07 July 2006

More from Reporters Without Borders

The link is here.
Reporters Without Borders, 6 July 2006
Daily newspaper Today sacks blogger “mr brown” after government criticism

Blogger Lee Kin Mun, alias mr brown, has had his weekly column axed in the daily Today, after a member of the government criticised the blogger in the newspaper.

“This incident confirms in every way the fears we have about the government stranglehold on the media,” the press freedom organisation said. “The outspokenness of mr brown will be sadly missed in the Singaporean press”.

The newspaper, part of the state-owned Mediacorp Press group, had given the blogger a column to try to attract a younger readership. Despite the 6 July 2006 decision to oust him from the paper, Lee Kin Mun continues to run his blog www.mrbrown.com, one of the most popular in the country.

"Our people should feel free to express diverse views,
pursue unconventional ideas or simply be different ...
Ours must be an open and inclusive society."
- PM Lee Hsien Loong, speech on 12 Aug 2004.

Technorati: ; .


Kenny said...

Bhavani will be getting a National Day Award, wanna bet?

In 1956 Lee Kuan Yew referred, with apparent humour, to the desirability of "an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio [that] can regularly sing your praises" so that "slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they're conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity because there will be no opposition to contradict."
[Francis Seow, The Media Enthralled - Singapore Revisited. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998. 254 pp. ISBN 1-55587-779-6]

Anonymous said...

Please suspend all the Pro PAP Journalists as well for being partisan and politicised.

There are train loads of them. Everyday churning out Pro PAP news until like PAP is God.

Please be fair in implementing laws(if any) and policy.

I can name some for you: Chua sisters, Loh Chee Kong, Aaron Low, Nicholas Fang etc.

Please suspend all of them as well.

Anonymous said...

This would not have happen if PAP did not politicise everything deem to their advantage.

PAP should not politicise the media.

I mean it is like PAP have politicise everything including NDP.

But why the need to politicise?

Is controlling Singaporeans right down to the bone that important and advantageous to PAP? Nothing more is important to them?

This would not have happen if the media was not politicise. The determination by PAP to control all things is scary.

They want to control but refuse to be responsible or apologetic when things go wrong is even scarier.

All we ordinary people can do is vote Opposition in every election even if the Opposition loses. I cannot think of any other way to make PAP eat humble pie.

Then no one would have the need to feel fear,tension and paranoid in their own homeland.

PAP has to be Opposition for some time for Singapore's culture and climate to change, that is the only way.

My vote is nothing but many votes is something.Please do not forget today's lesson even if PAP loosen control come GE 2011.

Anonymous said...

Isnt TODAY guilty of politicization of the issue and being partisan by dropping Mr Brown?

I mean Mr Brown gave some private opinions and PAP replied. End of story.

Let the people decide who is right and who is wrong.
Not PAP or Mediacorp.

There is no need to drop Mr Brown and make this issue a political fight between PAP and Anti-PAP.

In fact, it is Mediacorp who is politicising the whole issue. It is Mediacorp who is partisan.

Anonymous said...

I guess only PAP is right and citizens are wrong in these KIND of situation. These KIND of situation have repeated many times over the years.

What is more scarier is that PAP took the most popular blogger in Singapore to put on chopping block and use it to show as an example to everyone who wants to blog about politics. (Kai Dao: Open Knife)

It is a very good political move by PAP.It has increased the fear factor by many notches. We are back to the 70s & 80s again.

Most probably after this episode, there will be less activity on political blogs and Singaporeans will be apathetic again which PAP always 'advocates'.

Maybe Mr Brown might even fizzle out.

Mezzo said...

International Freedom Exchange picked it up:


Anonymous said...

That man in the red shirt is a liar.

He probably came from a bad egg too.

His performance so far has only proven to us that he is a incorrigible riff-raff.

Kelvin Tan said...

Actually PM Lee is right.

Singaporeans are most welcome to express diverse views on how to boost Singapore's economic growth

They are free to pursue unconventional ideas to help the poor who are left out.

Finally, they should simply not care what others think about them and join the PAP so that these ideas can be fufilled.

No one is saying anything about taking on the government. Of course, you can't do that without entering politics.

John Riemann Soong said...

Ah yes, when PAP was an opposition party, you could really compare its fate in Malaysia with UMNO with the current situation. Perhaps you know, UMNO is ultimately to blame for everything, with them and their Article 153 and bumiputra priveleges.

And I note that the RSF's language is much different from that of SPH's. I just wrote about the comparison.

RSF: "a member of the government criticised"
SPH: "after Govt slams"

Capital G syndrome. Note the difference.

JoE said...

my friends and i have boycotted TODAY from today. you can help by spreading the word and persuade all your relatives and friends to do likewise.

let's support the 'bar cho mee' man!

simplesandra said...

Ms Bhavani probably forgot that Chua Mui Hoong and Sumiko Tan both wrote articles urging voters to vote for "the right party" (that is, the PAP) in the Straits Times on election day. I guess that's being neutral to her.

Anyway, weren't comedians Huang Sa and Ye Feng in a rather popular skit on Channel 8 before (set in a coffee shop, I believe). I could be wrong, but didn't the government also stepped in then when they started making fun of unpopular policies?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang,

A news someone pointed out to me, but I heard other than mentioning once in BT, it was never mentioned in Straits Times, and I wonder if you are aware of this quite shocking news about Temasek investment on Shin Corp.



If you find this interesting news to analyse, please let as many people know of this investment blunder as possible.

Anonymous said...

We are all working in Singapore Inc. Imagine, if you are not happy and decide to write an open email to all staff that you have so much problem working in that company, then you can very soon get a letter asking you to leave Singapore Inc, or you will be flamed in an open email from the boss, tellng you off.
Not happy? You change company lor. Change the Management? In 5 years time lor...but I think from the blogs, only 600+ (?) people really care about this issue as seen in the Mr Brown comments. The other 3million really can't be bothered. To love is to take risks, to open your mouth, to face the music. I read today's ST on bloggers and the silence on Mr Brown and Ms Bhavani is overwhelming. Conclusion - ST and Mediacorp are just Statutory boards run by ex-DPM. All the reporters are statutory board workers, working for a living. 141 position - who cares? I still respect the reporters for the job they have to do to make a living, so don't flame them. Heck, even Ms Bhavani has to make a living.
The Sigher

Anonymous said...

I read the article by THE Garmen with much amusement. It certainly jolted me out of the daily morning blues. I had to control my sniggering of the sharp retorts by THE "mandate - holders".

Self-control is the word here... just in case a hidden CCTV zoomed in on the amusing article and my sniggering expression and *poof goodbye my job, and goodbye Singapore. (By the way, does taking a dig = goodbye job too?)

I am extremely disappointed, particularly with the outcome. Where is the "open and inclusive" society promised? I had voted for the ruling party with the first vote of my life, armed with the belief that they will improve... but...

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. If something is untrue, the truth will be revealed in time to come. The question would then be: Who has more influence? A ministry? The cabinet majority? Now you tell me.

No prizes for guessing where my next vote will go to. Just for the heck of it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the opposition parties can give their comments, as they are eligible to give partisan comments. Low Thia Kiang did mention during the rallies that he expects bus and train fares to go up after the elections. On the PAP side, Mah Bow Tan also commented that most people from his constituency mentioned that the high cost of living is topmost on their minds, when he commented on the IPS post-election survey.

WP should take this opportunity to voice its concerns (unless it also agrees to the government's approach) or at least give a stand on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they did!

But the mainstream media would end up being partisan if such news are reported....

Some singaporeans just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Copy and paste from :

15 years ago when Goh Chok Tong become PM, he say PAP will change and Singapore will change. Everything will be new and fresh. BUT 15 years later, nothing have change.

PAP still as dirty as ever and Spore issues remain the same. Now Lee Hsien Loong say the same thing. Start afresh. I will not bellieve PAP ever again. 15 years is too long to see the results. PAP will never change.

Mah Bow Tan today in ST says Singapore money is PAP money because PAP earns them for Singapore so PAP can use for PAP's sake. TT Durai also earn alot of money for NKF, see what happen???...NKF money is DURai money....what did we get???...ABUSE !!......this is the kind of mentality PAP always have...vote them out is the only concrete solution....

Singapore elections cannot forever be about bread-butter issues. Maybe 40 years ago bread-butter issues is main subject. but 40 years later remain main subject then something is really wrong with spore. this means we have not progress anywhere at all and is stagnant.....there should be other main issues in elections.....

15 years ago when Goh Chok Tong became PM, he said things will change and his government will be different from Lee Kuan Yew's government.

I voted for PAP because I thought they really will change in social and political area.

15 years later, nothing changed and PAP still practise the same old high-handed tactics.

Media is still not free. There is still fear to vote against PAP, many PAP MPs still come and go within a short term etc....

I have given PAP chance to change but it did not. It is time I look elsewhere.

There is nothing wrong for you to continue support PAP but there is also nothing wrong for me to support Worker's Party.

We each have our own reasons. This is what elections is about.

But no one should be punished for supporting different political parties because we are all Singaporeans and we support differently because the election system allows us so.

The upgrading issue from another angle can be seen as a punishment and that is what peeves many Singaporeans.

If other countries offers us goodies to surrender without a fight, do we do so because that is the culture taught to us by PAP?

We all know by history, the pioneer government will do well at the beginning but that does not guarantee it will do well in future.

This is why systems are needed to check the government when it starts degenerating and presently, we do not have that.

Track record applies but PAP personnel will change with time. When personnel changes, track record is no longer valid because the batch that did well has already left.

I will feel safer with two equally strong parties than having just one.

This is why I repeatedly say I am playing my role as a voter. This is not NATO.

You are also playing a role as a PAP voter and nothing wrong with that too.

4 million Singaporeans have their own private reasons who to vote for so lets respect their decisions.

In this case, it is not right to be biased with residents of HG and PP.

Jenny said...

Notice how Ngiam and foreigner Peter Swartz can blast away at government policy on the front page of TODAY in full color, while Singaporean mrbrown is "put down" silently for making us laugh. Note also Professor Enright was taken to task in 1970 for making not too dissimilar comment as Swartz. Sounds like there is quite a disarray within the PAP house.

Anonymous said...

Is there any legal action Mr Brown can take to sue Bhavani or Today?
For example, Bhavani said that Mr Brown distort the truth, implying he is a liar. Isn't this defamation? OK, I should not mention examples on this :P.

Furthermore, Today has no good reason to suspend Mr Brown's column. I am not someone who believe too much on our legal system actually. I don't believe in suing people like this either. I understand the financial disadvantage for a lawsuit like this, can someone provide some advice on this? Does Mr Brown have any case on this?

John Riemann Soong said...

Well Bhavani can now congratulate herself on earning near-universal loathing in the Singaporean blogosphere. Welcome to the cabal!

klimmer said...

The term 'benign autocracy' is a misnomer. How can one be an autocrat and beign at the same time?