03 July 2006

A Letter to TODAY

Upon reading mrbrown's column for TODAY on Friday, I felt a strong need to rectify the misrepresentations he made. Here is a letter I've drafted for TODAY.

This entry is a work of satire. It's a trashy piece of parody. No one, especially people wearing white, should take it seriously.

Distorting the truth, mr brown?

When a columnist becomes a 'constructive critic' in politics

Press Secretary to the Minister for Truth

Your mr brown column, "S'poreans are fed, up with progress!" (June 30) poured sarcasm on many issues, including the recent General Household Survey, price increases in electricity tariffs and taxi fares, our IT plans, the Progress Package and means testing for special school fees.

Naturally, the results of the General Household Survey were only available after the General Election. But similar data from the Household Expenditure Survey had been published last year before the election, only that there was no election last year.

There was no reason to suppress the information. We merely delayed it. It confirmed what we had told Singaporeans all along, that globalisation would stretch out incomes. That is why ministers' salaries are on the rise, as evident from the General Household Survey.

These were precisely the reasons for the Progress Package — to help lower income Singaporeans cope with higher costs of living. The fact that the package came before the survey showed our foresight in anticipating such crises; it has nothing to do with the election.

Our IT plans are critical to Singapore's competitive position and will improve the job chances of individual Singaporeans. With the smart chips already implanted in Singaporeans' forehead at their birth, we will be able to individually monitor a worker's performance and assess his thoughts. That way, we can remove workers that are adverse to the growth of our economy and keep Singapore competitive. It is wrong of mr brown to make light of them.

mr brown is entitled to his views. But opinions which are widely circulated in a regular column in a serious newspaper should meet higher standards. Instead of criticism he should write like all other journalists do. And he should come out from behind his pseudonym, Lee Kin Mun, to defend his views openly.

With the capable leadership of our Government, there is no need for journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign against the Government. A columnist should not present himself as a non-political observer, while using his access to the mass media to highlight the people's concern. He should take up the Government's position and convince the people that, for all things they are unhappy with, the blame should not be on the Government but on the opposition MPs in Parliament.

Majulah Singapura!

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