secret-life-of-british-voters-revealed

In the S’pore context this translates into as Chris K commented in response to this post

Slightly less the oppo but the social activists and their non nutty cyberspace allies are framing the free and liberal society in terms of ideals of human rights, civil society and democratic process. IMHO this don’t work in the peculiarly utilitarian mindset of the voters, shaped by one party rule. The free and liberal society needs to be framed in terms of access to public goods and redistribution, the nuts n bolts or bread n butter of that kind of society. Singapore is no totalitarian state, the social activists n their non nutty cyberspace allies take the easier route of wearing their hearts on their sleeves but this is putting the cart in front of the horse.

The SDP has a set of policy proposals that tries to frame its arguments for a “free and liberal society” in  “terms of access to public goods and redistribution, the nuts n bolts or bread n butter of that kind of society.”. The problem is that 60- 70% of S’poreans have problems with Dr Chee’s history and character. Sad really that Dr Chee refuses to retire.

Why not publicising the cybernuts is a must

Not all anti-PAP, alternate views are equal. Some are more equal than others. The editors of alternative media and activists who are influencers must curate wisely. Allow the likes of Chris K, Donald Low and Yeoh Lum Keong free rein, but don’t spread the views of nutters like Roy Ngerng, Philip Ang and M Ravi.

The nutters taint those rational S’poreans who want change, making it easier for the PAP to persuade the swing voters that anyone who wants change must be as nuts as M Ravi.

And rebut them or get others to rebut them, even though the time spent on this activity can be seen like doing NS, the time can ne better used to inform and persuade the swing voters, a difficult task which I will post on next week. One way to look at rebutting is that it helps built up cred with the swing voter.

—————————–

once a solid consensus has been reached through thorough testing, this must take precedence in responsible media discussion: as he says, “it would not be impartial, but irresponsible to give a smoking enthusiast equal time with the Chief Medical Officer or Surgeon General”.

The media’s dysfunctionality is structural. They must get audiences — public service broadcasters are increasingly exposed to that imperative — and they seek them, like politicians, in the privileging of emotion and personal experience. During the MMR vaccine debate, in which one rogue and inaccurate article on the dangers of the vaccine led to an insistent press campaign, interventions of “I’m just a mom and I want to keep my baby safe” could have more force than the arguments of the scientific establishment, especially if the latter were obscurely framed or contemptuously delivered.

In one of his many dissections of an anti-scientific consensus position, Thompson takes a statement from the social anthropologist Benny Peiser, director of Global Warming Policy Foundation, a sceptical climate change think-tank. In 2011 Peiser had argued: “Fundamentally these are social, ethical and economic questions that cannot be answered by science alone but require careful consideration by economists and social commentators.” It sounds broad-minded until you realise what the word “fundamentally” implies: as Thompson puts it, “that the layer of policy consideration which addresses social, ethical and economical questions is somehow weightier or more critical than the scientific layer”.

Yet the veracity of the scientific consensus is the determinant of the whole issue: everything else, including the ethical dimension, hinges entirely on it. You either believe that the scientific community, for all its neglect of comprehensible speech, has evolved a trustworthy discipline of verification through robust challenge — or you do not, in which case you must take some time to advance a reasonable case as to why. “I’m just a mom” doesn’t make the cut.

The former director-general criticises those of his former BBC colleagues who insist on absolute balance, even if it goes to the point where a sage must be countered by an idiot. The issue has moved some of those who voted Remain in the June referendum on the UK’s European Union membership, who argue that distinguished economists were given equal time with undistinguished shopkeepers: a complaint that might not have surfaced had the close result been reversed. Thompson wrote too early for that debate, but does argue that once a solid consensus has been reached through thorough testing, this must take precedence in responsible media discussion: as he says, “it would not be impartial, but irresponsible to give a smoking enthusiast equal time with the Chief Medical Officer or Surgeon General”.

(Emphasis mine)

Extract from FT review of Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong With the Language of Politics?, by Mark Thompson, Bodley Head, RRP£25 / St Martin’s Press, RRP$27.95, 384 pages

The author  of the extract is John Lloyd. He is an FT contributing editor and a co-founder of Oxford university’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

—————————————————

 

ST: Shome mishtake, shurely? Ed

In Media on 27/08/2016 at 6:23 am

Or “FTs or Subversives at work?”

The front page of ST,  a few days ago, was dedicated to the late Mr S R Nathan.

The front page report however carried two serious errors (see below) and what’s worst, these errors seemed meant to take credit away from another former president, Mr Ong Teng Cheong (the “People’s president” of the cybernuts and other anti-PAPpies). ST later corrected the errors in its online version of the report. But did not apologise.

These errors could really be “honest mistakes” made by the reporter, sub editor and the supervising editor working under time constraints (Shome mishtake, shurely? Ed). Though it beggars belief that S’porean-born and educated journalists don’t know their recent history given that the official narrative is taught in schools.

So could all three be FTs? Ignorant of our recent history, hence the mistakes. There are persistent allegations that the SPH group, and ST, in particular have great difficulty in getting true blue S’poreans to be journalists. They have to recruit M’sian Chinese and Indians and hope for the best.

Anyway, given that it was clear that Nathan was dying, there would have been plenty of time to write the stuff and store it, so time pressure could not be the reason for the mistakes. Only ignorance of our recent history is a valid excuse, and only if the writer and checkers were FTs.

Alternatively, maybe there are anti-PAP subversives at work, trying to put the constructive, nation-building ST and its perceived, pay master, the PAP administration in the dog-house of the public opinion of the swung voters. If so they succeeded.. ISD should investigate, and arrests made,

Whatever, these mistakes must make TISG Team happy: they make TISG look a lot less incompetent and goofy.

The two mistakes

Right hand highlight is from Men in White. Extracted from TRE reader’s letter.

 

Traingate: The only cyberwarriots LTA, MoT responded to

In Internet, Media on 15/07/2016 at 6:55 am

Trumpets please for SgDaily and Joel Koh, the new kids on the block in Blogosphere S’pore

LTA in the presence of, MoT, Khaw, answered the question that only SgDaily’s Joel Koh asked in public: What happens to service reliability and timings?*

There was no correlation to train delays of more than five minutes to the hairline cracks, LTA said at the briefing. It indicated that most of the delays since 2014 were linked to signalling faults, door or brake issues, with none linked to hairline cracks.

The authority added that even when trains were being repaired, there were always enough trains to meet demand.

For example, for 2016, there are 140 trains available for the North-South and East-West lines, and 124 trains are needed to meet demand. This will continue till 2019 – when replacement work is completed – where there will always be more trains available than needed, according to estimates.

(CNA)

Declaration of interest; My Facebook avatar can post stuff on SgDaily’s FB wall.

———————————-

*Yes no other blogger or website or activist or Oppo party asked publicly how the cracks affected train service. And neither did the running dogs** from SPH or MediaCorp asked.

So all but two guard dogs were asleep, just like their running dog cousins. Groupthink at its very best.

**Yes my dogs are getting extra treats for this insult to the K9 community.

Traingate: Useless local new media?/ How real joutnalists operate

In Media on 12/07/2016 at 7:10 am

No not because they missed two open goals (here and here)

But because as my friend’s Facebook avatar grumbled:What this [TrainGate] shows is that our alternate media are rubbish. Only use MSM reports to criticise govt. If no ST report, no grumble. ((((( 

He was referring to the fact that a Hongkie website broke the story about the cracked S’pore trains, not one of the usual suspects here. The video was shot here, not in HK.

A tua kee writer from TMG (where an ex-Imperial Keyboard Stormtrooper general, and wannabe Sith Lord, once upon a time, presides) responded

Eh, hello. First of all, the tip-off went to someone in HK. How you want us to know? You think journalist = CID officer is it? If the tip-off had landed with us of course we would have covered it. Second, you think alternate sites got very big budget is it? Starting already kena pay $50,000 deposit.

My friend’s avatar responded with

TOC’s Terry Xu would cover it. So would TRE. But TMG? My toes are laughing.

[My friend was alluding to Bertha Henson’s boast that she allowed one Harry Lee to edit her copy of her article on him when she was a junior ST reporter.]

And

The issue is why the tip-off went to HK? Because the informer knows that HK site will do the issue justice, but not a S’pore site?

He never got a response.

I’d add two more points to my friend’s snarky but not unreasonable comments.

I suspect that the whistle-blower was certain that if he reported via a S’pore site, his identity would not remain a secret very long. He’d be safer telling the news via a Hongkie site. In this I think he or she has got a point. Something Goh Meng Seng and Uncle Redbean don’t play up is that British standards of behaviour still apply in HK.

And the TMG writer obviously does not have a clue about how the CID or real journalists (not SPH or MediCorp or N Korean ones) operate.

An experienced CID officer catches criminals largely via his network of informers, not thru using the methods of Sherlock Holmes or CSI. A retired very senior police officer once told me that a new CID officer is given a list of existing police informers in his area and is then expected to “recruit” new contacts. When a crime is committed in his “area”, the officer is expected to use his network to solve the crime.

No rocket science or even forensic science needed, As one can expect, this job is not for scholars.

As for how journalists operate outside N Korea and S’pore, he should go find out how the London papers or US journalists work. They inherit and build up networks of informers. Unlike S’porean journalists they don’t depend on “briefings” or releases or reading the local MSM or Facebook.

The attitude of this tua kee writer from TMG is precisely why a former ST reporter and strike leader* wrote on his Facebook page: Investigative journalism has been frowned upon by the establishment here. The mantra was that it has its own checks and balances which can correct its own mistakes, prompting the online world to create a phrase – ownself check ownself – to mock a government that resents media playing the watchdog.

The embarrassment is not just for the government. The MRT story exposed the local media’s inability and/or unwillingness to investigate government scandals and thus help play its rightful role in society.

Investigative journalism is a lost art here. Our newspapers are filled with press-release journalism, making them dull and at most times unreadable.

Hear, hear.


*In those innocent days the Labour minister helped organise a strike at the then ST. That was how pro-labour the PAP were then.

 

 

 

Media visionary

In Media on 24/05/2016 at 6:29 am

“If you integrate big data, supercomputing and virtual reality with the skill sets of editors and writers, you could create a news network that is unprecedented,” Dr Soon-Shiong who bot a 13% stake in Tribune Publishing. He’s a Califonian South African-born pharmaceuticals billionaire,

SPH’s secret sales team

In Media on 19/04/2016 at 2:45 pm

Last week when I read about SPH’s dismal results*, I remembered a recent incident of how a member of ST’s secret sales team pleaded “breaking rice bowl” to dissuade a cancellation of ST subscription and delivery.

When my 91-yr old  mum found out from the newspaper delivery man that she had to pay $6 more for ST, she asked me to cancel the service. I was more than happy because years ago I had suggested stopping subscribing to ST.

I called the vendor and said “Stop from next month”. He annoyed me by telling me that the Chinese newspaper was subsidised (*0 cents and not $1). I said we never took the Chinese paper.

The next day my mum told me that the vendor had called her and asked her not to cancel. He said she was breaking his rice bowl. But as she refused to pay $36, he agreed to deliver only from Mondays to Fridays, to keep the price down.

My mum also told me that he had denied her assertion that delivering newspapers was a lucrative business (She had heard that when the previous vendor retired, he got $750,000 in coffee money from the new vendor).

I told her, the new guy most probably had to borrow serious money to finance the franchise transfer. And that he needed every subscription.

Whatever, while TOC and TRE are asking for donations, and the Indian is prostituting itself in the search for eyeballs, SPH like Old Man River keeps on rolling. And laughing all the way to the bank.

———————————————–

*Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported a 22 per cent drop in its net profit for the second quarter on Tuesday (Apr 12).

SPH, which owns the Straits Times newspaper, earned S$54.1 million in the three months ending Feb 29, down from S$69.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Singapore’s largest publisher of newspapers and magazines also saw revenue for the quarter fall 4.1 per cent to S$264.2 million, hurt by a 6 per cent drop in media operating revenue to S$190.7 million.

Its property arm fared better, with operating revenue rising just under 1 per cent to S$61.1 million.

CNA

Re: Harry’s daughter KPKPing about being censored

In Media, Political governance on 04/04/2016 at 3:56 pm

When I read the following in an FT article about the relationship between journalists and the , rulers, I  couldn’t help thinking about Lee Wei Ling’s KPKBing that she was censored by ST.

When President Xi Jinping paid a New Year’s visit to China Central Television in February, the welcoming banner on the wall ignited a controversy that has roiled Chinese politics for weeks.

“Our family name is the Party,” the banner read, in a display of fealty that many Chinese felt was excessive. Mr Xi took things a step further, saying that China’s media “must love the party, protect the party and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action”.

Guess this is how the PAP expects SPH and MediaCorp publications and channels to behave.

After all, this is what Ms Lee posted on Facebook: It was a love-hate relationship between me and my three consequetive editors. there may already been a space for my article, then the editor does not like what i wrote, and i refuse to have the relevant points deleted and the entire article is then dropped. when what each of the three editors objected to was so consistent, i decided they must have been commanded to edit certain issues out, and they are to timid to disobey, and too embarassed by their timidness to tell me the truth.

And this is the headline from the SCMP Cheong Yip Seng tells how Lee Kuan Yew, who saw the press as subordinate to the nation’s needs, made sure that only he and his government could set the agenda for Singapore

It then went on to quote an extreact from his book OB Markers http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1747889/under-lee-kuan-yew-press-was-only-free-it-needed-be-serve

(In case anyone has juz woken up from a 50-year sleep, Cheong Yip Seng is a former editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English and Malay Newspapers Division. He is an editorial adviser for SCMP Publishers.

Then there is this from the FT.

Looks like the urge to report the Truth (whatever that means) than propoganda never took root among journalists in our constructive, nation-building media. And Yes of course blame it on Harry.

 

On the contrary, TOC Terry had a great week

In Media on 06/03/2016 at 4:42 pm

The Middle Ground couldn’t resist aniping at TOC aka Terry Xu

THE Online Citizen (TOC) has had a bad week, having had to endure a salvo of fire coming from different sides. First, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam chastised the site for propagating “falsehoods” with regard to the death of 14-year-old Benjamin Lim. Second, The Straits Times ran a story highlighting that the site was now a one-man-show. The third and latest blow dealt to the site comes in the form of a Media Development Authority (MDA) order for The Opinion Collaborative Ltd (TOC Ltd), to return its revenues to a foreign advertiser.

My friend replied:

I tot Terry Xu (aka TOC) had a great week. Get great publicity thanks to minister (eyeballs that TMG, Indi and mothership would kill for), show S’poreans that one man get make a difference* (get minister upset), and best of all fix the “bad” side of TOC. All hail Terry. Btw, I edited his first pieces for TOC. After each rewrite, I mean rewrite, I’d say to Ravi, “Pls ask him to juz take photos.” It was clear from his sentence structures he was thinking in Chinese, then translating into English. He’s come a long way.

Terry posted this recently on what makes him run (Btw, he left out what he told me last year: his feeling that there are injustices that have to made tight or at least publicised.):

I was talking to one of my friends this afternoon and the point about “journalism standards” came out.

My point is this. I don’t call myself as a journalist. It would be an insult to the term if I am titled as one. I am trained as a electronic technician at school and worked as an engineer so I would introduce myself as either of that as my core profession and engineering to me remains as my passion in life. I call myself as a reporter or whatever, solely for the sake of convenience in doing my work.

So whenever anyone from the journalistic community talks about journalism standards** to me, I don’t feel insulted nor disheartened. I just learn whatever I can from the comments and feedback to improve the stuff that I do.

The reason why I am doing what I am doing now is because the people who are trained in their job are not doing their god-given duties/profession properly with pride and integrity. If Singapore had real journalists who covered stories truthfully to the best of their ability, there would be no place for a person like me, someone who is terrible in English and ill-trained in “journalistic practices” doing what is essentially a one-man show.

So Singapore reporters or journalists or whatever, think about the reason why you took up the course and subsequently the job. Is your monthly salary the reason why you decided to work as a reporter or because you had a greater calling in this profession.

Singapore can never change for the better without the media professionals doing their job right.

Additional note – Some have talked about the difficulties that reporters have when facing their editors who are put in place for their pro-government stance. While not dismissing their attempts to push the boundaries, I still note that reporters (of course, grudgingly due the editors) is responsible for the poor literacy of this country. Because, ultimately, the half truths are written and signed in the name of the reporters.

On another point of securing the job as a reporter, a simple point for such reporters to consider, while it is unfair, but wouldn’t they be just perpetuating the whole system that brought about this unfair situation by conforming to the system; giving an impression to the public that nothing is being hidden from their eyes and everything is dandy. That because one needs to be paid, then submit articles so as to support a media outlet to allows the editor to bully the reporters into submission? To me as a layman, it seems just illogical especially when they know exactly who and what is creating this non-conducive environment for their work.

I made a small donation to TOC. I hope readers do too https://www.patreon.com/tocsg?ty=h.

Btw, my dogs are thinking about my suggestion that I stop donating to the RSPCA and to donate instead to TOC. I told them there’s a minister looking out for dogs and cats etc, but there’s no minister to help people like the Lims.

—-

*Those who applied to be NMPs, wanting to make a difference, should take up blogging. Has any NMP in recent memory got a minister so annoyed? I rest my case.

**A tua kee media figure criticised Terry recently in an article in Yahoo. Funny he didn’t tell us that he is a shareholder of the Indian and has some management role there. But this guy has form in not disclosing interests http://www.stockbank.com.sg/news/2412 and http://exchersonesusaurea.blogspot.sg/2011/06/pn-balji-formerly-of-st-paid-spin.html

Anyway what can one expect from someone who bites the hand that fed him well?

 

The silence of Amos Yee

In Media on 10/02/2016 at 7:27 am

Readers may want to know that his verbal diarrhea has stopped.

His last post on Facebook was on 12 Jan, when he reposted an old video telling Sec4 students to drop out of the education system. The O-level results had just been made public.

His last tweet was on Jan 23.

The rest is silence.

Being a foul-mouth brat who wants to be a celebrity is impossible when the MSM, new media and social media refuse to give him the oxygen of publicity.

Being a fugitive from justice that the police cannot be bothered to arrest is a really demotalising thing for a wannabe celebrity. He’ll later this yr be an NS defaulter. That’s the time, he’ll be arrested, and thrown into jail. Hard then for the human rights activists to claim that he’s being persecuted.

But maybe he’ll commit suicide first to get some publicity? Or as is more likely pretend to.

He can see the attention Benjamin Lim is getting. I hope he realises that S’poreans know that unlike Benjamin Lim, he Amos Yee, is the authour of his fate. Poor Bejamin died because of “honest” mistakes by MoE and police officers.

Update on 11 Feb at 7 am: A regular commenter made some great comments (Emphasis mine):

Amos has his mum to provide for him, and Roy realised quite early his game is up, immediately started to find work after GE. Wonder about HHH. Whos gonna support her?

Reality bites huh. These fellows were very happily lapping it all up, milking it for what its worth.

But the worst situation is not that people actively silencing you, or people speaking against you. Or IBs with fake accounts commenting on your page.

The worst for people like them – is when no one cares.

Headmaster that blur meh?

In Media, Public Administration on 11/01/2016 at 12:00 pm

Maybe it’s a surprise that we don’t have more PTSD victims like Amos Yee given the logic of this ex-headmaster.

The ex-principal (going for further studies, not kanna fired) of Shuqun Secondary recently responded* to

In September of last year, this video of a bullying incident in Shuqun Secondary School surfaced and soon went viral.

http://theindependent.sg/deliberate-and-irresponsible-reporting-outgoing-shuqun-secondary-principal-takes-tmg-to-task/

In summarry, he blamed new media (and the constructive, nation-building media: the PAPpy friendly ST etc reported the Middle Ground’s story) for blowing up the bullying incident and not telling the truth. The reporting was “deliberate and irresponsible”: this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.

The problem (i.e. flaw) with his analysis is simple. Until he gave his side of the story, three months after the event, there was only silence from him and the MoE. So how could there be “balance” or “truth” (whatever this is)? Now he and the MOE may have reasonable and legtimate reasons for silence if the decision to keep quiet wasn’t simply an honest mistake**.

Whatever, how can he now blame media (new and constructive, nation-building) of irresponsible behaviour when he was unwilling or unable to say anything at the time the video went viral?  If anyone was “deliberate and irresponsible” (I assume he really meant “deliberately irresponsible”) , it was the silence of theprincipal and perhaps MOE**.

Having been freed from the constraints of his job**, he could (and should) have simply told his side of the story without name-calling or labelling: just give the facts as he saw them. But no, he had to indulge in name-calling and labelling like Amos Yee. And he’s an educated man who held a position of trust and responsibility, not a spoiled kid, whose mother thinks he’s “fantastic”.

As he’s going for further studies, one can only hope that the course includes handling the media in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Pigs will fly first.

Seriously MoE must remind officers not to talk cock because talking cock reflects badly on the eduction service. It must also update its manual on the handling media queries. viral videos etc in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Silence is no longer the default option.

Finally, I can’t stop laughing at this comment by Bertna Henson the editor of TMG NOW he talks….three months later. After a deafening silence, a deadening rant. As always, shoot the messenger, after declining to talk to them. And messengers must always deliver “good news” to be considered “responsible””.

Really people who once lived in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones. She was once a general (paper stormtropper) on the Death Star that is ST. ST was during her time (and still is) very good at shooting nessengers of news that the PAP administration rather not hear.

——-

*Text of FB message

‪#‎howisthisnotbullying‬

Dear friends,

I was the principal of ‪#‎shuqunsecondary‬ from 2012 to 2015.

From 1 Jan 2016, I will be leaving the education service. I am hoping to pursue further studies. Yes, I am doing well. smile emoticon And no, before you ask, I made this decision some time before the “bullying incident” in my school. MOE and the public service is more reasonable and far kinder than most give them credit for.

To assure those of you who are still curious about the follow up to the incident, I thought I would share a picture of the 3 boys involved. The circle time in the picture was taken on the FIRST DAY after all of them returned to school. The “bully” apologised in person and in writing to both victims and to the class. Both victims forgave him and they were friends again within 2 hours. Consequences were meted out to the boy according to our school rules in private and ALL THE PARENTS INVOLVED were satisfied with the actions of the school. The boy will have to face more serious punishment under the law.

More hearteningly, in November, the 3 boys, together with their classmates, initiated and planned their own service learning project during the school’s open house. They baked brownies and made drinks for visitors to showcase the work of our student-run Hideout Cafe. They told me they wanted to make restoration for the bad reputation they had brought to the school. I am very proud of them.

Many ppl who know the truth of the events in my school have asked me why I did not respond more actively to the various reports on the Internet when the incident happened. My answer – I did not want to feed the ongoing media frenzy and help viral irresponsible articles that were being put out by my comments. Sadly, this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.

Make no mistake – these were deliberate and irresponsible decisions made by the media. For example, an online news website that purports to be a place for “moderate speech and agreeable disagreement” posted an article headlined “the school was aware of the bullying 5 months before the incident”. A close reading of the report itself would have revealed that a single complaint was made to the school and the teacher involved had done the correct thing by warning the aggressor. She was not aware that the bullying resumed a few days later.

The same website chose not to emphasise comments by the mum herself that she appreciated the work that the school had done with her child and the improvements that she had seen in the child over the last 3 years. They ellided over the fact that A FULL WEEKEND separated the incident from the time it was posted on the Internet, during which neither victim mentioned anything to the school nor their parents. The media chose not to mention that both VICTIMS had written to me that they felt sorry for their friend and hoped to see everyone move on. They did not clarify that the online video was NOT posted by any of my school’s students (because we teach them that the correct thing to do if they care for their friends is to raise it to the teachers) but a school leaver from another school who posted it on a gaming site at 9am on a school day. There was no mention that one of the victim’s mum had gone down to the police station ON HER OWN 2 weeks later to withdraw the police report because she felt satisfied with the school’s handling of the incident and that it was a mistake to have gone to the police in the first place.

At the same time, some of the online reports seem to suggest that after one or two meetings with one of the victims in question, the journalist somehow understood and COULD SPEAK FOR the boy’s psychological state, better than the school. By reducing the children to spokespeople for “the broader problem of bullying in schools”, the reports cared nothing for them as people. They mention nothing about how one of the boys dreams of being a top chef, another speaks to his mum in sign language, the last has improved significantly in his reading despite suffering from dyslexia, and all three find EBS difficult. And all this which I know as a Principal is nothing compared to what my teachers know of them, working daily for 9+ hours each day with the boys over the last 3 years and sharing with them the heartache and struggles of their growth.

It is not difficult to see how these biased reports might have fed some of the extreme online vitriol. These included many threats by netizens such as “if i see the boy, I will bash his skull in”, “let me give him a taste of his own medicine.” Instead of trusting the school and the police to investigate and take the right actions, many suggested taking things into their own hands. There were false accusations of gang connections and that the boy was a compulsive bully. Unhappily, there were also derisory comments about the school by people who did not know the first thing about Shuqun Secondary. This was unfair to the 1200 other students, their parents, the committed staff, and the alumni and stakeholders of the school.

As a teachable moment following the incident, my teachers conducted a bully-free lesson with all the students. This is material which we repeat every year as part of our bully-free week where we teach our students about the different forms of bullying including physical, verbal and psycho-social. In her reflection, one of my students mentioned the way that adults were behaving online, that was causing my students being afraid to go out in public in their uniforms after school and to participate in social media. She ended her reflection by asking ” how is this not bullying?” I had no answer for her.

(The same media website compared this case with another case of bullying in a prestigious all-girls’ school that was recently resolved in court and suggested that there was a difference between physical and verbal/psychosocial bullying. We teach our students that these are all forms of bullying that cause suffering in others, and that it does not matter what was the intent behind the action but the act itself).

(An Auckland school principal gave a similar response to cyber-bullies after a similar incident happened in his schoolhttp://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm…)

In ending, my wishes for the new year are –

1) To the media friends especially (some of whom are my relatives, ex-classmates and former students), I would like to urge you to take greater care in your reporting. For each irresponsible journalist and dubious media website, I have met many more considered and enlightened ones, some of whom reported on the many achievements and good stories from my students and staff in the past. While I understand the pressure to attract more views and comments in this age of social media through increasingly sensational reporting, you too have a DUTY OF CARE to your subjects, especially children. You have the power to report the full truth and shape opinion, not just pander to the lowest denominator in the hopes of representing yourself as the mouthpiece of the public. Be mindful of the innocent parties that you might be unintentionally hurting, and the feelings of hatred you might be stoking online. In some cases, it can spill over to real cases of vigilantism, as several cases of adults taking the law into their own hands against children or teenagers have shown in 2015. Sometimes the best thing we can do for the people we care about is to stay quiet and do the deep work to support and help them learn and grow.

2) To the wider and largely well meaning public, be mindful of what u “like” or comment on the Internet. Be aware that what u see or read online often does not constitute the whole truth, and choosing even to click on links (without needing to share) can help to viral these falsehoods. Trust the institutions that we have put in place to do the right things; that is the mark of a civil society.

And if we speak about allowing our children to learn from their mistakes in education, to give the academically weaker students a chance to catch up and succeed, the same grace and patience should be extended to our students when teaching them good character. We can do better as adults to be kinder to one another in real life and on the Internet. Remember, OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING AND LEARNING.

3) To my fellow colleagues in Shuqun and elsewhere in the teaching fraternity, those in social services and the police who work daily with these kids – strive on! I have had the privilege of meeting many of you in my years of service. Some have given up higher paying jobs. Others, like me, have studied and taught in “top” schools but chose to work in schools like Shuqun because you want to go to the places of greatest need and believe in the potential of every child of Singapore, not just some. And we live the mission every day, and don’t just talk or write about it.

To encourage you, let me share something that another parent sent me, during those difficult days of September. He was the father of the boy that was hit by one of the victims, in another video that surfaced subsequently. This time the student who had taken the video did the right thing, and brought it to my attention before it went viral so that we could address the matter with those involved. When I met the father, he had complete trust in the school’s handling of the matter. More importantly, because of the close relationship he had with his son, he was confident that his boy would have raised the matter to him if it had affected him. 2 days later, when the video became viral, it was HE who sent me a message of encouragement through my school counsellor – “Tell Mr Chia to take care. I am very impressed by his dedication to the students.”

Thank you Mr Hong , and the many other parents and partners, for renewing our faith and for supporting our teachers as they do the hard work of believing in and helping your children.

Happy New Year.

Chia Hai Siang

P.S. Pls SHARE if you think this will encourage a teacher or a parent.

**MoE officers like all civil servants are not authorised to talk to the media unless expressly authorised.

Related post on why the PAP administration’s PR is so bad

Good move by Yaacob’s sis

In Hong Kong, Media on 15/12/2015 at 7:11 am

She was the deputy editor of ST and earlier this yr joined the SCMP in HK. Great timing. Alibaba will pay HK$2.06bn (US$266m; £175m) for SCMP.

Alibaba Buying South China Morning Post, Aiming to Influence Media The Chinese Internet giant said the deal was fueled by a desire to improve China’s image and offer an alternative to the biased lens of Western news outlets.

(NYT Dealbook)

Given her role* in ST as a cheerleader, class-monitor and enforcer for the PAP administration in ST, she’ll fit in very well under the new regime in HK. Her husband, Cherian George, a vocal social activist here (calling for a free press here is his obsession) but now lecturing on media (because of his obsession) in a HK uni, must be a happy man.

His wife can put her well-honed skills to good use in the service of Alibaba  to improve China’s image and offer an alternative to the biased lens of Western news outlets.

The couple must be oprning the champers.

——-

*She was a major-general in the Imperial Stormtroop Paper division and a padawan Sith Lord.

“Warren Buffett” of digital bizs

In Internet, Media on 30/11/2015 at 4:18 pm

From NYT Dealbook

DILLER’S MINIFACTORY OF SPINOFFS PAYS OFF Somewhat by accident, Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, has built a unique business model that has reaped enormous value for IAC’s shareholders – exceeding even that of Disney and Microsoft, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in the DealBook column. He describes Mr. Diller’s “minifactory of spinoffs” business as: “Buy digital businesses, fold them into a conglomerate and then spin out the most successful ones,” like the Match Group, which went public last week and now has a market value of $3.7 billion. “I’m really an anti-conglomerateur,” Mr. Diller told Mr. Sorkin.

“If you invested $1,000 in IAC in August 1995 when Mr. Diller began the business – at the cusp of the dot-com boom (and subsequent bust) – you’d have about $16,000 today, assuming you reinvested dividends and held on to shares of the various companies spun off from IAC,” Mr. Sorkin writes. “By comparison, if you invested $1,000 in a fund that tracked the Nasdaq index, you’d have about $4,800 today.”

Feeling free to bite hand that once fed him cont’d

In Media on 15/11/2015 at 10:44 am
ST not like this meh in noughties?
Below is a piece that appeareded, when the problem at SGH first surfaced. on the Facebook wall of an ex-ST tua kee. I’ll not mention any names because I’m not a FB friend. It came to me via a third party.
I seriously dislike the ST page 1 story. It’s written in such a way as to put SGH in the best light possible like how it is not easy to spot pattern and alarm bells ringing etc…And how SGH is “confident” that transmission has stopped (when it doesn’t know how it happened and doesn’t seem to have got all patients in the two wards? What class wards btw?) And why is it using multi-vials when WHO discourages the practice? Also, Minister is not just “deeply concerned” (the quote is “gravely” according to ST in another part of the paper) but also DISAPPOINTED (which is missing in the story).

I am going to say this outright. Don’t read ST, much better to read TODAY. It has interviews with other doctors and even lawyers. Nobody, however, seems to have got hold of the PEOPLE affected.

Plus, ST says 21 patients when everybody else says 22..

I think the criticism speaks more the writer than about ST. As I said in previous post, even a pariah dog don’t bite the hand that once fed it. There is such a thing as loyalty.

Feeling free to bite hand that once fed him

In Media on 14/11/2015 at 1:17 pm

This first appeared on Yahoo’s forum and I reproduce it as an example of a retired journalist feeling free to bite the hand that once fed him or her. P.N. Balji was the former chief editor of The New Paper and TODAY newspaper, and a media consultant how did something unprofessional: http://exchersonesusaurea.blogspot.sg/2011/06/pn-balji-formerly-of-st-paid-spin.html

Btw, other snarky comments at the end of this letter.

PN Balji: That letter from the MOH to ST

Those with long memories of the Singapore government’s celebrated fights with journalists will tell you that the combative letter from the Ministry of Health to The Straits Times a week ago shows that its media policy is still stuck in the quagmire of the Lee Kuan Yew era.

And all this talk of a light-touch media policy is just that: Talk.

The government could have said in its response to ST assistant political editor Rachel Chang that it was premature to hint of a cover-up because an inquiry into the Hepatitis C scandal was on-going.

Instead, in language reminiscent of the days of bruising encounters with journalists, the ministry said it was “irresponsible” of Chang to insinuate that ministry officials had “improper motives” when she questioned the gap between when the director of medical services was told of the Hepatitis C scare and when the Minister of Health was informed. From Sept 3 to Sept 18, there was a delay of 15 long days.

Sept 11 was the date when GE 2015 was called and it came smack in the centre of these 15 days. And so the obvious question: Did the delay have anything to do with the election date? It was not something that a government that has portrayed its very existence and survival on clean politics was going to let go without a sharp response.

Its reaction was not just intended for the journalists of ST. It wanted to send a signal to everybody that this is an OB marker that cannot be crossed. This government continues to be obsessed with media control. In fact, it has brought about reforms in nearly every government policy, but has kept its
media policy untouched.

Suspicion of media’s motives continues to run deep even to this day. And if anybody had even the slightest belief that with the swing back in votes in GE 2015, the government would relax its hardline stand, then the MOH letter is a stark reminder that nothing has really changed.

You can bite at the fringes, but don’t dare to even hint of a government cover-up – that is the message. ST could have just published the letter and left the matter at that. But it went on its bended knees and apologised. It might have wanted to stave off further official or unofficial action from the government.

The editors of an earlier era were no angels. But the book OB Markers by former editor in chief Cheong Yip Seng showed some bright spots in an otherwise dark age. The revelations turned out to be an embarrassment for the government after its most trusted media boss listed in a breathless fashion the instances of government interference in what and how media should report certain events and who should be appointed to the top positions in the newsroom.

But there were also instances when the editor in chief had showed his independent hand when calls came from masters at the Istana. And, don’t forget, that was during a time when Lee Kuan Yew was at his rogue best.

Today’s editors, who should be more independent in serving a society that seeks a plurality of views, seem to be stuck in that dark age of Singapore journalism. The worry is that censorship and self-censorship is so embedded in Singapore journalism’s DNA that even if the shackles are removed, I doubt they will know how to exercise their new-found freedom.

How sad.

P.N. Balji

How sad. No loyalty to the hand that fed him well, very well. He should juz sit down and shut up and enjoy his retirement. Dogs, even pariahs know how to behave better, a lot better.

Why ST got to work harder/ PM defines “constructive, nation-building”

In Media on 28/07/2015 at 4:37 am

ST etc not productive

When PM recently visited an ST exhibition (170 yrsw of sucking up to the govt of the day), PM urged ST to “generate products all day and all night”, and not once a day, so as to “retain its relevance and its viability”.

“The Straits Times has to be of the new generation, by the new generation, and for the new generation of readers.”

What he’s doing is telling ST is that the PAP administration needs ST and SPH to work harder to combat the critics of the administration in cyberspace.

Team TOC is three-man strong (Terry Xu and two others) while TeamTRE is Andrew, and Richard Wan, and maybe a few others. But their productivity puts that of SPH and MediaCorp to shame. True 99% of the output of TRE and TOC is derivative, and mostly BS. But then 99.9% of the output of ST etc is  derivative, and mostly BS.

The difference is that ST etc cut and paste unthinkingly from the PAP administration’s media releases and editorial cheat-sheets, TOC and TRE don’t. And SPH and MediaCorp have legions of journalists and editors to do the cutting and pasting; but TOC and TRE have hardly anyone by comparison.

TOC and TRE staff are citizen journalists, while the editors and journalists at ST etc are paid to do propaganda and PR for the PAP administration. PR is worse than prostitution say journalists at respected Western media organisations.

So I couldn’t help laughing when PM said, “You have standing in our society. You are not a fly-by-night piece of paper circulated in dark alleys when nobody is looking,” he told ST.

Doesn’t he realise prostitutes operate from penthouses ans apartments in Marina Bay and district 10 and 11, and Sentosa residences too?

And, btw, TRE and TOC never had STOMP-like scandals: faking a newsy item about a SMRT train malfunction, and not telling readers that posters on STOMP were paid-employees

Constructive, nation-building media defined

PM said while ST is adapting and finding new ways to produce a commercially viable newspaper, it must continue to be conscious of its “important role in Singapore”, and maintain its “hallmark of credible, balanced, objective reporting”.

“I hope you will continue to maintain a balance, take a long-term perspective of Singapore’s interests, and report the news for Singaporeans through Singaporean eyes.”

“And in the process upholding the national interest, not campaigning for personal or corporate purposes, understanding our social and our regional context when you’re reporting and commenting on sensitive or emotional issues. As a Singapore newspaper whose past, present and future is intrinsically tied to our nation, your natural stance is to be pro-Singapore.”

Err pro-S’pore is pro the PAP administration?

 

 

 

 

 

PM visiting from Bizarro S’pore?

In Media, Political governance on 22/07/2015 at 4:32 am

Backgrounder from Wikipedia: The Bizarro World (also known as htraE, which is “Earth” spelled backwards) is a fictional planet appearing in American comic books published by DC comics. Introduced in the early 1960s, htraE is a cube-shaped planet, home to Bizarro and companions, all of whom were initially Bizarro versions of Superman, Lois Lane and their children and, later, other Bizarros including Batzarro, the World’s Worst Detective.

In popular culture “Bizarro World” has come to mean a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations.

I tot of Bizarro World when PM said ST must maintain its ‘hallmark of credible, balanced, objective reporting’.

Huh?

Even more bizarre, he told the audience that surveys (from Institute of Policy Studies? North Korean, Vietnamese think tanks affiliated to IPS?) show that Singapore newspapers, including ST, enjoy high credibility and respect.

Err if ST etc enjoys high credibility and respect, why then does Reporters Without Borders give Singapore a ranking of 153 – a drop of 3 places from last year’s ranking of 150 – in the World Press Freedom Index? 153 out of 180 is the lowest ranking Singapore has ever got.

Coming back to ST: The very newspaper which he praised as a ‘hallmark of credible, balanced, objective reporting ‘ was the subject of a US State Department cable which became a WikiLeaks document.

The ST Bureau Chief in Washinton D.C., told a member of the American Embassy in Singapore that reporters were frustrated with the obstacles they face in reporting on sensitive domestic issues. They had to be careful in their coverage of local news, as Singapore’s leaders would likely come down hard on anyone who wrote negatively about the government or its leadership.

He disclosed that there was a growing disconnect between ST’s reporters and its editors, with the reporters wanting to do more investigative and critical stories than the editors would allow. He said that the ST editors had all been groomed to be pro-government supporters and were careful to ensure that reporting of local events adheres closely to the official line: none of the editors had the courage to publish any stories critical of the government.

He also said that the government exerted significant pressure on ST editors to ensure that published articles toe the government’s line. For example, ministers routinely call ST editors to ensure that media coverage of an issue comes out the way they want it. He said that no editors had been fired or otherwise punished for printing articles critical of the government because all of them have already been vetted to ensure their pro-government leanings. The ST Bureau Chief even conceded that he would likely never advance higher up the ladder at ST due to the ‘expectations’ placed on editors.

The cable also revealed that another ST reporter had confirmed the disconnect between editors and reporters. For example, following the death of opposition icon JB Jeyaretnam in September 2008, she highlighted an internal debate inside ST over the amount of coverage ST should dedicate to JBJ’s death.

While the editors agreed with the reporters’ demand for extensive coverage of JBJ’s political career and funeral, they rejected the reporters’ suggestions to restrict the amount of coverage to eulogies by government leaders. The said reporter lamented that in the end, statements by government leaders took up a significant portion of the allotted space on the pages in the way the editors had wanted.

She also confirmed that most censorship was done by the editors. She was discouraged with life as a Singapore journalist and wondered if she would stay in the profession for long. She lost her job.

But maybe PM was praising ST for reporting news reliably and objectively over the years because he was being a gracious guest, unlike one GCT*. After all he said these words of praise at the launch of an exhibition on Wednesday (15 Jul) to mark the Straits Times’ 170th birthday. His mum tot him manners.

Or maybe he was trying to tell tasteless jokes like Tharman and Hng Khiang:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/tharman-trying-to-tell-jokes-again/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/property-tharman-trying-to-crack-jokes-again/

Seriously Tharman will make a good PM https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/why-tharman-will-be-the-next-pm/?. Must be the Indian mafia at work https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/indians-lots-to-celebrate/

—-

*I was at the 5th anniversary dinner of MediaCorp’s freesheet. Goh Chok Tong was the guest of honour and he sneered at the freesheet’s short history. I kid you not.

 

*

 

Pharma R&D here/ “Fair and balanced” reporting and analysis?

In Economy, Media on 16/04/2015 at 2:26 pm

Last Friday, Today’s opening paragraphs of a story read:

Even as several multinational pharmaceutical giants are setting up their regional headquarters here to much fanfare, some have quietly wound down their research investments in the Republic.

In the past five years, at least three major pharmaceutical companies have shut down their research and development (R&D) operations here. In 2010, American pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company closed its R&D unit of 130 staff, nine years after it was set up.

Three years later, United States-based Pfizer closed its clinical research unit, which was set up in 2000. It laid off 30 employees as a result.

Last year, British firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) ended its eight-year-old R&D operations at Biopolis.

Noting the timing of the closures, which came after the end of tax breaks and other incentives offered by the Government for starting operations here, analysts noted that given the high business costs, it was inevitable for some pharmaceutical companies to rationalise their operations after being here for a while.

“It may not be so visible immediately, but the trend is catching up,” said Dr Siddharth Dutta, industry manager for life sciences at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. “Talent is expensive in Singapore and when the Government grants and tax breaks come to an end, it only adds to the cost of research operation. Sometimes it is cheaper to acquire a regional company with promising pipeline molecule instead of having a dedicated R&D site.”

Mr Jason Humphries, managing director of Good Pharma Consulting in Singapore, added: “Government grants do influence investment decisions in R&D as pharmaceutical companies continue to revamp their research portfolios.”

So not very good news for S’pore’s pharma R&D efforts, is it? Or at best, the prospects are mixed?

You’d be wrong to think so, it seems.

Guess what were the headlines?

“S’pore still ‘compelling location’ despite spate of R&D closures– Firms rationalise operations after lapse of tax breaks, other govt incentives, analysts say”

To support the “S’pore still ‘compelling location’” angle, Today then reported

Responding to TODAY’s queries, Mr Kevin Lai, executive director of biomedical sciences and consumer businesses at the Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “A pharmaceutical company’s decision to withdraw its R&D operations from Singapore is usually a global business decision and is taken as a result of reasons specific to the company. In most cases, Singapore is not the only location affected by the restructuring.”

He added that the statutory board works closely with affected companies to minimise the impact on the employees and to provide new employment opportunities in Singapore.

[He would say this wouldn’t he? His KPIs depends on pharmas’ R&D efforts here.]

Mr Humphries pointed out that the Republic’s focus was clearly on getting pharmaceutical firms to set up their “control towers for regional and emerging markets”.

He also noted that companies are consolidating after the recent spate of mergers and acquisition in the region.

Eight of the top 10 Japanese pharmaceutical companies, for example, have established their regional headquarters here. [Yes, but as my dog tells me, the Japs are marginal, struggling pharma players on the global stage.]

Last month, GSK also announced that it would use Singapore as a base to steer its growth in Asia, with the set-up of a new regional headquarters here.

And those who left still have some presence here:

Pharmaceutical companies, including some of those that have wound down their R&D investments here, are getting into external collaborations with Singaporean research and clinical groups, or outsourcing their R&D operations to these organisations.

For example, United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca is collaborating with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the National University Heart Centre and the National University of Singapore.

Swiss drug-maker Novartis has also entered into several partnerships with Singaporean research institutes since it started the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in 2002.

A Pfizer spokesperson said: “Key to expediting the translation of science into breakthrough therapies of tomorrow will be driving greater, deeper and stronger collaborations across the healthcare landscape. At Pfizer, we know we can’t go at it alone and are actively supporting the development of an emerging, highly networked ecosystem.”

Mr Lai said the EDB continues to see interest from companies to invest, collaborate and conduct R&D here given Singapore’s “strong scientific capabilities and the growth of the Asian market”.

[He would say that wouldn’t he? His KPIs depends on pharmas’ R&D efforts here.]

For example, Chugai Pharmaceutical announced in February that it will invest S$476 million in total by 2021 into its Singapore research institute, Chugai Pharmabody Research.

Mr Lai said: “We are confident that Singapore remains a compelling location for pharmaceutical R&D, manufacturing and commercial operations, and a biomedical sciences hub for Asia and beyond.”

All in all the “S’pore still ‘compelling location’” rests on the say so of the EDB’s executive director of biomedical sciences and consumer businesses. The quotes of the private sector people in the article are motherhood statements.

I’m not saying that the S’pore isn’t a “compelling” place for pharma R&D. All I’m saying is that there isn’t evidence of this going by the article.

Will this ever be reported here?

In Commodities, Economy, Media on 11/04/2015 at 3:01 pm

Glencore says it will stop funnelling sales from its Australian coal operations through Singapore, a move that comes amid growing concern in Canberra about the impact that alleged tax avoidance by multinational mining companies is having on the country’s tax take …

[It said this to an] Australian parliamentary inquiry scrutinising the use of Singapore marketing hubs by BHP Billiton, Rio Tintoand Glencore to reduce the mining groups’ tax bills.

Glencore told the committee that almost half its Australian exports flow through S’pore …

(FT report on Friday)

Battle in cyberspace/ Take the money and BS

In Media on 09/04/2015 at 4:55 am

In addition to saturating the newspapers and airwaves, the PAP administration and its minions  were saturating cyberspace with the news of LKY’s death. The constructive, nation-building ST made its online coverage of the death and other related   news available to netizens. And the news coverage on CNA’s website was all about him and the lying-in-state.

Then there was spontaneous outbursr of respect and tribute from social media and bloggers.

Even the cyber-warriors and cybernuts who tried to counter the right narrative added to the saturation coverage.

So Khaw would be happy. During the Parliamentary debate on 10 March, Khaw took the opportunity to KPKB about social media, “In 2011, many Singaporeans were swayed by the social media commentaries, and worried that the Singapore Dream would not be available to future generations .

How can the PAP do better in cybberspace?

For the coming GE, will the PAP pick up tips from the US and Ukrainian govts on how to handle the social media cowboys, Comanches and other renegades?

US State Department’s war on social media against Jihadists

Ambassador Alberto Fernandez is the US State Department’s Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism. The Department runs campaigns on Twitter and social media forums to challenge extremists directly, with titles such as “Think Again, Turn Away”.

These have been criticised in some quarters but he believes that engaging the jihadists’ audience rather than ignoring them means they are exposed to alternative views.

But, like the [London]Metropolitan Police team, his staff are few in number, with only around 20 engaging on a daily basis with jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

“We see ourselves as a rag-tag guerrilla organisation waging a hit and run campaign against the adversary,” Mr Fernandez told the BBC. “We’re definitely the David against the ISIS Goliath, which is perhaps somewhat ironic.”

Ukrainian Information Army

The Economist reports Ukraine launched the “Ukrainian Information Army”, a volunteer force of internet commenters tasked with spreading government-approved content and combatting Russian trolls. A recent mission asked the troops to post a propagandistic Ukrainian response to a Russian-made propaganda video.

(Emphasis mine)

Take the money and BS 

Btw, I’m sure MediaCorp and SPH journalists can advise the Ukrainian journalists what to do: Ukrainian journalists have been struggling with how to carry themselves in a war where the media plays an outsize role … Journalists constantly debate whether they can help Ukraine without contradicting their professional standards. “Ukrainian journalism is undergoing a crisis of values,” says Olga Chervakova, a television journalist turned politician, who now sits on the parliamentary Committee for Freedom of Speech and Information.

Juz take the thirty pieces of silver on offer and play whatever tune the paying piper wants you to pipe. Not unique to S’porean journalists: the WP MPs have their own version. They take the MPs’ allowances (about $15,000 per MP per month), and keep quiet even when the PAPpies beat them up publicly: “Sticks and stomes may hurt me but $15,000 a month can buy a lot of kok yok,” seem to be the mantra.

Finally, a piece of advice to the two social media celebrities, and ex-NSP activists who are allowing the Chiams to get blood transfusions from them. Set-up a Bishan-Tao Payoh-Potong Pasir* pages and sites and promote the sites to the people living there: be local.

*Prediction that PP will be merged to the Bishan GRC.

LKY: Lest we forget the Dark Side

In Media, Political governance on 30/03/2015 at 5:04 am

I have very little time or patience for Teo Soh Lung’s views but I agree with her comment “let us remember that there is another side to the man”.I reproduce her piece below because it shows S’poreans who want to remind other S’poreans of the Seth Lord or Sauron in Lee Kuan Yew how to do it: stick to the facts, not descending to abuse and vulgarity.

It’s important that anti-PAP cyber-warriors, and those (self-included) who believe in objectivity and balance (and who have no patience with BS) butt into the NatCon that the PAP administration and its allies (especially the constructive, nation-building media) is imposing on S’poreans. We must not let the “right” narrative remain unchallenged.

But we have to do it factually, and entertainingly, not boring fellow S’poreans to sleep. And we have the eyeballs*.

Ms Teo Soh Lung’s Facebook post (apologies for not getting her approval)

I watched the television for several hours today. The tv was off for nearly a week and I thought I really should not miss this historic occasion.

As I watched the two sons of Lee Kuan Yew gave their eulogies in praise of their father, I cannot help thinking of the following people who were arrested and imprisoned for decades without trial by their father:

1. Dr Lim Hock Siew was arrested and imprisoned for 20 years. His son was only 5 months old. He left his wife to look after their son for two decades. His medical career was completely ruined.

2. Pak Said Zahari had a young family and his wife was pregnant with their youngest child when he was arrested and imprisoned for 17 years. His youngest daughter was born while he was still in prison and he did not hold her till 17 years later. His promising career as editor of Utusan Melayu and writer ended. His wife became a hawker in order to keep the family alive.

3. Lee Tee Tong, Legislative Assemblyman was imprisoned for 18 years leaving his parents to fend for themselves.

4. Dr Poh Soo Kai was imprisoned for for 17 years. His marriage was ruined and he was deprived of having a happy family. His career as a brilliant gynaecologist also ended.

5. Ho Toon Chin @ Ho Piao was imprisoned for 18 years. His parents were deprived of his support and his career as a trade unionist ended.

6. Chia Thye Poh, a legislative assemblyman and Physics lecturer was imprisoned for 32 years. As the eldest son and one who consistently did well in school and university, his parents had hoped that he would support them financially. Instead, they had to visit him in prison.

7. Loh Miaw Gong, a legislative assembly woman and trade unionist was imprisoned for 7 years. Her family was deprived of her support.

8. Chng Min Oh @ Chuang Men Hu, Trade unionist was imprisoned for 13 years leaving his wife to look after 2 young children and a third who was born while he was in prison. His wife had to work as a hawker and construction worker, holding other odd jobs to keep the family afloat. She was struck with cancer shortly after his release and committed suicide three years later, unable to accept her illness.

Thousands were thrown into jail and tortured just because Lee Kuan Yew was afraid of their presence in parliament. Their families left to fend for themselves. Many more lived or died in political exile, separated from their loved ones for 30 years and more.

While Singaporeans sing praises of Lee Kuan Yew, let us remember that there is another side to the man.

—-

*Mr Cheong Yip Seng (LKY’s favourite newsman, ex-ST chief editor) recently told us of an incident which showed that LKY was aware of the impact of new media. One November evening in 1999, Mr Lee telephoned Mr Cheong. He was troubled by a new information phenomenon, which was threatening to overwhelm the traditional media industry: eyeballs were migrating from print newspapers to cyberspace. Mr Cheong said that LKY was anxious about how the information revolution would impact the Singapore traditional media.

“He was anxious to find a response that would enable the mainstream media to keep its eyeballs. He wanted us at Singapore Press Holdings to think about the way forward.”

Well SPH, and the rest of constructive, nation-building media didn’t do what they were ordered to, did they? That despite throwing serious money and other resources at the problem.

Cause of plankton bloom?/ Three cheers for Tessa Wong

In Environment, Malaysia, Media on 10/03/2015 at 5:43 am

Several fish farmers told the BBC that rapid development in the western part of the strait in Johor, the Malaysian state closest to Singapore, was one of the factors affecting the water quality.

“The plankton bloomed this fast because the nutrient content in the sea is so high. And where are all these nutrients coming from? Land reclamation in Malaysia,” said Frank Tan.

[Err these guys must be shell shocked by the losses, deaths and stench; water from Western Johor I.e. Iskandar can’t flow East because of the Causeway]

But tiny Singapore has also reclaimed parts of its northern coast, and dammed up estuaries in the northeast to create reservoirs. It has pumped millions of dollars into the fish farming industry to boost its domestic food security.

Latest government figures show there are now 117 fish farms in waters surrounding the island, spread out over 102ha – twice the amount of space compared to a decade ago.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-31724554

Typical of the PAP administration under Ah Loong: one part messes up the sea in the NE by damming estuaries and reclaiming land, another promotes fishing farming in area. Looks like more work for Grace Fu’s cordinating unit? She will be bitching* for more pay?

Btw the BBC reporter, Tessa Wong, was formerly from ST. Shows that ex-ST journalists can be fearless, objective after they leave ST. Until I read the BBC piece, I didn’t understand how bad the situation had become because our constructive, nation-building media focused on the dead fish and the losses to the farmers, not on the wider ecological and environment situation.

Oh and M’sia can tell us to bugger-off if we complain about M’sian land reclamation etc affecting S’pore. It can, rightly say, “If you can damage yr environment by yr reclaimation and other projects, why can’t we?. Not as though you guys are doing right by the environment.

*In January 2012, she expressed concerns over the planned 36-37% income cuts for ministers, saying that if ministerial pay was further reduced in the future, it would “make it harder for anyone considering political office”

 

Murder of cartoonists: Hypocrisy in our MSM and new media coverage

In Media on 11/01/2015 at 9:56 am

What does it tell us about ourselves that in all the MSM and new media coverage there is only one tua kee blogger who points out that many of the cartoons in  Charlie Hebdo would be banned in S’pore because they are not”right”*.

I’ll put it this way: many of its cartoons would be banned for being “obscene”, while many of its anti-religious cartoons would be banned for being “offensive” to religions; some of which might be seditious to boot.

S’poreans are not willing to see this pink elefant in the cubicle, yet there are S’poreans pontificating in abstract on freedom of expression and its limits, sometimes to the point of rubbishy, meaningless nonsense. Like this very offensive, “My take is that free speech is only laudable when used well. And despicable when abused. It is worth having, but not worth having at all costs.”

My Facebook avatar pointed out

—  “Call to account”. Well the guys who killed the cartoonists can be considered “calling to account” the abusers of free speech by that definition.

— “only laudable when used well. And despicable when abused”. Who defines “laudable”, “despicable”, “used well”, “abused”? Western liberal values? Wahhabi values? Western right wing values? LKY? Those who rule?As … rightly points out, the ruling elites try to impose their definitions in their own interests.

He wasn’t the only one upset with this rubbish:

— We got to grow up and deal with some noise and mess. You don’t have to agree 100% of Charlie Hebdo’s work; but the principle of free speech, as long as it does not explicitly incite violence against its targets, has to be defended. You can’t expect to live perpetually in some kind of kindergarten. There is a cost to everything. You pay some social cost for the free speech so that you reserve the right to lampoon, criticize and call out elites, the rich and powerful when it is necessary to do so. When you are willing to circumscribe your rights for minor annoyances and offenses, you start to erode that right and you may not be able to control how far that censorship can go.

— Do you realize how much of important history consist of words written that were offensive to the church, Kings and all manner of groups that would gladly keep the status quo. Have some ‘respect’ they say. The church wasn’t very nice when it was strong and able to impose its own form of inquisition. It took years and bloody revolutions to overthrow kings. ‘Disrespect’ that led to things like the Magna Carta, French Revolution, the formation of America and the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. Boy, that’s a lot of offensive ink spilt.

*Even then this retired Imperial Storm Trooper (paper division) general puts it down to the wisdom of the MSM, not giving credit to Harry the Axe man. I’d rather give credit to Harry.

 

From Russia with love to Yaacob & MDA

In Internet, Media on 13/12/2014 at 11:18 am

The recent comment that “D” in “MDA” ahould be replaced by “R” for R”Regulatory” to better reflect its role reminded me that in August in Russia, laws were enacted forcing bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers to register with the mass media regulator.

With most bloggers being friendly to the Oppo, if not cheering them on, maybe time for MDA to follow suit to make sure SuperWimp AhLoong and the MIW beats theBlueClones and the Mad Dog gang. .

 

PussiesXII, Kittens?/ MSM coverage of LionsXII

In Footie, Malaysia, Media on 24/08/2014 at 7:11 am

Simba and Nala and their pride of lions must be upset that their brand has been tarnished by two of our nation footie sides.

The Cubs covered themselves in disgraceful in Brunei,

When Singapore’s national Under-21s completed their Group B fixtures at the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in Brunei on Monday, their report card was a compilation of sorry statistics.

For the first time in the history of the tournament the team lost all their games and lost them heavily – a five-match string of defeats (0-4 to Vietnam, 1-3 to Cambodia, 1-3 to Brunei, 0-3 to Malaysia, 0-6 to Indonesia).

The side also scored the least goals (two) and conceded the most (19).

To further add insult to injury, coach Richard Bok’s squad of 18 for this regional Under-21 competition included four over-aged players – LionsXII trio Ignatius Ang (22 years old), his clubmates, Emmeric Ong and forward Syafiq Zainal and Warriors FC goalkeeper Neezam Abdul Aziz (all 23).

But they were thrashed by Vietnam and Indonesia, who fielded their Under-19 sides.

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/sports/football-cubs-shamed-brunei#sthash.7bZqTIFL.dpuf

Meanwhile, the Lions XII, are not living up to their name or their success under Super Sub. After a disappointing Malaysian Super League campaign, the LionsXII once again tasted bitter defeat on Saturday (Aug 23) evening. They lost 2-1 to Johor Darul Takzim II in the Malaysia Cup at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor Bahru. (CNA).

The LionsXII fell to their second consecutive defeat in their Malaysia Cup campaign, losing 1-2 to second-tier Malaysia Premier League side Johor Darul Takzim II (JDT II) at the Pasir Gudang Stadium. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/sport/football/story/football-lionsxiis-malaysia-cup-hopes-dim-fandi-gives-fandi-the-blues-1-2-#sthash.I4Yjt95k.dpuf

PussiesXII and Kittens?

Seriously, I hope the recent failure of the LionsXII after the team’s previous success, puts an end to SPH’s and MediaCorp’s championing and spinning of Fandi as the saviour of local footie. He was a very gd local footballer and a decent man who has had his share of gd and bad fortune. But as for the constructive, nation-building media’s attempt to spin him as “super coach, the saviour of local footie”, well the results speak for themselves. It’s not as though the media didn’t know of his failings in the smake pits of Iskandar.

What really annoys me is that Super Sub never got sufficient credit from our local media for his handling of the LionsXII. Compare their praise of him against that of their praise for Fandi. And the local media is always making excuses for Fandi. He’s not a bad coach (He’s a pretty decent coach) but the failure of our local media to hold him to account is disgusting.

CPF Life: What SunTimes left out

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Media on 05/06/2014 at 4:37 am

One merit about CPF Life is that it is run by the Government. That removes the big worry of retirees as to whether their insurer is financially strong enough to withstand the next global financial crisis in order to keep making the monthly payouts, is what a SPH reporter wrote last Sunday http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid=838399526-20200-2041240930.

Those who read this blog a few days ago will know that he is being constructive, and nation-building.

There is a provision in the law governing the CPF Life Plans which states that payouts are contingent on the Plans being solvent. This is because premiums that are paid in to get the annuities are pooled and collectively invested. If the plan you chose doesn’t have enough money to pay out, you die. This is unlike the [Minimum Sum] scheme, where account holders are legally entitled to the monies in their CPF accounts …

(https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/best-cpf-life-plan/)

The government has said the provision on solvency is only a precaution unlikely ever  to be used. If so, why have it? This is a peace of mind issue. It was Gan who made this assurance when he was MoM.

He should have told us the fact that the govt refuses to “protect” CPF Lifers from fund failure, despite CPF Lifers having to participate.

If one cannot trust a SPH journalist to give us the relevant facts on a non-political issue, how can we rely on any SPH (and MediaCorp journalist, for that matter) to analyse or report political issues? After all our local media is proudly constructive and nation-building?

BTW, how does this refusal to “protect” CPF Lifers square with what PM said last week? “We want to enhance [the CPF’s retirement-annuity scheme] so that the payouts can keep pace with the cost of living,” and “We also want to provide stronger assurance in retirement for the lower-income groups.”

But the article made one gd point, The Standard plan offers an annuity scheme similar to what retirees in Britain opt for. The Basic plan is commonly adopted by US retirees. Reminder, the Basic plan is closer to the Minimum Sum scheme that is no longer available. For more: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/best-cpf-life-plan/

People that the PAP fear?

In Hong Kong, Media on 14/05/2014 at 4:59 am

“A prophet without honour in his own country or home,” was what I tot.

No not talking about one Devan Nair, for one thing he is being re-recognised by the PAP govt: “Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East …”, it was reported on 1 May 2014.

No, I couldn’t help but think “A prophet without honour in his own country or home”*, when I read on Saturday, “Outspoken academic Cherian George takes up post at Hong Kong Baptist University” (http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1508715/outspoken-academic-cherian-george-takes-post-hong-kong-baptist).

He needs no introduction as the hubbie of ST’s editor, brudder-in-law to the Malay minister, and an academic and former journalist who has had disagreements with the PAP govt since the 1980s. Seeing no future in journalism, he became an academic. In 2009, he was made an NTU associate professor but denied tenure. In 2010, NTU denied the school’s attempt to renew his position as head of journalism. He was denied tenure again last year and had to “move on” and out of S’pore.

Is it not surprising that The Reporters Without Borders 2014 Press Freedom Index ranked Hong Kong at 61 and Singapore at 150 out of 180 nations?

Mr Spock can reasonably conclude that he was denied tenure because “Service and other contributions to the university, profession or community are also taken into consideration.”**

He is after all, “one of Singapore’s most accomplished and civic minded media commentators”, as someone whom  I respect described him. He could also have be a model for what Seah Chiang Nee in his final column for the Star wrote: “make sure you get the facts right. Use refined language, with no exaggeration. Accuracy, objectivity! When it does well, give it credit; if it does badly in the eyes of most people, say so.” This is something that doesn’t fit rabid PAP cybder warriors.

Rabid anti-PAP cyber warriors especially those who distort the truth can take heart that they are not the ones the PAP fear most or that they will get into trouble for attacking the PAP.

The PAP it seems fears those who are willing to speak the truth, and who thereby have the respect of the 35% of S’poreans who can be swayed by the facts and rational arguments, unlike the 35% (Any donkey so long it is branded “PAP” and 30% (Any donkey who says he is anti-PAP) who can’t.

I’m exaggerating who the PAP fear most? Remember this incident when someone was uninvited to the Istana.

And there are some (not me though, here’s why ) who think that Alex Au’s legal problems have something to do with his well researched and totful pieces.

Happily for the PAP, the really rabid anti-PAP cyber warriors don’t think that telling the truth is that important. What matters is being cheered on by 30% of the voters. If only they can recognise that 30% is not a majority in S’pore politics, and that they have to appeal to the middle 35%.

But maybe they (or at least some of them do) do but are afraid of kanna “marked” by the PAP, and suffering the consequences like having to “move on” or being a non-person.. Better to appeal to the 30% hard core. Better safe than sorry. That after all is the S’porean way.

———–

*1And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. (Mark 6)

**An NTU spokesman said,: “The tenure review process is purely a peer-driven academic exercise with two equally important criteria, distinction in scholarship and high quality teaching. Service and other contributions to the university, profession or community are also taken into consideration.”

He wrote on his blog, “As for why the university took the exceptional step of withholding tenure from a faculty member who it decided had earned promotion, I was assured this had nothing to do with my scholarship, teaching or service, and not because I had conducted myself inappropriately.” He was never contradicted by NTU.

So a hyper rationalist like Mr Spock can reasonably conclude that it was “Service and other contributions to the university, profession or community are also taken into consideration” that did him in, making him move on; to a place controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, no friend of a free media or internet.

 

How SPH, MediaCorp can get more productive and profitable

In Humour, Internet, Media on 23/03/2014 at 7:21 am

Employ robot writers to replace the Chua sisters, Han, Warren and Yaacob’s sis (Even though she needs the job as Cherian, her hubbie, is leaving NTU soon), among many others.

Not as though the technology isn’t there.

The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake … – thanks to a robot writer.

Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke created an algorithm that automatically generates a short article when an earthquake occurs.

Mr Schwencke told Slate magazine that it took around three minutes for the story to appear online.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26614051

Here’s more

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-26689983

But let’s be fair, robots could be used productively by the anti-PAP paper activists at TOC* and many other blogs (TRE excepted, ’cause TRE makes it very, very clear that its mission is to provide the alternative voices not reported in our constructive, nation-building media.). Robots could replace regular TRE posters like “oxygen”. Kishore of the LKY School should install one to produce his chim pro-China, anti-Western; or pro PAP pieces.

A serious piece on productivity: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/productivity-ageing-population-immigration/

Update at 10am: Thinking about it, I too can use a robot to bitch about that ACS sneerer, VivianB, Auntie Sylvia, her baiyee and the two  GGs. Also for my praise of WP Low, the scholar and elite schoolboy at TRE and the SDP RI doctors treating Mad Dog Chee. My very serious point is that when we don’t think thru the issues, but instinctively give way to our prejudices when talking, writing;  we might as well turn over the writing, talking to robots.

—-

*Ya I got bias against TOC https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/neighbours-show-up-the-spore-system-for-gd-and-bad/

BT inflation headline talks sucks, really sucks

In Economy, Financial competency, Holidays and Festivals, Media on 24/12/2013 at 6:28 am

I recently blogged that the PAP should approach mrbrown to help PAP MPs in particular Baey and Tharman. Looks like BT needs his help in getting the facts “right”.Let me explain.

I waz planning to take a break from nasty, vicious blogging as it’s the time of peace and gooddwill towards men.

Happily for my inner Grinch , I read this

Core inflation inches higher, forecasts up
Economists point to higher inflation for next year with pressure from wages, business costs, COEs
… Inflation rose to 2.6 per cent year-on-year in November, from 2 per cent the previous month, with private-sector economists forecasting higher inflation for next year. In a statement yesterday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said core inflation – which strips out accommodation and private road transport costs – also picked up pace to 2.1 per cent in November, compared with 1.8 per cent in October.Based on the above, core inflation was up 16.7%. Taz’s “inching” in a month?

Trying to spin gold out of bull dust? Or is shumeone seriously drunk or mathematically challenged? BTW, inflation was up 30% in a month.

Santa, I want for Christmas “Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World”

Our World: Unemployment Rate Jumps from 7.6% to 7.8%
Mathematically Literate World: Unemployment Rate Probably a Little Under 8%; Maybe Rising, or Not, Can’t Really Tell

Our WorldFirm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Daring Strategy, Bold Leadership
Mathematically Literate WorldFirm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Good Luck, Selection Bias

Our WorldGas Prices Hit Record High (Unadjusted for Inflation)
Mathematically Literate WorldGas Prices Hit Record High (In a Vacuous, Meaningless Sense)

Read more

http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2013/12/02/headlines-from-a-mathematically-literate-world/

And if interested on why core inflation was up 16.7% (can’t help think of “ponding”)

A higher headline inflation figure in November – marking the first time since March that inflation has risen beyond the 2 per cent level – was generally expected as it had been flagged by MAS and MTI previously.

The biggest driver was higher accommodation costs, which rose 3.3 per cent year on year from 1.9 per cent in October, when service and conservancy charges rebates to HDB households had kept housing-related costs down.

 

S’pore bonds are a lousy investment

In Financial competency, Media on 01/10/2013 at 5:06 am

SINGAPORE bonds were the second-worst performer in Asia in the first seven months of this year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said.

Losses were largest in Indonesia, down 17.8 per cent, followed by Singapore, where bonds were down 7.8 per cent in the January-to-July period, said the latest report by ADB’s Asia Bond Monitor.

Market returns on Asian bonds have fallen sharply so far this year with the iBoxx Pan-Asian Index falling 3.5 per cent in US dollars in unhedged terms, it said yesterday.

Only bonds in the Philippines and China recorded gains – 7.5 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively.

Reported in BT 27 September 2013, but not in ST or Today. Why? ST and Today only report the “right” news? Note that ST regularly talks of the benefits of investing in S$ bonds, and bonds generally.

BTW, here’s shumething SunT didn’t tell us about the Finnish education system: Angry Birds creator Rovio has brought Angry Birds Playground, a schools initiative devised with the University of Helsinki in Finland, into the kindergarten classroom of children, aimed at six-year-olds.

With the initiative already in use in Finland, Rovio has now entered into an agreement with schools in China.

“With small children, the Finnish approach to education is very much play-orientated,” says Sanna Lukander, vice president of book publishing at Rovio Entertainment.

“These characters and their world seemed to inspire children. You can’t not think about how you might motivate children to do more than play.”

Sun Tzu & the PAP’s non-use of new media, & the PM

In Internet, Media on 30/09/2013 at 6:36 am

(If you want to read about SunT left out about the Finnish education system scroll to the end)

This extract from a CNA report last Friday reminded me of an email exchange I had with a new media big cat (not ‘fat” cat) sometime back: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has addressed some key themes arising from the “Ask the PM” live forum on Channel NewsAsia which took place on Tuesday.

In a posting on his Facebook page on Thursday, he thanked viewers for their questions and comments, but said there were too many questions for him to answer individually.

He addressed key themes including education and housing.

I had suggested how the PAP should have reacted to P Ravi: Instead of using his skin to beat the RAVII DRUMS, it should have used Facebook, the medium he was accused of playing the DRUMS on.

A new media big cat (not “fat cat”) pointed out (his comments slighly edited)

MIW cannot stoop to the same level as the others by responding on fb. It’s typical for anyone to bring the battle to their own familiar turf or battleground. u dun fight in “enemy” territory which limits yr own exposure and not forgetting that the “enemy” territory r flanked by “enemy’s” supporters and so u won’t be able to have the last say.

He quoted Sun Tzu’s “The art of War”, a book that the Chinese generals still swear by and quote. I will not be surprised if the PAP too refers to Sun Tzu when in doubt (PM was from Catholic High and the book is a classic alongside the Analects and the Tao). I too used to be a fan of Sun Tzu (How to win without fighting sounds pretty attractive) until an ang moh by the name of Edward Luttwak (he would have been a strategist during the period of the Three Kingdoms or the Warring States) wrote recently a book on Chinese strategy, and pointed out waz wrong with Sun Tzu’s precepts.

Coming in for criticism by name is Sun Tzu, whose writings of 2,500 years ago, including “The Art of War“, are the main source of what Mr Luttwak calls “the flawed principles of ancient unwisdom”. He grants that the cunning statecraft, stratagems for deception and diplomatic finesse advocated by Sun Tzu may have worked when used by one warring Chinese state against another. But he argues that these doctrines have served China poorly in fending off other adversaries.

With a quick pass through the history of China’s engagement with Jurchens, Khitans, Mongols, Manchus and other Asiatic nomads, he notes that China has been ruled by Hans, its ethnic majority, for only about a third of the past millennium. “While Han generals in charge of large armies were busy quoting Sun Tzu to each other, relatively small numbers of mounted warriors schooled in the rudely effective strategy and tactics of the steppe outmanoeuvred and defeated their forces,” he writes.

The bit about being thrashed regularly by the nomads is a fact, not a Hard Truth.

So if the PAP continues to ignore new media because it is unfamiliar terrain that Sun Tzu says one shld not fight on, it will continue making unnecessary, avoidable PR fiascoes. But maybe it’s beginning to plan abandoning this Sun Tzu precept by recceing the new media terrain. The people behind the Breakfast Network (highly commended by me) and Independent (it sucks), are retired Imperial Stormtroop generals from the Keyboard corps. They could be juz like the German generals who turned on Hitler when Germany was losing, or be like Benedict Arnold (an American rebel hero who offered to surrender a fortress to the British). Or they could be what Sun Tzu recommends using. Only time will tell.

Onto serious matters. The PAP’s brand and message need to be recast for the age of social media (and. new media) in general) and the PM needs to show boldness and political artistry in grabbing his (and that of the PAP’s) share of attention. He can’t rely on the traditional media to help him grab attention. For starters, traditional media is no longer trusted here, especially  by the young. Then, too, the traditional media’s market share has diminished. And then there are all the competing celebrities on social media like all those cats’ pixs. And then there is vigilantism of websites like Stomp which have large audiences.

The PM has plenty of competition, be it in the mainstream media or new media.

And besides his style sucks in PR terms. As a double first in Maths from Cambridge, he is familiar with the scientific method: specificity, objectivity, and accountability. These are elements lacking in politics, anywhere in the world, let alone in S’pore, a de-facto one party state. They are lacking because politicians don’t need these skills to win elections. But Angela Merkel has shown that one can have the “scientific method” and be personally popular. And are we not the Prussians of the East? (The Prussians were the Germans’ Germans. Now most of what is now Prussia is in Poland.)

And as I will show on Wednesday, he has problems with the substance of hie messages too.

All in all, the PM and the PAP have a long way to go in the use of new media even with the help of BN and the Independent. Us, injuns and outlaws rule the comboy towns and the territory outside the MSM, govt forts.

Finally on a totally different topic, here’s sumething SunT didn’t tell us about the Finnish education system: Angry Birds creator Rovio has brought Angry Birds Playground, a schools initiative devised with the University of Helsinki in Finland, into the kindergarten classroom of children, aimed at six-year-olds.

With the initiative already in use in Finland, Rovio has now entered into an agreement with schools in China.

“With small children, the Finnish approach to education is very much play-orientated,” says Sanna Lukander, vice president of book publishing at Rovio Entertainment.

“These characters and their world seemed to inspire children. You can’t not think about how you might motivate children to do more than play.”

Games have a larger effect on learning than traditional materials”

Prof Constance Steinkuehler Games scholar

BTW, didn’t read the SunT stuff. Friend who read it told me that it didn’t talk about games. I had earlier sent him the above link given his interest in the Finnish way.

Why it matters that ST & Today got the facts wrong on Ng’s IOC bid

In Media on 16/09/2013 at 5:16 am

Readers cannot have missed that ST and Today were trumpeting for weeks, that S’pore’s Ng Ser Miang had a good chance to be in the International Olympic Committee (IOC). president. He was not only a contender but one of the two favourites. As the volume got shriller and the headlines more bombastic and bigger fonts were used, I turned to the int’l media like the BBC and the Guardian. They said that the German, Bach, was the favourite. If he didn’t get the job, it would be an upset.

I didn’t get upset at our papers’ “kampung” boy stance: to be expected from “provincial” papers. Ever read the Cardiff or Belfast Times? Or even the NY or London papers on city matters? Besides ang mohs are always dismissive of Asians.

What has got me writing this diatribe is that it is now beyond reasonable doubt that the papers must have been wrong to label Ng a favourite. Ng tied in the first round with the Taiwanese guy our papers called a long shot. Ng squeaked thru on a re-vote. Then “Mr Ng received six votes and came in a distant third, behind German former Olympian Thomas Bach, who won the elections with 49 votes, and Puerto Rican banker Richard Carrion who received 29 votes …”.

Come on, if he was a “hot” favourite, how come so bad a result? He should have come in a decent second, or a close third. Our papers didn’t think much of the banker’s chances, rating him below Ng. He got thru the first round easily, unlike Ng, and came in a credible, if distant, second.

Both papers moved on to whisper about conspiracy theories. Today muttered including a belief making the rounds that Tokyo’s successful bid to stage the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was a factor.

With next year’s Youth Olympics in Nanjing, the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, there is a perception that the IOC was reluctant to give too much power to Asia. This doesn’t wash because Ng didn’t get many Asian votes, did he? One reporter also said that Asians don’t support Asians.

Gee so how come we weren’t told these facts earlier? ST and Today only found these up after Ng lost? Whatever it is, they must have got the facts wrong to come up with the assertion that Ng was a favourite.

Clearly, the voting showed that Ng was no favourite: in fact going by the numbers, he along with the Taiwanese guy were long shots. And that he never had a base of Asian supporters, let alone supporters. As WSJ wrote: Ng appeared to struggle to find company. On Sunday night, as Bach was finishing dinner with International Skating Union president Ottavio Cinquanta of Italy and their spouses, Ng was sharing a drink with reporters. The next day Bach had lunch with IOC member Ung Chang.

The two papers got it wrong: Ng was not a favourite, as claimed; and should admit to their getting their facts wrong, rather than throw smoke in order to cover-up the mistake of getting the wrong facts, leading to the wrong conclusion.

I once suggested that P Ravi and PM use this method (used successfully by a secret police force) to evaluate the quality of the data they get from their sources. Maybe ST and Today should use the method for their sports news coverage.
Let me be very clear, I’m not saying anything derogatory about Ng. But I’m saying that our papers, based on the evidence of the votes cast, did not get their facts “right” about Ng being a favourite alongside Bach. Were they beating the DRUMS rather than reporting the “right” facts?
This leads me to a most serious issue.
Recently, a retired Imperial Stormtrooper general (Keyboard corps) criticised the role of the local mainstream media in the loss of trust between the people and the govt. Wow! Bit like a few German generals and soldiers trying to assassinate Hitler, when the Germans were losing the war that they started? OK maybe she had a Paul-like conversion after she got retired?

Well, if we can’t even rely on the media to get the facts “right” on a simple sports story involving a S’porean, how can we trust the media when it reports on news that touches on the govt: remember the local media prides itself on being “constructive” and “nation-building”, and I have yet to hear of a senior editor being less than 150% pro-govt. Example, the media only waited for the govt’s response to Dinesh family’s legal suit before reporting the case. TOC and Bertha Henson (aforesaid keyboard general) had, to their credit, already reported the details of the family’s suit days earlier.

Yaacob and the MDA should ponder the implications of this failure of  the govt’s poodle “constructive”, “nation-building” media to get the facts right on a simple sports story, rather than beat on the skin of P Ravi, the DRUMS to the tune of RAVII to discredit the new media. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/ingratitude-uniquely-sporean-blame-the-internet-not-really/

SunT versus TRE coverage of LGBT party

In Media on 30/06/2013 at 5:40 am

On page 16 of SunT there is a small pix and a little accompanying text on yesterday’s LGBT massive  “finding partners/ dates” party (21,000 crowd) at Hong Lim Green. My Facebook wall is full of pixs of the gay event.

As at 5.33am. there is nothing in TRE on this massive gathering of S’poreans. I will update this post when I see reports on TRE of this social and HR events.( Update at 3.10pm:

)Site Under Maintenance

I’m putting up this post because there are allegations (PAP-inspired?) that TRE is juz as socially conservative as the PAP, WP and  NSP.

I doubt that these allegations are true, but let’s see. Members of the LGBT community here are S’poreans too. This too is their home. It’s sad that SPH (and presumably the PAP govt) doesn’t think so.

Any idea if MediaCorp covered the event on the news programme? Based on CNA website, doesn’t seem so. SIGH (

Update on ! july at 6.18 am TRE site is

Site Under Maintenance

“PAP-stream media” NOT MSM

In Humour, Media on 31/05/2013 at 7:28 am

“Why do we even call it “mainstream” media? It seems to be more a PAP-stream media,” Tong Beng on Facebook. He has a great point!

What happens in ST newsroom

In Humour, Media on 30/05/2013 at 6:29 am
It’s not nice to have to wonder about phone calls in the night or an email to demand that a post be deleted. And it’s not nice to have to second guess what the G (or which god in which department) thinks about this post or that and that particular god-person’s threshold of “sensitivity’’.

Sharp-eyed Siow Kum Hong spotted this from Bertha Henson’s piece http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=4858. Read it as it contains lots of rational criticisms of the new MDA regulations, unlike most of the noise and rubbish coming from netizens’ behinds.

In case, you didn’t know, she was a high ranking, keyboard-wielding Imperial storm trooper dedicated to keeping S’poreans in the dark, before she retired after having repented. She was Dark enough to have been considered to be one of the front runners to be  ST’s editor.

But let’s not hold it against her. There are not enough Jedi for us to be choosy.

MSM, less triumphalism when puffing up GIC, Temasek

In Financial competency, GIC, Media, Temasek on 09/04/2013 at 6:16 am

Pls remember what someone who manages more $ than GIC, Temasek says abt performance

Clearly the ability of the investor to adapt to the market’s “four seasons” should be proof enough that there was something more than luck involved? And if those four seasons span a number of bull/ bear cycles or even several decades, then a confirmation or coronation should take place shortly thereafter! First a market maven, then a wizard, and finally a King. Oh, to be a King.

 But let me admit something. There is not a Bond King or a Stock King or an Investor Sovereign alive that can claim title to a throne. All of us, even the old guys like Buffett, Soros, Fuss, yeah – me too, have cut our teeth during perhaps a most advantageous period of time, the most attractive epoch, that an investor could experience. Since the early 1970s when the dollar was released from gold and credit began its incredible, liquefying, total return journey to the present day, an investor that took marginal risk, levered it wisely and was conveniently sheltered from periodic bouts of deleveraging or asset withdrawals could, and in some cases, was rewarded with the crown of “greatness.” Perhaps, however, it was the epoch that made the man as opposed to the man that made the epoch.
PIMCO’s Bill Gross

The April Fools joke is on the govt

In Media, Political governance on 03/04/2013 at 7:36 am

Private daily newspapers are being sold in Burma for the first time in almost 50 years, as a state monopoly ends.

Sixteen papers have so far been granted licences, although only four were ready to publish on Monday.

This is another important milestone on Burma’s journey away from authoritarian rule, the BBC’s Jonathan Head reports from the commercial capital, Rangoon (BBC report on 1 April).

Yet our president has the cheek on 1 April to say. “We want to see Myanmar succeed, and are prepared to do whatever is within our means to support this transition towards democracy and steady development.”

“Where Myanmar goes, S’pore doesn’t dare follow” is what he should be saying.

Update at 10.20 — Forgot to mention that people don’t need a licence to protest: peaceful demonstrations are not an issue.

ST never told you of these comparisons

In Economy, Media on 01/04/2013 at 5:29 am

 

They appeared at http://veritas-lux.blogspot.sg/2013/03/social-darwinism-taking-its-toll-on.html. Thank SG Daily’s Facebook for drawing my attention to them.

https://atans1.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/low-employee-loyalty-in-singapore.jpghttps://atans1.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/singapore-employees-not-happy.jpg

Editor at Sundaylife is visually impaired or a FT?

In Media on 31/03/2013 at 7:28 am

Sundaylife carried as its top headline, “Hey We are S’poreans too … talks to children of mixed marriages on what it means to be a S’porean on the inside and look like a foreigner on the outside”. All gd, constructive, nation-building stuff to counter the likes of Gilbert Goh and friends, and the extremists among TRE readers.

Problem is that the photos of the four kids chosen to “look like a foreigner on the outside” look so “local”. Without the captions to describe their mixed ethnic origins, they look, to me at least, like typical S’poreans. And if they look “foreign”, Sundaylife’s Sumiko Tan doesn’t look S’porean.

What say you?

Either the editor has eye-sight problems or is a recently arrived FT, who doesn’t know how true blue S’poreans look like, or both. Only an FT would think that S’poreans must look Chinese, Malay or Indian, not realising that there are the Eurasians, and that many S’poreans are the products of mixed marriages.

What say you?

Netizens cannot be trusted in a crisis, only the govt & MSM?

In Humour, Media on 29/03/2013 at 6:01 am

The G’s ability to win the argument among netizens is increasingly in question; witness its “defeat” over the Population White Paper online. Its online outreach appears to be confined to making speeches available online and Facebook postings by individual minist. How would it deal with the barrage of messages that will flood the online space in crisis time? http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=2746ers and MPs

Couldn’t stop laughing at “The G’s ability to win the argument among netizens is increasingly in question; witness its “defeat” over the Population White Paper online.” Only someone* who works or once worked* for SPH, MediaCorp or the govt  would think that cyberspace was ever friendly to the govt or even neutral. It was always injun or Vietminh or Viet Kong territory where the govt soldiers and mercenaries were besieged in forts and could only move around outside the forts in heavily armed convoys. Even our PM has conceded that the internet was made up of “cowboy towns”.

The internet and social media became relevant when the 2011 GE and PE showed that the “noises” there reflected “facts on the ground”. Contrast this with the 2006 GE, when the “noises” were noise: going on the internet, it showed that the PAP were doomed to defeat.

And I tot that “How would it deal with the barrage of messages that will flood the online space in crisis time?” had the underlying, unstated assumption that netizens were irresponsible people who could not be relied upon when there was a crisis: with the implication that only the constructive, nation-building media (and presumably retirees from it) could be trusted. This I disagree with. After all, SPH’s Stomp is not a particularly responsible online publication (it hired paid content providers who pretended to be ordinary citizen journalists, and one of them faked the news once). And based on these lapses (now corrected, we’ve been assured), it is reasonable to conclude that Alex Au, TOC, TRE, Donaldson Tan, Kum Hong, Andrew Loh, SDP etc have higher standards of integrity than Stomp. Only the TRS has Stomp-like standards, in my view.

What I suspect she means is that only SPH and MediaCorp journalists and editors (past and present) will parrot unthinkingly and uncritically the govt line. Here, there is another unstated assumption; that the govt line is the truth. The likes of Lucky Tan, S’pore Notes will (rightly in my view) etc would critique the govt view because they would have doubts.

But on the other hand, this same retired Dark Side keyboard wielding imperial storm trooper is the person behind Breakfast Network. Check it out: it tries to provide, entertaining, non-partisan tit bits for tot. Doesn’t often succeed, as the above example shows, but she is experimenting, and it’s a work-in-progress.

With TOC getting irrelevant**; Andrew Loh’s Publichouse seemingly stuck in a rut (one can only wish him well in his attempts to “tell stories”); and TRS going from strength to strength, one can only hope that the Breakfast Network works. With TRE’s mission being to provide a counter balance to the local  MSM’s spin, there is room for a more centrist website that can attract a mass audience: Breakfast Network could be that website.

If she succeeds, she will have shown that Darth Vader is not the only Dark Sider who returned to the Light. In fact, she would be better than Darth Vader, because he only repented to save his son, and died in the process. She would have returned to the Light because she wanted to, and she lived.

*I’ve heard stories from SPH insiders that she fancied herself to be next editor of ST after Han when Warren Fernandez left SPH.  He was brought back when Han was moved on after the 2011 GE. She then moved on out of SPH.  It had been alleged that she had tot that minister Yacoob’s sis was her only rival.

**This piece on TOC, despite being picked up, by SG Daily, didn’t have many readers. Usually when Sg Daily picks up a piece of mine, I get lots of hits.

Err why must S’poreans prove anything, Managing Editor of SPH?

In Media, Political governance, Uncategorized on 06/03/2013 at 6:44 am

On 24th February, SunT’s headline on its regular column by SPH’s Managing Editor* screamed: “Who’s out of touch – our leaders or people?”. In slightly smaller lettering,” S’poreans have to also prove that they are not a mollycoddled lot who have forgotten the realities of making a living in this competitive world and how this country made it against the odds.”

It irritated me for three reasons. The obvious one is that S’poreans already know “the realities of making a living in this competitive world”: in the last few years, they have had to put up with minimal increases in real income, escalating property prices** and inflation caused in part by the government’s very liberal immigration policies, amidst  turbulent economic conditions. The immigration policies that only now are being revised: not to reverse the situation, mind you, just  to slow the growth of FTs from the cattle-truck load to a lorry-load. I didn’t say this, Grace Fu said this when she blasted WP’s plans to limit FTs.

The second reason is that he seems to have forgotten that the govt had already admitted that ordinary S’poreans neede income rises: the issue was how to achieve it. On 25 February, Tharman announced the Budget and he said later, “And if you can’t raise incomes for the average person, for the median household and for those at the lower end of the wage ladder, your society frays.”

The third reason, it irritated me is is the unspoken assumption (which he may not even realise he made) that S’poreans are not sovereign: we have to answer to a higher authority. And this authority grades us to see whether our views are acceptable or not. If not acceptable, go get locked up under ISA, is it Mr Managing Editor?

This assumption is best explained by Alex Au in this and Dr Jothie Rajah (the first wife of our Law Minister, according to Kum Hong)

It is here that Rajah brings up a novel point. Very often, the PAP in its defence alludes to how Singapore’s legal and political system is descended from Britain. This is used as yet another bullet point in support of ‘rule of law’ legitimacy. But she points out that in many ways, our laws are not descended from Britain. They are instead descended from colonial rule, and colonial rule is inherently illiberal. Colonial governments did not rule over citizens; they ruled over subjects. Colonial governors did not submit themselves to election nor permit much political contestation; they enacted laws such as the Internal Security Act and the Sedition Act meant to control rebellion, and they saw themselves as the enlightened and civilised few sent here to protect the natives who could not be trusted to see their own best interests, grasp the facts or even understand the complex issues of the day.

The examples she studied and presented in her book all have a similar character. She thus argues that

The nation-state has adopted the colonial legal regime in a manner that renders the nation-state a neo-colonising entity, subordinating and infantilising citizen-subjects.

Coming back to Mr Managing Editor: with an ally like this, the PAP and PM must be wondering, “Who needs enemies?”

————–

*His picture reminds me of one of Philip K Dick’s Unusuals in “Our Friends from Frolix 8”. The Ususuals ruled the solar system.

**Mah Bow Tan even ensured that property prices flew in a recession.https://atans1.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/property-prices-mm-lee-is-too-modest/

Waz missing in today’s ST?

In Media on 02/03/2013 at 8:25 am

And in Today too?

The news that the S’pore police have asked the FBI to assist it in the investigation of Todd’s death, after refusing the FBI’s help Backgrounder http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/03/01/intrigue-surrounds-americans-death-in-singapore/. I read it in my FT, a financial newspaper.

Our MSM ashamed of our Home Team’s ang moh tua kee attitude*? Or of our police incompetency? SPG missed a hard disk in his flat, that his parents found, and took it back to the US. Or of U-turn? Or all three?

—–

*Remember two ang moh caws were allowed to skip bail, and one even given PR status, after beating up true blue S’poreans. We were told the police were carrying out an internal disciplinary hearing on the matter, but nothing has been heard. Officer cleared? But public not told that officer was right to have ang moh tua kee attitude?

Is China’s media less constructive, & nation-building than ours?

In Media on 28/02/2013 at 6:56 am

With SPH (see today’s ST) and MediaCorp working real hard to convince us that declining population growth is death*, I tot I’d show how unconstructive the Chinese state-owned media can be.

Xinhua could, in this rare instance, be a little more generous to its government.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/02/chinas-poor

And this. Somehow I can’t help thinking that SPH and MediaCorp will not allow such stuff to be seen here: could affect NatCon?

Even the state broadcaster, CCTV, has offered a rare hint that the party’s efforts to portray a country of growing happiness are being greeted by some with cynicism. Beginning in late September it broadcast a series of programmes called “Reaching the grass-roots: people’s voices from within”. Ministry of Tofu, a blog about Chinese society, reported that producers of the series must have been somewhat disappointed if they expected their interviewees, who were asked how happy they were, to gush with satisfaction. Many dodged the question and some gave answers that were nonsensical or funny.

On its website, the government news agency, Xinhua, offered a similar description of the responses given to the CCTV cameras (here, in Chinese). China’s ever-boisterous users of Twitter-like services gleefully took to one anecdote in particular, about a migrant worker in the northern province of Shanxi. The words “are you happy” in Chinese happening to sound identical to “are you surnamed Fu”, the worker replied to the question by answering, “My surname is Zeng”.  CCTV’s willingness to air this clip was an unusual deviation from its propaganda-driven norm. Xinhua blamed the responses of Mr Zeng and others on “the pressures of life” in a fast-changing China. http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2012/10/unrest-cities

But let’s not only bitch about our 30-pieces-of silver (?) journalists and editors. Would S’poreans interviewed have given the kind of answers that the Cina public gave? Somehow I suspect not.

The media, like the govt, reflects the society, how imperfectly. S’poreans have to accept the responsibility for the media and govt that we have.

*Actually all they need to do is to point point that the conventional wisdom in macroeconomics is that declining TFRs, aging populations and  declining populations are bad. And the immigration ias good economics. But then that would remind S’poreans that LKY, Dr Goh etc defied the then conventional wisdom. Then the prevailing view was that MNC investment was another form of colonialism. They were right and the “wisdom” was wrong. While dad and friends defied the ang moh “tua kee” attitude, son and friends (like Tharman) embrace ang moh conventional thinking.

Top story here here? ST & BBC

In Media on 17/02/2013 at 7:00 am

BBC Online carried a headline on its global news Home Page linking to a story  on the crowd protesting about Population White Paper http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21485729

ST carried the story on page 4. The front page carried  a story on a standard, nothing new,  speech by PM. S’pore the new North Korea?

 

White Paper fiasco: Who goofed?

In Economy, Media, Political economy, Political governance on 03/02/2013 at 6:39 am

So we now know that the 6.9m figure in the White Paper is a “worse-case scenario”

— “Reiterating that the 6.9 million figure should be viewed as “the worst-case scenario”****, Mr Khaw wrote: “We hope we do not reach that figure; we may never reach that figure.”

–” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said … he fully agrees with Mr Khaw’s explanation that a 6.9 million population is not a target, but just a worst-case, aggressive scenario the Government must prepare for.”

(Excerpts from MediaCorp)

So why didn’t the media tell us this when the media reported the White Paper? The media reported the figure of 6.9m as though it was set in reinforced concrete that had platinum bars rather than steel bars. Surely when the staff of the s/o the disgraced president, and Yaacob*gave the local media their instructions local journalists and editors the customary briefing, they made it clear that the 6.9m figure is a “worse-case scenario”? And that the figure was used to ensure that there would be adequate infrastructure should this happen, which the government didn’t want to happen. And that if it didn’t happen, S’poreans would have even better facilities for which they should thank the PAP on bended knees.

But these messages were never reported. They came to the attention of “the inhabitants of cowboy towns” who were happily shooting holes into the White Paper, and other S’poreans only when the PM Facebooked and Khaw blogged these messages.

Then the local media parroted reported what the PM and Khaw had said.

Either the local media are staffed by stupid people, or are full of subversives, who take their 30 pieces of silver ** while saboing the PAP government. Or maybe the going rate is a lot more than 30 pieces of silver? And they are not getting it? Hence the government’s messages didn’t get broadcasted.

Or were the minions of s/o Devan Nair, and Yaacob, incompetent, stupid spinners? Journalists and editors are claiming that they were never ordered briefed that the 6.9m figure was a “worse-case scenario”. They claim to be as surprised as us netizens that the PM and Khaw are now making this claim.

Whatever it is, if WP Low is to get his wish of continued PAP hegemony, PM should get a grip on the PAP spin machine. He and his ministers can’t do all the spinning themselves. Maybe Auntie Sylvia or Show Mao, in emulation of a Tang dynasty official, can whisper this to the PAP, “behind closed doors”. Remember WP, yr mission is to preserve PAP hegemony.

**He used the phrase “worse-case scenario” when one LKY gave his Hard Truth on Malay Muslims not integrating.

Not in constructive, nation-building ST, Today or Singapolitics

In Humour, Malaysia, Media on 30/01/2013 at 5:09 am

This appeared in BT yesterday. Surprised it did not appear in ST or Today or in Singapolitics. Yaacob, Lawrence, PM: rather than CoCs for netizens, juz make sure SPH and MediaCorp editors earn their thirty pieces of silver ++, by printing independent “validation” of PAP Hard Truths.

M’sia’s minimum wage law may result in food inflation

Another consequence is higher outflow of money

… Food inflation and the outflow of money are the likely consequences of the implementation of the minimum wage law, which came into force four weeks ago.

From Jan 1, employers must pay a minimum wage of RM900 (S$366) a month in Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 a month in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

In an interview with Malaysia’s Business Times recently, Malaysia Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan estimated that foreign workers, on average, send back some RM700 each month, which is half of their take-home pay, including overtime claims.

“With a conservative estimate of two million foreign workers here, that works out to be RM1.4 billion flowing out of Malaysia to their home countries every month …

Reading SPH, MediaCorp investment “advice”?

In Financial competency, Media on 20/01/2013 at 6:38 am

Watch this then. American-centric but fully of useful insights on the problems of the advice we get http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2013/01/finance-guru-bubble

Sadly, the view here is that teaching financial competency to kids is not a solution to financial illiteracy.

Bringing online stuff to offline people

In Internet, Media on 04/01/2013 at 5:22 am

Ravi the do-gooder, NSP member and ex-TOC Indian Chief wrote on FB juz before the hols: If  ST* feels that online voices are not representative of the majority, then they should just ‘unfriend’ some of these ‘voices’, and spend the time tracking what’s happening online, in the field, listening to the voice of the majority. I have had reporters from the mainstream media asking me for leads for stories. Leads which are not difficult to find (some of which you can find when you just google for it). The fact is, the voices online have made the jobs of the mainstream media journalists easier, to crowdsource ideas, and to get leads. So appreciate the ‘barking dogs’ will you?

Ravi should relax. The Commanches and other injuns, and cowboys own the internet. The PAPpies are under siege in internet equivalent of Fort Apache and the YPAP trolls only venture out under the cover of darkness and anonymity. If they venture out in the light, they will be wiped out juz as Custer’s men were wiped out by the Sioux and Cheyenne at the battle of Little Big Horn.

The challenge for social or political activists is bringing the material available online to the people who don’t go online often or at all. The ST article is aimed at these people, not netizens. The message to these offliners is, “Netizens are bad, lawless people: barbarians bent on destroying S’pore. Only the constructive, nation-building media, especially ST, and the PAP stand between a prosperous S’pore and them.”

Pushing online material into physical S’pore is something a political party can do effectively. Example: During the 2008 M’sian general election campaign, the Opposition were photocopying copes of M’siakini etc stuff and distributing it to the voters even in rural areas. I have been told they even SMSed articles. Though the mind boggles as how such stuff is SMSed.

I hope the NSP will put Ravi in a position where he can try out such ideas. But given the power balance in NSP, I doubt it very much. But that’s for another post

Thanks to Uncle Leong, we netizens know that the PAP’s latest statement on AIM is “[f]ull of holes”. Problem is: Do the offliners who rely on the local media know of Uncle Leong’s analysis? (BTW, he RI boy. So don’t see us RI boys no ak. Not all of us are Tan Kin Lian or Tan Jee Say.)

Bringing goodies such as Uncle Leong’s piece to the masses is the challenge, not fighting the PAP and the local media on the internet. We own the internet.

——–

*A piece by an ST editor attacking netizens. It appeared the  Saturday before Christmas. Gd riposte here.

Links

http://www.voiddecker.com/2012/12/vox-populi-and-the-vocal-online-community/

http://leongszehian.com/?p=2449

SPH, MediaCorp newsrooms should be like this?

In Humour, Media on 02/01/2013 at 1:37 pm

We saw the most surreal newsroom … There were no journalists there. “Why not?” we asked. “We don’t need them yet. The news hasn’t arrived.”

We learnt the news is literally delivered once a day by the state news agency. The job of the journalists was to read it out, word for word, unaltered.

BBC story

And the govt is wondering why productivity is so low? It’s not the SMEs with their poorly paid FTs. It’s the constructive, nation-building local media with highly paid copyists of govt media release.

 

How TRE can monetise its popularity

In Media on 31/12/2012 at 4:19 am

— By taking a page from successful US-based webcomics

I came across this while reading an article on the rise of webcomics in the Economist:

One thing they have in common is how they make their money. The typical audience for one of the leading web comics is between 1m and 10m unique browser visits per month, comparable to a medium-sized newspaper website (the website of the Daily Mail, the best-read newspaper on the web, gets around 48m per month). But unlike on newspaper websites, where advertising is the main source of revenue, the audience on web comics are not just readers—they are also customers. Most artists sell T-shirts, books, mouse mats, posters and other paraphernalia. The most successful at monetising content is said to be Mr Inman: his site, “The Oatmeal” made $500,000 in 2011 from its audience of around 7m unique visitors per month.

Try this. If it works, gd for S’pore and TRE. TRE  may be ableto cover costs and pay the team shumething. If it doesn’t, then S’poreans, especially TRE’s “We hate the PAP” readers, deserve the PAP as the ruling party.

And the article goes on:

Amplified by social media—Mr Inman has some 700,000 Facebook followers—this audience can be powerful. One extremely long and exceptionally geeky comic last summer on “The Oatmeal”, extolling the virtues of the inventor Nikola Tesla and attacking his better-known rival, Thomas Edison, somehow snowballed into a campaign to save one of Tesla’s labs on the outskirts of New York. By leveraging his immense traffic to attract donations and to sell T-shirts and other gear, Mr Inman raised $1m in nine days—enough, with matching funding from New York State, to buy the building.

 

What our MSM doesn’t tell us about Virgin Atlantic

In Airlines, Humour, Media on 04/12/2012 at 6:40 am

It’s in crisis. Deep crisis.

Auntie’s still a great way to fly but its record in investing in other airlines is horrible: think NZ Air.

And now the Arab airlines are stealing its premium customers via slightly better service, and just as good connections via the Gulf hubs. And lower costs: our S’pore Aunties are no longer that cheap. But bit susa to pass of PRC, Pinoy FTs as S’pore Gals. Only M’sians can get away with pretending to be S’poreans.

Good backgrounder (added at 8.50am on day of posting)

SPH reporter can’t do %ages and other SPH horrors

In Media on 09/11/2012 at 5:26 am

So Ms Maria Almenoar defended herself (here’s her defence and a critique).

Forget about who is at fault (most probably both made mistakes), I have two issues with her.

She made the point that since she knew taxi drivers could earn up to $5,000 a month, $7,000 is possible. Well, I suspect that she didn’t realise that $7,000 is 40% more than $5,000. It may be possible but because it’s a big percentage jump, she should have been sceptical.

Next, what is clear from her account, is that my take on how SunT covered the story is correct: no attempt at verification. She says this was not possible.

I am willing to concede this point. But it was possible to see if the number made sense. The backlash against the story was made credible and respectable because a cabbie blogger came out with a detailed analysis on why it was impossible for said driver to earn $7,000 consistently working just eight hours a day. Later there were other pieces explaining that working 12-16 hours to earn that kind of money was not physically sustainable over long periods of time.

Ms Maria Almenoar being a seasoned transport correspondent could have done her sums and confronted the cabbie with her numbers. She didn’t.

But, SPH is being unfair in making her shoulder the defence of the story. It’s not only her mistake. There is an editorial process in any newsroom to see if a story meets certain quality standards before it is published. It clearly failed.

Here’s another case of bad reporting.

Last Friday (2 November), this appeared online: The chief executive of Malay/Muslim community self-help group Mendaki has come out to clarify that Indian-Muslims do receive help from the organisation, contrary to what several netizens had written on the group’s Facebok page.

Madam Moliah Hashim said in a note on the page on Monday that only two of the group’s many schemes are exclusively for Malays, and invited those concerned to a dialogue session with her. ST report.

Note ST’s definition of  “several netizens”. It means “almost 800 comments which were overwhelmingly in agreement with” the complainant. Don’t believe me? Read the whole story.

Now for something more substantive, than juz sniping. Mendaki was described as  “Malay/Muslim community self-help group”.  But ST reported PM saying this about Mendaki, on 29th October:  “he said in a recent interview with the Malay media to mark the 30th anniversary of Malay self-help group Mendaki”.  Which is it ST? Adding to the confusion, SunT, last Sunday, used the term “Malay-Muslim organisations” to describe Mendaki, among others, something pM used in the speech SunT was reporting.

There are differences between “Malay/Muslim”, “Malay” and “Malay-Muslim”. The last term implies that the Malays must be Muslims while the first term carries the implication that there is no nexus between Malay and Muslim.

So what is Mendaki, SPH?

I’ll end with some tots about the Malay* community.

Notice that the Malays* don’t have their own exclusive race-based help or support group unlike the Chinese or Indians. They got to share Mendaki programmes with Indian-Muslims, except for two programmes . Why this state of affairs  when PM has said that there is a role for race-based self-help groups in said story of 29 October?

Snide remarks aside, what it shows is that contrary to a few Hard Truths, the Malay community is not exclusive and in-ward looking. Shouldn’t ST be pointing this out?

One of these days, I must blog on what a M’sian Cina activist is saying: that in M’sia, Malay activists will die to save Chinese and Indians activists from attacks by Malay ultras or the police.

Maybe the purveyor of Hard Truths mixes with the “wrong” Malays? After all, Malay minister Yaacob muttered “worse case scenario” when LKY made his comments about Malays not “mixing”. Indeed his sister was present when LKY made the comments, and she didn’t challenge him did she? Watch the DVD.

————————

*Ya, I’m avoiding the issue of whether Malays in S’pore must be Muslims. Unlike in M’sia, this is not in the constitution. If our constitution avoids the issue, so can I. Anyway it is a verifiable Hard Truth is that every Malay, S’porean or M’sian, I know is a Muslim. So the point is an academic one.

A Hard Truth about SPH reporting

In Media on 02/11/2012 at 5:15 am

There were two full-page articles in the Sunday Times on Oct 28, 2012 about two cabbies earning $7,000. per month. Since then there’s been plenty in the “cowboy” town about the accuracy of these stories. This piece in TRE has prompted me to share what I’ve learnt about how SPH reports stories.

SunT regularly features the investment “geniuses” of S’pore. They all so smart, always make money. In the past, these stories regularly appeared in ST and, even BT.

Many years ago, I asked people in SPH, editors and reporters, how SPH goes about verifying these tales of investment prowess. The answers were evasive, avoided the issue, when they were answered at all. Often I was ignored.

Only one person, someone who had moved on from SPH, gave me a straight answer. She told me to read the stories carefully. It was always “XXX said he made millions” etc. It never (well almost never) said “XXX made millions’. So it seems that the stories on these investment “geniuses”, were stories based on what they said, not on verifiable facts.

Now go read those SunT pieces again. In the main, it is a straight forward piece of “he said”. No attempt at verification or analysis like like when SPH  reports ministerial statements. But this doesn’t mean the SPHreporters and editors are “not professional”: readers are daft. They “have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not”: “O foolish and senseless people”.

“Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”

“They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not”.

Waz pt of scholar, ex-general, ex-Temasek MD as NOL’s CEO?

In Media, Shipping, Temasek on 01/11/2012 at 5:48 am

When NOL is listed as the least preferred Asian container line?

When NOL annced its turnaround last week and a sale of its building, I tot “Waz wrong?”: boast turnaround yet indulge in financial engr for short term gain. Didn’t have to wait long to find out.

This is what BT, part of the constructive nation-building, 30-pieces-of -silver(?) SPH wrote earlier this week 

NEPTUNE Orient Lines has disappointed some analysts with its third-quarter numbers even though it fought its way into the black with US$50 million in net profit, its first after six consecutive quarters of losses.

NOL, which owns the world’s seventh largest container line APL, fell 2.5 cents yesterday to end at $1.145.

“It underperformed just about everyone’s expectations. I’m not sure if people were expecting profit of that magnitude when the street’s view was about US$150 million,” said Timothy Ross, Credit Suisse head of transport research, Asia-Pacific. NOL is now among the least-preferred counters among Credit Suisse’s basket of seven Asian container companies.

Joining Credit Suisse in a dimmer view of NOL was CIMB, which downgraded NOL to “underperform” from “neutral”.

The problem with comparisons as distinct from Hard Truths (like Scholar is “betterest” for anything) is that they are so inconvenient that shumetimes the constructive, nation-building media must report them. Even thouh, ST has made him out to be a genius on par with the North Korean leaders who advise experts on how to do their work, BT had to report the facts saw them.

Hope this ex-general and Temasek MD doesn’t run NOL aground! The gd thing abt NOL is that it is lightly ge as the analysts sred, unlike other container lines. FTR, I got few lots. Better yield than FD.

But there are times when having scholars in senior posts helps. NSP used to hibernate between general elections. With two scholars on the executive commitee (Hazel and hubbie), NSP has decided not to indulge in its usual hibernation. It is actively walking the ground, and is finally planning a mone online. More next week.  

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/maersk-sails-to-profit-while-nol-loses-another-mast/

Scandis, Dutch, Germans & Poles speak better English than us!

In Humour, Media on 29/10/2012 at 6:41 am

In the light of the ongoing PSLE debate, I tot I should draw readers attention to this chart.

It is no surprise that our constructive, nation-building, 30-pieces-of silver media did not reproduce this chart. But I’m surprised that our alternate media too did not, despite a very anti-PAP blog being given this (by me).

Circle Line: the unasked questions

In Infrastructure, Media, Political governance on 28/10/2012 at 6:06 pm

I’m writing this on Sunday evening.

On Saturday morning, I read that replacing the Circle Line ‘s power cables would take 18 months, beginning from January next year.

SMRT said the areas between Dhoby Ghaut and Dakota Stations are more problematic, compared with other parts of the network, as the cables sit in an area that is prone to water seepage from the ground.

SMRT’s executive vice president for trains, Khoo Hean Siang, said there are plans to replace all the cables.

He added: “We want to change out to a higher grade cable that can submerge, (be) more water resistant to make sure … the system will last for 20 to 30 years.” CNA report.

But neither, MediaCorp nor SPH reporters asked:

—  “The North-South Line only started giving serious problems last year. It was opened in 1987. Why is the Circle Line giving problems so soon?”

— “Given the newness of the line, first opened in 2009, and with the latest stations connected just last year, how come the electric cables need replacing so fast?”

— “Why were these cables used?”

— ” As the total cost was nearly S$10bn, not peanuts, by any measure, why were these cables chosen?

— “What other problems could possibly happen, given the cables gave problems much earlier than anticpated?”

— What is the cost of replacing the cables?

— Who is bearing the cost of replacing the cables? SMRT? Or the govt? If SMRT, will dividends be affected? Or will fares have to rise?

And neither did they ask these questions on Sunday. and my Secret Squirrels and Morocco Moles in both these constructive, nation-building media organisations, tell me that tonite’s programmes and tomorrow’s editions will not ask these questions.

These are the questions that the media should be asking. I’m sure PAP MPs  and Lina Chiam will be asking some of these question in parliament.  And I’m sure netizens are already asking these questions. But I’m sure the WP MPs will be silent. Too busy looking at their bank statements to see if the 30 pieces of silver ++ have been paid into their accounts? Taz what my disillusioned Morocco Mole in WP is wondering.

At the very least, S’poreans must be told why the decision to purchase a cable, now known to be sub standard, was made or allowed to be made? Was it an “honest mistake” by someone or an entire organisation, or an organisational failure, or was there corruption?

My very simplistic answer is that in the 1980s when the first lines were being built, one LKY was PM. No-one wanted to explain to him why the trains would not be running on time. The Circle Line was largely built when the PM was one Goh Chok Tong, and his DPM was one Lee Hsien Loong, today’s PM, his chosen successors. Whatever history may say about LKY, the train lines built when he was PM lasted over 20 years, before giving serious problems. Under his chosen successors, the Circle Line didn’t even last fault-free for five years.

Sometimes change is not for the better, even ifthuggish methods of management have been replaced by more civilised, possibly less effective, methods.  

And while there is no longer fear in the air the media breathes, the mental “knucklebusters” still remain in the minds of the media.

LKY’s favourite editor

In Media on 24/10/2012 at 5:50 am

Don’t rush out and buy the book by LKY’s favourite ST editor, despite the rave reviews from SPH journalists, past and present.

I hear that in November a very reputable int’l publisher is coming out with a book by ex-ST journalist on his experiences at about the same time. Guy never made it to top. And NO, not by Cherrian George. ))))). Nor by Mano Sabnani, Balji, Conrad Raj, Ravi Vellu, Lee Hans, Ho Chin Beng, Maurice Neo, Edmund Wee or Bertha Henson.

Wait for this book to come out and if it is ignored by Team SPH, then go and buy it. It will be commercially available in all bookshops.

Maybe the Grand Historian of China, Sima Qian, who accepted castration as the price of not being executed for upsetting the emperor  (he had promised his father that he would finish his father’s book) could give us an insight into the thinking of the LKY’s favourite editor and his ilk.

Sima Qian could not bring himself to describe the horror of castration. He talks instead of going down to the “silkworm chamber”. A castrated man could easily die from blood loss or infection so after mutilation the victims were kept like silkworms in a warm, draught-free room.

I look at myself now, mutilated in body and living in vile disgrace. Every time I think of this shame I find myself drenched in sweat.”

But he also wrote that if, as a result of his sacrifice, his work ended up being handed down to men who would appreciate it, reaching villages and great cities, then he would have no regrets even after suffering 1,000 mutilations http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19835484.

Maybe they think the same way. Maybe it’s not juz the 30 pieces of silver multiplied manifold.