Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What if the Foreign Talents problem is not well taken care of

Some contributing factors and possible theories of why Singaoreans dislike the Foreign Talents:
  • While many Singaporeans remain jobless in this economic crisis, more Foreign Talents continue to be flown into the country to take up job vacancies. It does not help how easily these Foreign Talents are publicly praised and commented to be irreplaceable.

  • Foreign Talents will work for less due to their currency conversion advantage. The immediate obvious impact is that this makes them more attractive to employers, and therefore more likely to take up positions that could be filled by Singaporeans instead. But a more serious hidden impact is how they are actually contributing in lowering the overall average wage in the country?

  • Most Foreign Talents do not wish to integrate but will instead socialise in their own circles. The most profound reason could be that of the language barrier, but it could also be due to the common belief that Singapore is just a stepping stone for them before moving on to a more "advanced" country like the States.

(Source: Answers.com)
Some contributing factors and possible theories of why Hitler and his Nazis hated the Jews:

  • Some Jews were successful and held "visible" positions in Austria and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. In the Great Depression. Germany was hit the hardest by the worldwide economic depression, and successful Jews were envied.

  • Jews became a scapegoat for Germany's economic problems. (According to this racist sentiment, "international Jewish financiers had plunged the world into a war and the Depression for their business profit.")

  • Antisemitism has been rife throughout European history, largely because the Jews were a distinct, identifiable group, who did not integrate. (Those who really wanted to integrate converted.) Of course, many now see pluralism as a virtue, and a variety of ethnicities and religions as a positive thing. However, in the inter war period diversity was often regarded as divisive and "disloyal".


Monday, September 14, 2009

Thio Li-Ann is back with a new weapon Singanews

When Thio was struck down previously by a group of university students in some university in US, we could swear we heard her muttered "I'll be back".

In the highly anticipated new installment of the "Thio Fights Back", set in a secular public space, the woman fated to lead the Christians against the not-Christian-friendly-enough Press and the country of non-Christians. Thio must contend for righteousness in an age of lawlessness, and train her troop of die-hard Christians to become faithful watchmen who can quickly respond to political agenda driven by harmful godless philosophy, to save the human race from destruction. And this time, Thio and her army came prepared. They have built a horrifying weapon known as Singanews, a portal capable of annihilating a world of non-Christians in less than a second.

Thio Li-Ann and Singanews. What to make of it?
Source: The Secret Political Blog

One of the attendees at the recent "New Media Breakfast", a meeting attended by mainly Christian leaders, wrote a concise summary of the event (full text after article), and proceeded to email his summary to all political bloggers in Singapore. Thanks to our valiant spy who has infiltrated this particular wing of the Christian community, we know now the two goals of the Christian effort presumably led by Thio Li-Ann:

To have a stronger Christian voice in the "public debate"

[Thio Li-Ann] argued that as a Christian, it is part of one’s religious call to articulate their views in public especially on contentious such as casinos, same-sex marriage, euthanasia and stem-cell research. She warned that if Christians do not speak up, others who may hold conflicting views will speak up and forcefully occupy the secular public space. Thio paralleled Christian activism to salt and light where by salt is the preservative used to preserve the Christian goodness and light exemplifies its visibility to believers as well as non-believers.

To establish a media outlet, Singanews, of their own to achieve the above goal

This goal is however not explicity mentioned in the summary, but a little inference should prove this goal exists:

First, Thio Li-Ann gripes about how the present online media is unable to portray the Christian voice fairly:

Thio also shared on how she has been maliciously targeted online and had to “turn her cheek” many a times as a good Christian. She commented that Internet is filled with ugliness and misinformation and Christians using new media to debate in public space or proselytize must prioritize truth and remain civil, i.e. do not resort to name calling and character assassination. Depicting Christianity as a victimized religion, she warned Christians about the difficulties they face, especially on the Internet, as others would invariably paint them as oppressive, emotional and irrational. She added that while Christians are tolerant of others views, the others do not have the same toleration for Christians, which she thought was unfair.

And of course, we know how Thio Li-Ann was slammed by the mainstream media itself, after her infamous comparison of gay sex to "shoving a straw up your nose to drink" went contrary to the government's wish to have a moderate debate on 377A so as not to overly antagonize the gay community. The result is that the more fundamentalist christian views will have to find an outlet, alternative to the MSM, but not in the present online sphere which is hostile to it.... And that is where the new Singanews come in:

Next on the stage was former ST journalist Mathew Yap, who took the stage to introduce a new online news portal called Singanews... Terming it as a social enterprise, Yap said that Singanews would not be able to compete with the mainstream media but rather Singanews could add clarity to the national debate by offering alternative viewpoints and fill in the gaps left by mainstream media which sometimes fails to cover a story due to one reason or another. It did not state if it would advocate a Christian angle as argued by Thio above. Singanews, Yap added, was possible due to the cheap and readily available technology of Internet and new media such as twitter where citizens are able to “scoop” stories.

Interestingly enough, Mr Yap is coy about pointing out the (most likely) Christian nature of Singanews, in order to avoid the skepticism that will come with an explicitly Christian news outlet.

Holy!@# Singa-Spotting
Source: The Void Deck

Amidst all this sliming of new media, we see a new news portal Singanews setting up stall soon it seems; they made the announcement at the same Kum Yan thingy. The line-up looks vellie powderful , got this Balji fella, (Note: he very famous in Sammyboy last time coz some journo say he kenna ousted for being too rebel (read never support the miw); so when he left the newsroom on his final day, it was macam like Dead Poets Society when all the boys stand on the chair to hail Carpe Diem to Robin Williams like dat). Also some Teo Hwee Nak, a former editor with TODAY, think she was quite pro Opp type … but strangely the main man Matthew Yap is just ex ST sports page journo. Anyway, the line-up looks good, macam like EPL Manchester City rite?

But why oh why do I smell some holy fishiness here?

Erm first, as quite rightly pointed out by one commenter, why did Yap soft launch what he stress is a SECULAR news portal in a church of all places; when is Yap gonna go Kuan Im temple at SiBayLor and MUIS mosque to soft launch? This is quite downright an oxymoron.

Second, why is he not malu to share the stage with a thioliban? This Thioliban just whacked the new media, whack TOC and our sweet Matthew still very proud to be with her wor. She is chiobu issit? Btw we found out Matthew is also some church elder so mebbe its some crush thing within the community. I am sure Singanews will be damn popular if they hire Auntie Thioliban as an aunt agony. Sure alot of gays will go back straight, sure she will intercede with God so Singapore got no tsunami as well, she may even have the first ever column written in tongues.

Third, why must Matthew keep stressing secular and highlight WE GOT HINDUS, WE LOOKING FOR MUSLIMS TOO! Frankly, the more he stress their religion the more it seems like fellas like Balji is there as tokenism lor. Which if I am Balji, I will feel abit insulted to be paraded like some token Hindu in a church forum to a chorus of halleluais and amens when he name is read. WTF. Its like the GRC system like dat, actually the real agenda is so MIW can sneak their inepts into government but the official reason is to have racial/religious parity blah x10.

Fourth, the organisers of this 999 event ATRIA is also some parachurch thing. Their mission is macam like the church version of the infamous PAP cyber ninjas. Too bored to read their website mission out, just google atria sg or something.

Anti-gays' new online platform launched
Source: Yawning Bread

Temasek Review pointed out that in an interview with The New Paper, Matthew Yap said Singanews would come with the perspective of "mainstream family values", and by this, he meant a "generational, natural family which focuses on procreation."

This is exactly the same language as used by Focus on the Family, Church of Our Saviour and plenty of anti-gay fundamentalist Christian groups in both the United States and Singapore. This is code for saying: We are anti-gay.

Procreation is used as a test of moral fitness. "Mainstream family" is spin language to suggest that those who share their anti-gay views are "normal" and the majority, and those who don't are "abnormal" and marginal aliens.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

From "Internet steals minister's thunder" to "Pre-empted by the Internet"

Our press really needs to review its work flow for online publishing. Once again, straitstimes.com has published a piece of article, then decided it was not exactly politically correct and then decided to remove and replace with another "correct" article. All this while thinking that their readers could not tell the difference. Or could they?

The original article is as shown below (thanks to Google Cache) and if you so desire, you could compare it with the new article "Pre-empted by the Internet" to play the Spot-the-Difference game. Yes they changed the title as well, guess it is not very polite to say openly that something has been stolen from our minister.

However one will have to agree that the original article is much more interesting, especially the part where somebody screamed "You cannot run the story, you cannot break the embargo, you cannot do anything!".

Internet steals minister's thunder
September 01, 2009 Tuesday, 04:16 PM

Christopher Tan discusses the red faces and frayed nerves of a recent news leak

NEWS of the enhanced off-peak car (OPC) scheme is probably talk of the motoring town now.

But an unfortunate incident leading up to the announcement of the new and improved scheme – designed to persuade car owners to convert their rides to red-plates – proved to be far more exciting to the newsroom last Friday night.

It all began at a closed-door briefing for journalists held by the Land Transport Authority on Friday afternoon. It was to allow beat reporters to understand the upcoming changes to the scheme and to ask questions.

The announcement itself was to have been made public by none other than Transport Minister Raymond Lim at a ministerial visit on Sunday.

But that was not to be. Thanks to a mysterious and virulent news leak, which happened despite all precautions.

Before the LTA briefing started, reporters were instructed clearly that the news was strictly embargoed until after Minister Lim had spoken.

And that no one was supposed to call motor industry players for comments, in case they inadvertently informed them of the changes.

We were also told that we could not bring any recording devices into the briefing room. And no cameras either.

The briefing went reasonably well, and reporters returned to give a rundown to their supervisors.

But by around 8.30pm or so that same day, the entire news release detailing all the changes was online.

The Straits Times was alerted to the leak by someone who spotted it on an online car forum, which had a direct link to an LTA site.

Within an hour, the entire motor trade – as well as a large part of the car forum community – had learnt of the changes.

One senior motor trader even called up reporters to ask if they had heard of the new scheme.

The Straits Times newsroom was shocked, and everyone scrambled to find out what had happened and whether the news should then be run the next day (Saturday), as the leak had already spread far and wide.

The LTA was equally shocked. It could not explain how the news appeared on their website. Up until Tuesday, the authority says it was still investigating.

The authority's panic was palpable. After all, the leak had stolen the thunder from a Minister's Sunday speech. A mortal sin in the civil service.

A new and fairly senior LTA executive was rather curt when The Straits Times asked if the newspaper could run the story on Saturday.

"You cannot run the story, you cannot break the embargo, you cannot do anything!" she ordered a reporter over the phone.

But eventually, the LTA, together with the Ministry of Transport, decided to lift the embargo on Saturday. Which meant that the media could go out with the news on Sunday.

It also meant that Minister Lim did not have a biggish annoucement to make during his Sunday ministerial visit to Bukit Panjang.

Mr Lim was gracious enough to agree to the embargo lift. Fortunately, he had another announcement up his sleeve: an update about the Circle Line.

Many of us (at least those of us in the newsroom) can laugh about the fiasco now, but it caused real tension on Friday with just hours to go before deadline.

The episode also underscores the impact of online information – once again.

In the past, news leaks were relatively mild – one could only rely on phones and the coffeeshop. But with the Internet, a leak takes on a life of its own. Within minutes, it is literally all over town.

Unless the LTA finds out how this one happened, it runs the risk of an encore down the road.