I was talking to a friend from who’s back for holidays, and she thanked me for forwarding her the link to Pranay Gupte’s site, saying something to the effect of ‘I toldjers! They bugged my phone, serious! And Channel ‘News’ Asia is exactly like that!’
We went on to discuss whether it was office politics that brought Mr Gupte’s dismissal about, and why someone of his stature would need to stoop so low as to come by our journalistic backwater to write for a paper as ours, even if it were the best designed newspaper in the region. But we agreed that that still wouldn’t strip his allegations of any merit. The editors are former (or still are) spooks who can his stories? How exciting.
But whether or not spooks run a paper and can stories written by award-winning, foreign-talent journalists, there’s never such a thing as an objective piece of news. You’ll never know the truth of any matter unless you wuz there and you saw and heard things as they happened. It happens to the most ‘liberal’ of countries too (including that big one with the red states and blue states), but at least they have a variety of publications to look at and work out the truth somewhere in the middle of the muddle.
As for us, we have to look elsewhere to find out, ferinstance, that there is currently a very serious dengue EPIDEMIC in Singapore. As of 18th September, 5,284 people have been infected, and at least three people have died. Not as serious as SARS meh? How come not on front page news every day?
Even if we’re not interested in politics and stuff, I’d like to know more about the goings on as regards how the folk up at Parliament=Cabinet=Government decide to do what they do. (And then smack them upside the head when they complain of the lack of interest in US-Singapore FTA negotiations. Hallo? We din know there was such a thing until it was almost done. Website forum also dun have! How to be interested?) Then again, BG George Yeo did reveal in an interview some time ago (and which cannot be linked because ST=SPH=Temasek websites don’t archive things for online viewing) how he had sleepless nights and early mornings at the doomed Cancun trade talks.
(But still nobody asked or wrote about why BG Yeo, friendly chap that he is, and the Minister for Trade and Industry as he was then, got sent to Cancun while Prof Tommy Koh, Ambassador at Large, got to do all the exciting FTA work.)