Biased? But Singaporeans have right to know…

IT IS fascinating that Workers’ Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang is claiming the moral high ground over the People’s Action Party with accusations that the ruling party had discredited Mr Png Eng Huat and the WP in the run-up to the Hougang by-election (‘WP chief lashes out at PAP and media’; yesterday).

Did the WP not also cast aspersions on the integrity of Mr Desmond Choo as an independent-minded PAP candidate throughout its campaign?

The views of both parties were presented very fairly in The Straits Times.

Still, Mr Low complained bitterly about the bias of the mainstream media while conveniently ignoring the pro-opposition and anti-establishment stance that some online media have chosen to take.

Singaporeans, including the residents of Hougang, attach a huge importance to the integrity of their MPs, and have the right to know about the true character of all candidates who choose to serve them.

Otherwise, why would the WP sack Mr Yaw Shin Leong, shortly after insisting that his alleged sexual peccadilloes were a private matter and nine months after it presented him as a righteous man?

Mr Low speaks highly about building a First World society and First World Parliament.

Unfortunately, this did not stop the WP from stoking anti-foreigner sentiments during the last General Election to win votes, only to call for a relaxation of foreign worker quotas in certain sectors after the polls.

If these were not calculated moves to discredit its opponents and extract political mileage, then I don’t know what is.

I urge Mr Low and his party to get on with the job of serving the people instead of painting themselves as political victims to win sympathy.

Be gracious in victory.

As the saying goes: ‘If you can dish it out, then you must be prepared to take it back.’

Toh Cheng Seong

The Straits Time,  Published on May 30, 2012
Link : Biased? But S’poreans have right to know…


*Related Articles *

ST Editor replies: We believe our coverage of the Hougang by-election was balanced and fair.

Mr Low has taken issue with a photo we used on May 23. We picked this as it summed up dramatically the story of that day.

It showed the Workers’ Party candidate Png Eng Huat, the man in the middle of the controversy, framed by his party leaders deep in discussion.

The headline accurately referred to the WP ‘facing allegations of dishonesty’, as was the case from the developments through the day, and which the WP sought to address at its rally.

On the leaked WP memo sent by ‘Secret Squirrel’, we chose not to run this on the night it was sent to us, so that we could do our own checks on it.

There were also many other allegations swirling about on the Internet about the WP candidate, which we decided not to run as they could not be substantiated.

If indeed we were minded to paint a misleading picture of the WP, as Mr Low charges, we would not have acted with such circumspection.

The morning after his post-election outburst against the media, Mr Low told reporters that his remarks stemmed from a ‘feeling’ that the mood among journalists during the campaign was ‘not so jubilant’ compared to last year’s General Election.

That came as a surprise. As professional journalists, we do not see ourselves as cheerleaders for any political party. Our aim is simply to report the news dispassionately and objectively, so that our readers can decide for themselves. That we have done, and will continue to do.

Excerpts : 

Speaking to TODAY, PAP Member of Parliament Baey Yam Keng, who sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Information, Communications and the Arts, reiterated that “no one can control the media and any responsible media would want full editorial independence”.

Mr Baey said: “Sometimes reports may not be what the newsmaker wants it to be, because there may be neutrality by the media, so it’s not always what the newsmaker wants.”He disagreed with Mr Low’s assertion during Saturday’s press conference that the conduct of the by-election was regressive.

Mr Baey said: “I don’t think we have gone back 20 years, I think the balance of coverage now is quite fair in that you have more profiling of the Opposition parties than you did before, perhaps even more than what the PAP would like. Readers will have to decide for themselves, and nowadays social media also plays a big role … They can look at what is out there and form their own opinion.”


The Hardtruth :

<Devoting his entire speech to the issue,

WP chief Low Thia Khiang confirmed at the rally that the minutes –

which were only available to CEC members – were GENUINE. >

Link : Todayonline – Leaked minutes cause confusion


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