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The MSM, the Internet and the Bookshop July 4, 2007

Posted by Ned Stark in Uncategorized.

Australian Rodney King has written a book, “The Singapore Miracle- Myth and Reality” questioning the reputation that Singapore is efficient and successful (from a capitalist point of view). Of course suffice to say, the book is at odds with the current fare that the local MSM dishes out; those stories about how there is a bull run, how everyone is making money, how everyone is unconcerned with the GST increase, how enbloc is making people rich etc. And not to mention the fact that the book will not be appearing at a bookshop near you.

Sometime ago some academics made the comment that the MSM and the blogosphere were often at odds. Well there is truth to that Statement. Compare and contrast these two articles on the impact of the net. Essentially the ST article has once again labelled the Internet as a dangerous place and likened it to Mob Rule. While it is undeniably true that with the Internet one can essentially thumb one’s nose at MDA, is the impact of the Net so dire? And if so, WHY is it like that? WHY are there people who are not adversely affected? Is it because they have the ability to think? Something which is, rightly or wrongly, frowned upon in Singapore?

Unfortunately true to form, such stuff will rarely, if ever, be fully discussed in the MSM as such a “Brutal Truth” does not complement the rosy picture that Singapore hopes to portray. Thus we the citizens will be stuck with the usual feel good news and the usual exhortations to stop whining. Unless of course we turn to the Internet, which contrary to popular belief hosts a wide range of views, not all of them anti establishment.

So how does one resolve the two seeming radical different views on Singapore? Well to start of, despite their radically different content, both, in so far as possible, tell the truth. Singapore is a good place if one has the means and ability, and in this society that would mean wealth. With wealth one can enjoy the luxuries of Singapore, and with the new IRs and those places called Sentosa Cove Singapore indeed will soon become the playground of the rich.

Of course if your struggling to make ends meet and to survive competition from the Foreign Talents coming to Singapore in ever greater numbers, then you will be inclined to declare the content of the ST as bollocks. In fact what some bloggers and perhaps Rodney King are trying to say, the beneficiaries of this growth are not the common man but those aforesaid wealthy fellas. And while it cannot be denied that the world is a dog eat dog place, a place of the survival of the fittest, that is no reason to leave those less well off in the lurch and tell them to bugger of.  And not to forget that the pursuit of growth has resulted in a society which has thrown ideals into the bin, as said by Mr Lee Kuan Yew himself, during the debate on Ministerial Salaries,

On views that the ministers should be willing to make sacrifices and not to be there for the money, Lee said: “Those are admirable sentiments, but we live in a real world.”

(This reminds me of a time when I talked to someone who said that Wee Shu Min had a point. And when i pressed the point further the person then responded with the sentence, ” But we do have a good government”! Now that reply appeared to me to be predicated on the idea that I was being critical of the government and that I had no business to think that way. Unforunately thats the way things are. Say something that is not supportive of the government and there will be those who will be quick to declare you pariah. And they talk about engaging the masses. Unless the word “engaging” is used in the military sense.)



1. guojun - July 4, 2007

with water cannons, rubber bullets and CS gas, anyday. Get out of singapore, ned. get out while you can.

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