THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Low Thia Kiang: How can Singaporeans know the truth when the the media is monopolized by the govt?

Posted by temasektimes on May 29, 2012

WP Chief Low Thia Kiang has responded to the charge by Lianhe Zaobao Chief Editor Wu Xindi that he has hurled baseless and unfair accusations at the Singapore media for being a propaganda tool of the government.

Mr Low has been embroiled in a tit-for-tat exchange with the media in the aftermath of the Hougang by-election in which he accused certain publications of manufacturing ‘untruths’ to smear his party and candidate.

Though the WP candidate Png Eng Huat eventually won the election with 62.09% of the votes, Mr Low still reserved harsh criticisms for the media during a press conference on Saturday.

In a statement issued on the WP website today, Mr Low asked how Singaporeans can make an informed choice when the main source of information has been monopolized by the government:

“Till today, the chairman of Singapore Press Holdings is an ex-PAP cabinet minister and the main shareholder of Mediacorp TV is a government-linked company, Temasek Holdings. How much neutrality can we expect from them?”

Mr Low added that it is imperative that the media must become a reliable source of information for the people as it can be used as a powerful tool for or against political parties:

“Only then can it be an effective check on all political parties including the PAP, not just against the opposition. We must not allow the media to be used by the government as a political tool.”

There is no independent media in Singapore, all of which are owned and controlled by the government in one way or another. The Singapore media is ranked 135th globally in terms of press freedom by respected international NGO Reporters without Borders in 2011.

Below is Mr Low’s statement in Chinese:

刘程强回应早报总编辑“别把主流媒体当箭靶子” (早报5月28日言论版)

吴新迪总编辑说:“这起事件,我们没有在后面暗中操盘,想要破坏工人党。” 我必须在此严正澄清:我所说的是“成为暗箭的有力 射手”,并没有指控任何主流媒体就是那个“放暗箭的行动党打手”。

我在记者会上的完整说词是:“明枪易挡、暗箭难防。意想不到的是,主流媒体竟然成为暗箭的有力射手,一些媒体甚至没有根据, 也没确认事实,就大事报导和藏镜人通过电邮所说的话。”

我所要表达的是,媒体的大事报导,成为了放暗箭者的有力工具, 助长了放暗箭者所要达到的目的。这也同时鼓励更多有心之人在未 来关键的时刻效法。不论所说是真是假,不敢站出来面对自己的所 做所为,为自己所说的话负责任,不但是小人行为,更是胆怯的伪君子。新加坡朝向第一世界国会民主进程迈进的过程中,主流媒体 应该协助清理政坛,不应该允许这类人搅局作乱。反之则等于助纣为虐。这是我的担忧。

更有甚者,如果媒体不查证所获得的消息来源是否正确,甚至在不确定提供消息者的真正身份就大事报导匿名者不利某人或政党的言谈,不但误导读者,更会使媒体失去公信力。

所以,我接着说:“一些媒体甚至没有根据,也没确认事实,就大 事报导和藏镜人通过电邮所说的话。”我所指的是《我报》5 月 24 日的头版“揭秘者接受本报电邮访问”的内容。大标题是“揭秘不 是要害工人党、我也不会退出工人党”。《我报》难道已经知道 “神秘松鼠”的身份?已经证实“神秘松鼠”是工人党的党员?

吴总编辑说:“(我)选择在补选成绩揭晓后的记者会上,突然向媒 体发难,把所有主流媒体说成是暗箭的射手,是人民行动党在竞选 期间的政治打手。”

补选成绩揭晓后的记者会是在 5 月 26 日晚上。但是,我早在 5 月 24 日,最后一场的后港补选群众大会上,在以英语演讲时就已经说:“。。。但是,当主要的资讯来源都被垄断,人民又如何能在真正了解事实之后作出选择呢?到今天为止,新加坡报业控股的主 席还是由前内阁部长担任,新传媒电视的主要股东是政联公司,淡马锡控股。我们能够期待他们到底有多中立呢? 1

我也说:“传媒有潜能成为对付或支持某个政党强而有力的工具。 因此,媒体必须独立,不能受到政府的强力影响,其所提供给人民的信息也必须是可靠的。只有这样,媒体才能够有效审视所有的政 党,包括人民行动党,不单单只是反对党。我们不能够让媒体被政 府利用,成为政治工具。” 2

所以,记者会是我对这次补选媒体整体表现质疑的总结,以及进一步更具体的表达我的看法和担忧。不是选择在补选后突然向媒体发难。

同样在 5 月 24 日的最后一场群众大会上,我也说:“。。。许多记者和摄影记者都有使命感,也负责任。尽管它们在写报导时尽力做到公平,但最终所刊登出来的,是超越了他们的权限。” 3

从我 30 年从政所累积的经验中,我知道媒体所刊载的信息对公众有很强的渗透力;尤其在政治上,塑造形象的重要性。我也见证了媒体在新加坡政治发展上所扮演的重要角色。 我所要表达的,就如我在记者会上担心的,媒体成为新加坡民主进程的绊脚石,会使我们的政治文明倒退 20 年。

刘程强 2012年5月28日

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Related articles:

Zaobao Chief Editor attacks Low Thia Kiang

DPM Teo raps Low Thia Kiang: I hope he will move away from his combative tone

Dr Tan Cheng Bock questions Rotary Club’s donation to Desmond Choo

Post-mortem of Hougang by-election: PAP continues to lose ground to WP

Prof Bridget Welsh: PAP has miscalculated in its by-election campaign

PM Lee encouraged by improvement in PAP’s result in Hougang

40 Responses to “Low Thia Kiang: How can Singaporeans know the truth when the the media is monopolized by the govt?”

  1. A resident said

    This is why the internet is our greatest freedom for media.

  2. spotlessleopard said

    The Main Stream Media will only become independent when the Newspapers Printing and Publishing Acts are repealed and Radio adn TV Licences are freely available to to Those who wish to set up Newspapers Radio, and TV Stations are allowed to do so without Termersick getting involved…only then will Mainstream Media be independent…
    For this to happen the PAP must be voted out first.

    • Compatriot said

      The PAP government have a five year leasehold to govern Singapore and can be stopped and minimised of their parliamentarians majority in parliament and inevitably be booted out of parliament when by fielding and contest the 81 seats in Parliamentary General Elections 2016

      I hope to see the 81 seats are contested.The Opposition,either or,as a coalition can make it happened is to put up an all out invitation of a dialogue seminar based upon as a national issue of goodwill to all Singaporeans
      Good and concerned Singaporeans will engage and respond

  3. singaporeson said

    All Singaporeans KNOW that Singapore media is controlled by pap bastards.
    Only they dont realised that we already KNOW that !
    FUCK pap and millionaire ministers !

  4. SGporean said

    Agree fully with Mr Low TK.
    We have been fed since the begining till now.
    The GOVT will not tell us that they have make losses due to blah blah blah and kcik those res[ponsible out , so are our MSM.
    They will make full use of MSM to say that Joe and jane are involved in marxist conspiracy to topple the GOVT with 1 sided story telling technique so that the COS will believe .
    Same with Malaysia and they inherited all these from the British.
    Now is 2012 , for the past ten years we have embraced the internet revolution whereby freedom of press is not their SOLE right anymore. If they refuse to acknowledge it , thats their problem and die faster….!!!

  5. Henry said

    Singaporeans today are much more educated with a higher percentage of literacy and thinking skills. Unlike the 60s and 70s, our fathers depended on any source of information to make an informed judgement. Hence, disctintive operations swept underground to compel allegiance. We are a gift of our PAP government who give us the education to understand and know the truths. We build alternative media with the advent of technology which had fell short of anticipation, and could not be amended in the constitution in time to block the truth. The future of Singapore lies in a crossroads of decision by the voters of the true Singaporean. Make the your rightful choice.

  6. Ray said

    MSM = state own. Isn’t this a fact already? You mean anyone still have doubts until today?

  7. Aminurasyid said

    You are right Mr Low. All the media are been controlled by the government agency body. There is ‘NO’ neutral in reporting and been edit by the government. What I know in terms of Democratic society, we the citizen is the government and the person been elect is “Members of Parliament” because we vote them to represent us in Parliament to voice our problem. Instead after we vote them in, they control us and not listening to our problem arise. They ignore us.

    • whose problem said

      It’s not our problem, it’s them who created problems for us, they are the root of our problems, we must not think it’s a problem to remove the root of our problems, our problem is majority still want them to create problems for us, that becomes a problem to remove the root of our problems.

  8. 说的好! said

    说的太好了,太痛快了,一针见血,看主流媒体这次如何狡辩。其实国人对主流媒体早已没有信心了!

  9. dan2429E said

    …..LTK, there’s still a Temasek Review…..

  10. SalesExec said

    Why picture so dark? Can’t you put a better picture?

  11. Mr Low, please be careful and not fall for the tactic used on Dr Chee.

  12. pay said

    Wow… LtK is the real assasin… He aims for your nuts!!! Ouch!

  13. pay said

    CWe are past event horizon to reconcile msm and sm. Time to bring out opinion polls to flush out the haze, it will help smooth out public opinion. In addition, we are technically 2 party system by split of votes. Pm lee, as much as u resist american politics, you need clear bipartisanship in policies to reunify singapore.. 60 +. 40 =1. 0, which is a whole number. Work towards that number and reunify singapore for heavens sake.

  14. WP_FTW said

    The local media is now ranked 150th, pls correct it. Nothing to be proud of

  15. Voodoo said

    Well said! Mr LTK 大家都心知肚明啦…

  16. speechless said

    hope HK Apple Daily can come here setup franchise media. great business opportunity..

    • Anthony Tang said

      What for? The PAP will not issue license, and even if they do will find fault and close it down within a month. Remember some older papers like Tribune,and others.
      Only do they PAP loose the majority can Singaporeans be proud that they are Singaporeans

  17. Not another brick in the wall said

    Time for V for Vendetta. We need that.

  18. TCH Should Just Shuddup said

    this explains….
    http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eat-drink-man-woman-16/sgs-press-freedom-ranked-150th-world-3747637.html

  19. bb said

    Wait till the next election when WP becomes the ruling party then the press is free.

  20. When LTK said the MSM is monopolized by the gov, he might not reflect what is in his mind, as there is a verv thin line of perceiving the diffference betw gov and PAP. LTK would not dare to say the media is control by PAP? fact or fiction?

    • aiyo said

      Lol, if he say PAP, you will nvr see him again at least for 20years, sue till bankrupt? And isn’t PAP==govt? Is == not = only ah! Remember!!

  21. Ron said

    LTK might as well save his energy. Nothing to stop WP to start their own free newspaper and distribute each morning just like the New Paper or Today. It is common in many countries that the ruling party will dominate the newspapers and even magazines. USA does that with the so-called free press and present their viewpoints via the Western Press when it comes to geopolitics. So, just move on and avoid getting into expensive legal battles.

    And there is nothing to stop WP from writing a daily blog in Temasek Times and TR Emeritus. Just be factual, argue your points and put your views out for debate. So long as the WP avoid libel and slander, they can write on a whole slew of topics to offer and to invite constructive inputs. And different WP key persons can write. Just make sure they are vetted by the lawyer first.

    Go ahead and use the free social media. You cannot stop the PAP from using their advantage in the media.

    • Dogmeat said

      LTK can sue the paper if they are indeed slandering his good name. For the slight impartial reporting that may occur in MSM, the online blogojunk does it 100 times over in the other direction. I call it a fair game.

  22. Rustle said

    How can Singaporeans know the truth??
    Hey, there is such a thing called the internet and sites like Temasek Times, Temasek Review, Yahoo News etc., etc. etc.
    Are you disconnected?

    • aiyo said

      Dun forget, they are planning to tighten the rules on internet too?! And how neutral can TT and TR be? You know what TT is from the BE already. Totally like those slimming Ads. Before and after totally different!! And What LTK wants is a paper will shoot both the govt and oppsition not just the opp.

  23. Rustle said

    I suggest LTK list out all the ‘untruths’ published by the newspaper. That will be good enough.

  24. Zhang said

    LTK is one of the biggest BJ ever in WP

  25. FATHER OF FATHER OF SINGAPOOR said

    PAP 自掘墳墓,馬來西亞國陣倒臺後,就輪到PAP了,

  26. Anthony Tang said

    The latest edition of an annual index published by Freedom House, Singapore’s freedom of press has been ranked 150th out of 197 countries. In 2007, the rank was 154th out of 195 countries. .

  27. Kelvin Kwek said

    LTK is highly trained in Mandarin….. “ok, someone in the Chinese Media…..pls take over this saga……”

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