GE buzz on Web

From Today Online
Weekend • April 29, 2006

WHO says Singaporeans are apolitical? The buzz on the Internet about the Singapore election should dispel all such talk.

According to a report by Nexlabs, an information management company which scanned election related postings on the Internet, there have been about 1,200 reports on GE 2006 published on blogs since January.

Since the Election Writ was issued the week before, the volume of postings about the election has also gone up. The week before the Writ was issued, about 280 related postings were tracked on blogs over six days; after the Writ was issued, over 400 postings were tracked in the six days that followed.

The most prolific of all the blogs is, which, as of Thursday, had posted 232 articles since the beginning of this year.

The issue of an open society was the most widely discussed election theme on blogs, making up almost 18 per cent of all articles and postings about GE 2006. This differed from issues news websites focused on — defamation suits and the National Kidney Foundation scandal. The most commonly discussed Group Representation Constituency (GRC) on blogs is Sembawang GRC , while the most oft-mentioned Single Member Constituencies were the two Opposition-held wards of Potong Pasir and Hougang. — LIN YANQIN


Call to Action – Letter to the Editor

Someone has generously provided a well written letter. You might want to consider attaching your name to it and sending it to CNA.

Dear Editor,

I have just been to your website and am disappointed that your media is taking the liberal opportunity of presenting pro-PAP news features at the expense of the opposition, which doesn’t do much to reduce the very widespread perception that your media company is a propaganda tool of the ruling party.

A quick glance of your homepage shows about 12 stories dedicated to the PAP’s promotional campaigning while stories of the Opposition parties number a paltry few. Your “jumping” on the PAP bandwagon on defining the Opposition parties along the James Gomez minority form fiasco and the pending defamation lawsuits involving the SDP have not gone unnoticed.

Singapore Inc. has acquired a notorious reputation overseas in terms of its repressive political and social environment, having become bedfellows with some of the most oppressive regimes in the world including Burma, Saudi Arabia and China. Perhaps it may be a good strategic policy for your media to move away from your affinity with the establishment and move towards establishing yourself as a credible, independent media that peoples of the world can come to admire.

I am a member of your target audience group (the PMEBs) and I know that many of us having travelled widely and being educated, sophisticated world citizens are no fools in discerning and recognising the blatant bias in the reporting in your media.


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Rally at Ubi field

More outstanding work from Yawning Bread…

This is a part of a screenshot of ‘Today’ newspaper, 28 April 2006. It informed the public that there would be 2 election rallies in the evening for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
The People’s Action Party would be holding theirs at a comfortable sports stadium about 700 metres from Serangoon metro station, walking along paved roads. The stadium would have seats.

The Workers’ Party was allocated a rough field in a mixed industrial and residential area, about 1.2 km from Eunos metro station, with no easy walking approach. The Pan-Island Expressway lies midway between the station and the field. Only one bus service goes there.

I chose Ubi field. I only had an hour or so, as I had a ticket for the Film Festival’s ‘Angry Monk’ at 21.15h. But I should be able to grab some photos, I told myself.

Then it started to rain.

Singapore Election 2006: Party Political Broadcast

Part 1: WP and SDA

Part 2: SDA

Part 3: PAP

Broadcast details: Political parties fielding six or more candidates in this election are eligible for party political broadcast. Airtime is in proportion to the number of the candidates fielded. This is the first of two programs, the speakers respresenting their parties are:

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, from the People’s Action Party;
Mr Chiam See Tong from the Singapore Democratic Alliance;
Ms Sylvia Lim from the Workers’ Party;
Ms Chee Siok Chin from the Singapore Democratic Party.

The party fielding the smallest number of candidates will appear first, the party fielding the largest number, last.

S’pore Election: Parties Speak To S’poreans Via Political Broadcasts

By Jackson Sawatan

SINGAPORE, April 30 (Bernama) — The four contesting parties in the Singapore general election spoke to Singaporeans last night via political broadcasts aired over television and radio.

The alloted time for each party to make their political broadcasts in four languages — English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil — was based on the number of seats contested.

The People’s Action Party (PAP), which is contesting all 84 seats, was given 12 minutes while the Workers’ Party and Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), each with 20 candidates, were given 4.5 minutes each.

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), with seven candidates, was given 2.5 minutes.

In his broadcast message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the PAP had fulfilled its 2001 promise to create more jobs for Singaporeans.

“You gave the PAP a strong mandate. We delivered on our promise. Last year, we created 113,000 jobs — the highest number in 10 years,” he said.

He also spoke of making Singapore a land of opportunity, saying that he would put in all his energy to make it a reality.

“But I cannot do it alone. I need a strong team of ministers and MPs to help me. I need honest, capable and committed men and women who feel passionately about Singapore and can draw on the ideas and energies of all Singaporeans to create our future,” he said.

He promised that the PAP would educate all Singaporeans to be the best that they could be, involve the people in building the country and help lower-income households and to have more affordable health care services.

He said that the PAP candidates were the best team for Singapore.

Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim criticised what she claimed as the selective implementation of upgrading projects for constituencies.

“Why we came forth? Amongst many other issues is one that clearly threatens to split the fabric of our nation. This is the use of taxpayers’ money to selectively upgrade constituencies that vote for the PAP,” she said.

Calling that strategy a threat to the voters, Lim said that the PAP used public funds to entrench and promote the party through public-funded grassroots organisations. “Is this a First World government?” she asked.

SDA chairman Chiam See Tong urged the voters to deny the PAP — which has already won 37 seats in seven Group Representation Constituencies (GRC) — a clean sweep.

“We need a multi-party system in Singapore to ensure that democracy survives… A vibrant and cosmopolitan Singapore needs creativity of the mind and innovation. All these can only flourish in an atmosphere of freedom and an environment where there is no fear — the people’s mind can be most creative and most productive,” he said.

SDP made comparison of the salaries the ministers earn and the thousands of Singaporeans it said were not able to pay their utility bills or afford to buy their own flats or rent homes.

“The PAP ministers are paid S$100,000 a month — the highest in the world,” SDP member Chee Siok Chin said. The next and final political broadcasts is on Thursday.


Call to Action

The comment below was submitted by an anonymous reader and I thought it deserved your attention.

Please call mediacorp as [a] member of the public to say how disgusting we find the misrepresentation of the non-PAP parties during their coverage of the election.

If everyone [of] us calls, they will change. Trust me. Many of the reporters WANT to report the TRUTH! However, they are stopped by their bosses.

We are Professionals & thinking people, [we] must do our part by giving them pressure from all sides. [If] enough pressure and professional support [is raised], the reporters will have call in figures to back their desire to want to report the TRUTH.

Many reporters are on our side, many policemen are on our side, they are Singaporeans too. We can support them by calling in & writing in.

Let’s give them tons of calls and emails to press for TRUTH. We can make a difference. Each call can make a difference.

MediaCorp News Hotline 68 2222 68

Give us your feedback on our content.

What are you waiting for…..pick up the phone and call, logon and email. Give them support to report the TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH.

Some reporters said they hate the censor and want to resign, they need our support, they need our encourgement, they need to hear from us to know that they are not fighting alone against their bosses.

By Anonymous,

SDA candidate Steve Chia says govt not transparent on NKF, reserves

Singapore Democratic Alliance’s (SDA) Steve Chia, who is contesting Chua Chu Kang, has accused the PAP government of not being transparent.

He was referring to what had happened at the NKF.

“If TT Durai did not sue SPH (Singapore Press Holdings), let me ask you, will our PAP ministers still be praising the NKF, Mr TT Durai and urging people to continue donating to the old NKF? If TT Durai did not sue SPH, would they, our world class ministers, know all the wrongdoings in NKF?” challenged Steve Chia, SDA candidate for Chua Chua Kang.

“Our world class ministers are led blindly by a charity organisation. It is an honest mistake and the ministers say we were all conned by them and apologised. Is that all? When the government makes mistakes, they apologise. Don’t you think more should be done?” asked Mr Chia

Meanwhile, speaking at an SDA rally at Tampines Stadium on Saturday evening, the party’s candidate for the single seat of Yio Chu Kang Mr Yip Yew Weng said the SDA is not out to form the next government.

They goal is to check on the government formed by the PAP.

“In this election, we are not aiming to form the next government. Our 20 candidates are not enough to form the government so that’s not an issue. What we aim to do is keep an eye on the PAP to ensure they govern Singapore well. Let the PAP form the government, let them distribute the money. But nobody is perfect and the NKF is a case in point. We must not let such an incident take place again,” said Yip Yew Weng, SDA candidate for Yio Chu Kang.

– CNA /ls

SDA’s Chiam See Tong rebuts NCMP suggestion

By Rita Zahara, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The chairman of Singapore Democratic Alliance Chiam See Tong has rebutted National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan’s suggestion that he should be voted into Parliament as a Non-Constituency MP.

Mr Chiam, who has served as MP for Potong Pasir for the past 22 years, said he would not be able to help the residents and meet their needs if he is relegated to just keep a check on the PAP in Parliament.

Mr Mah had criticised Mr Chiam’s two-in-one formula, in which the SDA leader urged residents to vote opposition candidates into Parliament so they would get the services of both the opposition MPs as well as the aspiring PAP candidates, who would work extra hard to win them over.

Turning the tables against him, Mr Mah had said residents in Potong Pasir will still benefit from the services of two representatives if they vote for Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, as Mr Chiam can come in as a Non-Constituency MP.

Mr Chiam said: “One very basic thing he does not know is that a Non-Constituency MP has got no constituency to look after. How can I help the constituency … if I am selected as a NCMP? I don’t think he knows what he is talking about.” – CNA/de