Just one example of how our local media manipulates public opinion. And sadly, quite a number of Singaporeans, but not all, just buy into it without looking at the other side as well. I got the following piece from the SDP website. I’ve provided the necessary links plus the letter published by TODAY toward the end of the post for a full picture.

A letter that TODAY refused to publish

14 Dec 06

After publishing an inaccurate article and subsequently a commentary by a reader, TODAY refused to publish the following response to these two pieces.

Dear Editor,

In reference to the article “Why Chee is in hospital: MHA” (6 Dec 2006) and Rashid Osman’s comment “Why ask for special treatment” (7 Dec 2006). (article19’s note: See below for Mr Osman’s letter)

Here is a proof of how an article published by a daily newspaper can manipulate public opinion.

The article published on 6 Dec 2006 is far away from the basic standards of journalism as it only shows the opinion and information received from one side. Therefore, it is of no more quality than a parrot repeating every sentence it has heard from the government officials. Professional journalism is to dig into the story and to reveal the full picture after seriously evaluating the version of both sides of the story.

A daily newspaper should be aware of it’s responsibility in disclosing information the right way and especially of the harm (or benefit) it can mean to public opinion to only disclose one part of the picture.

Certainly there is a vast majority of people like Mr Osman who easily believe into press information without being critical and asking further questions. Therefore, a free and independent press is of very high importance and the freedom of press should be one of the highly cherished standards of a democratic system.

Rodny Scherzer
Germany

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Why ask for special treatment?

Thursday • December 7, 2006

Letter from Rashid Osman

I refer to the article, “Why Chee is in hospital: MHA” (Dec 6).

I’m puzzled as to why Dr Chee Soon Juan demanded the Prison Authorities treat him differently from other inmates while serving time in prison.

Is it not he who, during elections, called for the government to treat everybody in the same manner?

Having served my National Service in the Prisons Department, I can testify that the Prison authorities will treat every inmate fairly and humanely regardless of who they are.

I also believe it is a waste of public funds that Dr Chee had to be brought to Changi General Hospital for treatment. Had he complied with the orders of the prison doctor, the transfer would not have been necessary.

Dr Chee had decided to serve the default sentence rather than pay the court fine. While in prison, he should be treated no different from the other inmates. If each inmate starts asking for special treatment, where do the authorities draw the line?