Posts Tagged ‘Amy Khor’

Amy Khor’s favourite website and internet regime?

In Media, Political governance on 01/11/2011 at 2:07 pm

“Online engagement will increasingly become more important with the growing number of digital citizens. It is simply impossible to engage on all sites. The government could engage on sites which allow for reasoned and constructive debate and gain traction. Netizens themselves who desire rational discourse should support such sites or else start them. They should not be afraid of being labelled ‘pro government,'” so said Amy Khor of REACH, the government’s feedback unit, and a junior minister,  in parliament recently.

Funny, she didn’t mention!/FabricationsAboutThePAP?sk=wall

But then looking at what is posted there by the founder and friends, there isn’t the need the need for the government to engage this site. All they do is put up stuff from government websites. Bit like the SPH and MediaCorp publications, channels, stations and websites who take stuff from government media releases. But at least the local MSM edits the stuff they get, adds some context and commentary, and pretends to do shume analysis. This site gives the government stuff raw.

So why engage the site? It agrees 100% with the government, in the government’s own words. Add no value leh.

Maybe the government should engage the site by funding it so that the people running it can get more active (“passionate”) in engaging their follow S’poreans in “rational discourse”, and “reasoned and constructive debate”? They should be originating original material, things that this site (hopefully), TOC, Yawning Bread, Singapore Notes, Diary of A Singaporean Mind etc etc regularly do. Or at least editing or putting into context what the government says.

Maybe like our ministers (I’m talking here about the public perception), they need serious money to motivate them to try harder? The founder should have the time. According to an ST report,he  is a young unemployed S’porean who claims he is not fronting for the PAP. I believe him because the PAP would never use an unemployed person for anything (“Can’t get a job, what kind of person is this?”)

Maybe this will happen here?  Remember the addenda to the President’s Address from the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts?

China is intensifying restrictions on internet use after official reports revealed that three people have been “punished for spreading false rumours” online.

Authorities say they are carrying out inquiries into other suspected cases.

The news comes just over a week after Communist Party leaders agreed a list of “cultural development guidelines”.

They include increased controls over social media and penalties for those spreading “harmful information”.

The Xinhua news agency quotes regulators as saying that efforts will be stepped up “to stop rumours and punish individuals and websites spreading rumours”.

Finally, came across this definition of “objectivity”. “Objectivity”, Richard Taflinger of Washington State University has termed as “the detached and unprejudiced gathering and dissemination of news”.

Criticking Amy Khor & Baey Yam Keng

In Media, Political governance on 23/10/2011 at 6:06 am
Amy Khor, chairman of REACH, asked the government to engage netizens on sites that “allow for reasoned and constructive debate and gain traction”. “Netizens themselves who desire rational discourse should support such sites or else start them.”  And she was concerned on the Internet becoming a “conduit for undesirable behaviour”.
But no where does she define “undesirable influences” or “reasoned and constructive debate”. Knowing what the PAP means by  “democracy”, “meitocracy”, “listening”  and “No one gets left behind”, I can make reasonable guess as to her definitions. She wants the new media to be like the publications, websites and channels of SPH and MediaCorp.

I was also planning to comment on Baey Yam Keng’s speech on how the government should handle the new media.  Fortunately, I came across a comment by “Jonathan” on TOC. Other than the PS, it covers all the points I was planning to make.


On the whole, he presents himself to be a reformer. He wants to loosen the grip on traditional and new media alike. He mentioned repeatedly that it is not necessary and not possible to engage every statement made online.

However, his intention is at best half-baked for the part on traditional media. He wants to make mainstream media to be the benchmark of the online discussions. This amounts to saying that mainstream media will still be the mouthpiece of the Government (or the ruling party). I believe there he has contradicted himself and this shows that he may lack the conviction in media reform after all.

The part about teaching students “online media literacy” is alright in itself, but such proposal is always met with skepticism. People are afraid that it will be a form of covet propaganda programme or censorship, given the not-so-illustrious track record of the ruling party on this matter. When faced with the problem of indeterminacy of Mr. Baey’s true intention, we are forced to look at his party colleagues to search for a coherent answer. To me, the ruling party’s stance is on the rather dire side.

As such, while I appreciate Mr. Baey’s audacity to propose something rather avant-garde, I cannot trust that his speech alone, without the backing of powerful PAP figures, will lead to any actual media reform which the liberals will like.

ps. He ended his speech in Chinese by saying that he seconds the motion. What motion is he talking about?