The WSJ have never had a good take on Singapore’s political scene. The Singapore story challenges their notions of what the ideal society and political system should be.

Comments from netizens : 

  • The ultimate test of what the current government has the support of the population is simple. Every 5 years we have a GE. And whoever wins the GE is the one that Singaporeans support.Doesn’t it strike you as ironic that when WP wins 61% of Hougang, it is considered a “resounding victory”?
    But when PAP wins 60.6% of a nationwide election it’s considered a step backwards?
    There are definitely double standards,especially when you look at how support in Hougang for the WP deteriorated in this by-election.The point really is that one cannot look at a single by-election in an SMC and make great postulations.
    To the foreign journalists who are trying their best to cook up a story where none exists, we must tell them: One swallow doesn’t make a summer.
  • it is always easy for outsiders like WSJ to talk about Singapore. Tell them, they first go settle their tons of domestic issues, before they talk about us.
  • The WSJ have never had a good take on Singapore’s political scene. 
    I battled with the Asian WSJ back in the late ’80’s when they were bashing Singapore left, right and centre. What flabbergasted me back then was not simply their warped opinions but their distortion or omission of the essential facts, always causing me to wonder what their agenda really was. To be fair, at least they published my counter-editorials in full, but would always strike back eventually.
  •  Just like when CSJ has been looking for ways to get out of Singapore and blast PAP government with the help of external sources, whether journalist or human rights. We should tell these external parties or political observers don’t interfere into ours, we don’t interfere into theirs.
  • Why do these foreign jounalists / jounals want to put our govt in the negative light? What do they stand to gain?They are just looking for a good story.A reporter’s job is to produce stories. A story has to be “news”, in other words, if you are reporting that there is no change, things are the same as before, then it is not news and your story will be rejected.Hence, reporters have an interest in framing some event as news. There are reporters assigned to cover Singapore and Asia. They live here. And every now and then, their editors ask them to produce stories. So these reporters cannot just keep saying, “Singapore is prosperous, the city is nice and clean”. They have to say something new. So whenever an event occurs, e.g. a by-election, they have to exploit it as much as possible. They have to predict what it means, they have to speculate, etc.

    So it is the same in every country. Whenever something happens, e.g. a by-election in the UK, or a state election in the USA, the reporters have to report the result, and then speculate: what does this mean for the leadership? What does it show? Is this good or bad news?

  • Reporters are like any other types of workers. Their job is to produce stories. Regularly. Regardless of whether there is anything happening or not.So sometimes, when there is nothing much to report, the reporter has to do his best to produce something anyway. You cannot have a blank newspaper. So the reporter will look around, see whether there is any angle to spin, talk to some neighbours or read a couple of blogs, get a “fresh” new slant and then write 300 to 500 words in one hour. Job done for the rest of the day.That’s the reality. That’s why reporters for entertainment, sports, law, politics, business – in fact, any beat – go through the same process. They wake up every morning and try their best to produce something, even if it turns out not to be true. “Wayne Rooney to retire!” or “Justin Bieber is a grandfather!”… and the easiest is “People unhappy with [insert policy here], govt losing support”.
  • And just to add on a bit here, especially in the context of the WSJ and other Western publications. There is also a strong element of Western cultural imperialism, I’m afraid. It is paternalistic and elitist, the ‘we know better than you’ attitude at play. Many enlightened Westerners have come to see through this ploy, but the ‘mainstream heartlanders’ who have never travelled out of their own country will probably believe it, sad to say.
  •  we have a unique political system , inclined towards democratic socialist , definitely non communist and far from being authoritarian..
  • There is a strong element of Western cultural imperialism involved. To many Western journalists, an ‘authoritarian’ country like Singapore that lacks basic human rights should have collapsed instead of surviving and thriving. We did not slavishly follow the Western model of democracy, to them we are an inconvenient and embarrassing aberration.
    The Singapore story challenges their notions of what the ideal society and political system should be.
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One comment on “The WSJ have never had a good take on Singapore’s political scene. The Singapore story challenges their notions of what the ideal society and political system should be.

  1. Chua Yew Thwan says:

    Western journalists especially WSJ has an axe to grind with Singapore. They perceived us as unnatural and a chimera that does not deserve to exist. But we have existed and we have prospered, defying their parochial paradigm and myopic framework. While they should study why we succeed and celebrate a tiny dot’s success, they would rather seek for untruths and distort facts to force fit us into their make-believe democratic freedom. They chose to ignore their own shortfalls and misgivings and look outside. They should cease to exist but then US is full of paradoxes allowing nature’s aberration in the form WSJ to live. What irony!

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