Prime Minister broad-strokes digital media as unreliable

by: Ravi Philemon/

In his National Day Rally speech in Mandarin today, the Prime Minister asked the young people who grew up in the Internet age and are familiar with all the new things on the Internet, to heed the advice of the elderly who may not know how to use the pc.

He said that the seniors in our midst can be ignored only to the peril of the young, as those that are older have the knowledge of experience; and so if we follow them the young will make less mistakes.

PM’s call to the young people to heed the advice of the elderly seem to make a lot of sense when you consider the fact that those that are older are generally perceived to be conservative, whose views are more uniform, but solid and less different on views.

And according to the post election survey of General Election 2011 by the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore’s senior citizens are a group who viewed the PAP as more credible. The same survey also says that the Internet is most influential with post-independence voters.

In his speech in English, the Prime Minister said that the Government as a whole must be more active and adept at engaging Singaporeans online; and also acknowledged that the digital media will grow to be more important, but was quick to broad-stroke it as being unreliable because it “lends itself to many negative views and ridiculous untruths”.

Although he recognised in his speech that not all new media platforms are “cowboy towns” and promised to engage from diverse platforms which put forth more cogent discussions for debate, it’s quite unfortunate that in his National Day Rally speech, the Prime Minister chose to sow distrust among Singaporeans.

Especially those that use the digital media to be unusually engaged in the affairs of Singapore as leading “people astray”.

Prime Minister’s National Day Rally Speech in Malay HERE.

Prime Minister’s National Day Rally Speech in Mandarin HERE.

Prime Minister’s National Day Rally Speech in English HERE.