Kenneth Jeyaratnam criticizes Singapore’s politicians’ use of media control

Kenneth Jeyaratnam criticizes Singapore’s politicians’ use of media control

In a scathing commentary on his blog, Kenneth Jeyaratnam, Secretary General of the Reform Party and son of late opposition politician J.B. Jeyaretnam, has criticized the use of media by Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, late Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) and current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (LHL).

Jeyaratnam’s commentary was prompted by a recent investigation by the French newspaper Le Monde, which revealed that a senior French TV news journalist was paid by an Israeli outfit to spread disinformation on behalf of its clients.

Jeyaratnam highlighted the hypocrisy of the People’s Action Party (PAP) government, which he predicted would use the Le Monde investigation to illustrate the dangers of covert and malign foreign interference in Singapore’s internal affairs.

He pointed out that the PAP only views foreigners as interfering in Singapore’s politics if they criticize the PAP or run positive articles about the opposition. If they praise the PAP and attack their domestic opponents, then their every utterance, no matter how false, is instantly reprinted in the state media.

Jeyaratnam gave examples of foreigners who he believes have interfered in Singapore’s politics on behalf of the PAP, including the Polish blogger, the Israeli Arab Nas Daily, and many Western news organizations and publications.

According to Jeyaratnam, LKY took over the country’s media to promote himself and vilify his opponents. He used the Newspapers and Printing Presses Act and the Broadcasting Act to ensure that he had editorial control over everything that was written about him and could use his control to plant fake stories about his opponents.

LKY’s control of the media was also invaluable, said Jeyaratnam, in scaring the residents of Cheng San before the 1997 election, which helped the PAP secure a narrow victory despite facing almost certain defeat.

Jeyaratnam argued that LHL must applaud his father’s foresight in seizing control of the country’s media and shutting down the few brave independent voices like the Singapore Herald. He further claimed that LHL has not had to spend any of his considerable fortune inherited from his parents and considerably augmented during his long rule, as being free from scrutiny and accountability and being able to stay in office with the help of his media control.

Jeyaratnam concluded that Singaporeans are fed a diet of disinformation, propaganda, and gaslighting by LHL’s media control, while his opponents are subject to a systematic campaign of being made non-persons or objects of ridicule through the distortion of what they said and denied a right of reply.

He argued that LHL’s control of Parliament has allowed him to brazenly spend $400 million of Singaporeans’ own money to enable him to continue to brainwash them, and that using his media monopoly to help him stay in office is far more corrupt than secretly paying journalists.

” When will Singaporeans wake up and realise that they have been cheated?” asks Jeyaratnam.


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