During a press briefing organised by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) yesterday (6 May), its CEO Ng Yat Chung became rude at one point, raising his voice in front of a public audience. He particularly took offence to a reporter’s question about SPH’s goal of “editorial integrity”.
He was responding to a question fielded by CNA’s digital journalist who asked if the plans would mean the media business would pivot to emphasize editorial integrity ahead of advertiser interests.
Ng replied, “If I may just interject, I honestly I take umbrage at your first question. There are reporters from here who received substantial funding from various sources, and I don’t believe that you will describe yourself as bowing to the needs of advertisers in doing your job.”
He stressed that SPH publications have always had advertisers and that the company has “never, never conceded” to their needs.
“We will always continue to provide fair, reliable, credible reporting.” Ng added. “The fact that you dare to question SPH titles for, in your words, conceding to advertisers – I take umbrage at your comment.”
“I must call this out. (SPH) Chairman (Lee Boon Yang) is a gentleman. I am not,” a visibly agitated Ng retorted.
Raising his voice in concluding his answer, Ng stated, “The purpose of doing this is to make sure that SPH media will continue to do the job we have done so well for so long.”
Ng studied at Victoria School
Ng studied at Singapore’s Victoria School during his school days. In fact, he was listed in the “League of Extraordinary Victorians” on Victoria School’s website. Under the Military and Police section, he was listed at the top in the section:
Victoria School is the second oldest government secondary school in Singapore. It originated as an English class established in 1876 in Kampong Glam.
The vision of the school is to ensure every Victorian is a “Gentleman, Professional and Sportsman” who makes tangible contributions to his family, work, community and nation.
“The five values of Performance Excellence, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Empathy reflect what staff and students feel are important to them. We also hope that students have PRIDE in the school and our distinctive heritage, and carry themselves with PRIDE as a Gentleman, Professional and Sportsman,” the school said.
Now that Ng has publicly told the whole Singapore that he is not a gentleman, Ng’s former schoolmates, teachers and principal must have been heartbroken to see how he has failed his alma mater.
On the bright side, he did bag a couple of international accolades – some of them come with comically fancy titles.
Ng was awarded the Knight Grand Cross (1st Class) of The Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant (Thailand) back in 2005 and also the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Tripod (Republic of China) some time later.