The Online Citizen

The Online Citizen A Fully Fledged Citizen

August 27
02:03 2011

Ms Melanie Alfred a mass communications undergraduate at RMIT recently interviewed Ravi Philemon, the interim chief editor of TOC. We reproduce here Ms Alfred’s report from the interview.


“When you go to TOC (The Online Citizen), just be careful that that site is an anti-establishment site. So what you read discount by 90%.” This is Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong’s stern warning to readers, published on The Online Citizen’s Facebook page as tongue-in-cheek description of itself.

As I sit in the empty conference room awaiting my interviewee, I think how fitting it is that the interim chief editor of TOC is also a community worker. When I was told that the meeting would be held in the chief editor’s office, I imagined an office building with all creature comforts provided for. I did not expect that Ravi Philemon worked with the very people that he sought to be a mouthpiece for in society.

The Who and Why Answered

When Ravi walks in, I am pleasantly surprised again. I had been expecting a hardened, jaded man who was tired of the system and now concentrated all his efforts on fighting back. Instead, a big-built, clean shaven and soft spoken man walks in. He greets me politely, offers me a drink and invites me into his office.

The Online Citizen, a popular socio-political blog, was started in December 2006 after the General Elections. TOC’s vision statement is to be the leading online source for socio-political news and views in Singapore. Their mission is to provide an online platform for Singaporeans to champion causes and values that promote justice, openness and inclusiveness.

Ravi sums this up as simply wanting to be the voice of the ordinary Singaporean. “We felt that there were a lot of ground sentiments that were not expressed in the mainstream media and the alternative voices were not given enough space,” he says when asked why TOC was started. With no professional qualifications in journalism, it was his love for writing that spurred Ravi to work on TOC.

‘Bunch of Bloggers’ Turned Political Association

TOC has had its share of the limelight since it was founded, more so in January this year when they received an email from the Prime Minister’s office, stating that they had to be gazetted as a political association. TOC was taken by surprise.

Many netizens felt that TOC should consider the request to be gazetted an honour. Perhaps the Government thought that TOC’s influence on the people was widespread and that they had plenty of support from the ground. TOC however, thought otherwise.

“I think it was the first time in the world ever that a bunch of bloggers are going to be gazetted as a political association. We don’t even have an office!” Ravi said humorously. “We were just a loose bunch of people, doing what we want to do, having fun out of it. Of course it was a shock.”

“It’s an Opposition Party! It’s a political activist group! No, it’s just a blog!”

Contrary to their final decision, Ravi said that their initial reaction was to close down TOC because they did not know what it all meant. They wanted to protect their writers and volunteers. Once they had gotten used to the idea that they were going to be on par with a political association such as an opposition party in Singapore, they discussed their options.

They could, like Sintercom, a website that sought to maintain an Internet home for Singaporeans to meet, shut down completely when they were asked to register as an internet content provider.

They could also close down TOC, with every writer and volunteer starting their own websites, a concept Ravi described as going hydra. “Like Medusa; when you cut off one head, two heads pop up.”

“Or the third option was to go into the ring and play the game that they want us to play, so to speak,” Ravi said in a matter-of-fact tone. This would mean that TOC would no longer be an entity on their own, but instead be controlled by the Government. In an ironic turn of events, they would have to adhere to the rules set by the very body that they were seeking to question.

After weighing everything very carefully, they chose to agree to the gazetting. “We felt that the only disadvantage of being gazetted as a political association is that our growth is hampered because we can’t ask foundations for donations,” Ravi explained.

Why the Call?

The request to be gazetted came very close to the General Elections held in May 2011. I asked Ravi the burning question, to me at least, of whether this was a move from the Government to ‘play the game’ themselves. He replied fairly, “I think the Prime Minister, even at the last National Day Rally, said that they will try and control the discourse online. So I think it’s the Government’s way of trying to control the discourse.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s exact words, derived from the transcript of this year’s Rally, were, “It (Operating in the space of digital media) is not easy because it (digital media) is anonymous, it is chaotic, it is unfiltered, unmoderated and so the medium lends itself to many negative views and ridiculous untruths, any number of them.”

He went on to add, “… if you just open at random, you will see them (untruths) and we have to do our best to counter this, to prevent untruths from circulating and being repeated five, 10, 20 times from leading people astray. After a while, you have heard it so often, you cannot remember where you saw it but you think that it must be true. But it is not.”

Another antecedent leading to the Prime Minister’s office requesting the gazetting of TOC could have been the Face-to-Face forum held in December 2010. The forum provided a stage for the political parties in Singapore to state their stands on different issues. “It definitely had a part”, Ravi said emphatically, adding with amusement, “Except for the PAP (People’s Action Party), everybody turned up.”

Hampered Growth

Operating mainly on a voluntary basis, TOC’s largest concern with being gazetted was the impact it would have on the speed of their growth. Under the Political Donations Act, they are not allowed to accept anonymous donations above a total amount of S$5,000. The names of individuals who donate above S$10,000 must also be listed in their annual donation report. Moreover, the Act states that they cannot accept any foreign donations.

That might not seem like a deterrent because, after all, TOC is a website. How much could it cost to keep a website up and running, you may ask. It does play a significant role in hindering TOC’s advancement in accordance with their vision of becoming the leading online source for socio-political news.

“For example, you can’t write to the Knight Foundation which is a US based journalist media foundation that gives grants for start-up media, you know,” Ravi says fervently. The Knight Foundation in the United States of America (USA) provides grants for ‘transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts’.

“We can’t expect grants like $500,000 and go semi-professional. Do what you’re doing in a more professional way,” Ravi says, with a hint of regret. He adds with a laugh, “Unless we find a millionaire who’s a Singaporean who says he’s going to give us a million dollars to take up this venture and run with it!”

Anonymous No Longer

Being a political association requires TOC to name a President, a Treasurer, a Secretary, as well as all the editorial staff and administrators. This suggests that there might be a change in the types of issues that TOC comments on. To the contrary, Ravi confirmed that this aspect of being gazetted had not caused any change.

“Everybody knows who our writers are. We always write with our real names”, he states, leaving no room for doubt. TOC knows who their anonymous writers are, and would not publish an article from anybody who did not state their identity.

Say what?

It was enlightening to learn that the Government does communicate and has formed a relationship of sorts with TOC. “They have always engaged us for coffee and they say, ‘Why are you writing like that?’“, Ravi chuckles. Of course, I wanted to know more about these elusive meetings but Ravi was tight-lipped about the issue.

The Economist had published an article on its blog about the gazetting. Entitled ‘A Chill in the Blogosphere, its message was clear – TOC would now have to think twice about the content it produces. More importantly, they will have to re-look the boundaries of controversial areas of discussion such as homelessness and income inequality. However, Singapore’s High Commissioner replied that neither TOC’s activities nor its freedom of expression would be impeded through the gazetting.

I was interested to know what TOC’s thoughts were on that. Ravi agreed with the High Commissioner without hesitation. “Of course our freedom to express ourselves is not hampered by the gazetting,” Ravi stated firmly. “But our ability to grow at a faster rate is.” Perhaps they have won the battle that means more to them.

My Side, Then Maybe Your Side

The crux of a fine reporter is his ability to remain objective and emotionally distanced from whatever he reports. Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, authors of ‘The Elements of Journalism’ put it this way: “The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing”.

The Online Citizen however, openly admits that it is biased in the issues it reports. “I won’t hide the fact that we are biased,” says Ravi. “But we are biased because we see the unfairness and the injustice and you can’t tell a story without being biased.”

Ravi mentions that one of the reasons that they are biased is that they can only write and report from the people who engage them. By engage, he means those that communicate with TOC. Incidentally, the only people who engage them are the people from the Opposition parties, not the Government. “That’s the reason why we do what we do,” he ends.

Space for an Alternative

The mainstream media has received plenty of criticism that it is Government controlled and that they only report what they want the people to hear. The Online Citizen delves into issues that may be seen as unpopular. Homelessness and the difficulties of people with disabilities are just two among a spectrum of other socio-political issues that might be difficult to address in the mainstream media.

Dr. Tony Tan, presidential candidate, quoted Ravi recently in his opening speech at the Face to Face 2 forum conducted by TOC. Ravi said, “We should be critical but we should not be cynical”, perhaps summing up TOC succinctly.

Hope for Change

The Online Citizen began with the intention to be a loudspeaker for the voices that are not heard. It is Ravi’s view that the major print and broadcast media in Singapore tends to lean toward Government opinion. TOC is still in touch with its original objectives. Their tagline, ‘A Community of Singaporeans’ is meant to give the reader confidence that they are still for the ordinary Singaporean.

It is safe to say that accepting the gazetting has showed the people that they are still all for the man on the street. Though they might not be able to expand quite as quickly as they have planned, the support of the people that they speak for will have to be growth enough for now.

At first, it must have been a bitter pill to swallow, but the gazetting could have been a blessing in disguise. Ravi hopes to see TOC move from being an amateur blog to a semi-professional alternative media outfit in the future. Although being gazetted might have reduced their potential funding, there’s a silver lining, as there is to everything if you look hard enough. “I think the Prime Minister gave us more prominence. After the gazetting more people started to read TOC”, he says with a grin.


  • Fugazi

    The sorry state of the mainstream media (both print n broadcast) is such that the perception amongst citizens is that it is no longer reliable and cannot be trusted. Any discerning, intelligent reader(s) would know that its purpose of nation-building has been arrogated by a few vested interests for the perpetuation of power in the hands of a certain party.
    Nation-building it never was but a party-building press (PAP!) it has always been.

    The internet is a boon aka benediction for citizens and for the incumbents it is a curse.

  • Citizen X

    Citizens are forever treatd like children. Thats why they even regard foreign menial workers as talents (because they are grown-ups, we are not). Heres how:-

    1. Cannot use own money (they are like parents who keep your money until you grow up)

    2. Cannot tell you whats going on (children will react wrongly)

    3. Cannot have a home for yourself unless you are married (children cannot live on their own).

  • GORDon

    I have never seen a political and social blog as high standard n quality as TOC.

    Its so good that its the Alternative whiter than white.

    Well done everyone.

    Now lets push for msm to be non-partisan IF it happen to become so.

    See, english is easy and flexible.

    Posting comments can be done in a safe way.

    Any Message can be put across safely.

    40% have Awakened and realised how many hate the status quo.

    No building in this world can house 900k people at 1 time.

  • SMW

    I agree with what has been said here. I do not find it as excessively anti establishment as another website. But a platform for alternative voices, views and ideas it is and that makes it so important. Enough of the PAP regarding its own citizens as unable to think and only good as workers. Excellent job TOC. and just voted for TJS. Hope he will be another alternative voice for the downtrodden in Singapore. To hell with PAP.

  • georgia tong

    Thanks TOC for the great work. We appreciate and enjoy your articles which are informative and mind stimulating.

    We admire you folks courage and sense of justice

  • joker



  • sa

    reproduce from tre :

    My take on the elected presidency
    August 25th, 2011 | Author: Contributions

    There has been so much hoo ha on the EP issue recently. it is obvious, the Internet community had perceived the EP as a PAP vs the rest campaign. Well, the previous president SR Nathan did not exactly ask too much questions on ultra sensitive issue unlike the late Mr Ong. Of course i am not saying Nathan did not discharge his duties to the best of his ability, let the public be the judge of that. In a turbulent time for the PAP, the failings of their policy are rearing its ugly head. Like a mythical Hydra, they have come to a stage where any new policies to fixed the old problems simply create new problems for them. Just like when you chop off one of the Hydra head, 2 more grows back.

    so what have the PAP failed over the years. Its is simple, to the layman, they failed to maintain a reasonable quality of life and expectations of the ordinary citizen. in a detailed explanation. they failed in the method to grow the GDP. rather than value add the goods and service we produce, we simply offer marginal value as per our competitor and to compensate that, we open the flood gates to foreigner to boost demand of essential goods and services. they failed in infrastructure planning as well. to make analogy, if one were to increase the horsepower and torque of a vehicle drastically, you will need to improve your brakes, your suspension, your chassis and tyres. simply having a horsepower boost and not upgrading the rest will definitely guarantee an accident.

    despite being a one party government with full powers to dictate policies, coordination was non existent. infrastructure such as transports, health care, public housing and education failed miserably. any promise of a quick fix and catchy political slogans such as “Singaporeans first” are nothing more than an illusion. like an oasis in a desert, those desperate enough to believe it are usually the one to die first. it took twenty years of bad policies to cause the mess, it will definitely take more than an election to fix it. why should we put our trust in the people who cause the mess in the first place?Inflation while not the sole fault of our monetary policy are a catalyst to the problems that lousy policies create.

    PAP understand without the backing of a hinterland, the best bet is to ensure continuity through a Sovereign wealth fund that would buy or control companies that would be strategic to growth and survival. An example would be to buy resource companies and effectively able to divert resource sales to Singapore in times of need. SWF concept incepted in the 70s was a vision but that too had failed miserably. GIC is at best a material shareholders in most of the companies it buys. SWF had failed spectacularly if we were to evaluate them on their political goals. Our SWF are nothing more than a overestimated private equity holding on to assets valued in depreciating currencies. When has an industry in Singapore ever benefited from a SWF maneuvers? eg. buying a tech company and sharing the patents with local sme to improve their competitiveness in world markets?

    So now that we have a brief nature of the state of the country is in, lets look at the candidates and the underlying strategy the PAP had adopted to Cruise through this presidential election. It is obvious to anybody with half a brain why we have 4 candidates. it is to dilute the votes of the non pap supporters. Tan Cheng Bock(TCB) is a red herring to the voters. he is being positioned as a candidate not sanctioned by the PAP while Tony Tan is the official PAP candidate. don’t be fooled my voters, TCB is here to gather the neutral vote. he is the perfect candidate, never a cabinet minister, low profile, never gather any wrath on bad PAP policies. remember the man is close to the PAP leadership having been a member of the elite central committee of PAP.

    Next on, Tan Kin Lian (TKL). this guy i believe is not a puppet of the PAP having been forced out of his cushy job as NTUC income CEO and not followed on with a political office offering. However, having this guy as a president will simply make this proverb holds true ” meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. With a ultra neutral position on everything, he is someone that will not rock the boat. His most daring act involves speaking on the Lehman issue and offering to write some letters to MAS. that’s about it. extremely calculative of his strategy, he choose not to stand for election in the last GE and had refrained from openly supporting any opposition political party. if the idea of an elected president is to provide checks and balance for the government and our reserves, how can we entrust it onto a man with no conviction and passion except for his own interest. he simply reminds me of those office politics expert that will maneuver any situation to ensure their continued prosperity and survival in a company. sounds very familiar right, sounds like your colleagues and bosses eh. if TKL can make president so can those people.

    Tan Jee Say. the man i will be voting for. Not because i truly believes he is a righteous man. There is a saying “no good men will be politicians” He is the best hope of a true checks and balance in the govt. A washout of the PAP system, he has a bone to pick with the people who had flushed him out. His affiliation with the SDP hints of a more pro-active way of getting to the govt. of all the opposition, the SDP stands out in terms of its actions towards an authoritarian govt. the rest are campaigning on stable ground , afraid to cross the line. SDP never backs down, its culture and leadership attract like minded individuals. TJS is expected to get the hardcore anti PAP votes which is likely to be 20% or more but because TKL will get the neutral side, it is unlikely TJS will win or come close.

    Tony Tan, the man need no introduction, one of the round table of guys who own Singapore whether you like it or not. This is the guy to gather the pro PAP votes, which i believe in the current climate should still form the marginal majority of votes that will be cast. Many people who are surviving fine will prefer not to rock the boat. the biggest reason, PROPERTY PRICES. while i am skilled in the art of yields and macroeconomics, your man on the street are not. they blindly believe that our PAP government is the all powerful force that can ensure the stability and steady rise of property prices. this propaganda on capitalising on the fear of property price decline is an ultra successful campaign that the PAP had orchestrated. i will explain in another post why local property prices will crash eventually and the signs that are bringing us there.back to the topic, while PAP believe their votes will form the majority, they are not confident like they are when Ong Teng Cheong was running. Hence comes TCB as a safety net. In a worst case scenario based on the data they collected on the recent election, suppose Tony Tan under a standard deviation of 0.2, could gather only 40 % of the votes, TCB could easily get 20% or more of the neutral vote and both PAP old dogs will have 60%. No matter what sort of allocation TKL and TSJ get will be irrelevant. Voters behaviour will not change overnight, almost all GRC and SMC gather 56-60% of votes in the last GE so it is likely the votes for the EP will be close to what the GE results are.

    So what are the strategy to overcome this. it is simple. TKL should withdraw to give TJS a fighting chance. TKL withdrawal will shift 20% of the vote to TJS and that should give him over 40% of the votes with the remaining 10+% as wildcard. Any screw up from Tony tan and he is indeed screwing up slightly with his evasive answering, support of the ISA and his sons NS stint, TJS will have a real chance of getting those wildcard votes and start the road of ruin for the PAP..


    if we dont want cost of living to go up and up more faster and more ft at faster rate, tjs is the one to vote, it will give them time to think and repent. better for long term, pain now but hopefully pappies change for the best later although i am disappointed..



  • Ah Kong 2 cents

    Lets apply a lot of Brylcream & comb our hair backward, put on a pair of spectacle with black frame and go down to the polling station to cast our vote.

  • zero

    The common tactic of PAP leader is blatant labelling. It is a subtle form of attack and very dangerous.

    “Populist”. What does this mean? The subtle connotation is that it is bad. “succumb to populist pressure”. The implied meaning is that populist=bad. Has it occured to anyone at all, populist can be GOOD if the status quo is wrong or bad? Who has an absolute judgement of right or wrong? NOBODY.

    “Foreign Talent”. This is the worst. This word has caused deep social divide in Singapre. By combining the two words foreign, and talent, the subtle connotation is that foreigners are talented. This is a very very poisonous brew. No one is talented until proven so, it is not even important to know whether he is foreinger or local. It is very bad to pre-judge. A foreinger who is not talented will ride on the bandwagon of this term and assume a superiority complex. A local who is talented will feel slighted.

    “Anti Establishment” This is similar to “populist”. Why should Anti Establishemnt = BAD = 90% wrong? It is unfair, to implicate that Establishiment=Good and antiEstabilishment= Bad.

    British/American politicians also use this dirty tricks.
    When they dont support a group of people opposing a particular regime, they call them Activists and Rebels.
    When they support a group of people opposing a particular regime, they call them Freedom Fighters. or the Resistance (World War 2 term).

    Playing with words. Be careful when reading words from The Establishment. Discount 90% of the connotation likewise.


  • Sa

    Dear all singaporeans,

    Tjs should be losing this pe, tcb football pe is strong underdog to win.

    Disappointed again. As usual, prepare for further locking of cpf and spending of reserves. Which eventually massively bankrupt us further.

    And higher cost of living at faster rate for tcb if not fastest once super star tt selected.

    Repent for next 6years

  • chou Ah Lian


    What has locking of cpf to do with the presidential election? Singapore has people ignorant like you but fortunately the majority are not.

  • SC

    What Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said about the TOC was true at that time.

    Now it is pro-establishment with Ravi at the helm.


    chou Ah Lian27 August 2011

    What has locking of cpf to do with the presidential election? Singapore has people ignorant like you but fortunately the majority are not.
    majority are not? you meant the 40% is willin to handover their hardearned cpfs’ blood sweat and tears to gohchocktongue and his pap governors on YOUR b1/2s?
    and if the presidential erections got nothin to do with singapoorium..why do we need a XPENSIVE presidente?
    just to wave on national day?
    the primeister cannot just do that?
    all over the wholewideworld..the primeister/mistress do what? just wait on the 9th and count the real numbers of ZEROs added behind their paypackets perhaps?

    a mongrol breed you are

    and on a sidenote to x-senile minister
    do you personally think any of MINE contributions would had pass in the 143th media forums..let alone stomp or cna forum…
    are you/do you hav the mentality to think for a moment to reflect YOURSELF as a commonor who lived on a day2day basis?
    yes or no will do

  • A Concerned Singaporean

    TOC should not post comments that come with abusive words and vulgarities. It can be strongly anti-PAP, anti-Establishment, anti-Opposition or anti-Individual, it is pefectly OK but cut out the foul language. Yawning Bread stands out in this respect.

    All the best to TOC.

  • Ah Kong 2 cents

    Spotted many people with heavy Brylcream hair combed backward on the street & at the polling station today.

  • http://- semuachakap

    If you have voted TT..then may the gods have mercy on you., If you have voted any Tan.. then you have done the right thing.

  • SMW

    Dear netizens,

    I think it would be more useful to explain clearly why we are concerned for our cpf monies rather than just use unclear terms like “locking up of our cpf funds”, although it shows that the writer is very concern.

    we need to understand firstly that our cpf monies is mostly our own hard earned money. we contribute to the most to it.

    secondly, before retirement, our cpf is jus a bunch of numbers on pieces of paper. only when u buy house, then it becomes meaningful and the gov has to cough up the money to the banks, which by n large the gov has done honestly. thanks where credit is due.

    then comes the problem. there r those of us who still cannot qualify to buy house. so our cpf monies remains wif cpf board. those of us of retirement age (n this keeps increasing), mus also hav a certain amount of money in there, to b drawn out slowly. those of us who sold our property or share has the money thrown back inside cpf (to the amount that we withdrew from there). the question is, will our cpf become a part of the sovereign funds, such as the foreign reserve, to be used by the GIC?

    last of all, when the interest rate of cpf is jus kept above bank rates at 2.5% and below inflation rate at 3.5% or more, our savings will hav lower n lower buying power. tts also y the minimum sum keep going up (hence “locking”). yes the official reason is that we r growing older. but what else r they not telling us.

  • Pingback: Daily SG: 27 Aug 2011 « The Singapore Daily

  • Heart for Singapore

    Why I vote for TJS:-

    1)If TJS gets elected, many people will be elated. If TT gets elected, many commoners will be angry. If TCB gets elected, nothing changed.
    2) With TJS photos up on every govt’s agency, our civil servants will be humbled.
    3) With happier Singaporeans, our society will be more peaceful and friendlier. Remember, 以和为贵,peace and friendliness breed prosperity.

  • o’v’o

    @Heart for Singapore

    Aiyo you represent the anti-pap voice which is only 30% and the majority will look at the TJS photo on govt agency as “Tan Jiak Sai”… (Wait eat shit).

  • Old Citizen

    TCB, the compromise candidate status quo will win handsdown. He reflects singaporeans fear of change after living in a nanny state for 46 years. This excitement will be over in a month. Nothing will
    change, just a tweaking here n there of policy implementation to
    ensure next election will retain power.

  • sa

    tjs = tan justice seen

  • a little bit of soap

    May I ask Wooden Goh if the Straits Times a PAP mouthpiece??

    The only truthful report are the cinema pages and the date it was published!

  • Quanxi

    Nvr waste this opportunity to vote TJS to shake up this govt from it’s total complacency .This PAP govt has taken the citizens for granted too long n perhaps we are to be blamed for past numbness .Our generation is awoken after a long comfortable sleep.

  • Opportunity

    Golden opportunity for TOC to become the
    leading online media in Singapore.God sent

  • Grief

    MIW win again against singaporeans. Not all are upset.Greedy folks will be exceptionally happy and celebrate on top floor of Marina BaySands.

  • whose $

    Temasek dont manage our CPF money, they manage Ah Kong’s money $$$$

  • ZR2

    Internet says
    Merrill Lynch: One in two chance that Singapore will enter recession this year.

    1/2 does it mean 50%. ?

    What does 50% chance mean?

    What is MAYBE?
    What is MAYBE NOT?

    English is fun!

    It MAY rain.
    This technically also means It MAY NOT rain.

    Why such news released now?
    Why someone keep saying uncertain times?

    Times are always uncertain.

    With or without Specky Debiase, no one can stop recession and he will not be able to solve the problem anyway.

    Ok lah hungry liao. I go and frighten naive childten and CHIA LIAO BEE and boo boo the bullshit.

    Is there a color whiter than white?
    Is that not an oxymoron?

  • early exit poll

    Early exit poll shows TT is leading, follow by TCB with TJS & TKL trailing behind.

  • ?

    zhun mo?

  • Goondu

    TT (ex-SPH Chairman)says “don’t be cynical”.
    GCT says TOC “anti establishment”
    I say “LONG LIVE TOC”

    Why? On 17 August, STRAITS TIMES (Controlled by TT, until recently) wrote about the EP.

    ST said “Why President is not a Super MP”
    TT said “I will not be a Super-MP”.

    Coincidental? You decide:

    Dear Ms Chua Mui Hoong (Straits Times Review Editor), copy to all ST Editors,

    I refer to your article on ST Page A2 of 17 Aug 201; entitled “Why the President is not a super-MP”

    If I may decipher your column, to me it reads as follows:

    Tony Tan and Tan Cheng Bock “agreed with the Government’s position that the president’s role was circumscribed…” That’s OK, in your view.

    Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian did not agree. That’s NOT OK, in your view.


    1 TJS and TKL are “hideous”…

    I quote: “They promise voters the kind of president they want… (Not what the Constitution prescribes)…then they hide under the idiom – let Singaporeans decide”

    2 They are “gravely irresponsible politicians”

    I quote: “They committed a gravely irresponsible act of politics”

    3 They “indulge in fantasies”:

    I quote: “The presidency is not a blanket canvas onto which they can project their fantasies”

    4 Their “intelligence is questionable”… (perhaps even intellectually disabled) Italics mine…

    I quote: “They are intelligent men… but it is hard to fathom how they can…confuse the role of parliamentarian with that of a president…”

    5 They “disregard the law…have no good sense…”

    I quote: “…regardless of the law, good sense and convention…”

    6 You have two harsh words for them: DESPOT and DEMAGOGUE

    For a while, I thought I was reading Singapore’s version of Xin Hua News Agency.

    Incidentally, the Chinese also have a harsh word for writers for Xin Hua News Agency…RUNNING DOGS


    latest updates
    the results from HEAVEN already predict
    i am NOT goin to says what
    all i am goin to tell you
    as reported by the news
    USA is goin to face a historic hurrican as bad as endoftheworld 2013
    1) USA is on the verge of bankrupcy
    2) with this bad omen

    the whole world will turned upside down
    so singapooriums…
    what does this got to do with us?
    you may asked…………

    simple what happenned on 9/11
    you all are intelligent to figure it out.

  • Sa

    State media still win this pe.

    Alternative medias pls buck up

  • doppelganger

    I invite the citizenry to look at the long view and not the short one of who should withdraw so as to give way to another candidate on the same path or even what each candidate says he will do if elected. Such analyses do not explain the true state of affairs.

    We are in a desert as far as opposition members are concerned.

    Fact is that the PAP candidates TT and TCB have been on TV and the newspaper for decades while the non PAP candidates are Johnny -Come -Lately. Why so? Because the PAP has systematically eradicated all non PAP by thuggery of the political police and compliant judges for more than 4 decades.

    If the PAP thuggery continues, then opposition parties will waste their lives trying to get elected in any future elections. LKY has engineered this society very well, gagging the citizenry by fear of the political police and by rule of Law, control of the press, TV and any written words, changing election boundaries at each election, and all these are achieved by the political police and a completely compliant judiciary. It is to be expected that the citizenry will be moved to vote for candidates who they see often on TV or in the press. If the man’s face appears only at election times, fat hope that he will ever get elected. The PAP controls all media in Singapore except the Internet. It will take another generation for everyone to be using the Internet and I have lost all hopes that any other system of governance but the single party system PAP will pertain in this country for at least 25 years.

    Unless of course a miracle happens. But LKY’s stated miracle is that he will rise from the dead to direct matters. Which miracle will happen? Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Disappointed With TOC

    Since TOC was gazetted, many had decided not to visit the site.
    It is precisely because the current main stream media is Prescribed, Ordered, Filtered, Moderated that Truths are Distorted,Manipulated and even Fashioned to suit a particular party ‘s purpose , that we had look upon TOC as an alternative media to channel the uncensored Reality.
    Yet, since it was gazetted, TOC seems to be paralysed and has been a great disapointment.

  • Pingback:

  • ah kow

    what former gic TT have to say abt the loss in UBS?
    what is his role in investing in UBS?
    very unprofessional
    buy all the rubbish n lose our cpf