Singapore media control. A topic that took me quite some time to ponder upon. It was not easy to over come the fact that our media is controlled. When I first learned about it, it was quite shocking to me. No wonder the opposition party leave such a bad impression all along in my mind. I thought they were bad people. The very first evident that government is trying to hide something from the citizen, the beginning of my hatred for the government.
I understood there was this thing call media control, but I have yet to experience it. It was a great night after attending a WP rally. The crowd was extraordinary. I have never in my life see so many Singaporean coming to listen to a talk. The crowd were huge compare to the PAP rally. The very next morning, I brought The Strait Times. Indeed as voice out in the internet, our media is obviously controlled. The crowd that I see last night turn out to be like a few cats and dogs standing by the hill to listen to rally. I was furious. The voice from the internet become so much creditable to be even since.
Many Felt Injustice to tight Media Control
Opposition supporter like I was, often have this question in their mind. The following was from one of the opposition supporter. It was much longer, I just extract out the relevant portion for this topic.
“How to do that, when dissenters have limited information, little transparency, and collective voices ? With all the gerrymandering, fixing opposition, punishing electorates daring to change leaders, mainstream media control and dissemination of biased information etc. Think examples. Last night on TV was an SG50 show with ex LKY’s pictures flashed intermittently throughout. Subliminal brainwashing ? to remind gratefulness to one person only ? I believe Advertising Codes of Conduct should ban that.So if feedback is not taken as a healthy process, the dissenters have to question the Leader/s of each policy, the Policy and the way it is Implemented. Like, is Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Keng Swee, Goh Chok Tong, Lee Hsien Loong, Mah Bow Tan, Koh Boon Wan, Tin Pei Ling, Yaacob Ibrahim suitable as leaders to create policies and control the Implementation process ? Being “highly educated” doesn’t mean you can create good policies by having all your “yes” men around you. Similarly for the Implementation process.”
A Fresh New Perspective to Media Control
The benefit of media control which many other nations do not have. We have media control, but not as controlled as North Korea, perhaps. Why Singapore media control make sense? Media control doesn’t mean they control your hands and legs. Media control is the control of our mind mentally. It seems evil from the surface but many stuffs we do on a daily basis is also similar to media control.
Just like sexual content, which we do not wish our young child to watch before they reach the age of their adults. It takes time for our mind to be matured in order to interpret the content, the right manner.
For company and business, they interact with reporters and media to gain a better positive publicity. Treat nice nice to the media, pay the media to advertise, and write good about them. When there are bad news affecting their businesses, company will try to hide it, and prevent media from further reporting. I mean, media control is normal.
If Sony company is facing a crisis which is affecting their business and the living hood of their employee world wide. Then it is reasonable to at least find a way to minimise the negative impact that will affect them. No one knows, maybe your competitor is the master mind behind spreading the news and trying to beat Sony down so that they can gain business advantages. We will never be able to judge what really happen behind the scene. What we can is to see, hear and think. What is actually real, what aren’t real. What is the truth, what is not the truth.
People control media is here and definitely not the sake of fun. People control media for a reason. In Singapore’s context, media control is basically protecting the rice bowl of our nation as a whole. Many thinks that it is to protect the ruling leaders. Yes, on the surface it is obviously seems to be protecting their sits on the top. It can be tricky here, you just need to think deeper beyond the surface.
My Reply to Media Control Thoughts
This is how I view media control now, how I have replied to that question above.
“It depends on how you position yourself with regards to Singapore in your heart. Do you treat Singapore as your home, and Singaporeans as your family members. Yes, I think you would.
Position yourself as a leader of a big company. You are held responsible to take care of a huge number of employee. Making a profit so that everyone gets to bring food home every month, is a huge responsibility.
One day your employee John found out that department X has a problem. John has 2 choices he can choose to take action. To report to you, CEO so that you can rectify the problem. Second choice, he can choice to report to the media, gain attention and through the intense publicity, your CEO will take notice of it and rectify the problem.
Both solution will eventually leads to CEO solving the problem, but both will end up a result different in the macro view. As a CEO of the company holding the responsibility of your employee’s living hood, which would you prefer.
Do you prefer John to announce to the whole world that your company got a problem that needs to be solve? Telling people how bad your company is, scaring businesses, customers and investor away from your customer. Suddenly you found yourself out of cash flow to feed your employee and your business’s operation.
Or you prefer the employee to report the problem directly to you, so that you can rectify it? Solving the problem and yet not alarming your customers.
Hiding something do sounds somehow evil, but as a CEO, you have the responsibility to lead those staffs under you. You have many mouths waiting for you to feed them every month. The employee only has for himself to worry about, only needs to think about himself.
For John being honest and seek for truth and justice, it doesn’t seems to make much difference between the two choices. As a person of justice and truth, publicity seems the better options. In the CEO perspective, holding the responsibility of the people working for the business, you have little choice, but to bring the damage down to the minimum, because you are responsible for much more people. The stake is much much larger that any other people in the company can carry or had carried before.
If the employee truly love the company and loves all the fellow colleagues. He/she would probably not choose to resolve the problem through publicity, as this can have an impact on damaging the reputation of the company. A company was not built overnight. It is built over the decades with sweat and hardwork by all the staffs.
I mean, have you seen a bad publicity of a company and the CEO and the staffs of the companies are not doing anything about it? Everyone is doing something about it because everyone knows that if the boat is hit, the whole boat will sink. You boat got hit, if you care for your home, you will automatically minimise the damage yourself, without even any instruction from your CEO.
What Media Control Truly is
Media control is an automatic response from people who understand where the stakes are, how big the stakes are, and how it can affect their fellow family members rice bowl. To be exact Singaporean rice bowl.
People who find wrong in media control do not understand the stake. They care for Singapore, but they do not understand what’s beyond, because they only have awareness about themselves because they aren’t having any responsibility for the rest of the Singaporean. They believe in digging out the truth and forget the price that they will create when they dig. They are not treating other Singaporeans as their family members, nor they think that Singapore is their own home. They only care for themselves, what’s inside their house is their home, what’s outside their house is not their home. I have seen many little examples on the ground which refers this selfish behavior. I know we may not be like Japan with perfect social behavior, but Singaporean should be able to do better.
People are not even holding themselves responsible for the rice bowl of the rest of the Singaporean. They sow distrust and stir hatred among the people. Those who read the hatred speech and do not bother to think will be caught into the mental trap as well. Hatred spread like wild fire.
I don’t mean that those minority Singaporean are selfish, I want to express that a real love for Singapore is not about digging out the dirty truth. These hatred speech, stirring emotional stuff, do makes people feel good but it doesn’t do any good but damage to Singapore. It should be about finding out where are the problem and quickly fixed it up.
Media control may seem to be a bad thing on a personal level, but in fact it is meant for the good at a national level. If you can care enough to understand, every Singaporean is dependence on our reputation and branding to earn ourselves a living. The money that we earn today, a significant of it comes from our branding, and not our capability. If I were to born in another country, my life will not be the same as I have now in Singapore. Someone with the same capability as me may work the same number of hours, contribute the same number of effort, but our rewards will different, all because I am born in Singapore, and he is born in China. Singaporean’s enjoy today, because of the good will that Singaporeans have built over the years.
Singapore is a Fragile Nation
Singapore do not have natural resource nor even any land to farm for our own food. Our motherland is not as rich as other mother has under their soil. Singapore only have human resource. We had these human resource who work hard, built the reputation, gaining world recognition that we all enjoying now. And there are people, for the reasons of self suffering or another, don’t give it a moment to think and tear it down as you wish. Yet thinking that you are doing a patriotic thing and helping other Singaporean (which are on paper still consider the minority group). If this is not define as an act of a traitor, I don’t know what else I can label these people as.
Only a competitor will want to see us dead, because if we become weak, they become stronger. Singaporean, has to know what are the right and wrong thing to do.
Singapore is Nothing
Singapore has nothing but human resources, competing for income, so that we can use it to trade for our daily necessity. Human resource that Singapore has is nothing compare to China & India who has far more than we have, and are much much cheaper some more. If customers want to buy products or services, it makes more sense to buy directly from the country of origin rather than through Singapore. Look at how many stuffs at your own home is made in China. Even the iPhone that people are queuing up day and night is made from China, not Singapore.
Singapore depends on higher form of good will to survive in today’s context, and if you are not bother about these stuffs and trash it like you think it should, the first wave of people who will get the hit will be those lower income group. Rich will have the resource to sustain for a while.
Life Sucks and You are still the one in Control
Yes. everyone love a story to explain why their life sucks. Who would like to hear a story that says that I am the one who makes my own life sucks? These atmosphere of hatred creates a society who are waiting for a solution, blaming things they cannot control, and not taking action to do things that they can have control over, to make their life better.
Is this the future Singapore that you people like to see? I cannot control the choice of Singaporean. What I can do, is to speak truthfully from my heart and be able to live my life everyday without any regrets.
Yes. Many say other nations can do this why Singapore cannot? Because Singapore is not like any other countries. Only those who truly treat Singapore as their own home will understand what I am trying to say. I don’t waste my time here for nothing. I am here for the future I believe in. I only believe in what’s real on the ground. Idealistic is only an idea. If you can use your idea and lead a big cooperation/company, then it is worth listening to your formula of success. If you don’t even have the means to take care of your own family in this very real world, then please for a moment, listen to those people who are successful in what they are doing. Listen humbly, learn from them to improve your life.
How to Differential Right / Wrong
We all love Singapore. I can tell because all people here spend their time to fight for Singapore. Do it the right way and not let others 挑拨离间 and influence your own thoughts. We (including me) don’t really knows who have the good or bad intention. I could be helping WP to create for hatred towards PAP, and you could be send by PAP to make the community believe that opposition are a bunch of xenophobic people. Nobody knows what goes behind. But this doesn’t means that there are no way to differential between right and wrong. There are ways, not easy.
This is when the pledge of Singapore helps. Peace, harmony. Those who follow these principle will win my heart, will be the one I should follows, because this is what I want to see in Singapore. And the only party that demonstrate this principle is clearly that only one.
If you may, I would love you to read “leadership and self-deception”. It is a good book to read. Read more positive stuffs. We have the power in our hands to build a better life for ourselves.
No matter who takes over the government at this coming election, let’s still stay united as one people, and follow the choice of the majority. Row the boat as one united people in the same direction. No point throwing down other people just because you don’t get what you chosen. This is the true democratic. I don’t want to see Singapore like other nations where after every election, they still quarrel. This brings them to no where. Respect democratic, respect the choice of the majority. Stay united, peace and harmony.”