6 Jul 2006

Ms. K Bhavani

Ms. K Bhavani

Institute of Public Relations of Singapore

Ms. K Bhavani's Biography

Into her fourth term as President of Institute of Public Relations of Singapore (IPRS), Bhavani is currently working for the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) as Co-Director of Organisational Management Division, Director of Corporate Communications and Press Secretary to the Minister.

She was seconded to the Ministry of Trade and Industry as Head of Public Affairs from 1993 to 1996 and subsequently to the Ministry of Defence as Head of Media Relations Branch.

Bhavani has lectured in various business related and mass communication subjects over the last 15 years. Currently she lectures the Certificate and Diploma in PR and Mass Communications classes at IPRS.

Besides lecturing, she also speaks in conferences locally and internationally, conducts talks for communication students in the polytechnics, contributes articles to newspapers and magazines, and speaks on various topics at seminars/talks for members and non-members of IPRS.

Why not let Ms K Bhavani know how you feel. You might want to get yourself an anonymous email address first though.
Director, Corporate Communications
Tel: (65) 6837 9865
Fax: (65) 6837 9837
Email: bhavani_k@mica.gov.sg


Anonymous said...


Press and Blogger Bias in Singapore
Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp are the two major news organizations in Singapore. Mediacorp is a government owned corporation, while SPH is a listed company whose share holdings are widely distributed (a legal requirement forbidding any single shareholding being above a specified limit), but with a special provision for the government to appoint its senior executives, who in turn bring in other trusted appointees - the fact that a number of the editorial staff members have previous experience as security analysts still raises eyebrows among foreign reporters when they get told for the first time.

News reports in the various SPH papers I personally read, Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao (United Morning Press - I will explain the name later) and Business Times, occasionally the afternoon tabloid Newpaper and the free morning tabloid Today published by a separate organization (again, will explain later) are comprehensive and generally speaking bland. The news reports are no more biased than, say NYTimes, whose staff are more likely to be Democrats (and Jewish). Simply because most of the important activities in Singapore are generated by the government, government linked corporations and other public organizations, most of the big news reports involve current and former government officials.

The weakness of SPH lies in its commentary sections. There is virtually no in depth analysis of public policies and social issues. Perhaps I can illustrate using an example from a different organization, the Institute for Policy Studies, which carried out a survey after the recent election to find out what issues the voters regarded as most important, and found that the highest percentages went to (a) efficient government (b) fairness. Now if you ask people "what liquid you drink most", the answer is probably water, and if you ask what is your largest foodstuff intake, the answer is probably starch (rice and bread). The information is correct, but not very useful for the purpose of deciding what drink/food to produce for the market.

The NYTimes has a number of regular columnists representing widely varying ideological and experiential backgrounds to discuss current events, as do most major papers in US cities - even the Murdoch group NYPost and (my information may be out of date) Unification Church owned Washington Times try to do this, and while we occasionally hear about journalists complaining about owner interference in editorial policies, the owners would always deny it quickly and repeat various politcally correct statements on wanting to accommodate different points of view. The Straits Times basically does not have local columnists - the one person that comes anywhere near this status would be Janadas Devan, the son of the former President of Singapore Devan Nair, but he lives in Austin Texas and writes mostly about foreign policy matters. There are some columns written by various SPH staff in the nature of extended editorials that represent the paper's official stand, but as the official stand is already quite familiar to the public, reading those columns does not usually add to one's knowledge or understanding.

The Chinese paper reads quite differently; it has many regular columnists that have their particular pet ideas and obsessions. Unfortunately, the one big obsession happens to be the no win subject of poor command of Chinese language shown by the Singapore school children, the root cause being poor curriculum design, which is just starting to be fixed after the current Education Minister took office.

it is argued that foreign press and broadcasting already provide sufficient competition and comprehensive coverage, so that SPH and Mediacorp are to be judged more for their social and economic value to Singapore, a kind of PR units of Singapore Inc. There was actually a previous attempt to create competition (more like sibling rivalry) by allowing Mediacorp to start a print press, and SPH to start broadcast stations. The commercial consequence was a drop in advertising rates as the two sides undercut each other leading to some financial pain on both. After a few years, Mediacorp recovered its broadcast monopoly, while its Today free paper became a joint venture with SPH.

Imaybe you hope for improvement out of the blog movement, which actually received the endorsement of Lee Kuan Yew himself once at a public forum in answer to a question from the floor: if you dont like what you read in Straits Times, why dont you just go and start your own blog? However, with so many blogs out there, one need to be quite knowledgeable about how to attract the right eyeballs to a column. The two blogs that recently attracted wide audience were the SPG column with the blogger's nude pictures (which were then withdrawn, and with no new sensational stuff appearing, interest soon waned), and Mr Brown's recent noodle/pork liver spoof, while during the election campaigns pictures of election rallies on some websites were widely viewed. I am not aware of indepth social and policy analysis attracting the same attention, without which it is hard to imagine many authors taking the trouble to produce blogs containing such analysis. If a blogger merely wants a chance to rant and relieve his/her feelings, no doubt he/she would still write the blog even if no one reads it, but most people would choose differently.

It therefore struck me as curious that after the recent election, some members of parliament actually compained that some news reports were too positive about the opposition, that the majority of the blogs are anti PAP. As I said before, we already know that people drink water and eat starch, that they want efficient and fair government. The additional information people need is about the various other drinks and foods people consume, in diminishing and perhaps unimportant quantities. Given 100 bloggers, they would talk about 100 different things; if you dont like them, you can always read the Straits Times.

Anonymous said...

it makes me wander just how msingapore is abale continue breeding these types of narrow minded barren old hags, who still live with their family at the age of fifty. No wander the birth rate is collapsing.

To the outsider the comments made by this woamn are so laughable.

This lady together with mp irene ng, make a great pair.

Anonymous said...

This would not have happen if PAP did not politicise everything deem to their advantage.

PAP should not politicise the media.

I mean it is like PAP have politicise everything including NDP.

But why the need to politicise?

Is controlling Singaporeans right down to the bone that important and advantageous to PAP? Nothing more is important to them?

This would not have happen if the media was not politicise. The determination by PAP to control all things is scary.

They want to control but refuse to be responsible or apologetic when things go wrong is even scarier.

All we ordinary people can do is vote Opposition in every election even if the Opposition loses. I cannot think of any other way to make PAP eat humble pie.

Then no one would have the need to feel fear,tension and paranoid in their own homeland.

PAP has to be Opposition for some time for Singapore's culture and climate to change, that is the only way.

My vote is nothing but many votes is something.Please do not forget today's lesson even if PAP loosen control come GE 2011.

derek said...

They forgot to add Ms. K Bhavani is also an anal-retentive bitch who needs to get another degree in Public Relations. Oh, and that she looks like a tranny!!

Anonymous said...

I guess only PAP is right and citizens are wrong in these KIND of situation. These KIND of situation have repeated many times over the years.

What is more scarier is that PAP took the most popular blogger in Singapore to put on chopping block and use it to show as an example to everyone who wants to blog about politics. (Kai Dao: Open Knife)

It is a very good political move by PAP.It has increased the fear factor by many notches. We are back to the 70s & 80s again.

Most probably after this episode, there will be less activity on political blogs and Singaporeans will be apathetic again which PAP always 'advocates'.

Maybe Mr Brown might even fizzle out.

jase said...

I planned to write an email to give her a piece of my mind, but decided against it as her brain is likely too small and insecure to be able to absorb anything.

Btw, if you turn Bhavani upside down, you can actually use her as a broom (look at all that wasted hair)! Must be what Lee Boon Yang uses her for..

Anonymous said...

The job of a PR professional is to project a good image for her client. And if it's within her power to manipulate instead of persuade the mass media to this cause, which PR professional would not want to do that. Just as we keep Blame the government, the minister, but not their messenger; she's doing what she's supposed to do. My only comment is that perhaps from a PR point of view, this move may backfire and put the client in a worse light than it already is. Or maybe the client doesn't care and would rather be feared than loved.

Anonymous said...

Isnt TODAY guilty of politicization of the issue and being partisan by dropping Mr Brown?

I mean Mr Brown gave some private opinions and PAP replied. End of story.

Let the people decide who is right and who is wrong.
Not PAP or Mediacorp.

There is no need to drop Mr Brown and make this issue a political fight between PAP and Anti-PAP.

In fact, it is Mediacorp who is politicising the whole issue. It is Mediacorp who is partisan.

Anonymous said...

i support mrbrown. ms bhavani's comments are quite inappropriate. she is being direspectful of our rights as citizens to hear voices from our own people.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Nonsense. She has the freedom to act as a free agent.

Anyone with a tad of economic cow sense will understand that more progress, or more capitalism is the key to "freedom".

"There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty." Margaret Thatcher

Pandemonium said...

Personally, I think it is of no use (or even wrong) to attack Bhavani. She is just the messenger; she carries the words from PAP. You can shoot her down, but someone else can easily take over her job. Although I can be wrong here, I'd venture a guess that she has absolutely no power over the decision making of 1) issuing such an acidic response and 2) suspensing mrbrown's column. In any case, most of your response will probably end up in her junk mailbox anyway.

However, quite frankly, I'm uncertain of what is the best way of responding to this incident. Many have written excellent pieces to rebut MICA's response, but unless they filter down to the general population (which of course they won't), most will not be aware. My personal take on this matter is to remember. Just remember how receptive the government is to criticisms. Just remember that the government has as much sense of humour as dry rot. Just remember the trauma mrbrown had to go through.

Just remember, this incident, five years later.

Petra said...

saying that she's just a mere pawn of the PAP is not adressing the issue. The truth is everyone has a choice to kiss the arse or NOT to kiss the arse of PAP. In this case, it's quite apparent what Bhavani has chosen to do.

It's time to remember that we all have a choice. Even if its a difficult one, that might put our economic/carrer in jepordy, on ehas to choose if their integrity and sense of justice is cheep enough to trade off for a promotion and a pat on the back by hypocritical institutions and superiors.

Anonymous said...

pandemonium is correct. If the message does filter back to the heartlands, I am afraid the people are too bloody ignorant to understsand the meaning of Mr. Brown's message, or the government
answer delivered by their pet Indian rabbit.

I am afraid bloggers it's a lost cause.

soci said...

never mind trying to get it out to the people of Singapore, the world is watching the slide away from freedom of speech. Something tells me that this years RSF index for Singapore may be less complimentary.

robertspore2006 said...

I agree. We deserve the govt we voted in. We knew what is coming as warned by former Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Tan Soo Khoon about price hikes after every GE.
No use blaming the spokeswoman or spokesman. They are just messengers for their Ministries.
And no racists comments, please.

Anonymous said...

You are right.
Except for the approx 40% who voted otherwise, the rest of us deserve to be run line a nanny state. Lee Kim Mun's blog is ahead of our times.I hope however it does not go to waste. But does the majority of us deserve his efforts in creating a active citizenry and less apathy as plodded by our govt so many times. This is a step back.
MICA does not want reporters to write against or even FOR the govt. Are our newspapers strictly following this rule ??

Nelly said...

Can someone tell Jay Leno that he doesn't look good in drag?

Amused said...

Somebody should ask former Speaker of Parliament Tan Soo Khoon for his comments about the recent price hikes.
I am sure he will be laughing his heart out as he and many others (incl many of us and you, too) have known the modus-operandi of the PAP after every elections. He should know better too being part of the establishment for many years.
Anyway, the 50-60% of the people who voted for the PAP got what they deserve. So these people should not complain, I suppose and conveniently blame others for what is their own doing. These people have not put the money where the mouth is, as they say. A taxidriver once mentioned aren't we to some extent - hypocrites. We want the best for ourselves but do not want to do the needful (eg vote in an election). The worse are those who deliberately did not vote even though they could have in their constituencies.These are not worthy Singaporeans and biggest let-down.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in a small West of England village, one of the worst biggots was a gentleman called Mr. small, eventually he was referred to as small in name small in mind.

singapore is the same, an insignificant little island similar to a puss filled spot which needs to be pricked with a sharp needle.

TDhe population lack all form of courtesy, some manage to enter a singapore university, conme out with a piece of paper, but of course unabale to do their jobs because they have never been able to understand the subject they studied

The governsment makes matters worse by their continual string of boasts. If you believed the media, the island is now hub of the world, and hub of hubs.

A puss filled spot needs dissinfecting.

Anonymous said...

the same guy keeps ranting

Anonymous said...

Why is she anal-retentive? Does she have constipation or is it hard to dis-engage from an anal sex session with her?