14 Jul 2006

S'pore Minister Dr Lee Boon Yang Response to Mr Brown Issue

From Youtube

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Dr Lee Boon Yang said the government was duty-bound to respond to unfair and unjustified comments on key government policies.

The minister said, in a mainstream newspaper, you have to be objective, you have to be accurate, you have to be responsible for your views.

He added: "And that's always been my position, or the position of this Government - that the mainstream newspaper must report accurately, objectively and responsibly.

"And that they must adopt this model that they are part of this nation-building effort, rather than go out and purvey views that would mislead people, confuse people, which will in fact undermine our national strategy!"


jean-luc picard said...

I remember that, once upon a time, Iraq had an Information Minister who became rather famous.

Lee Boon Yang, in my opinion, is Singapore's very own Comical Ah-Lee.

Anonymous said...

hmm.. interestingly, they din 'hang' the editors...

again, they are creating a diversion INTO mr brown..

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brown's non-political podcast were watched by millions in an unprecedented turnout in "youtube". The government could not do anything about it, ince it was in blog space. To me, getting Mr. Brown "fired" from his job is the PAP's way of "fixing" him.

Anonymous said...

Last GE, LHL said about fixing the opp, but Chua Mui Loong reported twisted it into countering the opp
in the ST. It's a whole world of difference in meaning.Did LBY then
rebuked CML over the inaccurated reporting? So much for the hypocracies of LBY remarks

Anonymous said...

Was Mr Brown not accurate, responsible and objective? Most people think so but LBY on behalf of his bosses think otherwise. Say things that make the S'pore bosses happy and one is alright but say true things which put them in a bad light then one becomes irresponsible, inaccurate and subjective. What logic? Sadly lah, democracy sudah mati!

Anonymous said...

Why does the Minister keep referring to Today as a "mainstream" newspaper? What does that word mean? He used it three times in his comments. Is that to distinguish Today from some other type of newspaper, such as the non-mainstream newspaper? Even if we could define the word mainstream, is there such a thing as a non-mainstream newspaper?

Anonymous said...

because it is owned by SPH, and if they cant control SPH newspaper they would look weak

Matilah_Singapura said...

LBY—"mislead and confuse people"...AHA, an admission by a minister, actually THE minister ofr arts and communication that S'poreans are incapable of forming their own conclusions, i.e. lack critical thinking skills.

Who is he to speak for everyone?

And, the EVERY govt itself has been misleading and confusing people for millenia!

As an aside—when you watch the video, there is a scene where these SQUARE folks attempt to play drums at some state-sponsored socialist and socialised arts event, put on by the statist Heritage Foundation (the OFFICIAL interpreters of S'pore history)

Sorry, but dem folks ain't got no soul! Just check out the body language... Oh man...

If James Brown saw and heard that, he'd SCREAM! And that would be GOOD! :-)

Anonymous said...

Brown, down but not out
By Juniper Foo
Managing Editor
July 14, 2006


Reality check this week. Journalists are what? Well, in the words of one Press Secretary: "It is not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the Government." Even publishing this dreadful, er, dreaded quote had my fellow writers at CNET Asia suffer visions of me being branded Enemy of the State, with "dissident" stamped on my forehead.

BrownTown's infamous denizen?

Having been M.I.A. a mere five days away on a short vacation, it was to return and find that taxi fares had gone up and L'infantile terrible of Singapore Mr Brown had gone down. The quote above had come in response to blogger Lee Kin Mun's recent column in local publication Today, which has since joined the league of The Economist and the Far Eastern Economic Review that have either been suspended or "gazetted".

I haven't read Lee's facetious take on issues apparently ranging from the electricity tariffs to taxi fare hikes post-Elections, but if politics isn't about issues that directly concern ourselves and our lives, what is? Toss a banana peel and make a monkey of Uncle Sam, and everyone laughs. Throw one at the ruling elite here, and you're liable to be heftily fined plus serve community work time for littering.

Ironically, Asia1.com.sg ran an article just after the Brown debacle, titled Singaporeans the least happy people in Asia. Could it be because humor is not encouraged, particularly when it's done at the jurisdiction's expense?

One reckons, though, that Mr Brown's main mistake appears to have been crossing not the powers-that-be, but the medium from online to offline. As one former journalist pal pointed out: "He chose to go 'mainstream'. When he did, they shut him down."

Singapore shrink-wrapped, eBay US$4.99

Not surprisingly, this had the opposite effect on the Web, practically rallying the entire Singapore blogosphere to talk about it, from Mr Wang's very funny Bhavani Commandments to point-by-point observations by Elia Diodati. From Xenoboysg's outpour to blogger Molly's tongue-in-cheek self-certification: "Ms. Molly Meek is certified to be responsible, constructive and non-partisan by the Internet Managing Agency..."

Interesting enough, when it comes to the Internet, the Singapore Government doesn't have a good handle on how to manage the Net's power. But that's all good since it means I won't be receiving a surprise in my mailbox anytime soon, besides my latest Public Utility bill listing a hike in electricity tariffs.

Anonymous said...

they are still making up their mind how effective blogsphere is going to be as a political tool; for now, they want "mainstream" press to be owned and controlled, but let blogsphere go on its own; they could change their mind if any opposition party makes effective use of it; for now this seems unlikely

Anonymous said...

There are always ppl eagerly rushing to suck the last drip of cum from their boss dick and happily announce to the whole world its the sweetest cum they ever taste in their life.

PAP is taking another step further into their grave with this kind of approach. Newer generation of singaporeans are not dumb, pls get in touch with reality and start tackling wif facts rather than hiding them.

As members of govt, pls stop using "Can you provide us the solutions" to passionate singaporeans who highlighted the raising costs of living in singapore. Wat are the Dr, PhD ppl in the govt for ? If you cant do it, step down and let others take over.

Anonymous said...

Read former Permanent Secretary and now govt critic Mr. Ngiam Tong Dow's book, 'A Mandarin and the Making of Govt Policy'.

In it, he mentioned how LKY taught him that to exercise power:

a) we must have a strong treasury (the economy)
b) control of the gun (the army)

[We agree on these two]

c) Influence over the voice (the MEDIA).

[this is the gist of all the unhappiness we are now experiencing in our country).

Anonymous said...

it is possible to argue that all national resources, of which media and PR machinery is one, should be under government control and be used for nation building; it is also possible to argue that none of these should be used to prevent a democratic change of government and normal functioning of opposition parties; both ideas are "correct"; the question is how a government actually navigates between them

Animal Farm tenant said...

As a few others (Treelover, etc..) mentioned under a heading 'Singaporean the Least Happy people in Asia' -
pl see ARCHIVES July 2006):

To quote them and I, too:

To avoid being victims of the press esp the Straits Times, do not read them.

Be contented with the news from the Internet and these blogs and then make your own decision.

As I mentioned in the above, today we are deluged with propaganda about property fever abetted by the papers as their advertisers include the major developers.

No one questioned in the press why the 1996 anti-speculation measures were quietly removed (with capital gains tax for properties sold within 3 years of purchase). This is causing speculation again benefiting a few and the foreigners - with buyers like the Indonesians as reported in today's FM 93.8.

Why no balanced reports from Straits Times with alternative views ?

Are the reporters' job to get out the truth overridden by their bosses' overiding self-interests and for other vested interests at the expense of the public ?

Is the greed for advertising revenue more important than balanced reports ?
Our challenge: is to notice the slant they take in theri reports.

See how they report developers' comments with the intention of serving their own goals of profit makings, at the expense of the citizens.

Will this speculation caused higher costs of living; and opprotunities for money laundering by foreigners ?

This is the abuse (and power) of the Press. I hope MICA takes note of this, too.