From 146th to 153rd

Does Singapore deserve its press freedom ranking? Posted by theonlinecitizen on May 13, 2008 [Terence Lee In a 2008 survey by Freedom House, Singapore has shown no improvement in its freedom of the press, despite the maturing of online media as a medium to air alternative views. The latest results reveal nothing new: much has already been said about the deplorable state of press freedom in Singapore, ranked a lowly 153rd out of 195 countries, sharing the same ranking as Iraq. The idea that Singapore is first-world in economic competitiveness but third-world in press freedom and civil liberties has already become an over-sung tune.] Funny that I agree with the Freedom House ranking. Anyone want to disagree? With so many high brow and talented journalists, it is strange that our ranking is at par with Iraq. What? Iraq? And Terrence Lee was hoping that the online media viewing alternative views will lend some weight to our media ranking. Terrence forgot that online media and cyberspace are two different entity. One is part of msm and the other is citizen reporting. The latter not counted lah.


Matilah_Singapura said...

Many people are so ungrateful.

The S'pore government, with those hardworking well-compensated ministers work very hard to ensure S'pore media is tightly controlled and not free so write or broadcast any opinion they like.

Thus S'pore's ranking in the press freedom stakes is hard won. Nobody cheated by using steroids, S'pore won fair and square...but needs to beat a few more cuntries.

People should be filled with nationalistic fervour and celebrate. And please email those poor ministers. They must be tired. show them some love. Some support. They're your hero's! You deserve them, and they derseve you!

Anonymous said...

'but needs to beat a few more countries'

Counting upwards or downwards?

redbean said...

146 to 153, it means we have beaten another 7. to reach 195, 41 more to go.

are we really that bad, or good i mean?

redbean said...

141 out of 167!

This is what World Press Freedom 2007 Index has ranked our media. Just to note, this index is run by Reporters Without Borders, an organisation that has been linked to the CIA. And it ranked Afghanistan at 142.

Given the secret agenda of this organisation we should not feel too perturbed by its ranking. The organisation also claimed to single handedly manage the anti Olympic torch run and boasted its ability to turn unthinking Asians to support the campaign. Quite an achievement really.

And to be ranked by such an organisation does not mean anything really.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, they do not mean anything. But honestly, seriously, objectively and hands on your heart do you think we deserve a higher ranking?

Matilah_Singapura said...

The lack of media freedom in S'pore doesn't bother me. People have been whining about this for YEARS. And yet little has changed.

Even if you are clueless about S'pore, it is quite obvious that the people don't really want a media freedom.

Singaporeans have kept the same govt in power. Everytime there had been a a chance to change it, they never did.

So they'd chosen and get what they deserve.

When you look at it that way, you'll understand why the discussion of "media freedom" in S'pore is a total non-issue.

redbean said...

eh, you don't like to talk media freedom, others like can or not? once you give up talking about it, people may said, 'see, no one talking about it, they must be happy it.'

and if no one talk about unpopular policies they will conclude that the people support the policies.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I say redbean, the PAP have controlled the media and publication for over 40 years.

So keep talking lah. It won't make any difference!

redbean said...

so has suharto and mahathir controlling their countries for more than 30 years. then what? the communist controlled the soviet union since the bolshevik revolution in 1927?

Matilah_Singapura said...

That's right. And there's nothing that any person could do to change that -- which is why the tyranny lasted a long time.

THe social organisation which spawns out of political ideologies are spontaneous orders -- something like markets.

And in every market, the mechanism works by the individual actions of players. These individuals choose thier actions by using their free will.

Similarly in politics... political ideologies take hold because the majority believes in the political theory -- even if the political theory is oppressive. And for some reason, people prefer authority than no authority because then it relieves them of the pressure of having to think for themselves, and thus adopt some form of "socialist" idea, where everyone agrees (in varying degrees) to what the "leader" tells them.

Humans are also great adapters -- they adapt to their situation, and are resistant to any change -- even if the change is good for them. That is why smokers still smoke, fat people stay fat, abused wives stay abused, poor people stay poor. Staying "where you are" is often more CERTAIN than making a CHANGE -- which if contemplated, the brain screams at you "You don't know what you'll get! Beware!" Or "it's way too hard! Stay where you are, it's not that bad!"... or a combination of these two general messages.

Singapore is an engineered society, and is likely to stay that way for a long time yet, perhaps 50 to 100 years.

In the entirety of human history, Singapore takes the PRIZE for being the only society to become a 1st world industrialised economy in RECORD TIME. No other culture, nation or society has become economically successful so quickly. NONE.

Therefore, all the "controls" Lee Kuan Yew put into place 40 years ago, are more-or-less still there. Because of the enviable economic success, these controls now have earned "objectivity" and there is a (false) causal link to them and the fact that S'pore has prospered beyond anyone's expectation.

Media control and freedom of assembly are 2 such controls from the "old days". So is the Internal Security Act, and the "no labour strike' laws.

None of these are going to disappear anytime soon.

If S'pore had failed economically, the case would be different. In a way you might say that S'porean freedom is a "prisoner" of her success.