by Elliot Aruldoss/
The question isn’t really if Dr Chee Soon Juan is Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) ‘loose cannon’ but whether Melvin Singh and Bryna Sim are ‘TNP’s’ biggest ‘loose cannon(s)’ of all!
Yesterday, 1 May 2011, The New Paper, boldly and seemingly objectively published an article, titled ‘Is he SDP’s loose cannon’. Two self-professed reporters, Melvin Singh and Bryna Sim, co-wrote the article, adding in personal sentiments and views on the proceedings of the event at Yuhua Stadium, (Friday) 27 April 2011.
Well folks, this article gave readers the impression that there are cracks forming in SDP’s otherwise well-fortified concrete structure, that is, their diversity of strong-willed and well accredited individuals and candidates. The article wrote that, at the rally, “a group surged forward and it appeared that he was about to lead the group in a march before other party members intervened to stop it’. This was written, referring to Dr Chee Soon Juan, who was stopped by local authorities many a time, in the past, accusing him of trying to lead a procession. This popular portrayal of our dear ‘infamous’ Dr Chee-the rebel, is among the many colourful tactics employed by the mainstream media institutions in Sunny Singapore. Indeed, because of articles like this, public perception of Dr Chee is heavily, negatively influenced.
There are also many facts presented to us in this article that are questionable, besides the lovely spelling of Dr Chee Soon(N) Juan in the byline. For instance, how could the members and speakers of the SDP gather or “huddle behind the rally stage” before the last speaker could get the chance to speak. Reported in this article, was the fact that the alleged march occurred right after Ms Teo Soh Lung’s speech. It is crucial to note that Ms Teo was the 9th spealer, not the last one. Food for thought, Melvin.
Also, what were the sources for this article? It was written that candidates such as Dr Ang Yong Guan made comments about issues within the party. Melvin and Bryna wrote that: ”Dr Ang Yong Guan, earlier told the Straits Times that he is against illegal protests, the kind that SDP under Dr Chee had become synonymous with. But I want to deal with it within the party first. See how far we can go and seek consensus. If they dont listen I may have to consider leaving.” Firstly, this quote was taken ‘earlier’ and not at the rally itself on that day. It was taken out of context and forcefully supplanted and utilized in this article for the sake of substantiating and reinforcing a personal opinion or view. Clearly, the writers of this article had an intention to discredit Dr Chee Soon Juan. Such practice is dangerous and unprofessional with questionable purposes behind it.
When approached to comment on this piece of ‘gutter journalism’, Mr Melvin Singh explained: “It was the candidates who alerted me. One of them is still working with us on a photo-shoot.” I am sure Mr Melvin can come out with a better justification as to why SDP’s own candidates relish the idea of turning their own people in. Above all, it is important to note that all of us should participate in a photo-shoot. That would surely lend us the strength to shoot our own people down.
Do not be mistaken. We are not attacking the baseless, one-sided and un-objective view presented to us by Mr Melvin Singh. What we are more concerned about is the sad state of mainstream media, which had no problems both approving and publishing such an ‘article’. This reflection of mainstream media begs the question if there are hidden agendas being published and whether the mass media is an tool for ‘somebody’s’ propaganda. Would Mr Singh or Ms Sim write an article in the same manner about Singapore’s ruling Party; the People’s Action Party, the PAP, bearing in mind this article would reach thousands of confused Singapore citizens?
Gents, I conclude this commentary with this. It may not help at all when I say that we have interviewed Dr Chee and have discovered that he is not, in fact, a terrorist, a suicide bomber, nor a dangerous criminal mastermind but a normal, average Singaporean working to voice common-folk. However, I say Singaporeans need to be careful in their selection of informative media, especially with, seemingly harmless articles, such as the one written by Melvin and Bryna, flying all around. Such views are often shrouded under the cover of obvious fact or masquerade as a piece of information with a slight twist of orange.