THE TEMASEK TIMES

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PM Lee to ‘converse’ with carefully ‘selected’ Singaporeans in Mandarin forum

Posted by temasektimes on September 20, 2012

State-owned broadcasting station MediaCorp will be hosting a Mandarin forum on Singapore’s future under the PAP – ‘A Conversation with PM Lee’ today at Caldecott Broadcast Centre.

This comes one week after a similar forum conducted in English on Channel News Asia with some 50 people mostly from the PAP and its affiliated organizations.

PM Lee will be joined by Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law Sim Ann.

Thirty studio guests comprising grassroots leaders, educationists, social workers, journalists, tertiary students, new citizens, singles, young parents and senior citizens, will be taking part in the discussion. It is not known how many of them are PAP activists or civil servants.

The forum will first telecast on Sunday, 23 September at 9pm on MediaCorp Channel 8.

Viewers can send “live” SMS and email messages on screen during the telecast.

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40 Responses to “PM Lee to ‘converse’ with carefully ‘selected’ Singaporeans in Mandarin forum”

  1. Lorelei said

    A national conversation is not a national conversation if it doesn’t involve neutral parties of the nation, per se.

    Well done on ruining the country.

  2. teo cheap buy said

    Wayang forum

  3. ;ABC said

    Why is it the the term “grassroots leaders” invariably mean PAP grassroots personnel? Don`t those who help out opposition MPs count?

  4. mahbok tan said

    OMG they never learned and they will never REPENT….!!!

    KNNBCCB to FamiLee and his national CON-the-nation (meaning good luck and CON-the-nation more)

  5. P Koh said

    Do we expect any different outcome from the one done in English? I do not think you from the looks of things.

  6. Darren said

    Wow. Another wayang at taxpayers’expense.

    What is the point of having another wayang when nothing will come out of it?

    It seems that the questions and answers have already been prepared in advance and the participants trained to play their part and rehearse the script.

    It this wayang then to fool the foreigners.

    Again, I doubt it will achieve its goal as foreigners are aware that this is just wayang as well.

    • Deepak Dhawan said

      Real foreign talent would never accept citizenship. Even their own 3rd world countries are more democratic than Singapore.

  7. R Usha said

    frankly whether it is carefuly chosen group of participants as claimed by the soothsayers, it doesnt really matter. What matters most is the PM of Spore is ready for an open conversation with citizens on topics of all matters. thats what really matters. so I suggest to all soothsayers and websites which enjoy anti spore sentiments and statements to stop wasting their time fanning such sentiments.

    • Vic said

      Soothsayers? …hmm..

    • Naivety said

      You are seriously deluded!

    • mahbok tan said

      Ya ya ya …… “carefully chosen group of participants”……it doesn’t matter……ya ya ya……!!!!
      Yes PM is ready for an open CON-the-Nation on topics of Selected matters….!!!
      Didn’t u know that SGporean are good at complaining…just like when they go overseas …they like to chirp cheap chirp….!!!!
      Oh yes i do have some boots that need to be lick…..its at old kallang airport…..!!!!

    • puthu cherry said

      Frankly you are fanning the PM’s arse. No wonder he is still in denial there are significant problems.
      The so called PAP ‘national conversation’ is in effect an arse licking exercise, just the kind of activity for buggers like you. what do u think?

    • Zam said

      Usha is a bloody FT arsehole

    • Singkaypoh said

      R USheep :”Meeehhhhh, meeeehhhhhh”
      Pinky :”thanks for endorsing our policies which is for your own good”
      R USheep :”Meeeehhhhh, meeeehhhhh”

  8. Pink Panty Loong said

    What a waste of time….

  9. Karen said

    Another PAP wayang. The PAP cannot be trusted. It does not really want to hear the views of Singaporeans but instead it wants to continue its propaganda to distract Singaporeans from PAP blunders and failures.
    (1) low productivity of Singapore economy
    (2) low birth rate which started from LKY’s “Stop at 2” policy
    (3) depressed local wages
    (4) failing to plan for the many foreigners it allowed into Singapore
    (5) shortage, “shrinking” and high cost of public housing
    (6) shortage of public buses and MRT trains
    (7) shortage of hospitals, doctors and nursing homes
    (8) shortage of teachers and places in schools for Singaporeans
    (9) gave foreigners a significant advantage over Singaporeans in job market
    (10) shortage of jobs for Singaporeans
    (11) foreigners taking jobs away from Singaporeans
    (12) frequent breakdowns of MRT trains
    (13) overcrowded public transport (buses and MRT trains)
    (14) bailout of public transport (failed privatisation)
    (15) frequent 50-year “ponding”
    (16) high inflation (Singapore more expensive than Hong Kong)
    (17) high cost of education and healthcare
    (18) high cost of electricity (failed privatisation)
    (19) poor air quality as per WHO Air Quality Guidelines
    (20) depleted CPF accounts after buying “affordable” HDB flats
    (21) many CPF accounts below CPF Minimum Sum
    (22) massive (billions) losses of taxpayers’ money by Temasek / GIC
    (23) wasteful purchases by Government agencies like NParks
    (24) made Singapore a “tuition nation”
    (25) real income likely to fall this year
    (26) failing to provide Singaporeans with Swiss Standard of Living

  10. In Singapore , the audience is picked and choosed and screened by ISD. The audience will be given a set of questions to be asked and then the chosen Messiah will answer with his biblical wisdom. Thats why Its Uniquely Singaporean. No free press nor independent judiciary. Welcome to PAP’s Singapore – the international capital of corruption, cronisym and nepotism.

  11. Crap... said

    Complete waste of time and money. If LHL loves to be on TV so much, why not do his own “reality” show instead? Since it’s all wayang anyway.. Little dragon and his special mee siam..

    • Fellow Singaporean said

      Would love to see junior Lee converse with CSJ on national TV, will he dare to take up this challenge?

      • P Koh said

        I think it is a good idea but also a bad one. We do not want to see our Leader lose face or even suffer a heart-attack if the confrontation is tough. After all he has already, together with EM GCT graciously accepted the offer of compensation thus freeing Dr CSJ to enter politics again. It would be deemed ‘ungrateful’ and also a bad idea now for CSJ to bite the hand that frees him from bankruptcy. Please have the grace to allow our ‘Supreme’ Leader to live out his twillight years peacefully. Live and let live.

  12. Insanity at work!!! said

    This is real insanity.

    Keep putting the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Good.

  13. fpc said

    what do you expect? you expect LHL to sit there and listen and answer to difficult questions from ordinary folks. he doesn’t even visit his own ward much.

  14. BK said

    A definition of conversation by wiki is: Conversation is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people who are following rules of etiquette. Spontaneity can only be achieved by across segment of people; which means a statistical representation of the Singaporean population,which according to the last GE 2011, was 60.1% for the incumbent, and 39.9% in the opposition camp.

    Lets face it, even in the US, friendly journalists are planted in a forum to ask the appropriate questions that the politician has a ready answer. Hence, controlling the audience by pre-selecting the participants to benefit the panelists is a trick that all politicians use. But in the US, you will at least have other journalists who will probe without fear, getting a difficult question across and anticipating these tricks, so that a greater revelation or truth can be ascertained. In Singapore, when all the official media are beholden in one way or another to the Government/including its Sovereign Funds, then biases are expected.

    Now, I am a skeptic not a cynic, we try to arrive at conclusions through inquiry not suppositions or inherent propensity.

    Even if the PAP has not explicitly told the myriad of workers (which in these case would be the top brass) of the need to be pro PAP, the very fact that 65% to 70% of our workforce can be linked directly or indirectly to GLCs, and given its incumbency over a period of 55 years, the tendency is for the workers to practice “reflexive obedience”, which is to favor the PAP.

    The words, “reflexive obedience”, can be understood from a report on Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear disaster: “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity.”

    Just in case you think this is just a cultural specific issue, let me give you snippets of the wikileaks about press control in Singapore:
    *Chua Chin Hon, was reported as saying that reporters had to be careful in their coverage of local news, as Singapore’s leaders were “likely come down hard” on anyone who reported negatively about the government or its leadership.
    *He recounted how several ministers at the time routinely called editors to ensure that media coverage of an issue “comes out the way they want it.” Getting “tough with the media” was one way in which younger ministers tried to boost their credentials with the old guard, he added.

    On one hand this shows the paternalistic control by the Government and on the other hand, the pandering to cater to their political masters by the bureaucrats, whether or not it is good for Singapore. Other examples: (1) as the above article shows, a controlled audience ,who are friendly to PAP’s governance, will they reveal Singapore’s discords and social divide, or are they merely there to give platitudes? (2) as reported, the organisers (CCC of Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng) of the Mid Autumn Festival, pushed children of primary school age to rehearse in the open road without closing it to traffic, forcing the parents and teachers to form a human barricade against incoming traffic.

    The real danger is that our civil service like the managers of Fukushima Nuclear Plant, forget that their first duty is to protect the citizens and civilians, not to cover the asses of their political bosses.If you want a National Conversation, please do it with a certain robustness of adversarial content, it need not be rude, but it can be to the point and vigorous.

    I wish that the national conversation will succeed. God knows we need it. We are not anti PAP, we are pro-Singapore. Dont confuse the two.

    • Naivety said

      When it comes to election year & if you are especially in the uniformed and armed forces group, as well as in certain Civil Service divisions the Pro-Alien Party’s representatives will come to conduct briefing & appeal for your votes. And this is normally carried out & conducted through briefings/addresses by CEOs, Presidents, Commanding Officers, OCs of various units, etc!

  15. Wong said

    Would any sensible person wasting time watching a programme like this , it is a waste of electricity and time for watching such a wayang .

  16. richard said

    same same wayang wayang again,why not pop in any old estate market u can ask any of the singaporean he will know the answer or Raffle Place which lots offices and younger generation they can provide u more answer.More transparency.

  17. Lim said

    I think it matters a lot the composition of the participants – an open dialogue with an open mind must not degenerate into an orchestrated play with parts all rehearsed. If the PM is ready for an open conversation on all topics then the surrounding layers must not undermine his good intentions by trying to overprotect him from harsh reality questions from all citizens. It just reinforces the fact that it will be another Will and Kate taichi wayang show at 3 pm

    • P Koh said

      It will defintely save a lot of embarrassment when confronted with hard truths in an open dialogue, answers are not readily available. Nobody wants to be faced with questions that evoke the errors that the government has made over so many issues that have engaged the wrath of the populace in front of a massive TV audience.

  18. Commando Pants said

    Look at BBC1 ‘Question Time’ where these cheating slimey dudes have no stone to hide under and cannot threaten people. This National Conversation is a ‘Nation Joke’… ran with strict conditions to surpress the free feelings and issues of Singaporeans today… every anser is deflective and non commital – rubbish!

  19. Ron said

    The national dialogue is about a constructive forum for a better future. It is not about being confrontational to score political points. That can be left to the election rallies and to Parliament debates.

    It is appropriate to select the audience. Nothing to stop citizens and Opposition parties to organize their own national dialogues.

    • daft, naive or foot-soldier ? said

      Asking tough questions is construed as confrontational ?

      So can I then say censoring tough questions should be viewed as…..
      avoiding accountability ? avoiding hard truths ?
      avoiding judgement ?….they are incompetent, they have been BullShitting, they have not delivered, they have acted against the wellbeing of sporeans, they deserve to be condemned and booted out ?

  20. NaBey said

    One word : GO _UCK YOURSELF IN.

  21. anon said

    @ ‘ Viewers can send “live” SMS and email messages on screen during the telecast. ‘

    “live” – in a delayed broadcast. Cute!

  22. Victor said

    Why spend so much money and time just to put up a show? You know that many out there are more put-off because of this big wayang?

    If the government is so keen in a real National Conversation, engage all party… academicians, opposition, ex-convicts, man in the street…

    Show us the candidate selection process and their credentials. If you want to convince Singaporeans that this is not another big scale wayang.

  23. Singkaypoh said

    Aiyah why so much trouble? Just put Pinky & Old Fart & Chinky in a room & they talk to each other then telecast it 100 times…. questions asked & answers given will not be very far off :)

  24. FutureNotEnough said

    Strange, no one questioned LHL what’s causing all these unhappiness all these years. The citizens just got blamed for being anti-foreigner, narrow-minded, etc. Solve the root cause and all problems will be fixed. Stop talking about our future if the citizen feel unsecure about the present. Does he know what’s happening on the ground? Does he check out the work place, offices, schools, salary figures, unemployed PMETs, structured unemployment, low-wage workers, real wage growth of middle-income group? Competition is good, but not at the expense of your own people and start telling them even without FWs you can be replaced anytime with a mouse click; worst, while you & your gangs are receiving multi-million dollars salary!

  25. LEE said

    Looking at the comments here makes me worry about the future of our country. There are so much objectivity without taking consideration of contextual situation. Are we, as a nation, really gotten so pampered that we believe that having the cake and eating it is a given? Anything short of that, just blame it on the government….

    • P Koh said

      The problems are very real. It may not just be the blaming game but more so to find solutions to get out of the present undesirable position that many poorer Singaporeans are facing. Help is really needed in the circumstances.

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