Monday, May 04, 2015

Critical and critical voices - we need both

We all kinda figured out that the Singapore General Elections (GE) is near when the PAP starts:
  • Dishing out goodies and freebies,
  • Having widespread newspaper articles crowing about the PAP success stories,
  • Threatening us that with a bad dose of government and our mums and sisters will end up as maids,
  • Reminding us with knuckledusters and spurs that we will need to repent, etc.
Or come on an offensive approach to clamp down alternative or dissenting voices.

The latest victim of such 'culling' is the suspension the The Real Singapore (TRS) (link at

Update: I can no longer access the site :(

I reiterate - dissenting voices are actually both critical (fault-finding) and critical (essential) feedback to any organisation and country. Without which it will be hard for any  progress or break-away from the norm and think out-of-the-box.

How can any organisation or country progress when surrounded by yes-men and group-think mentality?

Interesting to note that the TRS administrators are non-Singaporeans.

But does it really matter? Does one have to be a Singaporean to comment or be critical about how Singapore is run? What about other international media that have been critical about Singapore? Why TRS?

What about hosting the site on Facebook groups? Will MDA be able to clamp down on such groups? How far is the policing arm of MDA?

Unbeknown to many the current CEO of MDA Mr Gabriel Lim  was actually the ex-principle press secretary of PM Lee. Duh?

When we pause for a moment to ponder about the charges on TRS administrators, it wasn't because the TRS administrators were non-Singaporeans, nor was it because the articles were seditious (which in my opinion were nothing seditious).

It's because the PAP has got nothing to counter the online aggregated media except to either shut these sites down or get them registered under their controlled policies of publishing.

Where is the real power then?

It lies with every individual. Yes, each online reader is given a tremendous power...

Power to read what is published. Power to form our own thoughts, beliefs, assessment and conclusions.

Power to decide with all the massive information out there, what to believe and carve out a course of action.

Therein lies the power. But a risky one per se as one can believe a misguided truth.

On my personal experience - if it wasn't for TRS, I wouldn't have known many underlying issues. More often I have found such sites to have very insightful articles for reading.

Do I believe everything written and published?

Nah, but sites like TRS usually give me a different perspective. We have to often remind ourselves - there are always two sides to a coin.

Just as much as these sites have their agendas, government policies equally have their usual share of political agendas. Usually hidden ones.

By and large, I have benefited from TRS. As much as I miss TRS and I know there will be other new sites coming up...

The truths hurts for the PAP. They can't handle the truth. And they are definitely not on my side.


Anonymous said...

PAP is like the historical dynasties on its last legs. surrounded by yes men who dare not bring up constructive opposing views - similar like emperor's new clothes.
what was disappointing was pinky used the may day speech to bpoasts abt how good the pap is..need to give support to kee chiu chan, and thanking lim sia sway.
wow, i had thought naively that may day is to recognise the unheralded worker ants.
v sneaky of pinky to pap propaganda into the speech...sigh.
yes, i will miss trs. some articles give a different perspective, some are pure entertainment. most people will be able to discern these.
pap is really insecure. i hope there is no sympathy votes for the coming ge ( my guess is there will be quite a lot ).
interesting pinky did not call for netizens to back off amos, but yet he called us to back off foreigners when they posted discriminatory posts ( anton casey etc ).

Inconvenient Questions said...

Dear Kaffein-nated,

We're writing from Inconvenient Questions (IQ), a socio-political website which seeks answers on burning issues from netizens with the hopes of promoting a robust, honest discussion on issues without having to resort to vitriol.

Once a fortnight, we organise an in-depth studio discussion which will be recorded and posted online along with 5 to 6 snippets showing key highlights. You may view our previous discussions here.

We’d like to extend an invitation to you or any of your blog's readers participate in our upcoming discussion. The event details are as follows:

Title: debateIQ - Rules of Engagement?
Date: Wednesday 13th May 2015
Time: 5:30pm - 7:45pm
Venue: NUS U-Town

The discussion hopes to look at the "light touch" the government has adopted in regulating free speech. We hope that the discussion will help to define the boundaries of acceptable and respectful speech.

If you'll like to find out more, pls do not hesitate to contact

Yours Faithfully,
IQ Editors