K. Shanmugam says a free media not for Singapore

I’m not in the least surprised that Mr K Shanmugan, the Law and Home Aafairs Minister, has defended the lack of a free press in Singapore. 

But at least he was courageous enough to do it in the bastion of democracy, the US. 

Singapore ranks high in many aspects but in press freedom, free speech and human rights the current administration is consistently ranked very low. 

On the surface this is  an anomaly but it’s consistent with ruling parties that wish to hang on to power as seen in  Burma, North Korea and China just to name a few in Asia. 
 
The notion that being a tiny country we can’t withstand a vibrant press is ludicrous. 

How about Hong Kong (ranked  34th) then? It’s also a small country isn’t it?

To be ranked 136th on press freedom out of 178 countries by Reporters Without Border is surely a major embarrassment for the current administration, with nations like Russia, Iraq, Mexico, Ethiopia and Turkey for company. Ouch!

The current political leadership must be bristling with frustration that though Singapore is at the top of the league in  infrastructure, incorruptibility, education, medical care, safety and cleanliness, this 136th ranking is a blight on an otherwise outstanding track record. 

Singaporeans are well-educated and, in the era of the internet, aware of what’s going on in the rest of the world. They will not buy your story anymore. 

While there’re those who keep on extolling the Emperor’s new clothes, the more discerning among us see them for what they really are: a controlled media is a powerful weapon as a means to hang on to power. 

To be sure, all ruling parties want to hang on to power. There’s nothing wrong with this. 

But what is wrong is when they tweak the system to ensure the playing field is in their favor. 

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2 Responses to “K. Shanmugam says a free media not for Singapore”

  1. Didn’t Singaporeans coin the term, ‘kia-su’?

    To be fair, I wonder what criteria ‘Reporters Without Borders’ use to rank countries?

    Is the government really bothered about what others say?

  2. Yes it does….

    It affects Singapore’s reputation…and by default the incumbent government’s position…to the world at large…

    Money can only bring you so far…no matter how much you greased the gears of other countries to win their vote or to get them to aligned to your position in international issues…it is still cheaper to get by with just reputation alone…but once that reputation is shot to pieces….it gets too prohibitively expensive…

    But the above is just a facet of the over-all picture…

    We also have to consider this thing called “face”….asians [luckily not all] are very particular about it…but when blood is involved…you will see them “give” and “take” BS…

    Only the Japanese are better…to them it is honor…and the Japanese are willing to bleed to keep their honor.

    My 2 cents.


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