Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Let us Heed the message, Not shoot the messenger


I have just received a reply that my letter to the forum page (TODAY) has been rejected. I do not take issue with being rejected ( if you write enough letters , you will have rejections sooner or later), but it is the way the rejection is worded.

The editorial assistant said in the reply, that "We will not be publishing any correspondence on this issue. Shoud you feel strongly, you may want to wish to redirect your views to the source of the letter."

Now I know why there has been zero-coverage of the Mrbrown vs Bhavani debate in TODAY as there has been a near "news blackout" on this issue. TODAY has chosen the easy way out and abdicated its role as a neutral objective feedback channel for the people. It is "washing its hands off" the problem. How convenient but..SAD! Who is imposing the self-censorship, I wonder? The editorial staff itself?

Dr. Huang

(Below is the original post- also the letter sent to TODAY)
Dear friends,

I read with interest Ms Bhavani’s retort to mrbrown’s column (Distorting the truth, mr brown ? 3 Jul 06).

What is particularly informative was her assertion that journalists (especially in Singapore), should not “champion issues, or campaign FOR or AGAINST the Government”.

Is this is a new dictum, I wonder, as there were many articles by our journalists in the past which appeared an “awful lot” like campaigning for the Government, but I do not recall anyone getting their knuckles rapped for that.

Seriously, is a journalist expected to be just a “human” tape-recorder recording verbatim the minutes of a board meeting like a company secretary? Anything more could be misconstrued as campaigning for or against an issue.

Let us be reasonable. People (journalist included) will have opinions and these are the sum-aggregates of different sub-cultures that make up Singapore. No one person or organization knows all the answers and feedback of all forms (especially those that seem unpalatable) help us, as a nation, to steer the right course, away from potential calamities.

Let us heed the message, NOT shoot the messenger!

Dr. Huang Shoou Chyuan

( The above was rejected by TODAY forum page - see above comments)

I will attach the relevant articles for your info ( Bhavani vs Brown) below (as soon as I sort out the bugs in this blogger software- but it is the usual articles which you would have read elsewhere).


Anonymous said...

But this is precisely why the powers that be often shoot the messenger, hoping that this will scare away other would be messengers. And precisely why blog anonymity is so prevalent, because the messenger is invisible and only his message is considered. And precisely why “they” are scared shitless of anonymous criticism, because it’s not the messenger that is significant but his message.

Dr Oz bloke said...

I take it that PM Lee is moving back on what he previously said about how Singaporeans should have opinions.

Something has definitely changed. And I think we should all watch our backs a little more carefully from now on.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi dr oz bloke
Thanks for warning.
Let us thread carefully as sometimes not everyone is as rational as ourselves.
I will do my part to caution bloggers as I am sure you will to.
Dr. Huang

Dr Oz bloke said...

I read this comment on Sammyboy about superheroes and secret identities. And how if the secret identity is leaked. you endanger all your loved ones etc.

I think this applies to Singapore as well.

If you want to be in the open, you should toe the line. If you are contrarian or are a dissenter, then be prepared to face the consequences.

I once got into a bit of trouble after I wrote a piece on youngpap forums that got mass emailed to just about everybody.

Be careful. They are watching....

nofearSingapore said...

Hi Oz doc
Dr H

Anonymous said...

Excellent comments! You said all that I was thinking.

Politics exist to serve the people, the citizens. Without them, there won't be any politics or government around. In fact, every citizen is not only 'partisan' in politics, they are an inseparable part of it. If the "scholars" can't even see this simple fact, they are idiots by another name. How many of these idiots are now running our country?