26 Nov 2003

Spot the Contradiction

One rule "that remains firmly in place, is the requirement that foreign journalists stay out of Singapore's politics," Lee said.

But the minister said that the government did not expect its stand to impede Singapore's ambition to become a base for international news organisations, adding that the number of foreign correspondents here had risen to 190 from 82 in 1986. (Littlespeck)

A belief that the forces of globalization are unstoppable in economic terms, so we have to cut your wages, yet the effect that it is having on culture and politics are stoppable, within this little island.

Don't Singaporean journalists comment on foreign government policies?

The forces of globalisation are not simply economic but also include the spread of ideas and cultural values that may not be adhered to in Singapore. Nation states around the globe are all facing this issue. Values and ideas that may appear 'new' are being fed directly into the homes of Singaporeans and allowing individuals to re-assess previously held notions. Driving some into an idealized image of the 1950's and others into the 20th century.

Freedom of choice is not merely the choice to buy the items advertised on TV but the right to choose how you live your life. The world order is possibly going through a process of restructuring, in values as well as economic concerns.

To think that Singaporeans could be sheltered from this up-heaval and that the government doing the sheltering would remain immune is un-workable in the long term.

Singaporeans and Singaporean ministers no longer define all the rules.

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